Steps to Take Before Buying Business Insurance

At Vargas and Vargas Insurance Agency, we help Boston residents with many types of insurance needs. We handle home and auto insurance, as well as renters and condo insurance. You should also know that we handle many different types of commercial insurance policies for local businesses! If you’re a business owner and you’re in search of the perfect business insurance policy (and let’s face it; who isn’t?) stop and consider the following seven factors:

Determine your insurance requirements

When purchasing insurance for your business, you should first know what types of coverage you are required to have. Every state is different,so you will need someone in your corner that is familiar with the Massachusetts requirements. In addition, there may be requirements based on your industry, or certain obligations that you have if you rent your business space. Also find out about your workers compensation requirements and stay on top of those as your business grows if you hire new workers.

Thankfully, you don’t have to sift through all the legalese on your own. A qualified Massachusetts business insurance agent can help you navigate the often-murky waters of insurance requirements.

Know the risks in your area of business

At Vargas and Vargas Insurance Agency, we know that every business is different. We want to offer you complete protection, so we will help identify your unique risks to ensure that you get full coverage. For example, a restaurant may need coverage for food spoilage and liquor liability, where a tech-based business could require cyber liability coverage and errors and omissions insurance.

No matter what type of business you own, we’ve got you covered.We insure many types of businesses here in the Greater Boston area, and we are confident that we can craft a policy that is tailored to the special needs and risks of your business.

Focus on your amount of coverage…

Business owners know – bottom line is important, but it’snot the only thing that you should focus on when you make decisions for your business. As you talk to your business insurance agent, don’t fall into the trap of asking for only the bare minimum insurance coverage in order to save money.Your insurance coverage is critical in making sure that you are protected in all kinds of scenarios, so your coverage is not the place to skimp. Just remember – your insurance is what will protect you if there is a lawsuit or a fire or another type of huge disaster, so ask your insurance agent how much coverage they recommend. They will be able to find a coverage amount that suits your needs.

…As well as your deductible

So, we firmly stand by everything we said in the last paragraph…but we know that your bottom line is still important to your business. We want you to have the best of both worlds – a great insurance policy at a price that won’t overburden your budget. That’s why you should use an independent insurance agency when purchasing your policy. We can shop several insurance providers to find you one that will offer the best deal. We will be on the look out for discounts that you qualify for and other savings that you could use.

Err on the side of caution

If you’re faced with a decision of how much coverage to purchase for your business, we recommend that you err on the side of caution.Just remember – you never know when or why your business might be affected by something devastating, so purchase a little bit more coverage, or buy that extra bit of umbrella insurance. You’ll be glad that you did if for some reason you ever need to use it.

Become familiar with your policy

Once you have a commercial insurance policy in place, it is your responsibility to become familiar with it. If you’re brave, you can read over it yourself… if, however, that makes your eyes glaze over (and don’t worry, it happens to everyone) ask your insurance agent to go over the basics of your coverage with you. It is also important to make sure that you review your business insurance coverage at least every year so that you can refresh yourself on the protection that you have, as well as update your policy based on any changes that are happening in your business.

Ask an insurance expert for help

Owning a business is tough, but if you know the right people it doesn’t have to be. Thankfully you have Massachusetts insurance experts in your corner and ready to help with all your insurance questions, concerns, and needs.

Want to talk to a Vargas and Vargas Insurance agent about getting a commercial insurance quote for your business? Don’t put it off any longer – the process is simple. Just call 617-298-0655 to get started and we will have a free quote for you in no time.

Recap: Summer Tips for Small Businesses

“Business is about people. It’s about passion. It’s about bold ideas, bold small ideas or bold large ideas.” – Tom Peters

What are you doing to take your small business to the next level? The summertime may seem like a great time to take a break and enjoy the weather, but don’t let yourself stay stagnant! Instead, check out our full blog post from last week, including several ideas like these on how you can leverage the summertime to grow your business:

  • Try out a new social media platform or put some effort into an existing one with summertime photos of your customers or products.
  • Expand your customer database by consistently asking for email addresses. Make it more attractive by offering a discount to customers that are on your email list or a coupon to new sign-ups.
  • Attend or host an event – your next customer could be right around the corner! As a bonus, plan an event for your employees as a reward for working so hard throughout the year.
  • Never let yourself get lazy. Instead of relaxing, plan for the future of your business.

For more business marketing tips, general business advice, and business insurance expertise, stay tuned to the Vargas and Vargas Insurance blog! And if you ever have a question or want to review your Massachusetts business insurance options, call our agency at 617-298-0655.

The Most Common Threats for Business Owners

It could drive a person crazy to think about the many things that might potentially go wrong over the course of any given day. And yet, sometimes failing to acknowledge what’s out there can lead to an avoidable situation. If you’re thinking about upgrading or buying commercial insurance for your new business in Dorchester, MA, it’s worth noting the following facts from your friends at Vargas & Vargas Insurance. We provide commercial insurance for hard-working business owners around the state of Massachusetts. Here are a few reasons to get protection.

Criminal Activity  

Criminal activity today doesn’t just mean a person breaking the door to your stockroom and stealing all of your available inventory. It can also mean someone breaking into your computer systems and stealing customer data or holding your files hostage for ransom. It can even be a person assaulting an employee at the end of their shift. It can also mean a group of kids just looking to cause a little mischief on a weekend night. Wherever the criminal element may come from, it’s the owner’s responsibility to take care of any physical or emotional damages that may result. 

Lawsuits, Weather, and More 

From an employee suing the company for wrongful discrimination to an odd blizzard in Dorchester, MA, there are plenty of reasons why a business owner should worry about the state of their business. It only takes a few broken windows to wipe out several days worth of income, which is just one reason why an owner could use a good backup plan.

For a better chance at handling everything that may come your way, it helps to have a commercial insurance policy that works for you. Giving Vargas & Vargas Insurance a call today can make it easier for business owners to handle it all. Reach out to our agents to discuss a policy and have your questions answered.

Recap: Insurance Mistakes

“Each life is made up of mistakes and learning, waiting and growing, practicing patience and being persistent.” – Billy Graham

As the saying goes, “To err is human.” That doesn’t mean, however, that you should be ok with making easily avoidable mistakes. This includes the insurance mistakes that we detailed in our blog post last week! At Vargas and Vargas Insurance Agency, our experienced Massachusetts insurance agents will give you advice and review your insurance policies to ensure that you don’t make common insurance mistakes like these:

  • Insuring your home for its market value instead of the cost to rebuild.
  • Not having a home inventory in the event that you suffer a major loss.
  • Skipping out on policies like flood insurance and umbrella insurance.
  • Buying only the minimum amount of liability insurance with your auto policy.
  • Forgetting to weigh in on the premium vs. deductible trade-off.
  • Paying for unnecessary business insurance policies.
  • Failing to update your insurance policies regularly.

Want a free and no-obligation insurance review? Just call our agency at 617-298-0655 to talk to a great Boston insurance agent about whether your policies will provide the necessary amount of coverage if you make a claim. Also take a minute to subscribe to our blog so that you don’t miss any of our great upcoming content, including insurance tips and tricks, summertime topics, life in Boston, and much more.

Recap: Business Disaster Plan

“One of the tests of leadership is the ability to recognize a problem before it becomes an emergency.” – Arnold H. Glasow

Massachusetts business owners: Did you see our post last week about business disaster plans? You never know when an emergency may strike, so the time to prepare is now. Create a disaster plan or refine your existing plan. Here are just a few tips from your Boston business insurance agency:

  • Create and practice an evacuation plan in case there is an emergency during business hours.
  • A communication plan is critical for disseminating information with employees about a disaster that has happened, and what they are expected to do during recovery.
  • Make an inventory of all of your business’s physical property in case of a loss.
  • Businesses that rely on digital data need a thorough and secure backup and recovery plan for files.
  • Having the right commercial insurance is critical – speak to your Massachusetts business insurance agent to check your policy for gaps.

If you need help with your business insurance policy, call Vargas and Vargas Insurance Agency at 617-298-0655. We can get you a free business insurance quote or review your existing policy to make sure that you have coverage that will protect you thoroughly in case of an emergency. And program our 24/7 emergency line into your phone just in case you ever need to reach an agent outside of normal business hours: 617-322-5289.

Creating a Business Disaster Plan

Most people are prepared for a disaster at home, they have an evacuation plan, a point of contact for the family, an emergency kit, and a home inventory for insurance purposes. Have you ever given any thought to creating a similar plan for your business?

Businesses aren’t immune to disaster, so it is critical that you have a plan – just in case the worst happens. You will need to take a few steps to formulate your plan depending on the disaster, and make sure that you share these plans with your employees so that everyone knows how to respond in case there is an emergency.

Evacuation Plan

If there is ever an emergency during business operations, your employees should know how to evacuate safely. Post evacuation maps through the building, and practice emergency drills throughout the year. If your business hosts customers, instruct employees on how to help them evacuate in a safe and calm manner.

Communication Plan

Disasters don’t always happen during regular business hours. If a disaster happens when no one is working, you will need to inform all employees about what has happened, and the steps that they need to take, including whether they will be expected to work from home or an interim location. Your communication plan may involve an email blast or a phone tree – or both!

Physical Property

If your business were affected by a fire, would you know exactly what was destroyed? Probably not. This is why it is critical to have an inventory of the physical property in your business. List everything that your business owns. This will include things like your furniture, electronics, décor, and even inventory. Then it will be up to you to keep this inventory up to date as you upgrade or purchase new items. Ask your Massachusetts business insurance agent what details they recommend recording about each item.

Keep a copy of your business’s full inventory list in an offsite location, which could be a safe deposit box, your personal property, or even in the cloud. This ensures that you will have access even if something happens to your business’s location. You may even want to keep an updated copy on file with your Vargas and Vargas Insurance agent for safe keeping!

Digital Data

Many businesses nowadays rely on digital data. If a disaster affected your computers, would you be able to recover? Make sure that all of your critical information is backed up to a secure location in the cloud so that losing your computers wouldn’t cripple your business. You can also ask your business insurance agent about digital liability insurance and equipment breakdown insurance for your digital business.

Off-Site Disaster

Your business would certainly be affected by a fire or flood, but think outside of the box: what if a disaster affected one of your suppliers, or an important client? Think about the possibility of losing each of these parties and create a back-up plan in the event that something happens. Being prepared ahead of time will greatly cut down on your response time if an issue arises.

Insurance Prep

Having the right Massachusetts business insurance is a crucial part of disaster recovery. If your business is affected by a fire, flood, theft, etc., your business insurance will help to put you back on track to getting back to normal – but only if you’re carrying the right types of coverage.

Talk to your insurance agent about whether your business is prepared to deal with the aftermath of potential disasters. A Vargas and Vargas Insurance rep can help you evaluate your commercial insurance coverage to ensure that you have all of the coverage that you need.

This means something else for every business, which is why we tailor business insurance policies to each of our clients. You may want to consider building coverage (including flood insurance), property and inventory coverage, tenant’s improvements coverage, coverage for extra expenses, and additional coverage to rebuild a damaged or destroyed building in compliance with building codes. As discussed above, digital liability insurance may also be something to consider. For added protection, our Massachusetts insurance experts may recommend an umbrella insurance policy for your business, especially if you are at an increased risk for liability issues.

Preventing a Disaster

Make sure that your business is prepared for the worst, but also take steps to minimize your risk of an emergency. For tips on how to make your business safer, stay tuned to our blogs for tips!

You never plan to be affected by an emergency – that’s what makes your disaster response plan so critical. Make sure that part of your plan is contacting your Vargas and Vargas Insurance agent. During business hours, call us at 617-298-0655. If you have an emergency outside of our normal hours, you can always call our 24/7 line at 617-322-5289. Program both of these numbers in your phone now for easy access if you ever need to reach us! We can help you get the best business insurance for your Massachusetts business.

Recap: Employee Appreciation Day

As you may remember from our blog last week, the first Friday in March is Employee Appreciation Day. So, how did your business celebrate? Did you bring in treats, or have lunch catered? More importantly, how are you going to ensure that employee appreciation becomes a regular part of your business, and integrated directly into your company’s culture?

You should show your employees that you care about them and their well-being and help them to realize that they are each important parts of the machine that is your business. Here are just a few ways to do this:

  • Occasionally (or regularly) cater lunch or treats for the office, or have a complimentary snack/drink station in the breakroom.
  • Celebrate the milestones of your employees, including birthdays, work anniversaries, and more.
  • Make “Thank you” something that you say often. Write employees a note of thanks, say “Thank you” when they go above and beyond the call of duty, and thank them in a meeting in front of their peers.

Vargas and Vargas Insurance Agency cares for you, your business, and your business’s employees. Make sure all three of these are protected with the best business insurance from our agency. Call 617-298-0655 for a free business insurance quote, or to have your current insurance policy reviewed by one of our business insurance professionals.

Celebrating Employee Appreciation Day

Every year on the first Friday in March, the US celebrates “Employee Appreciation Day.” It is an opportunity for businesses and business owners to acknowledge the hard work of their employees throughout the year.

The Origins of Employee Appreciation Day

Employee Appreciation Day isn’t a new holiday. In fact, it’s been around for more than twenty years! In 1995, a man named Bob Nelson created the holiday and celebrated it at his publishing company, Workman Publishing.

Mr. Nelson was also a founding board member of Recognition Professionals International, an organization that “brings awareness, credibility and accountability to employee recognition through best practices, tools, strategies, thought leadership, education and professional certification.”

Why You Should Celebrate

A business is only as good as its employees – and this goes for every type of business, from technology startups to restaurants to local stores and beyond.

It’s easy for a business to be so focused on increasing their bottom line that the people aspect of the business gets lost. Remember that your employees work hard and sacrifice a lot to do a great job for you and your business. For all of the nights that they stayed late or went above and beyond the call of duty while at work, a little appreciation goes a long way.

Treat your employees well, and they are more likely to look forward to coming in to work and put in that little bit of extra effort to make you proud. It’s also important to note that workplaces where employees feel appreciated have a lower turnover rate!

Ways to Show Your Appreciation

This day is all about recognition – your celebrations don’t have to be lavish in order to show your employees how much they mean to you and to your business. Here are just a few ideas that you can use in your Massachusetts small business:

  • Food is always a good place to start when it comes to showing appreciation. Bring in treats for your employees, whether it’s homemade confections, a spread from a local bakery, catered lunch (or a lunch outing), you will be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t like free food!
  • A small gift is also a great way to show appreciation. Purchase something for each employee or get gift cards. You can also bring in a massage therapist and give the gift of an in-office massage.
  • Have you considered a company outing? Come up with a few ideas and have employees vote on the activity they want. Bowling, laser tag, karaoke, an escape room – all are great options!
  • A blanket ‘Thank You’ is nice, but you should try to go above and beyond – recognize each employee for their individual contributions to the business. Give a specific example of a time when they did great work. It’s up to you whether you want this to be in a written personal note or spoken during an Appreciation meeting.
  • You can also tell your employees that you appreciate their efforts is by giving them some unexpected time off. Even just shortening the workday by a couple of hours will make a big impact and will be well worth the small amount of productivity lost.

Don’t Stop There!

Celebrating Employee Appreciation Day in March is a great place to start in showing employees that you care and appreciate them. Just remember, though, that your employees are the backbone of your business. Is one day a year really enough to say a proper “Thank You?” Make employee appreciation a cornerstone of your business by including some of the following ideas into your routine:

  • Encourage a culture of appreciation. Hold a regular meeting (quarterly, monthly, or even weekly) where employees are encouraged to appreciate one another. This is a great opportunity to give out an “Employee of the ___” award.
  • Show that you care about your employees by celebrating the milestones in their lives. This could include birthdays, work anniversaries, weddings – the opportunities are endless!
  • Say “Thank You” often. There’s nothing as rewarding as hearing those two simple words, so speak them frequently and honestly.

When they occur often, small acts of kindness and appreciation will make your employees feel like the valuable parts of your business that they are.

Let us help you show your employees how much you care about your business with a five-star business insurance policy. One of our Massachusetts insurance experts can review your current policy to ensure that you don’t have any gaps in your coverage. We can also check to see if you could get better or less expensive coverage from another carrier. Just call 617-298-0655 for a free commercial insurance quote or review.

Remember, we are an independent insurance agency – that means we work for you, and we will ensure that your business will get the best available protection so that you can focus on helping your employees excel and increasing your bottom line.

Moving Tips for Your Small Business

 

People move from house to house all the time, but you don’t hear about businesses moving very often. If you are thinking about finding a new home for your small business, be aware that a business move provides its own set of challenges. Here are just a few pieces of advice for your move from the Massachusetts business insurance experts:

  • As soon as you decide that you’re moving (and have a destination), begin calling several moving companies for quotes. Spots can fill up fast depending on the time of year that you wish to move, so book plenty far in advance.
  • If there is any office furniture that won’t be making the move with you, schedule a pickup in advance. Many companies like Goodwill and the Salvation Army will pick up donations for free.
  • Begin packing as soon as you can. Non-essentials should be packed early, and make sure that you carefully label all cords for electronics so they don’t get misplaced in the move.
  • Before you pack any computers or electronics, make sure to do a full and thorough backup of all your information and data. This could save you a huge headache if anything gets hurt beyond repair in the move, and is just a good practice to do every so often.

It’s also important to make sure that your business’s belongings are protected during the move, so purchase insurance! And make sure to update your Massachusetts small business insurance policy with your new address once your move is complete – just call Vargas and Vargas Insurance Agency at 617-298-0655 to update your policy.

Business Auto Insurance Coverage Options

To find out if a business auto insurance policy is right for you, talk to Vargas and Vargas Insurance – your Boston insurance experts.

 

Does your business own or use automobiles? If you have a trailer, truck, or delivery vehicle to help you get your job done, you may need a Massachusetts commercial auto insurance policy in addition to your basic business insurance. To find out if a business auto insurance policy is right for you, talk to Vargas and Vargas Insurance – your Boston insurance experts. When you’re purchasing this coverage, your agent will help you determine if you need the following:

  • Collision Coverage – Pays for damage to covered automobile that is caused by a collision.
  • Comprehensive Coverage – Pays for loss or damage of insured vehicle that is not caused by an accident.
  • Personal Injury Coverage – Pays medical expenses for employees and clients involved in an accident while riding in the covered vehicle. Will sometimes also cover funeral expenses, if necessary.
  • Uninsured Motorist Coverage – Helps pay costs associated with an accident with an uninsured or underinsured
  • Property Damage Liability Coverage – Pays damages for damage to the property of others, as well as court costs if you are sued.
  • Bodily Injury Liability Coverage – Pays damages got bodily injury to others, as well as court costs if you are sued.

In addition to these types of protection for vehicles owned by the business, we can offer Employers Non-Owned Car Liability Coverage for your business. This coverage is specifically designed for businesses whose employees drive their own vehicles for work purposes.

When you’re ready to talk about your commercial auto insurance needs, just call Vargas and Vargas Insurance Agency at 617-298-0655. We can guide you through the process and get you a free, no-obligation quote that will satisfy the needs of you and your Massachusetts small business.