Who decides how much my damages are worth?

If you have a homeowners insurance policy with E.S.T.I.R. Inc. in Newark, NJ, you probably know your policy limits.  But you probably don’t know how damages are assessed, and what you will need to have to recover your damages in case of loss. The State of New Jersey Department of Banking & Insurance recommends you understand how insurance works before choosing your limits and comparing policies.

If you do not have enough insurance, you may not be able to cover your losses in case of an event, such as fire or theft. You may assume that your possessions have a certain value, when in fact the value has gone down over time because of depreciation. Depreciation can be caused by wear and tear, or it may happen because something like a television or computer loses value as newer versions replace it.

Replacement Cost vs. Actual Cash Value

You will be able to choose a policy which allows you to replace your valuables, or one which compensates you for their actual cash value. 

The Replacement Cost does not mean the cost for finding the exact same item, but it allows you to replace the loss with something like it and of the same quality, minus the cost of depreciation. If you opt for a policy which gives you Actual Cash Value, you will be able to get the amount needed to repair or replace your property minus depreciation.

Even if you have think you have obtained the right amount of coverage to cover any losses you could incur on your home, it is important to make sure that your policy reflects what you need. Call E.S.T.I.R. Inc. in Newark, NJ to discuss your policy or see if you would like to add more coverage.

Does Your Contractor have Proper Insurance?

The first step toward remodeling your Newark, NJ home is finding an experienced contractor to handle your project. Working with a good contractor will ensure your project is done right. If you can get a referral for a contractor from people you trust, all the better, as they can verify the contractor’s qualifications and experience firsthand.  

In addition to good qualifications, your contractor should be licensed and insured for his profession. What kind of insurance should a contractor have? A good contractor will carry both liability and worker’s comp coverage. Before starting a remodeling project, talk to your E.S.T.I.R. Inc. agent to see how your project will affect your own home insurance coverage.   

Liability

Contractor’s liability coverage has a dual purpose: to protect you against property damage and accidental injuries your contractor may cause while on the job. If your contractor or any of his team accidentally damage a major appliance, for example, while remodeling your kitchen, his insurance will cover the cost of replacement or repairs. If accidental injuries occur to others due to worker negligence, your contractor’s liability insurance will cover medical costs.

Worker’s Comp

Contractors who have employees helping on remodeling projects should have worker’s comp. Worker’s comp insurance pays for medical expenses and lost wages of workers who are injured on the job. If a contractor doesn’t have worker’s comp, you could be held liable for injuries your contractor’s employees sustain while working on your property.

Before hiring a contractor, make sure he is properly insured so you are not held responsible for either injuries or damages that may occur during a remodeling project. If your contractor plans to use subcontractors, they, too, should carry up to date insurance coverage.

For more information on how contractor’s insurance protects your interests, contact one of our agents at E.S.T.I.R. Inc. in Newark, NJ.

3 Reasons to Get a Home Insurance Rider

A standard home insurance policy will provide you with basic coverage to protect your Newark, NJ home and personal effects within certain limits. This policy, however, may be insufficient to cover the cost of repairing or replacing high-end personal effects in the event of damage or loss. This is where an insurance rider or endorsement comes into play.

A rider provides you with extra coverage to protect valuable belongings against such perils as fire, water damage, vandalism and theft. Here are a few reasons why you may want to consider adding a rider to your E.S.T.I.R. Inc. insurance policy.

Costly Investments

If you’ve invested in costly goods such as pricey electronics, fine art or antiques, a rider will protect your interests if these items suffer damage or loss due to a natural disaster. Without adequate protection, your investments could be rendered useless if a fire or storm were to unexpectedly ravage your property. A rider will also cover the cost of replacing these goods if your home is targeted by burglars.    

Family Heirlooms

Rider insurance will cover costly repairs of family heirlooms if they suffer damage from accidents, fire or storm, enabling you to continue the tradition of passing heirlooms to the next generation when the time comes.

Expensive Gifts

In like manner, a rider can protect costly gifts you receive from family or friends over the years. Posh jewelry, designer clothing or a pricey stereo system could be difficult to replace if they are damaged or stolen. If you’ve received gifts that are valued higher than the limits of your current insurance coverage, it’s to your advantage to protect them with a home insurance rider.

For more information on how rider insurance can protect your personal belongings, contact us at E.S.T.I.R. Inc. in Newark, NJ.

 

Should you have commercial insurance at the start of a new business?

The question of whether to invest in commercial insurance with E.S.T.I.R. Inc. right at the start of founding your Newark, NJ business depends on a number of factors. Ultimately it comes down to risk.

This is to say that not all businesses will require insurance right at the start. A startup in your garage will grow over time, and it may require a policy before you knwo it, but it probably does not when you are just working on a laptop on your own.

On the other hand, just about any service industry will require commercial insurance right up front. If you’re running a restaurant, a retail store, anything with a physical location where customers or clients will be visiting you, you’re at least going to need commercial general liability alongside some other coverage policies depending on the nature of your business.

Your business might not involve any direct contact with customers at all, but it may be necessary to seek a policy through E.S.T.I.R. Inc. simply because of the scale of the business. If this isn’t a simple startup, but rather, a team of investors entrusting you to, for instance, flip real estate or found a media company, then you need to consider how you’re going to protect your investors’ from damages and liability, and commercial insurance can help in this regard.

Starting a new business in Newark, NJ comes with a number of challenges, and one of them is assessing risk. If you’re not sure what your risks are, speak with other professionals in your field, and always err on the side of caution.

Top Reasons to Have Toy Insurance

Your “toys” are the vehicles you use to relax, have fun, and spend time with friends and family outdoors. These are the things that make a Newark, NJ vacation worth it: motorcycles, snowmobiles, golf cards, travel trailers, ATVs, boats, jet skis, and more.

When you use these vehicles, you don’t want to have to worry about what would happen if an unexpected accident occurred and your vehicle was wrecked, totaled, damaged, or stolen. You don’t want to have to worry about expenses you might have to pay for liability either. And in this case, that means that you need to have a great toy insurance plan for these vehicles. Specifically, here’s why this is important:

• Fire Protection

Fires, where vehicles are stored, are more likely than you might assume. Toy coverage can take care of this for you.

• Collision Protection

Accidents happen, and if you experience a collision or total your vehicle, you want to know that your insurance will be there.

• Theft Protection

This insurance can also protect you in the event that your vehicle is stolen or broken into. Keep in mind that it likely will not protect any valuables that are stolen, however.

• Liability Protection

Finally, if anyone or anything is hurt or damaged on or around your vehicle, your toy insurance will protect you from liability claims and can help you when you’re liable for medical bills and other damages.

Call E.S.T.I.R. Inc. Today to Learn About Your Toy Insurance Options

If you’re a Newark, NJ resident who is interested in learning more about liability insurance, contact E.S.T.I.R. Inc. We are proud to serve your area, and one of our knowledgeable representatives would be glad to speak with you and your family about your toy insurance options. Give us a call or visit our nearest location at your earliest convenience.

3 Ways to Protect Your Small Business with Commercial Insurance

As a small business owner, you’re bound to face business risks that can jeopardize the success of your business. Commercial business insurance from E.S.T.I.R. Inc. offers a practical and effective means of protecting your Newark, NJ enterprise against the threat of theft, vandalism or natural disasters. Here are a few ways commercial insurance can protect your interests.

Protection of Business Property

Commercial property coverage is designed to protect your business property, ranging from your building to office furniture, equipment, and products you manufacture or sell. If disaster strikes, damaging your building, equipment or goods, your insurance will pay for replacement or repairs according to the coverage in your policy.    

General Liability/Worker’s Comp

If a customer should have an accident while visiting your company, you could face the threat of a lawsuit for personal injury or property damage. General liability insurance not only covers injury and property damage claims resulting from accidents on your property but will pay for legal expenses in the event of a lawsuit to protect your interests.

Worker’s comp coverage covers injuries of employees in the event of an accident on the job. By protecting the interests of your workers, you can minimize the threat of lawsuits.

Business Interruption

If your business suffers serious damages due to a disaster and you are forced to close temporarily for repairs, business interruption insurance can save you from financial loss by covering loss of income during this interim period. Business interruption also covers employee wages, loan payments, taxes and the cost of renting your building which still needs to be paid even though it’s under repair. This financial assistance can be instrumental in keeping your business going through a crisis.

To learn more about the benefits of commercial insurance coverage for your small business, contact  E.S.T.I.R. Inc., Newark, NJ.

How Is My Home Insurance Policy Affected If I Rent My Home Out?

At E.S.T.I.R. Inc. serving the greater Newark, NJ area, we are often asked if a home insurance policy needs to change or is affected if a person rents their home out. If you are considering renting your home out, here is some information you need to know about your home insurance.

Your Home Insurance Policy Typically Covers the Owner

Your home insurance policy typically states that it covers the owner of the home and any family that they have living with them. If you rent out your home, or even just a room in your home, those individuals are not covered against property damage resulting from fire, theft, water damage and other damage that you, the owner may be covered against. In this case, the renter will want to purchase their own renters insurance to fully protect themselves in this situation.

You Likely Need a Different Insurance Policy

If you are renting your entire home out, you will likely want to purchase only home insurance or landlord insurance. These types of policies only insure the home, not any belongings inside. This type of policy is often cheaper than homeowner’s insurance because you are not paying to insure your belongings inside. Landlord insurance also may protect you against lawsuits brought against you by a renter who injures themselves or has any guests injured on your property while they are renting out the home.

If you are planning on renting your home out, changes typically need to be made to your home insurance policy. If this is the position you are in, let E.S.T.I.R. Inc. serving the greater Newark, NJ area, help you. Call us today and let us help you find the right insurance policy for your rental home.

How Your Small Business Could Fail Without Protection

The number one way that a small business can be destroyed is, surprisingly, not loss of sales. Many businesses face market challenges trying to build a portfolio of customers at first, but most usually find a way to break even until a big win comes along. Instead, the real knockout punch can come from a disgruntled customers who decides to file a lawsuit, according to E.S.T.I.R. Inc.

Newark, NJ legal challenges are probably the most decimating cost a business can face at its beginning because both the claim and expense to defend one’s business can be extremely costly. Just look at all the small restaurant businesses who have been getting hit with lawsuits for disability access. All the claiming party has to do is send a letter threatening to sue if the small business doesn’t settle for $10,000 and make fixes for disability access to the facility. This racket has been going on for years and, given the cost of hiring a lawyer to push back, many small mom and pop restaurants have had to just close their doors completely to avoid the expense.

With a solid commercial insurance plan in place, however, a Newark NJ business can fend off such challenges and keep operations going. The insurance policy is designed for such business threats and risks, and provides the resources to deal with the related claim and settle them quickly. The business doesn’t deal with the risk; it only pays for the cost of the policy, which is far more affordable in comparison.

You can risk your small business and everything you worked for without protection; no one requires business insurance to be in place aside from protection for employees and professional liability. However, that one knock-out punch is all it takes in many cases. Call E.S.T.I.R. Inc. to find out more information and keep your business alive!

Contractors Have Many Needs When it Comes to Insurance

Contractors need general liability insurance for protection against regular business risks.

The construction business is unique in that many things can go wrong. This is why comprehensive insurance to cover general liability is critical. However, truly you need much more than this. It is important to not falsely rely on general liability insurance and think this insurance covers things that it does not cover.

For example, if a worker is injured on the job, general liability insurance coverage does not cover this risk. This type of risk is covered by the contractor having workers’ compensation insurance, as mandated by state law.

A special condition exists if a contractor makes products that are sold. For example, if a contractor makes custom cabinetry that is sold as furniture then the contractor needs product liability insurance.

If the contracting business is heavily dependent on the effort of a single owner or a few owners, it is a good idea to have business interruption insurance for calamities and key person life insurance for the key workers in case they feel, are incapacitated or die.

To secure some jobs, especially high-value government jobs, a contractor will usually need to provide a performance bond. A performance bonus ensures that that work will be completed no matter what happens.

These are just a few of the insurance concerns for the contractor. The contracting and the construction business is complex and therefore the policies for the insurance needs are complex as well. Special construction efforts need specialized coverage. This insurance coverage might be quite different between each job. This is why it important to have a specialist in the construction insurance sector to help as much as possible.

Be sure to talk with your agent at E.S.T.I.R. Inc. in Newark, NJ to review your insurance coverage and make sure, it is adequate for your needs.

Can I File an Auto Insurance Claim for a Cracked Windshield (and Other Common Questions)

There are lots of questions that are never answered when you first sign up for auto insurance. Normally, the facts are about limits and premium payments, not about odd circumstances like whether or not a windshield crack is covered. If you live in Newark, NJ though, it does help to know how these things work. 

A Cracked Windshield 

The answer is usually that a cracked windshield is covered if you have comprehensive coverage, but there’s a major caveat to this piece of good news. Normally you won’t even begin to reach your deductible because the cost to repair will be so low.

Hitting a Large Animal

Should you hit a large animal (like a deer), then you’ll likely be covered under collision or comprehensive insurance. It all depends on the type of policy you have, but for those who want to stay safe in Newark NJ, it helps to have this type of precaution in place. And make no mistake about it, it is almost better for you to hit the animal than to try to swerve out of the way at the last second. 

Rear-ended or T-Boned

Essentially, if you have a specific type of collision, it still falls under general accidents for the insurance company. E.S.T.I.R. Inc. wants you to know that if you that if you do happen to be rear-ended, make sure you get out of the way of oncoming traffic first.  

There are so many scenarios that may happen on the road, and thus somewhat futile to discuss each one in detail. At the same time though, knowing the specifics can make it easier for you to choose between one policy of the other. Call E.S.T.I.R. Inc. if you need more information about how different accidents work under your policy.