Running a small business is a rewarding endeavor, but it also comes with inherent risks. Small business owners are constantly navigating various challenges, including legal liabilities, accidents, and unforeseen events that can result in substantial financial losses. To safeguard their Americus, GA businesses from these potential pitfalls, many entrepreneurs turn to umbrella insurance. In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of umbrella insurance for small business owners and when it makes sense to consider this coverage.
Exceeding Commercial Insurance Limits
Small businesses typically invest in commercial insurance policies to protect against various liabilities, such as general liability, professional liability, and workers’ compensation. While these policies offer essential coverage, they often come with coverage limits that may not fully address the complexities of modern business risks.
Umbrella insurance serves as a safety net when a small business faces a catastrophic event or a lawsuit that exceeds the limits of its existing policies. For example, suppose a customer sustains severe injuries on your business premises and sues for damages that surpass your general liability coverage. In that case, an umbrella policy can bridge the gap, potentially saving your business from financial ruin.
Scenarios and Industries Where Umbrella Coverage Is Vital
Umbrella insurance is particularly valuable in scenarios where small businesses face higher risks or the potential for substantial liability. Here are some examples:
- Service-Based Businesses: Small businesses in service industries often require professional liability insurance. An umbrella policy can protect against hefty legal claims stemming from professional mistakes or negligence.
- Retail and Hospitality: Businesses in retail, restaurants, or hotels may encounter slip-and-fall accidents or customer injuries. An umbrella policy can provide additional coverage when these incidents lead to significant claims.
- Contractors and Tradespeople: Construction contractors, electricians, plumbers, and other tradespeople may encounter costly accidents or property damage. Umbrella insurance offers an added layer of protection when incidents go beyond standard insurance limits.
- Employment Practices Liability: Small businesses are not immune to employment-related lawsuits. An umbrella policy can extend coverage for claims related to wrongful termination, discrimination, or harassment.
Umbrella insurance for small business owners is a vital safety net, protecting against unexpected liabilities and providing peace of mind. By considering this additional layer of protection, entrepreneurs can ensure their businesses remain resilient in the face of potential financial challenges and legal risks. Small business owners in Americus, GA should work closely with insurance professionals, like those at Client First Insurance Solutions, to tailor umbrella coverage to their specific needs and industry risks.
By Kirk Lyman-Barner, President
Client First Insurance Solutions
Americus and Albany
On the 10th Anniversary of the Marketplace, I am a bit nostalgic for the days when we had little
competition from agents in the individual health insurance market. Without going into the
politics of why that was, competition is very strong for agents offering
Marketplace/Obamacare plans. Unfortunately, much of that competition is a scam that
There are dishonest agents from outside of our community who are using websites and call
centers to trick people into changing their health plans. They prey on both seniors on
Medicare and the under 65 Marketplace insured. So far, CMS/Medicare, the Insurance
Commissioners and local law enforcement agencies have been ineffective at stopping these
Recently, I had a client call me from the Emergency Room at Phoebe Sumter Hospital who was
sick and sick to find out that he was a victim of the scam. He accepted a call from someone
claiming to be from the Marketplace who suggested he should be moved from his Silver plan
that we sold him to a $0 premium Bronze plan. He is now stuck with the full hospital bill
because he was given an $8,000 deductible.
Under the current Marketplace software, all a dishonest agent needs to steal your account is
your name, state and your birthday.
In response to this epidemic of crime, the Marketplace is now going to require the insured to
complete a consent agreement. So be prepared to have this extra step this year. It remains to
be seen if law enforcement and the insurance regulators will be able to use these consent
forms to stop the bad agents. It feels a little bit like the time one guy threatened to blow up a
plane with a bomb in his shoe, and the response was that now everyone has to take their shoes
off before we can get on a plane.
You can be your own best defense against being a victim of this insurance scam by working
directly with a local agent who keeps up on all the offerings and products available in your
community. The insurance companies, the Marketplace and Medicare will never call you
about switching plans. Beware of calls offering gift card incentives. Never give out your
personal information, such as your birthday or social security unless you know for certain who
you are working with.
Other interesting notes for 2024:
For seniors, Open Enrollment is from October 15th-December 7th.
For individuals and families, Open Enrollment is November 1st-January 15th, with the last day
to enroll for a plan with a January 1 effective date being December 15th.
Like all other states, Georgia is reviewing 2.8 million people insured through Medicaid to make
sure they still qualify. There was a slowdown in the annual reviews during Covid and many
Georigians are going to lose their coverage. For those that do, they will receive a Special
Enrollment outside of the annual Open Enrollment. Talk to an insurance agent or call the
Marketplace if you find yourself in that situation.
Georgia attempted to launch a new state-run website to replace Healthcare.gov, but that was
delayed by the Federal Government until next year.
Georgia also opened up their expanded Medicaid on July 1st. Studies indicate that about
400,000 Georgians are eligible to apply. The requirements are so strict that estimates are that
only 50,000 to 90,000 will be eligible. Only 265 people were actually enrolled during the first
Last year we saw a decline in customer service with the carriers offering insurance through the
Marketplace. This was in part due to an increase in customers. The Friday company was
placed into receivership and that book of business was transferred to other carriers who were
caught without enough staff to handle the new customers.
Locally, it is important to know that Ambetter clients can use the following pharmacies:
Walgreens, Walmart, Food Lion, The Clinic, The Plains Drug Store and Doctors Pharmacy.
Since CVS bought Aetna, they dropped their contract with Ambetter but they do accept the
Aetna Marketplace plans now that they have returned to Southwest Georgia.
Now that the pandemic is over, the government is no longer offering free Covid shots. Those
that have insurance will still receive $0 copay for Covid and Covid booster shots. Also the
Health Department has free shots. Those without insurance can expect to pay $120-$130 and
more for the shots.
I’d like to close with a personal appeal to sign up and take advantage of your free annual
physical, and wellness screenings. In August, I lost my father to cancer. It began as prostate
cancer and it spread undetected. As Count Rugan famously said in the movie The Princes
Bride, “If you haven’t got your health, then you haven’t got anything.” I miss my Dad. Much of
your health is in your control. Get covered and use your plan’s benefits.