woman in wheelchair working at desk on laptop

Is Group Disability Insurance Right for You?

Do you need to buy disability insurance for your organization?

All smart businesses have a disability insurance plan. It protects you and your organization against a loss of income due to disability.

Yet, there's a difference between group disability insurance and individual insurance plans. What are these differences, and how do you tell which one works best for your business?

We go into everything you need to know below! Keep reading to learn more!

What Is Disability Insurance?

Disability insurance protects employee income in the event of a disability or illness. The coverage often comes as part of an employer's benefits package. Companies may also offer it as an optional benefit.

Once you opt into a plan, the insurance company bills you a monthly premium. If anyone on the plan becomes sick or disabled, the plan will replace a percentage of their income.

U.S. law doesn't require businesses to have long-term disability insurance. Yet, companies in Rhode Island, Hawaii, New York, New Jersey, and California must provide short-term disability insurance.

Disability Insurance vs. Workers' Compensation

But, almost every U.S. state requires companies to provide workers' compensation to their employees. Workers' compensation also provides income protection to injured or disabled employees. What is the key difference between workers' compensation and disability insurance? It lies in when the injury happened.

Workers' compensation only covers injuries that occur on the job. It allows them to receive a part of their income while they take time off to recover.

Disability insurance covers the off-the-clock hours of a person's life. As such, employers sometimes have both workers' compensation and disability insurance. This certifies coverage no matter when the person becomes disabled.

Group Disability Insurance

Think of group disability insurance like group health insurance. Usually, the company selects a plan for all their employees and gets a lower monthly premium.

Often, the employer covers at least part of the premium for their employees. Some may cover all of it. If you don't choose to cover the entire premium, the rest should come out of your employees' paychecks.

Who Benefits from Group Disability Insurance?

Group disability insurance best serves entire companies. They don't want to pay the high premiums associated with purchasing individual plans.

Employees who change careers sometimes won't take their insurance with them, either. So, you only need to ensure your employees for as long as they work for you.

Also, group disability insurance plans usually cover pre-existing conditions. So, take your employees' current conditions into consideration when thinking about purchasing coverage.

Long-Term vs. Short-Term Group Disability Insurance

So, what are the differences between long-term and short-term group disability insurance?

First, short-term disability insurance covers your employees or yourself for a shorter amount of time. It usually lasts for 3-6 months, depending on the policy. Long-term disability gives you coverage for anywhere from over 6 months until you retire, depending on the plan.

Differences also exist in the amount of coverage provided. Short-term plans usually cover more of your income. Sometimes, it replaces up to 70% of your paycheck. Long-term plans tend to cover less, with the exact amount depending on the plan.

For the greatest coverage, get both short-term and long-term coverage. That way, if your employees need longer to recover, they can use their long-term disability plans.

Individual Disability Insurance

Individual disability insurance plans also become useful, but they are intended for individual policyholders. As such, group discounts do not apply.

Also, some individual policies do not cover pre-existing conditions. This means policyholders may not get coverage for disabilities they have already suffered.

If you have employees with disabilities, you should not encourage them to purchase individual plans. Instead, try to offer a group plan.

Who Benefits from Individual Disability Insurance Policies?

People who gain the most from individual disability policies don't have a plan offered at work. Individual policy plans often offer great coverage options.

Yet, the premiums often become more expensive. This is especially true because the employer doesn't cover the premium.

So, employers should prioritize getting group disability insurance benefits for their office.

Why Should You Consider Group Disability Insurance?

The benefits of group disability insurance go further than just the coverage your employees receive.

First, it helps you attract skilled workers. When you list disability insurance as one of your offered benefits, people who want to safeguard their income will want to apply to your job postings. Since not every company offers this type of insurance, it helps you stand out from the rest of your competition.

Also, it helps you retain your talent if they become injured. Otherwise, long recoveries may lead to unpaid time away from work, causing your talent to look for work they can do at other companies. When they receive portions of their pay, they may not need to leave your company.

Save Money on Your Taxes

How do you make sure you get disability insurance and save money?

Group disability insurance features tax-deductible premiums. So, the more employees you have on your plan, the more you will save on taxes each year!

Plan Design Flexibility

Insurance carriers often offer a variety of plans that allow you to choose one that suits your needs.

So, when choosing a plan, get together with your team. Determine what you want in an ideal plan. Then, look for a plan that suits your needs.

Ready to Get Group Disability Insurance?

When you want to get group disability insurance, our team is here for you!

We believe every company should have disability insurance. Whether you choose to get short-term or long-term disability insurance, our trained professionals can help pick the best plan for you.

If you want to learn more, contact us today!


mouse icon clicking security on computer screen

Protect Your Data: What Is Cyber Liability Insurance for Businesses?

Did you know a data breach costs $8.19 million on average? That’s why big companies also spend big dollar amounts on cybersecurity.

The healthcare sector, in particular, is the most popular target because hospitals store a lot of sensitive information about their customers (which they have a lot of). The financial industry is a close second, while the energy sector comes in third.

If you’re a small business in a modest industry, though, should you be afraid of this threat? Of course, you’re only risking the future of your business by not getting cyber liability insurance.

What is cyber liability insurance, and why do you need it? Keep on reading to learn more.

What is Cyber Liability Insurance

Cyber liability insurance provides coverage against cyber risks. It’s designed for malicious cyber-attacks, data breaches, and such.

Note that the cyber liability insurance definition doesn’t include protection against these cyber threats. It won’t prevent your system from getting hacked, nor would it recover any data you lost.

What it does is serve as a safety net should your business face these challenges. It ensures that the attack won’t cripple you and will give you a chance to rise again.

What It Usually Includes

Cyber liability insurance includes coverage for any losses incurred during a cyber event. It helps you recover from the attack by covering any expenses for recovering lost data, repairing computer systems and networks, and so on.

It should include loss of income and ancillary costs, such as credit monitoring for your customers. As this is going to be a big deal to the media, your policy will also cover your PR expenses.

These are the basic inclusions of first-party coverage. You might also want to get third-party coverage, though.

This coverage helps cover fines and legal fees. You should expect to face lawsuits resulting from the breach, especially if it affected customer and vendor data.

Why Do You Need Cyber Liability Insurance

Now we know what cyber liability insurance is, but do you need it? If you have electronic data in your business, then yes.

Even if you’re not in the tech industry, you still have valuable data that might get compromised. After all, every business has sensitive data they want to protect. It can be important information, like the customers’ names, addresses, contact numbers, and so on.

Some might store it in local hard drives, while others may use the cloud. While the latter provides more protection, both can still be vulnerable to attacks.

Still don’t think you need it? Below are some of the best reasons for getting one today.

To Cover All Your Bases

You may already have business policies, but they’re likely not going to cover cyber events. Under normal circumstances, you can get damage to your equipment covered. You might even regain the loss in profits you incurred because of physical events.

Without the proper coverage, however, you might not get a cent if these were because of a cyber-attack. If your policy has explicitly excluded cyber coverage, you don’t have a safety net anymore. Even small businesses become exposed to significant risk because of the reason below.

To Brace Yourself Against Cyber Crimes

Everyone, even tech-savvy individuals, can become a victim of cyber-crimes. There are plenty of threats on the internet, including malware, ransomware, and hacking.

Malware is malicious software designed to cause damage or get information. This is where computer viruses fall under, along with worms, trojans, and so on.

At best, malware can cause inconveniences, like redirecting you to advertisements. At worst, it can destroy your system or gain access to all your data.

Ransomware is also a form of malware that “kidnaps” your files. It encrypts the data so you can’t access them, and the only way to get them back is to pay a ransom.

Then, there’s also the threat of hackers whose sole purpose is to break into your system. Once they’re in, they can do anything they want, like steal information, destroy it, install dangerous malware, or even mess with your files - sometimes, without you even knowing.

All these threats can be crippling to businesses, but not if you have proper coverage. It can cover any payment you make due to ransomware, for instance, and any loss incurred while doing so.

To Account for Human Error

Firewalls, encryption, and such aren’t perfect as talented and dedicated hackers can always find a loophole. The best you can do is to make sure you always have the latest security measures.

With that in mind, what about your employees? Do you think they’re better as a line of defense against cyber-attacks?

Seeing as how human error is the leading cause of data loss, you shouldn’t trust them too much. Accidents happen, and these happen more often in the hands of humans.

An employee can make one mistake while coding and you can lose your whole project in one minute. A staff member writing down their password on a post-it note can inadvertently give a malicious person access to the system. An unaware secretary might click on a suspicious link in their email that downloads malware.

The more people you have in your company, the greater the risks for human error. Even a small business can suffer great losses because of this risk.

When to Get Cyber Liability Insurance

The best time to get cyber liability insurance for your business was yesterday. Like every other type of commercial insurance, it's best that you apply for it soon, so your business becomes prepared for anything.

You may already have compromised data without you knowing. Or, you might not have experienced cyber threats yet, which makes you lucky. Still, that doesn’t mean you won’t be facing other digital risks in the future.

Get Your Digital Assets Covered Now

If you don’t have cyber liability insurance yet, then the second-best time to get it is right now. You never know when the next threat is coming and what form it’s going to take. It could be a loss of data, damaged systems, or stolen information.

Regardless, it's best to keep yourself insured. Explore your options today. If you need any help, feel free to contact us.


young family moving into new home

Homeowner's Insurance in Monmouth County, New Jersey

Possessing homeowner's insurance should top your priority list as a prospective home buyer in Monmouth County, New Jersey. The following points drive this point home.

  • It protects your home and possessions from different calamities
  • It saves you your hard-earned money as you do not have to cover damage and loss out of your pocket
  • It is a requirement to receive a mortgage
  • Protects you from liability protection
  • Calamities are common in Monmouth county

Your home is, without doubt, your most excellent possession. It is where you reconnect and spend most of your time.

Moreover, it shelters your loved ones. Therefore, it is essential that you take the necessary measures to protect it from any form of calamity, more so in today's world full of uncertainties.

It must have taken a lot of sacrifices and hard work for you to own a home in Monmouth County, New Jersey. But remember, this does not exempt it from the dangers of this world.

Hazardous such as fire, earthquakes, and floods may cause you to lose what you have worked hard to attain. Therefore, gaining comprehensive coverage such as homeowner's insurance that will cover your home and all that's inside is a must.

Benefits You Will Accrue From Possessing Homeowner's Insurance as a Resident of Monmouth County in New Jersey

Compensation Against Damage Caused by Natural or Manmade Calamities

Despite its beautiful scenery and peaceful atmosphere, Monmouth County ranks fourth as the most prone city to disaster in New Jersey. Some of the hazards you are likely to experience in this area are earthquakes, volcanoes, fire, and tornadoes.

Following this, you must have home coverage that will compensate you for any unpleasant situation. Having Standard homeowner insurance in Monmouth County will protect you from most perils that may befall you in this city.

Coverage on Lost or Damaged Properties

In addition to covering your physical home, homeowner's insurance will also compensate you in case of loss or damage of your assets.

Temporary Living Expenses Coverage

You can be forced out of your home because of damage caused by a disaster. When this happens, homeowner's insurance will cater to your temporary living expenses as your old home gets repaired.

Liability Protection Coverage

Outsiders may sometimes get hurt within your property, causing you a lot of trouble as you have to cater for their medical bills and take care of their needs till they are back on their feet.

However, having a homeowner's insurance policy will save you from all this as it takes care of the entire burden.

Prerequisite for Financial Assistance

Having your home insured will act as a prerequisite for you to get lending from some mortgage providers.

The common occurrence of hazards mainly causes this. Therefore, having insurance assures your lenders of the safety of their investment in your property.

Essential Things To Note About Homeowner's Insurance

  • Standard homeowner's insurance does not cover floods or earthquakes. Therefore, you will require organizing with your insurance agent to cover these hazards more so if you are living in an area prone to them.
  • You need to check with your policy provider on what type of hazards they compensate before settling on a policy.
  • The law may require your lenders to get you insurance of their choice when you don't have one. When this happens, the lenders may go for a far more expensive policy that does not have comprehensive coverage as homeowners would have provided you.
  • The value of your home and assets will determine your homeowner's insurance amount.
  • It is best to start looking for homeowner's insurance early to have ample time to examine and settle on the best option.
  • It will take you one to three days to get homeowner's insurance.

Requirements in Securing a Claim

It can take you less than ten minutes to secure an insurance claim with the right requirements at hand after a covered event has occurred. Below are some details you need to provide.

Composition of Your Home

You will need to provide details such as contact information of people living in your home, how long you have lived there, your marital status, to name a few.

Your Home Coverage History

Most insurance providers will require detailed information on your existing coverage, mortgage, and prior insurance claims.

Condition of the Home

To determine this, you will need to answer when your home was built and provide details on further improvements you've done on the house. Moreover, you will be asked about the roof, type, and exterior of the home.

Your home square footage is another aspect you need to know. Additionally, expect questions regarding how many bathrooms, garages, bedrooms, and fireplaces your home has.

With this information, your prospective insurer can calculate the coverage required for your home and its rebuilding cost.

Enhancement of Safety in Your Home

Your policy providers will need to know what efforts you have taken towards improving safety in your home. Having safety enhancement devices such as fire sprinklers may qualify you for a discount.

The Claims Process

You will need to follow these simple steps to acquire compensation after a covered hazard has taken place.

  • Start by notifying your insurance provider about the incident. You should do this as soon as possible so that they can start working on it early.
  • The next step is to evaluate the damage. This is done by your insurance providers mostly through a phone call—some of the things they will need to clarify are what transpired and what your policy may cover.
  • Keep evidence. You must have a record of what was damaged during the incident. You can do this by taking pictures or video of the damaged area.
  • Moreover, don't forget to keep receipts when you do any repair or rent out accommodation.

Acquiring homeowner's insurance is one of the surest ways to protect yourself and your loved ones. It will not prevent disasters from taking place, but having it will save you a lot of agonies. Take a step of faith today and register for that insurance policy.

It will go a long way in securing your future and that of your loved ones when you get the right insurance in Monmouth County, NJ.


wealthy white males walking off of a private jet

High Net Worth Insurance: Who & What it Includes

Everyone can benefit from insurance to protect their property, income, health, and other assets. It makes good financial sense.

If the last decade has taught people anything, it is that you cannot predict the future. Financial crashes, unprecedented weather events, and forest fires and now a global pandemic. It really does make the case for protecting yourself and your assets.

With high net worth individuals, insurance needs can be complex because of the high financial risks involved and several other lifestyle factors that rarely occur with regular people.

The demand for high net worth insurance services has grown rapidly in recent years, following a general rise in the number of people who now have sufficient assets to be counted in that category.

This article discusses who is classified as a high net worth individual, why they need special insurance, and what that insurance can typically look like.

Who is classified as a high net worth individual?

In 2019, there were 5.91 million high net worth individuals in the United States, up from 4.78 million in 2015 (Source: Statista). They are generally classed as someone who has over $1 million worth of assets, not including the value of their primary residence.

Those with a net worth of $5 million or more are classed as very high net worth individuals, and those with $30 million in liquid assets or $20 million of disposable income are ultra-high net worth individuals.

Why is specialist insurance required?

Often, the lifestyle, businesses, and assets of people with significant wealth carry with them a different level of risk than you would typically expect. Regular insurance policies just aren’t built to deal with the levels of financial risk.

An individual may have multiple properties, cars, antiques, jewelry, and other assets that need to be insured for high sums.

There is no one template for a high net worth individual and their assets. Their wealth can come from a number of backgrounds. Some are managing inherited, family wealth, others may be successful business entrepreneurs, actors, elite sportsmen or women, even lottery winners would fall into this category.

Insurance providers specializing in this area are familiar with the complexities of multiple assets and fluctuating market values and will ensure that assets and risks are valued correctly and adequately insured.

Potential risks faced

Estate tax

The death of the chief income earner in a family can lead to a huge loss of wealth for the remaining family, especially if there is a large amount of debt to be repaid.

In this situation, substantial life insurance is very important as it will avoid potentially millions of dollars in taxes. These tax laws change often and policies and estate plans may need to be tweaked to keep up with them.

Security

High net worth individuals are at higher risk of security threats designed to gain access to their wealth. For this reason, a robust system of security on properties and when traveling is needed, along with associated insurance cover.

Those who travel frequently may want to investigate kidnap and ransom insurance.

Valuable property portfolios

Expensive property portfolios and contents can be a major area of under insurance. Should they be damaged or destroyed by weather events, natural disasters, fire, or similar, the insurance needs to be able to fund a complete rebuild and the destruction of potentially valuable items within the property.

If their property is located in areas prone to natural disasters of forest fires, then the need for specialist insurance is even higher. A fully inclusive coverage that covers a broad range of risks is preferable.  A good level of cover will include:

  • Guaranteed replacement/rebuild - should the worst happen and property be completely destroyed, insurance will pay for a complete rebuild from the ground up.
  • Additional structure coverage - includes garages, gates, gazebos, and fencing.
  • Multi-property coverage - if a second vacation property exists, it could potentially be folded into the insurance coverage of the main residence.
  • Expenses coverage - if the main residence is destroyed, insurance covers the accommodation and food expenses until the property can be rebuilt or another property purchased with insurance money.

High-value assets

While the property portfolio is often the most valuable asset, there are a number of items that need to be protected. These can include boats, classic cars, antiques, works of art, precious jewelry, and similar items.

Cyberattacks

High net worth individuals make for ideal targets when it comes to cybercrime. They, their families, advisors, and employees can be targeted by sophisticated phishing scams, ransomware, or many forms of identity theft.

Employee, theft, fraud, and injury

It takes many people to run the estates of high net worth individuals.

Executive assistants, housekeepers, gardeners, etc. These people are often given a high level of trust and this can sometimes be an ideal opportunity for theft or fraud. Doing due diligence on the people employed is a way to minimize this risk.

Of course, as an employer, they will also be expected to have insurance to cover them for employee injury, illness, and potential wrongful dismissal lawsuits.

Business or professional liability issues

Those with careers, businesses, or board positions open themselves up to potential liability lawsuits if it is claimed their advice has financially impacted a person/company or defamed them in some way.

How to arrange high net worth individual insurance

At Central Jersey Insurance Associates, we have developed a comprehensive private client service especially for high, very high, and ultra-high net worth individuals.

Our specialists work tirelessly to understand the lifestyle, property portfolio, and other high-value assets that need to be protected and find the industry-leading insurance coverage that can give them peace of mind.

Each policy is customized exactly to the individual. If existing insurance policies are in place, they can review these for any shortfalls in coverage.

They can also advise on elements of estate planning in the most tax-efficient way, and put them in touch with other experts if needed to protect the estate for those who are intended to inherit it.


man looking at trends through binoculars

Insurance Market Cycles: Hard vs. Soft Markets

Regardless of the industry you are in, anyone can experience growth and losses. The insurance industry is not different.

These mark cycles can often differ from one another, therefore it’s worth knowing more about them.

Typically, insurance industry cycles will last anywhere between two to ten years. However, as the market cycles rely on the way the world is operating, amongst other things, how has COVID impacted this industry?

In this article, we’ll discuss what insurance market cycles are in more detail and how hard and soft markets differ.

What Are Insurance Market Cycles?

Insurance market cycles are market-wide fluctuations that vary. A soft market is where there will be increase competition or perhaps depressed premiums and then this type of market is usually followed by a hard market.

A hard market is a period of rising premiums, and decreased capacity. It’s worth knowing that market cycles in the insurance market will usually have an effect on each other.

For example, when you have more capacity in the market, you have more supply, and that can exceed demand. This demand has a knock-on effect to the premiums, so on and so forth. It’s important to see where the market is for businesses who work in the insurance industry.

This year has certainly been one for the books and has impacted most industries in different ways. So, when it comes to insurance market cycles, COVID has certainly had an impact.

What is a Hard Market vs. a Soft Market?

Before looking at the effects that COVID-19 has had on the market, it’s important to know more about the soft and hard markets and what makes them different.

Soft Market

For a soft market, you usually tend to see lower insurance premiums, a broader coverage and a relaxed underwriting criteria which can be helpful for those who are claiming or taking out insurances.

It entails an increased capacity, meaning those who take out insurance have more policies to choose from and higher limits to cover themselves. That, in turn, increases the amount of competition between insurance carriers.

Hard Market

With a hard market, you’ll tend to see higher insurance premiums, more difficult underwriting and less competition, which could make it a positive for insurance carriers.

These higher insurance premiums will make it tough on those who have the insurance, and as such, they’ll likely try to look elsewhere for a better deal.

So what is the market currently? Well, for the most part, it seems to currently be in a length soft market state according Reinsurance News.

However, Alex Maloney, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Lancashire Holdings Limited stated that the start of 2021 could see the start of the market hardening due to the effects of COVID-19 to some extent.

How has COVID-19 Impacted the Insurance Market Cycles?

There are various factors that have impacted the insurance cycle, but COVID-19 could have certainly been a factor that has impacted it the most.

With many businesses facing collapse, individuals losing their jobs and the health of the world being what it is, with people losing family or being sick off work, claims are likely to be high.

The pandemic has certain highlighted coverages that are included in contracts, and insurers have been impacted when it comes to insurance claims and investment losses.

Even though COVID-19 has intensified the situation of the market as it is, there are other factors that are worth mentioned and that have perhaps contributed to the creation of the hard market we may now see.

How Else Can They be Affected?

A string of natural disasters that have been combined with the global pandemic has certain comprised and impacted the insurance market cycle.

Natural Disasters

From fires to hurricanes and extreme weather, it’s certainly contributed to insurance claims. There have been some severe sandstorms, for example, that have resulted in a lot of issues losses.

Most recently, the fires that have occurred and continue to occur in California are just an example of how these natural disasters can contribute to the market shifting from a soft market to that of a hard one.

Lawsuits

With lawsuits, those who take legal matters to a court are certainly getting payouts that will affect the insurance market. The more lawsuits created, the more it can contribute.

For example, the opioid crisis is one that could turn into more lawsuits and therefore, more costs for the insurance providers.

Increase In Claims

And as it’s already been mentioned, the increase in claims over the years has certainly been disastrous for the market. The more disasters and life impacts that have happened in the world, and due to COVID, have all contributed to more claims against insurance policies being made.

Handling the Insurance Market in a Business or Personal Approach

Whether you’re a business or you’re seeking personal insurance, navigating the market can be a little challenging. There can be so many suppliers of insurance that you might find it difficult and challenging to find the right provider.

That being said, it’s worth using the services of someone like Central Jersey Insurance Associates and their brokers. Brokers are great for finding deals that suit your needs and requirements without you needing to do a thing but provide them the information they need to find the best one.

Regardless of what you’re after, it’s important to find someone who can help you navigate the insurance market cycles, whatever that might be. A broker can certainly be a helpful service to pay for.

The insurance market seems to be heading straight for a hard market, but who knows when it will end. That seems to be an answer that is difficult to predict at this current time.


male barista wearing a white outfit

What is Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI)?

As a business owner, it is important to ensure that you are protecting your business from financial issues.

There are many ways to do this, however, one of the best options will be to guarantee that you have the right coverage in place. It can be difficult for business owners to understand the different types of insurance coverage available.

One option that you should be aware of is Employment Practices Liability Insurance or EPLI. In this article, we’ll explore everything that you need to know about this option and why it could be important for your business.

What Is Employment Practices Liability Insurance?

When you are planning financial protection for your business you probably won’t consider the fact that a legal claim could come from inside the house but that’s exactly what could happen.

An employee could make a claim against your business if they feel that their legal rights have been violated by your business. There are numerous reasons an employee might make this type of claim. EPLI covers your company from this type of claim from an employee.

It’s possible that this could be part of your business owners policy from your insurance provider. Alternatively, you can arrange EPLI as a stand-alone or separate type of coverage. This is largely going to depend on the individual financial requirements of your business.

Do be aware that the cost of EPLI coverage is going to vary depending on several factors. For instance, the cost can be higher if you have a higher number of employees or if there are risk factors connected to your business. For instance, your company could have been sued by an employee in the past.

This policy will cover a range of costs associated with a claim from an employee. You will be reimbursed for legal costs, including your defense, and for judgments and settlements.

The policy will also typically payout, regardless of whether you win or lose the case, however, it will not typically cover punitive damages. It’s also worth noting that liabilities covered through other compensation such as workers comp will be excluded.

What Does It Cover?

Employment Practices Liability Insurance provides protection for a wide range of different claims that could be put forward against your business.

It will protect you if an employee feels that they have been terminated for the wrong reasons or if they have been passed over for a promotion for reasons that do not relate to their work output. Many claims are tied to accusations of discrimination.

This can occur at the hiring stage or later on after they have worked at the company for several years. Sexual harassment claims have also been on the rise as of late and EPLI coverage can protect your business from the financial ramifications of this as well.

It’s important to note that as an employer you are responsible for the emotional wellbeing of your employees. This is just as important as protecting them physically while they are operating on your premises.

If you fail to do this and employees feel as though they are stressed or overwhelmed, then this could lead to a claim against your business. In other cases, employees may feel that you have breached the employment contract.

This is one of the reasons it’s worth appointing a legal advisor to ensure that your contract covers the right points and areas.

Why Is It Important?

It’s also worth noting that the number of claims like this being filed are on the rise. Employees are far more likely to take legal action if they feel they have been wronged by your business.

They are also far more aware of their rights as an employee and your responsibilities as an employer. If you do not take the right steps, then you will be leaving your business vulnerable.

While larger businesses can typically handle the expenses of the average employee claim it can be significantly worse for small and medium-sized companies. Indeed, it’s possible that damages from a claim like this can cost your business thousands that you won’t be able to afford in your budget.

EPLI coverage can protect you from this type of damage and guarantee that your company is not left vulnerable. Be aware it doesn’t matter whether an employee has a strong case. You will still need to cover the costs of defending your business if you don’t have this type of coverage in place.

What Type Of Businesses Require This Coverage?

You might think there are particular types of businesses that require this coverage.

However, the reality is that any business could be impacted by a claim made by an employee. So, it doesn’t matter what business you are running and what industry you are part of, protecting your business with this coverage is certainly advised.

It is important to take the right steps to protect your business from the possibility of this type of claim. There are many ways to do this. You might want to think about your hiring process. This can help you avoid a discrimination claim.

You should also guarantee corporate policies are clear and easy to understand for all employees. It is important that there is a structure in place that employees are aware of and that they can use if they have an issue with the way they are being treated in your business. =

The right support structure can ensure that employees don’t feel the need to make a legal claim. Make it clear that your company does not tolerate negative forms of behavior such as harassment and bullying.

You should also document and record any issues to ensure that there is an accurate account of what occurred in your business.

We hope this helps you understand everything that you need to know about Employment Practice Liability Insurance. If you need additional support or have further questions about your company in New Jersey, Central Jersey Insurance Associates can help.

We can discuss the insurance options available and guarantee that you have the coverage to give you full peace of mind.


a black nurse standing next to a black patient sitting in a wheel chair

Medicare Open Enrollment: Tips to Sign Up on Time

Medicare Open Enrollment is an annual event that runs from Sunday, October 15, 2020 through Thursday, December 7, 2020, where anyone can add a Medicare health insurance plan in their life.

However, not everyone can qualify for this enrollment. Anyone looking to apply for Medicare must be turning 65 years in the next three months, or they're 65, or they just turned 65 years in the last three months.

This open enrollment aims to help the existing users re-evaluate and compare their Medicare coverage plan against others in the market.

Equip yourself with all the knowledge about Medicare, and by doing so, you'll finally get the Medicare benefits you deserve. So, here is all you need to know about the upcoming Medicare Open Enrollment.

What Comprises Medicare?

Medicare Part A: Here, you're required to acquire hospital insurance covering all your inpatient matters. This includes a short period of hospital stay and can pay for some of your healthcare bills.

Medicare Part B: In this case, you should obtain medical insurance responsible for any services you receive from doctors or any other medical practitioners.

This plan covers some services that include preventative services, durable medical equipment, home health care, and outpatient services.

Medigap: This category acts as a supplemental policy that covers your medical bill to a certain amount, then you top up the rest.

Medicare Advantage Plan: This plan brings together all the benefits enjoyed in Part A and Part B. Before, this plan was called Part C. Services received in this category include paying for prescription drugs and other extra services like hearing, dental, and vision.

Medicare Part D: This plan is purely for covering your prescription drugs' amount.

Note that anyone 65 years old or above can qualify for Part A of the Medicare plan. Plus, they must have been paying for medical insurance for quite some time.

Additionally, if you want to be eligible for Medicare Part B, you should enroll for insurance coverage, whereby you'll be required to pay a monthly premium.

Who Needs Medicare

Apart from individuals aged 65 and above, other groups of people can benefit from this Medicare Open Enrollment.

For instance, anyone with disabilities and those experiencing renal diseases have been diagnosed with permanent kidney failure and require a transplant.

Besides, disabled groups are entitled to secure Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board disability benefits for no less than 24 months.

Key Factors to Note

Having health insurance doesn't limit you from enrolling for Medicare coverage. Also, you don't have to wait until you're 65 years of age to apply for Medicare.

You can sign up for Medicare Part A, which doesn't require you to pay for its premium, plus enrolling into the system now gives you a better chance when you're ready to sign up for Part B.

You need to also keep in mind that if you're eligible to apply for Medicare, you should do so during the set time; otherwise, you risk having to pay a fine. However, if it's not possible for you to apply during that period, here is what will happen:

Late enrollment penalty: If you're always late to enroll for Part B, you'll be incurring a 10 percent increment in your Part B premium amount.

But if you have health insurance that can allow you to delay enrolling in Part B, then you're sorted. The longer you take to pay Part B premium, the higher the penalty you’re expected to incur.

Special enrollment period: In case you're over 65 years, and you have been using health insurance, but suddenly you retire or get laid, and you can't pay for it anymore, you can apply for Medicare.

Such a scenario triggers a special enrollment period (SEP) where it's allowed for you to sign up for Medicare without incurring a penalty.

In addition to that, if you're moving to a different region, you automatically qualify for SEP, and you should make the changes as soon as they open for enrollment.

Common Mistakes That Will Cost You More

Not going through numerous Part D plan options: If you have been using the same Part D drug plan, it's understandable if you choose to stick to it for years.

However, chances are you're missing out on other better options from other insurance companies.

Review several plans, and you might land one that is cost-effective and worth your time. Plus, medical needs change with time, and it's only fair if you change your plan with them.

Not checking if the terms of your plan changed: By September, you should have received the annual notice for any changes in your Part D plan.

The notice should clearly state the changes that will be implemented in the following year. Ensure you’ve checked the details of the notice to see if you'll be affected in any way.

Almost every year, the drug plan formularies change, and depending on the group you're placed in, it will determine the amount you will pay. Basically, the higher the group tier you're in, the higher the amount of money you’re expected to pay.

Forgetting to separate your Part D plan from that of your spouse: Obviously, it sounds perfect for acquiring the same Part D plan as your spouse since you're considering things like copays and similar rules.

But, you might not have the same health issues as your spouse, and splitting the coverage can end up being less expensive.

Final Thoughts

The Medicare Open Enrollment provides an opportunity to have a healthcare plan at a cost-effective rate. You can plan to switch from one plan to another during that time and still receive its full benefits.

Generally, you should thoroughly review your existing Medicare plan, and in case you're dissatisfied, it's time you make the changes during the open enrollment period. Otherwise, go for a plan that suits all of your medical needs.


cyber insurance displayed on a tablet

What is Cyber Liability Insurance & What Does it Cover?

There is no denying that the risk of a data breach is very real. In fact, the World Economic Forum cited cyberattacks as one of the five biggest risks to global stability in 2019.

Also, according to Statista, 4.1 billion records were exposed in the first six months of last year. When you take this into consideration, it is not difficult to see why cybersecurity is something that all businesses need to be thinking about at the moment.

With that in mind, we’re going to take an in-depth look at cyber liability insurance so that you can get a better understanding of what it covers and how it can benefit your business.

What is Cyber Liability Insurance and Who Needs it?

Cyber liability insurance helps your business to respond should you be the victim of a data breach or a cyberattack.

If your computer systems or network have been hacked into or one of your employees has accidentally opened a virus, for instance, cyber liability insurance can make a monumental difference.

This is something that all businesses can benefit from, as no company is immune to the threat of a data breach.

What Does Cyber Liability Insurance Cover?

There are several different issues that are covered by cyber liability insurance. This includes the following:

Network Security

Most companies will require network security coverage, including those subject to privacy and information risk. This type of cyber insurance will ensure your business is covered should you experience any failure within the security of your network.

This does not only include data breaches but also business email compromise, ransomware, cyber extortion demands, malware infections, and data breaches. By having this coverage in place, you will be covered for any of the expenses that are directly related to the network security incident.

This includes credit monitoring and identity restoration, public relations expertise, setting up a call center to deal with the issue, notifying your customers of the breach, restoring data, negotiation and payment of the ransomware demand, IT forensics, and legal costs.

Omissions and Errors

If a cyber event has stopped you from delivering services to your consumers and fulfilling the obligations of your contract, you could be covered if this is included in your cyber liability policy.

Errors and omissions will cover any claim that comes about because of a failure to deliver your services or mistakes made regarding the performance of your company.

This can cover a huge scope of services. For example, you have the more conventional services, such as engineers, doctors, and lawyers. You also have technology services that can be impacted as a consequence of a breach, like consulting and software.

With omissions and errors, allegations of contract breaches or negligence or covered should any of these issues occur.

This means your legal defense expenses will be covered, or any indemnification that has arisen because of a dispute or lawsuit with one of your business’ customers.

Media Liability

This area of protection provides coverage for any infringement of your intellectual property that has happened as a consequence of marketing your services. The only exception is patent infringement.

This tends to apply to both online and offline marketing. This means everything from your printed advertising efforts, such as marketing brochures, to your social media posts will be covered.

Network Business Interruption

The cyber liability insurance policies of today can also include network business interruption. Determining whether or not you need to include this in your plan depends on how much your business relies on technology.

We know that most companies today have a high reliance on technology, which is why this feature is so pivotal for many. Network business interruption is an ideal solution for any business that is going to face and operational risk as a consequence of a data breach.

If the network provider you use or your own network goes down because of an incident, you will be able to recover the extra costs, fixed expenses, and profits that you have lost because of this.

This includes any losses caused by either system failure or security failures. System failures include a human error or failed software patches, for instance, whereas a third-party hack is an example of a security failure.

Privacy Liability

Finally, we have privacy liability, which is another type of insurance plan that is going to be critical for most businesses, especially those that have privacy or information risk.

Employee and customer details can be sensitive, and when such data is exposed via a breach it can be damaging on many levels.

Of course, it puts all the individuals whose data has been exposed at risk. However, it also puts your business at risk of liability as well.

Therefore, by incorporating privacy liability into your cyber liability insurance coverage you can make certain that your business will be protected from any of the liabilities that happen because of privacy law violations or a cyber breach.

There are several third-party expenses that can result. This includes liabilities needed within your contractual obligations and any liabilities that laws and governments enforce.

For example, you may find yourself in a position whereby you need to fund legal aid to protect your business from federal penalties.

In Closing

So there you have it: an insight into cyber liability insurance and the different areas that are covered.

There is no denying that this form of insurance is essential for all businesses in the current day and age, especially when you consider how real the threat of a data breach is.

Nevertheless, do not allow this urgent need to rush you into a decision when choosing a policy. Simply going for the first or cheapest plan you lay your eyes on is not advisable.

You need to make sure that the policy is right for you, so please do not hesitate to get in touch with us for more information.


a yellow sign in an open area that says open enrollment ahead

Small Business Health Insurance & Open Enrollment in NJ

In any small business, your employees will be your greatest asset, particularly if you want to be successful. Health insurance is, therefore, critical for recruiting and retaining employees.

While compensation is always an attractive and reassuring factor to many, in today's self-reflective world where self-care, health, and general physical and mental well-being are becoming increasingly important, curating a culture of care within the workplace is essential.

Continue reading this article for more on small business health insurance and open enrollment in New Jersey.

The Basics of Health Insurance

Small business health insurance gives your employees the peace of mind that they are being taken care of, keeping them healthier and informed while maintaining employee satisfaction, loyalty, and overall productivity.

It can also help you to attract better candidates during recruitment stages, thanks to potential talent knowing that they will be looked after- an attractive attribute in any business.

Having an excellent health insurance and benefits package will set you aside from your competitors and help you retain your industry's top talent in an increasingly cut-throat climate.

Now that we have established that healthy employees equate to a healthy business, it is essential to do some research as a small business owner. This enables you to take your time to find the coverage that makes the most sense for you as an owner, your business, and your employees.

While the research and actual buying process can sometimes seem long, tedious, and intimidating (particularly when making comparisons), the benefits outweigh any negatives, making it a worthwhile and ultimately beneficial process.

When you own a business, whether it be big or small, there are certain laws that must be adhered to.

For small businesses, health insurance is based on the number of full-time workers currently employed, and to be eligible for business health insurance; all you need is one full-time employee on your payroll.

If you employ 50 or less people full-time, you don't legally have to purchase coverage. However, once your total of employees reaches 51 or more, you are obliged to offer health care insurance and coverage to all full-time members of staff.

Types of Small Business Health Insurance

Small-group insurance has been the traditional option for many small businesses looking to offer health insurance benefits to their employees; however, this isn't the only option.

With three main options to pick from, your decision should be based on what works best for you as a business owner, as well as taking your business set-up into consideration.

Small Group Insurance

The most popular of the three options available, it is geared towards businesses that employ less than 50 full staff members and is purchased directly by employers before offering it to their staff.

In fact, all you need to qualify is one employee, but as it is group insurance, it cannot be purchased by individuals and generally requires around 70% participation to be valid.

The cost of the plan is then shared by all those within the group, including the employees as well as the employer.

Small group insurance members then typically receive the insurance at a lower cost as the insurer's risk is diluted across a group of policyholders, and the group is generally made up of the business employees.

You can sign up for this type of insurance whenever you want, and there is no open enrollment period, meaning that you can enroll at any time of the year as long as you qualify.

It can also be bought directly from most insurance companies, brokers or private exchanges, and once a plan is chosen, the entire group gets the option to accept the coverage or decline it.

HRA

A Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) is a tax-advantaged, affordable alternative to traditional insurance with benefits that include budget control, tax efficiency, and flexible plan design.

As it is an arrangement, as opposed to a conventional account, this coverage option uses reimbursements instead. This means that staff members will pay their medical office or insurance company upfront, and then later submit a claim to get their expenses reimbursed tax-free.

The structure itself is simple, with the employer deciding how much they want to contribute to the arrangement each month.

Once agreed upon, they will provide their staff with information on how the reimbursement arrangement works, and the employees then choose a plan that they feel works best for them.

With HRA, employees also don't have to recognize income taxes, and reimbursements can be made by employers needing to pay payroll tax.

HRA's are flexible, meaning that you can sign up for one at any time, and employees can sign up for their plans without waiting for open enrollments when the HRA is new.

Self-Funded

This is when self-insured employers pay for claims themselves, and are also known as self-insured plans.

An option typically used by large corporations, it can also be used by small business owners to control their healthcare spending and, therefore, save on costs. The employer sets up the special fund and sets aside a chosen amount of money to pay out later should an employee make a health claim.

Benefits include a more adaptable and customizable plan for employees, no pre-funding of health coverage, and an exemption from state health insurance premium taxes.

A self-funded plan is also more affordable than its traditional counterpart, and there are fewer regulations, allowing small business owners to customize the plans to their unique needs and requirements as a business.

However, self-funded plans come with higher risks because the responsibility is placed solely on the business for paying out the claims. This means that if a major claim was to be filed, the company could leave themselves open to potential bankruptcy and financial ruin.

Open Enrollment

Employees have the option to change their health insurance plans and medical coverage every year during what is commonly referred to as the open enrollment period.

For small business owners, open enrollment lasts for the duration of one to two weeks and is generally a month before the renewal date of the current policy. Employees can make inquiries regarding other health insurance plans, receive materials, and, upon making a decision, enroll.

Staff members can also sign up for new offerings and add, change or drop dependents during this time, with this new coverage usually lasting for a full year, starting and finishing on a specified date.

To learn more about small business health insurance, contact us today.


General vs. Professional Liability Insurance in NJ

There are several different insurance policies that you can take out as a business owner. General liability and professional liability are two of the most popular policies – they both offer a wide range of coverage, helping to protect businesses from an array of different lawsuits.

A lot of business owners get confused between general vs. professional liability in NJ. In fact, some business owners assume that they are the same thing. This isn’t the case – while general and professional liability have their similarities, the coverage offered by each scheme is very different.

Below is an outline of the two schemes offered by us at Central Jersey Insurance Associates and the differences between them, so you can pick the right insurance type for your business.

What is General Liability Insurance?

Most businesses can benefit from taking out general liability insurance. This type of insurance can protect you against lawsuits that may arise because of injury or damage to property, as well as protecting against advertising injuries.

It is often necessary for construction companies and tradesmen to have this insurance scheme in place as there is a higher risk of injuries and property damage.

That said, such accidents can still occur in many other types of businesses – injuries can still commonly occur in offices, shops, restaurants, factories and clinics.

Advertising ‘injuries’ are also possible in many lines of work. A few examples of advertising injuries include slander, misappropriation and copyright infringement. Even when marketing your company honestly and transparently, such accidents can still occur.

What Does General Liability Cover?

Some incidents covered by general liability include:

  • Physical injury to employees and visitors
  • Property damage
  • Advertising injuries

What is Professional Liability Insurance?

Professional liability insurance is beneficial to any company that provides a professional service. This type of insurance tends to cover acts of negligence such as failing to complete work, failing to keep up contractual promises or making mistakes and omissions.

Professionals that can benefit the most from this type of insurance include architects, engineers, lawyers, doctors, accountants, realtors and IT technicians.

Other businesses, however, can still benefit from this insurance – construction companies and tradesmen can still fall trap to lawsuits as a result of not completing work or failing to carry out promises in a contract.

Professional liability insurance is sometimes referred to as ‘errors and omissions insurance’ or ‘malpractice insurance’, although these are tailored to specialist types of businesses (for instance, malpractice insurance schemes tend to be targeted largely at medical and legal professionals).

What Does Professional Liability Cover?

Some incidents covered by professional liability include:

  • Failure to meet contractual promises
  • Failure to complete work adequately
  • General mistakes and omissions

What are the Main Differences Between General Liability vs. Professional Liability in NJ?

General liability and professional liability can benefit businesses of all sizes and both cover unavoidable liabilities. However, the coverage offered by each scheme is different.

Some of the main differences are outlined below:

  • General liability covers largely physical damage, professional liability covers largely financial damage.
  • General liability covers accidents in which an employee, customer or third party feels that they have received physical damage in some form – this could include bodily damage, property damage or damage to their brand/reputation.
  • Professional liability tends to cover lawsuits that arise from customers feeling that they have been shortchanged in some way – usually as a result of the service they paid for not being properly delivered.
  • General liability tends to cover incidents that are directly your fault, professional liability covers incidents that may not be your fault. Lawsuits involving physical damage tend to be easier to prove.

Although you may still receive a false personal injury claim, defending yourself is easier in these cases.

Lawsuits involving financial damage are sometimes harder to prove – a customer may feel that they have not received the service they paid for, even if you believe that everything was up to spec. Professional liability will still pay out compensation for these claims, whether or not you are at fault.

Which Type of Insurance is Right for Me?

Most businesses can benefit from both types of insurance. By taking out both schemes, you can be guaranteed comprehensive coverage against most types of lawsuits.

Of course, if you’re a small business on a budget, you may decide that it’s best to take out one of these schemes for now. To help you choose the most appropriate coverage, here are a few questions that you may want to ask yourself.

What are the Main Risks My Business Faces?

If there’s a greater risk of physical damage than financial damage, general liability is likely to be more suitable. Tradesmen, for instance, can almost always benefit from this type of insurance.

Meanwhile, if there’s a greater risk of financial damage than physical damage, professional liability may be more suitable. Professional advisors, for instance, tend to be more exposed to this risk and should therefore consider this coverage.

Which Type of Insurance Do My Clients Expect Me to Have?

In some cases, clients and contractors may be less inclined to work with you unless you can prove that you carry a certain type of insurance. For instance, when working with a construction company, many people may want to know that the company they are hiring has general liability.

Some clients may similarly refuse to work with professional advisors unless they can show proof that they carry professional liability insurance.

Why Get Coverage From Us?

Whether you choose general liability or professional liability, we can help you get the best coverage.

We serve many small businesses across New Jersey, helping to offer protection from costly lawsuits that many businesses might not otherwise be able to afford. With lawsuits against businesses on the rise, it’s important to have the right defense.

Now you know the main differences between general vs. professional liability in NJ. Don’t hesitate to contact us today - we’ll provide you with a quote and get you the coverage that you need.