stressed lawyer at desk

How Much Is Malpractice Insurance for Lawyers?

With malpractice lawsuits on the rise, carrying malpractice insurance is common sense.

If you have a home, chances are you make a point of paying for homeowners insurance. Similarly, if you are a lawyer, you need business insurance to protect your legal practice.

In the same way that accidents can happen to responsible homeowners, even the most experienced lawyers can make mistakes. Without malpractice insurance, those mistakes can be very expensive.

How much is malpractice insurance for lawyers? It depends on factors such as what type of law you practice, whether your area of expertise is high risk, and other considerations.

The bottom line is, malpractice insurance for lawyers won't cost you as much as a lawsuit. Keep reading to learn about how insurance agencies calculate the cost of malpractice insurance.

What Is Malpractice Insurance For?

Malpractice insurance is a type of professional liability insurance for lawyers. Doctors and other medical professionals also use malpractice insurance.

This type of insurance protects these types of professions from being held liable for doing harm. Malpractice insurance is the best way to cover yourself in the event you make a mistake that causes a client or patient to sue.

Some states require lawyers to carry malpractice insurance. Others require lawyers to disclose to their clients whether they carry malpractice insurance. Many states have no requirements.

If you do not have malpractice insurance for your law practice, you risk the possibility of paying clients' damages out of pocket. This might lead to needing to file for bankruptcy.

How Much Is Malpractice Insurance for Lawyers?

When an insurance provider evaluates the cost of malpractice insurance for a lawyer or law firm, they take several factors into account. The biggest factor they consider is the amount of risk that is involved.

Different legal specialties have different levels of risk. Insurance agents calculate risk based on a combination of frequency and severity. How frequently the specialty reports claims and how severe the claims are.

Let's dig into several factors that impact the way an insurance agent will calculate the risk and associated costs of malpractice insurance for your law practice.

What Services Does Your Practice Provide?

The services your practice provides will be determined by the area of law you practice. The services a family lawyer offers are inherently different from those of a criminal lawyer, for example.

The area of law you practice and the services your law firm provides has a major impact on how much your malpractice insurance will cost. This is simply because some practice areas have higher levels of risk than others.

The higher your practice's level of risk, the higher the cost of your firm's insurance premiums. To evaluate these costs, insurance agents must perform constant calculations across all legal areas of practice.

Is Your Area of Practice High Risk?

Knowing which practice areas are higher or lower risk is valuable information, whether you are just starting out or considering growing your practice. Before you decide to add a specialty, do some research on its risk level.

Some practice areas in particular that have low-risk severity include family law, bankruptcy, and criminal law. Most legal defense areas also have relatively low-risk severity.

On the other end, real estate law, personal injury, as well as wills, trust, and estate law tend to be at a higher risk and therefore can have higher malpractice insurance premiums.

What Size Is Your Firm?

Larger law firms pay higher premiums than smaller firms do. This is simply because there are more practicing lawyers to insure.

As you add lawyers to your practice, you can expect your insurance premiums to increase. However, your premiums won't necessarily go up exponentially with each additional hire.

Some insurance agents may offer discounts to growing law firms in order to entice them to continue to use their services.

Where Is Your Firm Located?

In the United States, each state can set its own minimum premium requirements for different types of insurance. States can also set different premium rates for each area of law practice.

For these reasons, it is typical for malpractice and other insurance rates to fluctuate yearly. These rates also get determined based on how many malpractice claims occur by practice area in each state.

Finally, insurance companies can charge different premiums based on the county in which your firm practices.

If insurance companies notice a rise in malpractice claims in a particular county, they will raise premiums in that county rather than raise premiums for the entire state.

Insurance companies need to be able to adjust premium rates in order to protect their interests, while also balancing with the need to retain clients.

How Much Coverage Do You Need?

The size of your firm will determine the policy limit you need to effectively protect your practice. Whereas a small law firm may be sufficiently covered with a million-dollar policy limit, a larger firm would find that inadequate.

On the other end, you want to avoid purchasing too much insurance. The higher the policy limit you require, the higher your insurance premium will be.

When determining the policy limit that is appropriate for the size of your law firm, you need to take into consideration the costs of your defense and the cost of any potential settlements.

Consult an Insurance Agency

How much is malpractice insurance for lawyers? As with most questions related to cost, the answer is, it depends. The factors that will determine the cost of your malpractice insurance premiums include:

  • Size of law firm
  • Location of law firm
  • Area and scope of practice
  • Level of risk
  • State minimum premium rates
  • Amount of coverage needed

If you are practicing law in New Jersey without carrying malpractice insurance, you are taking a significant financial risk with your practice. To learn more about the benefits of malpractice insurance, contact us today.


signing contract for home and receiving keys

How is Insurance for Landlords Different from Homeowners Insurance?

Around 36% of households in the U.S. rent the homes or apartments they live in, while the rest own their homes. As a result, owning rental properties is a great way to earn long-term revenue.

If you have a home that you want to rent out, you might need to update your insurance policy on that house.

Homeowner's insurance is one product you can buy to protect a home, but if you rent a house to someone, you'll need insurance for landlords.

What is the difference, you might wonder, between homeowner's insurance and landlord insurance? Continue reading this guide to learn what these products are and their differences.

How Risk Effects Insurance

Homeowner's insurance is not the same as renter's or landlord insurance, even though they all cover homes and dwellings.

An insurance agency offers different products for different purposes, and a property's risk level is one of the reasons they have various types of insurance products.

Risk is a major concern to insurance companies, and they take many steps to determine a person's risk level when offering insurance. As a result, people tend to pay higher rates when they have higher risk levels.

So, how does this factor in with homeowners insurance and insurance for landlords?

The answer is that homeowners tend to have lower risks than tenants renting a place. Insurance companies know this from statistical information.

They know that homeowners tend to file fewer claims than landlords. As a result, home insurance presents a lower risk to insurance companies than landlord insurance.

The result of this is that homeowner's insurance tends to cost less than landlord insurance.

The Purpose and Basics of Homeowner's Insurance

Insurance companies offer homeowner's insurance policies to people who own and live in these homes. Therefore, to purchase homeowner's insurance for a house, you must own it and live in it.

If you don't own the house, you can't buy a homeowner's policy, and you also can't buy one if someone else lives in the home.

If you live in two homes, you can typically still buy homeowner's insurance for both. However, you might pay less for the insurance on the home you're at more often.

So, what is homeowner's insurance? The answer is that it's a product that provides protection for the home you own and live in. It provides several types of protection that you need for your house:

Liability Coverage

If people come to your home and end up with injuries, your liability coverage with your homeowner's insurance policy pays the damages.

You should always carry liability coverage on a home, even after paying off the mortgage.

Dwelling Coverage

The main reason you have home insurance is for the protection it offers for your dwelling - your home's structure.

If your home experiences damage from a peril that your plan covers, your insurance plan compensates you for the damages.

Personal Property Coverage

Your home insurance plan also compensates you for your personal property if you lose any because of a covered peril. Your plan might have limits, though, so you should ask an insurance agent to ensure you have enough coverage.

Additional Living Expenses (ALE) Coverage

ALE provides compensation if you must leave your home for a temporary period after experiencing damages to your house. The damages must be from a covered peril.

The ALE coverage you have with your policy compensates you for the extra costs of living you encounter after damages occur to your home.

Each of these is important to have when you own a house, and you should realize that lenders require home insurance. If you owe money on your house, you can't go without having home insurance.

The Purpose and Basics of Insurance for Landlords

Insurance for landlords is a form of business insurance. While it provides some of the same coverages for a house, it doesn't provide all the same coverage as a home insurance plan.

Insurance companies require different insurance plans for people who own homes they rent to tenants. They often call this landlord insurance or insurance plans for landlords.

Landlord insurance provides protection in two main areas:

1. Liability Coverage

As described above, liability coverage protects you from lawsuits that arise from guests encountering injuries at a property. As the owner of the rental house, you can protect yourself by purchasing liability coverage.

2. Dwelling Coverage

Your landlord insurance policy also covers the structure. If anything happens to the house that the insurance policy covers, you can file a claim for compensation.

Landlord insurance doesn't cover the tenant's personal things. If the tenant wants coverage, they'll need to buy a renter's insurance plan.

Landlord insurance tends to cost more than homeowner's insurance, even though it doesn't provide as much coverage. The reason for this is that the insurance company assumes a higher risk level when insuring a rental.

Steps to Take When Renting a House to Someone

When you rent a home to someone, you can require that the tenant purchase insurance for renters.

Insurance for renters provides coverage for the tenant's personal possessions. It might also provide other forms of coverage, depending on the plan.

You can also set rules to reduce the risk level with the tenant. For example, you can prohibit smoking in the rental. You can also restrict the use of candles.

You may also want to use thorough tenant screening procedures to choose a tenant that will care for the property well. Choosing the right tenant is vital when renting.

Get the Right Insurance for Your Rentals

As you can see, a basic homeowner's insurance plan is not suitable for a house you rent to someone. Instead, you must purchase insurance for landlords to have the coverage you need for your rental home.

If you live in New Jersey or own rental properties there, you can contact us at Central Jersey Insurance Associates for an insurance quote or to learn more about our products.


insurance agent and clients reviewing a document in office together

What Is the Best Insurance Agency in New Jersey?

Did you know there were 36,000 independent insurance agencies in 2020 in the US? For people trying to find a good insurance agency to cover their business and properties, this can mean an overwhelming number of choices.

If you live in New Jersey, the numbers are a bit more manageable since there are only 419 insurance agencies to choose from, but how can you find an agency you can depend on? Read on to learn what to look for when searching for an insurance agency in New Jersey.

Get Recommendations for an Insurance Agency in New Jersey

Word of mouth can help you narrow your options down. Knowing that someone you trust has had a positive experience with an insurance agency in the area can give you the peace of mind you need to make this choice.

When you ask for recommendations, it can be a good idea to put together a list of questions to ask the person making the recommendation. It is important the person recommends the agency because of the quality work they provide and not because of other subjective reasons.

Despite getting a recommendation, you need to do your own vetting before making a decision. Read reviews online and pay special attention to any client complaints. If you see a pattern in them, that can be a warning sign.

The right agency that offers property and business insurance in New Jersey will do its best to address complaints.

Coverage and Specializations

An agency may have excellent reviews, but that means nothing if it cannot offer the coverage you need. For a business, this can be even trickier because your business will be unique and may have unique needs.

For business insurance, you will want an agency that can provide:

  • Worker's compensation
  • Commercial property
  • Commercial auto
  • Product liability
  • Commercial general liability
  • Cyber liability
  • Medical malpractice
  • Professional liability

These are the basics for business insurance, but there may be specifics for your own business you need, so look for an agency that offers what you require.

For home coverage, including rental homes, you need the agency to offer coverage in areas like personal property, homeowner's insurance, liability, landlord insurance, and more. If you need coverage for a commercial property, avoid choosing an agency that has only ever offered insurance for residential properties.

By beginning your search knowing exactly the insurance you need, you can start considering the specialized agencies in your area. Most agencies have websites where they share what niches they work in. If they do not mention it, they probably do not offer it.

Prices

The agency you choose has to have rates that fit your budget while still offering quality services. The agency offering you the lowest prices is not always the best option because their coverage may have limitations. Always go through the coverage details and what fees you can expect.

Before making a decision, get at least three quotes from insurance companies in your area. New Jersey offers guides that show average coverage rates for different policies throughout the state.

Claims Process

Some insurance agencies have a complex claims process and that can be stressful when looking for compensation. Speak with the agency to see what their process is and the average time to get compensation.

The agents the agency employs have to have experience going through the claims process. They should be ready to tell you how they will go about filing the claim.

Financial Standing

Most people remain with an insurance agency for years. You need to be certain the company is financially stable enough to last for all of those years.

If there is a claim situation, the last thing you want to hear is that your insurance agency cannot cover you. There are numerous independent rating agencies that look at various factors and financial results to give the agency a letter score. Before making a choice, check these independent agencies to see what the rating is.

Client Support and Communication

If you need to contact your insurance agency, how can you do so? These days, most companies have 24/7 phone services, as well as online chats and social media support. Many have online portals where you can:

  • Pay bills online
  • Report claims
  • Get claim support
  • Ask billing questions

Working with the agency cannot be difficult. They have to offer rapid responses to your concerns and have a streamlined process for filing a claim, whether online, over the phone, or in person. Ask about how they address billing questions and policy changes.

Certification

A certified agent and agency has met the standards New Jersey's Department of Insurance has in place. That means the agency is qualified and certified to offer its services in the state.

To get certified, an agency has to meet certain financial guidelines, letting you know the agency will meet any claims without a problem.

Some certifications to watch for are the CDAR, or certified designated agency representative, which is given to agents who have at least three years of experience in the industry. For this certification, the agent also has to complete at least 40 hours of continuing professional development each year.

Choose the Best Insurance Agency in New Jersey

Deciding on the right insurance agency in New Jersey means taking time to consider everything from their customer service to the coverage they offer. A good agency will always fight for you.

If you need the best in the state, you can turn to us at Central Jersey Insurance Associates. With our years of experience and our excellent reputation in the state, you will be in skilled hands.

Contact us now to speak with one of our agents!


miniature home and calculator on top of pile of money

7 Common Homeowners Insurance Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

There are over 82 million owner-occupied households in the US, and that number continues to grow. Buying a home is an achievement, but it is not where the financial commitment stops.

Most homeowners then have to navigate mortgages, property taxes, and find a homeowners insurance policy. While you often receive tax and mortgage guidance, finding insurance coverage can be a trickier task. And if you pick the wrong one, it can be a disaster.

So, how can you avoid homeowners insurance mistakes? The first step is to know the common errors homeowners make. Read on to learn the top seven homeowners insurance mistakes and how to avoid them.

1. Underestimating Coverage

One of the top homeowners' insurance mistakes is not buying enough coverage. You want coverage to be enough in all situations. For example, if your home is destroyed, you want enough coverage to support a rebuild. There are many reasons your property could be destroyed, with thousands of homes being destroyed by wildfires alone every year, for example.

It can be a devastating mistake not to get enough coverage. While it can be tempting to pick a cheaper option and hope for the best, it is not worth the risk. Make the investment now so you do not throw away your hard work of buying a home.

2. Ignoring Insurance Terms and Conditions

Always read the fine print of your homeowner's insurance policy. Never presume something like flood damage is covered. Consider the risks for your area and compare policies to see what should be included.

If something isn't covered, add any additional coverage if you need it. And do not be afraid to question the insurance terms and conditions. You want to ensure they will support you in all circumstances and you need to make sure you are on the same page as the insurance provider.

Often cheaper insurance may seem appealing, but you will find issues when you check the insurance terms and conditions. Save yourself money and stress over the long run by understanding the policy so you can select the right one.

3. Setting a Low Deductible

The deductible is how much you pay each time you file a claim on your household insurance policy. Automatically picking a low deductible may appear cost-effective, but it does not always work out that way. A low deductible usually means paying a higher premium, which is the fee you pay for the insurance.

Take the time to consider what option works best for you. The biggest error is not weighing both options: low or high deductible?

A low deductible means you will have higher yearly or monthly premium costs to manage, so assess whether this financially makes sense for your situation. It might seem better if something happens and you will have to pay less out of pocket. But during years where you do not need to claim, a high premium will mean losing out financially.

4. Not Updating the Insurance Provider

Always update your insurance provider on any changes with your home. You will avoid any issues and might save money. For example, if you install certain safety features in your home, you can save money.

Potential safety features that help you save money include alarm systems, sprinkler systems, storm shutters, and carbon monoxide detectors. And these safety features all benefit you.

Preparation is better than reacting. After all, burglaries of residential properties account for 62.8 percent of all cases. So safety features such as alarms can reduce risks of break-ins, along with other reasons you may need to make a household insurance claim.

5. Forgetting To Do a Household Inventory

It may seem tedious, but without an accurate inventory of possessions, you might lose out on a claim. And you will end up spending a lot more money trying to replace items.

Commit time to make a household inventory now, so you can have peace of mind that everything is noted. You do not want to miss out on a claim or forget a valuable item that will then not be covered and replaced. Although some items are irreplaceable, your insurance provider needs proof of belongings to justify a claim.

6. Not Considering Insurance Bundles

When you research insurance policies, consider if you need other insurance policies too. For example, do you need auto insurance?

It can make life easier if you have policies with the same provider if issues arise. Otherwise, you will spend more time contacting different insurance providers.

And sometimes, you can receive discounts for bundling insurance policies. It is important to check with the provider regarding this option.

7. Not Researching the Insurance Provider

When you first move into a home, it is natural to want to relax and enjoy the space. But do not pick the first homeowners' insurance provider that you find. Otherwise, you could end up with a policy that does not protect you and your home.

Take the time to research different providers and compare the cost of insurance options. The cheapest insurance or most expensive insurance is not always the best. The most important thing is that you find a reputable provider who can guide you to what you actually need.

Check independent reviews for the insurance provider and that they have the right licenses. It is surprising how often a company looks great on paper, but the reviews do not match their promises. Often providers offer free consultations so you can get a feel for their customer service and how they will handle your claim. Take advantage of this!

Avoid Homeowners Insurance Mistakes

Now you know the common homeowners insurance mistakes to avoid. Taking the time to research insurance options will save your wallet and home over time. If you pick the right homeowners' insurance provider, they will guide you through the process and ensure your coverage is sufficient for your needs, while making sure you aren't overspending.

Central Jersey Insurance Associates has been in business for over 50 years and is happy to help you with your homeowners insurance needs. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with our insurance agents.


businessman choosing insurance services option from digital projection

Choosing an Insurance Agency for Your Business

Did you know Americans paid $1.28 trillion for insurance premiums in 2020? Why do you think businesses and individuals heavily invest in insurance?

It provides them with security and a safety net in case of emergencies. Imagine your business equipment breaking down or business goods getting stolen. You wouldn’t want to close your firm because of such uncertainties.

A good insurance policy can protect you from these liabilities and more. Before paying your premiums, you need assurances you are working with a competent insurance agency.

Here are essential factors to consider when choosing an insurance agency.

Factors to Consider When Choosing an Insurance Agency

Each insurance agent brands their company as competent and reliable. You have to look beyond the marketing messages. What should you look for?

Here are essential factors to consider when reviewing options for insurance agencies.

Certification

When selecting an insurance agency, consider certification. A certified agency has met the standards set by your state’s Department of Insurance. It is qualified to conduct business in your area.

Here are some certifications you can look out for:

Certified Designated Agency Representative (CDAR)

The Insurance Regulatory Authority gives this certification. Insurance agents must have a minimum of 3 years of experience in the industry. They also need to complete at least 40 hours of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) every year.

Certified Insurance Advisor (CIA)

The Insurance Brokers Association gives this certification. It also requires a minimum of 3 years of experience in the industry.

Coverage

How much coverage does your business need? Depending on a business model, insurance needs may differ.

As a business owner, your goal is to have your company adequately covered. This can mean different things to different companies. Choose an insurance agency that meets your needs.

As a rule of thumb, you should consider the following options:

  • Property coverage
  • Commercial general liability
  • Commercial auto
  • Product liability
  • Errors and omissions
  • Workers' compensation

The list is not limited to these types of coverages alone. Your coverage needs may be different if you own a food truck business or other modern businesses.

You are better off working with an agency that can customize a policy according to your business needs.

Insurance Terms and Conditions

There are terms and conditions that accompany every policy. Many people are not sure of the insurance terms and conditions.

People skip to the end of the terms and conditions, or just sign without looking at it. This could land you in trouble during the claims process. Before signing any insurance agreement, understand all the terms and conditions.

If some terms are unfamiliar, get your agent or lawyer to break them down to you. Review the claims process, deductibles, policy period, and policy limits. This will help determine if the insurance agency offers a comprehensive plan for your business.

The terms and conditions will determine your policy provisions.

Reputation

Reputation will tell you which insurance agency is worth your business, as it's built by word of mouth. It is an effective form of advertisement and one to consider since it's not coming from the agency.

Insurance agencies with a poor reputation often have higher premiums and unreliable claims processes.

Choose an agency with an excellent reputation and a history of excellent customer service. These companies are more willing to negotiate better terms for your business.

Consider checking agency reviews online via platforms like BBB or Yelp. Online reviews will offer insight into customers' experiences with the company.

Reading online reviews is not enough, though. Consulting with your friends and family is the most reliable form of word of mouth. Such reviews are more genuine and free of bias.

Your family will offer accurate reviews sugarcoating nothing, while some online reviews are subject to manipulation.

Cost of Coverage

Today, many insurance agencies offer free quotes on their website. This makes it easy to compare prices.

When choosing an insurance agency, consider the price. You need a policy that matches your budget. However, don't just choose the agency at the lowest price.

Discounts and lower costs should not be at the expense of quality service. You would rather pay slightly higher premiums for quality service.

Customer Service

A competent insurance agency cares about their customers' needs. They are there to help when you have questions or concerns. You need someone who will help find a solution that fits your needs.

When reviewing customer service, consider the company's insurance agents. Insurance agents are the first point of contact for clients. They work directly with customers and offer guidance, support, and information on their policies.

Depending on how a company trains its agents, it will determine how helpful they are. Reliable agents answer questions and address your concerns. They offer advice that best suits each customer's needs.

Agents should ensure clients are satisfied with the company's services. It's frustrating to follow up on an issue for days or weeks. Work with an insurance agency that makes your needs a priority.

Work With the Best Insurance Agency

Choosing a reliable insurance agency doesn’t have to be daunting. With the above tips, you will secure a good business insurance policy and avoid frustrations when your business is in crisis.

Central Jersey Insurance Associates is committed to quality insurance products and services. We offer a wide range of business insurance coverage; workers' compensation, professional liability, and more. The total experience of each client is our number one priority.

Contact us today for quality insurance coverage.


medical stethoscope on top of notepad next to doctor working on laptop

Medical Malpractice Insurance FAQs for Medical Professionals

Medical professionals provide life-saving treatments every day. However, sometimes those interventions can lead to civil lawsuits. A quarter-million Americans died because of medical malpractice in 2020.

Not every death leads to a lawsuit. But in the event of litigation, medical malpractice insurance can protect doctors from bankruptcy. In this article, we'll explain the basics of professional liability insurance.

What Is Medical Malpractice Insurance?

Malpractice insurance is a special type of insurance for physicians, as the policies offset liability. They protect doctors when a treatment injures or kills a patient.

Most states mandate medical malpractice insurance coverage. They also require medical systems like hospitals to carry this form of insurance for doctors. The policies are often paid through monthly premiums or as a lump-sum annual fee.

The insurance is available through traditional insurance carriers like Blue Cross Blue Shield, while some companies specialize in medical malpractice insurance.

Another form of protection from liability comes from a medical risk retention group. These state medical societies are a form of self-insurance. The members agree to collectively pay for costs related to defending cases and paying judgments.

Any type of medical doctor or medical professional may need individual or group coverage. Dentists, psychologists, pharmacists, nurses, optometrists, and others can use the coverage. Surgeons represent the highest percentage of cases that use medical insurance.

What Does the Insurance Cover?

Sometimes medical insurance protects doctors following a legitimate medical error. In other cases, the coverage protects medical professionals from fraudulent claims.

Doctors are often seen as an easy target for lawsuits. This is because plaintiffs see doctors as being able to pay out large court settlements.

Insurance for medical professionals covers a range of expenses related to malpractice suits.

Attorney and Court Costs

Even a baseless malpractice claim will probably make it to court or mediation. Attorneys can charge hundreds of dollars per hour for their services. Doctors would have to pay those fees out of pocket if they do not have malpractice insurance.

Court filings are also expensive. Extra fees could include expert witness testimony and court reporter fees.

Arbitration Costs

Arbitration is a negotiation process that is done in private. It is often done between two or more concerned parties.

Arbitration also requires legal fees. Judges are often hired to act as arbitrators, and they charge high fees.

Arbitration can lead to lower court fees and a faster resolution to legal disputes. Medical malpractice insurance typically covers the cost of arbitration.

Settlement Costs

Attorneys may agree to settlements for many reasons. Sometimes settling a case is the better option than going to court. Ultimately, court trials take doctors away from their patients.

The attorney or attorneys who represent your insurance company may see the settlement as the better option. Settlement costs are usually covered by medical malpractice coverage.

Punitive and Compensatory Damages

If a judge rules in favor of the plaintiff, a court may find a doctor liable for damages. Judges often award monetary damages to settle cases.

Judges assess compensatory damages based on the level of harm done to a defendant. Following the death of a patient, one or more family members may seek damages. The damages often equal what the deceased patient would have earned over the rest of his or her lifetime.

Judges can levy punitive damages besides compensatory damages. Punitive damages are often reserved for cases where a judge sees an injury or death as egregious.

As long as criminal conduct is not involved, punitive damages may be covered.

Medical Damages

Some plaintiffs may seek medical damages, and these costs are related to the medical procedure. Further medical treatments may be needed because of a botched procedure. In that case, malpractice insurance may cover medical damages.

What Is Not Covered by the Insurance?

Medical malpractice insurance does not cover doctors who engage in sexual harassment and other forms of sexual misconduct. Liability resulting from criminal acts is not covered by malpractice either. Doctors who alter medical records may lose protection under malpractice insurance. Malpractice insurance protects doctors who perform procedures ethically.

Other Malpractice Insurance Considerations

Medical malpractice insurance covers certain types of situations. Any hospital, private practice, or group practice will need to look at several other types of insurance, too.

Cyber liability protection is one example. If ransomware hits your company, you will need a special type of insurance to address loss because of those events.

Failure to fulfill regulations may lead to the need for a unique form of insurance. Some forms of medical malpractice insurance can add provisions to cover these situations.

When shopping around for coverage, be sure to ask what all is covered. If there are certain protections that you would like added, ask the insurance carrier if those protections can be added.

Find the Right Malpractice Insurance for Your Medical Practice

Medical malpractice insurance allows doctors to perform treatments without the worry of lawsuits. The form of insurance is robust enough to cover pretty much any type of liability issue tied to performing medical treatments.

If you are shopping around for medical malpractice insurance, you want to work with a company that has extensive experience. Central Jersey Insurance Associates has been in business for over 50 years. To schedule a consultation with one of our agents, please contact our team today.


a balance scale, gavel, and textbooks

A Guide To Commercial General Liability Insurance

Are you looking for ways to protect your business and clients from a financial setback? Do you fear that one mistake by your staff could lead to monumental damage to your clients? If so, then you need to learn all that you can about commercial general liability insurance.

Every company should invest in business insurance to protect its future. All it takes is one error to complicate your business' finances. With the right coverage, you can have total peace of mind as you go about your daily business operations.

See below for an in-depth guide on commercial general liability insurance and why it's so essential.

What Is Commercial General Liability Insurance?

Imagine the horror of finding out that a customer is suing you for the injuries that they sustained. For example, a customer might claim you're responsible for their slip and fall accident because a wet floor sign was not around the slick area. Another example is that a customer could claim that a product you sold them was faulty and led to their injury.

Whatever the case might be, you need coverage. Without it, your company will be left on the hook for covering medical bills, loss of wages, and more.

This is where commercial general liability insurance comes in. It protects you and your company from claims that include damage or injury. No matter what industry you're in or the product/service you sell, general liability insurance is a must have. It can cover:

  • Damage that was done to a client's property (such as a faulty plumbing repair causing water damage)
  • Injuries caused by confusing advertising
  • Reimbursements for your defense costs (such as lawyer fees)
  • Any physical injury on your property to a worker or customer

Don't let your business in New Jersey or elsewhere go a day longer without protection. Reach out to us to learn more about our commercial general liability insurance right away.

What To Look For In A Business Insurance Provider

You wouldn't purchase a car from a dealer that you didn't trust or apply for a business loan with a funding agency you don't believe in. Why do any differently with the insurance provider for your business? Your coverage is a major investment. For that reason, it's important to know what to look for in a trusted insurance provider.

First, you can gain some valuable insight from their customers by browsing through online reviews. Do they seem satisfied with the coverage and service they've received?

Next, gauge the insurance company's communication skills. Give them a direct call and ask them as many questions as possible. Do they take the time to answer your questions thoroughly? Do they seem knowledgeable and passionate about their products?

Finally, find a local insurance company. Here at Central Jersey Insurance Associates, we're passionate about protecting the businesses in our community. We want to help small business owners overcome emergency situations.

What Are The Benefits Of Commercial General Liability Insurance?

Now that you understand what general liability insurance covers, let's dive into the reasons you need it most. See below for some of the biggest benefits of investing in liability insurance for your business.

Protects Your Company's Future

Some business owners try to save a few dollars by not investing in business insurance coverage. However, by doing so, they may end up costing themselves thousands of dollars, if not their entire business.

Without proper coverage, your company will be held financially responsible for the injuries and damage associated with your services. By the time you add up medical bills, lost wages, and such, that's a dollar amount that sends most small businesses under.

With general liability coverage in place, you're able to protect your company's future.

Business As Usual

As a small business owner, you have your plate filled with different responsibilities. You know that even one minor setback could end up costing you hundreds or thousands of dollars in sales. Claims against your company can prove to be an enormous obstacle without the right coverage.

With commercial general liability insurance in place, you'll be able to cover the cost of legal representation and overcome this adversity.

With that worry out of the way, you and your staff can focus on running your business operations, knowing that the claim is being taken care of by experts.

Peace Of Mind

There's no denying the mental toll that a claim can take on a business owner. You started this company to help people, so the thought of someone suffering a setback can be worrisome.

Without proper coverage, you'll experience a stress level unlike any you've experienced. Every piece of evidence they stack against you is more money out of your pocket.

Thankfully, general liability insurance can give you some much needed relief. You can rest easy at night knowing that, if an accident occurs, you have protection for yourself, your company, your workers, and your clients.

Invest In Commercial General Liability Insurance Today

Now that you have read an in-depth guide on why commercial general liability insurance is so important, use this information to your advantage.

Take the time to read this article for more information on the business health insurance that your New Jersey company needs. Call us directly at 732-383-7158 and we will be happy to assist you further.


hvac contractor working on central air unit

What Type of HVAC Contractor Insurance Do You Need?

Did you know that the average replacement cost of a HVAC system is between $4820 and $9350 Depending on the size of your business, it could cost more.

The liabilities associated with the HVAC system go beyond a breakdown. The risks include property damage or bodily harm to contractors. Some risks may even be unavoidable.

You need HVAC contractor insurance to protect your business from unfortunate events.

Like other insurance policies, they don't feel necessary until you need one. Don't wait for that moment as one accident can cost you your business.

Keep reading to learn the types of HVAC contractor insurance your business needs.

Types of HVAC Contractor Insurance

Getting the right HVAC insurance is the best bet to mitigate risks. Depending on your business dynamics or which state you conduct business in, different insurance coverages may be necessary.

Different states in the US require specific types of HVAC insurance. At a minimum, most states require HVAC technicians and business owners to have general liability insurance.

Choose an insurance company that matches your coverage and state’s needs.

General Liability Insurance

HVAC installation and operation pose risks like property damage and accidental injuries. HVAC liability insurance covers primary third-party risks, while general liability insurance protects your company from common risks that affect other businesses.

So, what coverage does general liability insurance offer?

• Property damage costs
• Courts and legal fees in case of a lawsuit
• Medical payments for people injured on site
• Physical injuries during an onsite job
• Moisture damage caused by HVAC work

Injuries or damages by HVAC systems can exhaust life savings. You don’t want to work under such risks.

Workers' Compensation Insurance

Over 13,000 non-fatal work injuries occur annually in HVAC and plumbing operations. Injuries in the line of duty can attract claims and costly medical bills.

Since HVAC installation and maintenance require a team of professionals, there are a good amount of people you'll want covered. Every once in a while, you can also expect to send in HVAC contractors or other staff for repairs and maintenance.

You need security for the staff in case of injuries. It gives you peace of mind if the employees can get proper treatment without breaking the bank.

A workers' compensation insurance policy covers the staff’s medical and payroll costs. Many states require business insurance for HVAC contractors, particularly the employees.

Contractors Error and Omission Insurance (Professional Liability Insurance)

Although your HVAC contractors are skilled with experience, accidents happen. Some mistakes are minor and don't warrant hefty consequences. However, the errors that call for claims and lawsuits are not to be ignored.

You need contractor error and commission insurance to address negligence claims and professional mistakes. The policy allows HVAC contractors to move on smoothly from client disputes.

If you run an HVAC installation business, you need to be accountable for your mistakes. Choose a professional liability insurance to build trust with clients.

Commercial Auto Insurance

HVAC service providers commonly need vehicles to carry equipment and technicians from one job to another. Service providers invest in vehicles for convenience and branding.

If your firm has company vehicles, commercial auto insurance should be among your priorities. If your company operates an installation car, transports tools and equipment, or sends employees on errands, commercial auto insurance is a necessity.

An accident by staff using the company car can cause property damage and medical bills. The costs of an automotive injury can accumulate to thousands of dollars. If third parties are injured, the liabilities extend to lawsuits and medical bills.

You can save thousands of dollars by paying a monthly premium of around $200 or less per month.

You need to protect your fleet and staff. Commercial auto insurance covers collision and property damage costs, medical bills, and vandalism on cars. Your cars and staff are valuable assets that need coverage.

Match your commercial auto insurance with New Jersey’s state’s liability insurance requirements.

Technician Umbrella Insurance

HVAC companies or any business are vulnerable to civil suits or liability incidents. These incidents commonly overwhelm your HVAC liability insurance. The umbrella liability insurance protects you from additional costs that exceed the liability insurance.

The policy offers you backup coverage for your HVAC Company. The extra coverage works with liability insurance, commercial auto liability cover, and employer liability insurance.

This type of HVAC contractor insurance is necessary for companies working with high-risk clients.

Equipment Insurance

HVAC systems carry expensive equipment and tools. Machinery such as air conditioners and gas furnaces are costly. It's essential to protect assets from theft or accidental damage.

Standard insurance does not cover the HVAC unit if the damage is because of wear and tear. The insurance will only cover specific conditions.

HVAC equipment insurance is ideal for the following:

• Equipment less than five years old
• Mobile equipment
• Small quotes

The policy covers the repair or replacement of HVAC equipment and tools. If you run an HVAC contractor company, you will need to transfer equipment from one place to another.

HVAC contractor insurance protects your tools wherever you take them.

Choose the Right HVAC Contractor Insurance and Insurance Agency

We cannot control some of the risk factors for HVAC systems. However, you can control the extent of the damage during the aftermath. Work with a competent insurance agency to determine the ideal HVAC contractor insurance for your business.

Before acquiring a policy, research your company’s needs. You want to choose the HVAC insurance policies that perfectly matches your parameters.

If you are not sure of your needs, work with a competent insurance broker. A professional will conduct a needs analysis, which will help determine the most suitable type of HVAC insurance for you.

While insurance coverage may appear to be an annoying expense, it's not. It protects your bank account and ensures business growth. Contact us for comprehensive HVAC insurance coverage for your business.


hands covering paper cut outs of people

What Kind of Business Health Insurance Do You Need?

Around two-thirds of employees focus on their health over everything else—even a higher salary. They usually turn to their company for help, so this matter is in your hands.

Do you want to increase productivity and keep happy employees? Take a closer look at your health insurance benefits.

As a business, how do you take care of your employees’ health? Offering strong health benefits is the easiest method. Keep reading to learn the different types of business health insurance for your needs.

Preferred Provider Organization (PPO)

As the name suggests, a PPO business health insurance plan has preferred doctors or hospitals. Employees covered under this plan must get their medical care from the providers on this list to get the highest coverage.

The members pay higher out-of-pocket costs when choosing out-of-network physicians. There’s also more paperwork involved. Some PPO plans pay out a small sum, but some might not provide coverage at all.

The benefit of this health insurance plan is that employees can enjoy a moderate amount of freedom in their choice of healthcare provider. They do not need a designated primary care physician. They can go to a specialist without a referral from their PCP.

Members must pay an annual deductible before the coverage applies to their bills. They may also have a copayment or co-insurance.

It is a good option for your business if you want a balance between freedom and lower premiums. It also saves your employees from the burden of getting a referral from their primary care doctor to see a specialist.

Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)

An HMO is a group insurance policy allowing members to seek healthcare within a network. It limits the employee in their choice of healthcare provider. They usually have to stick to the network of HMO-contracted companies.

An HMO plan offers lower out-of-pocket expenses for the employee. It also has a broader coverage for preventative services than other options.

It requires the employees to choose a primary care doctor for all their health concerns. When needed, the PCP can refer the member to a specialist. The member must have a referral first to get coverage from the HMO plan.

Employees usually have a copayment, but they may not need to pay a deductible before the policy kicks in. They have no coverage for going outside their network, except in cases of emergencies.

HMOs are a great option when you want to pay a lower premium for health benefit plans. The trade-off is the employee must stick to a network to get coverage.

Point-of-Service (POS)

A point-of-service plan has the features of both HMO and PPO. Like HMOs, employees must select a PCP to refer them to a specialist.

The primary care doctor must be in the network of a POS plan. However, the plan does not limit them to a list of providers.

Members can choose out-of-network healthcare providers, like in PPO. They have to pay more, though.

They are also likely to get a lower coverage for non-network provider services. Employees must pay for the service first and file a claim for the POS plan to pay them back.

If you want a primary care physician to coordinate care for employees, this is a better choice than HMO and PPO. POS has more flexibility while providing lower premiums.

Exclusive Provider Organization (EPO)

EPO has an even more specific network of doctors and hospitals. Members have to use their services to get coverage. Otherwise, the plan does not cover the medical bills, except in emergency cases.

In an EPO plan, employees do not need to select a PCP or get a referral to see specialists. Still, they have to stick to in-network specialists.

Members usually have a co-pay, while deductibles depend on the insurance plan. They rarely have to deal with paperwork.

EPO business health insurance plans offer even lower premiums than a PPO. The network is restrictive, but the advantage is that members do not have to coordinate through a PCP.

High-Deductible Health Plan with a Health Savings Account (HSA)

A health savings account works like a 401(k) or flexible spending account (FSA). It’s a bank account for members to save money, specifically for medical expenses in the future. For non-medical events, they may have to pay a penalty fee and interest.

Participants can make pre-tax or tax-deductible contributions. However, the IRS sets a contribution limit each year. For 2022, the limit is $3,650 for self coverage and $7,300 for family.

Unlike an FSA, HSA funds roll over every year and earn interest tax free. The employees own this account, but you can contribute.

HSAs must pair with a compatible high-deductible health plan (HDHP). This means employees have higher out-of-pocket costs to pay. However, the plan pays for 100% of the costs beyond the deductible amount.

Preventive care is also free, like other plans, even if the member hasn’t met the deductible. For other medical care, they can use their HSAs to cover the costs.

The IRS also sets the maximum out-of-pocket costs. For 2022, it’s $7,050 and $14,100 for self and family coverage, respectively. The minimum deductible is $1,400 and $2,800.

The healthcare providers you can use depend on the plan. It can either be PPO, HMO, POS, or EPO.

The premiums for HDHP plans are lower, making it a good choice for businesses that cannot afford a group health insurance policy. It also gives you greater control over the amount you want to contribute to health employee benefits.

Choose the Right Business Health Insurance Plan Now

The best business health insurance plan depends on the needs of your employees. Of course, the capacity of your business to provide is an enormous factor. Yet, remember that it’s your employees who will have to live with the policy.

Consider what’s better for your employees to make them productive and loyal in the long run. Contact us today and let us help you with insurance plans.


person reviewing paper documents at table

Why You Should Include Group Vision Insurance in Your Employee Health Plan

It's that time of year again! Open enrollment for 2022 will be here before you know it, and plenty of people in HR are carefully evaluating their employee health plans to see what they should keep and what they should drop.

Is vision insurance a part of your employee health plan? Since many types of insurance leave vision as an optional choice, some employers choose not to include it. However, if you're serious about employee wellness, it's something that should be essential instead of optional.

Want to know why vision insurance is an important part of any group health plan? If you're on the fence about adding it to yours, your mind will be changed once you read about all the benefits that come with vision plans.

Help Employees Save Money

When you're used to seeing glasses and hearing people casually talk about their favorite brand of contacts, it's easy to forget that even though these things are common, they're also costly.

Prescription frames can cost several hundred dollars, and the lenses are treated as a separate cost. Contact lenses can become expensive, as people that use them daily will need to go through several packs in the span of a year.

Help your employees save a little money by giving them a vision plan. Vision plans don't just come with a baseline of coverage. Many also offer exclusive discounts that can help employees save money with certain brands.

Help Your Company Save Money

Adding more coverage to your plan may seem like a strange way to save money, but in this case, it can easily work in your favor.

It isn't uncommon for some insurance companies to bundle their vision or dental plans together for added savings. Adding on vision coverage as a standard part of your plan could end up being a little cheaper than your basic coverage.

It's also important to note that adding on vision can help save you money in less direct ways. Since it's easier for employees to find vision care and take care of eye-related problems, you could see a boost in productivity and a drop in time spent outside of the office.

There are also a variety of tax incentives that both you and your employees can benefit from. In fact, you may be able to deduct up to 100% of the premiums you pay on your vision insurance plan. If you choose to offer group health insurance as a regular part of your compensation package, you may even be able to reduce your payroll taxes by offering tax-free health insurance benefits.

Improve Loyalty and Retention

Do you want to know a reliable way to keep your best employees from searching for new jobs? Higher pay is always a way to keep employees happy, but it's not the only solution.

There are only so many raises you can give an employee in hopes of keeping them engaged and happy at work. If you really want to keep your employees happy, pair that next raise or bonus with introducing vision care into your overall coverage plan.

Salary is one of the most important things keeping people at their jobs, but benefits are a close second. The right benefits package can keep star performers at your company for years to come.

Vision Care Is Health Care

Far too many people associate vision care with getting glasses or contact lenses. While it's true that vision insurance can help cover the cost of prescription glasses and contact lenses, a good plan does much more than get you a stylish pair of glasses.

Your eyes do more than just provide vision, they can also be alarm bells for more serious problems. It isn't uncommon for serious problems associated with diabetes and other chronic conditions to be present in the eyes. One exam could help spot serious conditions.

It's also important to note that health problems can occur in the eyes. Cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, and strabismus can be caught and treated during a routine eye exam.

All of these reasons and more are why eye health should be taken seriously. Vision care truly is health care, and employers should do whatever they can to help employees get comprehensive care.

Showcase Your Wellness-Driven Culture

Employee wellness has been a term employers have used for a while, but the recent pandemic has made the term much more meaningful. Health, work performance, and job satisfaction are all bound together. In a world where health is much more fragile, it's more important than ever for workplaces to show that they're dedicated to the health and wellness of their employees.

There are several ways employers have embraced wellness at work. Some offer discounts on gyms and others offer incentives for employees that take health and wellness classes.

The easiest way to embrace and showcase your culture of wellness is to add the right benefits to your health care plan. Vision care makes your employee's insurance coverage much more comprehensive and shows that you take their health seriously.

This doesn't just affect the employees you have now. Adding vision care to your insurance package can show potential future employees that you have a wellness-driven culture too.

Choose Your Next Employee Health Plan the Right Way

Health care is one of the primary motivators for workers. If you want to choose a comprehensive employee health plan, it's crucial for vision coverage to be a part of it.

Adding vision coverage to your health plan makes financial sense for your company and its employees. It also can boost employee morale, improve your company image, and make work a happier place to be for everyone involved.

Do you need help choosing the right insurance plans for your employees in New Jersey? Contact us today so we can work on creating the right coverage plan to meet your needs.