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October Newsletter

Insurance News:

Wow it’s STILL hot and dry out, and wildfire season is still upon us big time! Have you seen the newest blaze that sparked over the weekend in the Ruby Mountains? Just devastating to some of the finest country Nevada has to offer. As we saw this past summer, even living inside the city limits does not make us immune to wildfires.  We’ve talked in the past about defensive space between your house and flammable bushes, trees, or weeds. Now is the time to give your property a hard look again, are you ready in case wildfire gets too close to your house?  We suggest incorporating fire prevention into your annual fall clean up.  Besides the whole defensive space conversation, here are Ten Tips for Wildfire Safety:

1). Turn a light on in each room
2). Close all windows, doors and fireplace dampers
3). Remove curtains and flammable materials from windows
4). Turn off all pilot lights and shut off propane tanks and natural gas
5). Seal attic and ground vents
6). Place outside furniture inside
7). Prop a ladder against the house for easy access to roof
8). Connect garden hoses to outside taps
9). Wet the roof and shrubs within 15 feet of all structures
10). Continually check the roof, attic and yard for embers, smoke and fire for at least 12 hours

Agency News:

We had two anniversaries this past month. Michelle Meeks celebrated 19 years and Derek Moore celebrated 2 years. The two of them play a pivotal role in our Commercial Lines Department. If you’ve had a chance to work with either of them directly I think you’d agree, they are great!

As you may have seen on Facebook, the team played hooky last week and spent an afternoon at Hammer & Stain working on a Fall project. We had a great time! If you haven’t been there I’d highly recommend you go visit.

That’s all for now but stay tuned, we have some exciting things happening that we can’t wait to share! As always, thank you for your business and continued loyalty.

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What Insurance Coverage Do I Need for My Drone or UAV?

It seems like everywhere we go we have a chance to hear the sound of a UAV, also known as a drone, commonly sounding like a disturbed hornets’ nest. Drones are fun to fly for both kids and adults. They are seemingly harmless besides the risk of it becoming non-responsive due to other remote signals, the battery dying and falling out of the sky, or the control operator simply being inexperienced and crashing the drone into a parked vehicle. Many, if not most, drone operators have experienced a drone crash or close call while learning how to pilot the fun UAV. While our first concern is typically, “is my drone okay?” we should be asking ourselves the question of “What happens if I crash this into someone’s house or vehicle?”

The good news is that if you’re using your drone purely for recreational purposes and your drone is a hobby-grade drone, your home, condo or renters insurance policy likely covers you for liability from most drone usage. Now, if you’re using your drone for commercial purposes, you will absolutely need a separate insurance policy to cover you for liability for your drone. Additionally, commercial drone operators now need to pass a certification process to operate and be a commercial drone pilot.

If you’re using your drone for commercial purposes, ask your agent about a commercial general liability (CGL) insurance policy that includes drone usage.

If you’re a recreational drone pilot, talk to your local insurance agent to verify coverage before you have a claim. The best way to avoid a claim is simply prevention. Follow these tips to avoid a drone insurance claim:

  • Always fly your drone in an open space away from trees, power lines and other obstructions.
  • Be sure to follow FAA requirements and register your drone for flying.
  • Do not take your drone to restricted areas such as national parks
  • Do not harass wildlife or attempt to view wildlife up-close with your drone
  • Read your manual to ensure you’re familiar with the sounds and features that your drone has.

We want you to have fun with your drone, but also be sure you’re protected in the event you have a claim involving your drone usage. Call an agent in our office to discuss your plans before you experience a claim.

Heuer Insurance Agency in Sparks has worked with a variety of clients in the Reno area over the years and we are confident in our ability to meet your personal or business insurance needs. We understand how important an insurance policy can be and we take time to match each of our clients with the perfect insurance policy. Whether you are looking for auto insurancerenters insurancehomeowners insurance, or life insurance we can help you. Not only can we provide you with each of these personal insurance policies, but we can also help you find a general liability policy, workers compensation policy or commercial building insurance policy. Give us a call at 775-358-5554 or visit us.

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5 Things You Should Know About Getting Sued

Lawyer's fine suit coat

If you’ve recently heard the words “you’ve been served,” you more than likely have a lot of questions about what to do next. Here are 5 things you should know about getting sued, to help you prepare for the worst should a lawsuit be filed against you or your company.

  1. Don’t Admit You’re at Fault

Admitting you are at will fault will only make for a stronger case against you. While you might feel like it’s the right thing to do, you may only be partially at fault— if at all. Regardless of if you are at fault or not, admitting it to the plaintiff makes a big difference in the courtroom.

  1. Act Quickly, Make Deadlines, and Gather Documentation

One of the worst things you can do is pretend you weren’t ever served. You must act quickly as every lawsuit has strict deadlines, some of which need responses in a matter of days. If you fail to respond or file appropriate documentation before a deadline passes, the consequences can be severe.

Once you’ve addressed all the deadlines, start gathering the appropriate documentation that will be relevant to your case. Any letters, emails, photographs, contracts, invoices, or bills that can be used as evidence should be saved and photocopied.

  1. Meet with an Attorney

While you need to act quickly and address deadlines, meeting with a reputable lawyer who can guide you will definitely ease some of your stress. Ask family and friends or trusted business associates for good recommendations and do your research. If your case falls under the general liability category, you may not want to hire a divorce lawyer to represent you. And if you don’t have the funds to hire a lawyer outright, discuss possible payment options with several attorneys as they will often work with your situation.

  1. Explore Settlement, Mediation, and Countersuit Options

Some items that should be up for discussion with your attorney include settlement, formal mediation, or even filing a countersuit (though this option will likely increase tension). Keep in mind that most cases can be settled outside of the courtroom, but it is always wise to explore every option available to you.

  1. Protect Yourself with General Liability Insurance Beforehand

General liability insurance is a specific insurance that protects you or your business against liability claims for bodily injury and/or property damage. If you are sued and have this type of insurance in place, it will pay for any damages, awards, and often a portion, if not all of, the expenses. General liability insurance limits your risks and typically covers damage to properties, bodily injuries, injury related to advertising, and slander/libel or personal injury cases.

Heuer Insurance specializes in general liability in Reno, Nevada. Give us a call today to consult with an insurance specialist.

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Finding and Insuring Your Perfect Recreational Vehicle

Adventure is calling, and there is no better way to answer than with an RV. Officially known as recreational vehicles, RVs come in all shapes and sizes depending on what type of trip they’ll be used for. If you’re thinking about purchasing an RV, there are a few things you should know.

 

Finding the Perfect RV

There are many types of RVs available, from simple campers to large motorhomes. Finding the type of RV perfectly suited to you and your family’s needs may seem complicated, but here are a couple of questions you can ask yourself to help you get started:

 

Where do you plan to go in your RV? If you hope to go on simple camping trips, a smaller trailer may be best to help carry your tents and equipment. If you’re looking to traverse the country on a fairly regular basis, a motorhome can offer ease and luxury for many weeks or months of travel.

 

Do you want to cook in your RV? Some RVs offer kitchen options, while others do not. If you’d rather do your own cooking, make sure your RV comes with a small stove and refrigerator. If eating out doesn’t bother you, a smaller unit may be the way to go.

 

Who is traveling with you? The larger your family or number of traveling companions, the more room you’ll want. Make sure to take stock of how many people will generally use the RV and how much space they and their belongings will take up.

 

Finding the Perfect RV Insurance

After finding the perfect RV, it is important to make sure it is insured. Since an RV is often like a home and a vehicle combined, you’ll need to take extra care to determine what is most important to you and find a policy that meets your specific needs. Some things to consider are what you’ll keep inside the RV, where you’ll need to park it, and what extra coverage you’d like in case you encounter trouble or difficulties on your trips.

 

To learn more about finding the perfect RV insurance, contact one of our experienced agents at Heuer Insurance Agency. We’ve been serving our community since 1929 and look forward to helping you live your dreams.

What is Covered Under Workers Compensation?

workers insurance

Owning and managing a business is a huge responsibility. Thanks to workers compensation insurance, however, you can rest assured knowing you and your employees are well cared for.

 

What is Workers Comp?

 

Workers Compensation Insurance, more simply known as workers comp, is a form of insurance purchased by the business owner or employer to provide coverage of work-related injuries and illnesses sustained while on-the-job. This state-mandated program benefits employees who are hurt or fall sick as a result of the job. Workers comp also prevents employees from suing in the event of a work related injury.

 

Why Do You Need Workers Comp Insurance?

 

As an employer, you are legally responsible and liable for all of your employees. If an employee falls ill or is injured as a result of the job, it is your responsibility to provide medical and financial coverage for that individual.

 

Workers Comp provides a system that benefits both you, as the employer, and your employees. Your workers receive benefits despite who or what is at fault and you are protected from lawsuits and other legal issues surrounding the illness or injury of your employee.

 

What Does Workers Comp Cover?

 

As previously mentioned, workers comp covers only work related illnesses or injuries. One common misconception of workers comp is that coverage is only provided if the injury or illness occurs at the workplace. Wrong. As long it is job related, coverage will be provided. Even in situations like:

  • Business travel
  • Work-related errands
  • Attending work-related functions

 

Coverage is available for injuries and illnesses caused by a sudden accident or injury – like breaking a bone – and injuries that occur over an extended period of time – like carpal tunnel. Workers comp also covers illnesses that result from being exposed to pollution, chemicals, radiation, etc. Problems like heart conditions, lung disease, stress-related issues and more are also covered under workers comp.

 

Companies with workers comp are able to provide employee benefits like:

  • A steady income while the employee is not working
  • Financing medical expenses like doctor’s visits, surgeries, medication, etc.
  • Vocational rehab like training, education, job replacement assistance and more.

 

How Can You Get Workers Comp?

 

Aside from being an absolute necessity, workers comp is also very easy to purchase. First, check out your state’s mandated workers compensation system by visiting the U.S. Department of Labor website. Secondly, contact Heuer Insurance to discuss your options and become enrolled today.

 

 

 

 

Building a Cost Efficient Workforce while Your Business Is Still Growing

workplace efficiency

When you are building up a business, keeping costs down can be challenging, but staying on top of finances is especially important for start-ups.  Learning to manage the finances when your business is just starting up can greatly impact the success of your business in the long run.

 

There are many things you can do to make your new business more cost efficient, and here are a few of the most effective.

1. Understand which Positions Are Your Priorities

When you are starting up a business, it is important to consider your hiring schedule.   Determining which skill sets you need to get your business off the ground should be a priority.  This will not only facilitate an efficient hiring process but it will also aid your success as your business grows.

 

Decide which positions need to be filled right away, and work from there to build a solid team. As your business grows you may find the need for more skill sets. As these needs arise, and budget permits, you can begin hiring for those positions in order of priority too.

2. Find Balance with New Blood

Experience may be essential to the growth of a new business, however, having a staff that consists entirely of experienced workers (or experts) can come with a huge price tag.  Try combining experienced staff with promising new hires to keep costs down while helping the business run smoothly.

Interns are also a great option because they can add to your workforce without adding excessively to your costs!

3. Match Teams Carefully

Where the operation of your business requires the formation of teams, it’s important to choose people who can work well together.  Look for employees with complementary qualities to ensure that they will work as cohesively as possible.

4. Use Clear Assessment Strategies

The ability to accurately assess your employees (in terms of skills and performance) will greatly enhance the overall efficiency of your business, and even your work environment. This is because it allows you to plan for, and utilize, individual and group skill sets in ways specific to the operations of your company. Doing so will ultimately benefit both your employees, in terms of job satisfaction, and your company in terms of efficiency.

5. Treat Your Employees Well

If your employees are satisfied in their jobs, they will be more likely to perform well in the tasks they are set.  If you are providing safe and productive environment for your employees, one where they feel valued, they will likely respond accordingly.

 

These are a few of the best things you can do to improve cost efficiency in a growing business.  For more information on how you can improve your business, visit the Heuer Insurance website today.

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2 Types of Insurance Every Small Business Must Have

There is insurance out there that can cover literally every aspect of your business. It’s important to get your insurance tailored to the specific needs of your small business, so that you’re not overpaying on insurance that you don’t need, or worse, missing out on coverage that you do need.

It’s a good idea to get several insurance agents to conduct a risk analysis—it’s free and they will probably be able to pin point risks that you hadn’t thought of. However, here are 2 basic types of business insurance that every small business needs, no matter who you are, no matter what you do.

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