What kind of liability risks does a small business face in Ontario?

Running a small business doesn’t come without its own set of risks. It’s unfortunate, but small businesses are especially sensitive to certain risks due to their lack of experience and limited financial resources. Identifying these risks is the first step to addressing and managing them.

Many insurance companies offer the comprehensive commercial general liability insurance Ontario businesses need to protect themselves against liability risks that may threaten the operations of their company. Depending on that business, more than simply CGL insurance may be required to protect against prospect exposures. Let’s go over some of the most common liability risks faced by small businesses insurance Ontario.

Customer or employee injuries

Slips and falls are more common than you’d think, and as long as you have a physical presence or interact with clients, vendors, or even window-shoppers on any level, there’s a risk that someone might be injured. This risk doesn’t just apply to your place of business, either. Injuries can happen at a client’s home while an employee of yours is there doing work.

Some industries are obviously more at-risk than others. Amusement parks, petting zoos, retail stores, go-kart tracks, recreational facilities, bars, clubs, etc. might see higher claims made for bodily injuries. It pays to know the kind of risks your business might be more prevalent to and take necessary measures to protecting your work.

While a CGL policy will cover injuries to third-parties not employed by your business, it won’t cover any employee injuries. You’ll need a worker’s compensation insurance policy to protect your business for costs relating to your employees’ injuries or illness, which offers a settlement in exchange for an agreement not to sue or, if your employee sues, any consequential court costs. Ask a broker about how to further insure yourself for injuries to employees.

Property damage

Property damage can happen in a number of different ways. It can take place on your business property – i.e., imagine a waitress of yours serving a client and they bump the client’s elbow, causing them to drop their phone on the floor. The phone cracks. The client sues for damages.

It can also take place at a client’s home. You have a subcontractor working on a repair job in someone’s bathroom, and they drop a hammer. The hammer cracks the tiled floor, and the client sues for damages.

An expensive example of property damage liability would be if you were an autobody repair shop owner and someone brought their car in for a maintenance job. While being lifted up on the hydraulic plate, an employee accidentally drops the client’s car too soon and the car crashes down, resulting in significant and possibly very expensive damages. The client might sue.

Companies that deal with client’s property or go to client homes need to be aware of how to mitigate the risk of property damage. Proper training, attention to detail, and rigorous hiring processes can go a long way to prevent this risk.

Product malfunction or defect

If your business deals in the offering of a product, whether that’s a physical product that it manufactures, sells, or even a food/beverage product that it cooks, mixes, or bakes, there’s the risk that product might malfunction and cause harm.

Product liability insurance can cover damages or injuries/illnesses due to product malfunction if the product is assembled or manufactured wrong as well as if there’s a flaw in the design of the product, resulting in the injuries or illnesses caused.

Product recall insurance goes together with product liability, covering the costs of returning the products back to the original distributor, disposing safely of the product, and notifying customers of the recall. It can also help to recoup your reputation following a recall event.

Security risk

Cyber risk can impose huge risks to small businesses and their finances, and even cause reputational injury to a smaller business as a result of a failure in their computer systems.

As technology advances, so does the threat of security risk. Hackers know how to break into sensitive systems through weak spots – employee emails, insecure networks, personal data thieved from workers, etc. The combination of more data being utilized online and hackers gaining traction presents a potent security risk. This must be actively monitored and dealt with via sophisticated security protocols. Cyber risk insurance can also help protect your business if an attack does happen.

In most instances, all these risks would be covered by insurance – the right insurance. Work with a broker to determine a sufficient coverage plan for your business.…

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Your Guide to Home Insurance Brokers

If you just purchased your dream home or you’re in the process of putting together the plan to buy it, there are a lot of angles and technicalities to consider.

One of the most important things to consider before buying a house is home insurance.

Don’t panic about how difficult the process of shopping, comparing, and buying an insurance policy is, all you need to do is hire a home insurance broker and you will be all set.

Here is your guide for home insurance as well as home insurance brokers.

What is Home Insurance?

Insurance in itself is similar to having a safety net underneath you just in case you fall, even if you are certain you will not. Home insurance is one of those safety nets you need to get to keep your house protected from any kind of damage due to reasons beyond your control.

At the same time, home insurance is more than just a safety net, it’s a necessity for any homeowner who wants to get mortgage approval.

It’s also a necessity even if you’ve fully purchased your house in cases of heft or a natural disaster that damages your home and could dig a hole in your bank account without proper coverage.

What Does a Home Insurance Policy Provide?

If you’re wondering what home insurance can give you in return for that monthly or yearly payment, the answer is longer than you think.

Home insurance can provide you with financial support in cases of damages due to vandalism, natural causes like hurricanes and lightning, and any other disasters. The compensation would cover all costs to fix or even rebuild your home. Even the contents of your home are covered in cases of flooding, for example.

Liability coverage in home insurance covers expenses when faced with lawsuits filed by others for damages or injury that occurred on your property.

A homeowner policy would also provide you with alternate residence if your house is being fixed or rebuilt, also known as additional living expenses, which even cover restaurant meals and other expenses due to having your home damaged somehow.

This sums up the types of home insurance coverages into three; actual cash value, replacement cost, and guaranteed replacement cost/value.

Why Is Home Insurance Important?

  1. Financial Protection

The most important thing that comes from insurance is money you won’t be able to pay when your home is damaged or stolen. Repairs or rebuilding a home is very expensive but with insurance, you won’t have to worry about a thing.

  • Getting a Mortgage

Almost all mortgage companies have it as a requirement to have home insurance before you get approved for a loan because the house is the mortgage lender’s security on the loan.

That’s why it would make sense for the lender to protect their financial interest by requiring the property to be insured from damage.

  • Home Emergencies

There are always unexpected emergencies that can occur around the house which can be covered by insurance such as a burst pipe, damaged roof, etc.

  • Natural Disaster Coverage

Getting a comprehensive home insurance policy will have you protected from losses and damages caused by natural calamities such as floods, earthquakes, storms, typhoons, etc.

Additionally, it can cover things occurring from malicious intent like damages from vandalism, theft, strikes, riots, etc.

  • Personal Belongings Protection

Your home insurance policy also protects items inside your house such as electronic appliances, furniture, electric items, etc, which can be lost due to theft or a natural disaster.

What Is a Home Insurance Broker?

Now that you know all about home insurance, you should also get to know the means to make sure you get the best home insurance policy out there.

A home insurance broker can either be an individual or a company and their role is to be an intermediary between yourself and a home insurer.

Their insurance knowledge and experience guarantee to find you the best policy that meets your needs and at the best price.

Home Insurance Broker vs. Independent Insurance Agent

Many people confuse the concept of a home insurance broker and an independent insurance agent, but they are quite different.

The main difference between a home insurance broker and an independent insurance agent is that a broker represents the customer while the insurance agent represents the insurance company.

This means that a home insurance broker works in your best interest as a consumer by giving you all insurance policy options without bias.

 On the other hand, an independent agent can represent one or more insurance companies and work in their best interest instead of yours.

Who Needs a Home Insurance Broker?

Every homeowner looking to get their house insured will need to hire a home insurance broker, however, there are specific cases who will be even more inclined to do so.

Homeowners whose houses have specific …

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The Different Types Of Commercial Insurance Brokers in Belleville

The commercial insurance being one of the most specialized branches in the field of insurance, it is barely understood in Belleville and the world at large. Few people seeking to take out this type of insurance should be aware that there are several types of commercial insurance brokers in Belleville. Each has its own specific ways to operate, limitations and strengths. Here is a look at the types of commercial insurance brokers you should expect to find in Belleville.

Insurer-owned brokers

The most widespread and prolific sub-section of the commercial insurance market in Belleville has to be insurer-owned companies. In fact, many of the best-known commercial insurance fall under this category. The outfits are owned by large insurance companies just as the name suggests. They dictate their practices and standards.

For decades, this model has been considered the industry standard for commercial brokers, however, the effectiveness of these types of outfits have dwindled in recent years. Experts explain that this model might be outdated and it is predicted that insurer-owned commercial insurance broker will completely lose ground in the coming years.

Broker networks

Brokers networks are made of several small commercial insurance brokers which share assets, market opportunities and resources between them. Companies that decide to join one of these networks find the model more beneficial. They advertise better commissions for individual brokers and service conditions for all companies. However, adhesion for broker networks has always been uneven in Belleville and other locations worldwide.

Consolidated brokers

Such result from one company assimilating, consolidating or buying out any number of smaller ones, in similar fashion to a corporate merger. At some point, these types of companies were the most popular type of brokers in different markets, with consolidations happening almost every week. The fact that the exact benefits to be enjoyed from consolidation processes are not always clear is the reason why the practice has lost steam. However, this is still one of the most sought after model.

Independent brokers

The independent brokers are the type of brokers not associated with either of the three types of commercial insurance brokers in Belleville described above. They are smaller than the rest, usually family or owner-run companies. They normally work with smaller and more personalized customer bases. They are popular in Belleville since they focus on less explored or more specialized areas of the field.

This works best for clients who prefer a more personalized service. You can expect more time to be devoted to each case and enjoy a higher rate of face-to-face interactions. Since most residents of Belleville prefer a more personalized interaction with insurance providers, this type of company becomes the most preferred and still tends to attract a loyal customer base.

That said, the above are, in broad strokes, the main types of commercial insurance brokers you will find in Belleville. Therefore, it is up to a client to work out which type of business configuration would be suitable for the specific needs to avoid being part of commercial business brokers in Belleville that don’t favor the business.…

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What is Share Price

share-priceFrom my experience with stock market investing, it is important to start with the basics. That is why our discussion will begin with the topic of share price (which is also known as stock price). Although share price is by no means an easy topic to cover, it is a core principle in stock market investing. Without a good understanding of share price, it will be nearly impossible to successfully invest in the stock market.

That said, what is share price? In its most basic and commonly used form, a share price is the current market value of a single share of stock that issued by a corporation (for more information about stock and what stock represents, please visit our What are Stocks page). There are several ways to find the share price for a company. One of my favorite sources for share price information is Google Finance. Here is an example of the current share price for the stock symbol AAPL. The current share price is located just below the name of the company Apple, Inc.

On its own the share price does not tell us much about whether or not a stock is worth buying. Sometimes the share price is high for a company, and other times it is low. You should never assume that a high share price is a good thing or that a low share price is bad.  You may be asking yourself if the share price on its own does not tell us much about whether or not a stock is worth buying, then why is it important? The answer is that when the share price is taken into consideration along with other metrics like an organization’s earnings, it becomes one of the best tools for finding “value”. Value is what drives whether or not a stock is worth buying and is thus the key to successful stock market investing.

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What You Need To Know About Beta Coefficient

Have you ever wondered how you can quickly and easily determine the risk of a stock or stock portfolio? You can start by doing a little bit of research on the beta coefficient of investments that you are considering. The beta coefficient of a stock or stock portfolio is the measure of volatility of a stock or stock portfolio’s return versus that of the rest of the market. Typically the ‘rest of the market’ is a benchmark index which has a set beta of 1.

For example, if you are interested in a stock that has a beta coefficient of 2 (which is double the benchmark index of 1) then the stock is likely to move twice as much as the benchmark index. It’s important to note that the direction of the movement is not isolated to positive movements. In other words, the stock may climb twice as fast as the benchmark index during positive market movements, but it also might fall twice as fast as the benchmark index during negative market movements. Therefore, a higher beta coefficient means that a stock or portfolio is more volatile and a lower beta coefficient means that a stock is less volatile.

The beta coefficient can be a quick and easy way for an investor to gauge the risk of a stock or stock portfolio. Although the beta coefficient is a excellent metric to reference, you should always look at a variety of metrics when determining whether or not a stock or portfolio fits your investment objectives.…

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Death Star IPOs: How To Cash-in on IPO Mania

An IPO is an acronym that stands for ‘initial public offering’. IPOs represent the first time that an organization sells shares of stock on the public market. IPOs are typically used by organizations to raise capital, but can also be used to increase exposure, gain notoriety, and increase liquidity. Many times organizations that file for IPOs are small, but large private organizations can also file for IPOs.

In today’s complex business environment, high potential fast growth start-ups seem to find capital without the need for filing an IPO. Many of these organizations have been called ‘Death Star IPOs’. Death Star IPOs are highly anticipated IPOs with significant upside potential. Some companies that fit the profile of Death Star IPOs include Google, Yahoo, LinkedIn, and Pandora. Facebook could also become a Death Star IPO, although some investors think that ship has sailed.

How can you cash-in on IPO mania? Pay close attention to highly anticipated IPOs. Look out for names of organizations that seem to get a lot of media attention. It is also important to pay attention to the fundamentals of that organization. Although Death Star IPOs have strong short-term upside potential, if you’re looking for a long-term stock pick you shouldn’t just get caught up in the mania. Speculation can destroy your principle.…

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Top 3 Investor Mistakes

1If you’re new to the world of stock market investing, you might not be familiar with some of the common mistakes made by investors.  Although these mistakes have been made over-and-over again, and although these mistakes have been written about time-and-time again, stock investors continue to ignore these common pitfalls. This post will bring these pitfalls to light so that you can avoid making the same mistakes.

3. Overconfidence – It is natural for investors to gain confidence as their experience increases. And, confidence is not a bad thing! However, getting too confident can actually blind you. You don’t want to miss important trends in the market because your head is in the clouds.

2. No Plan or Objective – Why risk your hard-earned investment dollars by simply hoping for the best? Create an investment plan and objective. Why are you investing in the first place? What is your risk tolerance? This certainly doesn’t have to be 100-page document. However, you need to have some sort of guide to help you reach your end goal.

1. Emotional Investing – Don’t let your emotions take over. If you invest in a relatively strong and stable stock but happen to get your timing wrong, don’t jump ship just because the share price lost value. Create a plan for buying down the share price. Or, set limits for your losses.

Evade the trap. By avoiding these common mistakes early on in your investing career, you will be on your way to investing with success.…

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Share Price Bubbles: What you Need to Know

Share prices can easily become subject to bubbles. One of the most notable share price bubbles in recent history resulted in the stock market crash of 2001. Another recent (and painfully notable) price bubble occurred in the housing market in 2007. That bubble triggered the Global Financial Crisis of 2007 – 2009. For the most part, bubbles eventually correct themselves and prices do stabilize. However, if you get caught in the hysteria you may end up with empty pockets.

Share price bubbles are very difficult to identify at the macro level. However, the easiest way to spot a share price bubble in a specific stock is to scrutinize the fundamentals of the corporations issuing the stock. Compare metrics like the corporation’s P/E Ratio to that of a market index like the S&P 500. Is the P/E Ratio for the company significantly above the ratio for the index? If so, this may be a sign that the share price for a corporation is overvalued and that a price bubble exists.

Another way to spot share price bubbles is to be realistic about the growth potential of a corporation. Since the fair value of a share is often determined using the Discounted Cash Flow method of valuation, and since this method requires assumptions related to growth potential, make sure that investors are realistic about growth expectations. If you determine that growth expectations for a corporation seem grossly overstated, then that may be a sign to stay out (or get out if you hold the stock). These are just a few examples of how you might be able to identify market hype and profit from it.…

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What is Bid and Ask Price

bid_ask-300x178The bid price and ask price  are two of the most quoted, yet at the same time least understood, share price metrics available to stock market investors. Together the two price metrics give birth to a more complex metric called the bid-ask spread, but for now the focus will be on the basic price metrics.

In the context of stock markets, the bid price is the highest share price that a buyer is willing to pay for stock of a corporation at a specific time. The prevailing bid price is also the price that an investor must pay if he wishes to purchase a given share of stock. For example, if the current share price for a security is $100.00 and the current bid price is $100.05, an investor will have to pay $100.05  for each share. In contrast to the bid price, the ask price is the lowest share price at which a seller is willing to sell stock of a corporation at any given time. The prevailing ask price is also the price at which an investor must offer her stock if she wishes to sell it. The difference between the bid price and ask price is called the bid-ask spread.

Neither the bid price nor the ask price alone tells  much about whether or not an investor should invest in a given stock. However, when taken together the bid price and ask price give birth to the bid-ask spread, which can give helpful signals. The bid-ask spread will be covered in more detail in a future post. For now just remember that you will pay the bid price if you wish to purchase stock and will offer your stock at the ask price if you wish to sell it.…

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