Owner and Agent Matthew Jones discusses the details of commercial property and the necessary insurance to protect your assets. 

The importance of Commercial Property Insurance

Commercial property insurance is a type of insurance policy that provides coverage for businesses and organizations against financial losses due to damage or loss of their physical assets. These assets can include buildings, equipment, inventory, furniture, fixtures, and other property owned or used by the business.

Commercial property insurance typically covers various perils such as fire, theft, vandalism, natural disasters (like earthquakes, hurricanes, and floods), and other unexpected events that may cause damage to the insured property. The coverage can vary based on the specific policy and the needs of the business.

Contact us for all of your personal and business insurance needs.

Since opening our doors we have grown not only with the policies we write and the carriers we offer but also with our respect and trust in the community. We build relationships with each customer as they entrust us to protect them, their family and assets with the appropriate insurance coverage. It’s a point of pride for us to sit down each of our customers to learn more about their journey so we can offer the best insurance protection.

Watch to learn about the importance of general liability insurance for businesses.

In this video, Owner and Agent Matthew Jones discusses the importance of general liability insurance for businesses. He explains how general liability covers more than just slip and fall accidents, including protection against lawsuits for faulty work, and also touches on professional liability, such as malpractice insurance for doctors, and errors and omissions coverage for insurance agents. If you’re starting a business, it’s crucial to understand the different types of liability insurance you may need to protect your business from potential lawsuits. 

Contact us for all of your personal and business insurance needs.

Since opening our doors we have grown not only with the policies we write and the carriers we offer but also with our respect and trust in the community. We build relationships with each customer as they entrust us to protect them, their family and assets with the appropriate insurance coverage. It’s a point of pride for us to sit down each of our customers to learn more about their journey so we can offer the best insurance protection.

The Importance of Having the Right Workers’ Compensation Coverage For Your Business

When you run a business, having the right insurance is extremely important. You can avoid so many financial burdens and protect your budget when you work with us for business insurance in Punta Gorda, FL, and throughout the state. One of the most important coverage options that all businesses must have is workers compensation.

Protect Your Employees

Whether you have 20 employees or 20,000, these people rely on your business for an income. If an employee is injured on the job and cannot work, it can be impossible for them to keep up with medical bills and still provide for their families. Having good quality workers’ compensation ensures that employees have a safety net if they are injured on the job. This can also help them recover more quickly so that they can return to work because they don’t have to worry about medical bills.

Protect Your Business

When an employee is hurt on the job, the business is held responsible. If you have good workers’ compensation coverage, you won’t have to worry about paying for medical bills out of your business’ pocket. Paying a small premium for coverage now means you won’t have to pay an exorbitant sum later.

When you need workers’ compensation coverage or any other type of business insurance for your company, rely on the agents at Jones Family Insurance. We will help you find a policy that meets your needs at a competitive rate. Contact us, Jones Family Insurance, today to get started.

The Importance of Having the Right Workers’ Compensation Coverage For Your Business – Insurance in Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda, North Port, Cape Coral, Fort Myers Florida

What you need to know about remote working risks

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has suddenly turned working from home from a privilege to a necessity.

While you’re helping keep employees healthy and productive (and employed), you must also consider the potential liability of remote work.

From a safety perspective, you need to know:

  • what your business insurance covers when employees are working remotely, and
  • how to ensure you’re protected against losses from worker injuries, data breaches, business property damage, and more.

Let’s review some of the biggest risks of stay-at-home workers, and how to guard against them.

What if an employee is injured or gets sick while working from home?

Most states require businesses with employees to carry workers’ compensation insurance. This policy covers lost wages and medical bills for employees who are injured or become ill on the job. It also covers lawsuit costs if an injured employee sues your business.

While workers’ comp laws vary by state, the insurance generally covers telecommuters. If a remote employee is injured at home and files a claim, they must prove that the incident occurred during business hours while performing work duties.

It’s unlikely a remote employee who contracts COVID-19 could prove they became ill because of their job. But If you have a coronavirus-related claim, call your insurance agent to verify workers’ comp laws in your geographic area and the terms of your policy.

These guidelines may not apply to every person working from home for your business. Contractors (1099 workers) and freelancers are not eligible for benefits under your workers’ compensation policy.

How to protect remote workers from cyberattacks and data breaches

Nearly 90% of IT leaders feel that virtual employees may not be secure working from their home network. Their pessimism is justified.

When employees work from home, the threat of cyberattacks and data breaches skyrockets. To protect your business and remote workers from cyberattacks like hacking, malware, or phishing, make sure employees:

  • access company applications and resources through an encrypted virtual private network (VPN)
  • have updated antivirus and firewall software on their computers
  • use strong passwords and regularly change them
  • lock their computers and mobile devices when they take breaks
  • know how to identify and avoid phishing attempts and other scams

You can also consider password managers or SSO (single sign-on) software across your company to authenticate users and reduce vulnerabilities.

How to minimize losses if your company is the victim of a cyberattack

If a malicious software attack or data breach does occur on a remote employee’s work computer, cyber liability insurance will cover the damages.

This insurance comes in two varieties:

  • First-party cyber liability insurance covers damages from a data breach on your own systems. This includes the costs of notifying affected customers and paying for credit and fraud monitoring.
  • Third-party cyber liability insurance provides protection when a data breach compromises your clients’ systems and information. The coverage applies whether it happens at your place of business or remotely. If a client sues your business over a data breach, third-party cyber liability insurance will pay for attorney’s fees, court costs, and any damages.

For IT businesses, most insurance providers will bundle both types of cyber liability policies with technology errors and omissions insurance.

Commercial property insurance may not cover remote business assets

If you have equipment, inventory, or other assets you want to protect, having commercial property insurance is a must. This coverage reimburses you for business property that is lost, damaged, or stolen from your office.

But does this policy cover items as you and your workers make the transition to remote work? It depends.

Many remote employees aren’t covered while working from home. Standard commercial property insurance generally covers property that is on the premises of your office or facility. But it may exclude or significantly reduce coverage for property away from the office.

Double-check that your commercial property insurance covers business property used off-site by remote workers. An employee’s homeowner’s insurance policy typically won’t pay to replace a business-owned laptop that was stolen or damaged outside the office.

Ensure you have the right insurance for employees, data, and equipment

As you adjust to shelter-in-place and stay-at-home orders to prevent the spread of COVID-19, you may need to adapt to remote work for the long haul.

Talk to your insurance agent at Jones Family Insurance to make sure you have the proper coverage to protect against telecommuting risks. Having to pay out of pocket for uncovered losses will only cause your business more financial hardship down the line.

Jones Family Insurance – Serving Punta Gorda, Cape Coral and Fort Myers Florida

Professional liability and errors and omissions insurance both protect businesses from expensive lawsuits caused by unsatisfactory work. The language used may differ by industry.


Professional liability vs. E&O vs. malpractice insurance

Many industries use the terms “E&O insurance” and “professional liability insurance” interchangeably. You may also hear these policies called “malpractice insurance.”

Common industry names for this policy include:

  • Professional liability insurance for architects, accountants, and consultants
  • E&O insurance in the real estate and IT sectors
  • Malpractice insurance in the medical and legal professions

No matter the name, this coverage protects you from lawsuits if you make a work mistake, fail to complete a project, miss a deadline, or are accused of professional negligence.

How professional liability insurance protects your business

Businesses that provide professional services typically need professional liability / E&O coverage because those services come with risks. A client could hold your business liable for:

  • breach of contract
  • work oversights or errors
  • providing substandard or incomplete work
  • missed deadlines

If these professional mistakes result in financial losses for a client, they could sue to recoup expenses. Professional liability / E&O insurance helps cover:

  • attorney fees
  • court costs
  • settlements or judgments

Even if there was nothing wrong with the quality of your work, a difficult or dissatisfied client could sue your business over a perceived problem. In that case, you might win the lawsuit but still have to pay attorney fees and court costs out of pocket. Without professional liability / E&O insurance, a lawsuit could present a major financial difficulty for your business.

Learn more at Jones Family Insurance – Serving Punta Gorda and Fort Myers

Types of Fleet Insurance Coverage

Both federal and state laws require all fleet vehicles to have commercial fleet insurance, specifically liability insurance. This covers bodily injury, property damage or a combination in the event your drivers are at fault for any accident.

  • Bodily injury liability coverage pays for any injuries or death associated with an accident for which your business is at fault. Often, this coverage includes legal defense.
  • Property damage liability coverage provides protection if one of your vehicles damages another person’s property.
  • Combined single limit (CSL) coverage is a type of policy that attaches the same dollar amount of coverage for any instance, whether bodily injury and property damage.

Each state has its own requirements regarding the minimum quantities of liability coverage a business must have. Researching your state’s requirements is the best way to stay compliant and avoid fines.

While fleet insurance requirements are focused on liability coverage, there are many types of insurance to protect your fleet. When choosing a policy, consider looking for one that encompasses both liability and any specialized coverage your fleet may need. Here are some of the types of coverage to consider including on your fleet insurance plan:

Fleet-Insurance-Jones family Insurance - Fort Myers Florida

Fleet-Insurance-Jones family Insurance – Fort Myers Florida

Physical Damage Coverage

Picture this: you come into work the night after a hail storm. Three of your vehicles have cracked windshields. While liability insurance covers accidents caused by your drivers, this type of accident isn’t covered.

Physical damage insurance protects your vehicles from weather events, theft, vandalism and other events that harm your vehicles. All types of assets can benefit from this coverage.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

It’s an unfortunate reality, but many drivers on the road are uninsured. If one of your vehicles is involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist, this type of coverage can protect your assets and avoid your business paying out of pocket for any repairs or medical expenses.

Collision Coverage

The more vehicles in your fleet, the greater the risk of accidents! Having collision coverage in your fleet insurance policy protects you from costly repairs when your vehicles are hit by another car or object.

Learn more at Jones Family Insurance. Serving Punta Gorda and Fort Myers Florida

Protecting your Business from Pandemic Scams

Many offices have successfully transitioned from in-office to a work-from-home system. It’s been a successful experiment for a lot of businesses, as they’ve quickly transitioned their entire business from in-person to virtual in just a matter of months. As the pandemic continues, it’s clear that many businesses will have to keep at least a partial work-from-home set up for their employees. It’s definitely worth celebrating your business successfully adapting to the challenges of the pandemic, but there is still a lot of work ahead to keep your business safe from bad actors taking advantage of the situation.


Protecting Your Office (At Home)

Most people who worked in offices are now working from their homes. Hackers and bad actors will try to take advantage of this situation in order to steal data, hack accounts or steal money directly. Here are a few things you can do to protect your employees and business.

  1. Keep your work and personal hardware separate. Give employees a secure laptop that they can work on. Hire an IT firm to set this up for you. If you don’t already have the infrastructure in place, it may seem like a big investment, but the alternative (having data or money stolen) can be far worse. Plus, many experts predict that working from home will remain prevalent even after the pandemic is over.
  2. Check your home wifi to make sure it’s secure. This one will also require the help of an IT expert who will give instructions to your employees on how to secure their wifi connection. Even if you aren’t working from home, cyber crime is on the rise during the pandemic so hiring some IT help to secure your home can be worth it.


Fake Websites and Emails

Always check the website URL before entering your log in information. One popular age old scam is receiving an email from a company you do business with asking you to click a link to check something. Most people click the link and immediately try to log in to check whatever it is. Be careful. Check the exact email address that the email was sent from and make sure it’s familiar to you. Then, instead of clicking the link provided in the email, search for the website using Google and log in from there. You can then hover over the email link to see if the URL matches the URL from your Google search to determine if it’s authentic. If something doesn’t add up, delete the email.


One note for people still using Live.com, hotmail and Yahoo email addresses: I’ve noticed that these mail service has been particularly poor and filtering spam compared to email services like Google. If you are still using one of these mail services, be especially careful as many scams seem to escape their filters.


Scam Calls

According to a report by nextcaller.com. Scam calls to financial institutions are up 50% since the start of the pandemic. These are bad actors (often starting the scam with a robo call) who are looking for a crack in your business. If your bank calls with a fraud alert, listen to the message, hang up, then independently Google the phone number for your bank. If it’s a real person, do not engage or give any personal information, even if they seem friendly. And, you cannot rely on the caller ID or contact in your phone. For example, if you have Citibank’s number saved and your iPhone shows the call is from Citibank, this is not a reliable way to verify the call is real. Scammers can easily spoof Citibank’s real number while calling from a completely different number. Always hang up and call back from a number you are sure is authentic.

And, if you receive a bill from a company you do business with, don’t just pay it. Call the company first using contact information you can confirm to be authentic. There have been incidences reported where a company has paid a bill for the exact amount they owe, only to find out later they paid scammers.

This isn’t a complete list, but hopefully these tips prove helpful as you navigate this new normal for businesses.

Contact us at Jones Family Insurance. Serving clients from North Port, Fl to Fort Myers, Fl!

Why Do Contractors Need Insurance?

As a contractor, you work hard for your customers. You make sure they get the results they were going for, and that all your work is done at the highest level of professionalism. Your customers know they can trust you to care for what they value, and to be a serious professional. Whether you’re installing a light, fixing a broken drain, or renovating a kitchen, you take your work seriously and give it your all.

Contractor’s insurance enables you to focus on your work without distractions. Contractor insurance gives you the confidence to take on big jobs, and to succeed.  And contractors liability insurance is one more way you show your customers that you’re a professional and have taken steps to make sure that you’re covered, even in the unlikely situation that something goes wrong. General liability insurance for contractors enables you to thrive, with the awareness that you have great coverage behind you on every job, every day. Contractor’s insurance is a must for anyone who works with residential and commercial buildings, such as general contractors, handymen, carpenters, electricians, plumbers and more.

Why Do Contractors Need Insurance?

Is Contractors Insurance Required By Law?

Depending on where you work, general liability contractors insurance can be required by law, as a minimum insurance coverage for contracting business. Regulations regarding contractor insurance vary by state and even by city. We recommend you check your local guidelines for exact legal requirements. Even so, we believe general liability contractor insurance is a good idea for any business.

Why Do I Need Contractors Insurance?

Contractors liability insurance offers your business protection and peace of mind for even the unpredictable parts of life and being a business owner. With the right independent contractor insurance, you can do your work and focus on the job at hand without fear of what could happen or worry about if something goes wrong.

What’s The Impact On Your Business?

Customers want a contractor who’s confident. Contractor general liability insurance is one way you can show them that you have an edge on your competition, with a serious insurance policy and certificate of insurance for contractors, just like they’d expect. When you have affordable contractors insurance which you can pay monthly, the impact on your profitability is small, while the impact on your level of professionalism is huge. Insurance for self-employed contractors proves to your customers that not only will you do your job properly, but you’ll take care of them even in the unlikely case of an accident.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) recently issued new guidance regarding the Payment Protection Program (PPP), established to offset the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Small businesses can request loans from the PPP to help cover payroll costs. This new guidance from the SBA concerns employees who refuse to return to work after a business reopens.
Small businesses can request loans from the PPP to be used as wages for employees, up to 2.5 times the average monthly payroll. Using the funds this way makes the loan entirely forgivable. The catch is that the business must rehire the same number of full-time employees that it used to calculate the PPP loan amount.
The problem is that many employers don’t necessarily need all those staff members to return, especially if operations have been slowed. Furthermore, some employees may not even want to return—and not necessarily for coronavirus concerns. Some employees might be making more with unemployment benefits and don’t want to lose them by returning to work.
What’s New
The SBA understands some employees may not wish to return for a number of reasons, so it issued new guidance. As long as businesses “make a good faith” effort to rehire employees—and explain that they may lose their unemployment eligibility by not returning—the businesses would not face a penalty under that portion of the loan.
Employers should carefully document any communication with employees in case they refuse to return to work and evidence is needed when requesting PPP loan forgiveness.
Read the full text of the guidance below:
Question: Will a borrower’s PPP loan forgiveness amount (pursuant to section 1106 of the CARES Act and SBA’s implementing rules and guidance) be reduced if the borrower laid off an employee, offered to rehire the same employee, but the employee declined the offer?
Answer: No. As an exercise of the Administrator’s and the Secretary’s authority under Section 1106(d)(6) of the CARES Act to prescribe regulations granting de minimis exemptions from the Act’s limits on loan forgiveness, SBA and Treasury intend to issue an interim final rule excluding laid-off employees whom the borrower offered to rehire (for the same salary/wages and same number of hours) from the CARES Act’s loan forgiveness reduction calculation. The interim final rule will specify that, to qualify for this exception, the borrower must have made a good faith, written offer of rehire, and the employee’s rejection of that offer must be documented by the borrower. Employees and employers should be aware that employees who reject offers of reemployment may forfeit eligibility for continued unemployment compensation.
For more information, visit SBA.gov.