What Types of Businesses Need Commercial Insurance?

Most businesses need insurance. After all, even the most successful ones come with a variety of risks. All it takes is one big liability claim to send a once-successful venture into financial ruin. So if you own or run a business in Georgia, you should consider getting the protection of commercial insurance (also known as business insurance). 

At The Insurance Mart, located in Blue Ridge, GA, we help prevent local business owners across the region from having to pay for claims out of their own pockets. But what types of businesses actually need commercial insurance?

Most Businesses Need Commercial Insurance

If you have a store or offer any sort of in-person service to customers, you definitely need commercial insurance (slip and fall claims are very real!) Likewise, any services performed that affect property (such as construction, home cleaning, maintenance, etc.) need coverage.

Because the risks are even greater for food and beverage operations, these businesses will need specialized commercial restaurant insurance. 

What About Personal Businesses or Self-Employed People?

If you’re the only employee in your business, it’s easy to think you don’t need any kind of insurance. While it’s true that a big commercial policy will not be the right fit for you, that doesn’t mean you’re without risk. Give us a call to discuss the specifics of your business and what kind of coverage needs you may have. 

What Does Georgia Law Say?

Georgia business owners are only required under state law to have workers compensation insurance if they have three employees or more. Full commercial or business insurance is not required, but it is recommended. 

It’s also worth pointing out that all business-owned vehicles in Georgia are required to have commercial insurance. If you drive a personal vehicle for work, you should look into hired and non-owned auto insurance, which is similar. While separate from your regular business insurance policy, a commercial policy will cover you in situations that a regular auto policy may not. For example, if you are transporting some materials for your business and those materials accidentally cause damage, regular auto insurance most likely isn’t going to cut it. 

To learn more about how your business can benefit from commercial insurance, call the experts at The Insurance Mart or come visit us at our Blue Ridge, GA offices.

Understanding Georgia Minimum Auto Insurance Requirements

While you have to get auto insurance in order to register your car in Georgia, the minimum requirements for a valid policy may leave you spending more money than you expect when you need insurance the most. At The Insurance Mart servicing Blue Ridge, GA we take the time to make sure you get the coverage you really want, need, and can afford.

Minimum Liability Pays Them–Not You

A minimum auto insurance policy provides you with protection in the event that you cause an accident. The driver of the other vehicle will be paid up to $25,000 for their medical bills and up to $25,000 to fix their car and property. It does not help you get your car back on the road or take care of your injuries. While this is valuable protection for your bank account, it may not really provide the assistance you need to carry on with your busy life.

Get Your Ride Fixed when You Add Collision and Comprehensive

If you want to make sure that you can afford to get your vehicle fixed after a fender bender, consider adding collision or comprehensive protection to your policy. You will still pay your deductible on each claim, but your insurance can help to defray the cost of a new bumper, replacing a wheel, and erasing the damage with a new paint job.

Fact Check: Will the Minimum Cover Their Costs?

Finally, you must consider if the minimum protections will actually take care of the other people affected by the event. If your Blue Ridge, GA neighbors all drive fancy sports cars or SUVs, and their vehicle is totaled by your actions, you could end up paying the additional cost of replacing their ride. Talk to your agent at The Insurance Mart to make sure your auto insurance has all the protection you really need.

I’m Healthy. Why Do I need Health Insurance?

Health insurance has benefits for everyone, regardless of whether a person is sick or well. As a healthy person, it may be difficult to understand the benefits of paying for something that you don’t get to use much. However, the benefits are many. It can create peace of mind in the event of some unexpected and unfortunate sickness or accident that requires medical care. It can also help with the cost of routine health visits as well as other preventative medical priorities.

What Does Health Insurance Cover

Health insurance typically covers doctor and emergency room visits, in addition to specialist treatments. Most insurance holders typically pay a small preset portion of the cost of these visits int the form of a co-pay. In essence, health insurance protects you from pricey medical costs. You pay less for covered in-network healthcare, even before you meet your deductible. The Insurance Mart of Blue Ridge GA can walk you through all the benefits that investing in health insurance can provide for you. 

Three Undeniable Benefits

Three benefits distinguish themselves when it comes to health insurance. First and foremost, health insurance allows you to see a doctor instead of visiting the emergency room every time you have a health issue. Often, people without health insurance use the emergency room to address their health issues because they don’t have health insurance and can’t see a doctor. Secondly, health insurance allows you o practice preventative care. Routine health visits to your doctor help keep you well and prevent illnesses. The uninsured usually wait until they get sick to address a health issue. This can be quite costly. Last of all, health insurance gives you access to better rates for healthcare. The uninsured pay the most for healthcare because they don’t have insurance to bring the cost down. Health insurance gives you access to some of the best negotiated rates. 

Call The Insurance Mart of Blue Ridge, GA to discuss all of your healthcare options. A qualified agent can help you find health insurance best suited for your finances and lifestyle.


Why You Should Update Your Life Insurance

Most people understand that life insurance is a wise investment. Life insurance helps your family deal with the expenses of your funeral and helps with adjusting to life without your income. What most people do not realize is that your life insurance needs change with time. You may have purchased a policy when you were younger that will not be sufficient today. Updating your life insurance occasionally is a great way to make sure your family is sufficiently protected. The Insurance Mart serving Blue Ridge, GA is committed to helping you make the best insurance choices. Keep reading to learn reasons why you should update your life insurance. 

You’ve Gotten Married

Getting married is one of the main reasons people need to update life insurance. Your financial obligations upon marriage change drastically. You are now responsible for a spouse and possibly children. You should make sure that your life insurance policy will provide for your family. 

Your Income Has Changed

If you have recently experienced a job promotion or some other income altering event, then you should consider updating your insurance. A different income means that your standard of living could be changing as well. Most people opt for providing a life insurance policy for their family that will enable their family to maintain their standard of living even after that extra income is gone. 

Your Policy Is Old

If you purchased your policy some time ago, then updating is a good idea. Your old policy would have been based on much information that could have changed by now. Speaking with a trained insurance specialist at The Insurance Mart is a great way to find out if your insurance policy needs to be updated. The Insurance Mart is now serving Blue Ridge, GA as well as surrounding areas. 

What Is Secondary Dwelling Insurance?

Are You Referring To My Shed Out Back?

Good try – but no, your shed, detached garage or storage building is generally part of your homeowner’s insurance policy proper.

So, what exactly is secondary dwelling insurance?  It could be your shed, detached garage or storage building however, now it is being reformatted for use as a dwelling. That means you have decided to convert this space for habitation. The structure can be attached to the home or detached. The stipulation is that the dwelling is on the same lot of property as the primary dwelling. 

 Secondary dwelling insurance is in order because you may incur additional liabilities while this dwelling is being constructed.  This additional portion or your separate dwelling space has a new date of establishment which differs from your primary dwelling. The age difference is only one major factor. The other factors involved are variable and should be discussed with a professional. It is separate from your homeowner’s insurance policy because that has been in place and the size has been pre-determined. This new dwelling will fall under the secondary dwelling insurance policy. Speak with an agent who will be able to direct you appropriately.

Serving Blue Ridge, GA as well as the entire states of Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina, The Insurance Mart wants your insurance experience to go well. We want it to be similar to when you visit a mart and you can acquire all of the things you need in one place. In Blue Ridge, GA, the agents and professional staffers of The Insurance Mart want you to do just that. We can also assist with your:  Personal Auto, home, commercial, recreational, rental, life and health insurance needs. Call us today at 706-550-6444. We’re waiting to shake your hand and earn your respect.

Why You Need Additional Recreational Insurance

Recreational insurance in Blue Ridge, GA, will cover a number of vehicles. Some of the things that recreational insurance can cover include boats of 50 feet or less, personal watercraft, motorhomes, off-road craft, travel trailers, and fifth wheels. Your homeowner’s insurance may have some coverage for these items but it makes sense to get a policy designed to cover your specific vehicle.

Each recreational vehicle has its own unique insurance needs but there are some standard coverages you want to have that give you more protection than just your home insurance limits. Insuring an RV, for example, is mandatory and, depending on whether you financed it or not, you may even need to purchase more coverage.

Those who have boats and other kinds of personal watercraft may want to make sure they have proper liability coverage. Motorhomes, travel trailers and off-road crafts should not only have liability insurance but you want to look at comprehensive, collision, and vacation liability insurance in order to protect your assets.

There is also a number of additional insurance options to modify coverage, such as roadside assistance, medical payments coverage accessory, custom parts, and equipment insurance, and towing and emergency service coverage. If you are insuring an RV, you may also want coverage to protect your belongings stored in the RV, such as contents coverage. An agent at The Insurance Mart can help you determine the right policy to suit your needs. If you aren’t sure about needing coverage for the entire year when you aren’t using recreational vehicles, speak with your agent about storage options, which could suspend certain coverages such as collision coverage during months you aren’t using your vehicles. This way you are still protected in the case of theft or other damage.

Contact The Insurance Mart, serving Blue Ridge, GA, to get a quote on recreational insurance. 

How a Business Can Plan for an Emergency

Disastrous events can shut down your business and freeze or reduce its bottom line. To get back to normal business operations as soon as possible following an unfortunate event that may occur in Blue Ridge, GA requires emergency planning. 

Identify the natural threats to your business. They will vary by location, and they may include snow and ice, flooding, windstorms and tornadoes. Have emergency supplies such as food, fresh water, first aid kit, generators, flashlights, batteries battery-operated commercial radios and NOAA weather radios on hand. 

Know the equipment, procedures and documents that you absolutely must have to run your business. Record descriptions and valuations for each piece of equipment and all the items that you need to operate. This documentation is essential if you ever have to make an insurance claim

Decide how payroll and accounting will be managed. Many businesses now get their bank statements and bills online. But also make sure that you have  copies offsite. Backing up also applies to W-2s and tax returns.

Know the phone numbers—especially the mobile ones—for your essential customers, contractors and suppliers. Ensure that employees know how to contact you and that they know where the emergency exits are located as well as the places of shelter. If you have any employees with disabilities, assign a capable co-worker to assist them. Practice your plan. 

Data breaches are also emergencies. Keep your computers updated with patches, use strong passwords, employ antivirus software and only open email from trusted sources. Review your insurance policy. Know what’s covered and what’s not. Add coverage if necessary. Contact the experts at The Insurance Mart so we can evaluate what you need to protect your business if the unexpected happens. 



Does my home insurance policy cover jewelry, paintings, and other valuables?

Your homeowner’s insurance policy covers everything in your home, right? Well, maybe not. It’s always best to look at your own policy, so talk to an insurance agent at The Insurance Mart near Blue Ridge, GA to determine your coverage, but in general, your valuables are not fully covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy.

What is Covered?

All policies are different, but most home insurance policies cover damage to your home, garage, or other buildings, such as a shed. They also cover items inside your home, such as furniture and clothing. For jewelry, paintings, and other valuables, most policies only cover these items up to a certain amount, and there is often a single item amount as well as a group amount.

How Does This Work?

We’ll look at jewelry as an example. Your policy may cover the overall category of jewelry up to $4,000, and any given single piece up to $2,000. This means if your jewelry is stolen, the maximum amount that you will get compensated for is $4,000, even if $10,000 worth of jewelry was stolen. Similarly, if you have a single piece of jewelry worth $3,000, that piece is only covered up to $2,000. If you have a lot of valuable items in your home, this may leave you in a bind should something ever happen. 

How Do I Get More Coverage?

Take stock of your valuable items in your home near Blue Ridge, GA to determine if you have a lot of special items that may need additional coverage. An insurance agent at The Insurance Mart can help you figure out if you need extra coverage, and they can set you up with a policy if you don’t already have one in place. We want to make sure you’re covered no matter what life throws at you!

Insurance to Protect You and Your Vehicle

There are many reasons to get auto insurance and of course, it is the law. All of those reasons are also good reasons and of course, it is the law! It really doesn’t matter what type of insurance you need or want, if it is the state minimum legal coverage or full coverage for that new classic Mustang you just bought, the right policy will depend on you and your car.

Insurance to Protect You

When it comes to an automobile accident, there can be many different concerns. Helping you with medical expenses, paying for damages or for other costs related to an accident, the right auto insurance will be there to assist you and help with those burdens. This is first and foremost, about keeping you safe from medical expenses to repair costs.

Insurance to Protect Your Vehicle

According to one report, more than 25% of the drivers in Florida are uninsured. Georgia fares better at 12% but that still means for our customers in Blue Ridge GA and the surrounding areas, more than one in ten drivers are without automobile coverage! So in order to protect that new classic Mustang or your favorite ride, The Insurance Mart is here to help you find a policy and plan that fits. Car repairs can get costly and obviously, nobody wants to have a car totaled but if we do, there is insurance for that.

If you live in the Blue Ridge, GA area and are looking to compare, update or shop for new automobile insurance, contact us today. The Insurance Mart is here to keep you legal, help you find the right policy and to protect you and your vehicle.

What’s the Difference Between a Co-Pay and a Deductible?

The agents at The Insurance Mart serve Blue Ridge, GA and they know how important your health is. Getting through the technicalities of health insurance can be challenging, but two terms everyone should understand are co-pay and deductible. If you’ve ever used the service of a healthcare provider, you’ve heard one or both of these terms.

Your co-pay is what you pay at the time of service when you go in for a covered visit. Look in your health insurer’s patient manual for what co-pays are. For example, depending on your insurance, you might see a co-pay stated in dollar amounts for one, all or more of these covered services: visit your primary care physician, visit to a specialist, visit to the emergency room, hospital stay, diagnostic tests, ambulance, etc. You will also have to pay part of your prescription drug costs. 

Look at your patient manual again for what your deductible is. Most deductibles are stated for a year. They are what you will pay out-of-pocket before your health insurer steps in to pay the rest of your covered medical and hospital bills. Deductibles range from zero dollars to thousands of dollars annually.

As a general rule, it’s suggested that you choose a high-deductible plan if you have an HSA, are healthy or are financially able to pay the high deductible within a month. Select a no-deductible or lower deductible plan if you’re pregnant, plan to become pregnant or have young children or children who play sports. Also, choose this plan if you anticipate surgery such as hip or knee replacement or take an expensive drug. 

Contact us at The Insurance Agency. In serving Blue Ridge, GA, we will help you choose the health coverage that fits your needs.