Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Is your business properly protected for an employment related lawsuit?

Even though you are an honest and fair employer, one accusation of unfair employment practices could cost you thousands of dollars. Charges ranging from age or sex discrimination to wrongful termination, even unfounded charges, can hurt or destroy a business.

Until recently, only large businesses were able to affordably insure against the risk of employment practices claims. Now employers of all sizes can insure against the risk.

While multi-million dollar jury awards against large corporations make the headlines, thousands of small- and medium-size businesses experience difficult times. Answering a groundless complaint filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission can be costly to employers.

Employers face increased financial risk of potentially violating ever changing and complex employment laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Family and Medical Leave Act and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. Your directors, managers, supervisors and employees may not fully understand the ins and outs of these laws and may be unaware of new rulings and interpretations.

Contact our offices today to discuss affordable options to protect your business.  ~ Mike Dostal

Monday, March 19, 2018

Facts about Renters Insurance

“What’s the point of renters insurance? I don’t own anything of crazy value.” This response is a common misconception when it comes to how the world views renters insurance.
Renters insurance is actually an essential (and inexpensive) tool in properly protecting not only your “stuff”, but other things too.
  • Personal property- this is your “stuff”. Don’t think you have a lot to protect? Take a second and mentally take a personal property inventory, starting with the big-ticket items: your furniture, clothing, kitchen items, electronics, etc. Clothing alone will add up quickly when you add up all the items in your closet. Remember, when calculating your inventory don’t think about what Plato’s Closet would pay if you were to box everything up and take it in; think about how much you paid for the items new.
  • Personal liability- this is protection against any liability or lawsuits filed against you. This could be something as simple as one of your friends injuring themselves while at your place for a party or your dog biting somebody.
  • Loss of use- this covers temporary living expenses (lodging, food, etc.) when your place of residence is uninhabitable. An example would be pipes freeze and burst causing water damage to your unit. You have to vacate your place while a restoration company comes in to mitigate the water, a plumber repairs the pipes, etc. Renters insurance pays for your reasonable living expenses while you do not have access to your residence.
  • Valuable articles- thinking of taking it to the next level with your significant other and purchasing some jewelry? Renters insurance can cover this by “scheduling” it. Doing so can guarantee the value of the item in the event of a loss. Be sure to ask your agent to ensure that it is covered for theft and mysterious disappearance (losing it), the two most common valuable article losses.
Other important things to consider:
  • Living with a significant other, sibling or friend? Did you know that anyone living in the same residence can share a renter’s policy? This
    will likely provide cost savings versus having separate policies.
  • If bundled with the same company, having renter’s insurance can provide a discount on your auto insurance and vise-versa. Win-win!
As you can see, renters insurance provides a range of coverages for a reasonable premium (the average premium is only about $10 per month!). As you set yourself up with a plan for financial success be sure that renters insurance is part of it.  ~ Logan Kirk
Logan Kirk

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Our Team

Our most recent team photo!

Back row (left to right): Steve Devlin, Logan Kirk, Jeff Kirk, Mike Dostal, Dave Dostal, Denise Livingston

Front row (left to right): Carissa Chester, Megan Rowlinson, Heather Evans, Diana Adelman

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Our newest team member, Logan Kirk

Logan joined the agency in 2016. He grew up in Shelby where he graduated from Shelby High School in 2010. He went on to receive a Bachelor of Science in Entrepreneurship from the Farmer School of Business at Miami University.

After graduating Miami in 2014, Logan completed a 2-year fellowship with the Ohio Mutual Insurance Group in Bucyrus. This provided him extensive exposure to underwriting in personal, farm and business lines as well as claims and loss control practices. At the agency he specializes in new business production for personal, business and farm insurance lines. Logan holds the Associate in General Insurance (AINS) designation and is currently pursuing his CPCU designation.

Logan is involved in various groups in the communities he works and lives including Crawford County Young Professionals, Columbus Young Professionals, Short North Running Club and St. Christopher Catholic Church of Grandview. In addition to community involvement he operates a side auto detailing business, a venture he started at age 14.

Logan resides in the Grandview neighborhood of Columbus. He enjoys running, travel, cars and spending time with friends and family.

Contact Logan at:

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Do you know the facts?

10 Reasons Not to Buy Disability Income Insurance

You may have your reasons for not buying individual disability income insurance (DI).  But do you know the facts?

10.  Social Security will take care of me.
          Fact: For those who do qualify, the current average monthly benefit is only $1,191. (1)

9.    It won't happen to me-- I expect to stay healthy.
          Fact: One in four of today's 20-year-olds will become disabled before reaching age 67. (2)

8.   It costs too much.
          Fact: The average annual cost is typically only 1 to 3 percent of what you earn.

7.   My Financial needs change so fast.  What policy could keep up?
          Fact: A DI policy from Principal Life Insurance Company is flexible.  You can change it as                   needed.

6.    I want a policy that keeps pace with my income-- without medical underwriting.
          Fact: Principal Life offers riders that allow you to increase your coverage without providing                   evidence of medical insurability.

5.   I have coverage through my employer.
          Fact: Group disability insurance typically covers 60 percent of gross income, and benefits
                   are usually taxable.  Can you afford more than a 40 percent pay cut?

4.   I would have to be totally disabled to receive benefits.
          Fact: There are ways to protect your income in the event of a partial disability.

3.   My family and friends will help me.
          Fact: Are your loved ones in a position to support you?  Do you want them to?

2.   I can always buy coverage later.
          Fact: People usually don't get healthier as they grow older, and coverage will cost more.

1.   I can rely on my savings.
          Fact: Even if you save 10 percent of your salary, one year of disability could easily wipe
                   out many years of savings.

Please contact us today to discuss the importance of disability income insurance, and how we can help create a customized plan to fit your needs and budget.

(1) Social Security Administration, January 2013.
(2) Social Security Administration, Fact Sheet February 2013.

Principal Financial Group
Principal Life Insurance Company, Des Moines, Iowa 50392
Disability income insurance has limitations and exclusions.
For costs and complete details of coverage, contact your
Principal Life financial representative.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Umbrella insurance: a business necessity

By: Mike Mirizzi
The Cincinnati Insurance Companies

There is a misconception that only large companies or corporations need umbrella insurance, that the coverage is expensive and may be unnecessary.  On the contrary, an umbrella policy is a vital piece of coverage that can protect you and your business from losses that exceed your primary policy limits.

The truth is you don't have to have a million dollars to be sued for a million dollars.  It can happen quickly, and your livelihood could be greatly affected.

Costs for an automobile accident with property damage or serious injuries to multiple people could easily exceed a standard insurance policy limit, leaving you or your business to pay out of pocket if you are found to be legally liable.  Injuries due to work you performed or because of a product you distributed or manufactured also could result in lawsuits that could put your business in jeopardy and potentially your personal assets as well.

An umbrella policy provides limits in excess of your primary liability policies and adds that extra layer of protection and peace of mind.  The value in this "extra" layer of protection does not stop there.  Not all umbrella policies are the same.  Ask your independent insurance agent to place your insurance with a company whose policy provides:

  • No self-insured retention (similar to a deductible).  Some insurance companies may require you to retain liability and pay the first $10,000, $15,000 or sometimes $25,000 for specific claims covered by the umbrella that were not covered by the primary liability policies.  Ask your agent for a policy that eliminates this requirement.

  • Unlimited defense payments.  Some umbrella policies offer you true unlimited defense payments when your primary liability policy limits have been exhausted.

  • Coverage for items not covered in your underlying policy.  Some umbrellas will provide "first dollar drop down" coverages for specific situations, meaning that if your underlying primary policies do not cover a loss, your umbrella might. 

Look for an insurer that can provide an umbrella policy with your commercial insurance package.  Having all your insurance with one company, in one package, is easier to manage.

Additionally, an umbrella policy may help your company have a competitive advantage when bidding on a contract as you will already have the required "extra" insurance in place.

Managing these liability exposures makes financial sense, no matter how big or small your business.

Not all umbrella policies are the same.  Please contact us today to explore coverages and options available to you.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The bottom line on homeowners insurance and rates

 Do you know why insurance premiums are rising? Insurance companies use past events to predict future risk, and risk is shared. What that means is whether disaster strikes in Ohio or another state, insurers use pooled premiums to pay claims that help customers recover. In essence, the catastrophic damage caused by more frequent severe weather in recent years has caught up with us.

 What you can do

Understanding what coverage you have and why will help you control costs. The right coverage will mean the difference between devastation and recovery. Call us for clarity and ask how these tips might apply to you.

Ways to help control your rates

·         You could opt for higher deductibles, but do so only if you can easily pay that amount if you need to file a claim.
·         Consider the impact of replacement cost insurance versus actual cash value. Replacement insurance, while more expensive, covers the full cost of replacement. Actual cash value coverage (standard on most policies) pays the depreciated cost of the insured items.
·         Carefully decide whether to submit a claim. If you will only get a couple hundred back after the deductible is met, you may want to pay out of pocket. Filing a claim may affect your premium.
·         Regularly review your policy with us to ensure you get the discounts you are entitled to and that you have the right endorsements.
·         Understand that your credit score, claims history, and age/condition of your home will impact your rates.


How to reduce the potential for a homeowners claim

·             Perform regular maintenance to your home and make improvements
·             Use working smoke detectors
·             Clean your gutters and trim tree limbs away from your home
·             When going out of town, turn off your water line
·             Inspect your sump pump, and clear debris near external drains
·             Replace the hoses on your washing machines every five years

What’s not covered by homeowners’ insurance?

Policies differ, but typical exclusions include damage from:
·         Earthquakes
·         Flooding or water damage caused by sewer backup or basement leak
·         Power failure originating off your premises
·         Collapse

With homeowners rates rising, it’s important to have a policy that fits your needs. Call us to ask questions, make adjustments and gain peace of mind.

This information brought to you by Dostal & Kirk, Inc., a proud member of Professional Independent Agents Association of Ohio, Inc.