Review your home insurance before storm season starts

Storm season will be here before we know it, and it makes sense to start preparing now. The team at Cross Creek Insurance is here to help the greater Hope Hills, NC community get ready for the storm season. Knowing that you have the right home insurance policy in-place will allow you to ease your worry if a storm were to hit our area. Don’t wait until the damage is done to make sure that you are protected. We are here to provide all your insurance needs, including policy reviews.

Now is a great time to review your home insurance policy

Having the right home insurance at the correct coverage level can make storm season less of a headache, should an event occur that damages your home. A local agent can also help you in the event that you need to file a claim, which is why we always think it’s a great idea to always work with someone who knows your area. If your home value has increased or the property values in your neighborhood have changed, you may need to adjust your policy levels. The time before storm season offers a good opportunity for you to review all of your insurance and make sure that everything is inline. It’s never fun to find out that you don’t have the right insurance after a damaging event has occurred! In fact, it is a great idea to review your entire insurance portfolio each year to ensure that you and your family have the protection you need.

Let’s review your home insurance policy now, and make sure that you have the protection you need! Call or stop by Cross Creek Insurance today and let us help you cover your Hope Hills, NC home. 

Commercial Insurance for Small Businesses

Insurance for a small business includes consideration of the basic requirements of workers’ compensation, professional liability, general liability, commercial vehicle insurance, product liability, and property insurance.

Worker’s Compensation

Small businesses in North Carolina that have three or more employee (even if only part-time) are required by law to carry workers’ compensation insurance. An exception to this rule is made for agricultural employers. They are not required to carry workers’ compensation unless they have 10 or more full-time workers who are not seasonal workers.

Professional Liability

Self-employed individuals do not have to carry worker’s compensation insurance. However, if your work requires a license under North Carolina’s laws, you need to have professional liability insurance.

General Liability

This provides protection from claims against a business for property damage, injuries (like a “slip and fall”) and associated medical expenses. Every small business must have this protection to operate safely.

Commercial Vehicle, Product Liability, and Property

If any vehicles are used for the business these need to have commercial vehicle insurance. If the company makes or distributes any products, it should have product liability insurance. If the business owns or leases any commercial space, then it needs to have property insurance.

Home-Based Businesses

Home insurance will not cover business equipment and inventory or other business liability. Instead, a general liability commercial policy is needed and property insurance for the business that is based in a home.

The agents at Cross Creek Insurance, serving Hope Hills, NC and the surrounding area, can help with any insurance need for your small business. They will cover the basic insurance requirements as described above and then make suggestions about other types of protection that is beneficial to have.

Business Interruption

This protection helps pay the bills if the business shuts down due to some calamity. With the risk of natural disaster increasing due to weather changes caused by climate change, it is wise to have this protection.

Conclusion

Every business, especially a small business need adequate insurance protection. Work with your agent at Cross Creek Insurance in Hope Hills, NC by calling 910-423-2900 to get a quote for all your commercial insurance needs.

Who Can be the Beneficiary of Your Life Insurance Policy?

Life insurance helps many people to make the lives of those they leave behind better. When you buy an insurance policy and name a beneficiary, the cash proceeds of your policy go to that person after you die. But you are not limited to naming a person as a beneficiary.  Here’s what you need to know before writing a name to your policy.

Typically, people name a spouse or a child/children as the beneficiary. At Cross Creek Insurance, where we serve Hope Hills, NC, we will let you know if instead of naming a child who has not reached the age of consent, you should designate a legal guardian for that child. When you want your spouse to get the benefit of your life insurance, be specific in naming  the person rather than writing "spouse." Divorces and remarriages do happen.

Perhaps your philanthropic spirit makes you want to name a charity as the beneficiary. Make sure that the charity will accept the gift, and find out if it is a 501(c)(3) organization. Otherwise, the group may be subject to taxes. If you have a partner in the business you own in the Hope Hills, NC area, a life insurance policy can help your business survive. Name your co-owner as beneficiary. 

You cannot name a pet as a beneficiary because it’s considered property and cannot sign legal documents. However, you can name as beneficiary a person you trust to take care of your animal.  An alternative is to the set up a trust for your non-human companion. Then buy a life insurance policy and name the trust as beneficiary. Talk to us at Cross Creek Insurance so the people you care about can benefit from your life insurance policy. 

 

What should I do if I am in an auto accident?

A lot of what you need to do if you are involved in an auto accident in Hope Hills, NC seems pretty common sense. You should stop as soon as possible after an accident, or pull off at the closest safe place. You may need to move your vehicle out of a travel lane, but you should try to stay where you are if the area is safe. As soon as you are able, see if anyone is injured and needs help.

Even if you are not required to call the police, you may want to do so as a precautionary measure. North Carolina law requires you to make a report if there was significant property damage or if anyone was injured. However, what looks like a small amount of damage may be expensive to repair, and someone who seemed fine could have a serious head or back injury.

At Cross Creek Insurance, we encourage our clients to call the police so there will be an unbiased witness. The officer will help collect all the information for the report, including the drivers’ information, their vehicle information, and the condition of the vehicles. The officer can also look for other important evidence like skid marks and witnesses.

Drivers in Hope Hills, NC are required to carry a certain amount of insurance, and you will need to provide your name, contact information and insurance for even minor accidents. You should take your own notes, and keep a record of everything at the scene, such as the other driver’s information, any witnesses, and the officer’s name and badge number.

If you have any questions about what to do after an accident, or if you want to discuss whether your current policy provides enough protection, please call Cross Creek Insurance today for a free quote.

Summer Cleaning Tips for Homeowners

The summertime is fast approaching and you are ready for a fresh new look in your home. Start with some quick tips that will keep your home fresh and clean throughout the summer months. You can also rely on the Hope Hills, NC agents at Cross Creek Insurance to give you information regarding home insurance.

Start with your refrigerator. It’s time to pull out all the old food and remove the shelves. Throw away any food that has spoiled or is past its expiration. Wipe down the inside of the refrigerator with mild soap and water. Avoid using harsh sprays because this can linger and damage your food and drinks.

The coffee maker should be your next stop in the kitchen. Depending on whether you have a single-cup maker or a multiple-cup coffee maker, you should run it through a cleaning cycle with vinegar and water. If there are stubborn coffee deposits, you can soak it in soap and water.

Toast is another morning favorite, but the toaster has had its challenges. When you begin to smell burning due to random crumbs at the bottom of the toaster, it is time to clean it. Some toasters have a small removable crumb tray. Wipe the rest of the appliance with a damp washcloth.

Remove all the blinds and wipe them down with a damp sponge. While the blinds are down, you should also clean the windows. If your house has ceiling fans, this is the perfect time to clean them as well as any light fixtures.

A great non-abrasive cleaner is a baking soda and water combination. You can turn it into a paste for a porcelain bathtub or tile walls.

Having your home clean for the summer can make your season go smoothly. Talk with one of the agents in Hope Hills, NC at Cross Creek Insurance to discuss your homeowner’s policy and its coverage.

 

What Voids a LIfe Insurance Policy?

Life insurance is something that many people have and that many people think about getting but never really take the plunge. This type of insurance policy is helpful for anyone that thinks they might need to help their family out with final expenses or that simply does not want their family to have to deal with the cost of final expenses. For those that live in the Hope Hills, NC area, the agents with Cross Creek Insurance can help you to get the policy you want and need to feel fully secure.

For those that are interested in a life insurance policy, it is just as important to note what voids a policy as it is to note that a policy covers. For those that have life insurance, stopping paying premiums can void a policy as can fraudulent claims. In other cases, if the policyholder takes their own life the policy is not going to pay out. For those that enter false information, your policy can also be voided. For some life insurance policies, a terminal illness like cancer can also void a policy. if you want to be sure that your policy is in good standing and that there are no issues, it is always best to speak with an agent to find out more.

Your policy is your security and your ability to rest easy and know that your family is going to be able to pay for your final expenses without worrying when you pass. The chances that your policy is going to be voided without your insurance company notifying you first are slim. For those in the Hope Hills, NC area, the agents with Cross Creek Insurance can help you to find the right policy for you no matter what.  

Top 3 Features to Look for in Your Commercial Insurance Policy

Are you looking to secure commercial insurance for your new business? Whether you are just starting out or are a seasoned veteran who wants to review their policy for completeness, it’s time to contact Cross Creek Insurance and find out more about your options. Comprehensive commercial insurance policies are available in many different options for business owners in the greater Hope Hills, NC area. We always find it a smart idea to make sure that your coverage is correct before you need it! When looking for the policy that is right for you, you may wish to consider these 3 important features.

  1. Business interruption coverage – when your business goes offline due to a covered event you will need to continue paying bills and maintain your business. This coverage is important as it allows you to focus on getting your business back up and running without having to worry too much about cash flow.
  2. Damage protection due to all kinds of weather – the North Carolina area sees its fair share of damaging weather. Some policies may not cover your business if it is damaged by wind or water, and may require a separate policy to cover those events. 
  3. Asset protection – liability protection becomes even more important as your business and assets grow. If your current policy has coverage limits, typically $250,000 adding an umbrella policy to your commercial insurance will protect you and your family.

The team at Cross Creek Insurance is proud to serve the needs of the greater Hope Hills, NC area, especially those of our business community. Call or stop by our office today and find out more about the different commercial insurance policy options that are available to business owners in the state of NC.

What are the consequences of driving without insurance in North Carolina?

People in Hope Hills, NC are like everyone else, wanting and needing to drive. North Carolina has some rules about how much insurance drivers are required to carry in case they are in an accident. Every driver will need to be able to prove liability coverage totaling up to $30,000 to cover any bodily injuries, such as broken bones or whiplash, with a total of $60,000 for the accident. Drivers also need at least $25,000 to cover the victim’s vehicle.

Any policy you obtain through Cross Creek Insurance will be sure to meet those minimal requirements. If you are caught driving and it is discovered that you are not carrying the minimum amount of coverage, there are serious possible repercussions. 

Civil Penalties 

Your possible penalty for driving without insurance in North Carolina depends on how many times this has happened, and punishments get progressively worse. You can even have your vehicle registration suspended if you have not verified the vehicle is insured.

The first fine is $50, with an extra  $50 fee for license reinstatement. The next penalty is $100, and the third is $150. All of these carry the extra fee for license reinstatement and a 30-day registration suspension. 

Criminal Penalties 

The state of North Carolina takes driving without insurance very seriously, and you can also receive criminal charges if you are caught driving without proof of financial responsibility. Operating a vehicle without insurance is a Class 1 Misdemeanor, meaning it is punishable by up to 120 days in jail. The Court may also issue a fine, and you could get probation.

Clearly, it is better to have a solid insurance policy from a company you can trust when driving in Hope Hills, NC. If you want to make sure you have coverage that makes you comfortable, or if you just have questions, feel free to call one of the friendly agents at Cross Creek Insurance today.

Getting Life Insurance Early

While life insurance is commonly thought of as a need for people as they get older, it is actually more beneficial to start learning about life insurance and creating policy at a young age for a number of reasons. Cross Creek Insurance is available to help assist with providing information about life insurance to you. 

Savings

The best reason to start paying for life insurance at the youngest age possible is that the cost is significantly reduced. Life insurance providers generally factor things like age and pre-existing health conditions into the cost of policies. If someone waits until they are very old or have a serious medical condition before starting to pay into policy, it is likely to be extremely expensive. To avoid these problems, you can lock in a low rate by paying into policy years or even decades before any of these concerns. 

Preparation

People who are subject to high risk due to their occupations or other factors may want to always be prepared with a life insurance policy. Even for those who are still relatively young, life insurance provides protection for your family. Even if you are not married or do not have children, life insurance will make sure your funeral expenses and other debts are paid to bring peace of mind to your family members during a difficult time. 

For any additional questions or further help with getting life insurance, please contact Cross Creek Insurance serving the Hope Hills, NC area. Agents who have specific local expertise and knowledge of the regulations and laws relevant to Hope Hills, NC will create a policy that works for you and your family.   

Should Commercial Insurance Plans Cover On-Demand Services

The on-demand service industry is ever-growing and soon the leading companies will ask how commercial insurance can help to limit work-related issues. 

Technology is the Tip of the Problems

On-demand service providers can no longer argue that they’re innocent bystanders who just provide a technological platform that connects users with different services offered on the app. It’s just an unrealistic premise to think an on-demand service company would not be a liable party in an independent contractor lawsuit. Sharp on-demand service companies will have a commercial insurance policy that protects them from unscrupulous business practices from independent contractors that advertise on their website. The wording of these type of policies isn’t of the standard nature as the coverage agreement is quite extensive because of the wide range of services provided by each independent contractor. 

The 1099 Economy

The on-demand business community is often called "the 1099 economy" as this is a reference to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax form that most workers of this industry will fill out each year. Their define as independent contractors who provide a specific service on short or long-term projects. Often, on-demand businesses will create a separate commercial policy that covers independent contractors on their payroll. But, this practice has been legally challenged as most insurance providers will require proof of coverage before independent contractors are allowed to work in any capacity for the policyholder. This stance has been softened somewhat if the company adds independent contractors as employees to their policy. 

The Risk of Insuring On-Demand Services

One of the biggest nuances in the commercial insurance industry is determining the coverage capacity for the on-demand service industry. It may come down to the distinction between independent contractors and employees. Because this definition has yet to be defined by those who run these businesses. Agents like Cross Creek Insurance in Hope Hills, NC will draft a policy that covers both groups together as one entity. Some businesses may want general liability added to their coverage, so to protect themselves from the actions of the insured.