Phone: 1-800-274-7501 En Espanol: 1-888-299-2120
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Hello, and thank you for visiting Hallmark Insurance.
Interested in getting a quote? We currently write policies in the following states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, and Washington.
Have other questions about insurance? Feel free to use our live help window to the right to speak directly to one of our agents. We have staff that speak both English and Spanish. If no agents are available, please leave us a message in the live help window – we usually respond in about one business day.
If you’d like more information about our business and history, visit the Why Us page. For articles related specifically to insurance for Carpet Cleaners, General Liability, or Janitorial, please click the corresponding links above.
Thank you, and have a nice day.
“What should I think about when considering whether to file a claim on my insurance?”
People buy insurance so that when they have a covered claim they can get paid for their loss. However, as surprising as it may seem many people give up their rights under their insurance policy because they don’t want to file a claim. Read More→
“The quote I got from my broker indicates that the insurer is a ‘Surplus Lines Insurer’. What is a Surplus Lines Insurer and why does it matter?”
Surplus Lines Insurers, also known as ‘Non-admitted Insurers’, are companies that specialize in providing coverage for exposures that most regular companies do not want to insure. Regular insurers, which are also known as ‘Admitted Insurers’, are insurers that have filed as such with the State Department of Insurance in your state and have had their rates and policy language approved by the Department of Insurance. Admitted Insurers policies are also subject to your state’s ‘Guarantee Fund’ which bails out bankrupt insurance companies. Surplus Lines Insurers’ policies are not subject to Guarantee Funds so that if the insurer is not financially able to pay claims, the claims will go unpaid.
“My customer says that I have to supply them with a certificate of commercial auto insurance. I carry personal auto insurance on all my vehicles. Why isn’t that sufficient?”
Simply put, a personal auto policy doesn’t provide the same type of coverage or cover all the same types of vehicles that a commercial auto policy does. When you are working for a customer and driving onto the property they own or lease or may interact with their employees or customers in the parking lot of the building where you are to work, they want to be sure that if one of these people are injured or property is damaged as the result of your being at the site with your vehicle to work for them that your policy will pay any resultant claims.
“But won’t my personal auto policy cover such claims?”
It might, depending on the situation, but it might not. And that is why the customer wants a certificate of commercial auto insurance. Here are some examples where many or most personal auto policies will not provide coverage. Read More→
“I work out of my home and have a homeowners’ policy. Won’t my homeowners’ policy cover my home based business exposures?”
What we can say with certainty is that homeowners’ policies are not designed to cover business exposures. While often they provide some minimal coverage, it is totally inadequate for most home based businesses. Read More→
“All my workers are subcontractors. How can I avoid having to pay premium at audit time on my Workers Compensation policy?”
The simplest and most fool proof way to avoid owing Workers Compensation premium at audit on the work of subcontractors is to always obtain a certificate of Workers Compensation insurance from your subcontractor. A Workers Compensation certificate will be regarded as proof by the auditor that the worker was an independent contractor and not an employee unless other evidence demonstrates it to the contrary. Read More→
Last week, I explained that insurance policies have exclusions to eliminate coverage for those things covered by other policies, for things that can’t or shouldn’t be insured and for things that are too costly to insure. Examples of typical exclusions include war, wear and tear, and pollution. Commercial General Liability (CGL) policies have exclusions for liability arising from autos, watercraft, aircraft and injuries to employees because there are policies that are designed to cover those exposures. Where more attention needs to be paid to exclusions is where the exclusions are specific to the nature of a business’ operations. Read More→
“Why do insurance policies have so many exclusions? If insurers don’t want to cover anything why don’t they just sell something other than insurance?”
If that’s the way you’ve felt you’re not alone. But as strange as it may seem, policies with exclusions are better than those without them! You’re going to have to follow me through this one. Some policies cover very few perils (a peril is a hazard or source of loss). An example would be a simple fire policy that covers just fire and lightning. The basic fire policy has virtually no exclusions at all. If a fire loss occurs, with few exceptions such as arson by the insured, or heat damage by a fire inside of a stove causing scorching to something outside the stove, virtually all other causes of fire are covered, even a fire caused by an earthquake, volcano or flood. However, what if a tornado damages your house? What if you have a vandalism loss or a tree limb falls on your house? Read More→
“Someone said that I need special insurance if I take customer’s goods to my location to clean them. Is that true?”
Actually it is true. Your Commercial General Liability policy isn’t designed to cover that exposure. Consider the reason why. Imagine a firm that does fire/damage water damage cleanups and does “pack outs” for property in buildings that have sustained fire and water damage. Such a firm may have tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars of customer’s goods at his location to clean. A sofa that he gets $100 to clean may be worth $8,000. A liability insurance policy which is rated on cleaner’s payroll doesn’t properly reflect the exposures that such a firm would have by storing large values of customer’s goods for weeks at a time. Read More→
“I’ve been in the cleaning business for years and have never carried liability insurance. Why should I spend the money to buy coverage when I’ve never had claim problems?”
Many cleaning services express similar sentiments, especially in these hard economic times. However, taking that viewpoint may prove to be more costly than the premium to buy liability insurance. There are two major reasons it may prove more costly not to carry liability insurance than to carry it. Read More→