Business Insurance Services
When it comes to your business, insurance is probably one of the last things you want to think about. But the reality is, the right insurance can be a valuable tool in protecting the business you’ve built, minimizing your risks and rewarding and retaining some of your key employees. We offer a wide range of insurance solutions, including life, long-term care, and disability insurance, to help you do just that. But we’re not here to simply sell products – we’re here to help solve problems.
Whatever questions you may have, our team is ready to answer. We are skilled at finding meaningful insurance solutions to help you work toward your goals. So whether it’s employee benefits, estate planning, valuation and transfer, or simply protecting your business in an uncertain future, it pays to count on us.
For those owners who have decided to sell or transfer a business, having an accurate valuation is essential to ensuring that money is not left on the table. We find that many business owners do have a price in mind for their business, but that can often go by the wayside when confronted by a challenge from the IRS or other sources. For this reason having an accurate business valuation is necessary. While a full valuation from a Business Appraiser may cost several thousand dollars, we can give you a written idea of current valuation at no charge.
Most retirement plans are required by the Department of Labor to cover all eligible employees (ERISA). There are times, however, when an employer may wish to carve out a group of select employees to offer additional retirement benefits. With our experience in non-qualified deferred compensation arrangements, we can create plans for every size and budget; and, depending on your goals, we can help you create plans that are tax-deductible, IRS/DOL compliant, with optional golden handcuff provisions and possibly cost recovery.
Business consultants know that one of the best ways to acquire and keep a motivated employment force is by providing a valuable and meaningful Employee Benefits Program. For over 100 years the advisors in our NBT Insurance Agency Benefits division have provided meaningful solutions to this very question. No employer is too large or too small for our team to come up with the ideal benefit mix for your business and budget.
As experienced insurance professionals, we provide a no-cost no-obligation Insurance Policy Review for anyone who requests it, no matter what insurance company you have. Why do a review? Because things have a way of changing over time. What if your income has changed, and you need more coverage? Or what if you lost weight, or you quit smoking? This might be the time to let your carrier know so you can get a discount. On the other hand what if your family status has changed and you don't have the correct beneficiaries anymore? For these reasons and many more we highly recommend a periodic policy review.
Having the ability to continue your normal business operations during a period of disability can provide stability in your relationships with customers, creditors, and employees. The problem is, too few businesses have set aside the cash reserves to cover all the related overhead expenses of a business when the owner is not able to be in the business on an ongoing basis. As business insurance professionals we provide a unique form of insurance to business owners which covers this risk: Business Overhead Expense Insurance (BOE). A BOE policy can protect your business in the event you become disabled, and it provides monthly income to cover such things as rent or mortgage payments, loans and interest, utilities, phone, maintenance, accounting and legal services, professional dues, auto expenses, employee benefits, employee salaries, depreciation, insurance premiums, taxes, even a replacement for yourself!
When a key employee suddenly dies, it can leave a business vulnerable if that person was responsible for bringing in revenue, maintaining key client relationships, or handled specialized day-to-day operations of the business. While employee benefit programs help employers reduce turnover and increase morale and overall satisfaction, a Key Employee analysis is designed to help an employer more directly by providing capital infusion at a time when needed most. Through life insurance, tax-free insurance dollars can come into a business to provide support in a time of upheaval and turmoil. It may take months or years to recruit and train a replacement for a key employee. Insurance takes the bumps out of the financial road during this process. We are experienced in providing economical Key Employee insurance plans.
One of our most common questions from business owners is how best to protect the value in their business from an uncertain future. In cases where you have one or more business partners, we can work with you to help structure an optimal outcome if one or more owners dies or becomes disabled prior to retirement and business interest transfer. Our team can work alongside your other advisors to help you create what is essentially a “business will,” a legally binding agreement known as an insured buy-sell agreement that will govern the situation in the event a co-owner dies or is forced to leave the business.
While most tax-deductible employee benefit programs are required by the Department of Labor to cover all eligible employees (ERISA), there may be times when you would like to offer a specialized benefit to your top people. Whether your reason is to provide an incentive for motivation or a reward for performance, we have access to many plans and structures that will allow you to carve-out select employees for inclusion in your strategy. We create customized solutions for every budget, and we have experience in insurance carve-out programs as well as executive non-qualified deferred compensation programs.
Many of our clients who look for estate planning assistance are family business owners whose primary concern is how best to pass on the business to the next generation. When ownership is transferred improperly or without adequate planning, taxes often erode the wealth and value that have taken a lifetime to build. Whether you intend to pass your business interest on as a gift to family members, a key employee, or via an outright sale to a third party, we can assist you with the planning aspects of this important transaction. One of the first places to start is to determine the current value of your business. While a full valuation from a Business Appraiser may cost several thousand dollars, we can give you a written idea of current valuation at no charge.