LET’S GET UP TO BUSINESS
Andres Sylva of Apex Insurance
In this episode of the show, Jordan sits down with Andres Sylva of Apex Insurance. Specializing in Workers Comp and other business protection, Andres focuses on making sure business owners aren’t holding the bag when someone gets hurt on the job.
Apex Insurance Resources is unique. We are a cyber-based agency, however we are designed to give you individualized service and maximum protection for the least amount of expense to you. Apex has offices in four time zones to ensure maximum customer service for our business customers. As a full-service, independent agency, we are not limited to just one carrier. We represent hundreds of insurance carriers and have established strong partnerships that allow us to offer our clients the most comprehensive coverage for the best price.
Episode 24: Andres Sylva of Apex Insurance – Full Transcript
Andres Sylva 0:00 That’s the biggest thing with insurance carriers is they want to know the exposure on the road. And that’s why a policy will be labeled personal auto policy or commercial, aside from all the other things that could be involved with the commercial auto policy such as operations. It’s definitely the exposure on the road, how many people are in the vehicle, things like that.
Narrator 0:20 Picture a world where costs are down, profits are up, and customers are clamoring at your door, you’re listening to “Let’s Get Up to Business” from Jordan Law. Our interviews with business owners, service providers and area experts can teach you how to create a world of success and profitability. If you’re looking for an attorney to assist in your business formation, employment agreements, or other legal business needs, contact Jordan Law at (407) 906-5529. You can also reach us on the web at JordanLawFL.com. Jordan Law, we protect you and your business.
Jordan Ostroff 1:17 Hello and welcome to Let’s Get Up to Business. Joining me today is Andre Silva with Apex Insurance Resources. Thanks so much for being here.
Andres Sylva 1:25 Thank you for having me here.
Jordan Ostroff 1:27 Of course. So you’re going to talk to us today a little bit about some of the different insurance options available to small business owners, right?
Andres Sylva 1:33 Correct.
Jordan Ostroff 1:34 Okay, so before we get into the insurance stuff, tell me a little bit about you.
Andres Sylva 1:38 Okay, well, my name, my name is Andre Silva and I, I live in Orlando. I work, I started at Apex Insurance along with two of my business partners back in 2010. And we focus primarily on commercial business insurance for small to medium sized businesses. The way I got into this business is back in 2008, when the economy took a turn for the worse, I was in the finance business and I got into insurance by a friend of mine giving me a job at a property and casualty insurance firm. That’s why I started my career and I haven’t looked back ever since. I focus primarily on, at that stage in my career, on auto and home owners, and then I segued into business insurance when I started meeting different business owners that were actually that, that purchased their insurance through us. Started, you know, segueing into that line of business. And, again, I haven’t looked back ever since I started focusing on that. I’ve learned a lot through, through, through trial and error and have been able to provide my clients now with the best possible service and products that we can provide.
Jordan Ostroff 2:58 So when you say small to medium sized businesses, that’s going to be, what number on the low end? What number on the high end of employees?
Andres Sylva 3:05 Anywhere from one employee to up to 499 employees.
Jordan Ostroff 3:10 Okay, for 499? That’s, that’s a medium sized business.
Andres Sylva 3:13 Yeah.
Jordan Ostroff 3:14 Wow. Alright, so for any of our listeners, who are, they’re running a business with between one in 499 employees, so not 500 or more, what’s the best way for them to get in touch with you if they know they have an insurance need?
Andres Sylva 3:25 They can go on our website at www.ApexCo.net and/or they can reach us at 386-218-2005. And we’d be more than happy to assist them with their insurance needs. We can go ahead and review what they currently have, and do a financial analysis on where they need to be on their insurance needs.
Jordan Ostroff 3:45 So ApexCo.net?
Andres Sylva 3:47 Correct.
Jordan Ostroff 3:48 So A-P-E-X-C-O?
Andres Sylva 3:50 .net.
Jordan Ostroff 3:51 Gotcha. All right, and then can you do the phone number one more time, a little bit slower in case anybody missed it?
Andres Sylva 3:58 386-218-2005.
Jordan Ostroff 4:00 So tell me a little bit more about Apex. I mean, what sets you all apart from the other companies doing the same thing?
Andres Sylva 4:05 What sets, sets us apart from the other companies is that while we have the markets and what I mean by markets are insurance carriers that we represent, of a larger insurance agency, we operate as a small firm, as a small agency and we give the customer service that any small business owner would need. And what I mean by that is most insurance agencies that are larger that, that handle these small to medium sized businesses, they don’t handle accounts that are typically less than $10,000 in premium. Which, which does come up a lot because most small business owners, especially in the two to 50 range, which is the bulk of my, of what we help out, those premium, those insurance annual premiums don’t typically go past that. So these larger insurance agencies will not even consider you and what I’ve found is there’s a lot of small business owners that scramble to try to get the insurance they need to be able to open their business or even start to work and, and that’s the biggest mistake that business owners make is not, not finding a proper insurance agent to help them with their insurance needs.
Jordan Ostroff 5:16 So you’re going to be able to get a business owner the same insurance as a larger company, but either a) you’ll work with them or b) they’ll get more of that small individualized service.
Andres Sylva 5:25 Correct. We’re very fortunate to have the insurance markets that the larger insurance agencies have to provide the insurance for the further business.
Jordan Ostroff 5:37 So tell me a little bit about that process. I mean, somebody is coming to you, you, what, you’re going to get a, some answers to questions for them and then you’re going to go out and see you know, the different covers that your carriers will offer or is that not how it works?
Andres Sylva 5:48 Yes, we, what we do is we set up a phone call or they come into our office, and we go through a list of questions that pertain to their business, how long they’ve been in business, what their business operations are and get a grasp of what exactly they do. That’s one mistake that a lot of insurance agents make is they don’t get exactly all the information needed to do a proper quote. And then what happens is that the business owner is left with insurance that may not cover all of their operations. And then that’s when you get the issues and you know, if there, if there is something that goes wrong, because if it doesn’t go wrong now it will eventually go wrong.
Jordan Ostroff 6:28 Well, it’s interesting you mentioned that because I remember talking when I was looking for workers comp insurance, and so based upon the different classifications, you know, if I was a roofing company, my workers comp insurance rate is like 1000 times what it is as a law firm.
Andres Sylva 6:41 Yes. And that’s actually the line of insurance we at our agency specialize in mainly as workers comp. We feel that workers comp is one of those lines of insurance that is the hardest to obtain. And by us focusing on that line of insurance and focusing on getting the insurance carriers needed to provide that line of insurance, we’ve been able to help out more business owners by being able to look at their other insurances because what happens is that, most cases, a business owner will go get their general liability policy or their commercial auto somewhere, but they can’t get their workers comp at that agency. So then they scramble around typically through a payroll company to go get their workers comp, and that payroll company reaches out to insurance agencies because that payroll company doesn’t do it either. And that’s how they find people like me. But what happens is that we just have their workers comp and not the other lines of insurance. So the business owner’s scrambling to get certificates of insurance from two different places. There’s that, sometimes the business operations that they told the other insurance agent isn’t the same story that we got because questions weren’t asked the way they were supposed to and that in turn can be an issue for a business owner as well in the event of a claim so that’s one way, that’s, that’s one thing that sets us apart from a lot of other agencies. We’re able to do all the lines of insurance and have everything under the same roof but starting off with the workers comp, in my opinion, is, is the most important.
Jordan Ostroff 8:16 Well and I would imagine in the other circumstance, I mean, they’re, the business owner’s gonna be paying more because there’s just so many other companies involved in that chain to get to, you know, you’ve got the carrier, you’ve got the insurance salesperson, you’ve got the payroll company, you’ve got the other insurance salesperson.
Andres Sylva 8:29 Correct.
Jordan Ostroff 8:30 I mean, that’s, there’s a lot of middlemen there.
Andres Sylva 8:32 There’s a lot of middlemen there. And then what happens is, if they go to the payroll company to get their workers comp, that business owner thinks that the payroll company’s the one that got them the worker’s comp sometimes and it just goes back and forth with the payroll company when sometimes those representatives don’t even, aren’t even involved in the process after that, that case is sold.
Jordan Ostroff 8:58 Well and, you know, worker’s comp, that’s a mandatory requirement if you have a certain number of employees, right?
Andres Sylva 9:03 Correct. Yes. Four or more.
Jordan Ostroff 9:05 So, four or more employees?
Andres Sylva 9:07 Yes.
Jordan Ostroff 9:07 And is that include, including the business owner, or the business owners can do the exemption or?
Andres Sylva 9:13 They can do the exemption, yes. But that if, if they’re not exempt, that includes the business owner, four or more. At four, you must have worker’s comp.
Jordan Ostroff 9:22 And it was interesting because, for me, for the first year, I couldn’t take the exemption because nobody would write me a worker’s comp policy, whatever this was, like three years ago, without my salary in there, because they’re like, it’s not enough. It’s not enough risk for us to even write a policy.
Andres Sylva 9:35 Yes, there are, there are those situations where the insurance carrier will look at the premium and see that it’s just not enough and they won’t write the policy. So, so that happens a lot as well. In the state of Florida, since it is mandatory, mandatory, there are, there is a state fund, the Florida Joint Underwriters Association, where you can get your insurance from, that we do provide, but it being a state fund, you know, there are surcharges that the business owner does have to get paid. So going with an agency that has the markets, has the carriers is always good for that business owner in the long run.
Jordan Ostroff 10:10 All right, so let’s, so let’s transition into the insurance side of it. I mean, obviously, we’ve talked about worker’s comp insurance a little bit, we’ll talk about in a little bit more detail as we go forward. But what are some of the other types of insurance that you recommend business owners potentially have, depending upon their circumstances?
Andres Sylva 10:26 Well general liability is, is in my eyes something mandatory as well, because that, that, for a business, that’s what protects the business liability, that, and you’re liability from being sued on your work and premises, you know, if someone were to walk in to your office, and you know slip and fall and you don’t have that, that could be a huge liability on, on you. Not having that protection, especially nowadays where anything can happen with lawsuits.
Jordan Ostroff 10:55 Yeah, I mean it, so that’s the part I love about us doing business law, is we’ll end up representing you know, both sides and it’s always crazy to me when you’ve got these business owners that usually, thankfully they’re the ones that we’re suing on behalf of another business or, or a person and they’re sitting there with like, oh well you know we don’t have any general liability coverage and I’m like okay, well now you’re about to shell out like $20-25,000 either for us to represent you or for you to hire somebody to represent you against us. Whereas your general liability coverage may have cost you $1,000 a year so it would have been paid you know 25 times over if you had it.
Andres Sylva 11:30 Yes. It’s, as a business owner, general liability is a must. Now, if you’re, if you have, if you’re in the construction business and have one employee or more, you mandatorily need to have worker’s comp regardless.
Jordan Ostroff 11:42 Okay.
Andres Sylva 11:42 Um, so that’s one thing we missed earlier. So yes, four or more is, you need worker’s comp, but in the construction business, it’s different. As of that first employee, you need worker’s comp. There is no, no, no getting out of that one. So with that being said, if you are a business owner that’s not in the construction business and you just have one employee, you don’t need worker’s comp, but you should definitely have general liability. Even if the vendor or the building you’re renting from or whatnot is not requiring it for some reason, you should still have it.
Jordan Ostroff 12:16 So walk me through some of the things that general liability insurance is going to cover.
Andres Sylva 12:21 So general liability insurance is going to cover if, let’s say you’re in an office, it’s going to cover premises, it’s going to cover if someone comes in slips and falls, it’s going to cover operations. So it’s going to cover your ongoing operations if, let’s say you are a tree trimmer and trimming a tree, but the branch or something fell down on the roof and went through the roof and now you have a issue where you destroyed someone’s property during your operation. That’s, general liability’s going to cover that as well.
Jordan Ostroff 12:55 So it sounds like that’s quite a bit of peace of mind for business owner to get when most of those are going things they can’t control.
Andres Sylva 13:01 Yes, especially if they have employees because anything can happen. I mean, I know if you’re just a one man show, and you’re trying to save money and you’re trying to not – save money by not having that, that general liability because it’s you, you’re doing it, manufacturers are out of your control.
Jordan Ostroff 13:18 So what are some of the biggest problems that you see business owners making when it comes to the general liability insurance? I mean, obviously not getting it is a huge problem. But even when they do get it, are there any issues that keep coming up for you?
Andres Sylva 13:30 Yes, um, being misclassified is the biggest one. So getting a general liability policy that states you are, you’re just in an office, but really, you’re a contractor. That general liability policy is not going to cover your ongoing operations possibly, it’s just going to cover your premises, the area, square footage, that’s it. So being misclassified is the biggest, biggest thing we see out there that is, that is sometimes it’s not done with maliciously, sometimes it is. The business owner not fully saying everything that they do to get a lower cost policy.
Jordan Ostroff 14:07 Right.
Andres Sylva 14:08 But um, most cases, it is the inexperienced insurance agent that does not go in depth with what the business owners doing and writing a policy that doesn’t cover something that they’re doing in their operation.
Jordan Ostroff 14:21 Well, what I always tell people is look, you know, you may be happy about the 50 bucks you save, but then the worst thing that can happen is when you do need to use the insurance, your own insurance is fighting you for coverage plus you’re being sued by somebody else.
Andres Sylva 14:32 Yes, it’s, it’s the worst and that’s, that’s when insurance gets a bad rap. Because, you know, people say insure, you know, paying all this insurance and now it doesn’t want to pay but ultimately does lie on the responsibility of the agent to know and ask what needs to be on that policy.
Jordan Ostroff 14:50 Okay, so anything else about general liability insurance we have to cover?
Andres Sylva 14:54 On jet, no, we covered everything, for the most part, the most important stuff on general liability
Jordan Ostroff 14:59 Okay.
Andres Sylva 14:59 Make sure you’re classified correctly, make sure the agent knows everything that you do. And make sure it’s in writing that you told your agent everything that you do. So that way in the event of a claim, God forbid, you’re covered. And if, and if it wasn’t on that policy, at least you have that on your side to be able to protect you if, if there is a claim that arises.
Jordan Ostroff 15:23 And shameless plug for ourselves, if you’re one of our clients, and you get that proposed policy, please, please please have us review it just to make sure that all that information is correct, there’s nothing you’re missing, that there aren’t any, you know, legal technicalities about your area, your business that may need to be covered in an extra writer or something.
Andres Sylva 15:40 Such as exclusions as well, always look at the exclusion sheets. There may be something that, you know, the insurance carrier may have written it, but is excluding one of the operations you’re doing.
Jordan Ostroff 15:50 Right.
Andres Sylva 15:51 That’s, and if that’s your main operation, then, then you’re basically not covered.
Jordan Ostroff 15:57 Yeah, we’ll cover everything except when you’re on somebody’s roof doing their roof as a roofing company.
Andres Sylva 16:01 Exactly.
Jordan Ostroff 16:02 All right. So and then about the worker’s comp, anything else we need to talk about on that one?
Andres Sylva 16:07 On the worker’s comp, we pretty much covered what the requirements are. So on a construction company or anything in construction from first employee, you need a worker’s comp. All other industries, four or more. Worker’s comp is based off of payroll. Okay, this is one thing I do want to stress to the community and anyone listening here that, most agents, I’ve noticed in the state of Florida, and me and my business partners acquired an insurance agency down in South Florida, where we noticed a lot of this was going on in the book, is that if an insurance agency does not specialize in workers comp, what I’ve noticed is they don’t have experience in it, which means that they’re not writing the policy correctly. And what I mean by that is a worker’s comp premium is based off of that payroll that you estimate annually. So, if you do a wrong estimation on the payroll, let’s say you tell your agent that your workers comp, your employee payroll is $100,000 but it ends up being $200,000, so with workers comp, every year, at the end of the policy term, you’re going to have an audit, an audit of your payroll, and an audit of your subcontractors and an audit of everything that you paid out. And if you didn’t, don’t disclose that upfront, when that audit comes back, there’s premium you haven’t technically paid so you’re going to have a, a balance that’s due and most business, to most business owners that can be devastating. It becomes a cash flow issue. Or let’s say you don’t, if you don’t pay that premium balance, they can cancel your insurance until you do so, so that’s very important. Know or try to estimate your payroll to the dollar that you can. But what I recommend you do is go, pay as you go. So that option is available by most carriers, we offer it, we offer, we use third party that does the premium management called Reliable Premium Management and what that does is a) first, it frees up your cash flow in the beginning because typically when you get a workers comp policy for the first time, you have to put 10-50% down. When you start on a pay as you go platform, all you have to pay is the expense constant, typically the admin fee which is $160.
Jordan Ostroff 18:35 $160 per?
Andres Sylva 18:37 Just to start. Just to start the policy.
Jordan Ostroff 18:39 Oh, okay.
Andres Sylva 18:39 Um, and then you pay as you go, you just, it’s typically that, that, it’s, it’s just the admin fee to get the policy started. And then you pay every pay period, what your workers comp should be. So and, and that comes out good, especially with contractors because sometimes they do or do not have work week by week or they have more work than other weeks. So they’re paying their workers comp as they go, what it should be every week and when that audit comes back at the end of the year, it’s not so, actually it should be zero.
Jordan Ostroff 19:14 Right.
Andres Sylva 19:14 The only outline factors could be if there is that subcontractor that you hired that you weren’t, you know, anticipating, then now you got to pay the workers comp on that, if you didn’t get the certificate of insurance, that’s actually very important too. If you hire subcontractors on workers comp and you collect, please make sure you collect either the certificate of insurance or the exemption, because if not, whatever you’re paying that subcontractor, and if there was no certificate of insurance on workers comp coverage or the exemption, you’re liable for that, that payroll that you paid out.
Jordan Ostroff 19:50 So wait, so you as the business owner need to get that from your subs?
Andres Sylva 19:54 Yes, that is, that is huge. And that is the biggest factor that we see with, with the construction industry, that they do not collect. And why would they? Sometimes they don’t know about it, that they need to collect the certificate of insurance of the subcontractors to cover them. They’re not having to pay their payroll on the workers comp.
Jordan Ostroff 20:16 So that would be, I mean, that’s literally piece of paper that they need a copy of from the sub?
Andres Sylva 20:20 Correct.
Jordan Ostroff 20:21 Okay.
Andres Sylva 20:22 When they do the audit at the end of the year, for their workers comp, that auditor is going to ask for the quarterly, the quarterlies, the 941s and RT6s. They’re going to ask for canceled checks, basically to see what payouts were. And that’s where they typically find out what subcontractors were paid.
Jordan Ostroff 20:41 Okay.
Andres Sylva 20:42 And if there’s not a certificate of insurance, to say that, that, that subcontractor had workers comp or if there wasn’t a, an exemption, then that business owner’s going to be liable for that payroll. And that’s where we see these, these audit balances just go up and up and up and then again, it’s, it’s, it’s hard for the business owner that, you know, now they’re going into, and this always happens after the first year, so they may just be either getting out of the hole or, or, you know, still in the red. And then now that could be detrimental to their business.
Jordan Ostroff 21:16 Okay. And is that going to apply to, I mean, I’m assuming that’s mostly the construction industry, but is that going to apply to other industries as well?
Andres Sylva 21:23 It does happen to other, other industries, because sometimes it doesn’t, sometimes most businesses just don’t want to do the pay as you go. So you really do have to really estimate your payroll to a tee. If it’s not, I mean, if it comes up $50,000 more, depending on the class code, typically, anything outside the construction industry, the class codes, the rates per 100 aren’t that, that high but, um, so the audit balances were not, aren’t that great, but just so you know, you know, workers comp is based off payroll and make sure that you have that payroll if you don’t do your workers comp, pay as you go as accurate as possible, or if you don’t just expect that there may or may not be a bill at the end of the year.
Jordan Ostroff 22:09 Which usually ends up being the worst time to have that bill.
Andres Sylva 22:12 Correct.
Jordan Ostroff 22:13 You know, it’s like, oh, here’s your Christmas bonus, you have to pay five extra thousand dollars for your workers comp and stuff.
Andres Sylva 22:18 Yes. And again, if those things don’t get paid, they have, they cancel your insurance. And, you know, I’ve seen also cases where, okay, they don’t pay the bill, and then they go off and get insurance elsewhere. And that company does not happen to ask for loss runs, which doesn’t happen very often, but I’ve seen cases, but on that application, on that workers comp application, it states clearly right there, if you owe any balances to other insurance carriers, and if you say no, you’re technically committing insurance fraud.
Jordan Ostroff 22:49 Wow. So, by trying to escape that balance, you could be looking at a felony?
Andres Sylva 22:53 Correct.
Jordan Ostroff 22:55 That’s, I always like how many of these podcasts end, have, or have that moment where I’m just like scaring everybody poopless.
Andres Sylva 23:01 Yeah.
Jordan Ostroff 23:02 I think that’s ours, I think that’s our moment right now. You know, trying to, trying to skip out on the workers comp, you can end up going to jail for, or going to prison for a long period of time.
Andres Sylva 23:09 Yes.
Jordan Ostroff 23:11 Alright, so then let’s, let’s change gears and try to get maybe a little bit happier, although discussions of insurance usually aren’t that happy. What are some of the other insurances you would have, you’d recommend to business owners to at least investigate whether or not they need?
Andres Sylva 23:23 Definitely professional liability. You know, that’s, that’s one thing that could also be detrimental to a business owner’s actually personal liability on what they do. So, insurance agents, they need to have it, you know, obviously, because of what we just said, it’s up to the insurance agent to make sure that that business owner or even person buying auto insurance or homeowner’s insurance, we’re asked every single question pertaining to that policy. And if they don’t, then you know what happens? I can, once, once everything’s, all the channels have been explored by the business owner and their attorney, now they look at the insurance agent. So, in my case, let’s say if that happens, I’m going to get sued. But by me having professional liability, you know, that, that kind of defends me from negligence.
Jordan Ostroff 24:12 What, what’s the E and O standard for?
Andres Sylva 24:14 Errors and omissions.
Jordan Ostroff 24:15 Okay.
Andres Sylva 24:16 So errors and omissions insurance for professionals, definitely is something I recommend. You know, insurance agents, attorneys, definitely. Other type of insurance, I would recommend business owners to have.
Jordan Ostroff 24:31 Well hold on, let’s, let’s stay on the professional liability for a while. So walk me through some of the other industries that can get professional liability insurance.
Andres Sylva 24:39 So, let’s see, insurance agents, lawyers…
Jordan Ostroff 24:42 Doctors?
Andres Sylva 24:43 Doctors, yes, correct.
Jordan Ostroff 24:44 Okay.
Andres Sylva 24:44 Doctors is another big one. Your professional industries, technically.
Jordan Ostroff 24:50 Okay.
Andres Sylva 24:51 Any professional industry out there, if you are a business owner and you practice in anything or sell any product that you’re representing someone else, you want to have errors and omissions insurance, because by you representing that other person’s product, they have guidelines. And if you don’t follow those guidelines for some reason, and I’m not saying you even did it negligently, you know?
Jordan Ostroff 25:17 Right.
Andres Sylva 25:17 Sometimes, what if you’re employee didn’t follow that one question that that customer needed to be asked and, and now something happens, well, now, now you as a business owner are liable for, for that one mistake that your employee did not ask. So that, professional liability, errors and omissions insurance protects you on that.
Jordan Ostroff 25:39 So in that insurance, that’s going to cover the business against making mistakes?
Andres Sylva 25:44 Correct.
Jordan Ostroff 25:45 Okay.
Andres Sylva 25:45 The errors and omissions.
Jordan Ostroff 25:48 What about, I mean, that’s not going to cover like if one of your employees gets in a car accident, they’re not going to be covered by an E and O policy?
Andres Sylva 25:55 No, no, absolutely not. That would be worker’s comp. It would be, yes. It’s just the negligence or, or anything, any mistake that you, the business owner, or your employees make. That’s what it covers.
Jordan Ostroff 26:11 Okay. Alright, so then what, you were talking about another one. So what else should we have our business owners look into?
Andres Sylva 26:17 So professional liability. The three main ones are commercial general liability, professional liability, if you’re, if you’re in that professional industry, workers comp for sure. And for cases like your employee got in that car accident and we’re just talking about and commercial auto insurance, that’s another big one that I do want to spend a little bit of time on because a lot of businesses and business owners do not have their commercial auto properly covered under a commercial auto policy.
Jordan Ostroff 26:48 Okay.
Andres Sylva 26:48 I see a lot of cases where the policy is a personal auto policy and the business owner’s using their, their work, their truck under a personal auto policy but they’re really a business. And if anything happens, and it’s shown that that vehicle, let’s say it has a sign on it or wrap or whatever the case may be, how can you deny that that vehicle is not being used for business?
Jordan Ostroff 26:49 Right.
Andres Sylva 26:49 And you having a personal auto policy? It needs to be either for business use, even sometimes a label on a carrier’s have a little checkbox where you can say this vehicle is being used for business, but it’s not an actual work truck but it can be used for business, you know, maybe a couple hours in the day or whatever, you’re not going to be classified as a commercial auto, but it’s still going to be used for business. So those little things that I see all the time, that, that come across my desk, that need to be fixed. And I hate to say it, but um, that just sometimes is laziness on the part of the insurance agent.
Jordan Ostroff 27:56 Yeah, I know for me, I think we had, for you know, the lawyer thing. Obviously, I don’t have a work truck, but I do have a car that goes to and from court and whatnot. And I think on my personal policy, they had a thing to check. And it was like an extra, you know, 50 bucks a year or something.
Andres Sylva 28:10 It’s usually not that much – expensive. That’s for, see that that option is for professionals, you know, that, you know, use their vehicle, maybe a couple, several more hours on the road. And that’s the biggest thing with insurance carriers is they want to know the exposure on the road. And that’s why a policy will be labeled personal auto policy or commercial, aside from all the other things that could be involved with the commercial auto policy, such as operations, it’s definitely the exposure on the road, how many people are in the vehicle, things like that.
Jordan Ostroff 28:39 Well, if you think about it from, hold on, we got the cops coming by, not for us. Okay, so well, yeah, I mean, if you think about it from the insurance company’s perspective, you know, for the average person, you’re pretty much talking about just getting up in the morning, driving to work, in the afternoon driving home from work, maybe taking the car out, you know, a couple other times a week to drive the kids to something or do something after work, and then whatever you do on the weekends, as opposed to, you know, at least, at least for my average lawyer day, it’s like, all right, you know, get up, drive to the office, then drive to this courthouse, then come back to the office, then go to this networking lunch, then drive back, then do this. It has a lot more time spent on the road.
Andres Sylva 29:14 Yes. So, so yeah, I mean, and then there are cases where sometimes you’ll get a job that requires you to be a Mark, you know, a field marketing rep but you’re, you know, you don’t let your insurance company know that that could, you know, potentially have an effect on you, God forbid, anything happens on the road.
Jordan Ostroff 29:32 I mean, really, all of this, we’re talking about, you know, protecting you worst case scenario. Really?
Andres Sylva 29:37 Yes.
Jordan Ostroff 29:37 I mean, we’re lining this stuff up to, to tell you yes, you might spend a little more out of pocket on the front end, but you’re going to spend a lot less on the back end. I just, you know, I always hate giving that you know, having that talk with the business owner who doesn’t have the right insurance or their insurance isn’t going to cover the situation. Or they didn’t fill out the right information and telling them, look, now you’re getting, you’re basically getting it from both ends, you know, you’re paying me to defend you and we’re defending you from having to pay somebody else.
Andres Sylva 30:03 Yes, I see it all the time.
Jordan Ostroff 30:06 Especially when they’ve already paid for some sort of insurance, just not the right kind, not that, not enough of an amount not the right ex, or the wrong exclusions, etc.
Andres Sylva 30:15 Yeah what, and I’m sure you’ve seen this come across your desk as well, when, if a policy is written completely wrong, and this happens more on the personal end side than, than business but it relates, where if it’s written incorrectly, sometimes the insurance carrier will just cancel the policy and get, refund you all your money back that you paid into it, so they’re off the hook for it.
Jordan Ostroff 30:37 Right. Which is, which sounds good but can be so much more nerve wracking.
Andres Sylva 30:42 Yes. Yes. Because typically that refund is not enough money to even cover any fees.
Jordan Ostroff 30:48 Right. Well, yeah, especially when, you know, you’re looking at some serious injuries, some serious damage, not being able to work, etc. Um, any other major ones that you wanted to bring up? I know I’ve got a couple others if not.
Andres Sylva 30:59 Go ahead.
Jordan Ostroff 31:00 So one of the things we had, we had a first party property attorney on right after the last batch of hurricanes. He was talking about insurance for, you know, your business not being able to run due to some sort of natural disaster, loss and wages, those type things. Is that a kind of insurance that you all cover as well?
Andres Sylva 31:14 Yeah, we cover that insurance. One I didn’t miss is commercial property.
Jordan Ostroff 31:19 Oh, okay.
Andres Sylva 31:20 Yes. And it all ties into that. So commercial property is definitely a line of insurance that you want to have. I’ll give you an example of a case that I just had where, the, the, the insured business owner had insurance on the property and liability, because the bank mandated it, because there was a, there was a mortgage still on there, and typically, that’s why most, well I’m not going to say most but that’s why a majority have the commercial property on there, to satisfy their requirements to the bank. But once that bank loan is done, they’ll take it off, because it’s not necessary anymore.
Jordan Ostroff 31:58 Well, it’s, it’s not mandatory. It might still be necessary.
Andres Sylva 32:02 It’s necessary. Yes, you’re right. It’s necessary but not mandatory for them to have. So, but with that commercial property covered, covers is those different factors such as the, the building, for one, against hurricane or fire. That’s one thing I do want to make sure people review their policies on the exclusions, is make sure that wind is covered because sometimes wind will be, it’ll say it like ex wind, E-X wind or wind is not just covered and now a hurricane comes through, you know, something happens your building and nothing happens but then your business personal property, the stuff inside the building, BPP is how it would show on your policy, that would cover that. And then aside from that, there are add ons that, that come on these policies such as business operating expenses, you know, time lost of wages, things like that. For a business owner themselves, we also offer those, those policies that cover business ongoing operations, you know, anything can happen to a business owner, you can get sick, you know, accident, anything can happen, but the business needs to continue going.
Jordan Ostroff 33:14 Right.
Andres Sylva 33:15 And employees still need to get paid. So business ongoing operating insurance is something that our office offers, as well.
Jordan Ostroff 33:22 And how do you all, like how do you know or how do you talk to the business owner to see if this is something they need?
Andres Sylva 33:30 Well, in our, in our initial interview with them, we go over all these questions, we go over and see what they have, but a lot of this stuff is based off of their industry and operations as well. So um, there are some of those insurances that you should have no matter what and some of them are considered an add on per se.
Jordan Ostroff 33:47 Right.
Andres Sylva 33:47 But um, ultimately, nowadays, in this day and age, you can never be too insured. But I do understand the fact that you know, you don’t want to have 50% of your income as a business owner going out in insurance expenses either so you do gotta choose wisely, if you’re going to choose wisely but, it’s still, in this day and age, recommended to have everything you need. And we provide that after the first interview, we know what need there is, and we’ll offer it to you but if you choose to accept or decline, you know, as a responsible insurance agent, we will make sure that you are aware that you are declining this coverage, that coverage and what it does and for what and you are going to sign off on it.
Jordan Ostroff 34:35 Well it’s like taking a car into the shop, you know, they’re like all right, these are the 10 things that we have to fix. These are the five things we recommend fixing, these are the five things, you know, keep your eye on and then these are all the things he passed the inspection, don’t even worry about that. I mean that’s, it seems like that’s kind of what you’re giving the business owner.
Andres Sylva 34:49 Yes. Or not getting the gap insurance when you’re in the finance room and then,
Jordan Ostroff 34:53 Yeah.
Andres Sylva 34:54 And then, and then the day that you get rear ended on I-4 and your vehicle’s not worth as much as you owe, and, and now you’re stuck with that debt. So, again, all insurance is necessary, it’s just a matter of what priority level you put it on.
Jordan Ostroff 35:09 So any other types of insurance that we need to cover?
Andres Sylva 35:12 Which other one do you feel important you want to cover?
Jordan Ostroff 35:15 I mean, you’re the expert here on this. I’m good. I, that was the biggest one for me was the property and the coverage for that.
Andres Sylva 35:21 Yeah, commercial property. Under commercial property come all those business personal liability, things of that nature, workers comp, general liability, commercial auto, professional liability. That’s pretty much it for right now.
Jordan Ostroff 35:37 All right. So then I want to flip, I want to switch gears a little bit because I don’t think that we’ve ever actually talked about this on the show. I know we’ve touched on insurance. I think you’re the first person to go into it in detail, but what does the insurance actually do for the business owner? I mean, we talked about it provides peace of mind but from an actual boots on the ground type moment, I mean, the insurance is really hiring a lawyer for them to defend any potential lawsuits, right?
Andres Sylva 36:02 Correct.
Jordan Ostroff 36:03 And that’s the, well, that’s an amount of money that is going to be paid out by the insurance company not by the business owner, should there be a judgement?
Andres Sylva 36:12 Correct.
Jordan Ostroff 36:13 So other, I guess, is there anything else that the insurance is going to provide to them? Other than those two things? And then we’ll talk about those a little bit more in detail.
Andres Sylva 36:21 Well, there’s different, so I can give one example. So there’s different insurance carriers that provide different needs to the, or benefits per se, to the consumer. On the workers comp side, and I don’t know if I can really name specific insurance carriers without their permission, but there is one insurance carrier on the workers comp side, that if the employee gets injured, they provide a lot of benefit and need, you know, direction on where to go to what doctors to see ongoing support. You know, we are in an opioid crisis here and not all situations and cases need to go back to pain, pain pills.
Jordan Ostroff 37:01 Right.
Andres Sylva 37:02 And this insurance carrier really focuses on that. Not leaning accident victims on pain pills. So I thought that was pretty cool because that, that’s making a difference as an insurance carrier, you know?
Jordan Ostroff 37:18 Oh, definitely.
Andres Sylva 37:19 And for business owners, well now your, your, your employee is not coming back an addict basically.
Jordan Ostroff 37:26 So, okay, so they’re going to, so that insurance company, I’m assuming that sort of not the normal one, though, I mean, that they’re helping the employee walk through the whole process?
Andres Sylva 37:33 Not all of them do that but I’m just, again, that, that’s just to share, you know, some, some good.
Jordan Ostroff 37:38 Right.
Andres Sylva 37:39 Aside from, from the safety net that insurance carriers provide, they do provide those things. Some insurance carriers also provide 24/7 hotlines to ask questions on, on operations, how a work operation should be running. You know, if something’s going wrong and the business owner’s not providing a safety, you know, feature or net for the employees, that needs to be brought up, they can, they can find out and ask as well.
Jordan Ostroff 38:05 Alright, so, I mean, I, you know, that sounds like great stuff. But I guess the easiest way to explain it to people is sort of like being in a car accident, you know. If you’re the one who’s driving negligently in the car accident, so you caused the accident, you didn’t see the person stop in front of you, you know, you blew through a red light, etc. Your insurance company is going to hire that lawyer to represent you and your insurance premium up to that top amount is going to be what is paid out by the insurance company. So if you do, you know, $500,000 in injuries and damage to somebody else in their car, if you’ve got a million dollars in coverage, you know, you’re not going to be personally responsible for it. But if you only have $300,000 in coverage, there’s the potential that they could go after you for the overages.
Andres Sylva 38:48 Yes.
Jordan Ostroff 38:50 But as long as you’ve got enough coverage, I mean, you’re not having to worry about having to find a lawyer, you’re not worrying to have, worrying, having to worry about having to pay out you know $50,000 on the drop of a hat, you’re not having to worry about all those things, the insurance company’s doing that.
Andres Sylva 39:03 Yes. One thing, I mean, I will say is, in this day and age again, if, especially if you’re a homeowner, or if you have a business, I would never not have less than a million dollars in bodily injury coverage. And that’s just me. Because, you know, anything can happen and if you get in an accident, and you leave someone a quadriplegic, you better be sure you have that protection, or else you’re going to lose everything.
Jordan Ostroff 39:33 Well, then I, you know, you always talk to people that say they’re judgement proof, you know, they don’t have enough for them to go after them. But then you’re like, all right, well, then you’re forcing yourself to be judgment proof for the rest of your life. Like it’s one thing at you know, 18-20 years old that you’ve got your, you’ve got your entry level job, but by the time that you’re you know, 30 or 40, and you started the next Facebook, well, now all those judgments are going to start paying out.
Andres Sylva 39:54 Yeah, you just never know. Your life can change at any moment and, for the better, and you know, a mistake could happen in two seconds.
Jordan Ostroff 40:03 Right.
Andres Sylva 40:04 And it’s six months past and now you’re not judgement proof, but you did not review that insurance. And now you’re going to lose everything you just worked hard for, for the past 10 years. So I always recommend, you know, if not every six months, at least annually, review your insurance with your agent. If you have an attorney, review your insurance with your attorney, make sure that you’re covered with not just your operations or what you do, but also look at your financials and look at, look at that, because there’s no sense in, in having, you know, a 10,000 bodily injury policy, when you’re worth a million dollars just to save a little money.
Jordan Ostroff 40:41 Right. Well, and the benefit of having a go to insurance person like yourself who’s doing all this, it’s easier to be like okay, well, we need to increase, you know, let’s increase the business policy here by 50,000. Let’s increase your personal one here by 200,000. You know, let’s get all these things balanced so that your business is protected till x level, you’re protected over that or separate from that or, you know, whatever, just to provide peace of mind, I mean that’s really what insurance is.
Andres Sylva 41:05 Yes. You have to, as a consumer, use insurance. Be smart about it: use insurance, don’t let it use you.
Jordan Ostroff 41:11 Yeah.
Andres Sylva 41:12 So most people let insurance use them, you know, you just get it just because it’s mandatory, you pay, pay, pay. You just get, you, you don’t know if the mandatory requirement is even what you need, you know, so that’s what we always recommend. You know, use your insurance wisely, get what you need, don’t just get what you’re being told to get because ultimately it becomes a waste of money.
Jordan Ostroff 41:35 And the flip side to that is and you know, as a, to the extent that we do personal injury, I’m, I’m required to always bring this up at any time that I possibly can, get, UM coverage, get uninsured motorist coverage, get underinsured motorist coverage, because it does you no good for you to personally protect yourself and then get hit by somebody when it’s their fault, who’s got the minimum, you know, the minimum 10,000, 20 policy, or some, even somebody who’s got a, you know, 100, 300 but you’ve got a million dollars in injuries, you know, at least this way then your insurance is protecting you in both directions.
Andres Sylva 42:06 Yes, UM is the most underserved, underdelivered coverage in the state of Florida and you should always have it, at least to match your bodily injury. If you have multiple cars, you know, go stacked.
Jordan Ostroff 42:21 So stacked means that by having multiple cars on the policy, you can use all of them together in one incident even though you only have one car involved in it?
Andres Sylva 42:29 Correct.
Jordan Ostroff 42:30 Just, we gotta, we’ve got our jargon but we got to break it down for people that don’t know.
Andres Sylva 42:35 I understand and I know you work with this on a day to day basis so I’m glad you’re able to break it down to your audience as well.
Jordan Ostroff 42:41 Well, I just hate, I mean, you know, we have, we have a business client who you know, sits down with us at, at, let’s say in June of a year, and we go through all the insurance. Okay, we got to up this, you’ve got this, you’ve got this, you’ve got that, you’ve got this, and then, God forbid, they come back to us in like November, oh, I just got into a car accident. The guy in front of me slammed on the brakes, there was no reason, plowed into them. And they’ve, and then we’re like, all right, we’ll research and they have the minimum policy and this person’s got $50,000 in, you know, injections and back pain and car damage, and they didn’t have UM coverage on their personal stuff because we only sat down with them on the business stuff. You know, it’s, it’s a little bit that makes such a huge difference because it’s the only way where your insurance is really going to protect you, as opposed to protecting you from everybody else.
Andres Sylva 43:24 Yes.
Jordan Ostroff 43:25 So it’s, it gives you, it’s that sword, you know, normally injury, normally insurance is a shield. But this is a sword that you have to make sure that you can recover against your own insurance, but obviously only up to your, you know, maximum. So if you’ve got low insurance, your UM’s only going to cover you to where you’re at. Whereas if you’ve got super high insurance, your UM’s going to cover you up to there.
Andres Sylva 43:43 Yeah. And that’s again, it all goes back to just use your insurance wisely. Don’t let it use you. Because speak, speak with a, you know, I’ve noticed in my, in my career, most people speak to a PIP attorney when they need them. Maybe just try talking to them before you need them.
Jordan Ostroff 44:00 Right.
Andres Sylva 44:01 To make sure you have the correct coverage in the event that happens, now you’re putting yourself in the best position to come out of that in a better place.
Jordan Ostroff 44:10 So, you know, shout out to all our business clients. Please, please, please, you know, we’ll also, we’ll also review your personal policy or somebody like Andres will also, or you know, look at your personal stuff as well as your business stuff. Just to make sure that, you know, you’re protected the whole way through your life. Is that a, is that a good ending point? Or we got anything else to cover?
Andres Sylva 44:28 That’s a great ending point.
Jordan Ostroff 44:29 Alright, so then with that, can you give everybody your contact information one more time?
Andres Sylva 44:33 Yes, my name is Andres Silva. I’m the managing partner at Apex Insurance Resources located out of Deltona, Florida, servicing the entire state of Florida. We also have an office down in Hallandale Beach in South Florida. Our phone number is 386-218-2005 for Central Florida and for South Florida, it is 954-241-3993
Jordan Ostroff 44:56 And your website was A-P-E-X-C-O.net.
Andres Sylva 45:00 Correct.
Jordan Ostroff 45:01 Alright, so then we’re going to end this podcast the way we end all of our podcasts. First, I’m going to do a pitch for some reviews. You can find this podcast on Stitcher, Last FM, iTunes, really anywhere they’ll let us post it. So if you come across the podcast, please, please, please, we’re asking for an honest review. Hopefully, it’s five stars. You know, if it’s not for me, it’s because we’ve got some great guests that come on like Andres. And then with that being said, if somebody has listened this podcast for about, let’s say, the last 50 minutes, and they remember nothing, they take nothing else from it. What is that one piece of advice that you want as many business owners as possible to know?
Andres Sylva 45:41 Get your insurance reviewed.
Jordan Ostroff 45:42 All right.
Andres Sylva 45:43 Just get your insurance reviewed. Make sure, make sure you have all the coverages you, you as a business owner need and make sure your liability’s covered. Just – that’s it. A liability coverage is the strongest and the most – the thing I see the most ruining people’s lives.
Jordan Ostroff 46:01 And so that goes back to, I think we bring this up in every podcast, you know, the early bird gets the worm, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, a stitch in time saves nine, get it reviewed before you need it. It’s the same thing for legal stuff. Get your documents reviewed before you get sued, before that employee leaves, before all this, get your insurance reviewed before you have to use it.
Andres Sylva 46:21 Yeah, so what, I’ll end with this, one thing I see happening a lot is insurance policies just keep on getting renewed and renewed and renewed. And, you know, an insurance agent may not even review it, because, you know, they get too busy, bogged down or they have more clients that they have service or they’re out getting new business. And that, that, that policy does not get reviewed year over year, but the business and the needs of that person change, not even year over year, every six months they can change.
Jordan Ostroff 46:50 Right.
Andres Sylva 46:51 So it’s very important you get that reviewed every year by your insurance agent and if it’s not being done, or if you’re not being reached out to three months ahead of your renewal, then you should consider having someone else review it.
Jordan Ostroff 47:06 Oh yeah, I was talking to somebody the other day that got their renewal four days before it was due and they were like, oh, sorry with the hurricane and everything, you know, we got all this stuff out late and I’m sitting there like, no, no, you put this person up against a wall with a deadline where you’re not going to cover them and they have to make the decision now, they don’t have the time to shop around. And I told them, I was like, do everything you can in the next 72 hours to find somebody else because –
Andres Sylva 47:29 Yes, if that happens, do not give in. Just find someone else because that is, that is basically negligence as well in my book.
Jordan Ostroff 47:36 Yeah, no, it definitely is. Alright, thank you so much for joining us.
Andres Sylva 47:40 Thank you for having me.
Narrator 47:43 You’ve been listening to “Let’s Get Up to Business” from Jordan Law. We hope you’ve enjoyed the podcast and would consider sharing the show. We would also love an honest, five-star review through iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, or whatever pod catcher you use. If you are interested in being a guest on the podcast, please contact producer Mark through email at Mark@JordanLawFL.com. Use the subject line “Podcast Guest” in your email. Thank you. We look forward to speaking to you again soon.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
WE’RE LOOKING FOR OUR NEXT GUEST
If you’re looking for an opportunity to tell your story, then we’d love to hear about it. Our interviews with business owners, service providers, and area experts have helped us learn more about the people and the community in Central Florida. We’re always looking for great guests to interview. Please fill out the form below and let us know what you can provide to our listeners.