Food Trucks: Let Your Food Keep on Trucking!

franklin-foodtruckWhen you picture building your catering business, is the image more truck than tent? Is the kitchen more space-efficient mobile than stainless steel and spacious? Do you want to take your restaurant to the customers rather than getting the customers to your restaurant?

Welcome to the world of food trucks!

While often considered a relatively recent phenomenon, the mobile food industry has a long and tasty history in the U.S. As early as 1691, street vendors who sold food from push carts were required to follow local regulations in New York City (then known as New Amsterdam). The chuck wagon was invented by Charles Goodnight in 1866, and the nation’s first diner-in-a-horse-drawn-freight-wagon debuted in 1872.

Boomers can well recall the hot summer days when the tinkling bells or cheerful tune of the ice cream truck would bring all activities to a sudden halt. And although the summoning bell and music has often been replaced by a tweet or text, today’s food truck has much the same effect on adults as the old-time ice cream truck had on kids—activities halt and mouths water.

And the potential variety of food choices for your business? Amazing! You can focus upon a single specialized food, a particular ethnic cuisine, bakery items or the equivalent of a high-end restaurant meal. You can cook from scratch on the truck, prepare add-ons to pre-prepared staples, or cook in advance in a commercial kitchen. You can eliminate the need for an expensive fixed restaurant location and deliver precisely what the customer wants to exactly the location they prefer.

But getting your mobile catering business off the ground requires more than the purchase or rental of a food truck. Consider the unique needs and risks pointed out by experts and past or current food truck operators:

  • Food trucks require regular maintenance. In addition to the fuel, tires, oil, and general service or repair that any vehicle requires, food trucks also need specialized maintenance and repair for cooking, cooling and storage equipment.
  • While there may be no fixed restaurant building rental, food trucks still need to be parked overnight. Parking space may be limited, highly sought after by other vendors, and require permits or rental payments.
  • Food truck operations face unique challenges. How much cooking, if any, will be done on the truck? How much elsewhere? Where will that “elsewhere” be, and at what cost to finances and convenience? What are the health department inspection requirements for food prep?
  • Inclement weather can affect business at even the best fixed location, but it has a greater effect on the staff and customers of a food-truck business.
  • Employees who are willing and able to work effectively in often-cramped confines with limited cooking facilities in sometimes poor weather conditions can be a different breed to hire than those who are used to working in fixed location food services. And don’t forget driving experience and ability—a crucial food truck skill not even considered for many fixed location hires.

Food trucks have insurance needs that include those required of any catering business, but also those unique to a restaurant on wheels. The great news is you can focus on building your catering business and turn to your Trusted Choice® agent for the best in risk management and insurance products and services. Many agents even specialize in catering risks, including food trucks—or have access to resources that do. Before firing up your food truck, be sure to schedule a time with your Trusted Choice Agent® for a full review of your unique needs and put the proper protection in place.

Then let the great food roll!

What to Serve?

One key to the growing popularity of food trucks is the sheer variety of food offerings, from the simplest basics to the most unique preparations. According to consumer research, here, in order, are the six most popular items sold. Drum roll, please!

  • Hot sandwiches.
  • Mexican food.
  • Cold sandwiches.
  • Soups.
  • Salads.
  • Italian fare or pasta.

Let us here at Vaughn Insurance help you insure your FOOD TRUCKS  –Contact us! 

 

Tax Forms 1095-B and 1095-C: What You Need to Know

1095In early 2016, many employees will receive two important new tax forms. In general, you will receive a Form 1095-B if you were enrolled in your employer’s health plan in 2015. You will receive Form 1095-C if you were a full-time employee of a large employer at any time during 2015.

In most cases, Form 1095-B will be sent to you by your health insurance company, while your employer will send you Form 1095-C. However, in some cases, you may receive only one form, provided by your employer.

It is important that you save these forms, because they provide key information about your health coverage and can help you when filling out your tax return.

You do not need to file these forms with your tax return. However, it is important that you save these forms, because they provide key information about your health coverage and can help you when filling out your tax return.

Form 1095-B

This form provides information about your health insurance coverage that can help when you fill out your income tax return, and serves as proof that you and your family had minimum essential coverage (MEC) during the 2015 tax year. Failure to have MEC may result in tax penalties for you.

This form contains a few specific pieces of information:

  • Whether you had MEC in 2015
  • Which dependents were covered, if applicable
  • Which months you and any covered dependents had coverage

Only one copy of Form 1095-B will be provided for all of your covered family members. Spouses and dependents who received coverage under your plan in 2015 will not receive their own forms. If necessary, you may provide copies of the form for your spouse and dependents for their own records.

Form 1095-C

This form provides proof of the health insurance coverage your employer offered to you and your family during the 2015 tax year, if any. If you purchase health insurance coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace and wish to claim the premium tax credit, this information will assist you in determining whether you are eligible.

This form contains the following information:

  • Whether coverage was offered to you, your spouse and dependents
  • The lowest monthly premium for self-only coverage offered to you in 2015

This form will be provided to you if you were a full-time employee in 2015, regardless of whether you opted to enroll in health insurance benefits through your employer.

Filing Your 2015 Tax Return

The information provided on these forms can help you complete your tax return. Once your tax return is filed, save the forms for your records. The IRS will receive their own copy of each of the forms for comparison purposes. If you obtained health insurance coverage from more than one employer in 2015, you will receive a separate 1095-B and 1095-C form from each employer and health insurance company that offered or provided coverage.

If you have additional questions about Form 1095-B or Form 1095-C, contact us at Vaughn Insurance.

Henderson KY Protection Class Information in the News

Vaughn Insurance had the opportunity to speak with the local TV stations about the revised protection class ratings for some of Henderson county fire departments.  We also provided information to the Gleaner to help spread the word about the revised protection class.

Below is a recap of how they covered the press information we provided.

25 News Reporter – Katie Wisely

14 News Reporter – Jessica Gavin
Tri-State News, Weather

 

The Gleaner – Frank Boyett

Frank’s map of the fire stations with additional details: Fire Dept. Mapping

Fire Dept Ratings

Fire Dept Letters – ISO

How has the new fire protection classes helped or affected you?

Henderson County Fire Protection Updates

After publishing our blog about Corydon fire department being reviewed by ISO and qualifying for a lower rate we found out that several fire departments were reviewed and have qualified for a lower public protection class rating from ISO.  What this could mean for you is a reduction in your property insurance premiums.

There is a new rating structure in place as well that will affect insurance premiums.  Two fire departments, Niagara & Zion, carry enough water that they have earned a rating of 6 without the requirement of a fire hydrant, but you still have to be within 5 miles of the station.  Others have a split class that will require you to be within 5 miles of the fire department and have a fire hydrant within 1,000 feet of your home to qualify for the best rating.

Here is a breakdown on the Henderson County Fire Departments and their new ratings.  The X denotes that you are within 5 miles but do not have a fire hydrant.  Anything over 5 miles is a 10 regardless of having a fire hydrant.

Fire Dept Ratings

Contact your insurance agent to find out how this rating affects your premium.  Some companies may choose to opt out of the X program, so the properties serviced by the fire departments with the X will still be rated a 9 if you don’t have a fire hydrant within 1,000 feet of your home.

Be sure and donate to your county fire department to help support them in their efforts to provide their service to your area.  Click here for contact information if you are interested in donating to your local fire department or applying to be a volunteer firefighter.

FD Service Boundaries

FD Service Boundaries

 

Corydon KY Fire Protection Improved

CCDFD-CollageAre you in the Corydon Civil Defense Fire & Rescue district?

If so, are you within 5 miles of the fire station?

Are you within 1,000 feet of a fire hydrant?

This could mean extra savings on your insurance premium starting November 1st. Contact our office for additional details.

Be sure and donate to your local county fire departments. They work hard to make sure they have the training and equipment to assist you in your time of need.

Read the Official Statement from Corydon Civil Defense Fire & Rescue (appeared on Facebook 8/5/2015).

 

Open Enrollment Explained (Health Insurance)

What does open enrollment mean? Does it have anything to do with Deer season?

Open enrollment is a period of time each year that you can or have to sign up for new health insurance benefits (if you don’t already have them) or change existing benefits. It has a lot to do with how old you are and if you receive Medicare benefits or not.

If you are on Medicare or over the age of 65 , your open enrollment for 2016 is October 15, 2015 to December 7, 2015. If you are enrolled in Medicare and a Medicare advantage plan (Part C) or have a prescription-drug plan (Part D) you can change your benefits or change carriers during this time.

If you have a Medicare supplement, you are not affected by this open-enrollment period. Many, however, that are on a Medicare Supplement carry a separate prescription-drug plan (Part D). A Prescription-Drug Plan (Part D)  can be changed during this open-enrollment period. Medicare Supplements can be changed anytime if meet health underwriting qualifications.

If you are under the age of 65 and not on Medicare, open enrollment for Kentucky kynect or Healthcare.gov runs from November 1, 2015 to January 31, 2016. If you do not have healthcare insurance, you can sign up for coverage between those dates.  If you have been on Kentucky kynect and have the carrier Kentucky Health Cooperative you will need to find a new carrier for 2016.  KHC will not renew policies for the 2016 benefit year. For more information about KHC ceasing to operate see this Kentucky Department of Insurance FAQ. You must select a new carrier (company) and plan by December 15, 2015 for coverage to be effective January 1, 2015. There are fines for not having health insurance.

If you have any questions about these “open enrollment” dates or Health Insurance, please contact us!

OK, now for what you really want. When is the open season for DEER in Henderson KY? See this document from Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources.

Insuring Personal Electronic Articles (SmartPhone & iPhones)

iphoneA policyholder that lost his iPhone unfortunately found out that a homeowners’ policy usually does not cover losing or misplacing an iPhone (or any electronic device).  Contrary to what the Apple and ATT representatives said in comfort when the iPhone was reported missing, it is NOT covered most the time if you lose, misplace or break it.

Homeowners’ policies do cover electronic devices (including the iPhone) for such losses as fire, theft—but just losing or misplacing an iPhone is not covered.

If the iPhone was covered under one of the above perils the deductible (usually around $500 to $1,000) would apply.

So how can we go about getting electronic devices covered without having to first meet a deductible? Insurance for electronic devices can be added  to the homeowners’ policy like we do for jewelry, cameras, coin collections and firearms. The cost usually is approximately between $30 and $50 per year and varies per company.  Most all of our partner companies allow us to individually list and insure these electronic devices.  Once an item is scheduled on a homeowners’ policy no deductible will apply to the loss.

One of our partner companies, State Auto, offers and endorsement to the homeowners’ policy that provides this coverage, plus many other coverages.  Their coverage has no deductible and no hassle, plus it doesn’t go against your homeowners’ insurance if you have a claim.  State Auto’s “Prime of Life” coverage is free for Auto & Home customers over the age of 45 and is available for approximately $60 a year ($5 a month) for those under 45.  All of your phones would be covered with this, so if you are currently paying for cell phone coverage with your wireless provider this could be potential savings for you.

Did you know:

  • 35% of Americans owned a SmartPhone in 2011. Just 4 years later that figure is now 71%.
  • 92% of Americans have a cell phone of some kind… including 75% of people over the age of 65.
  • in 2005 only 6% of people aged 50-64 used Social Media. Just 10 years later it’s now 70%.

Please contact us if you would like more information about scheduling coverage for your electronic equipment.

InsWeb Blog about this issue

[VIDEO] Blues and Barbecue, Milkshakes and Magic (2015)

We had a great time volunteering with fellow Independent Insurance Agents at the Java Shake booth for our local WC Handy Blues and BBQ Festival that is going on this weekend (June 18 to June 20, 2015).

Yes, Norris Priest was showing magic tricks!  Watch the video below.

Electronics Recycling in #HendersonKY

hestcDo you have an old computer, stereo, or appliance that you are about to toss?

Henderson has a better solution to dropping it off at the landfill or placing it in the trash.

The Hugh Edward Sandefur Training Center offers to take most computer equipment and common household electronics/appliances. The items are disassembled and separated into different categories where they are sent off to recycling facilities.

They are located at 1449 Corporate Ct., just off of Sand Lane.  Phone 270.827.2401

It is recommended that you call ahead to arrange a drop off time.

Tree Safety in Storms

A single weak or diseased tree can cause danger to your home or family, and may even knock out power to your neighborhood. A Travelers Safety Specialist shares information and tips to help keep your property safe.



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