107 Airport Rd. Westerly, RI 02891 (401) 596-0146 service@thorptrainer.com
What is Uninsured Motorist Insurance?

What is Uninsured Motorist Insurance?

Uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist are auto insurance coverages that protect you and your vehicle if you’re involved in a car accident caused by a driver with either no insurance, or too little coverage. Uninsured motorist insurance is valuable protection to have because it helps pay for your medical bills and damage to your property in a situation where you would otherwise be without adequate coverage.

But how does underinsured motorist coverage work? When you sit down with an independent agent to discuss uninsured motorist coverage, it’s important to know there are actually three coverage types:

Uninsured Motorist Insurance (UM)

Uninsured motorist coverage, also called uninsured motorist bodily injury insurance or UMBI, protects you if the person who hits your car has no liability insurance or you are the victim of a hit-and-run.

UM coverage extends to you and your passengers and covers things like:

  • Medical care for any resulting injuries
  • Lost wages if you have to miss work
  • Pain and suffering

Underinsured Motorist Insurance (UIM)

Underinsured motorist insurance provides coverage for incidents where the at-fault driver has insurance, but not enough coverage to pay for the damages they caused.

Like UM, underinsured motorist coverage extends to you and your passengers and covers:

  • Medical care for any resulting injuries
  • Lost wages if you have to miss work
  • Pain and suffering

Because they’re so similar, some states bundle UM and UIM coverage together. Talk to an independent insurance agent about the options available in your state.

Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Insurance (UMPD)

Unlike other uninsured motorist options, uninsured motorist property damage insurance covers damage to your vehicle. In some states, coverage may also extend to your personal property – meaning any personal items in your car at the time of the accident.


Do I Need Uninsured Motorist Coverage?

In most cases, uninsured motorist coverage is offered as an optional protection. But, there could be situations – like living in a certain state or driving a financed car – where you may be required to have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage in place.

According to a AAA study, over 700,000 hit-and-run crashes happened in 2015 alone, and that number rises every year.

Even if your state doesn’t require you to have uninsured motorist insurance, it’s worth considering for the peace of mind you’ll get knowing you’re fully protected behind the wheel.

Taco Soup


Taco Soup


Step 1

Set an Instant Pot to Sauté, and heat oil for 2 minutes. Add beef to hot oil, and stir to break into pieces; cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 8 minutes. Add onion; cook, stirring once, until onion is starting to soften, about 6 minutes. Add flour, taco seasoning mix, and ranch mix; cook, stirring occasionally for 2 minutes. 

Step 2

Stir in stock, corn, tomatoes, and beans. Seal Instant Pot with lid, and set steam vent to seal. Change settings to Manual Cook on high pressure, and set timer for 2 minutes (Instant Pot will take at least 10 minutes to build pressure before counting down). Carefully release steam valve. Once steam is released, open lid and divide soup evenly among 6 bowls. Top each serving with cheese, sour cream, and scallions.

Hummingbird Cake


3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 ½ cups vegetable oil
3 eggs beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple (drained)
1 cup pecans
2 cups chopped banana


Preheat oven to 350.  Grease and flour 11 x 17 jelly roll pan.

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in large bowl.  Add eggs and oil.  Stir until moistened-do not beat.  Stir in bananas, vanilla, pineapple, and pecans.

Bake 25-30 minutes or until done


1 8oz soften cream cheese

½ cup softened butter or margarine

4 cups confectionary sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

½ cup pecans

Beat cream cheese, butter, confectionary sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy.  Add pecans.  Spread icing over top of cooled cake.

Broccoli Casserole

Spring Storm Safety Tips for Businesses

Spring can bring about some of the year’s most dangerous weather and wreak havoc on many aspects of a company’s operations.

Dangerous Spring Weather

Unexpected severe weather increases the risk of property damage, injury and even death. Here are some common types of spring weather events:

  • Thunderstorms—Severe thunderstorms can produce strong winds, large hail, and lightning.
  • Flooding—Snowmelt, ice jams and heavy rain can produce large amounts of water runoff in a short period of time, resulting in floods.
  • Excessive heat—The second half of spring typically brings higher temperatures, leading to heat-related disorders or illnesses if employees work in outdoor environments.

Minimizing Risks

 While springtime weather may be unpredictable, businesses can minimize risks to both people and property by preparing for all situations. 

  • Develop a plan. If employees must travel to work, severe spring weather could put them in danger on the road. In addition, power outages could also pose threats to onsite employees, clients, and customers. Having a plan in place can help everyone remain safe during an emergency. Outline what employees should do in different circumstances. Conduct drills until the plan becomes second nature.
  • Keep an emergency kit on hand. This kit should contain emergency supplies, including flashlights, water, a first-aid kit, blankets, extra batteries, a toolset, and current contact information for state and local entities.
  • Secure the property and outdoor assets. If severe weather is in the forecast, complete preventive maintenance, close windows securely, bring outdoor furniture inside and clear out storm drains.
  • Back up data. Back up critical data often to help smoothly rebuild systems.
  • Obtain proper insurance coverage. Complete a coverage review to ensure there are no gaps in coverage that will result in an uncovered loss.

By minimizing the opportunity for property damage, preparing employees to act, and working with an experienced agent to ensure the appropriate insurance coverage is in place, businesses can better mitigate risks during the springtime. For more information, contact us today.

Common Auto Insurance Terms

  • At fault: This term refers to the degree to which a party caused or contributed to an accident. This term is often used to determine whose auto insurance company pays for specific portions of damages incurred as the result of an accident.
  • Liability coverage pays for property damage and/or injuries to another person caused by an accident in which you’re at fault. This coverage is required by most states to legally drive your vehicle. Liability coverage is broken down into 2 parts: property damage and bodily injury.
  • What is Bodily Injury Liability? If you are responsible for a car accident, bodily injury liability coverage pays for the medical costs of the people who are injured (not including yourself). This coverage also helps cover payment for legal defense in the event you are sued for damages.
  • Property damage liability coverage is required by law in most states. It helps pay to repair damage you cause to another person’s vehicle or property. It typically helps cover the cost of repairs if you are at fault for a car accident that damages another vehicle or property such as a fence or building front.
  • Claims adjuster: A claims adjuster is a representative from an insurance company who investigates and settles claims. This person’s job is to ensure that all parties involved in an accident receive fair compensation.
  • Collision coverage: A form of auto insurance that provides for reimbursement for loss to a covered vehicle due to its colliding with another vehicle, object or the overturn of the automobile.
  • Comprehensive coverage: This coverage pays for any repairs not directly related to a collision. This includes damages from fires, thefts, windstorms, floods and vandalism.
  • Covered loss: A covered loss is any damage to yourself, your vehicle, other people or property covered by your insurance policy.
  • Declarations page: Sometimes referred to as an auto insurance coverage summary.  This document lists the following for policyholders:
    • Specific limits for each coverage by vehicle (s)
    • The premium cost of each coverage
    •  Vehicles covered by the policy
  • Deductible: A deductible is the portion of a covered loss that a policyholder agrees to pay out of pocket.
  • Endorsement: Any change, addition or optional coverage added to an insurance policy. An endorsement may require additional premium. 
  • Garaging location: A garaging location refers to the primary location you park your car when it’s not in use.
  • Limits: Limits refer to the maximum dollar amount of protection purchased by the policyholder for specific coverages. State laws often require drivers to have a minimum level of coverage.
  • Loss: Refers to direct and accidental damages to a person or property.
  • Medical payments coverage: Coverage that pays for reasonable medical expenses and death benefits to a policyholder and any passengers injured in the event of an auto accident, regardless of fault.
  • Motor vehicle report (MVR): MVRs are official records held by states that detail a driver’s licensing status, violations, suspensions and other infractions incurred over the last several years. These forms are often used to determine premiums.
  • Named insured: The primary person the insurance policy is issued to.
  • No-fault automobile insurance: This type of coverage is used to compensate victims of accidents without having to prove who caused the accident.
  • Non-owners policy: This policy provides liability and add-on coverage for someone who does not own a vehicle.
  • Personal injury protection coverage: Sometimes referred to as PIP, this coverage pays for medical expenses, and, in some states, lost wages and other damages, if a person is injured in an auto accident, regardless of who is at fault. This coverage often covers pedestrians struck by vehicles as well. 
  • Premium: A premium is the amount a policyholder pays to an insurance company for coverage.
  • Primary use: Primary use refers to how a policyholder mainly uses his or her vehicle. Primary use options often include work, business, pleasure or farm use.
  • Principal driver: The principal driver is the person who drives the insured vehicle the most.
  • Rental reimbursement coverage: This coverage reimburses you (up to a set daily amount) for a rental car if your car is being repaired due to damage covered by your auto insurance policy.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM): This coverage helps pay for medical bills, pain and suffering related to bodily injuries caused by a driver who is uninsured or underinsured.
  • Vehicle identification number (VIN): This is a unique 17-character sequence containing both letters and numbers that identifies a vehicle.

To discuss your auto insurance needs, contact Thorp & Trainer today at 401.596.0146

April Is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

April Is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

The National Safety Council recognizes April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month. This event is intended to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving and encourage motorists like you to minimize potential distractions behind the wheel. Review the following article for more information on distracted driving and ways you can help prevent it.

Distracted Driving Overview

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, distracted driving refers to any activity that may divert a motorist’s attention from the road. There are three main types of distractions that can interfere with drivers’ attentiveness behind the wheel, including:

  1. Visual distractions—These distractions involve motorists taking their eyes off the road. Some examples of visual distractions include reading emails or text messages, focusing on vehicle passengers, looking at maps or navigation systems, and observing nearby activities (e.g., accidents, traffic stops or roadside attractions) while driving.
  2. Manual distractions—Such distractions entail motorists removing their hands from the steering wheel. Key examples of manual distractions include texting, adjusting the radio, programming navigation systems, eating, drinking or performing personal grooming tasks (e.g., applying makeup) while driving.
  3. Cognitive distractions—These distractions stem from motorists taking their minds off driving. Primary examples of cognitive distractions include talking on the phone, conversing with vehicle passengers or daydreaming while driving.

Regardless of distraction type, distracted driving is a serious safety hazard that contributes to a significant number of accidents on the road. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that more than 2,800 people are killed and 400,000 are injured in crashes involving a distracted driver each year—equating to approximately eight deaths and 1,095 injuries per day. Considering these findings, it’s crucial to take steps to prevent distracted driving.

Distracted Driving Prevention Tips

Whenever you get behind the wheel, keep these distracted driving prevention measures in mind:

  • Put away your phone. Silence your phone and store it in a location that is out of reach while driving to lower the temptation to check it.
  • Plan your trip before you leave. Program your navigation system prior to hitting the road to get familiar with your journey and feel confident in your route.
  • Don’t fumble with your playlist. Select a radio station or plug in a predetermined playlist before driving to limit the need for music adjustments.
  • Secure passengers. Ensure kids are properly situated in car seats (if needed) with seat belts fastened. Keep pets stationary in the back seat.
  • Avoid multitasking. Never complete additional tasks—such as eating or personal grooming—behind the wheel.
  • Stay focused. Concentrate your mind on the road by keeping distracting conversations to a minimum and looking straight ahead. 

Ricotta Meatballs (meatless)


2 lbs Ricotta cheese

1 1/4 cups breadcrumbs

1/3 cup grated cheese

2 eggs

Salt & Pepper to taste

Garlic powder to taste

Parsley to taste


Broccoli Casserole


Cream Ricotta. Add breadcrumbs, cheese, eggs, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and parsley. Mix well. 

Heat electric fry pan, add olive oil to cover pan. Form meatballs w/mixture and brown. 

Do I Need Workers’ Compensation Insurance?

Do I Need Workers’ Compensation Insurance?

When running a business, budgets can be particularly tight, especially when you’re first starting out. Saving money wherever you can may seem like a good idea, but it could expose you to financial risks. 

In most states and for most types of businesses, workers’ compensation insurance is required by law. Even if you’re hiring an independent contractor or a part-time employee, you may be required to have this coverage.

Workers’ compensation requirements are regulated at the state level. In general, business owners need to purchase workers’ compensation insurance as soon as the first employee is hired. Many states also have penalties for not carrying coverage, and the penalties for not complying with these laws can be far more expensive than insurance premiums. Penalties can range anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000 and even include jail time for failure to carry workers’ compensation insurance. 

The criteria to have workers’ compensation coverage can vary depending on a number of factors. For example, if you employ workers in different states, you’ll need to provide insurance based on the requirements of each state. Some states require you have workers’ compensation coverage even if you are a sole proprietor or if you employ part-time or seasonal employees. Additionally, if you are self-employed, laws or contracts may require that you have coverage in order to get jobs. 

When deciding if workers’ compensation insurance is necessary, you’ll want to make the decision that best protects your business and the people that work for you.

What Is Workers’ Compensation Insurance?

Workers’ compensation insurance ensures that an injured worker’s medical care is paid for and that they are compensated for lost wages, regardless of fault. If a worker loses their life while on the job, the coverage can help pay for funeral costs and provide a death benefit to the employee’s beneficiary. 

It also protects your business from costly lawsuits if a worker is injured or falls ill while on the job. This coverage will limit your out-of-pocket obligations, ensuring business-as-usual for your company and employees. Workers’ compensation insurance comes into play in the event of an injury, including legal fees. Employers liability is also included to protect you against punitive damages, or compensation above and beyond required compensation, related to an employee’s injury or illness.

Which States Require Workers’ Comp?

Each state sets its own requirements for workers’ compensation insurance. Because laws are frequently being updated, we recommend checking with your state’s labor department and your independent agent for the latest requirements. The Department of Labor maintains a list of each state labor official  and website that may help you find relevant local information.

Even if your state doesn’t require you to buy workers’ compensation insurance, it might be a good idea to purchase it to better protect your business. If you don’t have workers’ compensation insurance, and one of your employees has a job-related injury, you could be personally responsible for any medical bills or be sued for personal injury or negligence. It’s best to have your bases covered. 

Does an LLC Need Workers’ Comp Insurance? 

States that require workers’ comp coverage may provide exemptions for certain types of businesses. For example, seasonal workers or certain types of independent contractors could possibly be exempt from coverage requirements. Those hired to provide expertise in a non-construction capacity are more likely to get the exemption. 

Businesses may not be required to carry workers’ comp insurance on corporate officers who own a certain amount of stock in the company, members of an LLC, partners in a corporation or a sole proprietor. Although the state may not require the members of an LLC to be covered by workers’ comp insurance, it may still be a good idea to get coverage. Being a member of an LLC shields you from personal liability, but it does not prevent anyone, including other members, from suing the LLC. 

Do I Need Workers’ Comp for Myself If I Have No Employees?

Even if you are self-employed, you may want to consider workers’ comp insurance. For sole proprietors without employees, workers’ comp will cover your losses for work-related injuries. The right coverage could take care of medical bills and lost wages, which could be a significant need even if you are self-employed. 

Here are a few situations where getting workers comp coverage could benefit you if you’re self-employed:

  • You are a self-employed general or sub-contractor and you want to bid on a job that requires workers’ compensation insurance.
  • You have health insurance but it won’t provide compensation for lost wages in the event you get injured on the job and can’t work.
  • You have auto insurance but its limited liability won’t cover you if you have an accident while working and the injured party sues your business for damages. 
  • You hire independent contractors but the state you work in considers independent contractors as employees.

In all these scenarios, workers’ compensation insurance would save you out-of-pocket expenses and provide an extra layer of protection for your business.

How Much Workers’ Comp Insurance Do I Need? 

There are several elements that can determine how much workers’ compensation insurance you need, including the average age of your workforce, the types of risks they face on the job, the cost of living in your area and the number of employees you have.

The cost of workers’ compensation insurance varies widely by state and job type. Most states set minimum standards, but it is a good idea to consult your independent insurance agent to determine how much coverage is right for your unique business.

Pistachio Nut Bread


1 pkg yellow cake mix

2 pkgs pistachio instant pudding

4 eggs

¾ cup oil

1 cup club soda

1 cup chopped nuts

1 cup chopped cherries

Broccoli Casserole


Grease and flour tube pan.

Beat first 5 ingredients for five minutes. Stir in nuts and cherries.

Bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes.

What is General Liability Insurance?

Commercial general liability insurance, also called GLI or business liability insurance, is a policy that protects you and your business from any common risks that result in property damage or bodily injury. General liability business insurance keeps you from paying out of pocket for things like doctors’ or attorneys’ fees, so you can focus on keeping your employees paid and business running smoothly.


What Does a General Liability Insurance Policy Cover?

General liability insurance for small business owners helps protect against a variety of potentially costly risks, including:

  • Injury or property damage caused by your business.
  • Medical costs for customers who hurt themselves while on your property.
  • Legal fees to help defend lawsuits brought against your business.
  • Rental property damage in the event of a covered loss, like a fire.

How Much Is General Liability Insurance?

Like many other insurance policies, commercial general liability insurance pricing depends on a number of factors. These can be more complex things like how risky your industry is, or simple matters like how many employees you have. Here’s an idea of what your insurance agent may factor into your policy:

  • How long you’ve been in business
  • The location of your business
  • The condition of the building
  • Your policy coverages and deductibles

Do You Need General Liability Insurance?

Part of owning a small business is being prepared for unexpected risks. And paying out of pocket for expensive legal fees or extensive repairs could put your business in jeopardy. But with the right general liability business insurance, you can get peace of mind knowing your most important assets are covered.