Fire Safety

A fire could be the best thing to have on those cold days, or during camping trips in summer. Then there are those mishaps that could lead to catching a building on fire. Maybe someone threw an oven mitt on a hot stove top, or perhaps toasting marshmallows using the fireplace was not the best idea. Fire has been a tool since the dawn of man. With that in mind, things that shouldn’t have caught fire seem to be the first things to combust.

In the earlier days of insurance there were accidents like there are today. The difference was that back then insured buildings would have what was called a “Fire Brand”, which was a wooden or metal plaque that showed the building was insured. Another difference was in fire safety. Before there were publicly funded fire brigades, there were multiple brigades competing for business. When an insured building would catch fire, the first brigade to douse it got paid. Resulting in arguments between these fire brigades on who got to put out the fire. Sometimes the building was not insured; in which case a brigade might leave it there for the next brigade to take care of.

That was back in the early 1900’s. We have funded fire brigades, but fire related accidents still happen. In summer there can be wild fires that spread to enormous lengths. Something that California knows all too well. We, as a California insurance service, would like to remind you of the simple truth that fire-related accidents happen. Maybe now is the time to get some homeowners insurance or small business insurance. Contact us at Sweeney & Sweeney Insurance Services to find the perfect insurance for your house or business.

Health Care Reform: Small Business Tax Credits

In regards to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care
Act, small employers (those who have less than 50 full-time equivalent employees
(FTE)) are not required to offer their employees health coverage. However, an
employer with 25 or fewer full-time equivalent employees may be eligible for
incentives from the federal government to provide their employees with health


Many small employers do not realize they have the
opportunity to claim a federal income tax credit on their annual tax returns.
Unfortunately, a very low percentage of qualified business owners are taking
advantage of this credit. Here are the IRS guidelines to be eligible.

  1. The expenses that an employer can count towards the tax
    credit includes the premiums that are paid for each employee. The employer must
    contribute at least 50% of the cost of the health care coverage for employees.
  2.  Must have less than 25 FTE workers when totaling all
    individuals’ hours of employment.
  3.  Employers must pay their workers an average of less
    than $50,000 per year to qualify. The smaller and lower wage employers will
    receive a larger tax credit.

If your business meets these requirements, we encourage you
to contact a Health Care Reform Agent (such as our Health Department here at Sweeney & Sweeney) to verify your options and help you
calculate your eligibility of a tax credit.