Home Insurance Update

Many homeowners have experienced premium increases. Our agency works very hard to bring our clients the best possible combination of premiums, coverage and service.

What Can We Do To Help?

We are an independent agency.  This allows us to search the market for the best possible combination of premiums, coverage and service. We compare insurance company’s rates and use the competitive market to your advantage. Here are some ways to save on your premiums:

Purchase all your insure through our agency

Ask us about additional discounts

Consider increasing your deductible

Keep your home well maintained

Replace your roof, water heater and other equipment when needed

Review your policy regularly- you may not need the same kind of coverage you did a few years ago

Remember to call our office today. We will work hard for you.

How Cloud Computing Changes Cyber Risk Exposures

Cyber risk and cloud computing is a topic that keeps evolving. In a recent study 40% of companies thought they did not need cyber liability insurance. Many thought cyber liability was covered under their business insurance policy. And others thought that if they used the cloud to store client’s information that they had no risk.

A recent example has been the Anthem Health data breach; here over 80 million people may have had their personal data compromised. If a large company like Anthem Health can have a cyber-breach, so can your company. See More Here

How Cloud Computing Will Change The Cyber Risk Landscape

There is no question that cloud computing changes the cyber risk landscape. But using the cloud does not reduce your risk. In fact, using the cloud may increase your risk. As more firms use the cloud, cyber criminals will increase their efforts to brake in, as there is more information for them to steel. Your risk will vary depending on the platform your firm uses. One benefit is that your business may require less in house technology which will reduce operating costs.

Cyber Risks Are Growing

Russian hackers recently stole over 2 billion online names and passwords. Home Depot had millions of customer credit cards stolen. A local restaurant recently had 1200 customer credit card numbers stolen, and finally a medical clinic had a lap top stolen that contained 5,000 patient’s names and confidential information. Every company is at risk for cyber theft and loss.

Cyber Insurance

We can provide your firm with the right combination of pricing and coverage. Cyber risk    insurance is available at very reasonable premiums. Many of our companies offer coverage to help protect your business from loss.

 

Why Review Your Insurance?

 

Our agency is founded and run on the philosophy that client’s needs come first and foremost. We know you hear that a lot, so we wanted to tell you how we carry out our philosophy day to day. This article is the continuation of our series on how to think differently about insurance. Every client deserves an annual insurance review. The review may take different forms depending on the individual circumstances.

Benefits To An Insurance Review

Keeps your program up to date

Provides opportunity for feedback on services

Allows for the partnership to review goals

We take time to review key exclusions and other coverage items

You may need to modify, reduce or add coverage depending on your current situation

The review does not need to take a long time 

Business Insurance Review

A business review is important because risk is constantly changing. Maybe your operations have not changed, but laws and other statutes can impact your risk and need to be addressed. Here are a few examples:

Prices change and a review can determine if you are getting competitive rates on your insurance.

Your coverage needs may have changed and your policy should reflect these changes.

There may be new insurance companies to which we have access.

Laws and regulations are changing and may require a different kind of insurance. 

Personal Insurance Review

A review of your personal insurance can be completed in person, over the phone or even via email. But the important thing is that the client and agent communicate about your personal risk and what has changed. Changes in your personal situation can have an impact on your insurance needs. Examples might include:

Change in marital status

Kids headed off to college

Remodeling of your home

Purchase of expensive jewelry

Texas Home Insurance

How To Save On Your Georgetown, TX  Homeowner’s Insurance

Homeowner’s insurance typically covers you against fire, theft and other damage to your home and personal property. Georgetown, TX Homeowner’s insurance also covers your liability in case someone gets inured on your property. Everyone likes to save money on their homeowner’s insurance. But many people assume that saving money equals less coverage.  That is not so.  Here are some simple things that you can do to save money on your homeowner’s insurance without compromising coverage.

Homeowners insurance Savings

Stop smoking. There are over 8,000 smoking related fires every year in the U.S.

Fix the plumbing, roof, or wiring. If you live in an older home, updating these items can reduce your premiums and improve the value of your home.

Do not put in that pool. Having a pool can be fun, but it increases your personal liability and homeowner’s premiums.

Install a home security system. Home security systems can reduce your premiums and add value to your home.

Increase your deductible. Did you know most people never have a homeowner’s insurance claim?  Why not increase your deductible and save money!

Let us shop the market for you. We have access to many markets that can offer competitive homeowner’s insurance premiums.

Many insurers give locality discounts.

A 2018 Business Insurance Update

Risk management and insurance issues that your local business faces are not that much different from those faced by fortune 500 companies; fortune 500 companies’ risks are just larger and possibly more complex. Making sure that you have the right kind of business insurance for protecting your operations is our number one goal.

Recently, PC360.com ran an article describing the top risks for large corporations. We thought we would relate these risks to your local business, and suggest some insurance that your business should consider to cover these risks.

• Business Interruption Insurance – This can include lost net income, continuing expenses, and even relocation expenses. This coverage is not always automatic, and needs to be added with specific limits.

• Directors and Officers Liability – Directors and officer’s liability insurance helps protect your business, owners, executives, and managers if individuals, competitors, third parties or government regulators make claims.

• Regulatory Compliance Issues – New regulations and contractual risks are increasing for all organizations. Issues include; contracted employee, healthcare, workers’ compensation laws, environmental issues, cyber reporting requirements, and more.

• Employee Safety – Maintaining a safe working environment should always be a top priority for your business.

• Cyber Liability – Did you know that the average business has a greater chance of having a cyber breach than it does of having a fire? It is true, and your business insurance policy most likely will not cover cyber liability losses. “This new world of connected devices promises insights on which companies can base strategic decisions. But the ability to obtain more information brings the responsibility to use that data appropriately, maintain customers’ privacy, and practice effective cybersecurity.” PC360.com

How to Minimize Holiday Risks

A Personal Insurance Update

November is here and that means the holiday season has started.  Over the next number of weeks, holiday activities will consume much of our time.  This is also the season when homeowners have insurance claims for fire, burglary, theft from vehicles, and even auto accidents.

Now may be the best time to have us review your personal insurance in order to make sure you have the individual coverage you need.

Shopping Safety Tips

Always be aware of your surroundings.

Put your shopping bags in your trunk.

NEVER leave car doors unlocked or windows open.

ALWAYS park in lighted areas. Do NOT park in remote areas.

Shop with a friend.

Keep receipts in your wallet or purse.

Avoid carrying large amounts of cash.

As you return to your car, make sure to keep your car key in your hand.

If you make expensive purchases, like jewelry or guns, call our office, as we may need to add these to your policy.

Christmas Tree Safety (provided by the NFPA)

Make sure the tree is at least four feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights.

Make sure the tree is not blocking any exit or door.

Add water to the tree stand daily.

Never use lit candles to decorate the tree.

Only used approved lights.

Connect no more than three strands of mini string sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs

Replace any string of lights that has worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections.

Home Safety Tips

If you are planning a vacation during the holiday, here are few ideas to consider:

Get a security system.

Trim landscaping that is too close to your house.

Don’t advertise your vacation on social media.

Cancel mail and other deliveries.

Leave lights on when gone.

Have a neighbor check on your home.

Always lock your garden sheds and garages.

Use a variable light timer to activate lights inside your home.

Lock all doors and windows.

While you are gone, arrange for your lawn to be mowed.

Have adequate exterior lighting.

 

What Is Trending in Risk Management

Are you concerned about the future?  Is your risk management program designed and prepared for changes in pricing, economic downturns, healthcare, changes in employment laws and upcoming political elections?  A broker or agent who cares about your business will be on the forefront of change.  Part of providing outstanding customer service is helping clients understand how current and future trends may affect their risk program.

Every so often, we think it is a good idea to talk about what may be happening regarding insurance and risk management.  We review many different insurance publications, insurance company bulletins, and other professional’s opinions, to analyze these trends.  This allows customers to make educated and informed decisions about their individual programs.

What Is Going on That May Impact Your Risk Program

Increased reliance on technology will lead to better-run insurers and stable premiums. The development of advanced loss control analytic tools will revitalize insurers focus on claim reduction, and potentially lead to increased investments in loss control.  Insurers are using business intelligence to leverage “big data” to help them estimate claims, assets, credit and market data, and gain deeper insights across networks of producers, policyholders, and operations.

Mobile applications are one of the fastest growing areas of insurance. Businesses are able to manage risk programs through technology.

Cyber liability will continue to be a major area of concern for all businesses. The government will continue to require businesses to protect customer’s information. Those businesses that do not will be subject to increased fines.

Most insurance companies are moving toward using data to develop commercial insurance premiums. This means your business will need to rely more on your agent. Your agent will be able to help you navigate through the complex maze of insurance program design, marketing, and placement.

Halloween Safety

In the next few days, we will be watching children scramble from house to house in search of the elusive Halloween treat.  However, keeping our kids safe as they are out Halloween night is always a concern.  A little pre-planning can prevent unfortunate accidents that could turn out to be tragic.  Remember, your homeowner’s insurance will cover you in most cases should someone trip and fall on your premises.

Here are some pointers for ensuring your house is a safe place for trick-or-treaters on Oct. 31.

Provide healthier treats for trick-or-treaters such as low-calorie treats and drinks. For your guests, offer a variety of fruits and vegetables.

Be sure walking areas and stairs are well-lit and free of obstacles that could cause someone to fall.

Keep candle-lit jack o’lanterns and luminaries away from doorsteps, walkways, landings, and curtains. Place them on sturdy tables, keep them out of the reach of pets and small children, and never leave them unattended.

Remind drivers to watch out for trick-or-treaters and to drive safely.

Safety tips for kids

Never, ever, go into a house.

Costumes should be short enough to prevent children from tripping and falling

An adult or an older responsible child should always accompany young children. Even older children should go trick-or-treating with an adult, or with friends.  Never go out alone.

Only go to homes with a porch light on.

Plan costumes that are bright and reflective.

Do not eat homemade food.

Examine all candy.  If it has been opened, toss it out.

Use a flashlight.

Apple Insurance Specialists is an Austin-based independent insurance agency offering a wide range of cost effective solutions to individuals, families and businesses.

Sources: http://www.nsc.org/https://www.aap.orghttps://www.cdc.gov