There Is Insurance for (Almost) Everything

 Business Insurance Update

Most business owners buy commercial insurance to cover fire, theft, and certain liability risks.  However, did you know there are many unique insurance products that can also protect your business?  Your business insurance should be able to respond to almost all the activities in which you are involved, but if you are not properly insured, it may not.  Therefore, we thought we would explain several business coverage’s you may not have considered. 

Unique Kinds of Business Insurance 

Political Risk Insurance—The world is becoming a very dangerous place, so there is coverage for business owners and executives who travel to foreign countries.  Kidnap and ransom coverage can protect your executives in case of an unforeseen event.

Giving Advice—Do you or your employees give advice to your customers?  If so, you may need Professional Liability Insurance.

Foreign Liability—If you export products to a foreign county, your business is at risk of a product liability claim if the products cause an injury or loss.

Loss of Value—If you rely on your voice or other talent to produce income, you can buy insurance to cover yourself in the event you are unable to perform.

Environmental—Environmental insurance is there to protect humans and physical assets from the effects of pollution exposure, so you can carry on running your business without worrying about major oil spills or other catastrophic events.

Chicken insurance—Many people insure their pets, but you can also buy coverage to insure your chickens or other animals.

Tax opinion insurance—Acquisitions, reorganizations, mergers, or other changes of ownership can present complicated tax problems.  Tax insurance protects the business in the event the transaction produces a larger than expected tax liability.

We Know Insurance

Apple Insurance Specialists is an Austin-based independent insurance agency offering a wide range of cost effective solutions to individuals, families and businesses. For over 14 years we have provided exceptional customer service and comprehensive insurance coverage to our customers. As independent insurance agents in Austin, we offer a selection of insurance policies through trusted insurance companies such as, Travelers, Hartford, MetLife and Progressive. Our #1 priority is to provide each customer with insurance quotes representing the best value and the protection they need to safeguard their business and personal assets.

How Cyber Liability Insurance

Almost every business has a cyber liability exposure.  Most businesses are securing some form of coverage to protect their companies from these types of threats.  A recent report by a leading insurance firm said that purchases of cyber insurance grew over 30% in the last year.  It has become clear that even a good IT department cannot solve all the cyber risks your business has.

Cyber liability coverage (for data breaches) has evolved from just insurance for information technology companies, to coverage that nearly every kind of business should have — if they do not already.  Businesses including retailers, banks, contractors, distributors, restaurants, medical offices and more are unaware of the severe data breach exposure they face.

Here are a few of the latest methods used by cyber criminals

Social Engineering.  This email looks like it is coming from your boss or CFO to transfer funds into the company account.

Direct Force.  This is software that attaches to your computer, usually through emails, and then goes through hundreds of thousands of different words, combinations of words, and numbers to try to crack your password.

Pushing.  This is a common way to gain entry and pull information.  Again, usually attached to an email, and once it is opened, the virus accesses your system.

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.

Civil Disobedience Is Newer Civil

A Risk Management Update

There seems to be a growing number of protects and civil disobedience these days. For whatever the reason for the protests, it does create a risk for your business. Your business insurance is designed to protect your business from unknown claims or accidents. Our job is to be your business insurance resource and to provide you with the best combination of coverage, price, and service.  A commercial liability policy can protect your company from actions by yourself and employees if a third party is damaged or injured.

Are Riots A Covered Loss?

Generally speaking, damage to your building and other property due a riot is a covered peril. This would include fire, theft, and vandalism. If you were forced to close your business by civil authority but had no building damage you may be able to collect for lost revenue, depending on how your policy is written. Remember, each policy is unique, so call our office for a review.

What If The Fire Department Refuses To Put Out The Fire?

Insurance companies generally will not deny a claim because the fire department pulled back for safety reasons. If civil authorities limit or restrict access to a burning building, your insurance will not be jeopardized.

Final Thoughts

Business insurance is designed to protect your business from accidents and other unforeseen events. Many of the damaged businesses had insurance, and those that did not will most likely have to close their doors.

Five Reasons an Independent Agent Is Better Than Online Insurance

A Personal Insurance Update

Buying insurance for your home, auto, or business is one of the most important decisions you can make.  Just ask the people of Houston, Texas.  Currently, independent agents are on the ground helping their clients finalize their claims so they can get back to their daily lives.

We understand what is important to consumers when it comes to securing insurance. These are the things people feel are important when it comes to purchasing insurance: *

Cost

Ease of obtaining coverage

Speed of obtaining coverage

Peace of mind that everything is covered

Security of personal data

*Source: Adam Bishop

Here is how we help you with each of these

Cost – Independent agents have access to more markets and have better relationships with insurers, thus affording better pricing options for you.

Ease of obtaining coverage—We actually do all the legwork for you. You will not be routed to a call center, placed on hold, and then talk to someone who may not even be licensed.

Speed – It is easy to call or meet with us. We live in your community.

Peace of mind – We make sure that you are covered for what you need to be covered for.

Security – We make sure all your personal information is secure.

See full article

2017 Was A Tough Year For Many Insurance Companies

2018 is here, and 2017 is in the rear view mirror.  Last year we saw and experienced many hardships and disasters, but also hand many successes.  We hope 2018 brings you much happiness and success.  2017 was a year in which many entire communities were destroyed by storms and wildfires, 20 million or more people experienced an identity theft, and a number of women come forward describing their sexual harassment.

Here is a list of the top risk issues for 2017

Wildfires in California and Oregon – over $4 billion in damage

Storms in Texas, Florida, and the Northeast

Flooding in Texas, Oregon, and most of the Midwest

Identity theft and cyber breaches

An increase in sexual harassment claims

The continued evolution of driverless vehicles

The regulation of drones

Advances in home technology

Retention of key employees

The ability to attract quality workers

Terrorism

Random shootings

Over the next few months we will try to help you develop a clear plan on how to manage these risks. Please contact our office and we will be happy to help you identify what is important to you and then put together a plan to help you manage you risks most effetely.  Here are just two.

Identity Theft and Cyber Breaches

Identity theft insurance provides reimbursement to victims for the cost of restoring their identity and repairing credit reports.  This type of insurance will help you with certain kinds of expenses to aid you in restoring your credit. Cyber policies cover the liability arising from website media content as well as breach related property losses such as: (a) business interruption, (b) data loss/destruction, (c) computer fraud, (d) funds transfer loss, and (e) cyber extortion.  It can also provide notification and other services for a covered loss.

Harassment Claims

Your business must address this issue head on.  First, you need to secure employment practices liability insurance.  This insurance will offer defense and indemnification coverage should you be involved in an employment litigation.  Second, your business needs to have a clear anti-discrimination policy.  The policy should include reporting procedures and anti-whistleblower provisions.

 

 

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.

 

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

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.

Insurable Risks Derived From Growing Businesses

A business insurance review

Recently, small business owners were surveyed to help identify some of the top risks they faced when growing their businesses1.  Many small business owners are unaware of the new, and increased, risks that come with growth.  For example, many business owners erroneously think that a claim is not covered, so they fail to file the claim.  A leading commercial insurer has identified the top five most costly business insurance claims.

Leading losses for small businesses and the average claim cost

Reputational harm: $50,000

Vehicle accident: $45,000

Fire damage: $35,000

Product liability: $35,000

Customer injury or property damage: $30,000

New and growing risks faced by expanding businesses

As your business grows, your risks change.  It is beneficial for business owners to have an understanding of how risks change because of growth.

Contract disputes increase. Growing businesses often develop relationships without written agreements, resulting in disputes.

Increased employee litigation. When businesses hire new people, often they overlook proper hiring practices. This often leads to litigation.  Make sure your business has an employment practices liability policy.

Increase in worker injuries. A greater workload leads to increased hours and the possibility of employee injury.  Your workers’ compensation policy will cover work related injuries.

Building damage. Often, growing businesses fail to pay attention to building maintenance, which can lead to all kinds of damage. Read your property policy to make sure you do not void your coverage through lack of attention to safety issues.

 

1Source for article: PC360.com