Prepare Your Business For The Next Disaster

There are many things businesses can do to prepare for the impact of the many natural hazards they face including floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes.  Developing an emergency preparedness plan is one of the most important strategic decisions you will make as a small business owner.

Your Business Insurance Company May offer Resources

Check with us to determine if your business insurance company has tools and resources to help you. Your business insurance will respond to many hazards and risks that are insured under your policy.

Three Questions to Ask About Your Business

How vulnerable would your business be if a disaster or other emergency were to occur?

Do you have a plan to protect your employees and business?

Have you provided emergency preparedness training to employees?

The American Red Cross offers free tools that may be useful to you: www.readyrating.org

Get Your Business Prepared

Review your policy with us to make sure you understand the nature of your coverage, the deductibles, and the limits of your insurance.

Create evacuation and shelter safety procedures.

Create backup copies of critical data and programs.

Train your employees annually in emergency preparedness.

Protect vital business records. Keep your most important documents in a safe that has been tested and listed by UL (Underwriters Laboratories) as being resistant to fire, heat, burglary tools and torches.

Create an emergency contact list.

Learn what kind of emergencies might affect your business.

Decide ahead of time what you can do if your building becomes unusable.

Make emergency preparedness part of daily procedures and communications.

Thanks to the American Red Cross and U.S. Small Business Administrating for providing some of this information.

Can You Live Without Disaster Insurance?

Can You Live Without Disaster Insurance?

Human caused disasters and natural disasters occur in every state. California has earthquakes and wildfires, Colorado has flooding and wildfires, the Northeast has winter storms and high winds, Florida has flooding and hurricanes, and the Midwest has flooding and tornados.

Insurance And Disasters

It is safe to say that most business and homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover the risks associated with disasters. The only exception would be damage caused by wildfires. Let’s look at how insurance might apply to other disasters.

Floods— Only 13% of U.S. homeowners had flood-insurance policies last year according to the Insurance Information Institute, a trade group. Flood insurance must be purchased through the National Flood Insurance Program. We can help you if you need the coverage.

Earthquake— While earthquakes occur mainly in certain areas, there are registered earthquakes in every state, every year. Earthquake insurance also must be added or purchased under a separate policy.

Tornadoes— Damage from tornadoes typically is covered, since it usually is considered wind damage.

Mudslides— A standard home insurance policy does not protect your home against damage caused by a mudslide. Mudslides are usually defined as ground movement. Heavy rains that cause a mudflow would typically be covered.

Heavy Snow and Winter Storms— Winter storms and snow damage is covered under a typical homeowner’s policy. If flooding occurs, then the flood damage would be covered.

Hail— Most homeowner’s insurance policies provide coverage for losses resulting from hail.

Wildfires— It can be safe to say that all homeowner’s insurance covers loss resulting from a fire. Wildfires are considered a fire and would be covered.

Coverage disclaimer–the information provided here is for general purposes only. It is not our intent to change or modify insurance coverage. Each insurance policy is different and your individual coverage will be determined by the terms of your insurance policy.

 

Put Insurance On Your Restaurants Menu

If you are in search of Commercial Insurance for your restaurant, you may find it difficult to find competitive rates and coverage. We shop your insurance regularly, which enables us to provide the best possible combination of coverage, price, and service.  We offer competitive premiums and quality coverage.

The best strategy for lowering your premium is to find the carriers that specialize in the restaurant industry. These companies usually offer broad coverage and are competitive in pricing.  As an independent agent, we search the market for you, finding the best possible combination of price, coverage, and service. Remember, not all insurance companies are created equal. The more experienced and specialized the agent is, the better the chance you have of finding the best premium and coverage.

Other ways to reduce your restaurant premiums:

Combine all your insurance under a “package.”

Don’t nickel-and-dime your insurance company. If you file claims for every little thing, your rates may increase. Insurance is meant to cover unexpected large losses.

Consider your deductibles. By increasing your deductible, you may save money.

One of the best forms of protection is routine maintenance. A well-maintained property is less likely to have mechanical failures or losses.

Offer safety training to employees.

Start a safety committee to help reduce work comp losses.

Place all your insurance with one insurance company.

Seek advice from a qualified independent agent like Partners Insurance Services.

Investigate premium-reduction strategies such as inspections and security systems.

At least once a year, review your coverage for duplications or unnecessary coverage.

We are experts in the hospitality industry, and specifically restaurants. We have access to many qualified highly rated insurance companies. Call us today.

Good Reasons To Call Your Insurance Agent

Home and Auto Insurance Update

Let’s face it, you buy home and auto insurance to protect you when and or if an accident happens. And when you have an accident, you want your personal insurance to respond.  If it has been a while since you updated your personal insurance coverage, you may want to call us today.

When to Call Your Agent

When you buy or sell a car

If you started a home based business

If you are thinking about putting in a pool

When you purchased any high end jewelry, guns or other items

If you home replacement value has gone up

Did you get a company car?

If you have remolded any part of your home

When you install a security system in your home

If you get married or divorced

If your commute distance has changed

When your children go away to college

Having the right auto coverage is not as easy as it sounds, and choosing the wrong coverages and limits could lead to financial disaster.  Our team is prepared to help you find the right combination of coverage, price and service.

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.