Holiday Shopping Safety

Personal Insurance and Safety Update

Halloween is over and that means we are in the middle of the holiday season.  During the next 60 days, we will all be busy shopping, eating out, and traveling.  Thieves know that the police are overloaded during the holiday season, and they take full advantage it.  Burglars know that there are many expensive items in homes and cars during the holidays.

Your home or renter’s insurance will provide coverage for theft or loss if you have the coverage. Now would be a good time to call us for a free personal insurance review. Whether you are holiday shopping at the mall, online, or a little of both, keeping yourself and your personal information safe is important.  Here are a few holiday shopping safety tips:

Holiday Shopping Safety

Always be aware of your surroundings.

Lock your shopping bags in your trunk.

Never allow children to make unaccompanied trips to the restroom.

Never leave car doors unlocked or windows open.

Always park in lighted areas. DO NOT park in remote areas.

Shop with a friend.

Teach your child to go to a store clerk and ask for help in case your child is separated from you.

Avoid wearing expensive jewelry.

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.

 

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.

Don’t Buy A Used Motorcycle Helmet

A motorcycle helmet is one of those essentials that will help save your life should you have an accident while riding your bike. This will protect your head from a damaging and even potentially fatal head injury. Motorcycle helmets are so important that state lawmakers have even included a directive in the state laws that orders all people riding the motorcycle to wear helmets.

Some people though do not understand the importance of this accessory. In fact, some people do not even like wearing it because it is too heavy and too suffocating. Others find it a killjoy not to be able to feel the wind on their faces when riding a motorbike.

Motorcycle helmets are not really that expensive, but they are also not cheap. Some who are not that well-informed will probably save all their money for the motorcycle leaving a really small budget for safety gears like the helmet. Some even buy used helmets instead of new ones. This, however, is one practice that should not be encouraged.

Using used helmets is extremely dangerous and impractical. Used helmets are actually worthless, and what is more, you cannot really tell whether they are damaged or not. You won’t even be able to tell if they are relatively new ones or not. This is because the helmet is made from a hard outer shell that envelops a layer of expanded polystyrene. You will never be able to tell if the expanded polystyrene is already compressed or not unless you cut the outer shell. An already compressed polystyrene layer will not protect you from an accident.

Another thing that you should consider is the fact that polystyrene becomes brittle as it ages. This is the reason why old helmets should be exchanged for new ones in a couple of years as it may not be able to absorb much of the impact when an accident does happen. The polystyrene layer is also easily damaged by the sun and by chemicals such as gas vapors.

Motor bikers who always place their helmet near the gas tank will also unknowingly damage the lining of the helmet. It is also not a good idea to always let the helmet sit under the heat of the sun. If you can, try to park your motorbike in areas that are shaded. Pointed objects may also compromise the lifespan of the helmet by piercing through the polystyrene layer inside.

Prom and Graduation Safety

This is the time of year when graduation parties and proms are in full swing. We congratulate all graduates on a job well done. High school is full of defining moments for Bay Area teens and two of the highlights for most are prom and graduation. We want your celebration to be a happy and safe one, so here are a few tips.

However, this time of year often sees other, more tragic defining moments – serious car accidents involving teens who are distracted or even under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

First, encourage your teen to follow these general safe-driving rules:

Absolutely no alcohol

Always use seat belts

No cell phone use (including texting) while driving

Special circumstances 

Of course, special events such as prom and graduation often present special circumstances. There may be dinner with dates before the dance and parties before or after either event. It’s a good idea to discuss your expectations well before each event, putting some guidelines into place before your teen heads out for the night. Here are some ideas:

Make sure you know the itinerary of the evening, as well as who else will be with your teen. You should have contact information for everyone.

Have a way to contact your teen at all times. You may want to require them to check in with you once or twice over the course of the evening.

Set a curfew, whether they are coming back to your home or staying with a friend. If they are staying elsewhere, make sure the curfew will be enforced by a responsible adult.

Discuss with your teen how to handle difficult situations, such as facing pressure to drink, or accepting a ride with someone who shouldn’t be driving. It’s a good idea to provide your child with money for a taxi just in case.

Offer a “no-questions-asked” ride home, should they need one during the evening.

If you’re worried about your teen driving, consider alternate transportation. A car service or limousine will provide a responsible, experienced adult driver. You also will be able to limit changes to the itinerary and contact the driver.

 

 

 

Texas Business Insurance

Business Insurance

According to the latest surveys by major insurers, small to medium sized businesses have a number of critical gaps in their insurance coverage. The reasons for gaps vary; not fully understanding how certain coverage applies to their business, buying insurance from a captive agent who can’t provide the coverage, thinking their commercial coverage provides the coverage, and finally believing they don’t have the risk.

Business Insurance For Your Organization 

Here are the coverage’s you should consider to make sure you are adequately protected.

Pollution Liability- Protects against the liability that comes with polluting the       environment including restoration and cleanup, liability for injuries and deaths caused by pollution.

Cyber Liability- Cyber liability is the risk posed by conducting business over the Internet, over other networks or using electronic storage technology. It covers third party losses from hackers, theft, and loss of information including sensitive client or individual personal information.

Directors & Officers Liability– Covers costs, damages, and defense protection to directors and officers of a company resulting from law suits and judgments arising out of poor management decisions, employee dismissals, shareholder grievances, and other such acts committed in good faith.

Employment Liability– Employment Liability provides protection for an employer against claims made by employees, former employees, or potential employees. It can cover discrimination (age, sex, race, disability, etc.), wrongful termination of employment, sexual harassment, and other employment-related allegations.

Professional Liability– Insurance that is designed to cover third party claims, damages and claims arising out of providing professional advice.  Many firms create legal obligations arising out of a professional’s errors, negligent acts, or omissions during the course of providing services to clients.

We are ready to help you better understand your risks. Please call our office today.

 

 

Summer Can Be Risky for Everyone

A Personal Insurance and Safety update

Summertime means more of us are heading to the pool, lake, ocean, or river to relax and have fun.  Unfortunately, these activities can lead to accidents and injury.  Summer also brings increases in heat related illness and teen driving accidents, according to PC260.com.

It is also important to have a personal insurance review to make sure all your summer activities are covered.  For example, if you have purchased a boat, you may need a separate watercraft policy.  In addition, if you have installed a pool you will need to add that risk to your homeowner’s policy.  We want you to have an enjoyable and safe summer, so here are some reminders about summertime safety.

Some of the Top Summer Risks

River water can be very cold, especially as the early snowmelt flows downriver.  Even if it is 100 degrees outside, the river water temperatures can be very cold.

If you are planning foreign travel, remember to check travel advisories.  Also, be sure you have all your medical issues managed correctly.  Check with your health insurer, as many will not provide coverage in foreign countries.

Don’t forget your pets. Summer heat can affect your pets, so make sure they are not left in vehicles or in homes during long heat waves.

When you are on the water, do not mix drinking and water craft driving.  Verify that you have life vests for everyone and keep life vests on all children all the time.

Heat stress is one of the most common illnesses during summertime.  The risk of getting skin cancer is much higher among people who sunbathe, and especially those who have experienced multiple sunburns.

Barbecues and fire related risks increase during the summer.  Always keep children away for open fires, and keep barbecues away from buildings.

When riding your bike we recommend you always use a helmet.

July 4th Safety Tips

Fireworks during the Fourth of July are as American as apple-pie, but did you know that two out of five fires reported on that day are started by fireworks, more than for any other cause? So you think it cannot happen to you? Here are a few facts:

In 2013 over 9,000 people went to the emergency room as a result of fireworks related injuries. There was an estimated 15,500 reported fires started by fireworks. These fires resulted in an estimated eight reported deaths, and $36 million in direct property damage. This is why it is a good idea to have a free home insurance review and quote, call us today!

Injuries by Fireworks Type (US department of Health & Safety)

17%: Sparklers

14%: Reloadable Shells

13%: Firecrackers

7%: Roman Candles

6%: Bottle Rockets

6%: Novelties

2%: Multiple Tubes

1%: Fountains

Fireworks Safety Tips

Buy fireworks only from licensed vendors

Never combine fireworks

Obey all local laws

Never have any portion of your body directly over a firework while lighting

Follow directions

Never relight a firework

Don’t smoke or drink while lighting fireworks

Soak used fireworks in water before placing in trash

Make sure there is parental supervision

Never experiment with homemade fireworks

Use fireworks outdoors, in a safe area away from dry grass and buildings

Keep a fire extinguisher, bucket of water, wet towels and a garden hose nearby

Light one firework at a time – then move back quickly!

Never shoot fireworks from metal or glass containers

Never carry fireworks in your pocket

Never point or throw fireworks at people or animals

Clean up all used fireworks including debris

“Fireworks and celebrations go together, especially during the Fourth of July and year end celebrations. Remember, fireworks can be dangerous, causing serious burn and eye injuries. You can help us prevent fireworks-related injuries and deaths” Consumer Products Safety Commission.

Don’t Make These Mistakes

Personal and business insurance buyers–don’t make these mistakes

Everyone who buys insurance often runs into what we call the 7 deadly sins of buying insurance. These apply to both personal insurance and business insurance. Read these to see if you can relate to any of them.

Your deductibles are too low. The lower the deductible the higher the premium. Consider increase auto physical damage deductible on older vehicles.

You have more than one agent. Having two agents it not wise. Select one agent whom you believe will be best for you. Two agents can trip over each other, and you could end up un-insured.

You don’t consider the insurance cost when buying a car. The make and model of the car you purchase will have an impact on the insurance costs.

Your replacement cost value is not correct. It is very important to keep your replacement cost up to date. Replacement cost coverage will replace or rebuild your property with like kind and quality of materials.

Failure to develop a property inventory. Having an accurate inventory of your personal property can reduce stress at the time of a loss and help insure you receive 100% of what you lost.

You have coverage you do not need. There are many different types of insurance you can buy but not all are needed. For example, travel insurance, pet insurance, extended warranties and mortgage life insurance is not always needed. We have other options and recommendations, call us today.

Cancer insurance. Marketed by specialty-insurance companies, these plans supplement health insurance for cancer-care costs. Annual premiums range between $400 to $2,000 dollars. Despite their high cost, the policies may not cover outpatient care. Chances are that your existing health insurance already covers cancer expenses.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors Can Protect Your Family

smoke-detector-235123_640A Personal Insurance Update

Often called the silent killer, carbon monoxide is an odorless gas that can kill.  Carbon monoxide, also known as its molecular form “Carbonous oxide” (CO) can be found in many household items, including stoves and furnaces.  According to the latest information from the National Fire Protection Association, there were over $100,000 non-fire CO incidents last year.

Your personal insurance will most likely respond to a claim made by a third party, but you or anyone who lives in your home will need to look to medical insurance if you have an illness because of a CO injury.

What are the symptoms of CO poisoning?

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the most common symptoms of CO poisoning are headaches, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion.  High levels of CO inhalation can cause loss of consciousness and death.

Carbon monoxide detectors sound an alarm when they sense a certain amount of carbon monoxide in the air over time.

Safety Tips

Make sure all appliances are properly vented to the outside.

Never BBQ inside your home or in the garage.

Follow manufacturer instructions when installing a CO detector.

Install a CO alarm in a central location on every level of your home.

Test your alarms on a regular basis.

If the CO alarms sounds, move to the outside and open doors and windows.

Choose a CO alarm that has the label of a recognized testing laboratory.

How To Survive The Holidays

1211_200_200_c1_center_centerWe are full steam ahead; the holiday rush has begun. Beyond getting the flu vaccine, there is a lot you can do to help your body and mind during the holidays. Allison Aiello, Ph.D., a professor of epidemiology at the University of North Carolina, offers a few words to help us survive the Holidays.

Get plenty of sleep.

Alcohol use has been associated with an increased risk of certain cancers. If you drink, do so in moderation.

As you prepare holiday meals, keep yourself and your guests safe from food-related illness. Keep raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs (including their juices) away from ready-to-eat foods and eating surfaces.

Wash your hands at least three times per day.

It is always good to give back to your community.

Check your “Martha Stewart” impulses at the door and accept that you can’t do everything—especially if you have a new baby or toddler in the house.

Before you attend a party, or are sitting down to eat a big holiday dinner, make sure to drink plenty of water. Water fills you up and is good for you in just about every way.

Depression and anxiety increases during the holidays. Watch for signs of depression among your friends and family.

Take more walks. Physical activity is the best way to benefit your health during the holidays.

Spicy foods boost your metabolism, so enjoy hot peppers, hot sauce, cayenne pepper and the like when cooking your favorite dishes or vegetables.

Enjoy the season…Happy Holidays!