Is Your Business Prepared For A Loss?

tightropeA Business Insurance Update

Your business insurance can respond to many kinds of risks and losses. Protecting your business from loss can mean the difference between having a great year, and having to close your doors. According to the Insurance Information Institute, 30% of businesses that have a fire never re-open. Therefore, it pays to have the right business insurance and to manage your tops risks. However, do you know the most common risks faced by most businesses?

Business Risks

Cyber breach – Your small business has a greater chance of having a data breach than it does of having a fire. Make sure you have a cyber liability insurance policy. Don’t save passwords on your computer, use the latest security software, train your employees on cyber security, and never use an open network.
Customer trip and fall – Make sure you keep your business entry clean and clear of clutter.

Flood – Your business insurance excludes flood damage. If you are close to water, make sure you consider flood insurance.

Fire – Every business is subject to fire. Install automatic alarms to ensure proper notification, disconnect equipment when not in use, and never overload sockets with plugs.

Theft – Develop a system for end of day closure procedures. Keep a light on at night. Burglars are less inclined to break in if they think someone is there.

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.

Are You Interested In Reducing Your Business Risks?

board-1364647_1920There is no question that operating a business comes with certain risks. But there are also many benefits. The range of business threats is evolving rapidly but your organization can thrive and gain a competitive advantage if you know how to manage your risk. Here are a few simple ways to manage risk:

Follow insurance company loss control recommendations. These are designed to reduce the probability of a loss and to reduce the severity if a loss occurs.

Develop an employee handbook. Having a set of procedures involving roles and responsibilities will help reduce employment issues in the long term.

Evaluate your facilities. Unused equipment, obsolete security systems and lack of attention to risks on the site present significant potential for loss.  Insurance companies encourage all business owners to maintain clean and safe premises for the health and safety of employees, vendors and customers.

Make safety a priority. Having a safety program can not only reduce your costs but will improve employee productivity.

Train your staff. Employees perform better if they have an understanding of what their roles and responsibilities are. Make safety part of every job description.

Keep employees healthy. A local company, for example, has instituted a comprehensive wellness program that includes disease management for afflictions such as asthma and diabetes, as well as offering flu shots, cancer screenings, smoking-cessation sessions and a round-the-clock phone line staffed by nurses. The company found that for every dollar it invested, it saved $4.23.

If your business changes, your insurance should too.  Meet annually with us to determine whether your business has changed in significant ways that require modifying or adding coverage.

Raise your deductible. Raising the deductible on your insurance usually lowers your premiums. Even if you end up having to pay the deductible, it’s likely to be less than the amount you save.

 

How To Tell Parents It Is Time To Stop Driving

car-160343_640There is no question automobiles give us incredible freedom. Having the ability to go to the store, doctor, or out to eat brings joy to all of us. As we age, it is normal for our driving abilities to change. Few people like the idea of depending on others or relying on public transportation. However, when age diminishes the ability of seniors to drive, endangering themselves and others, it is time to start making hard decisions.

Auto Insurance And The Senor Driver

Auto insurance companies understand this problem; accident rates increase for people over the age of 65. As our baby boomers move into retirement there will be more senior citizens on the road. The decision to know when to stop driving can be a wrenching one for all family members.

Signs It Is Time To Hide The Keys

Slow responses

Lots of dents on the car

Increase in accidents in a short period of time

Driving angry

Difficulty turning to see when backing up

Riding the brake

Easily distracted while driving

Incorrect signaling

Failure to notice traffic signs

Difficulty maintaining lane position

We recommend that you drive with the seniors in your life from time to time to see how they respond in different driving situations. Start a discussion early about driving safety and even provide resources to read. Their safety and the safety of others should come first.

Insurance Policies Not To Consider In 2017

no-1532844_6402017 is going to be a year of change. We have a new President, we have a new healthcare system and we may recommend that you not buy certain kinds of insurance. We will be the first to say that certain insurance may not always be best for your needs. We believe each client is unique and therefore requires unique insurance solutions.

Here are some examples of insurance products you most likely do not need to buy.

  • Universal life – Typically term life insurance is going to be a better fit for you. Term life costs less, and you can take the premium difference and invest it yourself.
  • Extended warranty plans – These are never a good idea. The warranty premiums are mostly commissions paid to the salesperson. Some credit card companies offer this protection if you make the purchase with their cards.
  • Pet Insurance – Pet insurance usually is very limited in coverage and very costly.
  • Collision insurance on older vehicles – If your vehicle has little or no value, it is better to pocket the premium and place it into a fund for future losses.
  • Insurance on outstanding credit card balances – This type of insurance can be costly, and there are a lot of loopholes to go through before any benefit is paid.
  • Mini Storage Insurance – As long as you have homeowner’s or renters insurance you don’t need to buy special insurance. Most policies have automatic coverage for property away from your primary premises. Call us for details and limitations.
  • Mortgage life insurance – This protects the bank, not you. If you were to die, the payout goes to the bank, not your family. You are better off buying term life insurance.
  • Flight Insurance – This is completely unnecessary, as airline accidents are rare and your life insurance policy should already provide the coverage in the event of a catastrophe.

Insurance is designed for the accidents and unexpected events in life that are too costly to pay on your own. Call us for more information.

2017 Insurance Buying Tips

Home With Check Shows House  For Sale And Loan ApprovedNow that 2017 is here, it may be time to consider reviewing your personal insurance program. Most people don’t take time to review exposures, options, or their current economic condition before making their insurance purchase. We want to help you, so we prepared these insurance buying tips for 2017.

  1. Don’t buy insurance through the internet – Call our agency and let us provide outstanding service along with competitive pricing.
  2. Maintain good credit – Regularly check your credit score, since a low score may impact your premium.
  3. Review your auto limits – If you have limits of less than $100,000, that won’t even cover the medical bills in a serious accident. The minimum liability coverage that anyone with any assets or income to protect should be carrying is $500,000 to $1 million or more.
  4. Maintain a home inventory – Having an accurate account of your personal property can provide for greater recovery in the event of a loss.
  5. Bundle your insurance – Combine your auto, home and umbrella policies with one insurer to receive greater discounts.
  6. Set the right deductible – A higher deductible reduces your premium, but you have to pay more out of pocket in the event of an accident. If you have a good driving record and haven’t had an accident, you may want to gamble and opt for a higher premium. The reward for this risk could be up to a 40% savings.
  7. Consider Identity Theft – Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the U.S.
  8. Buy from a financially strong company – Your insurance is only as good as the company who stands behind the policy. The insurance company should have an “A+” rating or higher.
  9. Be prepared to make adjustments as your lifestyle and needs change.

Call us today and let us help protect what is important to you.

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!

Remember, Criminals Are Also Looking For Deals This Holiday

aqazxaThe Most Common Holiday Theft Losses

We are in the middle of the holiday season.  While you are out shopping for that perfect gift, criminals are also out looking for ways to enhance their holiday take. While your personal insurance will most likely cover losses from theft, we thought it might be good to identify the most common holiday theft losses.

Now might be a good time to have us review your personal insurance. Stop in and have some coffee while we review your homeowner’s insurance coverage.

Theft From Vehicles

While you are in the store, criminals are in the parking lot looking for easy ways to get into your vehicle.  Keep all packages in the trunk; always lock your car, park close to the store, and in a well-lit area.

Home Burglaries

Home burglaries increase in December, due to people traveling and an increased number of easy targets.  When you leave your home, keep lights on, close your drapes, and never leave packages on your front porch.  Thieves will follow delivery trucks waiting for an opportunity to strike. Most online retailers send emails and text messages so purchasers know almost immediately when a package has been delivered.

Stolen Purses

When you are shopping, never leave your purse in the shopping cart, keep your purse closed, only take the credit cards you need, and leave other cards and documents at home.  Don’t carry a lot of cash and wait until asked to produce your credit card so a nearby thief can’t get your account information.

Identity Theft

Online shopping has become as big as direct shopping. Make sure to use secure websites and log off when completing any purchases.

How to Prepare Your Business for Holiday Risks

A Business Insurance Update

The next few months are important for every business. The holidays are not just for retailers, as many businesses rely on a healthy last quarter to help them finish the year in the black.  Your business insurance plays an important role in this, as it protects you from un-planned losses.

Here are a few tips to help your business plan for the holiday, and year’s end.

During the holiday shopping season, many businesses hire seasonal workers to help with the increased demand. Make sure all part-time and seasonal employees are properly trained, and understand the requirements of the job.

Employee theft is a big problem during the holidays as well. However, more than just stock or equipment theft, employees have access to other major assets, like cash, too.  Make sure you have proper accounting processes in place.

If your business has increased revenue during the last quarter, verify that your business income insurance will address the seasonal increase.

When it comes to decorations around the office, you will want to ensure that none of them creates opportunities for accidents. This means being aware of extra lighting and candles that might be part of the holiday office décor, and making sure no decorations act as a trip and fall hazard.

Don’t Let The Grinch Steal Your Holiday Cheer

christmas-1078678_640Personal Insurance and Safety Update

Many of us will be out looking for deals this holiday season. And criminals will be looking out for deals too. Criminals feed on the chaos of this season. Shoppers are distracted and the police are overworked, making it a great time for criminals to get bargains, at our expense.

Now would be a good time to make sure your personal insurance is up to date. A quick call to our office can insure you are properly protected. For example, if you purchased expensive jewelry, you may need to ad that separately to your homeowner insurance policy.

Shopping Safety Tips

Always be aware of your surroundings.

Don’t leave car phones, purses, CD cases, or any other item of value in your parked car where they can be seen.

Use a credit card rather than a debit card whenever possible.

Always place purchases in your trunk.

Never leave car doors unlocked or windows open.

Always park in lighted 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