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.

 

Summer Driving Tips

rance Update

Summer is here, and many families are planning that great summer road trip.  Whether you are planning a day trip or a longer weeklong adventure, it is important to be prepared before you hit the road.  Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) statistics reveal that more fatal traffic crashes occur over the summer months than over the winter months.

Summer Driving Tips

If you have teen drivers, make sure they have taken driver safety training.

Never use your phone while driving.

When on a long drive, take frequent breaks.

Roads become very slippery in the first few minutes of rainfall because the rain mixes with the oil and dirt on the road. It takes about 30 minutes of steady rain to wash the oil and dirt off the road.

If your car is due for a tune-up, oil change, battery check, or tire rotation, now is the time to get it done.

Use seats belts every trip, all the time.

Traffic laws vary by state, so it is important to follow traffic signs.

Pack extra water and supplies in case of an emergency.

Drive at a safe speed. Speeding increases the likelihood and severity of a crash.

Auto Insurance

It will be important to have an auto insurance update before you go. Laws vary from state to state, and when it comes to your auto insurance, it is important to have the best possible combination of coverage, price, and service.

Five Keys to Improving Your Personal Insurance

 

A Personal Insurance Update

We work to ensure that your personal insurance provides the protection you deserve and need.  We understand you may need different coverage like a personal umbrella, RV insurance, valuable articles coverage, earthquake, or flood coverage.

Over the years, we have found that homeowners who adhere to the following strategies have a better chance of obtaining the best possible combination of coverage, price, and service.

Use an agent like us to represent you in the market.  We know and understand personal insurance, and we are much better equipped to help you manage your personal insurance program.  We will stand by you in every claim situation.

Only use financially strong insurers.  It is vital that your insurance is there to pay for claims.  Look for insurers with an “A” rating by AM Best.

Make sure you have high liability limits.  It is essential that every homeowner have enough liability insurance to cover the unexpected events.  This is especially true if you own an RV, ATV or boat.

Consider increasing your deductibles.  Often a slight increase in your deductibles can reduce premiums.  If you are able to manage a larger deductible, you may be better off in the end.

Allow your agent to manage your entire personal insurance needs. Having one source for all your policies will save you time.  Also having one professional handle all your needs gives them the ability to understand your entire needs.

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.

 

Home Insurance Update

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.

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.

What Is the Difference Between Homeowner’s Insurance and a Home Warranty?

Home warranties are offered by many companies, mostly during the selling process. Typically, there are two types of home warranties that people will purchase for their homes.  The first one covers any major systems or repairs for the first year, and the second is an annual renewal type contract which continues to keep the coverage active. See more

Homeowner’s Insurance

This is an insurance policy to protect your home and personal property from damages as result of a fire, wind, storm, or some other act of God or covered activity.

Home Warranty

A home warranty, on the other hand, is optional and typically covers the costs for repair or replacement of the electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems as well as major appliances like the refrigerator or oven.

Home warranty protection usually offers repair or replacement of a specific item for a specific period of time.

Even if you secure a home warranty policy, we recommend that you also have a homeowner’s insurance policy, as there are limitations in home warranty products.  If you have a mortgage, homeowner’s insurance is generally required by your mortgage company.

Personal Umbrella Insurance

You’ve worked hard to earn your lifestyle. Consider adding additional liability protection to your Texas Auto, Home, Renters or Condo policy. Personal Umbrella Liability coverage added to your other policies can protect you, your spouse and any relatives living in your home. Let the staff at Heaton Bennett Insurance show you the value of an umbrella liability policy.

Umbrella Insurance Protection

Umbrella Insurance provides extra protection or limits above the liability insurance you currently have. Just as an umbrella protects you from heavy rain, an umbrella insurance policy protects you from losing the entirety of your wealth and assets in the event of a claim. Umbrella insurance can provide limits above your business insurance, personal auto and home policies.

Umbrella insurance provides broad insurance beyond traditional insurance. It provides additional liability coverage above the limits of your primary insurance policies. It can also provide coverage for claims that may be excluded by the primary policies

It is true that personal umbrella insurance may not be for business or individual, but if you are a business, wanting to protect your company’s resources, building financial resources for your future, are a professional, own your home, boat or recreation vehicle, you should consider an umbrella insurance policy.  Having the added protection of an umbrella insurance policy is coverage no one should go without. Call us today, for a free review.

High Net Worth Individuals

Do you own a boat, second home or have other expensive toys? Often high net worth individuals need higher liability limits to protect personal assets. A simple rule is, the more you own the greater risk you may have of losing it. The nice thing about an umbrella policy is that it is competitively priced. Usually, it costs about $300 per year for each $1,000,000 increment of insurance that you buy, and it can bring you great piece of mind.

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.