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.” com
A Personal Insurance Update
November is here and that means the holiday season has started. Over the next number of weeks, holiday activities will consume much of our time. This is also the season when homeowners have insurance claims for fire, burglary, theft from vehicles, and even auto accidents.
Now may be the best time to have us review your personal insurance in order to make sure you have the individual coverage you need.
Shopping Safety Tips
- Always be aware of your surroundings.
- Put your shopping bags in your trunk.
- NEVER leave car doors unlocked or windows open.
- ALWAYS park in lighted areas. Do NOT park in remote 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.
Christmas Tree Safety (provided by the NFPA)
- Make sure the tree is at least four feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights.
- Make sure the tree is not blocking any exit or door.
- Add water to the tree stand daily.
- Never use lit candles to decorate the tree.
- Only used approved lights.
- Connect no more than three strands of mini string sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs
- Replace any string of lights that has worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections.
Home Safety Tips
If you are planning a vacation during the holiday, here are few ideas to consider:
- Get a security system.
- Trim landscaping that is too close to your house.
- Don’t advertise your vacation on social media.
- Cancel mail and other deliveries.
- Leave lights on when gone.
- Have a neighbor check on your home.
- Always lock your garden sheds and garages.
- Use a variable light timer to activate lights inside your home.
A Business Insurance Update
Hurricane Harvey’s impact will be felt for the next three to five years, or even longer. Many affected businesses may not survive. It is our hope that all the people and businesses impacted by Harvey will recover as soon as possible. For those businesses that had flood insurance, the recovery will be helped through the insurance resources. There are other kinds of disasters, or losses, which can cause your business to be shut down. Now is the time to have us complete a business insurance review. We can offer many coverage and pricing options for your business.
Disaster Planning for Your Business
- Review your commercial insurance. Being proactive can help in the end. We can help you determine what coverage is best suited for your individual business needs.
- Put together a crisis team and a plan. Design a plan for the kinds of disasters you are likely to have. Have contingency plans for continued operations. This may mean developing agreements with other businesses for use of their facilities or locations for a short term.
- Meet with your insurer as soon as possible. Developing a relationship with your claims adjuster is critical. Be willing to provide all information required.
- Request an upfront partial payment. This will help you fund your recovery.
- Be prepared to document all expenses. It might even help to hire an accountant to help you with post loss expenses and documentation.
Many homeowners have experienced premium increases. Our agency works very hard to bring our clients the best possible combination of premiums, coverage, and service. Homeowners insurance plays an important role in society. It protects your most important financial asset, your home. Remember, each homeowner’s insurance policy is different, and if you bought your homeowners insurance online, you may not have proper coverage.
What Can We Do to Help?
We have the benefit of being an independent agency. This allows us to search the market for the best possible combination of premiums, coverage and service. We compare insurance companies’ rates and use the competitive market to your advantage. Here are some ways to save on your premiums:
- Purchase all your insurance 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.
Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the people of Houston and most of Florida. Hurricane Harvey and Irma may have caused over 75 billion dollars of damage. While this is fresh on our minds, let’s get prepared for the unexpected. This could be a flood, hurricane, earthquake, wild fire, or any other event that causes damage to our homes.
Remember, your homeowners insurance may or may not cover the next disaster, so it is a good idea to have our team complete a personal insurance review. Here are some things you can do right now. Ready.gov has provided many good resources.
Basic Preparedness Tips
- Know where to go. If you are ordered to evacuate, know the local evacuation route(s) to take and have a plan for where you can stay. Contact your local emergency management agency for more information.
- Put together a “go-bag” or disaster supply kit should you need to evacuate, including a flashlight, batteries, cash, first aid supplies, medications, and copies of your critical information.
- If you are not in an area that is advised to evacuate and you decide to stay in your home, plan for adequate supplies in case you lose power and water for several days and you are not able to leave due to flooding or blocked roads.
- Make a family emergency communication plan and review it regularly with members.
- Many communities have text or email alerting systems for emergency notifications. To find out what alerts are available in your area, search the Internet with your town, city, or county name and the word “alerts.”
- If there is a chance of flash flooding, move immediately to higher ground.
- If floodwaters rise around your car but the water is not moving, abandon the car and move to higher ground. Do not leave the car and enter moving water.
- Avoid camping or parking along streams, rivers, and creeks during heavy rainfall. These areas can flood quickly and with little warning.
- Disconnect electrical appliances and do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water. You could be electrocuted.
- If instructed, turn off your gas and electricity at the main switch or valve. This helps prevent fires and explosions.
More resources for you
Download FEMA App
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.
Auto Safety Tips
Are you heading to work, school, the beach, or vacation? It is important to remember summer can be a dangerous time for drivers. Your auto insurance follows your vehicle wherever you go, with a few exceptions—like Mexico.
Here are a few auto safety tips to help make your summer driving safer
- 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 seatbelts—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.