Recent News

Are your wedding rings insured?

Couples spend thousands of dollars on their wedding rings.  Did you know that your renter’s and homeowner’s insurance has limits? Most policies only pay out a maximum of $1,500 to $2,500, a fraction of what you might have spent.

To insure that your rings are properly covered, let us check out your renter’s and homeowner’s policy. If additional coverage is needed, we suggest you obtain an appraisal and then we can arrange for either a jewelry policy or a jewelry floater.

How much will this type of insurance cost?  Usually an annual rate of $1 to $2 for every $100 your rings are worth.  The average $5,855 engagement ring would run between $59 to $118 annually to insure.

Don’t wait, give us a call at the agency, to discuss.

Source:  Investopedia

Falls Drive Up Construction Workers’ Comp Costs

More than 30% of workers’ compensation claims stem from construction sites are the results of falls from elevated surfaces according to Nationwide Mutual Insurance.

Falls from elevated surfaces are more severe than other injury claims because these accidents result in more time away from work, damage to multiple part parts, and more short- and long-term disability leave.  

To assist you and your workers in fall prevention, you can download the Fall Protection in Construction Flyer.   

Source:  Business Insurance, Nationwide, and OSHA

Safety Driving Tips in School Zones

With children back in school, now is a good time to remind you about safety tips in a school zone.

  1. Look for school zones signals and obey the speed limits posted.
  2. Drivers in both directions must stop their vehicles and wait until the lights go off, the stop sign is back in place and the bus is moving before they can start driving again.
  3. Never pass a bus loading or unloading children.
  4. Unless licensed to do so, never use handicap or emergency vehicle lanes or spaces to drop off or pick up children at school.
  5. Yield to pedestrians in cross walks, and take extra care in school zones.
  6. Avoid using a cellphone, unless it’s completely hand-free, while driving in a school zone.
  7. Watch out for school crossing guards and obey their signals.
  8. Never pass a vehicle stopping for pedestrians.
  9. 10 feet around a school bus is the most dangerous for children, stop far enough back to allow them to safely enter and exit the bus.

Keep these safety tips in mind when driving in a school zone.

Source: Property Casualty 360

September is National Preparedness Month

Emergencies can create a variety of hazards for workers in the impacted area. Preparing before an emergency incident plays a vital role in insuring that employers and workers have the necessary equipment, know where to go, and know how to keep themselves safe when an emergency occurs. These Emergency Preparedness and Response pages supplied by OSHA can  provide information on how to prepare and train for emergencies and the hazards to be aware of when an emergency occurs. The pages provide information for employers and workers across industries, and for workers who will be responding to the emergency. Go to https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/emergencypreparedness/index.html for specific plans for tornadoes, floods, wildfires, and hurricanes.

Attention: T-Mobile Users - Data Breach

On August 20, 2018, T-Mobile contacted their customers to alert them of an unauthorized person accessing certain personal information.  The data that was compromised was name, phone number, email address, account number, and type.

Breaches such as this are now common place and you need to protect yourself with identity theft insurance coverage.

Give us a call at the agency to discuss.

Do You Know What The Most Costly Home Property Damages Are?

These five causes of home damage were identified by the Travelers in their recent report which tracked claims from 2009 to 2016.

  • Water-related water - leaking roofs and frozen pipes 
  • Wind – damage to roofs, walls, and uprooted trees
  • Non-weather related water damage – plumbing, sewer or appliance leaks or failures
  • Hail – damage to roofs (home or cards)
  • Fire – Electrical, cooking, wildfires

When reviewing your policies we will review your homeowner’s coverage to make sure that you have the right limits and coverages in place to protect you against these types of claims.

Have a question, give us a call at the agency.

Source: Travelers, Property Casualty 360

Cyber Protection is More than Insurance

No matter what your business, cyber-attacks are an increasingly common occurrence.  They not only affect the Internet, but also attack your core business systems.  In addition to your cyber liability coverage, you need to implement risk management support. 

What are the components of a risk management solution?

  • Clear identification of risks and vulnerabilities
  • Evaluation of customer and corporate data security
  • Advanced email security 
  • Point to Point Encryption
  • Malicious Intent Site Blocking
  • Employee Policies & Procedures
  • Adherence to ISO 270001/2 which includes hardware and software implementations that have change management oversight along with non-production testing and evaluation.

A recent article by Phil Britt on eSecurity Planet provides a great outline analyzing what is cyber security risk management along with the risk management process to apply to your business.

There is also an in-depth report you can download called “The Ultimate Guide to IT Security Vendors” which can assist you in learning about the potential threats to your business and what vendors specialize in cyber prevention.

A program that has strong risk mitigation precautions, coupled with extensive employee training, the proper software, and incident response protocol will help to protect your business. Cyber-crimes are not going away and businesses need to be vigilant in its prevention. 

Give us a call to discuss your cyber insurance and risk protection program. 

Source: eSecurity Planet

Back to School

August is Back to School Safety Month.  With the new school year about to start, it’s a good time to remind motorists to be extra careful at all times.  Here are some safety reminders for drivers:

  • Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods and school zones
  • Take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs
  • Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully
  • Watch for children on and near the road in the morning and after school hours
  • Reduce any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings. Put down your phone and don’t talk or text while driving

Reminders for your kids:

  • Cross the street with an adult until they are at least 10 years old
  • Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks
  • Never run out into the streets or cross in between parked cars
  • Always walk in front of the bus where the driver can see them

 For addition tips, go to the National Safety Council at https://www.nsc.org/home-safety/seasonal-safety/back-to-school.

Take the Pledge

What are the 100 deadliest days for teens?  It’s from Memorial Day to Labor Day, when accidents among teens drivers spike by 15%. Join the millions who have pledged to drive distraction free.  From checking emails to posting on social media - all of it can wait.

Go to www.itcanwait.com and take the pledge. Pass it along and save our teens. Check out the videos, take the 2018 VR Tour, and become an advocate with download documents you can share.  

 

Going Boating? 8 Things to Leave Behind

There are plenty of things you should remember to bring when heading off on a boating adventure, but there are also a few things that you’d be better off leaving behind. Certain items can create safety issues on a boat, while other things can just be a plain mess to clean up. Whether it’s your own boat or someone else’s, consider leaving these things behind when heading out for a day on the waves.

1. Shoes with marking soles

While shoes with dark soles are more likely to leave marks than those with light soles, you can test any pair of shoes to make sure they are non-marking and won’t leave scuff marks on the boat. Just draw a line with the heel of your shoe on a piece of plain white paper, and then check the paper to see if your sole left a mark. If you do not see a mark, you have non-marking soles. If you do see a mark, leave that pair behind.

2. Spray sunscreen

Pack a bottle of sunscreen or jar of clear zinc oxide to protect your skin from the sun while on the boat, but leave the spray sunscreen behind. When used on a boat, spray sunscreen can leave a slippery film on your deck, making falls much more likely.

3. Chocolate or other messy snacks

While certain snacks, like pretzel rods or grapes, are ideal for a day on the water, others aren’t. Be mindful of bringing snacks that won’t leave a mess behind. Two snacks you should leave behind are chocolate and cheese curls. Chocolate will melt in the heat, and cheese curls always seem to give you bright orange fingers that are bound to leave prints on boat upholstery.

4. Cigarettes

Refrain from lighting up on the boat, particularly if you are a guest. In certain situations, such as at the gas pump, cigarettes can cause a fire hazard. Not to mention that most boat owners don’t want to have to worry about someone burning a hole in the seats or throwing cigarette butts overboard. Leave the cigarettes at home.

5. Unexpected guests

If you don’t own the boat and didn’t give the boat owner a heads up about bringing a friend, child, or dog, it’s best to leave any surprise guests behind. Since boats have certain capacity restrictions, you should be respectful of that and always ask permission before bringing along a guest on someone else’s boat.

6. Perfume

Leave perfumes or scented body sprays behind, and keep in mind that it’s best not to apply them before going on a boat trip either. Perfume not only attracts bees and other pesky insects, but others who are along for the ride may not appreciate the scent in such close quarters.

7. Glass bottles or containers of any kind

Don’t bring along any soda bottles or glass containers that could shatter and leave small pieces on the boat deck. Glass can create a safety hazard, so opt for aluminum cans or recyclable plastic containers instead, and make sure you dispose of trash in proper receptacles at the dock.

8. Plastic grocery bags

These may seem like a good idea for transporting food and snacks at first, but once you empty out whatever you put into them, they are likely to fly off the boat as soon as a breeze kicks up. Help keep our waterways clean by leaving the plastic grocery bags at home, and use zippered lunch bags or cooler bags to carry food onboard instead.

Now that you have a list of things you should leave behind, don’t forget to think about the important things you need to have onboard. If you are a new boater, be sure to check with the U.S. Coast Guard to find out what safety equipment you are required to have onboard. Happy boating!

Source: Progressive