Is Your Business Ready For 2020?

The world is changing, and we understand the issues your business faces every day. There is constant competition for your customers, there are challenges in attracting and retaining top employees, and your cost of goods keeps going up. Part of your planning should include an annual commercial insurance review. Your business changes, and so do your exposures. Here are some of the major kinds of coverage found in most commercial insurance programs.

Commercial Insurance for Businesses

Liability Insurance– Covers your business against claims of negligence that resulted in loss or injury to a customer or visitor to your business.

Worker’s Compensation– Protects your business when an employee becomes injured on the job. It is required by law.

Commercial Auto– Covers against loss for your business vehicles and any liability your business incurs as a result of an accident.

Property– Insures against loss for your buildings and equipment.

Employment Liability– Covers your business and managers from claims of harassment, discrimination and other civil rights as afforded under state and federal laws.

Cyber Liability– Protects your liability interests when data or sensitive client information is stolen or accidentally lost by your business.

Professional Liability-Protects your business when a third party accuses your business of being negligent or making a mistake in providing professional services.

An Independent Agent Who Understands Commercial Insurance

When you purchase business insurance through an independent agent you are working with a licensed professional who specializes in the products and services you need. We have access to many insurance companies and know which ones are designed just for your business. Independent agents are local business owners who employee your neighbors to serve your needs.

 

Some Valentine’s Gifts Need To Be Insured

It is that time of year when many of us give that special person in our lives a gift that they will enjoy year round. Valentine’s gifts typically include watches, jewelry, art, cameras and other valuable items. Examples of items that will need special coverage

Guns

ATV’s

Boats

Jewelry

Art

Collections of stamps, books, or coins

Expensive wine

Antiques

Whatever you may do this year, if you purchase an expensive item for that special person, make sure you get it insured. Most homeowners or renter’s insurance policies restrict coverage for items like jewelry to $1,000 dollars.  In addition, most policies cover named perils for fire and theft, etc.; however, they may exclude coverage for the ring that gets flushed down the toilet; that is unless the expensive item is scheduled. To cover such circumstances that the insurance industry has dubbed “mysterious disappearance”, you will need a valuable articles personal property endorsement on your homeowners or renters policy.

Tips to keep valuables safe

Have your jewelry appraised by a qualified jewelry appraiser for insurance replacement purposes

Take pictures

Keep items in safe place

Take off while working outside

Homeowners and renters insurance can provide many benefits including:

Additional Living Expense -This coverage pays for the extra, above normal costs of expenses such as food and lodging incurred while the policyholder’s home is being repaired.

Extended Replacement Cost – Provides additional coverage up to 150% of the dwelling’s policy limits to rebuild your home in the event you suffer a covered loss.

Personal Liability Protection- Pays for bodily injury or property damage caused to others as a result of a covered incident.

Identity Theft Protection – Pays for expenses you incur as a result of criminal identity theft.

Call us today.  We can provide you will the right combination of coverage, and price, followed up with outstanding service.

 

 

 

Good Reasons To Call Your Insurance Agent

Home and Auto Insurance Update

Let’s face it, you buy home and auto insurance to protect you when and or if an accident happens. And when you have an accident, you want your personal insurance to respond.  If it has been a while since you updated your personal insurance coverage, you may want to call us today.

When to Call Your Agent

When you buy or sell a car

If you started a home-based business

If you are thinking about putting in a pool

When you purchased any high-end jewelry, guns or other items

If your home replacement value has gone up

Did you get a company car?

If you have remolded any part of your home

When you install a security system in your home

If you get married or divorced

If your commute distance has changed

When your children go away to college

Having the right auto coverage is not as easy as it sounds, and choosing the wrong coverages and limits could lead to financial disaster.  Our team is prepared to help you find the right combination of coverage, price and service.

A New Year… Let’s Get Your Insurance Right

A New Year… Let’s Get Your Insurance Right

As we move into a new year, I hope that every insurance agent and insurance buyer thinks about how they view their relationships.  Let us get away from the clever insurance advertisement’s attempts to bring our products and services down to the lowest common denominator, price, and commodity.  Insurance products and services are used to build our local economies, we allow people to dream, and we help rebuild in the event of a disaster.

Therefore, here are my resolutions for 2020; I hope other agents and insurance buyers will embrace these as well.

Agents

  • I will always put the needs of my client above mine.
  • I will strive to educate rather than sell.
  • It will be valuable to provide my clients with options.
  • Insurance is a complex transaction, and I need to help my clients understand what they are buying.
  • Risk management should always be part of every conversation. Identify risk, assess the risk, manage the risk, and review again.

Insurance buyers

  • I will select an agent who values relationships.
  • Price is not an indicator of quality.
  • Buying local is like the “farm to table” of insurance.
  • I will seek an agent who is qualified to manage my risks.

 

How To Prepare For Holiday Home Safety

The Holidays are almost upon us, and if you have been to any department store, the sounds of Christmas are ringing out. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, over 400 homes are destroyed annually by causes related to Christmas tree fires. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission hospital, emergency rooms treat over 12,900 people each year for injuries such as falls, cuts and shocks related to holiday lights, decorations and Christmas trees. Before you put up the lights or cut down the tree, we wanted to provide you with a few safety reminders to keep you and your family safe this holiday season.

The Tree

Keep Christmas Trees Fresh; water regularly.

Keep trees away from heat sources.

Take Christmas trees down before January.

Do not burn the trees in your fireplace.

Avoid placing breakable tree ornaments, or ones with small detachable parts, on lower branches where small children or pets can reach them.

When purchasing an artificial tree, look for the label “Fire Resistant”.

Lights

Only use lights that have been tested for safety by a recognized testing laboratory.

Never string together more lights than are recommended by the manufacturer.

Make sure extension cords are rated for the intended use.

Before using lights outdoors, check labels to be sure they have been certified for outdoor use.

Turn off all holiday lights when you go to bed or leave the house.

If you use a timer for your outdoor lights, make sure it is rated for outside use.

Outdoor lights and decorations should be plugged into circuits protected by ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs)

Ladder Safety

When putting up holiday decorations, always use the proper step stool or ladder to reach high places. Don’t stand on chairs, desks, or other furniture.

A straight or extension ladder should be placed one foot away from the surface it rests against for every four feet of ladder height.

Use ladders with slip-resistant feet.

Never stand on top two steps.

Enjoy the season with family and friends, and never drink and drive.

Save On Your Next Business Insurance Renewal

Business Insurance Renewal

Your business insurance should be an important part of your overall risk management program. It is important to have the best possible insurance coverage, competitive pricing and the right insurer. We have found a number of factors that could be important to manage when renewing your business insurance program. Give one of our professionals a call today, we can help you find the best possible combination of coverage, price and service.

Business Insurance

A business insurance program should generally include commercial property, auto liability, professional liability commercial general liability, employment practices liability, workers’ compensation, flood insurance, and excess or umbrella liability.

Insurance Renewal Tips

Provide complete information about your operation to your agent and insurer.

Consider increasing your deductibles to save money.

Use an independent agent like us. We are equipped and prepared to provide you with the best combination of coverage, price, and service.

Let us market your program to a number of different insurers.

Combine your business property, auto, and liability with one insurer into a package or business owners package. You will receive package additional premium discounts.

Develop a safety program.

Provide safety incentives for having no losses over time.

Follow all OSHA regulations.

Putting a little extra effort into your next business insurance renewal can offer many rewards that include better coverage and lower premiums. We hope you and your team will join us on this risk and insurance journey, and in the end know that there is a better way to buy commercial insurance and have true peace of mind.

 

How To Win The Identity Theft War

 

You’ve probably heard about identity theft on television or read about it in the newspaper, and you may already be aware of the damage these crimes can cause victims and their families. What you may not know is how to protect yourself from these attacks. Below you’ll find ten steps that can help you minimize your chances of becoming another identity theft statistic.

  1. Invest in a shredder – Never throw anything away without shredding it first. Identity thieves will dig through dumpsters and trash bags looking for credit card receipts, voided checks, paid bills, credit card offers, and other items that provide them with your personal information.
  2. Mail everything from the post office – Leaving your outgoing mail in or on your mailbox is an invitation to have it stolen by an identity thief. Not only can they get all of your personal information from the check, but they can even alter the check and cash it themselves. Instead, drop it by the post office or another mailbox.
  3. Use a post office box – Incoming mail is also a target for identity thieves. Your bills, checks, even junk mail can be used by these thieves to steal your personal information. If you have a post office box, then your mail will be delivered safely to that box.
  4. Have a non-published phone number – Some identity thieves will also use the telephone in an attempt to get your personal information. For example, one scam involved a caller telling a person he or she had won a government grant that was going to be directly deposited into their checking account.
  5. Check your accounts weekly – If you don’t already, you need to get in the habit of checking the balances of all your financial accounts on a weekly basis. Waiting for monthly statements isn’t good enough because by then, your account could have been completely drained.
  6. Check your credit report yearly – Every year, you should request free copies of your credit report and check them for any errors, such as credit cards or loans you never took out. If you find out now that someone is using your identity, you can start correcting the problem before you need to use your own credit.
  7. Memorize PIN numbers and passwords – Never write down your PIN numbers or passwords. No place is a safe place to keep these important pieces of information.
  8. Keep only basic information on checks – Your checks should only include basic information about you, such as your name and address. Your social security number should never be printed on your checks. If it is, then you’re basically handing over the keys to your identity to any thief who comes in contact with your check.
  9. Eliminate unwanted credit card offers – Those credit card offers you throw away can be used by identity thieves.
  10. Carry only necessities – Never carry anything in your purse or wallet that isn’t necessary, such as extra deposit slips, social security cards, birth certificates, etc. The more personal information your purse or wallet contains, the more valuable it will be to an identity thief if it is lost or stolen.
  11. Go electronic – Bank statements, most bills, and many other documents can all be viewed electronically, so you never have to worry about them being stolen out of your mailbox or your trash. Contact your financial institution, credit card companies, and utility providers about the availability of this option. As an extra bonus, many of these businesses offer incentives to individuals who sign up for these electronic programs.

While these steps can’t guarantee you won’t have a identity theft issue, it can help reduce the likelihood of having one.

A 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.  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.

 

 

Make Your House Safe For Trick-Or-Treaters

Make Your House Safe For Trick-Or-Treaters

 Halloween is fast approaching. All kids love to dress up, get together with friends, and go door-to-door hoping to find the full size candy bar.

A little pre-planning can prevent unfortunate accidents that could turn out to be tragic for kids and trying for you. Here are some pointers for ensuring your house is a safe place for trick-or-treaters on Oct. 31.

Pets first. Dogs, cats, and other furry family companions get scared when oddly dressed strangers approach their door in droves. Make sure your pet is in a safe and comfortable space or take them to a secure, relaxing offsite location for the evening.

 Clean up your yard. If your yard gathers stuff – like toys, rakes and other yard tools, hoses, tree branches, you name it – take the time to clean it up. Make sure your yard is free of potential hazards and create a clutter-free walking path well before dusk falls this Halloween.

Are all your lights working? Make sure you offer a well-lit path.

Candles. Candlelit pumpkins should be placed on a sturdy table.

Turn it off. When you’re done for the night, make it obvious by turning any and all inviting lights off.

Decorations. Don’t go overboard with decorations, they can cause fires and injuries.

Safety tips for kids

Never, ever go into a house

Go with friends

Costumes should be short enough to prevent children from tripping and falling

Young children should always be accompanied by an adult or an older, responsible child

Only go to homes with a porch light on

Plan costumes that are bright and reflective

Don’t eat homemade food

Look at all wrapped candy, if it has been opened toss it out

Use a flashlight