Blog

25 ways to keep your auto and home safe from thieves this summer

Blog | 0 comments | by maria farfan

One of the best ways to save on Auto and Homeowners’ insurance is to stay claims-free. Securing your vehicle and house will help prevent theft, save you money along with the hassle of dealing with unexpected property losses this summer.

In 2014, there were an estimated 8,277,829 property crimes (burglaries, larceny-thefts, and motor vehicle thefts) reported by law enforcement, according to the latest FBI annual report on “Crime in the United States, 2014.” Financial losses suffered by victims of these crimes were calculated at approximately $14.3 billion.

.

Peak season for home burglaries

Summertime is peak season for household property crimes, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Open windows and open garages along with extended absences from your home for travel and outdoor activities, demand extra vigilance.

The average homeowner’s losses for theft from 2010-2014 was $3,786, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.).

read more

5 essentials of a Cyber liability insurance policy

Blog | 0 comments | by maria farfan

Data breaches pose one of the most pressing and potentially devastating risks to businesses across the globe.

The significant financial and reputational damage resulting from a hack can impact the entire business on an unprecedented scale. The problem is increasingly widespread in our hyper-connected world, and according to the Identity Theft Resource Center, 781 data breaches were recorded in the United States in 2015, the second most active year in the past decade.

These threats continue to grow at an exponential rate, and cybercriminals are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their methods of attack. Now more than ever, it’s imperative that businesses both large and small go on the offensive to safeguard the sensitive information of their employees, partners and customers by taking the proper preventive measures and implementing a comprehensive Cyber liability insurance policy.

‘Privacy liability’

The term “Cyber liability” insurance is somewhat of a misnomer because people tend to equate the word “cyber” with a technological hacking event.

read more

6 parking lot perils property owners need to pay attention to

Blog | 0 comments | by maria farfan

Of the many aspects of owning multi-family real estate, maintenance is certainly one of the top priorities — or at least it should be.

Owners are often focused on making sure their buildings are in tip-top shape but sometimes relegate parking lot maintenance to a lower priority — and that’s something that can come back to bite them.

That’s because the owners of multi-family residences can be liable for accidents, mishaps and criminal activities that occur in their parking lots.

If you own a multi-family property with a parking lot, here are six things to pay attention to in order to avoid potential claims:

Pavement hazard

(Photo: iStock)

1. Pavement

It starts with making sure pavement is free of potholes and cracks. Just the slightest imperfection in a parking lot or sidewalk can create a tripping hazard and open up the owner to a lawsuit.

It is extremely important to make sure all parking lots and walking areas are smooth and free of cracks and debris.

read more

Chubb Adds Cyber Bullying Insurance for U.S. Homeowners

Blog | 0 comments | by maria farfan

Chubb has added cyber bullying coverage to its U.S. Masterpiece Family Protection policy to help cover clients and their families from the expenses associated with a cyber bullying incident.

According to Christie Alderman, vice president, Client Product & Service, Chubb Personal Risk Services, cyber bullying, including online threats and harassment, can damage the reputation of a homeowner or their child reputation, and cause financial loss and emotional harm. The new cyber bullying coverage provides up to $60,000 in compensation to clients and family members for expenses related to harassment and intimidation committed via personal computers, telephones or mobile devices.
Clients may recover costs incurred when cyber bullying results in wrongful termination, false arrest, wrongful discipline in an educational institution, or diagnosed debilitating shock, mental anguish or mental injury leading to the inability of the client or a family member to attend school or work for more than a week. The coverage provides compensation for psychiatric services, rest and recuperation expenses, lost salary, temporary relocation services, education expenses, professional public relations services, and cyber security consultants.

read more

7 things to do to prepare for hurricane season

Blog | 0 comments | by maria farfan

This Sept. 24, 2008, file photo shows Donna Hanson as she pauses to look at an item recovered from debris left where her home once stood in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike in Galveston, Texas. (Photo: David J. Phillip/AP Photo)

This Sept. 24, 2008, file photo shows Donna Hanson as she pauses to look at an item recovered from debris left where her home once stood in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike in Galveston, Texas. (Photo: David J. Phillip/AP Photo)

Hurricane Preparedness Week, May 15-21, is a perfect time to start thinking about how to prepare for a potential land-falling tropical storm or hurricane.

On average, 12 tropical storms, six of which become hurricanes form over the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea or Gulf of Mexico during the hurricane season which runs from June 1 to Nov. 30 each year, according to the National Weather Service. In the Central Pacific Ocean, an average of three tropical storms, two of which become hurricanes form or move over the area.

 

The primary hazards from hurricanes, also known as tropical cyclones, are storm surge flooding, inland flooding from heavy rains, destructive winds, tornadoes, and high surf and rip currents. 

read more

Is your bathroom at risk for water damage?

Blog | 0 comments | by maria farfan

A leaky faucet that drips one drop per second can waste more then 3,000 gallons of water a year.

A leaky faucet that drips one drop per second can waste more then 3,000 gallons of water a year.

Leaks in homes can use more than 1 trillion gallons of water each year, an average of 10,000 gallons per household.

The most common sources of leaks are toilet flappers, dripping faucets and other leaking valves, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

One of the major sources of leaks is the bathroom. Surprisingly, certain design elements can increase the risk for water damage — or ensure that the damage stays hidden until it turns into a massive problem.

These issues aren’t limited to either residential or commercial construction, but can be found in all kinds of bathrooms, whether it is the one in your own home or a five-star hotel.

Here are three areas to watch for potential water damage, and when it is time to replace fixtures or remodel, making smart choices can reduce the risk of water damage in your new bathroom:

Bathroom sinks

Vanities can hide leaks from supply lines or poorly caulked sinks.

read more

7 tips to protect your family against thunderstorms

Blog | 0 comments | by maria farfan

Do you know what to do if a dangerous thunderstorm rolls in? Photo: iStock

Do you know what to do if a dangerous thunderstorm rolls in? Photo: iStock

Thunderstorms can occur year-round, and we have started the first of the two seasons — spring and summer — that they are most likely to occur.

Amelia, Ohio-based specialty residential insurer American Modern Insurance Group, a subsidiary of Germany-based Munich Re, has some tips for homeowners to better protect their properties and families against these events.

“When it comes to thunderstorms, thoughtful planning and preparation are essential,” said American Modern’s Heather Bolyard, assistant vice president of claims support. “For example, one simple yet effective measure homeowners can take is to secure items found in the yard, like trampolines, which can become airborne and dangerous if not properly tied down or stored away.”

Severe thunderstorms accounted for 43% of insured property windstorm losses in the United States — in 2015 values — between 1980 and 2015, according to American Modern.

read more

7 steps seniors can take to protect themselves during a disaster

Blog | 0 comments | by maria farfan

It’s no secret that Americans are living longer, but not all are in optimal health as shown in television commercials, creating a cottage industry in home health care.

In addition, the first of the baby boomers turned 70 this year, while others have responsibilities for aging family members. As a senior citizen or caretaker of an older person, preparing for and protecting against a fire, flood, hurricane or other disaster can be a special challenge, says the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.).

Many seniors live alone and may have special needs or limited physical mobility, which makes them more vulnerable than younger people when there is a disaster. Therefore, it’s all the more important to take steps to prepare for an emergency by evaluating the specific challenges faced by seniors and making an emergency plan to fit their needs.

If you’re an insurance agent or broker with aging clients or clients that operate home health care agencies, you can share the following checklist with them.

read more

3 things to do when looking for Cyber insurance

Blog | 0 comments | by maria farfan

It is no longer a question of “if” but instead “when” their company will experience an incident. (Photo: iStock)

 

It is no longer a question of “if” but instead “when” their company will experience an incident. (Photo: iStock)

Of the many threats that are top of mind for risk managers and the insurers who help them, cyber attacks and data breaches continue to receive a lot of attention.

For good reason, according to a recent report, the per-record cost of a data breach reached $154 in 2015, up 12% from $145 the year prior. Additionally, the average total cost of a single data breach rose 23% to $3.79 million.

Most risk managers understand that it is no longer a question of “if” but instead “when” their company will experience an incident. In fact, according to the Ponemon Third Annual Study on Data Breach Preparedness, only 35% of organizations had a data breach or Cyber insurance policy in 2015, and many more are now looking to buy policies.

read more

Moving soon? Here are 5 things to think about

Blog | 0 comments | by maria farfan

Moving provides a great opportunity for insureds to review their coverage for any gaps or major changes. (Photo: iStock)

Moving provides a great opportunity for insureds to review their coverage for any gaps or major changes. (Photo: iStock)

As spring bursts into full bloom, thousands of homeowners and renters are packing up and moving to a new place they will call home.

The U.S. Census Bureau says that 35.7 million people or 11.5% of the population changed their residences from 2013 to 2014.

Cities saw a net loss of 1.7 million while the suburbs had a net gain of 2.2 million movers. Renters are the most active movers, with 24.5% moving after just a year in their current location. A new job or transfer accounted for 9.7% of the moves.

Young adults are the most active age group on the move, with females aged 18-24 more likely (32%) to change residences than their male counterparts (29.8%).

 

Texas, Florida and North Carolina had the most newcomers entering their states in 2015, according to Evansville, Ind.-based moving company Atlas Van Lines.

read more

Risk Bulletin: Social Engineering Wire Transfer Scams Affecting U.S. Companies

Blog | 0 comments | by maria farfan

COMPANIES WHO SEND MONEY BY WIRE TRANSFER MUST BE AWARE OF SCAMS

Businesses that wire-transfer money to vendor or corporate bank accounts or on behalf of clients and customers should be aware of scams impacting even the best-managed companies. These wire-transfer scams are intentionally misleading unsuspecting employees into sending money or diverting payments to fraudsters who are impersonating vendors, clients, customers and even senior executives or business owners.

To help businesses manage these risks, The Hanover created False Pretense Coverage — an insurance solution providing protection from a wide variety of social engineering scams.

Identifying Risks and Frauds

Commonly referred to as social engineering scams, these frauds trick employees with fake information received by email, text, instant message, telephone calls or other electronic communications. The information and request to transfer funds will appear to be legitimate, but will have actually been sent by imposters intending to steal the company’s money.

Here are some typical scams and strategies to avoid them:

Business Email Compromise

This popular scam begins with a fraudulent email sent from someone pretending to be the company’s vendor, customer, or client — or someone posing as an owner, senior executive, or employee.

read more

48 spring break insurance considerations and safety tips

Blog | 0 comments | by maria farfan

Spring break is a great time for families and students to relax and unwind from the stresses of school and home life. As millions of adults and kids embark on trips across the globe to celebrate the return of spring after a long, cold winter, keep these insurance considerations and safety tips in mind:

Follow safe driving practices.

During the weeks of spring break — with children out of school and families taking vacation – there’s a good chance that traffic will increase on roadways. Slow down— especially in bad weather, construction areas, heavy traffic and unfamiliar areas.

.

Be aware that local law enforcement will likely be enhancing road safety enforcement efforts during spring break, looking for speeders, drunk drivers and seat-beat violators.

It’s also important to follow the following road safety tips:

1. Eliminate distractions while driving, including the usage of mobile devices.

read more