Hurricane Matthew: Make sure you have your hurricane supplies

Blog | 0 comments | by Sam Mogil

Original Article by Palm Beach Post:

It’s still not clear how severely Hurricane Matthew will affect South Florida, but it’s time to make sure you have the things you need in your home.

Don’t wait until the last minute because lines will be long and supplies short.


Assemble this now. Put aside in a special box. Keep heat-sensitive items inside home and rotate stock throughout season:

  • Flashlights and extra bulbs
  • Clock (wind-up or battery-operated)
  • Battery-operated radio
  • NOAA emergency weather radio
  • Extra batteries
  • Toilet paper
  • Matches (camping stores have waterproof matches)
  • Scissors
  • Plastic garbage bags
  • Working fire extinguisher
  • Clean change of clothes, rain gear, sturdy swamp boots
  • Fully charged battery-operated lanterns. Don’t use candles and kerosene lanterns. They are fire hazards.
  • Map of the area
  • List of phone numbers
  • Copy of insurance policy


  • Get enough nonperishable foods now to last two weeks. Then put them in a box and leave them alone.
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5 ways businesses can prepare for hurricane season

Blog | 0 comments | by maria farfan

In recent years, properties in the United States have been hit hard by natural disasters, with the largest insured loss event occurring in 2014, according to the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association.

Property and casualty insurance industry catastrophes losses in the United States rose to $15.5 billion in 2014, up from 12.9 billion in 2013.

As a result, claims rose to 2.1 million in 2014, compared with 1.8 million in 2013, the association reported, citing that each year about 6 percent of homeowners file claims.

Mitigate possible losses

But homeowners aren’t the only ones who are affected by these catastrophes. As we approach this hurricane season, businesses should ensure they have an emergency preparedness plan in place in order to mitigate losses should a storm occur.

Floods can occur anywhere, anytime, with little or no warning and businesses must make preparations so that if flooding occurs after a storm, they are able to remain open, or reopen quickly after a flood disaster.

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How to Help Prepare for a Hurricane

Blog | 0 comments | by maria farfan

Your level of preparation before a hurricane can determine how well you weather the storm and how quickly you recover from it. You should start preparing your home, inside and out, long before a storm is in the forecast. In the end, you can never be too prepared when it comes to protecting your loved ones and your property from extreme weather events such as hurricanes.

Know the Forecast

You may hear the terms “hurricane watch” and “hurricane warning” in your local forecast. Understanding the difference between them is essential to helping you prepare for a hurricane. As soon as a hurricane watch or warning is forecast for your area, it is important, depending on the type of alert, to immediately begin or complete your preparations.

A watch means hurricane conditions are possible within 48 hours. You should begin to stock up on emergency supplies in the event a warning is issued.

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Pokémon Go fantasy game creates real-life vulnerabilities

Blog | 0 comments | by maria farfan

As if texting and e-mail weren’t enough to capture people’s attention as they are walking or driving, now Pokémon Go is creating yet another reason to take your eyes off the road or not watch where you’re walking in the airport, at the mall or on the street.

It’s only been available for two weeks in the United States, but Pokémon Go has become the latest technology craze to mesmerize gamers of all ages.

The game allows players to cross over from the fantasy world of Pokémon to explore the real world as they look for creatures with names such as Diglett, Ponyta and Doduo, which can appear anywhere ― on someone’s shoulder, along a walkway, in a trashcan or behind a light pole.

The app was created by San Francisco-based software developer Niantic Labs, and can either be downloaded from the Pokémon website or through Google Play, which required users to login via their Google credentials, giving the app access to all of a users’ Google-related information such as Gmail, Google Docs and Google Photos, or through iTunes for the iOS platform.

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4 steps to creating a safer workplace

Blog | 0 comments | by maria farfan

One serious on-the-job injury can potentially cost a business owner tens of thousands of dollars in wage-replacement costs, replacement-hire costs, regulatory fines and lost productivity.

One important way insurance agents can provide a valuable service that strengthens their client relationships is to help business owners establish a culture of workplace safety.

In addition to reducing the risk of incurring injury-related expenses, making the necessary investments to become a safer workplace can save a company money over the long-run. The Occupational Safety and Health Association estimates that business owners can save $4 to $6 for every dollar invested in a safety program. Also, many workers’ compensation insurance carriers offer discounts to companies that have workplace safety plans, which can result in lower premium costs.

Creating a culture of workplace safety often starts with a written plan that demonstrates a business’ commitment to make it a strategic priority. Fortunately, OSHA and some insurance carriers provide free resources, tools and services that agents can offer to help their clients get started.

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15 fireworks safety tips to prevent injuries and property damage

Blog | 0 comments | by maria farfan

The Fourth of July and spectacular fireworks displays go hand-in-hand. From 1776 until the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence, with typical festivities ranging from fireworks, parades and concerts to more casual family gatherings and barbecues.

Fireworks are beautiful, but they’re also dangerous.

In 2013, in the United States alone, fireworks caused an estimated 15,600 reported fires, including 1,400 total structure fires, 200 vehicle fires, and 14,000 outside and other fires, according to the Quincy, Massachusetts-based  National Fire Protection Association. These fires resulted in an estimated $21 million in direct property damage.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports 230 people on average go the emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries in the month around the July 4th holiday. In 2013, there were eight deaths and an estimated 11,400 consumers who sustained injuries related to fireworks. 

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5 types of cyber attacks and how they can affect your business

Blog | 0 comments | by maria farfan

Cyber attacks come in many different forms, and the type of attack on any particular company depends on the type of information the intruder is looking for. (Photo: Shutterstock)


Cyber attacks come in many different forms, and the type of attack on any particular company depends on the type of information the intruder is looking for. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Interest in cyber coverage is at an all-time high, and those who previously thought it a luxury — or not a necessity — are taking a much closer look at their exposures.

A recent Marsh report shows that cyber insurance purchases grew 32% in 2014 when compared with 2013, and up 21% in 2013 over 2012. “The yearly increase shows that organizations see cyber as a risk to be managed, not merely a problem to be fixed by IT,” the report asserts.

Damian Caracciolo, vice president and practice leader at CBIZ Management & Professional Risk, said that cyber attacks affect all industries, but the type of attack deployed depends on the industry to which the company being targeted belongs.

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6 things to know before signing up with a home-sharing rental site

Blog | 0 comments | by maria farfan

Are you intrigued by the idea of renting a room in your home to earn extra income? You may be thinking that it’s easy money, and you can rent a room for a short time or your entire house for a long time. But before you sign that rental agreement, here are six things the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) wants you to know.

What are home sharing websites?

There are several online solutions available that let you rent a room or your home to a stranger you meet by using an app or a website, called home-sharing solutions, explains NAIC. Home-sharing or peer-to-peer rentals (P2P) are sites like Airbnb, Roomorama, VRBO (Vacation Rentals by Owner) and HomeAway that connect hosts with guests. Guests find a property and pay for the stay just as they would in a hotel. The difference is that the property is not a licensed hotel or bed and breakfast and is often a privately owned apartment, condo or house.

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Road trip! 7 safe-driving tips for new graduates

Blog | 0 comments | by maria farfan

Whether they’re graduating from high school or college, many new graduates will be on the roads this summer to celebrate their hard work.

From parties to weekend getaways to road trips, young drivers will be on the road often this summer and need to keep some safety tips in mind.

From buckling up to avoiding distracted driving, there are simple safety precautions teens and young adults can take to prevent accidents. According to the National Safety Council, car crashes are the No. 1 killer of teens, with more than half of the teens killed in car crashes found not to have been wearing a seatbelt.

Here are some safe driving tips for new graduates from the Chicago-based Property Casualty Insurers Association of America:


(Photo: iStock)

1. Beware of crash taxes

It’s been banned or limited in several states, but many states, cities, counties, and fire districts will charge the at-fault driver for emergency response costs in an auto accident.

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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.).

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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.

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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.

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