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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:

Cash

(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.

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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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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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