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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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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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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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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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.

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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.

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