Archive for May, 2013

Terrorism and Your Insurance

Posted on: May 31st, 2013 by Commercial Insurance No Comments

In the last seven weeks, much has been written and said about the cowardly bombings at the Boston Marathon this year. Many questions have been asked about terrorist acts and exclusions on commercial insurance policies. We would like to provide some back round on Terrorism and a commercial insurance policy.

The losses to World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 were in the hundreds of billions of dollars. Insurance companies had never experienced this type of physical and financial loss and were unprepared for the dollar amount of claims they were to pay. Aside from the obvious physical devastation, one of the largest dollar losses was for loss of business income owed to businesses.

The insurance companies worked with the United States government to create the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act. This allowed insurance companies a cap on the amount of loss they could sustain and a business owner the ability to be in part reimbursed by the federal government. To date the Boston Marathon bombings have not been declared an “act of terror” by definition of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, so for the time being the insurance policies in place should respond for business owners. Under the Act, an “act of terror” can not be declared by the President, Governor or Media, but only if conditions are met and in agreement with the Secretary of Treasury, Secretary of State and U.S. Attorney General offices. More to come we’re sure, we’ll be watching.

For many commercial insurance policies, Terrorism coverage is included in your policy unless you elect to decline the coverage. Either way you would have signed a confirmation keeping or deleting Terrorism coverage. The additional cost to include Terrorism coverage will depend on the size and location of your business. We recently renewed a manufacturer with an annual premium of $52,000, the annual Terrorism cost was $258.

The type of business in conjunction with size and location will help determine if Terrorism coverage is appropriate for your business. Unfortunately as we have witnessed and experienced over the last ten years, terrorist acts are not going away. Our best advice is to talk about it, learn what’s included or not included in your commercial policy.

Ask Questions, We have the Answers.

Tidbits and Insurance Tips

Posted on: May 29th, 2013 by Herlihy Insurance Group No Comments
  • Garaging and Garages – Things you should know! If you change the place where you park your car or truck each night for a period of more than three weeks, please let us know. We may need to updated the “garaging” on your policy. Remember the kids on this one!
  • Out of Country Driving – If you will be traveling outside of the United States, Canada, or Mexico, please remember that your car insurance coverage will not follow you! You would need to purchase separate car insurance while abroad.
  • Vacancy and Theft – If your building or home is vacant, there will be no theft coverage for any of the building materials or contents of your building. One of our clients had the copper taken out of their home that was held for sale! Please secure take additional security measures for vacant properties.
  • Beware of Cars from Sandy – Because of hurricane Sandy we recommend that you check with the National Insurance Crime Bureau if you have a concern about a vehicle that you are purchasing. The NCIB’s website www.nicb.org provides consumers with free access to vehicle salvage records of participating insurance companies.
  • Sinkholes Appearing Around Here – With sinkholes in the news we wanted to share how your home and other property insurance work on these. Coverage for damage caused by sinkhole is NOT automatically covered. So just like earthquake coverage, if you would like coverage for sinkhole damage, please let us know. This specific coverage would need to be added to your property policy.
  • Blog Sign Up Contest – Sign up in May to follow our blog and enter the May Blog Lottery for two free tickets to the Red Sox this season.

Herlihy Insight – Life Insurance

Posted on: May 23rd, 2013 by Herlihy Insurance Group No Comments

Life Insurance

Within the past few months, I have read far too many obituaries of people between the ages of 40-55. Most of the time there is a spouse and young children that are left behind and I ask myself, “Do you think this family had enough life insurance? How will this family survive going forward?”

In our hectic life, we often overlook the planning for our family when we are not here. Have you recently considered the following? – What would happen if I or my spouse suddenly passes away? What happens if we both pass away? Although these are not pleasant thoughts, we all must consider the above situations and decide what is best for our remaining family.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  1. What is the goal of my life insurance policy?
    Do I want to pay off my mortgage for my spouse, provide for my child’s college education, provide money for my funeral expenses or simply have a lump sum of cash for my spouse to feel financially secure?
  2. How much life insurance do I need?
    We recommend a person has at least 10 times his/her annual salary covered by life insurance. However, a person needs to consider his/her goals and the current expenses within their household. If your family has grown since you purchased your current life insurance policy, you may need more coverage. Unfortunately there is no magic amount of life insurance for everyone.
  3. How much life insurance do I currently have? When does my policy expire?
  4. Do I have life insurance through my employer? If so, how much?
    This should be viewed as supplementary life insurance for you. The two major drawbacks with employer sponsored life insurance are:
    • If you get fired or leave your job, you may lose your life insurance coverage.
    • The employer could decide to not offer this coverage in the future.

The Herlihy Insurance Group recommends you review your life insurance needs at least every 5 years.

For additional information please contact Mark Herlihy.

Email: Mherlihy@HerlihyGroup.com
Phone: (508) 471-9660

Insurance, A Wedding and An Extra Night In Hawaii

Posted on: May 20th, 2013 by Personal Insurance No Comments

Every day we at Herlihy Insurance Group work with our clients to review the benefits of having ALL of their policies with one agency.

This week we had the pleasure of assisting newlyweds with combining their insurance policies and IT WAS FUN!

First off, we made them smile! Insurance savings tend to do that to people. Secondly we shared with them “new” information about a personal umbrella policy and accurate info about why that old car in the garage was not covered on their home owners policy like they thought! We also were able to chat with them about their engagement and wedding rings and their dog that is going to be the ring bearer.

Our learning about their upcoming wedding plans and their learning about how combining their home and auto insurance policies with one agency can save them $700 a year made for an excellent appointment.

So at then end of the appointment with our newlyweds they were planning to book an additional honeymoon night in Hawaii with their new found cash and we in our office are all looking forward to pictures of the dog in the wedding.

As I said …………………… It was FUN!

So if you know anyone getting married who has not yet combined all of their insurance to one agency, please send them over to Herlihy Insurance Group. We are quite good at this.

And if you know of any wedding places that rent tuxes for dogs, please forward that along to us as well. We know of a dog that needs an outfit.

Calling All Doctors

Posted on: May 17th, 2013 by Commercial Insurance No Comments

More Choices, Better Malpractice Program

Operating a successful medical practice today has never been more challenging. The decisions you make regarding billing & reimbursements, patient care, and how your medical malpractice insurance is placed will determine the financial stability and long term viability of the practice.

With the exception of health insurance, the decisions on how the malpractice insurance is placed will play a large role in the cost of insurance for the medical practice. One of the biggest misconceptions with insurance in general and medical malpractice insurance specifically, is that all insurance is the same regardless of who has the insurance. Just like all cars, houses and businesses are not the same, all malpractice insurance/contracts are not the same.

Do you have options? More options will produce a better malpractice program for your practice. One question to ask is who is handling your malpractice insurance? Do you have a malpractice advisor or an insurance generalist? Worse yet are you working directly with the company providing your insurance with no additional options? A couple quick questions will provide your answer, Can you answer Yes here;

  1. Our advisor represents more than one company
  2. Our advisor personally meets with us and provides more than one option
  3. Your billing plan does not include any fees
  4. The group is experience rated not individual physician rated
  5. Your risk management courses cut the cost of your insurance

Individual physicians, Specialists and Large Medical Groups all benefit when they are presented options for how their malpractice contracts are placed. Above all, you deserve an advisor working in your best interest. An option not available when your advisor represents one company or you elected the insurance company as your advisor. For more information on how you can improve your malpractice insurance, Call us. We have the answers.

Under and UnINSURED: When a Few Dollars Makes a BIG Difference

Posted on: May 15th, 2013 by Herlihy Insurance Group No Comments

This time we would like to share the story of Cindy and what we all learned from her car accident when she was hit from behind.

I don’t know about you, but the experience of getting hit from behind is unnerving to me. When I am stopped in traffic (especially on Route 9), glance into my rear view mirror and notice that there is a vehicle speeding towards my stopped car, I always wonder how much this will hurt. Fortunately I have not been “hit” to date.

Our friend Cindy was not so fortunate. Cindy was hit from behind while parked in traffic on Route 128. Her car was totaled. Her back and neck were injured and her insurance odyssey began.

The totaled car part was easy. She collected her insurance proceeds for her car from her insurance company. Unfortunately the pile of subsequent medical and physical therapy bills and the loss of income from missing three months of work was not as easy to sort out!

Cindy’s own car insurance policy paid out $8,000 for her medical bills which is the standard payout under a Massachusetts car insurance policy for personal injury protection. Once this was paid she had no additional coverage under her own car insurance policy.

The vehicle that hit Cindy had the state minimum limits of $20,000 for these types of “bodily injury” damages. So the insurance company wrote Cindy a check for $20,000. Unfortunately the total medical bills for Cindy’s accident was $55,000.

Cindy also missed six weeks of work during her car accident recovery time. As a self employed business owner with no disability coverage, she ended up with a six week unpaid vacation. Obviously this created a cash flow problem for Cindy and her family. So the motto we would like to share with all of our clients is Don’t Be Cindy!

As we recommend to all of our clients, please consider adding or upgrading the following options:

Medical Payments Coverage:

Limit choices are $5,000, $10,000 and $25,000.

By adding this additional coverage you will have additional medical payments coverage in the case of an accident.

Uninsured and Underinsured Motorists Coverage:

Limit choices are 50/100, 100/300, 250/500.

By increasing these coverages you add important medical payment and lost wages coverages for yourself if you are injured by a driver who has low limits or no insurance.

Team Herlihy in Action

Posted on: May 13th, 2013 by Herlihy Insurance Group No Comments

End of the year brought our annual Toy Drive to benefit the Worcester Boys & Girls Club, big thank you’s to all employees, family and friends for collecting over 200 toys for the Boys & Girls Club. Now in our tenth year of collecting the toys, it never gets old.

Herlihy Employees were also very happy to include with our toys, a check for $1,000 raised during the year from Jeans Friday. Herlihy employees pay a monthly fee for the option to wear jeans on Friday’s. We’ve had such tremendous participation and support we’re able to contribute more than toys to a Boys & Girls Club that knows how to use the money. Thank you one and all.

February 12, our group of ten “chefs” headed down to Kids CafĂ© at the Boys & Girls Club to serve dinner to over 200 club members. The children range in age from 4 to 18 and aside from some dirty dishes there’s not much left when we’re done. Hamburgers and Cheeseburgers were on the menu and they went quickly. Special thanks to many of our employee’s family members for helping us out this time around.

Next Up, Jim and his son Nick are heading back to Haiti end of April in support of Be Like Brit organization. With the orphanage now built and occupied, Jim and Nick will be helping in the construction of new homes for families living with out a home.

Follow Jim and Nick, donate, or keep up with what’s going on at www.belikebrit.com. With 95% of all money donated going directly to the goals of Be Like Brit, it’s an organization like no other.

Referral Rewards & March Madness Bracket Buster Winners

Posted on: May 8th, 2013 by Herlihy Insurance Group No Comments

Referral Rewards Winners

Our Referral Rewards contest continues to grow with new referrals from new people. Thank you to everyone for thinking of Herlihy Insurance. We have answers to your questions and solutions for your problems. One referral and you are entered three times; month, quarter and end of year. Call us today, email us at referrals@herlihygroup.com or use this form.

Referral Rewards Winners - Spring 2013

March Madness Bracket Buster

Congratulations, Zachary Daniels of Worcester, winner of a $100 American Express gift card for winning our March Madness Basketball Challenge. Zach out lasted our group of 20 basketball specialists to claim first place. Learn more about our ongoing contests and community events by Liking Us on Facebook.

President’s Letter

Posted on: May 6th, 2013 by Herlihy Insurance Group No Comments

Boston Strong

The Boston Marathon has been a signature family event for over 100 years: People lining the streets of Massachusetts for 26.2 miles cheering on average people doing something extraordinary. It is a true example of the American spirit.

I enjoyed many marathons as a student at Boston College. My favorite one was in 1999 watching my wife complete her first marathon. I remember being on Boylston Street with my sons as she turned the corner to head toward the finish line. It was a great family moment.

On April 15, 2013, thousands of families were enjoying the marathon just like I had years earlier. Unfortunately, this marathon would produce more terror than joy. Our country and city were again rocked by terrorism. Everyone knows someone who was running or watching the race. There are many stories of pain and disbelief.

What followed the two blasts was a true example of what a great country we can be. Police, firefighters, EMTs, and average people worked together to help those hurt the most. The quick response saved many lives. In the days to follow, federal, state & local law enforcement, along with the help of many citizens, were able to methodically track down the killers and bring them to justice.

The events of this week remind us of two things: terrorists will continue to target the American way of life; the people of our country can accomplish great things when they work together.

May God bless those killed or injured, may he bless the USA and may we continue to be
BOSTON STRONG.

Workers Compensation: 5 Ways to Control Costs

Posted on: May 3rd, 2013 by Commercial Insurance No Comments

For most business owners, Workers Compensation insurance is their most expensive and volatile insurance contract to navigate. Frequency and Severity are two areas you need to control. Several small claims or one large claim can significantly increase the cost of your insurance for 3-5 years.

Here are five steps to control the cost of your Workers Compensation insurance;

  1. Implement a Safety Program – Have a Written Safety Program, regularly scheduled Safety Meetings (weekly or monthly) and company provided Safety Equipment. Common Safety Equipment includes; hard hats, ear protection, gloves, fall protection equipment and back braces.
  2. Incentive Program for No Claims – Show ownership’s commitment to the Safety Program by rewarding employees for not having Workers Compensation Claims. A gift card or a free lunch for all employees if there are no claims within a given time frame often show results. You will be amazed how the employees take ownership of the work environment and self regulate the Safety Program.
  3. Review the Classification for each Employee – Every year, review which employees belong to which classification and verify the estimated payroll is correct. Note – Employees who perform multiple tasks, will be assigned to the highest rated classification for their work.
  4. Review the Overtime Pay – you are only required to pay your Workers Compensation premium on an employee’s straight pay. Overtime pay is deductible. Example – at regular pay of $10/hour and overtime pay of $15/hour, you may deduct the extra $5 per hour overtime pay.
  5. Subcontracted Work – Use of “Independent Contractors” or “Subcontractors” are common practice for many businesses to avoid including payroll in their Workers Compensation numbers. Be very careful here. The subcontractor relationship is a primary focus for insurance companies, Workers Compensation Bureau and the Department of Industrial Accidents. If you use subcontractors, all subcontractors need to purchase their own Workers Compensation insurance, to include the company owner(s). Failure to include owners could result in a claim against your insurance or an additional premium charge on your Workers Compensation insurance.

Controlling Workers Compensation costs takes education, planning and effort. For more ways to control your costs and options for how your insurance is placed, Call us today.

We have the answers.