Archive for February, 2014

Earthquake

Posted on: February 28th, 2014 by Commercial Insurance No Comments

“I feel the earth move under my feet” Carole King, 1971

If there is one important thing to know about earthquake insurance, It’s that most commercial insurance policies don’t include the coverage.

The good news is that earthquake coverage can be added to most commercial policies. The bad news is most business owners have never considered adding earthquake coverage and could not tell you for certain if earthquake was in or out of their policy. When considering potential losses that could cripple a business, an earthquake could render a building and facilities a total loss. Without any insurance coverage, most businesses could not rebuild.

We have seen the “big” earthquakes in China, Chile or even the U.S. West Coast. A little research shows earthquakes occur fairly regularly in New England. The last two years alone “small” earthquakes were recorded in Moodus, CT, Lincoln, ME, Contoocook, NH and closer to home in Massachusetts along the New York boarder in October 2012. The last more pronounced earthquake measuring 3.5 magnitude occurred in the Central Massachusetts town of Hardwick in 1994.

So earthquakes happen in New England, what should you do about it? There’s not much you can do about the frequency or severity of earthquakes in our area. What you can do at a minimum, is find out if your business carries earthquake coverage in your property policy. If you do not currently have the coverage; learn the facts, evaluate your financial situation, give us a call, then make a decision to add or not add the coverage based on your level of security.

For more information on earthquake insurance and your business, Call us.

You have questions, We have the answers.

The Full Coverage Myth and Your Car Insurance

Posted on: February 24th, 2014 by Personal Insurance No Comments

A few weeks ago I was traveling to a warmer destination and the people sitting behind me on the plane were discussing their car insurance. I am always interested to hear what people like and don’t like about their insurance. This typically gives our agency good ideas about how to share “insurancy” things with our clients.

Here is my one “insurancy thing” from this plane flight.

I would like all car insurance buyers to understand that there is NO such coverage as FULL coverage.

This is a term that I have heard over the years and it always makes me nervous.

I do not know of any car insurance policy out there that will cover you for every thing.

All insurance policies are contracts that have terms and exclusions. None offer FULL coverage.

So the next time you want to review your coverage, please start with the concept that there is no FULL coverage and then just know what you have.

As for that lady on the plane, I sure hope that the coverage she has selected as FULL coverage works for her if she has a claim.

We love to speak with our clients about what they have for coverage and what we recommend. We know that everyone wants different coverages depending on their needs and their budgets! Sorry we can’t give them FULL coverage, but we can get them what they decide they want for insurance coverage.

Had enough WINTER yet?

Posted on: February 18th, 2014 by Personal Insurance No Comments

Ice

It is just too cold and snowy to blog much today as we get ready for another snow event. I have to get more ice melt and get the shovels ready.

But all this cold weather this weekend reminded me that I should remind all of an important cold winter fact.

It is extremely important during the cold winter weather to keep your heat maintained in your entire building!

Most property (home/business) insurance policies DO have a “maintain heat” provision.

In general terms this means that you must have maintained heat in your building.

The questions about heat typically only comes up when we have a broken pipe and water damage.

So if you are a lucky homeowner with multiple ZONES for your house, please keep all zones on. We recommend a minimum temperature of sixty degrees.

And if you are a multi family building owner check to make certain that all of your units are maintaining an appropriate heat temperature. If one tenant fails to maintain the heat this could impact the insurance for the building.

The same is true for commercial buildings that you insure. The heat must be maintained in the “building” even though you may not occupy the entire building. Check in with your tenants if they are heating their own spaces.

Since all property (home and business) policies may be different, it is best to check in with your agent on what your policy says about this maintaining of heat!

The good news is, we can predict that it will be warm again. Until then stay warm and keep the heat on!

Crime Insurance & Employee Dishonesty

Posted on: February 14th, 2014 by Commercial Insurance No Comments

Today’s economic environment creates numerous challenges and increased risk for business owners. To remain profitable businesses are constantly looking at mergers, acquisitions, hiring and firing to stay competitive. Often times when change is constant, employees find themselves working longer hours at the same or reduced pay, which can lead to resentment against the employer and a desire to even the score.

Crime insurance is protection for the business against employees who steal from their employer. National statistics show eight out of ten crimes against businesses are the result of acts of their employees. Criminal acts like embezzlement, forgery, robbery and counterfeiting are showing up in more claim reports. Yes they are your most trusted employees, because the most trusted employees have the experience, access and opportunity to carry out the crime.

Gone are the days when money was missing and we looked to the “book-keeper” or payroll clerk for answers. Today, employees are more sophisticated and look at all angles to take advantage of weaknesses within the business. Long time employees are often the biggest risk takers and it may not be them but who they know that is the problem. A typical crime loss isn’t a one shot deal, it’s an organized well thought out cover up that takes place over time, months or years. Because of the length of time and increased complexity, when a crime is finally discovered it’s usually a large amount of money that has vanished.

While many insurance contracts include some coverage for acts of Employee Dishonesty, many contracts exclude coverage entirely or limit the amount of coverage. As is the best defense for all claims, take an active role in identifying the risks, and implement strong internal checks and balance systems. More than one person should play a role in all aspects of checks and balances to ensure procedures are followed and errors caught quickly.

Employee Dishonesty losses are real risks in today’s business world. Lower or eliminate your risks by being pro-active and asking questions.

You have questions, We have the answers!

Attention all Employers: Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance for Your Employees

Posted on: February 7th, 2014 by Commercial Insurance No Comments

As most successful business owners will attest, the most important competitive advantage they have, the one piece they have to have and find difficult to replace, are their employees. To care for your employees and their families and offer benefits that are there when THEY need them most, is the right thing to do and good business. A year ago, we introduced a new Worksite Life Insurance Plan to our employees. Worksite Life is a creative life insurance policy, and at little or no cost to employer, should be included with all your company benefit offerings.

Highlights of Worksite Life Insurance include;

  1. Life Insurance for all Employees, Spouses, Children even Grandchildren
  2. Guaranteed Issue, meaning No Medical Exam
  3. Premiums are Level for 20 Years
  4. Monthly Premium is Deducted directly from employee’s paycheck
  5. Completely Portable, Employee can take insurance with them if they are no longer employed

A payroll deduction insurance program that offers the benefit of individually owned life insurance for your employees at no direct cost to you, is a no brainer. Far too many people believe their life insurance as part of their employer provided benefits is adequate to take care of their family. In almost all cases, they are wrong. Take an active role in educating your employees and providing solutions to potential problems many employees have failed to address. As said before, it’s good for the business but more importantly it’s the right thing to do.

For more on Worksite Life Insurance or other employer benefit offerings and ideas, Call us.

You have questions. We have the answers.

My Friday Night and Insurance 101

Posted on: February 3rd, 2014 by Personal Insurance 1 Comment

Paddle Board

Friday night my husband and I shared dinner with one of our oldest couple friends.

If you had asked me I really would have thought that we knew what they were up to.

Come to find out, we missed a new business venture they started out of their garage!

The good news is, new ventures are always exciting and get people energized. The bad news is, their home insurance policy does not get so excited about this and tends to not cover things when you introduce a business operation.

My favorite line of the night was when our friend says, I have an Umbrella Policy that covers every thing! Now I was enjoying my night and looked to my attorney husband and said, “Do you want to take this one?” and that he did. My husband explained that his PERSONAL UMBRELLA policy is not going to help him out with his business.

At that point the topic was changed and we then reviewed anniversary plans. It seems that the husbands want to have a joint anniversary party this year. I will update in the spring on that one!

Since it is Monday and back to work, I will be contacting our friends to rereview:

Your Personal Umbrella Policy only covers your personal liability and that $50,000 of Paddle Boards that you have in your garage are not covered! Then I need to suggest that they move all of that stock into their house. I know this sounds crazy but when you store business personal property in your garage, your coverage on the garage structure itself is eliminated!

Good thing we had dinner together! Please share this with any home business people you know! And if you are in the market for a paddle board, please email us. We know just the vendor for you!