Recent News

Daylight Savings Time Ends

Sunday, November 4th, is the end of Daylight Savings Time.  What does that mean, you gain an hour of sleep?  So don’t forget to turn your clocks back an hour before going to be on Saturday, November 3rd.

Domestic Violence in the Workplace

According to a recent National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, approximately a third of women and a quarter of men report being a victim of violence by a partner at some point in their lives.   This means an employee being a victim or perpetrator is higher than you realize.

Protecting our employees at the workplace requires an action plan and implementation plan for prevention and intervention strategies to address domestic violence within the workplace.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, businesses lose $729 million each year in lost productivity related to domestic violence.  60% of employees experience domestic violence reported losing their jobs as a result, either because they were fired or had to quit.

If you’re an employer what signs should you look for:

  • Unexplained bruises.
  • Unusually quiet/withdrawn.
  • Frequent absences.
  • Lack of concentration.
  • Wearing concealing clothing, even in warm weather.
  • Depression and/or anxiety.
  • Change in performance attitude.
  • Frequent breaks or appointments with friends/family.
  • Receipt of harassing phone calls.

If you have an employee exhibiting any of these signs, intervening in a sensitive and private manner to encourage he/she to seek help before the problem escalates.

How do you protect your employees; by being proactive.  Establish a comprehensive policy to insure that employees can report abuses, to provide services the employer for the victims, and disciplinary procedures for perpetrators.

Source:  Nobert Alicea, MA, CEAP, EVP of EAP+Work/Life Services

Are your wedding rings insured?

Couples spend thousands of dollars on their wedding rings.  Did you know that your renter’s and homeowner’s insurance has limits? Most policies only pay out a maximum of $1,500 to $2,500, a fraction of what you might have spent.

To insure that your rings are properly covered, let us check out your renter’s and homeowner’s policy. If additional coverage is needed, we suggest you obtain an appraisal and then we can arrange for either a jewelry policy or a jewelry floater.

How much will this type of insurance cost?  Usually an annual rate of $1 to $2 for every $100 your rings are worth.  The average $5,855 engagement ring would run between $59 to $118 annually to insure.

Don’t wait, give us a call at the agency, to discuss.

Source:  Investopedia

Falls Drive Up Construction Workers’ Comp Costs

More than 30% of workers’ compensation claims stem from construction sites are the results of falls from elevated surfaces according to Nationwide Mutual Insurance.

Falls from elevated surfaces are more severe than other injury claims because these accidents result in more time away from work, damage to multiple part parts, and more short- and long-term disability leave.  

To assist you and your workers in fall prevention, you can download the Fall Protection in Construction Flyer.   

Source:  Business Insurance, Nationwide, and OSHA

Safety Driving Tips in School Zones

With children back in school, now is a good time to remind you about safety tips in a school zone.

  1. Look for school zones signals and obey the speed limits posted.
  2. Drivers in both directions must stop their vehicles and wait until the lights go off, the stop sign is back in place and the bus is moving before they can start driving again.
  3. Never pass a bus loading or unloading children.
  4. Unless licensed to do so, never use handicap or emergency vehicle lanes or spaces to drop off or pick up children at school.
  5. Yield to pedestrians in cross walks, and take extra care in school zones.
  6. Avoid using a cellphone, unless it’s completely hand-free, while driving in a school zone.
  7. Watch out for school crossing guards and obey their signals.
  8. Never pass a vehicle stopping for pedestrians.
  9. 10 feet around a school bus is the most dangerous for children, stop far enough back to allow them to safely enter and exit the bus.

Keep these safety tips in mind when driving in a school zone.

Source: Property Casualty 360

September is National Preparedness Month

Emergencies can create a variety of hazards for workers in the impacted area. Preparing before an emergency incident plays a vital role in insuring that employers and workers have the necessary equipment, know where to go, and know how to keep themselves safe when an emergency occurs. These Emergency Preparedness and Response pages supplied by OSHA can  provide information on how to prepare and train for emergencies and the hazards to be aware of when an emergency occurs. The pages provide information for employers and workers across industries, and for workers who will be responding to the emergency. Go to https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/emergencypreparedness/index.html for specific plans for tornadoes, floods, wildfires, and hurricanes.

Attention: T-Mobile Users - Data Breach

On August 20, 2018, T-Mobile contacted their customers to alert them of an unauthorized person accessing certain personal information.  The data that was compromised was name, phone number, email address, account number, and type.

Breaches such as this are now common place and you need to protect yourself with identity theft insurance coverage.

Give us a call at the agency to discuss.

Do You Know What The Most Costly Home Property Damages Are?

These five causes of home damage were identified by the Travelers in their recent report which tracked claims from 2009 to 2016.

  • Water-related water - leaking roofs and frozen pipes 
  • Wind – damage to roofs, walls, and uprooted trees
  • Non-weather related water damage – plumbing, sewer or appliance leaks or failures
  • Hail – damage to roofs (home or cards)
  • Fire – Electrical, cooking, wildfires

When reviewing your policies we will review your homeowner’s coverage to make sure that you have the right limits and coverages in place to protect you against these types of claims.

Have a question, give us a call at the agency.

Source: Travelers, Property Casualty 360

Cyber Protection is More than Insurance

No matter what your business, cyber-attacks are an increasingly common occurrence.  They not only affect the Internet, but also attack your core business systems.  In addition to your cyber liability coverage, you need to implement risk management support. 

What are the components of a risk management solution?

  • Clear identification of risks and vulnerabilities
  • Evaluation of customer and corporate data security
  • Advanced email security 
  • Point to Point Encryption
  • Malicious Intent Site Blocking
  • Employee Policies & Procedures
  • Adherence to ISO 270001/2 which includes hardware and software implementations that have change management oversight along with non-production testing and evaluation.

A recent article by Phil Britt on eSecurity Planet provides a great outline analyzing what is cyber security risk management along with the risk management process to apply to your business.

There is also an in-depth report you can download called “The Ultimate Guide to IT Security Vendors” which can assist you in learning about the potential threats to your business and what vendors specialize in cyber prevention.

A program that has strong risk mitigation precautions, coupled with extensive employee training, the proper software, and incident response protocol will help to protect your business. Cyber-crimes are not going away and businesses need to be vigilant in its prevention. 

Give us a call to discuss your cyber insurance and risk protection program. 

Source: eSecurity Planet

Back to School

August is Back to School Safety Month.  With the new school year about to start, it’s a good time to remind motorists to be extra careful at all times.  Here are some safety reminders for drivers:

  • Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods and school zones
  • Take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs
  • Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully
  • Watch for children on and near the road in the morning and after school hours
  • Reduce any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings. Put down your phone and don’t talk or text while driving

Reminders for your kids:

  • Cross the street with an adult until they are at least 10 years old
  • Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks
  • Never run out into the streets or cross in between parked cars
  • Always walk in front of the bus where the driver can see them

 For addition tips, go to the National Safety Council at https://www.nsc.org/home-safety/seasonal-safety/back-to-school.