The Coronavirus Will Have An Impact The United States

The Coronavirus Will Have An Impact The United States

The Centers for Disease Control recently stated that the Coronavirus will have an impact in the United States. People who contracted the Wuhan virus have reported symptoms that include fever, chills, headaches, difficulty breathing, and a sore throat.  Now is a good time to start thinking about how you might protect yourself and your family from contracting this virus.

The World Health Organization and the CDC recommend that you take the usual precautions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses including:

Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth if your hands are not clean.

Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick.

Clean surfaces you often touch.

Stay home from work, school, and public areas if you are sick.

Check with your doctor if you have a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, and tell your doctor about any recent travels.

Avoid eating raw or undercooked meat or animal organs.

If you are visiting live markets in areas that have recently had new coronavirus cases, avoid contact with live animals and surfaces they may have touched.

How To Win The Identity Theft War

You’ve probably heard about identity theft on television or read about it in the newspaper, and you may already be aware of the damage these crimes can cause victims and their families. What you may not know is how to protect yourself from these attacks. Below you’ll find ten steps that can help you minimize your chances of becoming another identity theft statistic.

Invest in a shredder – Never throw anything away without shredding it first. Identity thieves will dig through dumpsters and trash bags looking for credit card receipts, voided checks, paid bills, credit card offers, and other items that provide them with your personal information.

Mail everything from the post office – Leaving your outgoing mail in or on your mailbox is an invitation to have it stolen by an identity thief. Not only can they get all of your personal information from the check, but they can even alter the check and cash it themselves. Instead, drop it by the post office or another mailbox.

Use a post office box – Incoming mail is also a target for identity thieves. Your bills, checks, even junk mail can be used by these thieves to steal your personal information. If you have a post office box, then your mail will be delivered safely to that box.

Have a non-published phone number – Some identity thieves will also use the telephone in an attempt to get your personal information. For example, one scam involved a caller telling a person he or she had won a government grant that was going to be directly deposited into their checking account.

Check your accounts weekly – If you don’t already, you need to get in the habit of checking the balances of all your financial accounts on a weekly basis. Waiting for monthly statements isn’t good enough because by then, your account could have been completely drained.

Check your credit report yearly – Every year, you should request free copies of your credit report and check them for any errors, such as credit cards or loans you never took out. If you find out now that someone is using your identity, you can start correcting the problem before you need to use your own credit.

Memorize PIN numbers and passwords – Never write down your PIN numbers or passwords. No place is a safe place to keep these important pieces of information.

Keep only basic information on checks – Your checks should only include basic information about you, such as your name and address. Your social security number should never be printed on your checks. If it is, then you’re basically handing over the keys to your identity to any thief who comes in contact with your check.

Eliminate unwanted credit card offers – Those credit card offers you throw away can be used by identity thieves.

Carry only necessities – Never carry anything in your purse or wallet that isn’t necessary, such as extra deposit slips, social security cards, birth certificates, etc. The more personal information your purse or wallet contains, the more valuable it will be to an identity thief if it is lost or stolen.

Go electronic – Bank statements, most bills, and many other documents can all be viewed electronically, so you never have to worry about them being stolen out of your mailbox or your trash. Contact your financial institution, credit card companies, and utility providers about the availability of this option. As an extra bonus, many of these businesses offer incentives to individuals who sign up for these electronic programs.

While these steps can’t guarantee you won’t have a identity theft issue, it can help reduce the likelihood of having one.

Employment Practices Liability Insurance

If you have employees, you are exposed to potential employment liability claims. Employees know their rights, and it is time for all employers to be more informed about how to protect their companies. There are many reasons why you need to make Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) part of your commercial insurance program.

EPLI covers the company and board

An EPLI policy covers claims made against directors, officers, employees, the company, and its subsidiaries. The policy can cover a long list of claims including wrongful dismissal/termination, sexual/racial/disability harassment, sexual/racial/disability/religious discrimination, employment related libel, slander, defamation and invasion of privacy, wrongful failure to employ or promote, and retaliation

Increased claims

It’s becoming harder to ignore the “me culture” which continues to gather momentum. Small and medium sized businesses saw the largest increase in employment practice liability claims in 2013; up 33% according to human resources experts. The average claim cost is over $150,000 and is growing yearly.

Company reputation

A company’s reputation in the marketplace can be severely damaged by employment practice claims. The negative publicity may be followed by potential reluctance of your clients and/or suppliers to trade with your company.

Free legal help

Most EPLI policies provide free legal resources for firms to use. You can call an attorney to help you through a tough issue.

Cost is very competitive

EPLI premiums are not as high as you might think. Premiums can run much less than the cost of defending just one occurrence.

We can design a specialized package according to your property, liability, and casualty needs. We are also proactive in identifying any factors that may increase your premiums or change your risk, and provide consulting and risk management options to protect your business. We are ready to help you better understand your risks. Please call our office today.

 

Summer Driving Tips

 

An Auto Insurance Update

Summer is here, and many families are planning that great summer road trip.  Whether you are planning a day trip or a longer weeklong adventure, it is important to be prepared before you hit the road.  Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) statistics reveal that more fatal traffic crashes occur over the summer months than over the winter months.

Summer Driving Tips

If you have teen drivers, make sure they have taken driver safety training.

Never use your phone while driving.

When on a long drive, take frequent breaks.

Roads become very slippery in the first few minutes of rainfall because the rain mixes with the oil and dirt on the road. It takes about 30 minutes of steady rain to wash the oil and dirt off the road.

If your car is due for a tune-up, oil change, battery check, or tire rotation, now is the time to get it done.

Use seats belts every trip, all the time.

Traffic laws vary by state, so it is important to follow traffic signs.

Pack extra water and supplies in case of an emergency.

Drive at a safe speed. Speeding increases the likelihood and severity of a crash.

Auto Insurance

It will be important to have an auto insurance update before you go. Laws vary from state to state, and when it comes to your auto insurance, it is important to have the best possible combination of coverage, price, and service.

Good Reasons To Call Your Insurance Agent

Home and Auto Insurance Update

Let’s face it, you buy home and auto insurance to protect you when and or if an accident happens. And when you have an accident, you want your personal insurance to respond.  If it has been a while since you updated your personal insurance coverage, you may want to call us today.

When to Call Your Agent

When you buy or sell a car

If you started a home based business

If you are thinking about putting in a pool

When you purchased any high-end jewelry, guns or other items

If you home replacement value has gone up

Did you get a company car?

If you have remolded any part of your home

When you install a security system in your home

If you get married or divorced

If your commute distance has changed

When your children go away to college

Having the right auto coverage is not as easy as it sounds, and choosing the wrong coverages and limits could lead to financial disaster.  Our team is prepared to help you find the right combination of coverage, price and service.

New Car Shopping? Think About Auto Insurance Too  

 New Car Shopping? Think About Auto Insurance Too

 Auto Insurance

 Are you in the market for a new low-cost car? Before you head off to the showroom, you may want to determine which cars are the least expensive to insure. There are many low-cost autos on the market which are very popular. If you are in the market for a fuel-efficient, low-cost auto, here are some items to consider.

Auto Liability Coverage pays for medical damages and funeral expenses for any people injured or killed in an accident for which you were responsible.  Auto Property Damage covers damage you do to a third party. Auto Physical Damage covers comprehensive and collision. A collision is designed to get your car repaired if you hit an object. Comprehensive Coverage covers your vehicle in the event of damage or loss from something other than a collision; this includes theft, vandalism, nature, animals.

Best Cars To Insure

Mazda CX-3.

Honda Pilot LX.

Fiat 500X Pop.

Nissan Frontier S.

Hyundai Tuscon SE.

Is It Time For An Insurance Check-Up?

Your insurance needs change over time, so it is important to review your policies periodically to make sure they are up-to-date. Tragically, many people are not insured after devastating natural disasters. It’s never too late to do a homeowner’s insurance checkup before the next threat heads your way. This article highlights some important insurance coverage you should consider such as:

Earthquake Insurance

Flood Insurance

Wind Insurance

Steps To Help Secure The Right Coverage

Make sure your homes information is up to date. Your agent should shave to right square footage and replacement value.

Research the replacement cost for new construction in your area.

Have our agency provide you with coverage options for competitive insurance products.

Consider getting a “floater” to your home insurance policy. If you own valuable furs, jewelry, guns, collections, silverware, or artwork, a “floater” can cover the full value of those items. Consider adding building code or ordinance or law endorsement, which will help pay the higher cost of bringing plumbing, wiring, or other key systems up to current codes when rebuilding.

Why Are Your Auto Insurance Premiums Increasing?

An Auto Insurance Update

You may have noticed your auto premiums are increasing. In fact, auto rates are increasing all over the country. The reason for the increases are not what you may think. It is not because the insurance companies want to make more profit, it is due to the overwhelming number of accidents and the cost of these accidents. Most major auto insurers are paying out more in losses than they are taking in premiums.

The two contributing factors are the number of distracted driving accidents, and the cost of repairing newer, technologically sophisticated cars.
Distracted Driving

Distracted driving accidents are increasing in America due to the growing use of hand-held devices.  Too many people are interacting with their phones while driving. Phones and sophisticated dashboard technology are among some of the top activities that lead to accidents.

Driving while using a hand-held device increases the likelihood of a car accident by 400%.

Driver distractions are the leading cause of most vehicle crashes and near-crashes. According to a study released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI), 80% of crashes and 65% of near-crashes involve some form of driver distraction. The distraction occurred within three seconds prior to the vehicle crash!

Here is a link to a good article

Cost of Repairs Are Up Dramatically

Most new cars are designed with sophisticated technology that is expensive to repair.  Even the cost of bumpers has increased over 100% according to the Insurance Information Institute.  Today’s vehicles are equipped with expensive computers that control and monitor hundreds of features on the vehicle.  These computers are typically not repaired, but are replaced, which increases the total cost of the auto repair.

Get a Quote Today

72% of auto insurance in the United States is with just 10 companies. If you have not had us shop your auto insurance, now is the time.

We Answer Common Home Insurance Questions

Whether you are a new homeowner or have owned your home for a longer period, there’s no doubt you have any questions about homeowner’s insurance. You want to protect your home, your possessions, and your family. Below are five of the most frequently asked questions about homeowner’s insurance.

As a homeowner, am I required to have insurance? Yes, in most cases, especially if you have a lender. It’s also wise to look into insurance if you are in the process of constructing your home and even renting your home to someone else.

What types of coverage does homeowner insurance provide? Two types casually, which covers the home and contents, and liability, which covers anyone who is injured on your property. With both types, the amount of coverage depends on the policy.

Will the replacement cost be the same as the sale price of my home? No. The replacement cost will cover the amount needed to replace the structure and/or contents. Replacement cost is usually calculated based on the individual policies formula. It’s wise to take inventory and photographs of your home and contents.

Will homeowner insurance cover damage or theft outside of my home? It depends on the policy. Sometimes standard policies offer this kind of coverage, but if not, ask if purchasing the coverage at additional costs is an option.

Are home-based businesses covered under homeowner insurance? No, unless you qualify for an endorsement to your current homeowner insurance policy. Otherwise, look into getting a business owners insurance policy.

Of course, homeowners will have more questions about homeowner insurance particular to their own situations (including protection against the elements, possessions that are no longer in the home, contents of vehicles, etc.). When searching for a homeowner insurance policy, be sure to ask about coverage relevant and beneficial to your own situation.

Are Burglars Looking At Your Home?

A Personal Insurance Update

Your homeowner’s insurance may provide protection and help you recover from a loss.  However, it is very important to have the right kind of home insurance to cover these kinds of claims.  Call us for a free review.

Interesting Facts About Burglaries

Burglars do not travel far. The typical burglar lives within two miles of their victims.

Over 90 percent of burglars are male.

Dogs are not the same as a home security system.

95% of burglars are under the age of 25.

A large percent of burglars use an open door or window to enter your home.

Homes that have a security system are not as attractive to burglars.

What Can a Homeowner Do to Prevent Burglaries?

While nothing is 100% guaranteed there are measures you can take to reduce the likelihood of being a victim of a burglary.

Leave lights on when gone.

Have timers on outside lights.

Get a security system.

Never leave a door or window unlocked.

When traveling, do not post vacation pictures or information on social media until you return home.

Reduce landscaping around doors and windows.

Tell your neighbors to watch your home while you are on vacation.

Our agents have access to more carriers and more plans, and that means that they have more options – including multiple policy discounts and preferred premium pricing – to create the best possible combination of coverage to protect your family while lowering your costs.