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Archive for the ‘Insurance Agency’ Category

Business Continuity – Disaster vs. Recovery

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25% of businesses do not reopen after a major loss.

48% of businesses do not even pretend to have a business continuity plan.*

But 95% think they are prepared.*

Is your plan only keeping your insurance policy somewhere safe?  (Which is not the worst start in the world, but it’s grossly inadequate.)

Do you have tasks for each employee after a disaster?  (Did they actually agree to them?)

What would actually be a disaster for your company?  (Flood, hurricane, fire, data breach, lawsuit, death of an owner?)

Yes, sometimes  it seems like the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, but these things really do happen.

There are many small businesses which would suffer less from a flood than from a cyber breach;  doctors, lawyers, insurance agents, consultants, architects come to mind.

There are many small businesses which would suffer less from a hurricane than they would from the death of an owner without a succession plan, or adequate life insurance.

Spend a few hours once a year to prepare a continuity plan; surviving a disaster will be much more pleasant if you do.  Then talk to your insurance advisor so you know if you have money to help you recover.

*Travelers Insurance survey result

GBW Insurance/AssuredPartners 855-467-2877, extension 677

More on hacking into car systems

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We wrote about losing data through rental cars (link here for the post).  The next day, out popped the news that Fiat/Chrysler is releasing a patch to fix a vulnerability which was just exploited, experimentally, by two researchers.

The researchers took control of some systems in a Jeep, from a physical distance, while the target was moving, by hacking in.

Fiat/Chrysler points out that it has not happened in “the real world”, yet.  And Fiat/Chrysler has already created a network level fix for other vulnerabilities.

The point is not that Jeeps are more vulnerable than other brands.  It probably is not.  It is that there are perhaps 26 million cars on the road with some remote data transmission (think Internet).  All new cars in the US have some access or can be accessed.  Therefore, eventually are cars will have these benefits, and vulnerabilities.

Your personal and commercial auto insurance policies can provide physical damage coverage.  The liability coverage protecting the owner from suits for injuries to passengers looks secure so far.  But protection for the manufacturers, dealers, and service shops?  That’s where the dice are still rolling.

Stay tuned.

Link to a Property Casualty 360/Bloomberg article on the patch for Jeep systems

 

http://www.gbwinsurance.com 800-548-2329

Swimming Pools and Your House Insurance

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says there are about 10 1/2 million swimming pools in the United States.

Drowning is the number one cause of accidental death for very young children.  And the CDC statistics say more than 3,400 people drown in the US each year.

What can you do to protect people around your swimming pool?

Keep track of kids.  Don’t allow kids near the pool when they’re alone.  CDC statistics also show that drowning deaths of 85 year olds and older climb again.

Fence in the pool.  Have a locking gate.  Kids, whether little kids or local young people who come in without your permission, have no perspective on danger.  Insurance companies won’t insure pools without a fence.

Keep a safety kit.  Include a flotation device you can throw, your strainer with a long handle, first aid kit, scissors to cut clothing or hair free from a drain (or even to cut the pool cover).

Have an alarm that will go off if someone falls in.  You can save a child, or even a pet.

Diving boards.  Not every insurance company will insure pools with diving boards.  Again, children suffer the most diving board injuries.

Keep all equipment and covers in good repair.

Don’t leave toys floating in the pool when not in use.

Click here to check the CDC web site for more pool injury statistics and safety tips.

Thanks to the MSO insurance organization for much of this material.

Call GBW Insurance at 800-548-2329 extensions 112 or 117 if you would like homeowners policy information, advice, or insurance quotes in NJ.

Cyber Liability – Is your website infected?

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As though there weren’t enough problems, websites can be compromised, becoming sources of computer virus infection for your clients. Talk with us about #CyberLiability and #DataBreach insurance. 1-800-548-2329.

Google’s survey says there are many more compromised legitimate sites than there are sites designed to spread malware.  Click here for a commentary from our client IT Radix and access to the Google Malware Dashboard.

Once a legitimate site is compromised, all the unpleasant things you’ve heard of start happening: malware recording your entries or your clients’ entries, spreading viruses, and so on.  Your site is likely to be black listed by search engines.  It takes a long time and a lot of work to come back from that.

As soon as IT Radix scared us with this topic, we ran out to their suggested screening site  http://sitecheck.sucuri.net/scanner/ and checked our sites.  Everything was fine, today.  Our site providers keep track of this, but with the damage that we could face, it’s important to keep checking, and to keep our insurance in place.

Flood Insurance Maps in New Jersey

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Flood insurance takes 30 days to put into effect. So start now if you want it when you need it.  Try our site for quotes.  Click here, fill in what you can, and we will help you get a quote. (Remember to fill in the security code at the bottom.)

Here is a link to the new flood insurance maps in NJ. This uses National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) data (part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency or FEMA).

While we can’t guarantee these maps, because we don’t control the site, they have been useful to us in counseling clients.  There have been winners and losers in the new maps; some New Jersey areas have been moved to lower risk designations, many have moved to higher risk and higher costs.

With new maps in place, individuals whose property was damaged by Hurricane Sandy now know how high they have to raise their property to qualify for lower rates.

But keep an eye on rate changes.  While the FEMA/NFIP program states that prices will rise under caps, the caps come off when you make certain changes.  That’s when you see the headlines about people whose flood insurance rate has gone up 100% or even 1,000%.

If you have questions, need some advice, want to change agents, or need to start a flood policy, please give us a call at 1-800-548-2329, extension 117.   Para Español, ext. 110

Tropical Storm headed toward you?

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Insurance companies prohibit adding or starting property coverage when named storms approach. A tropical storm is approaching the Atlantic coast of the US. If you want property coverage, if your coverage is inadequate, act now.

If you need help in with New Jersey insurance coverage, call us today. 1-800-548-2329. or http://www.GBWinsurance.com

If you want flood insurance, it may be too late for this month, but you should get started if you want it before September.  Hurricanes in the Northeast peak late in the season.

Limitations on CGL coverage for Pollution

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In a harder market, insurance carriers raise prices. That’s pretty obvious. They also restrict classes of business they write, and tighten underwriting for new and existing clients.

Less obviously, carriers may change coverage. They can do that by changing forms for entire classes. In Personal Insurance that usually requires regulatory approval and a process to notify clients. In Commercial Insurance, failure to properly notify clients will guarantee litigation against the carrier.

But action on a single client can slip by the attention of the client and their broker.  We expect underwriters to try to put in coverage restrictions for clients who have had a number of losses, or a serious loss.  But some underwriters have introduced coverage restrictions in anticipation of losses, after a period in which the coverage has been provided.  If the underwriter does not signal the change, and the broker and client do not catch it, trouble can start for all three.

A note from the International Risk Management Institute (IRMI) made us think about some recent examples of restrictions on pollution liability.

One of our recycling clients was hit with a much more restrictive form for their main location.  The carrier is a solid national company but our client had suffered a number of small property losses (non-pollution) and the the carrier wanted to tighten up its exposure.  After a lot of discussion, we went to another carrier to regain most of the lost coverage, at a slightly higher price.  Not a great outcome, but better than the original renewal offer.

In another case, an individual underwriter at a carrier put on a very restrictive form, without reducing the renewal price, and didn’t tell us or the client.  That we caught because we have been getting more paranoid about coverage.  After some “forthright” discussions, we got the coverage back, though at a higher price.

IRMI uses the example of a large insured where an underwriter introduced an absolute pollution exclusion to the CGL without telling the client or broker.  The insurer removed the exclusion when requested.

Poor execution in imposing coverage restrictions can harm insureds, carriers, and producers.  As in almost any risk management case, restrictions in coverage are a problem; an unexamined risk can be fatal.

If you’d like to talk about coverage restriction problems, give us a call at 1-800-548-2329.

If you’d like to sign up for IRMI’s free newsletter, use the link below.

http://www.irmi.com/newsletters/irmi-update.aspx