Home Safety Tips and CT Insurance Companies

Connecticut homeowners should take heed there are certain precautions and safety measures to consider now that the hottest months of the year are upon us. If you have a claim or concern, this is the time to speak to representatives at insurance companies in CT where your policy is being serviced. The National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM) has issued a fire safety advisory to be passed on to the general public. In addition, these summer heat waves along with any sudden storms can likely cause frequent power outages, so follow this advice that can help towards preparing for the possibility of potential outages.

Indoor and outdoor safety tips

  1. Use great caution with lit candles: keep them away from upholstered furniture, drapes and any other combustible items and never leave lit candles unattended.
  2. Use flashlights instead of candles whenever possible.
  3. Be sure that extension cords are in good condition and are the proper gauge for the electrical current capacity.
  4. Unplug electric tools and disconnect spark plug wires on gasoline-powered tools before making adjustments or clearing jams near moving parts and be sure that power tools are turned off and made inoperable if they must be left unattended (thus helping to prevent use by children).
  5. Never fill gas tanks while machinery is operating or when equipment is still hot and store gas in an approved container away from the house making sure to never smoke or use any type of flame around gasoline and also wipe up any spills.

Restoring electrical power safely after a disaster

Before restoring electric power after a flood, hurricane or other disaster, make sure the power is off before working on any equipment. In addition, the following steps should be taken:

  • Replace anything that has visible damage
  • Electrical equipment that has been submerged must be replaced or reconditioned by trained factory service personnel
  • Seek professional advice from a local building official, electrical utility or qualified electrician before restoring electrical power, and
  • Select and apply electrical equipment in accordance with ratings, nameplates, wiring diagrams, instructions and warnings for that equipment

Practice safety in all aspects of life and rest assured that CT insurance companies are designed to help you in the event that a claim has to be filed for any damages that occur to your homes.

Insurance Rating Software is the First Step in Innovation

In a competitive market such as insurance sales, insurers are always looking for an advantage. Gaining an edge over your competitors means increased revenues, added sales and more stability as a whole. Many insurers have been able to gain such an advantage through the use of Insurance Rating Software. Carriers, MGAs and Program Administrators leverage the use of rating services to automate ratings processes. This software is able to deliver specific industry quotes efficiently, helping brokers to present proposals to their prospects.

In addition, for insurance carriers, custom rating packages also provide a platform to analyze market opportunities and existing policy portfolios, enabling them to identify new opportunities and enhance business results.

A rise in the level of competition

Many insurers are providing rating systems to agencies either in the form of software to be used on the agency computer, or in the form of online access to systems on an insurer’s computer. While the concern used to be beating industry rivals and traditional peers to the punch, the challenge is now also coming from challengers for a share of the market who weren’t originally in the business of selling insurance. There are now outside companies that are exploiting their capability to collect and apply data as well.

Although just entering the personal auto market, Google is a leader for innovation in the data-strategy realm and, with its strong market presence, it could lead the revolution in the evolving of insurance marketing and distribution, possibly leaving many of the biggest traditional companies in the lurch. Google and other interlopers are driving customer engagement, customer demographics, digital models, data use, capital access and deployment, and new and exciting innovation in a way that many in the traditional product-creation and distribution channels have not dreamed of, much less planned or financed for.

For clients, it’s a no-brainer; they simply want accuracy, speed and ease of interaction. This can be accomplished through the use of Insurance Rating Software along with a visionary approach to what the future holds for the insurance market.

Challenges for a Freight Forwarder

A Freight Forwarder provides services to businesses that send packages, goods, containers, and other merchandise from one place to another. Forwarders often act on behalf of importers and exporters to get their client’s goods to their destination, both on time and in good condition. This could include booking cargo with shipping lines and airlines, as well as by rail or road carriers.

When a company or individual is entrusted with someone else’s goods, they take on a legal responsibility for taking all the necessary steps to protect and preserve that consignment, making them liable to the owner for any subsequent damage or loss to the goods. The forwarder is legally entitled to limit the amount they are liable for, provided this has been agreed upon in advance.

When goods are lost or damaged, it’s possible that, during the transportation, someone was negligent, and there is likely to be a demand for compensation. While the damage or loss might not have been the fault of the forwarder, they will still be found liable. A policy can, and should, be purchased that protects forwarders in the event that a claim is filed.

Freight Forwarders take on many obligations

There are instances where forwarders have their own road transport and may carry the goods themselves. Among a forwarder’s responsibilities is the preparation of bills of carriage, arranging insurance, and where necessary, arranging storage. This often involves a journey of several thousand miles, and may require using more than one mode of transportation.

The client should be aware of the forwarder’s trading conditions in order to make sure the client and the forwarder fully understand and agree on their responsibilities in the transportation process. This needs to be done before details of the contract are agreed upon, ideally when the forward is providing a quote for his or her services.

Trading conditions generally establish the circumstances under which any service may be provided and limits the forwarder’s liability in the event of a claim; however, failure to do this could leave the forwarder with unlimited liability, which would likely prove to be costly.

Trading conditions also include making sure the client knows their goods are not automatically insured, providing safeguards to help make sure the forwarder is paid once the job is done, and protecting the Freight Forwarder if the client fails to fully disclose the contents of a consignment, (for example, hazardous material or goods of an exceptionally high value).

Choosing a Broker for Antique Classic Car Insurance

If you are the owner of a valuable classic vehicle, antique classic car insurance coverage options are something that should be given a lot of careful consideration. Generally speaking, an antique vehicle is always worth more than the sum price of the parts in the vehicle. In addition, they are always worth many times the original cost of the vehicle.

However, most insurance companies that are not specifically geared to insure these automobiles are unable or willing to issue insurance policies on them because of both the extraordinary value of many of these vehicles as well as the difficulty they face in determining their actual value. So, when deciding upon an insurance policy for a classic vehicle there are obviously many things that you’ll need to consider.

Make the right choice when it comes to an insurer

When shopping for car insurance for an antique vehicle, you’re better off finding a company that specializes in coverage for classic and vintage cars. Most of the mainstream insurance companies know very little about antique vehicles. Besides, even if you’re able to purchase a policy from one of these companies the valuation placed on your antique vehicle will in all likelihood be much lower than what the vehicle is actually worth. So when the time comes to insure your collector car always go with a specialist.

There are companies in the Tristate area that have been insuring antique vehicles for many years. They understand the special needs and requirements of antique car owners and how to address the unique insurance concerns associated with these types of vehicles. While obtaining adequate antique classic car insurance coverage is never cheap, by using a specialist you can rest assured that it’s going to result in a better value for you in the long run.

One of the major advantages you’ll benefit from by purchasing antique classic car insurance from a specialist is that, unlike most standard insurance companies, they often allow for agreed value or negotiated value policies for antique vehicles, which makes sense because an antique vehicle is worth so much more than the total of parts needed to build the vehicle. Also, these vehicles have a lot of sentimental value to their owners, making true valuations often quite difficult to determine.

Commercial Liability Insurance: Why You Need It

When it comes to purchasing commercial liability insurance coverage for your business, it is important to understand what is covered-and what isn’t-on your policy to ensure you don’t experience any unpleasant surprises in the event of a loss.

For example, the owner of Ana’s Flowers, a small shop just starting out with a few employees, was thrilled to land a huge contract to supply decorations for a wedding at a hotel just down the street. In a weird series of six-degrees-of-separation type coincidences, it turned out that the bride was the former girlfriend of one of the employees of Ana’s Flowers. When delivering and setting up the decorations, the ex found himself the brunt of several jokes being made by the groomsmen, who knew of the former relationship. The employee did a slow burn; by the time the groom himself arrived on scene, the employee was spoiling for an altercation. The groom made a snide comment and that was it-the employee stopped decorating and started a physical fist-fight with the groom. Before the two men could be separated, several arrangements were beyond repair and to make matters worse, the hotel had sustained thousands of dollars in damage. While the owner of Ana’s Flowers was aghast to learn of the brawl and embarrassed that her professional reputation was in shreds before it even got established, she was devastated to learn that because the fight was considered an intentional act (along with other actions such as criminal activity and fraudulent behavior) her policy did not cover it or damages sustained from the act. As a result, the flower shop went out of business, unable to pay the thousands of dollars of damage on its own.

What else may be excluded from the policy?

Other things that are excluded from coverage are work-related injuries and illnesses sustained by employees on the job, whether they are working on a full-time, part-time, temporary, or voluntary basis. This includes family members. Rather, workers compensation insurance would provide coverage for those types of expenses. Also excluded: quality of workmanship–e.g., say the flower shop had instead been sued because, say, the elaborate floral design attached to the canopy fell apart and crashed down onto the bride and groom, injuring them. Your professional insurance agent can tell you more about the specifics of covered and excluded items, as well as provide guidance on purchasing coverage for something that your commercial liability insurance coverage does not apply to. Contact your agent today to learn more.

Some Tips on Insurance Sales Marketing for Young Salespersons

Selling insurance is different from selling anything else because you’re selling ideas, you’re selling trust, and ultimately, you’re selling yourself. It can be a huge challenge and one that requires someone that is passionate and open-minded. In order for young, inexperienced insurance salespeople to be successful they need a bit of nurturing, and a few helpful tips on how to start to grow their book of business. Following these tips can lead to a successful insurance sales marketing campaign.

  1. Dress professionally – By dressing more professionally, clients are more likely to take you seriously. Your boss and your coworkers will take you more seriously as well, but most importantly, you’ll likely feel more confidence looking the part, and furthermore, acting the part.
  2. Avoid using slang when speaking to perspectives – Consider the age of the person you may be speaking to and try to talk to them in a language they’re most comfortable with. Avoid using expressions that may turn off, or otherwise confuse the listener. After all, you are representing a company and talking about very serious products and services and your manner of speaking should reflect this. While being yourself is important, and you shouldn’t have to apologize for it, when you’re trying to sell, the more you speak like your prospect the better success you’re likely to have. Frankly, if your prospect doesn’t use certain terms it’s harder to earn their trust when you do.
  3. Search for common ground – Regardless of your prospect’s age or background, there’s always something you’re likely to have in common. Ask questions designed to break the ice and garner some shared interests. For example, did you grow up in the same neighborhood, or do you like the same football team? Do you both have kids, or are you both active in the church? Asking questions allows you to focus on the commonalities and ease into the conversation about why you called or the reason for your visit.
  4. Be enthusiastic – Everybody likes enthusiasm, and as a young salesman you can naturally display unbridled enthusiasm without coming off too strong. People will accept the fact that you’re young and have a lot of energy and often they’ll like it.

Good insurance sales marketing is all about tapping into your audience and providing useful information in a relaxing and trustful manner. As with anything else, practice will make the process all that much easier!

Policy Protects While Merchandise Is in Your Court

It was a bad day for one unfortunate cargo mover recently. The company, a small outfit that was thrilled to have landed a new client, found itself facing a claim for when one of its workers, who was just finishing a break, failed to stub out his cigarette and carelessly flicked it in a dark corner of the warehouse. The butt smoldered for several minutes before igniting a box of merchandise, recently imported from England. The fire spread from box to box quickly, and before the blaze could be extinguished by the firefighters who responded with admirable speed, nearly the entire shipment-worth $46,000-was damaged by either fire, smoke, or water (and sometimes all three), as well as a portion of the building itself. That’s when the owner placed a call to his professional insurance agent, thankful that he had followed his agent’s advice and purchased domestic freight forwarder liability coverage.

The policy provides comprehensive liability and physical damage protection in the event of physical loss or damage to consigned cargo or, as a result of the occurrence, the cargo owner suffers a financial loss. It provides a great deal of peace of mind for businesses that carry, store, or facilitate the movement of third-party goods, offering protection for a variety of risks such as:

  • Legal liability associated with the occurrence
  • Physical loss of or damage to any method of transport or equipment used for transportation
  • Physical loss of or damage to buildings and premises
  • Costs and expenses in conjunction with the claim
  • Items of materials that were sold, supplied, leased, or hired
  • Fines, duties, and penalties levied for the event
  • Liabilities, fees, and expenses that may be imposed by the government or other legal authorities
  • Risks abound from land, sea, rail, and road

The freight forwarding business can be fraught with risk from every corner of the world that sends merchandise through its doors on the way to its final destination. Talk to an experienced professional insurance agent, who can offer you a wealth of guidance, risk analysis, and access to the top-rated insurers that provide domestic freight forwarder liability insurance. Talk to an agent today.

How General Liability Goes Up in Smoke

Databases containing billions of detailed files on insurance and risk management is part of the complex web of information that companies such as the Insurance Services Office (ISO) draw upon to create a broad platform on which its information services, including general liability rating, is based. A growing and controversial trend and recent stories in the news about its associated problems will no doubt add to the collection of data that informs decisions on risks and how much to charge customers who take those risks.

The rise of the e-cigarette

Electronic, or e-cigarettes, are battery-operated tubular-shaped devices with a bright blue or red light shining at the tip, through which users inhale a vaporized nicotine substance (sometimes referred to as “juice”). A sensor inside the e-cigarette activates when the user inhales, sending a message to a tiny microprocessor in the device that heats and vaporizes the juice (which can be purchased in various “flavors” with some containing nicotine and others not), enabling the smoker to breathe in the vapor. The vapor (rather than smoke in a traditional cigarette) is then exhaled. The action of inhaling and exhaling provides the smoker with the feeling and taste of traditional smoking.

These devices are relatively new on the scene, so their true ability to cause damage and liability is not yet entirely realized. However, serious concerns abound about these devices and the advisability of their use, including:

  • It is unknown whether e-cigarettes provide greater fire safety than traditional ones–and considering that tossed, unattended, or forgotten cigarettes are one of the biggest causes of forest fires and more than 1,000 deaths in the home due to fire each year, a new device on the market that mimics cigarettes simply adds to the problem.
  • E-cigarettes have been known to have their own particular problems. They are powered by batteries and can break, overheat, or even explode.
  • The nicotine juice in these devices is concentrated so if ingested can cause children to become extremely ill and can even result in pet fatalities. In fact, the number of animal fatalities due to nicotine overdose has increased dramatically as use of the devices, also called vaping, has grown.
  • Anti-smoking and children’s protection groups are up in arms about the devices, contending that they and the associated juice are being designed in colors and flavors attractive to children and teens.

Redefining general liability rating in a world that includes e-cigarettes will no doubt be a process that is ongoing and reflective of the additional risks that will make themselves known as the popularity of these devices continues to increase.

Risk Planning and Nursing Home Insurance

The overall goal of risk management planning is to reduce or prevent any type of risk to the facility itself, the staff, and of course the residents of the nursing home. Such risks include financial loss, preventable patient injuries, and the occurrence of accidents. Nursing Home Insurance helps to deal in the aftermath of issues, but certain steps to accomplish the goal of lessening exposures can also help dramatically. There are four main categories and steps to risk management that have been identified, which includes:

  • Risk identification
  • Risk analysis
  • Risk treatment and
  • Risk avoidance

Risk identification is done in many ways. One aspect of risk management has to do with filing an incident report pursuant to the facility’s reporting policy. Although important, there are many other aspects of risk management that affect your daily nursing practice.
Using those incident reports as a way to identify current risks that have occurred during patient care and put into place preventive measures to avoid those risks in the future is an important early step for the organization.

Risk analysis consists of prioritizing the risks that have been identified and determining which ones need to be dealt with immediately. Risk treatment, on the other hand, applies risk control and risk financing to identify how a risk should be treated. For example, a facility might decide that because there are plenty of risks involved in providing transportation services to certain events, may then make a decision to no longer provide this service to the public. Eliminating a risk is called risk avoidance, which is the only sure way to avoid an identified risk.

In addition, risk treatment also involves purchasing liability coverage as part of the overall Nursing Home Insurance program in order to cover health care providers of the facility. Risk evaluation requires a review of the prior steps in the risk management process to determine if the objectives set have been met. If necessary, changes should be made in order to further meet those objectives as identified.

Initiating or participating in research on patient care issues is also another way in which workers can contribute to reducing patient care risks in their facility. Identifying that change is needed to reduce potential risk to patients, and making those changes through facility processes, contributes to quality care, along with aiding in risk reduction.

Employment Practices Liability and Temp Staffers

Temporary staffing agencies provide temporary hires to companies, which allow organizations to save on recruiting, training, and payroll costs, particularly when it comes to staffing high-turnover or seasonal jobs. But there may be considerable risks of employment practices liability attendant upon the use of temporary workers along with the cost-effectiveness of temp staffing.

Temporary workers, due to the nature of their title, are often dismissed quickly, without the same level of care and caution that managers usually exercise when dealing with traditional employees. Then there is also the risk that temporary staff will be subjected to sexual or racial harassment because of their limited time at a company, or the mistaken belief that workplace laws forbidding such behavior do not cover them.

Temporary workers deserve equal treatment

The concern is that companies may make important personnel decisions hastily or use criteria that wouldn’t normally be applied to their regular staff. This is rather alarming since, regardless of the length of the commitment, everyone deserves to be treated equally and fairly. And the reality is that temporary employees are covered under most of the same laws that apply to regular staff, including laws relating to wages and hours, discrimination, sexual or racial harassment, retaliation, or whistle-blowing.

It’s the Human Resource (HR) department’s job to increase awareness among supervisors and managers that temporary workers are entitled to the same treatment as so-called “regular” staff. In addition, HR should encourage supervisors and managers to act just as prudently and carefully when dealing with temporary staff as they would with regular employees.

This effort should include a review of the organization’s employee manual to ensure that, wherever appropriate, policies are worded as necessary to make it clear that these laws apply to temporary employees as well. Employment practices liability is something that everyone should be aware of, and do their part in the prevention of any type of violations.

Hiring procedures and background checking

A growing number of employers conduct pre- and post-hire checks of applicant criminal history and other background information, which helps weed out anyone deemed undesirable. When it comes to temporary employees, HR needs to ensure that temporary-staffing contractors are conducting criminal or other background checks, as applicable, before sending over a temporary employee.

These requirements should be part of any service or vendor contract with your temp-staffing provider. Additionally, employers must continue to ensure compliance by outside staffing firms with various other employment-related laws, such as laws and regulations relating to payroll taxes, income taxes, and immigration laws.