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Commercial Real Estate Insurance and Indoor Air Quality

Whether you are developing a new property or managing a current one you have a duty to provide good indoor air quality to your tenants. In situations where there is limited ventilation, indoor air quality is a necessary, but often forgotten, aspect of facility welfare that carries serious implications for the general health of its occupants.

If nothing is done to correct such issues, poor indoor air quality can aggravate allergies, asthma, and other respiratory problems, which in turn could lead to legal problems. Tenants deserved to work in an environment where the air they breathe is healthy.

There are ways to reduce dirt and other contaminants

Striving for better indoor air quality, whether from molds, bad circulation of the airstream, or other causes should be one of your major concerns within a commercial establishment. Doing so can lead to less health troubles, more efficient facilities, and less maintenance of ventilation systems. Taking measures to improve the air can save you both, money, and the headaches that can come with serious litigation issues.

There are several ways to promote improved air quality indoors. One of the simplest ways to achieve this goal is to install floor mats, which would trap debris securely, preventing and containing dirt and allergens from entering the building’s ventilation systems. By so doing, those employed at the facility will be healthier, which is vital to the businesses operating in your building. Employee health is positively correlated with satisfaction, productivity, and overall performance.

Without taking the right precautions, consider if individuals begin to feel sick because of issues stemming from the building’s air; or if everyone in the building is vacated due to poor indoor air quality. The loss of revenues could be devastating to you.

In addition implementing effective loss control measures, the proper commercial real estate insurance provides coverage when issues arise. That means securing Pollution Liability or Environmental Liability Insurance as part of your Commercial Real Estate insurance program. This will provide coverage in the event someone sues claiming that the building where they work contains contaminated air. Be sure to check that you have this coverage, as typically the Commercial General Liability policy includes environmental liability risks.

Combat Breaches with Pennsylvania Cyber Liability Insurance

Companies experience security breaches on a daily basis. It’s quite possible that your company has come under attack by a hacker or even one of your employees. If they were able to access your customers’ names and contact information, or worse, your employees’ social security numbers, you will have to deal with the negative impact of this breach.


Pennsylvania cyber liability insurance can and will protect you in the even of a cyber attack. It may have once seemed like something only large corporations would ever need, or could afford, but a cyber liability policy makes sense for small companies as well.


For example, you can get coverage as high as $30 million, and deductibles as low as $10,000, depending on your needs and what you’re willing to pay. Cyber insurance is becoming increasingly more important for firms with policies offering different protection and benefits, including coverage for regulatory fines or penalties you might incur because of a data breach.


Smaller companies may not have a good risk management program


While big corporations usually have entire departments devoted to analyzing the cyber risks the company could face and setting security policies and procedures to protect against them, as a small business owner, you likely don’t have this added protection, but you can establish protocols to better protect yourself.


One way you can help reduce your risk is by making sure a firewall is in place to protect your network, and also make sure you are implementing social media policies that will better protect you from outside hackers. By being proactive you are less likely to have a breach that could result in a claim.


And remember, your general liability coverage will not provide coverage for a data breach. You need to secure a sound Pennsylvania cyber liability policy that can provide you with the insurance you need.



Expensive Tastes Need Special Insurance Protection

As an individual with means, you can afford just about anything—with assets in the millions, not counting your primary residence, you represent the top of the economic pyramid. It’s a simple fact that you will have certain, very particular needs for Connecticut high net worth insurance that go far beyond those of the average consumer, simply because of the sheer amount of your financial assets that are at risk, as well as the type and additional value of personal property that you have to protect.

For example, consider your home—or if you are like others with the amount of assets at your disposal, your homes. It’s common for individuals like yourself to have residences around the world, often built by prominent architects that utilize premium materials. Furthermore, these homes frequently contain priceless antiques, fine art, collectibles such as silver, coins, stamps, and other expensive items. Go into the master suite and you’re likely to find a Rolex, Cartier, or Patek Philippe watch on the carved black walnut nightstand. Enter the expansive walk-in closet and in the built-in jewelry case there may be sparkling Tiffany diamonds atop platinum bands, strings of black pearls, exquisite Australian fire opals, and other fine jewels.

Shift over into the six-car garage and in every bay, there may be an automotive legend—from a Tesla to a Ferrari, a BMW or Mercedes-Benz, or perhaps a vintage Rolls Royce. On the grounds there may be a poolhouse adjacent to the sparkling swimming pool, a tennis court, a regulation-size trampoline and batting cage for the children, and out back—a sailboat tied up at a private dock. All of these items are there for your enjoyment, but they also present exposures—either from a theft standpoint, or a liability standpoint. Either way, you will need to work with a professional insurance agent who has particular experience in advising clients who need Connecticut high net worth insurance to ensure you are protected, no matter what you own or where it is located. Call an agent today to learn more.

Knowing What’s in a VIN Reveals Pertinent History

Whether you are an insurer, a program administrator, or an MGA, you are always seeking ways to improve and streamline your administrative processes. One way to do this is through automated rating systems that allows you to instantly rate ISO-based or carrier-specific commercial auto insurance business. A fundamental aspect of that rating process involves providing the chassis or vehicle identification number (VIN), a unique code assigned to each vehicle. Without true and correct VIN validation to obtain the data you will be entering into a rating system, the correctness of the data that emerges will be compromised; thus, it’s critical that the insureds you represent understand what the numbers represent, which can help flag problems (e.g., stolen vehicles or those with troubled histories). Here’s some background on these codes and how they work.
The automotive industry uses VINs to identify motor and towed vehicles, motorcycles, scooters, and mopeds as defined by the ISO, standard No. 3833. First introduced in 1954, VINS did not have an accepted standard format until 1981 when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration required that all vehicles sold for on-the-road use carry a 17-character alphanumeric code, which is embossed onto the chassis of the vehicle during assembly. The letters I, O and Q are not used in any VIN sequence as they are thought to be too easily mistaken for the numbers one (1) or zero (0).
VINS offer a great deal of information about a vehicle’s identity and history, and can be decoded to reveal the manufacturer, the model, the engine or body style, the year, and where the vehicle was assembled. One can use a VIN to follow a vehicle from when it rolled out of the factory to when it was towed onto a scrap heap, and everything that happened to it in between.
Besides the front of the engine block, the VIN may be found in several other areas, such as:
• Front of car frame near the washer fluid tank
• In the rear wheel well
• Inside driver-side door jamb or door post
• Underneath the spare tire
The ninth digit in the sequence represents the vehicle’s check digit code. A calculation can be performed by an automotive expert using this digit to get a value which is compared with the original value; if the two values don’t match (which is likely if someone has attempted to falsify the number), there’s a problem. A thorough check on the VIN number should reveal inconsistencies in a vehicle’s history and legitimacy. Convey this information to your insureds and make VIN validation part of the preliminary steps for vehicles to be insured in order to make sure the protection that is being sought is appropriate.

Policy Protects Consultants Who Are the Epitome of “Small Business”

Talk about the concept of “small business”—when you, as a consultant, are your own business, it’s all up to you in terms of your performance, your success—and unfortunately, your exposure to risk for lawsuits alleging errors or omissions  or allegations of malpractice that you may encounter in the course of doing business. Fortunately, professional liability insurance for consultants is available, offering protection in the event you are sued—a potential lifesaver for your business, because legal defense costs (even if you are found not guilty) can be so expensive. The coverage pays for costs for your defense as well as any settlement, judgment or award up to the limits on the policy.

The coverage came in handy for Kim, who ran a small business as a bridal consultant for many years. Kim took on a Bridezilla-style client who hired her to pull together a fabulous formal wedding for 300 guests. The bride’s budget swelled as she added more and more elaborate food, flowers, liquor, décor, and other items that had not initially been selected. Then just a few days before the event, the groom called the whole thing off, he’d had enough. The would-be bride was enraged when she found out that many of the deposits on the various things she’d ordered for her doomed ceremony were not going to be refunded, despite the late notice. The bride sued Kim, saying she should have been able to wrangle reimbursements for her. Ultimately the court found in Kim’s favor, but the cost to hire an attorney to represent her amounted to several thousand dollars. Fortunately, Kim had purchased a policy that covered her for this sort of risk, so she was not out of pocket for these costs—which would otherwise have sunk her business.

If you provide a service to your clients, consider professional liability insurance for consultants. Contact a professional insurance agent to learn more about this valuable protection for your business.

Creating a Successful San Francisco Employee Benefits Package

As a successful Northern California business owner, you realize that in order to be a competitive employer in the marketplace, you need to offer an attractive employee benefits plan to both current and prospective associates. You want them to understand that you are willing to provide them with the best benefits packages around, which can help retain great employees for the long run.


Knowing what your employees really need 


We suggest you survey employees to see what their biggest needs are in terms of health and finance related issues, rather than make these choices for them. In order to provide the best San Francisco employee benefits possible, they have to serve the needs of those who are making use of them.


  1. Let employees help make these decisions


Employees who are allowed to take ownership of important company decisions, like the offering of their own benefits, will feel a much greater loyalty to their employer, and be more motivated to help in accomplishing the overall company goals.


  1. Work with one source that handles your company plan


It makes much more sense to work with a company that specializes in handling all of the details of your benefits plan, thereby alleviating your employees getting confused and frustrated with a myriad of various vendors for whom to seek services from. By transitioning to this type of structure, there is a much better chance that benefits communication can be more seamlessly aligned to provide a clearer message.


  1. Communicate your benefits program effectively and regularly


If your employees don’t understand what they are signing up for, they are less likely to use, or even apply for, the benefits that are being offered. Make sure that the materials in the package are simple and easy to understand, whether it is in the brochures, on the website, or even in the enrollment materials.


If your employees don’t know how to enroll in the plan or understand how to use their San Francisco employee benefits, then it is more likely they won’t. It’s as simple as that. So, to avoid this from happening, be sure to let your employees know exactly what they need to do.


Some Disadvantages For the Elderly When Driving at Night

As we get older most of us will suffer from a loss of eyesight in one form or another. Prescription glasses can help most people to correct minor sight loss, but one thing is certain: driving at night does become more difficult, and more dangerous, with age. Which is another good reason to carry adequate auto insurance MD at all times.

Wildlife is a serious concern at night

Driving on dark country roads at night heightens the possibility of encountering wild animals. A motorist can often see the reflection of their headlights in an animal’s eyes long before they see the animal itself. A vehicle colliding with wildlife can be devastating; to the animal, the driver, and the vehicle. The best strategy when encountering large animals like deer is to slow down as quickly as possible. Trying to steer around a deer is problematic, because they often will follow lights and move in front of the car.

A dirty windshield may reduce vision

While a windshield may appear clean during the day, nighttime may reveal streaks that can cause glare in the evening. Using newspaper to polish glass can help to remove residue, but try not to touch the inside surfaces of the windshield, side windows, or mirrors with hands because the natural oil from skin will smear them, causing light to glare when it shines through any place where the glass was touched. Using cotton or microfiber cloth to properly clean is also helpful.

Dirty mirrors can also cause glare

Dirty mirrors reflect the lights from cars in a wider, diffused shape that can produce glare causing momentary blindness. Aim the exterior mirrors to avoid the path of lights reflected in them. This can be accomplished by aiming them downward just slightly. Drivers can still see cars behind them by tipping their head slightly forward, while keeping the other car’s headlights out of their eyes, thus preventing temporary blinding from their high beams. Switching the inside rear-view mirror to the “night” or “auto dim” setting will darken the mirror, which can also prevent glare.

To reduce the effects of eye fatigue at night while driving, eye doctors often recommend keeping the eyes moving, instead of focusing on one area. The American Optometric Association suggests checkups every three years for those under the age of forty, every two years until age sixty, and annually after that. Following these tips, and having an auto insurance policy in effect are the best way to provide the safety and security needed while driving at night.

Disability Insurance Helps Provide Employee Retention

Most employees don’t consider the possibility of suffering some type of disability requiring them to leave work for a period of time, but when someone working for your company does experience some kind of disability it will reduce their income for a period of time, depending on how long they need to recuperate. Any injury or illness not directly caused by their job duties will not be covered under a workers compensation policy, and employees may find it difficult to qualify for Social Security disability benefits.

As a concerned business owner, you do have the option of providing your employees with group disability insurance in Pennsylvania, which can provide your workers with extra income protection in the event of a disabling illness or injury that occurs while they are not at work or performing work-related business. You can make this coverage available as a voluntary benefit if you can’t afford to contribute to the plans; employees will benefit from group rates, which are cheaper than purchasing individual policies.

Many companies offer both short-term and long-term disability insurance that serves businesses large and small. Rates and benefits will naturally vary based on the age, duties and earnings of the individuals, so speaking to an agent with experience with disability coverage is a good course of action when considering and comparing options.

Long- and short-term disability insurance benefits

A long-term disability income benefit is provided in the event that an injury permanently prevents your employee from performing the duties of their regular job. Short-term disability benefits are for any injury that prevents your employee from performing their duties for an extended period of time, but once able to, can return to work doing their normal job duties.

Long-term disability insurance usually kicks in after short-term disability coverage ends (typically after six months). Long-term disability insurance is usually preferable, since it provides extra protection with replacement income in the event that workers who are injured can no longer work for months, or even years.

With employees constantly on the lookout for companies willing to up the stakes by providing better health plans in order to lure the best candidates to fill openings, offering a good disability insurance plan for Pennsylvania workers will likely help you maintain employee retention.

Orlando Florida Renters Insurance [Infographic]

Orlando Florida Renters Insurance
Courtesy of: Renters Insurance from Newman Crane & Associates Insurance, Inc.

Is Your Business Protected From Cyber Risk?

Small businesses have long represented the backbone of America, since the days when mom and pop ran the shop around the corner. Unfortunately, with their limited finances, the overwhelming majority of small firms—83 percent–report they do not have a formal cyber security plan in place to offer protection from cyber risk, despite the fact that these firms often rely on the Internet to conduct their business. Is yours one of them?

Consider that electronic threats are a never-ending source of problems for businesses everywhere of every size. Attacks in recent times have compromised data or caused service interruptions for some of the largest and seemingly most secure businesses in the nation, such as several financial institutions. If companies of this magnitude are feeling the effects, how are the “little guys” ever going to stand a chance against these electronic marauders? The potential for financial devastation is great: One prominent electronic security firm reports that small businesses in the U.S. faced hundreds of millions of e-attacks in the first few months of 2012 alone, and criminal activity is only getting worse. Unfortunately, when an attack successfully penetrates a small business, the average cost of damages can amount to nearly $200,000, an overwhelming expense from which many small businesses cannot recover.

To help combat this problem, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has recently launched an online resource for electronic security plans that small businesses can customize to fit their needs. The plan was developed in association with some of the largest information technology and security companies in the business today, who have joined forces to help companies better understand the threat of business interruption and financial losses. The resource provides:

  • Information on how to avoid increasingly sophisticated versions of spyware
  • What to do in the event their system has been infected
  • Recommendations for software that can remotely clean and track laptops and mobile devices in the event of loss or theft

Small businesses today are thinking big when it comes to ease of use for their clients. You want to be able to compete with large companies by offering many of the same convenient features that rely on broadband and cloud technology, enabling clients to do everything from make reservations to pay with their smart phones on the go. These small firms, though, typically do not have the staff or knowledge to steer clear of the millions of electronic threats out there. The FCC resource can help small businesses understand the risks they face and strategize to protect themselves. However, that’s simply not enough. It’s important to talk to a professional insurance agent about protecting your business from the threat of cyber risk. A good program can offer coverage that can keep you moving forward efficiently, even in the face of a major attack. Talk to an agent today to learn more.