Why It Is Important to Have Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Insurance Coverage


Uninsured/UnderinsuredCar insurance is a vital safeguard for drivers that is often legally required by states. Specifically, auto liability insurance (a standard component of a car insurance policy) can help pay for damages you cause to others in an accident, saving you from costly out-of-pocket expenses. For example, if you rear-end another car, your liability coverage may help pay for damages to the other party, including their vehicle repairs and medical costs, up to your policy’s limits. If you didn’t have liability coverage in this scenario, you would be personally responsible for paying those expenses.

Yet, despite its importance and potential legal requirements, some drivers still don’t have auto liability insurance. Or their liability limits are too low to pay for the damages they cause. These individuals can put you in financial jeopardy if they cause an accident. This is why uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance is essential.

What Is Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage?

Uninsured/underinsured (UM/UIM) coverage may help pay for car repairs and medical costs for you and your passenger if the driver at fault doesn’t have enough insurance or no auto liability insurance at all. Depending on location and insurer, this type of coverage may be offered jointly or separately. If you or your passengers are injured due to the negligence of an uninsured or underinsured driver, you may seek compensation for injuries and damages through the UM and UIM portions of your policy.

How Does Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage Work?

If you are in an accident with another person found to be at fault, but they do not have enough insurance to cover the damage, your UIM coverage can kick in. For example, if the medical and property damage totals $200,000, but the other driver’s insurance only covers up to $100,00, you can claim the balance against your insurance provider up to the policy’s limits.

In the case of a hit-and-run accident, you may also be able to leverage your UM coverage; however, depending on location and insurer, there may be additional requirements regarding property damage. For instance, some insurers may require hit-and-run claims for vehicle damage to go through your collision coverage rather than UM/UIM.

Critically, UM/UIM coverage won’t provide a payout until the other driver’s fault is established. This stipulation can affect when money is received for damages.

How Much Coverage Do I Need?

There are a few considerations to keep in mind when reviewing UM/UIM insurance options. Perhaps the most important aspect to understand is the liability limit amount. When choosing your coverage, you can set the limit of your UM/UIM coverage; this establishes the maximum amount the insurance company may pay for an applicable UM/UIM claim. Generally, this limit should be the same as your auto liability limit (i.e., the maximum amount your insurance would pay if you caused damage to others).

It’s important to note that the UM/UIM limit cannot exceed your auto liability limit. Thus, if you want higher limits on your UM/UIM coverage, you must first increase your auto liability limits. Alternatively, you may consider “excess UM/UIM” coverage (which would kick in after your initial UM/UIM limit is reached) as part of a personal umbrella policy, which could offer greater liability protection.

If your insurer offers personal injury protection (PIP) or medical payments (MedPay) coverage, you may be able to leverage that insurance after an accident, regardless of fault. However, these coverages—which may not be available in all locations—have their own rules and may not offer sufficient protection involving an uninsured or underinsured driver.

Speak with your Rinehart, Walters & Danner Insurance agent to discuss your circumstances. They can help recommend coverages and walk you through key policy details.

Final Considerations

Driving comes with many inherent risks, and accidents happen every day. As inflation and other factors cause prices to rise, more people may be skimping on their insurance. Without UM/UIM insurance, you could be left on the hook for damages you didn’t cause if an uninsured driver hits you.

Don’t let irresponsible drivers risk your financial security. Contact us today to learn more about UM/UIM coverage and other insurance solutions that can help protect you after an accident.

Are My Valuables Covered By Homeowners Insurance?


ValuablesYour grandmother decided to pass on her birthstone ring to you on you 16th birthday, many years ago. Of all your valuables, it is the most important to you. You always took extra precautions when wearing it and storing it. But, even when it’s locked up safely at home, is it truly safe? If it was ever stolen or lost, that’s what your homeowners insurance is for, right? Wrong.

Standard homeowners, condominium or renters insurance policies include a limit on coverage for jewelry and other valuables. Most policies have stringent limits on coverage of valuables.

  • Jewelry – as little as $1,000
  • Firearms – up to $2,000
  • Silverware – up to $2,500

Also, many policies may not cover losses due to theft, accident or loss.

Common items that require additional coverage

  • Jewelry
  • Silverware
  • Heirlooms (furniture, paintings, etc)
  • Rugs
  • Musical instruments
  • Fine Art
  • Antique china, crystal, decorative items
  • Designer appliances
  • Furs
  • Vintage wine
  • Collectibles (stamps, coins, glassware, etc.)
  • Firearms
  • Computers

Additional coverage options

Endorsements – Endorsements are additions to your homeowners, condominiums or renters insurance policies. This will change or add to the policy’s provisions. Your valuables are “scheduled” on a list that includes a brief description and the item’s dollar value. For all items, an appraisal or sales receipt is typically required. This will help ensure that, in the event of a covered loss, the amount of insurance is enough to cover the repair, replacement or cash payment of the item. The endorsement can cover property otherwise excluded from a basic homeowners insurance policy, extends the number of perils insured against or increase the amount paid for a covered loss. Items scheduled are typically not subject to the policy deductible.

Floaters – A Separate personal articles floater may be used to schedule your valuables that are subject to special limits under basic homeowners insurance coverage.

If you have an existing endorsement or floater, it is important to periodically review our policy’s coverage limits to minimize the likelihood of underinsurance arising out of outdated appraisals and inadequate limits of insurance.

Doing a home inventory can help protect valuables

A home inventory can be a great tool when it comes to protecting your home and valuables. A home inventory will allow you to go room to room and take pictures and details for your items. Some insurance carrier’s even provide a mobile application and you can save the inventory information within the app. 

As always, your agent is there to help you determine the best coverage for your needs. Doing a home inventory and sharing it with them is a great way to help make sure no valuables are missed.


Do You Have Allergies? 6 Helpful Tips For Allergy



Between the rain, new growth and house cleaning, chances are if you have allergies, you are miserable right about now. Whether you have seasonal allergies or suffer year round, there are steps you can take to help decrease your symptoms without having to stock up on medication.

Who is affected by allergies?

Though allergies can affect anyone, individuals with the following characteristics are afflicted more often:

  • Under 40 years old
  • Have at least one parent with allergies
  • Suffer from allergic conditions such as asthma

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of allergies include:

  • Sneezing
  • Red, itchy or watery eyes
  • Dry throat
  • Stuffy nose

Tips to alleviate allergy symptoms:

To alleviate allergy symptoms, consider the following recommendations:

  1. Stay indoors when the pollen count outside is high.
  2. Keep your home clean and as dust-free as possible.
  3. Place pillows, mattresses and duvets in allergen-proof encasements.
  4. Use a vacuum cleaner with double bags, allergen-trapping bags or a HEPA filter.
  5. Avoid having pets or going near others’ pets if you have animal allergies.
  6. In your home, choose hardwood floors instead of carpeting.

Did you know?

According to the American Academy of Allergy and Immunology, about half of the U. S. population suffers from allergies. These negative reactions occur as a result of coming in contact with normally harmless substances. Some allergies change or disappear over time, while seasonal attacks will return at the same time each year for only a few weeks or months.

Healthy Hints

Treatment for most allergy symptoms is available over-the-counter or as a prescription from your physician. If your symptoms are severe or you don’t know what is causing you to have a reaction, an allergist can perform a test to pinpoint what you are allergic to. And don’t forget, allergy testing and treatment is usually covered by your health insurance.

Do you need help finding what your copay or out of pocket cost will be?

Call us today – 419-522-9892 – we can help.

5 Easy Steps for Buying Life Insurance

buying life insurance

buying life insuranceLife insurance is a crucial tool that can provide peace of mind and security for individuals and their loved ones in times of need. It serves as a financial safety net, ensuring that beneficiaries are financially supported in the event of the policyholder’s death.

If you’re considering buying life insurance, these five tips may help you choose a policy:

1) Assess your current financial situation and needs.
Start with identifying your financial obligations (e.g., mortgage and debts) and consider your family’s lifestyle and future expenses. While assessing your needs, you should also consider how many people depend financially on you. This foundational step will help you  calculate the coverage amount needed to secure your loved ones financially.

2) Evaluate policy types.
It’s important to understand the different kinds of life insurance policies available, such as term, whole, universal and variable life insurance. You’ll want to evaluate each type based on your financial goals and coverage requirements. A financial advisor may offer personalized guidance.

3) Determine the policy duration.
Part of choosing the policy type is deciding on the length of coverage needed based on your financial goals and life stage. Do you  need short-term coverage for specific needs, or do you need lifelong for comprehensive protection?

4) Shop around.
To best estimate affordability, you can obtain quotes from multiple insurance providers and compare premiums, coverage amounts and cash values. It comes down to finding a policy that fits comfortably within your budget while offering adequate protection. Looking at options offered through your employer is a good place to start. However, you can also work with a personal lines insurance broker or a life insurance and annuities provider.

5) Review policy terms and conditions.
As with any contract, it’s important to read the policy terms, including exclusions and limitations.

Once a life insurance  policy is purchased, inform your beneficiaries about policy copies and any specifics related to the death benefit. If possible, store your life insurance documents so you and your beneficiaries can easily access them.

This blog is not intended to be financial guidance; it’s best to connect with a financial advisor about life insurance. A licensed insurance broker can help point you toward the right policy for you and your family’s needs. Contact us for more information.

What Are Stay Interviews And Why Are They Important?

stay interview

Employee turnover can be a significant challenge for employers, as it can lead to increased costs, loss of productivity and a negative impact on company culture. Stay interviews offer a proactive approach to understanding and addressing the needs of employees, ultimately enhancing retention rates. Unlike exit interviews, which are conducted when an employee is leaving, stay interviews are conducted while the employee is still employed at the organization with the goal of identifying factors that contribute to their job satisfaction and commitment.

This article outlines best practices for employers to conduct effective stay interviews.

The Importance of Stay Interviews

Stay interviews are usually once-a-year meetings conducted with each employee and their supervisor or an HR professional. Unlike performance reviews, these meetings focus on an existing employee’s attitude toward an organization. Specifically, stay interviews attempt to discover what makes an employee want to work—or stop working—for the organization and any aspects of the company that need to be addressed to make working there more attractive. Not only can stay interviews enlighten employers about issues before they manifest into employee departures, but they also help employees feel heard, showing them that their employer cares enough about retaining them to improve workplace operations.

Especially in a tight labor market, giving employees this level of attention is critical. Even if an employee is resolved to leave, understanding their motivations can help the employer retain other employees who may feel similarly. Stay interviews enable employers to learn this information sooner and address those issues head-on.

Stay Interview Best Practices for Employers

Impactful stay interviews can help maximize employee satisfaction, engagement and retention. Consider the following best practices for stay interviews:

  • Establish clear objectives. Before conducting stay interviews, employers should establish clear objectives and goals. It’s important to determine what information should be gathered from employees and how it will be used to improve engagement and retention strategies. This may include identifying areas of dissatisfaction, uncovering potential issues and recognizing areas of strength within the organization.
  • Integrate stay interviews into onboarding. Stay interviews aren’t just for the company’s tenured employees; they can be incorporated into the 30-, 60- and 90-day milestones of employee onboarding. By gauging employee satisfaction early on, employers can proactively address any issues and make necessary adjustments. Early identification of potential problems can prevent them from escalating into larger issues down the line.
  • Create a safe and confidential environment. A safe and confidential environment is crucial to encourage open and honest communication during stay interviews. Employees should be assured that their feedback will be kept confidential and that there will be no negative repercussions for sharing their thoughts and concerns. This trust-building exercise can foster genuine dialogue and provide valuable insights.
  • Train interviewers. Ensure that managers and HR professionals conducting stay interviews are adequately trained in effective communication and active listening skills. Training should emphasize the importance of empathy, respect and nonjudgmental attitudes when engaging with employees. Interviewers should be prepared to ask probing questions to uncover underlying issues and concerns.
  • Ask open-ended questions. Open-ended questions can prompt employees to freely share their thoughts, feelings and experiences. It’s important to avoid leading questions and instead focus on topics such as job satisfaction, career development, leadership and management, work-life balance and organizational culture. Examples of open-ended questions include:
    • What motivates you to work here?
    • What aspects of your job do you find most fulfilling?
    • Are there any challenges or obstacles you’re currently facing in your role?
    • What do you like least about your job?
    • How can we better support your professional growth and development?
    • If you could change any aspect of the organization or your job, what would it be?
    • What would cause you to consider leaving the organization?
  • Actively listen and validate. During stay interviews, it’s essential for interviewers to actively listen to employees’ responses without interrupting or dismissing their concerns. Validating employees’ feelings and experiences demonstrates empathy and understanding. Interviewers should paraphrase workers’ responses to ensure clarity and show that their feedback is valued. Probing to learn more can also demonstrate authenticity.
  • Identify actionable insights. After conducting stay interviews, feedback must be analyzed to identify common themes, trends and actionable insights. Employers should look for opportunities to address areas of concern and implement changes that align with employees’ needs and preferences. They should also consider involving employees in the decision-making process when looking to make changes to foster a sense of ownership and empowerment.
  • Follow up and track progress. Following up with employees after stay interviews is crucial to communicate any actions taken based on their feedback and provide progress updates. To evaluate the long-term effectiveness of stay interview initiatives, retention metrics and employee satisfaction levels must be continuously tracked. Strategies should be adjusted as needed to ensure ongoing improvement.


Employee retention is top of mind for many employers. Keeping talent happy and engaged often starts with understanding what employees want, what they like and what they’d like to change in the workplace.

Stay interviews represent a proactive approach to employee retention, as they allow employers to gain valuable insights into the factors influencing job satisfaction and commitment. By implementing best practices, organizations can strengthen employee engagement, improve retention rates and foster a positive workplace culture. Investing in stay interview initiatives demonstrates a commitment to valuing and supporting employees and their opinions, ultimately contributing to long-term organizational success.

Contact us today for more workplace guidance.

Why It Is Important That You Understand Auto Liability Coverage

auto liability

auto liabilityAuto insurance is one of the most frequently purchased types of coverage in the United States. However, while these policies may be common, they can still be complex and nuanced. Policyholders must be diligent and meticulous to ensure they fully understand their auto coverage and have ample financial protection.

One of the most common and crucial components of an auto insurance policy is adequate auto liability coverage. Any time a driver gets behind the wheel, they risk being involved in accidents that could harm others and incur devastating financial consequences. This article provides an overview of auto liability coverage and its importance.

What Is Auto Liability Coverage?

The liability portion of auto insurance is strongly advisable and is usually required by law. Although minimum requirements may vary among states, all drivers are generally mandated to carry certain liability coverage to ensure they can pay for losses for which they are at fault.

Liability coverage can insulate drivers from significant losses affecting third parties, including the following:

  • Bodily injury—If a policyholder is responsible for an accident that injures another party, such as a pedestrian or occupants of another vehicle, this coverage can help pay resulting expenses, such as:
    • Medical bills
    • Lost wages
    • Legal expenses
  • Property damage—If a policyholder is at fault for damaging someone else’s property, such as by colliding with another vehicle or crashing into a building, this coverage can provide financial assistance to compensate affected parties and pay for costs arising from resulting lawsuits.

Most auto insurance includes three separate liability limits within a policy. These clauses establish the maximum amount of financial aid capable of being covered and generally are listed as the following:

  • Bodily injury liability limit per person
  • Bodily injury liability limit per accident
  • Property damage liability limit

Another type of coverage that could help you financially protect yourself in an accident is uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This coverage, which is sometimes sold separately as uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage, can often be added to your personal auto insurance policy to help you avoid high out-of-pocket costs if you’re involved in an accident with a driver who doesn’t have any liability coverage (uninsured motorist coverage) or doesn’t have enough liability coverage (underinsured motorist coverage).

Ensuring Adequate Coverage

Motorists should consult with a qualified insurance professional to understand applicable auto insurance requirements. Failing to comply with relevant laws could lead to significant fines and legal penalties. Their lender may also require those who purchased their vehicles with the help of an auto loan to adhere to additional requirements.

Even if not mandated to do so, carrying sufficient auto liability coverage is strongly advisable. Without suitable insurance, an accident could lead to devastating out-of-pocket costs that jeopardize a driver’s financial situation.

It’s also essential to understand the limitations of auto liability coverage, which should not be relied upon to cover a policyholder’s own losses. Such financial assistance generally must be acquired through including additional coverages in an auto insurance policy, such as the following:

  • Collision coverage—This may help pay for damage sustained by a policyholder’s vehicle resulting from striking another car or stationary object (e.g., building, fence, tree)
  • Comprehensive coverage—This may provide coverage for incidents not included in collision coverage, such as fires, crime and severe weather.
  • Medical payments coverage—This may provide financial assistance for a policyholder and their passengers if they are injured in an accident, regardless of who was at fault.

Making Sure You’re Covered

Auto liability coverage is an essential form of financial protection for any person who owns or operates a motor vehicle. For more information or guidance regarding optimal auto insurance solutions, contact Rinehart, Walters & Danner today.

Debunking 5 Common Cybersecurity Myths

cybersecurity myths

cybersecurity mythsAlso known as IT security, cybersecurity refers to the act of safeguarding internet-connected systems, critical data and other digital assets from potential cyberthreats—threats that may attempt to exploit sensitive information, steal funds or disrupt normal business operations. In other words, cybersecurity consists of the strategies implemented to help protect people, processes and technology from cyberattacks and related losses.

Cybersecurity has become all the more important as organizations of all sizes and sectors expand their reliance on technology and other digital services in their operations. After all, cyberattacks can carry serious consequences, including damaged data and systems, prolonged business disruptions, diminished customer loyalty, lost revenue and potential regulatory concerns amid strengthening cybersecurity laws.

Even so, there are a variety of myths circulating regarding cybersecurity, many of which undermine the severity of possible threats and diminish the value of effective mitigation strategies. If organizations mistakenly assume these myths to be true, they could leave themselves increasingly vulnerable to cyberattacks and subsequent losses. The following article debunks five of the most common cybersecurity myths, giving organizations the information needed to better understand their exposures and implement appropriate risk management measures.

Myth #1: Cybersecurity measures are only necessary for large corporations.

Some organizations think small businesses are unlikely targets for cyberattacks, as they often have less data and funds for cybercriminals to exploit. As such, it has become a frequent misconception that adopting proper cybersecurity measures only makes sense for large corporations, particularly those that possess substantial capital and store sensitive information.

Large organizations are definitely susceptible to cyberattacks, but this doesn’t mean small businesses are immune to such incidents. On the contrary, some cybercriminals consider small organizations more attractive targets than their larger counterparts because these businesses are more likely to have weaker cybersecurity measures in place, thus simplifying the overall attack process. According to a recent study conducted by international IT services and consulting company Accenture, 43% of all cyberattacks target small businesses, and 66% of such organizations have experienced an attack within the past year. With this in mind, it’s clear that cybersecurity measures are necessary for organizations of any size, but especially small businesses.

Myth #2: Basic cybersecurity procedures are enough to protect against possible threats.

For certain organizations, cybersecurity consists of a few basic protocols, such as deploying firewalls, installing antivirus software and encouraging employees to maintain strong passwords. While these procedures can certainly prove useful, adopting such a single-layered approach to cybersecurity probably won’t be effective in minimizing all possible threats.

For instance, basic cybersecurity protocols aren’t as successful in protecting against brute-force incidents and social engineering scams, which are some of the most common attack techniques. To put this in context, a report from multinational cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab found that brute-force attacks contribute to nearly one-third (31.6%) of all cyber incidents; meanwhile, the aforementioned Accenture study revealed that 85% of organizations have encountered social engineering scams. This means that organizations would remain vulnerable to a sizeable proportion of cyberattacks with only basic protocols in place.

As the cyber risk landscape shifts and changes, organizations’ mitigation strategies should follow suit. By implementing a multilayered approach to cybersecurity and leveraging a wide range of protective measures (e.g., multifactor authentication, endpoint detection and response solutions, email authentication technology, patch management plans and data backup systems), organizations will be better equipped to handle their advancing digital exposures.

Myth #3: Cybersecurity measures aren’t worth the associated costs for small businesses.

Small organizations may initially be less inclined to invest in cybersecurity due to the related expenses, especially considering their limited budgets. Most of the time, this stems from these organizations thinking that cybersecurity measures aren’t worth the various benefits they provide; yet, the reality is quite the opposite.

As previously mentioned, small businesses are frequent targets for cyberattacks. What’s worse, these businesses are more likely to face financial ruin in the aftermath of such attacks. In fact, global cyber economy researcher Cybersecurity Ventures reported that 60% of small businesses close their doors within just six months of experiencing a cyber incident. Considering this data, small organizations simply can’t afford to ignore cybersecurity. Investing in sufficient mitigation strategies could make all the difference in helping these businesses avoid major losses and prevent financial devastation at the hands of cyber incidents.

Myth #4: Cybersecurity is the IT department’s job.

Even when organizations make the wise decision to invest in cybersecurity, they may still make the mistake of placing all related responsibilities on the IT department. Although these professionals definitely play a role in upholding adequate cybersecurity measures, they can’t act alone. The most effective cybersecurity models involve companywide participation, which requires support from corporate executives and routine training for all employees.

Without companywide participation, organizations are more likely to have poor cyber hygiene and awareness. Not to mention, businesses that don’t take cybersecurity seriously will likely pass the same attitude to their employees by neglecting to provide essential education on digital risks. This is particularly concerning, as recent research conducted by World Economic Forum, an international lobbying organization, found that 95% of cyberattacks stem from human error.

As a result, it’s imperative that organizations foster a strong working culture that encourages everyone to take responsibility for cybersecurity. This entails having company executives lead by example, training employees to detect and defend against prevalent cyberthreats, and recognizing those who demonstrate a continued commitment to security.

Myth #5: Cyberthreats are always external.

When most employers and employees picture a cybercriminal, they likely visualize an external threat actor. Nevertheless, cyberattacks can also arise from insider threats. An insider threat refers to an individual who has been entrusted with access to or knowledge of an organization’s confidential resources and information (e.g., an employee, vendor or third-party collaborator). Due to their unique privileges, insider threats have the potential to compromise organizations’ most valuable assets and leave them more susceptible to a range of cyber incidents (also called insider events).

More than 7,300 insider events took place throughout the past year, according to research from the Ponemon Institute. Further, a recent survey conducted by IT platform Cybersecurity Insiders found that the average insider event costs over $755,000. Therefore, it’s vital for organizations to consider both external and internal threats when developing their cybersecurity measures.


By adopting an informed approach to cybersecurity and understanding the reality behind common myths, organizations can effectively position themselves in this evolving digital risk environment and limit the likelihood of large-scale losses. Contact us today for more risk management guidance and insurance solutions.

How To Maintain Your Heart Health During American Heart Month

heart health

heart healthAccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. While there are some risk factors that contribute to heart disease that you can’t control, there are also many things you can do to preserve your heart health.

Risk Factors

Here’s a list of largely preventable factors that increase your risk of heart disease:

  • Having high blood pressure
  • Having high cholesterol
  • Smoking or drinking alcohol
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Having a waist measurement greater than 40 inches (for men) or 35 inches (for women)
  • Having an inactive lifestyle
  • Having Type 2 diabetes
  • Keeping a poor diet high in saturated fat and cholesterol
  • Experiencing excess stress

Mitigating Your Risks

 Use these tips to take control of your risks:

  • Do not smoke or use drugs.
  • Drink alcohol in moderation.
  • Maintain a healthy weight and get regular exercise.
  • Follow a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet.
  • Limit your sodium intake to between 1,500 and 2,400 milligrams per day.
  • Keep your stress levels under control.
  • Schedule regular medical checkups with your primary care physician.
  • Get your blood pressure and cholesterol checked regularly.

The Difference a Healthy Lifestyle Can Make

Combining regular physical activity with a healthy diet, adequate sleep, effective stress management and avoidance of tobacco slashes your risk of heart disease and premature death dramatically. By following this guidance, you can do your part to maintain your heart health for years to come.

4 Ways Artificial Intelligence Will Impact the Workplace in 2024

artificial intelligence

artificial intelligenceArtificial intelligence (AI) garnered attention from every industry in 2023, revolutionizing the way organizations operate and make decisions. Many employers adopted this technology to streamline operations, enhance workflows and improve customer experience. Looking ahead, organizations are expected to adopt AI at an even more rapid pace. According to Grand View Research, AI has an expected annual growth rate of 37.3% between 2023 and 2030, indicating the growing impact of AI technology in the coming years.

In 2024, employers are expected to increasingly rely on AI to make critical business decisions and improve productivity. Savvy employers will stay current on evolving legal, ethical and transparency issues surrounding the heightened adoption of AI in the workplace. This article discusses four key impacts AI will have on workplaces in 2024.

1. Enhanced Decision-making Capabilities

In 2023, many employers adopted artificial intelligence to streamline HR and managerial functions such as hiring, onboarding, training and open enrollment. As this technology advances, employers will likely increasingly rely on AI to support HR professionals and managers in areas where they are inexperienced or burnt out. For example, in 2024, AI may be used to create thoughtful performance reviews and career coaching and identify internal growth opportunities for employees, empowering organizations to grow and upskill their workforce. 

In addition, as employers place more trust in AI’s decision-making capabilities, organizations may rely on this technology for cybersecurity. In this capacity, AI’s ability to rapidly sift through large amounts of information, gain insights and create business strategies may proactively identify and mitigate potential cyberthreats to protect company data.

2. Increased Productivity

Chatbots and virtual assistants showed significant potential in 2023, with the ability to enhance the employee experience, respond to customer inquiries, and perform mundane and repetitive tasks. These capabilities can free employees to focus on solving more complex issues more efficiently. A 2023 report by management consulting company Mckinsey & Company found that current generative AI and other technologies can potentially automate work activities that take up 60% to 70% of employees’ time today. As AI capabilities advance, these technologies may also create workplace-specific algorithms to identify project misalignments and tasks requiring immediate attention. Thus, this year, these algorithms will be increasingly used to bolster employee productivity and ensure customers receive timely and personalized feedback on complex queries.

3. Greater Focus on Legality, Ethics and Transparency

AI legislation is beginning to evolve, with various states and cities—such as Illinois, Maryland and New York City—creating laws regarding its use. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has also prioritized the enforcement of applicable federal laws concerning AI in employment. These regulations are expected to expand further as lawmakers face growing pressure to regulate its use. As such, remaining abreast of legal developments regarding AI will be crucial for organizations this year. Failing to comply with applicable regulations could result in costly lawsuits, fines and penalties, as well as reputational damage.

Employers may also focus more on ensuring that AI systems are fair and transparent. This will include understanding the sources used to train AI, potential biases in these datasets and the ethical implications of AI-powered decisions. Employee training will also be critical to ensuring safe and ethical use. A recent survey by social networking platform FishBowl found that just 32% of individuals who use AI tools at work do so with their boss’s knowledge. Moreover, according to the Josh Bersin Company, only 4% of organizations have a defined strategy for AI in HR. In 2024, employers are expected to prioritize creating formal AI policies to meet evolving legal, ethical and transparency standards.

4. Heightened Focus on Skills-based Hiring

Increased adoption of AI is expected to change the qualities employers look for in employees in 2024 and beyond. There will likely be a greater focus on hiring employees with behavioral skills, such as data analysis, AI literacy and the ability to work alongside AI systems. “Human” soft skills, such as problem-solving and communication, that AI can’t replicate, will also be in high demand. Additionally, as generative AI takes over certain workplace tasks, it will also create the need for new job roles and requirements. For example, AI ethicists, data curators and algorithm trainers may become emerging professions. AI proficiency may become a popular requisite on job postings as employers create more AI-centric business strategies. As such, the 2024 workforce will likely be defined by the ability to learn and work productively with AI technology.


The prevalence of artificial intelligence in the workplace is a trend that isn’t going away. As this technology advances, employers will increasingly integrate AI into everyday operations and decision-making processes. However, the relative newness of this technology has the potential to create legal and ethical issues for organizations that adopt AI without proper protocols in place. Employers can stay ahead by monitoring AI trends impacting the workplace in 2024 and beyond.


What You Need To Know About Fireplace And Wood Burning Stove Safety

Fireplace And Wood Burning Stove Safety

It’s safe to say that winter is here to stay along with the freezing cold. Did you know the largest source of fire in American homes comes from fuel burning appliances? That is why fireplace and wood burning stove safety is so important. 

Wood Burning Safety

Use these tips to practice fireplace and wood burning stove safety. 

  • Read the instructions for your wood burning stove and follow them carefully. 
  • Inspect the firebrick liner, if you have one. Should the liner show signs of wear, replace it immediately. Do not use that unit until the liner is replaced. 
  • Do not use flammable or combustible liquid (gasoline, kerosene, lighter fluid, etc.) to start a fire. 
  • Burn wood recommended by the manufacturer only. 
  • Do not burn plastic, wood or garbage that has been painted or treated with chemicals. 
  • Be sure to have properly maintained smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and an approved multi-purpose fire extinguisher in your home. 
  • Never close your damper with hot ashes in the fireplace. Doing so will cause the fire to heat up which will force toxic carbon monoxide into your house. 
  • Take extra care when disposing of hot ashes. Remember that these embers may still be hot for several days. 

Solid fuel units tend to require a lot more maintenance than other heating systems. Therefore, regular inspections and care are needed to protect your home and family against fire and carbon monoxide poisoning. 

Chimney Maintenance

Both metal and masonry chimneys require maintenance so that smoke and flue gases are ventilated properly. At the very least, you should have your chimney inspected annually before each heating season. In addition: 

  • Have  your chimney cleaned on a regular basis to reduce creosote buildup. 
  • Make sure your masonry chimney has a flue liner in place to reduce the possibility that the masonry could absorb creosote. 
  • Replace cracked or damaged liners, as they will allow creosote to accumulate and heat to escape. 
  • When hiring someone to reline your chimney, only allow the contractor to use a product that has been tested and listed by a nationally recognized testing laboratory. 

There are two types of chimneys that require specific maintenance to maximize the dangers in your home. 

  • Fireplace inserts (hearth stoves):
    • Vent should be connected to the flue of the chimney. 
  • Factory-built metal chimneys:
    • Do not use natural gas, fuel oil vents, well casing, stovepipe or other material in the chimney, as they cannot withstand the heat in the wood burner. 

A few other tips

Do not vent more than one heater or appliance into a single flue. Doing so can cause major complications. If one fuel-burning appliance is connected to a flue and then you attach another appliance, such as a water heater, you are running the risk of the following serious problems:

  • Heavy creosote accumulation
  • Deterioration of the flue
  • Creosote blocking the lower heater vent
  • Carbon monoxide drifting into your home


When it comes to your home and family fireplace and wood burning stove safety is crucial. Make sure to practice the above safety tips to stay safe and warm. Now is a good time to review your homeowners insurance coverage to make sure your policy is up to day and adequate.

Click here for information on homeowners insurance.

Click here to learn more about chimney fires. 

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