Are My Valuables Covered By Homeowners Insurance

Valuables

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to periodically review our policy’s coverage limits to minimize the likelihood of underinsurance arising out of outdated appraisals and inadequate limits of insurance.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. And did you know we offer a mobile app with that tool? You then can share that inventory with your insurance agent who will be able to determine if you have adequate coverage, need more coverage or need to add an endorsement or floater for your valuables.

Click here for our mobile app info.

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.

 

What You Need To Know About Insurance When You Remodel Your Home

remodel your home

remodel your homeThe time to remodel your home is finally here! The colors are picked, the floors have been decided on and you are finally ready to start. Before your start construction, there are just a few things you should know.

Working with a general contractor

The best way to minimize your risk when you remodel your home is to hire a general contractor. The list of contractors can be large, but not all of them are equal. When you are comparing contractors, ask them to provide a Certificate of Insurance and/or copies of their policies. They should have Workers’ Compensation, General Liability and Builders Risk coverage. This will protect both them and you in the event of any issues during construction. Reviews are also a great place to look. Google & Facebook reviews give past clients the opportunity to share their experience with the contractors. Good or bad, they can tell how the process went for them.

Working with sub-contractors

If you decide to manage the project on your own, you assume all the risks. Hiring sub-contractors who can provide you with a certificate of insurance or copies of their policies showing general liability and workers’ compensation coverage is mandatory for your legal protection. Otherwise, you could be subject to workers’ compensation laws, should they become injured while working on your home.

Doing the work “DIY”

If you do the work “DIY” style, there is still a change of help from others. If a friend or relative helps out as a favor and gets injured, your homeowners insurance typically covers the cost of their injuries. This however will be subject to your policy limits. For an extra layer of protection, it’s a good idea to also carry umbrella liability coverage, which kicks in to provide liability coverage above your homeowners insurance policy.

Homeowners Insurance review after renovations

Experts estimate that 1 out of 4 remodeling projects adds at least 25% to the value of a home. Yet, often most homeowners forget to increase their coverage to protect their investment. When making a major change to your home, it’s important to talk to us about insuring those changes. Most homeowners insurance policies require 100% of the home’s replacement cost, so it’s important to raise your home’s policy limit before your project begins.

Adding to your home is exciting, but poses financial risks. Contact us today for assistance on determining the value of your home and making sure you are properly covered.

Click the links below to learn more about:
Homeowners Insurance
Umbrella Liability Insurance

 

 

Why Insurance Should Be Listed On A New Baby Checklist

New Baby Checklist

New Baby ChecklistThe 9 month wait is over and your bundle of joy is finally here. You’ve been preparing for this day for months and have followed the new baby checklist to ensure you have everything. You have the nursery set up, diapers bought, and are ready to start on this new adventure. But have you talked to your insurance agent? While this may not be the first person you think to call to announce your new arrival, it is important to contact them soon.

Why do I need to contact my insurance agent?

Do you have health insurance? Most companies require that you notify them withing 31 days after your baby’s birth. A formal application is usually required to add them to the coverage. If you contact them to late, your baby may not have health insurance! You definitely don’t want that to happen.
What about that life insurance policy on your new child? While no one wants to think of loosing a child it makes sense for several reasons to get a life insurance policy started. One reason being the rates will be very low. Some policies will actually build cash value that could be used in the future for college or other expenses. Another reason is in the unfortunate event your child passes away. You will then have that policy to take care of funeral and every day living expenses. Chances are you would need some time off work. That policy will help replace some of your income while you are off work.
Let us help you ensure your newest family member is taken care of. Call us today at 419-522-9892

Safety Tips To Prevent Electric Shock Drowning

Electric Shock Drowning

Summer is in full swing and many families are enjoying some fun in the sun. For many that means a trip to the lake or the local marina to enjoy some boating and fishing. This is a great time to spend time as a family and make memories. Unfortunately, for some families this day in the sun can turn to tragedy. How you ask? Electric shock drowning.

What is electric shock drowning?

Electric shock drowning is a cause of death that occurs when swimmers are exposed to electric currents in the water. This can happen anywhere electricity is provided near water, however the majority of time, this occurs near docks and marinas. The main cause of electric shock drowning is faulty wiring on boats or docks. This will cause electric current to leak into the water. Swimmers in the area will be shocked by the current which can lead to paralysis, making the swimmer unable to help themselves.

Safety tips to help keep you safe.

Our friends at McNeil & Co recently saw an increase and claims and put together some great tips. A few recommendations were to:

  1. Make sure all electrical outlets near your water front have ground fault protection.
  2. All wiring needs to be housed in proper conduit and protected from water exposure. Always call a licensed electrician if you’re experiencing issues with your power. 
  3. Post Electric Shock Warning Signs near boat docks, ramps, or any location where electricity is used near the water front.
  4. DO NOT use common household extension cords to provide power to your dock or boat. Encourage boaters to use shore power cords built to UL standards.
  5. Test the GFCI/ELCI at least once a month or per the manufacturer’s specifications.
  6. Check any pool areas for these same hazards.
  7. Set up a regular inspection cycle and checklist to monitor the conditions of all areas where water and electricity are present.

Click here to visit McNeil & Co website.

What to do if someone is experiencing electric shock drowning?

If someone is swimming and you think they are being shocked, remember these 3 tips.

  • Call for help
  • Turn the power off
  • Reach or throw them help, but DO NOT go in.

Electric Shock DrowningElectric Shock Drowning

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remember, we are  here to help you keep your family protected. For more tips or to review your boat or homeowners insurance policy, call your agent today.

The Truth On Why You Need Directors & Officers Insurance

Directors & Officers Insurance

Directors & Officers Insurance

 

No matter the size of your business, you are always at risk for lawsuits. Decisions made from a board or management could lead to a lengthy and costly legal battle. Directors & officers are responsible for making the tough choices that can make, or break, a company. They must keep in mind the best interests of employees, customers and shareholders. Every decision has an effect on everyone. But don’t fret, there are ways to protect yourself and your business. How you ask?

 

Directors & Officers Insurance

Often referred to as D&O, Directors & Officers Insurance protects executives against the consequences of any alleged or actual “wrongful acts” they commit while performing regular supervisory duties.

Isn’t this what my liability insurance is for?

A commercial general liability insurance policy provides coverage for claims arising from property damage and bodily injury. D&O insurance provides coverage for a “wrongful act,” such as an actual or alleged error, omission, misleading statement, neglect or breach of duty. A D&O policy will provide defense costs and indemnity coverage to the entity listed on the policy, which may include:

  • Coverage for individual directors & officers
  • Reimbursement to the business for a contractual obligation to indemnify directors & officers who serve on the board
  • Protection for the organization or entity itself

To learn more about a Commercial General Liability policy – click here.

What coverage’s are included?

Typical coverage will include:

  • Entity coverage
  • Payment priority for insured persons
  • Severabiltiy of the insured as well as severability of ht application
  • Coverage over time – for past, present, and future directors & officers
  • Pay on behalf clause

A “fraud” exclusion is typically included in a directors & officers insurance policy. This eliminates coverage for losses due to dishonest or fraudulent acts or omissions, or willful violations of any statue, rule or law.

There are additional endorsements that can be added.

Some Directors & Officers insurance policies can be endorsed to provide employment practices liability and/or fiduciary liability protection.

  • EPL Endorsement – broadens coverage, but often does not provide a duty to defend clause and are subject to a substantial deductible.
  • Fiduciary Liability Endorsement – provides coverage for liabilities arising out of ERISA, where fiduciaries can be held personally liable for losses to a  benefit plan incurred as a result of alleged errors, omissions or breach of their fiduciary duties.

Protect your MVPs

Large or small business, it doesn’t matter. The legal cost to defend a director is substantial, as are the potential penalties that can be personally incurred. Due to the personal liability risk (not covered under a personal insurance policy), protecting the board can be a challenge.

To help ensure both your officers’ and the company’s well-being, a Directors & Officers Insurance policy is part of a comprehensive risk financing strategy.

The Best Ways To Combat Employee Stress

Employee Stress

Employee StressIn today’s economy you can count yourself among the lucky ones if you have a full time stable job. However, that’s not always an easy task. Employee stress is a very real and difficult thing. Once you factor in the fear of lay offs, overtime and high production goals; the job you’re luck to have could be the source of a lot of stress. NIOSH reports that 25% of American workers view their jobs as the number one source of stress in their lives.

Employee stress

Employee stress can not only be bad for the employee, it can be bad for your business. Issues include

  • More on-the-job accidents – can lead to workers’ compensation claims
  • Increased absenteeism – not enough workers to keep up with production/customers
  • Lower productivity – can lead to less revenue
  • Lower employee morale
  • Short Temper

As a business owner what can you do to help your employees with stress?

  1. Create a company culture that encourages employees to take a healthy approach to managing their stress and provides them with resources to do so.
  2. Leading by example. How managers and line supervisors react to stressful situations has a big effect on how their employees deal with stress.
  3. Understand that every employee responds to stress differently and using a tailored approach to respond to each person’s stress-related issues.
  4. Encouraging a health lifestyle, including regular on-site health assessments, gym discounts and other well-being initiatives.

Early Warning Signs of Job Stress

Education your employees and managers to keep an eye out for the following warning signs:

  • Headache
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Short temper
  • Upset stomach
  • Job dissatisfaction
  • Low morale

While it may not be possible to reduce 100% of workplace stress, you can learn to manage it effectively.

Do you need additional employee resources for your business? Contact your agent today for additional newsletters, payroll suffers and employee materials. Learn more about business insurance by clicking here.

Teen Workers; How To Keep Them Safe While At Work

Teen workers

Teen workersSchool is out and it’s time for summer break. For some students that means summer sports, but for others that means summer jobs. There are many job options for teen workers. Restaurants, retail, farms, construction, and the list goes on. Having a job as a teen is  a great way to earn experience working with the public, learning responsibility and earning a paycheck. For first time workers there can be excitement about getting into the workforce, however, there are extra safety tips to keep in mind.

Your teen’s employer is not the only one responsible for making sure that he or she is safe on the job. Taking a proactive approach and providing your child with guidance is essential during this time. Each job field has specific risk associated to it. Help your child identify these risks and learn the appropriate steps to avoid them.

Restaurant Safety For Teen Workers

Working at a restaurant is a common first job for many teens. Some safety tips to keep in mind include:

  • Use caution around knives and other sharp utensils.
  • Protect yourself and others from slips, trips and falls by promptly cleaning up spills and wearing appropriate non-slip shoes.
  • Take steps to prevent burns.
  • Using food preparation methods that prevent food borne illness.

Construction Safety For Teen Workers

Construction offers appealing careers and might be the industry a teen worker can see a future in. Starting out as a summer worker helps gain experience and build relationships that could lead to permanent jobs after high school. This field unfortunately comes with some higher risks. Consider these facts about safety on the construction site:

  • Falls are the leading cause of death on construction sites. Stay away from openings and unguarded edges.
  • Strains ans sprains are the most frequently occurring injuries in construction. Watch where you step and how you bend and lift.
  • Washing your hands thoroughly before eating or drinking on the construction site will prevent sickness.
  • Hard hats, steel-toed boots, and other protective equipment should always fit your properly and comfortably.

Agricultural Safety For Teen Workers

Working on a farm is a common job for many teens in rural Ohio. Weather it’s a family farm or just a local in your town, this is a great way to earn some extra cash. Large machinery is a necessity and create their own set of risks.

  • Tractors – Dangers of tractors involve roll-overs, run-overs, collisions, exposure to moving machinery, hazardous weather conditions and uneven terrain. Make sure to get proper training before operating a tractor.
  • Falls – Falls are the most common accident in agriculture. Falling from heights as low as 12 feet can result in serious injuries or even death.  Always wear proper, non-slip shoes and follow all safety precautions when climbing up and down.
  • Chemicals – Pesticides and other chemicals used in agriculture can be hazardous to your health. Always were proper protection and use extreme caution when applying them.
  • Confined Spaces – Confined spaces that are not properly ventilated can case you to be overcome by gas buildup. Follow all safety procedures when working in confined spaces.
  • Dust – If you’re working on a place on the farm with large amounts of dust, such as grain bins, uncapped silos or dusty fields, you are at risk of Organic Dust Toxic Syndrome (ODTS). Wear masks, respirators or any other provided personal protective equipment.

Stay Involved

Staying involved with your child’s training in the new time period can help them learn important life skills and safety precautions. Learning to be aware of their surroundings and identify potential hazards will not only help ensure they have a great summer, but will set them up for a safe future.

One last thing to keep in mind if your teen worker is a teen driver. Do you need to make any adjustments to your auto insurance? Are they covered correctly? Are you purchasing them their own car? Contact  your agent today to verify your insurance is in order.

Want more information on Auto Insurance? – Click Here

Want more information on Teen Workers? – Click Here

Please share this article if you found it helpful. 

Practical Ways To Stay Safe While Bicycling

stay safe while bicycling

AAA estimates that Americans spend over $8,000 per year driving a car. (Click here to read more). Yes, you read that right stay safe while bicycling $8,000. That’s a large chunk of change spent on gas, maintenance and repairs. If you could do something to slim that number down some, would you? Have you ever thought of alternate ways to commute such as walking, bicycling or even car-pooling? Chances are you may not be live close enough to walk or have someone who lives close enough to you to car-pool, but bicycling may be a viable option.

Not only will you save on car expenses, you will get more exercise, be more environmentally friendly, and you may even save money on your auto insurance by lowering the miles driven per year. But before you jump on the bicycle and take off…make sure you stay safe while bicycling.

Before hopping on your bike to head out to work, make sure to do some prep work ahead of time.

Practice your rout eon the weekend or drive it in your car to make sure it is safe. Know the laws that apply to bikers and how to interact with motorists while sharing the road.

Wear protective gear while bicycling.

  • Always wear a helmet.
    • Helmets should be worn so that they cover your forehead with the straps fastened.
    • Take care of a helmet by placing it in its proper storage place and not throwing it around when you are not wearing it.
    • Place reflective stickers on helmets, especially for kids, so that motorists can see them on the road.
    • If you fall down, get a new helmet, as it may not be as effective after a crash.
  • Wear brightly colored clothes to increase your visibility to those on the road.
  • Do not wear loose pants or have long backpack straps or loose shoelaces.
  • Always wear sneakers when biking.
  • Make sure you bike has visible reflectors so you can be seen during periods of poor lighting (dusk and dawn).

Follow the rules of the road while biking.

Keep an eye out for motorists, even if you are on a sidewalk or trail. When crossing a busy road, walk your bike through the intersection instead of riding it. Always keep your hands on the handlebars. Obey traffic laws just like motorists. That means stopping at stop signs and obeying streetlights. Always be on the lookout for common fall spots, like potholes. Use hand signals to indicate stops and turns for others bikers and motorists.

Biking instead of hopping in your car can be a great alternative way to commute, as long as you are taking the necessary steps to stay safe while bicycling. Along with this post, there are numerous resources to learn about bicycle commuting.

We would appreciate it if you could take a moment and share this article with others. Stay Safe! 

 

5 Sure Fire Ways To Prevent Falls

prevent falls

Falls are one of the most common and dangerous accidents that occur at home and on the job. Wet floors, spills and clutter can mean disaster if not taken care of. But don’t worry, there are steps you can take to prevent falls. Below are 5 sure fire ways to prevent falls that can be applied at home or at the workplace. prevent falls

1. Ladder safety

While ladders are a great convenience, they also pose a fall risk. Always make sure your ladder is on a solid level surface before use. Make sure the weight on the ladder will not cause it to slip off it’s sport. And don’t apply more weight on a ladder that it is designed to support. Remember to occasionally inspect you ladder for cracked, broken or defective parts before use.

2. Keep floors dry and free of clutter

Wet floors present a slip hazard as well as the potential for mold growth. When a spill happens make sure to clean it up, get the area dry and post wet floor signs to make others aware of the potential hazard. Clutter on the floor can present a tripping hazard so make sure to remove all objects from aisles, exits and passageways.

3. Secure unprotected sides, wall openings and floor holes

During any kind of renovations there may be times that walls or floors have holes in them. Use temporary guardrails whenever this is a potential to fall from one level to a lower level. Construct floor hole covers on any openings to prevent a trip or fall.

4. Have adequate lighting

Make sure the area had enough lighting. Poor lighting can make it hard to see potential hazards. Install light switches at top and bottom of staircases. Make sure light switched are easily accessible so lights can be turned on as soon you enter a room.

5. Secure rugs and flooring

Stretch out bulging carpet to prevent falls. Bumps in the carpet can create a tripping hazard by creating unlevel footing. Use anti slip backing under rugs to prevent the from moving as you are stepping on them.

Stay alert, if you notice any situation that you think could create a slip, trip or fall, fix the problem or notify someone who can. Prevention is the key for keeping you on your feet.

Do you need additional information on preventing falls? Contact your agent today for information.

Is your homeowners insurance enough to protect you if someone falls at your home? – Click here for homeowners insurance information.

Is your business liability insurance enough to protect you if someone falls at your business? – Click here for business liability insurance information.

 

 

 

Do You Understand The Insurance Benefits Offered By Employers?

Benefits Offered By Employers

Benefits Offered By EmployersMany employers recognize the hard work their employees do every day. In addition to a pay check, many employers will offer additional benefits to compensate their employees. Whether you are a new employee of the company, or an existing employee that has never enrolled in the benefits, understanding everything an employer has to offer can be difficult. We can help break this all down and make it easy to understand.

Common Benefits Offered By Employers

When it comes to benefits offered by employers, there is no set guideline to use. As a result employers build their own benefits packages and can pick and choose what they want to offer. Some of the most common options include:

  • Medical Insurance
  • Dental Insurance
  • Vision Insurance
  • Disability Insurance
  • Life Insurance
  • Flexible Spending Account (FSA)
  • Health Savings Account (HSA)

Click here to learn more about employee benefits.

Employer-paid vs Voluntary benefits

Depending on the size of the company you work for there may be several packages available. Some may be employer-paid, some may be voluntary and some may be in the middle where you and the employer split the cost.

  • Employer-paid benefits are those that the employer pays 100% of the cost. This typically includes life insurance and disability insurance.
  • Voluntary benefits are those you the employee can choose to elect or not. You will pay 100% of the premium. This typically includes dental and vision insurance
  • Contributory benefits are those that you and the employer both pay for. The employer picks how much they will pay and then you pay the remainder. One example would be medical insurance. The employer may pay 80% of the premium, you pay the remaining 20%

What Coverages Are Included In The Benefits Offered By Employers?

This will vary for each company. They will be able to provide you with a summary of benefits that will show you basic plan information. Deductibles, copay’s, coinsurance and maximum out of pocket is standard on each summary. Employers have HR departments or an insurance agent they work with. They will be able to explain everything to you and help you enroll.

Understanding benefits offered by employers can be overwhelming. Take time to review the information provided to you and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Every individual’s situation is different however employers have specific plans in place to help you.

Have questions? Contact us today, we can help.