Cyber Worries

More than 800 risk experts from around the world see cyber incidents as one of the top three business risks this year!  This is the first time cyber incidents – cybercrime, data breaches and IT failures – have made the top three list on experts’ radar, following a gain of 11 percent points according to the fifth annual Allianz Risk Barometer.

Loss of reputation is the main cause for economic loss after a cyber incident.  Remaining causes include business interruption and liability claims at 60% and 52% respectively.

Why aren’t more business prepared?  Many business owners don’t understand the exposures they face and that there is now insurance coverage available.  Ask us today now to protect your business!


Insect, Rodent or Animal Damage

Insect, rodent, vermin and animal damage. These are common calls we receive inquiring if the damage is covered by your home, auto or boat insurance. The policies do exclude much insect, vermin and rodent damage. Damage caused by an animal is usually covered. The carrier would need to determine what caused the damage and whether it was a rodent or not. If you see signs of nests, chewed wood, sawdust or other insect or rodent infestation – act quickly to stop a possible uncovered loss.  Contact us to see what coverage you have and how to protect your home and belongings.

Equipment Breakdown Coverage

Are you frustrated with everything breaking down at the same time?  When most of us purchased our home we purchased all of our appliances and equipment to run our home at the same time.  After a number of years it seems like things breakdown besides the fact that they don’t make things the way they used to.  Many of our carriers offer an Equipment Breakdown Endorsement to go with your Home Insurance.  It covers a number of items (pretty much anything with an On/Off switch used in your home – including dishwashers, garbage disposals, washers, oven, TVs, A/C units, computers, pool equipment, etc…) for up to $50,000 with only a $500 deductible.  The claims are handled third party and would not affect your insurance claims history.   Give us a call to see if you carrier offers it!  The premiums are only about $2/month.

Product Safety Tips for Turkey Fryers

Turkey fryers

Underwriters Laboratories (UL) considers turkey fryers to be dangerous to use presenting numerous safety hazards to consumers. “We’re worried by the increasing reports of fires related with turkey fryer use,” says John Drengenberg, consumer affairs manager of UL. “Based on our test findings, the fryers used to produce those great tasting birds are not worth the risks. And, as a result of these tests, UL has decided not to certify any turkey fryers with our trusted UL Mark.”

Turkey fryer hazards

– Many units easily tip over, spilling the hot oil from the cooking pot.

– If the cooking pot is overfilled with oil, the oil may spill out of the unit when the turkey is placed into the cooking pot. Oil may hit the burner or flames, causing a fire to engulf the entire unit.

– Partially frozen turkeys placed into the fryer can cause a spillover effect. This too may result in an extensive fire.

– With no thermostat controls, the units also have the potential to overheat the oil to the point of combustion.

– The lid and handles on the sides of the cooking pot get dangerously hot, posing severe burn hazards.

If you absolutely must use a turkey fryer, please use the following tips.

– Turkey fryers should always be used outdoors a safe distance from buildings and any other flammable materials.

– Never use turkey fryers in a garage or on a wooden deck.

– Make sure the fryers are used on a flat surface to reduce accidental tipping.

– Never leave the fryer unattended. Most units do not have thermostat controls. If you do not watch the fryer carefully, the oil will continue to heat until it catches fire.

– Never let children or pets near the fryer even if it is not in use. The oil inside the cooking pot can remain dangerously hot hours after use.

– To avoid oil spillover, do not overfill the fryer.

– Use well-insulated potholders or oven mitts when touching pot or lid handles. If possible, wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from oil splatter.

– Make sure the turkey is completely thawed and be careful with marinades. Oil and water do not mix, and water causes oil to spill over causing a fire or even an explosion hazard.

– The National Turkey Federation (NTF) recommends thawing the turkey in the refrigerator approximately 24 hours for every five pounds in weight.

– Keep an all-purpose fire extinguisher nearby. Never use water to extinguish a grease fire. If the fire is manageable, use your all-purpose fire extinguisher. If the fire increases, immediately call the fire department for help.

The above is an excerpt from the article, “Product Safety Tips.” For more information, please visit (


Insurance is for the dogs…

With a third of homeowner claims resulting from dog bites, it is no wonder some carriers limit which household pets they will cover.  The average dog bite claim is $30,000.

There is a lot of controversy on this topic because many dogs within the restricted breed list are truly good dogs.  But, insurers need to rely on statistics to improve their risk.

Here are the top ten dogs that often shwo up on the restricted list:

1.) Staffordshire bull terriers

2.) American Staffordshire terrier

3.) Bull terrier

4.) Doberman pinscher

5.) Rottweiler

6.) Akita

7.) ‘Husky’ (Siberian huskies and malamutes)

8.) German shepherd

9.) Cane Corso

10.) Mastiff

Procure Proper Protection for Your Home Business

Home-based businesses are becoming increasingly prevalent, thanks in particular to the relatively inexpensive technology available at our fingertips. Yet running a business out of your home changes the loss exposures and characteristics of your residence as far as your homeowners insurance company is concerned.

Your homeowners policy will cover losses to the property caused by perils such as fire, wind, lightning, and theft. And the liability portion will pay if someone is hurt on your premises. But if you run a home business, any loss associated with that business may be your problem. What if you had a small fire that damaged your home business office and computer and resulted in some lost income? Once your insurance company sends an adjuster and he or she discovers the business, your claim could be denied.

Conversely, if you purchased a home-based business endorsement to your homeowners policy or a businessowners policy (BOP), your entire loss would likely be covered, even the loss of income.

And do not forget about liability. If you have business visitors in your home and they get hurt, the standard homeowners policy may not cover those injuries. Again, you need to purchase the correct endorsement to the homeowners policy or a separate BOP. Also, any professional liability coverage will not be covered under either of these approaches. A separate professional liability policy will need to be arranged for this loss exposure.

Different insurance companies have different criteria for excluding businesses from their policies. And they offer an assortment of coverages for this exposure. Specific coverage available under one insurance company may not be available with another.

The key thing to remember is this: if you are running a business out of your home, inquire about available coverage options to properly protect your business and your assets.

Copyright 2013
International Risk Management Institute, Inc.

Do I Need Cyber Liability?

Here are some questions to ask yourself to determine if you need Cyber Liability:

1.) What would happen if private information from your employees or clients that was entrusted to you was stolen?  (Reputation, loss of customers, lawsuits, money)

2.) How many paper and electronic records do you have stored?

3.)  What social media are you using? Consider issues with copyright, trademark, defamation, slander, invasion of privacy.

4.) Are you aware that cyber liability is excluded from your general liability policy?

5.) Are you aware that the average first party cost for a claim in $73/record?  This includes notifying those affected, monitoring their credit, PR, and call centers.

6.) Are you aware of the notification requirements in the event that there is a privacy breach?

7.) Are your employees accessing your systems via a mobile device?

Cyber Liability is a very important policy that does not cost as much as you may think.  Contact us to get a quote