3 Subtle Benefits You Must Get From Your Insurance Agency

Are you simply looking for personal insurance or need to find excellent coverage for your large corporation or young small business? There are some things that are worth looking for in your insurance agency in New Mexico so that you’re better covered in the future.

Cooperation and Prevention

First, make sure that any insurance agency you are considering wants to work with you to identify where you are most at risk so you both can determine how to best customize your liability coverage and prevent incidents from happening. Of course, you want an agency to be ready and willing to file liability claims, but its still best to avoid accidents or financial mishaps for your company’s morale and image.

Partnerships and Resources

Second, ask or figure out what connections an insurer has. For example, if you’re a large corporation with very high liability coverage needs, you’ll need to find an insurance agency in New Mexico that is both cooperative, experienced and has great ties with some of the best insurers in the world so that you can get the best possible liability coverage.

Industry Expertise

Finally, look for an agency that has a lot of experience in your particular industry. An agency that generalizes wont be able to properly assess and understand your business, which comes with the great risk that you wont have the precise coverage that you need to safely push forward.

3 Ways to Reduce Your Companys Cyber Risk

Virtually every company today faces cyber risk. Hackers can take your customers information with ease, and then you have to allocate resources to dealing with the aftermath. Although a comprehensive insurance policy should be acquired in case this ever happens, there are other things your business can do to reduce the risk.

1. Have Strong Passwords

This is one of the most basic things your computer systems should have. You have likely heard about company’s accounts getting hacked because the password is Password or 12345678. Have something that is difficult to guess.

2. Only Give Access to People Who Need It

Many hacks occur internally. Whenever you give out a password or access to a certain system, make sure the employee can be trusted. You also need to consider if the employee absolutely needs to have access.

3. Have an Expert Look at Your System

You can hire someone to take a look at your security system. They can locate weaknesses and recommend improvements you can make. It might cost money to upgrade a system, but it is much better to do this than deal with costs associated with a data breach.

A few easy steps can make all the difference in how protected your company is. Remain vigilant and take essential actions to reduce your company’s cyber risk.

 

The Ins and Outs of a Hospitality Insurance Program

There are many insurance considerations that pertain to the hospitality services industry that are both unique and complicated. The risks and operations associated with operating this type of business requires the knowledge of a professional hospitality insurance company in order to appreciate just how, and what type of insurance should be placed.

A qualified agent or broker can assist in explaining, for example, how a property insurance claim should be handled. Anyone can appreciate the amount of time and work it takes for insurance agents and brokers to become specialists in this industry. Without this specialization, insurance agents would be much more likely to sell insurance coverage that contains gaps that would often leave hospitality policyholders uninsured or drastically under-insured.

How to get started

Finding an insurance agent or broker who thoroughly understands the hospitality industry is vital, since most owners aren’t fully aware of all the risks facing them and the need for certain coverage’s to properly insure their businesses. Sadly, most owners have little knowledge of, or appreciation for, the impact of exclusions and limitations contained in many policies purchased.

In addition, you should request that the agent thoroughly review your particular business and encourage him or her to follow up with letters and agreements setting forth exactly the type of relationship and service expected, the broadness of coverage desired, and the thoroughness of value investigation needed in order for you to be fully (and safely) insured.

When you decide the time is right to buy liability coverage for your hotel or restaurant operation, you should expect to receive a measure of protection, but you may still remain somewhat concerned that all may not be well with your insurance portfolio.You may still wonder whether or not you have enough coverage for any and all situations.After all, you may not have the right kind of coverage to cover all of the possible accidents, incidents and catastrophes that might occur.

What about employers liability, liquor liability,or auto insurance for employees who drive their own car on behalf of the business?Do you know where your current liability insurance policy is, and when was the last time you read it?If you don’t fully understand the language then you need the agent operating on the behalf of the hospitality insurance program to take the time to explain everything. Insurance works best when you know what the specifics are, what to do when an issue arises, and how to properly file claims.

4 Common Business Liability Insurance for Professionals

It doesn’t matter how good you are at your job. Liability insurance for Austin professionals is a must. In general, these policies help reduce the financial risk you may have due to your business. Common business liability insurance policies you may need include:

  1. Cyber Liability: If customer or employee information is compromised due to a cyber breach, this policy would help recover said information and pay related costs. General liability is rarely enough to protect you from cyber-related risks.
  2. Excess Liability: This gap coverage helps provide the money for legal fees that your general liability may not cover. This is an important liability insurance for Austin professionals because it can help save thousands of dollars.
  3. Errors & Omissions: If your business or an employee is sued due to a failure to perform, this policy would cover fees incurred for civil defense and judgements. Typically, it wont help cover lawsuits due to criminal actions.
  4. Employment Practices Liability: Under certain circumstances, past, present or prospective employees may feel you discriminated against them. If they sue you, this liability policy will help pay the legal fees and may help deal with public relations issues.

If you’re in the market for liability insurance for Austin professionals, you should talk with an insurance expert. He or she will be able to help you get the policies you need.

Dangers from Salt, Sun, and Having a Pleasure Boat Insurance Program

As warmer climates approach us, those in the boat building industry might want to get ready for increased workloads. Many boat owners might wish to prepare their watercraft for the months ahead. Those who enjoy warm weather all year round also need to take proper care of their vessels, especially if left unused for long lengths of time.

There are dangers to consider, especially in tropical climates, which often pose severe threats to boats being stored in these areas as well. In order to protect your clients valuable assets, be sure that they’re taking advantage of a pleasure boat insurance program designed specifically for their needs.

Damage caused by salt can be quite severe

Salt exposure is unfortunately inevitable for boats. Salt is present in both the water and the air. One major concern is that salt attracts moisture, which leaves clothing and seat cushions susceptible to the growth of mold and mildew. Everything that is stored on the boat should be completely dried out before being put it into storage, and this is especially true for any equipment that is to remain on the vessel.

Make sure that they clear the decks and rinse all of the sails, allowing them to dry completely, and make any minor repairs to equipment, as this should be completed before storage, which often saves on time and money when it comes time to put them to use once more. The tropical sun can be quite damaging to items exposed for long periods of time, but they can protect any cordage and rigging (and don’t forget to have them rinse everything off with fresh water to help reduce the odds of salt build up).

Spraying bug repellent in high-traffic food areas (for example stoves and pantries) will help to ward off any unwanted insects and pests. Finally, they should place a bowl of boiling water inside the freezer will remove ice quite easily, avoiding the difficult task of scraping the ice off, just simply wait for the ice to melt. To rid the fridge of any odors, they should use white vinegar to wipe down the components.

If major damage does occur from salt and sun, or other elements, its good to have your clients enlist your services by asking you to provide them with a pleasure boat insurance program that addresses matters of this sort.

Fraudulent Claims and Insurance Agent Professional Liability

Insurance agents provide some very important work as professionals in the insurance industry, but they also face some ethical dilemmas in the course of their duties. Creating some of these dilemmas are the fiduciary responsibilities involved and any compensation received, in terms of commissions, to those agents.

 

The broker is most commonly the “agent” of the insured, in the principal/agent sense, and it is within this relationship that most claims arise against the broker. A broker can be sued for several reasons, including breach of contract, fraud or misrepresentation; but the most common assertion is generally for a breach of fiduciary duty.

 

By definition, a fiduciary is a person (or organization) in a position of financial trust. The public has both, the expectancy, and a need to know that the insurance industry will function in the capacity of a fiduciary and also act in the best interest of the insured.

Failing to do so could potentially result in a lawsuit and a need for insurance agent professional liability insurance to fight such a claim.

 

Concerns and dilemmas regarding this arrangement

 

Agents are expected to competently present the features of any policy they represent and find the policy and rates that best fit the needs of the insured. The insured may end up having “buyer’s remorse” when it comes to the policy they decide to purchase and may attempt to put fault with the broker for any number of reasons, whether or not they have merit, including charges of unethical behavior, failure to disclose certain information, or engaging in some form of illegal activities.

 

The agent therefore needs insurance agent professional liability coverage, and should also be documenting all contracts, agreements and transactions in writing. Under professional duty of care, agents are required to perform with “reasonable conduct,” which includes:

 

  • Securing the coverage sought by the insured within a reasonable period of time; if no coverage can be obtained, the broker must notify the insured

 

  • Notifying an insured if and when the requested coverage has been denied

 

  • Securing adequate coverage for the risk, assuming that the broker was given sufficient information to understand the amount needed

 

  • Placing coverage with a carrier that the broker knows or should have known to be financially stable, and

 

  • Notifying the insured of cancellation, expiration and renewal or non-renewal of a placed policy

 

Because there are so many situations where claims may arise, it is vital to secure professional liability coverage to protect against fraudulent claims.

 

photo credit: Stanislav Trifonov cc

Costly Mistakes and Insurance Agent Professional Liability Coverage

Everyone makes mistakes, and while we know that no one is perfect, some mistakes, which occur in life are at the hands of trusted professionals, such as insurance agents. When this does occur, it may lead to defense of a lawsuit by a client citing a costly omission, or misrepresentation of some type.

 

Often the error is slight and can be handled appropriately without litigation. But there are times when, whether intentionally or not, a client is the victim of negligence or a careless omission that causes them a serious financial loss. This is particularly the case when it comes to insurance coverage disputes and denied claims. This is when having professional liability coverage for the insurance agent can really be helpful.

 

Omissions and misrepresentations can be damaging to a reputation

 

For most agents, liability issues often are the result of simple mistakes and not intentional acts designed to hurt their clients. Other agent liability issues unfortunately arise from a deliberate action on the part of the agent. Some agents may knowingly sell a policy that includes unnecessary insurance or coverage not requested, or may make claims that they are offering a comprehensive policy without mentioning significant gaps in coverage or caps on recovery amounts. This can create tension, especially if there is a loss that is not covered, and may ultimately lead the customer to seek the advice of an attorney if the issue cannot be resolved in any other way.

 

After apprising the agent of his or her mistake, if a resolution can’t be reached (in some cases the agent will acknowledge their oversight when it is brought to their attention) then the customer may determine that this is a matter for the court to decide. Right or wrong, having insurance agent professional liability coverage will come in handy if the situation becomes a legal matter.

 

photo credit: Spyros Papaspyropoulos cc