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Even the Cutest Dog Has a Nasty Bite

Nothing exemplifies “nasty bite” more than the dog you’re about to see in this video. Trust me, it’s worth watching the full 2:33. It gets really good at 1:30. Dog bites aren’t supposed to be funny, but this clip might be an exception

According to the Insurance Information Institute, dog bites accounted for $479 million in homeowners insurance liability claims paid out in 2011 in the United States. Unfortunately, dog bites are now the largest cause of Homeowners Insurance claims in the U.S.

Tips To Lessen Your Risk of Getting Bitten By A Dog

  • Never pet dogs without allowing them to smell you first.
  • Do not approach a dog that you do not know.
  • Do not turn your back to a dog and start to run away if you feel threatened, since their natural instinct is to chase and catch you.
  • Avoid disturbing a sleeping or eating dog, as it may bite out of fear.
  • Always leave dogs alone who are playing with toys or who are caring for their young.

Have you experienced a dog bite before?

JK

What To Do In the Event of An Insurance Claim

When you deal with an incident that gives rise to an insurance claim, it’s usually a pretty crappy situation. It can be stressful, terrifying, frightening, and alarming in many cases. First things first, try not to panic. Hopefully it’s an incident you carry insurance for to be protected.

Your insurance contract requires that you report all claims promptly. Contact your insurance carrier or broker as possible after a property, liability, worker’s comp or automobile claim. An insurance company claims adjuster will be assigned to handle your claim. You should then be able to deal directly with the adjuster to settle your claim, but your broker can be there with you to assist you along the way.

Here’s step-by-step suggestions on how you should handle property, liability, workers compensation, and auto insurance claims.

Property Claims

In the event of damage to your building or contents:

  1. Protect the property from further damage:
    • Call the proper authorities and utilities (gas, electric, telephone).
    • Take photos of the damage before having emergency repairs made, such as boarding up windows or covering holes in the roof.
  2. Call your insurance broker or carrier to report the loss.
  3. Call a contractor to estimate the building damages.
  4. Separate damaged contents from undamaged contents. Do not discard any items until the claims adjuster gives you the authority to do so.
  5. Keep records of expenses if you are forced to temporarily relocate your business.
  6. Do not authorize repairs until the claims adjuster has given you the authority to do so.

After the claim is reported to the insurance company, the claims adjuster will:

  1. Contact you by phone or mail to discuss the loss
  2. Arrange for an appraiser to inspect extensively damaged property
  3. Assist you with your choice of contractors to make the repairs
  4. Contact you for a settlement

Liability Claims

In the event of injuries or damage to property of others which you allegedly caused:

  1. Call your insurance broker or carrier to report the claim.
  2. Forward any correspondence, including a summons from an attorney representing the other party.
  3. Do not discuss the claim with the other party or their attorney. Refer them to your insurance company’s claims adjuster or to us.

After the claim is reported to the insurance company, the claims adjuster will:

  1. Contact you to discuss the incident that allegedly caused the injury or damage to the property
  2. Deal directly with the other party and/or attorney to handle the claim

Workers’ Compensation Claims

In the event an employee is injured on the job:

  1. Complete the Employer’s First Report of Injury or Disease form for all claims. Either use the “call in” reporting system or fax the original form to the insurance company.
  2. Forward a copy of the First Report to your broker in the event of a disabling injury or death claim. They should follow-up with the insurance company for their prompt handling of the claim.
  3. Contact the insurance company to question the status of a claim. If you experience delays or have questions, contact your broker for assistance.

After you report the claim to the insurance company, the claims adjuster will:

  1. Contact the injured employee to discuss the accident
  2. Request copies of bills and doctors’ reports for medical treatment administered
  3. Contact you, the employer, if there is any lost time from work as a result of the injury

Auto Insurance Claims

In the event of an automobile accident:

  1. Report the accident to the police.
  2. Obtain information about the other people involved in the accident such as:
    1. Names, addresses and phone numbers
    2. Insurance company
    3. Type of vehicle
    4. Auto and driver’s license numbers.
  3. Have your vehicle towed to the nearest repair shop if the vehicle is not drivable. Do not authorize repairs until the claims adjuster gives you the authority to do so.
  4. Call your insurance broker or carrier to report the accident.

In the event of a windshield, vandalism or theft loss:

  1. Report the vandalism loss or theft to the police.
  2. Call us to report a loss.

After the claim is reported to the insurance company, the claims adjuster will:

  1. Contact you to request details of the accident and repair estimates
  2. Arrange for an appraiser to inspect the damages of vehicles that are not drivable or extensively damaged
    1. Contact you for a settlement
    2. Deal directly with the others involved in the accident

You should not talk to others involved in the accident, but refer them to your claims adjuster.

-JK

Source: Zywave, Inc.

Video – Car Crashing into House

Stupidity of others is up there on the list of reasons why you should carry home and auto insurance.

You might wonder sometimes why you ever carry home and auto insurance. “It can never happen to me” right?

Perhaps…until this guy comes driving down your block

Need a review of your home, auto, or renters insurance policies?

Call me! I can do that too.

-JK

Soooo…. I’ll Never Drive Behind A Big Rig Ever Again

Watch this video and you’ll be thinking a lot differently about your commute home tonight!

Most underride guards fail to stop deadly crashes

-JK

Small Business Insurance with The Hartford

Working as a broker, I work with a lot of different carriers on behalf of my clients to place their business insurance. One of the major carriers that I work with is The Hartford, an AM Best A (Excellent) XV ($2B or Greater Financial Size) rated carrier. The Hartford’s a great carrier to work with if you have a small business.

Interested in what they have to offer? Contact me anytime to discuss. Maybe we can find you something competitive backed by great coverage.

Here’s a new  video featuring their focus on small businesses insurance.

-JK

General Liability Insurance: Avoid Winter Slip-Ups

Here’s a general liability insurance claim waiting to happen. Check out this video…..8 minutes of people falling over the same patch of ice. It’s actually pretty entertaining.

The winter months bring general liability insurance hazards that are typically not factors for during warmer weather – especially, slip and fall hazards. With snow and ice-covered conditions, you run the risk of taking major spills.

Consider the following recommendations to prevent slip and fall injuries during the winter months

  • Wear the proper footwear that provides traction on snow and ice. Footwear should be made of anti-slip material; avoid plastic and leather-soled shoes or boots.
  • Be cautious when entering and exiting vehicles, and use the vehicle for balance and support.
  • Try to walk only in designated areas that are safe for foot traffic. If you notice that a walkway is covered in ice, walk on the grass next to the sidewalk, which will have more traction.
  • Avoid inclines that are typically difficult to walk up or down as they may be more treacherous in winter conditions.
  • Take small steps to maintain your center of balance, walk slowly and never run. When possible, walk with your hands free to maintain your balance. And despite the cold temperatures, avoid putting your hands in your pockets. This will help you better maintain your balance and allow you to break a fall should you slip.
  • Use handrails, walls or anything stationary to assist in steadying your feet.
  • Look ahead to the path in front of you to avoid hazards.
  • Test a potentially slippery area before stepping on it by tapping your foot on the surface first.
  • Remove debris, water and ice from all working walkways.
  • Steer clear of roof edges, floor openings and other drop-offs to avoid slipping hazards.
  • Sand or salt surfaces covered by ice or snow to provide traction.
  • Dry your shoes or boots on floor mats when entering a building.
  • If you’re at work, report trip and fall hazards immediately to your supervisor.

-JK

Source: Zywave

CA Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act (Senate Bill 183)

Pay close attention if you own an apartment building or dwelling.

Effective January 1, 2013 building owners of dwellings will be required to install and maintain carbon monoxide detectors, in addition to smoke detectors.

The law is called the “Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act”, California Senate Bill 183. It requires building owners to install and maintain carbon monoxide (“CO”) detectors in all dwelling units before January 1, 2013. Such devices must be designed to detect carbon monoxide and to sound an alarm. They must be installed outside each sleeping area or bedroom and each level of every unit and would require that the devices be operable at the time the tenant takes possession of the unit.

Senate Bill 183 requires a tenant to notify the landlord if the tenant becomes aware that the device is inoperable or deficient and would require the landlord to correct the reported inoperability or deficiency. A landlord is not in violation if he/she has not received the notification from the tenant.

The new law does not eliminate the requirement for smoke detectors; that is, both smoke detection and carbon monoxide detection devices are required.

Information is available on the internet regarding the new law, and you can see the actual law HERE.

If you haven’t already done so, it is suggested that you install carbon monoxide detectors as soon as possible to your building if you own one. These detectors are readily available at many local retail outlets and internet sellers.

-JK

10 Good Questions To Ask About Business Auto Insurance

On any given workday, you may have employees on the road operating a variety of vehicles. Whether you provide company vehicles or your employees use their own vehicles, commercial auto insurance is a must.

Commercial/ business auto insurance provides coverage for cars, trucks and vans used by you or your employees for business purposes. Your business vehicles are not covered by your businessowners policy or personal auto insurance, so you must buy a separate policy.

When shopping for the right coverage for your business, here are ten good questions to ask about business auto insurance:

1. Is coverage mandatory for a business that uses vehicles?

Yes. Just like with personal auto insurance, it’s against the law to drive a vehicle without insurance to cover injuries or damage to others that an employee causes as a result of a car accident.

2. Is Business Auto Insurance better than Personal Insurance?

Business Auto coverage is similar to the coverage you may carry on your personal auto policy; however, business auto exposures can be more complex requiring specialty coverages to be considered based on individual business needs.

3. How do I find out about what’s out there?

The most effective way to compare rates and coverage available to you is through an independent agent or broker. They should be able to point you to the right type of policy based on the type of business you have and how you use your vehicles.

 4. What can I do to influence the premium I pay?

The best ways to keep rates down is to make sure that you’re a safe driver, hire and employ safe drivers and use less expensive vehicles for your business.

5. What factors impact the premium I pay for Business Auto Insurance?

Insurance premiums can be affected by everything from the type of business you operate, to the type of vehicles you own; to the radius you operate your business in, and the driving records of yourself and your employees.

6. What is the reputation of the insurance company?

Make sure you do the research before moving forward with a Business Auto policy. Ask your insurance representative or go online to answer questions like — Do they have a long history? Are they reputable? Do they know your business?

7. What extra benefits are added onto the policy without additional cost?

Every insurance company is different. So make sure to ask about extra benefits when shopping around, because they could prove useful when an accident happens and save you money in the long run.

8. Does coverage vary state to state?

It definitely can. Each state has its own rules and regulations that can affect rates and types of coverage that an insurance carrier can make available to your business.

9. Are all my employees covered by my Business Insurance policy?

They should be, but there are exceptions. This is a very important question to ask when you’re shopping around for the best Business Auto policy.

10. How does the claims process work?

The process usually includes reporting an accident to both the police and your insurance company, assessing the damage, and working with a claims handler. When selecting an insurance carrier, be sure to ask about any benefits they offer in the event of an accident, like a network of repair shops where the work is guaranteed as long as the vehicle is leased or owned.

Source: The Hartford 

What If I Have Trouble Finding Insurance for My Business?

In most cases businesses can obtain insurance in the standard insurance market with the help of a licensed and qualified insurance broker. However, if your business has experienced significant losses, your business is considered to be engaged in high-risk operations (with a greater chance of claims frequency or severity), or you have recently started your business, you may not be able to locate insurance in the standard commercial insurance market. You do have options, however, in securing commercial insurance elsewhere.

Surplus Lines Insurance

When an insurance broker is marketing your insurance coverage and has had applications declined from three licensed commercial insurance carriers, they can proceed to obtain insurance from the “surplus lines market.” Sometimes referred to as the “non-admitted” market, surplus line companies offer insurance to businesses that cannot obtain insurance in the standard insurance market. While these companies are not licensed by the California Department of Insurance (CDI), they do have to go through an approval process that includes providing evidence of minimum capital and other strict requirements. When these requirements have been met to the CDI’s satisfaction, the CDI may approve the company to conduct business in California and add them to the List of Approved Surplus Line Insurers.

A surplus line company can only be accessed through a specially licensed broker, also referred to as a wholesaler. The broker must have a surplus line license issued by the CDI in order to sell surplus line insurance. Before purchasing insurance from a surplus line insurance company, your insurance broker must provide you with a disclosure that the insurance you are buying is being issued from a surplus line company.

Although surplus line insurers must follow the Fair Claims Settlement Practices Regulations (regulations that govern how insurers handle claims), the CDI has limited jurisdiction over the operation of surplus line insurers. If the carrier becomes insolvent (goes bankrupt), your only course of action will be through the courts. The California Insurance Guarantee Association (CIGA), which protects claims with admitted insurers, does not apply to surplus line insurers. All insurance brokers should be able to supply information on the financial solvency of any surplus line company that it represents. There are independent rating organizations that analyze insurance company solvency such as A.M. Best Company.

Most states identify the standard lines insurance companies as “admitted,” “licensed” or “standard” and the excess and surplus lines insurance companies as “non-admitted,” “unlicensed” or “non-standard.” However, these terms tend to reflect a negative connotation in regards to the strength and security of a surplus lines insurer. The fact of the matter is, most states require surplus lines insurance companies to maintain higher minimum capital levels than they require admitted markets to carry. Just because a carrier isn’t licensed or admitted in the state of CA, don’t assume they’re inferior. Plenty of established businesses secure their insurance coverage through the surplus lines insurance market.

It’s safe to assume a ladder manufacturer secures their insurance from a surplus lines insurance carrier:

JK

1985 Product Liability Insurance

I’ve been in the insurance industry just short of five years now helping business owners with their insurance needs. If I could turn back the clock 27 years, it would be a dream for me to write product liability insurance for this awesome product, the music vest. Treat your eyes to this gem:

JK

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