Equifax Security Breach; 143 Million Impacted!

143 Million Impacted ;30 Lawsuits pending

It is going to get worse! Many #homepolices have #IdentityTheft protections. Call before you have a claim, 848-303-5973.  Most homeowner’s policies give the option of having Identity Theft Coverage up to $15,000 or more.

IDENTITY THEFT RESOLUTION SERVICE
If a member is a victim of identity theft, a fraud specialist, partnering with your Insurance Carrier, will assess the situation in detail and work closely with the member to resolve the identity theft crisis by:

  • Taking immediate protective measures to prevent the damage from spreading to other aspects of the member’s identity
  • Preparing notification materials
  • Coordinating communications with creditors, government agencies and law enforcement agencies
  •  Helping with the appropriate law enforcement agency to file a police report, as well as help organize information prior to filing the report
  •  Preparing and sending a copy of the Identity Theft Affidavit
  •  Offering the option of enrolling in added monitoring services to help track changes to the member’s identity, credit and account information
  •  Acting as the main source for questions, guidance, comfort, and helpful information regarding the status of the case
  •  Educating the member on additional steps to help avoid recurrence of identity theft in the future
  • Reimbursement for legal fees, lost wages for hearings, copies, mailings and many other features.

There is no way to prevent the threat of Identity Theft, but you can be prepared if it ever happens to you! Call 848-303-5973 (if viewing on mobile device) or email me at gonz@conoverbeyer.com, even to just verify you coverage.

Risk Management – Gonz 101

Insurance is an important aid to commerce, industry, and private citizens, alike. Every small business, large enterprise, or individual can develop a substantial number of risks and uncertainties throughout their life and growth cycles.

It may involve the risk to:

  1. a premises or home
  2. a plant, machinery, or automobiles
  3. raw materials or precious metals
  4. other tangible assets

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Property, goods and personal possessions may be damaged or destroyed due to:

  1. Lightning or fire
  2. Hail or windstorm
  3. Damage caused by aircraft
  4. Explosions
  5. Riots or civil disturbances
  6. Smoke damage
  7. Damage caused by vehicles
  8. Theft
  9. Vandalism
  10. Falling objects
  11. Volcanic eruption
  12. Damage from the weight of snow, ice, or sleet
  13. Water damage from plumbing, heating, or air conditioning overflow

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Many of these risks can be avoided by using industry proven techniques known as Risk Management.  The process of risk management includes the practice of identifying and analyzing your exposure to loss and taking steps to minimize these exposures to levels acceptable to your company or you personally.  This often involves methods or procedures that require direct insurance.

There are five basic types of risk management techniques that can be used to handle your exposures to loss.  These include:

  1. Loss Avoidance – This technique involves making a decision to not engage in any activities that expose you to losses you do not wish to assume.  Basically, this means you avoid or eliminate certain activities so that there is a zero chance of a loss occurring in conjunction with those activities.

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  1. Loss Prevention – This technique includes those steps taken to reduce the probability or frequency that loss will occur when engaging in a particular activity. Simply, prevention reduces the likelihood of a loss occurring, while still allowing you to engage in that activity.

    For example, developing a strict safety policy and enforcing a strict safety program that requires preventive maintenance and safety checks on machinery and vehicles helps reduce losses caused by defective and poorly maintained equipment.  Most companies have a safety policy, but results come from the enforcement of the safety program that supports that policy.

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  1. Loss Reduction – This technique tries to reduce the size and severity of a loss.

    For example, fire sprinkler and suppression systems reduce the size and severity of damage to your building and its contents if a fire loss were to occur. There is always tremendous liability associated with property fires.

FirePrevention

  1. Loss Retention – this technique deals with the percentage of loss, in dollars, you can retain without creating undue hardship.  In general, the larger the positive cash flow of both organizations or individuals, the larger the loss (or risk) they are able to assume.

    Deductibles are the simplest example of retaining risk. If you consistently have large cash reserves from income, it may be in your best interest to have a larger deductible, which reduces your annual insurance premium.  This means you may be responsible for the first $1000, $1500 or $2500 of damage to your insured property.  Your qualified insurance adviser helps analyze the cost savings, in premium, determining if there is a reasonable benefit to taking a larger deductible versus establishing a smaller deductible and retaining less risk.

Loss retention

  1. Transfer of Loss to Another – This final technique involves purchasing various insurance policies to cover your specific exposures to loss. This can also mean transference through indemnification or “hold harmless” provisions in a contract. This would include shifting a particular loss exposure to another party, as well as your assuming loss from another party, under the terms of a contract you enter into.

    The most common instances of hold harmless agreements are those used by General Contractors with their many subcontractors.  Subcontractors are subject to the General Contractors dictated limits of insurance that cover the potential losses due to accidents, shoddy workmanship, or unforeseen delays in completing their portion of a project. 

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These five principles of risk management are designed to employ the best methods possible to eliminate, prevent, reduce or transfer your risk exposure and avoid losses. Many risks can be avoided by implementing timely precautions, but some are just unavoidable, and beyond the control of a business or property owner. These unavoidable risks should be protected by insurance.

If your Risk Manager or Insurance agent isn’t talking to you about these principles of risk management, I am available to have that conversation with you to verify there aren’t gaps in your insurance portfolio. Get a “second look” for free.  I live insurance and believe in the work I do for my clients.  I’ll earn your trust, every step of the way!

Gonz  

Gonz@conoverbeyer.com, (848)303-5973.

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Next: Specialty coverages that can maintain your company’s solvency! 

“Life isn’t perfect…and Insurance is made specifically for those imperfect moments in life. My passion is preparing my clients for when those imperfect moments occur. They have the “Peace of Mind” that their assets are protected and that their lives will return to normal when the ‘Storm’ subsides.” Gonz

Gonz

Do you know what a home insurance inspector is looking for when they come to your home?

Insurance companies, generally, do an exterior inspection and/or an interior inspection of homes they insure within 15 days after the effective date of a new policy. Most homes only receive an exterior inspection. An Interior inspection is most often required when a home is 35-40+ years old or is valued over $750,000.  Exterior home inspections help protect insurance companies from having to pay for preexisting conditions not disclosed by the insured and identifies potential hazards and risk exposures the insurance company wants to be corrected . Interior inspections help identify the hazards and risk exposures present on the inside of older homes, verifies updates, and documents the quality of workmanship and material grades in “High Value” homes to help establish replacement cost.

An insurance inspection is also a useful tool to responsible homeowners.  It may identify specific areas of vulnerability that need to be corrected to prevent further decay, disrepair, and adverse conditions that may devalue your property.  Insurance companies always provide reports of the noted defects and give the insured sufficient time for remediation.

Here are some of the most common areas home insurance inspectors look when they come to your home:

Property Inspection Hazard Guide

Exterior Hazards 


Roof Hazards

  1. Major Hazards:
  • (3) or more layers present.  (2) or more layers present if the bottom layer is brittle and deteriorated.
  • Clumps of moss on the roof surface. Results in curling or lifting of shingles and negatively impact roof integrity and/or the ability to repair the roof.
  • Granule loss resulting in the exposed backing of shingle.
  • Lack of proper ventilation, resulting in buckling or decking.
  • Metal roofs with creases, allowing for pooling of water.
  • Missing shingles.
  • The presence of tar patches on non-flat roofs.
  • Sagging of flat roof. A significant amount of damaged / missing flashing.
  • Significant impact marks.
  • Significantly curled or split shingles. Excessive splitting of shingles down to nails (shingles in danger of detaching due to splitting).

     2. Minor Hazards

  • A couple of roof shingles throughout the roof are missing/broken/torn.
  • The presence of moss that is not causing other structural damage to the roof surface.
  • Sligh granule loss, impact marks.
  • Slightly curled or split shingles.

Liability Hazards

  • Aggressive dogs.
  • Business involving hazardous materials.
  • Swimming Pools:
    • (Inground): Yard or pool is not fully enclosed. Fence inadequate to prevent unwarranted entry. Pool entry gate does not have lock or latch. Drained pools not securely covered. Pool damaged (ex: damaged surrounding walkway or damaged fence)
    • (Above Ground): Pool entry not secured by a gate with lock/latch or if pool unfenced, does not have retractable ladder present. Pool damaged.
  • Trampoline without surrounding net or fenced yard.
  • Undisclosed business on premises.
  • Undisclosed horses or exotic animals.
  • An uneven walkway that is severe enough to create a trip hazard.

Interior Hazards

  1. Electrical System: 
  • Any disposable fuse electric service panel still in use or aluminum wiring in use.
  • Knob and tube wiring still in active use or unable to determine if active. Uncovered (open) junction boxes, and/or bare wire splices.
  • Loose, unsupported, damaged or improperly installed wiring.
  • Electrical panel not properly mounted.
  • Rust or corrosion on the electrical panel or other electrical components.
  • Exterior electric panel is not “weather tight”.

General Interior Conditions: 

  • Excessive clutter resulting in blocked access through the home
  • fire hazard
  • mold
  • framing damage
  • foundation damage

Heating System: 

  • No central heating system.
  • Dented, leaking or rusted fuel storage tank.
  • Improper installation of a permanent space heater or central heating unit electrical controls.
  • Missing burner panel cover, central heating unit not properly mounted.
  • Oil line buried or encased in concrete.
  • AC drain pan clogged/leaking in the attic.
  • Underground fuel storage tank (if not excluded in applicable states)

Plumbing System: 

The system is in poor condition if it meets one of the following criteria:

  • Galvanized steel/iron water supply lines in use.
  • Polybutylene water supply lines in use.
  • Evidence of water leak or damage.
  • Visual evidence of mold.
  • Fixtures or faucets damaged, leaking or missing.
  • Pipes not adequately supported.
  • Water heater damage.
  • Laundry washer hoses in poor condition.

Secondary Heating System:

  •  No UL label present.
  • The unit has not been professionally installed/inspected.
  • The unit used as primary heat source.

I hope the information I have provided is useful in helping you evaluate potential hazards and risk exposures in your home.  Plan your next project soon to help maintain or increase the value of one of your strongest assets! Feel free to contact me for additional information a guidance at gonz@conoverbeyer.com or (848)303-5973.

 

Happy Independence Day! Many have forgotten it’s true significance.

Independence Day, also referred to as the Fourth of July or July Fourth, is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.  (Wikipedia)

Most Americans don’t reflect on the true significance of “the 4th of July”.  I myself was reminded of it’s significance by my priest, Fr. David Stump, SJ, while exiting Mass.  I greeted him with the words “…have a happy 4th of July…”, upon which he immediately replied, “Ahhh…it’s Happy Independence Day!”.  I nodded and smiled, moving on my way with his words resonating in my head the whole afternoon; the same as with many of his lessons.  As the day progressed, all you could hear on the radio, and I imagine see on T.V., were advertisements from various companies (mostly car dealerships and furniture stores), for the “Great 4th of July Sale”, going on “NOW”, at a location near you!  Don’t get me wrong, new cars need to be insured or added too insurance policies and new furniture leads to increases in “personal property” values or the desire to have a better homeowners policy, which my industry benefits from greatly.  But many forget that the freedom to buy a new car or purchase land, homes and property was forged on July 4, 1776 at great personal cost to our first veterans, who helped separate thirteen colonies from British rule.

“During the American Revolution, the legal separation of the Thirteen Colonies from Great Britain in 1776 actually occurred on July 2, when the Second Continental Congress voted to approve a resolution of independence that had been proposed in June by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia declaring the United States independent from Great Britain rule.[5][6] After voting for independence, Congress turned its attention to the Declaration of Independence, a statement explaining this decision, which had been prepared by a Committee of Five, with Thomas Jefferson as its principal author. Congress debated and revised the wording of the Declaration, finally approving it two days later on July 4.” (Wikipedia)

Thanks for reading and feel free to share…

Photos from my trip up the Hudson to see the Macy’s fireworks:

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Travelers knows Cyber Risk; Conover Beyer Knows Travelers

CyberRisk Insurance
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