Monitor Your Employees as You Would Your Kids

“Employees who act out often need some one-on-one attention”

It became obvious that this division needed another team member. The revenue generated by the division warranted another part-time employee who could also help with another division.

This Friday, both Sally and Brenda will be in one of our offices together, reviewing workflows while informing each other of their own workflow and software tricks.

We will eventually regroup and have a “family meeting” to share our plans of adding another team member, which will help Sally and Brenda focus on their best skills: customer service.

We’ll be moving the rating and processing functions to our new employee, mirroring what we do in our other divisions.

Our agency has found that the more we treat your employees like family members, the more they reciprocate with quality work and a positive attitude.

As with your family, not everyone will be happy all the time. Keep an eye out for changing behaviors and address them as soon as reasonably possible.

Missouri Home Insurance- Protect Your Home While On Vacation

We are in the heart of Vacation time. The kids are out of school and many Missouri Families are heading out to see the world. Protect your Missouri home while away on vacation by following a few safeguards.

•Before you leave for vacation is to make sure your auto, homeowners and health policies are in force and correct. If something happens while your away, you want to make sure you are covered.
•Store all you valuables so they are not in your house ready for the taking

•Leave a key, your itinerary, and your alarm code with a neighbor, friend or relative while your away and ask them to take in any newspapers, mail and other deliveries.

•Make sure your alarm is in working order and your alarm company knows your contact person while you are away.

•Make sure you lock all doors and windows including the garage, and second floor windows.

•Disconnect all electrical appliances and lower air conditioning units to energy-saving levels.

•Leave window shades and draperies in their usual positions and make sure you do not close them on the street side of the house.

•Put your lights on automatic timer so they are on each evening.

•Park a car or have a neighbor park their car in your driveway to keep the illusion that you are home.

•Never publicize that you will be away on social media like Facebook and Google+. A friend of a friend might not be so friendly to you and could plan to break into your house during your vacation. Try to resist posting photos and confirming that you are away on vacation- wait til you get back to start your conversation.

What Amount of Renters Insurance Coverage Do I Need?

When you shop around and get some bids for renters insurance, they might come in with different coverage amounts and different premiums. It can seem challenging to read and understand the basics of the policy to ensure you have the proper coverage, but it’s actually easier than you may think. Learn how to dissect your policy so that you can make the best decision for your circumstances.

How much coverage you need is actually a multi-pronged question because in your policy, you get several different types of coverage. Those types cover different situations and perils (or losses) that could occur and cost you money. Here are the general categories of coverage that are included in a standard renter’s policy.
Personal Property. This covers the cost to replace your clothes, furniture, electronics, and all your other personal property items.
Loss of Use. This covers your living expenses if your rental unit is uninhabitable. This includes items like hotel costs, food, and other costs incurred as a result of your being displaced from your rental unit.
Liability. This covers if you are sued by another party that is financially injured as a result of the peril that occurred related to your home.
Medical of Others. This covers the medical costs of others who were on your property with your permission.

Each one of the above categories will have a maximum amount of coverage that the policy will pay in case there is a loss, so let’s discuss how much coverage you may need for all of them.

Personal Property – A typical renter may have $15,000 to $25,000 in personal property, but of course, that depends on the renter. For example, if you are a management consultant renting a second residence in New York City, and you have expensive clothing, extensive electronics, high end furniture, and so on, you could easily have $50,000 to $100,000 worth of personal property in your rental unit. This means you need to think through how much coverage you really need in case a fire destroys all your belongings. And if you have expensive artwork or antiques with high values and want them to be covered, you need to discuss that with your agent to make sure you are paying for the appropriate amount of insurance. If you don’t have the right insurance, you’ll be out of luck if there is a loss.

Loss of Use – This is pretty straightforward to determine because if there is a loss, your insurance agent and/or an adjuster will review your current rental amount and lifestyle and that will form the basis for what coverage you need. The insurance agent can go over this with you as well as any other options you may have for extra coverage.

Liability – This is a more important one to think through and consider because there are some important options here. A normal renters insurance policy might have $25,000 of liability coverage, according to the Texas Department of Insurance , but that might not be near enough. As you get wealthier and/or if you have a higher paying job, that increases the risk that you might be sued if, for example, someone slips and falls while visiting your home.

If you do get sued, $25,000 is not enough coverage. That won’t even cover your own lawyer’s bills at $350 an hour! A typical homeowners policy has $100,000 to $300,000 in liability coverage. Many people get an excess liability policy, called an Umbrella Policy, that bumps that coverage to over $1,000,000. And this is only about $250 per year, so if you have some assets and/or a good job, it’d be in your best interest to get an Umbrella Policy.

Medical of Others – This is usually governed by a standard amount of coverage that the insurance carrier offers. And that standard amount is probably fine because they’ve looked at their past claims and determined the most sufficient amount to cover most situations. Talk to your agent about this issue and make the best choice for yourself.

In thinking through how much coverage you need, the most important items are to make sure you have enough coverage in place for your personal property and for liability protection in case you get sued. It’s really not very expensive on an annual basis to have a little extra protection to ensure you are properly covered. So review your existing policy, your situation and belongings, and get the right coverage that fits for your life’s circumstances.

Find Your Hazards

Everyone knows that business insurance is certainly not a one-size-fits-all solution. It’s hard for many business owners to actually provide a targeted estimate of what kinds of specific coverage they need for any kind of complex operations. Insurance companies will often meet a businesses halfway in coming up with calculations that work, but a better and more detailed knowledge of what’s currently going on will help those who have to negotiate and sign onto new business insurance policies.
Keeping Current On Operations

Businesses that have more than one location or more than one corporate vehicle may need to do more research in figuring out what’s in use when a policy is written. It may be that a previously used building is sitting empty or there are fewer drivers on the road than there used to be. Understanding these current needs will help write a policy that’s more effective and less bloated by extra premium costs.

Assess Operations for Likely Liabilities

Another way to get more proactive about writing business insurance is by taking a closer look at everything that happens on a daily basis and evaluating where there may be a coverage gap. For example, the business may not need more security insurance, if workers already operate in a controlled environment, but they may need more kinds of worker coverage for tougher or more dangerous jobs. Even seasonal or climate changes can make some jobs more difficult, with heat stress or seasonal storm risks creating business hazards. In addition, businesses have to look at the vast range of areas where lawsuits may be involved in order to get coverage that won’t leave them exposed if some legal challenge comes up.

Utilizing Government Regulations

Many business owners don’t like to think about OSHA rules or other regulations, but looking at these kinds of laws also provides relevant guidelines for writing business insurance. Of course, all business operations should be compliant. Along with compliance, though, business owners can look at the types of dangers that are covered in OSHA regulations in order to understand how a certain industry may need its own insurance coverage, not to use insurance as an alternative to safety, but again, to get more exact coverage that fits the needs of the business.

These strategies can help a business save money on insurance costs, while giving leaders a better idea of how business processes are working and whether they are as efficient as they should be.

Why Did My Home Owner’s Insurance Go Up?

Homeowner’s insurance provides coverage for your house and contents. In states like Texas, homeowner’s coverage starts high and goes higher. Texas had the highest homeowner’s insurance in the nation in 2010, according to Shawn Nordstrom in a November 2010 article at Live Insurance News. States regulate homeowner’s insurance, approving the policy language and rates. One solution to rate increases suggested by Forbes.com and similar money-management websites is to shop around for your homeowner’s coverage. High price does not necessarily give you better insurance.

Type of Policy

Homeowner’s insurance comes in three basic types. HO-1 is too basic, and some states and companies no longer use the form. It covers 11 items or perils and no others. HO-2 includes the 11 basic perils and 6 more for a total of 17 perils. HO-3 provides better coverage for the home and contents and is more expensive than the HO-2. HO-3 covers 17 perils and any others it does not specifically exclude. Exclusions might include flood, earthquake, war and nuclear accident. Some states use variants of these numbers, with form policies approved by the state insurance commission. The more inclusive the policy, the more it costs.

Risk Factors

Your homeowner’s policy costs will go up based on certain risk factors. Premium calculations are based on location, sometimes down to the county or city, and the distance from a fire hydrant. So, if those risk factors changed in the past year, you could see a premium hike. The Federal Trade Commission reports that auto and homeowner’s insurers use credit scores for determining insurance costs too, because better credit scores represent more stability and less risk, according to Realtor.com. If your credit scores have decreased, your homeowner’s insurance premium may increase.