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Inflation: A Pickle for Property Insurance

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All of us are feeling the grip of inflation. Building materials costs have spiked over the last 2 years. Supply chain disruptions and labor shortages are causing major delays in construction projects. As a result, it now costs more to rebuild your home than it did before.    When was the last time that you checked your policy limits? Are they high enough to cover a 26% increase in building costs? If not, then you have to pay the difference out of pocket.   Hanover Insurance Company shared some of the numbers behind inflation in a recent  post .  They recommend that policyholders consider   Increasing coverage to avoid potential gaps in the current market Include the cost of any recent renovations in your policy limits Consider higher deductibles to help offset the cost of policy limit increases   The insurance industry is working to help policyholders stay ahead of the curve. Many carriers are running Replacement Cost Estimates on covered properties and adjusting property limits as nee

Train and Prepare Your Employees to Stay Safe in The Heat

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The health and safety of your employees should be one of your biggest concerns when they are working outside in this summer heat. There are many things you as an employer can do to help prevent any incidents caused by the heat. Listed below are a few ways you can keep your employees safe out in the heat.  • Provide access to water, rest and shade.  • Schedule jobs to allow for rest or rotation of your employees. • Schedule more physically demanding tasks during cooler times of the day. • Train your employees to recognize heat illness symptoms and take preventative measures throughout the work day. • Require employees to wear breathable, light clothing. • Create and maintain an emergency action plan for heat emergencies. Communicate the plan to your employees. • Provide first-aid training to your employees for heat emergencies. Learn more about heat safety at  http://blog.buildersmutual.com/can-you-take-the-heat . These tips are provided by OSHA and Builder's Mutual,   www.buildersm

Why are MY rates going up if I don't have claims?

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Auto insurance rates have been climbing in recent years. Accidents have increased as more of us are back on the road. Cars and trucks are more expensive to fix Repairs are taking longer, and replacement parts are scarce due to supply chain disruptions. Analysts forecast these trends will continue into 2023. Below is a graphic from Travelers Insurance that explains the factors driving auto rate increases.   Here are  a  few suggestions to help offset rate increases:   1. Consider increasing your Comprehensive and Collision deductibles 2. Bundle your Auto with other policies to maximize policy discounts 3. Check your policy to make sure your vehicle usage information is up to date 4. Watch your drivers. Enroll them in a defensive driving course to educate them about dangerous driving habits and hopefully prevent future claims.   Feel free to chat with our team here at Brock-Norton if you have questions. We are here to help!

Retinas, Faces and Fingers OH MY! What Biometric Privacy laws mean for your business.

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I n an increasingly digital world, we are more cognizant than ever of the need to protect our personal information. We place credit freezes on our cards and encrypt our Apple watches.  Business owners that collect PII and PHI (Personally Identifiable and Protected Heath Information) face serious liability risks if they don’t properly secure it. Now, the stakes are even higher as PHI also includes Biometric information such as retina scans, fingerprints, and facial features.   In 2008, Illinois became the first state to enact laws protecting the privacy of biometric data. Other states such as Washington, Texas and Virginia are introducing laws to govern this data, and Federal legislation may follow soon as well.  In the meantime, insurance carriers have been silently crafting BIPA exclusions to scale back the broad coverage provided in cyber policies. So where does this leave the business owner in the event of a suit? You guessed it, holding the bag.  In 2020, Facebook agreed to a $650

Rideshare Insurance

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    If you drive for a rideshare company, you already have auto insurance. But are you certain you’re covered while working? Most drivers assume that they are. After all, both Uber and Lyft have insurance plans as a part of the package. But there may be big gaps in your coverage that you aren’t aware of - especially if you still have your personal auto policy and not a commercial auto policy. Here’s what to look for: When does coverage start?  -  Check your rideshare company to see when coverage starts. If it is only when your ride starts, you could have a gap when driving to a pick-up. What does your auto policy cover?  -  Does your policy cover driving for work? A claim could be denied if you are using your personal car for work. Is a hybrid policy right for you?  - Some carriers have new add-ons for rideshare to cover your drives while picking up and dropping off riders. Can you risk it?  - It is cheaper to pay for more insurance than risking an accident on the job. Talking to an ag

DON’T GET STRANDED OUT IN THE COLD AND SNOW!

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Winter weather could leave you stranded. In recent years, many areas of the country have been hit with some heavy snow and ice storms – sometimes unexpectedly. Take the example of I-95 in Virginia earlier in January 2022. People were stuck on I-95 for 36 hours. Most people did not have the proper supplies ready to help them during that scary situation. Winter car emergency kits are important to keep handy for these situations. Kits should be well-stocked with a mixture of first aid supplies, utility tools, and non-perishable foods. These kits should be kept on a location that is easily accessible from the driver’s seat, so you are ready when and if you find yourself in a situation caused by bad winter weather. Be sure to check them every six months and remove expired items.  We here at Brock-Norton Insurance Agency have compiled a winter vehicle car kit checklist to help you prepare for wintry weather travel. You probably already have a few of the items in this check list in your garag