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Do You Have the Right Coverage for Your Jewelry?

February 28, 2015
Linda Robertson Platinum Accounts Executive

Linda Robertson
Platinum Accounts Executive

Some great advice from our friends at Chubb Insurance

Even if you have just one valuable piece of jewelry, you need to consider whether or not you have the right kind of jewelry insurance and the right amount of coverage. According to Chubb Personal Insurance, $1.5 billion in jewelry is either lost or stolen every year in North America. While your jewelry may be just a sliver of that amount, it likely holds both financial and great sentimental value for you, and losing it to theft or some other type of loss would be devastating. Unfortunately, most people will find that their jewelry is either uninsured or underinsured because they don’t understand how personal property coverage works, and they believe some of the myths that are out there about jewelry coverage.

Common Myths About Jewelry InsuranceiStock_000007704970XSmall

If you think you have all the jewelry coverage you need under your homeowners insurance policy, you could be wrong. While your home insurance policy does provide jewelry coverage, it is likely quite limited.

Most insurance companies limit jewelry coverage to $1,000 – $5,000 after your deductible. In addition, this coverage only applies if the jewelry is lost due to a specific “covered peril” outlined in the policy.

  • If your jewelry is damaged or lost accidentally, you likely have zero coverage.
  • If you think jewelry insurance is too expensive, you should think again. It is far less expensive to properly insure your valuable pieces than it would be to replace one of them if it were lost.
  • If you think obtaining jewelry appraisals is time-consuming and not worth the effort, wrong again. We can help guide you through the appraisal process and make sure that you understand its importance in making sure your items are neither under- nor over-insured.
  • Last, if you think you don’t need special jewelry coverage because your home is safe, you may be in for a rude awakening. You cannot protect your home and belongings under every circumstance, even if you have a home security system.
  • And adding special jewelry coverage protects your jewelry when it is outside of your home, with better coverage limits and all-risk coverage that is not subject to your deductible.

How Can You Purchase Additional Jewelry Coverage?  You can increase the coverage limits on your valuable jewelry in two ways.

  1. You can increase the “special limits of liability” for the jewelry category of your homeowners insurance policy. This increase in your jewelry “blanket coverage” will provide a higher overall coverage limit for all of your jewelry.
  2. If increasing your blanket jewelry is not the right option for you, you can add a scheduled personal property rider to your home insurance policy. This will increase the individual coverage limit on specified items, and it will provide all-risk coverage for those items. This means that the scheduled items will be covered for accidental loss outside of the home, damage and many other potential risks.

What Can You Do To Better Protect Your Jewelry From Loss?

Besides insurance coverage, it is important to protect your jewelry from loss at all times.

Here are some tips for protecting your jewelry at home. Invest in a home security system. This will help secure all of your personal property as well as make you eligible for an additional discount on your home insurance rates. Store your jewelry in a safe place, such as a safe in your home or in a safe deposit box at a bank. Prepare a detailed inventory of your valuables. Include the date you purchased each item, how much you paid for it and where it was purchased. Keep any other pertinent information as well, such as receipts and a photo. Store your inventory in a safe place away from home. Get appraisals. Only a proper professional appraisal can provide you with the true value of your items and how much insurance coverage you need.

For more information about Jewelry coverage – give me a call!

Linda Robertson

Platinum Accounts Executive – Founders Insurance Group

lrobertson@foundersgrp.com   860-435-2507

Important Information about the Anthem Cyber Breach

February 7, 2015

Anthem Cyber Attack Information:

Anthem was the target of a very sophisticated external cyber attack.

These cyber attackers gained unauthorized access to Anthem’s Information Technology (IT) system and have obtained personal information from its current and former members such as their names, birthdays, member health ID numbers/Social Security numbers, street addresses, email addresses and employment information, including income data.

Anthem’s investigation to date indicates there is no evidence that credit card or medical information, such as claims, test results, or diagnostic codes were targeted or compromised.

Once the attack was discovered, Anthem immediately made every effort to close the security vulnerability, contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and began fully cooperating with their investigation. Anthem has also retained Mandiant, one of the world’s leading cybersecurity firms, to provide incident response and security assessment services.

Anthem is not aware of any fraud that has occurred as a result of this incident against its members, but all impacted members will be enrolled in identity repair services. In addition, impacted members will be provided information on how to enroll in free credit monitoring.

Anthem has created a dedicated website (www.AnthemFacts.com) where you and other members can access information such as frequently asked questions and answers and a telephone number that members can call 1-877-263-7995.

FAQ

Was my information accessed?

Anthem is currently conducting an extensive IT forensic investigation to determine what members are impacted. The Anthem teams are working around the clock to determine how many people have been impacted and will notify all Anthem members who are impacted through a written communication.

What information was compromised?

Anthem’s Initial investigation indicates that the member data accessed included names, dates of birth, member health ID numbers/Social Security numbers, addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses and employment information including income data.

Was there any diagnosis or treatment data exposed?

Anthem’s investigation to date indicates there is no evidence that medical information, such as claims, test results, or diagnostic codes were targeted or compromised.

Was my credit card information accessed?

Anthem’s investigation to date indicates there is no evidence that credit card information was compromised.

Do the people who accessed my information have my Social Security number?

Anthem’s investigation to date indicates that the information accessed included names, dates of birth, member health ID numbers/Social Security numbers, street addresses, email addresses and employment information. Anthem is working to determine whose Social Security numbers were accessed.

How can I sign up for credit monitoring services?

All impacted members will receive notice via mail which will advise them of the protections being offered to them as well as any next steps.

When will I receive my letter in the mail?

We continue working to identify the members who are impacted. We expect the mailing of letters to begin in the next two weeks.

My children are on my insurance plan, was their information also accessed?

Anthem is currently conducting an extensive IT forensic investigation to determine which members are impacted; however, adults and children were impacted.

Do the people who accessed my information know about my medical history?

Our investigation to date indicates there was no diagnosis or treatment data exposed.

Do the people who accessed my information have my credit card numbers and banking information?

No, the investigation to date indicates that information accessed did not include credit card numbers, banking or other financial information.

Has anyone used my information yet?

We are not aware of any fraud that has occurred as a result of this incident against our members.

Am I at risk for identity theft?

Anthem is currently conducting an extensive IT forensic investigation to determine which members are impacted. We are not aware of any fraud that has occurred as a result of this incident against our members, but all impacted members will be enrolled in identity repair services. In addition, impacted members will be provided information on how to enroll in free credit monitoring.

Do I need a new member ID card and number?

Anthem is working around the clock to determine how many people have been impacted and will notify all who are impacted. Anthem will provide further guidance on next steps.

How can I be sure my personal and health information is safe with Anthem, Inc.?

Safeguarding its members’ personal, financial and medical information is a top priority for Anthem, and because of that, they have a state-of-the-art information security system to protect the data.

Anthem has contracted with Mandiant – a global company specializing in the investigation and resolution of cyber attacks. Anthem will work with Mandiant to ensure there are no further vulnerabilities and work to strengthen security.

What is Anthem doing to help members potentially affected by this incident?

All impacted members will be enrolled in identity repair services. In addition, impacted members will be provided information on how to enroll in free credit monitoring.

Where is the data now? And who can access my information?

Evidence indicates that the data was uploaded to an external file sharing service. This file sharing service, at Anthem’s request, has locked down the account and data so that it cannot be copied, accessed or removed. Anthem and the FBI are working with the file sharing service to access the data and further secure it.

Michael Noddin

Benefits Manager

mnoddin@foundersgrp.com

4 Ways to Ease the Strain of Employee Injuries in the Health Care Industry.

February 3, 2015

Back-Pain-ManWorkers’ Compensation claims in the health care industry can get costly.  Due to the high physical demands put on the health care professionals by clients – musculoskeletal disorders, or MSD’s, are the leading cause of claims, especially in the home health care and nursing home sectors.

MSD’s can be classified as any injury or strain to tendons, muscles, bones, cartilage, bones, nerves or joints  caused or aggravated by tasks such as pulling, pushing and/or lifting.

 

According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) – nursing aides, orderlies and attendants had the highest rate of MSDs with more than 7 times the average rate for other industries.

Help your employees reduce the risk of an MSD injury by:

  1. Have ongoing ergonomic training for your employees – especially office staff to avoid things such as neck and wrist strain.
  2. Have the proper equipment for your team including but not limited to lifting devices, adjustable beds, raised toilets and proper grab bars in showers as to alleviate and/or avoid employee lift assistance.  Manual lifting should be minimized in all cases and eliminated when feasible.
  3. Already have proper equipment? Great!  Don’t assume your staff is using the proper form.   Many back strains can occur from twisting motions when helping patients transfer from bed to chair and other like movements.
  4. Catch it quickly. Injuries will to happen in even the best run institutions!  The key to managing your Workers’ Compensation losses is to insure employees are notifying you of any injuries immediately.  Next – keep the lines of communication open between the injured employee, your HR Team and health care providers.  Getting that employee the proper care and back to work as soon as possible is vital!

MSD’s can be very costly for your healthcare organization – open communication and training with your staff can help you have a safe and happy work place in 2015!

Adam Winters Commercial Lines Account Manager Founders Insurance Group

Adam Winters
Commercial Lines Account Manager
Founders Insurance Group

 

Adam Winters

Commercial Lines Account Manager

Founders Insurance Group

www.foundersgrp.com

awinters@foundersgrp.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New York City Condo & Co-op Insurance Checklist.

January 26, 2015

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Most mortgage brokers and banks require a homeowner to carry property and liability insurance on their homes – this includes your New York City Condo or Co-op.  Because this insurance often gets quite confusing we’ve developed an easy checklist for your to follow!

  1. Know thy Master Policy. You can’t assume anything when it comes to protecting your assets and that includes what your homeowners association or co-op board has agreed to for insurance coverage!  Most owners are responsible for everything from the “walls in” and “concrete floors up” – but each policy is different.  You don’t want to be caught without coverage and you surely don’t want to double insure!  Best bet – get a copy of the master policy and let us review it.
  2. What does your building require for liability coverage? Depending on the building, it can range from $300,000 up into the millions.  Your building board or governance should be able to tell you exactly what they require.
  3. What about outside of your unit – such as storage areas or items in common areas? Again, look at your agreement it should tell you if items stored in these areas are covered under the master policy or if you will need to insure them.  When in doubt – insure on your own.
  4. Document everything …with pictures! This goes for any homeowner.  Spend picjumbo.com_IMG_7446a couple of hours and take pictures of not only your personal items, artwork & jewelry but of every room in your home including the details. Did you just spend $50,000 to upgrade your kitchen – we want pictures!  Take this inventory and store it in the cloud – or on a flash drive in your bank’s fire safe deposit box.
  5. Does your mortgage broker require any type of minimum insurance? Most carriers will require you to insure to value anyway, but crossing all your t’s and dotting your I’s can’t hurt.
  6. Did you just buy? Are you doing renovations?  What you just bought and what it will be when you are done adding some pizzazz are two completely different things!  Make sure to share your fabulous plans with your Founders Agent – we can make sure you have the proper endorsements or even a different type of policy until your renovations are completed.
  7. Loss Assessments – We always suggest maxing out this coverage. Loss Assessment coverage will protect you if your condo/co-op association has to cover a large deductible or major assessment has to come back to the owners of the property. Trust us, you want this coverage!  Think heavy snow and roof collapse or flooding….it can add up quickly!
  8. Discounts – having all your insurance with one agent has some distinct advantages, we can identify any type of multiple policy discounts that could save you some serious money!
  9. Loss of Use – this coverage will protect you if you have to find alternate or temporary accommodations due to a loss. Some carriers have unlimited coverage or Actual Loss Sustained.

It is complicated, but I’m here to help in any way possible!

Linda Robertson Platinum Accounts Executive

Linda Robertson
Platinum Accounts Executive

Linda Robertson

Platinum Accounts Specialist

lrobertson@foundersgrp.com

860-435-2507

The Construction Industry is BACK! But What Does That Mean for Insurance?

January 20, 2015

2014-08-life-of-pix-free-stock-photos-House-beach-USA-flag-flowers-courtyard-BenchAccording to a recent article in Business Insurance – construction projects have significantly increased in number since the financial downfall of 2008 and insurance carriers have the capacity to add construction business to their books – in other words, they want to write more.   Here’s what we see – in order to get great rates with preferred carriers, contractors need to adhere to some pretty strict underwriting guidelines.

  1. Workers’ Compensation – one of the largest expense items behind payroll.  Carriers want to see low Experience Modification numbers – sub 1.00 and strict safety measures in place.  Loss control is key to managing the cost.
  2. Auto – In order to get those preferred rates, you need clean Motor Vehicle Reports, minimal at-fault accidents and strict safety training.  Texting and driving tickets just won’t fly with most carriers due to the increased liability claims we are seeing due to distracted driving incidents.
  3. Equipment – It’s all about consistent maintenance schedules and employee safety training.
  4. Property – although last on our list, many of our larger contractors do have significant building and contents values.  Carriers like to see fire protection – firewalls, sprinklers and a fire hydrant within 1000 feet of the building.

Our contractors are finally rebounding, if you are struggling with any of the above portions of your policy – perhaps it’s time to sit down and discuss how we might be able to help you get your premiums under control.

Mark Greco Contractor Specialist Founders Insurance Group

Mark Greco
Contractor Specialist
Founders Insurance Group

Mark Greco

Contractor Specialist Founders Insurance Group

mgreco@foundersgrp.com

www.foundersgrp.com

860-482-3506

Restaurant owners – a must read!

January 13, 2015

iStock_000006229631MediumIs your restaurant really safe?  So many of the restaurant claims we see can be avoided!  Even small claims will make a big difference in your insurance premium – a series of small claims could me the difference between getting a preferred rate and …a not so preferred rate.

Here’s some food for thought (pun intended!) to make sure your restaurant is up to snuff!

 Can we say recipe for disaster?  Without a comprehensive training program your kitchen is a breeding ground for Workers’ Compensation claims.  Every restaurant should have training programs for the following:

  • Proper lifting techniques – those big pots of fabulous Lobster Bisque are heavy!  Without proper training, your cook staff will be filing back injury claims left and right!
  • Safe use of knives and other sharp objects such as mandolins - If you’ve been in the industry long enough you’ve seen more than one trip to the ER for stitches.  Why not have a Saturday morning safe handling training day!
  • Safe handling of meat slicers, grinders, commercial mixers and other “heavy equipment” – Just like the knife scenario – if you’ve been in the food industry for a while you’ve heard horror stories of missing fingers, mangled hands and other catastrophes due to improper use of heavy restaurant equipment.

Do you deliver?

Delivery is a great added value service to your customers – but keeping your team safe can be a challenge!  Here are some tips that will help mitigate some pretty nasty events and claims

  • Limit your delivery radius to only safe areas.
  • Use Caller ID with address look-up
  • Call back first time customers to verify their address
  • Accept ONLY credit card payment or limit the amount of cash that can be carried
  • Avoid signage on vehicles – we don’t want your delivery drivers being mugged!

How about a Drive Thru?

Drive-thru’s are an American invention that feeds our instant gratification lifestyle – but it poses a myriad of safety issues for restaurant owners.  To keep the team safe adopt these little tips:

  • Always have at least 2 employees working at all times
  • Lock doors of the restaurant if the counter is not open
  • Make sure there is sufficient lighting in the drive-thru area
  • Security cameras should be installed at several locations
  • Train your staff on what to do if there is a robbery – because there are bad people out there!
Nancy Swenson Commercial Lines Account Manager

Nancy Swenson
Commercial Lines Account Manager

We hope you found these tips and tricks helpful.  If you need more loss control assistance for your restaurant – give us a call at 860-482-3506, we are here to help!

Nancy Swenson

Commercial Lines Account Manager

nswenson@foundersgrp.com

A Thought for the Holiday

December 26, 2014
Chris Garlasco, Owner & Managing Partner - Founders Insurance Group

Chris Garlasco, Owner & Managing Partner – Founders Insurance Group

The holiday season is upon us! For some it marks the celebration of the birth of Christ, and for almost all, the season is a time of reflection and for giving thanks. I have been giving a lot of thought to this year’s holiday season and in addition to giving thanks for my family and friends, I was reading an article that was simplistic, yet, at least for me, eye opening.

For many of us, myself included, we tend to tend to often focus on the daily challenges of life. But when you think about it, there are so many things that must go right in order for us to make through each day. Just think for a moment about the number of things in our own bodies. Each cell working properly, our heart, lungs, blood vessels etc. must work in a way that allows us to live. It takes thousand of things going right just to get up each morning. Then we head off to work or some other activity. The number of cars that we pass on the road each and every day that don’t create a collision or an equipment breakdown that creates danger to life and limb. How about the food that we eat? From the farmer to the dinner table, the number of steps that have to go right, just for us to eat the simplest of meals is astounding! Then of course our loved ones or friends that we take comfort in, even if we don’t have a chance to see them very often.

Founders Ugly Sweaters on Christmas Eve!

Founders Ugly Sweaters on Christmas Eve!

Of course, there are times when we suffer a loss that is so great no amount of positive reflection can comfort us at that moment. But in the big picture, my point is that when we think of all that must go right in order for us to make it through each and every day, the five or six or ten difficulties that we face, generally pale in comparison to the thousands of things that go right in our lives each day.

That is the thought that I hope to live by moving forward in 2015.

We here at Founders wish you the best holiday season!

Chris Garlasco

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