Posts Tagged ‘independent insurance agency’
Do terms like liability, comprehensive coverage, and underinsured seem like a foreign language to you? If so, you are not alone.
Julie Turner, wife of Ross, loves to tell the story of when Ross first reviewed her auto insurance policy back in 1989. Both were single at the time, and Julie’s insurance bill was due. Ross looked at the policy and couldn’t believe his eyes.
Julie had the minimum limits and very little coverage – on her brand new 1988 Honda Accord! When he asked her why, she said she had called an 800 number and asked for the best price. She had no idea that her policy would not have paid enough if she had been in an accident. Suffice it to say, Ross eventually became her insurance agent and her husband… and in that order!
It’s important to understand your automobile insurance coverage, even though it can seem complicated. Take a moment to review these key auto insurance terms:
Liability Insurance – Reimburses others for injury, damages or losses caused by your driving or your car. There are two types:
*Bodily Injury Liability – In a car crash where you’re at fault, bodily injury liability will provide compensation for pain and suffering, lost earnings and related expenses resulting from injury or death. We can help you determine the right amount of coverage, based on whether you own a home and other substantial assets that could be at risk in a lawsuit.
*Property Damage Liability – This coverage will pay to repair or replace things you damage in an accident other than your own car. Again, it’s best to consider your personal situation.
Collision Insurance – Covers the replacement or repair of your car, regardless of who is at fault in the accident, even if you are hit while parked or hit by an unknown car or object. If you have a car loan, you are required to have collision protection. On the other hand, if your older car’s value rises and falls based on the gas in its tank, you may consider dropping collision coverage.
Comprehensive Insurance – Protects against damage to your car that does not involve a collision. For example, fire, theft, hail, flood, windstorm, flying objects or animals. It’s likely required if you’re paying a car loan, but optional if you own an older car that’s not worth much.
Medical Payments Coverage – Pays for physicians, hospital bills, continuing care, funeral costs and compensation for you and your passengers, regardless of who is at fault. If you have adequate health insurance, you may not need this optional coverage, but it can pay expenses your health insurance may not cover.
Uninsured and Underinsured Coverage – Covers you, and members of your household, for losses in an accident with a hit-and-run driver or a driver who has no car insurance or not enough car insurance.
And remember, we love questions! We are happy to walk through and explain your policy at any time.
Employee theft is a serious problem. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce:
- Thirty percent of small business failures are caused by employee theft
- It’s estimated that 75 percent of all employees steal once and half of those steal a second time
U.S. businesses lose billions of dollars each year to employee theft. The most common type of employee theft is stealing “petty cash.” Another is overcharging a customer and then pocketing the extra cash. Additionally, supplies, merchandise and company information can also become targets of theft.
What Triggers Employee Theft
“Motive, method and opportunity” has long been a key phrase associated with crime investigation. The following are some reasons an employee may steal:
- Poor or low employee morale. This is perhaps the main reason that a business or company may experience theft. This is true especially during poor economic times
- An employee may feel that their employer has “wronged” them. It may be because of a poor performance appraisal, or moving a big project to another employee and/or cutting work hours.
- An employee may feel that they are underpaid for their work. This may occur when top executives are making high salaries and other employees do not receive a pay raise or bonus.
- The employee may feel that their employer has “plenty” and won’t miss it.
- The business or company doesn’t have policies and procedures for handling inventory control, “petty cash,” accounts payable and accounts receivable or supplies.
- The business or company doesn’t have policies and procedures concerning employee theft. If there isn’t a policy, an employee may think they won’t be punished.
Develop Employee Theft Policies and Procedures
It’s important that the employer establish policies and procedures regarding employee theft. Training should be provided to employees during the orientation period and periodically throughout the employee’s career. Inform employees that legal action will be taken against any employee caught stealing.
The employer also needs to implement security measures to reduce the potential of employee theft.
The following is a list of actions that a business or company may take to prevent employee theft:
- Establish pre-employment screening. When possible, verify employment with past employers. Ask if the prospective employee is eligible for rehire. Other checks may include: criminal conviction records; reference checks; educational and certification verification. Pay attention to the numerous regulations on the gathering and use of this information
- Supervise employees on a regular basis. Some businesses or companies install video recording equipment to monitor their employee’s activities. Care needs to be taken with this action, in that it may have a negative impact on employee moraleand should be routinely evaluated.
- Implement a “best practices” accounting system. Separate the accounting task that involves accounts payable and accounts receivable. Conduct audits to evaluate payroll, purchasing, sales, “petty cash” and expense reports. Require employees to take vacation or have time away from work and implement job rotation. When employees know they’ll be rotating different job tasks, they are less likely to commit a crime when there’s a greater likelihood they’ll be caught.
- Look for changes in lifestyles which would seem excessive for extended periods of time.
- Provide support programs for employees. Family problems, financial hardships, gambling, alcohol or drug problems are all factors that can lead an employee to steal. The business or company needs to offer an open door policy and support programs that’ll enable employees to be up front with their situation.
- Establish a reward hotline. Some businesses and companies have established a program that allows employees to report information about a theft. If the information leads to a recovery of the money, supplies or merchandise, or upon the criminal conviction of the employee(s) involved with the theft, a reward is paid. Care needs to be taken with establishing such a program. Some studies have recommended that rewards do not exceed $1,000.
Set a good example of ethical behavior. In tough economic times, businesses and companies have a great deal to lose when they ignore or do not take proper action on employee theft.
As the number of data breaches involving smaller businesses continues to grow, a new survey by The Hartford finds 85% of small business owners believe a data breach is unlikely, and many are not implementing simple security measures to help protect their customer or employee data.
“Most of the business owners surveyed believe they are not at risk, when in fact smaller businesses are increasingly being targeted,” said Lynn LaGram, assistant vice president of small commercial underwriting at The Hartford. “As cyber criminals set their sights on smaller firms, it is important for business owners to take proactive measures to protect data and minimize the likelihood of a breach.”
The average breach costs a business owner $200 per record, and the average number of records lost is 20,000 per breach, according to Curtis Bull, Vice President of Commercial Lines at Turner Agency Insurance.
“If you only lost 1,000 records, that still adds up to a $200,000 loss,” said Bull.
The Hartford Small Business Data Protection Survey found that business owners varied in their adoption of eight data protection “best practices” to help reduce a business’s risk of a breach:
• Lock and secure sensitive customer, patient or employee data—48%
• Restrict employee access to sensitive data—79%
• Shred and securely dispose of customer, patient or employee data—53%
• Use password protection and data encryption—48%
• Update systems and software on a regular basis—47%
• Use firewalls to control access and lock-out hackers—48%
• Ensure that remote access to their company’s network is secure—41%
The Hartford survey also found that nearly two-thirds of business owners believe a data breach violates trust and would jeopardize their relationships with customers, patients, and employees. More than a third say they have a more negative opinion of companies that have recently experienced a breach, based on the companies’ handling of the breach.
About a third of business owners say they would have difficulty complying with government notification requirements, and nearly half acknowledge it would be impossible for a small business to completely safeguard customer, patient or employee data.
“Given the potential business and reputational costs of a data breach, it’s also important for business owners to have insurance in place to help them respond and recover quickly and effectively in the event of a breach,” said LaGram.
Turner Agency Insurance is ready to work with you to uncover potential exposures. “There are a number of coverage options we can offer that are specific to each individual business need and exposure,” said Bull.
We will be discussing your options at your renewal. If you would like more information before that time, just let us know by calling 288-9513 or emailing email@example.com.
If you rent your home, your property is not protected by the landlord’s insurance.
If you rent your home or apartment, you may think the landlord is responsible for the property’s insurance. Guess what? Your belongings are not covered on his policy. If there’s a fire or water damage or theft, you would likely be forced to leave your home for a length of time. And you may have to start over in terms of acquiring possessions. At least if you have renters insurance, you wouldn’t have to pay for those inconveniences.
Turner Agency Insurance offers affordable renters insurance protection that every renter should seriously consider having. It covers your rental property, no matter if it’s a house, apartment, multi-family residence, duplex, loft, townhome or condo. It covers renters in much the same way homeowners insurance works, but since it’s not always required, some renters neglect to protect themselves.
What Renters Insurance Covers
Renters insurance protects you against a wide range of disasters and damage caused by fire or smoke, lightning, windstorm or hail, volcanic eruption, ice, vandalism, theft, explosion, plumbing leaks and falling objects. Floods and earthquakes are typically excluded from standard renters insurance. Most policies cover sports and recreational equipment but not your vehicles, which would be covered by your car insurance.
You may add extra coverage for valuable jewelry, collectibles, cameras, musical instruments and more, as an endorsement to your policy. If you operate a business out of your home, you can add increased business coverage to protect those assets. Renters insurance also offers both personal liability coverage to protect you against lawsuits and additional living protection should you need to relocate while the rental property is repaired or rebuilt.
You can usually choose between actual cash value renters insurance, which will replace your belongings after factoring depreciation, or full replacement cost protection, which may cost more upfront, but covers the full replacement cost of your possessions.
Whose Possessions Are Covered
Any member of your family is covered under your renters insurance policy. If your kids are in college, their possessions are covered at school, provided they live on campus and don’t rent an apartment.
Common Myths about Renters Insurance
Let’s address these myths one at a time, and you can decide whether renters insurance is something you need.
- My landlord is responsible if anything happens to my apartment.
- I don’t need insurance; my stuff fits in the back of my truck.
- I can’t afford to buy renters insurance.
- If my friends get hurt at my house, their insurance will cover them.
My Landlord Is Responsible
There are many advantages to renting rather than owning your home. Your landlord probably handles general care of the premises and may even cover your utilities. You may have cable TV as part of your rental agreement. You never need to worry about lawn care, snow removal or trash collection. You are free to relocate simply by giving notice under the terms of your lease. Your landlord insures the property and has liability protection enough to cover appropriate claims. But that protection will not cover you, your belongings or anything occurring inside your home.
I Don’t Need Renters Insurance
Many renters believe their belongings could easily be replaced since they don’t have many possessions. Since most people acquire their things over time, it’s easy to lose track of cumulative value. But take one look in your kitchen or clothes closet and you’ll likely realize you wouldn’t readily have the financial resources to replace everything you currently own. Even renters whose earthly belongings fit in the back of a pick-up truck would be hard-pressed to replace furniture, appliances, electronics, food, clothes and more all at once if the duplex burned down.
I Can’t Afford Renters Insurance
Do yourself a favor and contact us for a no-obligation quote for renters insurance. It’s affordable, and it’s money well spent for protection that provides peace of mind.
If My Friend Is Hurt, Their Insurance Kicks In
In addition to insuring your personal property, renters insurance can protect you against lawsuits with liability protection. If a houseguest is injured at your house and sues for lost wages or pain and suffering, your renters policy can cover the damages.
What to Expect from Turner Agency Insurance
- One-stop shop for all your insurance needs
- Multiple policy discounts
- Free, no-obligation quotes
- Choice of insurance companies you can trust
- Efficient claims process
- Testimonials from satisfied customers
We can help you protect yourself and your property with renters insurance. Contact our independent agents for a no-obligation quote. We can help you discover discounts you may be eligible for, and we’ll be with you every step of the way. Call us today at 288-9513.
You may have noticed an increase in your homeowner’s insurance premiums. You’re not alone – increases are happening across the country.
Why the increase? In a word: weather. Catastrophic weather events in the second quarter (April, May, and June) of 2011 exceeded $15 billion countrywide.
Consider the following:
- Hurricane Irene caused record losses in the eastern United States
- Wind and hail caused over 20,000 severe weather reports in just the first half of 2011
- Tornado outbreaks this spring, most significantly in Joplin, Missouri and Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
- Wildfires in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas destroyed over 2,000 homes and losses are estimated to exceed $250 million
- Ice and snow from Texas to New England!
- Earthquakes in various places, with the most significant occurring in Virginia
These catastrophic events have also put a demand on the building industry for labor and materials, driving up reconstruction and repair costs.
So while the market value – the amount you could expect someone to pay to buy your home – may have dropped, the cost to rebuild your home at the same location with similar materials – the replacement cost – has increased.
Because you insure your home to the replacement cost, not the market value, the amount of coverage you need to be fully protected, and thus your premiums, are going up. So what can you do?
There are several ways you can lower your insurance premiums.
Ask us about…
- Increasing your deductibles. If you assume a greater part of the risk by increasing your deductible, you can lower your premiums.
- Insuring your auto and home with the same company if you don’t already.
- Don’t move your coverage from company to company. Many companies will give you loyalty credit for staying with them!
- Protecting your home. Install fire, burglar, and smoke alarms in your home – discounts are available in most states.
An insurance policy is a promise…a promise to help you recover from your losses. Part of this promise is assuring that we will have the resources available to help you when you need us. While we hope you never experience a loss, be assured we will be here for you with outstanding claims service and the financial stability to help you recover quickly.
Please contact us with your questions or comments or to learn more about the benefits your homeowners policy provides you and your family.
October 9-15, 2011 is National Fire Prevention Week. Celebrate by creating or reviewing your family’s home escape plan.
Home Escape Plans Save Lives.
Fall is officially here, and with it comes the National Fire Protection Agency’s National Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 9 -15. This year’s theme is “Protect Your Family from Fire,” which makes now a good time to come up with a fire evacuation plan or review the one your family already has in place.
A small fire can escalate into a major blaze in less than a minute, and a sound escape plan greatly reduces fire-related deaths and protects your family if a fire occurs. Whether you have established an fire evacuation route or are coming up with one now, these are some important safety reminders and instructions you can you use when reviewing or planning your home evacuation plan.
- Plan two ways out of every room in your house — this way if one path is blocked by flames or smoke there is an alternate path out. For example, a bedroom door can be the primary escape path and a window the secondary one. If you intend to use an upper-story window as an evacuation option, be sure to store a collapsible ladder in the room in a well-known place. The U.S. Fire Administration advises consumers to only purchase ladders evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory.
- Practice escaping from the house with a blindfold, in the dark, or with your eyes closed. This will prepare you and your family to navigate through smoke if it is blocking your exit route. Remember to stay low to the ground to avoid the smoke and keep your mouth covered with a piece of clothing, blanket, or towel since the toxic gases from smoke can cause disorientation or fainting.
- Make sure doors and windows open easily. Check windows to make sure they are not stuck, and that everyone in the house knows how to open them and remove the screen if necessary. If you have security bars on your windows, check the quick-release device to make sure they can be opened immediately, and practice opening the locks with everyone in the house.
- Designate a meeting place that’s away from the house, such as the end of the driveway or a place on the sidewalk. Hold a fire drill to ensure everyone in the house knows where to meet. Also pick someone to be in charge of going to a neighbor’s house and calling 911.
- Time is of the essence during a fire, so don’t waste time trying to save property. Remind your family members of this, too, especially children who may want to save their toys. A homeowners policy will help with the replacement cost of your property, and while some items are impossible to replace, they’re not worth a life.
- Teach children not to hide or be afraid of firefighters. Remind young kids that firemen will help them in the event of an emergency.
- In the event of a fire, check a closed door using the back of your hand to feel the door, doorknob, and the crack between the floor and door frame to make sure the fire is not outside the door. If any of these things feel hot, use the second escape path from the room. If the door is cool, open it slowly and brace your shoulder against the door. If heat and smoke come in, close the door quickly and use the other escape route.
For more information on National Fire Prevention Week or fire safety procedures, visit www.nfpa.org. You can also contact The Turner Agency or your Trusted Choice® independent insurance agent for more information on protecting your family from the flames by obtaining or reviewing your homeowners or renter’s insurance policy.
by Ross Turner
Every day, we are exposed to risk. Our daily activities result in lawsuit exposures, and unfortunately you no longer have to be a millionaire to be sued like one.
Umbrella liability insurance “sits over” your primary insurance, providing you a higher level of coverage above your automobile, homeowner’s, boat, and recreational vehicle policies. Umbrella policies can give you higher limits, broader coverage, and worldwide liability coverage.
Your family and your daily activities result in lawsuit exposures every day, and unfortunately the frequency and cost of lawsuits have increased dramatically over the last ten years. Some reasons to consider the purchase of an umbrella policy include:
You serve on a board of directors or participate in volunteer activities
You have teenaged drivers or drive a carpool You own rental property or vacation property
You have jet-skis, a golf cart, or other recreational vehicles
You have a swimming pool in your backyard
You are financially responsible for your children
You have a small business in your home and see clients on occasion
Consider these real-life examples where lawsuits were filed and judgments awarded:
- A talented softball player filed a $700,000 lawsuit against her former coach, alleging the coach’s “incorrect teaching style” ruined her chances for an athletic scholarship.
- A student hated math class and her teacher. She made negative comments about the teacher online. The teacher found out, sued the parents, and was awarded $750,000.
- A homeowner was burning a candle in her bathroom. As her niece washed her hands, her sleeve passed over the candle and ignited. She suffered third degree burns. The homeowner was held liable and had to pay out $917,000.
A one car accident occurred when a 17 year old driver ran off the road with three friends in the car. Damages awarded were over $ 1,500,000.
Think about the value of your assets. If your home, automobiles, investments, and potential future earnings are worth $400,000 and your automobile liability insurance limit is only $250,000, then you are left with $150,000 of uninsured assets.
Contact our Personal Lines department to see how easy it is put an umbrella policy in place. One million dollars of liability coverage is much more affordable than you think, and it small price to pay for peace of mind.
623 Halton Road
Greenville, SC 29607
The designation of Certified Insurance Service Representative (CISR) has been conferred upon both Denise Long and Deidra Ranew, Account Managers at The Turner Agency in Greenville, SC. This achievement was awarded after their successful completion of five courses covering all areas of insurance risks and exposures, followed by extensive examinations.
Denise has been an associate of The Turner Agency for four years, and serves as an Account Manager on the Personal Lines team of The Turner Agency. Deidra is an integral part of the Commercial Lines team at The Turner Agency, and has also been with the agency for four years.
The CISR Program, available to insurance professionals in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, is distinguished from other programs of its kind by an annual continuing education requirement, which ensures that designees stay current on the important policy changes and trends within the industry.
The Turner Agency believes strongly in education. Both Denise and Deidra are to be commended on their dedication to professionalism as evidenced by the completion of the CISR designation and their commitment to continuing education.
The CISR designation is awarded by the Society of CISR, a not-for-profit organization and member of The National Alliance for Insurance Education & Research, the nation’s premier provider of insurance and risk management education. This year, the Society of CISR celebrates its 20th anniversary with over 71,000 participants in the Program and more than 24,000 individuals holding the CISR designation. The Turner Agency has served the insurance needs of the Upstate since 1962. Located on Halton Road, The Turner Agency is a Trusted Choice independent insurance agency offering a complete line of services, including but not limited to home, automobile, business. life, and employee benefits.
Actually, it’s not about us at all. It’s about you, your business, and your ever changing needs.
The Turner Agency Inc. is a Trusted Choice independent insurance agency offering coverage for your business, your personal needs, and life and health. We have proudly provided insurance and loss control consulting services to the Upstate of South Carolina and beyond since 1962.
Our independence allows us to represent some of the top insurance companies in the country, which in turn allows us to offer you choice from someone you can trust. Most importantly, our independence allows us to focus on your needs and deliver the precise solutions you deserve.