Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

Many businesses, churches, public buildings – and even homes – have a defibrillator in the building – but is there a plan for its use?

First, let’s define defibrillator (AED Automatic External Defibrillator) – it is an automatic device used to treat individuals who experience sudden cardiac arrest.  It is applied to a victim who is not responding, not breathing or not breathing normally, and has no signs of circulation, such as normal breathing, coughing or movement.

While having this device available is clearly important – perhaps more important is a plan for its use.  First, there should be an on-site coordinator.  This is the person who is responsible for:

  • Assuring that the AED has a charged battery and turns on
  • Checking the expiration date on the electrode packet
  • Displaying a quick reference card nearby
  • Annually training selected individuals

Frozen pipes can present an invisible threat – one that you might not recognize until the weather starts to warm.  By then, the water damage can be significant and costly.  Fortunately, there are some simple steps to take that will help prevent these problems.

  • Insulate pipes that pass through unheated areas.
  • Set thermostats to 55 degrees or above.
  • Protect outside spigots by draining or installing an insulated cover.
  • Open cabinet doors where plumbing is located.
  • Allow water to drip from both hot and cold water faucets.

If you discover a frozen pipe, turn the water off immediately and never try to thaw them with an open flame or torch.

 

By Cincinnati Life

Life insurance offers loved ones peace of mind.

Buying life insurance is one of the most selfless things a person can do in his or her lifetime. Life insurance allows families to continue living without the additional mental and emotional strain of financial difficulties after the loss of a loved one.

Think back to the last time you heard of a person unexpectedly dying. Did he or she have a family? Were the children taken care of? Was life a struggle? Hopefully, you are picturing an experience where the family was able to grieve their personal loss without worrying about final expenses or even the family expenses moving forward.

LIMRA, a leading insurance and financial services trade organization, found that the three biggest reasons for owning life insurance are to:

  • help cover burial expenses
  • replace lost income
  • pay off the mortgage

Notice that none of these expenses truly benefit the deceased individual. After death, he or she is no longer responsible for paying for a funeral, bringing home a paycheck, paying off the mortgage, helping with college tuition, buying groceries and dealing with numerous other household expenses. Securing life insurance will never directly result in a payoff for the individual who is insured.

The payoff is in knowing that the ones you leave behind will not have to panic over finances.

Buying life insurance provides peace of mind and has the potential to secure a family financially for years into the future. It is a way to be present in a loved one’s mind and life long after you’re gone.

Find out if your plans are adequate to secure your family’s future. Start by contacting your attorney and your independent insurance agent, who can review your insurance plan and help you get the life insurance you need.

By Cincinnati Life

Life insurance offers loved ones peace of mind.

Buying life insurance is one of the most selfless things a person can do in his or her lifetime. Life insurance allows families to continue living without the additional mental and emotional strain of financial difficulties after the loss of a loved one.

Think back to the last time you heard of a person unexpectedly dying. Did he or she have a family? Were the children taken care of? Was life a struggle? Hopefully, you are picturing an experience where the family was able to grieve their personal loss without worrying about final expenses or even the family expenses moving forward.

LIMRA, a leading insurance and financial services trade organization, found that the three biggest reasons for owning life insurance are to:

  • help cover burial expenses
  • replace lost income
  • pay off the mortgage

Notice that none of these expenses truly benefit the deceased individual. After death, he or she is no longer responsible for paying for a funeral, bringing home a paycheck, paying off the mortgage, helping with college tuition, buying groceries and dealing with numerous other household expenses. Securing life insurance will never directly result in a payoff for the individual who is insured.

The payoff is in knowing that the ones you leave behind will not have to panic over finances.

Buying life insurance provides peace of mind and has the potential to secure a family financially for years into the future. It is a way to be present in a loved one’s mind and life long after you’re gone.

Find out if your plans are adequate to secure your family’s future. Start by contacting your attorney and your independent insurance agent, who can review your insurance plan and help you get the life insurance you need.

This winter an ice dam could just be your roof’s worst enemy.  What is an ice dam?  As snow melts and refreezes along the edge of your roof, the accumulation of ice essentially forms a dam, preventing water from running off as it normally would.  In many cases, the water backs up under your shingles, eventually making its way inside your home.

That’s the bad news.  The good news is that you may be able to help combat ice dams, and the damage they cause, with these tips:

  1. Routinely clean out your gutters, downspouts & drain.
  2. Use a roof rake to remove snow accumulation.
  3. Let your attic be cold.
  4. Watch for icicles – they may signal trouble.
  5. Take preventative measures on your roof.

 

 There are 62.6 million volunteers in the United States today according to www.nationalservice.gov.  Missouri alone has 1 million volunteers giving 142 million hours of service.  The selfless efforts of these people is everywhere we look – from local churches and youth sporting events – to the thousands of volunteers who gave their time during and after the recent hurricanes.

We have a responsibility to ourselves and our families to be aware of personal injury insurance coverages while volunteering.  Clearly, this issue is less important when we are simply manning a booth at a local civic event – but it becomes more important in efforts such as those involving volunteer fire departments.

Medical costs incurred are typically covered by the workers compensation policy of the entity who is the beneficiary of our services.  However, the  replacement of ones weekly wages while unable to carry out your normal work duties is different.  For example, Missouri currently has a state statute that limits the weekly minimum paid by workers compensation for volunteers to $40 per week.

There is an inexpensive way to replace your wages should you be injured while volunteering and unable to carry out your normal work duties.   It is an Individual Disability Policy.  This policy can be purchased up to age 70.  You choose the weekly benefit amount that best fits your needs.  This policy would pay you the weekly benefit amount in any situation where you are injured and unable to work.  Call or email your NAUGHT-NAUGHT AGENCY representative today to get a quick quote for a disability policy tailored for your needs.

July 31, 2017

Every 21 seconds someone in the United States calls a poison control hotline because of a medication error.

A recent study from Nationwide Children’s Hospital, published by Clinical Toxicology, found a 100 percent increase in the rate of serious medication errors occurring outside of health care facilities— from per 100,000 U.S. residents (from 1.09 in 2000 to 2.28 in 2012). Medication error frequency and rates increased for all age groups except children younger than six years of age.

Researchers from the Center for Injury Research and Policy and the Central Ohio Poison Center at Nationwide Children’s Hospital analyzed calls to poison control centers across the country over a 13-year period about exposures to medication errors which resulted in serious medical outcomes. These exposures, which occurred outside of health care facilities, primarily in the home, affected individuals of all ages and were associated with a wide variety of medications.

The medication categories most frequently associated with serious outcomes were cardiovascular drugs (21%), analgesics (i.e., painkillers) (12%), and hormones/hormone antagonists (11%). Most analgesic exposures were related to products containing acetaminophen (44%) or opioids (34%), and nearly two-thirds of hormone/hormone antagonist exposures were associated with insulin. Cardiovascular and analgesic medications combined accounted for more than two-thirds (66%) of all fatalities in this study.

Among children younger than six years, the rate of medication errors increased early in the study and then decreased after 2005, which was primarily associated with a decrease in the use of cough and cold medicines. According to the study authors, this decrease is likely attributable to the Food and Drug Administration’s 2007 recommendation against administering these products to young children.

“Drug manufacturers and pharmacists have a role to play when it comes to reducing medication errors,” said toxicology expert Henry Spiller, a co-author of the study, and director of the Central Ohio Poison Center at Nationwide Children’s. “There is room for improvement in product packaging and labeling. Dosing instructions could be made clearer, especially for patients and caregivers with limited literacy or numeracy.”

Overall, the most common types of medication errors were taking or giving the wrong medication or incorrect dosage, and inadvertently taking or giving the medication twice. Among children, dosing errors and inadvertently taking or giving someone else’s medication were also common errors. One-third of medication errors resulted in hospital admission.

“Managing medications is an important skill for everyone, but parents and caregivers have the additional responsibility of managing others’ medications,” said Nichole Hodges, PhD, lead author of the study and research scientist in the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s. “When a child needs medication, one of the best things to do is keep a written log of the day and time each medication is given to ensure the child stays on schedule and does not get extra doses.”

Data for this study were obtained from the National Poison Data System, which is maintained by the American Association of Poison Control Centers.

(From The Insurance Journal)

 If you retire, did you know that you can still be sued if you sold a defective product or performed faulty work and someone or their property is injured or damaged because of it?  If you don’t renew your liability insurance when you retire, what are you to do?

The coverage under the CGL policies you have purchased for years is triggered by an “occurrence.”  This concept is one of the most misunderstood in liability insurance.  It is true that an “occurrence” policy could provide coverage for accidents that happen well after the policy has been in force.  However, the agreement in the policy says that for insurance to apply, the bodily injury or property damage must occur during the policy period.

Consider the example of a contractor who has retired to the sun and is surprised to receive a call from a familiar voice from the past.  It’s his insurance agent, informing him that a deck he installed on a home two years ago collapsed during a party.  A claim is being filed against him for the injuries and damage to the home resulting from the accident.  In this case, the “occurrence” happened after the expiration date of the CGL policy.

For anyone who had a business that provided products or services, liability can follow you forever.  To address the risk of the unknown, insurance companies have developed insurance called discontinued operations liability.  This policy will continue to provide liability insurance to you even after your interest in a business ceases.

Call or email your NAUGHT-NAUGHT AGENCY representative for more information on this insurance coverage.

Copyright 2008-2015 by the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America, Inc.

The road is rough and potentially worse ahead.

Commercial auto premiums increased 2.65% in April, 2017, over the same period in 2016.  Making matters worse, auto loss costs increased 20% between 2012 and 2015, according to the Insurance Services Office.

Everyone involved with commercial auto insurance would do well to understand the factors behind this surge and what they can do to better manage exposure and expenses.

Six factors fuel the deteriorating performance of commercial auto insurance:

  • More traffic – The number of miles driven is at an all-time high.
  • Distracted drivers – ¼ of all crashes involve drivers talking or texting on cell phones.
  • Growing medical costs – Medical inflation is soaring 1.5 times faster than general inflation.
  • More accidents and more expensive crashes – Both the frequency and severity of accidents are increasing.
  • Inexperienced drivers – There is a shortage of skilled commercial drivers with good driving records.
  • Rising auto repair costs – Record US auto sales mean the roads are full of newer cars that are more expensive to repair.

Here are nine specific steps to better manage this line of insurance:

  • Implement a fleet safety program – Understand what’s causing accidents, set goals for improving performance and develop a detailed plan.
  • Enforce company policy on vehicle use – Clearly define who can use a company vehicle and create a process for approving who can drive their personal car on company business.
  • Hire qualified drivers – Professional drivers are a company’s first line of defense against accidents.
  • Consider a company fleet – Minimize the potential exposure of employees using their personal vehicles for company business.
  • Train drivers – Be sure they get the company’s total commitment to safety and its central role as a core corporate strategy never to be compromised.
  • Regularly check driving records – Set a schedule for checking driving records of all your drivers – professional and employees.
  • Use telematics – Many fleets work with telematics vendors to help manage fuel, delivery routes and maintenance. These systems can also play a key role in tracking and improving driver performance.
  • Review all crashes – Provide drivers with accident kits that help collect key information immediately following an accident.
  • Explore increasing primary auto coverage limits – Growing medical, legal and repair costs have eroded the protection provided by the current standard one million dollar coverage limit. Work with your agent to identify the benefits of increasing the primary limit and attaching to the excess policy at a higher level.

The challenges with the commercial auto line are clear.  So, too, is the route to better managing that line to protect employees, the public and a company’s bottom line.

Aug 10, 2017 from Property & Casualty 360 Degrees

Selecting a reliable, trustworthy tenant to occupy your commercial property is one of the most important parts of owning investment real estate. To select tenants who will treat your property with respect, consider the following suggestions:

General Suggestions

  • Keep your property in good condition. Make sure it is clean and tidy and that everything is up to date and in good working order.
  • Set rent at a rate comparable to similar properties in the area. It’s good to have some room for negotiation, but asking too much may deter desirable applicants from considering your property.
  • Properly screen all applicants to determine their credentials. Do not rely on their word to validate their background and credit history.
  • Remain patient as you screen potential renters. Since removing bad tenants is quite costly, remaining patient for a good tenant is worthwhile.
  • If you are having problems renting a larger property, consider if it would be beneficial to adapt it into multiple smaller spaces.
  • Consider any vehicle access needs a potential tenant may have. Find out if they need parking and if what you can offer is enough. Also ask about any large volume delivery needs that may require places to load or unload vehicles without disrupting traffic or other nearby businesses.
  • Consider the impact on the current tenants or neighbors of renting to a potential tenant. Will the potential tenants cause a noise disturbance? Pollution? Conflict business with current tenants?
  • When choosing between prospective tenants, keep in mind how long of a lease they are willing to sign. Long-term tenants save you the trouble and expense of having to find new renters, and they also give you a more consistent cash flow.
  • When renting out your property, make all tenants sign a Tenancy or Lease Agreement. Outline who will pay for utilities, take care of snow removal, maintenance duties, lawn care and similar responsibilities.
  • Include the insurance requirements of both parties, such as the landlord’s responsibility to insure the building and premises as well as the tenant’s responsibilities to insure all contents.
  • If you have multiple units, it may help to hire a property manager who can conduct background checks, screen applicants and keep the property in solid working order. This will take some of the burden off you and will make them the point of contact once the property is rented.