From the category archives: Brooks-Waterburn Corp Insurance Protection Blog

7/22/2014 10:00 PM

Insurance for Small Construction Businesses

Small construction businesses require several of the same types of insurance coverage that larger businesses need. In addition to this, there are types of coverage available that are specific to the construction industry. It's best to speak with a qualified agent who has experience in insuring small construction businesses. Agents with experience are able to provide the best coverage options. Property Coverage Property insurance may be needed to provide coverage for any real property owned by the company. This coverage may also be needed to cover any personal property that is used for the business. The largest amount of property loss may involve equipment that is taken to varying sites and valuable machinery. Standard property insurance doesn't provide coverage for such items. It's necessary to purchase floaters from contract insurers for such items. Speak with an agent to learn what types of floaters are available and to determine which ones are the best choice for an individual business. It's ...

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7/15/2014 6:00 PM

Understanding Small Business Insurance

There are four types of insurance that most small businesses purchase. The first is property insurance. This type of coverage provides compensation if business property is damaged, stolen or lost. In addition to covering the physical business structure, property insurance covers personal property. This includes inventory, office furnishings, raw materials, computers, machinery and other items that are part of business operations. Property insurance coverage doesn't end with protecting physical assets. It also affords operating funds when business owners must take steps to get their business back on track following major loss. Property insurance may provide coverage for broken equipment in some cases. It may also provide coverage for water damage, debris removal following a fire and several other specific items. Business vehicle insurance is the second type of coverage many small businesses purchase. Anyone who uses their own personal vehicle for business purposes should discuss this type of cover ...

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7/9/2014 4:00 AM

Mind Your Business: Surveillance Cameras and Video Monitoring

Surveillance and video monitoring have become very affordable, easy to implement, and effective. For very little investment, cameras can stream video onto the internet so the owner can monitor and record activities in their business, on site or remotely. Data storage, that is image storage, is almost limitless; and the video history of the store can be kept in multiple locations for safety and replacement ease. Keeping logs and indexes simplifies filing to a few mouse clicks. This video record has multiple uses. In real time, monitoring can deter violent crime, shoplifting, or employee theft. It can help address customer service by dispatching employees to underserved areas of a store, recognize a need for restocking merchandise, or securing a blind area on the premises. Monitoring your business from any remote location allows you the freedom and capacity to balance your family and professional life better. Historically, employee surveillance focused on stolen trade secrets and theft of goods. When ...

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6/17/2014 6:00 PM

Disaster Recovery Checklist for Business Owners and Executives

Everyone is responsible for the disaster preparedness of their own households. Business owners and executives, however, have additional responsibilities. Not only do they have to get their house in order, but they are also responsible for hardening their own businesses to continue to operate despite a local disaster - and to facilitate the recovery of the business, for the sake of investors, customers, employees and vendors. Here are some basic tips those in executive positions can take to ensure the survival of a small business in the event of a disaster. Create a written disaster preparation and recovery plan. This document should be in hard copy in your office, and emailed to new workers, so that they can access the plan even if your offices don't exist. Inventory on-site first-aid kits and other emergency supplies. Secure data offsite. What will happen if your servers are destroyed in a flood or fire at your office? If your business would be d ...

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5/27/2014 10:00 PM

Good Management Lowers Premiums

How do insurance companies measure good management? And, how does this measurement affect policy premiums? Insurance companies judge management many ways, including attitude toward safety (cooperation with risk personnel), financially (credit checks), superficially (housekeeping, deferred maintenance), and in depth systems analysis (employee selection process). Positive results earn schedule credits, which reduce premiums. Schedule credits enable insurance companies to reward those conscientious managements that have a long-term commitment to reduce losses. The insurance company wants to partner with risk-avoiding management, so they lower premiums to attract these risks. Insurance companies use diagnostic tools to measure the quality of management. Accounting measurements, physical property surveys, human resource surveys, psychological tools and, of course, loss history data combine to paint an overall management picture. Accounting measurements include reviewing financial statements, credit reports, tax f ...

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5/20/2014 6:00 PM

Toxic Torts Can Poison Your Business

In the 1800's, manufacturers and builders started using a natural resource that vastly improved the quality of their products. It added strength to materials, resisted heat, electrical and chemical damage, and absorbed sound. When mixed with cement and used in building construction, it enhanced fire safety. By the middle of the 1900's, manufacturers were using it in insulation, automobile brake pads, drywall, lawn furniture, fireplace cement, gaskets, and a host of other products. Unfortunately, this material, asbestos, can cause serious lung disease and even death in those who inhale its fibers. Builders and manufacturers who used it have endured hundreds of thousands of lawsuits from the victims or their survivors. Claims resulting from exposure to asbestos fall into the category of what is known as "toxic torts" -- injury and damage lawsuits stemming from exposure to substances proven to cause illness or injury in people. Other substances that lead to toxic torts include lead paint, toxigenic mold, indust ...

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4/8/2013 4:55 AM

Why You Need an Agent

Many customers feel the only difference between one insurance company or agent and another is price.  While price is important, the experience and knowledge of an agent fighting for your rights can be the difference in getting a major claim paid or not.  Here is a story about one of our clients.  The names have been changed to protect the innocent. One of our clients had a devastating Super Storm Sandy claim.  The insured was a building owner located on the South Shore of Long Island.  In the building was a restaurant that opened for business the day before the storm.  The building suffered major damaged to the roof. In the beginning, we got him a $10,000 advance.  Then the process grinded to a halt.  The insurance company were dragging their feet and basically put up one obstacle after another.  This was an old roof and the insurance company was claiming that there was damage already there prior to the storm.  No amount of engineer reports or co ...

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7/18/2011 12:07 AM

A Healthy Approach to Sickness

Here's a tricky question that I've run into in my own business from time to time, and one that I expect you've encountered: How do you feel about the hero employee who turns up for work when they're patently sick? Sheesh, you've probably done it yourself. But does it make sense? Well, of course, that all depends on what kind of sickness it is and how it impacts on everyone else's performance. But the bottom line for me is that if an employee - or even you - has a contagious sickness, you should not be in the workplace. The reason is so glaringly obvious it hardly needs stating -- but I will. The sick person will simply infect others, and then you'll have an even bigger problem on your hands. Still, some employees, especially the good ones as it happens, seem to think they'll get marked down for taking sick leave. Your job is to let them know that's not the case -- and don’t wait till they fall sick to tell them. Let them know it's more important that they give you as much warning as possible if they t ...

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4/27/2011 12:00 AM

How to Prevent Eye Injuries on the Job

 FORESIGHT PRESERVES EYESIGHT There are all kinds of eye hazards in construction work – and there's excellent protection for every eye hazard you'll find on a project. Just remember: there's every kind of eye protective device readily available – but you're using your one and only pair of eyes right now. Here are some of the more common operations where eye protection is an absolute must:  Chipping, sledging and hammering on metal, stone or concrete.    Using manual, pneumatic and power impact tools.    Caulking, brushing and grinding.    Drilling, scaling and scraping.    Soldering and casting hot metals.    Handling hot tar, oils, liquids, and molten substances.    Handling acids, caustics, and creosoted materials.    Gas welding, cutting and brazing.    Electric arc welding and cutting; also, any operations that may expose ...

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1/4/2011 12:16 AM

Winter Freezing Precautions

Too many businesses find themselves unprepared when normal winter weather suddenly turns extreme.  During a severe cold spell, sprinkler or water pipes can freeze, burst, an produce devastating losses.  Water damage from this type of incident, known as freeze-up, can affect products in storage, paperwork,, records, furniture, machinery, computers, and all types of electronic equipment.  If water leakage goes undetected for an extended period of time (say over the weekend), extensive flooding can result.  Total costs often reach hundreds of thousands of dollars. The following guidlelines will help you plan for and implement preventive measures to better protect your business from the threats of freeze ups. Before the Cold Sets In: Update your Emergency Response Program for winter emergencies to including appropriate response procedures for deep freeze conditions. Appoint one or more members of the team to monitor weather forecasts and initiate winter emergency procedures when ...

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