Besides Insurance, How Can a Business Prepare for a Hurricane?

Besides Insurance, How Can a Business Prepare for a Hurricane?
By M Wyzanski

Any insurance professional will stress the importance of a good commercial policy that includes wind and hail as well as flood coverage in relation to protecting your business from the elements. Case in point is the fact that many stricken by current hurricanes do not even own flood insurance.

We won’t get into the implications of damages and losses recovery in regard to this unfortunate set of circumstances. Suffice it to say, in wake of the destruction, these home and business owners have to deal with the financial stress on their own, save for whatever government assistance they can get.

Besides having a proper insurance plan in place, businesses can prepare for the worst weather scenarios by doing the following.

Review your company’s impact study:
• Make a tally of what type of losses you may incur.
• Consider the amount of risk loss and severity probability that may impact your business.
• Look over your business process flow agenda: Should one portion of your company become unworkable, assign another unit to take over.
• Choose which operations are vital for continued survival and recovery.
• Ensure all records of sales and customer-base, as well as tax data and documents are stored in a secure off-site location.
• Assign others to take over executive management if those in place are not able to carry out duties.

Partner with Other Businesses
• Have vendors ready to outsource services in case of a hurricane disaster.
• Mark down important vendor and business partners and store this info in an off-site multiple employee-accessible location.

Make Alternate Plans for your Facility
• Contemplate the use of other locations in the event your main office is rendered inaccessible or inoperable.
• Plan for security of people and property.

Ensure Payroll Efficiency
• If it is pertinent, ensure the vendors you will deal with understand how to continue with payroll.
• Partner with your vendors to ensure employee info is stored securely in an off-site location.

Team up with Other Operations
• Group together with other corporations at your building site to prepare for continued business in a weather-induced crisis.
• Reach out to emergency personnel and power companies to show them how your operations are conducted.
• Devise a plan together with your suppliers, shippers and others you rely on so that you will know how to carry on in the event of an emergency.

Keep Up with Your Protection Plans
• Review your plans on how to deal with an emergency situation yearly. Revise them if you feel changes need to be made.
• Conduct consistent emergency drills.
Risk control is part of any major insurance company’s policyholder’s benefits. Contact an independent agency that does direct business with many of the leading providers for more information on how your company can protect itself from a hurricane or other natural disaster.

Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/M_Wyzanski/2158115

Not just Florida: Consider the world when planning retirement

Not just Florida: Consider the world when planning retirement

Living in North America offers access to an unprecedented standard of living, stable employment, safety, and entertainment.

But it comes at a high cost. What if you could retire in style at a fraction of the cost? Enter geo-arbitrage which means taking advantage of the cost of living in different locations.

To make retiring early feasible for the average individual, Business Insider points out that American dollars can buy a lot more in other countries than they can at home. As an example, most retirement calculators are based on about $40,000 per year in annual retirement income to compute their savings goals. This assumes that the person is using the standard 4 percent withdrawal rate from their retirement savings. To manage that number, a person would need $1 million in the bank to retire. This amount of money will require diligent saving and strong market performance to achieve.

Conversely, an individual might only need about $12,000 per year to live comfortably in a place like Guatemala. This means that they could retire with the same standard of living while only having $300,000. This could literally shave more than a decade off of a person’s working life. Sure, the standard might not be an exact apple-to-apple comparison, but many resources are available online that help to provide direction and information for would-be expatriates. Many from these groups are already living abroad and have helped pave the way for this trend to flourish.

Now, this type of lifestyle change might not be feasible for everyone, especially families with children still in school, but options exist outside of the traditional method of working until the age of 65. It would pay to take notes anytime someone is traveling abroad on how they might like to spend the rest of their lives in that location. For someone up for adventure and yearning for financial freedom, geo-arbitrage might just be their golden ticket.

Flood Insurance, Even in a Non-Flood Zone? You Bet

By M Wyzanski

Record breaking flood waters have emerged following one of the most devastating hurricanes the US has come to know. In fact, in the southeast areas of the lone star state, the majority of homeowners do not even own flood insurance. And who can blame them? There was never a precedent in the locality. Although hail and wind storms are a constant concern for property and business owners, no one imagined that rain waters would contribute to enormous damages as those suffered and broadcast throughout the country in recent days. Surely not the home mortgage companies, for they do not even require it from borrowers!

But now that the toll has risen among the dead and those forced out of their homes seeking shelter, one thing remains clear. When things eventually do settle down, home owners and people in the commercial sector will have to deal with the epic losses and damages on their own because of a lack of related coverage.

For homeowners without flood coverage the facts are uncomfortable, as they are painful: a standard home insurance policy does not protect from floods and the damages related to them. The insurance industry stresses in no uncertain terms that compensation is only provided to those who had the foresight to acquire flood insurance in the event of water damage emanating from atmospheric conditions like a hurricane, a tropical storm or other inclement weather.

A little history about Flood insurance:
The year was 1968 when the US Congress mapped out its flood program. Designed to help assist home and business property owners from the financial ravages of a damaging flood, its policies are offered in all communities that are involved in the rules of participation.

Flood coverage shields property owners or renters from building damage and contents damage.
This includes the following:
• The structure, as well as building foundation
• Electric and plumbing systems
• Central air conditioner, furnace, water heater
• Refrigerator, stoves, and any installed appliances, like a dishwasher
• Carpet that has been installed over bare flooring
• Personal clothing and electronics
• Drapery
• Transportable heaters and air conditioners
• Carpeting other than what is included in the property coverage
• Washers and dryers

Typically, flood recompense claims include:
• Replacement Cost Value: up to eighty percent of the amount needed to replace property damages in a single-family, primary residence
and
• Actual Cost Value – replacement costs at the time of loss reduced by physical depreciation

Note: The flood program always uses actual cost value to determine reimbursement of personal property.

Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/M_Wyzanski/2158115

Note from InsureUS: As a result of Hurricane Harvey and the horrific devastation caused by flooding in Harris and surrounding counties, floodplain maps will likely be revamped in the near future, which means rates for flood insurance could be on the rise. If you believe your home may be in a period that will be on the new floodplain map, NOW is the best time to act on it as the rates will go up after the new maps are created. Call InsureUS today at (281) 640-8888 for your quote.

Does Renter’s Insurance Cover Damage to the Rental Property In Cypress, TX?

The agents of InsureUS in Cypress, TX offer Renter’s Insurance that protects your personal property from theft and damage. The protection only extends to your personal belongings. It doesn’t cover the building or the personal property of the owner of the home or apartment. In order for their building and possessions to be covered, they must carry an insurance policy that includes the building and the physical property itself. Your renter’s policy will cover the following elements.

Personal Liability

Personal liability protects you if someone is injured while visiting your apartment or home. If someone is injured and chooses to sue you, your personal liability coverage will pay the damages up to a specific percentage. The amount your insurance company pays will vary according to the policy and amount of coverage.

Personal Property

Your Renter’s Insurance will cover the cost to replace your personal items if they are damaged or stolen. The dollar amount is determined the type of policy you have and the amounts you have chosen. It will also cover your luggage while you are traveling.

Loss of Use (Living Expenses)

When it comes to Renter’s Insurance, Loss of Use means the use of your living area. This part of the policy pays for living expenses such as a hotel, food and rent if your apartment is damaged and not inhabitable. It may also pay a portion of your moving expenses. 

In Cypress, TX, you can speak to a licensed agent at InsureUs and find all of the information you need on Renter’s Insurance as well as personal liability coverage. Make an appointment today to find out what type of coverage and how much you need to keep your belongings safe and protected. 

The right time for life insurance

The right time for life insurance

Life insurance can be a tricky subject depending on what stage of life a person finds themselves in. Variables such as term limits, whole life policies, benefit amounts, and riders can all create a complicated mess capable of scaring someone away from getting coverage.

Because of this complexity and cost, U.S. News reports that about 30 percent of American households have no life insurance coverage at all. Even more worrisome is the fact that there are 11 million households without coverage that include children under the age of 18.

The purpose of life insurance
In simplest terms, life insurance provides a financial benefit at the time of death. A family’s breadwinner might want to provide for the family. A spouse might want to be sure the mortgage is paid off if he or she dies. Parents might want to be sure kids could go to college if one of the parents dies.

Life’s different stages can determine need
Kiplinger.com suggests that people look at life insurance through the perspective of what their current and future needs are and allow those circumstances to govern when and how much life insurance is required.

Single people without children
In this stage, of life single people are usually better off investing their money rather than buying life insurance. But some life insurance is probably necessary. For example, everyone will need burial expenses at the end of life and leaving that burden to family is irresponsible.
Of course, single people with children should carry enough life insurance to provide for their children and/or pay off the house.

Married couples without children
At this stage of life, people must have life insurance to pay off a mortgage or debts that could burden the surviving partner.

Families
Families with one income and young children are the classic high-need situation for life insurance. In this case, the financial payout would be vital for covering lost income if the breadwinner died prematurely. Special considerations should be paid to how much income would be necessary to cover the family for many years as well as expenses such as college tuition down the road.

Retirement
Once the kids are grown up, the mortgage is paid off, and the breadwinner is in the twilight of his/her career, life insurance could become less important. In this case, the financial benefit could be used to cover estate taxes to protect heirs.

Contractors need liability insurance

Independent contractors are increasingly working at all types of businesses. From plumbing to consulting, companies are seeing the benefits of hiring so-called 1099ers.

Because of their status as contractors, they don’t receive many of the benefits that employers usually provide. One of those benefits is liability insurance. If anything goes wrong while on the job, the insurance can cover it.

According to Insureon, those reasons include:

– Covering lawyer fees and damages if the employer sues over the work provided by the contractor

– Making sure that the employer doesn’t have to pay the costs if the contractor is sued

– Being compliant with statutory requirements

The type and how much insurance is needed varies based on a contractor’s responsibilities. For example, those in construction, or others who work with heavy machinery and tools, may need insurance for bodily injury and property damage.

Those who are contracted to provide advice, such as accountants, financial planners, interior designers and landscape architects, need to be concerned about liability risks, according to Trusted Choice. The company, which works with small businesses on insurance matters, says these contractors need to be covered for losses their clients may have as a result of the contractor’s recommendations.

Contractors who work as caterers should consider insurance for product and liquor liabilities. Trusted Choice notes this covers them if they serve food and alcohol at functions where guests could be injured because of food poisoning, for example.

Contractors who are unsure what kind of insurance to buy should consult with a licensed agent.

First woman to run the Boston Marathon, April 19, 1967

Katherine Switzer became the first woman to run as a numbered participant in the Boston Marathon, April 19, 1967.

Switzer registered for the race as K.V. Switzer and was given a number, even though women were not invited to run.

When the error was discovered, one official tried to physically force her off the course. But Switzer’s boyfriend, also running, clobbered the official, sending him flying and they continued.

An unofficial woman runner, Bobbi Gibb, beat Switzer’s time by an hour.

Women were not officially welcome to the marathon until 1972. Interestingly, the official who pushed Switzer in 1967 was instrumental in making women part of the event in 1972.

Distracted phone users drive up insurance prices

Car insurance rates are going up and you can blame the smartphone.

Insurers expect rates to rise by 8 to 11 percent in 2017 as auto accidents rise along with distracted driving.

Auto insurers say distracted driving is so bad that they are beginning to see many auto accidents with no skid marks, according to the Wall Street Journal. The drivers literally never saw it coming.

Experts expected accidents to drop and rates to lower as car-makers adopted higher tech protections, but that has not happened.

According to Allstate Corp., the striking correlation between smartphone ownership and accidents is because people do more than talk on the phone when they are driving. Maybe talking was bad enough, but now drivers are making videos, texting and using the Internet.

Don’t drink, drive and Snapchat

The worst possible New Year’s decisions probably don’t seem so terrible at the time.

Drinking and driving — the safety scourge of New Year — gets a lot of press for good reason. That one decision can change your life or even end it.

However, a new spike in traffic related deaths tells experts something else is going on in cars these days. Something deadly: Technology.

In the first six months of 2016, highway deaths rose 10.4 percent, to 17,775, from the comparable period of 2015, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

“This is a crisis that needs to be addressed now,” Mark R. Rosekind, the head of the agency, told the New York Times.

Safety officials aren’t alone in their concern. The insurance industry is also convinced that using phones and apps on phones, tablets or laptops, is the biggest cause of the rise in road fatalities,

Robert Gordon, a senior vice president of the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, said in an interview with the New York Times.

When the first examples of tech-distracted driving became obvious a decade ago, the problem was driving while trying to make phone calls or text on a phone.

Response to this problem was to make new cars Bluetooth friendly so that drivers would not have to take their hands off the wheel. Instead, their phones would work right from their cars.

And that has worked well. So well, that now there are a host of apps that also work very well through the car. Result? More Internet use than ever and, possibly, more distraction than ever, as drivers concentrate on podcasts, social media, navigation, and more.

The magical Rockefeller Center: symbol of hope

Christmas in the US officially begins Nov. 30 when the 45,000 energy-saving LED lights on the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree burst into a dazzling display.

The American event began in 1951 when only 9 percent of Americans owned a television. By the end of the decade 90 percent of Americans owned a television and the New York City Christmas celebration became a holiday tradition.

When NBC broadcasts the one-hour tree-lighting special every year, the cameras emphasize the tree, ice skating rink, and surrounding magical decorations. They don’t reveal the marvel of the Center itself.

Rockefeller Center itself is a complex of 19 commercial buildings, themselves icons soaring up on legendary streets with names such as Avenue of the Americas and Fifth Avenue, and 30 Rockefeller Plaza, headquarters of NBC. The buildings take up 22 acres in Midtown Manhattan and they were part of the largest private building project of all times, a project of glamor wrought in gloomy times.

In 1928, John D. Rockefeller Jr., had already leased land from Columbia University to build a new facility for the Metropolitan Opera when the stock market crashed in 1929. With a global depression underway, the Opera board backed out of its commitment. Other financing fell through. Rockefeller knew if the Art Deco ‘city within a city’ would be built, he would have to finance it himself.

And he did. Although Rockefeller suffered losses himself on Black Tuesday, he pressed ahead with the project that became a symbol of success and hope for the future, a public space where New Yorkers could appreciate art, and a commercial boon for the city.