Monthly Archives: December 2014

Keep Premiums Low When Adding Newly Licensed Driver to Auto Policy

Dear Sherri,9731141279_e3b3d88283_h

I’m adding my newly licensed son as a driver to my auto policy; I know this change is going to be expensive.  What can I do to offset the increased premium?           

Mom in Panic


Dear Mom in Panic,

First, take some deep breaths, meditate, and if that doesn’t work out, hit the liquor cabinet!  But honestly, there are plenty of things you can do to offset the premium increase, such as:

  • Have all drivers on your policy complete a Defensive Driving Class
  • Apply for Good Student Credits
  • Having a College Degree
  • Garage your Vehicles at night
  • Pleasure use versus driving to/from work (use public transportation for your commute)
  • Higher deductibles on physical damage coverage
  • Mature Driver/Retiree Discount
  • Multi-Car Discount
  • Multi Policy Discount
  • Driver’s Education Courses

By the way, now is a great time to make sure you have high bodily injury limits and purchase an umbrella policy.  Call your agent today for more detailed information on these items.

Petschauer Insurance’s 2014 Holiday Party

We hope that everyone enjoys this year’s holiday festivities just as much as we did at our annual holiday party. Take a look at some photos from the party below, and please feel free to share some of your holiday moments with us!

Please note, for our holiday schedule we will close on Wednesday, 12/24/14 at 3pm and will reopen on Monday 12/29/14 at 9am.

Happy Holidays from Petschauer Insurance!

Group Xmas Photo IMG_0192IMG_0190   IMG_0210IMG_0221

 

Petschauer Insurance’s Best of 2014

Go teamBefore we leave 2014 and get ready to embrace the exciting plans for 2015, we can’t help but remember all the great memories. We also want to celebrate all the great content that the Petschauer team published this past year! Here are some of the highest viewed videos, blogs, and articles of 2014. We are very proud of all these contents as well, and for that we celebrate! Thank you for reading, watching, and engaging with us! 

Here’s to another happy, healthy and successful New Year!

1. Business Disaster Recovery Planning Guide

2. Controlling Your Worker’s Compensation Costs

3.Should I Transfer My Home To a Trust or To My Kids?

4. Safe Driving Tips For the Winter

5How To Lower The Cost of Homeowners Insurance

6. Ask Sherri Alfred Hitchcock Special:

7. Ask Sherri – Cyber Liability:

Are Your Holiday Gifts Insured?

present_pileThe shopping season is in winding down right about now, and your loved ones have received all their gifts. Whether it is a new gaming system, new shoes, a big screen TV, a new iPhone or laptop,  special jewelry or a trip for 2 to a ski resort or sunny spa for a week, you may want to be sure that these gifts are protected by insurance if something unfortunate were to happen to them.

Does your Homeowners Policy cover any or all of these items while in your home BEFORE you give them away as gifts?  Do you have a Floater Policy (aka Inland Marine Policy) to add that special valuable jewelry item you received from your loved one? Did you purchase Travel Insurance for that exciting trip?

An Inland Marine policy or Floaters policy can cover those valuable gifts such as computers, fine arts, furs, golf equipment, jewelry, music instruments, and even camera equipment for All Risk, World Wide coverage with no deductible when scheduled on this type of policy.

Your Homeowners insurance may provide some coverage as well; however, every policy offers different features. A simple call to your agent can give you the detailed information you need to be sure.

Travel Insurance can protect you and your passenger should you need to cancel the trip due to a sudden illness that prevents you from going.  Or when on the trip, is an accident, sickness or injury covered by your current health insurance if you leave your home state? What if you require to be evacuated or airlifted for care – would your health insurance cover that expense? And if your trip was cut short due to a sickness or injury, would you get reimbursed to travel again at a later time?  You can have all of these situations covered with the right insurance.

Receiving electronics for the holiday is an awesome gift as well; however, will your homeowners or renters policy automatically cover it?  Every insurance company has their own interpretation of coverage and a call to your agent is strongly suggested to be sure you understand any limitation in your policy or instructions on what to do to protect your precious gift.  Sometimes purchasing the protection right from the electronic vender is the simplest and most economical way to get the best protection.

We hope you received all the gifts on your wish list this Holiday season! Keep Insurance on your list as well.  Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions at 718-386-5050 or info@jpins.com.

Private Company Directors & Officers Liability Renewal Premiums

In speaking with the underwriting community about private company D&O renewal policies, they are unanimous in their assertion that there has been a significant deterioration in claim experience.

Historically, losses were the result of Employment Practices Liability claims, especially following the economic meltdown of 2008. Now that the worst is behind us, private company D&O claims have manifested the more traditional types of loss scenarios. As a result, employment practice claims are no longer a large factor in driving the market’s swings in pricing. However, make no mistake – pricing continues to be an issue.

One reason for this is that private company D&O policies are written to be much broader in terms of the coverage they afford than their public company counterparts. Under public company forms, the “entity” coverage is restricted to securities claims only. Under the private company forms, the “entity” coverage is actually written on an all risks basis. Therefore, claims scenarios are wide open and can even allege such wrongdoing as “false advertising, misleading promises” and the like. Such allegations aren’t covered under the public company form, so a public company policy would never entertain this type of claim to begin with.

Under a policy for private companies, employees are covered and by ’employees’ we mean not just the directors and officers who might also be employees, but employees in any capacity who work for the company. Many such lawsuits don’t even bother to mention or name the directors or officers of the firm. However, such claims are covered under private company D&O Liability policy forms.

In addition, under private company policies, coverage is usually written on a “duty to defend” basis where an insurer is obligated to defend its insured against third-party claims. All an insured needs to do is establish that there is a ‘potential’ for coverage under the policy in order to give rise to this insurer’s obligation. The reason for this is because the insurance policy is a contractual obligation which is undertaken by the insurer. Thus the insurer has taken on responsibility to pay for all legal defense costs and assume a defense for its insured. In addition, the insurer may owe a duty to defend even in cases where ultimately no damages are awarded. Not only must the insurer assume control of the claim defense process, but they must also select counsel as well as pay all the legal bills. This is diametrically opposed to public company D&O Liability policies which are written on a non-duty to defend basis. Non-duty to defend (or duty to pay) policies require only that the insurer reimburse the insured for funds expended by the insured in defending a claim. These are termed “duty to pay” policies.

The take away here is that private companies should be prepared to pay more on its next renewal and so considering a higher deductible or lower limits might be an answer to keeping the cost within budget.

Karen Skoler

Does Your Company Have A Business Contingency Plan?

Super-storm Sandy, hurricanes, Ebola, influenza epidemics, product malfunctions or any event that may negatively affect a company’s health, image or productivity call for a  business contingency plan. Risk Management should certainly be a concern for all business owners to ensure the continuance of your business operations even under the most unfavorable conditions. Here are some scenarios to consider:

  • An interruption in your business operations can happen even if there is no physical damage to the property. Note that in order to trigger the business interruption coverage, there must first be damage to the property from a peril defined in the policy. Thus, without physical damage, recoveries are not “a given” and, therefore, contingency planning is an imperative to keep the doors open and business flowing.
  • What type of plan do you have in place if your employees are unable to get to your physical workspace, or if the workspace becomes uninhabitable? Can your employees work from home? Do you have an alternate remote location in place?
  • What about reputational damages? In today’s world of news coverage being dispersed worldwide in an instant, media spin can turn an unfortunate occurrence into a full blown crisis in no time. A planned response, trained spokespersons, and crisis intervention is certainly well worth the cost. An example, are the recent cyber-attacks suffered by major retailers. Remember that reputation and good will are extremely important, and there are insurance policies that provide coverage for reputational damages.
  • Reliance on government doesn’t always line up with the objectives of privately owned and operated businesses. While it is important to follow governmental directives in a crisis, it is also necessary to ask questions and not just blindly follow along.
  • As was recently seen in the Ebola crisis, healthcare systems such as hospitals are not failsafe regardless of how top notch their rating might be. Don’t rely on them to bail you out in case of such a crisis.

In our office we have Team Leaders who are ready to swing into action and implement our very detailed continuity plan so that we can remain operational to our clients if anything were to ever happen. You should too!

Karen Skoler, CPCU

Are You Traveling For The Holidays? Do You Need Travel Insurance?

Belly_of_the_planeSo the holidays are fast approaching, and you’re taking a vacation.  You may have your plane tickets, hotel reservation, tours scheduled, and even dinner plans all paid in full.  HOWEVER, did you consider Travel Insurance? Don’t think you need it? 

Think about some of these situations

  • What if you have a medical emergency prior to your trip and can’t go?
  • What if you got to your destination and your trip was interrupted and had to go home immediately?
  • What if you have a baggage delay and need to purchase some clothes or personal items?
  • What if you missed your connecting flight for inclement weather?
  • Does your medical insurance cover you out of your home state or while you are abroad?
  • Does your medical insurance cover emergency evacuation?

If you purchase Travel insurance before you leave, you will have coverage for all of the above and more. We recommend the Gold Travel Plan; however, click on this link to get a quote and pick out a plan that fits your travel needs. 

Here some highlights of the Gold Plan:

  • 100% Trip Cost |Trip Cancellation
  • 150% Trip Cost | Trip Interruption
  • $750 | Trip Delay
  • $250 | Missed Connection:
  • $1,000 | Baggage & Personal Effects Loss
  • $300 | Baggage Delay
  • $25,000 | Medical Expense
  • $500,000 | Emergency Evacuation
  • $10,000 | Accidental Death & Dismemberment

And there are Optional Coverage choices available to increase some of these options. Have questions?  Give us a call and we will be happy to assist – 718.386.5050 or email us at info@jpins.com.

We know how stressful things can get when you plan an exciting trip to see family or the world and it doesn’t happen.  Whether it is bazaar weather patterns, a sudden injury or a family emergency, Travel Insurance can give you that peace of mind to know if something were to go wrong at least you can be reimbursed for expenses so that you are able to plan another trip with your hard earned money.

Safe travels!

Safe Driving Tips For The Winter

2202904_0e494293The severe winter weather is here, and we commuters sure know what that entails. We go through it every year, and it never seems to get any better. However, we all have what it takes to make winter driving safer for you and the drivers around you. We recommend that you not only prepare your car for the conditions, but also be aware of some safe winter driving tactics.

Below are some tips we recommend using before driving in hazardous weather.

Preparation before you get in your car:

  • Make sure your vehicle’s fluid levels are right – either check the manual or see your mechanic
  • Replace wipers if they are not fully cleaning off your windshield
  • Check that your tires are in good shape and well inflated
  • Keep your gas tank at least half full at all times- you don’t want your gas line to freeze.
  • Be sure you have an emergency kit, along with jumper cables, a first aid kit, flares, flashlights, a shovel and some sand.

While Driving:

  • Accelerate and decelerate slowly to gain traction and avoid skidding
  • Do not make quick turns
  • Give yourself an 8-10 second following distance behind vehicles so you have enough time and distance to stop
  • Keep the heel of your foot on the floor and use the ball of your foot to apply firm pressure when braking
  • Do not try to power up a hill, but do not stop going up a hill either

Even with these precautions, it is sometimes better to stay home during snow storms. Weather conditions can be unpredictable and so is the road, so keep yourself safe and wait it out before getting in your vehicle.

We here at Petschauer Insurance are concerned for everyone’s safety, so we urge you to please take these tips seriously. Prepare your vehicle and drive safe (or don’t drive at all)!

 

Source: AAA.com