Category Archives: Petschauer Insurance

2016 New Year Message from The President

New Year 2016

As I reflect on the past year, I’d like to take this opportunity to acknowledge my team, whom I proudly call “the Amazing Team Petschauer”.  I continue to be so impressed by their commitment, perseverance and resiliency, especially during our very challenging year of transition as we moved from our original home in Ridgewood, New York to our new home in Garden City, New York.  I can absolutely say that my team embraced our professional staff development values and maintained a positive office environment by utilizing their communication skills along with their emotional intelligence to manage this major transition.  They were successful in moving the entire office, including myself, to a higher level of performance and collaboration.  Truly Amazing!

It was such an emotional experience as well.  In looking back, I must admit, I did not prepare myself or my team for this difficult process.   What was I thinking? We had 58 years in one place – how could we NOT miss Ridgewood – a community that was so wonderful to us!  We at Petschauer Insurance feel so grateful for our time in Ridgewood and hold our memories dear as we settle into our new home.   And to be sure that the spirit of our founder and my dad, John Petschauer, will live on in our hearts and new home in Garden City forever; his portrait hangs in our reception area.  The first vision when you walk in our front door is a reminder of our history and the legacy he left us.  We invite you to visit and see how his smile and spirit still lights up our day.

A special thank you from Petschauer Insurance goes out to our clients – especially our Ridgewood area clients – for your patience during our year of transition.  We so appreciate your loyalty and your business. THANK YOU!

And now, we are ready for the New Year in our new home. Our focus for 2016 will be to enhance our consultative approach and product knowledge so that we continue to provide a client experience that leaves you feeling safe, protected, understood and appreciated.  We are committed insurance professionals that aim to offer you the best solutions to your insurance needs in a way that you are comfortable with.

We at Petschauer Insurance wish you and your loved ones (furry ones included) a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.

  • Heidi Petschauer, CIC

 

What We Learned At Our Team Building Outing

IMG_5545For the past decade here at Petschauer Insurance, we have used our annual outings for team building and professional development.  We always strive to stay current with how to best meet the needs of our clients and communicate in the most professional way.  This year for staff building we focused on collaboration and clear communication while professionally focusing on how to use our emotional intelligence.

As always, our professional management consultant Dr. Josie Palleja led us through fun exercises as we took a cooking class held at A La Carte Cooking SchoolWe were instructed by two master chefs on how to prepare and cook a full meal: an appetizer, salad, main dish and dessert.  Throughout our cooking instructions we were presented with many challenges that were meant to develop our IMG_5550listening and communication skills.  We were placed in teams and when we arrived at our cooking stations the menus were on the table.  Dr. Josie mixed up the recipes so they were not what we thought we were going to cook.  As you can imagine, there was a moment of confusion.  Each team had to clarify the information they heard and then ask the other teams for help to complete the assignment.  Clear communication and collaboration got us to back on track to get started.

IMG_5613Our next challenge was the actual cooking.  Here is where we practiced using our emotional intelligence….. i.e. being self-aware of what you are good at and not so good at, being mindful of staying mentally present and not getting distracted, and knowing what your teammates’ strengths and challenges are.  Each team worked together by sharing their skills, expressing their comfort levels in the kitchen and being open to try something they had never done before.  At times we were all amazed at how comfortable we had become with cutting vegetables, sauteing chicken, even plating a dessert.

After we ate our delicious meal we all took turns sharing what we learned about ourselves during this outing.  Some of us spoke about facing our fears and openly acknowledging them without any judgment. Others spoke about learning to feel comfortable to ask for help.  While others realized how important it is to listen carefully, take instructions, and to also accept that mistakes happen.  The truth is everyone has fears and challenges that we must each accept and help each other overcome.

IMG_5633Everyone at JPI learned how important it is to turn a challenge into a positive by using our emotional awareness. With these new skills being applied in the office, we are now more aware and present for you, attentive to your needs so we can put together an insurance program that fits your needs, and communicating with you in a clear, concise, and positive manner.  As always we will give you good information to help you make the best insurance decisions for yourself, your family or your business.

We would like to thank you for being patient while we took time out of our work day to improve on being the best insurance consultants we can be. Thank you!IMG_5677

Petschauer’s Guide to Camping 101: Tips and Tricks

Large_Car_Camping_TentTips and Tricks

Last week we gave you some tips on how to insure your RV or camper for your next camping trip. This week we wanted to share some awesome safety and space saving tips to make your time out in the wild as amazing as possible.

And here is an article with some awesome safety tricks that you may need if you ever find yourself in an emergency while out in the wild. Some of our favorites are:

  • Use Duct tape to close a wound
  • Use tin foil to turn AAA batteries into AA batteries
  • Use Crisco and a t-shirt to make a long lasting candle
  • Cuddle with your pets if you’re cold

Take a look at this article on how to make the most out of the space you have. Here are some highlights:

  • Use bedside caddies as a makeshift night stand
  • Hanging fold up shelves are good for storing clothes and pantry items
  • Shoe hangers are also good for storing miscellaneous items
  • Attach slide out drawers under tables or beds if possible

So there you have it, another edition of Petschauer’s 101 Guide to a safe and comfortable camping trip.

And one final tip, whether you are in an RV,  a camper or just tenting it out, make sure you bring the bug spray, sunscreen, marshmallows and toilet paper!

Please feel free to contact us at INFO@JPINS.com if you have any questions about RV/ Camper coverage.  We will be glad to share more detailed information with you.  Thank you!

 

Looking Back, Moving Forward: The Future of Petschauer Insurance

The Future of Petschauer InsuranceBlog 5

We have grown from a staff of 3 to 14 insurance professionals since first opening our business and now we have outgrown our space here in Ridgewood. With the goal of the Petschauer Legacy continuing, we needed to find a new home with more space.  Hence the move so we can grow.

Our new location: 377 Oak St., Suite 404, Garden City, NY 11530 offers so many opportunities:

  • It is centrally located
  • Has easy access for all of NYC, Queens, and Long Island residences
  • MORE PARKING! (Those that live in Queens can certainly relate to this challenge)
  • It affords us larger space to grow into
  • Professional office space with a collaborative team working environment
  • Continues our Investment and commitment to creating more career opportunities

We are invested in our professional staff development so we can produce professional consultants who work together with our clients to offer the best insurance options for their needs and budget.  Our new space will allow us to continue on this path of offering more professional staff development seminars.

Our founder, John Petschauer, always stated:  “You are only as successful as your staff behind you is competent.”  This is so true, and why Erwin and I are so invested and committed to this philosophy. We believe that encouraging our staff to take classes to grow their insurance knowledge will give them the opportunity to feel competent and confident. At Petschauer Insurance, one can be hired as a receptionist and through our professional development can grow into an Account Executive or Producer in any one of our 3 departments: Commercial, Personal or Life & Health.  We believe that by collaborating with educated insurance consultants we help our clients feel protected and set a foundation for our legacy to be here a very long time.  

We will miss our original home in Ridgewood but we are committed to staying connected to the community of our founder’s heritage by continuing to participate in the Steuben Day Parade. And as a firm, we also support our staff’s investment in community service and give back to many local charities such as Toys for Tots, Avon Breast Cancer Walk, and Pets Alive.

Come visit us in Garden City!

By Heidi Petschauer, CIC President   

Looking Back, Moving Forward: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, & Part 4 

 

Looking Back, Moving Forward: The Legacy Continues

THE PETSCHAUER LEGACY CONTINUES

BLOG #4

The value of family and community was so integral to my dad, John Petschauer – or JP as we lovingly called him – as a person and as a professional.  He looked to his family to continue to develop and perpetuate his business.  JP always embraced the concept of moving forward.  He knew when it was time to transition out and help my cousin, Erwin Petschauer, and I transition into our new leadership roles.  With his mentoring and guidance, we were able to have our own focus and he helped us to make our individual contributions to the business. 

Since Erwin’s degree was in computer engineering, he took us to higher and higher levels of automation and efficiency over the years.  Today with Erwin’s risk management expertise, he now heads our New Business Development, which has been instrumental in the growth of our business.  Just like JP, Erwin loves networking with people and offering advice to business owners on how to protect their property and assets to keep their businesses viable and growing.  With my management degree, one of my main focuses is on professional staff development, which means hiring and developing a solid in-house team of knowledgeable insurance consultants who are committed and dedicated to customer service. 

Together Erwin and I have reached out to local residences to fill many employment positions and our staff has grown from 3 to 14 as of today.  With my dad’s mentoring, Erwin and I partnered and brought our own experience and passion to help grow Petschauer Insurance into who and what we are today. JP may only be here in spirit today, but he is so alive in all of us here at Petschauer Insurance. Even the staff that never had the privilege of working with him can feel the energy of his legacy. I know my dad is so proud!

So what’s the reason for our move? Find out why “moving forward” is so important for the Petschauer Legacy  in our final Blog #5.

 In case you missed it, here are Looking Back, Moving Forward: Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3.

 

By: Heidi Petschauer, CIC

President

Thank You Ridgewood

As we begin to say farewell to Ridgewood and our neighbors, we want to extend a warm thank you to all of the community for their loyalty and for being like family to us for 58 years. We are ready to take our next big step forward and will always cherish our ties to our original home. Thank you Ridgewood!

– Petschauer Insurance Team

Planning For Hurricane Season

hurricaneTypically, hurricane season runs from May 15th to November 15th of any given year. Some of the lessons of SuperStorm Sandy are that you don’t have to be on the coast to suffer extensive damage to homes, commercial property and the loss of income associated with business closures and the resulting loss of earnings.

Many people continue to struggle from the effects of this storm and many businesses are nowhere near back to normal functioning. Off Premises Utility Services coverage was one of the limited means of recourse for those suffering damages from Sandy and for the loss of income sustained as a result of losing power. This coverage provided for losses due to lack of incoming electricity caused by damage from a covered cause (such as fire, windstorm or flood if coverage was purchased) to property away from the premises—usually a utility generating station. The coverage is also referred to as “off-premises power coverage.” However, it is important to remember that such coverage is not provided by standard property insurance policies and is only available by endorsement. Utility service interruption coverage endorsements vary widely as to what utility services are included, whether both direct damage (damage to property) and time element loss (loss of earnings) are covered, and whether addition, not all business income coverage is the same.

Damage to property, ensuing power interruptions and road blocks and/or closures can force a business to cease operating. The absence of personnel and suspension of operations can cause overall financial effects not contemplated by traditional coverage. Especially in cases where damages are caused by heavy rains, rising tides, and heavy winds, without the proper coverage, you could find yourself out of luck and out of business quicker than you ever imagined.

The best way to avoid catastrophe is to have a plan. We here at Petschauer followed our Disaster Recovery Plan during “Sandy” and it made all the difference to our customers and to the continuation of our business operations. By a pre-arranged disaster plan, we all knew what was expected of us and how to swing into action. We were able to work from our homes using our cellular telephone to service customers, report claims, counsel our clients and get restoration underway whenever and wherever possible.

Nobody, not even the meteorologists, can predict with complete accuracy the extent of the damages caused by wild weather conditions. They can, however, issue hurricane, tornado, coastal flooding watches, warnings and advisories all of which can help to better prepare us for approaching deleterious weather conditions. However, once the warnings are in place, insurers generally issue moratoriums against binding any new coverage until after the storms have passed. So, the best offense is truly a good defense or in this case a set of sensible, comprehensive planning which includes making sure to purchase those insurance coverages that can actually make a difference in times of disaster.

By Karen Skoler, CPCU

How Much Insurance Do I Need?

calculatorAn interesting question and perhaps the most frequently asked when trying to determine the limit of insurance necessary to protect your property in case of loss. In insurance lingo, this concept is known as “insuring to value.” When trying to determine what this limit should be, most people immediately think of the market value of their property. However, market value has no bearing on the cost to rebuild or repair in case of loss. Frequently, clients insist that their property be insured for the selling price they believe they can get in today’s market, or for the price they paid when they purchased the property. This thinking can inflate the cost of the insurance, or worse yet, leave one improperly (underinsured) insured at the time of a loss. So what standard should be used to determine the correct limit of insurance?

Keep in mind that land doesn’t burn and, therefore, doesn’t need to be repaired or rebuilt. So it follows, that even if you paid separately for the land and the structure, you don’t need to include the value of the land in the limit of insurance you choose. Structures can, and do, burn including both the main structure as well as any “appurtenant structures” such as garages for example. When establishing the value of your property you want to choose a limit of insurance that reflects the cost to repair of rebuild in case of partial loss or total loss. When in doubt a good rule of thumb, used by insurance carriers, is $175 to $200 a square foot. (Keep in mind that this figure is only to be used as guide when trying to determine insurance to value.) Since inflation is often a factor in contracting costs, many insurers include automatic percentage increases in their policies which range from 2% to 8% a year to cover such contingencies.

There is also an 80% rule which is utilized by insurance carriers. This rule, called “Coinsurance,” requires that a homeowner or building owner have a limit of insurance that is equal to at least 80% of the total replacement cost of the structure. A breach of this requirement, results in a penalty that can leave the property owner a participant, or a “coinsurer,” at the time of loss. In short, the insurance company will only pay a loss based on the limit of insurance carried, to the limit which should have been carried to meet the 80% requirement. Often clients think that they can save money by choosing an arbitrary building limit, until they encounter this situation at the time of loss and then it is too late!

For example, I own a home with a replacement cost of $300,000. (Some of my neighbors have recently sold similar homes on my block for upwards of $450,000. Remember, however, that the price I can sell my home for has nothing to do with the limit of insurance I need. If I were to build an exact duplicate of my home on some exotic island it might sell for over $5 million, but the replacement cost is still that same $300,000.) 80% of $300,000 is $240,000 which is the limit of insurance I need to meet the 80% requirement. Any lesser amount will generate a penalty. As a consequence, I won’t be paid in full at the time of loss. Let’s say that I decide to insure my property for $200,000. Subsequently, I have a loss and the damages are approximately $100,000. Even though this is not a total loss, undoubtedly, I will suffer a coinsurance penalty. Here is how this works: $200,000/$240,000 = 91.67% and the carrier will only pay me 91.67% of the loss or $91,670. The remaining $8,330 is my portion of this loss, and on top of this, the carrier will further reduce my payment to reflect the deductible I chose when I took out my policy.

Remember, any renovations or major changes to structure such as adding a room or extending the property will change this requirement, so it is imperative that you review your policy limits with your agent on, at least, an annual basis!

– Karen Skoler, CPCU

The Importance of an Independent Insurance Agent

Heidi & ErwinFor the last two weeks we have been discussing different elements of a policy that affects a premium. We stressed that not all policies are written the same way even if the Dollar amount of coverage is the same and this, of course, will affect the premium. Therefore, we determined that it was extremely important to review the details or fine print of each coverage provided in the policy. However, how can busy consumers be expected to know and understand all the finer points of an insurance policy? You have enough on your plate without having to become an insurance expert too!

This is where a good insurance agent or broker comes in. Imagine if you woke up with a high fever, nausea, an ugly rash, and a nose bleed. While you might look your symptoms up on the Internet to get an idea of what you had, would you go all the way to finding out what medicine you should take and then go to the pharmacy and buy it without ever seeing a trained physician? Common sense screams “No!” A visit to your trusted doctor is a foregone conclusion. Likewise, you obviously should do your homework before you purchase any insurance policy, but to do so without the advice and counsel of a trained insurance professional could lead to much heartache in the future.

Remember that your independent insurance agent or broker is like your real estate agent or attorney. They work for YOU. Just like a real estate agent is the go-between between you, the buyer of real estate, and someone selling property, insurance agents and brokers are the go-between, between you and the various insurance companies to which they have access. Anybody can sell you a policy, but GOOD insurance agents and brokers are not there to merely sell you an insurance policy. They should also provide you with sound advice about which of the many options is best for you and make sure that no gaps are left in your overall risk protection program. So when discussing insurance quotes with your agent or broker, discuss the entire quote including the details, not just the price. Always ask questions. Make sure you totally understand what you are buying before you buy it. Believe it or not, there is nothing more professionally rewarding than to obtain the best coverage for a client and still have that client save a lot of money!

So, how do you find a GOOD insurance agent or broker? Well, how do you find a good doctor, dentist, lawyer, contractor, or almost any other service provider? Referrals. Speak with your friends, co-workers, family members, and other people you trust and ask them who they use and if they would make a recommendation. Also ask WHY they would make the recommendation. Ask about the advice the agent or broker gives, the problems they helped avoid, and the satisfaction or dissatisfaction felt after submitting a claim. This will give you a good idea of who to use as your agent or broker too! Find someone with whom you can partner and trust so that you not only get insurance you can afford, but also insurance that protects you, your family, and your hard-earned assets.

– Ray Alvarez