Category Archives: Uncategorized

Team USA Sets Golden Standard For Insuring Your Valuables

Untitled designCongratulations to Michael Phelps, the “Final Five,” and all of Team USA for participating in the summer Olympics! All of these athletes have surely set the golden standard by their efforts in Rio, while also seeing to it that their medals are insured.

Have you followed their winning example?

Our blogs have previously discussed the proper way to insure an engagement ring and other valuables that you own. Now, we want to remind you that it is equally as important to review these valuables on an annual basis, as they may increase or decrease in value.

You may have a Personal Articles Floater, Inland Marine, or Scheduled Items Policy already in place. However, the potential increase or decrease in value of different items is something you will want to address with your insurance agent.

Some of these items may be:

  • Jewelry
  • Watches
  • Rings
  • Bracelets and other trinkets
  • Furs
  • Antiques
  • Musical instruments
  • Camera equipment

You can make changes and improve the coverage if you review your policy on an annual basis.

  • What items are covered under your current policy?
  • Are they covered individually, or as a group?
  • Is the coverage subject to specific exclusions or deductibles?
  • If you travel, is the coverage worldwide?
  • What would it cost to replace these valuables in today’s market?

If you want to be up to speed, much like Team USA, these are all questions to ask your insurance agent.

Certificate Of Insurance 101: What Business Owners Need to Know

contractor certificate of insurance

One of the first priorities for a new business owner is negotiating a lease with the landlord. Regardless of whether a business operates out of an office, store, or showroom, a lease agreement typically obligates a tenant to carry specific limits of insurance. Landlords often request proof before the tenant takes possession of the space. This proof is called a Certificate of Insurance.

Sometimes a landlord’s insurance requirements appear difficult to meet. Forthcoming tenants initially may not realize that the terms of a lease and its required limits of insurance can be negotiated. Most leases minimally request that the tenant carry General Liability limits of $1 million per occurrence and $2 million in the aggregate. Some leases require the tenant to provide for coverage for Improvements and Betterments made to the space.

Once a policy is bound, an agent or broker will provide the insured with documentation naming their landlord as the Certificate Holder. It is very important to understand, however, that the certificate of insurance is only a snapshot of the coverage put in place.

Frequently asked questions from those looking to obtain a Certificate of Insurance include:

  • Why all this emphasis on who, what, where, how, and when to get a certificate?
  • Who should you provide with a certificate? What should it say?
  • How do you know what should be included?
  • When can you push back on a landlord asking for unreasonable inclusions?
  • Why do landlords request the name of each officer, director, member, agent, representative, and successor that appear on a certificate of insurance?

As new business owners begin to encounter all of this and more, it’d be well worthwhile to call their insurance agent. Contact us today!

Building Our Communicative & Collaborative Skills At Our Team Building Outing

143For 12 years, Petschauer Insurance has committed to annual team building outings so that all employees have a chance to develop professionally. JP, our founder, always invested in being honest and having integrity when he related to his staff and clients. We are honoring and promoting his legacy and brand by honing our collaboration and communication skills during this outing.

Our day began with an active discussion led by Dr. Josie Palleja, our management consultant. She engaged us by asking each person to reflect on what their personal brand was. She helped us think about our values and how we act out those values.  We were each able to define our personal brand.

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She then led us in an active conversation about our coping skills. Everyone spoke about how they coped with stress, confusion, and frustrating situations.  We then wrote down what strategies we would use to manage these challenges in a positive way.  Afterwards, we were then anchored with our emotional intelligence and strategies to handle what we were going to face in the day ahead.

We made our way to Artrageous,” a studio for ceramics and painting activities. We picked out the items we wanted to work with, then coordinated the design, colors, and décor of our projects before starting. Immediately, we were presented with the challenge of having to make decisions quickly.

049At Artrageous, Dr. Josie had 2 staff members work with us.  She previously arranged with them to provide us with conflicting instructions. The first staff member gave us one set of instructions and then immediately after that, the second staff member gave us conflicting instructions. All the while, we were held to very specific and tightly timed deadlines so we could complete each individual task.  We were challenged to engage our emotional intelligence and collaboration skills so we could remain positive and focused through some frustrating and confusing experiences.

You could feel the Petschauer team really collaborating amid confusion and conflicting direction. Some in our group acted quickly and were more hands on, while others took a step back to reflect and assess the situation before responding.  070

Our communication was open, positive, and supportive while we shared creative ideas, suggestions, and offered assistance to any teammates. The clock was ticking. As we approached our time limit, we were all helping each other. Sounds of laughter and singing were in the air while everyone finished their projects. Our mosaic pieces were unique, interesting, bright and just simply fabulous!

072When we debriefed about our experiences, it was clear that the outing gave each of us at JPI an opportunity to use our emotional intelligence. Did our strategies work? When we experienced challenging situations, did we respond the way we thought we would have? Amazingly enough, each of us found we stayed true to our personal brands. We all had the opportunity to share what we learned about ourselves, how we dealt with challenges, and what kind of decision-making process we exercised.

Overall, the emotional and intellectual muscles we flexed throughout the day helped us learn that we can meet the needs of our clients by communicating in a clear, positive, and effective way.

At Petschauer Insurance, we always aim to provide our clients with the best information to help them make good decisions for themselves, their families, and/or businesses. Our goal is to build trusting relationships that will last a very long time.

Group picture outing

 

2016 Happy Father’s Day Message from Our President

 

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In memory of my dad and our founder, JP, on this Father’s Day, I acknowledge the values that he passed on to me, which I now use as the foundation for the values we uphold in our company. These values are honesty, integrity and trust.  JP always felt these values were critical for building trusting relationships with our clients as well as our colleagues.  These core values have helped our company provide a level of excellence when servicing our clients.  My dad’s values were the foundation of our relationship and because of his influence and support they resonate throughout my personal life as well.

Today, I wish all the men who are fathers or mentors a very happy day of celebrating your values with those you love and have guided through their life’s journey. Please enjoy your special day and embrace that you do make a difference!

And today, for myself, I embrace the memories and values my dad instilled in me.   I am feeling blessed and grateful for the love and songs in my heart.  Your legacy continues dad and you still make a tremendous difference. Thank you Dad. 

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY !

Disability Income Insurance: What Every Professional Needs to Know

Most people know they need to insure their life, their car, and their home or condo.  But they often overlook insuring their most important asset – their ability to earn an income.  Your income is the primary source of funding for a lifetime of things, from basic necessities to the hopes and dreams you have for yourself and those you love.  The $3-9 million or more you’ll likely earn over the course of your career is surely an asset worth insuring.

But what would happen if your income stopped because you were too sick or injured to work? Without a paycheck, how long could you pay your rent and utilities, buy groceries, make student loan payments, etc.?  In all likelihood, your life would be thrown significantly off course.

Before you say this could never happen to you, consider the fact that 1 in 4 of today’s 20-year-olds will become disabled before they retire.1  And if you’re thinking that most disabilities are the result of freak accidents, you’re in for a surprise. The vast majority of disabilities, about 90%, are caused by various forms of illness including cancer, mental disorders like anxiety and depression, muscle and back problems, and heart disease.2

What to Look for in a Disability Income Policy

Disability income insurance (DI) can help replace your income if you become too sick or hurt to work. It provides a buffer against the unexpected.  Should disability strike, DI provides income that can be used to keep your household running as well as to help you adjust to your changed circumstances.

But before you go shopping for a DI policy, you need to know what features to look for to get income protection you can count on:

How Disability is Defined

The definition of Total Disability outlines what constitutes being totally disabled.

  • If a policy defines Total Disability as inability to return to work in any occupation, then it would typically pay benefits only if you were unable to perform any job, either your own or a job in a new field or occupation.
  • If the policy defines Total Disability as an inability to work in your own occupation, it typically pays benefits if you cannot perform the duties of the occupation you were engaged in prior to becoming ill or injured.

Coverage for a Partial Disability and/or Recovery

A policy’s Residual Disability benefit provides protection in the event of partial disability or during a recovery period.

  • Typically payable in an amount that is proportionate to the loss of income suffered due to sickness or injury.
  • Supports your financial recovery while you recover physically.
  • Not available with most group plans.

Flexibility to Tailor Coverage to Your Specific Needs

Both now and in the future, options (also called “riders”) like these let you:

  • Increase coverage as your income grows with no medical insurability requirement.3
  • Adjust benefits to help keep pace with the cost of living.
  • Safeguard retirement contributions.
  • Protect student loan payments.

Portability

Most professionals expect to change jobs or employers multiple times during the course of their career.

  • You can take individual DI coverage with you when you change jobs.
  • Group Long-Term Disability (Group LTD) plans typically are not portable.

Cancellability

To avoid the possibility of losing your coverage just when you need it most, choose a policy that’s both non-cancellable and guaranteed renewable to age 65—with premiums also guaranteed until age 65.

  • With group or association group coverage, you run the risk of being dropped and left unprotected at a time in your life when, due to your age or to a change in your health, it would be very difficult to qualify for coverage from another provider.

Timing

It’s important to note that the cost of individual disability income protection is age-based, so you can lock in a lower rate by buying now while you’re young and healthy.

You’ve made a significant investment of time and money to build your career with the promise of financial security and the other rewards your profession provides. But should you become too ill or injured to work, that promise evaporates. Contact a reputable DI insurance agent to ensure you have adequate protection for your greatest asset.

 

Nicholas V. Limongeli | NRL Wealth Creation Strategies, LLC
Disability Income Specialist & Financial Representative
25 Carle Road, Westbury, NY 11590
Office : 516-334-4900 x254
Fax : 516-334-0564
Nicholas_V_Limongelli@NRLagency.com
www.nrlagency.com

 

1 U.S. Social Security Administration Fact Sheet, October 2015.

2 Council for Disability Awareness 2014 Long-Term Disability Claims Review.

3 Restrictions and limitations apply. The amount of additional coverage available will be financially underwritten based on the amount of disability insurance you have or are eligible to receive, as well as your income at the time you apply.

 

Prepared by Berkshire Life Insurance Company of America, Pittsfield, MA, a wholly owned stock subsidiary of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, New York, NY. Product provisions and availability may vary by state. Optional riders are available for an additional premium.

Does My Auto Policy Cover A Rental Vehicle?

Question: Does my personal auto policy cover a rental vehicle?1144830_477b253d

Answer: Maybe.  Don’t you just hate answers like that?  Let us try and simplify this complicated question which our clients ask frequently.

First, it depends on what state you live in so always contact your insurance agent for advice before renting a vehicle.

If you were our client and lived in New York here would be our answer to you:

Yes, if you had a personal automobile policy and were renting a private passenger vehicle for pleasure use, then your policy would afford you coverage up to your liability limits for a maximum of 30 days.  STOP – KEEP READING…. THERE IS MORE….

Your policy may afford you coverage; however,  you will need to have ALL the facts about this coverage before renting a vehicle and declining the rental car insurance.  Please read carefully:

  • If you or the rental company puts a claim in for any damages to a rental vehicle, regardless of fault, your insurance company will apply an accident surcharge on your next renewal. There is also that possibility that instead of the surcharge, you will get Non-Renewed.
  • The rental car company can charge additional fees such as loss of rental income, diminished value of the rental vehicle, towing and storage charges and loss/damage of the GPS that your policy may not cover
  • Without the rental insurance the rental car company can automatically charge your credit card for the damages and fees for the rental vehicle. And if they repaired their vehicle before your insurance company is aware of the claim they could deny any reimbursement to you for the charges to your credit card.

So OUR RECOMMENDATION would be to:

  1. Check with your credit card company  as some of them still provide at least some coverage, if not all, for damage to a rental vehicle
  2. Do not hesitate: purchase the insurance every time you want or need to rent a car. It will be less stressful and less costly than your options above.

2015 New Year Message From The President

Happy New Years

In reflecting on my personal and business experiences in 2014,  I would like to offer my New Year wishes to you, our valued client, friend and follower:

In 2015, may you be open to creating opportunities or new beginnings and find the courage and conviction to be true to yourself while never losing your sense of humor! Be present so those happy moments don’t pass you by and be thankful for your good and prosperous times.  And share your challenges with your family, friends or colleagues as collaboration and team work is the key to success whether in your business or personal life.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you wholeheartedly for your continued commitment, trust and friendship to myself and to Petschauer Insurance.  2015 will be a year of change and new opportunities for us.  Follow us on our blog,  Facebook, Linkedin, and Google Plus for our exciting announcement. Our founder and my dad, John Petschauer, would be proud!

I wish you a New Year filled with good health, good memories and much success.

– Heidi Petschauer. CIC

 

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:

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

Thanksgiving Message From The President

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am feeling very blessed and now that  the Thanksgiving Holiday is here, now is a perfect opportunity for me to express my gratitude. 

To our loyal clients, thank you for all the trust that you have in our agency and staff . You are all very open to our knowledge and expertise as we insure the property and assets you have worked so hard for. To my amazing and knowledgeable staff,  I am so blessed to have your commitment and dedication to the firm and our clients. I truly appreciate my entire team! To my family and friends (and my dogs Dobie & Gracie), thank you for all your love and support.  There are no words to truly express how lucky I feel to have you all in my life.

May everyone have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving!

– Heidi Petschauer