Month: July 2019

I Have To Insure My Home For How Much?!

Let’s take a trip down memory lane shall we? Remember when 2006 was a wonderful year to buy a house? Loans were so much easier to obtain when you didn’t have to have a down payment. Fast forward 2 years later, to when we were all crying because the market crash of 2008 happened; and then BAM, all of a sudden we owe more on our homes than what they are worth!

Now, if you are among the lucky ones that bought your home way before the crash you might be in a different situation. Your home over the years might have increased in value and could be worth more than what you owe now. This is why having the right amount of insurance is super important on both sides of the fence.

You want to make sure you insure your home for the total cost to REPLACE your home. If your house burns to the ground, you need to make sure you have enough coverage to rebuild your home and make you whole. The cost of rebuilding a home is much more than just what it is worth or what you owe on it. Insurance agents calculate this cost by using a computer system called a “Replacement cost calculator” that will put in for example, how many bathrooms, square footage, and floor coverings in your home to come up with an estimate on what your specific home would cost to rebuild. The purpose of having insurance, in general, is to protect you in the event that something happens and a loss occurs, your insurance company wants to help put you right back where you were before the loss, as long as they are aware of the values of all that was lost!

What Protection Does It Offer?

A standard homeowners insurance policy insures the home itself and the things you keep in it. It is typically a package policy, which means that it covers both damage to your property and your liability or legal responsibility for any injuries and property damage you or members of your family cause to other people. Let’s look at each coverage part in more detail:

Part l: Property Protection

Dwelling: This offers protection as a result of damage to the structure of your home including fixtures, plumbing and heating due to a covered loss, such as fire or hail storm damage. It does not cover the normal wear and tear of your home or maintenance-related problems. You need enough coverage for the cost of rebuilding or repairing your home, less the cost of the land. Determining this new replacement can be somewhat complex, but we can assist with this process.

Other Structures: This includes coverage for detached structures, such as a garage, garden shed, and fixtures attached to land such as a driveway, sidewalks, patio, fence and swimming pool.

Personal Property: This covers the contents and personal items in your home such as furniture, clothing and sporting goods.

This also extends to your personal belongings anywhere in the world, up to a maximum value per item. To determine your property’s value, we’ll provide you with a home inventory checklist to help you quickly and easily itemize your belongings.

We recommend insuring your personal property for its replacement cost value. The longer you own your belongings the less value they hold. Replacement cost value ensures that you can replace yesterday’s purchases at today’s prices.

Loss of Use: In the event that a covered loss such as fire forces you from your home, Loss of Use provides a safety net for additional expenses over and above your normal living expenses while you are unable to live in your home, up to the policy limit.

Part ll: Liability to Others

The Liability to Others portion of your policy covers you against lawsuits for bodily injury or property damage that you or family members may cause to other people. It pays for both the cost of litigation and court awards, up to the limit of your policy. It also covers you at home or away.

If a visitor is injured in your home, medical payments coverage allows the person to submit medical bills directly to your insurance company. The benefit is that expenses are paid to the injured person up to the policy limit without a liability claim being filed against you.

Additional Considerations

Disasters – Damage caused by most disasters is covered in a standard homeowners policy, but floods and earthquakes are excluded. Upon request, we can provide coverage information about each.

Vacant Property – If your home is left vacant due to a move or new construction, you are vulnerable to claims for loss from vandalism and other mishaps. Please check with our agency to learn more about the coverage options available.

These are all reasons why insurance reviews are important! Your policy should match the changes within your life. Stay current and Stapleton Insurance Group will stay committed to making sure you are covered.

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Silica In The Construction Industry

Construction workers where ya at?! First of all kudos to our men and women that take on the weather elements everyday to continue building America! Stay safe, hydrated and aware of the Silica Dust that you breathe in!

Dust created when working with crystalline silica contains harmful particles. And although respirable crystalline silica looks like dust, it’s much more harmful to workers’ lungs. In fact, silica dust is a carcinogen, and breathing it in causes the formation of scar tissue, reducing the lungs’ ability to take in oxygen. Together, these facts stress the importance of adhering to safe work procedures related to respirable crystalline silica.

Employees could be exposed to respirable crystalline silica when performing work involving chipping, cutting, drilling, grinding or similar activities on materials containing crystalline silica. In order to keep employees safe, it’s critical you establish a safe working environment and ensure all parties closely follow Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards related to respirable crystalline silica (29 CFR 1926.1153).

In general, the rule includes standards that reduce the permissible exposure limit (PEL) for respirable crystalline silica to 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air (50 µg/m3). The rule also requires employers to implement specific measures to protect workers. This guide provides general instructions employers can use to implement workplace controls and comply with the standard.

Per the standard, employers need to train and inform employees about respirable crystalline silica hazards. Specifically, training should cover:

  • The health hazards associated with respirable crystalline silica (e.g., cancer and lung disease)
  • Workplace tasks that could expose employees to respirable crystalline silica
  • Workplace controls used to protect employees from respirable crystalline silica
  • The details of the silica standard
  • The identity of the competent person
  • The purpose and a description of the medical surveillance program

Training should also note what specific tasks contractors perform and what Table 1 controls are needed as a result. The silica standard does not require employers to use any particular method for training employees. In general, it is recommended that training is administered by the competent person. Contact Stapleton Insurance Group for a sample training presentation—Silica Safety Training Presentation.

This blog is merely a brief informational piece. Consult your licensed Commercial Property and Casualty representative at Stapleton Insurance Group or legal counsel to address possible compliance requirements.

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Robocalls Driving You Crazy?

For the love of all things good please, stop the random numbers from calling! How often do you receive calls from various different numbers, some local and some not? Probably at least once a day, right? Do you ever answer them? Are they trying to sell you medical grade braces or maybe it’s a cruise? As if telemarketers weren’t bad enough when land lines were so popular now it has turned into Robocalls & Spoofing! No worries… the Federal Communication Commission is working on getting it under control soon!

According to the Federal Communications Commission:

“The FCC is working to, as Chairman Pai says, “stop the scourge of illegal robocalls.” He has made combating unlawful robocalls and malicious caller ID spoofing his top consumer protection priority. By proposing and implementing effective policy initiatives and pursuing targeted enforcement actions, the FCC has been taking a bold stand to protect and empower consumers.”

A Top Priority

“Unwanted calls are far and away the biggest consumer complaint to the FCC with over 200,000 complaints each year—around 60 percent of all the complaints we receive. Some private analyses estimate that U.S. consumers received approximately 2.4 billion robocalls per month in 2016. Unfortunately, advancements in technology make it cheap and easy to make robocalls and to “spoof” caller ID information to hide a caller’s true identity.

Chairman Pai and other FCC staff get these calls too. He told NPR’s Planet Money recently: “So every now and then, even on my work Blackberry, I’ll see a call that seems to be coming . . . from the 202 area code, which is here in Washington—and then our prefix for these Blackberries. And I know for a fact that, you know, it’s probably not someone calling from the office. Sometimes, I answer just for the heck of it. And it’s—lo and behold, I’ve won a vacation… .”

Protect Yourself

While the FCC is working to get the number of Robocalls under control, you still need to be aware of scammers. These Robocalls could cost the person on the receiving end a great deal if they are not careful! We talk about Cyber Crime quite a bit here in the insurance industry because we can provide protection with Cyber Liability, but there is nothing available to protect you from Robocalling Scammers. Moral of the story is to stick to the mantra of “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” Don’t answer the call if you don’t recognize the number, let it go to voicemail. You can try blocking the number but chances are they will find another number similar but with one digit off to use. If you do answer, just simply ask that they take you off their call list and make note of it, because if they don’t then you can contact the Federal Trade Commission to file a complaint against them and they could be fined.

The calls are annoying, we couldn’t agree more, but it is easier to ignore it than to deal with the headache of a scammer that just stole your money or your identity!

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Reduce Your Risks When Putting On A Fireworks Display

Risk Management

“Hey! Let’s go down to the fireworks store and buy the biggest baddest fireworks we can! This is going to be the best 4th of July ever!” Sounds great, but have you ever shot fireworks off before? “Well, no but it can’t be that hard!” It sounds pretty risky. Fireworks can be dangerous if you don’t know what you are doing. “Well how can I reduce the risk?” GREAT question here are some tips to staying safe this 4th of July season.

In all reality, how often does a conversation like the one above occur between friends? 4th of July rolls around and suddenly everyone is a pyrotechnics expert. Fireworks are an indispensable part of 4th of July celebrations. However; when you decide to buy fireworks, it is necessary to take precautions in order to reduce the risk so everyone can enjoy them injury-free.

Know the Risks and Be Prepared

Injuries and accidents often occur because people underestimate the dangers posed by fireworks and don’t take proper safety precautions. In fact, a special study conducted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission found that more than half of fireworks-related injuries were the result of unexpected ignition of the device or consumers not using fireworks as intended. The bottom line is that all fireworks carry potential risks of burns, blindness and other injuries, but you can reduce the danger through proper planning and safety:

  • Make sure the site is suitable for your display and check weather reports both before and on the day of the event.
  • Contact your local authorities to keep them informed of your plans and give them plenty of advance notice.
  • Arrange for the proper delivery, storage and use of your fireworks.
  • Do not permit anybody other than the display operator and firing team into the firing zone and the safety zone around it. Keep spectators a safe distance away, preferably with barriers.
  • Plan for what to do if things go wrong. Ensure you have enough fire extinguishers and buckets of sand or water ready in the event that something lights on fire. Designate someone to be responsible for contacting emergency services.

Be sure that you are complying with all applicable state and local laws. The laws regulate who can purchase and use fireworks, when they can be purchased, when they may be used and what the maximum noise levels may be. Under these regulations, the industry focus is not only on product safety but also on the reduction of accidents and injuries.

Insure Your Event

Regardless of whether you hire a professional fireworks display operator or release the fireworks yourself, you should first verify that your general liability policy will provide coverage for injuries or property damage caused by the fireworks. Other coverage to consider, depending on the nature of the event, are event cancellation insurance, weather insurance and special event insurance.

For more information about managing risks at your event, contact us today.

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