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Working Together to Reduce Your Homeowner Premiums (A Checklist)

 

HomeownerInsuranceAt the Cushman Insurance Group we review your homeowner policy every year when it comes up for renewal. And if we find that the rate has increased beyond a small percentage within industry averages, we re-quote your coverage with several of the many companies we represent in order to make sure you are getting the best coverage for the most competitive rate.

 

There are also ways that you can help to reduce your homeowner premiums. Here’s a checklist:

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Spearphishing—Real and Increasing Risk for Businesses

 

spear-phishing_thWe’re all familiar with a wide-net phishing emails. They are usually non-personalized, often poorly written emails letting you know you’ve won something, or that there’s a problem you need to address immediately (e.g. your email will be deactivated, your bank account will be closed) unless you update/ confirm your user name and your password.

 

 

Spearphishing is different; it targets a specific group of people: employees or customers of a specific company, individuals within certain departments (legal, finance, accounting, HR, etc.), or even a specific person. The emails are also more difficult to recognize as bogus because the criminals have a level of information about the target that makes them seem legitimate. (e.g. name, boss’ name, customer names, current project(s), etc. gathered by combing the company’s website, other websites, blogs, social networking sites, etc.)

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ATM skimming is up significantly; tips to help you stay safe.

 

skimmerYou’re probably aware of ATM skimming. It involves criminals installing illegal card reading devices on ATMs to capture the data on the magnetic strip on your debit card. They also frequently install a hidden camera that enables the thieves can record your PIN number as you enter it on a keypad.

 

What do they do with it? They make duplicate debit cards and then drain cash from your bank account. Read the rest of this entry »

Falling Trees and Your Insurance

 

The recent heavy, wet snow resulted in damage to homes and cars from falling trees and limbs all around eastern Massachusetts. That raised the often-asked question: whose insurance pays for the damage? Here’s a quick overview of the issues that apply:

 

Damage to a home, fence, or other insured structure

A standard homeowner policy provides coverage for the damage to insured structures and any contents in them resulting from a falling tree caused by wind, lightning, or hail. Read the rest of this entry »

Things to Consider When Preparing Your Company’s BYOD Policy

 

tablet-791050_960_720Mobil devices have been great for productivity. The ability to work anytime / anywhere and even use your own smart phone, tablet or computer to work on company assignments has been beneficial for companies and employees alike. But it has also opened an array of issues relating to corporate security and liability. As a result BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policies have been implemented in businesses across the country to define the requirements of their use, and the consequences of failing to follow the policy rules.

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Automatic Emergency Braking – Standard by 2022

 

Ramakrishna-automatic_braking20 automobile manufacturers made a historic commitment last week. They committed to making automatic emergency braking (AEB) a standard feature on virtually all new cars by September 1, 2022.

 

Automatic emergency braking helps prevent crashes or reduce their severity by applying a vehicle’s brakes automatically. The systems exist in a number of new cars already; you’ve likely seen some of the ads on TV by now. This commitment is to make them standard in our new vehicles. Read the rest of this entry »

Costs of Data Breaches Continue to Rise

 

The Ponemon Institute, which conducts independent research on consumer trust, privacy, data protection and emerging data security technologies, reported in its 2015 “Cost of Data Breach Study” that in the United States, the cost of a data breach set a new record high – an average of $217 per compromised record. Here are a few of the highlights of that IBM-sponsored study:

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Keeping You and Your Pet Safe in Your Vehicle

 

5164Lc-2ynL._AC_UL320_SR266,320_90% of pet owners travel with their pets. And while we don’t have survey to confirm it, we’d suspect that most of that 90% think of their pets as members of their family. You buckle yourself in; you do the same for your kids and require friends traveling with you to do the same. Still 80% of pet owners (interviewed by TrustedChoice.com) do not use pet restraints in their vehicles. (Let’s not even think about the people who drive around with their pet on their laps! Talk about distracted driving.)

 

In these crowded days on our highways where according to the NHTSA, distracted driving contributed to 10% of all fatal crashes and 18% of all injury accidents in 2013, an unrestrained pet in any vehicle can distract and cause accidents and are highly likely to suffer serious harm in an accident. Read the rest of this entry »

Driving at Night: Tips to Reduce Risks

 

Lots of GlareThe days are getting longer. Daylight Savings Time is just around the corner. Still…even though nighttime driving accounts for just 23 percent of vehicle miles traveled, more than 50% of accident fatalities (occupants 16 and older) happen at night according to the National Safety Council.

So even if you think your driving doesn’t change from day to night, it’s important to be aware of the dangers of night driving and how to combat them.

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Credit Ratings and Insurance Rates

 

credit-score-Insurance companies have found there’s a correlation between credit ratings and claims—specifically, that folks with lower ratings tend to have more insurance claims. So in setting premiums, credit scores are another factor that go into the mix. Now there are a few states that prohibit insurers from using consumer credit information –Massachusetts, California and Hawaii for auto insurance and Maryland and Hawaii for homeowners insurance. So aside from all the other great reasons for working to earn or keep a good credit score, it could also help keep your homeowner insurance premiums lower here in MA. Here are a few quick tips you might not know about that could help improve your score! Read the rest of this entry »