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Watch Out for Data Breach Notification Scams

 

phonescamWe all know that data breaches have become a constant in our lives. Cushman Insurance Group just sponsored a business Lunch and Learn focused on data breaches and how business owners can protect themselves against the major financial risk they face. (The average cost is $210/compromised record for companies dealing with a data breach. Companies with thousands of records face significant financial exposure.)

 

But today, we’re not focused on that. Instead, we want to share a new scam in which criminals are taking advantage of the knowledge consumers have that companies are required to contact everyone whose personal information has been compromised in the event of a breach. Here’s what the scammers do: Read the rest of this entry »

Ten Defensive Driving Tips to Help Keep You Safe

 

drivesafesignsYou probably drive somewhere every day. It’s so commonplace that too many of us likely forget (or never knew) that car accidents are THE FIFTH LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH in the USA. And even though you can’t control the actions of other drivers, there are so many ways you can improve your chances of getting home safely.

 

FOCUS on your driving

We hear people claim their phones, texting, music, kids, (you name it) don’t distract them while driving. The statistics say otherwise. (e.g. over 1 million accidents each year are attributed to texting and driving.) Pay attention to the road, your car, and other vehicles. That’s it! Read the rest of this entry »

It’s Tax Season. Prepare Yourself for IRS Phone Scams

 

irs-phone-scam-picYour phone rings. When you check, the caller ID shows it’s the IRS calling. (Three letters that can give you a sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach.) But you think to yourself: I don’t believe I owe any taxes. And I haven’t even submitted this year’s return. Why are they calling me? But it says it’s the IRS, so it must be them…right?

WRONG.

For a number of years scammers have been calling people across the country, spoofing the caller ID, claiming to be IRS officials, and demanding immediate payment of fines or back taxes. Their goal is to trick you into giving them personal information and/or get you to send cash.

So the REAL IRS has assembled a number of tips to help you understand what the criminals are doing and how to avoid becoming a victim of one of their scams: Read the rest of this entry »

Active Shooter Situation: How to Respond

 

active_shooter_guide-640x400It’s such a sad statement about the state of the world when we find ourselves writing about this. But with incidents spanning the globe and occurring almost any place people gather—from schools to churches, malls to restaurants— sharing the basic guidelines of how to respond in an active shooter situation (as outlined by the Department of Homeland Security) made sense to us. Here they are: Read the rest of this entry »

PIP, MedPay, and Your Healthcare Plan — Benefits Coordination

 

puzzle-piecesWe hope you are never involved in a car accident—especially one in which you are injured. But accidents do happen. (That’s why we have insurance.) Depending on what you carry for coverage, you’ll find that your insurance policies work together to help cover your expenses related to the accident. (Not sure what PIP or MedPay covers? Read last week’s blog here.)

Now they don’t all pay at once and that can end up being a little confusing at times. So here’s a quick overview of how Personal Injury Protection (PIP), Medical Payments coverage (MedPay; optional Part 6 on your auto policy), and your healthcare plan would coordinate benefits.  Read the rest of this entry »

You’re Injured Driving Your Car in MA—Which Insurance Pays?

 

Car-Accident-InjuriesAs you likely know, in Massachusetts we have mandatory “no fault” auto insurance. That means that when an accident causes injuries, each person files a claim with his or her own insurance company for personal injury protection and other benefits. Under Part 2 Personal Injury Protection (PIP) of your auto policy, your insurance company pays covered benefits up to $8000 per person in any one accident. It applies to:

  • Individuals occupying YOUR AUTO with your consent.
  • You or anyone living in your household who is Injured while occupying or struck by an auto without MA compulsory insurance
  • Any pedestrian (including you) struck by YOUR AUTO in MA or any MA resident who as a pedestrian is struck by YOUR AUTO outside MA.

PIP benefits extend beyond medical payments for personal injury; they include: Read the rest of this entry »

Insuring Your Home’s Solar Panels

 

solar-cells-4aWe have been getting lots of questions about insuring solar panels lately. With the cost of electricity, that’s not surprising. Solar panels represent a significant financial investment and a major upgrade to your home. And as you consider installing them to reduce your long-term energy costs, make sure you include insurance protection as part of your research. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Read the rest of this entry »

Are You Getting All the Car Insurance Discounts You Deserve?

 

MW-BN525_pfauto_MG_20131021170753There was an article in the paper the other day about the value of gift cards to go un-cashed every year.  ($41 BILLION between 2004 and 2011!) That made us stop and think about the number of people who fail to take advantage of the discounts they qualify for on their car insurance.

 

At the Cushman Insurance Group, we advise our clients to review the list of potential discounts that’s posted on this website every year. For those of you who aren’t yet a client of our agency, here are some categories to check on your policies and make sure you’re getting what you deserve: Read the rest of this entry »

Protect Against Theft During the Holidays

 

STOLEN+PACKAGESBurglary is a high-incidence crime all year long. But as you can imagine, the numbers soar during the two months of November and December (nearly 400,000 in the United States during that short span.) People traveling, empty homes, lots of gift purchases, shoppers out with lots more cash in their wallets all present opportunity for thieves.

 

To help you avoid joining the holiday theft statistics, we offer a few suggestions: Read the rest of this entry »

Do I Need Business Interruption Insurance?

 

Closed signFew business people would ever consider opening a business without buying insurance to cover damage to their facilities due to fire and windstorms. But many small business owners fail to think about how they would manage if a fire or other disaster damaged their business premises so that they were temporarily unusable. That’s where business interruption coverage comes in. It is additional protection that is added to (or bundled with) a property insurance policy and it can be a critical component to the survival of a business following a loss. Read the rest of this entry »