The monetary consequences of the risks you and your family take each day are difficult to pinpoint, are you sure your current liability insurance offers you enough protection?
The Basics of Personal Umbrella Liability Policies
If you are found to be legally responsible for someone becoming injured or damaging someone's property without a personal umbrella liability insurance policy, anything past the limits of your standard liability coverage will come out of your own pocket. Standard liability insurance generally includes homeowners, renters, auto and watercraft policies.
A personal umbrella liability policy provides an extra layer of insurance coverage over your standard liability policies. It protects your personal assets by kicking in when your standard liability coverage has been exhausted.
Who Needs an Umbrella Liability Policy?
We recommend that our clients consider carrying an umbrella policy. If you engage in a high-risk hobbies or activities that increases your odds of being sued—such as household teenage drivers, entertaining often or owning a swimming pool - it's prudent to supplement your insurance with a personal umbrella liability policy.
How Much Coverage Do I Need?
You’ll want to take into consideration not only your total personal assets but also your potential personal risks. For example, do you operate a business in your home and have employees and clients to your home on a regular basis? Does your profession or location of your home make you an easy target for a big settlement? Determine your personal risks to evaluate the amount of additional liability coverage that makes the most sense for you.
Coverage starts at $1 million, and can go as high as $10 million. When considering the value of the umbrella policy, discuss your personal needs with Kelly Lee Insurance.
How Much Does Coverage Cost?
Additional liability insurance is inexpensive in comparison to the addional coverage you gain. Depending on the policy value and your personal risk factors, such as recent auto tickets, your credit rating and more, a $1 million umbrella policy typically costs about a dollar per day. Costs go up an additional $50 to $75 for each million thereafter.
Count on Us
Don’t wait for a rainy day to find out you need the additional protection a personal umbrella liability policy can provide. Call TWFG Insurance - Kelly Lee LLC today at (337) 656-2890 to discuss your unique needs and learn about all of our liability insurance solutions.
Know The Risks and Be Prepared
Many people do not realize just how dangerous fireworks and sparklers can be—which is a primary reason that injuries occur. Fireworks can not only injure the users but can also affect bystanders.
Most injuries and accidents occur because people often underestimate the dangers posed by fireworks and don’t take proper safety precautions. In fact, the Consumer Product Safety Commission found that more than half of fireworks-related injuries were the result of unexpected ignition or consumers not using fireworks as intended.
Unfortunately, all fireworks carry potential risks of burns, blindness and other injuries, but you can significantly reduce the potential for danger through proper planning and safety.
Tips for Safe Firework Use
When using fireworks, always plan in advance who will shoot them, and what safety precautions will be in place. Here are some suggestions to ensure safety and avoid accidents:
• Keep spectators at a safe distance.
• Never give sparklers to children under five.
• Only use fireworks as intended. Do not alter or combine them, and do not use homemade fireworks.
• Do not carry fireworks in your pocket or shoot them from metal or glass containers.
• Point fireworks away from people, homes, trees, etc.
• Show children how to properly hold sparklers, how to stay far enough away from other children and what not to do; throw, run or fight with sparkler in hand—and always supervise closely.
• Always have a hose or water bucket handy.
• Never try to relight a dud (a firework that didn’t properly ignite).
• Soak all firework debris in water before throwing it away.
• Use fireworks and sparklers outdoors only.
• Wear safety goggles when handling or shooting off fireworks.
• Do not shoot fireworks off while under the influence of alcohol.
Take Precautions, Reduce Risk
Be sure that your celebrations comply with all applicable state and local laws. The laws regulate who can purchase and use fireworks, when they can be purchased and used, and what the maximum noise levels may be. Under these regulations, the focus is not only on product safety but also on the reduction of accidents and injuries to you the consumer.
On June 21, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that state governments can collect sales taxes from online retailers, even if a retailer doesn’t have a physical presence in the state. Until this decision, states could only collect taxes from online retailers that had in-state headquarters or another significant connection to that state.
This decision should benefit brick-and-mortar businesses, as sales taxes often forced them to increase prices—making it difficult to compete with the lower prices offered by online retailers. The court’s ruling also said that states should benefit from the decision by gaining access to a new source of tax revenue, estimated to be $33 billion annually across all states and online businesses.
Although critics of the ruling believe that consumers will face higher prices when shopping online, others think that increased competition between online and physical storefronts will cancel out any significant increases.
The ruling has already had a significant impact on the stock values of some major retailers. However, it’s still unclear how small retailers that have an online presence will be affected, and whether states will alter their tax collection practices to account for the size of an online retailer.
Sending a child off to college is a significant milestone that represents the culmination of years of planning and hard work. As you prepare for the start of the semester, you should consider how your insurance needs may change with your son or daughter away at school.
Protecting Your Student’s Belongings
Many homeowners policies consider a dorm room as an extension of your home, so items your child keeps there may be covered to some extent. However, if your child has expensive electronic equipment or furniture, you may want to consider purchasing additional coverage.
If your child lives off campus, his or her possessions may not be covered by your homeowners policy. In that case, you may want to consider renter’s insurance, which costs as little as $15 per month. Renter’s insurance will cover possessions in your child’s off-campus apartment or house as well as provide liability coverage if anyone is injured in the residence.
Keeping Your Child Healthy While on Campus
Many students can stay on their parents’ health plans if they are full-time students. However, restrictions vary greatly by state, and coverage could be even more complicated if your child is attending an out-of-state school.
If you find your child doesn’t have coverage under your plan, you have a few options. Most colleges have their own health plans, but some policies have high deductibles and low coverage maximums. A few don’t offer any coverage for conditions present before entering the school, so be sure to examine plans carefully. Otherwise, you may want to consider an individual policy for your child.
Changing Auto Coverage
If your child moves more than 100 miles away from your home to attend school and doesn’t keep a vehicle there, your auto insurance premiums could decrease by as much as 30 percent. Call us today at (504) 322-7299, and see if you can save money while still maintaining coverage for your child when he or she is at home.
Insurance Questions to Ask
Here are some important questions to ask when your child goes to college:
Count on UsIf you are sending a child off the college and haven’t looked at adjusting your coverage, contact us today to learn more. You could save money on your policies and protect your child from expensive incidents while away from home.
The American Cancer Society recommends that adults undergo colorectal cancer screening starting at age 45, opposed to the long-observed threshold of age 50. The new guidelines were published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.
This shift affects nearly 22 million Americans who fall within the 45-to-49 age range.
Like most cancers, colon cancer is easier to treat the sooner it is detected. The longer you wait—even a few years, as this update implies—the greater the risk of the cancer progressing.
Doctors are quick to note that colon cancer can occur at any age, even in teens.
Colon cancer is the second-highest cause of cancer deaths among adults in the United States. The disease kills over 50,000 people each year.
According to a study from the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer rates have been rising for every generation born after 1950.
As a way to encourage more people to get tested, the American Cancer Society suggested a few different screening options for doctors to promote.
These options include lab tests, stool samples and colonoscopies. The last option being the most invasive.
What Does This Mean for Me?
If you are 45 years old or older, you should speak with your doctor about what is right for you. Keep in mind that there are a number of screening options besides a colonoscopy if you are worried about taking time off work.
Remember that waiting only increases the risk of cancer progressing. Don’t wait to speak with your doctor about colorectal screening if you have any concerns, regardless of your age.
Recently, researchers at Talos—a cyber intelligence unit of Cisco—warned consumers of malware (malicious software) that specifically targets networking devices. The malware, which is known as VPNFilter, impacts an estimated 500,000 routers worldwide, particularly targeting devices from the following manufacturers:
Once on your equipment, the malware could stop your router from working, collect information from any systems that run through it and even block network traffic. Experts are concerned over the scope of the attack, as anyone owning a router from the affected manufacturers could be at risk, including businesses and individuals.
Agencies like the FBI have also expressed concern over VPNFilter, as this particular brand of malware can be used in espionage attacks on military, security and other government organizations.
Reduce Your Risk by Resetting Your Router
Unfortunately, there’s no simple way to tell if your router is infected. To protect yourself, it is recommended that you:
If you’ve had a fire, water damage or another unfortunate event in your home, don’t fret. We have all the information that you need to get your claim underway so you can get your life back to normal.
When you have a homeowners insurance claim, your actions can make all the difference. Here’s how to maneuver through the claims process with ease:
As a means to reduce rising health care costs, innovative solutions are rising to the surface. One such solution is known as direct primary care (DPC).
What is DPC?
In this model, physicians, pediatricians and internists charge a monthly membership fee that covers most of what the average patient needs, including visits and drugs at lower prices, instead of accepting insurance for routine visits. As a result, DPC can provide substantial savings to patients. Consider the following:
Because they don’t operate under the typical fee-for-service model, many DPC providers are able to spend more time with their patients. Research shows that patients who have a good relationship with their doctor receive better care and are happier with the care they receive.
Does DPC replace the need for health insurance?
No, in fact, DPC providers recommend that their patients have some form of insurance to protect themselves in the event of an emergency. Remember, DPC is for primary care. It will not take care of catastrophic injuries, surgeries or trips to the emergency room.
How popular is DPC?
DPC is emerging as a way to combat rising health care costs and maintain a high quality of care. Those who partner with the right providers may find great success with this type of health care model. While DPC has grown steadily in the past few years, the market is still slow. Despite this, DPC providers and supporters are optimistic about its future.
As health care costs continue to climb and the prevalence of expensive chronic conditions increases, the importance of choosing the right doctor and type of care is exemplified. DPC presents a way for employees to receive more personalized health care while containing their health care costs. Moreover, DPC can be an attractive option for employees with high deductible health plans and health savings accounts, as it would provide them with the option of receiving care without paying high out-of-pocket costs.
It may be worth it for you to further investigate this model and evaluate if it’s right for your organization. For more information on DPC, please contact us today.
sChances are you are under insured and could benefit from umbrella coverage if you:
Liability comes in many forms. Here are a few of the ways you may be responsible for damages beyond what your current home and auto policies cover.
It’s no secret that distracted driving accidents, fatalities, and the resulting medical care costs are on the rise, making higher limits more important than ever. Even relatively minor accidents can incur substantial medical bills. If an accident involves disability or death, the costs can be hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of dollars. Those with teenage drivers incur greater risk as teens are more likely to have a serious crash.
Do you have children?
Those with children, teen and adult children living with them can benefit from an umbrella policy, as you could be liable for injuries to others’ children during carpooling, a playdate or babysitting. Even if your child attends a party where there is an injury or death, you can be sued, even if your child did nothing wrong.
Do you entertain at home?
If so, you could be liable for everything from trip/fall hazards, to food poisoning, to someone drinking alcohol at your house and getting in a car accident on their way home. A homeowner’s policy worth $300,000 won’t go very far if the courts award a $500,000 judgement against you.
What about pets?
While dog bites only comprise a third of all homeowner’s liability, according to the Insurance Information Institute, even friendly dogs can frighten or knock down elderly or youthful guests and cause injury.
Personal injury and personal offense liability.
Gossip can be hurtful. It can also result in painful lawsuits. People can be sued for embellishing an embarrassing story about someone, writing a bad review of a business, re-posting material subject to copyright laws, or even a rant on social media. In short, anyone can sue another person for any reason, frivolous or not. Regardless of the validity of the suit, you must respond.
Drop down protection. Do you travel overseas?
You may be at risk without realizing it. For instance, if you rent a car and have an accident, your home or auto policy probably won’t cover it. Likewise, if you rent a boat while on vacation, you are likely without protection. But an umbrella policy may provide primary liability in both situations. Further, if you are sued personally, the umbrella may cover your legal defense. A good attorney starts at $250 an hour, but with personal umbrella insurance, you could receive extended protection for less than a dollar a day.
You don’t have to be rich to be sued like it.
Some people assume that since they aren’t rich, they can’t get sued since they don’t have the money to pay. However, the courts disagree. If a person is held responsible, or even partially responsible, for an accident, their wages can be garnished, their savings taken, and in some states their home and other assets seized. While financial responsibility rules vary from state to state, not having umbrella insurance exposes you to a lot of risk.
A personal umbrella policy is an inexpensive hedge against such risks. Many times, umbrella insurance is available for around a dollar a day. In short, bad things happen to good people. The key is to do a thorough interview with your agent about your family, your lifestyle, and hobbies. He or she can use that information to determine if your risk is tangible so you can make a more informed decision about liability and umbrella insurance.
Article from 2/26/18 Insurance Journal - insider-tips-for-increasing-umbrella-sales
Written by Brook McGuire is the Strategy Lead for Specialty Products at Safeco Insurance.
Workers on a shift schedule tend to have poor eating habits and lack regular exercise, which can contribute to sleep problems, fatigue and stress. Read this article to learn how shift workers can fight fatigue.
Minding Your Mental Health
For some, work can be a major source of stress due to heavy workloads, pressure to perform at a high level, job insecurity, long work hours, excessive travel and conflicts with co-workers. Read on to learn when you should consider speaking to your manager about your mental health.
For shift workers, unconventional schedules can take a toll on health and safety. In fact, research shows that people who sleep during the day often struggle with getting an adequate amount of rest.
What’s more, workers on a shift schedule tend to have poor eating habits and lack regular exercise, which can contribute to fatigue and stress. To combat these adverse health factors, shift workers should consider doing the following:
It’s important to be mindful about your scheduling, and avoid permanent or consecutive night shifts whenever possible. In addition, employees should be allowed to gradually change from night shifts to normal shifts, as this gives the body time to recover and adapt to a new schedule.
Fatigue due to poor quality or lack of sleep can affect every aspect of an individual’s life, and can severely hamper one’s ability to perform at work. Speak to a doctor if you are concerned about the quality of your sleep or want more general health tips.
For some, work can be a major source of stress due to heavy workloads, pressure to perform at a high level, job insecurity, long work hours, excessive travel and conflicts with co-workers.
Over time, this level of stress can lead to insomnia, anxiety, depression, low morale and drastic mood swings. Overcoming these symptoms isn’t always easy, but knowing when to step back and evaluate your mental health can help.
Evaluating your mental health is incredibly useful when it comes to decompressing and alleviating stress caused by workplace factors.
While mental health and workplace stress can vary on an individual basis, the following are some examples of when speaking with a manager can help reduce workplace stress:
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