Insurance

Important Business Practices for Professional Cleaning Services

Important Business Practices for Professional Cleaning Services

Having clean facilities is crucial for both businesses and private residences. Not keeping things tidy can lead to certain health and safety risks, and negatively impact the overall well-being of residents or visitors of an establishment. Because of this, cleaning services are valued for their professional contributions. While most people may have experience doing basic cleanup for themselves and their families, providing this service professionally requires much more. For anyone planning to run a cleaning business, insurance and other considerations can be crucial for helping it stand out as a professional service.

Responsibilities

Running a successful cleaning service takes much more than just showing up and performing basic housekeeping. Depending on the type of client being served, these businesses must be responsible for tasks such as the following:

Providing professional services such as deep cleaning and sanitation

Having the ability to safely operate specialized cleaning tools, chemicals, products and machinery

Drawing up contracts and scheduling appointments

Keeping employees and clients safe and healthy

Adhering to health and safety codes of each facility served

Ensuring cleaning service insurance, licensing, and certifications are up to date

By making these considerations, these businesses can stand out from the competition as reliable, reputable professionals. Having this type of status can equate to more client contracts and many successful years in the industry.

Spring Weather Safety Tips for Construction Sites

Spring is here bringing unpredictable weather along with warmer temps and blooming flowers. The better weather starts the construction industry moving faster again. Protect your business against liabilities with Northstar insurance Needham and use these safety tips to lower your risk.

Lightning

Thunderstorms often bring lightning to light up the sky and potentially wreak havoc on the construction site. Between heavy machinery, tools and building materials, construction sites have lots of metal objects to attract lightning. Have a plan in place when lightning is spotted in the area.

Protective Gear

There are times working in the rain is unavoidable. Protective gear and clothing keep workers dry and safe in inclement weather. Waterproof boots/shoes, raincoats and hats help keep them safe as they move about the job site while the rain falls.

Water

Rain can leave behind stagnant water and mud. Wet and muddy surfaces are slick to move about increasing the risk of falls and injuries. Sometimes water must be worked around to keep the project moving forward. Have a safety plan to handle working in wet conditions.

The best safety plan cannot fully prevent injuries from happening, but they can reduce your business’ risks. Lower risks and fewer claims help keep your Northstar insurance Needham rates from rising. Safe workers continue to work keeping your business on track.

Dreams of a Bright Future and Life Insurance in Connecticut

When is the right time to think about life insurance in Connecticut? Well, perhaps if you’re newly married, or getting married again, you probably need to make changes to your policy. Plus, with such an important change occurring in your life, the sharing of dreams for the future, a house and a family, you may also find yourselves sharing each other’s financial obligations.

 

Now, what would happen if you were suddenly removed from the picture? Would your significant other have enough money to cover your final expenses? There would also be other issues and concerns, for example, eliminating debts such as credit card balances, car payments or loans, and other issues related to adjusting to a new way of life. If you were to die prematurely, having a life insurance policy will certainly help to ensure that these types of needs will be met.

 

Things that life insurance can help pay for

 

If you and your spouse have recently purchased a home, there’s a good chance this comes with a mortgage, and perhaps a hefty one. Could your spouse manage the mortgage payments should your income suddenly disappear from the picture? What about any additional expenses, such as property taxes, home maintenance, paying monthly utilities and any necessary repairs that crop up from time to time? That’s a lot to consider and can be very stressful for someone left to deal with these burdens alone.

 

Plus, if you have kids with aspirations of going to college, costs continue to increase so you’ll need to begin your college savings efforts sooner than later. You may also want to consider a smart risk management strategy to help ensure that your college savings goals will be achieved in the event that you’re not there when the time comes. That strategy should probably include life insurance coverage.

 

Without an insurance policy in place, how long would your spouse have before he or she were no longer able to make those necessary payments and all those dreams slowly fizzled and died as well? Buying life insurance in Connecticut will help keep the family that you love in the home that they love with a future that they dreamed of. Your loss should also come with an assurance that everything will be okay after you’re gone.

 

Food Borne Illness and the Hospitality Insurance Company

Those operating in the hospitality industry realize the positive effects that a well-prepared meal at a restaurant can have on guests, allowing them to enjoy the company of family and friends while experimenting with exciting new cuisines. Therefore they have an added responsibility to ensure the food is prepared properly and safely.

A food borne disease is entirely preventable by adhering to general safety practices in the preparation of meals. Annually, as many as 48 million people get sick every year from tainted foods, with up to 3,000 deaths occurring. It’s important to know that the symptoms are often flu-like and can happen minutes or even weeks after the food has been ingested, which is why obtaining restaurant coverage from a hospitality insurance company is so vital to the business and the care of anyone affected.

Food borne diseases are a major concern

It’s important to know common food borne illnesses because being informed is often the best way to reduce the chances of someone becoming sick due to ingesting a meal at your locale. This type of illness must be taken quite seriously to ensure the best treatment possible is given in a timely manner. Proper preparation is vital, regardless of whether these mistakes were made in the kitchen or they originated at the source of the food.

There are different types of diseases associated with contaminated foods. Salmonella can be present in food without affecting the appearance, smell or taste of the food. Symptoms of salmonella range from diarrhea, fever, and cramps, though most people tend to recover within 8 to 72 hours, even without a doctor’s intervention.

  1. Coli, another common concern, affects people who have consumed food or water that has been contaminated by microscopic traces of cow feces. One of the most common and severe instances of food poisoning, complications of which can cause severe bleeding and kidney failure, it can be prevented by the proper cooking and handling of food.

Campylobacter can be spread by having the raw juices of uncooked chicken drip from the poultry onto other food and can be left behind on preparation surfaces after the raw chicken has been removed. For this reason, proper cooking and handling of raw chicken is vitally important to maintaining physical health.

As the owner it should be your primary concern to ensure the safety of the people eating there, as well as the safety of your employees. Working with a hospitality insurance company can help to make certain that you have the right policy to address any food contamination issues that arise.

Managing Risk By Maintaining Crime Insurance

There are many areas in a business that create risk and unnecessary exposures to crime, either internally or from outside forces. By managing these problem areas a business owner can help to greatly reduce some costly concerns and therefore save his or her company an exorbitant amount of money. Crime is one of those things that every company must be aware of. Whether employees are stealing from you, or thieves, shoplifters and burglars are the culprits behind these losses, crime insurance is the most valuable solution to stem the tide of losses.

Taking adequate security measures can pay dividends

In order to avoid risk, a company must determine just what those risks are. Here are some ways in which a business can assess their risk and also determine ways to prevent unfortunate losses from occurring:

  • Installing adequate devices to control unauthorized entry onto the premises
  • Have a burglar alarm that reports to a central station or a constantly attended monitoring facility
  • Have adequate fencing and gates around the building and parking areas
  • Provide adequate exterior and interior lighting, and
  • Have adequate door and window locks and control access to premises by physical barriers and/or surveillance

Beyond this, you may also wish to require the use of company ID badges, have appropriate visitor sign-in sheets and escort procedures, have check-in and check-out procedures, and an inventory control system in place.

Your accounting department should also be closely monitored. It might be preferable if a single person oversees cash, bank deposits and inventory. Instruct the person in charge to make cash deposits frequently in order to limit the amount of cash on hand. You might also be better off if billing is independently reconciled to ensure proper charges, credits and refunds are administered.

Protection from Theft

Employees should be properly trained to handle situations involving theft and fraud.

Train staff to recognize shoplifting risks and also on the proper way to respond when a situation unfolds. They should be trained to recognize counterfeit currency, determine credit card validity, and report acts of vandalism or theft committed by employees, visitors, vendors, or contractors.

By better managing the premises through security measures, overseeing accounting practices and ensuring that deposits are regularly scheduled, a company can make great strides in reducing risk and avoiding losses that will increase crime insurance premiums.

Many Insurance Marketers Favor a Drip Marketing Program

The intention of a drip marketing campaign is to close sales, grow revenues and build your business. By implementing a drip marketing program you’ll be able to feed leads into a sales funnel eventually turning those leads into prospects and then subsequently move those prospects through the channel until they become new clients.

Most insurance marketers will tell you that the most successful drip marketing programs help to build lasting relationships, improve customer or client retention, enable you to solicit feedback from customers that can help develop product or service enhancements and establish credibility by helping you to become perceived as a knowledgeable expert.

Engaging new leads provides opportunities to make sales

Drip marketing campaigns are an opportunity to learn more about clients and prospects, get their feedback on a particular topic, and invite them to share their own experiences. It’s important that you develop content that adds value for the recipient. You may also wish to promote an upcoming event geared to provide useful information, or an educational event, such as a seminar.  A drip marketing campaign is an excellent opportunity to provide contacts with more information thereby getting them excited about attending these events.

Remember to keep messages on topic and short as this will help to keep the recipients attention and increase the likelihood they’ll willingly read future messages. Don’t send out random messages and remember that drip marketing is all about nurturing relationships with contacts.

It’s crucial that you don’t send emails that turn off potential prospects. If the message recipients believe the emails are just there to sell them they may quickly learn to ignore them altogether. What is needed is a strong communication plan that maps out a message delivery timeline that doesn’t inundate people with tons of emails. Try sending no more than one email a week.

Attempt to craft your messages so that they resonate with the individual receiving them. Be thoughtful and develop messages that are specific to each individual contact. Certainly try to mix things up and try using new messages, formats and subject lines as things progress.

Refrain from sending the same email out more than once as this is counter-productive and may have a negative impact on your credibility.

Drip marketing has a lot of appeal when done properly and can enhance the efforts of insurance marketers in every line of business.

Boating Issues and Yacht Club Insurance Brokers

Owners of fleets of water vessels, such as marina operators, boat dealers and yacht clubs, as well as boat builders and yacht brokers must all protect their businesses against common risks associated with activities likely to occur in the water as well as on land. Agents and yacht club insurance brokers need to help those facing a unique set of exposures and find coverage options that best help suit their client’s needs.

Yacht clubs, because of the many activities they sponsor throughout the year, rely on the protection they are afforded by carrying yacht club insurance for the vast array of exposures they have concerns over with regularity. Business is heaviest in the summer months and they should all be focusing on these very important coverage options.

Liability is an essential policy to have in place

Liability coverage is perhaps the most important aspect of any yacht club insurance coverage plan. Liability features that are currently available include coverage for legal defense costs, wreckage removal, water and oil pollution and resulting contamination cleanup, and non-owned (i.e. borrowed) boats that could suffer damage while on the premises.

If the yacht club employs a captain or crew, Jones Act coverage will be needed for times when damages or injuries result from a collision or other hazards occurring. Any act deemed to be caused by negligence by the owner or one of their employees could result in a claim and any legal action that is taken can be quite costly.

This should also include purchasing employer’s liability for full-time and part-time staff, freelance instructors and volunteers. For example, insurance will provide coverage in the event someone accidentally trips or slips while boarding or disembarking a vessel or anyone that claims to have suffered an injury of some sort during their visit.

Perhaps the most significant coverage difference between various policies is whether the loss settlement basis is “agreed value” or “actual cash value.” Replacement cost coverage normally pays for damage (less any deductible), and age depreciation is generally not factored in for most losses. Actual cash value coverage for partial losses may reduce the claim payment based upon depreciation, and the policy deductible will apply.

Before your client purchases any policy from yacht club insurance brokers be sure to speak to them about their coverage options and help them choose a policy plan that provides the needed protection.

Insurance For Dog Bites and Preventing a Lawsuit     

Dog bites account for more than 90% of all animal bites and approximately 4.5 million dog bites occur each year in the U.S. With more than 30,000 victims requiring reconstructive surgery, while you may be a responsible pet owner, you can’t always predict how your dog may react to another person. It is not uncommon to have an unprovoked attack, as any motion that your dog perceives as a potential threat could set an attack into motion.

A dog, for whatever reason, may become irritated and it’s up to you to recognize and avoid situations where a dog might become uncomfortable, such as being repeatedly struck in the face by a child, or any other situations that could possibly irritate the animal. In the event there is an attack, provoked or otherwise, you’re going to need the protection of insurance for dog bites.

Dog bite prevention requires safety and a little common sense

It may, as is often the case, be an unfortunate friend or family member who gets bitten. As a pet owner you need to do everything in your means to prevent an attack and reduce the possibility of a lawsuit. All dog owners have the same concerns when it comes to their pet biting or harming someone.

Just because your dog may have never bitten someone before doesn’t mean that it can’t or won’t happen. Use of the following safety tips can help to aid in preventing the occurrence of dog bites. Always put the animal on a leash whenever you take him or her for a walk. Avoid allowing children to pet the animal if you sense that it is feeling scared or nervous.

As a parent, do not allow your child to approach a stray or unfamiliar dog, especially if the owner is not present. Never approach a dog with quick motions and ask the owner if it’s okay to pet the dog prior to making contact. If a confrontation occurs, avoid screaming or running away, and avoid approaching an unfamiliar dog while it is eating, sleeping, or caring for puppies. Finally, don’t leave young children or infants unsupervised with a dog.

Choosing a dog breed that is compatible with any family situation is always best. For example, aggressive dogs are never ideal in a home with small children. Dogs are social animals and therefore socializing and appropriate training will help minimize the risk of dog bites, but this isn’t an excuse for not carrying ample insurance for dog bites.

Useful Social Media for Insurance Sales Strategies

By now every agency on the planet, with few exceptions, uses social media for insurance sales as a viable marketing tool. Agents understand the importance of interaction with visitors to their website. This is an ideal platform to use when employing promotions aimed at generating more revenue.

There are a few things to utilize, as well as to avoid, in order to be successful with the items you post on a social media page. Posts on social media should never be strictly sales oriented, as this makes it difficult to engage with prospects. You need a delicate balance between self-promotion and providing helpful information in the items you post.

Some resourceful suggestions

Sign up for Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and YouTube since the more exposure you have, the better the chance for success. Be sure to write regular weekly posts or blogs at the very least, but two to three times a week will probably garner better results. Try writing social media posts that consumers will find useful and making them pertinent and timely can really help your efforts. For example, include car maintenance tips, or provide some tips on business insurance that many companies tend to overlook.

The best way to keep customers engaged is by offering prizes for answering questions pertaining to your products and services or having contests and listing the names of the winners on the agency’s Facebook page. Make sure to include blogs relevant to a particular insurance product and share the content you create to drive traffic to the agency’s website and on social media profiles (this can also help with search engine optimization).

Another way to help visitors identify with a particular agency is by posting a profile of every agency employee, including a photo of them along with information about community events they’ll be attending. It can also be advantageous to post reviews from fans and followers of the agency as written by the very people who post them on Facebook or write emails thanking their agent for his help and insight.

There are many ways to use social media for insurance purposes. Live tweets in which people can ask questions and receive answers in real time can bolster your image as well.

Cyber Risk Concerns Adversely Affect Medical Institutions

Despite many recent reports involving cyber breaches to large corporations, the medical industry has its share of exposures and concerns. Cyber risk continues to be a serious issue, and cyber liability is now one of the top threats to the medical industry. Medical records and personal information stored on servers serves as a target to many hackers and thieves who see value in obtaining these files.

While having your clients add to their current IT security is a great way to try to combat this issue, it still isn’t enough to address all of the risks being taken. A comprehensive set of network-security policies and procedures need to be properly implemented and tested, as well as updated on a regular basis, in order to ensure that the proper risk assessment has been made and steps to properly manage the problem are in place.

Reputational damage is another concern

The loss of reputation and brand value to these institutions is another major issue, and the losses suffered due to a breach can be hard to overcome. In many studies this is high among respondents’ concerns. Obviously, if a company experiences a loss of personal data belonging to clients it creates a lack of trust in that company. Having this type of risk is likely to have a cumulative effect with any subsequent attacks occurring.

Hospitals and healthcare professionals have since come to terms with the fact that they now face a serious danger from cyber risk and privacy breaches. Confidential information and personal data is a very valuable company asset, one that these organizations must strive to great lengths to protect. Traditional insurance plans will not cover the costs incurred from misplacing or losing sensitive data.

Lost or stolen data can cost a company millions of dollars if not properly protected. Companies with personally identifiable information and protected health information should purchase standalone products that will help to transfer this risk and protect their balance sheet. Doing business online is a risky proposition, and with individual information becoming more public, along with sensitive business information, this type of exposure can cripple a profitable organization. As a broker you should educate your clients in the best ways to protect their customers and their business through properly insuring against cyber crime.