Is the coronavirus a covered insurance loss?

Questions about the impact of the relatively unknown coronavirus are spreading almost as quickly as the virus itself. Its origins have been traced back to a live-animal market in Wuhan, China, and the virus is believed to have started with animal to human transmission. However, subsequent cases have indicated it can also be spread from human to human through coughing, sneezing and other types of close contact.

On Jan. 30, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Wuhan coronavirus a “public health emergency of international concern.” According to WHO on Jan. 31, the People’s Republic of China had reported 7,711 confirmed cases and 12,167 suspected cases, with 170 deaths. Additional cases have been reported in more than 25 other countries outside of China since last week. As of Feb. 2, the outbreak has affected a total of 14,300 people globally with a total of 305 deaths.

WHO says “it is expected that further international exportation of cases may appear in any country. Thus, all countries should be prepared for containment, including active surveillance, early detection, isolation and case management, contact tracing and prevention of the onward spread of 2019-nCoV infection, and to share full data with WHO.”

Corporate response is swift

The response from global corporations doing business in China has been immediate, with companies such as McDonald’s, Starbucks and Ikea closing stores in the Hubei province. Wuhan is the capital of the area. Law firms, like U.S.-based Baker McKenzie, which has offices in Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong, and other businesses like Hormel Foods Corp., are encouraging employees to work remotely for the next several weeks. In addition, firms like PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, UBS Group AG and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. have temporarily canceled travel to Wuhan and any employees returning home from the area are expected to work from home for two weeks to ensure they do not have the virus.

Jeff Corder, vice president of loss control at AmTrust, says companies should, “Prepare for the worst and expect the best, but above all, make sure your plans are in place This a potential threat to everyone. Currently, the risk is low, so now is the time to review your plans and keep employees vigilant in health and hygiene.”

Corder finds the threat to U.S.-based workers is relatively low; however, there could still be some claims that arise. “In most U.S. jurisdictions, employees whose jobs have greater potential exposure to the virus than the typical worker would have a greater likelihood of a compensable workers’ compensation claim in the event of a positive coronavirus test. For instance, certain healthcare occupations would be one occupation with increased levels of exposure. However, each claim situation is based on individual merits and the differing laws of each state.”

James Koelzer, a partner in the Clyde & Co. Los Angeles office finds, “The coronavirus has already led to business closures, supply chain issues, suspension of travel for business and holiday, and challenges for the health industry. It is hard to fathom the range of claims that the insurance industry might see, but coverage for many lines of insurance is triggered by physical damage to property, which I think will be hard to find in these circumstances. Overall, my feeling is the implications are so widespread that any claims to the insurance industry will depend on the specific policy language of the specific insurance product.”

Travel to China has dropped significantly, and airlines are either scaling back flights or canceling them altogether. Delta Airlines, which is believed to handle approximately 90% of the airline travel from China to the U.S. has suspended flights to Shanghai and Beijing through April 30, 2020, and is issuing waivers to travelers, allowing them to change their scheduled flights without incurring a change fee. United Airlines and American Airlines have also reduced their flights between the U.S. and China, and expanded their cancellations. British Airways has canceled all flights in and out of China for an indefinite period.

Flights from China to the U.S. have also been diverted to seven cities where more in-depth health screenings will be conducted for passengers. The airports involved are Los Angeles International, San Francisco International, Honolulu International, Seattle-Tacoma International, John F. Kennedy in New York, O’Hare in Chicago and Hartsfield-Jackson International in Atlanta.

The impact on the travel industry has probably been the most dramatic. In addition to the canceled flights, which will affect companies in the hospitality industry, cruise ships are rerouting or canceling trips. Preliminary estimates are that canceling a cruise trip could result in $3-4 million in lost revenues. In addition, the loss of revenue is also affecting stock prices for the cruise lines. A Costa Smeralda ship temporarily quarantined its 6,000 passengers for several days in an Italian port after a Chinese passenger exhibited symptoms of the coronavirus. Fortunately, the passenger tested negative for the infection.

“Financial losses will be felt directly by businesses in the transport and travel sector, including hotels, airlines, cruise ships and other entities,” shares Simon Oddy, a forensic accountant partner who specializes in business interruption claims at Baker Tilly. “What I would call indirect losses or downstream financial losses, will be felt by other businesses that support the travel and tourism sectors. If people are canceling travel and airlines are canceling flights, the expenditure associated with that travel will also be affected, and restaurants and other ancillary businesses like retailers and transportation companies. With airlines canceling flights, the suppliers of services to support those flights will be indirectly impacted — food service for example. There’s a ripple effect with many businesses being affected to a varying degree.”

The U.S., Australia and several other countries have imposed travel bans and specific quarantine measures for citizens and non-citizens arriving from China.

Since many businesses have been closed for the Lunar New Year’s break, the impact on manufacturers has not yet significantly affected the supply chain. In China and possibly Hong Kong, the holiday has been extended for an additional week as more cases of the virus arise. However, for companies like Apple, which has nearly all of its iPhones made in China, manufacturing delays could affect sales and stock prices in the first quarter.

Oddy says that if “production in China slows, it will impact the supply chain. And if production slows because of the restrictions on travel, transportation and the impact on the labor market, this could have a knock-on effect through China and beyond.” However, Oddy says whether the losses resulting from the virus’ impact on business are covered by business insurance policies will very much depend on the policy in place.

With the reports of internal travel being restricted in certain towns and cities, the labor market, production and the supply chain will likely be affected, again, likely leading to financial losses.

strong>The impacts for insurers

While some lines of insurance such as health, workers’ compensation and life will most likely have covered claims; that may not be the case for those related to business interruption and travel. Whether or not a loss is covered will depend on the type of coverage purchased and the policy specifics.

“Workers’ compensation is an issue if someone can prove they caught it from a coworker,” explains Christine Barlow, CPCU, managing editor of Practical Insights for the National Underwriter Company and an expert for ALM’s FC&S Expert Coverage Interpretation. “Business interruption comes into play generally only if there is physical damage to the property, and that is generally not the case here. Even if the government closes, most policy clauses require property damage that drove the civil authority to mandate quarantines, close offices or to restrict access.”

Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS) said in a statement to Claims Magazine last week, that “at the moment, AGCS has not been notified of any claims with regard to the coronavirus. We also consider our potential exposure to financial losses from a coronavirus pandemic to be very low and don’t expect significant claims or losses.”

The number of travel insurance claims will be dependent upon the policies purchased. “Each policy could have different coverages and would react differently,” details James Sion, chief operating officer at Generali Global Assistance. He encourages customers to read their policies to understand what they’ve purchased and what is covered and to call their insurer with any specific questions.

“Most travel insurance policies cover trip cancellation and interruption,” says Sion. However, coverage may also depend on where the customer is in terms of their trip. “Have you departed yet or are you in the middle of the trip? If you’re in the middle of your journey and your plans are disrupted, most likely there is some coverage. Were flights missed to get back home? Are you finishing your vacation on a cruise or in a rental home? It will depend on the policy as far as what’s covered.”

However, Sion says that if insureds are afraid to travel because of possible exposure to the coronavirus, in all likelihood that would not be an insured loss.

Usually, when airlines suspend service or cancel flights, they will work directly with their passengers on refunds or to rebook the flights. Travel insurance generally will not cover those losses. Many airlines are offering passengers the opportunity to change their flights without the normal penalties or are offering full refunds.

For passengers submitting claims under their travel insurance, they should save receipts for meals, transportation, lodging and any other monies spent as part of the delay or cancellation. Once everything is submitted to the insurer, it generally only takes 7-10 days to settle the claim.

Sion advises travelers to avoid any non-essential travel to the affected region. “Take normal precautions – wash your hands, use disinfectant, and stay in open areas. It can be difficult to manage some aspects of exposure, but people can mitigate the risks to some extent,” he adds.

Business interruption claims are another area where coverage may not apply. “While quarantines will have a huge impact on society as a whole, there’s generally no insurance coverage for communicable diseases,” says Barlow. “A closed border has no impact on insurance; again because there is no property damage.”

Allianz agrees with that perspective. “We don’t expect losses under standard property/business interruption (BI) policies as these normally can only be triggered by direct physical loss or damage,” the company states.

However, the insurer says there is the potential for minor claims exposure from special extensions to property and BI policies that AGCS provides in some markets for non-damage BI scenarios such as infectious diseases. “Generally, losses under this extension would only be covered if an insured location of the client is closed due to a coronavirus outbreak at this very location.”

Companies like Starbucks, McDonald’s, Domino’s Pizza and other firms that have closed locations due to the threats posed by the virus will most likely not have insurance coverage for their lost income or for any wages they continue to pay their employees while the businesses are shut down.

Another line of insurance that could be affected involves contingency or event cancellation within an insurer’s entertainment line of business. AGCS says that coverage for this type of claim is generally restricted to the necessary cancellation of an event by order of a government authority.

Since this is still a developing situation, the final outcomes from the coronavirus are difficult to predict, however, insurers should be aware of how claims from these global events will affect their various lines of business and prepare accordingly.

Further reference articles:

Read More

A Letter from the President- November 2019

I wanted to share with you the article on the lawsuit against Walgreens that essentially stems from lack of performance monitoring of investments over multiple years. This article was interesting on many fronts and made me think about how the Trustee Fiduciary responsibility is a serious one. When best practices are not followed this brings the trustees personal liability into play and their personal assets are exposed. It also shows that over multiple years of “missed out compounding growth” amongst multiple participants, the damages can be very severe. Our Fiduciary Audit at Smith Brothers Financial covers best practices and our services involve advising trustees and monitoring the overall responsibilities to help reduce and mitigate the chances and/or severity of loss. Best practices, alongside an appropriate risk transfer insurance policy can do what’s right for participants while protecting trustees. https://www.plansponsor.com/walgreen-401k-participants-seek-300m-lawsuit-tdf-mismanagement/ Be Sure Joe

The Basics of Life insurance

If others depend on you for financial support, part of your financial plan should include how you will provide for them in the event of your death. To help you decide which option is the best for you, we’ve covered the basics. If you are married, it’s important for both spouses to have a life insurance policy. If both people bring in an income, a death can be a difficult financial loss. Also, if a stay-at-home parent should pass away, expenses such as childcare and other domestic items can create financial hardship, too. There are two basic types of life insurance: term life insurance and permanent life insurance. The type of life insurance policy that best suits you will depend on your unique needs.

Option #1: Term Life Insurance

Just as its name implies, term life insurance covers you for a specific period of time, or term, that you choose. Since it offers a death benefit but no cash value, term life insurance is an inexpensive way to protect your beneficiaries for a specific period of time. Renewal term life insurance can be renewed at the end of the term, at the option of the policyholder and without evidence of insurability, for a limited number of successive terms. It can also be converted, or exchanged for a permanent insurance policy without evidence of insurability down the road. It’s important to note that rates generally increase along with the insured’s age.

Option #2: Whole Life Insurance

Permanent life insurance is any form of life insurance other than term. Examples are whole life, universal life and variable life. The policies combine life insurance with a long-term, tax-sheltered savings plan. Whole life is the most basic type of permanent life insurance. It provides coverage that lasts a lifetime and also builds up a cash value that you can borrow against, withdraw or use to pay for future premiums. A life insurance policy with a cash value is ideal for those who have a lifetime need for insurance protection, prefer stable premiums over the life of the policy, want a policy that allows them to build tax-deferred values, and value the high degree of coverage the policy affords. While rates for a whole life insurance policy remain stable over the life of the policy, premiums are initially more costly than for term insurance.

How Much Insurance Do I Need?

To find the right amount of coverage it’s important to weigh your dependents’ current lifestyle and spending needs against their future sources of incomes and assets. We can help you figure out how much your family will need to replace this lost income over this length of time should something happen to you. Call us today at (860) 652-3235 to learn more.
Start saving money on your commercial insurance now. Call 860-652-3235. For more information on business liability insurance, visit: https://smithbrothersusa.com/commercial-insurance/ Smith Brothers provides Auto/Car Insurance, Homeowners Insurance, and Business/Commercial Insurance for all of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and internationally. Smith Brothers Insurance LLC 68 National Drive Glastonbury, CT 06033 860.652.3235

Personal Umbrella Liability Basics

It’s an unfortunate fact that accidents happen – and it’s not uncommon for jury wards and out-of-court settlements to turn into the millions. While it’s difficult to pinpoint the monetary consequences of the risks you and your family take each day, are you certain your current liability insurance offers you enough protection? For example, what if:
  • Your teenager runs a stop sign, causing a serious accident?
  • A deliveryman falls on your sidewalk and is seriously injured?
  • A babysitter is injured by your otherwise friendly dog?
If you are found to be legally responsible for injuring someone or damaging their property without a personal umbrella liability insurance policy, anything beyond the limits of your standard liability insurance coverage will come out of your own pockets. Standard liability insurance generally includes homeowners, renters, auto, and watercraft policies. Like an umbrella that protects you from the rain, 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 is exhausted.

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. Coverages start at $1 million, and can go as high as $10 million. When considered the value of the umbrella policy, discuss your personal needs with Smith Brothers Insurance LLC.

How Much Does Coverage Cost?

Additional liability insurance is inexpensive when compared to the added coverage you gain. Depending on the policy value and your personal risk factors, such as recent auto tickets, your credit rating, etc., a $1 million umbrella policy typically costs about a dollar per day. Costs go up an additional $50-$75 for each million thereafter.

Who Needs an Umbrella Liability Policy?

You do! Contrary to popular belief, umbrella liability policies are not just for the wealthy. At Smith Brothers Insurance LLC, we recommend that everyone should consider carrying an umbrella policy. If you engage in a high-risk activity or hobby that increases your odds of getting sued (such as having a teenage driver, owning a swimming pool or entertaining frequently), it is wise to supplement your insurance with a personal umbrella liability policy.
Start saving money on your commercial insurance now. Call 860-652-3235. For more information on business liability insurance, visit: https://smithbrothersusa.com/commercial-insurance/

Smith Brothers provides Auto/Car Insurance, Homeowners Insurance, and Business/Commercial Insurance for all of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and internationally.

Smith Brothers Insurance LLC
68 National Drive
Glastonbury, CT 06033
860.652.3235
Read More

Hello Hard Market: How to Navigate a Tightening Insurance Market

It’s a rare occasion when you receive a significant decrease on your P&C insurance renewal. In fact, many of us may agree that premiums seem to slightly increase year after year. The truth is, business owners and insurance consumers have been long-time beneficiaries of a very soft insurance market. Multiple insurance carriers competing for your business, broad terms and conditions, and extensive coverage limits are all attributes of a soft market. If you take a moment to consider the fact that within the past two years the United States has experienced five of the 15 costliest global catastrophes, coupled with large wildfires, one could understand why the market is rapidly shifting to a hard market. Despite nearly $125 billion paid out collectively in claims over the past two years, the insurance industry as a whole has remained stable. Nevertheless, the effects, in order to remain stable, can be felt by many insureds, especially middle market organizations that have heavy auto exposures or significant property exposure (real estate), and any high hazard industry. This shift in market conditions has sent many business owners and executives to the drawing board in search of finding creative ways to make the 7-10% premium spikes more manageable. Below are three ways you can reduce the impact a hard market has on your insurance program:

1. Retain More Risk

If you are a best-in-class risk with a clean loss history experiencing unjustified premium increases due to market conditions, this advice is for you: Retain more risk and reduce your dependency on insurance. Ways to retain more risk can start with increasing your deductibles and reducing coverage limits on specific lines. Keep in mind this tactic isn’t for everyone and will require executives and owners to invest and rely heavily in safety and risk management protocols. The benefit is ultimately being able to maintain control over rising costs by investing back into your business.

2. Present Yourself As a Better Risk

Just because your business is located in a catastrophe-exposed location or you are in a high hazard industry doesn’t make you a bad risk. In order for insureds to achieve better results, it’s important that data and predictive modeling is utilized to its full capacity. Let the data speak for you and differentiate you as a better risk. A financially strong organization with the right preventive-loss and post-loss mitigation strategies backed by data can navigate a hard market relatively safely.

3. Develop a Strong Carrier Relationship

It’s amazing how many middle market executives and business owners alike don’t know their underwriter. How can an insurance carrier accurately rate your risk without getting to know you and your business? Many organizations rely on their advisor to handle that relationship, but I’m confident that in order to see better results, clients must also interact with the carriers. I’ve found that if a client can commit to working with a carrier, the carrier will in return to commit to the client. This can result in having large, convoluted claims fully covered, favorable premiums negotiated, and more carrier resources dedicated to making the client a better risk. Get to know your underwriters. We can’t control the market, but we can control how our risk profile is perceived by the market. In a hard market, preparation is key. Get with your advisor earlier than you normally would to tackle the challenges you may face on your upcoming renewal. The more time you and the carrier have to put together a strategy, the more favorable outcome you will have.
Start saving money on your commercial insurance now. Call 860-652-3235. For more information on business liability insurance, visit: https://smithbrothersusa.com/commercial-insurance/ Smith Brothers provides Auto/Car Insurance, Homeowners Insurance, and Business/Commercial Insurance for all of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and internationally. Smith Brothers Insurance LLC 68 National Drive Glastonbury, CT 06033 860.652.3235
Read More

Top 4 Questions Every CEO Should Ask Their Insurance Advisor

Every quality advisor prides themselves on being “different” from their competitors. We each truly believe that there are certain standards and services that make us unique and stand out among the rest. In reality, this just isn’t always the case. When going through the insurance procurement process, it’s important to find a broker that is the right fit for your organization. The surest way to tell if your agent is truly “different” and has some of your best interests in mind is by asking these four questions:

1. Will we go out to bid every year?

This is a loaded question and hopefully one that your broker doesn’t say “yes” to. A sophisticated buyer of insurance understands that going out to market at renewal each year is detrimental to their risk profile and ultimately dilutes their case to negotiate. Experienced advisors educate their clients on how the market works and the best way to approach it. They know that in order to get the best results for their clients, they have to create competition among carriers. Going out to bid every year only hurts the chances of being able to create that competition for the client.

2. What are your claims protocols?

The value of insurance isn’t truly ever fully understood until there is a claim. When evaluating the services your broker can provide, it could be argued that claims handling is the most important. For high risk industries, managing claims has a direct and immediate impact on profitability and marketability. Claims advocates also provide preventative tactics and mitigation techniques to help reduce the frequency and likelihood of a claim occurring. If your advisor is solely relying on the insurance carrier to handle a claim, you may want to re-evaluate your representation.

3. What will you contribute to our culture?

There aren’t more frequent topics mentioned amongst executives these days than that of their people, talent, and culture. In order to see a return on the decision to select a specific broker over another, you have to quantify the contributions that particular advisor has contributed, or will contribute, to your company culture. These contributions look a bit like this:
  • Establishing a safety program
  • Quarterly payroll audits
  • Contractual review and risk transfer
  • HR Support
  • Fleet safety and management training
  • Back to work program
These contributions make an organization’s people the focus and help enhance workplace culture. Heightening awareness and utilizing these tools provided by the advisor should ultimately give the client more control over their insurance program. Advisors can’t control the market, but we can control how organizations are perceived by the market; a vibrant corporate culture focused on risk and safety makes a client significantly more attractive to an insurance underwriter.

4. What is our biggest exposure?

For far too long advisors have been selling insurance products that don’t fully address the needs nor solve the problems that a client may be facing. When discussing with your advisor, it’s vital that he/she pinpoints your greatest exposures to loss and the financial impact that comes with those specific types of losses. From only there and then can you begin to accurately develop a strategy to mitigate or avoid these types of practices. The key here is to understand that every organization is unique and has a certain way of conducting business. Your insurance program should be tailored to how you operate and be able to respond to the risks that you face on a daily basis. Let’s be real: procuring insurance isn’t fun. It’s a time-consuming process and requires a lot of trust and communication between you and your advisor. Don’t regret your decision. Be sure to get answers to these questions.
Start saving money on your commercial insurance now. Call 860-652-3235. For more information on business liability insurance, visit: https://smithbrothersusa.com/commercial-insurance/ Smith Brothers provides Auto/Car Insurance, Homeowners Insurance, and Business/Commercial Insurance for all of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and internationally. Smith Brothers Insurance LLC 68 National Drive Glastonbury, CT 06033 860.652.3235
Read More

General Liability Covers You in the Case of Any Possible Accident

Protect Yourself from the Unexpected!

Every business owner knows that there are unexpected bumps that come up in the day-to-day operation of any business. Unexpected injuries can be costly, especially with the increase in litigation these days. Commercial general liability will protect you from the cost incurred by these random accidents.

What is Commercial General Liability?

Commercial general liability insurance will cover the costs of bodily injuries, property, and advertising damage claims made against your business. Common examples of each are lawsuits because of a fall (bodily injury), a contractor job that results in accidentally flooding a customer’s house (property), or someone slanders your business by consistently trying to falsely damage your company’s reputation (advertising damage).

Why Do You Need It?

These problems can arise at any time and when it comes to injuries, there is little you can do to control how and why that might happen. Shouldering the costs for inevitable injuries should not be something you just accept. CGL insurance is here to cover this exact sort of predicament.

Who Needs It?

Any business owner can benefit from this kind of insurance. Restaurant owners know that floors can get slippery and an injury could happen with one wrong step. If you’re a photographer, maybe a customer will trip on a cord. Perhaps, like mentioned before, a contractor will flood a kitchen. Mistakes happen all the time and the ability to know that you can be sure you’re covered is a great feeling! Not to mention that if you’re applying for permits, signing contracts, or leasing property, most of these situations require proof of CGL coverage. When you partner with Smith Brothers Insurance, you’re making a choice that offer great benefits:
  • Get an instant quote online.
  • Pay a bill, report a claim, or get a policy quote 24 hours/7 days a week.
  • Whether your preference is online, email, telephone, text, or in person, we are happy to serve you!
  • We save you time by doing the shopping for you and only offer the best policy that meets your needs and your budget.
Start saving money on your commercial insurance now. Call 860-652-3235. For more information on business liability insurance, visit: https://smithbrothersusa.com/commercial-insurance/ Smith Brothers provides Auto/Car Insurance, Homeowners Insurance, and Business/Commercial Insurance for all of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and internationally. Smith Brothers Insurance LLC 68 National Drive Glastonbury, CT 06033 860.652.3235
Read More

All About Automobile Policy Coverage

If you are trying to make sense of your automobile insurance options and the limits that you need, we can help. We’ve covered the basics to help you read and understand your coverage options and policy language.

All About Automobile Policy Coverage

An automobile insurance policy is designed to provide you with a level of protection against property, liability and medical costs if you are involved in an accident:
  • Property coverage pays for damage to or theft of your car.
  • Liability coverage pays for your legal responsibility to others for bodily injury or property damage. Most states require car owners to purchase a minimum of bodily injury and property damage liability insurance.
  • Medical coverage pays for the cost of treating injuries, rehabilitation and sometimes lost wages and funeral expenses.

Comprehensive and Collision Coverage

Collision: Covers damage to your car when your car hits, or is hit by, another vehicle or other object. This coverage is not required by a state, but if you have a loan or a lease, then the lien holder will require it. Comprehensive: Covers your vehicle, and sometimes other vehicles you may be driving, for losses resulting from incidents other than collision. This coverage is not required by a state, but a lender may insist that you carry it until your loan is paid off.

Types of Liability Coverage

Bodily injury liability (BI): This covers injuries that you, the designated driver or policyholder cause to someone else. It does NOT cover the cost of damage to your vehicle, or to you or other people on your policy. It is mandatory in most states. Property damage liability (PD): Covers you or someone driving the car with your permission if the car damages someone else's property. It also provides you with legal defense if another party files a lawsuit against you. Medical payments (MP) or personal injury protection (PIP): This no-fault coverage provides medical expenses to you and your passengers injured in an accident. Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage (UM or UIM): This coverage will reimburse you if you are hit by an uninsured or hit-and-run driver, or when an at-fault driver has insufficient insurance to pay for your total loss.

We’re Here to Help

Call our office today at (860) 652-3235 to learn more about all of our automobile insurance and personal risk management solutions. Top Ways to Save on Your Auto Premium:
  • Consider raising your deductible
  • Keep up your good driving record
  • Drive a car with safety features such as anti-lock brakes and airbags
  • Install an anti-theft device
  • Ask about our multi-policy discounts
Read More

Key Elements to a Business Recovery Plan

by Insurance Information Institute

Businesses that are forced to close down following a disaster run the risk of never being able to open their doors again. While there’s no way to lower the risk of a natural disaster like a hurricane, there are critical measures that can be taken to protect your company’s bottom line from nature’s fury. A disaster plan and adequate insurance are keys to recovery. No matter how small or large a business, a business impact analysis should be developed to identify what an operation must do to protect itself in the face of a natural disaster. Large corporations often hire risk managers to handle this task and some companies hire consultants with expertise in disaster planning and recovery to assist them with their plans. But small businesses can do the analysis and planning on their own.

Key elements of a business recovery plan

  • Set up an emergency response plan and train employees how to carry it out.
  • Compile a list of important phone numbers and addresses.
  • Decide on a communications strategy to prevent loss of customers.
  • Consider the things you may need initially during the emergency.
  • Human resources.
  • Physical resources.
  • Business community.
  • Protect your building.
  • Keep duplicate records. Identify critical business activities and the resources needed to support them.
  • Find alternative facilities, equipment and supplies, and locate qualified contractors.
  • Protect computer systems and data.

Review your insurance plan

Make sure you have sufficient coverage to pay for the indirect costs of the disaster—the disruption to your business—as well as the cost of repair or rebuilding. Most policies do not cover flood or earthquake damage and you may need to buy separate insurance for these perils. Be sure you understand your policy deductibles and limits.

New additions or improvements should also be reflected in your policy. This includes construction improvement to a property and the addition of new equipment. For a business, the costs of a disaster can extend beyond the physical damage to the premises, equipment, furniture and other business property. There’s the potential loss of income while the premises are unusable. Your disaster recovery should include a detailed review of your insurance policies to ensure there are no gaps in coverage. Your policy should include business interruption insurance and extra expense insurance. Even if your basic policy covers expenses and loss of net business income, it may not cover income interruptions due to damage that occurs away from your premises, such as to your key customer or supplier or to your utility company. You can generally buy this additional coverage and add it to your existing policy.

Basic commercial insurance to consider

  • Building coverage provides coverage up to the insured value of the building if it is destroyed or damaged by wind/hail, or another covered cause of loss. This policy does not cover damage caused by a flood or storm surge nor does it cover losses due to earth movement, such as a landslide or earthquake, unless added by endorsement.
  • Business personal property insurance provides coverage for contents and business inventory damaged or destroyed by wind/hail, or another covered cause of loss.
  • Tenants improvements and betterments provides coverage for fixtures, alterations, installations, or additions made as part of the building that the insured occupies but does not own, which are acquired and made at the insured's expense.
  • Additional property coverage provides for items such as fences, pools or awnings at the insured location. Coverage limits vary by type of additional property.
  • Business income insurance provides coverage for lost revenue and normal operating expenses if the place of business becomes uninhabitable after a loss during the time repairs are being made.
  • Extra expense insurance provides coverage for the extra expenses incurred, such as temporary relocation or leasing of business equipment, to avoid or minimize the suspension of operations during the time that repairs are being completed to the normal place of business.
  • Ordinance or law provides coverage to rebuild or repair the building in compliance with the most recent local building codes

Smith Brothers provides Auto/Car Insurance, Homeowners Insurance, and Business/Commercial Insurance for all of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and internationally.

Read More

Set Sail with Boat Insurance

Boating and Watercraft Season has begun in Connecticut! Before we know it, we will be spending long days on the water and enjoying sunshine, family and friends. Often times, consumers think Boat and Watercraft Insurance is for Luxury Yachts or expensive boats.

The following watercraft also require insurance:

  • Fishing Boats
  • Bass Boats
  • Sailboats
  • Personal watercrafts like jet skis
  • Jet Boats
  • Pontoon Boats
  • Ski Boats
  • Center Consoles
  • Cuddy Cabin
  • Bow Riders

While Connecticut law does not require boaters to insure their boat to operate it, the marina or docking area may require liability coverage to use their facilities. Liability Coverage Protection applies when you are at fault in an accident that damages another boat, causes injury to someone not in your boat, or damages personal property that is not your own. A Liability Coverage Policy is affordable and a good investment. At Smith Brothers Insurance, we are the trusted insurance provider for Boat and Watercraft Insurance and we serve all of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York. Start a quote by calling 860-625-3235, or visiting our website https://smithbrothersusa.com.

Have a happy a safe boating season!

Read More