Remote Workers And Cyber Security Risks

There are more remote workers in American today than at any time in our recent history. Many employers are embracing this trend, but there are new risks to consider. As a result of this distant work environment, a crucial problem arises in new security threats. In our digital age, businesses have had to improve their cybersecurity, yet cybersecurity dangers have increased significantly due to remote labor. Employees who work from home are at a significantly higher risk than those who work in offices.

Ransomware attacks are also a big concern for more than two-thirds (69%) of IT executives, who anticipate that the hybrid workplace will be a target for ransomware. Targeted organizations faced a threat to their business continuity as a result of these attacks.

Sharing a computer and using it for personal purposes are two different things. It may seem self-evident, but sharing a business computer with family or roommates can be a security concern. This should be avoided at all costs, especially if your work result contains sensitive customer information.

Cyber Tips For Remote Workers

  • Keep devices patched and up-to-date.
  • Accommodate the increase of remote VPN workers.
  • Proved employee training.
  • Require passwords to be updated regularly, use PW managers.
  • Use cloud software for file management.
  • Use only secure Wi-Fi.
  • Have good backup systems

Have a good cyber liability insurance plan in place. Cyber liability insurance is a type of insurance that offers a variety of coverage choices to help organizations protect themselves from data breaches and other cyber security risks. It’s not a question of whether, but when your company will be hacked. Policyholders with cyber insurance can also use tools and services to manage and minimize cyber risk both before and after a breach.

For remote employees, cybersecurity necessitates ongoing monitoring. Give us a call if you’re concerned about your present remote security practices. We’ll examine and put safeguards in place that will allow your remote workers to work securely and productively.

In 1989, Oakwood’s founder, Bruce L. Sogn, set out to establish a business that would give him the opportunity to serve the community and to fulfill a need in the marketplace. Today as an independent insurance agency, Oakwood does just that.

After researching the insurance industry, he found that by becoming an independent insurance agent, he could offer a comprehensive range of insurance products and services to his clients. By maintaining focus on competitive products, Oakwood has kept its commitment to service, professionalism, and the highest integrity.

Commercial Liability Insurance

We understand all businesses are unique. Just because you are a small or medium-sized business does not mean you are exempt from litigation. All businesses need General Liability Business Insurance to protect your organization from unforeseen events. General Liability Business Insurance should be the foundation of your insurance program.

General Liability Insurance provides the following coverage:

  • Bodily Injury– Bodily Injury to a third party.
  • Property Damage– Damage to a third party’s property (equipment building etc.).
  • Personal Injury– Injury to the mind or emotions, as opposed to an injury to property.
  • Advertising Liability– Damages arising out of advertising, libel, slander and invasion of privacy.
  • Products & Completed Operations– Liability arising out of the Nonprofits products or business operations and services conducted, excluding Professional services.
  • Premises-Covers liability arising out of injury to third parties while on your premises.
  • Medical Payments- A general liability coverage that reimburses others, without regard to the insured’s liability for bodily injury while on your premises.

General Liability Insurance is designed to cover defense costs as well as judgments. It is an important part of your insurance program that we recommend for your organization.

Call us today for more information on a complete business insurance program. We know there are as many unique insurance needs as we have neighbors who live here! To talk with one of our helpful team members about your insurance needs, contact us today.

In 1989, Oakwood’s founder, Bruce L. Sogn, set out to establish a business that would give him the opportunity to serve the community and to fulfill a need in the marketplace. Today as an independent insurance agency, Oakwood does just that.

After researching the insurance industry, he found that by becoming an independent insurance agent, he could offer a comprehensive range of insurance products and services to his clients. By maintaining a focus on competitive products, Oakwood has kept its commitment to service, professionalism, and the highest integrity.

Commercial Excess Liability, A Key Coverage For Your Business

In 2000, it was uncommon for companies to be sued for more than a million dollars. In 2021, it is not uncommon for a company to have several large claims going on at the same time. A large judgment against your company could damage your reputation and it might even put you out of business. Whether you believe you are at fault or not, you are at risk of being sued and having to defend yourself.

An Umbrella or Excess Liability policy provides additional insurance protection for your business.  Umbrella or Excess Liability coverage applies in excess or above your Primary, Automobile Liability and General Liability coverage, and can also go over Worker’s  Compensation, Professional Liability and Directors & Officers Liability coverage.  Umbrella or Excess Liability Insurance kicks in when your primary limits have been exhausted.

Actual Claim Examples:

A delivery van failed to stop at a red light, and ran into a vehicle. The result was a $3.5 million dollar judgment for brain damage to the injured party.

A man suffered severe food poisoning at a restaurant after eating food that was spoiled. The restaurant was sued for injuries. The award was for $1.8 million dollars.

There is a distinct difference between an Umbrella and an Excess Liability policy:

Umbrella Liability not only provides excess limits of liability above your underlying policies, but may also provide protection when there is no underlying insurance. It also can broaden your commercial insurance to help eliminate gaps in coverage.

Excess Liability Insurance provides you with additional limits of liability above your underlying policies shown in the schedule. This type of policy is more restrictive than an Umbrella Liability policy.

The Excess or Umbrella Insurance policies we provide can be written for most every industry including, but not limited to:

  • Nonprofits
  • Medical and Health Industries
  • Churches
  • Construction
  • Manufacturing
  • Distribution
  • Technology
  • Financial Services
  • Retail & Hospitality
  • Arts & Entertainment

One thing to remember is that an Umbrella or Excess Liability Insurance policy will not cover everything; there are exclusions just as in any other insurance policy. However, it still represents an excellent method to help protect your business from catastrophic claims. Contact us to discuss securing this valuable form of liability coverage. It could help preserve your business.

 

How To Reduce Your Business Insurance Cost

Saving money on business insurance is not always an easy thing many companies to do. You have many options regarding insurance agents and insurance companies that at times can be confusing. We specialized in the entertainment industry that is all we do. We have a proven track record of providing the right combination of pricing and coverage, along with experience and responsive service.

There are a number of ways to reduce your business insurance cost without jeopardizing coverage. Here are a few

1. Use a broker who knows and understands your industry. Having an understanding of the risks, and what markets best are suited for your risks, can result in lower costs. Have us shop your insurance. We have access to many insurers, this allows us to offer many options.
2. Provide driver’s training- having educated and trained drivers can reduce your business auto insurance cost up to 5%.
3. Have proper safety equipment.
4. Use special markets. There are insurers that specialize in your industry. .
5. Increase deductibles. Insurers often will provide good credits if you increase your deductibles on property or auto physical damage.
6. Reduce your risk, Talk with your insurance agent about how you can help prevent insurance losses. You may be able to reduce your exposure to fires, work-related accidents, disasters or lawsuits. Reducing these risks may lead to fewer claims, which may lower your insurance premium.
7. Keep up to date with current liability trends; liability claims tend to be the most significant claim with most aspects of insurance.

Having insurance premiums reduced by cutting corners is not the ideal way to deal with high insurance premiums. That’s a case of addressing the symptom – not the problem. Lowering premiums by reducing the risks posed and faced by your business is a far healthier solution.

How To Avoid Contractor Insurance Scams

As a homeowner, you carry homeowner’s insurance to protect yourself in case of damage to your home. A devastating storm can leave flooding waters, property damage, and personal injuries in its wake. Perhaps one of the least expected dangers that follow a storm is fraudulent contractors. Most contractors are honest and work hard, but some will follow disasters and try to take advantage of you.

After recent storms and major disasters, a few unscrupulous contractors use a trick to defraud homeowners every year – convincing them to sign away their rights through an Assignment of Benefits (AOB) form.

A contractor or repair company representative will often tell you that an Assignment of Benefits or “AOB” form is necessary for them to do work on your home. They may promise it will make the process easier for you as it will allow them to “handle everything.” They might even offer to lower or eliminate your deductible if you sign the form immediately.

Don’t allow contractors to start work before the damage is assessed by your insurer. Most importantly, don’t sign an AOB form. We are here for you and can help you navigate the claims process and avoid contractor abuse and fraud.

  • Use well know contractors
  • Ask for a written contract
  • Ask to see proof of insurance and licensing from the contractor
  • Make sure your agent and insurance company is involved.
  • Have your claims adjuster inspect all damage?

Five Things People Should Know About Insurance

For many people, insurance can be difficult to understand.  Most people know that insurance is needed, but often they do not fully understand what they are buying or if they are properly covered.  That is why it is important to have an insurance agent on your side.  A good agent will help you determine what your insurance needs are, educate you about your options, and help you understand the specifics of the insurance you are buying.

Here are five things that you need to know as you consider your insurance options.

  1. You cannot add coverage for a claim that has already occurred. For example, if there is flooding in your area, you cannot buy flood insurance during an event.
  1. Coverage gaps can be costly. Having a gap or lapse in coverage can be costly. Always pay your premiums on time, or ask for a grace period from your insurer.  You will end up paying more if you have lapses in your policy.
  1. Insurance is not intended to cover everything. Insurance is designed to provide financial recovery after an accident or unforeseen loss. Every policy has exclusions which are important to understand. Remember, insurance is not intended to cover regular maintenance.
  1. An agent can be a valuable resource. A licensed agent can help you find the best possible combination of coverage, price, and service that fits your individual needs. A good agent will be willing to answer any questions you may have and be there for you when a claim occurs.
  1. Do not skimp on liability insurance. The cost of litigation these days underscores the need for everyone to have an adequate amount of liability insurance.  The greater your assets are, the greater your need is to have your assets covered.  To protect yourself and your family financially, buy enough liability insurance on your auto and home insurance policies to cover above your net worth.  We can help you determine how much coverage your individual needs require.

 

The Future of Risk

Business Insurance Trends

The business insurance world is changing at a fast pace. Technology is continually evolving and businesses must change or die. New technology also brings a change in claims and litigation. Often lawsuits filed today are indicators of business liability claims tomorrow.

Business Insurance

Business or commercial insurance coverage is available for almost every conceivable risk your business might face. The cost and amount of coverage of policies vary among insurers.  Also, the type of business you are in also impacts cost and coverage.  You should discuss your specific business risks and the types of insurance available for your business with us.

Future Business Insurance Risks

Intellectual Property

This is one of the fastest-growing areas of litigation. The average defense cost in 2019 was over $500,000. With more information being disrupted over the internet, claims are sure to increase. Intellectual property insurance coverage protects companies for copyright, trademark or patent infringement, and claims arising out of the company’s operation.

Cyberattacks

Recent news that Russian cyber thieves stole billions of passwords should create heightened awareness about the risks and need for cyber insurance. The problem, Munich Re explains, stems from the fact that “most traditional property and liability policies provide no cover for cyber risks” although there still may be a duty to defend until such time as coverage is determined.

Social Media

Social media is becoming popular with many businesses, and this increases the liability risks. The combination of personal use and business use combined with privacy laws increases the risk to the business of being sued by employees and other third parties. There is a definite increased risk of defamation, libel, and slander for firms who don’t outsource the service.

Directors & Officers Liability

Most business owners don’t believe they can or will be sued despite statistics that show otherwise. The latest number by Chubb Insurance Company shows that about 20% of firms have been sued for directors and officers negligence. Claims can be made by shareholders, regulators, family members, customers, vendors and competitors.

 

Never Sign Away Your Rights

As a homeowner, you carry homeowner’s insurance to protect yourself in case of damage to your home. Horrifically, unscrupulous contractors use an insidious trick to defraud thousands of Florida homeowners every year – convincing them to sign away their rights through an Assignment of Benefits (AOB) form.

 

What is an “AOB” form?

A contractor or repair company representative will often tell you that an Assignment of Benefits or “AOB” form is necessary for them to do work on your home. They may promise it will make the process easier for you as it will allow them to “handle everything.” They might even offer to lower or eliminate your deductible if you sign the form immediately.

This tactic is often used by roofing contractors after storms, or by water restoration companies if you have water damage caused by a leak in your home. However, signing an AOB form efficiently turns over your rights under your insurance policy. If someone can gain access to the roof or the interior of your home before your insurance adjuster arrives, they may intentionally cause extra damage so they can inflate repair costs

Don’t allow roofing contractors up on your roof to “investigate,” or water restoration companies to start work before the damage is assessed. Most importantly, don’t sign an AOB form. We are here for you and can help you navigate the claims process and avoid contractor abuse and fraud.

You can help stop AOB contractor fraud by knowing your rights (including the right to cancel a contract, including a signed AOB form, within three days) and you can also help others avoid a nightmare like Barbara’s by sharing this information with friends, family, and neighbors. Together, we can put an end to contractor abuse and AOB contractor fraud.

Most contractors are very professional, but there are a few that follow disasters and try to take advantage of you.

 

How To Make Your Insurance Work For You

Every year people make resolutions to improve their financial position. Part of that process means looking at your business and personal insurance program and determining if it still works for you. We pride ourselves on attempting to provide the best quality insurance for all of our clients. But the truth is, proper insurance coverage and healthy financial habitats are in large part due to the actions of the clients. Here are a few lessons we have learned to help you make your insurance work for you.

Personal Insurance Tips

  1. Make a home inventory of all your personal property and place a replacement value on it.
  2. Replace your hot water heater if it is old.
  3. Clean our gutters annually.
  4. Meet with your agent to have an annual insurance review. As your life changes, so should your insurance.
  5. Have your roof checked on a regular basis.
  6. Make sure to check washing machine hoses and dishwasher hoses in case they need to be replaced.

Commercial Insurance Tips

  1. Check your workers’ compensation rates and classifications.
  2. Make sure you have written agreements with all contractors.
  3. If you rent or lease equipment, let your agent know.
  4. As your business changes, it is essential to communicate with your agent so proper coverage can be reviewed.

We Believe…

  • in the dignity and importance of people.
  • that every person and business should have the best insurance protection they can afford.
  • that the Independent Agency system will offer the best selection for all people with their various needs in the changing world we live in.
  • in responsive customer service and ongoing education for our agents. This allows them to best serve the customer with the proper protection and appropriate amounts of insurance.

Managing Risk In Uncertain Times

We are living in uncertain times. COVID-19 and all that goes with it have created a new set of operating rules and risks. There is a number of new risks that have emerged as a result of these changing times.

 

It is vital that your business insurance program have the flexibility to respond to the changing and uncertain times we are living in. Your business insurance program needs to be designed to give your business the best possible coverage at a reasonable price from an agent who understands your individual needs.

 

Remote Workers 

COVID-19 has changed the way we think about remote working. Most businesses are having employees work from home, and even if there is a vaccine, the work from home trend is likely to continue. In general, employees are covered for work-related injuries that occur outside the office or other workplaces. Generally, employers are still responsible for injuries that occur during a detour, such as when an employee physically departs from his or her job duties that are considered minor activity, getting coffee, etc.

 

New Cyber Risks

Commercial businesses to become more dependent on the internet with an increase in remote workers. This new normal now requires special procedures and policies to protect your organization, its data, and network. When workers feel secure, you can nurture productivity and enhance collaboration.

Finance, Social Life And Health Of Employees

Because of the requirements and arrangements following the pandemic, employees have been faced with unexpected expenses related to travel, digital needs, accommodation (home workspaces) health concerns, and protective measures. Employers need to find ways to address these needs on a long-term basis, possibly through smaller in-person gatherings, remote learning opportunities, and even allowances for home office improvements.

Employees With Disabilities

Disabled employees need additional support to adapt to changes. Specific measures are required to address their needs and ensure their access to remote works issues.

As with any risk, you want to get out in front of it quickly. The longer you wait, the harder it is to mitigate the damage. The most successful companies are those that put systems and processes in place to help them quickly recognize the warning signs and navigate the best path forward.

In 1989, Oakwood’s founder, Bruce L. Sogn, set out to establish a business that would give him the opportunity to serve the community and to fulfill a need in the marketplace. Today as an independent insurance agency, Oakwood does just that.

After researching the insurance industry, he found that by becoming an independent insurance agent, he could offer a comprehensive range of insurance products and services to his clients. By maintaining focus on competitive products, Oakwood has kept its commitment to service, professionalism, and the highest integrity.