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Your Private Business Is Exposed to Directors and Officers Claims

 

Directors and Officers (D & O) Liability Update

Every business, no matter what the size, has a D & O exposure.  Some people may mistakenly think that D & O risks are just for large firms, but actual court cases tell a different story.  D & O claims come about because of decisions made by the firm’s officers and employees.  Claims can come from employees, competitors, investors, and the government.  Most of these kinds of claims are not covered under a standard commercial insurance policy.

Here are some interesting facts brought to you by the Insurance Information Institute:

  • Over 53% of privately held firms have had D & O related claims.
  • Twenty-five percent of companies have had an employment related claim.
  • The average defense cost for a D & O claim is around $75,000.
  • Firms with less than 50 employees have the same percentage of claims as larger firms.

Here are some of the kinds of claims to which your business is exposed:

Misrepresentation

If you misrepresent your company’s services, financials or other information, third parties may sue you for your actions.  This can include services you say you provide on your webpage or financial information you provide to a lender.

Breach of Duty

Your firm’s officers and employees are required to carry out their duties with a standard of honesty and professionalism.  If these legal duties are breached, you are subject to litigation by the injured party.

Employment Issues

Your employees can sue the business for a variety of employment issues that can be covered under a D & O or employment practices liability policy.

 

Proven Ways To Build Strong Insurance Relationships

The partnership between an insurance agent, an insurer, and a client is one of the most important in the industry. Carriers and the underwriters create policies and take on risks for insureds, whereas brokers assist their clients in finding the best insurance policies and carriers for their needs.

The independent agent and broker are the industry’s backbone. They are the primary channel of distribution for commercial property and casualty insurance.

How To Build And Maintain Strong Relationships

Don’t base your relationship on technology

Technology is good and effective tool for both the agent and their clients. But don’t make technology so important that any personal communication is lost.

Follow Through

Agents should build strong relationships with their clients by following through on their commitments and being communicative in the event that something changes, in addition to offering services and advice that help insureds avoid losses. If you say you’re going to do something, you must do it. If you can’t do it, you say, ‘I’m not going to be able to meet the commitment,’ and then you set a new expectation.

Focus on more than just pricing

When it comes to building a strong relationship with insurance agents, one thing that stands out above all else is the need to add value that goes beyond offering competitive insurance prices. When comparing options today, insureds should look for an agent who will not only provide the coverages they require but will also serve as a risk management partner.

Be Consistent

Consistency is essential in all aspects of communication and service. It establishes a pattern that customers can expect, which helps to highlight your value proposition and enhance the customer experience. Simply personalize interactions by framing conversations and messaging in less “scripted” ways. According to one survey, most marketers fail to personalize communication beyond digital channels. Get more customer-specific the next time you pick up the phone. It should contribute to the relationship’s strengthening.

The customer, regardless of the insurance company, ultimately looks to you, the agent, for advice, service, and responsiveness. Regardless of the shifting strategies and focuses in today’s insurance markets, remember to prioritize your customer relationships first, and you’ll find yourself building a book of business that will last for a long time.

 

Commercial Auto Insurance

Commercial auto insurance can cover various vehicle types (trucks, cars), drivers, and motorized equipment. It covers bodily injury liability and property damage when driving a work car, as well as medical payments or Personal Injury Protection (PIP) for the policyholder’s driver and passengers.

Auto Liability (hired/non-owned)

Do your staff drive their own automobiles, or do you rent them? This coverage protects your business against certain liabilities stemming from the usage of a rented or leased vehicle (hired) or a non-owned vehicle (employee using their own vehicle on company business). This coverage is frequently affordable when added to a company auto policy or, in certain situations, a general liability policy.

When Your Business Vehicle Is Also Your Personal Vehicle

Sometimes employees or executives of a company or other persons who are supplied with a vehicle owned by the company have only that vehicle. They do not own a personal vehicle nor do they obtain personal automobile coverage. The BACF does not cover personal use of the vehicle in this situation. To close this coverage gap, you need to add the Drive Other Car Coverage Endorsement to your BACF. This provides insurance while the named individual or a member of his or her family is driving a car borrowed from a third party.

Keeping Premiums Down

The best way to keep your business auto premiums down is to avoid accidents. Driving safety should be emphasized. Drivers should not be so pressured to produce that they feel compelled to drive unsafely. All vehicles should be well maintained.

Ask your agent whether your insurance company has business auto safety resources that you can use to help your organization be accident-free. For more information on reducing the risk of auto accidents.

When you own or run a business, you have a lot at at-risk and much to protect, and having the right business insurance coverage can be crucial to your long-term success. When it comes to protecting your business, fortunately, there are a variety of coverages to choose from. We represent a variety of carriers and are dedicated to assisting you in protecting your company from damage and liability. When you work with the team at the Oakwood Insurance Agency, you will receive personalized advice from an experienced agent who will assist you in developing a plan that includes all of the coverage you may require.

Business Owners Policies

For small to medium-sized firms, a business owner’s policy, or BOP, is an excellent insurance option. This type of policy is popular since it combines the most frequent coverages into a single policy with a single payment rather than paying for individual policies. This package is totally customizable and, in most cases, less expensive than purchasing individual policies.

If your company employs less than 100 people and generates less than $1 million in annual revenue, you may be eligible. For home-based business owners, this is also a popular option. Property and liability coverage is included, as well as your choice of the following alternatives (with some insurers offering extra options):

Property insurance protects a company’s physical assets, such as its buildings, furniture, equipment, and inventory.

Loss of income insurance pays out for income lost due to a covered business interruption, such as profits and expenses like rent and wages.

Third-party bodily harm or property damage while on your business’s property is covered by liability insurance.

Equipment breakdown insurance covers equipment that fails or is damaged as a result of a covered incident, such as computers and phone systems.

Third-party medical expenses incurred as a result of a liability claim are covered by medical payments insurance.

Most BOPs do not include worker’s compensation or commercial auto insurance, which must be acquired separately if they are needed.

Data breach insurance protects digital assets like databases and customer records from hackers, data spills, identity theft, and other disasters.

Employment practices liability insurance: Covers your company’s liability charges in the event that discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, or other law violation-related claim is made.

When you own or run a business, you have a lot to at-risk and much to protect, and having the right business insurance coverage can be crucial to your long-term success. When it comes to protecting your business, fortunately, there are a variety of coverages to choose from. We represent a variety of carriers and are dedicated to assisting you in protecting your company from damage and liability. When you work with the team at the Oakwood Insurance Agency, you will receive personalized advice from an experienced agent who will assist you in developing a plan that includes all of the coverage you may require.

What’s Trending In Insurance For 2022?

Changing consumer expectations, employment issues, supply chain issues, political unrest, and remote working will all have an impact on the insurance landscape in the coming year. Let’s look at some of our predictions for the most interesting trends that will emerge in the insurance industry in 2022.

2022 Predictions

  • When it comes to where and how to buy insurance, consumers will have more options than ever before.
  • Cyber-attacks will increase for both individuals and businesses in 2022.
  • Remote work will continue to grow in 2022.
  • More people will start home businesses, requiring a review of personal insurance coverage.
  • Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and linked vehicle technologies are on the rise.
  • COVID-19’s disruption of supply networks is expected to last well into 2022. However, with the reinvention of traditional freight and cargo insurance products, the related business disruptions and frustrations may be alleviated.

Recommended Actions

  • Start the renewal process early with your agent.
  • Collect precise information on your risk with your broker. This will help you stand out in the crowd.
  • Use an agent that desires to build a relationship and provide education on your risk and how best to manage it.
  • For commercial accounts, address loss control advice and talk to your underwriters about your efforts. Underwriters appreciate proactive loss management because it displays a commitment to risk mitigation.

Oakwood is involved with numerous local, state and national insurance associations and communities. The agency encourages employees to devote time to these endeavors. Oakwood’s approach is one of total risk management, encompassing the areas of property & liability insurance, automotive insurance, worker’s compensation, professional liability, individual or group accident & health insurance, life insurance, contract surety bonds, and personal insurance. Oakwood provides an in-depth range of insurance products and services to assist in securing our clients’ future. We are an agency committed to excellence, founded on the principle of integrity.

The best way to solve a problem is to first understand it. To understand a problem involves asking questions, reviewing agreements, and visiting the facility or business. We believe that a professional agent must do more that merely issue insurance on the client’s behalf. Besides determining and placing proper coverage with reputable insurance companies, we seek to educate our clients on coverage and to reduce, or transfer risk to the insuring company, and working closely with management team to protect and preserve assets.

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.

Type of Commercial Insurance Your Business Might Need

We live in a constantly changing world, and your business’s insurance coverage must adapt to keep up. To maintain your commercial insurance up to date, you must be able to change and update your insurance program on a regular basis. Your organization may require a number of cutting-edge insurance products developed by the insurance industry.

The type of business insurance you need is decided by the type of business you operate. A roofing company, for example, that works at dangerous heights, has a larger risk than an accounting firm with mostly desk-bound staff.

A Business Owners Policy or BOP covers property and general liability coverage are combined in a business owner’s insurance. It is often less expensive than purchasing each type of coverage separately, and it may be tailored to a company’s specific needs.  Businesses that face the same type and degree of risk are given a package policy. One sort of BOP is available for mid-sized firms, while another is available for small businesses.

Commercial Auto Insurance cover the automobiles owned by a business are covered by commercial auto insurance. Vehicles that transport employees, products, or equipment can be protected. You can protect your work cars, SUVs, vans, and trucks from damage and collisions with business auto insurance.

Cyber Liability is a risk that every business has. According to the Insurance Information Institute, businesses have a greater chance of having a cyber breach than they do of having a fire. Most businesses should consider cyber liability insurance, which is designed to cover the costs of investigations, notification, and credit monitoring for affected individuals, regulatory compliance, defending lawsuits, and payment of any resulting judgments or settlements.

Umbrella Insurance provides additional financial protection for liability claims that exceed the limits of existing policies. These plans include commercial, car, and an employer’s liability insurance.  If you’re considering purchasing an umbrella policy, seek guidance from an insurance representative. It’s possible that it’ll be more expensive than the next form of insurance coverage we’ll look at.

Workers’ Compensation Coverage covers employees If an employee is injured on the job, employers are legally liable to the employee. Workers’ compensation will even cover employees who are involved in auto accidents while away from the worksite, if the accident occurred while on the job.

It’s thrilling and satisfying to run your own small business, but it’s also hazardous. Commercial insurance allows you to focus on your business instead of worrying about the risks it faces.

When you own or run a business, you have a lot to at-risk and much to protect, and having the right business insurance coverage can be crucial to your long-term success. When it comes to protecting your business, fortunately, there are a variety of coverages to choose from. We represent a variety of carriers and are dedicated to assisting you in protecting your company from damage and liability. When you work with the team at the Oakwood Insurance Agency, you will receive personalized advice from an experienced agent who will assist you in developing a plan that includes all of the coverage you may require.

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.

 

Are You Starting A Home Business?

Do you want to start a home-based business? Having a home business of your own is a good way to make a living. Keep in mind that if there are risks involved. Most home-based businesses do not have the same risks as other businesses, including buildings, employees, production machinery, and a fleet of vehicles.

However, home-based businesses do have many risks that need to be considered.

Do Some Pre Planning

  • Check with your local zoning to see if home-based businesses are allowed
  • If you are planning on having customers visit your home, you may need special permits.

Home Based Business Risks Can Include

  • Product liability
  • Professional Liability
  • Injury or damage to customers
  • Auto accidents
  • Disability
  • Cyber breach
  • Property loss and damage
  • Crime and dishonesty
  • Cyber liability
  • Web page copyright liability
  • Employees or contractor’s issues

The key is to understand what these risks are so you can take the necessary actions to make sure that your business is protected. It’s important to carry the right commercial insurance to protect your business in case of an unforeseen event. Hire a reputable insurance provider to help you assess the potential risks and determine which types of policies meet your business needs.

As an independent insurance agency we are affiliated with multiple industry-leading companies. It is these partnerships that allow us to provide our clients with better coverage at a competitive price. Our staff is knowledgeable and committed to providing a quality customer service experience to our valued clients.