Zeiler Insurance Services, Inc. | Zeiler Insurance Services, Inc.
|Why do I need Business Interruption?
After hurricanes like Katrina, Harvey and Irma - there are a number of lessons to learn about managing a business in the aftermath of disasters. Here is one short story why Business Interruption Insurance is a must for businesses of any size.
A Real Life Example of Insurance at Work:
Originally established for the manufacturing industry, Business Interruption Insurance has evolved into an essential risk transfer tool for all industries. Coverage provides resources that aid in recovery and can help get a company back on its feet quickly.
A small business owner ‘s restaurant in Mississippi was devastated by Hurricane Katrina, leaving her with a blown-out ceiling, massive equipment damage and an unsalvageable building security system.
“The Business Interruption Insurance paid for the 23 days we were down,” Joy Hoda told the Insurance Information Institute. “Just by getting that money, it wasn’t so hard for us to make our payroll.”
It’s not to say that Joy did not sustain a loss; her Business Interruption Insurance reimbursed her for everything she would have made, minus any expenses the firm would have incurred. What the insurance allowed her to do was continue to pay her staff, meet her credit obligations and quickly reopen her business to help serve the people of her neighborhood.
Business Interruption Insurance doesn’t just assist small businesses in meeting payroll and bills during a crisis; according to data from the Institute for Business Home and Safety, 25 percent of businesses never reopen following a disaster or interruption.
For larger businesses, Business Interruption Insurance can provide employees and shareholders peace of mind. Shareholders especially like to know a business’ profits are protected in case of fire, tornado, hurricane or other disaster.
Don’t wait until your business experiences a significant loss to consider this vital business insurance protection. Contact Zeiler Insurance Services at 708-597-5900 to review how this type of coverage can fit into your overall business insurance portfolio.
Please call us with questions.
POSTED SEPTEMBER 21, 2017 5:00 AM
|5th Annual Costume Contest Benefiting Advocate Children’s Hospital - Oak Lawn!
SEND US A PICTURE OF YOUR FAVORITE GOBLIN!
We are having our 5th annual Halloween Costume Contest for kids.
Winning goblin will receive a $500 donation in their name to Advocate Children’s Hospital - Oak Lawn. They will be honored with a certificate, receive two tickets to Hearts for Hope Breakfast with Santa, and have their name in the Breakfast with Santa’s program book as a proud contributor.
Proceeds support Hearts for Hope programs which include bedside magicians, patient parties, family comfort kits, support of reunions for patients and families and much more. Hearts for Hope makes positive impacts on the lives of patients and their families through hands-on volunteering and involvement.
We will post the pictures on our Facebook Page
All pictures will be posted by November 3 and the picture with the most “LIKES” at noon on Monday, November 6th will win.
Email or text your picture to Karli:
Learn about some of our previous winners and contestants:
Thank you & good luck!
The Zeiler Insurance Team
POSTED SEPTEMBER 12, 2017 5:00 AM
|How Much Umbrella Liability Protection do you Need?
One million dollars is the minimum amount of coverage for an umbrella policy. However, insurance companies usually offer these types of insurance policies in one million dollar increments and often go up to five or ten million. Some companies that target high net worth individuals may offer up to fifty million or more in coverage. Most people who purchase an umbrella policy choose the one million dollar amount, but many choose two million dollars or more. A rough estimate of what it costs for the first million is about $200 to $250 a year, but can be higher if you have more than two cars, young drivers or points on your record. While each incremental amount above the first million is slightly less, increments exceeding ten million can be higher.
The more coverage you have, the more bullet proof you will be if you become liable for a catastrophic incident. One of the best aspects of this coverage is that it's very inexpensive. It's important for those considering this type of insurance to avoid cutting corners. Shortcuts cannot be afforded when all accumulated assets from an entire lifetime are in question. Some believe that all they need is coverage for whatever their net worth is, but settlements and judgments can go beyond someone's assets because damages are never limited to someone's net worth.
It's also important to protect future wages from garnishment. The future income of an individual who doesn't have ample coverage can also be jeopardized. If the person who is injured earns a considerable amount of money, that individual is more likely to be a target of the best liability attorneys.
Although one million may appear to be more than enough coverage, the total cost of liability claims can multiply quickly. In today's world, a million isn't much. It's not unusual to read in the news of settlements well over five million. Losing the ability to earn an income and facing a lifetime of injuries or medical care can easily total beyond several million dollars over the span of an individual's lifetime, not to mention situations where multiple people are injured, which would multiply the total damages. It's important to consider what amount would be acceptable for various conditions. For example, ask yourself how much you would settle for if you were paralyzed and unable to work the rest of your life.
Anyone who has something to lose should consider a multi million dollar umbrella policy.
Give us a call with questions.
POSTED AUGUST 15, 2017 5:00 AM
|Smart Home Automation
Smart home automation technology can offer homeowners peace of mind, convenience and efficiency, making it possible to automate systems and equipment ranging from home security to thermostats. With a smartphone acting as a control center, homeowners can remotely monitor video cameras, lock or unlock doors, turn on lights or automatically shut off the water to their home if a leak is detected.
A recent study found that 69% of consumers will own a “smart” in-home device by 2019. As this technology gets integrated into more homes, the potential exists for a variety of home security vulnerabilities and concerns. With so many possibilities, there are a number of decisions to make. Following are some important home automation safety considerations.
Which Features Matter Most?
Many consumers seek out specific solutions (e.g., remotely turning on lights), which can lead to a number of gadgets that do not communicate. Choosing them on an individual basis could leave a homeowner with a dozen different apps and ways to control their home.
There are two general types of home automation options: service provider solutions, which may come with monthly fees, and individual smart products, such as smart TVs and thermostats. Individual devices can be connected by a smart home automation hub, but it is important to select a hub that supports all of the devices that you wish to control.
Smart Sensors Protect the Home
Smart home devices can help homeowners manage their risk by enabling remote monitoring, alerts and control of a home’s systems that, if they were to fail and go unnoticed, could result in costly consequences.
Types of Smart Security Systems
- Smart thermostats can provide alerts if a home loses power or if the temperature in the home falls below or rises above a set threshold.
- Water sensors can detect unwanted water in the home, alerting the owner to potential leaks near washing machines, dishwashers, water heaters and other areas.
- Smoke, heat and carbon monoxide detectors that can interface with a central hub or mobile apps are available. This provides remote monitoring and control capabilities beyond the classic alarm system.
Understand Privacy Policies
- Smart locks remotely control and monitor home entry.
- Smart light bulbs remotely control or program lights when you are away, in order to make a home appear occupied.
- Smart motion lights and exterior lighting allow for remote programming and monitoring.
- Connected security cameras monitor a home, while connected motion sensors can provide alerts.
- Smart doorbell alerts monitor activity at the front door and allows homeowners to remotely view and/or photograph visitors.
- Smart garage door delivers alerts when the door is left open and allows a homeowner to close it remotely.
With the Internet of Things monitoring, sharing and potentially selling consumer data, some smart coffee makers, dishwashers and thermostats now come with privacy policies. Without strong privacy laws, it is up to the consumer to read agreements for each individual device. It is important to be comfortable with how data from smart home devices are used and shared.
Secure Your Network
It is also important to secure devices to help protect against hackers and other intrusions.
- Safety and security features can vary widely by manufacturer and by individual product. Before buying, evaluate each smart device for potential safety and security issues.
- Devices that are hard-wired to the Internet rather than those that rely on a Wi-Fi connection tend to be more secure. If a device is linked through a wireless network, activate all security features to protect against interception of signals and make sure the device issues an alert if it loses the connection.
- Remember that passwords are the first line of defense and be sure to create a strong password for each smart device. Be aware that many devices ship with the same default passwords, or none at all.
POSTED AUGUST 15, 2017 5:00 AM
|Put a Stop to Internal Theft
Though you may find it hard to believe, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates that 75 percent of all employees steal at least once in their lifetime, and half of those that steal do so repeatedly. And it’s not just your employees you need to worry about. If your operation has warehouses or retail locations, vendors may have the same behind-the-scenes access with little supervision. Here’s a quick guide to help prevent internal theft.
Why do people steal?
- Opportunity—When gaps in internal controls are apparent, even the most honest employees can be tempted to steal.
- Pressure—Theft is more likely when employees are feeling financial pressure in their personal lives. Stressors include drug or alcohol dependency, divorce or medical bills.
- Attitude—Some employees may think the company “owes” them something or may not see their actions as an act of theft. They may also see theft from a large organization as a relatively harmless crime since they aren’t stealing directly from an individual and they believe the organization can absorb the loss.
How can I detect or discourage theft?
- Know your employees. Order applicant background checks for positions that handle cash, and make sure they comply with federal and state regulations. For help, see Background Checks: What Employers Need to Know from the Federal Trade Commission. You have less control over vendors, but consider keeping a log of approved vendor names, payment details and visits recorded by employees. This helps your staff keep unauthorized people out of your sensitive areas and provides a reference for which accounts are cash on delivery.
- Advertise your awareness. If you have a closed-circuit television (CCTV) system, you should be spot checking recordings regularly. To let employees know you’re reviewing video (and deter theft that might occur when they think video isn’t being reviewed), find on-camera instances of employees doing good work and pay them a compliment in front of others.
- Monitor vendor activities. Consider creating a schedule to let your employees know when to expect specific vendors. When a vendor arrives, have a manager check them in and verify the inventory being delivered matches the invoice. Don’t be afraid to open boxes and look inside. You can also ask vendors to flatten boxes before they leave to ensure they are empty on the way out of your facility.
- Create a security culture. Train employees about theft and keep them on the lookout for signs of theft among other employees or vendors. Make sure they know they can report suspicious activity to supervisors without reprisal and explain how to do so.
- Provide alternatives to stealing. Consider establishing an employee assistance program to help those who are struggling with substance abuse or other problems.
- Audit regularly. Routine audits of inventory and bookkeeping can help catch fraud and theft. Pay special attention to cigarettes, lottery and phone card sales, and consider a third-party audit when theft or fraud is suspected. Review point-of-sale records for suspicious voids or returns, or cash registers staying open too long. You might also want to analyze average sales per customer (or ASPC) to determine which employees (those with lower ASPC) might be skimming money. Check out this handy guide, The ABCs of ASPC from Convenience Store Decisions.
POSTED AUGUST 08, 2017 5:47 PM
To imagine your future in a home, it helps to know about its past. Travelers teamed up with BuildFax™ to help open the door to permitted updates and repairs that have been done on your prospective home. Choosing a home is one of life’s biggest decisions, so this tool is to help you know more before you buy. Together with BuildFax, Travelers created this tool to show you permit data that goes beyond the listing, and can help you better understand a home’s history. Click Here to get started.
POSTED AUGUST 08, 2017 5:00 AM
|Do Single People Really Need Life Insurance?
Many people make the assumption that life insurance is for married couples and those with kids. While it is true that not all single people need life insurance, there are a number of reasons when it can make (really) good sense.
1. You have student loan debt. Many people assume that your debt dies with you, but that’s not always the case. While the loans through the federal government are discharged (aka forgiven) if you were to die, personal loans that have a cosigner are generally not. That means if your parents, for example, co-signed your student loan through a bank, they would be responsible for paying the rest of the loan if something happened to you. There are instances when the bank has called for the loan to be paid in full immediately following a death. You don’t want to leave your parents dealing with grief and loan payments.
2. You’re living with your significant other. When you’re living together, a lot becomes shared financial responsibility. Consider this example: You need both your incomes to meet the mortgage or rent where you’re living. Have you thought about what happens if one of you dies prematurely? Would the other partner have to sell up? Find a new place to live immediately? And this is just one example of many shared financial responsibilities couple have. Adequate life insurance is an easy answer to those questions.
3. You plan on having kids … someday. It may not be now, but when kids do come, so do the expenses and bills. According the USDA, it costs $245,340 to raise a child to age 18, and that’s without factoring in the cost of college. Getting life insurance in place now means you have coverage in place for when you do have a child. Plus, you protect your insurability for the future. … and that leads us to the next reason.
4. You’re young and healthy. Age and health are two major drivers of how much you’ll be paying for life insurance. Why not lock in a low price if you have both of those working for you? Did you know that a healthy 30-year-old can get a 20-year $250,000 term life insurance policy for about $13 a month? Doable, right? Don’t wait until a health issue or age puts life insurance out of your reach.
5. You know you’ll be taking care of family members in the future. This may mean aging parents or perhaps you have a special-needs sibling that you help care for and support financially. What would happen to them if something happened to you and your support disappeared? Life insurance can ensure that there is money in place to fund those needs into the future. This is where it might be wise to consider a permanent life insurance policy (one that’s there for your lifetime, as long as you pay your premiums).
6. It will pay for your funeral. No one likes to think about such things, but the truth is if you die, someone will have to pay for your funeral. You wouldn’t want to leave your parents, partner or other family members struggling with grief as well as paying for a funeral and burial, which can cost an average of $7,100.
If any of this sounds daunting, just know that it doesn’t have to be.
Give us a call for a Life Insurance Quote.
POSTED AUGUST 08, 2017 5:00 AM
|Insure Your College Student
Got Kids in College? Better Get Insurance.
When we look for coverage to extend for a student away at school the first question is: Is the student a member of the household? Home and Auto Insurance policies specifically list the parent or parents names as the insured on the policy. Then we need to look at who else may be an insured in the policy's insurance agreement. You will find that members of the household are included in the definition of who is an insured but, for both the Home and Auto Insurance policies, limitations may arise if your son or daughter is not living in the home and:
- Your son or daughter is not a full time student.
- Your son or daughter is over the age of 24.
- If your son or daughter applied for local residency - coverage may vary and a more thorough analysis of your policy is needed.
If we're comfortable with our kids being members of the household, coverage will apply for Auto Liability and Personal Liability.
Property Insurance also extends but only up to 10% of the Personal Property limits on your policy. Items like a tablet, phone, or bike would be included under personal property - the need for property insurance can add up.
Let me know if you have any concern regarding a college student's coverage.
POSTED AUGUST 08, 2017 5:00 AM
|What Kind of Business Owner Are You?
For business owners, their company is often a reflection of themselves. It’s personal. More than their larger counterparts, small businesses embody the goals, priorities and personalities of their owners. People who choose to start a business instead of working for someone else are unique. No surprise - running a business requires an enormous amount of drive and commitment.
Every business owner’s individual personality traits influence how they run their business and make decisions about the future. Business owners can play to their strengths by gaining a deeper understanding of different types of small business leaders and the management approach each type takes.
Here are the four distinct types:
- The Visionary — puts their vision and values first when making decisions about strategy, hiring employees and selecting suppliers.
- The Problem-Solver — addresses both routine problems and unexpected obstacles by designing and implementing creative solutions.
- The Director —applies a thoughtful and pragmatic process to business strategy and decisions; effective at optimizing available resources.
- The Hands-Free Owner — sets a high level course, but tends to be removed from daily decisions.
I encourage you to find out where you fall in the study from MetLife, “It’s Personal: The Four Types of Small Business Owners” where they dive into real world stories of small business owners and the method behind their leadership styles.
POSTED AUGUST 07, 2017 5:00 AM
|Why Your Business Needs an Umbrella Liability Policy
Incidents like the ones we are about to share can and do happen to business owners like you. If you own a business or commercial property, you need to be prepared for what seems impossible.
- You own an apartment building with a porch that does not have railings. One of your tenants falls from it. Recovery from her injuries requires months of physical rehabilitation. A court awards her $3,000,000.
- The poorly-maintained brakes on an asphalt truck fail. The truck strikes the back of the car in front of it, causing a woman riding in the car to suffer serious hand injuries. The truck's owner settles with her for $1,500,000.
- A man dies after an air conditioner falls on him. The building owner settles with his estate for $3,900,000.
- A woman slips and falls on some tiles as she is exiting a cafe. She receives a damage award of $5,700,000.
- A child collides with an uprooted cable and loses an eye. The owner of the premises settles with her mother for $2,600,000.
Incidents like these can drive companies out of business or property owners into bankruptcy without sufficient financial protection. That is why every business and property owner should consider purchasing an umbrella liability insurance policy.
An umbrella covers a business after it has used up its "primary" commercial general liability (CGL) or business automobile liability insurance. For example, suppose the owner of the asphalt truck had an auto liability insurance policy that pays up to $1,000,000 for bodily injuries and property damage in a single accident. After the insurer pays out the full amount, the truck's owner still owes $500,000. The umbrella would cover the remainder.
Sometimes, multiple claims in one policy term can use up a business's primary insurance. CGL insurance normally provides one amount of coverage (such as $1,000,000) for a single occurrence and another (such as $2,000,000) for all losses that occur during the policy's term. Suppose the owner of the property with the uprooted cable had $2,000,000 of coverage for all losses, and its insurer had already paid $1,500,000 before the accident with the child. The primary insurer would pay only $500,000. If the premises owner has an umbrella, the umbrella insurer would pay the rest, up to the amount of insurance the business bought.
Umbrellas provide $1,000,000 or more of coverage. The cost of each additional $1,000,000 coverage is a fraction of the cost for the first $1,000,000. For example, the additional cost of buying $2,000,000 instead of $1,000,000 might be 40 percent of the cost of $1,000,000; the cost of going from $2,000,000 to $3,000,000 might be 30 percent of the cost of $1,000,000; and so on.
An umbrella may also cover some losses the primary policies do not. In those situations, the business will be required to pay a stated portion of the loss (such as $10,000) before the insurer will pay.
Any business may have a catastrophic unforeseen accident. An umbrella policy will help it survive at a relatively low cost. It is a wise purchase for any business or property owner.
POSTED AUGUST 06, 2017 5:00 AM