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COVID-19 and the New Cyber Challenges

The CIOVID-19 pandemic has affected the way we do business in a very significant way. Many businesses are requiring people to work remotely.  Employers are finding that having employees work remotely may be the new normal.

COVID-19 has forced us to become more dependent on the internet, as desperate measures, like social distancing, disrupt economic activity and everyday life.

This new way of doing business could mean that employees are collecting client information from home or other places that may not have the same cyber security as an office network.  In some instances, employees who are working remotely are forced to use their home computers because they do not have a company laptop.

Top Work-from-Home Cyber Concerns

  • Unsecured video conferencing
  • Using unsecured networks
  • Spam and phishing campaigns exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Maintaining security-critical operations, such as patch management
  • Supporting employees to ensure they have what they need to work from home without sacrificing security
  • Theft of client information from lap tops
  • Changes to regular security-critical processes
  • Using social media platforms from unsecured networks

What Can Employers Do to Reduce the Threat?

  • Do not open email from people you do not know.
  • Do not reveal personal or financial information in emails, and do not respond to email solicitations for this information.
  • Do not provide personal information to unknown websites or uninvestigated third-party messengers.
  • Do not share the virtual meeting URL’s on social media or other public channels.
  • Avoid clicking on links in unsolicited emails, and be wary of email attachments.
  • Lock your screen if you work in a shared space.
  • Provide corporate computers/devices to staff while teleworking, where possible.
  • Use secure, password-protected emails when sending documents.
  • Ensure that adequate information technology resources are in place to support staff.
  • Provide secure video conferencing for corporate clients (both audio/video capabilities).

Over the last sixty years, we have established a reputation for honesty, high morals, integrity and friendly, professional customer service – pillars of a successful insurance agency. Based upon this foundation, the staff of Reichley Insurance Agency commits to the following mission:

  • To provide the clients with quality products and services through financially sound insurance companies committed to the American agency system.
  • To provide prompt and courteous service by handling each account as if it were our own and by treating each client the way we would want to be treated.

Tips for Working at Home

Does COVID-19 Have You Working From Home?

Due to the stay at home mandate, there are many people who are working remotely these days.  It appears this mandate will last at least another month.  Many people have thought that working remotely would be great, but working remotely is a double-edge sword.  Sure, you get to stay home, but studies show that it can be harder to focus on work.

Remote Workers Need to Be Aware of These Challenges:

  • Lack of a work routine
  • Tendency to over-work
  • Lack of human interaction
  • Prioritizing a work project
  • Interruptions from family, pets, phone calls, and the doorbell

How to Make Working Remotely Work for You

  • Confine your workspace to a specific area in your home.
  • Set up your workspace like your office.
  • Set a schedule and create a routine.
  • When in doubt, go with over-communication; update your boss frequently on everything you are doing, and whether your schedule and deliverables are changing in any way.
  • After work, stay off electronic devices for some time to transition to “home time.”
  • Take regular breaks.
  • Get dressed every day. Taking the time to get dressed and perform your usual self-care routine can prove a big psychological booster.

We are here to help you with any insurance related need you may have. Please be safe and stay healthy.

Your Personal Insurance and COVID-19

As our country continues to manage through the COVID-19 crises, we thought it might be useful to take some time to remind you of the importance of your personal insurance during this time.  The coronavirus pandemic should not affect your auto or homeowner’s insurance too much, but there are a few coverages that could be impacted because of the temporary lifestyle change.

  • Do not cancel your auto insurance just because you are temporarily not driving.  Auto insurance is required by law.
  • Some auto insurers are considering offering discounts for a short period of time, due to the fact that there are fewer cars on the road. As of today, we do not know what this may look like, but when we do know we will advise our clients, and follow on our social media sites and web page as we will be posting update there.
  • Vehicles with loans need to maintain physical damage coverage on the vehicle.   We would love to talk with our policyholders to find creative ways to help with cost reduction.
  • Check out our COVID-19 resource page HERE
  • The Ohio Department of Insurance has issued a directive for all carriers that are billing for Property & Casualty, Life and Long Term Care that require a 60-day grace period for payments, however if not paid within the extended period – the cancellation will take effect back to the effective date of the coverage, leaving a gap in coverage. This is not a waiver of premium payments.  Those affected should contact the billing departments of either the insurance company or the agency, whoever is sending the invoices.
  • If you are working remotely via computer, there should be no issues with your homeowners or renter’s insurance.  However, this is true as long as there are no customers coming to your home.  If you are running a business from your home, you will need business insurance.  We are happy to help you with this.
  • If you have a claim, we are open, as are the insurers.  Give us a call, and we will be ready to help you. Your policy has toll-free claim numbers to help you get the process going.
  • Some health insurance providers are offering resources that include mental health issues. See attached from Anthem Health. http://www.anthem.com/coronavirus

Other Heath insurers are likely following suit with these added benefits that can be accessed online directly from home.

  • Some insurance companies are offering relaxed payment terms.  We suggest you contact them directly if you feel you may miss a payment. Of course, you can always contact our office to assist you.
  • Be aware of credit card and cyber scams. Unfortunately, criminals have ramped up their efforts during this crisis.  The fraud ranges from false claims of cures and treatments for the coronavirus to fake charities attempting to soliciting money to help those suffering.
  • As we all have so much time at home, now is a good time to complete a home inventory of your personal property.  Creating and updating an inventory of your personal possessions is one of the best ways to make the most of your homeowners or renters insurance, and it makes filing a claim easier and more efficient.  If your home is damaged or totally lost due to a fire or other event, having a home inventory will help you recover all your personal property with the least amount of time and stress.
  • Life insurance should not be affected because of COVID-19.  If you already have life insurance, you are covered, and a company cannot make changes to a policy that is already active.  If you do not currently have coverage, however, your application may be affected.  Keep in mind that each life insurance company is handling the pandemic differently.  It is important to have us shop your life insurance to make sure the company you choose meets your needs.

Our goal is to be here for you and to help answer any questions you have regarding your insurance. Please feel free to connect with us at any time.

This information seems to be changing and we will keep you advised as this relates to our customers

Another Workers’ Compensation Dividend On Its Way to Ohio Businesses

Earlier today, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) will send up to $1.6 billion in dividends to Ohio employers to help ease the impact of the COVID-19 crisis.

This dividend will allot $1.4 billion to private employers and $200 million to local governments when approved by BWC’s board of directors.

BWC will begin sending dividend checks to employers later this month. This dividend marks the sixth time since 2013 the agency has returned at least $1 billion to employers following strong investment returns, falling injury claims and other operational efficiencies. As with past rebates, employers are free to spend the funds as they wish.

While workers’ compensation in Ohio is a monopolistic system, it continues to be an area where your commercial clients have been positively impacted by BWC’s repeated rebates the past seven years. We encourage you to continue to explore how you can become an advisor to your clients on their Ohio workers’ compensation needs by learning more about OIA’s Group Rating and Retro programs.

Reprinted from Ohio Insurance Agents Association

Carolyn Mangas

Will Drones Change The Way We Buy Insurance?

Drones and Insurance

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released guidelines on the use of drones for commercial and personal use.  Many businesses are considering, or actually using, drones as part of their business.  Just a few applications include real-estate appraisals, making commercials, construction projects, and even security.

Most drone users have little or no aviation experience so, even if you follow the regulations and the laws, you might experience pilot error, or unplanned equipment failure. With some models tipping the scales of up to 55 pounds, rogue drones can pose a significant threat to people and property—and to your personal liability. That’s why it’s a smart to add an insurance review to your pre-flight checklist.

Here is a link to the FAA rules

Here is What You Need to Know

  1. Drones must weigh less than 55 pounds, and operation must be less than 400 feet above ground.
  2. Drones must be in your line of sight at all times.
  3. Operation must also be within 3o minutes of sunrise or sunset.
  4. Operators need to obtain a pilot certificate with the US Airspace by passing an aeronautical test.

Will My Insurance Cover Drone Operations?

It will be important to talk to your agent regarding just how your insurance policy will respond.

While the massive national agencies spend millions on television ads and offer barebones policies, they do not know you. When your needs change or your situation complicates, you don’t want an automated phone tree or cold cyber-agent. You want to talk to compassionate, honest insurance experts – that’s our team. You shouldn’t have to spend hours researching and comparing policies. Let the specialists at Reichley guide you through the complex insurance industry.

Call today to alleviate the worry and get covered – (937) 429-0655.

Five Questions To Ask Your Broker

Five Questions To Ask Your Broker

There is a growing trend that involves the idea that insurance agents are different. And that when selecting your personal insurance, it pays to use an agent who has experience, knowledge and the service you need.

Your agent should have many years’ experience in the industry. They should have a staff that has the knowledge and experience to handle your individual personal insurance concerns and questions. Your agent should be able to offer alternatives and services that others can’t. For example, can your agent help you with flood insurance, ATV coverage or your second home?

Here Are Five Questions To Ask You Broker

  1. What is your experience in the insurance industry?
  2. If I have a claim, how will you help me?
  3. How often will you call me to review my account?
  4. How many markets will you use to market my personal insurance program?
  5. What is your policy on following up with customer requests?

There are other ways to help you evaluate the agent, which include; visit their web page to learn more about their services, ask for references, and check other social media sites.

One Example Of How We Define Customer Service

This past year our community has been hit hard with wind damage from the Memorial Day Tornados. We should know because many of your clients have claims that we have been helping them with. Our team of professionals has been working hard to help our clients get the best possible settlement under the terms of their individual policies.

The services we provide during a claim is another good reason for individuals to partner with a local independent insurance agent. We work under the premise that insurance is a promise between the client and the insurer. Our job is to make sure all promises in the insurance policies are kept and communication between the insurance carriers and our clients maintained. People define integrity as doing the right thing when no one is watching. Over the past few months, I have noticed our staff acting with incredible integrity when dealing with both our clients and insurance carrier representatives; here are a few examples.

  • Representing our client’s interest to claims adjusters.
  • Visiting the damaged property.
  • Outlining our client’s coverage to insurance companies.
  • Asking for advances on behalf of your clients.
  • Confirming coverage terms to adjusters.
  • Educating clients on how the claims process works and what to expect.
  • Encouraging claims adjuster to offer proper settlements.

We are in business to make sure promises are kept and to educate our clients on the risks they face and how to manage them properly. Choosing the right insurance starts with choosing the right insurance agency.

 

 

What Is Risk Analysis And Why Is It So Important?

What Is Risk Analysis And Why Is It So Important?

The term risk analysis tends to sound like a complicated thing. But simply put, risk analysis is a review of the things that might create a loss for you, your family, or business.

Why Is This important?

You have so much invested in your family, home, and business. You need to have an understanding of things that might happen, which will create a negative impact on your family and business.

What Role Does Your Agent Play?

Your agent will be your guide, consultant, and advisor through this process. It is important that you have an agent who is not interested in selling you insurance. Your agent needs to educate you on your risk, offer options, and work with you to make sure you are correctly protected.

If your agent does not understand or is not interested in this process, you will be left with inadequate protection.

If your agent offers an off the shelf homeowners policy, without asking questions and educating you might get stuck in the event of a claim. For example, you have a fire in your business and have to move out for three months during reconstruction. Do you have the right coverage to help you with temporary rent, and other expenses? What if you have to close your business and you have a loss of revenue? Knowing the right coverage and limits you need is the responsibility of your agent.

We Help Make The Complex Simple

We offer a series of questions to help our clients understand their risk and what options they have to manage them, based on their individual situations.

We educate our clients so they can make informed decisions. For example, if you are renting out a part of your home, you will need special insurance, as your homeowner’s policy excludes operating a business out of your home.

If you own a home and have other financial assists, you may need a personal umbrella policy. This protects you against litigation or claims where your primary coverage is exhausted.

Let’s start a conversation on how we might be able to educate you and design an insurance program that fits your individual needs.

After Recent Storms Agents Show Their Value.

The recent storm and resulting damage have offered a reminder just how important the right kind of insurance can be. It also      re-enforces just how important your agent can be in helping you through the claim process.

People buy insurance to protect their family and financial assets from a loss. So when a loss occurs, most people expect their insurance to step up and take care of the issue.  Understanding insurance and the process involved in designing a policy can help prevent a standard claim from turning into a disaster.

How We Are Adding Value Post Storm

  • Helping clients finding contractors.
  • Offering ideas regarding money clients received from the insurance adjuster.
  • Communicating how the claim process works. For example, why the insurance company only paid a portion of the damage estimate at first.
  • Reminding people that claims are a “process’ of steps, not a one and done approach.
  • Helping to match volunteer disaster relief with clients in need.
  • Acting as a location and resource for internet, meeting space for adjusters and contractors to meet with clients displaced by the storms.
  • Helping clients with a final proof of loss.
  • Providing information on how to present your claim in a way to obtain the best payment based on your coverage terms.

Why Your Agents Knowledge And Experience Matters

Having a well-written policy at the time of a loss will make the entire process easier and more efficient.  Every insurance policy offers basic coverage like coverage for your home and personal property.  A trusted insurance partner will go beyond this and counsel you on how much coverage limits you may need and the benefits of modifying deductibles based on your financial capabilities.

The Value of Annual Insurance Reviews

An annual insurance review can offer time for the client and agent to sit down and determine what kind of coverage is needed based on your unique needs. This has become increasingly important after the recent Memorial Day tornado.

Your policy has coverage limits and deductible that will apply to each loss or claim. We can help you understand how these work and the value to you of adjusting these based on your individual needs.

We help you understand the value of viewing insurance as more than just a policy. It is a relationship with your agent and the insurance company. Your agent can become a trusted partner and help you with many areas of your personal insurance. This involves building a relationship of trust. You will want to have a comfortable, professional

Low Premium Vs. Value… Which Is Better?

Many people think the best way to select an insurance agent is to hire the one that offers the lowest possible price. Lower price can mean inferior coverage and that’s fine until you experience a loss that isn’t covered. My goal is to help you understand that there is more to insurance then getting the lowest price. I use concepts like value, cost benefit and service as a foundation for the agent/customer relationship.

Here are a few ideas to help you along your path

Independent agents offer more options. Independent agents represent many different insurers. You want an agent who represents many insurers; especially an insurer who have experience in your specific industry, and who is willing to take the time to get to know you. Allow the agent to market your risk with many different insurers, this is a good way to bring vale to the process. You want a relationship, not a policy.

What can your agent offer? If you own a business and are looking for an agent to write your commercial insurance, you want to make sure they have experience in your industry. If your agent only has experience with personal lines, do they really have the experience and knowledge you need?

Know your agent’s credentials and experience. Ask your agent about their experience and qualifications. Are they investing in extra training and or do they have accreditations, like ARM or CIC. Also ask about their staff, is the account manager also seeking additional designations.

Does the agents personality fit with yours? Your agent can become trusted advisor and help you with many areas of your business. This involves building a relationship of trust. You will want to have a comfortable, professional relationship with your agent, so you can ask questions and get the straightforward responses you deserve.

Your agent can build an insurance program that provides sound insurance and risk management that adds value. And in the long run value is much better than low price.