Monthly Archives: August 2017

D&O Insurance Protects Corporate Boards from Personal Liability

pexels-photo-288477 (1)Most business insurance policies are designed to protect the assets and earning of the business entity. Directors and Officers Insurance, commonly called D&O Insurance, is a little different in that its purpose is to protect the personal assets and income of boards of directors and corporate officers.

 

A start up business has no need for this kind of insurance protection, but as your business grows through it’s life-cycle and becomes more complex; and as board members become wealthier, the need for D&O Insurance increases.

And it isn’t just corporation board members who need to consider D&O Insurance protection, sitting as a director on a co-op, condo, or non-profit board can also create exposure to personal liability for unintentionally failing to disclose conflicts of interest, breach of duty, or commingling personal and business monies and assets.

Not suit brought against a board or individual officer is covered in a D&O Insurance policy, and Directors and Officers Liability Insurance policies vary a great deal. Often claims related to employment practices (hiring, firing, and promoting) are not covered under D&O Insurance. In cases where a D&O policy excludes employment related claims, an Employment Practices Liability (EPL) policy may fill the gap.

A significant proportion of claims filed against boards and individual members are frivolous and are ultimately dismissed. But even though a case is thrown out, legal defense costs are usually incurred and can be significant. Coverage for legal defense costs is one of the most important components of a D&O Insurance policy.

To start saving on business insurance with the best advice call

AmeriAgency at 615-209-9362.

Outdoor Work Safety – The Biggest On-Site Risks

labor day workerReality television has a way of glamorizing good, old fashioned outdoor work, with shows like “Extreme Loggers,” “Deadliest Catch” and “Dirty Jobs.” And although it can be hard to tear yourself away from these shows, we have to admit that part of the intrigue is the extreme dangers these people face every day on the job, especially compared to those of us sitting at a desk.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 4,340 fatal injuries were recorded in the U.S. in 2009. The video above reports the Top 10 most dangerous jobs and the death tolls that arise from them-from construction workers to commercial fishermen-and seven out of the 10 jobs are predominately outdoor jobs.

Some of the biggest risks involved in outdoor work include:

Transportation: According to the SafetyResource.org, “Three of the top five most-dangerous jobs have a majority of fatalities from transportation accidents.” This means that workers using company vehicles of any kind should be trained to always wear seat belts, consistently check the condition of their vehicles and have proper training and testing with the vehicle’s controls.

Weather: Outdoor workers often have to face the elements, from extreme heat and humidity to extreme cold and snow. Then there are the risks from electrical storms and those weather hazards that seem to come out of nowhere, like tornadoes and flash floods. Employees should be properly trained on how to dress and protect themselves from the elements, should be allowed to break regularly, seek shelter whenever possible, and know when it’s time to stop work in certain conditions.

Diseases & Chemical Exposure: Some outdoor workers, including loggers, fishermen and farmers, are faced with exposure to different kinds of disease-carrying animals, allergy-causing plants and hazardous chemicals. Employers should be sure to cover all of their bases, and include training and emergency rescue measures to be taken in case of exposure to anything that could potentially harm workers.

Noise & Hearing Loss: According to the CDC occupational hearing loss is the most common work related injury in the U.S., with a reported 22 million employees exposed to hazardous levels. Many outdoor workers are faced with this risk; think chain saw and construction machinery, for starters. The CDC recommends that employers make sure to remove the hazardous noises if at all possible, and/or always provide and train employees on the use of hearing protection devices.

As an employer in Tennessee, you want to make sure you have adequate business insurance that covers all potential employees and the liabilities they face on a daily basis. To make sure your company and employees are protected and covered from all potential risks, call AmeriAgency at 615-209-9362 today.

Thunderstorm Safety

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The heat and humidity that tend to lurk around in the summer months around Tennessee create the perfect recipe for thunderstorms. Occurring either late in the afternoon after big black clouds slowly build up and rumble or springing up out of nowhere, they often come with high winds and heavy rains.

According to FEMA, about 10 percent of thunderstorms are classified as severe, meaning that they can do real damage to homes, property and people. This classification means there’s either hail of three quarters of an inch in diameter, winds of more than 58 miles per hour or a tornado present.

Even though only a small percentage of storms are severe, FEMA also reminds us that all thunderstorms are dangerous.

Basically, every thunderstorm is accompanied by lightning, which injures up to 300 people in the U.S. per year and kills an average of 80. Along with that are other storm-related dangers, from tornados and hail to flash floods and wildfires.

Thunderstorms are obviously an inevitable part of our natural world, but there are some precautions that can greatly reduce health hazards and property damage, and therefore insurance claims, that can occur during any storm.

  • Property Preparations: Clear property of dead or rotting trees or other hazards that could fall or blow away during a storm or high winds. Secure shutters if you have them or close blinds,
  • Indoor Preparations: FEMA says there is no safe place outside during a thunderstorm, so if possible go inside when you hear the first rumble. If there is no shelter, stay in the car (hard-topped). Once indoors, it’s important to avoid messing with water and electrical outlets, stay away from doors and windows, don’t lie or lean on concrete, and unplug appliances to prevent surges.
  • Outdoor Preparations: Stay away from hilltops, open fields, the beach, open water, natural lightning rods (like an isolated tree), anything metal, and isolated outbuildings.
  • Storm Terms: FEMA recommends that you know your storm-related terms, often announced on local radio stations, so you will know how to react most effectively. A “Severe Thunderstorm Watch” announcement will tell you where and when a storm may take place. In this event, stay tuned for more info. A “Severe Thunderstorm Warning” announcement means that the storm has been reported to be in progress, and precautions should be taken immediately.

Call AmeriAgency to save up to 30% on your

homeowners insurance at 615-209-9362.

Safe Passwords

pexels-photo-211122Choose a phrase you can easily remember… Take the first letter of each word of that phrase, and you have a strong password”
Most of us in Tennessee use dozens of websites that require a username and password. Trying to remember your username is hard enough, but trying to remember an assortment of passwords can seem virtually impossible. We tend to create very simple passwords in the hopes that they will be easy to recall. But such passwords totally defeat the purpose of having a password in the first place: security. Fortunately, it is possible to create a password that is both strong and easy to remember.

The Problem with Simple Passwords:

Too many of us are using simple, short passwords like “max.” A password hacker using the most basic form of hacking, which makes 1,000 guesses per second, can break a password like “max” in just 18 seconds! Think throwing in a capital letter or two will make your password unbreakable? Hardly. Using a short password with one capital letter, such as Max, would only take 2.4 minutes to break. Of course, many websites won’t even let you use passwords this short, and for good reason.

Here’s an idea of how long it takes an average hacker to break some other passwords (with no punctuation):

abcde
3.4 hours
doctor
3.72 hours
brian
3.43 hours
1234567
3.09 hours

These passwords, though longer than “max,” aren’t much more secure.

Using (and Remembering) a Strong Password:

To create a truly strong password, you need to use a mixture of the following: lowercase letters, uppercase letters, numbers, and punctuation. Avoid using words that you can find in any dictionary. The idea is to create a new “word” of sorts.

Here’s a good method for creating a strong password: Choose a phrase you can easily remember, such as, “My first house was on 15 E 3rd street.” Take the first letter of each word of that phrase, and you have a strong password: “My first house is on 15E3rd street” or Mfhio15E3^s.

Assuming an average hacker would give it his best shot and make one thousand guesses per second, a password like Mfhio15E3^s would take 1.74 hundred billion centuries to break!

When picking a phrase to use, choose something that you’ll easily remember, such as a child’s birthday or a car. Here are a couple more examples:

Password Do’s and Don’ts:

  • Do use a mixture of letters, numbers, and characters. Mix in uppercase letters and use similar looking characters such as zero for the letter o, or 4 instead of “for.”
  • Do use passwords that have more than six characters.
  • Do change your password on a regular basis.
  • Don’t use common words/names easily found in the dictionary.
  • Don’t write down your password and put it on a sticky note on your computer monitor.
  • Don’t email your passwords to yourself.
  • Don’t use easy-to-guess words or phrases like “password” or “let me in.”

For the lowest cost auto insurance call AmeriAgency at 615-209-9362.

10 things Hipsters love! Do you?

sunset-summer-hipster-pipe.jpg

10. Fixed gear bikes- Fixies

9. High quality Headphones-sound matters

8. Farming- grow your own! 

7. Non- profits-because they care

6. Ridiculous mustaches and facial hair

5. Craft beer

4. Radio Head and Arcade Fire-because sound matters

3. Coffee Soda- like “Matchless Coffee Soda”

https://www.matchlesscoffeesoda.com

2. Vintage eye glasses- even if you have 20-20

1. Anything from a food truck!

 

How about you? What do  you love?

If you love your family, car, or house, let us insure it for you!

AmeriAgency Inc. 615-209-9362

Tips for Making Your Shelter Healthy

It’s the place in Tennessee where we seek rest and respite from the demands of the workday and the outside world. It’s where we spend quality time with friends and family. It’s where we cook, eat, sleep, shower, and sit by the fire. It’s home, and it really is sweet.

But is it healthy?

Surprisingly, your home can be more than just your hiding place; it can also be the hiding place of many unexpected, unseen dangerous things that may be harmful to your own health and your loved ones. Fortunately, with a bit of effort, you can make your North Carolina home base a healthy place. Here are some tips:

  • Curb Carbon Monoxide – Carbon monoxide detectors that plug into electrical outlets are both affordable and easy to install. Put one on every floor of your home, and one in every bedroom. These potentially life-saving devices can protect your family from carbon monoxide poisoning that can result from a gas heater or fireplace.
  • Manage Mold – Though it is a natural development, mold can wreak havoc on your health. It triggers allergies, headaches, chronic sinus conditions, and other ailments. To prevent mold from growing in such common areas as bathrooms, laundry rooms, and basements, install drywall designed to resist mildew, and use ventilation fans to keep moisture from hanging around.
  • Put Your Purse Out of Reach – Mommy’s purse can store a plethora of potentially harmful products that should be kept out of the reach of children and pets. Small items, including coins and makeup, are easy to choke on. Prescription and even over-the-counter medications can be deadly if they fall into the wrongs hands (or paws). Keep your purse on a hard-to-reach shelf so its contents are inaccessible.
  • Toss Toxic Toiletries – Common lotions, soaps, sunscreens, makeup products, nail polish, and perfume all contain toxic ingredients known to be harmful to humans, including phthalates, which can disrupt the endocrine system, and preservatives known as parabens, which have been linked to cancer. You can find non-toxic toiletries and beauty products at health food stores and online, as well as at some mainstream beauty-supply retailers and supermarkets.
  • Purge the Plastic – Many plastics leech toxic chemicals, like Bispehnol A (BPA), that are harmful to humans because they are known hormone disruptors. Replace your plastic food and water storage containers with glass ones or BPA free plastic ones. Avoid storing food in plastic wrap, which contains phthalates and vinyl chloride, a human carcinogen.
  • Use Canned Goods with Caution – Canned foods are convenient and handy, but, like plastics, many cans are coated with BPA, which can leech into the foods they contain.
  • Clean Green – Household cleaning products and laundry detergents are notoriously unhealthy for humans. Rife with chemicals, they create a home environment that may be “clean,” but is hardly safe. It’s easy to clean green! Baking soda, lemon juice, and vinegar are just a few harmless and effective products that clean a variety of surfaces. Like green toiletries, green cleaning products are now readily available at health food stores and many mainstream supermarkets.

Start saving up to 30% on homeowners insurance call AmeriAgency now at 615-209-9362.