Roeding Insurance


  • The Risks of Telecommuting from Home June 9, 2017 5:20 pm
    With the ever evolving and improving technology, telecommuting from home has been a growing trend over the past two decades.  It is defined as a work arrangement in which employees do not commute or travel by bus or car to a central place of work, such as an office building, warehouse or store. Telecommuters will use mobile telecommunications technology such as Wi-Fi equipped laptop, tablet or personal computer, fax machines, landline phones and now smartphones to work from converted bedrooms, closets, basements, coffeehouses and even from backyard pools.  Employees are now even able to teleconference or video conference into training sessions, sales meeting and board meetings through the use of Skype and other Apps offered to employers today.   It’s been 16 years since I have telecommuted on a daily basis from a converted walk-in closet back to my regional office located on the 16th floor of the Sears Tower.  Working from home at all hours of the day or night had its advantages and disadvantages that I still miss to this day. The commute in my pajamas from my bed to my office only took 3 of minutes in the morning, after you factored in the time it took to pour my cup of Joe.       Back then I found myself 30%-40% more productive than when I had to report to an office, due to the lack of distractions and ability to stay focus and on task.  Today according to a Reuters poll, approximately "one in five workers around the globe, particularly employees in the Middle East, Latin America and Asia, telecommute frequently and nearly 10 percent work from home every day. Telecommuters often times will maintain a traditional office and usually work from an alternative work site from 1 to 3 days a week.  Telecommuting refers more specifically to work undertaken at a location that reduces commuting time. These locations can be inside the home or at some other remote workplace, which is facilitated through a broadband connection, computer or phone lines or any other electronic media used to interact and communicate. In the 1990s, telecommuting became the subject of pop culture attention and today according to Gallup.com thirty-seven percent of U.S. workers say they have telecommuted, up slightly from 30% lasts decade but four times greater than the 9% found in 1995. Roughly 3.7 million employees (2.8% of the workforce) now work from home at least half the time. Regular work-at-home, among the non-self-employed population, has grown by 103% since 2005. Fortune 1000 companies around the globe are entirely revamping their space around the fact that employees are already mobile. Studies repeatedly show they are not at their desk 50-60% of the time. These progressive companies are able to use telecommuting to reduce costs,  because telecommuting employees do not require an office or cubicles, a space which has to be rented or purchased, provided with lighting and climate control, etc.  Studies have shown that a majority of employees favor the option of telecommuting.   Not only does this increase the moral and job satisfaction of current employees, but it can also be valuable when recruiting new talent. Hiring and retaining the best employees will help you save money on training costs, and more seasoned workers tend to have fewer injuries, contributing to lower workers’ compensation premiums. It’s a fact that by offering the option to telecommute from home attracts talent because it improves their employees quality of life by reducing the traveling time and time stuck in traffic jams.   Telecommuting has made it easier for employees to balance their work responsibilities with family roles (e.g., caring for children or elderly parents). One of the other major advantages that telecommuting offers is that it helps our environment by reducing road congestion and our carbon footprint by reducing automotive emissions. Telecommuting still has some disadvantages, such as being distracted from your family members that shares the same home office space with you.  Working from home may safely insulate you away from the office politics that go on back at the office, but that in itself has its drawbacks.  Working alone is a less social environment due to the isolation, and offers far less social interaction amongst your co-workers.  You are usually  less aware of changes within company and it often times can cause you to be overlooked for a future promotions due to that old adage “out of sight out of mind.”     You are also more prone to excessive work hours which can add additional workplace  stress because often times there isn’t a clock to punch or a set time when the office lights go out.  I often times would sit down to  accomplish a simple task  after putting the kids to bed and then  look up to find myself working way past midnight.    One of the top reasons employers are leery of allowing employees to work from home is the inability to correctly monitor how time is used throughout the work day. Besides the loss caused by unproductive workers, one substantial problem with the lack of supervision is the ease in which an employee can make fraudulent workers’ compensation claims. Yes in general an employee injury or illness is compensable under workers’ compensation laws if it arises out of and in the course of employment, regardless if it did occur while telecommuting back to the office.    Employees typically have the burden of proving that the injury is work-related. “Arising Out Of” refers to what the employee was doing at the time of the injury, and “In The Course Of” refers to when the injury happened. To successfully claim workers’ compensation benefits, the employee must show that he or she was acting in the interest of the employer at the time the injury occurred. When injuries occur in the home instead of on-site, there is usually no witness to verify that it occurred while the employee was performing company duties and not while working on personal tasks around the home or home office. Courts have found that an employer’s lack of control over the conditions of an employee’s home-based work premises is irrelevant. When an employee’s home is also an employee’s work premises, it is often interpreted that the hazards an employee encounters when performing work at home are also hazards of his or her employment. Employers are responsible for providing the same safe work environment for telecommuters as for employees who work on company property. If employees make abusive workers’ compensation claims, policy premiums can increase. In general, telecommuting situations blur the line between what is and is not compensable under workers’ compensation laws.  Workers’ compensation laws vary by state, and I would encourage employers to work with their workers’ compensation carriers as well as their legal counsel to determine strategies to manage workers’ compensation risks for their telecommuters. Employers can implement the following practices that may limit workers’ compensation liability for home-based employees: ·         Create a telecommuting policy that outlines the employer’s expectations for employees who work from home. ·         Limit telecommuting to individuals who are well-suited for working without regular supervision. There are typical job and employee characteristics that make for successful telecommuting arrangements. ·         Establish guidelines for a home office, such as a designated work area, and provide training related to workstation setup and safety measures, including ergonomics. ·         When appropriate and possible, conduct periodic checks of employee home offices to help identify and eliminate work area safety hazards. ·         Set fixed work hours and meal and rest periods for telecommuters. Doing so can help establish whether an injury was “in the course of” employment. Be Safe My Friends! Article by: Keven Moore
    Hannah French
  • Memorial Day : Most Dangerous Time to be on the Road May 29, 2017 4:01 pm
    Long daylight hours and better driving conditions may lull drivers into a false sense of safety during summer months­­­­, according to a new survey conducted by Michelin for National Tire Safety Week (May 28‒June 3). Two in three (67 percent) drivers report feeling safer driving during the summertime, citing better road conditions (83 percent) and nicer weather (81 percent) as reasons. 34.6M drivers will hit the road Memorial Day weekend Despite drivers' self-confidence, Memorial Day commences the most dangerous season of the year on the road, with more auto accidents occurring during summer months than any other time of year, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). More than 34.6 million Americans will hit the road this Memorial Day weekend, the traditional launch of the U.S. summer vacation season, according to AAA. Three-quarters of drivers (74 percent) falsely believe that summer has fewer accidents than other times of the year. Similarly, drivers are three times less likely to be vigilant, (e.g., alert and focused on immediate surroundings) while driving during summer months than during winter. Summer driving mistakes Drivers report other differences in seasonal driving behaviors that suggest reduced vigilance during summer months: Eight in 10 drivers (81 percent) said they were less likely to drive cautiously (e.g., taking extra care with stopping, turning and attention to speed) in the summertime. Nearly three-quarters (72 percent) said they were less likely to pay close attention to other drivers on the road in the summer compared to winter months. Drivers are nearly three times less likely to check the condition of their tires in the summer. Heat is enemy of tires "Drivers tend to think about their tires in the winter, when slippery, icy roads require maximum traction. But heat is the enemy of tires," said Sarah Robinson, driving safety expert at Michelin. "Some of the most severe tire-related episodes are due to under-inflated tires in summer months." All drivers are encouraged to remain vigilant and safe on summer road trips with these summer driving tips: Give your car a checkup: Ahead of summer travel season, conduct a safety check of your vehicle to make sure it is in prime condition. Check oil and fluid levels, windshield wipers, headlights and battery ahead of your trip. Check your tires: Check to ensure your tires have sufficient tread with a simple penny test, and check your tire pressure using the manufacturer's setting found on the driver's door jamb. Underinflated tires offer less traction, can reduce fuel efficiency, wear out prematurely and, most importantly, suffer unnoticed and irreparable damage that compromises their performance and safety. Don't forget to check the air in your spare, too. Practice safe following distance: Always be aware of the cars immediately surrounding you, especially those in front. Give yourself enough room to brake or maneuver in an unexpected situation. Focus fully on the road ahead: While on the road, focus fully on driving. Any activities that could divert your attention should be avoided while at the wheel. This includes things like using your phone, snacking, or reaching into the backseat to attend to a child or pet. Carry an emergency kit: Carry an appropriate emergency kit in your car that includes items such as jumper cables, flashlight with extra batteries, reflective triangles, first aid kit, water and non-perishable food items. Program your cell phone in advance with emergency numbers, including that of your roadside assistance provider. Take breaks during long trips: Pull over and take breaks every couple of hours, even if you don't feel sleepy. Stretching your legs and taking a quick moment to "reset" can help avoid zoning out behind the wheel and keep passengers from getting cabin fever. Content provided by Travelers 
    Emily Borst
  • Preparing Your Home for Vacation May 25, 2017 7:47 pm
    Vacation is for fun and relaxation. Help save yourself some worry about what could be happening at home by protecting it from theft and damage while you are away. Here is a checklist we have developed to help you have a relaxing and peaceful vacation. Make sure all electrical appliances are turned off. Clean the refrigerator of all perishable foods, and take out the garbage. Lock all windows and doors. Arrange to have the newspaper and mail held until your return, or have them picked up by a trusted neighbor. Arrange to have your lawn mowed (or snow shoveled) while you are away. Ask a neighbor to set out your trash on collection day and then retrieve empty cans and recycling bins the same day. Let a trusted neighbor know you will be away and have them keep an eye on your home. It is a good idea to leave your vacation address and telephone number with a neighbor so you can be reached in case of an emergency. Never leave your house key hidden outside your home. Set timers on interior lights. Make sure to unplug televisions, computers and appliances susceptible to lightning and power surges. Advise your alarm company and local police if you will be gone for an extended period. Store jewelry and valuable items in a safe-deposit box. Arrange for the care of pets. Set the heating system to provide minimum heat of 55 degrees. Content provided by Travelers 
    Hannah French
  • Keeping Your Passengers Safe on the Road May 25, 2017 6:57 pm
    Wearing seat belts has become second nature for many, thanks in part to stricter seat belt laws and safety features in newer automobiles that sound until the driver and passenger seat belts are buckled. But according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), only 74% of passengers in rear seats buckle up, compared to 83% of front seat passengers.1 Seat belts help reduce deaths and serious injuries on the road. Rear-seat passengers are three times more likely to die in a car accident if they are unbuckled.2 As the driver, you can play an important role in the safety of your passengers by reminding them to always buckle their seat belts, no matter where they sit. Seat Belts Important in Other Vehicles, Too You may always make it a habit to buckle your seat belt in your own car, but what about when you are traveling in another vehicle, such as a taxi, limousine, bus or large passenger van? Passengers might think it is unnecessary to buckle up when going for a short ride on a city street, but in a frontal collision at 30 miles per hour, an unbelted person moves forward and hits the windshield (or driver partition in a limo or taxi) at 30 miles per hour―the same velocity and force a person falling from the top of a three-story building would experience when hitting the ground.3 Passenger Safety for Children If you travel with small children, know the latest guidelines for riding in car seats and booster seats. The NHTSA website posts guidelines for infant seats, convertible seats and booster seats, including a guide to car seat types by the child’s age. It is also a good idea to remind caregivers and other relatives of the latest safety recommendations. For example, rear-facing seats are now recommended until age 3.4 Booster seats are recommended up until age 12, and it is recommended that children sit in the rear seat until at least age 12. If you need help installing your car seat, or you want to ensure it is installed properly, many local police and fire departments hold regular car seat inspection days. You also may want to register your car seat with the manufacturer and check for any product recalls to help ensure that your passengers are protected. Wearing seat belts may be the norm for many, but there is a lot more to seat belt safety than just buckling up. Knowing the facts and making sure all your passengers wear their seat belts can keep everyone safe, and perhaps save lives. Sources: 1 National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, Traffic Safety Facts Research Notes, May 2009. 2 http://www.ghsa.org/html/media/pressreleases/2015/20151123rearbelts.html 3 U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 9 Myths About Safety Belts for Truck Drivers, May 2007. 4 http://www.safercar.gov/parents/CarSeats/Right-Car-Seat-Age-Size.htm Content provided by Travelers
    Hannah French
  • Memorial Day: Most Dangerous Time to be on the Road May 25, 2017 4:23 pm
    Long daylight hours and better driving conditions may lull drivers into a false sense of safety during summer months, according to a new survey conducted by Michelin for National Tire Safety Week (May 28‒June 3). Two in three (67 percent) drivers report feeling safer driving during the summertime, citing better road conditions (83 percent) and nicer weather (81 percent) as reasons. 34.6M drivers will hit the road Memorial Day weekend Despite drivers' self-confidence, Memorial Day commences the most dangerous season of the year on the road, with more auto accidents occurring during summer months than any other time of year, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). More than 34.6 million Americans will hit the road this Memorial Day weekend, the traditional launch of the U.S. summer vacation season, according to AAA. Three-quarters of drivers (74 percent) falsely believe that summer has fewer accidents than other times of the year. Similarly, drivers are three times less likely to be vigilant, (e.g., alert and focused on immediate surroundings) while driving during summer months than during winter. Summer driving mistakes Drivers report other differences in seasonal driving behaviors that suggest reduced vigilance during summer months: •Eight in 10 drivers (81 percent) said they were less likely to drive cautiously (e.g., taking extra care with stopping, turning and attention to speed) in the summertime. •Nearly three-quarters (72 percent) said they were less likely to pay close attention to other drivers on the road in the summer compared to winter months. •Drivers are nearly three times less likely to check the condition of their tires in the summer. Heat is enemy of tires "Drivers tend to think about their tires in the winter, when slippery, icy roads require maximum traction. But heat is the enemy of tires," said Sarah Robinson, driving safety expert at Michelin. "Some of the most severe tire-related episodes are due to under-inflated tires in summer months." All drivers are encouraged to remain vigilant and safe on summer road trips with these summer driving tips: •Give your car a checkup: Ahead of summer travel season, conduct a safety check of your vehicle to make sure it is in prime condition. Check oil and fluid levels, windshield wipers, headlights and battery ahead of your trip. •Check your tires: Check to ensure your tires have sufficient tread with a simple penny test, and check your tire pressure using the manufacturer's setting found on the driver's door jamb. Underinflated tires offer less traction, can reduce fuel efficiency, wear out prematurely and, most importantly, suffer unnoticed and irreparable damage that compromises their performance and safety. Don't forget to check the air in your spare, too. •Practice safe following distance: Always be aware of the cars immediately surrounding you, especially those in front. Give yourself enough room to brake or maneuver in an unexpected situation. •Focus fully on the road ahead: While on the road, focus fully on driving. Any activities that could divert your attention should be avoided while at the wheel. This includes things like using your phone, snacking, or reaching into the backseat to attend to a child or pet. •Carry an emergency kit: Carry an appropriate emergency kit in your car that includes items such as jumper cables, flashlight with extra batteries, reflective triangles, first aid kit, water and non-perishable food items. Program your cell phone in advance with emergency numbers, including that of your roadside assistance provider. •Take breaks during long trips: Pull over and take breaks every couple of hours, even if you don't feel sleepy. Stretching your legs and taking a quick moment to "reset" can help avoid zoning out behind the wheel and keep passengers from getting cabin fever. Content provided by Property Casualty 360, article written by Jayleen R. Heft
    Hannah French
  • Boating Safety Tips May 25, 2017 4:08 pm
    Every time you take your boat out on the water is a new experience. No matter how many trips you have under your belt, it is best to freshen up on boat safety before each voyage. Be sure you and your passengers follow these safe boating tips and practices to help promote an incident-free return from each outing. Before Setting Out on Your Boat Ensure that your boat is operating properly before heading out onto the water. Follow this pre-departure checklist to help you avoid any potential problems. Share your float plan with a friend or relative. Be sure to include your destination and expected time of return. Check fuel levels and add as necessary. Check your engine. For in-board engines, open the hatch to look for fuel or fluid (oil, coolant, etc.) leakage or excess water in the bilge, or the lowest section inside of a boat. For outboard engines, check the fuel system for leaks or heavy gas odor. Excessive fuel vapors from either engine type can be a sign of a serious problem. Ensure all lights are functioning and in place. Check for any electrical issues such as loose, disconnected or corroded conductors. Test radio/communications devices. Run blowers to evacuate fumes and vapors from the bilge prior to starting your engine. Attach your boat and vehicle keys to a floating bobber. Check the local weather, sea reports and boating forecasts. As the operator of the boat, you have a responsibility to pay attention to the weather and should not head out if adverse conditions are expected. Have an emergency/evacuation plan in place, and go over it with your passengers. Review the vessel’s controls, location of personal flotation devices and location of fire extinguishers with your passengers. What to Take Aboard No matter how careful you, your passengers and fellow boaters may be, accidents can still happen. In the event of an incident, you should always have these items with you while you are out on your boat: Boat certificate and registration. Towing policy paperwork (if you have one). Personal flotation device (PFD) —with protective packaging removed—for each passenger. Charged and functioning fire extinguisher. Fully-stocked boating emergency/survival kit. Staying Safe on the Water Having a good time while out on the water includes getting everyone back to shore safely. Whether you are navigating or just along for the ride, everyone plays a critical role in boating safety. Be sure you and your passengers practice these safe boating behaviors on every outing: Do not exceed the number of passengers safely allowed on your vessel. Make sure all passengers remain in their proper, seated positions on the boat while it is in motion. Children should wear a PFD at all times – this is required by law in some states, so be sure to check local laws, rules and regulations. Adults should consider wearing them as well, and at a minimum, they should be readily available. Shut off the engine while passengers are loading and unloading for recreational activities such as tubing, waterskiing, wakeboarding and swimming. Monitor gauges at the helm (voltage, temperature, fuel) to help promote safe operation and identify any issues as soon as possible. Be aware of your surroundings, like water conditions and other vessels, to help you react to any potential dangers in a timely manner. The primary and backup operator (if you have one) should abstain from consuming any alcoholic beverages prior to or during the outing. Content provided by Travelers 
    Hannah French
  • How to Trailer, Tow, and Launch Your Boat Safely May 25, 2017 3:23 pm
    Before you can begin a season of boating, you must first get your boat to, and into, the water. While towing and trailering are necessary to get your boat to the water, they can be potentially dangerous if the necessary precautions are not taken. Making it a priority to inspect and maintain your trailer, secure your vessel for transport, and then tow and launch it safely is as important as following safe boating practices once you are out on the water. Following are some tips to help ensure your boating adventures start off without a hitch. Towing Capacity and Trailer Compatibility Before you even consider trailering, you must ensure your vehicle is capable of towing your trailer and boat. Your vehicle needs to be properly rated to pull the combined weight of your trailer and boat. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to determine your vehicle’s towing capacities. Ensure the towing hardware of your vehicle matches that of your trailer. Also, make sure your vehicle is properly maintained. You must also make sure your trailer is properly registered and inspected, if required. Each state may have different regulations concerning trailers. Consult your local Department of Motor Vehicles for specifics. Trailer Inspection and Maintenance Be sure to adhere to a regular trailer maintenance routine in accordance with manufacturer specifications. You should also inspect your trailer before every trip as trailers, like boats, can be subject to harsh environments, such as salt water when launching the boat. This checklist can help you, and never take your trailer out on the road — with or without your vessel — before addressing any problems you discover. Check the trailer and trailer hardware to ensure both are in good condition. Check the trailer wiring and lights to ensure all lights are working properly. Check the trailer for any severe corrosion. Check tires for dry rot, and be sure they are properly inflated. Make sure you have a properly inflated spare tire. Make sure the wheel bearings are properly lubricated (according to manufacturer specifications), and all wheels spin freely. Check the rollers and/or bunkers. Inspect the winch, cable and lock to make sure they are in good condition and working properly. If the trailer has a braking mechanism, check that it is operating properly. Check the trailer to determine that it is properly attached to the vehicle (according to manufacturer specifications), and confirm that safety chains (to connect the trailer to the vehicle) are in place. Towing, Trailering and Transporting Your Boat Once you have determined that your trailer is in good working condition, you can secure your boat and any gear you will be towing for transport. Before and during transport, remember to: Check that the boat is properly secured and seated on the trailer, as unevenness can cause problems with weight distribution. Check that the outboard engine is properly secured for trailering (according to manufacturer specifications). Confirm that any gear in the boat is stored or attached securely. Never drive the boat onto the trailer when loading it from the water. No one should ride in the boat or on the trailer during transport. Avoid running your engine outside of the water. (Consult your owner’s manual for guidance on flushing or rinsing your engine.) When taking the boat out of the water and loading it on the trailer, be aware and make the necessary adjustments if the boat has taken on water — this can alter the weight distribution and handling of the trailer. (Remember: the towing and weight capacity of your vehicle and trailer often refers to the “dry” weight.) Launching Your Boat from a Trailer After you and your boat have safely reached your destination, do not rush to get out on the water. Being safe on the water starts with a safe launch. Before You Launch, check that: Your boat is properly connected to the trailer. The winch is properly connected to the boat. Drain plugs have been installed. Your vehicle keys and/or mobile devices are secured in a safe, dry place – not in your pockets (i.e., anticipate getting wet while launching). Mooring lines are attached to the boat and readily accessible. During Launch: Observe proper boat ramp etiquette. Have the boat ready to launch before entering the launch ramp. Inspect the ramp before backing down and check to see how far you will have to back the trailer into the water. Back the trailer slowly down the boat launch ramp, until the boat starts to float in the water on its own. Be careful not to back too far into the water, or off the ramp. Also, do not submerge the exhaust of the tow vehicle. Be prepared to handle the vessel once it is launched, either by rope or someone in the vessel. Keep the trailer winch locked until you are ready to float the boat off the trailer. Unwind the winch slowly and carefully. After Launch, remember to: Check the bilges for any leaks. Follow the engine starting procedures. Move away from the ramp as quickly as possible to make room for the next boat being launched. Remember, every boat ramp is different. Taking the time to properly trailer, tow and launch your boat can help you to have a safe start to all of your outings. Remember to follow safe boating practices out on the water, too. Content provided by Travelers
    Hannah French
  • 9 Home Security Tips May 25, 2017 2:56 pm
    Did you know that a burglary happens every 20 seconds in the U.S., according to the FBI?1 Your home is one of your most valuable possessions, along with everything inside. It is a place you want to feel safe and secure from the potential dangers of the outside world. Employing and engaging in some basic best practices around home security is the first step to help create a secure environment for your loved ones and family. Consider these tips to help keep you and your family, and your possessions, safe and secure. Landscape with safety in mind. As you walk around your property, look for areas that could be potential hiding spots for thieves, who prize the privacy they provide. Try and clear away any overgrown areas. Talk with your local police department. Ask your police department to come and inspect your home and property and provide suggestions to increase home security. They can also offer insight on past break-in trends in your area. Know your neighbors. Take the time to meet and engage with people on your street and encourage them to watch out for any suspicious activity when you are not home. Lighting matters. Lighting can set the right ambiance inside your home, but outdoor lighting can be the difference between your home being targeted – or not – by thieves. Motion-sensitive fixtures can help add security and provide light when needed. Also consider using automatic timers or a smart lightbulb that can be controlled remotely to turn lights on and off in various parts of the house to help make it seem like you are home. Avoid advertising that shopping spree. Thieves look for and steal newly-delivered boxes on your front porch, a method called porch pirating, so consider having them delivered elsewhere or requiring a signature for delivery. Thieves may also look at clues provided by your trash or recycling, which may indicate the new computer or flat-screen television inside. Set a safety routine. Make sure you establish a routine where you regularly lock all doors, shut windows and turn on your alarm system every time you leave your home. Avoid leaving spare keys outside, under a planter or under a welcome mat, as thieves know most of the potential hiding places. Manage visibility. Make sure you can see who is at your front door without opening it. Avoid placing valuables where they will be visible from the street, and do not place your home alarm panel in a place where people can see you arming it from the outside. Protect your outdoor valuables. Burglars also target sheds, garages and other outdoor buildings. Secure your grill, lawn mower, bicycles and other outdoor gear. Create a plan for when you are away. Hold your mail, stop your papers and ask a friend or neighbor to remove flyers from your property. Arrange for snow removal and lawn mowing so you do not advertise when you are away from home. Content provided by Travelers  Sources: ¹ https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2015/crime-in-the-u.s.-2015/resource-pages/crime-clock
    Hannah French
  • How to Pack a Car Safely May 25, 2017 2:56 pm
    As the summer months approach, so too, do thoughts of hitting the road for a family vacation. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, nine out of 10 Americans drive to their travel destination.1 If you are among those planning to hit the road, remember that safe driving starts before you even leave the driveway. Securing luggage, maintaining vehicle balance and keeping clear lines of sight from the driver's seat are key elements in packing your car safely for the long drive. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you load up your luggage, coolers and other vacation necessities: Load heavier items such as suitcases first, and toward the center. Lighter items, such as coolers, beach bags and groceries, can be packed on top of and to the sides of the heavier items. Make sure the weight is distributed evenly. Uneven weight can cause instability and increase the chance of the car tipping in the event of an accident. Do not pack things too high—items packed too high may obstruct the driver’s view through the rear-view mirror. Also, items packed too high could shift forward and injure those in the back seat if you should stop suddenly. If you are doing any rooftop or auxiliary cargo loading, make sure all cargo is fully secured. The wind created while driving could exceed 75 mph, which is equivalent to a Category 1 hurricane. Be aware of the height of your cargo so you do not inadvertently drive into a low overhang. If you use a detachable cargo platform on the back of your car, do not forget that it is there when you back up. Check the manufacturer’s instruction sheet to confirm that you do not exceed the load rating of the roof-top or cargo platform. If you tow a trailer, make sure it is in good condition (lights, tires, wheels, etc.), use safety chains and check the trailer periodically during your trip. Pack only what you need since heavy cars can take longer to stop. Learn how to pack your vehicle for safer travels in this video with Travelers Risk Control specialist Chris Hayes—and make your road trip a memorable one, for all the right reasons. Content provided by Travelers Insurance, Image provided by REI
    Hannah French
  • The Risks of Airbnb and Home Sharing May 24, 2017 7:52 pm
    The Risks of Airbnb and Home Sharing Courtesy of Roeding Group Companies Just a few years ago, taking a trip involved contacting travel agencies, booking hotel rooms and making plans far in advance. Today, however, smartphones and the internet have helped create new sharing services that allow homeowners to connect with travelers and rent out their homes, spare bedrooms or other accommodations for a fee. Airbnb, the most popular of these sharing services, offers a convenient platform that can provide homeowners with an extra source of income. However, renting through Airbnb can also expose you to substantial risks and leave you with costly property damage and liability claims. Potential Insurance Gaps Relying strictly on your regular homeowners or renters insurance policy while hosting guests through Airbnb can lead to significant gaps in coverage. These policies are designed to protect you and your family from everyday risks, and not from commercial renting. If a renter uses your home for even a small amount of time, you and your family will be exposed to significantly different risks that weren’t considered when your policy was drafted. As a result, most homeowners and renters policies won’t cover property damage that’s caused by Airbnb guests. If you’re considering renting through Airbnb, your first step should be to contact your insurance broker to review your current homeowners or renters insurance policy. While your homeowners or renters policy may allow you to rent your property to a guest, it’s important to keep in mind that each insurer has its own restrictions and requirements. Some insurers may require advanced notice of any short-term rental, whereas others might insist that you purchase an endorsement to expand your coverage. If you plan to rent out your residence on a regular basis, many insurance companies will consider this commercial use. In many cases, regular Airbnb hosts will need to obtain a commercial insurance policy in order to be properly insured. However, a growing number of insurance companies now offer home-sharing liability insurance policies that can be purchased on a month-to-month basis. Issues with Airbnb’s Provided Protection  Airbnb does offer its hosts two forms of protection through its host guarantee program and host protection insurance. While hosts may be inclined to rely exclusively on these programs to manage their risks, there are significant gaps related to these offerings. Host Guarantee Airbnb backs every one of its bookings with its host guarantee program at no cost, which will reimburse eligible hosts for damages up to $1 million. However, Airbnb readily admits that its host guarantee is not insurance and should not be considered a replacement or stand-in for homeowners or renters policies. Moreover, payments through the host guarantee are subject to a lengthy list of terms, conditions and exclusions. Therefore, hosts should be aware of the following issues related to Airbnb’s host guarantee: ·         Hosts must attempt to resolve any issues with the guests involved prior to receiving any compensation. This also means that a host would have to make a claim on his or her own insurance policy before the host guarantee would apply. ·         Any sum collected from a standard policy or a security deposit would be deducted from the host guarantee. ·         The guarantee will only repair or replace covered property that is damaged during the time frame of an online booking. ·         This guarantee does not cover certain items including, but not limited to, cash, collectibles, jewelry, pets, watercrafts or any damage to property that is not considered a covered accommodation. For more information on specific elements of Airbnb’s host guarantee program, hosts can review its terms and conditions in full on the company’s website. Host Protection Insurance In addition to its host guarantee program, Airbnb offers coverage to its patrons through its host protection insurance. Airbnb indicates that the program provides primary liability coverage for up to $1 million per occurrence in the event of third-party claims of bodily injury or property damage. Despite these claims, hosts should be wary of relying solely on this insurance program for a number of reasons: ·      Intentional acts that aren’t the result of an accident are not covered under this policy. In addition, Airbnb’s home protection insurance does not cover what it refers to as property issues, which can include things like mold, asbestos and bedbugs. ·         Neither Airbnb’s home protection insurance nor its fine print is readily available for review. The policy is also subject to limitations, conditions and exclusions. Together, this means that the specifics of these coverages are vague, and Airbnb hosts may not know exactly what’s protected. ·         The personal property of any guest is generally not covered. Additionally, any theft or damage caused by a guest may not be covered either. With Airbnb’s host protection insurance, it’s best to assume that you aren’t equipped with the proper coverage. For full protection, it is likely that you will need to speak with an insurance professional to better understand the policy adjustments you will need in order to be fully covered. Considerations for Condo Owners and Renters While Airbnb opens its services to condo owners and renters, multi-unit buildings often have restrictive bylaws, homeowner association rules or lease terms that could impact the ability to host guests through Airbnb. In many instances, commercial activities like renting out accommodations—even for short periods of time—are forbidden by lease or condo board policies. In some cases, hosts will need to contact their landlord or condo board before subletting or renting out any accommodations. Failure to do this can result in eviction or other forms of legal action.  Even if you’re allowed to rent out your condo or apartment through Airbnb, doing so can cause tension with neighbors. There’s always the potential that your guests may not be respectful to property in common areas, act inappropriately or noisily, or make other tenants feel uncomfortable. Local Laws and Considerations In response to the rising popularity of Airbnb, many states, cities and towns are moving to regulate short-term property rentals through their municipal codes or zoning regulations. In some cases, home rental services like Airbnb could be prohibited altogether. If you break these local regulations, purposely or otherwise, you could face thousands of dollars in fines. What’s more, Airbnb says alignment with laws and regulations is the responsibility of those renting out accommodations. As a result, you need to review your local laws and regulations before using Airbnb to rent out your accommodations. The Bottom Line While Airbnb offers a unique and potentially profitable service to users, it’s not without its faults. Before you decide to try it for yourself, be sure to consider all of the risks. For more information on sharing services, or to review your homeowners or renters policy, contact us at 859-341-0202 today.
    Hannah French
  • Responding to EPL Claims May 24, 2017 7:29 pm
    Responding to EPL Claims Insight for business owners and risk managers—provided by Roeding Group Companies Any business that has employees is a potential target for an employment practices liability (EPL) lawsuit. These lawsuits can be financially and emotionally draining for your company, even if you’re ultimately found not liable. Avoiding an EPL claim requires management to be proactive by establishing a consistent methodology for employee policies, recordkeeping and dealing with your legal counsel and insurers. Preventive Mediation and Arbitration Businesses can often save thousands of dollars in litigation costs by having a third party hear claims and mediate a resolution. Many times, plaintiffs sue for damages and losses that exceed the amounts they would have settled for during alternate dispute resolution (ADR). Speedy mediation or arbitration can reduce the amount of lost wages an employee requests, limit the amount of time a company spends preparing a case and spare both sides the financial and emotional costs of going to trial. But ADR isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to handling EPL claims. Mediation and arbitration cannot protect a company from discrimination charges brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or any other regulatory branch. Additionally, mediation and arbitration often ends with the company having to pay some kind of award to the claimant, even if the company is not legally at fault. When compared to lawyer and litigation fees, however, these awards are typically much less than the costs of a successful defense in court. Responding to EEOC Charges If a former employee or applicant seeks a discrimination or harassment charge with the EEOC, the commission will issue an administrative charge before the actual lawsuit takes place. The EEOC sends notice of the charge, listing details of the complaint and reasons for its investigation of the company. If the EEOC determines a violation has taken place and the employer decides not to settle, it will litigate the issue and seek recompense for the affected employee, as well as impose changes to the company’s regulations to make it more compliant. If the EEOC does not feel a violation has occurred, it will give notice to the individual who filed the complaint and give him or her 90 days to file a lawsuit on his or her own. When issued, a formal charge typically lists a number of documents that the EEOC requires to begin its investigation. Whether or not it feels the charge has credibility, an employer should respond to the EEOC professionally and quickly, providing as much detail as possible. If an employer can immediately provide sufficient evidence that the claim is unfounded, it may be able to avoid a full EEOC investigation. An immediate dismissal of a claim by the EEOC can greatly reduce the employee’s desire to litigate. First Steps Any company facing an EPL lawsuit should seek advice from legal counsel to properly investigate the incident and gather as many facts as possible. Time is essential for your attorneys and insurers to gather information and formulate a defensive strategy: ·         Obtain witness statements from all employees who were involved in or witnessed the event. ·         Gather company records on the plaintiff and establish a timeline of events. ·         Contact your insurers as soon as the charge is made. Tips for Preventing Successful EPL Claims Use these tips to protect your business from costly EPL claims: ·        Investigate candidates for employment during the hiring process, but guard their private information closely. ·        Require employees to sign an “employment-at-will” policy. ·        Ensure all new and current employees receive proper training, especially safety training, for their roles. ·        Create and enforce a strict zero-tolerance policy regarding discrimination and harassment in the workplace. ·        Immediately investigate all claims of harassment and administer discipline and training as necessary. ·        Make sure your workplace policy provides at least two different methods of reporting harassment. ·        Create an employee handbook and thoroughly document all evaluations, employee complaints and situations that led to termination of employment. Good Record-keeping Paperwork is the most powerful evidence a company can use to bolster its case against an EPL claim. Established company policies, such as an employee handbook and records of employee training, set the standard for all company conduct and can be a major advantage in court. An investigator or jury is less likely to find you guilty if you have records illustrating sound company employment practices. Alternatively, the absence of any documentation could be seen as an effort to cover up or avoid evidence. Keep in mind that any attempt to intentionally misfile or hide company records could be prosecuted as an obstruction of justice. A Claimant May Want to Avoid Litigation If the EEOC or other regulatory body decides there is enough evidence of discrimination to litigate, next steps include informing both parties of the information collected and offering an informal means of resolving the issue. This typically involves mediation by a council managed by the EEOC investigator. An employer may ask for such mediation at any time during the investigation. If you’re able to meet the demands of the EEOC and the employee filing the complaint, this route may be superior to litigation. If you’re certain you’re not at fault or decide the mediation settlement is unfair, you may decide to litigate instead. EPL Insurance No matter how many attempts are made to prevent an employment practice claim from going to court, some cases must eventually be litigated. Once a claim goes to court, it is up to an employer’s attorney, employment records and insurer to protect the company from huge damages. Even if an employer is able to avoid punitive damages, the defense fees alone can cause incredible financial strain. An EPL insurance policy can protect employers from the financial consequences of such litigation. Contact Roeding Group Companies to determine the risk level of your company and how you can build a more secure employment practices policy.
    Hannah French
  • Grilling Safety Tips May 24, 2017 4:37 pm
    You may be the kind of person who fires up the grill all year long at tailgating parties, or maybe you wait for a warm summer day and a backyard full of friends before you put on your apron. Either way, grilling can be one of life’s simple pleasures. Unfortunately, where there is fun there is also the potential for safety issues. For example, did you know that leaving the grill unattended, not cleaning grease or fat build up properly, or placing the grill too close to combustible siding can cause injuries, fires and property damage? Charcoal or Gas? Nearly 9,000 home fires a year involve grills, according to a National Fire Protection Association report. Of all the home fires involving grills, gas-fueled grills accounted for four out of five fires, while 16% involved charcoal or other solid-fueled grills.¹ Gas and charcoal grills each have ardent advocates, who praise the convenience of gas or the flavor of charcoal. Whichever your preferred grilling method, follow these important safety considerations. Gas Grill Safety A leak or break was the leading factor contributing to gas grill-related fires, according to the NFPA report. Check the gas cylinder hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year. Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose, which will quickly reveal escaping gas by releasing bubbles. If you smell or otherwise suspect a gas leak, and there is no flame, turn off the gas tank and grill. If the leak stops, get a professional to service it before using it again. Call the fire department if the leak does not stop. If you smell gas while cooking, get away from the grill immediately and call the fire department. Do not attempt to move the grill. Never turn on the gas when the lid is closed. The gas may build up inside, and when ignited, the lid could blow off and cause injuries or burns. After cooking, make sure you completely close the valve on your gas grill. Always store gas grills – and propane tanks – outside and away from your house. Charcoal Grill Safety The leading cause of structure fires from use of charcoal grills was leaving or placing an object that could burn too close to the grill, according to the NFPA study. Charcoal grills can continue to remain hot for many hours after the flames extinguish. Avoid placing any burnable objects near the grill or moving the grill while the coals are hot. Keep combustible items that may be blown by the wind away from the grill. Check for rust damage in metal grills, which may make it possible for charcoal to fall through onto surfaces below and cause a fire. Purchase the proper starter fluid. Store out of reach from children and away from heat sources. Do not add charcoal starter fluid when coals or kindling have already been ignited. Never use any other flammable or combustible liquid to get the fire started. If the fire is too low, rekindle with dry kindling and more charcoal if needed. Avoid adding liquid fuel because it can cause a flash fire. Do not leave the grill unattended. Here are some other important tips to help you keep danger away when you are enjoying food and fun. Choose a safe location for your grill. Keep grills on a level surface more than ten feet away from the house, garage or other structures. Keep children and pets away, as well as overhanging branches. Grills should not be used on a balcony or under an overhang. Avoid placing grills too close to combustible deck rails. Grill outside only. Never use a grill in a garage, vehicle, tent or other enclosed space, even if ventilated, due to risk of harmful carbon monoxide buildup. Keep the grill going on a cold day. During cool weather days, avoid wearing a scarf or other loose clothing that may catch on fire. Consumer Reports recommends shielding the grill from wind, placing it about ten feet from combustible surfaces and materials, and keeping the lid closed to retain as much heat as possible. Allow extra time for pre-heating the grill in colder weather and check temperatures of meat and fish with a meat thermometer to ensure that food is safe to eat. Teach kids to stay safe. Make a “kid-free zone” of at least three feet around the grill and areas where hot food is prepared or carried. Children under five are especially vulnerable to burns from contact with a hot grill surface. Grill contact accounted for 37% of burns seen at emergency rooms in 2014 involving children under five.² Remember post-grilling safety. Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill. If you grill with charcoal and need to dispose of the coals, soak them in water to extinguish them before disposing in a metal container. Otherwise, cover the grill tightly and close the vents, this should extinguish the coals and whatever is left will be ready for next time. Content provided by Travelers 
    Emily Borst
  • 6 Essential Travel Tips May 24, 2017 4:32 pm
    Vacations are for reducing stress, not adding to it. Unfortunately, things can happen to make any vacation a stressful experience, no matter how beautiful the locale or destination. Some things you are not able to control, such as the weather or flight delays. Other things, such as missing documents or stolen credit cards, have the potential to interrupt your fun but do not have to end your vacation if you are prepared. Before you pack your bags and turn on your email out-of-office message, here are six tips to make your vacation one for the books: Make Copies of Your ID and Passport: Make two photocopies of your license or passport in case either is lost or stolen. Bring one copy and store it separately from your original, and leave another with a friend or relative. The U.S. Government also offers the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, a free service for U.S. citizens and nationals traveling abroad. The program permits enrollment with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate, which can assist during an emergency such as a lost or stolen passport. Streamline Your Wallet: Lost wallets are the leading cause of identity theft. Only carry the card(s) you plan to use on your trip, and leave your checkbook and the rest of your cards at home. If you decide to bring more than one credit card, consider stashing the extra, along with account information and customer service numbers for the cards you have with you, in a hotel safe or other secure location. Check Out Guides: Before you book that zip-lining, parasailing or river rafting trip, check online for any customer reviews. Seeing what others have to say about the company and the excursion can help you choose a safe and well-run adventure. Travel like a Local: When visiting any location, know your surroundings and plan your route in advance. Be aware of how the locals talk and dress, and consider whether certain actions will make you stand out as a tourist. Check the Weather: Into every life—and vacation—a little rain must fall, so take steps to protect yourself from lightning, hail, thunderstorms and severe weather by monitoring the local weather and packing the appropriate gear. Also, keep tabs on the weather at home to make sure your property is protected. Avoid Oversharing Online: Posting photos or checking in on social media sites advertises your absence from home. Real-time updates can be tempting, but wait until you return safely home before sharing your adventures. Take advantage of your time away to decompress and relax by taking a few steps to help avoid potential problems before you travel. Content provided by Travelers 
    Emily Borst
  • Five Tips to Get Connecting on LinkedIn April 18, 2017 5:14 pm
    Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn, has ambitious goals for this fast-growing social media outlet: “We want to digitally map the global economy,” he says, “identifying the connections between people, jobs, skills, companies, and professional knowledge” (“The Future of LinkedIn and the Economic Graph”). LinkedIn currently boasts 313,000,000 members (and growing!); 3,000,000 business pages; and over 2 million groups. Not only is LinkedIn the third-largest social media network now (second to Facebook and Twitter) but growing. When it comes to company pages, according to Forbes magazine, company page use jumped from 24% to 57% since 2013, and a whopping 74% of users employ LinkedIn to research people and companies. What will they find when they research your company? ARE YOU TAKING ADVANTAGE OF LINKEDIN? It’s time to build and sustain a thriving and useful community around your products and services! Here are some ways for your business to leverage this outlet to promote your brand and generate sales: Create a Company Page: The first thing your business will need is a company page on LinkedIn. LinkedIn makes creating a company page easy! Through this tutorial, (http://business.linkedin.com/marketing-solutions/company-pages/get-started.html) you can create a page for your business on LinkedIn, build a following, and post company updates. Encourage Employee Profiles: Encourage your employees to create a free profile on LinkedIn—it’s free and easy. Employees can then connect to the company page and share updates and content to drive engagement. Aim for All Star Status: There are five levels of LinkedIn profile strength, with “All Star” being the highest. Profiles that have reached 100% completion or as complete as possible may achieve “All Star” status. When building a personal profile, include work and volunteer experience, schools, skills, etc. A complete profile increases your visibility, and having a profile picture will make you four times more likely to be viewed (but a picture of your dog or baby won’t, so keep it professional). Utilize Keywords: Your profile or company page is your opportunity to own your territory on LinkedIn, but how will people find you? Include relevant keywords and phrases in your company summary that potential customers would use. When in doubt, do searches on your keywords and see what pops up.  Share Valuable Content: The simplified process of generating leads on LinkedIn is to engage an audience and build a network, or a following, by showing your expertise in the marketplace. When sharing updates, drive people to relevant and valuable content. This will demonstrate your business's expertise and innovation, and establish credibility and trust and build community. When should you post? According to Social Media Week, the best times to post on LinkedIn are Tuesdays and Thursdays between 7am and 9am, because the site is often used “right before the workday begins and right after it ends...avoid posting Mondays through Fridays between 1pm and 5pm.” Content shared on social media travels faster than other forms of communication. If you spend just 15 minutes a day on LinkedIn, posting an update; commenting and sharing; checking messages and invites; and networking, you are sure to see results for smart, consistent efforts.  “The Future of LinkedIn and the Economic Graph:” https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/article/20121210053039-22330283-the-future-of-linkedin-and-the-economic-graph Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/cherylsnappconner/2014/05/04/new-research-2014-linkedin-user-trends-and-10-top-surprises/ Social Media Week: http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2014/07/rules-post-social-media-content/ Social Media Examiner: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/make-linkedin-company-page-useful/
    Emily Borst
  • Are You Prepared for a Tornado? April 6, 2017 5:40 pm
    With weather that never seems to stop changing, severe storms can be an unsurprising consequence. However, we often find ourselves ill prepared in the event of a tornado. Tornadoes may seem like something that doesn't happen here, but according to weather.gov, more than 22 tornadoes affected Ohio and Indiana last year. So what can you do when the winds start blowing? With these tips from Grangewire and Safeco, having a plan in place is easy and will make things smoother when the weather is rocky: Know Where to Go: Know the safest place in your house before a storm hits. Stay away from windows and door. If you have a basement, make sure to go there. If not, find a study space (such as a bathroom) and keep away from windows. Make a Kit: Have an emergency preparedness kit ready to go. Keep copies of important documents for your family members as well as batteries, food, a flashlight, a first aid kit, and plenty of water. Make sure to bring cellphones, wallets, and medicines with you as well. Help Others: If you have small children, make sure they no what to do in the event of a tornado. If you have pets, make sure to take them with you to safety. If you are Outdoors: Find the lowest spot, such as a ditch, and lie flat on your stomach, covering the back of your head with your hands.  Do not follow the myth of seeking shelter underneath a bridge or overpass because it could collapse on top of you or large debris and winds could come rushing underneath and potentially sweep you up into the tornado itself.  If You Are in a Vehicle: Abandon the vehicle and try to find shelter in a structure or outdoors in a low place where you should lay stomach-down and cover the back of your head with your hands. Most importantly, do not attempt to drive away from the storm unless it’s very obviously far away and moving in the opposite direction.   Think about insurance: Before storm season begins in your neck of the woods, review your insurance coverage with your independent agent. We want you to be safe during any severe weather. Call us with questions or to review your coverage today!
    Emily Borst
  • To Barbecue or not to Barbecue? April 6, 2017 5:16 pm
    According to the Hearth, Patio Barbecue Association (HPBA), 80 percent percent of households own an outdoor barbecue or smoker, and some 60 percent of those owners will use their grills year-round; nearly 97 percent will use their at least once a year. So the question is: “To Barbecue or not to Barbecue.” Spring is here and it signals the beginning of spring and barbecue season for me, so once again I fired up my gas grill. These results are why we grill (Photo Provided) Unfortunately for some grillers it’s not a real barbecue until the fire department shows up and eyebrows and eyelashes have been burnt off. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), about 18,000 individuals are injured or burned in grill accidents each year. Of those 18,000 accidents, the CPSC estimates that the injuries are caused by out-of-control fires that can lead to significant burns and even fatalities. At least six people died, all from serious burns sustained when they squirted too much or the wrong kind of fuel on grill fires, or when their clothes were torched by barbecue flames. Anytime you work with fire, there’s a chance of getting burned and roughly a third of gas grill injuries come from burns incurred while lighting the grill. Each year an average of 8,800 home fires are caused by grilling, and the Fourth of July, Memorial Day and Labor Day holidays are the days when t they happen the most, rookies nevertheless I am sure. So to help avoid ruining your backyard barbeque by either becoming injured or burning your home down, here are some helpful tips: Always read the owner’s manual: Before using your grill you need to be aware how to follow specific usage, assembly, and safety procedures. Contact the grill manufacturer if you have questions. Grills are meant for outdoor use only: Never barbecue in your garage, breezeway, covered porch, tent, trailer, tent, house, or any enclosed area because they can easily start a fire or cause carbon monoxide to accumulate which can kill you. Use grills safely away in well-ventilated area. Set up your grill in an open area that is at least 10 feet away from buildings, overhead combustible surfaces, branches, dry leaves, or brush. Be sure to avoid high traffic areas and always barbecue in a well-ventilated area. Be aware of wind-blown sparks. Keep grill stable. When using a barbecue grill, be sure that all parts of the unit are firmly in place and that the grill is can’t be tipped over. Use long-handled utensils. The longer the handle the barbecue utensils with the less likely you will get burned. Use your nose: If you smell gas and you haven’t yet turned the burners on, you have a leak. Check the major connection points between the gas (propane) tank hose and the regulator and cylinder, and where the hose connects to the burners. Tighten if loose. Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose using a brush or spray bottle. Turn the propane tank on. If there is a gas leak, the propane will release bubbles around the hose (big enough to see). If there are bubbles, turn off the tank and check connections, then have your grill serviced by a professional before using it again. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby: If you don’t have access to a fire extinguisher you can also use baking soda to control a grease fire or a bucket of sand or a garden hose. Wear safe clothing: Avoid wearing hanging shirt tails, frills, or apron strings that can catch fire, and use flame-retardant mitts when adjusting hot vents. To put out flare-ups, either raise the grid that the food is on, spread the coals out evenly, or adjust the controls to lower the temperature. If you must douse the flames with a light spritz of water, first remove the food from the grill. Consider placing a grill pad or splatter mat beneath your grill: These heat resistant pads are usually made of lightweight composite cement or plastic and will protect your deck or patio from any grease that misses the drip pan. Never leave a grill unattended once lit: Trust me! If you have dirty grill with a lot of residual grease build up, a raging fire can ignite in just a matter of a minute. Keep your grill clean: Routinely give your grill a thorough cleaning, by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill. Don’t attempt to move a hot grill: Never attempt to move a hot grill because it is very easy to trip and or drop it and lead to serious burns. Stay away from hot grill: Don’t allow anyone to conduct activities or horseplay near the grill. Keep children and pets safely away as well. Turn grill off correctly: When finished with the barbecue, turn off the service valve first to ensure there’s no propane left in the hose; then turn off the burner control. When using charcoal grills: If you use a starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire. Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources. When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container. Douse with water to make sure. Be Safe My Friends. Keven Moore works in risk management services. He has a bachelor’s degree from University of Kentucky, a master’s from Eastern Kentucky University and 25-plus years of experience in the safety and insurance profession. He lives in Lexington with his family and works out of both the Lexington and Northern Kentucky offices. Keven can be reached at kmoore@roeding.com.
    Emily Borst
  • Top 6 Insurance Incidents Small Business Owner's Faced in 2016 April 4, 2017 8:07 pm
    According to an article on Property Casulaty 360, Insureon conducted a survey of more than 1,000 small business owners to find out what kind of insurable incidents occurred at their businesses last year. Two thirds of these business reported an insurable event, such as theft. Despite these events, the study found many small businesses are not filling claims. Insureon sights the reason for this as one of four things: The small business does not have insurance or they do not have the right insurance They worry filling a claim will cause their premium to go up They prefer to handle the matter on their own The cost of the incident is less than their deductible Compared to a $20,000 bill for a customer slip-and-fall accident, most business owners would probably rather pay $428 for general liability per year, plus their deductible. We here at Roeding want to make sure you get the best coverage for your business and will be happy to help you find the coverage you need. Here are the Six Most Common Insurable Incidents Small Business Owner's Faced in 2016 and how the Right Insurance can Help: Client complaint or contract dispute: 22.2 percent: Professional liability insurance can cover claims related to client dissatisfaction, including alleged work mistakes, undelivered work or negligence. Employee injury: 10.6 percent: Workers' Compensation can pay for medical bills and partial missed wages when employees are hurt at work. Burglary or theft: 8.8 percent: Commercial property insurance can help pay to replace stolen business property. Fire, storm damage or cracked pipes: 6.6 percent: Property Insurance can also pay to repair property damaged by fire or certain weather events. Customer injury: 2.4 percent: General liability insurance can help cover costs when customers are injured on business property. Product that caused injury or damage: 2.3 percent: The product liability portion of general liability Insurance can pay for legal expenses associated with damage from goods you sell. Looking for the right insurance for your small business? Contact us here at Roeding and we'll be happy to help!
    Emily Borst
  • Fishing Safety March 21, 2017 8:15 pm
    Create great fishing memories for your children No matter what season is winding down, the next season is just another reason to spend on the water in the boat with rod in hand. One of the best ways to enjoy boating and fishing is to share the fun with others - especially your kids or grandkids. While expert anglers tend to know the ropes of both boating and fishing, there are still many mishaps that can occur if the excursion is not well-planned and strategically executed. This is especially crucial when you have little ones along for the ride. The next time you’re gearing up with your offspring to go after the ‘big one,’ make sure that it’s as enjoyable as you anticipate by considering the following guidelines. Only if weather permits. Check the weather forecast in detail, using your favorite app, before you head out onto the water. In many climates, weather can change quickly and drastically, ushering in unexpected storms that could scare your children and put you all in harm’s way Dress yourself - and your little ones - for the adventure. Though it may seem obvious, it can get slippery out on the boat or the dock! Ensure stable footing for all by making sure you and your kids are wearing shoes that grip boat floors and slick rocks and docks. Make safety a game. It’s important to be equipped with everything you need for safety and protection - from flashlights and sunscreen to plenty of water and life preservers - but you can also make it fun for the kids. For example, make them the keepers of the radio or the person who makes sure everyone is wearing a hat or sunglasses for protection from the sun. Be hyper-vigilant about dangerous items. The sport of fishing is accompanied by some sharp items - hooks and knives to name just two. Make sure you have these items in a locked tackle box to ensure no one accidentally gets hurt. Follow boating rules. Make sure your boat is in good standing by adhering to all the laws of the lough. To find these, research the body of water you’re going to be fishing on before you head out. At Roeding, we hope your fall family fishing outings become lifetime memories! Contact Us! At Roeding Insurance, we can work with you to make sure you've got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable.We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what's important to you is protected! Content provided by Safeco Insurance
    Emily Borst
  • Spring Home Maintenance March 21, 2017 8:05 pm
    Spring Maintenance for Your Home When springtime rolls around, almost everyone thinks of cleaning. That’s fine (we probably all need to do a little more of that, after all), but there’s something even more important to keep in mind: home maintenance. So, when it’s time to set your clocks ahead for daylight-saving time and change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, give your home a checkup, too. Here are some suggestions from the Department of Housing and Urban Development: Interior and appliances Check the basement and/or crawlspace for any signs of standing water or dripping. Pull your dryer out and clean the exhaust hose and vent (lint found here is a common cause of house fires). Vacuum refrigerator/freezer coils for efficiency. Clean exhaust fan outlets and screens. Check all air filters and replace, if necessary. Roof, siding, windows Check for damage to your roof and have a professional inspection, if necessary. Go into the attic. If there is visible moisture or discoloration, your roof might be leaking. Examine the paint on your siding and trim. If it is peeling, you might need new paint to protect against the effects of weather. Check for leaks around window and door sills. Improving your seals can lower your energy bills. Yard and exterior Check for signs of rodents and other pests. Clean debris from gutters and downspouts, and make sure they are draining away from the home. Trim overhanging tree branches and shrubs. Remember, winter weather can cause significant damage that is easy to spot, but it often results in wear and tear that homeowners can miss if they aren’t looking closely. It’s well worth it to spend a little time on home maintenance this spring, so that wear and tear doesn’t turn into something more serious. Content Provided by Safeco
    Emily Borst
  • Your First Spring Garden March 21, 2017 7:57 pm
    How to Create Your First Garden This Spring From genetically modified crops to the environmental and health effects of pesticides, more and more residents are questioning whether they should grow what they eat. Wherever you stand on the issues surrounding today’s food supply, however, there are several good reasons to start your own garden: You’ll know exactly where your food was grown, and what went into growing it.  You and your family can enjoy great-tasting vegetables — better than store-bought, some believe. Many people find gardening provides both physical and mental benefits and gives them an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors. Finally, there’s that sense of satisfaction that comes with eating food that you have grown yourself! Clearly there are plenty of benefits to gardening. But, how do you get started? Here are some important tips from the Oregon State University (OSU) Extension Service, which, like similar services around the country, provides helpful community resources on agriculture and other topics. Pick the Right Site “Choosing a garden site is as important as selecting the vegetables to grow in it,” according to the OSU Extension website. “All vegetables need sunlight and fertile, well-drained soil, and they will contract fewer diseases if the site has good ventilation.” Here’s what to consider before marking your garden plot: Sunlight. Look for a shade-free site. Vegetables need a minimum of six hours of sunshine a day. Soil. How is the natural vegetation? If weeds and grass are healthy on the site, the soil will probably be good for vegetables, too. Surroundings. The roots of trees and large shrubs can suck nutrients away from your vegetables. Proximity. Make it easy on yourself, with water access nearby. Otherwise, you might be less enthusiastic about caring for your garden. Choose What to Plant Check with a local gardening organization or search the Web for what vegetables are best for your specific situation and climate. Here are three factors to keep in mind when you’re getting ready to plant, according to the OSU extension: Season. Plant your seeds at the right time to avoid damage from temperatures that are too hot or too cold. Follow the instructions on the seed packet. Depth. If you plant your seeds too shallow, they can wash away or dry out, but if they’re too deep, they might not come up at all.  Spacing. Each plant needs its share of sunlight, nutrients and water. Don’t make them fight for it! Putting seeds too close together usually results in smaller vegetables, too. Water Wisely The best way to water is by monitoring your garden, rather than simply adhering to a set schedule. Follow guidelines for your specific plants, and avoid these common problems, as noted by the OSU Extension website: Frequent, shallow watering. This can promote root development in surface layers of the soil, making plants very susceptible to stress and damage. Overwatering. Yes, you can “drown” plants; too much water can leave little to no oxygen in the soil.  Postponing watering. Check your plants regularly. If they appear to need water, don’t wait. For more specific advice on gardening, check with the local university extension program. And, don’t worry; you don’t have to be an expert to enjoy homegrown food. You just need to be willing to put in a little time and effort — and get your hands dirty! Content Provided by Safeco
    Emily Borst
  • Boat Pre-Season Checklist March 21, 2017 7:45 pm
    Get started early to get your boat ready for summer If you love the water, few things are better than boating season.  Summer just wouldn’t be summer without spending those long, hot days on the lake, cooling off with a lazy dip in the water, dropping a line in hopes of catching a “big one,” or having an action-packed day of water-skiing and tubing. Boating is not without its share of pre-summer preparation.  If you’re not on the ball early, it’s easy to find yourself midway through July still on dry land. At Roeding, we want to ensure you’re first in line at the boat launch at the first sign of the season change, so here are a few tips for being ahead of the game. Tune it up. It’s always a good idea to have your boat winterized at the end of each season, but whether you did or didn’t get it done last year, make sure to get a full tune-up before you hit the lake this summer.   Charge it. Make sure your battery is fully charged. Clear it out. If there’s a chance any bit of gas from last season is still in your tank, fill it up with fresh gas as well as a stabilizer; this will prevent buildup in the gas lines and injection system. Give it a test. Before you get the boat all the way into the water and off the trailer, lower your motor into the water and make sure it will turn over. Plug it up. Ensure your drain plug is in and the bilge pump is functioning properly. Double- and triple-check. The last thing you want is to be turned away at the ramp for not having an updated registration or missing your ski flag or life vests.  Double check that your documents are updated and that your boat is fully stocked with everything you need. We at Roeding Insurance wish you a fun-filled and safe boating season! Content Provided by Safeco
    Emily Borst
  • Leak Tips March 21, 2017 7:40 pm
    When Water Goes Where It Shouldn’t Even a small leak can become a major problem, so knowing what you’re covered for and how to prevent water damage are equally important.  The below tips should help uncover any potential water problems down the road and keep your property dry.  Check appliance hoses.  Standard hoses are not as durable as they used to be.  Replace rubber hoses with steel-braided hoses. This is a low cost fix that can save thousands in water damage. Broken tiles in the shower can allow water to leak into the walls or on the floor. Replace cracked tiles and re-grout when needed. Run dishwasher and washing machine only when you are home.  If a leak occurs, you can turn the appliance off right away.  When on vacation, turn off the main water supply to your house. Keep storm drains near your house clear of leaves. Install a gutter guard.  This can prevent a rooftop disaster caused by drain clogs, and also prevents flooding by water that isn’t carried away from the house. Install a water pressure gauge.  An inexpensive gauge can prevent damage caused by water pressure that’s too high.  Pressure should be between 60 and 80 PSI.   Content provided by Safeco
    Emily Borst
  • Understanding Rising Auto Rates March 14, 2017 5:42 pm
    2015 and 2016 were difficult years for many auto insurance companies.  A huge rise in accidents and payouts, along with more drivers hitting the road than ever before, equates to unprecedented increase in automobile claims. The number of claims paid in 2015 was so high that 14 of the 20 largest insurers saw their loss ratio (amount they paid toward claims out of each dollar of premiums) increase from 2014. Rank Largest Auto Insurance Companies Combined Loss Ratio  1 State Farm 112% 2 GEICO 98% 3 Allstate  101% 4 Progressive  94% 5 USAA 103% 6 Farmers  109% 7 Liberty Mutual  104% 8 Nationwide  110% 9 American Family Insurance  106% 10 Travelers  97% https://www.valuepenguin.com/2016/05/auto-insurance-rate-hikes-likely-2016-2017 Average cost of Car Insurance: Kentucky $125 $1,503 Ohio $77 $926 https://www.valuepenguin.com/average-cost-of-insurance So, what factors go into auto rates? The driving records of all drivers - Drivers with several driving violations may cost your company much higher premiums, or may prevent you from getting the insurance you need. The value of your car, truck, van, taxi or limo - The more expensive your auto, the more it costs to fix, the more you pay in insurance. The structure of your policy - If you buy a homeowners policy or commercial policies separately, you will typically pay more than if you insure your commercial vehicles together under one insurance company. Driving location and distance - How far you, your family members and/or your employees drive impacts your personal and commercial auto insurance costs. The more miles you drive the higher your risk of being involved in an accident. How to reduce cost: Remove Collision and Other Than Collision – For older vehicles, 10 years or more, it often makes sense to remove collision and other than collision coverage.   You are more likely not to fix or even pay out of pocket to fix older vehicles Consider Higher Deductibles – Higher deductibles can save you between 15%-25% in some cases.  Then set aside a portion of these funds to cover your cost in the event of a claim. Evaluate insurance costs before you buy – Year, Make, Mode have an impact on rates.  If you’ve narrowed down your search to one or two cars, ask your insurance agent to run a few rates on both vehicles, rates could impact your decision. Hire the right employee - Hiring qualified, skilled, claims-free drivers will help you lower your rates and reduce your risks Bundle - You can typically reduce the cost of your premiums by bundling them together for a multi-policy discount. Insurance companies also often provide bulk discounts depending on the size of your fleet. Auto insurance rates will continue to increase over the next 2-3 years.  A good understanding of what insurance companies look for are how to reduce your costs and can help you make good economic decisions in the future.  If you have any questions about your auto premiums, please consult with one of our insurance professionals.
    Emily Borst
  • Updates to OSHA’s Recordkeeping Rule: Reporting Fatalities and Severe Injuries March 14, 2017 5:25 pm
    OSHA’s updated record keeping rule expands the list of severe injuries that all employers must report to OSHA. Establishments located in states under Federal OSHA jurisdiction must begin to comply with the new requirements on January 1, 2015. Establishments located in states that operate their own safety and health programs should check with their state plan for the implementation date of the new requirements. What am I required to report under the new rule? All work-related fatalities All work-related inpatient hospitalizations of one or more employees All work-related amputations All work-related losses of an eye Who is covered under the new rule? All employers under OSHA jurisdiction must report all work-related fatalities, hospitalizations, amputations and losses of an eye to OSHA, even employers who are exempt from routinely keeping OSHA injury and illness records due to company size or industry. An amputation is defined as the traumatic loss of a limb or other external body part. Amputations include a part, such as a limb or appendage that has been severed, cut off, amputated (either completely or partially); fingertip amputations with or without bone loss; medical amputations resulting from irreparable damage; and amputations of body parts that have since been reattached. How soon must I report a fatality or severe injury or illness? Employers must report work-related fatalities within 8 hours of finding out about them. Employers only have to report fatalities that occurred within 30 days of a work-related incident. For any inpatient hospitalization, amputation, or eye loss employers must report the incident within 24 hours of learning about it. Employers only have to report an inpatient hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye that occurs within 24 hours of a work-related incident. How do I report an event to OSHA? Employers have three options for reporting the event: By telephone to the nearest OSHA Area Office during normal business hours. If it occurs in Indiana call (317) 232-2693 If it occurred in Kentucky call (502) 564-3070 If it occurred in Ohio call (513) 841-4132 By telephone to the 24-hour OSHA hotline at 1‑800-321-OSHA (6742). OSHA is developing a new means of reporting events electronically which will be available soon at http://www.osha.gov. What information do I need to report? For any fatality that occurs within 30 days of a work-related incident, employers must report the event within 8 hours of finding out about it. For any inpatient hospitalization, amputation, or eye loss that occurs within 24 hours of a work-related incident, employers must report the event within 24 hours of learning about it. Employers reporting a fatality, inpatient hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye to OSHA must report the following information: Establishment name Location of the work-related incident Time of the work-related incident Type of reportable event (i.e., fatality, inpatient hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye) Number of employees who suffered the event Names of the employees who suffered the event Contact person and his or her phone number Brief description of the work-related incident Employers do not have to report an event if it: Resulted from a motor vehicle accident on a public street or highway. Employers must report the event if it happened in a construction work zone. Occurred on a commercial or public transportation system (airplane, subway, bus, ferry, streetcar, light rail, train). Occurred more than 30 days after the work-related incident in the case of a fatality or more than 24 hours after the work-related incident in the case of an inpatient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye. Employers do not have to report an inpatient hospitalization if it was for diagnostic testing or observation only. An inpatient hospitalization is defined as a formal admission to the inpatient service of a hospital or clinic for care or treatment. Employers do have to report an inpatient hospitalization due to a heart attack if the heart attack resulted from a work-related incident.
    Emily Borst
  • Claims Manager Gloria Davis's Coverage Corner: Worker's Compensation March 14, 2017 5:17 pm
    Once again the Coverage Corner will focus on Workers Compensation. We have covered many specifics of the Workers Compensation including why it was formed, benefits due the injured worker and return to work. This article will be dedicated to the experience modifier and the effect it has on employers. If your company has been in business for 5 years or pays more than $1,000 in workers compensation you are probably already aware of the experience modifier. It can be a blessing or a curse.  An experience modifier is typically developed by the National Counsel on Compensation, which is an organization that is owned by insurance company. The purpose of this company is to develop rates for all classifications of payroll. Each company’s labor group is classified by type of work they do to address the specific amount of risk they are in of being injured. For example, a clerical person (8810) is less likely to be injured than a millwright (3724) therefore the rate per 100 dollars of payroll will be significantly higher for the 3724 rate verses the 8810 rate. Another factor that is taken into consideration is the state of which the worker is located. It is possible that a rate in Kentucky would be higher than that of Indiana. Many things go into to determining the rates such geographies, cost of medical treatment, accessibility of treatment, labor rates of the area to name a few. These rates are used by insurance company as a base rate to develop what is called the “Standard Premium”. From there credits and debits are added depending upon the insurance companies desire to write the risk which is typically determined by that insurance companies historical profit margins. This would work if all companies followed a standard safety practice and all employers brought injured employees back to work but we all know that this is not true.  To address the difference in employers and how they handle these things, the NCCI develops an experience modifier for each employer that meets the above state criteria.  The modifier compares the individual company’s experience to that of others in the same industry.  This is done via payroll that is multiplied by a “loss rate” to develop an expected loss (based on industry historical losses) and then compared to the losses the company has actually had.  The formula has ballast factors to prevent the skewing of numbers from single large losses and uses multiple years of data to avoid just looking at a single bad or good year.  To further try to stabilize the formula, it includes a primary loss (first 16,500 in KY – varies by state) and excess losses (losses that exceed 16,500) which eliminates being penalized more for large losses than small losses.  There are certainly other items that go into the formula but rest assured that the NCCI is in the business of trying to level the field for all employers when needed.  The NCCI utilizes 3 years of history to develop the experience modifier excluding the current year as it is not matured as far as losses or payroll.  Insurance companies secure estimated payrolls from companies to issue policies but the experience modifier considers audited payroll which requires some time difference.  So for a 7-1-2017 effective experience modifier, the 2016-17 policy year losses would be excluded and 7/1/2015/16, 7/1/2014/15, and 7/1/2013/14 would be included.  Each renewal year would exclude the oldest year and add the new policy term in. If you are a company that does not fit in the criteria above ($1,000 premium or 5 years in business) your modifier is assumed to be 1.00 which results in no premium credit or debit.  The desired goal for an employer should be to achieve the lowest modifier which in turn would reduce the amount of workers compensation premium paid and increase profit margins.  A simple example of this is if an employers expected loss is 10,000 and a company has only 5,000 in actual losses it would appear that they operate 50% safer than their competitors.  They could pay 50% less than one of their competitors thus allowing that company an advantage in the bidding process.  This is a real opportunity for employers to shine amongst their competitors!
    Emily Borst
  • March Madness March 2, 2017 7:02 pm
    March is the time of spring weather, Saint Patrick’s Day, and March Madness. This beloved sports tradition is something many households in America hold dear to their hearts. Rivalries from light-hearted to high stakes are at the forefront of many people’s minds during this tournament time. You may be wondering where this beloved tradition came from. According to history.com, March madness began in 1939 with the first ever NCAA men’s basketball tournament. It was originally called “The Final Hour” but has grown exponentially in size and popularity since then. For the first 12 years of the tournament, only eight teams were invited to play. That number grew until a 65-team tournament was unveiled in 2001. After a “play-in” game between the 64th and 65th seeds, the tournament breaks into four regions of 16 teams. The actual term “March Madness” came from an essay written to commemorate the 1939 game. Henry V. Porter’s term struck such a chord with the newspapers, that the term has thus forth been used to describe the annual tournament (isha.org). Today, both men’s and women’s teams participated in the “March Madness” and these tournaments have become a staple of the college basketball season. With the excitement of the game and the thrill of betting with your friends and family, it’s no wonder this tournament has gathered such fervent followers. We here hope you enjoy the March Madness season and that your bracket is the best! What are your favorite March Madness memories?
    Emily Borst
  • Saint Paddy's Day Safety Tips March 2, 2017 6:42 pm
    With St. Patrick's Day approaching, many of us are planning to celebrate with a party or night on the town. These parties can be fun traditions and a wonderful way to celebrate with your family and friends. We want your Saint Patrick's Day to be filled with happy memories, so we have compiled a list of safety tips to keep in mind as you celebrate this festive day.  Drinking: If you plan to have a little more than one glass of champagne, make sure you are safe and know your limits while drinking. Nothing is worse than waking up on the next day with an upset stomach and a horrible headache. Watching yourself is especially applicable if you are at a professional party or at one where you might not know too many people. If you worry you might go pass your limit, be sure to bring a trusted friend along to look out for you. Don’t leave your drink unattended either, especially if you are at a public part. Driving: However you celebrate this Saint Patrick's Day, don’t drink and drive! Should you be intoxicated, have a designated friend take you home or call for a taxi or an Uber. Do not accept rides from strangers at the party. If you are at a friend’s home, ask to stay the night should you feel unable to drive. If you doubt your ability at all, do not drive! Public Events: Be especially safe and conscientious should you attend a public Saint Patrick's Day party! Bring friends along with you and make sure you all stay accountable for each other through the night. Don’t bring valuable possessions to a party that might have a large attendance. Try not to be out alone, especially at night too. We here at Roeding wish you a safe and blessed Saint Patrick's Day! Remember to be smart and to help others who may need it while you’re out!
    Emily Borst
  • Are You Protected in a Flood? February 28, 2017 8:18 pm
    With rainy days happening more frequently, you might be worried about what to do in the event of a flood. Here at Roeding, we want you informed and safe should flood waters rise. We want you to be educated about all of the risks you may face – before a loss occurs – so you can determine what insurance coverage is appropriate. Spring is a prime season for flooding, so now is a good time to review your options. Because very few companies offer flood insurance, the U.S. government created the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) in 1968. Available to homeowners, renters and business owners, this insurance often is required to obtain a mortgage in areas at high risk of flooding. But you might want to look into a policy just for peace of mind. According to the NFIP, nearly 25% of the program’s claims occur in moderate- to low-risk areas. Check out the questions and answers below to help determine if flood insurance is right for you. Is flood insurance available in my area? To participate in the NFIP, a community must adopt and enforce a floodplain management ordinance with rules regarding construction in certain flood-prone areas. In exchange, the government makes flood insurance available within that community. We’re happy to help you find out if you’re eligible for flood insurance. Just give us a call at Roeding. You can also visit http://www.fema.gov/fema/csb.shtm.   What does it cover? The NFIP provides coverage for both the structure and its contents. Coverage for contents is optional in some cases, so you may want to give us a call to discuss other coverage for your personal property. Keep in mind that you typically can’t purchase flood insurance and have it take effect the next day. There is usually a 30-day waiting period. (Exceptions to this rule apply, however, particularly when the insurance is required by a lender and is purchased during the process of securing a mortgage.) If you think you need flood insurance, don’t wait to buy a policy! What doesn’t it cover? Generally, government-issued flood insurance will not cover the following: Buildings entirely over water or principally below ground, gas and liquid storage tanks, animals, aircraft, wharves, piers, bulkheads, growing crops, shrubbery, land, roads, machinery or equipment in the open and most motor vehicles. How much does it cost? As with all insurance policies, the cost of flood insurance varies depending on your situation. If your home or business is in a high-risk area, such as a “special flood hazard area,” your premium naturally will be higher than those in low- or moderate-risk zones. Premiums are based on how old the building is, how many floors it has, the location of its contents, your deductible and more. Renters insurance is typically less expensive, as renters generally insure their belongings and not the building. Where can I find more information? As always, we are happy to help you determine your insurance needs. Give us a call or check The NFIP website, at http://www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program, has plenty of answers as well.  Content Provided by Safeco
    Emily Borst
  • Threat of Cyber Attacks Still at the Forefront of Business's Minds February 23, 2017 8:46 pm
    According to a study of 79 counties, the threat of cyber attacks is still ranked among the top ten worries for business around the world. The study comes as governments and businesses seek to strengthen resilience to cyber attacks. Companies on both sides of the Atlantic are also grappling with political uncertainty over changes to commerce policies, from taxes to trade tariffs, being planned in the U.S. and the U.K., Tim Ross write in his article for Bloomberg. One way to combat these cyber attack fears is with cyber liability insurance. It’s a common thought that cyber liability insurance is only for big companies, but, in fact, even small-to medium-sized businesses are susceptible to cyber-siege. You may want to consider making cyber protection arrangements for your business, no matter the size. Hackers can gain access to your customers’ names, contact information, and personal information. Small-to medium-sized businesses are just as at risk as large firms and organizations. Additionally, did you know that even if you do not host data yourself, you can still be held legally responsible if information is hijacked by a cyber attacker? You can protect yourself, however, from cyber-siege, and it’s more affordable than you might think. Premiums can be as low as $2000 a year, and cyber liability insurance can cover more than you might think. Although cyber liability can be more complicated and is a newer form of coverage available now, it is well worth the investment to protect yourself, your business, and the clients you care about.
    Emily Borst
  • Spring Cleaning Tips February 14, 2017 9:13 pm
    Of course, because spring is a time for new beginnings, cleaning and organization around the house are very popular this time of year. If you’re ready to tackle that monumental chore, read on for some helpful information. (And if you’re so tidy and organized throughout the year that spring cleaning isn’t a big chore for you, well, keep that to yourself! Unless you want your friends and neighbors to be jealous, that is.) Take it one room at a time. Deciding to clean or organize your entire home can quickly get overwhelming. If you focus on just one area or room, then move to another only when you’re finished, you’ll likely work more efficiently. Follow the six-month rule. Generally, if you haven’t used something in six months (with the exception of seasonal items), it’s a good idea to consider throwing it away or donating it. Don’t forget the kitchen. Just like other rooms, your kitchen likely has things that haven’t been used in some time — and this includes food in the refrigerator or freezer. Give those appliances a thorough cleaning and get rid of anything you won’t be eating. Set yourself up for success. Paper clutter is something we all could probably cut back on pretty easily. Setting up a few recycling bins throughout the house gives you a convenient alternative to just setting that old magazine or paperwork down somewhere and watching the pile grow. Make some money! Of course, the spring cleaning garage sale is a tradition for many homeowners, and can be a great way to bring in some extra income. Talk about a win-win situation — you get rid of stuff you don’t need, and someone pays you for it! Stay safe. When you’re cleaning or maintaining your home, be mindful of the physical risks involved. Lift with your leg muscles, not your back. Avoid prolonged repetitive motions. Use ladders, lawnmowers and other dangerous tools with caution. Content Provided by Safeco
    Emily Borst
  • Spring Break Travel Smarts February 14, 2017 9:00 pm
    Whether you’re planning a trip to a local attraction this spring, or headed all the way across the country, you want your vacation to be relaxing. It’s a getaway from work, not to mention your day-to-day life. So we’ve got some tips - from packing smart to protecting yourself from pickpockets - to make your trip the best it can be. Before you go Even if you’re only headed across the state, a packing list is a must. How many times have you left home and arrived at your destination, only to find that you forgot your most comfortable walking shoes? Or your swimsuit? Put everything on this list, even if you think you would never forget it. A toothbrush is easy to replace when you get there - your prescription medication isn’t. Be sure that you have printed itineraries for everyone in your party, and make color copies of important ID documents as well. Keep the copies in your bag, separate from your passport and other IDs. It’s also a great idea for each person to have a list of emergency numbers, either for them to call or for someone else providing assistance. Of course, packing light can make travel a lot more enjoyable. Who wants to lug 100 pounds of luggage through the airport? Not us. Here are some ideas to help you lighten the load: Do laundry at your destination. Nobody wants to do laundry on vacation, but if you’re willing to sacrifice a little time, you can pack far fewer items of clothing. If you won’t have access to facilities, you can wash clothes in the hotel sink and hang them up to dry. Easy on the shoes. If you can, pack only one or two pairs of shoes. It’s best to wear the heavier pair during travel if possible, and pack the lighter one. Ditch the books. Consider using an e-reader instead of packing actual books - that way you can carry hundreds of books on your trip! If you don’t own or want an e-reader, you can buy books once you reach your destination. Thrift shops are great places to find inexpensive books. If flying, don’t check your bag. This will not only force you to take smaller pieces of luggage, but with most airlines charging checked-baggage fees, it will save you money! It saves you the hassle of baggage claim, too. When you’re there Once you arrive at your destination, it’s time to relax! But don’t let your guard down completely. After all, tourists often are targets for those looking to separate you from your money. We’re talking mainly about thieves, but don’t forget, you also lose money when you spend more than needed. Here are some ways to protect your wallet from criminals and other money traps: Don’t carry much cash. Most places accept credit cards, and those that don’t often have ATMs on site. If you carry a wallet, keep it in your front pocket. For a purse, hang it across your body. Both will make it more difficult for a thief. You could also consider carrying a money belt, which is a good way to conceal cash and cards. Staying at a hotel? Check to see if they have “resort fees.” More and more hotels are charging these, which often provide things that used to be included in your room rate (such as access to the fitness center). Some will waive it if you complain — and it can be worth complaining because the fee can be $10 – $25 each day. Eating out too much? If your hotel room has a refrigerator, you can easily purchase and store sandwich ingredients for a cheap lunch or dinner. Many people find it more economical to rent a condominium or house for their vacation and cook most of their own meals. The money saved on restaurants can make up for any cost difference between a condo and hotel. Think about travel insurance. Yes, this costs money up front. But if you have a long and expensive vacation planned, travel insurance can end up saving you a lot of money if something goes wrong and you need to come home early or even cancel your entire trip. Depending on the coverage you purchase, you could receive reimbursement for additional airfare, hotel charges and more. Finally, remember that you’re on vacation to relax and escape everyday life. So when you get there, get out there! Meet some locals, do some things off the beaten path. In fact, the locals usually have the best recommendations. And you just might make some new friends, too! Content Provided by Safeco
    Emily Borst
  • Rainy Weather? We've Got You Covered February 7, 2017 9:11 pm
    Storm season is nearly here, and we’ve been having rough weather. While thunderstorms can be relaxing in the comfort of your own home, they can be treacherous when driving or when you spend the whole storm worried for your home’s exterior. Here at Roeding, we want you to be safe and secure during inclement weather so we’ve put together some tips for ways to stay safe out in the rain and ways to check your home when the storm is done. When Driving: Stay visible. Turn on your headlights so you can see — and be seen — more easily. Be patient. Give yourself more time to get where you’re going, and give people more room. Increase your following distance two to three times. Expect slippery conditions. Rain often combines with oil and grease buildup to create slick roadways. Not to mention you can hydroplane — meaning your tires are riding on water instead of pavement — at speeds of as little as 35 mph. If it happens, slow down, gently apply your brakes and keep steering straight ahead. Never drive in flooded areas. In a flood, it won’t take much water to sweep you away, believe it or not — just 12 inches for a smaller car or 24 inches for almost any vehicle, according to the National Weather Service, which advises, “turn around, don’t drown.” Get – or stay – off the road. When conditions are really bad, pull over and take a break. Or, if you can, just stay home. You’ll probably be happier to stay out of the weather, anyway! And you’re certainly likely to be safer. After the Storm: Check Your roof: If you see holes, split seams or missing shingles on your roof or if you notice leaking inside or out, it’s a good idea to have a qualified inspector come assess the situation. Check Your Exterior: Siding, brick and stucco are all vulnerable to storm damage. You’ll want to look for cracking, chipping or dings and dents in siding, and for holes in stucco. Look closely and at different times of the day. Some homeowners don’t notice damage until it’s too late to file a claim, and different lighting can reveal damage you didn’t see before. Check  Driveways and Walkways: Cracking and splitting can create safety hazards, as well as reduce the lifespan of the concrete. Check your  Trees: According to the National Storm Damage Center, fallen trees and limbs cause more than $1 billion in damage annually. Check roofs, vehicles, fences and machinery for fallen limbs that may have caused damage or could pose a risk. Clean up what you safely can and rely on a reputable tree removal service to handle the rest. Depending on the circumstances, your homeowners insurance policy may help with tree removal and damage repair costs – if you experience a covered loss, that is. A few more helpful tips before the weather sets in: Keep trees well maintained and trimmed. Also notify neighbors if you see any overhanging branches on any of theirs. Know your insurance. Take a look at your policy so you know what’s covered, what your limits and deductibles are, etc. This will prevent any surprises during the claims process. Take pictures. Photographs can help you show the cause and extent of any storm damage that occurs. Of course, if you’ve suffered through a major storm, don’t hesitate to call us at Roeding for help with an insurance claim or with finding a professional property inspector. Content Provided by Safeco
    Emily Borst
  • Claim's Manager Gloria Davis's Coverage Corner: Worker's Compensation February 7, 2017 6:16 pm
    We are continuing our focus on Workers Compensation.  Prior articles have included when and why it was formed, specific benefits included under the statute, and now we will discus return to work. When employees are unable to work, there are many side affects that some may fail to recognize.  The employee can suffer from depression from being unable to pull their share in the family setting, lack of social activities, physical limitations, and more.  Let’s look at these a bit more in depth.  How does a husband or a father feel if he is unable to pull his share of the family commitments?  The spouse has additional burden to carry which can cause strife in one’s marriage, disrespect from children and other family members.  The individual is probably sitting at home alone as his friends are all at work.  This can truly cause a person to withdrawal and become even more depressed.  Bringing a person back to work in a modified position can prevent this.  It is truly the best way for both employer and employee as it will significantly reduce the overall cost of the claim.  From an employer’s prospective, there is some truth to the fact that the employer will probably not get 100% from the employee.  Co-workers can become disgruntled as they feel that the employee is not pulling his weight.  Supervisors can feel challenged as production can be affected.  Not bringing the employee back to work can be very costly.  First, the experience may cause potential insurers not to want to provide coverage to the employer.  In addition, the cost of that claim will be included in the experience modifier for 3 years thus increasing the premium that the employer pays.  So what’s the employer to do?  We recommend that you consider all of these factors prior to making a decision.  Remember that you can not make the decision on a per employee basis for fear of being held for discrimination.  Some employers resort to using Non-Profit organizations to facilitate return to work.  In KY the program returns the employee to a task that meets their restrictions with lifting, standing and the like.  The employer pays the wages (that are tax deductible) of the individual for a period of time that allows the employee to return to pre-injury status.  This avoids the employee becoming depressed, allow the employer to do something go for the community and also reduces the overall cost of the workers compensation claim.  We have seen this method work for multiple employers.  Please keep this in mind and ask if this will work for you.  A Workers Compensation claim can affect the employer’s premium for 3 years?  What can be done to minimize this premium affect?  We will discuss this in the next edition of Coverage Corner.  
    Gloria Davis
  • Do You Need Special Event Insurance? February 2, 2017 6:54 pm
    With spring just around the corner, your business may be thinking of hosting a public relations event. While concerts, festivals, races, and carnivals are great ways to bring attention to your business, they also bring liability along with them. For events such as these, Special Event General Liability Insurance may be a good choice for you. This type of insurance is designed to provide broad protection for situations in which an event holder might have to defend themselves against lawsuits. Host liquor liability can be included and also gives coverage to the venue and sponsors of the event. The best time to purchase your special event insurance would be as soon as you start to make deposits or purchases for your events. There are often restrictions when you purchase coverage—such as when it can be purchased. It’s also useful to consider these questions before you buy: Who is sponsoring the event? Is there already some insurance in place? What is the location? Will alcohol be served? Are there extra liabilities, such as amusement rides? Is there a parking attendant? Find out what coverage you may already have. We hope that the upcoming spring brings many great opportunities for your business. Know that we here at Roeding are here for all your insurance needs. Call us if Special Event Insurance seems right to you. Sources: https://www.allstate.com/tools-and-resources/event-insurance/what-is-special-event-insurance.aspx http://www.specialeventinsurances.com/special-event/event-insurance-101.html https://www.allstate.com/tools-and-resources/event-insurance/what-is-special-event-insurance.aspx
    Emily Borst
  • Exercise Balls Belong in a Gym, Not the Workplace February 2, 2017 6:10 pm
    Yoga balls, also known as Swiss balls or exercise balls, were first invented by Aquilino Cosani, an Italian manufacturer, in 1963. Overtime physiotherapist and physical therapist began using them in clinical settings with their patients for their rehab programs. Today athletic trainers, strength coaches, personal trainers, all around the world have incorporated them in to alternative exercises such as yoga and Pilates. While they are common and usually durable, exercise balls can fail when not used properly according to manufacturer’s recommendations. Every year hundreds if not thousands of people are injured while using these exercise balls.  With the new active workstation craze in the workplace the idea of sitting on these exercise balls instead of a traditional office chair has indeed crept into the workplace, leaving employers wondering if they should be approved. In fact just last week I was asked by a client about the degree of risk that they present to employees in their workplace, as a substitute for the standard office chair, so I set out on make a judgment for my client. Physical therapist will tell you that due to the instability of an exercise ball will require the user to increase trunk muscle activation and thus increase core strength, improve posture, improve balance, burn calories and decrease discomfort. As a trained safety and risk management professional I do see the value that they can add from a physical fitness standpoint, but the question still remains — are they a risk to employees while working in the workplace? Let me begin by saying, that I am very aware of the hazards of Dormant Butt Syndrome, as research has linked sitting for long periods of time with a number of health concerns, including obesity and metabolic syndrome — causing a cluster of conditions that includes increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol levels which can lead to increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer. With such knowledge this puts employers in a bit of a “Catch 22” situation as it relates to allowing exercise balls into the workplace, as many employers are actively promoting health and wellness programs to better control rising healthcare costs. However research has overwhelmingly shown major drawbacks to using exercise balls at as chairs, and that a chair is a better option at least when you’re at work. According to the Centre of Research Expertise for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders, they claim that the use of stability balls as a chair may actually increase the risk of developing low back discomfort and may increase the risk of sustaining an injury due to the unstable nature of the balls. So in short there is a greater chance that employees will experience more low back and neck discomfort without any benefit to their posture or core muscle strength. In 2009 the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CSPC) had to recall nearly 3 million exercise balls after overinflated balls were reported to unexpectedly burst while in use, causing the user to fall, resulting in fractures and other injuries. As an employer it is easy to ascertain that these exercise balls are therefore potential recordable accidents waiting to happen. It is also difficult for employers to regulate their use and if in fact their employees are properly keeping these exercise balls inflated to the manufacture standards. The instability of an exercise ball may excite a physical therapist, but there lies the problem: they are unstable. It is nearly impossible for a person to maintain stability and properly spinal alignment/posture sitting on a ball for any length of time and perform work tasks. There have even been studies that show that they cause more data entry errors from those who use exercise balls compared to those sitting on a task chair. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI), OSHA, and other professional organizations have published guidelines about office chairs. From a safety compliance standpoint, I was unable to uncover any OSHA rulings or fines as it relates to exercise balls in the workplace, but OSHA does describes a chair as a component of a work station. They say that a chair should be …. “well-designed and appropriately adjusted and is an essential element of a safe and productive computer workstation. A good chair provides necessary support to the back, legs, buttocks, and arms, while reducing exposures to awkward postures, contact stress, and forceful exertions. Increased adjustability ensures a better fit for the user, provides adequate support in a variety of sitting postures, and allows variability of sitting positions throughout the workday. This is particularly important if the chair has multiple users. Therefore exercise balls do not have adjustable backrests, arms, and seat pans, nor are they made with recommended materials and therefore an employer could potentially be cited under the OSHA General Duty Clause, Section 5(a)(1). Highly unlikely I must admit, but if an employee was ever severely become injured as a result of an exercise ball being used as a chair, this is not out of the possibility because OSHA’s mission is to assure safe and healthful working conditions for all working men and women. The fact is over an eight-hour work shift, employee’s muscles will fatigue, causing the body to compensate and assume non-neutral postures (slumping). Slumping will then places pressure on the spinal discs, contributing to back pain, this causing awkward postures that contribute to ergonomic injuries. In conclusion as an employer it’s important to note that if an employee is injured at work while sitting on an exercise ball, the employer is completely liable even if the ball was over or under inflated or if horseplay was involved —and the injury will be compensatable under workers compensation. As a disclaimer before passing a ruling on this debate, it’s important for me to say, that I am not an anti-active workstation or anti exercise ball activist, as a matter of fact my wife owns one and I often sometimes consider using it, but then decide against it for a variety of reason unrelated to these obvious safety concerns. The bottom line is this — exercise balls belong in a gym and not in the office. They are not designed to be used for sitting for any prolonged periods at work. I would further suggest to employers that if employees are using them in their offices, to let them know that exercise balls are prohibited and they should take them home. Be Safe My Friends. Keven Moore works in risk management services. He has a bachelor’s degree from University of Kentucky, a master’s from Eastern Kentucky University and 25-plus years of experience in the safety and insurance profession. He lives in Lexington with his family and works out of both Lexington and Northern Kentucky. Keven can be reached at kmoore@roeding.com.
    Keven Moore
  • Cruise Ship Safety January 26, 2017 7:07 pm
    Cruising for a Good Time: 4 Safety Tips for Your Spring Cruise In any given year, more than 20 million passengers across the globe set sail on a cruise, according to the Cruise Lines International Association. If you plan to join them this Spring, here are four common sense tips to help ensure your journey is a happy one: Don’t skip the safety drill. Most cruises begin with a muster drill, where you'll learn where your lifeboat is, how to put on a lifejacket and what the ship's alarms sound like. Pay attention, even if you think you've heard it all before. Also, establish a good rapport with your cabin steward – remembering his or her name after your initial introduction is a good start. Keep it clean. You’ve no doubt heard about cruise ship outbreaks. Do your part to help prevent one by washing your hands regularly. If the ship also happens to have hand-sanitizer dispensers at strategic locations, such as dining room entrances, use some. Or carry your own. Secure your valuables. Your cabin’s small safe is a useful place to stash such items as cash, tickets, passports and small electronic devices. But remember that numerous crew members have access to bypass codes for room safes (in case passengers forget their codes). If you have especially valuable items—jewelry for formal nights, for example—visit the administration desk and ask to store them in the ship's safe. Enjoy all things in moderation. There are ample opportunities to drink on a cruise ship, and a strong temptation to take advantage of them. After all, you're on vacation, and you're certainly not going to be driving. But, alcohol can impair your safety and judgment in key situations, such as walking back to your cabin during rocky seas. Also, be mindful of limiting your sun exposure and using sunscreen. As you’ve perhaps realized by now, awareness and common sense are always the best guides for smooth sailing – on land or sea. And, don’t forget preparedness. You may want to consider travel insurance to protect the investment you’re making in your trip. Finally, if you’d like to review your personal property coverage for the valuable items you’ll be taking, don’t hesitate to give us a call. Knowing your belongings are covered will help you make the most of the experience.  Content Provided by Safeco
    Emily Borst
  • Driving Tips for Rainy Weather January 26, 2017 7:04 pm
    7 Tips to Help You Handle Rainy Days Behind the Wheel At some point, every driver in the Tri-State Area has to deal with rainy weather. But, many don’t know what to do, so they just drive as they normally would. However, with slick roads, flooded streets and reduced visibility, that can be a recipe for disaster. So instead, follow these simple tips for safer rainy day travels. Stay visible. Turn on your headlights so you can see — and be seen — more easily. Be patient. Give yourself more time to get where you’re going, and give people more room. Increase your following distance two to three times. Expect slippery conditions. Rain often combines with oil and grease buildup to create slick roadways. Not to mention you can hydroplane — meaning your tires are riding on water instead of pavement — at speeds of as little as 35 mph. If it happens, slow down, gently apply your brakes and keep steering straight ahead. Check your car’s systems. How are your wipers? Do your blades need to be replaced? What about your defroster? Driving in the rain is hard enough; don’t do it with fogged-up windows, too. Inspect your tires. Are they inflated properly? Do you have enough tread? Put an upside-down penny into the tread. If you can see Lincoln’s entire head, you probably need new tires. Never drive in flooded areas. In a flood, it won’t take much water to sweep you away, believe it or not — just 12 inches for a smaller car or 24 inches for almost any vehicle, according to the National Weather Service, which advises, “turn around, don’t drown.” Get – or stay – off the road. When conditions are really bad, pull over and take a break. Or, if you can, just stay home. You’ll probably be happier to stay out of the weather, anyway! And you’re certainly likely to be safer. With a little extra care, you can help keep your car on the road and your rainy day blues to a minimum even while traveling in wet conditions. And, as always, if something does go wrong, we’re here to help guide you through it.  Content Provided by Safeco
    Emily Borst
  • Cut Road Trip Costs January 26, 2017 6:53 pm
    4 Tips to Help Cut Road Trip Costs There’s no better way to see the country than a road trip, and it’s also the way to travel if you’re looking to keep costs under control. To that end, here are a few ideas to help ensure you have a frugal good time out there on the road. Cut your gas costs. Planning your route in advance will help you estimate your gas costs for the entire trip. Then, when you’re on the road, use the GasBuddy smartphone app to search for the lowest gas prices near you. Of course, you’ll also want to stick to the speed limit and keep your tires properly inflated to help improve your gas mileage. Cut your food costs. Think about picnicking and cooking in rather than eating out. Packing healthy snacks in advance won’t just save you money, it may help save your waistline from the drive-through line, too. You’ll also get to explore the local grocery stores and see the different foods available in different parts of the country. And, don’t forget your reusable water bottle to fill up at water fountains.  Cut your lodging costs. Why not book a “room” outdoors? As long as you have room in the car for your camping gear, that is. Oftentimes you can book campsites in advance online. Look for campgrounds with nice facilities, such as showers and even Wi-Fi, and you won’t even sacrifice much in the way of comfort. But, you will save a considerable amount compared to staying in hotels. If the outdoor life just isn’t for you, look for last-minute hotel deals using apps from Hotels.com, Priceline or Orbitz. Cut your entertainment costs. No matter where you’re headed, you can likely find some enticing entertainment options that are either free or low-cost. Check the official tourism websites of the cities and states on your route. Depending on the season, you might come across free concerts, lectures or plays at local parks and libraries. Or, check with museums about free admission days. Whether you’re planning a long weekend or a couple of weeks on the road, we here at Roeding Insurance wish you happy travels! Remember, we’re here to handle all of your car insurance needs to help keep you on the go. Content Provided by Safeco
    Emily Borst
  • Amusement Park Safety January 26, 2017 6:49 pm
    6 Safety Tips for Amusement Park Fun  With Spring Break just around the corner, you may be thinking of somewhere fun to take your family or friends. A great place to go for your mid-season trip is none other than an amusement park! However, unless you take some safety precautions, an amusement park or water park can also be stressful or even dangerous. So, brush up on these safety tips before the thrills begin. Follow the rules. Ignoring this tip is why most injuries occur in the first place. The rules are there for your safety, not to limit your fun, so be sure to observe and obey them. That includes any and all restrictions regarding age and height, as well as guidelines about physical conditions that may make it unsafe to participate. Listen to instructions from park employees, and keep arms, legs, feet and hands inside rides at all times. Finally, always use the provided safety restraints.  Educate your kids. Make sure they know how to behave safely, both on rides and in crowded public spaces. If you’re at a water park, take special care. Children under 4 feet tall, and people who are weak swimmers, should wear life jackets. Know where lifeguards are, and signal them if you see anyone in trouble or struggling. Observe proper hygiene in and around the water. Use waterproof swim diapers, try not to get water in your mouth, shower before getting in any pool and so forth. Have an emergency plan. Designate a meeting place in case anyone becomes separated from the rest of the group. Use a buddy system to ensure children are never alone. Don’t overheat. Bring plenty of sunscreen (the waterproof kind if you’re at a water park) and drink lots of water during the day. Don’t forget to spend some time in the shade, too. Know your limits. Be mindful of the health limitations of any people in your group, and check with the park ahead of time to see if they offer any special accommodations. Remember, kids can sometimes overdo it when they’re having fun, so build in time for regular breaks. Plan ahead for safety, and you can help make sure the only roller coasters on your trip are the ones you ride. Have a great time! Content Provided by Safeco
    Emily Borst
  • Small Businesses are Lifeblood of Our Economy, Need to Protect from Pitfall of No Insurance January 19, 2017 7:13 pm
    Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy, and every major company was once a small business. Some of the more notable businesses started in a garage such as the likes as Amazon, Apple, Google, Harley Davidson, Disney, Mattel, Yankee Candle, Hewlett Packard, and more. There are some 28 million small businesses in America and approximately 543K new businesses are started each month, of which 70 percent are owned and operated by a single person and 52 percent of these small businesses being home-based. William Warfield in the booth (Photos provided) Many of these risk-taking business owners get up every morning with the sole purpose to grow their business, take care of their customers and put food on the table. Far too often many of these business owners become too preoccupied with the daily grind to assess the risks exposures around them that could cause them to become one of the 50 percent of businesses that fail within the first five years. On the night of January 13th (Friday the 13th) William Warfield ,the founder of www.Prepspin.com a digital sports casting network that is the official streaming media partner for the KHSAA, had just finished up working the LCA vs. Lafayette basketball game in Lexington and had dropped off at a local restaurant to grab a bite to eat. When he returned to his vehicle he quickly discovered that his passenger side window had been shattered and that all of his broadcasting equipment and custom built laptop have been stolen. A value of over $20K in equipment and a lifetime of work were ripped away, leaving him totally devastated. He didn’t have the equipment properly insured to have it replaced. The scene of the theft . . . William Warfield is like millions of other small business owners; he is industrious, had a dream to take a risk and chased after it. He started out streaming games just for fun in 2007 when streaming was new to everyone. He was working a full-time job and just wanted to give back to the local schools by streaming high school games and soon began providing audio coverage for free. IHigh.com soon came calling and asked him to be a part of their team, until one day he found himself to be one of many laid off. Not one to cry in his soup and with such friends as Tim Campbell and the Commissioner of the KHSSA Julian Tackett around him, he formed PrepSpin.com to begin streaming the KHSSA events and he never looked back. Since 2007 he has broadcast over 3000 games and became a contractor in 2013 to cover the National Junior College Athletic Association NJCAA in 2013. Today he broadcasts all the KHSSA TV championship events on KHSSA.tv and he was the first to transmit the first ever HD video broadcast of high school sports in the state of Kentucky in both 720P & 1080P broadcast. Like any good small business owner he kept reinvesting in his business and as his quality of video kept improving he was able to land more jobs. To date he has produced and broadcasted over 100 Division 1 college basketball games and even some SEC Network games for UK. In 2015 he was able to land the Lexington Legends contract streaming all home games to MiLB.com. Set up at a game. . . High School Sports is his passion and thru his coverage of local high school games and events he is able to help kids get noticed and give them the coverage that they deserve. His work has helped open doors for countless coaches and student athletes at the next level, while also promoting local schools and programs. Talking to William on social media over the weekend, he said that the equipment was brand new and that it wasn’t covered by his insurance policy, and more importantly to him the material on the hard drive was priceless. Far too often business owners don’t see the potholes that lay before them that can derail them from their dreams. They have completed all the heavy lifting to create a successful small business, but for whatever reason they don’t go that extra mile to protect their business and life blood. Many of these small business owners are natural born risk-takers and rarely ever slow down enough to assess the hazards around them because the path before them has finally become profitable. For any small business owner the best way to safeguard what they have worked for is to make sure they have the right insurance coverage in place. This is a quick and easy process and could be the most important business decision that they will ever make, or it could be one of the biggest non decision that they will ever make. It’s been said that if a small business can’t resume operations within 10 days following a natural disaster or unforeseen and uncovered event on their insurance policy such as this, then it probably won’t survive. I didn’t question William any further as I didn’t want to throw any additional fuel on the fire. I suspect that he did have liability insurance policy for his business in order to work these events, but did not pick up any additional insurance to protect his equipment that would have been covered on a BOP policy for small business. His equipment. . . Many small business owners operate on a shoestring budget and insurance is simply a luxury that they can’t afford when they first get started, and once they start making money they forget to circle back around and pick it up. Usually after a loss such as this it quickly becomes a priority, but often times it’s too late because the damage is done. Far too often many small business owners will solely rely on their Homeowners policy, thinking that their business equipment will be covered under this policy, which it is not. If William had picked up a BOP policy it would have been covered if it had been properly scheduled. If he had Loss-of-Income coverage also known as business interruption insurance it would have taken care of the damage done to his income as a result of the business being shut down until he could have his equipment replaced. William agreed to allow me to use his story as a lesson for other small business owners to take the time to properly insure your dream and life blood. The local news has since carried his story and he has placed a reward out there to help find his equipment. He even made a plea on TV for the people responsible for this theft, to do the right thing and turn it in. He is forever optimistic and has called this a speed bump and has vowed to be back in the broadcasting booth soon. A friend has since gone on to create a GoFundMe page with the hopes to help raise enough money to get William back on his feet and back in the broadcasting booth. From the looks of it he is well on his way, but will need some additional support to get him over that speed bump. With any kind of luck I pray that William is able to recover his equipment, but the takeaway from this story is that you never want to rely on a GoFundMe account and the good graces of your community as your risk management plan, and as a small business owner you need to call your local insurance agent and get your business properly insured. Be Safe My Friends Keven Moore works in risk management services. He has a bachelor’s degree from University of Kentucky, a master’s from Eastern Kentucky University and 25-plus years of experience in the safety and insurance profession. He lives in Lexington with his family and works out of both the Lexington and Northern Kentucky offices. Keven can be reached at kmoore@roeding.com
    Keven Moore
  • Protect Your New Jewelry This Valentine's Day January 12, 2017 6:51 pm
    New Jewelry is always exciting on Valentines Day. From finding the perfect piece to giving it to your loved one, jewelry brings joy and excitement to many people each year. Whether you plan to propose or just celebrate love, jewelry is a great way to show your affection. We know that beautiful pieces don’t always come cheap and that you may be worried about something happening to it. Accidents, theft, and other tragedies can strike at any time and you might be worried about your investment in this jewelry. You may not know it, but insurance is available for your jewelry as well! Whether it’s an engagement ring, a necklace, earrings, or a bracelet, coverage can be available for your beautiful piece of art! And it’s easier than you think! How Jewelry Insurance Works: Buy the ring and keep the receipt: Your insurance carrier may require the retail value of the ring before providing coverage, so hang on to your receipt. Call Us: As your agent, we will help you find the best coverage for your new bling. Get an appraisal: For more expensive jewelry, your insurer may require an appraisal. Appraisals may be required for heirloom jewelry as well. Raise your limits or add an endorsement: Homeowners and renters insurance policies include coverage for the contents of your home. However, a base homeowner’s policy typically limits theft of jewelry coverage up to $1,000, or sometimes just $500. We hope you have a wonderful Valentines Day! Feel free to call us with any and all questions about jewelry insurance.
    Emily Borst
  • Buying a New Car January 6, 2017 6:03 pm
    Buying a new car is an exciting time — but it can also be stressful. After all, you’re trying to get the best deal on price, while also deciding on the make, model and features you need. Here at Roeding, we can’t really help you become a master negotiator when it comes to buying a car. But we can give you some things to consider when you’re looking around the lot — and when you’re trying to answer the age-old question of “new, or used?” Read on with an open mind, and you might just come to a different decision the next time you’re on the car lot. New cars Ah, that new-car smell. It’s a bit of a cliché, but it’s one of the things that people love about climbing into a brand-new car. And while they make air fresheners that supposedly give you that same smell for your used car, it just doesn’t seem the same, does it? Still, there are other benefits to buying new — and, of course, there are drawbacks as well. PRO — maintenance: Some manufacturers offer free scheduled maintenance for a set period of time after you buy the car, and you likely won’t need a new battery, tires, etc., for several years after your purchase. PRO — peace of mind: Your new car may have a warranty for up to 10 years, and also is covered by “lemon laws” that could allow for a replacement or refund if the car has serious defects. CON — cost: Depending on the make and model, buying a new car is almost always more expensive (at least in terms of the purchase price) than a used car. It’s also worth noting that if you purchase a new car in its first model year (meaning it’s a new model for the automaker), there won’t be many user reviews available, and data on reliability and repairs will be limited. In addition, sometimes newly introduced cars have some kinks that generally are ironed out by the second and third model years. These aren’t necessarily serious issues, and the warranty should cover them, but in some instances, you and your car could be headed to the shop more than you’d like. Used cars Don’t care about the new-car smell? Looking to save some money on your purchase? Well, a used car might be right for you. There are many advantages to buying used, but you’ll want to be a little more careful. After all, it’s hard to know exactly how well the previous owner treated the car. But you can limit your risk with a little bit of work. PRO — cost: New cars depreciate quickly after they’re purchased. By buying used, you’re letting someone else take that financial hit over the first few years of the life of the car. PRO/CON — reliability: Buying a used car is less of a gamble than it used to be, particularly with the advent of “certified pre-owned” programs many automakers now offer. However, used cars generally don’t carry the same warranties as new cars, even though the original manufacturer’s warranty is usually transferrable to a second owner. CON — maintenance: While a used car theoretically shouldn’t need more frequent maintenance than a new car, you’ll likely need to replace things like tires, headlights, etc., earlier. And scheduled maintenance probably isn’t covered by the automaker. PRO/CON — history: You’ll need to check the car’s title history to make sure it hasn’t been in a serious accident or salvaged. Ask the dealership to provide this information, usually from Carfax. Of course, whichever car you purchase, the important thing is that it’s a good fit for you. Bear in mind that certain makes and models can result in higher insurance costs for you, so feel free to check in with us before you buy. Have fun shopping — and we’ll see you on the road!  Content provided by Safeco
    Emily Borst
  • Motorcycle Season is Coming January 6, 2017 5:56 pm
    Is a motorcycle right for you? As springtime approaches, you probably notice something in addition to the warmer weather and blooming flowers: more motorcycles on the roads. Riding looks like a lot of fun, doesn’t it? Just imagine heading down the road with the sun shining and the road stretching out to the horizon. There are other benefits motorcycle riders enjoy as well, such as lower fuel costs and easier parking; but riding a motorcycle safely requires different skills than driving a car. If you’re thinking that this is the year you’re going to buy your very own bike, let us at Roeding help you determine if a motorcycle is right for you. We’ve provided some questions below that the Motorcycle Safety Foundation recommends you honestly answer before becoming a bike owner. Are you a risk-taker? Or are you safety-minded? Think about how you drive your car. If you have aggressive tendencies or do things like talk on your phone while driving, a motorcycle probably isn’t for you. Motorcycles lack the protection that cars can provide in an accident, so driver focus and caution are extremely important. How is your vision? What about your balance and coordination? It’s extremely important that you see well – peripherally and in general – when riding a motorcycle. Motorcycles are not as visible as other vehicles on the road, so riders need to be alert and aware at all times. And, of course, riding requires balance and coordination, much like a bicycle. If you’re not great on non-motorized two-wheelers, you might want to think again about motorcycling. Do you respect dangerous machinery? When you use a chainsaw or other equipment that can cause harm, do you always follow the instructions and wear the proper safety gear? If not, a motorcycle probably isn’t right for you. Maintenance and protective equipment is vital to riding safely. What you might be able to get away with when driving a car or using power tools could lead to a tragic outcome on a motorcycle. Are you willing to invest in riding safely? The best way to stay safe on a motorcycle is to invest some time before you get on the bike. Take a safety course and learn how to ride the right way. Purchase the right gear, including approved helmets and padded clothing. And learn about properly maintaining your motorcycle. If you’re prepared and commit to safe riding, motorcycling can be a great way to get around. The freedom you’ll feel on the road is different than driving any car, which is just one reason millions of people find riding to be incredibly rewarding. And when you’re ready, we are too! Feel free to give us a call at <agency phone> to discuss your motorcycle insurance options as well as safety tips! Sidebar: Motorcycle safety resources There’s a lot of great information out there about safe riding. We’ve just scratched the surface. To read more, check out: Motorcycle Safety Foundation: http://www.msf-usa.org SMARTER: http://www.smarter-usa.org Safeco Insurance motorcycle page: http://www.safeco.com/motorcycle-insurance/do-more Content provided by Safeco
    Emily Borst
  • How Efficiently Do You Use Your Heat? January 6, 2017 5:53 pm
    How Efficiently (or Inefficiently) Do You Use Your Heat? Many homeowners see their energy bills each winter and think, “How can I be spending this much when the house isn’t even that warm?” To get an answer to that question, you should start with some other questions that will help determine just how efficiently you’re heating your home. Where is the warm air going? If you’ve got a leaky house, you’re costing yourself money, plain and simple. Heat ends up escaping and cold air keeps flowing in, which means you either turn up the thermostat or just shiver in your living room. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends getting an energy audit so you can find and seal the gaps. When is the heat on? Are you keeping the house at the same temperature all day and night? Even when you’re or sleeping or at work? There’s no reason to, and programmable thermostats mean you can still have a warm house when you wake up and when you get home. How often do I use space heaters? If you find that you’re using space heaters to supplement your main heating system, you could be masking a bigger problem — and actually increasing your energy costs. Addressing underlying issues, such as a furnace that isn’t working well, can be more cost-effective in the long run. Am I maintaining my system? A lot of homeowners simply forget to do things such as changing their air filter regularly or getting periodic examinations of their furnace. These routine tasks can not only prevent more costly problems down the road, they can help you more effectively heat your home right now. Is my fireplace hurting more than it’s helping? It could be, if you always leave the damper open even when you don’t have a fire going. And, if you have the damper closed, a leak can make it yet another place where warm air gets out and cold air seeps in. Check the seal around your damper, and consider using a chimney balloon when you aren’t using the fireplace. Taking some time to answer these questions can increase your efficiency, decrease your bills and perhaps even prompt another, more pleasant question this winter: “Is it too warm in here?” Content provided by Safeco
    Emily Borst
  • Car Accidents in Winter January 5, 2017 4:44 pm
    How to Stay Safe After a Winter Car Accident The days are short. The air is cold. And, roads are often slick with rain, snow or ice. It’s winter driving season. And, while most people know what to do to try to avoid an accident, many don’t know what to do after one. It’s vital knowledge to have, because the aftermath of a crash can be just as dangerous as the crash itself — especially when it’s cold and snowy. Here are five things to do (or not do) if you’re in an accident this winter to help keep yourself and others safe: Make sure everyone’s OK — then get off the road if you can. The safety of everyone involved in a crash is the first concern, of course. So, check on the occupants of each vehicle and call for emergency assistance if it’s needed. Then, if the vehicles are drivable, get them off the road as soon – and as carefully – as possible. Stay in your car if you can’t safely move away. If you can’t get your car off the road, but you can get off the road, wait until there’s no traffic around and then move well out of the way. Otherwise, stay in the car so you’re protected from other vehicles. Stay visible — and warm. Turn on your hazard lights and put up road flares so other vehicles know something is wrong. And, grab your vehicle emergency kit (you have one, right?) for blankets and extra clothing. If you’ve run off the road and you’re still in your car, make sure nothing is blocking your exhaust pipe. Otherwise carbon monoxide may build up. If you’re stranded, stay put. Running off the road in a remote area is scary, but resist the urge to try to walk for help. You risk getting lost, especially during a storm, if you set off on foot. See a crash? Don’t always stop to help. Being a Good Samaritan could cause more problems than it solves. So, if those involved aren’t in immediate danger, call 911 and let the professionals help with medical aid and traffic control. It’s not always easy, but keeping a cool head after an accident will do more than help everyone get through a stressful situation — it will help keep everyone safer, too. And, remember, if something does happen on the road this winter, your agent is here to help with your auto accident claim. If you’re unsure whether you’re carrying the right coverage, call now before it’s too late! Content provided by Safeco
    Emily Borst
  • Show Shovel Safety January 5, 2017 4:34 pm
    Snow Shovel Safety Winter is here, and with it comes many traditions and activities: Holiday celebrations with loved ones, skiing and snowboarding outings in the mountains, fireplace-lit living rooms, homemade batches of soup… and shoveling snow. Should you live somewhere when snow storms hit and your driveway and walkways are covered with the cold white stuff, you might want to just stay inside. But if your work and personal commitments make that impossible, you’ll need to first dig out the snow shovel - or make sure it’s handy before the snow flies! For many people across the Tri-State, snow shoveling will be both a reality and a necessity this winter. At Roeding, we want to ensure your efforts will get you on your way while also keeping you safe, so here are some snow-shoveling tips offered by the Boston Herald. Warm-up! Never jump right into an activity. Start by cleaning off your car. Place your hands a good distance apart on the shovel - it helps with leverage. Never bend at your waist. Push the snow when you can. Scoop smaller loads of snow. Use your legs, core and arms to help scoop and throw snow. Always step in the direction you throw snow to avoid excessive twisting on your lower back. If snow shoveling is on your winter task list, we at Roeding wish you both a clear sidewalk and a healthy body. 
    Emily Borst
  • Spring is Coming January 5, 2017 4:31 pm
    With Groundhog Day just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about spring. (Or time to at least hope that springtime is coming, anyway.) And whether the groundhog sees his shadow or not, we here at Roeding Insurance have you covered. Get ready for spring Although everyone thinks of cleaning when it comes to spring, there are a number of things you should do to make sure your home is ready when the weather changes. Below is a selection of maintenance tasks from the National Center for Healthy Housing (you can see the full list at http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=DOC_12334.pdf). Check to make sure your roof’s shingles are in good condition, and check your attic for any possible roof leaks that should be repaired. Look for peeling paint and repair/touch up as needed. Check for signs of leaks at window and door sills and use caulking or weather stripping to seal. Clean your dryer vent and make sure exhaust ducts are clear. Make sure there are no puddles or wet spots in your basement or crawlspace. Look for signs of rodents, roaches, termites, etc. Call an exterminator if you suspect an infestation. Clean your gutters and downspouts. Clean air conditioner coils and drain pans. Check/replace the batteries your home’s smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. Replace filters in your air conditioner and dehumidifier. Store winter heaters, ensuring that liquid-fuel heaters are completely emptied. These should be stored outside, if possible. What? Six more weeks of winter? Content provided by Safeco
    Emily Borst
  • Frozen Pipes (From the American Red Cross) December 28, 2016 7:02 pm
    We here at Roeding know that the winter months are upon us, even if the thermostat sometimes says otherwise. We want to do all we can to have you prepared for the dropping temps and freezing weather. A big concern with such steep temperature drops can be the issue of frozen pipes. Being prepared and informed may help you to avoid the messy and often expensive issue of frozen pipes. The American Red Cross provides information and suggestions around how to prevent water pipes in the home from freezing, and how to thaw them if they do freeze. Why Pipe Freezing is a Problem Water has a unique property in that it expands as it freezes. This expansion puts tremendous pressure on whatever is containing it, including metal or plastic pipes. No matter the "strength" of a container, expanding water can cause pipes to break. Pipes that freeze most frequently are those that are exposed to severe cold, like outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool supply lines, water sprinkler lines, and water supply pipes in unheated interior areas like basements and crawl spaces, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets. Pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation are also subject to freezing. Preventing Frozen Pipes Before the onset of cold weather, prevent freezing of these water supply lines and pipes by following these recommendations: Drain water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines following manufacturer's or installer's directions. Do not put antifreeze in these lines unless directed. Antifreeze is environmentally harmful, and is dangerous to humans, pets, wildlife, and landscaping. Remove, drain, and store hoses used outdoors. Close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs. Open the outside hose bibs to allow water to drain. Keep the outside valve open so that any water remaining in the pipe can expand without causing the pipe to break. Check around the home for other areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas. Look in the basement, crawl space, attic, garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Both hot and cold water pipes in these areas should be insulated. Consider installing specific products made to insulate water pipes like a "pipe sleeve" or installing UL-listed "heat tape," "heat cable," or similar materials on exposed water pipes. Newspaper can provide some degree of insulation and protection to exposed pipes – even ¼” of newspaper can provide significant protection in areas that usually do not have frequent or prolonged temperatures below freezing. During Cold Weather, Take Preventative Action Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children. Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe - even at a trickle - helps prevent pipes from freezing. Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst. If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F. To Thaw Frozen Pipes If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, suspect a frozen pipe. Likely places for frozen pipes include against exterior walls or where your water service enters your home through the foundation. Keep the faucet open. As you treat the frozen pipe and the frozen area begins to melt, water will begin to flow through the frozen area. Running water through the pipe will help melt ice in the pipe. Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer, a portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials), or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or other open flame device. Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. If you are unable to locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not accessible, or if you can not thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber. Check all other faucets in your home to find out if you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze, too. Information from The American Red Cross
    Emily Borst
  • Strengthen Team Morale in the New Year December 28, 2016 4:52 pm
    From a very young age, it was impressed upon us that working together makes us stronger. While this rule is obviously important in sports, it is equally important to form a strong team in your own workplace. Creating a strong community in your company is vital to both employee retention and employee morale. With cold weather setting in along with and darker, grey filled skies, employee morale may wain. This is the perfect time to strengthen the bonds within your company, avoiding any low spirits. We have compiled a list of ways to keep spirits high in the temperatures lower. Creating strong teams and positive morale will help propel your company in the New Year. Follow our tips and get a head start in 2017.  Engage in Meaningful Person-to-Person Dialog: Take time to sit down and get to know your employees. Learn their personal and professional goals to get a sense of how their goals can line up with your own. Use this to build a stronger sense of community. Cast a Vision: We all want to believe in a “greater good,” or a “bigger picture.” Cast a vision that your team members can vision with you and that will motivate and inspire them to believe in something bigger than themselves. Keep reminders around the office and be enthusiastic about the big picture through emails, meetings, and conversations. Show Your Appreciation: Recognize your team members’ accomplishments, anniversaries, and birthdays. Take an interest in each person’s life and reward the good to build a culture of trust and employee appreciation. Consider short-term as well as long-term morale boosters such as awards, recognition, and just words of affirmation in general. Trust Your Team Members:  When you first start out in business, you are often advisor, secretary, janitor, CFO and sometimes counselor to clients. So as things grow, you have to delegate and trust those around you and not micromanage. Mix it Up: After the holidays, we settle back into a routine, but mixing things up a bit can do a lot to boost morale and prevent boredom. Little things can have big benefits, like switching up break times, getting people together during a break, or offering small (and inexpensive) benefits for employees such as a monthly massage. Build Community: Encourage employees to get to know one another as well as get involved in the community. Promote civic engagement by offering employees a few paid hours each month to volunteer for a charitable organization, or volunteer as a company at a Relay for Life or a soup kitchen. Have Fun: After the festivities of the holidays die down, it can be a rough transition back into “real life.” Maintain the festive mood with casual days, employee lunches, and birthday celebrations. Low morale can lead to low productivity, but focusing on the big picture and casting a vision can go a long way in boosting morale and increasing productivity. Variety is the spice of life after all, and within an organization it’s no different. By showing you care and building a community with your team members, you can keep morale and productivity high all year long.
    Emily Borst
  • Creating New Years Resolutions for Your Business December 28, 2016 4:31 pm
    The New Year gives us time to reflect on last year’s efforts. We often set personal goals and resolutions for the year, but it’s also a time to set resolutions for your company. In reflecting on the past year's efforts, you may give thanks for continued prosperity. It is also time to make plans to enter the New Year with a new resolve. How can you set resolutions for your business? Well, just as one sets personal goals, one can set professional goals too. The best way to go about it is to sit down and ask yourself questions about your progress and about the progress you wish to continue to make. What was successful this year and what was not? What can be done to make things work smoother, faster, and better? Ask yourself questions about improving your company in the New Year. Have you decided to allocate adequate funds for marketing in next year’s budget? Have you decided on a specific direction for your practice? What do you want to accomplish for your clients? If you have decided to sell more product than last year, how much more, and do you have a defined plan to go forward? Is such a plan in writing? Do you know how much you earned in 2016? Are you satisfied with the production? If not, why? Here are some other questions to consider as you look to the New Year: What will your production be in 2017? Are you satisfied with your work ethic? Can it be improved? How much improvement can be made? Is your quality of life what it should be? Does it need an upgrade or a renewal? Have you succumbed to the negativity of the DOL fiduciary rule debate or presidential campaign or worrying over the economy or any other crutch that may be holding you back? Asking yourself questions can help you decided what you would like to focus most upon in 2017. Set aside time to create clear and concise goals form the coming year and for your company’s future. A game plan can get you a clear and concise head start in 2017. From all of us here at Roeding, we wish you the best year yet. Information provided by Property Casualty 360
    Emily Borst