Can I change insurance companies 3 times and save $1,200 instead of $400.00?

The short answer is no. 

A few years ago, in car insurance marketing, we began to see advertising that really worked….for a while. 

For example, “Call us today and save up to $400.00 on your car insurance!” It worked and we saw numerous companies jump on board: Geico, 21st Century, Progressive, Allstate, and more.  This take on marketing in the insurance industry came onto the scene strongly in 2012 and is still heavily used today.  Over the last 20 years the industry has turned car insurance into a commodity market.  Service means very little with no perceived value difference, but is it truly a commodity?

Geico saved people money by not having agents in the beginning.  They spend more on advertising to feed the machine than other companies spend on agent’s commission! They spend over $1 Billion on marketing annually. They cannot grow anymore due to the people leaving out the back door.  They have begun to open neighborhood offices and have “agents” who can only sell one product.  

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2014/03/20/323788.htm
Why do people stay with agents? 

We think it’s because having an agent is valuable. An Agent provide service in selecting coverage, service in handling problems, and service in helping work your way through a claim.  With a dedicated person on staff to help with claims, our clients stay with us year after year.  The industry has the numbers to prove a simple fact:  when an agent assists their clients with a claim, they stay loyal at a much higher rate.  Does your agent follow-up and help you with the claim, or do they just turn it over to the insurance company?

Demand what you are paying for to your insurance company: service!  Whether you are paying for an agent or for national advertising campaigns, pick someone interested in helping you because they have a stake in the transaction:  use your neighbor, a local independent agent.

source: GEICO advertising spend

New Bond Requirement for Charitable Solicitation

The Charitable Solicitation Bond will guarantee that you will not misrepresent yourself or your charity while engaging in fundraising activities. Members of the public and the charities can collect on this bond. It seems like this is the Colorado legislature’s answer to several cases of sham charities operating in Colorado over the last several years.

Effective on August 10, 2016 all organizations or persons who are paid to raise money for charities in Colorado will be required to file a $15,000 bond with their registration notice to the Secretary of State’s office. If you are currently registered, you will not be required to have this bond in place until you renew your registration after August 10, 2016. Anyone who files this form as required by state law, will also be required to provide a Bond written by a Surety company authorized to do business in Colorado.

We are writing these bonds for $150.00 at the present time. Only people and organization that raises money for a fee for the charity will be required to post this bond. The individuals that work for the fundraising organization do not have to buy this bond. If you are an individual paid to raise money as a contractor, then you will need to file this notice and purchase a bond.

We can make this new requirement easy for you, one phone call and you are done if you qualify.

More information about registering a charity or fundraiser with the Secretary of State of Colorado is available on their website.

The full bill is also available online for light reading.

We are upgrading our phone system!

We are upgrading our phone system!
Please feel free to reach out to our staff at their new numbers below:

 

Business Insurance

  • Stephen Brunston, 303-755-2046
  • Jay Oliver, 720-500-3753
  • Robin Muckey, 303-755-8893
  • Cyndi Pissare, 720-500-2281
  • Shannon Brunston, 303-747-4012

Personal Insurance

  • Mary Beth Brunston, 720-500-2410
  • Jazmin Montano, 303-755-5765
  • Tomas Ooka, 303-872-3158
  • Sara Martinez, 303-755-2176

Claims Assistance & Reception

  • Nancy Caster, 720-500-3785

 

You can also reach us at our main number: 303-755-8600. However we are currently experiencing some difficulties with Comcast transferring the main number out of their system to our new provider.

Will we ever know the number of data breaches in healthcare?

We’ve seen hospitals get hit with ransomware, health insurers report breaches of thousands of records over the last several years, and we still hear about stolen laptops on the local news from time to time. But what we see reported by the media is only the smallest fraction of the breaches that are happening to the healthcare industry according to a new survey released by the Ponemon Institute.

The Ponemon Institute researches privacy, data protection & information security policies. They recently surveyed 91 healthcare organizations & 84 business associates working with the healthcare industry, only 11% of the healthcare organizations surveyed did not have a breach in the last 24 months. Businesses providing services to the industry fared much better with 39% reporting no breaches in the last 2 years.

As part of the Affordable Care Act, healthcare entities must report breaches affecting 500 or more individuals to the Office for Civil Rights at the Dept. of Health & Human Services. In Colorado last year, there were 3 breaches reported; in California there were 35.  However the size of breaches and number of breaches reported in the survey tells a different story.

  • 23% of the breaches reported by healthcare organizations in the survey involved 5,000+ records.
  • 32% of the breaches reported by business associates in the survey involved 5,000+ records.
  • 22% & 17% respectively fall into a gray area (101-1,000 records) where it is unclear if reporting would have been necessary.

If these numbers can be extrapolated to the rest of the industry, the OCR database is a good starting point, but doesn’t list anywhere near the true scope of data breaches facing the healthcare industry.

The only reported breaches in Colorado were the VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System, the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, and the University of Colorado Health.

For all the breaches that might be missing from the OCR database, there is not another public database that relies on self reporting to give us insight to the data breaches facing other industries. For those, we are still the the dark.

Interested in breaches reported in your state? Check out the Office of Civil Rights’ interactive tool for breaches going back to 2009.

Cottage Food Act Amendment Passes in Colorado

Check out the Colorado Cottage Food Act

Colorado has been liberalizing food preparation laws for some time.  They started in 2012 and this year they increased the amount you can earn to $ 10,000 per year. Only certain foods are allowed, for instance Beef Jerky is a non-starter but Brownies and Cookies are a go!  Anyone doing this must take a Food Handlers course and this can be done online for about $ 15.00 at State Food Safety.  If you want to go in person to a class check out: CSU Extension’s Food Safety Works.

You must meet certain requirement on your label and cannot sell except at Events, Fairs and Farmers Markets.  Check out this link for definitive information:

Requirements and Limitations for Cottage Food Sales

And don’t forget insurance!  When you begin to charge for your food products you are no longer covered for liability if you hurt someone.  We have a company that has a really good, competitive product that will help you breathe easy if you choose to try this out.  IT covers General Liability including food poisoning at both your home and at a fair.  Even if people trip and fall in your booth, you get coverage if they hold you accountable.  And it’s cheap!  Less than $ 200.00 per year in some cases, we can even provide proof of insurance for the event organizers.  Check out our page at:  Colorado Food Products Insurance.

Happy Baking!  We are always open to test your products here at the office, come by anytime.

Home Based Businesses need insurance coverage.

Home Based Businesses: Check out this insurance, a real need. 

Home Based Businesses need insurance coverage for a variety of reasons.

Small home businesses take the same risk as if they opened a retail location or office.   Many owners I talk to minimize what they face by saying: “I just work out of my house.”  Unfortunately, that makes no difference if the unthinkable happens and someone gets hurt or your business is shut down when all your tools are stolen.   Fortunately, there is a solution that very few insurance people will tell you about.  USLI Insurance has introduced a product that will cover your home business if you qualify, even while you are away from your home for as little as $ 182.00 per year in Colorado.  Only select agents are marketing this product.

Most homeowners insurance companies will not cover your home business.  Even if they find it acceptable for you work out of your home (many will cancel your coverage if you tell them), they offer limited coverage: perhaps  $ 5,000 of business property,  no liability, and certainly no loss of income or professional liability coverage.

Our home business policy can cover you for $ 1,000,000 General liability,  $ 25,000 worth of All-Risk property coverage, Property Coverage Away from your home (trade shows etc), Loss of Income due to fire or other covered loss, and in some cases, $ 25,000 of Professional Liability for errors.  This package cannot be beat for Business Consultants, Merchandising Agents, Craft persons, Artists and Art Restorers, the list goes on!  Last week we wrote a home baker who makes popcorn balls at home, then sells them at Farmers Markets!  The problem was solved for them when we placed the required $ 1,000,000 General Liability needed for them to rent at a fair.

In addition, this protected the homeowners policy so they did not get cancelled by their home insurance company.  A call to find out more information is as close as 303-755-8600 it never hurts to talk.  One home business we had was paying over $ 2,000 a year just for liability, we sure lowered their cost.

Call our home business experts today.

Contractors Liability: Now is the time to pay attention

Spring is in the air and soon the sound of saws, compressors, and generators will be too.  We notice that many contractors are motivated to keep their cost under control, but once the building and construction season hits, they are too busy to pay attention to their own contractors liability insurance.  This is often a detail of their business and only rises to the level of importance when there is a claim.  That’s the time we find they wish they might have paid more attention to their coverage!  This is the time of year for a construction contractor to review your liability insurance program and if you don’t like what you see, talk to a different insurance agent and get something that suits your operations better.  Unless you’re working on tract homes or condos, there are inexpensive options available, even if you are currently uninsured.   (If you are working on tract homes and condos, we have ideas there too!)

 You will find that we can easily and quickly take the time to help you understand in plain language the options you have.  Then later, when there is a claim, you will know that you had a chance to at least review what your coverage meant and that you selected the insurance coverage options that were right for your business insurance.   We have been at this for over 30 years so we understand your terms and needs.  We can quickly work with you to get you back on the job…..and keep you there with great, responsive service.

 We will work hard to keep your rate low, so that you can rest easy.

 Happy bidding!

Pollution Losses rarely covered by standard insurance

Less than 10% of environmental losses are insured.   This means that companies are held accountable under several Federal, State, and Local Statutory penalties and requirements  and rules that can cost a business owner and the business untold damages.  These are also not exclusive remedies, everyone is still liable under tort laws for bodily injury and property damage done by pollution, even if it is uninsured.

Environmental Insurance, while dificult to find and expensive in the past,  is now generally available for both first party and third party coverage. The hing that distinguishes environmental insurance from other insurance contracts is a separate coverage in the insuring agreement for environmental damage or environmental cleanup with additional coverages for penalties and legal responses.

Here are some examples of environmental claims:

Paving Contractor – After laying Naptha, heavy rain washed toxins into a stream.   Clean-up was over $ 150,000.

Painting Contractor – At a nursing home the contractor was working on paint fumes cost the contractor over $ 200,000 to move patients due to inadequate venting.

Utility contractor – Construction of a power line, by a sub-contractor,  hit an underground sewage line.  contractor was held liable for the sub-contractors actions and held liable for the cost of cleanup and repair.

Milk Truck  – Carrier jackknifed, spilling milk into a local waterway. Cleanup of the ecosystem and fish kill was  $ 800,000.

Typical insurance policy responses to these risks fall into these categories.

1. First Party Site Pollution – coverage for contamination of your own location by you.

2. Third party Contractors Pollution – coverage for your risk as a contractor on jobs and transportation

3. General Liability and Pollution Policies for Environmental Contractors, Cleanup Contractors and Consultants

4. Professional Liability for Environmental Consultants -covering the advice and recommendations they give to others if this results in a loss.

5. Site Pollution and transaction polices used to guarantee a buyer or bank that they will not take a loss due to current conditions of the property in question.

Can your business afford a pollution loss?  Are you prepared for this eventuality?  Call us to discuss where insurance might fit into your Risk Management Plan.

 

What happens to Auto Insurance when there are no accidents?

Check out this discussion of the future of insurance companies when driverless cars are adopted.

Something we have been thinking about…….what happens to the insurance policy for someone with a driverless car?  Google now has over a million miles on there car, on the highways, without an accident.  Much of the premium for car insurance is in collision and liability.  Who pays a premium for liability if you are not driving?  Not the car owner, I bet!

That only leaves premium for damage done by weather and vandalism.  Did the future of car insurance just get much cheaper?   Will they simply offer it as a rider on a home policy? And if you don’t think this is possible, talk to all the bookstore clerks who are now looking for work.

The world is changing rapidly.  For more info go to Wikipedia here.

coloworkcompsmall