Business Insurance News You Can Use: Live Like a Superachiever and Love What You Do

Live Like a Superachiever and Love What You Do

Success doesn’t just happen. Those who make it to the top – whether they are star athletes, business titans or standouts in any other field of endeavor – set their sights on being successful and continually reach for the stars.

These individuals have a number of common traits:

  • Passion: Superachievers have unwavering faith in what they seek to accomplish and a steadfast belief that they are capable of achieving the goals they set for themselves.
  • Perseverance: In the face of obstacles, top achievers call on inner strength, courage and self-confidence to persevere.
  • Resilience: They use challenges to become smarter, stronger and more determined and are not distracted or derailed by obstacles.
  • Optimism: Successful people hold positive beliefs about their goals, lives and abilities.
  • Curiosity: Superachievers are risk takers who often do things differently. They see problems from different angles and are not afraid to take action.

Camille Sweeney and Josh Gosfield studied 36 superachievers for their book The Art of Doing: How Superachievers Do What They Do and How They Do It So Well.

Through their interviews, the authors found that superachievers have a tremendous sense of personal responsibility and are able to manage emotions and channel frustration in a constructive way. They also exhibit “strategic patience,” meaning they have personal discipline and a good sense of timing.

Above all, superachievers love what they do and do what they love, according to Sweeney and Gosfield – not a bad way to work or live. 

Vacant Properties May be Putting Your Coverage at Risk

While U.S. office vacancy rates dropped dramatically last year to the lowest level since 2009, many businesses still have an inventory of empty buildings. And having a vacant property can have a significant impact on your commercial property coverage.

In the insurance industry, buildings under construction or being renovated are not considered vacant. However, if commercial buildings have not rented at least 31% of their total square footage to a lessee or sublessee for “customary operations” or if the building must be used by the property owner to conduct customary operations, the building is considered vacant and coverage can be limited.

Many policyholders are unaware that their coverage may be reduced by vacancy. In fact, if your property is vacant for 60 days or longer prior to a loss, the following coverages may be limited or may not apply:

  • Vandalism
  • Glass breakage
  • Water damage, including sprinkler leakage, unless the building owner has protected the property against freezing
  • Theft or attempted theft

In addition, other covered losses would be reduced by 15% in the event of a loss on a vacant building. Not all carriers include a vacancy clause in their policy, although some offer a buyback of the vacancy clause through an endorsement.

If you lose an anchor tenant or your property is in danger of becoming vacant, it’s important to contact your insurance professional immediately so he or she can help you protect your property.  

Low Tech Versus High Tech: Can Common Sense Prevail?

Recently a woman drove hundreds of miles out of her way because her GPS led her astray. According to her, she started in Belgium and ended up in Croatia before she realized she was off course.

Sometimes it’s advisable to temper our reliance on technology with a little common sense.

The love affair with high-tech gizmos and multifunctional devices can lull us into losing touch with reality or, even worse, cause us to reject out-of-hand those simple but effective low-tech solutions.

Computerworld blogger Mike Elgan has identified several simple, inexpensive, low-tech solutions that he thinks everyone should embrace.

For example:

  • Dash cams: In Russia, virtually anything that happens on the road is documented with a dash cam, or dashboard camera. These are low-cost, low-tech, always-on devices that record from your dashboard what’s going on around you, making them unimpeachable accident witnesses.
  • Mobile payments: In East Africa and much of the rest of the world, most purchases are made with cellphones, using low-tech Short Message Service (SMS) technology. Anyone with a mobile phone can use SMS to transfer funds, pay bills, make bank deposits and withdrawals, and exchange money.
  • Podcasting: Podcasts are a terrific way to learn and to stay informed. With a simple podcasting app you can automatically download podcasts from the Internet and listen to or watch high-quality content at your convenience.

Almost every day we hear about some amazing new advance or high-tech breakthrough.

But as Elgan suggests, sometimes the latest isn’t the greatest.  

Don’t Trade Peace of Mind for Lower Premiums

One guiding principle in risk management is “Don’t risk a lot for a little.” But how that motto impacts your particular insurance choices isn’t always clear. There is one thing you do need to realize, and that is that juries are often outraged at organizational negligence, especially when those organizations are perceived to have deep pockets.

Assuming your organization won’t ever face a negligence claim isn’t advisable. Instead, consider the factors below and select sufficient coverage to adequately protect your organization.

Your business type

If, for example, you sell hardware to consumers, your risks of being sued are somewhat limited. On the other hand, if you manufacture handguns, your risk factor is considerable. That said, every business, no matter how small, should be aware of today’s million-dollar verdicts; damages awarded can easily range from $1 million to $20 million or more.

Your organizational appetite for risk

Every management team should determine its individual “risk tolerance.” Some companies embrace risk, while others are extremely risk-averse. Either approach is fine; however, if you assume more risk, you should be prepared with sufficient cash or credit reserves to cover any underinsured loss.

Where you operate

Certain legal venues make defending cases highly problematic. Each year, the American Tort Reform Association (ATRA) outlines the worst U.S. venues for civil litigation. However, you don’t have to live in an ATRA “hellhole” to be impacted.

If your organization sells products or operates in those areas, you may still feel the pinch. In ATRA hellholes, you will very likely face an unsympathetic court system if, for example, a product you’ve developed malfunctions and injures someone.

The liability limits of comparable businesses

The insurance industry can assist you in identifying what is happening in your industry, but you need to ask these kinds of questions of your trade associations. You also should keep up to speed yourself by regularly reading trade journals online and following recent verdicts.

For example, the National Law Journal annually lists some 60 of the largest verdicts from the previous year. Some samples: a $64 million award for an age discrimination claim and a $32 million verdict for the death of a sheet metal worker struck by an improperly welded beam.

Insurance premiums fluctuate from year to year depending on many factors, including interest rates on investment income and previous years’ losses in your company and industry.

Resist the temptation to decrease limits when the market “hardens” (that is, when rates increase). Sophisticated insurance buyers who have enough liquidity to pay higher losses may choose to respond to a hard market by retaining more risk, but they will avoid lowering limits just to save money.

In the final analysis, the best advice is this: “Don’t risk a lot for a little.” In other words, saving a few hundred or even thousands of dollars in premium will not seem like such a great idea in retrospect if you suffer a loss or losses that exhaust your coverage limits. Your insurance professional can help you select the right coverage. 

Recipe: Parsley-Crusted Roast Beef

This easy family favorite serves 4-6 people

  • 1 (2 to 2 1/2 pound) boneless rump roast
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 bunch parsley, finely chopped


Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Sprinkle celery salt, garlic salt, salt and pepper all over the beef and rub in.

Firmly pat the chopped parsley all over the meat so that it sticks and forms a crust on the roast.

Put the prepared roast in a lightly greased roasting pan and place in the oven.

Roast for approximately 20 minutes per pound or until a meat thermometer reads 135-145 degrees.

Remove from the oven and allow the meat to rest for 5-10 minutes.

Slice and serve with your favorite sides.