Defining Cyber Threats

Some Business Owners Need More Seasonal Coverage in Summer
For some business owners, seasonal changes mean significant business changes. Have you considered what summer means for your company, aside from sunny, warm days? Does your business have the appropriate insurance for the coming season? Consider the following factors as you evaluate your summer insurance needs:

Increased workload: If your company is heavily seasonal, such as landscaping or construction, your workload is likely much higher in the summer. Do you hire extra employees during this time? Ensure your workers’ compensation policy is adequate. Do you purchase or lease additional equipment? Verify that this additional equipment is covered, and check any limits on your policies.

Increased driving: Summertime may mean more driving time. Check commercial auto insurance policies to ensure you have proper coverage for every vehicle and driver. It’s important to keep in mind that coverage for the vehicles is different from the coverage for employees.

Increased time off: Summer is also prime vacation time. While regular employees are away, you may hire temporary staff to keep things running smoothly. Check whether your commercial policies provide appropriate workers’ compensation for temporary staff, as well as whether you’ll incur any additional liability.

It may be necessary to get extra riders on your commercial policies to carry you through the summer season. Or you may need to rethink your yearly coverage. Contact your insurance agent to review your policies and determine if your current coverage meets your summer business needs.

Company Book Clubs Ensure Everyone Is on the Same Page
Tech Change

In the small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) world, hours are long, tasks seem endless, and responsibilities are often onerous. There’s barely time to eat and sleep, let alone keep up with business trends. Yet accessing the wisdom of thought leaders is critical to success in today’s global economy.

Books provide insights into people who have faced down challenges and learned the kind of critical lessons the rest of us need to learn. This is why company book clubs are currently having a moment.

A company book club not only is a way to learn and leverage this knowledge, it also can foster a learning culture, challenge employees’ mental models, and provide a forum for them to exchange ideas.

Company book clubs generally meet monthly, and participation is always voluntary. A facilitator is usually designated to keep the group focused and the discussion flowing. Groups often choose to discuss books that align with issues the company is facing, such as growth, talent retention, marketing, and competition.

The group may simply talk about a book’s main points and highlight any ideas that seem to resonate. Or participants may try to relate the material to the firm’s operations or strategic road map. Usually, it’s a combination of the two: learning and applying.

A company book club can also be a way to encourage continuous learning, foster team building, and help employees de-stress and pull away from their busy workdays.

Many companies have discovered it’s a tradition that enriches the team, the culture, and the company. But best of all is knowing that everyone’s on the same page.

June Is Internet Safety Month: Be Aware of Cyber Threats

The Internet adds new access, enhancements, and abilities to businesses. Most of its offerings are beneficial, but the downside to the Internet is cyber threats. In today’s world, businesses must be prepared for these risks, which come in many forms, including:

  • Intellectual property threats. Depending on the business, hackers may be seeking technical plans, blueprints, patents, or other secure information.
  • Hacktivists. These tech pros are on a mission to make a political point or simply make a company look bad.
  • Criminal hackers. On a different mission from hacktivists, these masterminds are trying to accumulate funds illegally. Think of them as online thieves.
  • Terrorism. These hackers aren’t looking for monetary gain, and they are definitely in it for more than an embarrassing prank. Terrorists may want to hurt the economy or steal information that aids in a physical attack.
  • Disgruntled employees. The other four types of cyber threats come from outside sources; this is an inside job, involving employees with access to passwords and other insider information. A disgruntled employee wants to hurt you and your business.
  • Phishing threats from email are on the rise.  Be super careful before you click on that link!

Raised awareness can help businesses identify vulnerabilities and take protective measures. Because these attacks are almost inevitable, company owners must take steps now. While your primary goal is to prevent breaches, should they happen, your next goals are to act quickly to minimize damage.

Please contact your insurance agent to review your insurance coverage options.

Commercial Insurance: One Size Does Not Fit All
The mom-and-pop shop selling daily essentials has different insurance needs from a nationwide big-box chain. But what about everything in between? And do you know where your business falls on the spectrum?

Depending on whether a business is small, medium, or large, it has different insurance needs. It may be difficult for owners to determine how to categorize their company, especially as it grows. To establish the size of your business, look at the number of employees, total sales, and earnings. Following is the breakdown of generally accepted numbers for the three size categories and the appropriate insurance for each.

Small businesses

Typically, businesses with 50 or fewer employees are small businesses. They are independently owned and operated and are not industry leaders. The small-business sector, however, is considered the engine of the economy and employs 94 million employees (some 77.8% of private sector US workers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics).

For small businesses with fewer than 100 employees and revenue of $5 million or less, insurers usually offer a Business Owners Policy, or BOP. These standard policies are generally sufficient to provide coverage for your company against common risks. If your business has unique needs that you feel might not be covered, consult with your insurance agent to determine if you need a customized policy.

Medium-size businesses

If you employ between 50 and 1,000 staff and generate between $10 million and $1 billion, you are considered a medium-size business. This medium-size status makes you large enough to need additional insurance coverage. Insurers offer policies specifically designed for medium-size businesses that may combine liability and property coverage. Medium-size-business owners with expensive equipment or locations in several states may need specialized policies.

Large businesses

When a business has more than 500 employees, it’s considered a large business. And it faces multimillion-dollar risks. Commercial insurance policies for this level of business are customized to meet the specific needs of each company. One (or more) of the 500+ employees is likely responsible for risk management. This involves identifying areas of potential losses, recommending insurance coverage, and managing claims with the insurance carrier.

What about home-based businesses?

If you are running a business out of your home, you are likely the sole employee and are not yet generating a great deal of revenue. But this doesn’t mean you should skip business insurance. More than 500,000 American businesses are located in their owners’ homes, and many don’t carry the appropriate insurance. Homeowners insurance is often not enough to cover your home-based business; property loss or liability related to your company may require a different policy. Check with your insurance agent on the coverage you need based on the type, size, and scope of your home business.

Are you still unsure about your business size? Does your company have special services, products, or circumstances you feel might not fall into a typical category? Your agent will review your options and help ensure your business has the protection it needs.