Watch Out For Disaster Scammers

BOP or CPP? Which Insurance Bundle Is Right for You?
Appropriate insurance coverage is essential for a business of any size. With multiple options available, which policies should you choose for your company? Many entrepreneurs opt for a BOP (business owners policy). However, many could benefit from a second option: a commercial package policy (CPP). Which is right for you? Here’s the difference.

Business owners policy: A BOP is typically designed for small and medium-size businesses. It bundles multiple coverages such as general liability and property insurance into one policy. The single premium reduces the overall cost of insurance.

Commercial package policy: For growing companies or those with complex or specialized risks, a BOP may prove insufficient. A CPP offers more options. It allows you to bundle several types of coverage into one policy, but is less limited in the types of coverage it can include. In short, it can be better customized to fit the unique needs of your business.

A commercial package policy typically includes property insurance, general liability, business income insurance, business vehicle insurance, business crime insurance, commercial umbrella liability, electronic data processing coverage, equipment breakdown coverage, employment practices liability, inland marine insurance, and pollution liability. While this list may seem exhaustive for many companies, it’s important to note that a CPP does not include all necessary coverage. A CPP doesn’t provide directors and officers liability; health, disability, and life insurance; or workers’ compensation. Business owners must establish separate policies for these items.

To determine which options are best for you, review your company operations with your insurance agent.

Are You Using the Vocabulary of Success?

When it comes to opening doors, closing sales, and clinching negotiations, certain words and expressions are significantly more effective than others. Top executives and salespeople choose their words and phrases carefully to overcome resistance and persuade listeners.

For example, it’s well known that people like hearing their own names. Influencers also understand that people don’t like getting long answers to simple questions. Long answers evoke uncertainty and suggest that the speaker is hedging or fibbing.

On the other hand, phrases like definitely, certainly, or we can do that sound authoritative and trustworthy. Imagine is another effective word that prompts listeners to conceptualize a good opportunity or a positive outcome. Certain rhetorical questions have also been shown to help advance a discussion or sales process toward conclusion. These include the questions “Does that make sense?”and “Is that fair?”

On the other hand, data analysis indicates that certain expressions turn people off. Absolutely and perfect are overused terms that impair a speaker’s credibility. However is a waffler’s word. Listeners lose confidence and interest when they hear it. Payment: No one likes to pay; say amount instead. The term contract has negative connotations for many people. Substitute a more neutral word, like agreement. Implement and implementation suggest things are going to get complicated. Just say begin or get started.

Ultimately, using simple, clear, and effective words and phrases – and avoiding bombast – is the best way to convince people of your position or the virtues of your products and services.

Five Secrets to Earning Customer Loyalty

A loyalty program is a great way to interact meaningfully with your customers. But coupons, discounts, and special sales don’t engender loyalty. Successful loyalty programs engage with program members beyond mere purchase transactions and require continuous, intentional, strategic care. The components of a good loyalty program are many and varied, but five elements are essential:

Trust: Enduring relationships are underpinned by trust, and customer trust is more important now than ever, due to consumers’ access to a world of choices. To create a loyalty program built on trust, make it simple, fair, and straightforward. It should deliver what is promised.

Customization: Once trust is established, customers want to know you “get them.” A good loyalty program provides access or choices based on each customer’s tastes, desires, and previous buying patterns. Technology gives even small businesses the ability to customize and enhance the loyalty experience.

Experience: A customer’s experience with your loyalty program should be based on distinctive content and compelling context. The demand for fresh, relevant, meaningful experiences is growing, and the bar is continually hoisted higher as the competition grows and those competitors innovate.

Purpose: The need for meaning and purpose drives behavior in many aspects of life, including purchasing behavior. Loyalty programs that help consumers get fit or maintain their good health, celebrate an occasion, meet a goal, benefit a worthy cause, or make the world a better place build trust, reinforce loyalty, and help satisfy this basic human need.

Appreciation: A successful loyalty program is a reciprocal relationship that lets consumers know they are seen, heard, and valued, and that their business is always appreciated.

Build a loyalty program on these foundational factors, and you’ll reap the benefits of a loyal customer base.

Disaster Scams Make Damage More Devastating
Your property is in shambles. As you survey the damage, your heart sinks. You feel overwhelmed with the amount of work it will take to restore your business.

Where do you start?

It’s at this emotional low point that unscrupulous con artists often swoop in. Knowing you aren’t thinking clearly and may be a good target for a scam, these individuals and companies take advantage of your disastrous situation.

To avoid becoming their next victim, take the following steps.

Learn to recognize a scam. A common post-disaster scam involves convincing property owners that they must pay a large deposit before any work can begin. Desperate to get started, a property owner turns over the sum.

The scammer may start the job, but disappears before finishing it. Contractors who rush the process, demand unreasonable up-front funds, or otherwise attempt to make fast cash are likely trying to scam you.

Work with professionals. In a disaster situation, it may be tempting to work with the first person you encounter. Don’t skip the important step of vetting any contractor you consider.

Investigate their track record. Check references. Read reviews. Call the Better Business Bureau. Do not give any business a deposit until you are confident they are worthy of your trust.

Be cautious about temporary repairs. Consider it a red flag if a contractor wants you to spend significant funds on temporary repairs. Most temporary repairs can be made by the property owner.

Spending a lot on these repairs may result in a lack of funds to pay for permanent repairs. Consult with your insurance agent to determine what you can and should do yourself.

Close the door on door-to-door solicitors. Legitimate adjusters, attorneys, and contractors aren’t likely to go door to door soliciting business. Those who do are often looking to pull a quick scam.

Don’t give in to pressure or scare tactics. Before you hire anyone to handle your claim, do your research and make an informed decision.

Consult with your insurance provider. Often, you don’t need a public adjuster or an attorney to handle your claim. Keep in mind, you will probably have to pay a public adjuster 15% of your settlement, and attorneys charge as much as 30% of your settlement. Instead, go directly to your insurance company.

You may be able to settle your claim directly, without involving these costly third parties. Your agent can help you navigate the process, and will often provide an adjuster at no charge.

Your carrier can also help you find reputable service providers. It can recommend contractors with a proven track record whom you can trust.

Establish coverage in advance. Of course, the best way to prepare for disasters is to ensure you have appropriate policies in place before they strike. Contact your insurance provider to review your policies. Determine whether you have the appropriate coverage, and make any changes necessary to maintain suitable coverage for your current needs.

By partnering with your insurance agent, you can make sure any future disaster recovery is as smooth as possible.