Monday, August 30, 2010

Seat Belt Stats

Each day, I check out a Daily Insurance Calendar for interesting insurance facts. I don't just make this stuff up, people. I do have my sources! Here's an interesting seat belt stat:

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported U.S. seat belt rate
at 82%. Hawaii led the nation with 95.3%, followed by Washington state and
Nevada. Mississippi had the lowest rate at about 60%, followed by Massachusetts
and Kentucky. According to estimates by the Department of Transportation, the
82% national seat belt rate saved 15,700 lives and prevented 350,000 serious
injuries.
So be sure to buckle up.  The odds are in your favor.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Deepwater Horizon and Its Effects on Fiduciary Liability

Fiduciary Liability describes a company's exposure to employee claims concerning their retirement plans.  For example, employees may allege that their employer did not provide access to successfully-performing funds, thereby reducing the amount of the employees' potential pensions.  The employee must prove that their employer did not fulfill their duty to allow the employee every opportunity to grow their company retirement plan.

What do employers do when employee retirement accounts buy heavily into company stock and that company stock takes a dive?

BP is going to find out...  HartfordHelp: ERISA and The Deepwater Horizon Disaster

Friday, August 20, 2010

Data Destruction: The Only Way To Be Sure

Sure, you've emptied your Recycle Bin, but is the data really gone? PC Recycler shows us the only way to be sure that no one can access data on your old hard drive. Click the following link to behold the destruction!

Blog - Hard Drive Shredding Video

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Driver Distraction of the Furry Kind

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety issued a report detailing the dangers of driving with your dog in your lap.  I've done it lots of times.  I'm sure you have, too.  However, this common practice poses dangers for you, your passengers and your best friend.

From CNN Money:  Caution: Dogs Behind Wheel

Here's an excerpt:
One third of dog owners admit that their pets sometimes distract them while they're driving, according to a AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety survey of people who say they have driven with their dog in their car within the past year.

More than half admit to petting the dog while driving. And 21% say they allowed their dog to ride in their lap. A few said they've done things like playing with their dogs or giving their their dogs water, all while driving.

Monday, August 16, 2010

More Flood Facts

In yesterday's post (I LOVE INSURANCE! Do You?: Fairfax VA Redraws Its Flood Map), I referenced a Washington Post article about Fairfax County, VA's redrawing of its flood zones. I also mistakenly stated that the article was incorrect in stating that some independent insurance carriers can charge higher rates than those dictated by the NFIP.  Companies can charge their own rates when they issue Excess Flood policies.  Details below.

I found a great summation of some of the Flood Insurance basics today by the Insurance Information Institute. For the full article, click here. Here's an excerpt describing the pertinent facts:

Flood insurance covers direct physical losses by flood and losses resulting from flood-related erosion caused by heavy or prolonged rain, coastal storm surge, snow melt, blocked storm drainage systems, levee dam failure or other similar causes. To be considered a flood, waters must cover at least two acres or affect two properties.

Homes are covered for up to $250,000 on a replacement cost basis and the contents for up to $100,000 on an actual cash value basis. Replacement cost coverage pays to rebuild the structure as it was before the damage. Actual cash value is replacement cost minus the depreciation in value that occurs over time. Coverage for the contents of basements is limited. Coverage limits for commercial property are $500,000 for the structure and another $500,000 for its contents.

Excess flood insurance is available from some private insurers for NFIP policyholders who want additional coverage or whose communities do not participate in the program.

Previous Flood Posts:

Fairfax, VA Redraws Its Flood Map

Flood Insurance Facts

FEMA's Statement Regarding Damage Caused By Oil in Flood Waters




Sunday, August 15, 2010

Fairfax VA Redraws Its Flood Map


Flood Insurance is rarely in the news. So, imagine my surprise when I see it on the front page of Saturday's Metro Section of The Washington Post.

The County of Fairfax in VA recently redrew its Flood maps. This revamp caused some areas to now be considered flood zones. Owners of properties in flood zones are often required to purchase flood insurance by their lenders. If you live in one of the new flood zones in Fairfax County, you might be getting a call from your lender soon.

Here's a link to the full article on The Washington Post's site:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/13/AR2010081306067.html?sid=ST2010081400317

Flood & Water damage are standard exclusions on Homeowners & Commercial Property policies. Individuals and businesses purchase Flood insurance through insurance carriers approved by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).  The insurance companies collect the premiums, issue the policies and adjust the claims; but the NFIP pays the claims. All rates, zones, & coverages are dictated by the NFIP. The article mistakenly states that private insurers can charge more. As I understand it, carriers can only charge the federally-dictated rates.

For more on Flood Insurance, see my prior post:  Flood Insurance Facts.

Monday, August 9, 2010

PC Recycler Receives AAA Certification

For the 6 people who read this blog, you know that I write a lot about Information Security and the liability exposures that many businesses face.  One of my clients is in the Information Destruction business, and they were recently recognized by their industry for being so good at it.

Congratulations, PC Recycler, in Chantilly, VA!  They shred and wipe old hard drives, then send electronic parts off to be recycled.  It is a very necessary and earth-friendly service.  Keep crushing those hard drives!

Here's a blurb about it:
PC Recycler Receives AAA Certification

PC Recycler, Inc. received AAA certification from the National Association for Information Destruction (NAID) for Computer Hard Drive destruction. PC Recycler sought to achieve this goal of certification for the protection of your business and the environment. NAID is a nationally-recognized authority on secure data destruction with hundreds of members across North America. NAID's mission is to promote the information destruction industry and the standards and ethics of its member companies.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Heat Wave Preparedness Tips from the American Red Cross

The heat in the DC area this Summer has been OPPRESSIVE.  Many of us trudge forward, knowing that it's just another DC Summer.  However, we need to pay attention to the warning signs of Heat Stroke, Heat Cramps, and Heat Exhaustion.

Penn Millers Insurance Company posted a link to the American Red Cross's recommendations on what to do during a heat wave (link below).  The ARC's page also includes a Heat Wave Safety Checklist that defines the 3 main heat-related ailments and offers tips for general care.  This is recommended reading for yourself, your family and your employees.

What should I do during a heat wave?

How do you get out of the heat?