National Insurance Awareness Day

It’s National Insurance Awareness Day and there’s no better time than now to review your policies and make sure your business has the right coverage.  You need protection to reduce your risks against property damage caused by theft, natural disasters, loss of income, liability claims, and more. Insurance policies are the most common way to transfer risk and protect everything from employees to assets to operations. To recognize this day, we’ve included three steps business owners can follow to ensure you have the right coverage in place.

1. Set up a meeting with your risk advisor:

Sitting down with your insurance advisor and reviewing your policies is a great way to make sure you have the appropriate coverage. In-depth reviews can shed light on where possible gaps in your coverage may lie or at least prove you have adequate coverage limits. It also gives you a chance to go over things that may require a modification to your policies like new hires, products, or services.

2. Ensure employees are familiar with safe workplace practices:

Workplace injuries can amount to thousands or even millions of dollars as well as slowing down your workforce and business’s production. Worker’s compensation insurance is designed to protect your business and employees, but the ideal situation is to avoid injuries altogether. A helpful way to do this is scheduling time with your associates to review best practices for safety in your workplace.

3. Make sure the proper cyber security policies are in place.

A fast-growing problem in this modern business landscape is the risks posed by cyber security. It’s important to realize anyone can be targeted by cybercriminals and no account or business is too small to protect from a cyber-attack. The best course of action is to know what actions to take if a breach occurs; secure the business, have a plan in place, and ensure all workers know the proper corresponding protocols for preventing and responding to a breach.

These few simple steps can give you peace of mind and can help you ensure that your business has the right coverage where it counts. For any questions you may have about your business insurance coverage and to learn more about our full line of risk management solutions, please contact our team of advisors at The Prewitt Group.

Amid the continued concerns of COVID-19/Coronavirus, please rest assured that The Prewitt Group is committed to keeping our clients and partners protected, prepared and informed. Therefore, we are sharing the following information that has been provided by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Please use the following information to help prepare your team:

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has developed interim guidance for businesses and employers to plan for and respond to COVID-19. The interim guidance is intended to help prevent workplace exposures to acute respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19.

OSHA recordkeeping requirements mandate covered employers record certain work-related injuries and illnesses on their OSHA300 log. While exposure to common cold and flu are specifically exempt, incidents of employees contracting coronavirus at work are a “recordable” incident.

COVID-19 can be a recordable illness if a worker is infected as a result of performing their work-related duties. However, employers are only responsible for recording cases of COVID-19 if certain criteria are met https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/covid-19/standards.html

Regarding employers with employees that could potentially be exposed to novel coronavirus, you can view Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) site for information that may apply to employee’s exposure to novel coronavirus.

  • OSHA’s Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) standards (in general industry, 29 CFR 1910 Subpart I), which require using gloves, eye and face protection, and respiratory protection.
  • When respirators are necessary to protect workers, employers must implement a comprehensive respiratory protection program in accordance with the Respiratory Protection standard (29 CFR 1910.134).
  • The General Duty Clause, Section 5(a)(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act of 1970, 29 USC 654(a)(1), which requires employers to furnish to each worker “employment and a place of employment, which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm.”

As always, The Prewitt Group is available to navigate the uncertainties and questions related to your business and industry. Our team of risk management advisors are ready and available to talk through specific concerns you may have. Please contact us at (205) 933-9207 or email your consultant directly.

The Prewitt Group offers personal coverages for the people and assets closest to you and understands there might be questions about policies you might need answered. Below are a few FAQs that were answered by Risk Consultant, Ray Greer, from our team.

How do I know how much coverage I need?

  • The amount of insurance needed for everyone is different.  The best practice is to periodically sit down with your agent and discuss.

What is an umbrella policy?

  • An umbrella policy is designed to protect against catastrophic losses that are liability related.

Who can I call about my policy or a claim after hours or on the weekend?

  • You can call your agent any time day/night whenever you have a claim. The Prewitt Group is available to respond to any questions, concerns or claims whenever you need us most.

Where is the best place to store documents like policies?

  • A safety deposit box or fire safe can be used to store important documents such as your insurance policy.

Do credit scores impact premiums?

  • An individual’s credit score is one component of several items used in an analysis that determines a person’s premium.  So, a good or great credit score helps!

Is a home-based business covered under my homeowner’s policy?

  • Most homeowners’ policies provide limited protection for many home-based businesses due to several property and liability exclusions/limitations.  It typically is better for the business owner to have a separate business owner’s policy to adequately cover their business.

Since 1974, The Prewitt Group’s mission has been to expertly handle all your insurance needs whether personal or professional with the utmost attention to detail and comprehensive protection from anticipated risk. We strive to protect our clients from danger, risk and unpleasant experiences. That’s “The Power to Mitigate Risk.”

We offer various commercial, personal and life and health coverages to fit your unique needs. Contact a consultant at The Prewitt Group today if we can answer questions that might help us begin the process to cover the assets and people you value most.

There are three common misconceptions about ADA compliance

  1. It’s expensive.
  2. It’s difficult to complete.
  3. There are no standards.

If the website for your business is mainly used for engaging potential new clients or existing clients with information about your company, blog postings or updates, it should not be very expensive to update and maintain ADA Compliance on your site.

If you have an ordering system, like a grocery store for example, you might have more of an investment ahead of you in order to remain compliant.

Secondly, it is not difficult to have an expert help keep your website ADA compliant; there are guidelines. Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are part of a series of web accessibility guidelines published by the Web Accessibility Initiative of the World Wide Web Consortium. Automated testing can be completed quickly and easily, but advanced manual testing completed by Quality Assurance screeners can ensure that your website meets the WCAG criteria that automated testing might miss.

Overall, a lawsuit will be much more expensive than investing in a digital team to update or build your website so that it meets the ADA Compliance requirements.

Protection from potential lawsuits is not just about being proactive. At some point, any one of us could experience a temporary disability. Becoming ADA Compliant is not just for those with impaired vision or blindness. Maybe you left your reading glasses at home or maybe you’re learning how to maneuver around with a broken arm until your cast is removed. ADA Compliance meets complex needs across many disabilities.

We can all learn a lesson about how smaller and temporary disabilities could impact our use of websites. Utilizing www.ADA.gov and www.w3.org can be the first step in better understanding guidelines for compliance.

iStock 845446920

National Preparedness Month (NPM) is recognized each September to promote disaster and emergency planning. It reminds us to be prepared for disasters and emergencies in our homes, businesses and communities. This year’s theme is “Be Prepared, Not Scared.”

We’ve all heard the saying, “Preparation is the key to success,” and it certainly applies to disaster and emergency planning. While we still hope for the best, preparing for the worst can mitigate your expenses and protect your assets.

Be Prepared in 3 Steps:

  1. Create an emergency fund. First and foremost, recovering from a disaster can be financially burdensome. It’s vital to prepare for emergency expenses. Create an emergency fund for your family, home and business so that the money is there when you need it.
  2. Make emergency plans. Inform your family and/or employees of the location of fire extinguishers and first aid kits. Create a fire evacuation and severe weather plan, and then communicate it clearly to your household and workplace. Planned procedures and processes will keep your family and employees safe.
  3. Purchase proper insurance policies. Having the right insurance policies in place is an integral step in disaster preparation. Meet with an insurance consultant to make sure you have the proper coverage for the disasters and risks your family, home and business face. There are many different types of coverages, which are all subject to limitations and exclusions, so make sure you understand your deductibles, the limits of your insurance and the nature of your coverage.

Since 1974, The Prewitt Group’s mission has been to expertly handle all of your insurance needs whether personal or professional, with the utmost attention to detail and comprehensive protection from anticipated risk. We strive to protect our clients from danger, risk and unpleasant experiences. That’s “The Power to Mitigate Risk.”

We offer various commercial, personal and life and health coverages to fit your unique needs. Contact a risk consultant to review your current coverage or purchase additional policies as a step in your disaster planning process.

Insurance for Every Milestone

“When should I buy life insurance?” “Do I need renters insurance?” “What is disability insurance?” “I’m starting a business. What insurance do I need?”

These are just a few questions that are frequently asked by individuals who are planning for their future and/or entering a new season of life. As your life changes, so should your insurance coverage. While insurance isn’t the most exciting purchase, it is essential for protecting yourself, your loved ones and your wealth.

From buying a car to starting a business, certain life milestones call for reevaluation of your insurance coverage. Some policies are required, while others are strongly recommended. As you reach these common milestones, here are the policies you should consider purchasing:

When you buy a car: Before hitting the road in your new ride, you need personal auto insurance. Many factors impact how much you pay for your premium, including what you drive, your driving history, how often and how far you drive and your credit history, as well as your age, sex and marital status. That being said, your premium may increase or decrease as these factors change throughout your life.

When you start “adulting:” As you enter the workforce and move out from your parents’ home, consider purchasing these policies to protect your livelihood:

  • Health insurance: Children can stay on their parents’ policy until age 26, but once your 26th birthday comes around, you’re required to obtain your own policy.
  • Disability insurance: If you’re relying on your income to live, purchasing disability insurance could be a lifesaver if you become disabled and unable to work for a period.
  • Renters insurance: While it’s not a requirement, renters insurance is something any renter will be glad to have in the case of a fire, leak, or storm.

When you buy a home: If you own a home, homeowner’s insurance is a necessity. Most policies cover the house itself, your belongings and the liability of someone being injured on your property. Depending on the location of your home, you may need to purchase additional coverage, such as flood insurance.

When you get married and start a family: While you can purchase life insurance at any time, the importance of life insurance increases when you get married and/or start a family. In the event of your death, life insurance offers protection for your family and home by replacing your income. Acquiring life insurance at a younger age is smart because you’re not only healthy, but you also pay the same rate over a period of time.

When you start your own business: As soon as you start your business, no matter the size, you should consider getting commercial insurance. The type of coverage you need will vary based on the type of business you open.

At The Prewitt Group, we are committed to understanding your needs for every stage of life and delivering customized services to fit those needs. We would be happy to meet with you to discuss the coverage you need with each life change.

How to Prepare Your Business for Disaster

Did you know that 40 percent of businesses fail to reopen following a disaster? According to a report from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), another 25 percent of businesses fail within a year following a disaster. From natural disasters to cyberattacks, your business is at risk of facing downtime following an unfortunate event. In fact, more than 50 percent of companies experienced a downtime event in the past five years that last longer than a full workday.

Recovering from any disaster can be expensive and burdensome to your business, so it’s important to be prepared for emergency expenses and protect your assets with insurance. The saying, “Time is money” certainly applies in business, so minimizing downtime in case of an emergency is imperative.

Prepare for emergency expenses by:

  • Identifying your monthly financial obligations.
  • Creating an emergency fund to purchase supplies or equipment.
  • Having a credit card or line of credit available.
  • Establishing a payroll policy for during and after a disaster.
  • Establish clear strategies for controlling costs in a disaster situation.

Protect your assets with insurance: Meet with an insurance consultant to make sure you have the proper coverage for the disasters and risks your business faces. If you already have policies in place, review them with your insurance consultant to make sure you understand your deductibles, the limits of your insurance and the nature of your coverage. After all, there are many different types of coverage, all of which are subject to limitations and exclusions. For instance, some policies do not cover flood or earthquake damage, so you may need additional protection. In today’s world, you may want to consider obtaining cyber insurance to protect your business from data breaches and cyber-attacks. The Prewitt Group offers various commercial coverages including commercial property, commercial umbrella, boiler and machinery, business automobile and more.

All in all, when it comes to emergency preparedness, focus on prevention and protection. Effective preparedness can benefit the recovery process. It’s important to assess your risks and take steps to minimize damage and downtime.

Patsy Taylor Cake

The Prewitt Group Employee of the Year Patsy TaylorThe Prewitt Group is thrilled to honor Patsy Taylor as the 2018 Employee of the Year! After 25 years of serving The Prewitt Group’s clients as an Account Manager who constantly strives to find better solutions to her clients’ problems, Patsy is more than deserving of this honor. To get to know the 2018 Employee of the Year, check out this Q&A:

Q: How did you get into the industry?

A: I began working at an insurance carrier when I was 18 years old. I worked in several positions in the Claims Department before transferring to the Data Processing Department as a Computer Programmer.  When the carrier was closed by the State of Alabama, I went to work for the State of Alabama Insurance Department. I realized that I missed the day-to-day contact with the client and then moved to The Prewitt Group. I really enjoy finding solutions to my clients’ problems and just trying to make things a little better regarding their insurance-related problems.

Q: Are you seeing any new trends in the industry?

A: Yes! There has been a shift to more online communications and less one-on-one communications with clients and carriers.

Q: What’s your favorite part of working for The Prewitt Group?

A: The way we support each other and work as a family.  As a group, if someone is rushing to get an appointment ready or some documentation a producer needs, you will hear several people speaking up to say, “What can I do to help?  Can I get that print for you? Can I run that upstairs for you? One of the things that has as always stood out to me is that when I am rushed, even the producer will offer to help.

Q: Who’s your biggest role model? 

A: Johnny Prewitt – I admire the way he always looks out for his clients’ interests.

Q: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

A: To always work the items in front of you and pay no attention to the other one until I have completed the task at hand.  Each item deserves our full attention!

Q: What are three words that describe you?

A: Loyal. Detailed. Funny.

Q: What’s something most people would be surprised to learn about you?

A: I really do love working in insurance!

Q: Favorite quote?

A: “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift of God, which is why we call it the present.” – Bil Keane

Q: Favorite travel spot/vacation? 

A: Beach /Football/Disney World

Q: Favorite spot to hang out in Birmingham? (Restaurant, park, brewery, bar, etc.!)

A: Mexico Lindo

Q: Hobbies? 

A: My grand kids, and whatever they are into is my new hobby. 😊

Q: Anything you want to add about family, pets or personal life?

A: I have two wonderful kids who I am very proud of. My son, Jeremy, is a civil engineer at Gonzalez-Strength & Associates, and my daughter, Jennifer, is a software engineer who works for Exxon. I also have a great daughter-in-law, son-in-law and two wonderful grandkids.  My dog and 3 cats rule my house, but I love them all.  Family is everything to me, so I feel I am very blessed in so many ways!

blockchain tech

Since its introduction, blockchain technology has created a tremendous buzz. Though it was originally developed for the digital currency, Bitcoin, the tech community is discovering other potential uses for the technology. Specifically, a recent Forbes article emphasized how blockchain technology could improve manufacturing this year.

What is Blockchain?

First, let’s discuss the basics of blockchain. Blockchain technology allows digital information to be distributed but not copied. Don and Alex Tapscott, authors of Blockchain Revolution, defined blockchain as “an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value.” Fortunately, like the internet and other technology, you don’t need to know how the blockchain works to use it. But if you’d like to learn more, check out the video below.

Benefits of Blockchain

In general, blockchain has the ability to transform traditional business models. It offers many business benefits, including greater transparency, enhanced security, improved traceability, increased efficiency and speed of transactions, and reduced costs.  According to Gartner, “the business value-add of blockchain will grow to slightly more than $176 billion by 2025, and then it will exceed $3.1 trillion by 2030.”

Blockchain in the Manufacturing Industry

Forbes emphasized that blockchain has the most potential to deliver business value in the manufacturing industry. Likewise, according to Capgemini Research Institute’s study, blockchain technology can improve manufacturing businesses’ supply chain efficiency by:

  • Increasing transparency and responsiveness.
  • Helping the end-consumer definitively identify if a product is manufactured by a given brand, which ensures authenticity and reduces counterfeits.
  • Enabling organizations to quickly trace contamination to its source and mitigate against costly and a potentially reputation-damaging mass recall of products.

These supply chain advancements could positively impact the manufacturing industry by increasing cost savings, reducing risks, averting product recalls and more. Capgemini’s study further revealed that 87 percent of organizations are in the early experimental stages, 10 percent are at the advanced stage of experimentation and 3 percent are deploying blockchain at scale. Though blockchain adoption is in its early stages across all business industries, manufacturers are leading the way. Is your business ready to adopt blockchain technology?

iStock 898760650

Have you stopped to think about the risks your business faces this year? Among other risks, cyber threats remain a high-ranking concern across businesses of all sizes and industries—especially those in technology, banking and professional services sectors.

In 2018, cybersecurity threats grew from small, local attacks to attacks causing disorder on a massive scale. Consequently, it’s critical to be informed of cyber security trends and prepared to prevent cyber attacks in 2019.  Risk Management Magazine reports that the “massive gap between confidence and key fundamental preparation may itself pose a risk.”

Recently, Chubb announced 3 key cybersecurity trends to watch this year:

  1. “Cybersecurity regulation and enforcement will increase and focus more on actions taken by businesses pre-incident, in addition to post-incident protocol.”

For instance, in March of 2018, Alabama enacted the Alabama Breach Notification Act of 2018 (2018-396), which requires business entities to have certain security measures in place and predetermined notification measures to alert impacted individuals of the breach within a reasonable amount of time. Chubb predicts that this year lawmakers will not only shift their attention to companies’ data collection and data usage practices, but also on the actions that organizations should take to better prevent a cyber incident from occurring.

  1. “Crime does pay, and business is booming: the business model of cybercrime will tilt heavily toward direct monetization attacks.”

According to Chubb, this means that cyber criminals will prioritize attacks that result in direct monetization, and in order to pursue these types of attacks, criminals will continue to employ ransomware. Consequently, ransomware will continue to grow and become more destructive.

  1. “Cyber criminals will target individuals just as much as businesses as billions of Internet of Things (IoT) devices come online.”

IoT devices, such as vehicles, smart phones, nanny-cams and home appliances, will provide cyber criminals with more ways to target individuals and opportunities to gather personal information.

All in all, business leaders should strive to defend their companies from cyberattacks through preparedness rather than respond to cyber attacks. Cyber insurance plays a key role in protecting your company and managing cybersecurity risks. If you’re interested in obtaining cyber insurance, contact a consultant at The Prewitt Group today!