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.

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In 1999, Walter Barnett joined The Prewitt Group after a 39-year stint with the IRS. During his 22 years as an agency controller, he not only continued to acquire but also apply an immense knowledge of accounting and legal expertise. While Barnett was incredibly skilled at his job, he also exemplified what it meant to be a team player and was always happy to lend a helping hand at work, earning himself the nickname “Mr. Fix-it” around The Prewitt Group office. It is this mix of expertise, friendliness, leadership, and professionalism that lead us to rename our employee of the year award to The Walter Barnett Employee of the Year Award, upon his retirement from The Prewitt Group, and in honor of his many contributions to our agency and his friendship to us all.

The Walter Barnett Employee of the Year Award honors the achievements and celebrates associates who exemplify the wonderful qualities that Walter possesses. Kim Hayward has been a sterling example of these qualities, which is why we have chosen her to be the inaugural recipient of this award.

Since 2007, Kim has been working with The Prewitt Group carrier’s online rating platforms, rating client accounts with major carriers and working with the Core Business Unit as well as handling the Certificate of Insurance requests. She helps team leaders and account managers make sure their requests are processed as efficiently as possible while also leading the implementation of a new processing program. Kim is not only a skilled employee, but she is also someone who knows the value of being a team player. She works hard daily for both our team and clients alike. Kim does whatever it takes to get the job done and does it with such a cheerful outlook.

We are very pleased to recognize Kim Hayward as the first Walter Barnett Employee of the Year recipient. She is more than deserving of this honor. Congratulations, Kim.

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Please join us in welcoming Ashleigh Calvert, Scott Campbell, and Tracy Rathje to the Prewitt Group Family!

Ashleigh Calvert is coming aboard as The Prewitt Group’s newest marketing representative. For the past 7 years, she’s spent her career honing her skills in both the retail and wholesale side of commercial account management. Calvert is motivated by others and excited to work with her fellow Prewitt Group associates. Outside of work, Calvert enjoys hanging out with friends and family or enjoying the nearby lakes and beaches.

Scott Campbell is our newest personal lines manager/risk consultant. His experience is grounded in operations, which he gained while leading both personal lines and small business departments. He’s excited to not only get to know the Prewitt Team but also all the clients. In his spare time, you’ll find Campbell either enjoying time with his family or playing golf.

We welcome Tracy Rathje as our newest commercial lines assistant. For the past 21 years, she’s been sharpening her skills in the commercial insurance industry, spending equal time between both the retail and wholesale side of operations. Having worked with The Prewitt Group in the past, she is excited and ready to get back to helping others in her work family. In her free time, she enjoys spending time at the beach, reading, cooking, and being around friends and family.

We are excited to welcome these three risk management professionals and are looking forward to what their future at the Prewitt Group holds.

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TPG Hurricane Safety Blog Post

Hurricane season is in full swing and while it may be easy to overlook the importance of evacuation/preparedness details due to the current pandemic, it’s even more imperative not to be caught unprepared. Before, during, and after a hurricane can be an incredibly stressful and frantic time. According to the CDC, it’s important to know how the Covid-19 pandemic can affect disaster preparedness and recovery, and what you can do to keep yourself and others safe.

Below are some tips on how you can prepare, evacuate, and shelter during severe storms while remaining safe from the coronavirus.

Prepare

  • Given the current state of the coronavirus, it may take more time than it would have prior to prepare your emergency food, water, and medical supplies. While some do not have the option to have their supplies delivered, it is the safest route. If delivery is not an option, follow steps to protect yourself and other’s health when running essential errands.
  • Updated plans regarding shelters (including shelters for your pets) and evacuation are important to monitor.
  • COVID-19 vaccines help to protect you from getting sick or severely ill with COVID-19.

Evacuate

  • Preparing a “go kit” with personal items that are necessary in case of evacuation is a good idea. Items should include alcohol hand sanitizer, bar or liquid soap, disinfectant wipes (if available), and multiple, clean masks for those older than 2 years of age.
  • Make sure you have several ways to get weather alerts. The National Weather Service cell phone alerts external icon, or (@NWS) Twitter alerts are great resources.
  • It’s important to check if your area’s local public shelter is open if you need to evacuate your house. It’s also important to keep in mind that your designated shelter may have changed this year due to COVID-19.

Shelter

For those residing outside of their household with family or friends to avoid the storm:

  • Check-in with those you plan to stay with to ensure the proper precautions are taken to protect against COVID-19.
  • If your households include someone with a higher risk of developing severe illness from COVID-19, make sure everyone knows how to keep them protected.
  • It’s important to continue practicing everyday preventive actions, like covering coughs and sneezes, washing your hands often, and avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. It may even be necessary to take extra precautions for people living in close quarters.

As always, your Prewitt Group team is in place to provide guidance, manage claims that may occur, and most importantly, protect you and your family as if you are our own.

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/hurricanes/covid-19/prepare-for-hurricane.html

TPG Hurricane Safety Blog Post

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Cyber security attacks continue to occur at an alarming rate. Do you have defensive steps in place to protect you and your business?

Recently, the White House warned American businesses to take urgent security measures to protect against ransomware attacks, as hackers shift their tactics from stealing data to disrupting critical infrastructure https://nyti.ms/3cGS2YE

This heightened warning follows a string of escalating ransomware attacks – from stealing data to disrupting operations. For example, we all witnessed the Colonial Pipeline event last month when they were hit with a ransomware attack. Their business records were frozen by a criminal group, forcing the company to suspend operations.

Without securing a dedicated cyber policy, most businesses likely do not have adequate insurance coverage following a data breach. Cyber insurance helps your company recover after a data breach, with costs that can include business disruption, revenue loss, equipment damages, legal fees, public relations expenses, forensic analysis, and costs associated with legally mandated notifications.

Our team of risk management specialists are in place to advise you on a cyber risk assessment. Please email Jack Prewitt, a risk management advisor specializing in cyber coverage, at jackprewitt@prewitt.group to discuss how we can put our power to mitigate risk to work for you.

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From texting and scrolling through social media to driving while fatigued or under the influence, there are countless distractions that take our minds and eyes away from the road.  Each day in the United States, approximately nine people are killed and more than 1,000 injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver.

April is recognized as Distracted Driving Awareness Month, which gives us the opportunity to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving. All of the “it was just a glance” or “it was just one drink” or “I needed to reply” excuses for taking your attention from the road are not worth the risks and consequences of a car accident.

Here are 7 ways to cut distractions from your commute and just drive:

  1. Turn off your phone, put it out of reach, or use the “do not disturb” setting: Taking these measures will help you avoid interruptions from any notifications and the temptation to check your phone. You can also block out driving time on your calendar or set automatic responses to let people know you’ll be driving.
  2. Program your route before you leave: Need directions? Enter the address into your GPS before hitting the road. Be sure to turn the volume on and position the device where you can easily see it without taking your eyes off the road.
  3. Stop using your hands-free device: While using a hands-free device keeps your hands on the wheel, studies show that talking on the phone reduces your field of vision and your ability to process moving imagery. If you need to take or make a call, find a safe place to pull over.
  4. Pullover to eat: Eating and driving can be just as dangerous as texting and driving. Make a pit stop at a rest area or restaurant if you need a bite to eat.
  5. Turn down your music: Keep the stereo volume low enough to be aware of your surroundings. Loud music can cause you to lose focus on the road or miss other potential warning signs of an accident.
  6. Don’t drive fatigued: Driving while fatigued raises your chance of a crash by increasing reaction time and impairing your ability to make quick decisions. Be sure you are well-rested before hitting the road.
  7. Get ready at home: Doing your hair or makeup while driving might save you a few minutes in the morning, but it could cost you your life. Finish getting ready at home or at your workplace.

Join The Prewitt Group as we raise awareness of these distracted driving dangers, make adjustments to your driving routine, and pledge to drive free from distractions today.

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Ms. Gasque brings a wealth of insurance industry knowledge and relationship building to her new role with The Prewitt Group. Her successes in the industry are evident as her tenure with New York Life produced two successive years of award-winning work. She is an avid motorcycle enthusiast and serves as a local ambassador to the BMW Motorcycle Owners of America. She also serves as the vice president of the Kiwanis Club of Mountain Brook/Homewood. Originally from Utah, Ms. Gasque is a graduate of Coastal Carolina University.

Please join us in welcoming Deb to the Prewitt Group family as an Employee Benefits Advisor!

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Brian Fleury assists in answering this week’s FAQ. Brian joined The Prewitt Group in 2019 as a Personal Lines and Small Commercial Distribution Leader.

Long-term care insurance helps pay for a wide range of services for those who need it and is mainly designed to assist with costs of custodial and personal care. While most of these services do not include the cost of medical care, coverage can include staying in an assisted living facility, nursing home, or adult day care. These policies pay for the cost of care due to chronic illness, an injury, or a disability. Often, just the effects of aging requires people to need help, and long-term care coverage can help.

As you go through your financial planning process, it’s important to understand long-term care costs as you approach retirement age. We have risk advisors that can walk you through this process and make sure that you are covered properly.

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Last week, our team partnered with American Red Cross to hold a blood drive in downtown Birmingham at The Theodore. As many businesses and events have closed or began working remotely during this time due to COVID-19, many blood drives have also been cancelled or postponed. Blood drives fulfill a vital need in many hospitals each day and without regularly scheduled blood drives, there has been a shortage.

Did you know that every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood? It is essential for surgeries, cancer treatment, chronic illnesses, and traumatic injuries. Whether a patient receives whole blood, red cells, platelets or plasma, this lifesaving care starts with one person making a generous donation.

To put into perspective the needs in measurable statistics, American Red Cross provides the following facts:

  • Approximately 36,000 units of red blood cells are needed every day in the U.S.
  • Nearly 7,000 units of platelets and 10,000 units of plasma are needed daily in the U.S.
  • Nearly 21 million blood components are transfused each year in the U.S.
  • The average red blood cell transfusion is approximately 3 units.
  • The blood type most often requested by hospitals is type O.
  • Sickle cell disease affects 90,000 to 100,000 people in the U.S. About 1,000 babies are born with the disease each year. Sickle cell patients can require blood transfusions throughout their lives.
  • According to the American Cancer Society, more than 1.8 million people are expected to be diagnosed with cancer in 2020. Many of them will need blood, sometimes daily, during their chemotherapy treatment.
  • A single car accident victim can require as many as 100 units of blood.

During our blood drive, we were able to collect 52 units of blood and 28 first time donors participated in our drive.

Dane Usry, Senior Account Manager for American Red Cross Alabama and Mississippi Chapters said “The only place we typically see that many first time donors is at a high school, when a group of students has finally met the age requirement. Even then, 28 is a stretch. This drive was phenomenal in every way and we are truly grateful to have partnered with you. Blood drives like yours are what will allow us to ensure our hospitals have an adequate blood supply.”

Thank you to our partners and donors for making our blood drive a success. Our business is built upon the relationships we have made over the last 45 years and we appreciate the continued support of our community. We look forward to building our partnership with American Red Cross, so be sure to look for future opportunities to give back with us! You can also visit our social channels to view recent photos from our blood drive and updates from 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.