Splitting Up? Kids, Custody and Insurance

Tough topic but divorce is a fact of life.

If you should find yourself needing to divvy up assets and liabilities during a divorce settlement, you’ll have to consider insurance coverage for your kids.

Determining how to deal with your teen’s auto insurance can create problems because there’s no set formula. The decision should be something that’s negotiated between both parents. If Mom has sole custody, the teen driver should be on her policy. However, if Mom and Dad share custody, both should include the teen under their coverage.

The premium you pay for your teen’s auto insurance will depend on where you live. When setting rates, insurance companies look at the claims history in the locale where the car is garaged. Premiums vary from city to city, and even among ZIP codes in the same city. So, if you’re moving from a rural to an urban area or from a low-crime neighborhood in a city to one where there are more vehicle thefts and auto burglaries, your premiums will increase.

Homeowner insurance is linked to ownership of the property and who is listed on the mortgage. If the home is in both parents’ names, coverage would also be under both names. In this case, you should have a written agreement dividing responsibly for mortgage and insurance payments.

If you move from the family home into an apartment, you’ll need renters insurance to cover your belongings, as well as your children’s personal items and additional liability protection – even if you’re still named on the homeowners policy.

To receive expert advice from our agency’s personal lines specialists during this difficult period, free of charge, please feel free to give us a call. (877)994-6787

SUPERSTARS ONLY $50K TO $300K

SUPERSTARS ONLY $50K TO $300K

Don’t even call unless you are an overachiever and can prove it. Come build an empire within our fine, progressive company. We are in the insurance industry, but we don’t hire backgrounds. We hire top producers. If you’re average, you can earn $50K with us. If you are a star, you can earn $300K plus. Young or old, if you have the stuff, we’ll know. Contact us at  800-959-6658.

 

Be Safe on the Wet Roads!!

Accidents abound when the rain visits our region. We want to make sure that you arrive home safely. Add a car length between the car in front of you and your front bumper. A good opportunity to also check your tires. Please give us a call if you have any questions about making sure you are properly and completely protected with top-notch car insurance.

P) 877.994.6787
E) insure@siaonline.com
W) www.siaonline.com

 

Mobile Devices Pose Data Breach Threats

With the ever growing use of tablets and smartphones in the workplace the risk of exposing more and more businesses to liability for sensitive data being compromised if these devices are lost, stolen, or hacked. How can your company protect itself against this threat – and how much authority do you have over an employee’s personal device if it’s also used for work-related activities?

What’s more, because these gizmos are small and portable, it’s easy to misplace them. (The federal Transportation Safety Administration recently leased a warehouse just to store those misplaced or left behind at airports.)

Another emerging risk linked to these devices is a “bring your own” policy that many companies have adopted as a way to save costs by having employees spend their own money on smartphones and tablets that are constantly evolving and updated. This approach raises questions about separating company data from personal information on the device. For example, when an employee leaves, does a business have the authority to wipe the information from his or her smartphone? According to some authorities, if an employee connects a personal device to a company network, the company has inherited responsibility for the data stored on it.

To deal with this risk, you need to provide every employee who uses these devices with training, updated annually, on how to respond in case of loss or theft. To minimize potential liability for lawsuits by customers and clients, make sure that the individual responsible for the mishap informs management immediately. The compromised information might include everything from sensitive data (financial or medical) contacts, photos, call history, personal notes – you name it.

You can also use insurance to protect yourself against losses from data breaches. A policy will provide Liability coverage that deals with legal costs and third-party expertise (such as forensics firms to analyze a breach and call centers to provide information and public relations. Coverage might also include services such as access to tools to estimate costs, a checklist for your planned response to a data breach, and access to experts who can answer questions and review your company’s policies and procedures.

For more information, feel free to give us a call. (877)994-6787

Should You Drop Collision Coverage On Your Old Car?

Do you find yourself asking if it’s a wise investment to continue buying collision insurance for that old car? The answer depends on your individual situation.

First, what’s the true worth of the car? Any repair or replacement costs following a collision will be based on the value of the vehicle at the time of the claim. Also consider your deductible amount. For example, if your car is now worth $2,000 and your deductible for collision claims is $500, insurance will pay no more than $1,500 for your loss.

Once you’ve estimated the maximum that your policy is likely to pay for a collision, ask yourself whether the value of the car would create a significant financial hardship if it were totaled in an accident without insurance. Is the cost of collision coverage reasonable, considering the maximum you can receive at the time of a claim? Don’t forget peace of mind — if dropping collision will make you lose sleep at night over a possible loss, it’s better to keep your coverage and get some rest.

If you’re considering whether it’s still worth insuring your older car for collision, call our personal auto representatives. We’ll be happy to review your current coverage, give you the book value of your vehicle, and estimate the changes in cost of your insurance if you make any changes. Let us help you make the best decision. (877)994-6787

Social Media as a Hiring Tool – Employer Beware!

Social media has revolutionized not only the way we stay connected in our personal lives, but also how we conduct business. However, this asset can quickly turn into a liability if misused – for example, in recruiting your company’s most valuable asset – its employees.

Many employers begin the hiring process by using social-media outlets to screen applicants. LinkedIn and Facebook can provide a wealth of information about applicants’ education, their friends, and their personal behavior. Some companies reject candidates based on the content of their social-media pages. This might include anything from inappropriate photos or comments, discriminatory or slanderous statements, and references to alcohol and substance abuse, to sharing confidential information about their previous employers(s), displaying poor communication skills, or exaggerating their qualifications.

Although all of these indicators raise red flags, you could be risking a costly and annoying discrimination lawsuit if you access social-media sites which contain protected class information that’s not privileged in the normal hiring process.

To minimize this risk, it makes sense to:

    1. When hiring, use outside third parties such as background-verification companies and/or recruiters who document content from social-media sites in selecting candidates.

 

    1. Develop and enforce a comprehensive social-media usage policy.

 

  1. Purchase an Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) policy

For more information, please feel free to get in touch with our agency (877)994-6787

Identity Theft: It’s a Jungle Out There

Despite the explosive growth of online identity theft, the great majority of personal information is stolen or lost in other ways, according to one recent study.

A nationwide survey of claims data by Travelers insurance company found that nearly three in four cases of identity fraud (73%) did not involve cyber-crime. According to Travelers, such stolen or misplaced items as wallets and pocketbooks were the most common known causes of these claims. The theft of drivers licenses, Social Security cards, or other forms of personal identification ranked second. Burglaries ranked third, followed by cyber breaches, including Internet scams and old-fashioned forgeries.

To protect yourself against all varieties of identity theft, experts recommend these guidelines:

  • Check your monthly financial statements to detect any suspicious activity (in case you find any discrepancy, contact the financial institution immediately).
  • Carry only essential credit cards
  • Keep critical documents in a secure place
  • Avoid scams by not disclosing personal information if you receive an unsolicited request
  • Shred old bills and financial statements
  • Store purses and wallets in a safe place
  • Never print account information on an outgoing mail envelope
  • Be careful about sharing personal information on social media
  • Ask for a free report annually from the national credit reporting agencies.

You might also consider purchasing Identity theft insurance. Many policies provide coverage for lost or stolen funds; long distance calls to resolve, report, or discuss the fraud; the cost of notarizing fraud affidavits, certified mail, or other documents needed to restore compromised credit; loan re-application fees due to incorrect credit information; and attorney fees (if pre-approved).

For more information, please get in touch with our Protection Team. (877)994-6787