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Fire, Wind and CT Homeowners Insurance

Summer is the season for spending time outdoors, and swimming pools, fire pits, and barbeques are just a few of the exciting activities everyone has been looking forward to once the nice weather rolled in. However, the most fun activities may also include some CT homeowners insurance concerns. While things may turn out smoothly and accident-free, below are a couple of summer elements and what type of insurance is required when dealing with those elements.

As more people continue building outdoor fire pits and barbeques there comes liability issues with regards to fire. For example, if a spark blows into the wind and starts your home on fire, would you be covered? The short answer is, of course, yes since most home insurance policies cover the basic peril of fire, and accidents do happen.

Fire and wind can cause major hazards

So if an ember from your BBQ pit were to cause a fire you’ll most likely be covered, still it’s a good idea to check with your local insurance agent or fire department, just in case. In most states the fire department requires that any fire pit or barbeque be installed at least 10 feet away from any structure and away from any over-hanging limbs or vegetation.

If you happen to purchase a moveable fire pit or barbeque, make sure it is made of stable and strong material on sturdy ground, and do not place your fire pit too close to other homes resulting in their being smoked out. Also, keep children and pets away from any possible tripping hazard like steps, roots or stones near the pit. Just like many people have a fire extinguisher in their kitchen, one should be kept near an outdoor cooking area as well. Summer is also a great time to have your fireplace, woodstove and furnace inspected.

Wind is another important thing to consider, especially during hurricane season. This is a good time to remember while most CT homeowners insurance policies cover wind damage (minus applicable deductible), none cover flood damage. Flood insurance is a separate policy and, sometimes after a hurricane disaster it’s difficult to distinguish if flooding caused the ensuing water damage, or if a roof was blown off, and the water damage was therefore caused by rain. Flood insurance varies by flood zone and the insurance coverage chosen.

Make ‘Em Laugh, Make ‘Em Look, Make ‘Em Learn While You Market

Cutting through the clutter and cacophony of untold products and services attempting to gain a fingerhold in the conscious of every consumer (and in particular the prospective clients to whom you wish to market) is not getting any easier these days. Not only do you have the radiowaves and airwaves to compete with, the latest form of electronic communication and a new form of social media that highlights it seem to spring up every five minutes. Thus, it’s nice to know that the underlying principles of insurance marketing remain timeless: engage your audience and drive them to your firm through relevant, user-friendly communication. And to hold their attention that much longer, remember to entertain, be thought-provoking, and educational–in other words, make ’em laugh, make ’em look, and make ’em learn.

The accidental consumerist

As technology develops, the reading habits of consumers evolve along with it. This means that the whole concept of “user friendly” has a different dimension to it than it did ten or even five years ago. People are in line at the post office, the grocery store, sitting idle at the doctor’s office or the nail salon, waiting for their flight to leave, watching television, or just wanting to make the time fly by. Along the way, they’re double-screening on the mobile phones that are inevitably attached to their hands, and receptive to being entertained. This is your opportunity to do so with a message that makes them laugh. It could be small bits about the funniest claims stories to date–have a contest that lets people submit their tales–and while readers are being entertained, they are also learning a little about what is or isn’t covered.

Take it easy on them

Keep in mind that touch screens are activated by thumbs, which result in a different kind of click. That means mobile device users end up clicking all over the place before they’re actually able to click on what they intended. Make it easier on them with design features that include larger clickable elements.

Insurance marketing to attract prospects to your firm will always be a site under construction, in web parlance, but capturing people’s interest with slick, sizzling, or side-splitting tactics as they browse and thumb through their mobile devices is a must-do in this day and age.

Stemming the Tide of Construction Management Risk

It’s a sad fact that those in the business of construction management face a slew of litigation concerns, all of which makes the job of your insureds operating in the construction industry more complicated. There are contractual requirements that must be met and this exemplifies some of the primary challenges that today’s contractors face with more regularity.

Construction management firms must work to reduce loss through implementing safety activities such as controlling any existing job-site hazards that can lead to construction management risk. One of the primary issues is not having perimeter security fencing in place and warning signs posted, and another area of exposure lies in not limiting job-site visitors to authorized persons only.

In order for your clients to be successful and avoid litigious situations they need to make risk management an important part of their business operations and there are many areas in which to effectively manage risk exposures. This is often accomplished through the transferring of risk to a responsible third party, such as an architect, engineer, or subcontractor.

The benefits of risk management planning

Implementing risk management practices helps general contractors to control their insurance costs, protect their company and personal assets, reduce the number of protracted legal disputes, and hopefully reserve current limits of insurance. As mentioned earlier, general contractors (GC’s) can better protect themselves by transferring risk to subcontractors they hire to work on projects, by including indemnification and provisions aimed at holding then harmless in the event of errors or delays, as well as enforcing additional insured requirements in their construction contracts.

One way to help stem the tide of lawsuits is to provide written contracts that promote quality control, ensuring that the agreement between the GC and the subcontractor becomes crucial. This should be reflective of the GC’s own construction standards, as well as the construction standards agreed to with the owner of the project and each of the subcontractor’s warranties.

Because many liability exposures are present both during the construction process and often for a considerable time thereafter, the GC must also reduce construction management risk by controlling common construction job-site hazard exposures. Construction site safety practices should include, but are not limited to:

  • Properly assembling scaffolding
  • Implementing hazard communication standards
  • Designating delivery areas and requiring delivery personnel to follow safety practices
  • Implementing slip and fall protection standards, and
  • Having controlled entry logs for arrival and departure of vehicles

Help your clients meet their challenges head on with comprehensive errors and omissions insurance and a solid, risk management program.

Keys to Successful Insurance Website Design

Most people buying products and services online use the Internet for either shopping or doing product research, and they often don’t want to spend too much time doing it. The problem with most insurance websites is that they fail to give prospects exactly what they’re looking for. They often give them too much to look at, which leads to an overload of information and a quick exit.

Insurance Website Design is important, as most leading marketing experts will tell you. They cite the fact that crowded pages filled with extraneous information and gimmicks that you might feel will appeal to visitors actually ends up driving people away. Here are a few ways to help you to keep an Insurance Website Design simple, and hopefully also get more people to eventually be converted into solid leads.

Make sure that each page has only one objective

Offering information specific to their needs and desires will help to keep visitors from pressing the “back” button. Make sure each page has a main focus, because if what they’ve visited your website for is hidden or difficult to find, they’ll quickly leave. That’s why it’s vital to strip away all the clutter that obstructs them from their primary goal.

Assign an offer intended for that audience

If you want visitors to the homepage to submit their information for online health quotes, then make sure that’s what that page’s main theme is. By offering life or travel insurance info on this page that overshadows this you’re creating distractions. Decide the type of visitors you want to market a page to, then make sure the main offer is the one they’re most likely to want, letting other offers take a backseat.

Highlight the one call to action

Using Flash animations is one way to make the call to action obvious, but make it tasteful. Remember that there’s a difference between pleasant advertising and using unwarranted, unprofessional images. The main objective is to call attention to an offer with a related image that instantly draws the visitor to it.

Write action-oriented copy

Copy should convey the benefit the visitor will get by taking action, for example, “Comparing quotes will aid you in finding ‘The Right Plan For You'”. Insurance Website Design, when done well, can turn potential customers into clients which will increase your business and profitability.