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How To Protect a Construction Project in Progress

Construction projects, whether new developments or remodels, are often time-consuming projects fraught with risks along the way. These risks are sometimes called builder’s risk and protected against through a special form of liability insurance. However, it isn’t just the builder who is worried about potential losses during the building project. The project owner and any other contractor involved may wish to take out specific insurance during construction.

Construction Coverage

A builder’s risk policy, also known as COC insurance, is temporary coverage that takes the place of a traditional property liability policy like homeowners’ insurance. This coverage is usually required in order to meet contractual arrangements from a lender or to comply with government regulations. Protections under this coverage include insurable interests in:

  • Fixtures
  • Materials
  • Equipment

The policy type, with the limits and proper coverage, should be adequate to cover potential losses in the event of damage or physical loss from a covered cause. This policy type would generally include theft of materials once the supplies have been left at the job site, and some protections extend to the transport and temporary storage of building materials during the course of construction.

Understanding the liabilities that threaten a building project makes it easier to establish needed coverage against those risks. Under a COC policy, the prime threats that would delay a project are addressed.

Gun Club Protocols

Regardless of your stance on gun ownership, it is a fact of life in the US. Since about 42% of households in America own guns, you might never know which of your neighbors are on which side of the debate. Hence, it makes sense to be on board about desiring a safe place for gun owners to practice shooting. This necessitates gun clubs being operated in many communities across the country. Have you ever thought about insurance needs for gun clubs or the safety protocols to which they adhere? They contribute to public protection in a tangible way.

Safety First

Gun clubs are places where people learn to handle firearms safely. They frequently offer classes in hunter education and beginner gun safety to contribute to everyone’s security. Most clubs operate under the principles that you:

  • Treat every firearm as though it is loaded at all times.
  • Never point a muzzle at another person.
  • Check and double-check your surroundings to ensure no person is near your line of fire.
  • Never touch a trigger until you’re absolutely certain you’ll only be firing at your target.

Coverage

Gun clubs carry a variety of insurance, too. Most care commercial liability coverage in addition to the specialized gun club liability policies upon which insurance companies insist.

It’s in everyone’s best interest for gun clubs to operate as safely as possible.

A Short Guide To Law Enforcement Liability Insurance

Law enforcement officers face a great deal of physical risk on a daily basis.  From dealing with armed robbers to engaging in high-speed pursuits, law enforcement officers must be ready to face anything while working. However, physical risk is not the only threat that law enforcement officers face as part of their job.

Law enforcement officers face a great deal of financial risk that comes in the form of lawsuits and claims. If a law enforcement officer faces a claim of negligence or wrongdoing, it can end up costing them thousands of dollars.  This is why it is so important that every officer is properly insured with law enforcement liability insurance.

What Is Law Enforcement Liability Insurance?

Law enforcement liability insurance is a type of insurance coverage that is designed to protect law enforcement officers from the financial consequences of a claim of negligence or wrongdoing. It is vital to have good insurance as a law enforcement officer, especially in today’s day and age, where those who work in law enforcement are under more scrutiny than ever before.

What Claims Does Law Enforcement Liability Insurance Protect Against?

Law enforcement liability insurance can cover costs associated with a variety of claims that are commonly made against law enforcement officers. Some of the covered claims are:

  • Claims of negligence
  • Claims of wrongdoing
  • Claims of excessive force
  • Claims of wrongful detainment
  • Claims of false arrest

Working in law enforcement comes with a lot of financial risk. Law enforcement liability insurance can help.

Things To Know About Insurance Coverage for Valuables

Many people have personal items that would be difficult to replace, not just for the sentimental value but also for the cost. Homeowners insurance will often cover a portion of your belongings, but many policies have limits that won’t be able to replace valuables. There are several things to know about insuring valuables with a separate policy or endorsement on your home insurance.

Limited Coverage

Your homeowners’ insurance will cover the destruction or loss of the items in the home, but the policy may not have a limit high enough to address the expenses of your valuables. Know what your policy includes and where coverage ends.

Classifications of Belongings

If you are going to schedule a personal property endorsement, it is very important that you fully document all the items you will be including. Have a formal appraisal done for things like jewelry and art. You will need the specific details of jewelry, such as clarity, carat, color and other identifying marks for the best coverage.

Changing Needs

It is important that you continually revisit your insurance policy to make sure there is enough coverage for your valuables and lifestyle. Adding to your belongings or selling them may cause the insurance needs to change.

Too little insurance may mean your valuables won’t be replaced if lost, stolen or damaged. Check with your broker about complete coverage for the things you hold dear.

Cybersecurity is Crucial

Most people are aware of how necessary good cybersecurity is for businesses. We don’t often think, however, of all the kinds of businesses which require that type of high-quality security. Consider all the places in which you might use your credit card. Each of those businesses represents a potential weak link in which your data might be compromised. That’s why cybersecurity for marinas, jewelry stores and other places where the customer has utilized a form of electronic payment is vital.

Human Input

In terms of potential information leaks, the people who work for the company which takes your electronic payment are a prime way for your data to be compromised. Companies mitigate the factor for human error by:

  • Performing background checks, credit checks and drug tests on employees.
  • Training employees on all crucial electronic systems.
  • Having a plan to minimize client exposure in the event a breach occurs.
  • Carrying the correct kind and amount of cybersecurity insurance.

Commonalities

Most cybersecurity programs have similar basics. They address the holes in the existing systems the business is using. They also usually suggest ways of increasing security in the event of hacks. Many reputable cybersecurity companies also help develop and deploy a disaster recovery plan in the event of a breach.

As our use of electronic data rises, so does the need to protect that information.

Preventing an HOA Scam

A Homeowner’s or Condo Association is a perfect storm for potential embezzlement. There is a lot of money available; HOAs collected $96 billion from residents in 2019. On the other hand, there is very little oversight; HOAs are run by volunteers who are also residents. Your HOA should invest in crime insurance in case of HOA scams, but also work to prevent common crimes like embezzlement.

Follow These Common-Sense Guidelines

  • Secure checks in a locked location and track check numbers.
  • Every check must be signed by two unrelated parties.
  • All expenses should be reviewed by two other board members.
  • Train board members on bookkeeping.
  • Conduct an annual audit, including reserve fund evaluation.
  • Conduct surprise audits. All audits should be conducted by third parties.

Look For These Behaviors

It’s important that the board is made up of individuals with the time to review the records and even if you aren’t on the board, you should make an effort to ask for a copy from time to time. When you review records you’re looking for warning signs like incomplete records, missing check numbers, duplicate payments or an unusual number of payments to the same person. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. It could be the monthly lawn service or it could be something not so easily explained.

An underfunded HOA can mean money out of your pocket in an emergency. Look for fraud. Prevent fraud.

The Value of Comprehensive Architect Insurance

While many people think of contractors and construction workers as being the primary individuals responsible for a building project, architects play an essential role from start to finish in the building and design process. The complexity of their role is one vital reason why carrying comprehensive architect insurance is a necessity for architectural professionals and firms.

What Risks Do Architects Face?

While planning is the cornerstore of solid architectural design, the unplanned frequently does occur. Over the course of a project, architects may be faced with unexpected budgetary issues, unique structural considerations that arise in the course of building, zoning and regulatory hurdles, and other unforseen challenges.

What Does Architect Insurance Cover?

Protection in the event of unexpected contingencies can be enormously helpful for architects. While policies may vary depending on sub-industry, architect insurance will typically cover some or all of the following:

  • General liability, covering damages for which an architect may be deemed responsible
  • Workers compensation for firm employees or contractors
  • Pollution coverage, vital in the event of unexpected spills or run-off
  • Commercial auto insurance

In short, unique hazards exist for architects working on building projects, and various liabilities may arise. Working with an experienced insurance agency will ensure your architectural film is well-protected in the event that something unexpected occurs.

Why You Need Fiduciary Liability Coverage

There is a lot of complexity in running a business and managing employees. For one thing, it’s important for a company to provide employees with a benefit plan that makes for a great work experience. Among the complexities of overseeing employee benefits, fiduciary insurance will protect the business in the event that it is held liable for mismanagement.

What Is Fiduciary Liability Coverage?

A fiduciary is an individual with power over the management and decision-making of a benefit plan document. These duties can typically be attributed to employers or other administrative officers in a company. If a claim is raised that a fiduciary is guilty of mismanagement over a benefit plan, fiduciary insurance will help cover the costs of defense and other legal matters.

Building Human Trust

While fiduciary liability issues may be relatively uncommon, there are additional benefits for implementing coverage. Clients and employees looking to work with your company will look favorably upon the business for having fiduciary coverage in place. It is an indication that the company is willing to work towards protecting the interests of its associates.

Fiduciary insurance is a key component in protecting a company and employees during mismanagement incidents. By providing benefits in the form of indemnity and defense, the financial assets of a business will be covered. A fiduciary program designed for your specific employee benefit plan will be a major boon for your company.

Carrying Earthquake Insurance in the Garden State

While many Americans associate earthquakes with California and parts of the West Coast, many areas of the country — including New Jersey — are actually fairly seismically active. While hurricanes and other severe weather are frequently considered more threatening in the Garden State, many small earthquakes affect the state annually, and given the state’s population density, do have potential to instigate major damage. For this reason, it is worth considering carrying earthquake insurance in New Jersey.

Why Carry Earthquake Insurance?

Earthquake insurance is not covered under a typical homeowner’s policy — meaning that it must be added on to existing coverage, or established as a separate policy, if deemed necessary.

Many factors can affect whether it is useful to carry earthquake insurance in New Jersey, including the following:

  • Manner of home construction: a brick or stone building may differ in structural soundness from a wood-framed one
  • Type of soil or fill beneath the home may affect home stability
  • Proximity to tall trees or water
  • Age of a home
  • Height of a given building

These and other factors can be reviewed by a qualified insurer, in order to help determine whether earthquake insurance is appropriate for you. Ultimately, determining whether coverage is necessary will offer distinct peace of mind and financial security.

Have You Been a Victim of a Cyber Attack? 4 Things To Watch Out For

Today’s businesses operate tremendous digital assets that are often vulnerable to cyber attacks. The frequent headlines about major crimes ensure that people are aware of the problem. However, cybercriminals aren’t always as obvious as the instances that make headlines. Would you know if someone breached your system with a cyber attack? Here are four signs your systems may have been compromised.

1. Network Slowdowns

Cyber attacks can cause excessive amounts of traffic on compromised networks. This results in slower than normal speeds which are often one of the first signs your network has been attacked.

2. Suspicious Log-Ins

An unusual number of log-ins from unusual locations or unauthorized users can be an indication that someone is accessing your information. It is a good idea to have IT track who is using your network to monitor for this type of activity.

3. Unplanned Emails

Another common sign of cyber crimes is a sudden burst of emails originating from your system. These blasts use your contacts to gain access to other computers.

4. Frequent Pop-Ups

There are a few other obvious signs that malware or spyware has been installed on a system. A sudden increase in popups or ads is usually a warning that you should scan for problems.

A large part of business security in the digital age is securing online assets and computer networks. Knowing how to identify a business cyber attack can help you spot trouble early so you can minimize damage and better control cyber threats.