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R&R Insurance Blog

Top Takeaway from the FPA of Wisconsin Symposium

Posted by Dan Wolfgram

Mon, Oct 16, 2017 @ 04:33 PM

After attending last week’s FPA of Wisconsin Symposium the resounding message still ringing in our ears is “team.” Despite how cliché it may sound, we left those few days reminded of how valuable R&R’s partnership with the FPA truly is.

Our Private Client Division is excited to be a part of your team. We understand how important your clients are to you and value your goal of growing their wealth. We take it upon ourselves to properly protect those assets with the very best coverage. We’ve been there before - and will continue to provide unparalleled service.

Below is a quick preview of the fun we had last week!

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Topics: Private Client Group

4 Ways to Prevent Business Email Compromise Scams

Posted by Mike Payne

Fri, Oct 13, 2017 @ 03:39 PM

iStock-495588550.jpgThat Nigerian prince requesting bank account information may be easy email fraud to spot, but what if a spoofed email arrived looking exactly like your boss? Business Email Compromise (BEC) scams are misleading employees into diverting company payments to swindlers who are impersonating customers, vendors, or senior executives.

According to FBI statistics, $1.6 Billion was lost by US companies between October 2013 and December 2016. Common scenarios cited by the FBI include fraudulent correspondence through a compromised email from a vendor or client, attorney impersonation, and wire transfer requests from a spoofed or hacked CFO email address.

The Hanover Insurance Group created a piece “Stop Imposter Fraud scams before they happen”. It's an excellent read pertaining to BEC. I’ve condensed some of their ideas from seven to four tips.

1)     Verify all changes to fund transfer payments over the phone.

Employees with the authority to transfer funds should not change vendor, client, or employee bank account information without first confirming the change with a phone call. This phone number must be previously established and not a number provided on a potentially fraudulent email.

2)     Be suspicious of emails calling for a rush transfer.

An email crafted to pressure an employee into transferring funds hastily should be a red flag. Employees should be trained not to fall victim to intimidation that might cause them skip authentication procedures.

3)     Limit the number of employees with wire transfer authority.

Fewer authorized personnel mean fewer targets for fraudsters. Supervisors should be required to sign off on changes to vendor or client/customer bank account information or internal/external wire transfers.

4)     If a scam email has been detected consult IT.

Stop the bleeding lest others be scammed. If a fraudulent email is coming from someone internally, your network likely has been breached. Actions should to be taken to secure the companies network.

Most insurance policies will not cover a BEC scam. The willful parting of money is often excluded from the language of contracts and usually requires the insured to add false pretense coverage to an existing plan.

Prevention is the ideal solution to BEC scams. Once compromised though, your only lifeline is false pretense coverage which normally is an addition. Be sure you’ve talked to your agent about the proper Social Engineering coverage.

Topics: Cyber Crime

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month

Posted by Carla Borda

Fri, Oct 13, 2017 @ 03:33 PM

iStock-622184706.jpgOctober is National Cyber Security Awareness month.  As such, many events are being held around the country bringing together experts from government, industry and security to share information and enhance the dialogue around cyber risks.

The first theme that is coming through loud and clear:

Cyber is a Risk to be Managed not a Risk that can be prevented

Cyber crime is a threat to all industries, governments and businesses. There is no perfect solution and we will be in constant battle against those that seek to extort monies, disrupt our infrastructure, cause damage to our businesses and harm individuals.  Equifax had a cyber security budget of $250 million over 3 years to enhance  cyber security  and a team of 225 professionals across the globe and still suffered a breach affecting 145.5 million people.   Small business and non-profits are at greater risk as they have neither the funds nor personnel to effectively manage the ever evolving threat landscape.

Cyber extortion became a $1 billion industry for criminals in 2016.  According to Rod Rosenstein, Deputy Attorney General for the Dept of Justice, there are 100,000 extortion demands made every day around the globe. 

Business leaders must learn to approach cyber risk as they do other aspects of their business such as safety and compliance.  Cyber is a serious and inevitable risk your business will confront. Have you determined what level of risk is acceptable?  There will be financial consequences. It is a grave mistake to think that it will not happen to you.

From Stuxnet in 2010 to WannaCry and Petya/NotPetya in 2017 malicious code can be targeted at a specific Industrial Control System to malicious code being spread to hundreds of thousands of computers around the globe within hours, unsuspecting companies have felt the impact. Companies have incurred losses involving having to replace computer hardware to loss of income in excess of $200  million. 

I urge all companies to be #cyberaware and focus on cyber risk management especially during this month of Cyber Security Awareness.   

 

Topics: Cyber

Keep Your Vacation Home Water Tight All Year Long

Posted by the knowledge brokers

Mon, Oct 09, 2017 @ 09:05 PM

iStock-172339213.jpgDid You Know? Water is the top preventable cause of damage to American homes — more than fire and theft. However approximately one in every 55 insured homes has a water/freezing claim each year.

Our friends at Nationwide shared an article about the importance of protecting your vacation home during the offseason.

Seasonal and vacation homes are at greater risk of water damage due to prolonged periods of inoccupancy. Undetected, the amount of water damage from a water leak in a secondary home compared to your primary home can be astronomical. However, with proper maintenance and oversight, you can reduce your risk of experiencing an extremely inconvenient loss from water damage to your secondary home.

Nationwide recommends the following tips to help prevent water damage:

  • Keep your thermostat set at no less than 60 degrees Fahrenheit during winter months.
  • Hire a professional caretaker or contract with a local building contractor to check on your vacation house and make sure the temperature is warm enough to keep pipes from bursting.
  • Consider shutting off the water and draining the plumbing system before leaving your home for extended periods of time.
  • Enhance your central station alarm system to include temperature monitoring. Your alarm company will notify you or your caretaker if the temperature in your house falls below a pre-determined limit.
  • Consider having a wireless and programmable thermostat, such as Nest, installed as a lower cost option for temperature monitoring. This device can communicate the temperature at your vacation home with your smart phone.
  • Consider installing an emergency electrical generator to operate the heating system when the power fails during winter storms.

For more information on properly protecting your vacation home this winter, contact a KnowledgeBroker at R&R Insurance.

Topics: Personal Insurance

Making Big Changes? Don't Forget to Contact Your Insurance Agent

Posted by Dan Wolfgram

Mon, Oct 09, 2017 @ 08:42 PM

iStock-539841066.jpgWe recently had a Personal Insurance client report an auto claim to us. After we made sure the client was not injured, we took a deep breath and started the process of submitting a claim. The submission process typically includes gathering details of the accident and getting the appropriate insurance carrier involved.

While submitting the information to the insurance company, we realized that the client’s car involved in the accident was not on their auto insurance policy. Our client was under the impression the car dealership would contact us to add the new car and take off the car they had traded in. Unfortunately, R&R was never contacted. While this specific scenario ended with R&R and the insurance company providing assistance on the claim, this is unfortunately not always the case.

So, this is my friendly reminder to you, our valued customer.  If something happens in your life (i.e., you buy something, you sell something, you are considering buying a certain breed of dog, or if you just want to talk about the Packers, Brewers or Bucks), contact R&R and we can talk you through the process. We are not here to sell you coverages you don’t need or want, but we will only provide knowledge to you so you can make great decisions.  That’s just another reason why we are known as The Knowledge Brokers.

Topics: Personal Insurance

Your Naked Loading Dock is Worth $12k to OSHA

Posted by Mike Payne

Tue, Oct 03, 2017 @ 10:01 AM

Loading Docks 1.jpgIt’s a common sight at any industrial park, but five open loading dock doors in front of a moody OSHA inspector could land your company a $63,375 fine!

The rules have changed. Welcome to 2017.

If your company hasn’t been waiting on bated breath for the latest regulations, on January 17 OSHA added wording to statute 1910.28. All unprotected sides and edges suspended 4 feet or more in the air must have approved fall protection in place. Violations could cost as much as $12,675 per occurrence.

Either word hasn’t travelled fast enough, or many businesses are ignoring the new regulation.

Driving through an industrial park last week I stopped counting the open loading docks when I ran out of fingers. By my calculation, 1/3 of the open dock doors were compliant, 1/3 had inadequate fall protection, and 1/3 had no fall protection at all. An overzealous OSHA inspector could take the same drive I did and rack up fines in the hundreds of thousands without leaving the comfort of his air conditioned Prius.

Who isn’t getting a raise this year, because Johnny left the dock door open on a hot day?

Every year Fall Protection is the number one hazard cited by OSHA. Of the 6,906 citations issued related to Fall Protection in 2016, most came from the residential construction industry (roofing). OSHA’s top priority is to get these numbers down, but the new rules are hitting general industry in ways many are not aware of - and in more ways than just loading docks.

Guardrail 1.pngOSHA’s new ruling requires edges 4 feet or more in the air to have one of three methods of protection:

  • A guardrail system
  • Safety net system
  • Personal fall protection

For loading docks, practicality eliminates a safety net and personal fall protection system. That leaves two options:

  1. Keep the loading dock doors shut when the truck is away
  2. Install an OSHA approved guardrail system.

 

Don’t expect a thin chain or strip of highlighted caution tape to do the job. The guardrail must be able to take up to 200lbs of horizontal pressure and be highly visible. Two or more chains MAY be acceptable if they are spaced at both a “high” and “mid” tier level and visible, but the single chain is not kosher.

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If keeping dock doors shut at all times isn’t practical, there are still many ways to stay OSHA compliant. The ideal solution might look like a Rite-Hite Dock-Guardian Safety Barrier which can handle up to 30,000lbs of horizontal pressure and is highly visible. Other methods used include a Vestil Safety Swing Gate or Uline Scissors Security Gate.

Ladder 1.pngAnother target of the January 17 language is guarding on fixed ladders. Stationary ladders must have a guard at their opening in order to be complaint. OSHA would frown on the ladder below.

Safety chains atop fixed ladders may have been okay in the past, but are now out. To remain complaint a spring loaded self-closing gate is needed. The reasoning behind this decision is that a safety chains do not close themselves. They require a worker to stand on the ladder while using one hand to reattach the chain with his back is to a hazard. A self-closing gate requires no such action and is OSHA compliant.

Fall protection is not required when using portable ladders however, OSHA still encourages employers to provide additional protection.

Ladder 2.pngThe January rule changes also call for a Walking Worker Surfaces Inspection. These inspections are to be done “on a regular schedule” and “when necessary”. These inspections are to be adequate enough to identify slip, trip, and fall hazards. Employers are mandated by the new rules to have a scheduled WWS inspection and to conduct more when conditions or events occur that warrant an additional check.

Don’t let OSHA catch you with a naked loading dock. Slip, trip, and fall regulations have been revised and employers are responsible for keeping up with the language. Especially when a violation is visible from the roadside, it’s probably worth fixing right away.

 

Topics: OSHA

Proudly Sponsoring the FPA of Wisconsin Symposium

Posted by Dan Wolfgram

Thu, Sep 21, 2017 @ 02:13 PM

young-professionals(small).jpgWe’re proud to be supporting the Financial Planning Association of Wisconsin at their upcoming Symposium!

As the largest independently owned insurance agency in the Midwest, R&R Insurance is more than just an agent. We understand that as a Financial Planner your objective is to grow your clients’ wealth – which is why we make it our priority to help protect those assets.

Our experienced team of professionals will work with you to provide a comprehensive review of your clients’ unique exposures, evaluate their current insurance, and then recommend a program to increase protection, ease administrative burden and manage cost. The insurance plans we provide are custom-tailored and hand-selected from a variety of carriers and products, which are unmatched by most mass market insurance companies.  

If you’ll be attending the upcoming Financial Planning Association of Wisconsin Symposium, we invite you to stop by, shake some dice, win great prizes (including cash!), and learn more about the strong partnership we can provide. We promise to be a resource you can count on. We’ll also be sponsoring Trivia Night on Monday, October 9 and would love to have you join us.

Have questions? Contact a member of our Private Client Division!

Find a Private Client Knowledge Broker

Topics: Private Client Group

Catastrophic Storms: How to Prepare Before, During & After

Posted by the knowledge brokers

Thu, Sep 07, 2017 @ 12:29 PM

iStock-476447890.jpgFrom Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, to winter weather that will likely hit Wisconsin later this year - it's never too early to prepare for catastrophic storms. Whether you are a business owner or have personal property, here are steps you can take to better prepare for storms, and ways to expedite the process in the event of a claim:

  • Review your evacuation plans and follow evacuation orders from local officials.
  • Follow the storm closely and stay up-to-date with changes in weather patterns, projections of the storm hitting your location, and emergency instructions.
  • Build or restock emergency preparedness kits (including food, water, medication, flashlights, batteries, first aid supplies, etc.)
  • Stock all of your vehicles with emergency supplies and full tanks of fuel.
  • Stay in touch with family and friends throughout the duration of the storm.
  • Keep cell phones charged and refrigerators/freezers closed in the event you are out of power.
  • Have your emergency claim phone numbers and insurance policy numbers on-hand and easily accessible in the event you need to report a claim.

For additional tips before, during and after storms, click here to read more from Property Casualty 360. Or contact a Knowledge Broker at R&R.

 

September | Life Insurance Awareness Month

Posted by Tom Driscoll

Tue, Sep 05, 2017 @ 10:56 AM

Featured-Client-February-1.jpgThe decision to purchase Life Insurance to protect your family income and/or your business interest is extremely important; but, when was the last time you reviewed that coverage? A lot has changed over the past few years in the Life Insurance market and if you have not reviewed this recently then now is the time!  With people living longer, rates have come down and insurance carriers have strengthened their product portfolios by adding additional features that consumers have demanded.

Here at R&R Insurance, we represent nearly every major life insurance carrier in the market and we would be happy to visit with you and do a no obligation consultative review of your coverage. The best that can happen is that we may be able to save you money and improve your coverage. If we can’t, we will let you know that too. Some added piece of mind for such an important benefit. Nobody likes to pay more than they need to for anything. We would welcome the opportunity to help you assess your coverage.

Complete the following checklist to determine if it's time to give your Life Insurance policy a second glance, or contact Tom for additional information.

 

Topics: Life Insurance

Cyber Risk Goes Beyond Protecting Personal Information

Posted by Carla Borda

Tue, Aug 08, 2017 @ 11:17 AM

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New technologies are being incorporated into almost all aspects of business, and companies are heavily relying on its continuous functionality for everyday operations. No matter what the industry, a byproduct of this Digital Transformation is cyber risk. As more companies turn to digital automation, often times they overlook the fact that they are also opening up their processes to new cyber risks and vulnerabilities.

Here is one example of how a manufacturing company is run on digital technology:

  • The production line is fully automated.
    • How much product to produce
    • What are the peak production times (hours/days)
    • How many orders they need to process, when shipments are made
    • Just one hour of down time on their production line would cost the business a large amount of money
  • All employees have key cards to enter and leave the premises. Their sales people communicate via their network connections.

This example shows that cyber risk goes farther than just protecting personal information. It’s crucial to keep in mind that any device that can send or receive information via the internet provides an entrance for hackers to breach data, lockdown systems, and disrupt operations, costing you time, money, and security.

In order to keep all aspects of your company safe, it is better to be proactive than reactive when choosing cyber security and cyber insurance. Contact a Knowledgebroker for a free analysis of your cyber insurance policy so you can be better prepared if an attack were to happen.

Topics: Cyber