Stop tech time wasters

4
Oct
2017

How much is tech time costing your business?

I’m talking about employees using their smart phones on your dollar and distracting others in the process. Or using their PC for personal purposes. You could be losing two or three hours per day per employee when it comes to tech time usage.

That’s what researchers at job site CareerBuilder say. And they got their information by talking to employees themselves. See for yourself at http://tinyurl.com/TechTime2017

What can you do about tech time costing your business as the employer or manager? Here are a few things CareerBuilder says many employers have already done:

  • Ban personal calls or entire cell phone use
  • Block Internet access or specific sites
  • Monitor emails and Internet usage
  • Limit the use of speakerphones
  • Increase the height of cubicle walls — or remove cubicles altogether

Sometimes running a business is a battle and you need as much help as you can get. I hope you find these few tips useful. And remember Harbor Insurance is always here to talk about and help with your insurance needs for your business, property and even personal needs.

Whether you have a 2 person embroidery shop, 120 person office, upscale restaurant or even a mobile food service; Harbor Insurance can provides coverage plans and review your needs now and for the future with insurance that is tailored to you and your business.

Just give us a call or visit us online at www.harboria.com for more information.

 


Home Insurance Checkup

26
Sep
2017

A home insurance checkup should be on your radar at least once a year, if not more. Have you made changes to your home that may affect your home insurance needs? Do you know what all those bold lines on your policy coverage section actually cover and when they need to be updated?

At Harbor Insurance, we have licensed insurance agents ready to answer questions and provide suggestions on coverage you may or may not have considered. A home insurance checkup is just part of our many valuable services that we provide to our new and renewing clients on a frequent basis.

When your home insurance policy accurately reflects the property it is insuring and meant to protect, the home insurance policy is most effective. In order to maintain proper insurance coverage it is imperative to review your coverage on a regular basis with your insurance agent as well as advise your agent when any changes and upgrades are made or when plans to change something are in discussion.

It is important to alert your insurance agent of these and other changes when it comes to properly insuring your property:

  1. Change the occupancy of your home.

    1. Renting your home or leaving your home vacant violates the standard homeowner insurance policy occupancy ratings. Details of any change in occupancy should be reviewed with your insurance agent in order to ensure proper insurance coverage.

  2. Start a home business

    1. Business equipment, business liability and lost income are intricate parts of a business owner policy. Typically your homeowner policy does not provide adequate coverage and in some cases business exposures are simply not covered at all. Speak with an agent to discuss the best way to insure your new business.

  3. Get a high-risk pet

    1. Certain kinds of pets and even specific breeds are considered high risk animals and are not covered under the standard homeowner policy. Most people think they only have to consider certain dog breeds but this also may include farm animals, reptiles and other exotic pets too. An insurance agent can advise you on coverage for these types of animals and situations.

  4. Add a structure to your property, build an addition or remodel your home

    1. Building a new garage, detached in-law suite, porch or even a shed will increase the value of your home. Replacing your roof, updating your kitchen, bathrooms or flooring will increase your homes values which in turn may increases your homeowner insurance value. Speak with your insurance agent about any upgrades, remodeling or additions to ensure your are property covered before the project and once it is complete.

  5. Acquire valuables

    1. Jewelry, fine arts, antiques, collectibles and other high cost items may not be fully insured on your typical homeowner insurance policy. In most cases, these types of items require special coverage and possibly a separate policy in order to insure them to value properly.

When is the last time you have had an insurance checkup ? Speak with a Harbor Insurance agent in our office today. Call (888) 451-8818 or visit harboria.com


Don’t do dumb! | Business Insurance Coverage with Harbor Insurance

27
Jul
2017

Have you ever done something in your business activity and then thought, “That was dumb!”? You kick yourself and vow not to do it again. Don’t do dumb!

Well, it turns out we’re doing dumb things more often than we realize. And it’s holding us back. Things like:

  • Avoiding controversy in your business because you don’t want to rock the boat, when you should really go in and tackle it.
  • Poor use of time and failing to prioritize key tasks. Always get the important stuff done first, even when it’s the toughest job.
  • Reluctance to change, when your competitors are ready to get ahead of you. Just because “it ain’t broke” doesn’t mean you shouldn’t fix it!
  • Organizational silos — you know, those people who stick to doing their own jobs without concern for how they affect others. We need to build good communication between each other.

I came across these tips, and quite a few more in a book by business guru Neil Smith called “How Excellent Companies Avoid Dumb Things”. It makes you think about how we often fail to spot things that are blocking business growth.

The solution, says Smith, is to do a thorough review of your business, focusing on how to simplify things, cut costs and generate new ideas.

Even your insurance coverage should come under the spotlight. How have the risks you face in your business changed in recent years? Are you fully protected against them? Why not give Harbor Insurance a call and arrange for a brief chat to ensure all is as it should be?


Insuring Yourself For the Risks of Living Longer

7
Jul
2017

Insuring Yourself For The Risks Of Living Longer…People today are living much longer than their ancestors. That’s great news. But, as we’re already seeing, greater longevity also increases the risk that more of us will fall victim to serious illnesses later in life — despite the significant advances being made in diagnosis and treatment.

It’s not something most of us want to think about. But those that do are recognizing the advantage of good insurance coverage to protect them from the financial burden that a prolonged illness can cause. Insure yourself now for the risks of living longer later.

Critical illness insurance is one of the effective tactics for protecting yourself against the risks associated with a longer life.

It usually pays out a lump sum or provides a regular income for victims of a number of specific illnesses — cancer, heart attack or a stroke for example — that otherwise might have a major impact on a family’s finances.
These policies usually pay out even if the policyholder makes a full recovery.

Enjoy life now with peace of mind for the later years.

In fact, a key strength of critical illness insurance is that by easing financial burdens, it allows policy holders and their families to focus on what’s truly important — the potential for recovery. Contact us if you’d like to know more by clicking here.


Don’t Let Your PC Be Taken Hostage by Cyber Crimes

22
Jun
2017

Don’t Let Your PC Be Taken Hostage by Cyber Crimes! You’re happily working away on your computer, making good progress. Then you click on a link or email attachment and the screen freezes. A message flashes up, saying the PC has been locked and your data is no longer accessible until you pay a ransom.

Be safe on the information highway, Cyber crimes are increasing nationwide.

Computer infection with “ransomware”, as it’s called, is one of the fastest-growing cyber-crimes of recent years, affecting not only home users but also businesses and other organizations, large and small. Cyber security experts say 2017 is heading to be the worst-ever year for the crime, which often leaves victims with seemingly little option but to pay up. Thousands of new infections are being reported every day. And even when victims pay (usually the ransom is between $50 and $200), there’s no guarantee the crooks will provide the unlocking code. And even if they do, they may also steal confidential information from PCs that can then be used for identity theft.

However, there’s a lot you can do to avoid falling victim to cyber crimes. And, even if you do get caught-out, there are often ways of getting your computer back in business without paying the ransom.

Here’s what to do:

  • Make sure you have reputable security software installed on your computer and update it regularly (ideally, automatically). This will often stop ransomware infections from getting onto your PC in the first place.
  • Keep all your other software apps and programs up to date. This especially applies to your Internet browser. Criminals are quick to identify weaknesses in any program but producers are usually just as quick to respond with more secure versions. If you don’t update, your software could be open to attack.
  • Be wary about clicking links and attachments in emails from people or organizations you don’t know. Use the same caution on links inside unfamiliar websites.
  • Make full and regular backups of both your computer operating system and your documents and other data. That way, if your machine is frozen and locked, you can reinstate your back-ups, losing little or none of your valuable data.

What if you get caught and don’t have a back-up? First, don’t panic. Shutdown your computer, disconnect it from the Internet and then restart it. In some cases, that might be enough.

If it’s still frozen, consider getting outside, professional help. There are a number of fixes for some of the ransomware currently circulating and calling in an expert might get you back in business.

If all else fails, you may have to consider paying up. That depends on how valuable your data is. But don’t use a payment method that involves an account number the crooks could hijack and use again.

Once you’re in the clear, use security software — or an expert — to thoroughly clean or reset your computer.

Do you have a business and fear the possibility of Cyber Crimes against your business? Harbor Insurance can quote and insure you with Cyber Crime Liability coverage as part of your Business Insurance Package. Contact us at Harbor Insurance today for more information. Visit us at I’m interested to find out more on Cyber Liability Insurance .


Beware of Flood Damaged Cars

15
Jun
2017

Beware of flood damaged cars…Thinking of buying a used car? Then, watch out for a torrent of flood-damaged autos now being offered for sale.

You probably weren’t counting, but in the past year there have been more than a dozen major floods in North America, which damaged tens of thousands of cars.
Sadly, many of them are now turning up on used car lots and online sales sites.

In an alert, the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) warns that “unknowingly buying a flood-damaged vehicle may put you and your family in physical and financial danger.”

Cars’ electronic systems are often damaged during floods, causing safety systems to malfunction. Intensive water exposure can also cause major failures and other problems with the structure of a vehicle.

It’s not illegal to sell flood-damaged cars, though it is an offense to conceal or disguise its history to avoid disclosing flood damage. In other words, a legitimate seller has got to be honest upfront if an auto has been affected by flood water. Beware of flood damaged cars.

But that won’t stop the bad guys. It’s down to you to make the checks that will show if the car has been in a flood and is considered a flood damaged car. Here are the tell-tale signs:

  • Musty smells in the cabin or trunk of the car and water marks underneath rugs.
  • Rugs may also be unevenly discolored.

    After the car is cleaned, would you be able to tell it suffered flood damage?

  • Rust in the engine compartment and on the bottom of doors, especially of a newer vehicle.
  • Signs of water in wheel wells, such as a white line at a certain height.
  • Wiring and harnesses showing signs of being hard, brittle or cracked.
  • Dirt where it shouldn’t be, such as in seat tracks or under the glove compartment.
  • Stubborn retractable seat belts, not pulling out and returning smoothly, and sometimes discolored.
  • A bargain price that seems too good to be true. If so, beware!

Make a point of checking a vehicle’s title documentation too, to see if it came from a flood area. Then, if you’re really interested, go one step further and check the vehicle’s title record via the NICB’s free VINCheck service. Find it at: http://tinyurl.com/NICB-VIN

Once you have decided on your new used vehicle be sure to insure it properly. That is where Harbor Insurance comes in. At Harbor Insurance we are here to assist in new vehicle insurance policies, adding another vehicle onto your existing Florida auto policy with us and reviewing your current auto insurance coverage.

Are you interested in receiving an auto quote for the vehicle you are purchasing? Contact Harbor Insurance here: Quote My Florida Auto Now


Overpaying for Insurance? We can help.

25
May
2017

Every insurance carrier is a little different. But, there are a few common ways that you – as a consumer – can usually lower your insurance costs. Don’t continue to overpay for insurance; we can help.

Here are some useful things you can do to increase your insurance cost savings:
  • Get more than one type of policy from the same insurer (such as home and auto or auto and personal umbrella)
  • Install security devices in your car and/or your home
  • Maintain a safe driving record, or claim-free home insurance record
  • Take part in a certified Safe Drivers Course
  • Increase your deductible
  • Keep your insurance policy current so certain out-dated risks are no longer covered (check with me on this)
  • Accept a lower maximum payout
  • Being a low-mileage driver (often less than 8,000 miles per year)
  • Drive certain cars (some have greater risk of theft!)
  • Pay premiums as an annual sum rather than a monthly sum
  • Install and have inspected Hurricane Shutters, Impact Windows, Roof Straps and/or Impact Doors and have a Windstorm Mitigation Inspection completed in order to certify the protective measures in place on your home

Because insurers frequently change their rates and their terms, the only way to keep on top of this checklist is to continuously monitor the marketplace, which is why we like to stay in touch with you, our insured throughout the year. By keeping in touch on a regular basis with us, your agent at Harbor Insurance, it keeps insurance fresh in your mind and you are more apt to ask a question and get the answers needed in the order that they apply to you, your home, your automobile(s), your exposures and/or any business endeavors you participate in.

We can help you to avoid overpaying for your insurance and to find the right insurance protection for your needs based upon the information that you share with us. Contact us at Harbor Insurance to discuss this and any other insurance related concerns further.


Homeowner Insurance; what’s covered and what’s not when it comes to water backup?

16
May
2017

Do you know what is covered and what is not covered on your homeowner insurance policy when you suffer a water backup claim? Have you asked your agent, reviewed your homeowner insurance policy and/or are you prepared for when you suffer a property loss?

Each homeowner policy in Florida has the same basic coverage but the difference may not be visible to the everyday homeowner. If you are not sure what is covered on your homeowner policy, ask your agent for specifics and how they apply to the policy on your property.

Below you will find a brief list of what is typically covered on a homeowner policy for losses pertaining to water back up coverage. In order to confirm specifically what MAY or MAY NOT be covered on YOUR policy, please contact your agent directly.

-Toilet or shower drain is clogged and overflows causing damage.
– A drain is blocked because of a tree roof in your yard.
– A sewer line in the street backs up and causes a drain to overflow into your home.

Again, if you are unclear what is covered on your home policy please contact your insurance agent without delay. If you would like to discuss specific coverage questions or review your home insurance policy with us, we are here to help. For more information on this and other homeowner insurance topics please visit our agency website at www.harboria.com or find us on Facebook at Harbor Agent

A toilet overflow, drain back up or sewer overflow can cost thousands of dollars in damages and labor repairs. Regular maintenance and upkeep of your household systems will help deter future problems but be sure you have the right insurance coverage and protective measures in place on your homeowner insurance policy. If your home insurance policy does not cover the aforementioned water backup losses you MAY be able to add coverage by endorsement. In order to do this please be sure to contact your insurance agent to discuss in further detail and make an informed insurance decision.


Trim Those Trees With Safety In Mind

30
Mar
2017

With some trees bare of leaves at this time of year, cooler weather and hurricane season just a few months away, have your thoughts turned to that overdue chore of trimming and pruning? If so, make sure you put safety at the top of your yard maintenance list when it comes to tree trimming.

Thousands of people end up in the emergency room every year with tree-related injuries, when following some commonsense rules would have protected them. Trim trees with safety in mind to avoid certain mishaps.

For instance, you should never attempt trimming or removal within 10 feet of a powerline. It’s a job for professionals only. If you have to climb a tree, always test limbs and branches for stability, ensure ladders are securely positioned and never climb while holding tools.

Whether trimming branches or removing an entire tree, calculate where they will fall and ensure the fall area is clear before starting. It’s advisable to wear googles and other safety equipment, including strong gloves and, where appropriate, a hard hat.

This is particularly important if you’re using a chainsaw. In addition to heavy work gloves, you should wear thick clothing and even consider chaps as an extra layer of protection. Also, don’t attempt big pruning jobs if you’re tired or unwell, or if the weather is stormy. Finally, if in doubt about your abilities, call in a pro — and stay safe!

Image result for tree damage florida

Fallen tree on roof line and damage to surrounding yard.

Trimming trees safely now can help protect against future wind damage and/or storm claims. Did you know that most home insurance companies only provide coverage under the home insurance policy for the cost to repair the part of the home the tree damaged and the removal of the portion of the tree that caused the damage but NOT the remainder of the tree and its removal? Contact us at Harbor Insurance [ www.harboria.com ] to discuss your home coverage and how this important, yet often overlooked insurance detail may affect you.


Protecting Against New Age Risks | Personal Umbrella Insurance

28
Feb
2017

Most people rest easy knowing they’re protected by homeowners’ and auto insurance. And it’s true – they mostly are, if their coverage was arranged by a professional who understands their needs. But beyond the protection of a traditional homeowners’ or auto policy, increasing numbers of consumers are adding to this security with umbrella insurance.

It’s a matter of personal choice that we’re always happy to advise our clients about but it might be helpful to understand how umbrella coverage can add protection for you and your family.

In a nutshell, umbrella insurance is a form of liability insurance that performs two key jobs:

  1. It provides additional financial protection over and above the coverage in a homeowners’ or auto policy. In other words, it kicks in if any liability costs you face exceed the limits of your main policy.
  2. It offers protection against some risks that may not be covered by regular homeowners’ insurance – things like libel and invasion of privacy.

Back in the old days, these two risks may not have seemed all that significant but things have changed in the 21st century. For a start, lawsuit awards or settlements and associated costs continue to rise. Just as important, the age of the Internet has thrown the issues of libel, slander and invasion of privacy into the spotlight.

For example, not many people realize that the comments they might insert at the end of a blog or something else they’re reading on the web are potentially actionable – if they turn out to be untrue or malicious. Yes, we enjoy freedom of speech in this country but that doesn’t mean freedom to unjustly slur someone’s reputation. But it’s easy to do without realizing.

This isn’t just a theoretical thing, either. Recently we’ve seen cases where Internet site operators, including a big retailer, were forced to identify individuals who had contributed product reviews anonymously so that lawyers could consider lawsuits against them.

These trends – high settlements and libel lawsuits, and legal costs that can run into the hundreds of thousands – are likely only to increase in the coming years. Umbrella insurance actually provides high-level extra protection against these at fairly low cost, provided you already have standard protection. If you’d like to know more, please contact us at https://www.harboria.com/for-individuals/personal-umbrella-insurance