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Personal Lines Four Tips for Disaster Free Holiday FestivitiesFamily, friends and festivities should be the focus of the holiday season, but don’t let this joyous time be marred by fire, theft, accidents and other disasters. Taking a few simple steps, and having the right insurance coverage can reduce these seasonal hazards. Start with these four safety tips:

  1. Be Fire Safe. December is the peak month for fires caused by candles. Christmas tree-related fires, while not as common as candle fires, are much more likely to be deadly. Decorations and cooking are the two leading causes of home fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Take care when decorating for the holidays and keep decorations far from a heat source, and never leave the stove unattended while cooking. Always be sure to have smoke alarms in working condition. In the event of a fire, evacuate immediately. And prepare by developing and practicing a home fire escape plan with the whole family.
  2. Protect Your Identity. The hustle and bustle of the holidays creates the perfect opportunity for thieves bent on stealing your credit card information. To protect yourself, shop at reputable stores and check your credit card statements regularly, and if you find anything unusual, report it to your credit card company immediately. If your wallet is either lost or stolen, contact the police and your credit card company as soon as you can.
  3. Burglar-Proof Your Home. If you’re traveling over the holidays, have mail and packages picked up or held by the post office, use automatic timers to turn lights on and off at appropriate times and have a dependable neighbor check on the house periodically. Consider making your home more secure with dead-bolt locks, window grates and smoke/fire/burglar alarms. An added benefit: most insurers provide discounts for devices that make a home safer.
  4. Drive Safely. Safe driving and well-maintained vehicles take on even greater importance in winter. Stay off the road between the hours of midnight and 3 a.m. when drunk driving accidents are most likely to occur. Obey speed limits and avoid all distractions (no texting, eating, grooming!) while behind the wheel. Make sure to also keep your gas tank full. Stormy weather or traffic delays that force you to change routes or turn back can result in the use of more gas.

Kevin Havemeier is an Associate Client Advisor at Gulfshore Insurance specializing in Private Risk Services. Kevin works with successful individuals and families with complex insurance needs. He analyzes his clients’ risks and collaborates with them to design customized solutions with the goal of ultimately delivering peace of mind. Comments and questions are welcome at khavemeier@gulfshoreinsurance.com

Gulfshore Insurance is a Naples, Florida based insurance agency specializing in home and homeowners insurance, car and auto insurance, boat and yacht insurance, property insurance, umbrella insurance, valuables insurance for fine art, jewelry, wine, and more. Navigating insurance requires an experienced and trusted insurance agent who understands your high net worth risks and exposures. Gulfshore Insurance services Naples, North Naples, Port Royal, Park Shore, Pelican Bay, The Moorings, Naples Beach, Marco Island, Bonita Springs, Sanibel Island, Captiva, Fort Myers, Sarasota, and Southwest Florida. We have office locations in Naples, Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale, and Sarasota.

Personal Lines Cyber LiabilityCyber-crime is a trend growing as fast as the Internet itself. It seems that every day there’s another identity theft story in the news that leaves us feeling vulnerable to this invisible threat.

While the compromise of corporate networks gets most of the media attention, we as individuals should be concerned — especially those with greater wealth and high media exposure. Now that personal information has become so hard to protect, financial status is much easier to discover. The explosive growth of mobile communications has created millions of new targets for criminals. Even vehicles, home security systems, and “smart” appliances can be hacked and used against someone. Anything controlled by a computer or connected to a network can be compromised.

The key to protection isn’t through a high-tech solution; cyber security is about awareness of online activity. It’s a good idea to work with a private security advisor who can offer expertise in cyber security. They not only help with background research and network security on both a personal and enterprise level, but they also provide tips and education on effective measures one can take to guard against cyber-crime.

It is also essential to insure one’s assets and reputation should a loss occur due to cyber-crime. Recovering stolen identity or lost assets can be expensive and time-consuming. And if this happens to a business leader, politician, celebrity or other high net worth individuals, restoring a damaged reputation can also be difficult and costly. Good coverage provides some reassurance that you can financially recover from a cyber-crime. Not all insurance providers can meet those unique needs; it is important to talk with a trusted insurance agent who can offer expert advice on coverage solutions and recommend the best insurance companies to help protect against cyber-crime. Some carriers offer in-home safety consultations or can recommend an international personal security firm with expertise in protecting wealthy individuals and families.

It’s important to discuss these cyber risk exposures with your trusted insurance agent who can provide risk mitigation and loss prevention recommendations and, most importantly, secure insurance coverage with an insurance company that specializes in this risk.

Kevin Havemeier is an Associate Client Advisor at Gulfshore Insurance specializing in Private Risk Services. Kevin works with successful individuals and families with complex insurance needs. He analyzes his clients’ risks and collaborates with them to design customized solutions with the goal of ultimately delivering peace of mind. Comments and questions are welcome at khavemeier@gulfshoreinsurance.com

Gulfshore Insurance is a Naples, Florida based insurance agency specializing in home and homeowners insurance, car and auto insurance, boat and yacht insurance, property insurance, umbrella insurance, valuables insurance for fine art, jewelry, wine, and more. Navigating insurance requires an experienced and trusted insurance agent who understands your high net worth risks and exposures. Gulfshore Insurance services Naples, North Naples, Port Royal, Park Shore, Pelican Bay, The Moorings, Naples Beach, Marco Island, Bonita Springs, Sanibel Island, Captiva, Fort Myers, Sarasota, and Southwest Florida. We have office locations in Naples, Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale, and Sarasota.

Commercial Lines Top 10 Causes of Disabling InjuriesThe 2020 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index (WSI) found that the most disabling workplace injuries cost more than $59 billion per year.

U.S. businesses spend more than $1 billion per week on the most disabling workplace injuries. Compiled annually,  the Index researched the top 10 causes of the most serious workplace injuries — those that cause employees to miss work for more than five days — and ranked those causes by their direct cost to employers, based on medical and lost-wage expenses.

Top 10 causes of disabling workplace injuries:

Top 10 2020 workplace safety index the top 10 causes of disabling injuries 700b

As businesses reassess and refine business operations, now is a good time to address the many risks that employees can face in the workplace. Liberty Mutual took the Workplace Safety Index (WSI) a step further and broke down the most costly causes of injuries into eight industry-specific reports:

 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us for assistance. We are here to help.

Kim Ovaitte, CPCU, ARM is the Executive Vice President of Marketing & Sales at Gulfshore Insurance.  Also serving as the Construction Practice Leader, Kim works with clients to develop cost effective risk management and claims strategies that dovetail with their insurance program. Comments and questions are welcome at kovaitte@gulfshoreinsurance.com

Commercial Lines Heat IllnessAs we approach the peak heat of the summer season and as employers begin to re-open after months of COVID-19 quarantine, workers may be out of shape, out of practice on workplace safety procedures, and may have to re-breathe hot air through face coverings. As they focus on COVID-19 efforts, employers should remain aware of risks, rule violations, injuries, and heat illness.

Dangers of Hot Environments

Those who work in hot environments could be at risk of heat stress, which can result in heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps or heat rashes. Heat stress can also result in an increased risk of other injuries as workers can get sweaty palms, fogged up safety glasses and dizziness.

The same people at higher risk of contracting COVID-19- those 65 or older, are overweight, or have heart disease or high blood pressure- are also among those at a higher risk of suffering from heat illness and may need a longer time than others to re-acclimate.

Problems with Face Masks

Face masks required for reducing the spread of COVID-19 could cause further problems as mask-associated facial heat complaints may represent any of a variety of effects, including:

  • local dermal effects
  • increased temperature of breathing air
  • elevated core temperature, or
  • psychophysiological responses.

In short, risks of heat stress can worsen with masks which function like scarves by keeping warm air near the body.

Considerations for Employers

Employers with employees susceptible to heat illness should take efforts to minimize exacerbating effects heat may have in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Create and implement a heat illness prevention plan and consider adding additional breaks and water stations to help workers regulate their body temperatures.

Tim Spear, is a Client Advisor and Partner at Gulfshore Insurance specializing in the construction, oil/petroleum, and landscape industries. Through his consultative and diagnostic approach, he helps clients develop customized programs to meet their risk management needs. Comments and questions are welcome at tspear@gulfshoreinsurance.com

Personal Lines Firework SafetyThis year’s Fourth of July holiday may look different from most, with many people celebrating from home due to social distancing restrictions still in place to help stop the spread of COVID-19. All too often, however, Independence Day backyard celebrations can end up with a trip to the hospital for firework-related injuries.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) says that roughly 18,500 fires are started annually by fireworks. Even a simple backyard sparkler can heat up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you choose to use fireworks at home, follow these tips to keep your holiday safe and fun:

Keep them outside. Never light fireworks inside, and always keep them far away from dry grass, plants, and other flammable objects.

Never point fireworks at others. Make sure your fireworks are not aimed at any people, animals, or property.

Take fire precautions. Keep a full bucket of water or a garden hose nearby and ready to go in case you need to douse the fireworks or anything they may ignite. Make sure you know where the nearest fire extinguisher is located.

Take a look at your outfit. Make sure you’re not wearing loose clothing when using fireworks.

Move back. When you’re lighting the fireworks (always one at a time), make sure no part of your body is directly above the device.  As soon as it is lit, move a safe distance away.

Douse them when done. Once a firework is done burning, soak it with water from the bucket or the hose before throwing it away. If one of your fireworks doesn’t seem to be working properly, do not pick it up or try to light it again. Douse it with water and then throw it away.

Protect pets. Provide a safe place indoors for your pets to stay during the festivities. Consider turning on the television to help drown out the pops and bangs from fireworks nearby.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to Gulfshore Insurance, we are here to make sure you have a fun and safe holiday weekend.