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Posts Tagged ‘Chicago’

Progressive Insurance in Chicago

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

The advantage of purchasing auto insurance from an independent agent is that drivers can ensure that they will have a policy that is tailored specifically to meet their needs, and it’s one advantageous way of purchasing Progressive Insurance in Chicago. Chicago drivers can seek the services of an insurance agent that works for one insurance company, but an independent insurance agent would be able to offer quotes and products from Progressive as well as many other companies.

 

Chicago Progressive Insurance

 

What Is the Independent Agent’s Job?

Independent agents will perform a lot of the work for their clients. For example, some drivers may need to have higher limits on their liability coverage. If they engage the services of independent agents, the agents obtain a quote from Chicago Progressive Insurance and several quotes from other companies. Then, they present these quotes to their clients who choose the best options. This makes it possible for Chicago drivers to have everything they need in an insurance policy at the most advantageous price.

How Much Insurance Does One Need in Chicago?

In Chicago, before people can drive their vehicles, they need to purchase a liability insurance policy. In the event that Chicago drivers cause a collision, they will need to pay the medical bills for everyone they injure. In Chicago, this means that they will need to have at least $20,000 available in their liability policies for one person’s medical bills. If more than one person is injured, the policy will need to cover everyone’s medical bills in at least the amount of $40,000.

Chicago drivers who cause car collisions are also required to take financial responsibility for the property they damage. The property damage liability coverage in their policies will be able to provide $15,000 to pay to have any damaged property repaired or replaced.

Purchasing More Auto Insurance Coverage

The above insurance limits are considered to be very low, but they are acceptable for some people. However, drivers who seek Progressive insurance in Chicago will be able to consult with their independent agents who will analyze their situations and inform them if they need to purchase more coverage. The fact is that people who seek Chicago Progressive insurance see the amount that they are paying for their auto insurance coverage drop by hundreds of dollars when they seek their coverage in this manner. More importantly, they can receive a quote in about six minutes.

Basic Cyber Insurance Information

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

Basic Cyber Insurance

It is next to impossible to determine when a data breach might occur, what damage would be caused or even budget adequately in the eventuality that a data breach may occur. Having cyber insurance could help counterbalance unexpected costs arising out of breaches, however, there is no way to insure against such expenses as, diminished reputation or customer disappointment. For this reason, one should never take insurance as secondary to observing decent data security and privacy practices.

Cyber insurance policies differ from conventional insurance, in that they emphasize on alleviating eventual legal liabilities that could arise from data breach. Therefore cyber insurance policies tend to be inflexible in responding to a data breach. An organization therefore ought to involve relevant managers through the policymaking process and each related department made to understand the policy options. Companies looking at cyber insurance as an option should consider the following steps:

1.     Evaluate the risks of a data breach.

Before considering insurance, the first step is to assess your company’s overall risk of suffering a data breach and the sensitivity of your company’s data. Assessing the risk could be done by considering your company’s type of industry, the volume and nature of data you handle, your brand reputation, technology infrastructure and the number of third party contractors with access to delicate data.

2.    Determine available financial resources for effective breach response.

Prior to investing in cyber insurance, the company ought to determine if they have adequate finances to cover services such as identity recovery and monitoring, breach notification, network downtime, legal, forensics investigation, regulatory penalties, fines and outlays arising from a class-action lawsuit. According to the Ponemon Institute, cyber-crimes in 2011 cost organizations between 1.5 and 36.5 million dollars per data breach.

3.     Comprehend your current insurance coverage and carefully evaluate policy options.

Standard insurance covers that organizations take, offer cover for liability coverage for tangible property only, such as replacing stolen workstations. The liability policy however, may not cover the cost resulting from breach of customer data. Cyber insurance can be put in place to cover costs arising from gaps that could cause an organization to be held liable to cover full costs from data breach.

Each cyber insurance carrier’s coverage will vary. Typically cyber insurance coverage should cater for liability for data breaches, regulatory, legal fines and penalties and initial costs to respond to breaches.

These are the common coverage limitations:

  • Breaches caused by a Third-party/contractor
  • “Paper” breaches i.e. Non-technical breaches
  • Data breaches arising from lost data devices such as laptops or flash drives
  • Vendors (legal and data breach service providers) may choose which breaches to respond to.

4.    Assess your Risk.

An organization needs to perform a thorough security and privacy risk assessment, which in turn could help the organization identify, assess and alleviate gaps in its security and privacy program.  Diminishing gaps found could reduce risks in breaches and lower exposure should a breach occure. Documenting the risk assessment could lower insurance premiums and help speed up the underwriting process.

5.     Find a legitimate and knowledgeable broker.

A knowledgeable insurance broker who understands cyber insurance will easily break down and compare policies different insurance providers offer. A good broker will help identify and reduce breach risks and validate the need for a policy as part of their value added services.

6.     Ensure you have approved vendors.

When responding to a data breach, some cyber insurance policies may require clients to engage the services of use pre-approved vendors as a substitute of their own service providers. Such a limitation in policy could impact the quality of response.

7.     Circumvent common pitfalls with insurance carriers.

Disputes on coverage most often arises when the insured has not fully understood the policy. For instance, on the issue of pre-approved vendors, a company could prefer to use its internal resources rather than engage the services of another vendor. It is wise to resolve these minor issues before making the policy binding.

Visit our website if you want to know more about Cyber Insurance or Web Developer Insurance.

Important Items for Employers Regarding Health Care Reform

Friday, April 1st, 2011
Chicago Health Insurance

Public health poster at the national museum of health and medicine.

The new provisions in the health care law can be complex and difficult to understand, especially in how they relate to employer-sponsored group health plans. It is important for employers to understand and plan for the changes in their obligations under the new plan, as failure to do so can mean fines or penalties for any violations.

Grandfathered Plans - Health Care Reform allows plans that were in effect on 3/23/10 to have grandfathered status. This means that these plans can delay implementation of certain required provisions. These existing plans can change only very slightly to maintain their grandfathered status. This means no increases to participant costs or decreases in benefits.

Coverage for Adult Children up to Age 26 – Plans beginning on or after 9/23/10 must provide dependent coverage for members with adult children until they reach age 26. Children no longer have to be full-time students, reside with parents, or be unmarried.

Pre-existing Conditions for Children under Age 19 – Plans beginning after 9/23/10 may not impose pre-existing conditions on children less than 19 years of age.

Lifetime Limits and Restrictions on Annual Limits – All plans after 9/23/10 are prohibited from imposing lifetime limits on essential health benefits, and are restricted in the dollar amount of annual limits imposed. After 1/1/14, these limits will be banned. Currently, these essential benefits include ambulatory patient services, emergency services, hospitalization, maternity and newborn care, mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment, prescription drugs, rehabilitative services and devices, laboratory services, preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management, and pediatric services.

Equal Treatment of In-network Versus Out-of-network Emergency Services – After 9/23/2010, plans must treat out-of –network emergency services like visits to the E.R. the same as they do for in-network emergencies. Plans will no longer be able to pre-authorize emergency services.

Provide Preventive Care Benefits without Costs to Participants – After 9/23/10, plans may not impose cost-sharing requirements on preventative care services and benefits. This means plans cannot impose co-pays, deductibles, or co-insurance on services like annual physicals, immunizations, and mammograms.

Rescissions Allowed Only in Limited Circumstances – After 9/23/10, plans may not rescind existing coverage or terminate existing plans except with notice to enrollees and then, only in the case of fraud or misrepresentation.

New Appeals Processes – After 9/23/10, plans must have written internal and external appeals procedures. The law stipulates specific methods and structure for these appeals.

Reimbursement of Over-the-Counter Medications Without a Prescription – Beginning 1/1/11, a health care flexible spending plan, health savings account, or health reimbursement arrangement may no longer reimburse over-the-counter medication without a prescription.

Health FSA Contributions Are Capped effective January 1, 2013 – Regardless of plan year, employees may only defer up to $2,500 into a health flexible spending account plan.

Tax Credits for Small Employers – For tax years 2010 through 2013, small employers (those employing fewer than 25 full-time equivalents with average annual wages of less than $50,000) who purchase health insurance for their employees may receive a sliding scale tax credit. Small employers with 10 or fewer workers with an average wage of $25,000 or less may receive the full value of the credit. To qualify for a tax credit, an employer must contribute at least 50 percent of the total premium cost of a benchmark premium.

Subsidy for Retiree Coverage – Effective immediately and available until 1/1//14, group health plans may be reimbursed for certain expenses they incur for early retiree medical coverage. Early retirees are between age 55 and the age at which they become eligible for Medicare.

Provide Breast-Feeding Breaks to Nursing Mothers – Effective in March of 2010, employers must give employees who are nursing mothers reasonable break times to express milk for their children during the one-year period after birth. A private space, other than a bathroom, must be made available.

If you want to know more about health insurance policies or get a free quote, click here for a free Chicago Health Insurance quote.

Understanding Worker’s Compensation Insurance

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

Worker’s compensation is something that most people don’t think about until it is too late. That is because a lot of people don’t understand what it is or how it works. A lot of small business owners struggle to understand worker’s compensation, too. Worker’s comp is “on-the-job” insurance. It provides benefits to employees for work-related injuries or illnesses. This includes reasonable expenses for medical care, wages from lost work time, disability benefits, and survivor or death benefits. As a business owner, a worker’s comp policy can even reimburse you for certain expenses if you get sued.Workers Compensation Insurance

When an employee gets hurt on the job or has a work related illness, they still have to pay their bills and meet other financial obligations. That’s where worker’s comp comes in. Health insurance won’t pay the rent, utilities, or for medical deductibles. Worker’s comp, however, can help with these expenses. Depending on which state you live in, full or part-time employees can be covered by worker’s comp, and in some states business owners, partners, or company officers can be covered as well. Coverage is even available for workers injured while traveling on business outside of the state where they normally work. As a business owner, the rates that you pay will depend on the type of business you are in, your worker’s comp track record, and how much you pay your employees.

Whether or not your business carries worker’s comp coverage may not be a choice because it may be mandated by law, but you do have power over the decision over who you purchase worker’s comp insurance from. Rates and coverage can vary, and the rules and requirements vary from state to state. The same price may get you different levels of coverage from different companies. That’s why it is important to ask questions from different providers, compare coverage, and look at the reputation of the company from whom you want to purchase coverage. Fifty-four percent of the costs of claims are for medical expenses. It is crucial to be careful about who you choose to manage these claims. The more you understand as a business owner, the more confident you will be in your worker’s compensation insurance buying decision, a decision that could mean a lot to your business, and to your employees.

Worker’s Comp Tips for Business Owners

  • If you have a claim, big or small, report it right away to help your employees get the care they need and to protect you in case their injury turns into something bigger down the road. The sooner they are healthy, the sooner your employees can get back to work for you.
  • Audits aren’t a bad thing. The purpose of an audit is to make sure you are paying the right premium so that you don’t pay too much or too little, and that you have the coverage you need. The result of an audit could even be a refund. Something as simple as a safety program or ergonomically designed workstations can be suggested and implemented to lower your premiums.

Click here to contact us to see how we can provide Chicago Insurance – worker’s compensation insurance for you and your company.

Different Types of Condo Insurance Coverage

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

Chicago Condo InsuranceCondo Insurance policies provide coverage for the things that your Condominium Association policy does not. The Association usually insures all of the building and common areas under a single policy. The Association policy is generally called a Master Policy.
As a unit owner you need to be well versed in what you, as the unit owner, are responsible for. Master Policy’s vary widely from carrier to carrier. Coverage’s that are available are listed below.

Property Coverage -A unit owners policy insures your property, including building additions and installations which are part of your unit are covered. Upgrades to your unit, as well as fixtures that you add, may not be covered under the Master Policy.

Personal Property - This insurance coverage protects your personal property in your home. Good examples of that are clothes, furniture , electronic equipment, dishes, etc. Anything that if you turned your unit upside down-they would fall out.

Loss of Use - If a loss occurs on your property and you can’t live in your unit you could need somewhere else to stay. Part of the coverage in our policy is the loss of use coverage. This coverage will cover the necessary expenses to continue living in the style in which you were living. Coverage may be stated as a maximum dollar amount or a specified period of time.

Loss Assessment - This coverage protects the owners of an association in the event that they are assessed for certain types of losses. An example is that the Association incurs a major fire loss and their deductible is $25000. Each unit owner may be assessed a dollar amount to help cover the Master Policy Deductible.

Personal Liability Coverage – Liability coverage protects the unit owner in others make a claim against them for bodily injury or property damage. This coverage is either in your home or elsewhere. This coverage also pays for defense costs.

Medical Coverage – This coverage pays for medical expenses for guests of the unit owner if they are on your premises and are injured accidentally.

There are many additional coverage’s available. Check with your insurance agent to discuss your family’s needs or click here to get a free Chicago Condo Insurance quote on our website.

What Types of Cars are Stolen Most?

Monday, September 21st, 2009

Most people would rather have a Mercedes than a Honda, but not so if you are a car thief. Out of the $1million cars that are stolen last year (2008) in the US, more than 55,000 were Honda Accords. This was reported by the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

The most stolen car is the Honda Accord

The most stolen car is the Honda Accord

Why? Is it that they are more stylish than their competition – say the Lexus or Mercedes? Is their performance better? Do they have more color choices that the thieves prefer. The answer to these questions is no.  The reason for the high theft rate of the Accord is their lack of Anti-theft devises. Without the anti-theft technology it is easy to steal their parts. The most desirable being the catalytic converters, tires, anything containing copper. Toyota runs a close second.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau compiled a list of the 10 most frequently stolen vehicles in the U.S in 2008. Honda’s were on the list in 2008 also.





The top five are:

1. 1994 Honda Accord
2. 1995 Honda Civic
3. 1989 Toyota Camry
4. 1997 Ford F150 Series
5. 1995 Dodge Ram Pick-up
.
What is also interesting is the lowest theft claim frequencies:
1. Ford Taurus
2. Pontiac Vibe 4wd
3. Buick LeSabre
4. Buick Park Avenue

The moral of the story is-don’t think that you are safe from theft just because you don’t have a $100,000 car. There is good news! Car theft is on the decline if this years trends hold (NCIC, a division of the FBI).

Expensive cars like Mercedes are not stolen more often

Expensive cars like Mercedes are not stolen more often

The FBI states between $ 7 – 8 billion is lost every year due to auto theft. The sad thing is that approximately 58% of the vehicles are recovered.

Declining Theft Rates

With the various technologies now on the market it would make sense for the theft loss rate to decline. Technology such as fuel cut – offs, smart keys, audible devices all contribute to theft prevention. Another tool on the market is a tracking device – Lo Jack. In addition, On Star offers a standard feature in 50 new GM vehicles to decrease theft. The system allows drivers to talk with the company at a central call center for emergency services to directions. Technology will indeed help this expensive loss trend.

How Does this Affect Insurance?

Theft losses are covered under Comprehensive Coverage on your auto insurance policy. The more thefts, the higher the cost of that coverage. Most companies offer a discount on a policies comprehensive coverage if an anti-theft device is present.

Moral of the Story

It isn’t always the most expensive vehicle that is the most desireable. Different people value different things. Just be safe and be careful!  To find out how much it would cost to get auto insurance for your car, please fill out a Chicago Auto Insurance quote form.