News

Can you hold a candle to this quiz?

By Cincinnati Insurance

Can you hold a candle to this quiz?

Enjoy the holiday glow by using candles safely.

Candles add a festive touch to holiday gatherings. Although we enjoy their glow, candles can cause home fires, injuries and deaths.

Remember that a candle is an open flame that can ignite nearby materials: Use with caution! Take our five-question quiz to test your candle safety knowledge.

Time limit: 0

Quiz-summary

0 of 5 questions completed

Questions:

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. …read more

    Cincinnati Insurance Company Blog: Cincinnati Insurance Company

        

    Comments Off on Can you hold a candle to this quiz?

Update: Ride sharing may create insurance gaps

By Bob Bernard

Update: Ride sharing may create insurance gaps

Note: This is an update to a blog published in 2014.

Know the risks before using a ride sharing service.

Drivers and riders who participate in ride-share alternatives to taxi services may be subject to significant insurance gaps. If you participate in ride-share services as a driver or if you use these increasingly popular services, make sure you have appropriate insurance coverage.

Ride-share programs on the surface sound like a win-win situation: if you need a ride, you can download an app to your mobile device to find and arrange transportation in a driver’s personal vehicle. A simple swipe of your credit card pays the driver. So, instead of hailing a taxi cab ̶ which can sometimes be hard to do ̶ you can quickly get where you need to go and the driver is paid for his or her time and distance traveled.

Ride-share drivers, passengers, other drivers on the road and even pedestrians could all be affected by the insurance protection provided by the network companies that coordinate the ride-share relationship. Some ride-share network companies advertise that they have insurance policies that can protect drivers and their passengers. But there is no standard policy, and without a policy in hand, it becomes difficult to know which specific circumstances trigger coverage or what situations might be excluded.

Additionally, the insurance coverage provided by the ride sharing company may apply only while a passenger is actually in the vehicle. The policy may not provide coverage when the vehicle is on the way to pick up a passenger or after a passenger is dropped off. To complicate matters even further, protection provided by the primary insurer of the driver’s vehicle may exclude coverage while a passenger is in the vehicle or even while the ride-sharing app is turned on or enabled, whether or not a passenger is in the vehicle. This could result in a significant coverage gap for the driver in the event of a loss.

If you or a driver in your family is interested in providing transportation services through a ride-share service, check with your insurance agent first to learn about uninsured liability you may be assuming and what, if any, coverage is provided by your personal auto policy. Personal auto policies were not designed to cover exposures such as ride-sharing, and livery is typically excluded. Ride-share drivers cannot assume that their personal auto insurance will provide protection for anyone …read more

Cincinnati Insurance Company Blog: Cincinnati Insurance Company

    

Comments Off on Update: Ride sharing may create insurance gaps

Is your indoor pool properly ventilated?

By Brian Rawlings

Is your indoor pool properly ventilated?

Clean and test your indoor pool regularly.

Fall and winter are likely to be peak seasons for your recreation facility’s indoor pool usage. Lap swimming, swim lessons, water aerobics and family recreation times dramatically increase activity. As activities increase, so should your safety vigilance.

AIR QUALITY

Proper ventilation and air handling are essential to protect your patrons and your facility. Through evaporation, indoor pools produce a large amount of chlorine-laden vapor, often referred to as chloramines. This can result in:

  • rust
  • blistering of paint
  • deterioration of structural supports
  • high humidity and odor, increasing members’ discomfort
  • mold, mildew, bacteria and fungi that could affect the health of employees and members
  • burning eyes, nose and throat when chemical levels are too high

Employ one of the many vendors and contractors available to analyze your chemical levels, assess your pool’s ventilation and air handling systems and make recommendations. While testing methodologies may differ, they all aim to make your facility one that your members can fully enjoy as they share a little pool fun in these cold months.

TRAINING CAN HELP

If your members constantly refer to that “pool smell,” then it is probably time to take a look at things. Have someone on your staff trained as a Certified Pool Operator and task him or her with staying apprised of all your chemical levels and cleaning protocols. See that the pool area is properly ventilated.

Keep everyone safe, protect your investment and let the winter swim fun begin!

MORE INFORMATION

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offer extensive information about indoor pool air quality and operating public swimming facilities.

This loss control information is advisory only. The author assumes no responsibility for management or control of loss control activities. Not all exposures are identified in this article.

The post Is your indoor pool properly ventilated? appeared first on The Cincinnati Insurance Companies blog.

…read more

Cincinnati Insurance Company Blog: Cincinnati Insurance Company

    

Comments Off on Is your indoor pool properly ventilated?

Coverage for your collector vehicle: Agreed value

By Jonathan Winstel

Coverage for your collector vehicle: Agreed value

Request agreed value on your collector vehicle.

Certain strokes of engineering border on artwork: an idea that manifests itself in the creation of something truly beautiful.

Imagine yourself behind the wheel of one of those beautiful pieces of machinery, zooming through a twisting, scenic, back country road usually reserved for a postcard. Sunlight reflects off the mirror-like finish, and the engine purrs sweetly, tuned ever so carefully down to the most minute detail.

You open your garage door and admire it, ready to climb in and escape for a while. But one large question lurks in the back of your mind: how do I make sure my investment is properly insured?

Unlike a regular passenger vehicle that you drive every day and that depreciates over time, a collector car is an investment. In more cases than not, it appreciates in value. Properly insuring the vehicle to an acceptable value is essential.

Your insurance company should be able to insure the vehicle on an agreed value basis, where you and the insurance company agree in advance that in the event of a covered total loss, the agreed value is the amount you will receive for the vehicle. Depending on the value of the vehicle, the company may require that the vehicle be professionally appraised prior to insuring it. Having an appraisal regardless of value can set your mind at ease as well as give your insurer confidence there will be no difference of opinion on the value of your treasured vehicle.

Adding a collector car to an existing auto policy also adds an element of simplicity to the insurance process. Instead of dealing with multiple policies with multiple carriers, you’ll have one policy and one carrier. The same liability coverages should apply to your collector car as they would to your everyday vehicle. In addition, the collector vehicle could also earn an additional credit from a multi-car discount.

When choosing a company to insure your collector vehicle, make sure the company can offer you agreed value as well as an option to insure the car on the same policy as your everyday vehicles. These two aspects of insuring a collector vehicle are sometimes overlooked, but are the most important considerations. Your local independent agent can advise you.

By streamlining the process, you spend more time enjoying your vehicle and less time worrying about how to insure it.

The post Coverage for your collector vehicle: …read more

Cincinnati Insurance Company Blog: Cincinnati Insurance Company

    

Comments Off on Coverage for your collector vehicle: Agreed value

It happens: Sewer backup

By Christopher Barger

It happens: Sewer backup

It happens. And when it does, it’s sometimes hard to find who is responsible for a sewer backup.

Sometimes sewer backups happen. We look for someone to blame, but often there just isn’t blame to be found. How do we prevent it from happening? And if it does, how do we protect ourselves from the financial storm that follows?

Suppose for a minute that you just spent $10,000 converting an unfinished basement into your awesome new recreation room. Somehow, the sewage backup that occurred three weeks later, ruining your new carpet, furniture and recently installed drywall didn’t factor into your vision of awesomeness. What a horrible, stench-filled mess. You’re disgusted, angry and someone’s going to have to pay for this affront. Wait until you find out that someone is you.

Let’s start with your local sewer utility: wouldn’t it be their fault? The answer is “maybe,” but more likely it is “probably not.” Because sewer utilities provide a public health service, and in many cases are governmental entities, even when they are responsible they may enjoy some form of immunity or cap on damages that limits their liability. State laws vary, so this scenario could differ based on your location.

Next, the backup might not have occurred in the sewer main at all; it could have been an issue with your lateral – the sewer line running from the building to the sewer main. In almost every case, the sewer utility is not responsible for the maintenance and working condition of the lateral; the property owner is. Repairing or replacing the lateral is expensive. Thankfully, many plumbing contractors can perform a camera inspection to determine its condition. Often clogs, including root balls from trees, can be removed at a reasonable cost.

So it’s nobody’s fault, but the homeowner’s insurance policy will cover this claim, right? Again, it depends. Many homeowner (and for that matter, business) policies exclude sewer backup. Unless your policy has been endorsed to specifically provide this coverage, there is likely no coverage. Fortunately most companies are willing to add coverage for a modest premium. Check with your independent insurance agent to confirm that your policy includes this coverage, or add it if you don’t.

Could this loss have been prevented? There are multiple backflow prevention devices available that can be installed by a plumber. Check with your local plumber to see if this is a sensible option for you; particularly if …read more

Cincinnati Insurance Company Blog: Cincinnati Insurance Company

    

Comments Off on It happens: Sewer backup

Bright idea: Check your holiday lights

By Steve Heiden

Bright idea: Check your holiday lights

Conduct an annual safety check on holiday lights before installing them.

Holiday lights can brighten the season – literally and emotionally – but they also present potential risk for fire and shock hazards. Before installing holiday lighting, take extra time to do a safety check to protect people and property.

Holiday lights and other decorative lighting contribute to an estimated 150 home structure fires per year, according to the National Fire Protection Association, with an average of nine deaths, 16 injuries and $8.4 million in direct property damage per year. Electrical failures or malfunctions were factors in 64 percent of the fires.

Reduce the risk of fire and shock from holiday lights by taking these steps recommended by the Consumer Product Safety Commission:

  • Use indoor and outdoor lights that conform with safety standards and that have been tested for safety by a recognized testing laboratory.
  • Use only lights that have plugs containing fuses.
  • Check each set of lights, new or old, for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires or loose connections. Throw out damaged sets. Always replace burned-out bulbs promptly with the same wattage bulbs.
  • Ensure extension cords are rated for the intended use.
  • Forego electric lights on a metallic tree. The tree can become charged with electricity from faulty lights, and a person touching a branch could be electrocuted.
  • Check labels before using lights outdoors to be sure they have been certified for outdoor use.
  • Stay away from power or feeder lines leading from utility poles.
  • Fasten outdoor lights securely to trees, house walls or other firm supports to protect the lights from wind damage. Use only insulated staples (not nails or tacks) to hold strings in place. Or, run strings of lights through hooks (available at hardware stores).
  • Turn off all holiday lights when you go to bed or leave the house.
  • Use caution when removing outdoor holiday lights. Never pull or tug on lights – this could cause stress on the connections that could create a fire hazard.
  • Plug outdoor electric lights and decorations into circuits protected by ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) to protect against electric shock. Portable outdoor GFCIs can be purchased where electrical supplies are sold. GFCIs can also be installed permanently to household circuits by a qualified electrician.

The U.S. Department of Energy recommends switching to LED lights to reduce heat and the risk of combustion or burnt fingers. In addition to being sturdier and more resistant to breakage, <a target=_blank href="http://www.energy.gov/energysaver/articles/led-lighting" …read more

Cincinnati Insurance Company Blog: Cincinnati Insurance Company

    

Comments Off on Bright idea: Check your holiday lights

Prep your car for travel in winter weather

By Michael Harrold

Prep your car for travel in winter weather

Prepare your car and yourself for winter driving.

Smartphones offer drivers a sense of security, with the promise that help is just a phone call away. But especially in extreme conditions, don’t count on your phone alone to keep you safe or to share your location in an emergency situation. Keep in mind that location services are not always accurate depending on network coverage in your location, the cell tower your phone connects to and other variables.

Take additional precautions before winter travel in case you become stranded in your car. Before setting out, tell your family or a friend which route you will be taking. If you become stranded, it’s better in most cases to stay with your car and let rescuers find you. Keep your phone plugged in and fully charged during your trip to better ensure it operates when needed. But if your smartphone location sharing lets you down, your preparations can keep you safe and comfortable while you wait for help.

SERVICE YOUR VEHICLE

Before heading out in the winter, the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Ready.gov website outlines items a mechanic should check on your car:

  • Antifreeze levels – ensure they are sufficient to avoid freezing.
  • Battery and ignition system – should be in top condition and battery terminals should be clean.
  • Brakes – check for wear and fluid levels.
  • Exhaust system – check for leaks and crimped pipes and repair or replace as necessary. Carbon monoxide is deadly and usually gives no warning.
  • Fuel and air filters – replace and keep water out of the system by using additives and maintaining a full tank of gas. A full tank will keep the fuel line from freezing.
  • Heater and defroster – ensure they work properly.
  • Lights and flashing hazard lights – check that all are functioning properly.
  • Oil – check for level and weight. Heavier oils congeal more at low temperatures and do not lubricate as well.
  • Thermostat – ensure it works properly.
  • Windshield wiper equipment – repair any problems and maintain proper washer fluid level.
  • Install good winter tires – make sure the tires have adequate tread. All-weather radials are usually adequate for most winter conditions. However, some jurisdictions require that to drive on their roads, vehicles must be equipped with chains or snow tires with studs.
EMERGENCY KIT

In addition, carry an emergency kit in your car: