Special events: Know why, what, where and who

By Christina Meyer

Special events: Know why, what, where and who

Evaluate the risks as well as the benefits of conducting a special event.

From luncheons to extreme sporting events – and everything in between – special events can be excellent ways for nonprofit organizations to raise money and increase visibility.

While the extra revenue may be welcome, consider any additional risks. Are the risks being assumed worth the benefits gained?

Before your organization hosts a special event, consider the why, what, where, who and how.

Why does your organization want to hold the this event? Is it to grow name recognition, recruit donors and volunteers or raise funds to support your organization’s mission? Special events can meet multiple goals.

What type of event will be most beneficial to the organization? The why of the event will guide you to the what of the event. Any event involving athletic activities or alcohol will add considerable risk. Make sure you will be able to achieve your objective without risking the reputation of your organization. It can be difficult to recover from bad publicity after an accident or negative incident at a sponsored event.

Where will the event be held? The venue is critical. Determining the size, scope and cost of the venue will correlate directly to the event’s success or failure. If you’re leasing a venue, place priority on reviewing the contractual requirements of the lease. Consult an attorney before you sign any contract. Some contracts require the renter to extend insurance coverage to the venue. While this is appropriate in some instances, determine if it is reasonable for your event and consult your independent insurance agent for coverage advice. Location also plays into the number of volunteers and employees you will need at the event. If your event is on property you own, check local zoning regulations to make sure your event complies with any zoning restrictions, and require proof of insurance from any vendors coming onto your premises.

Who will coordinate, manage, staff and participate in the event? Consider who has the experience and expertise to manage the event and to staff it sufficiently for best logistics and safety. Consider who these individuals will have contact with and whether any additional background screening or training is necessary.

How will you conduct the event? This important question is often not considered in detail. Determine the details, including the timeline and specifics of each volunteer’s or employee’s role in the event.

By considering all these questions, clearly outlining roles …read more

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Buying a condo? What you need to know about insurance

By Diane Roller

Buying a condo? What you need to know about insurance

Condo living requires special attention to insurance matters.

Buying a condo is similar to buying a house. Your mortgage company will probably require you to buy condo insurance. But how do you know how much insurance you need?

Typically, condominium associations own and insure the outside structure of a condominium building, including the grounds and other features, such as a pool or tennis court. Most often, a condo owner is responsible for everything from the drywall in (wall coverings, floor coverings, cabinetry, etc.) The insurance term used to identify the condo unit’s interior finishes is Additions and Alterations or A&A. Similar to the cost to rebuild a home used for a homeowner policy (coverage A), the A&A covers the structural finishes and features; it does not include your furnishings or personal property.

Add up the costs

When trying to determine the amount of coverage you need to replace the Additions and Alterations (interior finishes) of your condo, you will want to take into consideration anything attached to a wall or floor. You should include the cost of all wallcoverings (including paint), floor coverings, interior doors, trim-work, bookcases, built-in cabinetry, appliances, plumbing fixtures and electrical fixtures.

However, some condominium associations cover both the exterior and structural interior finishes of the building (A&A completed by the association at the time of purchase), with the exception of your personal property and furnishings. The bylaws or agreements of your condo association stipulate what part of the structure the association is responsible to replace in a loss and what part of the unit the condo owner is responsible to replace. Ask your attorney to review the contract before you buy.

Review the master condo policy

By carefully reviewing your condo association’s master insurance policy, you will know how much you are responsible to replace and can get a good idea of how much coverage you may need. Make sure your insurance policy covers everything not covered in the association’s policy, such as improvements and alterations to your unit. You also need to value your personal items to determine how much coverage you need for contents; doing a home inventory will help you track your possessions. Don’t forget to include unique or expensive items, such as artwork or jewelry. Ask your insurance agent whether you need separate personal articles coverage to protect all your valuable items.

It is also important to review your loss assessment obligations. For example, if a fire damages …read more

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What would you put in your roadside emergency kit?

By Cincinnati Insurance

What would you put in your roadside emergency kit?


We asked several associates of The Cincinnati Insurance Company to share their ideas for the best items to place in a vehicle’s emergency kit.

Here are their suggestions:

Chad Dowdy
Associate Superintendent – Property Claims

For someone like me who is not mechanically inclined, I recommend sticking to basic items centered on health and safety. If you do have mechanical skills, consider packing tools necessary for simple car repairs.

The first and most important item is a first aid kit to address any injury or condition that requires immediate attention. I also recommend putting a blanket, gloves and sock cap in your vehicle to help you stay warm for an extended period.

The final item from a health perspective: Water, important in all seasons.

For safety, I recommend a flashlight with extra batteries or even better at least two 12‑hour light sticks, a reflective safety vest, tow rope and jumper cables.

Depending on the emergency – toilet paper is extremely helpful (no explanation needed!)


Mike Harrold
Loss Control Transportation Specialist
  • A flashlight, preferably with flash capability, and batteries
  • Chemical warming packets for cold climates
  • Blanket or jacket for cold climates
  • Water
  • Emergency markers (orange triangles)
  • Can of “inflate a tire”
  • Cell phone


Chris Wright
Casualty Litigation Associate

Some companies and organizations sell pre-assembled roadside emergency kits that come in convenient, portable storage containers. However, I recommend avoiding kits that contain too many auto repair tools. These were helpful when cars were easy to repair. Today, cars are more complex, and the factory usually equips them with the tools necessary to change a flat tire, such as the jack and a lug nut wrench.

Instead, pack:

  • Jumper cables
  • Roadside flares and triangle reflectors
  • Tire inflator and pressure gauge
  • Portable battery pack for charging cell phone
  • Windshield ice scraper
  • Nonperishable snacks such as granola and energy bars
  • A blanket
  • Rain poncho, boots, work gloves, extra pair of clean clothes, particularly underwear and socks
  • Pocket knife
  • A roll of paper towels and/or clean hand towel
  • Portable fire extinguisher
  • Rock salt, sand or cat litter for tire traction (when car is stuck in snow)
  • Small shovel

You can use a cardboard box or small plastic container to store the items, to keep them from rolling around in your trunk and find them quickly in an emergency.


What do YOU keep in your roadside emergency kit? Please provide your answer in the comments. (See our Guidelines before posting.)

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Loss control services help manage risk

By Brian Rawlings

Loss control services help manage risk

The February edition of ClubSolutions Magazine, a publication for health club operators, features an article by Brian Rawlings, national program director for Cincinnati’s fitness, sports and recreation program. He outlines what insurance company loss control representatives look for when they visit health and fitness clubs.

What are Insurance Companies Looking For?

Your independent insurance agent and your insurance company can be valuable partners in helping you reduce or eliminate loss exposures in your fitness and recreation facility. All parties benefit by minimizing claims and losses, and you can achieve this with proper risk management. More.

Please visit our website to find an agency that represents Cincinnati Insurance.

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Photo cleaning and care – solving common problems

By Doug Eisele

Photo cleaning and care – solving common problems

Part 2 of 2 –

A little TLC can preserve your photo treasures.

Proper handling can prevent some damage to photographs. Clean, white cotton gloves should be worn while handling photographs. Oils from hands, lotions and other sources can mark the image’s surface and may not be reversible. Never use ink to mark photographs or enclosures. Instead, use a soft lead pencil on the reverse side of the photo.


Since even the slightest abrasion can damage a photograph, it is important to use only a very soft, clean brush to dust the surface. Move from the center to the edges, not straight across. No solvents should be used as these can also damage and even remove the emulsion of the photograph. Should photographs adhere to framing glass or each other, do not try to separate them yourself. Contact an experienced photograph restorer/conservator as soon as possible. Do not attempt to mend tears by using ordinary tape, as this can damage the image.


Always keep the areas where photographs are handled or stored clean and pest-free. It is vital that collection areas be free of debris that might encourage pests. Food and beverages should not be stored near the photographs. Apart from the potential for attracting pests, accidental spills can irreversibly damage most photographic objects.


Mold is removed from a flood-damaged photo.

Wet photographs: In many cases, wet photographs may be salvaged by very carefully separating them (if they appear stuck together, do not attempt to separate them since they may tear or pull emulsion from the support). Place pieces of wax paper (slightly bigger than the largest photo) between each photograph, put the stack of photos into a zip-lock bag and freeze the entire package until you can put in the hands of a trained photograph restoration specialist.

Soiled photographs or negatives: Brush soiled photographs carefully with a clean, soft brush. Proceed from the center of the photograph outward toward the edges. Do not attempt to clean photographs with water-based or solvent-based cleaners, such as window cleaner or film cleaner. Improper cleaning of photographic materials can cause serious and often irreversible damage such as permanent staining, abrasion, alteration or loss of binder and image.

Photographs or negatives adhered to enclosure: High-humidity environments or direct exposure to liquids can cause photographs to adhere to frame glass or enclosure materials. This is a very difficult problem to resolve and great care must …read more

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Insuring your love in all of its stages

By Brandi Anton

Insuring your love in all of its stages

Insure your love with life insurance appropriate for all stages of life.

Think of your life as a series of stages: youth, adulthood, parenthood, maturity. Each stage has its own loves, its own rewards – and its own reasons to purchase life insurance.

As you reach different stages of life and your needs change, consider how different life insurance products can help.


It may not be obvious to most people, but childhood is actually a great time to get life insurance, when health is not normally an issue and costs are lower. A parent or grandparent can purchase life insurance for a child or grandchild that offers three important advantages: it’s inexpensive; it provides protection for the unexpected; and certain types of life insurance could help protect your child’s or grandchild’s insurability. Term or permanent life insurance may be appropriate, depending on the situation. Your independent life insurance agent can provide more information about the available options. Also see: Term vs. permanent life insurance: Which is right for you? or Life insurance: A gift fit for a grandchild

Young adulthood

Young adults often struggle to manage debt from student loans while trying to get a start in their careers. Whether single or married, life insurance should still be a priority to protect the future. As with the youth stage, most young adults are in better health than they will be later in life – a major insurability factor. And, even if they don’t have children, young adults may have others who depend on their income: aging parents, younger or disabled siblings, business partners or close friends. Purchasing term insurance as a young adult is an inexpensive way to plan for the future. Talk to your local agent about designing your insurance needs to plan for the road ahead. Also see: Keep planning for your future: buy life insurance as a young adult


This is the stage when a large number of people decide to buy life insurance. When children depend on you, a permanent life insurance plan can ease your mind. If you already purchased term life insurance, this may be a time to convert it to permanent coverage. Some parents also find it useful to supplement a permanent life insurance plan with term insurance during their children’s preschool or college years. Consider a low-cost option of adding a children’s rider on your policy to protect the little ones as …read more

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Slips and falls: Make sure your premises are on par

By Bill Lecky

Slips and falls: Make sure your premises are on par

In recent years, golf course operators have added services to attract new members and boost revenue. Snack bars, enhanced swimming pool amenities and larger banquet and fitness facilities also increase the potential for slips and falls.

Like any business, a golf course should be inspected regularly to identify and reduce hazards. Golf course operators should pay special attention to cart paths and steps leading to tee boxes and other raised playing surfaces. Here are some tips for golf course operators – or any business owner.

Download the PDF

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Still teaching; just a different audience

By Justin Sharp

Still teaching; just a different audience

The insurance industry is growing and has a high need for talented professionals with a variety of training and skills. Recruiters are asking job seekers “where do you fit in?” In this series, Cincinnati Insurance associates describe their own career journeys.

If you had asked the wide-eyed, over-excited Justin Sharp what he would be doing once he graduated from the University of Kentucky, the answer definitely would not have been insurance.

After rolling through the motions of switching majors, I finally landed on English education. The prospect of teaching young students the literature classics and valuable life themes made the idea of teaching seem very fulfilling. But I found my way to The Cincinnati Life Insurance Company after interning in insurance during my junior year.

Life insurance is an interesting animal. At first I didn’t realize it, but I use the teaching skills I acquired in college on a daily basis. There is a new concept to teach every day of the week: how certain life products work; how to fill out a life insurance application; or analyzing the type of life insurance plan that’s appropriate for a policyholder.

Teaching doesn’t have to happen in a classroom. It can happen over the phone or through an email. Being able to directly affect someone in a positive manner is one of the reasons why I wanted to teach. Besides, I get uncanny joy from proper grammar.

Day after day, helping our independent agents do something they did not necessarily know how to do before makes my job as a teacher a success. After a year and a half working for Cincinnati Life, I’ve traded in “The Great Gatsby,” for a comparison sheet that outlines different forms of life insurance.

“What are the similarities? What are the differences?” Getting into the nitty gritty of a policy, being able to understand the key words and definitions and how they specifically affect the insured are all teachable moments for an insured who doesn’t deal with life insurance on an everyday basis.

For all you English defectors in high school: maybe English class wasn’t too bad after all!

Not everyone realizes it, but career paths in insurance take skills and expertise from any college major. In my case, I wound up being a teacher, just like I thought I would. The only difference: I never thought it would be for an insurance company. Not only do I get to “teach” on a day-to-day …read more

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