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Special events may need special insurance attention

By Greg Popelka

Special events may need special insurance attention

A special public event, such as a craft sale or market, may require special insurance considerations.

Every weekend the calendar seems to offer a menu of festivals, 5K races and concerts. No matter what the weather, there is something special to do. Some folks plan their leisure time around any number of school, church or community events.

If your business or organization is planning a special event, you may be experiencing some of the common worries.

What happens if a patron gets hurt? What if there is damage to the property of others as a result of the event? Are there other, unforeseen exposures?

You may have similar concerns if you are a crafter who sells your goods at weekend festivals. The event sponsor may ask you to provide a certificate of insurance demonstrating that you have liability coverage.

You can protect yourself, your business or organization, its assets and your employees or club members by purchasing special events coverage. Special events may share some common elements that might not be covered by the policy your business or organization already has in force:

  • A special event may be held away from your normal site of operations.
  • Entry may require an admission.
  • There may be activities that are outside the scope of typical operations.
  • Attendance may involve those who do not normally interact with your business or organization.
  • The events are often of a short term, perhaps held on one day or over a weekend.

Speak to your local, independent insurance agent, and be ready to answer questions to help tailor the coverage in your policy to the event you’re planning:

  • Who is sponsoring the event, and is there already some insurance in place?
  • How many people do you expect to attend?
  • Is the event indoors or outdoors?
  • Will you be using permanent or portable bleachers?
  • Is there parking on or off premises?
  • Is there a parking attendant?
  • Will the event feature amusement rides?
  • Will alcohol be served?
  • What items are being sold in your concession stands?
  • If you are the sponsor, did you remember to seek insurance certificates from third parties that may be providing services at your event?

Protect the success of your special event with the right insurance coverage.

After that, it’s up to your weather forecaster.

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Are you a ‘homepreneur’? Protect your successful business

By Mark Kuntz

Are you a ‘homepreneur'? Protect your successful business

Home-based businesses need insurance, too.

You made it! You turned your passion into a going concern. Maybe you turned your sewing hobby into an alterations business. Or perhaps you left corporate bookkeeping to strike out on your own. Congratulations on your successful, home-based business.

Now are you willing to bet your house on it?

That’s what you might be doing if you aren’t properly insured. Standard homeowner policies generally don’t cover business-related losses. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, more than half of all U.S. businesses are based out of an owner’s home.

If you’re one of these business owners, a review of your situation may reveal that you need coverage for:

  • business supplies, inventory and equipment if a fire destroys your home
  • liability claims if a delivery employee trips and falls on the sidewalk while delivering a business package to your home
  • product liability if your product causes injury to a consumer
  • the cost to recover a stolen company laptop and lost business records

Your independent insurance agent can help you find the right coverage for small retail and service businesses operated from your residence, for example, bookkeepers, crafts makers, music teachers, secretarial services, tutors, home distributors, hairstylists and photographers. If your receipts are modest and you have a few or no employees, a residential business package may be right for you. But if your business activities exceed the requirements for a residential package, a small business policy may be a better fit.

If your primary business operates at your clients’ site, such as mowing, landscaping and snow removal, you probably won’t qualify for a home business package. You’ll also probably need more specialized insurance if you are a home childcare provider or cosmetics distributor. Your agent will know how to help you.

Don’t risk your home or the business you built. Make sure you have the protection you need.

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Video: Driving on a winter road

By Cincinnati Insurance

Video: Driving on a winter road

Winter road conditions require special attention. Watch our video for safety tips.

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Protection for the present; options for the future

By Cincinnati Life

Protection for the present; options for the future

Return of premium life insurance can help protect your future.

Imagine paying insurance premiums for 20 years without a claim, and then getting back all of those premium dollars. If that sounds too good to be true, take a look at return-of-premium (ROP) term life insurance.

An ROP term life policy covers all bases in life. If the insured were to die unexpectedly, the death benefit provides needed protection for any beneficiaries left behind. However, if the insured were to outlive the 20-year term of the life insurance policy, the ROP product would provide personal financial options.

ROP policies are available in 20-, 25- and 30-year contracts. You pay a set premium for the length of the policy, and then at the end of the term you decide what to do with the accumulated cash from those paid premiums. You can take the money or use it to purchase a reduced paid-up term life insurance policy to age 99. While ROP premiums may be higher than traditional term policy premiums, these advantages provide valuable options.

For example, if a 30-year-old male nonsmoker buys a basic 20-year term policy for about $14 per month and receives $250,000 of protection, at the end of the 20-year period, he would have to decide to terminate the policy or begin paying a premium that will increase annually. If that same applicant pays about $44 per month for the equivalent 20-year ROP product, after 20 years, the ROP product could have a cash value of approximately $10,400. This cash value is the total paid in premiums and represents a benefit not available for the basic term product.

Consider, too, that the insured could take that cash value and convert it into over $30,000 of permanent life insurance coverage without evidence of insurability. This is particularly advantageous if the insured no longer qualifies for life insurance or wants protection without having to continue to pay premiums.

Suddenly, the increased cost of ROP doesn’t seem too adverse. Few people would be upset with receiving a check from their insurer for simply continuing to live after paying premiums for 20 years.

Days turn into months and months into years. Many individuals forgo saving money for the long term, but ROP term life insurance allows a person to have their premium payments returned in the future while also buying protection in the present.

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TIKE car seat stickers provide vital data to first responders

By Cincinnati Insurance

TIKE car seat stickers provide vital data to first responders

TIKE car seat stickers can provide crucial information to first responders.

Every day, more than 2,600 children are involved in a traffic accident in the U.S. – that’s one child under 13 involved in a crash every 33 seconds. While most parents have taken steps to secure young children in approved car seats, there is another step parents can take for peace of mind: Put a TIKE sticker on each car seat.

Consider what happens when the parent or caregiver is incapacitated in a crash, but the child is left alone and in need of help. How do first responders get the vital information they need to treat injured youngsters or reunite unhurt children with family members? One solution is by using TIKE stickers available from the Ohio Insurance Institute, the industry trade association for property casualty insurers and related trade groups in Ohio. These stickers are available free to anyone anywhere, not just Ohio residents.

WHAT ARE TIKE STICKERS?

TIKE – for toddler information kept for emergencies – provides identifying information to emergency personnel should an accident disable the adults riding in the vehicle. Once filled out by a family member, the bright neon green stickers provide the child’s emergency contact and medical information to first responders.

TIKE stickers are recognized by safety groups, caregivers, doctors, law enforcement, fire departments, emergency responders, hospitals and countless others across the country who share a common interest in child safety.

HOW TO INSTALL

Parents affix the stickers to the child’s car seat, selecting a spot on the back or side, where they can be found by rescuers, but are not easily seen by a casual observer.

Current TIKE sticker directions suggest placing them on the back or base of car seats. OII recommends placing the sticker on a flat surface of the seat for quick identification by medical responders.

HOW TO ORDER

OII provides stickers free of charge to anyone requesting them. OII asks only that recipients “like” OII’s Facebook page, if possible, in return.

You can order here or by emailing your name, mailing address and the number of stickers requested for the English or Spanish/English versions.

Related information:

Child car seats: Precious cargo packaging

Properly installed safety seat can save a life

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7 safety tips for winter construction

By Troy Dohmeyer

7 safety tips for winter construction

Special considerations are needed to protect workers from winter conditions.

Construction doesn’t take a break in the winter. If you manage a construction site, think about the additional hazards of the season and take the appropriate safety precautions.

Cold temperatures, wet and snowy weather and wind chill can take a harsh toll on the human body. Increase your knowledge and awareness of cold weather issues such as frostbite and hypothermia.

Pay special attention during the winter months at your construction site to avoid safety hazards.

  1. Know the signs of winter-related injuries and illness. Educate your workers and supervisors about these cold-related injuries and illnesses and their warning signs and symptoms. For instance, shivering, lack of coordination and slurred speech are symptoms of hypothermia. If a worker exhibits any signs of illness or injury, call emergency help immediately. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration provides a Cold Stress Card that describes how to prevent and treat these serious illnesses.
  2. Require workers to wear the proper clothing and gear. Clothing and gear should be based on the temperature, weather conditions and duration of activity. Workers should wear layers whenever necessary, including an insulating, moisture-wicking base layer and a waterproof outer layer. Workers also should wear insulated, waterproof boots with extreme traction as well as warm socks and hats and gloves with grips to handle equipment safely.
  3. Discourage workers from drinking coffee or other caffeinated beverages. Many construction workers work overnight and turn to drinks with caffeine to help them get through their shift. However, drinking caffeinated beverages in winter can increase workers’ heart rates, making them feel falsely warm. Instead, encourage workers to drink water to stay hydrated.
  4. Remove ice and snow before starting work. Construction workers have enough conditions causing danger at the worksite; they don’t need to add ice and snow to the mix. Make sure all ice and snow has been removed and salt or sand has been put down on any large patches of ice before starting work. It may seem like a time-consuming task, but it will protect everybody on the job site.
  5. Provide a warm break area. Outside work is necessary for the construction industry, but workers need a place to take a break from the elements and warm themselves. It can be a heated trailer or a tent with portable heaters. Employers also should be sure supervisors and workers follow proper safety procedures with heating devices.

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What you need to know about gift cards

By Cincinnati Insurance

What you need to know about gift cards

Remember to use gift cards before they expire or before you incur fees unnecessarily.

Gift cards are more popular than ever, but consumer advocates say that billions of dollars in gift cards go unused each year. While a 2010 change in the law extended consumer protections by restricting fees and expiration dates, keep in mind that gift cards eventually expire.

TIPS FOR USING GIFT CARDS

If you have a gift card, be smart about how you use it, advises the Federal Trade Commission:

  • Read any fine print on the card and take note of any terms and conditions. Check for an expiration date or fees.
  • If it appears that the value of your card has expired, or that fees have been deducted, contact the company that issued the card. They may still honor the card or reverse the fees.
  • Ask the person giving you the card for the card’s terms and conditions, the original purchase receipt, or the card’s ID number; keep this information in a safe place.
  • Use your card as soon as you can. It’s not unusual to misplace gift cards or forget you have them; using them early will help you get the full value.
  • Treat your card like cash. If your card is lost or stolen, report it to the issuer immediately. You may not recover any of the value that was on the card. Some issuers will not replace cards that are lost or stolen, but other issuers will, for a fee. You may need to show proof of purchase and the ID number on the card. Most issuers have toll-free telephone numbers you can call to report a lost or stolen card.
  • A company that files for bankruptcy may honor its gift cards, or a competitor may accept the card. Call the company or its competitor to find out. Even if the company is not redeeming gift cards now, check back with them periodically; they may start redeeming cards at a later date.
TIPS FOR BUYING GIFT CARDS
  • Buy from sources you know and trust. Avoid buying gift cards from online auction sites, because the cards may be counterfeit or may have been obtained fraudulently.
  • Inspect the card before you buy it. Verify that none of the protective stickers have been removed. Make sure that the codes on the back of the card haven’t been scratched off to reveal a PIN number. Report any damaged cards to the store selling …read more

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Video: Pre-check your car for winter safety

By Cincinnati Insurance

Video: Pre-check your car for winter safety

Before you hit the road in winter conditions, watch our video for tips to pre-check your car.

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5 tips for getting organized

By Maureen Johnson

5 tips for getting organized

Keeping organized doesn’t have to be hard.

For many of us, one of our New Year’s resolutions is to be more organized. The good news is that unlike that other resolution we all seem to make each year, improving organization doesn’t require hours at the gym to see results.

Here are five simple ways to have a more organized new year.

  1. Keep Lists
    Reduce the stress of having to remember everything by writing it down. This works well for groceries, errands, and general “to-do’s.” You’ll be amazed at how much you get done. Technology today offers so many convenient options, it’s easy to find a solution that’s right for you. Between smartphone and tablet apps for taking notes and creating lists, 2017 is the year you should give something a try. It won’t take long to get hooked, and you’ll wonder how you managed without it.
  2. Reduce Paper Clutter
    Take advantage of the electronic delivery and online payment services that your banks, utilities, credit card and insurance companies offer. If you already pay online, but still receive paper statements, it’s time to turn them off. I know you like the control, but you’re missing the convenience of auto-payments where bills are paid automatically … and on time! Not only do you eliminate late fees and paper files at home, you also reduce the risk of identity theft and make a positive impact on the environment.
  3. Start Prepping for Your 2017 Taxes
    Yes, I know you haven’t even started on your 2016 taxes yet, but imagine not having to search high and low for all of your charitable donation receipts and other documentation. Create an annual folder for medical expenses, business receipts and tax documents so that as you receive items throughout the year, you have a place to keep them. When you make the donation to a local charity in July, simply drop the receipt into the folder. You will rejoice next January when all of your tax documents are in one place.
  4. One Bite at a Time
    Commit to putting down the smartphone or tablet for 15 minutes each day to keep organized. Use the time to sort the mail, put away dishes or clear the clutter from that spot in your home where everything seems to collect. Tasks seem more manageable when done in smaller chunks and, chances are, you can find a little time each day.
  5. Organize Photos on Your Mobile Devices …read more

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