Long Insurance Services of Kernersville, NC


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All Posts in Category: Business Insurance

Duane Long - Monte Long

Duane Long + Monte Long

We provide Property, Casualty and Life insurance for personal and commercial needs.
Individual: Home, Auto, Life, etc. … Business, Prop., Casualty, WC, etc.

See https://www.facebook.com/DuaneLongInsurance/ for local news!

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Insurance-Adjuster

What is an Insurance Adjuster?

Most of us know what an insurance company is. But just what is an insurance adjuster?

Sometimes it’s not clear who adjusters are and how they’re trained for the job. (After all, how many colleges offer “insurance adjusting” as a major?)

To get some answers, we went behind the scenes with Chad Smith, a property claims specialist at Erie Insurance who handles large losses. Read on to learn more about him and all the important ways he helps Customers in their time of need.

In your own words, what is an insurance adjuster?
To me, an insurance adjuster is someone who has a great deal of responsibility and accountability. An adjuster owes that not just to the company he or she represents, but to the customers who’ve experienced a loss.

At Erie Insurance, adjusters are the ambassadors of the company. People don’t really see how an insurance company works until they have a loss, and we represent that.

What kind of background do you need to become an adjuster?
More often than not, you need to have a college degree. I have a business degree, but insurance adjusters can pursue other fields as well. I would also recommend adding computer and math classes to your coursework.

How did you become an adjuster?
ERIE hired me as an adjuster shortly after graduating from college. I went through a few months of training that included both classroom and field training. I was tested on information and then spent some time out in the field with seasoned adjusters and appraisers to learn about what they did first hand. Because I work directly for an insurance company, I don’t need a license to be an adjuster. However, the rules vary by state.

What kind of skills do you need as an adjuster?
Being people-oriented is a must. You need to be able to empathize with the Customer by putting yourself in their shoes. Honesty and integrity are essential in establishing trust.

Because of the way the field is evolving, you need to be really comfortable with technology or be willing to learn it. To grow as a professional adjuster, you have to move beyond in-house training and pursue professional insurance designations like the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) and Associate in Claims (AIC).

What is a normal day like?
There really is no normal day. And that’s one reason why I love my job!

In order to handle it, you have to structure your days to a certain degree, but also maintain flexibility. I might plan to make calls all morning—but if I get an urgent claim, I need to reorder my day. I’m always busy.

What hours do you work?
I usually start early and end late. Sometimes I work weekends. I enjoy a lot of freedom with this position—and I’m available almost 24/7 because that’s how you provide great service. You can’t be stuck in the traditional nine-to-five, Monday through Friday mindset as an adjuster.

What’s the most memorable claim experience you’ve had?
Over the years, I’ve had many. One that stands out is working during the 2011 tornado catastrophes in North Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee. ERIE was the first insurance company on the scene. There was a lot of damage, but I was able to respond quickly and help Customers affected by the tornadoes. The fast response was made possible by the way ERIE set up its catastrophe team units. Some people I spoke to said neighbors with other carriers hadn’t even heard from their adjusters yet. It was extremely gratifying to help ERIE’s Customers when they really needed it.

What’s the most gratifying part of your job?
Knowing in my heart that I did the best I could for ERIE and for the Customer on every claim that I handle. I remember one claim we had to deny; even still, the Customer sent me a card thanking me for how polite and helpful I’d been during the process. Everyone should receive the same level of service, regardless of the outcome.

https://www.erieinsurance.com/blog/what-is-an-insurance-adjuster

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Business Risks

4 Overlooked Business Risks Covered

The success of any business depends on hard work and ingenuity. Should disaster strike, business insurance helps protect the effort and money you’ve invested in your business. But because businesses are so diverse, you should consider a variety of optional coverages too. These extras are added to your business insurance policy as endorsements. Here’s how endorsements can help cover four common business risks.

1. Data breaches: Any business that has personal or medical information about its customers, tenants or employees is at risk for a data breach. Most states have breach notification laws that not only require a business owner to inform any affected individuals (customers) of a data breach but also specify the manner and period in which the business owner must inform customers. Here are coverages you may want to consider:

  • Data Breach Response ExpensesIt could cover the expenses you incur when notifying affected individuals of a breach per state laws.
  • Data Breach Liability Coverage: It could cover damages that you are legally obligated to pay when your customers’ nonpublic personal information that is lost, stolen or accidentally released is used fraudulently. It also covers the cost to defend lawsuits seeking damages.

2. Employment practices liability: These days, hiring, firing and day-to-day employee management can be risky business. You’d like to think that your employees would never dream of filing a claim or suit against you or your business for discrimination, wrongful termination, harassment or sexual harassment. Unfortunately, it does happen. Responding to claims or suits like these will require time and money.

With Employment Practices Liability Coverage, you will not have to face an employment claim on your own. It can help protect you against liability damages and cover defense costs.

3. Professional liability: You’re expected to have technical knowledge or training in a particular area of expertise or perform certain services according to the standards of your profession. If you fail, you could be held responsible for any harm that you caused to another person or business. Professional liability coverage can provide you with protection for claims arising from negligent business or professional practices.

4. Identity theft: As a small business owner, your personal credit may be tied closely to your business. Having your own identity stolen, could jeopardize your credit and affect your business operations. ERIE’s Identity Theft Recovery coverage can be added to a business insurance policy and provide coverage1 for:

  • Certain legal fees, such as those incurred while defending any civil suits brought against you by creditors or collection agencies.
  • Lost wages.
  • Credit reports and postage, phone and shipping fees related to resolving identity theft and fraud.

Your business needs protection provided by a company and insurance adviser that you can trust.

Similar Erie Insurance May Articles

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Strengthen-Business

Strengthen Your Business in 2018

As a business owner, to say you’re busy, is an understatement…your business is your life. From managing employees, to maintaining quality products and services to meeting your Customers’ needs, it’s a lot. We’ve pulled together five tips to keep in mind in 2018. It’s about taking the time to evaluate, prioritize and delegate for the year and beyond.

1. Set realistic goals. The beginning of the year is a perfect time to set your sights on what you would like your business to achieve in the year ahead. While, it’s important to challenge your business, it’s also important to set realistic and attainable goals. “S.M.A.R.T.”  goals stands for: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. There are many free templates and guides online to assist you in getting your business goals on paper. Just search “SMART goals” and you’ll be able to find a tool that is most helpful and applicable for your business.

2. Look for opportunities to delegate. There are only so many hours in a day and so many days in a week. This year, make it a point to delegate work and responsibilities to your employees. Additional communication and direction upfront may be necessary, but it can free up time for other important business priorities in the future. Additionally, employees will appreciate the additional responsibility and trust you’re putting in them.

3. Expand your digital reach. Digital should be included in your marketing strategy. From updating your site and making sure it’s mobile friendly, to connecting with your Customers and followers on social media, it’s important to weave digital engagement into your overall strategy.  If you’re new to social media, specifically, Facebook®, they have marketing tools and a tutorial, Blueprint, to help you get started. The tutorial will take you through the basics of building your social presence.

4. Make connections. We’ve all heard it—network, network, network. From networking with other small business leaders to networking with new clients or Customers, this could be a full-time job in and of itself. Besides learning what others in your community are doing, there’s an opportunity to gain insight from other business leaders and develop relationships with them.

5. Consult your ERIE agent. Whether you’re growing your home business or expanding to a second location, it’s important to make sure you have the right coverage to fit the needs of your business (employees included). Set up some time to talk to your local Erie Insurance Agent soon.

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Public-WiFi

Using Public Wi-Fi

Public Wi-Fi helps us stay connected no matter where we go. It’s convenient to use at a coffee shop, a neighborhood restaurant or the airport, but how safe is it? Unfortunately, cyber criminals can log in to the same free network that you do and attempt to gain access to your devices and personal information.

“The Wi-Fi may be free, but that doesn’t mean your online activities are safe,” says Cheryl Lorei, a senior IT analyst at Erie Insurance who has worked in information security for 15 years. “The big concern with public Wi-Fi is that your information could be available to anyone on the network. It’s nothing against the businesses that offer free Wi-Fi, it’s just that they’re not in the business of keeping your personal information safe.”

Four tips to help make your online activities more secure

Here are a few key things that you need know about public Wi-Fi security and how to keep your personal information safe.

  1. Watch out for phony Wi-Fi access points. Fake routers are designed to look legitimate, but hackers operate them. With this popular method, called a man-in-the-middle attack, the invader tries to get between you and your personal information that is stored on a banking website or in an email. “These situations can be difficult to detect,” says Lorei. “If you don’t know who is running the network, don’t use it. Always ask the business owner or hotel to verify the network name before you connect to it.” Once you’re finished, remove the public Wi-Fi connection from your device. If your device is still in the mode of actively trying to connect, a hacker may notice and create a phony access point. 
  2. Limit your activity while using public Wi-Fi. When you’re using free Wi-Fi, it’s not a good time to shop online, use social media or access your bank account or email. “You want to avoid visiting websites that save and store your personal passwords or credit card numbers,” says Lorei. “You could inadvertently make it easy for someone to access your personal information. Once they have your password, they will try to reuse it repeatedly to access other sites to gain more information about you.” 
  3. Use secured websites or a VPN service. Generally, it’s best to access secured websites that begin with https rather than http. The s in the address is an indication that the site uses a secured encryption Web protocol to protect the confidentiality of online activities or transactions. A virtual private network (VPN) also offers a connection that is encrypted and secured. VPN can help protect you from digital eavesdropping even when you’re on public Wi-Fi. The fees for basic VPN services are less than $10 a month. 
  4. Turn your smartphone into a secured personal hot spot. Most mobile phones can be turned into hot spots and support several devices at once. However, check your data plan before you try it to avoid unexpected expenses. “Personal hot spots are popular alternatives, but you still need to do your research about how to protect and secure the connection,” Lorei says.

Once your identity is stolen, it can be difficult to recover. “Unfortunately, you’re not going to be able to flip a switch to restore everything,” Lorei says. “It’s a smart move to do all you can to protect yourself.”

Insurance coverage is available for identity theft and fraud. With Erie Insurance’s Identity Recovery Coverage, you’ll get help with the recovery process and coverage for expenses like charges for credit reports, lost wages and even some legal fees. The cost of the coverage is low—about $20 a year—and it can be added to a home or renters insurance policy. A local Erie Insurance agent can tell you more about the details.

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Insurance Audit

Why Is My Business Being Audited?

Erie Insurance’s priority is always to do right by you, our valued Customers. Although an insurance audit may seem like bad news, the truth is that it may not be as troublesome as you may think. In fact, it could be beneficial to your business.

If you have workers’ compensation and/or general liability coverage for your business, it’s likely that your insurer will conduct an audit. This common practice helps ensure that the insurance company doesn’t overcharge or undercharge your business for coverage. In the end, you’ll be reassured that your coverage is up to date and you’re paying the proper amount.

The good that comes from an insurance audit

When you purchase your policy, the initial premium charged for workers’ compensation and general liability coverage is estimated using different rating bases as well as the proper classifications and rates that apply to the business and the work during the policy term. Premiums for workers’ compensation insurance are estimated based on payroll. Premiums for general liability insurance are calculated based on different variables, such as payroll, receipts, sales, units and the like.

Throughout your policy term, your sales, payroll and other variables will fluctuate. The audit takes place at the end of the policy period to collect the updated information and calculate your final premium.

For example, if business is better than you expected and you have hired more employees than you planned, your payroll will be higher and you will potentially have a greater exposure for someone to file a workers’ compensation claim. It’s a smart move to reconcile any differences.

There are three basic types of audits:

  • Questionnaire audit: You will be mailed a letter that provides a website address and a password that allows you to sign on and complete a questionnaire.
  • Telephone audit: An auditor will contact you by phone and interview you to complete the audit. You will initially receive a letter with a date and a two-hour window when the auditor will call you.
  • Physical audit: An auditor will meet with you in person to complete the audit information.

What happens if my estimates are not accurate?

Estimates should be as close as possible to the actual amount of payroll and sales incurred during the policy period. If the estimate is too high, you’ll receive a refund, usually a credit to your current policy. If it is too low, you’ll receive a bill for the additional premium for the audit period and the current year.

(Full Erie Article)

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