Long Insurance Services of Kernersville, NC

  Contact : 336-992-5664

All Posts in Category: Uncategorized


Quick Ways to Spot Phishing Messages Targeting Your Business

Gone may be the days when phishing attempts were easy to identify. While malicious messages are nothing new, they’re becoming more sophisticated and harder to pick out from legitimate business communications.

A few simple clicks in one of these emails can develop into a problem that spreads quickly across digital channels and devices, but there are things that you can do to defend against phishing attacks and resources that can help.

Information technology professional Jamie Neumaier knows a lot about tackling security threats. Jamie manages an information security team that works to ensure systems at Erie Insurance stay as safe as possible. He recently answered questions about phishing scams targeting businesses and offered some useful security tips.

What is phishing?
Phishing is malicious activity in which criminals try to gain access to user’s information, data or devices. The goal is to get you to act, and when you do, the phishers may:

  • Gain access to data and information, which they can exploit.
  • Install malware on your system.
  • Prompt you to reveal your personal financial information for purposes of stealing money or your identity.
  • Access your email and send other malicious messages to your contacts, to exploit others.


Are businesses especially vulnerable to phishing scams?
Yes. With more work being conducted digitally, businesses of all sizes are susceptible to attacks.

Phishers can easily find your contact information online and be reasonably confident that any message they send you will be at the very least opened because you’re in a business of being responsive. The phishing messages have also grown in sophistication, so it’s easy to be convinced to visit an insecure site or download an infected file that comes in an email message that looks legitimate.

How do you spot a phishing attack?
Phishing emails that are poorly written, offer you large amounts of money or ask you for financial assistance have been common for a long time. Most of us know not to open, click or respond to these emails.

More recently, phishing emails are being designed to look like other emails that you might receive in your inbox. They may appear to be from someone you trust like a bank, software provider, retailer or vendor, but usually, the timing of the messages is unexpected.

For instance, one common technique is for a hacker to gain access to an email account through a phishing attempt, then access the account and reply to a real email conversation with a malicious link. So, when the recipient receives this email, it looks like a continuation of an earlier conversation, but it asks the recipient to download a document.

Phishing attempts aren’t limited to email, either. Hackers now use phone numbers similar to your mobile number to call you and attempt to have you reveal sensitive information. They may send you text messages as well.

How can phishing attacks be prevented?
In the course of day-to-day business between you, your employees, customers and other consumers in general, know what you’re working on. If you receive a message, phone call or email that is unexpected or seems even just a little bit off, verify the validity of the message before taking action. Call the person who appears to have the message and ask if he or she sent it. If the answer is no, it’s a malicious message.

Other things you can do:

  1. Hover your cursor over a link in an email to show the URL. If it looks suspicious, don’t click on it.
  2. Look at the extension on Word attachments. Most users have updated their Microsoft products so that Word documents end with .docx. If you see the antiquated .doc extension, question it.
  3. Use both antivirus software and an anti-malware tool. They’re often provided by common and well-known security brands such as McAfee and Norton.
  4. Keep your software and devices up to date. The latest updates for Microsoft Office products, third-party applications, such as Adobe Reader and Flash, and smartphone operating systems contain patches that protect against the latest security issues.
  5. Always back up your data, so that you can get back to business as quickly as possible should you fall victim to an attack. Test your backup processes periodically to ensure they are working as expected.


Also, be aware that if you’re hit with an attack, you may not know immediately, and the first indication may be that your Customers receive an unexpected email from you. Unfortunately, a Customer calling to verify something you sent (but didn’t intend to) could be when you know you’ve been affected.

If Customers call asking if a message is legitimate, and after you confirm whether you sent that email, offer them the same advice you use in your own business operations.

  • Did the Customer expect to get that email?
  • Does the link or URL direct to a legitimate, expected website address?
  • Does it ask them to open a suspicious document that they didn’t expect?

Answering those questions can help you both determine whether the message is safe.

Phishing is continuously changing and evolving as perpetrators adopt new techniques and forms, so it’s essential to have a good security plan in place and watch out for emerging attacks to help protect your business. A well-trained team that knows how to spot a suspicious message can also be a great defense against phishing attacks.

Read more information about security tips:
Are You Overlooking this Top Data Breach Risk?
Two Things You Can Do Now to Speed Up Data Recovery After a Breach

Read More
BBB 2015 Torch Award Winner

2015 BBB Torch Award Winners

Four Companies Distinguished with Highest Business Ethics Award.

BBB celebrates the accomplishments of 4 Northwest North Carolina business that have proven excellence in business ethics. These companies were honored on Thursday, June 4 at the Hickory Room, Bib’s Downtown in Winston-Salem. The 2015 BBB Torch Award for Ethics winners are Long Insurance Services (Category 1-10 employees, Kernersville, NC), Holland Transportation Management Services (Category 11-50 employees, Statesville, NC), Tar Heel Basement Systems (Category 51-175 employees, Winston-Salem, NC) and Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center (Category 175+ employees, Winston-Salem, NC).

“While many businesses throughout our region practice sound business principles, these four businesses exemplify a culture of integrity from leadership to workers, with vendors and customers and throughout the communities they serve,” said Brian Wright, President & CEO of BBB of Northwest NC. The Annual Torch Awards for Ethics ceremony honors companies whose leadership demonstrates impeccable character and whose practices meet the highest standards of integrity. These companies generate a high level of trust among their employees, customers and their communities. The award embodies the BBB mission of advancing marketplace trust throughout our 14-county region.

Read More

Business Insurance – Winston-Salem, Greensboro, High Point & Kernersville

If you are in business in Winston-Salem, Greensboro, High Point, Kernersville or, really, anywhere else in NC, SC or VA you have reason to protect yourself from being sued or having property loss.  You have invested time and resources into developing and growing an enterprise to provide an income and a future for your family and one unfortunate and unexpected event could take it all away.  For your business consider contingency planning and include insurance coverage in that master plan. Business insurance is a way to transfer risk away from you and to another responsible party.

Consider some of these examples:

Garage Claims Example

Insured was working on customer’s vehicle while it was on a hoist and the vehicle caught fire in the insured’s garage. The customer’s car was a total loss and insured’s carrier paid $40,000.

Insured was working on customer’s vehicle that was left in neutral. The vehicle rolled out of the garage into the parking lot and into incoming traffic. It hit a pickup truck and a man on a motorcycle. The claim had Damage to customers vehicle $20,000, damage to the pickup truck $8,000, Motorcycle Damage $5,000 and Bodily Injury damage to the driver of the Motorcycle $30,000.

Customers Vehicles were parked beside the garage on the insured’s property within a secured area. The vehicles were all vandalized. Equipment was stolen out of the vehicles resulting $12,000 Property Damage.

Small Business Claims

A women slipped on a raised portion of sidewalk at insured’s premises, fell down and broke one of her legs also incurring a spinal injury – This claim for bodily injury was $50,000.

A woman fell in parking lot when she tripped over a wheel stop. She broke her arm and caused damage to her rotator cuff resulting in a $60,000 claim.

Man tripped over a rug in an office, fell and broke his leg resulting in a $15,000 bodily injury pay out.


Former employee of contractor came by to visit job site of contractor fell off roof. The bodily injury resulted in a $50,000 claim.




Insured owned Hotel – The insured kept a dog in the hotel lobby. The dog bit a small child in the face. A $50,000 bodily injury claim resulted.

Hotel caught fire from a heater causing damage to 7 rooms resulting in a property damage claim of $250,000.


Person walking up ramp at restaurant which was not well lit or marked, the claimant fell causing bodily injury. The carrier paid $50,000.

Workers Compensation

Condominium housekeeper was walking up the stairs and slipped. She sustained a back injury. The workers compensation claim incurred was $90,000.

A worker cut finger on the job and was treated and released from the emergency room with a few stitches. The worker later got a staph infection and had to be hospitalized. The bodily injury on this minor accident ultimately resulted in a workers’ compensation claim of $50,000.

Leased Space

Insured had a tenant that placed a lit cigarette in a trash can. The entire building burned which resulted in a fire damage claim of $400,000.

Call us and let’s have a conversation.

Read More

Are There Gaps in your Commercial Lines?

We call your attention to the items listed below which may require your immediate attention.  Please read this important document and call us at once should you have any questions regarding these coverages:


Flood Insurance:  Almost all commercial lines property policies exclude flood.  The only way to protect your business from rising water is with flood insurance.  There is a 30 day waiting period for flood coverage to begin.  CALL US!!


Umbrella Coverage:  Your commercial policies provide a limited amount of liability protection.  However, it may not be adequate in cases of catastrophic losses, such as accidental death or crippling injury.  A commercial umbrella policy provides additional liability limits.  Limits exceeding five million dollars are available.  CALL US!!


Employment Practices:  Employers of all sizes face a critical issue:  Employees filing suit for alleged wrongful employment practices – such as wrongful termination of employment, employment discrimination, sexual harassment, wrongful failure to employ to promote, negligent evaluation, violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act or the Civil Rights Act, etc. If a suit is filed – even if you’re innocent – the cost to defend yourself could endanger the survival of your business.  Employment Practices Liability Insurance provides legal defense for such incidents.  CALL US!!


DOC (Drive Other Car):  If you do not have a personal automobile policy and drive a company car insured on a business auto policy, it is imperative that you have this coverage added to your business auto policy.  This gives you personal automobile coverage when driving a vehicle belonging to others.  CALL US!!


Contracted Labor:  If you are giving your employees a 1099 form, they may still be covered under your Worker’s Compensation and General Liability Policy.  Unless that employee has his or her own respective policy, he or she is an employee from an insurance perspective.  What your accountant is telling you may not apply to your insurance policy. North Carolina law mandates you carry Worker’s Compensation insurance if you have 3 or more employees.  CALL US!!


Ghost Policy for Worker’s Compensation:  This policy provides no benefit coverage for the owner of the business.  It will provide benefits for any employees, subject to audit.  Be sure to notify us if you hire any employees during the policy year.  Minimum premium for these policies is $1250.  CALL US!!


Employee Benefit Liability:  This is a safeguard endorsement to protect you should you make an error in the administration of your employee benefit program.  CALL US!!


Pollution Coverage:  There is very, very limited coverage under standard insurance contracts.  This can be purchased through specialty insurance Carriers.  CALL US!!


Business Income:  After a property loss occurs, this is money that will pay for continuing expenses (rent, insurance, employee payroll, etc.) plus net profit while the property is being rebuilt.  It enables a business to “stay in business” when the doors are shut due to property damage.  CALL US!!


Cyber Liability:  Today’s criminal doesn’t use a crowbar.  He or she uses a keyboard.  One of your biggest assets is the information that you keep of others.  This coverage provides defense in this growing unauthorized exposure to your computer system.  CALL US!!


Director and Officers:  Members of profit and not-for-profit boards can be held personally liable for decisions that adversely affect the business entity.  If you sit on any type of board of directors, you need this coverage.  CALL US!!


Equipment Breakdown:  This provides special coverage for perils not found under a standard property policy.  Coverages include breakdown, electrical arcing, and power surges.  If you have any type of mechanical equipment, this coverage is very necessary.  CALL US!!


Data Recovery:  If your business suffers a loss to property, there is a limit of money to help recreate the data lost due to the claim.  CALL US!!


Electronic Data Processing (EDP):  Your computer system, including both hardware and software, has additional exposures to loss that are not covered under a standard property policy.  These exposures can be insured with specified insurance on the EDP components in your office.  CALL US!!


Home Business Pursuits:  If you have any business operations in your home, there is a very limited, if any, coverage under a homeowner’s policy.  There are various ways in which you can get the necessary property and liability exposures covered.  CALL US!!


Hired and Non-Owned Automobile Liability:  If your employees use their own personal vehicles on business for you, this is a most important coverage.  If the employee causes an accident, the employer can also be brought into a lawsuit for damages to the injured party.  CALL US!!


Annuities:  Some of our insurance companies offer competitive alternatives to Certificates of Deposit offered by your bank in the form of annuities.  CALL US!!


Key Employee Life Insurance:  Your Company should protect its most valuable asset – your employees!  Your company may purchase life insurance on key employees to help weather the storm after the death of that employee.  CALL US!!


Buy Sell Agreement: If your business partner passes away you may now find yourself in business with their heirs. A buy-sell agreement is a contract among business owners. At the loss of an owner, the business interest is transferred according to the terms of this contract. The other owner(s) are obligated to purchase the deceased’s business interest and the deceased’s heirs are obligated to sell. Often, this is funded by life insurance. CALL US!


Professional Liability:  Malpractice is not restricted to doctors or dentists.  Any professional (CPA, lawyers, real estate agents, hairdressers to name just a few) is held to a higher degree of accountability because of their training and experience.  This coverage is mandatory for anyone who holds himself out as an expert in his particular field.  CALL US!!


Employee Dishonesty:  Employees can and do steal from their employers.  If convicted in a court of law for wrongdoing, an employer can re-coup its losses with this very important coverage.  It is often the most-trusted employee that causes these kinds of claims.  CALL US!!


Mold Exclusions:  Mold and Fungus losses have proliferated in the construction industry over the past few years.  These losses are NOT covered under standard General Liability policies!  The coverage can be purchased.  CALL US!!


Claims Made V. Occurrence:  General Liability policies are written two different ways:  claims made and occurrence.  The occurrence policy provides coverage when the event occurs.  The claims made policy provides coverage when the claim is reported.  Often there is a time delay between an “occurrence” and when the “claim is made”.  It is very important to review this discrepancy when changing carriers, especially when the previous policy is “claims made”.  CALL US!!


Ordinance and Law: Coverage for loss caused by enforcement of ordinances or laws regulating construction and repair of damaged buildings. Older structures that are damaged may need upgraded electrical; heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC); roofing materials; fences; and plumbing units based on city codes. CALL US!





Read More

Kernersville, Greensboro, Winston-Salem & High Point

Located in Kernersville, North Carolina, Long Insurance is geographically central to our focus of the three state area we serve. We have direct appointments with major carriers that give us a mix of product offerings to accommodate most needs. Through our many appointments we have access to many experts in various fields of the insurance industry to arrive at sound and effective coverages for our clients.

Read More
Font Resize