As we enter 2006, we’ve probably all had a busy holiday season. The family affairs, business parties, and overall energy of the season finds us relieved the new year is upon us to settle back into our normal routines. With the beginning of the year, we have the opportunity to re-evaluate different aspects of our lives. One area many should consider is their insurance. For business owners, this can be in the form of employee benefits, which many times renew at the start of the year, or the property and casualty part of your insurance portfolio. Each of us needs to see how our homeowners, auto, and life policies fit into our current situation. Here are some ideas and some coverages that are increasing in popularity.
• New Purchases. Many companies make equipment purchases at the end of the year as they prepare for a strong start to the new year. It’s important to review your business personal property limits to make sure they’re high enough for replacement costs. If the new purchases are electronics, you may want to consult with your insurance professional to see if it needs to be added to your inland marine schedule as EDP (Electronic Data Processing). On the personal lines side, many people need to review their coverage limits, as more holiday gifts are electronic by nature. Christmas is also a popular time for people to purchase new jewelry. Make sure to turn your appraisals over to your insurance professional to properly cover. This is also a good time to walk around your business and home with a video camera. By filming your property, you have a reminder of your possessions should you sustain a devastating loss. Make sure to keep the video tape at an off site location in a safe place.
• Identity Theft. In the past year, our country has experienced major breakdowns in security at companies that have private financial information. These breakdowns, along with the increased use of the Internet to transfer financial data, have increased the exposure to identity theft. This practice of stealing information over the Internet through the use of e-mail is referred to as phishing. One of the largest costs associated with identity theft is the time it takes to correct the problems. Many insurance companies offer coverage under their homeowners policy that will pay a company to do this leg work for you. Contact your local insurance professional to assist in the best method to go about this review.
Have a happy and safe new year. IBI