Author: basiinsurance

All blogs posted from this account are on behalf of Basi Insurance Services, Inc. For more information please feel free to give us a call at (209) 847-3065.

Gear Up for a Responsible and Fun Boating Season

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We live in one the best areas of California for boating. The Delta, mountain lakes or a local reservoir – pick a direction and find the perfect spot for you and your family.

May 20 – 26 is National Safe Boating Week. As our customers and friends, we wanted to share with you a few, online tips and resources from the National Weather Service and National Safe Boating Council. Before you go out on the water:

  1. Check the marine forecast at your local NWS coastal office.
  2. Look up the latest buoy observations.
  3. Make sure your boat has essential (and usually required) safety equipment:
  • Life Jackets
  • Fire Extinguishers
  • Emergency distress signals, sound-producing devices and location equipment, such as Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRB) or Personal Locator Beacons (PLB).
  • Cell or satellite phone, weather radio and other communication devices for ANY weather condition or location.
  1. Pack plenty of sunscreen, water and first-aid supplies.
  2. Consider a safe boating course and a vessel safety check.

Add to the list, a review of your insurance coverage. Whatever you get behind for summer fun – boat, RV, all-terrain, or specialty car – we can double-check that your policies have kept pace with your current needs and will continue to protect you and your family. Call Basi Insurance Services at 209-847-3065.

Have a safe and memory-making summer!

Cybersecurity Business Protection for Small Businesses

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Small employers often don’t consider themselves targets for cyberattacks. They may believe that because of their size they have nothing worth stealing. However, with growing sophistication, cybercriminals are more and more attracted to small businesses for the valuable information they do possess: employee and customer data, bank account information, and a business’ financial and intellectual property.

The U.S. Small Business Administration offers valuable tips to help businesses protect themselves. In addition, owners and entrepreneurs may want to consider adding a Cyber Liability insurance policy. Despite the danger it poses, cyber crime is usually excluded from most traditional commercial plans.

As a full service, independent agency, Basi Insurance represents multiple commercial carriers. Through our Cyber Liability insurance programs, we offer a selection of coverages that can help protect against:

  • Cyber breach or intrusion.
  • Unauthorized release of Personally Identifiable Information (PII), Personal Health Information (PHI), and other privacy breaches.
  • Regulatory claims and legal defense needs.
  • Business income and digital asset restoration losses.

As a local and small business ourselves, Basi Insurance is committed to helping clients find policies that best fits their needs. Our focus remains on providing personalized attention with exceptional customer service. Call for more information at 209-847-3065.

Top Ten Cybersecurity Tips1

  1. Protect against viruses, spyware, and other malicious code
    Make sure each of your business’s computers are equipped with antivirus software and antispyware and update regularly. Such software is readily available online from a variety of vendors. All software vendors regularly provide patches and updates to their products to correct security problems and improve functionality. Configure all software to install updates automatically.

 

  1. Secure your networks
    Safeguard your Internet connection by using a firewall and encrypting information.  If you have a Wi-Fi network, make sure it is secure and hidden. To hide your Wi-Fi network, set up your wireless access point or router so it does not broadcast the network name, known as the Service Set Identifier (SSID). Password protect access to the router.

 

  1. Establish security practices and policies to protect sensitive information
    Establish policies on how employees should handle and protect personally identifiable information and other sensitive data.  Clearly outline the consequences of violating your business’s cybersecurity policies.

 

  1. Educate employees about cyberthreats and hold them accountable
    Educate your employees about online threats and how to protect your business’s data, including safe use of social networking sites.  Depending on the nature of your business, employees might be introducing competitors to sensitive details about your firm’s internal business. Employees should be informed about how to post online in a way that does not reveal any trade secrets to the public or competing businesses.  Hold employees accountable to the business’s Internet security policies and procedures.

 

  1. Require employees to use strong passwords and to change them often
    Consider implementing multifactor authentication that requires additional information beyond a password to gain entry. Check with your vendors that handle sensitive data, especially financial institutions, to see if they offer multifactor authentication for your account.

 

  1. Employ best practices on payment cards.
    Work with your banks or card processors to ensure the most trusted and validated tools and anti-fraud services are being used. You may also have additional security obligations related to agreements with your bank or processor. Isolate payment systems from other, less secure programs and do not use the same computer to process payments and surf the Internet.

 

  1. Make backup copies of important business data and information
    Regularly backup the data on all computers. Critical data includes word processing documents, electronic spreadsheets, databases, financial files, human resources files, and accounts receivable/payable files. Backup data automatically if possible, or at least weekly, and store the copies either offsite or on the cloud.

 

  1. Control physical access to computers and network components
    Prevent access or use of business computers by unauthorized individuals. Laptops can be particularly easy targets for theft or can be lost, so lock them up when unattended. Make sure a separate user account is created for each employee and require strong passwords. Administrative privileges should only be given to trusted IT staff and key personnel.

 

  1. Create a mobile device action plan
    Mobile devices can create significant security and management challenges, especially if they hold confidential information or can access the corporate network. Require users to password protect their devices, encrypt their data, and install security apps to prevent criminals from stealing information while the phone is on public networks. Be sure to set reporting procedures for lost or stolen equipment.

 

  1. Protect all pages on your public-facing websites, not just the checkout and sign-up pages

1Source: U.S. Small Business Administration, https://www.sba.gov/managing-business/cybersecurity/top-ten-cybersecurity-tips. Accessed: April 28, 2017.

Does Your Home-Based Business Have the Coverage It Needs?

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Millions of men and women work from home or have home-based businesses, according to statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau, a trend that’s been steadily increasing in recent years. Small businesses are a huge growth sector in the U.S. as well, accounting for more than half of all U.S. businesses, says the Small Business Administration. Still, despite the prevalence and popularity of the home-based business model, many business owners don’t have adequate insurance to cover their losses or their potential liability issues, and that means those owners are taking a huge financial risk every day.

Unfortunately, many men and women who operate a home-based business incorrectly assume their homeowner’s insurance policy provides more than enough coverage for their needs. But the fact is, they couldn’t be more wrong. Homeowner’s policies are designed to protect personal assets and the home itself, but they don’t have important coverage for business equipment or inventory, nor do they provide critical liability coverage that can protect you if a client, customer or employee becomes injured while conducting business in your home. That means if a client trips on your front steps or falls down the stairs, you’ll be responsible for any resulting medical costs or other related expenses.

So what type of insurance should you have to protect yourself, your business and your finances? For most home-based business owners, one of these two options usually suffices:

  • Some very small home-based businesses can get by with a rider on their existing homeowner’s policy. A rider provides additional coverage for items or activities not covered under a standard homeowner’s policy. Depending on your insurance provider, you might be able to obtain additional coverage for certain types of business equipment or limited liability claims. In most cases, a rider is only a good option for business owners who have no other employees and who don’t have clients or customers coming to their homes.
  • Most home-based business owners will benefit from the added protection provided by a business owner’s policy or BOP. A BOP offers protection against damage or losses of equipment, business interruptions, liability and professional malpractice claims. Any business that has costly equipment or inventory or one that conducts business inside and outside of the home typically can benefit from these higher and more comprehensive levels of coverage.

The type of coverage your home-based business needs depends on lots of factors. Basi Insurance Services is a leading provider of insurance policies for home-based business owners in and around Oakdale, Calif., because we understand the unique risks these businesses face, and we also take the time to review every client’s needs to ensure they get the right amount of coverage at a price they can afford. To find out how insurance can help protect your home-based business, call Basi Insurance Services today at 877-590-4826.

Urgent Reminder: 2017 Changes for Workers Compensation First Aid Claims

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Effective January 1, 2017, employers are now required to report ALL first aid claims to their insurance company regardless of whether the employer or insurance carrier paid for the first aid medical services.

We recommend you immediately discontinue the practice of paying first aid claims and notify all those within your company who handle workers compensation claims of this new policy.

The Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau recently updated these reporting requirements. Prior to this date, employers had the option of not reporting and submitting first aid claims. In opting to pay expenses out-of-pocket, employers could potentially reduce their Experience Modification Rate calculations.

California Labor Code Section 5401 defines First Aid as, “any one-time treatment, and any follow-up visit for the purpose of observation of minor scratches, cuts, burns, splinters and so forth, which do not ordinarily require medical care. Such one-time treatment and follow-up visits for the purpose of observation is considered first aid even though provided by a physician or registered professional personnel.” The term “small medical only claim” is used also to refer to first aid claims.

As a reminder, every physician attending to any injured employee must send copies of the Doctor’s First Report of Occupational Injury or Illness to the workers compensation insurance carrier or employer within five days of the initial examination.

The team at Basi Insurance Services is happy to answer any questions you have regarding how best to handle first aid or small medical only claims. As a reminder, all our agribusiness and commercial clients are encouraged to participate in our complimentary Safety Services programs. These valuable training and certification sessions help ensure OSHA compliance and may reduce potential workers compensation claims through safer workplace practices.

Do You Need Flood Insurance? The Answer Might Surprise You

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Homeowner’s policies provide a lot of essential coverage to keep your home and your family safe from losses. But all too often, homeowners make the mistake of thinking their policy provides coverage for all sorts of losses – only to discover too late that their basic homeowner’s policy doesn’t provide as much coverage as they’d thought.

Flood insurance is a great example. According to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), the average flood claim is more than $46,000, and nationwide, claims total about $2 billion per year. Can you imagine paying $46,000 out of your own savings? Probably not. Yet most homeowner’s fail to purchase flood insurance because they incorrectly assume their “regular” homeowner’s policy provides coverage.

In fact, while a homeowner’s policy does offer plenty of protection for many losses, flooding is not one of the losses covered by the typical homeowner’s policy. That means that to fully protect your home and your assets against flood-related damages, you need to purchase additional flood insurance.

When looking for flood insurance, it’s important to know that all policies are not created equal. For instance, some policies provide coverage for damage to your home’s structure but not its contents. Ideally, you want a policy with both types of coverage to ensure your potential losses are completely covered. The cost of coverage can also vary dramatically based on where you live and your home’s specific flood risks. An experienced agent can determine your home’s flood risks using official sources and data to ensure you get the right type and right amount of coverage for your home’s needs. Even if you’re a renter, you should still buy a policy to cover your possessions; don’t make the mistake of thinking those losses will be covered under a landlord’s policy – they won’t be.

And one more thing to remember: Coverage isn’t instantaneous. While a homeowner’s policy usually can go into effect immediately, there’s usually a 30-day waiting period associated with flood insurance, providing the underwriter with time to review your property’s flood risks and other policy details. That means it’s especially important to purchase a flood policy as soon as possible, to help ensure you’re covered if and when flooding losses occur.

With spring showers and summer thunderstorms looming on the horizon, now is the ideal time to find out about your home’s flood risks. At Basi Insurance Services, we help clients from Oakdale, Calif., and the surrounding region understand their coverage needs, providing a comprehensive policy review to determine where coverage falls short and which policy options are available to provide optimal peace of mind. If it’s been awhile since you had your policy reviewed or if you’d like to learn more about flood insurance or other types of insurance, call us today at 877-590-4826 and let us review your policy and your needs.

Distracted Driving

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You’re driving along the interstate at the posted speed limit when a delivery van speeds by you, seemingly oblivious to the road. Was the driver actually looking down, probably sending or receiving a text? Try as you might to convince yourself otherwise, you have to accept this sort of unsafe driving behavior as the new on-the-road reality.

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Distractions while driving include:

  • Visual distractions: when you take your eyes off the road
  • Manual distractions: when you remove your hands from the wheel
  • Cognitive distractions: when your mind is preoccupied with a non-driving task — such as a telephone conversation or texting exchange

A recent study from the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety found that drivers who perform a secondary visual task while driving are less able to identify hazards than those who with no visual interruption. In fact, glancing away from the road for as little as two seconds can impair a driver’s ability to notice oncoming hazards. These findings provide tangible evidence about the real dangers of in-vehicle distractions and help demonstrate why it’s important for companies to promote awareness and engage employees in discussions about distracted driving.

Every distracted driver represents a potential risk for his or her employer. Businesses can be held legally accountable for negligent acts, such as distracted driving-related accidents committed by employees while “on the job.” The costs associated with personal injury or death, property and equipment damage, and legal work are potential consequences each time an employee drives to a meeting, sales call, etc. According to the National Safety Council, a risk analysis study at Harvard University estimated the total annual cost of crashes as a result of cellphone use to be $43 billion.[1]

In addition, as of January 2012, a federal regulation prohibits commercial truck and bus drivers from using hand-held mobile phones while driving. Drivers can be fined up to $2,750 for each offense and employers are subject to penalties of up to $11,000.[2]

Whether your company operates a fleet of vehicles or just one, distracted driving can present financial and safety-related risks for you and your employees.

Learn more about the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety study (PDF) on driver safety and in-vehicle distractions.

[1]National Safety Council. (2013). Our Driving Concern: Employer Traffic Safety Program. Retrieved from http://www.nsc.org/safety_road/Employer%20Traffic%20Safety/Pages/NationalDistractedDriving.aspx

[2]S. Department of Transportation. (2012, January). U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood Announces Final Rule That Bans Hand-Held Cell Phone Use by Drivers of Buses and Large Trucks. Retrieved from http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/newsroom/us-transportation-secretary-lahood-announces-final-rule-bans-hand-held-cell-phone-use

Author unknown, “Is Distracted Driving a Risk to Your Business?”.  Retrieved from http://passiontoprotect.libertymutualgroup.com/is-distracted-driving-a-risk

Long-Term Care Insurance

Personal and Financial Protection for the Long Term

For most Americans, a traditional Life and Health Insurance package is enough to keep themselves and their families insured, but for many, additional coverage is required. At Basi Insurance Services, Inc., we offer extensive coverage options that can insure the care of those who need it most.

Long-Term Care Insurance (LTC) helps provide for the medical expenses of extended home health care or nursing home costs beyond a specified period. In general, individuals who require Long-Term Care are those who can no longer take care of themselves and are unable to perform the basic activities of daily living without assistance.

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The costs of Long-Term Care can be quite expensive, and are typically not covered under basic Health Insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid. Long-Term Care Insurance from Basi Insurance Services, Inc. can protect your family’s financial future by providing valuable coverage benefits for costs associated with:

  • Home Care
  • Assisted Living
  • Adult Daycare
  • Hospice Care
  • Nursing Homes
  • Respite Care

Individuals looking to purchase Long-Term Care Insurance must meet certain conditions in order to qualify for benefits. Talk to an insurance professional with Basi Insurance Services, Inc. to learn more about Long-Term Care Insurance and whether you should add it to your current policy.