Wednesday, March 23, 2016

4 Precautions to Take When Hiring Temporary Employees

Risks Involved with Summer Hires


Spring is here and the 2016 season at the Lake of the Ozarks is about to kick off! Many seasonal business owners a gearing up for what they expect to be another great summer at the Lake, and that means hiring some seasonal help. As your Lake of the Ozarks insurance agent, I want businesses owners to be aware of the risks involved with hiring temporary employees. Summer workers can bring increased risk of making costly mistakes or winding up with workplace injuries. Here are a few precautions you as a business owner can take to minimize that risk this season:

1. You Don't Have to Hire Only Students. 


While students might seem like the ideal employee - they're out of school and when things start to slow down again, they'll be headed back to school, so you don't have to worry about letting them go. However, don't assume that you have to hire just students. While it's great to give young people the opportunity to earn some extra cash over the summer, consider whether the position you need filled could benefit from some greater know-how. Are you looking to fill a manager position? If you're looking to fill a more challenging role, be sure to look at all your options before posting the job for area students to apply.

2. Don't Slack on Training. 


Sometimes things can get a little crazy here at the Lake during the season, but that doesn't mean you can just throw your seasonal employees in to the mix without any training. The best thing to do is start your hiring now instead of waiting until you're too busy to properly train them. It's important that all employees receive proper training, especially when it comes to special equipment. Lack of training can lead to workplace injuries and other Lake of the Ozarks insurance issues. Make sure that all employees get adequate practice before the season picks up too much. If you throw them to the customers unprepared, their likely to quit before the season is over. You don't want to be stuck shorthanded in the middle of summer at the Lake of the Ozarks!

3. Try a New Perspective. 


As a business owner, you already know all the ins and outs of your business, but try taking a step back and looking at it from an outsiders perspective. Is your place of business loud and distracting? Are people stressed, under pressure and rushing? The work environment is a key component in workplace safety. You want to make sure that your providing your employees with a great place to work, with a great atmosphere and where safety is a top priority. Ask your current and new employees for input on what could make things run more smoothly and decrease risk of injury, etc. in the workplace.

4. Review Your Policies. 


If your staff increases and decreases with demand of the season, be sure to discuss coverage options for business insurance at the Lake of the Ozarks with your agent. Workers compensation premiums are based on your estimated annualized employee payroll; therefore, depending on how many employees you were currently employing when the policy was created, you could be paying too much or too little if your annualized payroll has changed. In the case of not paying enough, you might find yourself owing extra at the end of the year.  Avoid these issues by estimating your employee payroll over the whole year, and then pay that premium. In addition, if any of your employees will be driving while on the job, make sure you have proper business auto insurance as well.

If you have any other questions regarding the insurance related risks of hiring seasonal help, give me a call at 573-348-2794. At Insure the Lake, we want to help both business owners and individuals with all their insurance coverage needs. We shop the marketplace in order to provide you with the most comprehensive coverage at a competitive rate!

Request a Free Quote Online! Contact Insure the Lake today for all your Lake of the Ozarks insurance needs! 


About the Author: Steve is a double back-flip insurance ninja. He was named Young Insurance Agent of the Year by the Missouri Association of Insurance Agents in 2010 and is a Certified Insurance Counselor. When he is not helping customers, he enjoys community service, Latin dancing with his beautiful wife and going on adventures with his two awesome sons.

Steve Naught, CIC
3736 Osage Beach Parkway
Osage Beach, MO 65065
Next to Golden Coral



stnaught@naught-naught.com


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Friday, March 18, 2016

5 Renters Insurance Myths

Many Americans believe that renters insurance isn't really necessary; it's just an added expense. As your Lake of the Ozarks insurance agent, I'm here to shed some light on the truth. Here are a few myths about renters insurance that you may have been deceived by:

Myth #1: I can't afford renters insurance.


In all reality, renters insurance is very affordable. In fact, it's one of the most affordable forms of insurance on the market. The average cost of renters insurance is around $12 per month, based on $30,000 of property coverage and $100,000 of liability coverage. Compared to auto insurance and homeowners insurance, that's a bargain!

Myth #2: I don't have enough stuff to need insurance coverage.


While you may not think you really have anything worth insuring, think about if you lost everything. How much would it cost to replace your clothes, furniture, electronics, small appliances, kitchenware and more? Even if you stuff isn't all that expense, those little items add up fast! The average renter of a two-bedroom apartment has about $30,000 worth of belongings. Most renters don't have that much cash lying around to replace what they need. 

Myth #3: My landlord will cover any property damages.


Typically, your landlord's homeowners insurance will only cover the building, not your contents that are in that building or any liability. For example, if a burglar steals your laptop and you don't have renters insurance, you're out of luck. Also, if your mail carrier slips in the driveway or gets bitten by your dog, you could be financially liable for the damages. Your landlord won't be able to help you in either of these situations.

Myth #4: Renters insurance only covers my personal belongings.


Many people believe that renters insurance only covers personal belongings. However, most standard renters policies also have liability coverage. For example, if someone slips and falls in your home, your coverage will help with medical bills and legal defense fees. Some policies even extend liability beyond your property, but be sure to check with your insurance agent at the Lake of the Ozarks to see what your specific policy covers. 

Myth #5: My roommate has renters insurance, so I don't need it.


While select policies may cover roommates, most renters insurance policies do not. Even if it does, there are a few good reasons to have your own policy. The main one being that the policies have both deductibles and limits. Would you split the deductible with your roommate? What if your stuff is more expensive than your roommates? You don't want to be arguing over these details after having lost all of your possessions. When the policy has reached it's limit, how do you decide what gets replaced and what doesn't? Having your own policy is the way to go!

If you have questions about renters insurance at the Lake of the Ozarks, give me a call at 573-348-2794. At Insure the Lake we offer all types of insurance to fit your needs. From renters to homeowners insurance, auto to health insurance, we've got you covered with the most comprehensive coverage at competitive prices!

Request a Free Quote Online! Contact Insure the Lake today for all your Lake of the Ozarks insurance needs! 


About the Author: Steve is a double back-flip insurance ninja. He was named Young Insurance Agent of the Year by the Missouri Association of Insurance Agents in 2010 and is a Certified Insurance Counselor. When he is not helping customers, he enjoys community service, Latin dancing with his beautiful wife and going on adventures with his two awesome sons.

Steve Naught, CIC
3736 Osage Beach Parkway
Osage Beach, MO 65065
Next to Golden Coral



stnaught@naught-naught.com


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Friday, March 11, 2016

What You Need to Know About Critical Illness Insurance

You can get insurance at the Lake of the Ozarks for a variety of different things from home and auto insurance to health insurance. You probably already know the importance of life insurance, but what happens if the insured makes it through their illness? This situation is where critical illness coverage comes in. Let's take a look at what critical illness insurance is, what it covers and some reasons why you would need it:

What is Critical Illness Insurance? 


While it works similarly, critical illness insurance is not the same as life insurance. Critical illness coverage is an insurance product in which the insurer will pay out a lump sum cash benefit if the policyholder is diagnosed with a certain critical illness. This coverage was developed to help cover the expenses of critical illness. With technological advances and better education for doctors, more and more people are surviving these illnesses. In this case, life insurance does not help and the family is left to pay for all the medical expenses. 


What Does Critical Illness Insurance Cover? 


The three primary illnesses covered by critical illness insurance are: Cancer, Heart Attack & Stroke. Additionally, the following illnesses may also be covered by critical illness insurance:
  • Heart Transplant
  • Coronary Bypass Surgery
  • Angioplasty
  • Kidney (Renal) Failure
  • Major Organ Transplant
  • Paralysis

Why Would I Need Critical Illness Insurance? 


Critical illnesses are striking more Americans every year, and medical problems contribute to roughly 60% of bankruptcies. The financial consequences of surviving a critical illness are something very few people are prepared for. Your regular health insurance coverage isn't even going to put a dent in those medical bills; plus you still have to keep up with all your regular bills while you're recovering. Here are a few situations where the cash from critical illness insurance could keep your family out of a financial crisis:
  • To Cover High Health Insurance Deductibles 
  • To Pay for Medical Treatments Not Covered by Health Insurance
  • To Pay for Costly Prescriptions that aren't Fully Covered 
  • To Pay for Transportation To and From Treatments Not Available Locally 
  • To Pay for Experimental Treatments Not Covered by Health Insurance
  • To Pay for Mortgage Payments While You're Recovering 
  • To Pay for Other Bills such as Car Payment or Insurance Premiums
  • To Replace a Spouse's Income While Caring for the Recovering Spouse 

To discuss coverage that's right for your family and personal situation, call the best insurance agent at Lake of the Ozarks at 573-348-2794. At Insure the Lake, we have access to multiple providers allowing us to provide you the most comprehensive coverage at a competitive rate. We specialize in all types of insurance and serve the entire Lake area.

Request a Free Quote Online! Contact Insure the Lake today for all your Lake of the Ozarks insurance needs! 


About the Author: Steve is a double back-flip insurance ninja. He was named Young Insurance Agent of the Year by the Missouri Association of Insurance Agents in 2010 and is a Certified Insurance Counselor. When he is not helping customers, he enjoys community service, Latin dancing with his beautiful wife and going on adventures with his two awesome sons.

Steve Naught, CIC
3736 Osage Beach Parkway
Osage Beach, MO 65065
Next to Golden Coral



stnaught@naught-naught.com


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Friday, March 4, 2016

Reputational Risk in an Online World

"Your brand name is only as good as your reputation." - Richard Branson 

In business your reputation is everything, and in today's world, not only do you have to worry about how people see your brand in the physical world, but also how they see it online. With the advances in technology, the ability to express your negative feelings of a business to the world with just a click of a button, it's important for businesses to be aware of their online reputation.

Reputational Risk 


According to a recent survey from Deloitte, 87% of businesses believe that reputation is their largest risk area, and only 19% of them think their business is adequately prepared. To protect your business, it's important to identify and mitigate these reputational risks. You have to worry about health and safety incidents, product recalls and regulatory investigations that could damage your reputation. While a cyber attack isn't considered a reputational risk, the extended business disruption caused by that attack could lead to customers thinking less of your business. Here are just a few risks and events that could cause damage to your reputation:
  • Product Recalls 
  • Concerns Over Product Quality
  • Allegations of Poor or Improper Business Practices
  • Health or Safety Incidents, involving either Employees or Customers
  • Regulatory Investigations
  • Negative Associations with Third Parties

Online Reputation


While social media is a great way to engage your customers, it's also a great avenue for unhappy customers to spread negative feedback about your business. With technology at our fingers tips, its now easier than ever to express your opinions about products, services, businesses, etc. This makes it extremely important that businesses guard their reputation and keep a constant eye on their online presence. In the event someone does post a bad review or negative comment about your business online, it's important that your business respond quickly and effectively. According to Dimensional Research, 90% of customers check online reviews before buying products, and 80% make decisions based on those reviews. Therefore, online reviews have the ability to damage your reputation, which could result in business loss.

Protect Your Reputation


While there is no way to physically prevent someone from posting a negative review about your business online, there are some strategies you can use to lower your reputational risk. Limit exposure and respond to crisis using these tips:
  • Create Strong, Relevant Corporate Values - upper management needs to regularly communicate those values through every level of the business.
  • Integrate a Risk Evaluation into Business Planning - identify opportunities, threats and assumptions. Develop hypothetical situations to identify how your reputation could be affected.
  • Promote Positive Interactions with Customers and Other Stakeholders - strengthen your reputation before a crisis occurs. Customers appreciate regular, positive interaction which can be achieved online through social media, etc. 
  • Develop a Reputation Plan - train everyone at the company how to recognize reputational crisis, and put together a response plan and response team.

Limit Your Risk


While its inevitable for any business to experience some type of reputational damage, there are ways to limit your exposures and cover your losses. Insure the Lake is here for all your Lake of the Ozarks business insurance needs - give us a call at 573-348-2794 to discuss your unique risks and figure out the best way to protect your business, from both reputational and physical damage.

Request a Free Quote Online! Contact Insure the Lake today for all your Lake of the Ozarks insurance needs! 


About the Author: Steve is a double back-flip insurance ninja. He was named Young Insurance Agent of the Year by the Missouri Association of Insurance Agents in 2010 and is a Certified Insurance Counselor. When he is not helping customers, he enjoys community service, Latin dancing with his beautiful wife and going on adventures with his two awesome sons.

Steve Naught, CIC
3736 Osage Beach Parkway
Osage Beach, MO 65065
Next to Golden Coral



stnaught@naught-naught.com


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