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Top Strategies for Shopping for Business Insurance

Strategies for Shopping for Business Insurance

You know you need business insurance. Use this guide to help you get started.

Your business faces plenty of threats, from fire and fraud to dishonest employees and discontented customers. Yet, many businesses lack coverage in some of the most critical areas. To refrain from putting your company in undue stress and exposure, shopping for the right business insurance is a must.

Here are some easy ways to get started.

Do your homework. Find out what risks your business faces, how much your equipment and machinery totals, and note your total business earnings. The more information that you can provide to your insurance agent, the better. He or she will be able to then determine what coverage you may need as well as suggested limits. For example, if you conduct business primarily online, you may need Cyber Liability Insurance coverage, a coverage that has never crossed your mind. If you work in a particularly sensitive industry, you may need Errors and Omissions Insurance coverage.

Search for insurers. Believe it or not, but no two business insurance policies are created equal. Similarly, different insurers won’t offer the same policy at the same rate. Ask for quotes from at least three different insurers and call them up to get a feel for their assistance and processes. Better yet take to the Internet to research reviews and ratings.

Know what is and is not covered. Your insurer will go through your chosen policy, outlining what coverage you have purchased. While this is important, it’s just as important to know what is not covered. For example, your business insurance may not cover flood or earthquake damage, indicating that you should add these policies.

For the protection that you need, visit Chambers & Company Insurance Brokers today. Our professionals are ready to help you secure reliable commercial insurance for your business, whatever your exposures and industry!

Grilling Season is Here: Barbecue Safety Tips

Barbecue Safety Tips

General do’s and don’ts for barbecue safety tips.

The summer season is almost here, and that means making the most of the fine weather. The longer nights, brighter days, and warmer weather brings everyone out into the sun, particularly when there’s a feast! Before you get your grill out for the season, be sure to review these barbecue safety tips!

General:

  • Don’t ever cook if you’re affected by alcohol or prescription drugs.
  • Never leave barbecues unattended.
  • Set it up on level ground, away from bushes, fences, tents, and other structures. Do not set it up underneath hanging tree branches or right by the home itself.
  • Leave plenty of room around your barbecue, so you don’t have to squeeze past it.
  • Keep a bucket of water or sand nearby in case of emergencies.
  • Never take a barbecue of any kind into a tent or awning. The carbon monoxide it gives off could kill you.
  • Be aware that cooking fatty foods can cause the barbecue to flare up.
  • Keep pets and children away from the grill at all times.
  • Dispose of the ashes once they have cooled completely!

For gas barbecues:

  • Make sure the tap is turned off before changing the gas cylinder. Do so in the open air or a well-ventilated place.
  • When you’ve finished cooking, turn off the gas cylinders before you turn off the barbecue controls. This will use up any gas in the pipeline.
  • If you suspect a leak to the gas cylinder or pipe work, brush soapy water around all joints and watch for bubbles. If you find a leaking joint, tighten it gently.
  • Store gas cylinders outside, away from frost and direct sunlight.

Part of what keeps your home safe through barbecue season is securing reliable home insurance. Talk to the professional team at Chambers & Company Insurance Brokers to determine the right homeowners insurance policy to suit your needs through summer and beyond!

Top Strategies for Employee Retention

Strategies for Employee Retention

Use these strategies for employee retention to enjoy a loyal and reliable team.

It’s every manager’s nightmare: One of your best employees resigns out of the blue. Right away, you’ve got a number of challenges to tackle. Not only do you have to find a replacement for such a talented team member, but you also have to consider the impact of this departure on the rest of the staff. Whenever someone walks out of the door, people notice, and some may wonder if they should follow suit. That is why business should have sturdy strategies for employee retention in place. As a manager, this may be one of your more important roles.

Hire the Best

Selecting the right team happens during the hiring process. Take care in the interview process to check out those who are looking for a temporary job and those who are willing to commit to staying. Ask questions about their gaps in work or when they’ve bounced around from job to job.

Recognize a Healthy Work/Life Balance

You can’t expect your employees to function like robots. In order to keep them operating at their most efficient level and keep them from harboring ill will against you or the company, you have to help them to establish a healthy work/life balance. This could be an afternoon off to enjoy team bonding or giving them a long weekend every six months.

Provide Support

Generally, people want to excel at what they do. For this to happen, employers should provide the resources and materials to get the job done. It’s even better if you can provide moral and mental support. Conduct bi-annual reviews of team members to assess their progress, address any concerns, and invite feedback. Employees like to know they’re valued, recognized, and respected.

As a business owner, not only should you work to improve your employee retention, but also to protect the company. When you need help finding the right business insurance coverage for your needs, visit Chambers & Company Insurance Brokers today to get started!

Common Causes of Car Accidents (& How to Avoid Them!)

Common Causes of Car Accidents

Know – and avoid – the common causes of car accidents.

Auto accidents happen everywhere, every day. Most people know someone who has been in an accident, if they themselves have not. Not only does this rack up huge auto repair bills, insurance claims, and medical costs, but the results are often devastating. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that car accidents are the leading cause of death among people aged 3 to 33. So that you know what to avoid, check out the common causes of car accidents.

Distracted Driving: Driving while distracted seems to be on the rise with all the latest gizmos and gadgets built and brought into vehicles. While cell phones, smart watches, and navigational systems may be useful in the vehicle, in reality, they can do more harm than good. In our busy world, everyone wants to be multi-tasking at all times. The one place that this shouldn’t be done is in the driver’s seat.

Speeding: Speeding causes one-third of all auto accidents in the U.S. Just the difference between 40 and 60 miles per hour can double the impact of a crash. Going an extra few miles per hour won’t save you that much time, but it can save your life if you stick to the speed limits. Work on leaving 10 minutes earlier to get to your destination so that you’re not tempted to speed.

Under the Influence: Driving under the influence, whether it be drugs or alcohol is a poor choice made by many. There are serious laws and penalties for those who choose to do so if they even survive the accident. Drunk driving not only puts the driver’s life in danger, but everyone else on the road, too. Always designate a driver to make sure you don’t put anyone else in danger when you drink.

Unfamiliar Roads/Laws: Being unfamiliar with an area can be a cause of an accident. Whether it’s making lane changes last minute or not following the rules of the road, driving poorly puts the driver at a higher risk of an accident.

Good driving habits keep you safe. For everything else, there’s car insurance. Visit Chambers & Company Insurance Brokers for a quality auto insurance policy today.

How to Control Your Business Vehicle Risk

Reduce Business Vehicle Risk

Train your drivers how to lower the business vehicle risk while on the roads.

Many businesses across the nation have some sort of vehicle. Whether it’s a single car, van, or entire fleet or trucks, more and more business are going mobile to reach clients and vendors far and wide. When you do own vehicles in your business, it’s easy to purchase commercial auto insurance and be done with it. What you do need to consider, however, is how to minimize business vehicle risk to keep your team and trucks safe on the road.

Write Up Policies and Procedures

When it comes to the safety of your employees and the protection of your vehicles, certain policies should be put into place.

  • Always wear a seatbelt
  • Never drink and drive
  • Refrain from distracted driving
  • Follow company procedures throughout the entire drive
  • Never exceed the maximum speed limit
  • Limit non-business use of vehicles
  • Always lock and secure vehicles when on the job

Perform Motor Vehicle Checks

To ensure that the employees and vehicles are safe throughout their journey, the vehicle should be operating at its best. For this, certain maintenance and check-ups should be completed regularly. From checking the oil, brakes, lights, timing belt, and more, reference the vehicle’s manufacturer guide.

Research Backgrounds Thoroughly

Before hiring on any new members of staff, particularly those who will become drivers, take the time to look into their background. Seek out their references, look at their driving record, and ensure that they have the right training that can support the work fulfillment.

Train Correctly

Employees who regularly drive work vehicles should be provided with sufficient driver training. This course may be a refresher for some, but it should cover key safety practices such as following distances and proper driving techniques.

For the protection you need, visit Chambers & Company Insurance Brokers today. Our professionals are ready to help you secure reliable commercial auto insurance for your business.

Six Ways You Can Help Save the Planet on Earth Day

Earth Day

These daily habits can help to heal the earth for Earth Day.

As Chief Seattle once famously said, ‘The earth does not belong to us. We belong to the earth.” The only reason we are allowed to be here is because of this planet – our Mother Earth. Unfortunately, the human race hasn’t always been kind to the planet. We use fossil fuel resources, release toxic fumes into the atmosphere, have caused shifts in the environment, and are wiping a huge number of species from the face of the earth. On Earth Day, April 22nd, 2017, be sure that you adopt some green lifestyle choices to celebrate the planet that we live on.

Drive less: Cut down on your commutes by biking to work or carpooling. Think twice before you get in the car, and use public transport to switch things up!

Plant a tree: As a popular Earth Day activity, it’s wise to plant a tree! They are the lungs of the earth, and humans are continually knocking them down for cattle grazing. Trees help to filter pollution from the air, provide homes for wildlife, recycle water, and prevent soil loss.

Unplug appliances: The typical American has 40 household appliances plugged in at any one moment. Even when turned off, they still gobble up energy, costing you money and consuming precious resources. Decrease the energy consumption by unplugging these devices when not in use.

Reduce plastic waste: Plastic that doesn’t end up in landfills or recycling centers ends up in the ocean. Causing a huge disturbance to marine wildlife and mammals, this plastic harms our oceans and animals. Skip the bottled water by taking your own reusable one, say no to straws, recycle what you can, and don’t use plastic bags at stores.

Go vegan: Have vegan and vegetarian days to cut down on your intake of meat and dairy products. Every day, a vegan saves 1,100 gallons of water, 45 pounds of grain, 30 square feet of forests, 20 lbs. of CO2, and the life of one animal. Not only does it benefit your health, but it helps to save the earth and animals!

Plant your food: In a world dominated by cruel factory farms, harmful pesticides, and exotic foods flying thousands of miles, it’s wise to grow your own plants for food. It’s kinder to your wallet, waistline, and planet!

Earth Day is just the beginning! Commit to bettering the environment from here on out.

Going green reduces your carbon footprint while increasing what’s in your wallet! Fully protect your financial future with the right insurance policies by contacting the team at Chambers & Company Insurance Brokers, serving Camarillo and neighboring cities in California.

Spring Home Maintenance Tasks to Complete

Spring Home Maintenance Tasks

Spring forward with these spring home maintenance tasks.

Now that spring is here, the days are brighter, warmer, and perfect for getting outside and working on the house. To make the most of these days and to prepare your home for the seasons ahead, check out these spring home maintenance tasks.

Declutter. Organize each room, starting with removing the clutter and junk! Donate what you can, sort what you have, and throw away the rest.

Examine the roof. Head up to check out how your roof survived the winter. If there are any cracks or shingles missing, repair and replace as necessary.

Unclog the gutters. From the autumn and winter, twigs, leaves, and debris may have gathered in your home’s gutters. To prevent them from clogging up the drains and causing blockages, clean out the gutters in the nicer weather.

Check the attic. Birds, squirrels, and insects may have taken to the attic for shelter from the winter months. Hire a professional to carefully and humanely remove them from your property and release them into the wild.

Clean. ‘Tis the season for spring cleaning! Clean out the fridge, move appliances away from the walls to get the grime underneath, dust surfaces, and vacuum your entire house.

Bring nature indoors. To welcome spring into your home, bring the biggest and brightest bunch of flowers to your kitchen or dining room table. Seasonal flowers will liven up any room!

Wash the windows. With the nicer weather, fingerprints, dust, and grime show up easily on windows. Take the time to clean the windows inside and out so that they sparkle from across the street!

With a little preparation, your home can be ready for the new season! Fortunately, it takes just a simple phone call to secure the right homeowners insurance protection for your spring-ready home. Talk to the professional team at Chambers & Company Insurance Brokers to determine the right homeowners insurance policy to suit your needs and home today.

The Basics of Directors & Officers Insurance

Basics Directors & Officers Insurance

What you need to know about Directors & Officers Insurance (D&O).

One of the most discussed and least understood insurance products is Directors & Officers Insurance. In short, it is liability insurance that helps to cover defense costs and damages (awards and settlements) arising out of wrongful act allegations and lawsuits brought against an organization’s board of directors and/or officers. Unfortunately, these types of claims have become increasingly common and the higher-up management themselves could be held personally liable, should someone file a claim. To attract and retain qualified executives and board members, it’s important to have this type of insurance.

What can it cover?

Directors and officers are sued for a variety of reasons related to their company roles, including:

  • Breach of fiduciary duty resulting in financial losses
  • Misrepresentation of company assets
  • Misuse of company funds
  • Fraud
  • Failure to comply with workplace laws
  • Theft of intellectual property and poaching of competitor’s customers
  • Lack of corporate governance

Does your business need D&O coverage?

It’s a common misconception that D&O claims are mostly a public business phenomenon. Public, private, and non-profit companies all face D&O litigation risks, so it’s important to safeguard yours no matter what.

Directors & Officers Insurance is right for:

  • Financial institutions
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Private companies
  • Public companies

Lawsuits are all too common these days. Fortunately, safeguarding your company has never been easier! At Chambers & Company Insurance Brokers, we work with you to understand your risks, exposures, and insurance protection. Visit our team today to get started on securing your policy!

Avoid These Top Five Bad Driving Habits

Bad Driving Habits

Adopt a safer driving style and avoid picking up these bad driving habits.

As motorists get used to the roads, it’s only natural that their Driver’s Ed safety skills start to slip. However, speeding and rolling through stop signs, no matter how experienced you are, is never safe. Driving safely should be second nature to all on the road, so if you’ve picked up these bad driving habits, it’s time to shift your safety skills.

Avoid these bad habits that can cause accidents and mishaps on the roads:

Not signaling – Your turn signals act as communication to other drivers for where you want to go. Failing to use this simple device can easily cause rear-end collisions or allow someone to pass you as you’re about to turn. In short, it takes seconds to use this device but can save you from a whole load of incidents.

Rubbernecking – Slowing down to look at traffic incidents, construction, and the sort causes rear-end collisions and significantly slows down traffic. Don’t take your eyes off the road or you could miss closed lanes and police officers directing traffic.

Staying in the left lane – The left lane is designed for overtaking. If you’re cruising well below the speed limit in this lane, you could encourage other drivers to fly around you in the right lane. This causes more danger on the roadways. Once you’ve overtaken, move to the right.

Distracted driving – No matter how easy smartphones and smart watches make it, don’t be tempted to check your email, text, make calls, or go on social media while you’re behind the wheel. Also, don’t eat, drink, or try to multitask when you’re on the road, as anything that distracts your attention from the road is dangerous.

Speeding – Speeding can only result in one of three outcomes: you save a few seconds, you get a speeding ticket, or you cause an accident. The more you speed, the more likely it is that you’ll end up getting into an incident and land yourself a hefty fine!

Are you guilty of any of these bad driving habits? Now that you know what customs to ditch, be sure that you secure the right auto insurance for your needs. At Chambers & Company Insurance Brokers, we’re dedicated to giving each driver coverage they can count on. Visit us today to get started.

Top Superfoods That Fight Colds

Try these immune-boosting superfoods that fight colds when you feel the sniffles coming one.

The old adage ‘prevention is the best medicine’ is especially true during cold and flu season. By ‘prevention’, we mean fuelling your body with the right nutrition and vitamins to keep colds and flu at bay. While we’re feeling run down, it’s important to reach for the right foods. After all, what we put into our bodies directly affects our health. To boost your immune system, check out these superfoods that fight colds!

Green Tea – As if you needed a reason to drink this green (but delicious!) drink! Green tea is loaded with disease-fighting antioxidants as well as antiviral and antibacterial properties that help fight colds. In particular, a group of antioxidants known as catechins have been shown to inhibit the activity of the common cold virus as well as certain influenza viruses.

Garlic – Garlic is well known for its strong antiviral and antibacterial properties. It has been used for many centuries to fight the common cold as well as the many symptoms that come along with it. It contains allicin, a sulphuric compound that produces potent antioxidants, ideal for immune-boosting!

Blueberries – These little blue beauties are packed with quercetin, which helps to reduce the likelihood of getting a cold. Plus, they’re packed with antioxidants, and we don’t need to go on about how amazing these are for the body!

Mushrooms – In traditional Chinese medicine, mushrooms are often used to fight the common cold and other types of viral infections. Mushrooms increase the production of cytokines, which in turn, help to fight off infections. Plus, mushrooms contain polysaccharides that support the immune system. To fight a cold off, your best choices of mushrooms are the white button, Portobello, shiitake, and maitake.

Before you reach for the medicine cabinet this season, try these superfoods first! While you focus on bettering your health and keeping colds at bay, let the insurance professionals handle your insurance policies. Contact Chambers & Company Insurance Brokers to learn about suitable coverage for your needs!