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On September 7th, Equifax announced a data breach that may affect 143 million consumers. Security experts are saying it could be one of the worst data breaches ever. Congress will hold hearings. Attorneys General will launch investigations to levy fines and penalties. The public demands action.
As a small business owner, it’s easy to watch the news and think that a breach could never happen to your business – you don’t store MORE
Business today is unlike business yesterday. Your files are stored in the cloud rather than a cabinet. You map your delivery route with GPS, instead of an atlas. And much of your communication, research, purchasing, and payments are all performed using the internet rather than phones, books, and checks.
New technologies make your business more efficient, but they also have the potential to create new liabilities. This is because MORE
As an insurance agency, fire prevention and safety are always on our minds. We know firsthand how tragic a fire in the home can be and the cost that can be paid by thinking, “That could never happen to me.”
National Fire Prevention Week is a perfect time for a refresher on what you can do to lower the risk of fire damage to your property and help ensure the well-being of you and your family.
Preparing for a child to go to college can be a stressful endeavor between the applications, waiting for acceptance letters, and the adjustments at home when college begins. With so much to think about, it’s easy for something to slip through the cracks. One often overlooked issue is insurance. Sending a student to college may require changes to your insurance policies and the need to purchase new ones. Here are important areas to think MORE
You may have heard the recent news that Amazon is testing drones to handle their deliveries in the near future, or that Domino's has begun delivering pizza by drone. Maybe you even see opportunity for a drone for your own business. Though drones can have a positive impact on your company, operating a drone comes with a lot of responsibility and potential liability. Drone insurance is the best way to reduce this MORE
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (2010), known as the ACA, continues to evolve and 2016 has seen numerous changes, including shifting definitions, mandates, and penalties. Some components have been delayed or deferred, while others are now coming online.
Jennifer McCurry, Vice President and Agency Manager at United Insurance, believes it is important for business owners to understand what the Affordable Care Act and its MORE
Have you ever heard the saying “no good deed goes unpunished”? At United Insurance, experience has taught us time and again, it doesn’t matter how noble your intentions--it’s always possible to create liabilities, some of which you may have never considered.
Now, as a business owner, you recognize the importance of financially secure employees. That’s why you provide a benefit package. MORE
The new sharing economy is bringing innovative new ways to do business to our communities. Ridesharing, or using your personal vehicle as a livery or taxi cab, has become one of the most well-known sharing economy cottage industries. Using your personal vehicle to earn extra income is a very tempting opportunity and you may have seen Uber recently advertising to Maine drivers. However, there are important insurance factors to consider before you pick up MORE
One of the amazing success stories of the new sharing economy is the apartment-sharing company AirBnB. Once a small U.S.-based startup, AirBnB has grown into an international powerhouse with a presence in 191 countries. Their success was based on a gamble that travelers would appreciate the coziness of staying in someone’s house or apartment, the convenience of having easy access to amenities like a kitchen, and the savings that come with MORE
Who are the four most important people to your business? You might be thinking of your top manager, or perhaps your biggest distributor. However, employees move on to other positions and vendors come and go.
There are four key people who keep you in business by protecting what is important, as long as they are informed about all the ins and outs of your company. These four people make a team that, hopefully, will stay with you throughout the MORE
Imagine it’s payday, and all of your payroll files have been taken hostage, or orders are ready to ship, but you discover the address information is inaccessible. Ransomware can quickly turn a normal day at the office into a nightmare.
You may have heard of the recent ransomware scandal in California where a hospital turned over $17,000 in bitcoin in exchange for gaining access to its own files. As its name suggests, ransomware is malware that MORE
New England weather has been living up to its unpredictable reputation. After last year’s vicious winter, one of the worst in recent memory, this year has been a relative breeze, at least so far. However, September saw one of the worst storms in Maine history, with 9 inches of rainfall in parts of the state. With spring rains on the horizon, now is a crucial time to protect your home and belongings from flood damage.
While vacation homes have the luxury of winter fortification, your primary residence needs to provide you with warmth, electricity, shelter, and running water throughout the season. New England winters don’t make it easy.
Winter is the season where we get the most questions about insurance policies. If overhanging ice falls and damages your car, are you covered? If your relatives slip and fall on your icy steps, are you covered? If an ice MORE
While some are hanging onto the last warm days of fall, and others are out stocking their cabinets with apples, we’re looking all the way ahead to prepare for some winter fun. With the wealth of activities to take advantage of in Maine, there’s always a bit of forethought and planning involved to make sure you don’t miss a minute.
Keeping your insurance current for vehicles like snowmobiles is essential in keeping you and your family MORE
As winter approaches, certain types of coverage become more relevant, and knowing where you stand with your coverage is the best way to mitigate loss in the event of a disaster.
Burst pipes, snapped tree limbs, roof damage, storm damage, and more are all common issues that Mainers deal with throughout the winter, and reviewing your coverage in advance of the season can help put your mind at ease when away during a storm—especially in the MORE
Both large and small businesses experience changes over the course of year, but sometimes the degree of these changes can be difficult to gauge. Changes to business operations can occur sporadically or gradually, whether you’re hiring new employees, purchasing additional equipment, or increasing your product offerings to meet your customers’ needs.
Major developments such as a building expansion or a move to a new location are easy to track, MORE
Winter and spring can be tricky seasons when it comes to protecting your home from flood damage. With this year’s heavy snowfall and cold temps, melting will likely cause problems for many Mainers. Plus, this spring and summer, we're more than likely to see thunderstorms and downpours, which can lead to roof damage and flash flooding.
If you live in an at-risk area, there are steps you can take to minimize your risk for flood damage in your MORE
Understanding the breadth of your home, auto, or watercraft coverage can reduce the frustration and anxiety of dealing with a lawsuit or handling a mishap on your property. What many homeowners don’t understand is that their liability coverage may not cover expenses such as the injured person’s medical bills, rehabilitative therapy, lost wages or legal defense fees should the case go to trial. This is where umbrella coverage kicks in.
The safety of your employees is always important, but the ripple effect and hidden costs of a workplace injury can take a major toll on the financial stability of your business.
Accidents happen, and the direct costs to a company when an incident occurs are readily apparent. What many business owners don’t realize, however, are the indirect costs associated with Worker’s Compensation claims. According to OSHA, the discrepancy MORE
Does your business hire, fire, or promote employees? Of course you do. Every company does. These are standard activities for any business, but there is a risk associated with these actions that the vast majority of businesses overlook: employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) claims. According to a recent survey*, 70 percent of businesses don’t purchase EPLI, and 60 percent of those businesses believe they’re covered under their General MORE
In light of our visit from Juno this week, and the the forecast moving forward telling us there is more snow potentially coming our way, we thought it would be appropriate and helpful to make a blog post about winter weather tips. It includes some things that you should check up on now that Juno has passed to make sure your house is safe, and it also includes some tips to prepare for some more potentially severe winter weather in the coming weeks and MORE
If you had to guess what percentage of small and medium-sized businesses experienced a data breach in 2013, what would you say? 10%? 20%? Well, the answer is in fact much higher than that.
The correct answer is 40%.
That is frightening. And what is even more frightening is that the vast majority of those businesses had no idea that their information had been breached for months! Even a company as small and local as OTTO’s MORE
Weather can be unpredictable, but what is predictable is what it can do to your business. Power can go out, fires can spark, and electronics can short-circuit. An interruption in your everyday business operations, big or small, instantly results in a loss of revenue. When the interruption is caused by damages to your building or assets, the resulting loss in income compounds exponentially.
This year, in August in particular, many New England MORE
Fear and regret are two emotions that can imprint the most permanent memories in our brains and act as the strongest catalysts that trigger action following an event.
Those are the exact emotions that Volkswagen strikes with this new, incredibly unique, and very effective advertising campaign. The ad demonstrates the astoundingly short amount of time in which something can happen when you’re not paying attention to the road. Watch the MORE
Life insurance is a topic of conversation that is often avoided; however, we feel that it would be a disservice to our clients if we didn’t mention the importance of life insurance. We know hundreds of families that have been touched by tragedy with the loss of a loved one, but were protected financially by having made the decision to invest in life insurance. After sitting down with an agent who has your best interests at heart, you may find that a MORE
The long winter has finally come to an end, the final school bell will ring shortly, but when the weather gets nicer, it can be easy to forget or neglect simple safety precautions that are typically common sense. We know you want to get out and enjoy the weather while it lasts, so here are our summertime dos and don’ts so that you can “insure fun” for your families this summer:
On or in the water:MORE
With the 4th of July comes food, fun, and (of course) fireworks. We're very much looking forward to the festivities and we're sure you are too! However, keep in mind these basic safety precautions when handling fireworks, especially around children:
• Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities with children—even with sparklers. Many adults don't realize that sparklers can burn at about 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, which can even melt MORE
Many small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) handle sensitive consumer and client information online; however, only 35% of companies choose to invest in cyber liability insurance. The threat of exposure of client information is very real, as evidenced by the recent cyber attacks on companies like Yahoo!, Target, Dropbox, and more. These large-scale attacks may lure CEOs of smaller ventures into thinking that hackers are focused MORE
In New England, our buildings have to endure winter storm after winter storm, often without time for the accumulated snow to melt away in between. Fresh snow usually isn’t the issue; although, heavier snows can mean more water content and stress on the roof. As the snow becomes ice, the strain on your roof can become overwhelming. “Many businesses don’t consider the possibility of a collapsed roof, even when it can mean thousands of dollars in MORE
Cold weather may not bring fire safety to mind, but home fires are more prevalent in winter than in any other season. Alternate heating sources, such as space heaters and generators, an increase in cooking, heating fires, and electronically wired decorations all contribute to increased fire danger during the winter months. To help minimize your risk, follow these helpful tips:
A burst pipe in your home, on average, can cost anywhere from $2,500 to an incredible $70,000, and even higher.
Pipes in attics, crawlspaces, and outside walls are all vulnerable to bursting in the winter. In New England, pipes in the walls are generally surrounded by insulation, so just keeping your home and especially your basement heated can prevent them from freezing.
Pipes typically don’t burst in frozen areas; the main source MORE
Texting while driving is a growing trend, and a national epidemic, quickly becoming one of the country's top killers. Drivers assume they can handle texting while driving and remain safe, but the numbers don't lie.
Texting While Driving Causes:
* 1.6 million accidents per year
* 330,000 injuries per year
* 11 teen deaths every day
* Nearly 25% of all car accidents