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How Can You Help Your Clients Prepare for a Natural Disaster?

Posted By Donna M. Gray, Friday, September 8, 2017

We are all devastated by the destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey. It seems relentless, unforgiving and unpredictable. Although many of those afflicted knew it was coming, most did not expect it to get this bad nor imagine the disaster it would cause. Nearly 52 inches of rainfall fell in southeast Texas in six days, forcing more than 30,000 individuals to flee their homes. Unfortunately, numerous home and business owners were not prepared for this impact.

And Irma, the second strongest storm recorded in the Atlantic, now threatens Florida and the East Coast.

As professionals, in the insurance industry, you have some influence in how a business handles a natural catastrophe pre- and post-disaster. There are a few things you can do to help your clients prepare for a disaster no matter the geographic location or type of catastrophe. Remember, a natural disaster can be smaller than a hurricane or earthquake. A fire or burst pipe can be just as damaging.

  • An emergency response plan is the first step to any solid preparedness program for both small and large businesses alike. Know evacuation routes. Form a communication strategy to make sure everyone is informed. Create a survival kit just in case. Consider remote work options and what aspects of the business will or will not continue.
  • Coverage. Of course, you need to ensure your clients have the proper coverage for their property and business possessions. Go over flood insurance programs, business interruption insurance and property damage details to make sure they're properly insured.
  • Data and technology. Because information is extremely valuable these days, help to make sure each client's data is backed-up and stored far enough offsite or in the cloud so retrieval is easy and accessible.

With these tools, your clients won't have to panic the day before a storm hits. Give them tools they need to properly prepare and plan for a natural disaster, so they have peace of mind when a crisis occurs. Let them know you're on their side and here to help keep things running smoothly.

What are some tips and tools you give your clients when it comes to natural disaster preparedness? Does your agency have a few go-to guides and methods that you use? We want to hear your insight so we can all be better prepared when a disaster strikes.

Tags:  AIMS Society  Auto Coverages  Be Prepared for Natural Disasters  Cyber Attacks  efficiency  Insurance Education  Personal and Commercial Coverage  productivity  Risk Management  teamwork  Technology 

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Planning on Disaster

Posted By AIMS Society, Monday, June 12, 2017

Depending on which part of the country you live in, you're probably very familiar with at least one major natural disaster threat. You may even be "luck enough" to have two disaster threats considered primary for your area. And although any natural disaster has the potential to strike at any time, each has a designated "season":

  • Tornado season: March-July
  • Hurricane season: June-November
  • Fire season: October-January
  • Earthquake season: January-December (okay, there is no season on this one; it's year-round)

When's the last time you talked to your clients about their plans should disaster strike? And are you addressing the threats that impact your clients' businesses in all the locations that they operate. Don't make the common mistake of addressing only those you're personally most familiar with. A business may be headquartered in the Midwest, but the location of its greatest resources could make hurricanes a bigger threat than its HQ region suggests. Is your client fully versed in disaster preparedness, not only for headquarters but also for where the organization's other locations operate?

Points to cover with your clients:

  • The need for business interruption coverage
  • The most common causes of business disruption: office fires, burst water pipes, a smashed transformer or a fallen communications tower. Of course, it doesn't take a natural disaster for any of those to happen, and without adequate coverage, just one of those events could cause the end of a smaller business already working with limited resources.
  • Disaster plan requirements:

 Back up processes in the event of power outages

  Communication plans to reach both clients and employees in emergencies 

  Remote work options if their office becomes unusable

  Basic supplies in reserve at an off-site location

  Identified disaster-preparedness point person or team.

For you, the biggest value in covering this information is that it positions you as more than a salesperson. It positions you as someone interested in creating a valued, long-term partnership. If you'd like even more detailed disaster plan ideas to share with your customers, visit agilityrecovery.com  or check out Emergency Essentials for ideas.

Tags:  agency value  AIMS Society  Be Prepared for Natural Disasters  Cyber Attacks  efficiency  Insurance Education  insurance marketing and sales  Networking  productivity  Professional Development  Risk Management  Social Media 

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How to Protect You & Your Clients from Cyber Attacks

Posted By AIMS Society, Friday, May 19, 2017

On Friday, May 12, a massive ransomware attack hit computer systems at private companies and public organizations around the word. Some sources say WannaCry — also known as WannaCrypt Wanna Decrypter or WCry — is the largest ransomware delivery operation to date.

The cyberattack hit more than 300,000 computers by midday on May 15, and users in more than 150 countries have been confronted with a screen demanding a $300 payments to restore their files.

Ransomware, a computer virus that is typically spread via spam emails and malicious download links that lock up files and demand a ransom to unlock them, isn't a new concept or threat. But hackers are getting smarter, leveraging new technologies and designing more sophisticated systems. There isn't an "if" something like this will happen again, it's "when".

The amount of personally identifiable information your agency holds is immense — from Social Security numbers to credit card numbers, form birth dates to drivers' license numbers — and hackers want it. Ant it's more important now than ever to ensure your systems are securely protected from cybersecurity attacks and data breaches while also adhering to industry, state and federal regulations.

At the very least, take the time to make sure your anti-malware and antivirus software are up-to-date. Look at business interruption and cyber liability insurance for yourself. And consider teaming up with a third-party data management company to properly encrypt your data in the cloud.

The most essential part? Communication. Let your clients know exactly what measures your agency is taking to protect their sensitive information. When you take cybersecurity seriously, you'll gain your client's trust and they'll see you as a dependable reliable source.

Tags:  agency value  AIMS Society  Cyber Attacks  efficiency  Leadership  productivity  Risk Management  self-improvement  Social Media  teamwork  Technology 

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