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Summertime=HOT! Make sure your employees are protected.

Hot summer weather can lead to heat stroke for employees working outdoors
It’s getting hot outside!
Every year, dozens of workers die and thousands more become ill while working in extreme heat or humid conditions according to OSHA.

There are a range of heat illnesses that can affect anyone, regardless of age or physical condition.
If your commercial policyholders have employees working in extreme heat and high temperatures, a heat illness prevention program should be established.
 OSHA’s Occupational Exposure to Heat page explains what employers can do to keep workers safe. The page also includes resources for specific industries and OSHA workplace standards.
Business Insurance customers should educate workers and supervisors about the hazards of heat exposure and their prevention.
Topics should include:
  • How to recognize common signs and symptoms.
  • Heat-related illness prevention procedures.
  • Drinking small quantities of water often.
  • Importance of acclimatization.
  • Immediate reporting and responding to signs or symptoms.
Policyholders can also have vital safety information immediately available with the OSHA-NIOSH Heat Safety Tool.  This App allows them to calculate the heat index for their worksite, and, based on the heat index, displays a risk level to outdoor workers.
to download the app.
Already a Farmers Insurance Business Client?  Enhance your Safety Program? Register at www.MySafetyPoint.com

What to do in the event of a water loss

 Whether the water loss is a result of a broken pipe, a broken water heater, or flooding, there are actions you can take to prevent further damage to your home or business.

1. Stop the Water and Turn Off the Utilities. Shut off the water main valve immediately if the water is a result of something broken inside your home or business.  It is a good idea to make sure everyone in the household or designated employees within the business knows where the shutoff valve is located.  In case of a major water event, turning off the power or natural gas might be necessary to ensure the safety of yourself and your family or employees. Turning off the power will ensure the prevention of electrocution of any appliances that may be in the affected area. If the water event is minor, there may not be a need to shut off any utilities.

2. Get the Water Out Quickly and Use Fans to Circulate Air

Quickly cleaning up of as much water as possible can prevent further damage.  This can be done by mopping or using any available towels to wipe up the water.  If fans are available, strategically place them to circulate the area to assist in drying. This is extremely important immediately following the loss and within the first 24-48 hours.  A reputable restoration company can also assist in the extraction and drying of water damage. Call us for a referral.

3. Get Property to a Dry Location and Don’t Throw Anything Out

If possible, remove any area rugs to prevent any possible staining of the floor and move contents to a dry area. Put furniture on blocks or slide a square of aluminum foil under furniture legs to prevent any further damage to the furniture or the flooring that the furniture is sitting on.  This would be a good time to conduct an inventory of the damaged property.  Do not throw anything out until the claims adjuster has had an opportunity to inspect the scene.  Photos are also recommended.

4. Call us ASAP.

We are your liaison between yourself and Farmers. We will be able to give you advise on coverage as well as the claims process, including your deductible.  If it’s in your best interest to file the claim, we will help you submit the claim ASAP.  The claims team will provide you further direction as to what your next steps will be.

 

–How to avoid freezing pipes–

Unoccupied buildings are susceptible to damage especially when Mother Nature sends an unpredictable wave of frigid air across the country.
freezing-pipes-2We usually associate freezing pipes with cold climate states, but temperatures low enough to freeze or damage pipes can happen anywhere in the country.  The water damage can be more severe when pipes burst in areas considered to be “warm” because proper precautions and action plans are not in place.

Here are some tips to aid policyholders in protecting their properties:

  • Turn on the heat to keep the entire building warm.
  • Confirm cracks or wall penetrations are sealed, and doors and windows are securely closed.
  • Install devices to shut off water in the event a pipe leaks and water is flowing.
  • Inspect/replace appliances and water supply lines as recommended by the manufacturer, and when damage is observed.
  • Insulate or apply heat tape to water pipes, including wet sprinkler system pipes.
  • Install a monitoring system for building temperature.
  • Heat sprinkler control valve/fire pump rooms with UL approved devices.
  • Develop a plan and locate all water shut-off valves so quick action can be taken for a leak.
  • Use a qualified service or individual for interior inspections during weather events or any extended unoccupied periods to confirm the security of the property.

When small problems go undetected, they become big problems.  Business and rental property owners should prepare for events or seasons when buildings may go unoccupied for a planned or unplanned period of time.

freezing-pipes-3

I Am Starting a New Business and Need Insurance, What Should I do?

Congrats on starting your own business!  It can be exciting, nervous, scary, and overwhelming all at the same time!

One of the first things that you need to do before you sign a lease, sell a product, or open your doors to the public is to get proper business insurance set up.

Most people will go straight to their auto, home, and life agent for a policy quote and then buy the policy without completely understanding the coverage and the risks of their business and this can be a HUGE mistake.

The issue at hand is having the correct coverage. Most State Farm, Allstate, Farmers, American Family agents know auto/home/life policies but don’t completely understand commercial or business policies. This equates either paying too much for the coverage or paying for a policy that WILL NEVER help you if you truly did need it. Also all of the above companies only carry general liability and NOT professional liability. Not every business needs professional liability but quite a few do and often they don’t realize it. I represent Farmers Insurance and we write quite a bit of commercial policies with Farmers but if it’s a hard to place business or something that we cannot write thru Farmers I can broker it to a carrier who will help place the risk.  If you’re are either starting a business or if you’re not comfortable that your agent sold you the correct coverage at the correct price, give us a call at 816-795-5977 or email at jolson3@farmersagent.com.

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Contractor’s Insurance? Yes we can help!

Combining insurance coverage in one policy generally leads to a better value, and we help contractors every day create an attractive insurance package for helping insure their small business.

For contractors–primarily HVAC, landscapers, painters, plumbers, electricians, carpet installers/carpet cleaners, we have a policy that is especially attractive.

A lot of insurance “brokers” offer just liability insurance for contractors, but our policies include tools and equipment and more.

For example, our policy even covers theft of a contractors’ supplies.  For example: a HVAC company buys a new furnace or AC puts it in their shop.  The shop is broken into and the unit is stolen.  If they have our policy the first $3,000 of protection comes automatically, but you can increase it up to $100,000 of coverage.

The protection doesn’t end there.

A lot of contractors work out of a den or third bedroom in their house, but a typical homeowner’s insurance policy won’t cover anything to do with a business.  If there is theft, water or fire damage, our policy covers $2,500 automatically, and it can be increased if needed”

The convenience factor is huge.

If a contractor has company vehicles, a lot of insurance carriers have separate liability for commercial vehicles, a separate policy for tools and equipment,  a separate general liability policy, and a separate worker’s compensation policy.  What we can do is package it all together; we can also provide them a contractors bond if they need that too.  We keep in all in house so they have 1 central point of contact for all their insurance coverage.

Does the best coverage for your business matter to you? Of course it does! Call 816-795-5977 or email jolson3@farmersagent.com today to see how we can help you customize the best package and lowest premium for your business.

Protect Your Family During Severe Weather

Did you know that March is Severe Weather Preparation Month?

While it may still feel like winter outside, it won’t be long until spring arrives.  And with it comes spring storms!  Is your family prepared?

First things first, make sure you have designated a safe place to go to if the weather gets bad.  It could be a basement, closet, or room with no windows or outside walls.  Make sure this space is cleared out enough that you could easily get your family inside if needed.  (You don’t want to be clearing out the closet if there is a tornado!)

Next, put together a small emergency kit.  What would you need if the power was out?  Consider putting in flashlights, extra batteries, canned food, and plenty of water.  (Don’t forget supplies for your pets too!)

Keep emergency phone numbers in your cell phone contacts, including the all our phone numbers
Office: 816-795-5977
Jon’s Cell: 816-304-1614
Claims: 800-435-7764
You could even save a note in your phone with your policy numbers too!

While we can’t prevent bad weather, it’s always great to be as prepared as possible.  Take care of your family first and know that we’ll be there to protect your belongings.

 

Preparing Your Home For Winter Freezes 

Oct Blog 4

With winter arriving soon, now is a great time to prepare your home for freezing temperatures.  Use the checklist below to give you ideas for keeping warm, preventing fires, and saving money.

Have your furnace inspected and serviced by a professional at least once a year. Catching an issue early can save you thousands and if you’re a preferred customer of a local HVAC company, most will put you at the top of the list should you have a furnace issue during the extremely cold times.

Have chimneys and vents cleaned and inspected.  (Built up creosote is the leading cause of chimney fires!)

Stock up on dry, seasoned wood for the fireplace or wood stove.

Check the condition of your fireplace screen.  Is it in good condition and secure?

Get a covered metal container ready to dispose of cooled ashes.  (And keep it at least 15 feet from your home.)

Review fireplace safety with your kids!

FINALLY!!! Proper Insurance for UBER Drivers

UBER DRIVERS—Do you have a lack of the proper Insurance Coverage??? When the app is on and the driver is seeking riders – (Period 1) there may be only limited coverage from the Rideshare company and possibly NO COVERAGEunder the driver’s personal automobile policy.
Effective immediately (KANSAS RESIDENTS ONLY) I have one of the first major carriers to begin offering a new Rideshare Endorsement. With this endorsement, Rideshare drivers can avoid a potential gap in coverage by extending their personal auto policy coverage when they are logged in and waiting for the next ride. At this time this endorsement is for KANSAS residents only. Message me or call me at 816-795-5977 if you would like a quote.uber-logo

Sports Bar and Wine Bar Insurance Coverage

If you are the owner of a sports bar, wine bar or other brew pub establishment in the states of Missouri or Kansas finding insurance for your business can be very difficult.  Today, I am proud to announce that Farmers Insurance now has an appetite for this line of business.

Wine Bar            Sports Bar Insurance 2       wine-bar

We have been an industry leader in restaurant insurance, and we are expanding our appetite.  If you are in the market for insurance on your sports bar, wine bar or other had to place restaurant business give us a call.  We are experts in the restaurant industry and would welcome the opportunity to earn your business!