Wagner Agency would like to welcome Kyle Majerick to the staff as our newest producer. Kyle is a born and raised Pittsburgher hailing from Fox Chapel Area. He recently graduated from Ohio University with a major in Communications and minors in both Marketing and Sports Management. He has been an athlete at many levels for his entire life playing both soccer and football in high school and then to the colligate level for football place kicking. He currently is a volunteer football coach for the Fox Chapel Area School District coaching the special teams unit. Kyle also is very fond of skiing and snowboarding in the winter and fishing in the summer. He is very excited to start working in the insurance industry and he looks forward to meeting many new clients through Wagner Agency.
Between fits of rage from Mother Nature and an Interstate system sagging under the pressure of millions of vehicles, supply chain disruptions are more likely than ever before. These events can be devastating to an emerging business.
Large national or multi-national firms have disaster plans at the ready for just such an event, but what about the family-run business? It’s wise to take a few days to run through various scenarios that could interrupt your company’s income stream.
Long-time San Francisco business owners know better than many other businesses what one seismic event can do to crush not just bricks and mortar, but a business owner’s dreams. The region’s Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989 disrupted supply chains for many of the Bay area’s businesses when the magnitude 6.9 heavily impacted transportation routes for months.
Have you considered what your business would do should your supply-chain be disrupted for a month? What if it were six months? Would your business even survive?
That’s why it’s a good idea to convene your top executives, or if you’re a small business, your inner circle, to conduct a brainstorming session. Consider your company’s strengths and weaknesses. Then whip out the calculator and factor in those once-in-a-blue-moon events that could bring your company’s productivity to a sudden, extended halt. It doesn’t have to be an earth-shattering event. It could be an electrical fire, a flood or even a wildcat strike.
Address those areas of exposure that pose the biggest threat to the viability of your business. Don’t put it off, because no one knows what tomorrow may bring.
Last evening, Wagner Agency, Inc. attended the Community Living And Support Services (CLASS) 22nd Annual Heroes Awards Dinner. Founded in 1951 as a small clinic for families, CLASS has grown to be a major human service provider in Western Pennsylvania and a strong national advocate for disability rights. Today, the agency serves more than 2,000 individuals, supporting their independence and community involvement.
How energy efficient is your home? Here are several of the most effective ways to save energy — and money — at home. Have you taken these simple steps to becoming a more ‘green’ homeowner?
- Change your lightbulbs. Switch out your incandescent bulbs for compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL), which cost just a few dollars more. But you’ll save about $30 over the bulbs’ lifetime, and they’ll pay for themselves in about 6 months.
- Install a programmable thermostat. A programmable thermostat is an easy way to control your internal climate. It works by automatically adjusting your home’s temperature to your schedule. That means you won’t waste energy when you’re not home. Already have one? Newer models are even better at helping you and your family save money. Check them out!
- Lower the temperature on your water heater. This can trim some money from your utility bills. Plus, it’s not good for your skin to take really hot showers anyway!
- Upgrade your appliances. Energy Star appliances use between 10 and 50 percent less energy and water than their conventional counterparts. Many utility companies and municipalities provide rebates or other incentives for customers to swap out old appliances for new ones.
Is your workplace an electronics orchestra? A “ding” notifies one co-worker of a new text message on their cell phone. A “beep-beep” lets the supervisor know they have received a Facebook “LIKE” on their tablet. A ringtone from “Call Me Maybe” tells the receptionist that her boyfriend is calling through on her smartphone.
Sound familiar? If so, it may be time for an office cell phone policy. We know what you’re thinking: It sounds a little overbearing. And quite frankly, limiting cell phone use isn’t an option for some professions that require frequent mobile communication with employees. But it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a conversation about whether a cell phone policy would work for you. Here are four things to consider when drafting a policy:
- Ask your employees what they think. Involve your staff in the process. This undoubtedly will include your management staff. But also consider IT, human resources, legal and even front-line employees. You need to have buy-in from your staff to make the policy effective.
- Set limits on cell phone use. Define when personal cell phone use is appropriate. Should ringers only be set to vibrate? Should employees leave their phones at their desks during meetings? Do you need limitations on text messaging?
- Consider banning cell phone use behind the wheel. You may not think that liability would be an issue with cell phones, but it is. There have been successful lawsuits involving car crashes that happened while employees were taking business calls.
- Review and enforce. No policy is any good without enforcement. Have employees sign an acknowledgement of the policy, then post the standard throughout the office. Keep it updated with yearly reviews and hold employees accountable
Your home may be the biggest investment your family makes. That’s why homeowner’s insurance is so important. But that doesn’t mean you should pay more than you have to. Here are some ways to save money on this important coverage:
Raise your deductible. The higher your deductible, the less you’ll pay in premiums. This applies to most types of insurance! You may be surprised to learn just how much you could save by raising your deductible from $250 to $500 or from $500 to $1,000. The key, of course, is to have enough money set aside so you can pay your deductible in the event you have to make a claim.
Buy other policies from the same company. Purchasing homeowner’s and auto insurance from the same company can save you money. Ask about any discounts for purchasing other types of insurance, too.
Review your policy annually. Are you taking advantage of available discounts? Is all the information about your home, including square footage and amenities, correct? An annual review can help you make sure you’re not overpaying. For more tips to keeping homeowner’s insurance costs under control, go here.
Insurance fraud comes in many forms. But we don’t want you and your business to be a victim. That’s why we wanted you to know about these three increasingly common scams:
Slip-and-fall-scams. Some people take a fall on purpose and not all are acrobats and stuntmen. Restaurateurs in particular can be an easy target, as the fraudster plays heavily on the emotions of onlookers. In another variant of this scheme a patron will claim they took a fall in the restroom, making third-party verification difficult.
Worker’s compensation fraud. Some fraudsters will fake a workman’s compensation claim, accusing an employer of mistreatment on the job. Sometimes there is a kernel of truth to the claim, but the claimant exaggerates the injury or medical condition.
Fake fender-benders. Stunt drivers stage spine-tingling accidents, but they’re not the only ones who execute fake accidents. Insurance fraudsters put time and careful thought into crafting fake accidents.
What’s the best course of action if you suspect insurance fraud? Call your insurance agent! Here’s more information about the forms of insurance fraud and the steps to reporting this type of crime.