Wagner Agency Volunteers at the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank

On Friday, October 24th, Wagner Agency staff participated in a Volunteer Day at the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.  Below are some photos from the day!

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Heading off supply-chain disasters

broken road by an earthquake or landslideBetween 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.

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CLASS Awards Dinner


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.

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How energy efficient is your home?

Compact Fluorescent CFL LampHow 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.
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Do you need an office cell phone policy?

12897883_SIs 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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?
  3. 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.
  4. 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
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Save on homeowner’s insurance without skimping on coverage

21490994_S (1)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.

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Chubb “Real Insurance” TV Commercial to Air on CNBC-TV Nationwide Starting Monday, August 25

Chubb “Real Insurance” TV Commercial to Air on CNBC-TV Nationwide Starting Monday, August 25 In support of your efforts to grow business for Chubb in your market, Chubb’s “Real Insurance” television commercial will appear nationally on CNBC-TV on weekdays, September 8-26. It will also be broadcast nationally on the Tennis Channel and ESPN from August 25 to September 8 during coverage of the U.S. Open Tennis Championships. In addition, it will air on the Golf Channel across the United States during early rounds of the Ryder Cup and on Morning Drive golf news. The TV commercial stresses that not all insurance is the same, cites Chubb’s claim service and positions Chubb as the provider of “real insurance.” It complements our “Real Insurance” print advertisement and radio commercial. To view the commercial, here.
Copyright © 2014 ♦ Chubb Group of Insurance Companies Box 1615, Warren, NJ 07061-1615
All rights reserved. Disclaimer
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Three ways insurance fraud can hurt your business

Fraud Background Design Criminal Offence Word Cloud ConceptInsurance 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.

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Evan Perilstein to be honored at Pittsburgh 50 Finest Gala Benefitting Cystic Fibrosis

Pittsburgh 50 Finest

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Avoid these five common car-seat mistakes

When you brought the baby’s new car seat home, did you read the instructions? Twenty percent of drivers transporting young children did not, according to a recent survey. It’s often a life-and-death decision, as car crashes are the leading killer of children from infancy to 12 years of age. When not installed correctly, a car seat may become a death trap for your precious package.

Infant baby girl in car seatAll 50 states have laws requiring children under three years of age be buckled into an approved safety seat. Yet, here’s the rub: According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, almost three out of four car seats have not been installed correctly.

The most common mistakes: Not tightening the seat straps, failing to adhere to the manufacturer’s safety instructions, and using the seat belt incorrectly. What’s more, 20 percent of all drivers transporting child passengers admitted that they did not read the instructions for properly installing their child seat. Child safety seats reduce the risk of death by 71 percent for infant passengers and 54 percent for toddlers from one to four years old, but the seat must be installed correctly to offer the maximum protection.

Here are some of the most common mistakes caregivers make when installing car seats.

1. Not matching the seat to the child’s weight or age. Make sure you check the label on the car seat to make sure it is appropriate to your child’s age, weight and height. Also, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website, to check for recalls and view safety ratings for safety restraints.

2. Incorrectly installing a child restraint. The best way to know if your child safety seat has been properly installed is to shake the seat and see if you can move it more than one inch from side to side, or front to back. If there’s too much play, tighten the straps.

3. Prematurely turning the seat to the forward-facing position. In general, car seats should be in the rear-facing position, until the child is at least a year old, or has reached a weight of between 20 and 30 pounds. Once a child exceeds the maximum weight listed for a car seat, replace it with a booster seat. Children grow very quickly, so stay on top of it.

4. Incorrectly using the safety-seat straps. Simple mistakes can prove deadly. Slipping a seat belt through the wrong harness slot, improper seat belt placement, not ensuring the harness clip is even with the baby’s shoulders or armpits — any one of these can prove fatal to your baby, in the event of a crash.

5. Read the instructions. If it is a used seat, you can find the directions online. If you are having difficulty installing the seat, your local police will inspect a used seat and assist you in understanding how to buckle up your child’s safety seat properly. Lastly, check out this video from The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, which gives clear instructions on how to protect your precious cargo in a crash. Drive safely!

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