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Business Newsletter - July 2019

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2205 Point Blvd., Suite 200 | Elgin, Illinois 60123
847-741-1000 | www.lundstrominsurance.com | Fax 847-428-8857


"Serving you, your business and your community since 1956"

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Vol. 27 No. 4

Get "Up and Running" Quickly after a Computer Disaster


Suppose you open your doors for business one morning only to discover that water damage from heavy rains the night before has shorted out your computer equipment, leaving your automated systems inoperative. Or, perhaps, an overnight power failure has deleted a large portion of your electronic records. Without warning, your entire business operation could be in jeopardy. Fortunately, this type of disaster needn't be a major setback for your company. By taking the right steps now, you can get yourself "up and running" with minimal delay.computer

  1. Insure yourself against electronic data processing losses. Standard commercial insurance packages do not cover all losses relating to computers and other electronic equipment. Electronic data processing (EDP) insurance is specifically designed to fill this gap. EDP insurance generally covers your electronic data processing equipment, all of your computer data, and the disks or tapes on which it is stored, as well as additional costs necessary to continue normal business operations after a disaster. It also covers any lost business income due to the disaster. EDP insurance may include protection against a wide range of threats including damage from water or other liquids, rust, corrosion, mechanical breakdowns, changes in temperature and humidity, power fluctuations, sewer backups, theft, vandalism, and earthquakes.
  2. Back up your systems regularly. From customer records to accounts receivable and payable, your company undoubtedly relies on a vast store of electronic data. If this information were lost,it could be expensive and time-consuming—and, in some cases, impossible—to recreate. Make it a practice to back up your data nightly and to store the backup data in a safe, offsite location. It's also a good idea to keep a second backup copy from the previous day.
  3. Practice recovery drills. Even if you have the foresight and commitment to back up your systems on a regular basis, how quickly could you get your computers up and running if disaster strikes? Do you know exactly how to restore the data? Are you sure the tape drive you use for backups is still compatible with your system? The best way to answer these questions is to run a practice drill occasionally. This can confirm your backup tapes are free of defects and that you are indeed able to respond quickly in a true emergency.

In today's competitive business environment, you can't afford to lose one day to a computer shutdown. Businesses that plan ahead are in the best position to keep disruption to a minimum. Following these steps can help get your company "up and running" quickly if disaster strikes. Give us a call today for more information on EDP coverage.

 

"What's That You Say?" The Hazards of Noise Exposure


When you think of workplace hazards, the first images that come to mind probably include dangerous machinery, slippery floors, or heavy objects that must be lifted. But, there's another workplace danger that is just as important—noise exposure. Although noise may not cause the kind of immediate damage that sends workers to hospital emergency rooms, it can result in hearing loss over time. Headphones

To combat this increasing problem, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is taking a more active approach to hearing conservation. To prevent employee hearing loss, small business owners may want to initiate or increase their own efforts to reduce noise exposure on the job.

If your employees must contend with a noisy work environment, here are five simple, proactive steps you can take to help preserve their hearing:

  1. Measure noise levels in your workplace, and note the specific level of exposure for each employee. Identifying who is at risk can be difficult. Exposure may vary as workers move about a workplace during the course of a day. Noise evaluation services can help you accurately measure noise levels and individual exposures.
  2. Reduce the level of noise wherever possible.
  3. Provide protective devices, such as earplugs, and enforce their use.
  4. Educate your employees about the dangers of noise exposure. Point out ways they can avoid hearing loss.
  5. Test each employee's hearing regularly, and immediately address any signs of damage.

As one of our five basic senses, good hearing is an essential part of life, and your employees will likely appreciate your efforts to help prevent hearing loss. In addition, your hearing preservation efforts may help your bottom line by possibly avoiding higher workers compensation costs and expensive OSHA fines. For more information on the hazards of noise exposure and hearing loss prevention methods, check out OSHA online at www.osha.gov, or feel free to give us a call. We'd be happy to discuss your workplace safety issues. 

 

For Your Information


Manage Mail Online

The United States Postal Service (USPS) offers a number of online options for obtaining and managing postage for your business. Through their website, business owners can download The USPS Shipping Assistant®, a free desktop computer program that allows you to create labels (domestic, international, merchandise return, and custom forms), ship packages, compare rates, calculate estimated delivery times, verify deliveries, and request free pickups. Visit www.usps.com for more information.

Become a Green Power Partner

In order to lessen the impacts of traditional energy sources on our environment, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has created the Green Power Partnership for commercial, industrial, and public sector organizations. By joining the partnership, your business can show its commitment to purchasing and using renewable energy resources, such as solar, wind, geothermal, biogas, biomass, and low-impact hydro, to generate green power. For more information, visit www.epa.gov/greenpower.

Online Training from the SBA

According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), thousands of small business customers register daily for free online courses through the SBA's Small Business Training Network (SBTA). Operating like a virtual campus, the SBTA offers online courses, workshops, publications, information resources, learning tools, and direct access to electronic counseling. Topic areas include starting a business, business planning, marketing, finance, and government contracting. Visit www.sba.gov for more information. 

 

Life Insurance: A Tool for Businesses


Life insurance is an important component of many business arrangements. While most business owners are familiar with life insurance as an employee benefit, many may not be aware of the variety of other potential business uses. Here are some of the more common ways you can use life insurance to help benefit and solidify your business. life insurance

Funding buy-sell agreements. Under a typical buy-sell agreement, business partners agree to purchase each other's interest if one of them dies. Life insurance can be a cost-effective method of funding this type of agreement, as long as you and your partners are insurable. The death benefit of a life insurance policy ensures that the surviving owner(s) will have a source of liquidity to buy out a deceased owner's share of the business.

Providing an employee benefit. Life insurance is a basic component of many employee benefit packages. One example is a traditional employee group term plan, which generally covers most employees. You can also use life insurance to enhance the bene-fits of select (or key) employees who are vital to the success of your business. In many instances, this death benefit coverage can be provided at little cost to the key employee.

Insuring key employees. The death of a key employee can create a number of financial challenges for a business. Revenue may be affected; customers may need assurance that business operations will continue; and a replacement must be recruited and trained. Key person life insurance can provide funds to help meet these needs without jeopardizing your business operations or interfering with cash flow.

Collateralizing business loans. Owners of new or growing businesses may have difficulty obtaining business loans. Lenders need to be assured that loans will be repaid, even if the owner dies unexpectedly. Business credit life insurance may make it easier to obtain financing by guaranteeing repayment with the proceeds from a life insurance policy.

Life insurance can be an appropriate vehicle for important business purposes, such as business succession, employee benefits, and financing, but it is important to be aware of any tax consequences. When considering the use of life insurance for your business, careful planning with the help of your professional advisors is essential. 

 

Did You Know?


Need for Unified Access Management

According to a recent study from OneLogin, the majority of the surveyed CIOs (93%) agreed that the volume, complexity, and pace of business will accelerate far faster than in this decade and so they urge a focus on developing solutions to alleviate the growing access bottleneck created by the convergence of trends. In fact 94% agreed that the 2025 workforce will consist of both humans and bots and 89% agreed that high-performing businesses need to leverage machine learning and AI.

Technology to Reach Customers

New research from CompTIA finds that technology is the primary driver helping small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to reach their goals. Nearly 64% of SMBs indicate technology is a primary factor in pursuing their business objectives. Medium sized organizations place the most weight on technology as a strategic tool, with 73% characterizing it as a primary factor in meeting objectives. When it comes to what they are buying, 36% said their purchases in the last two years have focused on core infrastructure and 31% have made industry or sector purchases.

Charging for Mobile Apps

According to a survey from Visual Objects, 42% of small businesses charge for their mobile app. In fact, small businesses with mobile apps tend to collect user date such as contact information (47%), location (46%), and payment details (35%). This data can be useful for improving the app or providing target ads to users. Over one-third of small businesses charge for in-app purchases or subscriptions, while 25% charge users a fee to download the app.

 

Trimming Your Company Vehicle Insurance Costs


Many business owners who use vehicles as a part of their daily operations recognize that auto insurance is an essential and valuable means of protection. However, increased repair costs, medical expenses, theft claims, and injury lawsuits are all adding to the cost of auto insurance. While insurance companies do what they can to keep auto insurance affordable, there are also ways you can help control the costs to your business. Here are a few suggestions for lowering your auto insurance costs. car

Raise your deductibles. One easy way to reduce insurance premiums is to increase your deductibles, which are the specified dollar amounts you must pay before your insurance company will cover the remaining cost. Higher deductibles mean you assume more of the risk for small claims, so be sure to set deductibles at limits you can reasonably afford, as you will have to pay out of pocket for that set amount should an accident occur.

Drive defensively. To keep costs down, keep your business vehicles in good working order. It is also important to screen the driving records of applicants before hiring and train employees to drive cautiously and remember to buckle up, even on short trips.

Buy a low-profile car. Using low-profile vehicles may help your business get lower rates. It costs less to insure vehicles that have less of a chance to be stolen and are less expensive to repair. A high safety rating for your vehicle may also reduce your premiums.

Reduce insurance on older cars. As your business vehicle ages and its value depreciates, it may not be cost-effective to continue carrying the same amount of insurance as you did when it was newer.

Inquire about discounts. Many insurers offer policy discounts for a variety of reasons. For instance, some companies offer a multi-policy discount if they insure both your business property and your automobiles. Others may offer discounts for long-time customers.

Update your policy, as necessary. As your circumstances change, you may become eligible for lower rates. If your business moves its operations to an area with less traffic and a lower crime rate, be sure to update your insurance accordingly.

As rising costs for auto repairs, medical expenses, theft claims, and injury lawsuits drive up insurance premiums, it may seem as if the cost of insuring your business vehicles is out of your control. However, by following the above tips, you may be able to keep your costs to a minimum. Be sure to contact one of our qualified insurance professionals for further information.


Copyright © 2019 Liberty Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.
The content of this newsletter is taken from sources that are believed to be reliable.
However, this newsletter is not intended as a substitute for legal, financial, or professional counsel.


 



 
2205 Point Blvd. Suite 200 | Elgin, IL 60123
p 847.741.1000 | f 847.428.8857