Let’s face it: Insurance is a vital part of running a successful business. But it’s definitely complicated and often frustrating. An insurance policy is a complex contract with difficult-to-understand fine print, including coverage limitations and exclusions. As a result, many companies are underinsured — leaving the future of their organizations to chance — or overinsured and wasting precious money that could be used elsewhere in the business.

That’s why your business needs a trusted advisor and not just a commercial insurance salesperson. You need a trusted partner who can guide you through the process of making the best business insurance decisions and controlling costs: someone who can help with risk management; an advisor who can provide sound advice about business decisions that could affect your insurance program; an expert who can help you manage risks and avoid unnecessary risks while growing your company.

At Accurate Protection, we’re all those things and more. We’re here to help you identify and analyze your company’s unique business risks; develop an appropriate risk mitigation/management plan and design (this is a fee based service,) implement and monitor a comprehensive insurance program to address any exposures. The typical insurance broker can sell you insurance and handle renewals and claims, but many provide no additional resources or guidance to help with risk management.

Our team can help your business better manage its workers’ compensation program, resulting in lower costs and better outcomes for injured workers. We also offer Work Smart, an incredible education program that helps business owners create and implement risk mitigation programs covering more than two dozen topics, from hiring to pre-incident planning, Our customers have access to a library of over 1,000 downloadable articles in both English and Spanish, 24/7 online claims reporting, legislative updates, an online OSHA reporting system, tools to create a customized safety manual and more. We’ll talk to you about which risks you need insurance for, and which you may want to handle by self-insuring.

Another way we’re different: We take the time and ask the right questions to get to know you and your business, which helps us to identify risks that you or a traditional insurance broker may otherwise not notice. Then we can help your organization address them in a best-in-class way. This approach allows us to communicate with underwriters about your business and its risk management strategies, controls and processes, which can result in the best coverage and pricing. Get to know more about us! Give us a call: (404) 907-2121 x701.

If you own a business, it’s important to be clear about what type of behavior is expected of your employees when they get behind the wheel.
At the very least, you’ll want employees to be aware of the need to follow any federal and state driving laws, such as buckling up. Beyond that, you may want to spell out not only safe driving behaviors but what you definitely don’t want them doing while driving. Once you’ve put together a plan, provide each employee with your driving rules and consider having them sign the document to indicate that they understand what’s expected of them behind the wheel. Here are some suggestions:

Wear seat belts. All drivers and passengers must use them. Seat belts reduce the risk of death by 45% and cut the risk of serious injury by 50% for front-seat passengers,

Limit cell phone use on the road. This is a no-brainer, but it’s so important if your employees are driving to customers or work sites. To be safe, you may want to make it clear to employees that they are not to talk on a cell phone or text while they are driving on business. If they need to use the phone, they should safely pull of the road or if your company permits it, use a ‘hands-free’ device. Know that studies show that even a hands-free call can slow your reaction time while driving.

Let voicemail do its work. Let employees know you do not want them to initiate calls while they are driving or answer any incoming calls. Let them know that all incoming calls – even from the boss – go to voicemail while driving.

Ban distracted driving. We all know that texting while driving is dangerous. But distracted driving – from talking on a cell phone to eating or drinking behind the wheel – causes thousands of injuries and deaths each year as well. So does shaving, putting on makeup and combing your hair from behind the wheel.

Promote courteous driving. Aggressive driving can lead to accidents. If your employees drive cars with your company’s name on them, make sure they know that rude driving can also cost your company business.

Risk management is one of the greatest challenges for any business. Yet due to its complexity and the enormous job of running a company, many business owners don’t effectively manage a wide array of risks. That’s where Accurate Protection steps in. We work directly with our clients, helping to identify business risks and providing the resources and insurance coverage needed to mitigate those risks. We don’t only offer commercial insurance, such as auto coverage. We help you integrate the right types of insurance into an effective overall risk management plan.

Telecommuting grew in popularity during the pandemic out of necessity. And it helped limit the spread of COVID-19. But studies show that a post-pandemic, remote-only model doesn’t work all that well for many office workers — or their companies.
In fact, research suggests that telecommuting benefits employees and employers when workers spend at least 40% of their workweek in the office. Surprised?

Research shows that the 40% threshold leads to the greatest level of employee engagement. And employee engagement leads to many great things — creativity, productivity, innovation and ultimately, a more competitive and successful organization. So how does time in the office help?

One important factor is the out-of-sight-out-of-mind issue. When an employee is in the same office as their manager and the rest of their teammates, it’s easier for the manager and colleagues to see and recognize achievements and for employees to engage with not only management but their colleagues, according to Gallup. However, fewer opportunities for recognition and collaboration occur when the manager and employees are in different locations. That can leave telecommuting workers feeling undervalued and less engaged. Collaboration, of course, is easier in an office setting as well.

Another reason why a 100 percent telecommuting plan is not the best option for workers is that fully remote workers do not get the opportunity to connect with their coworkers, which can lead to feelings of isolation. It’s a fact: Human beings crave connection with others. Offices are social anchors. Employees form bonds with other employees in office break rooms, lunchrooms and at the water cooler and coffee pot. A regular dose of face time with coworkers and managers can help increase the odds that an employee’s telecommuting efforts are successful for everyone involved. Post-pandemic, many workplaces recognize the value of offering both in-office work and time to work at home. And that can mean a different look, feel and design of commercial offices to maximize the time employees spend in the office.

It can also mean different risk management practices and insurance coverage. Hybrid offices often work more in the cloud, which requires different cyber security protocols and many times, different insurance coverage. Companies working under a hybrid office model should re-evaluate their risk management practices for cloud-based work and devices that leave the office and must be kept secure.

At Accurate Protection, we’re here to help you adapt and thrive in changing times. We’re more than an insurance broker. We’re your source of accurate protection for your business.

Effectively managing your company’s risks is a complex yet critical part of operating a successful business today. At Accurate Protection, we help companies solve the risk management puzzle. We work directly with our clients to help identify risks and develop a smart approach to reducing or eliminating their exposures. In addition, our detailed, multi-part education program, Work Smart, gives business owners additional tools to implement or expand their own risk mitigation programs. With more than 30 documented smart business practices in every area. Work Smart helps business leaders develop activities, policies and procedures that can reduce unnecessary business risks.

It’s estimated that two-thirds of all small businesses aren’t effectively managing risks, which can result in devastating circumstances. According to a report from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), 40% of businesses do not reopen following an unexpected event and another 25% fail within one year after one occurs. Not being prepared could mean the end of your business.

On the other hand, a solid preparedness and risk management plan can dramatically increase the likelihood that your business will survive a major setback. Some risks are difficult or even impossible to plan for, of course. The global pandemic, for example, took much of the global business world by surprise — it’s one of those risks that few of us could have anticipated. But business owners can plan for so many other unpredictable events, such as major Internet or power outages, weather disasters, flooding, wildfires and other location or industry-specific threats.

A quality preparedness plan includes details such as a list of alternative suppliers should something happen to your existing supplier or supplier base and how your company would operate in a disaster. Here are some important questions to ask yourself: Are you following best practices to manage your company’s internal and external risks effectively? Do you have alternative work sites so that you can keep operating if your building is flooded or destroyed by fire? Do you have a way to keep employees informed of a major business problem? Do you have a backup of all important files and documents stored off-site? Is your insurance plan adequate? Are you doing everything you can to reduce unnecessary risks?

We can help you determine the greatest risks to your organization and help you find the most cost-effective ways to mitigate those threats. We don’t sell insurance, we get your business the accurate protection it needs.

Does your company have an effective plan to reduce on-the-job injuries and workers compensation costs, promote workplace safety and manage a wide variety of operational risks?

It should. Accidents and incidents happen in all types of companies — not just those that have employees operating heavy machinery or working in construction. Nationwide, an estimated 4 million workers are injured each year, and a significant portion of those injuries and accidents happen in or around offices. Injuries can be financially devastating for a small company, and they represent just a portion of the wide array of risks companies face each day.

That’s why effective risk management is vital. Any business — regardless of size or industry, needs to have a plan in place designed to protect the health and welfare of their employees and to reduce operational risk. In addition to accidents and injuries, there are a variety of risks companies face when hiring and terminating employees and in the day-to-day tasks of running a business. At Accurate Protection, we work directly with our clients, helping them to identify a wide variety of risks unique to their industry and business and guiding them to take a smart approach for reducing or even eliminating exposure.

Each company faces a variety of different kinds of risks and has some that are unique to their business and industry, so a customized approach is important. Our detailed, multi-part education program, Work Smart, gives business owners the information they need to start developing their own quality risk mitigation programs and better manage their workers compensation program and costs. Filled with nearly three dozen documented smart business practices in every area, from hiring to pre-incident planning, Work Smart helps business leaders develop activities, policies and procedures that can reduce unnecessary business risks. We make it easy to get the information you need and offer a library of over 1,000 downloadable articles in both English and Spanish that can help with all aspects of risk management.

Does your business have a safety manual? We’ll help you develop that important risk-reducing tool, too. At Accurate Protection, we’ll help your business identify its unique risks, develop risk mitigation strategies, address exposures through the right insurance coverages and monitor plans/strategies on an ongoing basis. We’ll also help your business make adjustments to your plans/strategies as needed. We’re much more than simply an insurance provider and here to help your company operate more effectively and efficiently.

Our company helps yours get the accurate protection it deserves.

Despite the growing awareness about cyber threats, many myths about cyber security still persist. Ready to separate fact from fiction? Here are some of the most common cybersecurity myths.

Myth #1 — Too much security diminishes productivity.

Some business owners worry that increased cyber security protocols will make it difficult for employees to access what they need to do their job. However, in reality, not having adequate cyber security protocols may have long-term and catastrophic consequences for your business. Many preventive measures require little hassle on the part of employees.

Myth #2 — Cyberattacks are only executed by external perpetrators.

Wrong! Insider threats are on the rise and should be a cause for concern for all businesses. Insider threats can include employees, vendors, contractors and business partners and be either a simple case of negligence or can be malicious in nature. A recent survey revealed that insider threats are responsible for more than half of all data breaches. All companies need to have plans in place to help prevent these types of attacks.

Myth #3 — Cybercriminals only attack large businesses.

Small and medium-sized businesses may wrongly assume that their data isn’t attractive to hackers. But these operations are among the most susceptible to cyberattacks. An Accenture survey revealed that hackers went after small businesses nearly half of the time. Unfortunately, only about 14% of these businesses were prepared to act defensively in such a situation.

The lesson: No matter the size no business is immune from hacking attempts and malicious attacks. Hackers don’t discriminate when it comes to their victims. So, don’t let the size of your business determine how valuable your data is or how secure your assets are.

Myth #4 — Cybersecurity and cyber insurance is too expensive

Even though the headlines paint grim stories, some companies still wonder if cybersecurity programs are worth the cost. Data security is frequently overlooked and many organizations respond reactively when they have no other option.

Just how expensive is such a mistake? Consider the fact that the average cost of a data breach in 2021 is $4.24 million, the highest in the last 17 years. This statistic doesn’t even take into account reputational losses and customer losses from a breach. One thing is for certain: The cost of a good cybersecurity plan and coverage is far less than dealing with the consequences of an attack.

There’s a lot of room for improvement when it comes to educating employees about cybersecurity. Case in point: the cybersecurity awareness training firm KnowBe4′s State of Privacy and Security Awareness Report. This report details the state of employee awareness and practices — and it’s not good news for most organizations.

The report is based on feedback from 1,000 employees in small, midsize and large companies in the United States. The purpose is to determine how much cybersecurity training workers have received and how that information translates into cyber security awareness. The report brings some alarming findings to the surface. For instance, employees surveyed could not identify some common and potentially devastating types of cyber risks and how those risks could adversely affect their employers.

According to the report, nearly one-quarter of employees believe that clicking on suspicious links or attachments presented little or no cyber risk. In reality, it’s one of the most common and effective strategies for cybercriminals. Similarly, less than a third of respondents said that allowing family members and friends to use work devices outside of work hours is risky or presents serious risks. In reality, this practice breaks the human firewall chain and has led to breaches.

What’s perhaps the most unsettling is that many employees who work in vulnerable sectors are not savvy when it comes to these matters. The survey found that only 14% of government employees and 22% of healthcare employees can confidently describe to senior management the negative effects of cybersecurity risks. This compares with 47% and 50% in technology and finance, respectively.

At the same time, the bad actors seem to be tuned into this reality. Due to the pandemic, cybercriminals have been taking advantage of industries that have been hit the hardest, such as healthcare, municipalities, and educational facilities. These hackers also see the pandemic as an opportunity to take advantage of employees that are now working remotely on their personal devices.

According to the report, employees in government and healthcare had the least amount of knowledge of social engineering attacks. Per the report, only 15% of government employees “very well” understood the five types of social engineering threats. Think phishing, spear phishing, business email compromise, vishing, and smishing. Workers in health care and education reported only slightly more awareness of these risks, at 16% and 17%, respectively.

This report and others like it underscore the need for regular employee training on cyber security risks and best practices; company-wide cyber policies outlining expectations for employees; the right preventive tools and the right type and amount of cyber insurance coverage.

As a business owner, do you believe that your skills, intelligence and abilities can be developed over time? Or do you believe that your talents are mostly fixed, meaning that if you’re not really good at something now, you probably won’t ever be great at it? These are critical questions to ask yourself. That’s because your mindset — how you view, interpret and act on decisions, problems and challenges in your life — can play a significant role in your success and happiness. Or it can hold you back from being the person — and business leader — you want to be.

American psychologist Carol Dweck is credited for identifying two main types of mindsets. A growth (also called learning) mindset is a belief that with hard work, desire and perseverance, most people can develop and improve their talents, abilities, and intelligence. On the other hand, those with a fixed mindset believe that a person’s talent and intelligence are more or less innate — you either have certain characteristics or you don’t. In other words, there are ‘gifted’ people and there’s everyone else. Those with fixed mindsets do not believe they (or anyone else for that matter) can significantly improve their innate qualities.

There’s no shortage of examples of the great things that can be accomplished with a growth mindset. For example, at Microsoft, Satya Nadella made it his mission to revamp the leadership and the culture at Microsoft with a growth mindset after taking over in 2014. In his book, Hit Refresh, Nadella explains that mindsets– specifically helping employees at the company develop growth mindsets– were his tool for taking Microsoft to the next level. After more than a decade of static market capitalization and share price, Nadella helped usher in a new era for Microsoft, one in which the company’s market capitalization and stock price more than tripled. Pfizer, too, credits a growth mindset for the company’s success and growth.

One of the keys in developing a growth mindset is to help yourself and your organization’s leaders view failure as an opportunity to reflect, learn and improve your skills. In many organizations, failure is not tolerated or viewed negatively, which makes employees fearful of making mistakes and as a result less likely to take risks and think innovatively. To adopt a growth mindset, business leaders and employees must embrace risk and imperfection and push themselves out of established comfort zones.

Henry Ford once said, “Whether you believe you can do a thing or not, you are right.” He couldn’t have been more right.

Small businesses face a variety of risks in today’s world. Unfortunately, many companies aren’t effectively managing those risks. Of the nearly 32 million small businesses nationwide, for example, it’s estimated that 75% of them have either not enough commercial insurance or no coverage at all.

The official definition of a small business is a company that employs fewer than 500 people. Research shows that the smaller the company, the less likely they are to have adequate insurance coverage.

The top claims made by small businesses include burglary/theft and damage to property caused by perils such as water, wind, hail, fire and freezing temperatures. Another top source of claims: Legal claims made by customers, including those injured at the company’s place of business. A BOP, short for Business Owners Policy, combines vital business property and liability coverage into one convenient and affordable policy and can be an ideal solution for home-based businesses and other small firms. As a business grows, however, its insurance needs change. Many growing companies don’t keep up in the area of insurance and risk management.

Business continuity is yet another area in which small businesses fall short. Nearly three-quarters of new businesses survive the two-year mark and half survive the five-year mark. But only one-third of all companies remain in business after 10 years. One of the biggest sources of business failures is a lack of planning for the unexpected. Businesses that have a plan for unexpected events have a much higher survival rate than those that don’t.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, 40 percent of businesses never reopen after a disaster. Most of those that go out of business did not have enough insurance, the right coverage or any coverage at all. It’s estimated that 75% of businesses in the United States are underinsured in some way by 40 percent or more, according to international data analytics firm Marshall & Swift.

We understand that you have your hands full running your business. As licensed insurance professionals, consider our team at Accurate Protection a part of your key advisory team. We’ll partner with you to perform a thorough analysis of your company and its unique risks and find the best solutions for managing those risks. With Accurate Protection, you’ll get an insurance program specifically tailored to your needs, with the right amount and type of coverage, at an extremely competitive rate.

Facing an E&O claim is a lot like an IRS audit. It’s time-consuming, stressful and something you really want to avoid. In today’s litigious business environment, it’s important to review some of the most effective ways to reduce your E&O risk as well as provide a strong defense in the event a claim is made against you:

Obtain E&O insurance coverage. For many types of business professionals, having errors and omissions (also called professional liability) insurance is critical. In today’s world, you can be the subject of a financially devastating legal claim at any time.

Keep information about each client in a separate file. Include and summarize all interactions with each client via phone, e-mail, text and in person.

Summarize every client conversation and meeting, including phone calls. Include the day and time of the interaction, the name of the client and what was discussed. Don’t skip logging a call because you think it is trivial. Every interaction could be important in the event of an E&O claim or in court proceedings.

Make sure you’re documenting the advice you provide. When a client asks you for advice, include information in their file about what they asked you, what guidance you provided them and what action was taken as a result. If a client elected to not take the advice that you recommended to them, make sure that’s documented as well. Many E&O claims stem from instances in which a client doesn’t take a recommended course of action or says they were given incorrect information.

Keep up with your record keeping. Contemporaneously prepared documentation is best. Documentation should be as thorough as possible given time and resource constraints. Notes are considered especially credible evidence of conversations in the event of a legal claim. You can put information together months or years later, but it won’t be as accurate or credible.

Use your words carefully. Respond to your client as if your conversation is being recorded. Be precise and thorough in every text, e-mail, letter, in-person visit or phone call. Think twice about calling yourself an ‘expert’.

Use follow up letters/e-mails. If the conversation is an extremely important one, you may want to provide a summary of what was discussed in a follow-up letter or e-mail to your client. Documentation, when consistently created, will not guarantee that a claim will be settled in your favor. It will, however, give you the best defense possible.