Located in Summit, NJ, We offer Business and Personal Insurance: Auto, Home, Life, Flood, Renters, Condo, Landlord, Boat, RV, Motorcycle, Business Liability, Workers Compensation, Employment Practices Liability, Errors and Omissions, Business Continuation, Professional Liability, Group Insurance, Classic Car, Rideshare for Lyft & Uber, and more.
Sunday, March 19, 2017
Three of My Favorite Podcasts
Wait, what’s a Podcast?
For those of you that haven’t yet been bitten by the podcast bug,
a podcast is like a radio series that you can download onto your computer or
smart phone and then listen to at your own pace. I save my favorite podcasts on my phone
and listen to them while I’m driving. That way I can listen to my favorite podcasts
regardless of when I happen to be in the car. Some podcasts are also broadcast
on the radio, while others are not. There are podcasts on just about everything! It's amazing what you can find on a podcast. Here are three of my favorites.
Ben Franklin’s World
I love early American history. If you also love American history, or if you are interested
in learning more about it, then Ben Franklin’s World is the podcast for you. Hosted by historian Liz Covart,
each episode of Ben Franklin’s World gives a fascinating glimpse into 18th
century America, focusing on historical people and events that have impacted and shaped our present-day world. Each show features a guest historian who focuses on a certain aspect of early American history, and is expertly
interviewed by Liz. Her love of history is contagious, and Ben Franklin's World is always interesting and fun.
The author (left) with A.J. Jacobs
I also love family history. Twice Removed is a
podcast about family history hosted by A.J. Jacobs. A.J. is
out to prove that we are all one family. In each episode, he takes his guest on
a tour of their family history, and then he introduces them to a mystery
relative - of whom they were not previously aware. The stories that A.J. uncovers
are fascinating, heartwarming and fun.
As a side note: A.J. and I are cousins; I just don’t know how many
times removed. If you want to see if you are related to A.J., you can start
from his profile on Wikitree.com which is
a free, user generated, world family tree.
TED Radio Hour
If you are curious and enjoy learning new things like I do, then you
will love TED Radio Hour.Hosted
by Guy Raz, TED Radio Hour is a journey through fascinating ideas: astonishing
inventions, fresh approaches to old problems, and new ways to think and create.
It never ceases to amaze, enlighten and educate. Each show interweaves various TED Talks, covering a common theme, with interviews of the presenters
by Guy, who does a great job tying everything together.
So those are three of my favorite podcasts. Have you listened to any of them? Did you enjoy them? If you haven’t listened to them yet, do give them
a try. If you want to find other podcasts, two of the most popular places to find podcasts are iTunes and Stitcher. For a great directory of other podcast resources, check out How-To Geek. What are some of your favorite podcasts? I’d love to give them a try.
Rideshare Drivers face a Potential Gap in Insurance Coverage
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) is encouraging Rideshare Drivers to "be aware of potential gaps in insurance coverage" (NIAC Consumer Alert). But what kind of gaps are they talking about?
What Kind of Gaps?
Generally, your personal auto insurance policy wasn’t designed to provide you with coverage when you are working as a rideshare driver. And, rideshare companies’ full commercial liability coverage doesn’t apply until you accept a ride. When you add a Rideshare Endorsement, you can avoid a potential gap in coverage by extending your personal auto insurance coverage when you are logged in and waiting to be matched with your next rider.
Doesn’t the rideshare company’s insurance policy cover me when I’m working?
When you log in to the rideshare company’s app, you may only be covered by the rideshare company’s limited liability coverage until you accept a ride and their full commercial liability coverage applies. While you are waiting to be matched with your next rider, their policy generally only provides limited liability coverage* for medical expenses and damage you cause to others if an accident is your fault. Damage to you or your car are not typically covered by this policy. You could be faced with a serious coverage gap that would require you to pay for damages out of your own pocket.
Doesn’t my personal auto insurance policy cover me?
Probably not. Many personal auto insurance providers exclude coverage when you are using your vehicle as a rideshare driver.
What is the Solution?
Fortunately for New Jersey Rideshare Drivers, there is a new Rideshare Endorsement available in New Jersey from Farmers Insurance.® Get coverage here: NJRideshareInsurance.com
What does Farmers Rideshare cover?
Farmers Rideshare extends your personal auto insurance coverage through Period 1 until you accept a ride and the rideshare company’s full commercial liability coverage applies in Periods 2 & 3. This policy enables you to select the coverage that fits your needs, including:
Comprehensive and collision coverages that pay for damages to your car
Uninsured motorist coverage, in case you are hit by a driver who isn’t insured or is underinsured
Medical payment and personal injury protection (if required)
Farmers Rideshare coverage ends when you accept a ride. The rideshare company’s full commercial liability coverage applies until that ride exits your car. Farmers Rideshare once again applies until you accept your next ride.
* Rideshare companies may maintain higher coverage limits and additional coverages as needed to meet the minimum requirements in all states. Minimum limits vary by state. In California for example, the limits are $50k bodily injury for one injured individual; $100k total bodily injury coverage limit; $30k property damage to someone else’s property per incident.
PIP stands for Personal Injury Protection. It covers your
medical bills if you are injured in an automobile accident. PIP coverage must
be included on every Auto insurance policy in New Jersey.
What is the amount of coverage under PIP?
The standard amount of PIP coverage is $250,000.
Are lower amounts available?
Lower amounts are available, but they are not recommended.
Is PIP “No Fault” and what does this mean?
Yes. This means that your own policy covers you for
injuries sustained in an auto accident regardless of who is driving, whose car
you are in, or who is at fault.
Will my health insurance policy cover injuries
sustained in an auto accident if I select my health insurance as “primary”?
It depends on the type of health insurance plan you have.
Therefore, it is important to find out if you have auto accident coverage under
your health insurance, and how much coverage you have. If you want to select “health
primary,” you must obtain written information on your health plan coverage for
Can I select Medicare
or Medicaid as my primary health insurer for auto accidents?
No, you cannot
select Medicare or Medicaid
as your primary health insurer for auto accidents. Your auto insurance must be
What if I select my health insurance as primary and
they won’t pay?
If you have selected “health primary” and your health
insurance won’t pay for treatment of injuries from an auto accident, you can
file a claim under your auto policy. But you’ll have to pay back premiums to
the insurance company, plus an additional penalty deductible of $750.
Where can I get more information about PIP or other
Uneasy is the head that wears the crown. Being in charge of your own business can be enormously satisfying, but it can also be a headache. Here are a few tips to keep your business safe from some dangers both inside and out.
1. Never Underestimate the Value of a Good Lawyer
Many small businesses avoid lawyering up, either because they don't think they need one or they don't think they can afford one. But finding a knowledgeable lawyer can save you far more than it costs. Especially when signing any kind of contract; have a lawyer review each one before you sign it. One of my clients saved thousands of dollars when their lawyer suggested a small change in their commercial lease agreement. It may not seem necessary at the time, but the payout can be well worth it.
2. Have an Employee Manual
Obtaining an employee manual is another task that may seem unnecessary, but will be enormously valuable over time. A well-crafted Employee Manual can set expectations for employees, illustrate the benefits they're offered, and ensure that everyone is treated fairly. Plus, setting the standards that are expected of your employees up front can help avoid or win lawsuits, should it ever come to that.
3. Make sure that you are properly insured.
Many employers overlook Employment Practices Liability insurance and Umbrella Liability insurance, and don’t understand who needs to be covered under Workers Compensation. These are issues that can be extremely costly if you're not prepared. Even if you're not necessarily sure that your business needs these coverages, be sure to discuss them with your insurance agent.
4. Pay attention to cyber security
From 2008 to 2010, a group of hackers preyed on and compromised more than 50 small businesses in Seattle, causing over $3 million in combined damages. Many hackers are now targeting small business, because they often have lax or no security measures in place. According to a 2012 study by the National Cyber Security Alliance, 71% of small businesses are dependent on the internet on a daily basis to conduct business, but 83% don't have any sort of formal cyber-security plan. Educate yourself on what is most valuable in your company, and what's most vulnerable, and take steps to protect it. Make sure all of your data is backed up regularly, and shred documents that may contain usable information before discarding (dumpster divers contribute to a large portion of financial crime).
5. Consider Outsourcing Your Bookkeeping
When you're pouring over the same information day after day, it's easy to get desensitized. But when it's something as important as your business's income and expenses, you can't afford to miss a thing. Having an outside set of eyes reviewing your finances can help to catch errors and prevent fraud; one more cost that could be well worth the money.
Only you can prevent forest fires, but what about laptops-in-your-bed fires? You can avoid those too - by knowing these 5 everyday objects that cause fires.
Laptops in Bed
I’m guilty of watching Netflix before bed, specifically while in bed with my laptop. But after a news story broke about a laptop left unguarded in bed for 16 hours that burned down a whole building, I never wanted to risk nodding off with a fire hazard in my lap again.
Since most laptops ventilate from fans on the bottom of the machine, it’s a good idea to elevate your computer to allow airflow. Not only will it avoid uncomfortable heat, but also dangerous accidents.
Another surprising fire-starter can be found in the dryer. Lint that wasn’t emptied (to the annoyance of the next user) often prevents the next batch of clothes from drying but can also start a fire. Leftover lint causes a reported 15,000 fires a year and should be taken seriously.
Next laundry day, remember to empty the lint trap for your clothes and your safety.
Clutter in the Closet
Cleaning out your closet doesn’t just mean you’re starting a new way of life. It means you’re starting a new habit to avoid unintentional fires.
12% of house fires start in a closet, so if you have a closet that is stacked from floor to ceiling with junk, it’s time to let the fresh air in. Closet fires often begin when stored items touch a bare light bulb and catch fire. Whether or not it’s the season for spring-cleaning, get an early (or belated) start by reorganizing your closet and donating some old clothes.
9 Volt Batteries
There are probably some 9 volt batteries cluttered somewhere in my house. I image they’re resting peacefully, forgotten in a junk drawer or two. Dead batteries or alive ones should be treated equally and with care since fires caused by 9 volt batteries are on the rise.
Because 9 volt batteries can cause a spark if they touch something conductive, and that spark can start a fire if it lands on something flammable, in a junk drawer or trash can, always keep unused batteries in their original containers or wrap dead ones in electric tape before you toss them.
Batteries also require special recycling, so pick a drop off spot where you’ll likely get in the habit of recycling old batteries instead of hording them. You can find nearby recycling spots for batteries by clicking here.
Last, but certainly not the least dangerous, cooking is the number one cause of home fires. Thanksgiving is the most common day for home cooking fires, but that doesn’t mean other days are less flammable.
If you love to cook, your brain may be focused on the food but not always mindful of the ignition source on your grill or stove top, which is responsible for two-thirds of cooking fires. Always turn off burners when they’re no longer needed. It’s easy to forget burners if they’re left on a low setting, but triple check after cooking and before leaving the house. I literally do this every day.
With the exception of home cooking, this list covers some surprising culprits for fire hazards but there are plenty of others just waiting to cause a freak accident. Where there’s heat or open flames, there’s risk for fire, so take proper precautions and follow our blog for more tips on protection and insurance!
In 2012, the state of New Jersey (along with much of the East Coast) took a huge hit from Superstorm Sandy. The large number of homes and businesses affected was heartbreaking. Although it has been two years since the storm hit, there is still much damage that has yet to be fixed.
Volunteering with these wonderful organizations is very rewarding. It feels great to be able to help my community here in New Jersey. As tragic as the storm was for so many people, it is extremely uplifting to see people and organizations banding together and help their neighbors in need.
Are you interested in helping out? Consider donating to the St. Bernard Project or SeaBright Rising. I have included links below to these wonderful organizations that help many people in need.
Also, if you are interested in helping out with reconstruction, or any other projects, please feel free to contact me. I really can’t explain how rewarding an experience it is to help.
I started my
insurance journey 25 years ago with the idea of opening my own agency engraved
in my mind. In April of 2012, the opportunity I was waiting for presented
itself. Farmers Insurance was calling my name, and I couldn’t have been
happier. Although Farmers had been around since 1928, and had grown to be one
of the leading multiline insurance companies in the industry, they surprisingly
had no agencies open in New Jersey. I took this as a sign, and jumped at the
opportunity to begin the journey of owning my own agency.
Where it all Began
The idea of
owning my own business was implanted in my head at an early age. Watching the
growth and success of my father’s small business, and knowing that both of my
grandfathers were small business owners as well, created a spark of passion in me
that grew as time went on. Coincidentally, my wife and both of her parents own
their own businesses as well. As you can see, it definitely runs in the family.
The decision to choose Farmers was not a difficult one. With the extensive
training they provide, along with the reputation of the company itself, it was
nothing but an easy choice.
What I learned Afterwards
the University of Farmers® was a great experience, to say the least. They
strive to go above and beyond in educating their agents to help make sure we
aren’t just selling our clients products, but that we also help make them
smarter about insurance. The thing I
love the most, however, is that the training never really stops. They have a
team of people working behind the scenes to help with many of the questions we
may have, which I think it a great plus! We have also received great feedback
from some of our clients about our wonderful claims department. A customer whose home was severely damaged during Super Storm
Sandy told me: “Dave, we feel blessed that we have Farmers…Our neighbors were
shocked at how quickly a team from Farmers arrived at our home to take care of
everything.” It makes me proud to work for a company that takes care of our customers
the way Farmers does.
Communicate with us!
I love meeting with new people, and educating them about
insurance. Have any questions you need answering? I’d be happy to help you.
Please feel free to reach out to me through the comment section below, give me
a call, or head on over to my website!
Testimonial disclosure: “These testimonials are based on the
experiences of a few people and you may not have similar results.” Disclaimer: “I
am a Farmers® agent but my posts are my own and are not statements by or on
behalf of Farmers.”