Finish Strong 2011

I’ve got a special deal on one of my most popular programs to help you finish 2011 strong and be geared up for 2012…

Being underinsured or improperly insured on your business can have devastating effects on your cash flow and your ability to survive a crisis.  Most small business owners overlook this critical part of their business process. Yes, you may have a fine agent, but how often have you tested their work to make sure it is right for you? Too often, you don’t spend enough time talking with your agent and that leads to gaps in protection and overpaying for your insurance.

For the past 6 years, I’ve performed insurance diagnostic assessments for my clients. Basically, I become an unbiased set of professional eyes to make sure you are protected as you think you should be. Here are the results you realize…

  • Reduced total cost of insurance (In English, you save money)
  • Improved financial protection (In English, you’re covered for more stuff)
  • Enhanced ability to lead and respond to crisis (In English, you’ll be able to stay in business because you knew what to do when a disaster strikes)
  • Check your agents work. (That’s a bilingual translation – both Insurance and English)
  • Peace of mind (maybe the most important)

Here’s what you receive…

  1. I will provide a complete review of your insurance policies to identify gaps in coverage and places you can save money.
  2. You receive a comprehensive (yet painless to read) report providing you recommendations, suggestions, and guidance on how to fix your problem areas.
  3. You receive 2 weeks of unlimited e-mail access to me to help you with questions that come up after the report and on implementation of recommendations.

Note: Over the past 6 years, I’ve uncovered an average of 3 “gaps” in protection and a 10% savings per assessment. These aren’t guaranteed. Sometimes I’ve found less and sometimes more. That’s why it’s average! That being said, I have never walked away without finding at least one gap in protection or suggestion to save money!

My normal fee for this service is $1,500 for a business insurance diagnostic. I know we are still in a challenging economic period, so here is my holiday gift yo you… (read closely as dates of when you do this save you money)

  • Starting today through Friday, your investment is only $500 for a business assessment and $750 for a combined business and personal insurance assessment.
  • If you wait until next week, the investment goes up to $750 and $1,000 respectively.
  • If you wait until after Christmas, your investment goes up to $1,000 and $1,250 respectively.
  • After January 1st, we are back to our regularly scheduled programming.
  • Between now and January 1st, any personal insurance diagnostic assessment only is $350.

The investment is based on when I receive payment (I accept checks and all major business credit cards). You can start the assessment whenever you want, however I recommend as soon as possible so you can make plans for the new year. I turn around the report to you within 48 hours.

Don’t chance your business continuation. Call me today to get set up for your insurance diagnostic. This offer may well never happen again. Invest in your business’s future and get an assessment on your insurance to protect your life’s work.

Read Testimonials from satisfied clients

© 2011 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

What are your Employees Tweeting?

Okay…now read this. This is important.

I just was scanning Twitter and saw a post by one of my favorite sports reporters, Danny O’Neil from the Seattle Times. He posted a blog on the Aaron Curry situation and how it’s trending on Twitter. For those of you not following Seattle Seahawks football, Aaron Curry is the team’s recently benched linebacker who was their first round draft pick three years ago. Curry for all accounts is a hard worker, good teammate, and a physical specimen. He just hasn’t gotten it done on the field and it cost him his starting job. O’Neil points out that Twitter is going gangbusters on Curry’s demotion with Curry acknowledging friends, foes, and fans on his account.

For his part, Curry has been gracious. He doesn’t engage the loudmouths who heckle him from behind the cyberspace curtain. He has kept his composure and professionalism You can read some of the comments on O’Neil’s blog. That being said, Curry has also acknowledged that he would welcome finding a new home, specifically back in his home state of North Carolina with the Panthers. And the beat goes on as does the trending on Twitter.

Here is why you need to take notice. Curry is an employee under contract with the Seattle Seahawks. He is engaging in real-time conversations with both people he knows and doesn’t know regarding his job on Twitter. He also openly agrees that he would be willing to find a new situation. This will undoubtedly continue. You have employees who have access to Twitter. They may not have the same high-profile as an NFL player, but they probably have an account and use it as a tool at some level.

  • What if they got on their Twitter account and started talking about their job?
  • What if they started openly soliciting their services to others?
  • What if they were unhappy and unlike Curry were willing to voice that displeasure?
  • How would you know it was happening?
  • How could you mitigate damage to your reputation?
  • Do you have a communications plan that includes the personal and professional use of Twitter?
  • How long are you willing to keep your head in the sand?

Here is the bottom line. If you don’t have a plan for dealing with social media and your business, you are going to be as obsolete as the iPhone 4 will be in about a week. Your employees can Tweet, Friend, Post, Blog, Like, Look, Poke, Prod and a whole bunch of other things all from the comfort of their office chair on their own personal phone. They can talk about you, your business, your clients, your prospects, and anything else they want. What have you done to protect yourself?

Here’s what you need to do. It’s painless and free.

  1. Create a social media plan for your organization. Do a little research and find out what the “hot” social media platforms are. I guarantee you that they are changing and shifting constantly. Start with Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, Google +, and You Tube first and then move on.
  2. The plan should identify potential perils, what you consider to be professional etiquette and expectations, professional reference during personal use, and disciplinary actions if violated.
  3. Engage your employees in the process. Have them craft it. If you cram it down their throats it will come across as threats and Big Brother-ish. If they are part of the solution, you may find that they do a better job of policing themselves!
  4. Find someone in your organization who will be responsible for monitoring social media platforms. This need not be a full-time job. You might just find someone who likes doing it, is good at it, and will watch out for your backside.
  5. Monitor and maintain. Once you start this process, make sure it stays relevant. Technology changes and so should your policy. review and update it every 3-6 months. Continually ask for feedback from your employees. Be consistent in discipline, but also reward for good behavior. Find ways to leverage social media for good, not evil.

Bonus. You may not be covered for claims arising out of social media issues. Your Commercial General Liability policy excludes coverage for personal and advertising injury arising out of “electronic board and chat rooms.” That’s social media platforms and your blog. You can find coverage through special policies and most professional liability policies. Your next step should be to contact your insurance broker and ask the simple question, “Am I covered for liability arising out of social media?” If it takes him or her longer than about 3 seconds to answer, you may have a problem.

Take note of what’s happening to employers around you (like the Seahawks) and how their employees (like Curry) can impact the organization and then look inward. You may need to work on your own game!

You may now return to your regularly scheduled day…

© 2011 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

 

Social Un-Security: Social Media is all “trick” and no” tweet” for your business insurance

Social Media has captivated the globe and has changed how we communicate personally and professionally forever. And the scary thing is, it’s ever evolving and changing. The good news for you as a business is that you have more ways to spread your message, sell your products, and profess your opinions for free to the world. The bad news is, that your insurance may not have kept up with the times and is stuck in 1979.

Your Commercial General Liability policy has a coverage part called Personal & Advertising Injury. This coverage part has a sub-limit of liability that should be equal to your Occurrence limit. Personal & Advertising Injury is meant to protect you from among other things, libel, slander, defamation of character and other grisly things that you do that could hurt someone’s feelings. Seriously, it’s meant to protect you from negligently damaging someone’s reputation, or infringing on copyright or intellectual property. This is more of an issue today as technology blurs those lines, so it’s an important coverage.

The standard General Liability policy (ISO CG00 01 12 07) will exclude injury “arising out of an electronic chat room or bulletin board the insured hosts, owns, or over which the insured exercise control” (ISO CG00 01 12 07).  As well as Personal and Advertising injury “arising out of the infringement of copyright, patent, trademark, trade secret or other intellectual property rights” (ISO CG00 01 12 07).  This includes data privacy breaches and claims resulting from a data privacy breach.

In English, this means that your tweets, blog posts, Facebook notes, and other commentary on social media sites are not contemplated by outdated verbiage still being employed in General Liability policies. Certainly, you can fight it, however you know that means extra time, money, and anxiety. Bottom line, your tweets aren’t covered!

There are increasing numbers of case law and opinions surrounding this issue. My job today isn’t to bore you with a litany of these, but to alert you to your vulnerability.

So how can you get in trouble? Let’s face it; the most intriguing blogs and tweets are the ones that offer contrarian, thought provoking, and often outlandish commentary. In sending out your opinions over cyberspace channels, you may be critical of competitors, inadvertently offend another company or individual, and/or infringe on someone’s brand. If they sure you, you’re on your own.

So what do you do? Fortunately, the insurance companies have found a way to protect you. For consultants like me who own a professional liability insurance policy, the coverage is included there. For other businesses, there is a fairly recent policy that has been created called Cyber Technology insurance. It’s meant to protect your liability for issues related to technology like social media, data breach, and other nasty things like that.

You need to talk with an insurance professional – your broker, agent, or consultant. It’s crucial that you examine your company’s social media practices, including how your employees use it.

Tom Bell an attorney with Perkins Coie, in an article published in Computerworld states:

“Companies are entitled to free speech, but their commercial speech is less protected. The lower protection comes in the form of a higher standard of care for truth and accuracy. So, when company employees participate in social media on behalf of their employer, they subject the company to the same risks as a newspaper or individual, but with less protection.”

Employing a social media policy will help you assess your vulnerability, create policy that works for your operations, and set up a plan to transfer your unwanted risk to an insurance policy that adequately protects your liability and assets.

Your company probably should be active at some level in social media. If it’s not now, you’re probably falling behind the game at some level. Like any other risk you face in business, you need to make this part of a good risk management policy.

Don’t find yourself on the wrong side of a tweet. Go out and become “socially acceptable!”

 

© 2011 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved