U.S. P&C Insurance Rates, Particularly Workers Compensation, Favor Shoppers

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As we move through the second quarter of 2017, increasing evidence indicates that the market for commercial property and casualty (P&C) insurance favors the buyers, thus providing the right setting for businesses to buy new policies.

The Lockton April Market Update points out that underwriting companies are refining their products and have a tendency to focus on industry specialization. They expect this to go on in the second quarter as far as favorable overall prices and insurance terms are concerned.

Workers compensation insurance rates continued to drop on top of the 2% decline that was already registered in the latest quarter. For clients that changed carrier upon renewal, the decline is even bigger, going up to 7%.

The NIST Small Business Cybersecurity Act & What it Means For You

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Cybersecurity is a growing concern in the professional world. It’s wrong to think that only big companies and governmental institutions are subject to cyber threats. Hackers can make money by attacking small businesses too and the number of attacks is on the rise.

For example, a malicious individual can send you a type of software that blocks access to the digital assets on your computer or network. This is a ransomware attack meant to make victims pay to gain back the control of their network. It can be particularly effective because a digital information is often vital to a business, regardless of its size.

Awareness of such attacks must be raised among small businesses to eliminate the false, but common, belief that hackers have no reason to attack smaller entities. The U.S. House Committee on Science, Space and Technology managed to pass unanimously on May 2nd, 2017 a bill that’s meant to educate small business owners on the dangers of cyber threats and on how to prevent attacks.

Business Impacted by Small Portion of Fires, Yet Face 30% of Losses

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Data available from the United States Fire Administration (USFA) reveals some startling facts about where losses are more likely occur after a fire, as well as a few encouraging trends related to fires.

The positive side of this story relates to overall decreases in four key areas: number of fires, deaths, injuries and financial losses. Each category saw a remarkable decrease from 2005 to 2014, with the total number of fires dropping over 22% during that period. Deaths related to fires fell around 12%, while fire-related injuries dropped nearly 8%.

Somewhat predictably, monetary losses associated with fires were closely correlated with the number of fires. But although the dollar figure for fire losses dropped 21% between 2005 and 2014, there was a significant increase in 2007 and 2008, which consequently coincided with the housing market crash.

$2 Billion in Insurance Claims Due to Severe Weather & Property Damage

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The number and value of insurance claims increased in the first quarter of 2017 in significant part because of the numerous severe weather events that occurred in March throughout the U.S., some of which resulted in multiple casualties.

Aon’s catastrophe model development team, Impact Forecasting, has just released the Global Catastrophe Recap report. In the US, there were 6 major events that caused economic losses that exceeded $2 billion.

The month started with an outbreak of severe weather on March 6-10 that swept through the central parts of the US. Missouri, Iowa, and Minnesota among others, suffered the most significant tornado, wind and hail damage. The economic loss amounts at $1.7 billion but no human lives were lost. From this event alone, more than 200,000 insurance claims were filed.

A Week of WannaCry: the Impact of Ransomware & How Small Businesses Can Protect Themselves

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On May 12, cyber security professionals and many businesses around the world went into a frenzy. While both businesses and security professionals are familiar with—and currently working diligently to counter—the newest iterations of encrypting ransomware, a brand-new virus, WannaCry, created unprecedented shockwaves.

How WannaCry Spread Across the Globe

Like many other ransomware and other viruses in general, WannaCry infects system through spear phishing techniques. Typically this happens through infected emails that contain files hosting the virus. Once onto a system (Microsoft Windows only, in this case), WannaCry uses a system exploit to access and encrypt both local and networked files.

What made WannaCry unique, however, was just how quickly it spread. Between May 12 and May 15, WannaCry infected over 200,000 computers and systems, making it the fastest-spreading encrypting ransomware to date. Notably, WannaCry hit National Health Service computers in the UK, causing significant disruptions to healthcare providers in that country and, as of May 17th, had also infected hospital computer systems in the US. WannaCry has impacted computer systems in over 150 countries.

Top 7 Industries with Most Occupational Injuries and Illnesses

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The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recently recorded an incredible 2.9 million private industry workplace injuries and illnesses, as well as over 750,000 in the public sector. While these numbers (which exclude fatalities) mark a continued decrease in the overall number and rate of workplace injuries, there are also some particularly interesting findings within the data.

First, and perhaps one of the most surprising, is that individuals working for local governments are almost twice as likely to suffer a nonfatal workplace injury or illness than their private industry counterparts. Secondly, the vast majority of private sector cases were injuries (95.2%). Between public and private industries, however, certain types of jobs were far more likely to be the source of such incidents.

Majority (84%) Small Businesses Risk Errors, Opportunity for Automation

A good number of small businesses still maintain significantly offline operations. A new study from Wakefield Research and Concur shows that up to 84% of small businesses still use manual processes to run their daily tasks. This is relatively high considering that the world has greatly become digitalized. Today, automated systems are easily available, often at reasonable cost. It may be cool sending a handwritten note to appreciate faithful clients; but scribbling your invoice on a piece of paper could leave you vulnerable to errors.

Do you own a small business that functions relatively manually? It is probably time to consider upgrading to an automated system for simple processes. Manually running your business is not the worse idea on earth. However, it can add up to a lot of stress entering data into a log file or Excel spreadsheets. Also, you risk making errors that could be devastating to the business. And if stress and the vulnerability to errors are not reasons enough to make you consider upgrading your business, think of all the time and energy spent, it adds up.

CoverWallet Awarded “Best InsurTech Solution” at Benzinga Global Fintech Awards

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CoverWallet is excited to announce that we were awarded the title of “Best InsurTech Solution” at this year’s Benzinga Global Fintech Awards! Thank you again to our customers, supporters and all of you that believed in us as we continue to reinvent how small business insurance is dealt with.

Each year, the Benzinga Global Fintech Awards showcases the companies with the most innovative technology, who are paving the future in financial services and capital markets. The competition was steep, but CoverWallet’s insurance management platform put us ahead of the pack.

Amongst this year’s set of respected judges were:

  • Mazy Dar, CEO of OpenFin
  • Matt Hatch, Partner & Americas FinTech Leader at Ernst & Young
  • Conor Moran, Enterprise Business Development Director at Foursquare
  • Tricia Rothschild, Chief Product Officer at Morningstar
  • Ed Skolarus, Chief Digital Officer of Investor’s Business Daily
  • Vicki Walia, Head of Digital Investment Solutions at Alliance Bernstein
  • Alexander Wong, Managing Director & Head of Venture Capital, D. E. Shaw

Our co-founder and COO, Rashmi Melgiri, accepted the award on behalf of the company.

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Since our launch in 2016, CoverWallet has been working to help small businesses across the nation to better understand, buy, and manage their insurance. Millions of small businesses in the U.S. face risks every day, and we at CoverWallet are proud to serve them through educational resources, simplified quoting, and our unique insurance management platform.

Check out CoverWallet and find the best insurance to protect your business. It just takes a few minutes to get a quote.

Unpredictability of Workers Compensation for Small Business Owners

 

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Broadly speaking, companies are responsible for their employees’ wellbeing at the workplace and in any other locations where the employee carries out job-related tasks. Given this, many states have passed laws that make workers compensation mandatory. The purpose is to reduce litigation related to work accidents and protect employees by requiring companies take workers compensation.

While workers compensation is valuable in various ways, one must realize that it can put a strain on companies, especially those that operate in certain industries where work-related incidents are more frequent. Add on top of this the unpredictability of insurance costs in states like New York, and businesses can be burdened even further. This issue should not be overlooked as entrepreneurship is a major engine for the economy and it is therefore desirable to create the proper conditions for businesses to grow and prosper.

CoverWallet Launches Scholarship!

CoverWallet’s Small Business Scholarship is aimed at students in undergraduate or graduate programs, as well as those students who will be attending such programs in the coming year.

Students must submit a short essay highlighting their favorite local business and the risks they face. We want students to take an entrepreneurial mindset and consider the challenges of running a business.

To determine your eligibility and apply, click here.