Supply chain insurance

This year, 2011, will enter the record books as one of the most expensive for the insurance industry. There has been an unprecedented range of natural disasters around the world and the cumulative effect has been a major disruption of the supply chains. It might not seem very important to us as we sit in relative comfort in the US but, as an example, the floods in Thailand have been catastrophic and they have been having a direct effect on what we can buy here and the prices at which we can buy. To explain we need to reflect on the reality of global trading. To earn savings in low-cost labor and manufacturing, work is farmed out to different countries around the world. In some cases, the whole product is fabricated and assembled abroad. In others, the parts come from multiple manufacturing sites to be assembled in one of our own factories. When the world is at peace, everything arrives “just in time” and we find everything we want when we want it. But this year has been Japan suffer a major earthquake and tsunami in March, there were extraordinary tornadoes in the US, Hurricane Irene hit in September and then came the floods in Thailand.

When you put all these together, the disruption to the supply chain has been immense. Globally, the claims on Business Interruption Insurance has been more than $70 billion so far this year. The problem for the insurance industry is simple. Suppose one factory in Thailand owned by Toyota suddenly finds itself several meters underwater. That may be only one factory out of action, but suppose it supplies parts to fifty other factories around the world. Now there are fifty-one claims for business interruption. As it happens, Thailand is the world’s second-largest producer of hard-disk drives, has factories owned by Honda and Toyota, and so on. The highest rainfall in fifty years flooded some 1,500 factories. Now scale up the disruption. It’s affecting every major manufacturing country around the world.

If your own business is in manufacturing, assembly, logistics or distribution, and you depend on moving complete products or parts around the country, you need to review all those parts of your insurance cover for events affecting your supply chain. This is both direct and contingent interruption, i.e. your exposure depends on where you are in the value added chain and how easily replacements can be found. Insurers are now going to ask for a lot more transparency. In the past, this type of insurance was underwritten with a minimum of information. After this year’s experience, insurers are more likely to ask for detailed disaster plans to show how your business will respond if key suppliers are unable to supply on time. A failure to produce such a plan is likely to lead to a refusal of cover or very high business insurance rates.

The changes in the weather patterns are becoming more obvious and all business insurances rates are going to rise, both to cover property damage and business interruptions. This is not the time to sit back as winter approaches and assume there will be no problems with winter storms whether here in the US or elsewhere in the world. Proper planning will keep your insurance affordable.

What will affect your rates

Insuring a vehicle is probably one of the least pleasant aspects of owning a car. And because it’s required by law you just can’t do anything about it. Most people choose going with the flow when it comes to car insurance and simply take the first policy they come across. Others, however, take the time to learn what can be done to lower the costs and still get sufficient coverage. If you are one of those inquisitive people there’s good news for you – this way you have a much higher chance of getting inexpensive car insurance. But before you will be able to shop around effectively you should first learn what actually affects car insurance rates and why they tend to differ between various customers.

First of all you have to understand that the insurance company sets individual rates for each customer based on a set of different factors. These factors help the company determine the actual risk of a particular person to file an insurance claim. And the combination of these variables is what determines the final auto insurance quotes you get when simply trying to learn how much the policy would cost you. Moreover, each company uses the same factors in different formulas when calculating the customer’s premiums so there’s usually a fluctuation in rates even if you’re trying to get the very same policy from two different providers.

So what does affect your insurance rates? The following factors have a certain influence on how much it will cost you to insure your vehicle: car make and model, engine volume, top speed, repair costs, theft rates, driving record, credit score, place of residence, marital status, education and some less important things. Now, as you see the list isn’t very small and there are a lot of things that can make your car insurance cheap or expensive. And as mentioned previously each company uses its own methods for calculating rates and this means that you can get a totally different result when the same data is being used by two different providers.

Knowing the factors influencing auto insurance quotes is very important for effective comparison shopping. Quite often you may find that some factors may be favorable for affordable insurance while others tend to push up the costs. So the main aim would be finding a provider that relies more on the factors that are favorable in your case and less on those that are not as good as you would want them to be. And rest assured, with so many companies out there on the market you will always be able to find a provider that will suit your requirements from this perspective.

Be smart when looking for auto insurance quotes and consider all the factors that will influence your rates. This will help you set the expectations adequately and be more precise when choosing between different companies. It isn’t hard at all but in the end you may end up paying hundreds of dollars less for having your car insured compared to buying the first policy you come across.

Life Insurance’s Profitability Declines, Consumers Save?

The numbers are in and AIG, Allstate, Metlife, State Farm, and New York Life are not going to be happy-their industry continues to decline in profitability. This slide began in 2007 and shows no sign of letting up in 2010.

The numbers come from industry data collector and analyst SNL Financial, who showed that the industry lost over $900 million in quarter-two of 2010. Their net income, not profit, is down from this same time last year.

The bright side, the better capital and surplus numbers that are 17% higher than second-quarter 2009, are not enough to restore confidence in share-holders and brokers on Wall Street either.

However, the big shots at AIG, New York Life, etc, are still talking quite a game. They claim that the present market is an opportunity to grow stronger. They see that 2/3 of Americans are uninsured and think that they can capitalize on it. It’s tempting to dismiss this as bombast meant to boost the company’s stock prices. However, they are backing it up with action.

Tens of thousands of new agents are being hired this quarter. And hiring shows no signs of slowing down.

The economy scared these people away from life insurance in the first place and it certainly hasn’t gotten much better, so why are they so confident?

There is a formula of sorts that is very popular among these companies. It’s something along these lines: the economic crisis + tax hikes (end of tax cuts) = more customers.

If this equation doesn’t quite make sense to you, that’s normal. It doesn’t really make sense. It is kind of optimistic, but that’s good for you. We’ll get to that. For now, here’s another piece of information that might make sense.

They are going to rebrand.

Instead of just something you need to have in case you die so your family is secure, they are going to try to convince the public that life insurance is a financial investment-something that will allow the policy-holder to hedge their bets in a risky economy and be certain they don’t lose money while covering their butts.

This still might not make sense to you if you’re not a finance guru, and that’s okay! Because here’s the bottom line for the consumer is coming up. Fast ball, down the middle. Hit it out of the park now!

It’s never been a better time to buy life insurance.

They decrease in profits and the mass hiring of agents means one thing: they are as close as desperate to get you on a policy as they are likely to get. Given that Americans need life insurance more than ever before, you should be in the market.

You’ll get a better price on good coverage than you have ever gotten in the past and are likely to get in the future as the economy recovers.

You don’t have to talk to an agent though. Whittle the prices down even lower by comparing quotes online. Free life insurance quotes in this market will save you more money than you thought possible.

Insuring your bar or tavern

When trying to insure your bar, tavern or any other place that sells alcohol, the most important thing is to plan everything ahead. By selling alcohol to the public your business automatically engages in a higher degree of risk that has to be assessed right from the start.

So when you’re looking for a way to manage the risks that your bar or tavern will face during operation you have to ask some questions first:

What is the approximate value of your bar, including the property, fixtures and contents?

The best way to evaluate these costs is to consider the value of replacing your entire bar, including the equipment, coolers, the décor, stock, property, building and all other things if your business would get destroyed overnight.

What part of the business turnover will the alcohol take?

The insurance company will certainly require you to provide reports of your sales. In overall, if the alcohol takes about 50% of your overall turnover or more, the cost of insuring your business will be more expensive. So make sure you know the exact percentage of alcohol sales in your bar.

Will you feature any recreational activities at your bar?

Featuring certain recreational activities may give you a hard time getting your bar insured with some companies, and if you will still manage to find a policy, the rates will be higher. Insurance companies assess recreational features such as dance poles, trampolines, pyrotechnics, rock walls, swimming pools and any other distractions as quite risky features that will raise the likelihood of an insurance claim.

Will you hire someone else?

If your bar will feature additional workers besides you, you will certainly require workers’ compensation insurance with your small business insurance policy, and it maybe even important to get group health insurance as well.

Does you state have special dram shop liability laws?

Laws can differ significantly from one state to another, and this also concerns the liability to a third party in case of injuries inflicted by a drunken person at your bar. So it is highly recommended to study the local framework before you actually purchase and y specific coverage regarding this type of liability.

Will your business have a vehicle?

In case your bar or restaurant will have its own vehicle used for stock delivery or other business purposes then you will have to buy commercial auto insurance for this vehicle as well, otherwise it won’t be covered by a standard auto insurance policy. Using your personal transport for these purposes is not forbidden but you risk being denied of coverage in case of an accident.

Is your bar located in a risky area?

If your business is located in an area that is prone to natural calamities you have to include additional coverage to your small business insurance as well. Sure, it may be a great thing to have a few cocktails right at the beach but will your bar get covered properly when the hurricanes come? Make sure it does when buying small business insurance.

Will you serve any foods at the bar?

See if your bar or tavern will serve any foods and include respective coverage into your policy.

Kemper Corporation Initiates Re-branding with Total Compensation Statements from Benefit Software Inc.

Santa Barbara, CA (PRWEB) February 15, 2012

Benefit Software Inc. (, a leading Software as a Service (SaaS) provider of online employee benefits administration, employee self-service, and benefits communication solutions, today announces that Kemper Corporation successfully launched its rebranding strategy using custom designed Total Compensation Statements to highlight its new name to 2,700 employees. There’s long been an awareness of the relationship between Total Rewards Statements and employee satisfaction, productivity, and retention. Kemper Corporation used the statements as a key component of its internal branding initiative, which a growing number of organizations are undertaking to better align and focus their workforce with new and emerging business challenges.

We entrusted Benefit Software with the production of a comprehensive statement that would unify our divisions under one namea key objective, says Adam Alsleben, CEBS, Manager, Defined Contribution Plans, Kemper Corporation. In addition, the statements really allowed our employees to see the full value of their individual compensation and benefits; it was our goal for them to see beyond their salary. We have more than met this goal and the statements will serve as an ongoing tool to reinforce employee retention. For instance, we included 401(k) projections in the statements so they can see the potential long-term benefit of their contribution as a Kemper employee.

Total Rewards Statements have renewed significance as more companies are investing time and resources into internal rebranding efforts to increase employee job satisfaction and retain top talent, said William Smith, Vice President, Sales, Benefit Software Inc. As shown by Kemper, our Rewards Statements can be easily integrated into an organization’s communications, giving employees a clear, personalized view of their value and the resources that management puts at their disposal. Kemper also demonstrates how Total Rewards Statements are essential to organizations looking to prepare their workforce for new challenges ahead.

Benefit Software Inc. supports over 500 organizations annually in the production and distribution of Total Compensation Statements that educate employees on the total value of their employer-provided compensation and benefits.

About Kemper Corporation

The Kemper family of companies serves over 6 million policyholders across the United States. Kemper is a diversified insurance holding company with subsidiaries that provide life, health, auto, homeowners, rental and other insurance products to individuals and small businesses. Kemper serves its customers through a network of independent agents, brokers and career agents as well as directly to consumers via direct mail, web, employer-sponsored benefit programs and other affinity relationships. With over $ 8 billion in assets, Kemper employs about 7,000 associates.

About Benefit Software Inc.

Benefit Software Inc. (BSI) is a leading Software as a Service (SaaS) provider of highly effective employee benefits enrollment and communication solutions. In addition to developing and hosting Fringe Facts

Chinese Drywall Complaint Center Warns Healthcare Costs & Other Costs are Going up for the Feds Being AWOL for the Toxic Chinese Drywall Disaster in Florida & US Gulf

(PRWEB) February 13, 2012

The Chinese Drywall Complaint Center says, “Because we are talking about hydrogen sulfide contained in the imported toxic Chinese drywall, we fear in a decade or so, exotic cancers, exotic pulmonary issues, or exotic neurological disorders will start popping up in former, or current families, that have lived in toxic Chinese drywall homes. In a decade or so, we also believe the healthcare costs associated with long term exposure to toxic Chinese drywall will shoot up into the billions of dollars per year, in places like Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Southeast Texas, and Virginia. Because, President Obama, and various federal agencies have never showed up with a plan, to help these current, or former homeowners, and their families, we think the toxic Chinese drywall disaster in the US Southeast just gets more costly each year.” According to a April 9th 2010 USA Today news article discussing proposed US Consumer Products Safety Commission remediation protocols, “The guidelines recommend that electrical wiring, outlets, circuit breakers, fire alarm systems, carbon monoxide alarms, fire sprinklers, gas pipes and drywall need to be removed.” The Chinese Drywall Complaint Center says, “What part of this sounds good for a child’s health, or the health of a homeowner, a renter of a toxic Chinese drywall home, or their family members? If you are a HMO, a hospital, an appliance maker, or an insurance company does this sound good for your future business, in Florida, or the US Gulf? We know we can replace the microwaves, refrigerators, air conditioning coils, and smoke alarms. How do we replace someone’s child, who dies of cancer because they were exposed to toxic Chinese drywall off gassing hydrogen sulfide, in one of these homes, or condos?” http://ChineseDrywallComplaintCenter.Com

Aside from the obvious healthcare costs, what are the other costs associated with toxic Chinese drywall?

The Chinese Drywall Complaint Center says, “How do effected communities like Fort Myers, or Cape Coral, Florida, the North Shore of New Orleans, Conroe, Texas or other communities throughout Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Southeast Texas, or Virginia ever recover, from the toxic Chinese drywall disaster, if it is never addressed by the federal government? In many to most cases we have observed, most homeowners simply walk away from their toxic Chinese drywall, home, or condominium, it becomes a foreclosure, the bank, or Fannie Mae, then simply resell the home AS IS, no disclosure about the toxic Chinese drywall. As soon as the new homeowner becomes aware of the toxic Chinese drywall, the home becomes a foreclosure all over again, or the current homeowner rents the home out to a renter-with no disclosure. Why have a US EPA? After three plus years of knowing about the toxic Chinese drywall disaster the US EPA has yet to come up with a uniform remediation protocol for fixing a toxic Chinese drywall house, and there are no mandatory federal disclosure rules? How is this a win for anyone?”

The Chinese Drywall Complaint Center says, “We guarantee the health effects related to toxic Chinese drywall off gassing hydrogen sulfide are going to be super bad for peoples health, including renters. Doubt us? Simply Google health effects to hydrogen sulfide. In the instance of renters, renting Gulf States homes, or condos, and not being told about the toxicity of the rental property, we fear a gigantic liability issue has been created for the landlord, and their homeowners insurance company. Once again, we think down the road, as severe health related issues become better defined with respect to toxic Chinese drywall, the liability to landlords, and their insurance companies, is going to be in the billions, and billions of dollars.”

The Chinese Drywall Complaint Center says, “At some point someone has to take charge of the toxic Chinese drywall disaster, and the sooner the better. We are not going to back down as a passionate advocate for victims of toxic Chinese drywall, it is an election year, and we will take care of our own. The Obama Administration, the US Congress, and a multitude of federal agencies need to take this disaster seriously, and there must be a meaningful federal response, that includes remediation protocols, health studies related to long term exposure to toxic Chinese drywall, and mandatory disclosure to potential buyers, or renters of the presence of toxic Chinese drywall in a home, or condominium, in all effected states.” http://ChineseDrywallComplaintCenter.Com.

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