Spring is here, and summer just around the corner - a welcome relief after what most of the country experienced as a pretty brutal winter. News reports in January noted that snow was on the ground in 49 states, apparently a modern record. Snow melts, and when combined with Spring rains produces a real risk of flooding. We’ve already seen drastic effects of this in other parts of the country, but those of us residing in Southeast Michigan are not exempt from this risk. What many people don’t realize until it’s too late is that flood is excluded as a covered peril in almost all property insurance policies. Flood coverage is available however, the primary source being the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), the federally sponsored program. This insurance may be purchased through Kapnick Insurance Group. Learn more about myths and facts regarding the NFIP by reading the brochure published by FEMA.
Archive for May, 2011
by Tom Ufer
The Bob Ufer Quarterback Club Outing is an event that my dad started in 1947 was a way for the local businessmen to meet and greet the U of M football staff and coaches. It has since evolved into an opportunity to provide scholarships for some of Ann Arbor’s finest young people. Since my dad’s death 29 years ago, we have touched the lives of over 121 of the top senior student/athletes from Ann Arbor’s Pioneer and Huron High School who are going on to college at U of M. The scholarships we have given out to these bright young students have totaled $545,000+ over the past 28 years.
The award is given to the top agency in each region, based on growth in written premium, loss ratio and commitment to their partnership philosophy. By winning the Midwest Region, Kapnick is also the President’s Cup winner for the State of Michigan. “We are very pleased with this award and recognition – it is an acknowledgement of our continuing efforts to be the best, because our clients deserve the best!” said Jim Kapnick, president of Kapnick Insurance Group.
* 3/4 cup(s) milk, fat-free evaporated
* 1 cup(s) cottage cheese, low-fat
* 1/2 cup(s) cheese, ricotta, low-fat
* 1/2 cup(s) cheese, cheddar, low-fat
* 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, ground
* 1 teaspoon Braggs soy seasoning (salt alternative)
* 1 teaspoon of pesto
* 1 dash black pepper, to taste
* 1 teaspoon cheese, Parmesan
* 1 tablespoon bread crumbs, fine, dry
* 1 pounds pasta, elbow macaroni, cooked
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Heat the milk in a saucepan over low heat. Add the cheeses until they melt, stirring constantly.
2. Stir in the nutmeg, pepper, pesto and soy seasoning. Remove the cheese sauce from the heat. Add the cooked pasta to the cheese sauce and mix well.
3. Pour the mixture into a 2-quart casserole dish. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs. Bake the casserole for 15-20 minutes until bubbly and the top is browned.
Nutritional Info (Per serving) makes 6 servings:
Calories: 203, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 331mg, Dietary Fiber: 1g, Total Fat: 3g, Carbs: 28g, Sugars: 6g, Cholesterol: 14mg, Protein: 16g
Exchanges: Starch: 2, Lean Meat: 1
Carb Choices: 2
New Perils in a Connected World – Don’t rely on your general liability or property policies to cover Cyber Risks!Monday, May 16th, 2011
You mean I am actually supposed to read this thing?
If you are like most of my clients, the thought of “actually reading” an insurance policy is right up there on your list of things to do like walking bare foot over hot coals or a root canal so I am the one that usually gets stuck reading my client’s policy! Lucky me! To save time when I first read over an insurance policy I start with the Exclusions Section. “All Risk” policies typically cover property for any cause of loss unless a peril is specifically excluded. By scanning the list of exclusions I can easily get a feel for potential gaps in coverage that could affect my client. In the last few years some unfamiliar Exclusions are creeping onto the list.
Insurance carriers won’t insure what they don’t understand.
Among other things, unless an insurance carrier can totally understand and quantify what risk they are assuming by your insurance policy, they don’t want any part of it. That is why common policy exclusions are Nuclear Hazard, Governmental Action, War and Earth Movement (i.e. Earthquakes). In the past few years most policies have added some new excluded perils such as Malicious Code, System Penetration and Denial of Service. In plain language most policies won’t insure your business against a virus, data breach or hacker attack.
Holes, Holes and Bigger Holes!
The gap in coverage i.e. “holes” in the general liability bucket stem in part from how a claim is triggered. General Liability policies state “This insurance applies to ‘Bodily Injury’ and ‘Property Damage’ only if the damage occurs during the policy period.” Actual damage from a hacker may not show up for several years (but the expenses start immediately) and is most likely to span multiple policy terms meaning many cyber claims might not even trigger a claim on a traditional general liability policy. There are also numerous exclusions and endorsements that a carrier can drive a fly a 747 freighter through if they want to side step a claim. Personal & Advertising Injury has exclusions for “material published before the policy period”…like a web site maybe? Forget about recovering if you allow others to access intellectual property of others via your web site and you have a security breach – you are on your own.
Almost all businesses need cyber insurance!
Like employment practices and pollution coverage most general liability and property policies have effectively excluded most if not all potential cyber claims. So the bottom line is if you have a web site you should consider cyber insurance….If you store sensitive data you must have it! There may come a time when carriers are more familiar with Cyber Risk and they will include adequate coverage and definitions on standard business policies but until that time you most likely will need a stand alone cyber policy. Don’t wait until it is too late to have the “cyber” conversation with your insurance professional.
We have all recently witnessed the massive devastation caused by the killer tornadoes that ripped through the South. Tragically, many people were left homeless and lost everything they owned. Entire towns were wiped out. But the biggest tragedy was in the 300+ lives that were lost. We in Michigan are spared many of the natural disasters that plague other parts of the country – earthquakes, wildfires, hurricanes, massive flooding – but we are no strangers to tornadoes. It is important to understand what the watches and warnings issued by the National Weather Service mean, to keep an eye on the sky when inclement weather is moving in to your area and what to watch for. It is also very imperative to plan ahead and know exactly what you are going to do and where you are going to go to be safe should dangerous storms move into your area. It is normal to think that something like this could never happen to you – and I would be willing to believe that is what a lot of people in the South were thinking too – until the unthinkable hit them. Read our White Paper “Preparing for Tornado Season” to learn more, and be prepared! Be Prepared for Tornado Season
Why Buy Local in Michigan?
by Sarah Szul, Health Management Coordinator, Kapnick Insurance Group
By purchasing local foods in-season, you eliminate the environmental damage caused by shipping foods thousands of miles, your food dollar goes directly to the farmer, and your family will be able to enjoy the health benefits of eating fresh, unprocessed fruits and vegetables. Buying seasonal produce also provides an exciting opportunity to try new foods and to experiment with seasonal recipes. And it simply tastes better!
Select Michigan, a brand identification program to promote Michigan-grown food, can help people find food produced in the state. The Select Michigan logo can be found on Michigan food products sold at grocery stores, farmers markets and on individual farms. So next time you are at the market look for the Select Michigan logo shown in this post.
Full Year: Michigan Time of Year Fresh Produce
March (late) Broccoli, Cabbage, Greens
April (early) Asparagus, Broccoli, Cabbage, Greens, Herbs
April (late) Asparagus, Broccoli, Cabbage, Greens, Herbs
May (early) Asparagus, Greens, Herbs, Peas, Potatoes, Rhubarb
May (late) Asparagus, Greens, Herbs, Peas, Potatoes, Rhubarb, Strawberries
June (early) Asparagus, Beans, Blackberries, Greens, Herbs, Peaches, Peas, Potatoes, Rhubarb, Squash, Strawberries
June (late) Beans, Blackberries, Cherries , Greens, Herbs, Peaches*,
Potatoes, Rhubarb, Squash, Strawberries
July (early) Beans, Blackberries, Cantaloupes, Cherries , Cucumbers, Eggplant, Greens, Herbs, Nectarines, Peaches, Peppers, Potatoes, Raspberries, Squash, Strawberries
July (late) Beans, Beets, Blackberries, Blueberries, Cantaloupes, Cherries , Cucumbers, Eggplant, Greens, Herbs, Nectarines, Peaches, Peppers, Potatoes, Raspberries, Squash, Tomatoes
August (early) Apples, Asian Pears, Beans, Beets, Blueberries, Cabbage, Cantaloupes, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Greens, Herbs, Nectarines, Peaches, Peppers, Raspberries, Squash, Sweet Corn, Tomatoes, Watermelon
August (late) Apples, Asian Pears, Beans, Beets, Blueberries, Cabbage, Cantaloupes, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Greens, Herbs, Nectarines, Peaches, Peppers, Raspberries, Squash, Sweet Corn, Tomatoes, Watermelon
September (early) Apples, Asian Pears, Beans, Beets, Broccoli, Cabbage, Cantaloupes, Eggplant, Greens, Herbs, Peaches, Peppers, Plums, Pumpkins, Raspberries, Squash, Sweet Corn, Sweet Potatoes , Tomatoes, Watermelon
September (late) Apples, Asian Pears, Beans, Beets, Broccoli, Cabbage, Cantaloupes, Eggplant, Greens, Herbs, Peaches*, Peppers, Plums, Pumpkins, Raspberries, Squash, Sweet Corn, Sweet Potatoes , Tomatoes, Watermelon
October (early) Apples, Asian Pears, Beans, Broccoli, Cabbage, Greens, Herbs, Plums, Pumpkins, Squash, Sweet Potatoes , Tomatoes*, Watermelon
October (late) Apples, Asian Pears, Beans, Broccoli, Cabbage, Greens, Herbs, Plums, Pumpkins, Squash, Sweet Potatoes , Tomatoes*, Watermelon
November (early) Christmas Trees
November (late) Christmas Trees
December (early) Christmas Trees
December (late) Christmas Trees
In our previous post we discussed how network data breaches can lead to cyber liability. In this post we explore liability that firms face from just having a presence on the web. Whether you are actually doing “business” with your web site is irrelevant. As this liability is similar to those found in the publishing industry they are frequently referred to as publishing or media exposures. Additionally, social media tools such as Facebook, blogs and Twitter can also expose a company to law suits to defend themselves from claims of injury from copyright or trademark infringement, defamation/libel or violation of privacy. We will delve into this more in a future post but be warned that a standard general liability policy will not cover any of these publishing claims if they stem from your use of the internet or web site to broadcast your message.
Most of these exposures can be avoided by having clear guidelines for your web developers and bloggers that mainly rely on common sense. First, you should always assume that content you obtain or link to on or from another web site is protected and always ask permission from the author to use his or her material before publishing unless you are certain that your use will be considered a fair use. Next, if you are notified that you are violating a copyright in most cases you simple need to take down the offending material. However, lately a new “business model” is emerging that attempts to profit from copyright violations by suing first and demanding large sums of money that typically are negotiated lower. One firm has even gone so far as to demand the ownership of the offender’s domain name be included as part of the settlement.
These “shadowy” firms are sometimes referred to as “Copyright or Patent Trolls” as they troll the net looking for clear cut and even not so clear cut violations and then they purchase the settlement rights from the injured party and pursue a settlement that they will earn their “profit” from. There are even “Do It Yourself” and “How To” web sites that outline how to sue someone for stealing content if you don’t want to use the services of a copyright troll. Clearly the legal landscape is changing as content providers are now providing warnings to content thieves on the web site.
Representations and warranties on your web site regarding product or services that you offer are also sources of potential liability if you don’t exercise care in what you say or warrant as true. I have a client that warranted on their web site that all employees were screened with background checks. When this was later found to be partially untrue because of a theft by an employee the company was fined by a state regulatory agency for violating a state consumer protection statute. They ended up settling with a substantial payment to the state and they also were forced to take down the offending statement.
Another client was sued by a competitor for trademark infringement because their logos were similar and allegedly could cause confusion in the mind of their costumers. The offending company ultimately ended up changing their trademark and logo and ended up spending a considerable sum of money to change all of their marketing material. The take away here is that right or wrong, a company needs to defend themselves against a law suit and infringement of a trademark claims are excluded under most general liability policies. The internet clearly introduces a new risk for a business. While “Buyer beware” is still certainly good advice, the internet adds a new dimension with a new caution…Buyer and Seller beware!
For a good discussion of how to avoid publishing liability refer to this government web site on copyrights. http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-fairuse.html
In an era of so many challenges for businesses, and so much negative news floating around, Kapnick Insurance Group is pleased to be able to continue to share some good news with our clients and prospective clients! We were recently ranked 5th on a list of 20 of the largest business insurance agencies in metro Detroit, as published in the May/June issue of DBusiness Magazine. This list was compiled through individual interviews with each of the respective business insurance agencies. The agencies are ranked by total 2010 revenue, and are located in the region consisting of Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Washtenaw and Livingston counties.