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Medium sized Business Insurance Basics

7/18/2017 (Permalink)

We've said it before: the distinction between a small and large business is somewhat arbitrary. At what point in the business growth life cycle do you cross over? One way to answer the question is when your business no longer qualifies for a Business Owners Package Policy. The BOP bundles up several kinds of insurance protection in one policy. But as business become larger the risks they pose become more varied and difficult to address in one policy.

Medium sized businesses can still purchase bundled coverage, like the Commercial Package Policy (CPP), which is roughly analogous to the Business Owners Policy (BOP). The CPP combines Commercial Liability and Commercial Property and some additional policies designed for specific industries like churches, heavy manufacturing or health care providers. Additional policies found in some Commercial Package Policies include Commercial Auto, Boiler and Machinery and Inland Marine. Again, the CPP is usually designed to fit most businesses within a specific industry. But if your business faces special risks or doesn't fit neatly within a generic industry definition, a CPP may not give you the necessary flexibility to address unique needs.

An alternative is to start with the foundation policies, Commercial General Liability (CGL) and Commercial Property. These policies can be obtained through different insurance carriers and modified separately to meet the needs of many complex businesses.

Commercial Property will provide coverage for any building you own or lease, including improvements and permanent fixtures and equipment, business property on premises and personal property of others in your 'care, custody or control'. Depending on your business you may need to add coverage for goods in transit, buildings under construction, business income (interruption expense), data loss, loss due to flood, employee theft and embezzlement among others.

Just to add to the variety, Commercial Property insurance comes in three forms: Basic Form, Broad Form and Special Form. The first, Basic, provides protection against loss from the more common causes like fire, lightning and wind storm. The Broad Form extends protection to additional perils like water damage and structural collapse. The Special Form protects against all perils unless specifically excluded. Some commonly excluded perils include flood, earthquake, terrorism, wear and tear and insects and vermin.

Commercial General Liability provides an insured business protection for lawsuits, bodily injury or property damage arising chiefly from these areas: ownership or use of a business premises, business operations, contractual agreements, completed operations, personal and advertising injury and products made, sold or distributed.

The policy provides Medical Payments coverage for those injured on a business premises or job site on a no-fault basis. Policies can be issued on either a Claims Made Form or an Occurrence Form.

CGL policies are broad in nature but generally have some coverage removed by endorsement. Some additional coverage your business may need to supplement CGL protection includes Errors and Omissions Insurance (E&O), Directors and Officers Insurance (D&O), Workers Compensation and Environmental Liability.

Because of the complexity of risk medium sized and larger businesses are faced with, it is often best to sit down with an insurance professional. An independent insurance agent is armed with options from several companies and can help you understand and develop the kind of program you need for your business.


Commercial fire protection systems

7/18/2017 (Permalink)

ncreasingly, more companies are updating and upgrading their commercial fire protection systems in Cincinnati. In this day and age, it is more important than ever to make sure your workplace stays safe from the threat of a fire. Not only is the health and well-being of your office’s occupants at stake, but also the safety of your assets. As experts in fire protection systems, the pros at Hard Fire have come up with a few suggestions on how you can help keep your workplace safe from fire.

So what are some of the best ways to keep your workplace safe?

Commercial fire alarms. Fire alarms as part of your commercial fire protection systems sound or visually display the fire signal. Other components make it easier for occupants to evacuate, like exit signs. Strobe lights and other signaling options on commercial fire protection systems will light up in various ways that will help residents identify the exits. This is especially true in the event of power loss; audio and visual components of the system will continue to function. Commercial fire protection systems are mandatory in most commercial properties. Local codes and regulations vary in different areas, such as how many occupants a building is allowed to have, whether a sprinkler system needs to be in the building and what building type classification you operate under. Commercial fire protection systems and alarms help with the overall cause of minimizing the damage done as a result of fire. The faster the fire is spotted, the sooner your notification system can alert the proper emergency personnel to come and put out the blaze.

Fire Protection Equipment. Make sure all of your commercial fire protection systems are properly installed and monitored. They can help save lives and minimize the amount of damage done. Since these are so essential, it is also important to make sure you hire the professionals to ensure the job is done well. At Hard Fire, we have professional representatives on NFPA standard’s code committees and work closely with fire detection and suppression system manufacturers. Our intelligent fire detection capabilities include high sensitivity incipient smoke, spot, linear heat, flame, and combustible gas, which can be integrated with FM200, Novec 1230, CO2, Foam, and Water Mist fire suppression.

Have an Emergency Plan. Even before a fire emergency, be sure that you have a detailed emergency plan in place. And, make sure all of your employees and/or residents understand how to execute the plan efficiently.

Routine Inspections. When you have commercial fire protection systems installed, it is also important to have them inspected on a regular basis. At Hard Fire, we use the best technology available to monitor your fire alarm and fire suppression systems.

You simply cannot put a price tag on safety. The well being of your buildings’ occupants and the items you wish to protect make any commercial fire protection systems worth it.

Call SERVPRO of Babylon / Deer Park 2631 661-3802 for a free Emergency Ready Profile of your building

What to do after a fire

7/18/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage What to do after a fire We all think that it will not be me, be prepared and know what to do if it does happen.

After suffering a house fire, it might be difficult to determine what to do next. These steps will help you get back on your feet.

  1. Find a safe place to stay. No matter the amount of damage, you likely can't stay in your own home. If staying with friends or family isn't an option, talk to your local disaster relief agency, such as the American Red Cross or Salvation Army. These organizations will help you find a safe place to stay temporarily.
  2. Contact your insurance agent. You'll need to start a claim and address your immediate needs. 'Loss of use' funds from your insurance policy will cover living and other daily expenses. If you receive these funds or an advance on your claim, save all receipts and keep a detailed record of all purchases. Your insurance agent should also be able to help you secure your property and offer recommendations for cleaning up or restoring salvageable items.
  3. Address your finances. You'll still need to make mortgage payments — even if your home is destroyed. Your insurance policy, which should cover your home's value and mortgage, will make payments to you and your mortgage lender. Remember: Pay the bank first and put leftover funds toward rebuilding or purchasing a new home. You'll also need to continue any car payments and replace any credit or debit cards that may have been destroyed in the house fire.
  4. Recover your possessions. Items destroyed in a house fire are usually covered by insurance. Typically, the homeowners policy is a replacement cost policy. When a loss occurs, you will receive the actual cash value of your damaged items at the time of settlement and may recover the replacement cost once the items have been replaced. To help ensure everything is accounted for, keep an inventory of your possessions. This inventory should include the date of purchase, cost at purchase and description of each item, wherever possible.
  5. Call the professionals at SERVPRO of Babylon / Deer Park 631 661-3802

Proper Fire Clean up

7/17/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Proper Fire Clean up Electrical fire in Bedroom closet

If a house sustains fire damage, proper cleanup is crucial as the ash, soot and water will wreak havoc on what remains.  It’s bad enough there was a fire, but the water and chemicals used to extinguish it can cause secondary damage.  The remnants will continue to do damage long after the flames are extinguished.

The average person will attempt conventional cleaning methods like renting a steam cleaner and using common cleaning agents available at the store.  Unfortunately, this will barely make an impact on the problem and could cause bigger issues.  Chemical agents could react with the residue and cause permanent damage, and in some cases, they may cause toxic fumes.  Fire damage cleanup is one of the most difficult jobs out there, and it should be left to a professional like SERVPRO of Babylon / Deer Park for the best results.

When selecting a firm that does the restoration, consider what type of training they have. Do they have health and safety certifications? Are they experienced in a wide range of repair? Do they have proof of proper insurance and licenses?  The company that has the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) fire and smoke restoration Certified Firm meets all of these expectations and conditions. An IICRC-certified firm understands the need for a quick response.  Immediate action is necessary because the longer the delay, the harder and more costly the job will be as reactions within the damaged material can continue to occur. The fire may be gone, but the ash, soot and smoke odors that remain can continue to do harm.  Certified firms will use their knowledge of fire restoration to accurately test the damage and apply the proper repair techniques to bring the items back to preloss condition when possible. SERVPRO OF Babylon / Deer Park has all of these.

Also, when hiring an IICRC certified firm you can be sure that they are up to date with the latest technologies and techniques. In order for these firms to keep their certification, they are required to take continuing education programs.  So when confronted with fire damage cleanup, choose an IICRC-certified professional.

SRVPRO OF Babylon / Deer Park, 24 Hr. Emergency service 631 661-3802

Water in the basement, What do I do

7/17/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Water in the basement, What do I do Pipe leak ,80% of contents affected

One of the worst nightmares for any homeowner is finding water in the basement, and in most cases, the only way to deal with such a situation is to bring in a professional. Excess water, especially when it is contaminated, has the potential to cause a great deal of damage, and if the problem is not dealt with properly, the situation can quickly get out of hand. This is especially true when water is pooling in the home and coming in contact with organic materials like drywall or fabric.

Water in the basement can be caused by a lot of factors. The room may sit under the water table, which will slowly push water into the home. A disaster like a flood can quickly fill the room with fluid, as well as a burst pipe or other plumbing mishap. No matter what causes the water to build up in the home, it will take a certified team to remove it and restore the basement effectively.

There are a couple steps, though, that a homeowner can take to minimize damage and make the home safe to navigate through. If a pipe burst or is leaking, then cutting off the supply line into the home can halt the problem. Also, switching off the home’s power may be necessary, as an electrical discharge can make walking through water exceedingly dangerous and cause a fire.

Safety is the primary concern when contending with excess moisture, and a certified crew will be able to get the home restored in while avoiding any dangerous situations.

When you need a Professional, call SERVPRO of Babylon / Deer Park 631 661-3802

Why is mold and mildew a concern

7/17/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Why is mold and mildew a concern House was uninhabitable

Mold and mildew are some of the most persistent enemies a homeowner can have, and getting rid of them for good can be a major hassle without professional assistance. Fungi is particularly stubborn in humid areas, though they can take root in any home that has issues with moisture buildup. All it takes is a slight, steady plumbing leak, or a slightly cracked window to give the fungi all the moisture and space it needs to operate. And once it shows up, it will spread quickly if not checked. This is why homeowners are often best served by seeking out certified professionals, as they will be able to completely eliminate the contamination without allowing it to spread.

Remediation firms are experts at halting the spread of fungal contamination, and they know how to seal off the area to keep it from dispersing. And with their commercial grade  products and processes, the contamination can be  eliminated in  short order. This quick response will minimize the damage and ensure the home is healthy enough for a family to live and relax in.

Call SERVPRO Of Babylon / Deer Park for a consultation 631 661-3802

Selecting a commercial carpet cleaner

7/17/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Selecting a commercial carpet cleaner Carpets had a black glue residue from an adhesive, saved company thousands of dollars to replace.

When it comes time to finally restoring that dingy floor, the first step in achieving the best results is contacting a commercial carpet cleaner. These professionals carry a wide range of tools, as well as a wide range of experience that can be invaluable when it comes to treating flooring, something that can suffer permanent damage if done incorrectly.

Aside from these obvious differences, hiring a reputable company that has undergone extensive training will shed some light on the quality of the work that will be done. For instance, vacuuming an area, especially problematic spots, prior to the actual treatment is crucial in eliminating physical residue that may have collected on the surface. This is why it’s important to not only find a well-equipped professional, but one with the experience necessary to wield these tools properly.

Some of the tools that professionals use are much pricier than any rental machines that may be available for an individual to rent or purchase. These machines typically have a much greater suction power, as well as advanced agents that are more efficient than traditional soaps. A commercial carpet cleaner will most times have soap-free agents available that are not only more efficient, but leave no residue after the job is complete.

Additionally, some of these machines may have a heating element that’s built-in, allowing professionals to heat a floor up to 200 degrees in a mere matter of minutes, helping to breakdown dirt and residue in problem areas. Corporate offices benefit from the intense storage units that each of these machines hold as well, with some able to handle an entire level of a building in one pass, making it quick and efficient.

SERVPRO of Babylon / Deer Park has the experience for all your commercial cleaning needs. Call us at 631 661-3802

Use a professional when it comes to fire clean up

7/17/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Use a professional when it comes to fire clean up Portable heater fire

A fire can cause extreme and permanent destruction, and can still cause problems once it is put out, so trained, certified professionals should be hired to clean smoke damage and deal with the ash residue that is left behind by the inferno. The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) provides oversight for the industry, and certifies technicians who have had the proper training in this area. The standards set by the IICRC will allow the technician to learn the proper techniques of this detailed task so they can do the job effectively. Because fire restoration is an involved process, only trained certified professionals should be hired for the job.

Ash residue gathers as soon as the fire starts, and within hours, it will discolor plastic, appliances, fiberglass, and even tarnish metals. Within days, it will permanently yellow walls, and permanently discolor clothing and upholstery. It will also begin corroding metal and will cause enough damage to wood and vinyl to require replacement or refinishing. If several weeks pass before professionals are allowed to clean the smoke damage, metals may corrode to uselessness, carpet will discolor permanently and glass may be too etched to be salvaged.

Once the experts are on the scene, they can halt the progression of destruction in the home. They will identify what needs to be disposed of and what can be restored, and will begin working to remove all ash from the home and clean any smoke damage. This is an involved process, and will require several people to accomplish promptly. Once this is done, the professionals will locate any source of odor, and treat it with detergents designed to counteract the smell. They will then seal off the material to keep it from emitting any further odors in the future. This is an intricate process and should only be done by a professional with plenty of experience. Call your professional restoration company, SERVPRO of Babylon/ Deer Park 631 661-3802

After the storm, drying out and cleaning up

7/17/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage After the storm, drying out and cleaning up Sandy, N.Y. destroyed to many homes to count

Drying out your home- Water affects a home in three ways:

The water damages materials. Wallboard will disintegrate if it remains wet too long; wood can swell, warp, or rot; electrical parts can short out, malfunction, and cause fires or shock.

Mud, silt and unknown contaminants in the water not only get everything dirty, they also create a health hazard.

Dampness promotes the growth of mildew, a mold or fungus that can grow on everything.

The following steps work on all three of these problems. It is very important that they be followed in order.

Lower the humidity: Everything will dry more quickly and clean more easily if you can reduce the humidity in the home. There are five ways for you to lower the humidity and stop the rot and mildew. But you'll have to delay using some methods if you have no electricity.

Open up the house: If the humidity outside is lower than indoors, and if the weather permits, open all the doors and windows to exchange the moist indoor air for drier outdoor air. Your body will tell if the humidity is lower outdoors. If the sun is out, it should be drier outside. If you have a thermometer with a humidity gauge, you can monitor the indoor and outdoor humidity.

On the other hand, when temperatures drop at night, an open home is warmer and will draw moisture indoors. At night and other times when the humidity is higher outdoors, close up the house.

Open closet and cabinet doors: Remove drawers to allow air circulation. Drawers may stick because of swelling. Don't try to force them. Speed drying by opening up the back of the cabinet to let the air circulate. You will probably be able to remove the drawers as the cabinet dries out.

Use fans: Fans help move the air and dry out your home. Do not use central air conditioning or the furnace blower if the ducts were under water. They will blow out dirty air, that might contain contaminants from the sediment left in the duct work. Clean or hose out the ducts first.

Run dehumidifiers: Dehumidifiers and window air conditioners will reduce the moisture, especially in closed up areas.

Use desiccants: Desiccants (materials that absorb moisture) are very useful in drying closets or other enclosed areas where air cannot move through. Desiccants are usually available at hardware, grocery, or drug stores. Some examples of desiccants include: 1) Chemical dehumidifier packs used for drying boats and damp closets, 2) Cat litter made of clay, and 3) Calcium chloride pellets used for melting ice in the winter. Hang pellets in a pillow case, nylon stocking, or other porous bag. Put a bucket underneath to catch dripping water. Close the closet or area being dried. Be careful. Calcium chloride can burn your skin. It will also make the air salty, so do not use this product near computers or other delicate equipment.

Call a contractor: There are contractors who specialize in drying out flooded buildings. They have large fans and dehumidifiers that can dry out a house in a few days. Look in the yellow pages under Fire and Water Damage Restoration or under Dehumidifying. Be careful about contractors who inflate prices after a disaster and about out-of-town contractors who inflate prices after a disaster and about out-of-town contractors who request payment in advance.

Be patient: Drying your home could take several weeks. Until your home is reasonably dry, damage caused by mildew and decay will continue. The musty odor will remain forever if the home is not thoroughly dried out.

For a professional job call SERVPRO of Babylon / Deer Park at 631 661-3802

After the storm, choosing a contractor

7/17/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage After the storm, choosing a contractor 13" storm, Suffolk County, NY, no heat no electric removing walls and suspended floors

If your home has sustained substantial damage from winds or flooding, you may need a contractor to help you rebuild, especially to handle the difficult jobs such as foundation repair and electrical work.

The American Red Cross and Federal Emergency Management Agency urge homeowners to use caution when working with contractors. If you have been satisfied with work done by licensed local contractors, try them first. If they cannot help you, ask them for recommendations.

If you must hire a contractor you do not know, talk to several contractors before you sign anything. Reputable contractors would agree that you should take the following steps:

Check on the firm's reputation. The local Better Business Bureau, home builders association, or building trades council are excellent sources. Ask if the firm has had unanswered complaints filed against it.

Ask for proof of insurance. Be sure the contractor has disability and worker's compensation insurance. If the contractor is not insured, you may be liable for accidents on your property.

Ask for references. Contractors should be willing to provide names of previous customers. Call some of the customers and ask if they would hire the contractor again.

Ask for a written estimate. Check it to make sure it includes everything you expect the contractor to do. Some contractors charge a fee for an estimate, which is understandable because they have plenty of work to do after a flood.

Ask for a contract. The contract should be complete and clearly state all the work, the costs, and the payment schedule. Never sign a blank contract or one with blank spaces. If a lot of money is involved, it may be worth your while to have an attorney look at the contract before you sign it.

Ask for any guarantees in writing. If the contractor provides guarantees, they should be written into the contract, clearly stating what is guaranteed, who is responsible for the guarantee (the dealer, the contractor, or the manufacturer), and how long the guarantee is valid.

Obtain a copy of the final signed contract. Once signed, it is binding on both you and the contractor.

Don't sign off before the job is finished. Don't sign completion papers or make the final payment until the work is completed to your satisfaction. a reputable contractor will not threaten you or pressure you to sign if the job is not finished properly.

Areas recuperating from natural disasters often are prime targets for less-than-honest business activities. Building codes often require that work be done only by licensed contractors. Some building departments and trade associations keep lists of contractors who work in the community.

Here are some points to remember:

Be cautious when contractors you don't know offer "special deals" after a disaster or want to use your home as a "model home."

Ask for complete financial details in writing and for an explanation of any differences from regular prices. Sales are worthwhile and they do exist, but be sure you are getting the services and products you are paying for.

Do not sign a contract when a salesperson has pressured you. Federal law requires a three-day "cooling off" period for unsolicited door-to-door sales of more than $25. If you want to cancel such a contract within three business days of signing it, send your cancellation by registered mail. Other types of sales may have contracts with different cancellation clauses.

Beware if you are asked to pay cash on the spot instead of a check made out to the contracting company. A reasonable down payment is up to 30 percent of the total cost of the project.

Make sure your contractor calls you or a qualified observer to inspect work before it is covered over. Shoddy work on sewers or basement walls will be hidden from view, and you won't know if there is a problem until the next flood. Most building departments will want to inspect electrical and plumbing lines before the walls are covered with wallboard or paneling.

Choose a respected contractor, call SERVPRO of Babylon / Deer Park @ 631 661-3802