Why your insurance company should know your industry

You own a business, so you already see that you need general liability and property insurance. Very simply put, general liability insurance protects your assets if you are sued from someone who is injured on your property or whose belongings have been damaged by your business. Property insurance covers your building and the contents of your business.

Plenty of insurance companies and policies exist, but when choosing a company to protect your livelihood, it’s critical you select one that really understands your industry. Here’s why.

Get the right coverage
Let’s say you’re a restaurant owner. You need different coverage than a contractor does. When a company knows your industry, you should have specialized limits for operations that are exclusive to your industry. For example, you might have protection for things like food spoilage or shutdown due to contamination.

Know your risks and your employees’
Part of being insured by a company like SECURA means you receive safety consultations and resources to help control accidents and injuries. And fewer accidents and injuries mean lower insurance premiums and more time on the job to earn an income. Every workplace has unique risks. That’s why it’s so important for you to select a company that knows exactly what to look for on your jobsite.

Receive appropriate pricing
Because some business owners need lower limits and have less risky operations, it’s only right that their premium reflects that. Count on accurate pricing when your insurer has a good idea of your insurance needs.

Use an independent agent
An independent agent is always your best advocate. Not only will they look for the best prices for you, but they understand when you’re getting real value. They know an insurer’s expertise in your industry.

Read more about SECURA’s insurance for businesses, or find an independent insurance agent near you.

SECURA announces 2011 top-performing agencies

This week, we recognized our 2011 top-performing agencies — those that achieved the highest level of profitable growth with us last year.

Our top-performing agency of 2011 was six-time award winner R&R Insurance Services, Inc., in Waukesha, Wis. Frank Maurer and Jack Riesch accepted the award from John Bykowski, SECURA President and CEO, at a ceremony during our Premier Agent Professional Development Conference. R&R Insurance Services has represented SECURA as an independent agency for 36 years.

Other top performers were:

Coverra Insurance Services, Inc. in Sparta, Wis., a five-time award winner and partner since 1994. Gary Ascher accepted the award.

Indianhead Insurance Agency, Inc. in Eau Claire, Wis., a seven-time award winner and partner since 1980. Toby Dutter accepted the award.

Johnson Insurance Services, LLC in Racine, Wis., a two-time award winner and partner since 1979. Mark Behrens accepted the award.

LeBaron & Carroll, LLC in Mesa, Ariz., a first-time award winner and partner since 2008. Milo LeBaron III accepted the award.

The McClone Agency, Inc. in Menasha, Wis., a two-time award winner and partner since 1976. Ryan McClone accepted the award.

The Neckerman Agency in Madison, Wis., a first-time award winner and partner since 1992. Doug Dittmann accepted the award.
    Congratulations to each of these award-winning agencies!

    John Bykowski, SECURA's President and CEO, congratulates the 2011 top-performing agents. From left: Mark Behrens, Johnson Insurance Services; Doug Dittmann, The Neckerman Agency; Toby Dutter, Indianhead Insurance Agency;  Gary Ascher, Coverra Insurance Services; John Bykowski, SECURA President & CEO; Jack Riesch and Frank Maurer, R&R Insurance Services, Inc.; Milo LeBaron III, LeBaron & Carroll; Not pictured: Ryan McClone, The McClone Agency

    8 ways to prevent damage from clothes dryer fires

    One fire is one too many. But what if thousands of fires could be prevented every year, simply with a little care and maintenance?

    More than 15,000 clothes dryer fires result in hundreds of injuries and deaths, and nearly $100 million in damages annually. The good news is that there are eight measures you can take now to help protect you and your loved ones.

    1. Clean the lint filter before drying each load of clothing. Adding heat to a clogged filter can cause a fire.

    2. Disassemble the vent pipe and clean it periodically. Lint is combustible, and buildup will occur, which can act as fuel for a fire or cause your dryer to overheat.

    3. Never use plastic vent or accordion-style foil piping. Instead, use rigid aluminum metal duct. Incorrect piping is one of the most common dryer installation errors and a code violation.

    4. Do not place your dryer right against the wall. Many people push their dryers as close to the wall as possible, crushing the vent pipe and leaving no room for manufacturer-recommended clearances. A crushed vent pipe causes increased lint buildup, and heated exhaust from the dryer cannot escape.

    5. Keep your dryer and the area around it as clean as possible. Clean behind and under the dryer where lint can settle.

    6. Do not use a dryer to dry clothes or rags that have been soaked with volatiles like gas, turpentine, stains, or finishing oils. Wash the items twice and line dry them.

    7. Do not leave the house or go to bed with the dryer running.

    8. Mount an all-purpose fire extinguisher on a wall in your laundry room.

    10 tips for a safe snowmobile ride

    With more than 1.5 million registered snowmobiles in the U.S., this sport continues to grow in popularity. In addition, winter ATV use is also on the rise. But these activities bring an increased opportunity for injury, making safety crucial for riders.

    Follow these steps for a safe snowmobile or ATV ride this winter:

    1. Always wear a helmet, eye protection, and protective clothing — including winter gear such as hats, gloves, and goggles.

    2. Don’t let children under 16 ride adult-sized snowmobiles or ATVs.

    3. Attend an ATV- or snowmobile-operator training course and read the owner’s manual before riding.

    4. Do a pre-ride safety check (tires, wheels, chain, cables, etc.).

    5. Never ride if you’re under the influence of alcohol.

    6. Be aware of the weather conditions, whether there is snow, ice, or freezing temperatures. Avoid excessive speed and travel at rates appropriate for the terrain and conditions.

    7. Watch for any tree stumps, fences, or other objects that may be hidden under snow.

    8. Travel with a partner or a group. If you must travel alone, tell someone your planned route and when you expect to return.

    9. Don’t ride across bodies of water if you are uncertain of ice thickness. Changing temperatures, snow, and moving currents can prevent a thick layer of ice from forming, making ice an unstable and dangerous terrain.

    10. Consult your state’s DNR (Department of Natural Resources) for local regulations.