Winter Preparation & Damage Prevention Checklist By Sara Rosen
With the leaves still changing amidst a crisp fall breeze, it's easy to dismiss the prospect of being affected by winter weather. But make no mistake: once the seasons change, each of us is as vulnerable as the next. Being a mindful and caring homeowner - and taking steps to prepare for severe winter weather before it happens - can help reduce your exposure to weather-related events and minimize possible damage to your home.
As Old Man Winter approaches, consider the following checklist to prepare your home for winter's arrival:
Clean the chimney flue. Over 15,000 chimney fires occur annually. Service your oil furnace to prevent a "puffback" explosion. Keep your thermostat at 60 or above to prevent frozen pipes. Ask someone to check your property if you are away for more than a few days. Clean out gutters and downspouts of leaves and debris to prevent "ice dams" from forming. Be cautious with temporary heaters. Never leave them unattended, keep them away from drapes, furniture, and walls, and be sure the area is adequately ventilated. Check the age of supply hoses to washing machines, dishwashers, icemakers, and air conditioners. Turn off all exterior faucets including garden hoses, dry sinks, or outdoor kitchen sinks. Winterize exterior irrigation systems to prevent freezing. Consider installing Low Temperature Sensors to alert your alarm company when interior temperature drops below freezing. Consider a backup generator capable of servicing your home when power is lost. Install explosive gas leakage detectors, which can alert your alarm company. Install carbon monoxide & smoke detectors, particularly near sleeping areas. Insulate your attic (with proper ventilation) to avoid heat escape. Consider an automatic water shut off system and make sure everyone in the house knows where the main water valve is. Keep the driveway clear of snow so that fire trucks can pass easily. Clear heavy snow loads off the roof to avoid roof failure or collapse. Engage an arborist or tree professional to keep trees properly pruned and prevent falling branches from damaging property.
Sara Rosen is the Executive Vice President of Rosen & Company, Inc. For more information, please contact Rosen & Company at (914) 939-1200, firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit us on the web at www.rosen-co.com.
Hurricane Awareness: The Season Is On Us By Sara Rosen Rosen & Company, Inc. Insurance & Risk Management since 1967
August 13, 2013 The first anniversary of Super Storm Sandy is fast approaching. With a diameter reaching a whopping 800 miles, with duration of 10 days and a geographic reach from the Bahamas to Canada, Sandy was certainly a storm for the record books. Unfortunately for us, our Mid-Atlantic States bore the brunt of her anger.
Though Sandy may not have been classified a hurricane when she made landfall in our backyard, her insured losses of $65 billion well exceeded those of Hurricane Katrina at $46 billion. Hard to imagine, but true. More alarming, the science suggests that the frequency and severity of similar storms to impact the United States will only continue at an increasing pace.
Though none of the storms of 2013's hurricane season (which began June 1) have matched Sandy's level of destruction, there's been plenty of storm activity already. On June 5, tropical storm Andrea made landfall in Florida, and on June 20 tropical cyclone Barry visited Central America and Mexico. On July 10, tropical storm Chantal severely damaged parts of the Dominican Republic and Haiti, and just recently on July 25 tropical storm Dorian dissipated off the east coast of Florida.
Whether tropical storm, cyclone, hurricane or nor'easter, the frequency and severity of such events is proving to be just as acute as the meteorologists are predicting. But still, many homeowners are not adequately protected against storm damage.
During Super Storm Sandy, 30 percent of people with flood damaged property were without flood insurance, and 54 percent of homeowners in Sandy's direct path experienced some sort of property damage.
Luckily, due to careful planning and risk management, not a single Rosen & Company client was without flood coverage, and those with other property damage were properly insured to recover damages incurred.
Whether your home is in Florida, New York, or New Jersey, a single family home or a downtown loft, when a hurricane is approaching, it's absolutely essential to be prepared:
* Create a Hurricane Kit: along with overnight clothes, extra cash, flashlights (with extra batteries), a battery operated radio, bottled water, a first aid kit and non-perishable foods (both for you and your pets). * Stockpile Water: If you live in an area with well and septic, putting aside extra water for voiding toilets and clean drinking water is critical. * Remove Projectiles: Secure outside furniture, toys, garbage bins and the like. With high winds, these items can become dangerous projectiles. * Secure Against Wind: Be sure your roof, gutters and other exterior home adornments are well fastened to the dwelling. * Anticipate Tree Damage: Make trees more wind resistant by removing diseased or damaged limbs. This can prevent trees from puncturing roofs, damaging parked vehicles or taking down overhead service lines. * Fill Up the Tank: Top off your car with gas before a storm (and a potential supply shortage) hits. * Listen Up: Heed all warnings of government authorities. If you're ordered to evacuate, don't hesitate. * Plan Ahead for Energy Loss: Installing a back-up generator or other alternate power sources keeps sump pumps and other infrastructure service equipment operating even when the power is out. * Consider Hurricane Shutters: Properly engineered and installed hurricane shutters significantly reduce property damage.
Keep in mind that homeowners' insurance policies do not cover damage caused by flooding. As a result, separate flood insurance must be purchased to protect against flood damage. The good news is that flood insurance can be affordable, subject to your property's flood zone determination. For example, to purchase the maximum limits of protection under the Federal Flood Insurance Program ($250,000 on Dwelling and $100,000 on Personal Property), costs begin at only $385. Limits in excess of these maximums are available for an additional cost. (And of course, properties with close proximity to tidal water or with low elevation will come with higher associated costs.)
For those of us nearer to a body of water, an increasing number of insurance policies include Hurricane and/or Wind Deductibles, which are significantly higher than your base other perils deductible. Be sure to check your policy details so you're not caught unaware of these financial responsibilities. Understanding the conditions of your policy and how it will respond to a catastrophic event will allow you to make adjustments to the scope of coverage, introduce loss mitigation techniques or create a catastrophe fund for expenses not covered by insurance.
November 30 brings an end to the 2013 hurricane season. There is still time to prepare, prevent and be positioned for a speedy recovery. Peace of mind will come with knowing you will recover without financial hardship.
Sara Rosen is the Executive Vice President of Rosen & Company, Inc. For more information about Hurricane Protection and other insurance, please contact Rosen & Company at (914) 939-1200, mail to:email@example.com, or visit us on the web at www.rosen-co.com.
Personal Excess Liability By Sara Rosen
What if? Someone slips and falls in your driveway. You look away for one moment and rear end the car in front of you. Your teenager posts something offensive online. Your dog nips a child.
What happens when one of these everyday occurrences turns into a lawsuit?
Excess Liability insurance is designed to protect your hard-earned assets in the event that you are sued. And make no mistake – in today’s world, these types of suits are all too common.
Personal Excess Liability, also know as Umbrella Liability, provides an additional layer of protection above the basic liability limits on your home or automobile policies. Extended liability protection, though widely overlooked, is a critically important component to asset protection.
Understanding your exposure to loss or other risk factors can help you determine if Excess Liability is right for you. Do you:
• Drive a car? • Have a teenage driver? • Own a boat or other recreational vehicle? • Have a dog? • Have a swimming pool? • Throw parties? • Blog, tweet or post photos online?
If you said “yes” to any of the above, Extended Liability protection is an important consideration.
Determining what’s at risk is easy:
• Your home • Your personal possessions (jewelry, artwork and the like) • Investments • Savings and checking balances • Future earnings
Tally the value of these assets to determine your Net Worth. If you’re sued, this total is what’s at risk of being lost.
The purpose of an Excess Liability policy is to safeguard your worth. In a worst case scenario, you want the lawsuit – and the attorney’s fees – to be paid by an insurance policy, not by liquidating your assets.
Excess limits between $1,000,000 and $3,000,000 typically cost between $200 and $600 annually. Don’t let a few hundred dollars of additional insurance costs stand in the way of an invaluable trade for peace of mind and financial security. Should you need them, higher limits are readily available.
If you aren’t yet convinced, read a bit further. These are just a few examples of recent U.S. jury verdicts involving common lawsuits that could be covered by a standard Excess Liability policy:
$21,000,000 Automobile Accident The defendant was held liable after striking a 21-year old head-on while texting; the victim died.
$11,300,000 Internet Defamation A suit was brought by a consultant against a woman posting defamatory statements about the plaintiff on the internet, calling the plaintiff a “crook” and a “fraud.”
$5,900,000 Dog Bite A family was held liable after their friend’s 16-month old child was attacked and killed by the family’s dog.
$2,500,000 Host Liquor Liability/Negligent Supervision After hosting friends of their teenage daughters, a vehicle accident left one teenager paralyzed; the driver was cited with a DWI and the parents were held liable for negligent supervision.
$2,300,000 Horseback Riding Accident An 11-year old boy was kicked in the face by a privately-owned horse. The homeowners were found responsible due to negligent supervision.
$1,500,000 Swimming Pool Drowning A 3-year old boy drowned in his family’s pool while under the supervision of a 17-year old female defendant, who was found guilty of failing to properly supervise the minor entrusted in her care.
Despite our best intentions, these unfortunate situations could happen to any us. With Excess Liability coverage, you’ll have little worry about finding yourself – or your assets – unprotected in the event it happens to you.
Rosen & Company, Inc. is an Armonk-based independent insurance brokerage firm representing clients in Armonk and around the world. Our staff has been protecting the needs of families and businesses for 46 years, and as an independent agent, we have access to the best products from the leading insurance providers, offering custom coverage plans tailored to the unique needs of your family. Rosen & Company promises guidance, choice and service beyond your expectations. We welcome inquiries and look forward to assisting with managing the financial security of your family.
Sara Rosen is the Executive Vice President of Rosen & Company, Inc. For more information about Excess Liability and other insurance, please contact Rosen & Company at (914) 939-1200, firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit us on the web at www.rosen-co.com.
Preparing & Preventing Winter Damage By Sara Rosen
Oct. 18, 2012 It’s easy to dismiss the prospect of being affected by a catastrophe. In Armonk, we are just as vulnerable as any neighboring town. That’s why being a mindful and caring homeowner can reduce your exposure to a weather related event.
As old man winter approaches consider the following checklist as you prepare your home for winter.
· Clean the chimney flue. Over 15,000 chimney fires occur annually. · Service your oil furnace to prevent a “puff back”. · Prevent frozen pipes by never setting your thermostat below 60. · Ask someone to check your property if you are away for more than a few days. · Prevent “ice dams” by cleaning gutters & downspouts. · Never leave temporary heaters unattended. Keep them away from drapes, furniture and walls. Also be sure the area is adequately ventilated. · Check the age of supply hoses to washing machines, dishwashers, icemakers and air conditioners. · Turn off all exterior faucets; such as garden hoses, dry sinks or outdoor kitchen sinks. · Winterize exterior irrigation systems to prevent freezing. · Consider the installation of Low Temperature sensors. These devices alert your alarm company when interior temperature drops below freezing. · Consider a backup generator capable of servicing your home when power is lost. · Install explosive gas leakage detectors, which can alert your alarm company. · Install carbon monoxide & smoke detectors; particularly near sleeping areas. · Insulate your attic (with proper ventilation) to avoid heat escape. · Consider an automatic water shut off system. Everyone in the house should know where the main water valve is. · Keep the driveway clear of snow so that fire trucks can pass easily. · Clear heavy snow loads off the roof to avoid roof failure or collapse.
Rosen & Company, Inc. Insurance & Risk Management since 1967 Rosen & Company, Inc. is an Armonk-based independent insurance agency representing clients in Armonk and around the world. Our staff has been protecting the needs of families and businesses for 45 years, and as an independent agent, we have access to the best offerings from the leading insurance providers, guaranteeing a custom coverage plan tailored to the unique needs of your family or business. Rosen & Company promises guidance, choice and service beyond expectations. We welcome inquiries and look forward to assisting with managing the financial security of your family or business.
Sara Rosen is the Executive Vice President of Rosen & Company, Inc. Contact Rosen & Company at (914) 939-1200, or visit us on the web at www.rosen-co.com.
Six Tragic Fires: What If It Were Your Home?
By Sara Rosen Rosen & Company, Inc. Insurance & Risk Management since 1967
May 15, 2012 It’s easy to dismiss the prospect of being affected by a catastrophe.
In Armonk, we are lucky enough to live in a community where these tragedies don’t happen every day, and as they say, out of sight, out of mind. However, the unfortunate reality is that our neighbors are affected by these events more often than we might realize. In fact, over the last 12 months, our community has suffered no less than six devastating fire events:
• In Armonk, the top floor and roof of a house were destroyed • In Carmel, a decorated police officer, his wife and two beautiful girls were lost in blaze • In Chappaqua, the partial loss of a home displaced a family • In Larchmont, a faulty generator destroyed a home • In Pound Ridge, a fire resulted in a total structure loss including all personal property • In Stamford, grandparents and three innocent children were tragically lost to a fire
Losing a home is horrific; losing a loved one is tragedy beyond words. And these shocking events force us to face the unsettling possibility that any of us could be next. Would your current homeowners and life insurance policies adequately protect your family?
Homeowners insurance, if structured correctly, could save a family from a major financial setback and allow you to rebuild your home just as it stands today. However, don’t be persuaded to think that all homeowners policies are created equal. Just like with anything else, the quality of the product will determine its performance when you need it most.
For example, replacement cost coverage applies only if you are in compliance with the terms of the insurance policy. Many insurance policies contain Coinsurance Clauses which state that the insurance company is not liable to reimburse the full amount if the policyholder has failed to insure a minimum percentage of the property’s value. The terms of insurance policies are always well articulated, but as is often the case, the devil is in the details. Many homeowners signal that they understand and accept the terms of their insurance by exchanging premium payments, but in reality are unaware of compliance requirements that may be putting them at risk.
To make sure your homeowners insurance is best suited for your family’s needs, a thorough evaluation of your policy is in order. At Rosen & Company, we suggest the following checklist:
• Is your home insured for what it would truly cost to rebuild it as it stands today? Contrary to market value, rebuilding costs continue to increase. • Will your policy allow you maintain your normal standard of living if you are displaced for as long as necessary to return to your home? • Is your Personal Property insured on an “All Risk, Replacement Cost” basis? • Is Back-Up of Sewers & Drains included? • Are your valuable possessions protected within the confines of your policy? • Are you maximizing policy credits with higher deductibles, home alarms and other loss control devices? • Does your total liability limit adequately protect your net worth?
While you’re evaluating your homeowners policy, it’s also important to consider your life insurance coverage. No amount of insurance can ever return a loved one, but life insurance can allow the surviving family members to pull the pieces back together without significant financial hardship.
Life insurance comes in various forms, most commonly Permanent and Term life insurance, and can also be purchased to be designated towards specific financial recoveries, for example, paying off a mortgage, saving money for college, or simply to manage the day-to-day expenses of maintaining a household.
As your life evolves, so does the need to protect it. Life insurance is intended to make sure your family will be taken care of no matter what.
Rosen & Company, Inc. is an Armonk-based independent insurance agency representing clients in Armonk and around the world. Our staff has been protecting the needs of families and businesses for 45 years, and as an independent agent, we have access to the best offerings from the leading insurance providers, guaranteeing a custom coverage plan tailored to the unique needs of your situation. Rosen & Company promises guidance, choice and service beyond your expectations. We welcome inquiries and look forward to assisting with managing the financial security of your family.
Sara Rosen is the Executive Vice President of Rosen & Company, Inc. Contact Rosen & Company at (914) 939-1200, or visit us on the web at www.rosen-co.com.
Independent Insurance Agents- One Size Does Not Fit All By Nomi Schwartz
March 10, 2012 Successful people always need to rely on others, a circle of trusted advisers. Included in the circle are often physicians, lawyers, financial planners and money managers, stockbrokers, and bankers. Unfortunately all their careful work can be undone instantly without complete asset protection and risk mitigation.
Direct writers, or insurance companies that only provide insurance policies from one source like their own company, compete fiercely in the marketplace to provide standard policies to the general public. Think of lizard spokesmen, big hands, and mayhem. For those whose lives, businesses, and assets are not standard, protection and risk management must be developed differently by collaborating with the client and customizing a portfolio for each individual or business. Insurance can be purchased like an “off the rack” suit or it can be individually tailored to exacting standards.
Independent insurance agents are not beholden to only one company and can draw from a wide range of top-rated insurance and risk management companies. Armonk-based Rosen & Company is such an independent insurance and risk management company, family-owned and operated since 1967. Their business partners include more than a dozen of the nation’s A+ rated insurance providers from ACE Private Risk Services to Zurich of North America.
Company president, Stephen Rosen, after achieving increasingly senior positions at a number of insurance concerns, joined his father, company founder David Rosen, as a partner in 1989 and assumed the role of President in 1999. Sara Rosen, Stephen’s wife, after 17 years of executive experience at Chubb & Son, joined Rosen & Company in 1999 as Executive Vice President. Stephen oversees the commercial insurance division and Sara manages the office and the personal lines division.
Sara Rosen described some of the distinctions between a “one-size-fits-all” approach to insurance, and the nuanced, creative approach practiced by Rosen & Company. “While some local independent agents may be licensed in the tri-state area, we are licensed in 43 states and have clients throughout the US and around the world. This is important to clients of means who may have additional residences and business locations in many places around the country and the world. We can cover these situations directly with all the options open to us. We also pride ourselves on continually expanding our knowledge base not just to keep current with industry changes but to tailor portfolios which are as unique as the client.”
Sara Rosen proudly points to the high number of clients that remain with Rosen & Company year after year. “With an industry standard retention rate of high 80s to low 90%, Rosen’s is 98 percent.”
Many people, even those who are affluent and financially astute, consider insurance coverage a commodity to be purchased based on price alone. This can be a dangerous approach, according to Sara Rosen because clients don’t always realize the scope of their coverage until they need it.
She outlines examples of premium price as a poor indicator of adequate coverage. According to one of Rosen’s insurance partners, ACE Private Risk Services: Under-insuring for personal liability. Most people assume that their personal liability coverage will protect them from a judgement against them in a personal liability lawsuit. Most standard policies offer $500,000 limits for personal injury suits. Recent research indicates that 14 percent of personal injury lawsuits result in jury awards of over $1 million, and 4 percent result in judgements over $2 million. To increase one’s personal liability coverage up to these levels may involve a relatively modest dollar amount, but will result in a dramatic decrease in exposure of one’s personal assets if any accident occurs, such as one involving household staff or a teenage child’s driving.
“Over-insuring” can occur when affluent clients maintain minimal deductibles for auto and home insurance plans. For an average policy holder, $500 to $1,000 deductibles may be reasonable amounts to protect against a costly accident or theft, but for most clients with significant assets, a manageable, higher deductible, such as $2,500, could result in an annual savings of about $1,000 in premium costs. Since such homeowners file claims on average about once every decade, the premium savings would total about $10,000, well offsetting the additional $2,000 one would have to pay once to meet the higher deductible.
Sara Rosen concludes, “We endeavor to educate clients to help them fully understand the scope of their individual coverage needs so they can make the most appropriate decision for their family’s security and peace of mind. Our clients trust us to have their best interests in mind. We’re a hands-on company with 21 employees. Our customer service is exemplary, regularly exceeding customer expectations, which is one of the reasons 98 percent of clients stay with us year after year.”
In its commercial division, Rosen & Company provides insurance services for law firms, financial institutions, manufacturing firms, and family-run businesses. Current issues such as identity theft and cyber security are of tremendous concern to all companies and individuals, and are explored and discussed with clients, so that appropriate protections can be included.
“Cyber security is a large, evolving field,” said Philip Menache, Rosen & Company’s Vice-President of commercial lines. “With the increasing amounts of commerce like banking and bill paying done on line, the stakes are very high. We continually track all new developments and educate our clients about the issues.”
Other timely concerns for commercial clients include employee-related practices liability, such as sexual harassment, and insurance protection for potential acts of terrorism.
“Yes,” said Sara Rosen, “It is all very complex, but we embrace the complexities of this business.”
Rosen & Company is committed to its clients and to the Armonk community. Several years ago they built a modern, spacious office building in an under-developed area at the end of Bedford Road. Armonk was appealing because of its bucolic setting and small town yet sophisticated ambiance. Rosen & Company is a proud sponsor of the annual Armonk Outdoor Art Show, the Armonk Baseball League, and provides a clean mile of highway through their sponsorship with Adopt a Highway.
Contact Rosen & Company for any questions about your business or personal insurance needs: Sara Rosen, Vice-President, at email@example.com/ (914) 939-1200 Rosen & Company website at www.rosen-co.com