Atlanta workplace hazards: How to become a sensational ladder safety pro

We've got some ladder safety tips to help you and your coworkers stay safe on the job.

We've got some ladder safety tips to help you and your coworkers stay safe on the job.

You and your coworkers might be super confident around ladders. You might use them all the time and scamper up and down without fear. But it’s important to remember that ladders, though they seem harmless enough, present risks to your safety. Falling from heights is always among the top ten causes of workplace injuries. To help you brush up on your ladder safety skills, become a pro, and avoid worker’s comp claims, we’ve come up with a dozen safety tips for you and your coworkers.

1. Wear the proper footwear.

It’s important that you wear nonslip shoes if you’re going to be climbing up and down ladders. If the soles of your shoes don’t have enough grip, you could find yourself in free fall before you even realize what happened.

Also, take the time to check the bottom of your shoes before going up. Mud, debris, or leaves stuck to your soles might cause your foot to slip. Clean your shoes off before climbing.

2. Always face the ladder when climbing up or down.

Always face the rungs when you’re going up or going down. This will help you keep your balance and have more security on the steps.

3. Take turns.

Only one person on the ride at a time, please. Ladders are only meant to hold one person. Adding a second person to the mix can throw off the balance and support, which might result in the ladder crashing down.

4. Watch the doors.

Don’t put a ladder near a door that could hit it if it opened suddenly. Make sure that all problem doors are locked or guarded if someone has to get on a ladder near a doorway. Also, don’t support or prop the ladder against a door – bad plan. If the door suddenly opened … well, no one wants to do a face plant, right?

5. Clear the area around the base of the ladder of items that could endanger the worker using it.

Make sure to keep the work area nice and tidy. Move anything that could cause a teammate harm out of the way.

6. Work in pairs.

There should be someone to hold the ladder to keep it steady whenever someone climbs. Don’t fly solo – employ the buddy system.

7. Never move the ladder while someone’s on it.

The ladder should only be moved when everyone has their feet safely on the ground. Seriously. Avoid the insurance claim and save money on your business insurance premiums.

8. Keep your center of gravity steady.

Balance is important when it comes to ladders. Your belt buckle should always be in the middle of the rungs to make sure that you’re centered and balanced. Don’t stretch or overreach over the side – you could lose your balance and make an unplanned descent to the ground.

9. Choose the right ladder for the job and set it up right.

Make sure that your ladder is the right size for the task at hand. The length of the ladder should be three feet over the roofline of the roofing surface if you’re doing roof work.

When you place the ladder against the wall or surface, it should make a 75˚ angle with the ground. You can use the 1:4 ratio trick to help you figure out if you’ve got the angle right. Place the base one foot back from the wall for every four feet of height from the ground to the place of contact.

10. Don’t step on the top rung or shelf.

The big “NOT A STEP” and “DO NOT STEP” signs are there for a reason. Don’t disobey the warnings. It might seem like you can balance on that top step, but it is definitely not worth the risk of falling.

11. Make sure the ladder is in good condition.

Never use a ladder that’s broken or in disrepair. Ladders that aren’t in tip-top shape can slip, break, or collapse while someone’s using them. And that would not be good. If you’re using an extension ladder, check all of the locks carefully and make sure they’re secure before using it.

12. Set up the ladder on a firm, solid surface.

Be sure to place the base on a steady, even surface so that it won’t wobble or slip.

13. Don’t leave a ladder set up and unattended.

When you’re done with the ladder, take it down and move it to a safe place. Don’t leave it propped up against a home or wall and walk away – that’s a general liability claim waiting to happen if someone gets hurt.

Ladders might not seem like the most dangerous of tools, but falls are a serious cause of injury among workers. It’s important not to skip the basic safety rules of using ladders on the job. Make sure everyone stays safe by training everyone in proper ladder use and enforcing safety skills in the workplace.

Need business insurance? We can help with that! We’ve got lots of experience helping business owners save money on their insurance rates – we can help you shop for your insurance. All you have to do to get started with your quotes is fill out our online form or give us a call today.

What is the average cost of homeowners insurance in Georgia?

The average cost of homeowners insurance in Georgia is slightly below the national average.

The average cost of homeowners insurance in Georgia is slightly below the national average.

You might be curious about what the average cost of homeowners insurance is in Georgia. It’s a valid question – you want to know if you’re getting a good deal for your insurance. Well, we’ve got the answer to that question for you, but that’s not all we have to say on the topic. See, the thing is that there are lots of factors that determine your home insurance rates. These factors could be causing your homeowners insurance to be either higher or lower than the average home insurance cost in Georgia. We’ll give you the average cost of home insurance in Georgia and explain what can influence your home insurance rates.

The average cost of homeowners insurance in Georgia:

Georgia’s average home insurance cost is $1,114 for $200,000 of dwelling coverage with $300,000 of liability insurance and a $1,000 deductible. That’s 10% below the national average cost of home insurance of $1,244 – not too shabby!

For $300,000 of dwelling coverage with the same limit of liability and the same deductible, the rate would be $1,601, which is 8% below the average for the same coverage.

What are the factors that influence homeowners insurance premiums?

Like we mentioned above, there are a lot of things that can determine your home insurance rate. And that’s why the best way to get an accurate idea of what your home insurance rates will be is to get Atlanta home insurance quotes so you can compare pricing and coverage options. Anyways, that being said, some of the factors that affect home insurance rates are…

The insurance company itself.

Insurance companies determine and interpret risk differently, which is why you may get different quotes from different companies. That’s why it’s generally a good idea to shop around for your home insurance.

What your home is made of.

Whatever material your home was built with, it’s important that you have enough home insurance to completely rebuild it if it were destroyed by a fire, including the costs of building materials and the labor of the contractors.

Your credit score.

Your credit score can have an impact on your home insurance rates because insurance companies see your credit score as an indicator of risk.

How close you are to a fire department.

The nearer you are to a fire station, the faster emergency services can respond to a fire. That means you’ll have less damage to your home, you may also have lower homeowners insurance premiums.

Your limits of coverage.

More insurance costs more money – makes sense, right? So, the higher you set your coverage limits, the higher your premium will be. However, having higher limits means that you won’t have to pay as much out of pocket if you have a big claim because your insurance will cover more of the costs. When figuring out what limits are right for you, remember that it’s crucial to make sure that you have enough home insurance to completely rebuild your home and all of the belongings in it.

Your deductible.

Your deductible is that amount you agree to pay if you have a claim before the insurance company will start covering expenses. The higher your deductible, the lower your premiums – and vice versa. So, you have to choose if you want to pay more for your premiums or more out of pocket if you have a claim. It’s a balancing act, and you have to consider your disposable income and how much you can comfortably afford to pay if you have a claim when you set your deductible. You don’t want it to be so high that it would be unfeasible to pay if you have a claim.

Discounts.

If you qualify for discounts on your home insurance, you could score some significant savings on your insurance premiums. Some common discounts that you may qualify for are having a home security system, having a fire alarm system, and having multiple policies from the same company. These aren’t the only discounts out there, though, so be sure to ask your agent what discounts you could qualify for.

Dogs.

If you have a dog that’s on the “dangerous dog” list, you might face higher insurance premiums. Insurance companies can be wary of insuring dogs that are certain breeds or dogs that have a history of aggression, so it’s important to check how your dog could affect your home insurance rates.

Your claim history.

The more claims that you’ve filed, the higher a risk you are to an insurance company. The claims history of homes in your area could also play a part in your rates, as they show the insurance company how high a risk your area is for things like burglary.

As you can see, there’s a lot that goes into determining your Georgia home insurance rates. The average cost of home insurance in Georgia tends to be a bit lower than the national average, but there are a lot of factors that an insurance company will examine when quoting you for home insurance. Our team of insurance agents would be happy to help you through the process of getting home insurance quotes that suit your specific insurance needs and home. All you have to do to get home insurance quotes is fill out our quote form or give us a call today.

Source 1

Do I need business interruption insurance for my Atlanta business?

If you have to close your business temporarily, business interruption insurance can help.

If you have to close your business temporarily, business interruption insurance can help.

Life is full of unexpected surprises. As a business owner, you might dread a surprise that causes you to close temporarily. If you ever have to close your business because of a natural disaster or another interruption, it’s crucial that you get your business running as quickly as possible. Your reputation – not to mention your income – could suffer the longer you stay closed. But there’s business insurance that can help you in the event of a temporary closure – business interruption insurance. Let’s take a closer look at why your business may want to consider it.

What is business interruption insurance?

Business interruption protects your business from closures resulting from things like natural disasters, equipment damage, and vandalism. The goal is to minimize the financial loss to your business if you have to shut down for a time due to a covered loss.

What is covered by business interruption insurance?

Business interruption insurance covers many different losses that result from having to close your doors. The specifics depend on your policy, which is why you need to make sure to go over the coverage offered very carefully.

Lost revenue:

If you’re temporarily closed due to a covered loss, business interruption insurance will provide you with the earnings that you would have made if your business were running normally. Lost revenue due to a forced closure is often devastating to small businesses, many of which never open their doors again after a disaster. Remember, property insurance only covers the cost of the physical things that were lost or damaged (the building and its contents.) It won’t help you out with your lost income. That’s why business interruption insurance an important thing to consider when you’re creating a disaster plan for your business.

Relocation expenses:

If it’s not possible to use your premises to run your business, you may need to move to a temporary location to keep things rolling. Business interruption insurance may help you with the costs of relocating and your rent and moving costs may also be covered, depending on your coverage.

Wages of your employees:

Your employees would greatly appreciate being paid during your business’s misadventure. Business interruption insurance may help you continue to pay your employees and ensure that they stay with your company by helping you out with payroll.

How do I get business interruption insurance?

Business interruption insurance can be added to your property insurance or included with your business owner’s policy (BOP.) Keep in mind that these policies can be complicated, so you may want to enlist the help of a trusted, qualified insurance advisor to guide you through the process so you can rest assured that you have the insurance you need.

How much business interruption insurance do I need?

You should plan to get enough insurance to cover your business for a good amount of time. You don’t want to run out of insurance when you’re in need.

How much does business interruption insurance cost?

The price of the coverage varies from business to business since no two companies are exactly the same. Some of the factors that influence the cost of business interruption insurance are:

  • Your business’s location
  • The type of work you do
  • How easy it would be for you to work out of a temporary location

Since we don’t know what the future will bring, it’s important to make sure that you plan for a variety of disasters. It’s crucial that you have cash flowing in while your business is closed, and business interruption insurance can help with that. You can secure your business’s future by protecting it with the right business insurance. You might want to consider business interruption insurance to ensure a certain amount of continuity if you ever have to close your business for a short time.

Do you need some quotes for business insurance? We can help you with that. We know that you’d love to save some money on your rates, and we love to help business owners just like you do just that! All you have to do to get started with your quotes is fill out our online form or give us a call today. Our team of agents is here to help.

How to prevent a kitchen fire this Thanksgiving (Or any time of the year) in Atlanta

Prevent a kitchen fire this Thanksgiving.

Prevent a kitchen fire this Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is almost here, and that means a flurry of shopping, cleaning, food prep, and, of course, cooking. According to the National Fire Protection Administration, Thanksgiving Day had the most cooking fires of any day of the year in 2013. It’s not hard to imagine why. There are a lot of dishes to prepare and a lot of multitasking to do. We’ve got some tips to help you prevent a kitchen fire this Thanksgiving – or any day of the year, really! And avoiding fires means avoiding home insurance claims.

1. Dress for the occasion.

When you’re cooking, it’s best to wear close-fitting clothes that won’t drag or dangle into the heat. If you’ve got long hair, tie it back so that it doesn’t accidentally get singed.

2. Keep your cooking area clear of flammable things.

Move oven mitts, pot holders, towels, papers, plastic wrappers, wooden utensils, and anything else that could catch fire away from your stove. Yes, you might be a bit crowded for space, especially on Thanksgiving, but keep an eye on the area around your stove.

3. Don’t leave cooking food unattended.

Never walk away from something that you’re frying, broiling, or grilling. These things need to be watched closely. If you see smoke or the grease starts to bubble, turn the burner off.

If you’re steaming or boiling something, use timers so that you don’t forget that you’ve got something cooking. Unattended food is the number one cause of kitchen fires, so be sure to check your food frequently. With all the rushing around that comes with Thanksgiving and cooking a huge meal, it’s easy to forget things. It’s completely normal. Just plan ahead for forgetfulness and set timers galore.

4. Clean your cooking surface frequently.

Keep your cooking surfaces clean to prevent grease buildup. It’s hygienic and it will help you avoid starting a kitchen fire.

5. Establish a kid-free zone around the stove.

Your kid-free zone should be three feet around any area that hot food is being prepared or areas that you walk through while carrying hot dishes or pots. It’s generally a good idea to keep kids and pets out of the kitchen while you’re cooking for their safety. Kitchen safety is one of the fundamentals of childproofing your home.

6. Turn pot handles to the back of the stove.

This lowers the chance of a pot getting knocked off the stove and someone getting hurt or burned, or of kids pulling the handle and upending a pot full of hot food or water onto themselves.

7. Don’t put metal in the microwave.

Anything metal should not go in the microwave. Microwaving metal can cause sparks, which means that a fire can soon follow. Yes, this includes tin foil. So, if you have a dish covered with foil that you need to warm up, take the foil off first.

8. Make sure all portable appliances are plugged directly into the wall.

If you plug a portable appliance like a toaster into an extension cord, you could cause the circuit to short. Make sure that all the appliances you’ll need to prepare the meal are plugged into the wall, and unplug them when you’re not using them. This will prevent any accidental mishaps and will also help prevent electrical fires.

9. Consider getting a fire extinguisher.

You might want to consider getting a fire extinguisher for additional fire safety. You can consult with your local fire department to find out which type is best for your home and to get proper training for how to use it.

10. Make sure your smoke detectors are functional.

Do your smoke detectors have fresh batteries? Have you tested them lately? You should have smoke detectors near the kitchen. The sooner you and your family are alerted to a fire, the better.

If you have a kitchen fire…

  • If the fire is in a pan or pot, cover the pan with a lid or baking sheet to smother it. If that doesn’t work, use a fire extinguisher or baking soda.
  • If it’s a grease or oil fire, DO NOT pour water on it. This will only make the fire worse.
  • If the fire is in the microwave, turn the microwave off, unplug it if possible, and wait for the fire to go out. Don’t open the door.
  • If the fire is in an oven, turn off the heat and keep the door closed. Wait for the fire to die out.

Thanksgiving is a time for family, friends, and delicious food. Don’t let a kitchen fire spoil your holiday! By following some simple tips to help prevent a kitchen fire, you’ll be able to ensure that everyone has a happy – and safe – Thanksgiving.

Are you looking for home insurance or renters insurance? We would be happy to help you save money on your rates by shopping around for your insurance. All you have to do to get started with some home insurance quotes is fill out our online form or give us a call today.

Source:

https://www.usfa.fema.gov/downloads/pdf/publications/kitchen_fires_flyer.pdf

http://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/By-topic/Top-causes-of-fire/Cooking/Safety-messages-about-cooking

http://www.redcross.org/news/article/Avoid-Kitchen-Fires-Use-Red-Cross-Tips

8 secrets to improving customer loyalty at your Atlanta business

Having a loyal customer base is important for any business.

Having a loyal customer base is important for any business.

As a business owner, your clients are what keep your doors open. You’re proud of your business and the services you provide. But the key to the success of any business, whether it’s a home-based business or a traditional workplace, is developing a strong base of loyal clients, people who will keep coming back and tell all their friends how awesome your business is. Loyal customers are vital because let’s face it – it costs less to keep people coming back than win over new folks. So, we’ve got some tips for keeping your loyal customers lined up at your doors.

1. Step up your customer service game.

Everyone wants to be treated right. It’s nice to feel like the person assisting you genuinely wants to help you and has an interest. Think about what you can do to improve the customer or client experience. Treat clients with respect and kindness, and make that the business standard. Make sure your employees are greeting and bidding farewell to your clients with a smile and warmth. Even the little things make a difference.

Customer service is a must because it can lead to referrals and recommendations, which are worth their weight in gold.

2. Be genuine.

It’s important that the atmosphere of your business is friendly and welcoming. People like likable people, so if your employees are a good mix of upbeat, friendly, and professional, they’ll win over some customers. Make sure that your loyal clientele gets the treatment and attention they deserve. Develop a relationship with your clients.

3. Do some research.

Take a visit to a competitor (or, if you’re an online or service-oriented business, cruise through some websites.) Find out what worked and what didn’t in your overall customer experience. What could have improved your experience? What would have won you over (or what did win you over, despite this business being your archenemy?)

It’s helpful to take a step back and approach customer loyalty from the perspective of a customer, then bring your observations back to your own company.

4. Amp up your employee morale.

Grouchiness is contagious. If your employees aren’t happy, your clients will pick up on it. Upbeat, smiling employees will make your customers happy, and happy people buy more stuff. So, think of what you can do to help your employees be excited to come to work. Another benefit of improving morale at the workplace is lowering the chance of employee theft at your business.

5. Know how to handle unhappiness.

Unfortunately, the world is not perfect. Mistakes happen. Circumstances conspire against you to create an unpleasant experience for a customer. If that happens, you need to be prepared to handle the complaint professionally, calmly, and promptly. Don’t argue. Apologize, validate the concern, and explain what steps you’re going to take to correct the problem.

Sometimes a customer will be so impressed by the way you handle an adverse situation that you can win them back. So, make sure your employees are prepared to handle various scenarios in which a customer gets testy about something (whether the reasons for their grumpiness are valid or not.) Unhappy customers might not be on your business disaster response plan, but everyone should know how to handle that kind of situation.

6. Think ahead.

Learn to anticipate what your customer or client will need so that you can present it with a flourish when they come to realize the need for themselves. Going the extra mile to take care of a customer will never go amiss.

7. Don’t forget your loyal customers when you’re chasing new business.

Yes, chasing after new customers and trying to win people over is tough work, but it’s important that you don’t get so caught up in doting on potential customers that you forget about the customers you already have., Make sure to nurture the relationships your business has with your current customers so that no one feels like chopped liver.

8. Ask how you can help.

Greet people politely and ask how you can help them. Then, make a genuine effort to do so. Take the time to ask how their day is going and have an honest conversation with them. This will help people feel like you see them as human beings and not just money.

Keeping your valued customers coming back can pump life into your business. Maintaining and building a strong base of loyal clients will ensure that you never lack for people visiting your business and enlisting your services. Throw yourself into customer service. Treat people like human beings. Show that you genuinely care and want to help. Take pride in what you do and blow your customers’ expectations out of the water.

Need some business insurance quotes? Atlanta Insurance can help! We can help you save money on your business insurance rates by shopping around for the best possible price for the coverage you need. All you have to do to get started with your business insurance quotes is fill out our online form or call us today.

Source:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/marccompeau/2011/10/03/nine-ways-to-build-customer-loyalty/#360ee874375c

How to save money on your Atlanta heating bill this winter

Save on your heating bill with these tips.

Save on your heating bill with these tips.

Okay, so maybe Atlanta isn’t the coldest place in which one could spend a winter. But it can still get pretty darn cold. Now that we’re well into November, it won’t be long until we’re all bee-lining it for our thermostats to crank up the heat – and chewing our fingernails as we wait for the heating bill to arrive. Even in Hot-lanta, heating bills in the winter can be killer, which is why we’ve got some tips to help you save money on your heating bill.

1. Invest in a comfy, warm winter wardrobe.

Bring on the fuzzy socks and sweatshirts! Love the flannel pajama pants! Revel in the comfort of your favorite sweats! Rather than turning the temperature up so you can wear your short-sleeved T-shirt and cotton pants, keep the thermostat down and wear layers instead. Your body’s pretty good at making its own heat, so wear clothes that will trap it and keep you warm. This will help you save energy and money.

2. Welcome the sunlight and save money on your heating bill.

You can get some natural, solar heat to pour into your home by opening the curtains or blinds on your windows during the day. Sunlight is free! Use it to get some extra heat energy in your house. There’s a reason the cat always curls up by the window. Just don’t forget to close the curtains at night to trap the heat inside.

3. Turn the temperature down at night.

Get some warm bedding, like flannel sheets and a down comforter, and turn your thermostat down before you go to bed every night. Like we said, your body gives off heat. Use warm blankets to take advantage of it. Now, we’re not talking making your home into the Arctic. Remember, the name of the game is conserving energy – it’s a great way to make your home a little more green.

4. Use your ceiling fans.

Huh? Isn’t that counterproductive? Not if you run the fans in reverse. Hot air rises, which doesn’t do you much good when it gets trapped way above your head. If you run the fans in reverse on a low setting, it’ll push the hot air back to where you are.

5.

6. Take it easy with the kitchen/bathroom fans.

Don’t let your bathroom or kitchen fans run all the time. Turn them off right after you’re done using them, or try not to use them at all. They’ll suck the hot air right out of a room.

Rather than turning the tempreature up, bundle up in warm clothes and save money on your heating bill.

7. Get a furnace check-up.

It’s also a good idea to take care of your furnace by having it checked by a trustworthy professional once a year. This will help your furnace do its best work.

8. Move the furniture away from the vents.

Don’t block your vents with couches and chairs and other furniture. This will prevent the hot air from the vent from getting into the areas of the house that you want it to be. Clear a path for the warm air.

9. Close the damper on your fireplace when you’re not using it.

Leaving the damper open can let hot air escape through the chimney. When you’re not using your fireplace, close the damper to trap the warm air inside.

10. Get rid of your old heating unit.

Ask yourself honestly – is it time to have a new heating unit? Yes, you might be hesitant, but will it be worth it in the long run? Maybe.

11. Boost your insulation.

If there are parts of your home that seem to be leaking heat, amp up your insulation. This is an easy way to save on your heating bill.

12. Make sure to take care of your furnace.

It’s important to change the filter of your furnace when it’s dirty, which means you should probably check in once a month or so. Then you can make sure there’s a clean filter when your furnace needs one, and this helps make the furnace’s job easier. Make sure to maintain your furnace.

13. Get an energy audit.

If heat loss is a real problem, you might need to get an energy audit. This will tell you where you can improve your energy efficiency. Find a reputable electrical contractor and see what you can do.

High energy bills are an occupational hazard of the winter season. The instinct to combat the shivery weather might be to turn the thermostat up, but there are a few simple things you can do around the house to stay warm without having to resort to drastic measures. So, instead of cranking up the heat, try some of the above tips and save on your heating bill. Stay warm, Atlanta!

Want some quotes on home insurance or renters insurance? We can help with that! All you have to do to get some free quotes for your insurance is fill out our quote form or give us a call today.

Source:

https://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/my-money/2013/11/06/10-ways-to-save-on-energy-costs-this-winter

https://www.thebalance.com/how-to-save-on-heating-costs-1388212

10 tips to protect your Atlanta business from employee theft

Employee theft is a major risk for businesses.

As an employer, you don’t want to think that your employees would ever steal from you or do anything that could hurt your business. Unfortunately, employee theft is far more prevalent than many business owners think. Small businesses are just as vulnerable to employee theft as large corporations. Your employees could steal merchandise, cash, or even the financial information of your customers. There are a number of reasons that employees might be tempted to put some money into their own pockets – financial stress or worry about job security can be motivators. We’ve got some tips to help you protect your business from employee theft.

1. Develop positive relationships with employees and create a positive workplace atmosphere.

The first tip is simple. It’s important that your employees feel appreciated and that they enjoy their jobs. If there’s a mutual respect between you, it will reduce the temptation to steal. It’s harder to steal from someone you care about than someone you don’t.

2. Make sure everyone knows what employee fraud is.

All of your employees should know what constitutes employee theft. It might not occur to them that certain things are considered fraud – for example, giving freebies or discounts to friends. You also need to emphasize that you won’t tolerate it.

3. Consider adding crime coverage to your BOP.

You can further protect your business by adding coverages to your business owner’s policy (BOP.) One coverage that can help you is crime coverage. This protects you against a variety of illegal acts. Normally you can add between $1,000 and $5,000 of coverage to your business owner’s policy.

4. Divide up the financial responsibilities.

Make sure that one employee isn’t handling all of the financial duties, such as balancing the books, making deposits, etc. It’s more difficult to get away with stealing when multiple people are watching over the financial details.

Also, make sure that your employees have appropriate oversight by management. Many thefts are of opportunity – the money is there and no one’s around to see an enterprising employee take it.

5. Keep an eye on your inventory.

You should do frequent inventories and internal audits for your business. If your employees know that you’re diligent about checking that everything is as it should be, they’ll be less inclined to try to get away with something. Plus, that’ll make it easier for you to catch any abnormalities, too.

6. Have a security or surveillance system.

A surveillance system or CCTV can help you keep an eye on your premises and dissuade theft of all kinds. This will also help you prevent a burglary at your business. Before you hire a company to outfit your business with cameras and monitoring, do some research about how to choose the right company to install your commercial security system.

7. Use clear trash bags.

It’s a bit gross, but sometimes employees will hide things in the trash and go to retrieve them later. To deter people from doing so, use clear trash bags for all trash cans.

8. Don’t keep lots of cash on-hand.

Deposit money to the bank frequently. If someone does steal cash, better $100 than $500. Do what you can to reduce the amount of cash that you have on-site or in your register.

9. Have a procedure for returns and voids.

Make sure that any returns and voids are properly handled – fraudulent returns are another method of stealing from an employer. They should be witnessed by a second employee to make sure that they’re legit. You can also have your point-of-sale system flag excessive returns and voids so that they’re immediately sent to management.

10. Have a way for employees to report suspicious behavior.

Not that you want to turn your employees into informants, but there should be a way for them to let you know about anything they’ve noticed. Preferably there would be an anonymous way for them to do so – that way they don’t have to worry about retaliation or being seen as a tattletale.

Your employees are a huge asset to your business. They’re what keeps the place going. You want to be able to trust your employees, but that doesn’t mean that you have to leave yourself wide open to the possibility of employee theft. You need to reduce the risk of employee theft and protect your business.

Are you looking for business insurance? We’d love to help you shop for your insurance so that you can get the best coverage for the best possible rate. We can get you free quotes for your Atlanta business insurance so that you can compare rates. All you have to do to get started with your quotes is fill out our online form or give us a call.

Atlanta home fire safety: How to prevent an electrical fire this season

Prevent an electrical fire with these tips.

Prevent an electrical fire with these tips.

The winter months are almost upon us, and that means cold weather and shorter days, even in Atlanta. And cold weather and darkness mean that we’ll begin to rely on out lights and heat even more – in short, we’ll be using more electricity. Since we’re cruising right along through November, it’s not a bad time to discuss a danger that comes from electricity – electrical fires. The winter months actually have some of the highest occurrences of electrical fires, which is why it’s important to make sure you have enough home insurance. But, insurance aside, we’ve got some tips to help you prevent a home electrical fire this winter.

1. Check your appliances and cords.

Old, worn, or fraying cords can cause fires. You should replace and dispose of worn or ragged cords ASAP. You should also make sure that no cords are trapped by rugs or hidden by furniture. This can cause heat to build up, and heat can cause a fire – you don’t actually need a spark or flame, just a lot of trapped heat.

2. Be smart about outlets.

Don’t force a three-pronged cord into a two-prong outlet or extension cord. That’s not how that cord was designed to be used.

3. Plug major appliances directly into the wall.

Air conditioners, heaters, refrigerators, and other appliances should be plugged directly into the wall, not into an extension cord. Keep your appliances in good repair, and keep an eye on your clothes dryer – believe it or not, clothes dryers are fire hazards. Remember, all appliances should be approved by the Underwriters Laboratory.

4. Don’t overload circuits, extension cords, or outlets.

You don’t want to put a strain on circuits or extension cords. Don’t try to make these things handle a load that it wasn’t designed to.

5. Remember that water and electricity don’t mix.

Keep appliances away from places that tend to get wet, like kitchen and bathroom counters. Don’t take any chances. Make sure not to let your appliances get doused.

6. Keep an eye on switches or lights that act suspect.

If any of your light switches are warm to the touch, any lights flicker, or any outlets look strange or discolored, you should call a professional to check out the situation. You should also call a qualified electrician if any appliances have a burning or rubbery odor or you feel a tingle when you touch them. Outlets that spark or are warm – or are otherwise dangerous-looking – should also be investigated by an electrician ASAP.

7. Use arc-fault circuit interrupters and ground fault circuit insulators.

AFCIs will turn off the electricity if something isn’t as it should be. GFCIs will reduce the risk of shock by turning off the circuit if there is a shock hazard. Bathrooms, kitchens, garages, and basements should be equipped with GFCI outlets.

8. Keep flammable items away from your portable heaters.

Anything that could catch fire should be placed at least three feet away from the space heater. That includes clothes, linens, and furniture.

9. Child-proof electrical outlets.

If you have young children, make sure that you’ve safely child-proofed your outlets. Use a child-proofing method that is safe and won’t present a choking hazard. It’s important to know how to child-proof your home.

10. Replace any suspicious power tools.

If any power tools act weird, like sparking or otherwise being dangerous, get rid of them and replace them.

11. Only use light bulbs with the appropriate wattage.

Don’t use a light bulb with a higher wattage or strength than a lamp or other light calls for. It’s important to use the right light bulb for the right appliance. Stick with what the lamp is designed to do.

12. Make sure that you have enough smoke detectors and that they do what they’re supposed to.

It’s so important that you have the proper smoke detectors installed in your home. There should be one outside every bedroom, and you should test them regularly to make sure that they’re working like they’re supposed to. It’s also important to remember to change the batteries every six months – an easy way to make sure that you don’t forget is to do it every Daylight Saving, whenever you change the clocks forward or back. Don’t neglect your smoke detectors. (And, while you’re at it, you may as well add some carbon monoxide detectors to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.)

Before winter really sets in and you turn on all your heaters and appliances, take some time to check over your electrical cords and appliances. Don’t forget your fire prevention basics and spend some time talking to your kids about fire safety. Make sure that your home or apartment is fire-safe and ready to weather the winter months.

Do you need home insurance or renters insurance? Great! We would love to get you some quotes for that. We’ll help you get the insurance plan that’s right for your family, and we’ll help you get a great rate for it. To get in touch with one of our insurance experts, all you have to do is fill out our quote form or give us a call today.

Source:

http://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/By-topic/Top-causes-of-fire/Electrical 

https://www.ready.gov/home-fires

8 simple tips for how to buy the best Atlanta business insurance

We've got a few tips for buying business insurance.

We've got a few tips for buying business insurance.

Business insurance can be intimidating. It can be hard to know where to start with the process of protecting your business, and since the stakes are high it’s important to make sure that you get the insurance you need. If you’re feeling a bit lost and overwhelmed about how to start your quest to insure your business, fear not, valiant business owner – we have some tips that are going to help you as you venture forth on your mission.

1. Figure out the risks your business faces.

Each business is different, which means that each business has unique risks that need to be covered. You need to consider what risks your business faces every day – and keep in mind that these could be disaster-related risks, such as storms, and liability risks (basically risks relating to your legal responsibility if something goes wrong.) Consider how you can lower these risks and figure out how to disaster plan for your business.

2. Do some research on what coverages might be right for you.

Of course, you’re going to want to enlist some professional help when it comes to covering your business’s risks and getting insurance, but it’s still helpful to know some of the lingo before you move forward. Different coverages cover different risks, and some of them are more industry-specific than others.

Some common coverages are…

  • General liability: Protects your business if someone claims that you caused them bodily harm or damaged their property.
  • Commercial property: Protects your premises from disasters like fire and lightning strikes.
  • Business interruption: Reimburses you for lost income if your business has to close temporarily due to a covered loss.
  • Workers’ compensation: Protects your employees by covering medical expenses and a portion of their lost wages if they get hurt on the job.
  • Professional liability: Protects you if negligence or error causes a customer to have a financial loss.
  • Product liability: Protects your business from claims that one of your products caused someone physical harm.
  • Home-based business coverage: This is one way that you can insure a home-based business. It’s basically an extension of your homeowners insurance policy.

3. Find a trustworthy broker who’s familiar with your industry.

When you’re on a mission to get business insurance, it helps to find an agent who understands your line of work and the risks you face. They need to be knowledgeable about your type of work so they can best advise you on your insurance needs and help you get the best rate for the coverage you need.

You also want to find someone that you can trust, someone who’s not going to put their own interests first. One way to find an agent or broker is to ask your friends and connections within your industry if they have any recommendations for you.

4. Don’t forget about BOPs.

BOPs, or business owner’s policies, are a common package policy for small business owners. A package policy is one that bundles different coverages into one policy. In the case of a BOP, it includes general liability, business interruption, and property insurance.

BOPs are helpful because they’re convenient and could help you save money, so you may want to find out if a BOP is right for you. However, you need to look closely at your risks to see if you need to add coverages to a BOP to make sure you’re fully protected.

5. Consider what deductible and limits of coverage are right for you.

Insurance policies will come with deductibles, which is the amount of money you have to pay before the insurance company will pay the rest of a claim. When choosing a deductible, you need to consider how much money your business can comfortably afford if you face a claim. Choosing a higher deductible can help you save money on your business insurance premium, but you don’t want that deductible to be unrealistic or destructive to your business.

As far as limits are concerned, you need to make sure the limits of coverage on your policies – the maximum amount the insurance company will pay out on a claim – are high enough to protect your business. You don’t want to end up finding out the hard way that your business is underinsured.

6. Go insurance shopping.

It’s important to compare rates from several different companies when you’re shopping for insurance. You’ll want to compare coverages and prices to ensure that you’re getting the best insurance plan for your business for the best price. Companies assess risks differently, meaning that you might find a lower rate by checking around with several different carriers. Keep in mind, though, that you should never sacrifice coverage to save a bit of money.

7. Know what insurance you’re required by law to have.

When you’re on your insurance quest, make sure you look into any insurance requirements that you might need to fulfill. You might be required by state or federal law to carry certain coverages at certain limits. Double check to make sure you’re staying compliant with those laws.

8. Check your business insurance needs every year.

It’s important to reconsider your business’s insurance needs annually because things may have changed. Your business may have grown, meaning you might need to raise your limits of coverage. Maybe there are new risks that you need to cover. Whatever the case may be, it’s advisable to take a good hard look at your business insurance once a year to scout for any changes that might mean you need to adjust your coverage.

Get a business insurance quote.

Getting business insurance may seem like a daunting prospect, and hopefully the above tips are helpful to you as you undertake your quest. If you have any questions at all about your insurance, please feel free to reach out to us. If you want to do some shopping to see if you can save on your rates, we can help with that, too. All you have to do to get started on some business insurance quotes is fill out our quote form or give us a call today. Our team of agents is ready to help you.

Sources: 

https://www.sba.gov/business-guide/launch/get-business-insurance-assets-liability

10 pro tips for handling a home insurance claim in Atlanta

Here are our pro tips for handling a home insurance claim.

Filing a home insurance claim can seem like a daunting process. Dealing with damage to your home puts a lot of pressure and stress on you, the least of which is grappling with the insurance claim itself. That’s why we’ve put together our pro tips for handling a home insurance claim. Hopefully, these tips will help the claims process go as smoothly as possible.

1. First things first – be safe.

If you come home and discover a loss or damage, be extremely careful in entering your home. It might not be safe. Exercise your judgment, and if you need to, contact the appropriate emergency personnel to figure out how to proceed.

Report any downed power lines to the utility company, and keep your electricity turned off if there’s standing water in your home.

If it’s really not safe, get out. Don’t take any chances.

2. Contact your insurance company.

Your insurance company will want the who, what, where, when, and how of the situation. They can guide you on how to move forward with the claim and let you know what’s going to happen next. They’ll connect you with a claims handler, which leads us to our third pro tip.

3. Note the claim handler’s information.

Make sure that you take some notes when you talk to your insurance company. Take down the name and phone number of the claims handler so that you can get in touch with them easily.

4. Keep detailed records.

You’re going to have to become the ultimate note-taker. Keep a record of any contact that you have with the insurance company. Note the date, the time, the person that you spoke with, and the details of the conversation. Keep all of this information organized and in one place so that you can reference conversations from any point in the process.

5. If it’s safe, protect your home from further damage.

Take steps to protect your home from additional damage if it’s safe to do so. That might include things like boarding up windows and using tarps to prevent damage from the weather. This is important because your policy might require you to protect your home from damage after an incident.

6. Prepare a list of items that have been lost.

You’re going to need to be able to present your insurance company with a list of items that need to be replaced. This is why taking a home inventory is so important – that way you know exactly what was in your home in the first place and the value of your belongings.

If you have any accessible receipts of major purchases, dig them out and have them ready to present to your insurance company.

7. Don’t move damaged items out of your home.

The claims adjuster will want to see the scene as it is. You can even take pictures or videos of the damage to keep in your personal file – you never know when those could come in handy.

8. Save any receipts for additional living expenses.

If you have to move out of your home temporarily, keep any receipts from your accommodations or other living expenses. Your insurance might cover these expenses, too, so this will make it easier to get reimbursed.

9. Do the paperwork.

The claims adjuster will send over some paperwork and documents that you have to complete. Do the paperwork and return it promptly – don’t delay. Pay attention to any deadlines on the paperwork or documents.

10. Let your mortgage lender know about the loss.

You should let your lender know what happened. They might want to talk to you about contractor bids for reconstruction, and they might have their own protocol for rebuilding or repairing the home and inspecting the work.

We hope that you never have to face a loss to your home. It’s not fun to think about the worst-case-scenario, but that’s what insurance is for. Our goal is to help you build an insurance plan that will help you protect your home and your family. We understand that insurance can be complicated, so we want to make the insurance process as easy on you as possible. Contact us at Atlanta Insurance if you’d like to get a free quote on your home insurance, auto insurance, or renters insurance – all you have to do is fill out our quote form or give us a call!