The Naughty List: Three Holiday Scams to Watch Out for this Season


The most wonderful time of the year is officially upon us, but along with the hustle, bustle and holiday shopping comes a whole new wave of seasonal scams. From pilfering personal information to package theft, there’s no shortage of fraudsters having their names added to the naughty list this time of year. Learn what to watch out for so you can keep the holidays merry and bright.

Fake Charity Scams

Scammers know that hearts and wallets open during the holiday season, which impels some to ask for charitable donations to fake causes through email, funding sites and social media. Before you click the donate button, do a little research and ensure that your generosity is supporting a legitimate cause. If an email contains grammatical errors or looks suspicious, it probably is. Visit an organization’s website directly to make a donation, rather than clicking the link in an unsolicited email. With over 195,000 registered charities, check Charity Navigator to confirm an organization’s legitimacy prior to making a donation. 

Fake Gift Cards & Giveaways

Be wary if you find that you’ve suddenly won a free holiday gift card or giveaway in a contest you don’t remember entering. Fraudsters use this tactic to lure people into providing personal information, which they then sell to cyber criminals. Never provide information like your name, mailing address, social security number or bank information to any unverified contacts over email or the phone. 

Porch Pirating  

With an increase in online holiday shopping and shipping comes an increase in holiday thievery. In recent years, a favorite trend of criminals is following behind delivery trucks to steal packages off front porches after they are delivered. Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to reduce your odds of falling prey to porch theft. Installing a security camera or a camera doorbell will not only capture a thief in the act, these devices are often enough to deter criminals from targeting your home entirely. Additionally, motion-activated lights call attention to any activity that may occur after dusk, making the task of porch pirating more inconvenient and risky.

If you work somewhere you can receive packages, consider having shipments delivered to your office so they aren’t sitting on your porch unattended for hours. If this isn’t an option, check out Amazon Locker locations in your area for any Amazon orders. These lockers allow you to stop by and pick up your deliveries at your convenience using an electronic code. 

Interested in learning more about fraud, scams and cybersecurity? Check out Cybersecurity 101, read up on how to protect your business from cyber threats, learn more about how Central is tackling fraud before it happens or check out the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s “12 Days of Fraud” on Instagram.


The Uninsurable Risk of Clark Griswold: Part II


A few years ago, we shared a post titled, The Uninsurable Risk of Clark Griswold. Much like the classic film itself, that post has remained a seasonal favorite amongst our blog readership. Today we’re taking it one step further (with some help from Rich Nouza, Liability Large Loss Consultant) to break down some of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation’s most iconic scenes as we explore the liability risks* and insurance implications of hosting the hap-hap-happiest Christmas since…well, you know. 

In the film, Clark’s cousin Eddie rolls into town in an RV he allegedly “borrowed off a buddy.” Throughout the film the “good-looking vehicle” makes a number of appearances, including the infamous sewer scene. 

What’s the liability of loaning someone your RV? 

Presuming coverage is similar to a personal auto, insurance would follow the RV. The person driving would be a permissive user and entitled to coverage under the RV policy. As such, the insured would have liability and coverage as per the policy.

Is there any difference between the liability of having guests inside your RV versus inside a home? 

Yes. In a premises liability situation with a home, the homeowner has certain duties to warn guests of known dangers, etc. Presuming an RV is akin to a personal auto, those duties are not the same as they would be for a homeowner.

In addition to the RV, Eddie brings along his entire family, including their beloved dog, Snots. Later in the film, Aunt Bethany shows up with her mistakenly-wrapped cat, introducing two furry characters into an already chaotic Christmas.

When a guest visits and brings a pet, how does that impact the homeowner’s liability? If that animal should injure someone in the home, who bears the burden of that liability? 

There would arise a legal question as to who is the “harborer or keeper” of the pet. If the guest is present with their pet, then liability stays with the owner. If the pet owner leaves the premises and the pet is in the care, custody or control of the insured, then liability could transfer to the insured. There could also be some additional liability on the homeowner if they knew of any violent propensities of the pet (i.e. prior bites or aggressiveness) and did not warn other guests, even if the pet owner remains present. Med Pay would also be available.

Early in the film, it is revealed that Clark has plans to use his Christmas bonus to install an in-ground pool. Unbeknownst to his family, the plan is to reveal the surprise swimming pool plan on Christmas Eve. 

How does a pool impact liability as a homeowner? 

The same kind of premises liability analysis would be conducted with respect to any claims related to a pool. Pools are oftentimes referred to as an “attractive nuisance,” such that small children wander to them, which is why fencing, alarms, etc. are recommended to safeguard from those potential exposures.

Like any true holiday gathering, food plays a pivotal role through the film. In addition to a Jell-O mould decorated with cat food and several moosehead mugs full of unrefrigerated eggnog, one of the most iconic scenes is Christmas dinner gone awry during which the extremely overcooked turkey unfurls in front of a table full of hungry dinner guests. 

Can a host be held liable if they accidentally give their guests food poisoning? 

The answer is likely “maybe” depending on the situation and whether the food poisoning would meet the definition of an “occurrence.” We would have to run the negligence test of duties owed, duties breached, cause and damage to determine liability.

After a disappointing Christmas bonus arrives in the form of a subscription to the Jelly of the Month Club, Clark goes on an iconic tirade about his boss. A well-intentioned (albeit highly misguided) Cousin Eddie takes it upon himself to kidnap Clark’s boss, bringing him back to the Griswold house so Clark can give him a piece of his mind. Shortly thereafter, the family is surprised by a SWAT team bursting through all their doors and windows. 

If SWAT raids your house (smashing windows, doors, etc.), are those damages covered?

The type of damage is likely not covered, as most homeowner policies contain an exclusion for damages caused by governmental action. The government has sovereign immunity, and would not pay for those damages. An exception to this exclusion is with respect to fire department damage caused during the course of fighting a fire.

It might be easy to assume these kinds of wild scenarios are limited to the theatrics of Hollywood, but we’ve been known to hear a memorable story or two passing through the halls of Central. Here are a couple from our Claims Department: 

“I had a claim for a policyholder who walked into a neighbor’s home with a handful of bottle rockets on New Year’s Eve. Somehow, he accidentally lit them causing approximately $50,000 in damages to the home’s interior and contents.”

-Tommy Brack, SERO Regional Claims Manager

“[Not unlike Clark Griswold] a plaintiff fell through the attic, then sued the homebuilder. Unfortunately, the plaintiff sustained some serious injuries, but we prevailed on summary judgment.”

-Jeremy McMichen, Southeast Regional Office Liability Claim Supervisor

However you celebrate the season, we hope your holidays are safe, healthy and happy. 

*The information above is of a general nature and your policy and coverages provided may differ from the examples provided. Please read your policy in its entirety to determine your actual coverage available.


Creating Your Own Emergency Supply Kit


Creating Your Own Emergency Supply KitAs youngsters, the more serious-minded among us were vigilant about making the Scout motto “Be Prepared” a reality. Now with the latest round of fires, earthquakes and hurricanes, the old adage is more relevant than ever. Even in Florida, we all have the potential to encounter the occasional unpredicted mishap. But few events can be as unpredictable, or devastating, as natural disasters: hurricanes, floods, wildfires, tsunamis, severe storms, tornadoes, and landslides, many of which we’ve been faced with lately.

Nature expresses herself in myriad ways, not all of them pleasant. A handy and well-stocked emergency supply kit, however, makes managing such situations much easier, and can significantly lessen the severity of nature’s ill-effects. Since September is National Preparedness Month, there’s no better time to assemble a complete and potentially life-saving emergency supply kit than now.

Start with a container that allows you to easily see the contents inside, such as a transparent plastic storage tub. You can use clear, resealable plastic bags to store the smaller, individual contents of the kit. According to the Red Cross, an emergency supply kit should contain the following items:

  • Water – one gallon per person, per day (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)
  • Food – nonperishable, easy-to-prepare items (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)
  • Flashlight
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
  • Extra batteries
  • First aid kit (visit for advice on assembling one)
  • Medications (7-day supply) and medical items
  • Multipurpose tool
  • Sanitation and personal hygiene items
  • Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
  • Cell phone with chargers
  • Family and emergency contact information
  • Extra cash
  • Emergency blanket
  • Map(s) of the area
  • Medical supplies (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, cane)
  • Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
  • Games and activities for children
  • Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
  • Two-way radios
  • Extra set of car keys and house keys
  • Manual can opener

Depending on the types of disasters likely in your area, you may also want to include the following:

  • Surgical masks
  • Matches
  • Rain gear
  • Towels
  • Work gloves
  • Tools/supplies for securing your home
  • Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Duct tape
  • Household liquid bleach

Store the emergency supply kit in a place that is easy to reach and free from humidity, which can shorten the shelf life of some of its contents. Make sure all family members know where the kit is located, and take the time to train everyone in the use of each item in the kit. Whatever nature brings, you’ll be ready for it, and glad you made the effort to be prepared.

For any home insurance questions, call or contact Post Insurance and Financial today.


A Look at Common Industry Terminology



Insurance Glossary: A Look at Common Industry TerminologyThink insurance is confusing? That may have something to do with the specialized vocabulary that’s been developed to describe the many concepts, tools, and policy types unique to the industry. But you don’t have to be an insurance outsider… Here are some insurance terms to help you become a savvy consumer.

  1. Appraisal: An assessment of the value of something, often by an expert.
  2. Actual cash value: The amount you paid for something minus the amount it’s depreciated.
  3. Liability insurance: A type of policy that protects you if someone else gets injured or their property is damaged, and it’s your responsibility.
  4. Beneficiary: The group, individual, trust, or charity that is named to receive any benefits from your life insurance policy.
  5. Claim: When you experience a loss covered by your insurance policy and make a formal request to receive benefits.
  6. Deductible: This is the amount you must pay out of pocket before your insurance benefits kick in.
  7. Peril: The specific potential causes of damage or loss covered by your insurance policy.
  8. Premium: This is the amount you pay to maintain your insurance policy each month, and is based on your level of risk.
  9. Reinsurance: When an insurer purchases insurance to protect their own risk.
  10. Replacement cost: The cost of replacing something without taking into account its depreciated value.
  11. Risk assessment: When you work with an insurer to determine your level of personal or business risk and to decide the cost of your policy.
  12. Umbrella policy: This type of policy can cover costs after your regular policy has been exhausted, or cover perils that may not be covered by your primary policy.

For all of your insurance questions, call or contact Post Insurance and Financial today.

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Weather Insurance Break-Down | Blog


Weather Insurance Break-DownExtreme weather is becoming more and more common these days, but even run-of-the-mill heat, rain, or snow can ruin an event or make it very difficult to carry out certain business operations, like construction. And when you have put thousands of dollars into a multi-day festival, film shoot, wedding, outdoor sale, or any type of activity that can be negatively impacted by the weather, it can be devastating to have to cancel or postpone due to intense heat or a dangerous storm. Even worse, you might not be able to recoup your costs, unless you have weather insurance.

COVERAGE: Simply put, if your business loses money as the result of an adverse weather-related event, weather insurance can help to cover your costs. From there, it gets a little more nuanced. Depending on what type of policy you buy, weather insurance can cover both high-probability and low-probability weather. Low probability weather might include earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, and natural disasters. But a weather insurance policy can also apply to common weather like rain, fog, or snow, and can sometimes even kick in after a specific amount of precipitation, or if precipitation occurs over a certain number of hours. (So if it rains for four hours during your outdoor festival, you can recover some of the revenue you might have earned had it not been raining.)

COST: The cost of a weather insurance policy can vary quite a bit because it’s based on a specific area and time of year. If you want to purchase a policy that covers rain and snow, for example, your insurer will figure out how likely it is that the type of weather will occur on the date or dates of your event, and your premium will be adjusted accordingly. Be sure to contact your insurer at least two weeks in advance of your event in order to get coverage.

CONDITIONAL WEATHER INSURANCE: Some business owners use a specific type of weather insurance, known as conditional weather insurance, to bring attention to and run promotions for their business. This type of promotion entices customers by giving rebates or sometimes even free services or merchandise if a specific weather event occurs. For example, you might give customers a discount if it snows a certain amount, or on a certain day. A conditional weather insurance promotion can be a fun and effective way to bring in new customers. Your insurance agent can help you design a policy that works for the season and the kind of promotion you desire.

WHO NEEDS WEATHER INSURANCE: Adverse weather impacts everyone, but it can be especially damaging for a small business owner whose business operations depend on sunny skies and tolerable temperatures. If that describes your business, then purchasing weather insurance is probably going to be much less costly than paying for your event to be rescheduled, or having to pay your employees and keep your business running when you are unable to carry out business operations due to weather. Talk to your insurance agent about finding the right weather insurance policy for you.

For all of your insurance questions, call or contact Post Insurance and Financial today.


Common Myths about Workers’ Compensation


Common Myths about Workers' CompensationWhether you’re a business owner, contractor, or employee, most likely you take job safetyand on-the-job injuriesseriously. But many people have incomplete or incorrect information about Workers Compensation Insurance, which is designed to support both employers and workers when an injury does occur. Take the time to read about some common misconceptions about Workers’ Compensation Insurance, and set the record straight.

Myth 1: If you want to file a claim, the injury needs to have happened on site.

Truth: If an employee gets injured while conducting business, they have standing to file a claim, whether it occurred at your place of business, en route to a business-related event, or completely off-site. This matters because you can’t always minimize an employee’s risk while they’re at a regional conference or on their way to meet a client, the same way you could if they were in the office.

Myth 2: Workers’ Compensation only covers medical bills

Truth: Workers’ Compensation insurance can go well beyond medical bills, covering wage replacement, vocational rehabilitation services, and other damages. Without Workers’ Compensation, an employee can take legal action to get their employer to pay for these damages.

Myth 3: If an employee gets a minor injury, it’s not worth reporting.

Truth: Prompt and accurate reporting is often a condition of having a Workers’ Compensation policy. What’s more, injuries that seem minor at first may develop into something more serious and require expensive treatment. Not reporting these injuries may put your policy in jeopardy and can also keep your employees from getting the care they need.

Myth 4: Any injury that is work-related will be covered by Workers’ Compensation

Truth: Some situations may disqualify an employee who gets injured from receiving Workers’ Compensation benefits. These include injuries that happen while an employee is under the influence of drugs or alcohol or while committing a crime; injuries that occur because an employee begins a fight; or injuries that are self-inflicted. Mental health and psychological conditions are sometimes covered, but only in specific states and under narrow circumstances. Both employers and employees should understand when an injury will be covered under their policy, and when it won’t be.

Myth 5: You don’t need coverage

Truth: It’s true that not all states require business owners to have Workers’ Compensation coverage, and that in some very limited circumstances, it may not be completely necessary. But even for sole proprietors, businesses with very few employees, or businesses who only work with contractors, there may be some very good reasons to obtain Workers’ Compensation insurance. Some clients may not work with you unless you have a policy, because if you get injured, they could be liable. Be sure to find out the requirements for your state, and then weigh the pros and cons to determine whether Workers’ Compensation insurance is in the best interest of you and your livelihood.

For any business insurance questions, call or contact Post Insurance and Financial today.


What in the Hay is an HOA? All About Homeowners Associations


What in the Hay is an HOA? All About Homeowners AssociationsWhen you move into a planned community, you may be required to join a homeowners association. Also known as an HOA, these organizations often collect dues and set rules about things you can or cannot do with or on your property. So what do you need to know if you’re about to buy a property run by an HOA?

How HOAs work:

An HOA can exist in a community of single-family homes, condominiums, an apartment building, or any type of neighborhood, really. And if you want to buy a house or apartment in a community with an HOA, you’ll have to become a member. The HOA is usually run by a board of directors, collects dues, and makes rules that homeowners must follow.

What’s a CC&R?

CC&R stands for “covenants, conditions, and restrictions.” This is the document that outlines what you can and cannot do as a member of your particular HOA. The CC&R is developed by the Board of Directors and can be changed as needed.

Typical requirements of a CC&R?

CC&Rs will most certainly vary, but it’s common to have rules related to landscaping, pets, noise, parking, and decorations, as well as things like whether you can rent out your property and how high you can build a fence. Less common rules might dictate whether you can hang your laundry out to dry and the color palette you must choose from if you decide to paint your house. If you are considering purchasing a home in a neighborhood with an HOA, you should review these rules carefully and make sure you are prepared to follow them.

CC&R violations:

If you do not follow the rules and regulations of your HOA, you may get a notice, receive a fine, or even have legal action taken against you.

How much are HOA dues?

The cost of your HOA membership dues will depend on your property and community, but they generally range from a few hundred dollars up to $1,000 per month. These dues will sometimes partially apply to things like garbage or snow removal and other services, and can also be used to maintain common areas and amenities (like a gym, park, or swimming pool).

Is an HOA the same thing as a Property Owners Association?

Although they are similar, HOAs and Property Owners Associations (POAs) are different types of entities. According to the website Investopedia, the main difference is that a POA may include members who are not homeowners, who also have an interest in maintaining the community and property values, while an HOA includes homeowner members only.

What are the pros and cons of an HOA?

One of the greatest benefits of being a member of an HOA is that they tend to keep property values high because all homes in the neighborhood are maintained to a strict standard. The downside is that the rules can seem restrictive if you’re not clear on what they are beforehand. The good news is: an HOA board of directors is made up of homeowners just like you, so if you are not happy with certain regulations or the way the HOA is run, you can get involved and advocate for changes.

For all of your home insurance questions, call or contact Post Insurance and Financial today.


The Most Common Holiday-Related Insurance Claims


The Most Common Holiday-Related Insurance ClaimsThe holiday season is upon us, meaning it’s time to be jolly, gather with friends and family, and, hopefully, stay safe. But in addition to the things we’re all wishing for, the holidays can bring some unwanted gifts in the form of accidents, damages, or injuries that might result in an insurance claim. So what are the most common holiday-related insurance claims and how can you avoid them? Read on to find out.

Fire damage: The holiday season can bring a very real uptick in potential fire hazards, including Christmas trees and decorations, those shiny gifts under the tree, and the increased use of electrical outlets and fireplaces, just to name a few things.

How to stay safe: Make sure your tree, gifts, and other decorations are placed well away from outlets, space heaters, and other potential fire sources. Use outlets appropriately: never overload them or use adapters to bypass what the outlet can safely handle. Make sure all cords and wiring (including Christmas lights) are free from damage and working properly.

Accidents and injuries: When celebrating the season involves climbing on the roof to put up lights and inflatables, standing on a tall ladder to put the star atop the tree, and consuming more alcohol than you might at other times of year, All while there’s ice and snow everywhere, there are bound to be some accidents. And if someone outside of your family is injured doing any of these things on your property, you’re the one who could be liable.

How to stay safe: Use ladders correctly and always have a buddy to help you out and keep watch, especially if you’re placing decorations outdoors. Keep your walkways free from ice and snow to protect yourself and your neighbors. Serve alcohol responsibly, and don’t allow guests to engage in rowdy behavior or unsafe practices at your home. And never let your guests drive home if they are intoxicated.

Theft: With increased travel and social activities, there are unfortunately more opportunities for theft to occur, both at your home and while you’re out and about.

How to stay safe: Always secure valuable items if you are hosting people at your home. Use motion lighting and an alarm system to keep your home protected. Make a habit of locking your car, especially when you’re out shopping for gifts.

Car accidents: Icy roads and boozy gatherings can make for a dangerous combination. Winter weather, driving at night or while tired, and multiple other factors can make accidents even more likely.

How to stay safe: Keep your car well maintained. Plan for the weather and give yourself plenty of time to get wherever you are going. Never drive while intoxicated, and have a backup plan if you are going to celebrate. Travel with enough gas, a spare tire, and an emergency kit, just in case.

As we dive into the holidays, make sure you have adequate insurance coverage on your home and property, and that your liability coverage is appropriate to your risk. That way, no matter how the season unfolds, you’ll know that you are safe and protected.

For all of your insurance questions, call or contact Post Insurance and Financial today.


Four New Year’s Resolutions for you Business


' . htmlspecialchars( $aNewBlogPost['META_TITLE'] ) . 'The New Year is a time to start fresh. And that doesn’t have to only apply to your personal life. You can also take advantage of the energy and momentum around New Year’s to make improvements to your company. If you want to take your business to the next level, here are five New Year’s resolutions to commit to in 2022.

Resolution #1: Kickstart your social media presence

For a modern business, social media is a necessity. Maybe you don’t have the money to hire someone savvy to devote their time and expertise to your company accounts, but that’s no reason to let this important promotional tool fall by the wayside. A few ways to do it include:

  • Focusing on the platforms that are most likely to reach your target audience
  • Committing to posting at least once or twice a week
  • Sharing company news, highlighting rockstar employees and customers, or just telling your followers more about your mission and vision

Resolution #2: Work on team building

The pandemic taught us that work doesn’t have to be soul-crushing, and that how we feel at the office matters. People do their best work when they feel safe, valued, and connected, and employers who want to find and retain the very best workers would do well to pay attention to that. A few ways to do it include:

  • Making and taking time for connection, even if it’s a five-minute sharing activity at the beginning of a staff meeting
  • Sending thank-you notes
  • Seeking out honest feedback on your company culture, and taking steps to improve it
  • Celebrating accomplishments both in and out of the office

Resolution #3: Know where your money is going

If your business is doing well (or even if it isn’t), it can be easy to start overlooking your day-to-day expenses and stop being so scrupulous about where your money is going. Make a commitment to staying apprised of your company’s finances and maintaining your business’s financial health. A few ways to do it include:

  • Investing in budgeting software
  • Saving your receipts and categorizing your expenses in a timely manner
  • Setting aside time to maintain your budget and ensure that your spending is aligned with company values

Resolution #4: Be a more flexible boss

The modern workplace is changing, and companies need to change with it if they want to stay relevant and competitive. Your business may not be able to offer full-time remote work or a different compensation plan, but you can still find ways to be more flexible. A few ways to do it include:

  • Offering flexible scheduling for employees
  • Considering options for working parents
  • Making goals crystal clear for your employees, and giving them autonomy about how they get there

With these four resolutions, your business will be on the road to greater success in 2022.

For all of your business insurance questions, call or contact Post Insurance and Financial today.


7 Point Check List while Buying Car Insurance


When you decide to buy a vehicle, the decision will always be special. So, do this task with proper planning because it also needs your hard-earned money. Prepare a excel sheet, comparing mileage, features, color details available in the list of models person is planning to buy and the works.

The obsession level may be high, but care a lot while finalizing a deal. Majority of people have a tendency that they pay maximum attention in zeroing in on the vehicle, but they never pay much focus towards the car insurance policy in India.

In fact, when it comes to policy renewal, probably the case is same. Insurance professionals suggest vehicle owners to pay enough attention while selecting the best car insurance plan online.

Below are 7 tips which will help buyers to make the correct decision about car insurance:

  1. Every insurer differently rates each brand of vehicles based on customers’ statistical analyses, claim history etc. Insurance companies in India update these ratings frequently; hence online comparison of similar products from various insurers is essential to get a better rate. But, ‘price’ is not the only factor customers should be looking for while selecting auto insurance coverage.
  2. Today, comparing and purchasing vehicle insurance policies become easier, faster and affordable. Buyers can get the policy issued immediately and can access it at one place.
  3. It is advisable to select an insurer which has a wide network of garages and offers cashless claims. It is the most convenient way for policyholders.
  4. Choose an insurer that has best claim settlement ratio as well as easy claim procedures. Just go online and then do a quick search about preferred insurance companies in India.
  5. Do not forget to select the correct add-ons for your vehicle as it helps to offer sufficient coverage for insured vehicle based on your individual requirements. Zero depreciation cover and no claim bonus protection are some of the most popular add-ons available on online car insurance policies India.
  6. Understand all the inclusions and exclusions related to the plan, so insured will not be surprise at the time claims.
  7. The best insurance service provider is the one that helps customers to find the best policy, give timely renewal reminders and guide through claim settlement processes.

Do not forget that choosing the right policy is very much important because it will help policyholders to secure their expensive purchase, a car without burning a big hole in your pocket.

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