Axis Insurance Services, LLC https://www.axisins.com Fri, 10 May 2019 18:59:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.1.1 Small Businesses: Be Wary of These Common Scams /small-businesses-be-wary-of-these-common-scams/ Tue, 09 Apr 2019 21:53:00 +0000 /?p=8401 The post Small Businesses: Be Wary of These Common Scams appeared first on Axis Insurance Services, LLC.

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Email Compromise: What it Is, and How To Protect Your Business /email-compromise-what-it-is-and-how-to-protect-your-business/ Wed, 03 Apr 2019 15:50:08 +0000 /?p=8400 The post Email Compromise: What it Is, and How To Protect Your Business appeared first on Axis Insurance Services, LLC.

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Be Aware of Possible Cyber Scams During Tax Time /be-aware-of-possible-cyber-scams-during-tax-time/ Wed, 13 Feb 2019 16:02:53 +0000 /?p=8339 The post Be Aware of Possible Cyber Scams During Tax Time appeared first on Axis Insurance Services, LLC.

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Warning from the IRS: Be Aware of These New Phishing Emails /warning-from-the-irs-be-aware-of-these-new-phishing-emails/ Tue, 05 Feb 2019 22:54:00 +0000 /?p=8338 The post Warning from the IRS: Be Aware of These New Phishing Emails appeared first on Axis Insurance Services, LLC.

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Your Business Has Lost Its Data. What Do You Do? /your-business-has-lost-its-data-what-do-you-do/ Tue, 22 Jan 2019 17:39:36 +0000 /?p=8187 It’s common for an employee to carry a laptop. But what if you were to lose that laptop or something else? With that kind of situation, it really depends on what kind of information that is now being breached, and how. And if it’s not possible to recover the laptop or data, then it’s possible …

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It’s common for an employee to carry a laptop. But what if you were to lose that laptop or something else? With that kind of situation, it really depends on what kind of information that is now being breached, and how. And if it’s not possible to recover the laptop or data, then it’s possible that you’ll have to expect some fallout from the mistake. If customers sue your company over the fact that you lost their data and exposed it to the public, the end result could be costly. Notification costs and settlements can total up to $350,000 or more. If you happen to lose precious data, then it’s time to take steps to recover what you lost and get cyber insurance. This is what you do to protect your business from the exposure of data loss.

Threats to Your Data

Besides your data getting physically stolen via a laptop or a phone, there are also digital threats that any small business needs to be aware of. Viruses are probably the first threat that companies are to report. “Ransomware” attacks where hackers demand money in exchange for your data can happen. There’s also other malicious software that can penetrate big companies’ firewalls like Target and Home Depot. Another risk that is common is the corruption of your data. Once that happens, it’s up to a database backup to save the day. Other risks include deletion (whether malicious or accidental) or hacking.

Now that you’re aware of the potential threats to your data, it’s time to figure out how to recover them. When it comes down to this, having backups of your work is essential.

How to Recover Your Data

According to Tech Radar, the first thing to do in the event of the loss of data is to figure out whether this type of loss is worth the recovery effort. It takes time and money to recover files, and if it’s nothing too serious, then it’s not a needed thing. If you have backups, it’s time to check them. Hopefully whatever you lost is on there. If not, then it’s time to move onto recovery data. If the hardware of the laptop still works, then it’s always possible to find the data. But if none of these options work, you can always refer to a professional. It’s important to not that while digital files can withstand the test of time, the machines that can access them do not. Always be prepared for your hard drive to stop working. If you’ve got a backup plan in place and cyber insurance, then there’s nothing to worry about besides losing out on precious work time.

Ways to Plan Ahead

Realise Data Systems says that in order to plan ahead, you can do these key things:

  • Conduct a security audit.
  • Use strong passwords.
  • Encrypt your data.
  • Back up everything.
  • Have security policies.
  • Have a multiple-technology solution in place.

About Axis Insurance

At Axis Insurance Services, we aim to help our customers identify their exposures and protect themselves. Founded in 1999, we offer insurance programs to a wide variety of professionals and industries including attorneys, real estate, healthcare, architects, and more, and also have a wholesale division. We pride ourselves on offering flexible insurance coverage tailored specifically to each customer’s needs. To learn more about our solutions, contact us at (201) 847-9175 to speak with one of our professionals.

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The Top 5 E&O Claims Commercial Real Estate Professionals Face /the-top-5-eo-claims-commercial-real-estate-professionals-face/ Tue, 15 Jan 2019 19:00:06 +0000 http://www.axisins.com/?p=2626 This blog was originally published on April 19, 2013. It was updated and re-published on January 15, 2019. In 2016, Insurance Journal’s Agency E&O Survey found that the majority of agency owners (83.5 percent) purchase Errors & Omissions coverage to keep their assets safe. The same goes for real estate professionals. The stark reality is …

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This blog was originally published on April 19, 2013. It was updated and re-published on January 15, 2019.

In 2016, Insurance Journal’s Agency E&O Survey found that the majority of agency owners (83.5 percent) purchase Errors & Omissions coverage to keep their assets safe. The same goes for real estate professionals. The stark reality is that at any given time, a claim can happen; when a claim happens, you need insurance to protect you.

When dealing with Commercial Real Estate (CRE), you can never be too careful. Although these firms generally don’t face the amount of litigation that a residential firm does, the risk and exposures that come with CRE firms are much more costly to defend in court. If you’re in the real estate business, it’s imperative to be aware of the claims that you could potentially come to face. Having the proper insurance coverage to defend you when you need it is essential. Here’s some real estate E&O claims examples that real estate professionals face.

The Top 5 E&O Claims

Across the commercial real estate sector as a whole, these five claims have been the most prevalent for years.

  • Dual agency – When the same firm employs different agents to work on a project.
  • Commissions – Sometimes real estate brokers have to bring suits against their clients for fees due.
  • Pollution – If a broker fails to disclose knowledge about a contaminant in the building they’re selling, they can be held liable for it.
  • Owned property – This happens when there’s a conflict of interest between a professional and a property they maintain ownership of.
  • Buyer/lesser financial creditworthiness – This involves when a tenant or buyer can’t fulfill their promise to pay for the property. A broker has to properly financially qualify a buyer and they have to disclose it.

However, keep in mind that these are the most common E&O claims across the entire commercial real estate market. For more specific occupations within the real estate sector, there are different claims that arise more frequently than the above.

Commercial Property Managers Claims Examples

For a commercial property manager, claims that you’ll have to deal with, according to Capitol Special Risks, are loss of income and misrepresentation.

  • Loss of income – Say a property manager is overseeing some kind of commercial building, such as a mall. But the thing isn’t taken care of at all like the contract stated. Due to this, the owner has to lower the monthly rent. If this happens, the owner can sue the property manager for loss of income.
  • Misrepresentation – A corporation contracts out a property management firm to lease a building floor. But six months later, construction begins on the road next to the property, ultimately causing horrible traffic. Because of this, vendors now have trouble making it to the building. The decrease in productivity can be harmful. The corporation can now sue for misrepresentation due to the fact that they were not made aware of the construction before they rented out the building.

Real Estate Agent Claim Scenario

In addition to the above claims, real estate agents are also vulnerable to claims of negligence. Let’s say a couple talked to a real estate broker about opening a daycare out of a home they are purchasing. The couple eventually bought a townhouse through the broker. After closing, they were told that they could not run a daycare out of their home. Because of this, the couple can sue for negligence.

 

About Axis Insurance

At Axis Insurance Services, we aim to help our customers identify their exposures and protect themselves. Founded in 1999, we offer insurance programs to a wide variety of professionals and industries including attorneys, real estate, healthcare, architects, and more, and also have a wholesale division. We pride ourselves on offering flexible insurance coverage tailored specifically to each customer’s needs. To learn more about our solutions, contact us at (201) 847-9175 to speak with one of our professionals.

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How a Business Can Avoid Credit Card Fraud /how-a-business-can-avoid-credit-card-fraud/ Tue, 08 Jan 2019 20:51:04 +0000 /?p=8185 The majority of business transactions today occur via credit cards, but that doesn’t make them inherently safe. Credit card fraud is an unfortunately common thing. The Nilson Report found $24.26 billion in worldwide fraud losses, with a 38.6 percent portion belonging to the United States and an estimated projection of $34.66 in losses by 2022. …

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The majority of business transactions today occur via credit cards, but that doesn’t make them inherently safe. Credit card fraud is an unfortunately common thing. The Nilson Report found $24.26 billion in worldwide fraud losses, with a 38.6 percent portion belonging to the United States and an estimated projection of $34.66 in losses by 2022.

With so much money going down the drain, it’s important for every business to fight back in whatever way they can. Credit card fraud is both disruptive and destructive to a business. Through strong prevention methods, any business can avoid credit card fraud. This is how you do avoid credit card fraud the right way, courtesy of StartupNation.

Search For Warning Signs

The warning signs are there. Keep a lookout for suspicious behavior, including:

  • Not having a credit card in a wallet or purse.
  • Getting a bunch of weird, expensive things.
  • Getting a wide variety of items that fails to make logical sense.
  • Rushing the cashier during closing time, for retail businesses.

While it doesn’t always mean that someone is committing fraud, these few instances can help you track down and be ready for fraud when it happens.

When your business utilizes a company card for purchases, keep a close eye on the bills, and make sure that all purchases are accounted for. Requiring that all employees have their purchases vetted before making them is a way to ensure that there are no under-the-table uses of company credit.

Accept Online (And All) Payments Safely

Online payments account for 45 percent of all credit card fraud, meaning that it’s imperative to also make sure your website is completely foolproof from fraud. Take extra precaution when it  comes to online billing; while you may not be able to physically see the culprit, it’s still possible to pinpoint them out. Look for things such as:

  • Orders with several of the same items.
  • Orders made up of only big items that have high resale pricing.
  • Multiple purchases from the same IP address.

Looking out for your online payments will immensely help with any fraud issues that you might have. As a business, it’s important to remain vigilant.

Other Ways to Prevent Fraud

Other things that you can do to prevent fraud include having a type of plan in place to protect your business; this plan should include always checking the ID of a credit card purchaser. And when fraud happens, be sure to report it as soon as possible.

The final layer of protection includes purchasing Management Liability Insurance.

 

About Axis Insurance

At Axis Insurance Services, we aim to help our customers identify their exposures and protect themselves. Founded in 1999, we offer insurance programs to a wide variety of professionals and industries including attorneys, real estate, healthcare, architects, and more, and also have a wholesale division. We pride ourselves on offering flexible insurance coverage tailored specifically to each customer’s needs. To learn more about our solutions, contact us at (201) 847-9175 to speak with one of our professionals.

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What You Need to Know About Third Party Administrators with Paul Hacker /what-you-need-to-know-about-third-party-administrators-with-paul-hacker/ Tue, 08 Jan 2019 16:51:07 +0000 /?p=8241 Below you can learn more about Third Party Administrators (TPA’s) and how they effect Employers and Unions. We interviewed one of our Professional Liability Brokers, Paul Hacker to explain the term “TPA” and how it may relate to your professional liability coverage. Drew Smith: Good Morning Paul. How are you? Paul Hacker: I’m doing great, how about …

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Paul Hacker                  Professional Liability Broker phacker@axisins.com

Below you can learn more about Third Party Administrators (TPA’s) and how they effect Employers and Unions. We interviewed one of our Professional Liability Brokers, Paul Hacker to explain the term “TPA” and how it may relate to your professional liability coverage.

Drew Smith: Good Morning Paul. How are you?

Paul Hacker: I’m doing great, how about you?

Drew: Great, thanks. So what can you tell us about your position at Axis Insurance Services, LLC?

Paul: I’m currently a Professional Liability Broker. I primarily focus on professional and management liability, specifically in the insurance agents and broker E&O market and in the healthcare field.

Drew: And you’ve learned a lot about professional and management liability. One topic that seems to come up frequently within management liability are TPA’s.  What exactly is a TPA?

Paul: The acronym TPA stands for Third Party Administrator. TPAs provide a number of services across many different lines of business. For example, a TPA can administer Workers Comp programs, Medical/hospital/pharmacy/dental/vision/HRA/HSA/FSA, and COBRA, Pensions, and Disability plans.

Drew: Who typically uses a TPA?

Paul: Employers and Unions often self-insure their benefit plans for several reasons. First, self-insurance brings immediate cash flow advantages over paying a fully insured fixed premium for employees (single and family premium). Second, you have greater flexibility designing your plans and establishing eligibility rules for employees and members. Third, you are under ERISA which is a Federal Mandate and you do not have to abide by state mandates. Finally, groups self-insure because they can better control and mitigate their risks.

A number of carriers in health, comp, ancillary benefits, and disability often outsource their claims processing, billing, and eligibility to TPAs. TPAs are much more nimble when it comes to claims processing, they have the staff, and the technology to process claims much more efficiently and for a cheaper cost than the large corporate entities.

Drew: What does a TPA typically do?

Paul: Depending on the type of engagement, TPA’s can process claims, maintain eligibility, answer phones, bill clients, pay commissions, etc.

Drew: What are some claims scenarios?

Paul: We find more E&O claims are filed when the client and TPA are breaking up. In other words, when a client is terminating their contract with the TPA, the client may file an E&O claim because they do not want to pay for their Stop Loss or other costs to close out paying the claims for that period. TPAs need a broad professional services definition in order to reimburse them for E&O claims that arise post client terminating their services.
Some of the common claims we see that clients file against their TPA are as follows:
1). TPA does not fund a stop loss claim to the reinsurer. Reinsurer sues the TPA and the client. Or the client sues the TPA when the SL carrier denies reimbursing due to past a time limit.
2). Client sends in eligibility request to remove an ee(employee). The TPA never processes. The ee then is diagnosed w cancer. The employer does not want the bad press taking an ee off the plan b/c the TPA did not process the eligibility request. Employer sues the TPA for error.

Drew: Why is it important?

Paul: TPAs provide an alternative funding arrangement to employers and unions. And in today’s time when health care plans are increasing their fully insured premiums to record levels, TPAs and self-funding provides a much-needed cost effective alternative. To give you an example of a fully insured high deductible health plan option in NYS for an employer or union with 100 or less eligible employees, a single monthly rate is $750, and a family rate is $2000. In a TPA arrangement, there is no fixed premium rates, but rather a monthly administration charge, PPO access fee, and ancillary fees for Utilization Management, PBMs, etc. Of course, the self-funded account sets aside a certain claim budget to pay for the medical/hospital/Rx claims and this is determined during the implementation phase of the self-funding process.

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Axis Insurance Services Welcomes Two New Sales Producers /axis-insurance-services-welcomes-two-new-sales-producers/ Mon, 07 Jan 2019 15:07:58 +0000 /?p=8208 Axis Insurance Services is pleased to announce the hiring of Professional Liability Insurance Brokers Roberta McClintock and Brian J Lawlor to our ever-expanding company. Roberta comes to us from Professional Insurance Agents Management Services Inc. She has over a decade of experience in the Insurance Agents and Brokers retail market as well as Wholesale, MGA, …

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Axis Insurance Services is pleased to announce the hiring of Professional Liability Insurance Brokers Roberta McClintock and Brian J Lawlor to our ever-expanding company.

Roberta comes to us from Professional Insurance Agents Management Services Inc. She has over a decade of experience in the Insurance Agents and Brokers retail market as well as Wholesale, MGA, MUA and impaired risk insurance operations. Brian comes to us from BOLT Insurance Agency where he worked as Vice President of VIP accounts. His primary focus as an underwriter was for niche industries such as cyber liability and commercial driving. He brings over 45 years of real estate and insurance experience to the company.

Roberta and Brian’s main responsibilities will include managing existing client policies, bringing in new clients and policies, and providing day to day services of accounts. CEO Mike Smith, is happy to have these talented professionals on board. “We look forward to adding to our sales team and using the experience Roberta and Brian have acquired to help our company move forward.”

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Scary New Emotet Virus Makes Anti-Virus Look Inadequate /scary-new-virus-makes-anti-virus-look-inadequate/ Wed, 02 Jan 2019 19:08:22 +0000 /?p=8218 By Drew M Smith  A new much more dangerous computer virus has revealed itself in the last few months. The virus is named Emotet and it puts everything we know about anti-virus software in the grave as it continuously finds ways around the typical protections businesses have in place. The virus itself is a trojan virus. Much …

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By Drew M Smith

How Insurtech Helps Small Businesses A new much more dangerous computer virus has revealed itself in the last few months. The virus is named Emotet and it puts everything we know about anti-virus software in the grave as it continuously finds ways around the typical protections businesses have in place.

The virus itself is a trojan virus. Much like the mythological horse, the virus is embedded by hackers in innocent looking documents such as Word documents, Excel spreadsheets and PDFs. Then using phishing tactics, a hacker dupes someone into opening the infected file. After opening this file, the virus hides in the processes of your computer and spreads itself to other devices throughout your network. This ends up being a big problem, that is often not discovered until the virus starts affecting network performance because it is so widespread.

What makes this even more dangerous that it is polymorphic. This means that it changes its own code as it spreads itself. This is why typical anti-virus solutions cannot stop it from operating and spreading. As the virus is identified in one computer and said computer is cleaned, the computer can be re-infected by other computers in the system that are still running undetected and changed versions of the same virus

This also makes it especially dangerous with its primary target, banking and other system credentials. The virus also sends a signal out to its operators which allows them to either use the credentials to get into your system or remotely send other types unto the system such as back-doors ransomware and more. This is where the damage happens. With the constant signals, it mimics a Denial of Service (DDOS) attack slowing or even freezing the networks it infects. One company was infected with the virus and all their officer’s computers. In addition, it infected the majority of the company’s network, essentially grinding the company to a halt as they worked to purge the virus.

According to Chris Dilenno, Founding Partner of Mullen Coughlin LLC, a law firm devoted to cyber liability, “We are seeing two or more companies reporting these infections every week. Internal IT staff and even the top anti-virus companies in the world, can think they have it beat, but it in fact, we see them miss it completely. This virus is no joke.”

The best solution Dilenno offers at the moment is to put in a sophisticated endpoint protection software. It doesn’t stop the initial infection, but it is the best way to detect the virus as it operates, shut it down quickly and stop it from spreading. As with so many risks posed by business email, training employees to be wary of unknown emails, attachments or suspicious links, and to report unusual computer behavior quickly, is the best and first line of defense.

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