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ASZ International, Inc.

200 Summit Lake Drive
Suite 220
Valhalla, NY 10595

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Tips on Avoiding Wire Fraud

The number of wire fraud cases is on the increase globally, and this includes within the insurance industry. As a reminder of best practices for reducing the likelihood that you will be victimized by this type of crime, we share the following information.

When it comes to wire fraud, prevention is key. To help protect yourself and your business, take the following steps:

-Ensure that all employees who handle wires are properly trained on how to spot red flags and identify fraudulent activity.

-Implement dual approval procedures for all wire transfers, so that no single individual has sole control over the process.

-Verify the wiring instructions with the intended recipient by telephone or in-person before sending any money. Do not rely on email communications alone.

-Never send wires in response to unsolicited requests, even if they appear to be from someone you know and trust. If you are unsure about a request, confirm it with the person directly before taking any action.

By following these simple steps, you can help protect yourself and your business from wire fraud. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your insurance agent or broker. Thank you for your time and attention to this important issue.

What is inflation and how does it affect the insurance industry and your premiums?

Inflation is a term that is thrown around a lot in the news, but what does it actually mean? In short, inflation is when prices for goods and services increase. In the world of insurance, this can have a big impact on premiums. In this blog post, we will discuss how inflation affects premiums and why it’s important to keep track of changes in the rate of inflation.

There are a few different ways to measure inflation, but the most common is the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The CPI measures changes in the prices of a basket of goods and services that are commonly consumed by households. In the United States, the CPI is released on a monthly basis by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

When the CPI goes up, it means that prices are rising and the purchasing power of your dollar is decreasing. In other words, it takes more money to buy the same amount of goods or services. Inflation can have a major impact on your insurance premiums because insurance companies use something called the “cost of living adjustment” (COLA) to account for changes in the CPI.

The COLA is a percentage increase or decrease that is applied to your insurance premiums to keep them in line with the rising cost of living. For example, if the CPI goes up by two percent, your insurance company may raise your premiums by two percent as well. Inflation can also affect the insurance industry in other ways. Another example would be, that if the cost of medical care goes up, it would be likely that you would see an increase in your health insurance premiums. In addition, inflation can erode the value of investments that insurance companies hold, which can impact their financial stability and ability to pay claims.

While there are a number of factors that can affect your insurance premiums, inflation is one of the most important to keep in mind. While this may seem like a disadvantage for consumers, it’s important to remember that insurance is designed to protect you from financial loss in the event of an unforeseen circumstance. In other words, while your premiums may go up in response to inflation, so will the payouts you receive if you need to make a claim. In the end, this ensures that insurance remains an effective way to protect yourself and your family from financial hardship.

If you have any questions about how inflation affects your insurance premiums, or if you would like to learn more about how insurance works, we encourage you to speak with one of our experienced agents. We would be happy to help! In the meantime, please check out our blog for more informative articles like this one.

Thank you for reading!!!

Debunking Common Myths About Recreational Insurance

Insurance is one of those topics that everyone knows they need, but few people understand. As a result, there are a lot of myths and misunderstandings about what recreational insurance covers. This blog post will set the record straight and debunk some of the most common myths about recreational insurance.

1. Myth: Recreation Vehicle Insurance is Expensive

The cost of recreational vehicle insurance is often one of the biggest concerns for people considering coverage. However, the reality is that recreation vehicle insurance can be very affordable, especially when you compare it to the cost of repairs or replacements if something goes wrong.

2. Myth: I Don’t Need Insurance if I’m Not Going to Use My RV Very Much

Many people believe they don’t need insurance for their recreational vehicle if they’re not going to use it very often. However, this isn’t the case. Even if you only take your RV out a few times a year, it’s still essential to have insurance in case of an accident or other unforeseen event.

3. Myth: All Recreational Vehicle Insurance Is the Same

Not all recreational vehicle insurance is the same. There are several different types of recreational vehicle insurance, each of which offers various coverage options. The type of insurance you need will depend on your recreational vehicle and how you use it. For example, if you own a motorhome, you’ll need a different kind of insurance than if you own a travel trailer.

4. Myth: I Don’t Need Insurance if I Have Homeowners Insurance

You might think your homeowner’s insurance would cover any damage to your recreational vehicle, but that’s not always the case. Many homeowners insurance policies exclude coverage for recreational vehicles or provide only limited coverage. To be sure you’re adequately covered, you’ll need a separate policy for your recreational vehicle.

Get Recreational Insurance in Westchester, NY

If you’re considering buying a recreational vehicle, it’s essential to understand the ins and outs of recreational insurance. Don’t let common myths about cost, coverage, and exclusions deter you from getting the protection you need. At ASZ International Inc., we can help you find the right recreational insurance policy for your needs. Contact us today for a free quote.

Catastrophic Events

We are officially in hurricane season, and along with hurricanes also come disasters like flooding, severe storms, and even wildfires. Informing our clients on how to be prepared for events like this, through purchasing the right coverage, is something we strive to do. Though it may not seem like something that could happen to you and your home, you never know when a storm may blow through. According to Asta (2022), in 2021 there were 18 weather and climate disasters in which damages were around $1 billion or more.


Something important that all homeowners should know is that your homeowner’s policy might cover many natural disasters such as hail, windstorms, and lightning, but what it likely does not cover is floods, earthquakes, and/or tsunamis (Asta, 2022). Flood insurance is coverage we always suggest to our customers, as we feel it is very beneficial. We’re also able to provide standalone wind coverage. For our clients who live in coastal areas, this policy provides coverage for damage from hail and wind, regardless of whether the damage is from a named storm or an everyday storm (Orchid).


Now, although flood and wind coverage is something all homeowners should look into purchasing, it’s also an important thing for business owners to consider as well. Catastrophic events don’t just affect homes, they destroy anything in their path. As a business owner, you want to make sure you plan in advance by making educated choices on what insurance coverage you really need (Asta, 2022).


One final way you can help protect your home, business, family, and employees from catastrophic events is to have a plan of action. If a disaster does strike, your family members and employees should know the procedure. For example, where to take shelter in the event of a tornado, where the fire extinguisher and emergency exits are located, or where to meet if everyone must evacuate the premises (Asta, 2022).


If you don’t already have flood or wind coverage, give us a call today so we can get you a fast and easy quote!

References:
Asta, Donna (March 1, 2022) Planning for the Future with Catastrophic Insurance. Big I Independent Agent. https://www.iamagazine.com/magazine/issues/2022/march/planning-for-the-future-with-catastrophic-insurance
Orchid. www.orchidinsurance.com. Accessed July 5, 2022.

Fraud in Florida

The state of Florida is definitely known for many things, and one of those things is bad storms! High winds, hard rain, hail, and more are many of the frequent natural disasters that hit Florida. Homeowners and business owners are constantly looking for contractors to help them when in need of damage repaired. But one thing Floridians need to be aware of is the scammers!

According to Schuppe (2002), there are local contractors knocking on doors offering to inspect homeowners’ roofs for storm damage. “They say they can help get a roof replacement covered by insurance, and they persuade the homeowners to sign away their rights to file the claims themselves. The contractors then file fraudulent damage claims, and when the insurance companies balk, the contractors sue” (para. 7).

As these scammers continue to prey on Floridians, increased insurance rates continue to skyrocket as the carriers are being heavily impacted by this. This is one of the leading factors for why carriers are fleeing the state of Florida. “Those (carriers) that remain have sought rate increases ranging from 15 percent to 96 percent and have become more selective about who they will cover” (para. 15).

Something needs to be done to address this urgent matter. In the meantime, Florida residents, please keep this scam in mind!



Reference:

Schuppe, Jon. (2022, May 21). Florida lawmakers Scramble to Fix a Property Insurance Crisis Before Hurricane Season. NBC News. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/roofing-scams-florida-property-insurance-hurricane-rcna29649

Florida Roofing Laws – What to Know

While many carriers are ceasing to write at least part of their book of business in Florida, others are taking further steps to help reduce their risk of exposures. Some insurance carriers are now avoiding writing homes or commercial properties with older roofs (Rabb, 2022).

If you’re a homeowner or business owner in Florida, this might be something for you to consider. If you haven’t had any updates to your roof or other areas in your home, like electrical, plumbing, etc., within the last 15-plus years, this might be a red flag for an insurance carrier.

According to Deventer (2022), “home insurance companies will be prohibited from denying policies solely due to the age of a home’s roof, but only if the roof is fewer than 15 years old and has five years of life left. Homes with older roofs may still be denied coverage” (para. 4).

The age of your roof impacting your insurance is largely due to the hurricanes and large storms that Florida faces (Carey, 2021). Annual inspections, maintenance, and necessary repairs are key to lessening the chance of a storm causing damage to your roof, while also giving you the green light when it comes to getting and maintaining a homeowner or commercial insurance policy in Florida.

Roof age has played a big factor in whether underwriters will accept a home. This is something we are constantly talking about with our insureds. So, before you start looking for a new homeowner or commercial insurance policy, do yourself a favor and find out when you last had your roof repaired or replaced. This will be a number one question your agent will ask you.



References:

Carey, Diane M. (2021, September 2). New Florida Roofing laws Affect Insurance. Hometown News. https://www.hometownnewsvolusia.com/news/new-florida-roofing-laws-affect-insurance/article_d6cae4ca-fec2-11eb-9387-1b8db5624822.html

Deventer, Cate. (2022, June 3). Will Florida’s Home Insurance Reform Bill be Enough to Review a Collapsing Market? Bankrate. https://www.bankrate.com/insurance/homeowners-insurance/new-2022-florida-property-insurance-reform/

Rabb, William. (2022, July 1). Gone with the Flo: Progressive Stops Writing DP-3 Policies in Florida. Insurance Journal. https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2022/07/01/674326.htm

Florida Homeowners Insurance

No matter how you look at it, prices are increasing everywhere, from groceries to gas and even insurance rates too. No matter what state or county you live in, inflation is happening around us all and has become our new reality.

Florida residents know a lot about overpriced insurance premiums as it is, their auto insurance alone is the most expensive out of the 50 states (Deventer, 2021). But when it comes to homeowners’ insurance, Floridians have another thing to think about.

According to Rabb (2022), “The Florida property insurance market is showing more signs of trouble, with one of the state’s largest carriers deciding to stop writing new homeowners’ business in the state – while also asking for a rate increase on some policies” (para1). Unfortunately, it’s not just one insurance carrier who’s revealing they’re going to stop writing new homeowners and dwelling fire policies in the great state of Florida, it’s multiple (Rabb, 2022).

While some companies cease to write policies in Florida, the ones left standing are pushing ahead with rate increases (Rabb, 2022). This is a clear issue for Florida residents who have already been paying a large amount of money for their insurance policies.

So, what are the next steps for Florida? For now, insurance agents are urging lawmakers to make reforms that can help stem losses and reduce litigation, among other changes (Rabb, 2022).



References:

Deventer, Cate. (2021, December 31). Average Cost of Car Insurance in Florida in 2022. Bankrate. https://www.bankrate.com/insurance/car/average-cost-of-car-insurance-in-florida/

Rabb, William. (2022, February 8). Another Big Insurer Stops Writing Homeowners Policies in Florida. Insurance Journal. https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2022/02/08/653123.htm

Getting an Insurance Quote

So, now that you have a little background knowledge on insurance, such as why it’s important to have, and which type of agent you should work with, it’s time to start thinking about getting insurance quotes. Before you start calling around to different agencies, you should first know what types of insurance you’re looking for. If you own a house, apartment, or condo, you will need homeowners’ insurance. If you rent a house, apartment, or condo you’ll need renters’/tenants’ insurance. If you own a vehicle or motorcycle, you’ll need car or motorcycle insurance. The list goes on…so take a minute to stop and think about the major things you own, rent or lease. If you’re still unsure of what coverage you need, plan to have a conversation with the agent you speak with, they can help guide you.

Next, do some research about agencies near you. Google and social media can be a good place to start. Once you find an agency, you may want to review their website and look over reviews. Once you’re ready to call, you may want to start by asking which specific carriers the agency works with. The more carriers, the more opportunity the agent will have to find you the best quote for your needs.

Many agencies will ask you questions like your first and last name, your date of birth, driver’s license number (if you’re looking for auto insurance), your marital status, and who your current carrier is. Here at ASZ International, if you are currently with a carrier, we ask that you provide us with your declaration pages. This simply outlines the coverage you have in place right now, so we can make sure that when we look into a new policy for you, we are not giving you anything less. If you don’t want us to know how much your current premium is, we totally understand that, feel free to cross it out on your paperwork.
Now the tedious part is over. Your agent will begin to look into quotes for you. Again, if you work through an independent agent, they will plug your information into a comparative rater which will populate many different options. This is beneficial to you as it will allow you to compare coverage apples to apples with more than one carrier.

If you’re ready to start looking into quotes, reach out to us here at ASZ International, Inc. We would be more than happy to assist you in finding the right coverage for you and your family!


  • AIG
  • AM Trust
  • Chubb
  • CNA
  • CV Star
  • Employers
  • Erie
  • Great American
  • Guard
  • Hagerty
  • Hanover
  • Hiscox
  • Lemonade
  • Liberty Mutual
  • Metlife
  • Nationwide
  • NYSIF
  • Prime Insurance Company
  • Progressive
  • Pure Insurance
  • RLI
  • Safeco
  • Selective Insurance
  • The Hartford
  • Travelers
  • USLI
  • V3ins.com
  • Zurich

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