COVID-19 hasn’t just shut down huge swaths of American businesses and sent many employees scrambling to work from home – it’s also driving the acceleration of technological adoption. As people adapt to new modes of life, start-ups and small businesses that enable us to work, study, shop, and interact virtually have skyrocketed to mainstream adoption. Driving these companies are key underlying technologies that have been growing in importance slowly for years and now have become essential; maybe the tech trends developing out of the COVID chaos are a silver-lining of sorts.

“Businesses that had not only developed digital strategies but executed on them prior to the pandemic are now in a position to leapfrog their less nimble competitors,” writes consultancy BDO in a report on how COVID is accelerating the rise of the digital economy. “That isn’t to understate the COVID-19-related challenges they now face, irrespective of their current level of digital maturity. Going digital in and of itself isn’t a panacea to all that ails businesses in the current economic environment. They do, however, have significantly more tools at their disposal to not only weather the storm, but to come out the other side stronger for it, ” stated BDO.

The fact that these companies, since day one, have focused on cloud connectivity, digital marketing and distribution to consumers, and virtual rather than in-person interactions, gives this group an advantage. Many have hired new employees since the pandemic began – that’s a direct result of many of them scaling faster to meet surging demand before the coronavirus pandemic. Some of these companies report demand for their core products has more than doubled since the coronavirus crisis unleashed itself across the world. Being digital-first put many companies in a position to quickly develop and introduce new products or services to meet the challenges of the pandemic.

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The COVID-19 pandemic can feel overwhelming due to new information, long hours working from home, and caring/worrying for your family and yourself. It’s important to pause for a moment and collect your thoughts, as worldwide pandemics are taxing emotionally, physically, and financially. Remaining calm can make a world of difference, and to do that we need to take care of ourselves. So let’s talk about some self care tips for the COVID pandemic.

It’s normal to feel stressed or overwhelmed during uncertain times. Emotions in response to uncertainty may include anxiety, fear, anger, and sadness. You also could feel helpless, discouraged, and occasionally, out of control. Physical responses may include headache, muscle tension, fatigue, and sleeplessness.

Taking care of yourself is important so you are equipped to help your family through this time.

Here are a few self care tips for the COVID pandemic: 

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Whether you’re a regular at the gym or you’re constantly staying active outside, you know that exercise can make you feel good and look great. But did you know that staying fit can lower your life insurance premiums, too? Check out six types of exercises that can lower your life insurance rates and improve your health at the same time.

 

Strength Training

Virtually any kind of physical activity can improve your health, as long as it works your muscles harder than usual, according to the American Heart Association. When it comes to keeping your muscles in top condition, however, exercises that focus on stretching and strength training are essential. After all, if you lose muscle strength and flexibility, not only will your overall health decrease, but you could also lose the ability to easily perform basic tasks like opening jars or getting out of the car.

Strength training works well in many forms. Try easing into a weightlifting routine to challenge your muscles, or use resistance bands several times a week to increase muscle strength. Going to a yoga class a couple of times a week can also help boost your strength and improve your overall health.

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The global (re)insurance market is undergoing a transformation from manually run processes to a technology-driven business model, enabling companies to tap into the full potential that data has to offer.

A surge in fast-paced innovation and the utilization of machine learning (ML) with cloud-technology has enabled automation, streamlined efficiency, and provided access to more comprehensive analytics fed by this data.

While more than two-thirds of individuals believe that the use of emerging technology trends could transform the insurance industry and increase performance in their organizations, a recent Deloitte Survey noted that less than 30% of organizations are actually deploying these tools — creating a missed opportunity for many (re)insurers.

The industry as a whole believes that these emerging technologies have the ability to unlock hidden value, especially from data, but the complexity and sophistication of these tools have made their use limited to a select few that have the adequate skills and resources.

Now, however, new advancements in ML and cloud technology are helping underwriters, actuaries and executives alike access and use the data, making it possible to achieve business growth and underwriting profitability.

These technologies provide companies with a competitive edge, but the question remains as to how long it will take for data processing automation to become the standard for property & casualty (P&C) insurers.

Looking to machine learning in the cloud

In 2018, net premiums recorded by the P&C industry totaled $618 billion, an increase from the 2017 net premium totals of $558.2 billion. The pressure to grow will continue but there will be even greater pressure to achieve underwriting profitability, especially in the current economic environment.

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In the event of a hurricane or a powerful storm, having necessary supplies on hand can be essential. Consider stocking up on important items, including the following:

Generators can provide hours of emergency reserve power in the event of a power outage. Be sure to prepare for safe, extended generator use.

  • If you do not already own a generator but are considering purchasing one, do not wait until severe weather approaches to purchase one. Hardware stores often experience a rush during hurricane season, and it’s better to be prepared ahead of a storm.
  • Run your generator regularly to ensure that it is in proper working condition. Some repair professionals recommend putting one-half gallon of gasoline into a generator each month and allowing the generator to run for at least 30 minutes. Plug in a lamp or other small appliance to make sure the generator is working as it should.
  • If the generator has an electric start, be sure to keep the battery charged.
  • In case the generator runs on diesel fuel, the fuel supply needs to be changed out at least once every 12 months. Improper care can result in condensation, which can cause major damage to the generator when it is switched on.
  • Like many other mechanical devices, generators require regular maintenance. Be sure to replace the oil, fuel, and air filters regularly.

Sump pumps can be a lifesaver when it comes to preventing basements from flooding during heavy rain.  To ensure that your sump pump functions properly when you need it most, follow these basic maintenance tips:

  • Make sure the pump is plugged in to a working ground fault circuit interrupter   (GFCI) outlet and the cord is not damaged in any way. Check on the pump periodically, and reset the GFCI breakers, if necessary.
  • Ensure that the sump pump is standing upright. When the pump is operating, vibrations can cause it to tilt or fall to one side, which can cause the pump to malfunction.
  • Check the pump every few months to make sure it starts automatically and drains properly by pouring a bucket of water into the sump pump pit. If the pump fails to start, be sure to have it serviced.
  • In the event of a power outage, make sure to connect to a generator with adequate power. If possible, connect the pump to the generator using high quality, construction-grade extension cord.

I’m pretty confident that if you asked anyone who has ever owned a rental property you would get an overwhelming response that it’s not as lucrative or easy as they thought it would be. In fact, owning a rental property can be a major pain, and end up costing you a ton of money!

I certainly don’t mean to be a “Debbie Downer”, and I know that if it’s done right it can be lucrative, but from an insurance agent’s perspective, I don’t see a lot of people doing it right.

So you’re probably thinking, “Well Chris, you are an insurance agent. What do you know about real estate or rental properties? Why should I take advice from you?”

I’m not a real estate agent, and I don’t own a rental property. However, several of my friends/family/clients/co-workers own rentals, and because I insure a bunch of their properties, I’ve had a first hand account of the process, and I’ve learned what to do, and what not to do.

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Why do my auto insurance rates keep going up even though my car is getting older?  At Momentum Insurance and Financial Services, many of our clients ask this question so I would like to address it from a couple of angles.

First things first, even though it’s called car/auto insurance, it covers more than just your car. It should technically be called “auto-owners” insurance, similarly to how home insurance is actually called “home owners insurance”.

It’s important to understand that there are a lot of variables that go into insurance premiums, and with auto insurance, it’s no different.

The insurance company is much more concerned with you crashing into someone and causing them (or yourself) bodily harm, or death, than they are about your car. A car is a material possession which can be replaced.

A human life is not.

When is the last time you looked at your auto insurance policy?
If you look at it you’ll notice there are a lot of different coverages on your auto policy.

Bodily injury
Property damage
Un-insured motorist
Under-insured motorist
Medical Payments
Loss of Income
Funeral Expense
Loss of use
Rental Reimbursement

These are all things that you are covered for on your auto policy. How many of them have to do with your car?

None.

How many of them have a price next to them on your policy?

All of them.

Your car isn’t the only thing you’re being charged for on your policy
That’s because auto insurance covers far more important things than your car as mentioned above.

Let me re-phrase that: your car insurance rate isn’t just based on your car.

You’re not the only one…
It’s also important to understand that you are not the only person your insurance company insures. You are one fish in an ocean of other fish, sharks, and sea creatures, all who have different characteristics and risk profiles.

Insurance is all about spreading costs over a large number (risk pool) of people, which each person paying their fare share. That risk pool is constantly changing, and is impacted by a ton of different things, including the overall economic climate.

This means that you are sharing in the cost of millions of other people, many of whom may have poor loss history and/or credit.

That’s what insurance is though — sharing in the cost.

The next time your auto insurance rates go up, take a look at the big picture. Make sure you’re looking at ALL of the coverages, and corresponding rates.

Hope this helps!  If you would like to know more about Car Insurance be sure to visit our page dedicated to it.