Business Insurance: Technology Distractions in the Workplace

Business Insurance Technology Distractions in the WorkplaceBusiness Insurance: Technology Distractions in the Workplace

The day of a desk with just a single computer is no longer. Smartphones laden with apps, tablets, Kindles, and multiple desktop screens have taken multi-tasking to a whole new level. These are great improvements, but how much are we distracted by them? Are they really worth it?

The Wall Street Journal recently examined exactly how much technology distracts us. According to one survey, 53 percent of people said they waste at least one hour a day on digital distractions. Another survey of over 500 employees showed that technology accounted for 60 percent of workplace distraction.

45 percent of respondents kept at least six items open at the same time and 65 percent said they used more than one device in addition to their main computer.

Searching for documents constituted another large portion of time. Respondents spent at least 30 minutes daily searching for emails and documents. Monetarily, the cost of searching comes to $3,900 per employee per year for an employee paid $30 dollars an hour.

The survey also examined the ability to concentrate among heavy tech users. The study showed that two out of three people communicated digitally with someone else while they were at an in-person meeting. The majority of recipients also stayed connected after work hours, during vacation and even in bed.

Limiting your time with personal devices during the day can help ease distraction. Lock your phone away in your drawer and only take it out for breaks. Schedule in “tech time” after you’ve completed a task to send a text or check email. By focusing on one task at a time, you can help ease the tempting allure of all your tech devices.

Sinclair Risk & Financial Management is not your typical independent insurance agency. We tailor Connecticut business insurance products to protect your business against unforeseen losses – and we’re excellent at doing so. But we go way beyond just the policy.

Our goal is to help mitigate losses in the first place to protect the value you’ve created in your business – whether you’re a large construction company, multinational food processor, or a local enterprise. As your advisor, we’ll make a tangible difference to your business by providing you with a better understanding of the exposures and liabilities that exist in your daily operations and implementing programs to safeguard against them, minimize losses, reduce claims, and ultimately provide significant opportunities for savings.

Flood Insurance: Rethinking Coastal Living?

Flood Insurance Rethinking Coastal LivingFlood Insurance: Rethinking Coastal Living?

Homeowners in New York and New Jersey are still struggling to repair homes and businesses damaged by Hurricane Sandy. However, aside from clearing all the debris, there is something else to consider when rebuilding; the impact of the storm on coastal living and flood insurance. It has led many to question the wisdom of building on fragile, storm-vulnerable areas, and raised the question of just how much owners want to pay for that ocean breeze.

It isn’t simply a matter of rebuilding. As a result of exorbitant claims in high risk flood areas, the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy could send the already high cost of coastal living through the roof. Newly mapped flood hazard zones will expand, accounting for Hurricane Sandy’s vast reach. And according to the New York Times, homeowners in storm-damaged coast areas could face premium increases as much as 25 percent under new legislation to reform flood insurance. Finally, expensive requirements for homes being rebuilt in flood zones could make rebuilding costs extremely costly for many coastal owners.

In the published Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the report concluded it was very likely the frequency of heavy precipitation events will increase over many regions as the climate continues to warm over the next century. Government groups are calling for flood insurance reforms that takes into affects areas now at risk because of climate changes such as rising sea levels.

It is an unintended consequence of government subsidization of flood insurance risk that has encouraged many to build along coasts highly vulnerable to extreme weather. It is a balancing act between not wanted to push out lower-income residents who, with heightened premiums might not be able to afford living on the coast, to having an insurance solutions that reflect the high risk of living along the shore.

Should the federal government continue to subsidize flood risks? Should highly vulnerable, flood-prone areas be rebuilt? Or should there be stricter laws about building in high flood risk areas? What about the home and business owners who currently live there? It’s a difficult topic with no clear answer- we’d love to hear from you.

Homes and buildings in high-risk flood areas with mortgages from federally regulated or insured lenders are required to have flood insurance. These areas have a 1% or greater chance of flooding in any given year, which is equivalent to a 26% chance of flooding during a 30-year mortgage. Contact a Sinclair representative to see if your home is in a high-risk flood area. (877-602-2305).

Exotic Car Insurance: Why Do Exotic Autos Need Specialized Insurance?

Exotic Car Insurance Why Do Exotic Autos Need Specialized InsuranceExotic Car Insurance: Why Do Exotic Autos Need Specialized Insurance?

Exotic and collector cars go far beyond just a means of transportation. They are often the fulfillment of a lifelong dream, or a prized possession. And, like any prized possession, you want to get the best protection possible.

The cost of auto insurance varies widely across the map. The difference between cheapest and costliest vehicles to insure can add up to several thousand dollars a year. According to Forbes, the Audi R8 Spyder Quattro, Mercedes-Benz CL600, Porsche Panamera Turbo, BMW ActiveHybrid 7, and Jaguar XKR Supercharged Convertible rank as some of the most expensive cars to insure. And those models don’t even include the history or unique customization that collector or exotic cars tend to have.

Many auto insurance companies do not insure exotic or classic cars. For a car to even get the title of “exotic” car, it has an unusually high market value. The high speed, rate of acceleration, unique look, high end materials, and low availability also comes with a higher expense.

It is widely known that insurance factors are based on a number of factors. Driving record, age, gender, marital status, address, and credit rating all factor in. The type of car, including make and model, plays a role as well. But how much does that actually matter. As a general rule of thumb, pricier cars are more expensive to insure, because repairs are more expensive. However there may be breaks, depending on your insurance coverage.

Oftentimes discounts may be available for certain qualifications, such as membership in a car club, or coverage for hard-to-find-parts. In addition, if you have extremely low mileage on your exotic car, and don’t drive it that much, that could qualify you for another discount.

It is essential to find a program that can tailor insurance solutions to fit your unique needs. At Sinclair Risk & Financial Management, we have access to specialty markets to find the right coverage and features for your exotic car. We can help you get a policy to protect the true value of your car- we have programs that will insure collections worth millions, making sure you get full protection. Contact us today for more information. (877) 602-2305

Employee Benefits: The Anatomy of the Workspace

ANATOMY OF THE WORKSPACEEmployee Benefits: The Anatomy of the Workspace

Most Americans spend 8.6 hours a day working. It is the number one activity in our day, followed at a close second by sleeping, which sadly only constitutes 7.6 hours.

We spend a large chunk of our lifetime at work. How and where we work, is a central part of our day. But what is the optimal workspace? LinkedIn recently feature a series called “Where I Work.” A variety of Influencers (top users) on LinkedIn showed off their workspace, their personal hub of productivity.

The space people choose to work in varied across the board. The traditional corner office; No office; A kitchen table; The window seat on a plane; a coffee shop; a treadmill desk. Richard Branson chose his private island. Some bedeck their spaces with bobbleheads, photos, gadgets, and papers. Others prefer the sparse look, keeping their space so barren a passerby might think it’s vacant.

Productivity is an elusive and difficult concept. What drives productivity, what methods work for people is still largely largely undecided.  There are so many methods and different workspaces, nothing seems to be universal. Even among the 50 influencers, all top in their field, not one looks the same.

There are two notable trends. As technology continues to expand all around us, the physical workspace is becoming increasingly transient. Health is the second trend. Whether it is a calendar marking down exercise, as T.Boone Pickens uses to keep track of workouts, to the standing desk used by Michael Fertik uses, a new awareness of health seems to be key in designing workspaces. Jeff Weiner of LinkedIn takes walking meetings, adopting the outdoors as his workspace.

What type of workspace do you have? How does it work for you? What would be your dream workplace? We’d love to hear from you.

At Sinclair Risk & Financial Management we’ve developed a comprehensive branded risk management platform that integrates approaches to property and casualty and employee benefits. We understand that an effective Connecticut Employee Benefits program is key in hiring and keeping top talent- we’ll help you strike the right balance in offering an attractive plan that is flexible with your organization’s financial ability. Contact us today for more information about our employee benefits programs. (877) 602-2305

Best Office Design Tips

Best Office Design TipsBest Office Design Tips

American workers spend almost 90 percent of their lives indoors. A significant portion of that is in their designated office space. The design and layout of your company, when conscientiously thought out, can boost productivity and collaboration. Here are a few tips from Mashable on what constitutes great office design.

It’s worth the additional cost. You don’t need to upgrade on Google-level proportions (there is no evidence to indicate a bowling alley has boosted worker productivity), however an upgraded office can go a long ways to improving functionality and overall productivity. Office design can open up new lines of communication and increased collaboration.

Break spaces. Creating an appealing break space for employees not only rewards them and provides a central space where they can rest, it increases communication. Socializing with coworkers can increase rapport, creativity, and collaboration across the board.

Desk ergonomics. Invest a few dollars more in each employee workspace. A movable monitor arm allows employees to adjust the computer screen so it is at eye level to reduce neck pain. Also consider purchasing comfortable chairs will avoid low back pain and general discomfort.

Brand your workplace. Every employee and client alike should know immediately where they are when they walk into your office space. Putting your logo on a feature wall creates visual interest and an identifying brand. The physical appearance of your office has an effect. Injecting your firm’s slogans, logos, attitude, products, philosophy, or color palette showcases your company’s culture and clearly creates a strong brand both clients and employees can identify with.

At Sinclair Risk & Financial Management, we understand that human resource issues are an important component of an employer’s risk profile. We’ll help you evaluate HR issues and exposures and help you implement programs to ensure your company’s growth in today’s challenging and highly regulatory environment. Contact us today for more information on our Connecticut Human Resource Consulting services.