Energy Dealers Insurance: The Future of Renewable Energy

Energy-Dealers-Insurance-The-Future-of-Renewable-EnergyEnergy Dealers Insurance: The Future of Renewable Energy

It hasn’t been the easiest time for the renewable energy industry. Numerous alternative-energy companies have filed for bankruptcy, from federal loan backed solar cell manufacturers to small scale wind and solar manufacturers. The American Wind Energy Association says the U.S. wind industry employment is on track to be cut in half in 2013.

Renewable energy has come under some flak this year in terms of its future. Natural gas prices have dropped significantly. New technology now allows us to access resources that were previously too economically costly to reach. Many jurisdictions have reduced or even eliminated subsidies for renewable power, and this has consequently slowed the expansion of products. In addition there has been significant opposition to the construction of wind turbines in many areas. All of these reasons combined have led to doubts on the future of renewable energy.

Yet a news analysis by Deloitte points to other factors. In 2004, $33 billion was invested in renewable energy (2004 was the first year investments began being tracked in a meaningful way). In 2012, over $210 billion was invested, a huge increase, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. In addition, there has been a significant industry shift towards smaller-scale projects such as rooftop solar power. And residential energy use is expected to increase by 25 percent.

As energy dealers continue to explore new resources, the need for a reliable, tailor-made insurance and risk management program in the renewable energy sector is critical. At Sinclair Risk & Financial Management, we offer solutions to the challenges faced by this industry, such as exposures related to general operational issues, construction of energy projects, and reliability of power sources and facility equipment such as wind and solar power projects. Sinclair specializes in Renewable Energy Insurance, Fuel Energy Insurance, & Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) Insurance. Contact us today for more information about our energy dealers insurance programs - (877) 602-2305


Small Businesses Fail to Notify Customers of Data Breach

Small Businesses Fail to Notify Customers of Data BreachSmall Businesses Fail to Notify Customers of Data Breach

With the added convenience of online tools, going paperless also adds new risks for businesses. Data breaches are growing more and more common as companies take their operations virtual. According to Verizon Wireless’s 2012 Data Breach Investigations Report in 2012 there were 855 recorded incidents, totaling 174 million compromised records.

Over 80 percent of breaches utilized some form of hacking. Use of incorporated malware followed at just under 70 percent. Breaches also span across all industries including Accommodation & Food Services, Retail, Finance, Insurance, healthcare, and information.
It isn’t just high profile companies either. Cyber criminals are streamlining their method to include high-volume, low risk attacks against weaker targets. Cyber criminals are opportunists- they will infiltrate a company with little or low protections, such as small businesses who haven’t yet taken the time to assess their security and/or don’t have the large resources of a corporation to delegate the task.

  • 79% of victims were targets of opportunity.
  • 96% of attacks were not highly difficult.
  • And, on the detection side:
  • 85% of breaches took weeks or more to discover
  • 97% of breaches were avoidable through simple or intermediate controls.  

There are several steps small businesses can focus their mitigation efforts. Business owners should Implement a firewall or ACL on remote access services and change default credentials of POS systems and other Internet-facing devices. If a third party vendor is handling those items follow through and make sure they’ve taken the necessary precautionary measures. Whenever possible, eliminate unnecessary data and check your security status regularly to ensure there are no gaps.

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, a local enterprise or a Connecticut manufacturing plant. 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. Contact us today for more information about our Connecticut Business Insurance - (877) 602-2305

Connecticut Business Insurance: Wellness Programs Cut Costs

Connecticut Business Insurance Wellness Programs Cut CostsConnecticut Business Insurance: Wellness Programs Cut Costs

Wellness programs are Connecticut business antidotes to increased workers compensation rates, and higher healthcare costs. As Connecticut business owners prepare to absorb even higher healthcare costs with the Affordable Care Act, companies are looking for ways to offset costs elsewhere. One of those strategies is implementing wellness programs.

A recent survey conducted by Fidelity Investments and the National Business Group on Health found that corporate employers were going to spend on average $521 per employee in corporate healthcare programs. Compared to $460 per employee spent in 2011, it marks a 13% increase.

Wellness programs encompass a wide variety of health initiatives. Some are incentive programs that reward employees for weight loss or adopting healthy habits. Others sponsor company wellness events such as races or walking programs. Some offer gym amenities or passes to employees. Others focus on education and lifestyle, encouraging employees to adopt healthy lifestyle habits.

Wellness programs are on the rise. The survey found that the overall use of wellness-based incentives is continuing to increase. Nine out of 10 employers in the survey indicated they currently offer some variation of a wellness program- more than double the 38% in 2010.

Besides the obvious health benefits, Connecticut business owners are utilizing wellness programs as a real cost-cutting strategy. Employees enrolled in workplace wellness programs reduce their own personal healthcare costs. Employers who invest in wellness programs see increased employee retention, attendance, and productivity. In a study by Principal Financial, the majority of participants said they were more productive, and 40% agreed that wellness incentives encouraged them to stay with the company.

The latest trend show an overall consensus towards wellness programs: a win-win for both parties involved. Sinclair Risk & Financial Management is at the forefront of this approach, providing employers with a proprietary Wellness Program designed to promote health employee lifestyle choices along with a strategy to create and sustain these behaviors.

Wellness programs have significant benefits for employers and individuals, boosting retention and driving loyalty. Let Sinclair help enrich your benefits plan with a wellness program designed to promote your employees’ health. Contact us today for more information. (877) 602-2305

Connecticut Retirement Planning

Connecticut Retirement PlanningConnecticut Retirement Planning

People are living longer. It’s great. We are reaching old age in better health and increasingly can look forward to long, happy lives. But the extra years can be extra cost- how does living longer affect retirement planning?

Over the past 170 years, in countries with the highest life expectancies, the average lifespan has grown approximately 2.5 years every decade, or about six hours a day. However, longer life spans also places additional strains on the economy. If we live longer, that requires more medical care, more years of retirement, and significantly higher cost.

Forbes estimated that you needed at least 8 times your ending salary in order to cover retirement expenses until age 92. However, that is the minimum requirement. It also assumes you have other outside savings, and that you receive Social Security payments, and that your income is growing by 5% a year over general inflation with no breaks in employment or savings. This may not be the case for everyone.

Retirement is a growing concern. Medical costs are higher. A rapidly growing population of older adults are expected to strain Social Security’s current resources. Economic difficulties have made it difficult for some to save for retirement at all. Some have lost savings. Some dire estimates say nearly half of Americans aren’t financially prepared to retire.

However, despite the doom and gloom, retirement is not impossible. It just takes planning and foresight implemented today. At Sinclair Risk and Financial Management,  our Connecticut financial planners offer a number of retirement planning strategies both to individuals and companies alike. We’ll evaluate your assets and income, speak to you about your risk appetite, and assess what type of vehicle makes most sense for your present situation and your vision for the future. We will then present you with alternatives and discuss the benefits, risks, and tax implications, among other key issues.Contact us today for more information. (877) 602-2305

Connecticut Business Insurance: Commercial Continuation Plans

Connecticut Business Insurance Commercial Continuation PlansConnecticut Business Insurance: Commercial Continuation Plans

Hurricane Sandy was devastating. As part of the recovery effort, it is imperative that business owners take the time to improve their businesses now to better protect their safety and mitigate risk in the future. The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety recently had several recommendations for how to protect against future extreme storms.

One in four businesses that are forced to close for at least 24 hours by a disaster never reopen. During Hurricane Sandy, power outages were widespread and many businesses shut down for days or weeks. Every business should create a long term business continuation plan that plans for the possibility that your facility may be damaged, experience a long power outage, or is stuck in a location that is not accessible due to roads or infrastructure problems. Having a plan and procedures in place with a backup location or telecommuting methods helps you get your business back up and running with minimal damage.

Communicate with your employees before, during, and after the storm. Employees should know about your business continuity plan and be trained in their areas of responsibility. Take moments periodically throughout the year to remind them about the plan. Have multiple communication channels in place including phone trees, email, and social media to keep in touch during the storm.

Finally, don’t just base your protection on the past events. The majority of Sandy’s damage was water-related. However the next storm could bring high winds that could inflict exorbitant damage in a different way. Even if it is a similar type of storm, every major storm has unique meteorological, timing, and geographic attributes that influence how it affects businesses and homes. Basing your protection on past events, (like only getting flood insurance after Hurricane Sandy), can possibly limit your protection in the long run.

Sinclair Risk & Financial Management is not your typical independent insurance agency. We tailor commercial 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, a local enterprise or a Connecticut manufacturing plant. 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. Contact us today for more information - (877) 602-2305

How to Protect Your Fine Art Collection

How to Protect Your Fine Art CollectionHow to Protect Your Fine Art Collection

Major storms such as Hurricane Sandy are continuing to increase in frequency and severity. It’s a wake up call for art collectors and planners. As these extreme storms threaten their collections, art collectors need to be vigilant about devising emergency evacuation plans and inventory management systems for valuable works of art.

How to Protect Your Art Collection

If you have a valuable art collection, you should have an inventory management system that is regularly updated. Take Hurricane Sandy, after the storm, there were owners who didn’t have an updated inventory list. Consequently, they didn’t know what they had and couldn’t claim a loss. If you’re not sure, high and ultra-high net worth client can work with an art advisor to organize and update data on their collection. Talking to an insurance agent who specializes in coverage for high net worth clients and high end art insurance can also help you better prepare for any impending natural disasters.

Art losses from Hurricane Sandy are estimated to reach $500 million, according to the New York Times. A significant portion of damages hit Chelsea’s collection of art galleries and works in New York City. The estimates for repair include structure damage on the galleries, as well as evaluating any restoration work that could be done on pieces that the water had touched.

Art insurance prices previously had been falling for several years due to stiff competition and a low level of claims. Now, however, as the number of severe storms begins to rise, and the industry grapples with claims from Hurricane Sandy, the prices could begin to fluctuate higher.

At Sinclair Risk & Financial Management, we have access to particular markets that enable us to craft custom art Insurance, as well as homeowners and auto insurance programs that reflect the true value of your property, your risk profile, and your personal circumstances throughout the world. We’d love to sit down with you and discuss more about How to Protect Your Art Collection & properly insure it. Contact us today for more information. (877) 602-2305.