Category: Business Insurance

06 Sep 2018
How to Prepare Your Business for Winter Storms

How to Prepare Your Business for Winter Storms

Prepare Your Workplace for Winter Weather

 

The approach of winter means different things to different people. You might be eager for holiday events and snowy days, but if you’re a business owner in the northeast, it’s important to prepare your business for the inevitable wintry weather. In the fall and winter, Massachusetts can get hit with some nasty hurricanes and blizzards. We can’t forget that only last year, the northeast got hammered by winter storms, including Storm Niko, and faced serious snow and flooding. If you’re familiar with storms in the northeast, you’ll know that winters can range from freezing rain and ice to a moderate snowfall over a few hours to blizzard conditions with blinding snow that lasts weeks.

 

Whether your business’s location is in Needham, Natick, or surrounding towns, you should adequately prepare it for the season ahead.

 

  • Prepare your office building

Extreme winter storms can cause expensive structural damage to your building. The most common culprits are frozen pipes that burst, meaning that melting water seeps indoors. Be sure to check your building carefully for drafts, leaks, and cracks. Replace old weather stripping at the bottom of doors to hold off melting snow that piles up outside. Maintain a supply of floor mats to keep by the door, and encourage employees and customers to wipe their feet before entering the building.

 

  • Make a plan for snow and ice removal

Whether it’s a removal service or close friends on speed dial, have a plan in place to get rid of the snow and ice that has built up on your building and surrounding property. Snow and ice can cause structural damage and limit customers’ access to your business if you’re able to stay open. The latter is a potential safety hazard that could result in expensive liability claims, so be sure that pathways leading to and from the building are clear and safe.

 

  • Keep employees in the know

Communicate an emergency plan to employees before an emergency hits. Pay attention to warnings and alerts, and let your employees leave when they can still get home if it is feasible to do so. If there is a chance the business could close in the event of a storm, let employees know ahead of time how they will be notified (text, email, etc.).

 

  • Keep a detailed inventory

While it’s a good idea to maintain your inventory list year-round, it becomes especially important before winter storms. Take photos of your building and all of its contents. Store these pictures in a safe place, and keep detailed records of all equipment and assets. If anything is damaged or destroyed in a storm, the inventory list will make replacements easier.

 

  • Gather digital items

There are certain phone numbers you should have stored in your cell phone. These include your local fire and police lines, the power company, the nearest hospital, and your insurance providers.

 

A small investment in winter storm preparation for your business can pay huge dividends when a blizzard hits. These tips will help your business weather north-eastern storms. To find out if your business insurance is ready for a fall or winter storm, call CAV Insurance Agency on 781-237-4107. We serve business owners in the Metro West areas such as Natick, Wellesley, Dover, Sherborn, and Weston.

26 Apr 2018
Steps to Eliminate Uncertainty for Small Businesses

Steps to Eliminate Uncertainty for Small Businesses

How to Reduce Uncertainty in Business

As a small business owner, you know how the uncertain can hit your business at any time. The consequences of these misfortunes can impact your business negatively, from reputation to finances. While you can’t read the future, you can make smart choices to prepare well for it. One sure-fire way to protect your business’s future is to secure business insurance in Wellesley, MA. This coverage can help your business financially after an accident or incident. Read on for more tips on how to eliminate small business uncertainty.

Have a Plan

Do you have a clear and coherent strategy that will get you from where you are now to where you want to be? Do you have a detailed plan that connects your purpose to your goals and your tactics? If not, then you could be leaving your business vulnerable. While you can hope that you make the right choices at the right time and that your business benefits, but it much more reliable to have a detailed plan in place.

Prepare for Multiple Outcomes

It’s wise to stop assuming the most likely outcome will turn up at the conclusion of every situation. A successful company prepared for multiple outcomes, regardless of what’s expected. A great way to prepare is to include all departments and employees in the planning process.

Consistently Review

A forward-thinking company understands the value of analysis. Are you consistently reviewing your business plan to ensure it is current? This is particularly helpful to combat changes in consumer demands. If you want your business to evolve, you should review tactics, strategies, and analytics often.

Secure Insurance

A large part of keeping your business safe is to protect it from unexpected accidents and disasters. While you may not think that your small business has many risks of damage or loss, leaving your company exposed could end up costing you. Once you have coverage, be sure that you review it often as it will need to grow when your business grows.

For reliable business insurance in Wellesley, MA, contact the team at CAV Insurance! We can help you secure your needed coverage so that you can focus on building your business.

15 Feb 2018

Small Business Cybersecurity: 3 Risks to Watch

What small businesses should know about cybersecurity.

Why would anyone want to steal your company’s data? Believe it or not, but every small business has or is connected to data that is worth stealing. You may have heard horror stories at giant companies being taken down by hackers and crackers, but it’s not just the large corporations that are at risk. Even small businesses should do what they can to protect themselves and their valuable data against cybercriminals.

Cybercrime can cause massive damage to a young business’s reputation, such as a loss in assets, expenses to fix the damage, and stained status. To help keep your small business safe, check out these risks to watch.

Personal data

Your company will have a lot of personal information in customer databases, employee records, and vendor information. Sensitive information like phone numbers, addresses, and even Social Security numbers could be stored in your unprotected files. Ensure that these files are stored in a safe location, password protected, and that employees get adequate training on how to keep data protected.

Wandering eyes

If you have a retail presence and take credit cards, you should ensure that your business equipment is safe from anyone who may want to tamper with it to gain access to credit card information. Be on the lookout for wandering eyes when credit cards and PIN numbers are involved.

Practice good cyber hygiene

Keeping your digital systems clean can help to protect your business’s health. Security tools should be regularly maintained, employees should be trained on how to spot suspicious activity, and disaster recovery plans should be in place.

Ignorance isn’t bliss when it comes to cybersecurity. Mitigating these risks can help you and your business to stay safe. For the business insurance your company deserves, contact CAV Insurance, serving Wellesley and beyond.

08 Feb 2018

Tips to Help Prevent Employee Theft

Know how to protect your business from thieving employees.

All business owners want to think that their employees are honest and loyal. They want to believe that their employees would never steal from them. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case for many. The employee may not show it, but a disgruntled team member can quickly turn on the business. Employees and workers are deemed to be the most important assets of any company or organization. To help prevent employee theft in your business, read on.

  • Hire the right people

A simple background check is all it takes to determine if an employee is trustworthy or not. Be sure to call their references and see if they have been a reputable employee before. While it may look good on paper, what the business owner says has a lot to do with if you should proceed with a candidate’s application. If possible, perform drug tests, too.

  • Set up the buddy system

Since many thefts happen when an employee is alone, it makes sense to have two employee work for both opening and closing to limit the odds of being tempted to (and able to) steal. Always have refunds and voided transactions witnessed by a manager, too.

  • Make it easy for employees to report theft

Set up an email for employees to send in anonymous employee theft tips. Be sure that you take each case seriously and reward loyal employees that turn others in for actual theft. If a dishonest employee knows that all their fellow co-workers are watching out for theft, they will think twice before doing the deed.

  • Set up surveillance cameras

If someone is confident enough to steal from you, your video camera system will help to catch them afterward. Setting up signs that declare that you are monitoring your business and storage rooms may even help to deter thieves.

  • Get to know your employees

It’s hard to steal from friends. Take the time to get to know your employees so that they would feel dishonest and guilty if they were to steal from you. What’s more, getting to know your team will help to identify if they are in financial trouble, which could indicate a desire to steal.

While you focus on getting to know your team, leave your insurance policies to the professionals. Contact CAV Insurance to learn about your options for business insurance in Wellesley and surrounding cities in MA. We can help you assess your needs and determine ways for you to save!

11 Jan 2018

Fall Prevention tips to Make Your Workplace Safer

Preventing Slips, Trips, and Falls in the Workplace

Slips, trips, and falls have the potential to be a major cause of injury for your employees and visitor to your premises. There is a common misconception that slip and fall injuries just happen and that there is little that can be done to prevent them. However, this is not always the case. In fact, as a business owner, you can do a great to prevent such accidents and injuries.

It’s important to understand where on your premises the greatest potential for danger lies. Common hazards are:

  • Slippery surfaces, such as glossy tiles and polished stone
  • Holes or broken surfaces
  • Uneven walking surfaces
  • Poorly marked or poorly lit walkways
  • Wet surfaces caused by spills or poor drainage
  • Slippery conditions due to mud, ice, or rain

So, what can you do to make your workplace safer for everyone? Follow these tips to minimize the risk of slips and falls.

  • Make sure to always put appropriate signs to let people know when floors are wet.
  • Clean spills up immediately.
  • Put non-slip mats inside the doorway so that those coming in from the outside can wipe the mud and water from their shoes.
  • Ensure all carpet is secure and without any frayed edges.
  • Keep cabinets and drawers closed when not in use.
  • Tidy away cords with cable ties so that there aren’t any wires on the floor.
  • Walkways and heavily trafficked areas should always be kept open and clear. Avoid placing furniture or other items in these paths.
  • Make sure your office has proper lighting. Remember to check areas such as staircases and hallways.
  • Routinely check staircase handrails to make sure they are secure.

Staying safe is important. Securing reliable business insurance is equally important so that you are well-protected if an accident does occur. Contact CAV Insurance, serving Wellesley Hills and neighboring cities in Massachusetts.

28 Dec 2017
Business Insurance in Wellesley, MA

How to Bring Out the Best in Your Employees

Easy ways to encourage your employees to shine.

People are the most important asset of any business, and most business owners will realize that. While that may be true, getting your staff to perform to their full potential doesn’t happen by accident. There is a lot of work involved for the business – it has to ensure that every member of staff is in the right role, has the tools required to perform, and is encouraged along the way.

Give your team the power to achieve.

For workers to really excel, they need to be in a position to effect real change. No employee wants to feel useless or replaceable. Give your team the freedom to make informed decisions and have accountability to lead projects and other assignments. Additional training and guidance may be required, so be sure to address this as soon as possible.

Supply them with the right tools.

You should work to make their job easier, not harder. If your team doesn’t have all the necessary tools to do their job, then they aren’t working – or feeling – their best. You need to make sure they have access to the tools and technology required to do their job. Ask your team directly to make a list of their wants and needs so that you better understand what resources to provide.

Acknowledge good work.

This tip costs very little and has no risk attached. However, it has the potential to be the most impactful on productivity and staff retention. Recognizing good work and showing appreciation to staff is an essential part of running a business smoothly and successfully. A simple ‘thank you’ and ‘well done’ can go a long way. It reinforces positive behavior and builds a connection between staff and the business so that employees are invested in the results of their work.

While you focus on bringing out the best in your employees, leave your insurance policies to the professionals. Contact CAV Insurance to learn about your options for business insurance in Wellesley and surrounding cities in MA. We can help you assess your needs and determine ways for you to save!

05 Oct 2017
Threats to Your Small Business’s Bottom Line

Financial Threats to Your Small Business’s Bottom Line

Lessen the risk of your business running into financial trouble.

When you’re running a business, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day duties that distract you from making sure your business is protected. As with anything in business, it’s all about balance. You must be able to balance threats with opportunities or at least take proactive measures to reduce those threats.

Threats to your company can come in many forms, from cyber risks to conceptual failures to real physical consequences. Some of the most dangerous threats are financial, seriously impacting your business’s bottom line.

As you develop your business, be sure to avoid these major financial threats.

Losing a Major Client

Every business has that one client. There’s always one (or if you’re lucky, a handful) that always come back for business with an unrestrained wallet. You know that if you were to lose that client or clients, it could spell disaster for your company in a matter of months. The easiest way to prevent such a potential disaster is to strategically build your customer base. Ensure that your business has a formally drawn-up contingency plan that enables you to cut expenses or change strategies should your revenue disappear.

Poor Cash Flow Management

Any business owner knows to keep a close eye on the cash flow. What businesses do want is to have a bottom line that shows a profit, but in order to do this, they must actively manage their incoming and outgoing cash so that their bills and employees are paid without the entire operation taking a hit. It may be possible to negotiate terms with vendors and suppliers and only pay bills on the day they’re due. Additionally, you could give limited terms to your customers, send out invoices early, and ensure follow-ups are sent out periodically. Most, if not all, cash flow problems can be corrected if caught early.

Legal Problems

It may be that a disgruntled employee has exaggerated scenarios with a lawyer. It could be an unhappy customer. It could even be copyright or patent violation. Whatever the case, there’s a very real possibility that your business will face some type of legal action at some point during the course of its development.

To prevent the possibility of your company’s bottom line suffering, be sure to put these prevention tips into place. In addition, safeguard your business, should it fall victim to such attacks with reliable business insuranceContact CAV Insurance, serving Wellesley Hills and neighboring cities in Massachusetts.

24 Aug 2017
business disaster plan

Does Your Business Have a Disaster Plan?

Would your business be able to survive a disaster?

If a natural disaster were to disrupt your business, would you be able to pick up the pieces financially? Unfortunately, breezing your way through a natural disaster is not easy.

Natural disasters interrupt your business for days, months, with the potential of your business never being able to reopen. It’s estimated that 1 in 4 companies never re-open their doors after a disaster, with 1 in 5 businesses experiencing a business disruption. Even though nature tends to be unpredictable, you can still take action to protect your business! Set up a disaster plan, so should tragedy strike, you and your team know what to do.

When creating your plan, be sure to include:

Direction and Control
This area of your business continuity plan will give a summary of fundamental areas. While explaining the reasons for this program, it should be noted whose responsibility it is overseeing duties, and the incident workflow.

Communication
Increase the safety of individuals and the property by clearly communicating during an emergency. Determine the location of emergency contact information, who notifies employees, and how customers and suppliers would be informed if something were to happen.

Safety of People
Inform your employees of the proper procedures to follow incase of an emergency to ensure staff safety. Safety training, shelter locations, check-in sheets, and even family preparation for employees should be established in this section. 

Property Protection
Trying to replace a business’s property can be an enormous financial burden. Ensure that you protect your investment in an emergency; Create mitigation steps for each threat, for example in the case of a fire, you should have a backup records procedure, along with fire protection systems labeled.

 Recover and Maintain
If the unexpected were to happen, you should know how to get your organization back up and running again in the most efficient way. It should be noted who will hire new employees, what employees will be kept on, and what are the expectations of your team. To prepare everyone in the company of an emergency, there should be multiple drills, exercises, and audits every year.

Recovering your business is no small fete! We can help make at least one part of it simpler, by assisting with your insurance needs. Contact CAV Insurance to learn more about your options for business insurance in Wellesley and surrounding cities in MA. We can help you assess your needs and determine ways for you to save!

06 Jul 2017
Avoid Discrimination and Harassment in the Workplace

How to Avoid Discrimination and Harassment in the Workplace

Keep your business clear of discrimination and harassment in the workplace.

As an employer, you have the responsibility to maintain a workplace that is free of discrimination and harassment. Not only is this your legal obligation, but it also makes good business sense. If you allow prejudice and violations in the workplace, you will pay a high price in poor employee morale, low productivity, and lawsuits. Most businesses can’t afford the cost of any legal claim, let alone an employment practices liability claim, one of the most costly disputes around. Luckily, there are ways to stay the right side of the law and avoid discrimination and harassment in the workplace.

Recruit and Hire Correctly

It’s illegal to bar certain individuals or groups of people from employment based on race, color, sex, national origin, religion, age or disability. Your job postings should not contain discriminatory language, and should not hint at discrimination.

Be Fair with Dismissals

While there’s nothing wrong with dismissing an employee for legitimate reasons, ‘wrongful termination’ is something to consider. If an employee feels that he or she has been terminated on unfair or prejudice grounds, he or she should file a suit.

Create Written Criteria

Before you make major decisions within the business, make sure you write out criteria on how to plan to evaluate applicants and employees. That way, you’ll have a physical document to guide your decisions and justify your choices if someone questions your motives.

Adopt Clear Harassment Policies

You can’t enforce your business’s harassment policy if it’s not written out. Your policy should clearly state that harassment of any kind won’t be tolerated. All policies should outline disciplinary procedures, instructions on how to file a claim, and details about how an investigation will be documented.

Train Your Team

The best way to avoid harassment and discrimination in the workplace is to teach your team that it is not okay. Ask every member of your team to undergo workplace harassment training, and always intervene if a situation calls for it!

Issues occur all too easily these days. Fortunately, safeguarding your company has never been easier! At CAV Insurance, we work with you to understand your risks, exposures, and insurance protection. Visit our team today to get started on securing your policy in Wellesley Hills, MA.

22 Jun 2017
Commercial Insurance Agent About General Liability

Questions to Ask Your Insurer About General Liability Insurance

Have these general liability insurance questions ready for your commercial insurance agent.

General liability insurance is something that every business owner needs if they want to protect their business from the dangers of everyday life. But, for some business owners, general liability insurance is not so straightforward, and that’s okay! We are here to help. If you are curious about this policy, here are a few questions to ask about general liability insurance to ask your commercial insurance agent.

What’s covered?

It covers the basics like bodily injury and property damage. However, depending on your business, you may need more or less coverage. Be sure to ask your agent what coverage your business needs.

How do I file a claim?

A good place to start is with your agent. He or she can give you plenty of pointers on how to make your claims process a lot easier. From making notes, storing documents, and improving health and safety practices, your agent can help to prevent a claim as well as file one.

When do I need to file a claim? 

As soon as possible! The sooner your claim comes in, the faster it can be resolved.

Are the limits enough to cover my needs?

Every insurance policy covers you up to a monetary limit. Once you reach that limit, you are left to cover the rest. As accidents and legal suits can rack up hundreds of thousands of dollars, it’s a good idea to secure extra coverage for your business’ assets. An umbrella insurance policy can increase your coverage limit.

Investing in a comprehensive commercial insurance policy and a communications strategy will help to provide a solid foundation for your company. Contact CAV Insurance to learn more about your options for business insurance in Wellesley and surrounding cities in MA. We can help you assess your needs and determine ways for you to save!