Would Your Manufacturing Business Survive a Product Liability Lawsuit?

As NBC News recently reported, seven people in the U.S. have died from vaping-related lung illnesses, with 530 cases of illnesses now reported in 38 states. The federal government is investigating, and many local and state authorities are working to ban e-cigarettes and vaping.

The vaping crisis is the latest high-profile product liability case, and it highlights some of the challenges faced by manufacturers in bringing new products to market.

When you manufacture a product, the last thing you want to hear is that your product has harmed someone – or worse, caused a death. But tragically, defective products cause thousands of injuries and dozens of deaths in the U.S. every year according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. And that leads to thousands of product liability and personal injury lawsuits.

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M. Brant Watson
Senior Vice President
Heffernan Insurance Brokers
D:  (925) 295-2506
M:  (925) 330-1151
Email brantw@heffins.com

How Annuities Can Help Fund Retirement

How much will you need for retirement? It’s a difficult question to answer, but one thing is clear – many Americans are worried that they don’t have enough. According to Retirement Insecurity 2019, a report from the National Institute on Retirement Security, 58 percent of Americans are concerned that they won’t achieve financial security in retirement, while 79 percent admit they don’t know enough about investing to ensure that their savings last through retirement.

For people looking for a more secure retirement, annuities could help. Before deciding whether annuities are right for you, it’s important to understand how they work and how they differ from other financial tools.

Annuities and Longevity

There are many reasons that make it difficult to calculate how much money you’ll need in retirement, but one variable stands out: your lifespan. No one knows how long they will live. While most people hope that they will enjoy a very long life, longevity comes with a financial drawback. The longer you live after retirement, the more money you need. If you’re lucky enough to enjoy a very long life, your retirement savings may run out.

Annuities provide a solution. Because lifetime annuities will continue paying out for as long as a person lives, the insured never has to worry about running out of money.  This guaranteed income is good news for the millions of Americans worried about achieving a financially secure retirement.

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M. Brant Watson
Senior Vice President
Heffernan Insurance Brokers
D:  (925) 295-2506
M:  (925) 330-1151
Email brantw@heffins.com

Beware of Nonprofit Board and Reputation Exposures

Nonprofits can be sued over a wide range of claims, just like their for-profit counterparts. In fact, Insurance Journal reports that directors and officers liability claims occur twice as often in nonprofits compared to private companies.

The increase in lawsuits could stem from a number of possible issues.  Nonprofits may be so focused on their cause that they neglect other issues.
Nonprofits may incorrectly believe their nonprofit status makes them an unlikely target.
Individuals serving on nonprofits may be busy with other duties, and they may be working outside their normal sphere.
Donors often have high expectations for how funds are managed.
Nonprofits often work with vulnerable populations.
Volunteers may not be screened properly.
Regardless of the cause, nonprofits get sued – a lot. When this happens, the nonprofit’s financial stability and reputation can be put in jeopardy.
Nonprofits depend on their reputation.
Reputation is important to all corporations, but this is especially true in the case of nonprofits. As Risk & Insurance explains, nonprofits depend on their reputations to secure grants and donations.

Many things can damage a nonprofit’s reputation, from claims of mismanaged funds to inappropriate actions of volunteers. Some threats may come from outside. For example, cyber attacks that reveal personal data could damage a nonprofit’s reputation. Fundraising fraud, described in Risk & Insurance as people who impersonate nonprofits to elicit and steal donations, is another worrisome threat.

Contact me today to learn more about the best possible insurance for your needs.

Best Regards,

M. Brant Watson
Senior VP
D: 925.295.2506
C: 925.330.1151
 brantw@heffins.com

Selecting A Business Insurance Broker: 5 Questions to Consider

Business insurance is a complicated matter. To make sure you’re getting the best coverage, rates and services, you need to enlist the help of the right business insurance broker. To find that perfect match, consider these issues.

Independent or Captive?
Once you have a policy, your insurance carrier will provide your coverage and pay out any claims. To get a policy, you typically need to go through an agent, also called a broker. There are different types of agents, but they’ll generally be classified as either captive or independent.
A captive agent works for one carrier. This means that the agent will only be able to offer you policies from a single carrier, even if other carriers may be a better fit for you.
An independent agent, on the other hand, is contracted with multiple carriers. This means that the agent can select from a much wider range of policy options in order to find that coverage and rates that best fit your needs.

Multiple Agents or One?
Employee benefits. General liability insurance. Workers’ compensation. The list goes on. You need a lot of different types of insurance. So, should you deal with multiple agents – or get everything you need from one agent? Read More 

Contact me today to learn more about the best possible insurance for your needs.
Best Regards,
brant-sig

M. Brant Watson
Senior VP

Advocacy and Guidance in the Commercial Insurance Marketplace

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Heffernan’s reputation and success was built through our work in industry niches s such as nonprofit, construction, healthcare, transportation, hospitality, food distribution, real estate and technology. With ten branch offices coast-to-coast and approximately 450 staff members, Heffernan’s reach spans to most industries!
With 30 years of underwriting and brokerage experience, I will evaluate your current and historic insurance placements and in many cases be able to offer your business meaningful and impact alternative cost, coverage and risk management program options to optimize your protection and competitiveness in your industry!

Climate Change Risk: Why it Matters to Businesses

Constant news of hurricanes, fires and floods has led many to believe that natural disasters are increasing. The costs associated with these disasters are also increasing. The NASA Earth Observatory states, “Climate change may not be responsible for the recent skyrocketing cost of natural disasters, but it is very likely that it will impact future catastrophes.”

Climate change is a growing risk. Here’s why businesses need to prepare.

Property Damage

According to NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, the U.S. experienced 14 separate billion-dollar disaster events in 2018. The total cost was $91.0 billion, the fourth highest cost on record. In 2017, natural disasters cost the U.S. $312.7 billion.

Both individuals and businesses alike suffer from the property damage caused by natural disasters. In many regions, it’s increasingly vital to maintain adequate insurance with coverage for wildfires, hurricanes and floods, but coverage rates are not as high as might be expected. According to Carrier Management, only about half of the homes and businesses impacted by Hurricane Harvey had flood insurance.

Even for those who want it, obtaining insurance may be increasingly difficult. After a series of destructive wildfires in California, finding coverage is getting more difficult, and more expensive.

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Want more information contact me.
Best Regards,
M. Brant Watson
Senior Vice President
Heffernan Insurance Brokers
D: (925) 295-2506
M: (925) 330-1151
Email brantw@heffins.com

Do you Ignore the Biggest Business Risk?

Today’s businesses face many risks, from competition from high-tech startups to lawsuits over employment practices. But the biggest modern risk of all is one that you might be ignoring – the risk of cybercrime.

Businesses are familiar with this risk. After all the high-profile data breaches and ransomware attacks, it’s hard not to be. At the same time, like ostriches with their heads stuck in the sand, many businesses are ignoring the risk instead of taking action.
This is a mistake. According to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), there were more than 300,000 reported incidents of cyber crime in 2018, resulting in more than $1.4 billion in losses.
Want more information contact me.
Best Regards,
M. Brant Watson
Senior Vice President
Heffernan Insurance Brokers
D: (925) 295-2506
M: (925) 330-1151

Insurance for Senior Care & Living Communities

As an insurance broker dedicated to the senior living sector, I am amazed and impressed by how many of our current and future clients have expanded their resident services offerings in order to meet increased acuity levels and the socialization needs of residents and their families given the regulatory, legal and labor climate challenges that exist.
At the same time, the commercial insurance marketplace has become increasingly challenging given the recent tragic natural disasters, the withdrawal of casualty insurance carriers form the marketplace, and the increasingly hostile litigation environment.
Heffernan continues to offer a client platform that features unique carrier access and proactive, and hands on advocacy in the rapidly changing and challenging commercial insurance marketplace. I believe the odds are very good that we can make a very favorable impact on your commercial insurance placements via a fiercely proactive brokerage experience.
Would you be open to updating me on your current placement and interest level in a brief conversation or email exchange?   10 minutes or so should be enough time for us to determine if next steps are mutually beneficial.
Thank you for your ongoing consideration!
Brant Watson
Senior VP
D: 925.295.2506
C: 925.330.1151

Heffernan Insurance Brokers Acquires Mahan Insurance Brokers

WALNUT CREEK, Calif.Oct. 2, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Heffernan Insurance Brokers, one of the largest full-service, independent insurance brokerage firms in the United States, acquires Mahan Insurance Brokers. The firm has purchased the assets of the Newport-based Mahan effective October 1, 2019Michael Mahan and Marissa Garmendia will join Heffernan’s Irvine, California office, and Robert Mahan will continue to play an active role in advising clients.

Heffernan Insurance Brokers logo (PRNewsFoto/Heffernan Insurance Brokers)

With over 30 years of expertise, Mahan has a strong understanding of insurance needs of businesses and professionals. Their specialty in construction insurance will be a pronounced enhancement to Heffernan’s construction niche practice.

“The team’s deep knowledge of the construction industry, along with the high standard of customer service they’re known for, will be great complements to our Irvine office,” said F. Michael Heffernan, President and CEO of Heffernan Insurance Brokers. “We’re happy to have them on board and look forward to a bright future together.”

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Insurance for Senior Care & Living Communities

As an insurance broker dedicated to the senior living sector, I am amazed and impressed by how many of our current and future clients have expanded their resident services offerings in order to meet increased acuity levels and the socialization needs of residents and their families given the regulatory, legal and labor climate challenges that exist.

At the same time, the commercial insurance marketplace has become increasingly challenging given the recent tragic natural disasters, the withdrawal of casualty insurance carriers form the marketplace, and the increasingly hostile litigation environment.

Heffernan continues to offer a client platform that features unique carrier access and proactive, and hands on advocacy in the rapidly changing and challenging commercial insurance marketplace. I believe the odds are very good that we can make a very favorable impact on your commercial insurance placements via a fiercely proactive brokerage experience.
Would you be open to updating me on your current placement and interest level in a brief conversation or email exchange?   10 minutes or so should be enough time for us to determine if next steps are mutually beneficial.
Thank you for your consideration!

Brant Watson
Senior VP
D: 925.295.2506
C: 925.330.1151
Heffernan Insurance Brokers – CA Insurance License # 0564249
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