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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Top 5 Reasons Professionals need Errors and Omissions Coverage

1. Higher standards of care are created by you, the professional and the expert

2. Increasing Litigation in our society is generating more frivolous lawsuits

3. Average defense cost for an E&O claim is $150,000

4. Allegations of General Negligence in performance of professional services for compensation

5. Employees can make honest errors that can cause economic loss to your company
Paperwork/Administrative errors

- Funds-handling errors

- Failure to document

- Allegations of Libel, Slander, or Defamation

- Errors regarding the content of media communication

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Black History Month

Farmers Agent, David Lorms, donated lesson plans for Black History month to Black Middle School. Pictured with Lorms is Assistance Vice Principal Tom Day.

Monday, February 14, 2011


By Farmers Insurance by David Lorms

What you’ll discover in this report:
 Surprising secrets about what’s covered in a standard Renter’s Policy!
 The most dangerous myth about renters insurance
 What to do before you ever have a claim
 Protecting your jewelry, art, computer equipment and other valuables that
may not be covered!
 Insurance jargon demystified! What are you really getting? Find out here...

BUSTING THE MYTHS ABOUT RENTERS INSURANCEIt is one of the most commonly repeated myths about insurance. Renters don’t need insurance because their landlord’s policy provides coverage for the renters’ property.

No, it doesn’t. Further, if someone slips and falls in your apartment or rented home, your landlord’s insurance usually won’t provide any coverage for you if you are sued.

Renters insurance is basically like homeowners coverage without coverage for the structure.

 Note. Renters insurance provides coverage for your possessions and for liability if someone injured while on your premises sues you. Renters insurance also covers any of your possessions when they are away from your residence, including in your car.

In addition, renters policies provide what are called additional living expenses. If some catastrophe covered by the policy -- fire, bursting pipes -- makes the place you are renting uninhabitable, the policy will pay some of the costs you incur to live somewhere else while the residence is being repaired.

The coverage is usually limited to either a specific period of time, say 12 months, or what the insurance company considers a “reasonable length of time.” Also, there is a cap on the amount of additional living expenses the insurer will pay, usually a percentage of the total liability limits.

Like homeowners insurance, renters policies do not cover damage or losses resulting from flooding, landslide or earthquake -- although it is possible to buy coverage for these risks separately.

Actual Cash Value vs. Replacement Cost for rentersLike homeowners insurance, there are two options for covering your possessions:

Actual cash value, which is the replacement cost of an item minus depreciation.

Replacement, which allows you to buy a new item to replace the one lost, stolen or damaged, no matter how old that item is.

 Note. Because replacement cost is better coverage, it costs more. Usually about 10% to 15% more.

Speaking of cost, renters insurance is fairly cheap when compared with other personal insurance policies. Usually, you can get a decent policy for about $200 a year, depending on where you live. If you choose higher limits for your personal property and liability coverage, you could pay as much as $400 a year.

The policy has dollar limits on certain types of items. For example, there is usually a $1,000 limit for jewelry and anywhere from a $3,000 to $10,000 limit for computer equipment. If you want higher limits, you can purchase an endorsement, or “floater,” to the basic policy.

Like homeowners insurance, renters coverage has a deductible -- the amount you will pay before insurance kicks in. The higher the deductible, the less your policy will cost.

You probably should have the same liability limits on your renters policy as you do on your auto insurance policy. Like your auto policy, you want to make sure your renters insurance will cover all your assets if you are sued.

If you are renting with a roommate or roommates, it’s probably best to include all your roommates on the policy. In addition, if you are living and renting with a significant other, many insurance companies will allow you to obtain joint coverage, just as if you were married.

If You Rent: How to Keep Track of What You Own...

 Tip. Like homeowners, you as a renter should have a written and visual inventory of all of your possessions. For items of significant value, you should write down the model numbers, serial numbers, date of purchase and price. Make a written copy of your inventory and keep it at another location, along with your photographs and/or video of the items. A safe deposit box is a good place to keep such records.

 Note. If one of your “possessions” is a dog, you may find it more difficult to get coverage, particularly if that dog is a Rottweiler, Pit Bull or Doberman.

 Tip. Finally, remember that many insurance companies give discounts to those who have multiple policies with a given insurer. Shop around, or have your agent shop around, for insurance companies that have the best rates, discounts, etc., for renters and auto insurance if both are placed with the same company.

Be a smart consumer...but don’t try to be your “own agent.” Protection for you and your family requires constantly vigilance....and a partnership between you and your professional agent. For the latest information on how to save money AND get the best protection for yourself and the people you care most about call Farmers Insurance by David Lorms at 713-688-8669.

Black History Month 2011: Facts on the Annual Celebration

Farmers has partnered with The Association for the Study of African American Life and History to create Freedom's Song. Complete with a DVD and additional lesson plans and learning materials, Freedom's Song, shares the African American experience in the film industry. The DVD documentary addresses the triumphs and struggles that African Americans have experienced during the past century.

The Supplemental Web downloads don't just tell students about the African American experience, they submerse students in a history that shapes the present and will continue to shape the future. Contact me today to get educational DVD's and supplemental learning materials.

February 1st marks the start of Black History Month, when African-American history is celebrated in the classroom, on television and in daily life.

According to the Library of Congress, Black History Month has its roots in something called Negro History Week. In 1925, Dr. Carter G. Woodson, an African-American historian who founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, proposed Negro History Week as a way to encourage people to learn more about black history. He selected a week in February that included the birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln and black abolitionist Frederick Douglass.

The first Negro History Week was celebrated in February 1926. "The response was overwhelming," says the Library of Congress. "Black history clubs sprang up; teachers demanded materials to instruct their pupils; and progressive whites, not simply white scholars and philanthropists, stepped forward to endorse the effort."

In the early 1970s, Negro History Week was rechristened Black History Week to reflect the changing language used to describe African-Americans. Then, in 1976, as America observed its bicentennial, Black History Week was expanded to the full month we celebrate today.

Every February since 1976, the U.S. president issues a proclamation declaring the second month of the year Black History Month or National African American History Month.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Study Traces Full Impact of Teen Driver Crashes

The impact of teen driver crashes extends far beyond teen drivers' families and friends, according to a new report.

In 2008, more than half a million (681,000) people were involved in crashes where a teen driver was behind the wheel. More than 40,000 were injured, and nearly 30 percent of those who died in these crashes were not in cars driven by teens. The teen driving report is from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and State Farm Insurance Companies.

"When most people think about those affected by teen driver crashes, they think of the teens behind the wheel. We must also consider the significant impact of these crashes on other members of our communities: occupants of other vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists, and other road-users," says Dennis Durbin, M.D., co-scientific director of the Center for Injury Research and Prevention at CHOP, and a co-author of the report.

"Whether we have a teen driver in our family or not, we should all care about this issue. This report provides a concrete way to measure the effectiveness of laws, education, and other programs in reducing teen crashes and their impact on communities."

The report sets forth 11 indicators to help policymakers and safety practitioners determine progress in key areas affecting teen driving safety. Researchers focused on four key behaviors among teen drivers that contribute to crashes or crash fatalities, that can also be tracked using federal data sources: failure to use seat belts, speeding, alcohol use, and distracted driving.

"Reducing speeding and alcohol use, increasing seat belt use, and eliminating distractions for teen drivers are the four calls-to-action we see in this report that would have great impact on reducing injuries and fatalities for all road users," says Dr. Durbin, who is also an emergency physician. "More than half of teens who were fatally injured in crashes were speeding, 40 percent had a positive blood alcohol level, more than half were not wearing seat belts, and 16 percent of teen drivers involved in fatal crashes were reported to have been distracted while driving."

The report also shows that more teens die from car crashes than from cancer, homicide, and suicide combined. Teen driver and peer passenger deaths account for one-quarter (24 percent) of total teen deaths from any cause. However, the authors stress that teen fatalities are just "the tip of the iceberg." Thousands more - including friends, family members, and others on the road - suffer physical injuries, psychological trauma, and disruption to their everyday lives.

Most of these tragedies are due to inexperience, and are therefore preventable, the researchers say. They strong Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) laws, which allow teens to gain experience under lower-risk conditions, are one effective preventive measure. They also recommend that public health programs and GDL and other traffic safety laws should focus on the key teen behaviors known to raise crash risk: speeding, alcohol use, distractions from peer passengers and cell phones, as well as failure to wear a seat belt.

The federal government recently expanded its Healthy People 2020 initiative to include target goals related to teen driving, including a 10 percent reduction in fatality rate and a 10 percent increase in seat belt use.

The full report and more information can be found at

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Prepare Home for Snow and Cold Weather

Add the following supplies to your disaster supplies kit:
1. Rock salt to melt ice on walkways
2. Sand to improve traction
3. Snow shovels and other snow removal equipment.

Prepare your home and family
1. Prepare for possible isolation in your home by having sufficient heating fuel; regular fuel sources may be cut off. For example, store a good supply of dry, seasoned wood for your fireplace or wood-burning stove.

2. Winterize your home to extend the life of your fuel supply by insulating walls and attics, caulking and weather-stripping doors and windows, and installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic.

3. Winterize your house, barn, shed or any other structure that may provide shelter for your family, neighbors, livestock or equipment. Clear rain gutters; repair roof leaks and cut away tree branches that could fall on a house or other structure during a storm.

3. Insulate pipes with insulation or newspapers and plastic and allow faucets to drip a little during cold weather to avoid freezing.

4. Keep fire extinguishers on hand, and make sure everyone in your house knows how to use them. House fires pose an additional risk, as more people turn to alternate heating sources without taking the necessary safety precautions.

5. Learn how to shut off water valves (in case a pipe bursts).
Know ahead of time what you should do to help elderly or disabled friends, neighbors or employees.

6. Hire a contractor to check the structural ability of the roof to sustain unusually heavy weight from the accumulation of snow - or water, if drains on flat roofs do not work.

How to Prepare Your Vehicle for The Snow/cold Weather

Here are a few tips and ideas on preparing your vehicle for the snow/cold weather.

1.First thing first make sure your vehicle is well maintained. Check the oil, anti-freeze, brakes, tire pressure, heater, battery, etc.. These are the simplest things you can do to avoid either breaking down or getting stuck in the snow or cold weather.

2.KNOW YOUR LIMITATIONS. If it is expected to be below freezing or it is supposed to snow and your vehicle is either not in the best shape or suitable for the snow don't go to far or just don't go out at all. If it is freezing outside and your car is on its last leg to go far from home that way if it breaks down you wont have to far to go. If there is snow,either a lot or a little,keep in mind the type of vehicle you drive. Trucks dont do well in snow, especially if there is a lot. Even the big trucks have problems. make sure you put sands bags in your truck bed or, if there is a lot, fill it with snow to weigh down your back end. If the snow starts to pile up be very cautious driving through big drifts. If it is any deeper then a couple of inches find a different route. Once the snow gets that bad that is when it might just be best to stay home.

3. Here are a few basic things you should keep in your vehicle in case you find yourself broken down on the side of the road on a cold day: extra pair of gloves, beanie/snow cap, hoodie/jacket, boots, blanket, flashlight, lighter, small first aid kit, ice scraper. This way if you leave for work and forget your gloves and you end up breaking down you have a pair of gloves already in your car. Just make sure whatever you use gets put back in the car.

4. For those of you that want to be prepared for any occasion here are a few other things that would be handy to keep in your vehicle if you have the space: a gallon of water, something to snack on; beef jerky works well, a basic tool kit, power inverter, extra phone charger/car charger, rechargeable batteries and charger, rechargeable lantern, folding camp shovel, automobile fire extinguisher, emergency road kit, road flares, a can of tire patch repair. Most of this stuff would fit inside a normal backpack that you could keep in the back seat or trunk.

5. Hopefully this information was useful in helping you preparing your vehicle for cold weather. These are good things to keep in your vehicle at all times of the year even when it isn't cold out.

Read more: How to Prepare Your Vehicle for The Snow/cold Weather |