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All posts by Jamie Booth

Best in Class

Best-in-Class Agency Partner

To celebrate Blanchard and Calhoun Insurance Agency‘s recognition as a unite Best-in-Class Agency Partner, we’re honored to support SafeHomes, Inc. and the Augusta Rescue Mission.

Eastern’s unite Best-in-Class Program recognizes agencies like Blanchard & Calhoun who demonstrate hard work, exceptional client service and dedication to the unite brand.

“Eastern’s unite has valuable safety resources available to the customer that are easily accessible and applicable to the client’s needs. Their parallel pay® program makes it easy for small businesses to pay their monthly premiums without a large down payment, keeping cash flow at hand and simplifying the overall audit process, while offering some of the lowest premiums available in the marketplace.” The Blanchard & Calhoun team.

(This originally appeared on LinkedIn by Eastern Alliance Insurance Group.)

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Understanding Cyber Risk To Your Business

Businesses rely heavily on online storage and technology to operate. The advantage of storing all information in “the cloud” is that it’s convenient, accessible, and safe from physical destruction like fires; but there are also some disadvantages to online storage – cyber threats. Cyber attacks take over your company’s operating system to access, steal, or alter confidential information.  Once the targeted computer or network has been hacked, the company’s financials and branding can be corrupted.  It does not matter the size of your industry, no company is immune to data breaches and theft caused by cybercriminals. 

What is a Cyber Attack?  An attempt by a third party to gain access to a target computer or network to steal, disable, or alter information.  Below are some ways cybercriminals attempt to hack systems to access information:

  • Malware (short for Malicious Software) is designed to corrupt data and take over the system.
  • Spam (a Malware carrier) is designed to steal sensitive information like passwords,  financial records, and personal information.   
  • Phishing creates fake emails and accounts in an attempt to trick the recipient

Into disclosing confidential information. 

Cybercriminals can create emails and websites that look legitimate.  Do not think you or one of your employees can’t be fooled-these scammers have gotten pretty good at being deceptive.  

Below are 5 cybersecurity basics that will help you protect your business and reduce the risk of cyberattacks:  

  1. Conduct on-going cybersecurity training: Hold regular meetings to update employees on the newest security threats and how to prevent them.  
  1. Teach effective password management: Educate your employees on how to create a secure password. Enforce strong passwords that include a mixture of capital letters, numbers, and symbols.  Require that passwords are changed every 60 to 90 days. 
  2. Apply regular updates to your business operating system: Implement a policy to update data regularly and to apply privacy settings.
  1. Detect Insider Threats: Control access to data by allowing admin access sparingly. Monitor vendors, part-time employees, and contractors.
  1. Cyber Liability Insurance: Cyber liability insurance covers financial loss due to data breaches, viruses, and other cyber attacks.

According to cybersecurity experts,  it’s not a matter of “if” your business is threatened but “when” it’s threatened.  Because all businesses are at risk, including yours, it is crucial that your company has a cyber attack prevention plan in place.  Is your business prepared for a cyber attack?

Contact Blanchard and Calhoun Insurance Agency for more information on how to protect yourself and your business from cyber-attacks.

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Blanchard and Calhoun Insurance Agency Included In IIABA’s 2020 Best Practices Study

AUGUSTA, GA, September 23, 2020 – Blanchard and Calhoun Insurance Agency has been awarded as a Best Practices Top Performer. Not only is it retaining its Best Practices status, once again becoming a part of an elite group of independent insurance agencies around the United States, but also earning the additional designation as the highest performing agency in its revenue category. This status comes by participating in the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”) Best Practices Study group. The annual survey and Study of leading independent insurance agencies documents the business practices of the “best” agencies and urges others to adopt similar practices.

            Since 1993, the Big “I” and Reagan Consulting, an Atlanta-based management consulting firm, have joined forces to study the country’s leading agencies in six revenue categories. The agencies comprising the study groups are selected every third year through a comprehensive nomination and qualifying process and awarded a “Best Practices Agency” designation. The agency was nominated by either an IIABA affiliated state association or an insurance company and qualified based on its operational excellence.

The selected Best Practices agencies earn the Top Performer designation and retain their status during the three-year cycle by submitting extensive financial and operational data for review each year. This is the second year of the current three-year study cycle, where over 1,000 independent agencies throughout the U.S. were nominated to take part in the annual study in 2019, but only 264 agencies qualified for the honor. To be chosen as a Best Practices Agency, the agency had to be among the 35-45 top-performing agencies in one of six revenue categories. 

            “We are truly honored to have received this award,” says Preston Moss, Blanchard and Calhoun Insurance Agency, President. “To be chosen as the best agency in the United States in our revenue class speaks volumes to the commitment that our team has in continually raising the bar for our customers. We certainly owe it all to our fine employees and their professional, courteous, and prompt response to the needs of our customers.”

            The Blanchard and Calhoun Insurance Agency was founded in 1919 and can offer insurance products from a number of different companies including Travelers, Nationwide, Allstate, Auto-Owners, Progressive, Hartford, Safeco, Cincinnati, Central, Hanover, Donegal, Mercury, Encompass, Grange, PURE, and Main Street America on the Residential side. The Blanchard and Calhoun brand has celebrated over 100 years of service and has grown and developed into a multi-faceted organization through its “Family of Businesses”, which now includes Blanchard and Calhoun Real Estate Company, Augusta Mortgage Company and Blanchard and Calhoun Insurance Agency, Inc.

            For further information, please contact Jamie Booth, Marketing Director for Blanchard and Calhoun’s Family of Businesses at 706-267-6688.

Founded in 1896, the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (the Big “I”) is the nation’s oldest and largest national association of independent insurance agents and brokers, representing more than 25,000 agency locations united under the Trusted Choice brand. Trusted Choice independent agents offer consumers all types of insurance—property, casualty, life, health, employee benefit plans and retirement products—from a variety of insurance companies.

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Blanchard & Calhoun Insurance and Norton Agency Insurance, have merged to become one of the top 100 Insurance Agencies in the nation.

Augusta, Georgia – Blanchard & Calhoun Insurance, founded in 1919, has recently restructured its operations to capitalize on long term growth opportunities. With an eye to the future Blanchard & Calhoun Insurance and Norton Agency Insurance, a Gainesville Insurance Agency, have merged to become one of the top 100 Insurance Agencies in the nation. The newly combined Agency will maintain individual brands in each of the communities they serve. Under a new Corporate name both Blanchard and Norton have formed a holding company, Legacy Risk Solutions, LLC.

Preston Moss, President of Legacy Risk Solutions, said “By combining the expertise and success of our individual organizations, we continue the legacy we have built while providing for a succession strategy that protects our names, our reputations, and our staff.”

With over 200 employees and combined premiums over $200,000,000, the combined agency will continue to provide solutions for business insurance, personal insurance, and employee benefits on a nationwide scale. Along with the consolidation and merger, the new partnership has partnered with BroadStreet Partners, a nationally ranked insurance brokerage firm, to provide capital for expansion and access to a network of best in class agency leaders, risk management professionals and insurance products.

Moss said “We plan to build a partner driven company and seek out other agencies and individuals who want to be part of our growth strategy. Since 1919 we have built a culture that promotes the development of our people by fostering personal and professional growth. This move helps our succession strategy by providing a pathway for the next generation of agency leaders.”

“Blanchard & Calhoun and Norton have been partners for years in Georgia Agency Partners, a statewide agency think tank. Our agencies have been in lock step together in direction and growth. We have loosely shared ideas and strategies, and now can formally work towards better serving our customers. Our plan is to explore over time the efficiencies and synergies we may find, but we have no urgency to do so. Our brands will continue on in our individual communities but with a common management objective.”

Legacy Risk Solutions has offices in Augusta, Gainesville, Oakwood, Alpharetta, Woodstock, Jasper, Winder, Cleveland, Clarksville, Dahlonega, Dawsonville, Atlanta, Tucker, Kennesaw, Anderson SC, Aiken SC and Charlotte, NC.

For more information please contact jbooth@blanchardandcalhoun.com.

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Insurance Blog about the Basics of Insurance

Insurance 101 – The Basics

For the average person, who is not familiar with insurance policies or the terminology, understanding your coverage can be confusing. How can you be confident of your coverage if you are unsure what any of it means? Don’t worry; we are here to help. Below is a breakdown of what insurance is and how it works.

What Is Insurance?

Insurance is an arrangement by which a company or government agency provides a guarantee of compensation for specified loss, damage, illness, or death in return for a premium payment. Insurance is a policy or a contract between you and the insurance company.   

How it Works:   

You and your insurance agent will select an insurance policy that best suits your needs. As the policyholder, you will pay the premium, and the insurance provider agrees to pay your losses according to your policy, if needed.

Types of Insurance:

There are two main types of insurance categories: Property & Casualty Insurance and Life & Health Insurance. 

1. Property and Casualty insurance(P&C) helps protect you and the property you own like your home or your car. Most P&C insurance coverage includes but is not limited to:

  • Property and Casualty Insurance
    • Home Insurance
    • Auto Insurance
    • Condo Insurance
    • Renters Insurance
    • Power Sports Insurance
    • Landlord Insurance

2. Life and Health Insurance serves an entirely different purpose and offers different coverage. 

  • Life insurance pays out a death benefit to your beneficiaries in the case of premature death. Many people use life insurance to cover:
    • Burial and Final expenses
    • Replace Income
    • Pay off Debt
  • Health insurance ensures that people can afford their medical expenses and stay healthy. An insurance policy that typically covers medical expenses such as:
    • Doctor visits
    • Surgery expenses
    • Prescription Drugs
    • Dental and Optical

Why you need insurance:

Let’s face it; life is unpredictable. Insurance can be that safety net when an accident occurs, or a risk goes wrong. Insurance gives you peace of mind, but, in most states, it’s also the law to have insurance. For example, vehicle or home insurance. Also, if you are looking to get a loan, like an auto loan, for example, most lenders will not approve you without proof of insurance.

How to purchase Insurance:

When shopping for an insurance policy, it’s important to remember that insurance policies are not one-size-fits-all. You are unique, and your situation, whether it be health, life, commercial, or auto, will also be unique. Your agent will help put together a customized coverage to meet your needs precisely.

Let one of our knowledgeable agents help you determine which types of coverage fits you best. Then you can focus on enjoying everyday life knowing that you have a safety net in place, just in case you need it.

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