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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 & 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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Insurance is Unique

Insurance Needs Are Unique And Here Is Why Your Coverage Should Match

Life is uncertain and life’s mishaps are inevitable. Purchasing an insurance policy that will protect your auto, health, life, business, or home will certainly not be a “one-size-fits-all” buy.  This is why it’s important that when you shop around for insurance you find a policy that is tailored to your unique needs and will take all of your risks into account.

Here are three top reasons why you need insurance:

  1. Peace of Mind: Life is unpredictable. Insurance can be a safety net when an accident occurs or a risk goes wrong.
  2. It’s the law: In most states, auto, home, and business insurance are required.
  3. Lenders require insurance: Need a loan to purchase a home?  A car? To start a business?  Most lenders will not approve a loan unless you have proof of insurance.

Do not shop for insurance blindly, team up with a knowledgeable agent that knows how to put together a tailored policy package just for you.

“Insurance is all about protecting the assets of a family or business, and needless to say that each family and business has different assets to protect and they also face different risks that may hurt them.  While one family may have the risk of somebody getting injured in their swimming pool or on their trampoline, another family is at great risk of having teenage drivers on the road. Maybe to one person, a car is just a car, whereas to another person their new Mercedes is their prized possession and they want to make certain that in the event of an accident only Mercedes parts are going to be used during the repair process. What if a business has a piece of equipment that is so important to their operations that they would have to suspend operations if that equipment was destroyed or damaged, etc…  These are all just some of the things we try to think about for you.”- Robbie J. Moore, Jr., Executive Vice President/Account Executive, Blanchard and Calhoun Insurance

When it comes to shopping for insurance, a custom package is necessary but affordability is desirable too.  Everyone is looking for ways to save money. Although, the cheapest insurance may seem the most attractive, the benefits may not be enough of coverage. To get the best policy at the best price you will want to find an insurance agent that will shop around on your behalf for the most affordable and effective insurance package. 

Look at how many people purchase Starbucks or Dunkin Coffee. Those are not the cheapest options, but the client feels that it is worth it. The same is true about hotels – at the end of the day they all provide you with a room and a bed,   but so many people are willing to spend a little extra to stay in a Marriott or Hilton even though there might have been a lower-priced option out there – because they felt that the overall “experience” was worth a few extra dollars. I don’t want people to think we won’t help find them the best price on their insurance,  because we absolutely will. Part of our role is also helping them find and apply for all of the possible discounts that are offered by a particular insurance company.  But I want to be careful and just make sure that they know our main focus is on protecting them and finding the appropriate coverage. If the main focus was simply on cheap, then we could all probably agree that I could write you a policy with a very high deductible and really low coverage benefits and it would be cheap. Be careful though, that you actually know what you are purchasing so that you are not disappointed at the time of a claim. “Robbie J. Moore, Jr., Executive Vice President/Account Executive, Blanchard and Calhoun Insurance

If you are in the market for insurance, team up with an insurance agent that can streamline the process. Since brokers, like Blanchard and Calhoun Insurance, partner with several insurance companies, they can ensure you get the best coverage and the best deal. Click here for a list of agents ready to assist you. 

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