Thursday, March 31, 2011

Secure Data with Dropbox

I recently posted an article about data loss and the risk of losing hard to restore information from your computer. In the article it was mentioned that we would share a few more specific examples of ways to protect your computer data from total loss. One example of securing your data and backing it up is a service called Dropbox. Dropbox is a cloud like program. This means that all your computer data is safely secured on different Dropbox servers throughout the country as well as on your personal computer. If your personal computer ever suffered a hard drive crash, was stolen or was damaged in a fire all you would need to do is replace your computer and download all your data from the Dropbox servers. You can do 2GB of storage for free or pay $9.99 a month for 50GB of storage. If 50GB is still not enough you can pay $19.99 a month for 100GB of storage.

When you install Dropbox on your computer it creates a folder that you can copy and past your files into. You can copy and past document, video, music files, etc. When you place these items into the Dropbox folder on your computer it then syncs the information with the Dropbox servers via an internet connection. If you have multiple devices like iPads, iPhones or if everyone in your family has a different laptop you can all share one account and load each device’s information into the same Dropbox account. It then syncs and backs up all devices. This also allows you to access each others information from any device via the Dropbox folder on your computer, mobile device or even a special website that is created for each account. Not only does it back up and secure your information it also makes it easier to access from anywhere.

Dropbox is probably better fit for personal use. Depending on the size of your business it may not be the best option as it does have a 100GB storage limit. I will be sure to post soon about how businesses can best secure their data as well as have some future posts on how to use insurance products to help restore your data.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Named Peril vs. Open Peril Homeowner Policies

Many today feel all homeowner policies are the same, that they are a commodity of sorts. In our professional opinion this is not the case. One glaring difference between homeowner policies is whether they are “Named Peril” or “Open Peril” homeowner policies.

Named Peril insurance policies specifically list the risks they will cover your home for. The policy contract will cover such happenings as wind, lightning, fire, smoke, theft, etc. If something happens to your home that doesn’t fall into the insurance policies definitions of the name peril terms than there is no coverage.

Open Peril insurance policies state that all risks are covered except for a list of exclusions that are outlined in the policy contract. This type of contract gives broader coverage than a Named Peril because the incident that happened to your home or personal contents doesn’t have to fit into a certain definition of coverage. As long as the incident isn’t excluded it is covered.

A homeowner policy that is using a “Named Peril” contract will always be cheaper than an “Open Peril” contract. It is important to know this so that you don’t fall victim to purchasing solely on price. You may be excited to see a savings from one policy to the next but that savings could be at a much higher cost and exposure to you. Unfortunately you may not know this until you actually have a claim and are staring at a bill that would have been covered under an Open Peril policy but is not covered now under your Named Peril policy.

This is just one example of what may be different between homeowner policies. Other things like deductibles, specialty items coverage, fallen tree coverage, water backing up sewers and drains, and earthquake coverage are a few others to consider.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Earthquake Insurance in Ohio!? (Re Post from July 2, 2010)

The recent tragedy that has struck Japan is heart breaking. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those people who suffered loss from this disaster. Recently we did a repost of a flood insurance article since it had been in the news in Ohio and we are sad that once again we are doing a repost due to another natural disaster. Below is our July 2nd post from 2010 about earthquakes.

Also, with this post I would like to also encourage all of you to please be sure to research and see what you might be able to do to lend support to those in Japan.

Re Post from July 2nd, 2010:

The big question going around on June 23rd was, “Did you feel the earthquake”. Many thought people were joking, but when they checked their Facebook page and saw that many of their friends in the Ohio area had felt the earth move, they knew the question was legit. The reason Ohioans felt the earth move was just north of us, Canada had a 5.0 magnitude earthquake. Though we are not California or anywhere near California, Ohio still has their fair share of earthquakes. On average Ohio has 5 to 6 earthquakes a year. Year to date in 2010 we have already had 6, so the question that has to be asked of this insurance blog is should people in Ohio carry earthquake insurance? We at Fey Insurance Services feel that it is a good idea to have this coverage. It is something we always quote to our customers. For an average valued house the premium can range from $50 to $80 a year. Though we only have little earthquakes the potential for a large scale quake is there and if that happened the affects would be devastating to a home.Feel free to get in touch with us to inquire about earthquake insurance

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Data Loss

If a fire where to occur at your business it is relatively easy to replace desks, chairs, decorations and even computers and network systems. The part that is very difficult to replace is data. Every business has data. Whether it is your computerized bookkeeping, client management data and software, important electronic documents or your Outlook calendar, they all serve as a vital part of your business and would leave you at a loss without them. With items like office furniture and computers you can go out and purchase replacements with very little difficulty. Data, however, is something that is specifically created over time and when lost is very difficult to recreate or replace.

There are two suggestions that I would like to share in this blog article. The first is securing your data either through backup tapes, off site backup or cloud computing. The second is insurance protection to help pay for the cost of recreating your data or extracting your data from damaged computer hardware.

The first suggestion of securing your data is probably the most reliable and sure fire way to prevent the nightmare of lost data. There are so many offerings out there of companies like Mozy that help to back up your business servers and data off site. If a fire destroys the server in your office all you would need to do is buy a new server, download your data from the offsite backup system and you are up and running again. Cloud computing is another offsite way to secure data. Instead of your data being stored on computers in your office they are stored on specialty servers throughout the country. All you are doing each time you access the data is pulling up the information via online so if a fire renders your computer useless you just purchase another computer, login to your online cloud and access your data. Backup tapes are probably the least effective because they require you to remember to take them offsite and require you to remember to update the tapes on a regular basis.

Insurance is the second suggestion on how to prevent data loss. One caveat about this topic is that technology is constantly changing and insurance companies are always trying to catch up with how to best insure this moving target. There are currently specialty coverages out there that help an insured pay for the costs of salvaging lost data. Coverage can be added to business policies that help pay for the forensic work that would need to be done on a fire damaged hard drive that possible still stores your company’s data. Some insurance products help you to repurchase lost software programs that can be very costly to replace. There are times when you need to hire extra staff for a short period to help reestablish your bookkeeping after a fire. Insurance can help pay for this extra cost.

In future blog post we will be sure to focus on what the actual insurance products are that can help protect the loss of your data and we will also write more on data backup services as well. In the mean time, work with your IT departments or consultants to figure out the best cost effective way to secure your data as well as talk with your insurance agent to figure out how to best insure your data.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Flood Insurance Facts (Re post from 11/23/09)

Floods have struck the Ohio area once again. We thought this might be a good time to re post an old flood insurance blog article that gives a few facts about flood insurance.

Posted November 23, 2009 on

Flood insurance had its fifteen minutes of fame after the Hurricane Katrina disaster in 2005. During this time period the media was making everyone well aware that flood insurance is not part of your typical homeowner policy. Today that is still the case and with this post I would like to point out a few more facts about flood insurance.

Flood insurance is run through a government program called FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency). You can purchase it through insurance agency such as Fey Insurance Services but the backing is from FEMA. Typically it takes 30 days for a new flood insurance policy to go into effect. The one exception would be for a mortgage closing where flood insurance is required. So you need to plan ahead. Hearing about a big rain on the nightly news and calling your agent the next day will not work. Many people think of flood insurance when they think about what is stored in their basement. Flood insurance will only cover things such as furnaces, water heaters, washers, dryers, air conditioners, freezers, pumps and utility connections. Everything else you store down there (old cloths, furniture, carpet, TV, etc) is not covered unless those items are on the first floor of your house and the flood reaches that level.

In some cases flood insurance is required in order to get a loan. If your home or a home you are about to purchase is in a 100 year flood plain (meaning at least once every 100 years your location is under several feet of water) you will be required to purchase a flood insurance policy to close on your loan.

Feel free to get in touch with a Fey Insurance Services representative to learn more facts about flood insurance or to get a quote today.