Annual Employee Appreciation Outing

We love celebrating our employees. Each year, we host a family outing to show them our appreciation of their hard work, commitment, and dedication to the agency. It started years ago as a picnic, but with Florida’s temperamental weather we’ve since moved it inside.

 

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This year, our employees brought their families to Maple Lanes for an afternoon of fun (and air conditioning). We enjoyed a few games of bowling and lunch together. It’s always nice to see everyone outside of the office and getting everyone’s families together to socialize is always a lot of fun.

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Year after year, our employees continue to put our client’s first and we will always continue to put our employees first.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Crysta Miller is a Brand Coordinator at Bouchard Insurance. Crysta assists in the presentation of the agency in the communities we serve through digital marketing, community partnerships, graphic design, and events. | Connect on LinkedIn

Have a Spooky & Safe Halloween

It’s that time of year already. Pumpkin spice is back and the stores have all their Halloween decorations and costumes on display. Do you remember how much fun it was to get dressed up as your favorite action hero, cartoon character, or princess and go door to door for Halloween treats? Well, your children can now experience that same joy. Just as your parents did for you, now it’s your turn to prevent Halloween accidents and injuries by supervising your children closely. Here are some of our tips to help you plan ahead for the big night.

COSTUMES - KEEP IT CREATIVE & SAFE!

  • Don’t wear baggy or costumes that are too long. They are difficult to walk in and can be tripping hazards.

  • Face paint, wigs, and accessories are safer than masks, as they can obstruct a child’s vision.

  • Make sure makeup and face paint is non-toxic. Test on a small area before applying to their face.

  • Stick some reflective tape on trick or treat bags so they can be easily spotted by motorists. There are also flashing lights available that can attach to their shoes. You could also keep the fun going and let them wear some glow sticks as necklaces or bracelets!

TRICK-OR-TREATING SAFETY

  • Trick-or-treating is safer (and more fun!) in groups. Children of any age should always be supervised. See if you can coordinate a group of their friends and parents to go out as one big group!

  • Stay on sidewalks and use crosswalks.

  • Remind children to never approach or get into a car with a stranger offering them candy.

  • Carefully inspect the candy and throw away anything not sealed; especially avoiding handmade treats.

DRIVE EXTRA CAREFULLY

  • Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods. Kids are excited and move quickly and in unpredictable ways.

  • Enter and exit driveways slowly and carefully.

  • Anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic and turn on your headlights earlier in the day to spot children from greater distances.


About the Author

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Lori Whitesell is a Personal Lines Account Manager at Bouchard Insurance. Lori is experienced in all lines of personal insurance.

Breaking Down Personal Liability Insurance

Personal liability risk continues to evolve in response to changes in the law and societal attitudes. No matter how careful you are, there’s no way to predict what life may throw at you. Liability coverage provided within your homeowners, auto, and boat policies is considered primary insurance and responds first in the event of a claim. Personal excess liability (or umbrella) insurance responds after primary coverage limits are exceeded.

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Personal excess liability insurance has high coverage limits that can provide you with worldwide liability protection with features such as excess uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, not-for-profit board liability coverage, employment practices liability insurance, and shadow defense costs. As an affluent  individual, you must maintain a greater awareness of shifting dangers and seek expert advice to develop a comprehensive plan to protect your assets, future wealth, reputation, and lifestyle.

Here are a few of our suggestions

  • The agency should have a well-defined process for periodically reviewing your physical assets such as your home and your car, your financial assets (both current assets and future earning potential), and your lifestyle – only a combination of understanding these three aspects can accurately assess your level of liability risk.

  • Resist the temptation to choose a carrier based on price alone. Your advisor should be able to help you understand the value of a carrier based on coverage, financial stability, and service quality.

  • Ensure that the liability components of your auto, home, watercraft, umbrella, and other personal insurance policies work together as a seamless plan; making sure there are no gaps in coverage.

  • Purchase the level of coverage to meet extreme cases, not the likely cases – liability settlements and verdicts can exceed $20 million.

  • Make sure your advisor knows if you employ household staff – you may need workers compensation and employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) as part of your policy.

The more complex your lifestyle, the greater the chance of the unexpected coming your way. Personal excess liability insurance can protect your assets from unforeseen accidents and mishaps that simply may be out of your control.  Having the proper liability protection in place can give you the peace of mind to enjoy the fruits of your labor and the people that mean the most to you.


About the Author

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Katie Dierks is a Certified Personal Risk Manager who specializes in liability protection for successful individuals.  She takes a holistic approach in designing an insurance program that mitigates the potential threats to her client’s assets and lifestyles. | Connect on LinkedIn

Pay-As-You-Go Car Insurance?

Sure, you’re a safe driver. You may even get a discount for being a safe driver; but, what if your auto insurance company was able to calculate your rates based on your driving habits? Everyone knows that insurance costs are based on several different factors such as age, marital status, and even the number of accidents that happen in your area can influence your insurance rate.  However, insurance companies have now found a better way to calculate risk (and give some awesome discounts in the meantime) by personalizing the rate based on the way YOU drive! Many carriers are offering a device to plug into your car for them to analyze how you drive and then rate accordingly. They will look at things like how fast you drive, how often you drive, how frequently you brake, etc.

There are some great benefits of telematics (that’s what it’s called, by the way!). First, the obvious, you can earn some really sweet discounts for good driving habits. Second, it is reducing insurance fraud across the industry (which, again, helps with rates). Third, it can help recover stolen vehicles more quickly. Lastly, it is opening up conversation on great teaching opportunities. We can all learn new things, and having telematics in your vehicle can show you areas where you become a safer driver - whether it’s on hard braking, speeding, time of driving, etc. Plus, it can also be a great tool for our new teen drivers to help them adopt good driving habits!

With news like that, what can be bad? As great as those options are to improve the insurance industry, you’d be right in thinking that there might be some challenges. First, there are some drivers who are concerned about their privacy. In this digital age, there are many ways to track information, like smartphones, GPS devices, and social media, but it can make some clients a little nervous to allow that type of information sharing for your vehicle. Second, you may not save anything or have your rates increased. An aggressive driver that commutes during rush hour traffic at long distances could actually have their rates increased for the extra risk exposure.

So, to monitor or not to monitor, that is the question! By and large, this is a great opportunity for many drivers to lower their insurance costs. It is transforming the auto insurance industry with no sign of stopping. Be sure to speak with your Bouchard agent to see if your policy has an option for telematics and how that could possibly affect your auto insurance rates.


About the Author

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Christin Snow is a Personal Lines Account Manager at Bouchard Insurance. Christin is experienced in all lines of personal insurance. | Connect on LinkedIn

How to Attract & Retain Talented Workers in an Ultra-Competitive Job Market with Employee Benefits

With today’s thriving economy and competitive job market, it can be difficult to attract and retain talented employees. At Bouchard, we believe the consideration of benefits in addition to traditional health insurance plans to address this challenge is a worthwhile exercise.  Offering creative benefits packages can be a great way to keep millennial employees engaged and productive. Below are “outside the box” benefits ideas that your company may not be offering but your competitors might be.

Four Day Work Week

At many companies, the traditional 8 to 5, Monday through Friday work week is a thing of the past. Flex time and shorter work weeks can lead to a more creative, punctual, and productive workforce according to companies like Treehouse, a technology education company. Treehouse implemented a 32-hour work week in 2006 and has been praising its success ever since.

Nap Time

Many people remember nap time as a perk of kindergarten, not a perk of the real world workplace. However, companies like Google, Facebook, and even the Huffington Post have installed nap pods for employees to use at work. Older generations coined the term “sleeping on the job” as a negative stereotype, but millennials are embracing a more flexible view on responsibilities and actually find themselves more productive after catching a couple z’s on their break time.

Student Loan Repayment Programs

As the student loan debt crisis grows in America, many companies are capitalizing on this opportunity to bring real value to the lives of their employees. A recent survey by Oliver Wyman found that 45% of employees say student debt repayment is the most desirable benefit a company can offer - even more desirable that retirement contributions and health insurance.

Paid Paternal Leave

New fathers are now being considered for parental leave at some large companies including Twitter, Etsy, Netflix, and the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation. These companies offer between 20 weeks and a full year of paid paternal leave.

Free Parking & Complimentary Cars

Whether it’s a carpooling program, like Tesla offers, or Facebook’s valet service, helping employees find cost effective parking options can be a great employee benefit, especially for companies located in large cities.

Free Food

More and more companies are finding the key to a productive workforce is through their stomach. Dropbox, LinkedIn, and many other technology companies are offering free meals and snacks to employees throughout the day.

Paid & Encouraged Travel

It may come as no surprise that companies like AirBnB would offer $2,000 a year to cover travel expenses, but other companies like software-maker, Qualtrics, have jumped on board to offer employees money to spend on experiences each year.

Gym Memberships

Companies are finding innovative ways to help their employees stay healthy. Reebok, Apple, and Microsoft all offer money, memberships, or classes to employees to help them stay in shape and happy.

Remote Work

Working Remotely is quickly becoming a popular work perk. Major companies like Hilton, Dell, Amazon, and Williams-Sonoma all offer this benefit to their employees. You may be surprised to know that about 43% of Americans worked from home at least once in 2016, according to Gallop.

Game Breaks

What better way to keep your employees engaged than to offer game breaks where employees can have fun and build comradery with their fellow co-workers. We’re not talking about a foosball table, deep in the basement of an office building. Adobe Systems, for example, has a fitness center, basketball court, and even a rock climbing wall at their Utah campus.

With millennials making up the largest portion of the labor force, companies must be willing to adapt their Employee Benefits strategy to keep up with the changing desires of employees. Did you know that the average person switches jobs over 10 times during their working career? What are you doing to make your company attractive to these “job hoppers”?


About the Author

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Max Miller is a Sales Executive at Bouchard Insurance. Max specializes in Property & Casualty, Workers’ Compensation, and Health Benefits for large commercial accounts. | Connect on LinkedIn