Cyber attacks are one of the greatest threats to business and individuals alike because of the scalability of hacks. Once a hacker has the ability to hack 100,000 people, it takes no more effort or skill to hack a hundred million people (Meltdown and Spectre are proving that once either processing chip can be hacked once it can be scaled to a majority of computing devices in the world- and most cloud storage). This is highly alarming, but what can we do about it?Read More
Insurance can be confusing. There are so many options and nuances depending on which market you are in. What coverage do you need? Are you getting a good value? It's different for everyone. We hope to help you better understand how it all works. Please reach out if we don't address your questions here. If nothing else we hope we can make insurance interesting.
Just because people feel terrorized, does not legally make an incident terrorism. The generally accepted term for terrorism requires political, religious, or ideological motive. The authorities are continuing to look for the shooter's motive. Whether the Secretary of the Treasury certifies it as such can have a major impact on insurance.Read More
This past year Verizon nearly dropped its bid for Yahoo after uncovering a massive data breach. Wanna Cry, the ransomware virus that effected 230,000 computers in 150 countries, shutdown important infrastructure such as the UK's National Health Service, and FedEx, a shipping giant. Eighty one million dollars of Bangladesh's money was stolen from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York using the "highly secure" Swift system. Until incentives are created for software developers and hardware makers to tighten up their security, businesses and individuals will remain greatly exposed to cyber hacks. Insurance companies are one of the few forces that can incentivize software makers to become more secure.Read More
Maine is one of 25 states that allows medical use of marijuana and looks likely that it will pass this autumn's ballot initiative for legalized recreational use. Nationally, sales reached $5.4 billion in 2015 and are expected to hit $6.7 billion in sales for 2016. Maine's sales were nearly $24 million in 2015. With adult use legalization looming, sales are expected to explode in Maine as it will usher in marijuana tourism that is sure to attract a lot of out-of-staters and bring the state's black market into the fold.
Where full legalization has gone into effect, the outcome has been deemed successful. There has been virtually no negative unforeseen consequences and has raised a substantial amount of state revenues. As for the medical sector, science continues to support marijuana's use for a myriad of medical complications. All of this is helping normalize the public's perception of marijuana and its stigma is fading.
One of the ongoing issues nationwide has been that, despite states' legalization efforts, marijuana possession is still illegal at the federal level. Former Attorney General Eric Holder issued federal agencies not to enforce the law in states where marijuana has been legalized, but until it becomes law the situation remains precarious because that decision could be overturned with a single decree. This has made banks weary of lending and doing business in this sector. Hence why transactions within the industry are mostly in cash.
Although technically insurance is part of the financial sector it is not constrained like banks are. Now that some form of legalization has been in place for years a number of insurance companies have had the time to look at risk data and have tailored products for growers, dispensaries, and others in the marijuana supply chain. They offer everything from general liability to crop insurance. For example, one insurance carrier we broker offers different coverages depending on crop maturity. One can insure the crop at seeds, immature seedlings, vegetative plants, flowering plants, harvested plants, and finished stock.
Without getting into the weeds about the ins and outs of insurance for the marijuana industry, what is important to know is that there is insurance out there for your business that covers everything regardless of the grey area the industry may be in due to federal regulations. Between growing equipment and the value of the marijuana itself, taking a loss would be catastrophic to an uninsured grower. Make sure you are adequately covered. There are lots of good options out there for you.
What sets an independent insurance agency apart from direct writers such as Geico, Farmers, Allstate, State Farm, Progressive, and Nationwide? As independent agents we take the time to understand exactly what you need and make sure you are covered appropriately. We have long standing relationships with each of the insurance carriers we represent so we have a thorough understanding of the varying coverages each of our Insurers provide. Insurance companies that utilize the agency channel to provide insurance coverage know that they need to compete for your business. They are not spending millions of dollars on advertising. The money that is saved on advertising costs often times results in reduced premiums. Direct writers will also tout that they can give you a quote in 15 minutes, but it would be wise to call a few different direct writers if you really want the best deal. All that time begins adding up... Let a local independent insurance do that for you a no additional cost.