Posted by: Mary Lewis | February 4, 2013

Wind and Trees Don’t Mix

The numerous powerful storms and tornados in our area have prompted a lot of phone calls to our agency. Scenarios such as “my tree fell on my neighbors fence, house, car, a large tree in my yard was uprooted do I have coverage to remove it or  my neighbors tree fell on my house do I have coverage?”

  1. If your tree falls on your neighbor’s property,   you’re not responsible as it’s considered an “act of God”. Unless you knew your tree was damaged and didn’t have it removed, your neighbor will need to report the damage to their insurance carrier.
  2. If a large tree falls in your yard, you may have some coverage for “tree removal” less your deductible. If it falls on your house or property(outbuilding) you will have coverage for damage to your property and removal of the tree, less your deductible. The deductible is not waived due to a catastrophe such as a tornado though.
  3. If your neighbor’s tree falls on your property, you will need to report to your insurance company, same reason as in answer #1, “act of God”.

Damage to your auto due to a fallen tree is covered under the comprehensive coverage of your auto policy.

You also will have some coverage for the tree itself if damaged is caused by fire or lightning, but not wind.

Always remember to discuss filing any claim with your insurance specialist. Multiple small claims on your record may jeopardize your insurance account. Insurance carriers now include windstorm, tornadoes, and any weather related claims in their underwriting review of acceptable accounts. You don’t want to use your insurance policy for small claims, save the coverage for major catastrophes.

Please call Mary Lewis at CS&A Insurance if you have questions about homeowner’s coverage and insurance. She can be reached at (615) 435-8300. If you would like more information on CS&A Insurance please visit our website or call 800.999.1109. You can also follow us on Facebook , Twitter and our YouTube Channel.

Posted by: Mary Lewis | January 30, 2013

Flood Insurance Update 2013 with Mary Lewis

Mary Lewis of CS&A Insurance talks about the recent changes that underwriting insurance companies are implimenting in 2013. Don’t be shoocked if your Homeowners or Business Owners insurance premiums increase. With recent natural disasters as well as the economy Insurance Underwriters are re-evaluating how they rate your insurance premiums. Also FEMA has mandated an increase in Homeowners Flood Insurance.

Click here for the 2013 Flood Insurance Update:

Take a look at 2011 Flood Insurance Update for more information:

For more information call 800.999.1109 or please visit our website:

Flood Coverages Resource:

Posted by: Christopher Turnbull | January 28, 2013

Are you prepared for a personal tragedy?

Fire fighters and huge flames

We had a staff meeting this morning. One of the topics of conversation was about a client’s home that burned down over the weekend. Fortunately, no one was hurt and they had insurance to pay for the loss. However, it was a good reminder that there’s more to being prepared for a tragedy than buying insurance. For example, if your house burned to the ground today, do you have a list of all your personal belongings and contents in your house? At a time of stress are you going to remember all of the things that were in every drawer and closet throughout your home? If so, you must have a photographic memory. For the rest of us, we need to be aware that an insurance company can’t fairly reimburse us for the loss if we can’t remember (and document) what was in our house. A friend reminded me after his home caught on fire from a faulty clothes drier that there are a lot more than things to think about than big items like home electronics, furniture and valuables. For example, don’t forget about over-the-counter medications, toiletries, food in your pantries and freezers, holiday decorations, clothes, tools and equipment in your garage, items in your attic, etc. You paid for them and may be entitled to reimbursement. However, you need to document these items as well as their value for your insurance company. Help them help you.

In addition to insurance and a list of contents in your home, are there other things you can do to protect your valuables from loss? Absolutely! Let’s start with some questions: Do you have a fire safe to store valuables like jewelry, photos, important documents, guns, and treasured mementos? Why not? Look around your house, what would you do if all your treasured mementos and photos were destroyed today? What about important documents such as Wills, insurance policies, deeds, passports, etc.? Have you thought about the important files you have on your home computer (i.e. pictures, tax returns, financial information, etc.)? A lot of us have back-up drives plugged into our computers in case it crashes or catches a virus, but what if it burns up in the fire too? You can’t replace many of these things once they’re destroyed. Why not prepare before a tragedy occurs?

We can’t stop there! What would happen if you or someone in your family didn’t survive the fire? Do you have a Will? Are you going to let the State decide how your personal assets are going to be distributed? How is your spouse or surviving relatives going to handle your personal affairs if they don’t know your intentions? What if there are disagreements or disputes between family members? How are they going to access your bank accounts to pay for your funeral and your debts? It could take several weeks or even months before a judge grants approval or appoints an executor.

OK, so you have a list and pictures of your personal property, a fire safe to protect your valuables, and a Will. Do you have life insurance? Why not? How are your spouse and children going to survive financially without your income? Are your children going to be able to go to college? Have you set aside enough money for estate taxes that may be due? Are they going to have to sell the house to survive? What about your business partners? Do you have a buy-sell agreement? How are they going to buy your portion of the company?

Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security and believe it can’t happen to you. Tragedies do not discriminate, and occur without notice. Are you prepared?

Here is a Home Inventory Checklist that may be of use for keeping track of your assets and personal belongings:

Please call Mary Lewis at CS&A Insurance if you have questions about homeowner’s coverage or Gary Thompson about life and disability insurance. They can be reached at (615) 435-8300.

If you would like more information on Christopher Turnbull or CS&A Aviation Insurance visit our website or call 800.999.1109. You can also follow us on Facebook , Twitter and our YouTube Channel.

Posted by: Gary Thompson | January 23, 2013

Cold or Flu? How to Spot the Difference


Though the common cold and seasonal influenza share several symptoms, there are points of differentiation that will help you identify which you may have and seek proper treatment. It is important to tell the difference, as the flu can result in more serious health complications, while the cold likely will not.

Common Cold

Typically, symptoms of the common cold come on gradually, and may start with a sore throat or irritated sinuses. The most common symptoms of a cold are nasal congestion, sneezing and runny nose. Symptoms can also include a cough, mild headache and minor body aches. Young children may get a low-grade fever as well, but a fever in older children or adults typically indicates the flu.

People are generally contagious during the first three days they have a cold. Symptoms tend to go away within a week.

Seasonal Flu

Unlike the common cold, flu symptoms usually come on suddenly and vigorously, often starting with a high-grade fever, headache, body aches and fatigue. In addition, flu symptoms can include a dry cough, sore throat, and sometimes a runny or stuffy nose.

Symptoms are generally more severe than with a cold. Flu symptoms tend to gradually improve after two to five days, but can last for a week or more. You should stay home for at least 24 after your fever is gone to avoid passing your illness to others.


There are strategies that can help you avoid getting sick from either of these conditions. These include frequent hand washing, sanitizing commonly touched surfaces, and avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth. If you are sick, cough and sneeze into your elbow to prevent spreading germs to others.

Also consider getting a seasonal flu vaccine each year, which is now recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for all people over 6 months of age.


For the common cold, a doctor visit is usually unnecessary. Over-the-counter medications can be effective in treating symptoms. For the flu, a doctor may prescribe anti-viral drugs that will help decrease the severity and length of symptoms.

Potentially serious health complications can occur in people suffering from the flu. Call your doctor if you think your symptoms are worsening or if you have a condition such as asthma, diabetes or are pregnant.

Did You Know…?

Whether you have a cold or the flu, there are home remedies that can help you recover sooner. Drinking warm liquids or taking steamy showers can help soothe a sore throat and ease nasal congestion. And make sure to get plenty of rest so your body can focus its energy on fighting off the illness.

If you would like more information on how to safe guard your home or workplace from the cold and flu virus please feel free to contact Gary Thompson with CS&A Insurance at 800.999.1109. If you would like more information on CS&A Insurance visit our website. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and our YouTube Channel.

Posted by: CS&A Insurance | January 21, 2013

Workplace Wellness: Wellness Initiatives to Promote Heart Health


Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and also a common factor in disabilities. Fortunately, the risk of heart disease can be reduced – but many individuals don’t know how. Use your wellness program as a means to help employees learn about heart health and how to reduce their risk of future heart disease.

Activities and Programs

  • CPR class. Provide your employees the opportunity to save a life with on-site CPR classes – they will learn how to resuscitate a person who has stopped breathing or whose heart has stopped.
  • Defibrillator class. Place defibrillators at key sites in your building and offer classes on how to use them.
  • Class on heart-healthy behavior. Teach employees how to minimize behavior that puts their hearts at risk. Exercise, nutrition, smoking, stress and other elements of heart-healthy behavior are under our control.
  • Exercise class. Regular exercise is one of the best ways to prevent heart disease. Offer on-site exercise classes that focus on reaching your target heart rate. Include an educational portion that explains what a target heart rate is and how to measure it.
  • Heart-healthy meals. Whether employees do a potluck lunch or the company has the funds to cater or alter cafeteria offerings, your company can encourage employees to eat right by featuring delicious, healthy recipes – along with education on the best foods to eat for heart health.
  • Blood pressure class. Teach employees the meaning of blood pressure, how to lower their blood pressure and how to measure their own blood pressure. Supply blood pressure cuffs so they can practice their new skill on a partner.


  • Sports store gift certificate. Encourage healthy behavior by sending employees to a store that offers a variety of equipment, including soccer balls, running shoes, yoga clothes and baseball bats.
  • Healthy food gift basket. Fill a big basket with fresh fruit, whole grain baked goods and a cookbook for heart-healthy meals.
  • Blood pressure cuff. This medical equipment is safe to use at home and may encourage employees to learn about and monitor their blood pressure, along with taking steps to reduce it.
  • Pedometer. Walking is good for the heart. A pedometer allows the walker to measure the number of steps or the distance walked in a day. Give some away and encourage employees to set and achieve daily step goals.
  • Gym membership. This popular incentive is also effective, since it can actually help employees reduce their risk of heart disease and provides many other health benefits.

If you would like more information on Wellness Programs and Incentives for your employees, please feel free to contact Gary Thompson with CS&A Insurance at 800.999.1109. If you would like more information on CS&A Insurance visit our website. You can also follow us on Facebook , Twitter and our YouTube Channel.

Posted by: Steve Elliott | January 14, 2013

Employee Assistance Programs Builds Stronger Workforce


What is an EAP?

An employee assistance program is an employer-sponsored program that offers services or referrals to help employees deal with personal problems. Traditionally, the focus was drug and alcohol abuse, but many employers have expanded programs to include a variety of issues.

Why Offer an EAP?

When employees are distracted by stressful personal or life situations, they are unfocused at work and tend to be absent more often. Their health may suffer as a result, leading to higher medical costs. Obviously, these circumstances are undesirable for an employer, but it is costly to recruit and train a replacement for the struggling employee, especially if that individual was formerly a valuable asset to the company.

A better solution for many employers is to offer their employees assistance in handling their personal issues, so that they can improve their situations and regain their former level of productivity and value to the company. EAPs can provide that assistance. Once an EAP is implemented, it can help the employer attract and retain employees, lower health care and disability claims costs, increase productivity and morale and lower absenteeism.

In addition, any government contractors or employers receiving federal grants are required to maintain a drug-free workplace. Part of fulfilling that requirement can include an EAP with a drug-free component that offers education, awareness, testing and counseling.

Designing an EAP

EAPs can vary from employer to employer, but most have common elements. Some programs are limited and stick to alcohol and drug abuse, but many programs offer expanded services that address a variety of areas in an employee’s life. The most important consideration is whether the problems and issues covered are ones that adversely affect the employee’s job performance. Typical issues addressed include:

  • Alcohol or substance abuse
  • Divorce/marital problems
  • Stress management
  • Crisis intervention
  • Child care/eldercare
  • Eating disorders
  • Gambling addiction
  • Psychological or psychiatric problems
  • Financial or legal problems
  • Consultation services and training for managers regarding employee performance

To read this full article please visit this link: Plan Design EAPs

For more information on Steve Elliott and CS&A Insurance please call 800.999.1109 or for more info about CS&A please call or check us out on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube as well as our web sites.

Posted by: CS&A Insurance | January 14, 2013

Personal Umbrella Liability Basics


It’s an unfortunate fact that accidents happen — and it’s not uncommon for jury awards and out-of court settlements to run into the millions. While it’s difficult to pinpoint the monetary consequences of the risks you and your family take each day, are you certain your current liability insurance offers you enough protection?

For example, what if:

  • Your teenager runs a stop sign, causing a serious accident?
  • A deliveryman falls on your sidewalk and is seriously injured?
  • A babysitter is injured by your otherwise friendly dog?

If you are found to be legally responsible for injuring someone or damaging their property, without a personal umbrella liability insurance policy, anything beyond the limits of your standard liability insurance coverage will come out of your own pocket.  Standard liability insurance generally includes homeowners, renters, auto, and watercraft policies.

Like an umbrella that protects you from the rain, a personal Umbrella Liability policy provides an extra layer of insurance coverage over your standard liability policies. It protects your personal assets by kicking in when your standard liability coverage is exhausted.

How Much Coverage Do I Need?
You’ll want to take into consideration not only your total personal assets but also your potential personal risks.  For example, do you operate a business in your home and have employees and clients to your home on a regular basis? Does your profession or location of your home make you an easy target for a big settlement? Determine your personal risks to evaluate the amount of additional liability coverage that makes the most sense for you.

Coverages start at $1 million, and go as high as $5 million. When considering the value of the umbrella policy, discuss your personal needs with your insurance agency.

How Much Does Coverage Cost?
Additional liability insurance is inexpensive when compared to the added coverage you gain.  Depending on the policy value and your personal risk factors, such as recent auto tickets, your credit rating, etc., a $1 million umbrella policy typically costs less than $300 annually. Costs go up an additional $50 – $75 for each million thereafter.

Don’t wait for a rainy day to find out you need the additional protection a personal Umbrella Liability policy can provide.

Who Needs an Umbrella Liability Policy?
You do! Contrary to popular belief, Umbrella Liability policies are not just for the wealthy. It’s recommended that everyone should consider carrying an umbrella policy.  If you engage in a high-risk activity or hobby that increases your odds of getting sued (such as having a teenage driver, owning a swimming pool, or entertaining frequently), it is wise to supplement your insurance with a personal Umbrella Liability policy.

Call Mary Lewis at CS&A Insurance today at 800-999-1109 to discuss your unique needs and learn about all of our liability insurance solutions. For more info about CS&A please call or check us out on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube as well as our web sites.

Posted by: CS&A Insurance | January 7, 2013

OSHA Safety and Whistleblowers


OSHA Launches Alternative Dispute Resolution Program for Whistleblower Complaints

In an effort to resolve disputes between employers and whistleblowers in a more cooperative and voluntary manner, OSHA recently launched an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) pilot program. Approximately 2,500 complaints are filed annually with OSHA’s Whistleblower Protection Program, and with increased incentives for whistleblowers, the number of complaints is expected to rise. The goal of ADR is to quickly and efficiently resolve those claims, while bypassing the lengthy and costly investigation that would ensue if the courts got involved.

Pilot Program in Two OSHA Regions

The ADR pilot program will be implemented in two of the 10 OSHA regions—the Midwest region headquartered in Chicago and the West Coast region headquartered in San Francisco. After 120 days, the pilot will be evaluated and OSHA will determine if ADR will be extended to all regions.

Two Methods of ADR

Early resolution and mediation are the two ADR methods that will be used in the pilot program. After a whistleblower files a complaint with OSHA, all parties will be notified of their ADR options. With early resolution, the ADR coordinator will help the parties reach a settlement before the respondent provides a response to the complainant. Under the pilot program, both regions will be able to conduct up to 15 mediation sessions each, with unlimited early resolution.

ADR’s Benefits

“OSHA is committed to fair, effective and timely enforcement of the whistleblower laws delegated to us by Congress,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. “Alternative dispute resolution can provide immediate relief and finality to both parties.”

For more information about the whistleblower ADR pilot program, visit

If you need more information on whether your business is OSHA Compliant please feel free to call the experts at CS&A Insurance at 800.999.1109 or check out our OSHA Commercial Reference Guide Publication. Also be sure to check out our Facebook, Twitter, YouTube Channel and subscribe to this blog.

Posted by: Next Dimension | December 28, 2012

Using Materials from the Internet


Copyright law protects original works of authorship ranging from literary works to sound recordings. Rights accrue the moment that the content is “fixed” in a tangible medium of expression. This means that works written on paper, programmed onto a Web page or recorded on a digital tape have been fixed in a medium and are protected by copyright laws. To receive full federal rights and remedies, the work must be registered with the U.S. Copyright Office. The rights of registration include statutory damages and attorney’s fees

Much of what is posted on the Internet is protected by federal copyright law, despite the fact that it is available free of charge and/or does not contain a (©) copyright symbol or notice. A good rule of thumb is to always attribute your sources and obtain permission from the copyright owner before posting an article.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What material is subject to copyright laws? The safest assumption is that all material available on the Internet is subject to copyright laws. This is not limited to just text; it also includes photographs, charts and other graphics.
  • When is permission required? Re-posting or republishing an article in its entirety always requires permission from the copyright holder, unless the original posting specifically indicates otherwise. Permission may not be required when using small excerpts from a copyrighted source under the Fair Use Exception (see “What is fair use?” question below). Linking to an article, rather than re-posting, may also avoid the permission issue.
  • How do I obtain permission? You may contact the publisher or the author of the materials to obtain permission directly. Another option that may be more efficient for those regularly obtaining copyright owners’ permissions is to go through a licensing agency such the Copyright Clearance Center. Their website is located at
  • Why is there a hyperlink titled “Terms of Use” on a Web page? Many websites will post a Terms of Use document as a link on the bottom of their home page. Reading this document will allow you to determine whether the site owners intended to grant you a license to copy, re-post or otherwise republish the material on their website. It may also indicate how to contact them to obtain permission to utilize their materials.
  • What is the difference between linking and deep linking? This is a method by which you may direct your users to content on another site by providing a hypertext link or hyperlink. This manner of linking directs users to the website’s home page, not the specific page containing the article which you would like to share. The user must navigate the site to find the article in question. Deep linking is the use of a link that brings users directly to a specific page containing the desired article.
  • May I modify content? You may not edit or create another work based upon a copyrighted work without prior permission from the copyright holder. Since only an expression of an idea or fact is copyrightable, and not the idea or fact itself, you may use the information and credit the source.
  • What is fair use? The Fair Use doctrine is an exception to copyright law that permits the use of segments of an otherwise-protected work in certain circumstances. Four factors are used to evaluate whether a particular use is fair:
  1. The purpose of the use.
  2. The type of work being excerpted.
  3. The amount being used as compared to the copyrighted work as a whole.
  4. The impact of the use upon the market for and value of the original work (see 17 U.S.C. 107 for more specific information).

Examples of Fair Use
Some examples of possible fair uses are as follows:

  • Using a paragraph from a copyrighted two-page piece to report news of a piece of legislation.
  • Copying two sentences of an editorial for a critique.
  • Using a three-page chapter from a 350-page book to inform an audience about a topic.

Fair use is a narrow exception, and an attorney should be consulted prior to relying on it. For more information, please visit the Federal Copyright Office’s website located at

It is very important to protect yourself from all risks when you are implementing your business plan. If you have any questions on what to use for advertising, blogging or other social media advertising  or Cyber Liability, please call CS&A Insurance at 800.999.1109. Follow us on our website, blogs, Facebook, Twitter as well as our YouTube Channel.

Posted by: Steve Elliott | December 17, 2012

Worried about picking up germs in public?

Have you ever been on an airplane and the guy in front of you is coughing and sneezing? What’s going through your mind? I know what is “great now I’m going to be sick”! There are germs everywhere we go but there are a handful of locations that scare us more than others for example clinics, hospitals, daycares, restaurants etc…

AmFlow Incorporated has a product that eliminates 99.99% of all bacteria that cause odor and illnesses such as Staph, H1N1, E-Coli, Salmonella, Strep, MRSA, and Mold. Employers can now very affordably control the germ/flu season by utilizing AmFLow’s antimicrobial chemical spray and help eliminate sick days in turn keeping production at full capacity. The spray itself can be used anywhere and only takes 18 minutes to dry before the germs/viruses are killed. Protect the important people in your life by having this product utilize at your place of business or even your personal home.

For more information please see this document from Amflow, Inc. : Doc..pdf
or Call them at 615.866.9274 or

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