Prepare for Hurricane Season

In this week’s podcast episode, I talk about how insurance agents can help their policyholders prepare for hurricane season. Here are a few excerpts from the podcast, along with resources that appear at the end of the post: Did you know? Hurricane season begins on June 1 in the Atlantic and on May 15 in the Eastern Pacific. In all locations, it ends on November 30. The biggest threat during a hurricane is storm surge–especially at high tide. The National Weather Service reports that the number of hurricanes keeps growing each year. During high winds, the 4 biggest areas of

How to Earn Customer Loyalty

Regardless of what business you’re in–whether you write and sell insurance or novels–customers are only going to buy you and your product if you earn their loyalty. No one is automatically entitled to trust. How can you earn trust and loyalty? Be authentic and sincere. If you’re a vegan selling Angus beef, that fundamental contradiction is apparent–if only in a funny feeling prospective customers sense. Be open and honest. The popular word these days is “transparent.” And it’s appropriate. You don’t want people to lie to you, be deceptive, or withhold important information. So, don’t lie to, deceive, or withhold

COVID, the Insurance Industry, and our Crystal Balls

This week, I ventured down a slightly different path on my podcast. I talked about COVID and insurance, but more about what I believe we need to consider for the future rather than about what is happening today. Take a listen and then share what YOU think might happen: https://episodes.castos.com/5e6ccb9ab4cf97-55025247/TMoI-Episode-12-MR.mp3

How Homeowners Insurance Works When You’re Working from Home

The homeowners policy was designed to insure personal risks, not business risks. For this reason, virtually all coverage for business property and liability is explicitly excluded in the homeowners policy. Very limited property coverage is included for business personal property. The limit usually ranges between $1,000 and $2,500 if the business property is at your house. The limit is much less for business property anywhere else–like in your car. Liability coverage for business activities is also severely limited. It only applies to incidents that occur on your property at home, and only for those that arise when: Your house is

Debra Bokur’s new Release: The Fire Thief

The first book in Debra Bokur’s mystery series, The Fire Thief, was released last month to rave reviews. The series is set in Hawaii and you can check it out on her website at https://www.debrabokur.com/. Debra visited with me on The Writer’s Voice this week, and we talked about how her career as a celebrated journalist and editor of magazines and literary journals did NOT prepare her for writing and publishing fiction. You can listen to the podcast episode here. A short video excerpt will appear on my YouTube channel on Friday, here. As most writers will agree, we tend

Sarah Osborne, author of the Ditie Brown Mystery Series

I recently sat down with Sarah Osborne to discuss cozy mysteries, pantsing versus plotting, and her take on writing the first draft so many writers dread. You can: Listen to the podcast episode here View an excerpt of the interview on YouTube here Visit Sarah online at: https://doctorosborne.com/ The most recent book in the series, Murder Most Southern, was released last month.

Legal Liability and the Pandemic

People are talking about lawsuits these days, even more fervently than usual. Why? Because the big question is: What will happen if a person claims he or she contracted COVID-19 at a restaurant, or store, or at work … and then sues the business owner? Will the business’ insurance policy pay the claim? At the moment, it’s impossible to answer that question with any certainty because we have no precedent to follow. In other words, we’re in uncharted waters. One of the first things to remember about insurance claims (with or without associated lawsuits being filed) is that liability insurance

Writer’s Voice Guest: Connie Johnson Hambley

Connie Johnson Hambley is the author of tense, twisting thrillers with a strong moral code. She visited with me earlier this week on The Writer’s Voice podcast to discuss writing and the community of writers. Connie currently serves as the president of Sisters in Crime New England and two her award-winning books, which are part of The Jessica Trilogy, won the Best English Fiction literary award at the EQUUS International Film Festival in NYC. You can listen to Connie’s appearance on my podcast here, or watch the YouTube video of that conversation here.

Podcast Guest: Barb Gavitt Talks Insurance Licensing in a Pandemic

Barb Gavitt is Vice President of Product Development and Education at A.D. Banker & Company, one of the leading insurance pre-licensing and continuing education providers in the country. She is also the 2020 president of the Securities & Insurance Licensing Authority. Barb sat down with me recently to discuss the challenges many have been facing, and continue to face, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown. Although the insurance and financial services industries have been deemed “essential” during shelter-in-place orders, the licensing test centers were not. This means that individuals who were already hired to work in the industry could