From the category archives: Insurance Protection Blog

Technological Advances

Surrendering the Steering Wheel: Who is ready for driverless cars?

post image When you notice them on the road, they really are a sight to behold. Sitting at a stop light, waiting for your turn to proceed, you look over at the driver in the lane next to you and there isn’t any one at the wheel of the car. You cannot help but do a double-take. Select states in the U.S. are currently testing sites for the autonomous car program including Nevada, Arizona and California, and there are plans to have the technology, sticker price and state laws in place to roll out to consumers by 2030. Americans have been slow to warm up to the idea of surrendering the steering wheel. AAA released a poll this week that stated 78 percent of Americans are afraid to ride in a fully driverless car. Between Jan. 5th and 8th, 2017, AAA interviewed 1,012 randomly selected adults via phone to gauge attitudes toward driverless cars. According to their responses, the AAA concluded that 78 percent of Americans are afraid to ride in a self-driving vehicle, while 19 percent would trust the vehicle. Only 10 ...
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“I can see you.” DYI Smart Alarms are the new Tech in Home Security and Intrusion Detection

post image Per the most recent statistics from the FBI, there were an estimated 7,993,631 property crimes, nationwide in 2015. 21% of those were home break-ins. The number fluctuates by year, but has steadily escalated over the last decade. Closer to home, certain neighborhoods in Warwick have seen a recent rash of thefts in January 2017, from snowboards stolen from the back of Jeeps in driveways; to break-ins of sheds and garages. Locally the area is experiencing an uptick in property crime and theft of consumer goods. Warwick Police have indicated that these types of crimes can often be drug related, reselling hot merchandise for quick cash. Beyond guard dogs, deadbolt locks, outside motion sensor lights or more expensive security such as the Slomin Shield and Honeywell, how can you protect yourself from having your home and property burglarized (without breaking the bank)? Historically, homeowners often invested in a central monitoring home security system such as ADT. The process involved:   ·& ...
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Hello, My Name Is Joyce and I am Calling To Scam You!

post image Last evening I was sitting in my kitchen and the phone rang. Absorbed in a project, I let the phone call go to voicemail. After completing what I was working on, I pressed the button on the phone and listened to the message. It was a lady’s voice, very professional, sounded “real”. She was informing me that her name was Joyce; she is a Customer Service Representative from Orange and Rockland Utilities and she was calling because records show that I am behind on my account, and for my convenience she would be happy to take the payment information over the phone. Since she missed me she would try again later. I looked at the I.D. on the phone and indeed it said “O & R”. But then I remembered, my account is fine. As a matter of fact, Orange & Rockland owes "me" a credit because I overpaid last quarter. Confused, I called them. The representative from the utility company stated that no call was placed by them to my residence. Furthermore, Orange & Rockland DOES ...
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Threat Detected - Has your computer's been infected?

post image You cannot flip through the newspapers, listen to the radio or scroll through online headlines without hearing about, this organization or that business being hacked or having their computers infiltrated by a virus. Even with amazing anti-viral software, installed firewalls and constant software updates, Hackers are always changing it up, so that what is protected yesterday is vulnerable today. So, with the constant cat and mouse game that seems to exist in the virtual world, how exactly do you know if your computer has been hacked or is experiencing a virus? Here are some tell-tale signs: 1. Fake antivirus messages- We have all experienced it. To click onto a website and suddenly you receive the dreaded Fake Antivirus Warning Message. Once you see this message the damage has been done. Clicking “No” Or “Cancel will not stop the process, your system has been exploited.  2. Your Computer Seems to Be Going Nowhere: The fan is on, the disk is spinning away, but nothing’s happen ...
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Cyber Criminals - More than Just the Geek in the Basement

post image Usually in movies they are portrayed as a maniacal recluse. Sitting in front of multiple computer screens, with AC/DC blasting and crumpled cups of coffee and Red Bull scattered all over the desk and the floor. Or as a “V for Vendetta”, Guy Fawkes-styled freedom fighters with a score to settle. Cyber Criminals, Hackers, Data Thieves are the designations we have given them. And they come in all shapes, sizes and forms, from all walks of life, male/female, rich and poor. Their motivation is as varied as their backgrounds. Some choose to become hackers because they seek revenge on someone who betrayed them. This category includes employees of businesses; citizens angry against the government; lovers who feel they have been wronged. Other cyber criminals are looking for monetary gain, often holding data “hostage”. Businesses need to pay a “ransom’ to receive a “key” to be able to unlock and access their data. Since the inception of mainframes and shared/networke ...
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GOOGLE COMPARE: This is why Googles Online Quoting Tool Could Never Replace My Agency

post image I was not shocked when I read the recent headlines that Google Compare was ceasing operations. To give you a little history on the background of Google Compare, last spring, Google (a U.S. based international technology company that specializes in internet related services and products) launched a comparative rater for auto insurance. It was tested in both the U.K. and the U.S. Consumers could log onto the site, add specific personal and driving information and receive quotes from 28 insurance carriers.  The purchaser could either choose a policy online or call and speak to the chosen carriers’ agents over the phone. Comparative raters are not a new technology. Companies such as insurance.com, esurance, quotepro and turborater (to just name a few) have been utilizing the technology to reach out to consumers for 5 years or more. The difference is that Google Compare was one of the largest players to enter the game, and as with every thing Google-related, they expected to squash the competition. ...
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The "Buy Button" - Taking the client experience to the next level

post image (The following blog has been transcribed from our C.O.O. Keith A. Savino's recent presentation on the "Future of Insurance" at the Acord Conference.) It has been an interesting 15 plus years talking about the opportunity for insurance agents to extend the purchase of insurance out to their customers and the ability for us to offer our clients, a good customer experience from the point of sale perspective, inside the office or on line, is very important to the independent agency system.The “Buy Button” will be empowering the agent to bind a policy 24 x7 whether at the office or offsite, during operating hours or after hours.  and empowering the customer to bind the policy through the agent’s website. Implementing the Buy Button for insurance agencies is a business challenge and for some people in the industry,  it is a philosophical challenge. There are people who believe that the moment they extend the point of sale opportunity to the client, it takes place outside the ...
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