Central Insurance

Insurance Fraud Detection: Exploring Central’s Industry-Leading Fraud Analytics Program 

The Special Investigations Unit at Central Insurance is known industry-wide for its contributions to the insurance fraud detection process. Jeff Lieberman, Central’s Director of Special Investigations & Recovery, is at the heart of that work.

Over his career, Lieberman has developed strategic partnerships with technology companies, government entities, and even other insurance carriers to unify data, integrate systems, and work together to identify, mitigate, and prevent insurance fraud. 

In this article, we dive into the two distinct factors contributing to Lieberman’s fraud analytics system, discuss the extensive benefits of this approach, and explore the impact this one-of-a-kind model has made on the fraud detection process at Central and beyond.

The Two Key Components of Central’s Fraud Detection Model

Lieberman’s fraud investigation model strategically layers a claimant’s historical data with  relevant externally sourced information. Below, we dive into each of these components and explore how they interact to provide a full scope of information on each claim and detect potentially fraudulent behavior early on.

Read More

Employee Drivers & How to Protect Your Business Auto Insurance Rates

business auto insurance

When determining which of your employees should have access to a company vehicle, it’s important to consider the effect these individuals could have on your business auto insurance policies

At-fault accidents are the most common cause of premium increases on auto policies, and most accidents are caused by driver error, according to a 2021 study. Driver error can include following too closely behind another vehicle, speeding, driving distracted, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and more. 

For that reason, it’s important to understand your employees’ driving habits and past driving records before allowing them to operate one of your vehicles. 

4 Tips to Protect Your Business Auto Insurance Rates 

Tip #1: Do Your Research

Always obtain an applicant’s motor vehicle record (MVR) before you make a hiring decision. Be sure to have potential employees sign a waiver permitting you to pull this report on them prior to offering the job or allowing them to use a company vehicle.

If there’s any doubt that the record is acceptable, forward it to your insurance agent or carrier for approval or disapproval before allowing the applicant to drive.

Read More

How to Start a Brewery: Insurance Edition

How to start a brewery

How to Start a Brewery: Insurance Edition

Breweries are quickly becoming commonplace in cities and towns across America. In fact, as of 2021, the number of breweries in the U.S. reached 9,247—an 8% increase compared to the year before.

If you, too, are considering starting your own brewery, there are a lot of steps you need to take from a business perspective before you can get it off the ground. One of the most important steps is to put your insurance plan in place.

In this article, we’ll review the common areas of hazard that come with breweries and taprooms and uncover the commercial insurance policies that can best protect you and your business. 

5 Common Areas of Hazard in Breweries

Alongside the most obvious areas of hazard, the lists below offer a glimpse at some of the most often overlooked—and yet perhaps most important—areas of hazard in a brewery production area.

#1 Grain Dust

The dust formed by crushing grains can pose a problem for you and your customers when airborne. This dust is dangerous when inhaled and can lead to inflammatory diseases of the eyes, nose, and skin. If exposed to an ignition, grain dust is also known to explode when left to accumulate on equipment in a confined space. 

Central’s Suggestion: Have a designated area for grain crushing with good ventilation (or a dust collection system). Clean the area frequently to prevent buildup, and train employees on proper safety precautions.

Read More

Equipment Breakdown Coverage: What It Is & Why You Need It

equipment breakdown coverage

Homeowners insurance is one of the most common types of coverage offered. It is designed to cover the cost of repairing or rebuilding your home after an accident and can provide replacement costs for personal belongings when broken or destroyed. 

What homeowners insurance does not protect against, however, is the cost to repair or replace appliances in the home when they break down due to age, overuse, or even misuse. This is where equipment breakdown insurance comes in.

In this article, we’ll explore what equipment breakdown coverage entails, what types of appliances are covered under the policy, and how you can add this important form of protection to your policy. 

What is equipment breakdown coverage?

Equipment breakdown coverage is insurance for expensive systems and appliances in your home. Should you experience a covered loss, equipment breakdown coverage helps cover the cost of repairs or replacement of your appliances.

Homeowners policies alone do not provide protection against mechanical or electrical breakdowns. For this reason, Central has designed its equipment breakdown coverage as an easy addition to an existing homeowners insurance policy.

Read More

What Commercial Insurance Policy Does My Business Need?

commercial insurance policy

Commercial insurance is far from one-size-fits-all, but there are exposures that nearly every business has in common. Whether you’re an accounting firm or a web engineering company, have a “solopreneur” space, or a multi-story building filled with hundreds of employees, understanding your company’s exposure plays a key role in effectively protecting your business. 

In this article, we uncover the five factors you should consider when determining what commercial insurance policy is right for you, and explore the most common types of coverage for businesses.

What commercial insurance policy does my business need?

Consider these five key factors when determining what commercial insurance policy or policies your specific organization should invest in:

  1. Whether you own or rent your office space 
  2. The type of services you provide 
  3. The location of your physical office 
  4. Whether customers or clients visit your premises 
  5. Whether or not you keep cash on-premises 

Below, we explore a few common policy types that address these variables and uncover why they are important considerations for any business.  

Read More

Central’s Nurse Hotline: A Modern Solution for Work Injury Reporting

work injury

Most of the time, with proper precautions, employees can avoid a work injury on the job. However, in certain fields or trades, no amount of preparation can prevent an accident. 

In fact, according to the most recent available data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are still roughly 2.8 million injuries experienced per 100 full-time workers in the average organization—a figure that has remained fairly consistent since 2019.

The common goal among employers, however, is to limit the number of injuries that occur in the workplace and keep employees as safe as possible. 

Filing a Claim for a Work Injury

When an injury occurs on the job, certain processes must be followed from a legal and an employee care standpoint. One of the earliest steps in this process is filing a Worker’s Compensation claim.

Depending on your insurance company, you may have a medical management program that can assist with claim filings like this. At Central, for example, we offer the Nurse Hotline, which helps policyholders with claims reporting.

In this article, we’ll explore what the Nurse Hotline is, the benefits it offers, and how to navigate the program as an employer and an employee.

Read More

5 Top Tips for Winter Weather Prep

winter weather

Winter weather brings a slew of potential dangers for property owners. Whether you’re maintaining a commercial space or a home, preparing your space for the season can go a long way in protecting it. 

In this article, the experts at Central offer five tips for keeping your buildings secure during snow, sleet, ice, and more. 

Tip #1: Have a snow removal plan in place

Snow removal is a crucial aspect of winter weather preparation.

For homeowners who don’t have snow removal equipment or businesses without the maintenance staff to stay on top of snowfall, it’s important to set a snow removal plan in place before the season starts. 

Get in touch with local contractors and set up a custom snow removal and maintenance plan that best fits your needs. For instance, if your property contains a long walkway, ensure the contractor is prepared to shovel the snow there. Similarly, consider investing in salt application services alongside generic plowing if your property is located up a steep driveway .

Next Step: How to Pick The Right Snow Removal Service

Tip #2: Prepare your thermostat settings

Maintaining proper temperatures in your home or office space is important for the comfort of your family or employees during winter weather, and for the protection of your home’s plumbing systems and pipes. 

According to the Department of Energy & Environment, thermostats should be set to at least 68 degrees Fahrenheit during winter when a space is occupied. Whenever the space is not occupied (i.e. when a family is away on vacation or a company is off business hours), the temperature can drop to anywhere between 60 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit, but should never be kept lower or turned off completely.

Read More

How to Pick the Right Snow Removal Service

snow removal service

Choosing the right snow removal service is a crucial step in winter preparation for businesses and homeowners alike. Here are seven expert tips for choosing a reputable and reliable contractor this season.

Step #1: Require an on-site visit or evaluation

Your snow removal contractor should visit the property and take notes about requested services and potential obstacles prior to the first snowfall. By doing so, they can accurately estimate the time and manpower required to service the area. 

Step #2: Ask for a schedule

Different properties have varying needs when it comes to snow removal. Where one might need a weekly plowing, another might require bi-weekly or only a clean-up after a fresh snowfall. Knowing when you can expect your contractor to arrive can help you plan alternate snow removal practices for between visits, such as shoveling, salting, etc. 

Keep in Mind: Some contractors do snowplow services as a part-time job, which may affect their availability. Be sure to confirm their hours of operation before the winter begins. 

Step #3: Check their references

It’s important that you have a well-known, licensed, and bonded professional in charge of your snow removal service.

Read More

5 Steps to Improve Your Customer Service

good customer service

At Central, our top priority is maintaining positive relationships with our agents, policyholders, and employees. Every move we make is an effort to improve the experience of these vital individuals. Whether we’re honing our product offerings to meet policyholders’ changing needs, re-configuring employee benefits to exceed evolving industry standards, or adjusting our catalog of services to better align with our agents’ preferred areas of business, Central is dedicated to a business model based in exceptional customer service.

While this dedication has been the crux of our business model since Central’s inception in 1876, the practice of heightened customer service is becoming a crucial component of business-consumer relationships across industries today.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, 50% of U.S. consumers report prioritizing customer service more highly than before when deciding whether or not they want to do business with a brand. Similarly, 80% of consumers generally feel more emotionally connected to brands with customer service teams dedicated to solving their problems.

So how can you start investing in customer service within your organization?

In this article, we explore the H.E.A.T. model of customer service—a tried and true method for tackling a difficult customer service situation—and offer some expert tips for improving customer service in your business.

Read More

Do I Really Need Boat Insurance?

do I need boat insurance

Every year, boatowners weigh the risk against the reward of insuring their boats for the summer season. When considering “do I need boat insurance?” some try to weigh the chances of an incident vs. the cost of protection, while others simply accept that coverage provides the peace of mind they need to enjoy their time on the water.

If you’re trying to decide whether to invest in boat insurance, start by comparing this coverage to another common type of summer protection: sunscreen.

Though some people feel their chances of getting a sunburn aren’t enough to warrant the use of sunscreen while outdoors, others have done their research and understand the risks of spending time in the sun unprotected. 

The same holds true with boat insurance. Not every person who invests in this coverage will need it—much like wearing sunscreen can’t 100% guarantee someone won’t get skin cancer—but the odds are a lot better with coverage if something happens.

In this article, we will explore the potential risks associated with boating, review the general benefits of consistent coverage, and uncover some of the factors that contribute to the price of a boat insurance policy.

Read More