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El Nino … Flooding

January 11th, 2016 | Posted by Katie in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

FloodTopSoil_mailerEl Nino…Flooding.  Although not entirely synonymous, the latter often follows the former.  While the 1997/1998 El Nino remains the strongest event on record.  The El Nino that began in April/May 2015 is shaping up to be the warmest year yet on record by huge margins.  It is difficult to predict the full force of this El Nino while we are still in the center of it.  We can only point to comparisons of the anomalies of this event and prior events as technology allows for greater climactic changes and temperature readings.  The two other major considerations: 1) the condition of the riverbeds; 2) FSMA – strict guidelines on harvesting contaminated products.     What do El Nino heavy rains mean for the Salinas Valley and Monterey’s Central Coast?  Historically this region has experienced it’s greatest flooding from river overflows between January and March.  The drought in recent years has caused significant build up of the riverbeds and the lengthy permit process has prevented the clearing of debris to mitigate if not reduce some of the flooding.  Setting that aside, Mother Nature is still in control and there is nothing that completely predicts the flooding and possible devastation in comparison to decades past.

The facts…growers lose when their crop washes away and taking with it, the seed, the growing costs, the crops, the next planting and the valuable nutrient rich top soil.   Every time a flood has been recorded in history in the Salinas Valley, the landowner typically has to absorb the costs to reconstitute or reclaim the land when they have lost the value and possibly their tenant and with it, their rents.   The Ag industry loses millions every time El Nino turns it’s wrath on the Salinas Valley, Monterey Central Coast, and the Pajaro Valley.   Our customers have wanted answers and better competition in the marketplace that will position them well for what’s to come.    While the federal crop program is an answer for many crops, it does not provide assistance to leafy green growers, the major crop in the Salinas Valley.

The solution…after a 4 year search, I’ve successfully found a company that has agreed to modify, exclusively for the ISU Pulford Ag Advantage program, their flood policy form to incorporate, farmland including top soil/dirt, seed, crops, growing costs and loss of income.   The policy is designed to include reconsititution, revitalization and reclamation costs and respond to the loss of both the landowner and the grower.   We can offer coverage for up to 2 years for loss of earnings, possibly of great interest to organic growers while the farmland is recertfied.   You’ve asked and we’ve listened…now we’re answering.  Flood for Top Soil Erosion, don’t let it pass you by, January is here.

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Cyber Liability Awareness Part 2

October 26th, 2015 | Posted by Katie in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

As a follow up to our previous post, Cyber Liability Awareness, we’d like to point out that most modern day businesses can be vulnerable to Cyber threats that aren’t the from the typical hacker(s).

cyber liabilityCyber Extortion is another example of a major disruption a business could suffer.  There have been cases such as a florist’s website being taken down the week before Valentines Day by a cyber extortionist until demands were met.   The height of the season could have destroyed that company from every recovering.  Another example is a disgruntled employee  hijacked a vineyard’s website, proving their point by shutting down a part of it, showing they had access to crucial operating systems.

Furthermore, Data Breaches do not have to have malicious intent; for example, according to the PUC, in the case of the San Bruno gas explosion and subsequent fires, the SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition Systems) were found to be deficient and contributed to the massive system failure and resulting loss of life and property.

To insure your business against Cyber Liability threats, contact ISU-Pulford Insurance today at 831-758-9449.

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Cyber Liability Awareness

October 14th, 2015 | Posted by Katie in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

October is Cyber awareness month.    With the evolution of technology changing our day to day lives as well as America’s small businesses and corporations, it’s no wonder we are still mystified by the power of the electronic world we find ourselves in.   Regulation is slow to catch up.  Largely in response to the mega retailer Cyber breaches of 2014, cards with chips and terminal readers have been issued fast and furious by card giants and big box stores alike to comply with deadlines.  It is not a matter of being prepared for “if” you suffer a theft of your private information, but “when” you suffer one.   As the last decade has proven, cyber attacks are the new terrorism.

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Just what is cyber liability?  Any time someone accesses information, intentionally or accidentally and alters, corrupts, destroys or steals it creates a cyber “incident”.   This incident is now monitored and required by the government to notify any and all parties that a breach has occurred and to take immediate steps, once known, to close the breach and ascertain what has been stolen or corrupted.   Each day that a known breach goes without notifying their customers, employees, patients, etc. that their information has been accessed by another party, they are fined, per day, per person.  These breach notification costs and subsequent monitoring services and counseling as well as repair and system validation costs can cripple a company that does not have Cyber liability coverage in place.  Thousands of cyber breaches occur everyday.

Here are just a few scenarios of how a cyber incident can occur –

  • In July 2015, the Napa Valley Register reported that up to 70 Northern California wineries suffered a data breach that released private card company information from as much as 250,000 customers. They are estimating it will cost millions.
  • Also in July 2015, the Calabasas Patch reported that UCLA Health care system was targeted leaving more than 4.5 Million patients’ medical records compromised. It is believed hackers had access to the system as far back as September 2014.
  • In June of 2015, USA Today Travel reports that a Polish airliner had flights grounded for 5 hours while hackers disabled the airport system with a denial of service attack.
  • In June of 2015, according to the New York Times, the I.R.S. is ramping up their systems with new safeguards responding to tens of thousands of taxpayers stolen money and private information.

To discuss Cyber Liability coverage for your business, contact ISU-Pulford Insurance today, 831-758-9449.

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A firefighter works to save a residence as the Butte fire burns in San Andreas, California on Sept. 11, 2015. NOAH BERGER / Reuters

These wildfires that continue to burn throughout our state are devastating.  Last Friday my brother lost his Mountain Ranch home in the Butte fire.  Thankfully he and his fiancé got out with the dog.  Physically he’s safe and we know stuff is usually just stuff.  But in this case he had just taken up the items designated to him 2 weeks ago that were from the settling of my father’s estate, like the flag from his military honors just presented in July at his funeral.   My brother did not have insurance.  In that area, fire access is extremely difficult and water sources are limited, especially now.   I could have gotten him coverage at a high cost, but he chose to not insure his home.  Many in that area are in the same situation.

Is your homeowners insurance up to date?  Are you renting?

3 important aspects not often mentioned aside from your dwelling itself are your contents, loss of use (rental expense, food, etc. while you are waiting for repairs) and your personal liability.   Please open your cupboards, drawers and closets, take pictures.  It’s a great way to capture your items for a proof of loss but also to make sure you are insuring everything that needs to be insured.

Do you have flood insurance?

Conditions are looking to be very wet for this winter.  Did you know there is a 30 day waiting period for flood?  They are predicting the winter weather to progress early in the season.  If it starts by the end of October, it’s possible they will close the insurance market down when the rains hit.  The 30 days is only waived for escrows.

Protect your home – Contact ISU Pulford Insurance for flood, earthquake insurance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t wait another minute to get your insurance in place or up to date.   Within 48 hours of the Butte Fire my brother’s life was turned upside down.  Please make sure, if coverage is available, you get it while you can.

Cecilia Kennedy

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Happy Thanksgiving

November 26th, 2014 | Posted by Katie in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

We’d like to wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!  We hope you all enjoy a lovely holiday with family and friends.

thanksgiving cardOur office will will close today (Wednesday 11/26) at 3pm and reopen Monday, December, 1st at 8:30am so our employees can celebrate the holiday with their families.

-The ISU-Pulford Insurance Team

 

Believe it or not, we are officially in November already.  Also, since we turned our clocks back yesterday, here are some friendly household reminders to keep your home and family safe:

WHEN THE CALENDAR GETS FLIPPED TO THE NEXT MONTH

  • Test your smoke detectors
  • Make sure the fire extinguishers show full
  • Check your gas meter and shut off valve
  • Check your natural gas detector

FALL – WHEN THE CLOCKS “FALL” BACK

  • Change your smoke detector batteries
  • Call PG&E for a safety inspection
  • Clean the leaves and debris from your gutters
  • Check your gas meter and shut off valve
  • Have your fireplace cleaned and inspected
  • Practice your family EDITH “Exit Drill in the Home”
  • For help setting up an escape plan see – nfpa.org

Excerpted from the workbook

“SO YOU’VE HAD A FIRE…WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER”

By:  Cecilia Kennedy         MPE Edition  2010

Cecilia Kennedy has recently obtained her CLCS (Commercial Lines Coverage Specialist) designation from Hartford’s program through National Underwriter.  This Commercial Lines Coverage Specialist certification along with her AFIS (Ag and Farm Insurance Specialist) designation affirms her 30+ years of insurance expertise.  Mrs. Kennedy recently joined ISU-Pulford Insurance Agency as a Senior Account Executive along with Ted Willis, Executive Vice President.

Please contact Cecilia to review any of your commercial or agricultural insurance needs by calling our office at 831-758-9449.

We are excited to recognize and celebrate some prestigious accomplishments this month.  ‘

Our president, Jeff Pulford, established Pulford Insurance in December 1973, marking our 40th year in business!  We are happy and proud to have remained an independent insurance agency and served the residents and businesses of the Central Coast’s insurance needs for 4 decades.

Part of the reason we have sustained such loyal customers is because of our dedicated and knowledgeable in house agents and staff.  We are honored to recognize TWO of our treasured employees celebrating their 20th anniversary with us this month:

Rebecca (Becky) L. MacDonald, ACSR – Personal Lines and Accounting Manager

Debbie Jones, ACSR, CISR – Personal Lines Manager

Becky and Debbie are essential to ISU-Pulford Insurance.  The hard work and service they provide for the company, our customers, and prospects in commendable and greatly appreciated.  We sincerely thank them for 20 years with us and look forward to many, many more.

Happy New Year

January 6th, 2014 | Posted by Katie in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

We’d like to wish you all a happy and prosperous new year!

happy new year

We hope your 2014 is off to a great start!  ISU-Pulford Insurance is looking forward to another year serving the Central Coast’s insurance needs.  We plan to continue blogging about relevant issues that concern our customers and Central Coast neighbors but hope to also keep it fun and interesting when possible.

If you have any suggestions for future blog topics, please email info@PulfordInsurance.com

For insurance for your home, auto, boat, life, or business, please visit www.PulfordInsurance.com or call 831-758-9449

Merry Christmas

December 23rd, 2013 | Posted by Katie in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

We would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

-The ISU-Pulford Insurance Team

Jeff, Ashley, Alice, Debbie, Becky, Barb, Katie, & Chris

www.PulfordInsurance.com