Identity Fraud Protection

Identity Fraud Protection

This week, the top trending application is one familiar to you if you’ve been on social media. FaceApp takes a current photo of you and transforms it to give you a glimpse into the future. The problem? Once you allow FaceApp access to your photo, you give it permission to use your picture and name for any reason, for any amount of time.

More than 100 million people have downloaded the app, which claims that users still own their user content. However, take a look at the fine print:

Read more from Forbes.

FaceApp has responded to the concerns over user privacy, including the ties to its Russian-based team. You can read the full statement here.

This may not be presenting the overwhelming sense of danger some outlets have expressed it to be, but it still presents a common issue facing us all today in the digital age. Cyber security and identity theft can range from an inconvenience to a life altering and expensive event. Click here to connect with one of our experts on how to not only protect yourself and your family, but also your small business against cyber attacks.

Fourth of July Insurance Risks to Avoid

Fourth of July Insurance Risks to Avoid

The fun and frivolity of July 4th brings a whole slew of risks. We chatted with our Personal Lines Sales Manager Catina McKenzie and Insurance Agent Eric Dudley about the unique high risk environment the Fourth of July presents us with. Take a look at the most common insurance claims surrounding the holiday, and the best ways to avoid them:

#1 Fireworks

While not surprising as a top risk, a fireworks-related accident will be covered by a standard homeowners insurance policy. Fireworks were involved in almost 9,100 of the reported injuries in 2018. With burns accounting for more than 44% of the injuries, safety is a top priority. If someone is injured on your property, a standard insurance policy automatically includes $100,000 of liability coverage.

#2 Drunk Drivers

As with any holiday, there is an increased risk of drunk driving. Beer sales are the highest on the Fourth of July (even more than St. Patrick’s Day and New Year’s Eve.) According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, 40% of all traffic deaths during the first week of July 2017 were alcohol-related, making July the deadliest month. Outside of the extreme dangers to yourself and others, a DUI could cause you to be disqualified for some car insurance carriers and your rates will likely increase substantially if you retain coverage.

#3 Grilling Accidents

A grill can be left unattended, have leaks in the propane lines, a buildup of grease, or could be in need of a good cleaning. All of these things can lead up to a massive issue. Fire departments respond to nearly 10,000 home fires involving grills and barbecues which can add up quickly in property damages.

#4 Boating and Water Risks

The Fourth is a great holiday to get the boat out onto the water, and you certainly will see an increase in company on the lakes and waterways. More boats means a higher risk for accidents. You can click here for the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary tips on staying safe.

Unfortunately, this holiday is also high risk for drownings. From Memorial Day through Labor Day in 2017, at least 163 children under the age of 15 fatally drowned in swimming pools. Nearly 70% of those were under the age of five. As you can see, Florida leads the nation in these unfortunate statistics. Keeping an eye on children and practicing water safety is key.

Click here for more from the CPSC.

While these risks bring up the clear and present threats surrounding the Fourth of July, you can connect with one of our personal lines experts here to make sure you are doing everything you can to protect you and your family this holiday. We wish you and yours a very safe Fourth of July!

Big Fun Without The Big Fee

Recently, WalletHub named Florida the second most fun state in the US. While we are thrilled at the esteemed placement, we took a deeper dive into the rankings, and how being fun means a higher exposure to risks.

You can click here for the full article, but the methodology was based on these categories:

Entertainment & Recreation

No one does entertainment the way Florida does. Once your jaw comes up off the floor from our beaches and theme parks with award winning hospitality, you can look at the remaining factors of golf courses, overall weather, restaurants, events, and overall spending. While we are fortunate to have all of these things to offer, it also means an increased risk for businesses when it comes to protecting employees, patrons, and being in high traffic areas. It also means those of us who call Florida home are at an increased risk on the road.

Nightlife

Florida offers amazing nightlife for locals and travelers. With bars and entertainment comes an increased risk for business owners and locals alike. Whether you are heading out on the town in the Milk District in Orlando or partying on I Drive, there are risks associated with ride sharing, atmosphere, areas of highly concentrated crowds, and more.

We’ve called this state home for 45 years, and while we think it should absolutely be named the number one place for fun, we’ve worked to transfer the risks that comes with playing host to travelers and locals.

If you own a business in Florida, connect with one of our commercial agents here to talk about the unique risks you face in this fun atmosphere.

If you’re someone who calls Florida home, connect with one of our personal lines agents here to discover ways to keep your homeowner and auto policies at great rates while making sure you are protected from anything that may be an unintended consequence from all of this fun.

Congratulations to our Graduates!

Congratulations to our Graduates!

It’s the season for graduation ceremonies, and we wanted to be sure to congratulate the 2019 graduates from our Sihle Insurance Group team members. Join us as we wish them the best for whatever the future may hold.

Our Vice President of Personal Lines, Ken Riccard, proudly watched his daughter Taylor graduate with honors from Rollins College. Taylor is off to
Georgetown University this Fall. However, Ken was pulling double graduation duty this year, as he and his family celebrated his son Mason, as Mason graduated from High School and heads to
the University of Florida (below).
Congratulations to Ashlyn Noble, daughter of Sihle Insurance Group Equity Partner, Cheryl Noble, on her graduation with honors from William R. Boone High School.
After receiving her undergraduate in Animal Science at the University of Florida in 2017, Sara Knollinger is a 2019 Master’s Graduate from the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign. Sara is the daughter of Suzanne Knollinger from the CAD Department in Sihle Insurance Group. Sara was awarded the Jonathan T Baldwin Fellowship at the U of I, and is defending her Master’s Thesis in July. She plans to work as a Dairy Nutrition Consultant.
Congratulations to Jarred Bartolomei for his graduation from Lyman High School from our Personal Lines Sales Agent Gladys Melendez and all of us at Sihle.
Orlando Named #1 Travel Destination for 2019 Summer Travel

Orlando Named #1 Travel Destination for 2019 Summer Travel

TripAdvisor has announced its 2019 Summer Vacation Value Report, listing the top bookings from US travelers. It’s based on value and the location’s ease of access.

It’s not much of a surprise for those of us in the Central Florida area, but Orlando came in at number one. TripAdvisor wasn’t the only site to have Orlando at the top of the list. WalletHub also found the Orlando area to be number one in summer travel.

Here are the top ten locations according to the TripAdvisor report:

1. Orlando, FL
2. Las Vegas, NV
3. Myrtle Beach, SC
4. Maui, HI
5. New York City, NY
6. Key West, FL
7. New Orleans, LA
8. Ocean City, MD
9. San Diego, CA
10. Virginia Beach, VA

So where should you go if you want to escape the influx of travelers to your area? US News has compiled a list of top vacations in the US so you can escape.

However, the fun and frivolity of summer can bring serious risks. If you’re traveling you can look into travel insurance to protect against those summer storms, airline delays, and more. This would be a great option considering the issues facing air travel this summer.

If you decide to stay home this summer, be sure to check your home and auto insurance policies. Outside of the normal Florida heat, this summer brings millions of tourists to Central Florida. You know that minivan that has the rental car sticker on it all the way in the left lane of I4 but then MUST get over to the exit at the last minute? We do. Click here for a new quote just to be on the safe side.

Another friendly local reminder? Hurricane season starts June 1st. Click here for a check on your homeowners insurance.

How College Grads Will Impact Your Insurance

How College Grads Will Impact Your Insurance

It’s graduation time, which means millions of college educated adults will be entering the real world.

With that in mind, our partners at Chubb have compiled a few things that should be top of mind for new graduates and their parents:

• Risks related to living on one’s own. For young people who move to their own apartment or home, renter’s insurance becomes an important consideration. Even though recent graduates tend to have fewer possessions than families with children and homes, for example, they often have entertainment equipment, sporting and hobby gear, and personal items such as jewelry that can be expensive and worth protection.

• Auto insurance questions. Moving out on one’s own may mean buying a car, transferring ownership from parents or updating current coverage to reflect where the car is being kept and how it is used.

• Changes in coverage for the graduate’s parents. With a child having finished college and perhaps living on his or her own, parents of recent graduates should review their own property and casualty coverage to better understand their own changing risk profile, especially as they head towards retirement. Such changes could have property and casualty insurance implications that affect coverage and claims payments.