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.

Driverless Trucks Tested in Tampa

Driverless Trucks Tested in Tampa

Early today, (May 13th), Starsky Robotics started testing driverless semi-trucks on the elevated parts of the Selmon Expressway in Tampa. Testing is planned through Wednesday of this week, with the vehicles being controlled by technology as a human driver is in place for safety.

The owners of Starsky Robotics say these trucks will actually make roadways safer, but what does that mean when it comes to businesses insuring vehicles? We spoke with Sihle Insurance Group Equity Partner Blake Newman about how it will affect the industry:

Sihle: This idea of driverless vehicles is something that seems to be developing quickly. Where do you think the industry is right now with autonomous vehicles?

Newman: I don’t think autonomous vehicles are perfected just yet and they still need a human driver to navigate cities. The idea is to alleviate human error but these driverless systems aren’t perfect, and there will be errors. Things are headed the way of autonomous vehicles but I think initially we’re going to see errors, which will result in claims.

Sihle: Once these systems are more mainstream and we see a higher amount of vehicles on the road, what new risks will companies be facing?

Newman: Once systems are perfected, there should be fewer crashes and accidents so these types of vehicles will be less expensive to insure.  With this, the risk is transferred from the trucking company to the software vendor which opens a whole new set of risk management issues. Who is responsible for the crash?

Sihle: Are there other risks outside of those on the roadways with these vehicles?

Newman: Other risk concerns are hacked guidance systems and software from malicious interference causing a breach of personal data or some sort or terrorism (using the truck as a weapon). There’s whole set of problems with autonomous vehicles that will have to be worked out before they are put on the road.

Blake Newman is an Equity Partner with Sihle Insurance Group, with over 20 years of experience in the insurance industry. He is a graduate of the University of North Florida. You can contact Blake with any questions or concerns regarding your commercial insurance coverage via email: BNewman@sihle.com.

Don’t Let Your Vacation Be Stolen

Don’t Let Your Vacation Be Stolen

The latest trend in cyber threats? Hackers are out to steal your trips.

Along with the fast moving cyber attacks we see every day on businesses, your personal data is at risk. USA Today put together a complete and concise look at how to protect yourself you can read by clicking here. Take a look at a few of our favorite tips:

Back up, update and encrypt. “Before you leave, make sure you back up all devices and data,” says Joseph Carson, chief security scientist at Thycotic, a Washington D.C., security services provider. “Double-check that all security updates are applied, and finally, check your security settings to ensure your sensitive data is encrypted.”

Beware of new mobile apps before you leave. Before you go, you might be tempted to install a museum app, a language translation app or a local news app. But it may also be malicious and compromise your data, according to Chris Bogen, a Tulane University professor in its School of Professional Advancement Cybersecurity Management Program. “The risk here is no different than when you install apps on your phone at other times,” he adds.

Mind the Hotel: “When you leave your laptop out of your sight in a hotel bedroom, someone can take advantage of that and either copy your laptop hard drive or infect it with malware for further exfiltration of information,” says Fausto Oliveira, a principal security architect at Acceptto, a Portland, Oregon-based provider of authentication services. The workaround? Encrypt your disk or never let your PC out of your sight.