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.

Road Rage: Are You Covered?

Road Rage: Are You Covered?

Construction. Accidents. Rain Delays.

Central Florida is home to a wide variety of issues causing headaches to drivers. All of them can lead to road rage. So what exactly happens when a road rage incident escalates? Are you covered?

In many auto insurance policies road rage incidents aren’t considered to truly be an accident because they are caused by risky behavior. Not only could you be on the hook for damages, but it can also result in a situation where someone faces criminal charges for the incident.

What happens when emotions run hot and one driver gets physical with the other after the initial collision? While the victim of the assault can pursue legal action and the authorities will be involved, insurance will rarely cover the injuries due to the assault being seen as an intentional act after the incident.

Regardless of how minor or major the outcome of road rage is, a report always should be made to your insurance agent. Connect with our experts here to discuss your coverage. (By the way…that I4 Ultimate project? We are still looking at another two years before it is scheduled to be completed.)

Census Bureau: The Villages and Orlando among the Top Ten Fastest Growing Metro Areas in the US

Census Bureau: The Villages and Orlando among the Top Ten Fastest Growing Metro Areas in the US

The Villages checked in as the fastest growing metro area in the US, according to the US Census Bureau numbers released today.

Orlando is the ninth-fastest in the US, and has grown by 60,000 in a year. Extreme growth has happened specifically in Seminole County. The Orlando Sentinel spoke with Rich Doty, a research demographer at the University of Florida’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research, who said this:

“If you look at the Orange County data by age … it appears as though families with children have been moving out, as have retirees, but working-age folks and international migrants are coming in,” Doty said. “We can guess that it’s families moving for a better school district — which is something we’ve seen elsewhere in the state, but we don’t know that. It could also be people working in Orange but living in Osceola or Lake,” where housing tends to be more affordable.

Click here to read the entire recap from the Orlando Sentinel.

With the influx of people to Central Florida, there can be a direct impact on your homeowners, auto, and business insurance policies. To check how this will affect your personal rates, click here. For commercial rates, connect with us here.