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Biden’s Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy – Impact on You and Insurance

The American economy is finally recovering President Joe Biden’s administration wants further stimulate the economy. So he recently signed an executive order aimed at increasing competition among businesses.

They say that corporate consolidation has been accelerating for many years, leaving the majority of industries in the hands of only a few entities. This is the main reason for slow wage growth and rising consumer prices. This latest executive order intends to reverse these effects.

The executive order includes 72 initiatives by more than a dozen federal agencies to help address competition inequality.

Summary from Felisha McDougald, CIC CPRM

Competition is good, for you and for me. In the insurance industry, it ensures that my businesses are not unfairly penalized for losses by other companies in markets they rate in. While loyalty is important in insurance, no Commercial Agent can deny that Actuaries (those that gather data and make rate recommendations) ‘group’ data into buckets that often unfairly price smaller companies (especially those that cannot afford larger deductibles) out of the market. This is like a windfall effect, the carrier charges a higher price to Company x, y, z. Company y, z, get out, because they cannot be profitable. Company X has the staff to modify bids, and charge overages, however they pass that on to the Company requiring the insurance… and so it goes. In short: the more players we have in the game the better.

LABOR MARKET

Currently, nearly half of all private employers make employees sign non-compete agreements, limiting where employees can work during certain periods. Separately, many workplaces require certain licenses to perform specific jobs. The Biden administration believes these current trends are limiting growth.

In the first executive order, the White House encouraged the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to ban or limit noncompete agreements as well as occupational licensing restrictions. Additionally, the executive order urges the FTC and Department of Justice (DOJ) to strengthen antitrust guidance to prevent employers from collaborating to suppress wages or reduce

HEALTH CARE

The executive order addresses competition in health care in four main areas:

Prescription Drugs
Right now, large drug manufacturers enjoy incredible profits year over year. The White House alleges that this is due to

lack of competition and “pay for delay” tactics, where name-brand drug manufacturers pay generic manufacturers to stay out of the market. Such strategies result in Americans paying 2.5 times more for the same medications as peer countries.

The executive order directs the Food and Drug Administration to work with states and tribes to safely import prescription drugs from Canada, where drugs are less expensive. It also directs the Health and Human Services (HHS) Administration to increase support for generic and biosimilar drugs. Additionally, the order encourages the FTC to ban “pay for delay” and similar agreements.

Hearing Aids
The executive order directs the HHS to consider issuing proposed rules within 120 days for allowing hearing aids to be sold over the counter.

Hospitals
Charge far higher prices than hospitals in markets with more competition.

Hospital price transparency rules and finish implementing bipartisan federal legislation to address surprise hospital billing.

Health Insurance
The executive order directs the HHS to standardize plan options in the National Health Insurance Marketplace so people can comparison shop more easily.

TECHNOLOGY

The executive order addresses competition in the technology sector in four main areas:

Purchasing Would-be Competitors

Greater scrutiny of mergers, especially by dominant internet platforms, with particular attention to the acquisition of nascent competitors, serial mergers, the accumulation of data, competition by ‘free’ products, and the effect on user privacy.

Gathering Personal Information

The current business model of many large tech platforms is the accumulation of individuals’ personal information. The Biden administration is concerned about the breadth of this collected information— information is sometimes compromised through security breaches.

The executive order encourages the FTC to establish rules on surveillance and the accumulation of data.

Unfairly Competing With Small Businesses

Big tech platforms have incredible control over the online marketplace. Often, small businesses rely on these platforms to reach their customers. However, large platforms will sometimes examine the most popular products sold by these small businesses, then replicate them and promote them more prominently on their websites.

FTC to establish rules barring unfair methods of competition on internet marketplaces.

TRANSPORTATION

The transportation sector is dominated by a handful of corporations. The executive order addresses competition as it relates to:

Airlines
There are four commercial airlines that control two-thirds of the industry. This contributes to high prices for consumers, such as with baggage and cancellation fees. The Biden administration points out that these increases often come in lockstep, meaning the top airlines tend to raise them at the same time. These simultaneous increases demonstrate “a lack of meaningful competitive pressure,” according to the White House. Notably, despite this industry consolidation, airlines were late delivering 2.3 million checked bags in 2019, according to the Department of Transportation (DOT).

The executive order directs the DOT to consider issuing clear rules requiring the refund of fees when baggage is delayed or when service isn’t actually provided, such as when the plane’s Wi-Fi or in-flight entertainment system is broken. Additionally, the order directs the DOT to consider issuing rules that require baggage, change and cancellation fees to be clearly disclosed to the customer.

Rail
The rail industry, like airliners, is heavily consolidated, going from 33 “Class I” freight railroads in 1980 to only seven today. Moreover, four rail companies dominate their respective geographic regions of the United States. These companies can prioritize their own freight traffic, sometimes to the detriment of passenger trains and other companies’ freight cars.

The executive order encourages the Surface Transportation Board to require railroad track owners to provide rights of way to passenger rails and strengthen their obligations to treat other freight companies fairly.

Shipping

The industry’s 10 largest shipping companies control more than 80% of the global market, leaving manufacturers who need to ship goods “at these large foreign companies’ mercy,” according to the Biden administration. These companies are allowed to charge exorbitant fees for when their shipments are sitting, waiting to be loaded, or unloaded.

The executive order encourages the Federal Maritime Commission to ensure vigorous enforcement against shippers charging American exporters exorbitant charges.

AGRICULTURE

Agriculture consolidation is another concern for the Biden administration. Four companies now control most of the work’s seeds, and seed prices have increased as much as 30% annually. This consolidation also limits to whom small farmers can sell their goods, meaning lower price sharing for these farmers. Summarily, farmers are getting less for their goods, and consumers are paying more for them, all while large corporations are reaping profits.

current labeling rules allow for shady business practices that can harm consumers. For instance, foreign beef manufacturers may use the label “Product of USA” merely if the product was processed here. In fact, that beef may not be from the United States—the White House notes that most grass-fed beef labeled “Product of USA” is actually imported.

The executive order aims to combat these practices.

INTERNET SERVICE

The executive order addresses issues in the internet service sector in four primary areas:

Lack of Competition

According to the White House, more than 200 million U.S. residents live in an area with only one or two reliable high-speed internet providers, leading to prices as much as five times higher in these markets than in markets with more options. This situation is sometimes exacerbated when landlords enter exclusivity deals with internet service providers (ISPs), effectively blocking broadband internet expansion for an area.

The executive order encourages the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) to prevent ISPs from making deals with landlords that limit tenants’ choices.

Lack of Price Transparency

High Termination Fees

Indiscriminate Service Slowdowns

BANKING AND CONSUMER FINANCE

In the last four decades, 70% of U.S. banks have been lost to closures, mergers, or acquisitions

SUMMARY

The executive order broadly addresses competition inequalities across market sectors. These proposed initiatives have the potential to help individuals and small businesses alike. However, it remains to be seen how all of these initiatives will play out, as executive orders are essentially a directive to federal agencies to revise their regulations. In other words, some of the proposals may never come to fruition, and those that do may take months to implement. At the very least, this executive order and its initiatives indicate the position of the Biden administration—signaling that it may pursue these agenda items through alternative means, if necessary.

Employers should continue to monitor exactly how the executive order plays out. In the meantime, employers can read the full overview of the order on www.whitehouse.gov.

Read More

The American economy is finally recovering President Joe Biden’s administration wants further stimulate the economy. So he recently signed an executive order aimed at increasing competition among businesses.

They say that corporate consolidation has been accelerating for many years, leaving the majority of industries in the hands of only a few entities. This is the main reason for slow wage growth and rising consumer prices. This latest executive order intends to reverse these effects.

The executive order includes 72 initiatives by more than a dozen federal agencies to help address competition inequality.

Summary from Felisha McDougald, CIC CPRM

Competition is good, for you and for me. In the insurance industry, it ensures that my businesses are not unfairly penalized for losses by other companies in markets they rate in. While loyalty is important in insurance, no Commercial Agent can deny that Actuaries (those that gather data and make rate recommendations) ‘group’ data into buckets that often unfairly price smaller companies (especially those that cannot afford larger deductibles) out of the market. This is like a windfall effect, the carrier charges a higher price to Company x, y, z. Company y, z, get out, because they cannot be profitable. Company X has the staff to modify bids, and charge overages, however they pass that on to the Company requiring the insurance… and so it goes. In short: the more players we have in the game the better.

LABOR MARKET

Currently, nearly half of all private employers make employees sign non-compete agreements, limiting where employees can work during certain periods. Separately, many workplaces require certain licenses to perform specific jobs. The Biden administration believes these current trends are limiting growth.

In the first executive order, the White House encouraged the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to ban or limit noncompete agreements as well as occupational licensing restrictions. Additionally, the executive order urges the FTC and Department of Justice (DOJ) to strengthen antitrust guidance to prevent employers from collaborating to suppress wages or reduce

HEALTH CARE

The executive order addresses competition in health care in four main areas:

Prescription Drugs
Right now, large drug manufacturers enjoy incredible profits year over year. The White House alleges that this is due to

lack of competition and “pay for delay” tactics, where name-brand drug manufacturers pay generic manufacturers to stay out of the market. Such strategies result in Americans paying 2.5 times more for the same medications as peer countries.

The executive order directs the Food and Drug Administration to work with states and tribes to safely import prescription drugs from Canada, where drugs are less expensive. It also directs the Health and Human Services (HHS) Administration to increase support for generic and biosimilar drugs. Additionally, the order encourages the FTC to ban “pay for delay” and similar agreements.

Hearing Aids
The executive order directs the HHS to consider issuing proposed rules within 120 days for allowing hearing aids to be sold over the counter.

Hospitals
Charge far higher prices than hospitals in markets with more competition.

Hospital price transparency rules and finish implementing bipartisan federal legislation to address surprise hospital billing.

Health Insurance
The executive order directs the HHS to standardize plan options in the National Health Insurance Marketplace so people can comparison shop more easily.

TECHNOLOGY

The executive order addresses competition in the technology sector in four main areas:

Purchasing Would-be Competitors

Greater scrutiny of mergers, especially by dominant internet platforms, with particular attention to the acquisition of nascent competitors, serial mergers, the accumulation of data, competition by ‘free’ products, and the effect on user privacy.

Gathering Personal Information

The current business model of many large tech platforms is the accumulation of individuals’ personal information. The Biden administration is concerned about the breadth of this collected information— information is sometimes compromised through security breaches.

The executive order encourages the FTC to establish rules on surveillance and the accumulation of data.

Unfairly Competing With Small Businesses

Big tech platforms have incredible control over the online marketplace. Often, small businesses rely on these platforms to reach their customers. However, large platforms will sometimes examine the most popular products sold by these small businesses, then replicate them and promote them more prominently on their websites.

FTC to establish rules barring unfair methods of competition on internet marketplaces.

TRANSPORTATION

The transportation sector is dominated by a handful of corporations. The executive order addresses competition as it relates to:

Airlines
There are four commercial airlines that control two-thirds of the industry. This contributes to high prices for consumers, such as with baggage and cancellation fees. The Biden administration points out that these increases often come in lockstep, meaning the top airlines tend to raise them at the same time. These simultaneous increases demonstrate “a lack of meaningful competitive pressure,” according to the White House. Notably, despite this industry consolidation, airlines were late delivering 2.3 million checked bags in 2019, according to the Department of Transportation (DOT).

The executive order directs the DOT to consider issuing clear rules requiring the refund of fees when baggage is delayed or when service isn’t actually provided, such as when the plane’s Wi-Fi or in-flight entertainment system is broken. Additionally, the order directs the DOT to consider issuing rules that require baggage, change and cancellation fees to be clearly disclosed to the customer.

Rail
The rail industry, like airliners, is heavily consolidated, going from 33 “Class I” freight railroads in 1980 to only seven today. Moreover, four rail companies dominate their respective geographic regions of the United States. These companies can prioritize their own freight traffic, sometimes to the detriment of passenger trains and other companies’ freight cars.

The executive order encourages the Surface Transportation Board to require railroad track owners to provide rights of way to passenger rails and strengthen their obligations to treat other freight companies fairly.

Shipping

The industry’s 10 largest shipping companies control more than 80% of the global market, leaving manufacturers who need to ship goods “at these large foreign companies’ mercy,” according to the Biden administration. These companies are allowed to charge exorbitant fees for when their shipments are sitting, waiting to be loaded, or unloaded.

The executive order encourages the Federal Maritime Commission to ensure vigorous enforcement against shippers charging American exporters exorbitant charges.

AGRICULTURE

Agriculture consolidation is another concern for the Biden administration. Four companies now control most of the work’s seeds, and seed prices have increased as much as 30% annually. This consolidation also limits to whom small farmers can sell their goods, meaning lower price sharing for these farmers. Summarily, farmers are getting less for their goods, and consumers are paying more for them, all while large corporations are reaping profits.

current labeling rules allow for shady business practices that can harm consumers. For instance, foreign beef manufacturers may use the label “Product of USA” merely if the product was processed here. In fact, that beef may not be from the United States—the White House notes that most grass-fed beef labeled “Product of USA” is actually imported.

The executive order aims to combat these practices.

INTERNET SERVICE

The executive order addresses issues in the internet service sector in four primary areas:

Lack of Competition

According to the White House, more than 200 million U.S. residents live in an area with only one or two reliable high-speed internet providers, leading to prices as much as five times higher in these markets than in markets with more options. This situation is sometimes exacerbated when landlords enter exclusivity deals with internet service providers (ISPs), effectively blocking broadband internet expansion for an area.

The executive order encourages the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) to prevent ISPs from making deals with landlords that limit tenants’ choices.

Lack of Price Transparency

High Termination Fees

Indiscriminate Service Slowdowns

BANKING AND CONSUMER FINANCE

In the last four decades, 70% of U.S. banks have been lost to closures, mergers, or acquisitions

SUMMARY

The executive order broadly addresses competition inequalities across market sectors. These proposed initiatives have the potential to help individuals and small businesses alike. However, it remains to be seen how all of these initiatives will play out, as executive orders are essentially a directive to federal agencies to revise their regulations. In other words, some of the proposals may never come to fruition, and those that do may take months to implement. At the very least, this executive order and its initiatives indicate the position of the Biden administration—signaling that it may pursue these agenda items through alternative means, if necessary.

Employers should continue to monitor exactly how the executive order plays out. In the meantime, employers can read the full overview of the order on www.whitehouse.gov.

Why should I get a classic car insurance plan?

Most people will need to own a vehicle at some point to get around town. One particular type of vehicle that car lovers will want to own at some point is a classic car. There are typically vintage and rare vehicles that offer a significant amount of collectible value. As this can be a very major asset, protecting it with the right insurance is important. There are a few reasons that you should get a classic car insurance plan to protect this vehicle.

Insurance Will Protect Vehicle Value

An important reason people should get a classic car insurance plan is so they can protect the value of their vehicle. Classic cars continue to appreciate in value, which is different from most other cars that tend to lose some value each year. Due to this, you will need a specific type of insurance that will protect this unique value. A classic car insurance plan does provide support to ensure the collectible value is protected.

Liability Insurance

No matter where you drive your classic car, you need to have liability insurance. However, classic car owners do not typically drive their vehicles much each year. With a classic car insurance plan, you can get the coverage you need to stay protected while receiving a premium that reflects the reduced risk that comes with lower annual mileage. 

If you would like to get a classic car, speaking with a professional about your insurance needs is very important. As there are a lot of choices to make when you are looking for a classic car insurance plan, you should call Midwest Professional Insurance. The team with Midwest Professional Insurance can help you build a plan that provides the right coverage. They can answer all of your questions and ensure you are able to make an informed decision. 

Read More

Most people will need to own a vehicle at some point to get around town. One particular type of vehicle that car lovers will want to own at some point is a classic car. There are typically vintage and rare vehicles that offer a significant amount of collectible value. As this can be a very major asset, protecting it with the right insurance is important. There are a few reasons that you should get a classic car insurance plan to protect this vehicle.

Insurance Will Protect Vehicle Value

An important reason people should get a classic car insurance plan is so they can protect the value of their vehicle. Classic cars continue to appreciate in value, which is different from most other cars that tend to lose some value each year. Due to this, you will need a specific type of insurance that will protect this unique value. A classic car insurance plan does provide support to ensure the collectible value is protected.

Liability Insurance

No matter where you drive your classic car, you need to have liability insurance. However, classic car owners do not typically drive their vehicles much each year. With a classic car insurance plan, you can get the coverage you need to stay protected while receiving a premium that reflects the reduced risk that comes with lower annual mileage. 

If you would like to get a classic car, speaking with a professional about your insurance needs is very important. As there are a lot of choices to make when you are looking for a classic car insurance plan, you should call Midwest Professional Insurance. The team with Midwest Professional Insurance can help you build a plan that provides the right coverage. They can answer all of your questions and ensure you are able to make an informed decision. 

Outdoor Exercise Safety Tips

As we move into summer, many will want to exercise outdoors to stay active and get some fresh air. That’s great news, as experts recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week. Working out in hot and humid weather can put extra stress on your body; however, there are simple precautions you can take to protect yourself.

Workout Tips

By moving your workout outdoors, you can boost your mood and improve your concentration. Also, you don’t need to stick to your own yard or neighborhood. Jogging trails, exercise parks, sports fields and stairs provide endless opportunities to switch up your workout. Keep in mind the following tips to safely exercise outside during the summer:

  1. Avoid the hottest part of the day. If possible, plan your workout before 10 a.m. or after 3 p.m. to dodge those strong sun rays.
  2. Wear light-colored clothing. Dark colors absorb the heat, while light colors will reflect the sun. Lightweight, loose-fitting clothing will help air circulate and keep you cool.
  3. Apply sunscreen. Opt for a broad-spectrum sunscreen that’s at least 30 SPF. Reapply every two hours, even if the label says it’s sweatproof. Wearing a wide-brimmed hat can also protect your face from sun exposure.
  4. Stay hydrated with water. Drink water before you head out, and try to take sips every 15 minutes during your workout—whether you’re thirsty or not.
  5. Replenish your electrolytes. Instead of reaching for a sports drink after a workout, consider replacing electrolytes through real food like chia seeds, kale, coconut, or fruits and vegetables.
  6. Listen to your body. If you’re feeling dizzy, faint or nauseous, stop immediately. Sit down in the shade and drink some water until you’re feeling better.

Your body may need to adapt to outdoor workouts, so follow its lead and gradually pick up the pace or intensity. As always, talk to your doctor before you start a new exercise regimen.

Health Benefits of Gardening

It’s likely that you may already have a garden. According to the Garden Media Group, 16 million people started gardening during the pandemic

As we enter the growing season, gardening is a great way to spend time outdoors—and get some exercise. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention counts activities like raking and cutting grass as light to moderate exercise—while shoveling, digging and chopping wood are vigorous exercise.

In addition to physical activity, consider these health benefits of gardening:

  1. Increased vitamin D levels essential for body functions
  2. Boosted self-esteem
  3. Improved mood
  4. Reduced stress and anxiety

Talk to your doctor to learn more about ways to manage your well-being

3 Ways to Snack Smartly

It’s completely normal to snack throughout the workday. However, it can especially be tempting to opt for the fast, easy (but unhealthy) option if you are working from home. Keep the following three tips in mind to help you snack smartly during the workday at the office or at home.

  1. Plan your snacking. Think ahead so you don’t desperately reach for unhealthy items. At the beginning of the week, make or pre-portion your healthy snacks so they’re ready to go.
  2. Be mindful of portions. Avoid eating directly out of the bag or original container, and portion your snacks before eating.
  3. Choose healthy snacks. Nibble on fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats to stay satisfied and full. Pass on the junk food since chips, candy and cookies can leave you feeling sluggish.

You might not have control over where you’re working, but try to work away from the kitchen.

Read More

As we move into summer, many will want to exercise outdoors to stay active and get some fresh air. That’s great news, as experts recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week. Working out in hot and humid weather can put extra stress on your body; however, there are simple precautions you can take to protect yourself.

Workout Tips

By moving your workout outdoors, you can boost your mood and improve your concentration. Also, you don’t need to stick to your own yard or neighborhood. Jogging trails, exercise parks, sports fields and stairs provide endless opportunities to switch up your workout. Keep in mind the following tips to safely exercise outside during the summer:

  1. Avoid the hottest part of the day. If possible, plan your workout before 10 a.m. or after 3 p.m. to dodge those strong sun rays.
  2. Wear light-colored clothing. Dark colors absorb the heat, while light colors will reflect the sun. Lightweight, loose-fitting clothing will help air circulate and keep you cool.
  3. Apply sunscreen. Opt for a broad-spectrum sunscreen that’s at least 30 SPF. Reapply every two hours, even if the label says it’s sweatproof. Wearing a wide-brimmed hat can also protect your face from sun exposure.
  4. Stay hydrated with water. Drink water before you head out, and try to take sips every 15 minutes during your workout—whether you’re thirsty or not.
  5. Replenish your electrolytes. Instead of reaching for a sports drink after a workout, consider replacing electrolytes through real food like chia seeds, kale, coconut, or fruits and vegetables.
  6. Listen to your body. If you’re feeling dizzy, faint or nauseous, stop immediately. Sit down in the shade and drink some water until you’re feeling better.

Your body may need to adapt to outdoor workouts, so follow its lead and gradually pick up the pace or intensity. As always, talk to your doctor before you start a new exercise regimen.

Health Benefits of Gardening

It’s likely that you may already have a garden. According to the Garden Media Group, 16 million people started gardening during the pandemic

As we enter the growing season, gardening is a great way to spend time outdoors—and get some exercise. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention counts activities like raking and cutting grass as light to moderate exercise—while shoveling, digging and chopping wood are vigorous exercise.

In addition to physical activity, consider these health benefits of gardening:

  1. Increased vitamin D levels essential for body functions
  2. Boosted self-esteem
  3. Improved mood
  4. Reduced stress and anxiety

Talk to your doctor to learn more about ways to manage your well-being

3 Ways to Snack Smartly

It’s completely normal to snack throughout the workday. However, it can especially be tempting to opt for the fast, easy (but unhealthy) option if you are working from home. Keep the following three tips in mind to help you snack smartly during the workday at the office or at home.

  1. Plan your snacking. Think ahead so you don’t desperately reach for unhealthy items. At the beginning of the week, make or pre-portion your healthy snacks so they’re ready to go.
  2. Be mindful of portions. Avoid eating directly out of the bag or original container, and portion your snacks before eating.
  3. Choose healthy snacks. Nibble on fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats to stay satisfied and full. Pass on the junk food since chips, candy and cookies can leave you feeling sluggish.

You might not have control over where you’re working, but try to work away from the kitchen.

Why renters insurance is important

As a renter, you may think you don’t need to have insurance to protect your rental. That is a mistake. If you are counting on your landlord to protect you, that is another mistake. At Midwest Professional Insurance, our entire team is dedicated to providing the highest level of customer service. We recognize insurance needs to provide the right coverage at the right price. We will work with you, listen to your questions, and address your concerns.

Just because you don’t own the residence where you live doesn’t mean having no insurance is a good idea. Renters insurance offers some valuable protection that can help you to protect what you have. 

Contents

Unless you are renting a fully furnished unit, you likely have quite a lot of personal possessions. Even if you don’t have furniture, everyone has electronics, which can be quite expensive to replace. A renters’ policy will cover your laptop or tablet even if it is away from your rental. Renters insurance covers you for damage due to things like fire and also from theft or vandalism.

Liability

If someone is injured while visiting your rental or by a member of your family, even a furry one, you could end up having to pay for medical bills. If someone decided to sue you, it could help with the legal fees and a judgment against you. 

Loss of use

If a covered hazard damages your rental, you will need somewhere to stay. With renters insurance, you will be able to stay in a hotel in the first days and a temporary rental unit if it will be longer. 

At Midwest Professional Insurance, we provide our customers with friendly and dedicated service. Give our office a call or stop in to talk to one of our team. 

Read More

As a renter, you may think you don’t need to have insurance to protect your rental. That is a mistake. If you are counting on your landlord to protect you, that is another mistake. At Midwest Professional Insurance, our entire team is dedicated to providing the highest level of customer service. We recognize insurance needs to provide the right coverage at the right price. We will work with you, listen to your questions, and address your concerns.

Just because you don’t own the residence where you live doesn’t mean having no insurance is a good idea. Renters insurance offers some valuable protection that can help you to protect what you have. 

Contents

Unless you are renting a fully furnished unit, you likely have quite a lot of personal possessions. Even if you don’t have furniture, everyone has electronics, which can be quite expensive to replace. A renters’ policy will cover your laptop or tablet even if it is away from your rental. Renters insurance covers you for damage due to things like fire and also from theft or vandalism.

Liability

If someone is injured while visiting your rental or by a member of your family, even a furry one, you could end up having to pay for medical bills. If someone decided to sue you, it could help with the legal fees and a judgment against you. 

Loss of use

If a covered hazard damages your rental, you will need somewhere to stay. With renters insurance, you will be able to stay in a hotel in the first days and a temporary rental unit if it will be longer. 

At Midwest Professional Insurance, we provide our customers with friendly and dedicated service. Give our office a call or stop in to talk to one of our team. 

Seven Insurance Policies for Small Businesses

With so many different types of insurance to choose from, it can be overwhelming to determine what type is best for your small business. Midwest Professional Insurance is here to help explain the types of insurance policies available and how they can help protect you, your employees and your business’s bottom line.

Commercial Property Insurance

In the case of a catastrophic event such as a fire, explosion, burst pipe, storm or theft, commercial property insurance compensates you for losses or damage to your building, leased or owned equipment, and other property on the premises. In fact, commercial property insurance can cover items such as furniture, inventory, computers and anything that would be considered necessary for performing normal business operations.

Commercial property insurance is typically purchased as a stand-alone policy or as part of a comprehensive business owner’s policy that includes property and general liability coverage. Commercial property insurance is offered on either a replacement cost or actual cash value basis.

  1. Replacement cost: Pays the cost to replace or repair the damaged property with materials of like kind and quality, without any deduction for depreciation.
  2. Actual cash value: Pays the cost to repair or replace the damaged property, minus depreciation.

General Liability Insurance

General liability insurance policies typically cover an organization for claims involving bodily injuries and property damage resulting from its products, services or operations. What’s more, this form of insurance can help cover medical expenses and attorney fees resulting from bodily injury or property damage claims for which your organization may be legally responsible.

General liability insurance policies typically have four coverage elements:

Premises liability covers you in the event that a person who is not employed at your business becomes injured on your property. If someone sued your business because they tripped and fell on your property, liability insurance can help cover those expenses.

Products liability covers you if a product or service causes injury to someone’s body or inflicts damage on a consumer’s personal property. If you’re a tech company that broke a customer’s computer while performing a service on it, those damages could be covered.

A personal injury is when your business inflicts a physical, financial or mental injury to a third party. For instance, let’s say you take action in detaining someone who you had reason to believe was stealing from your store. If it turns out your accusations are false and the person decides to sue you, you’d be covered under your general liability policy.

Advertisement injuries are caused by alleged misinformation, copyright infringement or slander made by your company. If you were advertising a product that claimed it could help clear acne and it ended up making a consumer’s acne worse, that could be considered an advertisement injury.

Overall, a general liability policy is beneficial for covering any medical bills or legal costs that accrue if the injured third party decides to sue your business.

Employment Practices Liability

Employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) is a form of insurance that covers wrongful acts that occur during the employment process. The most frequent types of claims covered under an EPLI policy include claims of discrimination, wrongful termination, sexual harassment and retaliation.

These policies will reimburse your company against the costs of defending a lawsuit in court, and for judgments and settlements. EPLI covers legal costs, whether your company wins or loses the suit. However, these policies typically do not pay for punitive damages, or civil or criminal fines.

Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ compensation is important in the event that an employee suffers a work-related injury or illness. This type of insurance is required in most states and is used to cover medical bills or wage replacement for employees who experience a work-related injury.

For example, if a worker pulled a back muscle at work and was unable to perform their duties, workers’ compensation would help in covering any physical therapy costs as well as compensating the employee for any lost wages.

Having worker’s compensation insurance can also protect your business from civil suits made by employees against your company related to their injuries.

Cyber Liability Insurance

If any part of your business is on an online platform, it is crucial to obtain cyber liability insurance. This type of coverage can protect your business from a cyber attack or interruption that can cause a loss in data, revenue and the trust between you and your customers. Cyber liability insurance is not only there to protect the internal information of your company, such as employees’ social security or financial information, but it also protects your customers’ personal and banking information.

Most cyber liability policies include both first- and third-party coverage:

  1. First-party coverage is for the business itself— helping the business recover from any losses after a cyber attack.
  2. Third-party coverage is to cover claims by people who have been injured because of your business being hacked.

Restoring compromised or lost data can be very costly, so cyber liability insurance is there to help cover financial losses to your business and the costs of claims made against your company by clients or other third parties who were affected.

Commercial Auto

Commercial auto insurance helps cover the costs of an auto accident if you or an employee is at fault. This coverage can help pay for damaged property and medical expenses.

Your business should consider a commercial auto policy if any of the following are true:

  1. Your business owns, leases or rents vehicles such as cars, trucks or vans.
  2. Your business has employees who drive their own vehicles to conduct business.
  3. Your business has employees who operate leased, rented or owned company vehicles.

Professional Liability Insurance

Professional liability insurance can cover the cost of defending your business in a civil lawsuit for an alleged error or omission. What’s more, depending on your industry, professional liability insurance may be required by law.

While many types of businesses need professional liability insurance, you should especially consider this type of insurance if your business works directly with customers while providing services.

More Information

Contact Midwest Professional Insurance to help you analyze your needs and decide on the right coverage for you and your growing business.

This Coverage Insights is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as legal advice. Readers should contact legal counsel or an insurance professional for appropriate advice.

Read More

With so many different types of insurance to choose from, it can be overwhelming to determine what type is best for your small business. Midwest Professional Insurance is here to help explain the types of insurance policies available and how they can help protect you, your employees and your business’s bottom line.

Commercial Property Insurance

In the case of a catastrophic event such as a fire, explosion, burst pipe, storm or theft, commercial property insurance compensates you for losses or damage to your building, leased or owned equipment, and other property on the premises. In fact, commercial property insurance can cover items such as furniture, inventory, computers and anything that would be considered necessary for performing normal business operations.

Commercial property insurance is typically purchased as a stand-alone policy or as part of a comprehensive business owner’s policy that includes property and general liability coverage. Commercial property insurance is offered on either a replacement cost or actual cash value basis.

  1. Replacement cost: Pays the cost to replace or repair the damaged property with materials of like kind and quality, without any deduction for depreciation.
  2. Actual cash value: Pays the cost to repair or replace the damaged property, minus depreciation.

General Liability Insurance

General liability insurance policies typically cover an organization for claims involving bodily injuries and property damage resulting from its products, services or operations. What’s more, this form of insurance can help cover medical expenses and attorney fees resulting from bodily injury or property damage claims for which your organization may be legally responsible.

General liability insurance policies typically have four coverage elements:

Premises liability covers you in the event that a person who is not employed at your business becomes injured on your property. If someone sued your business because they tripped and fell on your property, liability insurance can help cover those expenses.

Products liability covers you if a product or service causes injury to someone’s body or inflicts damage on a consumer’s personal property. If you’re a tech company that broke a customer’s computer while performing a service on it, those damages could be covered.

A personal injury is when your business inflicts a physical, financial or mental injury to a third party. For instance, let’s say you take action in detaining someone who you had reason to believe was stealing from your store. If it turns out your accusations are false and the person decides to sue you, you’d be covered under your general liability policy.

Advertisement injuries are caused by alleged misinformation, copyright infringement or slander made by your company. If you were advertising a product that claimed it could help clear acne and it ended up making a consumer’s acne worse, that could be considered an advertisement injury.

Overall, a general liability policy is beneficial for covering any medical bills or legal costs that accrue if the injured third party decides to sue your business.

Employment Practices Liability

Employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) is a form of insurance that covers wrongful acts that occur during the employment process. The most frequent types of claims covered under an EPLI policy include claims of discrimination, wrongful termination, sexual harassment and retaliation.

These policies will reimburse your company against the costs of defending a lawsuit in court, and for judgments and settlements. EPLI covers legal costs, whether your company wins or loses the suit. However, these policies typically do not pay for punitive damages, or civil or criminal fines.

Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ compensation is important in the event that an employee suffers a work-related injury or illness. This type of insurance is required in most states and is used to cover medical bills or wage replacement for employees who experience a work-related injury.

For example, if a worker pulled a back muscle at work and was unable to perform their duties, workers’ compensation would help in covering any physical therapy costs as well as compensating the employee for any lost wages.

Having worker’s compensation insurance can also protect your business from civil suits made by employees against your company related to their injuries.

Cyber Liability Insurance

If any part of your business is on an online platform, it is crucial to obtain cyber liability insurance. This type of coverage can protect your business from a cyber attack or interruption that can cause a loss in data, revenue and the trust between you and your customers. Cyber liability insurance is not only there to protect the internal information of your company, such as employees’ social security or financial information, but it also protects your customers’ personal and banking information.

Most cyber liability policies include both first- and third-party coverage:

  1. First-party coverage is for the business itself— helping the business recover from any losses after a cyber attack.
  2. Third-party coverage is to cover claims by people who have been injured because of your business being hacked.

Restoring compromised or lost data can be very costly, so cyber liability insurance is there to help cover financial losses to your business and the costs of claims made against your company by clients or other third parties who were affected.

Commercial Auto

Commercial auto insurance helps cover the costs of an auto accident if you or an employee is at fault. This coverage can help pay for damaged property and medical expenses.

Your business should consider a commercial auto policy if any of the following are true:

  1. Your business owns, leases or rents vehicles such as cars, trucks or vans.
  2. Your business has employees who drive their own vehicles to conduct business.
  3. Your business has employees who operate leased, rented or owned company vehicles.

Professional Liability Insurance

Professional liability insurance can cover the cost of defending your business in a civil lawsuit for an alleged error or omission. What’s more, depending on your industry, professional liability insurance may be required by law.

While many types of businesses need professional liability insurance, you should especially consider this type of insurance if your business works directly with customers while providing services.

More Information

Contact Midwest Professional Insurance to help you analyze your needs and decide on the right coverage for you and your growing business.

This Coverage Insights is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as legal advice. Readers should contact legal counsel or an insurance professional for appropriate advice.

Self-care and Your Mental Health

More than half of adults in the United States will experience mental illness—which refers to a variety of conditions that affect one’s mood, behavior, feelings or thinking—at some point in their life. Mental illnesses can occur occasionally, while others are chronic. Common mental illnesses include anxiety, depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Mental Health Awareness Month, observed every May, is a time to raise awareness about mental health, break the stigma and support people with mental illness.

Each condition has its own unique symptoms, but common signs of mental illness include the following:

  1. Feeling sad, irritable or angry for an extended time
  2. Feeling excessively paranoid, worried or anxious
  3. Experiencing extreme mood swings
  4. Avoiding friends and social activities
  5. Changing eating habits due to increased hunger or lack of appetite
  6. Having trouble sleeping or making dramatic sleeping pattern changes

One or two of these symptoms alone can’t predict a mental illness, but they may indicate a need for further evaluation.

Taking Care of Yourself

One way to improve your mental health is through self-care. Self-care looks different for every person since it involves doing things that you enjoy or need.

Here are some ideas for how to practice self-care:

  1. Live healthy by eating well, getting enough sleep and exercising regularly.
  2. Connect regularly with friends and family who encourage and support you.
  3. Pamper yourself by watching your favorite TV show, taking a bath, applying a face mask, getting a massage or reading a book.
  4. Find ways to relax, including meditating, practicing yoga, going on a nature walk or baking.

The goal is to try to do something you enjoy every day. If you have concerns about a loved one’s or your mental health, contact a doctor or mental health professional.

Skin Cancer and You

One in 5 Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetime. That makes skin cancer the most common cancer in the United States. Fortunately, skin cancer is highly preventable by avoiding excessive sun exposure.

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, but sun protection is important year-round. Here are a few tips to protect yourself outdoors:

  1. Stay in the shade under an umbrella, tree or other shelter. Avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the rays are the strongest.
  2. Wear dark-colored clothes made of tightly woven fabrics and a hat that shields your face, neck and ears.
  3. Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes and the skin around your eyes.
  4. Use sunscreen that is at least SPF 30, applying it all over your body and lips. Reapply at least every two hours—and after swimming or sweating.

Routinely inspect your skin for any spots or changes in color or appearance. If you have any concerns, see your doctor.

Sunscreen label 101

Like other over-the-counter drugs, sunscreens follow regulated labeling guidelines. Here’s how to decode your sunscreen label:

  1. Broad-spectrum protection works against both UVA (skin cancer and premature aging) and UVB (sunburn) rays
  2. The sun protection factor (SPF) is the level of protection against harmful UVB rays
  3. Check the expiration date. Sunscreens are usually good for 2-3 years.

Fast Food and Heart Health

Fast food is highly processed and contains unhealthy trans fats, especially when food items are fried in oil. Eating fried food may increase your risk for heart disease and stroke.

According to new research, people who ate the most fried food per week had a 28% higher risk of major cardiovascular events, compared with those who ate the least. Those people also had a 22% greater risk of heart disease—and a 37% elevated risk of heart failure.

Along with choosing baked or grilled items, consider the following heart-healthy alternatives to fried food:

  1. Skinless poultry and fish
  2. A variety of fruits and vegetables
  3. Low-fat dairy products
  4. Whole grains

Limit your daily intake of fast food, and talk to your doctor if you have questions.

Read More

More than half of adults in the United States will experience mental illness—which refers to a variety of conditions that affect one’s mood, behavior, feelings or thinking—at some point in their life. Mental illnesses can occur occasionally, while others are chronic. Common mental illnesses include anxiety, depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Mental Health Awareness Month, observed every May, is a time to raise awareness about mental health, break the stigma and support people with mental illness.

Each condition has its own unique symptoms, but common signs of mental illness include the following:

  1. Feeling sad, irritable or angry for an extended time
  2. Feeling excessively paranoid, worried or anxious
  3. Experiencing extreme mood swings
  4. Avoiding friends and social activities
  5. Changing eating habits due to increased hunger or lack of appetite
  6. Having trouble sleeping or making dramatic sleeping pattern changes

One or two of these symptoms alone can’t predict a mental illness, but they may indicate a need for further evaluation.

Taking Care of Yourself

One way to improve your mental health is through self-care. Self-care looks different for every person since it involves doing things that you enjoy or need.

Here are some ideas for how to practice self-care:

  1. Live healthy by eating well, getting enough sleep and exercising regularly.
  2. Connect regularly with friends and family who encourage and support you.
  3. Pamper yourself by watching your favorite TV show, taking a bath, applying a face mask, getting a massage or reading a book.
  4. Find ways to relax, including meditating, practicing yoga, going on a nature walk or baking.

The goal is to try to do something you enjoy every day. If you have concerns about a loved one’s or your mental health, contact a doctor or mental health professional.

Skin Cancer and You

One in 5 Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetime. That makes skin cancer the most common cancer in the United States. Fortunately, skin cancer is highly preventable by avoiding excessive sun exposure.

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, but sun protection is important year-round. Here are a few tips to protect yourself outdoors:

  1. Stay in the shade under an umbrella, tree or other shelter. Avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the rays are the strongest.
  2. Wear dark-colored clothes made of tightly woven fabrics and a hat that shields your face, neck and ears.
  3. Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes and the skin around your eyes.
  4. Use sunscreen that is at least SPF 30, applying it all over your body and lips. Reapply at least every two hours—and after swimming or sweating.

Routinely inspect your skin for any spots or changes in color or appearance. If you have any concerns, see your doctor.

Sunscreen label 101

Like other over-the-counter drugs, sunscreens follow regulated labeling guidelines. Here’s how to decode your sunscreen label:

  1. Broad-spectrum protection works against both UVA (skin cancer and premature aging) and UVB (sunburn) rays
  2. The sun protection factor (SPF) is the level of protection against harmful UVB rays
  3. Check the expiration date. Sunscreens are usually good for 2-3 years.

Fast Food and Heart Health

Fast food is highly processed and contains unhealthy trans fats, especially when food items are fried in oil. Eating fried food may increase your risk for heart disease and stroke.

According to new research, people who ate the most fried food per week had a 28% higher risk of major cardiovascular events, compared with those who ate the least. Those people also had a 22% greater risk of heart disease—and a 37% elevated risk of heart failure.

Along with choosing baked or grilled items, consider the following heart-healthy alternatives to fried food:

  1. Skinless poultry and fish
  2. A variety of fruits and vegetables
  3. Low-fat dairy products
  4. Whole grains

Limit your daily intake of fast food, and talk to your doctor if you have questions.

What is Umbrella Insurance, And What Does It Cover?

The liability coverage in your home, boat, or auto insurance protects you up to a specific limit. However, when faced with significant claims, your current insurance plans could run out, leaving you exposed. When you find yourself in such a scenario, umbrella insurance from Midwest Professional Insurance is excellent for digging you out of this hole.

What is umbrella insurance?

Umbrella insurance is the extra liability protection that takes over when your current insurance plans’ limit runs out. Suppose you are involved in a significant auto accident, where you are at fault. Assume that your current auto liability coverage has a $30,000 limit for bodily damage. However, liabilities emanating from the accident may run to, let say, $50,000. Without umbrella insurance, you are expected to cover the difference of $20,000 from your pocket.

What does umbrella insurance cover?

Umbrella insurance safeguards against the below:

  • Bodily injury liability: Covers injuries sustained to third parties include a guest sustaining injuries on your premises or your dog biting a neighbor. 
  • Property damage liability: Pays for damages caused to other people’s properties. For instance, damage to another boat in a severe boating accident where you are at fault. 
  • Personal liability protection: The beauty of umbrella insurance is that it protects you against claims that aren’t covered by the base liability coverages. Umbrella insurance pays for the legal costs when you are sued against libel and slander. It also protects you against false arrest and malicious prosecution.

What does umbrella insurance exclude?

While umbrella insurance protects against several liabilities, it won’t protect you in the following instances:

  • Criminal or intentional acts
  • Injury to oneself
  • Damage to own property
  • Liabilities assumed under a contract

Would you want peace of mind by purchasing umbrella insurance? If yes, contact Midwest Professional Insurance today for a quote.

Read More

The liability coverage in your home, boat, or auto insurance protects you up to a specific limit. However, when faced with significant claims, your current insurance plans could run out, leaving you exposed. When you find yourself in such a scenario, umbrella insurance from Midwest Professional Insurance is excellent for digging you out of this hole.

What is umbrella insurance?

Umbrella insurance is the extra liability protection that takes over when your current insurance plans’ limit runs out. Suppose you are involved in a significant auto accident, where you are at fault. Assume that your current auto liability coverage has a $30,000 limit for bodily damage. However, liabilities emanating from the accident may run to, let say, $50,000. Without umbrella insurance, you are expected to cover the difference of $20,000 from your pocket.

What does umbrella insurance cover?

Umbrella insurance safeguards against the below:

  • Bodily injury liability: Covers injuries sustained to third parties include a guest sustaining injuries on your premises or your dog biting a neighbor. 
  • Property damage liability: Pays for damages caused to other people’s properties. For instance, damage to another boat in a severe boating accident where you are at fault. 
  • Personal liability protection: The beauty of umbrella insurance is that it protects you against claims that aren’t covered by the base liability coverages. Umbrella insurance pays for the legal costs when you are sued against libel and slander. It also protects you against false arrest and malicious prosecution.

What does umbrella insurance exclude?

While umbrella insurance protects against several liabilities, it won’t protect you in the following instances:

  • Criminal or intentional acts
  • Injury to oneself
  • Damage to own property
  • Liabilities assumed under a contract

Would you want peace of mind by purchasing umbrella insurance? If yes, contact Midwest Professional Insurance today for a quote.

Benefits of Bundling Commercial Policies

Insurance carriers realize that offering additional lines of coverage to an existing customer is less expensive than trying to attract new customers. They also know that the more lines a given customer has, the longer they’re likely to stay with them.

While bundling policies is beneficial to insurance carriers, it is also highly beneficial to their customers. Similar to how bundling your personal home and auto policies may give you a discount, bundling your business policies can provide benefits way beyond cost savings.

Simplified Bookkeping

Most businesses require a number of insurance policies in order to properly insure their operations, including:

  1. Workers’ compensation
  2. General liability
  3. Commercial property
  4. Professional liability
  5. Commercial auto
  6. Business interruption
  7. Cyber liability
  8. Directors and officers

Keeping up with that many policies isn’t an easy task for business owners. Therefore, bundling multiple policies with the same carrier simplifies things for bookkeeping purposes. Besides having fewer bills to keep track of every month, it also makes it easier come renewal time if the bundled policies renew at the same time each year.

Your HR department will also appreciate having one number to call when you’re hiring a new employee, have claims questions, are adding a location, or making any other business decisions that impact your insurance.

Fewer Agents to Educate

Properly insuring your business requires explaining to your insurance agent exactly what your business does and the exposures that come with it. But without bundling your policies, you have more agents to educate, which takes time. The fewer agents you have to work with, the better equipped they’ll be to help identify and address your exposures.

Assurance That Your Policies Work Together

There may be circumstances when two of your business insurance policies have to work together. For example, you may assume that something not covered by your commercial auto policy would be covered by your commercial umbrella policy. However, many umbrella policies will only extend above an auto policy if the insurance company offering it has a specified financial strength rating. If your carrier’s rating falls below a certain grade, your umbrella policy may not cover an auto loss. That’s just one type of problem that could arise if you keep your policies under separate roofs, with separate agents.

Less Security Risk

When obtaining insurance, business owners are required to divulge sensitive personal information about their employees, as well as financial information about the business itself. When dividing your policies among multiple agents, you’re basically providing all that information to more people than you would have to if you’d bundled your policies with one agent. And in doing so, you’re increasing the risk of highly sensitive information ending up in the wrong hands.

This Coverage Insight is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as legal advice. Readers should contact legal counsel or an insurance professional for appropriate advice.

Read More

Insurance carriers realize that offering additional lines of coverage to an existing customer is less expensive than trying to attract new customers. They also know that the more lines a given customer has, the longer they’re likely to stay with them.

While bundling policies is beneficial to insurance carriers, it is also highly beneficial to their customers. Similar to how bundling your personal home and auto policies may give you a discount, bundling your business policies can provide benefits way beyond cost savings.

Simplified Bookkeping

Most businesses require a number of insurance policies in order to properly insure their operations, including:

  1. Workers’ compensation
  2. General liability
  3. Commercial property
  4. Professional liability
  5. Commercial auto
  6. Business interruption
  7. Cyber liability
  8. Directors and officers

Keeping up with that many policies isn’t an easy task for business owners. Therefore, bundling multiple policies with the same carrier simplifies things for bookkeeping purposes. Besides having fewer bills to keep track of every month, it also makes it easier come renewal time if the bundled policies renew at the same time each year.

Your HR department will also appreciate having one number to call when you’re hiring a new employee, have claims questions, are adding a location, or making any other business decisions that impact your insurance.

Fewer Agents to Educate

Properly insuring your business requires explaining to your insurance agent exactly what your business does and the exposures that come with it. But without bundling your policies, you have more agents to educate, which takes time. The fewer agents you have to work with, the better equipped they’ll be to help identify and address your exposures.

Assurance That Your Policies Work Together

There may be circumstances when two of your business insurance policies have to work together. For example, you may assume that something not covered by your commercial auto policy would be covered by your commercial umbrella policy. However, many umbrella policies will only extend above an auto policy if the insurance company offering it has a specified financial strength rating. If your carrier’s rating falls below a certain grade, your umbrella policy may not cover an auto loss. That’s just one type of problem that could arise if you keep your policies under separate roofs, with separate agents.

Less Security Risk

When obtaining insurance, business owners are required to divulge sensitive personal information about their employees, as well as financial information about the business itself. When dividing your policies among multiple agents, you’re basically providing all that information to more people than you would have to if you’d bundled your policies with one agent. And in doing so, you’re increasing the risk of highly sensitive information ending up in the wrong hands.

This Coverage Insight is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as legal advice. Readers should contact legal counsel or an insurance professional for appropriate advice.

Alcohol Awareness Month During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Observed every April, Alcohol Awareness Month is meant to raise awareness about alcohol use and break the stigma by discussing how alcohol-use disorders affect individuals, families, and communities. This year is especially critical as COVID-19 restrictions and stress can increase your susceptibility to substance misuse, addiction, and relapse. In fact, alcohol sales in the United States have grown nearly 30% in the last year.

Alcohol abuse can affect both your personal and professional life. Prolonged drinking puts you at risk for developing serious health complications—such as high blood pressure, heart disease, liver disease, and stroke— and can trigger other life-threatening consequences.

Know the warning signs

Alcohol use disorder can be mild, moderate, or severe, based on the number of symptoms you experience. Keep in mind that symptoms often occur at the same time. It can also include both periods of alcohol intoxication and withdrawal symptoms—such as sweating, shaking, and nausea.

Common physical and behavioral signs and symptoms of alcohol misuse include the following:

  1. Feeling irritable or experiencing mood swings
  2. Having poor coordination
  3. Showing signs of slurred speech
  4. Experiencing blackouts or short-term memory loss
  5. Isolating from friends and family
  6. Failing to complete responsibilities and obligations at home or work
  7. Drinking alone or in secrecy
  8. Making excuses for drinking, such as to relax or deal with stress
  9. Engaging in risky behavior, such as drunk driving

If you or a loved one are concerned about alcohol use, talk to a doctor or use the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) National Helpline by calling 800-662-HELP (4357).

Moving 11 Minutes Per Day Can Improve Your Health

There’s no denying that the pandemic has hampered activity levels. On top of exercising less, you are likely sitting more than normal too. However, a sedentary lifestyle can be hazardous to your health. Although this type of lifestyle may be a pandemic reality, there’s good news about the benefits of small move goals.

According to new research from the Norwegian School of Sports Medicine, just 11 minutes of daily, moderate exercise can provide long-term health benefits and increase your life span. Additionally, people who worked out at least 35 minutes per day saw the biggest results in terms of health, especially joint health.

Any movement, no matter the duration, is beneficial, as long as you accumulate enough of it. And, if you take your movement outside, you can improve your mental health in addition to your physical health. Start moving today, and talk to your doctor if you have questions about any lifestyle changes.

Mental Health Support During the Pandemic

Rarely has there been a greater need for mental health support than now. Before the pandemic, there were already shortages of mental health professionals. For example, there were 45 psychologists or psychiatrists for every 100,000 Americans. In some places, that ratio was just one professional per every 30,000 people. Additionally, Mental Health America data reveals almost a quarter of adults with a mental illness say they aren’t able to get the treatment they need.

As the pandemic continues to strain health care resources and take a toll on personal well-being, there are some ways to still receive mental health support. Telehealth is a great place to start receiving mental health care via video conferencing. Additional support resources include:

  1. Your primary care doctor, who can point you in the direction of mental health resources
  2. State psychological associations
  3. Work-based wellness and employee assistance programs
  4. The SAMHSA’s National Helpline, which is free, confidential and available
  5. 24/7 by calling 800-662-HELP (4357)
  6. The United Way’s free and confidential service for community resources

There’s hope on the horizon with COVID-19 vaccine rollouts, but the pandemic is still evolving. Continue to check in with yourself and reach out for help.

Read More

Observed every April, Alcohol Awareness Month is meant to raise awareness about alcohol use and break the stigma by discussing how alcohol-use disorders affect individuals, families, and communities. This year is especially critical as COVID-19 restrictions and stress can increase your susceptibility to substance misuse, addiction, and relapse. In fact, alcohol sales in the United States have grown nearly 30% in the last year.

Alcohol abuse can affect both your personal and professional life. Prolonged drinking puts you at risk for developing serious health complications—such as high blood pressure, heart disease, liver disease, and stroke— and can trigger other life-threatening consequences.

Know the warning signs

Alcohol use disorder can be mild, moderate, or severe, based on the number of symptoms you experience. Keep in mind that symptoms often occur at the same time. It can also include both periods of alcohol intoxication and withdrawal symptoms—such as sweating, shaking, and nausea.

Common physical and behavioral signs and symptoms of alcohol misuse include the following:

  1. Feeling irritable or experiencing mood swings
  2. Having poor coordination
  3. Showing signs of slurred speech
  4. Experiencing blackouts or short-term memory loss
  5. Isolating from friends and family
  6. Failing to complete responsibilities and obligations at home or work
  7. Drinking alone or in secrecy
  8. Making excuses for drinking, such as to relax or deal with stress
  9. Engaging in risky behavior, such as drunk driving

If you or a loved one are concerned about alcohol use, talk to a doctor or use the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) National Helpline by calling 800-662-HELP (4357).

Moving 11 Minutes Per Day Can Improve Your Health

There’s no denying that the pandemic has hampered activity levels. On top of exercising less, you are likely sitting more than normal too. However, a sedentary lifestyle can be hazardous to your health. Although this type of lifestyle may be a pandemic reality, there’s good news about the benefits of small move goals.

According to new research from the Norwegian School of Sports Medicine, just 11 minutes of daily, moderate exercise can provide long-term health benefits and increase your life span. Additionally, people who worked out at least 35 minutes per day saw the biggest results in terms of health, especially joint health.

Any movement, no matter the duration, is beneficial, as long as you accumulate enough of it. And, if you take your movement outside, you can improve your mental health in addition to your physical health. Start moving today, and talk to your doctor if you have questions about any lifestyle changes.

Mental Health Support During the Pandemic

Rarely has there been a greater need for mental health support than now. Before the pandemic, there were already shortages of mental health professionals. For example, there were 45 psychologists or psychiatrists for every 100,000 Americans. In some places, that ratio was just one professional per every 30,000 people. Additionally, Mental Health America data reveals almost a quarter of adults with a mental illness say they aren’t able to get the treatment they need.

As the pandemic continues to strain health care resources and take a toll on personal well-being, there are some ways to still receive mental health support. Telehealth is a great place to start receiving mental health care via video conferencing. Additional support resources include:

  1. Your primary care doctor, who can point you in the direction of mental health resources
  2. State psychological associations
  3. Work-based wellness and employee assistance programs
  4. The SAMHSA’s National Helpline, which is free, confidential and available
  5. 24/7 by calling 800-662-HELP (4357)
  6. The United Way’s free and confidential service for community resources

There’s hope on the horizon with COVID-19 vaccine rollouts, but the pandemic is still evolving. Continue to check in with yourself and reach out for help.

What is Boat Insurance And why Do You Need It?

If you are a boat owner, you already know how important it is to secure your boat. With all the investment you have put into it, it’s ideal for your boat to be adequately insured. Accidents do happen, and for your peace of mind, boat insurance comes in handy. 

What is boat insurance?

Boat/watercraft insurance is a policy that covers sailboats, motorboats, Jet Skis, and other water vessels against damage and liability in the event of an accident. Typically, when you get boat insurance from Midwest Professional Insurance, it will cover the below areas:

  • Collision damage: The policy covers any replacement or repairs in case of a collision.
  • Property damage liability: Pays for damage caused to another boat or any other third party loss.
  • Bodily injury liability: If someone else got injured by your boat in an accident, the policy covers legal charges and medical bills.
  • Comprehensive coverage: This policy covers your boat from fire, theft, vandalism, and other natural disasters stated in your policy.

Reasons why you need a boat insurance

Your boat insurance is as important as your car insurance. You are even at more risk on the water because of the many uninsured boaters. You may be careful, but you can’t protect your boat from careless and inexperienced boaters or, worse, the wrath that comes from nature.

That said, you need boat insurance to:

  • Secure your investment against damage or theft
  • Pay for injuries to others and damage to their property
  • Provide emergency assistance when stranded in the water

Even though it’s not mandatory to have boat insurance in your state, it’s important to obtain one for your peace of mind. This way, you will be at ease knowing that you, your boat, and your crew are protected. Not sure where to get boat insurance? At Midwest Professional Insurance, we delight in giving you that dependable boat insurance coverage. Call us today, and our team shall help you find a reliable boat or watercraft policy.

Read More

If you are a boat owner, you already know how important it is to secure your boat. With all the investment you have put into it, it’s ideal for your boat to be adequately insured. Accidents do happen, and for your peace of mind, boat insurance comes in handy. 

What is boat insurance?

Boat/watercraft insurance is a policy that covers sailboats, motorboats, Jet Skis, and other water vessels against damage and liability in the event of an accident. Typically, when you get boat insurance from Midwest Professional Insurance, it will cover the below areas:

  • Collision damage: The policy covers any replacement or repairs in case of a collision.
  • Property damage liability: Pays for damage caused to another boat or any other third party loss.
  • Bodily injury liability: If someone else got injured by your boat in an accident, the policy covers legal charges and medical bills.
  • Comprehensive coverage: This policy covers your boat from fire, theft, vandalism, and other natural disasters stated in your policy.

Reasons why you need a boat insurance

Your boat insurance is as important as your car insurance. You are even at more risk on the water because of the many uninsured boaters. You may be careful, but you can’t protect your boat from careless and inexperienced boaters or, worse, the wrath that comes from nature.

That said, you need boat insurance to:

  • Secure your investment against damage or theft
  • Pay for injuries to others and damage to their property
  • Provide emergency assistance when stranded in the water

Even though it’s not mandatory to have boat insurance in your state, it’s important to obtain one for your peace of mind. This way, you will be at ease knowing that you, your boat, and your crew are protected. Not sure where to get boat insurance? At Midwest Professional Insurance, we delight in giving you that dependable boat insurance coverage. Call us today, and our team shall help you find a reliable boat or watercraft policy.

Servicing States

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  • Missouri
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  • Illinois
  • Idaho
  • Texas

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