NEWS & ARTICLES FROM Baer Insurance Services

Baer Insurance Employment Opportunity – Account Manager

Baer Insurance is a well-established, independent insurance agency on Madison’s West Side looking to grow our team. As an account manager your knowledge and understanding of the marketplace and insurance industry will ensure you provide valuable support and exceptional service to your clients. We are committed to investing in the tools and resources you need to be successful, and to providing opportunities for personal growth.


Key Responsibilities include:

  • Providing client service such as administration needs on customer policies, coverages, claims and billing.

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Identifying and Avoiding Phone Scams

Every year, people report fraud, identity theft and bad business practices to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and law enforcement partners. According to FTC data, nearly 3 million people reported fraud in the past year, and 1 in 4 said they also lost money. The median loss in scams that start with a call is $1,200, higher than any other contact method.

As such, the chances are likely that you have or will be on the receiving end of a phone scam.…

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Insurance For Newlyweds – Things To Think About

Here are some things to think about when it comes to carrying insurance as a couple. Use the topics in this article as a way to start a discussion about your insurance needs. We can then help you narrow down your options.

Auto Insurance

If you and your spouse have separate auto insurance policies, it may be wise to combine them. Get quotes from each of your carriers, and shop around to see if any others offer multivehicle discounts.

Keep in mind that it may not always make sense to bundle your car insurance policies.…

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Throwing A Party At Home? Have Fun. Be Smart.

Hosting a party at your home can be a fun way to connect with your friends and family. However, it’s important to ensure that your guests will be safe and secure while you’re hosting them.

Here are some considerations for protecting guests and your home during a party:

  • Slips and falls are the most common dangers in residential properties. To protect your guests, clear your driveway and make sure that rugs or cords don’t create tripping hazards.
  • If you serve alcohol during a party, you can be held liable for a guest who becomes intoxicated and then drives home.
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COVID-19: Reporting Work Comp Payroll During Furlough

In this difficult time business owners have been forced to make many challenging decisions, such as furloughing their employees.  This information is for those that have decided to continue to pay their employees out of their own pockets during this National Emergency.

The Wisconsin Compensation Rating Bureau (WCRB) has made a decision on how furlough pay will be reported by business owners:

Rule V – Premium Basis – H. Wages For Time Not Worked Wages paid to employees who have been furloughed during the time period where a state-wide emergency order issued by a public official, whether or not the employer is exempted from the emergency order, shall be reported at audit under stat code 0012 – Paid Furloughed Workers During A Governmental Emergency Order Impacting Employment.…

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Basics of Extended Homeowners Replacement Coverage

When purchasing coverage for their home, too many policyholders often make the mistake of simply insuring it for the resale value. However, should a flood, storm or other event occur, they may find that the cost to rebuild far exceeds the original purchase price. This discrepancy can occur for a variety of reasons, including inflated construction costs following catastrophic events that impact multiple homes in a particular area.

To truly protect themselves, extended replacement coverage is essential. This form of coverage provides a benefit over and above the policy limits for replacing a damaged house.…

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Drug Testing Policies and Work Comp: How They Affect Each Other

Consider the following scenario. You have had an employee injured on a job site and your HR policy indicates that you need to have that employee drug tested. You think nothing of it because it’s standard practice, however, what if the employee fails the drug test? Your HR policy states that there are now grounds for termination. In compliance with your stated policies, you fire the injured employee. But have you thought about how the Workers Compensation responds?

This is a very challenging topic that many employers have been faced with, and a topic I have recently helped one of my clients navigate.…

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Design-Build Liability, I’m covered right?

We are often asked about the need for professional liability coverage when we’re conducting our business assessment with general contractors and design-build firms. Our answer usually surprises even the most sophisticated firms. Though design services may or may not be specifically excluded in General Liability (GL) policies, the amount of coverage and support offered is very limited at best. These limitations create a coverage gap for firms that are involved in project design because of the specific damages they are designed to cover; bodily injury or property damage.…

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OSHA 300 New Deadline! Are you ready?

March 2nd is the new deadline to electronically report your OSHA 300A (summary of work related injury and illness) for 2018 data.  If you are currently tracking this information with OSHA 300, this will be a brand new means and deadline for reporting. According to OSHA’s website, certain high-risk industries are required to report by this date.  It is in your best interest to be proactive and see if your company is included in that, and not rely on OSHA to notify you.…

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What is your “Why”?

Insurance policies and risk management strategies are traditionally slow to change, is your insurance provider helping you to get ahead of the curve?

In my last blog I addressed some of the issues we see in the commercial insurance industry that negatively impact businesses and their employees. Though each business we work with has unique needs, we have been told by our clients that the education and enlightenment we provide is worth the time they spend with us. Our clients choose Baer because we help them define a risk management strategy, provide the tools and encouragement they need to take action, and most of all help hold them accountable to executing that strategy.…

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Surprise! OSHA is on your job site!

Did you know that OSHA personnel can visit your business or job site without any event or complaint? OSHA’s National Emphasis Programs (NEPs) exist to recognize and mitigate specific hazards and high hazard industries. If your business falls within an NEP, you could be next in line for a surprise visit. There is no phone call, email or letter informing you of this visit, a compliance officer will just show up at your business or job site.

Imagine starting your day by finding out that OSHA is on site.…

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Rethinking the Commercial Insurance Experience

The commercial insurance buying experience is a mess. For too long agents, and in turn clients, have been making decisions based on a flawed process. The buyer determines it’s time to “shop” their insurance. They reach out to their current representative and maybe 1 or 2 more agents, “Bring me quotes,” they say. The agents jump, collecting current insurance information, determining what companies to get quotes from and finding the best, “can’t be beat” pricing. Because we as insurance professionals are willing to engage in this manner, the buying decisions are made based on price and a few ancillary “throw-in” features or benefits.…

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Uninsured and Underinsured Motorists

Unfortunately, many people wrongly assume that auto and umbrella insurance policies will provide reimbursement for all aspects of an accident on the road. Instead, both of these policies cover your own liability and provide compensation to others in the event that you are responsible for an accident. However, if another driver causes an accident and doesn’t have enough insurance coverage to compensate you, your own auto or umbrella policies may not be enough.

If another driver doesn’t have enough insurance coverage to pay for your medical bills, you could face extremely high costs or lengthy court battles.…

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Latest Safety Features for New Car Shoppers

Vehicle technology seems to advance each year, as new features improve driver and passenger safety. The following are just a few driver-assist features to be aware of the next time you’re in the market for a new vehicle:

  • Adaptive cruise control: This type of cruise control automatically speeds or slows down your car based on the actions of the vehicles in front of you. This tool can help reduce the likelihood and severity of rear-end collisions.
  • Automatic braking: Automatic braking devices are designed to reduce the severity of high-speed collisions in the event of a lapse of driver attention.
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The Independent Agent Advantage

What do I give up by not using a licensed independent agent to purchase insurance?

The disadvantage of not using a licensed agent to purchase insurance is that the policyholder does not receive as much, or often any, personal service. A licensed agent with whom there is direct contact can be vital when purchasing a product and absolutely necessary when filing a claim. Without an agent to act as your personal advocate during the claims process, you are left to take care of the details on your own.…

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Lightning and Summer Storms

Lightning storms are incredibly dangerous and more deadly than tornadoes, floods and hurricanes. When a storm is on the verge of striking your area, you need to know the steps to take in order to protect your family and home.

Use these tips to stay safe during a lightning storm:

  • Seek shelter in an enclosed building, if possible.
  • If you are in a car, stay inside and keep the windows securely rolled up.
  • Do not use a small shed, pavilion or lean-to as shelter—they do not provide enough protection.
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Quick Tips for Safe RV Usage

Recreational vehicles (RVs) can be a fun way to see the country and spend time with your family. However, because they’re bigger and heavier than an average car, there are additional hazards that come with owning and operating an RV.

Many RV accidents can be avoided by following these helpful tips:

  • Know the weight capacity of your RV.
  • Perform a complete pre-trip inspection. Check the tire pressure, tread depth, headlights, tail lights, turn signals, belts, oil levels, hitch and other towing equipment, and windshield wipers before leaving.
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Quick Tips for Safe RV Usage

Recreational vehicles (RVs) can be a fun way to see the country and spend time with your family. However, because they’re bigger and heavier than an average car, there are additional hazards that come with owning and operating an RV.

Many RV accidents can be avoided by following these helpful tips:

  • Know the weight capacity of your RV.
  • Perform a complete pre-trip inspection. Check the tire pressure, tread depth, headlights, tail lights, turn signals, belts, oil levels, hitch and other towing equipment, and windshield wipers before leaving.
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Is Gap Coverage Right for You?

Guaranteed asset protection, or gap insurance is an optional automobile coverage that helps you transfer the financial risk if you are involved in an auto accident and you owe more for your vehicle than the amount that it’s worth.
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Making Sure You Have the Right Auto Coverage

Dropping some of your coverage—like comprehensive or collision—to the lowest legal level can cut your premium, but it could also put you at serious risk.

An automobile insurance policy is designed to provide you with a level of protection against property, liability and medical costs if you are involved in an accident.

  • Property coverage pays for damage to or theft of your car.
  • Liability coverage pays for your legal responsibility to others for bodily injury or property damage.
  • Medical coverage pays for the cost of treating injuries, rehabilitation and sometimes lost wages and funeral expenses.
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Are You Prepared for a Home Break-in?

While it may be difficult to imagine it happening to you, home break-ins are a common occurrence. If an intruder enters your home, your property and the well-being of your loved ones are at risk.

In order to protect your home and family from an intruder, consider doing the following:

  • Put an emergency plan in place and discuss it with everyone in your household.
  • Take any measure possible to let the intruder know someone is home and aware of his or her presence.
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Remember Risk! Planning for Financial Stability

Obtaining the peace of mind financial stability brings starts with reviewing your current financial resources. This is important because your financial resources affect not only your ability to reach your goals, but your ability to protect those goals from potential financial crises. These are the resources you will draw on to meet various life events.

Start by calculating your net worth—this isn’t as difficult as it might sound. Your net worth is simply the total value of what you own: your assets, minus what you owe (your liabilities).…

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Christmas Safety Reminder for Home or Office

For many of us, the holiday season is a time of joy, celebration and tradition. We look forward to hosting or attending festive gatherings or concerts. We travel near and far to share in the spirit of the season with family, friends and co-workers. We cook more, shop more and decorate more.

However, all that extra cooking, traveling, shopping, celebrating and decorating we do can post potentially serious hazards at home, in the office and on the road. Reports from leading safety organizations indicate that the time from Thanksgiving through the New Year is also one of the most dangerous for homeowners.…

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Insuring Your College Student

When your child leaves for college, it is a big event. One thing that you should think about is your insurance coverage and how it could change with your son or daughter away at school.

Protecting Your Student’s Belongings

Many homeowners policies consider a dorm room as an extension of your home, so items your child keeps there may be covered to some extent. However, if your child has expensive electronic equipment or furniture, you may want to consider purchasing additional coverage.…

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Boat Insurance for Smooth Sailing

You can insure just about any kind of vessel, whether you have a yacht, speed boat or personal watercraft like a JetSki. Every type of boat has the potential to be stolen or damaged, and can be involved in an incident that results in harm to another person or their property. Even if your boat is docked or stored in your garage, it can potentially be vandalized, damaged in a fire or storm, or stolen.

Many owners of small watercraft such as canoes, rafts and kayaks assume they will be covered under a homeowners or renters policy.…

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Grilling Safety Reminders For Your Summer BBQ

Though grilling is an extremely popular way to prepare food in the summer, it can also be dangerous. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, gas and charcoal grills account for an average of 10 deaths and 100 injuries annually. Additionally, the National Fire Protection Association reports that an average of 8,900 home fires are caused by grilling each year.

This year, keep the following safety suggestions in mind when you go to fire up your grill:

  • Make sure your grill is at least 3 feet away from other objects including your house, trees and outdoor seating.
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Summer Water Safety Refresher

Summer Water Safety Refresher

  • Teach children water safety and swimming skills as early as possible.
  • Always brief babysitters on water safety, emphasizing the need for constant supervision.
  • Appoint a “designated watcher” to monitor children during social gatherings at or near pools.
  • Equip doors and windows that exit to a pool area with alarms.
  • Install a poolside phone, preferably a cordless model, with emergency numbers programmed into speed-dial.
  • Post CPR instructions and learn the procedures.
  • Keep rescue equipment poolside. Don’t wait for the paramedics to arrive because you will lose valuable life-saving seconds.
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Facts About Flash Floods

Flash floods occur as a result of heavy rainfall, rapid snow thaw, city drains overflowing or dam/levee failures. They occur quickly and unexpectedly, within 6 hours of the events that caused them. Here are more facts to give you an idea of how dangerous flash floods can be:

  • Every region in the United States can be affected by flash floods, especially low-lying areas: near river beds and coastlines.
  • Cities are more likely to be affected by flash floods due to the predominant impermeable surfaces, such as asphalt, and the lack of natural drainage systems.
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