Car Insurance Orlando: Top Tips for Tire Care

Car Insurance Orlando: Top Tips for Tire Care Car Insurance Orlando Top Tips for Tire Care

When drivers think of vehicle safety there are a couple things that generally come to mind, but proper tire care might not be one of them. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), only 19 percent of drivers take preventive care when it comes to regularly maintaining their tire pressure. They estimate that one in four vehicles in America have at least one tire that is dangerously under-inflated. While vehicles produced after 2007 have integrated Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS) which will alert the driver when a tire is severely under-inflated, below 25 percent of the necessary pressure for safe operation, drivers should make a regular effort to check not only their tire pressure, but also their overall look, feel and condition to avoid flats, blow-outs and other conditions which lead to hundreds of fatalities each year.

Maintaining the correct tire pressure can also help improve your vehicle’s fuel economy saving drivers an average of ten cents on every gallon. Additional routine tire maintenance such as rotation every 5-8 thousand miles and maintaining proper alignment can also help improve the safety and longevity of your tires and overall save drivers money. Rubber and other tire components can deteriorate over time; this process is often accelerated by weather, storage and environmental conditions. Although deterioration is often difficult to detect because it happens on a molecular level, making routing checks on the over-all condition of the tires can help drivers monitor any noticeable cracking, pealing, punctures or other deterioration which may be weakening the tires.

Knowing when to replace your vehicle’s tires is important, as is choosing the best tires to fit your driving habits and typical driving environment. The NHTSA recommends that drivers check their tread monthly to monitor their aging, durability and tread –wear. Professionals recommend an easy do-it-yourself tread test which involves placing a standard American penny in the groove of the tread. Place the penny with President Lincoln’s head down in the tread facing you. If you can see the top of his head then it is time to replace the tire.  When replacing vehicle tires, there are different models often recommended for a vehicle based on the type of performance desired. Choosing the right tires to fit your needs might take a little research, but it essential to the safety and performance of your vehicle.

At Newman Crane, we are devoted to helping you protect yourself, your loved ones and your assets. That’s why we proudly offer a complete portfolio of personal insurance solutions to ensure that our clients find the best solutions to fit their needs and lifestyles. If you are looking for car insurance in Orlando, our Orlando auto insurance specialists can help craft a policy that will protect you on and off the road.  Give us a call today at (407) 859-3691 to learn more about getting the best car insurance Orlando has to offer.

Posted in Auto Insurance, Orlando Auto | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Orlando Manufacturing Insurance: Rethinking “Waste” Materials

Orlando Manufacturing Insurance: Rethinking “Waste” Materials Orlando Manufacturing Insurance Rethinking “Waste” Materials

The Atlanta Business Journal recently reported that the Coca-Cola Company filed for a patent on a new packaging concept that has captured some public attention. While the beverage retail manufacturing giant refused to go into detail about the new packaging, the patent application suggests that the company is looking into manufacturing drink packages which combine paper, cardboard and citrus fibers in what Coke calls the “Peelpack” alluding to the peal of the citrus fruits they intend on utilizing. Which beverages will be clad in the new packaging remains to be seen, but experts suggest that the Minute-Made brand products are a likely fit for the new citrus-centric packaging design.

What is most intriguing about Coke’s new packaging concept, from a manufacturing standpoint, is the ingenuity and thought process which may have brought about the design. All manufacturing operations are familiar with the fact that product making has an inherent level of waste production. Whether you are working with wood, metal, plastic or other materials scraps, excess trimmings and other “unusable” waste is generated many times throughout the process. Many of these materials are collected and repurposed during other stages of production.

Coke has taken this commonplace manufacturing phenomenon and would seem to be adjusting their packaging strategy to it. There is no doubt that citrus pulp is abundant in many Coca-Cola brand production plants as it is a natural byproduct of the juice process. This pulp would generally be discarded as wasted, and until now represented a huge amount of lost potential. Some commentators have commended Coke for the innovative waste reduction tactic, noting that utilizing such fibers might actually make the packaging and products more sustainable.

Reducing waste and repurposing materials is always a strong strategy in manufacturing for cutting costs and overall increasing efficiency and productivity.  This process can also help reduce manufacturer’s liability when it comes to environmental impacts and waste production.

At Newman Crane, we understand that the manufacturing industry is a complex and dynamic climate. That’s why we specialize in helping our clients find comprehensive risk management and Orlando commercial insurance solutions to meet their uniquely specific needs. Our Orlando Manufacturing Insurance specialists can help business owners find complete coverage applicable to their needs and risk exposures. From workers compensation to employee fraud, we have your commercial insurance needs covered so you can focus on betting your products and streamlining your operation. Give our Orlando Manufacturing Insurance specialists a call today at (407) 859-3691 to learn more.

Posted in Manufacturing Insurance, Orlando | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Orlando Homeowner’s Insurance: What is a Homeowners Association?

Orlando Homeowner’s Insurance: What is a Homeowners Association? Orlando Homeowner’s Insurance What is a Homeowners Association

Last year an estimated 328,500 communities housing over 65 million individuals were reportedly part of a community association, and thousands more communities are forming official associations each year. Community associations, more commonly known as homeowners associations (HOAs), play a vital role in the upkeep, safety and well-being of a neighborhood.

What is a HOA?

HOAs are essentially a legal entity which governs over a housing subdivision, planned community or condominium complex that makes and enforces regulations for the properties within its jurisdiction. An HOA is comprised of property owners in the community, often elected into office, which oversee and advocate for the overall benefit of a community. Association participation is mandatory for homeowners in an HOA community and monthly or annual dues at collected from property owners to pay for upkeep of common areas such as parks, recreational facilities, and swimming pools and often has the power collect extra fees from homeowners should the association lack funds for unexpected repairs.

What is the HOA responsible for? 

One of the HOA’s primary functions is to assume responsibility for and protect all common areas from theft, damage, and assume liability for any injuries which may occur on community property. The HOA however, is responsible for community owned property such as security gates, green areas, pools and other recreational amenities, community parking structures and community vegetation. Depending on city ordinances, a HOA may even have jurisdiction over streets and sidewalks within a community. For condos, this means that the association is responsible for insuring the building, utilities infrastructures, and other structures while individual condo owners are primarily responsible for insuring the interior of their spaced and their own property.

However, an HOA has less responsibility when it comes to protecting Central Florida homeowners’ property. While the HOA will certainly enforce rules about how the exterior of your home should be up-kept and the appropriate length of time you are permitted to leave out your trash cans, they have little liability in regards to protecting your home from damages or losses.

Homeowners are responsible for not only the interior of their dwelling, but their entire property including building exteriors, utility infrastructures, porches, patios, yards garages and all non-communal structures which lie on their property. They are also responsible for any accident or injuries which occur on their personal property or involving their property.  As such, the need for Orlando homeowner’s insurance can never be understated.

At Newman Crane we specialize in helping Orlando residents find the best personal insurance solutions to protect themselves, their loved ones and their assets. Our Orlando homeowner’s insurance is designed to provide financial protection against your property from losses that occur from theft, vandalism, natural disaster and countless more risk exposures. Give our Orlando homeowner’s insurance specialists a call today at (407) 859-3691 to learn more about keeping your property protected.

Posted in Homeowners Insurance, Orlando Homeowners | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Basic Orlando Surety Bonds for Contractors

Basic Orlando Surety Bonds for Contractors Basic Orlando Surety Bonds for Contractors

Surety Bonds are essential for many Orlando Commercial businesses, especially those in construction and land development industries. In our last post we discussed how the surety process works and what it means to be bonded. In this post, we would like to outline a few types of surety bonds that are most commonly encountered throughout the construction industry.

License Bond- One of the first type of surety bonds construction industry members will encounter are license bonds, which are often required by federal, state and local regulations in order for a contractor to legally attain a Florida license and operate on a commercial development project. Bond amount requirements will vary depending on your division. For example General Contractors require a $20,000 bond amount and at least a 660 FICO credit score at the time of application while Florida Construction Industry bonds must be attained in the amount of $100,000.

Bid bonds- While not all construction projects require bid bonds, they are required when bidding on federal and often state commercial construction projects.  Project owners often request that bidders provide proof of these bonds to be submitted along with the financial proposals for the project.  Bid bonds are essentially a guarantee from the contractor to the project owner that the contractor is capable of completing the job at the bid price.

Payment bonds- These bonds are also posted by contractors as proof of funds and financial stability to pay subcontractors and material suppliers.  The Federal Miller Act requires these bonds of projects that cost $100,000 or more as well as any publically funded project. Payment bonds are closely associated with performance bonds.

Performance bonds- Performance bonds are designed to protect project owners from poor or incomplete project completion. The bonds are a guarantee that a contractor will fulfill the contract as outlined, in a timely manner and to the quality specifications detailed in the contract. Should the project owner not be satisfied upon completion, and the contractor be found liable, the surety company is ultimately responsible for reimbursing the project owner the full amount of the bond, and will often seek reimbursement from the contractor.

Attaining the right Orlando surety bonds is essential for contractors. At Newman Crane, we can help. Our surety specialists work closely with many local contractors and other business owners, to help them set up Orlando Contractor bonds that are carefully designed to cover their specific exposures. We are proud to offer a complete portfolio of bonding and Orlando business insurance solutions to operations throughout Central Florida. For more information, give our Orlando Surety Bond specialists a call today at (407) 859-3691.

Posted in Contractor Insurance, Surety | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How Well Do You Understand Orlando Surety Bonds?

How Well Do You Understand Orlando Surety Bonds? How Well Do You Understand Orlando Surety Bonds?

Most contractors, land developers and foremen understand that being bonded is essential in order to compete in the Orlando’s commercial construction industry, but how well do you understand the process? Many professionals don’t, so here is a helpful guide to understanding surety bonds and the bonding process.

What are Surety Bonds?

Surety bonds are commonly defined as a three party agreement which guarantee to an obligee that the contracting entity will complete a project according to the terms specified in the contract and properly pay their bills and expenses. Surety bonds are essentially designed not to benefit the contractor, but to protect the project owner.  While a contractor’s own business insurance policy is designed to help mitigate their own financial losses, surety bonds are a financial agreement between a business and a bonding company that transfer financial responsibility to the surety company in the event that something goes wrong in the business transaction.

It is important to note that unlike insurance claims, surety claims are not caused by accidents. Surety claims arise when a contractor is unable to fulfill their contractual requirements for some reason. In these cases the surety company is obligated to find another contractor to fulfill the contract or compensate the third party for their financial loss.

The Bonding Process

The process of getting bonded itself might seem a bit complicated. The first step of the process is to contact an agency or brokerage that specializes in securing Orlando surety bonds. The agent or broker will likely set up a meeting to discuss the specific needs of your business, before submitting a bond request to the specific surety company that they believe will best meet the needs and requirements of your business.

Finding the right surety producers is vitally important when seeking bonds in Orlando. Luckily, we can help. At Newman Crane, our surety specialists work closely with many local contractors and other business owners, to help them set up bonds that are carefully designed to cover their specific exposures. We are proud to offer a complete portfolio of bonding and business insurance solutions to operations throughout Central Florida. For more information, give our Orlando Surety Bond specialists a call today at (407) 859-3691. 

Posted in Orlando, Orlando Business Insurance, Orlando Commercial Insurance, Surety | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Orlando Business Insurance: Commercial Shipping Gets Competitive

Orlando Business Insurance: Commercial Shipping Gets Competitive Orlando Business Insurance Commercial Shipping Gets Competitive

FedEx and UPS have expressed intentions of raising ground shipping rates in 2015. Both companies are preparing to incorporate dimensional weight pricing for all parcels utilizing U.S. ground service next year. The new policy change will essentially incorporate the amount of space a parcel takes up on a truck into the overall pricing, in some cases placing more emphasis on volume than a package’s actual weight. This pricing method has traditionally been reserved for large packages, typically larger than three cubic feet, as well as for air and express deliveries, which can be quite costly. As a result, ground shipments have remained the least expensive option for many American businesses. The change is expected to affect roughly a third of all FedEx ground business and could increase rates for shippers up to 30 percent.

Many operations may seek to change packaging size and shapes to avoid steep increases in their cost of operations, but there may also be another option for businesses with less flexibility or control over their product packaging. The United States Postal Service (USPS) recently announced their plans to lower the cost of Priority Mail shipping for businesses. The USPS hopes to encourage more businesses to choose the USPS for their shipping needs over their private competitors and raise the USPS’s profile in the commercial shipping industry. The USPS decision comes much to the dismay of private sector shipping service providers, as FedEx and UPS have outwardly spoken-out against the rate decrease which goes into effect September 7th, 2014. FedEx representative have reportedly told the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) that by decreasing their Priority Mail shipping prices, the U.S. Postal Service is threatening the private sector’s ability to compete for commercial and ecommerce business.

Experts suggest that depending on the shipping parameters, businesses can save upwards of 50 percent per 9-22 pound package by shipping through the U.S. Postal Service.  This could be great news for Orlando businesses looking to cut costs and maintain their bottom line in the hyper competitive ecommerce economy.

At Newman Crane, we understand that cost is a huge factor in business decision making, and balancing quality with cost efficiency is always a challenge. That’s why we are dedicated to providing quality Orlando business insurance solutions at highly competitive rates. Our commercial insurance specialists have experience working with all types of businesses, large and small, implementing risk management strategies that protect our clients from the countless exposures they face on a daily basis. From developing an employee benefits strategy to complete property and liability coverage options our Orlando business insurance specialists can devise a comprehensive plan to protect all your business assets. To get started, give us a call today at (407) 859-3691. 

Posted in Business Insurance, Commercial Insurance | Tagged , , | Leave a comment