Laptop Recovery Insurance: Your Laptop Is At Risk!

February 26, 2009

Can you get your stolen laptop back?

There is a way that you can protect your laptop, and then retrieve your laptop after it’s been stolen.

The Ponemon Institute, a privacy risk management think tank, released an extensive study in June 2008 entitled “Airport Insecurity : The Case of Missing and Lost Laptops.”** They studied laptop security at 106 American airports and found that there is an average of 12,000 laptops lost, missing or stolen at American airports PER WEEK! The airport with the worst record is Los Angeles International, with about 1,200 per week. The nation’s busiest airport, Atlanta’s Hartsfield, was in eighth place with 450 per week.

Further, the study found that only 33% of the laptops within the airport’s Lost and Found Departments are ever reclaimed! That means that the remaining 67% of unclaimed laptops are either sold or disposed of by airport authorities. Can you imagine the amount of sensitive personal and business data contained in those laptops? No one knows what happens to that data, but it is ALL at risk. The Identity Theft risks are astronomical.

In a recovery example, three burglary suspects were arrested on February 1, 2008 by Albuquerque police, thanks to a stolen computer loaded with tracking software. The software is called LoJack for Laptops™, developed by Absolute Software. The tracking software told the police exactly where to find the suspects. The police were also able to recover thousands of dollars in other stolen property at the location.

Absolute Software is the leader in Computer Theft Recovery, Data Protection and Secure Asset Tracking™ solutions. It works this way: You install the LoJack for Laptops™ software and register it at the LoJack website. If the laptop is stolen, you notify your local police and notify the LoJack Recovery Team. The next time your computer is connected to the Internet, the laptop secretly notifies the Monitoring Center of its whereabouts. The Recovery Team can track its location, and provide police with the information they will need to get a search warrant and recover your laptop.

Pricing for LoJack for Laptops™ starts at only $39.99 per year.

My friend here in Atlanta, Cole Harrison, had his laptop stolen from his car recently. He had the Lojack system on the laptop, and notified them immediately when he discovered the theft. Lojack located the laptop the next day…in Thailand.

If you want protect your laptop so you can get it back after it’s been stolen, check out: http://www.lojackforlaptops.com Lojack boasts a 90% recovery rate for stolen laptops.

For only a small price, you can have the proper coverage you need to protect all your personal and business electronics. Be the smartest person on your block with the right protection. Be the hero to your business with the best coverage. YOU CAN DO IT!!

** To read the entire study, go to: http://www.dell.com/downloads/global/services/dell_lost_laptop_study.pdf


Employment Practices Liability: Is Your Business At Risk For a Lawsuit?

February 20, 2009

Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) is insurance that helps protect you against claims from your employees that result from the general conduct of your business.

Are you, the business owner, more likely to be sued by an outsider or by an employee?
The answer in most cases by a significant and growing margin…is an employee.

According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the average number of Employment Practices Liability (EPLI) cases file per year is a staggering 80,000 cases. According to a recent study, the average payout on an employee-related claim is up over 30% to approximately $180,000.

This new wave of litigation is not limited to large corporations. Mid-sized and small businesses are being devastated by EPL lawsuits. A recent case illustrates the problem.

A jury in Philadelphia decided in favor of a plaintiff who worked at a water treatment company with fifteen employees. The plaintiff was subject to national origin slurs and sued. After only deliberating for a half hour, the jury awarded the plaintiff $200,000 in back pay, $100,000 for emotional distress, and $265,000 for the plaintiff’s attorneys, for a total of $565,000.

Other crazy awards:

– A jury awarded $80.7 million to a UPS female supervisor who alleged a male supervisor poked her breast during an argument.

– A New York jury found that the NBA sexually discriminated when it failed to make a woman a regular season referee, awarding $100,000 in lost wages, and $8 million in punitive damages.
– State Farm settled a sex discrimination class action for $157 million;
– Mitsubishi settled two sexual harassment cases arising out of the same incidents for $45 million
– Publix Supermarket announced an $81 million settlement of a sexual harassment lawsuit

Here are only some of the ways that employees can file lawsuits against employers:

1. Wrongful termination of employment
2. Age discrimination
3. Failure to hire or promote
4. Breach of an implied employment contract
5. Negligent hiring or evaluation
6. Sexual or other workplace harassment
7. Retaliatory treatment
8. Infliction of emotional distress
9. Employment related misrepresentation
10. Violation of employment related laws
11. Adverse change in terms of employment
12. Wrongful reference (deprivation of career opportunity)
13. Failure to grant tenure
14. Invasion of privacy
15. Libel, slander or defamation

Businesses are being destroyed by employee lawsuits. The cost to employers includes defense costs and payment of damages. A business has to defend itself in a lawsuit whether or not there is ever a judgment awarded. It can cost thousands of dollars to simply respond to an EEOC charge without any lawsuit.

How You Can Protect Your Business

The best way to protect your business is by creating an Employee Handbook.

Take the time to create employment policies and procedures for your company. The very act of researching and writing down your procedures will enable you to evaluate how you run your business. Once you have written procedures in place and you take care to enforce those procedures, you can better defend your company against employee allegations and lawsuits.

Define hiring processes, and create checklists for the entire hiring process to make sure all laws and procedures are followed.

Define the employee disciplinary and/or termination procedures.

Once you have written the employee handbook, have your attorney review it before it is published.

Once it’s published, meet with every employee, either individually or as a group, and go over the handbook in detail. Require each employee to sign off, indicating that they have received a copy and had the Employee Handbook explained to the employee.

Then, take care to strictly enforce the employment procedures in the law and in your Employee Handbook. That also means that you must train your management team to follow the Employee Handbook procedures.

Insist on an exit interview for every employee laid off or terminated. At that interview, review all issues and have the employee sign off, saying that the issues have been explained, regardless of whether the employee agrees or not.

Finally, business should purchase Employment Practices Liability Insurance. EPLI policies typically cover claims of wrongful discharge, workplace harassment and discrimination. Key elements of coverage for an EPLI policy include defense costs for the business as well as coverage for claims and jury awards.


Worst Insurance Companies: The Top Ten Worst Insurance Companies in America

February 18, 2009

In 2008, the American Association for Justice released a 29-page report entitled “The Ten Worst Insurance Companies In America.” The report was the result of a comprehensive investigation of a blizzard of court documents, FBI records, state insurance department complaints and investigations, news stories from around the nation, and testimony and depositions from former insurance agents and adjusters. The final list includes companies that insure cars, homes, disability, health and life.

One thing that the report shows is that Allstate, State Farm and Liberty Mutual all hired famous management consultant McKinsey and Company to study how they could be more profitable. McKinsey came back with a strategy known as “The Three Ds…Deny, Delay and Defend.” All three companies have used this strategy aggressively to boost profits for their shareholders.

To read the report, go to: http://www.justice.org/docs/tenworstinsurancecompanies.pdf

The list is as follows:

10. Liberty Mutual

Not only has Liberty Mutual pulled out of Coastal states like Florida and Louisiana, but also Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Maryland and big parts of New York.

9. Torchmark

A variety of company subsidiaries sell burial insurance, cancer insurance, and life insurance. The company has been accused of selling minority customers higher priced products than white customers. Its sales tactics have attracted frequent lawsuits from regulators and policyholders.

8. United Health

This health insurer has a reputation for health care reimbursement rates that are so low and so delayed that doctors report patient health is at risk.

7. Farmers

Owned by Swiss insurance giant Zurich Insurance, Farmers is consistently near the bottom of homeowners and auto satisfaction surveys conducted by JD Power and Consumer Reports. As an example of their “profits over people” attitude, note that after the 1994 Northridge CA earthquake, Farmers instituted an employee program called “Bring Back a Billion.” This was an effort to save the company a billion dollars in claims settlements.

6. Wellpoint

Wellpoint is the nation’s largest health insurer, covering over 28 million people. They have been found to routinely cancel policies on pregnant women and chronically ill patients. In 2007, the California Department of Insurance assessed a $12.6 million fine against Wellpoint for “serious violations” in their claims procedures. Wellpoint was also sued by 800,000 doctors for underpaying claims.

5. Conseco

Long-term care insurance is Conseco’s forte. And that usually affects the elderly most. Conseco takes advantage of the calendar, knowing that if it waits long enough, many policyholders submitting claims will die before their claim is paid.

4. State Farm

The largest property casualty insurer in America, who has a long reputation for delaying and denying claims. State Farm has recently announced that it has pulled out of the Mississippi and Florida markets entirely. In 1999, after a giant Oklahoma tornado event, homeowners file a class action lawsuit against State Farm, alleging that the insurer widely undervalued homes. The jury ruled that State Farm had acted “recklessly” and “with malice” toward its own policyholders. And don’t get me started on how State Farm acted after Katrina.

3. AIG

The world’s largest insurer has had massive financial problems of late, with the Congress negotiating a Federal bailout of the insurer in Fall 2008. But besides that, AIG has developed a reputation over the years as a company that fights claims aggressively.

2. UNUM

This Chattanooga, TN based company is one of the nation’s leaders in disability insurance. UNUM has a long reputation for delaying and denying claims. If you want to read an infuriating book about this subject, read “Insult to Injury,” by Ray Bourhis. The author is an attorney that took on UNUM in court. UNUM is regularly the target of insurance department and media investigations for their claims handling tactics.

And…drumroll please…the AAJ choice for number one worst insurance company in America is….

1. ALLSTATE

The AAJ stated that the “good hands” of Allstate should be shown inside boxing gloves. According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), complaints filed against Allstate were greater in number than most all of its major competitors. After Hurricane Katrina, the Louisiana Department of Insurance received over 1,200 complaints against Allstate, which is more than any other company. State Farm had over 700 complaints, and State Farm has the biggest share of the homeowners insurance market in Louisiana. Allstate embraces the McKinsey philosophy, “Delay, Deny and Defend.”

Allstate’s CEO Thomas Wilson summed up the strategies of all the companies when he said, “Our obligation is to earn a return for our shareholders.”


How Do You Divorce Your Government?

February 15, 2009

Our marriage started out great. There we were…she and me against the world. We got busy and created a marriage that the whole world envied. Bunches of people tried to emulate our happiness. Our happy marriage lasted for years.

But, she began listening to others about how our marriage should work. Then the listening became action. She started to steal money out of my wallet. After a while, the stealing became open, and she just demanded the money directly. The worst part of it was that she was giving our money to her friends up north. So, I decided I’d had enough.

In fact, there was that one time that I tried to divorce her. I packed my things and left. I set up a home of my own just south of here. But she refused to let me go peacefully. She got her guns and actually attacked me! After a while, I surrendered and moved back in with her. She stole my home in the south, and has been treating me pretty badly for years.

We had a written agreement on how our marriage was supposed to work. But since the first time I tried to divorce her, she completely ignores our written marriage contract. She does whatever she wants, whenever she wants. She spends money on whatever she fancies at the moment.

Now, our income is not enough for her. So, she has taken to just writing checks to everyone who is willing to accept them as payment. She even sends bad checks overseas to our friends. Some of them have complained.

I know that it’s illegal for her to write all those bad checks. But no one will hold her accountable and arrest her. She just says that our kids and grandkids can make good on the checks, and it’s not her problem. She needs the money NOW.

She stays drunk all the time and she has a horrible temper. If I try to leave her again, she might try to hurt me or even kill me, just so she can stay in control. She breathes out threats to everybody that disagrees with her, saying that everyone who disagrees is her enemy. And she now attacks who she perceives as her enemy.

None of our friends like her any more. They hate what she has become, but they are also afraid of her because she is such a bully.

It’s time that she and I part company for good. She has broken faith with me on every level.

But, how do I divorce her? It didn’t work the first time I tried. Things between us got worse over the years.

Her health is very poor at the moment. Maybe I should just wait until she dies…then I’d be free. But I’m not sure I can wait that long. She could die tomorrow, or hang on for years.

What’s a guy to do?

* * * *

Our hero above wants to be free, but is being held captive by an unholy terror of a wife.
Do you see any similarities between our hero, and the citizens of the United States?

The Federal Government in Washington DC is spinning wildly out of control, just like the obdurate wife in our story. Should not the citizens of the USA , by rights and by the words of Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence, alter or abolish this Government? But, for the life of me, I can’t figure out how it could occur without the secession of the States that comprise the United States of America.

What do you think would happen if the legislature of one or more States passed legislation, signed by their respective Governors, that formally announce that State’s secession from the United States? What if the Governor presented that written document directly to the President?

Would Washington accept it?

Would Washington send troops to regain control by armed force? Would those troops obey direct orders to fire on other USA citizens? I suppose, at that point, the citizens of the state or states that seceded would no longer consider themselves citizens of the USA. So US soldiers could supposedly fire at will. Rules of engagement have been built on lesser justifications.

Would state citizens who were captured be considered “enemy non-combatants” and be shipped to a detainment camp for waterboarding and other forms of torture? The detainment camps are already in place in multiple locations across America.

Would states make attempts to settle with Washington over the monetary values of the states or simply declare that the assets within the boundaries of the state no longer belong to Washington?

Would Washington simply bid them farewell and close ranks?

I make no recommendations, only observations. These are grave times here in America. The nation is descending into a depression, the likes of which have never been experienced in the USA. And when the US gets sick, the whole world will get sick too.

Those in the nation’s capitol, although arguably well-meaning, are like the hero’s wife. The nation is not Washington, and Washington is not the nation.

Is a divorce the only way to end the insanity?

* * * * *

Russell D. Longcore is one of those rare individuals who found the perfect career and loves every minute of his work. Russell has an insurance claim consulting practice in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Russell also owns a publishing company. In his career, he has handled claims as simple as a water leak in a home, and as complicated as multi-million dollar commercial property and liability losses. Russell has a breadth of knowledge and wisdom about insurance, money and life, and writes widely about those issues in publications, newspapers, magazines and blogs. He is married to “his redhead” Julie, and has three wonderful children, and three even more wonderful grandchildren.

Russell can be reached at:

Abigail Morgan Austin Publishing Company
1750 Powder Springs Road, Suite 190
Marietta, Georgia 30064
678-234-2923
Nationwide toll free voice and fax 877-688-5879
Email: russlongcore@gmail.com
Website: http://www.insurance-claim-secrets.com
Weblog: https://russlongcore.wordpress.com


Federal Stimulus Package: Creating Jobs Will Not Fix The Economy

February 11, 2009

President Obama continues to prove to enlightened observers that he knows almost nothing about economics. So far, if there are two choices from which to choose, he and his Administration choose the one that causes the most destruction for America.

Let’s review Economics 101 for a brief moment.

An individual or group of individuals studies the marketplace and decides that there is a demand for a certain product or service. He or they set about meeting that demand by creating that product or service.

A product or service consists of four basic components; materials, labor, overhead and profit, defined below:

Materials are the raw goods used in a product. Think iron or plastic or paper or ideas.

Labor is the cost of changing the raw goods into a finished product. Humans trade their time and ability as labor in exchange for a wage, an agreed-upon amount of money directly connected to the amount of time worked. The process of trading time for dollars is sometimes called a job. Jobs are usually considered in the context of being hired by an employer to provide the labor component of the product.

Overhead is the cost incurred by the business owner/producer, which often includes rent, utilities, taxes and management wages.

Profit is the making of gain in business activity for the benefit of the owners of the business. This is customarily the amount of money retained by the business over and above all costs to produce the product or service.

OK…are we clear? A “job” is only a component of labor cost. It is not an end, but only the means to an end. If a person cannot pay all of their expenses with the income from one job, they must either work a second job, cut their expenses or become educated or trained to qualify for a higher paying job.

Mr. Obama stated in his first Presidential press conference that he wants to create 4 million jobs with his stimulus package of almost $800 BILLION DOLLARS.

Obama and his staff have determined that there is a demand for JOBS. But if a job is a labor cost of product or service, what product or service is going to be created? And who decided?

Further, it will take months and months for this “stimulus” money to trickle down into the economy. Have you ever tried to get a Federal or State contract to do work? Takes forever for them to move. Many road projects are planned years ahead of time. Also, a road contractor doesn’t just hire warm bodies to work a paving crew. There has to be skill on the part of the worker.

The only way that the Federal government can create jobs is to hire large groups of people to do menial tasks that require almost no training. Now, is the government going to hire them through a union, or are they going to be non-union? Who will set their labor rates? Who will make job descriptions? Who will manage the workers?

Then, in the end of all this casting about on the part of Congress and the new President, what will happen when the government stops spending this counterfeit money? They created a false demand, and the demand will vanish when the checkbook closes.

So, the economy will crash again, and all those stimulus-paid workers will once again be unemployed.

Ladies and gentlemen, government cannot create anything. It is the leech and the individual citizen is the host. Government relies on armed force to take from one person and give to another.

The Utilitarians who are running the government, Republican and Democrat, are destroying America as fast as they can. You must provide for your own well-being, and stop assisting the government is stealing from you and your neighbors.


Internet Marketing: Brad Callen’s New Keyword Search Tool is Fantastic!

February 2, 2009

Brad Callen is one of the foremost Internet marketers and Internet innovators in the world today. He has just released a new free piece of software that will make keyword research far easier than ever before. And you can download a copy FREE today!

Long gone are the days of clunky, standalone, research tools. Having created over 15 best selling software applications for the internet marketing community, Brad has created a tool that will save you time, and make you and your business a heck of a lot more money from the internet.

After 8 months, and over $127,000 in development costs, Brad’s team created a new tool that revolutionizes the way keyword research and competition spying is done. Instead of downloading a bulky desktop application to your computer, you’ll be downloading a very, very small plugin that actually runs INSIDE of your web browser (Firefox only).

With this tiny plugin, you’ll be able to uncover more helpful information about your competition, and how they’re making money online, than you ever could with ANY other current tool on the market – and you’ll be able to do it as you simply browse the internet!

With the information PPC Web Spy provides, you’ll be able to take a struggling internet business and almost instantly turn it into a profitable business!

I’m sure you’ll agree when I say that “keywords” are the backbone and foundation of an online business. Keywords are how people find your website. Without keywords, nobody would ever find your site, and purchase whatever it is you’re selling.

When broken down into its simplest form, what separates a failing online business from a thriving one is that the thriving business knows EXACTLY which keywords will send “buyers” to their website…while the failing internet business (99% of internet businesses) are blindly guessing which keywords to advertise with.

Based on this extremely simplistic view, we know that in order to have a successful internet business, we MUST know with 100% certainty which keywords are going to send potential buyers to our website – people that are actually looking to purchase whatever it is we’re selling.

Now, the question is…

How in the world do we know which keywords to advertise and base our business on?

This is where PPC Web Spy comes into play…

With PPC Web Spy, you’ll be able to uncover all of the keywords that successful businesses are already making money with. Then, you’ll be able to take those keywords and advertise your own business.

Let me give you an example…

Let’s say you were selling a “how to make money on the internet” eBook. You would use PPC Web Spy to show you all of the keywords that a very well-known, proven, “how to make money on the internet” eBook seller was already advertising with.

Instead of you spending months and even years figuring out which keywords could potential make you money, you can simply swoop in and take the keywords from this successful eBook seller… The keywords that probably took them months or years to uncover.

Then, just advertise your own eBook with those keywords and you can expect similar results!

What can YOU do with PPC Web Spy?

Here’s a brief rundown of the specific “features” within PPC Web Spy

You’ll be able to quickly and easily uncover any Google Adwords advertiser’s keywords in only a few seconds! Then, simply take those keywords and advertise your own product or service and get ready for the money to come rolling in!

You’ll be able to see critical Adwords data relating to each keyword. Data such as:

• The actual Adwords ads your competitors have written for each keyword

• The Cost Per Click, or amount your competitors are paying for each keywords they’re bidding on

• Your competitor’s Adwords rank, so you’ll be able to determine how much money you should be spending to get your site to a similar rank, to expect similar results.

• The total daily amount your competition is spending via Google Adwords

• And much more!

You can use PPC Web Spy to generate your own giant list of keywords based upon any of the individual keywords your competition is using!

You can also generate a giant, targeted keyword list by inputting your competitor’s domain name, allowing you to build an even larger, more targeted keyword list!

You’ll be able to immediately see which Adwords advertisers are people promoting Clickbank.com, Paydotcom.com, or Amazon.com products!

Doing this will allow you to find potential super affiliates. Once you’ve done that, you can use PPC Web Spy to “steal” their keywords, advertise the same product, and bank the money yourself!

You’ll even be able to see the exact landing page (i.e. destination URL) that each Adwords advertiser is sending visitors to, WITHOUT actually clicking on their Adwords ad and charging them money.

What do all of these features mean for YOU?

It means that you’ll be able to shave off hours, days, months, and even years of time doing keyword research and testing exactly which keywords convert visitors to buyers. It means you won’t have to waste massive amounts of money as you slowly figure out your market’s “best” keywords.

I can guarantee you that PPC Web Spy saves you both time & money… and because PPC Web Spy is not a bulky, standalone, desktop application, you’ll be able to save money and time as you causally browse Google like you normally would. It’s VERY cool, and powerful.

For a limited time, Brad is permitting me to give you a free copy of PPC Web Spy, so you can start benefiting from it today. After you start seeing results, all I ask is that you send me a testimonial telling me exactly how PPC Web Spy has helped you grow your online business.

I’m extremely excited about this new tool and am sure it will completely change the way keyword research and competition spying is done on the internet as we know it. After you download and install it, I know you’ll agree.

For a free download of PPC Web Spy CLICK HERE NOW


Insurance Regulation: Florida Braces As State Farm Waves Goodbye

February 1, 2009

This week, State Farm Insurance Company, the largest private property insurer in the state, announced that they are pulling out of Florida after sustaining huge losses and being denied rate increases.

I am no fan of the games and scams of the insurance industry. Even though insurance makes our modern lives and way of life possible, it is fraught with problems. Insurance companies regularly mistreat their own customers. They delay, deny and minimize claims as standard operating procedure. But they also pay a lot of claims, too, and deserve to make a profit.

Into this environment come the insurance regulators of the 50 states. They try to protect the consumer. Their regulations swing from too much to too little, just like a pendulum. But, right now in Florida, the insurance regulators’ pendulum has swung to over-regulation. The regulators and state legislators have bungled the insurance marketplace in Florida, and consumers are going to get burned.

The Florida Department of Insurance has not produced evidence that the insurance market has failed, which might explain stiff price regulation in lieu of simply allowing competition in the marketplace to regulate premiums.

During the last 15-year period, Florida insurers have been unprofitable as a group. Dozens of insurers have stopped operating in the state. Simply denying rate increases does not benefit consumers. As insurers stop writing policies in Florida, reducing competition makes consumers worse off, with higher premiums and limited choices.

In response to insurance company exits since Hurricane Andrew, Florida legislators created Citizens Property Insurance Corporation (CPIC), an unprofitable state-run insurer that sells its policies below cost. This ridiculous pricing, paired with insurer exits, makes CPIC the insurer of over half of Florida’s homeowners. Because CPIC is losing money, and owned by the state, these losses will eventually require taxpayers and consumers to bail out yet another insolvent corporation.

With State Farm’s departure from Florida, CPIC may end up insuring 80% of the homes in the state. CPIC is nearly insolvent right now. All it will take is one more major catastrophic hurricane to finish it off. However, it will be the Florida consumers and taxpayers that will be finished off when they are forced by the state legislature to bail out the state-run insurer.

The over-regulation of insurance companies was also recently shown in New Jersey. Just like in Florida, New Jersey lawmakers and regulators had over-regulated the car insurance marketplace to the point that insurance companies left the state in droves. New Jersey drivers found it nearly impossible to buy car insurance at any price. In 2003, the lawmakers and regulators regained their sanity and enacted reforms that brought back competitive pricing to car insurance. Rates are dropping and citizens can once again find affordable car insurance in New Jersey.

State regulators sometimes do more harm than good.