Bryson Blog

Understanding the Bill of Lading - Webinar

Developing a better understanding of the Bill of Lading is essential for transportation professionals.

Topics discussed include:

  • What is the difference between the shipper or carrier issuing a Bill of Lading?
  • What is a declared value shipment and what is the intent behind it?
  • What are the best carrier practices when dealing with a declared value Bill of Lading?
  • What are some best practices for carriers carrying temperature dependent cargo to minimize risk?
  • What should a driver do when they are not able to view the shipment loaded?
  • What common claims does Shubham see that he believes should be easily preventable?

About the Presenter: Shubham Gupta

Since immigrating to Canada in 2012, Shubham Gupta has held various positions as a claims professional, working for a broker, an insurer and two adjusting firms. Currently, as an independent claims consultant, he is associated with SIAdvisers Consulting & Solutions Inc., providing claims adjusting services. He specializes in Motor Truck Cargo Legal Liability and Commercial General Liability Claims. He is a published author of a book titled "Understanding the basics of Liability Claims - an adjuster's perspective", and also blogs about Canadian Caselaw at 4theloveofinsurance.com.

What is the liability risk of a simple tire swap?

Another liability insurance article?  Yes, this is an important read. It is important to consider what it may be like for you and your business when you don’t have proper liability limits on your insurance.

This story begins like every other routine tire and brake inspection…

  • Garage takes possession of a customer’s car and brings it into the shop.grey car hoisted getting wheels changed at garage in ajax ontario
  • Pulls off the tires and inspects both the tires and brakes.
  • All seems in good order.
  • Throw a lube, oil and filter and off the customer goes with his car.

As you noticed, nothing out of the ordinary about this story so far. 

Your customer picks up their car, thanks your team and drives off...

The customer picks up the car and drives the short distance home without incident.   The next day he jumps in the car and on his commute to work gets on a small highway. Now driving at speeds greater than 90 kilometers per hour is where the story will change from ordinary to scary.  He hears a noise. The car shakes and the front passenger wheel comes off.   The car, in traffic, slams down on its rotor as the wheel crosses the next lane, fortunately missing other cars before spinning off the shoulder into the brush along the highway.  The driver, your customer, fortunately wrestled the car without further damage to the vehicles around him.  Amazingly, he was only a short distance away from entering a major and much busier highway during rush hour.

A sigh of relief for everyone... 

The tow truck comes and tows the car back to the same garage where it was the day before. The investigation shows that the lug nuts on the wheel were not tightened properly when the inspection was finished the prior day.  Truly an error by the mechanic (or in this case an apprentice) who installed the wheels on the vehicle after the inspection by the mechanic was complete. 

In this scenario, nothing major happened and the car was repaired. The driver was without injury. They made a claim to their insurance company. The insurance company can choose to go after the garage's insurance company for the cost of the claim (subgrogation). For the garage, in this case, the cost is reputation damage. The garage lost a customer who also warned whomever would listen about their experience anywhere and everywhere they went... how do you think I heard the story?

Let's play the "What If" game...

Missing Tire Accident 401It is critical at this moment to play the “what if” game. What if the tire or his vehicle hit another car? What if the impact caused serious injury or a fatality? What if he was driving much faster on a major highway when the tire came off?

The results could have been catastrophic and all because of a simple, yet costly, error. An error that very rarely happens but does happen none-the-less. Will it ever happen to you at your garage? Probably not. That’s what insurance is truly for – covering you for the probably nots in your business.

The story I shared is true. It is a friend of mine. He has a family with two kids. He works as a graphic animator for a cartoon studio. He was being a responsible driver, getting his winter tires on early just in case bad weather ensued.

What IF this was your customer?

Imagine this was your customer. Putting the viability of your continued business operation aside for a moment, if something did happen wouldn’t you want to know your customer was going to be financially looked after? And for your garage, wouldn’t you want to continue operating, knowing it was a one-time human error?

This story is pretty much the tamest scenario possible. What if it was even worse? Is your liability limit adequate?

How much does a liability claim cost?

Legal fees have shot up in the past couple of years. Settlement costs are on the rise… maybe multiple settlements could have come out of this case. Consider, too, if there was a catastrophic injury to a child and you were responsible for paying quality of life costs for their life.

When I have this conversation with the garage owners I meet, the answer is usually no… but I have had it at this level for years. Buying up liability insurance is surprisingly inexpensive. For only a dollar or two a day you can drastically increase your liability protection.

Again, insurance is here for the “probably not” incidents in your business. You likely will never experience this situation in your business, but it is the rare things that happen where insurance saves the day… and your business.

Are you paying for the right insurance?

If you are going to pay for insurance, you may as well pay for the proper coverage. Otherwise, what are you paying for?

Speak with a Bryson Garage Insurance Specialist and have your liability coverage, and the rest of your policy checked, so the wheels don’t come off on your business when a claim occurs.

What is phishing and how does it work?

Imagine your personal information as the fish and the scammer the fisherman out to catch the fish of the day. The fisherman has many fishing rods on his boat and is constantly casting them, waiting for someone to bite.

Phishing is a method scammers and hackers utilize to lure people into giving up their sensitive and personal information including passwords, credit card details, banking and payment information and any other piece of information. The primary method to doing this is through fraudulent email where the hook is a malicious link that entices you to input private information.

How does phishing differ from SPAM?

Phishing is like fishing. Boat with fishing rods in ocean to represent analogy for cyber phishing.

Simple… phishing is like fly-fishing. Phishing attacks are targeted, and intentional emails are sent one at a time.  SPAM is most like casting a big net in the ocean and seeing what turns up. SPAMers send the same email to many email addresses. The content is generic and broad.

What types of phishing emails are there?

There are various types of phishing emails to seek out. In general, they fall into three buckets.

  1. Business Email Compromise (BEC) – Targets are primarily employees authorized to initiate money transfers. The game for business email compromise scammers is to have employees in accounting and finance roles provide information to help future social engineering attacks.
  2. Clone Phishing – Everyone is targeted with clone phishing. The game is to create replica emails that imitate legitimate communicating, with the intention of tricking its target into sharing personal information.
  3. Whaling – Targets are the big game fish in an organization. The game is to specifically target C-Suite employees with crafted content that slowly pulls private information.

What are some examples of phishing attacks in organizations?

Phishing isn’t the endgame for scammers and hackers. It is one part of a bigger game to scam companies out of financial resources. For these examples, imagine them happening in your organization. How do you think employees, clients and other stakeholders would react?

  1. Employees at Wichita State University received an email asking them to input their university ID number and password. This allowed the scammers to access bank account numbers, student records and other personal information. What happened? The scammers were able to redirect payroll deposits from the employee to the scammers’ bank account. Numerous employees did not get their regular payroll deposit and that money was gone for good.
  2. A number of US health service providers have fallen victim to phishing attacks in 2019. The examples are all similar in nature. The employee opens an email, clicks a link, provides some private data (login credentials) that allow the scammers access to the client database. The type of information exposed includes health records, payment information, social security numbers, names and emails and other financial information.

    Examples of these types of phishing attacks in 2019 include Prisma Health, Baystate Health, Catawba Valley Medical Centre. There are many similar examples and while we have grown accustomed to seeing big brand names suffering these types of losses, you can imagine the brand and reputation damage for a local or regional health care provider.
  3. For almost three years, employees at Facebook and Google were receiving fake invoices impersonating a large manufacturer they used as a vendor. Over this time employees sent over $100 million do to this single scammer.
  4. While we do not know the specific details in this whaling example, what likely happened in is the newly appointed CFO opened his email and saw a money transfer request from an employee. Everything seemed legitimate and the CFO authorized transfers of over $30 million. It was the determined after that those funds went to oversees accounts and was lost. In under one month on the job, the CFO of Xoom was out of a job and the company had to take a one-time charge of $30.8 million on their quarterly earnings.

How do you spot a phishing email?

Do you think you can spot when you’re being phished? Google has created a simple quiz to see whether you can tell whether or not you’re being phished. Take the quiz here


Being asked to confirm personal information;
A few of the high-level flags to watch for include:

  • The website domain or email address are odd;
  • The email is poorly crafted;
  • There is poor grammar and misspellings;
  • There is a sense of urgency that isn’t normal for the person sending the email.

What steps can you do to minimize phishing?

avatar trying to find out if there is a phishing scan happening

Regardless of whether or not your company falls victim of a phishing scam, dealing with the flow of phishing is costly to the operational effectiveness of your firm. Employees need to double and triple check before clicking on links and responding to people. IT departments are being forwarded emails to check. Spam filters are being turned up causing real emails from clients and suppliers to go unnoticed in junk folders and on and on.

While we are unable to stop phishing scammers from attempting to hook our information, we can take steps to make ourselves less attractive. Some suggestions include:

  • Never click on a link in an email. If your payroll company is asking you to update your information, open a web-browser and log in directly instead of going through the link;
  • Use complicated passwords and require that all employees use complex passwords;
  • Never share personal or financial information in an email. If a phisher does get into your email, you do not want to keep easy to search financial or personal data in your inbox or deleted folder;
  • Use email filtering and put a reminder in to check your spam folder from time to time.

Most important is to have a conversation with an insurance broker that specializes in cyber risk transfer. No matter the level of risk mitigation a company takes on it will never completely eliminate the cyber risk to their business. Surprising, great coverage is often much less than people think.

Let's have a chat. Email me at sbryson@brysoninsurance.ca!

Storing your RV for a Canadian winter

Winter is coming… properly preparing your RV for winters in Canada can drastically extend the life of your home on wheels. Unless you are part of the lucky few RVers in Canada who spend their winter touring warmer climates, then ensuring your RV is properly winterized is a top priority.

If you want to get into action preparing your RV for winter, you can also take a look at GoRVing’s Winterizing Your RV Checklist.

We will go into a little more detail on some of the main focus areas to consider when winterizing and storing your RV over the winter season:

Seek out tears, openings or cracks in the body or roof

Properly sealed external breaches are little more than minor aesthetic issues. Untreated external breaches can lead to a world of trouble and cost. Even the smallest opening can lead to water leaks and, through the winter, mildew formation.

Give the exterior of your RV a solid clean and wax

This is more advice to maintain the appearance and value of your RV over the long-term. Rubber and vinyl can be damaged in the sunlight, causing unnecessary repair or fading. Sunlight can also have negative effects on the paint job. If you decide to store your RV outside and uncovered for the winter, you will definitely want to make sure you take this step.

Manage pest control by covering external vent and pipe openings

Brrr…. winter is cold for rodents too. In their search to survive the winter, they will be looking for anywhere warm. Your RV is a perfect winter getaway. Take the time to properly cover any external access points.

Give a quick tire pressure check

Inflated tires minimize tires weakening during storage season. An even better step is to jack your RV up to reduce pressure on the wheels through the winter, but this is an optional step. If your tires are going to be resting on asphalt, drive the RV wheels onto wooden planks instead. Surface oils on the asphalt can wear on your tires, causing blowouts during your next adventure in the Spring.

Make your vehicle unattractive to thieves

A special lock designed for your RV is a smart investment. It is a good investment both for storage season and while you and your family are out on day-trips, away from your RV. Thieves prefer easy targets so making your RV a challenge will have them looking elsewhere quickly.

If you are choosing a storage facility, ask the manager to show the security features that will keep your RV safe over the winter. Cameras, outdoor lighting and onsite security are ideal.

And, of course, ensure you keep appropriate insurance in case anything does happen while your RV is stored away.

Wash the interior fully and thoroughly

First, it is great feeling to walk into a clean RV at the start of next season. Beyond that, cleaning your RV limits potential for mould and odours from growing through the winter. It is also a good way to find any cracks or holes you do not know about.

Keep the cabinet, closets and fridge doors open

This step minimizes moisture and mould build-up while the RV is stored away. Place a box of baking soda inside the fridge as well to limit odour.

Clear the RV or items that shouldn’t freeze

Things like liquid soap, water bottles, pop, and RV cleaning items and others can easily freeze. These items can burst and thaw, leading to an unfortunate mess when returning.

Remove anything that pests may like as food or nesting material

Little rodents spend their winter season trying to stay warm and fed. They will look for anything and anything that can fulfill these needs. They’ll look for any type of food, toilet paper, soaps, rags, newspapers, towels, blankets and more. Ensure these items are packed up and moved out for the winter.

Remove batteries from the RV

Keeping your primary battery from freezing will prolong the life of the battery and save you money in the long run. Store the battery in a dry place that does not freeze. It is also a good idea to remove other batteries as well from things like your radio and other appliances.

Use antifreeze in your RV’s piping system

It is a good idea to run antifreeze through your RV’s pipes, valves and drain traps. This is primarily important if you are storing your RV outside for the winter, but it is also good practice for indoor storage as well.

Shut off the liquid propane gas supply valve

This is a pretty simple step and a good precaution. While you are doing this, it is also good practice to turn off all the appliances and pull out any fuses.

Plan some fun visits through the winter!

Even though you’re not adventuring in your RV through the winter doesn’t mean you can’t go say “hi” to it! Going to check on your RV every once and awhile ensures everything is in order. This is especially important if you are storing your RV outdoors.

~

By being proactive with your end of year RV maintenance, you will be good to go when adventure season rolls around again. While you’re waiting for the warmer weather to come back, take a minute to find out if you have the best insurance for your RV with our instant quoting tool.

Common Gaps in Garage Insurance

Let’s talk garage insurance!  I know, snore!  However, if you can bear with me, we will go over a few of the most common gaps in garage insurance.  This information might just save your business, or a less dramatic thought, it may save you a large out-of-pocket expense.  

Use of personal vehicles for business purposes

You have a personal vehicle sitting in the parking lot and decide to use it to haul supplies or customers to and from the garage. Or, you have loaned a personal vehicle to a customer to use while their car is being repaired. The loaning of your car puts your own insurance at risk.  You loan your car, you loan your insurance. In either scenario you have crossed the line. Your personal vehicle is truly a commercial vehicle at that point and should be rated as such.  Whether it be a supply truck or a courtesy car! The cost of properly rating your vehicle will most likely be cheaper than paying out-of- pocket for repairs due to a denied claim.

Accurate lot value

This gap grows with your business if left unmonitored. You may have started off with less than five customer cars in your care and custody sitting on your lot but now, as a well-established garage, there could be 10, 15 or more! If you are covered for $50,000 worth of customer cars on your lot but your really have $200,000, I shiver at the thought of a large claim that impacts multiple customer cars, like fire or vandalism. That is a “lot” of money out of your pocket.  Even on a smaller claim you will have to contend with a co-insurance clause.  If you only have your lot covered up to 25% (like the example of the $50,000 low lot value compared to the $200,000) on a partial claim of $40,000, the insurance company would only cover you for $10,000. That is the basics of the co-insurance clause but, reach out if you need further information. 

White car in clean garage in AjaxLiability. Liability. Liability.

These days, lawsuits are reaching higher and higher payouts which is a big problem for garages. Those who are holding onto one million or even two million liability coverage are putting themselves and their livelihood at risk.  That one or two million dollars does not go as far as it once did in life and/or in legal defence. You can never have enough liability coverage, especially when trying to prevent out-of-pocket losses due to a lawsuit.

These may be the top three but, there are many other portions of your coverage that should be reviewed. Don’t wait until you have a claim to find out if you have the correct coverage.  Sit down with a Bryson representative for a second set of eyes review. Please set a time to meet with us by calling 1-800-661-5196 or e-mailing our office. Thanks for reading!

Penalty for Hand-Held Devices Shifting for Commercial Vehicle Drivers

Bryson Bulletin Hand Held Devices (1)

Hand-held device tickets shifting from minor to major when rating premium for a commercial vehicle

Up until now, hand-held device tickets for commercial vehicle operators have been considered a minor ticket when rating insurance policies.

We have received updates from many of our commercial insurance carriers that they are filing with the Financial Services Commissioner of Ontario (FSCO) to have hand-held convictions adjusted and considered major infractions.

We do not have an exact date this will be approved by FSCO but we are certain commercial insurance carriers will start receiving approval later this year and early into next year.

If you are operating your own commercial vehicle or have a driving force, it is important to stop utilizing your hand-held device while driving now. It will save you money and, more importantly, it may just save your life.

What impacts the premium I pay for car insurance?

When it comes to determining the price for car insurance, there are many considerations. Here is a look under the hood at what impacts the insurance premium you pay in Ontario. 

Quote note - the reason why the price differs from one insurance company to the next is that each insurance company factors these considerations differently in their decision making. Working with an insurance broker like Bryson Insurance ensures you are finding an insurance carrier best suited to your unique situation. 

Here is what impacts the premium you pay for car insurance 

Your age and how long you have been driving  

Generally speaking, insurance premium rates decrease as you get older (until about 75 years old). More important than age is how many years you have been driving. Insurance companies care more about duration of driving than your age.  

Teenage drivers 

Studies show that teens are two and a half times more likely to be involved in a car crash than 20-to-24-year-oldsCompared with more experienced drivers, the risk of teens being involved in a crash is even greater.  

In most cases, the best solution for a teenage driver is to be part of their parents auto insurance policy. This will impact the cost of insurance, but not to the same extent as if that teenager had their own auto insurance policy. 

Tickets and Driving Infractions 

Recent tickets for speeding and traffic violations have the potential to impact your car insurance premium. Minor violations or one speeding ticket will have less chance of impacting your insurance premium, but an accumulation of tickets in a short period of time can change the narrative quickly.  

The positive news is that the increase is not permanent. Tickets generally fall off our driving record after a few years. 

*Bonus note* We receive many questions about the impact of parking tickets on your insurance premium. While annoying to pay, parking tickets do not impact your car insurance premium.  

Claims history 

Insurance carriers do consider recent claims history when offering terms for insurance. At-fault claims impact your premium. The longer you have been at-fault claims free, the more positive effect it will have on your premium. 

To protect your claims history, some insurance carriers also offer an optional First Claim Forgiveness Waiver that will protect your insurance premium following your first claim. Make sure you check out this option to determine if adding this extension is appropriate for you. 

Accidents – at-fault and not-at-fault 

Even the best drivers have bad days. Car Accident Insurance Ontario - Red and White car hitting each other

Recent at-fault accidents have a negative impact on your insurance premium. 

Not-at-fault accidents should not have a negative impact on your insurance premium. 

Car accidents and insurance could be a piece to itself. If you have a history of at-fault or not-at-fault accidents, it is best to consult your insurance broker. Vehicle usage 

How do you use your vehicle? People who primarily use their vehicle for pleasure purposes enjoy lower insurance rates. 

If you use your vehicle for large commutes to work or for money-earning purposes, like ridesharing services or for your business, insurance companies will charge more. Depending on the situation and the exact use of your vehicle, you may be required to get a commercial policy. 

Location, location, location 

Insurance is largely based on actuarial data. Actuarial science is applying statistics and mathematics to determining insurance premium. One of the biggest and most reliable data points in determining how likely you are to have an insurance incident is your postal code. 

More densely populated areas have higher risk of theft, collisions and harm to your car. 

Certain postal codes are likely to pay more for the comprehensive and collision portion of your auto insurance policy.  

How you choose to pay 

When selecting monthly paymentsmany insurance companies charge a minimal service fee. If you pay annually in advance this fee is waived. While this service fee does not directly impact your insurance premium, it does make a difference in how much money is in your pocket at the end of the day. 

Accident benefit coverage selection 

In Ontario, there is a basic minimum coverage for certain accident benefit coverage. Accident benefits include potential costs that could occur in the case you are injured in a car accident. These are things like replacing your income, catastrophic injury payment coverage, caregiver support and other costs. 

In general, the basic minimum will be the most affordable while maxing out the benefit coverage will be most expensive. 

Each individual situation is different. It is important to partner with an insurance brokerage who understands accident benefits and can have a conversation with you to see if you are adequately protected.  

Learn More About Accident Benefits for Drivers in Ontario

Your deductible 

This may be an obvious one as well. The higher your deductible, the lower your insurance premium. Your deductible is basically how much you will be contributing to a claim.  

If your deductible is high and you have a minor single car accident (example is bump into a pole) you may be more inclined to cover the expense yourself instead of making a formal claim. This saves the insurance company money. Said another way, their risk for paying for more minor claims is reduced.  

Kilometers driven 

This matters more to some insurance companies than others. It does make sense. The more your car is on the road and the more you’re behind the wheel, the greater the chance of being in an accident or having some other claim-related incident. 

Engine size, type and age of vehicle 

Smaller engine sizes traditionally provide lower insurance rates. Other factors that impact the premium include theft rates, design of vehicle (performance or family) and cost to repair. 

A history of continuous insurance 

Insurance companies really like drivers that do not have gaps or cancellations in their insurance history. Those that have not had gaps or cancellations (due to non-pay or other factors) will typically receive a lower premium. The longer you have been insured the better. 

What else will save me money on my insurance premium? 

Check with our team of professional home & auto insurance specialists to find out other methods to reduce your cost of insurance or enhance your overall value of your insurance.  

Bundling insurance is another way to provide great savings on your insurance. Bundling is when you combine your home and car insurance with the same insurance carrier. Actions like this can provide substantial savings on your insurance premium. 

Whether it is saving money or maximizing the value of your insurance, we believe knowing what you are paying for, understanding your coverage and making informed decisions will give you peace of mind and comfort while on the road.  

Take time to discuss with one of our personal insurance professionals. Set a time to meet with us by calling 1-800-661-5196 or e-mailing our office.

Get a Fresh Opinion on Your Insurance

Jewellery & engagement ring insurance

Did you know that your Jewellery is not always fully insured with your home insurance coverage? No worries though. In most cases you can easily add coverage for Jewellery through a homeowners, renters, condo, or a manufacturers home policy. Get in touch with your Bryson Insurance account manager to insure the full appraised value.  

How do I fully insure my Jewellery and engagement ring? 

Jewellery coverage is limited on all insurance policies. Not all loss risks (perils) are covered with all insurance companies. For example: Mysterious disappearance is not an insured peril with some insurance companies. insurance for diamond engagement ring

If you want to ensure your Jewellery is fully covered, you need to add it to your insurance policy.  

In insurance lingo this is called scheduling an item or adding a rider. Said another way, it is simply adding a specific one-off item on your policy. If you’re a client of Bryson today, you can let your personal Account Manager know about the Jewellery and it can be insured up to the appraised value.  

Current Bryson clients call 905-426-8787 and tell our team about your Jewellery items. Depending on the value, we may require appraisal documentation and photos.   

Not a client of Bryson yet? Get a quote on your insurance and we can also talk about your Jewellery at the same time. 

Why isn’t my Jewellery automatically insured in my homeowner’s policy? 

It is a good thing that your Jewellery is not automatically covered. If insurance companies assumed everyone had expensive Jewellery in their possession, then you would potentially be paying more for insurance than necessary. 

A higher price for home insurance is the last thing everyone wants. Instead, insurance companies offer a flexible option that is customized to our clients’ unique needs.  

How much is it to insure my Jewellery? 

insurance for high value diamond ringsRealistically, it is a very reasonable additional coverage. Generally speaking, Jewellery can be covered for approximately 1-2% of the total value.  In dollar terms, a $5000 piece of Jewellery may cost $50 to $100 a year to insure. To get specifics on your pieces, get in touch with your Bryson Account Manager. 

What is actually covered in my Jewellery insurance? 

Theft of Jewellery – Whether stolen in your home, off your body, at the gym, in your car, etc., your item is covered 

Damage of an item – whether a piece of Jewellery is partially or completely damaged, you are covered. Examples can include breaking a link on a necklace or losing a diamond as a result of a broken prong in your engagement ring.  

Loss and disappearance – many insurance companies cover your scheduled Jewellery items even if you lose it or simply forget where you left it.  

And what’s not covered? 

Simple wear and tear is not covered. Over time, your Jewellery may get tarnished and scratched. This normal wear and tear is not covered by insurance companies. Insurance is there for the unexpected.  

What types of Jewellery can I insure? 

custom luxury jewellery insurance in ontarioWhen it comes to Jewellery, there is a lot of freedom and flexibility in what can be insured. Engagement rings, wedding rings, necklaces, bracelets, diamond rings and earrings are some of the items that can be insured.  

Many insurance companies have a limit on what can be insured. If you have questions about your specific needs, please reach out to our team today. 

How do I get paid if my Jewellery is lost or damaged? 

The process is simple. If something happens and a piece of Jewellery is lost, stolen or damaged, simply file a claim for the cost to repair or the full appraised amount.  

How do I find out what my Jewellery is covered for now? 

If you are a client of Bryson, your dedicated Account Manager is happy to have a conversation with you on this. 

If you are not yet a client of Bryson Insurance, reach out today to start a conversation. Our team is happy to review your current insurance policy and compare it to your personal situation. 

Protect Your Assets from Cyber Risks

“Data is the new oil of the world.” Not only businesses are storing their intellectual property, proprietary, and confidential information in digital format but also the personal and sensitive personal data of their employees and clients. The question is, are they taking enough measures to secure the data and their liabilities and risks associated with it? As reported in 2019 Scalar Security Study, the average cost of responding and recovering from cyber security breaches has increased from $4.8m to $5.8m for Canadian businesses.  

As businesses are investing in the latest cyber security management tools such as firewalls, office in ontario canada working on computer systemsantivirus, leakage protection, intrusion detection systems, and employee training, cyber crimes are equally evolving. It is becoming highly critical now for businesses to put in additional physical measures to protect their programmable electronic devices and communication networks including hardware, software and data or in other words, their cyber assets. Data must be protected with specific security standards and requirements. These are the practices we employ through people, processes, and technology to protect information and minimize the potential of a data breach. Below are some of the physical exposure risks your cyber assets face and how to mitigate those risks.

Cyber security policy and education

Train your employees about cyber security principals and ensure they practice these policies diligently. Employees should have their user accounts and also limit access to essential and sensitive data.

Secure your workplace

Workplace security helps to provide confidentiality, data integrity, data availability and authentication. It includes measures through which employees can protect their workstations assigned to them as appropriate, such as by using a cable lock and adhering to the company policies to protect any sensitive information to which they may have access.

Secure your IT infrastructure

This includes a regular update of antivirus, anti-spyware, and intrusion detection software, secure WiFi network, and use of a firewall. Secure practices for remote access to organizational data.

Regular back-up of data

Plan to back up all information including operating system, applications, software, and data on a regular basis.

Housekeeping measures

Customer sensitive information can be thrown in the trash without knowing the consequences. Printed documents with confidential information should not be left unattended. Organizations should have strict rules around document printing procedures. Also, any material with such information has to be either securely placed under locks or disposed of safely and responsibly.

What is your cyber threat contingency plan?

While it is vital for businesses to come up with a mitigation plan for the risks associated with the cyber assets’ protection, it is equally important to come up with contingency plans as not only the cyber attacks disrupt the business, but it can also get extremely costly and hurt the reputation in the long term. The damage can be contained if companies will design their cyber security plan. Cyber Risk Insurance is a vital part of this contingency plan. Cyber Hacker Breaking into Security Network

Cyber Risk Insurance is a type of general insurance that covers businesses and individuals against internet-based liability and risks such as data breaches, business interruptions, and network damage. Cyber security insurance has two categories of cyber liability coverage: first-party and third-party. While first-party coverage includes direct losses to a business or individual, the third-party coverage involves claims and legal actions taken by clients.

Cyber threats are getting more advanced; cyber security insurance products are increasingly being purchased alongside IT services. There is significant growth in cyber security insurance policies in the last two years.

At Bryson Insurance, we support business leaders by assessing their data security to advise how much cyber insurance coverage they need to survive a potential cyber risk and design customized cyber security insurance policies for them.

To gain an understanding how it may affect you and your business, please set a time to meet with us by calling 1-800-661-5196 or e-mailing our office.

3 Simple Spring Maintenance Tips for Your Home HVAC System

As you prepare your spring-cleaning checklist, ensure the HVAC system is on your list.

The average Ontario household spends over $2,300 on energy costs in their home throughout the year. Approximately half that cost is associated with heating and cooling the home. With rising energy costs, hotter summers and colder winters, staying on top of this household budget line is ever more important.

Beyond keeping immediate household costs down, maintaining your HVAC system helps reduce long-term replacement costs and is beneficial to the health and well-being of your family.

1. Change the filter in your furnace.

This is first because it is easy, quick and effective. A clean air filter is a big benefit to the health of your entire HVAC system and the health of your family. It’s reported a clean air filter can save up to 15% of the heating and cooling costs for your home.

For the HVAC system, a dirty filter means the HVAC motor must work harder to deliver air throughout your home. This wears on the motor while also pulling more energy to push the air through. A clean filter reduces current expense while also prolonging the entire system. dog and cat laying in a home with a new air filter so no pet dander

A clean filter also benefits your family with cleaner air. Pet dander is an all-year issue for pet owners but Spring is the season of pollination! With the beauty of blossoming around us comes the suffering of allergies for many. A clean air filter can keep your home as a safe spot for relief from allergies which keeps medical costs down as well.

2. Clean up the outside air conditioning unit.

Many AC units have a very tiny drainage hole located near the cabinet’s base. For the AC unit to work effectively, the hole must remain clear. You can use something small like a bobby pin, screw driver or paperclip to ensure the hole is clear.

Two air conditioner unitsWhile you’re doing that take a couple moments to ensure the space around the AC unit is clear. Clean any debris from the winter season. For garden planning, it is recommended that vegetation be at least two feet away from the unit.

 

3. Consider a smart thermostat.

Smart thermostats are not only the cool new thing to have in your home. A properly programmed thermostat can also save a good chunk on energy costs throughout the year while keeping your home cozy and comfortable.

A smart thermostat can program your home to be warmer (during the spring and summer) while you are not home and cooler while you are. With additional assistance from the user, these systems can also be programmed to get the most out of mid-peak and off-peak energy hours.

Spring is a favourite time for many. Let’s make it the favourite time for our HVAC system too.
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