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Gotta Love A Tool: 5 Tips from an Equipment Thief

by A. Montalbano on 01/24/17

Theft is no laughing matter for the insurance industry but there are ways to combat criminal activity surrounding your construction equipment.  A great craftsman is as good as his tools.  But when tools and equipment are stolen, a project is delayed and your insurance rates climb.  As an insured, you have an obligation to add security before something happens.  Be a step ahead of criminals scoping your project site.

Tips from the Thieves (irmi.com)

What would thieves say if forced to reveal what is on their minds when planning a theft?

  1. They most fear getting caught when stealing, storing, or moving the equipment. The risk of getting caught when selling the equipment is considered low because owners usually do not record serial numbers, buyers of used equipment tend not to check titles, and even with leads, it is difficult for police to identify equipment and link serial numbers to owners.
  2. Sites tend to either well secured or not—some times the work site is impossible to secure or the contractor lacks the care associated with his project site. There is plenty of  "poor security" to keep thieves in business for years. It is not necessary to be 100 percent secure, but to be better than average, keeps thieves opting for the less secure sites.
  3. There is no point in setting up security procedures that are either too complex or not regularly checked, as thieves will just watch and wait until security starts to decline.
  4. Employees of your firm and other local firms are both your best allies and biggest risks. They are the ones who will usually be responsible for the implementation of security and may even know something about a theft. They could be the ones that let thieves know about poor security. The key is to give employees incentives to help rather than hinder.
  5. If you don't record your serial numbers, you can forget about getting your equipment back. Even if recovered, you still have to prove that it is yours. Better yet, ways of making this information readily available to law enforcement is by using signs and decals to let the thief know is has been done.


Holiday Decor Safety

by A. Montalbano on 12/02/16

Decorating your home for the holidays is part of the Christmas spirit. We, at AGIS, want your holiday to be merry and bright with safety in mind. 



Yule Light-Up My Life:

Holiday Safety

by A. Montalbano on 11/15/16

AG Insurance Solutions is wishing you a joyous holiday season.  In the spirit of our holiday season, we want to share informative videos and websites on safety tips to keep you away from possible danger.

1.  Fire Safety:




2. Holiday Scams:




3. Holiday Crime Prevention

4.  Driving on Ice and Snow

5.  Safe Holiday Cooking Tips

6.  Safe Toy List

About Hurricanes and Storms For Texas Newcomers

by A. Montalbano on 10/06/16

Although we are native to the Texas Gulf Coast, we still find it uneasy how weather patterns change frequently without notice.  For us, it is important to keep our readers well informed about keeping a step ahead of severe weather.  Being pro-active will keep you safe: Plan Ahead for Disaster.

Spring has Sprung and Fall has Fell...

by A. Montalbano on 10/03/16

Fall is among us.  But here in the Houston Area, we await the cool crisp season with much anticipated warm sweaters.

Its that perfect time to get your home in Fall season order and a HOUZZchecklist is one to help you do just that:

Vicious Dog List

by A. Montalbano on 08/02/16

We love our pets and recommend pet owners to always include training and precautions of your furry family member.  Every homeowner insurance carrier includes a "vicious dog" list which comprises of dog biting claims.  If your dog is on the "vicious dog list" some companies will decline homeowners coverage altogether while others may include a pet liability cost. Check with your agent about your carriers list although the list below is likely to be the standard:

  1. Pit Bulls & Staffordshire Terriers
  2. Doberman Pinschers
  3. Rottweilers
  4. German Shepherds
  5. Chows
  6. Great Danes
  7. Presa Canarios
  8. Akitas
  9. Alaskan Malamutes
  10. Siberian Huskies
  11. Wolf-hybrids

Contractors Outdoor Projects Heat Alert

by A. Montalbano on 07/07/16

Mother nature has no boundaries and just like rainfall in Texas, the heat can put a damper on outdoor activities.  Yet, heat-related illness is fatal and requires immediate attention.   It is imperative to never underestimate the heat.  Never leave children or pets in a car.  For outdoor crews, read further to be proactive against the heat; its the law:
 

Summer is in full swing and temperatures are on the rise. According to the National Weather Service (NWS), heat is one of the leading weather-related killers in the United States, resulting in hundreds of fatalities each year from heat stroke and even more instances of heat-related illnesses such as heat cramps and heat exhaustion.

Heat stroke is potentially fatal and requires immediate medical attention. Symptoms include extremely high body temperature, red, hot, dry skin, without sweat; rapid, strong pulse; throbbing headache, dizziness, nausea, confusion, and unconsciousness. If you believe someone may have heat stroke, call 911.  Familiarize yourself with the signs and symptoms of heat stroke other heat related illnesses and treatment with the CDC Extreme Heat Prevention Guide.  

 

The best line of defense against these illnesses is prevention. The Ready Campaign offers the following tips to stay safe when the mercury rises:

 

  • Stay indoors, ideally in a location with air conditioning. If your home does not have air conditioning or if it fails, go to a public building with air conditioning such as a shopping mall or public library;
  • Avoid strenuous work or physical activity during the warmest part of the day (typically 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.);
  • Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun with drapes, shades, awnings, or louvers;
  • Dress in loose-fitting, lightweight, and light-colored clothes that cover as much skin as possible; and
  • Eat well-balanced, light, and regular meals.

When necessary, NWS issues heat-related alerts to help you prepare for extreme weather conditions. To learn more about these alerts, visit: www.nws.noaa.gov/om/heat/ww.shtml.

A Day in Honor of Your Cause...

by A. Montalbano on 04/17/16

When did we decide that every day should be a day in honor of, you name it, just about everything?  Every year on any particular day, there is a day of honor.  No longer do we have to wait for the designated National Holiday to celebrate. 

May 8th is Mother's Day, honoring our mothers and the influence of motherhood in society, and created in 1908 but officially observed in 1914. May 30th is Memorial Day, once known as Decoration Day, in honor of those fallen armed-service men and women and originated in 1868 after the civil war.  And just recently, Equal-Pay Day makes history on April 12th honoring the women's equality movement.

Congress established 11 permanent federal holidays:  New Year's Day, George Washington's Birthday,  Independence Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, MLK Day, Veterans Day, and Inauguration Day.

But what about those days in between the official holidays that start a craze?  There is National Pi Day, and National Pie Day, National Writing Day, and National Riding Day.  Inter-National Day of Happiness is celebrated March 20th and would you believe, Angry Birds are leading the charge?

It has become as easy as 1,2,3 to promote a business, a cause, or even a feeling  by registering a national day of recognition.  Who can do it? Anyone passionate to lead, defend, and ready to navigate from origin to promotion. 

Gotta Love A Tool: 2016 Cool Gadgets

by A. Montalbano on 01/29/16

Its been a while since we touched base on our Gotta Love A Tool segment but arrival of new year shows such as the NAHB in Vegas, the auto show in Houston, and the upcoming Home & Garden Show, yanked me out of hibernation and has my juices running on high octane. Not to mention, I was a Spring baby, so my energy and creative mood gets pumped up at this time of the year, too.

As you may have read in my past blogs, I am an avid tool gadget kinda gal. The excitement of cool tools and gadgets is in the air and I got the fever for some wonderful mentions. 

Not only do well-defined gadgets and tools make up a professional contractors toolbox, but so is safety and proper handling.  We are heavy hitters on OSHA compliant standards so we make effort to spotlight safety when using these gadgets and tools as required.

10.  Just like Popular Mechanics, we love tools and agree with their list of 49 best handtools to own.  But keep reading because we get detailed on the newest and the best power for performance.

9.  Particulate Respiratory Mask:  Inexpensive disposable cover-ups have been on work sites for a while but check out how to maximized protection and keep your respiratory system in check with filtered half masks.

8.  Lawn Mower Success:  The riding mower is the most productive tool for any lawn service but wait til you see the newly released attachments that will take lawn service to a whole new level. 

7.  Night Vision Devices: Yes, the military gets cool stuff first.  But wait no more.  Though can be a bit costly, businesses or occupations requiring night duty are better equipped with these devices. 

6.  Floor Plan Apps:  Yes, I said apps, meaning, easy generated floor plan applications are at your fingertips for phone or tablet. They range from quick&easy to fancy 3D vision.

5.  Mag-Vest: You've heard of the magno-grip, now there is MagVest.  It holds ten times as much tool supply without lugging a tool box. Not recommended for AC or electricians, though.  What will they think of next?

4.  Compact Rotary Hammer: When you gotta get into tight spaces, this bad boy is a perfect fit. 

3.  Tool Box:  Not your grandfather's one-compartment heavy steel box.  Leveled compartments for more storage, no more back-breaking, its wheel-carted, includes slide doors, and heavy duty.  We call the new tool box,
the extreme mobile storage.

2.  Fall/Harness Protection:  Our #2 is not only the leading cause of insurance claims and OSHA cited violations, but necessary protection to all construction personnel at the work site.  At the level of consumers, if you hire a roofer, require that workers wear harnesses and fall protection gear before attempted any repair on your roof.  Another red flag on liability.

1.  The #1 coolest gadget is not a gadget at all but an important guideline for the health and well-being of construction personnel.  SAFETY.  Insurance is always available for construction companies and its there within scope.  But as an insurance specialist for 10 years, its a known fact that accidents happen.  However, nothing beats a costly accidents more than SAFETY training.

Luxury Apartment Living

by A. Montalbano on 01/20/16

Houston home building remains on a steady course of growth although searching for a secluded home on acreage or the suburbs is not for everyone.  So developers hit the right note and created luxury apartment living.

In the past, apartment life was for the young single or couple just starting out on their own and interested in simple features without being stuck to a long term lease.  Today, the trend in apartment life is more about living in a community with neighborhood amenities, staying longer, and offers luxury living for the unique tenant.

Empty nesters are downsizing.  Smaller spaces and to lessen financial overhead yet continue a comfortable lifestyle. Keep in mind, these now empty nesters are the babyboom generation and the Xers who felt the freedom of apartment life in the 70s-90s.
Developers of luxury apartment living are meeting that demand.  An apartment in this style arrangement includes amenities inside as well as outside the home.   Inside these gated communities include fine appliances, walk-in closets, granite countertops, wood floors, double vanity, an elevator, garage, a fitness center, a dog park, a walking trail, a business center, special services, well-lite grounds, security, gated, and professional management.  Outside the community, tenants can find within walking distance of shopping centers, hospitals, libraries, and other appealing features.

Another tenant most likely to call the luxury apartment community home is the single professional.  Many individuals are living single longer than prior to 1980.  Not necessarily are they young but many have prioritized career and singlism over parenthood.  The desire to acquire the finer things in life feels better than the odds against marriage.  Not only so, but a fact that many have experienced divorce as children and the burden imposed.  Another fact is that half of Americans adults are single and no longer in a hurry to start families which require more space or have chosen to remain single after a divorce.

AGIS | PO BOX 448 | MAGNOLIA, TX 77353
Blog





Construction
Keeping it safe on the job site and whats trending in the builders world.






​01/24/17 
Gotta Love A Tool: 
5 Tips from an Equipment Thief 
​08/2014 Gotta Love A Tool:
History of Tools: 2 Great Empires
08/2014 Gotta Love A Tool: 
10 Important Tool Wonders
07/07/16
Outdoor Projects Heat Alert


Insurance

Secrets and tips of how to stay ahead.​

​04/07/19 Secrets Before You Buy A Home. Part 1
06/06/18 The Story of Your Insurance Matrix Life
05/20/18  10 Things You Should Never Keep From Your Agent
05/16/18 Agent vs Do-It-Yourself
03/01/18  How Your Website and/or Social Media Can Kill Your Chances of Business Insurance Coverage.
10/20/16Safety is Key When Prepping Home for the Holidays 
​10/06/16About Hurricanes and Storms For Texas Newcomers 
​08/02/16Vicious Dog List problematic coverage.
​07/01/16How Insurance Helped the U.S. Prosper: Colonial America and Benjamin Franklin
​01/07/16Steps to Take When Involved In An Auto Accident 
​12/28/1510 Things When Searching for An Apartment.
10/22/15Prepping Your Home for Fall Season Is Claims Deterrent 
09/2015  Personal Liability Affects Everyone.
08/2015  Does My Car Have Flood Coverage?
08/2015  High Risk Drivers...
04/2015 7 Car Shopping Strategies.(Progressive)
11/2014  Not-So-Bright Mishaps...
​10/2014 10 Dumb Ways to Increase Insurance.


​Business

Keeping abreast of trends and get inspired on making your mark in business. 

06/25/17  American Entrepreneural Spirit: Ideas to Independence  
02/15/17 
U.S. Open for Business 
01/25/17 
And the Self-Made Shall Inherit the Earth 
01/05/17 
Small Business the Fabric of American Society 
08/2015
Preventing Small Business Claims.
08/2015  
Myths and Facts: Business Liability...
09/2014  How the USA Prospered: Ships Sailed to the New World
08/2014 The Rise of Lloyds of London
08/2014 Why Every Size Business Needs General Liability
02/2014  What the Stars Insure.
Month of May 2019:  Safety on the site.
OSHA Guide to Recommended Practices.
Presenting what we know: business, insurance, market trends, and the history of great societies 
(its all related).