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It is common for businesses that provide professional advice to carry E&O (Errors and Omissions) insurance.  But, what about the rest of us?  Protecting your business from a lawsuit is more complex than just having liability coverage.  Good business practices can help prevent messy, expensive litigation.  By thinking defensively you can provide yourself and your employees with guidelines that help prevent mistakes from becoming lawsuits.  E&O insurance providers require clients to create and follow a company standard in order to mitigate or prevent loss. 

Here are just a few 'good business practices' that can prevent claims in any line of business:

* Maintain a defensive, PROFESSIONAL attitude
* Always request a 2nd opinion and have a witness present
* Prepare for possible court cases (reserves, coverage, and professional advice)
* Carefully store files and telephone logs, maintain ex-employees contact information

Posted 1:53 PM  View Comments

Insurance regulators have taken over administrative oversight of the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association, following an investigation that found the insurer failed to report payments to adjusters for work they never completed.

The Texas Department of Insurance has determined that the state-created but privately run insurer "is in a condition that makes its continuation in business hazardous to the public or to its policyholders, as it appears that its management does not have the experience, competence or trustworthiness to operate TWIA in a safe and sound manner" according to a letter by Texas Insurance Commissioner Mike Geeslin.

Geeslin noted the association knew it had paid outside claims adjusters for work they never did, paid claims based on those adjuster's reports, and failed to report it to the state's fraud unit. The association also failed to address other issues found by the deparment, such as accounting, personnel and communications concerns, according to the letter.

The association, which sells wind coverage to owners of hurricane-vulnerable homes who can't buy it elsewhere, has grown in recent years as private insurers have limited selling coverage along the coast.

TWIA must now submit all personnel decisions and expenditures to the insurance department for prior approval, as well as develop a plan to ensure better communication with its board of directors. TWIA must also give the department complete authority to examine and monitor its operations, including books, records, and other documents

Posted 6:58 PM  View Comments

Houston home sales were up in January — the first local increase since June 2010 when sales activity from the homebuyer tax credit ended.  Total property sales also rose, to 3,413 sales last month from 3,118 sales in January 2010 — an increase of 9.5 percent.

The average price for a single-family home rose in January to $196,879 — the highest price ever recorded in a January in Houston!

Read more:
Houston home sales make first gains in 7 months | Houston Business Journal

Posted 1:03 PM  View Comments

Cornerstone Insurance Agency's new website is online and we are very excited about the new site!  It will allow visitors to request quotes for every type of product we sell, print common forms we use in the office, link to payment screens for many of our insurers, link to informative sites, and read about Cornerstone and Cornerstone's employees.  Come on over and visit us!  Comments and suggestions are always welcome!!! (
Posted 4:23 PM  View Comments

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