It’s Here! The CIA App is now available for Apple!

CIA Apple App
It’s finally here! After many weeks of waiting the CIA App is now available in the iTunes store for Apple devices!

The CIA App allows you to view your account, fill out renewal apps, contact your agent, request additional insured certificates & submit incident reports. Just another perk of being a customer with Cossio Insurance Agency!

Download for Apple

Download for Android

Download the New CIA mobile App for Android!

Our new mobile App for Android (coming soon for Apple) allows our customers an easier way to view their policies, get expiration reminders, contact their specific agents, request certificates & submit incident reports. Download it today, it’s FREE!CIA-AppAndroid

Family Entertainment Centers: Competing Against Technology

Girl Using Smart PhoneLet’s face it; today’s generation of children is becoming more and more dependent on technology such as iPads, smartphones & computers. How can Family Entertainment Centers compete with this? It’s hard enough for parent’s to get kids off of the couch & out of the digital world; let alone into your FEC center. In fact, in a study by Common Sense Media they found that 38% of kids under the age of 2 use tablets or smartphones and children up to the age of 8 are using tablets 5 times more than they were two years ago.

In an article by IAAPA’s “Fun World Magazine” they discuss some good ways that an FEC can remain relevant in this turbulent time of technology. Here are some of the things that they suggested (and also a few suggestions of our own):

  • Create experiences at your FEC center that can’t be replicated at home. For example don’t just fill your Family Entertainment Center with Arcade video games…they can play those at home. Add basketball shoots, table hockey, laser tag anything to keep them challenged and having fun.
  • Host competitions/tournaments to get them competing with their peers in the real world instead of just on the video game screen.
  • Make sure your FEC is active on social media. Site’s such as Facebook, Twitter & Instagram to name a few are very popular with today’s youth and even older individuals as well.
  • Having a website is a must. Your website should showcase all of the unique experiences your Family Entertainment Center has to offer. If it doesn’t look worth their time on the website they are less likely to take time out of their busy schedules to come and visit your center.
  • Make “Family Days” with special promotions encouraging the entire family to come out to your FEC and spend some quality time together.

 

Resources:

Funworld Magazine. “The Singapore FEC Market”. http://www.iaapa.org/news/funworld/funworld-magazine/the-singapore-fec-market

The Cut. “Study: 40 percent of kids use iPads before they can speak”. http://nymag.com/thecut/2013/10/40-percent-kids-use-ipads-before-speaking.html

Employment Practice Liability Insurance

While cases of workplace discrimination fell slightly in 2013 vs 2012 there were still nearly 94,000 claims of workplace discrimination in 2013. (EEOC) Employment Practice Liability Insurance, also known as EPLI can help to financially protect your business in the case of discrimination, failure to employ/promote, wrongful termination, breach of employment contract & sexual harassment.

“I’m not planning on discriminating against anyone so why would I buy this coverage?” The truth is no matter how careful you are; employees or potential employees may file false claims of discrimination against you. Defending these claims can become quite costly. According to an article by the Hartford, in one actual case an employer had to spend almost $100,000 to defend their business from a false claim of sexual harassment. While most suits are filed against large corporations, no company is immune to these kinds of lawsuits.

Don’t leave yourself unprotected! Give us a call today at 864-688-0121 to get a quote on Employment Practice Liability Insurance.

References:
EEOC. http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/statistics/enforcement/charges.cfm
The Hartford: http://pages.agent.thehartford.com/RD-11-2013-SC-1/

Protecting your Property from Winter Weather

Protect your Property From Winter Weather

It’s that time of the year…time for freezing weather & winter storms. Freezing weather can cause pipes to burst & sprinkler systems to malfunction and snow and ice build ups on roof tops can lead to potential roof collapse. Do you know the steps you should be taking in order to save your property from these catastrophes? Places such as the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety & PHLY Risk Management Services have some great information on this topic. As an overview here are some of the basic steps that these two resources had to offer:

FROZEN PIPES
• Keep the heat on. Even if your building will be closed for the winter it is important to keep it heated to at least 55º.
• Make sure all cracks, or openings in the outside walls are sealed with caulk or insulation to prevent cold from coming in.
• When extreme cold is predicted let all faucets drip & leave sink cupboard doors open.
• Think about getting a generator so even if the electricity goes out you can continue to heat your building.
• Have sprinkler systems monitored by a central station to notify you in the case of a pipe failure.

SNOW BUILD UP ON A ROOF
• Keep your roof maintained
• Have roofs cleared of snow by a contractor. Contractor’s should not use shovels or snow blowers to clear of the roof. They should instead use a heavy duty push broom.

ICE DAMS ON ROOF
• Keep drains and gutters clear.
• Prune trees that are hanging over roofs.
• Increase insulation above ceilings.

Resources:
Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety. http://www.disastersafety.org/disastersafety/commercial-winter-weather-guidance_ibhs/

PHLY Risk Management Services. http://image.exct.net/lib/fecd15717367027c/m/2/RMS_WinterWeather.pdf

Ninja Jump Inflatables & Cossio Insurance


NINJA JUMP LOGO [Converted]
Ninja Jump, the leader in licensed inflatable products, has chosen Cossio Insurance Agency to be a Ninja Jump preferred insurance provider for all their customers. We are pleased at The CIA to be honored and chosen to provide insurance for their customers. Rouben from Ninja had a meeting with Larry at IAAPA last week and sealed the deal!

Visit there website to find out more about the licensed inflatables they have to offer. http://www.ninjajump.com/

Safety Tips for your Go-Kart Track

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Like every other amusement device, there are certain precautions that need to be taken to insure that participants driving the Go-karts at your Family Fun Park or Go Kart Track are as safe as possible. Accidents involving go karts can be especially serious;some incidents involve skull fractures & other broken bones, internal injuries and in some cases even death. There are many resources out there that can help you run a safe go kart track. We found one resource on the IAAPA website that had some important safety tips regarding long hair (& some other safety reminders):

1) You should have a maintenance staff that checks each day for any malfunctions with the go karts, safety signs & the track. (If you do not have safety signs it would probably be a good idea to post some.)

2) Your staff should be properly trained in all safety procedures and should also be trained to look out for guests with long hair. This is important since long hair can get caught in the moving parts of the go kart. The IAAPA article talks about how in 2012 a teenage girl lost 80% of her scalp from her hair getting caught in a go kart axle.

3) Hair ties should be kept on hand and if someone has long hair they should be instructed that it needs to be secured with a hair tie to prevent injury.

Some other safety tips include:

4) Having your guests wear helmets & seat belts.

5) Making sure the age/size regulations of the go kart are followed.

6) Not allowing go-karts to be driven during bad weather.

You can read the full article here: http://www.iaapa.org/resources/by-park-type/fec/go-kart-safety

Also remember that you need to have your go kart track insured because safety procedures alone are not always enough. Learn more about our Go Kart Insurance.

Source

“Go-Kart Safety” by Mike Bederka | IAAPA Website | 2012 |  http://www.iaapa.org/resources/by-park-type/fec/go-kart-safety

Announcing the New Digital Waiver Program

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Are you tired of stacks of safety waivers? The CIA now has a digital waiver program that is FREE to customers of the CIA. This program allows you to create a custom waiver that you can use to have customers sign waivers digitally and to keep track of these waivers online. This means no more having to dig through piles of papers to find a waiver, no stacks of waivers on your desk…it’s all online. You can input your specific waiver language, add your logo, and PRESTO, you are set. You get a link to put on your website, a QR code to use at the counter or your website for your techy customers to get right on your waiver site to complete the waiver on their desktop computer, tablet or smart phone.

It immediately assigns a member number to your customer, you immediately get an email that they are set up and done. You get a report at the end of the day of all your customers in an Excel spreadsheet. AND while you at your screen, you can pull up and existing customer to verify it is current and add them onto the daily report with just a click.

That’s not all! If you wish you can have the Digital Waivers Marketing System send out automatic email blasts to your customers. The email blasts have templates for almost every holiday and are custom tailored to fit your Airsoft, Paintball or Indoor Center business. After choosing a template and typing in your custom text, the custom email blast will take the list of customers who have signed waivers and send out email blasts to all these customers for you. These email blasts can be sent manually or set up to send out emails to customers 30 days and 14 days prior to the event/holiday.

The cost for the automatic email marketing is $125 a year, that is about $10 a month for a system to automatically contact everyone in your database, offer them to return in 30 days, come in for a holiday, come back on their birthday, etc… But remember the Digital Waivers system itself is free to customers of the CIA.

To learn more watch this walk-through video:
http://www.digitalwaiversrus.com/video-tutorial.html

Inflatables, Family Entertainment Parks & Severe Weather

Severe Weather

There has been a lot of severe weather throughout the country in 2013. Severe weather can often pop up without much warning; leaving those outdoors at risk of death or injury. So what can you do to protect customers using your inflatable devices outdoors or playing at your Family Entertainment Park? A recent article in IAAPA’s Fun World magazine called: “Severe Weather Safety” by Mike Bederka suggests that preparation is the best line of defense for severe weather events such as high winds, thunderstorms & lightning. (If you are an IAAPA member you can read the full article here.)

The article suggests many helpful tips to keeping customers safe from severe weather. One suggestion is having an employee responsible for keeping track of severe weather warnings and radar in the area and possibly even talking with local meteorologists about whether the FEC center should be closed down until the severe weather threat is over. In regards to inflatable devices, possible wind speeds should of course be taken into consideration. We have all seen news stories of bounce houses thrown through the air with children inside…these all could have been completely avoidable if weather forecasts & current weather conditions were monitored. Inflatables should not be used in winds exceeding 25mph and they of course need to be properly secured.

Another suggestion is to have a place to shelter people in case an unexpected storm pops up. Businesses should have a written safety plan in place and a specific shelter area in mind in the event that customers need to be evacuated. Operators should also be trained to shut down rides and deflate inflatables when severe weather or dark clouds appear.

The national weather service also has a helpful pamphlet that you can download here: www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov/toolkits/large_venue8-12.doc#sthash.B6Z5ZGEk.dpuf This pamphlet outlines many of the suggestions talked about in the IAAPA article in more detail. It is important to remember that although closing down your business temporarily may lead to a short-term loss in revenue, customers will respect your concern for their safety which will increase their trust in you and your revenue in the long run.

Source

“Severe Weather Safety: Preparation helps to prevent guest and staff injuries” by Mike Bederka | Funworld Magazine | July 2013 |  http://www.iaapa.org/news/funworld/funworld-magazine/weather-safety

Bounce House Safety Checklist

Out of gasIn June 2013 three children were injured when an inflatable device collapsed on them while they were jumping inside. Why did the bounce house collapse? The generator running the bounce house blower ran out of gas. This could have been easily avoided by checking the gas in the generator before it was dropped off at the party.

Do you have a safety check list that you run through every day? If not, first of all you need to make one. If you already have one, great! Make sure that you add “check generator gas” to your bounce house safety checklist if you use a generator to power your bounce house blowers.

You can read the full news article here: http://bit.ly/11uW7RK