Cheaper Mechanical Bulls can cost you more in the end

Galaxy Bulls recently wrote an article titled: “The Cheapest Mechanical Bull Is Not Always The Most Cost Effective Purchase“. While you may say that this article may be biased because of the fact that Galaxy is a manufacturer this article does ring true.

Galaxy noted the following reasons for why a cheaper Mechanical Bull will end up costing you more in the long run: Continue reading “Cheaper Mechanical Bulls can cost you more in the end”

Cyber Liability Insurance: Are you properly covered in the event of a data breach?

It’s been happening more and more lately, big businesses such as Target, T.J. Maxx and more have been the targets of data breach. But it doesn’t just happen to large companies…small businesses are also at risk for these data breaches. According to IBM there were 1.5 million Cyber Attacks in the United States in 2013, and that is just businesses that knew about them!

How do cyber-attacks happen?

According to IAAPA’s Fun World magazine there are a variety of ways that data thieves are able to breach your data. These ways include attaching a hidden device to your credit card machine, using malware and taking advantage of the split second before the credit card data is encrypted. According to the Computer Security Institute 2 in 5 companies experienced a cyber-security issue in the last 12 months.

What kind of damage will a cyber-attack do to my business?

There are many ways that a cyber-attack can damage your business, the first being loss of reputation. If customers find out that their data was stolen they will be wary of doing any more business with your company. In the infographic below IBM shows just how a cyber-attack could affect your business financially.

IBM. http://www-935.ibm.com/services/us/en/it-services/security-services/data-breach/index.html
IBM. http://www-935.ibm.com/services/us/en/it-services/security-services/data-breach/index.html

What can I do to protect myself?

• Regularly have your systems scanned for the evidence of Malware
• Make sure that all credit card information is encrypted
• Never use default passwords
• Have an experienced IT professional make sure that you have the proper firewalls, and anti-virus protection
• IAAPA suggests deleting customer data from your system after a certain time period.

Even with all these steps in place a data breach can still occur. Make sure to obtain Cyber Liability Insurance to help with the financial loss of a Cyber Liability Attack. Cyber Liability is not covered under most business general liability policy. Contact us today at 864-688-0121 to talk about getting Cyber Liability coverage for your business.

Sources:

Funworld Magazine. “Preventing Data Theft”. http://www.iaapa.org/news/funworld/funworld-magazine/preventing-data-theft—june-2014

IBM. “Data breach statistics”. http://www-935.ibm.com/services/us/en/it-services/security-services/data-breach/index.html

Chubb. “Chubb 2012 Public Company Risk Survey: Cyber”. http://www.chubb.com/infographics/chubb3/index.html

Recent Bounce House Incident

The incident that happened regarding the inflatable bounce house flying away with children is horrible. It should never happen if you are dealing with a commercial inflatable device installed by professional, trained, and insured rental companies. Make sure that the company that you hire is trained and insured before you rent these inflatable devices. Be aware of the inflatable devices that you purchase from retail stores they are not built the same. Always follow instructions on operations and set up. If you are operating without insurance call the CIA 864-688-0121 and get insurance today!
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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

Ninja Jump Inflatables & Cossio Insurance


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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/

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

Mechanical Bull Safety Tips

Mechanical Bulls can be very safe but they can also be very dangerous depending on if you are following safety tips properly. Here are some mechanical bull safety tips that can help you make sure that riders stay safe on your mechanical bull.
1) Make sure that the bull is operated by an attendant that understands how to safely operate the bull and knows the rider restrictions. Younger children can safely ride the bull as long as the operator knows how to control the movement to keep the bull from bucking the child violently.
2) Make sure that the inflatable padding surrounding the bull does not have any gaps in which the rider could fall and injure themselves. It is especially important to make sure that the support beams of the mechanical bull are properly covered.
3) You should never let intoxicated persons ride the bull.
4) Never let more than one person ride the mechanical bull at one time. If a child is not big enough to ride the bull by themselves they should not be riding the bull at all, even with a parent.
5) Make sure that cords are properly covered or secured down so that no one can trip and make sure that you have the bull plugged into the correct type of outlet.
6) Regularly inspect your bull for damage or malfunction.
7) Make sure that the area surrounding the bull setup is free of objects that could harm the rider in case they are thrown of the inflatable padding.
8) Your bull should not have any sharp horns and the head should be soft.

These safety tips can drastically reduce the risk of accidents on your mechanical bull. However, even with the strictest safety accidents can happen. That is why it is important to make sure that your equipment is properly insured. Find out more about our mechanical bull insurance.

What causes claims in the inflatable rental industry?

So, what causes claims in the inflatable rental industry? From reviewing the claims reports, doing inspections, seeing the items that are being repaired and why, I can name quite a few issues.  I have been insuring inflatables for 14 years now and have seen a lot of issues that could be avoided with a little training.  This article is to help the rental operator avoid the potential of claims that could cause their insurance to be non-renewed or increased premiums.

First let’s start with the basics, the inflatable devices themselves.  You would be amazed at how many devices I see being rented that have issues such as rips, tears, unattached steps, cracked vinyl, torn slide panels, torn netting on the sides of bounce house, etc. I understand wanting to rent the item, but sending out one that has issues will eventually cost you thousands in claims, deductibles, and lost business due to people saying negative things about your inventory.  Bottom line, do not send a unit out that needs ANYTHING repaired on it.

Next take a look at your waiver and rental agreement.  Hopefully you have incorporated or formed an LLC so your personal assets are not at risk.  Does your paperwork have the corporate name as well as your business name included?  Has your attorney reviewed your documents to make sure they correspond with your states regulations?  If you are a sole proprietor, do you list your name with your business name?  For example John Doe dba All My Bouncers would be a smart way to make sure you are covered under that waiver of liability and rental agreement.  Does your waiver and rental agreement have strong assumption of risk wording?

Do you always have the person who is named on the contract sign when dropping off or do you allow just anyone to sign?  Do you have a safety sheet for operation of the rental units that is signed off by the renter?

Do you have a formal WRITTEN training guide for each device that is in your inventory?  Remember if it is not written it doesn’t exist.  Verbal training is hearsay.  Each employee should have a signed and dated training guide for each device.  Have you and your employees received training on each device from the manufacturer?  Have you received online training from companies like Sioto?  You would be amazed at how many employees have stated to me that they didn’t know the simplest rules of operation of the device.  Most of the rules are printed on the side of each device and most employees did not ever read them!

Do you use the right size stakes for the device? What are the right sizes?  Do you use the correct weight if using sand bags?

Do you check the weather reports each morning for wind or rain conditions and warn your customer of possible challenges?

Do you take pictures of the device when set up and when picking up to show the status, stakes are in the ground with cones protecting them, the unit is clean, the unit is working, etc.?

These simple steps will pay HUGE dividends for your business and the will help the success and future growth.