Preparing a Home Inventory List - Shield Insurance Agency Blog

Preparing a Home Inventory list

How to create a home inventory

If an unfortunate event damaged your home and your belongings, could you remember every item you own and how much it’s all worth off the top of your head? Is your home inventory up to date?

A fire, severe weather, burglary, or other disasters can wreak havoc on your home and lead to broken or missing belongings. In the wake of an unfortunate event, having an up-to-date inventory of your items and their value can speed up the claims process and help you recover faster. It can also help you verify any losses for your income tax return and help you purchase the amount of insurance that’s right for you.

Whether you’re setting up your first apartment or have lived in the same house for years, creating an inventory may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. You can start your own inventory with these three simple steps:

Get started now

There are lots of ways to start tackling your inventory. The bottom line is to start somewhere manageable.

  • Start small. Tackle an organized room or a contained area first. For example, a kitchen appliance cabinet, walk-in closet, or chest of drawers with important documents. Start here, then work your way to other areas of your home.
  • Track recent purchases. Instead of starting in a certain place, list recent purchases and work on older possessions after that. Begin keeping receipts, contracts, and appraisals so you can show proof of value. Recording recent purchases first can get you into the habit of inventorying your purchases as they’re made.
  • Include basic information. Unsure of what information you should include? Describe each item, where it was purchased, make, model, what you paid, and any other detail that would be important to know during a claim. For example, major appliances and electronic equipment usually carry a serial number which can be a useful reference.
  • Categorize clothing. Closets can be hard to tackle. Simplify the process and record clothes by category. For example, four pairs of jeans and three pairs of high heels. Note any especially valuable items, like an expensive purse.
  • Check coverage on valuable items. Items like jewelry, art, and other collectibles may have increased in value and need special coverage outside your homeowner’s insurance. Check with your insurance agent to make sure you have adequate insurance to cover these items effectively.
  • Don’t forget to check off-site. Homeowners or renters’ insurance may provide off-site coverage for items kept in a storage facility. Check your coverage and make sure to include any off-site items on your list.

Use technology

Paper and pencil gets the job done, but technology can take your list to the next level.

  • Take pictures. Create photo records of the rooms in your house and your belongings. Label your photos and include what is pictured and any other information you believe to be helpful should the item need to be replaced or you need to be reimbursed.
  • Videotape it. Along with pictures, you can use video to document the rooms in your house and belongings. Walk from room to room and describe the contents, including numbers of items, when the items were purchased, and other basic information.
  • Use an app. Multiple apps can help with your home inventory process and keep records of your belongings.

Keep your home inventory up-to-date and safely stored

Now that you’ve done the work, continuously update your list and store it in a safe space. You don’t want your list to be one of the items damaged in an event.

  • Add new purchases. Your list is only helpful if it’s up-to-date. Adding to the list at the time of purchase allows you to put down the information while it’s still fresh in your mind.
  • Store a copy outside your home. A paper inventory, along with receipts or appraisals, should be kept in a safe deposit box or a friend or relative’s home. Make at least one backup copy to store separately. For instance, you can easily make a digital copy by taking a picture on your phone or creating a digital list.
  • Backup digital files. Keep a copy on an external hard drive, cloud, or online storage account.

This article is for informational and suggestion purposes only. If insurance policy coverage descriptions in this article conflict with the language in the policy, the language in the policy apply. To learn more about home insurance coverage, speak with your  Shield Insurance Agent.

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Insurance For The Backyard - Shield Insurance Agency Blog

Insurance for the backyard with Shield Agency

Whether you’re grilling out, gardening or splashing in the pool, your backyard is a space to relax, run around and spend quality time with the people you care about. If anything were to happen to it, you would want to be in a position to get your yard back in shape. Insurance for the backyard is important.

You know your home insurance policy covers your house, but what about your backyard? Items like a shed, swing set, pool, or even a few trees can affect how much coverage you need to recover from a loss. While your independent agent can determine the best coverage for your situation, here’s what coverage is needed for common backyard items.

Shed

A standard homeowners’ policy contains many different coverages in addition to the portion that protects your house. Your shed is protected as another structure on your property. Items protected under “other structures” also include detached garages, driveways, and fences.

Grills, tools and other equipment

Most grills, lawn equipment, and other items in your backyard are covered under the personal belongings portion of your policy. However, if you have a particularly pricey item, your standard policy may not contain enough coverage to replace everything after a loss.

One option is to raise your coverage limits. Keep in mind that there’s a cap on how much your insurance will cover for each item, as well as for the entire loss. Alternatively, you can add endorsements to cover specific, high-value items. It may increase your premium, but you will be covered for more kinds of losses and your policy deductible doesn’t apply. This means that you could replace expensive equipment at no additional cost.

Backyard Pool

When protecting your pool, your coverage depends on if you have an in-ground or above-ground pool. In-ground pools are considered a structure, but above-ground pools are considered personal property. Either way, both are protected to a degree with a standard homeowners’ policy. Be sure to talk with your agent about insuring your backyard and adding coverage to ensure that your pool is fully protected.

In addition, owning a pool increases your chance of having an accident. You may need to increase your liability limits or add an umbrella policy, which helps cover costs once you’ve surpassed policy limits. Make sure you also take preventative safety measures, like installing a fence around your pool and never leaving children unattended.

Landscaping and trees

If caused by a covered loss, like fire, vandalism, or lightning, your homeowners’ insurance will cover damage to landscaping and trees. Similar to your lawn equipment, the amount your insurance company will contribute to your loss is capped – and even more so by the individual item.

Trampolines and playsets in the backyard

Backyard playthings are covered under your personal property coverage. If destroyed by a covered loss, your standard policy should cover your trampoline, swing set, and more, all part of insurance for your backyard.

Remember, while a trampoline or playset can be a fun addition to your yard, these items put you at a higher risk of an accident. Increase liability limits or add an umbrella policy to help cover you if someone is injured while playing on your property.

Be sure to discuss your backyard with your agent. If you fail to disclose that you have items like a pool or a trampoline, a future claim could be denied. Withholding information on your home also puts you at risk for your policy to be canceled entirely. So be sure to discuss the items in your backyard with your insurance agent and they will help you get the right coverage at the right price for you. Contact Shield Insurance and make sure your yard is properly insured today.

This article is for informational and suggestion purposes only. If insurance policy coverage descriptions in this article conflict with the language in the policy, the language in the policy applies. To learn more about home insurance coverage, speak with your Shield Insurance Today!

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Safe Garage 3 Ways To Make Your Garage Safe - Shield Insurance Agency Blog

Safe Garage: 3 ways to make your garage safe

When thinking about the biggest risks to your home, it’s easy to overlook your garage. However, with dangerous chemicals, a high potential for break-ins, and powered equipment, your garage easily becomes a hidden homeowners’ hazard.

Help keep your garage and family safe by completing these three tasks: maintenance, organization and protection.

1. Maintain your garage.

The first step in keeping a safe garage is performing simple maintenance checks to be sure everything is working properly. Visually examine your garage door and look for loose nuts and bolts, frayed cables, and rusted springs. Also, test the manual release function and the auto-stop system. To test the automatic reversal system, place an object like a brick or wooden block in the path of the closing door. If working properly, the closing door should detect the object and automatically open back up.

If you notice any wear and tear or hear any concerning noises, contact a garage door professional to examine and repair your door.

Another helpful maintenance tip – clean your garage every six months. With all of the chemicals and equipment in your garage, it’s essential to keep a clean space to minimize risk.

2. Organize your garage.

In addition to having a clean and well-maintained garage, it’s important to be organized and to safely store items. Chemicals should be placed in a locked box on a high shelf, out of reach from small children. This includes cleaning solutions, glues, pool supplies, pest-control products and more.

Also, make sure that all tools and lawn care equipment are stored out of reach or are properly mounted to the wall. And when it comes to powered tools or equipment, like a lawn mower, make sure each one has cooled down before storing it away.

3. Protect your garage.

According to the FBI, there were more than 1.4 million burglaries in the U.S. in 2017. Keeping burglars out of your garage not only protects the belongings you store there, but it can also keep intruders out of your house. Criminals can often get into your home through the garage or, if the garage is a separate structure, they can use your own tools to break into your home.

To prevent a break-in, keep your garage door closed and do not store a spare key inside. Also, it may be wise to invest in adequate outdoor lighting, including motion-sensing lights, as well as an alarm system. Get to know your neighbors, so they can alert you or the authorities of any suspicious behavior.

The final way to protect your garage is through insurance. A typical homeowners’ policy contains many different coverages in addition to the portion that protects your house. So, whether your garage is attached to your house or is its own free-standing structure, it should be covered by a standard homeowners’ insurance policy. Be sure to discuss your garage with your independent insurance agent to ensure that you have the right coverage for your unique situation.

This article is for informational and suggestion purposes only. If the policy coverage descriptions in this article conflict with the language in the policy, the language in the policy applies. Talk with your independent agent if you have any questions regarding the details of your home insurance policy or if you need to update your insurance.

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How to Prepare Your Phone For An Emergency - Shield Insurance Agency Blog

How to prepare your phone for an emergency

In case of an emergency, here is how to prepare your phone.

Today, our phones are rarely outside of our reach. This makes them one of the best tools we have to quickly respond to an emergency and increase the chances of a more positive outcome.

How prepared is your phone to handle an emergency?

In most emergencies, you would be the one to contact someone for help. So, it’s important to take a few minutes to research and save important emergency contact numbers on your phone so you can make the call immediately and get help faster.

Here are the main emergency phone numbers to prepare

  • Your emergency contacts, such as a parent, spouse, or close friend
  • Police, 911 in the United States for emergencies
  • Poison Control Center
  • State Highway Patrol
  • Your nearest police and fire department (for non-emergencies)

You should also consider saving these important numbers to help you in an emergency:

  • Your doctor, pediatrician, and/or veterinarian
  • Your pharmacy
  • Home health aides
  • Your insurance company
  • Your roadside assistance provider
  • Your employer
  • Your child’s school or caregiver
  • A nearby relative or friend
  • An out-of-town relative or friend

There are also some emergency situations, like a bad fall or car accident, where you might not be able to communicate with first responders. For this reason, it’s important to take these two steps:

  1. Add an emergency contact in your phones, such as a parent, spouse, or close friend who can come to your aid.
  2. If your phone locks, set up a lock screen message to communicate helpful information to first responders, like your emergency contact, blood type, allergies, and medications.

Depending on the type of phone you’re using, there are different ways to add a lock screen message.

iPhone users can use the Health app on their phones to add their basic personal information, important medical details, and emergency contact numbers within the Medical ID tab and make them accessible from their lock screen. Just make sure you select “Show When Locked” and test it out after you’ve finished setting it up.

Android users can set up their lock screen message by going into their Settings, Users & Accounts, and then Emergency Information. Enter your medical information and emergency contact. Then test it out by locking your phone, swiping up, and tapping “Emergency” to find the information you entered.

Additionally, Android lets you put any message you want on your locked screen. To do this, open your Settings, go to Security & Location, and next to the Screen Lock tab hit Settings. Then, tap Lock Screen Message. Here, you can enter your primary emergency contact or important medication information so that it always displays on your locked phone screen.

Because it’s difficult to predict when or where an emergency will happen, it is a smart idea to prepare your phone now so that you’re ready to handle any situation that comes your way in the future. Be safe out there!

This article is for informational and suggestion purposes only. To learn more about Shield Insurance Agency, business and life insurance, or auto insurance including Roadside Assistance, please call or text our office at 616-896-4600

References:
– Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School
– HuffPost, LIFE

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How to Get A Mortgage After A Foreclosure - Shield Insurance Agency Blog

How to get a mortgage after a foreclosure

How to get a mortgage after a foreclosure

A foreclosure can make you feel like your world is collapsing. Jilyn Crawford knows the feeling. She legally fought against a pending foreclosure on her family home for more than a decade because of a bank’s error.

“It feels like you are being buried alive,” says Crawford, senior loan officer and sales manager at American Family Funding in Santa Clarita, California.

Her experience prompted a career change, going from real estate agent to loan officer. She didn’t want others to go through what she had gone through and wanted to give people a chance to buy another house even after a foreclosure

“There is hope, and life does start again,” Crawford says.

How long after a foreclosure can you buy a house?

Generally, borrowers whose homes have been foreclosed must undergo a waiting period before anyone will lend them money for another mortgage. Extenuating circumstances for certain types of loans, however, can actually shorten the time frame.

  • Conventional loan – After a foreclosure, it can take you seven years to get a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac conventional loan, but sometimes shorter or longer, depending on the lender. However, this can be shortened to a mere three years if certain circumstances led to the foreclosure, such as a loss of employment, medical issue, or incorrect information on your credit report, Crawford says.
  • FHA loan – You’ll have to wait three years to get a loan backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), which begins when the foreclosure case ends, generally when the foreclosed home is sold. Like applying for a conventional loan, if you can prove circumstances beyond your control caused the foreclosure, you may be able to request a shorter waiting period.
  • VA loan – For veterans and those still serving in the military, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) requires only two years between a foreclosure and seeking a new loan. Note that if you qualify for a VA loan, you’ll get a home loan entitlement, which is the maximum amount the VA guarantees it’ll pay the lender in case of default. “I’ve had veterans lose part of their entitlement in a foreclosure, but they still have entitlement left. It’s all about the foreclosed amount,” Crawford explains.
  • USDA loan – Available in largely rural areas, USDA loans have a waiting period of three years to qualify if you have a foreclosure in your credit history, Crawford says.
  • Non-qualified mortgage – With a non-qualified mortgage (non-QM), or a loan that doesn’t meet government standards, you could possibly get another loan right after your foreclosure, Crawford says. Note that Non-QM loans have more expensive fees, higher interest rates, and also different qualifications than qualified mortgages (QM).

How to get a mortgage after a foreclosure

Despite the foreclosure, you can own a home again with patience and strong financial habits. Before you attempt to buy, do the following:

1. Check your credit report

Get a free copy of your credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com, and look through it for any mistakes or payments you thought were taken care of, such as a bill you thought your health insurance company paid but instead went to a collection agency.

“This happens all the time,” Crawford says. “It happened to me. You don’t even know they are there.”

If you believe there is an error on your credit report, contact the credit reporting agency (either Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion), and be sure to have supporting documents to make your case. You can contact any of the reporting agencies by phone, online, or by mail to dispute incorrect information on your report.

2. Focus on improving your credit score

Depending on what your credit score was before the foreclosure, it’s likely to have dropped between 80 and 160 points afterward, according to Crawford.

To help improve your score, strive to pay every bill on time — late payments are very hard to get off your credit report, Crawford says. Most creditors will give you a one-time erase, so you can try asking for it if late payments aren’t a regular habit. Set up your bills on automatic payment, if possible, to avoid forgetting to pay them. If you have any credit cards, try to pay more than the minimum balance due, as well.

3. Re-establish income

Lenders generally like to see consistency in employment and income, so if you lost your job but are able to work, make it a priority to find another one — ideally, one with some stability.

Note that your new employer may do a credit check, which will contain information about the foreclosure. While generally, that shouldn’t have an impact on your prospects, it could if you’re a candidate for a role that deals directly with money. In all cases, it’s best to be forthcoming and honest about how you’re taking steps to move forward.

4. Save if you can

To qualify for another mortgage, you’ll need funds to demonstrate to the lender that you’re able to repay the loan even if emergency expenses arise.

This can be hard, Crawford says, but if you can, cut back on little things like buying Starbucks, and look for ways to save, such as changing your auto insurance or cell phone plan or dropping your digital or cable television subscription.

5. Find a lender based on your needs and situation

Seek out a lender familiar with your situation, or one with several programs to choose from that can fit what you need, Crawford recommends. For instance, if you’re looking for a VA loan, avoid a lender with limited VA loan experience.

“All lenders are fishing in the same pond. We are getting our loans from the same sources,” Crawford says. “The difference is in the loan officer, and the knowledge that officer has.”

What to consider before buying a home with a new mortgage after a foreclosure

Before jumping to apply for another mortgage when you’re able, check-in with yourself and your finances. Do you feel ready to take on the responsibility of homeownership again? Think about the costs that come with owning a home, such as repairs and upkeep, in addition to the monthly mortgage payment.

“You need to examine what the market looks like at that time and will a lender work with you,” adds Crawford.

Overall, assess whether having your own home again is the best financial move for you. Sometimes renting for a little longer can help you improve your credit, pay down your debt and build a better financial future.
Featured image by South_agency of Getty Images.

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Protecting Yourself After A Data Breach - Shield Insurance Agency Blog

Protecting yourself after a data breach

A data breach is becoming more and more common. With over a billion records exposed since 2005, it’s likely that — if it hasn’t happened already — you’ll eventually rip open a letter to find that your data has been compromised and your personal information is at risk.

So what do you do next?

Just because you received this letter does not mean that you’re the victim of identity theft, it just means that your data was exposed, a data breach. However, there are five main steps you can take to better ensure that you come out of the situation with your identity and finances intact.

Breathe and read.

The first step is to not panic. That may sound counter-intuitive, but the best thing you can do is take a deep breath and thoroughly read the letter. The letter will explain what information is at risk, how the data breach occurred, and how you can get more information. When you’ve finished reading it over, keep it in a safe place in case you ever need to prove that your data was exposed.

Let your bank, mortgage lender, and other financial organizations know that your data has been compromised. This way, they can keep an eye out for suspicious activity.

Monitor billing and financial statements.

You must be on the lookout for fraudulent activity, too. Your bank or credit card provider may have text or email alerts to help you monitor your account, but be sure to check your statements regularly. And don’t just look for big withdrawals. Small purchases could be criminals seeing what they can get away with.

Check your credit report.

You can get a free credit report once per year. So after about 30 days, request your copy and check for anything suspicious. If you would like some extra protection, you may want to sign up for a credit monitoring service. While this typically comes at a cost, the business that exposed your data may offer these services for free in response to the breach.

Change your passwords.

In case the cybercriminals are in your online accounts or got a hold of the information that could give them access, change your passwords. Plus, it’s a good practice to update your passwords every 90 days. Be sure to include numbers, symbols, and uppercase and lowercase letters in your new passwords.

Grange Insurance offers an Identity Theft coverage endorsement that can be added to a Grange Personal Auto or Homeowners insurance policy. For full details on coverage and discounts, contact your Shield Insurance Agent. This article is for information purposes only. For specific coverage details, always refer to your policy.

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Wallet Safety Check List - Shield Insurance Agency Blog

Wallet Safety Check List

10 items to leave out of your wallet

It’s simple for thieves to turn plain, old regular crime into cybercrime – if you give them the right information. Leave these ten items out of your wallet.

Over time, it’s easy for your wallet or purse to become stuffed full of crucial information – receipts, PIN numbers, and social security cards – that thieves can use to access your online life with only a few clicks.

Keep only what you need in your wallet and purse and keep your online life secure. Use the infographic below to help determine what should be, and more importantly, what should not be in your wallet.

Wallet Safety Check List

10 Items To Leave Out Of Your Wallet - Shield Insurance Agency Blog
  1. Social Security Cards
  2. Birth certificates
  3. Receipts
  4. Gift cards
  5. Extra credit cards
  6. Blank checks
  7. Passports
  8. Medicare cards
  9. Spare keys
  10. Pins and passwords
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4 Reasons To Have Identity Theft Insurance – Shield Insurance Agency Blog

4 reasons to have identity theft insurance

Identity theft insurance is there to help protect you from the worst financial situations. And in today’s data-driven world, identity theft remains a constant threat that comes with a big financial risk.

When an identity thief has your Social Security number and other identifying information, they can use it to fraudulently open new accounts or credit cards for financial gain, steal money from your existing accounts, apply for loans, rent an apartment, obtain a job, receive medical care or establish accounts with utility companies.

Still not sure if you need identity theft insurance?

Here are a couple of reasons why you should consider it the next time you speak with your independent insurance agent.

Reason #1: Your household contains children or seniors.

Everyone with a Social Security number is at risk for identity theft, but identity theft thieves like to target individuals who are less likely to regularly check for identity theft warning signs or report irregular activity on their credit reports. This means children and seniors are prime targets.

If you have children, periodically check for a credit report in their name. If no credit report exists, that is a good sign that your child has not been a victim of identity theft. However, if you start receiving collection calls, statements or pre-approval credit offers in your child’s name, these are warning signs that your child’s identity may have been stolen.

If you have seniors in your household, help them learn about common tactics identity thieves use to trick their victims into sharing private personal information that could compromise their identity. Seniors are most often targeted with over-the-phone and internet phishing scams. Teach them how to identify phishing and encourage them to call the organization directly to confirm if the communication is real or a phishing attempt before they share any information.

Reason #2: You’re in the military.

Active duty military members are particularly vulnerable to identity theft while they’re deployed. This is because they might not be checking their credit reports or receiving calls from debt collectors.

According to the FTC, military members are most affected by bank and credit card fraud, but they have also been victims of employment fraud, tax-related fraud, and loan or lease fraud.

If deployment is in your future, set up an Active Duty Military Fraud Alert on your credit report. Once in place, businesses must verify your identity before issuing credit in your name and this makes it harder for identity thieves to use your information to apply for credit.

Reason #3: You’re on social media.

When you share your name, date of birth, hometown, and other personal information on your social media profile, it makes it easier for cyber-criminals to connect that information to even more sensitive information that they collect from you from phishing or another type of scam.

In 2018, the FTC processed over 9,000 email or social media identity theft reports, which was a 23% increase from the previous year.

Think twice before you share a lot of personal information on your social media profiles.

Reason #4: Your password is 12345.

If you use a simple password to protect your accounts or internet-connected devices, then it’s time to update it. Some examples of a simple password are 12345, password, and admin.

A secure password is long, includes a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols and it isn’t easily guessed. You should also avoid using the same password for all of your accounts, since cracking it in one location could open the door for an identity thief to access and take over your other accounts, too. Consider using two-factor authentication, which sends a code to your phone during login, whenever it’s available to add an additional layer of password protection.

Even if none of these reasons apply to you, it pays to be on the lookout for identity theft. CyberScout, a provider of full-spectrum identity, privacy, and security services and a Grange Insurance partner, recommends checking your credit report from all three credit agencies at least twice a year. Under FACTA, every consumer has the right to obtain a copy of his or her credit report free from each of the credit reporting agencies. Take advantage of this opportunity and learn about additional prevention techniques like setting up credit monitoring to keep your identity, and those of your loved ones, safe.

This article is for informational and suggestion purposes only. If the policy coverage descriptions in this article conflict with the language in the policy, the language in the policy apply. Shield Insurance offers an Identity Theft coverage endorsement that can be added to a Personal Auto or Homeowners insurance policy. For full details on coverages and discounts, contact us@ShieldAgency.com .

References:
– Consumer Affairs
– CyberScout

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Retail Guidelines to Add To Your Reopening Plan - Shield Insurance Agency Blog

Retail Guidelines to Add To Your Reopening Plan

Retail guidelines to add to your reopening plan.

No matter what area of retail you work in, you need a retail reopening plan that outlines steps to keep your customers and employees safe during coronavirus. From social distancing shopping measures to sanitary protocols for returns, there are many working parts to address while reopening stores during COVID-19.

As you outline your plan, look for retail reopening guidelines from the experts at your local level up to the global level, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA). These organizations can help you prioritize the best actions you can take before opening your store and throughout your workday.

Guidelines for reopening stores

Start with a detailed plan for customers and employees to follow to keep their health and safety a top priority. According to the CDC and AIHA, components of your retail reopening plan should include

  • Safety measures for employees before each shift, such as recording their temperature either at home or before entering the store.
  • Personal hygiene protocols for employees like handwashing, sanitizing shared surfaces, and wearing face coverings.
  • Social distancing markers, like tape or decals, on the floor throughout the store including checkout line markers that are six feet apart and one-way aisles to reduce people passing each other in close proximity.
  • A merchandising strategy with social distancing in mind. Separate shelving and limit items on display with backstock for different colors and sizes.
  • A returns strategy for accepting and storing returned items.

AIHA recommends sharing your reopening plans with employees and customers via email and social media. Educate customers on the precautions you’re taking to give them a safer shopping experience. You can also take this opportunity to promote alternative shopping methods, such as online shopping or contactless curbside pick-up, for those looking for a lower-risk shopping experience.

Additionally, continue to monitor local and state guidelines, the CDC, AIHA, and other sources you use for coronavirus prevention information. As the experts update their information, you should also update your retail reopening plan where it’s necessary.

Prioritize customer safety inside your store


Here are some steps you can take to help protect your customers and minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19 at your store

  • Limit the number of occupants in the store at any given time.
  • Place a trained greeter at the front of the store to answer questions and encourage customers to partake in social distancing practices while they shop.
  • Limit purchases to card-only transactions to reduce cash handling.
  • Sanitize shared surfaces at the register between customers.
  • Install a “sneeze guard” between employees and customers at each checkout line.

Reopening stores during COVID-19 can be a challenge but adding protective measures like these will help decrease the spread of the virus. The more detailed you can be in your guidelines for reopening, the more peace of mind you can offer your customers.

Keep your retail employees safe

Give employees the training and tools they need to stay safe and effectively sanitize their work environments during each shift. These practices may include:

  • Providing hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol at every workstation, register, break room and shared employee space.
  • Training employees on adequate handwashing practices or posting signage in bathrooms with best practices for handwashing techniques.
  • Providing no-touch disposals in bathrooms and break rooms.
  • Cleaning bathrooms, break rooms and other shared rooms frequently.
  • Staggering work shifts to limit the number of employees in the store at any given time.
  • Encouraging employees to stay home when they feel sick.
  • Taking employees’ temperatures before they enter the store for a shift.

References:
– American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA)
– Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

This article is for informational and suggestion purposes only. If you have questions about your Grange business insurance coverage, please speak with TJ, your Shield Insurance Agent

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