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Tips on Writing an Effective Social Media Marketing Request For Proposal (RFP)

About a year ago, I wrote an article with guidelines on writing a website design and development Request for Proposal (RFP), which received a great response. Now I think it’s high time to do the same thing for those wishing to engage an agency for Social Media Marketing and other Online Marketing and Advertising consultation and implementation.

Below are my suggestions of how to prepare an RFP for social media projects, retainers and campaigns. I also suggest doing research online and viewing other Request for Proposals to see what works best for your organization. Keep in mind that whatever format you choose will determine not only how long the responses are, but also what type of focus you are looking for from the respondents. Each section of the RFP is outlined below, along with some explanation and suggested questions. Have fun!

Information about your organization and project

Introduction

The purpose of this section is to give a brief overview of the company issuing the RFP and the social media project or desired work relationship between the company and the vendor. Provide as much information as you feel is necessary to allow vendors to prepare an accurate proposal. If you feel that there is certain proprietary or other information that you do not wish to make public, require a Non Disclosure Agreement be signed before receiving that information. This may limit the participation of vendors, but it is oftentimes necessary to protect private information.

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Eco Christmas – Top Tips To A Green Christmas

As Christmas approaches once again, increasingly more and more of us are realizing the situation we and our planet face due to the effects of climate change. Whilst Christmas is a time for giving, eco-friendly, green gifts are becoming more popular for many people. Indeed, it is becoming clear that we simply cannot continue buying disposable items that use up precious resources if we are to sustain our well-being as humans and the planet as a whole.

Save money and the planet with eco-friendly Christmas decorations. Rather than plastic tinsel and baubles, how about decorating your home for Christmas with biodegradable ivy, holly and berries? Simply drape over mirrors and picture frames for a natural alternative and a traditional Christmas atmosphere.

Rather than spending money and using resources for gift tags, a great use for old Christmas cards is to cut them up and re-use them as this years gift tags.

Most households will produce a lot of waste paper at Christmas, be sure to use this as an opportunity to recycle this waste paper. If the facilities exist in your community take advantage of this easy way to help preserve resources.

Over the past few years the availability of eco-friendly gifts for men, women and children has greatly increased. There are many online stores that now specialize in eco-friendly, sustainable gifts and gadgets, from eco-friendly beauty products to solar powered boys toys (gadgets always seem to be popular with men in many families, worldwide). Why not make this years Christmas a sustainable, eco-friendly celebration?

Eco-Friendly, Quality Online Stores – Hand-Picked at EcoShopGuide.com [http://www.ecoshopguide.com]

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Sony Ericsson W580i – Mobile With Several Alternative Connectivity Options

With the Sony Ericsson W580i, people can easily connect with others. The users find the handset very useful for the incredible features that it has. This mobile connects with 2G networks and it is also GSM enabled that makes it possible for people to stay connected even if they happen to visit distant places of the world.

The dimensions of the W580i is also very impressive as it makes it possible for people to carry the device with ease. The 99 x 47 x 14 mm dimensions of the handset renders compactness to the phone. The gadget is also light as it weighs 94 gms. This further enhances the user-friendliness of the device.

Sony Ericsson W580i has a display screen measuring 2.0 inches. This screen supports 256 K colours and users can utilise it for viewing pictures and wallpapers. This screen is also brought to use by people to play games and surf internet. The net surfing makes it possible for people to download files and view pages that give information. The WAP browser makes high speed surfing of the internet possible. The uses are captivated by visiting the various websites on this gadget.

The phone supports 512 MB memory card. This card is useful for storing of ringtones, games, music and videos. The customers can make use of the memory to store call records, messages and contact information. Then there is also the option whereby users can store the latest music and video files on the mobile.

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Drug Addiction Explained – The Top 6 Drug Addiction Treatments

Throughout the years, doctors and experts have been able to create all sorts of treatment for drug addiction. Doctors have created so many options, that choosing one drug addiction treatment approach can likely take awhile. Being addicted to anything should never be seen as a minor problem. Those who are addicted to drugs most importantly need a lot of attention and care, as it is a very fragile situation to be in. Fortunately, doctors have been able to create all sorts of treatments that make the process less daunting and scary for patients.

What Is Drug Addiction?

Drug addiction seriously is a complex illness that is characterized by very intense and sometimes uncontrollable drug cravings. Some compulsive drug addicts tend to find the withdrawals and symptoms of quitting drug use can be so unbearable for them to handle. The path of addictions begin with the moderate acts of taking drugs, and over time the person’s ability of becoming addicted are highly likely. In time, the addict will constantly seek and consume the drugs compulsively. This sad behavior then results to the effects of a long line of drug exposure to the brain function. Addiction is a serious brain disease that has shown to affect multiple brain circuits such as memory, learning, and inhibitory control on your behavior.

Since drug abuse has so many dimensions, it disrupts so many aspects in the addicts life. Treatment isn’t simple, because in order for it to work, the addict must be willing to change. Effective treatment programs usually incorporate different components, each which are directed to particular aspects of this illness. Addiction treatments will help people to stop using drugs, maintain their drug-free lifestyle, and even achieve a more productive routine. Since addiction usually is a chronic disease, most people can’t stop using drugs unless they have proper treatment. Most patients unfortunately require long-term and repeated episodes of treatment in order to achieve and sustain abstinence drugs.

Different Types Of Drug Addiction Treatments

– Behavioral Treatments

A behavioral treatment basically helps patients to engage in the entire treatment process. It modifies the patient’s behaviors and attitudes related to their drug abuse to increase their chances of a healthier lifestyle. These treatments may even enhance the accuracy of medications that help people to stay on their treatment. Treatments for addiction can only be delivered through different settings with different behavioral approaches.

The outpatient behavioral treatments encompasses an array of programs for the patients who visit clinics in regular intervals. Most programs involve individual and even group drug counseling sessions. Some programs also offer other types of behavioral treatments including:

– Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

This therapy seeks to help different patients recognize, cope, and avoid the situations where they are more likely to not abuse drugs.

– Multidimensional Family Therapy

This therapy was developed for the adolescents whom are suffering from drug abuse problems, and where their families address a wide range of influences with the drug abuse patterns. It is also designed to improve your overall family functioning as well.

– Motivational Interviewing

This therapy capitalizes the readiness of each patient to change their unique behavior to finally enter treatment.

– Motivational Incentives

This therapy uses positive reinforcements to help encourage abstinence from consuming drugs.

– Residential Treatment

Residential treatment programs is also a highly effective treatment, especially for patients with severe issues. For instance, therapeutic communities are more highly structured programs where patients stay at their home. The patient usually stays at this at home therapy for 6 months to a year. Therapeutic communities differ from the treatment approaches principally through the community, staff, and recovery. This is the key agent to change and influence the attitudes, behaviors, and perceptions, of patients associated with drug abuse. Patients that go through TC therapy may even include those with long histories of drug abuse, seriously impaired social functions, and involvement with serious criminal activities. This therapy is now being designed to be accommodated by women who may be pregnant or have kids. The focus of this therapy is the resocialization of patients to a drug free and crime free lifestyle.

If you want to gain a normal life and overcome this addiction, find the right treatment that best suits your current situation. Allowing the treatment to help you is the only way to live a healthy drug free life.

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Some Questions About Alcohol Or Drug Addiction And Some Answers

Alcohol or drug addiction affect more than just the person suffering the addiction. The situation also harms the people who care for the addicted person, such as family, friends… even coworkers are affected. In this article, we hope to offer some helpful information concerning drug addiction through common questions and answers so that you will be informed and able to approach situations in your own life with both sensitivity and realism.

What is drug addiction?

Drug addiction is a physical and mental condition characterized by habitual and uncontrollable drug intake, involving craving and seeking, even despite the negative consequences associated with drug use.

Alcohol or drug addiction is different from alcohol or drug dependence, though. For example, a person who is taking a drug to treat a disease or illness may have trouble functioning without the drug, but the person may see an improvement in the medical condition while taking the drug. They are only dependent, however, because they are not taking the drug compulsively. Persons addicted to a drug or alcohol exhibit compulsive behavior towards the drug, and unlike the medically dependent drug or alcohol user, they are unable to quit the use once the drug or alcohol has performed its intended effect.

What are the most common forms of drug addiction?

Interestingly enough, the most common addictions are to legally available substances.

Alcohol – also known as ethanol – can become addictive, and it is a depressant. The most common forms of alcohol for consumption are beer, wine, and liquor. Most countries have laws regarding the legal consumption of alcohol, such as a minimum age requirement and maximum blood-alcohol level to operate a vehicle.

Nicotine, most often in the form of tobacco in cigarettes and chewing tobacco, is another legal drug. Nicotine is a stimulant and highly addictive. It is also a very difficult substance to stop using once addicted.

Caffeine is also an addictive drug. It too is a stimulant, offering the user a temporary increase in energy. Once addicted to caffeine, however, the caffeine addict must continually consume caffeine, usually from a beverage like coffee, tea, or a caffeinated soda or soft drink, in order to maintain their level of energy. Stopping the use of caffeine may cause the coffee drinker to go through withdrawal, causing headaches or fatigue.

What are some other viewpoints concerning the reason for drug addiction?

More are beginning to think that drug addiction is a form of dysfunctional learning. Much of what people do is based on motivation and reward. Abused drugs or alcohol take over the parts of the brain that are involved in motivation and reward. The drug user is re-educated, erroneously, motivation stimuli and the associated rewards. Drug-associated cues will in it’s turn cause the desire to use to flare up in the addicted person. This will lead to unconscious and/or compulsive drug-seeking behavior as well, for example lying, stealing, and even physical violence. The addicted drug user will lose the sense of voluntary control over the use of the drug. The continued use of drugs strengthens the neurological pathways in the brain, and their activation quickens with each use. The quicker the “high” is achieved, the stronger the dysfunctional learning.

Why is drug addiction so difficult to overcome?

The more a person uses an addictive drug, the more difficult it becomes for the person to stop use. Their learning process is problematically reshaped. Drugs also physically change a person, transforming the neuro-chemical makeup in a person’s brain. This leads some of us to view addiction as a disease. However, the model that sees drug addiction as a matter of dysfunctional learning helps to explain how learned behaviors can be unlearned. Certainly the more addicted a person is, the more difficult it will be for them to unlearn their addicted behaviors. Abused drugs can change long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) in neuronal circuits involved in the addiction, also adding to the difficulty of overcoming drug addiction. Properly assessing the development of an addicted person’s affected learning would increase the potential of more effectively treating the addiction.

What are the some of the chemicals involved in drug addiction?

The CREB protein, a transcription factor activated by cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) immediately after a high, triggers genes that produce proteins such as dynorphin, which cuts off dopamine release and temporarily inhibits the reward circuit. In chronic drug users, a sustained activation of CREB leaves the user feeling depressed and dissatisfied, unable to find pleasure in previously enjoyable activities, often leading to a return to the drug for an additional “fix”. It also leads to a short-term tolerance of the substance, necessitating that a greater amount be taken in order to reach the same high. Another transcription factor called delta FosB, is thought to activate genes that evidently counter to the effects of CREB, actually increase the user’s sensitivity to the effects of the drug or substance.

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How To Properly Utilize a Medical Alert System

There are ways to use just about any device improperly. Lack of knowledge is typically one of the most common reasons why devices are improperly used. For devices that are created with the intent to be used in a medical emergency, such as a medical alert system, the difference between proper and improper use can be life or death.

Do you know how to react in a medical emergency? With or without a medical alert system in your home? One of the hardest things to do in a medical emergency is to not panic, but unfortunately it is one of the most common things people do in these types of situations. Panic is just the simplest response to an emergency because it is instinctual and it is done without thinking. People also panic because they have no idea what else to do! This is very sad because panicking is the most dangerous reaction a person could have in an emergency situation. People who panic can cause a lot more harm than good during a medical emergency. One of the best ways to keep yourself from panicking during a medical emergency is to know how to handle one, especially for when you are all by yourself. Here are some great tips to help you know how to handle a medical emergency and get through it in the safest way possible.

Press Your Medical Alert Button
For the most part, since you have equipped your home with a medical alert system, you can easily call for help by hitting your medical alert button located on your medical alert bracelet, necklace or pendant. This will automatically dial a care center where a trained help advisor will be on the line in just seconds, ready to call your family members, friends, neighbors or send emergency assistance to help you with any medical emergency. The help advisor will also stay on the line with you until help arrives. However, if you are out of your home, or maybe you have unfortunately not invested in a medical alert system, you will need to call 911. In cases where you are alone, reaching the phone may be difficult to do if you are injured after a fall and you are unable to move. That is why a medical alert system is very valuable to have, especially during a medical emergency when you are all by yourself.

Some people don’t call 911 first because they are trying to assess the situation, and not bother 911 if the emergency is not that dire. This can cause the person to lose valuable time that is necessary for helping them survive the situation. Do not wait to call 911 or press your medical alert button. Even if the emergency turns out to not be that serious, it could have been, and hesitation is another enemy of medical emergencies.

If Physically Injured, Try Not to Move
Many times when people fall, they try very hard to get themselves back up or move around to attempt to find a comfortable position. This is the absolute worst thing a person can do in the case of a medical emergency when a fall is involved. You may not realize, but you may have a neck or spinal cord injury. Moving can cause even more harm and possibly cause you to become paralyzed.

If you have a medical alert system in your home as you should, you will be able to call for help with such minimal movement because you will only need to move your hand to press the medical alert button on your medical alert bracelet, pendant or necklace. Not having to move much to call for help during a medical emergency in which you are alone is a very important aspect of trying to maintain mobility after the fall.

If you do not have a medical alert system and need to try to get to a phone, you run the risk of injuring yourself further. If you have nearby neighbors, try to shout for help and hope someone hears you. Otherwise, you can either wait until someone finally comes, or risk injuring yourself further by trying to move and get to a phone to call 911.

Keep Medication With You
Some people take many medications that can help them immediately in the event of a medical emergency. Obviously, sticking ten different pill bottles into your pockets will never be practical, but keeping a small pill case in your pocket with a few of each important pill in it is good practice just in case of a medical emergency. This way, you can have the medication you need in seconds.

When you are alone, you can not exactly ask anyone to get your medication for you, so if you collapse due to a issue that one of your medications can fix, the pill case in your pocket will be your best friend. However, if you have not prepared for this situation, a medical alert system can act as another person in your home and call medical personnel to help you promptly. Without a medical alert system, it will be difficult to tell how long you might be without your medication, or if you will even survive the situation.

Medical emergencies can happen at any moment, even when you are alone. It is vital that you prepare yourself before they happen and not after the fact. Being knowledgeable about how to handle a medical emergency will be the best way to prepare yourself to combat one. Having a medical alert system in the home will even further help the situation since it basically acts as another person that can help you get the help you need.

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Medical Assistant Job Description – What To Look For and How To Get Hired for Medical Assistant Jobs

A medical assistant job description will vary depending on the size, location and specialty of the health care organization or practice. It is common for assistant medical jobs in small practices to do many different tasks but in large practices they may specialize in just a few tasks. Generally speaking, a medical assistant job description will include both administrative and/or clinical tasks.

Assistant medical jobs are in very high demand right now. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has reported that assistant medical jobs are projected to grow by an astonishing 34 percent from 2008 to 2018. In fact, due to the expanding health care industry, it is one of the fastest-growing occupations in the U.S. today.

Medical Assistant Job Description: What Does a ‘MA’ Do?

A medical administrator or assistant helps make a practice run smoothly by performing several important administrative tasks such as:

* scheduling appointments
* updating and filing patient medical records
* handling billing and bookkeeping
* filling out insurance forms
* scheduling patient hospital admissions
* answering the telephone

In addition, assistant medical employment description may include some or all of the following clinical tasks:

* collecting and processing laboratory specimens
* sterilize and prepare equipment
* taking vital signs
* preparing patients for physical examinations or x-ray procedures
* educating and instructing patients about medications and diets
* administering medications
* authorizing drug refills
* drawing blood
* changing dressings and other first aid procedures

Apart from having the knowledge and skills needed to perform the tasks listed above, every medical assistant job description will also include good interpersonal and communication skills. Ideally, MAs should also be friendly and approachable.

One of the medical administrator’s or assistant’s responsibilities is to put the patient at ease and to answer any questions he or she may have about medications or tests. Doctors tend to be very busy people and sometimes patients don’t want to waste their physician’s time by asking too many questions. Part of the assistant medical employment description includes helping patients understand medical terminology. If the patient is confused by the doctor’s instructions, the medical administrator or assistants job is to help him or her know what to do.

Medical Assistant Job Description: Education and Certification Requirements

Not all MAs have formal training in the medical field. Some have only high school diplomas and were trained on the job. Others have completed one or two-year programs in medical administrating or assisting. Vocational and technical schools, community colleges, junior colleges and online educational institutions commonly offer medical administrating or assisting programs.

Graduates of these formal training programs may apply for certification or registration with a professional organization for medical administrators and assistants. There are several organizations that give certification credentials for MAs such as the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) and the Association of Medical Technologists (AMT). Certification or registration of credentials is not required but many employers do prefer applicants who are certified.

Depending on the specific assistant medical job description, other specialized training may be required. This will vary according to the practitioner’s specialty. For example, an ophthalmic assistant medical job description may require the job candidate to know how to test eye muscle function.

Assistant Medical Employment Description: People Skills

As the medical assistant job description above shows, medical assistants are skilled in many different tasks and specialties. Not only do they have to know how to manage a medical office, they also have to be able to do basic clinical tasks. Nowadays, a medical assistant job description is likely to emphasize good people skills because that is what patients and doctors look for in an assistant.

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Car Insurance Terms and Glossary

No car insurance resource would be complete without a comprehensive glossary of car insurance terms. We’ve compiled a list of terms and their definitions to better help you navigate the sometimes confusing world of insurance

Accident – This is an unexpected sudden event that causes property damage to an automobile or bodily injury to a person. The event may be an at-fault or not-at fault and it may be report or unreported. An accident involving two vehicles may be termed a collision.

Accident report form – This is the report filed by police, often called the police report, containing the important information regarding the vehicle collision. This report will include the names of all individuals involved, vehicles involved, property damaged and citations that were issued.

Adjuster – This is the person who will evaluate the actual loss reported on the policy after an accident or other incident. They will make the determination on how much will be paid on the auto insurance policy by the Insurer.

Agent – This is a licensed and trained individual who is authorized to sell and to service insurance policies for the auto insurance company.

At Fault – This is the amount that you, the policy holder, contributed or caused the auto collision. This determines which insurance agency pays which portion of the losses.

Auto Insurance Score – This is a score similar to credit score that evaluates the information in your consumer credit report. These scores are used when determining pricing for your auto insurance policy. Negative marks on your credit report can increase your auto insurance premiums. The use of this information to determine policy pricing does vary from state to state.

Automobile Insurance – This is a type of insurance policy that covers and protect against losses involving automobiles. Auto Insurance policies include a wide range of coverage’s depending on the policy holders needs. Liability for property damage and bodily injury, uninsured motorist, medical payments, comprehensive, and collision are some of the common coverage’s offered under an auto insurance policy.

Binder – This is a temporary short-term policy agreement put in place while a formal permanent policy is put into place or delivered.

Bodily Injury Liability – This is the section of an insurance policy that covers the cost to anyone you may injure. It can include lost wages and medical expenses.

Broker – This is a licensed individual who on your behalf sells and services various insurance policies.

Claim – This is a formal notice made to your insurance company that a loss has occurred which may be covered under the terms of the auto insurance policy.

Claims Adjuster – This person employed by the insurance agency will investigate and settle all claims and losses. A representative for the insurance agency to verify and ensure all parties involved with the loss, get compensated fairly and correctly.

Collision – The portion of the insurance policy that covers damage to your vehicle from hitting another object. Objects can include but are not limited to; another vehicle, a building, curbs, guard rail, tree, telephone pole or fence. A deductible will apply. Your insurance company will go after the other parties insurance policy for these cost should they be at fault.

Commission – This is the portion of the auto insurance policy that is paid to the insurance agent for selling and servicing the policy on behalf of the company.

Comprehensive – This is a portion of the insurance policy that covers loss caused by anything other than a collision or running into another object. A deductible will apply. This includes but is not limited to vandalism, storm damage, fire, theft, etc.

Covered loss – This is the damage to yourself, other people or property or your vehicle that is covered under the auto insurance policy.

Declarations Page – This is the part of the insurance policy that includes the entire legal name of your insurance company, your full legal name, complete car information including vehicle identification numbers or VIN, policy information, policy number, deductible amounts. This page is usually the front page of the insurance policy.

Deductible Amount – This is the portion of the auto insurance policy that is the amount the policy holder must pay up front before the Insurance Company contributes and is required to pay any benefits. This amount can be within a wide range in price and varies from approximately $100 – $1000. The larger amount you pay in a deductible the lower your normal monthly/yearly policy will cost. This is the portion of the auto insurance policy that would be applicable only to comprehensive or collision coverage.

Discount – This is a reduction in the overall cost of your insurance policy. Deductions can be given for a variety of different reasons including a good driving record, grades, age, marital status, specific features and safety equipment on the automobile.

Emergency Road Service – This is the part of an auto insurance policy that covers the cost of emergency services such as flat tires, keys locked in the car and towing services.

Endorsement – This is any written change that is made to the auto insurance policy that is adding or removing coverage on the policy.

Exclusion – This is the portion of the auto Insurance policy that includes any provision including people, places or things that are not covered under the insurance policy.

First Party – This is the policyholder, the insured in an insurance policy.

Gap Insurance – This is a type of auto insurance provided to people who lease or own a vehicle that is worth less than the amount of the loan. Gap auto Insurance will cover the amount between the actual cash value of the vehicle and the amount left on loan should the care be stolen or destroyed.

High-Risk Driver – If you have a variety of negative marks on your insurance record including driving under the Influences, several traffic violations, etc. you may be labeled as a risk to the insurance company. This will increase your insurance policy or may make you ineligible for coverage.

Insured – The policyholder (s) who are covered by the policy benefits in case of a loss or accident.

Insurer – Is the Auto Insurance company who promises to pay the policy holder in case of loss or accident.

Liability insurance – This part of an auto insurance policy which legally covers the damage and injuries you cause to other drivers and their vehicles when you are at fault in an accident. If you are sued and taken to court, liability coverage will apply to your legal costs that you incur. Most states will require drivers to carry some variation of liability coverage Insurance and this amount will vary state by state.

Limits – This is the portion of the auto insurance policy that explains and lists the monetary limits the insurance company will pay out. In the situation you reach these limits the policy holder will be responsible for all other expenses.

Medical Payments Coverage – This is the portion of an auto insurance policy that pays for medical expenses and lost wages to you and any passengers in your vehicle after an accident. It is also known as personal injury protection or PIP.

Motor Vehicle Report – The motor vehicle report or MVR is a record issued by the state in which the policy holder resides in that will list the licensing status, any traffic violations, various suspensions and./ or refractions on your record. This is one of the tools used in determining the premium prices offered by the insurance agency. This is also used to determine the probability of you having a claim during your policy period.

No-Fault Insurance – If you reside within a state with no-fault insurance laws and regulations, your auto insurance policy pays for your injuries no matter who caused the accident. No-fault insurance states include; Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Utah and Washington, DC..

Non-Renewal – This is the termination of an auto insurance policy on the given expiration date. All coverage will cease as of this date and insurer will be released of promised coverage.

Personal Property Liability – This is the portion of the auto insurance policy that covers any damage or loss you cause to another person’s personal property.

Personal Injury Protection or PIP – This portion of an auto insurance policy pays for any lost wages or medical expenses to you and any passengers in your vehicle following an accident. PIP is also known as medical payments coverage.

Premium – This is the amount charged to you monthly, yearly or any other duration agreed upon by insurance company and policy holder and paid directly to the auto insurance company. A premium is based on the type and amount of coverage you choose for your vehicle(s) and yourself. Other factors that will affect your insurance premium prices include your age, marital status, you’re driving and credit report, the type of car you drive and whether you live in an urban or rural area. Premiums vary by insurance company and the location you live.

Quotation – This is the amount or estimated amount the insurance will cost based on the information provided to the agent, broker or auto insurance company.

Rescission.- This is the cancellation of the insurance policy dated back to its effective date. This would result in the full premium that was charged being returned.

Rental Reimbursement – This is the portion of the auto insurance policy that covers the cost of an automobile rental of similar size should the covered vehicle be in repair from a reported incident.

Replacement Cost – This is the amount of money it would cost to replace a lost or damaged item at it is actually new replacement value. This monetary amount would be based on a new identical item in the current local market.

Salvage – This is the auto insurance policy holders property that is turned over tot eh insurance agency in a loss final settlement. Insurance companies will sell the salvage property in hopes to recoup some of its monetary loss due to the loss and settlement.

Second Party – this is the actual insurance company in the auto insurance policy.

Surcharge – This is the amount added to your auto insurance policy premium after a traffic violation or an accident in which you were found to be at fault.

Third Party – This is another person other than the policy holder and auto insurance company who has faced a loss and may be able to collect and be compensated on behalf of the policy holder’s negligence.

Total Loss – This is complete destruction to the insured property of a policy holder. It has been determined that it would be a great sum of money to repair the item rather than replace the insured piece of property to its state prior to the loss.

Towing Coverage – This is the portion of the auto insurance policy that covers a specified amount for towing services and related labor costs.

Under insured Driver – This is the portion of an auto insurance policy which covers injuries to you caused by a driver without enough insurance to pay for the medical expenses you have incurred from the accident. This is portion of the policy can vary state by state as some states include damage to the car in this section.

Uninsured Driver or Motorist – This is the portion of the auto insurance policy which covers injuries to you caused by a driver who was without liability insurance at the time of the accident. Uninsured driver or motorist coverage comes in two different sections; uninsured motorist bodily injury and uninsured motorist property damage. Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage covers the injuries to you or any passenger in your vehicle when there is an accident with an uninsured driver. Uninsured motorist property damage coverage covers the cost for the property damage to your vehicle when there is an accident with an identified uninsured driver. Uninsured driver or motorist coverage must be offered when you purchase the required liability coverage for your vehicle. You must sign a declination waiver if you decline Uninsured driver or motorist coverage. The majority of states require drivers to carry some form of uninsured motorist coverage. Some states include damages to your car in this coverage.

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Executive Liability Insurance – Why Private Companies Need It

Since its inception about fifty years ago, D&O insurance has evolved into a family of products responding differently to the needs of publicly traded companies, privately held businesses and not-for-profit entities and their respective board members, officers and trustees.

Directors’ & Officers’ Liability, Executive Liability or Management Liability insurance are essentially interchangeable terms. However, insuring agreements, definitions, exclusions and coverage options vary materially depending upon the type of policyholder being insured and the insurer underwriting the risk. Executive Liability insurance, once considered a necessity solely for publicly traded companies, particularly due to their exposure to shareholder litigation, has become recognized as an essential part of a risk transfer program for privately held companies and not-for-profit organizations.

Optimization of protection is a common goal shared by all types of organizations. In our opinion, the best way to achieve that objective is through engagement of highly experienced insurance, legal and financial advisors who work collaboratively with management to continually assess and treat these specialized enterprise risk exposures.

Private Company D&O Exposures

In 2005, Chubb Insurance Group, one of the largest underwriters of D&O insurance, conducted a survey of the D&O insurance purchasing trends of 450 private companies. A significant percentage of respondents gave the following reasons for not purchasing D&O insurance:
• did not see the need for D&O insurance,
• their D&O liability risk was low,
• thought D&O risk is covered under other liability policies

The companies responding as non-purchasers of D&O insurance experienced at least one D&O claim in the five years preceding the survey. Results showed that private companies with 250 or more employees, were the subject of D&O litigation during the preceding five years and 20% of companies with 25 to 49 employees, experienced a D&O claim.

The survey revealed 43% of D&O litigation was brought by customers, 29% from regulatory agencies, and 11% from non-publicly traded equity securities holders. The average loss reported by the private companies was $380,000. Companies with D&O insurance experienced an average loss of $129,000. Companies without D&O insurance experienced an average loss of $480,000.

Some Common Examples of Private Company D&O Claims

• Major shareholder led buy-outs of minority shareholders alleging misrepresentations of the company’s fair market value
• purchaser of a company or its assets alleging misrepresentation
• sale of company assets to entities controlled by the majority shareholder
• creditors’ committee or bankruptcy trustee claims
• private equity investors and lenders’ claims
• vendors alleging misrepresentation in connection with an extension of credit
• consumer protection and privacy claims

Private Company D&O Policy Considerations

Executive Liability insurance policies for privately held companies typically provide a combination or package of coverage that includes, but may not be limited to: Directors’ & Officers’ Liability, Employment Practices Liability, ERISA Fiduciary Liability and Commercial Crime/ Fidelity insurance.

D&O policies, whether underwritten on a stand-alone basis or in the form of a combination-type policy form, are underwritten on a “claims-made” basis. This means the claim must be made against the Insured and reported to the insurer during the same effective policy period, or under a specified Extended (claims) Reporting Period following the policy’s expiration. This is a completely different coverage trigger from other liability policies such as Commercial General Liability that are traditionally underwritten with an “occurrence” trigger, which implicates the insurance policy that was in effect at the time of the accident, even if the claim is not reported until years later.

“Side A” coverage, which protects individual Insureds in the event the Insured entity is unable to indemnify individuals, is a standard agreement contained within many private company policy forms. These policies are generally structured with a shared policy limit among the various insuring agreements resulting in a more affordable insurance product tailored to small and mid-sized enterprises. For an additional premium, separate policy limits may be purchased for one or more of each distinct insuring agreement affording a more customized insurance package.

Also, policies should be evaluated to determine whether they extend coverage for covered “wrongful acts” committed by non-officers or directors, such as employees, independent contractors, leased, and part-time employees.

Imputation of Knowledge & Severability

Coverage can be materially affected if an Insured individual has knowledge of facts or circumstances or was involved in wrongful conduct that gave rise to the claim, prior to the effective date of policy under which the claim was reported. Policies differ as to whether and to what extent, the knowledge or conduct of one “bad actor” may be imputed to “innocent “individual Insureds and / or to the Insured entity.

“Severability”, is an important provision in D&O policies that is often overlooked by policyholders until it threatens to void coverage during a serious pending claim. The severability clause can be drafted with varying degrees of flexibility– from “partial” to “full severability.” A “full severability” provision is always most preferable from an Insured’s standpoint. Many D&O policies, impute the knowledge of certain policy-specified senior level officer positions to the Insured entity. That imputation of knowledge can operate to void coverage that might have otherwise been available to the Insured entity.

M&A and “Tail Coverage” Considerations

The “claims-made” coverage trigger is critically important in an M&A context where contingent liability risks are inherent. In these contexts, it’s important to evaluate the seller’s policies’ options to purchase a “tail” or “extended reporting period” for each of the target company’s policies containing a “claims-made” trigger.

A “tail” coverage option allows for the reporting of claims alleging “wrongful acts” that occurred during the expired policy period, yet were not actually asserted against the Insured until after the policy’s expiration, but instead were asserted during the “extended reporting” or “tail” period. An acquiring company’s insurance professional should work closely with legal counsel’s due diligence team to identify and present alternatives to manage contingent exposures.

What a Director or Officer Doesn’t Know Will Hurt Them

Directors’ & Officers’ Liability insurance policies were originally created solely to protect the personal assets of the individuals serving on public company boards and executive officers. In 1992, one of the most prominent D&O insurers led a major transformational change in D&O underwriting by expanding coverage to include certain claims against the insured entity. Entity coverage for publicly traded companies is typically restricted to securities claims, while privately held companies and not-for-profit organizations benefit from more comprehensive entity coverage because they lack the public securities risk exposure of publicly traded companies.

The “Claims- Made” Coverage Trigger

D&O policies are universally underwritten on a ‘claims-made’ basis. This translates to an unequivocal contractual requirement that the policyholder report claims made against an Insured to the insurer during the effective policy period. The only exception is in the case where an optional reporting ‘tail’ is purchased which affords the Insured the ability to report claims during a specified “extended reporting period,” as long as the wrongful act occurred during the effective period of the immediately preceding policy.

Defense

D&O policies issued to public companies generally contain no explicit duty to defend and some require the Insured to select from a pre-approved panel of pre-qualified defense counsel. In contrast, many private company D&O policies do contain a provision placing the defense obligation squarely upon the insurer, and still other policies contain options allowing the defense to be tendered by the Insured to the insurer within a specific period of time. Some D&O policies contain defense cost provisions that require an allocation or sharing of the defense costs between the Insured and Insurer, based upon a determination of covered versus non-covered allegations.

Settlement Hammer

D&O policies typically contain a “settlement hammer” provision. This clause operates to limit an insurer’s obligation to indemnify in the event the Insured refuses to consent to a settlement that is acceptable to the insurer. Some policies may express the amount the insurer will pay for covered loss under this circumstance as a percentage of the ultimate covered settlement or judgment. Other D&O policies may limit their economic exposure to the amount for which the case could have historically settled, but for the Insured’s refusal.

Regulatory Proceedings and Investigations

Most D&O insurance policies afford qualified protection against “regulatory and governmental” investigations, “administrative or regulatory proceedings,” and criminal proceedings. Policies often require the proceedings to be directed against a natural person Insured, to be commenced and maintained in a manner specified in the policy, such as a ‘formal’ order of investigation, and only for policy-defined defense expenses incurred after the issuance of a formal order or an indictment.

D&O policies’ definitions and other corresponding provisions and exclusions vary, and should be carefully evaluated to determine whether they encompass informal investigations from the time a subpoena is received, or from the time an Insured person is identified in writing as a person against whom charges may be filed.

Learning the A,B,C’s and D’s of D&O Coverage

The three main Insuring Agreements found in public company D&O policies, are typically referenced as “Side A, B, and C coverage”. They are sometime supplemented with an optional Coverage D.

“Side A “Coverage – Individual Insured Coverage

“Side A Coverage,” also known as the “Non-Indemnifiable Loss Insuring Agreement,” provides coverage to individual officers and directors against claims for their policy-defined wrongful acts in their official capacities, under fairly rare circumstances in which the Insured entity either cannot or will not provided indemnification.

The policy’s “Side A” coverage for non-indemnifiable claims against directors and officers, almost universally provides that no retention is required to be paid by individual Insureds. A separate “Side A” limit may be available in addition to the traditional D&O policy’s aggregate limit of liability. “Side A” excess D&O policies have become more commonplace in the past several years, and certain “Side A” excess policies may also offer “difference in conditions” (‘DIC’) coverage that generally provides a feature of ‘dropping down’ to respond to claims either not paid by the primary or underlying D&O policy insurer, or in the event indemnification is unavailable from the Insured entity, the underlying limits are eroded by covered claims against the entity, or the underlying D&O insurers deny coverage to the directors. Some Side A policies are underwritten as non-rescindable by the insurer. Purchasers of this coverage should also consider, if available, an option for reinstatement of policy limits for the outside directors, in the event of premature policy limit exhaustion.

“Side B” Coverage – Corporate Reimbursement Coverage
This insuring agreement reimburses the Insured entity for covered loss under claim circumstances where the corporation is indemnifying its directors and officers. This provision does not afford any coverage to the Insured entity for its own potential liability, and is subject to a self-insured retention (“SIR”) that must be paid by the Insured entity before an Insurer will make any payments. It’s important to note that many Insureds do not realize they are contractually obligated to obtain the insurer’s prior consent to incur costs and expenses, and only those costs and expenses approved in advance by the insurer will be deemed to have satisfied the Insured entity’s SIR obligation. It’s important for policyholders to understand they run a serious risk of losing some or all of their otherwise available coverage, if they incur legal expenses prior to reporting the claim, or if they enter into negotiations or reach a settlement agreement in principle without the insurer’s prior knowledge and consent.

“Side C” Coverage – Entity Coverage

This insuring agreement affords coverage to the publicly traded Insured entity only for it own liability and is typically restricted to coverage for securities-related claims. “Securities Claims” is a policy-defined term, encompassing only claims arising from the Insured entity’s own securities. Privately held companies and organizations are afforded substantively different coverage under this insuring agreement.

“Side D” Coverage – Outside Entity Insured Person Coverage

This insuring clause is available as an option on most D&O policies. It provides coverage to designated “Insured Persons”, for their liability as a result of their membership on an “Outside Entity” board. This coverage applies on a “double excess” basis, meaning it is triggered after the exhaustion of any indemnification provided by the Outside Entity to the Outside Entity director, as well as any insurance coverage available from the Outside Entity. Traditional D&O policies typically extend automatic coverage to insured Individuals who are designated by the policyholder to participate as a board member of a not-for-profit organization.

Some Additional Considerations
In addition to the topics highlighted earlier, D&O insurance purchasers should gain familiarity with how their policies may respond under bankruptcy situations, potential coverage issues arising from a Special Committee’s investigative activity, potential issues involving priority of payments among Insureds, hidden D&O insurance program design flaws that can render excess D&O policies unresponsive to catastrophic claims, and the changing requirements of international D&O coverage to remain compliant with local country regulations. These topics will be covered in a future article.

This article provides general information and is neither intended to provide any legal advice nor to provide any advice with regard to the specific interpretation or operation of any insurance policy. Any insurance policy’s applicability is highly fact specific. Qualified legal counsel should be consulted regarding laws that may apply with respect to policy coverage interpretation in the state in which the policy will be interpreted.

The author, James J. Ilardi, CPCU, is a Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter and President of SECURA RISK GROUP, LLC.

SECURA RISK GROUP is a New York based, independent commercial insurance brokerage and advisory firm. The firm specializes in the evaluation, design and procurement of business insurance policies and insurance programs for privately held enterprises, publicly traded companies, non-profit organizations and professional service firms. SECURA RISK GROUP also provides claims advisory and support services.

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Domain Name Madness

Suppose you have a business and you come up with the name “cool business #1”. After careful consideration you made sure it has a nice ring, it communicates what your business is about, it is perfect. An then, you check the domain name

Bummer, it is already occupied.

So are “.net” too and perhaps “.org” but the rest may be open. You can purchase “.co”, “.info” and some other dots too, but it would make no sense what so ever. Most people know “.com” and completely don’t care about the other TLDs. You need to make sure “.com” is free, even though perhaps you want to run your business on “.net”. If your business is a local one, you might settle for a local domain, but that has its own risks: what if your business grows large enough to go international, what if an international business comes to your country and you’ll be in a name conflict. There really is not much of an option.

Unfortunately there is an even bigger problem. As you reverse your naming technique and start from the domain name up, you will realize that most good name combinations are occupied, not by a legitimate business but by domain name sharks. Like real-estate sharks on the Internet, after all, a domain name is an estate in scyberland. They purchase domains by the bunch for nominal fees ($12/.com/year, or similar), and if you happen to want the domain they will gladly sell it to you for a thousand fold, or ten thousand fold, depending on what the potential of the name is. Nowadays, if you can prove legitimate business for a domain you could take it by force with a lawsuite, but who wants to start a business with a lawsuite, not knowing if the domain will be available within a month, a year or maybe three.

The TLD Scam

All in all, legitimate businesses plus hustlers, pretty much all the good names are taken. ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) tried to address this by adding new top level domain names along the way. “.info”, “.pro” and one that really stands out, “.co”. Besides the massive marketing regarding the coolness of this latter top level domain name, it actually emphasizes the ridiculousness of these free to take added top level domain names. Let me give you an example: Suppose a legitimate business has the “.com”, I will now purchase “.co” and run my legitimate business there, how will that make me look like? Well, certainly like someone who is trying to hitch a ride on the back of an already successful business, a leach in colloquial words. For this very same reason all successful businesses felt complied to purchase the “.co” the very next day they were released. Let’s look at the alternative, perhaps a hustler has my “.com” domain name and I purchase and start my business on “.co”. I am sure he will be thrilled, because now that he sees that I am interested in that domain name he will gladly double his price.

Instead of opening more options to people who want to start a new business, all these new top level domains did nothing more but complicate the lives of old and new businesses and gave even more opportunity for hustlers and “legitimate domain registrars” to take their money. All this based on human psychology which is hooked on the “.com” name.

In a world with limited top level domain options these should really be closed, and should function on an all or nothing fashion. For instance, you could not get yourself a “.gov”, because you need to be a governmental institution to do that. This domain name is regulated and this is how they all should be. If you want a “.com” you should be able to prove you are a “.com” and then all others “.net”, “.org” should redirect to your “.com”. If you are a “.com” but you happened to have a branch or an affiliation that is an “.org” you now could be allowed to open up the “.org” too. This way the confusion would end. It really doesn’t matter to anybody what your TLD is, they will only look for the domain name and if they can’t get it right they will search engine your domain name to get to your domain but nobody pays extra effort to remember it.

Unfortunately the new generic top level domain names that come out in 2013 are no better than this. With the slight difference that they are designed to grab even more money from all those business that already run and open up a completely new way to hustle people.

In early 2013 the world wide web will be flooded with a plethora of brand new top level domain names. “.bank”, “.music”, “.whatever”, you only have to have a truck load of money, sufficient patience and you can be the proud owner of an entire domain name hierarchy.

ICANN can even make you the registry of the top level domain name of your own business, which is really cool because now you can run your website here:

  • [http://]mybusiness.mybusiness

or if you don’t like the repetition you can just go for

  • [http://]mybusiness

This is really cool because you don’t need the “.com” which didn’t matter any way to anyone but at least you can now pay $25,000 every year to be your very own registry instead of paying $12. Think of how many websites you could run with your business at the end; it is really an investment. But if you don’t do it, as in you are not willing to pay out that amount maybe someone else will and when you are successful make an honest buck on your back. It is hustling on a whole different level, it’s extortion.

But it doesn’t end with the TLD of your own business. Auctions for other generic domains start around $500,000 dollars and you could also be the registry of some cool top level domain, like “.cool”. This will make you a legitimate, ICANN authorized hustler. Now that you are the registry of a cool top level domain name, and after you paid handsomely to ICANN you can start to extort money out from all the legitimate businesses that are out there and don’t want a leach organization to start on

  • “their-domain-name”.”your_tld”

Your success will only depend on how well you picked your gTLD.

It really won’t change anything else. Having a limited pool of domain names, people will continue paying no attention to TLDs, therefore this will only matter to those that own the business, to leaches and to hustlers.

The gTLD mindtrap

The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) warned ICANN in an open letter about the dangers of what opening the top level domain name system would mean to people at large and asked ICANN to limit the number of generic TLDs to a dozen, and with good reason. Although The Anti-Phishing Working Group’s statics show a decline in phishing practices in the last years, this only means that crooks have found more effective ways to con people, “for the time being”. This does not mean phishing might not be back on track once gTLDs are in the open.

ICANN says that no ill willed organization will get their hands on a generic top level domain, which is most probably true. The sheer cost and time associated with the process will stop any such organization in its tracks but they don’t have to. Once the generic top level domain names hit the market, basic human psychology will favor the crooks to the legitimate organizations: Up until now, the domain name has been a very strict pattern of mostly three elements grouped together with two dots:

  • something.name-that-actually-matters.tld

Because the TLDs are relatively few most people completely ignore its existence and automatically go to “.com”, this being the most predominant one. The attention shifts then to the middle component, which is the actual name that matters, the name that identifies the business. That is really the only one component worth remembering because the leftmost element is not regulated. It can be any anything and businesses use it to categorize branches or to simply emphasize importance to some particular aspect,

  • for instance: blog.some-business.tld

With so little options, crooks had a really hard time to distract attention. They had to con people into thinking that the domain name (the middle part) is something else, even so there were plenty instances when they fooled people with similar domain names and identically crafted sites to steal credit card numbers, names, emails, the list is long.

With the generic TLD system however, their job will be a lot easier. As domain names will become more varied, slowly but steadily the human brain will ditch the pattern and will put more emphasis on the domain name as a whole, including the top level domain name and the sub domain, as they will count a lot more in the name itself. Many businesses will opt to run on the same name but different top level domain names. So people will tend to rely less on the middle component and more on the actual appearance of the site where they land. It will be a lot easier to fool someones eyes with a domain name

  • like: legitimate-bank-name.distorted-legitimate-bank-name.some-tld,
  • for example: bankxyz.bankxzy.bank

because when the brain seeks to to recognize the name in the typed sequence, it will put the same weight on any of the three components and it will consider equally good to find the legitimate name in the sub domain section, which is not regulated, as it was a year ago in the middle.

The open TLD

As businesses are multiplying in the world and domain names become more and more scarce, opening the top level domain name and as such, unlocking the mind from the “.com” domain is not only welcome but a necessary step. However, strategies on stopping fraud should not be based on controlling the names themselves but rather on regulations that allow automated identity recognition for sites such as secured protocols and SSL certification. Names by themselves don’t carry a lot of weight, the human brain is optimized to work with incomplete, degraded information. It relies on assumptions and not factual data. The more relaxed the standard the more errors it will make.

The only thing that would ease this pain would be a totally open TLD system. Top level domain names should be treated domain names are treated today, or if you will, the TLD should be pretty much eliminated. This way anybody’s business could end in “.anything” and so the combinations of names would be so great that people’s perception will change altogether in what regards with the domain name and the top level domain name. They would remember the domain name as it is, “some cool business” and knowing that it is totally open to append all sorts of crazy stuff at the end of it they will pay more attention to the name itself. It will not change much in regards with security, but then at least it will put an end to carnage that today exists and that is to come starting 2013.