Category Archives: Commercial Insurance

Businesses Get Their Chatbots Ready For Facebook Messenger

(Source Forbes)

This week Dutch airline KLM said its customers could start getting their boarding passes directly through Facebook  Messenger. Eventually, it plans sell tickets through the chat app too. Late last year Uber made it possible to order one of its cars through Messenger. Since then, Facebook has been working with two dozen businesses to launch services through Messenger, a chat app that’s morphing into a Swiss army knife of services that could one day rival the very platforms (iOS and Android) it sits on.

Expect to see a stream of businesses up on stage at Facebook’s annual developer’s conference on April 12 and 13 in San Francisco, eager to join KLM and Uber. Facebook won’t comment on who might be there, or how many, but tech executives widely expect to see a number of partners that will help kickstart Facebook’s ambitions to turn Messenger into a new platform for three key areas: e-commerce, advertising and customer service.

While there will be human customer service agents manning some of these new business accounts — as they already do for Messenger’s early e-commerce partners like Zulily — chatbots will ultimately be key to making these three areas work. Bots are relatively simple forms of software that can hold automated conversations with people, and they’ve become integral to the strategies of other tech firms like Microsoft , Slack and Kik Messenger.

Several months ago Facebook released an SDK (software development kit) that allowed developers to make bots that could automatically respond on behalf of businesses to simple questions.

With less than two weeks to go till Facebook’s big conference, that toolkit is still a work in progress and is currently being re-built, according to Christian Brucculeri, CEO of software marketing firm Snaps, who added that he didn’t know when Facebook would release the new version.

Brands who traditionally spend their ad dollars on Google  suggested search results or Facebook’s News Feed, are now looking to Messenger as a new and potentially more intimate space in which to engage with an audience.

That could go incredibly well or very badly, depending on whether users find it off-putting to see advertisers invading an area they traditionally associate with family and friends.

New York-based Snaps traditionally makes money by building branded emojis and keyboards for big brands like Burger King and Pepsi . Millions of people have, for instance, download Snap’s Burger King Chicken Fries keyboard from the App Store and sent carb-coated chicken stickers and emojis through iMessage.

Female iPhone users in their 20s tend to gravitate towards the branded emojis, while their male counterparts are more interested in GIFs, says Brucculeri, and so far about 60% of people discover these keyboards in the app store, with the rest find them by accident on a messaging app like Kik, Tango or Viber.

Snaps has now been busy building chatbots for about 20 of its clients, due to launch on Messenger in the second quarter with more coming after that.

Just like the content-heavy Facebook pages that brands already make, these bots will fill a role of being both useful and promotional. “If you want to know how to get coffee stains out of a shirt, you could you just go chat to a detergent company on Messenger and type ‘coffee,’” he explains, adding that you could also start chatting to a spices company and simply type “salmon” to get recipe ideas.

“It doesn’t disrupt chat but enhances it,” Brucculeri insists, adding that Facebook’s toolkit for bots will let businesses put unique features like photo carousels and suggested-responses directly into a chat.

But Facebook is just like everyone else, in not knowing how well people will engage with branded chat bots on Messenger. “They’re trying to figure out how the consumers are going to engage with these things.”

Some have looked to Asia for an idea of how people might interact with business bots. Chat platforms like WeChat are so ubiquitous on people’s phones they’re practically portals to the Web. The Chinese frequently use WeChat to send money, pay for taxis or book any number of services. KLM’s new feature on Messenger could thus, for instance, emulate South China Airlines’s official account on WeChat,  which lets you chat to its bot to search and book flights.

Facebook can’t just copy WeChat’s strategy though, because of the big “cultural, regulatory, historical and practical differences between Asian and Western markets,” says Edison Investment Research analyst Richard Windsor. Analysts in China have also said that that smartphone users in China accept bots more readily than their Western counterparts.

Windsor believes Facebook could double its revenues in five years if it can build a thriving ecosystem for advertisers and businesses on Messenger, but the first few months after Facebook’s F8 announcements will see plenty of experimentation by cautious businesses.

Businesses don’t know, for instance, how they’ll initiate conversations with consumers on chat, or if they can rely on being pulled into conversations between users. “We don’t really know how consumers will behave,” says Snaps CEO Brucculeri. “How can you enhance a conversation between two people, and how can a brand get in the middle in a way that’s additive, rather than, ‘Hey I’m going to talk to a brand on Messenger.’”

Facebook also faces competition in building a platform for chatbots. More than 80 advertisers have already been paying Kik Messenger for more than a year to set up chatbots on its network of 200 million users, while there are thousands of third-party bots on rival chat app Telegram, which has 100 million active users.

This week Microsoft also launched a bot framework that would allow developers to make bots for messaging applications like Skype, Slack and Telegram. “Bots are like the new applications you can converse with,” Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella was quoted as saying.

Microsoft’s strategy is interesting because anyone who makes a bot with its framework also gets access to its digital assistant Cortana and machine-learning technology that’s part of its so-called “Intelligence Suite.”

Microsoft might not have the kind of huge scope that Facebook Messenger has, but its digital assistant is far ahead of Facebook’s own digital assistant M, (which is largely powered by human beings), and that could also make its toolset for bot builders just as attractive as Facebook’s.

13 Types of Insurance a Small Business Owner Should Have


(Source: Forbes)

1. General Liability Insurance: Every business, even if home-based, needs to have liability insurance.  The policy provides both defense and damages if you, your employees, or your products or services cause or are alleged to have caused bodily injury or property damage to a third party.

2. Property Insurance:  If you own your building or have business personal property (including office equipment, computers, inventory, or tools) you should consider purchasing a policy that will protect you if you have a fire, vandalism, theft, smoke damage, etc.  You may also want to consider business interruption/loss of earning insurance as part of the policy to protect your earnings if the business is unable to operate.

3. Business Owner’s Policy (BOP): A business owner policy packages all required coverage a business owner would need. Often, BOPs will include business interruption insurance, property insurance, vehicle coverage, liability insurance, and crime insurance. Based on your company’s specific needs, you can alter what is included in a BOP. Typically, a business owner will save money by choosing a BOP because the bundle of services often costs less than the total cost of all the individual coverages.

4. Commercial Auto Insurance: Commercial auto insurance protects a company’s vehicles. You can protect vehicles that carry employees, products, or equipment. With commercial auto insurance you can insure your work cars, SUVs, vans and trucks from damage and collisions.  If you do not have company vehicles, but employees drive their own cars on company business, you should have non-owned auto liability to protect the company in case the employee does not have insurance or has inadequate coverage.  Many times the non-owned can be added to the BOP policy.

5. Workers’ Compensation: Workers’ compensation provides insurance to employees who are injured on the job. This type of insurance provides wage replacement and medical benefits to those who are injured while working. In exchange for these benefits, the employee gives up his rights to sue his employer for the incident. As a business owner, it is very important to have workers’ compensation insurance because it protects yourself and your company from legal complications. State laws will vary, but all require you to have workers’ compensation if you have W2 employees.  Penalties for non-compliance can be very stiff.

6. Professional Liability Insurance: This type of insurance is also known as Errors and Omissions insurance. The policy provides defense and damages for failure to or improperly rendering professional services.  Your general liability policy does not provide this protection, so it is important to understand the difference.  Professional liability insurance is applicable for any professional firm including lawyers, accountants, consultants, notaries, real estate agents, insurance agents, hair salons, and technology providers, to name a few.

7. Directors and Officers Insurance: This type of insurance protects the directors and officers of a company against their actions that affect the profitability or operations of the company. If a director or officer of your company, as a direct result of their actions on the job, finds him or herself in a legal situation, this type of insurance can cover costs or damages lost as a result of a lawsuit.

8. Data Breach:  If the business stores sensitive or non-public information about employees or clients on their computers, servers, or in paper files, they are responsible for protecting that information.  If a breach occurs either electronically or from a paper file a Data Breach policy will provide protection against the loss.

9. Life Insurance: Life insurance is a personal policy that protects an individual against death. If you have life insurance, the insurer pays a certain amount of money to a beneficiary upon your death. You pay a premium in exchange for the payment of benefits to the beneficiary. This type of insurance is very important because it allows for peace of mind. Having life insurance allows you to know that your loved ones will not be burdened financially upon your death.

10. Umbrella Insurance: You may want some additional coverage on top of insurance policies you already have. This is where umbrella insurance comes into play. This type of insurance is an extension to an already existing insurance policy and covers beyond the regular policy. This insurance can cover different kinds of claims. Generally, it is sold in increments of $1 million and is used only when liability on other policies has been exhausted.

If you have questions about any of these policies or would like to review the coverage you have in place for your business, please contact your give our office a call at 925-478-5903.

Insurance Companies We Represent

At Ryan Hayes Insurance Brokerage, we’ll work with you to understand your unique insurance needs. We’ll follow up with many fine insurance providers to deliver high-quality, affordable insurance options tailored to deliver the value and coverage you’re seeking.

Call us today at 925-478-5903 to get free insurance quotes.

Some of our insurance partners include the following industry leaders:

Safeco

Travelers

Allied & Nationwide

Titan

The General

National General

Foremost

American Modern

Pacific Specialty

 

Ryan Hayes Insurance Brokerage is independently owned and locally operated to handle your insurance needs. We focus on Walnut Creek, CA and offer affordable and reliable insurance choices all across California.

Ryan Hayes Insurance Brokerage Call for a quote today at 925-478-5903.

Tracy, CA Auto Insurance Broker

What is an SR-22?
An SR-22 document is required to provide state mandated proof of auto insurance. If you’ve had a DUI/DWI, been cited for driving without insurance, or been involved in a traffic accident while not covered by insurance, you may be required to keep an SR-22 document in your vehicle. The SR-22 document allows you to provide proof of minimum Liability Coverage to law enforcement officials if necessary.

Palo Alto, CA SR22 Auto Insurance Broker

What is an SR-22?
An SR-22 document is required to provide state mandated proof of auto insurance. If you’ve had a DUI/DWI, been cited for driving without insurance, or been involved in a traffic accident while not covered by insurance, you may be required to keep an SR-22 document in your vehicle. The SR-22 document allows you to provide proof of minimum Liability Coverage to law enforcement officials if necessary.

Marin, CA SR22

What is an SR-22?
An SR-22 document is required to provide state mandated proof of auto insurance. If you’ve had a DUI/DWI, been cited for driving without insurance, or been involved in a traffic accident while not covered by insurance, you may be required to keep an SR-22 document in your vehicle. The SR-22 document allows you to provide proof of minimum Liability Coverage to law enforcement officials if necessary.

Campbell, CA Auto Insurance Broker

Tough Terms Made Easy

Insurance lingo can get tricky. And buying car insurance can seem daunting when you don’t know what the terms mean.
Car insurance is your protection against:
Medical costs for you, your passengers, or others injured in an accident
Damage to property – not only your vehicle, but, for example, if you hit a fence or a lamppost, which would involve repairs
The potential for lawsuit – should a claim be disputed as to who is at fault, or if serious injury or damage occurs
These necessary protections translate into specific types of insurance coverage. Here’s your list of the basic terms to get you started.
Liability Coverage: Protects your assets in case you cause injury to others or damage to the property of others with your vehicle. These monies pay towards expenses involved, or toward the costs involved in a lawsuit. There are two types of liability coverage – bodily injury, and property damage.
Bodily Injury Liability: Protects you if you are determined to be responsible for an accident in which someone is injured or a fatality occurs. This liability coverage takes care of medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering. These damages could run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. If you don’t have enough insurance coverage, your assets (your home, bank accounts) are at risk in the case of a lawsuit.
Property Damage Liability: Covers the damage your vehicle causes to someone else’s property, including their vehicle, a storefront, fence or other structures. Again, if you are found at fault for causing the damage, you are responsible financially. Without sufficient insurance coverage, your bank account and other assets are at risk.
Collision Coverage: Pays for damage to your vehicle that is caused from a collision or vehicle rollover.
Comprehensive Coverage: Pays for damage to your vehicle caused by something other than a collision, such as theft or vandalism, fire, flood and hail.
Medical Payments Coverage: Covers the cost of doctors, hospitals and funeral expenses for you and/or your passengers which result from an accident, regardless of who is at fault. It also covers you when you drive another person’s vehicle (with permission) or if you or your family is struck by another vehicle as pedestrians.
Personal Injury Protection: Pays for medical care, lost wages and replacement services for the injured party. It pays regardless of who is at fault in an accident. The availability of Personal Injury Protection varies by state.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage: Pays the cost of damages and injuries resulting from being hit by an uninsured or hit-and-run driver. Both you and your passengers are covered for medical expenses, lost wages and other injury-related losses.
Underinsured Motorist Coverage: Pays for damages that exceed the amount of coverage carried by a driver with insufficient coverage to cover your damages.
Business Auto Insurance: Coverage for vehicles used for business. Liability limits and other coverage needs are different from personal auto insurance policies.
Hired and Non-Owned Auto Liability: Coverage option for commercial vehicle insurance that accommodates employees who may occasionally use their personal vehicles on company business. This special liability coverage comes into play, for example, when an employee uses his own car to pick up supplies for his employer, and gets into an accident. Many other examples apply.

Homeowners, Renters and Condo Insurance Terms:

Named Perils: Fire or Lightning, Windstorms or Hail, Explosion, Riot or Civil Commotion, Aircraft, Vehicle Damage, Smoke, Vandalism and Malicious Mischief, Theft, Falling Objects, Weight of Ice, Snow or Sleet, Accidental Discharge or Overflow of Water, Sudden & Accidental Tearing Apart, Freezing, Sudden & Accidental Damage, Artificially Generated Current, Volcanic Eruption.
Master Policy: The condo association master policy will protect those parts of the buildings and grounds not deeded to the condo owner as part of their unit.
Scheduled Property: This endorsement allows you to list and insure specific items which require more insurance than can be provided under the basic policy.
Replacement Cost Coverage: Coverage that pays the dollar amount needed to replace your damaged personal property or dwelling without deduction for depreciation up to the coverage limits displayed on the declaration page of the policy.
Loss of Use Coverage: Pays for living accommodations in a comparable home in the event of a loss that requires you to vacate your home during repairs or replacement.

Martinez, CA Auto Insurance Broker

Tough Terms Made Easy

Insurance lingo can get tricky. And buying car insurance can seem daunting when you don’t know what the terms mean.
Car insurance is your protection against:
Medical costs for you, your passengers, or others injured in an accident
Damage to property – not only your vehicle, but, for example, if you hit a fence or a lamppost, which would involve repairs
The potential for lawsuit – should a claim be disputed as to who is at fault, or if serious injury or damage occurs
These necessary protections translate into specific types of insurance coverage. Here’s your list of the basic terms to get you started.
Liability Coverage: Protects your assets in case you cause injury to others or damage to the property of others with your vehicle. These monies pay towards expenses involved, or toward the costs involved in a lawsuit. There are two types of liability coverage – bodily injury, and property damage.
Bodily Injury Liability: Protects you if you are determined to be responsible for an accident in which someone is injured or a fatality occurs. This liability coverage takes care of medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering. These damages could run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. If you don’t have enough insurance coverage, your assets (your home, bank accounts) are at risk in the case of a lawsuit.
Property Damage Liability: Covers the damage your vehicle causes to someone else’s property, including their vehicle, a storefront, fence or other structures. Again, if you are found at fault for causing the damage, you are responsible financially. Without sufficient insurance coverage, your bank account and other assets are at risk.
Collision Coverage: Pays for damage to your vehicle that is caused from a collision or vehicle rollover.
Comprehensive Coverage: Pays for damage to your vehicle caused by something other than a collision, such as theft or vandalism, fire, flood and hail.
Medical Payments Coverage: Covers the cost of doctors, hospitals and funeral expenses for you and/or your passengers which result from an accident, regardless of who is at fault. It also covers you when you drive another person’s vehicle (with permission) or if you or your family is struck by another vehicle as pedestrians.
Personal Injury Protection: Pays for medical care, lost wages and replacement services for the injured party. It pays regardless of who is at fault in an accident. The availability of Personal Injury Protection varies by state.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage: Pays the cost of damages and injuries resulting from being hit by an uninsured or hit-and-run driver. Both you and your passengers are covered for medical expenses, lost wages and other injury-related losses.
Underinsured Motorist Coverage: Pays for damages that exceed the amount of coverage carried by a driver with insufficient coverage to cover your damages.
Business Auto Insurance: Coverage for vehicles used for business. Liability limits and other coverage needs are different from personal auto insurance policies.
Hired and Non-Owned Auto Liability: Coverage option for commercial vehicle insurance that accommodates employees who may occasionally use their personal vehicles on company business. This special liability coverage comes into play, for example, when an employee uses his own car to pick up supplies for his employer, and gets into an accident. Many other examples apply.

Homeowners, Renters and Condo Insurance Terms:

Named Perils: Fire or Lightning, Windstorms or Hail, Explosion, Riot or Civil Commotion, Aircraft, Vehicle Damage, Smoke, Vandalism and Malicious Mischief, Theft, Falling Objects, Weight of Ice, Snow or Sleet, Accidental Discharge or Overflow of Water, Sudden & Accidental Tearing Apart, Freezing, Sudden & Accidental Damage, Artificially Generated Current, Volcanic Eruption.
Master Policy: The condo association master policy will protect those parts of the buildings and grounds not deeded to the condo owner as part of their unit.
Scheduled Property: This endorsement allows you to list and insure specific items which require more insurance than can be provided under the basic policy.
Replacement Cost Coverage: Coverage that pays the dollar amount needed to replace your damaged personal property or dwelling without deduction for depreciation up to the coverage limits displayed on the declaration page of the policy.
Loss of Use Coverage: Pays for living accommodations in a comparable home in the event of a loss that requires you to vacate your home during repairs or replacement.

Los Gatos, CA Auto Insurance Broker

Auto Insurance

We believe there’s more to auto insurance than coverages and claims. At Ryan Hayes Insurance Brokerage, we start with experience – yours. We’re guided by your unique needs, translated into the policy that works best for you, your family and the vehicles you drive.
Our job? To give you the benefits of our experience. More than 60 years of it, grounded in the automotive industry. We take pride in the insurance products and services we offer, designed to give you the best possible auto insurance coverage – affordably – from your first car to your 21st.
We are committed to your complete satisfaction. And if you do need to make a claim, we’ll handle it as quickly, professionally and gently as we can. We don’t just want to “get” your business. We want to keep it.
Ryan Hayes Insurance Brokerage. We’re here when you need us. Count on it.

Livermore, CA Auto Insurance Broker

Auto Insurance

We believe there’s more to auto insurance than coverages and claims. At Ryan Hayes Insurance Brokerage, we start with experience – yours. We’re guided by your unique needs, translated into the policy that works best for you, your family and the vehicles you drive.
Our job? To give you the benefits of our experience. More than 60 years of it, grounded in the automotive industry. We take pride in the insurance products and services we offer, designed to give you the best possible auto insurance coverage – affordably – from your first car to your 21st.
We are committed to your complete satisfaction. And if you do need to make a claim, we’ll handle it as quickly, professionally and gently as we can. We don’t just want to “get” your business. We want to keep it.
Ryan Hayes Insurance Brokerage. We’re here when you need us. Count on it.