New Empire Group Blog

Insurance brokers are often asked for advice by Community Association Boards on managing the demands of transparency on the board.  In their fiduciary capacity, boards must juggle statute and by-law requirements of transparency with the boards accountability to residents for effectiveness.  Below are some points to consider and some articles from various sources that deal with the topic more extensively.

  1. Most D&O policies do not provide coverage for breaking the law.  Boards should be aware of the statutory requirements for transparency and the requirements of their by-laws. Association attorneys should be consulted to confirm that boards are operating within the parameters of each.
  2. Access to information procedures should be clear. When can residents have access?  Can residents make copies of association documents? Can they take pictures?  How will information be made available?
  3. How are privacy issues handled? Boards will have sensitive information that needs to be handled correctly.  With electronic record keeping boards have a responsibility to secure personally identifiable information for residents. Data breach coverage should be up to date and understood.
  4. How will the board deal with residents who abuse access?  Attorneys and Community Association forums can provide guidance on strategies for dealing with these situations.

Below are links to some articles that deal with this subject from various sources more extensively:

Check out the great Insurance Programs for Condominium InsuranceCooperative InsuranceApartment Insurance and Property Manager’s Insurance that New Empire Group, Ltd. offers!

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The first day of spring is right around the corner and on Sunday (March 12th), it is time again to change the clocks ahead one hour.  Although we are losing an hour of sleep, we will also be gaining an extra hour of daylight!  While you adjust your clocks for Daylight Saving Time this coming weekend, it may be a good time to swap out those smoke and carbon monoxide alarm batteries for new ones.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, almost two-thirds of home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. Smoke spreads rapidly so properly working smoke detectors can give you time to get to safety when there is a fire in your building or home.

Here are a few NFPA alarm safety tips:

  • Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement. Interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound.
  • Install carbon monoxide alarms on every level of the house, preferably near sleeping areas.
  • Smoke rises; install smoke alarms following manufacturer’s instructions high on a wall or on a ceiling. Save manufacturer’s instructions for testing and maintenance.
  • Smoke alarms that include a recordable voice announcement in addition to the usual alarm sound, may be helpful in waking children through the use of a familiar voice.
  • Smoke alarms are available for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. These devices use strobe lights. Vibration devices can be added to these alarms
  • Smoke alarms are an important part of a home fire escape plan.
  • Test alarms at least monthly by pushing the test button.

It just takes a minute or two, but it is a very important to make sure these alarms are working as they are designed to.  This small task could save your life and the lives of loved ones.

Check out the great Insurance Programs for Condominium InsuranceCooperative InsuranceApartment Insurance and Property Manager’s Insurance that New Empire Group, Ltd. offers! And keep up to date with what’s going on at New Empire Group, LTD. by visiting our social media sites – FacebookLinkedIn & Twitter!

Hands of Santa Claus with Christmas present

“Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world”

The “Santa” Brand

On Sept. 21, 1897 Francis Pharcellus Church, responding to 8 year old Virginia O’Hanlon, penned “Yes Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus”.  In what would become the most reprinted editorial ever, Church’s prose conveyed the essence of the universally recognized Santa Claus brand. As with all famous brands, the Santa Claus brand connects with us and inspires us emotionally.  Regardless of your religious affinity, the traits of Santa are conveyed in many religions and philosophies!  While some may challenge Church’s conclusion, none can deny that Santa’s brand is alive and thriving!

In business, how you brand your company is wildly important.  The saying is true, you never get a second chance to make a first impression!  Although the “Santa” Brand is most present around the holidays, there are many traits associated with the brand that can (and should) be used when it comes to branding your business!

  1. Generosity – Santa is a giver, and somehow his sack always gets refilled.
  2. Effectiveness – Santa delivers.  Santa is fast, but he’s effective.  Speed is only an ally when you are moving in the right direction. You should always strive to provide the best possible customer service to your clients to ensure they are satisfied!
  3. Integrity– Santa tries to do good with his work first.  Everything else follows. When conducting business do you always do the right thing? If so, people will be more likely to refer you to others and be loyal to you.
  4. Kindness– Nothing can cut through social classes or connect strangers more. Regardless of how people treat you, always try to remain calm and give everyone the same level of great customer service. It will benefit you in the long run, even if you don’t see the effect right away.
  5. Happiness – He’s a jolly old elf.  Happiness is contagious. If you conduct yourself in a positive, happy manner, you are likely to attract the same.

Like the Santa brand, we all carry a personal brand that is recognized by those around us. Hopefully some of Santa’s characteristics make their way into your brand.

To read the original article, click here.

**Please note our office will be closed on Friday, December 23rd and Monday, December 26th.  We will resume our normal hours of operation on Tuesday, December 27th.  Have a happy holiday from everyone at New Empire Group!


This Thanksgiving…

November 22, 2016

This Thanksgiving, take a moment to reflect on all of your blessings and everything you are thankful for.

Thanksgiving means…

  • Spending time with your family.
  • Consuming plenty of good food and drinks.
  • Watching the Thanksgiving Day parade.
  • Watching football.

While you’re giving thanks this year, don’t forget to remember…

  • Those who are away from their families on Thanksgiving.
  • Those who are lending a helping hand.
  • Those who may be sick or in danger.

Here at New Empire Group, we have so much to be thankful for, especially your business and continued support throughout the year!  We hope you and your families have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

**Please note our office will be closing at 12 p.m. on Wednesday, November 23rd.  We will reopen during normal business hours on Monday, November 28th.

Is it 5 O’clock yet?!   The days are getting shorter, it’s dark outside by the time you leave the office, and it’s getting colder out. The “winter blues” are sure to start setting in soon (if they haven’t already!).   It is easy to allow your level of productivity in the office to fall to the wayside if you’re feeling more tired than usual, less active and unmotivated.

Here are a few tips for keeping your productivity up while you’re daydreaming of curling up on the couch in front of the fire!

  • Eat Well – Indulging in comfort foods and sugary drinks during lunch will leave you sluggish and bloated when you get back to your desk. Watch what you eat – consider a small salad for lunch coupled with a warm cup of tea or coffee to keep you going throughout the afternoon.
  • Keep your cubicle or office warm – If you live where the climate is cold during the winter months it is easy to become distracted at work if you are more focused on getting warm than finishing the task at hand. If you notice your office is kept cooler than you’d like, make a conscious effort to dress warm or consider keeping a small throw blanket at work (if acceptable to management).
  • Create a list – this will help you stay focused and on track. You’ll be able to pace yourself and see exactly how much you’re actually getting done throughout the day!
  • Don’t think just because you show up you are being productive – Clocking hours does not necessarily mean you’re getting things done. Have you ever noticed that if you procrastinate and slack off it makes the time go by even slower?  If you engage yourself and focus on your work, chances are your day will go by faster than you think!
  • Be Social – Avoid eating lunch at your desk alone every day. Getting out and having a nice conversation during lunch helps break up the day and gets your mind off of getting a project done or how much work you have left in the afternoon.
  • Really enjoy your time away from work – If you make the most of your time away from work it will be easier for you to focus while you’re there because you won’t feel like you’re missing out on anything! So, the next time you have off instead of sitting in front of the TV – Go out and do something you’ve been wanting to do.

Productivity doesn’t have to become a second priority during the winter months.  Keep these few tips in mind to help ensure your productivity during work!

Check out the great Insurance Programs for Condominium Insurance, Cooperative Insurance, Apartment Insurance and Property Manager’s Insurance that New Empire Group, Ltd. offers! And keep up to date with what’s going on at New Empire Group, LTD. by visiting our social media sites – Facebook, LinkedIn & Twitter!