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4 Ways to Defend Against Cyber Attacks

As risk management experts and security forecasters look ahead to 2016, cyber attacks appear to be a growing threat. In fact, a report from McAfee Labs suggests that increasing numbers of users and devices and growing network traffic means that the threat is poised to continue escalating for the foreseeable future.

Industry experts recommend these four important strategies to strengthen your defenses against a cyber attack:
• Identify Your Digital Assets: Many companies have sensitive customer data; others might consider their control systems their most essential asset.
• Establish a Plan of Action: Defend the assets you’ve identified by considering the vectors of attack. This includes internal cyber-security practices as well as those of upstream and downstream supply chain vendors.
• Develop Partnerships: Consider consulting with a company that specializes in preventing or responding to data breaches.
• Train Employees: Employees remain the single largest internal threat to a company; make sure your employees are well-trained.

Filed under: Cyber Liability — Jillian Bender-Cormier @ 8:35 pm January 27, 2016

The Dangers of Hands-free Devices

It’s commonly believed that hands-free accessories are a safe way to use cellphones while driving. However, more than 30 studies show that they are actually no safer than handheld devices.
Though hands-free devices are marketed as a way to keep a driver’s hands on the wheel, they present other dangers. For example, many of these devices require a driver to take his or her eyes off of the road—such as to navigate through an infotainment system or to ensure the accuracy of a voice-to-text system. In fact, new studies from the National Safety Council (NSC) show that drivers are more distracted by voice-to-text systems than typing a text message by hand.

Another study, released by the American Automobile Association (AAA), found that even when a driver’s eyes are on the road, the distractions from a hands-free device cause significant impairments. These include, but are not limited to, decreased awareness of surrounding traffic, a sense of tunnel vision and increased reaction time.

It’s always safest to drive with your mind clear of distractions, eyes focused on what’s in front of you and both hands on the wheel. Contact us today at (916) 380-5300 for more resources on safe driving practices.

Filed under: Auto,Personal Insurance,Safety — Jillian Bender-Cormier @ 7:00 pm

Founder’s Day 2016 Message from Stephen Bender, CEO, President

Dear Team Bender –

Happy Founder’s Day “week”!

For those of you new to Warren G. Bender Co. let me elaborate.
Warren and Gladys Bender were married on January 29th, 1936. And to make matters more convenient for the Bender Kids in the years to come, (a bit of humor here) they exchanged vows on THEIR birthdays. That’s right…they were both born on the same day! We therefore, some years ago, decided it apropos to recognize January 29th as Founder’s Day at Warren G. Bender Co.

One thing that is constant in our lives (it was true then as now) is change. And you can choose to be changed or make the most of the change by identifying opportunities and having the courage to act. Two years after their marriage, in 1938, with war brewing in Northern Europe, Warren, age 23 had a secure position accounting for a Buick dealership in Chico (supporting his wife and two daughters and their Chico rental). But when a traveling AAA insurance rep stopped by the dealership on a number of occasions encouraging Warren to pursue a career in, yes, insurance, he had the confidence in himself and the support of Gladys, to “change”. And over his 49 years in our industry he “stayed the course”, building friendships, strategic relationships, and contributing to his community and professional association.

Now, nearly 78 years later, our global economy, along with ever changing technology, WGBCO is confident about its future as a leading INDEPENDENT insurance brokerage. And we too will, as Warren did, stay the course of “providing protection, superior service and education” for our fine clients now and for their futures.

So on this “Founder’s Day” let us take time on Friday, to pause and be proud of our accomplishments as individuals and as a family business. We, at WGBCO, are good people, doing good things, benefiting others, every day, I assure you. As your proud co-worker, teammate and CEO, I invite you to believe that this day is clearly not just another day, but a day to enjoy our past, recognize the strength of our foundations and enjoy the excitement of our futures together.

All my thanks. SB


Filed under: Blog,Timeline — Jillian Bender-Cormier @ 6:52 pm

Section 6056 Reporting Workbook by WGBCO

We, at Warren G. Bender Co., realize that the ever-changing world of healthcare can be daunting for most employers. In that spirit, we’re offering an interactive reporting workbook to assist you with the new section 6056 reporting requirements.

The Section 6056 Reporting Workbook can be used to help employers record the information needed to satisfy new reporting requirements added by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), under Internal Revenue Code Section 6056. This new reporting provision requires applicable large employers (ALEs) subject to the ACA’s employer shared responsibility rules to report information to the IRS and to full-time employees about offers of health coverage for their full-time employees. Reporting under Section 6056 is first required in early 2016 for coverage offered (or not offered) in 2015.

Some important notes on 6056 include:

• ALL employers who have 50 or more full time equivalent employees are required to report the IRS 1094 form and provide employees with the 1095 form whether or not they provided a group medical plan to their employees.
o The 50 full time equivalent employees can be fulfilled if an employer has 5 full time employees and 200 part time employees or if they simply have 50 or more full time employees. The hours are totaled and divided by 30 hours per week to determines how many full time equivalent employees the employer has.
• The deadline for submitting the 1095 forms to all full time employees (who worked at least 1 month full time) is 3/31/2016.
• Many employers have these forms integrated with their payroll software, so checking with your payroll software company or vendor is, likely, the best place to start.

Download your own workbook here: Section 6056 Reporting Workbook FINAL

Need help on how to use this workbook? Download the instructional guide: Section 6056 Reporting Workbook Instructional Guide

Filed under: Affordable Care Act,Employee Benefits,Recent Headlines — Jillian Bender-Cormier @ 6:23 pm