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Safeguarding your data is not as always as straightforward as you might think.  Even if you have exercised your due diligence on the front end, there are still potential liabilities that need to be accounted for.  Each of the entities whose data was breached in this video are going to be subject to expensive notification requirements as well as potential lawsuits. 

If you are interested in discussing things these companies could have done to reduce these risks get in touch with us at Austin Insurance or Austin Business Insurance .

Time to change the batteries

The result of wrestling with a smoke detector at 3am

(Or in my case actually reinstall it).  Yes, I’m busting myself…  I pulled this out of the ceiling about 10 months ago when that devious little beep programmed to alert me that the battery is low started screaming at me at 3am. 

Of course I just happened to be right in the middle of the most magnificent slumber… You know, the kind where you’re smack dab in the middle of one of those blissfully sublime dreams:  Laying on the beach in Bora Bora (having just won the lottery, naturally), while sipping some refreshing coconut-smelling concoction with obligatory umbrella, all while my beautiful wife is telling me how smart and amazing I am and that she would find me sexier if I would only watch more football! Wait a minute… where was I?  Oh right… Risk Management tips!

So for all of my “smoke-detector-neglector” brethren, do yourself a huge (and easy) favor. Change the batteries this weekend.  Protect your blissful slumber and more importantly your family!

Note to aforementioned beautiful wife–(that part of the dream is actually true!  Yea me!):  Honey, we can add the NFL network to our cable package if you insist 🙂 )

Do your neighborly duty and pass this along to  at least two of your friends to remind them to change their batteries.  Also make sure you subscribe to this blog to get periodic tips on protecting your family and business.  Inspire Insurance Solutions is an independent insurance broker with access to over 100 carriers and routinely saves people money on business, home and auto insurance.  Get a free rate quote at Austin Insurance or call us at 512-257-3773. We can save you money anywhere in Texas.

Workers comp isn’t required in Texas, Do I really need it?

Texas is the only state in our great union that doesn’t require employers in some form to carry workers comp coverage.  Is this good news?

I run across many Texas businesses that choose to go bare.  I hear things like,

 “Hey, my employees work in an office, what’s going to happen?  If someone gets a vicious paper cut, I can write a check to the urgent care center. Problem solved, right?”

Educate Yourself on the Risks

Maybe. As long as you are comfortable with the risks.  What else can happen to your office employees?  Do they ever drive their own vehicles for business purposes?  Ever drive to the bank to do a deposit or make a run to Office Depot?  Ever go on a sales call?  (I know after last quarter’s numbers you sometimes wonder, huh)?  What happens if your employee gets in an at-fault accident and sustains serious injuries? Who pays for hospital stays, medications and lost wages if you don’t have Workers Comp?  Well let’s see:

Health insurance? Nope.  Automobile insurance? No again.  General Liability? Excluded.  You guessed it.  You do!

A Risk Management Axiom 

There is a risk management axiom that you should only retain the level of risk you can pay for. To throw in a little perspective on medical expenses, one of my ten year old twins recently had a little ER visit for doing a head-gravity-ground experiment while playing “touch” football.  We were there for an hour and a half.  The bill…  Over $16,000!  How much for a serious auto accident?  Hundreds of thousands of dollars?  More? Can you write a check for that?

Statutory Compliance

There are a couple of other issues you need to be aware of if you choose to go without workers comp coverage (this is called non-subscription).  If you are a non-subscriber, then you are by law required to file a “Form 5” with Texas Department of Insurance every year.  Failure to do so carries potential administrative penalties and fines. You can get a copy of a form 5 on the TDI website or shoot me an email  at and I’ll be happy to send you one.

The Realistic Risk 

Perhaps the most realistic exposure to non-subscription is the cost of being sued by an employee for on the job injuries. Even if you are vindicated in court, you will still incur potentially substantial legal fees.  Now my attorney is a nice guy, but at $300 an hour I tend to forgo the chit chat. 

Furthermore if you are sued by an employee for negligence, then you are severely hamstrung in any legal defense you employ because your attorney will not be able to use many common law defenses that are typically critical in defending negligence suits.

The Solution

I’m sure this comes as no surprise, but yes, Workers Comp is a critical component of any viable business insurance program. Having part B of workers comp coverage in place, (called Employer’s Liability) in place prevents these lawsuits from happening because it is the sole remedy in all but a very few cases.

The good news is that the level of workers comp fraud has diminished over the last few years and rates have come down. In fact for office workers annual rates are as low as 35 cents per $100 of payroll.  Make sure you are protected.

We’d love to hear from you at

About Us

Chris J. Baumli, CIC

Chris J. Baumli, CIC

Chris is a Certified Insurance Counselor with Inspire Insurance Solutions in Cedar Park, Texas. He educates entrepreneurs and families on affordable risk management strategies as well as helping them secure the optimal insurance programs.

He lives in Austin with his wife, five (yes five) kids,and two “manly” Chihuahuas named T-Bone and Bodhi. If you’ve found this post helpful, please share with your friends and colleagues that you like and hide it from the ones you don’t! Chris can be reached at (512) 257-3773 or

Inspire Insurance Solutions, Inc. is an independent insurance agent with access to over 100 A-rated carriers. In addition to shopping your coverage to find you the best alternatives for your business, home and auto insurance, Inspire Insurance Solutions will take the time to understand your needs and prescribe the insurance solution that is perfect for you, not the insurance company! Call us at (512) 257-3773 or get an online quote at

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