How to prevent your home and/or business from being a copper thief

With the value of copper on the rise, so too are the number of copper theft occurrences from businesses and homes.  Thieves are not only targeting stock items, such as scrap metal on construction sites, but also installed copper.

The following items on your property may be of value to a thief targeting copper:  copper coils in air conditioning units, copper plumbing & wiring, gutter and flashings that may contain copper, and even copper roofing!

The increase in copper theft occurs periodically when the price of scrap metal increases. According to the United States Department of Energy, scrap metal theft has risen to over $1 billion/ year.

With families traveling over the holidays and business being closed, it is even more critical to take precaution when it comes to securing your home and/or business. 

Please consider taking the following preventative measures to help decrease the likelihood of your home being a target for copper theft:

Secure the perimeter of your home or business – Door locks, quality fencing and gates, as well as well-lit areas remain the most effective perimeter controls.

Visual barriers are recommended to be placed around equipment to reduce visibility

If copper equipment is located on your roof, remove all unnecessary means of access to the roof

If your business, neighborhood or home has any form of electronic surveillance or entry system be sure that this is monitored and is not being abused (i.e. tailgating into neighborhoods, following employees into card swipe access only areas, etc.)

Whether you are home or away for the holidays, these preventative measures should be considered by all home and business owners year round.

The Importance of the Often Overlooked Umbrella Insurance Policy

Picture this: Your car skids on a wet road. You crash into an expensive vehicle being driven by a highly paid CEO. He is injured so badly he cannot return to work. A jury finds you at fault and awards him millions of dollars you are responsible to pay. You are now financially ruined because the legal system has taken your savings, assets and, for years, requires you to forfeit a portion of your paycheck.

You may be thinking, “this won’t happen to me,” but that is not necessarily the case. Unfortunately, many people find themselves in a similar situation and are not adequately prepared. Those who are prepared, however, have what is called an umbrella policy, or excess liability coverage. This is an additional insurance policy, which provides liability coverage above and beyond the limits of liability coverage on your personal auto insurance, homeowners insurance, boat insurance and recreational vehicle insurance policies. This additional coverage is used after you have exhausted your primary coverage if you are responsible for damages as a result of an accident, especially an unexpected catastrophic one involving your car, property or recreational activities. It is important to keep in mind that as you accumulate assets, you become a target for lawsuits. If you lose a lawsuit and do not have enough liability insurance, your assets could be seized to satisfy the judgment. In addition, your assets most likely include savings and investments. Even your future earnings can be garnished to satisfy a judgment against you.

The umbrella policy, or excess liability coverage, is one of the most underutilized personal insurance polices and is readily available through most agents. Unlike your home and auto insurance, no one mandates that you buy umbrella coverage; however, the umbrella policy could turn out to be the most important part of your insurance portfolio.

The coverage amount for an umbrella policy starts at $1 million and can go upwards of $10 million. The annual cost for coverage starts as low as $150 and increase based on the amount of coverage provided by your auto, home, boat and recreational vehicle policies. In many cases, for less than $20 per month, you can protect your hard-earned assets.

So if your car skids on a wet road and hits the expensive car of the highly paid CEO, you will have the peace of mind with umbrella insurance coverage that you are protected.  In the litigious society that we live in, don’t be the person that says “It won’t happen to me”.

By Bryan Williams

This article was featured in the Summer 2011 issue of The Village Journal at Haile Plantation.

Business Interruption Insurance


Business interruption insurance is designed to compensate for lost income in the event that your company has to vacate the premises as a result of a covered loss under your property insurance policy. Business interruption insurance is also sometimes referred to as business income insurance.

About business interruption insurance:

Business interruption insurance covers the profits you would have earned, if the disaster had not occurred.

Business interruption insurance is of more importance to businesses that are primarily driven by a physical location. 

The amount business insurance compensates for is based on financial records, limited by the amount purchased or included in the policy.

Business Interruption insurance can include coverage for both continuing expenses and extra expenses (if purchased).

Continuing expenses: normal operating expenses that continue while property is being repaired or replaced after having been damaged by a covered cause of loss. Continuing expenses may include, but are not limited to: mortgage payments, utilities, insurance, salaries and wages, taxes, legal and accounting expenses, advertising, etc.

Extra expenses: expenses in excess of normal operating expenses that are incurred to continue operations while property is being repaired or replaced after having been damaged by a covered cause of loss. Extra expenses may include, but are not limited to: lease of new space, expediting expenses, cost of moving, furniture/equipment rentals, additional advertising, overtime, etc.

Business interruption insurance is usually optional; however, it is likely included on your standard Business Owners Policy (BOP). If it is not included on your BOP, it can be purchased separately and added to you property insurance policy, or included in a custom package policy.