What Experts Have to Say about Bumper Performances Today

The purpose of a bumper is to prevent safety equipment on a car from being damaged. In most cases, rear and front bumpers are made of a reinforcement bar covered in plastic. The bar itself is usually made of aluminum, steel, plastic composite or fiberglass depending on the manufacturer. Some bumpers are designed to crush in order to absorb energy in a higher-speed collision. Bumpers are especially useful for people who have to park on the street or in parking lots frequently. Fenders, exhaust systems and lights are common examples of protected parts that would otherwise be costly to fix. Experts estimate that $6 billion is paid out every year for fender benders or low-speed collisions. This means higher premiums for everyone.

There are government regulations for bumper performances. They apply to passenger cars but not SUVs, trucks or vans. The first bumper standard was issued in 1971. Requirements have remained consistent since 1982, and they include 10 specific bumper tests. These tests include a pendulum test as well as fixed flat barrier crash tests. Many people have asked if these standards that have been in place for three decades could be tougher, and the answer is yes. The standards were actually tougher prior to 1982, which is when they were cut in half. Vehicles’ bumpers had to be built tougher to stand up better to low-speed collisions before that point.

Another question commonly asked is why bumper standards do not apply to larger vehicles. This is because the requirements outline standards for bumpers that are between 16 and 20 inches off the ground, and most larger vehicles’ bumpers are higher than this. However, this does not mean there will not be damage in the event of a collision between a car and a larger vehicle. Experts tested collisions between cars and larger vehicles in several circumstances. The damages ranged between $850 and $6,000. They are working with research centers to provide remedies that will lower repair costs in such instances for both larger vehicles and passenger cars.

When experts test bumpers for impact, they do so to the front and rear directly at six miles per hour. For the sides and corners of the bumpers, they test them at half of that impact speed. This means there is a total of four tests. Experts said that the new tests they used did not produce great results. They said that many bumpers did not line up geometrically, and they did not seem to absorb crash energy as well as they would like to see them perform. To see better results, they said auto manufacturers will have to start making better bumpers.

What makes a good bumper system? Experts say that stability, geometry and energy absorption are the most important issues. When vehicles collide at low speeds, their bumpers should ideally line up geometrically to absorb crash energy well. In addition to this, they should overlap one another in accordance with height differences to push a rear end up or lower a front end of a vehicle. In addition to this, bumpers should adequately protect headlights and fenders. To learn more about bumpers and their ratings, call ACBI at 203-259-7580. 

Health Insurance Online Enrollment Helps Businesses, Plan Sponsors

Life for plan sponsors is a lot easier than it used to be – thanks to online health insurance enrollment for employees. With open enrollment periods coming up for most employers, now’s the time to reach out to your employees and encourage them to make use of your health insurance company’s online portal for plan information and enrollment purposes.

How does this benefit Plan Sponsors?

  • It gets your HR staff or management out of the business of handling and forwarding paperwork, saving you time and money and lowering your business risk from human error.
  • It boosts employee loyalty. According to the 12th Annual Employee Benefit Trends Survey from MetLife, 8 employees in 10 reported they value noncash benefits, such as medical benefits – when they are customizable to fit their needs.
  • Employees get the benefit of authoritative information about their plans, straight from the source. Your staff doesn’t have to become plan experts.
  • You and your staff spend less time fielding basic questions from employees.
  • New information from online enrollment or online changes is automatically synched up with your account. You get a full report. In most cases, data flows right through to all carriers and to your payroll systems.

 

How does it benefit employees?

  • Enrollment is easy and can be done at home or at work, 24/7.
  • Changes to coverage are easy to make at any time.
  • Technology allows for instant premium quotes and easy side-by-side comparison of health plan alternatives – you your employees can make better decisions for their families.
  • More confidentiality – employees can share private information directly with the carrier and not involve HR or supervisors.
  • Eligibility documents for dependents can be easily uploaded from home.

Both employees and employers benefit from the more efficient online delivery and administration of health care plans. Plan information and data can be accessed at any time, 24/7, and appropriate changes easily made, both during and after open enrollment periods. Employers can easily obtain up-to-the minute information on their health care plans with a few clicks.

The efficiency also reduces costs for all concerned.

What Employers Can Do

Employers can maximize the benefit of online enrollment for themselves and for their employees by being proactive about communicating the plan benefits to employees, and notifying employees about how they can access your plan’s online portal for themselves.

Once they have done so, they can come back to work better informed, and ask more detailed questions.

You can also arrange to have your agent or benefits advisor come to your workplace and do an in-service presentation on available health care plans, supplementary and voluntary coverage, and any other relevant issues, ahead of or at the beginning of open enrollment period.

Such a presentation can also help you boost participation and enhance employee loyalty. Most employees place a good deal of value on quality health care plans – once they fully understand the benefits.

To arrange a meeting and informational briefing for your employees, contact ACBI.

Tips for Business Owners to Prevent Fraud within Their Companies

Building an anti-fraud environment is the best way to prevent it successfully. When fraud is committed, it is important to take immediate action to prevent future occurrences by discouraging additional attempts. One of the most powerful fraud deterrents is a good manager who is alert to the signs and actively works to discourage it. It is important to identify any control level deficiencies to determine how to remedy them, and business owners should remember that prevention is key to lowering the need for extensive fraud detection. Consider the following control ranges for improvement.
Physical Security Physical security is used for fraud prevention by monitoring the level of access to computer systems, documentation and assets to lower the chances of unauthorized use and damages. From checks to computer stations, assets can encompass a wide array of items. Access to assets should always be restricted, protected and limited to a small range of accountable individuals. Databases, bank accounts and all other sources of income or important information should be treated with care. To determine what needs to be the most protected, pinpoint all assets that are vital parts of the business’ operations.
One especially important aspect of this is computer systems. These systems should always be controlled tightly to protect data integrity and prevent misuse, and companies should keep the Data Protection Act in mind when devising a plan for protecting their computer systems. Threats to data systems can come from within the company or from hackers outside of it. In addition to this, the computer itself could possibly be stolen. It is important to back up information in a location away from the server or computer. Expensive computers containing a large amount of data or programs should be properly insured, because losing them can put a dent in a company’s income.
Responsibilities Groups and individuals within the company should be given a list of responsibilities, and they should be encouraged to work together to achieve common goals in the most efficient manner. Some important principles to keep in mind include the following:

– Clearly define each individual’s responsibilities for activities, resources, targets and objectives. This preventative measure should also include set authority levels with several checks and balances put in place to ensure accountability.

– Create clear lines of reporting with expansive commands that permit supervision. – Avoid relying only on one individual.

– Separate duties to keep abuse opportunities to a minimum. This preventative measure is key to ensuring certain processes are not carried out by only one person.

Supervising Managers must supervise workers properly to discourage fraud commission. There should be checks and balances in place that make managers accountable to one another and the business owner. Random checks are very useful tools, and they are crucial for both prevention and detection of fraud.

Audits This detection measure is a good way to deter people from committing fraud. Audit trails can ensure every transaction is traceable from the beginning to the end.

Monitoring It is important to regularly review company policies to alter them as needed for the most efficient monitoring system. Monitoring is crucial for both detection and prevention. Independent teams have been found to be even more effective than managers in completing this task.

It is also important to have a solid staff and to identify weaknesses in staffing. Budgets should always be implemented and used to pinpoint important limits. Also, there should always be supervision in the development of any new systems. To learn more, contact ACBI at 203-259-7580 or visit our website.

 

Importance of Key Employee Insurance

Key employees are those whose skills and knowledge are significant contributions to overall business income. If a key employee dies or is unable to work anymore, the impact is significant enough that the business will suffer. The financial consequences are undesirable and detrimental. Research shows that many businesses depend on at least one or two key employees for their overall success. However, less than 25 percent of employers have life insurance for their key persons.

Disability income and life insurance for key persons who die or become disabled can provide compensation for a business. The monetary benefits are enough to cushion the adverse financial impact of losing the key person. There is no specific dollar amount that employers should purchase for this type of coverage. However, each employer should consider how much their key persons contribute to the company in order to decide how much coverage to buy. To ensure the proper amount is purchased, it’s best to contact an agent to discuss insurance options. Some insurance companies provide special formulas for calculating this amount. However, it’s important to keep in mind that a calculator is standardized, so it may be better to purchase more than the amount derived from the formula. Only an employer can determine an individual employee’s worth to their company.

In many cases, reviewing the employee’s list of responsibilities can help in the evaluation process. It’s important to consider the cost of replacing a key person. Hiring new employees can be expensive. In addition to this, agency fees, salary and possible moving expenses should be considered for the replacement. While the insured organization pays the premium, is the beneficiary and owns the policy, it’s possible to set up an insurance plan that allows sharing of these responsibilities between the key employee and employer. However, the employee must agree to the company’s purchase of this type of insurance.

Most businesses choose term insurance if their main purpose is getting compensation for losses resulting from the death or disability of a key employee. In some cases, policies that accumulate cash value are appropriate. It’s best to discuss these options with an individual agent. Key person life insurance is more popular than key person disability coverage. However, it’s important to consider the possibility of an employee becoming partially or fully disabled and the effects the disability would have on the financial future of the business. If the key person is a sole proprietor or partner, it may be best to consider a business overhead expense policy for disability coverage. To determine which options are best for an individual company, contact ACBI

 

Why Directors and Officers Coverage is Essential for all Nonprofit Organizations

Being a volunteer on a board of directors is not as easy as it once was. While the position used to be one people chose to make a difference, it has become one that could very well hurt a person’s finances and livelihood today. From negligence to wrongful acts, there are several different allegations these individuals often face. This also places others they work with in compromised positions, so directors and officers liability coverage is essential. There are many reasons a claim on this type of policy would be made, but there are a few that are especially common.

Fundraising And Grants Most nonprofit organizations rely on grants for their funding. People often voice concerns about how the money is being used, and this may result in lawsuits. Organizations should always consider the requirements associated with any grant before applying for it. Any promises made should be reasonable and attainable. If an organization is targeted for mismanaging funds, it could be targeted through legal action, adverse publicity or loss of grant funds.

Financial Oversight Or Fraud In recent years, the media has been focusing more on nonprofit fraud incidents than for-profit fraud incidents. Some large organizations have failed to provide proper oversight of funding control, which means the money is vulnerable to abuse. Lack of oversight is a breach of fiduciary duty. In addition to grant recipients facing lawsuits, foundations that make the grants may also be targeted in some cases.

Employment Practices Directors and officers policies for nonprofit organizations usually include coverage for employment-related claims. Employment practice liability claims rank highest as the cause of directors and officers claims toward nonprofit organizations. They also make up a significant amount of the overall liability issues these individuals face. Researchers found that there were nearly 10,000 discrimination charges filed in 2010 against nonprofit and for-profit organizations. This figure includes both actual and alleged acts of retaliation, harassment, discrimination and wrongful termination. Employment-related lawsuits have increased since the Civil Rights Act passed, which gave people the right to punitive damages and jury trials for emotional stress and anguish. While employment practice liability coverage is included in most nonprofit directors and officers policies, it should be supplemented with other forms of coverage. There should be risk management strategies implemented to keep future claims from happening. This should start at the level of the board of directors, and they should be the ones to question the executive director as well as other officials about policies. They should always know whether there is uniformity throughout the organization and if the policies are being carried out properly. The board should have a system set to accurately analyze the effectiveness of the policies.

Liability risks faced by nonprofit boards are serious issues to consider, and they are issues that continue changing as time passes. In the past, charities were seen as innately good, so there were rarely lawsuits brought against them. However, accountability, higher transparency and the growth of a litigious society took its toll on board members. To keep an organization healthy today, every nonprofit should have a good directors and officers policy in place. Directors and officers coverage was expensive in the past, but insurance is much more affordable today. It is not a product that is uniform for every policyholder. Protection varies based on exclusions and limitations.  If your organization would like to discuss your options, call ACBI at 203-259-7580.

Creating a Solid Business Succession Plan

Business owners who are nearing retirement must think about forming a succession plan. Choosing a successor is not an easy process. There are many different factors to think about, and some owners may find that it is best to simply sell the entire business. However, choosing a good successor can be even more profitable, so it is worth considering.

Choosing A Successor Maintaining a good cash flow and keeping a stable balance sheet are two main goals all business owners have. Both can be an ongoing battle. Choosing a successor who is capable of keeping an optimal cash flow can be challenging. In some cases, business owners may simply be able to appoint a family member. However, those who do not have family members, or those who do not have family members interested in keeping a business, have the biggest challenges. It is best to devise a list of candidates. Identify each individual’s strengths and weaknesses. Another factor to consider is how important the business may be to the successor. Many family members feel that a business upholds the family name, so they may be less likely to sell it. However, a successor outside of the family may not feel the same way.

Determining The Business’ Worth Certified public accountants can perform an appraisal on a business or a share of a business. This puts a realistic dollar value on its worth. If a company’s value depends on public stock, the value of the owner’s interest is calculated using the current stock market values. As soon as a value is established, life insurance should be purchased by the business owner or all partners. If one partner dies, that individual’s life insurance benefit can be used to buy out his or her share of the business. It can also be equally divided among the surviving partners. These arrangements may be known as entity-purchase agreements or cross-purchase agreements. The term used is determined by the specific situation’s details.

Ways To Transfer A Business Cross-purchase agreements allow each partner to own a policy for every other business partner. Each partner is both a beneficiary and an owner for the same policy. By paying the benefit to all partners in equal sums, there are no quarrels over unfair percentages. However, there are limits for this type of agreement’s practicality. If there are more than 10 partners in a business, it does not make sense for each partner to have a policy for all of the others. In addition to this, there may be significant differences in underwriting requirements and terms for each partner’s policy. For example, if one partner is 30 years old and one is 60 years of age, their policies and costs would be different. In situations such as this, entity-purchase agreements are often used. Entity-purchase agreements are not as complicated. The business itself is the beneficiary, and there are separate policies for each partner. With this type of agreement, the partners’ equity is underwritten, and the business consumes all of the costs. If a partner dies, the benefit is paid solely to the business itself.

Having a business succession plan is a good idea. Creating one may seem like a hassle, but it is time well spent. Devising a succession plan ensures that an agreeable price is set for each partner’s share of the business. It also reduces the need for valuation after death because of pre-agreed prices. A succession plan can also help with prompt settlement of a deceased partner’s estate. Benefits are available immediately after death, and there are no time restraints or liquidity issues to deal with. This eliminates the possibility of having to sell the business or facing external takeover due to financial issues. These plans require solid preparation. It is important to seek the advice of a competent adviser. For more information about creating succession plans, contact ACBI.

What Everyone Should Know about Choosing Real Estate Titles

A home is often a person’s most valuable asset, but many people do not think about how they should hold the title until the question is brought up at the time of sale or a refinance. However, this choice should be considered carefully. How a person holds their title will have long-term effects that reach far. There are several different options to consider.

Individual Name Even if a person is married, he or she can hold title in just one name. There are some disadvantages associated with this option. In the event the person holding title became physically or mentally incapacitated in an accident or due to an illness, the other spouse will likely need extra funds to pay for medical expenses and living expenses. A line of credit may need to be opened, or the other spouse may want to refinance the home. If this is the case, the court will have to appoint a person to act on behalf of the title holder. Even if a spouse is named in a will, this will not matter in this situation because the title holder is still living. Also, a power of attorney form usually ends at incapacity, so even a spouse with this power would be powerless in such a situation. In the event of incapacity, the court will focus on protecting the title holder’s assets. After they become involved, their involvement will continue until the title holder dies or recovers, which means family and friends will have no control and no say in decisions. Court proceedings are time consuming and expensive to put an end to after recovery. It is also important to consider what would happen if the title holder dies. The property will be subject to probate proceedings before the court will distribute assets to heirs. This applies whether a will exists or not.

Community Property There are nine different states that have forms of joint ownership between spouses, which is known as community property. These include Louisiana, New Mexico, Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, California, Wisconsin, Texas and Washington. When one spouse dies, his or her property automatically is given to the surviving spouse unless the survivor states otherwise. However, this type of arrangement means there could be multiple co-owners when one other co-owner dies and multiple heirs are entitled to a share. This could create problems in reaching important agreements when selling the property or in other situations. As a rule, the more co-owners there are, the likelihood of risks and problems is higher.

Joint Tenants With Right Of Survivorship The majority of married couples choose to hold title this way because it is free, easy and fair. Unmarried couples and parents who hold title with adult children often choose this option too. This helps avoid probate proceedings, but probate will still come in to play later when the surviving spouse dies if he or she does not name another survivor. Probate will also be an issue if both owners die at the same time. When adding a co-owner, the main owner loses complete control. This means if the new co-owner disagrees about something, both parties could end up in court. Also, if a co-owner becomes incapacitated, the court will likely get involved. Another problem with adding a co-owner is that this exposes the main owner to debts and obligations of the co-owner. If the other party is not a spouse, tax issues could also arise. Since wills do not have power over assets that are jointly owned, owners could inadvertently disinherit their intended heirs.

Revocable Living Trust With this instrument, a real estate title can be held by the trustee of the trust. In most cases, people elect themselves as trustees. People can still sell, buy and refinance as normal. In the event of incapacitation, the named successor will be able to take responsibility without the interference of the court. Married couples can be co-trustees, and this means successors would only take responsibility if both parties became incapacitated or died. There may be other options available to some such as tenants-in-common or tenants-by-the-entirety titles. To learn more about these options, call ACBI at 203-259-7580 or visit our website.

Questionable Workers’ Compensation Claims are on the Rise

Researchers analyzed past workers’ compensation claims that were considered questionable by referrals, and the reports were submitted over the span of about six months. Although the total number of workers’ compensation claims submitted had dropped, the number of claims considered questionable had risen. Questionable claims are ones that experts at insurance companies refer to the National Insurance Crime Bureau for review. When the reports are submitted for review, they are closely analyzed for indications of fraud. In some cases, one report may have several red flags that put it in the questionable category.

The state with the highest number of questionable workers’ compensation claims was California, which had more than 2,250. Illinois followed with almost 700, and New York was close behind with nearly 690. In 2011, there were more than 3.3 million workers’ compensation claims in a major database. The number decreased to about 3.2 million within the span of one year, and it decreased again in 2013. There were about 3,475 questionable workers’ compensation claims reported to the NICB in 2011, and that number increased to more than 4,450 in 2012. This means that claims increased by more than 25 percent. During the first half of 2013, there were about 2,325 questionable claims submitted.

When it came to further describing questionable workers’ compensation claims, there were several reasons experts said they referred them. The main reasons were claimant fraud, prior injuries not related to work and malingering. There were more than 6,100 claimant fraud cases, more than 2,300 non-work-related prior injury cases and more than 1,375 malingering cases. Non-work-related injuries pertain to people who claim injuries during days off or recreational days but do not report the incident until they return to work. When they return, they claim the injury happened while they were on the clock. Malingering occurs when a claimant sustained a legitimate injury but kept pretending to experience symptoms in order to collect benefits much longer than necessary after recovering.

Insurance fraud is a growing issue for both consumers and insurers. Many companies are taking steps to prevent it from happening and are also working on ways to improve identification of signs of fraud. If fraud can be prevented before claims are paid, this helps keep premiums more affordable for consumers. When consumers suspect or know of someone committing insurance fraud, it is important to report it. To learn more about this issue or how to report fraud, call ACBI at 203-259-7580 or visit our website.

How Buy-Sell Agreements Can Save a Business Partnership if One Partner Dies

Business partners share many burdens and the task of making difficult decisions. They are assets to a company, so it is important to protect the business in the event a business partner dies. Both partners should plan ahead for this possibility. A death will affect multiple aspects of the business, and its effects span wider than most people assume. Many people prepare for the ensuing conflicts between themselves and the deceased partner’s family or survivors. However, it is also important to prepare for issues such as suppliers recalling contracts, customer numbers dwindling, creditors demanding payments and the possibility of some employees wanting to leave the company.

Exploring the available choices in the event a business partner dies is beneficial. One of the first steps a person may take is to liquidate the business. After this, the assets will be distributed. However, this will eliminate the main source of income for the surviving partner in most situations. Surviving partners should also be aware that assets usually sell for only a small percentage of what they are worth. Another option is to offer partnership to the deceased’s heirs. There could be problems with this choice, because the heirs may not share the same workable relationship with the surviving partner that the deceased partner did. They may also not be familiar with that type of business and require more training. Replacing a deceased partner’s skill set, chemistry, knowledge and perspective is difficult and sometimes nearly impossible.

Some surviving partners can sell their own shares to the deceased partner’s heirs. This option dos not usually work, because the heirs typically disagree with the purchase price. Difficulties often continue throughout the rest of the processes. A final option is to buy out the heirs and make the business a sole proprietorship. Again, this option comes with disagreements over terms and the purchase price. In addition to this, the surviving partner must produce the money to buy the remaining half of the business.

These exhausted and undesirable options may seem to leave no choices. However, the best option is to construct a buy-sell agreement. This is a legally binding contract that outlines what will occur if a business partner becomes disabled or dies. All decisions can be made in advance, so both partners will be able to make future decisions for the business if one dies. Contracts can be very complex or very simple, but they should specify purchase prices or include a formula to calculate the value of the company if a buyout must be made.

A business partner’s death will be hard for not only his or her surviving family members but also a surviving business partner. Negotiating the future of the business during a difficult time can be bypassed by having a solid buy-sell agreement in place. Adequate and fair provisions can be made with a buy-sell agreement for the heirs of the deceased partner. It is also much easier to place an accurate value on the deceased partner’s business shares, and the agreement will take some of the strain off of the business. It also keeps bad feelings between the parties from forming. To learn more about these options and to protect the future of a business, contact ACBI.

Do Insurance Company Ratings Matter?

Insurance is a very special industry. The whole value of an insurance policy of any kind resides within a simple promise: The promise to pay a potentially large benefit in the event of a claim. But the claim could happen many, many years in the future. For example, life insurance policies routinely pay no benefit for several decades – during which time the policy owner is paying premiums.

Is the insurance company capable of keeping that promise? Will the company even be around after many years? What if there were a major disaster or other event that would require a company to pay many claims at the same time? Does the company have the assets and liquidity to pay claims as promised?

The average consumer has no direct way of knowing for sure. Although the overall record of the insurance industry is excellent – no legitimate life insurance claim, to name one line, has ever gone unpaid in the United States just because an insurance company became insolvent. But the fact is that all insurance claims and all annuity benefits are subject to the claims-paying ability of the insurance company.  Few consumers are actuaries, though – and nobody wants to have to pour through a company’s financials just to buy a simple life insurance policy.

That’s where the insurance company ratings agencies come in. These are third parties who themselves look at a variety of insurance company metrics, such as:

  • The expected future liabilities of a company and when they come due.
  • The reliability of cash flows from premiums.
  • The safety, stability and liquidity of the insurance company’s pool of reserves.
  • The quality of underwriting and whether the pool of insured for a particular company is substantially higher-risk than normal
  • The amount of reinsurance in place.

In short, they look at anything that may impact the ability of an insurance company to stay solvent in times of a major crisis. They may also conduct “stress tests” of a company’s finances, looking at what may happen, for example, if a life or health insurance company had to deal with a major outbreak of influenza, or if a property and casualty company had to deal with a Category 5 hurricane striking the Eastern Seaboard in the same year as another Category 4 or 5 hurricane struck New Orleans or Miami.

They also look at what may happen in very difficult economic conditions, such as a major recession impacting premiums and new business, or a sustained period of low interest rates, which would depress the earnings an insurance company would receive from its portfolio – a critical component for many insurance companies – particularly those with longer time horizons between receipt of premiums and payout of benefits.

Each of these insurance company ratings agencies assigns a letter grade as a kind of market shorthand for the strength and stability of any rated insurance company. For example, here are the ratings available from A.M. Best:

A++             Superior

A+               Superior

A                 Excellent

A-               Excellent

B                Fair

B-              Fair

C++, C+     Marginal

C, C-           Weak

D               Poor

E                Under regulatory supervision

F               In Liquidation

D               Suspended

U               Under Review

Other ratings agencies, such as Fitch and Standard & Poor’s have a similar protocol, though their precise terminology vary somewhat.

Companies with higher ratings may command higher premiums. There is less risk in insuring with strong companies than with insurers with less stable capital structures.

Moreover, some errors and omissions policies may not provide protection to insurance agents in cases arising from lower-rated insurance companies – say, rated B+ or worse.

What Happens When an Insurance Carrier Becomes Insolvent?

There is no bank guarantee available on insurance products of any kind, nor is there any kind of federal insurance available to back insurance companies that get into trouble. There is no Federal FDIC for insurance companies. Instead, each state maintains a guaranty association to administer a relief fund to protect policyholders in life and health insurance companies, up to certain limits. Contact your state’s insurance commissioner for more information on your state guaranty fund and limits, or visit the National Organization of Life & Health Insurance Guaranty Associations.

Overall, however, the higher the rating from A.M. Best, Fitch or Standard and Poor’s, the lower your risk.  If you have questions, call ACBI at 203-259-7580 or visit our website.