Your options during a “Hard Market”

19 Dec 2023 Articles

As insurance premiums rise and policies become more restrictive or harder to find, you may be tempted to cut back on coverage or eliminate specific policies. We highly recommend you have a conversation with your EFM&A representative before making any drastic decisions – in order to avoid huge risks that could lead to severe financial hardships if you have a claim.

Here are five things you should do during an insurance “hard market”:

Risk Management Review:

  • Evaluate and strengthen your risk management strategies. Carriers are more selective during a hard market, so demonstrating a robust risk management program can make you a more attractive policyholder. Identify potential risks, implement mitigation measures, and maintain thorough records of your risk management practices.

Raise Your Deductible or Self-Insure to Lower Premium:

  • Self-insuring or opting for a higher deductible provides flexibility in risk transfer. Instead of relying solely on insurance, individuals can allocate a portion of the risk to themselves. This flexibility allows for a strategic approach to risk management, balancing the desire for cost savings with financial protection.

Policy Review and Adjustments:

  • Reevaluate your insurance policies and coverage limits. Assess whether your current coverage aligns with your risk exposure and financial situation. Adjusting coverage levels, deductibles, or policy terms may be necessary to suit your needs better. Be proactive in communicating with your insurance provider to explore options that meet your requirements.

Loss Prevention Measures:

  • Implement measures to prevent losses and claims. Insurers may look favorably upon policyholders who take proactive steps to minimize risks. This could include investing in safety programs, employee training, and adopting technologies or practices that reduce the likelihood of incidents. Demonstrating a commitment to loss prevention may lead to more favorable terms and conditions.

Maintain Strong Communication with your EFM&A Team:

  • Cultivate and maintain open lines of communication with your insurance providers. Establishing a solid relationship can be beneficial, especially when insurers are more selective in a hard market. Keep your insurers informed about changes in your business operations, safety initiatives, or risk management practices. Building a positive rapport may contribute to more favorable terms and better understanding in case of a claim.

Insurance “Hard Market”: what it means for you!

17 Dec 2023 Articles

Recently, the insurance industry has entered what we refer to as a “hard market.” A “hard market” is a result of various factors, such as high interest rates, more lawsuits, and catastrophic claims. Sometimes, the industry experiences this circumstance where all of these things seem to be happening at an elevated level during a specific period. This causes coverage to be more expensive, and some insurers possibly reduce or limit your coverage.

It’s important to know that your team at Emerling Floss Murphy & Associates is taking the best steps to evaluate your account and the available options. We are working closely with our carriers and are making every effort to ensure that your investments, both personal or business are protected.

Important things to remember during a “Hard Market”:

  • Hard markets are cyclical. This is good news because we know it will eventually pass. The bad news is we don’t know exactly when. But there are ways to adapt during hard market times. 
  • During a hard market, there may be fewer insurers competing for your business. Fewer options affect prices, the type of coverage, and the overall level of coverage. This is not a guarantee but, rather, a possibility. 
  • Your coverage might be more expensive, or you might see a reduction in the amount of your policy limits. We will work with you to explore all of your options, and to make adjustments accordingly so you can maintain the protection you need at the best price.

Get Ready for Winter: Checklist

Although the first lake effect snow storm is around the corner – it’s never too late to ensure you are ready for winter! These simple steps can help reduce your chances of damage or other related issues that come with the fun of winter weather!

If you have any other tips and tricks for winterizing your home – we’d love to hear from you! Send an email to [email protected]!

5 Benefits of CyberSecurity Insurance

10 Oct 2023 Articles

Protecting your personal and financial information online is crucial in today’s digital age. To prevent cyber threats, such as phishing emails and social engineering attacks, it’s essential to secure your data. Cybersecurity insurance can provide peace of mind and protection against potential attacks. Here are five benefits of investing in cybersecurity insurance:

  • Financial Protection: Coverage for financial losses due to cyber-attacks.
  • Legal Assistance: Support and guidance in navigating legal complexities.
  • Data Breach Response: Coverage for breach-related costs and services.
  • Reputation Management: Resources to restore reputational damage.
  • Risk Assessment and Prevention: Services to assess vulnerabilities and enhance security.

Three Years of Emerling Floss Murphy & Associates

Dear Friends of Emerling Floss Murphy & Associates,


The three separate family-owned and operated entities of Floss Agency, Inc. in East Amherst; Emerling Agency LLC in Clarence and ML Murphy Agency, Inc. in Lockport became one entity on July 1st, 2020 and we continue to operate out of Lockport and Clarence locations Three years down, and perhaps 300 more years to go!


We merged to benefit our clients and associates, to create opportunities for others in the organization, and to carry on the legacy of helping clients find the best insurance coverage and value. We merged to attract talent in Benefits, Life Insurance, and Financial services to better serve our clients’ insurance needs. Uniting gave us the scale to accomplish this without compromising the values that have driven our success. The merger was a groundbreaking event, as the Insurance Agents Association reported.


As we enter our fourth year in operation as Emerling, Floss, Murphy & Associates, LLC.; on behalf of our ownership group, I wanted to thank our clients, our Associates, our Core Carrier partners, and our Agency Partners in the EMS group.


To our Valued Clients:
Thank you for your loyalty and friendship. The continued growth and success as an organization depends on your continued support of our small business. We are keenly aware that we must earn the right to service your insurance needs every day. Please call on us if you have any questions or service concerns. We strive for excellence and are focused on continual improvement as an organization.


To our Associates (All employees at EFM&A):
Thank you for your dedication to our clients and for representing our brand so well. As you know, our reputation is far more important to us than anything! Keep up the great work!


To our Core Carrier Partner:
Thank you for providing us with unique and competitive products to offer our clients. We look forward to growing with all of you.


To our EMS GROUP agency partners:
As all may be aware, to better serve our clients; we collaborate best practices and aggregate some carrier production requirements with two other family-owned and operated Agencies for over 30 years. We are proud to be associated with Stahlka and McMahon Agencies. It is great working with you and we appreciate the mutual respect and accountability our relationship provides.



Joe Floss
President, Emerling Floss Murphy & Associates

10 Bad Habits That Aren’t Good for Your Car

Bad habits. We all have them. And sometimes, they can be hard to shake. This is especially true when it comes to driving. Depending on how many years you’ve spent behind the wheel, certain habits may be deeply ingrained by now. And many of them can be bad for your car.


Whether you’re running late and forget to fill up, or you’re just not paying attention to your fuel gauge, finding yourself low on gas can happen from time to time. But running out of gas is more than just inconvenient; it can also be hard on your car.

Why? Because critical components, like your vehicle’s fuel pump, aren’t designed to operate without gas. The fuel pump is submerged in the gas tank, where it uses fuel to cool and lubricate the mechanisms in the pump. Most fuel pumps can last for the life of your vehicle.

But when you run your car on empty, the pump can overheat, which could lead to a costly failure. And because the gas tank typically needs to be drained and removed to replace the pump, this labor-intensive job could cost upward of $1,000 to repair.


If you approach any kind of flooding, including large puddles of groundwater, you may be tempted to drive right through. But your best—and safest—course of action is always to turn around and find another route. What may not seem like a lot of water can in fact be quite dangerous when you’re behind the wheel.

For starters, it can be hard to gauge how deep the water is, and you can’t see what debris or other hazards may be below the water.

On top of that, driving through deep water can damage or destroy your vehicle’s engine, transmission and other critical components. It can also cause irreversible damage to your car’s complex electrical system. Because of this long-lasting damage, a flooded vehicle is often considered a total loss by insurance providers.


Every vehicle manufacturer recommends following a routine maintenance schedule to keep your car running in tip-top shape. In the short term, it may seem like there’s no harm in skipping an oil change, air filter replacement or tire rotation. But the truth is, taking care of these preventative maintenance tasks now can save you from needing major repairs later.


Modern cars feature a host of warning lights, and each is there to notify you of a particular problem with your vehicle. Ignoring these warning lights could leave you with a major repair down the road. Depending on the problem, it could even jeopardize the safety of you and your passengers.

So don’t make a habit of ignoring your vehicle’s warning lights. The next time that “check engine” light starts flashing, consult your car’s manual and if need be, take your car to a qualified mechanic to get it checked out.


One of the easiest car maintenance tasks to ignore is checking your tire pressure. After all, if your tire isn’t flat, what’s the big deal? But not running your tires at the manufacturer’s recommended air pressure can cause a host of problems ranging from premature or uneven tire wear to bad handling and poor fuel economy.

For that reason, experts recommend that you make a habit of checking your tire pressure once a month. And remember that when it’s cold, your tire pressure will drop between one and two pounds per square inch (PSI) for every ten-degree decrease in temperature. So pay extra attention to your tires as the seasons change.


Your car’s brakes represent one of its most important safety systems. But hitting the brake pedal too hard, or using the brakes too often, can leave this system severely compromised.

For example, applying the brakes for a prolonged period of time (like when slowing your car down a long hill) can cause them to overheat. And when your brakes get too hot, their stopping power is greatly reduced.

Overuse of your brakes can have long-term consequences, too. More braking means you’ll wear through pads and rotors faster, which translates to more frequent service intervals. You can also expect to pay more at the pump, thanks to lower fuel economy caused by frequent braking.

To “break” this bad habit, try to leave some extra space between you and other cars on the roadway. And if you’re descending a long hill, try shifting your car out of overdrive and into a lower gear; this will allow the engine to do some of the braking for you.


Speed bumps are installed to help slow down traffic, making areas safer for pedestrians. If you drive over a speed bump at a slow speed, your car will be unharmed. But hit a speed bump faster than about 10 miles per hour, and you can do serious damage to your car.

The sudden impact of a speed bump could cause your suspension to bottom out, damaging your shocks and struts. It could also bend other important suspension components or knock your car out of alignment. So take it slow!


Parking your car for extended periods of time can take its toll on your vehicle. The time it takes for your vehicle to be damaged by long-term storage will vary based on several factors, including the location of your parked car and how well you’ve prepared it.

However, the negative effects of time on an undriven vehicle can be observed sooner than you may think.

When your car is left undriven, the fuel and battery can go bad. Tires and rubber belts can crack. Rust can begin to form. And rodents could even make your car their new home.

If you have a college student away, for example, consider using a battery maintainer while the car sits. Since maintainers are used for maintenance during periods when cars aren’t going to be used, time isn’t of the essence when charging. This means that a maintainer can give a battery a “low and slow” charge, which is better for its health than a faster charge or a jump.


If you live in an area that sees cold winters, the constant freeze-thaw cycles can make potholes a common sight on the roadways. When driving, you should do your best to avoid hitting them at all costs.

Potholes can cause damage to your vehicle ranging from flat tires or bent wheels to much pricier damage to your suspension, steering system or exhaust system. Next time you encounter a pothole, try to swerve around it. If swerving isn’t possible, reduce your speed to lessen the impact—and any potential damage.


Everybody can appreciate how good a freshly washed car looks. But the benefits of a clean vehicle extend far beyond the visual appeal. If you go long periods of time without washing your car, all that dirt and grime will embed itself in the painted surfaces and will eventually eat away at the clear coat, causing permanent damage.

The consequences are even greater if you live in an area that uses road salt to melt the ice and snow. That’s because salt creates chemical reactions that can corrode the components on your car. This is especially true for any exposed metal, like brake lines and fuel lines.

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