Monday, April 27, 2020
Reports of suspected child abuse in L.A. County have taken a nose-dive in recent weeks. That news may sound incredible during normal times, but in a COVID-19 world, that drop has advocates very concerned. According to a statement by DCFS Director Bobby Cagle, since the middle of March, L.A. county has seen a 40%-60% decrease in the number of suspected child abuse reports from the public.
Numbers like these leave child advocates feeling uneasy. People who are mandated to report suspected child abuse, like teachers, cannot flag what they do not see when kids are out of school. These children are out of sight, and that’s very frightening. DCFS usually sees a large increase in the number of reports after kids come back from summer break, which is something expected to happen when children start to return to school. The increase could be more striking than they have seen historically. In order to brace for the possible escalation of cases, the agency is recruiting additional foster families who can step in under those circumstances.
Meanwhile, advocates are worried about how the coronavirus is affecting current foster families. Older foster youth who are now providing for themselves are also feeling the effects of a catering economy, as many have been laid off. Situations like this can really send these children into a difficult situation where they don’t have a safe place to live and are not able to meet their very basic needs like food.
Nonprofits that provide housing, mental health therapy, legal assistance and other services for abused kids are struggling amidst the crisis, with fundraising events cancelled and other donations dwindling. Yet despite all the challenges they are faced with, there are still people doing what they can. Social workers are still responding to emergency calls and going into the community. Attorneys and judges are working together to hold some hearings virtually. And volunteers are working with nonprofits to get iPad’s and laptops to foster kids who need them to keep up with their schoolwork.
On April 13th, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced a $42 million in funding for children who are at greater risk for abuse or neglect because of the pandemic. This funding includes almost seven million dollars for social worker overtime and additional outreach and nearly two million to extend poster care payments for the roughly 200 youth who age out of the system every month.
IF YOU SUSPECT CHILD ABUSE OR NEGLECT:
Thursday, April 16, 2020
The earthquake market has moved onto unstable grounds as insurers and alternative capital investors demand higher returns on their capital. Over the past 20 years, the earthquake insurance market has narrowed down significantly, with many insurers leaving the market entirely, while others refuse to issue new policies in certain high-risk areas. Even among those still willing to sell coverage, stricter underwriting standards make some types of dwellings ineligible for coverage.
Those who can obtain coverage find they are required to “self-insure” to a much greater extent than in the past. Rate increases have intensified over the last year, with deductibles up to 20 percent of the dwelling value being more common than not. Buyers should expect higher prices this year for the same coverage.
In an uncertain market, its not a matter of if, but when the next big earthquake hits. Being proactive is key to obtaining the best results and getting an early start on renewals is crucial. Buyers who can provide better and more detailed information on their risks can expect a higher chance of acceptance from underwriters. Make sure you have a knowledgeable broker that has broad access to markets across the industry, so they can obtain a broader range of quotes and help insureds find the coverage that meets their goals.
If you have any questions or are looking for quotes on earthquake insurance, please contact us and we will be happy to serve you.
Monday, April 6, 2020
Just to add to the already stressful times were are all living in, there is yet another avenue in which hackers are trying to take advantage of online users during the current pandemic.
As we continue to use Zoom video conferencing, it has come to light that there is a new trend called, ‘Zoom Bombing’. Just like any other Phishing or Hacking tactic, there is an easy way to avoid any potential disruptions. Please know, this is not Zoom being hacked directly, but, people accessing your meeting information through other means.
Review the following Zoom blog addressing how they gain access and the best way to protect yourself:
Be safe out there!