What is radon? This radioactive gas is the product of the natural decay of uranium in soil, rock and water. That means it’s likely in the air you breathe every day.
While the potential health risks of radon are very low in small doses, prolonged or high level exposure can lead to serious health concerns – including lung cancer.
Keep reading to find out the health concerns of radon, how to test for radon and what to do if you find radon in your home.
Why is radon dangerous?
Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S., second only to smoking. Here are some of the health effects:
- Lung damage: Radon gas decays into radioactive particles. You inhale these particles into your lungs when you breathe the air that contains radon. As the particle decay continues, energy is released that can damage your lung tissue.
- Lung cancer: The damage radon causes to your lungs can eventually lead to lung cancer. Scientists estimate that between 15,000 to 22,000 lung cancer deaths in the United States are directly linked to radon exposure each year.
- Increased risk for smokers: Research shows that smokers are almost seven times more likely to develop lung cancer than nonsmokers when exposed to the same amount of radon.
How does radon get into homes?
It is estimated that about one in every 15 homes in the United States has a radon problem. High radon levels are possible in homes of any age or location. Here are some other factors that can increase your home’s exposure to radon:
- Radioactive metals in soil: Homes built on soil rich in radium, thorium and uranium tend to have higher radon levels since radon is produced when these elements decay.
- The ground: Radon comes from the ground and then becomes airborne. Because radon comes from the ground, the highest radon levels can often be found on a home’s ground floor or basement.
- Cracks in your home: Radon often enters a home through the cracks in floors, walls or foundations. Cavities in the walls or gaps around pipes are also viable entry points.
- Building materials: Materials such as brick, marble and granite contain naturally occurring radioactive materials at very low levels, reports the Environmental Protection Association. That’s not usually cause for concern, but as these radioactive materials decay, they can contribute to increased radon levels in your home.
- Water supply: Your water supply can also be a source of radon if the water comes from a well where radon is present.
- Well-insulated and tightly sealed homes: While everyone wants a warm and cozy home, this build makes it difficult for the radon to escape.
What are normal levels of radon in a house?
Radon is measured in picoCuries per liter (pCi/L). According to the Environmental Protection Agency, if your home has radon levels at or above 4 pCi/L, it’s important to fix the problem as soon as possible.
However, since there is no known safe level of exposure to radon, the EPA recommends that homeowners consider remediating the problem for radon levels between 2 and 4 pCi/L.
For context: The EPA reports that the average radon level in American homes is about1.3 pCi/L. In outdoor air, radon levels average around .4 pCi/L – about 10 times less than the action level specified by the EPA.
How do you test for radon?
Radon testing is the best way to accurately determine your household radon exposure. Since radon is odorless and colorless, you need special equipment to detect it. Here’s what to know about radon tests:
- Experts are here to help. A great first place to start is your state radon office. There, you can find and order qualified test kits in your area, or find a trusted professional who can administer a test for you. Another trusted resource for information, or to order radon tests online, is sosradon.org.
- You have options. Radon testing devices come in two main types. Your state or local radon official can explain the difference between available tests, such as short- and long-term devices, and help you find one that fits your needs and budget.
- Passive testing devices, which don’t need power to function, include charcoal canisters, alpha-track detectors, charcoal liquid scintillation devices, and electret ion chamber detectors.
- Active testing devices, such as continuous radon monitors and continuous working level monitors, need power to function. They usually take an hourly reading and provide an average result for the length of the test period. However, they usually cost more.
- At-home tests are affordable. At-home tests are relatively inexpensive, approved by the EPA and can be purchased from your local home store for around $15. Make sure to read the labels to make sure the test is approved by a qualified laboratory.
What should you do if you find radon in your home?
Radon has been detected in your home. Now what do you do? First and foremost, don’t panic. Radon is everywhere. If your radon level exceeds recommended levels, it’s time for you to actively pursue radon-removal solutions.
When it comes to tackling the problem, you have options on how to reduce radon in your home
- Consider short-term solutions. A short-term solution is to increase the ventilation throughout your home. Also, you can limit the amount of time people spend in rooms (such as your basement) with a high level of radon.
- Explore long-term solutions. A long-term solution would be to purchase a radon-reduction system. These systems are relatively affordable, averaging under $1,000 for most installations (although a system for a larger home or property will be more expensive). A radon mitigation system can reduce your home’s radon levels by up to 99 percent.
- Hire a professional contractor. You also have the option of hiring a professional radon-mitigation contractor. Some states require that such contractors maintain a license. To find a licensed contractor, contact your state radon office. You can also find a list of radon mitigators certified by the National Environmental Health Association on their National Radon Proficiency Program website.
While radon levels exist everywhere, you shouldn’t tolerate excessively high levels in your home. There are ways to detect and treat radon on your home, so there’s no need to fear the harmful effects of this gas.
How can I reduce the risks of radon?
Even if you don’t have high levels of radon in your home, there are still precautions you can take stay proactive.
- If you smoke, quit. Smoking puts you and your loved ones at a greater risk of lung cancer when radon is present.
- Increase airflow in your home. Use fans and open windows and vents to increase circulation within your home. This strategy, however, will only temporarily decrease radon levels.
- Seal cracks. Keep radon from seeping in by sealing cracks in the floors and walls with materials like plaster or caulk.
- Do your research when buying a home. If you are purchasing a new home, ask about radon resistant construction techniques. It is easier to construct a home with these precautions than to add them in later.
Make Sure You’re Protected
Home ownership has many rewards… and also its fair share of demands. While you’re looking after it, we’re looking after you. Talk to your Erie Insurance agent to help you find the right homeowners insurance coverage to protect you and your loved ones from life’s uncertainties.
Posted on 3 January 2022 | 9:00 pm
As our portable electronic devices continue to get thinner and lighter, manufacturers have had to figure out ways to store a lot of energy in a small package. And advancements in lithium batteries have allowed them to do just that.
But as use of lithium batteries has become widespread in devices like laptops and smartphones, we’ve also seen an increase in battery fires. According to a 2018 report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 25,000 overheating or fire incidents have been reported over a five-year period — involving more than 400 types of lithium battery powered products.
If you’ve flown on an airplane or shipped a package recently, you’ve probably seen warnings related to the dangers of lithium battery fires. But how do these fires start? And more importantly, what can you do to prevent them?
Here’s what you need to know.
Why do lithium batteries catch fire?
Every type of battery creates electricity by turning chemical energy into electrical energy. It does this by using chemical reactions to create a flow of electrons from one material to another. We’ll spare you the rest of the science lesson. The important thing to know is that the materials used (lead-acid, alkaline, nickel-cadmium, etc.) all have different charging properties.
Lithium batteries use — you got it — lithium in metal or ion (Li-ion) form as their anode material. And they come with several advantages. Lithium-ion batteries are easily rechargeable and have the highest energy density of any battery technology, meaning they pack more power into a smaller space. They also can deliver a voltage up to three times higher than other battery types.
But generating all that electricity also creates heat, which can lead to battery fires — or even explosions. This is especially true when a battery is damaged or defective, and uncontrolled chemical reactions (also called thermal runaway) are allowed to occur.
What types of devices have lithium batteries?
Lithium batteries are used in almost all modern portable electronic devices. The list includes smartphones, laptops, tablets, eReaders, smart watches and Bluetooth headphones. Larger lithium batteries are also used to power things like electric scooters, hoverboards, ebikes and even electric cars.
How do I know if a lithium battery is damaged?
If you have concerns about one of your devices, you can check the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recalls website. This government regulatory organization oversees product safety and lists active recalls on their website. Enter “lithium” in the search bar to see a list of products organized by specific brands and manufacturers. Often, there are dozens of products in active recall status, such as laptops and kids’ toys.
Before a failing lithium battery catches fire, there are often a few warning signs. Here’s what to look for:
- Heat: It’s completely normal for batteries to generate some heat when charging or in use. But if your device’s lithium-ion battery feels extremely hot to the touch, there’s a good chance it’s defective and at risk to start a fire.
- Swelling: When a lithium battery fails, another common sign is battery swelling. If your battery looks swollen, you should stop using it immediately. Similar signs include any type of lump or bulge, or leakage from the device.
- Noise: Failing lithium batteries have also been reported to make hissing or cracking sounds.
- Odor: If you notice a strong or unusual odor coming from the battery, this is also a bad sign.
- Smoke: This one’s a little more obvious. But if your device is smoking, a fire has already started.
What do I do if my lithium battery is failing?
If your device is showing any of the above warning signs, take the following steps:
- Immediately turn off the device and unplug it from the power source.
- Slowly move the device to a safe, isolated area away from anything flammable. Use tongs or gloves to avoid touching the device with your bare skin.
- Call the device manufacturer or retailer for further instructions.
How can I prevent a battery fire?
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), there are several precautions you can take to help prevent lithium battery fires.
- Follow instructions. Always follow the device manufacturer’s instructions for storage, use, charging and maintenance.
- Avoid knock-offs. Only replace batteries and chargers with components specifically designed and approved for your device.
- Watch where you charge. Avoid charging your device on flammable surfaces like under a pillow, on your bed or on the couch.
- Unplug your device. Remove devices and batteries from the charger once they are fully charged.
- Store batteries properly. Lithium-ion batteries should always be stored in a cool, dry place. Don’t place batteries in direct sunlight.
- Inspect for damage. Regularly inspect your device and batteries for the warning signs listed above.
What should I do if a lithium battery catches fire?
If a fire occurs, lithium-ion batteries can be extinguished by pouring water on the device (just make sure it’s unplugged!). Lithium-metal batteries, on the other hand, should be extinguished using a Class D fire extinguisher.
How common are lithium battery fires?
When batteries catch fire, they often make the news. Remember the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 or hoverboard fires? But in reality, lithium battery fires are rare. According to the tech reporting site CNET, your odds of a lithium battery fire are about 1 in 10 million.
How should I dispose of lithium batteries?
When your device or lithium battery is at the end of its usable life, don’t just throw it in the trash. Recycle it instead. Contact your local recycling center to find a facility near you. Or ask your local electronics retailer if they have a battery recycling program.
We’re here for you.
Planning is smart, but life is rarely predictable. For whatever’s in store, Erie Insurance will be with you on the journey. We’re flexible when circumstances change, steady when the unexpected happens, capable when help is needed and optimistic about what the future holds. To learn how ERIE can help protect your home — and everything it means to you — contact a local agent today.
Posted on 22 December 2021 | 9:00 pm
Replacement Cost vs. Market Value: What's the Difference?
When you purchase a home and start thinking about protecting your investment, this is often the first question. The answer is often: More than you just paid for it, Buckel says.
See also: How Much Does Homeowners Insurance Cost?
“People naturally gravitate to how much they paid for the house, but we’re not insuring it to buy it from you – we’re insuring it to rebuild it in case something happens,” Buckel says. “The question you need to be asking is, ‘How much would it cost if a builder needs to rebuild it?”
This is why replacement cost is often more than market value for your home, or even what you might be able to sell it for.
Figuring out rebuilding costs can be elusive, as a range of factors contribute to what that actual cost might be. Guaranteed replacement cost takes the guesswork out, assuring that you’re covered – even if you need to rebuild your entire home1.
What are Loss Settlement Options in Homeowners Insurance?
Guaranteed replacement cost is one of a range of choices – called “loss settlement options” in the business – which insurance companies offer to homeowners.
Common loss settlement options include:
- Replacement cost
- Extended replacement cost
- Actual cash value
- Guaranteed replacement cost
Each one works a little bit differently. Different insurance companies offer different things, too. (For example: ERIE does not offer actual cash value loss settlement for the dwelling on your primary home – it’s only available for secondary homes and contents. You’ll learn more about actual cash value below.)
Here’s a breakdown of some of those key differences:
Replacement Cost vs. Guaranteed Replacement Cost
That one word – guaranteed – makes a big difference if you’re facing a total loss of your home. Here’s what makes replacement cost different from guaranteed replacement cost.
- What is replacement cost? When you’re issued a policy with just replacement cost, the insurance company works with you to project how much it would likely cost to fully replace your home. You can see the replacement cost and the specific limit for your policy on your declarations page. Replacement cost is provided up to the limit shown on the declarations page.
- What to expect with replacement cost: The replacement cost amount usually gets increased annually – normally by 2 to 5%each year, depending on your area. In periods of high inflation, the increase could be much higher.
Here’s the big difference: If your home is destroyed and a builder actually estimates that the cost to rebuild is more than that replacement cost figure… then you, as the homeowner, are responsible to make up the difference. That’s why it’s important as a homeowner to make sure you know and are comfortable with how much your home is insured for.
- Here’s an example: If your home is insured at a replacement cost of $200,000, and in reality it is going to cost $250,000 to rebuild, then you either need to come up with an additional $50,000 or find ways to reduce costs… which could result in a smaller, less-appointed house than you originally had.
The premium amount you pay for replacement cost compared to guaranteed replacement cost is typically about the same, although some factors unique to your situation may make one or the other more expensive.
Extended Replacement Cost vs. Guaranteed Replacement Cost
Think of extended replacement cost like a predetermined amount of cash you can dip into in case the cost to rebuild runs high. Still, it’s not the same as guaranteed replacement cost. Here’s how it works:
- What is extended replacement cost? With extended replacement cost, your insurance company assures that a financial cushion exists in the event that cost of rebuilding is more than the estimated replacement cost.
- What to expect with extended replacement cost: Specifically with Erie Insurance, that cushion is 25 percent above the dwelling amount, as shown on your declarations page.
While 25 percent may seem like a lot, there are often circumstances that cause costs to soar well beyond that.
“When a hurricane or tornado does a lot of damage in a specific area, the cost to rebuild skyrockets,” Buckel says. “Everyone is trying to rebuild, and the cost of lumber, labor and building supplies all go up. If you don’t have the right coverage, you are not going to have nearly enough to rebuild.”
- Here’s an example: For a home insured at $300,000, extended replacement cost would give you an extra $75,000 to work with. Yet again, if costs go beyond that extra $75,000… you are on the hook to make up the difference, or rebuild a smaller home.
Premium costs for extended replacement cost are generally comparable to guaranteed replacement cost, although some factors unique to your situation may make one or the other more expensive.
Actual Cash Value vs. Guaranteed Replacement Cost
In simple terms, actual cash value is basic coverage. While there’s no doubt that actual cash value is typically your least expensive option, there is also truth in the old saying, you get what you pay for.
- What is actual cash value? With actual cash value, you get coverage for a pre-determined set amount to rebuild your home after a covered loss… and no more. Compared to guaranteed replacement cost, actual cash value often offers the least attractive option as you will likely be required to pay out-of-pocket costs if you aim to restore your home to its previous design and condition.
- What to expect with actual cash value: Some policies also factor in depreciation of things such as an aging roof – so you may end up with even less than the policy states.
As we mentioned above: ERIE does not offer actual cash value loss settlement for the dwelling on your primary home – it’s only available for secondary homes and contents.
Ask a Local ERIE Agent About Guaranteed Replacement Cost
Of course, the ideal scenario is that you will never need to use guaranteed replacement cost coverage. Yet, if you do need it, you can rest assured that guaranteed replacement cost coverage will provide the money necessary to rebuild without requiring you to shell out additional cash.
“If it’s a covered loss and costs run high, we will pay whatever the difference is,” Buckel says. “It’s on us, not you.”
Good news for ERIE customers: Guaranteed replacement cost is included in our base ErieSecure Home® policy, a feature that will cost you extra with most insurers2.
1Guaranteed Replacement Cost applies to dwelling and requires home improvements over $5,000 to be reported within 90 days - not available with all policies and in all states. Coverage of costs to comply with laws or ordinances is subject to limits. Depreciation will be deducted until repair or replacement is made. Talk to an ERIE agent for more information.
2The information in this blog is a summary and does not include all coverages and benefits available through an ErieSecure Home® policy or apply to all states. Coverage, benefits, limits and deductibles will vary. Conditions, exclusions and limitations will apply. Refer to our disclaimer for more information. Talk to an ERIE agent for state specific policy information.
There are few things in life worse than losing your home to fire or a natural disaster.
Except, that is, discovering in the aftermath that you don’t have enough homeowners insurance coverage to rebuild the house back to the way it was before trouble struck.
If you get guaranteed replacement cost coverage, that is unlikely to happen. Why? Because guaranteed replacement cost will pay for the full cost of rebuilding your house back to its previous size and specifications1 – right down to the granite countertops, custom bookshelves, and gleaming hardwood floors that you so love.
WHY SHOULD I CONSIDER GUARANTEED REPLACEMENT COST?
“Guaranteed replacement cost gives you peace of mind,” says Bob Buckel, vice president and product manager at Erie Insurance. “The reality is that it’s almost impossible to estimate to the penny what it’s going to cost to rebuild a home. We take that worry away from you.”
With the everchanging price of building materials and labor, it’s easy to see why GRC is the gold standard for homeowners insurance.
Keep in mind that guaranteed replacement cost isn’t available in all states. In North Carolina, ask about Enhanced Replacement Cost. For specific questions or a personalized estimate for your home, talk to a local insurance professional like an Erie Insurance agent.
Posted on 13 December 2021 | 9:00 pm
Walk 10,000 steps each day. Read a new book each month. Learn how to play the flugelhorn.
The sky’s the limit when creating your list of New Year's resolutions.
But while you ponder the merits of your next personal goal, there’s another area of your life that could benefit from a little introspection at the year’s end: your business.
As a small business owner, you invest a lot of time and effort into running and growing your business. That means the idea of adding one more thing to your list of year-end to-do’s or strategic planning could seem daunting. That’s why we’ve put together a list of small, achievable goals you can resolve to accomplish in the new year to improve your business ‒ and your well-being as a business owner.
7 New Year’s Resolutions for Small Business Owners
1. Keep Better Track of Expenses
How closely did you manage your cash flow in the last year? Keeping a sharper eye on your expenses will not only help you know how much money is going out ‒ it will help you reach your financial goals. It also can provide some extra deductions come tax time. (For specific advice about your individual tax situation, always consult a tax professional.) To kick-start your efforts, check out 6 Tips to Track Your Small Business Expenses.
2. Seek Out Networking Opportunities
Any introvert reading this probably just cringed. But experienced professionals know the value of networking. Look online to see what events may already be scheduled in your area. Some organizations even sponsor virtual events if travel or scheduling are a challenge. Use networking as an opportunity to find a business mentor. This person can share their wisdom and experience to help you make better decisions as you navigate the ups and downs of being a small business owner.
Related: 5 Books Every Business Owner Needs to Read
3. Make Time for Self-Care
As a business owner, it may feel like you don’t have a minute of extra time to take care of yourself because you’re so busy taking care of others. Make it a goal to shift that mindset in the new year.
The Harvard Business Review article “Serious” Leaders Need Self-Care, Too recommends that leaders practice the following when it comes to self-care:
- Individualize your approach. Self-care is not one size fits all. What works for one person may not work for you. Find out what activities recharge you.
- Make it “micro.” Self-care doesn’t need to be an hours-long endeavor. It can be five meaningful minutes spent doing something like meditating, journaling or taking a walk.
- Add it to your calendar. When you include self-care in your daily agenda, it helps to put your plan into action.
- Test it out. Nothing is set in stone with your approach to self-care. Once you’ve practiced your routine for a bit, you can make tweaks (or overhaul it entirely) to get into a rhythm.
- Set an example and share it with your team. Your employees look up to you as a leader. Let them know that self-care is important, and set the tone for it at your business.
4. Be a Better Manager of Your Time
As a small business owner, you’re pulled in a million different directions. But if your to-do’s seem to continually fall by the wayside, make a resolution to find new ways to manage your time in the new year.
Amazon Business recommends that small business owners try the following:
- Find a new prioritization method ‒ and start using it. Learn more about time management practices like the ABC Method, the Pareto Principle (you also may know it as 80/20 rule) and the POESC Method. They’re all ways of structuring and prioritizing where you spend your time. Test a few out and find a method that fits you.
- Delegate. Even if you consider yourself a jack-of-all-trades, you can’t physically do everything. Delegate those things that could easily be handed off to someone else, like administrative tasks or marketing.
- Reduce distractions to be more productive. Dividing your calendar into blocks of time, also known as time blocking, can help you downplay distractions and interruptions like email pop-ups, social media notifications and more. Consider scheduling three separate time blocks ‒ one in the morning, one around lunchtime and one in the afternoon ‒ to read and respond to emails or other messages. You also can set aside small chunks of time for breaks.
5. Get an Insurance Checkup
Think of it like your business’ annual physical. A lot can change in a year. If you don’t have adequate protection from a business insurance policy, an accident of any kind could be detrimental to the health and well-being of the business you’ve worked so hard to build. So schedule a meeting with your agent to review your policy. Together, you can make sure you have the proper coverage that fits your company’s needs and covers any risks associated with your operations. Find out more about Why You Shouldn’t Cut Corners on Business Insurance.
6. Start Thinking About Succession Planning
Sure, it may not seem like one of the most exciting topics. But a well-crafted succession plan helps ensure you have the right talent, people and roles in your organization. So, when the time comes for the next generation of leaders to step in, the transition will be as seamless as possible. That’s peace of mind that any business owner could use! Get started with 8 Things to Consider When Building Your Business Succession Plan.
7. Try Something New
Resolve to try something that isn’t “business as usual” for the new year. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to try a customer loyalty program. Or, if your business has grown, why not explore what it would take to expand and open a second location? Take a look at your business plan for the year, along with your budget, and see what’s in the realm of possibility. Get your team involved, and get creative!
A Better Year Starts Here
Your business is your life’s work. At Erie Insurance, we’re here to safeguard your business with personalized advice, superb coverage and unrivaled service. In turn, you gain insurance that reflects your business priorities ‒ and your budget. Talk to your local ERIE agent today to learn more and get your free quote.
Posted on 12 December 2021 | 9:00 pm
Each new year brings its own unique set of opportunities and challenges for small business owners.
And 2022 is no exception.
From shifting consumer shopping habits and government regulations to emerging technologies and the continued effects of the pandemic, it’s enough to make any small business owner take a moment to seriously consider what’s coming their way in the next 12 months ‒ and how it will affect their life’s work.
While there’s no way we can predict the future (if only), we’re taking a look at four business trends that could potentially impact businesses in 2022.
4 Business Trends to Watch in 2022
1. An e-commerce uptick
$1 trillion (yes, trillion with a “t”). That’s the amount that Americans are projected to spend online in 2022, according to a report by Adobe. Has your business taken steps to fully leverage this shift? With the increasing number of online shoppers, the U.S. Small Business Administration says that now is the time to ensure that your e-commerce platform is easy to use ‒ especially on mobile devices. If you don’t currently sell any products or services online, it may be time to assess your operations and see if e-commerce is a smart or feasible option for your business.
2. Contactless payments and additional oversight on cash app business transactions
The pandemic saw a huge increase in people paying for goods and services using online payments or mobile cash apps like Venmo, PayPal and Zelle. It’s a trend that many believe will continue. So if your small business doesn’t currently offer this feature, it’s time to start investigating your options.
And whether you’re new to using cash apps or are a seasoned pro, you should be aware of a regulatory change on the horizon. On Jan. 1, the IRS will begin keeping a close eye on all business transactions of $600 or more made on cash apps. This differs from earlier statutes, where the IRS only received notification when business transactions made on these platforms reached the $20,000 threshold. While it’s not a new tax, it will be more important than ever to keep accurate financial records.
See also: 6 Tips to Track Your Small Business Expenses
3. Remote work
The pandemic forced many employers to make the transition from on-site to remote work. Now, it’s projected to become a longstanding expectation of many workers. This could be a challenge for many employers given the current competition for skilled workers. So what can you do if remote work is an option for your business? The U.S. Small Business Administration recommends that you invest in the right technologies and software systems your employees need to work remotely in the long term. Make sure your business insurance policies are up-to-date, including your workers’ compensation coverage as your employees working from home. You also should look for new ways to stay connected with your remote workforce to strengthen their commitment to your company ‒ and to keep them.
See also: 8 Tips for Working from Home (from ERIE Employees Who Do it All the Time)
4. 5G wireless technology
5G (short for “fifth generation”) is the next iteration of mobile communication network technology that’s poised to fully replace 4G in the coming years. 5G will enable wireless internet access at much higher speeds, and it’s particularly designed to support data transfer for complex networks like homes and internet-enabled appliances ‒ to name a few. According to Rogers Communications, 5G will help benefit businesses with:
- Lower latency: Latency is a fancy word for response times between sending and receiving something electronically. Right now, 4G latency is about 50 milliseconds. 5G will whittle that time down to one millisecond, which is 400 times faster than blinking an eye (seriously technology, you never cease to amaze us). So imagine the potential this holds for businesses who need things to “respond” quickly, like self-driving vehicles and augmented and virtual reality. On a potentially smaller scale, you will be able to almost instantly stream high-res audio, videos and more. A win for customers and employees working remotely.
- More connectivity: Extra network capacity means more machines and devices will be able to talk with each other in our age of the Internet of Things (IoT). This is the networking capability that allows information to be sent and received from objects and devices (such as fixtures and kitchen appliances) using the internet. The potential is huge for businesses. Warehouses equipped with smart shelves can monitor when product inventory decreases and “trigger an action,” bolstering supply chain efficiency. And delivery companies with fleets of vehicles can give real-time delivery information to recipients.
- More bandwidth: 5G networks will add new channels to logged and bottlenecked 4G networks. So say buh-bye to crazy long download times (we all loathe that spinning wheel). On the practical side, that means large presentations or video files can be downloaded a lot faster.
The rollout of 5G is still in the early stages, so it could take several years for all the benefits to come to fruition. But Verizon recommends that small-business owners should start preparing now by doing things like moving management tools and other systems to the cloud, digitizing business processes, becoming familiar with new technologies like augmented reality, and securing and protecting your business data.
Be Ready for Whatever Comes Your Way
There’s no way of knowing exactly what the future holds. But you can take steps now to be prepared for what’s next. And that starts with business insurance from Erie Insurance. We offer custom solutions crafted from years of experience protecting businesses like yours. You can count on us to help protect the business that means so much to you. Talk to your local Erie Insurance agent today.
Posted on 9 December 2021 | 9:00 pm