Most lines of insurance cycle between soft and hard markets over a number of years, which has a direct impact on the price of insurance. The commercial auto insurance market is currently hardening after many years of a soft market, which has resulted in higher prices for both commercial and personal auto policies.
Between 2011 and 2016, competition between auto insurance carriers created a soft, buyer-friendly market. Since then, however, the high cost of claims and increasing costs of vehicle repairs have contributed to a noticeable transition in the market.
Contact me today. I can provide you with resources to help you understand and save on commercial auto insurance, including this prior post, “California Commercial Auto Insurance – Losses & Costs Rising.”
As if the day to day challenges of running a restaurant aren’t enough. The fierce competition, marketing, keeping guests satisfied and coming back for more, getting those 5-star Yelp reviews. The list goes on and on. But what about your own staff stealing from you right under your nose? Employee theft is a big problem for restaurants. Annual costs associated with employee theft in the restaurant industry are estimated at $3 to $6 billion nationally!! Employee theft is a bad situation for any business, and unfortunately it’s a common one in the restaurant industry.
Restaurant employees may provide free food to their friends and family, or they may take restaurant items home or steal money and tips.
Here are some precautions to take to prevent employee theft at your restaurant:
- Have a Theft Policy and Make it Known: Make sure every employee knows how the company defines employee theft and the repercussions of any theft. Offer annual training on the subject and have employees sign a policy. Place posters and signs around the restaurant to keep the policy fresh in employees’ minds.
- Conduct Background Checks: Check the references of all hired employees. If the applicant is a high school student and has never had a job before, contact his/her guidance counselor or ask for the contact information from a babysitting or dog sitting job.
- Use Technology: Video surveillance cameras are an excellent way to catch potential thieves, but they can also be a positive for the restaurant by pointing out procedural problems or ensuring employees are being safe on the job. Also, using technology that limits the amount of employee cash handling can deter would-be thieves.
- Treat Employees with Respect: Employees who are treated fairly and with respect by their employers are less likely to steal from the company. The employees feel less justified in stealing from those who care about them and treat them with dignity.
- Conduct a Drawer Check: Make sure the money balances out at the end of each shift.
- Keep a Careful Inventory: After each shift, count the remaining items and compare them to the items sold, paying specific attention to the products you sell the most of. Make employees aware that you conduct these daily inventories to deter them from trying to steal anything in the first place.
- Keep Your Eyes on the Trash: Employees tend to steal things when they are taking out the trash. Use clear bags to reduce the likelihood that this will occur.
- Get to the Root of the Problem: If you suspect an employee of stealing, move him/her to another shift. If you recognize that you are now missing items from the new shift, approach the employee calmly and ask for an explanation.
- Protect Your Customers: A new way of stealing from customers is called credit-card skimming. Restaurant employees will swipe the customer’s card through an unauthorized magnetic card reader to obtain their account information. Then, the data is copied and used to make counterfeit cards. To prevent this from occurring in your establishment, monitor the register closely and only allow seasoned employees to handle customer money and credit cards.
Need help dealing with employee theft problems at your restaurant? Or, have other risk management issues you need guidance on? Contact me today to talk.
Focus on what you do best, providing the delicious food and ambiance that will keep your guests coming back posting those 5-star Yelp reviews. The money will follow and you deserve to have it in YOUR pocket.
In addition to protecting your commercial real estate property, there is even more more good news when it comes to your commercial property insurance policy……it is tax deductible. Yes, you read that correctly. By protecting yourself and your property, you can write this expense off to save on taxes.
No matter where you live or where your property is located, you can take advantage of many federal tax deductions available to commercial property owners across the U.S. For example, you can deduct the premiums you pay for nearly every insurance option for your commercial rental activity, including:
- Fire, theft and flood insurance
- Landlord liability insurance.
- The cost of health and workers’ compensation plans for any employees who work on premises.
A major benefit of commercial property insurance is that it allows you to combine the many types of insurance covered into a single, cost-effective package policy that can help you get far better deals than if you purchased your insurance coverage’s a la carte (Property, General Liability, Business Income, Umbrella, etc.).
Furthermore, in the event that your commercial real estate property is adversely affected by a rare weather event like a flood, you can obtain a tax deduction for all or part of your loss.
Source: The Hartford
Since we’re in the middle of a lazy President’s Day holiday weekend with no real plans, my wife and I decided to check out Orange County Great Park in Irvine on Sunday to visit the Sunday Farmers Market. Located pretty much in the center of Irvine, not far from the Spectrum, Orange County Great Park is a transformation of the former Marine Corps Air Station El Toro into a massive metropolitan park.
The Certified Farmers Market is held from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. every Sunday. Fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables, handcrafted artisan products, and food trucks are on site to buy from. The weather was kind of crummy so the turnout was sparse but we bought some good food to take home to enjoy. We also walked a lot of the park which is dog and child friendly. It’s a great place to let them run loose and drain their energy.
Orange County Great Park has “The Great Park Balloon” which is the park’s main attraction. With the ability to hold up to 25 to 30 passengers, and soar 400 feet above the surrounding landscape, it serves as a public observation deck for the Great Park’s development and offers a 360° view that spans 40 miles on a clear day. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a clear day and the weather wasn’t ideal, so the balloon was closed . All good though.
Overall, it was a fun inexpensive way to get out to enjoy the weekend. I highly recommend it if you have kids or dogs and are looking for inexpensive family entertainment. Here are a handful of Orange County Great Park:
For more information including hours and activities, visit Orange County Great Park.
Business insurance coverage for a commercial operation can include the following and more:
General liability insurance: Covers third party liability claims for injuries to other people.
Professional liability and malpractice insurance: aka Errors & Omissions Insurance (E&O). E&O covers professionals against loss due to negligent professional duty, wrongful acts, and advice and services that lead to another person’s loss or injury.
Product liability insurance: Covers against faulty products and damage, illness, injury or death that may occur from using a faulty product.
Property insurance: Covers loss and damage to your commercial business property due to fires, theft, storms and other causes.
Commercial vehicle insurance: Covers commercial vehicles and drivers for collision, liability, property damage, personal injury and “comprehensive” (now known as “other than collision”).
Workers compensation: Covers your employees if they become ill or injured while working on the job.
Loss of income: Also referred to as Business Income, this covers your business expenses such as rent and employee wages if you can’t operate your business.
Key person insurance: Covers loss of income that may result from the head of the business or other key personnel becoming incapacitated or passing away (also known as key man insurance).
Cyber-crime insurance: Provides protection for risks due to Internet use and online communications.
Each and every business is unique. A food products manufacturer or distributor doesn’t have the same risk exposures as a software developer. As an everyday Joe, you’re expected to know if you need these coverage’s or not for your business. If your head is spinning or you’re feeling overwhelmed, this is why you work with an insurance agent or broker.
Let’s face it, most people really don’t like insurance, they don’t care to read their policies, and they just wish someone else would take care of it for them. I like insurance (don’t judge me), I read policy forms all day long for my clients, and people call me to handle all their business insurance needs so they don’t have to. Pick up the phone and call me today or email me if you have questions about these overage’s and whether your business needs them or not.
One of the most challenging aspects of owning a small business (particularly in California) is knowing and following legal requirements regarding hiring, managing, and sometimes terminating employees. It seems like there are new laws drafted daily. How can one possibly stay on top of it all???
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently launched a Small Business Resource Center designed to assist small business owners in their compliance with employment laws they, the EEOC, enforce.
This new dedicated EEOC Resource Center contains a general overview of small business obligations including the posting and record-keeping requirements to assist in staying compliant with the myriad of nondiscriminatory laws.
The website also has available FAQs, tips, fact sheets and videos, as well as no-cost outreach programs. This is a good resource to keep in mind when you need to make sure how you are treating employees is legal.
I wouldn’t recommend that you try to do it all on your own though. Use a professional Human Resources consultant or attorney when necessary when dealing with sensitive matters surrounding the employment process.
Need help finding a reputable Human Resources consultant or attorney to help with your business? Contact me today. I have relationships with some great ones who can help you out.
Right now there are industry-wide challenges with increasing loss costs in commercial and personal auto insurance, particularly in California. If you have a commercial auto insurance policy for your business, you’re probably seeing your premiums increase. If not, you can expect to. I’ve been seeing it with pretty much all major insurance carriers on the market. We’ve been having to shop coverage for clients like crazy due to the steep premium increases.
California Commercial Auto – What’s Driving Losses?
More traffic: Total miles driven increased 50 percent faster in California than in the rest of the country since the start of 2015. More vehicles = higher frequency of accidents.
Distracted drivers: One-quarter of crashes involve drivers talking on phones or texting.
Escalating medical costs: Medical care costs are climbing more than 1.5 times faster than other costs.
More fatalities and other severe accidents: Accident rates per person and per mile
of driving are rising in California.
Inexperienced or undesirable drivers: A shortage of skilled commercial drivers with good driving records = greater odds for accidents.
Rising auto repair costs: Record U.S. auto sales mean garages are often servicing newer cars with more expensive parts. Even minor repairs can cost big bucks.
What you can do to help ease your commercial auto insurance loss costs?
- Implement a fleet safety program and follow proper fleet maintenance procedures.
- Enforce company policy for use of company vehicles (e.g., limitation on personal use, who can use company vehicles, hours of operation, etc.).
- Regularly check employees’ driving records and take appropriate action driving records are not acceptable.
- Use telematic devices to monitor employee driving habits and usage of company vehicles.
- Be aware of the risks involved with employees using their personal vehicles on the job.
- Provide Driver Safety Training for their employees. Important topics include, but are not limited to: Distracted Driving; Speeding; DUI; Need for Rest; What to do if your vehicle breaks down, etc.
Need help with these things? Contact me today. Buying a commercial auto policy is one thing, but implementing these risk management procedures along with the policy can help your business tremendously with costs.