California Commercial Auto Insurance – Losses & Costs Rising

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.

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California Commercial Auto – What’s Driving Losses?

More trafficTotal 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 driversOne-quarter of crashes involve drivers talking on phones or texting.

Escalating medical costsMedical care costs are climbing more than 1.5 times faster than other costs.

More fatalities and other severe accidentsAccident rates per person and per mile
of driving are rising in California.

Inexperienced or undesirable driversA shortage of skilled commercial drivers with good driving records = greater odds for accidents.

Rising auto repair costsRecord 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.

-JK

Man Sues Krispy Kreme For Not Having Real Fruit In Its Doughnuts

Yes, you read that title correctly. A Los Angeles man is suing Krispy Kreme doughnuts claiming they misled the public by naming its doughnuts in a way that led people to believe they contained vitamin-rich fruits, despite them being completely fruit-free.

Read more HERE

donuts

If you’re wondering what this has to do with anything, my point is that there are nut jobs all over the world like this who are sue happy and looking for a little extra money, even through a settlement. It’s imperative as a business that you carry commercial general liability insurance with product liability included. By carrying a policy for this, you have defense coverage under the policy to protect your business from even the frivolous claims.

Even though a judge could potentially throw this case out the window, there’s going to be legal fees that need to be paid no matter what. And the headache of dealing with this. Leave it to a commercial general liability policy to handle this for you so you can focus on the important things in running a business. Don’t think that only happens to the big guys like Krispy Kreme either. This can happen to ANY business, especially in litigious Southern California.

-JK

10 EEOC Tips for Small Businesses

I will preface this by saying that I am not a Human Resources professional nor an attorney. Don’t take this as the end all/ be all when it comes to your employee relations. Although I am not and attorney or certified HR professional, I do help businesses with their risk management and insurance needs and Employment Practices Liability Insurance is one of those areas. Here in Southern California, Employment Practices Liability insurance claims happen a LOT more than general liability, professional liability (E&O) or any other areas of liability for that matter. I don’t have the statistical data, but working day-in and day-out with clients, I do see Employment Practices Liability claims a whole hell of a lot more than most other lines of insurance. And remember, Employment Practices Liability claims are NOT covered by a General Liability insurance policy or Workers’ Compensation.

With that being said, here are 10 EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) Tips for Small Businesses taken directly from the EEOC. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1964 to eradicate discrimination in employment. The Commission enforces various statutes that prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, religion, retaliation, age, and disability or protected veteran status.

The EEOC has the authority to investigate charges of discrimination filed against employers who have a statutory minimum number of employees. HR can help avoid costly penalties by following the tips published by the EEOC.

  1. Look at the facts, not the faces. Race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation or gender identity), national origin, disability, age (40 or older) or genetic information (including family medical history) should not be a factor when you hire, fire, promote, pay, train, discipline or make other work-related decisions.
  2. Provide reasonable accommodations to applicants or employees who need them for medical or religious reasons, if required by law*.
  3. Develop a strong anti-discrimination policy before discrimination becomes a problem.
  4. Ensure that employees understand their rights and responsibilities at work.
  5. Be alert to potential harassment or discrimination. Stop, address and prevent harassment and discrimination.
  6. Ensure that employees are not punished for reporting discrimination, participating in a discrimination investigation or lawsuit, or opposing discrimination.
  7. Post an EEO poster at your business.
  8. Keep employment records as required by law.
  9. File an EEO-1 Report if you have 100 or more employees. Some federal contractors with at least 50 employees must also file this report.
  10. Contact the EEOC to request assistance, information or training.
* Federal, state and local laws may prohibit additional types of discrimination and/or require you to provide reasonable accommodations for other reasons. Federal, state and local government websites may have additional information about these laws.

-JK

Los Angeles Has Highest Workers’ Comp Claim Costs in California

File this under the No Surprise folder but a new study by the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau show that Los Angeles has the highest workers’ comp claim costs in California.

Among other key findings, “The Los Angeles/Long Beach Area is the most litigious region in California. Medical legal costs are over 2.8 percent of total incurred costs on indemnity claims in the Los Angeles/Long Beach area compared with 2.0 percent statewide.”

“Indemnity claim frequencies in the Los Angeles/Long Beach area were 24.0 percent higher” than the rest of the state of California.

Read more here from the Insurance Journal:

As frustrating as this is, none of it surprises me. Not a week goes by where I don’t see a workers’ comp claim come across my desk for “cumulative trauma” or “repetitive motion” from an attorney after termination of an employee. And as I always say, nobody hurts more from this than the honest business owner trying to get by everyday running an honest business. They’re the ones paying the costs of these claims.

Here’s a map showing the regional differences of indemnity claims as a share of the total claims counts in California:

wcirb-claims-map

-JK

Be Careful of Those ATM Card Skimmers

Are you like me where you get paranoid using public ATM’s and paying for gas with your card at the pump? I am sketched out about ATM / credit card skimmers that scammer’s place on public machines to trace your personal information. I stumbled across this video on Facebook. This is in Europe, but it doesn’t matter, this can happen anywhere. Be vigilant my friends!

-JK

California Insurance Commissioner Awards $34.9M to Fight Workers’ Comp Fraud

Working in the Property & Casualty Insurance industry, I am happy to see the fight against Workers’ Comp Fraud. There are way too many people taking advantage of the Workers Compensation Insurance system in California, particularly Southern California. Honest business owners are stuck paying the high costs which is very much driven by those taking advantage of the system. I see it weekly with the claims coming across my desk. From the individual “claimants” to the attorneys and physicians, I hope you get caught.

-JK

October is Adopt a Dog Month

October is Adopt a Dog Month. If you’re considering a pet; please consider adoption or rescue! Each year, an estimated 3-4 million animals waiting in shelters for someone to give them a safe, loving home never find a hero to adopt them and, tragically, are euthanized.

Dogs are amazing and supportive companions who can make a huge difference in your life as a best friend, an exercise buddy, someone who can be trained to provide animal-assisted therapy and help those with challenges they may face, or simply be a face to greet you after a hard day at work.

We rescued our dog Presley almost two years ago. It was the best decision we could’ve made. We tossed the idea around for a long long time and finally pulled the trigger one random weekend. It may seem like an overwhelming responsibility, but it’s really not once it becomes your reality.

Here’s a pic of our pup:

dog-rescue

For more on Adopt-A-Dog Month®, please  visit:

Adopt-A-Dog Month®

-JK

 

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