Tag Archive | workers compensation insurance

Travelers Insurance: Insuring Technology Companies

Travelers Insurance Company has joined the ranks of other major carriers such as The Hartford in writing coverage for technology companies. Travelers Global Technology President Ronda Wescott and Chief Underwriting Officer Mike Thoma provide their perspective:

If you have a Life Science or Software and Information Technology Company and would like a review of your current insurance portfolio, feel free to contact me anytime. I can help market your coverage’s with all the major carriers specializing in this sector.

Some of the most common insurance coverage’s important to the Life Science or Software and Information Technology industry are:

  • Property
  • Commercial General Liability
  • Professional Liability (Errors & Omissions)
  • Workers’ Compensation
  • Commercial Automobile
  • Commercial Umbrella/ Excess Liability
  • Cyber Liability & First Party Data Privacy Expense
  • Directors and Officers Liability (D&O)
  • Employment Practices Liability
  • Fiduciary Liability
  • Crime
  • Kidnap and Ransom
  • Group Medical Insurance
  • Group Life and Disability

-JK

The Ins and Outs of Small Business Insurance

Being an entrepreneur makes you the boss, but along with getting to choose your own hours, location, and business plan, it also means that you’re responsible for a lot of other things like commercial/business insurance. There’s a lot more to business insurance than getting the lowest business insurance quotes. It means understanding your business’s unique needs and the potential hazards that can threaten its success.

This brief video from the Insurance Information Institute touches on the ins and outs of small business insurance, including coverage for:

Credit: Insurance Information Institute

-JK

Dramatic Rescue of Construction Worker From Blaze

A construction worker is rescued from a giant fire at AIG campus in Houston, Texas, on Tuesday. The amateur footage, filmed by onlooker Karen Jones, shows a man trapped on a top-floor balcony of an apartment complex that had been under construction. He manages to escape as fire destroys the building. No injuries were reported as a result of the blaze. It is still unclear what caused the fire. You’ll get some sweaty palms watching this one! Especially when the construction worker swings down to the lower level balcony!

-JK

REMINDER: Post your OSHA Log Summary by Feb. 1

It’s that time of year again—Feb. 1 marks the deadline for you to tabulate your annual OSHA Log Summary (OSHA Form 300A) and post it in a common area wherever notices to employees are usually posted.

The summary must list the total number of job-related injuries and illnesses that occurred in calendar year 2013 and logged on the OSHA 300 Form. And don’t forget to leave the Summary posted until April 30, 2014.

If you need additional assistance, have questions about recordability, or would like to compare your loss performance trends against national benchmarking data, contact me today for more information.

-JK

Insurance For a Men’s Retail Clothing Store

I spent some time this Saturday morning working up some insurance quotes and options for a new men’s clothing retail store opening this Fall in Laguna Beach (CA). We’re looking into property, general liability, and workers’ compensation insurance coverage for the store.

Retail Clothing InsuranceSince my brain is on the subject of insurance for retail clothing stores, i wanted to share a brief risk summary that you should think about if you own a retail clothing store.

Property exposures are limited, but if a fire should occur, the clothing provides a combustible fire load and is highly susceptible to water and smoke damage. Theft may be a concern if any of the items sold have high value. Appropriate security measures should be in place.

Crime exposures are from Employee Dishonesty and Theft of Money and Securities either from holdup or safe burglary. Employee dishonesty is controlled through inventory monitoring, control of the cash register, disciplined controls and division of duties. Theft prevention requires controls of monies kept in the cash drawers and regular bank drops.

Premises liability is always a concern in a retail exposure where the public comes to the premises. Floor covering must be in good condition with no frayed or worn spots on carpet and no cracks or holes in flooring. Sufficient exits must be provided and be well-marked, with backup systems in case of power failure. Dressing rooms must be well maintained and privacy carefully guarded. Shoplifting procedures must be fully understood and utilized by all employees.

Parking lots and sidewalks need to be in good repair with snow and ice removed, and generally level and free of exposure to slip and fall. If the business is open after dark, adequate lighting and appropriate security for the area must be present.

Products liability for this type of operation is normally low. Direct importing of clothes and tailoring can add to the exposure.

Workers compensation exposure is from lifting, which can cause back injury, hernia, sprain, and strain. What kind of training do employees receive, and what types of material lifting or conveying devices are used? If tailoring services are offered, injuries due to sewing and cutting injuries are possible.

Minimum recommended coverage:

Business Personal Property, Business Income, Employee Dishonesty, Money and Securities, Accounts Receivable, Computers, General Liability, Employee Benefits, Umbrella, Hired and Nonownership Auto, Workers Compensation. Many of these coverage’s can be included within a single Businessowners insurance policy.

Other coverages to consider:

Building, Leasehold Interest, Real Property Legal Liability, Forgery, Computer Fraud, Bailees Customers, Fine Arts, Employment Related Practices, Business Auto Liability and Physical Damage.

Have a retail clothing store and need some guidance on your insurance? You can contact me anytime to discuss. I’d be happy to help you out.

-JK

Source: Rough Notes, Inc

The Cost of NOT Buying Insurance. A True Story

Last week I got a phone call from a guy (a business owner) who sounded totally panicked. I could hear it in his voice immediately. Panicked about the need for workers’ compensation insurance. The conversation started casually,

“Um, yeah, we need a workers’ compensation insurance policy to cover our employees.”

We talk for a bit as I try to get an understanding of his current situation.

“Well it was something we kind of, um, overlooked over the past couple years.”

“Past couple years?” I ask. “So why are you suddenly looking for a policy now?”

Still no direct answer.

“Have you had any claims or losses in the past 3 years?” I ask.

I didn’t need to ask much more.

“Yes, I received notification from an attorney about a former employee of mine.”

The business, a retail bakery, received a letter from an attorney in the mail. It turns out a former employee who quit over a month ago dropped a bomb with a claim for cumulative trauma to the feet, back, neck, knees.

So here this business is at a point with a serious issue to contend with. They didn’t buy workers compensation insurance policy when they first hired employees. Their reasoning was they just didn’t want to incur the costs and figured this could never happen to them.

As an insurance resource partner, I hear this way too often from prospective clients trying to save money on insurance. Not just for workers compensation insurance either. This is for all lines of insurance like general liability, errors & omissions, property, etc.

Buying a workers compensation policy now will not do anything to help this business for a loss that has already occurred. You cannot buy a workers compensation policy with retroactive coverage. That’s like buying a health insurance policy after getting sick. This retail bread bakery is going to have deal with this claim on their own, without the support of insurance.

As if the day-to-day stress of operating a business isn’t enough, throwing this claim into the mix is sure to make things much more challenging from both a time and cost standpoint.

It doesn’t end here. In addition to handling this claim on their own, finding workers compensation insurance coverage at a reasonable cost moving forward with a standard carrier is going to be pretty much impossible. Any underwriter who sees a business with active employees and no insurance for over two years AND a claim?? No way. Costs now will be more than they would have ever paid if they secured insurance before they hired new employees.

Another potential problem this business could face is:

“It is a criminal offense for an employer to be unlawfully uninsured regardless of whether or not an employee is injured. California Labor Code Section 3700.5 specifies that it is a misdemeanor punishable by either a fine of up to $10,000 or imprisonment in the county jail for up to one year, or both. In addition, the state issues penalties of up to $100,000 against illegally uninsured employers. If an employee is injured, the employer is responsible for paying all benefits and may be subject to additional liability.”

So I ask you business owners out there, are you avoiding buying insurance because you feel it costs too much? Are you one of those who think a loss will never happen to you?

Well I recommend you think again. If this scenario isn’t enough to get you to think twice, there’s probably not a whole lot more that will. Put yourself in this business owners shoes. How much do they wish now that they were paying a workers compensation premium over the past two years for a policy to help now when they need it most?

It will be interesting to see how things pan out for this business, but one thing’s for sure, this mistake could put them out of business for good depending on the ultimate severity of the claim.

Can you afford to not carry insurance? The cost of not buying it in some form or another could be the demise of your business and livelihood depending on the severity of a loss.

-JK

Fall Protection and Safety

Five construction workers are killed from falls each week in the U.S., according to new data from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI).

Watch this new video from the California State Compensation Insurance Fund with expert instructions on proper harnessing techniques to protect workers from falls and reduce risk of injuries on construction sites. Topics include: A, B, C, D of Fall Protection, inspection of Body Harness, using the correct type of connector and de-accelerating devices.:

Do you have a Fall Protection safety program established for your business? If no, you can contact me and I can help you establish one.

For a few more pointers on Fall Protection and Safety, click here: Safety Matters Fall Protection and Safety

-JK

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