A Workers’ Compensation Update
There are over 4.1 million workplace injuries in the Unites States each year, according to OSHA. Employers spend about $155 billion on work related injuries each year. There is no doubt workers’ compensation is a big expense for employers.
The good news is there are many actions an insurance agent can do to help employers reduce workers’ compensation costs.
- Search the market for options and program designs that fit the individual needs of each employer.
- Help build a bridge between the insurer and business.
- Educate employers about how workers’ compensation works.
- Work with employers in the development of a safety program.
- Analyze all classifications to make sure they are correct.
- Help the company prepare for the workers’ compensation premium audit.
- Provide the framework for an early return to work program.
- Help the company review accidents and claims to determine trends and then create safety solutions.
- Facilitate a claims review with the insurer to make sure all claims are being processed correctly.
- Be a resource to the business by bringing in other service providers to solve problems; i.e., attorneys, safety professionals, and third party claims consultants.
Workers’ compensation is an important part of your business insurance program. It is required by state law that your business has workers’ compensation insurance.
As a business owner, you go to great lengths to provide a safe working environment for your employees. Workers’ compensation continues to be a significant cost driver for most employers, and understanding all the factors that can drive your workers’ compensation cost can often be complex and time consuming.
At North Bay Insurance Brokers, we understand that mistakes happen. That’s why we’re committed to helping you create a Professional Liability policy that keeps your day-to-day operations protected should your business be held legally liable
Benefits of a North Bay Business Insurance Review
Every business in the North Bay, at some time, should have their business insurance reviewed by an independent insurance agent like us. If it has been more than a year since your last review, now may be a good time. We review all our clients’ insurance needs on a regular basis. There are many benefits to an insurance review including:
- Prices change and a review can determine if you are getting competitive rates on your insurance.
- Your coverage needs may have changed and your policy should reflect these changes.
- There may be new insurance companies to which we have access.
- Laws and regulations are changing and may require a different kind of insurance
Why Review My Business Insurance?
We have identified a number of questions that might indicate your business insurance is out of date.
- Have you moved?
- Did you purchase any new equipment?
- Are you involved in any new partnerships?
- Have you seen an increase in your claims?
- Do you ship products to foreign countries?
- Has your ownership changed?
- Do your vehicles cross state lines?
- Has one of the owners recently become divorced?
- Have you experienced growth?
We live in difficult financial times and making sure we save money wherever we can is very important. Having us preform an insurance review might just be what is needed to protect your assets while putting money back in your pocket.
Our professionals work diligently to understand our client’s risks, goals, culture & vision in order to develop with you a risk management program to support your mission. Every industry has specific needs when it comes to insurance. Industry-specific risks make it impossible for insurance companies to lump together one insurance plan for every business. At North Bay Insurance Brokers, we understand that being unique is what makes your business successful across the board. That’s why we provide industry-specific insurance options for businesses of all types.
A North Bay Business Insurance Update
In a recent study conducted by the Business Continuity Institute, the threat of cyber-attack is one of the biggest fears of large companies. However, did you know that according to the Insurance Information Institute, small businesses actually have a greater chance of having a cyber-attack than they do of having a fire? It is very important that your business insurance program have cyber coverage. If you are not sure you have this coverage, call our office today.
Other Business Concerns
Our clients often share current business concerns with us, and together we help find solutions. Some of these include:
- Business Interruption – Business Interruption Insurance keeps you financially stable if you are forced to vacate your business premises. You can continue to provide your employees with pay and manage bills during the period in which the business cannot operate.
- Attract top Talent – Getting the top people has always been an important part of business planning. It is important to keep your employees engaged and energized in the business process and planning.
- Social Media Activity – Social media can be a good tool to enhance your businesses brand and reputation. The downside is that social media can also be inflammatory. We recommend that you have a social media policy that outlines what employees can and cannot post regarding your business.
- Regulatory Risk –The regulatory climate is always changing for businesses. Almost every month there is some new law, regulation, or statue with which your business must now comply. Remember, your business insurance generally does not cover fines or penalties imposed by Local, State, or the Federal Government.
North Bay Insurance Brokers provides industry-specific insurance to businesses in Sonoma, Napa, Marin, Santa Rosa, Petaluma, American Canyon, and surrounding areas. Every industry has specific needs when it comes to insurance. Industry-specific risks make it impossible for insurance companies to lump together one insurance plan for every business. At North Bay Insurance Brokers, we understand that being unique is what makes your business successful across the board. That’s why we provide industry-specific insurance options for businesses of all types.
A Business Insurance Update
There are many ways to select a business insurance agent. Some businesses may use the bidding method, where they call many agents and have them “bid” their business insurance. The problem with this is you really don’t know if you are getting equal products. It is almost impossible to compare products “apple to apple.” The low bid may have limited, or no, coverage in areas in which your business needs coverage. The best way to select insurance is to find a qualified and experienced agent who knows and understands your industry. Then, allow that agency to go into the market on your behalf to find you the best possible price and coverage.
How to select an agent?
A qualified agent should help you identify your risks and help you understand what you should insure. Then the agent should design a coverage plan, and go to the market to negotiate the best possible combination of coverage, pricing, and service. Here are a few questions for you to consider using when selecting your agent.
- “If I had a claim, how would you help me?”
- “How many years of experience do you have? And your staff?”
- “When I call the agency with a question, who would I be speaking with?”
- “May I have three references?”
- “What ratings do the insurers have that you might use?”
- “What systems do you have to help manage your business?”
- “How do you define customer service?”
- “What is your policy for returning phone calls?”
- “How long do you usually keep a client?”
- “What makes you skilled at what you do?”
- “Do you have any industry awards?”
- “Will I have to ask for my renewal to be processed?”
North Bay Insurance Brokers provides industry-specific insurance to businesses in Sonoma, Napa, Marin, Santa Rosa, Petaluma, American Canyon, and surrounding areas.
Every industry has specific needs when it comes to insurance. Industry-specific risks make it impossible for insurance companies to lump together one insurance plan for every business. At North Bay Insurance Brokers, we understand that being unique is what makes your business successful across the board. That’s why we provide industry-specific insurance options for businesses of all types.
What You Need To Know About Discrimination Claims
Your employees can be, and should be, your most important asset. Often, they are the front line of customer services. They solve problems, sell your products and services, and represent your business to your customers and prospects. Managing employees can be rewarding and challenging at the same time. Employees are very aware of their rights and your responsibilities; which should lead you to be professional, kind and follow the law as you relate to your employees.
Employment Practice Liability Insurance is a product that many businesses buy to protect themselves from litigation. A recent article in the Insurance Journal points out that while employment claims are down; claims involving retaliation are at an all-time high.
The following are the top 10 categories of charges filed with the EEOC:
- Retaliation under all statutes: 37,955 (42.8 percent of all charges filed)
- Race (including racial harassment): 31,073 (35 percent)
- Sex (including pregnancy and sexual harassment): 26,027 (29.3 percent)
- Disability: 25,369 (28.6 percent)
- Age: 20,588 (23.2 percent)
- National Origin: 9,579 (10.8 percent)
- Religion: 3,549 (4.0 percent)
- Color: 2,756 (3.1 percent)
- Equal Pay Act: 938 (1.1 percent) But note that sex-based wage discrimination can also be charged under Title VII’s sex discrimination provision
- Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act: 333 (0.4 percent)
How To Reduce The Possibility Of Employment Claims
This is not a complete list, but is considered a start to developing solid human resource policies.
- Create an employee handbook
- Have a clear anti-discrimination policy
- Document conversations
- Complete annual employee reviews
At North Bay Insurance Brokers, we understand that mistakes happen. That’s why we’re committed to helping you create a Professional Liability policy that keeps your day-to-day operations protected should your business be held legally liable.
North Bay Insurance Brokers Risk Management Update
Some of the nation’s top risk managers often share their secrets with the world through published articles and on social media. We have been tracking these tips over the past year and thought we might share a few of them with you.
- Trip and fall injuries from Disney – With the millions of people and employees walking around their parks, Disney protects itself by making sure all walkways are clean and clear of hazards. Having well lit parking and sidewalks can also cut down on accidents.
- Home Depot prevents back injuries – Most Home Depot employees use a flex back type of product that provides support for employees while lifting and stretching. Offering safety equipment to employees that need it can reduce sprains and strains.
- Safe driving from FedEx – FedEx delivers millions of packages every day and uses over 90,000 vehicles to do it. The best way to prevent auto accidents is education and training. Every driver should be trained in the following areas; driving in adverse weather, distracted driving, vehicle inspections, driver wellness, and hazardous materials safety.
Having the right Workers Compensation plan from North Bay Insurance Brokers, Inc. can allow your business to ensure payments and cover expenses if an employee is injured from a work-related accident. Injuries can range from car accidents and back injuries to equipment malfunctions and, in some unfortunate cases, death.
If your business does not offer Workers Compensation, serious injuries that occur on the job could lead to an employee suing your company for damages. That’s why it’s important to discuss your options with a specialist at North Bay Insurance Brokers, Inc. who can help you find the right coverage options for all your business needs.
Business Insurance And Risk Management Tips From North Bay Insurance Brokers
As we close the year out, many businesses will be hosting company parties. Business owners, executives, and human resources personnel need to make sure to avoid some key risks to ensure their day of merriment does not turn into disaster. While your business insurance would likely respond to most claims, we have several tips to help reduce the likelihood of litigation. It is worth noting that employers are responsible for the conduct of their employees at all work-related events.
Holiday Party Safety Tips
- Limit use of alcohol. Additionally, alcoholic options can be limited to wine and beer and the company should be sure to provide plenty of nonalcoholic beverage alternatives.
- Hire professional servers and make sure they have insurance.
- Make sure you have food at your party.
- Confirm that your employees understand that a holiday party is still a work-related activity and appropriate work behavior is still required.
- No mistletoe! This holiday symbol is an invitation for employees to engage in behavior which is inappropriate for the workplace.
- Make attending the party optional.
- Arrange for cab rides or transportation home for guests who may need it.
- Encourage managers to set a good example.
- Remind employees via email about your company’s code of conduct and substance abuse policy prior to the party.
- Review the company’s harassment policies with employees prior to the party.
- If you have employees bring food, be sure the food is labeled by type. Some people may have food allergies.
When business owners host a holiday party and serve alcohol as part of the festivities, liquor liability can be covered by their commercial general liability (CGL) policy. However, it is always best to check with your insurance agent or broker first.Business owners should talk with their insurance agent about their liability insurance coverage and any exclusions, conditions, or limitations to their policies for this kind of risk.
At North Bay Insurance Brokers, Inc., we’re committed to keeping your business protected – so you can focus on your day-to-day operations. And with the right insurance plan, your business will be covered from top to bottom.