As natural disasters continue to increase in number and severity, and insurers pay out record amounts of claims for damaged homes in many parts of the country, homeowner's insurance rates are on the rise.
In recent years, that's prompted some homeowners to hunt for the lowest possible premium they can find, but that can end up costing them more than they expected.
Shopping for insurance based on price alone can have a number of consequences:
Thinking about using a drone for your business and expect your company's general liability policy to cover any accidents and damage it may cause? Be sure to read the policy.
Most general liability policies contain a broad exclusion that applies to aircraft (as well as autos and watercraft). The exclusion eliminates coverage for any bodily injury or property damage that you (or any other insured) cause while owning, maintaining, or using an aircraft.
The exclusion also applies to aircraft that you rent, borrow, or entrust to someone else. Here is an example of how the exclusion might apply.
While that exclusionary language would seem to not include drones, a recent court decision said it does apply to them. The standard language was written before drones really came on the scene, but the ruling said that drones fall into the catchall term for "aircraft."
A company’s retirement plan is often the first place many U.S. workers go for financial advice. According to a study by T. Rowe Price, the top three financial objectives for workers are:
The results of the study show how much value employees put on their retirement plans and how active they really are in trying to secure a sound financial future for themselves. With the stresses of rising costs, particularly health care expenses, many workers are having trouble managing their regular finances as well.
Offering both a 401(k) plan as well as some financial wellness services as part of your voluntary benefits package can go a long way to helping them employees become better stewards of their finances.
Over the past 15 years, workplace violence has been among the top four causes of death in the work environment, according to federal statistics.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration says almost 2 million U.S. workers report incidents of workplace violence each year, and "many more" cases go unreported.
Workplace violence is defined by OSHA as any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation or other threatening disruptive behavior that occurs in the workplace.
Linda is a junior partner in a law firm and drives a car that the firm owns and insures. The firm's auto insurance covers her as a partner and she doesn't own another car, so she sees no need to have her own policy.
Most of the time, this is not a problem. However, spring break comes and she decides takes her kids to an amusement part. She rents a car at the airport and never gives a thought to whether her firm's insurance will cover her if she has an accident with the rental. In this case, a phone conversation with the firm's insurance agent would have been a great idea.
While driving to her hotel one night, Linda rear-ends another car. The damage to the other car is extensive; Linda looks to her firm's auto liability coverage for the cost of repairing it.
The Business Auto Policy covers the person or organization shown in the policy declarations (the information page at the beginning.) In this case, the name shown in the policy Declarations is the name of Linda's firm.
The policy goes on to say that, for liability insurance, the firm is an insured and so is anyone else using, with the firm's permission, a covered auto the firm owns, hires or borrows, with some exceptions.
One by-product of a strong economy is more employment, but the increased activity usually results in more workplace injuries.
That's because there are more inexperienced people on worksites and when a company is busy and there is more activity, the chances of an incident occurring also increase. This is especially the case in manual labor environments from production facilities, warehousing and logistics to construction and other trades.
The September USG + U.S. Chamber of Commerce Commercial Construction Index found that 80% of contractors said that the skilled labor shortage is affecting jobsite safety and it's the number one factor increasing safety risk on the jobsite.
Insurers are experimenting with new technology that tracks how many miles you drive, your driving patterns and other nuances in how you drive, in order to price policies and offer discounts.
As part of the process, insurers will typically require that policyholders download an app that will use the phone's GPS system and location-tracking to generate a picture of how the policyholder drives.
Many of these apps will rate your driving and good drivers can earn discounts and rewards for safe driving, based on the data collected by the app.
While employers try to ensure their employees are provided a safe workplace by reducing the chances of accidents and injuries, it's important not to overlook employee stress.
Too much stress or too many responsibilities can greatly increase employees’ chances of not only burnout, but also making costly mistakes. A worse-case scenario is that if they are engaged in more labor-intensive occupations, too much stress can lead to accidents.
Coinsurance clauses, commonly found in a builder’s risk completed value policy, involve the policyholder becoming a co-insurer of the risk of loss with the insurer. In other words, certain conditions may result in the insurance company not paying the total amount of loss, thereby leaving the policyholder to bear the remainder. The insured and the insurer jointly assume the risk.
The benefit of buying an insurance policy with such a clause is that the policyholder will usually have relatively low premiums compared to other similar policies that don't contain a coinsurance clause. That said, anyone considering a coinsurance clause should understand what it entails and requires, so they are not taken by surprise with penalties if a loss should occur.
Workplace violence is defined by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) as “violent acts (including physical assaults and threats of assaults) directed toward persons at work or on duty.” A serious safety and health issue, no federal law specifically addresses violence in the workplace; however, there are laws that impose a duty on employers to maintain a safe workplace.
For example, the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) imposes a general duty on all employers to provide employees with a workplace that is free from hazards. Federal civil rights laws also require employers to keep the workplace free threats of violence, and state workers’ compensation laws make employers responsible for injuries sustained by employees at the workplace.
Health care workers experience substantially higher rates of injury due to workplace violence compared to workers overall. According to a study conducted by the Government Accountability Office, the rate of violence against health care workers is up to 12 times higher.
In an effort to help stem the rising rate of workplace violence, Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT) introduced bill H.R. 7141. The proposed legislation would direct OSHA to issue a standard requiring health care employer to develop and implement workplace violence prevention programs.
While every effort has been taken in compiling this information to ensure that its contents are totally accurate, neither the publisher nor the author can accept liability for any inaccuracies or change circumstances of any information herein or for the consequences of any reliance placed upon it. This publication is distributed on the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional advice or services. Readers should always seek professional advice before entering into any commitments.
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