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Insurance Coverage

Top 3 Agent EO Claims

As a property and casualty insurance agent, your clients rely on you to sell insurance products that protect them against a variety of damages. If you fail or misrepresent your products, you could face damages yourself without an errors & and omissions policy.

Here are common claims that you should have E&O for P&C agents.

Misrepresentation About a Product

What you need to understand about misrepresentation is that it is not always intentional. While lying about the features or benefits is considered misrepresentation, many carriers do not do it intentionally. For instance, you may misstate how a product works, leading to misconceptions about your client’s benefits.

Failure to Procure Insurance

About one in five of all claims against P&C agents occurs due to a failure to procure coverage. If you do not diligently shop for coverage, competently quote, sell or install solutions or do a thorough analysis of your client’s risks, you may be unable to provide insurance.

Failure to Identify Exposures

A part of ensuring that your client has adequate coverage is determining what the client’s risk exposures are. If you fail to identify exposure and your client suffers a property loss that he or she should have had coverage for, the client can file a claim against you.

Mistakes can happen in any industry. When your clients rely on you to provide adequate coverage, you cannot afford errors without having coverage for yourself.

Categories
Insurance Coverage

How ERISA Separates Employee Benefits Liability From Fiduciary Liability

Your business has general liability insurance and if you offer benefits you likely have employee benefits liability coverage as well. Businesses often ask agents to compare employee benefits liability vs fiduciary liability and wonder why they might need both. One of the answers is hidden in the details of The Employee Retirement Income Security Act, ERISA.

What Does ERISA Say?

ERISA specifically calls out the fiduciary responsibilities of anyone or any entity “who exercise discretionary control or authority over plan management or plan assets…[or] responsibility for the administration of a plan.” That means that all these parties: the business itself, the HR employees helping with benefits, even financial advisors who guide investment strategy for retirement funds can all be held personally liable when mistakes are made on benefits.

What Does It Mean For Your Business?

This clause is important because your EBL coverage won’t cover claims under ERISA. If a claim is made of breach of fiduciary responsibility your business is on the hook. This is a common scenario when a claim isn’t paid correctly which can happen for any number of reasons. Your legal costs are often covered under the EBL policy, but won’t pay settlements that arise from a breach of ERISA.

Claims because of denial of coverage are on the rise and only fiduciary liability insurance coverage will assure your business is protected.

Categories
professional liability insurance

Distinguishing Between Essential and Optional Insurance Types for Nonprofit Organizations

Has your company been in the process of deciding which types of insurance to get? Before you lock down your non profit liability insurance package, it’s important to understand which types of insurance are essential for your organization and which are optional, but may be helpful. Here’s how you can distinguish between the two.

Ensure Your Organization Have Essential Insurance in Place First

Before you can add on extra insurance, it’s important to have the basics in place. This usually means having broad liability coverage as well as a workers’ compensation program. Look for a basic package that includes:

  • General liability protections
  • Workers’ compensation
  • Auto liability insurance
  • Directors and officers liability insurance

Choose Additional Coverage Based on Your Organization’s Unique Needs

Once you have a base layer of insurance in place, look for add-ons that suit your organization’s particular needs. For instance, depending on your company specialty, you may require:

  • Cyber liability coverage
  • Property insurance
  • Theft and crime coverage
  • Employment liability coverage

As your company moves through the process of finding the right non profit liability insurance packages, it’s critical to distinguish between which coverage types are essential and which are optional but perhaps helpful. Review these rules of thumb to help you find the appropriate coverage for your non profit.

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Insurance Coverage

3 Ways Pre-Employment Physicals Help Businesses

Hiring new employees is a painstaking process. One of the many screening methods employers use are pre-employment physicals prior to the start of work. This can be helpful, especially to a company’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier. Here are the three ways mandating these physicals for new hires can help businesses.

Identify Pre-Existing Injuries

Injuries on the job are costly. Not only is there lost productivity associated with such incidents, but there is also the expense of accompanying workers’ compensation payments to consider. Identifying preexisting conditions for employees is a helpful way to know what was already present before the employee began working.

Shield the Company From Lawsuit

Knowing what health conditions an employee is facing will also help shield the company from lawsuits. For instance, if the employee has early stages of a disease like cancer that can be linked to a product the business makes or uses, it could be falsely attributed to the worker’s employment at the company.

Prevent Employee Turnover

It’s helpful to know if a new employee is physically capable of performing the work before the first day on the job. Rather than waste time and resources training an employee who will leave soon after, employers can instead rescind their offers and move on to the next qualified candidate.

Hiring new workers is costly and time consuming. Thoroughly pre-screening employees helps to make the process more fruitful.

Categories
Healthcare claims

3 Ways COVID-19 Has Impacted School Lockdown Procedures

While lockdown drills have become common practice in most schools, COVID-19 posed new concerns in regards to the proper way to ensure school safety. This forced many schools to rethink their approach to school lockdowns and consider the ways the pandemic has affected lockdown protocols moving forward.

1. Crowding Issues

One of the primary concerns for school lockdowns post COVID-19 is that lockdowns encourage students to crowd together as closely as possible. The opposite, however, is true of proper pandemic protocols, presenting concerns on how to both keep students apart and prevent their separation from drawing the attention of a school intruder.

2. Unequal Concerns Across Demographics

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic affects certain demographics such as Black and Hispanic communities more so than traditionally white districts. This forces schools that cater to these demographics to weigh the threat of the pandemic against the increased potential for school invasion or violence when determining an effective back-to-school plan.

3. New Lockdown Drills

For better or worse, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the reasons school lockdown procedures are necessary. The use of the same term for both pandemic and violent threats, however, has encouraged schools to reconsider the use of the term “lockdown drills” to refer to preparation for both viral threats and physical ones.

COVID-19 has brought many changes to the country, including the way schools approach lockdown procedures. Moving forward, districts must find a way to combat external threats without jeopardizing the physical or mental health of their students and employees.

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Insurance Coverage

How HIPAA Insurance Protects Your Medical Practice

The web of companies tied together through HIPAA coverage is increasingly opaque and complex. You could certainly ask every entity downstream of your medical practice to give you the right to approve their subcontractors or simply shut your practice off from outside access, but neither of these options is realistic.

Why You Need HIPAA Coverage

With the move to centralized health records on the cloud, coupled with the rise in cybercrime, your patient records are at risk no matter how many BAAs you sign. HIPAA insurance as part of your professional liability insurance is the coverage that can keep your practice afloat despite a breach.

What HIPAA Insurance Covers

When you discover a breach of PHI or it is reported to you by one of your contractors you have a limited time in which to respond. You will have to contact everyone who could potentially be affected by the breach. You may have even agreed in your BAA to provide credit monitoring for anyone affected by a breach.

Beyond these costs, you could be liable for fines and penalties issued by the OCR. HIPAA coverage can pay for all or most of these costs.

Don’t consider a HIPAA breach as an “if” but a “when” and protect your business finances accordingly.

Categories
Captive Insurance

Myths About Captive Insurance

As you look through your options to contain your risk and expenses, don’t overlook captive solutions. A lot of companies disregard captives, assuming that their business would be a poor fit. Unfortunately, many of these companies believe in the myths surrounding captives. Here are a couple of those myths debunked.

You Can’t Cover All Business Risk

In general, you do choose captives to cover risks that are not associated with traditional insurance. For example, warranty programs, loss of customers and patent infringement. However, you can also use captives in a more broad sense. Any risk to your company can have coverage.

You Pay Too Much for Captives

When you look at the costs of captive insurance, you may be intimidated by it at first. After all, you have management fees, LLC costs, reserve funding and more. However, you need to keep in mind that captives are part of a long-term strategy.

Captive solutions can be extremely beneficial to companies of all sizes with a variety of risk mitigation needs. To ignore captives could result in you paying too much for your insurance coverage. While large businesses tend to dominate captives, you don’t have to be a Fortune 1000 company. Businesses that generate as little as $150,000 in insurance premiums can easily use captives.

Categories
Liability Insurance

What You Need To Know Before Buying Life Insurance

You may not want to think about buying a life insurance policy, but the right one will protect your family from financial hardship in the event of your death. Not all life insurance plans are the same, so it pays to do some homework before you settle on one. Here are a couple of things to consider before making a purchase.

The Different Kinds of Life Insurance

The right life insurance policy for you will depend on your financial position and goals. These are the two main types:

  • Term policies: These are generally the least expensive coverage option. They will remain in effect for the duration of the term as long as you pay your premiums. They pay a benefit upon death.
  • Permanent insurance: These policies will remain in effect for the rest of your life as long as you pay the premiums. They also build equity and can be used as an investment account.

The Expenses You Want To Cover

Life insurance can cover so much more than final expenses. That is why you need to carefully weigh what you want a policy to do. It can be used to pay off major debt, such as a mortgage, vehicle loan, or student loan. It can also be used to fund future purchases, such as your children’s college tuition.

Before you purchase life insurance, be sure to invest your time in researching how you want to use the policy and which type will best help you reach those goals.

Categories
Insurance Coverage

Why You Need Rideshare Insurance as a Rideshare Driver

If you’re like most rideshare drivers you got into it to make a little money on a side hustle. Don’t let an accident while you’re working cut into your rideshare driving profits. Here are two reasons you need specialized rideshare insurance.

Your Auto Policy May Not Cover You

If you think your regular auto policy is enough coverage you could be in for a rude surprise when an accident happens. Failing to notify your insurance company that you’re driving for a rideshare will automatically negate any claim after an accident. As soon as you turn on the app for work you are no longer using your vehicle for personal use, which is what your insurance policy covers.

Rideshare Insurance Isn’t Adequate

Your rideshare company will tell you that when the app is on, you’re covered under their policy. The fact is there are gap periods in their policy that could leave you completely unprotected. Worryingly, some companies are dropping drivers that have accidents in the gap period. Other times their policy simply doesn’t provide enough coverage.

To really protect those rideshare driving profits you need to be upfront with your agent about how you use your vehicle. With some research, you’ll find a good rideshare insurance policy that will protect you and other parties in case of an accident.

Categories
Insurance Coverage

EMR Is Important to Your Business

An Experience Modification Rate has a significant impact on the worker’s compensation insurance premium of a business. The EMR is a metric that insurers use to calculate worker’s compensation premiums; it takes into account the number of claims/injuries a company has had in the past and their corresponding costs. Using an EMR calculator by vantreo.com can help identify where your business is at.

How EMR Impacts Your Business

Because your EMR determines your worker’s compensation liability premium, it has a direct impact on your bottom line: the higher your risk rate, the more you pay for worker’s compensation insurance. The higher the EMR number, the more you will pay in premiums. The lower the number, the lower your premiums. With all other factors being equal, a high number can place your company at a severe disadvantage compared to competitors.

How To Help Improve Your Score

As with any type of insurance, the more you use it, the higher your premium. As a result, the simple solution is to limit the number of incidents that result in claims and losses. Of course, saying it is considerably easier than doing it. To help lower your EMR number, ensure that your business is training its employees on safe practices and strictly adhering to workplace safety policies.

It’s important to stay on top of your score by using an EMR calculator by vantreo.com. Keeping that score low will improve your work environment and help control expenses.