Showing posts from September, 2009

Know your policy limits up front

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Recently a Delaware court upheld an insured's claim against an insurance company due to a lack of  uninsured/underinsured coverage on the insured's policy.  The court ruled that although the insured had rejected a $100,000 limit, the policy documents were sufficiently confusing as to lead to a reasonable expectation that at least the minimum limit, $15,000, was included.  The insured had gotten into an accident and had racked up medical expenses.  While the person at fault for the accident had coverage, their limits were used up quickly, leading to a lack of sufficient coverage for outstanding medical expenses.  The upshot here is to never assume and to make sure to read all policy documents carefully.  If you aren't sure then ask, don't ever assume.  This is especially importing in these days of online purchasing of insurance becoming more prevalent.  In this case the court ruled that the insurance company had to provide the minimum limit, $15,000.�…

Last Grasp for Health Insurers?

To follow up from my post yesterday, it seems that health insurers are trying to get all their premium now before the congress passes a health reform bill. Most of my clients are seeing 20%, 30% and even 40% rate increases for their upcoming health plan renewals. This will create a major financial burden on business owners. I will suspect that many will drop their employee health plans.  Stay tuned      Kevin

Georgia Flooding Makes a Case for Every Business to Have Flood Insurance

Areas of northern Ga. that have never flooded are now under water from a deluge of rain. The State climatologist says that Atlanta had not seen rain of the magnitude received in over a century. The Chattahoochee river broke through its banks and wreaked havoc on the surrounding areas. The total estimated damages will be in excess of 300 million dollars. What makes this worse is that only 20% of the claims will be covered by flood insurance. The rest of the damage will not. Many business owners neglect to consider flood insurance for their businesses. Like homeowner policies flood is not covered under business owner policies. A small entrepreneur can be put out of business by a large rain event and not be able to use his property insurance to cover the damage. Assess your area and place of business. If you are in a low lying part of town and vunerable to large runoff after a rain storm, then buy flood insurance. If you are near a river, stream or tributary then buy flood insurance. Con…

Health care companies will pay the health care bill if congress has its way

I have posted a few paragraphs regarding the health care debate going on in congress. Today I read an article that congress wants to impose taxes on health insurers to pay for a health care reform bill. I think health care insurers should get a risk management plan. With a stroke of a pen, the whole health insurance industry could be changed and the way health insurers make money could be minimized. It goes to show that no matter how big your company is a risk management plan to deal with the unexpected is always needed. Until next time be careful out there    Kevin

Inflation and Your Business Insurance Premiums

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Many of the economic articles you will come across today are starting to talk about inflation. With the billions and billions of new printed money placed into our economy this year, sooner or later inflation will follow. The Federal Reserve Chariman, Bernanke assures us that the Fed can contract the money supply rapidly enough to thwart a heafty rise in inflation. Though this may or may not be the case, a rise in inflation is almost certain over the next 24 months or so. This means rising insurance premiums for business owners. Insurance companies have bottomed rates significantly during the last three years, and there is no where to go but up. As inflation rises over the next few years, costs of claims, medical, and property replacement will all go up. Insurance carriers still realing over the financial market collaspe will see rising claim costs with suppresses premiums and weak investment returns. Attention business owners, plan for premium increas…

Workers Compensation and Facebook

Image via WikipediaRecently an official with the Virginiaworkers compensation commission rescinded a $200.00 a day fine against Facebook. It seems an employer in the state requested photos from Facebook of an employee who was collecting workers compensation. Apparently the photos revealed the employee on vacation while they were supposed to be injured/rehabilitating and collecting workers compensation. Officials at Facebook refused to turn over the photos citing the federal Electronics Communications Privacy Act prohibited it from responding to the subpoena. To me this illustrates the lengths employers and those administering workers compensation will go in order to combat fraud. This should probably serve as a cautionary tale as well to those who frequent these social networking sites. Be careful what you put up there in cyberspace, the "EYES" are everywhere.

Are you on a Board ? Does it Have D&O Insurance Coverage?

With the financial meltdown that occurred roughly a year ago, directors and officers have been in the cross hairs. Lawsuits against directors for bad decisions and mismanagement of their respective companies has increased. Which brings me to remind you the readers about being on volunteer boards and your liability exposure. If you are on a little league board, bank board, senior center board, etc... You are exposed to lawsuits from the decisions you make. Just because you are a volunteer you still may be sued. Make sure your board has a D&O insurance policy. This will give you the protection you need. Until next time, be careful out there. K

Fraudulent Insurance Claims Increasing? What is Your Risk Management Plan

The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) has reported the amount of suspicious insurance claims has risen this year 13%. Suspicous car fires, auto glass claims,and product liability claims are up 20%,76% & 90% respectively. Also double billings on work comp claims have also increased. What is going on? Well I think it has to be recession and economy related. As a business owner, part of your risk managment thought process has to take into consideration your vunerability to insurance fraud. As money gets tighter people look to insurance claims as a way to get income. It is hard to catch and prosecute insurance fraud, so be aware. Your risk planning should include being more engaged in your claims with the insurance adjusters. Try questioning everything and everybody that you may know that is invovled with the claim. Keep your ear to the ground and report any suspicious issues. It will take a team to catch fraud committed against you and your business. Until next time, know yo…

Recession Cut Backs on Safety May Prove Costly

It is a proven fact that businesses that focus on loss control, safety and risk management pay a lot less in businessinsurance premiums. When compared to thier respective peer groups, these businesses can pay 20-30% less in business insurance costs. However with the lingering recession, many business owners over the last few years have cut spending money on safety and risk management programs, only to see their loss histories deteriorate. Though most business owners have yet to see their rates go up because of the soft, highly competitive insurance market, the true costs will come home to roost when the insurance market starts to "harden" rates next year. If you have cut your safety programs, put them back in place. It might be real hard to find the money, but you will be glad you did when the commercial insurance market changes and "punishes" businesses with poor loss histories. Until next time remember if you know your risk and can measure it then you can control…

Health Care Compromise ?

It looks like President Obama and the democratic controlled congress is looking to softn it's position on health care. A national health program to compete against the current health marketplace is most likely going to be "set aside" for future use if the reform does not work. 2013 will be the decision date to implement a government plan if needed. Stay tuned ! Have a great labor day ! Kevin

Poll favors ban on cell phone texting/driving

Image via WikipediaAccording to a recent AAA poll, most Delawareans favor a ban on texting while driving, a response favored by 96% of respondents to the poll. Also, 64% of respondents favor an outright ban alltogether of cell phone use while driving. While Delaware has yet to move forward with any cell phone legislation the City of Wilmington has enacted a ban on hand held cell phones and texting while driving in the city itself. It's safe to assume that most parents are in favor of this measure as well as employers who have employees out on the roads. Apparently some studies have shown that texting while driving is comparable to drunk driving in terms of the danger it presents to motorists. While I'm not in favor of more legislation this seems to be a prudent action to head off an increasingly problematic issue.

H1N1 and your Business Insurance Policies, How will they respond?

The H1N1 flu has been the center of the news lately. The CDC is anticipating a large outbreak of the flu this winter season. What kind of risk will you have with the flu and your business? Though lawsuits against business owners for contaigon diseases being attributed to the business are rare, they do exist. Your business liability policy will respond if third party lawsuits are brought against you. Here is an example, If someone claims that your business caused them to contract the H1N1 and they lost income due to the illness, your business liability policy would defend you. The chances of you being found liable and triggereing coverage is rare. Your business liability policy would be your best source of protection from such lawsuits. Regarding work comp issues, an employee could claim that the H1N1 was an occupational disease which could trigger coverage for the employee is some States. Cases do exist that have created precedents. For example a case in California resulted in the …