Amazon Delivery Service Partner Program

The Amazon Delivery Service Partner Program is a brand new partner program of Amazons. The intentions of this program are to allow drivers to become their own boss by starting a small business and being assigned a route to deliver for Amazon. Some businesses are even offered a number of routes by Amazon. The program has developed because of an ever-growing demand of packages needing to be delivered for Amazon. This Amazon Partner Program has very strict guidelines that new business owners must follow in order to be offered an Amazon Delivery Service Partner Route. Once approved, the new business owner is offered a number of benefits a traditional delivery business does not have.

The Ten Primary Benefits Include:

  • Workman, Delivers, Three Boxes, Isolated, Box Mover for an Amazon Delivery Service Partner Owner Training
  • Employee Training
  • Technology
  • On-Demand Technical Support
  • A Dedicated Account Manager
  • Exclusive Pricing on Amazon Branded Vans
  • Vehicle Maintenance
  • Accounting Services
  • Legal Support
  • 20 Years of Logistics Experience

 

Owner Training

Amazon Provides an extensive three-week training program for new business owners. This program is a requirement before business owners start delivering for Amazon as a part of this program. The first week is an introduction to Amazon in Seattle. The introduction is followed by two weeks in the field working alongside an existing owner and driver. This portion of the program is engineered to help new owners learn the tips and tricks of operating a successful delivery business.

Employee Training

Part of the training for new business owners includes detailed information about how to hire and train new employees. Recruiting and retaining superior drivers are an ongoing part of the success of your operation. Amazon has high standards and have developed a customer-obsessed culture. This culture demands the business owner to motivate their team to exceed expectations on every delivery.

Technology for An Amazon Delivery Service Partner

Technology can be extremely expensive. Few industries rely on accurate accounting of products and services more then a delivery service business. Amazon has technology specifically designed for the drivers and the business of Amazon.

Logistics, Personal, Group, Gears of an Amazon Delivery Service Partner Business

On-Demand Technical Support

Amazon provides their partner business owners with on-demand technical support. When a business relies on technology for crucial aspects of the business, the technology the business depends upon is eventually going to fail. Amazon has dedicated technical support just for Amazon Delivery Services Partners.

A Dedicated Account Manager

Each Amazon Delivery Service Partner is assigned their own dedicated Account Manager to serve as a point of contact for communication throughout Amazon.

Exclusive Pricing on Amazon Branded Vans

Purchasing or leasing vans is a large expense for a delivery business. Amazon has vehicles that are designed specifically for the type of work Amazon Delivery Services Partners perform.

Auto Repair, Oil Change, Oil, Auto, Shop, Repair, Work, Vehicle Maintenance for an Amazon Delivery Service Partner Business

Vehicle Maintenance

In addition to offering special pricing on Amazon Branded Vans, Amazon offers a vehicle maintenance program specifically designed for The Amazon Delivery Service Partner Program.

Accounting Services

Keeping the books straight can tremendously difficult for a start-up. Especially as the start-up grows at a rapid pace. Amazon offers their qualified partners help through their own accounting services designed specifically for the Amazon Delivery Services Partner Program.

Legal Support for An Amazon Delivery Service Partner

I addition to accounting services, Amazon provides their certified partners with some legal support when the need arises.

20 Years of Logistics Experience

Probably the most valuable aspect of partnering with Amazon is access to the wealth of knowledge that comes with 20 years of logistical experience. Amazon is one of the biggest businesses in the world and it has been for many years. As your business grows, you can leverage this partnership to gain access to Amazons vast experience.

Insurance Shop LLC Logo

If you currently are or are considering becoming an Amazon Delivery Service partner, you eventually are going to need Amazon Delivery Service Partners Insurance. My Insurance Question is a part of the Insurance Shop LLC. The Insurance Shop has developed relationships with multiple carriers who are hungry to offer coverage to businesses operating in this niche industry. Give us a call at 800-800-4864 to speak with one of our insurance specialists today.

 

Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) for Small and Medium Sized Businesses

Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) is a type of liability insurance that covers a business for wrongful acts that occur throughout the employment process. According to Trusted Choice, over the last 20 years employee lawsuits have risen roughly 400 percent. Wrongful termination suits have increased more than 260 percent during that same time period. Additionally, according to a study done by Advisen, only 23 percent of companies with fewer than 100 employees have a Employment Practices Liability Insurance Policy in place. This means 77 percent of companies in the United States who have fewer than 100 employees are exposed to the full liability of an employment related lawsuit. In many cases, a small business is forced to close when faced with an employment related lawsuit. Adding an EPLI Policy to a businesses Business Owner’s Policy (BOP) is the most wise decision to properly protect most businesses.

Law, Books, Legal, Court, Lawyer, Judge, Justice, Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI)

The most common way a business faces a lawsuit that causes a employment lawsuit is through wrongful termination, discrimination, sexual harassment, and retaliation. Far too many business owners think their employees will never sue them. This is a thought that sinks far too many business owners. Especially considering how an EPLI policy can be added to most Business Owners Policies (BOP) for a relatively small amount compared to the costs of an actual lawsuit.

An Employment Practices Liability Insurance Policy (EPLI) is written on a claims-made basis. This means the policy will cover the business depending upon when the lawsuit is filed, not based upon when the action within the lawsuit occurred. Some types of insurance policies are sold on an Occurrence basis, but not most EPLI Policies. No matter which type of policy you go with, it is important to make certain, the business owner and management know exactly what type of policy they are purchasing. It is equally important to know exactly what is and is not covered by these policies.

What is Covered by an EPLI Policy?

There are many things that are and are not covered by an EPLI Policy. Some common types of lawsuits that are covered by an EPLI Policy are wrongful termination, retaliation, sexual harassment, discrimination, breach of contract, negligent evaluation, failure to promote, wrongful discipline, deprivation of career opportunity, wrongful infliction of emotional distress, and even mismanagement of employee benefit plans. Not all policies will cover all of these lawsuits. Each carrier has their own specific exclusions. It is important to develop a working relationship with your insurance agent to fully understand what is and what is not covered by each particular policy. Working with an independent insurance agent is a great way to get unbiased advice from an insider. A captive agent will only be able to tell you the positive sides of the policy their carrier offers. An independent agent can offer you coverage from multiple carriers and give you inside knowledge about the positives and negatives of partnering with each carrier.

What is not Covered by an EPLI Policy?

An EPLI Policy covers many forms of employment risks and the costs associated with related lawsuits. Each carrier has their own specific exclusions related to all insurance policies. This is especially true when it comes to an Employment Practices Liability Insurance Policy. Some common exclusions include violations of the National Labor Relations Act, the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). Some carriers include exclusions for violations of the states individual workers compensation laws. In addition to breaking laws, most EPLI Policies do not cover punitive damages.

How can a Business Limit EPLI Lawsuits?

When a business decides to purchase an EPLI Policy, there are many elements of the business that a carrier takes into account when they determine what to charge the business for insurance premium. In an ideal world, a business will never face a lawsuit of any kind. Limiting the frequency and severity of all insurance claims is the best business practice. Hiring experienced human resource professionals, developing a thorough onboarding program for new hires, and implementing a well-documented safety program are all excellent ways to lower insurance claims of all types. These programs can also help limit employment related lawsuits.

In addition to limiting all types of insurance claims, there are several things a business can focus on that can limit the business facing an employment related lawsuit.

  • Hire Selectively
  • Thoroughly Educate Management and Staff
  • Establish Clear Policy and Procedures
  • Provide Clear and Concise Job Descriptions
  • Provide ongoing Employee Reviews
  • Document Everything

Hire Selectively

When it comes to hiring selectively, it is important to thoroughly screen all employees. There are a number of ways to do this. A business can hire experienced Human Resource Professionals Internally or outsource this duty. If the business has the funding, it may be best to outsource with the help of an internal human resource professional. No matter how your business decides to approach hiring, it is important to find and promote the right people.

Thoroughly Educate Management and Staff

If a business is concerned about limiting an employment lawsuit, focusing on training management and staff should be at the top of the priority list. Some of these topics may not be comfortable to discuss, but it is necessary to discuss these topics in order to prevent an employment lawsuit. Including diversity and sensitivity training as part of your ongoing training plan is worth considering.

Establish Clear Policies and Procedures

It is equally important to create clearly written policies and procedures for all divisions, departments, teams, and individual employees. Post these policies in a handbook you give to all new hires and some of the highlights should be posted in common areas where all employees have access to them. In addition, it is important to create a formal policy for how an employee can report concerns and a way for management to respond.

Provide Clear and Concise Job Descriptions

One thing that is common in many employment lawsuits is expectations that are in very different places from the perspective of the company compared to the expectations of the employee. If you can develop clear and concise job descriptions and expectations for all employees, it will go a long way towards preventing any and all lawsuits.

Provide Ongoing Employee Reviews

In an effort to open communication with all employees, employee reviews should be held regularly. These reviews should be held regularly in order to keep everyone on board with what is expected of them and what is expected of the company. In the past, these reviews would be done on a yearly basis. In today’s business environment, it is important to have these conversations more frequently. The conversations do not need to be weekly or even monthly, but they need to be more frequent than once a year. When managers meet with employees, it is important to ask open ended questions and to actively listen to the concerns of the players.

Document Everything

Each business will find a different way to prevent employment lawsuits. As a business develops the best plan to prevent employment lawsuits, it is important to document every step of the process. When a lawsuit does occur, this documentation may be the difference between a lawsuit being a slight hiccup and something that causes the business to close its doors permanently.

Clerical Office Employee

NCCI Class Code 8810 | Clerical and Office Employee

In most states, classification code 8810 is meant for Clerical and Office Employees. What distinguishes an employee as a clerical or office employee is difficult for many businesses to determine. Because of this difficulty, 8810 tends to be one of the most misused, misunderstood and most common misclassified class codes.  Many businesses improperly place some or all of their staff in this classification code because the business will enjoy some of the lowest rates for workers compensation premium of any classification code.

An Office Employee going over their notes before an important business meeting.

In many instances, a business owner will attempt to place all employees under the classification code 8810 – Clerical and Office Employee. This is because this class code enjoys the lowest rates for workers compensation premium. Some of the employees may actually belong in this class code, but often times a majority of them do not. The main qualification to be listed in this class code is that the employee needs to always perform their job where there is some form of physical separation from employees engaged in other high hazard work *think walls and doors). Employees in this classification should also not have any type of contact or supervisory role over employees involved in physical labor. The area an employee classified as 8810 –  Clerical and Office Employee should also be separate from any storage areas where inventory is secured.

When an office employee begins to perform any duties outside of their clerical duties, they more than likely need to have a different classification. This may include something as simple as walking or driving off the property to get the mail. A good example of this would be when a non-profit has a program director who spends a majority of their work week behind a desk, but they also have direct supervisory duties. Because these supervisory duties take them away from the office and force them to interact with the general public and the entire staff involved with other exposures, the employee cannot be classified 8810. WHen this occurs the employee must be placed the highest rated risk classification represented by those additional duties. Many employers combat this cost by assigning these additional duties to one or a select few employees.

Computer, Laptop, Technology, Office, Business

It is important to pay particularly close attention to the separation of exposure between different work hazards. When an employee is misclassified into a less risky classification code like clerical office employees noc, it almost always gets cleared up during the end of term audit. When it does get noticed, the employer will owe additional premium in order to keep coverage in place moving forward. This can be a significant cost to a business at an inopportune time.

 

8810 Clerical Office Employees. This is the most common class code utilized and is common to most policies regardless of the nature of business because most businesses have one or more clerical office employees. Common duties include financial, drafting, telephone answering, inside sales, designers, editors, programmers, and general office staff.

 

What Underwriters like and dislike about Janitorial Services Companies

Janitorial Services Companies are placed in NCCI Class Code 9014 for Workers Comp

Janitorial Services Companies can be placed within a number of different NCCI Class Codes for purposes of Workers Compensation Insurance. NCCI stands for the National Council on Compensation Insurance. This organization is the foremost authority for state workers compensation systems when it comes to determining classification codes and recommending pure premium rates. NCCI gathers data, analyzes industry trends, provides objective insurance rate and loss cost recommendations. For most states there are around 700 different classification codes business are placed within.

Janitorial Services Companies are primarily placed within NCCI Class Code 9014. The duties of businesses that operate in this industry include keeping businesses clean by dusting, mopping, vacuuming, waxing, and even polishing floors. Some businesses have employees who empty trash, clean interior walls, as well as cleaning, sanitizing, and deodorizing restrooms. There are many aspects of this business that make it either a favorable or unfavorable business for an insurance carrier.

Janitorial Services Companies use Cleaning Supplies, Vacuum, Broom, Duster, Sponge

The easiest type of Janitorial Services company for an insurance carrier to offer workers compensation coverage to is an office cleaning company. This is because these businesses have less risky operations than businesses who clean exterior or industrial settings. Because of the lower risk for office cleaning companies, this classification code is the easiest to get insured and usually at the best rates. For this reason, most businesses attempt to operate in this part of the industry exclusively. For businesses that operate in other parts of this industry (carpet cleaning, floor waxing, power washing, window washing, etc.), there are many things those businesses need to consider in relation to workers compensation coverage. All businesses in the janitorial services industry can benefit from an increased focus on operating a safe business. Here are four things all businesses can do to show an underwriter they are focused on limiting insurance claims.

Mop, Bucket, Chores, Housework, Clean

Types of Activities Underwriters Like about a Janitorial Services Company

Some Janitorial Services Companies operate in more risky portions of the industry. Those companies must prepare for a higher rate for all forms of commercial insurance and those companies must better prepare for keeping their employees safe.  No matter the duties of the employees in this industry, it is important for the leadership of a business to implement activities underwriters like about a Janitorial Services Companies. Here are four activities that help a business get coverage and limit what the business pays for premium.

Safety Program

A Safety Program is the primary aspect a business can use to improve the results of the business. An effective safety program can limit workplace injuries, raise the morale of the staff, lower the frequency and severity of insurance claims, and increase the productivity of the business. A safety program can do this by creating a workplace culture that has employees thinking about the health and well-being of everyone involved in the business. If this is implemented effectively, it will lower the frequency and the severity of all insurance claims the business files. When the business files less workers comp claims it is because the business is experiencing less injured employees. Less injured employees means the business has created an environment that includes healthy employees. Healthy employees tend to contribute to a higher overall morale throughout the workforce. Conversely, when employees are healthy and happy, they are more likely to be more productive.

Return-to-Work Program

A Return-to-Work Program is a natural extension of a businesses safety program. It is a program most business hope they never have to use, or a program a business at least rarely uses. The best way to prepare for this is to establish a safety committee with employees from all levels of the organization. If you have an employee who has dealt with a workplace injury and the workers compensation system, it may be a wise decision to place that employee on this committee. Creating light duty activities for employees will help get them back to work quicker and give them less time to develop routines outside of their work environment. The sooner an injured employee gets back to work in any capacity, the more likely they are to eventually return to full-time permanent work.

Well-Maintained Equipment

Equipment ages and wears out over time. There is no way to avoid wear and tear on the equipment of a janitorial services company. With careful attention, maintaining equipment can get more useful life and productivity out of most equipment. For the business, this means there is less downtime and increase job site productivity. It also means less injured workers because of faulty equipment. Proper maintenance will also result in a higher resale value when the time comes to sell it.

Maintaining equipment begins with picking the right equipment in the first place and operating the used equipment in a smart, safe and efficient manner. If you require your employees to document this maintenance, it can create an atmosphere where maintenance and safety are part of the job. In addition to safety and longevity, preventative maintenance can also reduce the likelihood of theft.

Businesses that Work with OSHA

Many businesses attempt to spend as little time as possible interacting with a government agency. In some instances, this is a wise decision because interacting with a government agency can bring the eyes of regulators at many levels of the government. OSHA is one agency where this is not the case. OSHA offers many services to help a business remain safe. They will even come out to a facility upon request and give recommendation about the safety of operations. There are many ways OSHA can help a business remain safe. If a business does use any of the recommendations of OSHA, it should be documented and used when acquiring all forms of commercial insurance.

Cleanliness, Maid, Maintains, Cleaning

The Types of Activities Underwriters do not like Businesses to Partake?

Working at Heights

Anything that is done at heights (especially if it is done above ten feet in height),  makes an insurance carrier less likely to want to offer coverage to that business.  Window Washing is the primary reason an employee works at heights. Working at height causes workers compensation claims to be much more severe. When a business experiences a severe claim it sticks with their experience modification rating for a three year period. This can cause premium to be elevated for a three year period and can make it more difficult for some businesses to even get coverage offered on the open market.

Industrial Settings

Janitorial Services Companies that operate in an Industrial Setting tend to have more severe claims compared to businesses that operate primarily indoors. Especially when indoor companies operate primarily in an office setting. In many instances, businesses who operate in an industrial setting have to purchase coverage from the state’s assigned risk provider. This is because they are so risky many carriers are not willing to offer coverage to the business at all. The assigned risk provider almost exclusively offers more expensive rates compared to the open market.

Maintenance and Repair Work

NCCI Class Code 9014 allows for some maintenance and minor repair work. Most insurance carriers allow up to 10% of business be related to maintenance and repair work. Maintenance and repair work significantly raises the frequency of claims, which negatively impacts a businesses loss cost. The loss cost is the primary number an underwriter uses to determine what a business must pay for coverage.

Residential Cleaning

Residential cleaning companies operate in a less controlled environment. Most employees are driving to a third party location and are unsupervised. The fact that there is a driving risks raises both the frequency and especially the severity of insurance claims filed by these companies. Because of this elevated risk, insurance carriers are less likely to offer coverage to businesses. If those businesses are not able to find coverage on the open market, they are forced to buy coverage from the state provider. NCCI Class Code 9014 allows for residential cleaning if it is less than 50% of operations.

Commercial Insurance Needs for Retail Businesses

Retail establishments have a large amount of foot traffic compared to other businesses. This can cause a larger amount of risk to be elevated for both general liability and workers compensation claims. Because of more frequent contact between employees and the general public, employees are more likely to come down with the flu or the common cold. These days missed from work may or may not cause a workers compensation claim, but they definitely contribute to a loss of productivity. When one employee is out sick other employees have to pick up the slack for that missing employees. This may create risks in other areas of the business. Slips, Trips, and Falls are the most common problem in retail establishments.

Retail Clothing Store

Retail stores vary based on what they sell, where they are located, what other and what other services they offer. Additional risks may be taken on by businesses that offer delivery and installation of products. In some instances, these services are offered by vendors who rent space from the store. Because of the vast differences in the types of retail establishments, there are a number of different classification codes for employees working at a retail establishment. It is important to make sure all employees are classified properly.

What can Retail Owners and Operators due to save on Commercial Insurance?

Partner with an Independent Agent

When a Retail Business partners with an independent insurance agent, they are able to get multiple quotes from multiple carriers all with one phone call. This is because an independent agent partners with many carriers to find the right solution to their clients needs. A captive agent is limited to the offerings of the carrier they represent. Partnering with an independent insurance agent makes it easier to get multiple quotes from one agent and they can give you unbiased advice about both the pros and cons of each policy. They also can give you insight into the positives and negatives of doing business with each carrier. This allows the business owner to know what they are getting into with the relationship with their insurance carrier.

Shop Around your Policies

One of the best things an independent insurance agent can do for a business owner is help them shop around their policy from year to year. It is not wise to switch on the drop of a hat because of a slight drop in price, but it is smart to make sure your carrier is competitive with the marketplace. An independent insurance agent can get multiple quotes all in one place. It may be a good idea to also contact a few captive agents and maybe even another independent insurance agent. Now if you like your agent, it may be worthwhile to pay a small amount more in order to continue your relationship with them. It is equally important to shop around to make sure your agent has your best interest in mind as well as your carrier.

Safety Programs

Having a well-documented safety program in place is essential for retail stores. It should be an extensive part of the new hire training and it should be done regularly throughout the year with all employees. These do not have to be extensive training programs. They can be as short as a 15 minute conversation or even watching a workplace safety video. They should always be documented and they should occur on a regular basis. The frequency of your meetings is dependent upon your business and the workplace safety expert you consult. It is helpful to create a committee to be in charge of the workplace safety program. This is important because these employees can be supporters of the program and can garner support throughout all employees.

Store, Clothing, Shop, Bouique, Clothes

What Types of Insurance Should a Retail Business Have?

  • General Liability Insurance
  • Property Insurance
  • Inland Marine Coverage
  • Workers Compensation Insurance

General Liability Insurance

General Liability Insurance protects a business from common Slips, Trips, and Falls. These types of claims are higher in this industry because of the amount of foot traffic throughout the facility. It is important to remember that General Liability Insurance is not all encompassing. There are exclusion to every policy and every carrier has their own specifics. It is important to speak long and honestly with your agent about all the intricacies of your business in an attempt to properly insure your business.

Commercial Property Insurance

Business Property Insurance are not huge for retailers. Most facilities include some form of electrical wiring as well as heating and cooling systems. It is important to make sure the facility is in proper condition. Creating a safety committee to periodically check the status of the facility.

 Inland Marine Coverage

Inland marine insurance is designed to protect equipment that is frequently in transit or stored at a third party location. If the retail business has pop-ups at other locations, inland marine is needed to protect the equipment being used away from the location.

Workers Compensation

Retail Shops have a large amount of risks when it comes to Workers Compensation Insurance. A majority of these risks stem from the amount of exposure to foot traffic. Developing a safety program to deal with these risks and starting the training of this program from the day a person is hired, is the best way to limit the frequency and severity of claims.

Sign, Open, Open Sign, Business, Store

SIC Business Insurance Codes:

  • 5311: Department Stores
  • 5722: Appliance Stores
  • 5941: Sporting Goods Stores and Bicycle Shops
  • 5651: Family Clothing Stores
  • 5912: Drug Stores and Proprietary Stores
  • 5331: Variety Stores
  • 5399: General Merchandise Stores
  • 5932: Used Merchandise Stores

NAICS Liability Classifications:

  • 452111: Department Store
  • 452112: Discount Stores
  • 443141: Household Appliance Stores
  • 451110: Sporting Goods Stores
  • 448140: Family Clothing Stores
  • 446110: Pharmacies and Drug Stores
  • 452990: Other General Merchandise Stores
  • 442299: Home Furnishing Stores
  • 453310: Used Merchandise Stores

Business ISO General Liability:

  • 12356: Department or Discount Stores
  • 10026: Antique Stores
  • 18206: Sporting Good or Athletic Equipment Stores
  • 11127: Clothing and Apparel Stores
  • 12374: Drugstores—No Food or Beverage
  • 18911: Variety Stores
  • 11155: Coin, Stamp and Book Stores
  • 16881: Secondhand Stores

Common Workers Compensation Class Codes:

  • 8039: Retail Department Stores
  • 8044: Furniture Store and Drivers
  • 8008: Clothing and Apparel Stores
  • 8045: Retail Drug Stores
  • 8017: Stores, Retail—Not Classified Elsewhere
  • 8010: Hardware Stores
  • 8013: Jewelry Stores
  • 8046: Auto Parts and Accessories Stores

Cable Installers

Necessary Insurance Policies for Cable Installation Businesses

Cable television and internet services are a regular part of the lives of most people in 2019. Cable installers provide a service that installs programming over both fiber optic and coaxial cables. The services can be sent both digitally or by satellite. Cable installers may lay lines or cables throughout a property. Because the work is done primarily on third party locations and the properties vary greatly, there is a lot of risk involved in the industry. Business that operate in this industry need to take insuring the business seriously. Taking an additional amount of time to think about the risks the business face, thinking about what could go wrong, and how leadership might prevent these risks from taking place are strongly recommended for any cable installation business. Speaking with an independent insurance agent can help make the purchasing decision easier. Here are five policies all cable installers should strongly consider.

Installation, Cabling, Electricity, and Electrical done by a cable installer.

Recommended Insurance Programs for Cable Installation

Minimum recommended coverage:

  • General Liability
  • Workers Compensation
  • Inland Marine Coverage
  • Commercial Auto Insurance
  • Business Personal Property

General Liability

General Liability Insurance is the first line of defense for cable installers looking to protect themselves from the liability faced to outside third parties. This policy covers basic liability, but is not all encompassing. It is important to take an adequate amount of time to discuss with an insurance agent what exactly the employees of a business do and do not partake in on a daily basis. There are more than likely additional policies any business will need in addition to general liability insurance.

Workers Compensation

Workers Compensation Insurance is required by law for most businesses in most states. The policy protects injured employees with coverage for medical costs and some lost wages while they are hurt and not able to work. Many contracts require a business to provide a certificate of insurance proving they have both GL and WC insurance. There are some states that have exclusions depending upon the number of employees and the annual revenue of the business. If the business is owned by one person and that person is the only employee, there is a ghost policy that is much cheaper to purchase and will meet the demands of most contracts.

Inland Marine Coverage

Inland Marine covers tools and specialized equipment that is frequently in transit. If the tools are damaged while working or being stored at a third party location, the inland marine policy will cover to repair or replace the tools.

Commercial Auto Insurance

Commercial Auto Insurance is needed if the business has employees who operate vehicles that the business owns. If the employees use their personal vehicle for business purposes, a hired and non-owned auto needs to be purchased either instead of or in addition to a commercial auto insurance policy. When an employee causes a wreck while on company time, the business is liable for the damages to outside third parties. The employee is not liable. Failing to secure the proper type of commercial auto insurance can result in a large loss the business is responsible for.

Business Income with Extra Expense

Business Income with Extra Expense Coverage is designed to cover expenses during a time when the business is interrupted or fully shut down as a result of a covered loss. It is important to remember the underlying loss has to be covered. If the loss is caused by a flood, earthquake, or tornado; and the business does not have proper coverage in place; the business income policy is not triggered. This is another reason why it is so crucial to speak long and honestly with your insurance agent and not base your purchasing decision solely on price.

Additional Policies to consider:
Building, Equipment Breakdown, Contractors Equipment, Cyber Liability, Employment Practices Liability, and Umbrella Coverage.

Cable Installers also work with satellites.

Cable Installation Liability Classification Codes

Commercial insurance companies use various liability classification systems in order to classify and rate coverage premiums for Cable Installation. Here are the most common business insurance classifications for Cable Installers:

Business Liability Category: TV and Media Installation

SIC Business Insurance Codes:

  • 4841: Cable and Other Pay TV Services

NAICS Liability Classifications:

  • 517110: Wired Telecommunications Carriers
  • 515210: Cable and Other Subscription Programming

Business ISO General Liability:

  • 91315: Cable and Subscription TV Companies

Common Workers Compensation Class Codes:

  • 7536: Cable Installation and Construction
  • 8901: Cable and Telecommunications—Office Employees
  • 7600: Cable TV or Satellite—Other Employees and Drivers
  • 6325: Conduit Construction—for Cables or Wires
  • 8742: Outside Sales Persons

Masonry

Insurance Needs for a Masonry Small Business

With a booming economy comes a booming construction industry.  One essential part of the construction industry is enough masonry companies to fill the needs of builders. Masonry contractors install and repair brick, block, stone, veneer and other masonry items onto and inside of buildings or structures. Their work may include fencing or retaining walls, outside signs and other related structures. The masonry industry consists of more than 41,000 businesses in the United States. The industry generates $23 billion in revenue each year and employs more than 147,500 people.  Masons practice a craft that has been handed down for centuries and takes years of careful study working with a master craftsman.

As a small-business owner (or even a person considering starting a small business), your mind is more than likely spinning over all the types of insurance you have to choose from.  It is important to not take this part of running a business lightly. Each type of insurance covers a different risk your business may or may not face. Here is some information about the risks Masons face and the types of insurance coverage a business within this industry should consider.

Brick Wall finished by a Masonry Company.

Unique Risks within the Masonry Industry

Masons work with heavy materials which elevates the risk of bodily injury. Working in the Masonry Industry requires bending frequently bending and lifting heavy objects. This can cause excessive wear and tear on the body. Wearing a back brace and lifting with the knees instead of the back should be a common part of any businesses protocol. Implementing a safety program and including the workers in the development and implementation of the program is the best way to create a company culture focused on safety.

Masons rely on their chisels, mallets, and metal straightedges to perform their work.  If those tools are lost, damaged, or stolen the mason is not able to do their work.  Depending upon how expensive or how specialized these tools are, an inland marine insurance policy may be needed to help replace the tools quickly in the event of damage or theft.

Construction worker doing Masonry.

Recommended Insurance for Masons 

  • General Liability Insurance
  • Inland Marine Coverage
  • Property Insurance
  • Hired and Non-Owned Auto (full commercial auto if vehicles owned)
  • Workers Compensation

General Liability Insurance

General Liability Insurance is required by law for most masonry businesses. Contractors will need it to enter into most contracts. General Liability protects masons from common property damage and bodily injury claims. It is important to remember that it is not all-encompassing. There are exclusions in every policy and it is important to discuss with your independent insurance agent what additional coverages your business may need.

Inland Marine Coverage

Inland Marine Insurance is designed for businesses that have specialized equipment and tools that are frequently in transit away from the businesses location. It can also cover equipment that is stored at a third party location. If your business has a trailer you use to haul necessary equipment or if you store equipment off-site, this coverage may be necessary to adequately protect the business.

Property Insurance

Commercial Property Insurance is needed whether you own or lease the property your business is located. It will cover the structure of the business and some additional equipment like cabinets, and desks. There are exclusions to each policy. Take an additional few minutes before purchasing to understand exactly within your business is and is not covered by a commercial property insurance policy.

Hired and Non-Owned Auto

Hired and Non-Owned Auto Insurance is a type of commercial auto insurance for businesses that have employees drive their personal vehicles for business purposes or leased vehicles. If your employees are driving as a result of work and they cause an accident, the business is responsible for the damages to third parties. This can be extremely costly if it is not properly covered.

Workers Compensation

Workers Compensation Insurance is required by law for most businesses in most states. Some states have exclusions depending upon the industry, the number of employees, or the revenue of a business. Even if a business is allowed to not carry coverage, it is usually in the best interest of the business to still carry some form of coverage. Even if the business has one employee who is the owner, there is a ghost policy that is offered at a much lower rate that can meet the requirements for most contracts.

Additional Coverages Masonry Businesses Should consider:

  • General Liability
  • Inland Marine Coverage
  • Commercial Auto
  • Business Income with Extra Expense
  • Umbrella

Masonry Contractors and Construction

SIC Business Insurance Codes:

  • 1741: Masonry, Stone Setting and Other Stone work

NAICS Liability Classifications:

  • 238140: Masonry Contractors
  • 327310: Cement Manufacturers

Business ISO General Liability:

  • 97447: Mason Contractors

NCCI Class Codes:

  • 5022: Mason Contractors and Masonry Construction
  • 5222: Concrete Construction—Bridges and Culverts

Mortgage Brokers

Recommended Insurance Coverages for Mortgage Brokers

Mortgage Brokers are an essential part of the economy i 2019. They act as middlemen helping realtors get home buyers the best solutions to all their mortgage needs. Mortgage Brokers are individual financial institutions that lend the funds for the purchase of property. The properties can be for both business and personal use. Some mortgage companies also service escrow accounts, offer some real estate services, and some even broker or sell mortgage loans to other operations. With each type of service the business offers additional risk is taken on by the financial institution. Here are five types of insurance all mortgage brokerage businesses should consider.

Picture of a house with a Mortgage Broker handing the keys to the new homeowner.

Minimum recommended coverage:

  • General Liability
  • Workers Compensation
  • Errors & Omissions (Professional Liability)
  • Hired and Non-Owned Auto
  • Property Insurance

Answers to your Mortgage Broker Insurance Questions.General Liability

General Liability Insurance for Mortgage Brokers is usually the first type of coverage a broker needs. It protects the broker from common slips, trips, and falls. These incidents can happen at the location of the mortgage broker or at a third party site. A General Liability Policy can cover damage in the form of bodily injury and property damage.

Workers Compensation

Workers Compensation is typically the second policy the owner of a mortgage brokerage service discusses with their insurance agent. This is because General Liability and Workers Compensation are required by law for most businesses in most states. Workers Compensation covers a business for injuries to employees that happen within the normal course of business. The policy covers medical costs and some lost wages for injured employees who are hurt and not able to work. Implementing a well-documented safety program and focusing on ergonomics within the workplace can help limit the amount of injuries your employees experience.

Errors & Omissions (Professional Liability)

Errors & Omissions is frequently referred to as Professional Liability. In other industries it may be referred to as malpractice. This type of insurance protects businesses and their employees from claims of negligence or  inadequate work. Any business that gives professional advice for a fee needs to secure an errors and omissions insurance policy.

Hired and Non-Owned Auto (full commercial auto if vehicles owned)

Car Accident with a red car flipped over lying upside down. Hired and Non-Owned Auto Insurance is designed for when an employee uses their personal car or when an employee drives a rental car for purposes. It is common for a mortgage broker to meet at a third party site for many business functions. When they are driving to and from these appointments, the business is liable for damages occurred when the employee causes a wreck. A Hired and Non-Owned Auto Insurance Policy can protect the business, up to the limits of the policy, from the liability it faces when an employee causes an accident while on company time.

Property Insurance

Commercial Property Insurance is designed to protect any business from both legal liability and property damage related to the building they operate in regardless of whether the business owns or leases the facility. Most commercial property insurance policies provide coverage for a wide variety of damages that usually include fire, smoke, wind, vandalism and civil disobedience. The policies frequently list included and excluded damages. Some common exclusions often include damages resulting from earthquakes and hail. These damages may have a separate deductibles or be excluded from coverage altogether. One thing to ask your agent when purchasing commercial property insurance is the differences between actual cash value and replacement cost.

 

Other coverages to consider for Mortgage Brokers:
Business Personal Property, Extra Expense, Financial Institutions Bond, Accounts Receivable, Computers, Valuable Papers and Records, Directors and Officers Liability, Employee Benefits, Umbrella Coverage, Computer Fraud, Extortion, Cyber liability Insurance (Data Breach Coverage), EPLI and Mortgage Errors & Omissions.

Mortgage Brokers Liability Classification Codes

Commercial insurance companies use various liability classification systems in order to classify and rate coverage premiums for Mortgage Brokers. Here are the most common business insurance classification for Mortgage Companies:

Business Liability Category: Financial Institutions

SIC Business Insurance Codes for Mortgage Brokers:
  • 6162: Mortgage Bankers and Loan Correspondents
  • 6163: Loan Brokers
NAICS Liability Classifications:
  • 522292: Real Estate Credit
  • 522390: Activities Related to Credit Inter-mediation
  • 522310: Mortgage and Non Mortgage Loan Brokers
Business ISO General Liability for Mortgage Brokers:
  • 61223: Banks and Other Financial Institutions
  • 61226: Office—Other Than Non-Profit
  • 61224: Office—Building Occupied by Business Employees
Common Workers Compensation Class Codes:
  • 8810: Office and Clerical
  • 8772: Outside Sales and Messengers

Should You Ask Your Agent About Lost Key Liability Insurance?

What is Lost Key Liability and Why Might a Business Need It?

Keys are a regular part of most adults life. When we leave the house most people grab their keys, wallet/purse, and cell phone. When a person owns or operates a business that has access to the keys of other people or businesses there is a significant risk the keys may be lost. If those lost keys fall in to the hands of a nefarious person, they can cause a large amount of damage to the owner of that property. These are damages your business will be liable for. One of the best ways to protect a business from this liability is by securing the proper insurance policy.  Lost Key Liability Insurance can help minimize the cost to a business when a keys go missing and a business is held responsible for replacing the locks and keys.

Rack with five sets of keys hanging.

What is Lost Key Liability Insurance?

Lost Key Liability Insurance covers a business or contractor who is responsible for possessing the keys of another person or business. The most common example of a business with this responsibility is a cleaning company. This type of business has employees who use the keys to access the building after hours to performing the cleaning service. If the employee of that business losses the keys, the cleaning business is responsible for replacing the locks and keys for the other person or business. If this is for one lock, it may not be that expensive. If it is for a business that has multiple locks and keys, it could be a significant amount. The cleaning business can protect this risk with a Lost Key Liability Insurance. This type of insurance does not cover criminal behavior committed by employees.

Locksmith prying open a a door.

Dram Shop Insurance

Liquor Liability Insurance 

Dram Shop Insurance, also commonly referred to as Liquor Liability Insurance, is a specialized type of liability coverage for businesses that serve and sell alcoholic beverages. Many insurance carriers do not have a strong appetite for quoting businesses where a large amount of alcohol is served. Most carriers will shy off companies as the percentage of alcohol sales moves northward of 50 percent of total sales. When a business does sale predominantly alcohol, there are fewer carriers to get a quote from. The market for this type of coverage is divided up between two types of carriers, Admitted and Non-Admitted Carriers. Both types of carriers serve a functional role for the market. Here is a detailed description of what Dram Shop Insurance is, where Dram Shop Laws came from, what types of businesses need Dram Shop Insurance, what types of carriers offer Dram Shop Insurance and how much the coverage costs.

Two people sitting at a bar show the need for a business to purchase Dram Shop Insurance.

Dram Shop Law? (Where the need for Dram Shop Insurance Arose.)

Dram Shop as a term comes from a time many years ago when alcohol was sold by the dram. This was typically an eighth of an ounce or what is commonly today served as a shot of alcohol. All but 6 states (Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, Nevada, South Dakota, and Virginia) have some form of Dram Laws on the books. States where Dram Laws are on the books a business may face liability if a customer gets into a fight, damages someone else’s property, or even gets into a car accident.

What Businesses Need Liquor Liability Insurance Coverage?

Businesses that typically need liquor liability insurance coverage include: Restaurants, Bars, Taverns, Caterers, Breweries, Wineries, Grocery Stores, Liquor Stores, Convenience Stores, Food Trucks, and Grocery Stores. Most of these businesses are legally required to carry General Liability, Workers Compensation, and Liquor Liability Insurance. Workers Comp will cover injured employees, General Liability will cover general third party liability minus the specified exclusions, and Liquor Liability covers risks associated to intoxicated customers. Most carriers have specific packages of policies for businesses in this industry depending upon the specific classification code. It is important to partner with an independent insurance agent with whom you trust and take their recommendations. Not securing enough insurance is a main factor that leads to many businesses closing their doors permanently after a loss.

Several people toasting drinks at a bar.

3 Major Risks Associated with Serving Alcohol

The three major risks associated with alcohol serving businesses include selling alcohol to an intoxicated customer, contributing to the over-intoxication of a customer, and serving alcohol to a minor. None of these events by itself trigger a Dram Shop Insurance Claim, but they can lead to any incident involving an intoxicated patron that does lead to legal liability for the business. These incidents can include injuries to the customer, the minor, or an unrelated third party injured by the intoxicated patron.

Admitted Carriers Vs. Non-Admitted Carriers

Finding a carrier to offer Dram Shop Insurance may be difficult for some businesses. Depending upon the appetite of the carrier, the claims history of the business, the amount of revenue of the business, and the percentage of revenue that comes from the sale of alcohol. There are two types of carriers that do offer Liquor Liability Insurance, Admitted and Non-Admitted Carriers. The basic difference between the two types of carriers is admitted carriers are required to file their rates with the state governing body and follow certain rules set by the state governing agency. Non-Admitted Carriers are not required to file rates nor are they required to follow the same rules as Admitted Carriers. Non-Admitted Carriers do serve a functional role within the insurance system of the states they operate within. They are often the carriers that are willing to take on high risk businesses that have a greater likelihood of losses. Non-Admitted Carriers are required to show proof they are financially able to cover the claims they are taking on. Each state has their own way to require carriers to prove this.

Sign outside of Cheers Tavern. Where everybody knows your name.

Special Considerations of Carriers who offer Dram Shop Insurance Coverage?

The cost of the Dram Shop Insurance depends on a number of factors including the classification code of the business, the claims history of the business, the location of the business, the revenue of the business, and the amount of revenue that comes from the sales of alcohol.

Classification Code

The Classification Code of the business will determine the recommended premium rate for workers compensation insurance. Depending upon the risks involved with the business this can be favorable or unfavorable in relation to what the business pays for coverage.

Claims History

The Claims History of the business applying for a Dram Shop Insurance Policy impacts immensely what the business pays for premium. The experience modification rating deals with the three previous years of claims history not including the current year. For new businesses without enough claims history, the rating is negatively impacted. For businesses with frequent or severe claims, the rating is impacted more. Businesses that have low or no claims, have an in-depth safety program, and a return-to-work program tend to pay less for premium.

Location

If a business is located in an area of town where crime is more prevalent, the amount the business pays for insurance may be impacted. The location of the parking lot and the amount of lighting on the premises impact premium. The presence of security or law enforcement can impact what a carrier charges for insurance.

Revenue

The revenue of a business will impact the amount of risk related to the business. A business that serves more alcohol will in turn have more intoxicated customers. The more intoxicated customers being served at a business, results in more likelihood of the business facing liability.

Amount of Revenue from Alcohol Sales

Businesses that get more than 50 percent of their sales from alcohol are much more likely to face liability due to intoxicated patrons. The higher the revenue and the higher the percentage of alcohol sales will result in a high rate of premium.