How to create a return to work program that is a win-win

A return to work program is part of a businesses over all risk management plan.

 

If done well a return to work program can benefit both the employer and employees.

Returning to work can be a hassle for employees to navigate.  Anything an employer can do to make the process easier for their employees will benefit the employee as well as the company in the long term.  That process should start before the injury occurs by putting an emphasis on safety in order to prevent the injury from occurring in the first place.  Unfortunately, if you are in business long enough an injury to one of your employees will inevitably occur.  When it does, helping your employee get the medical care they need and helping them get back on the job promptly can be crucial to the success of your business.  Here are 4 ways an effective return to work program can help your business succeed.

 

Put your return to work policy down in writing:  Why putting this program in writing is that the process of putting this policy in writing can help you determine what are the issues that employees actually face when they are dealing with injuries and how to best help them through this process.  You should have some key employees from all levels of your business be a part of this process. Maybe even include someone who recently had an injury at work. These in-sites may help you determine some risks your business faces that you may be able to prevent future injuries.

Develop a process for Communication throughout the process:  Once you have a return-to-work program in place you need to ensure all of your managers read and understand the policy clearly and concisely.  It may be effective to have one person be the point person for the program, but it is equally important to have them train all the other managers and upper level employees about the program.  This is important you do not want to be left in a bind if that person is on vacation when an injury occurs or if that employee leaves the organization altogether.  Make sure your employees understand how this program impacts the bottom line.  Helping them communicate this program down through the ranks via meetings, email and your intranet.

Start the plan immediately upon injury/illness:  The moment an injury occurs the return to work program needs to be implemented.  This should be outlined clearly in the program.  Documenting everything is crucial to protect the business and to ensure the employee gets the proper medical attention and wage reimbursement through your workers’ compensation insurance policy. The quicker you implement this program it will instill confidence in the injured employee that you care about their well-being and will contribute to them wanting to get back to work more quickly.

Close your claims quickly:  Once your employee is recovered and back on the job, it is important to close the workers’ compensation claim quickly.  Carriers will leave the claim open for a while after the employee returning to work. They do this to make sure the employee does not reinjure themselves upon returning to work and needing additional benefits.  Remember that the underwriter may leave this claim open and it can cause your loss cost ratio to be much higher than it actually is.  If you are renewing your policy this can negatively impact what you pay for premium.  For this reason it is important to periodically check in to make sure the claim is closed as soon as it possibly can.

 

My employees drive their own car for work, do I really need separate Commercial Auto Coverage for their Cars?

Won’t their personal insurance plans cover any wrecks they have?

Commercial Auto Insurance

The answer to this question is yes and no.  Like most things in life it depends.  If your employees drive their personal cars for business operations, you do not necessarily need a full commercial auto insurance policy.  There is another policy that will cover just this situation.  The coverage is called Hired and Non-Owned Auto Coverage.  This coverage is specifically for businesses who have employees who either use their personal car for work or drive a rented car at some time for business purposes.

Hired and Non-Owned Auto Liability covers bodily injury and property damage caused by a vehicle you hire (including rented or borrowed vehicles) or caused by non-owned vehicles of your employees. In most cases it does not pay for the physical damage to the vehicle itself; that’s covered by the owner’s insurance. Although this option is available on some policies.

Whether you realize it or not, as a business owner, you at least occasionally find yourself in situations where this coverage is needed. Errands and rental situations always come up. Just a few examples of when there is a need for this coverage include:  When you send an employee to pick up lunch, renting a car while on a business trip, to impress a client, you send a limo to pick them up, or an employee runs to pick up office supplies at the local Sam’s club.

So the answer to the original question: Won’t their personal insurance plans cover any wrecks they have? It may cover damage to their vehicle, but in most cases it will not cover any liability to the other person who’s may be injured or whose car has been damaged. The reason for this is because the only reason the employee is driving at the time of the wreck is because of the directions of the business.  Had the person not been working there is no reason to believe the person would have been behind the wheel at that place in time. For that reason, the liability is the responsibility of the business and not the individual employee. This is why it is important to have the right form of commercial auto insurance.

For this reason, it is crucial to secure hired and non-owned auto coverage for your business.  Not just a commercial auto insurance policy.  It can be added to most business owner’s policies for a minimal amount. Mo matter what the amount of the premium, it will most certainly be less than the damage to your business if an accident happens and you are not covered.  Uncovered losses involving a vehicle are the types of losses that some businesses are not able to survive.

 

Inland Marine Insurance Policy

10 businesses that can benefit from an Inland Marine Insurance Policy

 

Landscaping

Lawn care and Landscaping companies use trailers to transport the machines they use to do their work.  A commercial auto insurance policy will cover your vehicle, but not the trailer and any equipment being transported.  An Inland Marine Policy will cover the specialized equipment landscaping companies transport to the facilities they work.

Real Estate Agencies

Much of the work that real estate agents do is over the phone, via email or at a remote location. If the business provides the agents with their own mobile device or laptops than those devices are at risk without an inland marine insurance policy.  There may be other types of equipment agents use for promotional purposes that are covered under the policy as well.

Construction Companies

Construction companies are very diverse in the scope and extent to which they work.  Some companies are a handyman with one or two employees who may have a minimal amount of tools. Other construction companies may have as many as 20 employees who each have their own set of tools, backhoes, tractors, paving equipment and generators just to name a few.  No matter how many tools a construction business does have, without an inland marine insurance policy those tools are at risk.

IT Professionals

Information Technology Professionals tend to work with and on technology products.  Primarily, personal computers and other types of computer products.  Frequently, these companies are having to make house calls, either to customers’ residence or their business, where they are working with the tools these people use to do their work and live their lives.  Many of these customers have a very basic knowledge of how computers and their networks actually work.  Helping these people fix their products without putting yourself or your business at risk is a slippery slope.  Securing an inland marine insurance policy is a must for this type of business.

Electricians

Electricians, like many businesses, do a majority of their work at a remote site. Many random pieces of equipment are needed for electricians to do their jobs.  And Inland Marine Insurance Policy can help Electricians protect themselves and their business from damage, theft or vandalism.

Musicians/Travelling Entertainers

Entertainers spend the majority of their time out on the road.  With the onset of digital technology, record sales have plummeted over the past decade. For this reason, entertainers must make their living through the live performance. Musicians have an extremely large amount of equipment they carry with them everywhere they go. Failing to secure an inland marine policy can be the difference between replacing your gear after one missed gig or cancelling an entire tour because you do not have the cash flow to cover damaged or stolen equipment.

Engineers and Architects

Engineers and Architects tend to do a decent amount of their work out on location.  There is usually a significant amount of equipment they carry with them to the job site and the equipment tends to be expensive.  Unless they have an inland marine insurance policy the risk for losing this equipment falls on the business. Partnering with a trusted independent insurance agent can be beneficial for these businesses to determine just how much equipment they have, what the value of that equipment is and if they are willing to take the risk of that equipment being damaged or stolen.

Commercial and Residential Cleaning Companies

Cleaning companies have a lot of equipment they use on a daily basis. Some of the equipment can be extremely expensive. The risk for inland marine coverage is greatest for residential companies. This is because residential cleaning companies typically travel to two or more locations throughout the day.  While the employees are driving from location to location the business is at risk.  The business is also at risk while the employees are at the remote location doing the actual cleaning. Commercial cleaning companies on the other hand commonly travel to one site and clean one or a few facilities at the one location.  The equipment is stored at the location and not transported to and fore.

Appraisers

Appraisers; like architects, electricians and engineers, travel to off-site locations frequently. While travelling to the location and while out performing work the equipment they use to do their job is at risk of being damaged or stolen.  Depending upon the scope or your appraisal business this can be a significant risk.  Consulting with a trusted insurance agent can help you determine how much risk your business faces and how much if any coverage you need.

Home Health Care Agencies

Home health care agencies perform all of their work at the location of their customer. This industry can be very high risk.  It tends to have a larger than normal amount of claims and their severity can be severe. These risks typically are bodily injury from the employees lifting and transporting the sick or elderly patients.  The equipment they use to do these jobs can be expensive and if not covered by an inland marine insurance policy the business is at risk for any damage to the equipment.

5 businesses that need Data Breach Insurance

Insurance to protect a business in the instance it has a data breach is becoming much more common.  This risk is only going to grow stronger as more and more information is stored digitally.  There are three main policies a company can secure, Cyber Security, Cyber Liability and Technology Errors and Omissions Insurance.  The first two coverages are typically sold together and the third is sold to specialized technology companies. Not all small businesses will need Technology Errors and Omissions Insurance.

Data Breach Insurance

Cyber Security Insurance

Cyber Security Insurance is also known as Privacy Notification and Crisis Management Expense Insurance.  Cybersecurity insurance is designed to protect eh damages to you and your business.  It can mitigate losses from a variety of cyber incidents, including data breaches, business interruption, and network damage. A robust cybersecurity insurance market could help reduce the number of successful cyber attacks

Cyber Liability Coverage

Also termed, Information Security and Privacy Insurance, Cyber Liability Insurance covers the insured’s liability for damages to third parties resulting from a data breach. It does not cover expenses that deal with the immediate response.  This type of insurance protects businesses which sell products and services directly on the internet.  Also, it protects businesses which collect data within its internal electronic network.

Technology Errors and Omissions Coverage

Technology Errors and Omissions Insurance (also known as Professional Liability Insurance or E&O) is a form of liability insurance that helps protect businesses providing all types of technology services and products.  This coverage prevents businesses from bearing the full cost of defending against a negligence claim made by a client, and damages awarded in a civil lawsuit.

Consider the impact to your business if:

  • A software glitch causes a client to lose important data.
  • A flawed program installation keeps a client from receiving orders.
  • Missing code prevents a customer from booking reservations.

Costly mistakes can happen, even to people with the best training and years of experience. It’s human nature. That’s why Technology Errors and Omissions Insurance is essential to protect your business.  Agents at Technology Insurance Shop.com have the industry insight to help tailor coverage to your individualized needs.

Get the best answers to Cyber Security Insurance questions at MyInsuranceQuestion.com

 

Medical/Dental Offices

Medical Dental Offices store just about every bit of a client’s personal sensitive information.  This can include the customers date of birth or social security number, their credit card and bank account numbers, or even their sensitive medical information.  Protecting your business from the potential of this falling in to the wrong hands is extremely important for the long term success of any business.

Law Offices

Lawyers have a legal obligation to keep every bit of information they receive confidential.  When and if this information is made public it can have extremely drastic effects to the clients a law firm is representing.  Cyber security, cyber liability are needed for all law firms and depending upon the scope of the business, some law firms may also need technology errors and omissions coverage.  Speaking long and honestly with a trusted independent insurance agent can help determine the risks your law firm faces and what type of coverage you need.

Accounting Firms

Accounting Firms store clients most sensitive financial information. The information that they have is some of the most valuable information a cyber-criminal can get access to.  For this reason, it is extremely important to protect your accounting firm with cyber security and cyber liability insurance coverage.

Architecture and Engineering Firms

Architecture and Engineering Firms have access to the plans of new and existing businesses. If this information falls in to the hands of cyber criminals or the client’s competitors, the impact can be extreme.  These firms are one of the few businesses that need all three types of insurance related to data breaches. Cyber liability will cover your liability to third parties, cyber security will help with the damages to you and your business and technology errors and omissions coverage will help protect you from problems with technology expertise and advice your business may give.

Retail Businesses

Retail businesses are one of the most common places for cyber criminals to access a victim’s sensitive financial information.  As more and more purchases are made with a card instead of with cold-hard cash, retail establishments are a prime target for cyber criminals. Criminals use techniques as simple as a skimming machine at an atm or a gas station pay at the pump location.  Once the information is accessed it is commonly sold on the black market for other criminals to create fake debit and credit cards for access to the victims hacked accounts.

5 Types of Insurance every Daycare Center needs.

Finding good daycare is an enormous concern for families with children under the age of 5.  Compared to the previous generation there is an extremely large amount of families who now have both parents in the work force.  ‘According to the group Child Care Aware, about 11 million children under age 5 spend an average of 35 hours a week in child care’.  Because of this fact, the day care industry has exploded. With this explosion has come many new businesses needing help with their liability needs.  There are many things that can put a day care center at risk.  Here is a list of the 5 most common coverages a day care center should secure.

 

✓ General Liability Insurance
✓ Hired and Non-Owned Auto
✓ Workers Compensation Insurance
✓ Business Income with Extra Expense
✓ Commercial Crime / Employee Dishonesty

 

General Liability Insurance

GL Insurance is required by law in most states. Many business owners unfortunately think this coverage is all encompassing and it is not.  It is the baseline for coverage for your daycare business.  It will cover your businesses liability for normal bodily injuries from things like slips and falls.  It can also cover property damage that occurs to third parties on your property.

 

Hired and Non-Owned Auto Coverage

If your business owns and uses vehicles as a part of your business you will need commercial auto coverage, but if you have employees who use their personal vehicle or rented cars you will need to secure Hired and Non-Owned Auto Coverage.  This will cover the liability your business faces as a result of any accidents you or your employees are in while on company time.

 

Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Workers Comp is another coverage that is required by law in nearly every state in the country.  It is similar to General Liability except it deals with bodily injuries to your employees. When an employee is injured on the because of normal business practices work comp coverage will cover a portion of their salary and any medical costs as a result of the injury.  Each state has their own laws governing how to administer workers’ compensation coverage.  For this reason, it is important for you and a key employee to know the process to properly help your injured employee get the care they need and get back on the job quickly.  Your carrier can help you with this both before you have an injured employee and when a claim occurs.

 

Business Income with Extra Expense Coverage

Business Income with Extra Expense Coverage is a type of commercial property insurance that covers the loss of income suffered when damage is caused to the property by a covered loss and it causes a slowdown or suspension of business operations. Coverage applies to loss suffered during the time required to repair or replace the damaged property and may extend to apply to loss suffered after completion of repairs for a specified number of days. Expense Coverage is an additional type of commercial property insurance that pays for additional costs in excess of normal operating expenses.  These are normally expenses that an organization incurs to continue operations while its property is being repaired or replaced because of damage from a covered loss.  Extra expense coverage can be purchased in addition to or instead of business income coverage, depending on the needs of the organization.

 

Commercial Crime / Employee Dishonesty

Commercial Crime Insurance is a type of insurance that is designed to help businesses deal with crimes committed by their employees. This type of coverage typically covers several different types of crimes, such as: employee dishonesty; forgery or alteration; computer fraud; funds transfer fraud; kidnap, ransom, extortion; and money orders and counterfeit money coverage.  Employee Dishonesty Insurance is an additional coverage for employee theft of money, securities, or property. This type of coverage is written with a per loss limit, a per employee limit, or a per position limit. This is important to speak with your agent about what types of activities your employees partake in.  They can help you determine what type and how much risk you actually face.

Does my business really need Inland Marine Insurance?

Isn’t that equipment covered under my other policies?  Why do I need Inland Marine Insurance Coverage?

 

Commercial insurance is one of the most important things any small business owner will ever buy.  It may not seem that this is a fact when purchasing coverage, but in the event of a disaster; the right coverage can mean the difference between a temporary set-back and closing the doors of your business permanently.  One coverage that far too frequently goes overlooked is inland marine coverage.  Below I will tell you what exactly inland marine coverage is and why your business needs it.

International Risk Management Institute

According to the International Risk Management Institute, Inland Marine Insurance is: “Property insurance for property in transit over land, certain types of moveable property, instrumentalities of transportation (such as bridges, roads, and piers, instrumentalities of communication (such as television and radio towers), and legal liability exposures of bailees. Many inland marine coverage forms provide coverage without regard to the location of the covered property; these are sometimes called “floater” policies. As a group, inland marine coverage forms are generally broader than property coverage forms.”

Commonly confused with “marine insurance,” which covers products when transported over water, inland marine insurance covers products, materials and equipment when transported over land, via truck or train.  This coverage can also cover products while temporarily warehoused by a third party. The most frequent reasons for a claim involving this coverage is because of collisions and cargo theft.

Inland Marine InsuranceA couple of the most common small businesses with a need for this coverage are landscaping companies and photographers, but really any business with specialized equipment that may be taken away from the home or office is in need of this coverage.  This can include something as simple as an employee taking a laptop with them on a trip to a conference paid for by the company.  If this or something similar is a common occurrence within your company than you can protect those losses with an inland marine insurance policy.

One common problem many business owners seem to make is that an inland marine risk is covered by other coverages.  Many owners of Landscaping Companies think all the equipment being hauled on a trailer is covered by their commercial auto insurance policy.  That is incorrect.  The vehicle is covered by a commercial auto policy, but the trailer and anything carried on the trailer are not a covered peril unless you have an additional inland marine policy.

Speaking with a trusted independent insurance agent may be your best way to determine if you need this coverage and how much your business is at risk.  An independent agent will be able to quote a policy with several different carriers.  An agent with only one or a small number of carriers will not be able to get you the absolute best coverage at rock bottom prices because they only partner with a select few carriers.  Choosing an agent with whom you have a great deal of trust in can also help you determine if you need this risk at all.  A good agent is your partner and what is best for your business is best for them, because it will help them retain your business year after year.  Insurance agents should only be recommending coverages to your business if they are a need of your business. If you have chosen an agent with whom you trust than you can rest assured that if they recommend it than there is a need. Agents do not only sell coverage; they also have to interact with customers when the inevitable occurs. Many times because they have to interact with businesses after a catastrophic loss that was not covered they have a unique view of risk management.  This is information you should take to heart if you value your business.