Relief is on the way for Missouri Businesses

On Friday December, 15th; The Missouri Department of Insurance announced it is recommending a 3% decrease in workers compensation insurance loss costs for 2018.  This decrease comes on top of a 4% decrease that took effect in August of this year.

State of Missouri Flag celebrating a decrease in workers compensation insurance premium for 2018.

According to a release from the department of insurance, the decrease is driven by declining lost-time claim frequencies combined with stable average claim costs.  According to a statement from Department of Insurance Director Chlora Lindley-Myers, “Missouri’s lost-time claim frequency has fallen since 2010, and average claim costs have stayed steady for the past several years,”  This means the average claim cost is lower than in years past and the frequency of claims has gone down in recent years.  Additionally, this will be the fourth consecutive year of declining comp rates in the state, according to a department statement.

Relief is on the way for Missouri businesses in the form of a decrease on workers compensation insurance premium in 2018.

Under Missouri law, insurance carriers are not required to follow the recommendations of the state or that of The national Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI).  Insurers may set their own rates based on NCCI’s recommendations, the department’s recommendations or their own analysis. In order to remain competitive, most insurers offering coverage in the state will change rates accordingly for most class codes.  Now this does not necessarily apply to businesses across all class codes. Some businesses may see larger decreases depending upon the appetite of the carrier to quote that particular coverage and industry. If your business operates in a high risk industry, the decrease may not apply or may be a smaller amount.

 

Trim Carpenter

5 types of Insurance Coverage every Trim Carpenter should strongly consider

A Trim Carpenter typically performs only interior work such as cabinet installation and interior trim for construction projects. There are many other types of carpenters who perform exterior work only or both. Because of the differences in the nature of the work between these types of carpenters, the risks they face are also different. Interior carpentry normally consists of either rough or finish work. Rough work involves framing windows and doors, laying floor joists and subfloors, stairways and more. This type of carpentry can also include: hanging doors, installing baseboards, installing the molding around doors and windows, and making or installing cabinets and shelving. There are many other types of custom builds the carpenter might partake in. All of this type of work can lead to bodily injury claims for the carpenter or their employees. It can also lead to risk if the windows or doors are damaged during installation. With these different risks a trim carpenter faces, comes a need for many different types of insurance coverage.  Here are five types of insurance coverage every Trim Carpenter should strongly consider purchasing.

Trim Carpenter

Recommended Insurance Programs for Carpenters

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

Other coverages to consider for the various types of Carpentry:
Business Personal Property, Employee Dishonesty, Contractors’ Equipment and Tool Floater (Inland Marine), Umbrella Liability Coverage, Business Income with Extra Expense, Builders Risk, Goods in Transit and Installation Floater.

Tools for a Carpenter

General Liability Insurance for a Carpenter

General liability exposures at a trim carpenters shop are normally somewhat limited. These limitations are due to the lack of public access to the carpenters property. There should be policies in place because risks like fires from woodworking and/or lumber storage can affect neighboring businesses or homes. Talking about all the different elements of your business with your experienced insurance agent can help you prevent severe or frequent claims.

Carpenters Commercial Property Coverage

Carpenters face commercial property exposures at their location, but those exposures are limited to the office area and storage of materials, equipment and vehicles. If the risks will be different depending upon if the business owns the building or rents.

Inland Marine Insurance for a Carpenter

Inland marine insurance coverage is designed to protect businesses that have specialized equipment or equipment that is frequently in transit. This equipment includes owned or rented tools.  The tools may include tables saws, scaffolding, building materials and materials being transported to and from the job-site. These tools and equipment are heavy but less likely to be damaged during transport. Transporting woodwork done at the carpenter’s shop increases the exposure because these items are more susceptible to damage from shifting, improper loading or inadequate tie-down. Inland marine insurance coverage is needed for nearly all carpentry businesses.

Carpenters Commercial Auto Coverage

Auto liability exposures are limited, for the most part. This limited exposure is limited unless lumber and pre-made items are frequently transported by the carpenter. The hazards of transport include failure to secure the load properly and equipment failure. Paying attention to your employees age, training, experience and driving records can limit these risks. Also, the condition and maintenance of the vehicles are important considerations.  Those maintenance records should be documented in order for your insurance agent to use this record to negotiate better rates on insurance premium.  Companies who allow employees to drive their personal vehicles for business purposes should purchase a separate hired and non-owned auto policy.

Workers Compensation Insurance for a Carpenter

Workers comp liability varies based on the size and nature of the job the carpenter is working on. Work with hand tools and sharp objects can result in cuts, piercings and accidental amputation. Lifting injuries such as hernias, strains, sprains and back injuries may occur. Minor injuries may be frequent even when the severity exposure is controlled. When work is done on ladders and scaffolds, there is a potential for severe injury or death from falling, being struck by falling objects or adverse weather conditions. Addressing all of these risks with proper safety programs and equipment can help you reduce the frequency and severity of the claims your business has.  FOr this reason, it is extremely important to train all employees in the proper use of basic safety equipment.

Carpentry Shop

Common Carpenter Liability Classification Codes

SIC Business Insurance Codes:

  • 1751: Carpentry Work
  • 1521: Residential Construction

NAICS Liability Classifications:

  • 238350: Finish Carpentry Contractors
  • 236118: Residential Remodelers
  • 238330: Flooring Contractors
  • 238390: Other Building Finishing Contractors

Business ISO General Liability:

  • 91340: Carpentry—Construction of Residential Homes
  • 91341: Interior Carpenter
  • 91342: Carpentry—Not Classified Elsewhere
  • 91343: Carpentry—Shop Only

Common Workers Compensation Class Codes:

  • 5437: Carpentry—Cabinets and Interior Trim
  • 5403: Carpenters—Not Classified Elsewhere
  • 2802: Carpentry—Shop Only
  • 5432: California Class—Carpentry
  • 5645: Carpentry—Residential Construction

Accounting Firms

Businesses in the accounting industry have unique risks that only they face. For this reason, you need to partner with an insurance agent who is comfortable working with businesses in this industry. Slips, trips, and falls do not cause a large problem to this industry because the employees do not move around a lot and there is limited interaction with the public.  Repetitive injury like carpal tunnel and back problems can arise from long periods of time sitting at a desk.

Accounting

Bigger risk arise from the fact that you are interacting with individuals and businesses private sensitive financial documents. These risks are typically low in frequency, but can most definitely be severe if the wrong information falls into the wrong hands. Additional risks arise from the fact that accounting businesses are providing professional advice and services. Because of the enormous amount of risk in all of these areas of the business, it is important to get an all encompassing insurance package. Consulting with an experienced independent insurance agent is always the best way to know for sure you are getting the most comprehensive coverage at rock bottom prices.  Here are TKTK Insurance policies all accounting services firms should strongly consider.

 

Coverages Recommended for Accounting Professionals:

✓ General Liability Insurance
✓ Professional Liability Insurance (E&O)
✓ Hired and Non-Owned Auto
✓ Workers Compensation Insurance
✓ Employee Dishonesty Bond

General Liability Insurance

In most states, this coverage is required by law to be in business. For this reason, most business owners start with this coverage and workers compensation insurance.  The risk of a General Liability claim is minimal since most operations are not conducted on the businesses property and most of the client contact is electronic or by mail. When clients do visit the office, they should be kept separate from the main office area in an attempt to prevent them from hearing conversations regarding other clients’ confidential information. Off-premises exposures arise when employees are engaged in sales visits, training sessions, and physical audits at the customer’s premises. There should be policies and training as to off-site conduct by employees.

Professional Liability Coverage

 

The risk factors accounting services businesses face in relation to Professional Liability Coverage include the services the business provides, the firm’s credentials, the employees experience as well as the ratio of professional to clerical employees. Failure to conduct thorough background checks to verify credentials and education can pose a significant risk. In some circumstances it can cause a claim not to be covered. The risk of E&O claims increase if clerical workers are allowed to do tasks that only the professionals should handle and if error checking procedures are inadequate. Most carriers have plans in place for you to follow if you do not already have such plans in place.

Hired and Non-Owned Auto Insurance

Risks associated with automobiles are generally limited to hired and non-owned auto insurance. This is because most accounting businesses do not have a need to buy vehicles specifically for business purposes. However, many employees probably do use their personal vehicles for business purposes to visit clients facilities. In these situations, there should be clear procedures in place regarding personal use by employees and their family members. The age, training, experience, and records of each driver, as well as age, condition, and maintenance of the vehicles, are all important items to consider if your business needs a commercial auto policy.

Workers Compensation Coverage

Workers compensation is a form of liability insurance required for employers in 48 out of 50 states. This type of insurance compensates injured workers for lost wages and medical costs while giving business owners the peace of mind to know they will not be sued for accidents that occur as part of normal operating procedures. Accounting firms don’t typically have a hard time finding affordable workers compensation coverage because of the light physical duty of the industry.  Repetitive injuries like carpal tunnel are the most severe type of risk employees face.  Offering adequate chairs and even desk that allow employees to stand for part of the day are a worthy investment.

Employee Dishonesty Bond

There are two main types of criminal insurance related to employee dishonesty. The two types of coverage that a business can purchase to prevent losses related to the criminal activity committed by your employees are Commercial Crime Insurance and a Fidelity Bond.  A Fidelity Bond is a form of insurance that covers losses resulting from employee dishonesty. This can help cover any lost money or securities that result from an employee’s dishonest acts. A Fidelity Bond is meant to act as a security against potential fraudulent employees or disgruntled employees.  A Commercial Crime Insurance Policy is typically designed to meet the needs of organizations other than financial institutions (such as banks). A commercial crime policy typically provides several different types of crime coverage like: employee dishonesty, forgery, computer fraud, funds transfer fraud, kidnap, etc. Both of these policies will cover losses due to the actions of your employees. If you are not sure which type is best for you it is always best to consult with an experienced independent insurance agent to make sure you are properly covered.

 

Class Codes ASSOCIATED WITH THE ACCOUNTING INDUSTRY

Business Liability Category: Service Businesses

SIC Business Insurance Codes:

  • 8721: Accounting, Auditing and Bookkeeping Services
  • 7291: Tax Return Preparation Services

NAICS Liability Classifications:

  • 541211: Offices of Certified Public Accountants
  • 541213: Tax Preparation Services
  • 541214: Payroll Services
  • 541219: Other Accounting Services

Business ISO General Liability:

  • 41677: Accounting/Consulting

Common Workers Compensation Class Codes:

  • 8803: Accountant, Auditor; traveling
  • 8810: Clerical; office only

Pest Control Insurance Needs

Pest Control Companies Face Unique Risks

Pest control companies provide services to commercial and residential customers who have problems with insects, rodents and other nuisances on their property. The fumigator or exterminator determines the type of pest and the most effective method of extermination. These methods should always be the method that will cause the least amount of disruption to the customer, regardless if the customer is an individual or a business. Because these businesses are constantly interacting with customers off-premise and the nature of the chemicals they are using, risks in this industry are high.

In order to manage risks properly, pest control companies need to have thorough training procedures for all employees.  Those training programs should include safety programs to keep the employees and the clients safe at all times. In addition to adequate safety programs, pest control companies need to acquire adequate insurance coverage to protect the business from the unique risks each business faces. Here are six types of insurance coverage every pest control company should have.

Pest Control by Fumigation

Minimum recommended coverage:

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

General Liability Insurance

General Liability risks arise for pest control companies when employees travel off-premises in order to applying chemicals. Customers should be given proper instructions on controls regarding anyone or anything that could be exposed to hazardous materials while the application is going on. This is especially important for clients who have children, pets, sick and elderly individuals. In some instances, temporary evacuation is required during application. This may be  followed by a waiting period and re-ventilation to replace the fumigant with fresh air.

Commercial Property Coverage

Commercial  property risks depend on the type of property you own and operate as well as the types of chemicals being stored on the property.  It also depends on the amount of these chemicals you keep on the property and whether or not those chemicals are flammable. Hazards increase if the contractor fails to store the chemicals properly in approved containers, cabinets and rooms, with accurate labeling and separation. Speaking long and honestly with your independent insurance agent is always the best way to properly protect your business. This conversation should include exactly what the employees of your business do on a daily basis, what is the condition of the property you operate, and exactly what chemicals you are storing on the property.

Business Personal Property Insurance

Business Personal Property Insurance provides coverage to small businesses for furniture, fixtures, merchandise, materials and all other personal property owned by you personally and used in your business. The best part about this coverage is that it is generally at replacement cost. Many business owners think this type of loss is covered by their commercial property insurance, but it is not. This coverage can and should be added to most BOP or CPP Packages if there is a need for this coverage.

Commercial Auto Coverage

Automobile exposure in the pest control industry is extremely high due to the amount of time employees spend in their vehicles travelling to clients locations. In addition, there is the fact that the employees are also transporting chemicals throughout their workday. Drivers in some states may need a hazardous materials (“hazmat”) endorsement to transport some chemicals used. Risks increase if the insured lacks spill control procedures and equipment.

Inland Marine Insurance

Inland marine exposures in the pest control industry come primarily from the contractor’s equipment and the transporting of that equipment, chemicals and supplies to the customers’ premises. Equipment is not highly susceptible to damage, but it can be hazardous to both your employees and clients.  This equipment may include tarps, drills, measuring devices and other hand tools. The tarps and plastics used to enclose the areas to be fumigated may be bulky and require attention to folding and tying down. The chemical containers may be vulnerable to overturn or damage that causes leaking, which impacts the auto and premises liability exposures.

Workers Compensation Coverage

Workers compensation exposure can be high for the Pest Control industry. Common hazards include slips and falls during application; minor injuries while using hand tools; lifting injury and back injuries, hernia, sprain and strain. Employees can experience lung, eye, or skin irritations due to the chemicals. The impact of these chemicals can be immediate or long term.  In some Pest Control companies seasonal employees may make safety a challenge. Loss potential becomes severe if the contractor fails to train and supervise employees properly. This is especially important when it comes to the proper use of protective gear by the employees.

 

Business Liability Category: Artisan Contractors

SIC Business Insurance Codes:

  • 7342: Disinfecting and Pest Control Services
  • 2879: Pesticides and Chemicals—Not Classified Elsewhere

NAICS Liability Classifications:

  • 561710: Exterminating and Pest Control Services
  • 325320: Pesticide and Agricultural Chemical Manufacturing

Business ISO General Liability:

  • 43860: Fumigators
  • 43470: Pest Control Services

Common Workers Compensation Class Codes:

  • 9014: Janitorial Services by Contractors (Florida—Exterminators)
  • 4828: Chemical Blending and Pest Control Fumigation
  • 9031: California Code—Pest Control—All Operations
  • 0046: Massachusetts Code—Pesticide Application