Gun Clubs and Shooting Ranges.

What are the liability concerns for Gun Clubs and Shooting Ranges?

Gun Clubs

Gun Clubs and Shooting Ranges are businesses that provide places for firearms enthusiasts to practice firing various types of firearms.  Some gun clubs and shooting ranges are indoors and allow shooting primarily with handguns at close distances. Other facilities are much larger. They may include outdoor facilities that allow shooting at long range distances.  A majority of these facilities offer lessons and concealed carry classes for beginning firearms enthusiasts’.  Not all facilities offer sales of weapons and accessories, rentals of weapons and even repair for damaged weapons; but those that do face additional liability.  Still other facilities offer periodic tournaments and competitions. Each of these aspects of the business bring with them additional risks.  Depending upon the business activities of each individual gun club or shooting range the liability needs for each business can be drastically different.

Gun Clubs and Shooting Ranges are rising in popularity. Make sure your business is covered properly by reading myinsurancequestion.com

Workers Compensation Risks for Gun Clubs and Shooting Ranges

Workers Compensation Exposures at gun clubs and shooting ranges are similar to many facilities open to the public, but are different in some aspects. Slips, trips and falls are common causes of injuries in these facilities, but there is an increased level of risk when a firearm is involved.  Injuries that involve a firearm tend to be much more severe in nature.  Businesses that operate in this industry typically have a normal frequency of claims, but those claims do tend to be more severe. Because of this elevated amount of risk, all staff need to be thoroughly trained and required to wear proper safety equipment.

Find the answers to your liability questions about Gun Clubs and Shooting Ranges at myinsurancequestion.com

Safety concerns for Gun Clubs and Shooting Ranges

Employees at gun clubs and shooting ranges face both short term and long term risks. Firearms are loud.  Very loud in some cases.  Ear protection is important to protect the long term hearing health of your staff.  Providing the ear protection for your employees and having a program in place to ensure they are actually wearing ear protection is essential to the long term health of your employees and the health of your business. Also, eye protection should be worn when in the presence of live fire. Again, it is wise investment for the business to provide proper safety equipment because it will ensure your employees are wearing the proper equipment.  Additionally, if you require the employees to purchase their own equipment it can develop a bad attitude among the employees about the safety equipment. Spending additional investment on adequate safety and training programs can go a long way towards keeping your staff safe.  A safe staff is a happy and productive staff. Taking additional time to protect your employees will help them be more productive and can prevent a costly insurance claim.

 

Insurance Tips for your Lawn Care Business

According to the National Association of Landscape Professionals, the Lawn Care and Landscaping Industry amounts to $78 billion as of 2016.  This is an enormous part of our economy that employs nearly a million people. Because of the vast size of this industry there is a huge amount of risk being taken on by businesses both big and small.  Because of these risks there are an equally big market for the insurance industry to help these businesses to properly protect their businesses. Here are three tips for how to properly protect your lawn care business.

 

How does a lawn care business owner find the best insurance coverage for their Lawn Care Business?

There are many things that go in to finding the best insurance policies for your landscaping business and they depend on may aspects of your business.  Most of those aspects deal with factors that are unique to you and your business.  For example, one business owner may be comfortable with more risk than another. The help of an experienced independent agent can help you determine just how much risk your business faces and how best for you to protect your business from those risks.

Once you have found a good agent, it is equally important to take a little extra time to speak long and honestly about everything your business does and does not do.  There are numerous classification codes for the landscaping industry and classifying your business improperly can impact your rate on premium tremendously.

 

How can a business owner find the best price on insurance coverage?

Once a business owner has found a good insurance agent and has spoken with that agent about all the ins and outs of their business, it is important to ask for all credits and debits that your business qualifies for.  The best way to do this is to be direct.  If price is what you value than tell your agent that is what you value. Insurance agents interact with many different people from all walks of life.  Not all business owners value getting the absolute best price on coverage. If this is important to you than express that to your agent and they should be able to find the most suitable coverage.

 

What do I do when I have and claim and am forced to use the insurance policy?

It is normal for an entrepreneur to be confident.  Many of those same confident entrepreneurs have an affinity to assume bad things are not going to happen to their business. The only true way to prevent this is to take the proper steps within your power to prevent and be prepared for when disaster strikes.  A major part of that preparation is to have proper insurance in place.  Once you have the proper policies in place, it is important to take pictures of all the equipment and property you have covered.  This can prove the state of the equipment before the occurrence.

After securing the proper landscaping insurance policies and documenting the state of your covered assets, you need to have policies and procedures in place for how to report an occurrence when a disaster strikes you business.  You should have all managers on duty trained to be prepared for all bodily injury occurrences.  You should notify both your agent and the carrier when you have a claim.  Do not be upset if your agency informs you to contact your carrier.  It is the job of the carrier to process the claim, not the agency.  At the same time, it is important to keep your agency in the loop in case the carrier is not living up to their end of the bargain. Many medical facilities are not prepared to process the workers compensation system. Your carrier can help you find the proper facilities in your area to provide the best coverage to your inured employee or customer. This can drastically limit the severity of a claim and it can allow your injured worker to get the best care without the least amount of doctors’ visits possible.

Keeping the injured worker on your side is important to getting them to return to work and limiting the severity of the workers’ comp claim.  If this process runs smoothly it will make your employee happy and motivated to return to work and it will help your insurance carrier to limit the amount of the claim and prevent too much damage to your businesses experience modification rating.

 

 

NCCI Workers compensation class code 9014

Let’s break down NCCI workers comp class code 9014

Find the best answers to your Janitorial business question ( class code 9014 ) at MyInsuranceQuestion.com

NCCI class code 9014, like most workers comp class codes, includes many different operations.  NCCI stand for the National Council on Compensation Insurance.  It is the main governing body for workers comp codes.  These classification codes generally include a variety of operations.  The classification manual from NCCI is written to include specific operations.  Over time, additional operations are added to each individual classification code.

Commercial janitorial services is the primary operation contemplated by NCCI class code 9014. Janitorial services are specifically defined as keeping a building clean.  The businesses do this by routine dusting; mopping, vacuuming, waxing, or polishing floors.  The janitorial businesses also empty trash; clean and wash interior walls; clean, sanitize, and deodorize restrooms.   Office cleaning companies are the easiest operations to get insured (at the most favorable pricing).  It is reasonably easy to get favorable workers comp insurance for commercial janitorial companies.  Especially commercial janitorial companies that clean at retail and other light commercial spaces. It is difficult to get workers compensation insurance for commercial janitorial companies which specialize in cleaning at industrial settings.  Industrial settings frequently lead to the business having to purchase coverage from the state’s assigned risk provider.

Favorable workers comp insurance is be more difficult to get for certain operations.  For typical commercial janitorial companies, the NCCI class code 9014 allows for maintenance and minor repair work. Most insurance carriers will allow up to 10% of operations to fall into this arena. Floor waxing is another operation which underwriters consider. Some carriers allow as much as 25% of the business activity to be floor waxing.  If it is this amount or less the carrier will still quote accounts. Power washing is disfavored, and most carriers will decline to quote companies offering power washing.  Although it is an operation included in code 9014, at least if performed at ground level.

Code 9014 allows for residential cleaning if it is less than 50% of operations. A different NCCI class code is used for primarily cleaning companies.  That code is  0917. However, the majority of workers comp carriers will decline any account which does any residential cleaning as it is a less controlled work environment.   With that said, at least in some states, The Hartford will still quote commercial janitorial companies with some level of residential cleaning.  Having several years in business is generally an eligibility requirement in this case.

Insurance carriers favor interior operations over exterior operations.  A small amount of exterior operations can be allowed, but work from heights or power washing usually lead to declines from insurance carriers.  NCCI class code 9014 allows for ground level window cleaning.  Class code 9170 must be used for businesses that partake in any window washing above ground level.  This is much more difficult to get quoted by insurance carriers.

Other operations which are included in NCCI workers comp code 9014 include:

  • Exterminators
    • Some carriers will offer coverage to these businesses, but many will not.  If there is any live animal trapping provided in services almost all of the insurance carriers will refuse to provide workers comp insurance.
  • Chimney Cleaning
    • This function is acceptable to most insurance carriers if the service is performed using the vacuum suction method at ground level.  If the service includes work at heights for any employees, it becomes much more difficult to find a carrier who will quote workers comp coverage.
  • Residential boiler cleaning
    • This type of service frequently involves using vacuum suction equipment.  Any work involving boilers is difficult to get quoted by nearly all insurance carriers.
  • Swimming pool maintenance
    • A few carriers will quote swimming pool maintenance companies.  When the swimming pool maintenance company adds construction to their list of business operations, it becomes much more difficult to find a carrier willing to quote the business.
  • Pet waste removal services
    • Pet waste removal businesses need to have sufficient payroll to find many carriers willing to quote coverage.  There is a small possibility to get this quoted by carriers on the voluntary market.

There are many different operations that can be included in NCCI class code 9014.  Especially for purposes of workers comp.

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.

4 Advantages to Pay as You Go Workers’ Compensation.

Small business owners have a lot to think about. Whether it be finding new clients, efficiently servicing the clients you do have, making sure your employees are paid on time, what type of insurance to offer your employees, to what type and how much insurance coverage is needed to adequately protect the business; a business owner must be involved in all of these decisions. One of the largest fixed costs most small business face is workers’ compensation insurance coverage.  In 48 out of 50 states this is required by law for nearly all businesses to carry this coverage. For this reason, any way to limit the cost of this coverage is helpful to a small business. Especially a start-up, a small business with a seasonal business cycle or a small business with cash flow issues.  Pay as You Go Workers Comp Insurance Coverage is one option to help these types of businesses.

Pay as You Go Workers Compensation is a great way for seasonal and cash strapped small businesses to free up cash.

Improves Cash Flow

Most Workers Compensation Policies require a portion of the policy up front to establish coverage.  After this initial payment the company pays 9 monthly payments beginning 3 months in to the cycle. The amount that is due up front is typically 25 or 30% of the entire premium. With the Pay as You Go Option most businesses, depending on revenue, can get policies in place for only a few hundred dollars. This allows the business to free up cash for more immediate business needs.

Increases Payment Accuracy

Pay as You Go Billing allows businesses to accurately pay what they owe each month based on real time payroll amounts. In a traditional work comp policy the payroll amounts are an estimate and during an audit at the end of the period they either are offered a refund for overpaying or they are charged for the additional amount of premium owed. Pay as You Go lessens this burden by allowing companies to pay a more accurate amount each month in real time.

Simplifies the Auditing Process

Because the amount of premium is paid in real time based on the payroll each month there are less inaccuracies during the auditing process. Typically the biggest problem during the auditing process stems from the business being improperly classified. This can cause a dramatic over or under payment if the business is supposed to be in a classification code that is dramatically more or less dangerous. A good example of this is related to driving risks. If a company has employees drive to many different locations to do a job as opposed to do a similar job at only one location without the employees operating a vehicle those are two class codes that are dramatically different risks and premium is dramatically different for those two businesses.

Allows the Business to Budget more effectively

When a business has a more accurate assumption of what their premium will be from month to month and throughout the entire year they can more accurately budget for other expenditures. This is important for new or growing businesses. If you are adding on to your location, thinking of buying new equipment or adding new employees than what you pay in premium will determine what and how much you can spend on these other parts of your business. Businesses that use a traditional workers comp policy may have to be more conservative in their growth because they need to keep more cash on hand for the auditing process.

 

Carriers Appetites

Carriers Appetites change dramatically from year to year. This goes mostly for different industries, but it can also apply to different coverages as well. For business owners looking for coverage this can be a frustrating and puzzling part of their insurance experience. They are simply trying to obtain proper coverage for their business. Depending on many things external to the business, carriers may change how much they desire certain coverages and industries.  The prices businesses pay for coverage changes accordingly. The main way to navigate this issue is to partner with an agent you trust and an agent who works with many different carriers.

My-Insurance-Question-Carriers_Appetites

When carriers change their appetite for your industry or the coverage you need, it is because they are looking for their ideal client. Carriers want to make it as appealing as possible for those clients to purchase coverage from them and they want to make it less appealing for clients they deem a higher risk.  Industries with high risk tend to pay more and struggle to find coverage while industries that carriers have a stronger appetite for are typically ones that have high premium and tend to have a low rate of claims.

In most cases, carriers are willing to be more aggressive with credits and discounts when your business is in one of these low risk industries.

 

If you are in a high risk industry don’t worry. There are some things you can do to combat the lack of appetite carriers may have for covering your business. First and foremost, you should find an insurance agent who partners with many different carriers and not one or a select few. This way they can shop around to find a carrier who does have an appetite for your industry.  If your agent partners with one carrier or a select few, they may not be able to find the carrier who has an appetite for your industry. There are a lot of carriers who like to find a niche where they can offer to one industry and do it well. Because of this, these niche carriers may have an appetite for your industry where a major carrier will steer clear of those risky industries.

This is common in trucking and construction industries. These industries typically are a higher risk. Any business that has employees driving tend to have more claims and the claims tend to be higher cost. Because of this, some carriers specialize in these industries because they believe they can offer expertise in this niche industry where a larger carrier just does not have the time or the desire to take a risk on covering these businesses. This may be true of certain coverages too. For example, flood insurance is a coverage that is only needed in certain parts of the country. When their is a flood in an area there are typically a lot of claims within a short period of time. Some carriers jump out of the market for a few years when this occurs. Some carriers jump in, in an attempt to capitalize on these areas.

The most important thing any small business owner can do to insure their business properly is to partner with an independent agent who partners with as many carriers as possible. This will allow them to shop around for you in an attempt to find those carriers who do have an appetite for your industry. Any time you see a spike in premium you should speak with your agent about other carriers who may offer more aggressive credits or discounts. If the agent partners with many carriers they should have good knowledge of which carriers do have an appetite for your industry and they are able to leverage that to get your business better coverage and the lowest rates possible.

Should I Buy Workers Comp Insurance Online?

Should you buy workers comp insurance online?

Over the last 10 years or so, more and more insurance providers are starting to show up online. Additionally, even many traditional brick and mortar agencies are at least starting to have a website presence. There are many things to look for in a commercial insurance agent. Among the things that first come to mind are adequately protecting your business from risk of loss, providing well-priced insurance and providing good customer service/being available for customers. Online based insurance providers often perform well at many of the things that are important to insurance buyers, but do they provide the same service?

Online insurance providers are typically high volume agencies. That can benefit customers in a number of ways. First, many of these online providers have access to many different insurance carriers which can allow substantial price shopping. Additionally, due to having a high volume, these online providers generally have good relationships with numerous insurance carriers. Those relationships can often be leveraged to benefit clients when appropriate. Furthermore, due to volume, the online providers often have substantial experience and expertise in the coverages they are offering.

Another advantage of online insurance providers is that they tend to be consistently available during business hours. It is often the case that traditional agencies may be more involved in your community and you may not meet your online provider face to face. However, due to their business model, online providers are typically available in their office during most business hours, which generally allows customer needs to be met promptly. Additionally, online providers are typically licensed in all states, so they are generally set-up to help if out of state insurance needs arise.

With workers’ comp insurance, most of the benefits are determined by statute/laws in particular states. Thus, if a reputable carrier is used and information and business information is fully disclosed, most business owners should be able to be confident that their business is adequately protected by the insurance they purchase. With other lines of insurance, like general liability and professional liability, it is possibly more important to establish a level of trust with your insurance provider. It is important to make sure your business information is reviewed, so that coverage gaps can be analyzed to make sure your business is protected. Establishing this level of trust can often be done over the phone as well as it can be done in person.

Another thing to consider is that online insurance providers may be more closely aligned with the direction of the insurance industry. Many insurance carriers are continuing to develop more and more technology. Online insurance providers are generally also tech savvy. They focus on technology development and utilization. Online agencies may be better able to pass on carrier technology to their clients, while also providing their own technology to clients.  All of this is designed to make issues related to business insurance more efficient for you the business owner.

There are numerous reasons it may be beneficial to consider buying workers’ comp and other business insurance online. Prices are often very competitive. Online providers are generally available for customers and generally have substantial expertise in the insurance products they provide. Additionally, online providers are typically among the most tech savvy agencies in the industry, which is in line with marketplace trends and benefits customers. There are many things to consider in choosing an insurance provider, but online providers stack up well in many factors which are typically considered.

Liquor Liability Insurance

Get the best answers to your liquor liability insurance questions at MyInsuranceQuestion.com

Liquor liability insurance is a coverage that all restaurants, bars, clubs or any establishment that sells alcohol needs to have in place. This coverage is very important because when you sell or serve alcohol you open yourself up to be liable for damages or injuries caused by intoxicated people. These types of damages could include fights, automobile accidents, etc. When we first think of who is at fault the initial reaction is to blame the intoxicated person, but what happens if an accident occurs and someone is severely injured or harassed. The victim or victim’s family may get a lawyer involved and then all of sudden they will look at all the events that led up to the incident. If the establishment played a part in serving a clearly intoxicated person they could be held liable and be sued.

Liquor Liability Insurance is a coverage that protects your business from personal injuries and property damages resulting from a liability lawsuit. The good thing about this coverage, is that it covers the cost to defend. Since legal fees and court cost generally are high even if you are found not to be held liable. One key that you want to make sure of is that assault and battery coverage is included in your liquor liability insurance coverage.  Since this would cover fights that occur at your establishment or if a bouncer handles a situation in an aggressive manner resulting in injury to the person they are making leave. In some policies it will even cover someone that is not involved, but the bouncer pushes through them to get to the fight.

What about Underage drinking? Underage drinking is something that all establishments are aware is illegal. It is very important to check ids, train staff to do so and including training on how to handle fake ids. This is very important because coverage is EXCLUDED for anything resulting from an underage person causing injury or a fatal accident resulting out of drinking at your bar, restaurant, etc. This could essentially put you out of business since you are picking up the entire cost of the incident when it involves a minor who obtained alcohol at your establishment.

Where is this coverage located in my policy or how can I add it? Most states require this coverage if you are serving alcohol at your establishment. Because of this it is an easy coverage to get and it does come at varying levels with different limits of coverage. You can purchase the coverage on a stand-alone basis. This is not always the most cost effective.  Probably the best place to add the coverage is with your general liability or business owners’ insurance policy if at all possible. It is generally cheaper if you package it with those policies. Depending on the % of alcohol sales though you may have to purchase it separate from those. An example of this would be a bar with 100% alcohol sales usually has to purchase separately.

There are companies that specialize in this coverage so it is good to look around before purchasing or when shopping your insurance coverage every few years. You can get this coverage for special events such as weddings, parties, festivals, etc. I recommend contacting your agent or insurance professional for any help.

6 Questions to consider when purchasing Commercial Insurance.

What is the difference between Workers’ Compensation and Employers Liability Insurance?

First and foremost, Workers Comp is required by law in most states. Workers comp covers injuries that happen to your employees that occur as a part of the normal business operations. It pays for medical costs and some lost wages. Typically, 60 percent of the wages are paid depending on the particular plan. Employers liability is a part within a work comp plan that that deals with most types of liability that are not associated with lost wages or medical costs. Most commonly this is the cost of a lawsuit. If you have an employee who is hurt on the job and they sue on top of their workers’ comp coverage for damage caused by you or your business these costs can be covered by an employer’s liability portion of a workers’ compensation insurance policy.

What is one type of insurance that many business owners turn down that they frequently regret when claims occur?

Business loss of income coverage is one that many fail to see the value of unfortunately until it is too late. The most basic example of the need for this coverage is when a fire occurs. The general liability or commercial property policy will cover the cost to rebuild your premise, but they will not pay for lost revenue and employee wages while your business is closed to rebuild. If a business cannot withstand several weeks or a few months without revenue this frequently is when they are forced to close altogether. Fortunately, this coverage is usually a part of a business owners package. When businesses by the package they usually are fully insured for these types of losses.

How does a well-documented safety program effect what I pay for Workers’ Compensation Insurance?

The main way safety programs can help is when you are asking for credits or discounts and when you are challenging your experience modifier after a claim. If you have had a claim and you have a well-documented safety program in place your agent can use this as evidence that the occurrence was an outlier and not a sign of more incidents to come.

How does my businesses claims history effect what I pay for Workers’ Compensation Insurance?

Your claims history is part of the formula insurance carriers use to come up with your experience modification rating. This rating determines how much of a risk your business is to insure and it is the main factor carriers take in to account when they are deciding to insure your business or not and how much to charge your business in premium.

When should I consider going with Pay as You Go Workers’ Compensation?

Seasonal or cash flow strapped companies benefit best from a Pay as You Go Program. This program allows you to pay a small portion of the premium up front and then the rest is due in monthly installments based on your monthly payroll. It helps to free up cash on the front end of the policy period and it prevents excessive audits on the back end of the policy period.

Where can I go to get help when a claim occurs?

Actually your carrier is the best person to contact with a claim, but it is always a good idea to keep your agent in the loop as well. Your carrier is set up to handle and process the claim. Ask them for help with a return to work program if you do not already have one in place. Studies show the sooner the worker gets back to work in any capacity the more likely they are to return to work and the claim does not get out of control. Keeping your agent in the loop is great as well because they can go to bat for you in the event the carrier is not satisfying you or your employees needs during the claims process.

 

 

 

Construction Contracting risks for Workers Comp Quotes

Are Construction Contracting Risks hard to quote or impossible?

Working with artisan contractors for commercial insurance can be an exciting struggle. The benefit of working with companies that build or fix our homes and businesses every day is a rewarding challenge. That challenge can be tough to explain. Especially to someone who is just wanting to get their business quoted and move on with their day or with some one who has never experienced a claim. Below are some key things to consider when helping business owners search for commercial insurance.

FInd out just how difficult it is to get Workers Compensation Coverage for some contractors.

 

Why is contracting so hard to quote?

Contracting companies or Construction firms that perform building work represent some of the highest risk industries. They represent such a high risk because of the nature of work that is being performed. This means the potential for a claim to take place is high and the potential severity of that claim is also extremely high. Meaning the possibility of the claim taking place is high and when the claim happens there is a good chance it would be a severe and expensive claim.

What are the types of things that will cause a claim?

Construction and contracting see a variety of claims causes that make it a little scary for an insurance company. They are unique in that they have the ability to see virtually all types of claims you would see. Slip and falls, lifting strains, repetitive motion claims are ones any basic shop operation could have. Contractors also perform work outside of their shop, so motor vehicle accidents become a concern. Falls form heights can be one of the biggest concerns that can make a huge difference for most contractors wanting to get out of the state fund and with a competitive market carrier.

How can I set my firm apart from the rest?

As an Insurance Agent that specializes in hard to write workers comp, my approach when tasked with quoting a difficult scenario is to focus on the primary concern and risk. As a business owner, the first thing you want to look at is the biggest risk you have to your company which in turn will be the biggest risk to your workers comp carrier. The three biggest concerns being falls from heights, motor vehicle accidents and lifting exposures. This means any way you can limit the exposure or minimize the impact of these the better chance you have of getting quoted. Below are areas that you can look at:

As for height exposures: What is the maximum height in feet you work off ground level? The lower the number the better, but if you are doing work above ground level it is important that you know what the level is. Having a hard cut off point is important. Most importantly, how much opportunity do you have for work higher off the ground. If most of your productive work is less than 10 feet off the ground, but one small job a year is 25 or 30 feet off the ground, You may need to ask the business owner if it is worth paying more for insurance just to work this one job per year? Besides limiting operations, the business owner needs to comply with OSHA tie off requirements and they need to have strict protocols regarding work performed off ground level in their written safety program.

As for Motor vehicle accidents: Are you doing most of your construction work local or long distance? If working outside your local area, do you have multiple locations or crews based in different areas? This can sometimes be a way to limit having employees travel farther and limit your exposure. Besides limiting the travel area, check Motor Vehicle Records on all employees who will drive at time of hire and at least once per year. This is standard for most companies and your Commercial Auto Carrier is likely going to do this anyway. Reviewing and removing higher risk drivers from your driver list can help you with workers comp. Of course, it will save you money on your commercial auto policy ass well if you have one.

Prevent employees from becoming an injured worker by reading about the dangers of improper lifting at myinsurancequestion.comLifting exposures: Generally, are your employees lifting over 50lbs on their own? If so, find a different alternative to lifting like a dolly or something to assist in the lift. That can also be a mechanical hoist or a 2 wheeler to move heavy items.  It could also be requiring team lifting for objects over a certain weight. All of these strategies can limit this risk for your business. Safety programs are crucial to have in place for businesses dealing with heavy lifting. Accidents are eventually going to happen and when they do, a well-documented safety program can be the difference in being dropped for your carrier or not.

Working to improve these areas can help with many things for your construction business. Employees will see that you care for their well being, which in itself can be helpful in the quoting process. The safety protocols will help reduce your employees risk of a workplace injury and in most cases this can help the business get better, more aggressive quotes for workers comp insurance. I have seen in many states this savings can be over 50% for a carrier who has to go to the state fund vs the competitive market quotes. That’s like getting a half-off coupon for your workers comp.