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.

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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.

 

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.

 

3 tips for effectively managing risk in the Non-Profit Industry

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People go in to the non profit industry for a wide array of reasons. For most people, that reason has something to do with serving their community. Many people in the non profit Industry do not anticipate having to manage risk, but how effectively their organization manages risk will contribute immensely to the success or failure of the organization. Some of the aspects of managing risk include:  developing safety programs, writing liability waiver forms, designing a return-to-work program for injured workers or purchasing workers’ compensation insurance.  In order to effectively manage risk, here are three tips every Non Profit Professional should consider when determining how to manage the risks your organization faces.

 

Have an effective safety program in place.

Having an effective safety program in place is essential for all non-profit organizations. First and foremost, this is simply the right thing to do.  It is the right thing to do for your employees, for your volunteers and for your organization as a whole. The success of the safety program starts with the leaders of the organization. If the leaders of your organization make it clear that you value safety, the employees and volunteers will value safety as well.  What an effective safety program looks like will differ depending on the scope and mission of your organization. A safety program for local soup kitchen will be dramatically different than an NGO that distributes medicine across several different countries.  For that reason, it is important to invite a risk management professional to sit on your board of directors.  If you do not know someone in this field you can consult with your insurance agent.  They typically have generic programs in place for many different industries.

 

Deciding when and if your organization needs to purchase insurance?

For a small or recently founded organization, you may be able to do without insurance for a short period of time. This is not something to take lightly.  No matter how little money your organization has, not securing proper insurance can lead to your organizations failure if an accident does happen without proper coverage.  Eventually there will come a time when your organization will need coverage. The state you are located in will determine when you are required by law to purchase some coverages. Workers’ compensation insurance is usually the first coverage you will be required to purchase. This policy covers the risk of bodily injury to your employees.  General liability insurance covers bodily injury and property damage done to third parties. These third parties may be the people you serve or anyone who comes in contact with your organization. These two policies are typically the first policies a non profit will consider and they are the bare minimum coverage.  As your organization grows these two policies may not fully cover your business from all risks. Consulting with an insurance professional whom you trust is important at this stage in your risk management process. Asking someone who works in insurance to volunteer with your organization or to sit on your board is a good idea.

 

Have a return-to-work program in place for injured employees.

Developing an effective return-to-work program is something that can be a work in progress. Ideally your safety program works and you do not have many injuries. Even if you only have the occasional minor injury, it is best practice for your organization to have a plan for getting an injured worker back to work as soon as possible.  The quicker they get back on the job the more likely they are to return to regular work and the mission of your organization.  Some common jobs for injured workers include basic office work like stuffing envelopes, answering the phone or writing thank you letters to donors. Getting people back on the job quickly is important because people who work in this industry frequently have a special relationship with the work they do. Many of them want to be a part of something greater than themselves. This is especially true with the millennial generation. When these people are injured and not able to work, part of their life is taken from them. The longer it is not a part of their life, the more likely they are to not come back to work at all. This is when the cost of a claim can become the greatest and is when you can expect to see an increase in your insurance premium. Having an effective return-to-work program can help these employees get back on the job, control the cost of your workers’ compensation claim and continue the mission of your organization.

The Importance of Accident Prevention in the Workplace

It may seem obvious that it should be the goal of employers to focus on accident prevention in the workplace. However, for those that need a little additional encouragement, here are some reasons to prioritize safety in the workplace.

Accidents are financially expensive

Businesses exist to create profit. Most businesses are relatively low profit margin and work very hard to create that profit margin. Workplace accidents lead to extra financial expenses. They can also add costs to insurance policies through increased rates or a worse experience modification factor.

For example, if a business operated at a ten percent profit margin (which is well ahead of many businesses), they would need $50,000 in additional revenue to offset $5,000 in extra expenses created by an on the job injury. That could lead to extra hours worked by ownership, having to cut positions or hours or other difficult budget decisions.

Reduced workplace morale

There are more than just financial costs due to workplace injuries. A lack of accident prevention can reduce morale of other employees. Sometimes the morale can be reduced as a result of having to work longer hours or harder to make up for injured employees that have to miss work. It may result from financial strain on the business due to the injury. It also may arise simply because employees don’t like to see their co-workers suffer.

Recent Trends

It’s hard to argue against the importance of workplace safety. As a result, there have been recent trends by workers’ comp insurance carriers to help with accident prevention in the workplace. Carriers such as Missouri Employers Mutual, Utah Business Insurance Company and Guarantee Insurance Company offer extensive loss control services. Additionally, some carriers offered reduced cost items for workplace safety. These items include The Hartford’s Shoes for Crews incentive, incentives for a healthier workplace, weight loss programs as well as discounts on ergonomic office furniture. Missouri Employers Mutual just launched a safety grant program for their clients to help defray the costs of large one-time purchases to make workplaces safer.

Most employers want to protect their employers and focus on creating a safe workplace. Some of the reasons listed above highlight the benefit to focusing on preventing workplace accident for all employers.

How Competitive Workers Compensation Rates Develop

Workers compensation rates are developed by claims and premium paid within each industry, per state over a period of multiple years.  In most sections of the U.S., each State sets a minimum and maximum rate for each industry code.  Within the minimum and maximum rates established by the state competitive insurance companies are able to file their rates for each industry depending on how competitive they want to be.  Depending on the characteristics of a particular business, insurance companies could be willing to discount or increase their rates.  Each state also sets a minimum and maximum amount of credit or debit an insurance company can use when quoting.  When researching rates, lower rates indicate an industry that is less likely to suffer a claim and higher rated industry codes indicate a higher risk of a claim.  The lower hazard industries have more options therefore more competition than the higher hazard industries.  More competition typically means those industry types are going to pay considerably less than a higher risk industry with only a few options willing to quote.

Identify the areas that cause the greatest concern for workplace injuries.  Business owners in all industries can increase their chances of paying the lowest workers compensation rates by implementing proper policy and procedures to prevent claims.  Which policy and procedures to implement will not be the same for all industries.  A restaurant would have different exposures that could cause a claim than a remodeling contractor.  When quoting your business, make sure you highlight the areas that your business has implemented that prevents claims.  Brag about the areas that make your business different than other businesses in the same industry.  In my opinion, most business owners and agents are focused on which insurance company has the lowest rate.  Instead, the business owner and agent needs to tell the story of that business and the components of that business that make it attractive to insure.  Just because an insurance company has one of the lowest rates for a particular industry doesn’t mean they are the most competitive option.  Insurance companies that are willing to apply credits/discounts based on business practices to prevent claims will typically be the most competitive options.  If your agent is not asking about your business practices, they are not properly selling to their underwriters to get the best possible pricing.  Below is a short list of ways a business owner can help reduce their workers’ compensation costs.  These are the things that insurance company underwriters want to know about in order to properly price their quote.

  • Business owner is active within the business. When a business owner is active and around employees, typically those employees follow the policies and procedures more carefully.
  • Proper training of how to handle situations that could cause workers comp claims. If you own a convenience store, how should employees handle a robbery?
  • Return to Work Program. History shows that the sooner a business owner can return the injured employee to work the less expensive the claim will be.  Even if you have to create a light-duty position temporarily.
  • Establish a safety program and enforce discipline for not following proper procedures.  This can positively impact your workers compensation rates.
  • Conduct safety meetings. Constantly reinforcing helps prevent injuries.
  • Employee Training for the job they are performing, equipment they are using.
  • Designate Key Employees to be responsible for holding employees to the standards of your business
  • Update your equipment when needed, make sure it has the proper guarding to prevent injuries.

3 ways to managing risk in the Non-Profit Industry

There are many reasons why people go in to the non-profit industry.  Some people want to fight poverty, some work closely with a church and others might be dedicated to fighting a disease.  One common theme among people who work in the non profit industry is that they want to be a part of something greater than themselves.  One thing many people in this industry do not anticipate is having to manage risk, but this can be one aspect of their job that can ultimately determine the success or failure of the organization.

Find the best answers to your Non Profit Insurance questions at MyInsuranceQuestion.com

Many people who go in to this sector do not anticipate having to manage risk or buy insurance. They probably do not anticipate their jobs causing them to have to worry about things like a return-to-work program, workers’ compensation benefits or general liability insurance. As a non-profit professional, how effectively you handle these aspects of your organization will contribute immensely to the success or failure of your organization. For that reason we have created three main tips for managing risk within your non-profit agency.

 

Have an effective safety program in place.

Having an effective non-profit safety program in place is essential for all non-profit organizations.  Most non-profits depend on people volunteering their precious time and money to the organization. The last thing you want to happen is for a volunteer to be injured while helping your organization. A safety program can prevent this from happening.

First and foremost, reporting and documenting injuries needs to be a part of your company culture. It should start with the first training all employees get during the on-boarding process. Employees need to be well aware of how to inform volunteers how to properly do their job in a safe manner.  This can go hand in hand with your business’s safety program and your business’s safe driving program.  Another thing to keep in mind is that how safe your organization takes safety starts with you and your key employees.  If you stress safety as the professional, your employees and volunteers will also value this safety program.

Non Profit Insurance Answers

When should a new or small non-profit decide to purchase insurance?

For a new non profit, insurance may not be necessary at first, but it is not something to be taken lightly. No matter what the financial situation is of an organization, the quickest way to fail as a non-profit is to not secure adequate insurance.  Your state laws will determine when you must purchase coverage. Workers’ comp and general liability are typically the first two policies you will find a need for.  Workers comp protects your employees and general liability protects your organization from damages to third parties.   Even if you are fairly sure you have proper coverage or do not need coverage at this time, consulting with an insurance professional with whom you trust is a very wise decision.  If you know someone who works in risk management or insurance, it might be a good idea to ask them to sit on your board of directors.

Have a return-to-work program in place for injured employees.

Operating an effective return-to-work program is another aspect that will contribute immensely to the success or failure of your organization.  Ideally you will never have a need for a return to work program because none of your employees will ever be injured on the job. But as you very well know, we do not live in an ideal world. For that reason it is crucial for you to prepare for the day when you do have an inured employee. If you are prepared, you will be able to get those employees back on the job quickly and control the cost to your organization.   Any work you have to get the injured employee involved in the organization will benefit the injured employee and your organization in the long run.  Getting people back on the job quickly is important because the quicker they are back on the job the more likely they are to not become an injured worker long-term or permanently.

What Do My Workers Compensation Limits Mean?

We get this question a few times a week because most business owners don’t quite understand their workers compensation limits. They try to compare them to their general liability limits and that is where some of the confusion sets in. The Limits on your workers’ compensation insurance policy provide coverage for a business against lawsuits arising from employment-related injuries or illnesses.  For example, if an injured employee is not satisfied alone with medical and loss of wage benefits because they feel their employer purposefully put them in harm’s way on the job or were grossly negligent, and as a result they were injured, they may sue for punitive damages.  In some cases, even the employee’s family can sue for the same damages. This is where Part II of a workers’ comp policy would kick and provide coverage.

It is important to note that employers’ liability coverage is limited, unlike medical benefits or loss of wages.  This is the spot that a lot of business owners or anyone starts to get confused. They see limits on their workers’ compensation policy and naturally think that is the max that would be paid in an injury scenario. A workers’ compensation policy will pay out whatever it takes to rehabilitate an injured employee. Employers liability or Part II will not pay out unlimited amounts on behalf of employers who were charged with gross negligence or knowingly placing their employees in harm’s way.  Employers’ liability coverage in most states starts at $100,000 each employee, $100,000 each accident and at $500,000 per policy limit for disease- these limits are statutory or minimum limits that come with the purchase of a policy.  These coverage limits can be raised for a nominal additional premium percentage on most policies.  Many businesses opt for increased employers’ liability limits.  They do this because of a need for peace of mind or because their work contracts often require higher limits than statutory requirement.

To give you an idea on how these limits work, think about it in this manner. An employee working in a manufacturing plant is exposed to lead on a daily basis. The employer does not have proper ventilation or does not always check on the employee to make sure they are wearing proper attire. Whether that is long sleeve shirts and pants or to have a respirator so they are filtering the air quality they are breathing. The employee gets injured on the job after many years of never missing work. It is also discovered that they have come down with a serious illness that may be caused by years of lead exposure. The employee and his family are not satisfied with the level of benefits workers compensation is providing and has decided to sue the Employer for negligence. This is where the limits in Employers Liability or Part II would kick in. There are many other scenarios that could come into play outside of illness, but this is just one example of how a 3rd party may potentially bring suit against your company. The best thing to do is always be proactive with safety, etc. which can be hard for a small business.  Because your time is very invested in the day to day activities of the business.