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Are Bonds a Form of Insurance?

In the business world, there are various scenarios that may require posting a bond such as a construction project on which you are bidding or to a government agency for a license or permit. A bond is a guarantee that you will provide the services or products required by a contract.  Many people simply call their insurance broker and ask for a bond without really knowing the implications. Is a bond the same thing as an insurance policy?

To put it simply, NO. With an insurance policy you pay your annual premium each year, and if there are claims, the…


Is Your Culture Driving Business Success?

At Univest, we highly value our culture and truly believe it drives performance. We also realize that culture isn’t something that just happens – it has to be defined and cultivated. We firmly believe that an engaged workforce who follows a common set of fundamental behaviors creates success. The Univest Way consists of 18 fundamentals that describe the daily principles and practices that make our five core values come to life and truly serves as the foundation of our culture.

One of my favorite of the fundamentals is “Assume Positive Intent.” Which the Univest Way defines as:

“Believe in the goodness…


Tips to Protect your Business from a Fire-Related Emergency

October is National Fire Safety Month. Although the prevention of residential fires is the focal point of the month, employers should also spend some time reviewing workplace fire safety and prevention as it pertains to employees, equipment and property. In 2017, there were 123 occupational fatalities involving fire. Here are some steps to help prevent or prepare for a fire-related emergency at your facility:

  1. Practice good housekeeping throughout your facility to eliminate potential fuel sources as well as trip hazards when evacuating the premises.
  2. Maintain the proper type and amount of fire extinguishers onsite and…

How Are You Controlling Business Risk?

Businesses deal with risk dozens of times throughout the day. Which employee should I hire? Should I submit this quote at $50,000 and be conservative or $35,000 to ensure we earn the business? Do I need to update my employee handbook to include distracted driving guidelines? These are just some examples of the decisions those running a business make every day, some with more thought than others.

So what happens when a business makes the wrong decision, fails to act properly or even has an accident? Many business owners buy insurance and assume they will be protected if something goes…


If a Tree Falls, Who Pays?

This year’s weather has wreaked havoc on trees. So, if a tree does come down on your property, who is responsible for the cost of cleaning-up and repairing any damage caused by them?

Here is a general summary of what your homeowners insurance may or may not cover.

  • If a tree falls and does NOT hit another structure, your homeowners insurance will NOT cover the clean- up and disposal of the tree.
  • If a tree falls and DOES hit another insured structure (for instance, your home or garage), damage to the structure would be covered, subject…

How Senior Care Providers Can Weather the Hardening Insurance Market

Over the past year, there have been numerous carriers that specialize in the senior living space that have evacuated the market and are no longer writing coverage. Although there have been mixed messages, it is expected that more carriers will cease writing senior living and long term care accounts depending on various circumstances such as if the company is for-profit or not-for-profit and the level of specialization a care facility provides.

Why the exodus? The average frequency and severity per claim is steadily increasing. In fact, the average severity of an assisted living and memory care community claim surpasses the average…


Risky Business – Does Your Broker Speak Straight?

For 15 years, I was the president and owner of a gourmet dog treat manufacturing company. I know firsthand that the demands of running a business can make dealing with insurance low on the list of priorities. While businesses know it is a necessity, most do not spend much time on securing business insurance. I know for me, when it was time for my annual review it was often difficult to even locate a copy of my policy.

My experience as a business owner has been very helpful in dealing with my current clients and prospects. The mistakes I made…


Tips to Improve Employee Retention

According to a 2018 report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employees are quitting their jobs in record numbers, reaching levels that we haven’t seen since 2001. This should make it clear that retaining talented and skilled employees should be one of your company’s TOP priorities.

Studies on the cost of employee turnover are all over the board. Some studies (such as SHRM) predict that every time a business replaces a salaried employee it costs six to nine months’ salary. For a manager making $40,000 a year, that’s $20,000 to $30,000 in recruiting and training expenses.

Another interesting statistic –…


Top 7 HR Compliance Trends to Watch in 2019

Every employer must comply with employment law, rules and regulations. Business owners have to take a proactive approach to ensure that their organization meets all of its legal obligations at the Federal, State and Local levels. Deciding how to meet these new compliance responsibilities is an ongoing challenge that is critical to preventing liability. Below are the top seven HR compliance trends to watch in 2019.

1. Ban-the-Box laws

Traditionally, job applicants would have to check a box to indicate whether they have a criminal history, but more than 25 states have adopted ban-the-box laws or policies that stop employers from…


8 Things to Consider when Choosing a Business Insurance Agent

Some business owners view insurance as a commodity that is purchased annually from a vendor only visible during the renewal process who provides offerings differentiated only by price. However, is it prudent to relegate the financial well-being of your organization to the lowest bidder?

Insurance is a vital tool to protect the long-term financial health of an organization by transferring risk. The lowest price can often mean inferior coverage that cannot adequately respond to a catastrophic event which can cripple an organization and even force it to shut down permanently, depending on the severity of the loss.

Given the importance of…

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