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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…

Emerging Trends and Strategies for Employee Benefits

Due to the impact of health care reform, alternative funding solutions for health benefits continue to gain traction among small to mid-size employers. Amidst all this change, there are a number of emerging benefits trends and strategies that can help mitigate the financial impact of rising benefits costs.

These alternatives, including level-funding, can provide greater certainty and protection than the typical, partially self-funded solutions for larger employers. Self-insuring your benefits offers several advantages over traditional insurance. These alternatives don’t work for every employer, but are worth consideration for the potential cost-savings, transparency, and flexibility of the plans.

Consumer-Driven-Health-Plans (CDHPs) and Health…

Protecting Your Practice – What You Need to Know

All physicians know malpractice insurance is a very important topic that can’t be taken lightly. Determining which type of coverage is best can be frustrating. Malpractice coverage is a significant expense so it is important to know how rates are determined, what policies are available and what to look for in an insurance carrier.

How are rates determined?

There are several factors that impact the rates for malpractice coverage including the physician’s specialty, claims history and geographic location.

Claims have decreased in the last decade which has led to a somewhat stabilized medical malpractice market. The common adage, “the higher the…

Why Financial Wellness Needs to be Part of Your Employee Benefits

STRESS. It’s a word that most people are familiar with, but none enjoy. It affects your emotions and wears you down physically. A huge stressor for many Americans is related to money, specifically not having enough of it. In fact, research by The Pew Charitable Trusts found that 41 percent of American households do not have enough liquid savings to cover a $2,000 expense in the event of a financial hardship.

Financial hardships often cause employees to be distracted or even miss work. Employers have recently taken notice and are making efforts to help mitigate this stress through financial…

Don’t Be Another Distracted Driving Statistic

Distracted driving – you’ve probably heard the term, but did you realize that distracted driving claimed 3,450 lives in 2016, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)? There are hundreds of examples in our area. A recent article on recounted a 2016 crash that killed a pedestrian in Allentown and a 2017 accident that took the life of a 12-year-old in Northampton County, in both instances the drivers were charged with texting.

A 2016 State Farm survey revealed some other startling facts: more than 35 percent of drivers reported texting while driving and that number skyrockets…

Cost Containment Strategies for Employee Benefits

A major challenge faced by today’s employers is how to maintain a competitive benefits package while containing or reducing costs. New options continue to emerge. Below is a summary of some of the alternatives that can help contain costs while limiting employee frustrations due to decreased coverage.

Health Reimbursement Account

Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRAs) are healthcare plans paid for by an employer to reimburse medical expenses of its employees, their spouses, and dependents. The employer sets aside a pre-determined amount on an annual basis and establishes the parameters for what expenses the HRA funds may be used. Any unused dollars remain…

Is Your Business Protected from Cyber Threats?

As business becomes increasingly digital, there are new threats that business owners need to be prepared for. As companies experienced losses and damages due to computer viruses, data breaches, malicious hacking, and other cyber crimes, the industry responded with insurance policies tailored to cover the costs related to these exposures.

What is Cyber Liability Insurance?

Cyber liability insurance is a newer coverage that has evolved from the digitization of business in the 21st century. Cyber liability insurance generally covers your business’ liabilities for a data breach or cyber crimes involving sensitive customer information, such as Social Security numbers, credit card…

If a Tree Falls, Who Pays?

This year’s winter weather has wreaked havoc on trees. Wind, snow and freezing rain is tough on tree branches. Thunderstorms in the summer months can also pose a threat. 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…

Is Your Business Protected from Employee Lawsuits?

Media headlines today are filled with claims of sexual harassment and discrimination. In the last 20 years, employee lawsuits have risen more than 400% with wrongful termination suits up more than 260%. Today’s employers are more likely to be sued by an employee than to experience a fire at their facility.

Most companies purchase property, general liability, auto, and workers compensation insurance to protect their assets from direct loss and third party claims and to comply with statutorily mandated coverage. Considering today’s business environment, an additional critical insurance protection to consider is Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPL). This coverage protects an…

IRS Audit – Is Your Business ACA Compliant?

Henry Ford once said, “quality means doing it right when no one is looking.” The same applies for your business in matters of compliance. With the IRS beginning audits of Applicable Large Employers (ALEs), and reporting penalties in the millions, it is important to understand the facts and next steps.

Letter 226J

This letter is being sent out to ALEs that the IRS believes were not in compliance with the Affordable Care Act (ACA). It addresses penalties associated with forms filed in 2015. These penalties are also known as Employer-Shared Responsibility Payments (ESRPs) or the “pay or play” penalties. While a…

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