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Tips to Navigate Rising Insurance Premiums

Even if you haven’t submitted a claim recently, you may have had an unpleasant shock when
opening your most recent renewal invoice. As nerve wracking and frustrating as it can be to see
an unexpected uptick in your premium, it’s important to understand what is driving this increase and even more critical to know what you can do about it.

Unfortunately, along with other aspects of our financial world, auto and homeowner’s insurance
rates are being driven higher by many of the same factors. Here are several that are particularly
impactful:
• Last…


Signing Bonus Trends & Tips

With the unprecedented talent shortages being experienced in just about every industry and geography, employers have been turning to less conventional approaches to enhance job offers. One such approach becoming more widespread is a signing bonus. While this is not uncommon for more senior level positions, it’s traditionally not as prevalent among entry level new hires. Recent examples include:

  • Amazon offered a signing bonus of up to $3,000 to warehouse and logistics applicants as part of its massive holiday hiring initiative. Bonus amounts varied based on geographic market, part-time vs. full-time status, work shifts, etc.

  • Digital Trends in Healthcare Benefits

    Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare companies have been forced to accelerate their digital transformation efforts out of necessity. We have seen more and more companies become comfortable with digital-first interactions and it seems that the old model of benefits administration is long gone. Even before COVID-19, digital was a goal for many companies. This stemmed from a commitment to improving the consumer experience as well as making healthcare and benefits more accessible and understandable. The pandemic has sped up the evolution.

    For many companies, work-from-home arrangements remain in place, so there isn’t going to be a traditional enrollment…


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 2019, there were 99 occupational fatalities involving fire according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics.

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…

What Businesses Need to Know About Preventing a Cyber-Attack

It’s imperative that insurance brokers do our part to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity for individuals and businesses. Cyber insurance is a component of a healthy cybersecurity strategy yet many businesses, both small and large, continue to operate without proper coverage. I recently sat down with Travis Whitmill, Vice President of Evolve, a nationally recognized cybersecurity insurance specialist, to discuss everything cyber insurance.  Evolve was named “Advisen Cyber MGA of the Year” in 2020 and 2021.

1. Cyber insurance is still foreign to many businesses. How would you describe it in 30 seconds to a business owner?

Cyber insurance provides coverage for…


Dear HR – ADA Implications of Extended Medical Leaves

Prolonged medical absences with indefinite timelines and lack of clear justification can be paralyzing to business leaders and HR managers, particularly in smaller work environments. Although employers may feel entitled to more information than the employee is providing, they may not be entirely clear about the implications of asking for medical documentation.

Employers with less than 50 employees not subject to the Family & Medical Leave Act in particular, may adopt less rigorous procedures when dealing with medical leaves. And, in what I’ve seen become more of the norm, employers in this space are not requiring documentation from employees to…


Univest Insurance Appoints Kristen Dougherty as Employee Benefits Practice Leader

Univest Insurance, LLC, a subsidiary of Univest Financial (NASDAQ: UVSP), recently announced the appointment of Kristen Dougherty as Senior Vice President and Employee Benefits Practice Leader. As Employee Benefits Practice Leader, she is responsible for leading a team of approximately 20 employee benefits consultants who serve as strategic partners for local businesses. Dougherty will guide the team in providing effective and comprehensive benefits plans aimed at attracting and retaining quality employees. She is also responsible for driving client growth.

“We are thrilled to welcome Kristen back to the Univest Insurance team,” said Ronald Flaherty, president, Univest Insurance, LLC. “The time…


OSHA Guidance on Preventing Falls

As we shift towards a post-pandemic normal with more people returning to the office and construction and seasonal job markets increasing their workforces, it is important to remember that employers must prioritize safe work practices. You should revisit the policies that your company has implemented to ensure the safety of your workforce, remind your employees of required practices and consider if anything needs to be updated.

One of the most common risks on the job is falls. While we commonly think falls occur at height, falls also occur at ground level. To reduce or eliminate the potential for a slip and fall…


Shift Your Company Culture by Investing in Relationships

What is your company’s culture and engagement strategy? Employers who embrace the power of cultural fundamentals and have strategies in place to communicate their culture and promote employee engagement are in a position to accomplish more. By incorporating your company’s principles into daily business practices, you can cultivate a high-performing culture that drives performance and encourages employees to work together to serve their customers and communities. When an engaged workforce follows a common set of fundamental behaviors, it results in success.

At Univest, we highly value our culture and truly believe it drives performance. We also realize that culture isn’t…


Workers’ Compensation Cost Containment Strategies

Workers’ compensation is a required benefit that all employers must provide for their employees. By 1949, it was adopted by all 50 states and it used to pay for lost wages and medical bills when an employee is injured on the job. Some employers look at workers’ comp as a sunk cost or a cost of doing business. These businesses typically spend more for workers’ comp than businesses that work to proactively improve their safety culture and minimize on-the-job accidents. The rate in Pennsylvania for a carpenter can range from $5.91 per $100 of payroll to as much as…

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