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Builders and Contractors – Four Tips to Control Insurance Costs

Insurance costs for builders and contractors are on the rise. While it is helpful to understand the why, more important is understanding what you can do to help suppress these cost increases. Here are a few things that builders and contractors can do to help put them in a more favorable pricing position:

  • Complete a full loss control assessment of your safety practices. Do you have a formal safety program? A safety manual? When was the last time they were updated?  Do you have daily “toolbox talks” or other sharing sessions? …

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…

Who Needs Directors and Officers Liability Insurance?

I often hear, “We don’t have a board of directors, why do we need Directors and Officers Liability Insurance?”

It is a common misconception that officers of a privately owned company or a nonprofit organization are not at the same level of risk as public corporations. However, while the organization may not have a formal Board of Directors, those serving in a high-level management position such as president, vice president, secretary, chief financial officer or chief executive officer, are considered officers and are still at risk of a personal claim as a result of that position.

Directors and Officers Liability Insurance…


ERISA Plan Document Requirements

With all of the activity surrounding open enrollment and year-end responsibilities, it’s easy to overlook the plan documents that are the origination of your employee benefits plans.  These plan documents are not just required at the time of origination of your plans, but must be kept up to date to reflect the way your plans exist currently. 

 

If audited, employers are asked to provide to the auditor a copy of all current plan documents.  Getting caught without current, compliant plan documents could trigger fines, penalties or even lawsuits. 

 

Plan documents are the plan sponsor’s responsibility, not the insurer’s responsibility. All ERISA…


Employer Mandate and Health Insurance Reporting

We have seen in the employee benefits world that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has initiated new employee counting, coverage tracking and reporting requirements for employers. Although the actual reporting will not be provided until early 2016, some of the data must be classified by month. So, now is the time to begin tracking this data.

Employers with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees must begin IRS Section 6056 employer mandate reporting for the 2015 tax year. Forms 1094-C and 1095-C are used to identify all ACA defined full-time employees, spouses and dependents that were offered coverage.

Employers will…


Health Insurance Requirement for Income Tax Filing

It’s a challenge to keep up with the ever-changing regulatory environment. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has posted guidance about how your 2014 income tax filing may be affected by the Affordable Care Act – the individual health insurance mandate requires that all taxpayers have health insurance.

About 75% of taxpayers will only have to check a box saying they had health insurance in 2014, the Department of Health and Human Services says.

If you had “minimum essential coverage” for all of 2014 and you are not a dependent, you simply check the box on your tax return and…


Jewelry Appraisals: Keep them Current

Were you lucky enough to receive jewelry as a gift this holiday season?  You’re likely excited to enjoy your beautiful new piece, but insurance coverage is an important consideration.  Insurance can be a powerful tool when consumers face a devastating loss.  Being smart about how you buy and maintain insurance can help you get the most for your money.

One of the most important things you can do as an insurance consumer is to make sure the coverage limits you are carrying are adequate. For example, when jewelry is scheduled on a valuable items policy with an agreed value loss…


Are You Adequately Protected?

“Do you want to save money on your insurance?”  How many times have you been bombarded by that message? This might give you the impression that deciding what insurance coverage to buy is only about the cost, but it’s not. Insurance is about protecting your family’s financial future in case the worst happens.

This is when the experience and expertise of an independent insurance agent becomes an invaluable resource. In representing many carriers, not just one, he or she will have a broader view of the markets and see the trends that can benefit you in the long run. This…


Why Every Business Should Consider Data Breach Insurance

Despite the never-ending onslaught of data breach incidents that have been occurring at large corporations, there is a surprising sense among small businesses that they are immune to such exposures.  Unfortunately, that is not the case.  Even if your business does not hold personal information, there are still numerous ways it can be exposed.

Many businesses may not realize that 46 states and the District of Columbia have notification requirements for breaches of personal information.  In Pennsylvania, the law is clear, according to Senate Bill 712, businesses are responsible for safeguarding personally identifiable information entrusted to their care. This is…


Who Pays the Bills If Your Business Is Closed?

You see disasters happen every day across the country. Revenue streams will quickly dry up when your business is shut down following a disaster. Many expenses will continue and some are even likely to increase. Business income insurance is an essential part of a company’s disaster plan. Have you talked to your insurance provider to determine how to properly cover your business in the case of a necessary closure?

Most businesses underestimate the amount of time it takes to return to normal operations. Consider the time needed for the following:

• Determining the cause and origin of the loss and debris…

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