Construction Insurance and Contractor Concerns

Those hard-working men and women in the construction industry understand the many risks and exposure they face on a daily basis. Home contractors, builders and remodelers face risks each and every time they walk onto a construction job site. As plumbers, electricians and HVAC professionals have their own special job hazards that are unique to their trades, they can purchase construction insurance to offset the costly errors and mistakes, as well as any on-the-job injuries that might occur. For these reasons, employers and contractors need coverage such as liability and workers compensation to protect themselves and their workforce.

 

There are a staggering number of financial pressures and liabilities in the construction industry. Many of these artisan contractors enter into agreements with general contractors that specify the types of insurance coverage, limits and special endorsements (additional insured, waiver of subrogation) they must carry in order to secure the job. The purpose of these endorsements is to transfer the risk from the general contractor to the specialty contractor, creating broad liabilities for the subcontractor that were never contemplated in the forms or the rates being provided by insurance companies.

 

Surety Bonds are another important aspect of protection

 

As any artisan contractor knows, they need to produce certificates of insurance and construction bonds in order to enter into contracts with their clients. When a surety bond, performance bond or other documentation to support a bid is needed, a surety company can provide this service that enables a contractor to enter bids and be competitive in the market.

 

There are assorted bonds available for every step of the project, from start to finish, and it can be a fairly simple process to secure a particular coverage that makes sense for any businessperson, and may include:

 

  • Construction bonds

 

  • Performance bonds and/or surety bonds

 

  • Commercial vehicle insurance

 

  • General liability

 

  • Umbrella liability

 

In addition, workers compensation is also generally required for contractors who hire actual employees (these are generally not subcontractors, but are paid employees of the construction company or the contractor). Speak to an agent about any questions or concerns, someone experienced with working with policies that cover construction projects.

 

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Autumn Cleaning and PA Homeowners Insurance

With summer quickly waning, and fall fast approaching, those in the Pennsylvania region know all too well that this is a good time to prepare for the coming winter months. Many people enjoy the fall, with the reduction of extremely hot days, and the cool evening air, fall is a favorite time for many folks to spend outdoors.

 

While lounging in the yard, be sure to include a few of these routine home maintenance steps to ensure that the house is ready for increasing cold weather, and the likelihood of another snowy Christmas. This is a good time to make sure that the PA homeowners insurance is up to date in case any costly repairs are needed.

 

  1. Clean those gutters

 

It may have been some time since it last rained, but it makes good sense to make sure those gutters are cleared out. As the leaves fall this should become a regular routine because any overflowing water from clogged gutters can damage the roof and lead to cracks in the home’s foundation.

  1. Replace any damaged or missing shingles

 

Cracked, broken or missing shingles will eventually expose the house to the elements. Nothing is more annoying than a leaky roof, and this is the type of preventive maintenance that will pay off in the long run.

 

  1. Trim any trees and bushes near the house

 

By allowing trees and bushes to grow too close to the house can lead to water damage. Keep them trimmed, or remove them completely to avoid any costly repairs down the road.

  1. Have a professional tune that furnace

 

Having the furnace checked out before the weather turns grim will keep smiles on the faces of loved ones. It can help to reduce temperature variations, improve air quality in the home and protect against carbon monoxide poisoning.

  1. Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

 

Most, if not all, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors run on batteries, so check them at least once every season.
In addition, put unused lawn equipment away in a safe place for next spring. Have the chimney checked by a professional chimney sweep and, if necessary, clean it to get rid of creosote, which is flammable and can be dangerous.

 

These aren’t the only maintenance tips to follow, but this is a good start, and can keep homes safe and secure this autumn. Speak to an agent if additional PA homeowners insurance coverage is needed for any changes that have occurred since last year.

 

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Liability Issues and Laundromat Insurance

There are several liability issues that surround owning and operating a laundromat. Obviously the owner is likely to be held responsible if anyone is injured while on the premises, especially in cases where a person is the victim of something that occurs as a direct result of using the equipment, or if there are hazards present for which the owner should have been aware and taken the steps to remove the hazard, as well as post signs to warn customers of any potential dangers.

 

In short, the owner or operator of a laundromat is liable for injuries to people that were caused by the owner’s negligence. The owner has a duty to keep the laundromat reasonably safe and can only benefit from having the necessary laundromat insurance to protect the business if ever involved in what could result in a costly lawsuit. To be liable, the owner must, of course, be negligent in some way. For example, by failing to inspect and maintain a washing machine with a history of problems, the owner would be liable for injuries caused by the machine.

 

The Importance of abiding to local regulations

 

Some states regulate laundromats to ensure that the premises are clean, kept well lit, and properly ventilated. Some states also require that an attendant be present during business hours. Whether or not a laundromat complies with the regulations will likely have an affect on its liability.

 

Some common injuries that occur at laundromats

 

Common injuries include:

 

  • Slip and fall accidents from wet floors

 

  • Dangerous conditions due to poor lighting

 

  • Electrical shock from loose wires, and

 

  • Getting hands or fingers caught in defective machines

 

Damage to property of customers

 

By opening the laundromat for business, the owner is representing that the machines are fit, suitable, and safe for washing. If the machines do not work correctly then the owner has a responsibility to make that known or correct the problem, or otherwise be liable for any damage to clothing or other personal belongings.

 

Running a safe business is not always an easy task, but it is paramount to its success, and laundromat insurance is a cornerstone to safety. Speak to an agent about any and all available coverages.

 

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The Different Types of Homeowner’s Liability Insurance in Arlington VA

If you have a house in Arlington, VA, then you’re already well aware of how tight the state conditions for homeowner’s insurance are in this state. Naturally, even though it were not the law, any bright homeowner would be certain to take adequate homeowner’s liability insurance in Arlington, VA. It’s just the only means to ensure your property and you’re protected in case of injury or calamity.

Kinds of Virginia Homeowner’s Liability Insurance

The very first section pertains to the coverage you carry on your own property, both your own home as well as your other properties. The 2nd section connects to your own own personal liability coverage, which safeguards you in case a individual or their property ought to be damaged through fault of yourself, your loved ones, your pets or your property. Both kinds of insurance, personal property and indebtedness, are of extreme value to Virginia homeowners.

But in case your personal property coverage simply provides for payment of the specific cash value, then you’ll just receive payment for the depreciated cash value of the property, that might be insufficient to truly replace it.

All property depreciates over a period of time and it is necessary to think about this differentiation when choosing your coverage. Real cash value coverage is usually less expensive and is an excellent choice for anyone with readily replaced property, or individuals who feel assured in their own power to make up the difference in price when replacing their property. For people who would like to ensure they will have the ability to replace their property immediately, without lots of out-of-pocket expense, then choosing for the higher premium replacement cost coverage is the wiser investment.

The Difference Between All Risk and Named Perils

Also you might want to consider the difference between all risk coverage and named perils coverage. Insuring yourself with an all hazards coverage ensures your house as well as other property are insured in any event. In the other hand, named hazards policies provide the Virginia homeowner with coverage from damage by just those occasions expressly identified in the policy.

Named perils homeowners liability insurance policies generally insure windstorms, hail, fire and theft and therefore are generally more affordable than all hazard coverages. If you would like to be sure you and your house are shielded whatever may come, subsequently getting an all risk coverage is the clever move.

Personal Liability Coverage

There’s less variety in personal liability coverage for Arlington, VA, homeowners than there’s with personal property insurance. Most Virginia homeowners liability insurance policies differ just in the quantity of coverage as well as in the deductible. It is best to decide on an increased limit (at least equivalent to the level of liability coverage you carry in your car insurance policy).

 

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Why Small Businesses Should Invest in Errors and Omissions Insurance

Starting a business of their own is a dream for many Americans. It provides them with a sense of freedom and fulfillment and the small businesses they start help their communities flourish.

However, with any new business, chances are that finances are tight. It takes a little stretching of the budget to make ends meet, at least for the first year or so. This means that many businesses might forgo getting errors and omissions insurance to protect themselves, their employees, and most importantly, their business from falling prey to lawsuits over small mistakes that can easily happen.

As with any business decision, it is important to weigh the risks and rewards that might come as a result of that decision. In the case of errors and omissions insurance, the only real downfall is the fact that it is one more bill to pay, one more blow to the profit margins. However, the advantages of getting this type of insurance are numerous.

For instance, if there is ever a mistake made with wording on a website or in an advertisement that is seen as misleading to a customer, then errors and omissions insurance is a way to protect the business from any subsequent lawsuits that come about as a result of this error. In addition to this, most times, policies can also be catered to a specific company’s or industry’s needs in order to provide the widest coverage for that company.

Likewise, this type of insurance policy can also potentially cover any contractors that are not affiliated with the company as well as any other temporary staff that a company hires. This allows a business owner to insure that any errors or omissions made by anyone working for the company are protected and unable to completely derail the company financially.

While the cost might seem like something that a small business owner cannot possibly spare, especially for something that it may or may not need to actually use, it is just as necessary as any other type of insurance that a business owner would need.

It is especially important for small businesses to look into errors and omissions insurance because it would be harder for them to bounce back from a financially debilitating lawsuit then for a much larger company, meaning that cities could start to lose the small businesses and entrepreneurs that are a breath of fresh air in the chain-centric U.S. market.

 

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Tips for Better Insurance Agency Marketing

Successful insurance agents are establishing the Internet as their primary way of doing business and keeping customers abreast of what is new and exciting in the industry. One way to increase traffic to a site is to promote the website through all avenues of marketing, including business cards, brochures, emails and social media.

Great customer service is one of the most effective tactics of successful insurance marketing. When agents provide customers with outstanding service, they then show their appreciation by referring others to that company’s products and services. Use coverage and exposure checklists as a way to increase sales. Doing the job of a professional insurance agent will also create a great reputation for future interested parties.

 

Being highly visible online is paramount to success

The only thing worse than not having a website is spending money on an online presence, just to find that nobody knows where the website is. Anyone planning to put time and money into developing a website should invest some of their budget on search engine optimization (SEO). In short, a SEO plan is designed to help the website rank higher in the search engines. This means, when somebody searches for a keyword related to a particular business, it shows up high on the first page.

It’s a plain fact that a beautifully designed website with all of its pertinent information doesn’t do anyone any good unless people visit it. When it comes time to build out the agency’s website it is essential to focus on conversions. What can be done to ensure that the site generates as much interest as possible? The more people who make contact with agents and representatives via the website the more sales the company has an opportunity to make. Additionally, these are leads that cost nothing, including any additional time generating.

 

Tips for conversions

Make use of images and video to support the company’s message. Create simplified and targeted landing pages for paid traffic. Offer value added content or savings offers to encourage action. Relying on these tips can help, but also focus some time, effort, and money on social media and SEO rankings. Doing these things increases the chances of establishing a solid online presence by way of insurance agency marketing.

 

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Risks and Dentist Professional Liability Insurance

Dentists, like other healthcare professionals, must be cautious about venturing into situations that can lead to malpractice lawsuits. Whenever a patient accuses a dentist of malpractice they are alleging that the services or advice they were given violated a professional standard of care. In essence, they are claiming that the work failed to meet reasonable expectations based on any professional training and experience, which is why dentist professional liability insurance is needed; to deal with these types of claims.

Whether or not a trial ends in a settlement, it can still cost a dental practitioner a lot of time and money. According to the Bureau of Justice, the median price tag for a dental malpractice judgment is over $50,000, which doesn’t include the cost of legal defense. Even a dropped and dismissed case can still cost dentists between $2,000 and $5,000 at a minimum.

 

The types of disputes that can lead to malpractice claims

 

It’s important for dentists to realize that many claims against them, while often viewed as frivolous, can still be damaging both, financially, and to their reputation. Some people file lawsuits to be spiteful when there actually wasn’t any mistake or violation to the standard of care. That said, it’s important to be aware of the common malpractice claims made against dentists, which includes the following:

 

  1. Failure to give a patient all the information he or she needs

 

For example, a patient could claim that their dentist didn’t fully describe all possible treatment options and any associated risks, meaning the patient couldn’t make an informed decision about their dental care.

 

  1. Failed treatments or procedures

 

Patients can may claims of tooth damage or injury from mishandled restorations, root canals, and many other procedures. Claims citing their dentist failed to spot decay or other problems during a routine oral exam, leading to greater, more expensive problems can result in costly litigation.

 

  1. Questionable professional advice

 

Dentists can be accused of failure to provide proper professional council, or not referring a patient to a specialist when it was necessary.

 

  1. Products liability

 

Using faulty products, oral devices, and other materials can also land a dentist in “hot water.”

With so many exposures and concerns it only makes good business sense to carry proper amounts of dentist professional liability insurance to avoid potential financial disaster.

 

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Costly Mistakes and Errors & Omissions Coverage for Architects and Engineers

Architects and engineers shoulder a tremendous amount of responsibility in the planning, designing, and implementation associated with constructing new buildings. One small miscalculation can throw the entire project into a tailspin, resulting in angry clients who may decide their only course of action is to engage those they hold liable for delays, errors, or non-completion of the project with what may ultimately be a costly lawsuit.
Architects and engineers errors and omissions (E&O) insurance will help to cover the company, or the individual, in the event that a client decides to sue, based on their belief that a service that was contractually promised was not delivered, or that it did not have the expected results. For architects or engineers, this is commonly referred to as a “professional liability” policy.

 

What exactly does E&O insurance cover?

 

Most E&O policies cover judgments, settlements and defense costs. Even if the allegations are found to be groundless, enormous sums of money may be needed to defend against the lawsuit. This could decidedly bankrupt a smaller company or individual and have a lasting effect on the bottom line of larger companies, not to mention the often-irreversible damage to a firm’s reputation. In short, this coverage provides protection in the event that an error or omission is deemed to have caused a financial loss for a customer or client.

 

Who needs E&O insurance?

This coverage is not restricted to architects and engineers alone. The range of individuals that may benefit from coverage includes doctors, lawyers, advertising agencies, commercial printers, Web hosting companies, and even wedding planners. Any business that provides a service to clients for a fee risks the likelihood of having some type of E&O exposure.

 

How serious is the need for coverage?

Because everyone is capable of making mistakes, even with the best, well-trained employees, and the best risk management practices in place, mistakes are still likely to occur. For example, a freight forwarder sends a shipment to the wrong city and it is a time sensitive shipment and their client ends up losing a sale or a customer, they will be expecting that the company they entrusted with this task will pay the loss.

 

By not purchasing architects and engineers errors and omissions insurance, a company can be taking a serious financial risk. These types of losses are not covered under a general liability policy, and choosing the right policy may require the help of an experienced insurance agent.

Forming a Captive and Utilizing Captive Consulting

There are many reasons for forming a captive insurance company, but in most instances they are formed by a company or business entity as a way to insure the risks of its parent corporation. There are circumstances when insurance cannot be purchased from commercial insurance companies for a particular business risk. When these situations exist, companies within an industry will decide to form a joint captive insurance company for this exact reason. But it can be tricky, and without knowledge of how to properly form a captive it is suggested to hire someone knowledgeable in captive consulting.

For example, premiums paid to a captive insurance company are deductible as a business expense for tax purposes, according to the Internal Revenue Service. However, sums set aside in a self-insurance program are not deductible as a business expense. This could be a costly error on the part of the business partners not engaging in a captive.

Failure to implement a sound business plan could result in a catastrophic occurrence, or series of occurrences, which could bankrupt the company, which further illustrates why forming a captive may be the feasible alternative.

 

Reasons for forming a captive insurance company

 

  1. Mitigating risk reduces exposure

Captives allow the business partners to structure the type and amount of risk they wish to retain. This may include risks that are currently uninsurable or insurable only at prohibitive costs.

  1. Improving cash flow is a vital resource

Maintaining control of premium payments and directing the management of those funds according to the investment strategy accomplishes this. This will maximize the yield on the portfolio commensurate with risk and allows the company to structure the maturities to meet their cash flow requirements.

  1. Stabilizing price fluctuations

Captive insurance may also stabilize risk management costs. By insuring through a captive, premiums are determined by the loss experience of the company, rather than the experience of a peer group, whose loss ratios may be much higher.

Captive consulting is an essential way to correctly form a captive in order to minimize costs, bypassing commercial brokers and retaining underwriting profits and investment income. This allows those within the captive to share costs within a group fund of industry associations or captive subsidiaries without multi-corporate structures, and consolidate coverage and centralize administrative support.

Helping an Auto Keep Its Cool in the Summer

Drivers must realize that beyond purchasing Killingly CT car insurance, there are other things to consider that keep the car and its occupants safe. For example, when the mercury rises near or into the triple digits as it tends to do on hot summer days, radiators work overtime to keep automobiles literally from blowing their top. Those who want to keep their wheels on the road are wise to keep an eye on the temperature gauge on the dashboard and check the fluid levels frequently, including the coolant level—topping things off whenever they are low. One thing that people often do is top off the radiator fluid with plain water. However, by doing this they could be setting themselves up for a problem down the road.

Plain water boils at a temperature of 212 degrees Fahrenheit. By contrast, automotive coolant is designed to raise the fluid’s boiling point to a higher temperature; the cooling system in the auto, which operates under pressure, means that the boiling point is raised even higher. Thus, a vehicle with only water in its radiator will overheat faster than one with a mixture of automotive coolant and water. In the event of overheating it’s necessary to stop driving as soon as possible—pull over carefully and park where it is safe, and let the engine cool off. By continuing to drive, the engine block could actually crack—a fatal blow.

Before getting on the road, look to a professional agency to purchase Killingly CT car insurance. An agent can provide a comprehensive program that is tailored to one’s individual needs. Then take the additional step to go over the car from bumper to bumper, checking all fluids—and in the summertime, that especially means the coolant level. Then go ahead—crank down the windows, open up the sunroof, turn on the tunes and let the good times roll!

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