Which Organizations Need Directors and Officers Insurance?

Directors and officers insurance provides coverage in the event of claims against the acting directors or officers of various organizations. A typical question for groups considering purchasing this insurance is, which of these directors and officers benefit most from this insurance? Proper coverage for directors and officers is always beneficial, but it is especially important in the following settings.

Publicly or Privately Held Companies

Directors and officers serving in either type of company can face significant liability. Officials running publicly held companies are accountable to shareholders, while those in charge of privately held companies must answer to investors. In either case, there is always a possibility of directors or officers making missteps (or being accused of doing so) while overseeing the company.

Non-Profit Organizations

The directors and officers of non-profit organizations may be vulnerable to claims for unlawful practices, mismanagement of funds, violation of the organization’s charter and more. The risk of inadvertent misconduct may also be high. Since many of these directors and officers work on a voluntary basis, they may have less business experience than their counterparts in other organizations.

Various Institutions

The directors and officers of influential institutions, such as financial, educational and public institutions, may also need directors and officers coverage. These leaders often make decisions that are financially or otherwise impactful, which can expose them to claims.

Protecting Professional Interests

Before ruling out a directors and officers insurance policy, decision-makers at any of these organizations should consider the potential losses that the organization and its leaders could face during a claim. Even if claims seem unlikely, this insurance can be highly worthwhile, given the serious consequences that just one claim can have.

The Importance of Florida Dog Health Insurance

Most pet owners tend to treat their dogs like a member of the family. Just like you understand the need to have insurance for spouse and children, you have probably invested in some sort of Florida dog health insurance as well. If not, simply by filling out a quick quote form online you can get competitive quotes from all the top pet insurance companies.

Approximately 75% of pet owners in the U.S. consider their dogs and cats as part of their family. If you truly love your pet, and don’t want to pay exorbitant medical bills on your own, then you really need to consider getting pet health insurance. These policies can help you pay for big, unexpected veterinary bills whenever your pet gets sick or injured.

Of course, with improved technology and extensive veterinary procedures, costly medical bills are fairly common, and for the uninsured, having to pay these sudden, unexpected bills can be financially devastating. This could result in euthanasia for many animals, which only leads to more practitioners promoting health insurance for pets.

Veterinarians who have experience with pet insurance say the coverage is more closely related to auto insurance than human health insurance in terms of cost. The average plan (for an animal under age 6) costs a mere $30 to $40 a month for dogs, which isn’t all that large an expense for dedicated pet owners, but many owners still haven’t taken the time to investigate their options.

Unhealthy pets may be more likely to bite or attack

An animal suffering from a disease or experiencing other health problems may become easily irritated and therefore more likely to act menacingly as a result of the pain they are experiencing. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, every year in the United States more than 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs. These injuries total over $400 million per year in medical and liability claims.

Realize that many homeowners or renters insurance policies exclude coverage for injuries caused by dogs, resulting in out-of-pocket expenses for pet owners. Check with your insurer to see if you have this vital coverage in place. Dog bite insurance is crucial for any responsible pet owner, as is Florida dog health insurance. Avoid facing any liability concerns should your dog bite an individual and cause harm. Protect yourself by carrying the needed coverage at all times.

Small Firms and CPA Professional Liability Insurance

Every Certified Public Accountant (CPA) can benefit from professional liability insurance, which can be a critical component to both managing risk and protecting the business from a costly lawsuit. Many smaller accounting firms nix buying CPA professional liability insurance, opting out due to a belief that because their firm mainly does only tax work that there is no real risk and therefore this type of insurance is not absolutely necessary.

Unfortunately, this is a mistake on their end since tax preparation represents half of the claims that are generally brought against accountants. For example, CPAs can come under fire by clients citing errors in judgment, or claims of late and improper filings, or even tax advice provided to clients that may be taken out of context. Cost certainly shouldn’t be a factor since professional liability insurance premiums average below one percent of a small firm’s annual revenues.

Defending a claim is often a costly matter

Whenever a claim is made against an accountant, it’s usually in the form of a demand to correct a perceived error, or it may actually be a suit filed against the firm. The fact is that when claims are made, legal expenses can quickly add up. Even a case where a judge deems there is no merit for a claim, this can still result in significant legal expenses.

Most professional liability policies include a feature called duty to defend. When proper notice of a claim is given to the insurance company, they have a n obligation to step in and provide a defense for the insured. The company will often appoint an attorney to represent the policyholder, and the policy will pay the legal fees for this representation above the deductible. Regardless of the validity of a claim or its final disposition, having experts available to help when a claim is made is a very valuable asset.

Prior acts coverage

CPA professional liability insurance policies are written on a “claims made and reported basis,” meaning that coverage must be in place at the time a valid claim is made. Unlike occurrence policies that are triggered by the date of a loss (i.e., the day the office caught fire and burned to the ground), professional liability policies are triggered by the date the claim is made against and reported to the insurance company. A policy in force now could cover an allegation evolving out of a tax return that was completed a year ago or longer.

Concerns Putting Construction Management at Risk

Construction management (CM) generally relates to some degree of responsibility for reviewing or overseeing construction services. CM services are performed in a variety of ways and the scope of the work performed can be tailored to meet the needs of different owners depending on the type of project and delivery method.

More design professionals are offering construction management services, but determining professional and contractor liabilities associated with these constantly evolving services can be difficult. Those in charge understand construction management at risk and are constantly looking at ways of managing those risks.

Acting as a CM advisor on projects

Most jobs rely on three distinct types of construction managers. A CM advisor’s duties include serving as an advisor to the owner throughout the course of the project, providing pre-construction services such as estimating, scheduling and construction reviews, and coordinating the work of one general contractor or several prime contractors.

Duties of a CM constructor

Primarily, the construction team has three primary players: owner, prime design professional and construction manager. The CM constructor’s duties typically include:

  • Holding all subcontracts for construction
  • Being responsible for tasks of management as well as construction
  • Taking responsibility for the entire construction project, from permits, to bids and the job itself
  • Promising the owner a guaranteed maximum price, and
  • Assuming the same risks as a general contractor, including safety on the jobsite

The role of the CM agent

The third type of construction manager is a CM agent. Because laws prohibit many public agencies from delegating fiscal responsibilities, CM agents are used almost exclusively in private sector projects.

General risks to consider

Several areas of liability occur when providing CM services. If bids exceed a construction manager’s estimates, there is substantial risk of a claim. Also, because some construction managers conduct design and construction reviews, they may (along with the architect or engineer of record) be subject to suits involving design error.

Construction managers have substantially greater risk of being cited for jobsite safety violations by OSHA. They generally assume responsibility for developing or reviewing jobsite safety programs or procedures of contractors, monitoring safety plans, training or other safety requirements.

They may also have exposures arising from the selection of construction materials and risks may also involve failure to identify long lead-time procurement items. There are many other issues that put construction management at risk, which illustrates the need to be properly insured against any and all risks.

Disclosure and Real Estate Professional Liability Insurance

Once you end up in court defending against a claim of malpractice you will fully come to realize that litigation is expensive, time consuming and emotionally draining. If a lawsuit is filed against you as a real estate agent, you can easily find yourself spending tends of thousands of dollars, for example, defending a claim alleging that you failed to disclose certain facts about a house you were representing.

As a defendant you will also find yourself spending a significant amount of time preparing a defense, including meeting with lawyers, responding to discovery and participating in proceedings. Thankfully you have real estate professional liability insurance to pay for the cost to defend the suit.

Disclose and avoid hassles down the road

A professional sued for malpractice must endure the scrutiny that is given to the professional’s work, which can be a very difficult endeavor. We live in a very litigious society and litigation involving real estate agents is on the rise. However, most suits can be avoided if agents are cognizant of the law and their responsibilities under the expected standard of care.

A large number of lawsuits arise out of allegations that agents or parties failed to inspect property and/or disclose material defects. Many times failure to disclose lawsuits arose simply because the agent or seller did not want the deal to fall apart and determined that it was a small formality that wouldn’t matter that much.

However, the majority of the time the agent or seller was unaware that the material fact should have been disclosed. If an agent is concerned about losing a sale because of disclosure, or lack thereof, then by definition, that fact should be disclosed; a material fact is one that may likely affect the decision of the buyer in purchasing the property.

Listen, it will be less expensive to disclose the material fact than to end up being sued and defending yourself in court. Agents or parties should disclose all facts that may affect the value or desirability of the property, simple as that. Under absolutely no circumstances should agents hide a material fact from a buyer. Even a listing agent has an obligation of honesty and good faith toward the buyer, which includes the duty to disclose certain information.

When acting as an agent, remember to provide the same level of service to each of the clients you serve. Why take chances that could inevitably ruin you financially, as well as tarnish your reputation? If you do end up in court you’re going to need the protection of real estate professional liability insurance to provide you with the resources for an adequate defense.

Spring Breakers and Orlando Car Insurance

With Spring Break season nearly us and Florida being the destination of lots of kids looking for good times, concerts, and parties to attend, there will be a lot more people on the roads. Unfortunately many of them might make the mistake of driving while intoxicated. As college students around the country are getting ready to gear up for the traditional party time away from school and studies, let’s hope that they make smart decisions and do their best to avoid trouble.

As a resident, whether staying home or traveling, you need to be prepared for the sudden influx of drivers, many of whom may not act responsibly or practice safe driving habits. This would be the wrong time to have a lapse in your Orlando car insurance policy in case you end up getting into an accident through no fault of your own.

Insuring your Spring Break trip

You might be planning a trip out of town. Whether you remain in the Orlando area, or you take to the road on your own family vacation during this Spring Break season you might want to consider the following tips designed to help you to stay ahead of crimes that could escalate during Spring Break:

  • Keep only as much cash on you as you can afford to lose
  • Be cautious when going to the ATM machine by covering the keypad when punching in your PIN
  • Watch for lurkers who may try to steal your cash, purse or wallet on crowded streets
  • Keep your room key in a safe place and, if you lose it, realize that it may have been stolen
  • Ask hotel security to check your room prior to your shutting and locking the door
  • Keep your cell phone charged at all times in case an emergency situation arises, and
  • Watch for signs of predatory drugs: extreme dizziness and confusion, difficulty standing, slurred speech and make sure to take any affected person to a hospital right away

Driving around vacation hotspots can easily lead to accidents

Spring Break is intended to be fun, but the possibility that something could go wrong is a reality. Driving is a privilege, and one that is often abused by people who don’t consider the consequences of their actions. At any rate, accidents can happen at any time and having Orlando car insurance can aid those involved in an unfortunate incident while driving around in their vehicle.

The Need for Dog Bite Insurance Today

You’ve had a menagerie all your life–everything from cats, dogs, fish, birds, rabbits, hamsters, and even the occasional guinea pig has wandered its way into your family circus at one time or another when you were growing up, so you can’t imagine life without a pet. You’ve seen all the fancy things that owners today indulge their pets with–psychiatrists that come into the home to address behavior of the animal from hell,” gourmet or diet pet food, fancy spas and sitters, designer clothing, stairs providing easy access to the owner’s bed (Fido doesn’t have to actually expend energy to jump up anymore!), and recall that your parents managed to go their whole lives without the need for these fancy trappings, including Florida dog bite insurance quotes for coverage. But while that may have worked back in the day, current times are a very different matter.

Times have changed a lot

In earlier times, an animal might have growled and nipped at someone – for example, you plainly recall the hot summer day when the neighbor’s Irish setter bit your cheek when you squeezed him too tightly. It scared you, and your mom and the neighbor’s mom exchanged some words, but at the end of the day, that was it. Nowadays, you’re likely to be headed to court after such an incident, because a lawsuit in the aftermath of an incident when an animal injures someone is extremely common.

If your dog has teeth, consider coverage

Insurance for this risk, then, is simply good sense for today’s pet owner. The policy offers protection from the liability that comes from having a four-legged member of the family that may express itself with its teeth (they don’t call them “canines” for nothing). Considering that animals can bite for a variety of reasons – territoriality, fear, anger, excitement, and pain, to name a few – it just makes good sense to have coverage that can cover medical expenses and legal expenses that you could occur in the event your animal injures either a person or another animal and you are sued. Talk to a professional insurance agent, who can provide a Florida dog bite quote for this important policy.

What Makes for a Successful Insurance Lead Program?

What makes for a successful insurance lead program? The first step taken in most agencies is assigning a single person in your office to be in charge of and also responsible for managing the program and ensuring that the insurance leads are worked in a manner that will help to maximize your company’s success.

This is the best way to avoid letting leads fall through the cracks. By assigning someone to manage your Internet insurance leads program, you’ll reduce the likelihood that it won’t get done properly. It could be an administrator or office manager, or anyone else you feel has the wherewithal to get the job done.

How to make an insurance lead program a success

Don’t dawdle – the faster you contact a lead, the better the chances are for success. Agencies that get the most success out of an insurance leads program put together a process where each lead is handled quickly and efficiently. In other words, strike while the iron is hot!

Doing so will decrease the time it takes to put together a quick quote and respond to each consumers request as quickly as possible. Many carriers offer an insurance lead management tool that is quite helpful, but if you’re looking for a more robust solution, there are companies who specialize in software and systems specifically designed to help agents get the most out of Internet leads. Independent agents should also consider using a comparative rater, which can drastically reduce the time it takes to respond to consumer requests.

Having a competitive product is key to succeeding

While to remain competitive you need to have comparably priced products, you also have to have a product that provides a good value when compared to other options that the consumer may be considering. Keep in mind that most insurance lead providers allow you to target and choose which type of consumers you wish to be matched with. This allows you the opportunity to eliminate consumers where you feel you are the least competitive.

Nowadays, as consumers become more and more insurance savvy (and the comparison shopping experience gets easier), most consumers realize that they have other available options. If your primary carrier has recently taken a significant rate increase in your area, it may make sense to hold off on insurance leads until your carrier’s competitive position improves.

Agents who invest in a good insurance lead program and set realistic goals, and allot a reasonable amount of time to do so, will learn the best ways to close online insurance leads.

What You Want in an Insurance Agent

Insurance is a convoluted industry that few outside of it fully comprehend. Thats why its critical that you enlist the aid of a trusted and experienced insurance agent when determining which premiums to purchase for yourself, your home or your business. Before you begin exploring various Orlando insurance agencies in search of an agent thats right for you, take a look at these desired traits and attributes, and then determine if a prospective agent shares them before signing on the dotted line.

Stability

How long has the prospective agent been in business? When youre thinking of hiring one, the more experience they have in the industry, the better it is for you.

Credentials

Ask the agent where and how theyve received their training, and whether they have references you speak with.

Professionalism

Assess how professional the agent is in their dealings with you. You can assume they exhibit a similar degree of professionalism throughout all facets of their job.

Geography

The ideal insurance agent lives near your home, and has convenient hours. Agents that live nearby are highly desirable both for convenience and because that indicates a high degree of knowledge about the rules and regulations of your specific area.

Orlando insurance agencies can assist with a wide array of insurance needs and solutions, but it all starts with a trusted and educated insurance agent.

Revealing Too Much Can Trigger Computer Consultant Insurance Claims

Computer consultant insurance is a good thing, reflected Amy of ABS Consulting, in the aftermath of the five-figure lawsuit filed against her for accidentally breaching the nondisclosure agreement she had signed with one of her oldest (and now former) clients. Admittedly, it was a careless mistake–simply posting a message to a variety of social media sites. Commenting about her vacation after finishing up a job, Amy thought she was being vague but actually provided enough information for the data, in aggregate, to form a picture of what she had been working on. The client was understandably angry, even more so when a counter-move by a competitor made it obvious that the information Amy had inadvertently leaked had been used to the competitor’s advantage. There were multiple lessons to be learned from the ordeal, Amy found.

Read the Nondisclosure Agreement Carefully

Make sure you understand completely what you are agreeing to before signing an NDA. It may stipulate not only the nature of the information not to be shared, but may also have requirements about the segregated storage, return, or destruction of a client’s data after a certain period of time (e.g., five years after completion of a job). If so, set a tickler in the firm’s calendar to perform the required task at the appropriate time so that it is not overlooked.

Be Careful about Social Media

It’s common, especially for the younger generation, to post updates about your whereabouts and the goings-on in your life–particularly when you’re in a novel location (hello, Kathmandu), enjoying a new thrill (skydiving for the first time?), or just finished a major milestone event (software testing finally completed). However, make sure you don’t accidentally reveal client information in the process. Sometimes posting seemingly innocuous comments, if there are enough of them, can provide too much information that an interested party can use to its advantage, as Amy discovered. Also, publicizing information about being on vacation is essentially advertising that your home and workplace are empty, which could encourage theft.

Talk to a Professional for Guidance

Work with a professional insurance agent, who can advise you about computer consultant insurance for the liability you face for a variety of risks, such as misrepresentation of facts, improper documentation, data losses or breaches, negligence, and many other exposures. An agent can tell you about a comprehensive mix of protection for these and other common dangers that threaten your livelihood. Talk to an agent today.