Planning is Key to any MA Risk Management Strategy

Risk is an unavoidable part of doing business as the owner of every company knows. Despite the various exposures that most business owners face, this is something that is both manageable and controllable. This is a challenge that requires some time and perhaps some trial and error as well, but finding a fine balance between profitability and loss control is essential to success.

While it is improbable to eliminate risk completely, the idea is really to try to lower the odds associated with everyday issues. Policies involving risk management for MA companies that are enacted in an attempt to fully eliminate risk may actually do more harm than good, so first it is important to set some realistic goals.

The importance of a sound risk management strategy

The common concept of risk management among many small business owners involves the simple process of purchasing some form of insurance protection. While vital, it is important to consider other aspects of protection as well. Risk management is much more complex than simply purchasing insurance; it requires implementing rules and evaluating how well a plan or strategy is actually working. These are both necessary parts of every plan. However, there are still other things to consider as well:

  • Implement a regular comprehensive loss analysis. Every owner can learn from past experiences and put resources where they’re most needed and can be most effective.
  • Identify the true costs of losses and then translate these costs into sales dollars. This can be very useful information for deciding on future allocations of resources, which can help in reducing or eliminating losses.
  • Do some research and check web sites, trade literature, loss control professionals, and other resources that may offer some assistance. Insurance carriers, agents, and trade groups can also offer potential sources of information and provide assistance.
  • Perform a material handling assessment. Moving materials is typically a “non-value-added” activity. This often leads to high-severity losses.
  • Do an ergonomic assessment. Improving ergonomics can lessen worker fatigue and this can lead to an increase in productivity and efficiency.

Implement a MA risk management strategy for managing changing conditions. With new technology comes a change that may reduce risk management expenditures that may prevent losses as well. Finally, discuss safety issues at management meetings, and review product safety since this is a problem that can have a significant impact on the business. Focus training on reducing specific losses and monitor any and all success.

photo credit: jDevaun cc

Please follow and like us:

Contemplating the Risk of Cyber Exposure

Cyber breaches are an all too common occurrence for many businesses in today’s technology arena. Typically, cyber attacks may cause a variety of losses, including civil liability, regulatory liability, and business disruption, as well as indirect losses such as damage to reputation and loss of customer confidence, which may result in a loss of business as well.

Businesses can try and mitigate some of the direct costs of a cyber exposure by negotiating contracts that include effective risk allocation. However, in practice this is not usually a straightforward process. Companies that provide cloud services, for example, may not feel they should be required to assume responsibility for damages arising out of a data loss or breach, even in circumstances where that same cloud provider is actually at fault.

Laying blame however does not get to the crux of the matter – discovering ways to prevent future breaches and dealing with the issue at hand, which is the theft of personal information that can cause a great deal of concern, along with financial consequences to its victims, is at the forefront of the matter.

Dealing with the issue of cyber theft

The process of identifying and managing cyber risk should be part of every organization’s business practice. After all, it will be difficult to regain the trust of customers and clients once a breach has been discovered. Any media attention brought to the situation only threatens to further damage the reputation of the company that was victimized. It is therefore essential for companies to undertake an audit of the information on their systems and evaluate their information security risks in order to understand the nature of the information at risk.

As part of any pro-active risk management planning, a team should be assembled to undertake a risk assessment and risk aversion plan, along with an incident response plan to handle the issue swiftly and find a suitable resolution. It is of the utmost importance for every business prone to such threats to implement relevant procedures that adequately deal with risk avoidance and mitigation.

Cyber insurance is the only real defense

The costs associated with cyber breaches are often substantial. For any organization though, reimbursement of costs is probably the largest financial risk of a cyber attack. Typically, companies who realize the potential associated with cyber exposure will seek insurance coverage for network security liability, media liability, privacy liability, breach response costs and extortion payments. Cyber coverage will aid in the costs stemming from most liability issues that arise. Speak to an agent about any concerns with this mounting and on-going problem.

photo credit: iLikeSpoons cc

Please follow and like us:

Reducing Workers Comp Claims at Independent Living Facilities

Most owners of independent living facilities realize how hard it is to hire and retain good employees. After all, these are the people you trust with the care of your residents, and the last thing you need is to hire the wrong type of person for this often daunting and difficult job. With the rise in costs for independent living facilities workers comp coverage, it is important to keep claims to a minimum, as this is essential to the success of this type of business.

The interview process can help rule out undesirable candidates

By developing good hiring techniques you can determine whether a person is truly a good match for this type of work, or any position with your company. Take the time to review all resumes, verify education and previous employment, and always check references prior to the interview, when possible. You certainly should inquire about any gaps in employment history that may set off red flags.

You can also find out a lot about a candidate’s work ethic asking open-ended questions concerning their attendance record with past employers. This can greatly help you in determining how dependable they may or may not be. Obtain any information available on any previous job-related injuries, as well as the results.

All workers should attend an orientation and training program that should aid in reducing work-related injuries. Investing in safety training will often reduce workers comp costs. When employees feel that the company strives to create an atmosphere of safety it often leads to increased morale, fewer injuries and illnesses, and less absenteeism.

Employers can also benefit from a wellness program. After all, healthy employees are less likely to be absent and more likely to perform well when they are physically fit. In the event of a workplace injury, have procedures and rules in place to deal with the situation properly. Implementing these things in the workplace can go a long way towards reducing independent living facilities workers comp claims.

photo credit: Alan Cleaver cc

Please follow and like us:

New York Small Business Insurance Options

As a small business owner, you want to have the comfort of knowing your company is protected. Depending on the type of products or services you sell, you will have unique and specific insurance needs, which is why you need to evaluate the insurance market carefully and determine what types of New York small business insurance is right for you.

Some factors that may dictate what you purchase (and from whom) are likely to be low rates, excellent service, financial stability and customized coverage. Some of the most common policy coverages include: Liability, Medical and Umbrella insurance.

You can add to that list workers compensation, because if you have employees you’ll need coverage that protects them, but there are other areas of concern that may also need to be addressed:

  • Business owner coverage

Business owner insurance provides damage protection from fire and other mishaps and offers a degree of liability protection.

  • Property insurance

Property insurance covers damage to the building that houses your business, as well to as furniture, equipment, inventory and other business related items.

  • Product liability insurance

You might need this form of coverage if your products could conceivably cause harm to others. Even the packaging that your products come in can pose a risk.

  • Errors and omissions insurance (E&O)

This coverage is for those in professional occupations, such as attorneys, accountants, real estate agents, technology consultants, and others. It offers protection should you make a mistake or neglect to do something that causes a customer or client some harm. E&O is necessary for businesses that can be sued for giving out bad advice or accidentally omitting some important facts.

  • Business interruption insurance (or business income insurance)

This ensures you get paid if you lose income as a result of damage that temporarily shuts down or limits your business.

  • Automobile insurance

If your business uses cars or trucks in the performing of services or duties, you’ll need this insurance for collision and liability coverage.

There are other risks and exposures that may concern you as well. Speak to a reputable agent about small business insurance for New York companies with any questions you may have.

photo credit: Infusionsoft cc

Please follow and like us:

What are the Causes and Concerns for Nursing Home Malpractice

It’s a sad fact that many elderly citizens face neglect or abuse at the hands of staff and workers in nursing homes. As an owner, you are responsible for the behavior of the staff, and the safety and well being of the residents. The list of potential causes and signs of abuse or neglect is a long one and includes:

• Bad hygiene
• Bedsores
• Dehydration and malnutrition
• Injuries with restraint marks
• Unexplained fractures, and
• Signs of physical abuse

Nursing home malpractice is often the result of physical, mental and sexual abuse, where the primary caregiver, usually a nurse or attendant, left alone with their victim, subjects them to deliberate harm, in both sexual and non-sexual ways, which may include inappropriate sexual contact, beatings, starvation and abandonment.

Evidence of assault includes bruises, blisters, bruising around genitalia and other unexplained marks which might appear all over the person’s body. Other obvious signs of neglect include unsanitary conditions of bathing areas and toilets.

Because nursing home residents are, on average, older and in poorer health than seniors who live on their own, they are easy prey. However well run and effective a nursing home is, if it is poorly staffed, or staffed with the wrong type of people, problems will eventually surface. It’s imperative for nursing home staff members to be attentive at all times, especially to patients who suffer from physical disabilities and cognitive impairments such as dementia or Alzheimer’s.

While attendants may be required to sedate the seniors, any sedation that exceeds the requirement is also indicative of nursing home neglect, and specific instances of nursing home malpractice, which includes; a careless diagnosis, substandard medical attention, any abuse leading to physical injury, emotional trauma and even death, could likely result in litigation against the staff and the owners.

Nursing home malpractice insurance along with Sexual Abuse coverage is a available to respond in the event of allegations of neglect or abuse. An experienced insurer that specializes in nursing homes can secure the appropriate policy for your operation.

photo credit: JSmith Photo cc

Please follow and like us:

CCRC Professional Liability: What Medical Practitioners Need to Know

Operating a retirement community is absolutely a full time job. People utilize these facilities when they no longer want the burden of living on their own, with all the responsibilities that a homeowner has, or when they not long want to live alone and want to be a part of community and the social life it offers. Your continuing care retirement community (CCRC) provides many of the comforts that a home can, and activities that allow these seniors a chance to meet new people and forge lasting friendships.

Some residents may also require care of one type or another, especially as they move from independent living to assisted care with the CCRC. You have a staff of trained and sympathetic individuals who desire to spend time with elderly residents that can provide for those needs as well. As a result of this care provided by a professional staff, such as nurses and physicians, your facility needs to have coverage for a number of risks and exposures, including incidents, whether accidental or intentional, that may spring up and could lead to costly litigation.

Types of incidents that can trigger lawsuits

Professional liability insurance for CCRCs is designed for medical professionals in the event they are accused of negligence, causing injury, or even food-induced illness. Administering medication in improper amounts or the wrong medication could cause seizures or other complications, particularly in older people. Professional liability also includes coverage for your medical director within the scope of his or her employment, during the course of providing services to residents.

Losses related to lawsuits are often large enough to put a company out of business. Even when vindicated, the bad publicity could further hurt future business prospects. There is a lot on the line when accusations are made that an error or negligence on your part caused physical or financial harm to someone.

Your current policy may not cover CCRC professional liability and that is a risk you simply cannot afford. That’s why you should invest the time to speak to a professional insurance advisor who is knowledgeable about retirement communities and fully understands the risks and exposures associated with this line of work.

photo credit: Alex E. Proimos cc

Please follow and like us:

Insurance Agents Provide Independent Living Facilities Insurance for Owners

As a nation, we’re not getting any younger. As the number of senior citizens increases, with people are living longer, the need and demand for housing facilities is on the rise. For many seniors, who don’t require medical attention and merely need a comfortable place to call home, there are facilities available to meet those needs.

While the senior housing industry can now offer every level of care to seniors – from independent living facilities to nursing homes – the treatment of seniors is likely to continue to be an issue and a concern. There is also a question of safety, in terms of the types of accidents that commonly occur within a home, and with the added possibility of lawsuits, and in cases of serious injury, large damaging settlements.

Safety should be a goal of everyone involved

However, these concerns can be met with a viable solution; owners can look to agents that specialize in insuring independent living facilities with the experience to provide proper coverage at competitive prices along with the expertise to pinpoint exposures and how to address. With proper coverage independent living facilities will have the insurance to protect them in the event of litigation and claims against employees and other workers.

Safety should also be a strong focal point for owners, and as an owner you should take every precaution to remove any issues that could result in litigation. Providing a safe environment means implementing strong risk management protocols in taking care of seniors, making sure workers put away equipment and tools that could pose a risk, ensuring that the premises remain free of strangers and others not authorized to be on the grounds or in the facility, and holding ongoing training sessions and safety meetings to address issues when, and if, they arise.

Please follow and like us:

Food Contamination at Your Bar Can be More Dangerous than Alcohol

Many bar owners are so concerned about their liability issues concerning alcohol that they often overlook another very serious concern: food borne illness. For example, lemons need to be washed thoroughly before used as a garnish in a drink, but they’re not the only items that can spread food borne illness from behind the bar. As a bar owner you need to be concerned about food products you sell, as well as the cleanliness of employees handling these items.

“There are a lot of food borne illnesses that can be transferred through employees’ hands alone – E. coli, norovirus, even Hepatitis A,” says Cynthia L. Parenteau, a food safety consultant with Boston-based Berger Food Safety Consulting. The first key to protecting guests from illness is making sure that all employees wash their hands. And of course if someone does get ill, and decides to sue, you’re going to need food contamination insurance.

Dangers exist throughout the workplace

Still, there are other ways to experience food contamination. The ice machine, for example, can transmit dangerous bacteria to people drinking from clean glasses, causing yet another unsafe condition. This further underscores the necessity of wash your hands: Once your unkempt hand goes into the ice bin, the ice becomes dirty.

Also, never put a glass into the ice bin to get ice for a beverage; always use a clean ice scoop. Consider the real possibility that the glass could get chipped inside the ice bin without you or the staff noticing, and glass chips could be scooped up and served in the next cocktail.

If you serve snacks or hot food items they should all be rigorously inspected and handled with disposable sanitary gloves.

Prevention is worth a pound of cure and no one wants their business to be shut down for violating health and safety codes. What’s more, be sure you have the proper food contamination insurance to reflect your specific needs and exposures.

photo credit: Kake Pugh cc

Please follow and like us:

What are the Advantages of Workers Compensation Claims Management?

Photo by Kevin Dooley

Many industry employers view insurance claims as simply part of the cost of doing business. Yet, for what it’s worth, plenty of workers’ compensation (WC) (and other costly insurance claims) can be prevented. Even after a claim is filed, there are steps you can take to help minimize its costs. This starts with creating a sound workers compensation claims management program.

Employers can benefit by better managing their WC claims

First off, develop a good relationship with your insurer. Understand that your insurance agent or your insurance company’s loss control representative can assist you in preventing claims, investigating claims, and managing the cost of a claim once it has been filed.

You should promptly report all claims to your insurer. Many owners fear that if they do that, their insurance premiums will rise. Yet, a minor injury could become much more severe, saddling you with the costs of a large medical bill, despite the fact that you’re already paying to have workers’ compensation coverage. Also, by promptly reporting all claims to your insurer, they can help to identify a claim that might be fraudulent.

You need to have a good return to work program designed to assign modified duties for those employees who are able to return to the job as soon as medically possible. You should implement a written policy that ensures all workers promptly report all claims to a manager and have someone available to help them with the procedure of filling out the required paperwork.

You should have open communication with your workers so that they know that you truly care about their safety and will do anything in your means to both, ensure their working in the safest possible environment and that the company will quickly come to their aid if they are the unfortunate victim of an accident while performing their duties. These are some very important steps towards a sound workers compensation claims management program.

Please follow and like us:

Customer Satisfaction is Key to Successful Insurance Telemarketing

Photo by Bada Bing via Flickr

Insurance telemarketing is an art and you need to hone your craft in order to be more successful at it. This begins with your first contact with a prospective customer. When prospecting, or calling people who won’t instantly recognize you, using both your first and last name builds your credibility and professionalism, and eases any skepticism. Once a relationship has been established, last names are no longer necessary.

Persistence really does pay off, but you don’t want to come off as annoying. If you ever receive comments about your being persistent, simply say something like, “I am. That’s because I believe so strongly in what I have, and how it will help you.”

When is the best time to call?

Have a specified field set aside in your computer or a consistent spot in your notes on the best time to call an individual. If you call the same people on a routine basis, knowing when you have a better chance of reaching them can save you a lot of time. If you catch them at a bad time, ask them when they would prefer for you to call, that way they will be expecting the call, rather than surprised by it.

Be sure customers are satisfied

Customer satisfaction is really at the heart of the matter. Dissatisfaction is the difference between customer expectations and results. It’s your job to understand what results your customer or potential customer expects, and then ensure that you can deliver before you sell them. It’s better to turn down a sale rather than have it turn sour. All good insurance telemarketing companies understand how important this fact is.

While you won’t always have a perfect fit with what someone needs, by referring them elsewhere, you are still accomplishing what should be your ultimate objective: helping the prospect get what they really want and need. They will appreciate your willingness to help, and perhaps when the prospect does have something you can help them with, they’ll remember you as a result of this exchange.

Please follow and like us: