MONDAY, JANUARY 15, 2018
Across America, many employees are injured each year by slipping and falling in or around their workplaces. During the winter, these risks are higher. Cold temperatures and slick, icy surfaces provide more opportunities for workers to lose their balance. This can happen on parking lots, sidewalks or indoors.
Your company’s workers compensation insurance can help cover employee losses should they sustain a fail. This includes compensation for lost time at work and medical bills.
Preventing these accidents, though, is more important. Here’s what to look for to do just that.
Recognize the Risks
Visualize the way your employees come to work each day. They get out of their vehicle and approach the building. Even if they walk less than 10 feet from their vehicle to the office entrance, those 10 feet of concrete, pavement, dirt or grass provide a significant slip-and-fall risk. The individual walks into the building. This floor could be wet due to outdoor conditions. He or she proceeds to enter into the work space. The moisture from his or her shoes comes with them. This presents additional risks.
Tips for Minimizing Risks
To reduce worker fall risks, focus on keeping surfaces as dry as possible. Here are some steps to do this during icy weather conditions.
- Hire a team to clean away any snow or ice build-up. Be sure the company does this frequently enough to reduce the pile up of snow or ice.
- If you must, by law, see to certain pathways before others. Take care of those areas first. Then expand your de-icing techniques to other areas as needed.
- Monitor floor conditions in the building. This is especially true in immediate doorways leading to the outdoors. This area can freeze up as well. This creates more ice.
- Workers handling business tasks outside need proper shoes. Discuss treads on shoes with employees. Look for products that can reduce slips on icy surfaces. Mark hazardous areas where employees should avoid.
- Keep carpets and mats clean and dry. No matter where they are in the business, keep them as clean as possible.
- State laws usually determine whether falls in parking lots are the responsibility of the company. However, most state laws say sidewalk falls are the company's responsibility.
These tips can help reduce worker falls due to wet conditions. However, this is an ongoing problem. Being consistent is essential. Notice areas where the problem continues to persist. Look for more extensive treatment and solutions for these areas. Improving drainage, for example, can help.
If you need workers' compensation insurance coverage, contact one of our agents today at 734-421-9900.
Also Read: Prevent Business Insurance Claims with These Risk Reduction Tips
MONDAY, DECEMBER 11, 2017
Renters insurance is one of the most important investments for those who live in properties owned by someone else. It provides a wealth of financial protection. Its aim is to protect you, the renter.
However, it often does not protect the property owner. It does not protect any of the property owner's possessions either. In this way, most policies do not cover appliances. There are some limitations here. You should read through your policy to know the specific coverage you have.
Understanding Personal Property Coverage
Renters insurance includes personal property coverage. It can cover the cost to replace your belongings in the instance of a covered loss. Losses may result from fires, theft, vandalism or storm-related loss. That does not mean your policy includes all of the items within your rented space. Typically, appliances and other furnishings owned by the property owner will not have coverage under your policy.
Here are some examples. James home starts on fire due to a faulty appliance. The property owner provided the stove. The property owner bought and maintains the stove. When James moves out, he cannot take the stove with him. In this case, the renters insurance policy paid by James does not cover the stove. The property owner's coverage will cover not just the appliance but other losses James incurs since the owner is likely liable.
However, down the hall, someone steals Liz's microwave from her home. Liz purchased and maintains the microwave. She will take it with her when she moves. This is part of her personal property and possessions. In this case, the renters insurance policy will often cover the microwave loss. The policy will pay Liz based on the value and terms of the policy. She will not need to file a claim with the property owner's insurance.
It is important to remember that renters insurance has limits. These policies usually have a maximum amount of coverage per item (such as the value of the microwave). It also has a maximum total payout for the incident. You can adjust how much this is, though.
Work with your renters insurance agent to learn more about your policy. Clarify which appliances you own. Be sure your policy offers enough coverage to reduce the risks of loss regarding appliances. A clear policy is important in every case when it comes to renters insurance and property ownership.
Talk to an insurance agent with Insurance Planning Service at (800) 220-5582 about how we can help you get appliance protection. They can help you determine how to best structure your policy.
Rental Property Seasonal Maintenance
Choosing Appropriate Renters Liability Coverage
Monitor Your Changing Renters Insurance Needs
MONDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2017
Lighthouse Insurance Group has closed the Livonia branch office location at 15624 Farmington Road, Livonia as of November 30, 2017. It is important to know that this closure will not cause any change to the team you have become familiar to working with.
Rick Bernard and Mariah Cosper will continue to be available for our commercial (business) clients and the personal lines teams for new business and customer service remain the same. Our hours are from 8:00am to 5:00pm, Monday-Friday. Plus, our 24/7 support remains available on our website (www.ipsagency.com) under the customer center tab to report claims, pay your bill or submit a change request.
Continue to contact us at:
We look forward to continuing to serve your insurance needs. Thank you!
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2017
Your all-terrain vehicle can provide a generally safe way to travel to remote areas for outdoor recreation. Nonetheless, traveling off-road comes with its risks.
The proper function of your ATV and your vehicle insurance can help minimize these risks. Hit the path with legal and physical protection, and you can ensure your excursion is a success.
Before Leaving: Verify You Have ATV Insurance
An ATV is an expensive commodity, and like all vehicles, it poses risks to you and others. Therefore, it’s a good idea to carry ATV insurance. This coverage can contain bodily injury, liability, collision and comprehensive insurance.
The good thing about ATV coverage is that it usually protects riders on all types of terrains. However, make sure your policy does not contain exclusions for the type of travel you plan. For example, policies may not cover ATV racing. They may also exclude riding on public roads, because often, such actions are illegal.
Some places likewise require riders to carry insurance. State or federal parks are one example of public lands where you might have to carry coverage. Therefore, before hitting the trails, ensure that you have an active ATV policy in place.
Getting Ready to Ride
ATV excursions require planning. Preparation can help you protect yourself.
- Check the riding regulations in the area of travel. You may have to observe certain safety precautions.
- Familiarize yourself with the geography of a local area. Doing so can help you plan a safe route.
- Use riding gear. This may include helmets, pads, insulated clothing, eye wear or firm shoes.
- Ensure you have the right qualifications to ride. Different areas require licenses and certifications for ATV users.
- Keep proper emergency supplies such as food, water and first aid items.
- Coordinate your plans with a trusted person. Remember, in isolated areas, you may not have phone or GPS services. Therefore, someone should know your intended route.
As always, remain vigilant during your ride. The right care and commitment may help you avoid accidents.
Preparing Your ATV
As a piece of machinery, your ATV requires care, maintenance and awareness from its owner. Before you ride:
- Check your engine, oil and gas levels.
- Inspect and test your lights. Using your lights during rides can often help you ensure safe navigation.
- Check your tires to ensure they are terrain-worthy and have no signs of damage.
- Test your controls including accelerators, brakes and steering mechanisms.
The more you prepare, the less your chances of an ATV insurance claim. Still, you should always have this coverage in case a problem occurs.
Need Michigan ATV coverage? We can help! Call Insurance Planning Service at (800) 220-5582 right now. We offer fast, free policy quotes.
MONDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2017
Contractors are a different classification of employee than a full-time worker. This classification may mean that contractors require special consideration for their workplace benefits.
Employee benefits to contractors often differ from those full-time employees. Therefore, employers need to understand who classifies as a contractor.
What Employees Are Contractors?
Understanding the difference between employees and contractors may help a business determine how to offer benefits.
Independent contractors are usually self-employed. They agree to work for a business based on the stipulations of a contract. But, what makes a contractor different from a standard employee? Don’t employees also assume responsibilities for an employer?
Classifying someone as a contractor often depends on the work expected of them. As a general definition, the IRS says contractors are those who agree to complete the work, but the employer cannot control what the contractor does to complete the work. The employer (or payer) can usually only control the result they expect from the work. Therefore, independent contractors retain a degree of independence from the employer. By contrast, full-time employees often have rules from employers on how they must work.
Benefits for Independent Contractors
Often, businesses have a legal obligation to provide their full-time employees with benefits. These may include health insurance, workers’ compensation and other forms of protection. They may not have to provide these benefits to contractors.
Business owners may decide to offer benefits to contractors. On the other hand, they may choose to forego benefits for these individuals. Nonetheless, they should abide by all lawful stipulations regarding employment classifications. This can help the business avoid potential penalties related to employment benefits.
If an employer misclassifies a full-time employee as a contractor, it may face penalties. This is because it did not accurately represent its employment practices. Likewise, by inaccurately classifying contractors as full-time, the employer may wind up providing benefits is may not legally have to provide. This may lead to costs the business might otherwise be able to save.
Interpretations of full-time or contractor classifications often vary. A review of local or industry law, and a clearer understanding of full-time and contractor classifications can help businesses provide the best benefits. Employers should make sure every employee or contractor has benefits they legally need.
Do you need Michigan employee benefits? Let us help. Call Insurance Planning Service at (800) 220-5582 for a fast, free quote on multiple policy lines.