MONDAY, OCTOBER 8, 2018
We don’t think of small amounts of water as particularly threatening. However, in the right situations, even puddles might prove dangerous. What if you slip in one at work and fall? Qualifying injuries might qualify you for workers’ compensation coverage. How do water risks fall into this coverage? What can you do to prevent water-borne threats in the business?
Why Water Poses a Workers’ Compensation Risk
Workers’ comp helps employees who have suffered injuries or illnesses during their duties. They can get money to aid them in their recovery and supplement lost income.
If an injury comes about because of standing water or water damage, then the affected party often has recourse. Workers' comp claims from water risks might include slip-and-falls and mold exposure.
Why do Slip and Fall Risks Exist?
Anywhere water puddles, there’s a fall risk. Even a small puddle could cause someone to slip. The resulting injuries might range from a bruised shin to a severe head injury. Standing water and fall risks might originate from:
- Leaking pipes and ceiling leaks
- Spills from coffee pots, sinks or water fountains
- Wet floors following cleaning
- Puddles in entryways or on sidewalks on rainy days
In most of these cases, if a fall occurs, you can qualify for a workers’ compensation claim. For example, if you slip while in the bathroom, you’ll often have protection. Nevertheless, not all falls will equal a claim. If you fall while out of the office to eat lunch, you might not be able to file.
Mold Risks and Coverage?
Anytime you have standing water, you have a mold risk. If mold develops, it might cause breathing problems and other extensive injuries.
Let's look at an example. Mold might grow undiscovered behind a business’s walls. Over the years, you might become ill because of this exposure. As a result, you might be able to file a successful workers’ compensation claim.
Nevertheless, mold is a tricky subject. It’s sometimes hard to pinpoint if your particular illness came from the mold in your workplace. Even so, if you can prove this fact, then your employer’s workers’ comp policy could cover you.
Employers have an obligation to provide a safe workplace and prevent mold growth. If you are in charge of this, consider a few different precautions. These might include:
- Keeping humidity and temperature low and dry
- Having regular mold tests as needed.
- Looking out for any leaks, including hidden leaks. Have these fixed immediately.
- Cleaning up any standing water immediately. Use cleaning supplies that will combat mold risks.
If you have questions about slip-and-fall or mold coverage, contact your workers’ comp insurer. Ask what your policy will cover, and how they cover it. In the meantime, do what you can to prevent workplace accidents.
Also Read: Expanding Your Employee Benefits Package
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2018
Commercial property damage may cover some roof repairs. This insurance protects instances of damage due to storms or other unavoidable instances. There are limits to coverage, however. Those related to wear and maintenance have no coverage. What should you know about your policy?
Does Commercial Property Damage Cover Your Roof?
In most situations, commercial property insurance provides compensation to you when the structural components of the building suffer during an accident or unavoidable situation. For example, hail damages the roof. This creates areas where the shingles have damage. This could expose the building to mold and mildew problems. The insurance provider often pays for the damage as a result. After all, you likely could do little to protect the roof from a hailstorm.
A tree strikes the roof. The commercial building's flat roof suffers damage from the tree. The business insurance policy may cover the damage to the structure.
When Does Commercial Property Insurance Not Cover Your Roof?
Commercial roofs typically have a lifespan of 10 to 30 years. The type of roof and the overall material used plays a role in this length. Your policy does not cover all repairs. It does not replace the roof when it is too old.
For example, a leak develops as a result of the HVAC system on the roof. The underlying cause is poor maintenance. The policy does not cover it. Or, the roof is 25 years old. The material shows normal wear and tear, but shingles are missing. The roof is no longer watertight. These are simply maintenance issues. The policy is not likely to provide coverage here, either. In these cases, you could have prevented the damage.
What Should You Do If You Need Roof Repair?
Commercial property damage coverage may be able to help with repairs. To find out, call your business insurance agent. The agent will have a roofing inspector come to the location. This individual will look at the roof thoroughly. He or she will pinpoint areas of damage caused by storms, hail or other mishaps.
He or she will then determine if this damage was due to wear and tear or maintenance concerns. If not, the agent will approve the repairs.
It is best to have any commercial building’s roof inspected at least one time a year. Because many roofs are flat, it can be hard to notice damage right away. However, if a storm occurs, leaks inside the property occur, or any type of structural damage happens, call your agent.
The goal of any commercial property insurance is to cut financial loss in unavoidable situations. It can be hard to estimate when this occurs, though. To protect your roof and building, an annual roof inspection is necessary. Make updates or repairs when needed and without delay. This ensures if you need to make a claim later, you get the help necessary.
Also Read: 13 Types of Insurance a Small Business Owner Should Have
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 15, 2018
If you are an artist, you might want to share your knowledge with others. Teaching art classes might be a job you want to pursue. You might do so out of a storefront, or even out of your own home. Wherever you teach, however, the classes often qualify as business operations. You ought to carry commercial insurance as a result. Because you might harm others while teaching, liability coverage needs to be on your policy. What is this coverage? How can it benefit you?
As you operate a business, you’ll work with other people. So, if you cause them harm, they might expect help. Let your liability insurance step in.
Why Art Teachers Need Liability Coverage
Teaching art means you are going to accumulate profits. One lawsuit or request for compensation might wipe out all you have worked to build. With commercial liability insurance, you can get help in case you harm others. That's a big safety requirement for your own solvency.
Art is messy. It is also manual labor. As a result, those who do it might experience harm. So, students (even experts) could get hurt in the course of work. If they do, they might hold the teacher responsible for their injuries or property losses. That’s where liability insurance comes into play.
Let’s say that during a pottery class, a students burns themselves while attempting to place an item in a hot oven. They might blame you for failing to advise them on how to handle the task. They could sue or request compensation for their medical bills, lost income and more. Your liability coverage can pay many of the legal and medical costs of bodily injuries. Policies might also cover allegations personal injury, as well as property damage.
Preventing Liability Accidents
A simple mistake could harm a student. Even accidents are grounds for some actions against your school. Therefore, do what you can to prevent any harm to your students.
- Instruct all students in appropriate handling of all materials
- Store potentially-dangerous items in safe places
- Do not allow inexperienced students to take on new tasks without supervision
- If safety gear is necessary, make sure students wear them
- Post warning notices in potentially-dangerous areas
- Keep a first aid kit on hand in case of small accidents, and don’t hesitate to call for help in case a severe injury occurs
With even simple steps, you can increase student safety within your art studio. Nevertheless, don’t let yourself go without liability insurance. You might find it necessary in extraordinary circumstances.
Also Read: Prevent Business Insurance Claims with These Risk Reduction Tips
THURSDAY, JULY 19, 2018
By law, most businesses have to provide their employees with certain benefits. This might include health insurance, workers’ compensation and other protection. Nevertheless, many businesses don’t stop at required benefits packages. There are a lot of options out there to support employees, after all. How can some of these prove useful?
Even if you don’t have to offer employees certain insurance or benefits, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. Optional benefits might prove helpful to your workers in the right circumstances.
Optional Benefits Packages
The perks of a broad benefits package often show up in your operations. In other words, employees that have good support often perform better on the job. For example, health insurance can help them better provide for their medical needs. If they’re healthy, they’ll likely do a better job at work. That's a probable increase in productivity and income for the company.
So, when you set up a benefits package, think of how it can help the employee and the company. Some of the coverage you might consider offering includes:
- Expanded health insurance options: Some health insurance doesn’t cover perks like vision or dental service. Still, if employees have access to these services, they might be able to perform better on the job. Consider adding coverage to your group health plan.
- Health and wellness benefits: Wellness plans might offer gym memberships, health screenings, counseling and more for free or at discounts. This can go a long way towards improving overall wellness in the company.
- Life insurance: An employee’s death means they cannot provide for their survivors. Life insurance can provide a financial settlement to let those parties tie up loose ends. It’s often great security for your workers.
- Retirement pensions: These plans allow employees to put away money for their retirement. Some plans accumulate interest and cash value, adding more security. It's a way to help employees feel like they are working towards a goal.
- Commuter reimbursement: If you operate in a city with a subway, you might offer employees a stipend to pay for their fares. This will help ensure employees always have money and resources to get to work.
In essence, the more benefits you provide, the more secure your employees can become—financially and personally. So, don't hesitate to talk to your insurance partners at 734-421-9900. See how they can help you establish optional benefits. You’ll likely recoup the cost of investment with the better performance of your workers.
Also Read: Lawfully Required Employee Benefits
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 6, 2018
When selecting renters insurance, your policy should reflect the type of property you live in. Apartments are the most common type of rental property. However, many people rent condominiums and town homes as well.
In all cases, renters insurance is a valuable investment. Your policy should reflect the differences in these spaces.
What Is the Difference?
Consider the difference in ownership here. Those living in a condo only own what is in the condo. They don't own the building itself.
Your renters insurance policy should reflect coverage for what is within the property’s walls. In a town home, the owner owns the land outside of it as well. He or she also owns the walls and roofing system. If you are renting a town home, you may need more coverage, including structure protection. It should cover risks outside of the walls.
Ownership itself does not matter to renters. However, it does provide some insight into what your insurance policy should offer to you.
When Does This Matter?
Let’s say a person visiting your condo comes inside and falls on a rug. He suffers significant head trauma. Your renters’ insurance liability policy may cover the losses associated with this injury. If it occurs outside of the condo, this may not be the case. The accident didn't occur on property owned by you.
In a town home, the insurance policy should represent your responsibility outside of the property as well. In all townhouses, you will be responsible for anything that occurs inside and outside on the property. It provides more coverage across the entire property..
Clarification with Your Owner
It is important to discuss risk with your condo owner. If you live in a larger development, clarify what type and amount of renters insurance you should have. Determine what your responsibilities are.
Many renters in these larger spaces have assets outdoors, too. Be sure your policy reflects these assets. It could mean purchasing more coverage. You may need a policy with more protections for your liability risks. Every policy should be specific. In doing so, it gives you the policy you need.
Discuss your needs for renters insurance with an insurance agent at 734-421-9900 or 800-220-5582. You can also discuss them with the property management company. This information can give insight into your responsibilities. Even if you rent a single family home, proper coverage is essential. With a plan in place, you do not have to worry about risks. This includes losses of your assets. It also includes losses associated with injury to another person. A comprehensive plan safeguards your financials no matter what type of property you live in right now.
Also Read: The Costs Associated with Renting