WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2013
For just about every threat your business encounters, there's an insurance policy that will cover it. But what's necessary and what isn't? In terms of business insurance, it is important to cover all potential liabilities. Your business must adhere to all employer insurance requirements that the state requires, but that doesn't imply policies that are not required are any less significant; nor does the state minimum necessary guarantee that your business is fully covered. Read these quick tips and hints for a better understanding of business insurance requirements.
Workers' Compensation Insurance covers the medical costs, rehabilitation costs, and lost pay of any employee hurt on the job. Workers' compensation insurance also handles employer liability in the event of legal action. If perhaps an employee or even an employee's family sues your business as a result of a physical injury to one of your employees, this type of insurance will cover your business and any responsibility you have.
Workers Compensation Insurance is required by law in all 50 states, U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia. However, each state sets their minimum amount of coverage required for each type of business. In Michigan specifically, the Workers' Disability Compensation Act provides workers compensation for injured employees and covers their employers. The Michigan Workers Compensation Agency can answer all questions regarding workers compensation requirements for a business in Michigan. This state minimum is purely a starting point for your insurance. Make sure you talk with an independent insurance agent about your business assets, risks, and needs to insure that your business is fully covered. Your business may require more than the state minimum in order to be fully protected.
One way to help insure safety in your workplace is to provide a safety training workshop for employees and create employee handbooks on workplace safety. A workshop can help raise awareness to the importance of safety around dangerous equipment, give tips for safe work procedures, and show the importance of risk management. An employee handbook is a way to make sure these guidelines are followed throughout the year.
Other types of liability insurance may also be required, or strongly recommended, for your business. Talk with an independent insurance agent about your business to help determine the risks you need to be protected against. Don't let a fire, theft or storm come before you are protected.
Once your business has complied with all the insurance requirements for your state, you may opt for additional coverage that covers your business in other ways. Extra insurance coverage can fill in any gaps in your policy and protect your business against a disaster that could otherwise prove detrimental in the event of a disaster. Give IPS Insurance Agency a call at 800-220-5582 to discuss your business needs and set up Michigan business insurance to protect your business against risks in the workplace.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 2, 2013
Child Attacked by Dog at Daycare
A child attending an in-home daycare required advanced medical attention after being bitten in the face by a dog. The daycare owner’s son was visiting and brought the dog with him. Both the child and the dog were unsupervised when the attack occurred. The bite caused significant damage, required surgery, and resulted in permanent facial scarring.
Dog Bite Statistics
Most people consider dogs to be man’s best friend, but every year a shocking number of people require medical attention and suffer horrific injuries due to dog bites. A recent study demonstrates just how prevalent dog bites are, especially among children, and why it’s important for parents, homeowners and business owners to take certain precautions.
- Dogs bite 4.7 million people every year.
- 800,000 people annually seek medical attention for dog bites.
- Almost 400,000 of these injuries are treated in an emergency room.
- 31,000 people require reconstructive surgery following a dog bite, half of which are children.
- Children between ages 5 and 9 account for the largest portion of dog bite injuries.
- An average of 16 people are killed every year from dog attacks.
Preventing Dog Bites
As demonstrated in the story above, brining dogs into a situation with children can have very serious consequences if all necessary precautions
aren’t taken. Everyone should take a few simple precautions before getting a dog, especially if the dog is going to be exposed to children or strangers on a regular basis.
- Any dog with a history of aggression should not be allowed to come into contact with children and should also be closely monitored when interacting with unfamiliar adults.
- According to both the American Kennel Club and the American Humane Association, a good way to reduce aggressive behavior in a dog is to have it spayed or neutered.
- Consult with a professional about selecting the proper dog breed for you and select one that fits your lifestyle and personality best. Dogs can become aggressive if their owners aren’t prepared to handle their unique personality traits.
- Spend time with a dog and learn as much as possible about its history before making any purchasing decisions.
- Socialize your dog in a familiar place as often as possible before exposing it to strangers.
Other ways to prevent dog bite injuries include:
- Never approach or touch an unfamiliar dog;
- Do not make loud noises or sudden movements around a dog;
- Instruct children never to play with a dog unless supervised by an adult;
- Never approach a dog that is sleeping, eating, has puppies;
- Children should be instructed to report any aggressive or unusual dog behavior to an adult.
Some Dog Breeds are More Aggressive
Some dog breeds, statistically, are much more likely to bite than others, and some breeds account for an overwhelming percentage of fatal dog bites. Pit bulls, Rottweilers, and wolf mixtures account for over half of all fatal dog attacks and 25% of all dog bites. While not every Pit Bull or Rottweiler is dangerous, statistics do show that these breeds, on average, tend to be more aggressive than others.Call Insurance Planning Service at 800-220-5582 to discuss insurance questions. We offer competitively priced insurance packages that are custom tailored to your your in-home child care business.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 1, 2013
Owning a business is a difficult task. As a business owner, you worry for the future of your company in a time when many businesses are going under. In addition to making sure the company is growing, you must also plan for mistakes or accidents that could potentially devastate your business. The best way to protect against a potential lawsuit is through Umbrella Liability or Excess Liability insurance.
This form of liability insurance is called an “umbrella” because it provides an additional layer of insurance that spans above your firm’s general liability, auto liability and employer liability insurance. It protects your business for catastrophic issues that threaten its security.
An Umbrella Liability policy offers 3 main benefits:
1. Increased coverage limits that kick in when a claim is made against you that exceeds the amount of your primary liability coverage
2. It fills in when General Liability aggregates are exhausted
3. It can provide coverage for unusual claims that are not covered by underlying policies.
Excess Liability insurance is similar to an Umbrella Liability policy except that it is designed to follow the coverage terms in the underlying policies. In that respect, it only provides higher coverage limits that are excess of the primary underlying policies.
If you have questions about your business insurance, call INSURANCE PLANNING SERVICE at 800-220-5582 or contact us on the web today!
THURSDAY, APRIL 25, 2013
We are proud to post the following press release regarding the Michigan Insurance Company's parent corporation, the Donegal Group, Inc.
MARIETTA, Pennsylvania, April 24, 2013 – Donegal Group Inc. (NASDAQ: DGICA and DGICB) was named to a list of 100 Most Trustworthy Companies for the second consecutive year, ranking the company among firms that have consistently demonstrated transparent and conservative accounting practices and solid corporate governance and management as determined by GMI Ratings, an independent financial analytics company, and reported by Forbes.
According to Forbes, GMI Ratings creates its list by examining more than 8,000 companies traded on U.S. exchanges. Every three months it assigns each company an accounting and governance risk score, or AGR, based on proprietary modeling designed to identify practices that historically have had a high correlation with increasing shareholder risk.
“We are pleased to be recognized once again by Forbes and GMI Ratings as a ‘Most Trustworthy Company’ based on their analysis of our accounting and governance practices,” said Donald H. Nikolaus, President and Chief Executive Officer of Donegal Group Inc.
More information regarding the GMI Ratings “America’s Most Trustworthy Companies” analysis can be found at http://www.forbes.com/sites/jacquelynsmith/2013/03/18/americas-100-most-trustworthy-companies/. A reprint of the Forbes article is also available as a “Featured Report” in the Investors area of Donegal Group Inc.’s website at www.donegalgroup.com.
Donegal Group Inc. is an insurance holding company whose insurance subsidiaries offer personal and commercial property and casualty lines of insurance in 22 Mid-Atlantic, Midwestern, New England and Southern states. The insurance subsidiaries of Donegal Group Inc. and Donegal Mutual Insurance Company conduct business together as the Donegal Insurance Group. The Donegal Insurance Group has an A.M. Best rating of A (Excellent).
The Company’s Class A common stock and Class B common stock trade on NASDAQ under the symbols DGICA and DGICB, respectively. As an effective acquirer of small to medium-sized “main street” property and casualty insurers, Donegal Group has grown profitably over the past 25 years. The Company continues to seek opportunities for growth while striving to achieve its longstanding goal of outperforming the property and casualty insurance industry in terms of service, profitability and growth in book value.
MONDAY, MARCH 25, 2013
Tornadoes are one of the most destructive forces in nature. A tornado’s whirling winds can reach 300 miles per hour. Damage paths can be in excess of one mile wide and 50 miles long. Every state is at some risk from this hazard. Occasionally, tornadoes develop so rapidly that little, if any, advance warning is possible before a tornado hits.
- The most powerful tornadoes in the world occur within the United States.
- Tornadoes have been reported in every state during every season, but the majority occur in spring and early summer
- The majority of tornadoes occur between 3 P.M. and 9 P.M.
- Approximately 1,000 tornadoes touch down in the United States every year
- The average forward speed of a tornado is 30 MPH, but may vary from stationary to 70 MPH.
- Peak tornado season in the southern states is March through May; in the northern states, it is late spring through early summer.
Tornadoes can strike quickly so it is important to monitor the weather closely during any type of storm activity. The United States National Weather Survey will issue alerts during storms to inform people of the likelihood of a tornado forming. Monitoring these broadcasts and understanding what the different alerts mean can help you respond quickly and appropriately.
Tornado Watch: Current weather conditions are ideal for the formation and development of a tornado. Increase weather monitoring and prepare to seek shelter immediately
Tornado Warning: A tornado is occurring somewhere in the area or a tornado touchdown is imminent. This is typically when a tornado siren will sound. Seek shelter immediately and wait until weather stations announce it is safe to exit.
Be prepared! Too often the biggest contributor to tornado injuries and deaths is failure to respond to warnings. People who are not prepared are often caught off guard by tornadoes and don’t have enough time to seek proper shelter or warn others about approaching tornadoes. The following tips if implemented before storms can be the greatest method of preventing tornado deaths.
- Develop a plan for your organization on what to do in the event of a tornado. Tornado action plans differ greatly depending on location, type or organization, and what is going on at the time of the tornado, but all tornado plans include the following:
- Identified and marked tornado shelter areas
- A schedule of when drills and employee training will occur
- Prepare tornado relief kits (battery power flashlights, food, water, blankets, radio, etc.)
- Inform members of tornado emergency procedures
- Educate staff on how to assist guests and what to do during a tornado. Staff should be trained on what areas to search for guests, where the safest areas are depending on their location, and how to communicate with other staff.
- Know your community’s warning system. Depending on where you live your warning system may differ from somewhere else. It is important to know what the system is so you can respond immediately.
- Locate all gas, water, and electrical on/off switches and make sure all staff is familiar with their locations and the proper procedures for shutting them off. This step is important because after a severe storm or tornado gas leaks can result in explosions, water leaks can cause further damage, and leaving the power on can cause electrocutions.
- Monitor radio and television for information. Monitoring radio and television for inclement weather is always advisable, especially if any outdoor activities are planned. It is important to increase the frequency of monitoring when the skies look threatening or if thunderstorms are forecasted.
- Have a NOAA Weather Radio with a warning alarm to receive warnings. These devices are activated during severe weather and turn and sound an alarm immediately once an alarm or watch is issued. To learn more about this life saving device visit www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr.
- Make sure that designated tornado shelters are clear and accessible. All too often we use these designated spaces for storage of other items.
Tornado Warning Procedures
Once a warning is issued it is important to act quickly and make sure everyone is accounted for and safely located in the designated tornado shelter area. Depending on where you are when the warning is issued there are varying degrees of safe locations to be in during a tornado. The following instruction is based off recommendations by the Federal Emergency Management Agency or FEMA, are designed to help individuals determine the safest place to protect themselves.
Location When Tornado Strikes
The Safest Area During a Tornado
|Buildings ||Buildings like these should have completed tornado protocols with designated tornado shelter areas. These shelter areas will typically be on the lowest level of the building. If there is no basement, the safest area will be close to the center of the building and the farthest away from doors, windows, and exterior walls. Also, it is important to get a sturdy piece of furniture and/or blanket and put your arms over your head. Locker rooms and bathrooms are often suitable tornado safety areas. |
|Vehicles with nearby structures ||Exit the vehicle immediately and get into a nearby building and follow the tornado safety protocol for the building. If traveling with a group of children in a van or bus ensure all children have exited the vehicle safely before leading them to the safest nearby building. |
|No nearby shelter ||If you are outdoors in a vehicle and a tornado is approaching do not attempt to outrun the tornado. Also, resist the temptation to stay in your vehicle, it is much safer to exit your vehicle and had to a low lying area like a ditch or depression, lay flat and cover your head. Also, make sure any children or campers are all accounted for and led safely to the nearest low-lying area. |
If you are not in a vehicle and no shelter is within a safe distance find a ditch or depression, lie flat, and cover your head.
Be mindful of flying debris. The largest cause of tornado fatalities is from flying debris.