June, 2015

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Three of the Deadliest Jobs in America

Three of the Deadliest Jobs in America

Each year numerous Americans are injured at work, sometimes fatally. Many people have jobs that put them in dangerous situations on a daily basis. Virginia workers compensation insurance can help cover medical treatment, lost wages and other expenses. While it is important, and legally required in Virginia, for businesses to have this type of coverage for their employees, there are certain jobs that have a much greater probability for injury to workers.

Loggers

Logging jobs are some of the most dangerous anywhere. Workers must cut down large, heavy trees and transport them to mills. Falling trees, and the tools and machinery used, are some of the chief hazards.

Construction Workers

There are many different ways construction workers can be injured. They have physically intense jobs, and often work with heavy machines and power tools. Sometimes it is also necessary for them to work high in the air.

Fishing Industry Workers

Working in the fishing industry is another dangerous profession. People who work on boats hauling in the catch are particularly at risk. Workers can get thrown off ships into freezing water and are in constant contact with sharp hooks and knives.

Virginia workers compensation insurance is an essential way to protect employees who are injured or killed at work. An insurance representative can advise you on the right policy for your business.

Growth in Shipping Feeds Need for Custom Bonds

Growth in Shipping Feeds Need for Custom Bonds

“What’s that strange thing?” a child asked her mother in the grocery store, pointing at an oddly shaped item in the produce section. Herself unsure of what it was, the mom picked up one of the ridged, star-shaped things for closer inspection. “It’s called a star fruit and it comes from Sri Lanka,” said the mom, reading the label next to the star-shaped fruit. Star fruit (also known as carambola) is a tropical fruit that has become commonplace in many local markets these days, but years ago was relegated to ethnic, or high-end grocers specializing in exotic foods from around the world. The fact that you can get a star fruit or plenty of other previously niche items readily speaks to the reality that the world has shrunk, in a sense, and the international marketplace has become increasingly dynamic in the last few decades particularly, let alone the last century. As a result, the need for custom bonds surety products has skyrocketed, as retailers located here seek to send products over there, and vice versa.

These are contracts between the principal (the importer), the company providing the surety, and the obligee, that are provided to ensure the performance of an obligation that has been imposed by a law or a regulation. Their primary purpose: to guarantee payment of taxes and import duty fees, and to ensure compliance with regulations and laws concerning importation of shipments from foreign points of origin into the United States. These instruments are required in order to secure the transaction if you intend to import more than $2,500 in goods for commercial purposes to the U.S.

Turn to a professional before you ship

When it comes to transportation and logistics providers, the expert advice they need regarding cargo and transportation-related liability insurance requires that they seek out an agency that has years of experience and industry knowledge to draw upon. A professional insurance agent can help construct a custom bonds surety program and provide guidance that can save you money-for example, analyze your import frequency and variety of shipping locations to determine whether single-entry or continuous bonds are more suitable-as well as provide risk management and information about industry-specific trends and developments. Contact an agent today to learn more.

Concerns Related to Coin-Operated Laundromat Insurance

Concerns Related to Coin-Operated Laundromat Insurance

As an owner of a coin-operated laundromat, you understand the importance of having comprehensive insurance as well as maintaining a safe and secure environment. Doing so not only benefits employees and customers, but, by properly maintaining and securing your store, you can protect your profits by avoiding unnecessary claims while making sure your store is operating at full potential. There are many dangers associated with this line of business, and here are a few common concerns that should always be addressed.

  1. Prevent dryer fires from occurring: Dryer fires constitute perhaps the most costly and devastating property insurance claims for many of these self-service laundries. Developing a schedule to keep lint screens clean, preventing lint from accumulating inside the dryer cabinet and cleaning out ductwork on a regular basis will help greatly in the prevention of fires. Other things to be on the lookout for include improper installation, insufficient makeup air and spontaneous combustion caused in garments containing grease, cooking oil, and other flammable residue.
  2. Protect coin changers from theft and vandalism: Owners must take preventative measures against an overnight break-in leading to the subsequent destruction of coin changers. Hire a local security store to install alarms on the changers. Install security cameras (if you don’t already have them) and make sure at least one camera is on the coin changer area at all times.
  3. Keep safety in mind when remodeling: Keep safety at the forefront when planning a new store or remodeling the existing location. This includes using the proper flooring materials, installing adequate lighting, and having well-placed floor drains and sprinklers installed. Proper aisle widths and multiple exits are important for customer convenience and safety.
  4. Train attendants properly: Your attendants are your best means of protection. They should be well-trained in order to prevent injuries to customers. Attendants should also be trained on what to do if an accident occurs, know how to use fire extinguishers, shut off machines and utilities quickly and safely, and contact emergency services when required.
  5. Have regular facility inspection and maintenance: Be sure to inspect your parking lots and sidewalks for cracks, potholes, uneven pavement since many slips, trips and falls occur outside the walls of the laundry. Customers may also slip and fall resulting from water that has leaked from a washer and has not been promptly mopped up and the floor properly dried. Having coin-operated laundromat insurance helps when problems arise, but being proactive can reduce many risks.

Temperature Concerns and Marine Freight Insurance

Temperature Concerns and Marine Freight Insurance

Having marine freight insurance helps to cover any loss and/or damage of cargo while it is in transit between the points of origin and its final destination. Goods covered by this policy may be transported by sea, air, or land. Cargo insurance is essential for businesses engaging in international trade, especially those that ship large quantities of goods by motor carrier.

Specific terms and benefits vary widely across the world and many cargo insurance policies are custom tailored for specific shipments, however a few general principles apply to the entire industry. While shipping goods internationally is safer and more efficient than ever, there are still numerous reasons freight could be damaged in transit.

The importance of understanding your policy

A common mistake when reading an all-risk insurance policy is to assume that the policy will automatically cover any accident involving your goods. This is not always necessarily the case. Make sure you understand the language in your policy, since many all-risk policies lay out a specific set of situations in which they do not cover the goods. Occurrences not listed there should be covered under an all-risk policy.

Global shipping makes cargo vulnerable to the consequences of temperature extremes. Oftentimes a shipment ends up going from an extremely cold region to an extremely hot one, or vice versa. Many products can end up being ruined, damaged, spoiled, or otherwise compromised by this occurrence; some could be in danger of being underinsured by their marine cargo policies.

Also vapors in containers during times of extreme heat can suddenly turn into moisture or a mist of condensation as the sun goes down and temperatures cool. Some cargo insurers have been known to add temperature extreme coverage back in exchange for a small additional premium. Claims resulting from temperature extremes are often for total or near-total loss and can be potentially devastating to cargo owners.

Honesty is the best policy when it comes to marine freight insurance. Anyone that is seeking coverage must disclose to the insurance company all pertinent information, such as the type of item, dollar value, mode, and any other material facts that could influence the underwriter in their assessment of the risk. Speak to a knowledgeable agent about any questions or concerns related to this service.

Common Risks that Require Liquor Liability Coverage

Common Risks that Require Liquor Liability Coverage

Any establishment that sells, serves, or assists in the purchase or use of liquor (i.e. dram shop), which includes restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and taverns, is at risk for a liability claim as a consequence of patrons drinking to the extent that injuries or property damages are the result of their actions.

While one may assume that, since the inebriated person was at fault, they should be the one to pay, the reality is that the business that served the alcohol will likely be found liable for any injuries or damages that occurred as a result of the actions, behaviors, or conduct of a patron who drank too much. This is why liquor liability coverage is essential for any one who sells alcohol for consumption.

Common alcohol-fueled scenarios

It can be quite costly when a liability claim is levied upon a restaurant or bar as a result of damages or injuries caused by an intoxicated customer or patron. For example, if an intoxicated patron leaves a bar, gets into his or her car, drives, and commits a vehicular act of manslaughter, an alcohol-related claim is likely to occur. The families of any victims will most likely sue the bar for both civil and criminal damages.

Another common example, a restaurant catering an event serves alcohol, and guests subsequently become involved in a fight, and serious injuries are incurred. This is the type of situation where a business that sells or serves alcohol may be held liable for the actions of those inebriated persons being served. Liquor liability insurance will help cover the owner’s legal costs, court fees, and any civil or criminal damages awarded.

What liquor liability insurance covers

While the terms surrounding this policy vary, some commonalities ensue: Most states in the US require establishments that sell alcohol to carry liability insurance. Policies exclude the selling of alcohol illegally (for example, selling liquor to a minor), and most liquor liability policies are sold as a standalone policy or packaged with a general liability policy.

A good deal of alcohol-related liability claims filed against bars, taverns, and restaurants are a result of liquor-induced fights or altercations, most commonly resulting in an assault and battery allegation. Therefore, assault and battery coverage should be included in your policy. It’s vital that if your establishment serves alcohol, you protect yourself from potential financial losses by being covered with liquor liability coverage.

When Crime Comes to the Car Dealership

When Crime Comes to the Car Dealership

Employees who work at a vehicle showroom may expect hazards to come more likely from parking lot fender-benders than injuries received during a holdup, but that’s exactly what happened recently at a large showroom where the latest in luxury cars were on display. A young couple masquerading as potential buyers suddenly turned on the salesman who was preparing to take them on a test drive. The man shoved the salesman out of the passenger seat while the female held a gun on the salesman as the two got into an expensive SUV and sped off. The astonished salesman made an attempt to run after them, which was when the woman fired a shot at him, wounding him in the shoulder. Police and paramedics were on the scene just a few minutes later, and the shaken employee was taken to the hospital for his wound to be treated. Auto dealership insurance was in place to cover the loss of the SUV and the damage sustained to two other vehicles that were sideswiped as the bandits drove away, and the employee was covered by the company’s workers compensation coverage because his injuries were sustained while he was on the job. However, the entire staff learned a valuable lesson that day about what to do, or not do, should they find themselves face to face with criminals intent on robbing the business.

In the event of a robbery

Remain as calm as possible. Doing so will not only help limit the tension of the situation (and help reduce the possibility of getting hurt), it will help you observe and retain information about the criminals that can later prove important in finding the perpetrators.

Don’t be a hero. The situation is likely to escalate if you resist or try to struggle with the robbers.

Trigger the alarm-possibly. If there is a burglar alarm on site, activate it only if you are able to do so unobtrusively.

Call the authorities. As soon as the robbers make a getaway, gather coworkers and management and go to a secure location in the building, lock the door, and contact the police by dialing 911. Write down details of the incident before they’re forgotten.

Shutter the business until further notice to aid the police in preserving evidence at the scene of the crime.

Collect names and phone numbers of any witnesses who don’t wish to wait for the police to get there, as well as surveillance video footage or pictures to provide to the police.

Call your insurance agent. Your professional agent can provide you with guidance (such as arranging for employee counseling to deal with trauma) and support to help employees overcome the trauma of the event, as well as begin the auto dealership insurance claims process. Contact your agent today to learn more.

The Value of Florida Medical Malpractice Insurance

The Value of Florida Medical Malpractice Insurance

Doctors here in the Sunshine State provide a valuable service in their communities. After all, when someone experiences severe pain or an injury of any type, they turn to doctors and other medical practitioners to provide relief from pain and hopefully to fix whatever is causing them stress and anguish. Unfortunately, people tend to sue the very same health care professionals if they feel they have made a mistake, or if they are made to suffer in any way. This often invokes a wide variety of causes of action and in many cases, legal proceedings may ultimately be involved.

Florida medical malpractice insurance is the best way to deal with pending litigation resulting from a medical mishap or any misunderstanding. However, a successful medical malpractice lawsuit generally requires proof of the following:

  • The care provided was below the ordinary standard of care provided by a similar health care practitioner under the same or similar circumstances
  • A professional relationship existed between the health care practitioner and the injured person
  • The facility failed to use sterilized equipment that put the patient at risk, or
  • The person was harmed because of the deviation from the standard of care

Concerns about lawsuits may often place undue pressure on doctors to act in ways that are not necessarily in the best interest of their patients. Doctors should determine if the chance of finding a problem that requires treatment is extremely small since the risks of testing may outweigh the benefits. For example, in order to avoid even the slightest risk of a lawsuit, doctors may order tests or treatments that have more risks than actual benefits to their patient.

Unnecessary testing, including radiation exposure (or the occasional false test result, which can lead to further unnecessary tests), either of which may result in further complications (such as injury or radiation exposure), or even a false diagnosis may all contribute to unnecessary risks to the patient.

Patients should also be open to asking their doctor to discuss the relative benefits and risks of any test as well as proposed treatment before any action is taken. Most doctors understand that the best defense against malpractice lawsuits is not in having Florida medical malpractice insurance, but lies in their providing excellent medical care and building close, trusting, and collaborative relationships with their patients.

WC Coverage Available Through Atlanta Insurance Agency

WC Coverage Available Through Atlanta Insurance Agency

Most businesses that have employees also have to follow the requirements of the state to provide workers’ compensation (WC) insurance to help protect them from the various exposures they face when the duties of their workers put them at possible risk. Under most workers’ compensation systems, employers are required to purchase insurance that provides benefits to employees who suffer work-related injuries and illnesses.

A qualified Atlanta insurance agency can help with your WC concerns that will enable employees to get benefits regardless of who was at fault for the accident. In return, the policy provides employers with needed protection from lawsuits by injured employees seeking monetary damages for any pain and suffering or mental anguish related to their accident and subsequent injury.

What does workers’ compensation cover?

Laws for workers’ compensation require that coverage be made available only for any work-related injury or illness. However, the injury or illness does not necessarily have to occur in the workplace and as long as it’s a result of a job-related incident, it’s covered by the policy. For example, any employee will be covered if they experience illness or are injured while traveling on business, running any type of work-related errand, or attending a business-related meeting off-site or social function.

Covered injuries and illnesses can range from any number of sudden incidents, including being struck by falling objects, or falling off a scaffolding or ladder. In addition, any injuries that happen over the course of time, such as repetitive stress injuries (RSIs), or illnesses that result from exposure to workplace chemicals, radiation, and even air pollution are covered as well.

For example, many workers have received monetary compensation for RSIs such as carpal tunnel syndrome and recurring back problems. Workers may also receive compensation for illnesses and diseases that are the gradual result of their working conditions, such as heart conditions, lung disease, and stress-related digestive problems.

Things not covered under workers’ compensation

There are many injuries and illnesses that are not covered under WC insurance, and coverage will likely be denied for situations involving injuries caused by intoxication or drugs, self-inflicted injuries or those resulting from a fight started by the employee.

Any violation of company policy including injuries resulting from horseplay or any felony-related injuries or any claimed after an employee is terminated or laid off, and of course injuries an employee suffers while off the job. An Atlanta insurance agency advisor is available to help you determine which program will work best for you and your business.

Safety Training for Office Products Suppliers

Safety Training for Office Products Suppliers

If you own or operate a company that provides office products and supplies you are probably aware of the risks related to operating this type of business. But when was the last time you walked around the warehouse looking for hazards and other concerns? Are the machines regularly checked out to ensure they won’t breakdown and cause someone to become injured? Are the floors clean of oil and other slippery substances?

These are obvious areas of concern, and if a worker were to have a slip and fall accident, or become harmed by a machine that was not properly working and posed a safety threat, chances are you could have a serious workers compensation claim on your hands. Office product suppliers, like most companies, are required to provide workers and employees with workers comp insurance for those instances when they are injured during the performance of their duties at work.

Safety in the workplace

The more time devoted to a safe working atmosphere, the less the likelihood that an employee will become injured on the job. That’s not to say that accidents can’t, or won’t happen, but by being proactive in the prevention of accidents, and training employees on what to look for, as well as report any improprieties that they witness or discover, can go a long way towards reducing the chances of someone getting hurt.

If you don’t already have one you should create a safety program, enlist someone to be the company Safety Manager, schedule regular meetings to discuss any past issues or concerns and make a plan to make adjustments moving forward. It should be the job of the Safety Manager to ensure that follow-up is done, corrections are made, and that all new employees are given immediate training specific to their duties.

An injured worker not only reduces the workforce, which often means that others must work harder, and sometimes longer hours to get the same amount of work done. This added stress can often lead to more injuries. That’s why management should look hard at the risks and exposures of the company and create a stringent risk management plan to help stem the tide of possible injuries occurring.

Office product suppliers have a huge responsibility to provide their products to companies in many different industries. They need workers who maintain the same sense of responsibility when it comes to keeping themselves, and their co-workers, safe at all times.

Working With A Commercial Insurance Agency

Working With A Commercial Insurance Agency

As with most companies, your business will experience certain risks and exposures that need to be addressed. A commercial insurance agency and its staff is ready to help you to meet the insurance requirements for your business. There are four main categories of coverage, which include property insurance, general liability insurance, commercial automobile insurance, and umbrella insurance.

Umbrella insurance is additional liability insurance coverage that is helpful in the event that a claim exceeds your current liability insurance limits. Before you begin shopping for commercial insurance for your business, you should consider the following as a way of gauging how well you understand the needs of your company.

Shop and evaluate the value of available coverage

Shopping allows you to do the research necessary to determine the best choice for your commercial coverage. Remember to evaluate policy prices, but to also make sure that your decision is based on value as well as price. Commercial insurance needs are not the same for all businesses. Your insurance coverage requirements will likely depend on many variables, so work one on one with your agent to tailor your policy for your specific needs.

In order to receive the most effective policies for your business it’s best to do a little homework before entering into any coverage agreement. For example, discuss the following questions; do you own your own property and do you have customers who come to your work site? How many employees do you have and do you also have vehicles to cover? What is the total number of autos you use and what are these vehicles used for? Other determining factors should include what kind of inventory you have to carry and if there is any special equipment that you have to maintain. You should only obtain coverage that fits your business and industry.

Before you start working with an insurance agent, and they begin the process of shopping your insurance to different insurance carriers, make sure you conduct a risk assessment to help determine if changes can be made to lower your risks. You may end up getting a lower premium from the commercial insurance agency because the insurer will see your efforts as well as your attention to the smaller details.