January, 2016

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Purchase a Kidnap and Ransom Policy to Protect Against the Unimaginable

Purchase a Kidnap and Ransom Policy to Protect Against the Unimaginable

Kidnap and ransom insurance in PA is intended to shield individuals, businesses and organizations that operate in high-risk areas from the dangers of kidnapping, extortion, hijacking and wrongful detention. Such policies may be designed to cover high-profile families, multinational corporations or other non-governmental organizations and can help protect you while dealing with an unthinkable nightmare scenario.

What Losses Are Typically Covered?

An insurance company won’t generally pay a ransom outright, but may reimburse the insured once they have paid a ransom demand or lost monies in an effort to make a ransom payment. Other expenses that may be associated with kidnapping or extortion–such as medical care, death or dismemberment, legal costs and wage replacement–may also be covered by the policy.

Some K&R policies will also cover fees and expenses for crisis management consultants. In a harrowing experience like kidnapping or extortion, having experienced professionals on your side can make the difference in keeping your asset (whether it be yourself, a loved one or an employee) safe. A K&R policy may even offer insureds kidnap prevention training before traveling to high-risk areas.

Why Do You Need Kidnap and Ransom Insurance?

It is estimated that over 1,000 kidnappings of executives and professionals occur worldwide each year. Any family or company that frequently travels internationally or visits a potentially threatening area can be served by the protection a K&R policy offers.

Although the risk might feel minimal, criminals make millions of dollars each year in kidnapping and extortion plots. In a situation where someone’s life or the lifeblood of your company is in danger, kidnap and ransom insurance in PA can be the savior.

Walker Insurance and Employee Voluntary Benefits Packages

Walker Insurance and Employee Voluntary Benefits Packages

With the diverse needs of employees in today’s workforce, employee benefits packages are one of the most important factors in recruiting good employees. A robust package that includes voluntary products helps employers acquire and retain a talented, productive workforce, and Walker Insurance is a leading producer of employee benefits packages with this goal in mind.

The voluntary products have become increasingly more important since the health care reform act was implemented, and includes critical illness, accident, supplemental medical expense, hospital indemnity and cancer, and dental and vision policies.

Much of the recent research indicates that most employees prefer to purchase their benefits through the workplace, dependent on what is being offered. Those who favor purchasing benefits at work cite the reasons as convenience, as well as the ability to pay via payroll deduction, and perhaps the less desired need to research all the different plans available on the open market, as top reasons for their preference.

Employers also benefit by offering voluntary products

Employers use voluntary plans to offer employees dental, vision and life insurance at group rates, which are lower than what employees would pay if they purchased these plans on an individual basis. Voluntary plans offer many benefits to both the employee and to the employers.

For one, they can fill in the gaps of a limited employee benefits package. If benefits are currently limited to health and dental, adding additional insurance would help address other employee needs. In addition, pre-taxed dollars can be used to pay for these plans. The cost of voluntary plans can be conveniently deducted from paychecks with pre-tax dollars (FSA/HSA/HRA), which can help employees save on their purchase.

Employers who offer a variety of benefits look more attractive to current employees and to new hires, and this can help encourage company loyalty by increasing employee satisfaction. Employees who have dental benefits also tend to routinely get dental care, compared to those who do not have dental insurance.

According to a National Association of Dental Plans Consumer Survey, people who do not have dental coverage are 2.5 times more likely to not visit their dentist. Bad oral hygiene can be very costly, as oral infection has been tied to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, even Alzheimer’s, HPV and more.

Add to this the protection to the families in the event of death or serious injury of an employee and it’s easy to see how Walker Insurance and voluntary benefits packages can create a much happier and productive work environment.

Drunken Fights and Insurance for Bars

Drunken Fights and Insurance for Bars

A sports bar is a great place to get together with friends, have some of your favorite fried treats, down a few drinks and root for your favorite team. Unfortunately, it just takes one unruly bar patron to see this as an opportunity to engage in some fisticuffs. Bar fights are often the results of someone becoming angry because another person disparages his team, or “cheers inappropriately” when that same team gets scored on, or ends up losing the game.

For your clients who own and operate these establishments, this can quickly become their worst nightmare. In a matter of seconds, a bar fight can erupt and escalate, quickly turning an otherwise pleasant afternoon or evening into one filled with chaos and resulting in injuries. This is why they need assault and battery insurance for bars.

Alcohol is often at the root of the problem

Alcohol tends to be the beverage of choice in bars and clubs. Consumed in moderation, it usually isn’t an issue, but when drank in excess, it has varying effects on different individuals. Alcohol can cause a number of emotions, from euphoria to deepened depression, and for some, it may even fuel inner rage.

When bar patrons drink too much they are more likely to respond inappropriately to any number of factors, including:

  • Differing opinions
  • Accidental touching
  • Perceived slights to themselves, or
  • Flirtatious advances directed towards their dates or spouses

Their responses may range from mere threats of physical violence to actual physical aggression, but in all likelihood the mood is confrontational. For some bar patrons, physical aggression is their only response to adversity and opposition.

Whether this results in someone being punched in the face, someone cutting another person with a piece of broken glass from a beer bottle, or throwing a chair at another customer, or the altercation results in retaliation or excessive force from a bouncer, the injured party may have the basis of a personal injury claim, not only against the assailant, but the owner of the bar as well.

Once the fighting begins there is always the possibility of someone being seriously injured or worse. Sit down with clients who may need insurance for bars and discuss their exposures and let them know the risks they may be taking without this vital coverage in place.

Dental Malpractice and Miami Insurance

Dental Malpractice and Miami Insurance

Like all healthcare professionals, as a dentist you must be vigilant about avoiding the many different types of situations that often lead to malpractice lawsuits, which are often an expensive burden. When a patient accuses you of malpractice they are alleging that the services provided or advice given violated a professional standard of care. That is to say, you failed to meet reasonable expectations based on your professional training and experience.

Fortunately there are Miami insurance solutions, particularly professional liability coverage, that deals specifically with malpractice claims that make assertions about the quality of your work. It’s important to realize that many claims, many of which lack merit or are frivolous by nature, have absolutely nothing to do with the quality of your work. The fact is that you don’t actually have to make a mistake or violate a standard of care in order to be sued for malpractice.

Claims associated with dentistry

It’s important to acknowledge some of the common malpractice claims made against dentists, which include:

  1. Failure to give a patient all the information he or she needs – For example, a patient could claim that you didn’t fully describe all possible treatment options and any associated risk, which means the patient couldn’t make an informed decision about their dental care.
  2. Failed treatments or procedures – Patients can make a variety of accusations, including claims of tooth damage or a resulting injury from a botched restoration, root canals, implants, veneers, and crowns. Patients can also claim that you failed to spot a decaying tooth or some other problem during a routine oral exam, which led to a great deal of pain and even more expensive issues.
  3. Products liability – You can be made to assume blame for using faulty products, oral devices, and other materials, even though you did not manufacture these items.
  4. Misdiagnosis – Patients can also claim that you diagnosed a condition incorrectly, or that you diagnosed it late, or failed to diagnose it at all.

Another common claim routinely mentioned is allegations that a dentist damaged the lingual nerve or inferior alveolar nerve while giving anesthesia or removing teeth. Dentists are also often made accountable for failing to provide solid professional council. It’s easy to see why you need Miami insurance for professional liability issues that crop up for dentists on a regular basis. Speak to an agent about this important coverage today.

Aegis General and Manufactured Home Fire Safety

Aegis General and Manufactured Home Fire Safety

Probably the number one concern for your clients that own a manufactured home is fire hazards. Because they are somewhat flimsily designed, as opposed to a house built on a foundation, they tend to lack the ability to survive a major fire hazard. The federal government regulates the construction of manufactured housing, requiring companies to comply with U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) manufactured housing construction and safety standards.

At Aegis General, we understand these homes come with inherent risks, and we strive to help your clients obtain affordable insurance coverage.

Many homes lack proper smoke detection units

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)’s national fire data indicates that manufactured homes built to HUD standards (post-1976 construction) have a much lower risk of death if fire occurs compared to pre-standard manufactured homes. Despite the federal requirements for factory-installed smoke alarms and the fact that seven out of ten manufactured home fires now involve post-HUD-Standard units (based on 2007-2011 data), 51 percent of fires in manufactured homes were reported as having no smoke alarms present.

Many of the issues stem from electrical wiring hazards. We suggest your client hire a licensed electrician to inspect the home, and refrain from using extension cords, other than as a temporary convenience. Also, tell them to avoid overloading electrical outlets, nor should electrical cords be run under carpets or rugs, as the wires can be damaged by foot traffic and overheat and ignite the carpet or rug placed over them.

Unattended cooking is the leading cause of cooking fires in U.S. homes. Tell clients to stay in the kitchen when heating anything on the stove, keep cooking surfaces clean, and place anything that can burn well away from the range. Above all, practice cooking safety tips.

When using space heaters, keep them at least three feet away from anything that can burn.
Also, inform the owners that they should turn off portable space heaters before falling asleep or when leaving the room. Finally, ensure that they supervise children and pets when space heaters are operating.

At Aegis General we not only want to provide affordable insurance, we want to educate people on ways to keep their homes and families safe.

Performance & Payment Surety Bonds are Essential

Performance & Payment Surety Bonds are Essential

Private sector firms perform a significant amount of the public construction work in America. In general, this work is awarded to the lowest responsive bidder. Surety bonds are a crucial part of this system. Your clients working in construction that place bids in an attempt to secure these types of jobs must be fully bonded to be eligible to take on these projects.

There are, of course different bonds, each with a distinct purpose and this article will demonstrate the need to have both Performance & Payment Surety Bonds when working in the construction business.

Bid bonds begin the overall process

Anyone that has ever been in the contracting business knows that the bid bond is intended to weed out frivolous bidders from the bidding process. This helps to ensure the client that the successful bidder will enter into the contract faithfully and provide the required Performance & Payment Surety Bonds. If, for whatever reason, the lowest bidder fails to honor these commitments, the owner is protected, up to the amount of the bid bond, usually for the difference between the low bid and the next highest responsive bid.

When a developer wants to protect the investment made in a project, the contractor that won the bid is required to provide a performance bond before work can begin. The performance bond secures the contractor’s promise to perform the contract in accordance with its terms and conditions, at the agreed upon price, and within the time allowed. If the contractor fails to do so, the developer can make a claim to keep from losing money.

The payment bond protects certain laborers, material suppliers and subcontractors against nonpayment. Since mechanic’s liens cannot be placed against public property, the payment bond may be the only protection these claimants have if they are not paid for the goods and services they provide to the project.

The construction project owner should do some proper screening; checking the work history and references prior to hiring any contractor. Some prequalification screening of contractors obviously is necessary. The government has elected to use the surety mechanism, so the surety assumes the prequalification responsibility and protects the government against loss when a bonded contractor defaults. In short, the Performance & Payment Surety Bonds guarantee that your client will complete the project according to contract.