April, 2014

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Dog Bites and The Covered Canine Policy for Florida Pet Owners

Every dog owner is responsible for the actions of their pets and is exposed to possible liability for dog bites as well as other canine-inflicted injuries. Dog bites account for a large number of injuries annually, and at least 4.5 million Americans every year are bitten. Children are often the victims of the most serious attacks, and the annual losses exceed $1 billion dollars. A Florida Covered Canine Policy provides protection that a standard homeowners or renters policy may fail to offer.

Victims are often those people most familiar to the owner

The most likely victims of a possible dog attack are surprisingly not strangers or intruders, but the dog owner’s own relatives, friends and neighbors. As a dog owner, having insurance means protecting the people who are closest to you, which allows you to protect valuable relationships and ensure their proper care and treatment when they become unexpected targets.

Certainly your pet’s intentions were not malicious, especially to someone they are often familiar with. Usually it is a matter of timing, either approaching the animal while it is eating, or moving in such a way that startles or alarms the dog.

Homeowners and renters insurance policies normally provide benefits for dog bite victims, but this may also cause an increase in premiums. You should consider getting a separate Florida covered canine policy for dog bites that won’t impact your home insurance policy.

Also, other policies may exclude injuries caused by certain breeds of dog. Furthermore, there are policies that provide inadequate coverage, such as mobile home policies, which cover liability for dog bites but only up to $25,000 of the losses (meaning that the dog owner would have to pay anything over the policy limit of $25,000).

With a Florida Covered Canine Policy, you have more options available to you in terms of the type of dogs you can cover and coverage amounts.

photo credit: emdot cc

Employment Practices Liability Insurance & Disgruntled IT Employees

If you are in the Internet Technology (IT) business it is your employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) that safeguards your operation against the high cost of defending lawsuits due to claims by employees, or co-workers citing discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, and other potentially devastating charges.

When everything is going well, the idea of having this type of policy may seem unnecessary, but the fact is that a seemingly harmless comment, or posting an offensive picture or cartoon up in the workplace can spark a controversy that results in someone, who feels violated or offended in someway, filing a claim against someone else at work.

People often view the same situation differently, and while one person may see nothing wrong in the way they were treated, another person given the exact same punishment, advice, or warning may view it as “crossing the line” between what is proper and acceptable and what isn’t.  If an individual feels that the environment at work is unacceptable, whatever the reason, this can be a hotbed for allegations that they were, in some way, mistreated.

Your EPLI can cover your business when one of your company’s leaders is accused of any of the following:

  • Wrongfully terminating employment or an implied contract
  • Wrongfully disciplining or demoting an employee
  • Sexually harassing an employee
  • Damaging an employee’s reputation due to slander or libel
  • Discriminating against someone based on age, gender, religion, race, or other factors
  • Breaching an employment contract
  • Causing emotional or mental distress
  • Invading an employee’s or prospective employee’s privacy, or
  • Making negligent decisions related to hiring, promotions, or compensation

Employment Practices Liability Insurance covers claims brought against your IT business by former, current, or prospective employees. When a question of violating legal protocols in the workplace comes up, you could face a devastating lawsuit. EPLI coverage ensures your business has the means to deal with lawsuits of this nature.

photo credit: Werner Kunz cc

Finding Premiums Using Commercial Insurance Auto Rating Software

There is a simple way for your commercial auto insurer to calculate the premiums it charges for your auto liability and physical damage coverages. Most insurers follow the commercial auto rating procedures established by the Insurance Services Office (ISO). This is accomplished by using the various ratings modules that are summarized below.

Using Insurance Rating Software According to Territory

Insurers, or rating agencies, often divide states that they operate in into subdivisions called rating territories. Rating territories may differ based on certain characteristics; for example, one territory may be largely metropolitan while the other is rural. They will also distinguish between territories that are located near a coastline as opposed to those that are located more inland.

Levels of risk are reflected in the different territories, which factors into the rates applied. Rates in one territory will often be higher (or lower) than those charged in another. It’s important to note that the rating territory has nothing to do with the coverage territory in the policy.

Fleet vehicles versus non-Fleet Insurance Ratings

Under a commercial auto policy, vehicles are subject to either fleet or non-fleet rates. A fleet normally consists of five or more self-propelled autos. Typically the fleet rates are lower than non-fleet rates. Since a trailer is not self-propelled they are not counted in determining whether your vehicles constitute a fleet. Check with your agent if you are unsure whether your vehicles are rated as a fleet.

Size and class are also determining factors:

There are two basic types of vehicles used for business: private passenger cars and trucks, and tractors and trailers. Vehicles in the latter category are subdivided into size classes based on gross vehicle weight (GVW). The manufacturer determines the GVW. It is the weight of the truck when loaded to its capacity with both people and cargo. Depending on its GVW, a truck might be classed as light, medium, heavy or an extra-heavy vehicle.

Most insurers will determine which category a vehicle (or fleet) fits into and then use the commercial auto rating system to then complete the task of determining the proper rates to charge.

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Internet Concerns and Healthcare Cyber Liability

Many people feel that having access to information via the Internet is a wonderful thing. It makes communication faster and easier, but at what cost? Liability experts cite a concern over growing liability issues with so much private patient information being accessible over the Internet. Those in the insurance business consider this to be a serious exposure in terms of cyber liability in the healthcare community.



healthcare cyber liability

healthcare cyber liability

In fact the concern is so great that many medical malpractice insurers are now offering physicians the option to purchase this cyber liability insurance along with medical malpractice insurance. Many insurance carriers in fact even offer cyber liability as part of their med mal policy.


The risks are real and apparent


An important part of a doctors risk management is maintaining privacy in the communication between them and their patients, and the Internet has now given patients a number of different ways to communicate with their physician or surgeon, without considering the possibility that this information can easily be viewed by someone other than their doctor and often for the wrong reasons.


Email, social media and smart phones are all great ways for patients to quickly access their doctors with questions, updates and other pertinent information. It is important to realize that there are dangers with having medical records online.


Medical malpractice insurance carriers that offer cyber liability insurance policies typically offer limits of liability of $50,000. Physicians can purchase significantly higher limits of liability for this coverage, and there is often a need to do so, however, they likely need to do so through one of many surplus lines carriers offering significantly higher limits of liability coverage for physicians, hospitals and clinics that have a greater risk.


There is an ever-increasing use of EMR


An Electronic Medical Records (EMR) system can be a great risk management tool for physicians seeking to avoid having to use their medical malpractice insurance; however they come with the danger of their patients’ information being open to cyber theft and other types of cyber crimes. Most healthcare cyber liability policies offer protection for the following:


  • Electronic medical records


  • Online scheduling


  • Electronic prescription ordering, and


  • Patient (and doctor) email breaches

The government encourages physicians, hospitals and clinics to put electronic medical records in place, and has even given tax breaks to physicians for installing these systems into their businesses, because the current administration believes easier access to electronic medical records to be important and extremely useful. 

Building a Website for Your Insurance Agency

Agent insurance marketing

Agent insurance marketing

Having an online presence is all but essential for modern insurance companies, but the issue of getting your insurance agency to stand out from all the others presents a challenge for many companies. Agent insurance marketing gets the name of your business out where potential customers can see it and easily access your services. Here are some of the benefits provided by agent insurance marketing.

Specialized Webpages

Because different insurance agencies specialize indifferent types of services, a template website is often not the best way to explain their policies to customers. A custom website specifically targets regions and audiences, and explains products and services in the clearest possible way. It is also a good idea to have a website that can be easily change to reflect growth and changes to your business.

Optimized Content

Optimized content shows up higher on search engine results which means that your webpage reaches more people. Search engine optimization works best when written by professionals with experience in and knowledge about the field.

Hosting and Updating Services

Finding reliable hosting is another challenge for businesses building a website. Being able to change and update your website without going through a third party webmaster is also very useful. Finding a marketing company that provides hosting and allows you administrator access to your website is often a very good idea.

Use agent insurance marketing to get the name of your business displayed prominently online today.

Reasons You Need a Customized Errors and Omission Policy

 errors and omission insurance medical professional

errors and omission insurance medical professional

When you are a professional in the medical world, an errors and omission insurance medical professional policy becomes a necessity. You never know when a mistake can happen—from a misdiagnosis to advice gone wrong. You need an insurance policy that can help cover your mistakes before they occur and also protect your employees from accidental mistakes that financially affect your clients.


Cover Mistakes Before They Happen


It’s all right if you have an insurance policy in place and never need to use it. However, not having a policy when you need it can be financially devastating—especially in medicine. If a misdiagnosis or certain advice leads to the illness, injury, or death of a patient, the financial burden will likely come back to haunt you. The right E & O insurance can help to cover the costs of things like punitive damages or medical malpractice in such cases.


Protect Your Employees


The employees of your business may be at risk as well. If a simple computational mistake leads to either miscommunication or mistreatment that results in financial or medical harm to a patient, the result could be a lawsuit. You’ll want a policy that helps protect your employees from honest mistakes, too.


Although you might not want to use it, having an errors and omission insurance medical professional policy really is necessary. Do what you can to help your patients live long, healthy lives, but protect yourself in case something unexpected happens.

How a Professional Insurance Provider Can Assist You

Dayville CT Auto Insurance

Dayville CT Auto Insurance

Investigating insurance coverage types and researching to find the best possible option for your needs can be difficult and confusing. Fortunately, with the help of a professional Dayville CT Auto Insurance provider you can pass off these tasks to someone else. Here are some of the ways in which a professional is capable of helping you.


Insightful Advice


Insurance is confusing to lots of people and many motorists find it difficult to decipher the meaning of certain coverage types. A professional has been trained to understand the benefits of each plan, to be capable of providing this information to customers who are in search of the perfect plan.


Individual-Oriented Assistance


Experts understand that no two drivers are the exact same and have the same needs when it comes to developing a policy. For this very reason, the professional you work with will take the time to listen to your needs and to put together a plan that is custom to meet your requirements.


Prompt Reply


In the event of a car accident, insurance does little to no good if you can’t get a hold of your provider for answers to important questions. A professional provider will make it their number one priority to provide impeccable service as promptly as possible.


If you desire to have the perfect Dayville CT Auto Insurance plan to meet the needs of you and your family, it is time to begin working with a professional provider today. Your decision to do so can make your entire experience much easier and less of a headache.


Three Reasons to Re-Evaluate Your Architects & Engineers PLI Policy


architects & engineers professional liability insurance

architects & engineers professional liability insurance

Most professionals in the construction and design industry know having architects & engineers professional liability insurance is essential. However, many people overlook the fact that periodically reconsidering and updating this insurance is also crucial. The following three factors make policy upgrades more than worth the time and effort.


1. Changes in Liability


Clients have increasingly high expectations on various fronts, from new concerns such as energy performance to traditional concerns such as the deadlines outlined in the contract. These expectations can leave architects and engineers exposed to liability that a policy secured in the past may not address.


2. Higher-Value Projects


Many firms fail to change their architects & engineers professional liability insurance when they start doing high-value work for clients with extensive financial resources. Unfortunately, this introduces the risk that the coverage limits currently in place will be inadequate to protect against any claims made. Firms engaging in higher-value transactions should strongly consider investing in policies with higher limits.


3. Firm Growth


As architecture and engineering firms grow, they typically take on more employees and complex projects that require collaboration with a greater number of professionals. It is crucial for a firm to ensure all of these employees and collaborators are adequately covered under the firm’s professional liability policy.


Obtain the Right Coverage Today


Architects and engineers should make a priority of addressing changes in their insurance coverage needs. Arguably, an outdated policy is better than nothing. Still, such a policy may offer little protection for firms that are growing or simply dealing with shifts in client expectations.