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Cost Saving Options for Your Workers Compensation Insurance

Workers Compensation Insurance

In most states, you have a choice of workers compensation coverage, giving you the option of shopping around to help save costs. What you might not realize is that there are risk transfer options outside of coverage through a regular insurance carrier that could satisfy your state’s requirements for coverage while allowing you to save money and create a more responsive claim system. When you opt for self-insured work comp benefits, your company essentially signs up to pay claims itself, without going through an intermediary.

Self-Insurance Options

Self-insurance for workers compensation comes in two general organizational structures. The more expensive at startup is full self-insurance, where your business manages its claims and pays out of its reserve funds. It allows you to make sure your workers get timely treatment after an accident because you are in control of the claim processing and payment. It can save money over time as your new processes gain efficiency when compared to the alternative, which is to participate in a self-insurance fund. Those funds group financial contributions from a few businesses that participate together, allowing each to set aside a smaller reserve. This option costs less to start with, but it does involve giving up a little control over the process to an outside party.


Researching Health Plan Options on the SHOP Marketplace

SHOP

There are many options for small businesses that wish to offer health insurance to their employees. The Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) is one such place. Small business owners can go to the SHOP marketplace to research insurance plans, compare rates, and purchase coverage.

SHOP Plan Categories

There are four categories under SHOP broken down by the percentage of the coverage the insurer pays, versus what the employer pays.

  • Bronze
  • Silver
  • Gold
  • Platinum

SHOP Plan Types

Under each category of coverage, there are several SHOP plan types to choose from, similar to healthcare options found elsewhere.

  • Exclusive Provider Organization (EPO) – often considered a hybrid option where a primary care physician is not required, but the participant can only see doctors within the network.
  • Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) – care is usually coordinated by a primary care physician and participants can only visit doctors within the HMO network.
  • Point of Service (POS) – participants pay less for services provided in-network and a referral from the primary physician is needed before a visit to a specialist.
  • Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) – participants can see any physician they wish but pay less for services within the network. A referral is not required to see a doctor.

The SHOP marketplace provides a central place for a small business owner to make an informed decision about the healthcare options available for them and their employees.


Types of Specialty Insurance You Didn’t Know About

Specialty Insurance

Specialty insurance is designed to cover people for specific situations. You can find enormous lists of gateway specialty insurance available for anyone who needs it. Here are some of the most popular kinds of insurance you might not even know about.

Travel Insurance

You can risk a lot when you go traveling, especially when you’re headed overseas. Baggage can get lost, property can get stolen from a hotel room and accidents can happen when you’re away from your normal coverage. Travel insurance is designed to protect people and their belongings when in another country.

Pet Health Insurance

Pets can get expensive fast. One emergency trip to the vet can set you back a substantial amount. Pet health insurance is designed to help cover those costs and can be beneficial as pets grow older.

Wedding Insurance

Weddings can cost an enormous amount of money, and despite your best planning efforts, things can still go wrong. You can get insurance for postponing your wedding to a later date should you need to cancel. Liability insurance can also be purchased to protect guests who get a little out of hand.

Understanding what events can be covered by specialty insurance can really pay off if something goes wrong. There’s no need to put your financial security on the line when you have insurance.


Does Your Business Need PWC Rental Insurance?

Rental Insurance

Running a boat rental business often includes offering personal watercraft, such as Sea-Doos and Jet Skis. If you already have these craft in your fleet, or you are considering adding them, you need to make sure your insurance provides coverage for accidents, property damage and injury for the PWCs. General boat insurance policies do not offer protection for these vessels.

Obtain Protection for PWC

PWC coverage is required for any Jet Skis or Sea-Doos you rent out to your customers. Each individual vessel needs to be included in your policy. The coverage options are similar to those you find in standard boat insurance; however, you do need to make sure that you seek specialized insurance for personal watercraft from a qualified agent or broker.

Make sure that your policy offers protection for:

  • Injury or death to another individual due to renter negligence
  • Injury or death to riders when another boater is at fault
  • Uninsured boater damages and injuries
  • Property damage
  • Craft damage to equipment, hull and machinery

You might also want to check for additional options, such as PWC recovery should the vessel sink.

Renting PWC can be a great business opportunity. Make sure that you are not placing your operations or yourself at risk of legal and financial trouble. Insuring personal watercraft is required, so procure the coverages you need to protect your customers, your craft and your business.


Promoting a Safe Working Environment By Deterring Horseplay

Horseplay

It’s great when people can have some fun at work. However, certain types of behavior that are intended to be all in good fun can create dangerous working conditions.

Train Staff About Physical Safety

Horseplay among employees can be dangerous in any type of situation, but it’s particularly perilous when employees’ job duties already involve some measure of physical risk. Settings that involve working with hazardous materials, operating large machinery or difficult physical labor require employees’ full attention. An effective way to discourage unsafe joking around is to specifically address the topic in training initiatives. Explain to employees why certain conduct may be dangerous. Frankly, some scare tactics may be helpful. When employees can visualize the actual consequences of unsafe behavior, they’ll be more understanding about why horseplay may be no laughing matter.

Enhance Supervision

Employees will be less likely to take time out of what they’re doing to kid around when they know that they’re being supervised. While it may not be a good use of resources to supervise people all the time, making unannounced supervisory appearances at random can be a good deterrent.

When employees are distracted or doing something unsafe in an attempt to get a laugh, it puts both their safety and their coworkers’ safety in jeopardy. Employers need to take active measures towards getting their workforce to prioritize safety over diversion.


Breaking Your CT Lease Agreement Without Penalty

ct lease agreement

Lease agreements in Connecticut obligate you, as a tenant, to pay rent for the entire term of the agreement. If you fail to do so, a landlord can evict you and file a suit against you in order to recover the arrears. However, if you need to break a lease agreement, the are several circumstances that allow you to do so without penalty. Here are four of these reasons.

  1. Military Duty

If you are a member of the uniformed services and need to commence active duty, it is possible to terminate your lease a month after the day that your rent next falls due.

  1. Domestic Violence

CT lease agreements can also be terminated if you are a victim of domestic violence, or if you fear you will come to imminent harm by staying in your abode.

  1. Violation of Health and Safety Codes

A landlord must ensure that the domicile meets the state’s codes and must keep it in a habitable condition.

  1. Harassment or Violation of Privacy

Finally, your landlord must give you reasonable notice before entering the abode. Also, as long as you are upholding the terms of the lease, your landlord is barred from changing your locks, removing your doors and windows, or turning off your utilities without notice.

If your situation meets any of these requirements, you can break your lease without penalty. However, you will still need to provide your landlord with written notice. You may also need to supply him or her with proof of your circumstances.


Understanding Liability Within Nonprofits

understanding-liability

Forming a nonprofit organization is an adventure that will reap many rewards. However, just like any business, a nonprofit organization always faces certain risks. During the formation phase, it’s important to understand the various liabilities your new organization could come up against.

Volunteers

Volunteers are a necessity for a nonprofit, but unfortunately, they are also a liability. Depending on the nature of volunteer tasks, volunteers could become injured. They could also steal from your organization.

Lawsuits

Your organization’s directors and officers could be sued for a host of allegations, including wrongful acts, discrimination and mismanagement of funds. Your webpage poses the risk of copyright and trademark infringement.

Events

Many nonprofits must regularly host events to get the attention of potential donors. Events pose a liability risk to the nonprofit because attendees could be harmed.

How to Prepare

During the planning phase, discuss these risks and what you can do to minimize them.

  • If you’re going to utilize volunteers, consider implementing the use of a waiver to protect against liability in the case of injury.
  • Purchase nonprofit general liability insurance to protect your organization against damage and injury.
  • Plan for how you will account for and publish funds raised and how they are spent.
  • Budget for event insurance when your nonprofit has fundraisers or awareness campaigns.

Protecting your nonprofit is one of the most important steps you can take to ensure a successful future.


3 Reasons To Redesign Your Insurance Website

Insurance Website

Your website may be the first contact your potential customers have with your insurance company. If site visits are not converting to sales, it may mean that your website is making a poor impression, and it may be time for a redesign. Here are some indications that your current design has outlived its usefulness.

1. The Design Hurts Your Credibility

When it comes to convincing customers that your insurance company is trustworthy, what you have to say on your website may be less important than its overall design. As Neilson Marketing Services in Laguna Hills, CA reports, the design of your website is what 75% of your customers use to gauge your credibility.

2. The Search Engine Rankings Are Poor

Constant updates to the algorithms used by Google and other search engines mean that your optimization strategy must constantly adapt as well. A redesign of your insurance website can involve analysis of current search trends and modification of your SEO methods.

3. The Site Is Not Compatible With Mobile Devices

Gone are the days when surfing the web required a desktop computer or even a laptop. Today, most people use mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets to browse the web on a regular basis. If your website is not compatible with these devices, your customers are unlikely to try to access it again.

In nature, those that cannot adapt do not survive. The same principle holds true for your insurance company website.


Precautionary Measures for Intermediate Care Facilities Due to COVID-19

precaintermediate care facilities

Intermediate Care Facilities (ICFs) are at a higher risk of COVID-19 exposure due to shared living spaces. Daily activities often occur in community areas, and some people share bedrooms. The need for protective health measures during the pandemic is vital to the safety and well-being of residents and staff.

Staying Ahead of the Curve

Protecting personal safety is the most critical task for ICFs. Since there is limited ability to isolate residents, minimizing the spread of infection is the best practice. COVID-19 and intermediate care require heightened screening techniques to ensure the transmission is not taking place between residents, staff, and visitors. Basic precautionary measures can be highly effective:

  • Hand washing regularly
  • Cleaning and sanitizing all surfaces
  • Using Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) at all times
  • Monitoring temperatures
  • Communicating all changes in physical health
  • Practicing safe distancing
  • Scheduling use of common areas

It is important for intermediate care facilities to consistently reevaluate protocols. Each care facility has to measure standards in relation to their ability to reduce exposures. Residents should be informed of safety techniques with visually helpful posters and physical demonstrations. Congregate living and vulnerable populations necessitate all persons to be vigilant in safeguarding each other. Shared protective measures help to assure ICFs are limiting risk at this critical time.


3 Hacks to Change Spring Cleaning Forever

BlueSky Insurance

After another winter has come and gone, many people start turning their house upside down to put it back together in the best form and fashion, all in the name of spring cleaning. Even if you think you’ve mastered the process, here are some life-changing cleaning hacks to try.

Lemon

Because of its acidity, lemon is a great stain fighter. Whether you use it on the inside of your microwave, on stainless steel fixtures, or ceramic bathroom tiles, lemon will get rid of scum, streaks, and smells all over the house. When you’ve used all the juice of a lemon, cut it into quarters and toss it in your garbage disposal for a fresh citrusy scent from that hard to clean abyss.

Steam Cleaner

A steam cleaner is a must for working smarter rather than harder. You can use them to mop floors, remove stubborn grime from appliances like your oven, and make grout look like new. Because of the high temperature of the water, a steam cleaner also safely disinfects the cleaned areas without harmful chemicals.

Car Wax

It may sound odd, but car wax can save you from the frustration of watching things get dirty right after you clean them. Buff it onto your stove, fridge, and any stainless steel appliances and fixtures to banish smudges and create an easier cleanup process after every use.

Once you’ve got your home in order, the experts at BlueSky Insurance recommend reviewing the insurance policy on your home to make sure your coverage is adequate to meet your most important needs.