New Law Reduces Ownership Requirement for Coverage Exemption

| posted in Blog

A new law taking effect this year aims to ease the confusion caused by the implementation of new rules that define what constitutes an owner or officer who is exempt from having to carry workers’ compensation coverage. The new law, which was in the form of SB 189, last year once again changed the definition of employees and the permissible exclusions for workers’ comp purposes. Current law excludes from the definition of employee: • An officer or member of the board of directors of a quasi-public or private corporation who owns at least 15% of the issued and outstanding stock…
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Small Business Owners Should Start Now to Prepare for Retirement

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Small business owners are great at providing jobs, but in the aggregate, most are failing when it comes to preparing for a comfortable retirement for themselves and their spouses. First, most of them are reinvesting almost everything into their businesses. According to a survey from the Bank of Montreal, 58% of business owners take out less than $25,000 per year to pay themselves, and more than three-quarters say they take out less than $50,000. Only 8% of business owners reported being able to take out more than $100,000 over the past year. Meanwhile, multiples in many industries are down, and…
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Employees Driving Their Own Vehicles on the Job Are Your Liability

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Many business owners don’t think twice when asking a worker to run to the office supply store, to the bank or run another errand for the company while on the clock. But as soon as that employee enters their personal vehicle on a trip for your business, you automatically become vicariously liable for their actions. Think it’s not a big deal? There have been cases when employers have been found liable and ordered to pay up to $25 million for crashes involving employees using their cell phones while driving, according to the National Safety Council. That means if your employee…
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What Keeps Business Owners up at Night?

| posted in Newsletter

Business owners have a lot of risks on their minds these days. Complying with regulations, holding on to their best workers, the constant threat of computer hackers, increasingly unpredictable weather – all of these have businesses worried. According to the “2016 Travelers Risk Index” from the Travelers Companies, fewer business leaders saw the world as riskier than they did the year before. However, they expressed concern about the following factors: Medical/employee benefit cost inflation. The rising cost of medical care is the top concern for all businesses. This worry is rational: Government data shows that medical costs rose by nearly…
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Why Your Business May Need Pollution Coverage

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Almost all businesses have some risk of being sued or cited for pollution, even the most benign, such as a property owner. Pollution exposures for many businesses are obvious – like dry cleaners from the chemicals they use, to printing companies from the ink they use. And any manufacturer would face some type of pollution exposure as well, in addition to warehouse operators and contractors. Think you’re not exposed? Say you own a business property, even an office building for example, you could have pollution exposure such as: The existence of lead (paint and pipes or asbestos). Releases by tenants…
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Why You Need to Review, Update Your Business Continuity Plans

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We often urge you to have a risk management plan in place so that you are prepared for the many eventualities that can affect your business. Your risk management plan should be part of a larger business continuity plan for keeping your organization going during periods of disruptions that are both large and small. The plan should be broad to cover prevention and response, and that can only be done with input from representatives of all your firm’s divisions. Companies can spend considerable time putting together a risk management plan that is unique to their workplace and operations. But, after…
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The Effects on Your X-Mod When Purchasing Another Company

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Many companies are often taken off guard when their workers’ comp X-Mod shoots up after a merger or acquisition. The experience modifier spike is usually the result of the other employer having a less than stellar workplace safety record and high workers’ comp claims costs. But there are pre-emptive steps you can take to understand the impact of the merger on your X-Mod and the more you know, the better chance you’ll have at coping with the changed circumstances. The reason is that workers’ compensation rating bureaus have strict rules regarding mergers and acquisitions to ensure that companies don’t engage…
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Many Small Businesses Can’t ID Workers’ Comp Fraud

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Fraud eats away at workers’ comp costs for all businesses, but it hits small businesses the hardest as they may not have the resources to identify bogus claims. According to a new study by workers’ comp insurer Employers Holdings Inc., about 20% of small-business owners are not sufficiently prepared to identify workers’ compensation fraud. It’s estimated that at least 10% of claims are fraudulent, so identifying those illicit claims would keep your workers’ comp claims in check and reduce your workers’ comp premiums. Claims fraud happens when an employee tries to gain workers’ comp benefits by falsely stating that an…
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