Ransomware Becomes Biggest Cyber Threat Facing Businesses

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Ransomware is turning out to be the biggest cyber threat facing companies in 2017 after attacks more than quadrupled in 2016 from the year prior, according to a new study. If you are not familiar with this fast-evolving cyber threat, typically the perpetrators will essentially lock down your database and/or computer system and make it unusable, then demand that you pay a ransom to unlock the system. The “Beazley Breach Insights Report January 2017” highlights a massive and sustained increase in ransomware attacks. Another report, the “2017 SonicWall Annual Threat Report,” found that cyber criminals are shifting their attention from…
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Revisit Risk Response Plans in Light of Emerging Threats

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There’s a lot going on in the world and the risks are changing and evolving rapidly, making it difficult for many companies to adjust and manage the risks they face effectively. Some risks that barely registered a decade ago now pose serious challenges to many businesses. There are novel technological risks with new threats constantly arising in the cyber world, economic and market volatility, terrorism, regulatory and legal challenges, supply chain vulnerability and political uncertainty. These risks can all be real for any business and it’s important that you and your manager sit down and try to identify the potential…
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If You’re Leasing a Vehicle, Put It in Your Company’s Name

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YOU’RE SUCCESSFUL at running your business and you decide it’s time for a new car. You want to take advantage of the great leasing deals many carmakers have on offer, so one weekend you enter into a lease for that vehicle. On Monday you tell your bookkeeper to add the car to your company’s business auto policy, but he tells you that the insurer can’t add the vehicle since it’s in your name. Knowing you’re going to be using this car primarily for business, you realize you’re suddenly in a bind. As a business owner or company director wanting to…
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FMLA, FLSA Lawsuits Surge, Exposing Employers to Large Awards

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The number of employee lawsuits against employers for Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and wage and hour violations has skyrocketed in the last five years and your firm could be the next target even for a small misstep, which can be costly. The Department of Labor has increased its budget and the number of investigators pursuing employers who violate the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which covers wage and hour complaints, including exempt and non-exempt employee violations, overtime violations and similar issues. Employment law attorneys say that the surge in FMLA complaints is a result of more people knowing about…
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Have Plans in Place as Mega-quake Threat Level Is Raised

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The risk for a massive earthquake of magnitude 8.0 or greater has increased, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The risk of that kind of mega-quake occurring in the next three decades is now 7%, according to the survey, which just last year released a report that increased the threat level from 4.7%. It has raised the threat level again due to a better understanding that quakes are not limited to separate faults and that one can start on one fault and jump to others, resulting in a multiple faults snapping at once in a giant mega-quake. The report says…
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PTSD Claims a Growing Workers’ Comp Problem

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An emerging trend in workers’ compensation nationally is workers filing post-traumatic stress disorder claims from events that they experienced on the job. These events will typically be something traumatic like witnessing a violent event while on the job or the aftermath of a horrific accident – but not always. Most recently, the Connecticut Supreme Court held that a Federal Express Corp. driver diagnosed with PTSD in part due to his manager’s demands and stress of a really bad day is eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. In that case, William D. Hart vs. Federal Express Corp. et al., the court upheld…
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Protect Your Traveling Employees Through Planning, Training

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If you have employees who travel as part of their job, your business has a duty to safeguard them when on the road. When on the road both domestically and abroad, accidents and other unforeseen events can occur that can put your employee at risk … from a bush crash in a Madrid to coming down with severe gastrointestinal pains in Mumbai. Meanwhile, political risk is increasing daily, and so is the threat of terrorism, as evidenced by the spate of incidents in Paris, Brussels and San Bernardino. The duty of care is on the part of the employer that…
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Does Business Interruption Insurance Cover Partial Shutdown?

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What happens if your business suffers property damage or a supply chain disruption and is forced to stop operations either fully or partially? Will your insurance cover the work stoppage or slowdown? It is important to understand how your insurance can protect you from the resulting financial loss. In addition to potential recovery for property damage from your property/casualty policy, you may be able to recover lost revenue from your business interruption coverage. If your operations are disrupted – completely or partially – the language of your policy will determine if, and for how long, your insurance company will cover…
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Vehicle Crashes on and off the Job Cost Employers Dearly

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The costs for businesses when their employees are involved in car accidents on and off the job are staggering, at $47.4 billion a year, according to a new study. The “Cost of Vehicle Crashes to Employers – 2015” study, by the Network for Employers for Traffic Safety, looked at how much car crashes cost businesses in terms of workplace disruption and liability costs. While the costs to companies when their workers are in on-the-job automobile accidents are easily measured, the costs to businesses when their employees miss work after accidents while off the job are almost as steep. Employers end…
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Strong Return-to-work Program Key to Keeping Claim Costs Down

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One of the proven ways to reduce the cost of a workers’ comp claim is to get the injured worker back on the job whenever it is safe to do so. Preferably, employers should offer some type of modified work duty if they are still recovering from their injury and if that injury impedes them from performing the work they did before the accident. If workers wait until they are completely healed before returning to work, the cost of a claim with, say, $7,000 in medical expenses can quickly balloon to tens of thousands of dollars as they draw temporary…
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