Limiting Your Liability During the Company Holiday Party

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

With the fallout from the #MeToo movement forcing employers to change their internal conduct policies, they are also reassessing the office holiday party. While gatherings can be a good time for your staff to mingle casually with their colleagues and clients, they can also prove to be a liability for businesses – particularly if you serve alcohol. Not all companies are canceling holiday parties, though. Some are being a little more careful and limiting or eliminating alcohol served at holiday celebrations. If you are throwing a holiday party, you should take steps to limit risks and make sure you are…
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A Buy-Sell Agreement Can Save Surviving Business Partners from Uncertainty, Turmoil

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

Life is unpredictable, and sometimes the unthinkable happens and we lose a loved one or a business partner. For many small businesses, the passing of a partner could lead to a number of issues regarding ownership, with the future of the organization in doubt if the surviving family members of the deceased want to sell their stake. That could bring in a new partner that may not share the same visions or operating culture as the remaining owners. To avoid this turmoil, you should consider a buy-sell life insurance policy agreement that sets the stage for an orderly sale of…
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Small Business Owners Should Start Now to Prepare for Retirement

| posted in Blog

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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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 You Need ‘Key Man’ Insurance

| posted in Blog

If you are operating a small business, you are likely relying on a small staff to get the job done. Many employees in small firms have to wear many hats and if one of them or an owner should die, the business could suffer greatly from that sudden loss of talent. If you don’t have “key man” insurance, that setback could be devastating to the viability of your operations, whereas coverage would provide you with extra funding that you would need while recovering from the loss. Key man insurance is simply life insurance on the key person in a business….
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Rates Expected to Climb 4% in 2017 as Workers Grow Weary of Cost-shifting

| posted in Blog

A new survey by Mercer Human Resources has found that average premiums for group health plans should increase by about 4% for 2017 after employers make plan changes like increasing deductibles and switching carriers. Employers have enjoyed health plan cost increases of about 4% or less each year since 2011. Prior to that, essentially before the Affordable Care Act became law, costs were increasing by double-digit percentages for many years. The new findings come after the Kaiser Family Foundation and Health Research & Educational Trust released its own employer health benefits survey, which found similar increases for this year. Premiums…
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More Small Employers Restore Health Benefits

| posted in Blog

Many small employers that dropped health insurance coverage for their employees after the Affordable Care Act took effect have reinstated the benefits as competition for talent increases.Companies with fewer than 50 employees are not required to provide health insurance benefits to their workers under the ACA, and after the law took effect, many dropped coverage to let their workers instead buy coverage on public insurance exchanges. Most small businesses also made the change to shift their employees to individual coverage because their workers were eligible for significant government subsidies. But since the exchanges began operating in 2014, the labor market…
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New X-Mod System Reduces Effect of One Large Claim

| posted in Blog

One of the biggest complaints in workers’ comp – that one large claim can skew an employer’s X-Mod – is about to finally be addressed in California. The Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau’s “split-point” experience rating system, in which an employer’s actual workers’ comp losses are divided into actual primary losses and actual excess losses, will be overhauled for 2017. The Bureau will do so by replacing the current static $7,000 split point for all industries and employer sizes with a variable split-point system. This change is expected to limit the impact of one large claim on an employer’s (particularly…
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Small Firms Increasingly Need Directors and Officers Coverage

| posted in Blog

While directors and officers liability has been traditionally thought of as insurance for publicly traded companies, increasingly it’s smaller companies that account for the largest share of exposure among top decision-makers. A study published by the news website Advisen found that over the past 10 years, small businesses accounted for 70% of all D&O insurance claims. And during that time, these claims increased 300% for small businesses, compared with 200% for large companies and 150% for mid-sized operations, according to the study. Although privately held businesses don’t risk exposure to securities class-action suits, a business doesn’t have to have shareholders…
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