If you own a construction company, you need adequate insurance to protect your investment. You may not realize it, but there are two types of necessary coverage, and they aren’t interchangeable. Let’s take a quick look at each.
Builders Risk Insurance
A builder’s risk policy covers the contractor’s property, materials, and equipment where the construction is taking place. This policy protects the project until it is finished and the owner approves of the work. The policy also covers unexpected perils, such as weather events, vandalism, and theft. Examples of damage include:
- Lightning strikes and hail
- Explosions and fires
- Theft and vandalism from external sources
- Vehicles that crash into the building
If the damage was caused by flooding, it won’t be covered. In addition, coverage is excluded for any weather-related damage that resulted from property left unprotected. Most builder’s risk policies only cover the damage to property or materials of the insured contractor.
Contractors’ General Liability Insurance
This general liability insurance covers bodily injuries, accidents, and damage at the construction property. In addition, if you or your workers are accused of causing injuries or property damage at the site, general liability insurance will protect your business. It will also cover litigation from claims of libel, slander, or false advertising.
Both policies are critical to protecting your construction company.
Directors and Officers (D&O) insurance is a must for every business owner. Many types of claims can be filed against the directors, officers, managers, and other executives of a company. Even if the owners weren’t aware of any illegal acts, they are liable to pay for legal fees and other damages if they don’t have proper coverage.
D&O Insurance Claims Examples
Let’s take a look at some typical D&O claims that business owners may face.
- Stolen proprietary secrets – An executive has access to a customer’s proprietary blueprints, and he decides to sell them to a competitor. The customer sues the business owner for millions of dollars, even though the owner was not aware.
- Misrepresentation – An officer of the company gives false or misleading information to investors, directing them to make bad decisions on behalf of the company.
- Fraud – Executives in a company engaged in stock offerings that are based on personal interest, rather than what is best for the common shareholders. These offerings help to boost the executives’ portfolios while being detrimental to the other shareholders.
A business owner can be held liable for so many potential claims against the directors and officers of the company. D&O insurance coverage is critical in order to protect their investment.
Elder abuse is a serious problem. When researching elder abuse in America, it is clear that that is especially true for frail and isolated seniors in nursing facilities. While it may never be completely eradicated, there are severe steps that nursing homes can take to rescue rates of abuse within their facilities.
Many nursing facilities have incredibly high rates of staff turnover. That means residents are routinely exposed to new caregivers. A careful applicant screening process can help eliminate candidates that might be more likely to commit an abusive act. It should include testing for illegal substances, a criminal record, and financial stability.
Not all cases of abuse are physical. They may be financial mismanagement, emotional abuse, or neglect. Staff training should highlight the different types of elder abuse and how to recognize signs of them. This is key to having a safe and healthy environment for seniors. After all, many of them are not able, whether physically or cognitively, to report their abusers. Sensitivity training can also encourage empathy among caregivers so they are better prepared to provide care in a compassionate manner.
Sadly, it’s not likely that all incidences of abuse will be prevented. Nursing facilities should always carry a comprehensive and complete insurance package designed to mitigate risks associated with elder abuse.
In Arlington, VA, you will find the headquarters for the National Pollution Funds Center. This center is controlled by the United States Coast Guard and was created in order to address the transportation of oil within American waters. In addition to regulatory involvement, the center is also able to respond to spills at any point in the day with a variety of resources.
The Damage to Nature
As seen in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon fire and explosion, oil spills are extremely harmful to the environment. Oil spills affect marine birds, mammals, shellfish, and fish. It clogs the insulating ability of fur-bearing animals and weakens the water-repelling abilities of a bird’s feathers. When this happens, it exposes them to harsh environmental conditions that can lead to death. A trickle-down effect also carries negative consequences to the ecosystem.
The Damage to Companies
Those that work in the marine industry know the heavy regulations that are in place to prevent oceanic pollution. Any fuel or oil spill that leaves any sheen on the water has to be reported to the U.S. Coast Guard response center, and many states require local reporting as well. If your company, boat, or operations is found at fault for the spill, Federal law requires that your company bear the costs of cleanup. Since these cleanup costs can be financially devastating, fuel spill liability insurance is worth purchasing.
If you run your own company, you have so many issues to address. You want to keep your employees and clients happy, all while making an acceptable profit. One thing you don’t want to add to your worry list, however, is possible litigation. There are many types of insurance coverage that will protect you from unhappy customers or clients. If mistakes are made by your employees regarding products and services provided by your company, Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance can cover you. If business management decisions are made negligently and can cause harm to your customers, Directors and Officers (D&O) insurance can protect your company.
But what about a disgruntled employee? Since you aren’t immune to employees seeking liability, it is important to consider EPLI (Employee Practices Liability Insurance) to protect your company.
Examples of Claims Covered Under EPLI
EPLI insurance coverage will protect you and your company against such litigation as:
- Wrongful termination or demotion allegations
- Sexual harassment claims
- Discrimination charges
- Claims of emotional distress
EPLI can protect you and your company from liability. Others who work for you can also be protected.
Call your insurance agent to see what coverage is best for you. A comprehensive package including D&O, E&O and EPLI may be the best fit for your company.
An OSHA inspection isn’t just conducted in manufacturing plants or industries that have highly visible safety concerns. Those in the trucking industry also have to worry about the health and safety of the truckers when they are behind the wheel or loading and unloading cargo.
According to OSHA, the trucking industry accounts for the most fatalities each year out of all the other industries, and most of these deaths occur during travel. Roadway safety includes concerns with driving when tired, other motorists, weather conditions, and shifting loads.
Loading and Unloading Concerns
Drivers are often responsible for both the loading and unloading of their trailers, and these actions present their own safety risks. Slips and falls are common, but so are back injuries from improper lifting and loading techniques. Forklift accidents could also cause injury, as could cargo falling off shelves or pallets and striking the driver.
Hazardous Materials Concerns
Truck drivers may be required to transport a load that contains chemicals or harmful contaminants. Exposure to the skin could cause burns, but there is also a threat of fire or spillage with the load. An incident could lead to serious injury or death.
OSHA has established inspection requirements to promote driver safety, as well as to protect those who may come in contact with the driver and the load. Following these requirements can reduce the risk of injury and death.
Business insurance is a complex system of products, each designed to address the needs of a set of industries with common liabilities and risks. That’s why so many companies need to opt into a sequence of coverage options, sometimes using different carriers to meet those needs. If you work in the petroleum industry, there are some insurance types that are unique to your business, as well as others that are more common across industries that you also need. If your business has employees, you’ll need workers compensation. General liability is also a basic requirement, and if you have public storefronts, possibly public liability insurance as well.
Finding Coverage for Petroleum-Specific Risks
Once you have the basic insurance types that businesses with storefronts and customers all have to deal with, you also need to consider vehicle coverage for your delivery vehicles, as well as coverage that is specific to the risks involved with transporting and dispensing propane. Luckily, there are a few insurers who specialize in understanding propane dealer risks. If you find the right one, you might even be able to bring all of your coverage options together into a single umbrella policy that addresses all the coverage needs you have across your entire company. That way, you can save money and simplify your insurance planning and review each year.
Tree trimmers provide a valuable service suing specialized equipment and knowledge. It can be dangerous work, though, so the right insurance is a must for any tree company. Research into tree trimmer coverages shows three types of insurance that help protect your business.
Workers Compensation Insurance
Workers’ compensation covers medical expenses and lost wages if a worker is injured in a covered accident. This means your business isn’t responsible for those costs out of pocket, and any injured workers can take time to heal fully before they return to work. Many businesses have a legal obligation to carry worker’s compensation coverage.
Accidents can happen even when you are careful and follow standard safety practices. Liability insurance will pay for damages and legal expenses related to claims made against your company. It is a key piece in your tree trimmer coverages that can help you avoid financial disaster.
Equipment Breakdown Coverage
With the highly specialized and expensive equipment needed for tree work, a breakdown can have serious consequences. After all, broken equipment leads to lost wages for you and your teams. Equipment coverage will help you get your gear repaired or replaced quickly so you can get back to work.
Work to identify and implement safety practices that can help reduce accidents, injuries and breakdowns within your business. Carry the right insurance package to help protect your tree trimming business in case one does occur.
Workers compensation policies are designed to protect employees who are injured on the job. What happens when the person injured is not technically an employee, though? There are ways for your organization to protect its volunteers.
In most states, volunteers are not typically covered under workers compensation policies. In some states, however, volunteer workers comp requirements can be extended in certain instances:
- Voluntary firefighters
- Voluntary medical workers
- Rostered volunteers
- Volunteers who are compensated in non-financial ways
If your business relies heavily on volunteer efforts, it may be useful to look into ways to protect people, particularly if the work involves lifting or other manual labor.
There are other options if your state does not have volunteer workers comp requirements. One common practice of nonprofit business owners is to extend the payment limits on their general liability policies or invest in umbrella policies to cover anyone – employed or otherwise – who is injured on their property. This would effectively cover volunteers who are injured in the course of their service.
When you rely heavily on volunteer work to make your business operate properly, you may want to find ways to protect the people who donate their time. Talk to your insurance agent about options for making sure everyone who makes your organization successful is protected.
In January of 2020, maritime law changed in order to continue protecting the environment but potentially sacrificing the affordability of transport services across the seas. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is the special agency appointed through the United Nations that takes care of the safety and security of the shipping trade but also prevents pollution of the seas and waterways by ships. The changes implemented this past January will affect the maritime industry and the ability of organizations to generate a healthy profit.
The change for shipping companies is a global marine fuel sulfur cap. So long as the implementation rate is high enough, the environment benefits. However, diesel prices will increase as the low-sulfur oil demand increases, but this will equate to higher freight rates. This is bad news for consumers. Additionally, the slower speeds will help the environment but frustrate consumers with increased travel times.
As the travel struggles increase for consumers, the industry will suffer from a limited transport capacity. With a capacity cut, the market may experience shifts in the supply-demand balance, with smaller carriers being the most vulnerable. The overall benefit, in order to compensate for the changes in routine and servicing, comes from developing a better discipline to stay relevant to the industry. Preparing for these adjustments can help a shipping company strategically plan for the future.