Key Features You Need in a Workers Comp MGA

Managing General Agents, or MGAs, are full-service insurance providers that specialize in workers compensation insurance for companies of various sizes. They are not all built the same, though. Different providers will have their different approaches to the role of being a workers comp MGA, and generally this reflects their focus on a clientele.

Flexibility and Options

For growing businesses whose needs are likely to change as they expand, a good MGA should be able to offer a variety of options for workers compensation insurance, including:

  •  Guaranteed cost plans
  •  Large-deductible programs
  •  Self-insurance advice and options
  •  Captive programs

That way, as you develop and grow, you can change your service level and style to reflect the needs of your company and your employees. This provides a variety of benefits, and when matched with the key features below, it helps to flesh out a rubric that can be used to find your best partner for workers compensation insurance.

Key Features

When looking for a full-service workers comp MGA, you need to be able to count on more than just option for costs and coverage. You also need

  •  In-house underwriting control
  •  Access to a network of highly-rated national carriers
  • Flexible payment terms
  •  Strong risk management
  •  Fast quote turnarounds
  • Marketplace leverage

Finding an MGA with these key features in place means having the service and support you need to be in compliance with all your compensation insurance requirements, but without overpaying or worrying about gaps in coverage.


Slow and Steady Wins the Client: Drip Marketing Defined

When you consider that the Grand Canyon was formed by the slow drip of water over a long period of time, it’s easy to understand that within a humble little drip lies significant power. The same is true of drip marketing—a type of marketing campaign that sends, on a very slow and deliberate basis, messages to leads. Drip marketing enables firms to send a series of messages to prospects and customers over a period of time. The messages are delivered in intervals based on either time (weekly or biweekly, for example); triggered by the actions on the part of visitors to your website (such as entering birthdates or information about the expiration date of their auto policy, or requesting more information); or other triggers. An insurance marketing system is comprised of a mix of complementary strategies, and the drip method is one of the most fundamental.

The drip method differs from other types of database-driven communications in two ways: first, because of the measured timing of each message, and second, because the communications are typically driven in response to the prospect’s status, activity, or behavior. These campaigns are usually conducted by an agency sending a series of traditional emails, social media blurbs, letters, white papers, or other types of messaging.

Ways to reach out and touch someone

Trusty (and inexpensive) email. The cheapest and most common type of drip program utilizes the simplicity of email to transmit a series of messages. This method is often combined with an auto-responder, a web-based form that automatically enrolls a prospect in a drip campaign that subsequently delivers subject-related messages when he or she completes a form (say, about auto or homeowners coverage) on the firm’s web page.

Straight to the point with direct mail. Another drip approach is via direct mail, which sends digitally printed, customized messaging to leads through traditional so-called snail mail.

On-trend with social media. The new darling of sales communications, social media tools are being harnessed to deliver scheduled drip messaging to prospects and clients.

An insurance marketing system can be simple or very elaborate, and there are professional firms available to help you determine which type of communications will be the most effective for your needs as well as develop and administer a program for you.

Staged Car Accidents and Car Insurance in Orlando

Junel Basile, an employee of Metro Chiropractic & Wellness Center, federal authorities say, was paid to recruit people to participate in staged car accidents and meticulously plan the crashes. The manager at Metro Chiropractic, Sergei Kusyakov, would then pay Florida Hospital employees to steal patient data so the center could solicit legitimate car accident victims for business, according to federal-court records.

This is a ringing example of the kind of insurance fraud that costs Americans billions of dollars each year. As a motorist, you could be the intended target of such scams, where a driver would purposely involve you in an accident in order to file a false claim for injuries that a doctor would substantiate in order to collect monies from car insurance companies in Orlando.

Under Florida’s personal-injury-protection (PIP) requirement for auto insurance, insurance companies are required to pay up to $10,000 per person for medical treatment, regardless of who is at fault. Authorities say medical clinics that run staged-accident schemes make patients receive unnecessary treatments or bill for services never rendered, and exhaust the $10,000 PIP limits as quickly as possible.

Aware of these fraudulent practices, Florida lawmakers made sweeping changes to the PIP system last year, but recently a judge found the new law unconstitutional. The state is now appealing that ruling.

Haitians recruited to participate in scams

The FBI learned about Basile’s scheme through the cooperation of an informant who aided authorities because, according to the criminal complaint, the person objected to the fact that members of the local Haitian community were being recruited to participate in these staged accidents. The 36-year-old Basile, who is Haitian, tried to plan an “accident” in which the informant would play the part of “victim”.

These unlawful practices will only drive up the cost of car insurance in Orlando for law-abiding people. If you feel you are a victim of a staged accident you should immediately report it to your local authorities.

Kidnapping Concerns and Kidnap Insurance

One concern for companies doing business outside of the U.S. is the threat of kidnapping. This is considered one of the worst things that can happen to an organization, illustrating the need to carry kidnap insurance in cases where a kidnapping and possible ransom scenario exists. If a killing or injury were to result from such actions it would represent considerable stress for both the company and the victim, including family and friends.

The victim has the worst and most difficult time during the experience, suffering dislocation, threat, potential physical trauma, boredom and loneliness, and lingering uncertainty. Meanwhile back home, co-workers and managers imagine the worst, and
vicariously experience the victim’s situation.

It creates an unwanted distraction from their normal routine, which affects the company in a negative way, especially for the managers in the crisis team responding to the case, and other co-workers who live under a cloud of negativity and worry, which can result in self-doubt, guilt and paranoia throughout the company.

Statistics on kidnapping of personnel in foreign countries are quite robust and oftentimes the frequency is often under-reported. Many cases occur in places and situations where the local authorities would prefer to sweep these cases under the rug, and/or are handled so discretely that the case never makes it into the media.

The group responsible for this type of crime might snatch one individual and quietly seek the best possible deal, or they might hi-jack or corral a whole team, perhaps as a way of negotiating for the release of some of its members. But they often actively seek victims as part of a “self-financing” strategy. In any case, foreign workers are a good target set since they are often ignorant, likely insured, and their employers generally have unlimited resources.

Perpetrators often co-opt or coerce insiders to help with the planning. For example, they search for intelligence on who is most vulnerable, security procedures, time windows, etc. This is usually aided by surveillance. The operation is planned, the victim is snatched, and sequestered in safe houses, (the more and more frequently rotated the better), but sometimes one location has to suffice.

The ideal outcome will have these traits:

• The ransom is paid and the victim(s) released

• The victim is returned unharmed, and he/she recovers and is able to deal with ongoing emotional scars

• The sense of vulnerability is removed from family and colleagues, and they end up with a sense of empowerment, and

• The perpetrators are apprehended and go to prison for their crimes

Many firms deal with these types of risks and carry the proper amounts of kidnap insurance for their most exposed employees.

Reasons Why you Need a Permit Bond

There are several types of bonds that you will need in order to perform certain types of work as a contractor. A contractor’s license bond is a license and permit bond that is specifically designed to help all types of contractors. Every type of contractor is required by the state in which they operate to carry a contractor license bond in order to be a licensed contractor, whether it is a plumber, electrician, general contractor or any other contractor.

Bonds are a requirement by law

Contractor bonds will assure your clients that you will operate in compliance with all of the local laws and statutes within the state that you are operating in. Currently, most permit bonds are being underwritten similar to other commercial surety bonds. Both, claims on the contractor’s license and personal credit history can be taken into account when issuing bonds. In some cases the surety may ask you for personal and company financial statements.

Though issued by an insurance company, a bond is not insurance. The insurance company is referred to as a surety or bond company. A license bond is, as you know, is a contract between the surety, principal (contractor), and the oblige (person for whom you are working for) and it provides financial benefit to the customer on behalf of the principal, ensuring that the award of money damages will be fulfilled in the event of a bond claim.

There are a variety of different bonding companies available to offer you an array of different options. Having that many companies at your disposal allows you the freedom to be selective about where you secure your bonds and at what cost. Because every contractor’s need is different and a license bond to operate in his/her state is required, having several options can be very helpful to you and your business. Speak to an agent about your specific needs pertaining to each job you are offering bids on.

Vacant Building Pose Particular Risks for Businesses

The struggling economy has resulted in a large number of commercial vacancies as failed businesses cut back on business, reducing the number of locations out of which they operate, or even shutter their doors for good. Unfortunately, these unoccupied spaces have special exposures to risk. As a business owner or manager, you certainly understand the need for property insurance in New York from a practical point of view, but that need is driven home when tragic situations occur like the one in a recent news report. A homeless couple broke into a boarded-up, vacant building and apparently had been occupying the building for weeks. They vandalized the building, removing fixtures and selling them for cash. They used candles at night for illumination and a small, portable barbeque grill for cooking. The accumulation of carbon monoxide led to the couple losing consciousness, and the candles were knocked over, igniting bedding, trash, and other debris the couple had amassed. Soon the entire space was aflame, and the couple perished.
If you have vacant building that you own or manage, you must realize the additional risks that you may face. For example, unoccupied buildings are particularly vulnerable to trespassing, vandalism, burglary, and even arson. These risks increase when it’s easy to see that the building is idle or vacant due to shoddy or nonexistent maintenance—and of course, it become difficult if not impossible to maintain the building when the water, power, gas, phone, alarm, and other building utilities are cut off. Disruption of services can result in a free-for-all from natural and human sources: weeds overgrowing the parking lot, debris and trash accumulating outside, taggers spray painting graffiti all over walls and fences, and vandals breaking out windows and defacing property.
Fortunately, a good commercial policy will offer coverage under the “basic” cause of loss form for a variety of risks, including fire; lightning; explosion; windstorm or hail; smoke; aircraft or vehicles; riot or civil commotion; and vandalism.
Talk to a professional insurance agent, who can provide information about property insurance in New York. An agent can also recommend strategies to minimize all types of risks that you face, especially if you have the additional burden of commercial space that is unoccupied. Call an agent today to learn more.

Climate Change & Flood Insurance in CT

Whether or not climate change, over which there is much deliberation, is having a serious impact on coastal areas and flood concerns remains a heated debate. As you might expect, political leaders in the Northeast have very different ideas about how to go about treating the damage to coastal properties ravaged by Hurricane Sandy.

For some, the answer is to reduce development along exposed coasts while others believe it is okay to rebuild those homes and businesses. How we proceed from here could set important precedents for managing rising flood risk along the nation’s coasts, and could impact flood insurance in states like CT, NY, NJ and MA.

As a business owner, you should obviously be concerned about more frequent and intense extreme weather. In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo plans to buy back damaged coastal properties from homeowners willing to sell and preserve the land as undeveloped public spaces using funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Opposing this are New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, both of whom favor options that are more likely to keep homes and residents in place, rather than encourage movement away from the shore.

Similar flood concerns along coastal communities, such as Milford, CT, should have you factoring in future risk if the need to rebuild along these shorelines occurs. If climate change is indeed a factor, decisions on these matters will be important. With the southeastern coast of Connecticut being a magnet for hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico, it’s not hard to understand why more families and business owners are purchasing flood insurance CT to help safeguard their homes.

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) saves US taxpayer millions of dollars every year, but the number of private insurance companies that offer flood insurance in CT is growing. The government backs many of those companies, and the ensuing threat of flooding due to climate change makes insurance a vital tool for property owners.

Coastal populations across the United States continue to grow (by nearly 35 million people between 1970 and 2010). Coastal shoreline counties account for nearly 40 percent of the country’s total population, and tend to be more densely packed than most inland areas.

Veterinary Pet Insurance Provides Protection

As a veterinarian, it is your job to keep the animals you care for happy and healthy, but there is the added risk of injury to patients and their owners due to accidents, or worse, neglect of the property where you run your business. If the property isn’t properly cared for, with the same attention to detail as the animals being treated, there is the potential for a lawsuit. Veterinary pet insurance provides protection in the event that something does go wrong.

Keeping customers safe from accidents is critical for building and upholding a veterinarian’s reputation. This requires a complete safety and loss prevention package. The goal is for your veterinary practice to continue keeping customers happy, increase profits, and in some cases, reduce risk and insurance premiums.

Office safety tips

To uphold a safe workplace for employees and customers at minimal or no cost, you should do the following:

• Maintain your building’s interior and exterior

• Keep parking lots and sidewalks in good condition

• Provide dusk-to-dawn lighting for the exterior of the building and parking lot

• Protect utilities, such as gas meters and transformers, with physical barriers

For the waiting room and corridor, make one-way entrances and exits to avoid startling pets and clearly post animal-control rules. Inspect retail displays to make sure they are secured and won’t topple over. In some cases, separating animals, such as cats and dogs, in the waiting area can keep animals and people out of harm’s way.

Keep walkways free and clear. Make sure areas where customers walk are in good physical condition and are clear of equipment. Keep exterior walking surfaces clear of ice, snow and debris.

Inspect your equipment to ensure it is in working condition

In addition to regularly inspecting fire, burglary, sprinkler and alarms systems, it is also a good idea to have your shop’s wiring, heating, air conditioning equipment and refrigeration units checked regularly.

Make sure employees have been trained in storage and dispensing practices for aerosols, combustibles, flammable liquids, cleaning supplies, and other hazardous materials, and can properly use fire extinguishers. You may also want to consider providing first aid training and instructions on what to do in the event of an emergency, including an evacuation plan.

A veterinary pet insurance policy Pennsylvania will provide coverage for many types of losses. But you should also develop a business interruption plan. Include inventory, building, equipment, and record replacement in your plan in the event of a total loss of the facility and have a contingency plan that will include having a temporary location where business can be conducted.

Nursing Home Liability Coverage Can Provide Peace of Mind

As a health care provider, you have an obligation to meet all of the needs of your residents. Families have expectations of what you are supposed to provide in the way of care and treatment, how you should do it, and when it should take place. When things do not happen as they expect they should, the resulting concerns do not only have emotional consequences for the family, but may lead to their choosing another facility, or worse, filing a lawsuit. Nursing home liability insurance will aid in your defense should this be the case.

In alleviating your residents’ and their families’ concerns, you need to demonstrate that your staff and facility can, and will provide the utmost in care and treatment of the loved ones trusted to your care, and that you have their best interest in mind at all times. And, in the event you are charged with providing inadequate care of a loved one, it is important to pinpoint the source of the issue, particularly if it involves a member of the staff, and find a quick and efficient resolution to the problem.

Solve serious problems quickly

The severity of the problem will help you decide the best course of action to take. If the situation leaves the resident open to some form of harm if not immediately addressed, steps should be taken to ensure that the situation is resolved to the satisfaction of the patient and their family. It’s your job to build a long-term problem solving process for the facility. How fast these approaches should be applied must be determined by the time available for you to put the processes into action.

Whenever there is an issue regarding the care of a resident there should be a prompt response from the attending nurse. All issues should be addressed by any or all of the following personnel; director of nursing, social worker, administrator, or other supervisory person who can provide the necessary action to assure the safety of that resident and any others who may be affected by the same situation.

Resolution comes only when the family is satisfied that the resident is out of any potential harm’s way and appropriate action has been taken to prevent the situation from reoccurring. Your staff is responsible for taking action to alleviate concerns and avoid having a complaint filed against the facility. No matter the severity of the problem, in all cases it is important to have coverage for nursing home liability issues that may arise.


Working with Cement in Hot Weather Conditions

Construction work can be very difficult under the best of circumstances, including the use of certain materials such as concrete. Concrete is a building material that can be used in all types of weather throughout the year. However, in hot weather your workers must handle the concrete with enough care and protection so as not to run into any problems.

During hot-weather concreting, temperature is one problem; relative humidity and wind speed are the other components to the problems you may face. Experience has alerted us to the effects of hot weather on fresh concrete, such as:

  • Increased water demand in the mix
  • Rapid slump or workability loss
  • Rapid stiffening or actual setting
  • Development of surface plastic shrinkage cracks, and
  • Fluctuation in a downward trend of air content

Hot weather concreting may have a higher water requirement to maintain the workability, mainly due to the rapid hydration and evaporation, which occurs between batching in hot weather and on site delivery. A mix design performing well in moderate temperatures will need to be proportioned differently for hot temperatures. Remember, if you need more water, more cement material will also be needed to balance the increase in water.

As for the possibility of surface plastic shrinkage cracks and surface crusting from rapid surface evaporation, there are a lot of helpful procedures to protect your concrete in hot weather. The one item to focus upon is the use of a monomolecular film on the surface of the fresh concrete. The purpose of the monomolecular film is to reduce early evaporation of the surface water from sun and wind. A simple pump sprayer is the normal device to apply the product. Finishing and tooling are not interfered with and the tools can travel right over the liquid with no consequence. Consult a cement specialist for this, or other possible solutions.

Construction work is often done on a timely basis. Delays can cause even greater financial concerns and issues, so be sure to address these issues at a preconstruction meeting at the start of the project. Discuss potential issues and solutions with the engineer and the concrete producer. Also, be sure you construction insurance CT coverage is current and updated so that in the event of a potential loss or lawsuit, you are properly protected.