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Should Background Checks be Required for Potential Nursing Home Residents?

Background checks on potential employees have long been the standard in pretty much every industry, especially those that deal with children or the elderly. However, for nursing homes throughout the country, these kinds of checks are becoming seemingly more necessary for residents as well.


While a nursing homes insurance policy would hopefully be covering a facility to protect it from any unfortunate incidents that occur, it is important that owners of these facilities begin to move in the direction of requiring everyone at the nursing home to take part in a background check before they are allowed to reside or work in the home on a long-term basis.


These background checks are important for several reasons that could have serious ramifications on nursing home owners and can result in lawsuits, unsafe environments for other residents and employees, and a loss of monthly rent payments from unchecked residents who might have a poor credit history.


Recently, there was an incident at a nursing home in California where a resident with a past criminal conviction for selling meth was admitted to a nursing home and proceeded to continue to operate by setting up a small meth lab in his apartment. This eventually led to his arrest.


However, in cases like this, it is possible that the nursing home could be held liable for allowing illegal drugs to be made on the premises, which, even with nursing homes insurance, could lead to significant financial loss, as well as the creation of a negative reputation as a business and living facility.


Another reason to conduct background checks before allowing a resident to move in is because of the difficulty of evicting a resident after they have established residency. In another recent incident, residents were admitted to a nursing home facility without a background check and were later found to have previously been arrested for selling prescription oxycodone. However, the owner was unable to do anything about their residency because the move-in agreements at the facility did not allow her to evict them from the facility.


Because background checks typically cost less than $25 per person, it seems like an easy way to alert owners to potential future problems with a resident if admitted to the facility and to save the potential thousands of dollars that could be lost by the consequences of those future problems.


photo credit: Andy Ciordia cc

What the End of Swipe and Sign Cards Means for the Restaurant Industry

In most of the world signing for credit card purchases is a foreign concept. Employees at the grocery store or mall tend to get confused if told that a card needs to be swiped instead of inserted into the slot designed to read a chip in the card. Slow to make the change, the U.S. will officially be making the switch by October 2015, which signals the end of an era and a set of changes that the restaurant industry needs to be aware of.


Recent large-scale credit card fraud from companies such as Target should cause restaurants to take a closer look at their restaurant insurance in Texas and to ensure that they are covered in the event of an unfortunate occurrence such as the incident at Target.


However, the new pin-and-chip system may actually make this data more secure at retailers and restaurants alike due to the fact that credit cards will be each embedded with a microchip with security data, allowing restaurant owners with restaurant insurance in Texas to feel more at ease when running their businesses.


While converting over to a new payment system might seem like an unnecessary hassle and cost for restaurant owners since pin and chip cards can still be swiped like traditional cards, there is one major factor that might persuade them to make the switch.


As of October 2015, when the major American credit card companies make the switch to pin-and-chip cards, there will be what is called a liability shift. A credit card company always looks into card fraud to determine who is at fault. In October 2015, the companies will consider the party with the most out-of-date technology at fault for credit card fraud.


What this means is that if any restaurant, regardless of their Texas restaurant insurance coverage, does not have a pin-and-chip payment system, but a customer has been issued a pin-and-chip card by their bank, the restaurant would be held liable for that fraud.


While there is always a chance that an establishment will avoid cases of credit card fraud, it is always better to be safe than sorry. Hopefully, all restaurants will make the transition to this new, more secure system and help provide peace of mind for everyone involved.


photo credit: Consumerist Dot Com cc

New York Excess Umbrella Coverage Greatly Reduces Risk

Businesses located in the Big Apple and the surrounding counties can benefit from having excess umbrella insurance in New York. This policy refers to liability insurance coverage that protects the assets and future income of the business above and beyond the standard limits set on the primary policies. An excess umbrella insurance policy adds another layer of protection to any of the several other policies the business may carry.


The policy limits that a particular business or firm needs will largely depend on the nature of the business. For instance, those operating in construction will have far greater risks and exposures than a retail store. Pharmaceutical manufacturers are likely to face severe risks due to the nature of the products that they sell and provide, and are therefore subject to catastrophic losses. Thus, they are likely to need much higher umbrella limits than a retail store.


Typically, an umbrella policy is sold in increments of one million Dollars. The term “umbrella” is used because it covers liability claims from all policies underneath it, for when the limits of those policies are reached due to rather large settlement or judgment amounts in excess of their coverage limits. Those policies include a business owners policy, commercial auto policies, and workers’ compensation policies, among others.


For example, if a company has $1 million in General Liability coverage and a covered claim is settled for $1.5 million, their business umbrella insurance policy would pick up the $500,000 not covered by their General Liability policy. No matter what business precautions have been taken, the owners need to know with full certainty that their insurance will cover any “gaps” left open by their current policy.


A typical commercial umbrella liability policy generally offers a wide variety of features, such as:


  • Worldwide coverage


  • Personal injury coverage


  • Blanket contractual liability protection (for both written and oral agreements)


  • Care, custody, and control coverage


  • Non-owned aircraft liability


  • Watercraft liability


  • Advertisers liability


  • Liquor law liability, and an extension of protection to additional insureds


New York excess umbrella insurance is a policy for those who sincerely wish to protect their business and assets with affordable coverage. Speak to an agent today.


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Contractors: What Does Bonded and Insured Mean?

A surety bond, or an employee dishonesty bond is issued by an underwriter to safeguard against theft. The most familiar coverage range is usually close to $5,000.

Now let’s look at an example of the bond in action: While working on your house for some new expansion project, you detect that some important things are missing. You contact the bonding business and law enforcement. After an investigation, it’s decided that your jewelry was taken by the contractor.

The bonding company will subsequently notify you that they’re going to give the maximum sum covered by the bond, or match the purchase price of the jewelry. If the adjuster decides the significance is $6,000 and the surety bond is for $5,000, you will be awarded $5,000 because this is the maximum insured by the bond.

This isn’t a solid rule: You will find states have different standards for this and the sum will be only awarded by the bonding business if the missing items are just not recovered. And, the bonding business is only going to give that amount after forced to do so usually by a court conviction.

Performance bonds ensure work or service. If, for example, the cost to construct a client’s house is $250,000 a surety bond for the job could be issued at the contractor’s cost for you. This would insure you if the contractor attempts to leave before the job is complete. Performance bonds can be taken out on a number of things, but are often used in the contracting or building industries. For good reason.

There are a number of businesses that insure larceny internally. Put simply, they do this themselves due to the sheer behemoth HR numbers of these corporations, and their policies in handling campaigns against thievery.

If larceny is one of your specific worries, just inquire up front and ask, “what’s your policy on worker theft?” You may be confident if they use a criminal background investigation which is usually a perfect indicator if an organization is willing to cover larceny internally.
Commercial General Liability Coverage
So far as insurance is concerned, this contractors insurance provides coverage for various things. A few of the matters insured are: damage to your own assumption, personal injury, and merchandise that is finished or operations (workmanship). We are going to break these down for further explanation each.

Injuries are included by damages to your own assumptions. The deductible would be the duty of the contractor or seller. There are various things which can be damaged in your facility. If it is damage to your own contents, or paint scrapes, broken glass.

Personal injury in this event would comprise harm to your own employees resulting from the sellers employees. Let us say that your employees were injured by the flooring service business that is same when they lost control of the gear. Some commercial general liability coverages cover this. It’s important to consider the sum covered on these things that are individual.

Accomplished workmanship or operations is a wide variety of things. Additionally, this is insured as the damages mentioned previously, if damages occurred during this procedure.

There are many measures that must be followed, to seek compensation for anything that’s insured by the commercial general liability insurance. The insurance company will send out an adjuster to evaluate the damages. The insurance company will contact you back about compensating for the damages, a damage amount is established. The policy is the duty of the contractor to cover it, if there’s any deductible on it.

First, require a duplicate of the insurance. Afterwards, contact the insurance company to make certain the coverage is in good standing and valid. You might also request at this time just what’s covered. This is a significant help before hiring any seller.

At risk for exposure are you to loss, if your seller doesn’t have insurance. Sure you are able to sue their business if your facility is damaged by them, but do you know the chances that they’ve assets to cover your losses when they don’t have insurance?

The most significant, most crucial and important thing to have is the commercial general liability insurance policy that fits your contractor business. Avoid possible clients if they tell you they don’t have a commercial general liability insurance policy. If you are told by a seller they’ve commercial general liability insurance, request a copy. Additionally, ask about coverage sums. Keeping your business running can be the difference of just asking.

Indemnification and Corporate Directors Liability Insurance

When performing as an officer or a director of a corporation, an individual may be subject to personal liabilities, which is why there is a need for corporate directors liability insurance. These liabilities can be divided into two types; one is liabilities for which the corporation may indemnify the officer or director, and those liabilities for which indemnity is not available.


Examples of kinds of liabilities that are not subject to indemnity include the following:


  • Intentional breach of the duty of care to the corporation


  • Intentional breach of the duty of loyalty to the corporation


  • Misappropriation of a corporate asset for personal use


  • Commingling of personal and business assets


  • Failure to disclose a potential or actual conflict of interest



Issues such as a rise in data breaches and increased compliance obligations for network security practices, along with increased allegations of security fraud filings, class action suits, allegations of defamation, unlawful employment practices, breach of contract, unpaid wages and unpaid tax withholding are additional exposures, and there are many other transactions that have made directors and officers increasingly more vulnerable to lawsuits.


Indemnification of officers and directors


In order to attract and retain highly qualified individuals to serve as directors and officers, corporations must ensure that directors and officers can defend themselves if sued, and, if successful, can recover the costs of that defense. The corporation will provide for expenses incurred and amounts paid in defending claims brought against them for actions taken in good faith on behalf of the corporation.


Indemnification of executives is a standard practice for public and private corporations. This indemnification means that legal representation and defense is provided directly by the corporation. This is considered “first dollar” indemnification, as opposed to monies being fronted by the officer or director and later reimbursed by the corporation. Because corporations typically provide broad indemnification rights, many former executives facing serious allegations of wrongdoing may demand that their former corporations pay their legal fees.


With the cost of defending such allegations quite high, it is only natural for these companies to invest in adequate amounts of corporate directors liability insurance.


photo credit: Worlds In Focus cc

How PA Workers Comp Insurance Works

Under the Pennsylvania workers’ compensation system, employers are required to purchase PA workers comp insurance that provides benefits to employees who suffer any work-related injuries or illnesses. The system strikes a compromise between employers and employees: Employees get benefits regardless of who was at fault, and in return, employers get protection from lawsuits by injured employees who want to be awarded money damages for pain and suffering, or for experiencing mental anguish.


State, not federal law, governs workers’ compensation, and each state’s system differs slightly in the way they handle such matters. However, the structure and operation of the overall workers’ compensation system is very similar from state to state. The main differences are the rates paid to injured employees and the procedural rules by which employers, employees, and insurance companies must abide.


What does workers’ compensation cover?


Workers’ compensation laws cover only work-related injury or illness. But, the injury or illness does not necessarily have to occur in the workplace. As long as it’s job-related, it’s covered. For example, employees are covered while performing any work-related duties. If they are injured while traveling on business, doing any type of work-related errand, or attending a business-related social function and suffer an injury, the company is liable for their medical expenses and any time lost from the job.


Covered injuries and illnesses can range from anything that may happen during the course of a workday. Different industries have different risks and concerns related to the type of work being performed.


Office workers are most often susceptible to carpal tunnel and other repetitive motion injuries, as well as back problems from the constant routine of sitting at a desk all day long. Warehouse workers suffer back injuries most frequently, and autoworkers can suffer from eye injuries, cuts and lacerations, and all sorts of respiratory ailments. Workers also receive compensation for illnesses and diseases that are the gradual result of working conditions, for example, heart conditions, lung disease, and stress-related digestive problems.


The list is long, and having the right insurer, someone who can also offer effective risk management services, claims analysis, and safety programs can be extremely helpful to employers. Hiring an agency to provide PA workers comp insurance and also analyze data to flag high-cost claims in advance, and put programs in place to deal with these injuries, can save money and reduce stress.


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Dogs Aren’t the Only Critters That Bite: A Word About Fleas

It’s flea season, and many dogs are scratching and biting in misery trying to rid themselves of the intense itching and scratching that comes with these pests. Pet owners realize that not only is it a good idea to obtain a Florida covered canine policy to protect themselves, they need to control fleas to protect their pets. This can be difficult when many manufacturers are increasing the potentially toxic chemicals and other ingredients in their products to dangerous levels. As a result, not only are pets being attacked by the parasites themselves, in some cases they can end up at the vet, severely poisoned from a barrage of overly generous applications of flea treatments that their well-intentioned owners applied to their pets’ skin and coat.

Understanding the life cycle of these pests

To eradicate fleas, it takes a bit of knowledge about how their work. These wingless insects are parasitic acrobats, equipped with strong hind legs that allow them to jump incredible distances, as much as five feet sideways and nine inches high. Adults feed on blood, and that’s when they seek out the family pooch. The females can lay eggs on the pet but prefer dark, damp places like basement corners and cracks and crevices in the floor. One female can lay up to 20 eggs at one time, and 400 during her busy little lifetime. When humidity and temperatures rise (like now), it’s the perfect time for egg laying—and just about a week later, small worms hatch which feed on feces, hair, dirt, and vegetation. The growth cycle can last 10 to 200 days, so a single pair of adult fleas and their offspring in their various stages of life—egg, larva and adult—can result in a home having fleas for nearly two years! That’s why a single bomb or can of powder just doesn’t solve the problem.

There are many natural, nontoxic yet effective ways to control fleas without hurting the pooch. Talk to a veterinarian about that, turn to professional experts for home flea control, and talk to a professional insurance agent about ways to protect oneself from liability with a Florida covered canine policy.


photo credit: Patti’s Pet Perfection cc

San Francisco Business Insurance and Liquor Liability

One component of San Francisco business insurance for every business in the Bay Area that sells alcohol can benefit from is a liquor liability policy. State liquor liability statutes (also called dram shop laws) can place responsibility for losses resulting from inebriated patrons and customers on restaurants, bars and other establishments that serve alcohol to intoxicated persons (or to any minor), or sells liquor without a license or after hours.

To defend against liabilities with potentially disastrous consequences, restaurant and bar owners must learn about applicable state laws, purchase adequate amounts of insurance coverage, and implement safe-drinking environments where patrons feel comfortable and state laws are observed.

Any business that sells, serves, manufactures or provides alcohol to patrons or guests under a state license needs a liquor liability policy as part of its overall business insurance portfolio. Liquor liability insurance may be offered as an addition, or endorsement, to a commercial liability insurance policy or as a separate, stand-alone policy, and can cover various risks and costs, depending on the coverage chosen, including:


  • Assault and battery liability


  • Bodily injury


  • Employee use liability


  • Legal defense costs


  • Mental, emotional, psychological damages, and


  • Property damage


Lawsuits are often filed demanding that business owners pay for the damage their customers inflict, which can end up costing thousands, or even millions of dollars, for businesses engaged in selling alcohol.


California liquor liability laws for caffeinated alcoholic beverages

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have been reviewing the safety and legality of newly popular caffeinated alcoholic beverages for the last year. Recently, the FDA issued notices to four manufacturers of caffeinated alcoholic beverages advising them that their products are adulterated in violation of the federal Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act. The products named by the FDA are “Four Loko,” “Joose,” “Max,” “Core High Gravity HG Green,” “Core High Gravity HG Orange,” “Lemon Lime Core Spiked,” and “Moonshot.”


Liquor liability coverage can be purchased at affordable rates

Various policies for liquor liability coverage have different maximums, conditions, exclusions and limitations. Many businesses enjoy preferred premium rates if alcohol receipts account for 25 percent or less of revenue. Additional credits may be granted to policyholders who use ID scanners to confirm the ages of potential drinkers. This is why business owners purchasing San Francisco business insurance often consult insurance professionals for advice before choosing an appropriate insurance plan.


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Advantages of Purchasing a Business Owners Policy in Maryland

Most business owners strive to make decisions that are right for their company, their employees and, of course, themselves. This includes decisions about business insurance, because without proper coverage everything that was accomplished before will mean nothing if the business has to close its doors due to improper coverage.


Business Owners Policy (BOP) in Maryland combines property, liability and business interruption coverage for small to medium-sized businesses. This packaged coverage is generally less expensive than purchasing coverages separately. A BOP simply gives owners the ability to customize the policy to meet any individual business needs.


Business property insurance


Property insurance helps protect the property a business owns, leases or rents, including things like buildings, equipment, inventory, furniture and fixtures. It provides coverage for damaged computers and media as well as any loss of accounts receivable records.


Business liability coverage


When it comes to liability protection, every company needs coverage, and the broader the better. Purchase a policy that provides liability insurance that covers the business in the event it, or any of its employees is responsible for causing harm to a person and/or damage to property. It also helps cover the cost of any defense.


Loss of business income due to business interruption


If unexpected events cause operations to be suspended due to a covered cause of loss, this important coverage will help replace any loss of income to help meet those continuing financial obligations, such as rent or payroll.


In addition, the business should have general liability coverage that includes operations. Some owners should consider adding business auto coverage or commercial property insurance as well. Whether this is a home-based business, small service provider or contractor, find an agency that will work hard to find the right combination of coverage to meet specific needs.


Purchase a business owners policy in Maryland from a respected agency that will, in addition to providing the best advice on the right coverage, can provide additional services, such as loss prevention programs. There are agents available that can evaluate a business’s current conditions and recommend ways to lower property, auto, workers compensation or liability losses. Lower losses will both, lower insurance costs, and also increase productivity by avoiding any downtime.


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