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Understanding the Difference Between Work and Duty Periods

To say that commercial truck drivers put in irregular hours would be quite the understatement. Hauling loads across the country requires a work schedule that looks quite different from the 40-hour, 8-to-5 schedule of many workers across industries. Road fatigue is also a real consequence of driving for several hours, which is true for those driving for leisure as well as work. For those wondering how many hours can a truck driver drive safely, the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) has strict rules to avoid overwork and fatigue.

Exploring a Driver’s Schedule

The DOT uses two terms to describe a truck driver’s schedule:

  • Work period: This is analogous to a workweek schedule. A work period is usually seven days wherein a driver can work up to 60 hours. There must be a minimum of 34 consecutive hours between work periods.
  • Duty period: Similar to a workday, this period of time is 14 hours wherein a driver can work up to 11 hours. A 30-minute break is required within the first 8 hours of a duty period.

Both work and duty periods strictly refer to the time that an operator is driving. They do not include activities such as refueling or loading/unloading.

Considering the Penalties

Adherence to these DOT rules is mandatory. Penalties include fines, revocation of driving privileges and docked safety ratings for the carrier, all of which can affect a driver’s bottom line. It’s important for you to know what the law says, and which exemptions, if available, may apply.

Why You Should Consider Purchasing Insurance For Your Cleaning Company

If you own a cleaning business, your top priority is to keep things running as smoothly as possible.  Unfortunately, as benign as it sounds, running a cleaning business is not without risks.  

The Risks of Running a Cleaning Company

Your business can face accusations of theft or incomplete work and even run into liability issues if a client slips on a wet floor.  It is vital that you look into insurance for cleaning companies in order to protect yourself and your business.

What Can be Covered By Cleaning Company Insurance?

You can obtain a variety of different types of insurance coverage for your business.  The first and most essential of these is general liability insurance.  This type of insurance protects your company if you injure someone or cause damage to a client’s property.

The next type of insurance to consider is commercial property insurance.  This type of insurance is only applicable if you own expensive cleaning equipment like steam cleaners.  It provides coverage in situations where your gear/equipment is stolen, damaged, or lost.

If your cleaning company employs workers, you also need to have workers’ compensation insurance.  Workers’ compensation provides coverage for any medical bills in situations where your workers are injured while working.

Running a cleaning company can be difficult.  Having good insurance coverage can make all the difference.

What Is Fleet Insurance?

If your business owns a vehicle and uses it, you need a commercial vehicle policy. That’s as simple and straightforward as the insurance requirement for personal vehicles, even if the individual protections vary. So what if you own two vehicles? Do you need two policies, or can you combine the coverage the way you would when covering a second personal vehicle? Well, when you cover multiple commercial vehicles under one policy that has individual per-accident limits as well as lifetime policy limits, that’s fleet coverage, and it’s an essential part of managing risk for transportation companies and other businesses that need to maintain vehicle fleets.

Property Damage, Liability & More

Fleet insurance covers the same basic areas of protection as individual vehicle insurance, but in a more cost-effective way, and it also includes new areas of coverage. For example, a robust fleet policy often includes coverage for your operational facilities devoted to vehicle storage and maintenance. You can even negotiate for add-ons like roadside assistance and towing coverage, to make sure your drivers have a clear plan of action during any breakdown, accident, or roadside emergency. With that kind of robust, multifaceted risk management, it’s easier to protect your company financially while making the most of the opportunities offered by your vehicle fleet.

Finding Appropriate Workers’ Compensation Coverage for Your Business

As a business owner, there are several steps you must take to keep your workers safe. For one, you absolutely need to make sure there are rules in place and that they are communicated to employees. Additionally, you should think about whether or not your insurance is living up to the demands of your industry. Reworking your workers’ compensation plan can be a great way for you to take initiative and do what’s right by your team.

Understanding Captive Options

One of the main options available to you as a business owner is selecting captive workers compensation instead of a traditional plan. Unlike the standard insurance plan, a captive arrangement offers a few key benefits. Having this type of structure can provide your team with the same level of coverage, but provide you with some great tax breaks. In order to determine whether this is a good fit for your business or not, look into the main differences between standard captives and rent-a-captive plans. You may also wish to look at factors like:

Assess Employee Needs

Though you might feel like your current workers’ compensation arrangement is good enough to cover the needs of your employees, there are a few ways it might fall short. Look into alternatives and see if an option like a captive plan is right for you.

Why You Need Tail Coverage

Upon retirement, a physician no longer needs medical malpractice insurance so they cancel their policy. But what happens if a malpractice claim is filed against them a year after they have retired? Are they protected from the claim? The answer is yes—if they have tail coverage. But what is a tail policy?

Tail Coverage Explained

A tail policy is also called an extended reporting period endorsement. This coverage allows you to file claims against your policy even though coverage has expired. The claims must be for insurable events that occurred while your original policy was in effect.

Who Needs Coverage

Tail coverage isn’t just for physicians. Any insured with a claims-made policy should also have a tail policy included. There are several different types of claims-made policies.

Length of Coverage and Cost

This type of coverage is limited in duration, with policies written in 1-year increments. Typically coverage is needed for as long as the claim filing statute of limitations in the insured’s state. Duration affects cost, as does policy type. For professional liability insurance, the insured can expect to pay a fixed percentage of the final premium.

A tail policy should be another part of your risk management strategy to protect you and your business from liability.

Do Truckers Have To Follow Drive Time Regulations?

While there are rules on the road that every driver has to abide by on U.S. highways, commercial drivers have regulations of their own to follow. With truckers, even truck driver driving time is regulated.

Why Truckers Need Regulation

Big rigs are one of the most dangerous vehicles on the road. Although driving while exhausted is dangerous for all drivers, commercial truckers have a higher responsibility to the vehicles around them. Regulations are meant to prevent truckers from becoming extremely tired or overworked while driving. Not only does this help prevent mistakes, but it also makes the road safer.

How Truckers Must Comply

Trucker drive times are split into work periods and duty periods. The work period is like the workweek, whereas the duty period is similar to a workday. Truckers can work up to 60 hours a week and up to seven days straight. However, in order to work seven days straight, a trucker must rest for at least 34 hours before the work period.

There must be at least a 10-hour break between every workday. Once the workday begins, truckers can only work for 14 hours and only drive for 11 of those hours. After every eight hours, the trucker must take a 30-minute break. All of the breaks count against the workday.

Trucker drive time regulations help keep everyone on the road safe.

The Professional Liability Concerns for Accountants

Though the term “malpractice” is commonly associated with negligent acts in the healthcare industry, professional liability concerns extend to any business or professional. Under claims of errors and omissions, professional may be held responsible for third party claims of damages or loss arising from any mistake or poor judgment made during the execution of the job duties. For accountants, this means several claim scenarios.

Professional Liability Claims

The liabilities faced by a professional vary according to industry, but E&O for accountants deals with the harm (alleged or occurred) to a client as a result of financial advice, administrative error, or failing to deliver on a promise or contractual obligation. Common claims include the following:

  • A data entry mistake that led to inaccurate financial record keeping
  • Incomplete paperwork submitted to the IRS or other reporting agency
  • Misinformation that led to overpayment to the IRS
  • Lack of sufficient communication or attention to a client’s need or requests (claims of negligence)
  • Third-party subpoenas or legal action involving an accountant’s client based on the financials arranged by the accountant

There is no limit as to what kind of claims could be open against an accountant. E&O insurance for accountants is one form of risk management against these scenarios, but accountants must do their due diligence in keeping accurate records, putting documentation and processing safeguards in place against errors, and communicating proactively and thoroughly with all clients.

3 Things To Know About Self Insured Workers Compensation Coverage

State laws require employers to carry worker’s compensation coverage in most cases. For larger companies or those operating within certain industries, that can add up to a considerable expense. Group self insurance options have evolved and are an attractive choice for many of these companies. Keep these three things in mind if you consider self-insured workers comp for your business.

1. It Can Save Money Over Time

Self-insurance can be a great way to help keep costs under control in certain circumstances. Instead of paying a monthly premium, you are responsible for the costs arising from claims as they occur. For groups, you may also be responsible for claims belonging to other members.

2. It Gives Control for Claims to Your Company

By acting as your own insurer, you regain a greater amount of control. You decide how claims and adjustments are handled on an individual basis. That can speed the claims process along and improve the care employees receive after an injury. This remains true in a group setting.

3. Self Insurance Is Not Right for Everyone

It requires substantial financial resources. You will need to pay any claims that arise, which can be a financial strain if you face claims right away, a substantial single claim, or multiple simultaneous or overlapping claims.

 

Group programs mitigate many of the risks associated with self insured workers comp while harnessing the benefits. That has made them an increasingly attractive option for business insurance needs.

2 Things To Remember When Venting a Boat`s Gas Tank

It is important to vent your boat tank if you are going to avoid costly maintenance and repair bills. Failing to make changes to the vent system can cause problems when trying to gas the boat, but it can also starve your engine of the fuel it needed to power forward. Here are some tips on how to vent a boat gas tank.

1. Avoid Traps in the Lines

If there are any sags in the vent lines, it can turn into a trap where fuel will puddle. These puddles prevent fuel from getting to the engine. Run the vent line as straight as possible across the tank, then create a straight angle upward to the vent fitting. Gravity should bring fuel back down into the tank.

2. Keep the Screen Clean

Take care to keep debris and bugs off of the fine-wire screen that covers the fuel vent. Not only does this keep the system clean, but this screen can also act as a flame deterrent. It blocks sparks that could potentially ignite fuel vapor. Use a wire brush to keep this surface clean, but replace the vent when corrosion has eaten away it.

These are two of the most crucial installation and maintenance elements when considering how to vent a boat gas tank. Paying attention to these details can help you avoid being stranded out on the water and facing expensive service work.

Protect Your Janitorial Service During COVID 19

A lot of industries have been unable to make ends meet due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the cleaning industry, however, there has been positive growth. With the growth of any industry, however, there are also risks.

How COVID-19 Changed the Janitorial Industry

COVID-19 has led to steady growth within the cleaning industry. As companies begin to open their doors yet again, there is a new standard of cleanliness. This is not expected to change any time soon. Regulations in regards to cleanliness are going to remain strict and businesses will have high-expectations. To prevent the spread of the virus, janitorial businesses are even more important.

How COVID-19 May Affect Liability Claims

With customer growth, there is also concern about new liability claims. It’s easy to be swept away by the amount of work, but cleaning services should never consider cutting corners. Cleaning services have to live up to a high standard, regardless of the client.

If someone in your company cuts corners while cleaning and there is an outbreak in a building, could you be held liable for it? Clients could potentially take legal action against you if they are not satisfied with your work.

The cleaning industry looks promising, but it is important to remember that janitorial companies during COVID-19 also face a lot of risks when it comes to unhappy clients. Without liability insurance, you a claim could be devastating.