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Commercial Property & Casualty

The typical equipment breakdown insurance policy includes the following coverages: [January 2018, 304 word article]

If you’ve been in business a while, you might have heard the phrase “boiler and machinery insurance.” Today it’s called Equipment Breakdown insurance and these now cover much more than boilers and machinery, hence the name change. Read on to learn more about this valuable coverage. [January 2018, 478 word article]

Two restaurant employees complained about the company’s accounting department on Facebook — and were fired. Two teen center employees took to Facebook after an office meeting and disparaged their supervisors’ decisions — and were fired. James Damore used Google’s employee message boards to criticize how his employer was implementing its diversity policy — and was fired. [January 2018, 733 word article]

President Trump’s appointment to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission could signal a more cooperative attitude at the agency. [January 2018, 677 word article]

To cover many of the winter storm property insurance exposures not covered by named peril insurance policies, businesses can buy one of these types of property policies: [November 2017, 163 word article]

It’s been an unusally damaging year of wildfires and hurricanes. As those kinds of events recede we need to look ahead to the always costly winter storm season that will soon begin. [November 2017, 638 word article]

If a particular type of crime regularly occurs on certain business premises, could other businesses in that industry be held liable if they fail to take preventative measures against similar instances in the future? [November 2017, 700 word article]

Wind and water aren’t the only financial dangers from a hurricane. [November 2017, 803 word article]

Subrogation in the context of insurance is the right of an insurance company to “step into the shoes” of the insured after the company has paid the loss.  Subrogation entitles the insurance company to assert any rights on its own behalf that the insured may have had to recover payment from the parties that caused the loss. [September 2017, 276 word article]

You have business liability insurance, but it may not provide coverage if you are considered “vicariously liable.” [September 2017, 577 word article]

At least 17% of all highway crashes are the result of distracted driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. [September 2017, 719 word article]

A major cyber attach could cost billions of dollars and, unlike extreme weather, comes without warning. [September 2017, 872 word article]

As drones become more useful in commerce, commercial drone insurance is becoming increasingly popular. [July 2017, 225 words]

You buy property insurance to cover damage or loss to property. But what if you don’t own the property or you rent it? Your liability policy might provide some coverage…but probably not enough. [July 2017, 536 word article]

One in every 27 employees was apprehended for theft from their employer in 2016, according to the 29th Annual Retail Theft Survey. 53,786 dishonest employees were apprehended in 2016, up 9.3% from 2015. [July 2017, 643 word article]

It’s predicted that driverless cars will account for 25 percent of global car sales by 2035. How will this affect your business and your employees? [July 2017, 757 word article]

These trends affect both public and private companies: [May 2017, 227 word article]

How many times have you signed a contract that requires mediation or mandatory arbitration of disputes? Do you know what you’re signing? [May 2017, 842 word article]

Private corporations and nonprofits are less likely to be targeted in multi-million dollar directors and officers liability lawsuits than publicly traded companies. They still have risk exposures, though. In fact, in a recent survey by Advisen, 25 percent of D&O claims among private companies settled for $1 million or more. Could you protect your directors and officers from claims that large? [May 2017, 652 word article]

In survey of business owners by Trusted Choice a few years ago, more than half of the owners said they didn’t have business income coverage. But more than half of businesses without business income insurance will close within three years of a serious loss. Business income insurance would “have protected those small businesses from that fate,” according to Trusted Choice spokesperson Madelyn Flanagan. [May 2017, 776 word article]

Twenty-eight states now allow the medical use of cannabis (marijuana), and eight have legalized its recreational use. Some state statutes include legal protections for employees who use it for medical purposes. But the federal government still classifies cannabis as a Schedule 1 controlled substance, with no medical use—and illegal under federal law. How should an employer handle this conflicting information? [March 2017, 305 word article]

References and letters of recommendation can be a damned-if-you-do and damned-if-you-don’t situation for employers. [March 2017, 530 word article]

A strong insurance program will protect your business property from loss due to fire, theft, vandalism and more. But without certain important coverages, your property coverage could leave you short of the funds needed to rebuild and recover. [March 2017, 732 word article]

You might (or should!) have a disaster management plan to help your company minimize the effects of a disaster. You’ve probably considered evacuation of employees and customers, data backup, and contingency plans for manufacturing your products or delivering your services. But have you considered the role public relations can play in managing a crisis? [March 2017, 1102 word article]

Publicly traded companies should disclose their climate-change risks and what they’re doing about them, says the Financial Stability Board. The Board, an international body that monitors and makes recommendations about the global financial system, includes members of the G20, government ministers and central bank governors of 20 leading economies. [January 2017, 317 word article]

Guide dogs and service dogs have helped individuals with disabilities navigate life for decades. Now you also see assistance animals, therapy animals and emotional support animals. What’s the difference and what’s the law? [January 2017, 680 word article]

When you think of earthquakes, you probably think of California, or maybe coastal areas of the Pacific Northwest. But 90 percent of the U.S. population lives in earthquake-prone areas. And a recent study by the U.S. Geological Survey found that 7 million people now face the risk of human-caused earthquakes. [January 2017, 811 word article]

Cyber security problems will increase in 2017, warns Experian Data Breach Resolution, a branch of the credit reporting giant. [January 2017, 787 word article]

It’s that time of year when Mother Nature begins to get feisty—sending a late-season hurricane or an early blizzard or torrential rainfall your way. Don’t wait for her to remind you that now is the time to make sure your business is ready for winter. [November 2016, 234 word article]

Earlier this year, the FBI released its second annual compilation of cargo theft data. During 2014, 547 incidents of cargo theft were reported to law enforcement. The stolen cargo had a value of more than $32.5 million. [November 2016, 582 word article]

In our last issue, we discussed the liability insurance coverages that every business should have. In this issue, we’ll discuss some specialized coverages that are “nice to have” for some businesses, and “must haves” for others. [November 2016, 812 word article]

A whole subspecialty of law practice is emerging, focusing on website accessibility. That’s bad news for businesses that haven’t ensured their websites are accessible to people with disabilities. [November 2016, 609 word article]

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and amendments apply to employers with 15 or more employees. These employers cannot discriminate against individuals with disabilities in hiring, promoting, retaining and other aspects of employment. The ADA requires affected employers to provide a “reasonable accommodation” to allow these individuals to perform their job duties. Employers do not have to provide accommodations if doing so would be an undue hardship. [September 2016, 347 word article]

There are insurance coverages that all businesses need, some that all business should consider, and some that you need only if you have special risk exposures. [September 2016, 769 word article]

Your organization has just been sued, and you’ve notified your liability insurer as required by the policy. You think all’s taken care of…when you receive a reservation of rights letter from the insurer. What does this mean, and what should you do? [Se[temer 2016, 766 word article]

Lightning kills more people in the U.S. each year than any other natural disaster other than floods. A Carnegie-Mellon study found that lightning affected 33 percent of US businesses at some point. So what can you do to protect your people and property from lightning? [September 2016, 879 word article]

How much business income and extra expense coverage do you need? Your disaster recovery plan can help you develop income-loss scenarios and analyze property exposures. [July 2016, 293 word article]

With the rights of same-sex couples to marry protected by federal law, transgender rights have become the latest frontier in nondiscrimination law. What laws pertain to transgender employees in the workplace, and what happens to employers that violate them? [July 2016, 879 word article]

So-called “time element” coverages protect your business’s most important possession. [July 2016, 707 word article]

Just like the internet has cut out the middleman from retail transactions, Bitcoin promises something similar with finances—a currency that exists only online, without central banking authorities. Is that good or bad? [July 2016, 802 word article]

A white paper by Imperva, a company that offers cyber security services, identified the 10 biggest threats to data security in 2015. They were: [May 2016, 339 word article]

The majority of American adults are overweight or obese, yet studies have found that weight discrimination is increasing. One recent study found it was as prevalent as racial discrimination. [May 2016, 937 word article]

An insurance policy is a legal contract between an individual or organization (the insured) and an insurer. Although millions of dollars in claims payments can be at stake, too few insureds bother to read their policy. The following primer will help you understand the parts of a policy and some things to look for. [May 2016, 887 word article]

Although the legal definition of “personal injury” includes injury to the body, standard liability insurance policies have an entire section devoted to covering personal injury claims. And they don’t include injury to the body. [May 2016, 595 word article]

Scheduling regular policy reviews can ensure your business has enough insurance to survive a disaster. Here are a few action items to consider when filling out the insurance portion of your business continuity plan: [March 2016, 313 word article]

It could, and if your business is a cash business, it probably is. The typical organization loses five percent of revenues each year to employee fraud, according to estimates by participants in the Association of Certified Fraud Examiner’s 2014 Global Fraud Study. [March 2016, 525 word article]

Do you know how much privacy your employees are entitled to? For example, if you feel employees are abusing their work privileges, is it legal to intercept emails or phone conversations to find out what they’re up to and confirm your suspicions? Can you ask potential job candidates for their Facebook profile log-on information? Here are some general guidelines that can help. [March 2016, 722 word article]

When your business must close or suffers a disruption due to any kind of natural or man-made cause, a good business continuity plan can ensure it can survive until repairs are made and operations return to normal. [March 2016, 777 word article]

Certain vehicles are inherently safer than others. Selecting safer cars for your corporate fleet can reduce the risk of injury…and may help your insurance costs. Factors that affect vehicle safety include: [January 2016, 314 word article]

Using contingent workers can relieve your organization of some human resource functions, but it can create liability exposures. [January 2016, 659 word article]

Scheduling regular policy reviews can ensure your business has the coverage it needs, when you need it. If you haven’t reviewed your coverages lately, the beginning of the year is a great time to take care of this important housekeeping matter. [January 2016, 781 word article]

The only insurance professional you might ever meet face-to-face is your retail insurance agent or broker. But if you have special insurance needs, other insurance professionals are ready to help. [January 2016, 899 word article]

When you renewed your commercial property or business package policy, your insurer might have included a notice regarding terrorism insurance coverage. What’s this all about? [November 2015, 353 word article]

As you read this article, winter probably seems far away. But winter storms—including hurricanes, windstorms, snow and ice—are coming soon. Is your business prepared? [November 2015, 727 word article]

Every organization’s business plan should include a section on risk management. If your business plan doesn’t address your risks, take a look at the following areas to start. [November 2015, 783 word article]

Poorly designed websites can create unnecessary barriers for people with disabilities, just as poorly designed buildings prevent some people from entering. And that could constitute discrimination and a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and its amendments. [November 2015, 728 word article]

Real estate agents use unmanned aircraft systems, or drones, to photograph properties. Amazon promises that it will soon be using drones to deliver packages from its warehouses to your doorstep. And drones could help employers manage risk. [September 2015, 349 word article]

How many times have you signed a contract that requires mediation or mandatory arbitration of disputes? Do you know what you’re signing? [September 2015, 874 word article]

Generally, you buy property insurance to cover damage or loss to property. Your liability policy might provide some coverage…but probably not enough. [September 2015, 521 word article]

Earlier this year, a court ruled that Federal Express drivers should have been classified as employees, when the company had classified them as independent contractors. And the U.S. Department of Labor announced that a five-year investigation in Utah and Arizona yielded $700,000 in back wages, damages, penalties and other guarantees for more than 1,000 construction industry workers. [September 2015, 622 word article]

Can employees expect overtime pay for answering their phones or email outside of work hours? [July 2015, 313 word article]

Directors and officers liability insurance (D&O) policies are nonstandard, so they can vary greatly from insurer to insurer. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the many provisions that could appear in your D&O policy and what they mean to your coverage. [July 2015, 720 word article]

If you’ve been in business a while, you might have heard the phrase “boiler and machinery insurance.” However, today’s policies do much more than cover boilers and machinery, hence the name change. Read on to learn more about this valuable coverage. [July 2015, 862 word article]

After a loss, your insurer will probably call in one of several claims experts before it pays your claim. Here’s a brief overview of some of the people you might encounter after filing a claim. [July 2015, 771 word article]

If a piece of equipment that you rent is damaged, who is responsible? Your firm or the rental company?  If you have done things right, the correct answer is “neither”—instead, the insurer covering the rental contract will have that responsibility. [May 2015, 319 word article]

When it comes to fires, residential fires come to mind first. But commercial properties are also vulnerable. The National Fire Protection Agency reports an estimated 1,650 fires occur every year in stores and mercantile properties; 3,040 per year in office buildings; and 15,400 in high rises. The following pointers can help prevent your business from becoming a statistic. [May 2015, 681 word article]

Twenty-two states and the District of Columbia now allow the medical use of marijuana. Colorado, Oregon and Washington have also legalized its recreational use and possession. How will this affect your employment policies? [May 2015, 712 word article]

With the jobless rate for people ages 20 to 24 still higher than10 percent, many college students might be willing to trade their time for an unpaid learning experience. But there is a legal difference between an employee and an intern. Knowing the difference can help you avoid breaking the law. [May 2015, 665 word article]

8 tips to minimize damage from floods. [March 2015, 275 word article]

Unless you have a separate flood policy, the answer is generally “no.” You can buy a special flood policy to cover this risk. They generally have a 30-day waiting period, so plan ahead if you might need coverage this rainy season. [March 2015, 434 word article]

You probably already have a disaster management plan to help your company minimize the effects of a disaster. You’ve probably considered evacuation of employees and customers, data backup, and contingency plans for manufacturing your products or delivering your services. But have you considered the role public relations can play in managing a crisis? [March 2015, 1095 word article]

If your company maintains an auto fleet (including passenger vans and pickups), no matter how small, you want to keep your insurance rates under control. One of the best ways to do that is to make your fleet as safe as possible. [March 2015, 939 word article]

Share with communicators, managers and employees! [January 2015, 410 word article]

More than 70 percent of businesses surveyed reported having to discipline an employee for “social media misuse.”  Considering the reach and persistence of social media, employers should ensure employees know the do’s and don’ts of social media at work. [January 2015, 804 word article]

We hope it never happens, but when you suffer a loss, you’ll have to file a claim to receive payment from your insurer. Here’s how the process works, and how to handle it to your best advantage. [January 2015, 942 word article]

Although the number of auto liability claims has fallen in the last few years, the cost of claims is increasing, even though the severity of injuries is decreasing. In 2012, auto liability claim costs for property damage averaged $3,073; cost of bodily injury claims averaged $14,653, according to the Insurance Services Office (ISO). Protect your company from these costs by ensuring you have the right insurance protection.  [January 2015, 753 word article]

The debate over gun rights often pits the individual’s right to bear arms and the rights of private property owners, such as employers, to prohibit firearms on their premises. [December 2014, 425 word article]

Additional insured coverage can protect your organization from liability due to contractors’ and subcontractors’ operations. [December 2014, 585 word article]

Each record of sensitive personal information stolen or compromised costs companies an average of $201. That adds up to $5.9 million for every organization that had a data breach.* [December 2014, 1021 word article]

November is Nonprofit Awareness Month. If you manage or serve on the board of one of the estimated 1.58 million nonprofit organizations in the U.S., thank you for your service. To ensure your organization can continue its good work, you have an obligation to ensure it has taken steps to reduce its liability risks. [November 2014, 1031 word article]

Forty percent of all businesses affected by a natural disaster never re-open, according the Small Business Administration. We recently discussed SBA disaster loans with Rick Jenkins, supervisory public information officer with the SBA. [September 2014, 306 word article]

D&O insurance helps companies of all sizes attract and retain top executive talent. [September 2014, 464 word article]

Understanding the who, what, when, where and how of your coverage can ensure you have the coverage you need, when you need it. [September 2014, 803 word article]

The EEOC has had pregnancy discrimination on its radar screen for a while. A Supreme Court case, Young v. UPS, will likely bring more attention to the issue. [September 2014, 820 word article]

The National Alliance of Special Event Planners defines a “special event” as an event such as “a wedding, anniversary party, Bar Mitzvah, fair, carnival, exhibition, fundraising dinner or other event of short duration, usually lasting ten days or less.” [July 2014, 357 word article]

Severe weather events are becoming more frequent. As populations shift to more vulnerable coastal regions, their effects become more catastrophic, in terms of lives and property lost. [July 2014, 772 word article]

An estimated 70 percent of companies that undergo a major loss eventually go out of business because they failed to plan for the disaster. Proper planning includes completing a business income/extra expense worksheet. This worksheet can help you get all the funds you’re entitled to after a disaster—here’s how. [July 2014, 793 word article]

Unless Congress votes to reinstate it, the federal terrorism reinsurance program will end on December 31. Proponents of extending it say that this backstop is necessary for a healthy insurance market, particularly in major metropolitan areas. [July 2014, 697 word article]

Two-thirds of employers include a question on criminal history on their job application forms, reported EmployeeScreen, a company that conducts background checks for employers. The EEOC recommends against this practice, however.  [May 2014, 338 word article]

The Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) expects that some 30,000 drones will be in use for business purposes in the U.S. by 2020. Some businesses are already using them. Do they have the proper insurance coverage? [May 2014, 709 word article]

Wind, hurricane, earthquake, fire, collapse, explosion—it’s impossible to build a structure that can withstand every degree of damage. But there are ways a property owner can aggressively minimize catastrophic damage. [May 2014, 712 word article]

U.S. copyright law protects both published and unpublished original works, including music. Violating another’s copyrights can result in fines from $750 to $150,000 per violation, or each song illegally played. [May 2014, 653 word article]

In addition to covering special events, weather insurance has many other uses: [March 2014, 323 word article]

If the past few years have proved anything about the weather, it’s that you can’t control Mother Nature. That’s why insurers offer weather insurance. [March 2014, 431 word article]

What keeps directors up at night? Many worry about personal liability from their board service. In a 2011 survey, 76 percent of CEOs surveyed said they were not confident for-profit boards had adequate insurance coverage, and 70 percent said the same about nonprofit boards. Only 59 percent of respondents said their board had directors and officers (D&O) liability coverage. (Source: Survey, Chartis and The Chief Executive Group)  [March 2014, 731 word article]

At least 30 percent of small businesses in the U.S. have been closed 24 hours or longer in the last three years due to a natural disaster, reports the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, estimates that almost 40 percent of small businesses never reopen their doors following a disaster. [March 2014, 791 word article]

Imagine the worst-case scenario: a customer sues you for injuries allegedly caused by one of your products. Then make it worse: you can’t find the policy that might cover that claim. [January 2014, 351 word article]

What do an ice sculptor and a real estate agent have in common? If they have insurance to protect themselves from the costs of mistakes they make in the course of providing their services, they likely have errors and omissions (E&O) coverage. [January 2014, 784 word article]

Hackers gained access to data from some 40 million debit and credit cards of people who shopped at Target during the busy Christmas season. If it can happen to the country’s third-largest retailer, it can happen anywhere. [January 2014, 734 word article]

Valentine’s Day is coming, and love is in the air—even in the office. In a CareerBuilder poll released in 2013, 39 percent of workers said they have dated a co-worker at least once over the course of their career; 30 percent of those who have dated a co-worker said their office romance led them to the altar. It’s the ones that don’t that more likely cause problems for employers. [January 2014, 707 word article]

Many events can damage an organization’s reputation: a financial scandal, a highly publicized discrimination case, a product malfunction that causes injury, and more. Many reputational risks involve product liability or professional liability. Any organization with a product liability or professional liability should have insurance to cover these exposures.  [July 2013, 343 word article]

From video surveillance to keystroke recorders, technology makes it easier than ever for employers to monitor what their employees are doing. But where do employers’ surveillance rights end and employees’ rights to privacy begin? [July 2013, 988 word article]

If you’ve been in business a while, you might have heard the phrase “boiler and machinery insurance.” Today’s boiler and machinery policies cover much more than boilers and machinery, hence the name change. Read on to learn more about this valuable coverage. [July 2013, 756 word article]

If the first rule of insurance is to make certain that your property is adequately covered, the second rule should be to ensure that the property of others is also properly protected. [July 2013, 585 word article]

Think about all the information you store on employees alone: Social Security numbers, addresses, names of spouses and dependents, and possibly even medical information. Then there are customers—do you have names, addresses, credit card numbers and expiration dates? If any of this information falls into the wrong hands, whether through error or theft, you have a liability exposure. [May 2013, 322 word article]

Summer brings the start of wildfire season in many parts of the country, but a damaging fire can occur anywhere, at any time. The following pointers can help you protect your property and employees. [May 2013, 657 word article]

Use these tips to assess what types of insurance are best for your business and how to get the best combination of protection and price. [May 2013, 507 word article]

The recent tragedy at the Boston Marathon reminds us that terrorism events can occur anywhere, at any time. Here’s what you need to know about terrorism exposures. [May 2013, 962 word article]

Every organization—including nonprofits—needs liability insurance to protect it from the costs of third-party claims of bodily injury, property damage, medical expenses, libel and slander. Liability insurance also covers the cost of defending lawsuits, and settlement bonds or judgments required during an appeal procedure. [March 2013]

References and letters of recommendation can be a damned-if-you-do and damned-if-you-don’t situation for employers. [March 2013]

No man is an island, they say. And neither is a business. As Hurricane Sandy and Winter Storm Nemo demonstrated, businesses today are increasingly interdependent. Contingent business interruption insurance can protect you when a covered loss affects a “contingent business location.” [March 2013]

In past issues, we’ve urged employers to craft a social media policy to protect their organizations from charges of libel, harassment and trademark infringement that can result from employees’ improper use of social media. However, you will also want to ensure your policies don’t violate employees’ rights. [March 2013]

Hurricane Sandy reminded us of the importance of weather-proofing property. Although hurricane season is past, winter brings other weather-related problems. [January 2013, 196 word article]

Carve-outs can help organizations better manage their property and liability exposures by “carving out” specific risks and insuring them separately. The technique might also save money. [January 2013, 562 word article]

Vacancies create a host of problems for owners besides lost income. Here’s a list of some problems to be aware of, and what you can do to mitigate them. [January 2013, 528 word article]

Directors and officers liability insurance (D&O) policies are nonstandard, so they can vary greatly from insurer to insurer. In this issue we’ll discuss some of the many provisions that could appear in your D&O policy and what they mean to your coverage. [January 2013, 722 word article]

Many business contracts—including most property and liability policies—contain indemnity provisions. Understanding what "indemnification" means can help you better understand your insurance coverages and better manage contractual risk. [November 2012, 394 word article]

A strong insurance program will protect your business property from loss due to fire, theft, vandalism and more. But without certain important coverages, your property coverage could leave you short of the funds needed to rebuild and recover. [November 2012, 819 word article]

Although total surety premiums amount to only a fraction of property/casualty insurance premiums ($5.15 billion versus $437.6 billion in 2011), sureties play an important - if often unseen - role in our economy. Read on to find out what surety bonds cover and where they might fit into your risk management toolbox. [November 2012, 638 word article]

The holiday season presents many opportunities for celebrating - along with actions that could be seen as discrimination. [November 2012, 956 word article]

Scheduling regular policy reviews can ensure your business has enough insurance to survive a disaster. Here are a few action items to consider when filling out the insurance portion of your business continuity plan: [September 2012, 391 word article]

If your business is the typical small or mid-sized business, you probably have somewhere between $500,000 and $2 million in liability coverage under your business owner policy (BOP) or commercial general liability policy. How does umbrella coverage work with these policies to provide extra liability protection? [September 2012, 648 word article]

Do you know how much privacy your employees are entitled to? For example, if you feel employees are abusing their work privileges, is it legal to intercept emails or phone conversations to find out what they’re up to and confirm your suspicions? Can you ask potential job candidates for their Facebook profile log-on information? Here are some general guidelines that can help. [September 2012, 837 word article]

When your business must close or suffers a disruption due to any natural or man-made cause, a good business continuity plan can ensure it can survive until repairs are made and operations return to normal. [September 2012, 845 word article]

Obtaining a professional property valuation can help insureds avoid many common property valuation errors. If your company has significant business personal property, multiple locations, any form of unique construction or sizeable total values, you may wish to consider using a professional appraisal service. When you consider the potential costs of over- or underinsurance, the price of this service could pay for itself in a short time. [July 2012, 264 word article]

Accurately valuing your property is the first step to ensuring effective coverage. If you place an overly high value on your property, you pay more premium than you need to. If you undervalue it, you may not have enough insurance to cover a loss. [July 2012, 626 word article]

When model Heidi Klum insured her legs for $2.2 million and guitarist Jeff Beck insured each of his fingers for $1 million, you can bet a standard insurer didn’t cover those risks. These celebrities turned to the surplus lines market. Although your organization probably won’t need to insure body parts, you might need the services of the surplus lines market. [July 2012, 670 word article]

For most companies, managing human resources will probably require more attention than any other aspect of your risk management plan. Workers’ compensation, safety, compliance with wage/hour laws and avoiding discrimination—these responsibilities can keep one or more managers busy full-time. Using contingent workers can relieve your organization of some human resource functions; however, it can create other risk management exposures. [July 2012, 929 word article]

When creating a disaster preparedness plan and evaluating your business insurance needs, it helps to know the types of hazards your organization is most likely to encounter. Here’s a list from FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency: [May 2012, 310 word article]

Disaster can strike any business, at any time. How well would your business recuperate? According to a Dun & Bradstreet study, 43 percent of companies hit by fire never reopened for business, while only 26 percent could continue as before. [May 2012, 1047 word article]

Once considered a niche business, the insurance industry has developed a wide range of environmental liability coverages. With a wide variety of nonstandard policies to choose from, which is best for your needs? [May 2012, 646 word article]

Just because an employee uses a personal auto does not relieve the employer of liability if he or she injures someone while on the job. [May 2012, 677 word article]

The following steps will improve the safety of your customers and visitors, and reduce your premises liability exposure: [299 word article, November 2013]

While the directors and officers of private corporations and nonprofits are less likely to face multi-million dollar lawsuits than those of publicly traded companies, they still have risk exposures. In fact, in a survey released recently by Advisen, 25 percent of D&O claims among private companies settled for $1 million or more. Could you protect your directors and officers from claims that large? [806 word article, November 2013]

What’s your business’s greatest underinsured asset? [676 word article, November 2013]

Google the phrase “premises liability” and you’ll find page after page of plaintiffs’ lawyers eager to make businesses pay for accidents on their premises. Reducing this risk exposure is easier and less expensive than you might expect. [686 word article, November 2013]

When businesses need to cut costs, it’s tempting to reduce insurance coverages, especially for property —building and contents. Here’s why cutting corners on property insurance is risky business. [606 word article, September 2013]

In May, the first genetic discrimination case filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), settled when an employer agreed to pay $50,000 and furnish other relief. Is your organization next? [717 word article, September 2013]

Cloud computing, which relies on shared networks (typically the Internet), allows users to access information anywhere, at any time. This decreases infrastructure costs while increasing productivity—and risk.  [998 word article, September 2013]

Share with communicators, managers and employees!

· The Internet is not anonymous, nor does it forget. Everything posted on the web can be traced back to its author.

· No clear line between your work life and your personal life exists. Always be honest and respectful in both capacities… [366 word article, March 2012]

Today, more than half of companies surveyed use social media in their marketing, and more than half plan to increase their involvement in social media this year. However, only 40 percent have a formal social media policy, reported the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). Social media involvement, if not handled properly, can expose your organization to charges of libel… [690 word article, March/April 2012]

“2011 was another banner year for employee theft in the United States, continuing the frenetic pace set in 2010.” So begins the 2011 Marquet Report on Embezzlement, an annual study of white collar fraud in the U.S.

The study also found that the average embezzlement scheme lasted nearly five years… [457 word article, March/April 2012]

Data. You store it on company computers and networks. Employees can access it at home or on the road. You might even have data “in the cloud,” in facilities you don’t own or control. And it’s the lifeblood of your organization. How well is it protected?

As with most things, insurance should be your second priority… [85 word article, March/April 2012]

Wealth and high community profiles make executives more vulnerable to lawsuits than other individuals. Typical claims against directors and officers include employment-related liability, such as discrimination, harassment and wrongful termination; mismanagement of assets; and failure to provide services.

State law or your corporate bylaws might require corporations to “indemnify,” or reimburse, directors and officers for personal liability that arises from their official duties… [255 word article, January/February 2012]

If you rent your business premises, you may need to make improvements and betterments to the property. These improvements — such as interior walls, carpeting and fixtures — automatically become the landlord’s property.

Even when you install improvements at your own expense, chances are your lease requires you to protect the landlord’s “ownership interest” in them by buying replacement cost coverage insurance… [506 word article, January/February 2012]

It’s a truism that people always talk about the weather but never do anything about it. If weather-related hazards pose a significant risk to your organization, you can buy insurance to protect it from financial loss.

Businesses that use weather insurance include farms, special event promoters, filmmakers, contractors and retailers… [366 word article, January/February 2012]

What keeps directors up at night? Many worry about personal liability from their board service. In a 2011 survey, 76 percent of CEOs surveyed said they were not confident for-profit boards had adequate insurance coverage, and 70 percent said the same about nonprofit boards. Only 59 percent of respondents said their board had directors and officers (D&O) liability coverage.  (Source: Survey, Chartis and The Chief Executive Group)[737 word article, January/February 2012]

Imagine the worst-case scenario: a customer sues you for injuries allegedly caused by one of your products. Then to make it worse: you can’t find the policy that might cover that claim.

Many general liability policies today are written on a “claims-made” basis, meaning they cover claims reported during the policy term, as long as they result from incidents occurring after the policy’s retroactive date… [354 word article, November 2011]

More than 9.5 million motor vehicles were involved in crashes that caused property damage or bodily injury during 2010, according to Census Bureau data. And one in four auto accidents results in an injury claim, found a study by the Insurance Research Council. Protect your organization from this exposure with the right coverage!… [666 word article, November 2011]

When you think “earthquake,” you probably think of California, or possibly the New Madrid Fault, if you are located near that seismic area. However, the Insurance Information Institute reports that 92 percent of the U.S. population lives in a seismically active area. Earthquakes have occurred in 39 states and have caused damage in all 50 over the past 100 years. What’s your business’s risk?… [902 word article, November 2011]

How many contracts does your business enter into every year? You might have one or more property leases, equipment leases, purchase agreements, service agreements, construction contracts, work agreements and more. Although most contracts seem like routine, boilerplate documents, once you sign them, they become legally binding. Do you always know what you’re agreeing to?… [668 word article, November 2011]

In recent months, Sony, Citibank, Twitter and other high-profile organizations have become victims to hackers who stole their customers’ private data, spurring interest in cyber-insurance.

One of the most common reasons smaller businesses fail to buy cyber-insurance is that they think they are too small for hackers to bother… [241 word article, September 2011]

A recent Mother Jones survey of employed email users found that 22 percent are expected to respond to work email when they’re not at work. Fifty percent check work email on the weekends; 46 percent check work email on sick days and 34 percent check work email while on vacation… [818 word article, September 2011]

As you read this article, winter probably seems far away. But winter storms—including hurricanes, windstorms, snow and ice—are coming soon. Is your business prepared?

Winter storms rank third in terms of the dollar value of damage they cause, second only to hurricanes and tornadoes… [757 word article, September 2011]

Directors and officers liability insurance (D&O) policies are nonstandard, so they can vary greatly from insurer to insurer. In this issue we’ll discuss some of the many provisions that could appear in your D&O policy and what they mean to your coverage.

The Typical D&O Policy Contains Two Parts:… [723 word article, July 2011]

Identified cargo thefts cost U.S. businesses approximately $171 million in 2010, estimated the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB). However, that figure only includes identified thefts. Coming up with more accurate estimates is difficult, since authorities in different jurisdictions often categorize the crime differently, and the FBI only recently began including cargo theft as a separate category in its Uniform Crime Report (UCR)… [674 word article, July 2011]

Just five years ago, Twitter didn’t exist. Today, users send one billion Tweets every week. Facebook has more than 500 million users. And blogs are multiplying like rabbits. The informal give-and-take that makes these social media effective communication channels can also make them dangerous.

The immediacy and reach of social media also make them problematic for risk managers. Potential exposures include:… [746 word article, July 2011]

The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires employers to do the following when using credit reports:

·  Before requesting a credit report, tell the applicant or employee that a credit check will be requested, and obtain the individual’s consent… [364 word article, May 2011]

Between 2006 and 2010, the number of personal bankruptcies grew more than 2.5 times. And today, more than 40 percent of families spend more than they earn. With so many individuals on the financial brink, what credit information can employers use in hiring, and how?

The Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) reports that about 60 percent of employers use credit reports in hiring… [705 word article, May 2011]

In 2010, fires in nonresidential structures cost 90 civilian lives, caused 1,620 civilian injuries and led to $2.6 billion in direct damages. The following suggestions will help you prevent fire.

Fires need tinder, or easily combustible materials, and oxygen to start. If a spark, electrical short, excess heat or other ignition source contacts tinder where oxygen is present, a fire will likely start… [684 word article, May 2011]

The Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) became effective on May 24, 2011. It added to the protections under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and expanded employers' responsibilities.

When it passed the ADAAA, Congress intended to reinstate a “broad scope of protection” to the disabled by expanding the definition of “disability.”… [610 word article, May 2011]

The majority of American adults are overweight or obese, yet studies have found that weight discrimination is increasing. One recent study found it was as prevalent as racial discrimination. Is weight discrimination the new frontier in employment law?

The study mentioned above used a subjective measure, individuals’ perceptions of being discriminated against for their weight… [947 word article, March 2011]

An insurance policy is a legal contract between an individual or organization (the insured) and an insurer. Although millions of dollars in claims payments can be at stake, too few insureds bother to read their policy. The following primer will help you understand the parts of a policy and some things to look for… [949 word article, March 2011]

Unless you have a separate flood policy, the answer is generally “no.” You can buy a special flood policy to cover this risk. They generally have a 30-day waiting period, so plan ahead if you might need coverage this rainy season… [432 word article, March 2011]

The federal Red Flags Rule to prevent and detect identity fraud creates no private right of action—in other words, private citizens cannot sue your organization for failure to comply. Only certain federal and state government agencies can enforce the Rule; however, consumers can file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission about a company’s program… [245 word article, January 2011]

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) began enforcing the so-called “Red Flags Rule” on January 12, 2011. The rule requires “financial institutions” and “creditors” to develop a written identity theft prevention program for “covered accounts.” The definition of “creditor” is broad, so even if you do not consider your business a financial institution, it might apply… [630 word article, January 2011]

Your organization has just been sued, and you’ve notified your liability insurer as required by the policy. You think all’s taken care of…when you receive a reservation of rights letter from the insurer. What does this mean, and what should you do?

In a liability lawsuit, the plaintiff often makes several claims. The policy might cover some and exclude others… [709 word article, January 2011]

For the first time in 2010, businesses reported they were losing more money to theft of electronic data than physical goods, said risk consultancy Kroll Inc. The company, which surveyed business managers from around the world, also reported that most managers surveyed said that the fraud was an “inside job” by the company’s own employees.

The following action steps can help you spot employee theft and fraud earlier, and minimize opportunities for theft:… [704 word article, January 2011]

It’s that time of year when Mother Nature begins to get feisty – sending a late-season hurricane or an early blizzard or torrential rainfall your way. Don’t wait for her to remind you that now is the time to make sure your business is ready for winter… [233 word article, November 2010]

Umbrella and excess policies raise the coverage limits for your underlying liability policy. Some use “follow form” language. What does that mean? Do you need it? Here’s what you need to know about umbrellas, excess liability and follow form coverage.

The purpose of an umbrella policy is to protect a business from catastrophic loss… [484 word article, November 2010]

Many companies find that business stops when the computers go down. What happens when your data is lost or corrupted? Can insurance help get you back in business?

As computers, network systems and the Internet have become integral to business, the insurance industry has responded by excluding coverage for certain risks from standard policies, and then developing endorsements and separate policies to cover various threats to software, data and networks… [669 word article, November 2010]

What is the difference between professional liability and errors and omissions insurance? Who needs this coverage, and what protections does it provide?

If you’re a little fuzzy about the difference between professional liability (PL) and errors and omissions (E&O) insurance, you’re not alone… [717 word article, November 2010]

With the average freight on a tractor trailer valued between $12,000 and $3 million, the theft of a single truckload can represent a significant loss.

The California Highway Patrol says that cargo burglaries “…often occur at transportation truck yards, commercial parks, and railroad yards. Commonly, theft groups will enter the targeted facility, post look-outs,... [817 word article, January 2010]

Virtually unheard of in the U.S., kidnap for ransom is growing in certain parts of the world. The global recession could worsen the problem in certain areas, particularly Africa and Latin America, cautioned Lloyd’s of London.

In the private sector, the most common kidnapping targets include wealthy locals, expatriate corporate executives and journalists. If your employees conduct business travel or work outside the U.S. or Canada, the following measures can keep your traveling and expatriate employees safer:... [765 word article, January 2010]

From video surveillance to keystroke recorders, technology makes it easier than ever for employers to monitor what their employees are doing. But where do employers’ surveillance rights end and employees’ rights to privacy begin?

Video Surveillance

In 2005, 10 percent of companies surveyed by the American Management Association/ePolicy Institute used video surveillance to track select employees’ on-the-job performance. Six percent of respondents videotaped all employees... [973 word article, January 2010]

Many coverage disputes between insurer and insured arise from different interpretation of the word “cause.” Even when you have an “all-risk” property policy, it is not enough that the cause and its result (the loss) be covered. There must be a sufficiently close connection between the cause and the loss. This is known as the requirement of “proximate cause.”... [220 word article, March 2010]

When buying a commercial general liability policy, you’ll almost always see policies written on an “occurrence” form. When buying other types of insurance, such as directors and officers liability and professional liability, you might need to select between an “occurrence” and a “claims-made” policy. What do these terms mean and how do they affect your coverage?... [536 word article, March 2010]

As events in Haiti tragically demonstrated, earthquakes can have devastating consequences for those who are not prepared. - FREE article!

When you think of cities with earthquake risks, most people think of San Francisco, Los Angeles and other California cities. But other major cities—including St. Louis and Charleston—are also on major faults.. [786 word article, March 2010]

Your property is properly insured to value. But if you don’t have this valuable coverage, you might not have enough to rebuild after a disaster. Here’s why.

Building codes are constantly evolving. No doubt your community has stricter codes than it did 20 or even only 10 years ago... [717 word article, March 2010]

It’s spring, and love is in the air. But when it happens in the office, co-workers may feel threatened. How employers can avoid getting stung by Cupid’s arrow.

Affairs between co-workers can sometimes lead to problems with other workers. Some courts have recognized “sexual favoritism” as sexual harassment because it creates a “hostile work environment” for other workers... [548 word article, May 2010]

The insurance industry has long recognized the economic dangers posed by climate change. In 2008, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) said, “New climatic conditions will give rise to new types of losses, and these will need to be understood by both insurers and their policyholders.

The climate-related problems the NAIC cited include additional exposure to mold due to warmer temperatures and more moisture;... [892 word article, May 2010]

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