RISK PREVENTION—Business owners and top managers face risks each and every day—not just on the Ides of each month.
Not familiar with “Ides?” You’ve probably heard, “Beware the Ides of March,” a phrase from William Shakespeare’s play, “Julius Caesar.”
On the Ides of March in 44 B.C., Caesar was assassinated by Brutus. Four years later, also on the Ides of March, 300 persons were executed in retaliation for Caesar’s death. (Reference: Wikipedia.)
The Ides in Shakespeare’s play referred to the middle of March or March 15. But, according to the length of the month, the Ides could also fall on the 13th or 14th day.
Since every month has a middle, every month has its own Ides. And we could say, “Beware the Ides of July.” Or “Beware The Ides of October.”
But who wants to run around being wary all the time?
You have better things to do—like focusing on your business. So, what’s a good solution?
The best way to get a handle on your Ides (and all the other days of the month) is to hire a professional to manage your risks.
Risk Managers can help you control, transfer, reduce or eliminate the risks associated with your company.
And, although Independent Risk Management Consultants never sell insurance, they can help you select the best coverages for your business.
A Risk Manager will design a program JUST for your company, because it’s not “one coverage fits all.” The best insurance coverage for your company may not necessarily be the best coverage for another company.
Insurance policies, limits, and deductibles should all be customized for your particular business or industry—focusing on its needs—and the products or services that you sell.
We can help you with that. That’s What We Do.
BUT… Since the Ides are fast approaching, here are a few of the top insurance policies we usually recommend for our clients.
Ideal Policies For Ides (And Other Days)
Cyber Liability Insurance
With hackers coming up with new ways every day to steal information over the internet, Cyber Liability Insurance is one coverage you definitely don’t want to neglect.
Any business that stores personal information, such as credit card numbers, Social Security numbers or other sensitive data, needs this coverage to protect themselves against damages caused by a data breach.
Directors & Officers Liability Insurance
Directors & Officers Liability Insurance (D&O) is designed to protect your company’s leaders against losses and lawsuits suffered as part of their duties as officers and directors of the company.
Defense costs for alleged wrongful acts are usually included in these policies, but intentional illegal acts are excluded.
And although most commercial-type insurance policies focus on the company, D&O is a “personal protection” policy for directors, officers and their estates.
Stock Throughput Policy
A Stock Throughput Policy (STP) is an “all-risk-type” policy that protects your company’s stock from losses or damages from the time of any item’s acquisition until its disposal.
Whether your products are in their raw material form in a warehouse; are partially constructed in your factory; or are completely finished, but not yet shipped; an STP covers them. In transit items are also covered.
Property Policies cover your buildings and contents from loss, damage or theft. Some specialized forms of Property Insurance include coverages for fire, flood, earthquake and other weather-related catastrophes or perils.
An “Open Peril Policy” would cover any loss, unless certain named losses were specified as “exclusions.”
A “Named Peril Policy” requires that any damage-causing losses be named ahead of time and listed in the policy.
Similar to how an umbrella protects you from getting wet on rainy days, an Umbrella Policy offers an extra layer of protection on top of your other insurance policies.
Some Umbrella Policies will not kick in until you have reached the limits of your other liability coverages, so ensure those limits have been established correctly.
Other types of Umbrella Policies can be purchased to extend limits of primary policies and cover otherwise uninsured losses—in some instances.
Business Interruption Insurance
Also known as Business Income Insurance, this type of policy is designed to protect your company from the loss of income after a disaster.
Coverage should be designed to start from the onset of your income loss and continue throughout the businesses’ down period.
Policies can be written to include aid with extra expenses associated with cleanup and restoration, emergency shipping of replacement equipment and advance payments of lost income.
(Learn more about this crucial coverage in “Business Income Insurance: Protecting The Lifeblood Of Your Company.”)
Electronic Data Processing Policies
Electronic Data Processing (EDP) Policies insure certain exposures that are not normally included in a standard Property Policy.
Computer equipment, software programs or data losses caused by damages from hacking, viruses, temperature extremes, lightning or electrical surges—and even mechanical breakdown—could be included in your insurance coverage.
An EDP Policy is designed as an “all-risks-type” policy, but you will need to provide a detailed list of all the equipment you want to be included in your coverage.
Boiler And Machinery Policies
Boiler and Machinery (BM) Policies protect against losses, such as machinery breakdown or explosion, plus various other occurrences that are excluded from a Property Policy.
BM Policies can also include heating and air-conditioning systems, refrigeration units, large ovens, electrical systems, elevators and some types of office equipment.
Your BM Policy can also be designed to provide funds to help remedy lost production time, goods spoilage from mechanical breakdowns or power failures, and explosion damage to surrounding equipment.
Inland Marine Policy
Inland Marine Policies are designed to protect the loss and/or damage to property or items that are not in a fixed location.
Examples of Inland Marine listings are a forklift used at one of your companies or a backhoe that is used in several different locations.
Another listing could be a small motorized vehicle that remains on company property—used to transport personnel from building to building.
Commercial General Liability
Commercial General Liability (CGL) is your primary line of defense against damages or injuries related to your business, its operations or its products.
CGL covers claims associated with property damage, personal or bodily injury and associated medical payments.
Advertising injuries are usually included in CGL Policies and can cover offenses and violations associated with slander, libel and copyrights.
Automobile Liability Policies
All companies should have all company vehicles that leave their premises listed on their Automobile Liability Policies.
These types of policies protect your company if one of your drivers is involved in an accident involving another vehicle. Costs associated with any Injuries to other drivers and passengers, as well as damages to their vehicles, are covered.
Any property that is damaged by your company’s vehicle is also covered.
Liability Policies usually do not have deductibles, but will have flexible limits, such as “per person” and “per accident,” that can be set higher than a state’s required minimum.
Auto Physical Damage Policy
This type of policy covers physical damage to your company’s vehicles, while liability covers other people’s vehicles, properties and injuries.
If the vehicles in your company’s fleet are not completely paid for and you have a loan, an Auto Physical Damage Policy is required by your bank.
Your bank will also need to be listed on your policy as a co-insurer.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance
Workers’ Compensation Insurance is required for businesses with a certain number of employees, but program rules differ from state to state.
Also known as “Workers Comp,” this insurance is a “no-fault” type of coverage and provides medical payments and lost-wages for employees who are injured or become ill on the job.
The cost of long-term or permanent damages, as well as retraining for other positions, is included. Some types of workers, such as independent contractors, are excluded.
If an employee were to be killed while on the job, their spouse and children would be eligible for benefits.
Persons who choose to receive Workers’ Compensation payments and benefits give up their rights to sue for any type of negligence.
Your company’s payments toward this program are set by job category and the amount of your payroll, so make sure your employees are classified correctly and your payroll recordings are accurate.
The amount of losses (or claims) for your business also affects your costs for Workers’ Compensation. (See “How To Check Your Experience Modification Factor: Cracking The Code” for more information.)
Employment Practices Liability
Employment Practices Liability (EPL) Insurance protects your company against employment-related claims and lawsuits.
Having an Employee Handbook and being aware of the best practices regarding hiring and firing employees may help ward off problems, but companies of any substantial size should strongly consider an EPL Policy.
Claims falling under the EPL category include any type of discrimination or harassment, wrongful termination, violations of wage and hour laws, and many more circumstances.
Companies should let their Risk Management Consultant help design the best EPL coverage for their company, taking into account their workforce and other variables that are unique to their specific industry or service.
Professional Liability Insurance
If your company provides professional advice or services, then you need Professional Liability Insurance (PLI) to ward off negligence claims and lawsuits.
Whether an error or omission was made, a financial loss was experienced by a client, or you are being accused of a failure to perform, you and your company need to be protected against economic and financial losses.
This type of insurance is also required in certain areas, in certain types of professions, and by some companies who might wish to do business with your company.
Specialized coverages for some professions are also available. For example, if you want to add a Registered Nurse to your payroll to treat minor injuries at your factory, you would want to be covered by PLI.
Trustee & Fiduciary Liability
If your company offers a pension or profit-sharing plan, or you and your company are in any type of trustee position regarding safeguarding assets, then you need some type of Trustee & Fiduciary Liability Insurance.
Your company can be held accountable for any and all decisions and actions that are made, as well as any breaches of duty.
Alleged wrongful acts can include improper assessments, contributions that are considered too few or too many, returns on investments that are seen as too little, and even risks that are thought of as being too high.
A Crime Policy protects your company from the loss of merchandise, money or property due to employee theft, fraud or dishonesty.
Coverage would include illegal funds transfer, computer theft, and forgeries, including claims associated with counterfeit monies created by employees.
A special type of Crime Policy, referred to as Kidnap & Ransom Coverage, can be purchased to cover extortion.
Pollution Coverage from man-made activity is often referred to as Environmental Impairment Liability.
Pollution Coverage provides for contamination clean-up costs and pays for damages to properties, as well as claims of bodily injuries.
Legal expenses, loss of business income and loss of profit associated with an environmental event could also be covered, if your policy is designed as such.
Endorsements may also be added to include risks associated with the transportation of certain products.
For The Best Results
Please be aware that this breakdown of insurance policies is just a brief overview, in our own words, of the types of policies our clients need the most—and so are most recommended by us.
YOUR business and YOUR needs will differ. We highly recommend you consult with an Independent Risk Manager for the best results.
Risk Management Professionals are highly skilled in matching insurance programs to client needs. They are also skilled in finding your business enough savings to cover their fees. More security. Less cost. Why not?
Matching Insurance Coverages To Client Needs For 40-Plus Years! We Can Help Your Company Today.
(Photo Credit: James Frid/Pexels.)
RISK PREVENTION—What do a telecommunications company, a lumber company and a waste removal company have in common? Businesses in all three of these types of industries are clients of American Risk Managers.
All of these businesses also have top-notch safety plans that are instrumental in keeping their employees safe.
We’ve also had the privilege of working with dozens and dozens of other companies from different industries during our 40-plus-year history.
Could any of the safety-related changes, policies or programs these companies implemented help your company? We think so.
Looking back with a focus on safety, we’ve pulled together some of our clients’ most successful programs.
10 Proven Safety Programs For YOUR Business:
- Provide safety training programs as part of all your new employees’ regular training processes. By focusing on safety during the introductory phase, your business makes the strong impression that safety is a requirement of company employment.
- Get all of your employees involved with the design and installation of your company’s safety program. By feeling involved, employees will get a sense of ownership, which will raise the level of their adherence to the program’s rules.
- Periodically review all of your company’s currently-valued loss runs (claims histories) to define a clear safety status. This information can then be used to establish an order of approach in dealing with safety needs.
- Conduct all of your safety meetings on company time. Being paid to attend these meetings shows your employees the importance your company places on safety and safe work habits.
- Form an inspection group of management and non-management personnel to conduct periodic reviews. Inspection goals should include ascertaining housekeeping conditions and the state of repair of all machinery and equipment.
- Establish safety monitors among your employees to help promote personnel adherence of all safety rules. Safety monitor roles should be changed out on a rotating basis.
- Develop a light-duty work section—with less strength requirements—for injured employees. This program can reduce loss-time accidents, keep employees work-hardened and get employees back to work sooner. (They’ll also have less time at home to become interested in TV lawyer ads.)
- Establish safety contests. Create meaningful prizes for the winners that can be awarded to the employees’ wives or significant others. (Wives are much better motivators than company supervisors.) Female employees could award their husbands, while unattached employees might choose to award their mothers.
- Enhance your employees’ driving skills with defensive driving classes. Have instructors conduct the trainings on-site and include interested employee family members who are of driving age. This program could also lead to insurance policy discounts.
- Develop a bonus program with paid off-duty time for employees with safe work records. Design the program so that employees with no work-related injury absences for a certain period of time would be eligible for these bonuses.
Whether you choose to implement any of these programs or are just inspired to brainstorm some new programs of your own, keeping SAFETY FIRST is always a lifesaver and a timesaver.
Plus, one of the many byproducts of an accident-free workplace is lower Workers’ Compensation premium costs. So, safety can also be a money saver!
If your company doesn’t have a safety plan in place, now is a great time to start one.
If you work with an Independent Risk Manager, they can certainly steer you in the right direction. They’ll also get your insurance provider involved to see if they have any handy resources or free employee safety training.
You can also find more valuable tips on helping your business in our Risk Resources Section.
And please let us know if we can be of assistance in saving you time, money and worry.
Keep Your Employees Healthy And On-The-Job Today. Reap The Benefits And Savings Tomorrow.
(Photo Credit: Anamul Rezwan/Pexels.)
RISK PREVENTION – As temperatures rise and the days get longer, you’ll frequently see people working in their yards and doing spring cleaning around their homes.
What’s often overlooked is performing the same type of seasonal tune-up for your business.
Whether you’re an owner, manager or top executive, taking some time to perform a Risk Management-related Spring Cleaning can help protect your company.
If you’re not sure where to begin, a good place to start is by checking your company’s insurance-related information to make sure everything is up to date.
Having outdated or incorrect information on your company’s policies could lead to a claim being denied or a co-insurance penalty being applied. Here are a few other areas to address to make sure your company is in “tip-top” shape for spring (or any season):
Driver’s License Information
- Are all of your fleet’s drivers listed on your policy?
- Are there any drivers who have retired that need to be deleted?
- Are there any new hires that should be added?
You may have lengthy and detailed training processes for new employees, so having new drivers added to your policy could get lost in the onboarding shuffle.
Oversites like this are understandable, but beware—the penalty could be extremely painful. Make sure to include adding drivers to your policy as part of the new hire checklist.
- Are all the vehicles in your fleet listed on your policy?
- Are there any vehicles still on the list that have been sold or marked as surplus?
- Are all driver/vehicle assignments accurate or do any need to be changed?
With so many duties claiming your time and attention, it’s easy to make a mental mistake with fleet issues. One of the best ways to check your vehicles is to take your list and do a physical walk-around.
Also, make sure all of your maintenance records are up-to-date. Just like the daily, weekly and monthly inspections, the records that you keep of these actions are valuable necessities.
- Have all employees had their annual physicals, wellness checkups and driving record reviews?
- Have all the required safety classes been conducted, with training certifications signed, dated and filed?
- Have any of your employees been promoted or changed to a different job?
Reviewing employee-related issues on an annual basis not only helps to ensure your company is adequately covered if an accident were to occur, it also helps boost morale—which can lead to fewer accidents.
And don’t forget to check Workers’ Compensation code classifications for employees who have transferred to different duties. Errors in classifications can result in costly premium adjustments.
Using all these tips can help your company ward off risk issues AND uncover savings—no matter the season. You shouldn’t be paying excess insurance premiums for coverages you’re no longer needing or using.
And a final tip—if you’ve made any changes to your facilities or production line this year, consult an Independent Risk Manager for experienced help in finding new insurance coverages that will best match your exposures.
You can find lots of other business tips for Risk Management solutions and savings in our Common Types of Risk Management Issues section.