We know that at times insurance policies can be seen as complicated and difficult to understand.
Even if you are somewhat familiar with the policy prior to a loss occurring, it can be still be confusing. Lack of policy knowledge prior to a loss can make the process more challenging. If you are involved in an accident but don’t know the basics of the claims process then this can result in delays initiating the claim and this can hinder the ability of the insurance company to fully investigate the accident. This can also make it difficult for them to accurately assess the situation. As an insurance agency we know that part of our responsibility to you, the policyholder is to educate you and to help you make the policies and the claims process as stress-free as possible. Because of that we are offering the “5 Steps To Prepare Yourself For A Claim.” This tip sheet gives you important insights into your policy and outlines some of the critical steps to take in the event of a loss to make the claim process easier for you and the insurance company.
By: Niklas Almström, Insurance Advisors, Inc.
Proper Business Insurance Coverage
Trying to determine coverage without the help of a commercial insurance professional can be a daunting task. You need to take the time to meet and discuss insurance needs with the proper information to get maximum value and protection in coverage. Here are some ways to simplify and maximize your time and efforts in determining the proper coverage needed for your business with your broker. Here’s a list of items and documents you should have with you when you meet with your insurance professional:
Business Location(s) Information
Copies of all leases and landlord information
Construction and building types
Square footage / floors
Additional locations where employees may be contracted
Equipment and materials inventory
Vehicles and Equipment
Make, models and color
Mileage and title(s)
Titles and registrations to any trailers and road equipment.
Approved drivers list with drivers license information
Owners, Officer’s and Employee Information
Spouses and children
Date of birth
Social security numbers
Banking and Financial information
Cash flow/Profit and Loss statements
Present insurance declaration pages
Attorney and CPA contact information
Putting together this information and updating it annually will save you time when meeting your insurance agent it will also serve as a great review for your business. Taking the time to meet and discuss insurance needs with this proper information will get you the maximum value and protection in coverage.
By: Niklas Almström, Insurance Advisors, Inc.
Download our free Return-to-Work Program tip sheet!
Besides the obvious dangers of everyday driving with motor vehicle accidents, drivers are susceptible to injury on long stretches of driving and other events in their day-to-day work activity. Poor diets, lack of sleep or exercise are issues for many drivers and can lead to greater injury. Sitting improperly, handling cargo improperly, or getting into or out of a vehicle the wrong way can cause many injuries such as muscle strains, back and neck injuries and other disorders. Injuries as such can generate costly workers compensation claims with workers being out for extended periods of time. These injuries can lead to the reducing of a driver’s range of motion, which inhibits his or her ability to avoid on road risk. Here are a few tips for your drivers to help them on the road:
Adjusting the Seat Tips
- Knees should not be higher than the hips.
- The front of the seat should not contact the back of the knee. Such contact will cause drivers to slide forward into a rounded posture.
- You should be able to depress pedals all the way without twisting the back or moving away from the seat.
- If possible, adjust the lumbar area of the seat to provide gentle support. A towel or lumbar roll may be added to support the low back, if needed.
- Slightly recline the back so the angle between the back and legs is approximately 110 degrees. Shift the body often, but stay close to this position.
- Position the steering wheel to keep elbows as close to the sides as possible, minimizing reach.
- Be sure instrumentation is easy to see.
- Adjust mirrors so you can see all of them without slouching or twisting. Use the mirrors as a cue to sit up when you slouch, instead of readjusting them.
- Vary your seat position slightly every 30 to 60 minutes to vary the stress on your body.
- Change hand position on the steering wheel often. Do not squeeze harder than necessary.
- Use a steering wheel cover to protect your hands from a cold wheel.
- Use a gel seat cushion if the truck vibrates too much.
By: Niklas Almstrom
Slips, trips, and falls are a major accident type in most industries, they account for 10% to 30% of injuries to employees and the general public. These have an average cost from $2,500 up to $12,000 and are the third leading cause of accidental deaths. Slips, trips, and falls can occur on flat walking surfaces and also on ramps and stairways. The main hazards that contribute to these accidents are slippery surfaces; holes or broken surfaces, inadequate clean up of spills or mud, ice and water during inclement weather. Falls are often a result of the combination of unsafe conditions and unsafe acts. Personal factors also contribute to slip trip and fall accidents, such as age, illness, fatigue, inattention and poor vision. Here are a few things that could help you and your business reduce the risk of slip, trip, and fall accidents.
- Floors – Floor materials and surfaces can contribute to these types of accidents for employees and the general public, proper choice of flooring materials, flooring finishes, mats or rugs, tapes, grooving and keeping the floor clean can all help prevent these accidents.
- Evaluation – Hazards include: slippery surfaces, broken surfaces, holes, poor drainage areas, inadequate clean up, or mud, ice and water being tracked in. Locate the major walkway areas where things such as these can be an issue, such as building entrances, loading platforms and areas where floor level changes due to steps or ramps.
- Aisles, Walkways – Aisles should be wide enough for employees and workers to pass through freely while handling materials and allow for safe passage of equipment, these should also be kept free of obstructions and clutter and have dry slip resistant flooring.
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With the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, Congress created the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). They created OSHA to assure safe and healthy working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and also by providing training, outreach, education and assistance. OSHA has created a set of guidelines to help better your workplace, some of these include:
- Get training from your employer
- Request information from your employer
- Request action from your employer to correct hazards or violations
- File a complaint with OSHA
- Be involved in OSHA’S inspection
- Find out results of an OSHA inspection
- Get involved
- File a formal appeal
- File a discrimination complaint
- Request a research investigation on possible workplace hazards
With these you can help your workplace be a safe a healthy place to work by limiting future accidents and help lower the cost of your workers’ compensation premium and other costs.
Download our free OSHA Tip Sheet
Reducing Your Workers’ Compensation Costs
The easiest and most effective way to reduce your workers’ compensation costs is to reduce the number of accidents and injuries in your workplace, but how can you know that you have covered all the bases when working to minimize your Workers’ Compensation costs? It can be a bit confusing on where to start but actually starting the process can be quite easy, as it should be. By being aware of safety issues in your workplace it will help you control unnecessary costs, increase your productivity, and create a safe environment for your employees. You help this by using the 5 Ps of controlling workers compensation costs:
- Pay Attention
- Properly Classify
By using these 5 Ps you can increase the safety of your workplace and reduce the number of accidents, consequently reducing your Experience Modification Factor, or Mod.
Download our Free Reducing Workers’ Comp. Check List
Assessing your Return-to-Work Program
There are many reasons to have and implement a solid Return-to-Work program at your company. These reasons include: increased productivity, worker well being, cost control, etc. Even though you might already have a Return to Work program in place, that program could use another look to better its results.
Workers Compensation is a very controllable expense for a business owner and Insurance Advisors is well qualified to guide you to specific resources that can help you evaluate your existing program or help you start one at your company. Better RTW programs start with: building up a workplace culture that supports your workers after an injury, keeping in contact with your injured worker during recovery and starting to plan their Return-to-Work, regularly monitoring your injured worker’s progress, and when they return to work taking the time to think and talk about what worked well and what didn’t work and how to improve. At Insurance Advisors we have a qualified team that is ready to assist you with a Return-to-Work assessment.
By: Niklas Almstrom
Download your FREE Return-to-Work Program Assessment Guide.
How to Reduce Workers’ Compensation Premiums
By taking simple steps to reduce injuries in the workplace, you can reduce and control your workers compensation costs. Workers compensation premiums are calculated based off your Experience Modification Factor or Mod. This formula compares your company’s actual losses to your expected losses by industry type. It includes factors that account for company size, unexpected large losses and the difference between loss frequency and loss severity, to achieve a balance between fairness and accountability. To control your Mod develop a sound safety program, return to work program (for more information and tips on return to work programs see our blog about Return to Work Programs), and proper prevention procedure to reduce loss frequency. The most effective way to reduce workers compensation premiums is having a safe work environment and a proactive safety program to reduce losses. Some other tips include:
- Train Employees – regularly on the safe and correct use of equipment
- Safety Manuals - are created and distributed to all employees
- Return to Work- the sooner the better, but with modified or alternate work
Learn how to increase the safety for your employees while decreasing your premium costs. Download our free Reducing Premiums Workers’ Compensation Tip Sheet today!
Why is a Return to Work Program so important?
The Purpose of a Return to Work (RTW) Program is to return workers to employment at the earliest date possible following an injury or illness. Creating a safe work environment is the main factor in keeping employees safe and avoiding costly workers’ compensation claims. But accidents happen, and when they do an employee that misses time can often come back feeling “lost” or “out of the loop” due to the constant change in businesses today. A RTW program can produce results that directly help the returning employee, these include:
- Decreasing lost productivity
- Increasing morale
- Reducing employee lost time and cost associated with an injury
- Decreasing costs for hiring and training a new employee
- Decreased insurance premiums
There are many uncontrollable variables and finding areas that can decrease costs can have a large impact. Statistics show much higher costs for businesses that do not have a RTW program. Take these and form your own RTW program and reduce your costs:
- Establish a relationship with medical providers
- Update job descriptions
- Allow recovering workers to ease into a full work schedule
- Involve the injured worker in the discussions about alternative work
- Be positive and flexible
By implementing a RTW program you will be able to control the cost of your workers’ compensation saving you money & increasing your profits. Download our Free Return to Work tip sheet and start controlling your workers’ compensation costs today.