General Liability vs. Professional Liability Insurance

A consultant recommends that a client purchase and implement software to automate certain manufacturing processes. An update to the software causes it to crash repeatedly, forcing the client to shut down its production lines for 10 days until a fix is available. The client sues the consultant for giving bad advice. A new commercial building develops a roof leak following heavy rains. An investigation shows that the roof structure is insufficient for handling torrential rains common to the area. The owner sues the architect over the design error. An accountant performing an audit for a town government does not notice a questionable pattern of expenditures. Later, it is discovered that an employee in the town clerk’s office embezzled more than 

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Are your Workers Employees or Independent Contractors?

Before classifying a worker as an independent contractor, it is important for a business owner to do his or her homework carefully. Employment laws today are very strict, so discuss any concerns with an agent. The United States Department of Labor and the Internal Revenue Service have combined their efforts to help various states share resources and information that will expose worker classification violations. Employers found to be in violation could face paying back taxes, back pay to workers, missed overtime, retroactive benefits, interest, fines, staff effort charges and legal fees. With situations where there are multiple violations or willful negative intent, the penalties and fines are worse. In addition to the money a violation would cost, employers would also 

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How to Prepare for a Workers’ Compensation Audit

Just the mention of a workers’ compensation audit causes fear to some. If you are scheduled for a workers’ compensation audit, there is no need to dread it or be fearful. A small amount of preparation and common sense can save you a lot of aggravation and money. Devoting a few hours of your attention now can save you a lot of time in the future. You need to give your full attention to the auditor and remain with him/her throughout the entire process. The process may take a couple of hours to complete. so make sure that the time and date of the scheduled audit is convenient for you. Call to reschedule the audit if it has been scheduled 

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Cyber Liability Insurance

On April 20, 2011, someone hacked the Sony Playstation Network. They found an opening in the online video gaming network’s password-reset system and penetrated the security protecting its customer database. Days later, the company admitted that the hackers had obtained personal information on 70 million or more subscribers. The hackers got names, physical and email addresses, birthdates, and other identifying information, and it’s possible that they got credit card numbers. Sony took the network offline to reinforce it, but within days of it coming back online, hackers broke in again. Playstation Network is a high-profile target with tens of millions of subscribers, making it attractive to criminals. However, even small businesses that do business over the Internet are vulnerable to 

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3 Steps to Controlling Workers’ Compensation Costs

Workers’ Compensation can be a large cost center for a business. The extent depends on the type of business and the state where the business is located. The cost to insure a single employee making $30,000 per year can range from less than $100 (for a clerical worker) to around $1,400 (for a restaurant worker) to more than $10,000 (for a roofing worker). For employers in industries that require dangerous work, limiting Workers’ Compensation costs is vital. Here are three things they can do. First, employers should prevent injuries from happening. There are as many ways to keep a safe workplace as there are workplaces. However, certain components of a safety strategy are universal:   Keep workspaces clean and free 

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Directors & Officers Insurance

For the last several years, stories of wrongdoing and bad judgment by corporate managers have filled the headlines. Enron, Worldcom, and Countrywide are just some of the companies that became household names because of mistakes or criminal acts their leaders committed. These stories became big news because they were exceptional; the vast majority of companies do not fail in such a spectacular fashion. However, all corporate managers have the potential to make mistakes, and some mistakes can lead to significant losses for the company, its shareholders, employees and vendors. When this happens, having the appropriate insurance coverage can make all the difference between survival or corporate and personal bankruptcy. General Liability Insurance Most businesses carry commercial general liability insurance that 

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Do I Need Terrorism Insurance For My Business?

Terrorism insurance is provided by a public or private risk-sharing partnership. It gives the government and insurers the responsibility of sharing losses if there is a terrorist attack. This coverage is offered as a special add-on feature or endorsement to commercial property insurance. If there is a terrorist attack, a regular business policy will not cover losses resulting from terrorism. In 2002, Congress implemented the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act. It ensures that businesses will have the necessary resources to recover in the event of a terrorist attack. As part of TRIA, all U.S. insurance companies offering property and casualty coverage are required to offer terrorism insurance. What Does Terrorism Insurance Cover? Damaged equipment, furnishings and buildings are covered under a 

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What is a Surety Bond?

In today’s competitive market, a surety bond is a valuable commodity for a contractor. Obtaining a surety bond shows your company’s best face to both potential customers and lending institutions. That’s because a surety bond amounts to a seal of approval from an independent third party, the surety bond company, which has evaluated your work. The surety bond that the surety company issues shows that it believes in your ability to perform. In addition to providing an endorsement of your abilities, a relationship with a surety underwriter and bond producer offers other advantages. These professionals have access to a variety of resources. They interact with a cross-section of the construction industry and can assist the contractor in finding construction accountants, 

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Insurance for Small Construction Businesses

Small construction businesses require several of the same types of insurance coverage that larger businesses need. In addition to this, there are types of coverage available that are specific to the construction industry. It’s best to speak with a qualified agent who has experience in insuring small construction businesses. Agents with experience are able to provide the best coverage options. Property Coverage Property insurance may be needed to provide coverage for any real property owned by the company. This coverage may also be needed to cover any personal property that is used for the business. The largest amount of property loss may involve equipment that is taken to varying sites and valuable machinery. Standard property insurance doesn’t provide coverage for 

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Misclassifying Workers as Independent Contractors is Bad for Your Business

Employer misclassification of workers as independent contractors is a large and growing problem. Employers trying to keep their costs down may inadvertently or deliberately misclassify workers who should be classified as employees. They escape employment taxes, unemployment and workers’ compensation insurance costs, and paying overtime rates required by law for employees. They also cheat workers and gain an unfair advantage over their law-abiding competitors. Federal and state authorities have begun to crack down. The U.S. Department of Labor won $79 million in settlements for 109,000 workers in 2014 alone. The employers caught breaking the rules come in all sizes and from many industries. To name a few examples: – In 2013, a federal judge ordered a large provider of information 

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