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Commercial Specialty Insurance Tips Continued

Workers Compensation – Part 1

The workplace is an extremely common setting for a person to be injured. The Workers Compensation and Employers Liability Insurance Policy are used to provide insurance coverage for a company's statutory liability (coverage responsibility) under a Workers Compensation Act. It usually involves paying for medical treatment and disability. It also handles lawsuits from injured workers that fall outside of the Act.

A workers compensation policy responds to accidental injury that occurs during work with mandatory benefits. However, besides taking place at work, an injury must also be related to the injured person’s duties. Further, the policy also covers costs associated with disease or death that may be the ultimate result of the accident. If the employee’s injury does not qualify for compensation under the Workers Compensation Acts (or Occupational Disease Acts, if separate) the policy will respond to an employee who sues his or her employer, alleging negligence.

The type of business that can be insured with a workers comp policy may be an individual, partnership, joint venture, corporation, association, fiduciary, or other entity. A typical policy lists the work locations that are covered. The policy is designed to handle work-related accidents as well as diseases. The amounts that must be paid are defined by the state or jurisdiction where a covered incident occurs. The policy usually lists the other types of costs and expenses that are eligible for payment under the policy.

In other respects, a workers compensation policy is similar to other kinds of insurance. The policy benefits include being provided a legal defense against certain types of lawsuits. The policy explains that, when other sources of loss payment are available, the policy will begin any payment once the other source has paid its obligation. However, the policy will not pay for any amounts that exceed stated benefit amounts. The insurance coverage may be expanded, restricted, or made to comply with specific state requirements through the use of endorsements.

Generally, the insurer that provides coverage acquires the covered company's legal right to pursue payment from a party that may have been responsible for a workplace injury.


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All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.

 

Workers Compensation – Part 2

Coverage provided to workers who are injured on the job is invaluable and is, primarily, via workers compensation protection. Such protection is framed by the Workers Compensation Act which addresses payment for medical treatment and disabilities. It also replaces, largely, the need for injured workers to have to sue their employers for compensation.

However, the nation’s workers compensation system has a lot of concerns including the following:

  • Viability of Workers’ Compensation
  • Federalization
  • Affordable Care Act
  • Holes in Workers’ Compensation
  • Blurred lines between Workers’ Compensation and group health
  • Options to Workers’ Compensation
  • Evolving claims model
  • Pending Court Challenges regarding coverage
  • Bureaucracy

Workers compensation has traditionally been called the Grand Bargain precisely due to workers sacrificing a right to sue employers in place of the ability to depend on fair compensation when injured on the job. However, as is evident from the long list of issues, a number of important players are dissatisfied with the system. Insurers believe that it is plagued by arbitrarily high treatment costs and fraud. Legislators believe that it is inefficient and acts as a disincentive from business growth. Businesses see it as a burden that hampers profitability and substantially increases payroll expense.

Problems with proper worker protection are likely to increase as employers increasingly ignore the need to buy workers compensation coverage, even though it means breaking laws, facing fines and even criminal penalties. Yet, instances of absent or insufficient coverage persists due to increased use misclassified employees, manipulation of submitted payroll information, abuse of worker contractual agreements and other problems. The increased presence of sharing economy workers also complicates matters.

If you have employees, it is imperative to seek out an insurance professional to assist you with fulfilling your protection obligations.


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc. 2019

All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.

 

Active Shooter Risk – Part 1


Headlines tragically remind us quite frequently that many aspects of our lives have become unavoidably dangerous. Sadly, this danger is due to the whim of individuals and access to weaponry. The deadly risk is the “active shooter incident.”

Active Shooter Incident

An active shooter incident describes a situation in which at least one person is actively killing or attempting to kill persons in a populated area. Naturally, as we are referencing a shooter, such incidents involve firearms.

Active shootings are becoming more common. Studies made by the FBI between 2000 and 2017 indicates annual mass-shooting events rose from 6.4 per year to 30 per year. Studies also show that most shootings take place within a business or school (educational) environment. The frequency of shootings is accompanied by, on average, an increase in the number of persons killed or wounded per event.

As with any other risk that becomes significant, it is very important to find a strategy to deal with active shootings. Insurance is among the tools helpful with both pre- and post-incident planning. However, much uncertainty exists regarding protection for active shooter losses.

First, there is customer expectations. Insurance consumers may be under the impression that damage and injury created by shooters are covered. Second, the insurance market is fragmented over the issue depending upon how incidents are interpreted. Coverage may be sought from existing policies that individuals, commercial or non-profit entities may already carry, including General Liability, the Liability portion of Homeowners, or Workers Compensation. On the other hand, responsibility for harm due to a shooter may need to be covered by a form of professional liability policy as the obligation to protect against shootings may considered as a failure to provide adequate security.

Confusion may also be caused by insurance policies via the silent coverage problem. An insurance form is considered silent when it neither specifically names nor excludes a source of loss, such as shootings. It can be chaotic during the time it takes to clarify coverage gaps.

The insurance sector has a reputation as being slow to react to change. Of course, speed is never at the level that most would wish when new coverage issues arise. However, the insurance market has been stepping up and addressing the serious active shooter exposure. While there is the option of trying to amend standard policies to add protection, other ways that coverage is being addressed are separate policies that supplement insurance protection with a variety of services.

Please see part two for more information on this issue.


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc. 2019

All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.

 

Active Shooter Risk – Part 2


As we mentioned in part one of this discussion, a strategy for dealing with this exposure involves a significant amount of pre- and post-incident activity. Active shooter programs commonly involve the following:

Non-Insurance Services

Pre-event

Risk Assessment

Employee Crisis Training

During Event

Crisis Management

Second (Event) Responders (those who supplement initial, emergency action of fire, medical and police [first responders] and handle return services and site clean-up.)

Post-event

Counseling Services

Psychiatric Care

Public Relations Disaster Team

Investigation Assistance Funds (Rewards)

Expenses for additional, temporary security measures

Insurance Services

Liability Coverage for Lawsuits due to loss created by active shooting incident

Limits vary from $250,000/$500,000 up to multi-million dollar maximum

Business Income and Extra Expense

Limits vary from $1 million up to $100 million

Emergency medical care

Rehabilitation Expenses

Funeral and Burial Expenses

 

Please see part three of this discussion for more details regarding active shooter preparation.


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc. 2019

All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.

 

Active Shooter Risk – Part 3


In part two, we discussed what makes up an active shooter program. We wanted to expand on a couple components.

 

Active Shooter Risk Assessment.

 

The objective is to identify access points, determine plausible outside threats to your business and evaluate existing security and precautions. The outcome is a measurement of your operation’s current level of vulnerability. With an accurate snapshot of current conditions, you can then take steps to reduce a deadly exposure.

 

Note: objectivity is very important. An assessment should be done by eyes that are fresh, free from blind spots that would reduce the ability to identify weaknesses.

 

Environmental Awareness

Awareness among your managers and employees is a key consideration for minimizing the danger of active shooting incidents. Thankfully, every operation’s norm is a safe working environment. The task is to have a firm grasp of the default, safe position and then, be consistently aware of differences that may signal a change. The following are helpful strategies:

 

Use Of Awareness Training – your workers should be taught what is needed to observe behavioral changes that may indicate danger. Recognition of changes increases the chance that developing situations may be defused.

 

Use Of Awareness Reporting – Once workers know what changes to look for, they must take the next step. Changes should be reported to superiors in order to further evaluate possible threats.

 

Implement Training And Regular Drills – knowing what to do if an active shooting occurs is useless if employees don’t quickly react. Once safety procedures are taught, they must be reinforced with drills to embed employee responses.

 

Drug Policies And Testing – due to drugs being cited as factors in some shootings, it may be prudent to establish regular testing to mitigate this source.

 

Marketing for this product should focus upon business classes that, historically, have been most vulnerable to this exposure such as Educational institutions, Entertainment organizations, Hotels, Healthcare providers, Religious institutions, Retail organizations, Shows (ex. Fairs, Trade Shows and Rodeos.)


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc. 2019

All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.