Zeiler Insurance Services, Inc. | Zeiler Insurance Services, Inc.
|3 Insurance Gambles That Put Your Business at Risk
Much like sunscreen, business insurance is one of those things you don’t realize how important it is until you’ve been burned: A lot of entrepreneurs don’t have it, and those who do, may not be fully covered.
While large corporations have staffers specifically trained to be sure the business is protected adequately, small business owners are often not aware of the risks their business faces.
“Smaller businesses tend not to get the right amount of coverage,” says Loretta Worters, vice president of the Insurance Information Institute, an industry trade group that aims to educate the public about insurance. “They will get too little or not the right coverage.”
Here are three of the most common mistakes to avoid when deciding on business insurance.
1. You view insurance as one-size-fits-all. Think again. There are four basic types of insurance that all businesses need, according to Worters. Property insurance protects the building that your business is housed in and the inventory, raw materials and computers that you own. Liability insurance protects you against lawsuits. Business vehicle insurance covers any autos owned by the business. Finally, a business with employees must have workers compensation insurance should an employee be injured on the job.
In addition, every industry has its own specific risks and your business may require a specialized policy. “You need to get an agent that understands your line of business,” says Worters, noting that you should talk to an agent before just signing up with one. Ask a local business group or association for a recommendation.
2. You think you're covered by another policy. Some business owners assume they don’t need coverage. They believe their company is covered by their client's policy or they're no longer at risk when a client leaves. Not true. A client can come back and sue you years after an event or transaction occurs.
And don't think your homeowner's policy will bail you out, either. Even if you have a home-based business, a homeowner's policy won't protect it should you get into any legal issues with employees or business litigation. Whether the homeowners’ policy will protect your business property in your home depends on the policy.
3. You think you're invincible. Worters says many businesses don’t even consider what is called either business income or business interruption insurance. If a natural disaster hits, for example, and your business closes, your revenue can be immediately shut off for an undetermined amount of time, and that can really threaten the life of your business.
POSTED JULY 11, 2018 6:33 PM
|Opioids: How Are They Affecting Your Workplace?
We hear a lot about the opioid epidemic in our country, that is, the use and abuse of pain medications including oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine and fentanyl. These medications were nearly unheard of just a few years ago, but now they appear in the news almost daily. Unfortunately, when these medications were introduced, patients and doctors thought they were non-addictive, and only later did we discover that they are highly addictive and dangerous.
It’s likely you know someone - a family member or a social acquaintance - who is addicted. It’s also highly probable that there are employees at your workplace who depend on these drugs. This is cause for concern and vigilance on your part.
Why the Concern?
Those dependent on opioids become addicted very quickly. A workplace accident, a surgery, even a procedure as simple as wisdom teeth removal, often leads to a prescription for this class of pain medications. As the meds wear off the pain returns, leading users to pop even more pills. It becomes a vicious cycle with a desperate need for more and more painkillers.
Affected workers may look and act normally for a time. Eventually, the medications can lead to impairments, with symptoms such as drowsiness, anxiety and depression. Those taking the pills often have impaired judgment, are less productive and experience more workplace accidents.
Now imagine an addicted employee operating a forklift, crane, jackhammer, drill, bulldozer, truck or working with any type of tool. The risk of injury is exponentially higher than the same task completed by a sober employee.
Your company can be at risk even if an addicted employee sits at a desk all day. Whether the employee is writing computer code, reviewing contracts or monitoring a production line over a computer monitor, he or she may be inattentive to detail, have errors in judgment or not complete work on schedule. Whatever role the addicted employee plays in your workplace, opioid addiction affects the cost of healthcare and workers’ compensation insurance as claims rise.
What Can You Do?
1. Be Observant
- Observe any changes in a worker’s behavior, especially in one who has been treated for an accident or injury. It’s possible that he or she is using pain medications.
- Investigate accidents that occur at your workplace (or driving accidents involving employees), checking whether opioids might be involved.
- Consider that a worker with a rising absenteeism rate may be struggling with opioid use.
- Monitor workers’ compensation claims to evaluate the type of care injured workers receive.
- If you are in the construction, entertainment, recreation or food service sector, be especially vigilant, as National Safety Council research shows that these industries have a substance abuse problem that is twice the national average.
2. Take Appropriate Actions
- Review and update your company drug policies and drug testing to include opioids (don’t forget pre-employment testing). Keep in mind that a zero-tolerance policy may not be the best way to control an opioid addiction.
- Thoroughly document any policy violations, recognizing that an impaired employee is a danger to others in the workplace and to your company.
- Provide training to supervisors and employees about the dangers of opioids and how to spot potential problems in your workplace.
3. Treat Opioid Addiction as a Disease
- In working with and supporting an employee with an addiction, follow regulations in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
- Direct the employee to resources for assistance, including your employee assistance program (EAP) and rehabilitation.
- Provide coaching, letting the employee know that getting medical help is essential, and that if he or she seeks assistance the job will be waiting upon their return to work.
Find more information and assistance from the National Safety Council:
- Calculate the real costs of substance use in your workforce.
- Request a kit containing a guide to being proactive about opioid use in the workplace, tools to update your policies and benefit programs, fact sheets, handouts, safety talks and posters.
POSTED JULY 11, 2018 5:00 AM
|Understanding Inland Marine Insurance
Don’t let the term “inland marine” confuse you. As opposed to “marine insurance,” which covers products when transported over water, inland marine insurance covers products, materials and equipment when transported over land - e.g., via truck or train - or while temporarily warehoused by a third party. Collisions and cargo theft are the two most frequent causes of inland marine losses.
Does your business need inland marine insurance?
For many businesses, the property insurance provided by your Business Owners Policy (BOP) or Commercial Package Policy (CPP) may be sufficient. In general, these types of insurance cover property housed at a specific location, but tools and equipment that travel with employees to nearby job sites may also be covered.
However, if your business frequently ships products or equipment, you may want to consider purchasing inland marine insurance. This type of coverage is especially important if you ship high-value products or materials, which are often excluded from basic property coverage. Inland marine insurance can cover a wide range of specialty equipment and products, including:
- Computers, everything from servers to laptops.
- Communications and networking equipment.
- Construction and contracting equipment.
- Medical and scientific equipment.
- Photography equipment.
When weighing the need for inland marine insurance, consider the nature of your business and operations. Inland marine insurance isn’t just for companies that ship products to retailers and customers. For example, if you have a valuable tradeshow booth that is frequently shipped around the country and stored offsite by a vendor, you may want the protection provided by inland marine insurance. In addition, if someone else’s property is temporarily in your possession, inland marine insurance can provide coverage against the loss of this property. Special inland marine coverages include:
- Bailee’s Customer Coverage - Protects clients’ property that is left in the care of your business; e.g., if you operate a warehouse or repair shop.
- Builder’s Risk - Protects structures and materials during new construction projects or renovations.
- Exhibition and Fine Art Coverage - Keeps valuable items protected while on exhibit, in transit or on loan.
- Installation Floater - Covers materials from the moment they are loaded onto a truck until they are put to use or installed.
- Motor Truck Cargo Coverage - Keeps clients’ goods protected while your business transports and delivers them.
We can help you determine whether or not purchasing inland marine insurance makes sense for your business.
Give us a call.
POSTED JULY 11, 2018 5:00 AM
|What’s the difference between an Additional Insured and a Certificate Holder?
The key difference between an additional insured and a certificate holder comes down to whether you have coverage under someone else’s insurance policy. This only applies if you’re named as an additional insured on a policy.
What’s an additional insured?
When you’re named an additional insured on a policy, you are typically insured for covered claims arising from the Named Insured’s negligence (or your joint negligence) with regard to the premises, project and equipment that’s described in the additional insured endorsement. This commonly will include defense costs should you need to hire an attorney if the claim falls within the terms of the additional insured endorsement.
Businesses typically request to be named as an additional insured on a policy if another business’s negligence could affect them. Two examples could include:
- A general contractor hires a subcontractor to help with a project. The subcontractor does negligent work, which leads someone to get injured and file a lawsuit against both the general contractor and the subcontractor. By being named an additional insured on the subcontractor’s policy, the general contractor may obtain coverage under the subcontractor’s policy within the policy’s limits.
- A wholesaler-distributor distributes products manufactured by another company. A product injures someone, and the injured person files a lawsuit against the wholesaler-distributer and the manufacturer. By being named an additional insured on the manufacturer’s policy, the wholesaler-distributer may obtain coverage under the manufacturer’s policy within the policy’s limits.
A business is usually added as an additional insured via an endorsement to a business insurance policy. Many contracts spell out who should be named as an additional insured on a business’ policy.
There are two ways most policies treat additional insureds: on a specific basis and on a blanket basis. A specific basis is just that—a specific person or business is named as an additional insured on a policy.
Meanwhile, a blanket basis covers anyone who meets the definition of “additional insured” as it’s spelled out in the policy. The policy typically names broad types of parties like “contractors” or “landlords.”
What is a certificate holder?
A certificate of insurance is a document that shows that insurance coverage is in effect. It shows the dates of coverage, the limits, and the line of business that’s covered.
The certificate shows that a policy is in force - but that doesn’t mean the person or business requesting it is covered as well. As a certificate holder, you are only receiving proof that the insurance policy exists; the certificate of insurance is not an insurance policy and does not provide coverage or serve to amend or alter the terms of an insurance policy.
A certificate of insurance is usually requested by one party in an agreement, contract or transaction to make sure another party has the appropriate insurance coverage. A certificate of insurance does not entitle you to rights as an additional insured. For example, you aren’t provided any coverage under the other party’s policy in the event of a loss, unless the policy has been endorsed to provide coverage. For that reason, the best way to verify that you have been added to a policy as an additional insured is to request proof that the additional insured endorsement has been added to the insurance policy. If the policy has been endorsed with the additional insured form, the certificate will often include the form number and specific information about the endorsement that reflects what has been added to the policy. Proof may therefore be a certificate with this information listed or an actual copy of the declarations showing the endorsement.
POSTED JULY 11, 2018 5:00 AM
|What Is Dry Drowning?
It’s every parent’s worst fear: You’re enjoying the pool with your kid one minute, and heading to the emergency room the next.
Such was the case with four-year-old Elianna Grace, who was splashing around in her backyard pool in Bradenton, Florida earlier this month. After she accidentally swallowed water while playing a game in the pool—something her mother described as a “freak accident”—Elianna immediately threw up, but seemed to recover fine shortly after, according to ABC News.
Just two days later, Elianna was struck by a fever that wasn’t letting up. Her mother took her to urgent care, where her heart rate spiked, oxygen levels dropped, and skin turned purple. From there, the two went straight to the emergency room.
Remembering the 4-year-old boy from Texas who died last summer after inhaling water during a Memorial Day weekend trip, Elianna’s mother broke down crying, suspecting the same thing was happening to Elianna. “At that point, I had no clue how it was going to end,” she told ABC News. “I was so, so, so terrified.”
Elianna was, in fact, experiencing “dry drowning” or “secondary drowning.” She was treated for aspiration pneumonia, a condition in which there is swelling or an infection of the lungs or large airways. She spent four days in the hospital, relying on an oxygen tank to breathe, and is slowly recovering.
Here’s what you should know about dry and secondary drowning, how to spot the conditions, and what you can do keep your kids safe this summer.
What are dry drowning and secondary drowning?
Dry drowning and secondary drowning are often used interchangeably, and even have similar symptoms, but they are different conditions. Dry drowning occurs after you inhale water through your nose or mouth, spurring a spasm and blocking your airway, which prevents proper breathing, according to the American Osteopathic Association (AOA).
Secondary drowning, which is also known as delayed drowning, involves ingesting water as well. Unlike dry drowning, though, the water makes its way to your lungs, which causes inflammation or swelling and impairs breathing over time, the AOA says.
What are the symptoms of dry and secondary drowning?
If your child accidentally swallows a large amount of water, he or she may experience trouble breathing, coughing, sleepiness or a drop in energy, irritability, chest pain, or vomiting. If you notice these warn signings, go to the hospital and have doc look into it.
In the case of dry drowning, these symptoms will likely occur soon after the water is swallowed. In secondary drowning, the symptoms often don’t appear until a few hours—or even days—after the incident.
How can you prevent dry drowning and secondary drowning?
Just like any other kind of drowning, you can take a few steps to keep your kids safe from dry or secondary drowning while they swim.
In addition to being alert while your child is in the water, have them take swim lessons as early as possible to learn proper water safety, the AOA recommends. Never let them swim alone and always make sure there are lifeguards around.
The good news is, these conditions are both rare, so as long as you keep an eye on your kids while they're in the pool and take note of any unusual symptoms, you should be able to enjoy the water with little worry this summer.
POSTED JUNE 26, 2018 4:57 PM
|EMC Insurance: New Technologies Complicate Windshield Replacement
EMC Insurance: New Technologies Complicate Windshield Replacement
Auto windshields can be damaged in a variety of ways, ranging from rocks to storm damage, accidents to extreme temperature changes. Not a big deal, right? Replacement has been a relatively easy fix, with many installers even coming to your location to make the repair less stressful and quicker.
Advanced Driver Assistance Systems
Times have changed, however, as automakers add new, automated safety features to vehicles. These new technologies, known as advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), operate using sensors that work in tandem with computers, cameras, radar and LIDAR. Some of those sensors are housed in the front or rear windshield.
ADAS technologies most often mounted in a windshield include autonomous emergency braking (AEB), lane-departure warning, collision avoidance and adaptive cruise control.
Not all new vehicles have all of these technologies, and older vehicles most likely have none of them. However, by 2020, there is a mandate that all U.S.-manufactured vehicles have autonomous emergency braking systems and forward collision warning systems. So even if your vehicles currently don’t have these systems, future purchases or leases will include them.
Installing a New Windshield
ADAS makes windshield replacement more difficult. The sensors—and the equipment they are paired with—must be calibrated so the system components work together correctly. Replacing a windshield means that the sensors must be replaced in the new glass, and the sensors and accompanying equipment must be calibrated so the system operates as it should. If a sensor gets moved just a millimeter, it can throw off the ADAS system. If the system isn’t working properly the driver may not be aware of the malfunction until an accident occurs.
Here are some tips for windshield replacement on vehicles with ADAS systems.
- Keep records of each vehicle’s features. Each manufacturer has very precise requirements for replacing the glass in their vehicles. It’s important for you to keep records that can be provided to the repair shop, such as vehicle identification number (VIN), a list of the ADAS features the vehicle has, and the year, make and model. This information helps the repair shop determine how to make the repair and recalibration, because in a single year, a manufacturer could have as many as 20 possible windshields for a given make and model.
- Be prepared to spend more money and more time getting the fix. The process takes extra time and specialized tools, as well as certified technicians trained to perform the replacement, so plan on spending more than replacing an older-style windshield.
- Know the manufacturer’s rules on glass type. Many auto manufacturers require that Original Equipment Manufacturer (often called OEM) glass be used, rather than after-market products.
- Check the manufacturer’s requirements for who can perform the job. Some manufacturers require that you have replacement and calibration work done by a certified manufacturer’s dealer. If you are able to choose your own repair shop, realize that not every repair shop will have technicians certified to do the job. Check before the repair to be sure it’s performed by the right professionals.
Find more information about auto glass, replacement glass and calibrating ADAS when replacing glass from Safelite AutoGlass or give us a call!
POSTED JUNE 21, 2018 6:29 PM
|Happy 4th of July!
Zeiler Insurance Services, Inc. wishes you and your family a safe and happy 4th of July!
Our offices will be closing at 1:00pm on Tuesday, July 3rd and we will be closed the entire day on Wednesday, July 4th.
Dan can be reached on his cell in the event of an emergency at 708.436.2973
You will also find 24/7 phone numbers for claims and billing for our companies on our website: www.zeiler.com
We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you.
The Zeiler Insurance Team
POSTED JUNE 21, 2018 4:57 PM
|Refer a friend and receive a $25 Amazon gift card!
A majority of our customers come from referrals - we are grateful for the trust each of you put into us. That is why we want to give back by giving a $25 Amazon gift card for each referral. If you happen to know anyone who is interested in looking at options for their Auto, Home, Business, Work Comp, or Health Insurance - have them give us a call! And for our appreciation we will send you a $25 Amazon gift card.
YEP - That's Right! Have them call us and mention your name. They'll get a free quote and you'll get a $25 Amazon gift card.
It's a WIN/WIN!
POSTED JUNE 21, 2018 5:00 AM
|Employment Practices Liability & Equal Employment Opportunity Statements
To qualify for Employment Practices Liability some insurance companies require you to submit your Equal Employment Opportunity Statements. What is this you may ask? Well it is that small statement you hear after learning a business is hiring. So & So Company is an "Equal Employment Opportunity Employer", sound familiar?
The purpose of an EEO (Equal Employment Opportunity) statement is to comply with the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) law but there’s also a marketing aspect to it. The words in your EEO statement (which often appear in all your job postings) are also words that a candidate will measure you by.
In fact, many employers are adding hot new diversity-related words into their EEO statements such as “inclusive”, “LGBT” and “gender identity”. On the flipside, if your words are too compliance-heavy, you’ll be interpreted as conservative or stodgy. Apparently, words matter!
See below for some examples of EEO Statements from companies like Google and Tesla:
- SurveyMonkey - “SurveyMonkey is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees.”
- Google - “At Google, we don’t just accept difference — we celebrate it, we support it, and we thrive on it for the benefit of our employees, our products, and our community. Google is proud to be an equal opportunity workplace and is an affirmative action employer.”
- U.S. Federal Government - “The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor.”
- Dell - “Dell is an Equal Opportunity Employer and Prohibits Discrimination and Harassment of Any Kind: Dell is committed to the principle of equal employment opportunity for all employees and to providing employees with a work environment free of discrimination and harassment. All employment decisions at Dell are based on business needs, job requirements and individual qualifications, without regard to race, color, religion or belief, national, social or ethnic origin, sex (including pregnancy), age, physical, mental or sensory disability, HIV Status, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, marital, civil union or domestic partnership status, past or present military service, family medical history or genetic information, family or parental status, or any other status protected by the laws or regulations in the locations where we operate. Dell will not tolerate discrimination or harassment based on any of these characteristics.”
- Facebook - “Facebook is proud to be an Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer. We do not discriminate based upon race, religion, color, national origin, gender (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, status as a protected veteran, status as an individual with a disability, or other applicable legally protected characteristics. If you need assistance or an accommodation due to a disability, you may contact us at email@example.com or you may call us at 1+650-308-7837.”
- Tesla - “Tesla is an equal opportunity employer. All aspects of employment including the decision to hire, promote, discipline, or discharge, will be based on merit, competence, performance, and business needs. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, marital status, age, national origin, ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition, pregnancy, genetic information, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, veteran status, or any other status protected under federal, state, or local law.”
- Comcast - “Comcast is an EOE/Veterans/Disabled/LGBT employer”
- Under Armour - “At Under Armour, we are committed to providing an environment of mutual respect where equal employment opportunities are available to all applicants and teammates without regard to race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy (including childbirth, lactation and related medical conditions), national origin, age, physical and mental disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information (including characteristics and testing), military and veteran status, and any other characteristic protected by applicable law. Under Armour believes that diversity and inclusion among our teammates is critical to our success as a global company, and we seek to recruit, develop and retain the most talented people from a diverse candidate pool.”
A claim filed with the EEOC will cost your employee nothing and your defense alone can cost you tens of thousands of dollars. To start a quote on an Employment Practices Liability policy, Click Here.
As always, please call me with any questions or concerns.
POSTED JUNE 05, 2018 3:57 PM
|Are interns covered on Workers Compensation in Illinois?
Are interns covered on Work Comp?
It’s that time of year - Chicago area businesses will be adding college interns to their summer workforce. Whether they are paid interns or not - the question is “Are interns covered on workers compensation in Illinois?”.
99% of the time the answer is YES - interns are covered… even if unpaid. The question falls back to the definition of an employee and for this you can refer to the IRS website for the definition: The IRS sites Common Law Rules. If the intern is deemed an employee then under the Illinois Workers Compensation Act they would be covered on your Workers Compensation policy.
From the IRS website, Common Law Rules - Facts that provide evidence of the degree of control and independence fall into three categories:
- Behavioral: Does the company control or have the right to control what the worker does and how the worker does his or her job?
- Financial: Are the business aspects of the worker’s job controlled by the payer? (these include things like how worker is paid, whether expenses are reimbursed, who provides tools/supplies, etc.)
- Type of Relationship: Are there written contracts or employee type benefits (i.e. pension plan, insurance, vacation pay, etc.)? Will the relationship continue and is the work performed a key aspect of the business?
Businesses must weigh all these factors when determining whether a worker is an employee or independent contractor. Some factors may indicate that the worker is an employee, while other factors indicate that the worker is an independent contractor. There is no “magic” or set number of factors that “makes” the worker an employee or an independent contractor, and no one factor stands alone in making this determination. Also, factors which are relevant in one situation may not be relevant in another.
The keys are to look at the entire relationship, consider the degree or extent of the right to direct and control, and finally, to document each of the factors used in coming up with the determination.
Please call with questions.
POSTED MAY 22, 2018 5:50 PM