6 Recession-proofing Strategies for Small Businesses and Their HR Teams

Recession-proofing Strategies

Recession-proofing StrategiesA recession is a prolonged and pervasive reduction in economic activity. Generally speaking, multiple successive quarters of negative growth in gross domestic product—a monetary calculation of the market value of goods and services generated and sold during a set time period within a given country—constitute a recession.

A recession can last for several months or years. Furthermore, recovering from this state to the nation’s previous economic peak can take years, even after a recession ends. Because a recession typically results in diminished economic output, lowered consumer demand and a drop in employment, such a downturn can present various challenges for organizations across industry lines—especially small businesses.

Although a recession can’t be prevented, the strategies that HR teams implement can greatly impact whether their organizations withstand such a downturn. Specifically, HR teams can ensure their organizations are sufficiently prepared for a recession by taking steps to limit related ramifications and maintain financial stability. This article outlines how a recession impacts small businesses and explores what HR teams can do to adequately prepare their organizations for an economic downturn. We have 6 recession-proofing strategies to share with you. 

How a Recession Impacts Small Businesses

Amid a recession, organizations of all sizes and sectors usually experience decreased sales and profits stemming from changing consumer behaviors. An economic downturn may also limit organizations’ credit capabilities and reduce their overall cash flow as customers take more time to pay for products and services.

While these behaviors can threaten the financial stability of any organization, large businesses are often better positioned to weather a recession because of their substantial revenues, excess reserves and privileged access to a wider range of credit markets. Small businesses, on the other hand, may be particularly vulnerable during an economic downturn, as they generally lack the additional capital necessary to offset extended periods of loss. As a result, when a recession occurs, small businesses are more likely to have to make difficult financial decisions to avoid issues such as insolvency or bankruptcy.

Financial media website Investopedia reported that nearly 1.8 million small businesses closed their doors amid the last major U.S. economic downturn, known as the Great Recession, which took place between 2007 and 2009. Looking ahead, a recent survey conducted by investment banking company Goldman Sachs found that the vast majority (93%) of small businesses fear the nation will enter another recession in the coming months. With this in mind, now is the time for HR teams to help prepare their organizations for an economic downturn.

Tips to Prepare for a Recession

To promote financial stability among their organizations during an economic downturn, HR teams should consider the following recession-proofing strategies:

  1. Revisit compensation and benefits strategies. Many employers have responded to recent labor challenges by increasing workers’ salaries, providing substantial bonuses and expanding employee benefits and perks. However, with the possibility of a recession on the horizon, HR teams may need to rethink how their organizations will address attraction and retention struggles. This may involve curtailing salary increases and reducing employee benefits. After all, recession-proof organizations tend to develop their budgets with an eye toward the future, thus requiring HR teams to revisit compensation and benefits strategies.
  2. Automate internal processes. The more efficient organizations are, the more resilient they will likely be during a recession. In particular, recession-proof organizations tend to stay one step ahead by optimizing their resources and automating where possible. As such, HR teams can improve organizational productivity by automating processes and implementing new technologies. This may entail automating recruiting, onboarding and payroll operations to bolster efficiency.
  3. Try to minimize layoffs. When organizations’ financial capabilities become uncertain, their immediate plans may be to reduce costs through layoffs. However, layoffs should only be considered a last resort, seeing as they can create additional risks (e.g., legal liabilities, lower morale and employee distrust) and negatively impact business operations by decreasing productivity and proficiency. Instead, HR teams may be able to minimize the need for layoffs within their organizations by implementing voluntary reduction-in-force programs or choosing to slow hiring or pause it entirely.
  4. Stay transparent. The possibility of a recession can bring uncertainty. Employees will likely be concerned about their futures, the long-term viability of their respective organizations and how their work processes may change. With this in mind, HR teams need to find ways to keep employees informed without fostering their worries. Creating transparent workplace cultures can help organizations limit recession-related ramifications.
  5. Prioritize employee engagement. Employee engagement can be vital leading up to and during a recession. During periods of economic uncertainty, employees are likely to feel stressed. If organizations are forced to lay off employees, the remaining employees could be asked to shoulder additional responsibilities and greater workloads. As a result, these employees may feel overworked and worried about their futures. According to industry experts, highly engaged employees can help limit recession-related labor challenges among organizations, as they are more likely to accept negative work changes and remain loyal. HR teams can increase employee engagement within their organizations by meeting with employees, listening to them and addressing their concerns. By increasing employee engagement during difficult times, HR teams can help maintain staff morale and productivity.
  6. Manage health care costs. As their health care budgets shrink during a recession, searching for cost-effective solutions can allow organizations to maintain affordable benefits for employees. Implementing effective strategies to manage health care expenses (e.g., reevaluating plan designs and offerings, directing staff to cost-effective services and improving employee health care literacy) can help HR teams keep their organizations’ reduced benefits budgets intact without sacrificing employees’ needs.

Conclusion

A recession can have serious impacts on small businesses. Fortunately, by properly preparing for an economic downturn, HR teams can help their organizations be better positioned to minimize financial hardships. It is important to have recession-proofing strategies in place. 

For more resources, contact Rinehart, Walters & Danner Insurance Agency today.

6 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a Health Insurance Plan

health insurance plan

health insurance planHealth insurance may be one of the most critical annual purchases since it impacts your physical, mental and financial wellness. Unfortunately, selecting a health insurance plan can feel overwhelming. With so many options, it can also be easy to make a mistake when selecting coverage.

This article explores six common missteps related to selecting a health insurance plan. Once armed with this information, it’ll be easier to avoid these mistakes and choose the best plan coverage for your situation.

1) Rushing Through Enrollment Options

Many people rush when buying their health insurance or only rely on recommendations from friends, family and co-workers. Others may simply reenroll with last year’s choices. But health insurance provides personal coverage, so it’s important to research and find what will work best for your health needs and budget.

When it comes time to enroll in a plan, compare different policies and understand their coverages and associated costs (e.g., premiums). One of the best ways to ensure the policy is right for your health needs is to consider your medical requirements and spending in the next year. Don’t forget to confirm in-network coverage to ensure your preferred doctor, clinic and pharmacy are connected in the new plan. Then, you can find the most suitable plan and coverage in an effort to simplify your health care and make it more affordable.

2) Overlooking Policy Documents

Another common mistake is skipping through or not thoroughly reading the policy’s terms and conditions. However, carefully reading a policy is the best way to know what to expect from the health plan and what the plan expects of you.

As such, read the fine print on each plan you consider before enrollment. Reviewing the policy’s inclusions and exclusions will help you make an informed decision and potentially avoid surprise bills later on.

3) Misunderstanding Costs

A cost-sharing charge is an amount you must pay for a medical item or service covered by the health insurance plan. Plans typically have a deductible, copays and coinsurance. Here’s what those terms mean:

  • The deductible is the amount you pay out of pocket before your health insurance starts to cover costs.
  • A copay is a flat fee you pay upfront for doctor visits, prescriptions and other health care services.
  • Coinsurance is the percentage you pay for covered health services after you’ve met your deductible.

When shopping for a plan, keep in mind that the deductible is tied to the premium. As such, a low deductible plan may seem attractive, but understand that it generally comes with a higher premium—and vice versa. Consider keeping your deductible to no more than 5% of your gross annual income. When shopping for a plan, look closely to see when you’ll have a copay and how much it will cost for various services.

4) Concealing Your Medical History

It may be tempting to avoid sharing your medical history if you’re worried about being rejected or receiving higher premiums. However, it could hurt you in the long run when insurance claims are denied for existing conditions or undisclosed medical information.

5) Ignoring Add-ons

Health insurance add-ons are often included separately and require an additional premium, which means many people don’t look at them. A standard health insurance plan may not cover certain situations, so reviewing all available options is essential. An insurance add-on could help bolster your overall health insurance coverage by offering extra protection.

Review the add-on covers offered with your health insurance policy and see if any would be helpful for you, your family or plans in the next year. For example, some common add-ons include critical illness insurance, maternity and newborn baby insurance, hospital daily expenses and emergency ambulance services.

6) Selecting Insufficient Coverage

People may hold back on purchasing certain coverage to pay a lower premium. While that may seem advantageous in the short term, you’ll be on the hook for out-of-pocket costs when facing a medical emergency. This mistake may be accompanied by physical, mental and financial health consequences.

When selecting a plan, check that the policy provides adequate coverage for your medical needs and other essentials. The right health insurance can take care of yourself and ensure financial security.

Summary

Health insurance is an essential investment for you and your family. By avoiding common mistakes while buying health insurance, you’ll be better informed to enroll in a plan and other coverages.

As health care costs continue to rise, it’s more important than ever to carefully review available policies, consider your options and health needs, and, ultimately, select the best plan to protect your health and finances.

3 Tips For An Injury Free Workout

workout

workout

Exercise is a great way to combat stress, lose weight and boost your energy. To get the most from your workout, it is important that you add warming up, cooling down and stretching to your exercise routine. These three simple steps are proven to prevent painful and costly injuries later.

Warming Up

Warming up allows your body time to adjust from rest to activity. It increases blood flow to the muscles so they stretch easily, reducing the risk of muscle tears. It also lubricates joints and carries oxygen to the heart.
To effectively warm up:
• Use movements that are similar to those you will use in your workout, such as light calisthenics, walking, jogging, etc.
• Gradually increase the intensity of your warm-up.
• Don’t overdo it! Your warm-up should be about 15 minutes and intense enough to cause a light sweat.

Cooling Down

As with warming up, cooling down should include movements similar to those in your workout, but at a gradually decreasing level of intensity.

Stretching

After cooling down, stretching helps to build flexibility and range of motion. When stretching:
• Use gentle and fluid movements and breathe normally.
• Work specific parts of your body, maintaining each stretch for 20 to 60 seconds.
• Never force a joint beyond its normal range of motion; you should not feel any pain.

Workout Healthy Hints

Many muscle and bone injuries are the result of skipping a warm-up and cool-down before and after exercise. Remember, preventing an injury is easier, cheaper and less painful than trying to recover from one.

4 Tips You Need To Know When You Do Winter Vehicle Storage

Vehicle Storage








Vehicle StorageWhen winter comes and brings the snow and cold with it, it’s time to think about vehicle storage. You should store your recreational vehicle – or any vehicles that won’t be in use – to avoid damage from the harsh weather and roads and to ensure it’s in good working condition for spring.

Use these tips if you plan on vehicle storage this winter:

  1. Clean your car—Thoroughly cleaning your vehicle inside and out not only makes it look nicer, but also prevents dirt and acidic materials from eating away at your car and causing it to rust.
  2. Change the fluids—Having clean oil, fuel stabilizer and brake fluid, and a full tank of gas will help protect your car while it’s in storage and will help it run smoother when spring comes.
  3. Protect your car—The best way to prevent the winter elements from damaging your vehicle is to keep it covered, whether it’s in your garage, a local storage facility or at a family member’s home. If you plan on keeping your vehicle outdoors, consider using a weatherproof car cover.
  4. Check tires and brakes—Inflate your vehicle’s tires to their maximum air pressure, so they can slowly deflate as the temperature drops. Also, don’t engage your parking brake as it may become frozen. Instead, use chocks (wedges placed under car tires) to ensure your vehicle doesn’t roll away.

Start it Up

Even in storage, it’s wise to start your vehicle periodically for 10-15 minutes to get the proper oils and coolants running through it. If your vehicle has a cover on it, remove it and roll down the windows before running. If your vehicle is stored in the garage, ensure that the garage door is open and the windows are down for proper ventilation before starting your car.

Don’t forget to call you insurance agent to discss your auto insurance coverage as well. 








Important Information You Need To Know When Filing A Homeowners Insurance Claim

Homeowners insurance claim








Homeowners insurance claimDealing With a Homeowners Insurance Claim

If you’ve had a fire, water damage or another unfortunate event in your home, don’t fret. We have all the information that you need to get your claim underway so you can get your life back to normal.

When you have a homeowners insurance claim, your actions can make all the difference. Here’s how to maneuver through the claims process with ease:

  • If you were away from your home when the incident occurred, exercise caution when entering your property. If your property has sustained major damage, contact your local government officials to determine how you should proceed.
  • Report downed power lines to the utility company, and keep your electricity off if there is standing water in your home.
  • If it appears as though it is not safe to be at your home, leave.
  • Contact us to report how, when and where the damage occurred. Make a note of the claim handler’s name, telephone number and identification number when you call.
  • Protect your home from further damage without putting yourself in danger. This may include boarding up windows and salvaging possessions that did not sustain much damage. Your claim handler can advise you on how to do so safely
  • Prepare a list of damaged or lost items from your home.
  • Keep damaged items in your home until the claim handler has come for an inspection. Also, consider documenting the damage with pictures or video.
  • Provide receipts for damaged items if you saved them.
  • If you need to temporarily relocate, save all your receipts for additional expenses. Your policy may cover you for additional living expenses during this time.
  • Once you’ve reported your claim, the claim handler will send you some documents to complete within a specific period of time. Contact us if you have any questions, and return these forms promptly.
  • Contact your mortgage lender to notify them of your loss and to discuss potential contractor bids. Your lender may want to inspect a contractor’s job before making a final payment.

Let us help you throughout the process—contact us if you have questions or concerns. If you have not reviewed your homeowners insurance policy lately, please do so soon. It’s better to review your coverage before you need it. 

Click here to read more about homeowners insurance coverage. 








3 Things You Should Know About Sunglasses And UV Protection

sunglasses








sunglassesWhile spending time in the sun offers health benefits and may be part of your daily routine, you have to be careful to protect yourself from its ultraviolet (UV) rays. UV rays not only cause sunburn, but they can also damage your eyes and hurt your vision. This article provides more information about how the sun can hurt your eyes, when you should be wearing sunglasses and what you should look for when buying a pair.

1) The Risks of UV Radiation

There are two types of UV radiation you should be aware of when it comes to protecting your eyes: UVA rays and UVB rays. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), UVB rays are more likely to cause sunburn, but UVA rays penetrate deeper. However, exposure to either can damage your eyes. There are many medical issues that can arise from long-term exposure to UV rays. Wearing sunglasses can help prevent the following:

  • Photokeratitis—Sunburn of the eye
  • Cataracts—A disease that causes the lenses in the eyes to be cloudy and blurs vision
  • Macular degeneration—The loss of central vision caused by the breakdown of the macula
  • Pterygium—A growth that can form as a result of UV rays and dust and particles accumulating on the white part of your eye
  • Skin cancer—Cancer that develops on the sensitive skin around the eyes

While all of these diseases sound unpleasant, the good news is you can take meaningful action to help prevent them by properly wearing the correct sunglasses.

2) When to Wear Sunglasses

Much like sunscreen, you should always have your sunglasses nearby. UV rays are at their peak from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., so it’s especially important to wear your shades if you plan on being in the sun during those hours. You should also be aware that even on cloudy days when you cannot see the sun, UV rays are still present and can cause damage if you do not take preventive measures. A useful practice is to take your sunglasses everywhere you would take your cellphone or wallet.

3) What to Look for in Sunglasses

When it comes to sunglasses, not all are created equal. It is important to find a pair that contains the key components that will actually provide the protection you need. Here are some considerations when shopping for sunglasses:

  • Make sure the sunglasses have a sticker or tag promoting their UV-blocking capabilities. According to the EPA, sunglasses with 99% to 100% UVA and UVB protection will greatly reduce eye damage from sun exposure.
  • Search for a pair with larger lenses and a wraparound style. These will not only protect your eyes but also provide more coverage for the delicate skin around the eyes.
  • Pay attention to the darkness level of the lenses. You should try to find a pair with the same level of darkness throughout the lens. However, if a pair has a gradient effect, make sure the darkest part is at the top of the lens, and the transition to the lighter part is slow.

It is important to remember that just because a pair of sunglasses covers your eyes, it does not mean it is providing protection. Effective options aren’t always the most expensive, but it is important to find the right pair. Be diligent when shopping for sunglasses to ensure you are best protecting your eyes.

Takeaway

The sun’s UV rays can cause damage to your eyes if you do not take precautions. Wearing sunglasses and making sure the sunglasses you choose are actually protective are important to ensure good eye health.








Prioritizing Wellness During the 2022-23 School Year

Wellness








WellnessMany may be excited for school to start after a long summer. However, the new school year can come with new and recurring challenges. The 2022-23 school landscape looks different from previous years during the COVID-19 pandemic. Mask mandates are on the retreat, with many schools ending preventive measures such as quarantines and regular screening tests. Additionally, COVID-19 vaccines and boosters are available to school-aged children.

Although the school year seems to be back to normal, caregivers, parents and children will likely still face uncertainty, stress and other emotions. The return to school and its associated routine can impact everyone differently; therefore, it’s worth taking a proactive approach to approaching wellness during this transition.

This article explores ways to care for yourself and your children during the school year.

Checking In With Children

Although schools, playgrounds and lunchrooms may seem more normal this school year, children may experience stress and uncertainty. Children may even engage in more social situations than in previous years during the pandemic, which can create different environments. 

As such, you should monitor your children for signs of anxiety or distress. Be on the lookout for changes in a child’s behavior and mood or physical symptoms, such as:

  • Increased defiance or irritability
  • Disturbances in sleep
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lack of concentration
  • Less energy
  • Sadness or crying
  • Nausea, muscle tension or dizziness
  • Refusal to go to school or engage in virtual schoolwork

If a child or others in the home shows any of these signs, they may have anxiety about their schooling situation. Children are resilient, but it’s still important to pay attention to signs of anxiety—and seek professional support if any warning signs persist.

Taking Care of Yourself

With school back in session, here are some healthy ways for working parents and caregivers to make the school year more manageable and balance their work and personal responsibilities:

  • Set reasonable expectations. Establish realistic expectations about what you think you can accomplish each day or week. Don’t be hard on yourself. Cut yourself some slack and focus on completing high-impact items and responsibilities.
  • Develop a schedule. Creating a routine that works around your work schedule and family needs is essential. Additionally, consider consolidating certain activities such as housework, chores or extracurricular activities to one or two specific days to help everyone stay focused.
  • Set boundaries. If you feel stretched thin between being a good caregiver and an efficient employee, it may be helpful to set some boundaries. Remember that you’re in control of how you’re expending your energy and can free up mental space to allow yourself to be more present where and when it matters.
  • Create healthy habits. Be sure to get plenty of sleep and eat well so you can be fully charged to take on the day. It’s also important to stay active and incorporate movement into your daily routine. It may help to schedule a workout first thing in the morning, during lunch or in the late afternoon so it will fit in around school.
  • Make good use of weekends. If school and work both happen on weekdays, be sure to use the weekends to recharge, reduce stress and have fun as a family. If you prefer alone time, make that a priority. Everyone needs a break from responsibilities, whether that’s work or school.
  • Ask for help. Lean on your networks for support if you need help getting through the workdays. With many extracurriculars and school programs back, don’t wait to ask others for help if you’re overwhelmed. Be honest and communicative with your family and co-workers if the current situation isn’t working well.

It’s also important to recognize your unhealthy coping methods and find alternatives such as meditating, exercising or talking with a friend.

Conclusion

Although school is back in session and starting to resemble the pre-pandemic days, caregivers and parents may still seem stretched thin balancing caregiving and working. Children may also feel overwhelmed with school and social aspects. You can explore healthy ways to cope with lingering uncertainty and make balancing all your personal and professional responsibilities manageable.

If you’re feeling stressed or experiencing burnout related to kids returning to school, talk to your manager about your situation and to learn more about employer-offered resources.

Additionally, talk to your doctor or a licensed mental health professional if you’re concerned about your or your child’s mental health.








How To Stay Healthy And Avoid The Flu This Fall

avoid the flu








avoid the fluIt’s that time of year again. The leaves are changing, the temperature is getting cooler, and you’re doing everything you can to avoid the flu. No one enjoys being sick, but some of us are more prone to sickness than others. Knowing where you are most likely to come into contact with germs and what you can do to prevent sickness are key for this fall season. 

Germ Hot Spots

There are several “hot spots” to keep in mind when it comes to germs. 

  • Doorknobs
  • Light Switches
  • Elevator buttons
  • Water fountain handles
  • Microwave door handles
  • Telephones
  • Bathroom faucets
  • Handrails

These areas are high traffic areas that can be touched by numerous people. When you touch a doorknob you never know if the person who touched it before you sneezed into their hand and didn’t was it. Yuck! 

What You Can Do to Help Yourself Avoid The Flu

  • Wash your hands. Even if you are cautious of what you touch, there is a chance you’ve still come into contact with some germ. To protect yourself from illness, it’s important to wash your hands regularly, especially before you eat or after you cough, sneeze or use the restroom. 
  • Keep your distance. Illnesses can spread fast. Keep your distance from others who are sick. 
  • Get the flu shot. Yearly flu shots are the single best way to prevent getting sick. Contrary to popular belief, flu vaccines cannot cause the flu, though side effects may occur. Often, these side effects are minor and may include congestion, coughs, headaches, abdominal pain and wheezing. 
    • Did you know many health insurance plans cover the flu shot at 100% or a small copay? If you need help determining your health insurance benefits, we can help. Give us a call or click here or here to learn more about health insurance benefits.

Taking the extra time to wash hands and wipe down surfaces could mean the difference between a happy fall and an unpleasant fall spent on the couch sick. Stay healthy and do your part to spread the word to others. 








Do I Have To Pay If A Tree Falls On My House?

tree falls








tree fallsEvery year, storms are responsible for knocking over or breaking off limbs of numerous trees. Unfortunately, sometimes, a limb or tree falls on our house or other property. Cleaning up the damage from a storm can be a difficult task, both physically and emotionally. And things can become especially tense when you discover that it’s your neighbor’s tree that damaged your house.

To make matters worse, many homeowners are surprised to discover that if a neighbor’s tree falls on their house, it’s usually their own homeowners policy—not their neighbor’s—that will cover the cost of the damages. What follows are general guidelines for who pays what in various situations. However, you should also check your homeowners policy for coverages and exclusions. (Click here to learn more about homeowners insurance policies)

Your Property, Your Policy

Generally speaking, if your property is damaged, you are responsible for the damages. It doesn’t matter if the tree or limb came from your property, your neighbor’s property or even municipal property. Keep in mind that a windstorm isn’t anyone’s fault; it’s an act of nature. If a tree does damage your property during a windstorm, your policy will cover the damages. After all, that’s why you purchased a homeowners policy. To protect yourself against unforeseen losses like a tree damaging your house.

Their Property, Their Policy

It might seem unfair that if it’s your neighbor’s tree that damages your home, you should have to pay. Fortunately for you, that standard applies both ways. If a storm rolls through and your tree falls and damages your neighbor’s house, his or her insurance is going to cover the damages.

Negligence and Liability

So far, these scenarios have been fairly straightforward. But what happens when it wasn’t a storm that made the tree fall? Instead, your neighbor’s tree was hollowed out from years of disease, and he’d neglected to do anything about it. In fact, it was so diseased that you expressed your concern to your neighbor that it might topple over and damage your property. Unfortunately, one day, that’s exactly what happens. What then?

Your insurance carrier is still going to be the one paying your claim. However, if you can prove your neighbor knew that the tree was diseased and that he or she neglected to fix it your insurance carrier would probably attempt to collect from your neighbor’s insurance. If your carrier is successful, you could be reimbursed for your deductible.

Remember, though, this rule also applies the other way. If you have diseased or damaged trees on your property and they damage your neighbor’s house, he or she can try to prove your negligence. Your property is your responsibility. So it’s best to inspect your trees every year for signs of disease or damage. If you’re not sure what you’re looking for, consider having a professional arborist examine your trees.

Other Structures

If the tree doesn’t damage your house but instead damages your fence, are you still covered? Generally, you are. Most homeowners policies distinguish between two different kinds of structures on your property. The “dwelling” refers to your house and any attached structures (like an attached garage), as well as any fixtures attached to the house. “Other structures,” including detached garages, sheds, fences or gazebos, are also insured, but typically only for 10 percent of the coverage on your dwelling.

Vehicles

If, in the aftermath of a storm, you discover that a tree has fallen on your car, your homeowners policy doesn’t apply. Instead, you’ll be looking at your auto policy. If you have comprehensive coverage on your vehicle, your auto insurance carrier will pay for the damages, after you pay your deductible. The same rule would apply to a guest’s car. Hopefully, he or she took out comprehensive coverage, too.(Click here to learn about auto insurance)

Removal and Cleanup

What if the tree fell but didn’t hit anything? Would you be covered for removal costs? If the fallen tree blocks a path to your front door or driveway, then many homeowners policies would pay for removal. Generally, the maximum coverage is around $500. If the tree simply falls in the middle of your yard, your policy likely wouldn’t cover it. Unless the fallen tree damaged insured property, there is no loss to file a claim for.

Replacement

Replacing the trees themselves can be more complicated. Trees that have fallen due to wind damage may or may not be covered, so it’s best to check with your broker. Most policies offer limited coverage for trees that have fallen due to fire, lightning, explosion, theft, vandalism, malicious mischief or aircraft. Amounts and exclusions will vary. It’s important to read your policy and check with your broker if you have any questions.

Making Sure You’re Covered

Hopefully, your trees grow and endure. In the event that they fall, it’s important to know that you’re covered. Contact our office today to make sure that you have sufficient coverage for whatever might blow your way.








Important General Liability Exposures Every Organization Should Know

General Liability








General LiabilityAlmost every organization faces commercial general liability exposures. A commercial liability loss exposure is a condition or situation that presents the possibility of an organization becoming legally and financially responsible for injury, harm or damage to another party. 

These exposures stem from the kind of work an organization performs and where that work is executed. They also encompass other aspects of business-related circumstances, activities or events that could result in harm to a third party.

Read this article to better understand the most common types of commercial liability loss exposures and potential consequences and for guidance on how the correct insurance policy can reduce the risk to organizations.   

Common Types of Commercial Liability Exposure to Know

There are five types of commercial liability exposure that every organization should know. Possible loss exposures that may affect an organization include the following:

  1. Premises liability—Premises liability describes the risk an organization faces if a customer or client is injured on the premises (e.g., tripping and hurting themselves at the store). Organizations that require customers or clients to be physically present, such as retail stores and landlords, are particularly at risk for these losses and may be held liable for bodily injury or property damage.
  2. Operational liability—Operations liability exposure refers to the possibility that an organization will be held liable because of bodily injury or property damage that occurs as a result of their ongoing (as opposed to completed) operations. For example, imagine a contractor working on a client’s home. During the course of their work, an employee from the contractor drops a tool, striking a passerby and causing bodily injury and property damage to the home itself.
  3. Products liability—Products liability refers to the loss exposure an organization faces as a result of manufacturing, distributing or selling an unsafe or defective product. Any organization that makes or sells products is at risk. Associated injuries may occur virtually anywhere in the world once an organization’s products have been manufactured or sold.
  4. Completed operations liability—The completed operations liability exposure refers to injuries or damages incurred by a third party due to work (including construction work) that has been finished, turned over to the purchaser or client, and/or put to its intended use. For example, an electrical fire caused by faulty wiring at a completed construction project would represent a completed operations exposure for the contractor who completed the work. It should be noted that injuries or damages arising out of completed operations can occur after a business’s relationship with the injured party has ended.
  5. Contractual Liability—Organizations take on contractual liability loss exposures when they enter into a contract. By agreeing to contractual terms, an organization becomes liable if the other parties involved in the contract believe an organization has not fulfilled its obligations under the agreement.

Potential Consequences of Liability Exposures

In the event of a commercial liability loss, organizations can face a variety of potential consequences, such as:

  • Damages—If a court deems an organization responsible for a loss, that organization may be held financially accountable for paying damages to the harmed or injured party.
  • Defense costs—The organization may have to pay legal defense costs and the costs associated with the claim.
  • Reputational harm—Due to general liability losses, organizations may experience reputational harm, including but not limited to the loss of business, decreased employee retention, and a loss of consumer loyalty and investor trust.

Although commercial liability loss exposures are a risk for every organization, the severity of the consequences can be alleviated with proper insurance policies.

Commercial Liability Insurance

No matter how careful an organization is, there will always be risks associated with commercial liability loss exposures. Therefore, the best way to protect an organization is to purchase commercial general liability coverage (CGL).

CGL policies are designed to cover an organization from liability claims for bodily injury and property damage to third parties. CGL policies have three standard coverages:

  1. Bodily injury and property damage—This coverage protects organizations from the legal liability arising from bodily injury and property damage stemming from an organization’s premises or operations.
  2. Personal and advertising injury—This aspect of CGL policies protects insureds from liability stemming from accusations of libel, slander, false arrest, copyright infringement, malicious prosecution, theft of advertising ideas and invasion of privacy.
  3. Medical payments—Medical payments coverage includes payments for injuries sustained by third parties that are caused by an accident at the insured’s premises or the insured’s operations. Unlike bodily injury and property damage coverage, medical payments coverage can be triggered without legal action and is designed to settle smaller, less serious medical claims without litigation.

Conclusion

Consult a trusted insurance professional for further guidance on how to protect your organization from commercial liability loss exposures.