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Why Risk Assessment Matters When Selecting Insurance

Picking out the perfect insurance policy is not always a straightforward experience. If you operate a company in a niche field, for example, you will find that the risks of your industry are much different than that of an organization in a traditional area of business. Failing to consider the unique exposures of your industry is an easy way to leave major gaps in your coverage. Thankfully, this can be resolved in advance when you take the time to conduct a bit of risk assessment

Understand the Unique Exposures

Reviewing the hazards of your industry is a crucial step in determining adequate insurance coverage. If you operate a maritime business, for example, you will have exposures that are unique to organizations that conduct operations on or near the water. By assessing your risks, you’ll learn more about professional liability insurance for marine surveyors and similar coverage options. Examples of important coverage points you will need to research include:

  • United States Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation
  • D&O Liability
  • E&O Policies

Find the Right Plan

Though there are many angles to review when picking insurance, a little bit of preliminary effort can yield massive results in the long run. Take time to research your exposures and see how these can influence your final decision when selecting coverage to protect your company.

Volunteer Liability Insurance Explained

Nonprofits and other volunteer-driven organizations rely on donated labor to carry out their organizational missions, but there are risks to volunteer labor. Not the same risks as those you take on by hiring employees, but nonetheless, your risk management strategy needs to include a form of public liability insurance for volunteers. Regular public liability policies covering your employees may not cover donated labor, but there are insurance providers who will write volunteer-specific policies.

What Kinds of Liability Are Covered?

When you get volunteer-oriented public liability coverage, it covers your liability in incidents involving volunteers working on your behalf. If that sounds broad, it’s because the policy needs to be broad. It needs to go where you go, and it needs to handle many types of possible damages. Potentially, you could have liability for injuries sustained by volunteers while working on behalf of the organization, but you could also face these scenarios:

  • Mistakes or bad faith actions by volunteers causing financial losses to third parties or donors
  • Accidents involving volunteers on or off-premises that result in injury or property damage to others
  • If needed, volunteer vehicle coverage can be bundled to cover liability for incidents involving volunteers driving their own cars on your organization’s behalf

Individual insurance providers will have slightly different parameters and offerings, so make sure you shop around to find the most robust public liability insurance for volunteers you can. It’s well worth the time spent to have the right insurance coverage.

Choosing the Best Auto Insurance Policy

You would never consider foregoing auto insurance for your vehicles. If you are in an accident, proper coverage will protect you and others involved when you are at fault. Most states mandate some type of coverage, but not all policies give you the protection you need.

Basic Auto Insurance Options

Selecting the right auto insurance can seem daunting. It’s critical to discuss your options with your insurance agent to ensure you obtain the best coverage for your needs. Typical policies include some form of the following coverage:

  • Collision Insurance – In the event of a collision, repairs are covered
  • Liability Coverage – This protects against injury to others and damages to their property
  • Uninsured Drivers – If another motorist involved in the accident does not have insurance or has limited coverage, this policy helps to protect you
  • Medical Payments – This coverage pays for medical expenses that you and your family may require after the accident

Additional Coverage Available

Most auto insurance companies offer additional types of coverage. If you are at fault for an accident, accident forgiveness protection will prevent your rates from going up on your first offense. When your car requires extensive repairs, rental car coverage provides the use of a rental car for free.

Make sure you and your passengers are protected with a comprehensive auto insurance package.

Coverage Options for Product Liability Claims

If you make money by selling products to consumers, you could have increased risk for a lawsuit that claims product liability. Any defect in a product that causes damage to property or injury to another could lead to litigation against your company. Product liability insurance is a way to protect your business from these claims, but there are several options with regard to coverage.

Forms of Coverage

If you are a supplier, retailer, distributor, manufacturer or other organization that sells to the public, you may be held liable for damages that occur from the use of your product. These types of product liability insurance can protect you from the financial fallout of such a claim.

  1. Product Tampering: If another individual corrupts a product or tampers with it, this insurance could help with product restoration expenses, product recall, destruction of the tampered product and loss of profits.
  2. Hazardous/New Products: Hazard liability often accompanies products made in factories, such s as chemicals, cosmetics, drugs, ladders and more.
  3. Product Warranty Inefficiency: This is a warranty form of coverage that helps pay for the expenses when a line of products experiences performance failure on a mass scale.
  4. Product Recall: In the event of product failure or malfunction, recall costs such as shipping, communication, media announcements, overtime labor expenses and product destruction are covered.

Product liabilities are varied, which is why there is a need for several types of product liability insurance. Speak to a broker about the option that covers your greatest risks.

Dispatch Software: The Future of Taxi Companies Is Now

Taxi cabs have been providing fast and reliable transportation in cities throughout the world for generations. On the front lines are the drivers, guiding their vehicles safely through traffic to get passengers to their destinations. But there are also employees behind the scenes who are just as important. Mechanics keep the fleet running. Then there are dispatchers, who control the flow.

Taxi Dispatch Software

The old school method had dispatchers staying in touch with drivers using two-way radios, tracking their locations with paper maps and using log-in sheets to know who was driving which cab. It could make for some challenging shifts in the dispatch cage.

Thanks to modern technology, there is automated dispatch software. Using GPS, the internet and smartphone apps, all of a dispatcher’s duties are faster and more efficient. There are several different brands of software from which to choose, but there are features that every cab company should have in their dispatch programs.

Essential Features

Among the most helpful features in automated dispatch software are these:

  • Automated functions – The fewer tasks a dispatcher has to do manually, the more things they can get done in a timely fashion.
  • Easy-to-use interface – Overly complex software takes more time to learn and use and dispatchers are already busy enough.
  • Excellent tracking abilities – Dispatchers need precise locations for drivers at all times so they can send the closest driver to a passenger needing pickup.

Without a dispatcher, a taxi company won’t run efficiently. It’s a tough job and dispatch software can help make it easier.

A Short Guide To Volunteer Insurance

Volunteering your work and time is a noble pursuit.  Helping others with no gain to yourself is a great thing and can be extremely rewarding. However, it is important to consider the risk that can come along with volunteer work. Volunteers are often exposed to the same risks that typical businesses are exposed to, despite not being employees in the usual sense. This makes it vital for you to have volunteer insurance.

What Is Volunteer Insurance?

Volunteer insurance is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a type of insurance coverage that is designed to protect volunteer workers from the financial risks they may encounter while doing volunteer work.

Why Do You Need Volunteer Insurance?

To put it simply, if you have a claim made against you, you could face significant financial damages. Volunteer work related claims can be just as damaging as claims made against for-profit businesses and can often cost thousands of dollars in court fees, settlements, and judgments.

What Does Volunteer Insurance Protect You From?

Volunteer insurance can offer you protection from a variety of claims that are commonly made against volunteer workers. Some examples of claims are:

  • Bodily injury
  • Property damage
  • Breach of fiduciary duty
  • Fraud
  • Negligence

Volunteer work comes with a certain amount of risk. Volunteer insurance can make all the difference in terms of your financial security.

The Importance of Flood Insurance

Filing a flood insurance claim is something no one wants to do, but it is unfortunately not uncommon, particularly as seasonal weather patterns continue to shift and regions unaccustomed to flooding increasingly see high amounts of water. Carrying flood insurance will ensure that if faced with severe flooding — and consequent water damage to your property or personal effects — you will be financially and mentally prepared to deal with damages.

Filing an Insurance Claim

If there is a possibility of filing a flood insurance claim, it is helpful to understand some general aspects involved in the process:

  • Immediately after a flood, evaluate damage (before cleaning or repairing anything), and work to determine the value of damaged or destroyed items; you’ll ultimately want to document all damage with photos
  • Speak with your insurer about a claim, determining where your coverage limit is and whether it will cover the extent of damage
  • Submit all claims within 60 days of a flood

While you never want to be the one filing a flood insurance claim, there is always a chance it will happen. Ensuring you’re well-covered — including, if needed, carrying excess flood insurance — will allow for peace of mind in the interim and financial security in the event that significant damages do occur.

The Important Role of the Underwriter

Financial organizations employ underwriters who assess and evaluate the risks involved in representing another party before accepting those risks. Mortgage companies, banks and insurance agencies rely on underwriters to make sound decisions before they offer loans and issue insurance policies. The fee for this assessment usually takes the form of interest payments or premiums.

Underwriters in the Insurance Business

Insurance underwriters evaluate the risks before insuring a business, home or automobile so that the risks don’t outweigh the potential benefits for the organization. They consider certain criteria to make sure the contract will be profitable for the insurance agency. For example, if a person has been in numerous accidents, they may be denied car insurance or may pay a higher premium than a person who has a clean driving record.

Financial Underwriters

Banks and other financial institutions employ underwriters to evaluate the applicant’s financial history before approving a mortgage or other loan. Financial records and credit ratings are reviewed to ensure the party will be able to pay back the loan on time.

The underwriter wants the loan to be safe for all involved. In some instances, underwriting software is utilized to give a more accurate picture of the risks.

Underwriters play a critical role in the financial process of issuing loans and insurance policies.

Understanding EO and DO Insurance for HOAs

Homeowners’ associations are tasked with seeing to the needs and best interests of the communities they serve. From community upkeep to ensuring that neighborhood best practices are adhered to, these homeowners’ associations or HOAs carry a great responsibility and are exposed to various operational risks and potential liabilities. Two types of insurance, E&O and D&O can help cover an HOA’s exposures to claims and liabilities, but it’s important to understand these policy types and what they specifically address.

Comparing E&O and D&O Coverages

E&O stands for errors and omissions and is also known as professional liability insurance. This coverage protects the insured from claims due to errors, omissions, and other negative outcomes as a result of their actions. Such a policy covers any actions for anyone affiliated with an HOA, including employees. D&O stands for directors and officers liability. This coverage specifically protects the directors, officers, and other senior positions in the HOA. This policy would protect individual members of an HOA from claims.

Protecting my Community Association

According to providers of homeowners’ or community association directors and officers insurance, it may be beneficial to have both. E&O and D&O protections cover the individuals as well as the entire board and employees, where applicable. As you explore the needs of your community association, considering talking to an insurer about creating a comprehensive plan.

What You Should Know About TNC Insurance

Ridesharing has provided many people the opportunity to earn extra income transporting others from here to there. Driving for companies such as Uber or Lyft and other delivery services comes with rewards as well as risks. Presumably, rideshare drivers experience more wear and tear on their vehicles, and the increased time on the road increases the risk of collisions and accidents. Auto insurance policies often don’t include coverage for livery which includes ridesharing and delivery services. Are you covered in the event of an accident or other loss?

Understanding TNC Protection

Transportation Network Companies or TNC insurance helps cover the gaps in insurance protection. Even though ridesharing companies offer additional coverage, you may be unprotected if something happens while you’re waiting for a pickup request. A TNC or rideshare insurance provides these coverages whether on or off the job:

  • Bodily injury
  • Property damage
  • Medical bill payment
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist
  • Comprehensive and collision

Covering your rideshare auto with TNC protection helps to ensure that an uncovered claim doesn’t threaten your business.

Protecting Your Business

Leaving your car in the hands of a typical auto policy or rideshare protection can cost you serious money. Not only do you have the costs associated with repair or replacement, but there’s also lost money from not having a car to fulfill trip requests. Don’t delay. Get a TNC policy to protect your rideshare business today.