From the category archives: Brooks-Waterburn Corp Insurance Protection Blog

3/2/2015 8:00 AM

How Employee Firing Cost Employers Big

If you're thinking about terminating an employee who's been giving you grief about workplace safety, you might want to reconsider.  That was the lesson learned by an Arizona trucking company.

One of their drivers was asked to go out with another driver who smoked.  He found cigarette butts in the co-driver's truck. The problem:  The cargo was explosive!

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2/9/2015 8:00 AM

What You Don't Want to Hear About Workers Compensation Fraud

When employees are hurt at work, traditionally, workers' compensation insurance will protect them. WC pays for lost wages, medical bills and any other related expenses the worker can incur while recovering. The vast majority of employees are honest about getting hurt at work, but there are scams out there. One of the checks and balances in the system is requiring a doctor assessment. If an employee were not really hurt, a doctor may be able to identify a false claim. There are, however, unscrupulous people that slip through the cracks. Even though percentage wise the number of fraud claims is relatively small, the damage they cause is significant enough that it costs policy holders and insurance companies billions of dollars every year. In addition to this, some employers try to lower premiums by paying employees off the books or misclassify them. Both offenses are considered workers' comp fraud.

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8/12/2014 6:00 PM

Questions You Need to Ask Before Buying Distressed Commercial Properties

The economic downturn that began in late 2007 has taken a severe toll on all sectors of the U.S. economy, but it hit the real estate sector especially hard. Real estate research company Green Street Advisors reported in March 2011 that commercial property values were 17 percent below their peak in August 2007. CoStar Group reported that the values of the highest quality office buildings, relatively new retail and industrial properties, and apartment complexes were down 33 percent since June 2007. These large price decreases may attract investors in search of good buying opportunities. However, potential buyers should look beyond the low purchase price when they evaluate these properties. The properties' physical state, legal issues, and insurance considerations also affect whether they are smart investments. Many of these properties were only partially completed when the financial crisis hit, so buyers must assess their economic viability and physical condition. They need to ask: * How much ...

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8/6/2014 4:00 AM

Don't Wait until a Fire Ignites on Your Construction Site to Start Fighting Fire

The wildfires experienced by Californians over the recent years are just one of the many examples we see when it comes to just how threatening and damaging fire can be. Since job site fires pose a constant threat to construction projects, contractors should prepare for a potential fire by periodically confirming that their risk management plans adequately address the issue. Don't wait until you actually have a fire on-site to start your fight against fire. The following tips have been recommended by the International Marine Underwriters Association to help keep construction sites free from the threat of fire: 1. No smoking - have and enforce a no smoking policy on the construction site. 2. Loss control plan - the written loss control plan should comprehensively address the risks of fire exposure and include specific objectives to be enforced by management on the job site, general safety measures, and a named person to be in charge of on-site safety coordination. 3. Inspections and lo ...

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7/30/2014 2:00 AM

Don't Let Crime Plague Your Construction Site

Whether it be arson, vandalism, or theft, construction sites are prime targets for criminal acts. These criminal acts can create some significant added costs, including insurance deductibles and consequential premium hikes; work delays; and replacement of lost equipment, tools, and building materials. Of course, such an event can also affect your overall job site and your client's deadline. The good news is there are several steps you can take to diminish the risk and financial impact of criminal acts involving your job site: 1. Research the work area prior to beginning a job. Carefully researching unfamiliar work areas is especially important if you're not planning to hire on-site security, but should be done regardless. The local police or sheriff department can tell you if a particular area has a high crime rate. If you ask, they'll also usually be able to send a patrol car out to periodically check your site once the work begins. You might additionally ask friendly competitors if they ...

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7/22/2014 10:00 PM

Insurance for Small Construction Businesses

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

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7/15/2014 6:00 PM

Understanding Small Business Insurance

There are four types of insurance that most small businesses purchase. The first is property insurance. This type of coverage provides compensation if business property is damaged, stolen or lost. In addition to covering the physical business structure, property insurance covers personal property. This includes inventory, office furnishings, raw materials, computers, machinery and other items that are part of business operations. Property insurance coverage doesn't end with protecting physical assets. It also affords operating funds when business owners must take steps to get their business back on track following major loss. Property insurance may provide coverage for broken equipment in some cases. It may also provide coverage for water damage, debris removal following a fire and several other specific items. Business vehicle insurance is the second type of coverage many small businesses purchase. Anyone who uses their own personal vehicle for business purposes should discuss this type of cover ...

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7/9/2014 4:00 AM

Mind Your Business: Surveillance Cameras and Video Monitoring

Surveillance and video monitoring have become very affordable, easy to implement, and effective. For very little investment, cameras can stream video onto the internet so the owner can monitor and record activities in their business, on site or remotely. Data storage, that is image storage, is almost limitless; and the video history of the store can be kept in multiple locations for safety and replacement ease. Keeping logs and indexes simplifies filing to a few mouse clicks. This video record has multiple uses. In real time, monitoring can deter violent crime, shoplifting, or employee theft. It can help address customer service by dispatching employees to underserved areas of a store, recognize a need for restocking merchandise, or securing a blind area on the premises. Monitoring your business from any remote location allows you the freedom and capacity to balance your family and professional life better. Historically, employee surveillance focused on stolen trade secrets and theft of goods. When ...

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7/2/2014 2:00 AM

Insurance Implications For Green Construction

One of the most popular types of construction in the United States is green construction. This eco-friendly technique gained popularity because of rising energy costs, global climate change and the United States' dependence on foreign energy providers. People all over the country are taking steps to reduce the carbon footprints their homes and business spaces leave. However, this type of construction has very important insurance implications, which all consumers should be aware of. Buildings that are considered green have met several requirements for LEED, which is a certification formally known as Leadership in Energy and Development. LEED was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council in the late 1990s. It was designed to help building owners identify and use construction, maintenance, operations and measurable designs that are better for the environment. In comparison with standard structures, green buildings use water and energy more efficiently. They also have healthier indoor environments ...

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6/24/2014 10:00 PM

6 Helpful Tips for Preventing Theft & Fraud in the Workplace

Sharing confidential company information, stealing equipment and manipulating data are all serious offenses in the workplace. Employee fraud and theft rates have increased in the past decade. These crimes now equal an average of five percent of a company's annual revenue. The following tips help prevent fraud and theft in the workplace. 1. Check references thoroughly . Many employers avoid checking candidates' references. They often make the mistake of assuming that a candidate would not put a reference on the list if that contact would not give a glowing report. However, many candidates provide erroneous phone numbers for personal references. In addition to this, previous employers may reveal important information about that worker's history and tendency for fraud or theft. 2. Conduct pre-employment background checks. This is an important step for any employer to take. However, it is especially important for employers hiring people who will handle cash or have access to sensitive financial ...

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