Insurance Savings and News You Can Use
Join the Conversation!

Teen Employee Safety and Workers Comp Insurance

Posted by David Ross on Sun, Feb 18, 2018

It pays to be aware of the workers compensation insurance risks of hiring teen restaurant employees. We serve Philadelphia, Reading, Lancater, Harrisburg, Allentown, Pittsburgh, PA and beyond.Doesn’t it seem like kids grow up too fast these days? It’s easy to forget that as mature and as smart as they may seem, teenagers still lack the experience an adult has. And if you own a restaurant, there’s an excellent chance that you employ a few teenagers, which could impact your restaurant workers comp insurance costs if your accident rate increases.  

48% of all working teenagers (ages 15-17) in the U.S. work in the “leisure and hospitality” industry, which includes restaurants and other food service jobs.

This group of employees is particularly vulnerable to workplace injuries. Each year more than 210,000 teens are injured on the job, 70,000 are hospitalized, and 70 are killed, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The injury rate for workers under the age of 25 is about two times higher than for older workers, and based on emergency room data, 38% of teens who are injured on the job are working in the leisure and hospitality industry.

Restaurant Industry Insurance Risks

Every workplace has its share of hazards, and restaurants are certainly no exception. Some of the most common dangers in the food industry include slippery floors, hot cooking equipment, and sharp objects like knives and slicers. Often teens are injured because they don’t receive adequate safety training and supervision or they’re working with unsafe equipment, or stressful conditions.

Most workplace injuries are preventable, and many of the same safety measures you take with your more mature employees also apply to teenagers. Proper training and supervision should be your first priorities. 

Reduce Risk With These Teen Safety Meaures 

Here are some safety measures for teens from the Texas Department of Insurance:

  • Train them on the importance of safety and on the manufacturer’s instructions for machine use and cleaning.
  • Provide appropriate personal protective equipment and available machine guarding and enforce the use of that equipment.

When teens operate a microwave oven:

  • Train them on microwave safety, such as 1) following manufacturer’s instructions, 2) covering foods to avoid splattering, 3) opening tightly covered containers away from their face, 4) preventing the use of metals, foil, or whole eggs in a microwave, and 5) keeping the interior clean to avoid splattering and popping.
  • Place the microwave at approximately waist level and within easy reach.
  • Provide appropriate personal protective equipment such as hot pads.
  • Make sure door seals are in excellent condition and free from food or grease buildup.

When teens use steamers/pressure cookers:

  • Train them to shut off the steam supply and wait for the pressure to equalize before opening the lid of the pressure cooker and to stand to the side and open the pressure cooker away from themselves, keeping the open lid between them and the pressure cooker.

When teens use coffee makers:

  • Train them to check to make sure the coffee filter is in place before making coffee and that the coffee has stopped dripping before removing the filter.
  • Place hot coffee makers away from the edge of counters.

 

Comply With Child Labor Regulations

Also, you should be aware of child labor rules and regulations set by the Department of Labor and your state. There are restrictions on the hours a teen can work and restrictions that prohibit teens from using or cleaning specific equipment. Once you know the rules and regulations that apply to teens, take steps to implement safe work practices, such as labeling the equipment that teenagers are not permitted to use.

It’s your responsibility to provide a safe work environment for all of your employees, particularly teens who are more vulnerable to workplace injuries, and avoiding workplace injuries can increase production, improve employee morale, and lower insurance premiums.

Protect Your Business - Contact American Insuring Group

To learn more about saving on workers compensation insurance, restaurant insurance, or any type of coverage for your business, contact American Insuring Group online or call us at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848. Our independent insurance agents are sure to find you the right insurance at the best price. Don't take chances with your business - contact us today.

 

Tags: Workers Compensation Insurance, Restaurant Insurance, Bar Insurance, Teen Insurance

Critical Gap in Contractor Insurance Filled by CPPI

Posted by David Ross on Sun, Feb 11, 2018

CPPI Insurance Protection Tips for Contractors in PA, from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh and points in between.Contractors, how confident are you in your contractor insurance coverage? Did you know that there might be a potentially costly gap in your Commercial General Liability Insurance policy (CGL) that you may not be aware of?

CGL is a standard insurance policy that protects you against liability claims for bodily injury and property damage related to your business activities.

It helps cover legal costs such as court costs, attorney fees, and police report costs in the event of a lawsuit filed by an employee, contractor, client, vendor, etc. and judgments or settlements that result in the lawsuit.

Many banks and clients require this coverage, which makes CGL one of a contractor’s best friends.

Errors in Judgment are Usually NOT Covered by CGL Insurance

But with progressively more complicated projects and blurred lines between professional services and construction duties and responsibilities, financial loss due to errors in judgment are increasing and are usually not covered by CGL. There is also an exclusion in most CGL policies - the “absolute pollution exclusion” - that can leave a gap in your coverage and expose your business to risk.

 

Pollution & Professional Insurance (CPPI) – 4 Key Coverages

Contractors pollution and professional insurance (Aka contractors protective professional indemnity coverage or CPPI) addresses most of the pollution and professional liability coverage gaps in a CGL with four key coverages.

#1) Professional liability coverage

On a traditional project, an architect or engineer provides the design services, and a contractor implements the design. However, as projects continue to increase in complexity, the line of responsibility between the design firm and contractor are becoming blurred, and contractors are taking on nontraditional risks that a CGL policy may not cover.

Professional liability coverage extends beyond the traditional understanding of “professional services” to include engineering work, design work, construction management operations, and construction process services such as shoring and dewatering. 

#2) Protective liability coverage

This extends coverage when you are held responsible for the actions or omissions of another person. Protective liability coverage provides excess coverage over the contracted design professional’s policy if its policy limits are insufficient, protects you if the design professional’s coverage is no longer available, and acts as a difference-in-condition coverage if the CPPI is broader than the underlying professional policy.

#3) Mitigation expense

It’s usually less expensive to fix a problem discovered during construction right away rather than wait until after the project is completed. This coverage – also called “mistake coverage” - allows you to fix a problem before it becomes a claim. 

#4) Pollution liability

With the increased focus on the environment and a growing list of pollution sources, contractors are more exposed to pollution and environmental losses than ever. Even if you aren’t engaged in pollution remediation, you probably work with and dispose of fuels, solvents, and other chemical wastes.

Most CGL policies offer limited coverage for bodily injury and property damage caused by pollutants, but the absolute pollution exclusion (and similar exclusions) included in most CGLs and auto policies leave contractors open to liability for damages such as the incidental transportation of waste or the development of contaminated sites. CPPI covers claims such as damage to soil, water, air, animal life, and plant life caused by a pollutant release; the cost to clean up, treat and restore damaged resources as a result of a pollutant release; and pollution losses related to the transportation of a pollutant.

If You’re a Contractor You Likely Need CPPI Protection!

A broader understanding of what “professional services” are and the various exclusions in most CGL policies mean that almost every contractor should have CPPI coverage, so if you're a contractor, don't take chances!

Contact Us for the Right Contractor Insurance Protection

Contact us for CPPI insurance in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Erie, Allentown, Lancaster, Reading, Harriburg, PA and surrounding states.Call our experienced independent agents at American Insuring Group at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 or click here to connect with them online to learn if there are any potentially costly gaps in your CGL policy.

You can rest assured that they’ll find you the right coverage at a great price!

Tags: Contractor Insurance, Commercial Insurance, Commercial General Liability Insurance, CPPI Insurance

8 Winter Driving Tips for Truckers

Posted by David Ross on Tue, Feb 06, 2018

Lower the cost of truck insurance by avoiding accidents with these winter driving tips. Serving PA truckers with the best insurance in Reading, Philadelphia, Lancater, York, Harrisburg, Allentown, Pittsburgh, Erie and beyond.Driving a truck is challenging enough. Add some snow, sleet or freezing rain, and you have the perfect storm not only for your safety, but for your trucking insurance rates. Few truck drivers can escape driving on wintry roads because more than 70 percent of the nation’s roads are located in regions that receive more than five inches average snowfall annually.

Winter Accident Rates 

The Federal Highway Administration (FHA) reports that 24 percent of weather-related vehicle crashes occur on snowy, slushy or icy pavement and 15 percent happen during snowfall or sleet each year. Every year more than 1,300 people are killed, and 116,800 people are injured in vehicle crashes on snowy, slushy or icy pavements.

Handling a 40,000-pound tractor trailer on treacherous wintry roads requires special driving skills and a lot of common sense as stop time increases and visibility and traction decreases.

Here are two tips to prepare for winter driving:

  1. Make sure you have the following supplies in your truck. It’s better not to need something and have it than to need something and not have it:
  • Kitty litter – When you stop for a meal or a bathroom break, your tires will be warm, which can quickly turn snow into ice. Kitty litter is a great way to get a little bit of extra traction to get you started.
  • Good quality Lug tires
  • Fuel conditioner
  • Methyl hydrate for fuel and air lines
  • Extra fuel filters (don’t forget a wrench)
  • A hammer & putty knife. When driving in excessive amounts of snow, air tanks can quickly freeze. You can remove snow and ice packed on your air tanks with a hammer and putty knife
  • Windshield washer fluid
  • Chains
  • Propane heater and lighter
  • Extra warm clothing
  • Insulated socks and good boots
  • Extra blankets or a sleeping bag
  • A well-charged phone
  • Food and water

  1. Be extra diligent during your circle check. Make sure that everything is in working order including the defroster, heater, wiper blades and motor, brakes, and lights. Top off the washer fluid. A few ounces of brake line antifreeze mixed in with the washer fluid can help prevent freezing on your window. Drain moisture from the air tanks. Start with a full tank of gas for extra weight over the drive tires to help with traction. Check the tires and the tire pressure. Make sure all windows, mirrors, and lights are completely clean before departing.

Here are six tips once you hit the road:

  1. Slow down – This is the number one rule of safe winter driving. If roads are slick, the posted speed limits are probably too fast. Most at-fault accidents are due to excessive speeds.
  2. Keep a safe distance – When possible, leave about ¼ of a mile between you and the vehicle in front of you.
  3. Don’t stop on the shoulder – When visibility is bad, another vehicle may not see you or may think that you’re driving on the road and slam right into you.
  4. Don’t over brake and don’t engage the jake brake on icy roads – Your truck may slow down, but your trailer may not.
  5. Keep lights clean – Even if you start out with clean lights, snow and ice can build up decreasing visibility. Stop in a safe place periodically to make sure the lights on your truck are clean.
  6. Use common sense – You may feel pressure from hours of service rules and dispatchers, but don’t put yourself (and others) in harm’s way. Know your limits and what your equipment can handle. If you don’t feel that the roads are safe enough to drive on, find a safe place to park your truck and wait out the storm. Call dispatch and have the delivery rebooked. Nothing is more important than your life.

Taking these precautions on snowy, icy, or slushy roads can help save lives. It can also help decrease the cost of your truck insurance premiums.

Call Us to Save on Commercial Vehicle Insurance

To learn more ways to save on any type of commercial vehicle insurance, give the experienced agents at American Insuring Group a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610)775-3848, or click here to contact us online.

Tags: Commercial Vehicle Insurance, truck insurance, Winter Driving Tips

4 Questions to Ask About Restaurant Insurance

Posted by David Ross on Sun, Jan 28, 2018

4 Restaurant Insurance Questions Ypu Should Know. Buy Restaurant Insurance in Philadelphia, Reading, Lancaster, York, Harrisburg, Allentown, Pittsburgh, Erie, PA and beyond.Every industry comes with its own unique set of issues and concerns when it comes to insurance; the food industry is no exception. And of course, each individual restaurant is unique. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to restaurant insurance.

When choosing the best insurance for your business, you need to look at what coverages are required by law and possibly by your lender, and what your risks and needs are.

Here are four questions you need to ask yourself if you want to protect your restaurant:

#1. What type of business are you insuring? 

We use the broad term “restaurant insurance,” but that can mean many different types of “restaurants”: bars, nightclubs, pizzerias, caterers, food trucks, full-service restaurants and the list goes on. Each type of business comes with its own unique risks.

#2. What are the primary types of restaurant insurance that most restaurants are required to have? 

There are three types of property and casualty insurance that every restaurant owner needs to consider: property, commercial general liability (CGL), and workers’ compensation.

Property insurance will protect the things you own such as the building, equipment, etc. The right property insurance will help you replace or repair your property if it is damaged due to a fire, storm, or theft. It may even include business interruption insurance. If you sustain damage to your restaurant that requires you to suspend operations for a period of time, business interruption insurance covers your loss of income (the profits you would have made had your restaurant been open) while the damage is repaired. 

Commercial general liability insurance (CGL) protects you from liability claims against your restaurant for property damage and bodily injury. For example, if someone in your restaurant falls and sustains injuries, they may decide to sue you. CGL insurance will help cover legal costs and any judgments or settlements against you.

Workers’ compensation insurance (WC) is mandatory in most states for most businesses with employees. WC pays for an employee’s lost wages and medical costs if they’re injured on the job. It can also help protect your business against accident-related lawsuits from your employees. 

#3. What are other risks I need to consider?

Once you have an idea what the basic types of insurance will and will not cover, you need to consider other risks that could affect your restaurant. Here are just a few examples. If you use a car to deliver food, you need to have commercial auto insurance. If you serve liquor, you should have liquor liability insurance. An experienced commercial insurance agency like American Insuring Group will help you consider all of your risks and determine which coverage is best for you.

#4. What other factors affect the cost of my insurance?

Every insurance policy is unique. An underwriter will ask lots of questions and conduct some of their own research before providing an insurance quote. Here are some of the factors insurance companies consider when determining the cost of your premium:

  • Years in business
  • Location
  • Hours of operation
  • Size of business including the number of employees, sales volume, and square footage of your property.
  • Loss history
  • Types of activities like entertainment, mechanical bulls, and off-premise catering.
  • Percentage of alcohol sales

It’s probably no surprise that a nightclub with live entertainment that serves light fair (but mostly alcohol) and stays open until 2 am is going to pay more for insurance than a pizza parlor that doesn’t serve alcohol and is only open until 10 pm.

Obtaining the Right Insurance Policy Requires Expertise - Don't Risk It!

Purchasing the best insurance for your restaurant – one that covers all your risks at a reasonable rate – is not a simple process. It takes an experienced insurance agent to ask the right questions and offer the best solutions. That’s just one reason why trying to buy restaurant insurance online is usually not your best options.

It’s also important to note that there isn’t just one insurance company that can offer all types of restaurant insurance at the best price.

Get The American Insuring Group Advantage!

Call us to save on restaurant in Pennsylvania and surrounding statesIndependent insurance agencies like American Insuring Group represent many different insurance companies (in our case, lots and lots of companies!), so we can find you the best rate for any type of restaurant insurance you need.

So give us a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 or connect with us online for a free insurance review!

Tags: Restaurant Insurance, Commercial Insurance, Bar Insurance, Nightclub Insurance

Workers Comp Insurance Fraud: Technology to the Rescue

Posted by David Ross on Sun, Jan 21, 2018

Tips for using technology to combat workers compensation insurance fraudWorkers compensation fraud is one of the fastest growing areas of insurance fraud and accounts for approximately 25 percent of insurance fraud at the cost of $7.2 billion annually, according to The National Insurance Crime Bureau reports.

Employers end up paying for this fraud with higher insurance premiums and the cost of temporarily replacing the employee, training, overtime, and reduced morale and productivity that can occur in stressful situations where the remaining employees are overworked.

So using the most effective tools available to investigate questionable insurance claims just makes sense as a strategy for lowing your workers compensation insurance costs. Today’s advanced technology can be a powerful tool for catching and prosecuting employees committing workers compensation fraud. 

Here are 3 tips on using technology to lower your workers comp insurance costs:

 

#1. Use Social Media to Investigate Fraud

The use of social media has continued to grow over the past few years, and people of all generations are currently using it. According to HootSuite, 2.8 billion people were using social media by the end of 2016, and 83 percent of Americans have a social media account. Facebook continues to be the most-used platform for all ages. 64 percent of Americans over 11 years of age use Facebook with an average of 1.09 billion active users every day.

Social media investigation has been used in claims investigations for some time. Nearly ten percent of Facebook users have privacy settings that allow all posts and updates to be seen by the general public. You can use this to your advantage and go beyond the typical social media investigation.

Pictures posted on Facebook and other social media platforms contain hidden metadata, which is simply data that describes other data, and because most people don’t adjust the settings on their cameras or smartphones, this information is available for the taking. Metadata includes a date and time stamp that shows when a photo was taken and longitude and latitude information that shows where a picture was taken.

With this information, a “geofence” is created, which tells everyone when and where an event took place, making it difficult for someone to testify otherwise.

Social Media Caveat

There is one caveat with using social media to investigate employee behavior: If the information you find is open to the public and not protected with privacy settings, you can use it; however, you can’t trick an employee into giving you access to their social media pages.

#2. Leverage Vehicle Tracking and Sighting Technology

 Today, there are millions of security cameras in every major U.S. city (and even small towns) capturing real-time images of people going about their business, including license plate tracking information that shows where a vehicle is at a particular time. This information can be useful in claims investigations because it

  1. reveals the location of a claimant’s vehicle,
  2. establishes a pattern of visited places,
  3. confirms or disputes routes taken by employees, which can be particularly helpful in “traveling employee” cases.

#3. Utilize Keyword Search Technology

Using “keywords,” you can search for anything on the Internet including posts on social media sites. It is entirely ethical to use this information to find out where someone has been. You will often find information from people (other than your employee) or organizations who have tagged or listed the names of attendees or identify an attendee in a photo. Even if your employee has their privacy settings so that only friends can see their information, others may not.

Technology is a part of everyone’s life today; why not use it if it can help minimize workers compensation fraud?

 

Contact Us to Save Big on Workers Compensation Insurance!

Independent Workers Compensation Insurance AgentsTo learn more about reducing your workers compensation premiums, contact American Insuring Group online, or call us at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848.

Our independent agents have the freedom to shop among lots of competing carriers, so we have to power to help you save big. Don’t delay, contact us today and start saving!

Truck Insurance: Comply with ELD Mandate, Get a Free ELD

Posted by David Ross on Sun, Jan 14, 2018

Electronic Logging Device tips for saving on ELD and trucking insurance costsAmerican Insuring Group has teamed up with Progressive Insurance to help commercial trucking companies comply with the new Electronic Logging Device (ELD) mandate.

As the #1 commercial truck insurer, Progressive understands not only the advantages of ELD but also the cost of implementing an ELD.

As a partner with Progressive, we can offer our Progressive truck insurance customers FREE USE of an ELD device or up to $500! It’s an easy and smart way to comply with the ELD mandate at no cost to you while getting great truck insurance coverage at the same time! Contact us for more information.

 

ELD Compliance and Benefits

An ELD records a driver’s Record of Duty Status (RODS) electronically and replaces the paper logbook traditionally used by some drivers to record their Hours of Service (HOS) compliance. While many fleets are already equipped with electronic logging technology, it’s important to ensure that the equipment is compliant with the new mandate.

The information captured by ELDs goes beyond RODS such as Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports (DVIR), IFTA Automation, and even driver behavior (speeding, idling, and hard braking). Some ELDs are also equipped with map and route solutions to help drivers avoid construction and high-traffic areas.

Many trucking companies installed ELDs prior to the mandate because of the many benefits an ELD provides such as saving time, reducing paperwork, slashing fuel costs, increasing driver communication, and keeping dispatchers up-to-date on a driver’s status, so they can plan for loads better.

 

About the Electronic Logging Device Mandate

The ELD mandate, part of MAP-21, requires commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) involved in Interstate Commerce, to use an ELD. The deadline for compliance set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) went into effect December 18, 2017.

Here are the key rules of the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) rule according to the FMCSA:

  • Requires ELD use by commercial drivers who are required to prepare hours-of-service (HOS) records of duty status (RODS)
  • Sets ELD performance and design standards, and requires ELDs to be certified and registered with FMCSA
  • Establishes what supporting documents drivers and carriers are required to keep
  • Prohibits harassment of drivers based on ELD data or connected technology (such as fleet management system). The rule also provides recourse for drivers who believe they have been harassed

The mandate applies to most motor carriers and drivers who are currently required to maintain records of duty status (RODS). The rule applies to commercial buses as well as trucks.

The FMCSA allows for the following limited exceptions to the mandate:

  • Drivers who operate under the short-haul exceptions may continue using timecards; they are not required to keep RODS and will not be required to use ELDs.
  • Drivers who use paper RODS for not more than eight days out of every 30-day period.
  • Drivers who conduct drive-away-tow-away operations, in which the vehicle being driven is the commodity being delivered.
  • Drivers of vehicles manufactured before 2000.

 

How to Get a FREE ELD or up to $500

In response to this new mandate, Progressive Insurance launched its SMARTHAUL program, and as a representative of Progressive, we can offer it to our commercial trucking customers.

There are two options for the SMARTHAUL program:

  1. The free use of an ELD - This includes the monthly subscription/service fees as long as you share your driving data with Progressive. The device would need to be returned if you decide to opt-out or cancel your coverage with Progressive.

  2. The compensation program - If you purchase your own Rand McNally ELD 50 or DC200 and agree to share your driving data with Progressive, you’ll receive $100 for plugging it in and an additional $100 for each quarter that the device stays plugged in – up to $500. You will be responsible for the monthly service fees, but the $500 compensation should cover those costs. 

Data collected by these ELDs will help Progressive better understand driving behaviors of truckers, and it will not be associated with you or your policy.

 

Contact Us For All Your Truck Insurance Needs 

To learn more about the SMARTHAUL program or any trucking insurance need, give American Insuring Group a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 or click here to contact us online. But don’t wait; the SMARTHAUL program is only available for a limited time.

Tags: Commercial Vehicle Insurance, Commercial Insurance, Trucking Insurance, Electronic Logging Devices - ELD, ELD Mandate

Contractor Safety Management in 5 Easy Steps

Posted by David Ross on Sun, Dec 17, 2017

Contractor Safety Management and Workers Comp Insurance Tips for Reading, Philadelphia, Allentown, Pittsburgh, Erie, Lancaster, York, PA and beyond.In 2015, 937 construction workers were killed according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

That’s 21.4 percent of all worker fatalities – the most deaths of any industry sector. Safety and Health Magazine puts those numbers into perspective: “Every week in 2015, 18 construction workers went to work and did not return home.”

Good Safety Management Goes Beyond Workers Comp & Contractor Insurance

As a contractor, you should be committed to creating and maintaining safe construction sites for the protection of your workers and your business. A good safety management program helps strengthen your reputation, attract the best employees, allow your workers to be more productive, comply with OSHA and local regulations, reduce liability exposure, keep your workers compensation insurance and contractor insurance costs down, and – of course – keep your employees safe.

Safety for Contractors and Subcontractors 

Hopefully, you have and enforce a safety management program for your employees, but what about contractors and subcontractors? Your contractors could bring workers to your job site who don’t have the training or certifications that you require of your employees. They may not understand site-specific issues or their responsibilities. And if an injury does occur, it could become your responsibility.

While it may take a little more effort, a good Contractor Safety Management program can prevent many safety issues created by contractors and may be even more critical if the Protecting America’s Workers Act – an amendment to the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 – is passed.

The Protecting America’s Workers Act  

Part of this Act includes requirements relating to an “employer's duty to furnish a place of employment free from recognized hazards causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm that the employer creates or controls or in which the employer exposes any individual (not just an employer's employee) performing work there” and “site-controlling employer's duty to keep a site log for recordable injuries and illnesses of all employees, including employees of the site-controlling employer or others (including independent contractors) performing work there.” 

 

Here is a 5-Step Process for Creating an Effective Contractor Safety Management Plan:

  1. Prequalification – Any potential contractors should complete a prequalification process that includes safety requirements such as basic EHS (Environments, Health, and Safety) metrics like their recordable incident rate and days away from work, the quality of their services and their technical qualifications and competencies. Look at the contractor’s internal training programs and ask if they use safety as criteria for employment.

  2. Planning – Take an EHS assessment of every job site identifying specific hazards and what additional requirements might be needed from a sub-contractor.

  3. Orientation and Training – Inadequate training is often the cause of contractor fatalities. Even if the organizations you’re hiring provide safety training (which they probably do if you’ve considered their safety record), you should provide site-specific training that addresses hazards, emergency procedures, and safety requirements.

  4. Monitoring and assessment – Monitor the progress of work to identify any safety issues and address those issues promptly. Provide timely feedback on the contractor’s safety performance early on.

  5. Performance evaluation – Evaluate and document the contractor’s performance including if the work was done safely, if it was completed on time, and if the quality is acceptable. This can make it easier to choose contractors for future projects.

Taking these five steps, aligning your safety strategies with your contractors, and creating a culture of safety across all of the workers on your work site will create a safer environment for everyone on your job site, help you can comply with any future regulations, help protect your business, and save you money.

 

Protect Yourself With Workers Compensation & Contractor Insurance

Regardless of your best efforts to create the ultimate safety management plan, accidents can happen. At American Insuring Group our independent insurance agents will help you get the precise level of commercial insurance coverage you need, including Workers Comp Insurance and Contractor Insurance at the best possible price.

So contact us online or call today at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848.

Tags: Contractor Insurance, Contractor Safety Management

What Kind of Insurance Does a Restaurant Owner Need?

Posted by David Ross on Sun, Dec 10, 2017

It's important to know the types of insurance coverage that are needed for a restaurant, bar or nightclub in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Erie, Reading, Allentown, PA and beyond.If you have a dream of owning a restaurant, bar or nightclub, restaurant insurance is probably one of the last things you want to think about. It isn’t as exciting as creating a menu or choosing the right linens, but having the right restaurant insurance has saved many establishment owners money, headaches, and - at times - even their business.

The right insurance can protect you from all types of disasters, from a small equipment breakdown to a devastating liability lawsuit. Depending on where you’re opening your restaurant, there may be certain types of insurance that are required: many banks demand certain insurance in order to procure a loan or mortgage.

So, like it or not, it’s in your best interest to learn what you can about insurance for your restaurant, bar or club.

Types of insurance you may need as a restaurant, bar or club owner

Property Insurance

Property insurance protects your property if it sustains damage. It typically covers damage caused by fire, smoke, wind, hail, the weight of ice and snow, lightning, theft and more. It may not include natural disasters such as floods or earthquakes. If you have a mortgage on your business, property insurance is a must. 

Commercial General Liability Insurance (CGL)

Commercial General Liability Insurance protects you against liability claims for property damage and bodily injury. For example, if a customer is injured by a fall in your restaurant and sues you, CGL helps pay legal costs and any damages you are required to pay the plaintiff. In today’s litigious society, CGL is a must for almost any business owner.

Liquor Liability Insurance

If you have a liquor license, most states require that you have this insurance, and again your bank may also insist on it. Liquor Liability Insurance helps protect you if a customer drinks too much while at your establishment and hurts himself or someone else, or causes property damage.

Your CGL may cover you in some cases, but not all. “Dram Shop” laws exist in forty-three states, including Pennsylvania. Under this law, any business that gives alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person is responsible for any damage that person causes. This makes it much easier for people to sue the restaurant or bar where they have been served.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Workers’ Compensation Insurance is mandatory in most states, including Pennsylvania (with a few exceptions). Typically, workers’ compensation insurance pays lost wages and medical expenses incurred as a result of a work-related injury. Plus it protects the employer against accident-related lawsuits.  

Life Insurance

Life insurance coverage is another form of protection that may be required by your bank if you have a mortgage or loan with them. It is also a good idea to have life insurance if your death would cause a financial hardship for your family. There are two types of life insurance: term and permanent. A good insurance agent can help you determine the best one for your situation.

Business Interruption Insurance

If you sustain damage to your restaurant that requires you to suspend operations for a period of time, Business Interruption Insurance covers your loss of income (the profits you would have made had your restaurant been open) while the damage is repaired.

Food Contamination Insurance

No matter how careful you are, there is always a possibility that your food could become contaminated, cause food poisoning, or transmit a communicable disease. Typically, Food Contamination Insurance helps pay for lost income if the business is shut down by a government authority, clean-up expenses, food replacement, and additional advertising expenses required to restore your restaurant’s reputation.

 

Get to Know Your Restaurant Insurance Options - Contact Us Today! 

You may need some or all of these types of insurance, so it’s smart to understand your options. Our qualified independent insurance agents understand the local and state laws pertaining to the types and amounts of insurance you’re required to carry. They can help you determine if additional insurance is right for you.

Ask the independent agents at American Insuring Group about obtaining reliable protection at a great price. We've been helping businesses like yours for decades. So call (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or contact us online to get affordable insurance for your restaurant, club, bar, coffee shop, food truck, or catering service.

Tags: Restaurant Insurance, Bar Insurance, Nightclub Insurance

3 Tips for Workers Compensation Vendor Management

Posted by David Ross on Sun, Dec 03, 2017

Helpful tips to manage workers compensation vendors. We'd love to be your vendor for the best workers compensation insurance prices in Philadelphia, Reading, Pittsburgh, Allentown, Lancaster, PA and beyond. Contact us today!Most businesses outsource part (or sometimes all) of their workers compensation functions to improve their injured workers’ experiences and case outcomes. Some functions that are commonly outsourced include administrators, medical providers, pharmacy benefit managers, and medical bill review.

Outsourcing often makes good financial sense. Unfortunately, many businesses take the “set it and forget it” attitude and fail to manage their outsourced vendors properly. Too often, companies and vendors don’t take the time to make sure that their goals are aligned, which can cause issues down the road and reduce the cost-effectiveness.

Your outside vendors should be like partners in your business. They should be a part of your team.

Here are three tips for creating effective partnerships with your outsourced vendors:

#1. Find the best fit for your organization 

Working with key members of your organization, determine your goals, create a list of the requirements that are most important to your business, and then develop a model of the ideal vendor for your business.

Develop a list of questions and start interviewing prospective vendors that meet most of your requirements. Here are three crucial questions you’ll want to ask:

1) Are the vendor’s control environments aligned with your internal framework

2) Is there ongoing oversight that uses measurable information and external alerts

3) Does the vendor conduct internal audits; if so, how frequently, and will they share their findings with you?

You should also ask for a client list and speak to a few of them to see if they’re satisfied with the service they’re receiving from the vendor.

#2. Set Expectations

Set Expectations. Once you’ve found the vendor that is most aligned with your business goals, get everything in writing including the length of the term and if your relationship with the vendor will be exclusive. Watch for hidden costs.

You may want to use a service level agreement (SLA) and risk/reward strategies. An SLA will define the level of service you’re expecting, such as time frames for reports and performance measures. You can also include incentives to the vendor for meeting certain expectations and penalties for failing to meet those expectations.

#3. Regular Communication

Any good relationship requires communication. Regular communication keeps you on the same page and helps avoid future problems. Monitor the vendor’s performance, and make sure that they’re delivering what they promised and that you’re getting the data you need in a timely matter. 

Outsourced vendors can be an asset or liability to your company. By choosing the vendors that align best with your goals, being clear about expectations up front, and communicating with them regularly, you can create a great partnership with outsourced vendors that help ensure the best outcomes for injured workers.

 

Get The Best Deal on Quality Workers Comp Insurance!

At American Insuring Group, Ltd., we offer high quality, cost-effective worker's compensation insurance from a great variety of competing insurance companies. We'll work hard to get you the best price on quality insurance to protect your employees and your business. So give us a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 or click here to contact us online.

Tags: Workers Compensation Insurance, Workers Compensation Vendor Management

What is Cargo Trucking Insurance and Do You Need It?

Posted by David Ross on Sun, Nov 26, 2017

Cargo Trucking Insurance Tips for Philadelphia, Reading, Pittsburgh, Erie, Allentown, Lancaster, PA and beyond.Nearly 70 percent of all freight transported within the U.S. is delivered by trucks every year, and the value of that cargo is about $671 billion in manufactured and retail goods. Also, there is about $295 billion in truck trade with Canada and $195.6 billion with Mexico. And those numbers continue to increase every year.

So, who is responsible for insuring all that freight? What if it gets damaged or lost? Does that responsibility fall on the business sending the cargo or on the carrier transporting it?

When it comes to cargo trucking insurance, typically the person or company transporting the cargo is liable for it until it is delivered and signed for. There are a few exceptions such as acts of God (hurricanes and tornadoes), public authority (authorities placing cargo under quarantine), or damage caused by the shipper (loading the truck improperly).

Do You Transport the Property of Others? Then You Need Cargo Trucking Insurance!

Most companies think about commercial auto insurance to protect against liability, damage, and injuries to their employees. In the transportation industry, protection for your cargo is often equally as important. If you are in the business of transporting the property of others, you need to consider Cargo Trucking Insurance.

What it Covers

Cargo Trucking Insurance covers your liability if the cargo you are transporting is lost or damaged due to fire, collision, or being hit or run over. It covers you while the cargo is under your care, custody, and control until it is delivered and signed for. Some policies even cover the cost of removing debris or pollutants that are accidentally dumped on the road.

Not Available Everywhere

Cargo Trucking Insurance isn’t available in all states, and there are some restrictions. On the other hand, some states and most carriers require it for owner operators or companies transporting their goods. And there are federal mandates that require Cargo Truck Insurance in certain circumstances. For example, when you’re carrying household goods across state lines.

Types of Trucks That Can be Covered

Cargo Trucking Insurance is only available for dump trucks, tractors, most trailers, box trucks, cement mixers, cargo vans, dually pick-ups, flatbeds, and car haulers. It is not available for garbage or ice cream trucks or passenger transportation such as limos, buses, and hearses.

Cargo Trucking Insurance Costs 

The cost of this insurance and the cargo limits can be different depending on the type of cargo being hauled and its origin and destination. To determine the value of the cargo, the owner of the goods should provide a bill of lading, which is required if filing a claim.

As the carrier, you can lower the cost of Cargo Trucking Insurance by increasing your deductible. However, it’s important that make sure you have enough money readily available to cover that deductible in the event of damage or loss.

Insurance Exclusions and Limitations

Cargo Trucking Insurance often includes exclusions for specified types of cargo such as live animals, art, jewelry, money, pharmaceuticals, tobacco, and alcohol. There may also be higher deductibles and sub-limits for certain types of cargo, and theft coverage may be capped at an amount lower than the cargo limit. If your vehicle is left unattended and there is damage or loss to the cargo, certain policies will not cover that loss.

 

We Can Help With All Your Cargo Trucking Insurance Needs

Cargo Trucking Insurance is complicated. There are many exclusions and limitations that insurance agents who do not specialize in trucking insurance may not understand. The independent agents at American Insuring Group are experts in all types of Truck Insurance including Cargo Trucking Insurance.

To learn more about this and other types of commercial insurance, call the friendly agents at American Insuring Group at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 or contact us online. You'll save because as independent agents we're free to compare prices and coverage among lots of competing insurance providers.

American Insuring Group - we know trucking insurance!

Tags: Commercial Vehicle Insurance, truck insurance, Cargo Trucking Insurance