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10 Types of Insurance Landlords Need to Consider

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Sep 23, 2023

Considerations for Buying Landlord Insurance in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Allentown, Erie, Reading, Lebanon, Lancaster, Harrisburg, and throughout PAHave you made the plunge into real estate investments and become a landlord? If you have, you aren't alone. Experts estimate that there are 10 -11 million individual investor landlords in the U.S. Real estate investments can be a great way to build wealth, but you need to do your research before taking the plunge.

You need to recognize the unique risks landlords face and protect your investment with the right Landlord Insurance. You don't want to pay for insurance you don't need, but then again, you don't want to leave gaps in your coverage. The first step is understanding the types of Landlord Insurance available to you. You probably don't need them all, but you should at least be aware of your options.

10 Types of Insurance Landlords Need to Consider 

  1. Landlord Insurance – These policies typically cover a range of risks, such as property damage, loss of rental income, liability claims, and legal expenses.

  2. Hazard and Fire – This insurance covers damages caused by fire, storms, explosions, and other hazards.

  3. Commercial Liability – Liability insurance helps pay legal fees and awarded damages if a tenant or guest sues you.

  4. Flood – Hazard and fire insurance should cover you in the event of a broken pipe; however, it may not cover damage caused by water coming in from the outside., such as the July 17th storm in Berks County. WFMZ reported, "Many watched helplessly as their basements filled up with water from Sunday's storm." Flood insurance can help you recover from such an event.

  5. Sewer and Water Line Backup – A break in your sewer or water line can cause a great deal of damage. Sewer and Water Line Backup coverage can help pay for repairs and cleanup.

  6. Rent Guarantee (Aka Tenant Rent Default) – If you rely on the cash flow provided by rent from your tenants, you may want to look into rent guarantee insurance, which covers you if a tenant skips out without paying rent.

  7. Pet – For many, their pet is part of the family, and they couldn't imagine living without them. Therefore, allowing tenants to have pets can reduce vacancy and enable you to charge higher rents. But pets can cause damage or injuries, so if you decide to make your property pet-friendly, you may want to consider pet coverage.

  8. Loss of Income – If there is a fire or flooding, or any damage that makes a property uninhabitable for an extended period, loss of income coverage provides compensation to help with cash flow.

  9. Builder's Risk – If you are renovating a vacant property, you may want to consider builder's risk insurance to protect against vandalism, theft, and other damages.

  10. Umbrella Liability Insurance - Umbrella liability insurance is designed to protect your business against catastrophic losses that exceed the limits of other policies or for losses not covered by other policies. Think of it as an upgrade to your existing insurance that goes above and beyond.

How to Choose the Right Landlord Insurance Policy

When choosing landlord insurance, consider the following:

  • Coverage limits: Ensure the policy offers sufficient coverage for your property and needs.
  • Deductible: The amount you'll need to pay out of pocket before the insurance coverage kicks in.
  • Premiums: While it's important to find a policy that fits within your budget, it's also vital to ensure that you're getting sufficient coverage.

Save Now on Landlord Insurance

American Insuring Group offers a range of Landlord Insurance policies to fit your needs and budget. Our experienced independent agents can help you find the right policy to protect your investment at the best possible price, as we carefully compare competing offers from various insurance carriers.

Call today at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or connect with us online.

Tags: Landlord Insurance, Commercial Liability Insurance

10 Tips to Increase Pedestrian Safety for Commercial Truck Drivers

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Sep 16, 2023

Improve Pedestrian Safety in Trucking and Save On Truck Insurance in Allentown, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Erie, Harrisburg, Reading, Lancaster, and throughout Pennsylvania.We focus a great deal of time on safety to lower Truck Insurance because, as you know, accidents involving heavy trucks typically have serious consequences. And the more accidents and resulting insurance claims you file, the higher your insurance premiums.

One of the most vulnerable groups on the road is pedestrians, who have no protection when an accident occurs. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 7,388 pedestrians were killed in the U.S. in 2021 – a 13% increase from 2020 – and more than 60,000 pedestrians were injured. Therefore, pedestrian safety should be a part of any driver training.

10 tips to increase pedestrian safety for Commercial Truck Drivers

  1. Start Safe
    Before you begin driving, check your vehicle, clean headlights, windshield, windows, and mirrors, adjust the seat and mirrors, know your route, and identify areas you are more likely to encounter pedestrians.

  2. Eliminate Distractions
    “71 percent of large-truck crashes occurred when the truck driver was doing something besides driving the truck,” according to the NHTSA. “Staying focused on driving can help keep you, and other road users, safe on the road!” They recommend the following tips:
  • Don’t text while driving
  • Don’t use a dispatching device while driving
  • Don’t dial a handheld phone while driving
  • Don’t read, write, or use paper maps while driving
  • Avoid eating and drinking when driving
  • Don’t let objects outside of your truck distract you

  1. Be Vigilant
    Constantly scan for pedestrians on the street, sidewalks, exiting vehicles, etc., especially in congested areas or areas where pedestrians are more likely to be. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Most pedestrian deaths occur in urban areas, on roadway locations away from intersections (where higher speeds might occur), and at night.”

  2. Be Patient
    We understand that you have deadlines you need to meet. However, an accident will only delay you more, so be patient with pedestrians, especially older adults or those with disabilities.

  3. Assume Pedestrians Are Unaware of Truck Blind Spots
    You know where your blind spots are, but you may be surprised how many pedestrians do not. Many pedestrians also don’t know how your trailer will behave when you make a turn. Assume that pedestrians will not know to avoid risk areas and blind spots.

  4. Consider Driving Conditions
    Weather and road conditions can affect how quickly you can stop. Poor lighting or a nasty storm can make it harder to see pedestrians. Use extra caution and reduce your speed when driving conditions are less than optimal.

  5. Exercise Extra Care at Intersections
    Scan several times for pedestrians as they are sometimes easy to miss. Slow down as you approach an intersection, and be prepared to come to a complete stop. Make eye contact with pedestrians and give them the right of way.

  6. Don’t Block Crosswalks
    Whether the crosswalks are marked or not, going around your vehicle can put pedestrians in the path of moving traffic.

  7. Notice Distracted Pedestrians
    Just like drivers, pedestrians can easily be distracted. Watch for pedestrians using handheld devices, wearing headphones, with children, etc. They may walk slower, ignore traffic, be unaware of hazards, etc.

  8. Remember – You are the Best Line of Defense
    Driver error is the cause of many large truck accidents. Therefore, as the driver, you are the best line of defense when it comes to protecting pedestrians.

Lower Your Truck Insurance Costs

Minimizing accidents and the resulting claims is just one way to lower Truck Insurance costs. American Insuring Group specializes in Truck Insurance, so we can ensure you have the right coverage at the best price. As independent agents, they will compare the cost of your coverage with several insurance carriers to ensure you pay the lowest premium.

Give us a call today at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or connect with us online.

Tags: Commercial Vehicle Insurance, truck insurance, Trucking Insurance, Safe Driving Tips, Commercial Auto Insurance

How Does a WC Claim Affect My Business?

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Sep 09, 2023

Contact us to buy Workers Compensation Insurance in Pittsburgh, Erie, Philadelphia, Lancaster, Harrisburg, Allentown, Reading, York, and throughout Pennsylvania.Most states, including Pennsylvania, require employers to provide Workers' Compensation Insurance for their employees. "Failure to comply with these laws subjects employers to lawsuits by employees and criminal prosecution which could result in substantial fines, imprisonment or both," according to the PA Department of Labor & Industry.

What is Workers' Compensation Insurance?

If an employee is injured in the workplace or becomes ill due to their work environment, Workers' Compensation (WC) Insurance helps cover medical costs and lost wages. In Pennsylvania, WC covers health care expenses, ongoing care, illnesses, repetitive injuries, partial or total disability payments, permanent injury payments, and death benefits. It doesn't matter who or what caused the injury – a faulty machine, the employee, a co-worker, etc.

WC also benefits the employer by limiting an injured employee's right to sue an employer directly for damages that injury or illness causes.

How Workers' Comp Claims Affect Your Business

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) $afety Pays Program, the following are both direct and indirect costs of Workers' Compensation claims:

  • Any wages paid to injured workers for absences not covered by workers' compensation
  • The wage costs related to time lost through work stoppage associated with the worker injury
  • The overtime costs necessitated by the injury
  • Administrative time spent by supervisors, safety personnel, and clerical workers after an injury
  • Training costs for a replacement worker
  • Lost productivity related to work rescheduling, new employee learning curves, and accommodation of injured employees
  • Clean-up, repair, and replacement costs of damaged material, machinery, and property
  • The costs of OSHA fines and any associated legal action
  • Third-party liability and legal costs
  • Worker pain and suffering
  • Loss of goodwill from bad publicity

 Cost of Not Filing a WC Claim When an Employee is Injured on the Job

We want to clarify that we are NOT suggesting that you not file a claim when an employee is injured on the job. We understand that filing a claim takes time and may increase your WC costs, but failing to report a WC claim promptly can hurt your business, your injured employee, and your worker's comp insurance costs. It can result in legal action against your business, a minor injury morphing into a more severe injury, bad relationships with all employees, bad publicity, and more.

On the other hand, there are many benefits of reporting a WC claim promptly – preservation of evidence, lower cost of claims, quicker return to work, decreased litigation, fraud prevention, and more. There are better ways to lower the cost of WC claims.

15 Tips to Lower the Costs of WC Claims

Are You Paying Too Much for Worker's Compensation Insurance?

American Insuring Group offers cost-effective Worker's Compensation Insurance from many competing insurance companies. We'll work hard to get you the best price on quality insurance to protect your employees and your business.

Don't wait! Call our independent agents today at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or connect with us online.

Tags: Workers Compensation Insurance, workers comp, workers comp costs

Subcontractors and Liability

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Aug 26, 2023

Reduce Liability for Subcontractors with the Best Liability Insurance in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Erie, Allentown, Lancaster, Reading, York, and throughout PA.As a general contractor, it may feel as if you’re a Jack of all trades, but sometimes you need to call in an expert (or a subcontractor) – an electrician, plumber, carpenter, etc. – on a project. And sometimes, you are the expert hired as a subcontractor.

Whether you are the general contractor or the subcontractor, your business success depends on your understanding of your legal liability and the right Contractor Insurance to protect you from that liability if something goes wrong. Furthermore, having the right liability insurance helps build trust with potential clients and can result in bigger contracts.

General Contractor vs. Subcontractor

Sometimes the line between a contractor and a subcontractor is a little fuzzy. Generally, a contractor is hired by and works for the client on a project. However, a contractor is not an employee of the client. They work for them on a contractual basis, which means the contractor is responsible for fulfilling the contract and is liable for the entire project, even if the problem occurs with something a subcontractor did.

Subcontractors are hired by general contractors to perform a specific task or service. A subcontractor reports to and is liable to the general contractor. If a problem occurs with something a subcontractor did, the client may sue the contractor, who may, in turn, sue the subcontractor.

Most Common Contractor Liability Claims

The best defense against liability claims is first understanding your biggest risks and then either transferring those risks or ensuring those risks are covered by the right insurance. The following are the two most common types of liability claims contractors face:

  1. Construction Defects – Construction defects include poor workmanship, improper or defective material, or a failure to follow construction codes. Examples of common construction defects include structural integrity, water intrusion, mechanical problems, electrical issues, etc.

  2. Construction Delays – Delays are frustrating and costly and can happen for many reasons – weather, defective plans, labor shortages, equipment failures, etc. Some delays you have some control over, and others you do not. Either way, clients can sue if there are significant delays in the project.

Contractor Insurance

There are several types of contractor insurance that can protect both contractors and subcontractors. Depending on the scope of the work you do, you probably don’t need all of them, but it’s important to understand what is available to you.

General Liability Insurance – CGL is relevant to any business and helps protect your business from financial loss that results in property damage, bodily injury, libel, slander, lawsuits, and settlements or judgments.

Workers Compensation Insurance Workers' Compensation (WC) Insurance is mandated by Pennsylvania (and most other states) for all employers. WC was designed to protect employees injured on the job by providing lost wages, medical expenses, disability expenses, and funeral costs. As a no-fault benefit, WC also helps protect your business from direct lawsuits by employees injured on the job. Failure to comply can lead to misdemeanor or felony charges and fines.

Commercial Property Insurance - Commercial Property Insurance helps repair or replace your physical assets, such as the building, furniture, computers, inventory, etc., if they are damaged by fire, hail, lightning, windstorms, vandalism, and explosions.  

Builders Risk Insurance - Builders’ Risk Insurance - also called Course of Construction Insurance or Inland Marine coverage – is a temporary insurance policy that helps protect a renovation or new building while under construction. It typically covers a building, structure, materials, tools, and equipment on a job site, in transit, or stored elsewhere during construction or renovation.

Commercial Auto Insurance - If you use a vehicle to conduct business, such as transporting materials, equipment, or employees, you should have commercial automobile insurance to help protect you in the event of an accident that causes bodily injury, loss of life, or property damage. 

Professional Liability Insurance - Professional Liability Insurance goes by many names, such as Errors and Omissions and E & O insurance. Professional Liability Insurance protects your business if you face a lawsuit claiming you made a mistake in your professional services - whether or not you actually made a mistake.

Umbrella Insurance - Insurance liability policies include a limit (the maximum amount an insurer will pay if a claim is filed). Commercial Umbrella Insurance helps cover the difference if a claim exceeds a policy's limit.

Cyber Insurance - Cyber Insurance helps cover your business' liability for data breaches that involve sensitive information, such as credit card numbers, driver's license numbers, and health records

Pollution Liability Insurance - Pollution Liability Insurance protects your business if you're held liable for a pollution incident on a worksite.

Gap Insurance – Often overlooked, Gap Insurance helps cover the cost difference to pay off a lease balance when a vehicle's value is less than the leasing company's payoff in a total loss accident.

Business Income Coverage/ Business Interruption – If you are forced to shut down your business after experiencing covered property damage (such as fires, storms, etc.), Business Income coverage can help replace lost income.

Get the Right Contractor Insurance!

The right insurance helps protect both contractors and subcontractors from the liabilities they face. The experienced independent agents at American Insuring Group will help you get the right insurance to protect your business at the lowest cost.

Call today at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or connect with us online.

Tags: Construction Insurance, Construction Risk Insurance, Contractor Insurance, Contractual Risk Transfer

10 Tips to Lower Landlord Insurance Costs

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Aug 19, 2023

10 Tips to Lower Your Landlord Insurance Costs in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Erie, Lancaster, Lehigh Valley, Berks County, and throughout Pennsylvania.Landlord Insurance is not required by law but is essential if you want to protect yourself, your rental property, and your tenants. Furthermore, most lenders will require that you have it. Renting your property – house, condo, apartment building, etc. – to someone else presents unique risks that regular homeowners' insurance won't cover.

What is Landlord Insurance?

Landlord Insurance is a type of homeowner's insurance that covers damage to your rental property and helps protect you against any lawsuits related to the property. Your coverage may vary, but Landlord Insurance typically covers property damage caused by risks such as fire, lightning, windstorms, vandalism, etc. It also helps cover liability claims, legal expenses, and loss of rental income.

The Insurance Information Institute reports, "Landlord policies generally cost about 25 percent more than a standard homeowners policy to pay for increased protections." The good news is that Pennsylvania is one of the cheapest states when it comes to Landlord Insurance costs.

As a landlord, you may be looking for ways to lower the cost of landlord Insurance and improve your bottom line.

10 tips to help you lower Landlord Insurance Costs:

  1. Properly maintain your property - Proper maintenance helps attract and retain better tenants, preserve and increase your property's value, prevent more costly repairs, and help lower Landlord Insurance costs. Experts suggest the following maintenance measures – air filter replacement, regular exterminations, smoke and carbon monoxide detector tests, water heater draining, bathroom re-caulking, gutter cleaning, and regular inspections.
  2. Make safety a priority – A safer property translates to lower liability risks and fewer claims. "Every property manager should follow some basic safety tips and procedures to make tenants more safe," Experts recommend. "Whether it's physical property modifications, rules for behavior, or your selection of services and vendors, just a little goes a long way when it comes to enhancing property safety."

  3. Install safety features – Installation of safety features, such as proper lighting, secure doors and windows, security cameras, carbon monoxide and smoke detectors, and alarms, can significantly improve the safety of your tenants and your property.

  4. Make renters' insurance a requirement - Renters' insurance is not required by law, but landlords can make it a requirement as part of a tenant's lease. Requiring renters' insurance can help mitigate the risk of a lawsuit, reduce your responsibility, cover your deductible, provide peace of mind, lower insurance premiums, and more.

  5. Watch Your Property Valuations – The value of your property and replacement costs can fluctuate, so if you want to ensure you have the right insurance coverage at the lowest cost, keep an eye on your property's value.

  6. Increase your policy's deductible – Increasing the deductible (the amount you pay if a claim is filed) can help lower your annual premiums; however, you must ensure that you have enough available funds to cover your deductible in the event of a claim.

  7. Pay your premium annually – Typically, paying your insurance premium in full for the year is lower than paying the premium monthly or in installments.

  8. Bundle insurance policies – If you have more than one rental property or require additional insurance coverage, purchasing all of your policies with one insurance company may lower your premiums.

  9. Don't pay for coverage you don't need – There are many optional riders landlords may want to consider to provide further protection. Still, It's important to consider whether you face the potential risk before adding a rider.

  10. Work with American Insuring Group – We have agents who specialize in Landlord Insurance to ensure you have the right coverage. As independent agents, we check with many insurance companies to ensure you pay the lowest premium for that coverage.

Get a Free Landlord Insurance Quote Today!

At American Insuring Group, we offer comprehensive landlord insurance policies that cover a range of risks, from property damage to liability claims. Our affordable policies protect your investment and give you peace of mind. Our independent agents compare policies from competing insurance companies to make sure you get the right insurance at the best price.

✅ Call us today for a quote at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or connect with us online and start saving!

Tags: Landlord Insurance

How to Hire Safe Truck Drivers: 8 Tips

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Aug 12, 2023

Hire Safe Truck Drivers and Save on Trucking Insurance in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Allentown, Erie, Lancaster, Lebanon, Reading, York, and throughout PA.One way to lower Commercial Truck Insurance and other operating costs is to minimize risks. One way to minimize risk is to hire safe drivers. You’ve probably heard the adage that goes something like this: “Employees can be your most valuable asset… your competitive advantage.” Most business owners/managers would agree, but many would add that employees can also be your greatest liability.

However, the ongoing shortage of drivers is probably creating additional challenges when it comes to hiring employees who become valuable assets rather than your greatest liability. The good news is that according to experts, “The number of unfilled driver jobs slid to nearly 78,000, down about 4% from a record 81,258 in 2021.” The bad news is that slight improvement is expected to be temporary, which may have you thinking that sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures. NOT at the expense of your business! Hiring the safest drivers available is crucial to your business’s success.

Unsafe drivers increase operating costs, increase turnover rates, and can damage your business reputation. Data shows that “the best drivers can reduce costs by more than 12%, but the worst drivers can increase costs by more than 13%.” Taking the time now to evaluate candidates and hire the best drivers available to lower costs and minimize additional headaches down the road makes good business sense.

8 Tips for Hiring Safe Drivers

  1. Set Standards – Set specific standards, such as the minimum number of driving years required, the maximum number of moving violations, etc.

  2. Create a Culture of SafetyA safety culture is “an [organizational] culture that places a high level of importance on safety beliefs, values, and attitudes—and these are shared by the majority of people within the company or workplace. It can be [characterized] as ‘the way we do things around here.’ A positive safety culture can result in improved workplace health and safety (WHS) and [organizational] performance.”

  3. Review Motor Vehicle Records (MVR) – An MVR will include basic information, the candidate’s driver’s license number, their license classifications, and their license status. It will also disclose any traffic citations, license suspensions, DUI convictions, and accident reports. Drivers with serious moving violations or accidents on their record may not be good candidates.

  4. Contact Previous Employers – The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) requires that “you verify an applicant’s safety performance history with their past employers for at least the past three years.” Plus, this simple step can save headaches and costs down the road.

  5. Review DOT Safety Performance - The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Pre-Employment Screening Program (PSP) allows you to obtain a 3-year history of an applicant’s DOT inspection and violation history and a 5-year history of DOT-recordable crashes for a nominal fee.

  6. Conduct a Pre-Employment Drug Testing – Instituting a pre-employment drug testing program can help keep unsafe drivers off the road.

  7. Require a Road Test – A driving test is one of the best ways to discover a driver’s temperament, driving skills, and how safe a driver they will be.

  8. Document – Keeping detailed records can help provide a complete picture of an applicant’s qualifications, making it easier to compare candidates. Furthermore, the DOT requires that you maintain a driver qualification file for all employees who operate a commercial vehicle that includes information such as your inquiry to previous employers, inquiry to state agencies, inquiry about drug and alcohol tests, etc.

Call for a Truck Insurance Quote Today!

American Insuring Group specializes in Truck Insurance, and as independent agents, we compare the cost of your insurance among multiple carriers to ensure you pay the lowest premium.

Call (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 for a FREE QUOTE or connect with us online.

Tags: truck insurance, commercial vehicle insuarance, Trucking Insurance, Safe Driving Tips, Commercial Auto Insurance

How Do Small Workers Comp Claims Morph Into Big Workers Comp Claims?

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Aug 05, 2023

Avoid Workers Comp Insurance Claims. We Offer the Best Workers Comp Insurance in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, Allentown, Reading, Lancaster, Erie, and throughout Pennsylvania. Call today.One way to lower Workers’ Compensation (WC) Insurance is to close claims quickly. Unfortunately, some claims seem to take on a life of their own, and what starts out as a small medical claim morphs into a lost time claim. Proactively and carefully managing WC claims is key to minimizing the risk of that happening and affecting your bottom line (higher WC costs, lower productivity, unnecessary use of resources, lower employee morale, and lost time). The first step is to recognize what causes small claims to morph into big ones.

6 Things that Cause Small Workers Comp Claims To Morph Into Big Workers Comp Claims

  1. Lack of Communication With Injured Employees

As with any relationship, communication is vital. Unfortunately, many business owners are under the false impression that communicating with injured employees can cause WC claims and increase the cost of those claims. Nothing could be further from the truth. 

An injury can be frightening for an employee. They may worry about their injury, recovery, or how they’ll continue to support their family. They may be in pain or facing unfamiliar medical treatments. Furthermore, WC claims can be complicated. Regular communication helps employees understand your policies related to injuries and return-to-work programs, helps ease their minds, and creates a more collaborative relationship to bring claims to a close quickly.

Furthermore, one study found that “46% [of injured employees] said they hired attorneys because they felt the claim had been denied when, in fact, it had not yet been accepted into the process.” And the truth is that WC cases that involve attorneys often cost more. 

  1. Lack of Medical Care

Continuing to work with the injury may cause a minor injury to turn into a more severe injury. But sometimes injured employees are not aware that their medical expenses will be paid in full by WC if the injury occurs in the workplace, or they may be concerned about losing time from work, so they don’t go to a physician.

Furthermore, it may seem easier for the supervisor/manager to make an incident-only record instead of a WC claim when the injury occurs. That can lead to many headaches and cost more down the road, so injured employees must be encouraged to seek medical attention if injured on the job immediately.

  1. Lack of Proper Medical Triage

Some bigger businesses and insurers have triage nurses who can evaluate an injured employee and recommend appropriate medical treatment. Many small to medium-sized businesses do not have this luxury and rely on a physician in an emergency room or urgent care.

As an employer, you need to ensure that employees understand your Return-to-Work program and encourage them to describe their regular work duties to the physician who treats them, so the physician can make an informed decision about whether an injured employee can go back to their regular work duties or perhaps lighter duties.

  1. Improper Medical Care

Primary care physicians are great at handling routine sickness but may not be the best choice for workplace injuries. However, there are medical care providers who specialize in work-related injuries and realize that many employers offer RTW programs and the benefits of these programs to both employer and employee.

The PA Workers’ Compensation Act allows employers to establish a list of designated healthcare providers and states that injured employees “must seek treatment for the work injury or illness with one of the designated providers for 90 days from the date of the first visit.” Without this list, injured employees can seek medical treatment from any provider. Creating a list of good healthcare providers for your injured employees not only helps you manage healthcare costs and lower WC insurance; it also helps ensure that your injured employees receive the best care possible. 

  1. Fraud

Fortunately, most employees are honest and hardworking; however, a few will try to take advantage of the system by committing WC Fraud. Examples of fraud include faking an injury, inflating an injury, and reporting an injury that happened off the job. Employers and medical providers can also engage in fraudulent WC activities. There are steps you can take to recognize and prevent WC fraud.

  1. Not Having a Return-to-Work (RTW) Program

We’ve mentioned RTWs several times, so it may be obvious how crucial they are to prevent small claims from morphing into big claims and, of course, lowering WC costs. An RTW program is designed to get injured employees back to work as soon as possible (based on their doctor’s recommendation). That could mean the injured employee returns to modified duties or a temporary position to accommodate any limitations caused by the injury.

Lower Your Workers’ Compensation Costs

Doing what you can to ensure that small WC claims don’t morph into big WC claims is one way to lower your Workers’ Comp costs. Buying the right WC Insurance is another. Our experienced independent agents at American Insuring Group can help you save on the insurance that's right for you.

Call us today at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or connect with us online!

Tags: Workers Compensation Insurance, workers comp, workers comp costs, Workers Compensation Insurance Fraud

30 Circular Saw Safety Tips for Contractors

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Jul 29, 2023

Follow These Safety Tips and Save on Contractor Insurance in Philadelphia, Reading, Pittsburgh, Erie, Lancaster, Allentown, York, and Throughout PennsylvaniaReducing worksite hazards can help save Contractor Insurance costs, and one significant worksite hazard is power tools, including circular saws. “Approximately 40,000 Americans go to hospital emergency rooms every year with injuries sustained while operating table saws.  About 4,000 of those injuries – or more than 10 every day – are amputations,” according to the National Consumers League. “Table saw injuries cost the United States approximately $2 billion every year.”

Circular saws are a mainstay at most construction worksites; however, these indispensable power tools also come with many hazards:

  • Projected particles
  • Electric shocks
  • Breakage of the disc
  • Cuts and amputations
  • Blows caused by objects
  • Abrasions and becoming trapped
  • Overstrain
  • Ambient noise

If you want to lower insurance and other operating costs, it’s crucial that you train your workers on these hazards and how to avoid them.

30 Circular Saw Safety Tips

  1. Wear safety glasses
  2. Wear hearing protection
  3. Wear a respirator or dust mask
  4. Keep long hair tied back and avoid wearing loose clothing and jewelry
  5. Prepare a stable surface
  6. Keep the area clear of debris, cutoffs, sawdust, etc.
  7. Check safety features before using a saw
  8. Check the saw for proper blade rotation
  9. Do not start with the blade engaged
  10. Allow the saw to reach full power before cutting
  11. Set the depth of the saw to 1/8” thicker than the material being cut
  12. Do not alter the manufacturer’s guard
  13. Don’t cut with a dull blade
  14. Select the correct blade for the material being cut
  15. Don’t try to twist the blade while cutting
  16. Don’t try to remove the blade while it is cutting
  17. Before starting and frequently while cutting, ensure that the blade guard works freely
  18. Be aware of knots, foreign objects such as staples or screws, and sap in the wood
  19. Cut smaller material from larger material first
  20. Use an outfeed table or stand when cutting large pieces of material
  21. Use a push stick when the material has less than six inches of width of stock away from the blade
  22. Stand to the side when cutting material to protect you from kickback
  23. Maintain a solid stance with a wide base to maintain balance
  24. Do not reach over a moving blade
  25. Keep two hands on the saw
  26. Do not force the saw while cutting
  27. Keep electrical cords clear of the cutting path
  28. Unplug the saw before making adjustments, replacing the blade, or repairing the saw
  29. Do not move or carry the saw with your hand or finger on the trigger switch
  30. Take extra precaution if you are left-handed, as circular saws are designed for right-handed people

Want to Lower Your Contractors Insurance Costs?

Want to lower your Contractor Insurance costs? It’s simple (not always easy, but simple). Create a safer work environment, which results in fewer injuries, fewer claims, and lower operating costs, including insurance premiums, along with happier, more productive employees and a healthier bottom line.

American Insuring Group can help. As Contractor Insurance experts, we provide a variety of money-saving topics (from policy review tips to contractual risk transfer) and safety-related tips (from protecting construction workers from traumatic brain injuries and circular saw accidents to safe lifting practices). Furthermore, as independent agents, we compare the cost of your coverage with several carriers to ensure you pay the lowest premium.

Don't Wait. Give us a call today at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or connect with us online for a free insurance quote!

Tags: Construction Insurance, Contractor Insurance, Contractor Safety Management, Toolbox Talk

Landlord Insurance FAQs and Answers

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Jul 22, 2023

Use these FAQs to save on Landlord Insurance in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Erie, Allentown, Reading, York, and throughout PAA rental property is a significant investment that you have no choice but to entrust to total strangers. Landlord Insurance can protect you, your property, and your tenants. However, as an investor, you are probably looking to make a profit on your rental property, so you want to ensure you have the right coverage at the lowest cost possible.

Understanding Landlord Insurance and working with the right insurance agent can help ensure that happens.

5 Landlord Insurance FAQs 

1. What is Landlord Insurance?

Landlord Insurance is a unique type of homeowners' insurance that protects your property – house, condo, guest house, apartment building, commercial building, etc. – if you rent it out to someone else. Rental properties present unique risks, and homeowners' insurance won't cover damage to a rental property or protect you against any lawsuits related to the property. Landlord Insurance does this and more. Typically, Landlord Insurance is not required by law, but most lenders will require it, and it makes good business sense.

2. What Does Landlord Insurance Typically Cover?

Landlord Insurance is customized to your needs so that coverage can vary. However, most landlord insurance will cover the following against fire, lightning, smoke, explosion, hail, aircraft, vehicle, windstorm, and vandalism:

  • Damage to property
  • Liability claims
  • Legal expenses
  • Loss of rental income

Typically, landlord insurance does not cover the following:

  • Maintenance
  • Equipment breakdowns
  • Tenant's personal property

Optional Riders landlords may want to consider:

  • Burglary – This covers items – such as refrigerators, ovens, washers, and dryers - owned by the landlord but used in a rental property.

  • Vandalism – This rider is helpful for properties in high-crime areas. It covers damage – such as graffiti, cement in the plumbing, etc. – done by someone breaking into the property.

  • Non-occupied Dwelling – If a property or unit is vacant for an extended period, your landlord insurance may not cover claims during that time. For example: if you are remodeling or making major repairs to an apartment, a non-occupied dwelling rider will extend your coverage.

  • HVAC Loss Reimbursement – This rider covers mechanical breakdowns of your HVAC system.

3. Do I Need Landlord Insurance if My Tenants Have Renters Insurance?

Renters' insurance typically includes personal property coverage, renters' liability insurance, guest medical expenses, and additional living expenses against disasters, such as fire, theft, and vandalism. It does NOT cover the building.

Renters' insurance is also not required by law, and only 55% of U.S. renters purchase it to protect their property. However, landlords can make renters' insurance a requirement of a tenant's lease, and "75 percent of insured renters are required by their landlords to obtain renter's coverage."

While renters insurance will NOT cover your property, there are many benefits of requiring renters insurance:

  • Mitigates the threat of a lawsuit
  • Reduces your responsibility
  • Helps you find responsible tenants
  • Covers your deductible
  • Provides peace of mind

4. Are Landlord Insurance Premiums Tax Deductible?

Yes. Because owning and renting property is a business, your Landlord Insurance is considered an expense, and the premiums you pay are tax deductible.

5. How Can I Lower Landlord Insurance Costs?

Here are eight tips to help you save on Landlord Insurance costs:

  1. Properly maintain your property
  2. Install safety features, such as security cameras, smoke detectors, and alarms
  3. Make renters' insurance a requirement
  4. Increase your policy's deductible
  5. Pay your premium annually
  6. Bundle insurance policies
  7. Don't pay for coverage you don't need
  8. Work with one of the independent Landlord Insurance specialists at American Insuring Group

Don't Overpay for Landlord Insurance!

Now that you understand Landlord Insurance better, be sure to contact one of the independent agents at American Insuring Group so you can start saving! We help you get the best price on the coverage you need.

Call (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or connect with us online.


Tags: Landlord Insurance

Optimal Seating Position for Truckers

Posted by David Ross on Sat, Jul 15, 2023

Proper Seating Position Can Help You Save on Truck insurance in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Erie, Allentown, Reading, Lancaster, York, and throughout Pennsylvania.When we think of ways to lower the number of claims to reduce Commercial Truck Insurance costs, most people probably think about minimizing the risk of accidents. This makes sense because trucks are bigger, which means it takes them longer to stop and can cause more damage than a passenger vehicle.

However, another hazard truck drivers face isn’t so obvious – the long hours they spend sitting in tiring, restrictive, or uncomfortable postures. “Researchers have associated sedentary behavior with approximately 35 chronic diseases and conditions,” according to Truckers News. Chronic conditions include obesity, sleep apnea, poor circulation, accelerated biological aging, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and peripheral artery disease.

A National Library of Medicine (NLM) study of long-haul truck drivers found that 69% of respondents were classified as obese, which increases the risk for many severe health conditions, such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, many types of cancers, mental illness, body pain, and low quality of life.

Another NLM study found that 78.6% of truck drivers have musculoskeletal disorders (MSD). “Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are soft-tissue injuries caused by sudden or sustained exposure to repetitive motion, force, vibration, and awkward positions,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports. “These disorders can affect the muscles, nerves, tendons, joints, and cartilage in your upper and lower limbs, neck, and lower back.“

Optimal Seating Position

Understanding the optimal seating position can help alleviate many health issues by decreasing strain on various body parts. Plus, it can increase driver comfort, increase safety in a vehicle accident, and optimize the visibility of the vehicle controls while driving.

Experts recommend these steps to adjust your seat optimally:

  • Step 1: Using the forward and reverse seat controls, adjust your seat so your knees are slightly bent. A two-finger gap should exist between the back of your knee and the seat.
  • Step 2: Raise the seat until your hips are level with your knees.
  • Step 3: Adjust the backrest so that your back is at a 100-degree angle.
  • Step 4: Adjust the headrest so that it is centered with the back of your head.
  • Step 5: Adjust the lumbar support control so that it fits in the curve of your lower back

Experts recommend these tips to sit in your seat optimally:

  • Sit with your body the whole way back in your seat.
  • Hold the steering wheel in the “9 and 3” position. Driving with two hands is safer and causes less strain on the spine.
  • Keep your left foot on the footrest as much as possible. This helps minimize strain on the back and pelvis.
  • Adjust the seat belt so that it wraps around your pelvis area and not your stomach. This will ensure the most protection in the event of an accident.

Regular breaks and stretching are another critical step in alleviating many health consequences of long-haul driving. The rule of thumb is to take a 15-minute break for every two hours on the road.

Stretching before, during, and after a trip and during regular workouts can also help. “Stretching keeps the muscles flexible, strong, and healthy, and we need that flexibility to maintain a range of motion in the joints,” according to the Harvard Medical School. “Without it, the muscles shorten and become tight. Then, when you call on the muscles for activity, they are weak and unable to extend all the way. That puts you at risk for joint pain, strains, and muscle damage.”

Lower Your Commercial Truck Insurance Cost

American Insuring Group is committed to providing affordable commercial truck insurance. As Truck Insurance experts and independent agents, we compare the cost of your coverage among multiple insurance companies to ensure that you pay the lowest premium for the right coverage.

Call us today at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or connect with us online!

Tags: Commercial Vehicle Insurance, truck insurance, Trucking Insurance, Repetitive Motion Injuries, Commercial Auto Insurance