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Workers Compensation Insurance in the Construction Industry

Posted by David Ross on Sun, Sep 16, 2018

Workers Comp insurance costs are high in the construction industry, but here's how to lower them in Philadelphia, Reading, Chambersburg, Allentown, Erie, Pittsburgh, PA and beyond.We’re sure it comes as no surprise that the cost of Workers Compensation insurance is higher in the construction industry than in most industries. The main reason for this is that worksites can be dangerous places.

There’s heavy equipment being used, people working at great heights, continually changing surroundings, and too often, safety training is put off due to tight deadlines. These potential hazards often result in more frequent workers comp claims and more severe injuries, which means higher medical payments and in turn higher workers comp insurance costs for employers.

Unique WC Challenges in the Construction Industry

In addition to higher risk, construction companies face some unique workers comp safety challenges: 

  • There is usually a mix of employees and subcontractors working at the same job site, which makes it more challenging to ensure consistent safety training and the enforcement of safety procedures. Contractors should always verify that subcontractors have adequate workers' compensation coverage.
  • Falls account for an estimated 30% of all construction claim payments. Injuries from a fall are usually more severe and result in more time away from work and damage to more than one body part. Falls are also the leading cause of death for construction employees accounting for 370 of the 991 construction fatalities in 2016.
  • Skilled tradesmen usually require specialized training and undergo unique physical demands, which often means higher pay that results in indemnity benefits that are either near or at the state’s maximum level. Indemnity benefits are benefits paid to the injured employee to replace part of his or her lost income and account for about half of all the money spent on WC claims in the construction industry.
  • Finding modified duty for injured construction workers can be difficult because once a project is completed, the company moves to another location – sometimes in a different state.

How to Reduce Workers Compensation Insurance Costs in the Construction Industry

Create a Safer working Environment

It’s impossible to eliminate all hazards at a worksite, but there are steps you can take to minimize those hazards. Construct Connect offers these tips:

  • Establish a Safety Culture – A commitment to safety needs to start at the top, and it needs to be incorporated as one of the core principles of your company’s culture.
  • Create a Site-Specific Safety Plan – Each job site is different and comes with its own unique set of hazards, so a safety plan needs to be created for each site.
  • Training – Safety training should be thorough and ongoing.
  • Empower Workers to Speak Up and Hold Each Other Accountable – Everyone on a job site should feel comfortable speaking up if they observe unsafe working conditions.
  • Conduct Daily Safety Meetings – Quickly review the work being done that day and discuss the hazards involved and the safety measures and controls in place.
  • Inspect, Evaluate, and Adjust – Every day the construction site should be inspected, and as construction progresses, the safety plan should be evaluated to see if any changes need to be made.

Return-to-Work Program

Another way to reduce WC insurance costs is to have a good return-to-work program that gets injured employees back to work as quickly and safely as possible, even if that means modified duties. Research shows that there are many benefits to getting an injured employee back to work: 

  • Reduces the financial impact of the injury
  • Lowers likelihood of fraudulent claims
  • Reduces the cost of training and replacing employees
  • Promotes good morale among the injured employee and his or her co-workers
  • Can speed up the healing process

We Specialize in Insurance for the Construction Industry

American Insuring Group specializes in insurance for the construction industry in Pennsylvania and beyond. We understand your unique challenges and can help ensure that you have the right coverage. Plus, we compare pricing with competing insurance companies to make sure you get the best price on workers compensation insurance and on all other types of insurance for your construction business.

If you want to learn more about saving money on business insurance, give one of the experienced independent agents at American Insuring Group a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 or click here to contact us.

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

What is Commercial Liability Insurance and Do You Need it?

Posted by David Ross on Sun, Sep 02, 2018
Business-Liability-Insurance-2018-Tips-300Every business – no matter how big or how small – faces liability, but do you need general liability insurance? Regardless of how careful you are, accidents can (and do) happen causing damage to property and/or injury to employees, customers, vendors, etc.

And a close cousin to liability is litigation. According to a 2013 poll, 43 percent of small-business owners have reported being threatened with or involved in a civil lawsuit. And the cost of those lawsuits wasn't small. Business owners who have had to pay legal damages, often say the costs nearly put them out of business.

What is Liability?

Liability is defined as "the state of being responsible for something, especially by law." If your business is responsible (or even perceived to be responsible) for an employee slipping, falling, and hurting themselves, your company is liable. If one of your business vehicles causes an accident and damage is caused, your business is liable. And when your business is liable for something it means that it is responsible for paying for injuries, damage, and possibly more.

What is General Liability Insurance?

General Liability insurance – also called Commercial General Business Liability Insurance, Commercial Liability Insurance, or Business Liability Insurance - pays for your businesses obligations if your business is responsible for an injury, accident, etc. It pays for things like medical costs and the cost of repairs. Liability Insurance also helps cover the cost of your legal defense and any settlements you may be required to pay if you are sued.

At an annual cost of $750-$2,000, Commercial Liability Insurance is a good investment for any business when you consider the alternative. Lawsuits can cost thousands if not millions of dollars, or worse – the loss of your business. The actual cost of your premiums will vary depending on how much coverage you need, the perceived risk of your business (i.e., contractors will pay higher premiums than bookstore owners), and where your business is located (some states are known to award more damages to plaintiffs claiming personal injury).

If your business faces excessive risk, you can choose excess or umbrella insurance, which will increase your coverage limits.

You may be able to save on Liability Insurance by bundling it with other insurance policies into what is known as a Business Owner's Policy (BOP), but liability coverage with a BOP can sometimes be quite low, so make sure that you have enough coverage.

Other Types of Liability Insurance


Sometimes businesses face unique types of liability that aren't generally covered under General Liability Insurance. Here are five different types of Liability Insurance:

Professional Liability Insurance

Also known as Errors & Omissions (E&O) or Professional Indemnity Insurance, Professional Liability Insurance addresses negligence claims due to harm that results from mistakes or failure to perform. This insurance is pretty standard for doctors, lawyers, architects, etc.

Workers' Compensation Insurance

This insurance covers medical costs and lost pay for an employee who is injured on the job. It also helps cover legal fees if the employee sues. WC is required for most businesses that have employees in Pennsylvania.

Product Liability Insurance

If a product that you manufacture causes damage or injury Product Liability Insurance can help pay for repairs, medical costs, and/or litigation fees. 

Automobile Insurance

You may not think of this as liability insurance, but if a vehicle that is owned by your company causes an accident, you are liable for any damage or injuries caused. Automobile Insurance can help cover these costs.

3 Simple Steps to Buying Liability Insurance

• Assess your risks
• Find a reputable licensed independent agent
• Re-assess every year

Our Experienced Independent Agents Can Help!

Tip: Contact us to save on Business Insurance in Berks County, Philadelphia, Lancaster, Harrisburg, Lehigh Valley PA and beyond!What type of liability insurance and how much coverage you need to protect your business is very unique. But you don't have to go it alone!

The experienced agents at American Insuring Group can help determine the best insurance to fit your needs, and as independent agents, we're able to shop among many competing insurance carriers. We're relentless in seeking the best insurance to meet your specific needs, and to get it at a great price. 

So give us a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 or find us online.

Tags: Small Business Insurance, Commercial Liability Insurance, Business Insurance

A Crash Course on Business Insurance

Posted by David Ross on Sun, Aug 19, 2018

Business insurance comes in many types. Contact us for the best business insurance at a great price.Whether you’re the owner of a one-person home-based handcrafted jewelry business or a large manufacturing plant with 300 employees, you face risk every day. You could lose your entire inventory to a fire, cause an injury while driving to a client meeting, or face a lawsuit for any number of reasons.

It is true that larger companies usually face more risk, but smaller companies typically don’t have the resources to recover from an injury, damage, or loss. One nasty lawsuit can put a small company that doesn’t have the proper protection out of business!

Business insurance acts as a safety net and helps protect your business from unforeseen circumstances such as theft or accidents, but not every company needs every type of insurance. Here’s a crash course in business insurance, but remember that an experienced, independent insurance agent can help determine what risks your business may face and the best insurance to cover those risks.

The Most Common Types of Business Insurance

There are many different types of insurance, and most businesses aren’t prone to every one of the risks these insurances address, but it’s good to know what is available to you.

Commercial Liability Insurance

This is a big one that most businesses need. Liability insurance protects you from lawsuits filed by customers, clients, or anyone else who decides to sue you. The three most common types of commercial liability insurance include general liability, umbrella liability, and errors and omissions liability.

  • General Liability Insurance protects your businesses from lawsuits for bodily injury or property damage.
  • Umbrella Liability Insurance goes above and beyond general liability insurance with broader coverage. Plus, if you’re on the wrong end of a huge lawsuit, umbrella liability picks up when your general liability is tapped out.
  • Errors and Omissions (E&O) Liability Insurance (A.k.a. Professional Liability Insurance) covers you if you’re sued for negligent acts or failure to provide the level of advice or service expected by a customer. Some of the businesses that typically carry this insurance are engineers, lawyers, and consultants.

Commercial Auto Insurance

Personal auto policies are meant to cover individuals and their family members and may contain exclusions for certain types of business activities. If you use any vehicle – car, truck, van, etc. - to conduct business, you’ll want to look into a commercial auto policy to cover both liability and physical damage in the event of an accident.

Workers’ Compensation (WC) Insurance

WC covers the cost of medical care and lost wages for employees who are injured on the job and litigation fees for businesses that are sued by an injured worker. In Pennsylvania, It is required for most businesses with employees.

Other Types of Business Insurance

Other types of coverage may be specific to a business or an industry. For example, if a company depends on one person to continue operating, they may want to purchase Key Person Insurance to protect them if that person becomes disabled or dies. If a business serves alcohol, they should look at Liquor Liability Insurance because most General Liability Insurance policies don’t cover incidents caused by serving alcohol.

How the Cost of Business Insurance is Determined

Many factors determine your insurance premiums (the amount you pay for insurance). Here are a few:

  • Type of business: If you’re in an industry that is notoriously dangerous like construction you’ll pay more than a shop that sells kitchen gadgets.
  • Age of Business: If you’ve been in business for a while, you may see some of your insurance premiums decrease.
  • Claim History: If your company has a history of making a lot of claims, you’ll probably pay more than one that doesn’t.
  • Your deductible: Usually the higher the deductible (the amount you pay out of pocket when a claim is made), the lower your premiums.

How to Purchase Business Insurance

First, you’ll want to select an agent who is licensed to sell property/casualty insurance. Also, an agent who is familiar with your business is better suited to determine your risks and your insurance needs.

Purchasing business insurance online is probably not a good idea especially if you’re unfamiliar with insurance. Having an agent that you can talk to and ask questions, is well worth any savings you may or may not find online.

 

Are You Ready to Save on Great Insurance For Your Business?

As a broker, American Insuring Group represents several insurance companies, which means that we can compare prices among lots of competing providers, and take advantage of available discounts. The result? You get the best price on your insurance!

For a free business insurance quote, give us a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 or contact us online.

Tags: Workers Compensation Insurance, Commercial Vehicle Insurance, Commercial Liability Insurance, Business Insurance, Commercial Auto Insurance

Restaurant Workers Comp Insurance: The Good, Bad and Ugly

Posted by David Ross on Sun, Aug 12, 2018

Restaurants come in all shapes and sizes from national fast-food chains to family-run diners with a single location. A safe restaurant can lower your workers compensation insurance costs in Allentown, Philadelphia, Reading, Lancaster, Pittsburgh, Erie, PA and beyond. it’s a mixed bag.

On one hand, the cost of workers comp insurance for servers, cashiers, busboys, dishwashers, and management is lower than average for all occupations. On the other hand, the cost for WC insurance for cooks is above average. 

Most Workers Comp Insurance Claims are Small

Thankfully, most injuries that occur within a restaurant are relatively minor. This translates to lower medical benefits costs, lower temporary total indemnity benefits costs, and infrequent permanent partial disability benefits.

The restaurant industry has a high turnover rate, which often means that safety training is limited, which can lead to more injuries.

Returning to Work

Getting employees back to work quickly and safety after a workplace injury is always a priority of a good workers compensation program. With the restaurant industry, the bad news is that the high number of employees who speak English as a second language can make placement in alternative duty positions challenging; the good news is that there are plenty of modified duties available. Here are just a few examples:

  • A waiter or waitress can fill in as host or hostess.
  • Some injured employees can do side work like setting up the tables or filling water glasses, salt and pepper shakers, ketchup bottles., etc.
  • A dishwasher can ask another employee to carry heavy tubs of dirty dishes so he or she can wash them.

How to Lower Your Workers Compensation Insurance Costs

Workers compensation insurance rates often come down to safety. More injuries mean higher workers comp costs, and of course fewer injuries mean lower insurance costs. It may not be easy, but it is worth it. For every one dollar spent on safety programs, businesses can save $4 to $6 from costs associated with injuries and fatalities, according to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Here are a few tips to help reduce the number of injuries at your restaurant:

  • Create a safety program for your restaurant and provide safety and first aid training

  • Require that all injuries – no matter how small - be reported so you can identify patterns or potential problems before something big happens

  • Offer employees incentives such as safety awards and other prizes for employees who follow your safety program.

Common Restaurant Injuries

In and out of the kitchen, injuries from falls and disability from repetitive motion injuries occur more frequently in restaurants than in most industries. While most injuries are minor, severe injuries, can and do occur in restaurants, especially in the kitchen. Here are three of the most common injuries in restaurant kitchens according to QSR magazine:

Burns

More than 5,000 restaurant fires are reported in the U.S. every year resulting in about 100 injuries, about $116 million in property damage, and fewer than five deaths. It’s no surprise that FEMA reports cooking as the leading cause of restaurant fires accounting for 64 percent of all restaurant fires. Other causes include unintentional careless actions (4 percent), appliances (4 percent), and other heat (3 percent). Deep-fat fryers are the top cause of burns in restaurant kitchens, according to OSHA.

The National Restaurant Association recommends these burn prevention tips:

  • Use trays, hot pads, oven mitts, or dry waiter’s cloths to help carry and serve hot dishes.

  • Be careful when removing plates from heat lamps and heat strips to avoid contact with hot surfaces.

  • With deep-fat fryers, use the correct grease level, cook at the manufacturers recommended temperatures, and don’t over fill fryer baskets.

  • Because oil and water don’t mix make sure that fryer and fryer baskets are dry after washing and don’t allow excess ice crystals from frozen foods to get into the cooking oil.

  • Keep grill and stove surfaces clean to prevent grease flare-ups.

  • Use proper cooking tools such as tongs to prevent contact with hot surfaces and foods.

Lacerations and Puncture Wounds

Most cooks have had their share of scrapes and small cuts, but serious lacerations and even amputated fingers can happen. Your kitchen staff should be trained on how to use knives properly and sharp tools should always be returned to their proper location when workers are done using them. A knife left on a counter could easily fall on someone’s foot causing injury. When a laceration or puncture wound does occur, immediately treat and disinfect the wound to help prevent infection.

Sprains and Strains

Restaurant workers can suffer from strains if they’re using improper lifting techniques, and reaching for hard-to-reach items can cause injury.

Misplaced or hard-to-reach items can cause worker injury due to overreaching or trips. Restaurant workers can also suffer from strains due to improper lifting. When these injuries occur, analgesic heat rubs, muscle ointments, and aspirin can help reduce pain and maintain productivity.

 

Get a Free Workers Compensation Insurance Quote and Start Saving!

For a free workers comp insurance quote for your restaurant or other business, call American Insuring Group at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 or contact us online.

Our dedicated independent agents will carefully shop the market, leaving no stone unturned to help you find great protection at the best price!

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

3 Restaurant Insurance Tips to Protect Your Business

Posted by David Ross on Sun, Jul 08, 2018

Restaurant Insurance Tips and advice for restaurant, bar, and nightclub owners in Philadelphia, Allentown, Pittsburgh, Erie, Harrisburg, Reading, Lancaster PA and more.As a restaurant owner, you know there are certain types of restaurant insurance that you need to protect your business.

What if a customer is injured on your property and sues you? How will you repair the damages if there’s a fire in your kitchen? There are so many “what-ifs” in any business, especially if you’re in the food industry.

While you may have perfected your Béarnaise sauce and learned how to create a soufflé that stands tall, what do you really know about insurance? How well do you know each type of insurance and how much coverage you need? Let’s face it; insurance can be complicated!

That’s why your best bet is to work with an independent insurance broker who specializes in restaurant insurance and can help ensure that you have the right coverage at the best price.

 

Here are 3 Things to Consider Before Signing on the Dotted Line

#1. Assess your Risks and Insurance Needs

Play the “what if” game to determine what kind of risks your business may be susceptible to and then consider what assets are essential to running your business – the ones you can’t do business without. An underwriter from your insurance company will determine the level of risk it is willing to take and how much coverage it is ready to provide to determine your insurance premiums.

However, it’s still good to know what protection you need. And things change – maybe your business is growing, or you sold a piece of equipment – so you’ll want to have a yearly insurance checkup with your insurance agent to make sure you still have the right coverage to protect your business.

#2. Realize that Cheaper May Not Be Better

It’s true that you don’t want to pay more for insurance than you have to, but if you purchase the cheapest insurance, and it doesn’t cover you when something happens, that isn’t protecting your business. 

Many restaurant owners increase the deductible to save money on their premiums. That’s often a good idea, but make sure you have enough available cash to cover that deductible if something happens. Before raising that deductible, ask yourself, what financial resources do I have available and what level of risk am I willing to take.

The best way to save money is to work with a broker who can get you the best price on the coverage you need by comparing prices from several insurance agencies.

#3. Understand What You’re Signing Before You Sign

Insurance policies can be complicated, but it’s essential that you understand the terms of your policy and the exact coverage that it provides. Make sure that you understand the exclusions and look for gaps where additional coverages may be needed.

For example, if you have a liquor license, general liability usually doesn’t cover that, but liquor liability insurance does. Talk to your insurance broker and ask questions - that’s what we’re here for.

Remember, the purpose of business insurance is to protect your business. To make sure that you’re covered if you get sued or if there’s a fire in your kitchen, or if any number of unforeseen incidents occur. You want to be certain that an accident cannot put you out of business.
 

Get Help. Contact the Restaurant Insurance Specialists!

Get the best restaurant insurance at an affordable price. Serving Philadelphia, Berks County, the Lehigh Valley, Allegheny County and more.Don't go it alone. Give American Insuring Group a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 or contact us online.

We specialize in quality restaurant insurance at affordable pricing, and provide prompt service not only when you’re purchasing your insurance, but also if you have a claim.

We have access to multiple insurance companies and will shop and compare both coverage and cost to ensure that you have the right insurance to protect your business at the best possible price.

Tags: Restaurant Insurance, Business Insurance, Bar Insurance, Nightclub Insurance

The Construction Boom and Builders Risk Insurance Rates

Posted by David Ross on Tue, Apr 03, 2018

Tips to lower your builder's risk insurance costs in PAThe construction industry is booming – both new construction and remodeling - and it looks as if that trend will continue. Construction has a 4.5% projected growth rate over the next five years.

In fact, construction is expected to be one of the fastest growing industries into 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Real output in the construction industry is expected to reach $1.2 trillion by 2020.


This is excellent news if you’re in the business of building or remodeling houses. It translates into big opportunities for builders. Unfortunately, it can also bring higher risk, making now the perfect time to let the experienced independent agents at American Insuring Group review your Builders Risk Insurance to make sure you have the right coverage to adequately protect your business.

 

What is Builders Risk Insurance?

Builders Risk Insurance is a type of property insurance unique to the construction industry. It covers structures or building materials during construction. It provides coverage for damage from events such as fire, wind, theft, hail, explosion, lightning, and vandalism. Builders Risk Insurance is typically written for three, six, or twelve month periods, and can be extended (although usually only once) if the project takes longer than anticipated.

This insurance pays for damages up to the coverage limit, which should be based on the total completed value of the structure including not only materials but also labor costs. The best way to determine that value is to look at the construction budget.

Standard Exclusions

Standard exclusions on builders risk insurance include earthquake, employee theft, water damage, weather damage to property in the open, war, government action, contract penalties, voluntary parting, and mechanical breakdown. Another typical exclusion results from faulty design, planning, workmanship, and materials, which can be covered by Professional Liability Insurance.

Here are a few more things that you should know about Builders Risk Insurance:

  • It doesn’t cover the property of others
  • Subcontractors must have their own insurance
  • Tools and equipment are not included
  • Accidents on the job site are not covered
  • Once the building is completed or occupied, the coverage usually ends
  • It doesn’t cover professional liability

Does the Booming Industry Mean Higher Builders Risk Insurance Premiums?

Historically, Builders Risk Insurance has been safe from dramatic increases. Increases tend to be small and incremental. And experts don’t foresee that changing even with the increase in construction projects. However, 2017 was the costliest year ever for weather and climate disasters in the U.S. totaling $306 billion. The U.S. was hit by 16 weather events that caused more than a billion dollars in damage. Previously, 2005 held the record at $215 billion.

Most experts agree that the cost of this damage will only slightly increase builders risk insurance premiums particularly with frame construction and construction in areas that are prone to catastrophes.

How to make Builders Risk Insurance Work for you in this lucrative market

  • Cover Your Entire Project - Many builders purchase builders risk insurance because their lending institution requires it, so they only cover the bare minimum: labor and materials. These are the parts of the project the banks have an interest in, but you need to protect your interests as well, which include overhead and profit.

  • Spell it out with a detailed contract – Make it very clear in the contract who (contractor, owner, designer) is responsible for what if something goes wrong. The American Institute of Architects offers comprehensive contract templates.

  • Don’t be Naïve – Whether your company is big or small, you do face risk, and if you don’t have a lot of cash flow even a small amount of damage can be catastrophic.

  • Hire good subcontractors – Verify that all of your subcontractors have certificates of insurance with adequate limits. You may also want to secure a waiver of subrogation and list subcontractors as additional insured for both operations and completed operations for the project. This way, if there is a lawsuit, the subcontractor’s insurance will defend the contractor.


Contact Us to Review Your Business Insurance Policies 

Now – while business is booming – is the perfect time to review your business insurance policies!

The agents at American Insuring Group specialize in Contractors Insurance and finding ways to lower your risk while reducing your costs.

Give us a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 or contact us online. We’ll be happy to review your policy to ensure that you have adequate coverage to protect your business.

Tags: Contractor Insurance, Commercial Liability Insurance, Business Insurance, Builders Risk Insurance

5 Truck Driver Safety Tips to Lower Truck Insurance Cost

Posted by David Ross on Sun, Oct 29, 2017

Lower your truck insurance costs with these safety tips. Serving Philadelphia, Reading, Pittsburgh, Erie, Allentown, Harrisburg, PA and beyond with affordable trucking insurance from reliable carriers.You have a great deal of power behind the wheel of a tractor-trailer. It's your responsibility to drive safely. As a bonus, if you do, then you'll also enjoy lower truck insurance costs.

Sobering Trucking Statistics

Truck engines have 300-400 more horses than a passenger vehicle and 900-1,800 more feet/pound of torque, and tractor trailers can weigh 20-30 times more than a passenger vehicle, according to the Truckersreport.com.

Plus, tractor trailers “are taller with greater ground clearance, which can result in smaller vehicles underriding trucks in crashes,” according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IHS). And tractor trailers have more blind spots and take 20-40 percent farther to come to a complete stop than passenger vehicles, according to IIHS.

With great power comes great responsibility. “About 98 percent of all semi accidents result in at least one fatality,” TruckAccidents.org reports. “Most deaths in large truck crashes are passenger vehicle occupants,” according to IIHS. In 2015, IIHS reported that 3,852 people died in large truck crashes – 16% were truck occupants, 29% were car occupants, and the rest were pedestrians, bicyclists, or motorcyclists.

Here are 5 Important Safety Tips for Truck Drivers:

  1. Be Alert – Give the road your full attention and be aware of what is going on around you. Know who is in front of, behind, and next to you at all times. Try to anticipate potential dangers and always leave enough space to allow for safe braking and unexpected actions. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recommends, “If you are driving below 40 mph, you should leave at least one second for every 10 feet of vehicle length. For a typical tractor-trailer, this results in 4 seconds between you and the leading vehicle. For speeds over 40 mph, you should leave one additional second.”

Being well-rested is key to staying alert.  The hours-of-service regulations, which puts limits on when and how long you can drive, were put into place to help ensure that you remain awake and alert while driving. Don’t compromise safety; follow these regulations.

  1. Watch the Weather – Weather is one of the most significant factors that affect driving safety. Knowing what to expect can help you be better prepared. A wet road requires more room to stop, so slow down and keep an even safer driving distance between you and the car in front of you in bad weather. And pay attention to the temperature as rain can quickly turn to treacherous ice when the temperature drops.

If you don’t feel safe in the current driving conditions, stay parked. Know your limits and don’t be a hero. Nothing is worth risking your life for.

  1. Pick a Lane – The chance of an accident increases every time you change lanes, so pick a lane and stay in it whenever possible. If you do need to change lanes, do so carefully. Be aware of your blind spots and carefully check your mirrors.

  1. Plan Your Travel – If possible, avoid traveling in high-volume traffic at peak times. Allow time for regular breaks to stretch and recharge. Watch the weather to see if you can expect any dangerous conditions and make sure that your truck is equipped with supplies for all driving conditions. Check your rig and your load before starting.

  1. Maintain Control – Remember that your vehicle is bigger and more powerful than most of the vehicles around you and that it won’t stop or take a turn the way a smaller vehicle The best way to maintain control is to control your speed.

No matter how “hot” your load is, nothing is worth risking your life for. And an added benefit is that fewer accidents mean lower truck insurance premiums!

How to Save on Trucking Insurance

A Trusted Choice Independent Agency for PA Truck Insurance. Contact us to save.To learn more ways to save on truck insurance, give contact American Insuring Group online or call us at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848.

Our independent agents will save you money by comparing lots of competing trucking insurance carriers. Our independence gives us the freedom to shop. We shop, you save!  Call or click today.

Tags: Commercial Vehicle Insurance, truck insurance, Business Insurance

4 Common Misconceptions About Restaurant Insurance

Posted by David Ross on Sun, Oct 22, 2017

Affordable PA Restaurant Insurance in Allentown, Philadelphia, Reading, Lancaster, Pittsburgh, PA and beyond.You’ve worked hard perfecting your recipes, hiring the right people, finding the perfect location, and creating a successful business.

So why wouldn’t you do everything you can to protect all that sweat equity, including getting the proper insurance for your restaurant, bar, or nightclub?

Perhaps it’s because while most restaurant owners know they need insurance to protect their business, it’s easy to make bad decisions based on a lack of information, thereby exposing your restaurant and your personal assets to risk.

 

Here are 4 common misconceptions about restaurant insurance: 

Misconception #1. You Can’t Get Blood From a Stone

You may think that if you don’t have a lot of money that you simply cannot get sued. The truth is that no matter how big or small your business is or how much money you have, if a settlement against you is awarded, the courts will do everything they can to collect that money. They may seize your equipment, your bank account, and sometimes your personal assets.

 “While formal business structures like an LLC are an important first step toward safeguarding your personal assets, there’s a common misconception that incorporating will automatically protect you from all personal liability,” according to Huffington Post. “However, there are still several situations where you can be personally liable.”

One example the Huffington Post offers is, “If your actions injure someone, you can still be personally liable. This is because an LLC or corporation can protect you from personal liability for contractual lawsuits, but not against tort lawsuits. This is the reason that most professionals such as doctors take out a good professional liability insurance policy.”

Misconception #2. Nobody WIll Sue Me

We live in a very litigious society. No matter how careful you are, there is always a chance of being sued. Even if it’s a bogus claim that is dismissed, legal fees may be more than your business can afford. According to Rocket Lawyer, “The threat of a lawsuit is very real: over 100 million cases are filed in US state courts every year.”

Misconception #3. Insurance is Just Too Expensive

Do you have enough in savings to cover your restaurant if a customer or employee sues you? Probably not! A lawsuit can be costly. “Hiscox claims data for small and mid-sized businesses (under 500 employees) indicate that one in five will face employment charges with an average cost to defend of $125,000, which includes expenses such as attorney’s fees and settlement costs,” according to the Insurance Journal. “For those that did have insurance coverage, the average deductible cost was only $35,000, compared to the $90,000 balance paid out by their insurance company.”

Ask any restaurant owner who has been sued and did not have the right insurance, and they’ll tell you that the cost of insurance is worth the protection. Ask any restaurant owner who has been sued and had the right insurance, and they’ll tell you that the cost of insurance is worth the peace of mind. 

Misconception #4. I Only Hire a Few Employees, so I don’t need Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Each state has its own laws about which employers are required to provide Workers’ Compensation insurance to their employees. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry, “Workers' compensation coverage is mandatory for most employers under Pennsylvania law. Employers who do not have workers' compensation coverage may be subject to lawsuits by employees and to criminal prosecution by the Commonwealth.”

 

Protect Your Future with Affordable PA Restaurant Insurance

Trusted Choice Independent Agents Specializing in Affordable, High Quality Restaurant Insurance in PennsylvaniaDon’t put your restaurant at risk. Trust the experienced Independent Insurance Agents at American Insuring Group to separate fact from fiction. You'll be confident knowing your restaurant is protected with affordable, high quality restaurant insurance.

Get started by calling us at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or contact us online

Tags: Restaurant Insurance, Business Insurance

Nail Gun Safety and Workers Compensation Insurance

Posted by David Ross on Sun, Oct 15, 2017

Nail Gun Safety Tips - Avoid Injury and Lower Your PA Workers Comp Insurance Costs.Contractors and handymen, do you remember the days before nail guns? When you had to use a hammer to nail something.

Today, you probably can’t imagine doing your job without a nail gun! They’ve probably made your job a lot easier, and, unfortunately, more dangerous, which can lead to increased workers compensation insurance claims and higher insurance costs.

According to the CDC, nail guns are responsible for approximately 37,000 emergency room visits every year. Sixty-eight percent of those injuries are work-related. Severe nail gun injuries can even cause death.

7 Risk Factors for Nail Gun Injuries

The CDC has identified 7 major risk factors that can lead to nail gun injury:

  1. Unintended nail discharge from double fire

  2. Unintended nail discharge from knocking the safety contact with the trigger squeezed

  3. Nail penetration through lumber workpiece

  4. Nail ricochet after striking a hard surface or metal feature

  5. Missing the workpiece

  6. Awkward position nailing

  7. Bypassing safety mechanisms

Nail Gun Safety Prerequisite: Know Your Triggers!

Before we can discuss ways to avoid nail gun injuries, it’s important to understand the different types of nail gun triggers.

There are two controls with every nail gun: a finger trigger and a contact safety tip on the nose of the gun.

  1. Full sequential trigger – This is the safest type of trigger. The controls need to be activated in a very specific order for the gun to fire, and nails can’t be bump fired – also called bounce nailing. Bump firing or bounce nailing is using a nail gun with a contact trigger held squeezed and bumping or bouncing the tool along the workpiece to fire nails.

  2. Contact trigger – This type of trigger fires a nail when the safety contact and trigger are activated in any order. A nail will be fired each time the safety contact is pushed in if you keep the trigger squeezed. Nails can be bump fired with this type of trigger. Contact trigger nailers are prone to double firing, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

  3. Single sequential trigger – To fire this type of trigger, controls must be activated in a specific order and nails cannot be bump fired just like the full sequential trigger. However – unlike the full sequential trigger – only the trigger must be released to fire the second nail.

  4. Single-actuation trigger – This trigger will fire a single nail when the safety and trigger are activated in any order just like the contact trigger. To shoot the second nail, you can release the trigger, move the tool and squeeze the trigger again without releasing the safety again. Nails can be bump

 

6 Ways to Avoid Nail Gun Injuries

The CDC offers six steps to help avoid nail gun injuries:

  1. Use full sequential trigger nail guns, which reduce the risk of unintentional discharge and double fires especially with inexperienced employees.

  2. Provide safety training to both new and experienced employees that covers topics such as how triggers differ and the leading causes of injuries and how to avoid them.

  3. Establish nail gun work procedures specific to your company that address risk factors.

  4. Provide personal protective equipment (PPE) such as safety shoes, high-impact eye protection, etc.

  5. Encourage reporting and discussion of injuries and close calls to draw attention to possible risks, so they can be avoided and to ensure that your employees are getting medical care when needed.

  6. Provide first aid and medical treatment. Sometimes, what seems like a minor injury can be more severe. For example, materials such as nail strip glue or clothing can become embedded, which can cause infection.

Play it Safe with Proper Workers Compensation Insurance!

Trusted Choice Workers Compensation Insurance Independent Agents Serving Reading, Philadelphia, Allentown, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, PA and beyond.It is your responsibility to provide the safest workplace environment for your employees. The fact that it also reduces your workers’ compensation costs is just icing on the cake!

To learn more about saving on workers compensation insurance, give American Insuring group a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 or contact us online. Our independent agents are ready to get you solid coverage options at a great price. Call or click today.

Tags: Workers Compensation Insurance, PA Workers Compensation Insurance, Business Insurance, Nail Gun Safety

Food Truck Insurance and Risk Management

Posted by David Ross on Mon, Oct 02, 2017

Contact us to reduce risks for your food truck business with the right insurance. We serve Philadelphia, Reading, Lancaster, York, Harrisburg, Lebanon. Allentown, Pittsburgh, Erie, PA and beyond.More people are getting into the food truck business than ever before. Food trucks offer a more affordable and flexible option for first-time entrepreneurs. Plus, many restaurateurs are adding food trucks to increase brand awareness and to cash in on the current growth of the food truck industry.

Food Truck Business Quadrupled in 5 Years

Food Trucks are the fastest growing channel in today’s foodservice industry. The projected food truck revenue in 2017 is expected to be $2.7 billion – compared to $650 million just five years ago - according to Foodtruckoperator.com.

Food Truck Business Risks

Like any business, food trucks face potential risks. Here are 3 main risks to consider:

  1. Vehicle Risk – Food trucks are exposed to many of the same physical risks a restaurant faces such as fire, flood, and general wear and tear with the addition of automobile accidents.

  2. Operator Risk – The people operating the vehicle are subject to many of the same risks a restaurant faces such as falls, cuts, and burns.

  3. Liability Risks – Customers can suffer an injury such as slips or falls along with food-related illnesses. Plus, food trucks have the added liability that sometimes occurs with automobile accidents.

How to Protect Your Food Truck Business

It is your responsibility to protect your business, employees, and customers by managing these risks. There are steps you can take to prevent some them such as thoroughly screening anyone who will be driving your vehicle, following food safety guidelines, and being aware of any possible hazards both in and around your truck. Unfortunately, there will always be certain risks you don’t anticipate or can’t control. One lawsuit or one accident that you aren’t prepared for can mean the end of your business and all the hard work and financial resources you’ve put into it.

Gain Additional Protection with Food Truck Insurance

That’s where food truck insurance - which addresses risks related to most businesses and risks unique to food trucks – can help. Also, most landlords, event organizers, and venue owners will require you to have certain types of insurance. For example, most will require at least $1 million in general liability insurance. They don’t want to be held responsible for damage to your vehicle or injury to your customers. 

7 types of insurance you may want to consider for your food truck business:

  1. General liability helps cover legal expenses, fines, and penalties if someone sues you.

  2. Workers compensation (WC) insurance is required by many states. Within Pennsylvania, WC is mandatory for all employers with one or more employees (with a few exceptions). But with a food truck, you may find yourself traveling to other states. The National Federation of Independent Business offers a state-by-state comparison of workers’ compensation requirements.

  3. Property damage insurance protects your property from damage caused by collision, theft, fire, vandalism, and other damage while your vehicle is parked. Property is divided into two separate categories: your food truck with any attached equipment and the contents of your vehicle.

  4. Auto liability insurance covers you for injury or property damage to others if there is an accident while you are driving the vehicle.

  5. Food spoilage coverage protects you from the costs associated with the loss of food and beverages due to spoilage. Food can quickly spoil with a prolonged power outage or an equipment breakdown, and you certainly don’t want to serve your customers spoiled food.

  6. Food contamination coverage may help recover certain expenses if the health board shuts down your food truck after a food-borne illness outbreak. Contamination can be caused by mishandled or improperly stored food, employees may unknowingly transmit a virus or bacteria to the food, or the food may even be contaminated when you receive it.

  7. Umbrella insurance, which goes above and beyond your general liability and auto liability limits, may be required for large contracts.

 

Getting the Right Insurance for Your Food Truck Business

Contact American Insuring Group for help in obtaining the best food truck insurance at the right price for your needs.It may sound complicated and perhaps a bit overwhelming, but the independent agents at American Insuring Group can walk you through your options and help you determine the best food truck insurance for your operation. Contact us online or give us a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848.

We'll compare competing insurance providers to determine those that offer the best protection at the best price to meet your needs. Contact us today to get protected and to start saving on food truck insurance!

Tags: Commercial Vehicle Insurance, Restaurant Insurance, Business Insurance, Food Truck Insurance