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Reduce Workers' Compensation Claims by Implement Procedures
In today's economy where the cost of doing business continues to soar, companies need to take steps to operate as cost-efficiently as possible. Employers can take greater control of instituting and enforcing preventive measures and injury management procedures by initiating simple internal procedures that hold individual departments accountable for workers' compensation expenses.
These procedures will help decrease both the frequency and severity of injuries, a win-win situation for employees and employers alike, resulting in reduced claims and reduced workers' compensation premiums.
By communicating directly with those employees who are potential workers' compensation beneficiaries, employers can more readily attain their safety goals. As a first step, employers should perform a simple analysis to identify high-risk groups based on a history of claims and injuries. Asking employees on a departmental level to think about and discuss the injury management process will improve communication among all parties in the working environment. Having at-risk employees talk about how a job can be performed more safely will produce the end result of reducing injuries. Conversely, asking employees to explain how injuries may occur because of unsafe equipment or incomplete work procedures will aid the employer in properly managing its safety procedures and work environment.
Too frequently, workplace injuries are not reported on a timely basis. Supervisors often fail to recognize and report accidents, hoping they will disappear without resulting in lost-time or medical expenses. This practice often causes greater expenses because the initial injury was not reported and treated immediately.
The company can further reduce injuries within each department by emphasizing job safety during training programs, and by periodically reviewing work patterns. If an employee does become injured, the employer and employee should share the common goal of returning the employee to work as soon as possible. Both parties should should desire the most effective medical treatment, a timely recovery, and a smooth, safe transition as the employee returns to the workplace.
Another benefit derived from each department being responsible for its own workers' compensation costs, is that departmental managers can have a hands-on approach in helping injured employees return to work. Instead of having the injured employee contacted by a third party (which is usually a claims adjuster or even an attorney), the employer's concern and response is directly communicated to the out-of-work employee.
Despite the fact that there are a few workers who intentionally defraud the system, they are very much the exception rather than the rule. Examining workers' compensation costs on a departmental level makes it much harder for malingerers to file fraudulent claims.
Since accidents do happen, it is not possible to eliminate all injuries and their resulting claims. However, the severity and frequency of injuries can be greatly reduced by placing responsibility for maintaining a safe working environment at the departmental level. In the long run, both the individual department and the company as a whole reap the rewards.
To learn more about preventing an accident, call with us at HALO Insurance and Benefits Group 314-351-HALO(4256).
Top Habits and Misconceptions That Make The Roads More Dangerous
In recent years, motor vehicle deaths have increased significantly. The National Safety Council pinpointed some of the most common beliefs and behaviors of drivers that put everyone on the road at risk. During the past year, NSC surveys were collected to show the surprising rates of dangerous habits and opinions.
Researchers said that these could especially explain why fatalities were on the rise. They also said that their findings showed the urgency of promoting awareness of misconceptions and dangerous habits.
Experts said that while most drivers understand the basic dangers and risks on roadways, they do not take the proper steps to make their own driving habits safer. Many people still believe that bad things are more likely to happen to other drivers than to them. This is even true among drivers who admit to driving distracted. Many believe that they can safely manage distractions such as using a cell phone while driving. These were some of the top dangerous habits of American drivers according to the research report:
More than 45 percent of drivers said that it was safe to send text messages using voice dictation or manual input.
More than 70 percent of drivers said that they could drink three alcoholic beverages before they were too impaired to drive.
Approximately 35 percent of teens admitted to checking their social media notifications or interacting on social media while driving.
More than 15 percent of teens who were in accidents said that their own distractions were the cause of the crash.
More than 30 percent of drivers felt that they could drive safely with fewer than four hours of sleep.
Nearly 15 percent of drivers admitted to using marijuana while driving within the past month.
More than 30 percent of drivers felt that new vehicles could practically drive themselves and did not require as much concentration to operate.
While only 25 percent of drivers felt that their own distractions were dangerous, nearly 70 percent said that they were concerned about the risky behavior of other drivers.
About 45 percent of people said that they felt compelled to check cellphone notifications while driving because of demanding employers, and about 45 percent of those who reported feeling this way had crashed within the last few years.
The official awareness month for distracted driving is April. Council researchers try to remind motorists every year of the dangers of distracted driving and the realities of just how unsafe popular misconceptions are. To learn more about staying safer on the roads, speak with an agent at 314-351-HALO(4256)
What Renters Need To Know About Insurance
Since most homeowners are also mortgage holders, they are required to have home insurance. However, most renters are not required to purchase renter's insurance according to the terms of a lease. They face many of the same risks as homeowners. Although renters do not have to pay for the actual structure that is rented, they are responsible for covering their personal belongings that they bring into the structure.
Most renters do not purchase insurance because they feel that it is too expensive. Average policies range between $15 and $30 per month.
In comparison with the cost of replacing expensive belongings, the monthly premium is a good deal. This is especially true since renters have no control over the actions of other renters who may be careless. Fires destroy hundreds of apartment complexes every year. Some renters do not purchase coverage because they own very few valuables. However, insurers encourage renters to tally up the value of even their small-ticket items. Dishes, furniture, clothing and other belongings often total well into the thousands even for renters who do not have expensive possessions. A basic policy will cover the cost of replacing necessities.
One of the biggest misconceptions about insurance is that the landlord's policy will also cover the renter's belongings. This is not true. The landlord's policy only covers the building and certain features like plumbing fixtures, pipes, wiring and other things that a renter will leave behind when moving out.
How Much Renter's Insurance Is Needed?
The best way to determine how much coverage to choose is to talk to an agent who will collect information about belongings. An agent can suggest how much coverage to buy based on the value of current possessions. An agent will also be glad to explain what certain terms mean. These are some additional issues to consider:
Does the insurance plan affect roommates?
Does the insurance plan cover all existing hazards?
Is any additional coverage needed?
How much liability coverage does the plan include?
Renter's Insurance Discount
Some insurance companies offer discounts if there are fire extinguishers, burglar alarms, sprinkler systems or other safety features on the rental property. Also, some insurers may offer discounts if a policyholder has other types of insurance with the carrier. Ask about bundling discounts.
Some areas are more prone to flooding or earthquakes. Damages from such disasters are not usually covered under a standard renter's policy. Ask an agent about extra coverage when renting in a high-risk area.
Certain cities require owners of specific types of pets or dog breeds to carry insurance. Owners of these pets may have to pay more for renter's insurance if their pets or pet-related incidents are not covered under the standard provisions.
If something happens to the rental unit that makes it inhabitable for a period of time, renter's insurance covers the cost of living elsewhere temporarily. Some examples of such damages include fires and toxic substances.
Renter's insurance includes personal liability insurance, which covers injuries to others who visit the renter's property. If a renter's insurance claim must be filed, it is important to take pictures of any damage or issue. Contact an agent immediately for help in filing a claim to ensure a quicker process. To learn more about renter's insurance coverage, speak with an insurance agent at 314-351-HALO(4256).
Survey Finds That Most Americans Lack Important Disability Insurance
Nearly 80 percent of Americans said that they had at least two types of insurance when it came to health, home and auto policies. However, only about 35 percent reported having disability insurance from an employer.
This finding was from a survey conducted by the Harris Poll for OneAmerica. The survey included more than 2,100 Americans who were 18 years of age or older. Of the participants who did not have disability insurance from an employer, more than 40 percent said that employers did not offer it. About 15 percent said that they did not have it because they could not afford the cost, and they felt that other living expenses were higher priorities.
OneAmerica is using this survey's results to help emphasize the importance of disability insurance. People are quick to insure their homes, cars and health but do not think about the possibility of a permanent or temporary disability. More than 25 percent of young working people will experience a disability before they turn 65, and many of these individuals will suffer from a permanent disability. Government income for disabled individuals does not replace a previous salary before the disability happened. Most people have increasing medical costs in addition to their everyday living costs, and this puts a strain on themselves and their families.
Also, OneAmerica hopes to highlight the importance of employers offering disability insurance as part of the company's benefits package. Some workers can be retrained for other positions if a partial disability prevents them from returning to a previous position. If workers know this and have income while they are recovering and getting therapy, they may be more likely to return to work if they are able. Adding disability insurance shows that a company cares about the well-being of its workers, which speaks volumes to top talent about the company's values.
The survey also found that only about 20 percent of workers who had an annual household income below $50,000 were offered disability coverage by an employer. Nearly 35 percent of women who were between the ages of 18 and 34 did not accept an employer's disability coverage because they felt that they did not need it. However, most women did not realize that disability insurance could benefit them for issues during maternity leave.
Experts concluded that disability insurance is a must for employees of all ages. When a worker is injured and sustains a temporary or permanent disability, the insurance kicks in after several weeks to provide income replacement at a rate that is more sufficient than government benefits. Sick time and paid time off do not usually suffice for an employee who needs a considerable amount of time off because of a disability. However, most employees assume that any injury will heal within the time allowed by their PTO and sick time. Employees should check with their HR department about this important and affordable coverage. For employers considering this coverage for an enhanced benefits package, discuss the advantages with an agent at 314-351-HALO(4256).