Delays, Higher Insurance Costs Burden Owners, Contractors

Increasing construction project delays are combining with a hardening market for builder’s risk and liability insurance to create headaches for project owners and contractors.

If your project suffers from delays, you may find it difficult or costly to extend the length of your insurance coverage as insurers have tightened their underwriting policies and some have stopped underwriting construction projects altogether.

Owners need to understand the insurance marketplace and take steps in advance to keep insurance issues from throwing a monkey wrench into a project.

Delays weigh on contractors

Contractors report several reasons for delays:

  • Projects are increasingly complicated and have long durations.
  • Initial budgets and estimated timelines may prove to be inadequate or over-optimistic.
  • The process of obtaining permits can take years, particularly if there are environmental concerns about the project.
  • Increasingly volatile weather conditions are setting some projects back, as hurricanes, floods and wildfires can prevent work from starting or damage work already completed.

Insurers’ response

This is happening at a time of persistently tight insurance market conditions. The size of court damage awards is growing. More frequent and intense storms have sent the cost of property damage losses soaring.

Some insurers have responded by reducing their appetites for insuring construction projects, while others have pulled out of the construction market entirely.

Those that remain are hiking rates, increasing deductibles and self-insured retentions, and adding provisions that reduce the scope of coverage.

In a state like New York with a difficult legal environment, it can be a struggle to obtain adequate coverage at affordable premiums.

Consequently, when an insurer is asked to extend the coverage expiration date for a construction project, the agreement may come with these unpleasant strings attached.

Also, the project budget likely did not contemplate increases in insurance costs and uninsured loss costs midway through the process.

What you can do

Solving these problems is not easy, but there are things that can be done to address them, as follows:

Identify solid insurers  At the beginning of the process, owners and contractors should work with their insurance brokers to identify insurers with long track records of providing construction coverage.

Some insurers may jump in and out of markets, depending on how profitable they appear at the time. Multi-year construction projects require insurers who will not exit the market when their profit margins slip.

Where one or more of the project’s insurers have departed the market, it is impossible for the project owners to negotiate a solution. However, if the insurers are still willing to offer coverage, those that have solid, long-standing relationships with owners and contractors may be willing to negotiate terms satisfactory to all.

Negotiate automatic extensions   Owners and contractors should attempt to include automatic coverage extensions during negotiations for the original policies.

These projects involve multiple insurers providing different layers of coverage and it’s important to try to negotiate these coverage extensions with all of them. If one insurer drops out, it may be possible to get some of the others to fill in the gap.

Consider a ‘captive   In some cases, contractors may have the option of turning to “captive” insurers to fund higher retentions and uninsured losses. A captive insurer covers the risks of its owners; companies sometimes create them because of tax and cash flow advantages.

Stay on schedule    Do all you can to stay on schedule, so you don’t run into insurance issues. This requires closer coordination among all the contractors and the subs and more attentive management of the project. That may mean additional outlays by the project owner, but staying on schedule is less costly than blowing through the completion deadline.

With the current supply-chain problems not easing anytime soon, the problem of project delays will likely continue. Insurance problems may complicate that further, but they can be managed.

Before your next project, call us so we can get the ball rolling early.

BGES Group’s office, located in Larchmont, NY is a full service insurance agency offering, Property, Liability, Umbrella Liability, Business Auto, Bid & Performance Bonds, Inland Marine, Worker’s Compensation, New York State Disability, Group Health, Life insurance, Personal lines and Identity Theft.

Special Contractor Insurance Programs (NY, NJ, CT) – We we have 60+ insurance companies to market your general liability, umbrella liability, business auto, workers compensation, bid & performance bonds and group health coverages. We help contractors set up proper risk transfer. If you’re a contractor we offer extensive information about insurance markets, coverages, risk transfer, subcontractor screening, ways to lower your insurance costs.

BGES Group are Worker’s Compensation Specialists for the States of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut – Issues we address: 1) Lowering pricing – we have specialty programs that can save you up to 40%; 2) Finding a new company; 3) Replacing policies that are being cancelled or non renewed; 4) Audit disputes; 5) Company creating fictitious payroll at audit time; 6) Lowering high experience modifications factors; 7) Misclassification of payrolls; 8) Lowering or eliminating renewal deposits;  9) Getting coverage when you’ve been without for a few months; 10) Covering multiple states under one policy; 11) Eliminating 10% service or policy fees; 12) Timely issuance of certificates; 13) Always being able to get someone on the phone or by email when you need to.

If you would like to speak with us call Gary Wallach at 914-806-5853 or click here to email or click here to visit our website.

Company: BGES Group, 216A Larchmont Acres West, Larchmont, NY 10538

e-mail: bgesgroup@gmail.com

website: http://www.bgesgroup.com

© – Copyright – 2021 – BGES Group

Non-Owned Auto Coverage Essential for Any Business

Non-Owned Auto Coverage

Even businesses that own fleets of autos sometimes use vehicles that do not belong to them. Often, a company asks an employee to run an errand or visit a customer or vendor using that employee’s car.

The business may be legally liable for anything an employee acting on its behalf does while behind the wheel. Lawsuits and accompanying legal costs may confront the business if they have an accident, putting the company’s assets at risk.

Many business automobile insurance policies cover this situation, but they do not do so automatically.

The standard Insurance Services Office business auto policy uses numbered symbols to identify covered autos for each coverage the business has purchased. The policy provides liability coverage for non-owned autos only if symbols 1 or 9 are shown on the information page:

Symbol 1 means “Any auto.” This is the broadest symbol designation and covers any auto, including borrowed, hired, owned or leased.

Symbol 9 means “Non-owned autos.” The policy defines non-owned autos as vehicles the insured business does not own, lease, hire, rent or borrow and that are used in the business. The term includes autos owned by the business’s employees; partners (if the business is a partnership); members (if it is a limited liability company); or members of their households.

However, coverage applies only if the vehicle is used in the business or in the policyholder’s personal affairs.

Scenario: A consulting firm has run out of paper and a worker is asked to go to an office supply store to purchase supplies, and he drives his personal vehicle to run the errand. On his way back to the office, the employee collides with another car going the opposite direction.

If the firm’s auto insurance policy’s information page has either symbol 1 or 9 for liability coverage, it will cover this accident, including:

  • Cost of damage to the other vehicle (importantly, it does not pay for collision damages to the hired or non-owned vehicle),
  • Cost of medical costs for injured third parties, and
  • Legal defense costs arising from the accident.

If the policy has another symbol, it will not cover an accident resulting from the use of the employee’s vehicle.

For companies that do not own their own vehicles but have employees who drive their own vehicles for work or rent them when on business, this type of coverage is essential.

It is possible that the employee’s personal auto insurance policy may provide some coverage for the employer. However, you should not assume that this is guaranteed.

In the event of an accident, you could be found negligent for various reasons, including:

  • The employee’s insurance has lapsed.
  • The employee only carries the minimum limits required by the state, and the amount of damages exceeds this limit.
  • The employee’s vehicle is not properly maintained.
  • The employee’s driving record is below standard.
  • Your company does not have any fleet controls or policies in place to address these issues with employee vehicles that are used for business purposes.

If the accident burns through the employee’s policy limits, the damaged third party will turn to the employer next. With no non-owned auto or “all vehicles” coverage, the company would be on the hook for any damages out of pocket.

The takeaway

Almost every business has situations where it asks someone to use a personal vehicle for business, and an uninsured loss can both financially devastating and easily avoidable.

All autos and non-owned auto insurance protects your business by covering potential coverage gaps that put the company’s financial stability in peril.

Call us to learn more about this coverage that every business needs.

If you would like to speak with us call Gary Wallach at 914-806-5853 or click here to email or click here to visit our website.

BGES Group’s office, located in Larchmont, NY is a full service insurance agency offering, Property, Liability, Umbrella Liability, Business Auto, Bid & Performance Bonds, Inland Marine, Worker’s Compensation, New York State Disability, Group Health, Life insurance, Personal lines and Identity Theft.

Special Contractor Insurance Programs (NY, NJ, CT) – We we have 60+ insurance companies to market your general liability, umbrella liability, business auto, workers compensation, bid & performance bonds and group health coverages. We help contractors set up proper risk transfer. If you’re a contractor we offer extensive information about insurance markets, coverages, risk transfer, subcontractor screening, ways to lower your insurance costs.

BGES Group are Worker’s Compensation Specialists for the States of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut – Issues we address: 1) Lowering pricing – we have specialty programs that can save you up to 40%; 2) Finding a new company; 3) Replacing policies that are being cancelled or non renewed; 4) Audit disputes; 5) Company creating fictitious payroll at audit time; 6) Lowering high experience modifications factors; 7) Misclassification of payrolls; 8) Lowering or eliminating renewal deposits;  9) Getting coverage when you’ve been without for a few months; 10) Covering multiple states under one policy; 11) Eliminating 10% service or policy fees; 12) Timely issuance of certificates; 13) Always being able to get someone on the phone or by email when you need to.

If you would like to speak with us call Gary Wallach at 914-806-5853 or click here to email or click here to visit our website.

Company: BGES Group, 216A Larchmont Acres West, Larchmont, NY 10538

e-mail: bgesgroup@gmail.com

website: http://www.bgesgroup.com

© – Copyright – 2021 – BGES Group

Long-Haul COVID Can Be Covered under ADA

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has issued guidance stating that employees suffering from “long COVID-19” may be protected under workplace disability discrimination statutes.

The guidance states that someone suffering from impairments resulting from long-haul COVID-19 symptoms can be considered “disabled” under the Americans with Disabilities Act and entitled to the same treatment as other disabled workers. But not in every case.

The EEOC emphasized that long-haul COVID symptoms can vary greatly from person to person and that eligibility would have to be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Employers should read the guidance, posted on the EEOC’s website on Dec. 14, to ensure they stay on the right side of the law if they are confronted with a worker who is battling COVID-19 symptoms for more than a few weeks and they ask for special accommodation under the ADA.

According to the guidance, a person infected with COVID-19 who is asymptomatic “or who has mild symptoms similar to those of the common cold or flu that resolve in a matter of weeks — with no other consequences — will not have an actual disability within the meaning of the ADA.”

But for those who have COVID-19 symptoms lasting more than a few weeks, and depending on their specific symptoms, a worker may have a “disability” if the illness is affecting them in any of the following ways:

Physical or mental impairment вЂ” The EEOC states that COVID-19 is a physiological condition affecting one or more body systems, which would be considered a disability under the ADA.

Substantially limiting a major life activity вЂ” “Major life activities” include both major bodily functions, such as respiratory, lung or heart function, and major activities, such as walking or concentrating. COVID-19 has been known to cause these issues. An impairment need only substantially limit one major bodily function or other major life activity to be substantially limiting.

Examples of COVID-19 cases that may be considered a disability under the ADA include:

  • An employee who experiences ongoing but intermittent multiple-day headaches, dizziness, brain fog and difficulty remembering or concentrating, which their doctor attributes to the coronavirus.
  • Someone who received supplemental oxygen for breathing difficulties during initial stages of treatment and continues to have shortness of breath, associated fatigue and other virus-related effects that last for several months.
  • Someone with heart palpitations, chest pain, shortness of breath and related effects due to the virus that last for several months.

What to do

As a result of this guidance, an employee experiencing long-haul COVID with symptoms that could be considered a disability may ask for reasonable accommodation for work. To determine if the employee is eligible, the employer and the employee must enter into an interactive process.

The employer can ask the worker to provide backup documentation about their disability or need for reasonable accommodation, such as notes from doctors outlining restrictions. The employer can also request that the employee sign a limited release allowing the employer to contact the employee’s health care provider directly.

If the worker doesn’t cooperate in providing the information, the employer can deny the accommodation request.

If you would like to speak with us call Gary Wallach at 914-806-5853 or click here to email or click here to visit our website.

BGES Group’s office, located in Larchmont, NY is a full service insurance agency offering, Property, Liability, Umbrella Liability, Business Auto, Bid & Performance Bonds, Inland Marine, Worker’s Compensation, New York State Disability, Group Health, Life insurance, Personal lines and Identity Theft.

Special Contractor Insurance Programs (NY, NJ, CT) – We we have 60+ insurance companies to market your general liability, umbrella liability, business auto, workers compensation, bid & performance bonds and group health coverages. We help contractors set up proper risk transfer. If you’re a contractor we offer extensive information about insurance markets, coverages, risk transfer, subcontractor screening, ways to lower your insurance costs.

BGES Group are Worker’s Compensation Specialists for the States of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut – Issues we address: 1) Lowering pricing – we have specialty programs that can save you up to 40%; 2) Finding a new company; 3) Replacing policies that are being cancelled or non renewed; 4) Audit disputes; 5) Company creating fictitious payroll at audit time; 6) Lowering high experience modifications factors; 7) Misclassification of payrolls; 8) Lowering or eliminating renewal deposits;  9) Getting coverage when you’ve been without for a few months; 10) Covering multiple states under one policy; 11) Eliminating 10% service or policy fees; 12) Timely issuance of certificates; 13) Always being able to get someone on the phone or by email when you need to.

If you would like to speak with us call Gary Wallach at 914-806-5853 or click here to email or click here to visit our website.

Company: BGES Group, 216A Larchmont Acres West, Larchmont, NY 10538

e-mail: bgesgroup@gmail.com

website: http://www.bgesgroup.com

© – Copyright – 2021 – BGES Group

How Does a Workers’​ Comp Waiver of Subrogation Affect Your Business?

It is very common for the insurance requirements in a construction contract to include a provision requiring the subcontractor to waive all rights against the owner and general contractor for recovery of damages to the extent these damages are covered by the sub’s workers’ compensation and general liability or commercial umbrella liability insurance. Owners and general contractors insist on this provision because they want to protect themselves from being held liable for injuries to a subcontractor’s employee. Typically, the contractor giving the waiver asks its insurance company to attach a “waiver of subrogation endorsement” to its workers’ compensation policy.

The endorsement states that the insurance will company will not enforce its right to recover payments it makes to an injured worker from the person or organization listed on the endorsement. It applies only to the extent that the employer insured by the policy performs work under a written contract requiring the employer to obtain the insurance company’s waiver. It does not directly or indirectly benefit anyone not listed on the endorsement. With this endorsement on the policy, the company cannot attempt to recover payments it made to an injured worker from the company listed on the endorsement, even if that company was responsible for the injury. Consequently, the loss impacts the employer’s experience modification, probably increasing future premiums. In addition, the endorsement carries an additional premium for the employer, normally some percentage of the premium attributable to the job.

The endorsement and the waiver agreement in the contract do not bind the injured employee. He still has the ability to sue the owner and general contractor for his injuries. However, it is also common for construction contracts to require the subcontractor to defend and indemnify the owner and general contractor from any such suits. Therefore, it is probable that the employer will have to pay an additional premium for the endorsement, pay higher future workers’ compensation premiums for the loss, and pay higher future liability insurance premiums because its policy will cover the other parties’ liability.

For example, assume the sub’s employee suffers serious injuries when tools and materials fall off a scaffold and strike him. He collects workers’ compensation benefits for his medical costs and lost wages. The sub’s workers’ compensation policy includes the waiver of subrogation endorsement, so the insurance company cannot recover any of its payments. The worker sues the owner and general contractor for his pain and suffering. However, the contract requires the sub to cover the owner’s and general’s liability, so the sub’s liability insurance pays for the pain and suffering lawsuit. The sub’s insurance pays twice for the same injury to the same worker.

Owners and general contractors require waivers of subrogation for several reasons. Insurance consultants, brokers, and risk managers usually encourage them to require waivers. Waivers protect their liability insurance and reserve it for other claims. Because a waiver reduces potential liability losses, they become more attractive to liability insurance companies and probably pay lower premiums. Also, subcontractors often do not resist these requirements because they feel they lack negotiating leverage and their insurance companies are usually willing to provide the endorsement.

A few states have curbed the use of waivers of subrogation in their workers’ compensation systems. At least four states have passed laws making the requirements unenforceable, and other states allow the employer to recover from the injured employee some of the proceeds of pain and suffering lawsuits.

In the majority of states that allow waivers, contractors should work with professional insurance agents experienced in providing construction insurance. They can suggest insurance companies that will offer the needed coverages at a reasonable cost and assist with contractual issues such as waivers of subrogation. Above all, contractors must read and understand their contracts so that their agreements do not become an ugly surprise after a loss.

BGES Group’s office, located in Larchmont, NY is a full service insurance agency offering, Property, Liability, Umbrella Liability, Business Auto, Bid & Performance Bonds, Inland Marine, Worker’s Compensation, New York State Disability, Group Health, Life insurance, Personal lines and Identity Theft.

Special Contractor Insurance Programs (NY, NJ, CT) – We we have 60+ insurance companies to market your general liability, umbrella liability, business auto, workers compensation, bid & performance bonds and group health coverages. We help contractors set up proper risk transfer. If you’re a contractor we offer extensive information about insurance markets, coverages, risk transfer, subcontractor screening, ways to lower your insurance costs.

BGES Group are Worker’s Compensation Specialists for the States of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut – Issues we address: 1) Lowering pricing – we have specialty programs that can save you up to 40%; 2) Finding a new company; 3) Replacing policies that are being cancelled or non renewed; 4) Audit disputes; 5) Company creating fictitious payroll at audit time; 6) Lowering high experience modifications factors; 7) Misclassification of payrolls; 8) Lowering or eliminating renewal deposits;  9) Getting coverage when you’ve been without for a few months; 10) Covering multiple states under one policy; 11) Eliminating 10% service or policy fees; 12) Timely issuance of certificates; 13) Always being able to get someone on the phone or by email when you need to.

If you would like to speak with us call Gary Wallach at 914-806-5853 or click here to email or click here to visit our website.

Company: BGES Group, 216A Larchmont Acres West, Larchmont, NY 10538

e-mail: bgesgroup@gmail.com

website: http://www.bgesgroup.com

© – Copyright – 2021 – BGES Group

While the OSHA Standard is on Hold, Follow Its Rules on Isolating COVID-Infected Staff

While the OSHA Standard is on Hold, Follow Its Rules on Isolating COVID-Infected Staff

Even though Fed-OSHA’s emergency temporary standard for COVID-19 has been put on hold by courts due to its mask mandate, sections governing actions employers must take if an employee tests positive should be heeded.
In fact, legal experts say that employers should go beyond the requirements of the standard to reduce their liability. With no exceptions, employers should remove any employee who tests positive for COVID-19 from the workplace until their condition has improved and they are no longer able to spread the virus.
There are a number of steps you should take to protect the rest of your staff.

Send them home
Immediately upon learning that an employee has contracted COVID-19, they should be sent home to quarantine unless they have serious symptoms.
You should require all employees to notify you if they test positive for COVID-19. Even people that do not show symptoms can spread the virus, and those who are vaccinated can contract and spread it.

Notify other personnel
When you learn that an employee has contracted COVID-19 and likely did so at work, within one business day you should retrace their activities and notify in writing any co-workers who may have come into contact with them in the days prior to their diagnosis.
The standard for that is anyone who came within 6 feet of the employee for 15 minutes or more two days prior to the positive test.
All of those you have identified as possibly exposed should be tested. Make testing available at no cost to employees and during working hours to all exposed employees, except:
• Asymptomatic workers who are fully vaccinated, and
• Employees who recently recovered from COVID-19 and have not developed symptoms since returning to work.

Exclude any new COVID-19 cases discovered during testing as well as exposed employees from the workplace until they are no longer an infection risk. Exposed employees who are fully vaccinated or who recently recovered from COVID-19 and have no symptoms do not need to be excluded.

Bring them back
The question of when to bring an employee who tested positive back is not set in stone, as times vary from person to person in terms of how long they can spread the disease.
You can bring a worker who had mild symptoms back if:
• The employee receives a negative result on a COVID-19 nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) following a positive result on a COVID-19 antigen test.
• The licensed doctor recommends that the employee can return to work, or
• The employee meets the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s return-to-work criteria:
• At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.
• At least 24 hours have passed with no fever without fever-reducing medication, or
• Other symptoms of COVID-19, such as loss of taste and smell, are improving. Such symptoms may persist for weeks or months and need not delay the end of isolation.

For people with severe symptoms, 20 days may be required before they are no longer contagious.
People who tested positive with COVID-19 but were asymptomatic may return to work 10 days after their test, assuming they do not develop symptoms in the meantime.

The takeaway
As COVID-19 continues to spread in our communities, it’s imperative that employers isolate staff who test positive to reduce the spread at work and also limit their liability.
Employers that don’t take action, can be hit by significant penalties and even open themselves up to civil litigation if they were negligent in protecting their workers.

BGES Group’s office, located in Larchmont, NY is a full service insurance agency offering, Property, Liability, Umbrella Liability, Business Auto, Bid & Performance Bonds, Inland Marine, Worker’s Compensation, New York State Disability, Group Health, Life insurance, Personal lines and Identity Theft.

Special Contractor Insurance Programs (NY, NJ, CT) – We we have 50+ insurance companies to market your general liability, umbrella liability, business auto, workers compensation, bid & performance bonds and group health coverages. We help contractors set up proper risk transfer. If you’re a contractor we offer extensive information about insurance markets, coverages, risk transfer, subcontractor screening, ways to lower your insurance costs.

BGES Group are Worker’s Compensation Specialists for the States of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut – Issues we address: 1) Lowering pricing – we have specialty programs that can save you up to 40%; 2) Finding a new company; 3) Replacing policies that are being cancelled or non renewed; 4) Audit disputes; 5) Company creating fictitious payroll at audit time; 6) Lowering high experience modifications factors; 7) Misclassification of payrolls; 8) Lowering or eliminating renewal deposits; 9) Getting coverage when you’ve been without for a few months; 10) Covering multiple states under one policy; 11) Eliminating 10% service or policy fees; 12) Timely issuance of certificates; 13) Always being able to get someone on the phone or by email when you need to.

If you would like to speak with us call Gary Wallach at 914-806-5853 or click here to email or click here to visit our website.

Company: BGES Group, 216A Larchmont Acres West, Larchmont, NY 10538
e-mail: bgesgroup@gmail.com
website: http://www.bgesgroup.com
© – Copyright – 2021 – BGES Group

How to Handle a Premium Audit

How to Handle a Premium Audit

It might be hard to fathom any type of audit being beneficial, but when your insurer conducts a premium audit for your account, it can just as important to you as it is to your carrier.

When you were first issued your policy, the carrier looked at the estimated sales figures or payroll data that you provided to them. It calculated your premiums based on this information. Now that you have real numbers under your belt and actual experience, the information can be reassessed to determine the correct premium amount.

Depending on how your business operates and the size of your policy, there are several methods your insurance carrier can use to conduct your premium audit, including:

Mail вЂ” Your insurer will mail you an audit form and the instructions to complete it. Once completed, you will return the form by mail to your carrier.

Phone вЂ” Your carrier will hire an independent audit company to conduct your audit over the phone.

Physical вЂ” Your insurance company will usually conduct the audit at your business, but it could be conducted at an alternative location, such as your certified public accountant’s office.

Regardless of the method, the audit will typically include your disbursements and payroll journals, ledgers, tax and Social Security reports, state unemployment forms, and other accounting records being inspected. Depending on the audit, other documents could be involved.

The data is then used for determining and adjusting premium amounts (either higher or lower). If it’s higher, you may be asked to pay back premium for the months that you underpaid for coverage.

Be prepared

The best way to handle these audits is to be prepared, and that means keeping track of certain documents and records and having them conveniently accessible so you can produce them at a moment’s notice.

The most commonly audited policies are liability and all workers’ comp policies. The
audits collect exposure information estimated when the policy was written and compare it to the actual numbers.

Here are the main records you will need to produce:

Liability policies

  • Gross company sales
  • Independent contractor costs (insured and uninsured)
  • Payroll for certain types of exposures.

Workers’ compensation policies

  • Actual employee payroll
  • Cost of independent contractors if no certificate or proof of other coverage is provided.If you are notified that you will be audited, you can make the whole process easier and less stressful and hopefully end on a positive note if you follow these tips:


How to prepare

Once you’ve been notified that you’re up for an audit, there are a number of steps you can take before the auditor arrives:

  • Find out what the auditor will be reviewing by looking at their worksheets and past audit billing statements.
  • Determine which of your employees would be best suited to work with the auditor. Look for someone that’s both knowledgeable about the accounting records that will be used in the audit and about what work is done by various employees and departments.
  • Collect all the accounting records that will be used during the audit.
  • If you use subcontractors, make sure that you have their certificates of insurance on hand. Ensure that your documentation shows all the contractors have their own general liability insurance and workers’ compensation coverage.
  • Check that your payroll documents include a breakdown of wages according to class code, department and employee.

 

The day of the audit

  • Make sure you have all the applicable records easily available to the auditor. You might request the audit be conducted at your place of business.
  • Ask the auditor to explain any points that aren’t clear to you.
  • Request a hard copy of the auditor’s findings.

After the audit

Carefully assess the audit billing statement, comparing it to your original policy. Discuss the findings with us for assistance and advice.

Don’t agree to pay any additional premium dollars until after you have talked to us, you’ve made a list of all changes and discussed any problematic areas with the auditor.

Knowing what to expect and how to prepare is the key to a successful audit. Even if you end up being charged back-premium, it could be worse if you don’t keep accurate records. By regularly updating records that your insurer would ask for, you’ll be ahead of the game and you may identify changes that may affect your premium.

Want better rates, better coverage, better service, call Gary Wallach TODAY by dialing 914-806-5853 or emailing bgesgroup@gmail.com.

BGES Group’s office, located in Larchmont, NY is a full service insurance agency offering, Property, Liability, Umbrella Liability, Business Auto, Bid & Performance Bonds, Inland Marine, Worker’s Compensation, New York State Disability, Group Health, Life insurance, Personal lines and Identity Theft.

Special Contractor Insurance Programs (NY, NJ, CT) – We we have 50+ insurance companies to market your general liability, umbrella liability, business auto, workers compensation, bid & performance bonds and group health coverages.  We help contractors set up proper risk transfer.  If you’re a contractor we offer extensive information about insurance markets, coverages, risk transfer, subcontractor screening, ways to lower your insurance costs.

BGES Group are Worker’s Compensation Specialists for the States of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut – Issues we address: 1) Lowering pricing – we have specialty programs that can save you up to 40%; 2) Finding a new company; 3) Replacing policies that are being cancelled or non renewed; 4) Audit disputes; 5) Company creating fictitious payroll at audit time; 6) Lowering high experience modifications factors; 7) Misclassification of payrolls; 8) Lowering or eliminating renewal deposits;   9) Getting coverage when you’ve been without for a few months; 10) Covering multiple states under one policy; 11) Eliminating 10% service or policy fees; 12) Timely issuance of certificates; 13) Always being able to get someone on the phone or by email when you need to.

If you would like to speak with us call Gary Wallach at 914-806-5853 or click here to email or click here to visit our website.

Company: BGES Group, 216A Larchmont Acres West, Larchmont, NY 10538

e-mail: bgesgroup@gmail.com

website: http://www.bgesgroup.com

© – Copyright – 2021 – BGES Group

Commercial Insurance Rate Hikes to Continue in 2022

Commercial Insurance Rate Hikes to Continue in 2022

Rates for most commercial lines of insurance are likely to continue rising going into 2022, as claims costs mount across the board.

A new report from Marketscout notes that rate increases have accelerated across all major lines, but have been most pronounced in liability coverages.

The composite rate for commercial insurance pricing in the third quarter of 2021 was up 6.8% from the same period in 2020. The year-on-year rate of increase is higher than the 5.9% logged in the second quarter.

The factors driving these rate increases show no signs of waning. There are a number of factors affecting rates and they vary depending on where a business is located as well as the industry in which it operates. Insurance experts are predicting average rate increases of about 5% to 10% across most lines of coverage.

The Marketscout report looking at the third quarter of 2021 shines a spotlight on what business owners can expect going into 2022.

Here’s what happened in the third quarter:

Commercial property

Commercial property insurance rates increased 9% on average in the third quarter, compared to the same period in 2021.

Rates will vary depending on the location of a business. Companies in areas at high risk of natural catastrophes, like tornadoes, hurricanes, hailstorms and wildfires, are seeing the highest rate hikes, as well as non-renewals and even difficulty in securing coverage. For example, in wildfire areas of California and wind zones of Florida, rates were up over 20%.

What’s driving rates: Increasing frequency of natural catastrophes, as well as the severity of those events. Also, higher rebuilding costs due to materials price inflation and labor shortages.

Employment practices liability insurance

EPLI insurance rate increases averaged 9% in the third quarter.

What’s driving rates: According to industry experts, retaliation and sexual harassment claims, gig worker classification, the gender pay gap and medical marijuana usage were among the top trending employment practices litigation types.

Moreover, the average cost of employment-related claims is rising, along with the length of time it takes to resolve a claim.

Commercial auto

The premium renewal rate averaged 9% in the third quarter of 2021, continuing a trend of rising rates.

What’s driving rates: An increasing amount of accidents and deaths caused by distracted driving, higher medical costs for accident victims, and rapidly climbing repair costs for vehicles.

General liability

The premium renewal rate rose on average 6% in the third quarter.

What’s driving rates: Higher jury and settlement awards. Increased litigation and higher medical costs for bodily injury claims, as well.

Business owner’s policies

The BOP premium renewal rate increased in the third quarter at an average of 4.7% from the same period in 2021.

What’s driving rates: Since BOPs include property and liability coverage, the reasons rates are increasing are due to why property and general liability rates are rising, as above.

Umbrella and excess liability

Umbrella and excess liability insurance saw rates go up 11.7% in the third quarter from the same period the year prior.

What’s driving rates: Rates for these coverages continue climbing due to a number of factors, including large judgments, the cost of litigation and a rising tide of lawsuits against businesses. Gallagher notes that the median verdict for the top 50 cases has doubled in the past four years.

Workers’ compensation

This is the bright spot as rates have remained flat or falling for many years. The third quarter was no exception.

The takeaway

As your policies come up for renewal, it’s good to get a head start on shopping around. If you are concerned about your rates, give us a call.

Want better rates, better coverage, better service, call Gary Wallach TODAY by dialing 914-806-5853 or emailing bgesgroup@gmail.com.

BGES Group’s office, located in Larchmont, NY is a full service insurance agency offering, Property, Liability, Umbrella Liability, Business Auto, Bid & Performance Bonds, Inland Marine, Worker’s Compensation, New York State Disability, Group Health, Life insurance, Personal lines and Identity Theft.

Special Contractor Insurance Programs (NY, NJ, CT) – We we have 50+ insurance companies to market your general liability, umbrella liability, business auto, workers compensation, bid & performance bonds and group health coverages.  We help contractors set up proper risk transfer.  If you’re a contractor we offer extensive information about insurance markets, coverages, risk transfer, subcontractor screening, ways to lower your insurance costs.

BGES Group are Worker’s Compensation Specialists for the States of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut – Issues we address: 1) Lowering pricing – we have specialty programs that can save you up to 40%; 2) Finding a new company; 3) Replacing policies that are being cancelled or non renewed; 4) Audit disputes; 5) Company creating fictitious payroll at audit time; 6) Lowering high experience modifications factors; 7) Misclassification of payrolls; 8) Lowering or eliminating renewal deposits;   9) Getting coverage when you’ve been without for a few months; 10) Covering multiple states under one policy; 11) Eliminating 10% service or policy fees; 12) Timely issuance of certificates; 13) Always being able to get someone on the phone or by email when you need to.

If you would like to speak with us call Gary Wallach at 914-806-5853 or click here to email or click here to visit our website.

Company: BGES Group, 216A Larchmont Acres West, Larchmont, NY 10538

e-mail: bgesgroup@gmail.com

website: http://www.bgesgroup.com

© – Copyright – 2021 – BGES Group

Pandemic Spurs Supplemental Benefits Uptake Among Workers

A new study has found that in response to the COVID-19 pandemic nearly half of U.S. workers added one new supplemental health-related benefit on top of their group health coverage.

The 2021 “Aflac WorkForces Report” found that 44% of employees bought one additional benefit, with life insurance policies seeing the biggest uptake. The fact that so many workers decided to boost their supplemental health benefits reflects the profound effect the pandemic has had on people and how it has opened their eyes to the fragility of life.

“Anxieties over the past year brought questions about health coverage ― especially about whether current coverage is enough for workers and their families,” Aflac wrote in its report. “The survey found that employees sought ways to help offset the financial burdens they experienced, including through supplemental insurance.”

Interestingly, the largest uptake of these benefits was among millennial workers.

With the pandemic still not over and more people having seen the effects on friends, family and acquaintances, the report predicts that the trend will continue.

The most popular additional benefits

The percentages of workers who have purchased a voluntary benefit since the pandemic started:

  • Life insurance: 22% overall and 34% of millennial workers.
  • Critical illness insurance: 16% overall and 23% of millennial workers.
  • Mental health resources: 14% overall and 21% of millennial workers.
  • Hospital insurance: 14% overall and 21% of millennial workers.
  • Accident insurance: 12% overall and 19% of millennial workers.
  • Disability insurance: 10% overall and 16% of millennial workers.
  • Cancer insurance: 4% overall and 6% of millennial workers.

Overall views of supplemental benefits have also improved since the pandemic started. The survey found that:

  • One-third of employees say supplemental insurance is more important now due to the pandemic.
  • 51% of all American workers view supplemental benefits as a core component of a comprehensive benefits program.
  • 90% of employees believe the need for supplemental insurance is increasing.
  • 48% employees (and 63% of millennials) are highly interested in purchasing supplemental insurance to help cover the financial costs related to COVID-19 or other pandemics.

The takeaway

In light of these findings, it’s more important than ever that employers offer more than group health coverage and provide their workers with a slate of voluntary benefit offerings, many of which do not cost the employer much extra.

In fact, the study found that 70% of employers believe supplemental insurance helps them recruit employees and 75% say it helps with retention.

But keep in mind that may employees believe they already have enough coverage to meet their needs. Open enrollment is a prime time to educate them about the health-related expenses that group health insurance doesn’t cover, such as death benefits and long-term care.

One way you can put together a slate of offerings that your workforce needs and is interested in, is to conduct a study of your staff to see which options they would most prefer.

And finally: Introduce your benefits consultant (in person or virtually) prior to or at the start of open enrollment. That way, employees become familiar with them and can be more comfortable asking questions about the various coverages they can choose from.

If you would like to speak with us call Gary Wallach at 914-806-5853 or click here to email or click here to visit our website.

BGES Group’s office, located in Larchmont, NY is a full service insurance agency offering, Property, Liability, Umbrella Liability, Business Auto, Bid & Performance Bonds, Inland Marine, Worker’s Compensation, New York State Disability, Group Health, Life insurance, Personal lines and Identity Theft.

Special Contractor Insurance Programs (NY, NJ, CT) – We we have 60+ insurance companies to market your general liability, umbrella liability, business auto, workers compensation, bid & performance bonds and group health coverages. We help contractors set up proper risk transfer. If you’re a contractor we offer extensive information about insurance markets, coverages, risk transfer, subcontractor screening, ways to lower your insurance costs.

BGES Group are Worker’s Compensation Specialists for the States of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut – Issues we address: 1) Lowering pricing – we have specialty programs that can save you up to 40%; 2) Finding a new company; 3) Replacing policies that are being cancelled or non renewed; 4) Audit disputes; 5) Company creating fictitious payroll at audit time; 6) Lowering high experience modifications factors; 7) Misclassification of payrolls; 8) Lowering or eliminating renewal deposits;  9) Getting coverage when you’ve been without for a few months; 10) Covering multiple states under one policy; 11) Eliminating 10% service or policy fees; 12) Timely issuance of certificates; 13) Always being able to get someone on the phone or by email when you need to.

If you would like to speak with us call Gary Wallach at 914-806-5853 or click here to email or click here to visit our website.

Company: BGES Group, 216A Larchmont Acres West, Larchmont, NY 10538

e-mail: bgesgroup@gmail.com

website: http://www.bgesgroup.com

© – Copyright – 2021 – BGES Group

Coverage Gap Concerns as Cyber Threat Grows

Small and mid-sized businesses are increasingly being targeted for cyber attacks, as criminals consider them low-hanging fruits that often do not have the resources in place to mount a strong defense.

A severe attack on a small company can incapacitate its ability to do business, and the expenses of getting operations back on track — coupled with loss of goodwill — can easily force many firms into bankruptcy. That’s why it’s important to not only have safeguards in place to avoid being compromised in the first place, but to also take out cyber insurance.

If you are running a small or mid-sized company, do not underestimate the growing threat to your business. Hiscox’s “2019 Cyber Readiness Report” estimated that cyber-security incidents would cost businesses over $5 trillion within the next five years alone.

According to a survey by online insurance news service <i>Advisen</i> and Nationwide Insurance Co., the types of cyber losses mid-sized businesses incur are:

  • Malicious breaches resulting in data losses: 52%
  • Unintentional data disclosure by staff: 16%
  • Physical loss or theft of data: 13%
  • Network or website disruptions: 5%
  • Phishing, spoofing and social engineering: 5%
  • Other: 9%

Cyber insurance

Some companies feel they don’t need cyber coverage because they believe their property and liability policies will cover any related losses. They are mistaken. For costs associated with a cyber attack or a network failure, the standard property or liability policy will come up short.

Fortunately, there is cyber insurance. There are a number of different policies from various insurance companies that provide different levels of coverage.

That’s why it’s important for businesses to weigh their choices carefully with our guidance.

Generally, cyber insurance is designed to protect your company in five areas:

1. Network security

This aspect of cyber insurance covers your business in the event of network security failure; which can include a data breach, malware infection, cyber extortion demand, ransomware or business e-mail compromise.

Network security coverage will reimburse for expenses that you incur as a result of the cyber incident, including:

  • Legal expenses
  • IT forensics
  • Negotiation and payment of a ransomware demand
  • Data restoration
  • Breach notification to consumers
  • Setting up a call center
  • Public relations expertise
  • Credit monitoring and identity restoration.

2. Privacy liability

Privacy liability coverage protects your company from liabilities that stem from a cyber incident or privacy law violation. This usually arises when a third party’s personally identifiable information that your company stores has been compromised.

These third party costs can arise, for example, from liabilities required in a contractual obligation, as well as regulatory fines or penalties levied by government agencies.

3. Network business interruption

Network business interruption coverage kicks in if a cyber incident has led to your company being unable to operate fully or partially.

For example, if your network goes down due to a cyber event, the insurance will pay for your lost profits, expenses and extra costs incurred during the time your business was interrupted.

Cyber incidents that may cause business interruption include:

  • System compromised by an outside party.
  • System failure, such as a failed software patch or human error.

4. Media liability

This coverage pays for costs related to intellectual property infringement, other than patent infringement, resulting from the advertising of your services.

It often applies to both your online advertising, including social media posts, as well as printed advertising.

5. Errors and omissions

One of the most concerning results of having your network compromised is the possibility of your organization not being able to fulfill its contractual obligations and deliver services to your customers.

The errors and omissions portion of a cyber policy will cover claims arising from errors in the performance of or failure to perform your services.

This can include technology services, like software and consulting, or more traditional professional services like lawyers, doctors, architects and engineers.

If you would like to speak with us call Gary Wallach at 914-806-5853 or click here to email or click here to visit our website.

BGES Group’s office, located in Larchmont, NY is a full service insurance agency offering, Property, Liability, Umbrella Liability, Business Auto, Bid & Performance Bonds, Inland Marine, Worker’s Compensation, New York State Disability, Group Health, Life insurance, Personal lines and Identity Theft.

Special Contractor Insurance Programs (NY, NJ, CT) – We we have 60+ insurance companies to market your general liability, umbrella liability, business auto, workers compensation, bid & performance bonds and group health coverages. We help contractors set up proper risk transfer. If you’re a contractor we offer extensive information about insurance markets, coverages, risk transfer, subcontractor screening, ways to lower your insurance costs.

BGES Group are Worker’s Compensation Specialists for the States of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut – Issues we address: 1) Lowering pricing – we have specialty programs that can save you up to 40%; 2) Finding a new company; 3) Replacing policies that are being cancelled or non renewed; 4) Audit disputes; 5) Company creating fictitious payroll at audit time; 6) Lowering high experience modifications factors; 7) Misclassification of payrolls; 8) Lowering or eliminating renewal deposits;  9) Getting coverage when you’ve been without for a few months; 10) Covering multiple states under one policy; 11) Eliminating 10% service or policy fees; 12) Timely issuance of certificates; 13) Always being able to get someone on the phone or by email when you need to.

If you would like to speak with us call Gary Wallach at 914-806-5853 or click here to email or click here to visit our website.

Company: BGES Group, 216A Larchmont Acres West, Larchmont, NY 10538

e-mail: bgesgroup@gmail.com

website: http://www.bgesgroup.com

© – Copyright – 2021 – BGES Group

Holding a Safe End-of-Year Holiday Party

Holding a Safe End-of-Year Holiday Party

Last year, most companies cancelled their holiday parties as COVID-19 case rates started surging after the Thanksgiving holidays and as people started spending more time indoors.

Cases have once again been rising in the run-up to December, so many businesses are approaching their holiday plans with the safety of their staff top of mind.

If you’re concerned about the safety of your staff, there are number of issues you’ll have to consider in light of the pandemic as well as other safety issues that you need to address:

Make attendance voluntary. Many people are still nervous to be in public places or in large crowds. They may be immunocompromised or live with someone who is. They may fear contracting COVID-19 and bringing it home. Don’t force anyone to go to the party. Make it voluntary.

To mask or not to mask? Masks have become a major trigger point in American society and a political issue that inspires outrage among some. The Centers for Disease Control still recommends masking and social distancing, but many companies who have a majority of staff who have been vaccinated have decided to hold parties without mask requirements.

Companies will have to consider transmission rates in their communities before deciding whether to require masks at their parties.

Choose a venue carefully. Select a location that is large enough to provide additional space for your employees, since COVID-19 is still actively circulating. Ideally, arrange for an outdoor space but if you go with an indoor venue, make sure it has ample space.

Keep events small. The scale, nature and venue for your event should be chosen considering the local situation. The number of people attending will have to be within the allowable limits under state or local regulations. If there are no local rules, make sure that you have ample space for everyone to socially distance.

Food and drinks. CDC guidelines recommend that at large events all food be served to people at tables and not offered as a buffet, where people can breathe over the offerings. That also means that appetizer stations are out, as well.

One option if you don’t want to have a sit-down dinner that is served is to provide bento-style boxes of food for people to pick up and bring to a table to eat. That way all the food is covered.

If you do want to have food out so people can graze, consider keeping it under see-through covers liked domed cloches.

Also, you should consider not having champagne towers or punch bowls. Instead try to provide drinks in bottles that your staff can open on their own, or have a bar with a hired bartender who serves bottles and pours glasses of wine or mixed drinks.

Use technology. Some companies are planning to hold Zoom-based celebrations to reduce the risk of transmission, particularly if they are located in areas with high and rising case rates or if a large portion of their staff remain unvaccinated.

A solution for some businesses may be a hybrid event where some people are on-site and others join in via Zoom or other platforms. This is an ideal way to include vulnerable individuals who may be at special risk, for whatever reason.

While “virtual mingling” might not have quite the same zing to it, employees joining in from home can still relax and chat with colleagues.

Live, interactive games that cyberspace attendees can participate in are limited only by your imagination. Invite employees to make suggestions, and you might be surprised by what people come up with.

Ultimate in safety: No party. Some employers are holding off for another year and instead providing their staff with additional time off to spend with their families.

The decision

The decision on whether to hold a holiday party, and how to hold one, requires planning and a focus on safety for everyone who will be attending. While safety should be top of mind for any company event, with the ongoing pandemic in the background, it’s important that employers focus on protecting their staff from infection again this year.

BGES Group’s office, located in Larchmont, NY is a full service insurance agency offering, Property, Liability, Umbrella Liability, Business Auto, Bid & Performance Bonds, Inland Marine, Worker’s Compensation, New York State Disability, Group Health, Life insurance, Personal lines and Identity Theft.

Special Contractor Insurance Programs (NY, NJ, CT) – We we have 60+ insurance companies to market your general liability, umbrella liability, business auto, workers compensation, bid & performance bonds and group health coverages. We help contractors set up proper risk transfer. If you’re a contractor we offer extensive information about insurance markets, coverages, risk transfer, subcontractor screening, ways to lower your insurance costs.

BGES Group are Worker’s Compensation Specialists for the States of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut – Issues we address: 1) Lowering pricing – we have specialty programs that can save you up to 40%; 2) Finding a new company; 3) Replacing policies that are being cancelled or non renewed; 4) Audit disputes; 5) Company creating fictitious payroll at audit time; 6) Lowering high experience modifications factors; 7) Misclassification of payrolls; 8) Lowering or eliminating renewal deposits;  9) Getting coverage when you’ve been without for a few months; 10) Covering multiple states under one policy; 11) Eliminating 10% service or policy fees; 12) Timely issuance of certificates; 13) Always being able to get someone on the phone or by email when you need to.

 If you would like to speak with us call Gary Wallach at 914-806-5853 or click here to email or click here to visit our website.

Company: BGES Group, 216A Larchmont Acres West, Larchmont, NY 10538

e-mail: bgesgroup@gmail.com

website: http://www.bgesgroup.com

© – Copyright – 2021 – BGES Group