30 May 2017 In Blog style

Since the dawn of humankind, Homo sapiens have lived in communities. From the first groups of cave dwellers, we’ve huddled together for our own survival—the literal success of our species. What is new is the concept of condominium associations. Here, an anthropologist might say, is a unique form of human socialization. Picture a single cave, owned equally by all the cave dwellers, ruled democratically—the first cavedominium! (Society Hill at Mesopotamia?)

The first condominium associations in New Jersey came about some time in the mid-1960s, with some of the earliest condos evolving from apartment buildings which may have been built even earlier. As time went on, builders found improved profits were to be had in constructing conjoined housing instead of single family homes.

24 May 2017 In Blog style

Starting January 1, 2018, New York will have one of the most comprehensive paid family leave (PFL) programs in the country.  This new program will not cover time away from work for the employee’s own health condition, but for the health condition of a family member.  Also, this is not to be confused with the New York DBL (short term disability) which pays disabled employees 50% of base pay to a maximum of $170.00/week. 

22 May 2017 In Blog style

What is captive insurance and why might you need it? Captive insurance is insurance that is provided by a captive insurance company (captive, for short). Captives are wholly owned and controlled by their own insured members rather than by outside carriers. They choose to put their own capital at risk, believing that they can generate profits by instituting measures to help better control expenses. Unlike traditional insurance policies, where policyholders are beholden to an insurance company’s rates, captives’ insurance policies allow policyholders to manage their premiums—and ideally lower them—by proactively managing their losses.

Say you are insured for workers’ compensation through a traditional policy and worked extra hard to keep your losses low last year by enhancing workplace safety and instituting more rigorous employee training programs. Not only will the benefit of those losses be unrealized by your company in the form of reduced premiums, but you could actually face a premium increase if others in your risk pool have had increased losses or if overall administrative costs have risen. Why should all that hard work in controlling your losses not be rewarded?

16 May 2017 In Blog style

It was Dmitri Alperovitch, cofounder of the cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike, who famously said, “There are only two types of organizations: those that know that they’ve been hacked and those that don’t yet know.” According to multiple online news sources, cybersecurity is seen as one of the biggest current threats to businesses worldwide. Juniper Research has projected the cost of cybercrime at $2 trillion globally by 2019. That’s only two years away!

We have already seen how major data security breaches can spell disaster for high-profile companies like Target, The Home Depot and JPMorgan Chase. Target alone reported that the breach of its customer data cost the company upwards of $250 million. Data breaches can be caused by a multitude of commonplace incidents that you may not even give a whole lot of thought to like a leaked password, a disgruntled employee, a lost mobile device or a lack of encryption.

09 May 2017 In Blog style

amendedAhac

On May 4, 2017, members of the U.S. House of Representatives voted 217-213 to pass the American Health Care Act (AHCA), after it had been amended several times. The AHCA is the proposed legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

The AHCA needed 216 votes to pass in the House. Ultimately, it passed on a party-line vote, with 217 Republicans and no Democrats voting in favor of the legislation. The AHCA will now move on to be considered by the Senate. It is likely that the Senate will make changes to the proposed legislation before taking a vote. The AHCA would only need a simple majority vote in the Senate to pass. However, unless and until the AHCA is passed by the Senate and signed by President Trump, the ACA will remain intact.

While it’s likely the AHCA will be modified in the Senate, these are the current main impacts to the ACA:

09 May 2017 In Blog style

Spring-2017-Gwen-Foodborne-Illness

If you’re in the food processing industry and responsible for your company’s quality assurance program, watch out! This year, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is poised to take a giant step further toward meeting the safety standards established by the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), which was signed into law on January 4, 2011, but became fully effective just last September. Under the new regulations, the FDA will considerably strengthen its food safety and enforcement protocols, holding all responsible parties to a much higher standard. By including provisions for criminalizing food safety failures, the FDA is demonstrating its intent to go after foodborne illnesses much more aggressively than it has in the past.

By way of background, the FDA began computerized tracking of food contamination through the Reportable Food Registry in 2009. Once companies began systematically reporting their contamination cases, a plethora of high-profile companies were cited including, most notably, Chipotle Mexican Grill in 2015. These outbreaks led to a public and regulatory outcry, which resulted in much stricter regulations. Under FSMA, the FDA now has the power to initiate unannounced inspections, conduct huge retail food testing programs, recall vast product inventories and initiate criminal procedures against offenders—even those with no prior knowledge of the contamination.

02 May 2017 In Blog style

riskControl eric

Insurance is all about controlling risk, whether it involves your organization, personnel, property or net income. Identifying these trouble spots and developing effective strategies to minimize risk is one of the critical services your insurance broker can provide your company.

We are all familiar with the concept of insurance: paying premiums to an insurance carrier in exchange for transferring the cost of any losses from the company to the carrier. Your broker can help you uncover not only the best combination of coverage and cost but also manage your company’s risk profile to present it to potential underwriters in the best possible light.

It’s a natural tendency for insurance carriers to try to pigeonhole your business into a neat and tidy category. For workers’ compensation coverage, perhaps your company will be classified as retail, transportation, residential construction or light manufacturing. For property, the category will be based on usage, such as construction, fire prevention or other damage.

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