30 May 2017 By

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.

09 May 2017 By

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 By

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.

25 April 2017 By

Spring-2017-Disability

There are very few changes a company can make to its benefits program that can achieve cost savings with absolutely no downside to the employees or the company. Changing the administration of your company’s temporary disability benefits (TDB) program is one of them.

In New Jersey, all employers must provide TDB to their eligible employees. These benefits must cover two-thirds of an employee’s pay, up to a weekly maximum of $633 ($615 in 2016). What many employers do not realize is that these state-mandated benefits can be administered by a private plan through an insurance carrier rather than by the state plan through the state of New Jersey. Private plans must be at least as liberal in benefit amounts, eligibility requirements and duration of payments as the state plan.

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