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Inland Marine Insurance

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Although you have insured the business property on your premises, this protection does not extend off site - unless you carry Inland Marine insurance.

This type of policy goes back as far as the 17th century when Lloyd's of London extended coverage on ship cargos beyond ocean voyages to their final destination "inland." Today, Inland Marine covers the property of a business when it's in transit - or stored at a location away from the premises - as well as the property of third parties that's held on the premises. Because this property is essentially "floating," these policies are also known as Floaters.

Inland Marine coverage would apply in such scenarios as:

  • A truck carrying designer handbags for an upscale department store is hijacked at a rest stop.
  • A hailstorm damages bulldozers on a machinery dealer's lot.
  • A fire at a dry cleaners scorches customers' clothing.
  • A defective sprinkler system in a "big box" store warehouse soaks dozens of TVs.

You can buy Inland Marine insurance on either a "named peril" basis (which lists the specific risks covered) or as an "all risk" policy (which covers losses from all causes not specifically listed).

This coverage can provide valuable protection for the mobile or moveable property of almost any business, large or small: everything from camera shops and computer manufacturers through building contractors and jewelry stores to museums/art galleries and trucking companies.

As Business Insurance professionals, we can tailor a comprehensive Inland Marine policy to the needs of your company. Feel free to get in touch with us at any time.


Understanding How to Implement ADA Regulations

Bookmark and Share 2Although you're aware of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), you might not understand how to implement it in your small business. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) can help. The Americans with Disabilities Act: A Primer for Small Business outlines the provisions of the ADA and provides valuable examples, tips, and caveats:

This EEOC publication covers:

  • Who's protected by Title I of the ADA.
  • How to make ADA services accessible.
  • The use of tax credits and deductions to offset specific costs.
  • How to avoid mistakes when interviewing applicants with disabilities.
  • What questions you're permitted to ask employees about a medical condition.
  • What to do if safety issues arise.
  • Various aspects of reasonable accommodations requirements.
  • Tax incentives for businesses that hire and retain people with disabilities.

If you provide goods and services to the public, check out the ADA Guide for Small Businesses, a 15-page illustrated guide that presents an overview of some basic requirements for small businesses. It provides guidance on how to make these services accessible and use tax credits and deductions to offset specific costs. You can access the guide at ADA Guide for Small Businesses (HTML) or ADA Guide for Small Businesses (PDF). Spanish, Cambodian, Chinese, Hmong, Japanese, Korean, Laotian, Tagalog and Vietnamese editions are available from the ADA Information Line: (800) 514 -0301 (voice) or (800) 514-0383 (TTY).

Reading up on the ADA can help you avoid costly lawsuits. Get smart on the law -- and call us to make sure you have the coverage you need to protect your business against this risk.


Cell Phones Can Increase Workers Comp Premiums?

Bookmark and Share 2The more your employees use mobile devices on company business, the more likely they are to suffer injuries - and the greater your exposure to Workers Compensation losses - even if the incident occurs off the clock or away from the workplace!

We're no longer living in a Monday-Friday, 9-to-5 business world. Millions of workers rely on smart phones, laptops, and tablets for company business outside the office, posing a challenge to traditional definitions of work-related claims. Some 35 million Americans are working from homes, cars, airports, subways, the local wireless cafe -- even at the beach during vacations! One survey found that nearly three in five respondents (59%) check their office e-mail when on vacation, while 79% pack their laptop along with their swimsuit or skis.

A combination of factors are contributing to the explosive growth of this "cyberworkalohic" behavior: Job insecurity in today's uncertain economy, pressure (real or perceived) from peers or managers, the demands of working in today's global, 24-7 business environment -- and the blurring of distinctions between office and home environments among younger, tech-savvy workers.

Consider these scenarios:

  • An employee on her evening jog is using her cell phone to check on office e-mails when she stumbles on the curb, falls, and breaks her arm.
  • While stuck in traffic on his way home from work, a man receives a work-related text message that's so upsetting he rear-ends another car, injuring his back.

What happens if these workers file Workers Comp claims for job-related injuries? That depends. The growth in employees' work-related use of mobile devices away from the job is so recent that courts haven't yet ruled on whether such claims are compensable.

To reduce exposing your business to this increasingly widespread risk -- which could drive up your Comp premiums -- it makes sense to set and enforce clear and comprehensive rules for using mobile devices on company business outside the work environment. The goal of this "best practice" approach is to create a corporate culture that maintains a balance between increasing productivity and keeping your workers as safe, and injury free, as possible -- on and off the job.

For advice on designing guidelines for employee use of mobile devices, just get in touch with us.


Understanding Business Income Exclusions

Bookmark and Share Many companies buy Business Income insurance to help reduce the devastating effect of a loss on their ongoing operations. Although this coverage is extremely valuable and can help keep your business afloat after a loss, bear in mind that it has a number of exclusions.

For example, coverage usually excludes lost income associated with a contract. If the covered loss affects your ability to meet a contract with a third party, the resulting lost income won't be covered beyond the "period of restoration." This period usually begins 72 hours after the loss and ends as soon as your property is restored and/or operational.

Let's say that you sign a contract with customer ABC to supply materials for a year. A month later, your business suffers a major loss to property, including the materials that ABC agreed to buy from you. Because you'll now be unable to offer these materials for an indefinite term, ABC has no choice but to find the materials elsewhere. Your property is repaired and operational five months later, ending the "period of restoration." However, because of the exclusion, your policy won't cover the remaining six months of lost income from losing the contract.

Review your Business Income policy today to learn its period of restoration. There might be an endorsement available to extend the amount of time that your policy will provide coverage. We can help you determine the period that's right for you. Just give us a call.