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P.O. Box 1750, Cockysville, MD, 21030
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Business Protection Bulletin
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Managing Sports Injuries
Here's rule number one for managing injuries whether you're running a youth soccer team, high school football or a rugby team: Don't even run a practice game unless somebody on hand is trained in first aid.
The easiest way to handle this: Get trained in first aid, or, if someone else manages or coaches the team, have them get training. Now there will always be somebody on hand who knows what to do in the event of an injury.
If you run a sports team for any length of time, injuries are a given. Athletes are going to pull a leg muscle, take a fall or sprain a wrist now and then. Immediate, informed response to these injuries can make the difference between your star player being out for the season, or back on the field in a week. Not only that, it can make the difference between how big of a claim you need to make on your sports team insurance.
Learn to Identify Concussions
The most immediately recognizable symptoms of a concussion include headache, loss of consciousness, confusion, balance problems, nausea and dizziness. You can check for a concussion by looking at your athlete's eyes. If the pupils are of unequal size or if they stay dilated (larger) no matter their exposure to light, then you may be dealing with a concussion. Get them to an emergency room as soon as possible, and make sure that they stay awake.
Dealing with muscular injuries is, thankfully, not as complicated as dealing with a broken bone. If a player complains of difficulty or discomfort moving an arm or a leg, look for swelling or redness, and make sure they stay comfortable until you can get them medical attention.
A broken arm or leg always looks a lot scarier than it really is. With proper medical attention, broken limbs can heal up as good as new within a few months, but you need to act fast. Make sure the athlete stays awake, use smelling salts if you need to. It's best not to move them, but if you need to get them out of harm's way, do it carefully. Don't worry about setting up a splint or anything. You're not lost in the woods, that's the paramedics' job.
Cuts and Scrapes
Disinfect, clean and bandage cuts and scrapes. Even if it's going to need stitches, cleaning the area right away is important. Most cuts you can shake off with a band-aid and some ointment. Others may require a visit to the doctor's office. Keep a first-aid kit on hand and be glad that cuts are pretty easy to manage.
Not only will basic first aid keep your team safe, it will also keep football team insurance premiums low by reducing the number and severity of adult or youth sports insurance claims you need to make.
HMS Insurance Associates, Inc.
How To Keep Your Snow Plow Insurance Premiums Low
One of the tricky things about snow plowing liability is that adverse weather conditions are a defining component of what you do for a living. If it's really snowing outside, you can take the bus to work instead of driving there. But if your job is to get the snow off the road so that the bus driver can do
job, then, well, you're going to be driving in the snow. Without seriously adverse driving conditions, there'd be no need for snow plows in the first place.
Snow plow insurance will generally cover your basic liability considerations, of course, including bodily and property damage. If you have employees, then you'll be looking into workers compensation, and of course you will need a business owners policy as well as full coverage for the vehicle itself. Some insurers will offer you a better deal than others, but the bottom line is that you're looking for a robust policy to cover some moderately dangerous work.
Here's the good news: The stuff that you do to stay safe on icy roads is the same stuff you can do to help get a good deal on your insurance policy. Every provider has their own discounts, their own way of evaluating you as a safe driver and business owner, but in general, just as with driving your car, the safer you are, the less you are likely to wind up paying each month for your insurance.
If this were a piece of clickbait, this is the part where we'd tell you the "1 weird trick" to keep your premiums low:
Verify Your People
If your new driver comes in with an impressive resume, the quickest way to check their references is to put down the phone and take them to the nearest parking lot. See how they maneuver a snow plow in a controlled environment, hit them with a pop quiz. You can fake references, you can lie on a resume, but you can't fake ability behind the wheel.
This applies to any sort of business where you're hiring drivers, but especially when the job also entails the operation of heavy machinery. Basically: Just don't take your drivers' abilities for granted. Test your new drivers, and make sure your current drivers take a refresher course around the parking lot to shake off the rust before you put them out on the streets.
HMS Insurance Associates, Inc.
Who Covers the Cargo?
Railroad insurance is required for covering general liability concerns, and since railroads stretch from state to state, railroad companies generally go for a fairly robust policy in order to ensure that they're covered no matter what the local laws dictate.
Here's one thing they're not required to cover in any of the fifty states in the nation: Cargo.
If you're new to shipping cargo by rail, this might come as something of a shock. Ships, truck drivers and delivery services typically cover what they carry. Railroad protective liability might not cover cargo at all, unless the company shipping your goods choose to do so of their own accord.
In other words, if you're shipping through a railroad company, you may wind up needing to provide your own insurance to keep your cargo safe. You have two basic options here:
Ask About Getting Covered Through The Railroad's Policy
Although railroad companies are not required to insure the cargo they carry, they might have an option for covering your cargo through their provider. The upside to this is that it's neat and simple and you usually wind up paying less than if you covered it yourself. The downside is that the coverage might not be as comprehensive as if you were to cover the cargo through your own provider. Your best bet is to look at what your provider can do for you, compare it to your shipper's deal, and see which plan you like better.
Cover It Through Your Provider
Most business insurance providers have policies set up to cover cargo as it is shipped by rail. The major upside to covering your cargo through your business policy is that you can get it covered for the entire trip through a single plan. A railroad doesn't drop your cargo off right at the retailer's back door, rather, it has to get there by truck. Covering the cargo through your provider will make it easier to cover it for the whole trip.
In that the railroad company is not likely to be held liable for any lost or damaged goods along the way, the general rule of thumb is: The more comprehensive your coverage, the better. An excess coverage policy, for instance, may be a little pricier than letting your umbrella policy handle the job, but it also ensures coverage to a higher value, and against a wider range of mishaps.
HMS Insurance Associates, Inc.
Habitational Insurance And Empty Apartments
Something many a landlord has pondered: Do I need to buy habitational insurance if I don't actually have any renters living in my apartment and condominium complexes right now? If you're doing renovations, if you're just sitting on the property right now and not actually leasing it out, do you need habitational coverage, or is there some other policy that will protect your property until you're ready to start looking for renters? After all, doesn't "habitational" mean that someone's living in it?
Habitational policies are there to cover you against general liability claims should a renter suffer injury or damages while on the premises, so it stands to reason that that protection isn't really necessary for an empty complex.
The short answer: Habitational insurance is only required when you are actually renting to people, but you'll want to make sure it's in place before you start looking for tenants. Until you're actually looking for renters and filing your taxes as a landlord, an apartment complex is kind of just a really, really big house. You can cover an apartment complex under various policies including general liability, property insurance and vacant housing insurance.
The real question is whether or not that's more hassle than it's worth.
It's unlikely that you're going to be sitting on a vacant apartment complex for any longer than absolutely necessary. The upkeep on an apartment or condo complex is a lot more time, effort and money than it's worth if you're not making a return on your investment by renting your units out. If your renovations are finished on the 7th, you might find yourself waiting a few weeks, unable to rent to any new tenants until your habitational policy kicks in at the end of the month.
Ultimately it comes down to whether you're saving enough to be worth the extra work of creating a whole new insurance package and spending any amount of time without a habitational policy in place. Obviously if you're building a complex from scratch, you don't need to worry about habitational insurance until you're putting the finishing touches on the building. If you're only going to be out of business for the week or two that it takes to fix a gas leak, then switching your policy up is going to be a lot of extra headaches for no good reason.
So no, you probably don't
habitational insurance if you're not renting to any tenants at the moment, but you'll want to take a moment to think about it before you cancel your coverage.
HMS Insurance Associates, Inc.
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