May, 2013

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Business Insurance and Acts of Terror Conflicts

Business interruption is a problem typically associated with earthquakes, floods and other natural disasters that are usually covered events, provided they are not listed as exemptions in the policy exclusions. After the recent bombings at the Boston Marathon, many business owners are discovering that their business insurance San Francisco coverage does not include acts of terror, which is creating a lot of discussion and is now a hotbed topic.

 

Damages and police investigations could result in delays

 

If, for example, you were the owner of a business on Boylston Street in Boston, you more than likely had to close your doors for upwards of ten days, and at huge expense. You may find that you would not get any insurance money if the federal government officially declared the bombings an act of terrorism. And for many local businesses, the days following the Marathon were especially vital in terms of commerce. With your business closed because of the investigation this could severely impact your ability to get back up and running.

 

What’s more, restaurants and food distributors have additional risks. As a restaurant owner or owner of a business that sold food items, you had the added concern of your precious inventory spoiling or going bad. That’s what happened at one of the steakhouses in Boston that was located close to the second explosion. Everything had to be thrown out.

 

Businesses tended to buy insurance for unplanned events like this. But after 9/11, Congress passed a law to exclude terrorism from the standard business interruption insurance contract. This is something that you have to pay extra for, and most small companies don’t. Unfortunately, that means if the federal government officially declares the bombings an act of terror, many businesses are going to be responsible for their own losses.

 

Because of the low percentages associated with terrorism here in the U.S., it’s no wonder that most businesses owners decline to purchase it. But the downside is, that when an incident does occur, like it has for many around the site of the Boston Marathon bombings, they will not have the coverage to kick in. It’s wise to discuss with this issue with your insurance agent to find out how much coverage costs in the event your business is shuttered due to an act of terror. They will help you in evaluating whether this is coverage you should purchase, especially if you are situated in a vulnerable area in a populated city, such as Boston, New York, Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco, Los Angeles, etc.

 

 

Why Errors and Omissions Insurance Should Be Part of Your Medical Gear

When the guy building your taco makes a mistake and leaves out an ingredient, even if it’s your favorite one, nobody’s going to die over the event. The same cannot be said when errors and omissions medical professional are created by a medical professional. When a doctor (or dentist or nurse, hospital, clinic, or other health-related entity, for that matter) makes a grave mistake, skips a key step in a process, or otherwise fails to apply the minimum standard of due care that is to be expected by someone working in that position, the result can be serious injury to a patient or even death. In today’s litigious society, a lawsuit would almost surely follow such an event—and that’s when you would rely on the specific coverage (also known as professional liability insurance) designed to provide protection in these matters.

The policy pays for the legal costs to defend you in a lawsuit, regardless of whether errors or omission have actually been judged to have occurred, and also pays the cost of claims (up to the limits of the policy) for which you as the insured medical professional are found to be liable. These types of claims are excluded from the standard general liability policy as they are not considered bodily injury or property damage as defined by that coverage. In contrast, the E&O policy does offer protection from bodily injury or property damage claims, as well as liability for personal injury such as mental anguish. The complexity involved in discovering the precise nature of the mistake in these cases often results in a higher percentage of premium dollars going toward defense and cost containment expenses. As a result, insurers spend quite a bit of funds to investigate and defend their insureds against claims when here is an adverse patient outcome.

Those in the medical profession have unfortunately come to realize that it’s not a question of will they be sued, it’s a question of how many times, for how much, did they win their case, and how much as the cost of the lawsuit. Thus, in this climate, errors and omissions coverage for medical professionals should be standard issue. Consult with a professional insurance agent to learn more about the right policy for you, and the amount of coverage that makes sense.

Pollution Liability Insurance and Possible Negligence

A common misconception among many business owners when it comes to the pollution liability insurance is that the substance polluting has to be a major oil spill or corrosive chemical of some kind. But this is not necessarily the case. Even companies such as dry cleaners, hair salons, or any business that uses chemicals of some type are typically at risk of pollution liabilities when they store or dispose of their various chemicals.

 

What’s more, the issue of pollution liability has come to the forefront with growing concerns over the safety of drinking water, chemicals and toxins harming marine life,

the degradation of underground water resources across the U.S., and poor fuel quality, to name a few. In addition, the long-term, ill effects of environmental pollution on the public welfare, the environment, and natural resources is a top-of-mind issue after several well-publicized environmental disaster, the enactment of federal environmental legislation in response to those disasters, and inevitable litigation over financial responsibility for the cleanup and damages resulting from environmental pollution.

 

Negligence is a major concern

 

If a company is found to be at fault for the failure to do what is reasonable, under the circumstances, to protect third parties from injury or damage, it can be found guilty of negligence which can result not only in lawsuits but also fines and penalties. Take a look at an example of a negligent act that resulted in an actual environmental liability claim. A hazardous waste hauler transporting toxic waste to a disposal facility had an auto accident in the downtown section of a city. The hazardous liquid being transported was released into the street. Passersby inhaled the fumes, and the business district of the city was evacuated for two days as cleanup contractors responded to the spill. Claims were filed against the transporter alleging bodily injury, property damage, and business interruption. Fines and penalties were also issued. Without the appropriate insurance coverages, including Pollution Liability, the costs involved to make the appropriate indemnification would be prohibitive.

 

You may think that your business is too small to worry about pollution insurance, but in fact businesses most commonly at risk are in the contracting, manufacturing, and transportation industries. Many other types of firms may also be affected, for example, small businesses like landscapers and restaurants. Discuss the need for pollution liability coverage with your insurance agent to determine what type of policy you need.

The Benefits Of Insurance Agency SEO

Search engine optimization, or the process of increasing webpage visibility through an organic search, has been around as long as search engines themselves. Webmasters have been optimizing sites on the internet since the mid-1990s. As the major search engines evolve, the process of search engine optimization, or SEO, has evolved with them. Adept SEO will do wonders to draw new visitors to your webpage. If you are in the insurance business, you need to invest in insurance agency SEO. Search engine optimization is a cost-effective way to successfully market your business.

How Does SEO Work?Insurance agency SEO

 When you hire an experienced company to help you with insurance agency SEO, you are putting your business in qualified hands. Search engine optimizers will work diligently to find the best keyword phrases for you market. If your business operates in Phoenix, for example, a popular keyword phrase might be “insurance agency in Phoenix.” When potential customers type that phrase into a search engine, you want your website to be one of the first results. SEO can make that happen.

Why Is SEO Helpful?

 The more people who visit your webpage, the more potential customers are learning about your business and associating your name with insurance. Insurance agency SEO increases the likelihood that potential customers become real customers. Gone are the days of yellow pages; when people need something, they use an internet search engine. Shouldn’t you be optimizing this powerful tool?