Month: July 2014

The Bidding Process and Securing a Surety Bond in Maryland

Surety Bond in Maryland

With the construction business now booming and in full swing there will be more and even stiffer competition when it comes to securing a winning bid on a new project. A Maryland surety bond, required by most clients, will be an important step towards winning those desired contracts.
Contractors should know that being the low bidder is often not enough in today’s market. In order to win more construction jobs, customers need a better reason to award a particular company a contract. Customers prefer to buy the best value, and to develop trusted relationships. But all factors being equal, they will often go with the lowest price.
To overcome being judged solely on delivering the lowest bid, it is suggested that contractors offer services that will set their company apart from the competition, with methods for improving things like their proposal strategy, and tracking bid success-to-failure ratio. This allows a company to determine which areas of the process they need to work on.

The art of winning bids for construction projects

Learning how to become the select bidder and getting on the right bid lists is a good place to start. Discover winning bid strategies that will give customers what they want by offering more than the minimum required by the plans and specifications. Learn how to get in front of the person who ultimately makes decisions in order to negotiate to win more contracts, and look for assistance from others who may have bid on similar construction contracts in the past.
Don’t wait for the SBA or government to contact you with “full and open competition” notices, create a contract location strategy and follow through on a regular basis. An effective search strategy focuses on a specific, geographic target location. Locating and preparing federal bids and proposals can be a difficult and time-consuming process that leaves no room for errors.
Locating and bidding on government construction contracts can seem difficult and confusing for those just getting started, so contractors need to become fully educated about every aspect of the business, including bidding procedures and the myriad of rules and regulations. In addition, understand that the SBA administers the government’s small business construction contracting programs. By qualifying as a small business (meaning the company’s average annual receipts range between $14 million to about $35.5 million) a business will be competing for construction contracts on equal ground with other small businesses.
Remember that a Maryland surety bond is the first step in this exciting and rewarding process. Speak to an agent about securing bonds today.

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Domestic Freight Forwarders and the Question of Liability

Domestic Freight Forwarder Liability

Liability is a question in every action you take, especially when it comes to managing goods that are not yours. This certainly comes into play with the hundreds of thousands of cargo trucks that trek across the United States on a daily basis and have to deal with domestic freight forwarder liability if something goes wrong.
As a cargo driver, it is important to recognize when domestic freight forwarder liability comes into play for damage or loss that occurs over the course of your journey and when you can be covered by insurance.
The first thing that determines one’s liability is the contract created by the carrier regarding the level of responsibility the driver has in terms of his cargo. Without thoroughly reading this document, you could be held accountable for damage that you thought would be covered.  Domestic freight forwarder liability insurance is also only covers cargo when it is physically in transit, which can certainly lead to disputes if a mistake is made in the delivery.
However, there are several cases in which you would not be held accountable for damage made and would certainly be covered by domestic freight forwarder liability insurance such as:

  • An unanticipated storm, another type of natural disaster, or anything of this nature
  • Any warlike activity that befalls the cargo
  • If the products being shipped have any inherent traits that could easily cause them to become damaged through no fault of the carrier
  • Negligence or carelessness on behalf of the shipper
  • An act of public authority, where the police or other government agency takes possession of the cargo for whatever reason

It is always important to be aware of your rights as a company and as a consumer and know when and why you should or should not be held liable for damages, especially when the items in question are not yours. Being aware of policies regarding domestic freight forwarder liability can only serve to benefit you in the long run.

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NJ Homeowners Insurance and Important Flood Tips

Woman by a Large Body of Water

While a NJ homeowners insurance policy will not cover flooding (this requires a separate policy for flood protection), homeowners still need to take measures to prevent basements from flooding and have a plan in place when such a situation arises. Many people spend thousands of dollars converting their basements into a comfortable living space, and the last thing they need is a tidal pool of ground water (or sewage) ruining their new home office or children’s playroom.
Here are a few flood prevention steps to protect the house when flooding does occur as well as an emergency plan to provide for the safety of everyone living there until things get back to normal.

An ounce of prevention

Clean the rain gutters in the spring since they are likely full of leaves that had come down in the fall. Blocked gutters can often cause basement flooding. Extend the rain gutter downspouts well out and away from the house. To avoid having the roof water further saturate the ground and cause flooding do not connect the downspouts to the foundation footer drain tiles or to underground dry wells.

Inspect the yard during heavy rainfall

Walk around the yard during a heavy rainstorm to see if water is being collected in small ponds next to the house. If this is the case, it’s a good idea to contact a local landscaper for advice on ways to regrade the yard so that the surface water is directed away from the home.

A back-up power source is essential

Install an automatic emergency generator to provide electrical service for essential circuits, like the home’s furnace or electric heating system, a well pump, refrigerator, and septic tank pump during a power loss. Without emergency backup power, the likelihood of basement flooding, frozen water pipes, or a flooded septic tank increase severely.

Install a sump pump

An automatic sump pump will help keep water leakage from building up in the basement. A sump pump tank with an opening in the lid will act like a huge floor drain and keep the water from getting very deep.

Make an emergency family plan

Plan ahead so that everyone has important contact numbers and keep in mind that neighbors will probably need housing too, so try to arrange ahead of time to have temporary housing since hotels in the area may fill up fast. Purchase flood insurance and always carry NJ homeowners insurance for those issues that can be solved with the right policy in place.

photo credit: Shayan (USA) cc

Reasons to Have Adequate PA Workers Comp Insurance

Machinery Workers

It’s a matter of law that most states require an employer to carry worker’s compensation insurance for all employees, both full-time and part-time, and PA workers comp insurance requirements are no different. For many employees and employers, this is a coverage that brings a great sense of relief, since the type of work they perform often requires their bodies to perform strenuous tasks, and there is always the risk of job-related injuries occurring.
Employees appreciate knowing that their medical expenses and any time missed from work will be duly compensated. The employer enjoys the fact that they are in compliance and not likely to be embroiled in a major lawsuit, and that they are doing their part to create a safer work environment and helping their injured workers to a quicker recovery.
This is a type of insurance for which many insurance companies compete because it is both essential, and a lucrative service that they provide. The insurance market for worker’s compensation insurance is very competitive and insurance companies are often willing to offer discounts to attract new customers.

A coverage lapse can be detrimental

It is very important for business owners to always be certain that their coverage remains in force, never allowing their workers compensation insurance to lapse as this could bring about a financial disaster greatly affecting their ability to do business. Aside from any legal implications, it is likely clients will pay the price if they let their workers comp lapse, in the form of considerably higher premiums on re-application. One way to avoid this from occurring is to always pay premiums on time as late payments could also cause carriers to write off a client with a non-renewal notice.

Factors driving up worker’s compensation insurance costs

New technologies and new drugs, while helping with the care and treatment of patients in new and exciting ways also contribute to the continued rise in medical costs. These advances, made available to hospitals and physicians to treat injuries, can be quite costly, especially in the early stages while patents are in effect.
It is quite common for a hospital to charge minimally around $1,000 for an emergency room visit, or up to $5,000 per day or more for an admitted patient. Surgery, if required, will also drive costs up, which is why employer’s need to have adequate PA worker’s comp insurance. We know and understand that medical costs can quickly grow beyond the financial resources most companies have available, making coverage a must for every employer.

photo credit: Seattle Municipal Archives cc

Arlington High Valued Home Insurance for Those in Need

High Valued Mansion

They say that no two homes are exactly alike, and for that reason alone you should insure your valuable residence with a company that will allow you to craft a policy that fits you or your family’s unique needs. Private client services are available for those individuals that require high valued home insurance in Arlington to protect all of the assets in their possession.

Smart choices for insuring valuable homes

The truth is, if you own a high-value home chances are that a standard homeowner’s policy will fall short of your actual coverage needs. For example, the coverage amounts simply won’t cover the replacement costs when it comes to the value of many items, such as jewelry, furs, antiques or collections that could be lost to fire, theft, or damage by any other means, such as storms, earthquakes or other natural disasters.
High value insurance provides higher limits and broader coverage than most traditional coverages allow, and with a higher level of protection, in the event of a claim, you’ll receive replacement cost coverage for your personal property. You can rest assured that your most valuable possessions will be fully insured to the amount they’re valued at in case of a total loss or theft.

Other valuable coverage considerations

Optional coverage enhancements are also available, including protection for equipment breakdown, identity theft and fraud, flood, and more. Standard policies also don’t provide increased liability limits on your homeowners and automobile insurance programs that can be acquired through private client services. In addition, you can secure an umbrella policy that has excess limits designed to comfortably safeguard your assets with broader, worldwide protection.
As a person requiring high valued home insurance in Arlington, you may also benefit from employment practices liability insurance to protect you against any employee-related lawsuits, if, for instance, you employ a housekeeper, personal assistant, chauffeur, gardener, or other domestic staff. Speak to an agent about your personal coverage needs today.

photo credit: Universal Pops (David) cc