Workers Comp Protects Companies and Employees
Whether you own a large or small business, workers compensation insurance is a must. All states require it, this important policy protects your employees and your business.
Workers compensation insurance protects you from being sued. If an employee is injured on the job, that employee can sue you for injuries developed as a result of the accident. With workers compensation, an injured employee forfeits the right to sue and receives cash benefits to cover medical expenses, lost wages, or other incidental expenses.
Without workers compensation, you’d be liable for damages that are probably well in excess of your workers compensation premiums. Your insurance professional can explain how rates are determined in your area. It’s important that employees notify you immediately if they’re injured while working. Plan for this eventuality and post the plan for workers to see. Naturally, your first step is to deal with the employee’s injury, then file a claim.
Workers compensation claims are investigated; ensure you provide as much information as possible. Once the claim is deemed legitimate, your workers compensation insurance will pay benefits to the injured employee. Workers compensation is a safety net for employees, but also provides protection for your business.
If you don’t have a workers compensation policy, talk to your insurance agent immediately…for everyone’s sake.
HOT BIZ TRENDS
Thieves and Spies Can’t Hide from Facebook or LinkedIn
Make-believe can be a charming children’s game, but a job applicant pretending to be someone else is bad news for your business. Small businesses, who have a lot to lose, have had to become very sophisticated and Internet-savvy when hiring.
Verifying an applicant’s identity is a vital first step. Thieves masquerading as employees are a real danger for small businesses.
So is industrial espionage, which can occur when individuals pose as employees to gather information about your organization.
These spies might be planted by competitors, or they may be individuals planning to launch rival enterprises using your operational methods. In all cases, you want to root them out before they cause damage.
In this, the Internet is an employer’s best friend. While applicants may be using falsified documents to establish their identity and suitability for the position, they can’t hide from Facebook or LinkedIn.
Most employers will check Internet sources as a matter of course; even a quick Internet search can help to verify the identity of job applicants.
You will also want to ensure that applicants are not falsifying or exaggerating their qualifications. Contacting references and former employers is still a must; however, employers are also tapping into online resources for corroboration.
LinkedIn profiles, in particular, enable employers to ensure that descriptions of previous jobs match what’s stated on applicants’ resumes.
Lastly, background searches of public records are being used more frequently; employers are paying for this “insurance,” because the cost is well worth the peace of mind it brings.
We Are What We Read…and That Benefits Us as Leaders
Reading and leadership are connected in more ways than we imagine. According to a recent study published in the journal Brain Connectivity, reading can change brain functions for several days. It may be that our leadership decisions are affected by what we read a few days ago.
Leaders are drawn to content that provides them with ideas, inspiration and even leadership skills; in a Forbes article, writer Glenn Llopis attributes the communication skills, and what he calls “executive presence” shown by leaders, to a high comfort level with content.
Of course, true leaders not only take in content, they also distribute it, often referring to great ideas from other leaders. However, this can be carried too far.
Says Llopis: “It’s easy to spot a leader with an identity crisis, because they only use other people’s content rather than looking inside themselves to discover their own creativity of thought and creating their own original content.” Those people may have short careers, he suggests.
There’s a lot of information out there, and it’s hard to choose that which will best serve us and the people we lead. But some leaders have a clear perspective: For example, Snapchat’s CEO, Evan Spiegel, purchased a copy of The Art of War for every employee after turning down Facebook’s offer for the Snapchat app.
It was a move that prepared his staff for an ongoing apps war between the two companies. And it appears it was a wise one: to date, Snapchat is winning the war.
Costs of Commercial Vehicle Accidents Skyrocket
Depending on the type of business you own, you or your employees may drive regularly on the job. Maybe you own a delivery service or trucking business, but regardless of how you and employees use commercial vehicles, your company risks accidents. And this risk is real; there are more than 5 million commercial vehicle accidents annually.
If that doesn’t convince you to carry commercial auto insurance, consider this: The average commercial vehicle accident with injuries costs an employer $74,000, and $500,000 or more when fatalities occur. And that’s not likely to change any time soon.
But what’s a commercial auto policy like? What are the most common commercial vehicle accidents? How do you file a claim? And most importantly, how can they be prevented? The most common commercial auto claims are often covered by a process similar to those for personal auto policies, as described below:
No-fault accidents: Insurers will file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurer, and the other party’s collision and/or liability coverage will pay for your repairs and incidental expenses. If the other person doesn’t have insurance or doesn’t carry enough coverage to pay your claim, your commercial policy would pay out under uninsured/underinsured motorists’ coverage.
At-fault employee accidents: Collision coverage would pay for your damage, and your liability coverage (property damage and/or bodily injury) will cover the other party’s claim.
When an employee hits an animal: Your commercial policy’s comprehensive coverage would pay for the damages to your vehicle.
Damage by something beyond your control: This includes hitting an animal, damage resulting from poor weather conditions, theft, broken glass, falling tree limbs, and more. Your comprehensive coverage would pay in this scenario.
In a minor accident, or if you or one of your employees is at fault, evaluate whether it’s worth filing a claim. If damage costs add up to less than your deductible, it may be better to pay them out of pocket to avoid harming your claim-free status. However, if you need to file, follow these steps immediately:
- Determine if anyone is injured, and contact the police or ambulance service.
- Contact your insurer to report the accident.
- Collect and record important information before making a claim; this should include names, license plate numbers, witness contact information, vehicle information, and insurance information.
- Record accident details. Take pictures of the accident.
- Make a claim.
Preventing Commercial Auto Insurance Claims: You want to avoid claims, but accidents happen. Taking measures to prevent claims is crucial and include:
- Keeping safety checklists in company vehicles. .
- Coaching employees on safe driving, and setting rules, including hands-free phones only and seatbelts required.
- Establishing commercial vehicle safety criteria and checking it regularly.
If an accident happens on the clock, you’ll be glad you obtained the right coverage, especially in an at-fault accident; when commercial vehicles are responsible, you’re more likely to see larger claims and lawsuits. And with commercial vehicle accident costs skyrocketing, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Recipe: Mint Lamb Chops with Pea Mash
- 8 lamb chops
- Olive oil for cooking
- Zest and juice of half a lemon
- Salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried mint
- 1 teaspoon mild smoked paprika
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 2 potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 2 cups fresh peas
- 1/4 cup whole milk
Place chops in a shallow dish and add a drizzle of olive oil, lemon zest and juice, salt, pepper, mint, and paprika. Rub the ingredients into the chops and set aside to marinate for about an hour. Heat a large non-stick pan over a medium heat, adding enough oil to coat the bottom. Add the lamb and cook for 3 minutes on each side or until medium. Drain excess fat, then add white wine, cover and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, turning once.
Boil potatoes in salted water until nearly cooked, then add peas. Cook until tender. Strain, return to pot, and mash. Add milk, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with lamb chops.