Stress at Work?

This 3-Step Process Could Save You Money in 2018
Have you listed your upcoming New Year’s resolutions? Here’s one suggestion that business owners may want to add to their resolution list – review your business insurance policies.

It may help boost your bottom line in 2018.

The end of the year is a good time to review your policies in light of the events of the previous year. A quick evaluation of your coverage could help you save next year. And who doesn’t want that? Here are the steps to take:

Step 1. Review your business: What changes have you made this year, if any? Has your business grown? Have you altered any policies that could affect your insurance? Did you add or remove vehicles, employees, or facilities?

Step 2. Make a list: Make a list of any changes that will affect your business going forward. Note any new procedures you put into effect this year, as well as any you will be enacting in 2018. Write down any questions you have about your coverage.

Step 3. Contact your Agent: With your list in hand, contact your insurance agent. He or she will help you review your current policies to determine if they are still the best options for your business. For example, you may have made changes that will reduce your premiums, or you may be eligible for new discounts.

This easy process will ensure you have the appropriate coverage and could help you save significantly on your 2018 business insurance. And saving money is one of the best resolutions you can make.

Small and Large Businesses Use New Approaches to Learning

New insights into learning styles, the use of motivational psychology and the newest tech tools have made corporate training more accessible and learner-centered than ever before. Interested? Look for these and other corporate learning trends in 2018 and beyond:

Mobile learning: Today’s learners can access a wealth of information instantly on their mobile devices. Typical applications include on-the-job training and in-the-field troubleshooting.

Microlearning: Microlearning modules for specific learning objectives are typically three to five minutes in length. They offer short, focused chunks of instruction or positive reinforcement, and are ideal for learners with short attention spans.

Social and peer learning: Training programs often integrate blogs and courses from social media platforms such as LinkedIn. Collaboration tools enable teams to learn, create, and discover together.

Gamification: Online games motivate learners through quests and competitions, and make learning fun by offering incentives, certificates, or badges upon completion of modules or courses.

Adaptive learning: Adaptive learning allows individuals to learn at their own pace, focusing in depth on new knowledge and progressing more quickly through topics they’re familiar with.

Augmented reality: Augmented reality offers an immersive learning experience in which complex subjects can be re-created in a lifelike environment. For example, surgeons may use technologies like Google Glass and Oculus Rift to polish their skills. Or executives may role-play case studies to hone decision-making and leadership skills.

Corporate training is a key tool for employee retention and engagement, and for change management, as well as a way to achieve business goals. It’s a trend to keep up on.

You and Stress: A Bad News/Good News Story

Toxic stress can leave a lifelong imprint on the brain and the body, undermining health and contributing to diabetes, depression, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and even dementia. And it’s almost epidemic in today’s workplace – as much in small businesses as in large corporations.

Consider the following from a recent report by The American Institute of Stress (AIS): “40% of workers reported their job was very or extremely stressful … and 25% view their jobs as the number one stressor in their lives.” As well, says AIS, “Job stress is more strongly associated with health complaints than financial or family problems.”

Finally, job stress costs industry more than $300 billion annually.

Factors contributing to toxic stress include job demands, lack of sleep and exercise, and poor lifestyle habits, such as smoking, overeating, and overworking.

Of course, a certain amount of stress is tolerable, even necessary. And stress affects people differently depending on their life experiences, genetic makeup, and other factors. Regardless, overwhelming stress can have a devastating effect on us all. Here’s why:

To maintain a physiological steady state (known as homeostasis), the body secretes hormones such as cortisol and adrenalin. These help us adapt, but in conditions of toxic stress, hormones can become unbalanced and ultimately alter brain structure and function.

There is an upside, however: we can develop resilience and reduce the impact of toxic stress through lifestyle changes and regular physical activity.

Indeed, physical activity is probably the best way to maintain brain and body health; working out regularly has been shown to help the brain regenerate areas damaged or destabilized by toxic stress.

So step away from the laptop and hit the gym. It’s good for your stress.

Do You Need a BOP in Your Insurance Tool Kit?
What are the essentials needed to operate a successful business? Qualities like entrepreneurship, creativity, leadership, organization and a strong work ethic probably come to mind. And these are all important traits.

But business owners may want to look beyond these traits to something that is often overlooked: Proper insurance coverage. This is one of the most important instruments in a business owner’s tool kit. Why? Because without appropriate insurance coverage, a business may not be able to weather a disaster. And it could mean the loss of everything he or she has worked so hard to achieve. For many, a Business Owner Policy (BOP) will provide that much-needed sense of security at a reasonable cost.

What is a BOP?

BOP stands for business owner policy. A BOP is an insurance package available for business owners that combines basic coverages into one bundle.

What does a BOP cover?

BOP policies typically cover three major areas of business protection. A standard BOP includes property insurance for the company’s buildings and contents; liability protection for harm caused by employees, defective products, faulty installations, and service errors; and business interruption insurance, which covers loss of income due to a disaster.

What does a BOP not cover?

While a BOP covers many of the basics, it’s not comprehensive. Business owners still may need more-specific policies, depending on the type of company and products or services provided. A BOP also doesn’t cover workers’ compensation, health and disability insurance, professional liability, or auto insurance.

Who is eligible for a BOP?

BOPs are designed for small to medium-sized businesses. Typically, a company must meet the requirements set forth by the insurance carrier to qualify for a BOP. These parameters usually include the number of employees, type of business, and yearly revenue. Larger businesses qualify for different types of policies that are more appropriate for their needs.

Who needs a BOP?

Some industries may also need special insurance in order to operate. For example, a minimum amount of liability insurance may be required to perform contractor services.

While you don’t have to choose this bundle option, it is an easy solution for many small and medium-sized businesses.

What are the advantages of a BOP?

Choosing a BOP typically saves money. By bundling several services in one policy, business owners pay less than the total cost of individual coverages. This option keeps costs down while providing coverage for the business’s basic needs.

How much does a BOP cost?

The yearly premium for a BOP depends on many variables. One business may need higher liability coverage, while another may need greater property protection. The pricing for each BOP is determined by these needs and the risk factor of the company. Typical premiums range from $500 to $3,500 per year.

How do I get a BOP?

Contact your insurance agent to discuss the BOP options available for your business. He or she will discuss how you can bundle the specific coverage you need into an appropriate and affordable BOP that’s just right for your company.