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Property Policies to See Changes as a Result of Catastrophes

Ron Martin - Wednesday, August 15, 2012

As an insurance advisor, wekeep current on the trends in the insurance industry that may affect your insurance protection. To that end, we want to make you aware of some changes we are seeing as a result of last year’s catastrophic losses that are illustrated in our March 8th blog entry.   read more


CGL Insureds—the Who's Who List

Ron Martin - Thursday, June 21, 2012

reprinted by permission from  IA&B:  read more


Despite Mild Winter, Keep An Eye on Rising Insurance Rates

Ron Martin - Thursday, March 08, 2012

We have had an abnormally mild and snow-less winter. That doesn't mean that Mother Nature has been taking it easy. In fact, her activities caused about $36 BILLION in losses in 2011. Four of the Top 10 catastrophic events worldwide took place in the United States. From Hurricanes Irene and Lee, to the tornadoes in the South (and more recently in the South and Midwest), to winter storms, to tsunamis (in Hawaii and California), to flooding, even an East Cost Earthquake, insurance companies have paid out in record amounts. All but seven states had one major disaster and more than half had two or more. Pennsylvania had 3 and New Jersey had 5.

What's this mean for you? Insurance companies rates are based on their pay outs in the past. They adjust their rates to mitigate future payouts. Bottom Line - most insurance companies are increasing their rates. The amount of the increase depends on a number of factors, but base rate increases are ranging from 5-40%. Now is the time for you to review your coverage and maximize the numerous discounts that companies now offer.

It is also the time to make sure you have essential coverages, such as Flood Insurance (which is not covered under your Homeowners policy) or Sinkhole coverage, which must be specifically added to your policy. This is where your local agent can be most beneficial. Take advantage of his expertise. You've worked too hard to have Mother Nature's nasty moods ruin it for you.

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Employment Practices Liability

Ron Martin - Friday, November 11, 2011

Over the last year, there has been one category of claim in our agency that has increased in frequency more than any other category.  In almost all cases, it was not covered.   And yet, almost every employer has this exposure.  That is in the area of Employment Practices Liability.

What are “Employment Practices”?  Employment Practices deal with hiring, firing and general management of your employees.  Any company that has employees is vulnerable from the pre-hiring process through the exit interview.  The employee may never have been hired, at the company a matter of days, or been with the company over a long span.

Employment Practices Liability coverage provides protection for an employer against claims made by employees, former employees, or potential employees. It covers discrimination (age, sex, race, disability, etc.), wrongful termination of employment, sexual harassment, and other employment-related allegations.  It also provides the cost to defend such allegations, whether true or not.  In many cases, the cost to defend is higher than any settlement.

These allegations do not just have to stem from owners or management. They can be employee-to-employee, or vendor-to- employee, or independent contractor- to-employee.

There is nothing that prevents a disgruntled employee from suing the company in order to try to collect a settlement.  In the current economy, many employees are using such tactics.

Note that unless they are a single, white male under the age of 40, your employees have some protection under the law in regards to discrimination.

Employment Practices Liability has been available in the market for a number of years, but has been expensive and cumbersome to obtain.  However, more recently, the market has been more accessible. Let us know how many employees you have.  With just a few details, we can now provide a premium proposal.

AN EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES CLAIM WILL HIT 3 OUT OF EVERY 5 BUSINESSES.  BE PROTECTED!

 Real –life Examples:

 

Wal-Mart found themselves at the wrong end of a $3.5 Million jury verdict, after a paraplegic job applicant was not hired, being told that the store, "had no openings for a person in a wheelchair.

A manufacturing company was hit with a judgment in excess of $1 Million, when a worker in their shipping department sued for racial harassment, based upon repeated "jokes" and racial slurs.

A female member of a mining crew sued her employer under both State and Federal law, alleging a hostile working environment. While her employer was successful in defending itself on the Federal claims, they were not as fortunate under the State law claims. Judgment for the plaintiff was entered for approximately $150,000. Defense costs exceeded the damages in this case!

An employee was awarded $375,000 after his employer refused to grant him 12 weeks of leave, guaranteed under the Family Leave Act of 1993.

A professional firm was hit with a $900,000 award, when a female employee claimed that her supervisor had sexually harassed her, along with a number of other employees, and that she was retaliated against after she complained to senior management.

 A $6.6MM jury verdict was awarded to a woman for her claim that she was subjected to two and a half (2 ½) years of sexual harassment. The verdict was reduced to $3.7 million by the trial judge. The plaintiff presented evidence as to seventeen (17) separate incidents of harassment and alleged a daily barrage of abusive language. The trial court, in refusing to vacate the award of punitive damages in its entirety, stated that “the amounts previously awarded to plaintiffs inTitle  VII cases have not been a sufficient deterrent in view of the significantly increasing number of employment claims.

 The law firm fired the Executive Director, where he worked for a year, after it was learned that he had multiple sclerosis. The claimant alleged that the firm did not provide reasonable accommodations for his disability, increased his workload and did not place his desk closer to the elevator. The firm claimed that it did not discriminate against the claimant, alleged that the claimant did not notify the firm of what he needed to make his job easier and that he could have altered his schedule to accommodate his condition. The jury awarded $2.5MM in punitive damages.

A woman filed a harassment claim against the employee of a gas station attendant and the employee who allegedly made lewd gestures and unwanted sexual advances when she stopped by the station to gas up her car and use the restroom. She logged a complaint with the company that owned the gas station regarding the employee's conduct and demanded that the employee be fired. When the employee was not fired nor was any disciplinary action taken against him, she sued the employer alleging that the company was advised of this employee's conduct but did nothing to prevent future actions. The case is still ongoing.

 A former sales manager sued the company he was fired from alleging his wrongful termination was due to his age. The company alleged the plaintiff was fired due to poor performance but the jury came to a $2.3MM verdict.

 An auto technician alleged he was wrongfully terminated in retaliation for his filing of a Worker’s Compensation Claim. The defendant firm contended that he was fired for failing to give proper notice and for taking leave without proper authorization. A jury ruled in favor of the plaintiff and a $2.56MM verdict was awarded.

 

So, you still think this could never happen to you? You think that your employees are all a happy family and would never make such a claim? Think again!

  read more

Cyber Liability - Closing Today's Largest Coverage Gap

Ron Martin - Monday, September 26, 2011

with thanks to Selective Insurance and Westfield insurance...  read more


Hurricane Preparedness

Ron Martin - Friday, August 26, 2011

This weekend poses a major threat to the Delaware and Lehigh Valleys.  Please take a moment to prepare yourself so that damage is minimized to your home, auto, and business.  read more


The Non-Profit Trust-- Cost Saving Alternative to State Unemployment Insurance

Ron Martin - Monday, July 25, 2011

  read more


Employee/Volunteer Use of Personal Vehicles

Ron Martin - Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Many Non-Profit organizations will utilize the vehicles of its employees and volunteers in the course of doing business.  These organizations need to know the exposure they create when doing so, how the organization can be covered and how that affects premiums.

  read more


RMG Insurance Think Community!

Ron Martin - Tuesday, May 31, 2011

RMG Insurance is pleased to announce that it has partnered with ArtsQuest and is excited to present an opportunity to promote and provide visibility for area nonprofits at Musikfest and the new ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks!  read more


RMG Insurance Discovery Fund

Ron Martin - Tuesday, May 31, 2011

RMG Discovery Fund to Support Childcare Providers

ALLENTOWN, Pa., May 24, 2011 – Childcare organizations in the greater Lehigh Valley region have a new opportunity to bring their boys and girls to the Da Vinci Science Center for one free visit through its new RMG Insurance Discovery Fund read more



 

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