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R&R Insurance Blog

Featured Client | A Second Home Generates a Second Look

Posted by Brandy Enger

Wed, Feb 08, 2017 @ 12:40 PM

To illustrate the benefits of rebalancing an insurance program to strengthen wealth protection and better manage expenses, the following example presents a before-and-after comparison for one of our valued clients.

Featured-Client-February.jpgSteve and Julia are a couple in their late 50’s whose children have started promising professional careers and live independently.  They have two vehicles and live in a newly constructed home in Waukesha, WI.  They also have a second home in Minocqua, WI with a boat and boat house.  Both Steve and Julia serve on various boards and are active volunteers in their community.  Their previous insurance plan exhibited many of the typical patterns of overpaying and underinsuring for their homeowner, auto, valuables, boat and umbrella liability coverages.  Steve and Julia significantly improved their financial security while reducing their total premium 18% by rebalancing their program as follows:

Savings Opportunities:

  • Move coverage from a national company to a regional company, to take advantage of the homeowners pricing in an area that is not subjected to the impact of coastal claims.
  • Raise the deductible on their primary home to $1000, to match the deductible on their seasonal.
  • Take advantage of loss prevention credits for a heat loss detection system and an automatic standby generator.
  • Incorporate a 13% association discount related to Julia’s profession.

Coverage Improvements:

  • Acquire full replacement cost coverage for their primary and seasonal homes with no cap.
  • Increase “other structures” coverage in order to fully protect the boat house from loss.
  • Combine their existing boatowners policy with their new package policy to improve coverage, which also reduces expenses and paperwork.
  • Add identity theft, special personal property, and increase rental reimbursement coverage.

Contact Brandy Enger, Private Client Executive, to learn more about properly protecting your most valuable assets.

*Client names have been changed to maintain anonymity.

Topics: Featured Client, Private Client Group

Workers Compensation and the NFL

Posted by Scott Shaver

Tue, Feb 07, 2017 @ 04:35 PM

NFL.jpgIt’s not something that most people think about, but just like your business, NFL teams also have to purchase worker’s compensation insurance for their employees. And just like the benefits that are afforded your employees, football players are covered for lost wages, medical treatment, loss of earnings, etc.  

No doubt that the medical treatment for an injured NFL player could get to be quite expensive. But the concept of paying loss of earnings to a player beyond their normal playing years doesn’t seem to be sitting well with the owners of the Chicago Bears.

Click here for the article with additional information.

Benefits in Wisconsin are actually much richer. An employee injured in Wisconsin could continue to collect similar benefits for a lifetime, regardless of when they might have retired.

We will see how this all shakes out and whether or not it will have an impact on Chicago’s ability to sign players in the future.

Contact me with any questions about your Workers Compensation, and Go Pack in 2017!

Topics: Work Comp

Do I Really Need Renter's Insurance?

Posted by Jenna Haertle

Tue, Feb 07, 2017 @ 02:37 PM

Renter-Insurance.jpgAs more and more people are renting instead of buying properties, the topic of renter’s insurance comes up more frequently. I don’t have a lot of stuff, do I really need it? What does it cover? Is it expensive? Doesn’t my landlord’s policy cover me? These are all frequent questions that come up when thinking about getting a policy.

 

I don’t have a lot of stuff, do I really need it? What does it cover?

Regardless the amount of items you own, there are other important parts of having a renter’s policy. Even if you think you could afford to replace every item you own out of pocket, there are other very important coverages in a renter’s policy.

The three big parts of the policy are—personal property, liability and loss of use. Most people simply think of the personal property, but that’s just a fraction of the coverage provided.

 

Personal Property

This includes all of your belongings - clothes, furniture, kitchen items, etc. Any items that you own would be covered up to the limit that you have chosen. A really important thing to check is if your contents are being insured at Replacement Cost vs Actual Cash Value. If your items are insured at Actual Cash Value, you will receive the depreciated value of your items, i.e. rummage sale prices. Paying a few dollars extra to receive Replacement Cost on your personal property is worth it as your insurance company will pay what it costs brand new. In the event of a loss, an average renter could easily have between $20,000-$30,000 of damaged personal property.

Example:  Think about that old couch you’ve had for years. How much would that be worth at a rummage sale? $30? That’s probably what you would get for it at Actual Cash Value. How much does a brand new couch cost? Anywhere from $500 and upwards? Replacement Cost coverage would pay for the brand new couch. Imagine trying to replace all of the items in your apartment with a fraction of what it costs to buy new ones. Which option do you want in the event of a loss?

 

Personal Liability

This is a very important part of the policy. This would provide coverage for any damages that you cause or any bodily injury that may occur in your apartment. Even though you don’t intend to cause damages, accidents do happen and could be financially detrimental without insurance.

Example:  If you left a candle burning and it burned your apartment and neighboring complexes — unfortunately you would be responsible for the damages. For one simple mistake, you could end up owing hundreds of thousands of dollars for all the damages that are done.

 

Loss of Use

This coverage provides a place to stay if something happens to your apartment and makes it unlivable. Your insurance company will pay for you to stay somewhere comparable to where you were living. In addition, they will pay for expenses you incur, such as going to a laundromat and meals you may have to eat out.

Example: Apartment fires can happen for a variety of reasons and can spread very quickly. Even if your apartment isn’t burned, it may still have a lot of smoke damage, causing it to be unlivable. Where are you going to go? It could take a month or more to get everything cleaned up. Without renter’s insurance, you’re going to have to pay for a hotel, stay with a friend, or even rent a new place to live—all on your dollar. A renter’s policy will find you a place to stay and pay for it up to the limit noted on your policy.

 

How much does it cost?

Renter’s policies vary in price depending on the coverage amounts you choose. The typical price would be cost of one take out meal per month ($10-15). You can even get your renter’s policy for much cheaper if you bundle it with your auto insurance carrier.

 

Does my landlord’s policy cover me?

Most landlord’s policies are built to only cover the building itself, not the tenants belongings. Even if the landlord’s policy covers the building, if you were to cause damage to it, you would still be held responsible. The landlord’s insurance company would come after you for the monetary damages. Without having a renter’s policy, you would be responsible.

 

Renter’s policies are recommended for anyone who is renting, but if you are still unsure or have more questions, please contact your Knowledgebroker.

Creating a Home Inventory | Tips & Tricks

Posted by the knowledge brokers

Mon, Feb 06, 2017 @ 11:52 AM

Home-Inventory.pngIf someone asked you to create a list of every possession in your home today, how many items do you think you’d remember? Think about just one room. Can you envision what’s in every drawer, hanging on each wall, or sitting on the shelves?

Under the unfortunate circumstance your home is destroyed, your insurance company will ask for a complete home inventory.  Your current insurance contract most likely reads something along the lines of: “Prepare an inventory of damaged personal property showing the quantity, description, actual cash value and amount of loss. Attach all bills, receipts and related documents that justify the figures in the inventory.” In order for you to receive payment to buy new items, you will be required to complete a home inventory.

Home inventories can be completed in the form of a printed list, through photos and video, or even digitally via apps. West Bend Mutual provides the following checklist to help you through the process:

  • The more detailed your inventory, the better. That being said, don’t make it too complicated. An easy way to do a home inventory is go from room to room, photographing or videotaping the contents of each room, then jotting down descriptions and details. Don’t forget your closets, cupboards, and drawers. And be sure to include the basement and garage.
  • Your inventory should have:
    • Brand names and serial numbers of products;
    • Digital photographs, preferably stored on a disc or flash drive; and
    • Receipts. If you don't save receipts, it’s a good time to start.
  • More expensive items like jewelry, collections, furs, and other valuables are limited in the amount covered. If the value of these kinds of items exceeds the limits, be sure to insure them separately. You may need appraisals to do this.  Once you have an inventory and appraisals, store them in a safe deposit box away from home.
  • Keep your inventory current. Update it every year, especially if you buy, sell, or give away items. Failing to keep your inventory updated could result in not enough (or too much) insurance coverage.
  • Once you’ve got your inventory (whatever form it takes), make sure to protect it. Store it in a safety deposit box, in a strong safe or lockbox, on a cloud storage service, at work, or with a friend. Just make sure it’ll survive if there’s ever major damage to your home. Remember that’s what it’s there for!

Having your home inventory complete prior to a loss is highly recommended. The devastation of losing your home and possessions is unthinkable and can cause an incredible amount of stress in itself. Ideally you’ll never need to file a homeowner's insurance claim. However, an updated inventory can make the process faster and easier, and help you get the most from your insurance. It also provides you with peace of mind, knowing all of your possessions will be accounted for.

Contact a KnowledgeBroker for more information.

Topics: home inventory, homeowners insurance, homeowner's insruance, complete a home inventory

Captives | Is Alternate Funding Right for You?

Posted by Riley Enright

Mon, Jan 30, 2017 @ 12:51 PM

iStock-585163652.jpgHaving an attractive employee benefits option is more important than ever before. Attracting and retaining talent has become increasingly difficult and offering a quality benefits package can play a large role in the process.

In addition, you may want to protect your company from the risks associated with offering employee benefits. While employers have traditionally insured their employee benefits risks through an outside insurance carrier, the increased demand for employee benefits has resulted in an inflation of costs. Because of this, many employers have opted to cut out insurance carriers altogether and fund their group employee benefits risks with captives.

If you aren’t familiar with captives, let’s start with the basics. Captives are a form of self-insurance in which the insured owns the insurer. They are created and owned by at least one non-insurance company for the purpose of insuring the employee benefits risks of its owner.  A captive can offer significant savings and become a substantial long-term investment. However, they may not provide the same benefits for every company, and the return on investment may be low.

R&R Insurance has extensive experience in the world of employee benefits. We welcome the opportunity to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of captives with your organization.

Information provided by Zywave, Inc

Topics: Employee Benefits, benefits, Captives, Alternate Funding

Trucking Tidbits: Driver Qualification File – 391.51

Posted by Lynn Reed

Tue, Jan 17, 2017 @ 10:37 AM

Are your driver qualification files ready for inspection? semi driving in mountains.jpgAre they meeting all federal regulations?

Each employee driver should have a two-sided file folder. The left side is for forms from the employee's initial hiring.These forms should be kept for the entire time he or she is employed and 3 years after the driver has left employment. The right side is for forms to be kept for 3 years reoccurring. See the example below:

trucking tidbit folder.png
Additional forms recommended to keep in the file:    

•    Alcohol & Drug Requirement Signature Page
•    Hazmat Training Certification
•    Signed Motor Vehicle Record Release

We advise to keep the items only as long as “legally” necessary and to implement a purging schedule.

Click here for additional trucking resources.

Topics: trucking, trucking compliance, trucking safety

Don't Miss Our 2017 Seminars and Webinars

Posted by the knowledge brokers

Thu, Jan 12, 2017 @ 10:45 AM

iStock_000042829194_Full.jpgLearn more about how to protect your organization from the most commonly cited OSHA standards and frequently misunderstood safety practices.

Our complimentary seminars and webinars will breakdown requirements, FAQs. and provide materials to aid in your compliance. From cyber security and incident investigation, to the OSHA 300 Log and machine gaurding, we'll provide valuable information to help protect your business.

Follow the links below for more information on our:

Topics: seminar, webinar

R&R's Hottest Headlines of 2016

Posted by the knowledge brokers

Wed, Jan 11, 2017 @ 02:49 PM

Its hard to believe that 2016 has come and gone. Wnew year.jpgith another year in the books, we took a look back at the top 5 most popular R&R articles of last year.

We hope you have a happy, healthy new year and look forward to serving you throughout 2017!

Follow the links below to view these articles.

1) Preparing for Changes to the Wisconsin Workers Compensation Act

2) Update on Wisconsin Cell Phone Laws While Driving 

3) Workers Compensation Audit Noncompliance Charge | Effective January 1, 2017

4) OSHA | New Electronic Recordkeeping Requirements

5) Criminal Hackers Targeting Payroll Data

Topics: OSHA, Work Comp, Cell Phone Usage and Driving, blog, Cyber Crime

Establishing and Implementing a Safety & Health Program

Posted by Tricia Dretzka-Kaye

Wed, Jan 11, 2017 @ 12:20 PM

group-of-professionals.jpgAccording to OSHA, establishing a safety and health program in your workplace is one of the most effective ways of protecting your most valuable asset: your workers. Losing workers to injury or illness, even for a short time, can cause significant disruption and cost to you as well as the workers and their families. It can also damage workplace morale, productivity and turnover.

While beneficial, implementing these programs can be a daunting task. OSHA recommends the following steps to simplify the process and create structure for your program.

Getting Started:

  1. Set safety and health as a top priority
  2. Lead by example
  3. Implement a reporting system
  4. Provide training
  5. Conduct inspections
  6. Collect hazard control ideas
  7. Implement hazard controls
  8. Address emergencies
  9. Seek input on workplace changes
  10. Make improvements

Core Elements Needed:

  1. Management leadership
    • Creates a culture of safety, facilitates trust, and reinforces the core elements
  2. Worker Participation
    • Results in improved design, implementation and evaluation
  3. Hazard Identification and assessment
    • Identifies and documents all known suspected hazards
  4. Hazard Prevention and control
    • Prevents injuries using hierarchy of controls: engineering, work practices, administrative, PPE
  5. Education and Training
    • Ensures all workers understand safe work practices, are familiar with hazards and know how to participate.
  6. Program Evaluation and Improvement
    • Assesses program effectiveness and modifications as needed.
  7. Multiemployer worksites: Communication and coordination for host employers, contractors and staffing agencies.
    • Ensures communication and coordination to protect all workers onsite.

Preventing workplace injuries, illnesses and deaths as well as the suffering and financial hardship these events can cause for workers, families and the employers is incredibly valuable. Businesses with Safety and Health programs typically see an improvement in product, process and service quality, improved workplace morale and employee recruiting and retention, and a more favorable image and reputation among the community.

For more information on the development or improvement of your Safety and Health program, contact a Knowledge Broker at R&R Insurance.

Information provided by www.osha.gov/shpguidelines.

Topics: Safety Programs, OSHA, Safety Program, Health Program, Health and Safety

Drunk Driving Safety Tips for the Holidays

Posted by the knowledge brokers

Tue, Dec 27, 2016 @ 02:19 PM

Drunk-Driving.jpgAs much as we all love the holidays, there can be an unnecessary amount of stress that comes along with the joy and celebration. One of the stressors for many of us is driving, especially after a holiday party or celebration.

We found a helpful article on ‘Preventing a Holiday DUI,’ which will hopefully be a great reminder of what you can do to stay safe. One of the important highlights is what to do if you find yourself on the road with an impaired driver. Here are a few great suggestions:

  • Do not attempt to personally stop the driver.
  • Give yourself plenty of distance between you and the impaired driver.
  • Don’t ever try to pass a driver in this condition.
  • Slow down, pull over, and get completely out of the way if you need to.
  • If a car is coming head-on towards you, move to the shoulder, stop and flash your lights.

We hope you have a happy, healthy and safe holiday season with friends and family.

Topics: winter driving, drunk driving, drinking and driving, driver safety