<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=1602061480087256&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

R&R Insurance Blog

A Contractor’s Newest Threat or Opportunity – Cyber Insurance

Posted by Dan Scheider

Cyber Insurance for ContractorsCaution is often the reaction I get when discussing Cyber Insurance to construction executives in Wisconsin. From their perspective it would be a nice policy to have should the North Koreans focus their slave hacking force on a plumber in Sheboygan. The resulting ransom of 200 bitcoin for their $200 laptop seems a laughable prospect to a field that generally isn’t tech reliant. The truth, however, is that contractors are a growing target for hackers, but fear isn’t the only reason for a contractor to have Cyber Insurance.

So is greed.

Newly mandated contracts are forcing the conversation of Cyber Insurance between owners and contractors. On October 31, 2018 the American Institute of Architects (AIA) requires the use of their new 2017-revised agreement documents and to toss the old 2007 versions. Among the most standard forms are basic contract agreement between owners and contractors: A101, A102, and A103. All three of those forms have a new section dedicated to Cyber Insurance.

The relevant language begins in the from at section A.2.5.1. This segment encourages the owner to purchase Cyber Security Insurance for any loss or data breach should such an event happen on the job. This represents an opportunity for a contractor to sell the fact that they have 3rd party Cyber Insurance and can cover such a breach. Alternatively this could be a threat should the contractor have no Cyber Insurance and potentially lose out on a bid to a competitor who has said coverage.

Why was Cyber Insurance language inserted in this part of the contract? The AIA believes there is a growing threat of electronic data loss to owners after several real world examples surfaced where negligent contractors were at fault.

In 2013 an HVAC contractor in Pennsylvania was working at a Target retail store. An employee of the HVAC contractor opened a virus laced email. This email stole the identification and password of the contractor and was able to infiltrate Target’s vendor portal. From there the criminals were able to gain access to Target’s internal network. The result was the 5th largest cyber-attack in history and 70 million compromised credit cards.

Beyond encouraging owners to attain Cyber Insurance, Forms A101-3 present easy opportunities for owners to require Cyber Insurance from contractors. Further along in the contracts (section A.3.3.2.6) the owner is given a segment to fill in additional coverages a contractors is required to possess on the job. In the real world we are starting to see contracts requiring a Cyber policy– often with high limits too.

More than just a threat, Cyber Insurance represents an opportunity for contractors. Having a policy ahead of a big job not only protects your company in case of a breach, but also gives the sales or marketing department extra ammunition to make the winning offer. 

Not all Cyber policies are the same. There is a major difference between a first and third party coverage. Contact an agent to work out the best Cyber policy for your business.

Topics: Cyber, Construction

Can I Get a Discount on Insurance by Using GPS Trackers?

Posted by Bill Katzfey

GPS Tracker

 

We have seen an uptick in requests from business owners to add GPS tracking units to their fleet.  GPS tracking systems improve the odds of vehicle recovery from theft, encourages safe driving, and promote regularly scheduled vehicle maintenance.

But can they save money on insurance?  Yes.  Insurance companies are always assessing risks, so businesses with better driver records and a well maintained fleet could see decreases in their commercial auto insurance.  As an independent insurance agency, we have access to a variety of insurance companies which offer cost assistance.  For your individual situation, additional savings may apply - talk to your KnowledgeBroker about a custom savings plan for your organization.

Thinking of adding GPS trackers to your fleet?

We queried several clients and developed the list below.  While it is nowhere all-inclusive, it is a great place to start your search of looking for a GPS fleet provider.

Additional Fleet Safety Resources

Have questions if GPS trackers can help your business?  We can help: safety@rrins.com.

Topics: Fleet Safety

Employee Benefit Plan Limits for 2019

Posted by the knowledge brokers

ComplianceMany employee benefits are subject to annual dollar limits that are periodically updated for inflation, such as HSAs, health FSAs, and transportation fringe benefit plans. This Compliance Overview includes a chart of the inflation-adjusted limits for 2019. Although some of the limits will remain the same, many of the limits increase for 2019.

The IRS typically announces the dollar limits that will apply for the next calendar year well in advance of the beginning of that year to give employers time to update their plan designs and make sure their plan administration will be consistent with the new limits.

Contact a Knowledge Broker for more information.

Topics: Employee Benefits, Compliance

OSHA Launches Program Targeting High Injury and Illness Rates

Posted by the knowledge brokers

OSHAEffective October 16, 2018, OSHA launched a "Site-Specific Targeting (SST) inspection program".  The goal of the program is to ensure that employers provide safe and healthful workplaces by directing enforcement resources to those workplaces with the highest rates of injuries and illness.  Read the full OSHA notice here

Targeted Employers or Workplaces for SST Inspection Program:

  • All industries EXCLUDING construction, schools, or municipalities
  • 20+ employees
  • Injury and illness information submitted calendar year 2016 under 29 CFR 1904.41

How can you prepare for a potential OSHA visit?

  1. Awareness: do your company have a plan if OSHA would come knocking? 
  2. Benchmark: how does your company's injury and illness rates compare to industry peers?  Are you a red flag for OSHA? 
  3. Review applicable OSHA compliance programs compared to your company practices.

Preparing for any type of OSHA audit takes commitment from leadership.  The best success are organizations with safety teams to champion safety 24/7.  R&R Insurance can help support safety personnel with self-audits, policy review, training content, and much more.  Start the conversation with an email: safety@rrins.com.

 

Topics: Safety, OSHA

10 Tips to Prevent Chimney Fires

Posted by the knowledge brokers

house on fireWhether we're ready for it or not, winter weather is upon us. And with colder temps comes an obvious increase in the use of fireplaces. For many of us, our fireplaces/chimneys haven't been touched in months. However, chimneys account for 75% of home heating fires - meaning homeowners should actively maintain and follow the necessary upkeep.

Property Casualty 360 provides the following tips to prevent chimney fires in your home.

  1. Have your chimney inspected and cleaned at least once a year by a professional, and more than that if creosote builds up on the chimney walls more rapidly.
  2. Consider installing a stainless steel liner that will withstand even the highest temperatures and will keep the embers contained.
  3. Watch out for soot buildup. Soot is softer than creosote, but is also flammable and should be cleaned up regularly. 
  4. Between the professional inspections / cleanings, be sure to check and monitor your wood-burning fireplace for signs of buildup or other problems.
  5. Clean the interior of your fireplace, including the floor, regularly. Sweep or vacuum up cold ashes.
  6. Your chimney has a cap on the top of it with open sides (usually covered in mesh to keep rain, birds, squirrels, and debris out). Make sure this cap is regularly inspected and replaced when necessary.
  7. Check the interior of your fireplace for creosote buildup. It is flammable, therefore too much buildup is a fire hazard and should be cleaned away with a creosote remover as soon as possible. 
  8. Anytime there is smoke indoors from your fireplace, troubleshoot and immediately correct any problems you find. Possible causes are a dirty chimney, soot or creosote buildup, other debris, a sample that isn't open or fully opened, or wood not building completely.
  9. To improve your fireplace's efficiency, you should also consider installing heat-proof glass doors to protect against heat loss and a fan or blower to direct heat into the room.
  10. If possible, burn hardwoods like oak, maple, ash, and birch. These woods burn hot and long, are cleaner to handle, and have less pitched sap. They also tend to leave less creosote buildup but can be more expensive.

Looking for additional safety tips for your home? Contact a KnowledgeBroker at R&R Insurance.

Topics: Personal Insurance

Trade Credit Insurance | A Sales Growth Solution

Posted by the knowledge brokers

iStock-638615786In simple terms, Trade Credit Insurance protects B2B companies or sellers of goods and services against bad debt, including insolvency, slow payment, and political risks. When these issues arise, they can be detrimental to a business. In fact, approximately 82% of bankruptcies are triggered by cash flow problems caused by issues like customer non-payment. In addition, accounts receivables typically represent more than 40% of a company's assets, and one in ten invoices becomes delinquent.

When should businesses consider Trade Credit Insurance?

Trade Credit Insurance applies to businesses of all sizes and in a variety of industries. Trusted Choice states that companies that sell goods and services on credit terms rather than requiring payment up front are exposed to the risk of nonpayment and should consider this coverage. In addition, companies that work with international exports have an increased risk and should take this insurance into account as well.

While there are alternatives to Trade Credit Insurance, they may not be the best option for businesses. According to James Daly, CEO and President of Euler Hermes, the main alternative is self-insurance, a practice many US organizations opt for. Businesses can put a reserve on their balance sheet to cover any bad debt that may occur over the year. However as Daly states, "rather than have capital in your balance sheet doing nothing but waiting for bad debt, why not purchase Trade Credit Insurance and then invest that excess capital into growth or new products?"

How can Trade Credit Insurance benefit your business?

Trade credit solutions can support sales growth while reducing trade risk and giving you the ability to:

  • Avoid catastrophic bad debt losses
  • Expand sales to new and existing customer with less risk
  • Secure better borrowing terms with a lender
  • Reduce bad debt reserves
  • Enhance credit department efficiencies and results

The value of Trade Credit protection extends well beyond the insurance policy.  A key benefit is the extensive financial database available from partners of R&R such as Euler-Hermes, the world's largest Trade Credit provider. The information available at their fingertips provides proactive notifications and protection from adverse financial issues that could be developing with your key business partners. In addition, their data is an excellent evaluation tool when making decisions on partnering or prospecting potential growth partners. 

As a partner of premier trade credit insurers, R&R can assist your company with properly protecting its largest asset - accounts receivable. Contact a KnowledgeBroker for more information.

Topics: Business Insurance

OSHA's Top 5 Most Popular Videos

Posted by the knowledge brokers

OSHAAs of 2018, the videos below are ranked as the most popular by OSHA and the US Department of Labor.

Whether you're looking to train employees, or just share knowledge with members of your organization - these videos provide insight into serious safety topics.

  1. Five Ways to Prevent Workplace Falls
  2. Stop Silicosis (Inhalation of Silica Dust)
  3. Excavation in Construction: Trenching
  4. OSHA Heat Illness Prevention
  5. Falls in Construction: Floor Openings

For more information on any of these topics, contact safety@rrins.com.

Topics: OSHA

Small Tips to Prevent Large Claims: Dryer Sheets for Winterizing Vehicles

Posted by Tammy Cross

Small Tips to Prevent Large Claims: Dryer Sheets for Winterizing Vehicles

iStock-541268154With Labor Day behind us and cooler temps in the future, it's time to think about storing those summer toys. From convertibles and boats, to motorcycles and jet-skis, unfortunately certain vehicles just aren't suited for Wisconsin winters. Below is a small tip for winterizing your car that can save you from a big claim next summer.

Believe it or not, dryer sheets and/or moth balls can prevent major rodent damage in your vacant vehicle. A garage will keep your car dry and relatively warm, but will also make your car attractive to rodents. By placing dryer sheets inside the vehicle and engine compartment, you'll combat any rodents that plan to chew their way through wires to make a new home.

REMINDER: It's important to make note of the dryer sheets prior to driving your vehicle! Hang a reminder on your rear-view mirror or on the dashboard so you don't forget!

Topics: Personal Insurance

IRS Issues Letter 5699 to Employers that are Non-compliant with ACA Reporting

Posted by Pete Frittitta

reportingThe Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has been sending Letter 5699 to employers that have not complied with their Affordable Care Act (ACA) reporting requirements under Internal Revenue Code Section 6056 for the 2015 calendar year.

Letter 5699, Request for Employer Reporting of Offers of Health Insurance Coverage (Forms 1094-C and 1095-C), requests missing information from applicable large employers (ALEs) that were required to report under Section 6056, but failed to file Forms 1094-C and 1095-C with the IRS. The IRS identifies potentially non-compliant ALEs based on their Form W-2 total employee count reported for the 2015 calendar year.

The IRS began issuing Letter 226-J to certain ALEs that filed Forms 1094-C and 1095-C to inform them of their potential liability for an employer shared responsibility penalty for the 2015 calendar year. Similarly, the IRS has been issuing Letter 5699 as its enforcement mechanism to identify and assess penalties against ALEs that failed to file Forms 1094-C and 1095-C for the 2015 calendar year.

Employers who receive a Letter 5699 should respond to the IRS within the appropriate time frame. When responding to Letter 5699, employers should provide all appropriate information requested by the IRS, including any Forms 1094-C and 1095-C that are due. Keep in mind that penalties may apply for any failures to file with the IRS by required deadlines. The IRS will use information provided in response to Letter 5699 to identify non-compliant ALEs and assess any penalties that may be owed.

For more information regarding Letter 5699 and related ACA reporting penalties, click here.

To learn more about Letter 226-J, you can refer to our previous blog here.

Source: Zywave

Topics: Compliance

Featured Client | Overlooked Coverage Provided for Secondary Home

Posted by Tammy Cross

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 newest valued clients.

lake-homeJeff and Tracy recently purchased a secondary home in beautiful Door County, Wisconsin. While they look forward to spending summers on the lake, they have realistic expectations about the amount of time they'll be able to spend in their new vacation home. With this in mind, they intend to rent out the property approximately 5 weeks out of the year. Unfortunately, in the world of home insurance, most carriers will not insure a secondary / seasonal property that is rented on a short term or weekly basis.

With the help of Tammy Cross, Jeff and Tracy were given a policy which provided full coverage of the home, including theft of personal property while rented. Without the experience and insight of Tammy, this commonly overlooked coverage would have been missed.

Click here for additional coverage information when renting your home. Or contact a Private Client Knowledge Broker!

Find a Private Client Knowledge Broker

 

*Client names have been changed to maintain anonymity.

Topics: Featured Client, Private Client Group