Tag Archives: Liability Insurance?

So You Have a New Dog – Do You Need Extra Liability insurance?

Blog

So You Have a New Dog – Do You Need Extra Liability insurance? on avanteinsurance.com

In some cases, it could be worthwhile, but in others it’s probably mandatory

If you are like most new dog owners, you’re probably going all out for your pooch. It’s quite possible he now has more bones, chew toys, and plastic squeaky things than you can count. You may even plan to dress him up in a funny sweater for your Christmas card. He’s not just a pet; he is already a valued member of your family.

While there’s nothing wrong with any of that (though people who abhor clothes on animals may disagree about the sweater), you still have to recognize that a dog is an animal. Even the calmest, sweetest dogs with no history of aggressive behavior can bite someone. And dog bites are one of the most common homeowner liability claims, accounting for one-third of them in 2016 and totaling more than $600 million in claims. This averages out to about $33,000 per claim.

Why would I need extra insurance for my dog?

There are certain dogs that are considered more dangerous than others. While some are obvious – like pit bulls and Rottweilers – this list also includes chows and Akitas. Plus, if your dog is a mix of any of these breeds, most likely he will be lumped into this group.

But wait, doesn’t homeowner’s insurance cover things like dog bites?

While it’s true that a homeowners policy does include the medical expenses related to a dog bite, it is possible if you have a dog on the list, he won’t be covered. But the good news is that in most cases you will have the option of buying a supplemental policy. Canine liability insurance will keep you protected in the event of any incident, even if someone is injured just by playing with your dog. One of the first things you should do is call your insurance company to see what your homeowner’s policy covers – or doesn’t cover – and to learn about your options.

How to help ensure you never need to make a claim for your dog

While it’s impossible to have total control over an animal that still has at least some inherent connection to wolves, there are things you can do to make your dog a good citizen:

• Spay or neuter: Dogs that are fixed – especially males – are usually not as aggressive

• Training – Either on your own or with a pro, training is an excellent way to manage a dog’s behavior

• Socialization – It’s important that your dog not fear strangers, so look for opportunities to socialize

• Supervision – Don’t leave your dog alone with someone he doesn’t know, especially children

• Playtime – It’s a good idea to play games that don’t involve aggression, such as fetch as opposed to tug-of-war

• Fence – If your dog will spend time outside without you, a fence – either physical or electric – is crucial

• Leash – This one may be obvious, but whenever you bring your dog anywhere, make sure he is always leased

Avante Insurance will keep everyone in your family covered, even your furry members

You of course want the best for your new dog, which is why insurance shouldn’t be ignored or forgotten. If your homeowners insurance doesn’t offer you the coverage you need or you want a separate policy for your dog, get in touch with Avante Insurance. Even if you have been turned down by other agencies, we may be able to help.

Call our office at 305-648-7070 or just send us a message through our online contact form.

What is Employment Practices Liability Insurance and Why Does Your Business Need It?

Blog

What is Employment Practices Liability Insurance and Why Does Your Business Need It? on avanteinsurance.com

Protecting your business against discrimination and harassment claims

Commercial insurance is essential if you want to protect your business and avoid financial complications. Some commercial policies cover damage to property or loss of equipment such as computers, printers, or office furniture. Others can protect against lawsuits if a client or employee is ever injured on your property. A third type protects against lawsuits related to claims made by employees. It’s called Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI).

What is the purpose of Employment Practices Liability Insurance?

According to the American Bar Association, “EPLI covers companies against claims or lawsuits filed by employees, former employees and employment candidates regarding their employment relationship with an employer … A company can use this type of insurance to cover expenses involved in defending against a claim or lawsuits related to employment (regardless of outcome) and provides indemnification of the employer if the case settled or a verdict obtained…”

What kind of claims does Employment Practices Liability Insurance cover?

EPLI is purchased to protect the company and employers, including directors and officers, as well as current and former employees.

Claims might include:

•  Discrimination (based on age, sex, race, religion, color, and national origin)

•  Sexual harassment

•  Wrongful termination or discipline

•  Emotional distress or mental anguish

•  Invasion of privacy

•  Libel or slander

•  Breach of contract

•  Employee benefits mismanagement

•  Violation of the Family and Medical Leave Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, or other laws

“In addition, some policies contain a catch-all category to provide coverage for claims of discrimination based on protected categories (e.g. sexual orientation) that are not covered under federal discrimination statutes but may be covered under state or local law,” according to the American Bar Association.

It’s important to note that this type of policy protects a company from the pre-hire process to the exit interview, including seasonal or temporary employees. For instance, if a prospective employee comes in for an interview and is not hired but sues claiming he or she was the victim of discrimination, you and your company would be protected.

What does Employment Practices Liability Insurance not cover?

EPLI is only meant to protect a company and its employers against claims such as discrimination. There are many areas that EPLI doesn’t cover, including:

•  Claims over wages or labor laws, ERISA, WARN acts, unemployment benefits, COBRA or  claims related to the National Labor Relations Act

•  Criminal or civil fines, penalties, or punitive damages

•  Bodily injury and property damage

•  Liability acts involving intentional wrongdoing

•  Other types of commercial policies protect a business, and its employers, in these areas.

Why do you need Employment Practices Liability Insurance in addition to other commercial policies?

As mentioned, each type of commercial policy covers certain things. For instance, most businesses and organizations carry Directors and Officers Liability Insurance (D&O), but this type of policy only covers individuals, not the company itself. “EPLI is most commonly designed to fill this gap in coverage. It generally provides reimbursement for the costs incurred in defending a lawsuit but does not cover reimbursement for any penalties suffered,” according to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

Companies might also carry Errors and Admissions Insurance (E&A) – sometimes called Professional Liability or Malpractice Insurance – which is meant to protect businesses and people who give advice, make recommendations, provide design or advertising services, or those who represent the needs of others.

Why Employment Practices Liability Insurance is essential

Just imagine if you or your company was ever sued for something like racial discrimination or sexual harassment. If the case ended up in court, you could incur hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal costs and attorney fees. The expense could be enough to cripple most businesses, putting everything you’ve worked so hard to achieve in jeopardy.

“EPLI is becoming more common as employment lawsuits become a part of doing business in this litigious age. Most employers are not prepared to absorb the risk of loss from such employment practices claims,” according to SHRM.

What does Employment Practices Liability Insurance cost?

Generally, the cost of EPLI insurance is based on the size of the company or organization, the type of business, and other risk factors. To determine how much EPLI coverage you need, it’s important to review your risks and the limits of each policy. You also want to make sure you know who will control the claims process – whether it’s you as the employer or the insurer.

See these other Avante Insurance posts covering commercial insurance options you should consider, no matter the size of your business:

Workers Comp Insurance

Cyber Security Insurance

Insurance for home-based, online businesses

Small Business Insurance Checklist

You’ve worked hard to build a business and make it a success. Make sure to protect your interests so a lawsuit doesn’t take you out of the game. Call us today to discuss your needs or for a quote.

Employment Practices Liability Insurance Versus Worker’s Compensation: What You Need to Know

Blog,

Employment Practices Liability Insurance Versus Worker’s Compensation: What You Need to Know on avanteinsurance.com

Is your business adequately protected?

As a small business owner, it’s likely you foster a close relationship with your employees. Nevertheless, even if you have a tight-knit group, the possibility of a worker suing you and your company one day isn’t completely impossible. American companies actually face a 12 percent chance of being sued by their employees at one point or another. And it’s not just large corporations that are at risk; approximately 41.5 percent of employee claims are filed against businesses with less than 100 workers. The incidence of these lawsuits has grown exponentially as more people realize their legal rights in the workplace.

The only way to protect your company is to make sure you have the proper coverage, and to understand that your general business liability policy may not be enough. Today, many small businesses are adding employment practices coverage even though they already have worker’s compensation in place.

What is employment practices liability insurance?

Employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) protects your company and all of its business assets. In the event that you are sued by an employee, it deals with the following types of claims:

Gender or age discrimination

Sexual harassment

Negligent compensation

Failure to promote

Denial of career opportunity

Intentional infliction of emotional distress

Wrongful discipline

Wrongful termination

Libel or slander

Invasion of privacy

Emotional distress or mental anguish

Breach of contract for employment

With an EPLI policy in place, you have defense against claims directed at your company. You will also have access to advanced coverage for judgments, settlements, court, and attorney fees related to the claim. EPLI differs from general business liability policies by providing a more specialized coverage. And though it’s not always understood, worker’s compensation policies do not protect against discrimination and other related claims. Here’s a look at what worker’s comp covers:

Worker’s comp deals with accident and injury

Worker’s compensation addresses any accidents, injuries, or illnesses that are work related or occur on your property. Whether the injury is caused by an employee’s carelessness or is purely a freak accident, this policy covers any related expenses. In most states, worker’s compensation is required to ensure a healthy and safe work environment. Benefits of worker’s comp include:

Coverage for any medical expenses resulting from the injury or illness (including doctor’s visits, medication, and surgery)

Replacement income in the event that the employee is unable to work while recovering

Rehabilitation

Compensation for permanent injury

Payout to family or survivors if a worker is killed on the job

Retraining or new job placement (in the event that the employee can no longer perform their original job responsibilities)

A key component to worker’s compensation is that your employee cannot file charges against you if they are collecting benefits from this policy.

Protect your company with complete coverage

Many small businesses choose to be proactive and invest in both EPLI and worker’s compensation coverage. Only having one or the other leaves you at risk of certain types of losses, so it’s a safer bet to cover all of the bases.

If you are interested in finding out more about an EPLI policy for your business, give us a call today at 305-648-7070 or fill out our online quote request form. As a leader in the insurance industry, we have extensive experience in providing top insurance solutions to small businesses.

Do You Need for Professional Liability Insurance?

Blog

Find the right Professional Insurance Coverage for your career.

Ask yourself a single question: “If I made a professional mistake of some kind, could I be sued?”

This is the overly-simplified way to determine whether or not you should obtain professional liability insurance. Professional liability insurance can go by many different names, depending on the individual’s profession. For example, physicians and medical professionals tend to call it malpractice insurance. Accountants, engineers, lawyers, and architects may call it professional liability insurance, and yet others call it errors and omissions insurance.

Generally, this is coverage that gives you (or your company) protection in the event that an omission, error, or mistake on your part caused a loss to the client.

Continue reading Do You Need for Professional Liability Insurance?

7 Professional Liability Insurance FAQs

Blog

Professional Liability Insurance FAQs You Need the Answer To!

Professional liability insurance is becoming more and more important, as well as more popular, in recent years and we get a lot of questions regarding what it is and why you need it. In our efforts to always keep you informed and make sure you’re protected, we’ve come up with a list of some of the professional liability FAQs we hear often. If you have any other questions, feel free to contact us and we will get you all the information and protection you need!

Top 7 Professional Liability Insurance FAQs

1. What is professional liability insurance?

Professional liability insurance offers coverage for businesses offering professional and personal services. It protects your business against claims that you caused harm to a client as a result of your advice or service.

Continue reading 7 Professional Liability Insurance FAQs