droneTechnology has come a long way over the past few decades. Remember when the only “remote controlled” thing you saw was a toy car? Now it seems everything can be remote controlled, including drones!

From kids to adults, drones seem to be all the rage today. Walk through most neighborhoods on a Saturday afternoon and you will likely see someone flying a drone around. Companies like Amazon are even testing them to see if they can be used to deliver packages right you your house! And we’ve all heard the horror stories of people having their privacy invaded. They are even being used by the military. While drones are an amazing piece of technology, they still have the potential to cause damage, which is why you should consider getting proper insurance coverage to protect you and/or your business.

Is Insurance Mandatory?

While there is yet to be any mandates for insurance requirements to operate a drone, if you are using it for a commercial purpose, you must assume that at some point clients and others will want to see certifications that you are properly insured for every part of your business, which would include the drones. Not to mention, if any of your drones do cause damage, your company would be responsible for the damages. Part of running a good business is making sure all of your liabilities are covered.

Am I Already Covered in my General Liability Policy?

While general liability policies cover an extensive amount of your business, they typically do not provide coverage for aviation exposures. While many don’t consider drones to be dangerous, or part of the “aviation” community, if damage is caused to property or a person, legal action can be taken.

Is There Insurance for Personal Use?

Depending on the language of your policy, your homeowner’s insurance policy may provide coverage for recreational or personal use of a drone. Most homeowner’s insurance policies cover personal property, and since drones aren’t used to fly people or cargo, they may be included in your policy.

A larger cause for concern is the liability for damages that is caused by your drone, such as crashing into a window or a car. Physical damage isn’t the only liability you should be concerned with, as you should also look for coverage to protect yourself in case someone pursues an invasion of privacy claim, which should fall under personal injury. If you took a picture using your drone, and your neighbor felt that their privacy was violated, there is a chance they can file a claim against you.

If you own a business, and are looking for protection and would like more information about business insurance coverage, we would be happy to assist you. Also, if you are looking to purchase various forms of business insurance such as General Liability or Professional Liability, our insurance specialists have the experience to assist your business and offer advice in finding the perfect plan to fit all of its needs. For more information about the importance of umbrella policies, read our previous blog, “Why Business Owners Need an Umbrella Policy.” Contact us today at +1 954-828-1819 or +44 (0) 1624 678668 or visit us online at mhginsurance.com.

Drones seem to be all the rage these dyas. But do you know the liabilities that come with them? Read more for drone insurance coverage.

Is Your Food Truck Covered?

food truckOne of the most popular and fastest growing parts of the food industry are food trucks. People seem to have an infatuation with them, that doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon. As almost every city has a weekly night that residents come and line up to taste the newest and coolest food creations from unique food trucks, many of us don’t think of the work and investments that goes into making a food truck successful. While many decide to go the route of having a food truck rather than opening up a restaurant because it doesn’t require the same costs, it still does require certain insurance coverage. 

 

Breakdown 

It's important to protect your vehicle since you depend on it in order to make a living. There are several different types of insurances you will need in order to ensure that your food truck will have the proper coverage that it needs, and coverage that is required by many locations such as city parks.

General Liability Insurance 

General liability insurance is important for any business to have. It should cover you and your business in areas that may offer a liability issue or products or services that you are liable for. For example, if a guest sits in a bad chair and injures themselves, general liability insurance should offer you protection form a lawsuit.  This insurance will take into consideration the revenue of your business to rate your policy. 

Automobile Insurance 

While you are driving the truck to the location you plan on setting up to serve food, the person driving behind you was texting and driving and rear ended you. No matter how careful you drive, accidents on the road can be unavoidable. Having auto insurance is a necessity by law for any vehicle that is on the road. 

Property Insurance

Property insurance works much as it would if your truck was an office or a building. The coverage will insure anything inside of the truck, including equipment such as refrigerators, fryers, and any tables and chairs needed for guests.

Loss of Income Insurance 

It's important for any business to have a loss of income insurance policy in the event that there is a loss of income. Whether it is a natural disaster or other covered loss that puts your business out of operations, having this insurance will give you the ability to pay bills when you are unable to operate.

Workers' Compensation Insurance 

If you have employees or plan on developing a staff, you need to consider purchasing a workers' compensation insurance policy. There are certain laws depending on the state that you live in regarding workers' comp. Do your research to make sure you are properly covered according to the law. 

Also, working in a food truck may require to work with potentially dangerous tools such as ovens, knives, etc. Accidents happen, so make sure you are properly prepared for them in the event that one of your workers has an accident in the workplace that will keep them from being able to work. 

Other Insurances to Consider 

Some other types of insurance that you may want to consider depending on the type of truck you have include refrigerated truck insurance and commercial van insurance. 

Package Deal

All of these different types of insurances may be a bit overwhelming, but here at MHG we want to make things simple for you. We can put together an insurance package that will properly cover your food truck, so all you will have to worry about is serving up more delicious dishes!

If you own a business, and are looking for protection and would like more information about business insurance coverage, we would be happy to assist you. Also, if you are looking to purchase various forms of business insurance such as General Liability or Professional Liability, our insurance specialists have the experience to assist your business and offer advice in finding the perfect plan to fit all of its needs. For more information about the importance of umbrella policies, read our previous blog, “Why Business Owners Need an Umbrella Policy.” Contact us today at +1 954-828-1819 or +44 (0) 1624 678668 or visit us online at mhginsurance.com.

Food trucks are very popular. Learn more about insurance coverage for your food truck, so that you can focus on serving more delicious dishes!

securityBeing a security employee can be a fulfilling job. Protecting and serving a community, family, or person, is important and shouldn’t be taken lightly. But if security guards are around to protect us, who is around to protect them? That’s what we are here for! It can be a difficult task for a security guard to obtain insurance coverage, such as workers’ compensation. Especially if those security employees are armed. The more danger surrounding a person, the harder it is to find insurance because there is an increased liability exposure. Security workers are around to help us feel safer, so we put together this list of tips that may help them get insured in order for them to feel safer.


1. Licenses 

Making sure your employees are properly licensed to use and carry a firearm should be a requirement for anyone who is a guard on your staff. Not only does obtaining a concealed weapons permit make it legal for them to carry a gun, it also gives them training. It’s important to keep a file of all licenses and certifications for all individuals.

2. Procedures

Having the right procedures in place can do a lot for your business. They can help to limit the damage caused by an accident, as well as help your business perform more efficiently. The former can go a long way when trying to get insured. 

3. Proper Training

Although your guards will have gone through training when receiving their weapons permits, you should still schedule regular training sessions for your staff. Accidents can always happen, and having a regular refresher may prevent a tragedy. When setting up a training session, it is a good idea to have the training conducted by a law enforcement officer or someone from the National Rifle Association (NRA). It may also help to have a law enforcement officer or NRA member on your staff. 

4. Who Owns Firearms? 

Having and using a weapon is an enormous responsibility that can create a serious liability. By having your security guards supply their own weapons, they may feel more comfortable. This will allow them to use a weapon they are familiar with, which may also help them use more caution. Also, by employees using their own firearm, it lessons your business’s liability because you are not using firearms that YOU own. 

5. Document Everything

Keeping proper documentation can be the key difference in getting insured. The insurance agent will review plenty of material regarding your company’s history when quoting your business. So the more information and documents you have, the more detailed their report will be. Failing to document certain aspects of your business history could keep you from getting coverage. 

MHG is a leading insurance broker for the private security industry, including guards, alarm firms, private investigation and more. Our insurance specialists deliver a variety of solutions that include competitive rates, comprehensive forms of coverage, and industry knowledge of the security and investigation sectors. For more information that can help guards regarding insurance, read our previous blog, “Workers’ Comp for Security Employees.” To learn specific details about a workers’ compensation insurance policy for security personnel, or to get a free quote, call 954-828-1819 or visit mhginsurance.com.

5 Tips for Armed Security Guards Regarding Insurance

Business Brainstorming GroupMany people around the world have dreams about moving to the United States of America and opening up a business, also known as the “American Dream.” Opening up a new business can be a daunting, yet fulfilling task. Even more so when you are opening up that business in a new country. The United States requires businesses to have certain insurance coverage by law. However, there are other insurances you should consider just to protect yourself as a business owner. 

 

Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ compensation insurance, also known as workers’ comp, should be a main priority of your business. It will cover employees in the event they are injured at work, and should cover medical treatment, disability, and if necessary, a death benefit. 

Comprehensive General Liability

Comprehensive general liability insurance covers your business from incidents that occur at your warehouse, building, grounds, etc. Anything can happen, and a visiting client can easily slip on something causing them to get injured, and making you liable for a lawsuit. 

Product Liability (if applicable)

Product liability insurance is necessary if your business creates or sells a tangible product. This insurance will cover you from any potential lawsuits from damages or injuries that are caused by one of your products. 

Professional Liability (E&O) 

Professional liability insurance, also known as errors and omissions (E&O), will cover your business if you provide advice, or provide a service. It will protect you against negligent claims and damages that are awarded from a lawsuit.

Property Insurance 

Property insurance is much like your homeowner’s insurance. It covers your equipment, inventory, and other materials in the event of a fire, storm, or theft. It is also needed whether you own the space or lease it. There are limits to the coverage, so in order to attain more coverage, you may need purchase a separate policy, or an umbrella policy. Umbrella policies are also referred to as excess policies. 

Business Interruption Coverage

Natural disasters and catastrophic events can happen unexpectedly, often times shutting down businesses or interrupting operations. Your business can experience a loss of income during this time, which makes it important for you to have a business interruption insurance policy. Business interruption insurance will compensate your business for lost income during these times so that you do not experience major financial losses. 

Disability Insurance

Disability insurance is different from workers’ compensation insurance. Disability insurance covers your workers in the vent they are injured including outside of the work place, or develop a serious illness.  If they are unable to work, this coverage will pay them a percentage of their income for a period of time. 

Automobile Insurance (if applicable) 

If your business has company vehicles, or a fleet of trucks, delivery vans, etc. then you should be thinking about auto insurance. 

Life Insurance

In order to open a business, you will more than likely need a life insurance policy before receiving any money from the bank. This is to protect the bank, and give them the coverage they need if something happens to you and you leave debt behind. It also is common for businesses to offer life insurance policies to “key employees.” In fact, many companies offer their entire workforce life insurance coverage based on their salary.

If you own a business, and are looking for protection and would like more information about business insurance coverage, we would be happy to assist you. Also, if you are looking to purchase various forms of business insurance such as General Liability or Professional Liability, our insurance specialists have the experience to assist your business and offer advice in finding the perfect plan to fit all of its needs. For more information about the importance of umbrella policies, read our previous blog, “Why Business Owners Need an Umbrella Policy.” Contact us today at +1 954-828-1819 or +44 (0) 1624 678668 or visit us online at mhginsurance.com.

Opening a New Business in the U.S? Find Out Which Types of Insurance You Need!

contractorsDo you own a business or run a company? If the answer is yes, you are more than likely liable for something, whether it is your employees, customers, product, etc. Depending on your business, you may need coverage for things that other businesses don’t. Having proper business insurance could be the difference between a good business and a closed business. Do you have enough coverage for your company and employees? It is no secret that insurance coverage can be tricky, especially when you thought you had coverage for things that you actually don’t. Lately, we have been hearing about an issue when it comes to coverage regarding business insurance. Some businesses are finding out the hard way when it comes to certain employees not having the coverage they needed. 

 

The Concern 

As of late, we have been hearing many questions regarding subcontractors, temporary workers, or 1099 employees when it comes to being covered under a general liability or workers compensation policy. There is a lapse of coverage in business insurance policies that could potentially leave your company exposed. 

The Reason 

Typically, 1099 employees are paid under the table, which means their wages do not count toward the taxable wages. This also means that they do not have coverage when it comes to your business insurance, such as your general liability or workers’ compensation coverage. The general liability for your business covers W2 employees of the business. So in order for your employees to be covered, they must be considered part of the business.

The Solution

Each 1099 employee should be required to have their own coverage. It can come from the contracting company they work for if there is one involved, they can have their own policy, or have a filed exemption. It is important for them to have coverage from somewhere else as there is none coming from your business. Also, business owners should make it a priority to request certification to verify that anyone working for them has the proper coverage, before letting them work. A Certificate of Insurance should always be requested and verified. 

Why use Subcontractors? 

After learning how subcontractors and 1099 employees could leave your business liable, it may change your thought process about using them. Yes, there can be red flags when it comes to insurance coverage, but there are a great number of positives and many companies are quite successful using temporary workers or subcontractors. If you have an area of your business where employees experience a lot of risk, it may be more efficient for your company to use subcontractors than to hire full time employees to do the work. Part of the reason is that your business may have to pay a higher premium for employee coverage than a smaller subcontracting company does. 

Don’t let your business go on without the proper insurance coverage it needs. If you have any questions regarding your policy, or are interested in marine general liability insurance or any other type of business insurance, please feel free to contact us at 954-828-1819, or visit MHG Insurance Brokers online at mhginsurance.com. We look forward to being your partner in liability protection. For more information on marine general liability insurance, read our previous blog, “What is the Difference between General Liability and Marine General Liability?

Are 1099 Employees a Potential Liability for your Business?

safeIn many cases, workers’ compensation is a large expense for a business, even before a claim is filed. Sometimes injuries are unavoidable, especially if your business requires physical labor from your employees. But when an injury happens that could have easily been avoided causing your premiums to increase because of a claim, it can cripple your business. This is why it is crucial for a business to have great safety protocols, and create a safe work environment.


1. Uniforms/Gear

Having the proper protective gear can have a great impact on the safety of your workers. For example, a construction worker on the job site without a hard hat on could fall victim to a head injury. Depending on the business your company is in, this should dictate the qualities of your uniforms or protective items required for work.

2. Emergency Exits 

Be sure that emergency exits are in clear sight throughout your building. In the event of an emergency, it can be easy to freeze and panic. Having guidance throughout your office, warehouse, building, etc. could save someone form an injury, or worse.

3. Discussions/Meetings

Let employees voice their concerns, and take note of any safety hazards that aren’t currently being addressed. Not only will allowing employees to go around and speak during a meeting help you solve some issues, it will also make your workers feel empowered.

4. Signs

Sometimes employees can develop habits and get comfortable, causing them to not take as much care performing a dangerous task as they once did. Use signs to remind workers of safety rules and precautions that must be taken. 

5. Inspections

Putting your work area through a safety inspection can really contribute to making it a safer place. It can let you know what proofing you need to do and what improvements you need to make such as, adding handicap ramps, upgrading to nonslip flooring, or even putting handrails along walkways and stairs.

6. Tests/Drills

The best way for your workers to prepare for an emergency event is to put them through drills. Every so often, run different drills that will help prepare them for the real thing.

7. Access to Information 

Employees should have access to safety information such as what may be included in their employee handbook at all times. Whether a hardcopy, digital copy, or both.

8. Training 

Many times a new hire must go through job training or skills training. While this is a great way for an employee to learn the proper and safest way to perform a task or use a machine, there is no reason to not train ALL of your employees regularly. This can help keep your workers fresh, and may prevent and injury.

9. Upgrades 

Equipment and technology is constantly changing. Once you buy a new cell phone, it seems a newer version is on its way. Keep upgrades and replacements up to date. Many times they include a safer or more efficient product. 

10. Certifications

Having workers who are CPR certified, or other similar certifications can assist in preventing a serious injury, or minimalizing one. The safety of your workers should be a top priority for all businesses. However, accidents still happen, and workers’ compensation insurance should also be a priority of your business. 

If you would like more information on workers’ compensation, read our previous blog, “Follow These Tips When Preparing for a Workers’ Compensation Audit.” If you have any questions, or are interested in purchasing workers’ compensation insurance, USL&H or other types of business insurance, or group health insurance for your employees, please contact us at 954-828-1819 or visit us online at mhginsurance.com. Our insurance specialists have the knowledge and experience to cover your company’s risks appropriately.

10 Tips on Creating a Safe Work Environment

maritime workersNobody wants to think about getting injured on the job, especially if that injury will keep you from being able to work. However, if you work in the maritime industry, there is a good chance that you may not have to worry about what will happen if you do experience an injury. Thanks to the United States Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA also known as USL&H), those who work in the maritime industry and fall into certain categories, will have coverage backed by the federal government, not just the state. Having a peace of mind when it comes to coverage can help rid your life of the question, “What’s going to happen to me if I’m injured at work?” 

 

The Mission 

There is one mission when it comes to the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, to assure the coverage and minimize the impact of injuries and death for employees and their families. This is done by ensuring that workers’ compensation benefits are provided under law. 

The Details 

The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act provides workers’ compensation for anyone working in a marina or on the water. It protects you from injury and occupational disease while on the job. Benefits are only available to those maritime employees who meet certain criteria known as a “Status” and “Situs” test. 

Status Test- The Status Test has to do with the work that is performed by the employee. Basically the test decides whether you are performing “maritime” work. This is important because in order to be eligible for benefits under the act, it must be determined that employees are performing “maritime” work for the employer. 

Situs Test- The Situs Test has to do with the location that the employee has performed the work. After determining whether a worker is a maritime employee, they then have to determine if the work was performed on, near, or adjacent to navigable water. 

The Benefits 

The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act gives employees to the power to file claims for injuries that happen while at the workplace. Much of workers’ comp is through state legislation, however being that this one is administered federally, you can have the option to use both your state’s system as well as the federal system, just not at the same time. The Federal Process is a lengthy one, but it’s good to know the coverage is there for when the employees need it. The state coverage can provide benefits while the federal reviews the benefits available under the USL&H laws. For those that are content with receiving benefits from the state, you should know that state workers’ comp benefits are 60% of wages, while the Longshore Act is 2/3 of your wages. Workers’ compensation insurance should be a top priority for all businesses. 

If you would like more information on workers’ comp or the LHWCA, or are interested in purchasing a workers’ comp policy, or any other form of business insurance, or group health insurance for your employees, please contact us at 954-828-1819 or visit us online at mhginsurance.com. Our insurance specialists have the knowledge and experience to cover your company’s risks appropriately. For more information on marine general liability, read our previous blog, “Why Do I Need Marine General Liability? I Have Commercial General Liability. Isn't That Enough?

Explaining the United States Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act

workers' compIt’s no secret that in today’s world, it is becoming increasingly more difficult for people to find a job. With jobs being lost to technology, going overseas, companies downsizing, and a great population of qualified candidates, people are turning to any resolution they can find. Thus, making staffing firms more and more popular, especially with more and more companies looking for temporary workers. 

 

It Can Be Difficult 

Staffing firms employ such a large amount of people, who perform various tasks ranging from nursing, to working in a warehouse or on an assembly line. Another reason is that there is great turnover, so it can be hard to keep track of every single detail that is required when applying for a workers’ comp policy. Luckily, you aren’t required to pay the same premiums for temporary workers as you do for full time employees which can help to keep your costs effective. 

It’s the Law! 

Many state and federal jurisdictions require the staffing firm of a temporary worker to cover their workers’ compensation insurance. This may be because most states consider the temporary worker to be an employee of the staffing firm, rather than an employee of where they are placed. With that being said, if a workers’ comp claim happens to be placed, the responsibility again is placed on the staffing firm. 

Risk, No Reward 

Workers’ compensation usually classifies jobs by risk. This means that a staffing company should be aware of the work, tasks, and duties that a worker will be performing in order to get a good understanding of the risks that will go along with the job. The purpose of this is to ensure that the worker(s) will have the right amount of coverage. For example, a person working in a shipyard may need more coverage than a person working in an office. 

Keep the Necessary Documentation 

The premiums for a staffing company are regularly changing because of variable factors such as the number of workers and hours they work in a given period. This makes it very important for staffing firms to keep good records of where the placed employee worked, what kind of work they performed, how many hours they worked, and the rate at which they were paid. This is important because it can dictate the premium rate that the firm will have to pay. Some examples of other records that firms should be keeping are name, Social Security information, job title, date hired, date terminated, and compensation type (salary, hourly, commission). If you are looking to get a workers’ compensation policy, you may be required to produce several different documents such as business plans, financial statements, 3 or 5 year loss runs, safety policies, etc.

Workers’ compensation insurance should be a top priority for all businesses. If you would like more information on workers’ comp, read our previous blog, “How to Save Money on Workers’ Compensation Insurance.” Or, if you are about to experience a workers’ compensation audit, read our blog “Follow These Tips When Preparing for a Workers’ Compensation Audit,” to help you prepare. If you have any questions, or are interested in purchasing Workers’ Compensation Insurance, other types of business insurance, or group health insurance for your employees, please contact us at 954-828-1819 or visit us online at mhginsurance.com. Our insurance specialists have the knowledge and experience to cover your company’s risks appropriately.    

Explaining Workers’ Compensation Insurance for Staffing Firms

hurricaneWith hurricane season just around the corner (June 1st- November 30th), now is the perfect time for you to begin preparing your business for a natural disaster. You may have been there before, scrambling to get ready at the last minute. Putting up shutters, waiting in long lines at the gas station, buying all the bottled water on the shelf, just to name a few of the hassles that we go through in order to get prepared for a storm. However, preparing your house and family for a hurricane, and preparing your business are two completely different processes. Some of the obvious preparations are protecting your property or building, having the necessary shutters, proper roofing, trimmed trees, removing or securing anything that can be a projectile in high winds, placing sandbags in areas that are susceptible to flooding, etc. Yet, preparing a business goes much deeper than just handling the outdoor items, and locking everything down. 

 

Before Pictures

Prior to the start of hurricane season we suggest taking pictures of your property and building. In the event your business sustains damage and you need to make a claim, it may make the process easier. Pictures help keep our memory fresh, and offer proof of damage that may have occurred during the storm. 

Payroll  

Hurricanes can easily shut down business for a couple of weeks, with loss of electricity, road closures, and flooding. Your employees may not be able to come to work for weeks. Even worse, your entire business may be shut down until repairs are done and everyday life gets back to normal. If your company is unable to make money for a period of time, does it have enough money in the reserves to continue paying employees? It’s a good idea to have the ability to pay your employees without 2 weeks’ worth of revenue. 

Paperless Record Keeping 

Many times hurricanes bring record breaking winds, and sometimes over a foot of rainfall. Both of which can easily ruin any paperwork you might have stashed around your office, warehouse, building, etc. To cover yourself, keep a digital copy of all important documents. 

Off-site Location 

After making digital copies of all important records and documents, make more copies to store at an accessible, off site location. Store your licenses, contracts, operational records, proof of ownership, and of course any insurance paperwork. Also, try to keep them stored somewhere that is not in the path of the storm. 

Insurance 

It is very important for business owners to understand their insurance policies, before a storm shows up on the radar. We recommend that you review your policy annually, and make sure that your policy still fits your needs. For example, your company could have grown over the last year, and now you may need coverage for areas that you didn’t need coverage for last year, such as new equipment or updated property. Also, if you have property that is covered, you can purchase “Business Interruption” which can cover the loss of income you may experience while your business is shut down. 

Be prepared this hurricane season by performing all of these tasks before a hurricane is heading your way. Hopefully this will be a light season, but better to be safe than sorry.  If you own a business, and are looking for protection and would like more information on what you do to prepare your business for a hurricane, MHG Insurance Brokers would be happy to assist you. Also, if you are looking to purchase business insurance such as General Liability or Professional Liability, our insurance specialists have the experience to assist your business and offer advice in finding the perfect plan to fit all of your needs. Contact MHG Insurance Brokers today at +1 954-828-1819 or visit us online at mhginsurance.com.  

Preparing Your Business for Hurricane Season