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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

benefitsWhen looking for a job, many people put just as much importance on the benefits the job offers as they do on salary. This is because sometimes those benefits help increase the amount of our salary we can take home, by saving money on health insurance or not having to purchase as much life insurance. People like to feel taken care of, and working at a company that offers great benefits can create a loyal workforce. However, there are still things people need to consider when it comes to their insurance benefits. 


Health Insurance

In most cases, if you could have a choice between individual health insurance and group health insurance, you should choose group health insurance. One reason is being part of a group plan offered through your employer may be less expensive for you than purchasing your own individual plan. That is because your employer is required contribute at least 50% towards your premium. Also, you should note that networks for group plans are much larger than networks for individual plans. One thing to be aware of when using a company sponsored health insurance plan is that you may lose insurance coverage if you lose your job. There are options that can allow you to keep your coverage, but it will be more expensive. For more read our blog, “Recently Laid Off: What are My Insurance Options?” Something else to be aware of is that your group plan may not be able to be customized to fit your needs. 

Life Insurance

There are some companies who will offer their employees life insurance coverage as a benefit. Typically the policy has a low face value. $10,000 and $15,000 are common. Some may think that they don’t need to purchase their own life insurance policy because it is offered through their work, however, you still should have your own policy for several different reasons. One reason is if you were to ever leave your current job, you would lose that life insurance policy. If you have people that depend on you, having your own life insurance could be just what your family needs. Even if you happen to stay at your job, the policy may be too low, and may not cover all of your needs and debts if something were to happen to you prematurely. For more information about different kinds of life insurance, read our blog, “What are My Life Insurance Options?” 

Disability Insurance

Disability insurance is a great way for your employer to give you and your family the coverage you need in the event you develop an illness or sustain and injury and are unable to work. It’s important to know whether your employer offers a short-term or long-term disability insurance plan. If your company offers short-term disability insurance, you may want to think about purchasing a long-term disability insurance plan in case you are unable to work for two or more years. If your company offers long-term disability insurance, you may want to think about purchasing a short-term disability insurance plan to give yourself coverage until the long term coverage kicks in. 

For more information about why it may make sense to have a disability insurance plan, read our previous blog, “What are the Benefits of Having a Disability Plan?” Our insurance specialists have the knowledge and experience to assist and guide you, your family, or group to the best coverage for your budget. If you are interested in purchasing a disability plan, health insurance, or life insurance, contact us at mhginsurance.com or call us at +1 954 828 1819.

What You Need to Know About Company Sponsored Insurance Benefits

houstonHave you ever heard the saying, “Everything’s bigger in Texas!”? For those that haven’t been to Texas, I can assure you that statement is very true. Texas is home to three of the top ten largest cities in the United States, and six of the top twenty! The largest city in Texas, and fourth largest in the country, is none other than the great city of Houston. With the entire metropolitan area being home to over six million people, there is something for everyone, no matter what their interests are. It’s no wonder this city is growing fast, and expats should consider it a top destination. 

 

More than just Oil

While Houston is notorious for being run by oil billionaires, its business goes much deeper than just oil. The oil industry is a great industry to be involved in, and brings a great amount of money to the area, but Houston can also offer opportunities for those who don’t see themselves in the oil industry. According to Business Insider, Houston is the number one job creator in the United States and is home to 26 Fortune 500 companies, which is sure to draw a large amount of expats to the area. One of the large industries in Houston that you may want to be a part of include the IT industry, which is always growing and looking for top talent. Other industries include the aerospace industry (NASA has a headquarters there), as well as the healthcare industry (Houston’s medical center is as large as downtown Dallas!). 

More than just Cowboys and Cattle

When some people think of Houston and Texas they think of cowboys, horses, farms, etc. However, Houston is not like some place straight out of a John Wayne movie. It is a metropolitan city with plenty of trendy offerings. According to the New York Times, it is “one of the country’s most exciting places to eat.” The city offers all kinds of great food from barbecue, to seafood, to Mexican, and even Cajun. Houston is close in proximity to New Orleans so there is a strong Cajun presence. And what better way to spend a weekend than in New Orleans? Houston is also home to a plethora of parks and one of a kind museums if you’re looking for things to do. Many people visiting the city for the first time are quite surprised at the abundance of greenery and landscape it has to offer. It is also a home to teams from some of America’s top sporting leagues, including the NFL and NBA.

Things to be Aware of

After everything I have covered, it’s easy to picture yourself living in this great city. However, there are some things to be aware that you should plan accordingly. One is that Houston’s climate is very warm. If you are from a country that is predominantly cold, you may want to get a new wardrobe featuring some short sleeves and shorts. It is practically on the Gulf of Mexico, so it can be humid and muggy at times. While it may be hot in the summer, you’ll be quite happy in the winter when you aren’t experiencing frigid temperatures.

Before relocating to another country, trying to find expatriate health insurance coverage on your own can be a daunting task. Not to mention the checklist you must complete before leaving. For help developing a checklist, read our previous blog, “Expat Checklist before the Big Move.” Many of us at MHG are expats ourselves and we understand the global insurance needs of international businesses, and individuals and families living and working around the world. Our Insurance Specialists have the experience, knowledge, and access to multiple international insurance carriers to find you the most suitable plan based on your budget and future plans. Our commitment to your well-being does not end once you have purchased a plan; through our “Concierge Broker Service”, we will continue to assist you with questions about your policy and provide assistance throughout the claims process. Call us at +1 954-828-1819 or +44 (0) 1624 678668 or visit us online at mhginsurance.com for help finding expatriate insurance coverage for you and your family or business!

Why it’s great to be an Expat in Houston!

london The Isle of Man Maritime Group is hosting an evening reception during London International Shipping Week 2015 at historic Trinity House. LISW is one of the highlights of the maritime calendar with more than 100 industry events taking place in London from September 7-11. It is aimed at the movers and shakers from the international shipping and superyacht community. 

 

As official sponsors of LISW 2015, the Isle of Man Maritime Group’s “Nautical by Nature” event on September 8 will lead guests on a journey through the Island’s rich seafaring heritage to its current position of maritime centre of excellence.  Manx actors and musicians will bring to life the legacy of the Vikings; introduce the ringleaders of the Mutiny on the Bounty; remember the courage of Captain John Quilliam who was First Lieutenant on HMS Victory and set the scene for the inspiration of Sir William Hilary, who founded the RNLI

The music and drama will be showcased in the historic surroundings of Trinity House, the remarkable 18th Century headquarters of the Corporation of Trinity House, which has maintained British lighthouses since the 16th Century. Guests will be met by Isle of Man’s own sea cadets and guided up the grand, sweeping staircase to a reception on the first floor. All the rooms will be open to guests including the Pepys Room, the library and the reading room. 

Isle of Man Maritime Group Chairman, Bruce McGregor said: “LISW is the ideal opportunity for us to promote the wealth of maritime services and experience delivered on the Isle of Man. This event will celebrate our rich seafaring tradition and how we have evolved into a modern, technically astute global centre of excellence.” 

Guests at the reception will be able to meet representatives from the Isle of Man Maritime Group including the IOM Ship Registry; IOM Shipping Association; IOM Superyacht Forum KPMG; Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (Isle of Man); Döhle (IOM) Group of Companies; PDMS Maritime; Simcocks Advocates; MHG Insurance Brokers; Affinity Management Services and InterManager. To register for the event please visit the group’s website at www.iom-maritime.com or contact the group at enquiries@iom-maritime.com If you would like speak to someone from the group in more detail please contact Bruce McGregor on +44 (0) 1624 664000. 

LISW 

LISW will be the ‘must attend’ event of 2015, offering over 100 industry functions and unique networking opportunities for leaders across all sectors of the international shipping industry – regulators, charterers, ship owners, ship managers, bunker suppliers, lawyers, ship brokers, bankers, insurers, insurance brokers, commodity traders and brokers, ship suppliers, port operators, shipping service providers and many more. The UK is the leading centre worldwide for the supply of a broad range of professional and business services to the international maritime community, accounting for 21per cent of premiums in international marine insurance, over $64bn in committed ship finance (or 15per cent of the world loan book) and it has the largest concentration of legal service firms specialising in the sector.  London is also the predominant supplier of shipbroking services worldwide and is the major player when it comes to maritime dispute resolution. London is also home to the second biggest port in the UK. For more information, please visit www.londoninternationalshippingweek.com

The Isle of Man is "Nautical by Nature"

Long flights tend to get a bad rep. Use these 10 tips to help you survive your next international flight, but don't leave without getting travel insurance! Contact us at +1 954 828 1819 or +44 (0)1624 678668 or visit us at mhginsurance.com to find the best plan for you, your family, or group.

 

  international flight 

 

  MHG Travel Infographic

Tips to Survive Your Next International Flight

passportAre you tired of having to turn down vacation invitations from friends and family because you don’t have a passport? It’s time to get a valid passport so that you can live your life to the fullest. The world is a big place, and not being able to leave your home country because you don’t have proper documentation should no longer be keeping you from seeing and visiting every location you have dreamed of. Having a passport is becoming a necessity more and more. For one, you used to be able to go on a cruise without a passport as long as you had valid identification, but that is no longer enough in today’s world. So follow these steps to help get you on your way to getting a valid United States passport, and get you one step closer to seeing the world!


1. Gather the proper documentation 

In order to apply for a U.S. passport, you will need to have the proper documentation: proof of citizenship and proof of identity. There are many forms you can use to prove both of these. To prove citizenship, you can use expired passports, a birth certificate for those born in the United States, or a Certificate of Citizenship for those born outside the U.S. To prove your identity, you can use expired passports, driver’s license, military ID, or other identification items that include your photo and signature.

2. Take a passport photo

A passport photo is different than a normal photograph. To make things easy, many drug stores or places that process photos can take them for you for a small fee. And I know what you are thinking, no “selfies” allowed.

3. Fill out appropriate forms

There are forms that you will have to fill out, and for most people that form is a DS-11 form. You can find this form online, print it out, and fill it in. Or you can fill it out in person when you go to the local passport authority.

4. Submit documentation and forms in person

For those that are applying for their first passport, you will have to apply in-person. You can apply at your local passport authority including most city halls, public libraries, and post offices. For those that are renewing their passport, in most cases it can be done through mail.

5. Pay the fee

A first time passport for a U.S. adult is $135. It is less money if you are renewing a passport, $110. A first time passport for a minor (under age 16) is $115. 

Tips

It is important to note that you should apply for a passport well in advance of your travel arrangements. The process can take a couple of months, so plan accordingly. Also, it is a good idea to keep track of your application status online by visiting the official website. The reason being is that you only have 90 days from the application date in order to report that your passport has not arrived. Otherwise you will need to go through the entire application process again. 

Now that you have your passport, it is time to book your next trip! For more help when traveling overseas, read our previous blog, “Tips for Traveling Abroad.” We wish you safe travels along your journey. If you are interested in purchasing travel insurance, or have any questions or concerns, please contact us at +1 954 828 1819 or +44 (0)1624 678668 or visit us at mhginsurance.com. Our insurance brokers have the experience to assist you in selecting the right plan for you and/or your family for the best value.  

How to Apply for a U.S. Passport?

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!

10 Safety Tips for Travelers

women travelersDon’t be afraid to travel alone. Traveling can be one of life’s greatest, must fulfilling experiences. However, there are some precautions to consider, and preparation you can do to ensure a safe and successful trip. 

 

1. Research

Researching the area that you will be traveling to. It can assist you in learning the local customs and other ways that can help you blend in. It is also important to research the area in order to get a grasp of how to find your way around, such as learning major roads, landmarks, etc.

2. Don’t Over-Drink

Drinking too much alcohol can slow your reaction time and dull your senses. This can cause you to have a lapse in judgment that can put you in a really compromising situation. 

3. Dress like the Locals 

Depending where you are traveling to, there may be customary wardrobes for women. It’s important to blend in, and not draw too much attention to yourself.

4. Don’t Wear Expensive Jewelry

Wearing a lot of jewelry can make you a target, especially in unfamiliar places. 

5. Register with the U.S. Department of State 

Registering with the U.S. Department of State is one of the easiest and quickest tasks you can complete to help keep you safe when traveling. It only takes minutes to fill out a form, and the department will contact you if there is any news relating to your destination.

6. Make Copies of All Important Documents 

Make copies of all important documents such as passports, tickets, reservations, boarding passes, etc. Keep them in a safe place in case the originals are lost. Also, you can take pictures of them and keep digital copies in your email, or in an online storage like Google Drive. This will allow you access to them as long as you have computer or mobile access. 

7. Consider a Money Belt

Theft can happen anywhere, but the last place you want to be stolen from is when you are away from home. Look into getting a money belt to carry cash in. If someone steals your purse, you won’t be left completely stranded. It’s also important to mention that if your purse is taken from you, let it go and do not put up a fight. 

8. Keep in Touch

Give someone back home a copy of your itinerary. Keep in touch with them by checking in regularly and letting them know you are okay. Also, keep them updated with any changes you are making to your itinerary. 

9. Spend on Safety 

Traveling on a budget is always a good idea, however there should be no budget when it comes to your safety. If you do not feel comfortable walking home at night, call a cab. If you are flying into a rough area, plan your transportation ahead of time from a trustworthy source. 

10. Get Travel Insurance! 

No matter how many precautions you take, accidents happen. There is no better preparation than getting the proper medical coverage no matter where you are in the world.

For more help when traveling overseas, read our previous blog, “Tips for Traveling Abroad.” We wish you safe travels along your journey. If you are interested in purchasing travel insurance, or have any questions or concerns, please contact us at +1 954 828 1819 or +44 (0)1624 678668 or visit us at mhginsurance.com. Our insurance brokers have the experience to assist you in selecting the right plan for you and/or your family for the best value.

10 Safety Tips for Travelers

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?

case studyHave you ever heard the saying, “You can learn the easy way, or the hard way!” Many say the best way to learn is through experiencing something that will have an impact on you, whether you personally experienced it, or someone close to you did. The important part is that whatever the impact was, it will motivate you to make the right decision. It could have been something bad that made you never want to go through that again, or something good that made you want to have the same result. The following is a case study of two different scenarios of clients who are experiencing the same issue. Both scenarios are handled in different ways, resulting in different outcomes.  

 

Scenario A

A client who takes a proactive approach to their health went in for their regularly scheduled ENG. During the screening portion of the physical, the doctor discovered a potentially harmful bacteria. Due to this client’s proactive nature of maintaining their health, the bacteria was caught before it had done any damage and they were able to have successful treatment with antibiotics. 

Scenario B

A client who doesn’t like to go to the doctor decided to skip their regularly scheduled ENG because the yacht they were on did not have it as a requirement. Several weeks later, they began experiencing stomach pains, nausea, and vomiting. They didn’t think much of the symptoms they were experiencing, attributing it to a stomach bug. A couple weeks went by and the symptoms continued to get worse. At this point, the client decided it was time to go to the hospital, where doctors discovered a developing stomach ulcer, caused by Helicobacter pylori. 

The Diagnosis 

Both clients had the same issue, an infection of Helicobacter pylori. Helicobacter pylori is a bacteria that can cause stomach ulcers as well as stomach cancer. Much like Herpes, it is present in many people, 85% of people to be exact, and can go an entire lifetime without causing any issues. Our client from Scenario A was able to notice the infection early enough and have it treated before any symptoms presented themselves. Our client form Scenario B had a different fate that may have been avoided if they had their regular physical exam. 

The Cure 

Going to the doctor can be a hassle, especially for a yacht crew member who may rarely be onshore to do so. However, getting your check-up is important to decide your overall health, as well as to detect any issues early enough so that something can be done proactively. Get a routine physical each year, even if your yacht doesn’t require you to do so. Otherwise it may be too late by the time you find out you are having an issue, even if you don’t have any symptoms. Having good medical insurance is crucial too because if any issues do arise, you may need costly medical treatment. 

For more information on some of the dangers you can experience while docked, read our previous blog, “The Dangers of Being Docked at a Shipyard.” MHG is your specialized broker when it comes to crew insurance. Our insurance specialists have the knowledge and experience to find the policy that works best for you. If you are interested in purchasing, or have any questions about yacht crew insurance or travel insurance, please contact us at +1 954 828 1819 or +44 (0) 1624 678668 or visit us online at mhginsurance.com.

Yacht Crew Case Study: Regular Screenings and Physicals Can Be Life Saving