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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

United StatesLand of the free, home of the vacation? Visiting the United States is a great way to spend a vacation. The country has so much to offer, from amusement parks like Disney World, to big cities like New York City and Los Angeles, breathtaking natural sites such as the Grand Canyon, even tropical beaches in South Florida! There is something to do, no matter what type of vacation you are looking to go on. That may be the reason why the U.S. is the second most visited country in the world behind only France. With so many people traveling to the U.S, people are bound to have accidents, get sick, etc. So if a trip to the United States is in your future, here are 5 reasons to make sure you have sufficient health insurance coverage during your travels. 

 

The High Cost of Medical Care

There are places around the world that have government sponsored, affordable or free healthcare. While the U.S. has recently attained a government sponsored healthcare system, many would argue that it is anything but affordable for those who don’t have coverage. So whatever health care plan you have in your home country, likely will not work in the U.S. But better to be safe than sorry, and up with a medical bill that’s a few thousand dollars. For example, accidents happen, and you unfortunately fell and broke your leg while walking down the stairs of your hotel. The total cost of treatment could be as high as $2,500 without health insurance coverage. And if surgery is required, you’re looking at a total cost that could be over $15,000. 

Accidental Death and Dismemberment 

Accidental Death and Dismemberment is essentially a fancy way of saying life insurance. You go through the similar process in selecting a beneficiary to receive a benefit in the event of your death or dismembering injury. No matter where you are traveling, it is a good idea to protect yourself and your loved ones in the event something happens to you.

Medical Evacuation/Repatriation 

Even though the United States has some of the best medical facilities in the world, it is possible that you may need to be medically evacuated to your home country in the event of a serious injury. Being medically evacuated from the U.S. can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. I think that is a good enough reason to make sure you’re covered. Also, in the event you pass away on your trip, repatriation should cover or assist in the returning of your remains to your home country. Otherwise, your family could be left to foot the bill of transporting your remains back home, which could be quite expensive. 

24/7 Assistance 

While visiting a foreign country can be one of life’s greatest adventures, it can also be a scary and stressful one. Especially when visiting a country as large as the United States of America. That being said, many travel insurance companies offer a 24/7 hotline that you can call in the event something has happened to you, you’re lost, or help with any travel details. This can be even more helpful if the language spoken in the country you are visiting isn’t the same as your native tongue. 

There are fewer experiences that can be as fulfilling as traveling and experiencing different parts of the world. We hope that your trip is perfect, and that you never have to actually use your travel insurance. However, if you do, read our previous blog, “How to File a Travel Insurance Claim,” for help when having to file a claim. If you are interested in purchasing travel insurance, please contact our specialists at +1 954 828 1819 or +44 (0)1624 678668 or visit us at mhginsurance.com to help identify the right travel insurance plan for your particular situation. Have a wonderful vacation!

Going on Holiday to the U.S? The Reasons You Need Travel Insurance

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

flag stateEver wonder why a yacht or ship had a certain flag on the back of it? Or a certain city and country under the name of the ship? No, it’s not just a flag of their favorite country, or where they are headed next. Believe it or not, those flags and countries have a significant purpose in the maritime industry. A flag state, or flag of convenience, is the state that a yacht or ship is registered or licensed under. Meaning that they have to follow the laws of that state. 

 

Why Do Yachts and Other Vessels Need a Flag State?

If there were no flag states, then who would regulate vessels traveling through the seas? Where would their jurisdiction begin and end? Typically, a vessel needs to be registered under a flag state for international voyages. It’s considered illegal to sail the seas without being registered, much like it is illegal to drive without a license, so think of flag states like the DMV in the United States, or the DVLA in the United Kingdom. 

Why Is Choosing the Right Flag State so Important? 

Choosing the right flag state is very important. There is a reason many commercial vessels register their flags offshore. It can impact how successful you are as a business, by having to follow certain employment and tax laws and other variables that can keep money from reaching your bottom line. It can also have an impact on your liability and privacy. This is why it is typical for many vessels to register offshore with a flag state that may be more “lenient” with certain laws, in order for them to make their business as successful as possible, or for owners to save as much money as possible.

Open Registry vs. Closed Registry

There are different types of registries, open and closed. Open registries allow vessel owners to be registered under their flag of convenience, and can staff a crew of many different nationalities. A closed registry is open only to vessels of that particular nation and must employ crew from that nation. 

The Most Popular Flag States 

The most popular flag state is Panama, with almost a quarter of ocean vessels registering there. Other popular flags include Liberia, Marshall Islands, Malta, Singapore, and Hong Kong. For those that are curious, the most popular flag state for yachts is the Cayman Islands, and the most popular flag state for cruise ships is the Bahamas, with many cruise lines having their ships registered there. Part of the reason yachts and cruise ships are registered in these countries is because the Cayman Islands and the Bahamas have open registries, allowing them to hire large groups of people from around the world, while not having to follow strict employment laws, like the ones that exist in the U.S. or Europe. 

Do you work onboard a yacht or cruise ship and do you have marine crew insurance? Read our blog, “5 Things You Should Know About Crew Insurance.” If you do happen to have the insurance you need, do you know that you may need to precertify to make sure you have the coverage that you thought before heading into a procedure? Read a previous blog, “What Is Precertification?” for help. For specific medical questions or emergencies you should always contact your insurance carrier directly. If you have any general questions about precertification, your current plan, or are interested in purchasing marine crew insurance, contact us at mhginsurance.com or call us at +1 954 828 1819 or +44 (0) 1624 678668. Our insurance specialists have the knowledge and experience to assist and guide you to the best coverage for your budget.

What Is the Purpose of a Flag State?

travel insurance claimPicture it. Sun, beach, a fruity drink in hand and a cool breeze blowing your hair. You and your partner are having the best summer vacation ever, just relaxing on an exotic island in the Caribbean, a million miles away from the daily grind and stresses of life. And BOOM! Just like that you fall and twist your ankle and have to seek medical attention. Good thing you bought travel insurance! But now what? 

 

Be Prepared 

The best way to handle a claim, is to know your insurance policy inside and out. Knowing all of the intricacies of your policy will let you know how much time you have to contact your carrier, phone numbers to call, the coverage you have, etc. Read your policy before you go on your trip, preferably at the point of purchase. 

Contact the Insurance Company ASAP 

Don’t make any assumptions when it comes to your medical coverage or the claims process. If you have an accident or become ill while you are away, contact the insurance company as soon as possible, preferably immediately. The insurance company can offer valuable travel and medical assistance services that are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. They can also help you find Western-style medical facilities, medical and dental practices and pharmacies in addition to an array of other helpful services which can be a real stress reliever especially if you are in a country that you are not familiar with and where the primary language is different to your own. 

Save All Documents 

When it comes time to filling out your claim form, you will be asked to provide backup documentation to substantiate the claim. Don’t worry if the documents are in a foreign language. Most international insurance companies can process claims in many different languages. Be sure to save all doctor reports, itemized bills, invoices and receipts so that when it comes time to claim, you will have all of your ducks in a row. Having the proper documents can be the difference of your claim being paid, or being denied. Keep in mind that all claims regarding illness or injury must be supported by a doctor.

Denied Claim 

You filled out and submitted your claim form with supporting documentation in a timely fashion and you just got the bad news that your claim has been denied. Understandably you are probably upset but instead of venting about it, file an appeal. You will be asked to write a letter as to why you think your claim should be covered and potentially may have to provide additional documentation to support your claim. The appeal process can take up to 90 days so remain patient. A good insurance broker will be able to assist you with this. 

Read our previous blog, “Most Common Travel Insurance Claims,” to help prepare you even more for the claims process. Planning a fabulous summer holiday? Read our previous blog, “Tips Everyone Should Follow When Traveling Abroad,” and don’t forget to pack your travel insurance! Not sure which plan is right for you? Speak with the insurance specialists at +1 954 828 1819 or +44 (0)1624 678668 or visit us at mhginsurance.com to help identify the right travel insurance plan for your particular situation. Have a wonderful vacation!

How to File a Travel Insurance Claim

newlywed“If there are any objections, speak now or forever hold your peace.” “Wait they don’t have life insurance!” Hopefully you don’t find yourself in this situation, and you already have a good life insurance policy in place. However, if you don’t have life insurance, it’s something you need to start thinking about it.  After the honeymoon of course! Who knows, maybe you will say I do again... to life insurance. See what I did there?  

 

Protect Your Spouse

Unfortunately, death is a part of life that we all have to experience and plan for. Not all marriages are like “The Notebook” where you and your partner live into your golden years and pass away together in each other’s arms. Life insurance is designed with your loved ones in mind and plays an important role in your overall financial planning. If you have anyone depending upon you financially, you probably need Life Insurance even if you are young and healthy. For most, this financial responsibility begins when they either get married or have a baby. Have you thought how your family, or those you care about, would manage without you financially? The grieving process is hard enough, don’t let your better half also have to worry about how they will pay the bills or be able to afford the mortgage. In the event of your untimely death, you want to be reassured that your husband or wife will be financially secure in the event of your passing.

Invest in Your Future Together 

Did you know that life insurance has other benefits besides providing a benefit to your beneficiaries? Certain policies such as a Whole Life policy can act as a way to save and invest money. In most cases, a Whole Life policy has a “cash value” that is invested and can earn as high as 5% interest. The cash value is calculated based on how much money you have paid so far in premiums, and after a certain amount of time, your cash value could be worth more than you have paid! Also, with a Whole Life policy, after a certain amount of time, you can cancel the policy and get back all of the money you have paid so far, and then some! 

Lower Premium 

Getting married, buying a house and having baby are life events that prompt us to buy life insurance but it’s really something you should be considering even if you have no assets or dependents. Did you know that in most life insurance policies, you have the same monthly premium for the duration of the policy? That means if you’re paying $50 a month, you will be paying the same amount for the life of the policy. Unless you increase your coverage, you are locked in to a set premium. This is important because as you get older, policies become more expensive. Typically, you can expect your premium to double every 10 years. Good enough reason to stop putting off purchasing a life insurance plan, right? 

For more information regarding what life insurance options are available to you, read our previous blog, What Are My Life Insurance Options? If you are interested in purchasing life insurance, or have any questions, we’re here to help! Please contact us today at 954 828 1819 or visit mhginsurance.com. Congratulations and cheers to many years of wedded bliss!

What Newlyweds Need to Know About Life Insurance

Top Summer Destinations

summer destinationsThe sun is out, the grills are blazing, and the drinks are flowing. There’s only one explanation, summer is almost here! Summer time is an exciting time for most, with the kids out of school, cook-outs every weekend, and let’s not forget, summer vacations. Whether you have kids, looking for a romantic getaway, or want to go on an adventure, here are some top destinations that everyone is sure to enjoy.  


 

Alaska

alaskaDoes Alaska conjure up thoughts of sub-freezing temperatures, grizzly bears and TV shows like Deadliest Catch? Located in the northwest of the North American continent, Alaska has beautiful weather in the summer with temperatures ranging anywhere from 50 to 80 degrees. This is perfect because it gives you a chance to see some of the most naturally beautiful landscapes and scenery you will see on this planet. With Denali National Park, Mt. McKinley, glaciers, wildlife, any nature buff will have a ball spending some time here. Even if you are looking for a quiet getaway, Alaska has more to offer than you may have thought. 

 

Bali, Indonesia

baliIf you’re looking for an exotic, tropical destination this summer, Bali should be at the top of your list! An Indonesian island located in the westernmost end of the Lesser Sunda Islands, Bali offers white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, cultural sites and breathtaking waterfalls. Whether you are looking to relax on the beach or would rather cycle through the surrounding villages and rice paddy fields, there is something for everyone to experience.   

 

Machu Picchu, Peru

machu picchuThe ruins of Machu Picchu are located in the Cusco region of Peru. The mainstay of the Incan civilization, Machu Picchu delivers beautiful mountain scenery and incredible history. Up for a thrilling hike? Check out the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu which takes you through lush forest and jungle and offers amazing views.          

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nice, France

niceWho needs an excuse to go to Europe? I know I don’t! Nice is located on the southeast coast of France on the Mediterranean Sea and is a perfect fit for your summer travels. There is so much to do and see, you may have to book a second trip before you have even finished your first one! To get your bearings, take a walk along the Promenade des Anglais or La Prom for short or venture up to Colline du Chateau for spectacular views of the Baie des Anges. And don’t forget it is summer! Don’t miss a trip to the beach!       

 

 

 

 

South Africa

south africaLooking to see the Big 5 this summer vacation? South Africa has you covered! Based at the southern tip of Africa, bordering Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe, South Africa offers the opportunity to see lions, elephants, buffalos, rhinos and leopards in the iconic Kruger National Park. A trip to South Africa is a must for anyone with a safari on their bucket list! 

No matter where your travels take you this summer, don’t forget to protect yourself with a travel insurance plan. It’s important to have proper travel insurance coverage in case of an unexpected emergency while traveling abroad so contact our insurance specialists who have the knowledge and experience to offer advice and help you select the best insurance plan based on your requirements. Call us today at +1 954-828-1819 or +44 (0) 1624 678668 or visit mhginsurance.com. For some helpful tips while on your trip, check out our previous blog, “Tips Everyone Should Follow When Traveling Abroad,” Safe travels!  


Top Summer Destinations

expat womenI’m sure you have all heard lectures like: don’t talk to strangers, don’t set your drink down, never go down a dark alley by yourself, etc. The list seems to be never ending about what to do and not to do to protect yourself. While many of the items on the list are universal no matter where you are in the world, there are things to keep in the back of your mind if you are looking to live abroad, that you may not think of back home. Here are a few tips to keep in mind if you’re living abroad.     

 

Blend In 

While it’s a great to be individualistic and wanting to express yourself in different ways, doing so while living in another country may not be the best idea. Some cultures are very conservative, and may not appreciate someone who wishes to push the limits of what is considered “normal.” For example, in many countries in the Middle East, it is not proper for women to show their hair, for it can be seen as seductive. I know you want to show off that new hair-do you spent all that money on, but it may be smart to keep it under wraps if you are living in one of these countries. Different countries also have different laws. Something you used to be able to do freely in your home country may get you arrested in your new one, so read up on local laws and be sure to abide by them. Also, be aware of local “gender roles” and “dating rules.” 

Know Where You Are 

Don’t leave your house without knowing exactly where you are going. Getting lost in a new country can be cause for a lot of problems, especially if you are alone. Try everything you can to keep yourself out of compromising situations. Also, it is a good idea to always carry a map with you in the event you do get lost and if you can, let someone know where you’re going. 

Keep In-Touch

If you are moving to a new country all on your own, it is a very smart idea to keep in-touch with someone back home such as a close friend or a family member that you can check-in with regularly. This way, if your family or friend hasn’t heard from you by the agreed upon time, they may be able to contact the local authorities. 

Prepare for the Worst

No matter how much you prepare, emergencies will always arise. Keep copies of important documents, such as passports, insurance, license, etc. Also, I’m sure you have learned over and over in your life that cash can solve many issues. Keep a secret cash stash for emergencies, such as losing your credit or debit card. It could take a while to get the situation straightened out with you being in a different country, so keep enough cash to hold you over.

Get Insurance! 

As an expat, finding the best International Health Insurance can be daunting. You're going to be far from home and you want to be sure you have top notch international insurance coverage in place so that whether you're suffering from back problems, a respiratory infection or even something more serious, like a stroke, you have access to the best care possible. Examples of some of the key benefits and features which can be included in an Expatriate Health Insurance plan include worldwide coverage, choice of coverage area, preventative care benefits, and emergency medical evacuation as well as optional add-on's including dental and vision, maternity and sports coverage. In addition to International Health Insurance, it is also important to consider a Disability Income plan and Life Insurance as well. 

At MHG Insurance, many of our employees are expats themselves and understand the health insurance requirements for expats living and working around the world. Coupled with over two decades of international insurance experience and access to multiple international insurance carriers, our Insurance Specialists offer sound, independent advice as to which insurance providers and products are best for you. For tips to follow when you repatriate, read our previous blog, “What to Expect When Repatriating.” Call MHG Insurance Brokers at +1 954-828-1819 or +44 (0) 1624 678668 or visit us online at mhginsurance.com for help finding insurance coverage for you, your family or business!  

Safety Tips for Expatriate Women

college graduateGet your caps and gowns ready because graduation season is in full swing across the country! Soon, hundreds of thousands of young adults will be looking to start their first job which will hopefully lead to a long and successful career. However, if you haven’t heard, the job market is tough out there, and in many cases, there are more candidates than available jobs. This makes for an increasingly competitive job market, with potential prospects doing whatever they can to get a competitive edge, or get one up on the competition. As an employer it can be quite overwhelming if you’re looking to fill new positions with fresh talent. In many cases, you may be bombarded with potential candidates, some of which may not even have the skills or requirements that you are looking for. However, if you’re lucky, you may find multiple, qualified candidates. If you find yourself in this situation, it can be hard selecting just one. Keep these tips in mind in order to not only find a candidate who is qualified, but also one who will be a perfect fit within your company.


Make Your Expectations Very Clear 

It is very likely that the candidate you are interviewing is not familiar with some of the industry jargon that you use around the office. It is important to be very clear with your expectations, job descriptions, and qualification requirements. Try to avoid using general statements and broad descriptions. For example, instead of saying this job requires good communication skills, be specific on how and what they need to be good at communicating such as, the ability to communicate orally and verbally to a large group. 

Do They Know What They Want to Do?

Many young adults aren’t quite sure what they want to do with their life, even after graduation. While this is perfectly normal, try to hire a candidate who knows exactly what they want to do. Someone who may still be figuring out what they want to do with their life, may discover that they do not like what they are doing, which can lead to having to hire and retrain someone which can be a waste of time and money. 

Passion Can’t Be Taught 

While experience is very important, there is no class that teaches passion! A passionate worker often leads to a dedicated worker. It’s always good to have someone who takes pride in their work, and someone who truly wants to be successful around the office. Hopefully they’ll rub off on others too! 

Help Them Succeed! 

Keep in mind that if you are hiring someone fresh out of university, there is a very good chance that this will be their first “grown up job.” Expect some mistakes to be made along the way. This is your chance to teach good habits and mold them into a strong, successful worker you want them to be. After all, the more successful they become, the better you look, and the more successful your company will be. 

Try an Internship 

Sometimes, no matter how extensive the hiring process is, you can find that later down the road that the person you thought was a perfect fit, is actually the complete opposite. To help avoid this situation, use a “trial run” to make sure the prospect isn’t “too good to be true.” Internships can often help in this area. Not only is it non-committal, but also leaves you in control. If during the internship they prove themselves to be a perfect fit to your culture, you have the opportunity to offer them a permanent position! 

Finding new employees to join your team can be an arduous task, but a good workforce is critical to a company’s success, and it all starts with the people you hire. Once they’re hired, keep them happy and dedicated by offering great benefits! Whether you are buying group health insurance for the first time or looking for an alternative to your current plan, the Insurance Specialists at MHG are happy to help! For help understanding some of the tricky health insurance lingo, read our previous blog, “Health Insurance Terms 101.” Call us at 954-828-1819 or visit us online to learn more about medical insurance, dental and vision packages, long and short-term disability, life insurance and gap insurance. Let our insurance specialists find you and your group the best insurance available for your requirements and budget.  

Hiring the Best College Graduates

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