Protecting Workers from Falls

Construction sites are among the most dangerous places to work. Between one-third to one-half of fatalities among construction workers are due to falls, mainly from roofs, ladders, and scaffolds. But falls can also occur on the ground, when workers slip or trip while moving around the site. Even when these falls are not fatal, disabling injuries, whether temporary or permanent, can result. For employers, these accidents can be personally and financially devastating, leading to higher insurance premiums, fines, and expensive lawsuits. Because the consequences of even a single fall can be very serious, contractors must have in place a rigorous program for fall prevention. A good starting point is the Occupational Health and Safety Administration’s (OSHA) general industry fall protection standard, which includes systems and procedures designed to prevent workers from falling off, onto, or through working levels, as well as to protect employees from being struck by falling objects. …

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What is Keeping Financial Advisors Up at Night? A 2018 Outlook

Last month, I recapped our growth in 2017, which we followed with a press release detailing what topics and trends our readers were interested in throughout the year. In the release, we noted that financial advisors are the fastest growing audience on Harvest. This group now accounts for nearly 70,000 monthly active users, over 300% more than a year prior. According to our data, two trending topics that stood out to advisors on our platform were “robo” platforms and practice management. To me, this suggests that advisors have been reconciling not only with how best to manage client portfolios, but also simultaneously trying to justify their existence. One month into the new year, here is how I see these trends playing out for the remainder of 2018: Robo-Advisors Robo-advisors are projected to manage $385 billion of client assets by 2021, according to Cerulli Associates. Betterment, Personal Capital, and Wealthfront were the pioneers …

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Variations in ‘Named Storm’ Deductibles Make Collecting Evidence Confusing

Last year was a tough one for storms, as the U.S. saw more than $200 billion worth of damage from 17 named storms. This record blew past the previous one, $159 billion in 2005, in part because people have continued to move to coastal areas and property values have increased. Over the years insurance companies have introduced “named storm” deductibles to help balance the risk between policyholders and insurers, but they bring their own issues, such as collecting evidence for coverage and other details. “Catastrophe management can make or break a carrier’s reputation, and having dedicated and knowledgeable staff is key,” says Stacey Giulianti, co-founder and chief legal officer of Florida Peninsula Insurance and Edison Insurance. Here’s what you need to know about “named storm” deductibles. A Variety of Deductible Options The biggest challenge carriers face, especially when explaining named-storm coverage to customers, revolves around the deductible, Giulianti says. “Hurricane” …

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10 Tips for Small Business Owners

Small businesses owners should conduct an annual assessment of their personal finances. Owners of small businesses have much the same concerns as everyone else, except they are personally responsible for the fortunes of their enterprise. In a sense, a small business is like a family. And these are important families in American economic life. After all, small business is vital to the U.S. economy, employing half of private-sector workers and creating two-thirds of net new jobs, according to federal data. Here are 10 tips to follow in weighing a small business owner’s financial plan: 1. Budget/Saving. The general financial planning rule is that you should save AT LEAST 10% of your income on an annual basis. You should also review short-term and long-term goals to ensure you are saving enough to meet your objectives. 2. Maximize Contributions to Retirement Plans. Depending on the size of the company and number of …

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Assessing Business Risks

Business insurance and risk management programs are designed to help reduce and control costs. In assessing the risk exposures particular to your business, consider what can go wrong and how such events might affect your business. Risk exposures generally fall into three categories: direct and indirect property losses; loss of income attributable to property losses; and liability losses of a general, statutory, or contractual nature. Renewing policies without re-examining risk exposures may prove costly. For example, if a business has grown, coverage limits that were adequate at one time may not meet current requirements. Furthermore, changes in the nature of your business may mean that additional coverage is needed. Enlist both management and employee input when evaluating your business. Daily familiarity with specific areas of operation may make one person aware of potential risk exposures that may seem insignificant to someone with a different perspective. Also, examining past loss patterns …

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