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workers compensation and volunteers

Are Volunteers Covered Under Workers Comp Insurance?

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Find out what your workers compensation insurance will cover when it comes to volunteers.

Volunteers are a wonderful asset that many businesses and organizations like to tap into. However, any volunteer that works at your place of business opens themselves up to potential on-the-job injuries. This begs the question: Does workers compensation insurance extend to volunteers? Here’s what you need to know about covering volunteers who sustain injuries in your workplace.

Are volunteers covered under workers comp?

Because volunteers are not paid employees of your company, most states specify that they are not covered under workers compensation insurance. Even if you add a voluntary compensation endorsement onto your workers comp policy, this extra coverage will only apply to employees not covered under standard workers comp insurance. For instance, this endorsement will offer coverage for paid workers, such as employees who are traveling overseas, domestic or farm workers, and so on. So, despite the misleading name, even a voluntary compensation endorsement will not extend coverage to your volunteers.

How can I secure coverage for my volunteers?

This comes down to your state’s laws. As the state laws governing workers compensation can be complicated, businesses who wish to offer workers comp coverage for volunteers are advised to speak to an experienced insurance provider within their state. When speaking to an agent, ask the following questions:

  • Are my employees covered under my existing workers compensation policy?
  • If so, to what extent are they covered?
  • Where in my policy is this coverage identified?
  • What are my options for adding workers comp coverage for my volunteers?

If you cannot afford to offer coverage to your volunteers, then your business should only work with volunteers who have coverage through other means. For instance, many volunteers have personal coverage options or are insured through a different management company. If your company is unable to offer coverage, all volunteers should sign waivers that explain your inability to provide coverage. Taking this precaution will ensure your business is not held legally responsible in the event of an on-site volunteer injury.

Interested in speaking to an insurance professional regarding the limits of your workers compensation insurance? If so, contact the experts at Contractors Insurance Agency. Our dedicated team is ready to offer you the advice and assistance you need today.

cyber security risk for contractors

Top 3 Threats Your Company Faces This National Cyber Security Month

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Don’t let these cyber security threats get the best of your contracting company.

As a contractor, the physical risks that your company faces might seem more pressing than cyber security threats. Unfortunately, in the modern era, no industry is safe from the damage of a major cyber attack. This is why contractors need to be vigilant and take steps to protect their company’s sensitive information. For instance, having the right business insurance to protect against cyber liability risks is a great place to start. But what risks are contractors most vulnerable to? Here are the top three cyber threats that contractors need to watch out for.

  • Phishing Schemes

Phishing scams use seemingly legitimate email messages to trap unsuspecting victims. For instance, a cyber criminal might send you a message that appears to come from a legitimate source, such as your bank. From there, the email might include a link that redirects you to a fake site that prompts you to input login information. Once they have this information, hackers can use it to infiltrate your sensitive online information, such as your personal financial information, customer payment information, and other private company data. To avoid getting caught in a phishing scheme, make sure you read over emails carefully before clicking on any links. Oftentimes, phishing emails will contain small typos or wording that seems a little off. If you want to be safe, you can always verify the legitimacy of an email by checking up with the person or institution that supposedly sent the email.

  • Malware

Malware stands for “malicious software” and includes things like spyware, viruses, and ransomware. Malware can install itself onto your computer after you click on a fake link, open an email attachment, or download something from a compromised website. Once this software is installed on your computer, it can extract sensitive company and customer information. To prevent this risk, have anti-virus software installed on all your company devices and make sure you and your employees are not clicking on suspicious websites, emails, or links.

  • POS and Mobile Payment Attacks

If you use POS (point-of-sale) terminals to accept credit or debit card payments, your company faces the risk of attack. Should a hacker gain access to your payment terminal or mobile card reader, they have easy access to all the customer payment information that goes through it. The best way to prevent such an attack is by using a strong password on your POS system and updating it frequently. Additionally, your business should also be using the upgraded EMV (chip-reader) system rather than the traditional magnetic strip card readers.

These are three of the most common cyber risks that contractors face. Remember, you can protect your business against these threats by having the right business insurance in place. For assistance with all your commercial coverage needs, contact the experts at Contractors Insurance Agency today.

What You Need to Know About AD&D Insurance

What You Need to Know About AD&D Insurance

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What you need to know about accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance for your business.

While many business owners offer their workers life insurance as part of their employees’ benefits packages, have you ever considered offering accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance as well? Here’s what AD&D insurance can do for your business.

What is AD&D Insurance?

As the name suggests, AD&D insurance offers compensation if your employees are accidentally killed or face dismemberment. Generally, this type of policy is meant to be added as a rider to a life or health insurance policy. Typically, this type of policy will offer coverage if death or dismemberment is the result of accidental or unavoidable circumstances such as an auto accident, murder, fall, drowning, or accidents involving machinery. Dismemberment refers to the physical loss or the loss of use of a body part or function (such as the loss of a limb or the loss of eyesight, speech, or so on).

How Does This Coverage Work?

This type of insurance works in tandem with life insurance. This means that if an employee dies as a result of an accident, their loved ones would receive compensation from the employee’s life insurance policy and their AD&D policy.

Are There Exclusions?

As with any other type of insurance policy, there are some situations that are excluded from receiving AD&D coverage. Common AD&D exclusions include the following:

  • Death resulting from suicide
  • Death resulting from illness or other natural causes
  • Death resulting from overdose
  • Death resulting from accidents that take place while under the influence of nonprescription drugs
  • Injuries sustained during combat

This what you need to know about accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance and how this coverage could help your employees. Interested in learning more about your business’s insurance options? If so, contact the experts at Contractors Insurance Agency. We are ready to assist you with all your commercial coverage needs today.

workers comp mistakes that will cost you

Avoid These Mistakes to Save on Your Workers Comp Insurance

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These workers comp mistakes could cost you.

While most business owners know that they need to have workers compensation insurance, they don’t give very much thought to it. However, there are things that you can do to that will significantly increase your workers comp costs. If you do not want your business to waste money, here are some of the mistakes to avoid.

Not Requiring Safety Training for Your Employees

Even if you feel like your business is part of a low-risk industry, it’s important to remember that the risk of employee injury is ever-constant. This is why it’s so vital to offer your employees workplace health and safety training. Your training program should educate your staff about the risks that they face, how they can mitigate these risks, and what they should do if an accident does occur. When your employees understand the risk factors associated with your business, they will be less likely to sustain injuries while on the job. This, in turn, will reduce your workers compensation insurance costs.

Not Reporting Claims

When business owners fail to report employee accidents or injuries to their insurers, they are making a costly mistake. While you might think that paying for an employee’s medical treatment out-of-pocket is cheaper than the official claims process, you are leaving yourself open to a considerable amount of risk. If your employee’s injuries end up being more extensive than you thought or if they decide to sue your company, you can no longer access your workers compensation coverage at this point. This means that you will be completely responsible for all of these expenses. Rather than leaving yourself and your business’s assets vulnerable to these possibilities, it’s far better to secure coverage through official channels.

These are some of the workers compensation insurance mistakes that could end up costing you. Do you need further advice or assistance with your business’s insurance? Don’t hesitate to contact the experts at Contractors Insurance Agency. Our dedicated team is ready to help you today.

What Business Owners Need to Know About Data Breaches This Year, cyber attacks and data breaches in 2018

What Business Owners Need to Know About Data Breaches This Year

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Here’s what you need to know about cyber attacks and data breaches in 2018.

Despite what you might think, every business is at risk for a major data breach. In fact, American businesses lose millions of dollars every year as a result of cyber attacks. As a business owner, it is important that you take this risk seriously. Here’s what you need to know about cyber attacks and data breeches in 2018.

They Are More Common Than Ever

In the current age of technological innovation and advancements, businesses are more plugged-in and connected than ever. However, this increased connectivity translates into an increased risk for cyber attacks. According to research, the rates of cyber attacks are already up 40% from 2017. This demonstrates that businesses need to be more concerned about this threat and be more serious about taking security measures.

They Are More Expensive Than You Might Think

Another thing you need to understand about data breaches is that they are extremely expensive. If your company is the target of a data breach, you would be responsible for the costs associated with informing your clients, recovering compromised data, restoring identities, and repairing affected computer systems. Additionally, your business might also have to deal with the expense of client-filed lawsuits. While larger corporations might have the capital to eventually recover from these losses, smaller businesses might be crushed under the weight of this financial burden.

There are Other Costs to Consider

In addition to monetary losses, cyber attacks can also have other ill effects on your business. For instance, your business’s reputation will likely be tarnished after a cyber attack. This can lead to a mistrustful client base and lost business opportunities. Additionally, you may have to deal with your competitors referencing your data breach as a means of promoting their own companies.

These are some of the things you need to know and consider regarding cyber attacks and data breaches in 2018. If you want to secure your company against this risk, it’s important that you have the proper business insurance in place. For assistance with all your commercial coverage needs, contact the experts at Contractors Insurance Agency today.

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