Differentiating Solar Industry Class Codes

Author, Kevin Howard, Account Executive, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

Research conducted by the Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA) shows that California benefits from roughly 3,000 solar contractors conducting business in the state. Panels are being installed at a rapid rate. In fact, statistics show that as of January 2018, over 5 million California homes have “gone solar” and that number continues to grow. There are other benefits to using solar panels to harvest energy besides just generating electricity. They can also be used to heat water in pools, spas, storage tanks and other plumbing systems using hot water solar panels. 

Update: 8868 Class Code Changes - Proposed WCIRB Changes Awaiting Public Hearing August 3rd

Author, Chase Hixson, Account Executive, Human Services Group, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

On August 3, 2018, the California Department of Insurance will hold a public hearing regarding the proposed changes to the 8868 Class Codes.

Three Reasons to Read Subcontractor Warranty Endorsements

Author, Sam Clayton, Vice President, Construction Group, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

Contractors General Liability Policies provide coverage for bodily injury and property damage for which the Named Insured is legally liable.  This legal liability can result from the company’s direct operations or from other subcontractors hired by the Named Insured.

Six Reasons a Company’s Experience Modification Could be Recalculated

Author, Jeremy Hoolihan, Account Executive, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

Workers’ Compensation costs continue to be one of the most costly expenses for business owners in California. With recent reform, California has maintained steady rate decreases in the workers’ compensation marketplace. Unfortunately California still maintains some of the highest rates in the country, often times two to three times the nations average.

Seven Tactics to Reduce Slips and Falls when Landscaping a Slope

Author, Drew Garcia, Landscape Division Leader, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

Is your company taking the necessary precautions to avoid serious and costly slips and falls from slope work? Many maintenance jobs will require employees to mow, weed abate, or plant on hillside locations as a part of the properties serviceable needs. The injury exposures that come with slope related work typically result in severe injuries. Any injury of this magnitude can result in lost time away from work by that employee and possibly permanent disability.    

How to Utilize Employee Benefits for Retention in the Construction Industry

Author, Shane Medlin, Account Executive, Employee Benefits, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

As demand for all types of construction services continue to expand in California, contractors are struggling to retain and recruit enough skilled workers. About 57 percent of construction companies expect difficulty hiring salaried and craft workers to continue throughout the year. This is why retaining quality skilled talent is imperative for construction firms.

Six Proactive Steps to Prevent Heat Illness During a Scorching Summer

Author, Dave Garcia, President, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

The National Weather Service has issued heat warnings for many parts of California starting today, and excessive heat warnings for some other areas. Temperatures are expected to rise to 110ºF in some parts of the Sacramento Valley, for instance. In the desert areas of Imperial and San Diego counties, they will soar as high as 114ºF.

Independent Contractor Classification Changes Expected to Impact Construction Industry

Author, David J. Garcia, AAI, CRIS, President, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

With the recent ruling by the California Supreme Court concerning how 1099 employees (independent contractors) are defined, the construction industry's approach to utilizing these workers has changed significantly. The Court adopted a new test to determine whether the worker should be classified as an employee or independent contractor. The previous test to determine if a worker was an employee or independent contractor was whether the employer had the right to direct the manner and means by which the worker performed the services.

Key Steps to Take Before, During and After an OSHA Inspection

Author, Sam Clayton, Vice President, Construction Group, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

An OSHA officer can show up to your facility or worksite for any number of reasons: employee complaints, accidents, programmed inspections, sweeps, follow-up or a drive-by observation. In order to ensure a smooth inspection, we suggest you prepare before OSHA appears at your door. Here are some key steps to take before, during and after an OSHA inspection.

How a Bank Line of Credit Can Affect Your Surety Bonding

Author, Andy Roberts, Account Executive, Surety, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

When a surety carrier is evaluating a bonding program for a contractor, they use many different underwriting factors to determine an acceptable amount of bond capacity. They will consider a contractor’s working capital, net worth and work in progress schedules, to name a few. Another important factor that can help increase a contractor's bonding capacity is a bank line of credit. 

WCIRB Proposed Changes Affecting Schools and Disabled Services

Author, Chase Hixson, Account Executive, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

The Workers' Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California (WCIRB) recently announced plans to reclassify the 8868 (i.e., professors, teachers or academic professional employees) and 9101 (i.e., all employees other than professors, teachers, or academic professional employees) class codes under the belief that there is significant disparity between the businesses that currently fall under these two classifications.  These changes are planned to go into effect January 1, 2019.  

Four Factors when Developing A Nonprofit Agency's Youth Protection Plan

Author, Sam Brown, Vice President, Human Services Group, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services.

When designing youth protection measures, many nonprofit leaders want to understand the industry’s “best practices” and incorporate what already works for others. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to identify one set of “best practices” or a universal checklist all organizations should adopt. As a result, it will benefit nonprofit leaders and their clients to tailor daily practices to the unique exposures and operations of the agency. When doing so, it’s best to consider four important factors when designing a youth protection program.

Why Painting Contractors Need Pollution Liability Insurance

Author, Casey Craig, Account Executive, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

At first glance, most painting contractors don’t think they need pollution coverage. One might think that if they're not pouring sludge into a lake or toxic gasses into the atmosphere, then it wouldn’t apply to their company. Everyone sees the oil spills and thinks that this is what pollution coverage is for, but how does it apply to your smaller business? How can one event jeopardize your company’s success?

CIGA is “Back in Black” - Employers will receive 2% savings on 2019 workers' comp premium

Author, Sam Clayton, Vice President, Construction Group, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

For the first time in 20 years, the California Insurance Guarantee Association (CIGA) will not collect its annual assessment. As a result, California employers in the guaranteed cost workers' compensation insurance market will save 2% on their premium in 2019.

Three Question to Ask Before Enrolling in an OCIP/CCIP or Wrap Program

Author, Daniel Frazee, Executive Vice President, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

Subcontractors in California regularly enroll in OCIP/CCIP or wrap programs. These programs are insurance policies that cover many of the participants in a construction project, including the owner/developer, general contractor and subcontractors. As many contractors learn the hard way, they do not control the program or the coverage terms, leaving the possibility of significant gaps that can impact the contractor in the future.

What To Do When Your X-MOD is over 125

Author, Drew Garcia, Landscape Division Leader, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

If your Experience MOD (i.e., X-MOD, Ex Mod) is over 125, expect to receive a letter from the California Occupational Safety & Health Administration (Cal/OSHA) Consultation Branch. If you haven't received the letter, yet, you can be proactive and reach out to OSHA Consultation. Although it sounds intimidating, keep in mind, OSHA Consultation is only there to help you.

Case Study: First-Time Bonding for Landscape Professional

Author, Matt Gaynor, Director of Surety, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

I recently had the opportunity to work with a new client who is a landscape professional. He wanted to bid on a maintenance project for a local municipality and wasn’t sure if he would qualify for the required performance bond.

Employers Beware! Ten Red Flags You May Have a Fraudulent Workers’ Comp Claim

Author, Jeremy Hoolihan, Account Executive, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

Workers’ Compensation is a form of insurance providing wage replacement and medical benefits to employees injured in the course of employment in exchange for mandatory relinquishment of the employee's right to sue their employer for the tort of negligence. 

Risk Management Center Streamlines Electronic OSHA Reporting

Author, Alyssa Burley, Client Services Coordinator, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) now require certain employers to electronically submit their completed 2016 Form 300A.  OSHA has created a website that allows employers to manually complete the information or upload a formatted CSV (comma-separated values) file

Federal OSHA Asserts Electronic Data Reporting Requirement Applies to Employers Across All States

Author, Alyssa Burley, Client Services Coordinator, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced Monday, April 30, 2018 it has “taken action to correct an error that was made with regard to implementing the final rule” which required some employers to electronically submit their injuring and illness reports via the Injury Tracking Application (ITA) online.