Autonomous Mowing – Are you Covered?

Author, Drew Garcia, Vice President, Landscape Group, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

Autonomous mowing is becoming more common in commercial and residential landscape management. As the market begins to adapt and utilize this technology it creates a very unfamiliar and unique exposure for you and your General Liability carrier.

Ensure You’re Not Under Covered and Overpaying for Auto Insurance

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

Auto insurance prices are continuously rising. What is the reason for this and what can be done to cut back on the cost? There are many factors that lead to the carriers needing to increase their rates. We are going to discuss exactly what some of the reasons for the increases are; and more importantly, what business owners can do to offset price increase as much as possible while receiving adequate coverage.

California Wildfires Distress Insurance Market

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

2018 saw the most destructive wildfire season ever recorded in California. Over 1.8 million acres were burned; 22,751 buildings were destroyed and over 100 lives perished. As a result, insurance claims have exceeded $12 billion and are expected to rise.

Maximize Your Bond Line of Credit by Collecting Account Receivables

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

We often hear the term “cash is king” in the construction business. When referring to our contractor clients’ bond line of credit, this term is paramount. The various sources of cash listed on a balance sheet (i.e., cash in the bank, accounts receivable, available bank lines of credit) will largely influence the bond company’s calculation of the bond credit line. Let’s focus on accounts receivable.

Workers’ Compensation Fraud Is Not a Victimless Crime

Author, Jim Malone, Workers’ Compensation Claims Advocate, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

Fraud can happen in every industry, including workers’ compensation. Within workers’ compensation claims, fraud is a term that can be overused by employers who may not agree with a claim, or a condition that has been considered work-related/work-aggravated. Many times, instead of fraud, there is simply a difference of opinion as to whether a specific work incident caused an injury. 

Senate Bill 778 Extends Employee Anti-Harassment Training Deadline

Author, Alyssa Burley, Media Communications and Client Services Manager, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

Newly passed Senate Bill 778 (SB 778) extends the deadline set in Senate Bill 1343 for California’s mandatory Anti-Harassment Training from January 1, 2020 to January 1, 2021. The bill also addresses concerns about supervisory employees and clarifies when temporary workers must be trained. California Governor Newsom signed the bill into law on August 30, 2019, which included an urgency clause that allows the bill to go into effect immediately.

California Workers’ Compensation Dual Wage Thresholds Increases Approved for Construction Classes in 2020 – Bottom Line Hit Hard

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

In an effort to keep you informed, so that you can begin to budget for 2020, we wanted to let you know of the approved changes in the dual wage classifications effective January 1, 2020.

3 Benefits to Working with an Insurance Specialist vs. Generalist

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

Most insurance agencies welcome any and all types of businesses, paying little attention to the type of business the prospect is running. These accommodating professionals will commit to quote virtually any person or business looking for insurance coverage. With this type of approach, inevitably the buyer will be working with a jack of all trades, but a master of none.

Wellness in the Workplace

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

The care and concern by employers for their employees’ well-being has significantly increased over the past few years. About 75% of employers indicated that their companies offered some type of employee wellness program or service, according to research conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management. Wellness programs can benefit employers in many ways, including better insurance rates, reduced absenteeism, increased productivity and a positive culture in the workplace.

Providing Anti-Harassment Training Is the Employer’s Responsibility

Author, Alyssa Burely, Media Communications and Client Services Manager, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

Many industries like construction utilize a semi-transient workforce that can shift from company to company as labor needs change throughout the project’s life cycle. Employees may work a few months for one employer, then move on to another employer when the project is completed. This scenario poses a dilemma for California employers looking to comply with Senate Bill 1343 (SB 1343). Providing training to an ever-changing workforce can be a challenge.

OSHA Offers Grant Programs to Nonprofits

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

Nonprofit leaders who want to make workplace safety training more accessible may be surprised to learn about a unique grant program through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Since 1978, OSHA has offered grants to nonprofit organizations for safety training. Specifically, grants are awarded on a competitive basis to provide employees with training on the recognition and prevention of safety/health hazards in the workplace. The intent of the program is to reach audiences who might not otherwise receive safety training.

Surety Bonds: What Are They, What Do They Do, and Why Am I Required to Get Them?

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

When we have clients that are required to bond for the first time, often their first questions are what is a surety bond, how do they work, and why am I being required to provide one.  

In its basic form, a surety bond is a three party agreement between the contractor, called the principal, the project owner, called the obligee, and the surety company. The surety company provides a financial guarantee to the obligee that the principal is both qualified and capable of performing the contracted job.

Home Care Dishonesty Bonds and Client Property Theft Coverage Are Not Created Equal

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

A common misconception in the home care industry is assuming a Home Care Dishonesty Bond is the same as having coverage for theft of client property. Many business owners don’t realize that Home Care Dishonesty Bonds, following the payment of a claim, will seek reimbursement from the business owner. That means the business owner is ultimately going to pay the claim if they don’t have an insurance policy to cover this type of act.

CAL/OSHA Emergency Rule Adopted for Wildfire Smoke

Author, Drew Garcia, Vice President, Landscape Group, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.
Author, Steve Hamilton, Loss Control Supervisor, Berkshire Hathaway Homestate Companies.

On Thursday, July 17 2019, the California Occupational Safety & Health Standards Board voted to adopt an emergency standard requiring employers to take action when air quality particulate matter measures greater than 150 and when there is reasonable expectation that employees will come in to contact with wildfire smoke. 

Steps to Understanding and Managing Subrogation

Author, Daniel Frazee, Executive Vice President, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.
Author,
Jim Malone, Workers’ Compensation Claims Advocate, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

Subrogation crosses into many areas of the insurance world including workers compensation, general liability, property, and auto. As an employer, developing an effective Incident Investigation Plan is a key first step to managing the potential impacts of subrogation on your organization. 

Fraudulent Claims Could Be on the Rise

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

California is in the middle of a construction boom. There is more work than qualified employees and contractors need people on their job sites. While fraudulent workers’ compensation claims are relatively low right now, California contractors are asking what will happen when there is not enough work to keep everyone busy?

RM365 Safety Star Program May Lower Risk of Receiving OSHA’s Most Frequently Cited Violation

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

Rancho Mesa Insurance Services’ RM365 Advantage Safety Star Program™ checks several boxes for contractors who are looking to improve their safety culture and lower risk. The program provides safety training designed to reduce an organization’s probability of work-related injuries; thus, minimizing the likelihood of an OSHA citation when used in conjunction with the Risk Management Center tools.

Top 5 Free Safety Apps for Landscape Contractors

Author, Drew Garcia, Vice President, Landscape Group, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

Mobile devices have become an invaluable tool for many people, on the job. They provide access to contacts, email and applications (i.e., apps) that can make work a lot simpler and safer for landscapers. We researched the top apps that boost worker safety. In no particular order, here are the top 5 free safety applications for the landscape industry.

Employers Prepare As Reports of Sexual Harassment Spike

Author, Alyssa Burley, Media Communications and Client Services Manager, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

Americans are all too familiar with the #MeToo movement that has shed light on sexual harassment in the workplace. Outspoken celebrities and prominent public figures have brought this topic to the forefront in the media. With all the publicity surrounding sexual harassment allegations, people are empowered to speak out and report unwanted behaviors in the workplace. This leaves many employers asking what they can do to prevent harassment and prepare for possible harassment allegations.

Fleet Management: Driver Behavior Counts

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

When you give the car keys to your teenager for the first time, you wish you were sitting in the back seat controlling how they drive. Unfortunately, you have very limited control and the consequences of poor driving can be disastrous. It’s time to think of your employee drivers in a similar manner; these principles apply to your company’s fleet management program.