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.

Time To Renew Your Bond Line of Credit

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

The majority of Rancho Mesa’s contractor clients have a fiscal year, end of December 31, for their company financial statements. During March, April, and May we collect a variety of financial information from our contractors to update the bonding company. The underwriting items we request include the 12/31 CPA financial statement, along with the work in progress and closed contract schedules. We also request an updated bank letter, account receivable/account payable schedules, and a personal financial statement from the owner.

Promoting Safe Behaviors in the Workplace

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

Safety awareness is one of the most important factors in reducing workplace injuries. There are approximately three million workplace injuries, every year. This amounts to roughly 8,000 injuries per day, 350 per hour, or 6 injuries per minute. Many of these injuries are preventable. Unsafe behaviors or decisions are usually the most common contributing factors. If employees are unaware of hazards or not motivated to follow safety protocol, their behavior will expose them even more.

Have You Outgrown Your PEO?

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

Many companies can outgrow a professional employer organization (PEO) model, over time. Most companies currently in a PEO are unaware that they have outgrown this service model.Determining if you have outgrown a PEO can be a difficult task and will require a professional insurance broker and payroll advisor to assist your company.

Protecting Employees from Third Party Harassment

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

The recent changes to California’s Anti-Harassment Training Requirements have prompted employers to take a closer look at their internal operations and how they can eliminate harassment from the workplace. A question that is frequently asked is “What happens if the harassment comes from someone other than one of my employees?” This is known as Third Party Harassment.

California Workers’ Compensation Dual Wage Thresholds Increases Proposed 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 a potential change in the dual wage classifications.

What is the General Indemnity Agreement & Who Has to Sign It?

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

Most questions that we receive from contractors new to the industry or new to bonded work usually center around what is a General Indemnity Agreement (GIA) and why do they (ownership) and spouse(s) have to sign personally.

Understanding Your Claims: What Do You Have To Lose?

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

Claims happen. They come in all shapes and sizes, from all types of parties, and can cost your company in many different ways. An important aspect of managing the costs of risk start with gaining a clear understanding of your claims. Our clients are always looking to improve their bottom line. This article focuses on just one piece of the pie chart; workers compensation claims. Understanding the nuances of these cases can create measurable plans in the future to reduce frequency and severity of claims and ultimately lower your costs.

Stay Off OSHA's Radar with an Effective Ladder Safety Program

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

Year after year OSHA publishes the “Top 10 Most Cited Violations” and it always seems to include violations dealing with falls. Fall protection, scaffolding, ladders, and fall protection (training requirements) all made this list and all of them have been on this list perennially for over a decade. How can a company that is using ladders keep from becoming just another name on the list of violators? How can you ensure that your employees are using provided equipment properly?

Pollution Liability for Landscape Contractors

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

Most Landscape Contractors believe their exposure to pollution is limited to the herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers they apply. In order to provide some limited coverage for this it is common to see the Herbicide/Pesticide Endorsement added to the Commercial General Liability Policy. Although the endorsement extends some coverage, Contractor’s Pollution Liability would help fill the gaps created by the General Liability Policy for all of the landscape contractor’s pollution exposures. 

What Does the Employer Do After a Work Injury?

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

A work related injury can be a very traumatic event for the injured worker, but also for their co-workers, employer, family and friends. Some injuries occur from a specific event when everybody knows the injury occurred. Other times, incidents occur during the work day, or repeatedly over time, where the employee needs to report these incidents, accidents or developing symptoms to his supervisor, manager, or human resource manager according to company protocol. 

What Do You Mean My Deductible Is Infinity?

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

In this unsettling time throughout various workforces, it makes good business sense to consider EPLI options with varied deductible ranges. Having that clarity brings comfort to many clients who have worked years to build their business, acquire assets, and improve their net worth. Exposing their business to what could very well be unlimited costs creates considerable risk moving forward.

4 Essential Tools For Managing Your Company's Risk

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

Risk Management is the identification, analysis, assessment, control, and avoidance, minimization, or elimination of unacceptable risks. Companies manage their risk through what is known as an Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP). As a business owner, supervisor or manager, there are tools available to assist in risk management endeavors.

Group Captive Insurance 101

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

The property and casualty market over the last decade has been what we consider “soft.” Overall, insurance premiums have remained relatively flat, or in the case of workers’ compensation rates have decreased considerably. However, we are seeing significant pricing pressure in commercial auto. In the next few years we expect to see the same pressure in workers compensation. One alternative risk financing strategy that you may want to consider before the coming hard market is a member-owned group captive.

Painters Stretching Can Lead to Reduced Premiums

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

Having played professional baseball for several years, I know the importance of stretching to prepare oneself for the day. My team would stretch when we got to the field, then again before batting practice, and once more before the game started. Most people reserve stretching for sporting events. They forget the importance of stretching before work - feeling they will “loosen up” as the day goes along. However, there are countless ways for employees to become injured and those medical bills can grow all too fast.

The Benefits and Risks of Third Party Indemnity

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

For a contractor that is wanting to bid a job, or has won a job that’s requiring a bond that they are not able to qualify for on their own, one option for increasing their bond capacity and ability to qualify would be to have a third party also indemnify to their Surety.  While there are definite risks, this type of agreement can be very beneficial to both parties.   

3 Ways for Nonprofits to Opt Out of Unemployment Tax

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

Nonprofit leaders who want to reduce overhead and tax burdens should consider revisiting their organizations’ unemployment tax status. More to the point, thanks to the Federal Unemployment Tax Act of 1972, nonprofits can eliminate the unemployment insurance tax and outsource the headache of claims administration. Let’s investigate further.

Health Care Reform… What is Next?

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

Recently, multiple proposals to change the existing Affordable Care Act (ACA) have emerged. How will the proposed changes affect employers and their employees? The future of the ACA is still in question. However, it is unlikely that any of the proposed changes will pass congress within the next 2 years.

Higher Workers' Compensation Premiums Linked to New Employee Injuries

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

Based on Rancho Mesa Insurance Services’ client’s information, we have been able to identify that the majority of work-related injuries occur within the first year of employment. During the first year, the majority of these claims occur in the first six months. Having a system for onboarding and training new hires is a critical component to dealing with the heightened risk of injury during this time period.

The Ticking Time Bomb for Plumbing and Mechanical Contractors: Lower Expected Loss Rates Can Mean Higher Experience Modifications

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

The Workers Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau (WCIRB) released the 2019 Expected Loss Rates (ELR’s) in the 4th quarter of 2018. The ELR’s in the plumbing class code 5187 dropped 17% on January 1st 2019. This decrease is not getting significant attention, but could potentially create negative implications for California plumbing contractors and their respective experience modifications in 2019, 2020 and beyond.