California SB 1343 Expands Sexual Harassment Training Requirements

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

On September 30, 2018, California Governor Jerry Brown, approved Senate Bill 1343 (SB 1343), which expands rules for required sexual harassment prevention training for businesses.

Currently, employers with 50 or more employees must provide supervisors with sexual harassment prevention training every two years. By January 1, 2020, employers with 5 more employees must provide at least 2 hours of sexual harassment prevention training and at least 1 hour of training to non-supervisory employees. The trainings are required every 2 years.

California Insurance Commissioner Announces Rate Cuts for 2019

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

California employers received some great news regarding their Workers Compensation premiums for 2019. On November 6, 2018, Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones recently announced his decision to cut California Workers’ Compensation advisory pure premium rates by 8.4% significantly higher than the initial recommended 4.5%. This change will affect policies that renew or incept on or after January 1, 2019.

What is a Surety Bondability Letter?

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

When an owner or general contractor is looking to pre-qualify a contractor for a specific project, they will often request the contractor to submit a bondability letter from their bond agent. The bondability letter provides the owner with an assurance that the contractor has been underwritten and approved by a surety company for support of a specific project. The bondability letter is issued for no cost (it is regarded as a standard service provided by the bond agent).

Cal/OSHA Issues Electronic Filing Requirement For 2017 OSHA 300A Form

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

In April 2018, federal OSHA announced all affected employers are required to submit injury and illness data (i.e., Form 300A data) via the Injury Tracking Application (ITA) online portal by July 1, 2018, even if the employer is covered by a state plan like those in California, Maryland, Minnesota, South Carolina, Utah, Washington or Wyoming.

How a Medical Billings Errors & Omissions Policy Can Protect Against A Medicare Recovery Audit

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

Human Service agencies billing Medicare may find themselves paying thousands of dollars in defense costs and regulatory fines resulting from a Medicare Recovery Audit. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, “the Medicare Fee for Service (FFS) Recovery Audit Program’s mission is to identify and correct Medicare improper payments through the efficient detection and collection of overpayments made on claims of health care services provided to Medicare beneficiaries.”

Important Reminder for Janitorial Business Owners: Property Service Worker Protection Act

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

A few of my janitorial clients have recently asked for information on the Property Service Worker Protection Act (AB 1978) and its requirements. Below is a description of the law and instructions on registering. As a reminder, the deadline for all janitorial service providers to register for the Property Service Worker Protection Act was October 1, 2018. If you have not yet registered, I would recommend doing so, as soon as possible.

2019 Expected Loss Rates Published in California’s Updated Regulatory Filing – X-MOD Impact Inevitable for 0042 Class Code

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

The 2019 Expected Loss Rate (ELR) for Landscaping class code 0042 was recently published at a 15% decrease or $2.97.

The ELR is the factor used to anticipate a class code’s claim cost per $100 for the experience rating period. It is not to be confused with the Pure Premium Rate (PPR). The ELR differs from the PPR in that the ELR simply measures the basic claim cost for a class code without including loss adjustment expense, excess loss load (capped at $175,000 for X-MOD purposes), and loss development.

How Warranty Periods Can Impact Bonding

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

When we review contracts that require bonding, one area that we need to understand is the warranty obligation. I would expect that over 90% of the contracts that we review for our contractor clients contain a standard one-year warranty term. Since Performance & Payment Bonds respond to the contract, the surety company is also on the hook for this one-year obligation. Premium rates for bonding already include the cost for this one-year warranty in the cost of the performance & payment bond.

Distracted Driving, Not Just an Automobile Insurance Issue, Bad News for Workers Compensation Too

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

I’ve written at length on the negative effects distracted driving is having on the automobile insurance industry and its impact on the rise in accidents, claim costs, and increases to your automobile premiums. But, have you considered its effects on your Experience Modification Rate (EMR) and ultimately workers’ compensation cost?

Fleet Safety: Four Steps to Effective-Driver Selection

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

Driver selection guidelines are one of the most important things a company can implement to prevent vehicle accidents. A company should manage a written Motor Vehicle Records (MVR’s) program to assure that they are selecting the right employees to drive for the company and annually qualify each driver for desirable driving records. The following are some “best practices” guidelines that will help businesses implement and improve the driver selection process.

Focus on preventing Back Injuries: Introducing Rancho Mesa’s A.B.L.E Lift Protocol and the “Field” Mobility & Stretch Program

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

Physical work is demanding on our bodies. As the employer, what are you doing to help your employees prepare for the day’s work? Collectively, the most severe injuries come from the lower back by way of strain or sprain as a result of lifting. It’s not always the heavier objects causing the injuries. In many cases, early morning “light” lifts or movements can quickly cause a strain or sprain. Eliminating lifting exposures is the ultimate solution to limiting back strains; however, it is not always possible. Interactively training your employees to accurately lift material with proper technique is a preventive approach you can implement today to limit your businesses lifting exposure.

Changes in the 2019 Experience Modification Formula – Are You Ready? (Part 2)

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

As we approach 2019, there will be several changes in the experience modification formula that directly affects the calculation of an employer's 2019 Experience Modification Rate (EMR).

Part 1 of this article describes the Primary Threshold and Expected Loss Rate. Read Part 1 of this article. Part 2 provides an overview of the changes to the EMR calculation. 

Contractor Strategies to Maximize Your Bank Line of Credit

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

Some of my most successful bond clients opened their construction business with a good amount of working experience on their resume, but only a minimal amount of cash and capital. Unfortunately, bond companies like to see a strong amount of cash and capital. Therefore, my goal, as their bond agent, is to work with what they have at the present time to explain why they are a “good risk” now for bid, performance, and payment bonds - along with ideas on how to overcome the initial cash and capital constraints.

Changes in the 2019 Experience Modification Formula – Are You Ready? (Part 1)

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

As we approach 2019, there will be several changes in the experience modification formula that directly affects the calculation of an employer's 2019 Experience Modification Rate (EMR). Sadly, most businesses are both unaware and unprepared.

Understanding Waivers of Subrogation for Contractors

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

In an era where general contractors commonly require a Waiver of Subrogation from its sub-contractors before they are allowed to step foot on the jobsite, it is important to understand how a Waiver of Subrogation functions. Most companies simply tell their agent they need the waiver added to their contract, but what does this mean? How does it affect the policy?

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.