Human Services

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.

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.

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.

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.

Benefits of a Student/Volunteer Accident Policy

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

Organizations like nonprofits, schools, home health care facilities and other entities that rely on volunteers or frequently interact with the public, may be vulnerable to accidents not covered by workers' compensation insurance. These accidents can cause an unexpected financial burden on the organization if they don't have an accident policy.

The Changing Definition of Employee: What you need to know about SB 189

Author, Yvonne Gallagher, Landscape Division Account Manager, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

California State Capital Building.

State Bill 189 (SB 189) (Bradford) was recently enacted by the California State Legislature. It is intended to correct issues resulting from the passage of Assembly Bill 2883 (AB 2883) (Daly et. al) in 2017, which changed the requirements for business owners to exclude themselves from workers' compensation coverage.

Workplace Violence Insurance Surges in Aftermath of Shootings

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

In response to the hundreds of mass shootings taking place each year, the insurance marketplace has produced new workplace violence products to help employers and employees recover from a crisis.

3 Practical Reasons for Timely Claims Reporting

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

When a work-related accident occurs, as a business owner or manager, it is our nature to want to analyze the situation in order to learn how to avoid it in the future. However, the reporting of the incident is equally as important. With the recent requirement to report first aid claims, timely reporting for all claims is recognized as being critical for a number of reasons. 

Top Three Benefits of Conducting an In-Home Health Care Safety Inspection

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

For many Home Health Care companies, conducting an in-home inspection on all new cases is standard practice. The intent of these inspections is to improve the quality of services offered; however, there is also an additional opportunity to improve the risk profile for those health care companies and thereby help them reduce their insurance costs.

Reminder: 2017 OSHA Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illness Must Be Posted

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

According to a recent memo, the State of California Department of Industrial Relations would like to remind employers that they are required to physically post their 2017 annual summaries of work-related injuries from February 1, 2018 through April 30, 2018. 

Why Would a Contractor Purchase Employment Practices Liability Insurance?

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

Insurance is often considered a necessary evil by business owners. It can represent a significant line item on a profit & loss statement rivaling the cost in some cases of payroll, material costs and rent. With deductibles that can range from $15,000-$25,000 per claim, why then would a business spend dollars on an insurance policy that is not required by either state law or part of any General Contractor’s insurance specifications?

4 Simple Steps for Passenger Van Safety

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

Many of our agency's social service and nonprofit clients serve an important function for individuals and families...transportation! Whether helping a physically challenged child get to school or embarking on a day trip to the mall with a group of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, it's vital to manage all risks associated with transporting clients.

Highlights of the New Tax Reform Law

Article provided by, Kevin Brown, Managing Partner, RBTK, LLP.

The new tax reform law, commonly called the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” (TCJA), is the biggest federal tax law overhaul in 31 years, and it includes both good and bad news for taxpayers. 

Below are highlights of some of the most significant changes affecting individual and business taxpayers. (Except where noted, these changes are effective for tax years beginning after December 31, 2017.)

OSHA Accepting Electronic Form 300A Data Submissions Through End of Year

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

In a recent news release from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will be accepting electronically submitted 2016 OSHA Form 300A data through midnight on December 31, 2017.  The previous deadline had been December 15, 2017.  

California Workers Compensation 2018 Annual Officer Payrolls Minimums and Maximums, Assessment Rates, and Dual Wage Thresholds Announced by WCIRB

ICW Group Insurance Company, the largest group of privately held insurance companies domiciled in California, recently released an announcement that outlines the details and is attached for your review.