Landscape

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.

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.

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?

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.    

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.

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.