Property & Casualty for 2012
By Bill Shinn
The insurance industry has been projecting an end to the soft market for property and casualty rates the last few years. Soft markets occur when premiums are lower due to market competition and high investment returns. For your business this trend means higher premiums especially regarding Workers Compensation. Business owners know Illinois is difficult state for to purchase Workers Compensation coverage. Be sure to shop the market this year. We encourage business owners to consider purchasing Workers Compensation coverage on a mono-line basis.
The top 10 most cited OSHA violations for 2011 are:
- Insufficient fall protection
- Unsafe scaffolding
- Inefficient hazard communication
- Improper respiratory protection
- Incorrect or incomplete Lockout/tagout procedures
- Incorrect electrical wiring methods
- Powered industrial truck safety
- Improper ladder use
- General electrical requirements
- Improper machine guarding
Choose a Workers Compensation carrier with an excellent safety team that will help you resolve these violations through better standards and procedures. This is typically a free service to policy holders. Carriers also offer a service known as pay as you go. If your payroll is difficult to project for the next policy year or can fluctuate dramatically from month to month this approach is for you. The premium paid is based on actual payroll. The program is administrated directly through the carrier minimizing any unexpected payroll audit adjustments.
Desirable sectors for the insurance industry continue to be light manufacturing, technology, retailing, janitorial services and wholesaling. Brokers know these industries are desirable because multiple carriers want to write policies for these businesses.
Specialty lines should also be considered. Directors and Officers insurance (D&O), Employment Practices Liability coverage (EPLI) andCyber Liability are important lines of coverages. D&O policies protect business owners’ personal assets should a lawsuit arise against their business. D&O claims arise from many different business exposures. A consultation with your counsel or agent is recommended. EPLI protects businesses against issues such as wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, whistleblower and wage disputes. Cyber Liability coverage is recommended when you are housing customer, employee and vendor information. If your network is breached and your business data is illegally obtained, the cost to restore the data is very expensive. Insurance companies not only pay for the restoration of the lost data but also the loss of business income.
Bill Shinn is an insurance consultant with Carl E. Mellen & Company. Bill has an undergraduate degree in Economics and an MBA. Prior to the insurance industry he worked in manufacturing for over 20 years. Carl Mellen & Company has specialized in commercial insurance since 1938. The agency telephone is 847-244-3500 (ext. 138) and Bill’s email is firstname.lastname@example.org.