50 Employees is the Magic Number!

Posted: July 16, 2015 by hibbshallmarkblog2 in Insurance

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If you employ 50-99 total employees – counting all full-time, part-time, and seasonal – pay attention! Your organization is known as an Applicable Large Employer, or ALE, then this article is just for you.

50 Employees is the Magic Number!

If your company has affiliates – known as “controlled groups” as defined by the IRS – you should be particularly aware. 50 is the magic number under the ACA that makes you an ALE. The Affordable Care Act requires you to count all employees of all controlled groups together to determine if you have over 50 employees. Count all full-time employees working 30 hours a week or more, part-time employees (total all part-time hours, then divide by 120 to get the full-time equivalent number per month), and seasonal employees working more than 120 days per year. Your FTE (Full-Time Equivalent) count in 2015 will be used for reporting in 2016, which is why you should already be tracking your payroll hours.

THREE Affordable Care Act (ACA) rules are set to take effect in 2016 that will affect your company:

ONE: If you have 50 – 99 FTE’s in the calendar year 2015, your company will be subject to the Employer Mandate; this means there will be a special tax penalty on large employers who do not offer minimum value, affordable health coverage to at least 95% of their full-time employees, starting with your health plan renewal date in 2016. Consult with your agent to make sure your health plan is in compliance with the ACA requirements in order to avoid having to pay a tax penalty.

TWO: Generally, you will be required to file two new tax forms, 1094-C and 1095-C, by February 28th, 2016 (or March 31st if filing electronically).  Please note that self funded plans have different filing forms. Consult with your tax professional regarding what information you need to track for filing these forms next year.

THREE: Beginning with your 2016 health plan renewal, the ACA will change how your group health plan is rated. Before January 1, 2016, in Texas a group of 50 or more is rated as “large group”, using claims experience and medical information. Starting January 1, 2016, groups of 51 – 99 will now be included in the ACA definition of “small group” for rating purposes.  Instead of medical underwriting, carriers must use Adjusted Community Rating to determine your renewal rates in 2016. For some groups, this could result in a large rate increase. It will also require changing your benefit design to one that is in the small group, ACA-compliant portfolio. Because of this, there will be some strategic decisions you need to make THIS YEAR. Call us to discuss a strategy for your group health plan in 2016.

Hibbs-Hallmark & Company has experienced, knowledgeable Employee Benefits Specialists ready to help with your questions. Please contact us if you need someone to help you navigate through your decisions for 2016.

Call 1-800-765-6767 and ask for an Employee Benefits Specialist!

Sincerely,

Brenda L. Massey, CBC, SGS
Affordable Care Act Certified
Self Funding Certified
Account Executive for Employee Benefits
Hibbs-Hallmark & Company
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About Hibbs-Hallmark & Company – Hibbs-Hallmark & Company is headquartered in Tyler, Texas, and provides insurance and risk management products and services nationwide.

Contact Hibbs-Hallmark & Company – 1-800-765-6767 – Contact our Tyler, Longview, Austin, Forney, or Dallas Office.

New OSHA Reporting Requirements

Posted: February 11, 2015 by hibbshallmarkblog2 in Insurance

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Our Vision is to be your long term partner. We will gain your trust by providing asset protection and managing the risks that threaten your financial goals. We will treat our employees, clients, and marketing partners as we would like to be treated – with respect and appreciation.
Hibbs-Hallmark & Company
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Greetings!

As the year continues, Hibbs-Hallmark & Company wants you to keep us in mind for your insurance needs! We are happy to educate you on any questions that you may have about your personal and/or your company’s insurance policy.

In addition, we want to be your advocate in keeping you informed of the news and changes that we face today – we think it is important to stay informed. Below you will find a brief article on the recent changes in OSHA Reporting Requirements.

Please enjoy!  

New OSHA Reporting Requirements

The U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has announced a final rule that changes what types of accidents are required to be reported to the federal agency. The new rule, which is effective Jan. 1, 2015, will require employers to notify OSHA of any work-related fatalities within eight hours and any work-related in-patient hospitalization or amputations or any work-related event resulting in the loss of an eye within 24 hours. The existing rule requires notification only for fatalities and any in-patient hospitalizations of three or more employees from a single accident. All employers, including those exempt from maintaining injury records under OSHA rules, are required to comply with the new reporting requirements. Additional information, including a link to the final rule and an Overview Fact Sheet that can be shared with your customers, can be found on the OSHA website.

OSHA has maintained a list of employers that are required to maintain injury and illness records and that list has also been updated. The new list provides both newly covered industries and exemptions for employers in industries that have had relatively low accident and illness rates.

It’s important to remember that OSHA requirements are separate to the reporting requirements that exist in the state Labor Code and those established by the Division of Workers Compensation and are not related to whether a particular injury is compensable under a state’s Workers Compensation Act. OSHA requirements apply to both subscribers and non-subscribers in Texas.

 

For more information about OSHA, visit http://www.OSHA.gov

Sincerely,

Robert Monaghan, CIC, AAI
Executive Vice President / Sales Manager
Hibbs-Hallmark & Company

Every Second Counts When Trying to Save Lives

Posted: August 8, 2014 by hibbshallmarkblog2 in Insurance
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Vision Statement
Our Vision is to be your long term partner. We will gain your trust by providing asset protection and managing the risks that threaten your financial goals. We will treat our employees, clients, and marketing partners as we would like to be treated-with respect and appreciation.
Contact Information
 
Ph: 903-561-8484

Toll: 800-765-6767 
Fax: 903-581-5988
501 Shelley Drive
Tyler, TX 75701

Hibbs-Hallmark & Company

Newsletter

Every Second Counts When Trying to Save Lives

Emergency situations are occurring more frequently in this ever changing world. Shootings and other emergencies are not just happening at our schools, but also at businesses of all types. To protect your employees and customers, Pathfinder Intelligence Inc., a sister company of HHC, has developed an app for smartphones that allows instant notification in case of an emergency.

This unique mobile security app system enables employees to use their smartphone to instantly send alerts that notify employees, administrators, and first responders of a threat, or emergency situation.

 

IAN provides a dynamic button selection of up to six different alert types from an extensive menu of available options. IAN is user-friendly and supports specific user groups, locations, alert recipients, and more. Applications are adaptable to virtually any need.

Some of the major benefits of IAN include:

  • Immediate notification at your location of a nearby threat
  • Alerts may be sent by text, push notification, and email
  • Simultaneous communication to your employees, administration, and local law enforcement

When lives are at stake, time is of the essence. Seconds Count, Choose IAN.

 

For more information about IAN contact Art Georgiou at (903) 561-1900

www.ianotify.com     https://www.facebook.com/ianotify     https://twitter.com/ianotify 

Sincerely,

Robert Monaghan, CIC, AAI
Executive Vice President / Sales Manager
Hibbs-Hallmark & Company

Public Adjusters

Posted: July 25, 2014 by hibbshallmarkblog2 in Insurance
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Vision Statement
Our Vision is to be your long term partner. We will gain your trust by providing asset protection and managing the risks that threaten your financial goals. We will treat our employees, clients, and marketing partners as we would like to be treated-with respect and appreciation.
Contact Information
 
Ph: 903-561-8484

Toll: 800-765-6767 
Fax: 903-581-5988
501 Shelley Drive
Tyler, TX 75701

Hibbs-Hallmark & Company

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Public Adjusters

Question:

Our building suffered significant damage in the recent hail storm and now we have been contacted by a public adjuster. Do we need to hire a public adjuster to deal with the insurance company?

Answer:

When you report a claim to your property insurer, the insurance company assigns a licensed claims adjuster to walk you through the process of evaluating and paying your claim. This person is either an employee of the insurance company or an independent contractor hired by and paid by the insurance company. In either case, it is his or her job to settle your claim promptly and fairly.

After a well-publicized weather event, such as a tornado or hail storm, local business owners are often contacted directly by a number of service providers including restoration contractors, roofers and public adjusters. These service providers often ask you to contract with them. We urge you to not enter into such contracts lightly.

With regard to restoration contractors and roofers, it has been our experience over the years that policyholders are generally more satisfied if they use local firms with a history of doing business in their area. Once the work is done, local contractors are better suited to respond to the property owner if additional damage is discovered or the work needs to be re-done. If there are problems later, out of town contractors may be difficult to find.

A public adjuster acts as an intermediary between you and the insurance company. A public adjuster is required by state law to execute a written contract with you before beginning work and must be compensated by collecting a fee from you– typically a percentage of the claim settlement. By law, the fee can’t be more than 10 percent of the amount paid by the insurance company to settle your claim.

Based on our observations after weather-related claims events in the past, we believe you are better served if you allow your insurance company the opportunity to fulfill its promise to you before you contract with a public adjuster and sign away a percentage of your settlement. On a very small number of claims, it may be advantageous to hire a public adjuster later if you reach an impasse with your insurance company.

State law requires prompt and fair settlement of insurance claims with severe financial and legal penalties when state law is not followed. We believe claims are best handled by licensed, experienced claims adjusters. If you have problems or questions in the claims process, discuss them with your agency claims manager.

 

 

This article was prepared and made available to your agent by the Independent Insurance Agents of Texas, which is solely responsible for its content. Please read your insurance policy. If there is any conflict between the information in this article and the actual terms and conditions of your policy, the terms and conditions of your policy will apply. The Independent Insurance Agents of Texas is a non-profit association of more than 1,800 insurance agents in Texas, dedicated to helping its members succeed, in part of providing technical resourced that explain insurance policies sold to their customers.

Sincerely,

Michele Hall, Senior Vice President

Commercial Lines Claims Manager
Hibbs-Hallmark & Company

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Vision Statement
Our Vision is to be your long term partner. We will gain your trust by providing asset protection and managing the risks that threaten your financial goals. We will treat our employees, clients, and marketing partners as we would like to be treated-with respect and appreciation.
Contact Information
 
Ph: 903-561-8484

Toll: 800-765-6767 
Fax: 903-581-5988
501 Shelley Drive
Tyler, TX 75701
Hibbs-Hallmark & Company
Newsletter

Employee Benefits – Thinking Outside the Box is Not That Simple Anymore….

Employee Group Coverage often reflects higher premium rates for dependents. In the past, our industry considered the term “dependent(s)” to mean your spouse and/or children. However, the ACA (the Affordable Care Act) interprets “dependent” to mean your children only. In the past, dependents may have been taken off the group plan during the open enrollment period and placed on their own individual/family plan in an effort to reduce premiums. Due to the face that voluntary termination of coverage is not considered a “qualifying event” (according to the ACA), individual placement is no longer allowable— EXCEPT during ACA’s Qualified Health Plan (QHP) open enrollment period OR qualifying for a “special” enrollment. To complicate matters further, large group employers MUST offer coverage to dependents.

Something new from PPACA/ACA/Healthcare Reform is that the individual enrollment period is regulated. Therefore, an individual can only apply for a separate individual/family plan during the government specified ACA open enrollment period.   For the year 2015, that period runs from November 15, 2014 to February 15, 2015. This period of enrollment is subject to change each year and also applies to “child only” individual plans.

It may be important to note that you can apply for Medicaid or CHIP at any time of the year.

Keep in mind if your employee benefits are based on a pretax basis, you cannot make termination type changes until your particular groups’ open enrollment period. The open enrollment period for your employer’s group benefit coverage is one month prior to the annual anniversary/renewal date of your employer’s group plan.

Having fun with these interpretations?

Why are we telling you this now?

It is important to remember that Hibbs-Hallmark and Company’s Employee Benefits department continues to research avenues to lower premiums, offer the best coverage for money spent, avoid possible penalties involved, and prepare our clients to apply cost saving ideas at the appropriate time. This is all with the goal of saving you premium dollars and offering the proper coverage.

Please contact us if you have any questions:

Larry Hopkins, CBC, SGS
Senior Vice President/Manager

D’Ann Miller, AAI, SGS, CLTC, PPACA Certified
Account Executive

Sincerely,

Robert P. Monaghan CIC, AAI
Executive Vice President/Sales Manager
Hibbs-Hallmark & Company

 

Business Succession Planning

Posted: May 2, 2014 by hibbshallmarkblog2 in Insurance
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Vision Statement
Our Vision is to be your long term partner. We will gain your trust by providing asset protection and managing the risks that threaten your financial goals. We will treat our employees, clients, and marketing partners as we would like to be treated-with respect and appreciation.
Contact Information
 
Ph: 903-561-8484

Toll: 800-765-6767 
Fax: 903-581-5988
501 Shelley Drive
Tyler, TX 75701
Hibbs-Hallmark & Company
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Business Succession Planning    

When developing a succession plan for your business, you must make many decisions. Should you sell your business or give it away? Should you structure your plan to go into effect during your lifetime or at your death? Should you transfer your ownership interest to family members, co-owners, employees, or an outside party? The key is to pick the best plan for your circumstances and objectives, and to seek help from financial and legal advisors to carry out this plan.

Selling your business outright

You can sell your business outright, choosing the right time to sell–now, at your retirement, at your death, or anytime in between. The sale proceeds can be used to maintain your lifestyle, or to pay estate taxes and other final expenses. As long as the price is at least equal to the full fair market value of the business, the sale will not be subject to gift taxes. But, if the sale occurs before your death, it may result in capital gains tax.

Transferring your business with a buy-sell agreement

A buy-sell is a legally binding contract that establishes when, to whom, and at what price you can sell your interest in a business. A typical buy-sell allows the business itself or any co-owners the opportunity to purchase your interest in the business at a predetermined price. This can help avoid future adverse consequences, such as disruption of operations, entity dissolution, or business liquidation that might result in the event of your sudden incapacity or death. A buy-sell can also minimize the possibility that the business will fall into the hands of outsiders.

The ability to fix the purchase price as the taxable value of your business interest makes a buy-sell agreement especially useful in estate planning. Agreeing to a purchase price can minimize the possibility of unfair treatment to your heirs. And, if your death is the triggering event, the IRS’ acceptance of this price as the taxable value can help minimize estate taxes.

Additionally, because funding for a buy-sell is typically arranged when the buy-sell is executed, you’re able to ensure that funds will be available when needed, providing your estate with liquidity that may be needed for expenses and taxes.

Private annuity

With a private annuity, you transfer your ownership interest in the business to family members or another party (the buyer). The buyer in turn makes a promise to make periodic payments to you for the rest of your life (a single life annuity) or for your life and the life of a second person (a joint and survivor annuity). Again, because a private annuity is a sale and not a gift, it allows you to remove assets from your estate without incurring gift or estate taxes.

Until 2006, exchanging property for an unsecured private annuity allowed you to spread out any gain realized, deferring capital gains tax. IRS regulations proposed that year have effectively eliminated this benefit for most exchanges, however. If you’re considering a private annuity, be sure to talk to a tax professional.

Self-canceling installment note

A self-canceling installment note (SCIN) allows you to transfer your interest in the business to a buyer in exchange for a promissory note. The buyer must make a series of payments to you under that note, and a provision in the note states that at your death, the remaining payments will be canceled. Like private annuities, SCINs provide for a lifetime income stream and they avoid gift and estate taxes. But unlike private annuities, SCINs give you a security interest in the transferred business.

Gifting your business

If you’re like many business owners, you’d prefer to have your children inherit the result of all your years of hard work and success. Of course, you can bequeath your business in your will, but transferring your business during your lifetime has many additional personal and tax benefits. By gifting the business over time, you can hand over the reins gradually as your offspring become better able to control and manage the business on their own, and you can minimize gift and estate taxes.

Gifting your business interests can minimize gift and estate taxes because:

  • It transfers the value of any future appreciation in the business out of your estate to your heirs. This can be especially valuable if business growth is expected.
  • Gifts of $14,000 per recipient are tax free under the annual gift tax exclusion.
  • Aggregate gifts up to $5,250,000 (2013 figure) are tax free under your lifetime exemption.
  • Partial interest gifts, as with GRATs, GRUTs, and FLPs, may be valued at a discount for lack of marketability or restrictions on transferability.
Gifting your business using trusts

You can make gifts outright or use a trust. You can even structure a trust so that you keep control of the business for as long as you want. You can establish a revocable trust, which will bypass probate and allow you to change your mind and end the trust, or an irrevocable trust, such as a grantor retained annuity trust (GRAT) or a grantor retained unitrust (GRUT) that can provide you with income for a specified period of time and move your business out of your estate at a discount.

Gifting your business using a family limited partnership
You can transfer your business interest using another entity, such as a family limited partnership (FLP). An FLP is a limited partnership formed to manage and control a family business. You (and your spouse) can be the general partners, retaining control of the business itself and receiving income from the business, while your children can be limited partners. By transferring the business to an FLP, you may be able to use valuation discounts and substantially reduce the value of the business for tax purposes by making annual gifts to the limited partners.

Please contact your insurance professional for more information.

Sincerely,

Robert Monaghan, CIC, AAI
Executive Vice President / Sales Manager
Hibbs-Hallmark & Company

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Hibbs-Hallmark & Company | 501 Shelley Drive, Ste. 200 | P.O. Box 8357 | Tyler | TX | 75701

What You Should Know About Avoiding Cyber Liability Exposures

Posted: March 27, 2014 by hibbshallmarkblog2 in Insurance

 

 

 

Vision Statement

Our Vision is to be your long term partner. We will gain your trust by providing asset protection and managing the risks that threaten your financial goals. We will treat our employees, clients, and marketing partners as we would like to be treated-with respect and appreciation.

 

Contact Information

 

Ph: 903-561-8484

Toll: 800-765-6767 

Fax: 903-581-5988

info@hibbshallmark.com

 

501 Shelley Drive

Tyler, TX 75701

Hibbs-Hallmark & Company

Newsletter

 

What You Should Know About Avoiding Cyber Liability Exposures

 

 In today’s business world, digital information is fundamental to everyday operations. Whether it’s financial applications, email communications, supply chain management, content management, sales order processing or customer relationship management systems, data is the backbone of business. The more reliant a company is on digital data, the lower its tolerance is for any interruption in application or data availability caused by cyber threats.

 

The recent rise in high-profile cyber incidents, such as computer viruses, data theft, identity theft and other cyber crimes, makes it critically important to keep data secure, available and organized.

 

What happens when a data loss or breach occurs? More specifically, what are the implications from an insurance standpoint?

 

Consider these scenarios:

 

Cyber losses are increasing, and the cost to recover from a data breach can be staggering.

  1. You own a small business and one of your employees accidentally opens up an email that has a computer virus attached to it. The virus crashes the company’s computer network but not before spreading itself to everyone in its contact list, including all customers. As a result, one of your customers gets the same virus, wipes out his whole network, and now the customer is suing you for damages.
  2. You run a nonprofit organization. Your website gets hacked by a virus and it corrupts all of your content then emails a virus link to all your donors. You rush to take the site down but not before a lot of damage was done, plus you must now spend thousands of dollars to have the computer network and website rebuilt. Meanwhile, several major donors are not pleased with the way things were handled, so you have lost a huge chunk of sponsorship (income).
  3. A disgruntled former employee logs into your network and blocks access to the company website so your customers cannot access their accounts nor do business. After two weeks of this, everyone is upset because they cannot operate normally and you are losing customers by the hour. Not only have you lost customers but now you also can’t get them back, and some are suing for damages.

Coverage Lacking

What do these three scenarios have in common? None of the losses would be covered under typical business insurance policies.

 

The Insurance Service Office’s Building and Personal Property Coverage Form, which covers damage to property, covers loss of data but only up to an annual limit of $2,500, but theft is not a covered cause of loss. 

 

Commercial general liability policies cover damage to others’ property, but damage to data is specifically excluded. Not only is the damage to data excluded, but damage (including bodily injury) caused by a loss of data is specifically excluded as well. This means the full financial impact of these scenarios would fall directly on your business.

 

Times have certainly changed, and most businesses aren’t prepared for these scenarios. Yet they are happening everyday at an alarming rate with more privacy and security breach headlines in the news, and that’s only a small portion of what is actually happening but is not reported.

 

According to the Cincinnati Insurance Board, most companies, particularly small businesses, are woefully unaware of the implications of cyber threats.

 

“Cyber losses are increasing, and the cost to recover from a data breach can be staggering,” said the Board’s Executive Vice President Ron Eveleigh. “At this time, coverage is limited for these cyber losses, but the coverage is evolving. Some policies will provide limited coverage for broad data and privacy breaches but, right now, the majority of commercial general liability policies need a specific endorsement for cyber peril coverage.”

 

How to Avoid Losses

There are three things you should do to avoid major losses caused by cyber-related threats.

 

  1. Do a review with your agent of your businesses cyber risks. Be sure to mention any e-commerce activity that your business does and what kind of information you store on your network. This would even include any information on subcontractors who do some of your e-commerce activity or help in running or maintaining the computer network. At the same time, be sure to review your current coverage and see what possible gaps exist in your current plan as it pertains to covering cyber threats unique to your business.”
  2. Discuss “cyber-risk” coverage for loss of or damage to data. Be sure to ask not only about coverage for loss of your data, but also for your liability for loss of others’ data, as well as the damage that can be caused by the loss of data. Endorsements and/or policies to cover data are readily available. There are many versions of so-called “cyber liability” policies available in today’s marketplace, and it is important to carefully review terms and conditions to make sure such a policy will do what you expect if and when it is needed. Covering these exposures is probably more affordable than you think, and it’s certainly more efficient than paying for damages out-of-pocket.
  3. Have a data security risk assessment performed by an IT professional who specializes in data security. This will help discover the strengths and weaknesses of data handling processes and fix them before something bad happens. A thorough risk assessment along with adopting best practices demonstrates that a business has exercised due diligence, and when properly documented, can serve as an “affirmative defense” when a cyber threat impacts your employees or customers.

 

As the saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This is especially true for cyber perils. Each of these pointers can be the difference between business continuity and business failure in the event of a cyber-related incident.

 

 

This article was prepared and made available to your agent by Insurance Journal, which is solely responsible for its content. Please read your insurance policy. If there is any conflict between the information in this article and the actual terms and conditions of your policy, the terms and conditions of your policy will apply.  

 

Sincerely,


Robert Monaghan, CIC, AAI
Executive Vice President / Sales Manager
Hibbs-Hallmark & Company

Insurance Requirements in Lease Agreements

Posted: February 13, 2014 by hibbshallmarkblog2 in Insurance

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Vision Statement
Our Vision is to be your long term partner. We will gain your trust by providing asset protection and managing the risks that threaten your financial goals. We will treat our employees, clients, and marketing partners as we would like to be treated-with respect and appreciation.
Contact Information
 
Ph: 903-561-8484

Toll: 800-765-6767
Fax: 903-581-5988
501 Shelley Drive
Tyler, TX 75701

Hibbs-Hallmark & Company

Newsletter

Insurance Requirements in Lease Agreements

Question:

I looked at the lease agreement for the building I rent and it appears the landlord wants me to be responsible for damage to portions of the building, such as HVAC equipment and glass. Will you review the lease for me and let me know what kind of insurance I need?

Answer:

That’s an excellent question. We applaud you for reading your lease agreement and noting there are some obligations that may require additional insurance coverage.

We would be happy to review the lease agreement to determine if there are any insurance requirements or other obligations that can be insured. In performing our review, however, please note we are not attorneys and we are not providing legal advice or a legal opinion concerning any portion of the agreement. In addition, our agency is not undertaking to identify all potential liabilities that may arise under the agreement. We recommend that you seek the advice of your attorney before signing the lease agreement if possible. We will be available to discuss any insurance requirements of the agreement with your attorney, if you want us to do that.

Building lease agreements almost always contain clauses that require the tenant to insure something.

Liability Insurance. Most lease agreements require the tenant to carry liability insurance with a specified limit of liability, such as $1,000,000 for each occurrence, and usually require the tenant to add the landlord as an additional insured. This coverage protects you and the landlord in case a customer or visitor is injured while on your premises. These requirements are easily addressed with a Commercial General Liability policy that includes a special endorsement to include the landlord as an additional insured.

Property Insurance. A tenant’s obligation for damage to the building may not be expressed in the lease agreement at all. You may be legally liable for damage caused by your negligence or the negligence of your employees. For example, if a fire caused by your negligence damages or destroys the building, you may be responsible for the full cost of repairs or replacement. Your general liability policy provides only a limited amount of fire damage legal liability coverage for such a loss. Other types of damage, such as accidentally running a vehicle through the side of the building, are not covered at all. One way to avoid this type of liability is to negotiate a provision in your lease that requires you and the landlord to carry property insurance on property owned by each of you. You agree to carry insurance on your business personal property and the landlord agrees to carry insurance on the building. Another provision in the lease then prohibits your respective insurance companies from trying to recover the amounts paid from the responsible party. This is called a “waiver of subrogation.” If you have already signed the lease without such provisions, and you can’t re-negotiate the lease to add them, your agent can arrange the appropriate coverage for this exposure.

Sometimes there are more specific requirements in lease agreements that make tenants responsible for all kinds of damage – including wind or hail damage – to specific components of the building, such as HVAC equipment, roof coverings and glass. In addition, lease agreements may make tenants responsible for routine maintenance, repair or even replacement of HVAC and other building equipment. We can arrange the appropriate coverage for these exposures, but only if we are aware that they exist.

That’s why it is important for you to carefully review your lease agreement with your attorney and your insurance agent.

 

This article was prepared and made available to your agent by the Independent Insurance Agents of Texas, which is solely responsible for its content. Please read your insurance policy. If there is any conflict between the information in this article and the actual terms and conditions of your policy, the terms and conditions of your policy will apply. The Independent Insurance Agents of Texas is a non-profit association of more than 1,800 insurance agents in Texas, dedicated to helping its members succeed, in part of providing technical resourced that explain insurance policies sold to their customers.

Sincerely,

Robert Monaghan, CIC, AAI
Executive Vice President / Sales Manager
Hibbs-Hallmark & Company

Excluding Officers or Partners from Workers’ Compensation

Posted: January 10, 2014 by hibbshallmarkblog2 in Insurance

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Vision Statement
Our Vision is to be your long term partner. We will gain your trust by providing asset protection and managing the risks that threaten your financial goals. We will treat our employees, clients, and marketing partners as we would like to be treated-with respect and appreciation.
Contact Information
 
Ph: 903-561-8484

Toll: 800-765-6767
Fax: 903-581-5988
501 Shelley Drive
Tyler, TX 75701

Hibbs-Hallmark & Company

Newsletter

Excluding Officers or Partners from Workers’ Compensation

Question:

We need to reduce the premium on our workers’ compensation policy and are considering excluding executive officers from coverage. Is this a good idea?

Answer:

Many businesses today are looking for ways to cut expenses to boost the bottom line. One idea that may come to mind is excluding executive officers or partners from the firm’s workers’ compensation coverage.

Most states’ workers’ compensation laws requires coverage for an executive officer or partner, unless the officer or partner is excluded from coverage by attaching an endorsement to the policy. The exclusion can apply to all officers or partners or to one or more specific individuals by name or position.

The payroll used for an executive officer, for the purpose of computing the premium, is subject to a minimum payroll. There is also a cap as executive officers are generally highly compensated. Each state has a different minimum and maximum payroll that carriers are required to use.

Is this really a good idea? Here are a couple of things to think about before making this decision.

If the excluded individual is seriously injured on the job, where will the money come from to pay the medical bills? Most individual and group health insurance plans do not cover medical expenses incurred as a result of work-related injuries. (For example, a typical policy contains the following exclusion: “The benefits…are not available for…Any services or supplies provided in connection with an occupational sickness or an injury sustained in the scope of and in the course of any employment whether or not benefits are, or could upon proper claim be, provided under the Workers’ Compensation law.”) Even if coverage for occupational injuries could be arranged on an individual or group plan, there are limits, exclusions and deductibles. The medical benefits provided under the workers’ compensation law have no limits, exclusions or deductibles.

Another issue may arise when a company decides to exclude executive officers with little or no ownership interest, or partners with a minority ownership interest. After a catastrophic injury to one of these individuals, he or she may claim that they were unaware of the workers’ comp exclusion and didn’t have an opportunity to find alternative coverage. They may sue the employer and/or the senior executive who made the decision to exclude all officers or partners. That lawsuit probably won’t be covered by any policy carried by the company or the senior executive.

Bottom line: It’s not a good idea to exclude officers or partners from the company’s workers’ compensation insurance. These individuals are just as exposed to on-the-job injuries as other employees and there may be no other way to cover the resulting medical expenses.

This article was prepared and made available to your agent by the Independent Insurance Agents of Texas, which is solely responsible for its content. Please read your insurance policy. If there is any conflict between the information in this article and the actual terms and conditions of your policy, the terms and conditions of your policy will apply. The Independent Insurance Agents of Texas is a non-profit association of more than 1,800 insurance agents in Texas, dedicated to helping its members succeed, in part of providing technical resourced that explain insurance policies sold to their customers.

Sincerely,

Robert Monaghan, CIC, AAI
Executive Vice President / Sales Manager
Hibbs-Hallmark & Company

Building or Remodeling Your Home

Posted: December 4, 2013 by hibbshallmarkblog2 in Insurance

 

 

Vision Statement

Our Vision is to be your long term partner. We will gain your trust by providing asset protection and managing the risks that threaten your financial goals. We will treat our employees, clients, and marketing partners as we would like to be treated-with respect and appreciation.

 

Contact Information

 

Ph: 903-561-8484

Toll: 800-765-6767 

Fax: 903-581-5988

info@hibbshallmark.com

 

501 Shelley Drive

Tyler, TX 75701

Hibbs-Hallmark & Company

Newsletter

 

Building or Remodeling Your Home

 

 

 

Question:

 

We are building a new home [or remodeling our existing home]. Do we need any additional insurance coverage for this project?

 

Answer:

 

That is a great question, and one that our customers ask frequently.

 

Whether you are building a new home or remodeling your current home, there are some important insurance issues to consider. The homeowners insurance policy covering your existing home provides some coverage in these situations, but you may need some changes to your policy or additional policies.

If you are building a new home, you will need a separate policy (known as a “builders’ risk” policy) to cover damage caused by fire, windstorm or other calamities while the home is under construction. We can help you purchase the right policy or review the policy provided by the builder to be sure you are adequately covered.

 

For a remodeling job, including additions to your home, your existing homeowners policy will cover damage to the home, including new construction. However, you are probably adding value to your home. We suggest increasing the amount of insurance on the home when construction starts to the estimated replacement cost of the home when complete. By doing so, you can be sure that the amount of insurance is adequate at all times during the construction and you won’t have to worry about forgetting to call us and request a higher limit when the project is complete.

If you will be storing building materials away from your home location, your homeowners policy contains some exclusions and limitations on stored building materials, so special coverage may be needed.

 

If someone (besides a family member) – including a construction worker – is injured on the job site or as a result of construction activities, the personal liability and medical payments coverages provided on your homeowners policy will apply. The policy will pay the injured person’s medical bills up to the medical payments limit (usually only $5,000) and the insurance company will defend you if a lawsuit is filed and pay any judgment or settlement up to the personal liability limit. Of course, since the risk of injury may be higher with construction activities, it’s a good time to review your limit of liability insurance. The additional cost for a higher limit – whether provided on your homeowners policy or with a separate personal umbrella policy – is surprisingly low in most cases.

 

 

This article was prepared and made available to your agent by the Independent Insurance Agents of Texas, which is solely responsible for its content. Please read your insurance policy. If there is any conflict between the information in this article and the actual terms and conditions of your policy, the terms and conditions of your policy will apply. The Independent Insurance Agents of Texas is a non-profit association of more than 1,800 insurance agents in Texas, dedicated to helping its members succeed, in part of providing technical resourced that explain insurance policies sold to their customers.

 

Sincerely,


Robert Monaghan, CIC, AAI
Executive Vice President / Sales Manager
Hibbs-Hallmark & Company