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Who Needs NY Workers Compensation Insurance?

New York law requires that all employers carry a form of NY workers compensation insurance to protect employees in the event that an accident occurs at the workplace. Although there are exceptions to this rule, they are very limited. All employees including full-time, part-time, and family members who are employed will be covered under the business’s workers comp policy, so be sure to include all employees’ payroll on your policy application.

It is important to provide the correct payroll amounts for each employee when submitting an application for workers comp insurance to assure you are receiving the best possible premium rate. Premiums are calculated by using the payrolls given times a standard classification rate provided by the state. These rates are determined by what type of job your employee will be doing at work. Clerical employees have a much lower rate than, say, roofing construction workers. Clerical employees usually stay within an office and don’t prove to be very risky. Roofers, on the other hand, are up on high places in the elements for days on end. The lower the risk, the lower the class rate will be.

If your company is an LLC or a Sole-Proprietary, be sure to have documentation from all outside sub-contractors so you won’t be charged with their payroll. Many times, accidents at the workplace happen and are wrongfully charged to a contractor simply because they can not produce proof of insurance for the injured party. An employer who fails to produce proof of insurance can be charged a penalty of $2000 per every 10 day period of non-compliance, plus the actual award. There could also be a penalty if the Board deems it necessary for noncompliance with the law. To reduce fines and unnecessary paperwork, require documentation from your sub-contractors before any work is started and be sure your NY workers compensation policy coverage is adequate.


Governor Announces NY Works Project

NY Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a $1.89 million NY Works investment for building five flood control system and dam repair projects. New York residents have had a year of wild weather, and those who had New York property insurance in place are probably thankful if they were eligible for financial compensation.

NY Works is aimed at rebuilding dam and flood control systems. Expected benefits of the project include job creation and better protective measures for people and property including updates to aging infrastructure, with a focus on dams and flood control systems in the Mohawk Valley Region. These will effectively create preventative measures for floods and overfilling dams. The project is expected to create of tens of thousands of new jobs.

Some of the most extreme weather events to occur in recent times include Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, which caused significant damage in the state of New York. Many residents in the Mohawk Valley were affected by the resulting floods. The NY Works Task Force will oversee the projects.

While the Governor’s announcement is excellent news for NY residents, it’s always important not to forget flood and hurricane coverage when you take out New York property insurance. Contact us for more information on insurance for your NY property.


US Apartment Rental Vacancy Rate At Decade Low

According to a recent report by Reuters, many people are choosing to rent over home ownership. New York City, with the largest U.S. apartment market, saw rental vacancy rates fall to 2 per cent. For those lucky enough to find a rental property during this time, getting the right New York renters insurance can offer financial protection against accidental damage.

According to the Reuters news report, figures for the latest quarter across the nation show that apartment vacancy rates were the lowest they have been since the fourth quarter of 2001, falling 0.30 percentage points to 4.9 per cent. This figure can be contrasted with the cyclical high at the end of 2008, when the average vacancy rate was 8 percent. While this may drive up rents in the short run, rent growth in many areas is likely to stabilize as new units come on to the market. Up to 200,000 new apartments are expected to be built in the next year.

Given the low rental vacancy rate for apartments, renters may be looking for alternatives. For renters looking for alternatives to apartments, share housing or renting a single room or suite in a house could be options to consider. Duplexes or rental flats are another option, and they often come with shared or private backyards and separate utilities.

Whatever way you rent, you should obtain New York renters insurance, as this may provide financial compensation in the event of loss or damage. Contact a local agent about finding a suitable and affordable policy before moving in to your new rental.


Managing Your New York Commercial Property

Managing a commercial property requires good organization, communication, and financial management skills. Many property owners enlist the assistance of professional property managers who take care of vital elements. These might include obtaining the right New York property insurance, liaising with tenants, and conducting inspections. Property managers may help save time and allow owners to access expertise and experience for dealing with problems. However, some owners do manage their own property affairs.
Effective advertising and marketing allows property owners to attract prospective tenants. Many property managers use a screening process through formal applications to identify an appropriate tenant. As a property owner, once you’ve found a tenant, the lease documentation can be finalized along with the security deposit. It’s important to have your lease document carefully checked by a qualified professional if you’re unsure about the terms and conditions.

Managing your commercial property will also include regular rental reviews, maintenance and repairs of the building, and conducting regular inspections to check that the property is in good condition. In event of a dispute with tenants, it’s useful to seek professional advice if you have any doubts about your rights and obligations.

Manage risk and damage to your commercial property by taking out the appropriate New York property insurance. Discuss you requirements with an insurance agent to obtain a clear idea about the type of coverage or insurance that’s suitable for your commercial property.


How a Hazard Management Plan Could Save you Money

With tough economic times, many businesses are looking to reduce their costs. Although cutting back on essential insurance coverage is never recommended, reducing the number of claims made on your workers compensation in New York may help you reduce the cost of your insurance premiums overall.

One great way to keep your workers safer and potentially reduce the number of claims made on your workers’ compensation policy is by creating a hazard management plan. A hazard management plan is a document which identifies all the potential hazards that could impact your staff and determines what steps you can take to reduce the risk.

To create a hazard management plan you first need to identify what the potential hazards are in your workplace. Take a walk around the building and take into consideration factors such as noise levels, extremes of heat and cold, dust, the set up of equipment and desks and any manual handling tasks which could lead to injuries. Once you have determined the hazards that threaten your employees, you can work out how you can reduce them and keep your employees safer.

Safeguarding your employees is important for their well being, and also for the future of your business. Working in a safe environment can help encourage loyalty and decrease absenteeism. You may also be able to enjoy a reduction in your claims to workers compensation in New York as a result!


How Can You Help American Red Cross Work?

Hearing news of an extreme weather event that affects a whole community or region often prompts people to review their home insurance coverage, no matter where they live. There’s nothing like graphic TV footage of devastation and suffering to remind us of the potentially destructive power of natural forces like wind, water and earth tremors.

While home insurance, earthquake insurance and flood insurance may compensate for the financial consequences of a disaster, in the immediate aftermath of a disastrous event, people need shelter, food, clothing and emotional support. The American Red Cross provides practical relief services for people who have been affected by catastrophic events.

Although many people think it is a government agency, the American Red Cross is actually a charity, and depends on donations and volunteers in carrying out its relief work. While the work of the American Red Cross in large-scale disasters is often widely publicized, much of the organization’s day-to-day operations involve supporting victims after incidents such as house fires, which might only affect single families.

To provide its vital services, the American Red Cross relies on the generosity of citizens. People can support the organization’s relief work in many ways. In addition to making donations of blood or money, anyone can consider offering time to serve their local New York community as a volunteer.


Insurance Could Be a Good Idea for New York Renters

We understand that if you’re a tenant who has recently signed a lease on a New York apartment, insurance may not be at the top of your priority list right now. Having only just paid security deposits for your lease and utility services, you may have put off the purchase of renter’s insurance and flood insurance. NY time flies, especially when you are in the throes of moving to a new apartment and learning your way around a new neighborhood, so spare some time to consult an insurance agent soon.

Renters insurance is designed to protect renters if their belongings are stolen or lost in a disastrous event like a house fire. Flood insurance is available through the National Flood Insurance Program, and provides coverage for possessions lost and damaged because of flooding. It’s important to remember that your landlord’s insurance does not cover your personal property.

Naturally, you will be keen to weigh up the cost of having to replace your furniture and other personal possessions against the cost of renter’s insurance and flood insurance. NY insurance professionals in our agency will be pleased to obtain a variety of competitive insurance quotes to help you decide on the insurance policies that offer the best value.


Take Precautions When Banking Cash

Over recent years, banks have adopted enhanced security measures to foil robbers. Owners of retail stores in New York may need to look at procedures for handling cash to ensure that their employees do not become the target of thieves, particularly when carrying cash to banks. Being attacked by a robber might result in injury or death, and is likely to cause serious psychological distress even if no physical harm has been done.

New York employers are required to carry workers’ compensation to provide coverage for employees who suffer a work-related injury, including as a result of an assault or robbery in the course of their duties. Although workers’ comp insurance may provide financial protection for your workers, it’s important to work proactively to protect your employees from the attention of people who may be keen to get their hands on your hard-earned money.

• Avoid keeping more cash in your store than is necessary

• Bank cash regularly, but avoid having a set routine. Vary the routes and times that cash is taken to the bank, and rotate the task of banking between different employees.

• When carrying cash to the bank, avoid using a bank bag. Use a plain bag, so that it is less conspicuous.

• Remind staff to be cautious and alert to their surroundings when they carry cash to the bank.

Practical precautions like these may help to protect the personal security of your staff. You may wish to consider engaging the services of a professional cash collection agency if your business has large amounts of cash to be banked and find out about insurance coverage for cash in transit.


Seek Advice Before Investing In An Untested Business

Starting a new business in New York is not just a matter of having a brilliant business idea, and finding customers or clients. Carefully consider the business risks of your enterprise, before you open the door to your retail store, hang your shingle outside your office or launch your e-commerce website. Unless you are satisfied that it will be profitable, don’t risk investing in your business venture, and if you decide to launch your business, be sure that you protect your investment by purchasing workers compensation, New York, business insurance and other coverage.

As part of your planning for a new business, you will have considered its potential costs and income. However, unless you have a strong financial background, you may be unaware of many of the costs and regulatory requirements of running a business.

There’s a risk that your enthusiasm for your business idea, and inexperience in financial matters, could lead to over-optimistic financial forecasts that do not take into account issues such as price-cutting by competitors, or changes in interest rates. All these things could have a significant impact on cash flow. It’s prudent to seek financial advice from an accountant, and financial advisor, who will review your figures and offer advice about the sustainability of your business model.

By purchasing insurance coverage for risks such as liability and workers compensation New York, entrepreneurs protect their business investment and working capital from being eroded by accidents and mishaps. Entrepreneurs who are considering investing in a new business venture should make a point of having business cost and income projections reviewed by an independent financial professional.


Basic Insurance for New York Businesses

A Business Owner’s Policy (BOP) is a handy package that provides basic insurance cover. BOPs are popular with NY entrepreneurs because the policies meet many of the insurance needs of a small business at “package deal” prices. But there are other types of cover that may need to be added to a BOP, to protect your business properly. You might also need separate policies, such as flood insurance.

The various elements of a BOP can be customized to suit the needs of different business enterprises. Protection may include property coverage for property losses, business interruption coverage in the event of a temporary closure of the business premises because of an insured disaster, and liability coverage, in case someone who has an accident on your premises files a lawsuit.

While a BOP provides some protection for a range of common risks that small businesses face, entrepreneurs may need to purchase additional separate coverage depending on their situation. Auto insurance coverage and workers’ compensation insurance may be required. Flood insurance is probably a wise idea to protect business assets in the event of floodwater damage. This type of coverage needs to be purchased separately to a BOP, and is particularly important if your business is located in a flood-prone area of New York.

Because floodwaters can rise quickly, it’s important to have an evacuation plan in place for your business. This might include putting essential equipment up high if you have warning of a flood, or if waters rise suddenly, in the case of a flash flood in heavy rain, it might be wise to have a plan to get workers safely out of the building.

While purchasing a BOP can simplify insurance management for an entrepreneur, insurance is still a complex area. Call us if you would like to discuss a BOP, or other insurance products that can help protect your business investment.