Factors Increasing Commercial Auto Insurance Rates

Whether they’re transporting materials and tools to worksites, hauling goods for deliveries or driving to meet clients—companies of all kinds rely on safe and functioning vehicles to serve customers and generate profit. As such, commercial auto insurance has become invaluable for any business that operates vehicles as part of their operations.

However, exposures related to commercial auto insurance are vast, and a number of industry changes, as well as the frequency and severity of claims, have had a significant impact on carriers in the space. In fact, many carriers are finding it difficult to maintain profitability for commercial auto insurance and, in turn, are passing the uptick in cost along to insureds.

It’s not uncommon for businesses to see year-over-year rate increases even when they hire safe drivers and have a clean loss record. But, the truth is that claims history is just one piece of the puzzle, and a number of high-level trends affect commercial auto insurance rates. This Coverage Insights will examine some of the trends driving up the cost of commercial auto insurance.

+Distracted Driving Incidents

While many factors can lead to a crash (e.g., impaired driving, poor road conditions and adverse weather), distracted driving is one of the most common causes of accidents. As these incidents have become more common, insurance rates have climbed in tandem, creating a risk management challenge for insureds and a profitability challenge for insurance carriers that sell commercial auto insurance.

Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicates that every year, up to 391,000 people are injured and 3,450 people are killed in crashes involving distracted drivers. Distracted driving reduces awareness, decision-making and performance—increasing the likelihood of driver error, near-crashes or crashes.

Distracted driving is an ongoing safety concern for organizations that use vehicles as part of their operations—a concern that continues to impact the cost of coverage for businesses across the board.

+Accident Costs

The overall cost associated with vehicle collisions has climbed significantly in recent years. While the financial impact of individual accidents can vary based on the severity of a collision, steep medical and repair costs continue to drive up the cost of claims overall.

Increasing Medical Costs

In general, medical costs have been rising steadily over the past number of years. In fact, losses for bodily injury liability insurance claims increased 10% over a five-year period alone. These increased costs have affected multiple lines of insurance, including commercial auto insurance.

Following an accident, injuries for all of those involved can vary in severity. It’s not uncommon for the injuries of those involved in an accident to require multiple doctor visits or even surgery, which can extend recovery time and influence the cost of claims.

Increasing Vehicle Repair Costs

Technological advancements have made vehicles safer and more efficient. However, as commercial vehicles are outfitted with a variety of sophisticated components (e.g., backup cameras and blind-spot cameras) they are becoming increasingly expensive to repair.

According to a report from AAA, vehicles equipped with driver assistance systems often cost twice as much to repair as those that aren’t. As such, losses associated with a collision are much more substantial, leading to rate increases and creating numerous challenges for insurers.

+Driver Shortages

According to the American Trucking Associations, approximately 160,000 commercial driver positions will go unfilled in the next decade. This ongoing shortage has placed a substantial burden on businesses, often forcing them to hire less experienced drivers.

Not only does this increase the potential for accidents and subsequent claims, but it has also made businesses more costly to insure. And with no end in sight to the driver shortage, businesses will need to train drivers effectively and ensure their company makes road safety a priority.

+More Vehicles on the Road

According to industry experts, there are more drivers on the road than ever before. Additionally, industry demand is on the rise, and drivers are logging added miles in order to make deliveries and meet employer demands. Together, this means a higher number of drivers are on the road for longer periods of time, increasing the likelihood of an accident.

 

+Litigation Trends

Simply put, auto liability claims are increasing in both frequency and severity year over year. This is occurring for a number of reasons, including the following:

        • Litigation funding—Litigation funding is when a third party provides resources to attorneys to finance a lawsuit. In exchange, the third party receives a portion of the settlement. This is becoming more common in auto liability claims and often increases the cost of litigation overall, sometimes to seven figures.
        • Claim severity—Settlement verdicts for bodily injury claims have been rising steadily. As a result, attorneys are more inclined to go to trial. This extends litigation and significantly raises the cost to defend a claim.

These facts depict an expensive and litigious environment for businesses involved in auto liability claims. In turn, insurers have a lower appetite for risk, making it difficult for employers to secure low rates.

Securing Affordable Coverage

While it can feel like the factors influencing the cost of coverage are out of a business’s control, there are things policyholders can do to secure better rates.

Organizations should have a strong understanding of their exposures and regularly examine the root causes of collisions and similar commercial auto concerns. Additionally, businesses should seek the help of a qualified insurance broker with a deep understanding of their operations and effective risk management strategies.

Contact Anastasi Insurance Agency, Inc. today to learn more.

 

Seven Insurance Policies for Small Businesses

With so many different types of insurance to choose from, it can be overwhelming to determine what type is best for your small business. Anastasi Insurance Agency, Inc. is here to help explain the types of insurance policies available and how they can help protect you, your employees and your business’s bottom line.

Commercial Property Insurance

In the case of a catastrophic event such as a fire, explosion, burst pipe, storm or theft, commercial property insurance compensates you for losses or damage to your building, leased or owned equipment, and other property on the premises. In fact, commercial property insurance can cover items such as furniture, inventory, computers and anything that would be considered necessary for performing normal business operations.

Commercial property insurance is typically purchased as a stand-alone policy or as part of a comprehensive business owner’s policy that includes property and general liability coverage. Commercial property insurance is offered on either a replacement cost or actual cash value basis.

  • Replacement cost: Pays the cost to replace or repair the damaged property with materials of like kind and quality, without any deduction for depreciation.
  • Actual cash value: Pays the cost to repair or replace the damaged property, minus depreciation.

General Liability Insurance

General liability insurance policies typically cover an organization for claims involving bodily injuries and property damage resulting from its products, services or operations. What’s more, this form of insurance can help cover medical expenses and attorney fees resulting from bodily injury or property damage claims for which your organization may be legally responsible.

General liability insurance policies typically have four coverage elements:

Premises liability covers you in the event that a person who is not employed at your business becomes injured on your property. If someone sued your business because they tripped and fell on your property, liability insurance can help cover those expenses.

Products liability covers you if a product or service causes injury to someone’s body or inflicts damage on a consumer’s personal property. If you’re a tech company that broke a customer’s computer while performing a service on it, those damages could be covered.

A personal injury is when your business inflicts a physical, financial or mental injury to a third party. For instance, let’s say you take action in detaining someone who you had reason to believe was stealing from your store. If it turns out your accusations are false and the person decides to sue you, you’d be covered under your general liability policy.

Advertisement injuries are caused by alleged misinformation, copyright infringement or slander made by your company. If you were advertising a product that claimed it could help clear acne and it ended up making a consumer’s acne worse, that could be considered an advertisement injury.

Overall, a general liability policy is beneficial for covering any medical bills or legal costs that accrue if the injured third party decides to sue your business.

Employment Practices Liability

Employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) is a form of insurance that covers wrongful acts that occur during the employment process. The most frequent types of claims covered under an EPLI policy include claims of discrimination, wrongful termination, sexual harassment and retaliation.

These policies will reimburse your company against the costs of defending a lawsuit in court, and for judgments and settlements. EPLI covers legal costs, whether your company wins or loses the suit. However, these policies typically do not pay for punitive damages, or civil or criminal fines.

Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ compensation is important in the event that an employee suffers a work-related injury or illness. This type of insurance is required in most states and is used to cover medical bills or wage replacement for employees who experience a work-related injury.

For example, if a worker pulled a back muscle at work and was unable to perform their duties, workers’ compensation would help in covering any physical therapy costs as well as compensating the employee for any lost wages.

Having worker’s compensation insurance can also protect your business from civil suits made by employees against your company related to their injuries.

Cyber Liability Insurance

If any part of your business is on an online platform, it is crucial to obtain cyber liability insurance. This type of coverage can protect your business from a cyber attack or interruption that can cause a loss in data, revenue and the trust between you and your customers. Cyber liability insurance is not only there to protect the internal information of your company, such as employees’ social security or financial information, but it also protects your customers’ personal and banking information.

Most cyber liability policies include both first- and third-party coverage:

  • First-party coverage is for the business itself— helping the business recover from any losses after a cyber attack.
  • Third-party coverage is to cover claims by people who have been injured because of your business being hacked.

Restoring compromised or lost data can be very costly, so cyber liability insurance is there to help cover financial losses to your business and the costs of claims made against your company by clients or other third parties who were affected.

 

Commercial Auto

Commercial auto insurance helps cover the costs of an auto accident if you or an employee is at fault. This coverage can help pay for damaged property and medical expenses.

Your business should consider a commercial auto policy if any of the following are true:

  • Your business owns, leases or rents vehicles such as cars, trucks or vans.
  • Your business has employees who drive their own vehicles to conduct business.
  • Your business has employees who operate leased, rented or owned company vehicles.

Professional Liability Insurance

Professional liability insurance, also known as errors and omissions (E&O) insurance, can protect your business against claims that a service you provided caused a client to suffer due to a mistake on your part or because you failed to perform a service.

Professional liability insurance can cover the cost of defending your business in a civil lawsuit for an alleged error or omission. What’s more, depending on your industry, professional liability insurance may be required by law.

While many types of businesses need professional liability insurance, you should especially consider this type of insurance if your business works directly with customers while providing services.

Contact Anastasi Insurance Agency, Inc. to help you analyze your needs and decide on the right coverage for you and your growing business.

IRP Renewal – CHECKLIST

This is a great resource to use to make sure you have everything you need to renew your IRP plates or to add/amend your vehicles.

IRP Checklist

We understand that renewing your IRP plates can be confusing and time consuming. We are here to make the process much easier, as we walk you through the entire process. This is something not all agencies do, this is just one of the things that make us stand out from the rest.

We put Your Business First…

Feb 2020 Massachusetts Hands-Free Driving Law – 4 Things You Need To Know

Feb 2020 Massachusetts Hands-Free Driving Law – 4 Things You Need To Know

Effective Sunday, February 23, 2020

Massachusetts newly enacted Hands Free Driving law amends M.G.L. c. 90, § 13B and states that, “No operator of a motor vehicle shall hold a mobile electronic device” or “use a mobile electronic device unless the device is being used in hands-free mode.” The statute defines “hands-free mode” as use without the user holding or touching the device except to initiate the hands-mode feature of the device

1. Emergency Use Definition:
The law which applies to both operators of motor vehicles and bicycles does allow “emergency” use of a hand-held device to report that:

⦁ The vehicle was disabled;
⦁ Medical attention or assistance was required;
⦁ Police intervention, fire department or other emergency services were necessary for the personal safety of the operator or a passenger or to otherwise ensure the safety of the public;
⦁ A disabled vehicle or an accident was present on a roadway.

2. Big Fines:
A first-time violation with result in a $100 fine, a second offense will be a $250 fine, followed by a $500 fine for a third or subsequent offense

3. Insurance costs will rise:
The first or second offense is not categorized as a “surchargeable incident”, a third or more will be raise your insurance by hitting you with a surcharge. You will also be required to complete an education program after your 2nd offense.

4. Grace Period:
Although the law will take effect on February 23, 2020, first-time violators cited from February 23, 2020 until March 31, 2020, will receive warnings.

If you would like to learn more about the law – click here.

 

At Anastasi Insurance, we keep you up to date on everything that affects your insurance. Contact us today if you have any questions.

Benefits of OSHA’s On-site Consultation Program 

While maintaining workplace health and safety is a top priority for most businesses, it can be a challenge. This is particularly true for smaller companies that lack the time, knowledge and resources to appropriately address the hazards that threaten their workers and business the most. To help these organizations identify and mitigate health and safety concerns, OSHA created the On-site Consultation Program.

This free, confidential service gives small and midsized businesses direct access to risk control advice. Through the On-site Consultation Program, employers can discover potential hazards at their worksites, improve their occupational safety and health management systems, and even qualify for a one-year exemption from routine OSHA inspections.

 

The service is offered through state governments using highly trained professionals. Most consultations take place on-site, though limited services away from the worksite are also available. In addition, no citations or penalties are issued during the consultation process.

 

Confidentiality is maintained during the consultation process. The consultant will only report hazard information to OSHA if the employer fails to correct an imminent danger or serious hazards.

 

Above all, enrolling in the On-site Consultation Program can help organizations:
 Recognize and remove hazards in their workplace.
 Protect workers from injury and illness.
 Educate employees on workplace hazards and encourage them to take ownership of workplace safety.
 Improve employee morale.
 Comply with federal and state safety and health requirements.
 Increase productivity rates and assure product quality.
 Decrease workers’ compensation costs.

 

Because the service is voluntary, employers have to submit a request in order to receive a consultation. To do this, you will need to find your local program’s office using OSHA’s Consultation Directory. Once a consultant is assigned to you, they will discuss your specific needs and set up a visit date based on your work schedule and the time needed to appropriately assess your business’s risks.

 

To learn more about the program and the consultation process, click here.

 

The staff at Anastasi Insurance understands the many pressures facing a small business owner today and your need for fast accurate results. From juggling the needs of employees and customers to managing cash flow and staying ahead of intense competition, we are in a unique position to help you evaluate the cost of assuming risk or transferring that risk to an insurance company or surety. Contact us today.

Does Your Auto Insurance Cover Rental Cars?

Does Your Auto Insurance Cover Rental Cars?

When renting a car, the rental company will typically ask if you’d like to purchase insurance coverage for the vehicle. It’s at this point when you have to ask yourself: Do my personal insurance policies provide the coverage I need, or should I purchase insurance through the rental car company?

Although standard auto insurance policies may extend to rented vehicles, you should never assume you are protected. Examining your own auto insurance policy will show you the types of coverage you already possess and where additional coverage may be needed. Since auto policies differ, it’s a good rule of thumb to contact your broker so they can help you navigate your policy and determine if you have the appropriate amount of coverage when renting a vehicle.

Examining Your Insurance Policies

When deciding whether or not your personal insurance will cover your rental car, there are a few different coverages you should have. If you answer yes to all of the following questions, you may not need to purchase additional coverage:

  • Do you have liability, collision or comprehensive car insurance? Liability, collision and comprehensive insurance are the three main coverage options available when purchasing car insurance. Although it is not always required to purchase all three coverages, they can optimize your protection in the event of an accident.
    • Liability insurance provides coverage if you damage or injure another person or their personal property.
    • Collision insurance provides coverage if your vehicle is involved in a collision, either with another vehicle or object.
    • Comprehensive insurance provides coverage if your car is damaged by a variety of exposures such as theft, vandalism or natural disasters.

 

  • Does your policy cover administrative fees, loss of use or towing charges? It’s always a good idea to check see whether your insurance company pays for—or provides a rider for—additional fees associated with rental cars. This coverage can be helpful if a car you rent is lost, stolen or damaged.
  • Do you have a renters or homeowners policy that will cover your belongings if lost or damaged? Your homeowners or renters insurance policy covers your personal belongings from theft, fire or vandalism within your home. Policies often include off-premises coverage that can extend your coverage to outside your residence. Therefore, if personal belongings in your vehicle are stolen or damaged, your homeowners or renters insurance policy may be able to cover a percentage of your losses. Not all insurance carriers will extend coverage to protect personal belongings within your vehicle—always check with your broker to see what your renters or homeowners policy covers.

 

What Is Rental Car Insurance, and What Does It Cover?
Car rental companies provide additional coverage that is often used to supplement insurance you already possess.

Rental car agencies offer four different coverage options:

  1. Supplemental liability insurance: Most car rental companies need to have the minimum amount of liability coverage required by the state, but oftentimes it isn’t an adequate amount of coverage. If you have a personal car insurance policy with a high liability limit, you may not need additional protection.
  2. Loss damage waiver (LDW)/collision damage waiver (CDW): This is not insurance per se, but rather a document that can alleviate your financial responsibility should your rental vehicle be damaged or stolen. This also includes loss of use coverage if the rental company charges you for the amount of time the car could not be used while being repaired, as well as other administrative fees the car rental agency assesses. The LDW may become void if the incident occurred from the driver of the rented vehicle exhibiting reckless behavior, speeding or the vehicle being driven on unpaved roads.
  3. Personal accident insurance: This will cover the driver and any passengers within the rented vehicle for any medical bills caused by a car crash. This coverage is useful if you do not already have health insurance or personal injury protection insurance.
  4. Personal effects coverage: This covers any personal belongings that are stolen from the rental vehicle. If you already have renters or homeowners insurance, this may already be covered under your policy.
    The coverages offered are oftentimes the same as what you already have for your personal car insurance. Again, to avoid paying for coverage you already have, review your policy before renting a vehicle.

Does Your Credit Card Provide Rental Insurance?
Many reputable credit card companies offer rental insurance to their customers. To utilize this secondary form of coverage, you must put the total amount of the car rental on your credit card. In many cases, credit card companies will also require you to deny any insurance offered by the car rental agency in order to access their coverage. In the event that your rental car is in a covered incident, the credit card company will help cover costs of damage or theft up to a certain dollar amount. Various rental car fees can be covered by your credit card, but this can vary by provider.

Before purchasing any additional coverage through the car rental facility, call your credit card company to see if your card offers car rental insurance. Since most credit card rental insurance is classified as a secondary form of coverage, you may need to rely on your personal auto insurance coverage first.

Ask About Your Policy
Deciding on your rental car coverage can be a tricky endeavor. Before purchasing any extra coverage, talk to your insurance broker about your personal auto insurance policy and whether you may need to purchase any additional insurance. No one wants to pay more for their auto insurance, and you shouldn’t have too.

If you have any questions or are unsure if rental vehicles are covered under your policy, contact Anastasi Insurance Agency, Inc. today.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Publishes Hours of Service Proposal to Improve Safety and Increase Flexibility for Commercial Drivers

FMCSA Unveils Proposed Changes to Hours-of-Service Rules

On Aug. 14, 2019, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published its much-anticipated notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on changes to hours of service (HOS) rules. In the NPRM, the FMCSA revealed five HOS revisions that, if implemented, could affect commercial motor vehicle drivers and their employers.

The FMSCA claims that this proposal is crafted to improve safety on the nation’s roadways while providing commercial drivers more flexibility. The proposed rule would not increase driving time and would continue to prevent CMV operators from driving for more than eight consecutive hours without at least a 30-minute change in duty status.

Proposed Changes to the 30-minute Break Rule
Under the FMCSA’s proposed rule, there would be increased flexibility for the 30-minute break rule by tying the break requirement to eight hours of driving time without an interruption for at least 30 minutes, and allowing the break to be satisfied by a driver using on-duty, not driving status rather than off-duty status.
The FMCSA predicts that this proposal would have no adverse effect on drivers because drivers would still be constrained by the 11-hour driving limit and would continue to receive on-duty/non-driving breaks from driving tasks.

The Sleeper-berth Exception
The proposed rules would also modify the sleeper-berth exception to allow drivers to split their required 10 hours off duty into two periods:

⦁ One of at least seven consecutive hours in the sleeper berth; and

⦁ Another period of not less than two consecutive hours, either off-duty or in the sleeper berth.

This change could lead to increased use of sleeper berths because drivers using a berth would have two additional hours to complete 11 hours of driving by virtue of excluding the shorter rest period from the calculation of the 14-hour driving window.

Off-duty Breaks
The change would allow one off-duty break of at least 30 minutes, but not more than three hours, that would pause a truck driver’s 14-hour driving window. For this to apply, the driver would have to take 10 consecutive hours off-duty at the end of the work shift.

The FMCSA stated that drivers could use this time to:
⦁ Rest without penalty of losing time in their driving window;
⦁ Avoid traffic by waiting in a parking lot and increasing their vehicle miles traveled efficiency; or
⦁ Mitigate the effect on the 14-hour rule of long detention times by allowing driving later in the work shift.

One potential downside is that drivers could be driving in a longer driving window without restorative rest.

Adverse Driving Conditions Exception
The FMCSA is also proposing modifications to the adverse driving conditions exception by extending by two hours the maximum window during which driving is permitted.

Under the current rules, a driver may drive a commercial vehicle for no more than two additional hours beyond the maximum time allowed. However, this does not extend the maximum “driving windows.” This proposed change would potentially better reflect the impact of adverse-condition delays on drivers by adding two hours of driving and two hours to the driving window.

Short-haul Exception

The proposal also includes a change to the short-haul exception available to certain commercial drivers by lengthening the drivers’ maximum onduty period from 12 to 14 hours and extending the distance limit within which the driver may operate from 100 air miles to 150 air miles. This proposal could increase the number of drivers able to take advantage of the short-haul exception.

Next Steps

Industry stakeholders may comment on the proposed rules for 45 days. The Federal Register Notice, including how to submit comments, is available here. Following the comment period, the FMCSA will again consider those comments before issuing a final rule.

Remember, for the time being, these are proposed rules that are not yet in place. For more information, review the FMCSA’s press release on the proposal here.

A Guide to Creating and Updating Driver Qualification Files

When it comes to managing a fleet, there’s a lot to consider. Not only do you have to ensure every vehicle under your care is safe and operational, but there are also specific Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requirements you must follow in order to remain compliant and avoid potential fines. One complex and often overlooked requirement relates to driver qualification (DQ) files.

DQ files are critical documents motor carriers  are required to develop and maintain by law. These documents serve as proof that motor carriers are hiring qualified drivers and that those drivers are legally fit for the road throughout their years of service.

Motor carriers must have a DQ file for each one of their drivers—including owner/operators—regardless of how many drivers they have in their fleet. The FMCSA has very specific guidelines on the types of information carriers need to have in DQ files as well as how often that information needs to be reviewed. Failing to maintain DQ files as required by the FMCSA can trigger fines, audits or even lead to your business being placed out of service.

Further complicating matters, record retention is a common area of confusion when it comes to DQ files. Some aspects of your files are permanent, while others need to be updated on a continuous basis. Ensuring that your organization has DQ files in good standing for all of your drivers will save you valuable time and—most importantly—protect you should a claim be brought against one of your drivers.

As our insured, we make available to you a guide that is meant to provide a general overview of DQ files, highlighting what you need to have on hand for each of your drivers and how long you must retain those documents.

 

If you are interested in this guide, please contact our office.

Groups Petition OSHA to Add Official Standard for Heat Exposure

Although OSHA has established many standards to protect employees in the workplace, the agency doesn’t have any official regulations regarding everyday heat exposure.

According to the National Safety Council, nearly 250 people die from exposure to excessive temperatures every year, and many more experience injuries from heat exhaustion and heat stroke. As a result, over 130 organizations have recently petitioned OSHA to create a standard that provides at-risk employees with rest breaks, access to shade and other protections.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has recommended that OSHA create a heat standard three times—in 1972, 1986 and 2016. Even though OSHA has supported NIOSH’s framework for the standard and created heat exposure guidelines, the agency can only examine heat-specific hazards under its general duty clause for employers to provide a generally safe work environment.

All businesses need to take care to protect their workforces from dangerously high temperatures. Here are some strategies you can use to protect your employees from the heat:

  • Increase ventilation at your workplace by using air conditioning, setting up cooling fans or installing insulation around hot surfaces.
  • Encourage employees to download the OSHA-NIOSH heat safety tool on their iOS or Android smartphone.
  • Train employees on how to recognize the early signs of heat-related illnesses, such as red skin, nausea, confusion, heavy sweating, cramps and dizziness.
  • Schedule physical work during times when the temperature is lower, such as the early morning or late afternoon.
  • Make sure that your employees have access to water in their work areas, and encourage them to take small drinks every 15 minutes—even if they aren’t thirsty.
  • Let your employees take more frequent breaks as the temperature rises.
  • Keep in mind that anyone who hasn’t been exposed to excessive heat for a long period of time may need to allow extra time for their body to reacclimatize.

 

OSHA Releases New Resources to Help Businesses Comply With Silica Rule

OSHA’s new silica rule for the general industry recently went into effect, which lowered the permissible exposure limit for the substance to 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air (50 µg/m3) and requires employers to take other steps to protect employees. Now, the agency has released new tools to help employers comply with the new standard.

Many of the new materials focus on silica risks that are specific to the construction industry, which has had to adhere to the new standard since last year. Here’s an overview of the new OSHA resources:

 

OSHA Proposes Eliminating Forms 300 and 301 From Electronic Reporting Rule

OSHA has proposed rescinding two major parts of its electronic reporting rule in order to protect employees’ sensitive information. The agency also stated on its website that it’s no longer accepting electronic data from OSHA Forms 300 or 301, even though the change is still technically a proposal.

In the proposed rule, OSHA stated that the change will prevent sensitive personal information from being released under the Freedom of Information Act. The agency also noted that the effort of submitting Forms 300 and 301 is an unnecessary burden on employers given the uncertain benefits of obtaining the data.

Public health advocacy groups have challenged the proposal in court and argued that OSHA’s sudden move to state that it won’t accept data bypasses the rule-making process. Other lawmakers believe that OSHA should establish guidelines for submitting the forms without releasing personal information.

To see OSHA’s full notice of proposed rule-making, visit the Federal Register’s publication.

$10.5M in Grants Announced for Safety and Health Training

The Susan Harwood Training Grant Program recently received $10.5 million in grants to help support hands-on safety training. This OSHA program focuses on interactive training programs and other resources in order to help with safety training for small businesses, high-risk industries, temporary employees and more.

According to OSHA, the grants will help improve the development of quality training and prevent workplace hazards. The program also helps employers with limited training resources provide their employees with a way to identify hazards before they become a danger.

 

Anastasi Insurance Agency, Inc.

(508) 248-1440

www.anastasiinsurance.com

What is Storm Surge and How it Puts 10 States at Risk

The NOAA defines a Storm Surge as

the abnormal rise in seawater level during a storm, measured as the height of the water above the normal predicted astronomical tide. The surge is caused primarily by a storm’s winds pushing water onshore. The amplitude of the storm surge at any given location depends on the orientation of the coast line with the storm track; the intensity, size, and speed of the storm; and the local bathymetry.

 

Storm surges can be extremely dangerous as they usually happen after the area has suffered a severe weather event, that locals sometimes think that there is no more danger and they let their guard down.

The “2018 CoreLogic Storm Surge Report” includes the following takeaways for insurers and their policyholders living and doing business in affected states:

  • 9 million homes along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts are at risk for hurricane storm surge damage
  • Those homes have $1.6 trillion in potential reconstruction costs
  • Florida, Louisiana and Texas top the list of states with the most homes at risk

“While industry predictions for this year’s storm season indicate average activity levels, associated storm surge risk remains an important consideration for residential and commercial properties in the 19 states analyzed,” Dr. Tom Jeffery, senior hazard scientist at CoreLogic, said in a press release. “Depending on the location of a storm’s landfall and that area’s population density and reconstruction costs, lower Category storms can cause just as much damage as storms in higher categories.”

The following states are the most vulnerable to damage:


 

Making sure your property is adequately covered is critical in times like this. Give us a call to review your insurance to make sure there are no gaps.