StrategyDriven Risk Management Article

Insuring Your Bottom Line: Why Contractors Insurance is Necessary to Your Business

StrategyDriven Risk Management ArticleContracting occupations, like electrician, insulation worker, mason, plumber, roofer, carpenter, and painter, all have unique features, including risks. Clients and employees can get hurt and a contractor could be held liable and be left with costly medical bills. Where general liability insurance prove invaluable in addressing some of the common risks contractors may confront, contractor insurance can offer contracting business owners protections where expensive setbacks that deal with operations/product, errors, contract dispute could greatly affect their business. Let’s look at why contractors insurance is paramount to your business and complete liability protection.

General Liability Protection

This is the basis of all contractor insurance policies and covers two main types of protection:

  • Bodily injury: Provides for medical care for a contractor or someone injured by a contractor’s employee on the job, and also includes coverage for legal defense if a contractor is sued for damages.
  • Property damage: Provides coverage for damage caused to a property by a contractor or an employee, even damage to a third-party property.

Completed Operations/Product Coverage

Completed projects can have issues or cause damage and contractors insurance provides coverage for any products a contractor sell or distribute, and helps with the expenses for claims related to completed services, for example, poorly installed wall shelving that results in injury to the property owner.

Commercial Auto Coverage that Fits Your Business

If your contracting business requires the use of commercial vehicles for a part of its operation, then adding commercial auto coverage to your contractor insurance is a great way to protect your business against unforeseen accidents that may be related to road conditions, weather, or collision with other motorists. Coverage may include collision damage costs, medical expenses, and damage from a specific natural disaster.

Errors and Omissions Coverage

Taking a job with the intention to do impeccable work doesn’t always lead to that result. It is possible for errors to occur, like an electrical job error that result in a fire. With a contractor’s insurance that covers errors and omissions, you can protect you and your business from claims of negligent acts, errors or omissions during a project that causes a monetary loss for the client. This coverage may extend to business owner, employees, and subcontractors of the business.

Contract Liability Coverage

This coverage comes in handy in a contract dispute and is essential, especially if you regularly hire independent contractors who possess limited or no insurance coverage.

Workers’ Compensation Protection Coverage

Having workers’ compensation protection should be a smart addition to a contractor’s insurance. Employees are key players in your contracting business and worker’s compensation protection is beneficial if an employee gets injured on the job by helping to cover medical treatment, and may even provide a portion of lost wages if time off from work is required because of the injury.

Contractors insurance is necessary to protect your business, assets, and employees. General liability protection may not be enough to provide the peace of mind that you will need to continue daily operations when costly claims hit your business. Contractors should think about the types of protections that are beneficial to their business and acquire a policy accordingly.

StrategyDriven Risk Management Article

Stunning Strategies to Help Your Business Ace Health & Safety

StrategyDriven Risk Management ArticleHealth and safety needs to be a primary concern for any business in the world. If you don’t have the right health and safety mandates in place, you are going to suffer as a business. Nothing is as important these days as health and safety, and you need to make sure you have strong health and safety procedures in place. There are a lot of things you can do to ensure this, and it is vital for the business.

If you are compromised at all with health and safety, you are going to find that your business will be suffering from accidents, lawsuits, and a damaged reputation. This is why you need to do what you can to ensure you are the most safe and secure company you can possibly be. These strategies are going to go a long way toward helping you get the best health and safety mandate possible.

Understand Health & Safety

You have to understand how much health and safety matters in the world of modern business. It is important that you take a look at health and safety and understand what it is, and why it affects the business. Health and safety is how you protect your employees and the future reputation of the company. Businesses with poor health and safety mandates are the ones that wind up struggling.

Ensure Your Employees are Protected

It is also important that you make sure your employees are protected on a daily basis. This means that they need to be trained properly so that they understand what health and safety risks there are in the business. They also need to be taught what they can do to make themselves safer on a daily basis. It is also important for you to get online and look at what you can do to make the workplace safer. You might consider digital security, or here is some protective gear you may want to introduce into the business. Ensuring your employees are protected and kept safe is one of the best ways of acing health and safety.

Fire Drills are Important

You also need to do as much as you can to ensure you have proper drills in place. A fire drill is an essential part of the business health and safety mandate. If a fire breaks out in the business, this can be very destructive, so you need to know how to react in the event of a real fire. This is something that makes a fire drill so important for the business and will allow you to keep your staff safe, and the business assets protected.

Incident Reports

There are a lot of things you can do to improve the way you conduct health and safety in your business. But, one of the major things you can do is to keep logs and incident reports anytime something happens. This is important from a legal perspective, but you also need to refer back to it and understand why the incident might have occurred, as well as how you might be able to prevent it in the future.

As you can see, these are just a few of the wonderful strategies in place that you can use to help boost health and safety. Try to focus on what you can do to improve the working conditions for your employees, and make the working environment safer. These are some of the things that will go a long way toward helping you run the business faster.

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article

Why Your Business Needs Insurance

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship ArticleOwning a business can be very rewarding, but it’s a lot of hard work too. As a business owner, you are responsible for the well-being of your business, which includes managing employees, inventory and other assets. So what can you do to make sure you’re properly managing all of these assets and that your business is protected?

Commercial insurance is every business’s best friend. Whether something happens to your inventory or you need to pay worker’s compensation to an injured employee, commercial insurance can help you deal with it. In fact, everybody who owns a business should have some form of commercial insurance — and here’s why.

Legal Requirements

Although you aren’t necessarily required to insure your business, there are certain types of business insurance which you may be required to carry. Any business that has employees is required to carry worker’s compensation insurance. This type of coverage will pay for worker’s compensation claims if an employee is unable to work due to an injury.

Worker’s compensation coverage can cover a range of costs, from medical bills and bills associated with recovery to missed wages and funeral costs. Not only are you generally required to have worker’s comp coverage, it’s a smart idea to have it anyway since worker’s comp claims are usually quite large.

Protecting Your Inventory

If you run a brick-and-mortar business with a large amount of inventory that keeps your business afloat, lost or damaged inventory can be devastating. Even a small fire could significantly cut into your profits. When you have good business insurance, though, these losses are softened significantly. Many business insurance providers will even allow you to purchase a specific insurance policy for your line of business to make sure all of your industry-specific losses and perils are covered.

You can also purchase commercial vehicle insurance if you have a fleet of vehicles. If an employee gets into an accident on the job, damages to property and the vehicle may be covered.

Make sure you talk with your insurance agents about what you need to have covered. Different commercial insurance policies may only cover losses from certain events, in which case you may want to purchase additional coverage to protect yourself.

Downtime

Sure you may be young and spry when you start your business, but that can quickly change. If your business relies on you being around to make important decisions and handle managerial tasks, commercial insurance can cover you in the event that you become disabled or ill. This can be the difference between your business failing or staying afloat if something happens to you.

Liability

One of the toughest things for any business, whether large or small, is being held liable for the injury, illness or death of a consumer. Fortunately, business insurance with product liability coverage can help you absorb some of the damage. You can also purchase general and professional liability coverage to further protect your business in the event that it’s held liable for something.

Choose Wisely

Like any form of insurance, there are a lot of options when purchasing business insurance. It’s important to have some understanding of the different types of coverage and what your business needs before you buy. You don’t want to purchase coverage your business doesn’t need, but it’s crucial to make sure your business is covered.

Before you purchase a policy for your business, make sure you shop around with a few different providers to get an idea of the coverage they offer and the premium you’ll have to pay. Read reviews and ask around about different insurance companies and agents to make sure you’re getting the best coverage with the best service and price.

StrategyDriven Risk Management Article

Top Cyber IT Security Trends in 2018

StrategyDriven Risk Management ArticleThere are few businesses that don’t rely on the transmission of sensitive digital data in the course of their day to day operations and because of this, cyber security is an ongoing concern. Unfortunately, the businesses that are caught in the crosshairs are small to medium size enterprises, or SMEs, since most lack the financial resources to employ full-time IT staff. For those companies looking to keep their data secure in 2018, it helps to become familiar with what is trending in cyberspace security.

From there, owners and directors are in a better position to know how to protect their company’s sensitive data and that of any clients or customers who may also be harmed by even a single breach. Are you concerned over the data held on your computers and connected devices? If so, it pays to understand what you are up against.

Compliance with GDPR Regulations

Probably the biggest trend in cyber IT security is the newly launched GDPR regulations which are to be strictly adhered to by any member state of the EU. Also, anyone who does business with residents in the EU must be in compliance or face a stiff penalty. But, what are these regulations and why are they in place?

The first thing to understand is that the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is in place to provide necessary layers of security to digital data, especially during the transmission of this data. With such a growing concern over data breaches and dangerous system hacks, the EU devised a set of requirements which member states and anyone doing business with member states must adhere to. Summed up, these regulations include:

  • Consent must be given by subjects for the processing of data
  • Privacy is to be protected by keeping collected data anonymous
  • Notifications must be sent if there is a data breach
  • Data must be handled safely across borders
  • Certain companies are required to appoint a DPS (Data Protection Officer)
  • Compliance is mandatory

You will notice that “certain companies” are required to appoint a DPO and it will be this person who oversees the internal IT support necessary to keep data secure. However, SMEs are probably ‘exempt’ from this requirement based on size and company worth. This leads us to the next top cyber IT security trend.

Managed IT Services to Ensure Data Protection

Since it isn’t typically possible for small to medium size businesses to afford full-time IT support staff, a growing trend is to contract IT support providers that specialise in cyber security. Not only is it essential to keep a network up and running but the integrity of data is of ultimate importance to ensure compliance with GDPR. This is a growing trend, second only to understanding the basic guidelines which are to be followed. Even though most companies understand the rules, they are also unprepared for the technical applications which ensure compliance.

Another of the benefits of contracting IT support providers is that they can match your cyber security needs in a bespoke manner. Not all companies have the same needs and so a team of professionals can tailor your cyber security to the type of information stored, the places it is likely to be transmitted and keep any ‘risk’ factors to a minimum based on your system.

Putting AI to Work

Here is one specific task which will almost always need the services of IT professionals. Artificial Intelligence, AI, is on the cutting edge of cyber security. Now IT professionals are using AI to help them quickly identify possible threats without human intervention in order to prevent attacks before they happen. Bear in mind that cyber attacks happen so quickly that by the time anyone is aware that your system has been breached, it’s most often too late.

Then it becomes a matter of making patches to areas through which the hackers were able to gain access to your data. Unfortunately, there is a down side to this as well. There is some amount of concern that hackers will begin using AI because, as is the case with defense, machine learning can assist cyber criminals to find weak spots where doorways can be created. To date, no AI attacks have been noted, so cyber security teams are still one up on would-be criminals.

A Growing Emphasis on Patches

If there is anything the WannaCry ransomware attack taught us it would be the need to keep up to date with patches as they are released. In fact, statistics prove that there are more than 4,000 ransomware attacks daily and that WannaCry was responsible for at least 230,000 computers being attacked in a single day across more than 150 nations. The reason this particular ransomware attack was able to reach that many systems is because they failed to download and install the patch Microsoft released after recognising the hole.

These companies either didn’t understand the need for staying current with security patches or simply failed to do so based on time constraints of staff. When no one is in charge of IT security, someone needs to step away from their job to find a fix. This is often insufficient due to lack of knowledge and experience, so here again, it pays to use the services of IT support pros.

A Growing Need for Real Time Defense

Somehow the gap continues to grow between known malware and viruses and what anti-virus and anti-malware tools are able to protect in real time. As mentioned above, mutations of known malware and viruses are being released daily and it is almost impossible to keep up to date with the tools needed to guard against attack. However, that being said, IT security teams provide defence at the end-point so that they can check criminal behaviours before they impact your computer. Malicious behaviours are identified in real-time and stopped dead in their tracks before they are able to penetrate your computer.

Connected Devices Are a Growing Concern

Something else to look for in 2018 and beyond is a growing concern over the vulnerability of connected devices that are rolling out by the billions each and every day around the globe. The IoT is a wonderful boon for anyone seeking ease of use or remote access, but when it comes to the potential for hacking, they can be a real risk. Since each device is connected to your computer and through your computer to the network, hackers can now target the device in order to find a back door into your system. You will see a growing emphasis on IoT (Internet of Things) security in the coming years, but this one area is of high importance in 2018.

StrategyDriven Risk Management Article

How To Make Your Business Safer

As a business owner, you have an important responsibility to ensure the safety of everyone who works for you. Of course, there are always going to be times when accidents happen, but you need to take steps to reduce the odds of this happening. Anything negative or dangerous events which happen at your business and are your responsibility could end up being very destructive and damaging to it. So, let’s take a closer look at a couple of the ways that you can make your business safer for the benefit of both you and your employees.

Develop a Risk Management Policy

The risk management policy which you create for your business very much depends on the type of company that you are running. Obviously, there are some environments which are more dangerous than others, but you still need to take the proper safety precautions even if you just run an office environment. Your risk management program needs to be ongoing and adaptable. After all, there may be new risks which present themselves during the lifespan of your company.

To start off with, look at your current risk management program to see if there are any improvements which you could make to it. Have you set safety goals and are they measurable? Look to your managers and ask how committed they are to workplace safety. If they are not giving this aspect of your company the attention that it deserves, you need to ask why not and reiterate just how important it is to everyone. While everyone should have the same priorities when it comes to protecting staff members, you will probably want to have a few trusted staff members who can lead the initiative.

There are a number of factors involved in creating a risk management policy. First of all, you should conduct some inspections of your property to identify potential risks. You may decide that you need to invest in additional equipment and protective measures such as safety rails. It is worth having an inspection completed by a professional who knows what they are doing and can make recommendations. Be aware of any potential hazards around your work environment including faulty machinery, unsafe practices or things which could result in trips and spills. You also need to ensure that your employees are protected ergonomically and you have dedicated first aiders who can help to handle any emergency situations which may occur. If you have any vehicles which you use for business, these should all be fully insured and taxed.

Put Your Program into Effect

Once you have established your policy, you then need to take steps to put it into effect. To start off with, you should consult your key members of staff to tell them all about your safety practices. These in-person consultations will ensure that you are all on the same page. You should also offer safety training sessions to all your staff members. Provide them with any additional resources as required. It is also important that you have an open-door policy when it comes to offering suggestions from your staff members. After all, they are seeing a totally different side to your business and are well-placed to offer improvements and suggestions that could help you out in the long-run.

Choose the Right Insurance

As we mentioned at the start, you can have all the best measures in place, but sometimes, accidents may happen. For example, your business could suffer from a fire or another act of God which was impossible to predict. Therefore, it is important that you have the right insurance policies to protect you from a wide range of circumstances. If you are not sure what you need and what you don’t, it is always going to be worth consulting with a professional advisor who can steer you onto the right path. Insurance is the one thing that you want your business to have in times of need.

Making your business safer should be one of your main priorities as a responsible company owner. The points listed in this article give you a few of the main things to consider. Of course, every company is different, and you will need to come up with a health and safety policy which is bespoke to your business and covers a wide range of different circumstances and eventualities. When all else fails, it is important that you have the insurance measures in place to keep your business protected.