All posts by JAMA Insurance

Good Tips to Help You Float Your Boat

As the temperature rises, so does the urge to free the boat from winter storage and take it out on the water. Before you do, make sure you take care of some basic, routine maintenance that will help ensure your vessel is as ready for the waves as you are. After checking with your agent to ensure you have the right boat insurance in Westchester, head to the local marine shop to purchase the tools and supplies you need.

Start with a good wash, with cleaning products designed specifically for boats. It’s a great way to protect the finish on your boat, and it can actually reduce your fuel costs—considering that a dirty hull covered with algae, barnacles and the like can drain up to 30% of your fuel efficiency.

Change your oil

Four-stroke outboards, inboards and stern drive boats are much like cars in the sense that they need to have their oil changed regularly. Consult your mechanic or owner’s manual to find out the frequency specifically recommended by your boat manufacturer, but many experts say to count on performing an oil change at least once a year, or once for every 100 hours of engine operation.

If you’re at all mechanically inclined you can change the oil yourself. First, warm up the engine by letting it run for several minutes. Then turn off the engine, remove the oil drain plug to let the old oil run out; replace the oil filter and drain plug; pour in the required amount of new oil, making sure to use a good marine-grade quality product. This type of oil is made specifically for boat engines, which work much harder than automobile engines; auto oil is not intended for use in boat engines.

Check the propeller

While you’re at it, check the propeller on your outboard or stern drive boat for nicks, dents, fishing line that may have become wrapped around the shaft, and so on. Have any type of damage repaired before you hit the water, as even a small dent in the propeller can result in a 10% loss of engine performance, causing the engine to work harder and more fuel to be consumed. Finally, talk to your professional insurance agent, who can provide you with more information when it comes to boat insurance in Westchester.


Types of Condo Insurance Available to Owners

Insurance should probably be one of your primary concerns if you are in the market for a condominium unit. Much like homeowner’s insurance, condo insurance coverage is designed to protect an owner from property damage and from liability issues. However, the insurance needs for a condo do differ from those for a single-family house.


Think of a condo as an apartment that is owned rather than rented, since you have access to common areas, such as walkways, gardens, playgrounds, and trails. With a condo your ownership is confined to the interior of the unit you have purchased, so for this reason, your insurance requirements are limited to covering the contents in that interior space as well as your liability.


The rest of the condo complex is insured under a master policy, which is held by the condominium association. You’re paying indirectly for that condo insurance coverage via the fees you pay to the association, but your personal policy doesn’t need to cover areas outside your unit.


Property damage insurance offers protection to individuals


The primary type of condo insurance needed is property damage, which covers certain perils that might cause damage to your unit. A fire, lightning or hurricane damage, for example, could destroy the entire interior of your unit, so insurance is necessary. However, there are also certain exclusions under the policy that require additional insurance. Floodwater damage, for example, is not covered under basic property damage insurance.


Personal liability protects you when others get injured


If a friend or relative comes for a visit, slips on your kitchen floor, and breaks their leg and decides to sue you for negligence, personal liability insurance will cover any damages that must be paid out as well as your legal defense until the coverage is exhausted, which is why it is important to protect yourself from claims made against you.


Contents coverage for your valuables and belongings


A contents coverage policy is designed to protect such items as furniture, appliances, electronics, etc. (jewelry and other collectibles are insured up to a specific amount and should be scheduled and appraised for additional coverage). There are limits to contents coverage on your insurance policy, so make sure you purchase additional coverage for any valuable items that exceed these limits.


“Loss of use” is the final piece of the puzzle


If your condo is destroyed in a storm and you have to find somewhere else to live, even temporarily, until the damage can be repaired, then loss of use Massachusetts condo insurance coverage is available for this situation. It can also pay for other needs like property storage. There are different coverages for all aspects of your personal needs.


Do You Need Boat Insurance?

 The National Marine Manufacturers Association reports that in the year 2010 more than 75 million people participated in recreational boating in the United States. With so many people owning boats, driving boats, and riding on boats, it is important to think about boat insurance in Westchester when you purchase a water craft. Legally, you are not required to purchase boat insurance. Due to the fact that there are many risks associated with boating, however, it is an extremely wise idea to purchase some kind of boat insurance.

What Will Boat Insurance Cover?Boat insurance Westchester

 There are many different types of boat insurance in Westchester. Your policy will vary greatly depending on your needs. For example, a boat owner with a small sailboat requires a very different policy that someone who travels the seas in a yacht. Here is an idea of coverage you can request in your policy.

  • Liability in the event someone is injured on your boat or because of your boat
  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Accidents
  • Damaging weather and/or natural disasters
  • Towing insurance
  • Fire and flood
  • Personal property to cover fishing gear, water skis, and other valuables
  • Uninsured boater insurance

This is not a comprehensive list of the coverage you can receive when you purchase boat insurance in Westchester. You may not even need everything on this list. To determine what your boat insurance policy should include, contact an insurance company.


Workers Who Are Unfit or Unwell Can Complicate Workers Comp Claims

Operating an auto body shop is a physically demanding business, from the first car of the day that’s lifted on the hoist to the last car of the day that a worker has to crawl beneath. Injuries that occur on the job can happen at a moment’s notice—and when they do, other medical issues that are already present in the injured employee (such as diabetes, obesity, smoking-related illnesses, or otherwise poor physical health) can make for a lengthier and more difficult recovery, and result in a more costly vehicle repair workers compensation claim. This is particularly true in cases where the worker has sustained a severe injury that requires surgery.

For example, Mike at The Body Shop suffered a herniated disc when he slipped on a puddle of oil and took a hard fall on concrete. What’s complicating the matter is Mike’s fondness for chili cheese fries and deep-fried anything has him tipping the scales at close to 400 pounds, and the surgeon requires Mike to lose at least 75 pounds before he will operate on the herniated disc—a requirement that could easily add several months of temporary disability and doctor visits (not to mention tens of thousands of dollars) to the insurance claim. In most cases, a worker’s preexisting condition (such as Mike’s existing morbid obesity) does not exempt the employer from the requirement to cover the cost of medical care for the injury and offer insurance benefits until either the employee can return to work or the maximum benefits are exhausted.

To minimize complications like these, it’s important to adopt a wellness program at work and establish incentives to engage workers to take part in the program. Bottom line, employees who are in better health overall result in fewer health insurance claims and fewer vehicle repair workers compensation claims as well, which leaves more money in the business owner’s pocket. Talk to a professional insurance agent today about how a wellness program can reap physical and financial rewards for your shop.


Carrying the Correct Boat Insurance Policy

As the owner of a boat, you enjoy the luxury of having a watercraft to venture the high seas, for a fun cruise around the harbor, or to embark on a fishing expedition with friends or family. Owning a boat can be a lot of hard work, but it is also rewarding to be able to entertain others with the experience of seeing parts of the world that would be difficult to navigate without the use of some type of seaworthy vessel. But you need to also be aware that there are certain circumstances that can affect a boat insurance claim if you’re ever involved in AN accident.

If you are involved in a boating accident, and currently carry a Massachusetts boat insurance policy, your insurance company will carefully evaluate the circumstances that were involved in the accident and make a decision to pay the claim or not, based on those circumstance and any exclusions in your policy.

Potential claim problems for boat insurance

When you file a claim for a boating accident, the insurance company will try to determine if you were following laws and regulations regarding the operation of your boat. If, for instance, you were operating the boat while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs or alcohol, many insurance companies explicitly deny liability for the accident, and any damages or injuries that result from any accident resulting from these types of conditions. By violating these laws you have violated the terms of the boat insurance policy and they will generally not pay a claim under these circumstances.

Carrying the right type of insurance is of the utmost importance

Furthermore, if you are involved in a fishing boat accident, yet you have ski boat insurance, chances are highly likely that the insurance coverage may not pay your claim. Because there is a wide variance in the type of boat insurance coverage that is available, it is difficult to speak in general terms about what circumstances would or would not imperil a claim.

For example, most policies define natural perils as being those physical elements that expose your boat to the risk of loss. These include fire, water, wind and other natural occurrences. To the extent that you are imperiled from filing a claim depends on which, if any, natural peril is covered.

Therefore, you should always make sure that your particular boat insurance policy covers the type of outing you would be engaged in. As a precaution, you may want to consider a general liability policy that will cover you for any boat that you operate or are a passenger on.


Hip Fractures and Risk Management in Nursing Homes

The nursing home industry is brimming with all types of exposures that you, as an owner, must deal with on a daily basis. It is a very rewarding business as well, that of ensuring the safety and well being of your clients, many of whom are senior citizens in their golden years. It is an environment fraught with risk of all shapes and sizes. The pressures that drive these risks spring from regulations, the reimbursement system (Medicare and Medicaid) and many other factors and forces at work.

Hip Fractures a major concern

Keeping patients safe from injury is of the utmost importance and a high priority for nursing homes. There is, quite naturally on your part, the desire to sustain high levels of clinical care, but this goes hand in hand with the equally important need to protect patients from injury, from a financial point of view. There looms the potential adverse financial impact, which might result from the tarnishing of your reputation, which doesn’t bode well in the competitive environment of privately owned nursing homes. This type of damage can be significant, especially with hip fractures representing two out of every five fall-related injuries in nursing homes.

Therefore the prevention of hip fractures is understandably a critical and ongoing challenge for facilities and their caregivers. Given the limited success of fall-prevention programs, many facilities are increasingly turning to fracture-prevention strategies that include the use of hip protectors. External hip protectors are being considered for those elderly clients with higher-than-average risk factors for hip fractures, though some surveys are uncertain of their effectiveness.

Increased costs for inpatient care is a concern

A recent comprehensive study found the average cost for inpatient care for hip fractures occurring in nursing homes to have risen to an average of around $29,000 per episode (not including the significant additional costs associated with skilled nursing care). Of particular importance to risk managers, to say nothing of owners, is the likelihood that changes in Medicare payments that already disallow reimbursement for fall-related injuries that occur in hospitals may be extended to nursing homes in the future as well.

Given the overall economic challenges of managing long term care facilities, this should provide an even greater incentive for reducing the incidence of fall related injuries, in particular hip fractures, in nursing homes.

You rely on your staff to do their best to avert situations where falls are likely to occur. Proper safety training and constantly updating safety procedures and techniques is a proactive way to keep personnel apprised of what needs to be done in any given situation. Providing quality care is the cornerstone of any good risk management for nursing homes.


Contractors Insurance and Safety on the Job Site

The only way to stay competitive in the contracting business is by controlling costs. Everything you require, from labor to materials and equipment, must be cost-effective. This means your contractors insurance protection should be cost effective as well. Helping you identify hazards and prevent losses on the job site provides you with the tools to control your insurance costs.

Preventing losses on the job site is vital

Always use employment applications and check references of prospective employees. You will need to provide written safety rules and be sure to enforce them. Safety rules should be based on OSHA, or other government agency safety requirements and accepted industry practices. Areas of particular concern include:

  • Employees should have similar job experience, or be provided training in any job they may be assigned
  • Assign responsibility for safety to a supervisor or foreman
  • Hold regular safety meetings
  • Conduct periodic safety inspections
  • Review the safety practices of all subcontractors you have hired
  • Have a first aid kit on site and available
  • Post emergency phone numbers and have a phone available to summon help in the event of an emergency
  • Have fully charged, easily accessible, portable fire extinguishers

In addition it is important to provide protective equipment such as safety glasses, hearing protection and hard hats.

Securing the job site will also prevent injuries

You can be held liable if kids or unwanted visitors can easily gain access to the site and suffer some type of injury. Fence the site to prevent vandalism and public access to hazardous areas and control access to customers and vendors. Consider any or all of the following that apply:

  • Provide lighting when possible
  • Barricade work areas and provide warning signs near excavations and other hazards
  • Secure equipment and materials left on the job site
  • Lock tools in boxes and secure large equipment with chains
  • Limit tools and materials left on the site as much as practical
  • Store/handle hazardous materials properly
  • Follow precautions for welding and other hot work
  • Safely shield or wet combustible surfaces
  • Cease such operations at least thirty minutes before leaving the site unoccupied
  • Have procedures for reporting and investigating incidents and accidents (lessons learned even from “near misses” may help to identify ways to avoid future accidents)
  • Require proper use of ladders and scaffolds
  • Limit the exposure of adjacent properties to damage and comply with all building and environmental codes

Implementing these safety standards will allow you to better protect both, your employees and your business from possible risks and exposures. Contractors insurance New York will provide protection when the unexpected does occur.



Bed Bugs and Risk Management for Assisted Living Facilities

One concern involving assisted living facilities is the infestation of bed bugs from one single resident. In fact, bed bugs are becoming increasingly common in senior living communities due to their ability to travel easily from a resident’s previous home. In a group living arrangement, it is not simply the number of residents that compounds the likelihood of infestation, but the nature of these facilities that group interaction is often recommended, encouraged or even required as a form of therapy or as a measure of success.

Once in your community, these bugs can multiply and spread quickly, wreaking havoc throughout the building and affecting the well being of residents and staff. As part of your risk management for assisted living facilities, you must be prepared for infestations and know how to manage the problem efficiently and effectively. By recognizing signs of bed bug infestations and how to reduce the chances of one striking your community you’ll gain an understanding of how bed bug infestations occur and be able to build a risk management plan for dealing with this pest.

Bedbug tips for Senior Resident Housing:

The smaller and closer the living quarters, the more likely your residents may face the problem of bed bugs. If you do get bed bugs, it can be very costly both financially and emotionally. Here are some tips:

  • Before moving a new resident in, have someone check the room (specifically problem areas like mattress and box spring seams) and look for brownish red spotting, shed bed bug skins, eggs, etc.
  • Check to ensure that the place is clean and uncluttered  (more clutter means a greater chance of bed bugs)
  • Facility management should encase the mattresses, box springs, and pillows
  • Make use of an anti-bedbug laundry bag, especially if the laundry is done communally
  • Use metal (instead of wood) bed boards to make it more difficult for bed bugs to climb up

Being proactive in dealing with this issue will allow you to maintain a bug-free living facility and provide your residents with a comfortable place to live. Your efforts at maintaining a risk management plan for assisted living facilities will save you from costly extermination fees and business interruption.