When an Employee is Injured : Five Tips on What to Do

Workplace-related injuries can happen anywhere, whether at a construction site or in an office.  As business owner, ensure your business is protected with a New Jersey Workers Compensation policy and heed the following tips in the event of an injury.

According to an article in Business Insurance Quotes, there are five important things you can implement in response to an employee injury:

1. Seek medical attention. Make sure to call 911 if the injury is life-threatening or requires immediate attention. Although not all injuries require immediate emergency care, it’s imperative that you quickly report and respond to the incident to avoid potential lawsuits.

2. Understand your obligations to your employees. Keep in mind that injured employees have a right to file a claim, A form must be provided after they’ve informed you of the accident. Make sure to report the injury to the Workers Compensation insurance company as well.

3. Gather the facts about the accident on record. You should interview witnesses, take photographs, review video footage, and collect any other information that can be used on the claim form.

4. Complete the Employer’s Report of Accident form to cover all your bases. Give to a claims administrator to handle the rest of the details.

5. Stay on top of the claim. It can take up to 90 days for a claims administrator to accept or deny an employee’s claim. Contact medical providers to find out about work restrictions and inform the employee and doctor about light-duty work during the recovery phase.

At Vreeland Insurance Inc., we train our team to recognize all types of Workers Compensation claims. We understand your needs and have designed our programs to ensure that you get the most for your insurance dollar. We have the expertise to provide you with a variety of coverages and policies catered to your business. For more information, call us today at 877.755.3767.

A Risk Management Strategy for Identity Fraud

shutterstock_217857187When analyzing identity theft, it’s noted that over 10 million consumers every year are impacted by this crime. This is extremely costly from businesses at a price of $221 billion a year. While consumers are typically a target, now business owners have a new threat to be concerned about. In addition to staying protected with a New Jersey Business Insurance policy, ensure you have a risk management strategy in place in the event of identity fraud.

To summarize, business identity theft is the newest threat to small business and these criminals will take company identities and try to acquire credit through company names. They will continue to damage a business by preventing them from further acquiring credit.

According to an article in U.S. Small Business Administration, there are a few risk management strategies to prevent and detect identity theft.  

  1. Create a protection plan. Developing businesses must keep a protection plan in mind in regards to growing their company. Design a thorough risk management plan to protect your company’s identity and an action plan in case you do become the targeted victim.
  1. Protect company documents. Make sure to keep all important documents and records in a safe place and use a shredder for any other information. Never provide your company’s federal tax identification number, financials, or bank statements to anyone without initial contact. To protect purchases, use a prepaid business credit card for employees with limits and deactivation options.
  1. Protect information online. If you’re putting out sensitive company information on the web, make sure you’re using a secure site with security certificates up to date.
  1. Monitor business credit reports. Do this by subscribing to monitoring services that give you access to your company’s files 24/7. This is the fastest way to detect a fraud charge.
  1. Avoid the “master” user. The easiest way to gain access to all the company’s information is by creating any type of master user account and password. Avoid this at all costs.

At Vreeland Insurance Inc., we train our team to recognize all types of New Jersey Business Insurance. We understand your needs and have designed our programs to ensure that you get the most for your insurance dollar. We have the expertise to provide you with a variety of coverages and policies catered to your business. For more information, call us today at 877.755.3767.

When a Storm Hits

What to Do When a Storm HitsWhile out at sea, you can’t always predict the weather.  Lightning flashes among the darkening clouds and the wind and squalls begin to rush at your ship, forcing you to quickly prepare for the incoming storm. Not only should you be protected with the best New Jersey Recreational Boating Insurance program when a storm hits, it’s imperative that you heed the following precautions to ensure the safety of everyone on your vessel. Boat safety ought to be a part of your excursion, regardless the length of the trip.

Plan Ahead of Time

Before you set out to sea, check the current weather and the weather predictions, no matter the kind of boat you are utilizing. Should something unplanned occur or the conditions become more severe, head back to the nearest port or shore if possible.

When you’re caught in a Storm

Should you be caught in a storm, seek shelter in your boat’s cabin. To prevent taking on water from waves and rainfall, close all your cabin windows. If your boat does not have a cabin, remain low in the most central part of the boat. Don’t forget to unplug any electrical devices.

Lastly, make sure all your passengers are using their life-vests should you encounter rough seas. In addition, make sure to decrease your boat’s speed.

When Lightning Strikes

No ship is invulnerable to lightning damage. In fact, smaller boats are more susceptible to damage because there are fewer places lightening can go. Unfortunately, there isn’t a way to lightning-proof a boat. However, you can make your boat safer during a storm by using a bonding system. A bonding system could direct lightning away from passengers and major components to prevent or decrease the amount of damage.

At Vreeland Insurance Inc., we understand the importance of making sure that your boating trip runs smoothly. Call us today at 877.755.3767 for information on our New Jersey Recreational Boating Insurance program.

Keep Your Business Healthy! The Benefits of a Wellness Program

Keep Your Business Healthy! The Benefits of a Wellness ProgramWellness Programs have often been viewed as a luxury and not as an essential. However, for companies providing group health insurance plans, there are ways to reduce costs. As you consider the benefits of workplace health programs, ensure that your employees are covered with the best NJ Group Health Insurance policy.

According to an article on the Harvard Business Review, Doctors Richard Milani and Carl Lavie took a random sample of 185 employees and their spouses. Though the participants were not heart patients, they received exercise training and cardiac rehabilitation from a group of experts. Of those considered to be high risk when the study started, 57% converted to low-risk status by the end of the month. In addition, the medical claims costs declined by $1,421 per participant when compared with the previous year.

How do employees benefit?

Adopting healthy lifestyles not only reduces life-threatening diseases and their costs, but it improves an individual’s quality of life. Participation in health programs provides individuals knowledge, self-management, coping skills, and moral support among coworkers and supervisors. The investment of a wellness program is a reflection of how the company cares about its employees, which may contribute to improving overall morale.

How do employers benefit?

Employers may also benefit from a workplace health program in a variety of different ways. Employers that implement these programs have seen enhanced productivity in their employees, decreased employee absenteeism, and lower insurance and workers’ compensation costs. Improved health can reduce out-of-pocket expenses for physician office visits, medications, hospitalization, etc. Fostering a culture of health and wellness  can empower your employees to feel secure in their role at your company.

At Vreeland Insurance Inc., we understand the importance of making sure that your business stays healthy. Call us today at 877.755.3767 for information on our New Jersey General Liability Insurance Plans.

Making Your Business Stand Out

Make Your Business Stand OutWhen it comes to your business, it can feel like you are not getting noticed among the multitude of similar businesses in your industry. Making your business stand out among the others is important for success. While you want to make sure to have the best New Jersey General Liability Insurance available to cover any needs that could arise, lets take a look at some ways to help you stand out.

Marketing

There are many different types of marketing available and the key is figuring out which ones work for you. Social Media Marketing is becoming more popular as people spend more time on social media and turn to their peers for recommendations and reviews of services. Creating business pages to advertise deals that your company can offer on different social media platforms can help draw in clients that otherwise may not know you exist. While you create your social media marketing strategy, don’t forget that contacting and offering exclusive deals to existing customers will help to retain them, leading them to possibly recommend your services when asked by friends and family.

Website

Along with marketing, you must have a functional website that is easy to navigate and that attracts the attention of potential clients. Put yourself in the shoes of anyone viewing your website while designing it. If, perhaps you didn’t have the knowledge of what your company does, does your website make it clear and concise to readers? If you are in a hurry to order a product, does the website navigation lead to quick and easy purchasing options? If you would get frustrated trying to understand or navigate your way through a website, chances are potential clients will too.

Take a Step Back

Sometimes it is easy to become so focused on a goal that we can lose sight of the big picture. Every once in a while it is a good idea to take a step back from regular tasks to gain fresh perspective on the future of your company.

At Vreeland Insurance Inc., we understand the importance of making sure that your business stands out. Call us today at 877.755.3767 for information on our New Jersey General Liability Insurance Plans.

Reducing Workers Comp Costs With Inclusive Workplace Culture

Reducing Workers Comp Costs With Inclusive Workplace CultureMany companies find that simply having rules for workers to follow does not mean that they will act in a safe manner. While you want to be sure to have the best NJ Workers Compensation programs to protect your business and your workers should any accidents occur, creating an inclusive workplace culture will help to keep the claims to a minimum.

Culture is defined by Investopedia as a way of thinking, behaving or working that exists in a place or organization. Creating a culture of Safety, Wellness, and Compassion within the workplace can help to decrease the costs of workers compensation claims.

Safety

Safety programs have had a huge impact on reducing the number and cost of claims. Your employees’ awareness of the safety rules and regulations as well as your follow through with compliance is essential to your workplace safety culture. According to the Department of Labor, safety programs should include:

  • Clear safety policies with management involvement
  • Training for employees on how to eliminate and avoid hazards
  • Employee participation in assessment
  • Employee accountability with consequences and rewards
  • Motivation through public recognition of safe behavior

Wellness

According to the American Journal of Health Promotion, employers can save up to 30.1% in workers compensation claims by promoting health programs. These programs include:

  • Health fairs
  • Screenings
  • Lifestyle coaching
  • Promotion of work-life balance

Getting involved and promoting healthy lifestyles outside of the workplace will also help to decrease accidents and increase productivity.

Compassion

Cultures of compassion tend to go overlooked, however, and enforcing a positive work environment is imperative in creating positive morale within the workplace. Low morale can create such problems as:

  • Abuse of leave time
  • Accidents
  • Illness

Taking the time to instill a sense of camaraderie and achievement among your employees will help decrease stress levels and boost morale. In turn, this will create a better work environment and even encourage employees to go the extra mile.

At Vreeland Insurance Inc., we understand the importance of creating a healthy, safe and compassionate place for your employees to work. Call us today at 877.755.3767 for information on our New Jersey Workers Compensation Plans.

How to Focus on Employment Practices in the New Year

How to Focus on Employment Practices in the New YearAs the New Year begins, we all tend to make resolutions to better ourselves on a personal level. The same can be done for your business. Not only is the beginning of the year a great time to make sure you have the best New Jersey Employment Practices Liability program, it is the best time to evaluate how you manage relationships with your employees and resolve to make adjustments as needed. Here are some simple ways to set your business New Years resolutions.

  • Find your employee handbook that may be in the back of a filing cabinet or forgotten on a shelf and take a good look at it. Review the policies within and compare with your current practices. Are your policies compliant with the law? This is the time to decide if your employee handbook needs to be updated to accurately capture your managing style.
  • Review any issues that may have come up during the last year. Really ask yourself what the root causes of the issues were. Determine if they could have been prevented. If you figure out that there were significant issues that could have been prevented, this is the time to decide how to address them whether it is with training, discipline or policy changes.
  • One of the most important things you need to determine is if your employee practices are compliant with the law. Laws are constantly changing and you don’t want to end up in a situation where you can be fined due to outdated information. Get together with an employment law specialist to review the current employment practices laws. Make sure you have all of the correct required postings regarding the rights of your employees.
  • Review education opportunities you have provided for your employees. Figure out if they have been informed of what to do in the event they witness of even experience harassment or discrimination. Make sure that those that need special accommodation for medical or religious reasons know the procedures required to get it.
  • Figure out if the current job descriptions accurately describe what your employees actually do. Are your employees aware of their performance, good or bad? Are your managers properly evaluating employees? Determine the best way to communicate your expectations to your managers and employees.

At Vreeland Insurance Inc., we understand the importance of being up to date with employment practices. Call us today at 877.755.3767 for information on our New Jersey Employment Practices Liability Plans.

More than Just Water Damage: Understanding Flood Hazards

More than Just Water Damage Understanding Flood HazardsEvery year businesses all over the United States suffer hundreds of millions of dollars worth of flood damage, and small businesses are often the most adversely affected. As studies come out showing an expected increase of flood water levels, it is time to make sure you and your business are protected. While you want to make sure you have the best NJ Business Property Insurance available, you should also be aware of the risk factors.

Understanding The Hazard

  • Duration- the longer your building is exposed to flood waters the greater the likelihood that flood proofing will fail. It is important to know how quickly the water is expected to recede.
  • Depth- Estimate potential depth of waters. Water greater that three feet deep is more likely to create hydrostatic pressure causing cracks that increase the risk of potential collapse for unreinforced masonry.
  • Speed- As the velocity of the water increases so does the pressure it exerts onto your building and its reinforcements. Costal flooding will have wave like qualities while river flooding will likely be swiftly moving water that will settle down.
  • Condition- often, floodwater is dirty or contaminated with sewage, industrial waste, toxic and non-toxic chemicals or oil. All debris can potentially cause breaches in your flood protection and create extensive damage.

Location

Floods generally occur in areas that are close to water sources such as rivers, lakes, and the ocean. If possible when starting up your business, find a location that is not in a close proximity to these bodies of water. Check out a local flood map to see where the 100 year and 500 year locations are. This does not mean there wont be flooding, it just means that these areas are less likely to flood annually.

Elevation

Permits for buildings will show if the building is higher that the base flood elevation (BFE). Major storms and flash floods may cause the water level to rise higher than the BFE. Consult and professional engineer to determine if your building is able to be raised so the floor of the lowest level is at the minimum level, or if there are special reinforcements that can be made.

At Vreeland Insurance Inc., we understand the importance of protecting yourself and your business from the harm of flooding. Call us today at 877.755.3767 for information on our NJ Business Property Insurance Plans.

Tips for Succeeding in Business This Holiday Season

Tips for Succeeding in Business This Holiday SeasonThe influx of new customers the holidays have the potential to bring is a great time to increase sales and it bring in valuable opportunities for your business. While you want to make sure you have the best NJ Business Insurance available, following a few simple tips can help the holiday season be a success.

  • Plan Your Calendar

Having an organized calendar will help you to plan what you need to do for the holidays. Mark down not only the actual holidays coming up but also the special sales days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

  • Social Posts

Once your calendar is set it is time to plan your contacts with clientele. The messages you send will likely change as the season progresses going from holiday preparation to last minute holiday ideas. Plan out when you want different messages to go out and how you want to reach your customers.

  • Draft Emails

Create newsletters and announcements ahead of time and set them up to be sent out when you want. This will allow you to remind customers of upcoming promotions and changes in hours for the holiday season. Having emails and announcements set up ahead of time will allow you to make quick, last minute changes to announcements without spending too much time and stress trying to get them out last minute.

  • Go Mobile

Mobility is key in today’s world. While mobile apps allow customers to shop with the touch of a button there are also some apps that allow you to monitor your activity and interact with customers. Social media allows you to advertise to the masses. This creates great opportunities to announce last minute promotions to everyone without disrupting your schedule.

At Vreeland Insurance Inc., we understand how important the holiday season is for your company. Call us today for information on our NJ Business Insurance Plans. 877.755.3767

Avoiding Common Business Employee Lawsuits

Avoiding Common Business Employee LawsuitsWhen it comes to running a business, many employers assume that because they treat their employees well, they aren’t breaking any laws. Unfortunately, some may find themselves in employee practices liability (EPL) lawsuits. While you want to make sure you have the best New Jersey EPL Insurance to protect you should any claims arise, you should also be aware of some of the most common employee lawsuits and how to avoid them.

Personal Injury

Personal Injury Lawsuits arise when an employer is held liable for injuries that an employee sustains while at work as the result of employer negligence. Workers compensation insurance will cover most cases of on-the-job injury. On top of having workers compensation insurance, make sure that you are aware of safety hazards and proper address issues when they arise.

Overtime

The Fair Labor Standards Act is a federal law created to lay out overtime pay requirements, among other things. In order to avoid overtime lawsuits, make sure that you have an accurate process with which to track hours worked by employees.

Discrimination

Discrimination lawsuits are filled with a bunch of ‘fine lines’. The claimant must prove that they have been wrongfully terminated due to their position in a protected class. These protected classes can include: gender, race, religion, age, disability and more. Make sure that all business protocol is well documented and available to all employees. Always document poor performance and keep in the employee’s file.

Harassment

Commonly associated with discrimination, harassment can range from bullying to flat out hatred and incidents can range from seemingly benign statements to hostile statements and actions. The best way to avoid harassment in the workplace is to set some rules stating what will and will not be tolerated as well as what consequences await those that do not follow harassment guidelines.

While the most common EPL issues may seem obvious to avoid, updates in the ways laws are written mean that small details that can help avoid lawsuits get overlooked.

At Vreeland Insurance Inc., we understand how important it is to protect yourself and your company in the event of EPL claims. Call us today for information on our Employment Practices Liability Insurance Plans. 877.755.3767

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