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Archive for August 2012

Flood Insurance information sites for New Jersey

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Here is a list of information sites for floods and flood insurance.  If you want information about flood insurance in New Jersey, please call us at 1-800-548-2329.  Or click here to enter basic information to start a flood insurance quote.

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/  This is the National Hurricane Center site.  As we write this, there are three tropical events, one by Texas, one strengthening and heading for Florida, and one forming near Africa.  If you’re reading this in December, we hope there’s nothing on the NHC map.

www.NJFloodInsurance.info takes you to a site with information on NJ Flood insurance.

http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nj/nwis/rt This is the site for the US Geological Survey real-time water data for NJ rivers.

http://www.fema.gov/ This is the site for the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Click here for the site for the National Flood Insurance Program.

Workers Compensation basics

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This is aimed as a very basic explanation of Workers Comp. For more details or quotes click on the links in the text or call GBW Insurance at 1-800-548-2329.

What drives Workers Compensation costs?

For individual companies: costs = rate (what codes are you in?) X payroll X experience mod (what losses have you had?)

Rate: There are more than 600 codes with rates for each.

New Jersey Workers Comp classification codes start as low as an Office Workers rate of $0.26 for every $100 of payroll.

Some of the more expensive examples are:  5069 for some kinds of iron erection and more than $29 for $100 of payroll, or high building window washing at more than $56 for $100 of payroll. Getting the right code for each job is important.

Payroll: The employer provides an estimate for expected payroll. Insurance companies audit companies’ payroll after the policy expires, to make sure they get the right premium. And they have the right under New Jersey Workers Comp regulations to go back to prior years to recover premium for incorrect rates or payroll.

Premium modification: If your business has fewer losses and less money paid out than the average for your kind of work, over time you get a premium mod that reduces your cost. If you have more losses and/or large losses, you will pay more.

For more info or to start a quote, click here. Or just call 1-800-548-2329 to talk with us.

Do I need Workers Compensation Insurance in New Jersey and New York?

Yes. In almost all cases you must provide Workers Comp for employees.

As an owner in a partnership or LLC, you must officially “opt in” under New Jersey Workers Compensation law if you wish to have coverage. And New York has specific laws that affect even businesses whose employees enter New York only occasionally. Call Gerrity, Baker, Williams (1-800-548-2329) to discuss your concerns, or for advice. Or click here to start the process for more information or a free quote.

In New Jersey the NJ Compensation Rating and Inspection Bureau (NJCRIB) collects statistics, administers the system, and sets general rates and rules to implement the Workers Compensation laws of the state.

Why does Workers Compensation Insurance exist?

By the end of the 19th century there was general agreement that employers have a legal responsibility to their employees to make the workplace safe. However, accidents happen even when every reasonable safety measure has been taken. Workers were gaining the right to sue employers but that process could take years, it was often unsuccessful, and it was damaging to the companies that were sued.

To protect employers from lawsuits resulting from workplace accidents and to provide quick medical care and compensation for lost income to employees hurt in workplace accidents, most states passed Workers Compensation statutes. Now, in almost every state, most businesses are required to buy workers compensation insurance.

New Jersey passed its first Workers Compensation Act in 1911. Sponsored by a Republican State Senator, it passed the legislature by unanimous vote.

How does Workers Compensation Insurance work for an injured employee?

Workers compensation insurance covers workers injured on the job, whether they’re hurt on the workplace premises or elsewhere, or in auto accidents while on business. It also covers work-related illnesses to some extent.

Workers compensation provides payments to injured workers, without regard to who was at fault in the accident, for time lost from work and for medical and rehabilitation services. It also provides death benefits to surviving spouses and dependents.

Each state has different laws governing the amount and duration of lost income benefits, the provision of medical and rehabilitation services and how the system is administered. For example, in most states there are regulations that cover whether the worker or employer can choose the doctor who treats the injuries and how disputes about benefits are resolved.

Workers compensation insurance must be bought as a separate policy. Although in-home business and business owners policies (BOPs) are sold as package policies, they don’t include coverage for workers’ injuries.

Is a worker an employee or an independent contractor?

For small businesses, this affects your WC Insurance, your tax exposure, and can draw fines from the NJ Department of Labor.

Declaring someone an independent contractor doesn’t make him or her an independent contractor for Workers Comp.  In most states, if someone is working on your projects, and has an injury covered by Workers Compensation, and doesn’t have WC Insurance of his or her own, you can wind up paying for the loss.

For more discussion of how to protect yourself when considering whether someone is an independent contractor or an employee, click here to go to our blog post on that topic.

For more information on how Workers Compensation pricing works, click here for the NJCRIB explanation.

Flood Insurance vs. Hurricane Season

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Flood Insurance typically takes 30 days to go into effect. We’re headed into the peak of the Hurricane Season in the Northeast. Combination? Lots of folks who will be surprised to learn what is and isn’t covered by their Commercial Insurance.

That 30 day rule is built into the NFIP and FEMA rules for flood insurance.

Click here for a link to our Flood Insurance Information page.

Click here to start a Quick Quote for Flood Insurance.

This link to the Insurance Information Institute mentions Homeowners Insurance but the facts apply to Business Insurance as well.

Click for III Hurricane and Flood info

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) provides information or call us at 1-800-548-2329.  Or Click Here to reach our Flood Insurance Page

Click here for NFIP info