What to Do After You Have Hit a Deer

Accidents are sudden and very nerve-wracking. Although we try to avoid them as much as possible, they still occur in great volume. On average, there are almost 1.23 million deer-related accidents in the United States every year. This number grows around the later months when mating season is in session. This causes more deer to accumulate in populated areas, making some roads very dangerous for drivers. Hitting them is sometimes unavoidable because they appear in your direct path. While we hope this never happens to you, here are the steps you should take if it does.

Move Over

We understand that during a wreck you are so shocked that your priorities are all over the place. However, you should try to stay calm and pull to the side of the road as soon as possible. You are still at risk for being hit by oncoming traffic even though the wreck has already occurred. If you are able to move your car over, do so. Once you are safe, turn on your hazard lights, check your passengers, and take a deep breath.

Alert Authorities

Don’t wait to give the police a call. Alert them of the situation immediately so they can handle everything. If the wreck is bad enough, they will need to direct oncoming traffic out of the way so you and others are kept safe. If the deer is still at the scene, it could block traffic and needs to be removed. When authorities do arrive, you will probably need to fill out an official report with them. Having the details fresh from the scene will be handy when filling out your insurance claim.

Document the Incident

When the road is safe, it’s time to start documenting. Take pictures of the scene including your surroundings, your car, the road, and any injuries you or your passengers have sustained. This will all be important information for your agent to look over when filing your insurance claim.

Stay Away from the Deer

Although it’s okay to check on the deer, you might want to do this at a safe distance. If the deer survives the collision, it will be rattled up and might pose as a threat if it decides to attack out of fear. Deer are known for having powerful legs and sharp hooves that provide a damaging kick.

Contact Your Agent

Like with the authorities, don’t wait to give your insurance agent a call. The sooner, the better. They can immediately get started on your claim when the situation is fresh on your mind rather than later when you might forget some details.

Examine Your Car

Although you are probably more than prepared to go home, take a moment to examine your car thoroughly. If it has sustained a significant amount of damage, you should not drive home in it. You could put yourself in even more danger if you do. Instead, contact someone you trust that will take you and your passengers home while you have your car towed.

When you are met with a tough situation such as a car accident, the last thing you need is added stress. Having the right agent on your side will give you peace of mind. Let us take care of you today. Give our office a call to see how we can assist you and your family.

4 Tips For How to Handle a Hit and Run

Most of the time, collisions happen when you least expect it whether you are driving or parked. While the right thing is for both drivers to step out of the car and handle the situation, some have other ideas and try to flee from the scene. This is always shocking, but you can still be prepared for it by following these steps:

Call the Authorities

It’s understandable that you might be shaken up from the collision so it’s wise to take a moment to assess the situation. Once everything is clear, call the authorities immediately to let them know what happened. If you wait too long, the police may not be able to track down the perpetrator in time. You will also need a descriptive account of the situation when you file your claim, so make sure you get in touch with your agent soon, while the incident is still fresh in your memory.

Get As Much Information As You Can

This may not be a simple task since the vehicle is on the move, but it is still possible to gather enough information for a claim. Your first plan of action should be to get the license plate number of the perpetrator. Also try to determine the make, model, and year of the car. If their vehicle has any damage, take note of that too so they can be tracked down easier. Also take note of which way the vehicle went to give others a starting point. After you have all the information down about the other driver, focus on your car next. Like with any collision, you have to document the entire event. Where the location was, where it happened, how it happened, etc. Then take photos/videos of your car. This documentation will help your agent later on.

Stay at the Scene

While it may be tempting to go follow the person that hit your car, you are actually putting yourself in a bad position if you do this. You will need witnesses when filing your claim. If, however, you flee the scene, you could lose this opportunity to speak with others who provide valuable information that you need.

Be Patient

Like with any collision, there will be a lot to handle in the aftermath. You may need someone to come tow your car depending on how severe the damage is, and making a claim is not a quick process. While it might be a frustrating time, be patient while everything gets sorted out. Talk with your loved ones to make any necessary arrangements and let everything work itself out over time.

The last thing you need after a hit and run is a massive bill to pay. Luckily, with the right coverage plan, you don’t have to worry. Give our office a call today and get in touch with our professional staff who can find you the insurance plan you need in case of any accidents down the road.

What to Do After Your House Floods

There are a number of ways that your house can flood, whether it’s due to heavy rains, sewer backup, or a pipe burst. While a house flood can be devastating, here are some tips on how to respond if it were to happen to you.

Put Safety First

The first step in any major home disaster is to remain safe. You may be forced to leave your home if the flooding is bad enough. Make sure you are also safe when you return to your home to begin dealing with the aftermath. This may include turning off the power, as water and electricity obviously do not mix. Be sure to wear protective clothing such as rubber boots and gloves when you re enter your home. Not only will you be dealing with the water itself, but also whatever else the water has been in contact with, namely debris or even sewage. It is best to protect yourself against whatever harmful chemicals and items the flooding may have washed in.

Also, never eat food that has been contaminated by flood waters, or even been in close proximity to the water for an extended period of time. If the water was high enough to reach your refrigerator or any of your pantry cabinets, it is best to go ahead and throw the food away and just buy more. In addition, you should thoroughly wash any dinnerware, glasses, or flatware that might have been caught in the house flood before you use it again.

Stop and Remove the Water

One of the first things you should do when your house floods is stop the source of water coming in if at all possible. If your sump-pump is broken or malfunctioning, replacing it will help keep up with any continuing rains and may prevent further damage to your basement, garage, crawl space, or main floor. Calling the city to remove debris from storm drains may also be necessary in order to help stop flooding.

If your flooded home was caused by a bursted pipe, fix the plumbing as soon as possible to lessen water damage. The sooner you stop the water from coming in, the sooner you can get to cleaning up and repairing any damages.

Once no more water is coming in, you can work to remove the water from your home. Depending on the level of flooding you have experienced or even the rooms in your home that have been affected, your process might change. You may need to bail water out using buckets and bins or use hoses to drain large amounts of water from your basement. As the water begins receding, you can use a wet vacuum to suck remaining bits of water and moisture from carpets and floors. If you’re lucky and the damage is minimal, you might be able to simply mop the mess up.

Dry Out Your Home

Even if you are successful in removing all of the standing water from your home, everything will remain damp and wet, especially if heavy rains have increased the humidity in your area. If you have power, use your air conditioning and portable fans to help dry the wet areas of your home.

Dehumidifiers are also a big help, especially in closed off spaces such as basements or crawl spaces. Dehumidifiers work by removing excess moisture from the air. This is the easiest way to dry out your home and minimize the potential water damage you might be dealing with, as it does not require you to actively clean. However, in the case of a house flood, dehumidifiers are only supplemental and you are likely to need multiple methods of action. Dehumidifiers are recommended for anyone who lives in a damp climate or an area that experiences longer rainy seasons, as they can prevent some of the problems associated with this type of weather, both for you and your home.

Call Your Insurance Agent

Your homeowners insurance will vary depending on what policies you have, but many insurance companies cover flooding due to storms, backed-up city sewers and storm drains, broken sump-pumps, or bursted pipes. Your insurance company will send an adjuster to look at and assess the damage to determine if it is a covered loss. If your losses and damages are covered, the sooner you call your agent, the sooner they will pay out. Repairs can become costly, but the insurance money will help get your home back in order quicker with less of a financial burden on you.

Clean Up

Once the water is gone and you have called your insurance company, it’s time to begin post-flood care. You can call in a professional clean-up crew or do the work yourself. This may involve determining what is salvageable and throwing away anything that is too damaged or no longer safe to use. If the flooding in your home was widespread, you may have to bring in a roll-off dumpster for easy disposal of larger damaged items, as you will find your trash bags filling quickly.

Be aware that you may need to remove flooring, drywall, and insulation to prevent mold and mildew from spreading in your home. Furniture may also need to be dried out, cleaned, or thrown away depending on the level of water damage. Unless you are exceptionally handy, it is probably best to call in a professional company that specializes in mold removal. Mold can begin developing within the first 24 hours after a flood, and once it has started growing, it can be difficult to fully remove. The quicker you remove items from water and begin drying them, the less likely they are to be lost to mold, but it’s always best to err on the side of caution and have a professional assess the situation.

If you’ve experienced flooding for any reason or want to be covered against possible floods in your area, call your agent today for assistance.

What to Know Before Letting Someone Drive Your Vehicle

It happens. Sometimes we are in situations where we have to lend our vehicle to other people. Maybe you are not fit to drive and give the keys to someone who can. Maybe your family member needs to use it when moving items around. Regardless of the reason, you probably are a little cautious before letting someone else drive your car. After all, there are major consequences that can arise if something bad were to happen. Take a look at what you should be aware of the next time someone asks to borrow your car, even if it is for a minute or two.

Make Sure You Trust the Driver

While this is common sense, we still highly encourage drivers not to lend their keys to someone they do not know. Even if they are a good friend, make sure they don’t have a history of getting into wrecks. Because the second they get behind the wheel and take your car on a joy ride that ends unfavorably, you are going to be the one at fault.

Their Insurance Does Not Matter

Regardless of the fact that the person driving your car has insurance, it is not going to be their agency that covers the wreck. It will be yours since your car is covered through your agency. While the driver’s insurance may cover things like personal injury or medical expenses, you will still have the majority of the bill to take care of.

What to Do If You Have a Regular Driver

If it turns out that someone borrows your car more than occasionally, especially someone that you employ, get in touch with your agency to add them onto your policy.

Don’t Panic

While it is true that there are major consequences that can occur, this is really just for worst case scenarios. More than likely, you will be covered if you give someone verbal consent to drive your car. If you are nervous, feel free to give your agency a call to make sure all your bases are covered. They will be more than happy to guide you through the do’s and don’ts of lending your vehicle.

If you ever have any questions about your auto policy, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our agency. We are always here to help make life (and insurance) a little less complicated.

Risks of Operating Your Business Without Insurance

When running a business is already expensive, one of the last things you may want to do is add on expenses for insurance. Every business owner hopes they won’t need it because hopefully nothing would ever go wrong. However, there are several reasons why having business insurance is helpful as well as reasons why not having insurance can hurt you. Check out these risks you run below when you try to put off having your business insured.

Breaking Laws

Most of the country has laws stating that businesses must have certain types of insurance or a certain amount of coverage. If you have at least one employee, you must have at least general liability insurance for your business. You may even be required to have additional protection for things such as workers compensation, property insurance if you are located in an area prone to natural disasters, or even coverage against lawsuits.

Not Protecting Your Employees

You shouldn’t have insurance for your workers just because you are required to. Workers compensation coverage helps both you and your employees by taking care of them if an accident happens and making sure you are able to afford any medical bills they have from the incident. If you don’t have a workers compensation policy in place, you could be liable for a lawsuit and be out a lot of money. In addition to workers compensation, you will also need unemployment insurance for if your employees are unable to continue work for a while.

Business Interruptions

If anything were to happen to your uninsured business such as a fire or flood, you won’t have any means to recover and you will be left with the financial consequences of repairs and interrupted business operations. So while you won’t be making any profit, you’ll also be losing money if you plan to reopen your business. Insurance can help protect you by covering any losses as well as any lost income during the period that your business will be paused.

Property Loss

Buying property insurance for your business helps you hold onto your most important asset in the event of a disaster: the property you exist on. Without that insurance, you will end up losing possession of your property and be unable to continue operation if anything were to happen to your building.

The risks you take of not having adequate insurance coverage for your business just isn’t worth taking. Call one of our agents today to make sure your business is protected against the unexpected.

Understanding, Preventing, and Treating Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

The odorless poison, carbon monoxide, is a preventable but deadly gas that results in more than 400 deaths each year. Although most families are aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide, they may not be aware of what needs to be done to prevent carbon monoxide (CO) from building up in their households. Thankfully, we’ve got you covered with a compiled list of what you need to look out for and avoid so you and your family are not harmed by the deadly gas. That way you are your family can continue making lasting memories in your home.

 

What Is Carbon Monoxide?

CO is a natural gas, but is also produced through many different appliances found in most households. If you or a family member starts to feel flu-like symptoms, it could be CO poisoning. If so, make sure to evacuate the house immediately and alert the authorities of the gas buildup.

 

Where Do CO Buildups Come From?

Various gas appliances like furnaces, fireplaces, oil heaters, and any engine powered by gasoline can cause a buildup of carbon monoxide in your home. This is also true of generators. During power outages or any time a generator is necessary, let it run outside. If being used inside, be sure that it is within 20 feet of a window or door so that the CO can disperse. This is a great rule of thumb when running any sort of equipment that could result in a CO leak. If you suspect you need to, open a window and ventilate your house to allow the CO to circulate.

 

Symptoms of CO Poisoning

With all of this being said, there are symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning once your CO levels are higher than 10% in the bloodstream. These symptoms, often compared to symptoms of the flu, include headache, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. Because these symptoms are so similar to the flu, be aware of other members of the family having these same symptoms showing up around the same time. Also, take notice of your pets acting strange. Although animals can get sick, animals do not get the human flu, so if you notice your dog is exhibiting flu-like symptoms, these could be due to carbon monoxide poisoning.  By taking notice of these warning signs, it could save the lives of the entire family — pets included! Fortunately, CO poisoning does not become fatal until the CO levels in the blood reach 20%, so there should be noticeable symptoms before that becomes a reality.

 

Action Plan for CO Poisoning

So, what should you do if you think you or a family member is experiencing carbon monoxide poisoning? That answer is pretty simple; leave the house. The first thing you should do if you feel you have symptoms of CO poisoning is alert someone else in the house and evacuate immediately. Although not quite as time sensitive as a house fire (in the sense that you need to make a break for the nearest exit) you should get everyone out of the house immediately. Next, call the police and alert the fire department, as carbon monoxide incidents need to be reported. If anyone feels their symptoms require medical attention, do so immediately. Carbon monoxide results in more than 20,000 emergency room visits, and around 4,000 hospitalizations per year. CO poisoning should be taken seriously, even if there are no visible symptoms, because around 400 deaths occur each year due to it.

 

CO Poisoning in Your Vehicle

Carbon monoxide buildup isn’t limited to just your home either, they can also happen inside your vehicle. As with most other engines, simple maintenance checkups are the best way to prevent CO buildup within your car. Your vehicle’s exhaust system should be checked yearly, as small leaks can result in a buildup of CO. Also, just like with generators or any other gas powered engine, you should never run your vehicle inside a closed garage, whether attached to your house or not. It’s important to keep your garage door open whenever a vehicle is running. It can be tempting to start your car a few minutes early to let the engine warm up. However, the rule still applies in this case, and you should not let the car run inside a closed garage because vehicles create an enormous amount of carbon monoxide.

 

Preventing CO Buildups

Now that you’re aware of what can cause carbon monoxide buildup, and what the symptoms are, how can you prevent it from happening altogether? Be sure to have all of the previously listed appliances serviced by a qualified contractor once a year or so to ensure that there are no malfunctions that could cause a CO buildup. This should be done at the start of the colder months, when you will most likely be using appliances to keep your house warm. Another simple and preventative measure to take when dealing with CO buildup is simply opening a window. Ventilating your house is a surefire way to disperse poisonous carbon monoxide and keep your family safe. Have CO detectors installed near any areas that may be susceptible to carbon monoxide buildup, as well as in common sleeping areas. Detectors are another preventative step to take in avoiding CO poisoning, and are not reliable by themselves. Make sure you’re taking other steps to prevent carbon monoxide leaks as well!

 

What is most important here is making sure you and your family are safe and covered in case of all emergencies. Anytime a loved one requires medical care, it could be costly. Make sure your family has the right coverage in place so that you can focus on what’s important during life events such as this one. Having financial stability during periods of high emotional stress is just another thing you don’t have to worry about.

 

Give our office a call so that we can make sure your family is covered properly. We have plenty of options for all households and would love to show you how we can best protect you. Our agents specialize in risk management, and can help your family find coverage that’s right for you. By taking advantage of this, you can rest easy knowing that we are taking care of everything on our end, so you don’t have to.

How to Save Money on Business Insurance

The last thing you want to focus on when starting or running your business is what could go wrong. While you aren’t necessarily going to face struggles right away, if you aren’t covered with a good insurance policy, you’ll likely experience some issues down the road. Since running a business is risky, you should plan on being prepared to handle anything that comes up with the proper business insurance policy. But how do you avoid spending too much? Here are some tips that could save you some money on your insurance plan.

Know What You Need

Not every business needs the same amount of coverage. It all depends on what your business does and the risks involved. At the minimum, most businesses are required by law to have policies for workers’ compensation, unemployment, and disability insurance. But that’s just the minimum. When looking at how much coverage you need, you can start by looking at general liability insurance which will cover your business for any third-party damages, legal defense costs, and reputation damage from libel, slander, or copyright infringement. In addition, also consider a Business Owner’s Policy (BOP) to cover your business’s property and typically cover more for less money that a general liability policy. Other coverages will depend on the nature of your business, which your insurance agent can discuss with you your options in more detail related to your situation.

Increase Your Deductible

For most insurance policies, not just business insurance, you can lower your premium by increasing your deductible. Paying a higher deductible means less money the insurance company will have to pay after you make a claim on your policy. Because of this, insurance companies are willing to offer coverage at a lower price. Your agent will be able to discuss with you whether or not this would be a favorable decision for your business and the pros and cons of each choice.

Bundle Your Policies

Bundling your policies means that instead of buying separate policies for every type of coverage you need, you can purchase a package that will offer the same coverage for a lower price. Think of it like going to a restaurant. If you order an entree, side, and drink separately, you’ll end up paying a bit more than if you had ordered the combo that includes those items at a lesser cost. Bundled policies are the “restaurant combos” of insurance.

Be Safety-Minded

The higher the risk of injury at your business, the higher your insurance premiums will be.The safer your work environment is, the better deal you’ll get with your insurance. To get a better price, follow all safety recommendations from your insurance company such as enforcing safety precautions to avoid having your premiums raised to cover the extra risk.

Review and Update Your Coverage Every Year

As your business changes, so will your coverage needs, which means you should review your policies each year around the time of renewal to see if there are better options for either coverage or price. Also, by reviewing your policy with your agent, they will be able to make sure you aren’t paying for any policies that you may have needed for the previous year but not the upcoming year.

Consult with Your Independent Agent

Remember when you are reviewing your policies or looking at what kind of coverage to get for your business, consult with your insurance agent to help you shop for the best deals. They know insurance policies inside and out and will be able to guide you through making the best decisions for your business. If you have any questions or think you could be spending less on insurance for your business, give us a call today.

 

Why You Must Buy Home Insurance Before Closing on a Home

Buying a home isn’t as exciting of a process as it may look like on HGTV. It involves a lot of paperwork and finances to bring you to that happy closing day. But if you haven’t purchased home insurance yet, you’d better start shopping around. For most homeowners, lenders are required to help them obtain the home of their dreams, unless you happen to have enough cash to purchase the home in full. However, if you are like most people, here’s what you need to know about buying home insurance before closing.

 

Do I Have to Buy Home Insurance Before Closing?

Just in case you are still thinking you can get out of home insurance, yes, you do have to purchase it for at least a year in order to close on your home. In order to protect their investment (your new house), lenders will require you to cover your home against disasters. Until you have paid off your mortgage, your lender as the stakeholder has the right to hold possession of your property to protect what is technically their property. Home insurance is designed to protect both you and the lender, which is why lenders typically will not agree to lend you the money for your home until they know it will be protected. Plus, keep in mind that there are some advantages to paying homeowners insurance up front at closing, as you can sometimes exclude that premium from your closing costs.

 

How Much Coverage Do I Need?

Home insurance policies can protect your physical house, your belongings on the inside, and the cost of medical expenses for a person injured on your property. The amount of coverage you need typically depends on your lender. However, the general rule is that you need enough to cover the cost of rebuilding your home from the ground up in case of disaster.

 

A standard home insurance policy will protect you against:

  • Damage from the weight of ice or snow
  • Explosions
  • Falling objects, such as tree branches
  • Fire
  • Frozen plumbing, heating, AC, or other household systems
  • Hail, windstorms, and lightning
  • Smoke
  • Theft and vandalism
  • Vehicles

 

By having homeowners insurance, you and the lender are protected in the event that the house is damaged or destroyed. Additional coverage can also be added such as flood or earthquake insurance, depending on your situation.

 

Types of Homeowners Insurance

 

Replacement-cost policy–  This type of policy covers the current cost to replace your home. For example, if you were to buy an older home that has unique features, the cost to restore it may be higher. A replacement-cost policy runs about 10 percent more than a cash-value policy but will cover the cost of rebuilding.

 

Cash-value policy– This type of policy costs less than a replacement-cost policy and covers the market value cost of your home and its contents. So rather than reimburse you the amount you paid for something, you will only get back its depreciated value amount.

 

While some types of insurance may be optional, homeowners insurance is a must if you want to own a home. You do always have the option of finding ways to reduce your premium such as by adding security systems, storm shutters, or deadbolts.

 

We’ll shop around for you to find the best policy with the right coverage and price. Let us know how we can help you by giving us a call today.

Ways to Protect Your Business from Burglaries and Break-Ins

Owning and running your own business is an extraordinary achievement. The last thing you want is for that business to undergo any sort of harm, including burglaries. Break-ins can be expensive, stressful, and traumatic. They can even result in some businesses closing due to such high costs on top of the loss of whatever merchandise was stolen. There are various steps your business can take in order to prevent burglaries as best you can. By installing lights outside, keeping your exterior neat, reinforcing doors, installing alarm and video surveillance, and establishing a community watch, you can feel confident that your business is protected as much as possible.

 

Install Adequate Lighting

Adequate and secure lighting will deter many burglars away from your business. To ensure your business has preventative lighting, install lights in areas that are not in plain view. Often enough, this is where burglars will gain access to the inside of the building. Be sure to use durable, well-examined lighting so that your lights are both reliable and will stand the test of time. It’s also best to install these lights inside bulb cages that can prevent them from being easily broken, whether by a burglar or the elements. Finally, be sure you’re maintaining your lights and replacing them when they come out. Installing protective lights won’t do you any good if burnt bulbs aren’t replaced.

 

Exterior Maintenance

On top of ensuring your exterior is well lit, there are other preventative steps to take in order to impede burglars. Although you most likely already do this, shrubbery and trees should stay trimmed and neat — especially those in close proximity to the building — because they can provide excellent cover for someone attempting to break in. Your windows are also an easily accessible entrance into your building. Burglar resistant glaze can be purchased from various security companies. This glaze is built to hold against burglars attempting to break in, and is a wise investment as broken glass can ruin merchandise and is expensive to replace. This brings us to the next point, which is not to place valuable merchandise in your business’s windows. Unfortunately, paying customers are not the only kind of person this will attract, so it’s best to avoid the strategy altogether.

 

Burglar Proofing Your Door

Doors are another important factor in preventing break-ins. Having a sturdy, protective door will prevent many burglars from causing any harm to your business. Generally speaking, solid-core wood or reinforced steel will do the trick. In addition to this, installing deadbolt locks with heavy duty strike plates (the attachment to the door in which the lock itself goes into) will increase the security of any entrances very well. Of course, also be sure that the door hinges are located on the inside of the building so that they cannot be removed from the outside by potential burglars.

 

Purchase an Alarm System

An alarm and video monitoring system is the fail-safe plan to ensure that damage is minimized in the event of a burglary or break-in. With technology becoming more affordable every day, there is no reason why your business shouldn’t be reinforced with both types of security. Alarms are also versatile in use. They can be used to protect the perimeter or area of your business, where alarms are placed around the building and generally cover the outside surface of it. Area alarms will protect the inside of the building and are usually motion detectors of some kind. There are also object alarms which can help to protect against specific, valuable items like a safe. If any of these alarms go off, they will alert trained professionals who will contact the owner of the business and local authorities immediately to prevent as much damage as possible.

 

Video Surveillance and Monitoring

Another aspect mentioned above is video monitoring. These services used to be fairly expensive, but prices have dropped significantly as new technology is developing. For a perfectly reasonable investment, business owners can install surveillance on the inside and outside of their building. You can even go back and review the footage as often as you want, because these systems can store massive amounts of footage. Some are even saved directly to cloud databases, in which unlimited amounts of video can be stored digitally. This isn’t just great for preventing burglaries, it can also help you and your staff feel safer throughout the day. Anytime handling money is involved, robberies are a possibility both during working hours and at night.

 

Community Watch

Just like developing a good relationship with your neighbors at home, business owners should get to know those working in nearby buildings. By doing this, local businesses can keep an eye out for suspicious activity in the area. Much like a neighborhood watch program, this is a community system that has mutual benefits for anyone involved. Any time you get the opportunity to keep your community safe, do so! These tips are geared towards small business owners, but they’re also applicable to homes and anywhere else susceptible to burglary. Families can take similar steps to keep themselves safe from burglars. By doing so, they can feel secure in their own homes as well as their small businesses.

 

Big life events like burglaries are stressful, and having financial strain on top of emotional distress can be disastrous. It could mean the difference in whether or not your company stays afloat. Make sure you have the right coverage in place so you don’t have to worry about that if the time comes. Our risk managers are trained in these areas and can help you when assessing what kind of coverage will fit your needs. Take the time and think about what’s important to you. Give us a call today and let us help you in any way we can.

What to Do If An Employee Gets Hurt on the Job

No matter what sort of business you run, accidents can always happen. Even in a “safe” office environment, an employee could be badly burned from a pot of coffee or slip on a wet floor. Since an accident could happen at any time, you’ll want to already have a worker’s compensation plan in place before rather than after an incident. To make sure you have all your bases covered, here are the steps you should take when an employee gets injured at the workplace.

Seek Immediate Medical Attention

Regardless of if you think the injury is minor or not, medical attention must be provided to the employee to assess the damage. Remember that safety always comes first and the faster you get professional help, the more likely your employee is to recover faster from their injury.

Keep a Record of the Accident

Accidents usually happen so fast that no one remembers the story right, but the second the craziness dies down, talk to everyone who witnessed it. Even if a coworker wasn’t watching the injured employee specifically, they may remember some detail that will be of use later. You will need to write down their statements of what happened, from the accident to the aftermath, as well as take pictures of the scene that caused the accident to happen. File these records away in case the employee ever tries to come back and sue you over the incident.

File the Workers Comp Report

If the injury is bad enough, your employee will likely claim workers compensation for the doctor bills. If they choose to file, as is their right, you are legally required to provide them with a form and report their claim to your insurance agent. This claim is the most important reason your business should have workers comp in place, because it will save you financially from any fees and costs that come from the injury claim.

Stay On Top of the Claim

Once your employee files for workers comp, your insurance agent will request some documentation and evidence of the accident (this is where your record-taking and pictures of the scene will come in handy). During this time, you should be open with your agency about all the details of the situation as well as check in on your employee to make sure they are recovering well.

Prevent Future Accidents

If an accident happened once, it will likely happen again. Prevent a repeat incident by looking at what caused the first injury and making adjustments. If the building was responsible, preventative measures may include a simple repair. If the injury was a result of lack of training, a company-wide education class may be in order. You could also take this time to ask your employees about other possible dangers around the workplace. For instance, maybe they need better equipment or more safety items such as gloves or masks. By taking proper precautions, you can eliminate future workers comp claims and injuries, thereby making your workplace a happier environment for your employees.

Welcome Back Your Employee

Once your employee has recovered from their work-related injury, you are legally required to allow them to return to work at your business, regardless of whether their claim was successful or not. The injury was likely not their fault and they shouldn’t be punished for something they couldn’t control.

 

By having workers compensation in place, you can protect both your employees and your business. And since your employees are essential for your business to keep running smoothly, you should want to protect them as best as you can. If your business is operating without workers comp or you need help deciding which policy to choose, give your insurance agent a call today and they will discuss the best options for your industry and amount of employees.