Posts

The Importance of Having the Right Workers’ Compensation Coverage For Your Business

When you run a business, having the right insurance is extremely important. You can avoid so many financial burdens and protect your budget when you work with us for business insurance in Punta Gorda, FL, and throughout the state. One of the most important coverage options that all businesses must have is workers compensation.

Protect Your Employees

Whether you have 20 employees or 20,000, these people rely on your business for an income. If an employee is injured on the job and cannot work, it can be impossible for them to keep up with medical bills and still provide for their families. Having good quality workers’ compensation ensures that employees have a safety net if they are injured on the job. This can also help them recover more quickly so that they can return to work because they don’t have to worry about medical bills.

Protect Your Business

When an employee is hurt on the job, the business is held responsible. If you have good workers’ compensation coverage, you won’t have to worry about paying for medical bills out of your business’ pocket. Paying a small premium for coverage now means you won’t have to pay an exorbitant sum later.

When you need workers’ compensation coverage or any other type of business insurance for your company, rely on the agents at Jones Family Insurance. We will help you find a policy that meets your needs at a competitive rate. Contact us, Jones Family Insurance, today to get started.

The Importance of Having the Right Workers’ Compensation Coverage For Your Business – Insurance in Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda, North Port, Cape Coral, Fort Myers Florida

What you need to know about remote working risks

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has suddenly turned working from home from a privilege to a necessity.

While you’re helping keep employees healthy and productive (and employed), you must also consider the potential liability of remote work.

From a safety perspective, you need to know:

  • what your business insurance covers when employees are working remotely, and
  • how to ensure you’re protected against losses from worker injuries, data breaches, business property damage, and more.

Let’s review some of the biggest risks of stay-at-home workers, and how to guard against them.

What if an employee is injured or gets sick while working from home?

Most states require businesses with employees to carry workers’ compensation insurance. This policy covers lost wages and medical bills for employees who are injured or become ill on the job. It also covers lawsuit costs if an injured employee sues your business.

While workers’ comp laws vary by state, the insurance generally covers telecommuters. If a remote employee is injured at home and files a claim, they must prove that the incident occurred during business hours while performing work duties.

It’s unlikely a remote employee who contracts COVID-19 could prove they became ill because of their job. But If you have a coronavirus-related claim, call your insurance agent to verify workers’ comp laws in your geographic area and the terms of your policy.

These guidelines may not apply to every person working from home for your business. Contractors (1099 workers) and freelancers are not eligible for benefits under your workers’ compensation policy.

How to protect remote workers from cyberattacks and data breaches

Nearly 90% of IT leaders feel that virtual employees may not be secure working from their home network. Their pessimism is justified.

When employees work from home, the threat of cyberattacks and data breaches skyrockets. To protect your business and remote workers from cyberattacks like hacking, malware, or phishing, make sure employees:

  • access company applications and resources through an encrypted virtual private network (VPN)
  • have updated antivirus and firewall software on their computers
  • use strong passwords and regularly change them
  • lock their computers and mobile devices when they take breaks
  • know how to identify and avoid phishing attempts and other scams

You can also consider password managers or SSO (single sign-on) software across your company to authenticate users and reduce vulnerabilities.

How to minimize losses if your company is the victim of a cyberattack

If a malicious software attack or data breach does occur on a remote employee’s work computer, cyber liability insurance will cover the damages.

This insurance comes in two varieties:

  • First-party cyber liability insurance covers damages from a data breach on your own systems. This includes the costs of notifying affected customers and paying for credit and fraud monitoring.
  • Third-party cyber liability insurance provides protection when a data breach compromises your clients’ systems and information. The coverage applies whether it happens at your place of business or remotely. If a client sues your business over a data breach, third-party cyber liability insurance will pay for attorney’s fees, court costs, and any damages.

For IT businesses, most insurance providers will bundle both types of cyber liability policies with technology errors and omissions insurance.

Commercial property insurance may not cover remote business assets

If you have equipment, inventory, or other assets you want to protect, having commercial property insurance is a must. This coverage reimburses you for business property that is lost, damaged, or stolen from your office.

But does this policy cover items as you and your workers make the transition to remote work? It depends.

Many remote employees aren’t covered while working from home. Standard commercial property insurance generally covers property that is on the premises of your office or facility. But it may exclude or significantly reduce coverage for property away from the office.

Double-check that your commercial property insurance covers business property used off-site by remote workers. An employee’s homeowner’s insurance policy typically won’t pay to replace a business-owned laptop that was stolen or damaged outside the office.

Ensure you have the right insurance for employees, data, and equipment

As you adjust to shelter-in-place and stay-at-home orders to prevent the spread of COVID-19, you may need to adapt to remote work for the long haul.

Talk to your insurance agent at Jones Family Insurance to make sure you have the proper coverage to protect against telecommuting risks. Having to pay out of pocket for uncovered losses will only cause your business more financial hardship down the line.

Jones Family Insurance – Serving Punta Gorda, Cape Coral and Fort Myers Florida

Florida Governor Supports Liability Protection

As we’ve reported over the summer, work has continued behind the scenes among some Florida legislators and other elected officials to craft a bill that would provide liability protection for businesses related to the coronavirus pandemic.  Now, Governor DeSantis has weighed-in, saying he would favor such a bill.

The Governor last week told reporters that fear of lawsuits is holding back the economy – specifically, businesses’ concern that they could be sued and found liable for an employee or customer contracting the coronavirus from their business.  While noting that would be a difficult thing to prove, the Governor said the legislature could take up such a bill in a late November special session that’s he pushing to consider his disorderly protestors plan.

States across the country are increasingly looking at providing businesses some liability protection from COVID-19.   Nevada recently passed first of its kind legislation to shield its casinos and hospitality industry from such lawsuits.  The law requires those businesses to follow public health recommendations and provide free testing and paid time off to employees who test positive and are quarantined.

In Florida, where tourism and hospitality is the largest industry, state Senator Jeff Brandes (R-Pinellas) is continuing to work with colleagues and state cabinet members to draft a bill to provide protection for a broad range of businesses.  The goal is to eliminate incentives for lawyers to engage in predatory practices, while still allowing legitimate lawsuits with clear reckless disregard to proceed.

The Governor’s comments came in the same week that he ordered Florida into the third phase of coronarvirus economic recovery, opening up all restaurants, bars, and other businesses to 100% capacity.   He said the move was meant to ensure “business certainty” going forward.   While Florida’s economic recovery continues, the latest report shows state tax collections were down 4.6% in August from August 2019 and unemployment at 7.4%.

Contact Jones Family Insurance for all your insurance needs. Serving Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda and Fort Myers Florida.

Professional liability and errors and omissions insurance both protect businesses from expensive lawsuits caused by unsatisfactory work. The language used may differ by industry.

the-importance-of-insurance-for-your-small-business

Professional liability vs. E&O vs. malpractice insurance

Many industries use the terms “E&O insurance” and “professional liability insurance” interchangeably. You may also hear these policies called “malpractice insurance.”

Common industry names for this policy include:

  • Professional liability insurance for architects, accountants, and consultants
  • E&O insurance in the real estate and IT sectors
  • Malpractice insurance in the medical and legal professions

No matter the name, this coverage protects you from lawsuits if you make a work mistake, fail to complete a project, miss a deadline, or are accused of professional negligence.

How professional liability insurance protects your business

Businesses that provide professional services typically need professional liability / E&O coverage because those services come with risks. A client could hold your business liable for:

  • breach of contract
  • work oversights or errors
  • providing substandard or incomplete work
  • missed deadlines

If these professional mistakes result in financial losses for a client, they could sue to recoup expenses. Professional liability / E&O insurance helps cover:

  • attorney fees
  • court costs
  • settlements or judgments

Even if there was nothing wrong with the quality of your work, a difficult or dissatisfied client could sue your business over a perceived problem. In that case, you might win the lawsuit but still have to pay attorney fees and court costs out of pocket. Without professional liability / E&O insurance, a lawsuit could present a major financial difficulty for your business.

Learn more at Jones Family Insurance – Serving Punta Gorda and Fort Myers

Protecting your Business from Pandemic Scams

Many offices have successfully transitioned from in-office to a work-from-home system. It’s been a successful experiment for a lot of businesses, as they’ve quickly transitioned their entire business from in-person to virtual in just a matter of months. As the pandemic continues, it’s clear that many businesses will have to keep at least a partial work-from-home set up for their employees. It’s definitely worth celebrating your business successfully adapting to the challenges of the pandemic, but there is still a lot of work ahead to keep your business safe from bad actors taking advantage of the situation.

 

Protecting Your Office (At Home)

Most people who worked in offices are now working from their homes. Hackers and bad actors will try to take advantage of this situation in order to steal data, hack accounts or steal money directly. Here are a few things you can do to protect your employees and business.

  1. Keep your work and personal hardware separate. Give employees a secure laptop that they can work on. Hire an IT firm to set this up for you. If you don’t already have the infrastructure in place, it may seem like a big investment, but the alternative (having data or money stolen) can be far worse. Plus, many experts predict that working from home will remain prevalent even after the pandemic is over.
  2. Check your home wifi to make sure it’s secure. This one will also require the help of an IT expert who will give instructions to your employees on how to secure their wifi connection. Even if you aren’t working from home, cyber crime is on the rise during the pandemic so hiring some IT help to secure your home can be worth it.

 

Fake Websites and Emails

Always check the website URL before entering your log in information. One popular age old scam is receiving an email from a company you do business with asking you to click a link to check something. Most people click the link and immediately try to log in to check whatever it is. Be careful. Check the exact email address that the email was sent from and make sure it’s familiar to you. Then, instead of clicking the link provided in the email, search for the website using Google and log in from there. You can then hover over the email link to see if the URL matches the URL from your Google search to determine if it’s authentic. If something doesn’t add up, delete the email.

 

One note for people still using Live.com, hotmail and Yahoo email addresses: I’ve noticed that these mail service has been particularly poor and filtering spam compared to email services like Google. If you are still using one of these mail services, be especially careful as many scams seem to escape their filters.

 

Scam Calls

According to a report by nextcaller.com. Scam calls to financial institutions are up 50% since the start of the pandemic. These are bad actors (often starting the scam with a robo call) who are looking for a crack in your business. If your bank calls with a fraud alert, listen to the message, hang up, then independently Google the phone number for your bank. If it’s a real person, do not engage or give any personal information, even if they seem friendly. And, you cannot rely on the caller ID or contact in your phone. For example, if you have Citibank’s number saved and your iPhone shows the call is from Citibank, this is not a reliable way to verify the call is real. Scammers can easily spoof Citibank’s real number while calling from a completely different number. Always hang up and call back from a number you are sure is authentic.

And, if you receive a bill from a company you do business with, don’t just pay it. Call the company first using contact information you can confirm to be authentic. There have been incidences reported where a company has paid a bill for the exact amount they owe, only to find out later they paid scammers.

This isn’t a complete list, but hopefully these tips prove helpful as you navigate this new normal for businesses.

Contact us at Jones Family Insurance. Serving clients from North Port, Fl to Fort Myers, Fl!