Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Expiration of TRIA on 12/31/14

Good afternoon and Happy Holidays to you.

 

I’m writing to bring you up to speed on Terrorism insurance.  As many of you may know, after 9/11, the insurance industry moved to exclude Terrorism coverage from all policies.  Congress passed the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, which required insurance companies to offer Terrorism coverage to be purchased at the policyholder’s option.  When Terrorism insurance is accepted, the policy covers  bodily injury, property damage, loss of business income, etc. caused by a terrorist act.

 

Congress ended its 2014 session without re-authorizing TRIA.  The bill passed in the House with bi-partisan support, but the Senate failed to take up the bill.  Therefore, we anticipate that the act will expire on 12/31/14.  Once it expires, insurance companies’ sunset provisions may void TRIA coverage after midnight on that date. 

 

Since the bill had bi-partisan support, we do anticipate that TRIA will be re-authorized once Congress is back in session in January.  In the meantime, however, there is a potential coverage gap for your Terrorism insurance starting 12/31/14 at midnight.

 

There are some carriers who offer stand-alone Terrorism insurance.  If you are interested in additional information on that coverage or if you have any questions on how TRIA’s expiration may affect your policy, please let us know.

 

Thank you for your business.

 

 

Thank you,

Jimmy

 

Tell us how we’re doing on Yelp

  

Jimmy Norton, CPCU

14120 Parke Long Court, Suite 205

Chantilly, VA  20151    

o:  703-631-4500   x2003

f:   703-631-7221  

www.brocknorton.com

 

 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Tweet OSHA on Dec 11

OSHA will be on Twitter (https://twitter.com/USDOL), Dec. 11, 2014 to answer your questions about the new reporting requirements going into effect at the beginning of the new year.  Join the Twitter chat from 1 – 2 p.m. EST, where you can ask questions and follow the conversation live using the hashtag #Reporting2015.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

New Year's Resolution # 1: Familiarize self with OSHA Recordkeeping and Reporting Changes

Attention Employers:  OSHA has made changes to their recordkeeping and injury-reporting rules.  These changes go into effect on Jan 1, 2015. 
 
Here's a link to OSHA's page describing all of the changes:  https://www.osha.gov/recordkeeping2014/index.html
 
The Jan 1 changes include:

Updated list of injuries that all employers must report to OSHA:
  1. All work-related fatalities (within 8 hours of learning about the incident)
  2. All work-related inpatient hospitalizations of one or more employees (within 24 hours)
  3. All work-related amputations  (within 24 hours)
  4. All work-related losses of an eye  (within 24 hours)

Updates to list of industries that are required to keep records. 
 
If you've been previously exempt, you may want to double check this list to see if your number has been called:   https://www.osha.gov/recordkeeping2014/reporting_industries.html


Updates to list of industries that are exempt from keeping OSHA illness and injury records

This list includes:

  • Employers with 10 or fewer employees at all times during the previous calendar year.  (this isn't an update.  They're just confirming the 10 employee rule)
  • Establishments in certain low hazard industries as classified by NAICS code.  The new list can be found here:   https://www.osha.gov/recordkeeping/ppt1/RK1exempttable.html

That's the gist of the updates.  However, are you unsure about your recordkeeping requirements under OSHA?  Here are some copy and pastes from OSHA's to help guide you:
 
Employers with more than ten employees and whose establishments are not classified as a partially exempt industry must record work-related injuries and illnesses using OSHA Forms 300, 300A and 301, available here. Partially exempt industries include establishments in specific low hazard retail, service, finance, insurance or real estate industries and are listed in Appendix A to Subpart B and here.
 
What type of injuries do I have to report?
  • Covered employers must record all work-related fatalities.
  • Covered employers must record all work-related injuries and illnesses that result in days away from work, restricted work or transfer to another job, loss of consciousness or medical treatment beyond first aid (see OSHA's definition of first aid below).
  • In addition, employers must record significant work-related injuries or illnesses diagnoses by a physician or other licensed health care professional, even if it does not result in death, days away from work, restricted work or job transfer, medical treatment beyond first aid, or loss of consciousness.
 
For the full detail, go here:  https://www.osha.gov/recordkeeping/
 
 
 



Tuesday, November 18, 2014

DON'T BE PHISH FOOD: Chase online access temporarily disabled

Did you ever get one of those emails from your bank warning you that your account had been suspended?  Thankfully, they provide a convenient link for you to click and enter your login information to set everything right again.  If it seems too threatening yet easy to fix, then it probably is!

Keep your data secure and don't click on the link!

I received one of these emails today, and I shared it with my reliable IT guy, Gary Moonan of Have Tex (www.havetex.com).  Gary broke it down for me.  See his response below…

 

From: Gary Moonan [mailto:Gary@havetex.com]
Sent: Tuesday, November 18, 2014 8:41 AM
To: Jimmy Norton
Subject: Good catch and stop!!! RE: Chase online access temporarily disabled

 

Here's what it really says:

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

 

From: Chase <ChaseNotification@Secureserver.net <mailto:ChaseNotification@secureserver.net> >  I believe this is a GoDaddy email

Date: November 18, 2014 at 6:22:14 AM EST

To: Undisclosed recipients:;

Subject: Chase online access temporarily disabled

 

New Page 4

 

Dear Customer,

 

We are dedicated to providing you with a secure online environment. As part of Chase security measures we regularly screening the accounts in our system. We recently reviewed your account and we require additional verification.

 

This verification provides an extra level of security on your account. Verifying your details will only take few minutes. If you don't follow these instructions you may be liable for any loss arising from an unauthorized transaction.

 

Please, follow URL bellow and verify your account details.

 

Online verification process  <http://disaXXXxxxXXX.ukzn.ac.za/libraries/phpgacl/gacl.html>    ******* web site located in ZA(South Africa)

 

Description: http://www.disXXXxxxXXXX.com/discover/images/vpo/clear.gif

 

If you've forgotten your chase login information, you'll have the chance to retrieve it there.

Description: http://www.disXXXxxxXXXX.com/discover/images/vpo/clear.gif

 

 

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Gary Moonan, Principal Technologist

Have Tex - Hassle Free IT for Your Business

 

Gary@HaveTex.com

Appointments:   Call or email

Thursday, September 18, 2014

New Virginia Fines for Failure to Carry Workers' Compensation Insurance

Hello, Dear Readers,

One of my carriers, Builders Mutual Insurance Company (www.bmico.com), informed me that the Commonwealth of Virginia recently passed a law that significantly increases the fines that will be levied against employers who do not carry Workers' Compensation Insurance.  Here's a copy and paste from their memo to their Agents...

On July 1, 2014, Virginia HB-458 became effective and relates directly to penalties that can be assessed on employers under the workers' compensation code.

HB-458 amends Virginia Code section 65.2-805 and changes penalties which may be assessed on  non-complying employers under the workers' compensation code with respect to licensure, timely payment of claims and proof of insurance.

Formerly, these penalties ranged from $500 to $5,000.  However, under HB-458, there is now a penalty of $250 for each day of noncompliance, up to a maximum of $50,000.  Costs to collect these penalties may also be added to the total penalty.

Please note that neither the requirements for carrying workers' compensation insurance (any company with three or more employees, full-time or part-time) nor the definition of an "employee" have changed.  An "employee" is considered any person in the service of another under any contract of hire, written or implied, lawfully or unlawfully employed.  This includes anyone in direct supervision of a company, including an apprentice, trainee, family member, seasonal or temporary employee, or contractor.

Employers should be aware that designating a worker as an "independent contractor" does not necessarily mean they are not an employee.   Workers' compensation looks to whether the business exerts control over the manner and means of how work is performed.  In the event of a claim, the facts of the work circumstances will determine if the individual is covered for workers' compensation, regardless of payment on a 1099.


In Virginia, the magic number is 3.  If you have 3 or more full or part-time employees, then you must carry Workers' Compensation insurance.  For corporations and LLCs, officers count as employees.  If you use subcontractors, then they count as employees too.  Talk to your Agent if you have questions.  These new fines will be brutal.

Thanks,
Jimmy

Jimmy Norton, CPCU
Brock-Norton Insurance Agency, Inc.
703.631.4500 x2003

Sent from my iPad

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

2014 Insurance Fraud Awareness Week

From the Independent Insurance Agents of Virginia…

 

 

   Independent Insurance Agents of Virginia

 

 


Governor McAuliffe Proclaims May 11-17 as "Insurance Fraud Awareness Week" in Virginia 
The Second Most Costly White Collar Crime Behind Tax Evasion
 

 
To recognize the impact the crime of insurance fraud has on all citizens of the commonwealth, Governor Terry McAu
liffe  has proclaimed May 11 - 17, 2014, as Insurance Fraud Awareness Week in Virginia.
 
The crime of insurance fraud affects all Virginians - not only increasing the amount of premiums paid, but also the costs of everyday purchases. Ranked second behind tax evasion as the most common and costly white-collar crime in the United States, insurance fraud costs the economy almost $85 billion a year according to the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud. In Virginia, citizens may pay between $200 and $1,000 per year in additional insurance premiums and as much as $1,000 more each year for the cost of goods and services due to the negative economic impact of fraudulent insurance claims.
 
Insurance fraud comes in many forms and can be committed by anyone - professional fraudsters and criminals, policyholders who submit fake or exaggerated claims, or insurance professionals who take advantage of the unwary policyholder.
 
Since 1999, when the IFP was established as a unit in the Department of State Police, more than 20,000 suspected incidences of insurance fraud have been reported to the IFP, resulting in almost 2,500 arrests and more than $18 million in court-ordered restitution.
 
"Insurance Fraud Awareness Week" is an annual event designed to raise community awareness of insurance fraud, create more widespread public knowledge of the IFP and its purpose, and educate Virginia citizens in the prevention and reporting of insurance fraud.
 
The Virginia State Police is committed to "Stamping Out" insurance fraud occurring in the commonwealth. If citizens have knowledge of a fraudulent insurance scheme or suspect they may have been the victim of insurance fraud, they are encouraged to report the activity to the IFP on the toll-free hotline at 1-877-62FRAUD (1-877-623-7283) or at www.StampOutFraud.com. Tipsters can remain anonymous, and a reward up to $25,000 is available for tips leading to an arrest for the crime of insurance fraud.


 

 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Don't Leave Home Without an Umbrella!


Brock-Norton’s Personal Lines Manager, Cindy Watts, wants you to know about Umbrella policies.

Reasons why you should consider an Umbrella Insurance Policy….

Many people think an Umbrella policy is unnecessary, but it provides valuable protection.

An umbrella policy provides an additional layer of liability protection.  It kicks in when the underlying or primary policy limits run out.

A $1 million Umbrella policy, in a lot of cases, is less than $200 for an annual policy. (depending on number of vehicle and homes)

 

Who could benefit from an umbrella policy?

If you answer yes to any of the following:

·         Drive a car or let someone else use your car

·         Host dinner parties or other gatherings

·         Participate in carpools or other group activities

·         Own a home, rental properties or multiple residences

·         Have young drivers in their household

 

Here are a few instances in which an Umbrella policy was used:

  • Customer hit gas instead of brake by mistake and ran through the front of a restaurant, seriously injuring several people.
  • Customer didn’t see a motorcycle and pulled out, causing the motorcyclist to hit the side of the customer’s car.
  • Customer’s son was allegedly driving under the influence and hit a bicyclist.
  • Customer accidentally set a fire in his apartment which spread to other units.


If you have any questions or would like a quote please call Cindy Watts at 703-631-4500 or email cindy@brocknorton.com