Hurricane Preparedness Checklist

Is Your Business Hurricane ReadyAs a New York business owner, you undoubtedly wear many hats. On the day to day, you oversee various business developments and administrative responsibilities that keep your business thriving. In addition to these responsibilities, however,  you also have to anticipate the possibility of a catastrophe affecting your business. In light of this hurricane season, it is imperative that you secure your investment with a robust New York Business Insurance policy. Furthermore, protect your business by adhering to the following hurricane preparedness checklist.

Hurricane Checklist for Businesses

According to the International Hurricane Research Center, it’s crucial that you do the following:

  • Safeguard windows and glass doors with storm shutters or plywood so they’re not shattered by airborne debris.
  • Well before a hurricane forecast, have your roof inspected to make sure it can withstand hurricane-force winds.
  • If a storm is forecast, place sandbags in areas that could flood.
  • Remove valuables and important documents from the building when a storm is on the horizon.
  • Move electronics to higher elevations and place furniture on risers or cinder blocks in case the building floods.
  • Turn off utilities when you leave the building in advance of the hurricane.
  • Have a battery-operated radio or TV, three-day supply of water for each employee, nonperishable food, batteries, flashlights, fire extinguishers, tools, first-aid kits, etc. on site in case you and/or employees must shelter in place in your place business during a hurricane.

Living in a coastal state, it’s especially critical to take hurricane preparedness seriously. Do what you can to secure your business and take steps to minimize damage should a hurricane hit. Also, make sure your insurance is sufficient to protect you in the event that you do suffer storm damage. Contact us at The Rubin Group, 877.806.7239 for assistance.

Posted in Business Insurance, New York, NY, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Is Your Business ADA Compliant?

Is Your Business ADA Compliant?If you think your New York Small Business is immune from Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements because you have just a few employees or none of your employees are disabled, think again. All businesses are required to follow ADA requirements. These requirements exist to protect the huge percentage (about 40%) of Americans who are considered disabled. Is your business ADA compliant? If not, here are some ways to reduce the odds of being hit with a noncompliance lawsuit.

Take All Complaints Seriously

If someone alerts you in writing, via phone, or in person that your business is not ADA-compliant for one reason or another, do not become defensive. Instead, view the notification as an opportunity to bring your business into compliance with the law so you don’t find yourself in an expensive legal battle. Respond promptly and courteously to the information and outline the steps you’ll take to remedy the problem and become compliant. The expense of installing a ramp or adding more handicapped parking spaces pales in comparison to the expense of defending your business in a lawsuit – especially if you lose the lawsuit and the plaintiff is awarded damages.

Hire a Consultant

If you’ve given little or not thought to your business’s ADA compliance, it’s smart to hire a Certified Access Specialist to evaluate your business and provide feedback. This puts you in control and gives you the information you need to gradually bring your business into compliance on your terms and timeframe.

Focus on The Biggest Problem Areas

Most complaints about businesses not complying with ADA requirements focus on lack of access from the parking lot to the inside of the business. Make sure you have enough handicapped parking spaces, ramps or elevators wheelchair users can use as an alternative to stairs, countertops that wheelchairs can fit under, etc. You can find a list of requirements on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) website.

In addition to complying with ADA requirements, make sure you’re covered in case a customer or employee (disabled or not) is injured on your premises. Contact us at The Rubin Group, 877.806.7239, for all of your business insurance needs.

Posted in Business Insurance, New York, NY, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

New Overtime Rule: What Your Business Needs to Know

New Overtime Rule What Your Business Needs to KnowRegardless of what industry you’re in, big changes regarding employee compensation are fast approaching. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has issued a rule changing the threshold governing which employees are entitled to overtime compensation. Employers across the country are scrambling to identify ways to reconfigure employees’ roles and schedules in an effort to neutralize the effect of the new rule. As we discuss the new overtime rule, ensure your Employment Practices Liability Insurance is up to date .

The Fine Print

Currently, employees who earn $455 per week ($23,660 per year) are exempt from overtime compensation. When the new DOL rule goes into effect December 1, the exemption criteria skyrockets to $913 per week ($47,476 per year). In other words, soon, many more employees will be entitled to overtime pay for any hours they work beyond 40 per week. Additionally, the rule states that employees will need to earn $134,004 to be considered highly compensated employees. That is a $34,004 increase from the current level. The DOL last changed the overtime threshold in 2004.

Big Decisions Ahead

It’s no surprise that many businesses strongly oppose the new rule. In fact, the National Retail Federation declared them a “career killers.” The fact that the new rules prohibit employers from offering comp time (future days off) in lieu of overtime pay eliminates one option businesses had to avoid overtime pay. Employers seeking to minimize the financial burden of the rules must decide if they are going to reclassify employees, adjust hiring and salary practices, or reallocate scheduling and workloads. With the right approach, the rule may have a silver lining. It could lead to improved employee morale and greater productivity.

Whenever there is a significant change in labor law and employee practices, it’s wise to reevaluate your employment practices liability coverage. Contact us at The Rubin Group, 877.806.7239 for peace of mind that your coverage is sound.

Posted in Business Insurance, Employment Practices Liability, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

What You Need to Know About the New SOLAS Weight Requirement

What You Need to Know About the New SOLAS Weight RequirementIf you’re involved in the ocean freight industry, Inland Marine Insurance will protect your financial interests should your vessels be damaged or involved in an accident. Effective July 1, 2016, a new Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention requirement about container weight goes into effect with one key goal: protecting your vessels and crew. Read on to learn what you need to know about the new SOLAS weight requirement.

What is It?

The new SOLAS requirement mandates that all containers must be weighed before they are placed on the vessel. The World Shipping Council has advocated for this container weight requirement for years. Shippers can either weigh the full container or weigh the container and its contents separately and add them together. Weight estimates are not allowed. This requirement is in place because incorrect container weights have a detrimental effect on vessels, terminal equipment, trucks, and the people who work with these containers. The rule seeks to halt the widespread erroneous weight designations on cargo manifests.

Who will be Affected?

Who will be affected by this requirement? Anyone involved in the container supply chain will be impacted. Shippers will be required to weigh containers using certified equipment that meets national calibration standards. An individual representing the shipper must sign and verify the weight. Booking agents will need to know and share the weight with vessel and terminal operators who use container weights to create storage plans.

What Else You Need to Know

Each port’s procedures for declaring containers’ verified weights may vary. Some require including the weight in the instructions to the shipping company. Other require the weight be listed in a weight-certification document. Regardless of the specific requirement for how to communicate the weight, that weight must be a verified gross mass weight rather than an estimated weight. Ports will refuse to load containers without a weight designation.

This update, at first glance, may seem like a hassle to implement. The SOLAS regulation, however, is straightforward, reasonable, and may even reduce harmful risks to your business or employees. If you have questions about whether the SOLAS requirement may affect your marine insurance policy, contact us at The Rubin Group, 877.806.7239. We are always here to help!

Posted in Business Insurance, Inland Marine Insurance, Insurance, Machinery | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

How to Reduce the Risk of a Public Liability Claim

How to Reduce the Risk of a Public Liability ClaimIf you own a business, especially a small business, you wear many hats. You’re in charge of hiring, new business development, IT, accounting, and perhaps even cleaning the office. You don’t have much extra time in the workday to deal with an unpleasant surprise, like a public liability claim. Though you cannot safeguard your business against all risks, but you can mitigate them by instituting a sound Risk Assessment and Management strategy.

What is a Public Liability Claim?

The reasoning behind this type of lawsuit is that customers should be able to assume that when they visit a public place, like a restaurant or grocery store, that they’ll be safe. If a customer becomes injured in a business and can prove that the business could have taken steps to prevent the cause of the accident, that person can file a public liability claim. There’s a legal term, duty of care, that means the owner of occupant of a building must take steps to ensure that anyone who has a legitimate reason to enter that building is safe. If something happens at your business that causes injury to a customer, vendor, employee and it’s proven you were negligent, that means you’ve breached your duty of care. Slip-and-fall injuries are common reasons for public liability claims. If a spill happens at your business and you don’t quickly place barriers or signs alerting people to the danger, and you don’t clean it up quickly, and someone slips and becomes injured, you could be subject to this type of suit.

Reduce Your Risks

Now that you know what a public liability claim is, educate your staff, identify what risks your business is most susceptible to, and develop a plan to reduce them. Having a spill-response plan that is beneficial to any type of business. According to the National Floor Safety Institute, falls represent the leading cause of hospital emergency room visits, perhaps because they can happen anywhere.

Other risks are more specific. If you run a restaurant and a customer becomes ill after eating food that was stored at an improper temperature, improperly cooked, or cross-contaminated, you could face a public liability claim. If you’re in the construction business and a bystander is injured by falling debris because you didn’t adequately fence off the jobsite, you could be at risk.

Every business has unique risks they must protect against. One thing that all businesses can do to protect themselves is to have a comprehensive insurance policy that covers them should their most probable risks occur. Contact us at The Rubin Group, 877.806.7239, for skilled guidance crafting a policy that covers your unique circumstances.

Posted in Business Insurance, liability insurance, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

What is New York Boiler and Machinery Insurance?

What is New York Boiler and Machinery Insurance? What is New York Boiler and Machinery Insurance

Machinery plays an integral part in the day to day functions of New York manufacturers; yet standard New York commercial property insurance seldom offers the depth of coverage needed to protect these invaluable and costly assets. For this reason, Boiler and Machinery Insurance (BMI) was created.

The origins of modern BMI coverage date back to the industrial revolution, when steam powered engines and industrial boilers where abundant and essential to America’s growing economy. While these technologies were the foundation of the then modern world, they were not without their faults and frequently experience breakdowns which resulted in explosions and other costly catastrophes for New York businesses. As such Boiler and Machinery Insurance became the common term for coverage designed to help protect businesses from not only boiler malfunctions, but newer technological malfunctions and failures as well.

Throughout the first half of the 20th Century the scope of BMI coverage expanded to keep up with the latest technological advancements and began to include coverage for a broader range of factory, manufacturing, and other industrial equipment. By the time the age of technology took hold in the 1980s it became clear that traditional BMI products were not designed to accommodate the new rapidly developing technology such as computers, robotics and electronics. After this point, the insurers began offering different versions of the equipment coverage, some policies focused on traditional machinery that fell under the scope of BMI coverage while “equipment breakdown insurance” evolved to accommodate the ever evolving new electronic components.

Today New York Boiler and Machinery Insurance is often used as a synonym for equipment breakdown coverage, as electronic equipment has permeated nearly every business, industry and technological advance of the 21st century. By either name, this essential form of property insurance is designed specifically to protect operations for absorbing losses when equipment failure occurs.

At The Rubin Group, we specialize in helping New York businesses find complete business insurance and risk management solutions at affordable rates. Our boiler and machinery insurance program will give you the unique protection your company needs. We will team up with you to create a plan to incorporate the right amount of coverage, protection against exposure, and an appropriate premium level. To learn more about our operation and all of our business solutions, give us a call today at (877) 806-7239.

Posted in BMI, Boiler and Machinery, Business Insurance, Insurance | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

NYC Property Insurance: Monitoring Foundation Damage

NYC Property Insurance: Monitoring Foundation Damage NYC Property Insurance Monitoring Foundation Damage

Building foundations serve an important function to the stability and safety of any structure, and when damage or other complications arise with a property’s foundation the situation can become costly and complicated rather quickly. Foundation complications are common problems in much of the New York and the Northeast which are frequently bombarded with heavy snow, rains and moisture in the winter. Foundation problems occur when there is either too much water, causing the soil to swell, or not enough, causing the soil to shrink. When all of the soil beneath a foundation is not uniformly saturated or dry there are there will likely be differential movement between the soil which commonly results in foundation cracks and other damage.

This damage can be costly to repair on its own, and often comes with even more complications. The best defense against escalating obstacles and damages is to scan your property for potential signs of foundation damage and address these issues as soon as they appear. Here are a few common indicators of foundation damage:

  • Cracks, crumbing and other damage to the foundation itself are an obvious sign that something is wrong. Foundations are built to last and should not show signs of damage through old age or regular wear and tear of the house, thus is damage is present there is most likely an underlying soil or ground complication afoot.  Check inside the structure as well as along all exterior surfaces for gapping, cracking, sagging, buckling, crumbling and pooling moisture.
  • Poorly fitting doors and windows can also indicate that the foundation has shifted of is deteriorating
  • Improper water drainage or settling is also a telling indication that foundation failure has already taken place in addition to being a cause of failure. Cracks in the foundation can redirect water runoff and drainage which can result in excessive moisture buildup in and around the property.
  • Sagging floors and warped ceilings are another sign of foundation damage or failure. These symptoms are often visible through gapping where interior walls are supposed to meet with the floor and ceiling.
  •  Cracking walls and joints will also reveal foundation or water damage. Be sure to check all corners, pillars, joints, molding and other trim for gaps or cracking along seams which shouldn’t show signs of gaping or deterioration.

As a New York City property owner, understanding the signs and symptoms of foundation failure can help you prevent minor complications from becoming loss exposures. At the Rubin Group, we are experts in heling NYC property owners protect themselves from risks and losses. Whether you are a homeowner or a commercial property owner, our NYC property insurance specialists can help assess and address your needs and help prevent financial complications and losses by securing the right insurance coverage for your needs. To learn more about all of our NYC property insurance coverage options, give our experts a call today at (877) 806-7239.

Posted in New York, Property Insurance | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

NYC Physician Liability Insurance: Avoiding Malpractice

NYC Physician Liability Insurance: Avoiding Malpractice NYC Physician Liability Insurance Avoiding Malpractice

New York physicians are highly susceptible to a variety of professional liability claims. From disputes with unhappy patients to investigations from local regulators, physicians can be exposed to a variety of potential lawsuits on a daily basis. Whether justified or proven false, defending yourself and your practices from these claims can be extremely costly for medical professionals. It is important that NYC physicians protect themselves as much as possible from exposure to medical malpractice claims. Here are a few tips to help avoid professional liability exposures:

  • Open Communication: It is important to keep an open dialogue between the patient and physician, however this may not always be easy to accomplish. Patients often hesitate to question their physician’s treatment plan or advice, however it is vital that patients fully understand any course of action or treatment plan they may be accepting or your practice may be exposed to allegations of wrongdoing from discontented patients. Always confirm that the patient understands what’s going on, while they may not understand the specifics of the procedure, the patient should be well informed about what the process entails, any risks and complications which could arise, and what to expect during and after the work is being done.
  • Diligent notes. Detailed record keeping is a strong proactive defensive against allegations of malpractice or professional error. Patient charts, logs and records can be crucial when combatting a malpractice claim, but they can also work against physicians. Experts recommend that medical professionals note everything about a procedure, good and bad, and provide extra details about any anomalies or accidents which may occur and what actions were taken to remedy the situation. Experts also suggest that instead of using an eraser to edit charts and records, in the moment that physicians should simply stroke through the unwanted text with a simple line and mark it “error” or “incorrect entry”. These errors should be initialed and dated to show that the error was discovered. This can help avoid further allegations of misconduct, such as document tampering.
  • Keep the patient updated. It is always important to inform your patient about how the procedure went, especially if any unexpected circumstances arose during the process. Patients should be informed of any anomalies, no matter how minor or “routine” they may be.
  • Bill them after. Most insurers pay upon completion of a procedure, as such billing a patient and their insurer beforehand can lead to complications. This is especially true if the patient decided to seek a second opinion or chooses to forgo or change your treatment plan.

Proper planning, policies and strong professional liability insurance can help New York physicians protect themselves and their practice form professional errors, mistakes, accidents and other misconduct. At The Rubin Group, we specialize in helping New York physicians find complete risk management and business insurance solutions to protect their practice. Our NYC physician liability insurance can help protect your operation from the burden of legal fees, settlements and other expenses related to allegations of professional malpractice or wrongdoing.  Let our experienced NYC physician liability specialists help protect you and your practice. To learn more, give us a call today at (877) 806-7239.

Posted in New York, physicians | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Does Your Business Need Brooklyn D&O Insurance?

Does Your Business Need Brooklyn D&O Insurance? Does Your Business Need Brooklyn D&O Insurance?

Litigation has become increasingly common for American businesses.  From product disputes to contract and policy violations, any operation could face a variety of legal complications which could have damaging effects. The reality today is that there is a strong likelihood that many Brooklyn businesses will face legal prosecution at some point or another, yet many operations are unprepared to navigate all the allegations against them. Even those businesses which secure enough liability coverage to protect the core business from litigation, often fail to realize that their directors and officers can be held personally liable for any misconduct or mismanagement.

In order to protect their top executives, businesses must first be aware that their directors, officers and executives face risk exposures unique to their status and relationship to the company. Identifying and mitigating those unique hazards is ultimately the key to successfully protecting an operation’s executives.

One of the best measures any business can take to protect their high-level employees is to secure complete Directors and Officers (D&O) liability coverage. D&O coverage is designed to help protect keystone employees from claims made against them while serving on a board of directors and/or as an officer. These policies will help protection against the costs of legal defense and indemnity coverage for any Brooklyn business. While it is a widely held misconception that only large operations need to protect their executives, the truth is that small business executives often have more to lose and a greater susceptibility to hardships should they face misconduct allegations.

While the scale and scope of these liabilities may differ, directors and officers of Brooklyn businesses of all sizes need D&O coverage. At the Rubin Group, we partner with you to look objectively at your risks, threats and opportunities, and then we put together a plan that can mitigate the severity and frequency of outside litigation. Our Brooklyn D&O insurance is one of the many comprehensive business insurance solutions we offer. Let our experienced New York risk management specialists help protect your assets. To learn more, give us a call today at (877) 806-7239.

Posted in Business Insurance, Directors & Officers Insurance | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Manhattan Inland Marine Insurance Covers Off-site Property

Manhattan Inland Marine Insurance Covers Off-site Property Manhattan Inland Marine Insurance Covers Off-site Property

In the insurance industry, when we refer to business property insurance we are typically referring to a policy designed to protect the physical assets of your brick and mortar business location against structural damage, theft and vandalism that may occur on your business premises. But modern businesses are highly mobile and frequently interact with goods, products and supplies from all over the world. These in-transit business properties require special policies designed to cover a business’s expenses should something happen to these assets while off company premises.

Even business operations that are primarily service-based typically have mobile assets. Think about it. A cleaning service, for example, has vans full of products, supplies and expensive equipment that are transported to and from the primary business location on a daily basis. While those tools of the trade may be covered under a Manhattan business property insurance policy while stored on the business premises, should equipment break or fall victim to theft while in transit business property insurance may not apply.

One way businesses can protect their mobile assets is by securing the right Manhattan inland marine insurance coverage for their specific needs. While the shipping and cargo industry may have lent these policies their name, inland marine insurance offers coverage for a wide variety of transportable business properties. This can be a crucial coverage for business which ship products out from their premises those who are responsible for any materials that are being transported into your worksite. As previously mentioned, inland marine insurance is also highly applicable should an operation provide a service (such as cleaning or repairing) on property owned by a third party.

At the Rubin Group our New York brokers specialize in helping Manhattan businesses obtain comprehensive business insurance solutions that fit the specific needs of an operation. Our Manhattan inland marine insurance is designed to cover products in transit, those held over at interim shipping points or various other fixed locations, and other movable properties that are transported from one place to another. We also offer policies designed to protect data or documents being sent from one place to another or stored.  Insurance products vary in what they cover; if you’re considering New York business insurance, let us help you find just the right policy for your needs. Give our Manhattan inland marine specialists a call today at (877) 806-7239, to learn more about protecting your portable business properties.

Posted in Business Insurance, inland marine | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment