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Insurance Archives - Harbor America

Exploring Qualifying Life Events

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While open enrollment happens only once per year, qualifying life events can occur unexpectedly, in the blink of an eye. Qualifying events, such as having a baby, losing health coverage, or becoming a citizen, can change the eligibility status for a person allowing them to enroll in health insurance coverage outside of the normal enrollment period. This period is called a special enrollment period (SLP).

An SLP is triggered by a qualifying life event and can last up to 60 days from the date of the qualifying event.

Other than those listed previously, qualifying life events can include any of the below, and more:

  • Change in coverage of the employer’s plan.
  • FMLA leave of absence
  • COBRA qualifying events, such as employment termination, reduction in employment hours, death of a covered employee, or employer bankruptcy, among others.
  • HIPAA special enrollment events, which include marriage, birth, or adoption. (Read more here.)
  • Medicare or Medicaid entitlement

Children of covered family members could lose coverage due to:

  • Turning 26 years old
  • No longer being a dependent of the covered parent or guardian
  • Death of covered parent guardian
  • Family member cutting benefits for dependents

In the event an employee experiences a life-changing event, it is important that they reach out to their human resources representative as early as possible to ensure there is little to no interruption or error in benefits.

Qualifying life events do not cover situations like the insurance carrier dropping the insured due to nonpayment or voluntarily discontinuing coverage.

It is always preferred that a person elects benefits during open enrollment, however, qualifying life events can happen, changing the person’s circumstances making their election eligibility open outside of the normal enrollment period. Contact us to learn more about qualifying life events, improving your employee benefits options, or to speak with one of our licensed administrators.

LumberYard KeyPersonFAQs

Key Person Disability Insurance FAQs

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Each company, regardless of size, employs persons who are essential to the continued success of the business. Key person disability insurance was created to protect the business in the event one of their key members suffers an illness, injury, or accident resulting in a disability. Investors, stakeholders, and business owners are able to continue operations and manage finances without major disruption.

 

How are Key Persons defined?

A key-person or employee is defined as someone who may hold either the most important relationships, accounts, or sensitive information, knowledge, or skills vital to the continued success of the business.

To whom is the payment dispersed?

If needed, coverage is paid to the employer or business.

How are these claim premiums taxed?

Generally, in the US the premiums are not tax-deductible.

Aside from finances, what is the benefit of Key Person Disability Insurance?

Planning for any unforeseen events allows the business to have a contingency plan in place for recruiting, hiring, and replacing the key person.

What types of companies should consider adding Key Person Disability Insurance?

Any business that employs someone whose contributions cannot easily be replaced should consider Key Person Disability Insurance.

Clients have come to rely on the Harbor America team for expert advice pertaining to the continued success of their businesses and protecting the future of their employees. Contact Harbor America to learn more.

Short-Term Disability (STD) Basics

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Front-loaded with a short waiting period, short-term disability plans are in place to assist employees in replacing all or part of their income due to temporary inability to work.

What You Need to Know:

  • Trigger events are any illness or injury that prevents you from working will initiate Short-Term Disability.
  • Depending on your policy, coverage will start anywhere from one to 15 days after the employee suffers a condition leaving them unable to work.
  • It is not uncommon for employers to require employees to use sick days and/or provide medical documentation prior to starting short-term disability as part of the terms.

Many states have varying rules about coverage. Contact Harbor America to understand your state’s mandatory coverage guidelines.

 

 

Long-Term Disability (LTD) Basics

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Employer management of disability benefits is an important aspect of the organization’s benefits package. This short video explains the primary elements of LTD coverage. In most cases, LTD works in tandem with the offered short-term disability (STD) coverage. Reach out to your HR Team to understand more about your organization’s LTD benefits and coverage.

What You Need to Know

  • Regardless of whether the injury was sustained at or away from work, covered conditions may include: stroke, pneumonia, and pregnancy complications.
  • LTD begins after a short-term disability policy runs out, typically between 90 -180 days after the initial event.
  • The length of coverage and rate schedule depends on the policy and the duration of benefits selected by the employer.

Certain industries or occupations can dictate certain coverage specifics. Contact Harbor America to learn more.

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Four Types of Commercial Insurance Construction Businesses Must Have

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Do you operate a construction company? If so, you know that your business is more at risk for injuries and property damages than most industries. In fact, on an average day in the United States, two people die from injuries linked with construction sites, and 20 percent of workplace deaths are related to construction work.

We’re not trying to scare you. It’s just important to recognize you’re in a business with more risk than many others so you can take the right steps to protect your livelihood and that of your employees. Here are four of the main types of insurance policies a construction contractor must have, along with a few considerations and warnings.

General Liability Coverage

Also known as commercial general liability (CGL) insurance, general liability insurance is the insurance policy that’s the most common. This type of policy provides insurance against liability that’s related to property damage and bodily injury. For example, it protects your company’s assets and pays for medical costs and other obligations. It also covers expenses from property injuries and damages by your employees or those caused by you.

Builder’s Risk Insurance

This type of commercial insurance policy is designed to protect people insured from various hazards during the construction process, such as fire, storms, hail, lightning, wind, and vandalism. In most cases, general contractors are required to buy a builder’s risk insurance policy that insures them and their subcontractors.

The policy may also include the structure being built in addition to the building materials. Besides materials that are already at the building site, the coverage also includes materials that are haven’t even been transported to the workplace. To determine the correct limit of insurance, consider your construction budget.

Commercial Umbrella Insurance

This type of commercial insurance, which is also referred to as “excess liability” insurance, is used for filling in gaps and exclusions to a primary policy. If you operate several large construction sites, you may want to consider an umbrella insurance policy, which is usually a supplement to a CGL insurance policy.

Keep in mind that a CGL policy is limited in what it covers, so you may need more coverage. In other words, an umbrella policy gives you additional coverage that exceeds what would be covered by a CGL policy. Let’s say your CGL policy has already covered $1.5 million for a claim, but that’s all it will pay. However, you still need $200,000 more. When you have a commercial umbrella policy, the remaining cost is covered.

Professional Liability Coverage

Today, an increasing number of contractors are choosing professional liability insurance. This is the result of more and more contractors doing design work. As a result, they take on even more responsibility. Because most CGL policies don’t provide coverage for professional liability, a separate policy is needed. Professional liability insurance covers litigation costs from omissions and errors that can result in losing client investment or when failing to carry out your duties as a contractor.

Considerations and Warnings

  • If your business involves demolition, grading, excavation, paving, tank installation, and other hazards, you may want to have pollution coverage, which covers third-party claims for property damage and bodily injury.
  • When deciding on insurance requirements for a contract, consider the common risks linked with a construction job to ensure you have enough coverage.
  • Furthermore, when choosing an insurance provider, consider the class of insurance carrier.
  • The two classes of insurance carriers are admitted carriers and non-admitted carriers. While admitted carriers are required to conform to the regulations outlined in the state’s Department of Insurance, non-admitted carriers do not have to conform to these regulations because they aren’t residents. An advantage of choosing an admitted insurance carrier is that the state is responsible for covering the cost of claims that are made to an insurer.
  • Consider that a CGL insurance policy does not include the cost of repairing defective work. It only covers damages that are caused by defective work.
  • The top causes of deaths from construction-related accidents include falls, being struck by objects, getting stuck between objects, and electrocution.
  • If you’re an independent construction contractor, it’s even more critical you have the right insurance coverage. This is because you’re the sole proprietor, making your personal items at risk when you’re facing legal disputes.

Commercial Insurance Solutions from Harbor America

At Harbor America, we offer a wide range of commercial insurance solutions. Starting a new business can be risky, and this is especially the situation for construction contractors. Download our free eBook and find out more about how you can protect your business.