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Marine Professional Liability Coverage

Chris Richmond, CIC, AAI, CMIP

Chris Richmond, CIC, AAI, CMIP

By Chris Richmond
For August 2022 WorkBoat Magazine.

A very long time ago when I was captain of an old wooden sailing vessel, I was bringing the boat in to the harbor to tie up to the dock, something that I had done countless times. Except this time when I put the engine in reverse to stop forward movement the boat went ahead. Quickly losing room in the congested harbor, I tried again to engage reverse propulsion, to no avail. A wooden tour boat tied up ahead of me finally stopped my movement. There was season-ending damage.

While my vessel’s Hull and P&I policy took care of the damage claim, the Coast Guard felt that I had been derelict in duties as captain and wanted to conduct an admiralty hearing against my license. I now needed professional liability insurance coverage.

Typically used by attorneys, accountants, consultants and real estate brokers, professional liability provides coverage against claims made against professionals who have not performed up to the standards of their profession. This type of liability coverage is also available to licensed mariners. Should a claim occur, and the captain be deemed negligent, he or she could be sued in addition to the vessel.

Coverage can include defense costs (both against your license, civil legal defense as well as criminal acts defense), coverage for fines and penalties as well as a daily subsistence allowance. It is important to note that professional equipment, such as a personal GPS or similar navigational device, can also be included. Loss of income can be added to compensate for lost wages due to down time resulting from a claim.

Whether you are driving a 6 pack harbor taxi or a blue water tanker, your livelihood requires you to hold a valid USCG license. When you are involved in a claim involving your license, having  professional liability coverage to fall back on can both help alleviate the headache of defending yourself and help take care of some defense costs. Have a talk with your marine insurance agent before you need this kind of protection.

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Busy Season is Here: A Quick Insurance Checklist

Krissy Campbell

By Krissy Campbell

Summer is just here!  Restaurants are open, shops are full and traffic is backed up. For local businesses of all sorts, this is good news: Whether you’re a contractor taking on new projects, restaurants coming out of hibernation, shops stocking your shelves or hotels & motels bringing on seasonal staff. If you’re one of the many businesses with seasonal influxes, let’s make sure all that prep work you’ve done is covered as it should be. Be sure to call your insurance agent about:

  • New employees
  • Increases in current payroll
  • Increase in sales and/or inventory
  • New equipment
  • New vehicles or drivers
  • Seasonal operations
  • New operations or projects
  • Newly rented or leased locations
  • New construction or acquisitions
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The Status of OSHA’s Heat Hazard Protection Standard

A heat hazard protection standard from the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) continues to be in the pre-rule stage and is still under consideration. View a PDF update. 

Workers most commonly affected by heat-related illnesses are:
• Postal and delivery services
• Landscaping
• Commercial building
• Highway, street and bridge construction workers

Workers who most commonly suffer heat-related fatalities were:
• Landscaping
• Masonry
• Highway, street and bridge construction workers

On Oct. 27, 2021, OSHA published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking to officially start the process of creating a mandatory heat hazard protection standard. Currently, OSHA has only a recommended, not required, workplace heat standard. However, many states have their own heat exposure standard as part of their OSHA-approved state plans.

Maine’s state plan covers state and local government workers only. Click here for a map showing all state plans. 

The Status of OSHA’s Heat Hazard Protection Standard 3.31.22_001
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Building Partnerships for Workplace Safety

Safety in the workplace starts with good information, translated into good practice. Recently the management staff at the Belfast Co-Op  joined Sally Miles of Allen Insurance and Financial and Maureen Anderson, an ergonomist from MEMIC, the workers’ compensation insurance company, for a safety workshop designed especially for the Co-op workplace.

They discussed sitting, standing, lifting, carrying, material handling and posture.  The main theme was the  “Power Zone,” which is close to the body, between mid-thigh and mid-chest height − where the arms and back can lift the most with the least amount of effort and with a lower risk of injury.

“Preventative measures such as regular safety meetings can make a real difference for our workers in the long run,”  said Doug Johnson, co-op general manager.  “We’re pleased Allen Insurance and MEMIC took the time to introduce us to this valuable resource.”

Group of three people
From Left: Sally Miles of Allen Insurance; Doug Johnson, general manager of the Belfast Co-op, and Maureen Anderson, ergonomist from MEMIC.
ergonomic training at Belfast Co-op
ergonomic training at Belfast Co-op
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Why Do You Need Cyber Insurance?

Karen Reed

By Karen Reed
This is another in our series of blog posts for business owners.

WHAT IS CYBER INSURANCE?

A cyber insurance policy can help protect your business from the fallout from cyberattacks and hacking threats. Having a cyber insurance policy can help minimize business disruption during and after a cyber incident, as well as potentially covering the financial cost of some elements of dealing with the attack and your recovery from it.

WHO NEEDS CYBER INSURANCE?

If your business stores any form of digital data, you need cyber insurance. These days, this is nearly every business.

WHAT SORT OF ATTACKS RESULT IN CYBER INSURANCE CLAIMS?

Cyber insurance claims can be triggered by many different incidents. Most common are ransomware, fund-transfer fraud attacks and business email compromise scams.

HOW MUCH DOES CYBER INSURANCE COST?

The cost of a cyber insurance policy depends on a number of different factors including the size of your business and its annual revenue. Other factors can include the industry in which you operate, the type of data your business typically deals with and the overall security of your computer network.

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Business Income Insurance – What It Is and Why You Need It

Sally Miles, Allen Insurance and Financial

By Sally Miles

If your business has to stop operations unexpectedly, there would be loss of business income. There is a type of insurance coverage which can help a business owner meet payroll and other operating expenses and replace actual loss of net income during the time required to repair or replace the damaged property after a loss.

There are a few important things to know about business income coverage:

  • Business income is defined as net profit or loss before income taxes that would have been earned or incurred if no physical loss had occurred.
  • This coverage is triggered by direct physical loss or damage to your property due to a covered loss AND a partial or full suspension of operations.
  • Business Income coverage can be programmed to fit the needs of a specific business.

We recommend asking your insurance agent to help you determine whether  business income coverage is essential for your operation. It could mean the difference between reopening after a covered loss  or closing your doors for good.

 

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Employee or Independent Contractor? It Makes a Difference!

By Sally Miles

Have you ever thought about the difference between an employee and independent contractor?

The answer can be found through a series of questions created by the Maine Department of Labor. 

Paying someone using a 1099 not does automatically make them an independent contractor.

The facts of the relationship between the business and individual conducting work determine whether you have an employee or independent contractor.

When it comes to insurance, this distinction is important because a business’s payroll (the people who are true employees and not independent contractors) will impact both their workers compensation insurance and general liability insurance policies, in terms of both cost and risk exposure.

When you have questions, Ask Allen. We’re here to help.

Sally Miles, Allen Insurance and Financial
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Why Contractors Should Consider Errors & Omissions Coverage

Krissy Campbell

By Krissy Campbell, CIC , ACSR 

Contractors face several potential hazards in today’s competitive and litigious society; customers are sometimes quick to allege negligence in a contractor’s work.

Contractors Errors & Omissions insurance, also referred to as E&O insurance, provides coverage for things such as damages arising out of unintentional faulty workmanship, installed products, recall of their work and impaired or defective property.

Questions about contractors E&O insurance? Ask Allen. We’re here to help.

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Why You Need Employment Practices Liability Insurance

From Karen Reed:

Karen Reed

Employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) provides coverage to employers against claims made by employees alleging discrimination, wrongful termination, harassment, or other employment-related issues such as failure to promote.

All businesses, regardless of size are vulnerable to employment claims regardless of the number of employees and statistics tell us the average cost for legal defense and compensation for this type of claim can quickly add up to $70,000.

Protect your business by calling us today to obtain a quote for this very important coverage.

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Tool Coverage 101

By Patrick Chamberlin

Contractors rely on their tools and equipment to get the job done. To protect these tools from theft or vandalism, there’s Tools and Equipment Coverage.

Tools and equipment insurance can cover both large equipment and small hand tools.

Most commercial property policies cover buildings and personal property at your premises or within a short distance. Tools and Equipment coverage is designed to cover movable property wherever it may be located.

Smaller items, generally with a value of less than $1,000 can be covered on a blanket basis. You’ll want to list higher-value items (generators, heavy equipment such as excavators) individually. It’s also important to keep an inventory (with photos, if possible) and proof of purchase.

As always, there are some exceptions and limits to this type of coverage. Your insurance agent can explain more.

Patrick Chamberlin, CIC
Patrick Chamberlin, CIC