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Ways to Save on Gas

By Personal Insurance

Ways to Save on Gas
Regardless of the price of a gallon of gas, it is always great to be able to save. Often, the small 
things we do can add up to big fuel savings. If you are looking to spend less money at the pump, 
here are some easy things you can start doing today. 

• Lighten your load—Extra weight decreases gas mileage.
• Avoid long idles—Idling for only one minute consumes the same amount of gas that is 
required for starting your engine.
• Plan your trip ahead of time—Consolidate your trip to places that are close to one another. 
• Open the windows—Instead of blasting the air conditioning on a hot day, open the windows or 
use your car vents, which circulate outside air.
• Get your oil changed—Stay up-to-date on oil changes. They should be done approximately 
every 3,000 miles for conventional motor oil. 
• Drive slower—You can improve your gas mileage by nearly 20% by driving 55 mph instead of 
65 mph.
• Maintain your tires—Keep your tires properly inflated and aligned and perform regular 
maintenance checks on your tires.
• Drive smart—Be sure to accelerate gradually from a dead stop, rather than stomping on the 
gas pedal.
• Verify your rating—Make sure you are selecting the right octane rating at the pump.

Prioritize Fuel Efficiency When Buying Your Next Vehicle
Considering buying a new or used vehicle? Before making a purchase, check the gas mileage 
ratings of similar vehicles of interest to you. Then, narrow down your options on a model that is fuel- efficient in the size category that meets your needs. 

Five Strategies for Reducing Workers’ Compensation Costs

By Business Insurance, Safety Services

When a company experiences significant increases in workers’ compensation costs, it usually triggers internal activities aimed at reducing insurance costs and spending. The key to spending fewer dollars is more than just stopping a few accidents; it is having a sound safety program designed to continuously improve. This is where a safety program that, at a minimum, is compliant with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards can yield significant savings for  by reducing injuries and illnesses, saving workers’ compensation dollars.

 

Building a Solid OSHA Program

There are five elementary steps  can take to have a well-rounded safety program that produces a safe work environment, achieves OSHA compliance, reduces accidents and ultimately reduces workers’ compensation costs.

  1. Develop the various programs required by the OSHA standards.
  2. Integrate those programs into the daily operations.
  3. Investigate all injuries and illnesses.
  4. Provide training to develop safety competence in all employees.
  5. Audit your programs and your work areas on a regular basis to stimulate continuous improvement.

 

Develop Programs Required by OSHA Standards

Aside from being a requirement for general industry, the OSHA standards provide a good pathway to incident reductions. A good number of accidents stem from poorly developed or poorly implemented OSHA programs: failure to keep walking and working surfaces clear may result in slips or trips, not using personal protective equipment may result in excessive lacerations, and poor lifting techniques can result in strains.

 

Many of the OSHA standards require some type of written program be developed and then communicated to employees. Experience shows that companies with thoroughly developed OSHA-compliant programs have fewer accidents, more productive employees and lower workers’ compensation costs.

 

Integrate Programs into Daily Operations

Policies alone won’t get results; the program must move from paper to practice in order to succeed. Putting a policy into practice requires a strategic plan clearly communicated to key participants, good execution of that plan based on developed competencies and a culture that inspires and rewards people to do their best.

 

When developing any business initiative, there must be an emphasis on frontline supervisors and helping them succeed. Every good business person knows that any new program—safety, quality or anything else—lives and dies with the frontline supervisor. If the frontline supervisor knows the program and wants to make it happen, the program succeeds; if not, the program is a source of constant struggle and an endless drain on resources and energies. Providing supervisors with knowledge and skills through training is critical to the success of any program. 

 

A solid OSHA program integrated into the daily operation and led by competent supervisors is just the beginning. Successful safety programs focus on being proactive instead of always reacting to issues. Accident investigations provide an excellent source of information on real or potential issues present in the workplace.

 

Investigate All Injuries and Illnesses

Workers’ compensation is designed to recompense employees for injuries or illnesses they suffer in the course of their employment. This should not come as a surprise, but increasing numbers of claims drive up workers’ compensation costs. To reduce those costs, you must simply reduce your accidents, and the ability to reduce accidents is significantly enhanced when those accidents are fully investigated instead of simply being reported.

 

Accident reports are historical records only citing facts, while accident investigations go deeper to find the root cause and make improvements. Businesses that stop rising workers’ compensation costs have an effective accident investigation process that discovers the root cause of the problem. Unless the root cause is discovered, recommendations for improvement will remain fruitless. Again, training proves beneficial because a supervisor skilled in incident analysis is a better problem solver for all types of production-related issues, not just safety.

 

All accidents should be investigated to find out what went wrong and why. Some may suggest investigating every accident is a bit over the top and only those that incur significant costs are worthy of scrutiny. But ask yourself this question: If you only investigated serious quality concerns instead of every little deviation, would your quality program still be effective? Companies with solid quality programs investigate and resolve every deviation from quality standards.

 

If your emphasis is only on those incidents that have to be recorded on the OSHA 300 log, you close your eyes to the biggest accident category: first aid-only incidents. Many companies get upset about recordables or lost time accidents because of the significant costs involved, but they don’t realize that the small costs and high numbers of first aid-only incidents really add up.

 

Statistics show that for every 100 accidents, 10 will be recordable and one a lost-time incident. If you investigate only recordables or lost time accidents, 89 go unnoticed. Would you consider a quality program that allows an 89% failure rate successful? Reducing serious accidents means you must reduce your overall rate of all accidents – including first aid-only incidents. That only happens when every incident is fully investigated to find the root cause, and remedial actions are identified and integrated into the daily operation.

 

Training and Auditing for Continuous Improvement

The final steps focus on training and auditing your program for continuous improvement. Training plays a significant role in safety and in reducing workers’ compensation costs. The goal of training is to develop competent people who have the knowledge, skill and understanding to perform assigned job responsibilities. Competence, more than anything else, will improve all aspects of your business and drive down costs. Supervisors must have the knowledge and ability to integrate every safety program into their specific areas of responsibility. Every employee must know what is expected of them when it comes to implementing safe work procedures. Once the programs are developed and implemented, they must be reviewed on a regular basis to make sure they are still relevant and effective.

 

This might require a significant change in how you manage your safety program, but if your workers’ compensation rates are high, it may be time to make this leap.

 

Tangible Benefits

  1. Studies indicate there is a return on investment and that companies see direct bottom-line benefits with a properly designed, implemented and integrated safety program.
  2. A competency-based safety program is compliant with OSHA requirements and therefore reduces the threat of OSHA fines.
  3. A competency-based safety program lowers accidents, and fewer accidents lower workers’ compensation costs. When incidents do occur, a competency-based safety program fully evaluates the issue and finds the root cause to prevent reoccurrence and provides a workplace that is free from recognized hazards.
  4. A safer workplace creates better morale and improves employee retention. Auditing keeps your programs fresh and effective and drives continuous improvement.
  5. A competency-based program produces people who are fully engaged in every aspect of their job and are satisfied and fulfilled producing high-quality goods and services.

Renting Your Home to Others

By Personal Insurance

Liabilities of Renting Your Home

If you are considering renting out your home, take the following considerations to heart before doing so.

Renting To Do’s

  • Draw up a rental agreement that defines the terms of the rental, including restrictions, liabilities and occupancy guidelines.
  • Ask for references from potential renters, especially those that will stay for a while.
  • Request a security deposit to be refunded if there is no damage to your home.
  • Contact B+H Insurance, LLC about your plan to rent out your home and ask about how this may affect your current coverage.
  • If you are renting for a long period of time, consider hiring a “property manager” to look out for your house while you are away.

Protecting Your Personal Property

  • Set aside a locked place in your home to store personal items such as clothing and valuables.
  • Take valuable items to a locked storage facility, a family member’s home or a bank vault.
  • Change alarm codes after you are done renting.
  • Provide keys to only one door of your residence so that you have to change only one lock after the renters leave.
  • Photograph and videotape all areas of your home before the rental takes place in case damage occurs while you are away.
  • Tell your neighbors that you are renting and ask that they watch over your home.
  • Have your mail forwarded or held until you return.
  • Provide your contact information for both the renters and your neighbors in case of an emergency.
  • Provide the renters with a list of service providers, such as plumbers and electricians, in case of a water leak or furnace failure.

Contact B+H Insurance, LLC at 302-995-2247 today to learn more about the risks of renting your home.

#Inc5000 List!

By Announcements

2020 Inc. 5000 We made the list!

Inc. Magazine Unveils Its Annual List of America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies

B&H Insurance (BHI) Ranks No. 4583 on the 2020 Inc. 5000 With Three-Year Revenue Growth of 68.59 Percent

 

NEW YORK, August 12, 2020Inc. magazine today revealed that B&H Insurance (BHI) is No. 4583 on its annual Inc. 5000 list, the most prestigious ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. The list represents a unique look at the most successful companies within the American economy’s most dynamic segment—its independent small businesses. Intuit, Zappos, Under Armour, Microsoft, Patagonia, and many other well-known names gained their first national exposure as honorees on the Inc. 5000.

John Boykin, President/CEO states, “We are honored to be included in this very prestigious list.  We are very fortunate to have incredible employees, amazing clients, and great business partners, all of whom have helped BHI grow to what it is today.”

Not only have the companies on the 2020 Inc. 5000 been very competitive within their markets, but the list as a whole shows staggering growth compared with prior lists as well. The 2020 Inc. 5000 achieved an incredible three-year average growth of over 500 percent, and a median rate of 165 percent. The Inc. 5000’s aggregate revenue was $209 billion in 2019, accounting for over 1 million jobs over the past three years.

Complete results of the Inc. 5000, including company profiles and an interactive database that can be sorted by industry, region, and other criteria, can be found at www.inc.com/inc5000. The top 500 companies are also being featured in the September issue of Inc., available on newsstands August 18.

“The companies on this year’s Inc. 5000 come from nearly every realm of business,” says Inc. editor-in-chief Scott Omelianuk. “From health and software to media and hospitality, the 2020 list proves that no matter the sector, incredible growth is based on the foundations of tenacity and opportunism.”

The annual Inc. 5000 event honoring the companies on the list will be held virtually from October 23 to 27, 2020. As always, speakers will include some of the greatest innovators and business leaders of our generation.

BHI is the antithesis of a traditional insurance brokerage, offering not only Commercial and Personal Insurance, but also Benefits, Risk Control/Safety, HR Consulting and 401k Services. Instead of sitting back and waiting for policies to renew, we proactively mitigate risk, share knowledge, and employ creative strategies to stay at the forefront of ever-changing client needs. We work harder and smarter than our competitors, tackling challenges with tenacious persistence and endless drive. In our industry, people accept subpar service—we’re here so they don’t have to.

  

More about Inc. and the Inc. 5000

Methodology

The 2020 Inc. 5000 is ranked according to percentage revenue growth when comparing 2016 and 2019. To qualify, companies must have been founded and generating revenue by March 31, 2016. They had to be U.S.-based, privately held, for profit, and independent—not subsidiaries or divisions of other companies—as of December 31, 2019. (Since then, a number of companies on the list have gone public or been acquired.) The minimum revenue required for 2016 is $100,000; the minimum for 2019 is $2 million. As always, Inc. reserves the right to decline applicants for subjective reasons. Companies on the Inc. 500 are featured in Inc.’s September issue. They represent the top tier of the Inc. 5000, which can be found at http://www.inc.com/inc5000.

About Inc. Media

The world’s most trusted business-media brand, Inc. offers entrepreneurs the knowledge, tools, connections, and community to build great companies. Its award-winning multiplatform content reaches more than 50 million people each month across a variety of channels including websites, newsletters, social media, podcasts, and print. Its prestigious Inc. 5000 list, produced every year since 1982, analyzes company data to recognize the fastest-growing privately held businesses in the United States. The global recognition that comes with inclusion in the 5000 gives the founders of the best businesses an opportunity to engage with an exclusive community of their peers, and the credibility that helps them drive sales and recruit talent. The associated Inc. 5000 Conference is part of a highly acclaimed portfolio of bespoke events produced by Inc. For more information, visit www.inc.com.

The Benefit of Benefits

By Employee Benefits, Group Benefits

Remaining competitive in the hunt for the right job candidates who will propel your business to success is a struggle. Once you find the people you need, you have to convince them that your company is a better place to work than your competitors. A strategic, quality benefits package can help you attract and retain those top employees.

Employees value a well-rounded selection of benefits, and health insurance, a 401(k) plan, life insurance and dental coverage are a few of the plans that you can consider offering.

The Benefits

Benefits packages offer value to your employees and help you boost productivity and retention in a cost-effective manner. Here are a few of the advantages of offering employee benefits as part of your compensation package.
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How to Manage the Mental Health of Returning Employees

By HR Services

“The most important thing HR directors need to do is to manage expectations,” said Maria Clyde, SHRM-SCP, director of human resources at BHI insurance agency in Newark, Del.”

Our very own, Maria Clyde, Director or HR, spoke to SHRM about “How to Manage the Mental Health of Returning Employees”

Click HERE to check out the article from SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management)

Returning to Work Post-COVID-19

By HR Services

As Delaware and surrounding areas reopen workplaces and release new COVID-19 mitigation guidelines for employers, we urge you to consider adopting the following precautionary procedures:

  • Designate a Pandemic Safety Officer for each active job site or location
    • The Officer should be on site at any time that work is performed or the location is open, screen employees before beginning work and enforce new COVID safety precautions.
    • The Officer should take a COVID-19 Awareness Training Course, obtain a COVID-19 workplace training certificate and post it at the job site or location/establishment alongside any other required posters or permits.
    • The Officer may also be your Site Safety Manager, General Manager, Operations Manager, HR, etc.
  • Create and communicate a COVID-19 Safety Plan tailored to your company (contact us for more details).
  • Limit the number of employees at a location or site (consider square footage, client volume, etc.).
  • Require employees to wear masks at all times while working.
  • Require social distancing of 6 feet or more between employees while they are working and taking breaks.
  • Provide every employee with regular access to hand-washing stations, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant wipes.
  • Schedule regular hand-washing breaks.
  • Minimize sharing of utensils, computers, tools, equipment, etc. amongst employees.
  • Have high-touch areas and tools cleaned and disinfected regularly.

For further guidance, join us for our BHI Executive Learning Series webinar on Tuesday, May 12, 2020 entitled “We are returning to work! Now what?” Click here to register. As always, please contact our Insurance, Safety and/or HR Consultants for further questions.

Thank you and stay safe!
Your BHI Team

The Volunteer Protection Act

By Business Insurance

To promote volunteerism, the Volunteer Protection Act (VPA) was signed into law in 1997. This act pre-empts existing, looser state laws protecting nonprofit volunteers, encouraging the public to participate in social service.

Overview of the Volunteer Protection Act

The VPA protects volunteers against civil liability under the following conditions:

  • The volunteer was acting within the guidelines of his or her job description
  • The volunteer had the proper licenses, certifications or was authorized to act, and those acts were within his or her job description
  • The volunteer did not cause harm that was caused by willful or criminal misconduct, gross negligence, reckless misconduct, or a conscious, flagrant indifference to the rights or safety of the individual harmed
  • The volunteer did not inflict harm while using a motor vehicle, aircraft or other vehicle

The VPA provides consistent protection for all nonprofit personnel since state laws vary. More specifically, many states only provide protection to the organization’s director or board members, while others protect everyone associated with the organization.

The VPA does not, however, protect a volunteer from litigation brought by the organization onto the volunteer for violating one of previously mentioned criteria.

Most importantly, the VPA does not protect the nonprofit organization from litigation; it only protects the volunteer. In other words, the organization may be liable for the negligent actions of the volunteer, even when the volunteer is immune from litigation under the VPA. Therefore, the burden of responsibility is on the organization to assure that its volunteers are acting in a lawful manner while carrying out the duties assigned to them by the nonprofit.
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CARES Act Expands Health Coverage Rules

By Group Benefits

On March 27, 2020, the U.S. Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) to provide $2.2 trillion in federal funding to address the COVID-19 crisis. The President signed the CARES Act into law the same day.

Following and building upon two other federal laws that were recently enacted to address the pandemic—the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and an emergency funding bill—the CARES Act makes a variety of changes affecting health plans.

Health Plan Coverage Provisions
The CARES Act includes provisions to:

  • Expand the types of coronavirus testing that all comprehensive private health insurance plans must cover without cost-sharing or barriers under the FFCRA;
  • Accelerate the process that would make permanent the requirement for health plans to cover preventive services and vaccines related to COVID-19;
  • Allow telehealth and other remote care services to be covered under a high deductible health plan (HDHP) before the deductible is met, without affecting the HDHP’s compatibility with Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) (applicable for HDHP plan years beginning on or before Dec. 31, 2021); and

Treat additional over-the-counter medications, along with menstrual care products, as qualified medical expenses that may be paid for using HSAs or other tax-advantaged arrangements.

COVID-19 ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOAN APPLICATION CLICK, HERE.