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The Volunteer Protection Act

By Personal 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.

Examples of the Scope of the VPA

Use these examples to see the scope of the VPA:

  • A child is severely injured while swimming at a church-sponsored summer camp. The volunteer camp counselor who neglected to supervise the pool would not be liable for the incident. However, the church is liable for not hiring a properly trained lifeguard to supervise the pool.
  • While driving several young players to a little league baseball game, a volunteer coach makes an illegal left turn and hits another car. In this instance, the volunteer is liable and is not immune under VPA or the state law because he violated a traffic law.

Consequences of VPA

Though the act does encourage the public to volunteer without fear of litigation and assures that volunteer protection laws do not vary significantly from state to state, it also poses threats to you, the organization. With this added legal security, volunteers may take more risks while doing assigned jobs or take on responsibilities without proper training. Furthermore, they may not exercise the type of caution needed or become careless in their dealings with the populations the organization serves.

The act may also deter organizations from enacting risk management programs to ensure that volunteers are properly trained, knowledgeable and prepared.

Organization Liability Prevention

To prevent excessive liability on your organization, you should do the following:

  • Establish a risk management program run by a designated committee to address factors that could negatively affect your organization. The committee should identify risks that have the potential to be costly for the organization.
  • Have risk financing in place to pay for damages, legal expenses, injuries or other costs associated with litigation.
  • Obtain general liability insurance, which protects against bodily injury and property damage claims that are brought against you organization by the volunteer.

General liability insurance will protect an organization’s assets in the event of a lawsuit. In some cases, the VPA may also reduce the organization’s risk and, therefore, may reduce the insurance premium. Contact B+H Insurance, LLC to learn more about our cost-effective liability insurance solutions to protect against litigation as a result of volunteer actions.

 

Families First Coronavirus Act (FFCRA)

By Personal Insurance

Please see below for the latest on FFCRA – updated DOL guidance, a Q&A doc, and IRS guidance on the tax credits.

Visit the DOL website for more Q&As, fact sheets, posters, etc. You must comply with the notice provisions below by April 1, 2020.

Delaware Health and Social Services, Division of Public Health released a notice on Essential Services Screening Recommendations for COVID-19, also below.

DOL Guidance on FFCRA Employer Leave Requirements

Families First Coronavirus Response Act – Questions and Answers

IRS Issues Guidance on Tax Credits for Coronavirus (COVID-19) Paid Leave

FFCRA Poster

Essential Services Screening Policy

 

 

Homeowners Insurance Policy Q&A

By Personal Insurance

Know Your Insurance

The best time to learn about what’s included in a basic homeowners insurance policy is before you have a claim. We’ve gathered the answers to the most common “Am I covered if…” questions about your homeowners insurance policy to help you to minimize any coverage surprises.

What property and perils are excluded from my policy?

Typically, coverage does not apply to damage caused by flood, surface water, water that backs up through sewers or drains, earth movement, nuclear damage, war, etc. Personal liability and medical payments do not apply to the operation, ownership, use, etc., of any aircraft, automobile, RV, water craft powered by more than 50 horsepower motor; bodily injury or physical damage caused by an intentional act of the insured.

What happens if I have a fire? How do I collect for my personal property?

Whether your policy pays for the replacement or just the actual cash value of your possessions, you will be paid for personal property that you can show you owned at the time of loss. It is a very good idea to keep an up to date inventory in a secure place. Also, to help you remember what you had, it is helpful to take   pictures or video of each room.

If my sump pump fails due to water backing up through the sewers, am I covered?

No, but you can easily add a sewer and backup endorsement to your homeowners policy to cover the loss.

Is my boat covered?

Theft to watercraft, including furnishings, equipment and outboard motors, is typically excluded if the theft occurs outside your residential premises. To cover your boat and its accessories, you need a separate boat owners insurance policy.

I have insured antique items listed on my policy. If I have a total loss, do I receive payment for the full insured value?

We will first confirm the value of the items with one or more independent antique dealers. You should then be paid a dollar value based on the dealer(s) estimate of the worth of the antique items. The best way to insure your antiques? Get appraisals and establish the stated values in the policy.

During a storm, a tree from my neighbor’s yard fell and destroyed my fence. Who pays for the loss?

Generally, your own policy should cover the loss. Our agency may be able to recover the amount paid for the loss from the neighbor’s homeowners insurance if the loss occurred as a result of your neighbor’s negligence.

If I have water damage from a rainstorm, am I covered?

No, a separate flood policy is needed to covers losses to your property caused by flooding. As long as your community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), you’re eligible to purchase flood insurance. We can assist you in determining if your community participates in the NFIP.

What if I lose power and the food in my freezer spoils?

A basic policy typically does not cover this loss; however, coverage for electrical outages is available for a nominal additional premium.

If my iPod is stolen from my vehicle, is it covered under my auto insurance or my homeowners insurance policy?

Almost all auto and homeowners policies exclude coverage for any losses of iPods and other sound transmitting or receiving equipment used in an automobile. For added protection, check with us to determine if coverage can be purchased for the stereo and media players used in your auto.

How can I be sure I have the right coverage?

A complete review of your policy is the only way to determine what property is covered and what perils are insured against. We can help you identify your risks and explain what’s included in a homeowners insurance policy, including the standard limits of coverage on property insured such as money, watercraft, theft of jewelry, silverware and guns. Contact us today to learn how we can help you insure your home, auto and life.

BHI is Insurance. Done Differently.

By Benefits, Business Insurance, HR Services, Insurance, Personal Insurance, Safety Services


John Boykin
President & CEO
BHI

Business owners have so much on their plate these days, and many times the last thing on their mind is insurance. As a business owner, what do you think about when someone says the word “insurance”? Does it bore you? Do you roll your eyes? When was the last time you reviewed your insurance portfolio? Even the word itself has a bit of an outdated and traditional undertone. We get it, and we’re doing everything we can to change the market and our client and prospects’ antiquated outlook on “insurance.” We believe it’s one of the most important pieces to put in place for business continuity and not worthless paper stacked on a shelf that you hope you never have to use!

Let’s take this one step further as it’s not just about proper insurance coverage for your business. It’s about mitigating all types of risks that involve your employees, clients, and third parties. Insurance should be part of a much greater risk management approach that considers safety, human resources, and health and wellness practices – all important things in a successful business, and cost-savers if implemented strategically.

At BHI, we have set out to do insurance differently than your traditional broker. We aim to be more like your Insurance Consultant, rather than just your broker. We are comprised of industry specialists in Property & Casualty (P&C) insurance, benefits, human resources and safety with a common love for doing good business. We believe that having proper insurance policies and risk mitigation strategies in place is the foundation to doing good business.

Think about it like this – if we make an error or fail to include an important coverage in your portfolio, you can lose your whole business. Imagine the worst thing that can happen to your business – a fire, a cyber attack, an accident resulting in fatalities – are you covered in these scenarios? We are here to tell you from experience that these types of things DO happen, so it’s important to review your coverage regularly and choose a broker who isn’t just your broker, but a consultant to your business.

We operate by the following mission: BHI is the opposite of a traditional insurance brokerage, offering not only Commercial and Personal Insurance, but also Benefits, and Safety/Risk Control and HR Consulting.

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.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

John joined BHI in 2006 as a part-time advisor, became a partner in 2010 and President/CEO in 2016. His primary role is that of an insurance advisor, working with industry leaders to implement insurance and risk management strategies that are a best fit for each client. In addition to John’s role as an advisor, he oversees all financial and strategic initiatives for BHI. He has experience dealing with multiple insurance strategies, including guaranteed cost, loss sensitive and captive insurance programs, for organizations and businesses across most industries. John is licensed to sell insurance in 43 states and to date, has sold over $100,000,000 in Property & Casualty Insurance premiums.

Most recently, John has been honored by Delaware Business Times as one of their 40 Under 40 Leaders. DBT presents this award to “role models who are striving to make a difference in our community.” Under John’s leadership, BHI was also named a Fastest 50 award winner, signaling BHI’s growth and placement as a premier brokerage in the Mid- Atlantic region.

A lifelong Delawarean, John resides in Hockessin with his two children, Jack and Bailey.

This article is featured on Delaware Business Times – BIZINSIGHTS. For full access, click here.

We Are BHI

By Business Insurance, Employee Benefits, HR Services, Personal Insurance, Safety Services

We are BHI

An independent insurance agency that provides Insurance,
Benefits, Human Resources, and Safety Solutions
to businesses and individuals in
the mid-Atlantic and beyond.

 

 

We’re here when you need us most.
Call, email or stop by.
111 Ruthar Drive
Newark, DE 19711
Phone: 302-995-2247
Fax: 302-995-2220
Insurance@BHI365.com

 

Personal Lines Meet the Team

By Personal Insurance

WHAT is Personal Lines insurance?

    • Personal Lines insurance includes property and casualty insurance products that protect individuals from losses they couldn’t afford to cover on their own. Types of personal insurance include auto, home, renters, flood, valuable possessions, watercraft, RV, motorcycle, umbrella, etc. We highly recommend that our clients cover ALL their valuable personal property.

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OSHA Accepting Electronically Submitted Injury, Illness Reports

By Personal Insurance

U.S. Labor Department’s OSHA Accepting Electronically Submitted Injury, Illness Reports Through December 31

 

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will continue accepting 2016 OSHA Form 300A data through the Injury Tracking Application (ITA) until midnight on December 31, 2017. OSHA will not take enforcement action against those employers who submit their reports after the December 15, 2017, deadline but before December 31, 2017, final entry date. Starting January 1, 2018, the ITA will no longer accept the 2016 data. Read More