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Pollution Liability – Not Just for Pollution Contractors

You’re on a jobsite, and your bulldozer knocks over a barrel of waste oil, contaminating the ground. During an excavation project, you hit a sewer main, releasing contaminants into a nearby stream. Are these claims covered by the Commercial General Liability Policy you purchased?

The unendorsed Commercial General Liability Policy may provide some Pollution Coverage for contractors who do not test, monitor or clean up pollutants. The general rule is that no coverage applies if a contractor brings the pollutant to the site with him, but that coverage does apply if he releases a pollutant that’s already there. There are exceptions to the first part of rule, and there may be coverage if, for example: the pollutant is used to power mobile equipment; there is a fire, or the claim involves fumes in a building where work is being performed.

The problem is that most contractors don’t have an unendorsed Commercial General Liability Policy. Most insurance companies add exclusions that take away the limited pollution coverage in the standard coverage form.

The answer for contractors looking for coverage is Contractors’ Pollution Liability Insurance. These policies pay the remediation costs that are incurred when a contractor’s operations result in a pollution incident. These policies also cover claims made by third parties for bodily injury or property damage that arises from the pollution incident. In some cases, coverage can be added for pollution exposures on the premises of the contractor – an oil storage tank, for example. Some companies may also include coverage for transportation of pollutants on a vehicle.

Many construction contracts will require that a contractor carry Contractors’ Pollution Liability coverage. Policies can be written to cover all operations of a contractor, or to cover a specific project. Coverage is available on a claims made basis or an occurrence basis, and it’s important to discuss the difference between these forms with an insurance advisor.

When selecting a Pollution Liability Policy, be especially careful if your work involves certain kinds of pollutants. Contractors who do asbestos removal or lead abatement work, for example, may find that this type of work isn’t covered by a Contractors’ Pollution Liability Policy, and that a special endorsement or policy is needed.

It’s not just pollution contractors that need Contractors’ Pollution Liability coverage. This policy is a valuable addition to the insurance program of virtually every contractor.






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Why Contracting Businesses Should Offer Health Benefits

All Contracting Businesses Should Offer Health Benefits.

All Contracting Businesses Should Offer Health Benefits.

If the HR person for your contracting business would like to recruit the best of the best, they must consider offering quality health benefits.  Many potential employees, who are worthy of working for your company, will most likely be receiving multiple job offers.  Some of those vying for your opportunity might make their decision based on salary or location, but time and time again, it is those companies which offer comprehensive health care which most often recruit the best workers.

While Employer health insurance requirements vary state to state, typically, group health care plans purchased by the employer have lower premiums due to the volume at which coverage plans are purchased.  Additionally, a majority of workers are healthy and few statistically ever file a claim for expensive health care.  Traditionally, the employer pays 85% of the premiums while the employee covers the rest.

The idea of paying up to 85% of the insurance premium initially seems steep.  The cost can add up if you have a large number of employees but making a decision like this should be thought of as an investment because it makes employees feel happy and secure.  By offering health care to your employees, your contracting business will thrive by attracting more qualified workers as well as retain them after the hiring process is done.  It will also save you money in the long run by minimizing the cost of training new hires.  Even if your contracting corporation happens to be a small one, offering health benefits can be the make or break for each new employee you take on.

Whether you are just starting out in your business, or have been running for decades, it might be time to consider a new health care plan for your employees.  Providing coverage will increase morale and productivity in the short term and profits in the long run.  If you are unsure of where to start, contact us today with any questions you may have.

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Is your Former Employee Entitled to Cobra Coverage?

What are the requirements for Cobra Coverage?

What are the requirements for Cobra Coverage?

What is COBRA?

Before delving into whether or not your former employee is entitled to cobra coverage or not, lets first lay down the foundation of what Cobra is and how it works.  COBRA is an acronym, short for the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act and was designed to protect former employees from a lapse of insurance coverage.  If an employee is capable of receiving COBRA benefits, he, along with any family members, will continue to receive Insurance through their former employer’s health insurance plan.  Although coverage will now cost higher, due to the fact that they will be paying the entire premium rather than a portion, the cost is generally still less than if they had to purchase an individual plan rather than one at a group rate.

 

Does Every Former Employee Receive Cobra Coverage?

As a business owner, it’s important to understand the laws regarding Cobra Coverage.  Not everyone who loses their job is entitled to cobra.  Only employers who have 20 or more employees and a group health care program must offer it.  As a general rule the employee may receive benefits even if he chooses to leave the company on his own.  Only if the employee has committed gross misconduct may he fail to receive benefits.  The duration of time through which the former employee may receive benefits is anywhere from 18-36 months.  Lastly, if the employee was not a participant of the group coverage plan before quitting or getting fired, he will not be eligible.

 

Violations of Cobra Coverage Laws

The most common violation to cobra law is failure to notify your former employee about his or her right to Cobra Coverage.  Notice is required before you terminate an employee.  Usually this notice of rights is explained within 90 days of the coverage occurring and if changes occur in the plan, the employee would also need to be contacted.  Additionally, within 30 days of terminating your employees, it’s your responsibility to explain Cobra rights to them.  If the employee has a spouse or ex-spouse, they too need to be notified.  This must occur within 14 days of the termination notification.

Whether you have just let someone go, or an employee has given his notice, it is your duty as a business owner to follow the proper laws and procedures.  If you have any further questions regarding Cobra Coverage contact one of our insurance professionals and they will be happy to speak with you.