Tag Archives: liability

Using Contracts to Protect Your Business

This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series Business Contracts

A business should use written contracts with hold harmless and indemnification agreements to its advantage. The days of handshake agreements are disappearing; they may be gone entirely. When hiring a contractor or service provider, or renting or sharing space within a building, only do so based on a written agreement. The agreement should contain as much detail as necessary to define what work is to occur, what service is to be provided, and how or when it is to be done.

All agreements or contracts should be drafted with the help of legal counsel. While sample contracts are available online, there is often a disclaimer at the bottom — a disclaimer is another term used to deny liability — saying that the website and sample creator are not responsible for errors, omissions or damages of any kind if you use the sample. This doesn’t mean the sample can’t be used to create a draft, but the draft should always be reviewed by legal counsel before it is implemented.

When drafting a contract or agreement, use language, as well as hold harmless and indemnification agreements, designed to protect your business. (more…)

The Dangers of Hold Harmless and Indemnification Agreements

This entry is part 4 of 5 in the series Business Contracts

Hold harmless and indemnification agreements are becoming increasingly important in business contracts. They are elements or clauses within a contract or agreement that can work to your business’s advantage, or they can just as easily work against your business. Hold harmless and indemnification are terms that are used interchangeably, but do not necessarily mean the same thing. As with many things, the devil is in the details — or in this case, the wording. (more…)

Business Contracts: Certificates of Insurance and Liability Limits

This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series Business Contracts

To better manage your business, you may hire outside experts or contractors to help maintain your facility or provide a service to your customers. You will enter into agreements when hiring these contractors, and you may be advised to obtain certificates of insurance. These are legal documents designed to protect your business from liability and financial harm. Let’s take a closer look. (more…)

Case Study: Workers Compensation and Subrogation – Recovering Money and Lowering Insurance Premiums

Handling workers compensation claims is no easy task. Some cases are very complicated, as well as very expensive. And every state’s laws regarding the payment of workers compensation claims is different. To add to that challenge, each state’s laws also differ somewhat as to how an insurance company may recoup some or all of the benefits paid. It is sometimes possible to recover money through the process of subrogation when the work-related injury was the fault of an independent responsible third party. (more…)

5 Reasons Your Business Needs Video Surveillance

Is your business as well-protected as it should be? Do you really know what goes on when you’re not there to see it firsthand? As a business owner you want to ensure that your investment is protected against loss from the public or from your own employees.

Due to their early and late hours and sometimes short staffing, gas stations, convenience and liquor stores are often subject to more crime and violence, which is a growing concern among many of Society’s policyholders. Other businesses such as restaurants, taverns, and grocery stores experience increasing numbers of slips and falls. Having an effective video surveillance system will help deter shoplifting and employee theft, and it can also prove valuable when trying to document crimes and injury claims by customers or employees. Many of the newer digital systems allow you to review your footage from a smart phone, even if you are not onsite.

So, is video surveillance really necessary at your business? YES. Here’s why: (more…)

Understanding Assault and Battery Insurance Coverage

The hospitality business is all about patrons having a good time. Most business owners are vigilant about preventing verbal and physical altercations. But sometimes a situation may escalate leaving your business vulnerable to an Assault and Battery liability claim.

Assault is usually defined as “an act that threatens physical harm to a person.” Battery is generally defined as “the crime of unconsented physical contact with another person.”

For many in the hospitality industry, Assault and Battery is a concern – particularly if your establishment serves alcoholic beverages.

Did you know that many insurance carriers exclude this coverage for bars? (more…)

Tips for Reporting Insurance Claims

This entry is part 3 of 6 in the series Claims Reporting

The easiest way to control your claim cost is with prompt reporting. Studies show that claims cost more when reporting is delayed. The sooner a claim is reported, the sooner it can begin to be managed and brought to resolution.

Key types of claims that should be reported as soon as possible: (more…)

5 Reasons Prompt Claims Reporting Saves You Money

This entry is part 2 of 6 in the series Claims Reporting

Prompt claims reporting is key to recouping your losses quickly and efficiently. The timing of when you choose to pick up the phone to report an incident to your insurance carrier has a direct effect on the bottom line. Here are the top five reasons why: (more…)

Liquor Liability: Limit Your Exposure

Businesses in the hospitality industry (bars, restaurants, hotels) provide a fun and relaxed atmosphere for clientele to briefly escape their everyday routines. While these establishments look for ways to distinguish themselves from the competition, they often share one common feature: a bar. Alcohol service, the commercial sale of alcohol, creates unique risks and exposures which business owners must not only address by having specific guidelines in place; they must also strictly enforce.

The Problem (more…)

Sign On the Dotted Line: The Importance of Understanding Service Provider Contracts

This entry is part 2 of 5 in the series Business Contracts

Picture this: An elderly couple wakes up on a cold morning in the middle of winter and they head out for breakfast. On their way, Lenny and Gertrude decide to swing by your business. They pull in and park their car. Lenny rushes out to open Gertrude’s door, as he has done thousands of times before. In his haste, poor Lenny doesn’t notice a small patch of ice on the ground and he slips, breaking his hip. Lenny doesn’t believe your business caused the fall and refuses to turn in a claim. However his healthcare provider, knowing the incident occurred on your property, has gladly decided to pursue a claim on his behalf and begins sending threatening letters to your business.

As a claims professional, hundreds of claims cross my desk in a given year but no claim type matches the frequency and severity that comes with slips, trips, and falls. Often times these falls occur as a result of snow and ice in a parking lot that is serviced by a contractor or as a result of rugs delivered by a linen provider. It’s only after a claim has occurred that a second thought is given to that contract you signed with a service provider that ended up stuffed into the bottom of a filing cabinet somewhere. The simple truth when it comes to liability is that those contracts do matter. They may not always be iron-clad but they can help or hurt your bottom line. (more…)