All posts by JAMA Insurance

Do You Need a Certificate of Financial Responsibility

Do You Need a Certificate of Financial Responsibility

The impact of an oil spill can be devastating. It can completely ravage an ecosystem and cost billions of dollars to clean. Given the severity of oil spills, the U.S. government has regulations to protect the environment.

One of the regulations to ensure that vessels can pay the fines, penalties and damage after an oil spill is that all vessels over 300 gross tons have to have a Certificate of Financial Responsibility.

Why You Need a COFR

If you are a vessel over the weight limit and if you operate in the Exclusive Economic Zone or U.S. waters, then you have to have a COFR. Without one, you could face serious fines. For instance, you could be detained, fined up to $30,000 daily and more. In some cases, you may even have to give up your vessel.

How to Get a COFR

If you need  COFR, then you can always apply for one online. You simply sign onto the U.S. Coast Guard’s website to find the application. You can complete the whole process electronically. You can even apply for supplemental COFR and make online payments. There is no need for paper copies.

If you have a ship that is over 300 gross tons and that operates within the EEZ or U.S. waters, then you need the COFR. While the COFR protects the environment, it also protects your vessel and your assets.


3 Reasons You Need a Business Owners Policy

3 Reasons You Need a Business Owners Policy

You already know that running a business is hard, but for many it’s a labor of love. That’s why it’s important to protect what you love with the right insurance, and these are the three reasons you should consider a business owners policy.

You Have Inventory or Assets

Whether you manufacture a product or sell a service, the things your business owns need coverage in the event of a loss. Your assets can include things like equipment, raw materials or product inventory, but they also include intangibles like customer data and other digital assets.

You Have a Physical Location

Your office, workshop, warehouse, and any other physical location are vulnerable to natural and other disasters. If you have a place where you conduct your work, a business owners policy can provide coverage for repairs to the structure to get you up and running as soon as possible.

You Are Vulnerable to Lawsuits

Another component of the policy is liability coverage that shields your business from lawsuits. Legal action can arise from many aspects of your business. A slip and fall at a physical location can result in a customer’s injury, but so can a faulty product or a data breach at your company. Liability insurance often provides defense costs as well as indemnification for the injured party.

Building a business is hard work. Protecting your business doesn’t have to be.


Condo Insurance Essentials

Condo Insurance Essentials

Condo associations are responsible for maintaining the property and managing the finances of its membership. A proactive approach to risk management is an essential element of achieving both of these important duties. Condo board members and the property management companies that work with them need to carefully evaluate how to safeguard their condo buildings’ assets.

General Liability Insurance

Condo insurance coverage must include a general liability policy. General liability will protect the association in the event that someone makes a claim against it.

Property Insurance

It is imperative that condo buildings maintain adequate property insurance. A condo’s property insurance policy will generally not cover claims relating to an individual resident’s unit but rather only the common area elements of the building.

Directors and Officers Insurance

The individuals who serve on a condo board should have a directors and officers policy that offers coverage if there is a legal claim made against them relating to their service on the board. This vital policy can help to protect board members from personal liability in legal action.

Ultimately, board members should familiarize themselves with their condo’s insurance. Working with a knowledgeable insurance representative who is experienced in serving condos can help to review current coverage levels and identify any gaps in existing policies.


The Ins and Outs of Risk Retention Group Insurance

The Ins and Outs of Risk Retention Group Insurance

Business insurance is not always a cut-and-dry process. In fact, there are plenty of factors that can influence whether or not a policy makes sense for the needs of your company. If you are not aware of all the options available to you, then it stands to reason you are missing out on a more helpful form of coverage. For example, a Risk Retention Group might be the self-insurance option you have been looking for to keep your business booming.

The Risk Retention Act

Understanding RRG insurance is all about looking at where the idea originated. After the Risk Retention Act of 1986 was passed, it was possible for group captive insurers to assume the risks of commercial liability exposures related to the members of the captive. Though this can seem laden with industry jargon, it essentially means that you have lots of interesting options to mull over when it comes to how and where you obtain your insurance plan. Areas that an RRG plan could prove advantageous include:

Understand Your Options

Staying familiar with all of the insurance options available to you is a surefire way to ensure your business gets the attention it deserves. Learn about Risk Retention Groups and determine if this type of coverage applies to your company.


Extra Insurance Policies: The Importance of Excess Liability

Extra Insurance Policies: The Importance of Excess Liability

If you are shopping for insurance policies, the types of coverages that you require depend heavily on what you need it for. No matter the type of insurance coverage that you have, you should always consider excess liability insurance. Excess liabilty insurance can be extremely beneficial. Here is what you need to know about excess liability.

What Is Excess Liability Insurance?

Excess liability insurance can be used for businesses, homeowners and more. Essentially, excess liability insurance boosts your underlying policy limits. For instance, if you have general liability insurance but someone is injured and those injuries exhaust your policy limit, your excess liability will cover it too. Excess liability affects coverages that you already have.

Do You Need Excess Liability Insurance?

There are specific risk factors that make excess liability insurance important. Some risk factors include:

  • Owning a swimming pool
  • Having a dog
  • Driving a vehicle regularly

If you consider your exposure to liability risks to be high, then you need to consider excess liability coverage. To find out if you need excess liability, you can always ask your insurance agent for advice.

All insurance policies have a limit. Sometimes, your injuries or damages can extend beyond the typical insurance policy. Excess liability insurance solves the problem.


The Ins and Outs of Insurance for Trucking Companies

The Ins and Outs of Insurance for Trucking Companies

Operating a trucking company can put you in an interesting position when it comes to insurance. While all industries offer unique insurance challenges, the transportation field comes with a ton of risks and variables. Every single time a driver gets behind the wheel of a company truck, there is the potential for an accident. To cover all potential risks, you want to focus on taking out a plan that will keep your workers safe and help you protect your vehicles and other company assets.

Occupational Accident Insurance Basics

It is always best to consider the specifics when providing insurance for your drivers. When you have a strong idea of what occupational accident insurance for trucking companies is, for example, it can provide you with a much easier experience overall. Occupational coverage typically includes an array of commonplace risks associated with the transportation industry. What’s more, it can also be used as a way of providing workers’ compensation coverage in some states. Be sure to check over local regulations to know what applies to your state. Additional areas to focus on include:

  • Coverage for independent contractors
  • Weather and road hazards
  • Proper coverage for the vehicle itself

Research All Your Options

There are several ways to go about providing your drivers with ample coverage while they’re on the road. Review the basics and get a better feel for all the options available to you.


Surety Bonds Help Businesses in Multiple Ways

Surety Bonds Help Businesses in Multiple Ways

To be successful as well as financially secure, companies need insurance protection. The policies needed, however, vary based on several factors, including by industry, business track record, and client requirements. While many company owners know about and purchase liability insurance, they may not know about other important types such as surety bonds. For many businesses, surety bond insurance coverage can help in several important ways.

Win Contracts

Surety bonds can help businesses win contracts, especially if they are in the construction industry. Government entities at state and federal levels also usually require contractors to have surety bonds. This special type of coverage helps smaller companies competing for lucrative contracts show their value.

Earn Client Confidence

Surety bonds are legally binding contracts that ensure agreed-upon work will be completed. When businesses purchase this coverage, contractors are assured of that company’s trustworthiness.

Build a Work History

Just like young professionals starting out with the perennial question of how to get hired without experience, young businesses face the same dilemma. Surety bonds can help. Even new companies without a long history of jobs can more easily win prestigious contracts because clients are confident the contractual work will be done.

The right bonds help companies get contracts that propel them into the future. Surety bonds are valuable investments into companies’ long-term successes.


Lease Insurance for Lessors and Lessees

Lease Insurance for Lessors and Lessees

There are many financial considerations that go into being a property lessor or lessee. As you embark on either process, one major consideration should be lease insurance. As you begin to look at this insurance, there are some principles to follow to help ensure all parties are financially secure and protected.

Be Prepared To Pay Upfront

It may be tempting to look for the lowest rate or the biggest discount, but always make sure you know what you’re buying. Saving money at the outset may end up costing you much more if there are problems later.

Be Friendly With Your Broker

Your broker can help you save money without cutting coverage. Lease insurance is complicated and broad, and an expert can help you ensure that you have the coverage you require without paying more for extras that you don’t need.

Understand Your Lease

Always thoroughly read and understand the lease. Whichever side of the table you’re on, understanding what coverage is being offered is key to protecting your finances, avoiding surprises and maintaining a healthy lessor-lessee relationship.

Understanding lease insurance from either the lessor or lessee perspective can initially seem complicated. Luckily, following some basics precautionary principles can help make sure that negotiations are fair and your coverage is secure.


Do You Need USLH Insurance?

Do You Need USLH Insurance?

Most people are familiar with standard workers’ compensation insurance policies covering on-the-job injuries and illnesses for employees. However, some industries require a more specialized version of this coverage.

All businesses that work near navigable waters must have U.S. Longshore and Harbor coverage for their employees. The federal government requires this type of insurance under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act of 1927.

What Are the Protections of USL&H Coverage?

This kind of policy supersedes other workers’ comp laws because the federal government mandates its use. Some covered risks include:

  • Disability and death benefits
  • Weekly allowance payments for rehabilitation services required after an injury
  • Loss of wages benefits due to partial disabilities
  • Legal fees for claimants challenging a denial
  • Spouse benefits in the event of permanent disability or death.

What Types of Workers Need This Insurance?

Employees who work on the water have different requirements than those that work adjacent to navigable seas. Businesses that must secure this policy type include:

  • Harbor workers
  • Shipbuilders
  • Maritime construction workers
  • Longshoremen
  • Dock builders
  • Marine contractors

Employers with companies that conduct business near the water must have adequate USL&H coverage to cover illnesses or injuries sustained by employees while performing job tasks. Benefits depend on the worker’s earning capacity and wage loss following an injury.


Management Liability for Nonprofit Organizations

Management Liability for Nonprofit Organizations

Nonprofit organizations contribute a lot to the communities around them. While their intention is not to make money, they are still just as vulnerable to lawsuits as any other company. People still make mistakes and people can still file claims against the organization.

Do Nonprofits Need Management Liability?

Often, in nonprofit organizations, the management team does not have the same level of experience as management teams in for-profit organizations. With less experience, there are more liabilities to take into consideration. Whenever there is an allegation against the director or office, it can financially devastate the organization. You need management liability so that you can pay the legal fees to fight an allegation and any damages you may have to pay.

What Are Common Claims Against Nonprofits?

In every organization, where there is a responsibility there is also a liability. This is one of the major similarities between for-profit organizations and non-profit organizations. Nonprofit organizations are not immune to claims or complaints. Some of the more common claims include:

  • Contract disputes
  • Harassment allegations
  • Wrongful termination
  • Wage disputes

Nonprofits can be the targets of lawsuits for numerous reasons.

Nonprofit organizations are critical to a lot of charities. Nonprofits help build communities, provide assistance and support. No matter the kind of work that you’re doing, you need to keep your organization protected with nonprofit liability insurance.