Thursday, October 20, 2011

Tague Alliance - New California Work Comp Laws

Tague Alliance and SIAA member agencies who write commercial insurance and specifically Workers Compensation Insurance in California need to stay somewhat current on the plethora of new laws that were recently signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown. Take a look at this great article from the Insurance Journal:

California Workers’ Comp Institute Compiles List of Bills Signed by Brown

October 19, 2011

The California Workers’ Compensation Institute on Wednesday released a review and compilation of 20 bills signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2001.

The bills include:

• AB 55, Gatto: Extension of the right of entertainment production companies to use payroll firms as the employer of record to pay taxes, union dues and workers’ compensation.

• AB 228, Fuentes: Allows State Compensation Insurance Fund a limited ability to cover out-of-state employees of California employers.

• AB 300, Ma: Sets new requirements for safety, training and sanitation for those engaged in the business of tattooing, body piercing or permanent cosmetics.

• AB 335, Solorio: Calls for benefit notice changes in the content and delivery of benefit notices and other injured worker information.

• AB 378 Solorio: Sets guidelines for dispensing compound drugs to injured workers, defines when such drugs are reimbursable and reimbursement amounts, and eliminates incentives for doctors to refer patients to pharmacies in which they or their families have a financial interest.

• AB 397, Monning: Requires contractors to show proof of workers’ compensation coverage or exempt status (if they have no employees) when renewing their license with the state.

• AB 436, Solorio: Authorizes a $4.3 million loan from the Uninsured Employers Benefit Trust to the State Public Works Enforcement Fund to enforce prevailing wage requirements on public works projects.

• AB 469, Swanson: Requires private employers to give a new written notice to nonexempt new hires, with detailed wage and employment information and the name, address, and phone number of the workers’ compensation insurance carrier.

• AB 507, Hayashi: Revises the “Pain Patient’s Bill of Rights” and removes Department of Justice’s authority to: 1) employ a physician to interview and examine patients about the prescription, possession, or use of controlled substances; 2) require the patient to submit to the interview and exam; and 3) allow the physician to testify in administrative proceedings.

• AB 585, Fong: Extends the work-related cancer presumption given to firefighters and fire and rescue services coordinators to active firefighting members of a fire department serving NASA.

• AB 878, Berryhill: Requires workers’ compensation insurers to report the cancellation of a contractor’s policy to the State Contractors License Board and makes the violation of workers’ compensation laws a cause for disciplinary action by the License Board.

• AB 1136, Swanson: Requires general acute care hospitals to set up safe patient handling programs with trained lift teams or lift support staff and back injury prevention plans by Jan. 1, 2013.

• AB 1168, Pan: Requires the state to adopt by Jan. 1, 2013 a fee schedule setting maximum fees for services by vocational experts used in workers’ compensation claims

• AB 1263, Williams: Prohibits former State Compensation Insurance Fund (SCIF) officers and directors from lobbying SCIF for two years after their employment ends, and requires that any consulting they do for SCIF be approved by SCIF’s board.

• AB 1425, Assembly Ins. Committee: Allows insurers to disclose with the quote (prior to acceptance) that a policyholder’s premium may be refunded on other than a pro rata basis.

• AB 1426, Solorio: Abolishes the workers’ compensation court administrator position and redistributes the duties to the Department of Workers’ Compensation administrative director and the appeals board.

• SB 457, Calderon: Requires the WCAB to determine, based on liens filed, reimbursement for benefits paid or services provided by self-insured employee welfare benefit plans, notwithstanding the Official Medical Fee Schedule, when payment for self-procured medical costs for a work injury or illness is awarded.

• SB 459, Corbett: Prohibits and sets penalties for the willful misclassification of employees as independent contractors.

• SB 684, Corbett: For policies issued or renewed on or after July 1, 2012, workers’ comp insurers must disclose when a quote is provided if they want to use arbitration to resolve disputes and make explicit that businesses do not have to agree to out-of-state arbitration/dispute resolution.

• SB 826, Leno: Allows the DWC to fine claims administrators up to $5,000 per year for violating workers’ compensation information system data reporting requirements and calls for an annual report showing claims administrator reporting compliance rates.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Breaking Down Equipment Breakdown!

Equipment Breakdown Protection

Equipment Breakdown coverage can be hard to understand! Tague Alliance wants to make sure you are able to present these types of coverages to your clients with confidence and knowledge. Read below to get the low down on the breakdown:

Many businesses use commercial property forms to insure their tangible assets. However, they also need Equipment Breakdown Protection Coverage due to some limitations found in those same forms. An Equipment Breakdown Coverage policy handles a substantial loss exposure to items such as unfired vessels - Air, steam or water tanks, refrigeration systems, rollers, steam pressers, ironing equipment, steam cookers, generators, chemical processing tanks, motors, switches and controls, compressors, pumps, gears, etc. because commercial property policies typically exclude losses involving machinery or equipment breakdowns. The breakdown form provides the following coverages:

1. Property Damage - This coverage pays for direct damage to covered property (certain types of office machinery and equipment) that has to be listed (described) in the policy.

2. Expediting Expenses - This coverage applies to extra costs insured experiences in order to make temporary repairs and to speed-up (expedites) the permanent repair or replacement of damaged property.

3. Business Income and Extra Expense – Extra Expense Only - These coverages may, optionally, be purchased together; or to buy extra expense coverage alone. For example, a covered business loses most of its records due to a breakdown of its main server. Most of the costs associated with restoring the information would be covered by the equipment breakdown policy.

4. Spoilage Damage - Spoilage damage to raw materials, property in process or finished products is covered when that property is either in storage or in the course of being manufactured, the insured owns or is legally liable under written contract for the spoiled property and a lack of or excess of power, light, heat, steam or refrigeration caused the spoilage.

5. Utility Interruption - This coverage is available ONLY when a customer also purchases coverage for Business Income and Extra Expense – Extra Expense Only or Spoilage Damage. This coverage responds to loss involving equipment breakdown created by loss of utility service (gas, electric, water or communication). Also, the loss or service must last beyond the time-limit that appears on the policy (a sort of time deductible).

6. Newly Acquired Premises - This feature automatically covers newly acquired premises purchased or leased by the insured and the period of protection depends upon the length of time selected for this coverage (i.e. such as 30 days, 60 days, etc.).

7. Ordinance or Law Coverage - The Ordinance or Law Exclusion eliminates coverage for loss created by the imposition of ordinance or laws affect the rebuilding of the damaged property. This coverage pays such costs, within guidelines in the coverage, provided any increase in the loss amount is necessary due to the enforcement of any laws or ordinances in force at the time of the breakdown which regulate the demolition, construction, repair or use of the building or structure.

8. Errors and Omissions - This coverage pays for loss or damage that would have been covered except for the insured’s error or unintentional omission in describing covered property, a failure to include any premises owned or occupied by an insured when coverage began or, the insured’s error or unintentional omission that results in the company canceling coverage at one of the insured's premises.

9. Brands and Labels - This provision pays part of a company's expense to remove and re-label its own, salvaged merchandise.

10. Contingent Business Income and Extra Expense – Extra Expense Only Coverage -. This Protection applies to loss resulting from a breakdown to equipment at premises upon which the insured is dependent upon in order to run its own operation, such as a key materials supplier.

Be sure to talk to the professionals at Tague Aliance in case you need details on how to best present this critical coverage to your commercial clients!

COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc. 2006