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The Importance of a Workmen Compensation Insurance Safety Plan

With just about all businesses looking to reduce costs in the current economic climate, it is no surprise that the issue of  Workmen Compensation Insurance is frequently discussed by managers and small business owners in the state. While many California employers discuss premiums and insurance rates, far fewer recognize the importance of implementing a compliant, and effective, safety plan.

Many businesses are not aware that certain states mandate a written Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP), more commonly referred to as a safety plan, by law. In California, for example, the law is known as Senate Bill 198 and was enacted in 1989. Effective on July 1, 1991, SB 198 requires California employers to develop and implement an IIPP. The absence of an IIPP ranks among the most frequent Cal/OSHA (California Occupational Safety and Health Administration) citations against businesses. Fines for the failure to have an IIPP are upwards of $7,000.

In order to implement an effective IIPP, all managers and employers should consider the following key recommendations. Once implemented, these measures will benefit the small business by helping them minimize workplace injuries, and eventually reducing their workers’ compensation insurance costs.

1. Management commitment/assignment of responsibilities

A demonstration of safety and health begins with top-level management. Management’s commitment to safety will set the tone for the rest of the organization. Appointing a safety captain to be in charge of the program is a great start to demonstrating company-wide commitment. While the safety captain’s primary role is to ensure that safety work-habits are adopted throughout the organization, they may also lead a safety committee comprised of employees representing each department/area of the organization. Members of the committee can assist the safety captain by executing the organization’s safety goals.

2. Safety Communication system

There are many creative ways that you can communicate the importance of safety to your staff. They may include: introducing your safety program during new hire orientations, include examples of safe behaviors in a company newsletter/company-wide communication, post safety posters throughout your facility or communicate a safety tidbit on a regular basis at a start-up/staff meeting. Empowering your team to develop creative ideas on how to effectively communicate your safety program will go a long way in motivating them to stay committed.

3. Return to Work Programs

It is in the best interest of the employer to return the employee to work as soon as possible. If an employee is unable to resume their previous job function due to injuries, the employer is encouraged to incorporate a “Modified Return To Work” Program whereby the employee can return to payroll while performing permitted job functions. This can significantly reduce the indemnity costs and minimizes the negative impact to the employer’s insurance policy. An employer should also be vigilant in reviewing open claims with the insurance carriers and to have them closed and removed from the record as soon as possible.

Safety Professionals Can Help

While most employers earnestly want to reduce their insurance rates, particularly their California workmens’ compensation costs, creating a legally compliant, and effective, Injury and Illness Prevention Plan is often beyond the scope of expertise for the average business owner. Many of the complex guidelines and regulations require an in-depth knowledge of the law, and most businesses do not employ experts on staff to manage the process.

However, don’t despair! There are many resources available that assist small employers create, implement and administer effective safety programs. While you may not want to invest the time or money in such a service, consider the long term savings you will enjoy by reducing your Experience Modification and rates. Suddenly, the upfront expense of hiring a professional will be an easy investment choice.

Guide to Marine Insurance in India

Waterways are the oldest means of transporting goods between places. In olden days those were the fastest means of carrying good compared to road ways; as there were only limited options of land transport. With the development of transportation mediums, people started to use other modes for carrying goods. However, even today if you are to carry a large quantity of goods; especially to a different country; you relay on water ways. From ancient times the risk associated with sea route transport remains the same. Nevertheless, these days people have started insuring their good and the vessel, so that they will not suffer the loss even if some natural calamity happens.

Marine Insurance for your vessel

Marine insurance consists for the vessel and for the cargo. Hull and Machinery (H&M) Insurance covers only the insurance of the vessel; that too only if there is a total loss (referred as TLO or Total Loss only) and not any partial damages. Cargo or freight insurance as the words explains covers for the cargo. This covers for the damage, loss or theft of the goods in transit. If you are depending on a shipping company to transport your commodities, you insure them with Cargo insurance; whereas the shipping company would have H&M insurance for their ship.

The objective of marine insurance in India is to cover the shipment and the vessel. However, there are no lists of perils or incidence against which protection will be provided by the insurance providers. Most of the insurance policies cover total or partial damage to expensive goods. Some of the risk coverages are:

· For import and export shipments

· Transport through rail, air, sea or post

· Transport of goods between ports inside the country

· Transport of goods through inland waters (rivers/lakes)

· Marine insurance in India does not cover:

· Pirate attacks

· Damage duo to wear and tear or leakage

· Loss due to delay

· Damage or loss due to civil war, riots or strikes

· Loss due to bankruptcy of the customer/ship owner

Insurance claim procedure is similar to any insurance claim. However, unlike a life insurance claim there may be an investigation or you may have to submit a joint ship/port survey to prove that claim.

Marine Underwriting

The people who provide marine insurance is known as marine underwriter; process of insuring your commodities is known as underwriting. Underwriters are experts who make sure that their clients are protected from almost all unforeseen causalities and damages. Marine underwriting is a complicated job. The underwriting should cover all the dimensions of causalities. The underwriter should concentrate on the vessel as such, the cargo, the place where the loss happened, and the amount needed for settling the claim. As we all know insurance companies are looking for a reason to reject the claim; hence the underwriting should be perfect to get the insurance sanctioned. The underwriter should be aware of all the insurance laws and regulations of each to country (depending on export and import) if he/she wants to provide the necessary service to the clients.