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CTRP Trauma Care 2014-09-26T16:42:43Z http://www.ctrp.org/feed/atom/ nms <![CDATA[Significant Coverage Characteristics of Attorneys Malpractice Insurance]]> http://www.ctrp.org/?p=227 2014-09-23T16:12:45Z 2014-09-26T11:00:40Z Various foundations for malpractice actions against lawyers are offered including:
  • neglect or legal malpractice
  • violation of fiduciary duty
  • breaches of state or national statutes
  • common law fraud
  • breach of contract

Suits by customers and non-customers might be permissible.

Attorneys’ Legal Malpractice Insurance policies (also known as attorneys’ professional liability coverages) aren’t all made equal. Thus, significant coverage provisions may differ greatly from one insurance provider to another. When comparing the policies provided by various insurance companies, you need to pay particular focus on the next policy provisions:

  • Electronic Media Coverage

Most law firms use electronic media to run business. This coverage can respond for misdirection of email or alternative media for example intranet, extranet or internet connection, or loss of customer information transmitted via electronic media, or unintentional spread of a computer virus into or empowering a denial of service attack on a third party computer or network, or unintentional unauthorized access, or personal injury arising from the utilization of electronic media for example a website or social media.

  • First Party Cyber Liability Coverage

Some insurance companies will pay back up to $25,000 for hiring a third party to mitigate the potential of legal liability claims coming from any security breach that results in client information being stolen or lost.

  • Deceptive Trade Practices Acts (DTPA) Coverage

In certain authorities DTPA coverage is essential. Attorneys may continue to be responsible for specific activities under DTPA kind statutes. Misrepresentations by an lawyer continue to be actionable under some DTPA legislative acts. Note some legal malpractice policies don’t cover all DTPA damages including the multiplied part of treble damages.

  • Punitive and Exemplary Damages Coverages

Many legal malpractice insurance coverages expressly exclude punitive and exemplary damages. It might be preferable to really have a policy that will provide coverage where allowed by law.

  • Innocent Associate Protection

Criminal, dishonest or deceitful acts with a attorney are excluded from coverage by all coverages.

  • Deductibles: Per Claim vs. Aggregate and First Dollar Defense or Loss Only

Using a “per claim” deductible, each claim against you during a coverage year issues you to some other deductible. Some coverages have “aggregate” deductibles so an insured wouldn’t be billed more than one deductible per policy year. Another feature available is first dollar shield inside the deductible.

Some insurance companies will waive a percentage of the deductible or may even waive the whole deductible if ADR can be used to settle a claim.

  • Hammer Clause

A “hammer clause” provides in the event the insurance carrier would like to settle a claim but the insured doesn’t accept to the resolution, then the coverage will simply pay the sum that the insurance provider may have settled the claim. It might be preferable to get more favorable approval to settle provision.

  • Loss of Gains

Time spent defending a malpractice claim means a loss in revenue for you. Some legal malpractice policies may give you expense compensation/trial presence coverage in the $500-$750 variety for each day you’re from the office for trial, mediation, arbitration or your personal deposition in defending a claim below the policy.

  • Disciplinary Proceedings

Some legal malpractice policies will permit coverage for as much as $25,000 or $50,000 for defense costs incurred to react to disciplinary proceedings. This might be yet another limitation rather than subject to the deductible.

More Coverage Options:

1. Forerunner company coverage

2. Profession coverage

3. Sidelong hire coverage

4. Extended reporting periods (ERPs) for non-practicing, retirement, or disability

It is necessary to be well-informed and have an insurance agent to assist you to get the best rates since all legal malpractice insurance policies are different. The vast options of coverage, premium price, fiscal solvency and service amounts needs to function as the primary criteria for the decision making.

 

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nms <![CDATA[Common Mistakes Made When Workers Compensation Rates Fall]]> http://www.ctrp.org/?p=224 2014-08-20T13:52:03Z 2014-08-20T14:30:00Z Employers love it when workers compensation rates drop, especially since it is not a big issue but a hefty cost to the company. Rather than changing financing and their focus to precedence or other business opportunities, a drop in workers compensation rates should be correlated with measures to ensure ensured long term economies. Avoid these errors so you could reach long-term work comp economies:

1. Don’t mistake premium rates that are lower with price decreases

Don’t be surprised if there isn’t any associated decrease in prices while there may be a decrease in rates. Since workers compensation is a “credit line” to fund any costs of harms, rates alone cannot establish the total price of this insurance. The Experience Modification Factor which credits the individual loss operation of a company also affects the price of insurance. Although this computation is complicated, an employer is compared with business counterparts and if previous losses are lower than typical, the premium can be brought down by a credit rating. But if previous losses are higher, a debit standing can spike up prices even if rates are not high.

2. Don’t become complacent

A lot of problems play a part in the workers’ compensation insurance and medical costs that are associated. Companies need to recall that if claims remain harm and open prices require a rise, reservations will up and really have a negative effect on the Experience Modification variable of the company; prices will raise. Companies need a deeper understand of what’s changing other key metrics and medical prices.

3. Total focus on direct costs just

You’ll promptly be replied with the cost of the premium when a businessperson is asked about their spending associated with workers compensation. While rate declines cannot have an important effect on companies’ total costs, both direct and indirect harm prices are going to have serious impact on the total prices of the company.

4. Never presume the rates will remain low

The rates of Workers Compensation constantly moves in a predictable pattern when insurance is bought at an affordable cost consisting of of decrease of rates. Subsequently their focus go away from Workers Compensation rates causing a deficiency of drop in claim costs in connection to the reduced rates.

Claims don’t come down and unless companies handle harms powerful, the company’ Mod will go up. When workers compensation rates heighten, the increased Mod will really totally remove any economies which had been collected during the drop in rates.

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nms <![CDATA[Staffing Insurance and the Interviewing Process]]> http://www.ctrp.org/?p=239 2014-09-26T16:42:43Z 2014-08-14T13:45:09Z Hiring competent temp workers for clients is essential, since many employers plan to transition temporary workers into full-time employees. Therefore, those talented individuals may have a real possibility of gaining a permanent position. The interview process can help determine whether people with top-notch credentials and the correct company culture fit are being hired.

 

Below are a few questions to ask candidates in the interview, to ensure that the temp candidate has the right stuff to become a member of the team. Staffing insurance, in particular employment practices liability insurance (EPLI), can be helpful should accusations of wrongful acts be made as a result of negligent practices by the interviewer, whether real or perceived.

 

  1. Ask each candidate why he or she is interested in this temporary opportunity.

 

It’s important to find out why a candidate is interested in the opportunity and what their career ambitions are. Do they see the job as a “stepping stone”, or is this just for a paycheck? Pay attention to any nonverbal gestures during the interview, as this may be a negative indication of their intent.

 

  1. What do they hope to learn in this position?

 

Just because a person comes from a different industry or background doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be a bad fit for a client’s temporary position. The most important aspect of using temporary labor is to recruit candidates who want to use the job as an opportunity to learn. Even if his or her skills aren’t a perfect fit, hiring a motivated candidate can help clients jump the skills gap by taking a risk on an outside-the-box candidate.

 

  1. Ask him or her what their ideal work environment looks like.

 

Some candidates desire a corporate hierarchy; others are looking for an opportunity with a startup. It’s important to know their ideal fit, which may help the candidate to adapt more easily to the client’s culture.

 

  1. What do they know about the company?

 

It’s always important for a candidate to do their homework. Find out what they know about the company and ask them to envision what they can add to the mix.

 

These are just a few examples of the types of questions that can be a helpful insight into candidates’ strengths and ideologies, while avoiding the trappings associated with EPLI issues. Speak to an agent familiar with staffing companies about staffing insurance for all types of business-related concerns.

 

photo credit: Stuck in Customs cc
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nms <![CDATA[Evaluating Rating Systems for MGAs and Program Administrators]]> http://www.ctrp.org/?p=236 2014-09-26T16:30:03Z 2014-08-10T14:00:00Z As any Managing General Agency (MGA) or Program Administrator knows, they serve the agency and broker distribution system by providing them with programs for niche markets and also specific product lines that they often do not have direct access to. This is because MGAs have specialized products with rating systems developed primarily for their use and the programs they have created.

 

In fact, an off-the-shelf commercial lines insurance rating systems designed for a retail agency doesn’t work for MGAs and the specialty niches they serve. They need a solution designed for them that is easy to customize in order to address their particular needs. They require software that can be integrated with their administration systems, a platform that is easily updated with carrier and ISO rating changes, thus allowing insurance products to be brought to market fairly quickly.

 

Customizing a system requires time and effort

 

MGAs often have to either work with a package that is not designed for them and customize it (which takes a lot of resources in both in time and money), or they may choose to develop a rating system from the ground up, which may also be rather costly. Unfortunately, many of the existing insurance rating systems are not compatible with an established MGA system, so there is double entry involved, which means extra work is involved.

 

There is a solution with insurance rating software that has been developed specifically for MGAs and is integrated with existing policy administration systems. These systems for MGAs are designed to facilitate the rating and submission process and allow them to get a quote online quickly and easily.

 

Once the information is obtained, rated, quoted and bound, an MGA doesn’t want to spend the time duplicating the data into an admin system. That’s why integration is so critical, streamlining the process and offering staff and financial efficiencies resulting in less time spent. When changes have to be made due to updates by ISO or the carrier itself, an agile rating system will allow for this to occur automatically.

 

Researching what is available in the insurance market when it comes to rating is vital in order to implement a package that is designed for MGAs and Program Administrators and that can be further adapted for their specific needs.

 

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nms <![CDATA[Suggestions for a Successful Insurance Internet Marketing Strategy]]> http://www.ctrp.org/?p=233 2014-09-26T16:11:02Z 2014-08-06T14:45:05Z Due largely to the fact that they don’t have much patience people have turned to the Internet as a primary way to do research and also a good portion of their shopping. This is primarily because they want to find what they’re looking for fast. The problem is, due to a lack of desire, or knowledge for many in the insurance industry most websites fail to give prospects exactly what they’re looking for.

 

The offshoot is that, when making plans to engage in insurance Internet marketing, many agencies end up giving visitors and prospective customers too much to look at. Leading marketing experts say that’s because they tend to crowd pages and jam them with every thing that they think might appeal to a visitor- they’re actually driving people away.

 

Here are a few suggestions to try to keep an insurance website design simple, and get more people to want to hang around long enough to convert them into leads.

 

Make sure that each page has one objective

 

Keep visitors interested in learning more about the company by making what they want the main focus. If what they’ve visited the website for is hidden or difficult to locate, they’re more likely leave. That’s why it’s important to strip away all the clutter that may be a cause for concern.

 

Assign the proper offer to each particular audience

 

If the purpose is to get visitors to the homepage to submit their information for online health quotes, then make sure there are no huge offers for life and travel insurance competing for their attention. Decide the type of visitors to market the page toward then make the big offer the one they’re most likely to want.

 

Make the one call to action obvious

 

Call attention to an offer with a related image that draws the visitor in. While this can be accomplished using Flash animations, don’t go overboard! There’s a big difference between calling attention to an offer and looking cheesy and unprofessional.

 

Write action-oriented copy

 

Another important aspect of good insurance Internet marketing is copy. Copy should convey the benefit the visitor will get by taking action. For example: “Comparing Quotes Should Help To Find Just The Right Plan”. A good marketing plan will obtain the desired results.

 

photo credit: kaneda99 cc
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nms <![CDATA[The Importance of Flood Insurance]]> http://www.ctrp.org/?p=230 2014-09-26T14:48:57Z 2014-08-02T14:15:34Z Many people think that simply having homeowners insurance is enough to cover them in all situations. For this reason, many homeowners, especially in areas such as New Jersey that often see severe storms or even hurricanes, don’t have flood insurance to supplement their NJ homeowners insurance policies.

 

Because many homeowners have to have insurance as a stipulation of their mortgage, many people don’t fully understand what their policies cover and what areas are left vulnerable. While NJ homeowners insurance policies do cover most incidents, there are some, such as natural disasters that are left off the typical coverage list.

 

In the U.S., flood insurance is offered through the National Flood Insurance Program, which offers policies that are provided by private NJ homeowners insurance companies and managed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. This agency determines and regulates the cost of flood protection and the extent of coverage.

 

In 2012, flood damage in New York caused more than $3.4 billion in insured losses. In addition to this, flood damages accounted for approximately $3.2 billion in losses in New Jersey. The significant losses in these two states prove that the need for flood insurance throughout these states, especially for homeowners in coastal areas, is high. Without flood insurance, in the event of a natural disaster and subsequent flooding of a house, the homeowner would be held accountable for all of the damages, whereas with flood insurance, a lot of that cost would actually be covered.

 

While determining whether flood insurance is necessary for a particular homeowner in a particular reason, it is always better to have more coverage than less. At the current rate of $650 annually, the cost of the premium is not so high as to make a large dent in a homeowner’s budget and can only succeed in protecting that homeowner in case of a disaster. Hopefully, a homeowner never has to make a claim as a result of disasters such as floods, but, in the event that it becomes necessary, at least the financial blow won’t be quite as large.

 

photo credit: Håkan Dahlström cc
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nms <![CDATA[The Importance of Social Media for SEO]]> http://www.ctrp.org/?p=220 2014-07-24T15:41:47Z 2014-07-28T09:30:02Z At one point, simply using the right keywords in your website was enough to maintain good insurance SEO (Search Engine Optimization). However, as technology continues to change and increasingly infiltrates our lives, there is now a need to do more and to understand the relationship between all of the various components that go into a good insurance SEO plan.

 

This is where social media comes in. Search engines have become more advanced and now try to personalize the results to each individual based on previous searches and other information that search engines have gathered. With social media, companies are able to gain more data about the individual and create a more targeted insurance SEO plan.

 

There are various ways that social media can contribute to a better insurance SEO plan:

  • Earns indirect links through sharing of content, which in turn allows your content to continue to spread to audiences that you have never reached before and that would not have necessarily been possible without the help of social media.
  • Personalization based on social relationships between current consumers and potential consumers due to the large amount of data that is available on social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter.
  • Help in determining potentially strong keyword phrases by seeing what people are talking about when they share your content or competitors’ content.
  • An active company profile page helps draw in more web traffic and, by extension, customers
  • Helps avoid “low quality” link building that Google looks for when updating it’s algorithm by allowing “natural” link building through social media sites instead of posting numerous links throughout yours and other websites to achieve the same end result.

 

All of this being said, social media is certainly not a replacement for traditional insurance SEO. However, it does provide you with a good supplement to traditional methods and also potentially help boost your company’s business.

 

photo credit: SEOPlanter cc
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nms <![CDATA[Fraudulent Claims and Insurance Agent Professional Liability]]> http://www.ctrp.org/?p=217 2014-07-23T18:24:10Z 2014-07-24T08:00:36Z Insurance agents provide some very important work as professionals in the insurance industry, but they also face some ethical dilemmas in the course of their duties. Creating some of these dilemmas are the fiduciary responsibilities involved and any compensation received, in terms of commissions, to those agents.

 

The broker is most commonly the “agent” of the insured, in the principal/agent sense, and it is within this relationship that most claims arise against the broker. A broker can be sued for several reasons, including breach of contract, fraud or misrepresentation; but the most common assertion is generally for a breach of fiduciary duty.

 

By definition, a fiduciary is a person (or organization) in a position of financial trust. The public has both, the expectancy, and a need to know that the insurance industry will function in the capacity of a fiduciary and also act in the best interest of the insured.

Failing to do so could potentially result in a lawsuit and a need for insurance agent professional liability insurance to fight such a claim.

 

Concerns and dilemmas regarding this arrangement

 

Agents are expected to competently present the features of any policy they represent and find the policy and rates that best fit the needs of the insured. The insured may end up having “buyer’s remorse” when it comes to the policy they decide to purchase and may attempt to put fault with the broker for any number of reasons, whether or not they have merit, including charges of unethical behavior, failure to disclose certain information, or engaging in some form of illegal activities.

 

The agent therefore needs insurance agent professional liability coverage, and should also be documenting all contracts, agreements and transactions in writing. Under professional duty of care, agents are required to perform with “reasonable conduct,” which includes:

 

  • Securing the coverage sought by the insured within a reasonable period of time; if no coverage can be obtained, the broker must notify the insured

 

  • Notifying an insured if and when the requested coverage has been denied

 

  • Securing adequate coverage for the risk, assuming that the broker was given sufficient information to understand the amount needed

 

  • Placing coverage with a carrier that the broker knows or should have known to be financially stable, and

 

  • Notifying the insured of cancellation, expiration and renewal or non-renewal of a placed policy

 

Because there are so many situations where claims may arise, it is vital to secure professional liability coverage to protect against fraudulent claims.

 

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nms <![CDATA[Dog Attacks and the Potential for a Dog Bite Lawsuit]]> http://www.ctrp.org/?p=213 2014-07-14T17:10:31Z 2014-07-13T07:45:39Z An estimated 800,000 people in the US are injured by dog bites, many of who are children and require medical attention. Sadly, in severe instances, sometimes the attack even results in death. Pet owners are legally responsible for the behavior of their dogs, and friends or loved ones are generally the victims of a dog bite injury.

 

In most cases involving an attack and subsequent dog bite, the dog’s owner will be required to pay for the injury, including any scarring and disfigurement, pain and suffering, and all medical bills and lost wages associated with the attack.

 

Most states have statutes making it difficult for dog owners to avoid liability for injuries resulting in a dog bite lawsuit. Sometimes a person harboring the dog, often called the boarder or keeper, may also be held responsible.

 

Dog bite prevention

 

Because dog bites can result in serious injury, owners should invest the necessary time and money to properly train their pets in order to try and prevent an unwarranted attack.

Positive reinforcement dog training is a method of training that rewards good behavior rather than punishing inappropriate behavior. Punishment can be a useful form of training for some breeds.

 

A dog growls as a warning signal when they are uncomfortable with a person or situation. Preventing them from growling means stifling their ability to communicate their discomfort and the possibility that they may be ready to bite. A professional dog trainer can help a dog owner in managing their dog’s aggression to ensure the safety of those coming into contact with the animal.

 

Liability resulting from common dog bite injuries

 

The owner’s liability will often be determined based on their previous knowledge of the dog’s tendency towards aggression. This includes breed knowledge, training techniques, and any prior aggressive behavior. The most common injuries associated with dog bites are:

 

  • Skin lacerations

 

  • Puncture wounds

 

  • Crushed or broken bones

 

  • Infections from rabies and other diseases the dog may carry

 

  • Loss of tissue

 

  • Nerve damage resulting from a bite to the face, and

 

  • Emotional scarring

 

Scars, infections, and even broken bones can be a serious, life-long result of a dog bite. Because they are smaller in size, children are particularly susceptible to bites around the head and face and often suffer disfiguring scarring. Scars also cause emotional injuries and lingering fears. Scars may require plastic surgery, which adds to the expenses that the pet’s owner will incur during a dog bite lawsuit, which is why dog bite insurance is vital to anyone who owns a pet.

 

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nms <![CDATA[Costly Mistakes and Insurance Agent Professional Liability Coverage]]> http://www.ctrp.org/?p=209 2014-07-10T20:57:59Z 2014-07-12T11:30:23Z Everyone makes mistakes, and while we know that no one is perfect, some mistakes, which occur in life are at the hands of trusted professionals, such as insurance agents. When this does occur, it may lead to defense of a lawsuit by a client citing a costly omission, or misrepresentation of some type.

 

Often the error is slight and can be handled appropriately without litigation. But there are times when, whether intentionally or not, a client is the victim of negligence or a careless omission that causes them a serious financial loss. This is particularly the case when it comes to insurance coverage disputes and denied claims. This is when having professional liability coverage for the insurance agent can really be helpful.

 

Omissions and misrepresentations can be damaging to a reputation

 

For most agents, liability issues often are the result of simple mistakes and not intentional acts designed to hurt their clients. Other agent liability issues unfortunately arise from a deliberate action on the part of the agent. Some agents may knowingly sell a policy that includes unnecessary insurance or coverage not requested, or may make claims that they are offering a comprehensive policy without mentioning significant gaps in coverage or caps on recovery amounts. This can create tension, especially if there is a loss that is not covered, and may ultimately lead the customer to seek the advice of an attorney if the issue cannot be resolved in any other way.

 

After apprising the agent of his or her mistake, if a resolution can’t be reached (in some cases the agent will acknowledge their oversight when it is brought to their attention) then the customer may determine that this is a matter for the court to decide. Right or wrong, having insurance agent professional liability coverage will come in handy if the situation becomes a legal matter.

 

photo credit: Spyros Papaspyropoulos cc
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