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Revisiting Best Practice Responses to the Sexual Harassment Complaint

  • By:
  • David Thurber
  • |
  • Mar. 8th, 2018

Often in a sexual harassment case, an employer will ignore the claim because they see it simply as a “he said - she said” standoff; a high-risk response at any time but certainly now in the #MeToo environment.  It may be a good time to review best practices whenever a complaint of sexual harassment is made regardless of the party’s gender or the limited evidence you think may exist.

1.  Always take the claim of harassment seriously whether it be sexual, religious or racial.
2.  Always have and follow your own policies on harassment, which should be in your employment handbook and kept current.
3.  Always respond timely, not next week or whenever you get around to it. Respond now. Depending on the nature of the harassment, an initial high-level decision may need to be made to separate the parties or even suspend one or both pending the investigation.  How you respond sends strong messages to all who are watching. You want to send the message that the company cares and has a zero tolerance for harassment in any context.
4.  Always involve HR staff who know the way around these issues generally.
5.  Always initiate an internal investigation with neutral or independent investigators:

Someone trained or experienced in investigating and interviewing the parties and any witnesses. Someone who understands the art of asking open ended questions as well as detailed questions to fully explore and understand what the witness may know firsthand.
A person who is competent, respected, and thoughtful.
People who will pursue all the facts and not be misled by emotions, bias, anger, or early conclusions.
Someone who can thoughtfully sort and sift and weigh the information received against company policy and the law to arrive at a reasoned conclusion. Triage the approach with a small group of folks to vet the conclusions and the process.

6.  Always communicate with all stakeholders the findings and the recommended course of action to be taken, if any.
7.  Always be prepared to entertain settlement discussions if the facts warrant doing so, or to participate in mediation if not arbitration when appropriate.

In any complaint that makes it to the Courthouse, the law will presume the facts alleged are true until sufficient evidence is produced to the contrary. That process takes time through discovery. Said another way, the “he said - she said” kind of claim will still require time and effort to fully develop the facts before a claim can be dismissed.  And then, if it is a close call or unclear, the Court will allow a jury to decide. After all, that is a jury’s job.

It is a risky proposition for an employer to ignore the claim of harassment even if it is perceived as a “he said - she said” type of situation, as it may not be.  In fact, failure to follow this reminder will increase the employer’s chances of failure at trial, and raise the stakes in any settlement discussions. Responding responsibly and timely will reinforce your mission and company values which most likely place mutual respect for individuals and your employees as your best asset as high priority values. 

Apologetics in Senior Care - Should we ever say…....Sorry?

  • By:
  • David Thurber, Counsel to Alliance Insurance Group
  • |
  • Mar. 5th, 2018

When a negative event occurs with a resident on our campus or in our community, because we care, we often are led to apologize. But should you?

Read more>>

Are you compliant with ACA guidelines?

  • By:
  • Alliance Insurance Group
  • |
  • Jul. 6th, 2016

With 2016 being the first year for Affordable Care Act (ACA) reporting, it will be important that your business is compliant with reporting guidelines. The following ACA compliance checklist details some key points you should be aware of as you navigate the reporting process.

1. Know whether the mandates apply to your company size. The Affordable Care Act mandates that, in 2016, if your business has 50 or more full-time employees, referred to as an Applicable Large Employer (ALE), you'll need to offer minimum essential health insurance coverage to at least 95% (up from 70% in 2015) of those full-time employees to avoid paying a penalty. The IRS defines a full-time employee as one who works at your organization for a minimum of 30 hours per week or whose service hours equal at least 130 hours a month for more than 120 days in a year. Note that if you employ part-time employees, they can collectively be counted as an ‘equivalent full-time employee’ if their hours combine to equal more than 30 hours a week.

2. Make sure to have documented proof that you offered coverage to your eligible full-time employees, and its value. Document essential information, including dates of coverage and whether or not an employee waived their coverage to instead buy via the Health Insurance Marketplace. Keeping this information organized and catalogued, will help you when filling out 1094-C and 1095-C forms to demonstrate ACA compliance.

3. File 1095-C and 1094-C forms. In order to comply with reporting measures, you’ll need to file a 1095-C form for each full-time employee, and a 1094-C form which provides aggregate information about your organization and its coverage as a whole. You can find more information on the purpose of these forms by consulting the IRS brochure Getting Ready: Monthly Tracking.

4. Provide employees with 1095-C form to complete their tax return. Generally, ALE members are required to provide a copy of the 1095-C form to employees so that they have access to information about the coverage they were offered that year when filing their tax returns.

Although there are many moving parts to ACA reporting, if you follow the instructions outlined by the IRS, you can successfully demonstrate compliance. For further information, consult Questions and Answers about Information Reporting by Employers on Form 1094-C and Form 1095-C or Instructions for Forms 1094-C and 1095-C.

For assistance in navigating the complex world of insurance regulations and reporting, contact an Alliance Insurance Group specialist.

The Pros and Cons of Implementing an Employee Wellness Program

  • By:
  • Alliance Insurance Group
  • |
  • Jun. 27th, 2016

With $2 billion being spent annually on workplace wellness programs in the United States, employers are beginning to ask the question: are they worth it? Employee Wellness Programs gained visibility after Safeway publicized its success story in 2009. Shortly after, an amendment was made to the Affordable Care Act, allowing employers to reimburse employees up to 30% of their health-insurance premiums in exchange for participation in corporate wellness programs. The idea is that a wellness program--complete with gym memberships, smoking cessation incentives, or even psychological counseling- -will result in greater employee productivity, a happier workforce, and a better bottom line. But the jury is still out.

Although a corporate wellness program might seem like the answer to a sluggish or unmotivated workforce, it’s still unclear whether they really work. If you’re thinking of implementing an employee health program in your workplace, here are some of the main pros and cons to consider.

The Pros

Programs focus on healthy lifestyle decisions and chronic disease prevention - - Things like health coaching, medical screenings, weight management programs, and fitness programs can greatly improve health and employee wellness. Disease prevention and a focus on healthy lifestyle choices can also lead to lower health insurance costs.

The positive ROI can be huge – Some studies show how the savings on medical and absenteeism costs can return $2-$3 for every $1 spent on wellness programs. Other important studies show even stronger results. Programs have shown improvement in worker moral, attitude, productivity, attention and motivation due to the benefits of healthy exercise and eating habits. Additionally, as we all know, a happier workplace is likely to attract better talent.

The Cons

It can be costly -- According to a New York Times article in 2014, the cost of wellness programs for medium-to-large employers is $521 per employee, double the amount of just five years ago. Many organizations simply don’t have the budget to accommodate an extensive program.

Potentially discriminatory -- Critics of mandatory wellness programs and health screenings argue that those who are already unhealthy may feel embarrassed or excluded if they don't participate. Similar feelings have been reported when employees do participate and receive negative results on screens and tests. Additionally, some employees may see health initiatives or inquiries as an invasion of privacy. Difficult to prove effectiveness -- The same 2014 New York Times article argues that the true effectiveness of a corporate wellness program is hard to measure and there aren’t yet enough data points to draw conclusions. Critics argue that human health is a very complex subject, and outside factors in employees’ personal lives can interfere with results and make it difficult to prove causation.

Take away: Consider the overall health and morale of your employees. If you think there's cause for concern, look into the best wellness programs that are affordable and within your company’s budget. Understand that implementing an Employee Wellness Program may not result in immediate financial returns, but the effect on the health, well-being, and productivity of your employees might well be worth the investment. Stay tuned to our blog and Knowledge Center for more workplace topics and guidance. Have a question for one of our insurance specialists? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us

  • Categories:

Reduce Your Senior Living Community’s Automobile Premiums with These Tips

  • By:
  • Alliance Insurance Group
  • |
  • Jun. 22nd, 2016

Finding affordable commercial auto liability insurance for senior living communities can be challenging because there are inherent risks in transporting seniors and premium reflects those risks. Fortunately, there are a number of actions you can take that will reduce premiums without sacrificing adequate coverage.

The best way to keep premiums low is to prevent accidents and injuries. The following insider tips will help you evaluate your current safety program:

Vehicle safety

Although it seems like common sense, make sure that all your vehicles and equipment are in good working condition. Bald tires or worn out windshield wipers can put employees and residents at higher risk of failure or worse. Regular vehicle inspection and maintenance prevents accidents and breakdowns.

Driver expertise

Take the time to hire quality drivers and provide training on how to operate fleet vehicles in a safe manner. This alone can help lower your auto liability coverage costs.

The loading/unloading process

Loading your residents on and off large vehicles, like vans and buses, can be a hazardous process. Make sure you have adequate safety procedures in place to help your residents safely enter and exit your company’s vehicles.

Have your vehicles outfitted to safely accommodate wheelchairs?

Take the time to ensure your vehicles have all the necessary elements to secure resident wheelchairs and other mobility devices.

Select the correct parking locations

Having a designated loading and unloading area can help prevent accidents and injuries. It's especially important during cold weather, when ramps and parking areas become slippery and dangerous.

Get expert advice

Get advice from professionals who understand the current landscape of commercial automobile insurance and are able to provide advice on proper liability limits and ways to lower premiums.

Alliance Insurance Group has a team of senior living insurance expertswho understand the unique needs of the senior living industry. We have the knowledge and experience to help protect your business in today's litigious environment. For more information on how Alliance can help bring peace of mind to your senior care business, contact us today.

Non-Owned and Hired Commercial Automobile Exposures: Are You Covered?

  • By:
  • Alliance Insurance Group
  • |
  • Jun. 15th, 2016

When your company has a fleet of automobiles, insuring them is a fairly straightforward process. But what about when an employee uses their car for company business or you have rented a vehicle for one of your employees to drive?

Although you've gone to great lengths to make sure your own fleet has comprehensive automobile insurance, it's possible that your business has exposures you may not have considered.

Most people are not aware that the following activities may create gaps in their insurance coverage:

  • An employee uses their personal vehicle to run a quick business errand; perhaps to make a deposit at the bank or to pick up stamps at the post office
  • Someone from your office uses their personal vehicle to grab coffee, lunch, or office supplies
  • Your employee rents a vehicle while on an out-of-state business trip
  • The company rents a van to move equipment across town

In the event that an employee in one of these situations gets into an accident, your company could be held liable and sued for damages. A basic auto policy only covers employees when they're using company-owned vehicles on company business, but there are many situations that fall outside of that criteria.

To protect your company from a coverage gap like the ones described above, Alliance recommends non-owned and hired auto liability coverage. This type of commercial auto insurance covers property damage or personal injury caused by a vehicle you don't own (a non-owned vehicle, typically owned by an employee) and vehicles you hire (including rented or borrowed vehicles). This type of coverage is typically added on to your business policy. It protects your company's assets in the event of an accident when an employee is driving a non-owned or hired vehicle and conducting company business.

While it's true that an employee's personal automobile insurance may cover some of the damage incurred in an accident, there's a strong likelihood that the costs and liability could far exceed their policy limit. It’s even more likely that the policy will not extend protection to you, the employer. In addition to that, there may also be a business-use exclusion on the employee’s policy, preventing them from recovering any damages. Without the proper commercial auto liability insurance, your company could be vulnerable to unforeseen exposures.

We recommend you check your commercial automobile policy. If you don't have non-owned and hired commercial automobile coverage, consider adding it to your policy.

Alliance Insurance Group has a team of experts, who understand how a commercial policy should be written in order to minimize your exposures. For more information on how the right liability coverage can keep your business safe, contact us to speak with a specialist. You can also visit our Knowledge Center, or browse more topics at our blog, for industry-specific information.

Department of Justice Brings “Everyone” to the Table

  • By:
  • Alliance Insurance Group
  • |
  • Mar. 31st, 2016

In a press release dated March 30, 2016 the Department of Justice announced plans to launch ten (10) regional task force teams to fine nursing home operators who provide potentially harmful care to residents and fail to provide their Medicare and Medicaid residents with even the most basic nursing services.

  • Northern District of California
  • Northern District of Georgia
  • District of Kansas
  • Western District of Kentucky
  • Northern District of Iowa
  • District of Maryland
  • Southern District of Ohio
  • Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • Middle District of Tennessee
  • Western District of Washington

 “Creating these task forces sends a message to those in charge of caring for these Chief Counsel to the Inspector General Gregory Demske of HHS put it this way, beneficiaries that grossly substandard care will not be tolerated.” The initiative is not intended to be a “witch hunt”, but rather, part of the process. The task force teams will bring together federal, state and local prosecutors, law enforcement and agencies that provide services to the elderly, to coordinate and enhance the teams’ work in pursuing negligent operators. Alliance Insurance Group will continue to monitor this information as it develops. Visit the Alliance website today and consider joining the Alliance Knowledge Center where our insurance and risk management experts publish real world, actionable information that can be applied directly to your operation.

  • Categories:

How Weather Forecasting Affects Insurance Pricing

  • By:
  • Alliance Insurance Group
  • |
  • Feb. 25th, 2016

Inclement weather can impact any business, but no industry is affected quite as drastically as the insurance industry. Commercial insurance companies pay out billions of dollars every year after natural disasters sweep the country. The events that affect insurance pricing run the gamut from major catastrophic events to something as seemingly insignificant as hail. In fact, hail costs insurance companies more than $2 billion dollars per year, according to The Weather Company.

Thankfully, advances in climate science now allow experts to make more accurate predictions, which helps insurance companies to have a more refined understanding of an area’s weather risks. This in turn helps insurance companies to provide helpful information to brokers to share with policy holders. In short, when insurance companies have better information about weather patterns, brokers are better positioned to help inform clients of their business region’s climate risks.

For example, senior living communities often 'follow the sun'. Still, the warm locales where these communities often make their home aren't without risk. In fact, sunny locales are often areas that are prone to catastrophic weather like high winds, hail, flooding, or earthquakes. Working with an insurance specialist who has access to actuarial information can help business owners determine which regions may face more costly premiums.

Policy holders may question why they're paying more for premiums in a high risk area when they haven't filed any extreme weather claims themselves. It's important to remember that premiums are based on long-term, historical data. In other words, while your business may not have fallen victim to extreme weather, it's likely that, historically, many other businesses in the area have. What's more, the maps used to determine which areas are prone to extreme conditions are subject to change. While your business may not have been in a flood zone twenty years ago, FEMA may have redrawn the boundaries so you that you now are.

An insurance specialist can help to identify liabilities associated with your business location so that you can find the appropriate coverage. To discover more ways Alliance Insurance Group can help your business manage risk, contact one of our specialists. For more insurance topics, stay tuned to our blog.

Tips for Nonprofit Grant Writing

  • By:
  • Alliance Insurance Group
  • |
  • Dec. 24th, 2015

Obtaining grants for your nonprofit is a useful fundraising tool, but is it a viable strategy for your organization? Here are some tips for grant writing that can help you decide if grant funding right for you.

The good news

1. There is a lot of money out there looking for the right home: Even though there are over a million nonprofit organizations throughout the United States, the great news is that there are approximately $50 billion dollars given away each year through corporate grants and foundations. This means there's plenty of money to go around for savvy applicants.

2. There are grants out there for any type of nonprofit: Whether your organization is brand new or serving a small local niche, there are nonprofit organization grants waiting for you, if you're willing to do a little research.

The Challenges

1. Get ready for a little hard work: In order to have the best chance of being awarded a specific grant, be prepared for some thorough research. Doing so will help you tailor your application to the specific organization. Generic applications will almost certainly not get a second look.

2. Have more than one iron in the fire: It's true that grants can be a great source of funding, but you don't want to rely on them exclusively. To succeed in, what some people call a fickle grant awarding process, you'll need to make sure that grant funding is only a portion of a well-diversified fundraising strategy.

While grant writing can be trying, there are steps you can take to streamline the process.

Grant Writing 101

1. Get ready: Begin scheduling time and resources for your grant writing. You'll need enough time to research the myriad foundations and opportunities that are available to you.

2. Know your chances: Don't go into the grant writing processexpecting to write one or two proposals. The reality is that you may have to be prepared to write dozens of applications before you succeed.

3. Decide who is going to write your proposals: If you feel comfortable with grant proposal writing, you can educate yourself on the fundamentals, or you can simply hire a professional to do the leg work for you. Grant writing training or writers-for-hire are both easily accessible.

4. Commit to the process every day: If you look at this as a long-haul process and commit to taking small steady actions every single day, you can, and ultimately will win at the grant writing game. Dedicate time in your day to focus exclusively on sourcing and writing grants.

Non-profits face unique risk management and funding challenges. Alliance Advocates are here to help you to navigate these challenges in analytical, and creative ways. Contact us with any questions you might have or visit our Knowledge Center for other non-profit insurance topics.

Important Legal Exposures for Nonprofit Board Members

  • By:
  • Alliance Insurance Group
  • |
  • Dec. 22nd, 2015

Serving on the board of a nonprofit organization can be a very rewarding experience, and a great way to provide value and service to your community. However, serving on a non-profit board also comes with some potentially serious legal exposures that could put your livelihood and personal assets at risk.

Many non-profit board members mistakenly feel that they don't have significant personal liability exposure when it comes to their organization. Nevertheless, we live in a litigious society where the possibility is always present, which is why we advise taking the proper measures to protect yourself and your organization.

Directors and officers (D & O) of non-profit organizations have exposure to a broad range of potential lawsuits, including wrongful termination, harassment, discrimination, negligence, and financial mismanagement. Claims directed at non-profit board members can be extremely costly to the organization. For example in misconduct cases, directors and officers run the risk of being held liable and having their own personal assets at stake. This illustrates why directors and officersinsurance, or D & O insurance, is such a critical component to any non-profit board's risk management strategy. It provides directors and officers essential protection against lawsuits, defense costs, and even potential settlement payments.

What is D & O insurance, specifically?

D&O insuranceserves to indemnify the directors and officers of a non-profit organization. It protects those in leadership positions from potential damages and costs as a result of lawsuits that allege a “wrongful act” was committed. Wrongful acts can be defined in a number of ways. Some examples are:

• Fraud

• Financial mismanagement

• Errors in judgement

• Negligence

• Discrimination

• Harassment

• Wrongful termination

It goes without saying that the mission of a non-profit board is to provide experienced oversight and professional direction, so that the organization can fulfill its objectives. Because non-profit boards are not typically subjected to the kind of reporting scrutiny found within the for-profit sector, directors and officers of nonprofits must be especially diligent in managing and maintaining their own performance, behavior, and fiduciary duties. A perceived breach in these areas can lead to unwanted legal action.

Furthermore, because board members are responsible for their own internal procedures and policies, the potential for inadvertent mistakes or misconduct heightens their risk exposure.

Investing in non-profit insurance can help you protect the health and assets of your organization, especially given the reality of living in a highly litigious climate. For more information on how non-profit D & O insurance can help protect your organization, contact one of our certified specialists today.

Can Pre-Employment Testing Decrease Workers’ Compensation Claims?

  • By:
  • Alliance Insurance Group
  • |
  • Dec. 16th, 2015

One of the best ways to decrease potential workers' compensation claims is to prevent the hire of an employee with a high probability of filing a worker's comp claim. Sounds intuitive enough, right, but how do you do that?

Many employers use mandatory drug screening as a way to decrease workers' comp claims. But there's another way, which is the use of pre-employment testing to determine an applicant’s likelihood of being a risk to the company.

With pre-employment testing, an employer has an important tool to help them streamline their hiring procedure and potentially reduce their workers' compensation insurance.

What is a pre-employment test?

A pre-employment test is a standardized and objectiveway to gather relevant data on a potential employee. The goal is to gain insight into the traits and capabilities of a person you're thinking about hiring. These kinds of tests typically fall into three general categories: skills, aptitude, and personality tests. Depending on which type of test you use, the information you get will often provide a much more realistic assessment of an applicant's key potential as well as their ability to perform critical tasks within your organization.

How it can reduce workers' compensation claims

Pre-employment testing can help a company decrease their workers' compensation claims by honing the hiring process which ultimately helps officials hire better people for the job.

Furthermore, when new hires are a great fit for their role, it's more likely that workplace morale will be higher, employee turnover will be lower, and the safety record of the company will be sounder—all factors that contribute heavily to the incidence in workers' compensation claims. And with the rising costs of workers' compensation coverage, these kinds of tests are becoming more relevant every year, especially within the senior care industry.

Some things to consider when hiring within the senior care business are:

• Possible integrity issues

• Quality of service and care

• Ability to handle the job

• Desire to work with seniors

Well run senior living communities require a special level of care and commitment, as well as attention to medical needs. Hiring the right people is integral to the success of any community.

If you're looking for senior living insurance brokers you can trust, consider working with an Alliance Advocate. Our team is made up of a diverse team of risk management professionals, many of whom specialize in workers' compensation consulting and senior living community risk management. Contact us for more information on how we can help your community.

An Aging Workforce: Exposure & Tips for Management

  • By:
  • Alliance Insurance Group
  • |
  • Dec. 11th, 2015

There's an emerging trend in the workplace creating an important challenge for many organizations and their management teams -- an aging and multi-generational workforce. Older and elderly workers are remaining in the workforce after traditional retirement age, and not just because lifespans are longer. Many adults are feeling the aftershock of the Great Recession, and are finding that the size of their personal retirement sum is insufficient.

The sheer size of the Baby Boomer Generation could also be contributing to the size of the aging workforce, as well as their cultural decision to keep working despite advancing years.

For today's employers, these trends mean that they will see aging workers as applicants for more and more positions offered. According to a recent government report, workers aged 55 and older are projected to account for nearly one-fifth of America's workforce by the year 2015. Subsequently, a growing percentage will be applying for similar jobs that younger workers would traditionally apply for.

Age discrimination exposure

One repercussion ofthe emergence of an aging workforce is elevated rates of age discrimination. This form of ageism can pose a certain amount liabilityexposure for companies in both the hiring phase and the employee management phase. It's a complex issue for organizations and aging employees alike:

• When it comes to managing an aging workforce, studies show that perceptions are positive towards older workers with regard to their experience, work-ethic, knowledge, and loyalty.

• Simultaneously, those same studies show those same managers are worried that older workers are prone to inflexibility, unknowledgeable about new technology, afraid or unwilling to adapt to new trends in technology and social media, and possess greater health risks.

Another issue for aging workers is that companies don't want to deal with the potential liabilities of age discrimination in the workplace. These worries will often keep companies from hiring aging applicants in the first place.

In today's ever-evolving economic climate, a different set of management skills are needed to adapt to the changes created by a multi-generational workplace.

Tips for management

1. Be flexible. One of the most important things an older worker looks for is flexibility. Maintain a management style that's flexible with regard to process and a culture that's flexible in terms of schedule, and benefits.

2. Be willing to offer specific training. Offer opportunities for an elderly worker to get up to speed with the technology your organization currently uses.

3. Create challenges and opportunities. There may be better, or more efficient ways to utilize the talents an aging worker possesses. Employ management styles that provide challenges and create opportunities for enhanced performance.

An Alliance Advocate can help your company navigate both the benefits and potential liability exposure of an aging workforce. Contact us today to see how we can help your company stay competitive and safe in today's fast-paced employment environment.

Complement Your Employee Benefits Offerings with the Alliance Virtual Clinic

  • By:
  • Alliance Insurance Group
  • |
  • Oct. 12th, 2015

Great employees are valuable assets to any business. But once you have those key players on your team, what are the best incentives to keep them happy and productive well into the future? One idea is to offer them better employee benefits.

It's a powerful concept for two reasons:

1. Outstanding benefits packages help you stay more competitive. Top employees want to work with companies that have the best compensation and benefit plans. Businesses that have the best plans are better positioned to catch and keep the best talent.

2. Healthy workers are more productive workers. When your staff knows they have comprehensive options to address their healthcare needs, your workplace is not only less stressful, but workers are less likely to have to take extended sick leave.

While many companies offer basic medical coverage, the Alliance Virtual Clinic allows your employees to supplement their coverage for things like vision, counseling, and other services.

By opting into an Alliance Virtual Clinic subscription, employees are able to access medical advice, vision savings, dental savings, financial coaching, legal advice, drug savings, and more from their computer or mobile device. Some of the services offered include:

- 24/7 access to doctors, dentists, pharmacists, and dietitians

- 24/7 access to on-call nurses

- 24/7 access to psychologists

- 24/7 roadside assistance, and so much more

One of the biggest challenges businesses face is hiring and retaining great employees. Finding the right employee benefits insurance broker can help make your business an attractive option to competitive employees. Alliance Insurance Group is a uniquecommercial insurance broker, focused on giving your business the edge it needs to stay competitive in today's business environment. Work with an Alliance Advocate to address your industry’s concerns individually.

The Alliance Virtual Clinic is one way to provide employees the best healthcare solutions on the market in one place. Our employee benefits consulting teams can help you optimize your company's benefit strategies so you can attract and keep the best people to help you grow your business.

For more information on Alliance's tailored benefit solutions, contact us today.

Risk Management Tips for Senior Living Communities this Autumn

  • By:
  • Alliance Insurance Group
  • |
  • Oct. 7th, 2015

From lemonade stands to baseball stadiums, many businesses are affected by the changing of the seasons. Senior living communities are no exception and should consider seasonal risk management as we head into the cooler months.

In cities like Phoenix and Las Vegas, for example, senior living communities need to be very proactive when the summer weather hits. As the temperatures rise to above 118 degrees Fahrenheit, risk mitigation is a high priority.

But in other parts of the country, the fall and winter months pose the greatest threat. Extreme cold, icy sidewalks, and seasonal illness are just a few issues that need to be addressed.

With the cold weather on its way, now is the time for senior living communities in colder climates to be prepared. That said, here are some risk management tips for senior living facilities in the fall and winter months:

1. Slippery sidewalks - Fall and winter means more rain and snow. These, of course, lead to slippery sidewalks. This is a clear liability for seniors who might be prone to falling.

2. Water tracked indoors - Wet and slippery sidewalks often lead to water being tracked indoors. If these areas aren't taken care of immediately, dangerous slips, falls, and breaks can occur.

3. Managing seasonal illnesses - The autumn and winter seasons mean an increase in colds and flus. Flu season is especially dangerous, and it can dramatically increase mortality rates if the virus is spread throughout a community.

4. The holiday blues - Although holidays are supposed to be a time of joy, they can also be a time of increased anxiety and depression for those who are ill or feel isolated. Increased holiday depression is something that needs to be addressed in a proactive manner.

With the potential for multiple liabilities in today's senior living communities, professional risk management is more important than ever.

Alliance Insurance Group offers a full spectrum of risk management services to make sure your loss exposure stays at a minimum and you can focus on what matters most -- a positive and fulfilling experience for your residents and their families. For more information on how risk management insurance can fully protect your business in the coming winter months, contact a representative today.

How to Accommodate Technologically Advanced Senior Living Residents

  • By:
  • Alliance Insurance Group
  • |
  • Sep. 1st, 2015

The days when seniors happily avoided modern technology are coming to an end. More seniors than ever are using smart devices, Skype, and social media to keep in touch with friends and family, which will forever change the senior living industry and senior living facilities. For senior living administrators, it’s crucial to keep pace with today's technologically advanced senior living residents and their changing lifestyle in order to be successful in the senior care industry.

In fact, services that were once viewed as luxury add-ons will become necessities in the future. Things like the integration of computer training facilities and internet cafes, Wi-Fi, rentable tablets, and digital newsletters to help keep residents abreast of events are all on the horizon for senior living communities.

How can senior living communities help residents to take full advantage of these technologies? They can provide classes or interactive tutorials to help residents new to computers to get familiar with things like Skype, Face Time, email, and social media. These digital opportunities help to provide seniors with new challenges and connect them with the world around them in exciting ways.

What’s more, access to technology and interactive tech-areas help keep seniors connect with both each other and the outside world. This promises an increased quality of life well into old age as it helps to alleviate the feelings of isolation that many seniors experience.

Additionally, the use of technology and social media can help family members stay informed, creating stronger relationships between the resident's family and the senior living facility.

Because today's technology connects residents inside and outside of the community so effectively, the senior care industry must recognize these changes in order to stay ahead of the curve. The result is both happier residents and a more profitable senior care business in 2015 and beyond.

We’ve helped senior living businesses all over the country to protect their facilities and residents. Visit our senior living site to find out more about our services or reach out to speak with a member of our leadership team.

Cyber Security Liability: The Top 3 Coverage Concerns

  • By:
  • Alliance Insurance Group
  • |
  • Aug. 5th, 2015
Cyber security blog 8 5

Recently, several high-profile companies have fallen prey to cyber security attacks.

The latest involves a popular dating site, second in size only to The company prides itself on being discreet and, in fact, their business model depends on it. Still a group of hackers were able to access their site data.

The criminals’ demands were as follows: shut down your site completely or we'll publicly reveal the personal information of all 37 million of your users.

Another, recent high-profile attack affected Anthem, Inc., one of the country's largest health insurance providers. The attack put the personal information of over 80 million people at risk including their addresses, birthdays, and most pressingly, social security numbers.

The ability for hackers to obtain information from such high profile organizations raises some important questions about cyber security liability. For instance, how does a company cover itself and its clients? Who is at fault when an attack occurs?

While cyber liability coverage is increasingly important, its use is relatively new. To help guide your coverage decisions, we’ve outlined the top 3 concerns you should take into account.

1. First party coverage for your employees and your damaged system - This includes equipment that's damaged, lost information, employee's personal information that gets hacked, and the loss of digital assets.

2. Third party coverage of customers or anyone having accessed your site - This involves network security, employee privacy liability, and electronic media liability.

3. The loss of business income - This includes income loss from non-physical business interruption as well as the loss of clients because their information was compromised.

A cyber liability insurance policy can cover these three areas simultaneously. It can also cover regulatory fines and penalties, attorney fees, and pay for the cost to retrieve any lost records.

Today, most companies have a digital presence. With this new business venue comes threat, and like any other threat to your business, it must be addressed proactively.

To work with an Alliance Advocate through the potential digital risks your business faces and the cyber liability insurance coverage that can help, contact us for an appointment. You can also learn more about the industries we serve or the lines of coverage we offer.

Alliance Insurance Group Launches New Website

  • By:
  • Alliance Insurance Group
  • |
  • Feb. 20th, 2015

Alliance Insurance Group has long been known for its technical expertise spanning across industries like senior living, manufacturing, construction, and beverage and petroleum distribution, among others, and is now looking forward to providing a highly-interactive website to its clients and future clients.  

The redesigned site includes an exclusive Knowledge Center which houses Alliance Insurance’s widespread proficiency about multiple lines of coverage, including property casualty, professional liability, employee health benefits, workers compensation, and more. It also highlights the importance and necessity of services like risk management, litigation management, and claims management, all of which Alliance’s clients enjoy as part of their partnership with the firm.

“The Knowledge Center truly captures the combined years of experience Alliance’s 40 in-house experts have in securing the best insurance for businesses and provides a peek into the level of expertise and type of service Alliance Advocates provide to each and every client,” said Chief Operating Officer Peter Nielsen.

Overall, the new site is much more robust, including additional information about who Alliance Insurance Group is, what it stands for, who it serves, and how it can help commercial businesses and senior living communities broaden their coverage and manage their risks.

“Alliance Advocates aren’t motivated by a single transaction, rather we consider ourselves an extension of our clients’ teams, becoming partners, consultants, and experts for them. Our proactive thinking is rare to come by in what’s typically a reactive industry. We’re excited to start 2015 off with a new site that personifies the Alliance Experience,” said Chief Executive Officer Scott Reese.