Archive | July 2014

Creating Your Own Training Videos

There are multiple uses for online video at your company. HR can take the lead in generating videos that help brand the employee experience for:

  • videosProspective employees
  • Orientation
  • Safety
  • Financial understanding
  • Ethics
  • Awards and recognition
  • Company events
  • Company history
  • Video about different employees (everyone from the president to the receptionist)
  • Instructional how-to videos
  • Product or service training
  • Leadership messages

With a bit of thought I am sure there are an extra dozen videos that can be rattled off. Know this: You don’t have to be an expert to create these videos. Ask a 20 year old at your company to do it for you. All they need is their iPhone and your company YouTube account (you do have a YouTube account, right?). Also encourage employees and management to come up with ideas for videos. What frequently asked questions besiege everyone from HR to Finance to Operations to Facilities, etc.?


Safety Tips for Outdoor Grilling

grillNothing spoils a picnic or cookout faster than a fire, so before you throw the brats, burgers, and dogs on the grill, read these safety tips.

Safety Tips for Outdoor Grilling

  • Before using a propane gas grill, check the connection between the tank and the fuel line. Make sure the Venturi tubes (where the air and gas mix) are not blocked, and check hoses for cracks or damage.
  • Thoroughly clean gas grill after each use.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher nearby but not on the grill at all times.
  • Never throw a match in a grill especially after the gas has been on three seconds.
  • Don’t leave a grill unattended.
  • Do not wear a loose apron or loose clothing while grilling. Always wear shoes.
  • Always use the grill’s starter button, if the starter is broken do not use the grill. Remember to cover the grill to avoid to corrosion and rusting in both the controls and gas line. Rust can make grill controls hard to read and make the starter button difficult to depress. You may also want to consider a grill with an automatic starter, rather than button starter that can become difficult to push.
  • Be careful when grilling food with high fat content because they can produce high flames.
  • Always thoroughly cook food to a safe temperature.
  • Never throw away grill instructions or owners manual. Follow the manufacturer’s directions carefully.
  • Never use a propane barbecue grill on a balcony, terrace or roof. And never grill/barbecue in enclosed areas, as deadly carbon monoxide can be produced.
  • Keep matches and lighters away from children. Supervise children around outdoor grills, which are objects of curiosity.
  • If using a charcoal or wood fire, dispose of hot coals properly by soaking them with water, then stirring to ensure that fire is extinguished. Never place them in plastic, paper or wooden containers.
  • Keep alcoholic beverages away from the grill since they are flammable.

Motorcycle Insurance for Whatever Awaits

Every activity comes with risks, especially those that involve wheels, speed, and the unpredictable factors that drivers and motorcyclists experience while on the road. Make sure you have the motorcycle insurance you need to be fully covered in the event of an accident.


Motorcycle Accident Facts

  • Motorcycle-related deaths increased by 55% in the past decade
  • 4,500 people died in motorcycle accidents in 2010 alone
  • Motorcycle injuries and deaths cost about $12 billion annually

You know the risks are out there: a deer crossing the street in a blind curve; drivers neglecting to check their blind spot or traveling too fast through an intersection. Motorcycle riders see these dangers each time they ride.

You can’t prevent an accident from happening, but you can be prepared. Some of the important measures that can make a difference include taking a motorcycle safety course, wearing protective gear, and making sure you have adequate motorcycle insurance.

What kind of policy do you need, and how much coverage should you buy? Let’s discuss motorcycle insurance requirements and how you can find out more about what is required in your state.

Motorcycle Insurance Requirements

Ohio requires motorcyclists to have liability insurance. Liability insurance pays (up to your set limits) for damages or injuries you cause in an accident, as well as your legal defense if needed. Because these costs can quickly soar to hundreds of thousands of dollars in the event of severe injuries, property damage or law suits, a good liability policy is highly recommended.

Structure of a Liability Policy

Liability coverage has three forms of coverage: bodily liability for one person, bodily liability for all people involved, and property liability. If you cause an accident and someone is injured, the bodily liability would cover the costs of treatment for that person.

When you buy motorcycle insurance, you determine the limit. If you purchase a 10/20/10 plan, it means the insurance company will pay up to $10,000 in medical care for one person, $20,000 for all injuries, and $10,000 in property damage.

Before you decide on the liability coverage in your motorcycle insurance policy, consider how much you can afford if the accident is severe. If the costs of the crash exceed your limits, you will have to pay out of pocket.

As an example scenario, let’s say you have coverage for 10/20/10, and you cause an accident resulting in $30,000 of medical expenses and $15,000 in property damage. You would have to pay $10,000 for medical care and another $5,000 in property damage, out of pocket.

Factors that Affect Your Rates

In general, motorcycle insurance rates are affected by the following factors:

Your credit score: It’s true – your credit history affects your motorcycle insurance premium as much or more than your driving history. Statistically, motorcycle riders with poor credit are more likely to file a claim, so insurance companies tend to raise premiums for these customers to compensate for risk.

Your age and driving history: The insurance company will do a risk assessment based on how old you are and any included traffic accidents or violations on your record, both for your motorcycle and your car.

Where you live and travel: If you travel in high accident or crime areas, your risks are higher. Where you store your bike also matters: if it is kept in a locked garage, it is much less likely to be stolen or damaged.

How often you ride: If you ride year-round, you will face more risks than drivers who only use their motorcycles for a few months of the year, or only on weekends.

The make and model of your motorcycle: How expensive is your bike? How new? And how much horse power? A new Ducati 1199 Panigale will require more expensive repairs than a used Honda Stateline. This is because the Ducati will cost more to repair or replace in the event of an accident.

After-market additions: Insurers will also take into account whether you have added specialty components, such as a custom frame.

What affects motorcycle insurance costs?
 Additional Coverage

The costs of a severe wreck can quickly exceed your state’s required minimum coverage. Consider adding additional forms of insurance to a general motorcycle insurance plan.

  1. Accessories coverage: If you have done any after-market upgrades or any enhancements to the motorcycle, you may want additional coverage for these items. It is a good idea to retain all receipts and photos of any equipment or custom work.
  2. Collision coverage: If your motorcycle is damaged in an accident, collision coverage will pay for repair or replacement regardless of who was at fault for the accident.
  3. Comprehensive coverage: Also known as “other than collision,” comprehensive coverage covers any damage not caused by an accident with another vehicle, including:
    • Weather-related damage, such as hail
    • Criminal activity, including theft and vandalism
    • Collisions with wildlife
  4. Medical payments / personal injury coverage: Pays for your medical treatment or funeral costs after an accident, regardless of who is responsible for the accident.
  5. Uninsured / underinsured motorist coverage: If an uninsured or underinsured driver causes a collision in which you are injured or your motorcycle is damaged, this policy would cover your out-of-pocket expenses.

Read This Before Insuring Your Restaurant

restOwning and operating a restaurant is a lot of work. Restaurant businesses require a large initial investment and constant supervision. However, they also provide a great deal of income potential for the budding entrepreneur. If you are a restaurant owner, you have most likely devoted a lot of time and money to your business. You will want to make sure that it remains profitable by protecting it with a suitable restaurant insurance policy.


Restaurant Structure-Fire Statistics

  • In 2002, there were approximately 7,000 restaurant structure fires resulting in $116 million in damages
  • 65% of these fires resulted from cooking accidents and 10% were caused by heating problems
  • Fewer than half of these fires originated in an area that was equipped with automatic extinguishing systems or fire alarms
  • On average, restaurant structure fires cause more costly damages than residential structure fires

Fire is one of the more common hazards faced by restaurant owners, but it is far from the only one. A comprehensive restaurant insurance policy can help to ensure that your business is able to withstand catastrophes and remain profitable.

What Kinds of Insurance Do Restaurant Owners Need?

As an owner of a restaurant, you may be required to carry several different types of insurance coverage. Some insurance is required by law and some may be required by your financial institution if you have taken out a large business loan or a mortgage on the building in which your restaurant is housed. If you rent the building, you may be required to carry business insurance as a condition of your lease.

Some necessary insurance types include:

  • Workers compensation insurance: Most states require this insurance to cover any injuries your employees experience while on the job, as well as any job-related illnesses.
  • Unemployment insurance: This may or may not be required by the state in which you operate. In most places, this insurance is included with your state taxes. Be sure to speak with an insurance professional or a tax advisor to ensure that you are complying with state laws.
  • Life insurance: This is sometimes required by lenders if you have taken out a substantial business loan to finance your commercial enterprise. This way, the lender can be certain that your estate will be properly settled and your business loan paid if something should happen to you. Regardless of whether or not it is required, life insurance is a good idea if you want to secure the financial well-being of your loved ones.
  • Commercial vehicle insurance: This is necessary if your restaurant offers delivery service or catering using company-owned vehicles, or your employees drive vehicles in the course of work.
  • Restaurant insurance: This is a business insurance policy specifically designed for owners of restaurants. It provides general liability and property damage coverage as well as coverage for many types of hazards unique to restaurant owners.

Restaurant Insurance Provides Liability Insurance

Restaurant owners have a number of liability risks. Restaurant insurance costs far less than a serious lawsuit might, so it is an especially good investment. Some examples of the of liability coverage options available are:

  • General liability: This includes operations and premise liability. If a customer is injured in your restaurant or parking lot and it can be shown that you are responsible due to negligence in upkeep, poorly placed objects or the actions of one of your employees, you may be responsible for extensive medical bills. General liability insurance is designed to provide coverage for medical costs and damages.
  • Product liability: As a restaurant owner, your product is the food you serve. If customers become sickened by food poisoning or other food-borne illnesses, such as hepatitis or salmonella, and it can be proven that this occurred because of food served in your restaurant, you may find yourself sued for medical costs and punitive damages. Product liability insurance will shield you from the high costs associated with such a lawsuit.
  • Liquor liability: If your restaurant serves alcoholic beverages and allows a customer to become intoxicated, your business may be held liable for the drunk patron’s ensuing actions, including acts of violence and property destruction. Liquor liability insurance can help to protect you from financial losses if you are sued.
  • Hired and non-owned vehicles liability: If your restaurant offers food delivery service but your employees use their own vehicles, this will provide you with coverage against potential liability lawsuits if they are involved in an accident while making a delivery for you.

With every coverage type listed above, your insurance includes compensation for the court costs and legal fees you may incur as a result of a liability claim against you.

Restaurant Insurance Provides Property Coverage

Your insurance will also provide you with coverage for damages against your property. This can include damages caused by fire, crime, electrical problems and certain weather events. Some policies will require you to purchase specific event coverage. Some property coverage options include:

  • Building coverage: This provides compensation for damages to the structure of your building. This is necessary only if you own your restaurant’s building.
  • Contents coverage: This includes coverage for your property, including furniture, light fixtures, artwork, flooring, computers and kitchen equipment.
  • Equipment breakdown coverage: Equipment such as freezers, stoves, dishwashers and air-conditioning units are vital when running a restaurant. If a power surge or mechanical failure results in equipment breakdown, your business can experience expensive repairs and lost income. This coverage will provide you with compensation for your losses so that you can get your business up and running again without suffering financial setbacks.
  • Food contamination coverage: If a power outage, mechanical failure or other covered event results in spoiled food that must be thrown away, this coverage will cover the replacement costs.

Other Coverage Options with Insurance for Restaurants

Some other coverage options you can expect to find with your restaurant insurance policy include:

  • Loss of income coverage: If your restaurant must temporarily close due to a covered event, this insurance will provide you with the funds necessary to continue making payments on your monthly expenses, including employee salaries, until you are able to resume operations.
  • Coverage against employee crimes: If an employee steals from you or commits other types of crimes, this coverage will shield you from any resulting lawsuits and will compensate you for your financial losses.

A Word about Flood Damage

Some restaurant insurance policies will offer coverage for drain and sewage back-ups and the damages they may cause. Often, if the sewage backup is the result of a flood, this coverage will not apply. Flood damage can be extremely expensive. It can lead to contamination of food and food-preparation areas as well as damage to expensive equipment and décor.

Be sure to learn how much or how little coverage you can expect from your restaurant insurance policy in the event of a flood. It is also important to determine whether you will benefit from purchasing a separate flood insurance policy to protect your business.