|PennDOT Introduces a New, Safer, Traffic Signal|
A safer and more efficient left turn signal has debuted in Chester County, Pocopson Township at the intersection of Pocopson Road and Route 52 – the Flashing Yellow Arrow – and will be coming to other intersections near you soon.
The flashing yellow arrow means YIELD to oncoming traffic and pedestrians and to proceed with caution. This replaces the common circular green indication for left turns.
Benefits of Flashing Yellow Arrow
- More intuitive to motorists
- According to national data, can reduce left-turn crashes as much as 20%
- Keeps traffic moving by offering motorists more opportunities to make left turns
- Consistency with other states adopting the signal
|Delaware Workers’ Compensation Rates for 2017|
No Change in Delaware Workers’ Compensation Rates for 2017
As part of our ongoing effort to keep you informed of insurance industry changes and how those changes may affect you and your business, we are able to announce that workers’ compensation rates in the state of Delaware will not increase in 2017.
The Department of Insurance and the Delaware Compensation Rating Bureau (DCRB) annually review insurance rates and original filings initially proposed average increases in residual market rates as well as voluntary market loss costs across the board for the upcoming year. However, after consideration, Delaware Insurance Commissioner, Karen Weldin Stewart, announced that the average rate will remain flat with no increase.
“I hope this is the beginning of a period of rate stabilization in the workers’ compensation market,” Commissioner Stewart said in a press release issued by the Delaware Department of Insurance. Keeping workers’ compensation rates flat for 2017 will have a positive impact on employers and their insurance packages.
It is important to note that these rates are the average. Certain classification codes may experience an increase or decrease in the actual rate.
If you have further questions or would like more information regarding your specific workers’ compensation rate, please speak with one of the advisors at Arthur Hall Insurance who will be happy to assist in reviewing your current situation and advise you accordingly.
|Back to School Bus Safety|
Keep Kids Safe With These School Bus Safety Tips
It’s that time of year again…schools are gearing up for fall and that means more traffic and school buses filled with children on the roads.
Now is a good time for parents to remind children of these safety rules while at the bus stop and on the bus.
At the bus stop:
- Arrive early – allow at least 5 – 10 minutes before scheduled pick up time.
- Walk do not run to the stop – hurrying can lead to careless injury.
- Stay on sidewalks if available – if no sidewalk, walk on the left side facing traffic.
- Stand back, at least six feet away, from the curb to be visible to the bus driver.
- Never speak to strangers and never get into a car with a stranger
On the bus:
- Walk to your seat and sit down immediately.
- Stay seated when bus is moving.
- Do not hang out the windows or throw items in the bus.
- Talk quietly so as not to distract driver.
- In case of emergency, listen to driver and follow instructions.
When exiting the bus, be aware of moving cars and walk at least six feet away from the bus door to be visible to driver.
For Drivers sharing the road with school buses:
- Be aware of school hours.
- Follow posted speed limit signs in school zones.
- Watch for children getting on and off the bus
- Never pass a stopped school bus if the stop sign is extended or the red lights are flashing. Wait until the lights stop flashing and the bus begins moving again to proceed.
More information about safety for school bus riders and drivers and for those sharing the road is available from the National Highway Traffic Sagety Administration at http://www.nhtsa.gov/School-Buses .
Information for this article is shared from The Cincinnati Insurance Companies blog
|Ride-Sharing May Not Give You A Lift|
Recently, while visiting the city with my twenty-something daughter, I dared to experience my first ride-sharing venture. Admittedly, I was a bit leery but anxious to learn what these ride-sharing companies were all about. So I let her take charge, tap into her smartphone and call up a quick ride around town to get to our desired location.
Easy! The request was accepted and we could track the vehicle on her phone. Block by block, I could see our ride’s approach, ticked down to the minute in real time. We even knew what make and model car to look for. All the information was available right on her hand-held device and within minutes, our car and driver pulled up, we jumped in, and off we went. To make it even simpler, no cash was exchanged. The entire transaction was completed via pre-loaded credit card from the ride-sharing app. Didn’t even have to tell the driver our destination – that too was communicated via cell phone with the pick-up request.
Easy indeed! However, as I settled into the middle of the Volkswagen Jetta’s tiny back seat (minus the seatbelt), my mind filled with thoughts of the inherent risks associated with sharing the ride. Regulation and background checks aside, what if we are involved in an auto accident? Who is responsible and would any losses be satisfied appropriately?
Ride-sharing companies also known as Transportation Network Companies (TNC) provide taxi-like services to connect passengers to drivers via a smartphone app. Rides can be arranged in advance or on short notice. Unlike conventional taxi services, TNC drivers use their own private passenger vehicles to transport customers and because drivers are not transporting friends or family members, the operation becomes a commercial enterprise. In addition, these drivers cannot be considered limousine or taxi drivers because they are not using a commercial vehicle. Here in lies the problem: TNC’s are commercial enterprises and are not considered private in terms of insurance liabilities.
Many TNC drivers have neither a livery driver’s license (paid transportation services are considered livery) nor are their cars registered or insured as commercial vehicles. In order to have coverage, TNC drivers must have commercial insurance coverage. A personal auto policy does not provide coverage for ride-sharing and that personal coverage stops from the moment a driver logs into the TNC app to the moment the customer exits the car and the transaction is complete. TNC’s do have insurance but, the type and amount of insurance coverage provided by a TNC can vary greatly from company to company. Additionally, TNC drivers are not employees of a TNC and therefore not protected from risk as a traditional taxi or limousine driver would be covered. In the event of an accident, the injured TNC passenger may not be able to recoup damages as they would from those traditional transportation services. In fact, some state insurance regulators acknowledge that passengers are taking a risk when they pay for a ride with an uninsured or underinsured TNC driver.
If you think this sounds a little complicated, you’re not alone. This pioneer industry is prompting insurance carriers and companies to find ways to create coverage where none previously existed. Simultaneously, local governments and municipalities struggle to draft legislation in an effort to create a framework from which to base coverage. TNC’s intentionally use their own distinct terms and language when writing policy, making it more challenging for municipalities to find corresponding terminology that conforms with the standard insurance vernacular. State legislators and insurance regulators are rightly concerned that the riders may not be adequately protected. As the industry continues to grow, legislators endeavor to address coverage issues to determine how to best underwrite the risks of personal lines policyholders driving private vehicles for hire. Colorado and California have passed legislation regarding TNC insurance coverage and it is suspected that, at some point, insurers will begin to offer policies and endorsements for the specific purpose using a private vehicle for hire with a TNC.
Adding even more flame to the fire, TNC companies are butting up against an existing system of taxis and PUC regulations. Long established professional livery for hire companies are attempting to block these newer, unregulated TNC’s from disrupting their businesses.
While it is exhilarating to be on the edge of a driving and ride-sharing revolution, it is best to be aware of the risks involved in either driving for and/or accepting a ride from a TNC. Prospective drivers should contact their own auto insurer is discuss any gaps in liability coverage and ask to review the TNC’s insurance contracts to be aware of the exact terms and conditions of coverage. Should a serious accident occur, passengers may need to engage their own auto and health insurance policies to satisfy damages/injuries not recovered by the TNC or driver. Be prepared to accept the challenges in case the ride doesn’t run as smoothly as the app would have you believe. Ultimately, maybe that easy ride isn’t so easy after all!
|Planning for Business Continuity|
Proactive Service: Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Planning
Why do I need a business continuity plan? In today’s world, a disruption in business operations could occur at any time. More importantly, it can occur to any business unit and function, whether it be a loss of a physical location from a flood or tornado to a man-made event such as a cyber-attack. Proactively planning for a suspension of operations now can save an organization time, money, and perhaps business sustainability.
There are several steps involved with conducting a business continuity plan. The most important being a commitment from management to develop and structure the plan itself. While there are many templates available, some of the best resources in structuring the plan can be provided by your insurance carrier which can be spearheaded by your agent.
After the plan is formalized, careful consideration should be given to ensure that the plan speaks to the rest of your organization’s risk management program as well as other divisions and operating entities within your organization. Your agent should have a hands on role in this process.
For example, after the plan is complete, does the plan help reinforce your limit of business income and extra expense? Has the plan uncovered the need to reflect and analyze this limit in further detail?
Just as important, are other vital aspects of your company involved within the plan? Organizing a set of policies and procedures to assist in the continuation of critical IT functions is loosely known as Disaster Recovery. Similar to the broad planning associated with business continuity, planning for disaster recovery is highly influenced by the industry in question. Does your business continuity plan speak to the IT functions of the Company? Different industries and organizations all have unique needs and legislation that will affect them.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Does your business continuity plan involve IT or other technology system functions?
- Does your organization’s needs involve compliance and protection of information that falls under HIPAA and more recently the HITECH Act?
- If a disruption of business operations occurred, would your organization’s solution continue to protect that information?
- Would any solution help mitigate the potential legal liability for non-compliance under such law?
- What about other industries or technology exposures, such as credit card processing and PCI Data Security Standards?
The process of planning and testing a business continuity plan that speaks to all levels of an organization can take as long as 12 to 18 months. Your agent should be a key constituent in the process.
At Arthur Hall Insurance, our unique risk management process lets us identify critical exposures, address those exposures through a consultative analysis, recommend solutions, and provide ongoing monitoring to help you safeguard your organization in the ever-changing world in which we live.
You can find out more about by calling either our Pennsylvania office at 610-696-2394 or our Delaware office at 302-658-0100.