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workers compensation

The First Day Formula: Setting Up New Hires for Success

When it comes to applying for workers’ compensation insurance, having a formal hiring and training procedure is not just a box to tick; it’s a strategic approach that can enhance your eligibility for preferred rates and additional discounts. A well-structured new employee orientation process not only streamlines your hiring and training but also sets a solid foundation for your team’s future success. Here’s how you can utilize a comprehensive New Employee Orientation Checklist to ensure you can confidently answer “Yes” when asked about formal hiring and training procedures during the insurance application process.

Pros and Cons of Working from Home

Working from Home vs. Office: Who Gets More Done?

Telecommuting, or working from home, is becoming a popular trend in the workforce. In fact, it’s estimated that nearly 40% of full-time employees will be remote workers in the next 10 years.
In the last 13 years, the number of employees working from home at least half of the week increased by 115% (3.9 million employees in 2018, compared to 1.8 million in 2005).
So, should you let your employees work remotely? It depends.
Read More »Pros and Cons of Working from Home

How to Conduct Reference Check Before Hiring New Employee

Before you sign a contract with a third-party logistics provider or even with a new cleaning service, you probably ask for some case studies, read reviews online, or at least check their BBB rating. Even when choosing a lunch spot for that important meeting with your soon-to-be big account, you would tap Yelp to see how many stars it has and read a review or two. Same approach is needed to reference check before hiring anew employee.

Any time you hire a new employee, you gain an opportunity and a risk. They could end up being your best team member, making a huge difference at your company… or they could be a bad hire that costs you time, money, and morale. Before you take the leap and extend an offer, asking the right reference check questions can help you make an educated decision. Follow this formula:


[process_steps type=”horizontal” size=”small” number=”5″] [process_step title=”get context” icon=”address-book”] [/process_step] [process_step title=”verify facts” icon=”drivers-license”] [/process_step] [process_step title=”give context” icon=”newspaper-o”] [/process_step] [process_step title=”uncover red flags” icon=”flag” icon_color=”#ff003f”] [/process_step] [process_step title=”assess fit” icon=”universal-access”] [/process_step] [/process_steps]

Gain Context and Verify Facts: Questions to Ask References First

Let’s say you’re about to hire Jane, but you’re wise and decide to call her references before extending an offer. After exchanging greetings with the reference and explaining why you’re calling, start with the following introductory questions to gain valuable context:

  • How do you know Jane?
  • In what capacity did you work with Jane?
  • How long did you work with Jane?

These questions should help you determine how heavily to weigh each reference’s answers in your hiring decision. Once you understand the person’s relationship to Jane, you can decide whether it makes sense to ask them to verify these important facts: dates of employment, job title(s), responsibilities, why Jane left (if applicable), and if Jane is eligible for rehire at that employer.

The aim here is to ensure that Jane has been truthful, but don’t just stop there. Head to the next section to uncover whether her references’ perceptions of Jane line up with her own ideas about her performance, strengths, and weaknesses.

[icon style=”lightbulb” color=”yellow”]Pro Tip: [/icon] Depending on the circumstances, and the reference’s relationship to your candidate, they may not have all the answers you need. If none of your candidate’s references can verify facts such as tenure and job responsibilities, you can usually call past employers’ main lines or HR departments to do so.

Assess Aptitude, Skills, and Fit: Five Types of Reference Check Questions

You can make a more informed hiring decision by asking the five types of reference check questions below. Insights from people who have worked with Jane can help you decide whether to hire her, better understand how to manage her, and plan for her first months on the job. Listen not only for red flags, but also for valuable nuggets on how to play to her strengths and plan for her weaknesses.

1. Offer Context (question 1)

Before you jump in, give the person some context about what you’re looking for by asking them the following question. This will set them up to answer the rest of your questions with a full understanding of what you need:

  • I’m considering Jane for [job title]. She’d be responsible for [responsibilities]. Do you think she could perform well in this role, and why or why not?

Read More »How to Conduct Reference Check Before Hiring New Employee

6 Great HR Apps for Small Business That You’ve Never Heard Of… 

Baby BossHiring, firing, delegating, supervising – these are challenges faced by every business owner as a business expands. People are a company’s most important asset. But managing and motivating people are not easy. The good news is that there are a few great cloud-based technologies that are helping to make this less difficult. I’ve seen a few of these in action at our clients’ businesses and have recommendations. Ever heard of these?


For human resources management, try BambooHR. It’s a low-cost, full-featured platform that provides everything a controller or human resources manager would need to hire, manage, and terminate employees, no matter how small or large your organization. BambooHR pulls everything together—such as job and salary history, onboarding, vacation and sick day management, evaluations, benefits, training, termination processes, and other documentation—into one centralized location.Read More »6 Great HR Apps for Small Business That You’ve Never Heard Of… 

Workers Compensation Deadlines – All 50 States

If you have been injured at work, you need to be aware of the deadlines that apply to workers compensation claims in your state. In most states, there are two types of workers compensation deadlines. The first is a deadline to report your injury or illness to your employer, and the second is a deadline for filing a claim for benefits. If you miss either of these deadlines, you could lose your benefits eligibility. Use the chart below to learn about the deadlines in your state. State Report the Accident to Your Employer in Writing* File a Workers’ Compensation Claim**… Read More »Workers Compensation Deadlines – All 50 States

Prevent Slip-and-Fall Accidents from Tripping Up Your Business

Slip-and-fall accidents can hurt customers, cause big headaches for you and even land you in court.

Customer slip-and-fall incidents account for about 10 percent of small business claims at an average price tag of $20,000, according to claims data from The Hartford. If the customer files a lawsuit, which happens about 35 percent of the time in general liability claims, that amount can easily increase to $75,000 or more.

Fortunately for small business owners, there is a way to financially protect your business. Business insurance covers the cost of slip-and-fall accidents that happen to customers, guests and others—such as a delivery driver—who stop by your business. The insurance will even cover you if you get sued. What general business insurance does not pay for, however, are employee slip-and-fall accidents. Employee injuries must be covered by workers’ compensation insurance.Read More »Prevent Slip-and-Fall Accidents from Tripping Up Your Business

Contractor Insurance Requirements – A Primer

This article was originally published by AmWINS Group, Inc. It was edited and rewritten to simplify the content. To read the original article please click here.

primerWhen risk management department is assigned to focus on the major project, including construction, with particular attention to the insurance requirements to be imposed on the general contractor and any subcontractors, it’s very important not to make the insurance requirements so onerous that contractors are discouraged from bidding on the project.For those of us, who has not been involved in such projects before, let’s review insurance requirements from different projects and how those may affect our company (let’s call it ABC company – the one who impose insurance requirements).
Outdated Insurance Terminology
What may strike us about the old insurance requirements is the insurance terminology used. There is reference to “comprehensive general liability insurance” including endorsements listed as “broad form property damage,” “broad form blanket contractual liability,” “cross liability,” “XCU” and “additional named insured.” The limits are also listed as split limits – one applicable to bodily injury, and another lesser limit applicable to property damage.Similarly, the auto insurance requirement refers to “comprehensive auto liability” and workers’ compensation insurance includes the “broad form all states endorsement.” Further, all of the requirements are to be evidenced by a certificate of insurance that provides certificate holder a 30 days advance notice of cancellation. It becomes readily apparent that these requirements are so outdated as to be virtually useless – the coverage, endorsements and limits listed are obsolete and are no longer available. We must start from the beginning.Read More »Contractor Insurance Requirements – A Primer

Workers Compensation Rate Increase in California

We are seeing mostly rate increases and a lot of carriers filing to adopt the new California WCIRB Pure Premium Rate Filing Decision (PPRs). We’re also seeing mostly increases in the loss cost modifiers which will effect ultimate rates. The following are California rates changing in January through March. If you are looking to switch to another insurance carrier request your workers compensation insurance quote and we will provide you with a competitive offer. Preferred Professional Ins Co files a +9.8% rate increase effective January 1, 2015 Preferred Professional Insurance Company files to adopt the 1/1/15 WCIRB pure premiums.

[AMERICAN CONTRACTORS INS GROUP] ACIG Insurance Company files a 4.95% rate increase effective January 1, 2015 ACIG Insurance Company files to adopt the 1/1/15 WCIRB pure premiums.

[STATE FARM GROUP] State Farm Fire and Casualty Company files a +2.4% rate increase effective January 1, 2015 State Farm Fire and Casualty Company files to adopt the 1/1/15 WCIRB pure premiums, and revise its minimum premiums. Care West Insurance Company files a +2.3% rate increase effective January 1, 2015 Care West Insurance Company files to adopt the 1/1/15 WCIRB pure premiums.Read More »Workers Compensation Rate Increase in California