Latest News

2017 Workers’ Compensation Mid-Year Update

July 19, 2017

The insurance commissioner approved an average rate decrease of 7.8% to be effective 7/1/17 for all new and renewing policies after this date. Several insurers have filed lower rates as of 7/1/17, and will continue to take clients’ loss history into consideration when determining final net rates. Download the Article

Proof of Loss as a Tool to Resolve Disputed Property Claims

June 28, 2017

First Party Property losses such as stolen construction tools and equipment, should be a straight forward claim. You send in documents to support the value of your claim, and then you expect to be paid by your property insurer. Typically, the claim is paid but sometimes things get derailed. Your property insurer may dispute the …

Workers’ Compensation Understanding the True Cost of an Employee Injury

June 28, 2017

A safe job is a profitable job—especially when you add up the direct and indirect costs of an accident! For example, a $25,000 sprain/lost time injury might take between $500,000 and $2,500,000 of additional company sales to pay for the cost of the injury. Download the Article

Increasing Cost of Automobile Claims – Automobile Black Boxes and Economic Damages

June 28, 2017

California auto insurance rates are going up due to the escalating cost of claims. On average, insurers are paying out $1.14 for every $1.00 of premium they collect. Increased traffic on roadways, distracted drivers, escalating medical costs, rising repair costs, and finally, economic damages from severe auto injuries, are the reasons for these increased claim …

2017 Workers’ Compensation and Safety Update

December 16, 2016

Insurance Commissioner, Dave Jones, has requested additional rate decreases for new and renewal policies starting January 1, 2017. The schedule in this article shows the requested pure premium rate changes to be effective January 1, 2017. We expect slightly lower rates to be approved in early December 2016. Download the Article

2015 Insurance Legal Case Update From SDV Law

April 7, 2016

1. Capital City Real Estate LLC v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London – U.S. Court of Appeals for Fourth Circuit, June 10, 2015 788 F.3d 375 (4th Cir. 2015) Importance of Case: The case addresses a common issue presented by additional insured claims – whether extrinsic evidence can be utilized to determine an insurer’s duty …

Workers’ Compensation Red Flags and Fraud

March 23, 2016

There are hundreds of thousands of active workers’ compensation claims in California. During the fiscal year 2013-2014, the California Fraud Division identified 5,729 suspected fraud cases. Of those, only 248 cases were sent to prosecuting authorities (County District Attorneys). For those convicted at trial or who entered a plea bargain, what were the penalties? Not …

Pollution Liability: Contract and Jobsite Exposures

February 15, 2016

Pollution liability insurance has been available for more than 15 years, so why aren’t more subcontractors purchasing this coverage? Do they realize that pollution claims are excluded from general liability policies? Are they aware of how reasonable premiums are, starting at less than $5,000 a year for $1,000,000 of coverage? Download the Article

Claim Reserving

February 4, 2016

Claim reserving is an art form coupled with an educated guess of the most probable outcome for any given claim. Reserves are set by insurance adjusters. For large and more complex claims, a claims manager or vice president will approve the final reserve. Download the Article

2016 Workers’ Compensation Update

December 10, 2015

Highlights: Construction rates are going down on average 13% in 2016 Wage threshold changes California loss ratios improving Top 10 workers’ compensation insurers EMR average for northern CA is 90% Download the Article

Broker Prequalification

August 10, 2015

Owners have been prequalifying general contractors and, in turn, general contractors have been prequalifying subcontractors for expertise, performance, safety, and innovative ideas for years. You should do the same with your insurance and surety broker. Download the Article

Builder’s Risk Insurance – Don’t get burned

July 30, 2015

Builder’s risk insurance is essential coverage for new and remodel construction projects. The construction contract often requires that it be purchased by the project owner or general contractor. Unfortunately this does no always happen, and when a property damage claim is incurred, you don’t want to get burned. Here is an actual claim regarding a …

Cyber Liability: A Growing Concern for Contractors

June 15, 2015

Cybersecurity attacks have become not only more numerous and diverse, but also more damaging and disruptive. Contractors are not immune from cyber-attacks, or the costs and liabilities caused by these attacks. Download the Article

2015 Workers’ Compensation Mid-Year Update

June 4, 2015

July 1st 10.2% Rate Reduction Approved. On May 7th, the California Insurance commissioner approved the WCIRB’s request to lower the existing advisory pure premium rates by 10.2%, effective for policies renewing on or after 7/1/15. Download the Article

Selecting and Monitoring Drivers to Avoid Punitive Damages

April 28, 2015

Are you properly screening your drivers and enforcing your written rules for the use of your company vehicles? If not, punitive damages are possible under the theory of negligent entrustment, and they are not insurable under California Insurance Code Section 533. Download the Article

30 Tips for Preventing Injuries, Reducing Workers’ Compensation Costs, and Lowering Your EMR

April 22, 2015

Workers’ compensation costs and Experience Modification Rate (EMR) ranking are two key components of any competitive bid. Experience has shown that it takes a total team effort from internal and external champions to be best in class. Here is a checklist of 30 ideas to help you succeed in reducing your premiums and EMR: Download …