Specialized Business Insurance & Risk Management Blog

Protecting Your Pet Service Business in 3 Easy Steps

iStock_000013258038XSmallPet Pro is truly a program like no other. We exclusively serve pet care specialists, such as veterinarians, adoption organizations, shelters, pet trainers, animal hospitals, groomers, and many more. We know how hard it can be to find the right coverage for your business, but at PetPro, you come first. The risks in the pet care industry are abundant and widespread, and generic coverage is inadequate. To help protect you and your business, here are three easy steps that you can take!

1. Make Sure All Employees Have the Proper Education/Training:
The best way to reduce liability is to ensure that both you and your employees are up to date on all techniques and procedures. Different pet professionals require different levels of certification, so make sure all records are recent.

2. Keep Detailed Records:
With pets, there is usually a lot of information to keep track of. By ensuring that all information is not only documented, but backed up as well, could help prevent errors. Basic information about the pet, for example date of birth, breed, color, and health history should also be on record to prevent errors. Also be sure to list all veterinarian contact information, in case of an emergency, as well as all client contact information. This includes an address, an email, a phone number, and an emergency contact number. Daily care sheets are also a good idea, to ensure you are feeding, exercising, and medicating (if necessary) the animal properly.

3. Get a Signed Contract:
A clear and detailed contract between you and the client is one of the most efficient ways to mitigate the risks of your business. A contract should clearly state an outline of provided services, pricing, payment options, cancellation policies, and damages. Make sure each new client signs the contract before you begin any work on the pet. Contracts help manage a client’s expectations and can prevent misunderstandings.

Info from: http://petservices.insureon.com/small-business-insurance/ways-to-protect/166

Top 5 Work-Related Injuries

3D business white people. Handicapped businessman
No matter where you may work, there are certain injuries that seem to be ubiquitous in the workplace. These seemingly small injuries can affect many things- families, businesses, and of course, the workers themselves. Below are the five most common injuries and a few tips to prevent them from happening to you or a loved one.

Musculoskeletal Injuries: Injuries from overexertion, fatigue, prolonged static structure, frequent/repetitive stretching, or heavy lifting are very common, no matter what your profession. The best ways to avoid this are to stretch and change positions frequently, as well as sitting properly at work. Most of all, it is very important to learn the correct way to do physical work. On top of that, be sure to maintain fitness and flexibility.

Slips, Trips, & Falls: When lighting is inadequate, or the floor is cluttered with objects, it is very easy to stumble over something and potentially get hurt. Even something inconspicuous, such as a wet floor or loose carpeting, can pose as a threat. Stay alert while walking, and be sure to observe any signs to indicate slippery conditions. Watch for uneven sidewalks. Additionally, be sure to keep all workplaces clean and uncluttered.

Repetitive Motion Injuries: Mostly, this type of injury is caused by fixed-position activities, such as keyboard use. The best ways to prevent this are by taking occasional breaks, and provide employees with proper ergonomic equipment. Ergonomic workstations have the potential to cut back $20 million per year on worker’s compensation.

Machinery & Equipment: Dangerous equipment and machinery can be especially risky to use if not handled properly. Loose clothing, shoes, jewelry, or hair all pose as hazards to safety. To avoid an accident, be sure to follow all safety precautions, and wear any protective equipment that is necessary.

Motor Vehicle Accidents: Motor vehicle accidents affect workers of all industries and can involve those who transport people or freight, employees who drive company vehicles, and even pedestrian workers who are hit by motorists. By providing employees with extensive safety training and enforcing safe driving policies, you can help prevent these types of accidents.

Click the link to check out the awesome infographic: http://www.oahuspineandrehab.com/5-common-work-related-injuries/

Workplace Injuries Costs and Causes


Workplace injuries are an unfortunate part of running a business. Obviously, no one wants an injury to happen, but that doesn’t mean one shouldn’t be prepared in case a worker becomes injured on the job. Direct workers’ compensation costs about $1 billion per week to US businesses. In 2009, there were 124,856,000 covered workers with $5.68 billion in covered wages. The number one disabling workplace injury was overexertion, which cost over $12 billion in 2009. Overexertion accounts for 1 out of every 4 workplace injuries, and for 25.4% of disabling injuries.

The direct costs to businesses are workers’ compensation payments, medical expenses, and costs for legal services. But what you may not think of is the many indirect costs, such as training replacement workers, accident investigation, damaged equipment repairs, and low employee morale. Indirect costs of injuries can cost up to 20 times more than the direct costs. Workers’ compensation insurance is required by most US states, however laws may vary by state. Only workers’ compensation will pay medical costs and lost wages, making it a solid investment.

Click here to take a look at the infographic: https://www.boltinsurance.com/news/miscellaneous/workplace-injuries-costs-causes-infographic/

Slips, Trips and Falls: The Painful Truth

Slips, trips and falls are one of the leading causes of unintentional injuries, according to the National Safety Council. Common areas for falls to occur are in doorways, ramps, cluttered hallways, unstable work surfaces, ladders and stairs. But how does this impact insurance? From National Underwriter P&C’s January issue, take a stats-eye view of these slippery expenditures:

Top 10 Snow Related Causes of Greenhouse Failure

snowblowerJohn Bartok Jr., an agricultural engineer and University of Connecticut Professor Emeritus, says snow varies considerably in consistency and weight. It can be light and fluffy with a water equivalent of 12 inches equal to 1 inch of rain. Snow can also be wet and heavy with 3 to 4 inches equal to 1 inch of rain.

Snow having a 1-inch rainwater equivalent loads a structure with 5.2 pounds per square foot. This amounts to about 6.5 tons on a 25- by 96-foot greenhouse.

Bartok says there are several reasons for structure failures during snow storms.

1. Drifting Snow: In nor’easter storms, adjacent greenhouses or bays of gutter-connected houses that have a north-south ridge orientation tend to collect more snow on the leeward side. Snow that is lifted over the ridge of the first house can be dumped on the windward side of the second house. This creates an off-center load on the roof.

2. Proximity Of Adjacent Greenhouses: Building greenhouses too close together is a common cause of failure. This is especially the case with overwintering structures that are only 4 to 6 feet apart. When snow slides off the greenhouse roof, it fills the space and crushes the house’s sidewall frame. Usually there is inadequate space to get in with a bucket loader to remove it. To save the structure, some growers cut the plastic covering to allow the snow to flow into the greenhouse and relieve the pressure. Other growers install two-by-fours to brace the side frame.

3. Greenhouse Frame Shape: The gothic-shaped greenhouse was developed to eliminate the flat spots that can collect snow on the top of hoop-shaped structures. Since 1994, when the nursery industry changed from the hoop design to a gothic design for overwintering structures, there have been fewer structure failures.

4. Poor Frame Connectors: Check and tighten all bolts and tek screws before the winter season. These fasteners tend to loosen over time. Brace bands and u-clamps can slip if they are not held in place with tek screws. The screws should be at the side of frame members, not at the bottom. Several greenhouses have failed at the point where tek screws were placed at the bottom of hoop tubing. This created weak spots.

5. Greenhouse Frame Racking: Many manufacturers do not include bracing with their greenhouse kits. All greenhouses should have diagonal braces from near the peak at the endwall to the baseboard about 16 to 20 feet from the endwall on all four corners. This provides stability and keeps the frames vertical. Frames lose considerable strength when they are not vertical. Install tubing or a 1- by 4-inch board and secure with a U-bolt at each hoop.

6. Poor Welds: Welds that are not continuous or that have burned through the metal are weak spots. Areas that should be checked include truss braces, welds between sections of gutters and tubing sections that are welded together without an insert. Although expensive, professional inspection and x-ray testing may be worth the added expense.

7. Inadequate Air Inflation: Heavy wind can create rippling of plastic coverings causing failure at the structure attachments. This can be prevented by increasing the polyethylene film’s inflation slightly by opening the blower’s intake valve. Make sure any holes or rips are taped. Check to see that the inflation fan intake cannot be blocked by snow.

8. No Heat Or Inadequate Heat: Most greenhouses that fail don’t have heat or were heated to 40ºF or less. When heavy snow is predicted, the greenhouse heating system should be turned on and the thermostat set at 70ºF or higher. Energy screens should be left open. The few extra gallons of oil or therms of natural gas burned are less expensive than replacing a collapsed greenhouse.

9. Open Vents, Doors Or Louvers: The effective force of the wind is doubled when it is allowed inside a greenhouse. Latch doors and tape vents and shutters so that they cannot open.

10. Plugged Gutters And Downspouts: Once snow has accumulated, it is important to have provisions for its removal. Removing snow from the roof lets some light in, allowing warming of the inside. This causes some melting, which helps to reduce the snow load. Once the snow is melted, it is important to keep the gutters and downspouts free of ice. Ice socks filled with calcium chloride placed in gutters and downspouts will melt the ice. If available, magnesium chloride or sodium acetate is more environmentally friendly and reduces corrosion.

Shoveling is not always the answer. It can be very expensive to remove the snow. You also need space to dispose of it. If the snow is light, there is not much danger of collapse. If the snow is heavy, some growers have found that as it settles, melts and refreezes, it forms a cocoon next to the plastic covering and doesn’t put a lot of pressure on the greenhouse. Removing it may cause more damage.