The Importance of an Incident Reporting System

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An incident (or accident) reporting system is important for small businesses to have in place no matter your industry. However, some types of businesses are more susceptible to unusual events or injuries occurring, especially those that treat clients (doctors or physiotherapists for example). Nevertheless, any business that has a physical premise could experience an incident where someone can get hurt on their property.

The primary purpose of an incident/accident reporting system is to document, through the completion of a form, the specific details surrounding an incident/accident while it is still fresh in everyone’s mind. If the individual injured is a patient, a staff member or a visitor, a report should be filled out regardless. The information contained in the report might be useful down the road in the event of a lawsuit or liability issues associated with the event. Say for example, one of your customers slips and injures themselves while at your business. One year later they could decide to sue you for their injuries and it will be a lot harder to remember the exact details of the incident if you have no documentation.

A reporting form should be made readily available to all staff and they should be encouraged to fill it out as soon as possible, usually right after the injured person is looked after so that attempts of remedying the situation may be documented as well. The completed form should be kept on file for as long as possible. Recommended items the form should contain include:

 

Date and time of the incident;

Injured person’s name, address, date of birth and any other relevant information;

A description of the incident and any resulting or possible injuries;

A description of any treatment given to the person on the scene (i.e. first aid) and details on whether they sought further treatment (i.e.: hospital or physician visit);

Name, contact information and brief statement from any witnesses to the incident;

Any other details of the incident that the person completing the form deems important;

Name and signature of the person completing the form, including the date they completed it.

 

If you have any questions regarding the information above or if you would like to discuss your current policy with a broker, our Bullfrog Insurance brokers would be happy to help you out.

How Are Insurance Premiums Calculated?

 

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We understand that you don’t like whipping out your credit card to purchase insurance coverage since it’s something you buy and hope that you’ll never have to use. What makes the process even more painful is when you discover that a neighbouring business is paying less than you!

There are many different factors that insurance companies use to calculate premiums, and they vary depending on the type of business you’re in. The following are some of the more common indicators to help you understand how your insurance premium is calculated and why it might differ from another small business.

 

Revenue. 
This one is simple – the more money you’re making, the more business you’re doing, the more potential there is for a loss to occur.

 

Operations. 
Depending on what your business does or the products it sells, there may be a lower or higher likelihood of a loss occurring. For example, if you manufacture explosives, your products have a much higher likelihood of injuring someone then if you manufacture books. Similarly, if you run a café, your exposure is less then someone who runs a bar serving liquor.

 

Location. 
Where your business is located can have a significant impact on the premium for your property insurance (contents, stock etc.). Are you located on a flood plain? In an earthquake zone? In an area with a high rate of sewer back-up or hail claims? Insurance companies track geographical information and claims by postal code to help determine rates. They also pay attention to your fire protection, such as how close the nearest fire hydrant and responding fire hall are to your business, and your building construction, such as what type it is, how old it is and whether or not it has sprinklers. If your business is in a remote area, there’s a greater chance that a fire would cause a total loss, hence higher rates are charged.

 

Claims.
While business insurance policies don’t generally offer a claims-free discount like your home insurance policy might, insurance companies still take your past claims into account. For business insurance, they will generally look at frequency of claims, for example, 2 claims in 3 years or 3 claims in 5 years may give them a red flag and affect the rating that they offer. 

 

Coverage Limits. 
This is often the most determining factor in premium calculation. How much property do you need insurance for and what liability limit do you want or need? In addition, are there any specialized coverages which your business requires? Keep this in mind when comparing with your neighbour.

 

At Bullfrog Insurance, our goal is to make purchasing insurance as efficient as possible by working with multiple carriers to find you the best quote. Please contact us if you would like to speak with one of our licensed brokers about obtaining a quote or about how any of the factors above may impact your premium.

Buying The Right Insurance For Your Small Business

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Running your own small business can be exciting and stressful all at the same time. With so much going on, it’s important not to forget that your insurance coverage should be a vital part of your business strategy. If something happens and you don’t have proper coverage, there might be little left to worry about.

Here are some tips for finding the insurance you need without blowing your budget:

 

Use a broker.
A brokerage has access to a variety of different markets so they can shop around to find the best price and coverage for your needs. A brokerage also does the work for you by making sure the insurance company is reputable and financially stable.

 

A good relationship.
You need to be able to trust the company and the people that you’re dealing with. Do they understand your business and your needs? Do they communicate information in a way that’s understandable and convenient for you? Do they respond to your questions and requests quickly? You want to feel confident that they’ll be there when you need them most.

 

The right coverage.
It’s important to make sure you have both the right type of coverage and the right amount of coverage. Working with a company that can help you identify these items and not over-sell you is important. If you have questions, make sure to ask and make sure you feel like you’re getting a straight answer. Also, make sure to fully disclose your operations and answer all questions as honestly as possible to prevent any issues with a claim down the road.

 

As an insurance brokerage geared towards small businesses, Bullfrog Insurance understands the importance of each of these items. We work on your behalf to get the best rates for your business and to make sure the process is as painless as possible.

 

 

New Year = New Opportunity to Review Your Risks

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The first few weeks at the beginning of the new year is a great opportunity for businesses to conduct a yearly review and to also review their current insurance policy. Within a year, significant changes to your business can occur.  Whether it was growth in the number of new employees or the inclusion of new equipment, it is important that your insurance policy is updated to reflect and cover these changes.

If changes need to be made to your policy or if you are unsure if changes need to be made, you can easily call Bullfrog Insurance or your broker to find out.

Here are some helpful tips to consider in order to ensure that your business, and its risk protection, is off to a great start.

 

Make a list of new insurable items.
Over the past year, has your business purchased any new equipment, inventory and contents? Have you added a second location? These are changes that should be included in your policy.

 

Added a vehicle to your business?
It’s key to know that your personal auto insurance policy will not cover your vehicle when used for business. If you use the vehicle for business related services such as delivery or making house calls to offer a service, you need a separate auto policy for the vehicle to be insured and covered should a claim unfortunately occur.

 

Hired more employees or added new activities to their job outline?
As you hire more staff or expand job activities to suit the growing need of your business, you should always check that you have appropriate coverage. For example, if you are a contractor, you should make sure you disclose all new activities to your insurance broker to ensure your liability coverage will protect you.

 

You are a start-up working out of a home office.
Working out of a home office doesn’t mean that your business is automatically insured through an existing home insurance policy. Should any claims be made toward the location without a proper business insurance policy in place, the claim may not be paid and your business will take a financial hit.

 

If you have any questions regarding the information above or if you would like to discuss your current policy with a broker, our Bullfrog Insurance brokers would be happy to help you out.

Small Businesses & Cyber Attacks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Being A Small Business Doesn’t Mean You’re Immune To Cyber Attacks

Data security is quickly becoming a reoccurring theme in  today’s high tech age. Businesses of every size are facing data breaches, which is putting many Canadian consumers personal information at risk. Not only do these breaches affect consumers and clients, but they also  greatly affect  the company at the heart of the issue. Companies who fall victim to such breaches can incur significant expenses to rectify the breach, risk damage to their reputation, risk the possibility of being sued, and risk losing loyal customers who feed their business.

In order to protect your customers’ and/or clients’ private information, it is important to ensure that your business is taking all steps necessary to keep such information safe. The first step is knowing that just because you’re a small business doesn’t mean you are not susceptible to such breaches. In fact, you are more of a target as information in small businesses is generally easier to access.

Along with equipping your business with Cyber Liability coverage, here are some helpful tips on how your business can protect against a security breach or a cyber attack:

Change passwords on a regular basis.

With everything you use to run your business that requires a password, be sure to change the password regularly. It’s also important to that you don’t make your passwords very simple, such as 1234, as they are very easy to break. Be sure to use a combo of upper and lower case letters, symbols, and numbers.

Educate yourself and your staff about cyber threats.

Inform your employees on the variety of threats they can be vulnerable to and what they can do to combat them. Provide them with insight on items such as phishing scams and malware links within emails, and what they can do to identify threats.

Improper document disposal.

When it comes to disposing old files or documents that may no longer be needed yet have important personal information on them, do not just throw them out. It is imperative that they are properly disposed via a shredder prior to being placed in the garbage or hiring an outside firm to dispose of them safely.

Back up your data.

In the unfortunate case your information is hacked and corrupted, it is imperative that you have a backup of all important files. In order for you business to not lose important information such as client details and financials, a backup of all information is great safety blanket.

Limit your collection of information.

Collecting personal information from your customers/clients may be an integral part of your small business if, for example, you run a small clinic. The information will help you treat your patients to utmost standards and ensure their files are up-date with their medical history.

All the information collected should be kept to a minimum, with your business only collecting what it needs to run efficiently and to provide great customer service. Collecting an abundance of personal information puts you at risk for a cyber breach and puts your customer information at risk as well.

Is Your Business Over or Under Insured?

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As an entrepreneur/small business owner, protecting your investment from potential risks is a top priority. However, when it comes to properly insuring your business, there may have been instances where you were unsure how much coverage you needed and how much premium you should be paying. You’re not alone. Many individuals have been, and continue to be, in your position, which ultimately results in many small businesses being either over or under insured.

What does it mean to be over-insured?

Over-insuring your business means that you have purchased too much coverage and exceeded your actual loss exposure, or what the insurance company would actually pay in the event of a loss. If you’re over-insured, it’s likely that you’re paying more than necessary in insurance premiums.

What does it mean to be under-insured?

Under-insuring your business means that you haven’t purchased enough coverage, either for the value of your physical property or your liability exposure, or a combination of both. In the unfortunate event of a claim, only part of the of the claim will be paid and the full amount of the loss or damage will not be covered.

To help prevent over-insuring or under-insuring your business, you should review your assets and liabilities on an annual basis to ensure that your policy reflects changes that have been made over the year. Also, don’t over-insure your business out of fear of not being fully insured. By doing so, you are wasting funds that could be invested into your business in other areas. More importantly, don’t under-insure your business due to cost. In the event of a claim, being under-insured could turn out to be financially devastating.

How Bullfrog ensures that your business is neither over-insured or under-insured:

Bullfrog Insurance helps small businesses like yours ensure that you are properly insured based on your industry, your businesses unique risks, and other relative factors. We also provide you with quotes from multiple companies based on the same coverage, so that you can be sure you’re getting the best price for the proper coverage. Why waste money or not be covered fully should a claim occur? It’s ridiculous to us too.

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