How Well Do You Understand Orlando Surety Bonds?

How Well Do You Understand Orlando Surety Bonds? How Well Do You Understand Orlando Surety Bonds?

Most contractors, land developers and foremen understand that being bonded is essential in order to compete in the Orlando’s commercial construction industry, but how well do you understand the process? Many professionals don’t, so here is a helpful guide to understanding surety bonds and the bonding process.

What are Surety Bonds?

Surety bonds are commonly defined as a three party agreement which guarantee to an obligee that the contracting entity will complete a project according to the terms specified in the contract and properly pay their bills and expenses. Surety bonds are essentially designed not to benefit the contractor, but to protect the project owner.  While a contractor’s own business insurance policy is designed to help mitigate their own financial losses, surety bonds are a financial agreement between a business and a bonding company that transfer financial responsibility to the surety company in the event that something goes wrong in the business transaction.

It is important to note that unlike insurance claims, surety claims are not caused by accidents. Surety claims arise when a contractor is unable to fulfill their contractual requirements for some reason. In these cases the surety company is obligated to find another contractor to fulfill the contract or compensate the third party for their financial loss.

The Bonding Process

The process of getting bonded itself might seem a bit complicated. The first step of the process is to contact an agency or brokerage that specializes in securing Orlando surety bonds. The agent or broker will likely set up a meeting to discuss the specific needs of your business, before submitting a bond request to the specific surety company that they believe will best meet the needs and requirements of your business.

Finding the right surety producers is vitally important when seeking bonds in Orlando. Luckily, we can help. At Newman Crane, our surety specialists work closely with many local contractors and other business owners, to help them set up bonds that are carefully designed to cover their specific exposures. We are proud to offer a complete portfolio of bonding and business insurance solutions to operations throughout Central Florida. For more information, give our Orlando Surety Bond specialists a call today at (407) 859-3691. 

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Orlando Business Insurance: Commercial Shipping Gets Competitive

Orlando Business Insurance: Commercial Shipping Gets Competitive Orlando Business Insurance Commercial Shipping Gets Competitive

FedEx and UPS have expressed intentions of raising ground shipping rates in 2015. Both companies are preparing to incorporate dimensional weight pricing for all parcels utilizing U.S. ground service next year. The new policy change will essentially incorporate the amount of space a parcel takes up on a truck into the overall pricing, in some cases placing more emphasis on volume than a package’s actual weight. This pricing method has traditionally been reserved for large packages, typically larger than three cubic feet, as well as for air and express deliveries, which can be quite costly. As a result, ground shipments have remained the least expensive option for many American businesses. The change is expected to affect roughly a third of all FedEx ground business and could increase rates for shippers up to 30 percent.

Many operations may seek to change packaging size and shapes to avoid steep increases in their cost of operations, but there may also be another option for businesses with less flexibility or control over their product packaging. The United States Postal Service (USPS) recently announced their plans to lower the cost of Priority Mail shipping for businesses. The USPS hopes to encourage more businesses to choose the USPS for their shipping needs over their private competitors and raise the USPS’s profile in the commercial shipping industry. The USPS decision comes much to the dismay of private sector shipping service providers, as FedEx and UPS have outwardly spoken-out against the rate decrease which goes into effect September 7th, 2014. FedEx representative have reportedly told the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) that by decreasing their Priority Mail shipping prices, the U.S. Postal Service is threatening the private sector’s ability to compete for commercial and ecommerce business.

Experts suggest that depending on the shipping parameters, businesses can save upwards of 50 percent per 9-22 pound package by shipping through the U.S. Postal Service.  This could be great news for Orlando businesses looking to cut costs and maintain their bottom line in the hyper competitive ecommerce economy.

At Newman Crane, we understand that cost is a huge factor in business decision making, and balancing quality with cost efficiency is always a challenge. That’s why we are dedicated to providing quality Orlando business insurance solutions at highly competitive rates. Our commercial insurance specialists have experience working with all types of businesses, large and small, implementing risk management strategies that protect our clients from the countless exposures they face on a daily basis. From developing an employee benefits strategy to complete property and liability coverage options our Orlando business insurance specialists can devise a comprehensive plan to protect all your business assets. To get started, give us a call today at (407) 859-3691. 

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Orlando Car Insurance: Feds to Mandate Crash Avoidance Technology

Orlando Car Insurance: Feds to Mandate Crash Avoidance Technology Orlando Car Insurance Feds to Mandate Crash Avoidance Technology

The U.S. Transportation Department has begun drafting policies which would require automakers to outfit all future vehicles with vehicle-to-vehicle communication and driver alert systems, asserting that the technology can help save more than a thousand lives a year. Researchers have found that the use of crash avoidance technologies can be expected to help prevent some 600,000 accidents that occur each year in connection with oncoming traffic and intersection collisions.

Vehicle-to-vehicle communication technology is essentially a set of sophisticated, strategically placed sensors which allow cars to sense one another and react accordingly. These technologies allow vehicles to relaying information like speed, position and trajectory to one another and in turn to drivers who are then warned of possible collision situations. The technology lets cars automatically exchange safety data roughly10 times per second, which helps alert motorists to with real-time driving hazards. One such application is the left-turn assistance function offered by this technology, essentially the car itself assesses data from other vehicles in the area to alert drivers of safe and unsafe time to turn. The technology has also been developed to alert drivers of oncoming vehicles and lane deviation.  However, even the most sophisticated  vehicle-to-vehicle technologies have limitations, based on capabilities and human error, however  researcher believe that when used in conjunction with vehicle-to-infrastructure communication systems the results could be markedly improved.

According to the National Highway Safety Administration, formal vehicle-to-vehicle communication regulations will not be released until 2016 at the earliest, at which time the agency is expected to publish a set of concrete proposals.

At Newman Crane, we believe that one of the best crash avoidance tactics will always be safe driving, but we also understand that there are countless unexpected circumstances that drivers face every time they hit the road. That’s why we believe that auto insurance should be adaptable to best help protect Orlando drivers now and for years to come. Our Orlando car insurance specialists can help secure coverage for all your vehicles, whether they are daily drivers or collectable classics. Give us a call today at (407) 859-3691 to learn more about all our personal insurance offerings.

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Orlando Business Insurance: Hiring Missteps Prove Risky

Orlando Business Insurance: Hiring Missteps Prove Risky Orlando Business Insurance Hiring Missteps Prove Risky

Businesses everywhere this summer are getting a poignant reminder that working with contractors can sometimes come with unexpected risk exposures, especially when those temps are afforded access to privileged or sensitive information. The reminder comes from none other than the federal government itself, as the IRS contractors recently fell under investigation for their contract worker hiring practices. The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) found that there were a number of contract workers who were improperly screened and awarded contracts that afforded them access to privileged taxpayer information. Under IRS policy, background checks are mandatory for contractors who work with sensitive and private data, which also includes employee and law enforcement data, if they are working with the IRS for more than six months.

The TIGTA reported that there were a number of instances where the required background check protocol was no filed which ultimately resulted five contract awards where without background investigation and twelve cases where contract workers began working before those checks were completed. In one instance the report also noted that a contract winning courier service gave a daily route to an ex-convict who served more than 20 years for arson. In another case where improper background protocol were followed, a contractor working on printing and mailing tax forms was given a disk containing 1.4 million taxpayer names, Social Security numbers and other personal information.

The IR’s prominent misstep serves are an example for and Orlando business working with contract and direct hire employees, about the importance of background checks and establishing thorough protocols for all hiring practices. Hiring is one of the most complicated areas any business faces. Between navigating the local and federal equal opportunity employment regulations to protecting your business from potential liability exposure, the right employment practices can make all the difference.

At Newman Crane, we understand the common and nuanced risks that Central Florida business owners face. That’s why we proudly offer a complete suite of Orlando business insurance solutions to help business owners navigate the hazards of operation. We can help ensure that your operation is protected from many common and specialty claims and liability exposures, from Workers Comp and Errors/ Omissions to Employment Practices Liability exposures. Give our Orlando business insurance specialists a call today at (407) 859-3691 to learn more about all our offerings and the specialty industries we serve.

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Orlando Auto Shop Insurance: Asbestos Threatens Mechanics Health

Orlando Auto Shop Insurance: Asbestos Threatens Mechanics HealthOrlando Auto Shop Insurance Asbestos Threatens Mechanics Health

Auto mechanics are exposed to a variety of hazards in the repair shop. The most common auto shop accidents range from slips and falls, to cuts and bruises from mishandling tools, but there are also many unexpected health and safety exposures as well. One such hazard is asbestos. While asbestos is a commonly known threat for construction industry, where it can be found in old building materials, it is less frequently thought of as an everyday hazard in the auto shop.

Asbestos is a common material used in many auto parts including brakes, clutches and heat seals, due to its naturally heat-resistant qualities. The danger to mechanics comes from handling, cleaning and repairing these components. As these parts start to break apart or disintegrate, the asbestos escapes into the air where is can be inhaled, or settle onto the clothes of an auto mechanics. Because auto repair shops also are notorious for poor indoor air quality and circulation, the combination of inadequate air flow and free-floating asbestos particles makes this occupation especially dangerous.

Asbestos has long been a popular component in vehicular brakes because of its heat resistance and strength; some brakes contain 30 to 80 percent of the mineral compound. According to The Mesothelioma Center, some 900,000 American automobile mechanics have been exposed to asbestos dust from brake and clutch work. The use of asbestos for brake linings has yet to be fully abandoned, despite the known health risks.

The health risks associated with asbestos expose range from respiratory complications to an increased risk of cancer. Exposure to asbestos fibers can cause permanent damage to the lungs and other organs. Approximately 2,000 to 3,000 Americans are diagnosed with mesothelioma each year, and roughly the same amount die from asbestos-related lung cancer. An estimated 200,000 people in the United States are currently living with illnesses linked to asbestos exposure.

Asbestos exposure is a huge concern for Orlando auto shops if the proper safety precautions are not taken. Shop owners could find themselves faced with increased employee illness and injury, which business owners could be held liable for. Having a comprehensive workers comp policy is essential to any business, especially high risk environments like auto shops.

At Newman Crane, our Orlando auto shop insurance specialists can provide you with customized risk management solutions to keep you and your workers safe. We offer the Orlando Worker’s Comp coverage as one of our many business insurance solutions for Orlando auto shops. Give our Orlando auto shop insurance specialists a call today at (407) 859-3691 learn more about all of our offerings.

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Does Orlando Workers Comp Cover Off-Site Accidents?

Does Orlando Workers Comp Cover Off-Site Accidents? Does Orlando Workers Comp Cover Off-Site Accidents

Cvent, a well-established corporate event planning and management firm, recently released their annual review of the top 50 business destination in the United States and some of the results are surprising.  In their study, they evaluated over 5,000 cities as well as the number of meeting and event venues in the corresponding areas. They analyzed event, conference, tradeshow and meeting booking data, as well as venues and amenities to provide an accurate reflection of the most popular business destinations across the fifty states.

Chicago moved up this year to claim the title of the nation’s best business destination. Orlando ranked second in the nation this year, falling slightly from the top ranking the city received last year. Las Vegas, Atlanta and San Diego round out the top five best locations with New York holding onto 6th place, all for the second year in a row.

It comes as no surprise to many Floridians that Orlando should rank well among the best locations for business travel and accommodations. With four-hundred and fifty hotels featuring business accommodation and offering over one-hundred thousand room accommodation, Orlando hosts millions of professionals a year. It is also consistently one of the top tourism and vacation destination is the nation as well, drawing millions of visitors from across the world to the myriad of theme parks, resorts and other amenities.

While travel and off-sire meetings and are essential for any business, they can also pose a hug threat when it comes to an employer’s responsibility to protect their employees who work off-site. Should an employee fall sick, get injured or have an accident while away on business is their employer liable for those occurrences? Even more poignant of a question is, will your Worker’s Compensation cover employee injuries off site?

The answer is generally, yes. Typically a business’s workers comp coverage is extended to employee injuries sustained off the work premises so long as the injury is work related. Determining whether an injury is work-related however, can be complicated. Some off-site events that are typically covered include injuries that occur as a result of:

  • Traveling: Employees with no fixed, multiple or changing job sites are covered if injured on the job. As are employees traveling via employer provided transportation or by reimbursing the employee for travel expenses.
  • Company-sponsored event:  Even if the event is off-the clock and after-hours an employer’s workers comp policy may cover injuries and accident sustained from official, corporate sponsored events.  This includes recreational activities, team-building events, meetings, annual parties and other occasions.
  • Recreational activities to entertain potential clients. For example, should you or your employee be hit in the head by a golf ball while taking a client out for a round, the medical expenses could be reimbursable by filing a business workers comp claim.

At Newman Crane, helping you protect your business from the financial consequences of workplace injuries is one of our specialties. We offer comprehensive Orlando Workers Compensation coverage and many other risk management solutions to help promoting workplace safety and accident management. The right Orlando Workers Comp policy will cover your employees in the event of a workplace injury or illness, on and off your business premises. Our extensive business insurance portfolio is fully customizable to help Orlando business owners protect their workers, assets and investments. To learn more about all our offerings, give our Orlando Workers Comp specialists a call today at (407) 859-3691. 

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