May 2017
President's Message
If you are a Buckman-Mitchell customer that does business with our office by coming to our Visalia location regularly, you have undoubtedly noticed a change in our facility over the last couple of years relative to the security of our premises.
 
As a firm that operates with "relationships with clients and community matters most" in its mission statement, we at Buckman-Mitchell do not take gently to anything that puts barriers between our staff and our clients or community. We exist because of you. We need our relationships with you and our communication with you to thrive.
 
Those of us who are charged with the management of our firm and our premises also have a duty to protect our employees and our customers. With that in mind, several years ago our management team employed a local investigative/security firm to conduct a survey of our offices in Visalia and Fresno with the intent of ensuring that our premises are as safe as possible.
 
It was recommended to us that we place keypads on interior doors to limit access to unwanted intruders. We have since followed up with a front door system that requires our reception team to manage access to the premises. We recently added a speaker system to this feature that requires visitors to state their business before being admitted entrance to the facility.
 
The latest chapter in our efforts is the fencing of our property. The fencing of the property falls in line with many of our neighbors and, frankly, I believe actually adds to the look of the facility. Obviously, the intent is to limit access to the premises in hours when we are closed. If you are part of a group that uses our facility in off hours, please rest assured that we will connect with your group to ensure that you have normal access to the Community Room.
 
Our duty as a business owner is to protect our employees and to protect our customers when they are visiting our office. While these steps are not our preference, we believe they are a necessary step to fulfilling our responsibility.
 
 
 
Brent Swanson
President / C.O.O.

BMI News
Buckman-Mitchell, Inc. Makes Top Specialist
Brokers List 2017
  
Click Here  for the article


 

 

Visit Insurance Business Website at www.insurancebusinessmag.com

 

May 29:
Office will be Closed in observance of Memorial Day.

Save the Date:
Saturday, July 29: Cars and Coffee at BMI. Please click here for flyer with details.  
We love to support our community! Below are some upcoming events BMI has sponsored:
 
May 19, 2017 - Downtown Expo - A Fashion, Food and Music Event
May 20, 2017 - Exeter Relay for Life
May 25, 2017 - Kings Tulare Homeless Alliance Recognition Luncheon
June 7, 2017 - Exeter Lions presents the 54th Annual East vs.West All-Star Baseball Game
June 8, 2017 - Visalia Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards Banquet   Expo
 
Property and Casualty Trends

Visalia Has Been Hit With ADA Lawsuits. Are You Compliant?

 

Federal & State ADA laws require commercial buildings to be free of architectural barriers making it impossible to access the goods or services offered by business.
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Noncompliance brings a threat of a lawsuit that may impose injunctive relief, demands to become compliant, plaintiff's attorney fees, costs and expenses in bringing the claim and monetary award. In CA plaintiff can collect damages in the amount of three times the amount of actual damage, but in no case less than $4,000 for each barrier.
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The "Safe Harbor" provision where the ADA requires that small businesses remove barriers when it is "readily achievable" to do so, (without much expense), will not eliminate the threat of a lawsuit.
Take action now before there is a lawsuit.
  • Hire an ADA inspector to identify the barriers
  • Work with a contractor to remove the barriers
  • After work is complete, ADA inspector must re-inspect
  • Promptly & thoroughly review your insurance policies to determine whether they may have insurance coverage applicable to ADA lawsuits and increased cost of construction in the event of a covered building loss.

Please click here to continue reading the article.

Life & Health Insurance Updates
May is Disability Awareness Month

Disability insurance is the most overlooked of the major types of insurance.

That's likely because many people think a disabling illness or injury will never happen to them. But according to a Life Happens survey, a person has a three in 10 chance of suffering a disabling illness or injury that would keep them out of work for three months or more during their career.

Disability insurance replaces a portion of your income if you were to become sick or injured and unable to work. It's an important type of insurance coverage that is often overlooked, as few people stop to consider what would happen to their business and their personal income if they were unable to work. In addition, business owners should consider business overhead insurance, which reimburses a business for overhead expenses in the event a business owner becomes totally disabled. A policy typically pays benefits for one to two years and helps cover expenses like salaries, taxes, employee benefits, rent, mortgage, utilities, equipment, malpractice premiums, etc. That could mean the difference between a business surviving or shutting  its doors.

Click the link to learn about Tim Meredith- a self-employed IT professional whose life-threatening medical condition caused him to be unable to work for several months, and how proper disability insurance planning kept him from losing the business he worked so hard to start.  Click Here for Tim Meredith's story.

If you would like more information on Disability Insurance for yourself or your business, please contact our agency to speak to one of our licensed professionals.

How Much Disability Insurance Do you Need?  Click the link to find out :  http://www.lifehappens.org/insurance-overview/disability-insurance/calculate-your-needs/


 


Human Resource News
100% Healed Before Return to Work Policy is not Legal


Blanket policies that say an employee must be 100-percent healed before he/she can return to work after an injury are unlawful. Instead, you must assess whether the employee can perform the essential functions of the job with or without reasonable accommodation.

Please click here to continue reading the article.
Visit www.hrmobileservices.com for more helpful information.

Loss Control Bulletin
Safety: Why

Why do businesses develop safety programs? Most of the time it's "compliance." But that is an answer that small companies give: larger companies; however, state "profit."
 
Please click here to continue reading the article.
Visit www.borettinc.com for more helpful information. 
       
Claims Department Report
Understanding Property Damage Mitigation
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Preventing additional property damage is key to your home insurance claim.
Home insurance helps protect your property and possessions in the case of a loss. If you've suffered a loss, damage mitigation (preventing additional property damage) is one of the most important steps you can take when filing a claim.

Please click here to continue reading the article.     
A Word from Workers' Comp Department

Welcome to the Team - Andrea Lemm

 

In 1999 Buckman-Mitchell created and staffed a Worker's Compensation Claims Management department, designed to assist our larger insureds and their employees in navigating the workers' compensation process.

The work and services provided by our claims management department has been well received by our larger clients to a point where we have recognized a need to add to our staff.
  We are pleased to announce that Andrea Lemm has joined our team in the position of workers' compensation claims management specialist. Andrea comes to us from Zenith Insurance Company, where she served as a claims supervisor.
Personal Lines Note
OUCH!! Auto Insurance Premiums Increasing in 2017

Based on what we are hearing and seeing, Personal and Commercial auto insurance premiums are headed upward.   Most Insurance carriers are increasing their premiums by 6.9 % or greater in 2017. This is largely due to the increased costs in auto repair and medical bills. This appears to be industry wide. It's not a question of who will take a rate increase, but when in 2017. Some insurance carriers even plan on taking 2 or more rate/premium increases in 2017.
                      
Please click here to continue reading the article. 
May Employee Spotlight
License #0011334, #0A96361     |   (559) 733-1181   |   www.bminc.com
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