October 2017
President's Message
Insurance carriers and the reinsurers that stand behind them are always very cognizant of how much exposure they have to loss in a specific region or line of coverage. "Subject" is a word often used in their world - as in "how much do we have subject to a catastrophic loss."
The wrath of the ongoing fires in California and the recent hurricanes Harvey and Irma in the south are reminders why the insurance world is always aware of its maximum potential for loss. Projections as of last week placed the insured losses from the California fires at $6 billion. While estimates of the insured damage from Harvey and Irma are still rolling in, the combined insured losses between the two will almost certainly reach $150 billion. The impact of these losses can be far reaching.
Those who have stock in insurance companies feel the hit. Insurer stock prices fell dramatically in recent weeks on speculation that a huge financial hit was coming.
All of us who purchase insurance policies feel the hit. Heavy losses affect an insurer's capital reserve. When that happens we see the marketplace "harden" across lines of coverage. A "hard market" means stricter underwriting and higher rates across the board - which affects all of us.
However, the losses to property and life suffered by our friends in California and Houston and Florida are certainly overwhelming in the grand scheme of life. Lives have been lost and the damage to property will be long term. We would all do well to remember that, in the event we feel some short-term residual pain in our insurance premiums.
Brent Swanson
President / Chief Operating Officer

BMI News
We love to support our community!
Below are some upcoming events BMI has sponsored:
October 20, 2017: Sundale PTO 10th Annual Walk-A-Thon
October 21, 2017: Parenting Network Annual "Special Live with Limits"
October 28, 2017: UCP of Central California Walk-N-Roll
Property and Casualty Trends
The Hackers Are Out There - Got Cyber Insurance?
An Article from The Business Journal

Such insurance, sometimes called "breach insurance" has been offered for about a decade, but the industry currently is making a big push to market it, as cyber attacks on businesses have become common, said Cliff Dunbar, chairman of the board and CEO of Visalia-based Buckman-Mitchell, Inc. Financial and Insurance Services.

"When client information is breached, the business has a responsibility to those clients' privacy to protect them from the [stolen data] being used to hurt their financial stability and their credit ratings. There is the cost to identify and protect the usage of private financial information," which can involve hiring credit check companies to monitor if anyone is trying to make purchases, obtain loans or do other things using the victims' personal information, Dunbar said. "And that is a very expensive proposition."
Please click here to read the Article
Life & Health Insurance Updates
President Signs Executive Order Designed to Change ACA Rules
On Oct. 12, 2017, President Donald Trump signed an executive order intended to change certain rules under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The order would relax regulations on association health plans. This change could allow individuals and small businesses to purchase health insurance policies across state lines and avoid certain ACA requirements.

The executive order also directs the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and the Treasury (Departments) to consider expanding the availability of low-cost short-term, limited-duration insurance and health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs).
Take note that until additional guidance is issued and takes effect, the ACA's regulations continue to apply. Be on the lookout for updated information regarding this Executive order and how it may impact your health insurance options.

Please click here to read the full article.
Human Resource News
USCIS Issues Update to I-9

By Jeff Schanbacher
In March, we finally got the updated I-9 that was about 6 months late.  Now they have updated that I-9 which has a date of July 17, 2017.

Work site enforcement and I-9 audits and inquiries by ICE will continue to increase.  An updated I-9 form has been issued.  Your Company needs to make sure that it is completing the new Form I-9 for every newly hired employee, auditing its I-9 forms, complying with the E-Verify requirements as applicable, and otherwise review and follow the immigration compliance strategies we have previously taught, including on how to respond to SSA and identity theft inquiries.  As part of your compliance, you should implement the new I-9 as soon as possible.

Please click here to continue reading the article.
Form I-9:Employment Eligibility Verification
USCIS Website for more information
Visit www.hrmobileservices.com for more helpful information.

Loss Control Bulletin
Safety: What's Your Grade

So many times businesses look to comply with safety regulations. This is become ingrained into the way we operate and manage our safety responsibilities. It's only natural that we "try to comply" with safety regulations as well.
BLR HR Daily Advisor (HR.BLR.com) published an article by Clark Phinney on that stated "If You're Just Complying, You Get a 'D'." In the article, Clark noted that he is "... struck by the simple but profound truth where safety and HR compliance are at risk of taking a back seat to cost savings and short-term financial pressures." Later in the article Clark asks if getting a 'D', which, yes, is technically passing; is this good enough? Would we ask our children to get a 'D' because it is passing, or would we expect more of them? The real question is do we want our businesses to be below par or do we want our businesses to be the best they can be?
Please click here to continue reading the article.
Visit www.borettinc.com for more helpful information. 
A Word from Workers' Comp Department
  OSHA Reporting Requirements
California law requires employers to report work related injuries and or illnesses within five days of knowledge to the carrier. This includes first aid injuries.
All employers are required to notify OSHA within 8 hours when an employee is hospitalized as a result of a work injury, amputation, loss of an eye and or fatality (death of an employee) as a result of a work related incident.
All injuries or illnesses must be recorded on the OSHA Log (Form 300).
Failure to report serious injuries/illnesses as described may result in a $5,000 fine
To make a report contact your nearest OSHA office or 1-800-321-6742
Cal OSHA Fresno Office: (559) 445-5302
Claims Department Report
10 Most Common Types of Claims for Small Businesses
When small business owners purchase an insurance policy, most don't think they will sustain any losses. They view insurance as protection against extraordinary events. Yet, losses may occur more frequently than many business owners expect. According to The Hartford, 40% of small businesses will incur a property or liability loss within the next ten years.

  1. Burglary and Theft: The perpetrators of these crimes may be dishonest employees or outsiders.
  2. Water and Freezing Damage: These include claims involving roof damage from snow or ice and damage caused by frozen pipes.
  3. Wind and Hail Damage
  4. Fire is one of the most common causes of property damage, but many policyholders underestimate its destructive power.
  5. Customer Slip and Falls: Almost any business can incur a slip-and-fall claim. However, your company may be more vulnerable to such claims if customers or members of the public regularly visit your premises or work site.
  6. Customer Injury and Damage:Customers may sustain bodily injury or property damage in accidents that do not involve slips and falls. For instance, a customer is injured in your office when a heavy floor lamp falls over and hits him in the head.
  7. Struck by an Object:  A wide variety of moving objects can cause on-the-job injuries. Examples are cars and trucks, mobile equipment, falling construction tools, and hail stones.
  8. Product Liability: Your vulnerability to a product liability claim depends on a variety of factors including the nature of your product and warranties you make when you sell the product.
  9. Reputational Harm: These are third-party claims against small businesses for acts like libel and slander. Plaintiffs allege that their reputation was damaged by such acts.
  10. Vehicle Accident: A vehicle safety program can help prevent auto accident claims.


Clearly, some types of claims occur more frequently than others. Yet, claim frequency is only one aspect of claims that insurers consider. They are also concerned about claim severity (the size of claims).  This can help small firms decide where to concentrate their efforts to control losses.

Personal Lines Note
Prevent Water from Damaging your Home

  Excluding catastrophes, water causes more damage to American homes than fire, thunderstorms, and theft. About one in 55 insured U.S. homes has a water damage or freezing claim each year. The damage to your home can be severe whether it's an old water heater waiting to spill into the basement, a slow leak from a shower valve behind a wall, or an exposed pipe that may freeze and burst.
Nationwide Private Client's risk solutions team recommends the following simple and low-cost steps to help prevent water damage:


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October Employee Spotlight
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