Property Casualty Insurance Pricing on the Rise

I was reading an article in the Standard today about insurance pricing increasing for the first time in 8 years.  A survey was conducted by Towers Watson that showed, on average, a 1.5% increase in commercial lines insurance premiums.  This would include package, auto, umbrella, inland marine and workers compensation policies.

They went on to say it’s too early to define this a “hardening market,” but it’s certainly pointing in that direction.

This mirrors what we have been seeing on renewal pricing from all of our carriers.  To a company, they’re all looking for a little bit of rate.  The increases aren’t substantial, but increases nonetheless.  Our focus has always been on controlling the “indirect cost” of insurance, with the goal of ultimately, lowering the direct costs of insurance (premiums).  The real costs savings are realized by focusing on the “indirect costs.”

This information brought to you by Chris Sheppard of Smith Buckley & Hunt Insurance Agency, your Massachusetts contractors insurance agent and Massachusetts business insurance resource.

Workers Compensation Construction Credit

It’s amazing to me how many contractors I still meet with that either don’t know about the WC construction credit, or have forgotten to apply for it every year.  Talk about leaving free money on the table!!

In Massachusetts, companies with construction classifications on their WC policy, may be eligible for the MA workers comp construction credit.  In order to qualify, if you must:

1.   Have a construction classification on their policy

2.  Be experienced rated

3.  Have an average hourly wage of $18.00 or more during the third calendar  quarter for the year preceding your policy inception date.

The discount can be substantial, and is determined by a worksheet submitted to the WC Bureau.  The credit ranges from 5% to 25%, depending on the actual wage.   For those contractors who work outside Massachusetts, the credit doesn’t stop there.   There are many other states that offer construction credits as well.

During the renewal process, get the application completed and submitted, so you don’t have to “wait” for the credit; absolutely don’t wait until audit time.

This information brought to you by Chris Sheppard of Smith Buckley & Hunt Insurance Agency, your Massachusetts contractors insurance agent and Massachusetts business insurance resource.

Hurricane Irene Tax Relief for Some Massachusetts Counties

The President declared two Massachusetts counties eligible for federal disaster money.  If you reside in, or have a business located in, either Franklin or Berkshire counties you may qualify for tax relief from the IRS.

The relief comes in the form of postponing certain tax deadlines.  If you receive a delinquency notice from the IRS, call the number on the form to have any interest/fees abated. The IRS goes on to say “penalties or interest will be abated only for taxpayers who have an original or extended filing, payment or deposit due date, including an extended filing or payment due date, that falls within the postponement period.”

This information brought to you by Chris Sheppard of Smith Buckley & Hunt Insurance Agency, your Massachusetts contractors insurance agent and Massachusetts business insurance resource

OSHA On-Site Consultation Program

Not a lot of people know about OSHA’s On-Site Safety Consultation program.  It’s worth checking out.

OSHA’s on-site consultation program is free to small and medium sized businesses.  Use it to identify workplace hazards to make your business as safe as it can be.  This service is run separately from the enforcement division. 

This information brought to you by Chris Sheppard of Smith Buckley & Hunt Insurance Agency, your Massachusetts contractors insurance agent and Massachusetts business insurance resource.

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