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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) | Gilsbar

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Business Insurance

Generally, policy exclusions apply to an insured's capacity as Director or Officer to an entity not named in the Declarations. Please refer to your policy for specifics or contact us via chat, phone 888-472-4352, or email plsupport@gilsbar.com for more information.

Policy coverage varies by carrier. Please refer to your policy's Definition of Damages.

Policy coverage varies by carrier. Please refer to your policy's Defintion of Legal Services

Select carriers offer options to their insureds to purchase ERP coverage. Contact us via chat, phone 888-472-4352, or email plsupport@gilsbar.com to find out which options are available.

Select carriers offer individual ERP coverage. Contact us via chat, phone 888-472-4352, or email plsupport@gilsbar.com to find out which options are available.

Policy coverage varies by carrier. Please contact us via chat, phone 888-472-4352, or email plsupport@gilsbar.com to review the coverage you have in place.

Pay online using your banking information at www.gilsbarpro.com/PayPremium - Pay in monthly or quarterly installments. Contact us if you are interested in financing. - Pay by check payable to Gilsbar and mailed to: Gilsbar, 2100 Covington Centre, Covington, LA 70433

Claim Reporting information may be found on your policy Declarations Page. Claims may also be reported to Gilsbar by emailing your agent or by emailing plsupport@gilsbar.com

Most carriers will endorse Title Agency coverage on the Lawyers Professional Liability policy when the Title Agency is owned by the law firm, the majority of the TA clients are also clients of the law firm, and the TA activities are ancillary to the firm's traditional legal services. A stand-alone Title Agency E&O policy is available when the LPL policy is unable to endorse the TA. Please contact via chat, phone 888-472-4352, or email plsupport@gilsbar.com to find the best product to suit your needs.

Generally, policy exclusions apply to legal services provided to an owned entity. Please refer to your policy for specifics or contact us via chat, phone 888-472-4352, or email plsupport@gilsbar.com for more information.

Generally, prerequisites to the invocation of the ERP coverage include expiration of the policy, non-renewal of the policy, and expiration of any automatic extended reporting period. The letter you received will outline the specific conditions required. Please contact us via chat, phone 888-472-4352, or email plsupport@gilsbar.com for more information.

No. Generally, ERPs are only available for purchase within the first 30- 60 days after the policy's expiration, depending on the carrier.

The claims-made policy will provide coverage not only for the current policy period, but the previous policy periods dating back to the firm’s prior acts date listed in the current policy. When an incident leading to a claim is reported it must have occurred on or after the policy’s prior acts date.

CEIL = Claims Expenses Inside the Limits CEOL = Claims Expenses Outside the Limits Most policies provide that claims expenses (attorney`s fees and other costs associated with a claim) are included inside the Limits of Liability of the policy (CEIL). Therefore, these expenses reduce the amount of dollars available to settle a claim or pay a judgment. Typically, Claims Expenses Outside the Limits (CEOL) is an Additional Coverage, which may be added to the policy via endorsement. If CEOL is offered, that means that claims expenses (attorney`s fees and other costs associated with a claim) are outside of the Limits of Liability of the policy. Therefore, these expenses do not reduce the amount of dollars available to settle a claim or pay a judgment.

FDD = First Dollar Defense This means the deductible does not apply to defense costs if no indemnity/loss is paid.

In most cases, the attorney's work done on behalf of the firm will remain covered as long as the firm's policy remains in place.

Step-rate is an industry-wide pricing structure where the cost of insurance increases incrementally during the first few years of coverage. Premium rates are reduced due to the lack of previous years exposure. Lawyers Professional Liability carriers typically have a 5 -7 year step rate factor.

The per-claim deductible is applied to each claim made during the policy period and applies to the first money paid on the claim.

The aggregate deductible is the total deductible amount paid out by the firm during the policy term regardless of claim frequency.

ERP = Extended Reporting Period

An ERP (also known as “tail coverage”) is a set amount of time to report claims after the policy has expired. Professional liability insurance is written on a “claims-made and reported basis,” which means that claims have to be made against the policyholder and reported to the insurance company during the policy year in which the claim is made. Once the policy has terminated or been cancelled and a claim is made against an insured and reported to the insurer, there is no coverage unless the policy contains an ERP. An ERP extends the time allowed to report claims that were made against the insured during the ERP as long as they resulted from a wrongful act that occurred during the term of the policy. An ERP is not a new policy, and any claim submitted during the ERP is governed by the terms and conditions of the terminated policy.

Automatic ERP - Depending upon the specific policy language, many policies provide a free automatic ERP for 30-60 days after the policy's expiriation.

Non-Practicing ERP - Many policies provide an option for a free ERP upon the retirement of the professional depending upon the length of time the professional has been insured with the carrier. Some carriers also have a minimum age requirement. This option should only be selected by professional who are totally and permanently ceasing practice as the ERP becomes null and void if the professional returns to practice.

Death ERP or Disability ERP - Many policies provide the option of a free ERP upon the death or total and permanent disability of the professional.

The lateral hire exclusion limits coverage for an attorney to services rendered on behalf of the named insured firm. Typically, the policy already limits coverage for of counsel and independent contract attorneys to services rendered on behalf of the named insured firm so this exclusion would not be necessary.

When a firm splits, the firm may choose to cancel the policy and puchase an ERP or elect to carry Predecessor Firm coverage on a new policy. There may also be an option for the majority shareholders of the firm to maintain the exisiting policy. Most policies provide Predecessor Firm Coverage, at no additional charge, which affords coverage for the acts of the firm that preceded the current insured organization. Please contact us via chat, phone 888-472-4352, or email plsupport@gilsbar.com for more details.

A copy of your policy may be requested by contacting us via chat, phone 888-472-4352, or email plsupport@gilsbar.com

Typically, the declarations page can be found as the first page of the policy document.

Generally, the policy's Definition of Insured outlines who is covered by the policy. Some policies extend coverage to title agents and trustees/others in fiduciary capacity. Contact your agent for more details regarding your coverage.

Workers’ compensation insurance benefits are available to employees who are injured or become ill as a result of a work-related incident. If one of your employees is injured on the job and is medically authorized to take time off from work, he or she will be reimbursed for lost wages and all of the medical expenses related to the treatment and rehabilitation.

If employees are injured, they should notify you immediately to file a report. This will initiate the process for receiving workers’ compensation benefits.

Lost compensation is payable during the time period in which employees are authorized by their treating physicians. Benefits are paid weekly at a state-specific percentage rate of their average weekly wage, up to a maximum dollar amount. There is also a state-specified waiting period before benefits are available.

An IME is an exam by a medical professional other than the physician who first examined an injured or ill employee. As the employer—and insurance carriers—you can request an IME to confirm an original diagnosis and treatment plan.

Non-compliance with recommended medical treatments, therapy or return-to-work plans may jeopardize workers’ compensation benefits.

The most important thing is to convince your employees that maintaining a safe workplace is vital and will consequently reduce your insurance costs. Here are some other ways to control costs:

• Implement a return-to-work policy in which employees work modified duty until they are fully healthy to do their jobs.

• Orient and train your employees on safe practices necessary for their job functions and tasks.

• Insist that employee claims are reported promptly.

• Investigate the cause of injuries and illnesses.

Cyber liability insurance is specifically designed to address the risks that come with using modern technology; risks that other types of business liability coverage simply won’t. The level of coverage your business needs is based on your individual operations and can vary depending on your range of exposure. It is important to work with a broker that can identify your areas of risk so a policy can be tailored to fit your unique situation.

A traditional business liability policy is extremely unlikely to protect against most cyber exposures. Standard commercial policies are written to insure against injury or physical loss and will do little, if anything, to shield you from electronic damages and the associated costs they may incur. Exposures are vast, ranging from the content you put on your website to stored customer data. Awareness of the potential cyber liabilities your company faces is essential to managing risk through proper coverage. Possible exposures covered by a typical cyber liability policy may include the following: data breaches, intellectual property rights, damages to a third-party system, system failure, cyber extortion, & business interruption.

Regardless of whether or not you outsource your IT services, the company that initially collects data and records from clients can be held responsible if a data breach occurs. This means that, even if you use third-party vendors, the legal burden of a breach will fall on you. What’s more, depending on the type of contract you have with your vendors, your legal recourse may be limited.

Even the smallest cyber attacks can be costly to your organization. The average cost of a breach is about $158 per stolen record and, for small and medium-sized enter-prises, a cyber security event can cost $36,000 or more. In some cases, cyber attacks have cost or-ganizations millions.

As the market continues to stabilize, premiums will go down considerably. Regardless, the benefits of a cyber liability policy far outweigh any initial expenditures. For example, cyber liability insurance often goes above and beyond protecting your organization from a costly breach. In fact, a standard cyber liability policy often covers website media, cyber extortion, digital property, cyber crime, business interruption, privacy liability and networks. No business could ever adequately prepare for or protect themselves from a cyber threat.

Due to the complexity of cyber exposures, multiple departments are involved in network security and privacy. While you may feel that this complicates the application process for cyber liability insurance, insurance brokers familiar with the risks can help streamline policy purchases. Armed with only information regarding your organization’s revenue and website, seasoned insurers will be able to provide an on-the-spot estimate of terms and costs.

Increased government regulations have placed more responsibility on companies to protect clients’ personal information. In the event of a breach, notification of the affected parties is now required by law. This will add to costs that will also include security fixes, identity theft protection for the affected and protection from possible legal action. While companies operating online are at a heightened risk, even companies that don’t transmit personal data over the internet, but still store it in electronic form, could be susceptible to breaches through data lost to unauthorized employee access or hardware theft.

Your company’s online presence, whether it be through a corporate website, blogs or social media, opens you up to some of the same exposures faced by publishers. This can include libel, copyright or trademark infringement and defamation, among other things.

If an email sent from your server has a virus that crashes the system of a customer, or the software your company distributes fails, resulting in a loss for a third party, you could be held liable for the damages.

A natural disaster, malicious activity or fire could all cause physical damages that could result in data or code loss. While the physical damages to your system hardware would be covered under your existing business liability policy, data or code loss due to the incident would not be.

If your primary business operations require the use of computer systems, a disaster that cripples your ability to transmit data could cause you, or a third party that depends on your services, to lose potential revenue. From a server failure to a data breach, such an incident can affect your day-to-day operations. Time and resources that normally would have gone elsewhere will need to be directed towards the problem, which could result in further losses. This is especially important as denial of service attacks by hackers have been on the rise. Such attacks block access to certain websites by either rerouting traffic to a different site or overloading an organizations server.

The only way to effectively protect the assets of your business is to carry adequate commercial general liability (CGL) insurance coverage. CGL protects your business from damages caused by bodily injury or property damage for which your business is found to be legally liable.

A typical CGL policy provides coverage for claims of bodily injury or other physical injury, personal injury (libel or slander), advertising injury and property damage as a result of your products, premises or operations, and can be offered as a package policy with other coverages such as property, crime, automobile and more. As a safeguard against liability, CGL enables you to continue your normal operations while dealing with real or fraudulent claims of negligence or wrongdoing. CGL policies also provide coverage for the cost to defend and settle claims. Here is more detail into what a typical CGL policy may cover: Automatic additional insured, personal and advertising injury, defense costs, medical expenses, premises and operations liability, and Products liability.

The amount of coverage that your business needs depends on three factors: perceived risk, where you operate your business and the type of products you manufacture.

· Perceived risk: Consider the amount of risk associated with your business operations and functions. For instance, if you manufacture heavy machinery you would generally need more coverage as compared to another organization that manufactures stuffed animals.

· Premises and operations liability: If you operate in a state that has a reputation for rewarding high damages, then you may wish to purchase higher limits of liability.

· Type of product manufactured: If you manufacture a dangerous product, you may want to carry higher limits of liability.

Not all damage is physical. A CGL policy will also give you ample coverage for offenses made by employees of your company such as copyright infringement, slander, libel or malicious prosecution.

Employment practices liability (EPL) insurance is a policy used to cover your risks due to some of the most common employment-related lawsuits, including the following:

· Wrongful termination: The discharge of an employee for invalid reasons.

· Discrimination: The denial of equal treatment to employees who are members of a protected class.

· Sexual harassment: Subjecting an employee to unwelcome sexual advances, obscene or offensive remarks, or the failure to stop such behavior.

EPL works to provide the necessary resources to defend your company against a lawsuit or to pay for a claim. To best understand how to cover your EPL risks, it’s important to know the potential sources:

· Recruitment practices

· Annual conduct reviews

· Employment applications

· Enforcing performance policies

· Employment offers

· Termination

· Employee orientation process

· Improper documentation of the items listed above

Evidence of desirable employment practices and policies may be required for an EPL policy, and will certainly help defend against a suit (even for a small, home-based business with only a few employees). The underwriter may require a copy of the following policies to show that you are taking steps to reduce your risks:

· Sexual harassment

· Disability and accommodations

· Equal opportunity

· Employee discipline

· Termination

· Performance evaluations

· Internet usage/employee privacy

· Leaves of Absence

· Internal job postings

· Hiring and interviewing

· Discrimination

· Resolution/arbitration

According to researchers, three out of five employers will be sued by a prospective, current or former employee while they are in business. While many suits are groundless, defending against them is costly and time-consuming.

Employee Benefits Consulting

Small business health insurance is coverage bought by small businesses to cover employees and their dependents. There are three things that help distinguish small business health insurance from other types of coverage:

• They are made specially for small groups

• Employers can shop for a new plan at any time of year

• Employers must make contributions toward employee premiums

There are four things every small business owner should know about how small business health insurance works.

• Coverage is generally guaranteed issue, pre-existing medical conditions may not apply

• May require at least one employee on payroll to qualify

• The employer must contribute toward employee premiums, sometimes as much as fifty percent

• Employer can shop for coverage at any time of the year, it is not limited by special open enrollment period

Small business health insurance costs are determined by your location (state), number of employees and how much you’d like to contribute to your employees’ coverage. You can get an estimate. Contact Us today.

No. Under current law, small businesses with less than the equivalent of fifty full-time workers are not required to offer health insurance.

Small business health insurance is a great choice for any employer that wants to hire and retain the best workers, but small businesses offering coverage tend to fall into three categories:

• Growing, successful businesses moving up in the world

• Businesses with highly skilled workers

• Business that are tax savvy

If you have fewer than fifty full-time employees, you aren’t required to provide health insurance. You can also choose to provide coverage only to certain employees, not all, if the criteria for selection are not discriminatory, but based on employment-based qualifications, such as full- or part-time status, tenure, seniority, job title, etc.

It’s important to consider what employees’ value most in their health coverage, since every employee is unique. Most plans cover preventive care, so instead focus on the pros and cons of the most common plan types:

• High deductible health plans (HDHPs): HDHPs have a higher deductible that must be met before insurance kicks in. Typically, they have lower monthly premiums and tend to attract groups interested in catastrophic coverage.

• Copay only plans: Copay only plans have no deductible for network services. Instead employees pay a fixed dollar amount (a copay) when they receive care. These plans may be attractive for people who want predictable costs for care.

• Traditional plans: Traditional plans use a combination of co-pays, deductibles and coinsurance. The deductible and co-pay amounts are generally lower than other plan types, so premiums are often higher.

Finally, consider offering supplemental coverage like dental, vision and life insurance. Employees often pay the full cost of these but have the advantage of group rates when offered through their employer plan.

Most small business owners will say that the best plan is the most affordable one, but there are three main factors that can influence what you’ll pay when picking a new plan:

• The amount the employer will pay toward employee premiums

• The age and health needs of the participating group, which may affect out of pocket costs

• And the type of plan preferred

The Affordable Care Act, or the ACA, affected small business owners in several ways.

• In many cases, it helped to drive costs of employer coverage down by changing the way premiums are calculated

• It affected business taxes

• It requires employers with a larger number of employees (fifty full-time employees) to offer coverage to workers

Contact GroupBenefits@gilsbar.com today for help in getting a quote for your small business.

Small businesses that provide health insurance plans for their employees can see some tax relief for their investment. To qualify for a tax credit for providing small business health insurance, you must:

• Enroll in your state’s Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP).

• Employ fewer than twenty-five full-time employees, with an annual average employee salary of $50,000 or less

• Pay at least half (fifty percent) of your full-time employees’ insurance premiums.

• Offer coverage to all full-time employees.

In many cases, yes, employees will receive a better deal (coverage-wise and financially) on a small business health plan.

When combined with your small business health insurance plan, supplemental insurance (also called voluntary insurance) can provide an extra layer of protection for employees in covering out-of-pocket costs. Supplemental insurance can help fill the gap in high deductible health insurance plans by combining to provide lower premium costs while helping to minimize out-of-pocket expenses.

Supplemental insurance helps employees too, by helping them to cut costs but maintain or improve employee satisfaction.

Here is how it works:

• A qualifying small employer opens an HRA account on behalf of an employee.

• Annually, the employer can put up to a certain amount (this is government regulated and can change annually) into the account for a single employee, or a larger amount for an employee with a family.

• The employee can then buy their own individual or family health insurance plan, using the money in their HRA to pay monthly premiums or certain out-of-pocket costs.

An important thing to note is that employees who receive employer HRA contributions typically won’t be eligible for government subsidies when buying coverage on their own through a government exchange. Employees can shop for individual or family coverage on non-government exchanges or directly from an insurance company.

There are four things you should consider when applying for small business health insurance:

• Can apply at any time of the year

• Must qualify as a small business (generally one full-time employee should be on payroll)

• Must contribute toward employee premiums (typically at least fifty percent)

• Required minimum of employees must enroll (typically fifty percent of eligible employees)

If you qualify as a small business owner, you can apply at any time of the year. You can make changes to your plan once per year, during your renewal season. Employees can be added or removed from the plan at any time of the year, but after open enrollment, dependents can only be added to the plan after a qualifying life event, otherwise, they typically must wait until the next annual open enrollment period for the plan to enroll.

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