ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act ) The Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") prohibits discrimination against otherwise qualified individuals with mental or physical disabilities. The Act requires employers to provide "reasonable accommodation" to such workers. The Act applies to all employers with 15 or more employees. An employee must exhaust his/her administrative remedies before the EEOC first, prior to bringing a civil court action. Compensatory damages are available if the defendant acted intentionally. Punitive damages are available if the defendant acted intentionally with malice or reckless indifference to the plaintiff's rights.
ADEA (Age Discrimination in Employment Act) The Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA") prohibits discrimination in employment of persons 40 years of age or over. The Act applies to most employers with 20 or more employees. Requires exhaustion of administrative (EEOC) procedures first.
Allocation Allocation is the degree of coverage which must be determined between two opposite opinions / sides / points of view.
Under Directors and Officers Liability three types may apply:
- Between covered individuals and uncovered individuals (example: Directors and Officers vs. employees).
- Between Covered Acts vs. Excluded (uncovered) Acts (example: When an exclusion applies).
- Between Directors and Officers and the corporate entity (example: Because the corporate entity is not covered under the Directors and Officers policy).
Under Employment Practices Liability Policies two types may apply:
- Between covered parties and uncovered parties (example: employees vs. independent contractors).
- Between Covered Acts and Excluded (uncovered) Acts (example: When an exclusion applies).
Unlike Directors and Officers Liability policies that may not provide coverage for the entity, Employment Practices policies generally do insure the entity. Therefore, no allocation need be made between the insured individuals and entities. In addition, Employment Practices Liability policies are frequently duty-to-defend policies which, based on many state's laws, do not permit allocation of defense costs between covered and uncovered allegations.
Binder The document that outlines and "binds" the purchase agreement between the client, the broker, and the carrier while the insurance contract in being issued.
Capacity The amount of insurance that is available either by an individual insurance company or the entire insurance industry. The major Directors and Officers Liability and Employment Practices Liability insurance companies typically have between $25mm and $50mm in capacity.
Carrier Any Insurance Carrier or Insurance Company that provides insurance contracts for a premium.
Change of Control Event Ann event that changes the control of the Board of Directors or changes the ownership of a majority (over 50%) of the voting securities. Typical Change of Control events occur include when a corporation is acquired or merged into another organization, or following a bankruptcy proceeding.
"Claims Made" Policy "Claims Made" policies cover only claims that are filed during the policy period for Wrongful Act(s) committed before or during the policy period.
Co-Insurance Co-insurance is a provision that obligates the Insured to absorb a specified percentage of Loss that otherwise would be paid by the insurance company. Co-Insurance in the Employment Practices Liability context is often used as an alternative to a "Hammer Clause" discussed below.
Concurrent Liability "Concurrent Liability" means "damages, settlements and 'Costs', 'Charges' and 'Expenses' incurred jointly by both the Company and the Directors or Officers."
Continuity Continuous insurance coverage without any interruption or gaps in coverage terms, conditions, and endorsements. Continuity Dates are often used in Directors and Officers Liability and Employment Practices Liability policies to either identify how far back in time the policy will respond to litigation or to identify the last warranty statement completed by the Insured. Also known as Pending or Prior Litigation Date.
Corporate Reimbursement (Coverage B) Coverage B is the corporate reimbursement portion of a Directors and Officers liability policy. The policy will pay on behalf of (or will reimburse to) the corporation the amount the corporation is required (or permitted) to pay as indemnification to the directors and/or officers.
Deductible/Retention Amount The portion of a claim that the Insured is required to fund. Also known as "Self-Insurance."
Defendant The individual or entity charged with wrongdoing in a legal suit.
Derivative Action When a claim is brought by the company against is own directors and/or officers.
DIC (Difference in Conditions) This will apply to an excess wording that does not follow form to the primary wording. Where the different conditions apply, this excess policy may drop down to become primary.
Directors and Officers Liability (Coverage A) Coverage A pays on behalf of the directors and officers for any alleged wrongful act in their capacity as directors and officers. This coverage does not apply if the individual insureds are indemnified or entitled to indemnification by the corporation. Coverage would then fall under Coverage B (Corporate Reimbursement).
"Directors and Officers Liability"(Directors and Officers) Policy Terms A company, through its by-laws can indemnify directors and officers for most situations. Because a company can indemnify for most things, when a claim comes along it is necessary to determine which agreement the claim would fall under.
Directors and Officers Liability Policies have two insuring agreements:
- Directors and Officers Liability. If the situation is not indemnifiable (i.e., derivative action) by the corporation, then it falls under the Directors and Officers Liability portion of the policy.
- Corporate Reimbursement. If the situation is one in which a company is allowed by law to indemnify their directors or officers, then the coverage falls under Corporate Reimbursement.
Discovery Period / Extended Reporting Period / Run-Off Coverage Usually purchased when the policy is cancelled and normally for 6 months to a year to follow a policy period to provide time to the Insured in order to file a claim for a Wrongful Act committed before the end of a policy period. If a policy is cancelled and no Discovery Period is purchased and a claim is brought forth after the policy period, it will not be covered by the carrier. Run-Off is the term commonly used to describe a Discovery Period purchased for longer than one year. Typical Run-Off coverage lasts between three and six years.
Duty of Care A standard of determining whether or not the directors of a corporation have properly performed their functions. Directors must exercise the "prudent man" standard of care.
Duty of Loyalty A standard of determining whether or not directors of a corporation have properly performed their functions. Directors must act in good faith and in the best interest of the corporation and its shareholders.
Duty of Obedience A standard of determining whether or not the directors of a corporation have properly performed their functions. Directors must act within the scope of authority conferred upon them.
EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is an administrative body of the federal government. The EEOC was established by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC enforces the principal federal statutes prohibiting employment discrimination, including:
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, which prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin;
- the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, as amended (ADEA), which prohibits employment discrimination against individuals 40 years of age and older;
- the Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA), which prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender in compensation for substantially similar work under similar conditions;
- the Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), which prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of disability in both the public and private sector, excluding the federal government;
- the Civil Rights Act of 1991, which includes provisions for monetary damages in cases of intentional discrimination and clarifies provisions regarding disparate impact actions; and,
- Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, which prohibits employment discrimination against federal employees with disabilities.
In most cases an employee is required under the federal statutory scheme to bring a charge or complaint before the EEOC prior to filing a federal civil court action under alleging violations of any of the above statutes.
Entity Coverage (Coverage C) Entity Coverage is when the entity (corporation) is covered under the Directors and Officers policy. (The traditional Directors and Officers policy only covers Wrongful Acts of directors and officers and not the entity.
EPA (Equal Pay Act) Part of the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"), the Equal Pay Act requires employers to provide "equal pay for equal work" regardless of gender unless the differential is due to a factor other than gender (i.e. merit, seniority, etc.). The only available remedy under this Act is back pay, but shifting the costs incurred by the successful plaintiff is mandatory.
EPLI (Employment Practices Liability Insurance) EPLI provides coverage for claims brought by past/present employees, job applicants, administrative agencies, or in some cases, outside third parties, against the corporation and its directors, officers, and employees. Covered perils include allegations of wrongful termination, sexual harassment, discrimination, employment-related emotional distress and invasion of privacy, defamation, etc.
ERISA - Employment Retirement Income Security Act This act prescribes federal standards for funding, participation, vesting, termination, disclosure, fiduciary responsibility and tax treatment of private pension funds. This is where Fiduciary Liability got its beginnings.
ERISA Section 510 Section 510 of ERISA prohibits discrimination in the provision of employee benefits. Alleged violations of most parts of ERISA are specifically excluded by Employment Practices Liability policies because this risk is traditionally address by Fiduciary Liability policies. However, Section 510 is often covered under Employment Practices Liability policies because it involves discrimination in the granting of benefits which is more appropriately addressed under Employment Practices Liability coverage.
Fidelity As mandated by the 1974 ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act), all fiduciaries must have a fidelity bond on the pension plan itself. Fidelity Bond guards against theft, dishonesty, fraud, misappropriation or mysterious disappearance of money, securities and other property.
Fiduciary For Fiduciary Liability Insurance purposes, a fiduciary is any person or personal entity who has discretionary authority over plan assets. A fiduciary is held to a higher standard than other individuals because a third party relies upon the integrity and expertise of that fiduciary.
Exposure arises for a fiduciary from decisions made. This is very similar to the exposures faced by directors and officers of companies.
FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938) The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, as amended, ("FLSA") sets standards requiring employers to pay a minimum wage, overtime pay, equal pay for equal work and governs child labor standards.
FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993) The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 ("FMLA") allows employees up to twelve (12) weeks of job protected leave in any 12 month period for (i) birth of a child (ii) the placement of a child for adoption or foster care; or (iii) the serious health condition of an employee or immediate family member. To be eligible for protection, an employee must have been employed at least 12 months and worked at least 1250 hours in the 12 months prior to leave.
Hammer Clause This language of many insurance policies states that if the Insured refuses to accept a settlement offer from the claimant/plaintiff that is acceptable to the Insurer, then the Insurer's liability for damages and defense costs is limited to amount of the proposed settlement and defense cost incurred up to the point of the settlement offer.
Indemnification When the directors and officers are paid by the company for their expenses resulting from claims, investigations, etc.
Independent Contractor An Independent Contractor is a person who contracts with another person or entity to do something for them. The Independent Contractor is not controlled by the other person/entity. In particular, the other person/entity does not have the right to control the Independent Contractor's physical conduct in the performance of the undertaking.
Indication The insurance carrier's offer of insurance coverage for the client. An indication outlines the terms of the offer including limit of liability, retention, premium and policy terms, conditions and endorsements.
Insured(s) Any Insured Person (example: Directors and Officers) or Insured Organization (example: the Corporation or its Subsidiaries) who is afforded coverage under the terms of the contract.
Limit of Liability The maximum amount of insurance available to pay for claims under a policy. Directors and Officers Liability and Employment Practices Liability carriers typically offer an aggregate limit of liability. This means that one amount is the maximum available for all claims made during the policy period. (For example: If you purchase a $1mm Limit of Liability and your first claim made during the policy period utilizes the full $1mm, there will be no Limit of Liability left for any subsequent claims that may be made during the remainder of the policy period.)
Non-Monetary Relief When used in Employment Practices Liability policies, this term generally refers to equitable style relief such as injunctive relief, declaratory relief, or specific performance granted by a court or agreed to in a settlement. Examples include a court ordering an employer to build a ramp in a disability discrimination case, a court order an employer to implement a sexual harassment or discrimination sensitivity training program for all employees, or forced implementation of a specific plan for increased minority participation in management. Generally, such relief is not covered under Employment Practices Liability policies.
NLRA (National Labor Relations Act) The National Labor Relations Act ("NLRA") is a comprehensive federal employment law regulating private sector employers and unions. It establishes the National Labor Relations Board ("NLRB") to administer the law and resolve disputes that arise under the law. The Act prohibits discrimination based on union membership or non-membership, participation in union activities or filing or testifying as part of an unfair labor practice.
OFCCP (Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs) The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) is part of the U.S. Department of Labor's Employment Standards Administration. The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs enforces various statutes largely through conducting compliance reviews and complaint investigations of federal contractors and subcontractors personnel policies and procedures.
OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Act) The Occupational Safety and Health Act ("OSHA") provides a means of reducing incidents of illness and injuries caused by substandard safety and health conditions in the workplace. OSHA prohibits retaliation against workers reporting unsafe conditions.
Pending or Prior Litigation Litigation that exists as of the effective date of the policy. The litigation can be both open (currently active and working) or closed (resolved). Typically, administrative actions such as EEOC actions are included as prior and pending litigation under Employment Practices Liability policies.
Plaintiff The individual or entity who brings a legal suit against any other party.
Policy Period The period of time from the inception date or effective date of the policy to the expiration date or cancellation of the policy.
Prior Acts/Prior Acts Date (Retroactive Date) Actions or Wrongful Acts that occur prior to a date in time. Policies may have "Prior Acts Dates" or "Retroactive Dates." Carriers will not pick up litigation that arises out of actions that occur prior to these dates.
Retaliation When used in Employment Practices Liability policies, this term generally means an adverse employment decision allegedly taken in response the following:
- An employee's actual or attempted exercise of a right that such employee has under law
- An actual or threatened disclosure by an employee of an act by the employer or a fellow employee that is allegedly in violation of the law
Examples include firing, demoting or refusing to promote an employee for filing a worker's compensation claim, for reporting a toxic spill to the government or for filing a claim under the Federal False Claims Act. Generally, retaliation is a covered wrongful act under most Employment Practices Liability policies.
Retention -- see Deductible
Retroactive Date -- see Prior Acts Date
Run-Off Coverage -- see Discovery Period
Subrogation The substitution of one person in the place of another with reference to a lawful claim, demand or right, so that he who is substituted succeeds to the rights of the other in relation to the debt or claim, and its rights, remedies, or securities. Insurance companies generally have the right to step into the shoes of the party whom they compensate and sue any party whom the compensated party could have sued.
Surplus Lines Tax (SLT) Surplus Lines is specialized property or liability coverage provided by a non-admitted insurer in instances where it is unavailable from insurers licensed by the state. Examples of surplus lines are coverage for some environmental impairment liability risks or liability coverage for directors and officers of certain companies.
Third Party Claims In the context of Employment Practices Liability, Third Party Claims usually refers to claims of discrimination or harassment brought by clients, customers, vendors or other non-employees of an entity.
Title VII of the Federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 Title VII of the Federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 ("Title VII") prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin. Title VII applies to all employers with 15 or more employees. An employee must exhaust administrative remedies (EEOC) first. The Act permits recovery of back pay and front pay with discretion to award fees to successful plaintiff. Compensatory and punitive damages are available in cases of intentional violations of Title VII. Available equitable relief includes hiring, reinstatement or promotion.
WARN (Worker Readjustment and Retraining Notification Act) The Worker Readjustment and Retraining Notification Act ("WARN") requires employers to give notice to employees and other interested individuals and parties prior to implementing a wide range of work force reductions.
Warranty A question in an application form which asks if the directors and officers are aware of any issues which are not currently claims, but have the potential to become claims in the future. Underwriters will not want to provide coverage for any such issues.
Worker's Compensation Each state has a worker's compensation statute. Generally, the worker's compensation system requires an employer to provide compensation and pay for medical expenses incurred by injured employees, regardless of fault, when they suffer work-related injuries or illness. In exchange, the employer is given immunity from common law tort suits brought by the employees for work-related injuries.
Wrongful Act (Directors and Officers) Any actual or alleged act, error, omission, misstatement, misleading statement or breach of duty by an insured person in his or her capacity as a director or officer of the company.
Wrongful Act This definition usually lists the defined perils covered by the policy. Among other things, this definition in most Employment Practices Liability policies includes discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and wrongful termination as those terms are defined under the policies.
Settling Insurance Claims After a Disaster
The Insurance Information Institute provides an excellent resource for how to file a claim, how the claim process works, and what's covered and what's not. Click here to review their website or click here to download a PDF version of their brochure.
- Make sure furnaces, fireplaces, wood-burning stoves, space heaters, and gas appliances are vented properly and inspected annually.
- Don't hide a spare key under the doormat or a flowerpot - burglars know the good hiding places.
- Have your home tested for radon.
- Keep an updated list of emergency telephone numbers next to every phone in your home.
- Have a plan in case of natural disasters; and make sure your family knows the plan.
- Keep cleaning solutions, pesticides, and other potentially dangerous substances in their original, labeled containers, and out of reach of children.
- Invest in solid doors and good quality locks for your doors and windows.
- Always double check door and windows to make sure they are locked.
- Plant thorny bushes under all windows, and trim back trees or shrubs near doors and windows to eliminate hiding places for would-be burglars.
- Invest in an affordable alarm system.
- Do not put valuables in places where they can be seen through windows.
- Unplug appliances such as small bathroom and kitchen appliances when not in use.
- Blow out candles before leaving a room, leaving the house, or going to sleep.
- Have working smoke detectors on all levels of your home. Change batteries at least once a year, and replace smoke detectors that are more than ten years old.
- Put child proof covers on unused electrical outlets.
- Keep backyard or front yard areas safe from causing injuries. Fix broken steps, put ladders away, keep any chemicals locked away, fence in any body of water and keep gates locked.
- Use correct light bulbs in all lamps and light fixtures.
- Make sure electrical cords are in good condition.
- Invest in a carbon monoxide detector.
- Make sure your house numbers are visible both day and night.
Sources: HUD, ADT Home Security, Home Safety Services, Home Safety Council
Home Safety Council: Click on the Safety Guide tab to find home safety tip on topics such as airway obstruction, fire, flood, home improvements, playgrounds, security, storms, windows, and winter preparation among others.
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development: Make sure your home is health for children. HUD breaks down safety tips by room and for all living areas in your home.
ADT Home Security: See how at risk you are for having your home burglarized by taking ADT's safety quiz. And check out safety tips to keep yourself from becoming a victim.
Home Safety Services: Register for home safety seminars, ask the Safety Guy questions, or brush up on your home baby proofing skills. The Home Safety Services website also provides a home safety checklist under the site's "Resources" tab.
Home Inspector Locator: Preventative maintenance can avoid repairs, extend the life expectancy of many components and in some cases, reduce energy consumption. This site provides a guide for you to accomplish a good home maintenance plan.
True Value's Project Library: Being a homeowner doesn't make you an expert in home maintenance and repairs. This site will provide you with helpful tips when trying to tackle some of these projects yourself.
Winter Tips for Homeowners
- If you are going to be away from your home for more than a few days, shut off your main water connection to avoid the risk of pipes freezing and breaking which may cause severe water damage and mold issues.
- If you are going to be away from your home for more than a few days, maintain your heat at least at 65 degrees.
- Replace screens with storm windows.
- Cleaning out gutters of leaves and debris, helps prevent water from backing up and freezing in the gutters and downspouts. This unnecessary weight on the gutters can cause them to bend or dislodge.
- Properly insulating your attic can help combat against ice damming. Ice damming occurs when snow melts and refreezes in the roof overhang. This produces a "dam" which can back up under the shingles and leak into the house.
- Trim branches that are to close to power wires. This will reduce the likelihood of a power outage.
- Insulate exterior plumbing and faucets, or turn them off and drain them to prevent freezing and potential water damage claims.
- Pipes in unheated garages, attics and crawl spaces should be insulated.
- Inspect chimneys annually to prevent fires due to blockages.
- Store fireplace and woodstove ash in a covered, fireproof container until completely cooled.
- Keep fireplace screens in place to reduce the chance of sparks igniting rugs, wood floors or furniture.
- Never leave lit candles unattended.
- Avoid space heaters whenever possible. If one is necessary, then it is advisable to use an electric space heater with an automatic tip over shutoff. Never use space heaters near flammable items.
- In the kitchen, stovetops, hoods, fans and filters should be cleaned regularly of cooking grease to help prevent a fire.
- Keep a bag of ice melt handy to clear sidewalks and driveways of ice and reduce the risk of injuries to guests and loved ones.
A home is a major investment and every precaution should be taken to protect it. Cold weather brings its own set of hazards. You can take measures to guard against winter losses. According to the Insurance Information Institute, losses from winter storms exceed $1 billion per year nationwide. In 2007, winter damage and freezing losses represented over 22% of all homeowners insurance claims, with the average claim being over $5,000.
- Read and follow instructors in equipment operation manuals.
- Routinely inspect all farm equipment.
- Discuss safety hazards and emergency procedures with workers.
- Install rollover protective structures, protective enclosures, or protective framses on farm tractors.
- Take advantage of safety equipment, such as bypass starter covers, power take-off master shields, and slow-moving vehicle emblems.
- Be aware that methane gas, carbon dioxide, ammonia, and hydrogen sulfide can form in unventilated grain silos and manure pits, and can suffocate or poison workers.
- Review and follow instructions that come with chemical products.
- Do not allow children to roam freely around the farm.
- Inspect farm regularly for hazards that could be especially dangerous for children.
- Children who physically able and old enough to help on the farm should be assigned to age-appropriate tasks and thoroughly and continually trained. And supervised.
- Be sure to understand some common instincts of animals; they can be unpredictable.
- Keep children, bystanders, and visitors out of livestock handling areas.
- Wear appropriate clothing for working in the heat or in the cold.
- Wear proper protective gear - eye protection, hearing protection, hand protection, and respiratory protection are all things that need to be thought about. Base your selection of protective devices on the hazards presented by the job, and by precautions printed on product labels.
- Always be aware of your surroundings.
Sources: OSHA, National Safety Council, National Ag Safety Database
National Safety Council: On this site you can find safety tips for numerous farm-related tasks and equipment, some of which include falls, farm shop safety, chemical safety, livestock safety, and equipment and tool safety.
Oklahoma State University Environmental Health & Safety Online Safety Library: Provides links to databases and individual articles that discuss farm safety issues.
Farm Safety 4 Just Kids: Thousands of kids are injured and killed on farm each year. This website gives tips on how to keep kids safe, as well as fun activities for kids.
- Wear life jackets at all times when near the water.
- Use safe anchorages.
- Don't operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Watch out for commercial ships, tugboats, and towboats.
- Designate someone to look out for other boats, commercial and recreational.
- Don't jet ski or water ski around commercial boats and ships or tugboats and towboats.
- Understand whistle signals.
- Have a qualified technician do a thorough checkup of your boat once a year.
- Check all exhaust features on your boat once a month to prevent carbon monoxide hazards.
- Every time you go out on your boat, be sure to know where exhaust pipes are, and educate passengers on the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning as well as its symptoms - which are often similar to the symptoms of seasickness or alcohol intoxication.
- Be familiar with the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) Information can be found at http://uscgboating.org/safety/GMDSS_brochure.pdf
- Check weather forecasts before getting on the water.
- Don't boat alone.
- Always tell someone when and where you are going.
- Bring emergency supplies such as maps, flares, and a first aid kit.
- If you loan someone your boat, show them how to operate it.
Sources: BoatUS Foundation, American Waterways Operators Foundation, United States Coast Guard Boating Safety website, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
U.S. Coast Guard Boating Safety: This website offers links to safety tips as well as publications and brochures to print. This site even allows you to take courses in boating safety.
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources: The DNR offers boating safety courses as well as tips on safety, theft prevention, and life jackets information for adults and children.
National Safe Boating Council: Training opportunities, Safe Boating courses, Life jacket testimonials, and more can be found on this website. You can even sign up to become a member of the council.
Safe Marina: Owning a boat bears a lot of responsibility. Amongst other things, this site provides helpful information on how to maintain your boat and keep it secure.
Hurricane Preparation Tips for Boaters
- Non-trailerable boats in wet storage have the following options:
- Secure boat in slip
- Moor boat in a previously identified safe area
- Haul boat
- Boats remaining in slip take the following precautions:
- Double all lines
- Rig crossing spring lines
- Attach lines high on pilings
- Inspect piling and choose those that appear the strongest and tallest
- Cover all lines where lines feed through chocks to prevent chafing. Wrap with tape, rags, rubber hose or leather.
- Install additional fenders to prevent boat from rubbing against pier, piling or other boats.
- Fully charge batteries and ensure capability to run automatic bilge pumps.
- Turn off items consuming electricity except bilge pumps and disconnect shore power cables.
- Remove all portable equipment, secure dinghies.
- Have a copy of your insurance policy, boat registration, photo of your boat and boat’s inventory in a secure location.
- Do not stay aboard.
- Plan ahead - make a list of your actions for any future severe weather.
- Always buckle your safety belts.
- Infants and children should always ride in safety seats in the back seat.
- Infants who are younger than 1 year and weigh less than 20 pounds should be placed in rear facing safety seats.
- Children between ages 4 and 8 or weigh less than 40 pounds should sit in booster seats.
- Children younger than 13 should always sit in the backseat.
- Do not leave loose object in vehicles - they can become hazards in an accident.
- Do not drive under the influence of alcohol.
- Follow the speed limit.
- Avoid cell phone conversations while driving. If you must talk while driving, use hands-free devices, although it is best to pull over to make the call.
- Take extra precautions when driving in adverse weather conditions.
- Allow for more brake time and longer distances between vehicles.
- Don't use cruise control in the snow or rain.
- Make sure your tires are in good condition and have enough traction.
- Make sure your insurance is up to date - most states require drivers to be insured.
- In case of an emergency, always have the following items in the car: tire jack, spare tire, lug wrench, flashlight, fire extinguisher, screw drivers, extra fuses, flares, jumper cables, engine fluids, first aid kit, and blankets.
- Be a defensive driver and always be aware of your surroundings.
- Always turn off your engine when filling your gas tank.
- Change your oil on a regular basis. Check the engine oil levels every time you get fuel, or at least once a week.
- Take extra caution when driving at night. Darkness impairs vision which slows reactions times; objects are more difficult to see; distances are more difficult to judge.
- Turn on headlights at dusk, if not before. Use high beams when other vehicles are not present.
- If you're in an accident, stay calm, make sure you and your passengers are OK, call the police, exchange insurance information, and call your insurance company to report your claim.
Sources: American Red Cross, Edmunds, Insurance Information Institute, Meinke, AAA
Edmunds: Here you can find a database of automobile-related safety articles. Read up on topics including teen drivers, crash tests, airbags, and tire safety.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Traffic Safety: Browse articles and tips on several different safety topics from aggressive driving to child safety seats to how to talk to older drivers about giving up the keys.
Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety - Safety Issues: Read up on safety issues such as safety belts, truck safety, rollovers, speeding, and impaired driving, and bone up on your facts on these topics by clicking on some of this sites' many facts sheets.
KidsHealth for Parents - Auto Safety: Learn all about child safety seats. Find out what type of child safety seat is best for your child, as well as tips on how to make sure the seat and your child are properly secured.
- A.M. Best Company - Founded in 1899, A.M. Best Company is a full-service credit rating organization dedicated to serving the financial services industries, including the banking and insurance sectors. Policyholders and depositors refer to Best's ratings and analysis as a means of assessing the financial strength and creditworthiness of risk-bearing entities and investment vehicles.
- Pennsylvania Association of Mutual Insurance Companies - PAMIC's mission is "To support our membership in successfully meeting the insurance needs of their customers, both agents and policyholders. PAMIC will accomplish this mission by providing members with highly valued advocacy, educational programs and networking opportunities."
- American Association of Insurance Services (AAIS) - AAIS is a national insurance advisory organization that develops policy forms and rating information used by more than 600 property/casualty insurers throughout the United States.
- ECCA - Amongst other software solutions, ECCA provides policy and claims administration software that helps us to provide excellent service to our insureds.
- Guy Carpenter - Guy Carpenter serves as a reinsurance intermediary for Windsor-Mount Joy.
- Mutual Service Office (MSO) - MSO provides custom rates, forms and statistical services to its' member companies.
- Munich Re - Munich Re is a provider of reinsurance services to Windsor-Mount Joy.
- National Flood Services - NFS is a subsidiary of StoneRiver, Inc., and they have vendor agreements with many of the top insurance companies participating in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), including Windsor-Mount Joy.
- Vertafore - Vertafore provides several solutions to the insurance industry, most critical to us is a product called ImageRight. Windsor-Mount Joy is on it's way to becoming virtually paperless, thanks mostly to Vertafore's product, ImageRight.