October 19, 2017

Lunch ‘N’ Learn


Helping your employees maintain a healthier lifestyle isn’t as hard as it may seem. Many employers want to know what they can do to help keep their claims down and employees healthier. One good thing I feel that is beneficial is to offer Lunch ‘N’ Learns for your employees. This is an opportunity to enjoy a relaxing lunch while learning new techniques and recipes. Like the idea but not sure where to begin? Appointing a person or a committee in your organization is a great place to start! Here at VAST, we have a committee called ZEN that helps set … Continue reading

October 16, 2017

Open Enrollment Part 1: What it Means for Your Group Health Coverage


Health insurance, those are two words that are usually followed with a sigh these days. However, if you are enrolled in your employer’s group medical insurance, it’s important to understand the ins and outs of your medical policy and when you are able to take advantage of open enrollment. Open enrollment is a very important period of time because it’s one of the few opportunities to enroll or make changes to your medical, dental, or vision policies without requiring a qualifying event. This period in time typically takes place a month before your policy is scheduled to become effective. For … Continue reading

October 11, 2017

MCS90 Filing


One of the many facts of driving on the highway is you will most likely share the road with a semi-truck at some time in your travels. Trucking is an integral part of our country’s economy, transporting over 14,457 million tons of cargo in 2013 according to Forbes.com! In order to operate as a trucking company, there are many requirements you must be in compliance with. One particular filing that is often confusing and misunderstood is the MCS-90 form. The MCS-90 form, according to DMV.org, is an automobile endorsement that is added to an existing automobile policy which guarantees that … Continue reading

October 9, 2017

National Fire Prevention Week 2017


According to the National Fire Prevention Association, National Fire Prevention Week was proclaimed to recognize the Great Chicago Fire in 1871, which occurred during the week of October 9th. More than 250 people perished and thousands of buildings were destroyed, leaving thousands of people homeless. There are many stories about how the great fire may have started, but nobody can deny the tragic results of the fire.  Our firefighting capabilities today are much better than they were back in 1871, and if that same fire happened today, it likely would not result in as much damage. However, we recognize this … Continue reading

October 4, 2017

Effects of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma


From an economic perspective, Hurricanes Harvey and Irma are quickly becoming top natural disasters in US history. Harvey hit south Texas, while Irma hit Florida, and brought torrential rain and forceful wind, causing damage and flooding. Both hurricanes hit large centers of population. Some people literally have no place to go. Homes have been destroyed or are no longer habitable due to damage from rain, wind, and flooding. Public infrastructure will need to be repaired, which will take time and taxpayer funding.  People in the workforce cannot get back to work. Businesses are affected because they are closed and aren’t … Continue reading

October 3, 2017

Equifax Cyber Attack


Unfortunately, data breaches are a hot topic in the news these days. From retailers like Target and Home Depot to universities and now Equifax [a credit bureau], the threat spans across [and has already impacted] a large population. I’ve almost become numb to the words when I hear of another breach – “Not again! Oh well, what can I do about it now?” However, there are things that can be done for protection both before and after your personal information has been exposed during such a breach. Let’s take a closer look at the Equifax incident as you very well … Continue reading

September 29, 2017

Lending a Helping Hand: Workers’ Compensation & Out of State Coverage


When disaster strikes, it’s common to see people come together to help out their fellow neighbor, community, state or even country.  The recent weather events, specifically in Texas & Florida, have proven yet again the spirit of human kind is not lost.  There will be many people traveling across the country to lend a helping hand in the recovery efforts with most of them being contractors.  It’s important to keep in mind before you head south to review your Workers’ Compensation policy and give your agent a call to be sure you avoid any gap in coverage as each insurance … Continue reading

September 20, 2017

Building a Return to Work Program Part II


Building a return to work program can take some time, but the benefits are well worth it. It will be a team effort coordinating employees, medical providers, supervisors, human resources, insurance claims adjusters, and anyone else you feel is important to the process. Here are some tips on how to get started. Establish a key person who will be responsible for managing the relationship with the people stated above. They will be the liaison for all work-related and non-work related injuries and illnesses. Develop a written return to work program and make sure it is a living breathing document that … Continue reading

September 19, 2017

Best Practices – Press Release


BEST PRACTICES – PRESS RELEASE VAST retains its Best Practices status, once again becoming a part of an elite group of independent insurance agencies around the United States.  This status comes by participating in the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA) Best Practices Study group.  The annual survey and study of leading independent insurance agencies documents the business practices of the “best” agencies and urges others to adopt similar practices. Since 1993, IIABA and Reagan Consulting, an Atlanta-based management consulting firm, have joined forces to study the country’s leading agencies in six revenue categories.  The agencies comprising the … Continue reading

September 13, 2017

Building a Return to Work Program Part One


When an employee gets injured on the job we want to be sure they get the care they need to get better quickly. As an employer, one of the things you can do to help employees recover faster is implement a return to work program. Some of the advantages of a return to work program for the employer are: Retain skilled and valuable employees Keeps employees connected and working Help improve employee morale There are also important benefits for the injured employee: They continue to earn their regular paycheck and maintain benefits Productive use of their skills helps maintain self-esteem … Continue reading

National healthcare open enrollment starts November 1, 2017 and ends December 15, 2017.

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