July 18, 2019

Visiting the Emergency Room vs. Urgent Care.


It’s flu season, and you have unfortunately come down with the dreaded sickness. You have been fighting body aches, fever, and nausea that won’t cease, and are unable to get in with your primary doctor.  This is a common situation that many of us run into, and the question is always “Should I go to the urgent care or emergency room?”  It’s important to understand the difference between the two, which can possibly save you money and time in the long run. An urgent care facility specializes in treatment of minor to moderate medical symptoms. In most cases you will … Continue reading

July 2, 2019

What are Essential Health Benefits?


You may have heard the term “Essential Health Benefits” used in discussions regarding health insurance, however, you may not know what it refers to. Per the Affordable Care Act, there are a list of services that are required to be covered. These services include: Outpatient Services Emergency Services Hospitalization Maternity and newborn care Mental health and substance use disorders (including behavioral health treatment) Prescription drugs Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices Laboratory services Preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management Pediatric vision To receive additional information on how these benefits will be covered under your policy, please consult with … Continue reading

June 28, 2019

Admitted vs. Non-Admitted Insurance Carriers


How important is it when choosing an insurance carrier that they be admitted (standard market) vs. non-admitted (excess or surplus lines)? Although it may be important, it may not be as important as choosing an insurance company with financial stability. For example, an admitted company with an A.M. Best rating of C may be more of a risk than a non-admitted carrier with a higher A.M. Best rating. Typically, insurance will not be placed with a non-admitted carrier unless it has been declined by admitted carriers (the agent is required to do their due diligence in seeking a standard market … Continue reading

June 13, 2019

The Benefits of Vacation


Summer has arrived! And with summer comes traveling, especially for northerners who have endured a very long winter. It’s very nice to escape the inconsistent up and down temperatures, maybe a late season snowstorm, and the soggy melting season! Surprisingly, many Americans leave vacation days unused. Studies report that it is estimated that 429 million paid vacation days go unused every year, and 30 percent of Americans do not use all of their vacation days. One of the major reasons why Americans leave vacation days unused is the fear of losing their jobs, which is a shame, because there are … Continue reading

May 28, 2019

Insurance for Caregivers


Insurance for caregivers is a topic that is often overlooked, or it is often assumed there is coverage on the homeowner’s policy, but usually that is not the case. First, let’s cover who is considered a caregiver. A caregiver could be a nanny that watches your children, someone who looks after an elderly parent in their home most or all of the time, or even a housekeeper. Caregivers can be paid by W2 or 1099, but they do not work for a separate business that has its own insurance. They are considered an employee, which is essentially what excludes them … Continue reading

May 28, 2019

What Can Cyber Liability Do for You?


If you had to guess what the fastest growing line of insurance for business is, what would you guess?  I’d like to contend that it is cyber liability.  In fact, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) cited cyber insurance as the fastest-growing line for 2017.  The reason for this jump in cyber liability popularity is many-fold.  The prevalence of smartphones, and the growing number of computer hackers put us all at risk both personally and through the businesses we interact with and own.  Large and small businesses deal with cyber security breaches on a daily basis.  Names like Target, … Continue reading

May 28, 2019

New Employee


I remember those feelings of my first day at VAST like it was yesterday. I was extremely nervous and excited, because it was such a big change for me. A new job, new industry, and even a new building to navigate. I had never worked in the insurance industry before, but I knew I was up for the challenge. When I walked through the door that morning, I was more than pleasantly surprised. All that worrying was completely unnecessary, because I immediately felt welcomed.  The very first thing I did that Monday morning at 8 am was meet the entire … Continue reading

April 26, 2019

The Calculation of Workers’ Compensation Premium


Every day here in the office my colleagues and I answer plenty of questions our insureds have. One of the areas that we receive a lot of questions on is workers’ compensation. This blog will outline how workers’ compensation premiums are calculated. The primary purpose of workers’ compensation is to pay for medical and loss of wages to employees that have been injured in the course of their employment. The system is a “no fault” system, which helps provide coverage for medical expenses and lost wages to injured employees regardless of negligence. Workers’ compensation varies from state to state, but … Continue reading

April 22, 2019

The Differences Between an HMO and PPO Health Plan


When researching health insurance plans, there are many items to consider. There are two plan design options to choose from, and knowing the difference between them is very important in determining which coverage is best suited for you. One of the plan options, Health Maintenance Organization (HMO), commonly requires you to choose one Primary Care Physician (PCP) and all services will go through this physician. If you need to see a specialist or receive a service that is outside the realm of your PCP’s practice, you will need to make an appointment with your PCP first, who will then refer … Continue reading

April 17, 2019

Pollution Insurance: Down and Dirty


What exactly is considered pollution in the eyes of insurance?  Pollution is any material that can irritate or contaminate something or someone and cause damage.  This definition opens the door to an infinite number of claims that could occur.  Contrary to popular opinion, pollution is more than hazardous waste.  In litigation, whether or not something is considered as pollution will be determined by a court of law, and the results can be surprising!  Basically, if a material goes beyond its intended use and contaminates or irritates something or someone, the event could result in a pollution loss.  How then can … Continue reading

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