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Oh Rats! Surprising Risks You Should Know About the Drought

By: Jackie Sudia-Reno, AIC, ARM, CRIS, Claims & Risk Management Liaison, Warren G. Bender Co.

We’re all changing the way we do things due to the severe drought that our area is experiencing. Here is an example of an unexpected consequential hazard from the drought…

A large commercial building sustained water damage; the culprits are rats. The rats chewed holes in condensation water lines above the ceiling tiles of the building to get to the water inside. When the hot weather hit and the condensation flow increased for several days running, the water escaped through the holes in the lines and caused major damage to the ceiling, walls, and flooring which produced mold growth quite quickly into the warm air. (more…)

Filed under: Property & Casualty,Safety — Jillian Bender-Cormier @ 6:17 pm June 25, 2015

Inspect Your Deck

Given the recent tragedy in Berkeley surrounding the collapse of a wooden balcony resulting in the death of six, we found it timely and important to share the following. Take the extra steps to ensure the safety of your wooden decks and balconies…in some cases, it could prove to be a matter of life and death.

As the weather warms up, relaxing on an outdoor deck can be a great way to spend time with friends and family. However, the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors estimates that only 40 percent of the 45 million decks in North America are safe. Use these tips to inspect your deck and keep your friends and family safe. (more…)

Filed under: Personal Insurance,Recent Headlines,Safety — Jillian Bender-Cormier @ 5:41 pm

What You Need to Know About Drones

The use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), or drones, has increased dramatically in the past few years. As drone use is projected to continually increase, businesses and insurers are weighing the benefits and risks associated with this emerging technology.

Drones offer employers tremendous advantages, in part by keeping employees away from hazardous environments. Consider, for instance, the benefits of flying a drone up over the roof of a building while the building inspector checks the video footage in real time for structural damage from the safety of an office.

In one sense, drones present the same insurance needs as other aircraft, though on a smaller scale. If a drone should crash, its owner would likely be liable for any property it damaged, any injuries caused by the crash and the loss of property itself (i.e., the drone and any cargo it might have been carrying). Currently, there aren’t an abundance of carriers offering coverage for aircraft, but as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) solidifies regulations on commercial drones, the number of insurers offering this coverage is likely to expand.

Still, drone technology has outpaced regulations. Currently, it’s unclear whether or not a drone can “trespass” onto private property by occupying the airspace above it. It’s also unclear whether any information gathered during a drone’s flight—for example, aerial photographs of a property—would constitute an invasion of privacy. Without clear laws or regulations to settle these questions, litigation remains a risk that companies must consider.

Finally, given the amount of data that UASs use, gather and catalog in the course of regular operations, companies need to consider the cyber risks posed by drones. Even though the nightmare scenario of a hacker hijacking a drone and flying it into a conventional commercial aircraft is rare, other cyber risks remain. Malware might simply corrupt the software used to communicate between pilot and aircraft, resulting in a loss of control. Alternatively, a criminal might merely be interested in hacking customer data like names and addresses from the aircraft.

Filed under: Cyber Liability,Property & Casualty — Jillian Bender-Cormier @ 5:31 pm

New OSHA Rule Leads to Major Spike in Injury Reporting

According to Dr. David Michaels, the assistant secretary of labor for OSHA, the agency’s new rule for reporting serious injuries has led to a dramatic increase in reports.

The new reporting rule requires an employer to notify OSHA within 24 hours of a worker suffering an amputation, loss of an eye or any incident resulting in at least one worker being admitted to a hospital for inpatient care.

Even though it’s only been in effect since Jan. 1, Michaels says that the agency has seen a dramatic impact. Hundreds of reports have been coming in every week, including some from employers OSHA had never been in contact with before.

Michaels explained that the rule allows OSHA “to impact a larger number of employers than we would have with simply doing inspections.”

The hope is that increased reporting can make more workplaces safer, even without inspections. Michaels notes, however, that OSHA is still very early in the process.

Filed under: OSHA,Safety — Jillian Bender-Cormier @ 5:29 pm

Team Bender to Host Mexican Fiesta Fundraiser

WGBCO’s Light the Night Team, “Team Bender”, will be hosting it’s 2nd Annual Mexican Fiesta Fundraiser on Tuesday, July 14th, 2015. All proceeds will benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and will be added to Team Bender’s fundraising total.

The lunch (menu including a create-your-own nacho bar and taco bar), will be served from 11:30am – 1:30pm. Tickets are $10 each ($12 at the door) and can be purchased at Warren G. Bender Co.’s front desk.

Join us for a delicious Mexican meal AND help us fight blood cancers!

Filed under: Community Outreach — Jillian Bender-Cormier @ 6:06 pm June 24, 2015