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Congress Considers Flood Insurance Reforms

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is one of the few ways to get insurance coverage for flood risks, and the program is set to expire later this year. However, Congress is currently examining a number of possible changes to the NFIP before it’s reauthorized.

One of the most important topics regarding the NFIP is its financial stability. The program is currently $24 billion in debt as a result of rising claims costs and severe weather events, and some lawmakers believe that the program needs substantial reforms in order to remain viable.

The following are some of the changes that are being considered to the NFIP:
• Making private flood insurance more available to consumers
• Limiting payments to properties that flood repeatedly
• Reducing taxpayer subsidies for flood insurance
• Creating financial incentives for flood mitigation

Contact us at WGBCO with questions on how we can help you with flood coverage. 916-380-5300

Filed under: Personal Insurance — Jillian Bender-Cormier @ 6:35 pm July 19, 2017


Preventing Workplace Violence

As reports of shootings and other violent incidents become more common, workplace violence is a topic than no business can ignore. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, workplace homicides rose 2 percent in 2015, the latest year for which data is available. Additionally, the number of workplace shootings increased by 15 percent.

The best way to address potential acts of violence at your business is to be prepared to act before, during and after an act of violence occurs. Here are some programs you can use to ensure the safety of your employees and customers:

• Pre-employment screenings—Background checks can help identify candidates who have violent histories.
• Security—Security systems can ensure that only employees have access to certain areas.
• Alternative dispute resolutions—Techniques like facilitation and mediation can help solve a conflict before it escalates.
• Threat assessment teams—A designated team can work with management to assess the potential for violence and develop an action plan.

Stay tuned for ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) Training available through WGBCO. Classes and training will be announced in August, 2017!

Filed under: Recent Headlines,Safety — Jillian Bender-Cormier @ 6:26 pm July 12, 2017


New Study Demonstrates the Dangers of Talking While Driving

It’s commonly known that smartphones, entertainment systems and other electronics can be a dangerous distraction to drivers. However, a new study from the University of Iowa found that simple conversations can also cause unsafe driving conditions.

The study used eye tracking equipment to analyze where subjects were looking and how long it took them to focus on a new object. Some subjects were also asked true or false questions at the same time in order to simulate a simple conversation. Data collected from the study found that subjects who answered questions took twice as long to focus on a new object than those who were asked no questions.

Although engaging in conversation seems simple, it involves a number of complex tasks that the brain must handle simultaneously. Even if the topic of conversation is straightforward, the brain has to absorb information, overlay what a person already knows and prepare to a construct a reply. And, although this process is done extremely quickly, it can also slow down reaction times and lead to a dangerous accident on the road.

The best way to keep your employees safe while driving is to encourage them to eliminate or turn off all potential distractions, including their cellphones and any hands-free accessories they may use to make a call. You can also consider including language about safe driving practices in your workplace safety policies.

Filed under: Safety — Jillian Bender-Cormier @ 6:12 pm July 5, 2017


Eskaton Foundation Names Stephen Bender CEO of the Year

Stephen Bender, President and CEO of the Warren G. Bender Co., was recently named CEO of the Year at an Eskaton Foundation gala attended by more 300 executives. The annual Eskaton Foundation Celebration of CEOs was held at a Crocker Road estate in Sacramento, CA.

Using the criteria of “Community-minded, Engaged, and One-of-a-Kind,” the selection committee selected Bender, one of the region’s most esteemed CEO’s, because of his longstanding belief in giving back, his engagement in the community, and his one-of-a-kind spirit. “I can’t think of anyone more passionate about the value of philanthropy in this community. He is empowering, and his endearing demeanor is contagious and commands respect,” said Kim Rhinehelder, President of Eskaton Foundation. “He is always the first to pick up the phone to say ‘Good job.’ We’re lucky Stephen is part of this community.”

Founded in 1938 by Warren G. Bender, the family-owned business prides itself on the simple foundation of honesty and integrity. Stephen Bender joined the company in 1972, became President in 1986, then CEO in 2003. As CEO, he is dedicated to instituting the founding values of the Warren G. Bender Co. and achieving the vision set forth by its owners and employees: To be the finest, independent, locally owned insurance and risk management brokerage in its marketing region, serving the best interests of its clients and communities.

Guests at the Eskaton Foundation event explored information tables that showcased the foundation’s programs and services. Rob Stewart, KVIE’s Rob on the Road producer and host, addressed the audience with his light humor and belief that seniors matter. “Serving as the keynote for this outstanding organization, especially because their mission serves seniors, was important to me,” said Stewart. “Seniors are the strongest generation, yet often forgotten, and if I can be a change-agent, I’m happy to do so.”

Eskaton Foundation’s Philanthropic Partner Program creates meaningful partnerships with companies that help reach target audiences, engage employees through volunteerism and deepen relationships with customers while meeting corporate citizenship goals.

About Eskaton Foundation
Eskaton Foundation believes that seniors are visible, not invisible. It believes that seniors can grow older and bolder as they age. With only 2% of all giving in the United States directed towards senior causes, Eskaton Foundation is aiming to change that. It believes seniors matter. For more information, please call (916) 334-0810, or visit http://www.eskaton.org/foundation.

The full article can be found at http://www.prweb.com/releases/eskatonfoundation/celebrationofceos/prweb14414953.htm

Filed under: Recent Headlines — Jillian Bender-Cormier @ 6:03 pm June 28, 2017


WGBCO Assistance with Workplace Posters

Warren G. Bender Co. is proud to be a resource for our commercial client’s HR needs. Part of that is providing CA workplace posters, for which we start collecting orders in late August (1st poster is free and each subsequent English poster is at a reduced rate of $15).

The media has been buzzing about minimum wage law changes effective 7/1/17, with some HR vendors pushing for “total poster replacement.” The good news is that you don’t need to purchase a new/updated 2017 poster. In fact, most of our clients don’t need to make any changes at all.

Affected clients are those that have employees in Santa Monica, San Francisco, LA City and County and Emeryville (http://www.latimes.com/visuals/graphics/la-me-g-timeline-minimum-wage-increases-20160328-htmlstory.html). Those employers are required (as of 7/1/17) to post the new wage orders next to the existing workplace posters. You can find all of the wage orders on the DIR website (http://www.dir.ca.gov/iwc/wageorderindustries.htm) and of course you can always call our HR hotline for more details.

Filed under: HR — Jillian Bender-Cormier @ 4:41 pm