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Insurance rule number one: expect the unexpected

Do you have the right insurance coverage for your business? Whether you have 10 employees or 200, it will never be all smooth sailing, so it’s important to be prepared for the unexpected.

For instance, a business owner might never expect to be sitting in court over a workers’ compensation claim. This example is extreme, but illustrates what could happen to any company. A local contracting company in Milwaukee hires a subcontractor for a project. The subcontractor does not install a safety rail on a section of a scaffold used on the construction site. An employee of the contracting company walks onto that section of scaffolding, falls, is rushed to the hospital, and passes away during surgery.

A suit is brought before the court and now you have more than one party involved in the dispute: you’ve got the employer, the subcontractor and the manufacturer of the scaffolding company all liable for damages to the employee’s family.

A number of things could have been done differently to prevent a tragedy like this one, as well as protect the concerned parties from litigation.

1) Cover your bases. In this case, that would have meant taking the necessary safety precautions. The employee who fell was not part of an initial safety course with the manufacturer of the scaffolding company because the business owner didn’t schedule it when that employee was hired. Had the employee taken the course, he might not have fallen in the first place. And if, tragically, he did still fall, the company would be in a much stronger position in a lawsuit.

2) Plan preemptively. These kinds of large jury verdicts can happen. Even if you think it couldn’t happen to your company, think again. If you were one of the parties involved, would you be properly protected from a liability and/or workers’ compensation standpoint? If you’re not sure, it’s time to think about contacting an insurance agent to review your coverage.

3) Make your insurance company a part of your team. When you are protected, you are not alone.  If you’ve got the expertise of a local team of highly qualified insurance agents, you’re not going to be making the heavy decisions on the future of your company without help. Ensuring you have proper coverage is essential to the smooth operation and long-term stability of your company. Don’t wait for a loss to find out if you are properly protected.

In my experience, the phrase “better safe than sorry” never rings truer than when it comes to owning a business. A strong insurance partner takes responsibility for making sure you understand all proper protections for your business, including workers compensation coverage.

Rural Mutual Insurance offers a free risk assessment tool on our website. We encourage you to evaluate your current risks and coverages, then use that information to make sure you’re protected.

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Chris was born and raised here in Milwaukee, Wis. He is a licensed loan officer, and has been in the insurance industry for seven years. This combination of skills gives Chris a unique perspective in serving businesses. Chris also has a strong network in the local community and takes pride in doing everything possible for his customers.

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