Coronavirus Economy Money Mask

The $1.9 Trillion American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) that President Biden signed into law on March 11 contains a number of provisions intended to help small businesses and other organizations hurt by the pandemic. Foremost, it includes additional Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans to struggling businesses, and a number of special grants to companies in…

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How COVID-19 Will Change Employee Benefits

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted businesses and other organizations in multiple ways. Lost revenue and the overnight change to remote workforces, among other things, have caused significant changes to operations and finances. A new report shows that there will be long-term effects on employee benefit programs as well. Health insurers are forecasting continued cost increases…

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2021 Laws and Regulations

Every year starts with a bevy of new laws and regulations affecting employers and business in California, and many of the new rules this time around are an outgrowth of the COVID-19pandemic and its effects on workers. Employers in the year ahead have a number of changes they will have to contend with, some of…

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The $900 billion COVID-19 relief bill, passed by Congress and signed into law on Dec. 27, includes a number of provisions that affect employers and their workers in terms of paid sick leave and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Act provisions. The legislation also boosts unemployment benefits to out-of-work Americans, as well as reopening and…

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flexible spending arrangement

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 was signed into law Sunday, December 27 and includes nearly $1 trillion in COVID-related relief, including welcome relief for Flexible Spending Arrangements requested employer, and industry advocates. The following summary is provided to assist employers and plan sponsors with understanding the potential impacts of recent government actions on Health Care…

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Attacks Grow Amid Work From Home Boom

As more of America’s workers were asked to work from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, cyber criminals jumped at the opportunity to take advantage, it seems. Remote work means work being handled on the cloud as employees share files and need a convenient way to access them. But cyber criminals are banking on workers…

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As the COVID-19 pandemic wears on, many employers have had to lay off or furlough staff due to a tremendous drop-off in business. Besides the loss of income they face, these workers will often also lose their employer-sponsored health insurance. With this in mind, many employers have been wondering if they can permit coverage to…

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Governor Gavin Newsom has signed legislation that creates a new framework for COVID-19-related workers’ compensation claims. SB 1159 replaces an executive order that Newsom made on March 18 that required all employees working outside the home who contracted COVID-19 be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits if they file a claim. The new law expands that…

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FPO

Gavin Newsom signed SB1159 into law on 9/17/20, requiring California businesses to report ALL positive COVID cases to their Workers’ Compensation carrier, whether industrial or non-industrial. The changes apply retroactively to July 6, 2020 and remain in effect until January 1, 2023. Retroactive reporting: All positive COVID tests between 7/6/20 to 9/16/20 must be reported, whether…

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Six Tips for Prepping Your Home for Autumn

As the temperature starts dropping and harsher weather looms in the coming months, now is the time to get your home ready. Taking steps now to protect your home and belongings can help you enter the new season worry-free, and you might save money in the process. You can follow these tips to do just…

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The novel coronavirus has caused immeasurable suffering, both physical and economic throughout the nation and the world. For employers struggling to stay in business, this is a fraught time where mistakes in managing their workforces could lead to employee lawsuits. Here are 10 potential trouble spots to watch for. 1. Workplace safety Businesses that still…

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covid office workers

The California Department of Insurance has approved special rules proposed by the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau (WCIRB) to provide some relief to employers during the COVID-19 pandemic.  The new rules will allow employers to temporarily reassign the payroll of qualified employees to 8810 Clerical and exclude the payroll for employees who are on paid leave…

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The California Department of Insurance has approved special rules proposed by the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau (WCIRB) to provide some relief to employers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The new rules will allow employers to temporarily reassign the payroll of qualified employees to “8810 Clerical” and exclude the payroll for employees who are on paid…

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Protect Your Home from Wildfires

Summer is here and that also means tinder-dry conditions and the threat of more devastating wildfires. Insurance companies have noted that the number of fires, their intensity and destructive force have all been growing with each passing year. As insurers have gotten stricter in their underwriting for homeowner’s insurance, many people in high-risk areas have…

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mental health

America’s workers are more stressed than ever, and an increasing number of people are also struggling with mental health issues. Sadly, the number of people dying from drugs, alcohol and suicide hit record levels in 2019. When someone is battling addiction or has mental health issues, it affects all aspects of their life, including work.…

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Reducing Coronavirus Risk in Your Facilities

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the coronavirus is transmitted between humans from coughing, sneezing, and touching, and it enters through the eyes, nose, and mouth. The CDC has provided the symptoms of COVID-19 here on their website. Employers have had to consider what steps they can take to protect their workers while…

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The Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Legislation signed into law by President Trump extends sick leave benefits for workers who are stricken by the coronavirus. The legislation also provides additional weeks of time off under the Family Medical Leave Act, which guarantees employees are able to return to their jobs afterwards. Employers need to pay extra attention to the added paid…

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One of the nastiest surprises a homeowner can encounter is finding out about damage to their home that they could have prevented had they caught the problem earlier. For example, a leak that’s been slowly dripping behind your wall and causing extensive damage may not be covered by your homeowner’s policy since you should have…

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Coverage Concerns as Cyber Threat Grows

Small and mid-sized businesses are increasingly bearing the burden of cyber threats, as criminals are betting they do not have the resources in place to mount a strong defense. A severe attack on a small company can incapacitate its ability to do business, and the expenses of getting operations back on track coupled with loss…

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Adult Children on Your Policies Can Create Coverage Gaps

These days many families are assisting their adult children financially far longer than parents of earlier generations did. That kind of support for college, and sometimes basic survival, can create insurance coverage gaps for the adult child that can be a major risk to the parents’ financial wellbeing. If you have an adult child who…

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The new decade is starting off with a tsunami of new laws and regulations that will affect California businesses. Companies operating in California will have to be prepared for significant changes or open themselves up to potential litigation, fines and other risks. Here’s what you need to know coming into the new year: 1. AB…

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business training presentation

If you have not yet started on your efforts to provide anti-harassment training to your California employees, you need to get working on it now. A law passed last year requires that most employers in the state provide anti-harassment training to their staff every two years. By Jan. 1, 2020 employers with five or more…

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calculator money notepad employee benefits self funded

There are typically two approaches to securing health coverage for your staff – group health insurance or self-funding. But, self-funding can be costly and risky and is usually only done by larger organizations with thousands of employees. However, there is a hybrid model that can help small and mid-sized employers provide their staff with affordable…

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protect home from wildfire

The devastating wildfires of the last few years have resulted in insurers becoming more selective about the properties they are willing to cover. This intense spate of yearly wildfires has led to a record $12.8 billion in insurance claims. Some insurers have started non-renewing in these high-risk areas and others have just stopped writing new…

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delivery driver independent contractor

Governor Gavin Newsom has signed a bill into law that codifies a court ruling from last year that set new ground rules for what constitutes an independent contractor, and which expands on that ruling. There’s been a lot written in the media about the law, AB 5, and much of it misses the point. Some…

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wildfire smoke

Cal/OSHA has issued emergency regulations that require employers of outdoor workers to take protective measures, including providing respiratory equipment, when air quality is significantly affected by wildfires. The rules require employers to take action when the Air Quality Index (AQI) for particulate matter 2.5 is more than 150 (the “unhealthy” range). The protections also would…

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The staged car accident scam is growing as perpetrators are getting craftier about entrapping unsuspecting motorists. Scammers usually meticulously plan their staged car accidents, leaving nothing to chance. You may not even know it was staged, while witnesses may only catch a glimpse and think they saw something they didn’t. Here are some common scams:…

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power lines next to trees

PG&E has warned California residents and businesses that it may shut down the power grid for as long as five days for large portions of the state when there are high-wind conditions during the dry fire season. That’s because PG&E’s infrastructure was found to be the cause of several recent California wildfires. PG&E has sent…

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No one plans on becoming disabled and missing work, but it can happen. An illness or an accident could cause one of your employees to be unable to work for months, or even years. While their health insurance will cover their medical expenses, it won’t cover the cost of living while they recover. Only 30%…

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Our Approach

George Petersen Insurance Agency and its branch offices take great pride in the service that we provide to our clients. The service you have come to expect is thanks to our dedicated employees. We strive to provide our employees with a workplace that is flexible and provides a healthy work-life balance. This atmosphere starts at…

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cyber security email compromise

West African organized-crime rings have been targeting U.S. business with “business e-mail compromise” scams that are costing firms millions of dollars every year. Losses to businesses that are targeted by these scams hit an all-time high in the first quarter of 2018, with $685 million in losses reported by 4,081 victims. That’s more than the…

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employee training on computer

A recent Harris Interactive Study, commissioned by insurer Unum Group, found that employees who receive frequent and thorough education on their available benefits are more likely to view their employer positively, and to feel that their employer values them. The survey establishes a positive correlation between employees’ understanding of their benefits and productivity. Your employees…

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man cleaning mold damage house

Mold is a perennial problem for homeowners and, if left untreated, can cause health problems for members of your family. People exposed to mold can have reactions like:  Asthma Eye irritation  Itchy skin Sneezing and runny nose  Coughing and sore throat. While these symptoms can be signs of other health issues, if you have a…

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earthquake damaged building

Life in most parts of California comes with the inherent risk that an earthquake can strike suddenly and without warning. You probably didn’t know that the state has more than 10,000 seismic events every year, but fortunately most of them are too small for people to even notice. Although the entire Northwest of the United…

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Most Prudent individuals with a family have life insurance in place, but what happens if you have a life-debilitating illness or injury that leaves you incapable of working and which renders you struggling to hang on to life? The financial consequences of a terminal illness can be catastrophic. Developing cancer, suffering a heart attack or…

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By now, you’ve likely noticed that your commercial automotive insurance rates have been increasing since last year, and for now there seems to be no slowing the momentum. The increase is probably noticeable since the period between 2011 and 2016 saw rates drop thanks to a number of factors, including fewer accidents, fewer cars on…

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If you have workers in a wildfire zone, you need to have measures in place to protect them in the event of a catastrophe. Smoke from these wildfires is dangerous as it contains chemicals, gases and fine particles that can lodge deep in people’s lungs. This can make it difficult to breathe, aggravate asthma as…

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The earthquake in Napa last month illustrates the exposure that all businesses in the Golden State have to this unpredictable risk. While most modern structures are built to withstand earthquakes of a certain size, many older buildings throughout the state are not up to standard, resulting in more damage and replacement costs should a temblor…

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doctor and patient

One of the keys to reducing the cost of a workers’ comp claim is to get the injured worker back on the job as soon as it is physically possible without endangering their recovery. A solid, well-thought-out return-to-work (RTW) program can reduce workers’ compensation, disability and medical insurance costs, as well as strengthen morale and…

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Here’s a scenario that you’d not want to see happen at your company: The owner of a motorcycle dealership is suing a former office manager for allegedly stealing nearly $100,000 during the course of her employment. Crescent City Partners, which runs the Harley-Davidson dealership, filed suit against a former manager in the 24th Judicial District…

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The Department of Labor has issued new Affordable Care Act guidance on out-of-pocket limits and the law’s requirement that all health plans provide preventative services. The ACA requires that group health plans that do not have grandfathered status ensure that annual employee cost-sharing and out-of-pocket costs do not exceed certain levels. For 2014, the annual…

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With about 75% of employees using their own devices for their work communications and productivity, businesses must implement safeguards to avoid company data from being compromised should a device be stolen, hacked or contract a virus. The BYOD (bring your own device) trend has grown as many employees have eschewed company-issued mobile devices, preferring to…

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The American Medical Association’s recent decision to reclassify obesity as a treatable disease may have serious repercussions for workers’ comp claims costs, according to a new report. While obesity itself in most cases will not be compensable as a workplace illness, the condition will certainly play a role in the way obese claimants receive medical…

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Following is the most up-to-date information on many of the items in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. We at George Petersen Insurance Agency hope that this document will help you understand your role as an employer, and those of your employees, in this new law. New waiting period. Under the PPACA and with…

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