Mandatory Shutdown Order of Certain California Businesses

July 13, 2020

Tuesday, July 13th, Governor Gavin Newsom announced new restrictions for counties in the state’s watchlist. Effective immediately, all counties must close indoor operations in the following sectors: dine-in restaurants, wineries and tasting rooms; movie theaters; family entertainment centers; zoos and museums; and cardrooms. Bars, breweries, and pubs must close all operations—both indoor and outdoor— across […]

CDC Adds Three New Symptoms of COVID-19

June 26, 2020

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have added three new coronavirus symptoms to the growing list. Congestion or runny nose Nausea Diarrhea Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus and symptoms may vary from mild to severe. To see the full list of symptoms visit the CDC website. As more is learned about […]

Commissioner Issues Decision on July 1, 2020 Special Regulatory Filing

June 19, 2020

On June 17th, 2020, the California Insurance Commissioner issued a Decision regarding the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California’s (WCIRB’s) July 1, 2020 Special Regulatory Filing, which contained proposals to address the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and was submitted by the WCIRB to the California Department of Insurance (CDI) on April 20, 2020. […]

Departing a Law Firm

Paul Broussard, CIC, SBCS, PWCA, cyRM

June 17, 2020

When an attorney departs a small law firm, they should consider purchasing an individual extend reporting period. An Extended Reporting Period (ERP), or “tail,” is a designated time period that gives the insured the ability to report claims to the insurer after a claims-made policy expires (or an attorney departs the firm) for a negligent […]

Returning to Business – Navigating a Safe and Compliant Reopening Webinar

June 10, 2020

The Coronavirus pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on businesses in the US and around the globe. Companies have needed to respond to circumstances they’ve never dealt with before. Now, as businesses reopen their offices and workplaces, employers have many questions regarding their responsibility to prepare their workplaces for the safe return of employees. Cavignac […]

COVID-19 Sample PowerPoint Presentations

COVID-19 Employee Training Presentation – California: This presentation is designed to educate employees on the signs and symptoms  of COVID-19, and when to seek medical attention. It also details how COVID-19 spreads, and ways employees can protect themselves and others. Furthermore, it includes placeholders employers can use to educate employees on workplace procedures related to […]

An Overview of the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020

June 5, 2020

The President signed the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020 on June 5th. This Act covers important changes to the requirements for forgiveness under Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) Loan, and offers further clarification on eligible expenses and FTE employee reduction to your loan forgiveness. The below overview is an update to our previous resource […]

Congress Passes Bill Amending Paycheck Protection Program

Congress has passed the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020, which is a bill that provides borrowers with greater flexibility in spending Paycheck Protection Program funds without compromising forgiveness eligibility. Learn more by reviewing this brief article: Congress Passes Bill Amending Paycheck Protection Program.

Support Your Local Business – The Red Door

Jeff Cavignac, CPCU, RPLU, ARM

May 29, 2020

Over the past three weeks, we have featured some of the teams favorite restaurants in our continued effort to support local businesses through these unprecedented times. This week, we conclude the campaign with another favorite. The Red Door is located on Washington Street in Mission Hills. Chef and Owner, Luciano Cibello bought the restaurant a couple years ago.  Luciano grew […]

Department of Labor Adopts Revised Enforcement Policies for Coronavirus

May 27, 2020

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued two revised enforcement policies to ensure employers are taking action to protect their employees. These relate to Federal OSHA regulations, not specific state plans. OSHA is increasing in-person inspections at all types of workplaces. OSHA is revising its previous enforcement policy for recording cases of coronavirus. Under […]

County of San Diego Safe Reopening Plan Mandatory Measures to Protect Employee Health

May 21, 2020

The County of San Diego has laid out specific measures applied to businesses allowed to open as part of the Safe Reopening Plan. Businesses need to complete the County’s Safe Reopening Plan, print and post it at their entrance. Businesses are required to implement all mandatory measures listed in section A and B of the County’s […]

Support Your Local Business – Parc

Matt Evans, CISR, CLCS, CRIS

In our continued effort to support local businesses, we’ve created a campaign to raise awareness and help advertise those businesses who have been affected by CV19. This week features Parc.  Parc Bistro & Brasserie is an elegant French restaurant created by the restaurateur Garo Minassian. The restaurant opened up back in 2016 in Bankers Hill […]

SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loans – Clarity, Relief & A Surety’s Perspective

May 15, 2020

Big relief was finally issued by the U.S. Department of the Treasury that issued guidance that clarifies how the Small Business Administration (SBA) will consider a borrower’s required good-faith certification related to the necessity of the borrower’s PPP loan request. FAQ #46 was issued on May 13 that provides; “Any borrower that, together with its […]

Support Your Local Business – Joe & Ernies Pizzeria

Paul Broussard, CIC, SBCS, PWCA, cyRM

May 14, 2020

In our continued effort to support local businesses, we’ve created a campaign to raise awareness and help advertise those businesses who have been drastically affected by the shutdown. This week features one of our team members favorites, Joe & Ernies Pizzeria.  Joe & Ernie’s Pizzeria is a family owned and operated fast causal pizza restaurant that has been serving […]

Working from home…10 tips to help you avoid getting scammed

Kelly Potter, CIC, PWCA

May 9, 2020

It’s estimated over 75 million employees may be working from home before the COVID19 crisis is over. Cyber criminals are jumping on this opportunity to try to find and exploit system vulnerabilities, and we are reading about increased cyber related claims as a result. Below are 10 tips to help you avoid getting scammed: Follow […]

COVID-19 Related Workers’ Compensation Claims: Response to Governor Newsom’s Executive Order

May 8, 2020

On May 6th, 2020 California Governor Gavin Newsom issued an Executive Order establishing a time-limited presumption that COVID-19 contracted by employees working outside their homes is work related. The presumption has several limitations, including that sick leave benefits must be exhausted before workers compensation disability benefits will be paid, that diagnosis must be made by […]

Guide for Employers Resuming Operations & Responding to Coronavirus in the Workplace

The state of California and the country as a whole are preparing for businesses to resume physical operations as we move into Phase 2 of the of the plan to reopen post-Coronavirus. While different businesses will reopen at different stages of this process, all companies will need to understand the requirements to reopen and have […]

Support Your Local Business – Candor

Preston Cavignac, CPCU, CIC, CRM

May 7, 2020

These are trying times as many industries are being affected by CV19. The restaurant industry is no exception. We would like to take this time to support our local restaurants and promote their ability to offer takeout food to their community. In an effort to support local businesses, we will be covering the cost of […]

Governor Newsom Issues Executive Order Establishing A Rebuttable Presumption That COVID-19 Is Work Related For Essential Employees

May 6, 2020

Governor Newsom has issued an Executive Order establishing a rebuttable presumption that COVID 19 is work related for California employees working outside their homes, which will mean those workers are eligible for workers compensation benefits if they test positive for the virus.  The order will be retroactive to March 19 and cover new cases reported […]

Designing a Post-coronavirus Office

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has changed many aspects of the current workplace, and soon, employers should begin planning for what their post-coronavirus office will look like. Previously, social distancing and COVID-19-related best practices hadn’t been a topic on the mind of most employers or employees. By updating office layouts, encouraging new behaviors and expanding […]

Reopening a Business After Coronavirus

April 24, 2020

As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to have an unprecedented effect on daily life, many business owners are looking forward to the future and a return to normalcy. However, even when stay-at-home orders are lifted and nonessential businesses are allowed to resume operations, there’s a lot for organizations to consider before they reopen their doors. Click […]

City of San Diego Issuing New COVID-19 Rules for Construction

The City of San Diego is issuing new guidance for all construction, public and private, within City limits. The draft rules, which can be found HERE, will be finalized tomorrow and enforced starting on Monday. AGC San Diego and several San Diego County construction associations met virtually with City staff to discuss these rules and their […]

COVID-19 Updates – Orders from the California Department of Insurance

April 21, 2020

We have been receiving a number of questions regarding insurance premiums and coverage specifically as it pertains to the Coronavirus. Many insureds are wondering if they will get refunds from insurance companies because certain operations have ceased and others have been substantially cut back and many others are wondering if they may have coverage for loss […]

UPDATE: WCIRB Governing Committee Approves Special Regulatory Filing in Response to COVID-19

April 17, 2020

Oakland CA, April 17, 2020 – Earlier today, in response to the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on California employers and workers, the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California (WCIRB) Governing Committee voted unanimously to make a special regulatory filing to the California Insurance Commissioner. The Committee’s vote authorized the WCIRB […]

Requirement to Accept, Forward, Acknowledge, and Fairly Investigate All Business Interruption Insurance Claims Caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic

To read the full Notice, outlined below, please click here. To help combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus, various federal, state, and local government officials have issued emergency public health orders and “shelter-in-place” directives. The COVID-19 pandemic has severely curtailed activities of policyholders in both personal and commercial lines, causing significant and widespread economic […]

CA Department of Insurance Bulletin: Premium Refunds, Credits, and Reductions in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

April 15, 2020

To read the full Bulletin, outlined below, please click here. Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara recognizes that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused an unprecedented challenge for California’s businesses and residents. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Gavin Newsom on March 4, 2020 declared a statewide State of Emergency. Californians were ordered to “shelter-in-place” shortly thereafter. […]

AB5 – Work Comp and other Considerations

Preston Cavignac, CPCU, CIC, CRM

April 14, 2020

California Assembly Bill 5 (AB5) re-defines what it means to be an “independent contractor.” This bill was codified as a result of the 2018 Supreme Court decision in Dynamex Operations West, Inc v Superior Court of Los Angeles. The court decided in favor of the stricter “ABC Test,” as opposed to the “Control Test,” in […]

WCIRB Classification and Rating Committee to Consider Regulatory Changes in Response to COVID-19

April 10, 2020

On April 14, 2020, the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California’s (WCIRB’s) Classification and Rating Committee will consider three rule changes that WCIRB staff are recommending in response to the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on California employers and workers. The Committee will consider changes that, if approved by the Insurance […]

WEBINAR: OSHA Compliance Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

April 7, 2020

California employers are facing workplace safety issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic on a daily basis. On Tuesday, April 7, Cavignac & Associates partnered with Ogletree Deakins to conduct a webinar focusing on helping California employers to understand their obligations and comply with certain Cal/OSHA regulations that may apply specifically to the COVID-19 pandemic. Topics discussed during the webinar […]

IRS Tax Reimbursement Guidance and FFRCA Regulations Issued

April 3, 2020

The IRS has issued much awaited guidance on how employers can claim payroll tax credits for leave provided under the FFCRA. That guidance is available here. Highlights of the tax credits include: Employers are entitled to a refundable tax credit equal to the amount of paid FFCRA sick leave and/or paid family and medical leave […]

CARES Act: Evaluate your Options, Protect your Working Capital, and Keep your Employees Working.…Applications Open April 3

April 2, 2020

  The current economic environment is presenting business owners with challenges they have never faced before. In order to aid business owners, the government has passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which expands the availability of small businesses loans under Section 7(a) of the Small Business Act to include the new […]

Addressing Liabilities from the Coronavirus Pandemic

April 1, 2020

The following material is provided for informational purposes only. Before taking any action that could have legal or other important consequences, speak with qualified legal and insurance professionals who can provide guidance that considers your own unique circumstances. At the time of this writing, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is wreaking havoc with the physical and […]

Coronavirus: What Employers Should Know

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is having a major impact on the workplace. We want to share with you some general guidelines in the event your employee has symptoms or tests positive for COVID-19. Although, our current state is new territory for all, there are still regulations and compliance requirements applicable to your business. On Wednesday, April 1, Cavignac & […]

Department of Labor Latest Guidance on Emergency Paid Sick Leave and Expanded FMLA

March 30, 2020

The Department of Labor (DOL) continues to provide guidance with regards to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The latest updated document release appears to suggest that shutting down of a business, Shelter in Place, or Stay at Home orders will not qualify employees for Emergency Paid Sick Leave or Expanded FMLA. Additionally, the […]

The U.S Small Business Administration Boosts Their Loan Programs to Offer Business Owner Cashflow Relief

March 28, 2020

During these trying times, the ability to cashflow operations should be at top of mind for most business owners. This “cashflow crunch” could last throughout the balance of 2020 and the ramifications for some could continue well beyond that.  In order to stimulate the economy and ensure business owners have the funds to continue to […]

Department of Labor Publishes Families First Coronavirus Response Act FAQs and Required Poster

March 26, 2020

This week the U.S. Department of Labor published much anticipated FAQs and notices related to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). To access Frequently Asked Questions regarding the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, Click Here. Attached is the FFCRA required poster. To access Frequently Asked Questions regarding the notice mandate, Click Here. Families First […]

Mandatory State-Wide Shelter in Place Order / Construction Included as Essential

March 20, 2020

Based on requests submitted by AGC and other organizations, the Newsom Administration has updated their executive order to include Construction as an essential service, including housing construction. We also wanted to let you know that Cavignac & Associates is 100% remote at this time. Business is as usual or as usual as it can be in […]

Coronavirus FAQ’s for Employers

March 18, 2020

With all the information and misinformation out there regarding Coronavirus and its impact on the workplace, we want to share with you some general questions and answers in the event your employee has symptoms or tests positive for COVID-19. Although, our current state is new territory for all, there are still regulations and compliance requirements […]

COVID-19: The Construction Industry

March 17, 2020

We are in unprecedented times. With the continuing developments surrounding the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, “best-in-class” contractors are focused on the following priorities; Employee Health and Safety – A myriad of Toolbox Talks and Policies have been developed to navigate the physical wellness and mental health of contractors’ most valuable asset, their employees. Employee […]

Coronavirus – Client Update

March 16, 2020

Cavignac & Associates continues to monitor the developments pertaining to the Coronavirus. While our office is open today, our staff has the option of working from home and fortunately everyone can. Beginning on Wednesday of this week we are asking all of our staff to work remotely. We have ensured that there will be no […]

COVID19 Employer Information and Sample Policy

March 11, 2020

On Thursday, March 5, the EDD clarified employer and employee coverage related to the coronavirus disease 2019, also known as COVID-19. The additional support comes one day after Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency as part of California’s response to the coronavirus. Covered employees who’ve been exposed to the coronavirus are eligible to file a State […]

Telemedicine – The Newest Tool in Workers’ Compensation Claims Management

Meghan Dickerson, CET, Director of Risk Control

February 10, 2020

When one of your employees is injured on the job, the first and most important thing to do is to assess the injured worker’s condition and whether medical care is needed. Providing quality care swiftly is the number one action that companies can do to control claims costs, with the second being to report claims […]

How to Properly Insure Your Jewelry

Carolyn Konecki, CPRM, CISR

January 3, 2020

If you received the gift of jewelry this holiday season, you may be wondering if you should insure it, and if so, for what amount?  Since most homeowners’ policies have a special, lower limit for jewelry, it is important that you look at covering your jewelry separately. Most new jewelry purchased from a retail store […]

Mixed-Use Residential Projects: Risk Management and Insurance Considerations

James Schabarum, CPCU, CRIS, AFSB

November 1, 2019

Contractors performing mixed-use residential projects should first evaluate the “Operational” and “Completed Operations” factors and exposures from a risk management and insurance perspective. A few of these key considerations are: Operational Client Selection – owner’s sophistication of development staff, litigation history, background of the construction manager, plan details, and related relationships Site Entitlements – surrounding […]

Why Did My Home Insurance Premium Increase So Much?

Carolyn Konecki, CPRM, CISR

October 9, 2019

The California home insurance market changed dramatically at the beginning of 2019 and continues to evolve into a very hard market. Thirty thousand homes burned to the ground during the wildfires of 2017 and 2018. The 2018 wildfire season was the deadliest and most destructive ever recorded in California, with a total of 8,527 fires […]

Top 10 Construction Defects in 2018

Scott Bedingfield, Principal/Risk Advisor

September 11, 2019

Defective construction happens and when it does, the costs are huge. The more you know about the root causes of construction defects before they happen, the more you can prevent the cause.  Quality Built is one of the nation’s leading third-party QA (Quality Assurance) inspection companies.  Based on data collected from thousands of projects, Quality Built […]

The Top Three Reasons to Consider EPLI Coverage

Natalie Sherod, CIC, CPCU, Risk Advisor

July 30, 2019

Employment practices claims continue to be a concern for employers of all sizes.  With the number of claims increasing, Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) should be discussed at every renewal and should be included as part of your insurance program.  Here are the top three reasons to consider EPLI coverage: The number and cost of […]

The Convenience of Telemedicine

Matt Noonan, CIC, RHU, CHRS, CCWS

July 1, 2019

What is Telemedicine? As technology evolves, doctors are finding more ways to efficiently and conveniently care for their patients. One such method is through the use of telemedicine—a form of technology-based communication that allows a doctor and patient to communicate without being in the same physical space. Although telemedicine is not a complete replacement for […]

Why a Waiver of Consequential Damages is a Must

Kelly Potter, CIC, PWCA

June 5, 2019

Many contracts I review include an express obligation for a design firm to be responsible for consequential damages. Consequential damages are often defined as “indirect damages” and can include things completely out of proportion to an architect or engineer’s fee. This can be very problematic as these damages may include loss of use or loss […]

Succession Planning: The Potential Impact on Your Surety Program

Jase Hamilton, CPCU, AFSB

May 30, 2019

All contractors start their business with a common vision:  To create a successful construction company.  However, once this goal is realized, many owners fail to properly and strategically create a succession plan that not only guarantees their own continued prosperity, but also the prosperity of their company. This is because most business owners lack the […]

Does the New California Security Act Apply to Your Business?

Matt Slakoff, CIC, CRIS

May 13, 2019

Businesses face many risks.  Changes in laws and increases in liability need to be understood to ensure compliance. There is a new strict law, effective January 1, 2020, that may apply to your company if it meets the following criteria: Gross revenue above $25 million Annually purchases (alone or in combination) personal information of at […]

7 Habits of Highly Successful Insureds

Paul Broussard, cyRM

March 26, 2019

The emphasis in commercial insurance is typically what an insurance broker can do for your insurance and risk management needs. However, if business owners were more informed insureds, they’d have better success with their insurance program. With that being said, a Highly Successful Insured will… 1. Select, Then Trust Their Broker From a new business […]

Food Delivery Apps Pose New Risks for the Restaurant Industry

Matt Evans, CISR, CLCS, CRIS

February 5, 2019

The food service industry is changing with the emergence of third-party food delivery apps in recent years. More and more people are opting to stay in and order food from a delivery app rather than driving to the restaurant. Restaurants are partnering with companies like Postmates, UberEats and Door Dash in hopes of capturing the […]

Water Damage: Are You Covered?

Preston Cavignac, CPCU, CIC, CRM

December 7, 2018

Water damage is one of the most misunderstood coverages when it comes to commercial insurance policies. Most think that water is a covered peril if their policy contains “full coverage.” Be wary of this term. “Full coverage” does not exist under any policy; it’s a term that is too often used by marketing departments of […]

Educating and Protecting Your Children From Cyber Risks

Carolyn Konecki, CPRM, Private Client Manager

November 5, 2018

Families rely on technology to simplify their lives and keep them connected. The use of multiple devices and smart home systems means more and more individuals have access to their personal data. Cyber crime and the breach of this confidential information poses the greatest risk to your family’s financial data and assets. While corporate attacks […]

Three Steps to Making Cybersecurity a Company-Wide Priority

Kelly Potter, CIC, PWCA

September 29, 2018

Leadership Buy-in:  The management team at your company must recognize the importance of cybersecurity.  Risk assessments and standard operating procedures need to be implemented and discussed at regular leadership meetings.  Cybersecurity is no longer just an IT issue; it needs to be a “boardroom” issue. Create a Culture of Cybersecurity:  Promote awareness and make cybersecurity […]

Group Captives for Employee Benefits

Matt Noonan, CIC, RHU, CHRS, CCWS

September 1, 2018

Group Captives for Employee Benefits A group captive is a strategy that can reduce risk and volatility essentially making self-insurance more feasible.  As health care costs continue to rise, employers are looking for alternative risk financing solutions that can give them more control. Group captives could make the difference. What’s driving the costs in health […]

Workers Compensation: New Independent Contractor Test May Impact Your Business

July 6, 2018

On April 30, 2018, the California Supreme Court issued a decision that clearly makes it harder now to label workers as “independent contractors” under Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC) wage orders. The result: Workers Compensation audits in California will be more scrutinized in the future against employers attempting to classify workers as independent contractors vs. employees. […]

Coverages to Consider When Starting Your Architectural or Engineering Firm

Stephen Watson, MBA, CISR, Account Executive

May 3, 2018

Venturing out on your own and starting a new firm can feel overwhelming considering all that needs to be accomplished before accepting your first client. From writing a business plan to determining a budget, selecting an office location, building a website, buying software, and setting up systems, one may forget the critical task of purchasing […]

California’s Proposed Single Payer Health Plan: Questions That Our Lawmakers Need to Answer

Patrick Casinelli, RHU, REBC, CHRS

April 16, 2018

Adopting a “single-payer” system means the State of California would run and regulate the healthcare of the state’s residents using taxpayer money. The cost estimate for this plan is between $330 and $400 billion per year. To put it in perspective, California’s entire annual state spending budget is $190 billion. This additional money has to […]

60 Seconds on Risk Management: Communication

Kelly Potter, PWCA, Account Executive

April 5, 2018

Watch our one-minute video on Communication:

Bed Bugs!

Matt Slakoff, CIC, CRIS

March 9, 2018

We all hear the stories on the news about bed bug infestations.  The thought makes most people start itching and want to run to the shower!  If you want to see how pervasive and widespread the risk is, just Google “bed bugs” in the news section. There are infestations in hotels, apartments, city buildings, offices, […]

General Contractor’s Potential Liability for Unpaid Subcontractor Wages – Assembly Bill 1701 (Labor Code 218.7)

Jase Hamilton, CPCU, AFSB

March 1, 2018

The State of California has passed a number of new laws in recent years but none has been so widely discussed by the construction industry as Assembly Bill 1701 (Labor Code 218.7). This new law extends liability to a general contractor on a private construction project for unpaid wages, fringe, and other benefits owed to […]

Insurance Industry Results Deteriorate in 2017! What This Means to You

February 12, 2018

Insurance companies make money in one of two ways, underwriting and investments.  The profitability of the industry generally determines the cost of insurance.  When the industry is making decent money and surplus is rising, pricing trends downward.  When the industry, however, is not hitting their numbers, surplus tends to decline and pricing tends to increase.  […]

Common Restaurant Hazards

Matt Evans, Account Executive

February 1, 2018

Indemnification Agreements and SB 496 – What to do if your clients still insist on an unfair indemnity agreement

Jeff Cavignac, CPCU, RPLU, ARM

January 4, 2018

Senate Bill 496 was signed into law in April of 2017 and became law on January 1, 2018.  The Bill amends Section 2782.8 of the Civil Code as it pertains to a design professional’s obligation to defend an upstream party.  Most importantly, this new law limits the cost to defend an upstream party to the […]

It’s Wildfire Season. What Can You Do to Protect Your Home?

Carolyn Konecki, Private Client Manager

December 5, 2017

Last winter’s record rainfall meant an end to the drought, but it also led to an abundant growth of wild grasses and plants. Those plants have dried out over the summer, creating a large supply of fuel sources for a fire. Many fire experts are predicting Southern California will experience several large wildfires this year, […]

Active Assailant Coverage

Jeff Cavignac, CPCU, RPLU, ARM

October 31, 2017

The threat of an armed attack has escalated dramatically in the past five years and the economic costs arising out of these events can be significant.  Several insurance companies (AIG and XL Catlin) have developed specific insurance products to cover this exposure. One of the companies currently offering coverage defines “assault” as a physical attack which […]

Marine Insurance Terms Simplified

Preston Cavignac, CPCU, CRM, CIC

October 2, 2017

HULL – Hull Insurance Insures a vessel against physical damage. It’s similar to physical damage coverage for your auto. P&I – Protection & Indemnity Provides liability coverage for a vessel and can sometimes include additional coverages. It’s similar to liability coverage for your auto. P&I insurance can also provide coverage for cargo legal liability, collision […]

Creating a Home Inventory

Carolyn Konecki, Personal Lines Manager

September 5, 2017

The purpose of a home inventory is to document all of your personal possessions and to show proof of ownership in the event of a loss. Most homeowners mistakenly think that they must create an itemized written list, complete with receipts. Viewing that as an overly tedious task, it never gets done. A better, faster […]

Trying to Put Together a Records Retention Program?

Dorothy Amundson, CIC, PWCA

July 31, 2017

We are frequently asked about retention requirements from our design firms who are drowning in it.  Plans, reports, schedules, requests for information, technical calculations, memos and other correspondence are scattered across a  variety of mediums: computer discs, blueprints, photographs, and the old staple:  paper — reams of it. Once a project is complete, the question […]

Auto Prices Are Going Up!

Jeff Cavignac, CPCU, RPLU, ARM

June 22, 2017

Loss experience on auto policies is deteriorating and auto premiums are going up.  State Farm, the largest U.S. home and auto insurer, lost $7 billion on their auto book in 2016!  They announced that they plan to close 11 of their offices due to this.  From a commercial insurance perspective, most of the companies we […]

Property Management Agreements – Insurance and Indemnity

Scott Bedingfield, AAI, CRIS, Principal/Commercial Department

June 12, 2017

With reference from IRMI (International Risk Management Institute) The traditional approach for providing insurance in Commercial Property Management Agreements requires the owner to purchase and maintain Commercial General Liability (CGL) insurance applicable to the managed property and to include the property manager as an insured under that policy. This approach is supported by the fact […]

Duty to Defend: Passage of Senate Bill 496 and What That Means to the Design Profession in California

Jeffrey Cavignac, CPCU, RPLU, ARM

May 11, 2017

From a Design Professional’s standpoint, California has historically had some of the worst indemnity laws in the country.  Unless it is expressly stated to the contrary, the duty to defend an upstream party is immediate.  It is separate from the duty to indemnify and the Design Professional can end up being responsible for 100% of […]

Cyber Risks – The Current Surge in Attacks on Small Business and How to Reduce Their Impact

Stephen Watson, Account Executive

May 1, 2017

Often risk advisors will hear their clients say, “My company will never get attacked.­ I’m just a small fish in the big sea of potential targets.”   However, according to the International Risk Management Institute, small businesses are specifically targeted by cyber thieves because sensitive information kept by small business is much easier to obtain due […]

Bonding Design – Build Contracts: Avoiding “Non-Negligent” Guarantees

James Schabarum II, CPCU, AFSB, CRIS

April 20, 2017

Contractors that enter into design-build contracts can significantly increase their risk significantly by taking on the design responsibilities for a project. When required to bond, design-build contractors may not be fully aware that a bond guarantees all the terms of the underlying design-build contract including subjective design requirements. If there are unknown terms and conditions […]

Understanding Professional Liability Coverage for Design Firms

Kelly Potter, PWCA, Account Executive

March 17, 2017

Professional Liability is a coverage that all design firms need, and is generally a company’s first line of defense against liability arising out of their performance of professional services.  Even if you choose not to dissect your insurance policy word by word, it is a good idea to have a basic understanding of how your […]

Overcoming Obstacles and Risk Management

Mike Riis, Account Executive

February 16, 2017

  Playing competitive sports throughout life, you learn about overcoming obstacles and finding ways to use them to your advantage. I have always had a general understanding of this concept as it pertains to athletics/life, however, I never fully applied the concept to risk management and insurance (for obvious reasons). I recently stumbled across a […]

“Trumpcare” Part I

Patrick Casinelli, RHU, REBC, CHRS, Principal, Employee Benefits

January 5, 2017

Before we discuss Trumpcare, we should decide what to do with Obamacare – the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  Can we “repeal” the entire law?  Can we “replace” some of the law?  Which part or parts of the ACA work and which don’t?  My answer is YES.  Yes, we can repeal, yes we can replace and […]

OSHA Reporting Requirements Are Changing

Chris Malicki, OHST, CHST, COSS

January 4, 2017

The new rule, which takes effect Jan. 1, 2017, requires certain employers to electronically submit injury and illness data that they are already required to record on their onsite OSHA Injury and Illness forms. Analysis of this data will enable OSHA to use its enforcement and compliance assistance resources more efficiently. Some of the data […]

Environmental Risk and the Real Estate Industry

Matthew Slakoff, CIC, CRIS

December 6, 2016

If you work in or around the commercial real estate industry, you are probably familiar with terms such as the following:  Adaptive Reuse, Transit Oriented Development, Urban Infill, etc.  All of these terms relate to the concept of urban redevelopment.  Although these types of opportunities are exciting, they can also present a myriad of risk […]

What is USL&H?

by Preston Cavignac, CPCU, CIC, CRM

November 2, 2016

There are a number of industries that require specific insurance knowledge to properly manage risk. Maritime and maritime-related industries are a few. Whether working near water, on a vessel, or in a related industry, specific laws may apply. Although there are many types of marine-related insurance products, the purpose of this blog is to review […]

Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) Requirements Apply to All California Employers

October 11, 2016

By Chris Malicki, OHST, CHST, COSS As the owner or manager of an engineering or architectural firm, you may not be aware that you are required to have an Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP).  Every employer, however, is required to have one.  Cal OSHA regulations clearly state:  “every employer shall establish, implement and maintain an […]

California’s New Variable Split Point Experience Rating System

August 24, 2016

By Jeffrey Cavignac, CPCU, RPLU, ARM Effective January 1, 2017, the Experience Modification Formula in California will change.  The experience rating formula is created by the Workers Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau (WCIRB or the Bureau) and approved by the California Insurance Commissioner.   Application of the Experience Modification is mandatory for all eligible employers.  The WCIRB […]

Alternative Risk Financing: Dividend, Small Deductible and Large Deductible Plans

Preston Cavignac, CPCU, CIC, CRM

July 6, 2016

As insurance costs increase, so does the need to find alternative solutions. Most insureds are accustomed to “guaranteed cost” plans. These plans are characterized by small, “maintenance” deductibles and standard limits of insurance. The benefits of guaranteed cost plans are fixed premiums, predictable cost (good for budgeting) and claim services which are provided by the […]

The Pros and Cons of the Prevailing Party Provision

by Kelly Potter, PWCA

June 3, 2016

A prevailing party provision is a clause included in contracts that requires the losing party of a lawsuit or claim to pay the legal expenses incurred by the prevailing party.  In the absence of this provision, each party typically covers their own legal costs.Supporters of this provision believe the clause will make each party think […]

Employment Practices Liability

by Preston Cavignac, CPCU, CIC, CRM

February 16, 2016

Employment Practices Liability is a serious issue for all restaurant owners. Why? Restaurants can have 25+ employees working over the course of a week. More employees lead to a greater probability of employee-related issues. When restaurants enter their busy season they have to hire help, and do it quickly. The hiring process can be shortened […]

Communication – The 3 Golden Rules

By Kelly Potter, PWCA, Account Executive, Cavignac & Associates

Poor communication is a leading factor in claims against design professionals. The failure to effectively communicate within a firm, and between a firm and its clients, consultants and others, can result in more than inefficiencies, mistakes and missed opportunities. It can also significantly impact the financial health of your business.Pages could be written on effective […]

El Niño is Here! What Every Homeowner Needs to Know to Protect Against a Flood

by Carolyn Konecki

January 7, 2016

See Carolyn’s interview regarding floods and flood insurance on KUSI News: Weather experts have been predicting El Niño weather conditions for this year, meaning heavier than normal rainfall. While Californians certainly need the rain to break the drought, too much rain at one time can be a problem for homeowners.During the last heavy rains in […]

Some Coverages You May Not Have That You Should Consider…Now!

Jeffrey Cavignac, CPCU, ARM, RPLU, CRIS, MLIS – President, Cavignac & Associates

January 6, 2016

As risk management advisors our job is to help our clients identify their exposures to loss and make certain their insurance program is appropriate.  We don’t recommend our clients purchase every coverage available, but we do suggest that they know that they know the exposure exists.  There are however several coverages which if you have […]

The 3 Biggest Misconceptions About Insuring Valuable Items

by Carolyn Konecki

November 30, 2015

Most people are collectors. Some collect books or political campaign buttons, others collect sports memorabilia or shoes. While some collections are only sentimental, most have some value, if not significant value. One thing that collectors have in common is that they are passionate about their collections.I have been a personal insurance agent for 12 years […]

Cyber Liability – What is it and is My Company at Risk?

by Preston Cavignac, CPCU, CIC

October 8, 2015

Cyber liability is a hot topic in the insurance world. We have already heard about the big losses: Play Station, Target, Home Depot, LinkedIn, Sony (most recent and estimated at $100 million+ in damages). But what are the chances that your company will be hacked? We don’t read about the small- to mid-sized companies, which […]

Restaurants and the Human Expense

by Preston Cavignac, CPCU, CIC

June 2, 2015

One of the largest costs for restaurants is compensation and related employee expenses. Workers’ compensation is a big piece of that pie. Often the dollar amount of an injury can cost an employer up to three times what was actually paid in medical expenses. If this exposure is not managed correctly, a profitable restaurant can […]

I’ve Been Sued! Now What?

Jeffrey Cavignac, CPCU, ARM, RPLU, CRIS, MLIS – President, Cavignac & Associates

March 30, 2015

Dealing with our litigation system can be frustrating, expensive, time-consuming and emotionally draining, but for most businesses, litigation is an unfortunate fact of life.The key to effectively dealing with litigation is to know what you should and should not do and make certain you are aligned with the right attorney, insurance broker and insurance company. […]

Real Estate Development – Protecting Your Profits

by Preston Cavignac, CPCU, CIC

February 3, 2015

Developers take significant risk. Studying market conditions, analyzing trends, predicting future demand, placing debt and equity, and acquiring permits and entitlements are some of the activities that occur prior to construction. Assuming construction goes well, there will be a finished product that was based on analytics developed years prior. Now that product has to perform. […]

Construction Contracts from a Surety’s Perspective: Limiting Your Exposure for Consequential and Liquidated Damages

by Jase Hamilton, AFSB, Cavignac & Associates

December 5, 2014

A common provision in construction contracts allows for the “upstream” party to be entitled to damages if the contracting party doesn’t perform to the agreed contract terms. These recoverable damages are often referred to as consequential and liquidated damages. There are big differences between consequential and liquidated damages. Watch out: sureties are very sensitive to […]

Extraterritorial Workers’ Compensation: When Do You Need Foreign Workers’ Compensation Coverage?

Jeffrey Cavignac, CPCU, ARM, RPLU, CRIS, MLIS – President, Cavignac & Associates

November 4, 2014

The world is getting smaller and — now more than ever — business is becoming global.  It’s not uncommon nowadays for companies to set up operations in foreign countries. They might hire local citizens in those countries or send their American employees overseas, sometimes for extended periods of time. One of your key employees has […]

A Brief Primer on D&O and Why You Need Side A Excess

by Jeffrey Cavignac, CPCU, ARM, RPLU, CRIS, MLIS – President, Cavignac & Associates

September 4, 2014

Directors and Officers (D&O) liability policies provide three distinct coverages. The first (known as Side A) is liability coverage for individual directors and officers of the parent organization (termed “directors and officers liability insurance”). The second (known as Side B) is corporate reimbursement coverage, which reimburses the parent organization for payments it is legally obligated […]

Workers’ Compensation and How it Differs from Traditional Insurance

by Preston Cavignac, CPCU, CIC

August 1, 2014

The Basics Workers’ compensation is unlike traditional insurance. It is “no-fault” insurance, which means the same party (the employer) covers the loss no matter who caused the loss. The purpose of work comp is to deal with work-related injuries in the most effective way possible.  Although the employer pays for the claim regardless of fault, […]

What is GHS and What Does it Mean to my Business?

by Amy Leung, CSP, ARM – Risk Control Advisor, Cavignac & Associates

June 3, 2014

GHS stands for Globally Harmonized Systemof Classification and Labeling of Chemicals. This is the new standard of classification that intends to enhance environmental protection, public health and safety and reduce possible miscommunication due to language barriers. The system uses universal hazard statements, pictograms and signal words to communicate information on product labels and Safety Data […]

Are Your Liability Limits Adequate?

by Jeffrey Cavignac, CPCU, ARM, RPLU, CRIS, MLIS – President, Cavignac & Associates

April 2, 2014

The following example is an actual case. Here is the claims adjuster’s analysis: This is a 2-car accident.  The driver of the insured vehicle (our client) was attempting to make a U-turn when he pulled out in front of the claimant vehicle, causing a collision. Liability is probable for this matter. The police report places […]

Non-Owned Autos and What You Need To Know!

by Jeffrey Cavignac, CPCU, ARM, RPLU, CRIS, MLIS – President, Cavignac & Associates

March 5, 2014

Sally is your receptionist, and she will occasionally run errands for your company in her own car. You pay her the IRS recommended auto reimbursement, but it never crosses your mind to check Sally’s driving record or to see if Sally has insurance, let alone adequate limits of coverage.Sally is driving to Office Depot to […]

Driver Safety

by Amy Leung, CSP, ARM - Risk Control Advisor, Cavignac & Associates

January 31, 2014

Developing a distracted driving prevention policy can be a strong way to protect your company and keep your employees safe. To create a safety culture that prohibits distracted driving: Formulate a policy that includes the following directives for all employees: Before using a cell phone or any other mobile communication device, safely pull over to […]

The Dreaded Business Meeting!

by Jeffrey Cavignac, CPCU, ARM, RPLU, CRIS, MLIS – President, Cavignac & Associates

January 3, 2014

My four partners and I recently returned from our Management Offsite Retreat. The meeting was held at the newly-remodeled and recently re-opened, Casa Del Zorro in Borrego Springs.* While we didn’t solve the world’s problems, we certainly solved many of ours and identified goals and objectives for the next five years. It made me reflect […]

Surety Fraud

by Gary Brouwer – Surety Manager, Cavignac & Associates

December 4, 2013

Over the past year, we’ve seen an increase in reports of small businesses and financially-stressed enterprises unknowingly being duped into obtaining and accepting fraudulent bonds. Earlier this year, Chubb Surety discovered evidence of a number of forged bonds. Apparently the alleged forgers had websites where they posed as individual sureties, then proceeded to spread fake […]

Beware of Patent Trolls

Article courtesy of Professional Liability Agents Network (PLAN)

November 5, 2013

Imagine this. You get an official looking letter from an unfamiliar limited liability corporation (LLC). The letter states that it is aware that your firm operates a particular type of copy machine that has a push-button feature that enables you to scan documents and then email or otherwise transmit them directly from the copier via […]

Personal Risk Management

by Jeffrey Cavignac, CPCU, ARM, RPLU, CRIS, MLIS – President, Cavignac & Associates

October 1, 2013

I don’t sell personal insurance, but I understand it, and one of the services I offer my business clients is a review of their personal insurance program.  I am constantly amazed at the gaps, holes and inadequacies that I find! The owner of a $100M contracting firm, a man with a net worth well into […]

California Comp Rates Continue to Rise

by Jeffrey Cavignac, CPCU, ARM, RPLU, CRIS, MLIS – President, Cavignac & Associates

September 3, 2013

The Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau (WCIRB or “The Bureau”) recently published their analysis on Insurer Experience through 2012.  It’s not pretty!  Although underwriting results improved modestly, the numbers are still dismal.  Insurance companies are losing a lot of money in this line and are taking steps to fix the problem.  Translation – higher rates.  […]

Prevailing Wages: The Davis-Bacon Act…What You Need to Know

by Preston Cavignac, PWCA

August 2, 2013

How it Started The Davis-Bacon Act was implemented in 1931. U.S. federal law required employers to pay a set rate of prevailing wages on federally-assisted contracts worth over $2,000. The prevailing wage rate includes a base wage and an additional stipulated fringe benefit amount per hour. These “fringes” are meant to be paid out to […]

Keep Talking…the Advantages of Alternative Dispute Resolution

by Jeffrey Cavignac, CPCU, ARM, RPLU, CRIS, MLIS – President, Cavignac & Associates

July 1, 2013

Litigation is hugely expensive, time consuming and emotionally draining.  Although litigation has its place, in most cases it is an ineffective way to resolve business disputes.  In fact, 19 out of 20 litigated cases are not decided by a judge or jury, they are resolved prior to final adjudication. Insurance companies pay millions and millions […]

How to Read a Commercial Insurance Policy

by Preston Cavignac, PWCA

Most people find insurance policies difficult to navigate. It is nearly impossible to read through a 300-page policy. The style in which policies are written does not lend itself to be read like a book; they are contracts and require thorough navigation to order to determine coverage.The following article will inform you how to maneuver […]

When OSHA Comes Calling…What Does Your IIPP Look Like?

by Jeffrey Cavignac, CPCU, ARM, RPLU, CRIS, MLIS – President, Cavignac & Associates

April 30, 2013

Don’t know what an IIPP is? OK, you had better read this. If you do know what an IIPP is, and you have one and know where it is, are you confident it is compliant?An Injury and Illness Prevention Program is a fancy name for a safety program. California requires that all employers have an […]

The First Sign of Trouble: The Importance of Resolving Problems Early

by Jeffrey Cavignac, CPCU, ARM, RPLU, CRIS, MLIS – President, Cavignac & Associates

March 1, 2013

A professional liability claim can devastate a firm’s profit and in some cases destroy a firm entirely. Taking steps to reduce the frequency and severity of a professional liability claim not only makes good business sense, it could mean the difference between survival and failure.Talk to any claims adjuster and they will tell you that […]

If Disaster Strikes…Are You Prepared?

by Jeffrey Cavignac, CPCU, ARM, RPLU, CRIS, MLIS – President, Cavignac & Associates

January 3, 2013

According to the forecasting firm Eqecat, Superstorm Sandy may be the second most expensive storm in U.S. History. The death toll is 175 including at least 106 in the United States. Estimated economic damage is $30-$60 Billion 8.5 Million businesses and residences lost power 7,400 National Guard Members supported the storm response While most of […]

OSHA’s Top 10 for 2012

by Amy Leung, Risk Control Advisor

December 28, 2012

As the year comes to a close, we reflect on what has been accomplished and begin to set new horizons for the coming year. As you develop your organization’s goals, please don’t forget safety and reducing the exposure and severity of accidents. Here are OSHA’s top 10 most cited violations for Fiscal Year of 2012. […]

Insurance 101

by Preston Cavignac

December 21, 2012

Insurance can be a tricky subject. You know you need it, so you buy it. Then your goal is never to use it! It would make for a terrible gift. But insurance is necessary. It plays a major role in your business, the local economy, and society. Reading through a policy and negotiating coverage can […]

The Second Law of Thermodynamics and what it means to Risk Management

by Jeffrey Cavignac, CPCU, ARM, RPLU, CRIS, MLIS – President, Cavignac & Associates

October 16, 2012

A friend of mine related a conversation he had with his brother-in-law who happens to be an ER Doc. He asked him how they possibly maintained order in the chaotic environment of a Hospital Emergency Room. The Doctor pointed out that the main purpose of an ER was to treat traumatic medical events and bring […]

What Does Healthcare Reform Mean for You and Your Business?

by Patrick Casinelli, RHU, REBC - Principal

August 27, 2012

With the exception of the limits on the federal government’s authority to withhold Medicaid funding, all provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) stand, and compliance efforts likely will move ahead at full speed. In preparation for the major coverage expansion to occur under the ACA in 2014, expect a host of regulations dealing with […]

Where’s the Beef?

by James P. Schabarum II, Principal, Executive Vice Principal

August 17, 2012

Boom to bust went technology, real estate, and now the construction market.  Hunting down and executing profitable work in the next few years will be critical to the survival of most contractors.Surety losses are expected to increase in the remainder of 2012 and in 2013: since a downturn in construction activity means more bidders fighting […]

Cyber Liability: What It Covers and Why You May Need It

by Kelly Weaver, PWCA - Account Executive

August 10, 2012

As we become more reliant on technology as a way to store and exchange data, cyber liability exposures become more of a financial risk.  If your business keeps digital private records, you have a Cyber Liability exposure.While each Cyber Liability Policy is a little different, most provide coverages for the following: Loss of digital assets […]

The Importance of a Well Written, Legally Compliant Employee Handbook

by Jeffrey Cavignac, CPCU, ARM, RPLU, CRIS, MLIS - President, Cavignac & Associates

July 23, 2012

One of the major exposures facing business owners today is employment related litigation brought by employees against the employer.  Allegations range from wrongful termination, to sexual harassment, to not getting a lunch break.  While many of these claims are frivolous, the cost to defend even a laughable allegation can be significant.While you can do everything […]

Design Professional Project Management, Pt. 1: Adding Value

by Dorothy Amundson, PWCA - Account Executive, Cavignac & Associates

June 27, 2012

In today’s highly competitive environment, your firm has to work towards educating your client to understand the value a design firm brings to their project. Fees for design professionals have eroded based on fierce competition and fewer projects. Project owners have taken advantage of these market conditions by demanding lower fees and pushing firms to […]

The Importance of Communication

by Jeffrey Cavignac, CPCU, ARM, RPLU, CRIS, MLIS - President, Cavignac & Associates

May 31, 2012

Communication, or lack of it, is the main reason design professionals get sued. After all, the only time we litigate a matter is when we stop talking to the other party, and pay someone else to talk for us (lawyers). Does everyone in your company have a clear understanding of the level of communication required of […]

Insurance Marketplace for Architects and Engineers

by Jeffrey Cavignac, CPCU, ARM, RPLU, CRIS, MLIS - President, Cavignac & Associates

May 11, 2012

The insurance industry is experiencing the tail end of a prolonged soft market.  Rates for most businesses have been coming down since 2002/2003, due mainly to excess capacity in the industry.  Insurance has always been supply driven, and as surplus goes up, rates come down.  Professional Liability for design professionals has been no exception.  Competition […]

Target Your Biggest Workers Compensation Claim Type

December 16, 2011

Target Your Biggest Workers Compensation Claim Type The National Council on Compensation Insurance’s (NCCI) 2010 analysis of claims and trends revealed a success story. The report, published August 2011 by NCCI, is entitled, “Workers Compensation Claim Frequency.” As more and more U.S. workers began using computer keyboards in the 1990s, the frequency and problem of […]

Plan Your Liability When You Plan Your Party

November 29, 2011

Plan Your Liability When You Plan Your Party The holiday season brings with it company-sponsored parties for employees and/or customers, and parties often mean the serving and consuming of alcoholic beverages. Before you plan your events this season, consider your liability. Can a business be held responsible for injuries or damages that result from serving […]

Insuring Electronic Data Processing Equipment

Insuring Electronic Data Processing Equipment Most businesses are computer-dependent. Only the smallest retailer can operate without a computer cash register. Embedded chips and computers operate manufacturing equipment, contractors’ equipment and equipment found in hospital operating rooms. Rather than insuring computers as office or manufacturing equipment, the Electronic Data Processing (EDP) form protects hardware, software, media […]

Disaster Recovery Plans Are Serious Business

Disaster Recovery Plans Are Serious Business No matter the size or type of your business, a disaster could occur that could seriously curtail or even shut down operations. If you’re office bound, you’re still vulnerable to such troubles as utilities loss or flooding from a faulty building system or tenant. Most technology related businesses feel […]