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Friday, January 28 2011
What is a Surety Bond?  A surety bond is a guarantee.  What the bond guarantees varies depending on the language of the bond.  It is a form of credit, it is not insurance for you.
How do surety bonds work?  The principal (you) pays a percentage of the bond amount called a bond premium.  In return, the bonding company extends "surety credit" to make the required guarantee (the bond).  A claim can arise when the principal (you) does not abide by the terms of the bond.  If you cannot fulfill the law or pay, your bonding company may have to, but will then pursue you for as long as it takes until you reimburse them for all loss, legal costs, and expenses.
What good is a bond if I have to pay for claims?  A bond is not insurance.  It is a form of credit where the principal (you) are responsible to pay any claims.  The alternative to a surety bond is to post cash or a letter of credit with your bank.  Surety bonds are advantageous, as they typically require no collateral, which frees up capital.
Why do I need a surety bond?  A government authority or private entity is requiring the bond in order for you to operate.  The bond ensures you will follow their guidelines.
Who is the obligee?  The obligee is whoever is requiring the bond of you.  You are not the obligee.  For example, the obligee for a contractor would be whoever they are doing the work for.  The obligee for a license bond (the city, suburb, or village) would be whoever they are filing their license with.
Here are some Surety Bond Categories:
  • Contractors Bid Bonds
  • Contractors Performance and Payment Bonds
  • Fidelity Bonds (Employee Dishonesty; ERISA Bonds)
  • License and Permit Bonds
  • Notary Public Bonds
  • Miscellaneous Bonds
Please contact us for a quote. 
Posted by: Chris H. AT 01:52 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Saturday, January 08 2011
Blood  Clots/Stroke - They Now Have a Fourth Indicator,  the Tongue  
STROKE: Remember  the 1st Three Letters.... S. T. R.  
During a BBQ, a woman stumbled and took a little fall - she assured  everyone that she was fine (they offered to call  paramedics) .she said she had just tripped over  a brick because of her new shoes. 
They  got her cleaned up and got her a new plate of  food. While she appeared a bit shaken up, Jane went about enjoying herself the rest of the  evening 
Jane's husband called later  telling everyone that his wife had been taken to  the hospital - (at 6:00  pm  Jane passed away.) She had suffered a stroke at the BBQ. Had they known how to identify the  signs of a stroke, perhaps Jane would be with  us today. Some don't die. They end up in a  helpless, hopeless condition instead. 
It  only takes a minute to read this... 
A  neurologist says that if he can get to a stroke  victim within 3 hours he can totally reverse the  effects of a stroke...totally. He said  the trick was getting a stroke recognized,  diagnosed, and then getting the patient  medically cared for within 3 hours, which is  tough... 
Thank  God for the sense to remember the '3' steps, STR  . Read and Learn! 
Sometimes symptoms of a  stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately,  the lack of awareness spells disaster. The  stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage  when people nearby fail to recognize the  symptoms of a stroke. 
Now doctors say a  bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three  simple questions: 
S  *Ask  the individual to SMILE. 
T  *Ask  the person to TALK and SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE  (Coherently) 
 (i.e. It is sunny out  today.) 
R  *Ask  him or her to RAISE BOTH  ARMS. 
If  he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these  tasks, call emergency number immediately  and describe the symptoms to the  dispatcher. 
New  Sign of a Stroke -------- Stick out Your  Tongue 
NOTE:  Another 'sign' of a stroke is this: Ask the  person to 'stick' out his tongue.. If the tongue  is 'crooked', if it goes to one side or the  other,   that is  also an indication of a  stroke. 
Posted by: Chris H. AT 01:54 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, January 07 2011
Winter may seem like an odd time to worry about sunburns, but just because the air is colder doesn't mean you can't damage your skin from overexposure to sunlight.  The American Academy of Dermatology recommends following the same sun safety tips in the winter months as in the summer.  Here's a list of its advice:
  • Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a minimum sun protection factor of 15.
  • For dry skin, you should apply the sunscreen 15 to 30 minutes before you go outside to give the sunscreen a chance to be absorbed.
  • Reapply sunscreen every two hours when outside in the elements, even if the sky is cloudy.
  • For each application, you should use approximately 1 ounce of sunscreen (about a shot-glass-size amount).
  • Wear protective clothing constructed out of tightly woven fabric.
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat.
  • Protect your eyes from direct and reflected sunlight by wearing sunglasses.  Remember that up to 85 percent of the sun's damaging rays are reflected off surfaces like snow.
  • Look to your shadow to determine at what strength the sun is shining.  If your shadow is shorter than you are, you are likely to burn.
  • Avoid tanning beds in the winter and the summer. 
Posted by: Chris H. AT 01:53 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, January 06 2011
These tips may help save you time and cut down on some of the errors auditors make on your workers compensation audits:
(1)  Make sure your payroll records separate any overtime paid to your employees.  Be sure to summarize overtime by the work comp job classifications ahead of time as you enter them in your payroll records.
(2)  Be sure to have current certificates of insurance for each subcontractor used during your policy period.  When securing certificates, make sure they include workers compensation coverage.
(3)  Keep the auditors job simple.  Have all the information the auditor requested organized and ready for use.  Answer basic questions about your business and records.  Don't dump this job off to someone else; if you own the business, you need to answer the questions.  Do not volunteer information, just answer what you are asked, no more, no less.
(4)  A word of caution.  Many auditors prefer to just gather data, take it with them and finish it up on their time.  This is never good.  You should always have the chance to review the final work before they leave so you are aware of how they classed your employees and how the audit will impact your business.  You will be asked to sign the auditors worksheets before they leave. NEVER sign an incomplete worksheet.  ALWAYS ask for a copy for your files. 
Posted by: Chris H. AT 01:57 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, January 06 2011
Preparing your vehicle for the winter season now will help ensure your vehicle is in good working order when you need it most.
  • Have a mechanic check the following items on your vehicle:  battery, wipers and windshield washer fluid, antifreeze, ignition system, thermostat, lights, exhaust system, flashing hazard lights, heater, brakes, defroster, and oil level.
  • Install good winter tires.  Make sure the tires have adequate tread.  All-weather radials are usually adequate for most winter conditions.  You may also want to carry a set of tire chains in your vehicle for heavy snow conditions.
  • Keep a windshield scraper and small broom for ice and snow removal and maintain at least a half tank of gas throughout the winter season.
  • Finally, plan long trips carefully.  Listen to the local media report or call law enforcement agencies for the latest road conditions. 
Posted by: Chris H. AT 01:56 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, January 06 2011
Winter weather is just around the corner in many areas, but a few simple steps can help you stay cozy indoors and save on heating costs, as well.
  • Have your heating system checked by a professional annually.  This will ensure that your system is working safely and efficiently which, in turn, will save you money.  If you heat by wood, clean your fireplace or stove.  Have your chimney flue checked for any buildup of creosote and then cleaned to lessen the risk of fire.
  • Make sure your home is properly insulated.  If necessary, insulate walls and attic.  This will help you to conserve energy and reduce your home's power demands for heat.
  • Caulk and weather-strip doors and windowsills to keep cold air out.
  • Install storm windows or cover windows with plastic from the inside.  This will provide an extra layer of insulation, keeping more cold air out.
  • To keep pipes from freezing, wrap them in insulation or layers of old newspapers; cover the newspapers with plastic to keep out moisture; let faucets drip a little to avoid freezing; know how to shut off water valves. 
Posted by: Chris H. AT 01:55 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
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