DIY Tractor Repair Runs Afoul of Copyright Law

Courtney Meyer Agribusiness, Insurance

This NPR article reports on the impact digital locks and copyrights have on agriculture. The iconic image of the American farmer is the man or woman who works the land, milks cows and is self-reliant enough to fix the tractor. But like a lot of mechanical items, tractors are increasingly run by computer software. Now, farmers are hitting up against an obscure provision of copyright law that makes it illegal to repair machinery run by software. Tell me more >>> If you have questions, email Courtney Meyer, AFIS, Account Executive, Agribusiness, Program Solutions.

Is Everyone on Your Team Using the Same Cybersecurity Playbook?

Amy Mitchell Business Insurance, Insurance, Risk Management

According to an article on the website, “Leader’s Edge”…Everyone is concerned about cybersecurity, but are key players on the same page about how to protect your company and its customers? Evidently not. A survey by BAE Systems shows that C-suite-level managers and their top IT people often have different ideas about what the cost of a cyber attack on their company would be and who would largely be to blame, top executives or the IT team, Computerworld reports.   Read the full article >>> For more information, email Amy Mitchell, CIC, CISR, Vice President, Commercial Solutions.

Executive Liability Insurance: What to Expect in 2017 and Beyond

Jeff Gelburd Business Insurance, ESOP, Insurance

ESOP companies should be aware of several important changes that are taking place in the markets for Directors & Officers (D&O) Insurance and Fiduciary Liability Insurance. Here is a quick summary of important trends: Premium increases have leveled off. For the past several years, renewal premiums on existing policies had been on the rise. However, for the past several quarters premiums have not been rising, and we expect them to remain level for the remainder of 2017 for accounts that are claim free and in good financial standing. Minimum premiums for D&O and Fiduciary type policies generally start at $5,500 for a $1,000,000 limit of liability. Broader protection is available on most policies. Insurers have been expanding their coverage, and …

Why HR Managers Should Review Their HIPAA Procedures

Matt Pfeiffenberger Health Benefits, Human Resources, Large Group Benefits (100+), Small Group Benefits (2-50)

According to the website “ebn”, HIPAA audits are on the rise, and so are associated fines. In 2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Office of Civil Rights collected $23 million in fines, a 300% increase over 2014, the previous record year for fines. Tell me more >>> An increase in audits and associated fines serve as a good reminder for employers to revisit training often to ensure compliance. For more information, contact Matt Pfeiffenberger, Vice President, Health Benefits Solutions.

Homeland Security – Emergency Services Sector Cybersecurity Best Practices

Jason Gouldner Insurance, Risk Management

Cybersecurity is one of the most important security considerations for Emergency Services Sector (ESS) organizations. From targeted incidents, such as ransomware attacks, to unintentional acts, such as failure to properly install security updates, poor cybersecurity practices can cause severe operational problems and the needless expenditure of funds. Many cybersecurity incidents can be prevented with a few simple, low cost protective measures. To read the full article >>> If you have questions, email Jason Gouldner, CSP, Risk Control Consultant, Risk Management Solutions.

How Repealing the ACA Could Affect Employer-Sponsored Health Plans

Matt Pfeiffenberger Health Benefits, Human Resources, Large Group Benefits (100+), Small Group Benefits (2-50)

Overview Since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was enacted in 2010, employers and health insurance issuers have had to make numerous changes to employer-sponsored group health plans offered to employees. If the ACA is repealed, many plan terms may no longer be required. These changes may be beneficial for employers, but could be confusing or, in some cases, unwelcome for employees. The ultimate impact of repealing the ACA will depend on the specific details of the repeal, and any replacement, that is enacted. While steps have been made toward repeal, it is unclear what impact those steps may have or what an ACA replacement will look like. Action Steps The initial steps, including an executive order issued by President Donald …

Opioid Abuse Takes a Toll on Workers and Their Employers

Matt Olphin Health Benefits, Human Resources, Risk Management

Three decades ago, the treatment Michele Zumwalt received for severe headaches involved a shot of the opioid Demerol. Very quickly, Zumwalt says, she would get headaches if she didn’t get her shot. Then she began having seizures, and her doctor considered stopping the medication. Read the full article on NPR’s Website. If you have questions about drug addiction with regard to safety, contact Matt Olphin, CSP, ARM, Vice President, Risk Control Services, Program Solutions.

Walking-Working Surfaces and Fall Protection Standards: Update to the General Industry Standards

Matt Olphin Risk Management

Beginning in 1971, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) first issued 29 CFR 1910 Subpart D, “Walking-Working Surfaces” to help prevent injuries and fatalities resulting from slip, trip, and fall type exposures. Many efforts have been made to update the standard since 1971, and many believe the standard is outdated and does not reflect current technologies available to prevent these types of injuries and fatalities. Falls from heights and on the same level (a working surface) are among the leading causes of serious work-related injuries and deaths. OSHA estimates that, on average, approximately 202,066 serious (lost-workday) injuries and 345 fatalities occur annually among workers directly affected by the final standard. OSHA has issued a final rule on Walking-Working Surfaces …