Don't Let Obsolete Driving Techniques Put You in Harm's Way

It can be hard to hear your kids call your beloved television show reruns, choice of music, hairstyle, and/or clothes old school, but you'll have to remember that you probably didn't exactly jive with your parent's choices either. While Elvis's Rubbernecking may forever play in your head and never become dated in your eyes, you should realize that your driving techniques may be one dated area truly in need of an update. The advances made to automotive technology and in safety research have likely made most of what you learned as a new driver not only dated, but dangerous. Here are six tips to bring your driving skills up-to-date and avoid jeopardizing your safety, as well as those around you. 1. Seat position - airbags have made seat positioning an important safety issue for drivers and passengers. When airbags were first placed in vehicles, they caused some serious injuries to drivers seated too close during a deployment. Even modern de-powered airbags can deploy at 150 mph and cause serious injuries if th ...
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Federal Rules Governing Civil Litigation Require Businesses to Keep Better Tabs on e-Documents

New rules, which took effect on December 1, 2006, require U.S. companies to keep better track of their employees' e-mails, instant messages and other electronic documents in the event the companies are sued. These new rules are part of amendments to federal guidelines governing civil litigation and were approved by the Supreme Court in April 2006 after a five-year review. Under the new rules, a company that is party to federal litigation must produce electronically stored information as part of discovery. This is the process by which both sides share evidence before a trial. Federal and state courts have already been requiring such evidence in individual cases. The new rules now make the production of such evidence mandatory for companies involved in federal lawsuits. Furthermore, any information technology employee who copies over a backup computer tape once a lawsuit has been filed could be accused of committing "virtual shredding." Companies are still permitted to purge databases if the information they c ...
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Don't Let Driving Emergencies Take You by Surprise

There are two golden rules to remember when driving - expect the unexpected and be ready for anything. Many agencies, such as the National Safety Council, have compiled listings of the most common road emergencies and the ways that drivers can best handle them safely. Let's look at six of them: 1. Blown Tire Don't over-steer, but do maintain a firm, steady grip on the wheel to keep the vehicle going in the desired direction until you're able to slow it down. Keep in mind that a front blown tire will cause the vehicle to pull toward the blowout's side, while a rear blown tire will cause the vehicle's rear end to weave. Apply your brakes smoothly and slowly enough that you can pull the car to the side of the road at a safe speed. Never immediately swerve to the side of the road or jam on the brakes as you could lose control. 2. Blown / Malfunctioning Headlights Slowly brake and come to a stop on the right shoulder. Try to get as far away from passing traffic as possible. Turn on your emergency flashers, if ...
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Third Party Coverage Is a Key Coverage of Employment Practices Liability Insurance

The purpose of third-party coverage in an Employment Practices Liability (EPLI) policy is to protect an organization and its employees from accusations of wrongful acts committed against customers, clients, vendors, and suppliers. Some EPLI policies also cover wrongful acts committed by third parties against the insured's employees. Harassment and all forms of discrimination are covered under wrongful acts. Discrimination claims include discriminatory practices against a person based on their race, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability, pregnancy or sexual orientation. Harassment involves unwanted sexual advances or requests for sexual favors. Both verbal and physical conduct, as well as other forms of harassment that create a hostile or offensive work environment, are covered. Some policies also cover accusations of mental anguish, emotional distress, humiliation and assault. If your organization has a lot of interaction with the public, it is especially vulnerable to third-party claims like tho ...
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On-line Insurance as Opposed to an Insurance Agency: What's the Difference?

Just as one may use a CPA to prepare their income taxes or an attorney to help them with their estate planning, many choose to use an insurance agency to write their insurance policies. This choice is mainly made because a person feels they need professional advice during the process. Of course, everyone will have different needs and circumstances surrounding their purchase, and this is why an insurance professional's advice can be an invaluable asset. If you're debating buying insurance on-line versus through insurance agency, then you should ask yourself a couple of questions: * Do I know for certain what specific coverage(s) I need? * Do I know all the questions I should be asking before making an insurance purchase? * Will the on-line purchase truly result in both time and money savings? * Can I obtain all my insurance policies through a single on-line insurance provider? * Can I call the on-line insurance provider and receive insurance advice when needed? * Is the personal information I'll be prov ...
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Proper Maintenance Can Help Businesses Prevent Weather-Related Slips and Falls

It's that time of the year when snow, sleet and ice are a fairly common occurrence in many parts of the country. Such weather conditions pose serious problems for business owners because walkways become slippery and increase the chances for employees and customers to fall. While you can't control the elements, you can reduce your liability by staying alert and eliminating hazards that cause falls. One such hazard is the accumulation of ice and snow that results because deicing measures were inadequate or not properly applied. The first step in effectively deicing a walkway is to choose the correct treatment. When selecting chemicals to melt ice, keep the following points in mind: ·   Rock salt is the most common method and the least expensive of the ice-melting chemicals. It is easy to find and can melt snow and ice until the temperature drops below 20є F. Rock salt, however, also releases a large amount of chloride when it dissolves. This chloride can pollute streams, rivers and lakes a ...
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Are Your Valuable Collectibles and Antiques Adequately Protected?

Many Americans have a passion for collecting costly antiquities, while others may simple inherent some valuable antiques from their relatives. Either way, these antiques are often not adequately protected under a typical homeowner's insurance policy. Being inadequately insured could mean significant financial and emotional loss if something were to happen to one of your antiques. As far as antiques go, a standard homeowner's insurance policy may very likely include restrictive coverage and limits and have a valuation only on the actual cash value. Before you mistakenly assume that adding a personal property replacement cost endorsement to your homeowner's policy will provide you with coverage, you should realize that the endorsement lists several ineligible properties, including antiques, paintings, art, and memorabilia. There are also several coverage restrictions, such as excluding coverage if the antique is accidentally scratched or broken. Here are six tips that may help you better protect your valuable ...
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What Should You Consider When Shopping for Lawyer's Professional Liability Insurance?

Controlling expenses is an important consideration in the management of any law firm, so it isn't unusual that a firm shopping for liability coverage would take premium rates into consideration. However, even though rates are important, they shouldn't be the overriding factor in your decision to purchase a particular policy. There are a number of other aspects you should consider to ensure you receive the best coverage for your premium dollar. The first of these considerations is whether your policy has eroding coverage.  In some liability policies, the coverage limits include defense costs. When you file a claim, the amount of coverage for settling the claim or paying a judgment against you decreases as you incur defense costs. This type of policy is referred to as having defense costs "inside" the policy. There are policies in which the defense costs are "outside" the policy, which means they are not subtracted from the amount of coverage. In some cases, policies with outside defense costs have a cap ...
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Are Your Safe Driving Skills Up to Par?

As if we didn't already have enough distractions, on-board GPS systems, portable DVD players, iPods, and Smartphones have created more driving distractions than ever before. And, it's certainly not atypical for a vehicle to simultaneously have ringing phones, cartoons blaring from the backseat, a GPS incessantly yelping orders out, and fast-food fries flying around like ninja weopons. Even though elements like the above have been proven to make it nearly impossible for a driver to devote their full attention to the road at all times, many drivers still think they're perfectly safe drivers. Here's a simple yes -or- no quiz that you should take to really determine just how safe you are when driving with distractions: 1. So long as I'm not watching, it's okay for passengers to watch a movie on the vehicle's in-dash video screen? The answer is no. Not only do most front seat, in-dash video screens generally have a feature that prevents it from showing entertainment or business video when the car is moving, but ...
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Workers' Comp Employer Costs Rose Faster Than Benefit Payments in 2004

According to a study released in July 2006 by the National Academy of Social Insurance, employer costs for workers' compensation grew faster than combined cash and medical payments to injured workers in 2004, the most recent year for which data is available. Combined benefit payments for injured workers increased 2.3 percent in 2004 compared to prior year levels, while employer workers' compensation costs rose by 7.0 percent for the same period. Combined benefit payments fell by 3 cents for every $100 of covered wages, from $1.16 to $1.13. The chief contributor to this decline was the state of California, where benefits dropped by 10 cents per $100 of covered wages. Nationally, premiums paid for workers' compensation insurance rose by 3 cents per $100 of covered wages, to $1.76 in 2004. The increase was the smallest annual increase since 2001. Despite the recent rise in costs, both costs and benefits in 2004 remain far below their peak levels. Total benefits were at their highest in 1992 at $1.68 per $100 o ...
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