Momentous Walks for Victims of Assault

On Sunday, April 13, Momentous employees rallied to support the Northridge Hospital’s Center for Assault Treatment Services (CATS) by participating in the Victory for Victims 5K/10K run walk at Lake Balboa park.

There were over 40 participants from the company. All registration fees were matched by the company, for a grand total of $2,705 donated to support the hospital’s 24/7 immediate response program for victims.

This event was organized by the charity committee at Momentous, known as the Make it Better committee. This committee is responsible for developing unique and meaningful ways to give back to the community. A majority of employees participate in a voluntary payroll deduction that funds charitable activities, and every dollar is matched by the company, and donated to a number of worthy non-profit organizations. To learn more about our philanthropy, please visit our website.

 

Team Momentous poses just before the start of the run/walk.

Team Momentous poses just before the start of the run/walk.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage – The Underestimated Insurance

Christina Disalvo

Christina Disalvo

By: Christina DiSalvo

Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM) is an often misunderstood coverage on an auto policy. It is designed to protect you in the event you are in an accident with another party who doesn’t have insurance, or doesn’t have sufficient insurance for the damages. 

But many people don’t realize that this protects you not only when you are behind the wheel, but also if you are a passenger or even pedestrian.  Yes, pedestrian.  Whether you are walking across the street, riding a bicycle or standing on the side of the road, the auto policy will come into play if you are hit by a motor vehicle. 

I’ve had two clients who were glad they had this coverage in place.  

The first client was crossing the street with his wife, with the light in the crosswalk.  They were both hit by an automobile who was turning right.  The owner of that automobile had California state minimum limits, $15,000 per person for bodily injury with a maximum $30,000 for bodily injury.  As you can imagine, their medical bills were extensive.  The uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage of their auto policy was triggered along with their excess uninsured/underinsured liability found on their umbrella policy.  

The second client was standing outside his ranch property, in the bicycle lane, stopping traffic so his wife and son could bring in a couple of cattle that had gotten loose on the road. To prevent the cattle from causing an accident, they established clear road blocks to slow and stop traffic.  All vehicles were stopped but one.  An automobile came speeding up behind the stopped traffic, instead of slowing down and stopping, whipped around the stopped vehicle in front of him and hit my client.  The vehicle was going at least 50 miles per hour in a 45 mile per hour zone.  This driver also had the minimum California state limits. This claim is still ongoing but the uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage from my client’s auto policy is responding to the claim. 

The good news in both these situations, the clients survived their encounters with the automobiles. 

The point of sharing these stories is to remind you to not only purchase UM/UIM on your auto policy, but to match limits with your umbrella policy as well.  Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage isn’t just about providing medical coverage, it’s about pain and suffering, loss of wages, loss of life (if that were the tragic outcome) and getting your life back on track after an unfortunate accident.  

 

Disclaimer: The above content is a general overview which is provided for discussion purposes only and is not in any way meant as providing recommendations or legal counsel. It is not intended to apply to each circumstance. Because the facts and circumstances of every matter differ and the terms, conditions, exclusions and limitations contained in insurance policies vary, you should review your policy carefully and seek any legal counsel that may be necessary or appropriate.  Momentous is not responsible for any losses or damage resulting from reliance on the information contained herein. 

Employer Responsibilities in Reporting Workers’ Comp Injuries to OSHA

Kimaili Ken Davis

Kimaili “Ken” Davis, ARM

By Kimaili “Ken” Davis, ARM 

Many employers are not aware that serious work related injuries and illnesses must be reported to the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH), better known as Cal/OSHA

Cal OSHA protects workers from health and safety hazards on the job in almost every workplace in California through its research and standards, enforcement, and consultation programs.

Reporting Requirements

If an employee has a fatality or serious injury/illness at work, the employer must report the injury to Cal OSHA within 8 hours. This time frame can be extended to 24 hours for good cause. If the employer doesn’t report timely, the fine is $5,000. Another consideration is that if 911 is called, the fire department will likely call OSHA as well. This does not alleviate the employer’s requirement to call OSHA. If Cal OSHA is called by 911 and not by the employer, the unannounced visit is put to the top of their list. Please click here for information about the time frame and questions asked by Cal OSHA.

OSHA Inspections

After a serious incident, Cal OSHA will do an inspection of the workplace. This visit will be made without warning. There is a way to manage the process and can be discussed with a qualified insurance broker, should that happen. At Momentous, we urge clients to contact us right away to help them navigate the process. During that inspection, Cal OSHA will be checking for any safety violations. Some of the things an employer needs to have are 1) OSHA 300 logs for 5 years, 2) An Injury &  Illness Prevention Plan (IIPP)  in place, 3) records of regular safety meetings, 4) Material Safety Data Sheets, 5) Fire Extinguishers in appropriate locations, 6) Proper use of Personal Protective Equipment, 7) Proper machine guarding, 8) Warning notices in place and a generally safe environment. There are other considerations that a safety professional will be able to identify. 

In addition, an employer can request a Cal OSHA inspection free of charge. In this setting, OSHA is there to help and not charge fines. Of course, this has to be done prior to an incident. Please click here to arrange an appointment. Again, this is free of charge for California employers.

If you would like to further discuss the issues raised here, you may contact Kimaili Davis at kdavis@mmibi.com.

 

Disclaimer: The above content is a general overview which is provided for discussion purposes only and is not in any way meant as providing recommendations or legal counsel. It is not intended to apply to each circumstance. Because the facts and circumstances of every matter differ and the terms, conditions, exclusions and limitations contained in insurance policies vary, you should review your policy carefully and seek any legal counsel that may be necessary or appropriate.  Momentous is not responsible for any losses or damage resulting from reliance on the information contained herein. 

Insurance for Rental Cars in Europe

By: Susan Borders, Vice President, Claims

Susan Borders

Susan Borders

When renting a car in Europe, and other countries, it’s important to purchase car rental insurance.  Automobile insurance policies purchased in the United States will only provide coverage within the U.S., Puerto Rico and Canada.  It is important to be prepared for the cost of the insurance and plan ahead for what coverage will be needed.  Liability coverage provided through a homeowners policy specifically excludes personal injury and property damage arising out of the use of any motorized land vehicle. 

There are many types of insurance available when reserving your rental car or at the time the vehicle is picked up, including the following:

  •  Collision Damage Waiver - the amount the renter will be responsible for any damages to the vehicle.  It is best to confirm that theft of the vehicle and other comprehensive (non-collision) losses are included. Many major credit card companies offer this insurance when the rental is paid for with their card.  However, this benefit from the credit card companies is not offered when renting in certain Western European countries. 
  • Liability insurance covers damage or injury that occurs due to the driver’s negligence.  Most car rental companies include this automatically since it is mandatory everywhere. 

Both of these coverages are a must and should be thoroughly researched when scheduling a rental car, especially if the vehicle will be driven in multiple countries. 

In addition to these coverages, the renter may be offered Personal Accident Insurance to cover medical bills arising out of injuries sustained in an auto accident;  Personal Effects Coverage, for personal property which stolen from the rental car; and Loss of Use Coverage, for coverage when the rental car has been damaged and a replacement is needed.  These are optional coverages but provide more comprehensive protection and peace of mind — a must when enjoying a vacation abroad.

Disclaimer: The above content is a general overview which is provided for discussion purposes only and is not in any way meant as providing recommendations or legal counsel. It is not intended to apply to each circumstance. Because the facts and circumstances of every matter differ and the terms, conditions, exclusions and limitations contained in insurance policies vary, you should review your policy carefully and seek any legal counsel that may be necessary or appropriate.  Momentous is not responsible for any losses or damage resulting from reliance on the information contained herein. 

What is Directors & Officers Coverage?

Frank Rodriguez, CPCU, API

Frank Rodriguez, CPCU, API, senior account manager, specializing in management liability risks, addresses the frequently asked questions concerning Directors & Officers (D&O) liability coverage.

What types of business entities need D&O coverage?
There is a misunderstanding that only publicly traded companies are in need of Directors& Officers (D&O) liability because of the potential exposure from claims brought by their shareholders. In reality, both publicly traded companies and privately held businesses, whether large or small, have risks that can be addressed by D&O coverage. To be brief, a claim can arise from an entity’s stakeholders, its customers, government agencies, or even a competitor.

What factors impact the pricing of D&O coverage?
The main factor affecting pricing would be an entity’s profit and debt, followed by claim history, and finally the limit of liability and retention (deductible) on the policy.

What are the most common wrongful allegations for D&O suits?
Allegations include, but are not limited to: misuse of company funds, fraud, misrepresentation of company assets, and bankruptcy. Aside from those, and surprisingly, the most common allegations are employment practices related; however, D&O policies will typically exclude employment practices claims.

Should D&O coverage be relied upon for employment practices related claims?
While some D&O policies may be silent in regards to employment practices claims, a D&O policy itself and its contract wording are not designed to address those exposures. In fact, many D&O policy forms will now exclude employer–employee relationship type claims, whether excluded specifically or triggered by the “insured vs. insured” exclusion. That said, no one should ever rely on a D&O policy to provide any type of Employment Practices Liability (EPL) coverage. It is always a better idea to supplement D&O coverage by purchasing the optional EPL coverage or purchase a separate EPL policy all together.

If a company has filed bankruptcy, would they still need to maintain D&O coverage?
Yes, definitely. A bankruptcy can expose the directors and officers personal assets because the company may no longer be in a position to indemnify them.

What are some current trends in the D&O marketplace?
As a whole, we have seen an increase in insurance premiums and the market steadily hardening over the past year. While D&O coverage is still relatively available for common business entities and non-profit organizations, it is the entertainment market that is experiencing more stringent underwriting criteria. This has led the industry to cycle into a hard market. However, it looks like competition will eventually increase which could lead the market to soften. New programs may be available in the future for entertainment risks and, possibly, other markets may join in to get a hold of market share.

Disclaimer: The above content is a general overview which is provided for discussion purposes only and is not in any way meant as providing recommendations or legal counsel. It is not intended to apply to each circumstance. Because the facts and circumstances of every matter differ and the terms, conditions, exclusions and limitations contained in insurance policies vary, you should review your policy carefully and seek any legal counsel that may be necessary or appropriate.  Momentous is not responsible for any losses or damage resulting from reliance on the information contained herein. 

Winnie Wong Named Entertainment Power Broker of the Year

Momentous Insurance Brokerage congratulates Winnie Wong, Senior Vice President of our Film, TV & New Media Department for being named a 2014 Entertainment Power Broker.

Winnie Wong

 Winnie Wong received Risk & Insurance magazine’s prestigious award, as published in the February 2014 edition. The award is presented to brokers who stand out among their peers within the entertainment insurance industry for their exceptional client work, creativity in solving risk-related problems and industry knowledge. Risk & Insurance is a highly regarded national insurance-industry publication. Wong’s win is a major accomplishment, positioning her among the top players in entertainment insurance across the country. 

A panel of judges consisting of Risk & Insurance editors interviewed each nominee’s client references to obtain testimonials; the winners were then selected based on their strength and significance. One of the clients interviewed was Greg Krutilek, head of business affairs at Silverscreen Alta Pictures. 

“When I would bring up issues that I thought were important, she already knows about them and we’d be able to discuss them intelligently,” said Krutilek. “Anytime you deal with someone who really knows your business and can discuss it intelligently with you, that’s important. I feel that Winnie’s that person.”

Winnie has been an entertainment insurance broker since 1985 and specializes in independent features, television, reality, documentary and commercial films.  She has long-standing relationships with the leading entertainment insurance carriers and provides broad, cost-effective insurance programs for her clients.  Winnie has represented a number of prestigious accounts such as MGM Studios, Universal Studios, and countless television, commercial and documentary production companies. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Pittsburgh.

Winnie is completely dedicated to educating her clients, and has taught entertainment insurance courses for UCLA Extension, International Documentary Association (IDA) and Film Independent (FIND) and has participated on panels for American Film Market, WestDOC and Slamdance. She wrote a weekly blog called, “Lights, Camera, Insurance” hosted by FilmIndependent.org, has written articles for various film publications, including Documentary magazine, and  authored a book titled, “Hollywood Studio Production Techniques” which was released in 2013.  Winnie is a board member of the established Women in Film organization and a member of the Motion Picture & Television Fund Professional Advisory Network.

Insuring the personal assets of professional athletes

Andrea Barrios

Andrea Barrios

Many people often wonder how insurance for an athlete is different from those of us with less than superhuman strength and abilities. We sat down with Andrea Barrios, Senior Account Manager in the Sports Division to learn more: 

How is personal insurance for a pro athlete different from a non pro athlete?

Professional athletes are difficult to insure with certain insurance carriers due to their high-profile. The most challenging clients are the younger athletes, who have the potential for 7 figure salaries sometimes before the age of 21. Due to the uncertainty of how they will choose to act once they receive their nice new income, underwriters frown at taking on such a liability. Although the more experienced athletes are much easier to insure with a preferred market, underwriters tend to look for stability characteristics, such as whether the athlete is married with children. However, there are some lines of insurance even the veteran athletes’ are denied simply because of their profession. 

What is the most frequent type of claim we see with athletes?

The most frequent type of claim that I see involves jewelry; usually due to lost or stolen items. 

What things can athletes and their advisors do to mitigate those types of claims?

We explain the importance of risk control measures such as installing permanent safes and fire/burglar central alarms. A safe is a good place to store all of the expensive jewelry that our athletes love to purchase. There have been times when our clients have had their home broken into, and because they had their jewelry in a safe, the burglars were not able to take them. And I have also had the opposite happen. A client’s home was broken into and because they didn’t have a safe or an alarm their jewelry was taken. After they received a check for the claim, they had a safe and alarm installed. Plus, having an alarm system gives the client a premium credit on their homeowners policy – it’s a win-win!   

What trends are you seeing in the insurance marketplace when it comes to insuring athletes?

Surcharges are pretty common in the marketplace. The general public can easily recognize them, and therefore the athletes tend to be targeted. The market has to account for their increased exposure to paying claims for these high-profile clientele, so they have to charge more than an individual with a lower profile.

About Momentous Sports Division

The Momentous Sports Division offers a competitive advantage for professional athletes, coaches and teams, providing cost-effective coverage that protects personal assets, families, and livelihoods.

Disclaimer: The above content is a general overview which is provided for discussion purposes only and is not in any way meant as providing recommendations or legal counsel. It is not intended to apply to each circumstance. Because the facts and circumstances of every matter differ and the terms, conditions, exclusions and limitations contained in insurance policies vary, you should review your policy carefully and seek any legal counsel that may be necessary or appropriate.  Momentous is not responsible for any losses or damage resulting from reliance on the information contained herein. 

Small Business Flexible Billing Options for Workers’ Compensation

Cash flow can be tight for a small business, especially if it is affected by seasonal fluctuations. In the following clip, The Hartford Insurance Company provides options to make Workers’ Compensation payments more manageable:

Disclaimer: The above content is a general overview which is provided for discussion purposes only and is not in any way meant as providing recommendations or legal counsel. It is not intended to apply to each circumstance. Because the facts and circumstances of every matter differ and the terms, conditions, exclusions and limitations contained in insurance policies vary, you should review your policy carefully and seek any legal counsel that may be necessary or appropriate. Momentous is not responsible for any losses or damage resulting from reliance on the information contained herein.

 

Can celebrities insure their body parts?

Christina Disalvo

Christina Disalvo

By Christina DiSalvo

Fact or Fiction: Is J.Lo’s ample posterior insured?

We don’t know for certain, but it could be. What we do know is that the insurance product that does this is called a Disability policy, and she wouldn’t be insured for just her derriere, she’d be insured for her whole body. A disability policy doesn’t focus on one body part, it provides coverage from head to toe. So, if J. Lo’s buxom bum were injured and she couldn’t work while she was recovering, she’d be able to file a claim for the injury to her signature feature.

What’s Disability income insurance?
It is an insurance product that provides supplementary income in the event of an illness or accident resulting in a disability that prevents you from working at their regular employment. Benefits are usually provided on a monthly basis so that you can maintain their standard of living and continue to pay regular expenses.

Now for athletes, musicians and actors, an injury or illness could be detrimental to their career, and seriously impact their income due to the loss of work.

Here are some hypothetical situations where a Disability Income policy would be beneficial:

  • If Yo-yo Ma were in a terrible accident or was diagnosed with an illness that required the amputation of his arm, he wouldn’t be able to play the cello anymore. He and his family depend on his ability to perform with that 1712 Davidoff Stradivarius.
  • Troy Polamolu’s hair is famous and an income earner. If something were to happen to that hair, Troy could lose that shampoo endorsement and income from the company or any other company looking to use his “signature hair” for the promotion of its products.
  • In 1997, when Julie Andrews was unable to sing after her nodule surgery, a disability income policy (if it was purchased) would have eased the financial impact…

Disability Insurance is not just for the wealthy and famous. It is for everyone because anyone who works or has a trade, and relies on that income to support themselves and their family, needs a safety net to help them get temporary relief and assistance to get back to work or assist with finding a replacement trade to get them working again.

Disclaimer: The above content is a general overview which is provided for discussion purposes only and is not in any way meant as providing recommendations or legal counsel. It is not intended to apply to each circumstance. Because the facts and circumstances of every matter differ and the terms, conditions, exclusions and limitations contained in insurance policies vary, you should review your policy carefully and seek any legal counsel that may be necessary or appropriate.  Momentous is not responsible for any losses or damage resulting from reliance on the information contained herein. 

Is Your Business Covered if its Research Material and Data are Compromised?

Science and technology businesses require highly specialized coverage. As experts in the field, The Hartford Insurance Company can provide industry-specific solutions to replace research material and data in the event of a disaster:

 

Disclaimer: The above content is a general overview which is provided for discussion purposes only and is not in any way meant as providing recommendations or legal counsel. It is not intended to apply to each circumstance. Because the facts and circumstances of every matter differ and the terms, conditions, exclusions and limitations contained in insurance policies vary, you should review your policy carefully and seek any legal counsel that may be necessary or appropriate. Momentous is not responsible for any losses or damage resulting from reliance on the information contained herein.