Do You and Your Insurance Company Know Your Liability?

Do you and your Insurance Company know your Liability?

Traffic signs are everywhere. They provide us with warnings, directions and information. They can be found along public roadways, private roadways and parking lots. As of June 13, 2014 all agencies with public and private roadways which are opened for public travel are required to have a traffic sign assessment and management plan in place.

I know what you are thinking, that’s great the government has more paperwork to add to their already inflated bureaucracy. Though that may be the case, if you are a commercial or industrial business, mall, shopping center, home owner’s association, convenience store, gas station, just to name a few, with a parking lot or roadways, you should be preparing for traffic sign Retroreflectivity.

Why should you be concerned or taking note of traffic sign assessment and management? Well simply put if you allow motorists to drive on your property, which would almost be impossible not to, you are entering new realm of possible liability.

You along with your Insurance Company should know what the failure to prepare and plan for traffic sign assessment and management can mean. I bet most agencies and businesses don’t even know what traffic signs are their responsibilities.

Why don’t you humor me and let me give you an example how this can affect you. When your property was built, more than likely you or the owner at the time had to obtain a driveway or highway occupancy permit to enter and exit the public roadway. More than likely your plan had a stop sign at the entrance, no big deal, right? Wrong, if a driver leaving your property pulls out into the path of an oncoming vehicle and there is an accident, one of the things that the investigating agencies will be looked at is whether the proper traffic signs are in place and in operational condition. They will look at the signs in helping to determine who is at fault. Maybe not a huge deal if it is a fender bender, but what if there are major injuries or even worse a death. Now you can be certain the insuring parties, or family of the injured or dead are going to be looking for someone to pay for the damages and pain and suffering.

Get my point! In the example above we are only talking about one sign, a stop sign. Let me ask you a few things that the investigators will probably asking.

Property owner, what was the date the stop sign was installed? Do you have records of the purchase? Did the stop sign meet the highway traffic sign standards at the time of installation? Where did you purchase the sign? Was it installed to the proper height and mounting standards as required by the highway standards? When was the sign last assessed for compliance?

Holy cow! As a property owner how would you know any of that information? Simple: a traffic sign assessment and management program.

Now many permit and civil plans for properties have more than one stop sign on them, many have multiple signs. Did you also know that some state, county and local agencies add wording to the permit plans that give responsibility for the new roadway signs added during construction to the property owner. I know, you are asking why, would they do that. Simple, alleviate or pass the responsibility to someone else. Smart on their part, but bad for you and you insurance company.

The MUTCD (Manual on Uniformed Traffic Control Devices) is about to make all of our lives a little bit more interesting. I believe the door is opening for a flood of liability claims relating to traffic signs. The MUTCD and Federal Highway Administration have stated that private roads open to public travel are required to meet provisions of the MUTCD, including the minimum retroreflectivity standards. I know some people will argue that parking lots are not included, however I believe this extends to parking lots. My logic behind this is that there are drive lanes in a parking lot and what is a drive lane other than a private road. But hey I will let the lawyers argue that point in court.

A statistic obtained from Auto Insurance quotes.com, indicated that Nationwide Insurance’s 2012 claim data showed 13 percent of all accidents occur in parking lots. During my research I have found that injuries to pedestrians are one of the fastest growing types of accidents which occur in parking lots. So my next question is are your Pedestrian crossing signs compliant?

As you can see, I am trying to make a point, if you do not have a traffic sign assessment and management plan in place or think that it can’t happen to you all I can say is good luck. But just remember an implemented plan may be the cheapest insurance you could purchase.

Eligibility Checking Part 1: Determining Patient Financial Responsibility

The healthcare landscape has changed, and one of the biggest changes is the growing financial responsibility of patients with high deductibles that require them to pay physician practices for services. This is an area where practices are struggling to collect the revenue they are entitled.

In fact, practices are generating up to 30 to 40 percent of their revenue from patients who have high-deductible insurance coverage. Failing to check patient eligibility and deductibles can increase denials, negatively impact cash flow and profitability.

One solution is to improve eligibility checking using the following best practices:

-Check patient eligibility 48 to 72 hours in advance of scheduled visit using one of these three methods:

1. Business-to-business (B2B) verification, which enables practices to electronically check patient eligibility using electronic data interchange (EDI) via their electronic health record (EHR) and practice management solutions.

2. Look up patient eligibility on payer websites.

3. Call payers to determine eligibility for more complex scenarios, such as coverage of particular procedures and services, determining calendar year maximum coverage, or if services are covered if they take place in an office or diagnostic centre. Clearinghouses do not provide these details, so calling the payer is necessary for these scenarios.

-Determine patient financial responsibilities – high deductibles, out-of-pocket limits, then counsel patients about their financial responsibilities before service delivery, educating them on how much they’ll need to pay and when.

-Determine co-pays and collect before service delivery.

Yet, even when doing this, there are still potential pitfalls, such as changes in eligibility due to employee termination of patient or primary insured, unpaid premiums, and nuances in dependent coverage.

If all of this sounds like a lot of work, it’s because it is. This isn’t to say that practice managers/administrators are unable to do their jobs. It’s just that sometimes they need some help and better tools. However, not performing these tasks can increase denials, as well as impact cash flow and profitability.

In our next post we will examine ways to overcome these challenges.

ELIGIBILITY VERIFICATION WITH PAYERS

$6.5 per hour* onwards or $2.50 per Benefit Verification based on workflow plan

Eligibility checking is the single most effective way of preventing insurance claim denials. Our service begins with retrieving a list of scheduled appointments and verifying insurance coverage for the patients. Once the verification is done the coverage details are put directly into the appointment scheduler for the office staff’s notification.

There are three methods for checking eligibility:

Online – Using various Insurance company websites and internet payer portals we check patient coverage.

Automated Voice system (IVR) – By calling Insurance companies directly an interactive voice response system will give the eligibility status.

Insurance Company Representative Call- If necessary calling an Insurance company representative will give us a more detailed benefits summary for certain payers when not available from either websites or Automated phone systems.

Clinicspectrum is a healthcare services company providing outsourcing and back office solutions for medical billing companies, medical offices, hospital billing departments, and hospital medical records departments.

8 Major Income Protection Myths Debunked

Insurance products aren’t the easiest of things to understand and income protection insurance is no exception. With cumbersome key facts booklets and the media citing stories of context-specific consumer-insurer battles, it’s no surprise that many people misunderstand exactly what it is and what it specifically offers.

Outlined here are eight major protection myths demystified, so that next time you hear something about income protection, you’ll be able to separate fact from fiction.

Myth 1: It doesn’t pay out

Provided that the policyholder has kept up-to-date with their monthly premiums, and has given truthful personal information from the outset, claims are nearly always paid out. In fact, last year in the UK, insurance providers paid out over 90% of successful claims. If you’re still unconvinced and want to double check specific insurer payout rates, most of them now provide easily-accessible claim statistics on their websites.

Myth 2: It’s too expensive

This myth is purely subjective. If you were a smoker in a high risk job and wanted a very high level of cover, your premiums would, of course, be costly. For the majority however, income protection is affordable and can cost as little as 30p per day. If you want significantly lower income protection insurance quotes, consider buying through a commission free broker or by extending your deferral period – the amount of time between a claim being made and the money being paid out. Premium rates are calculated based on your age, health, smoker or non-smoker and occupation, so if you’re serious about cutting the costs of premiums, it may also be beneficial to adopt a healthier lifestyle.

Myth 3: It’s a waste of money

When it comes to ill-health and injury, people can feel a sense of invulnerability, and so it’s all too easy to see how this kind of myth circulates. But ask anyone who’s used their income protection policy, and they’ll be the first to debunk this notion. If you were unable to work due to illness or injury, the monthly instalments provided by income protection could become invaluable, affording reassurance that bills, loan repayments, and any other expenses could continue to be financed during your time off work.

Myth 4: It isn’t necessary if you receive benefits

Statutory sick pay and other benefits tend to pay no more than £400 a month, which for most, would not cover the rent or mortgage. An income insurance policy however, would pay up to 75% of your usual income, comfortably covering the costs of your living.

Some employers will provide a more comprehensive benefit than statutory sick pay. Therefore, it’s important to check if this applicable; as this may mean that your deferral period can be extended which can, in turn, lower premiums.

Myth 5: It’s the same as PPI

Although they may sound similar, income protection and payment protection insurance (PPI) are not the same products. PPI insures a specific loan repayment, whereas income protection is designed to cover a portion of your income. If you found yourself unable to meet your mortgage repayments due to ill health, PPI would be on hand for this, but what about all the other inevitable expenses? This is where income protection comes in.

Myth 6: It’s not necessary if you have critical illness cover

Whilst critical illness insurance is important, unlike income protection, it would not pay out if you were unable to work due to injury or if you developed a non-critical illness. For this reason, income insurance may be worth considering along with critical illness cover, as this would cover a wider range of eventualities.

Myth 7: It’s not for you if you’re self-employed

Self-employed people can get income protection insurance, but be prepared to provide the relevant documentation. If you’re self-employed, your income may be more variable, so it would be beneficial to regularly review your policy to ensure that you’re covered for the amount of money you require.

Myth 8: It takes too long to apply

Whilst this may have been true in the days of dial-up-internet and telephone brokers, thanks to user-friendly websites, it is now easier than ever to search, compare and buy income protection policies.

If you’re interested in buying Income protection and want the best deal possible, consider using a commission free broker like Best Price FS to compare income protection insurance quotes.

Enjoy Peaceful State Of Mind With an Appropriate Insurance Cover

Life is beautiful and happening only when one enjoys perfect peace of mind. A general insurance secures a person against number of risks and provides adequate security for the unforeseen events of life. When one avails for a cover, he stands guarded against losses occurring in case of events like, fire, marine, motor, accident and other miscellaneous non-life insurance. There are numerous benefits associated with an insurance cover. Also, buying the best general insurance plan yields significant tax benefits to the customer.

Evolution of transforming technologies has made buying and renewing of policies really easy. A person interested in buying the best general insurance can conveniently make a purchase through internet. All the key players of the insurance industry have their respective web portals, where in is provided every information relating to different plans. Customers can read and understand the plans being offered and make a wise selection. Online facility bestows on the customer, the power to choose, and thus he is able to avail the best general insurance plan that perfectly fits in his budget.

An insurance seeker these days is not even required to go to a company’s office or bank, to make a payment for the policy. Rather they can do the same by using the advanced money tools. Net banking and credit cards have made the task a cake walk for the customers. Government has laid down strict guidelines for all the players in the industry to follow highest security standards. The website portals of companies have perfect security arrangements and are SSL certified. Thus your investment stays secure and yields you maximum benefits in hour of need.

Companies now days issue digitally signed insurance policies to the customers, opting to buy the best general insurance plan online. A customer is thus able to access the policy papers at will from his desktop, laptop and even mobile phones. In case of urgent requirement of policy papers a printout would do the job. The copy of the digitally signed insurance policy is considered as authentic and reliable as the original.

Life is unpredictable and a lot of risks surround it. A person should always choose the best general insurance plan for himself and also suggest the same to people he loves. Spending in insurance is a positive and genuine move and also, this industry has enjoyed the same reputation, for centuries. The sector is growing at a rapid pace and competition is really stiff in the market. Everybody is trying to incorporate as many riders in their plans as possible to make their offers lucrative and appealing. While pursuing an online research regarding a plan, the customer should pen down the insurance quotes of various companies. This helps in perfect evaluation and analysis of policies and packages.

There has been noticed a sharp rise in the number of frauds and malpractices in the industry. An online research saves you from falling in a trap. It’s always preferable to buy insurance from a renowned and recognized player of the industry.

Surety Insurance May Give You Peace of Mind

In a world where unforeseen consequences can lead to costly damages and potential lawsuits, managing your risks is an absolute must. When looking for ways to mitigate risk in an investment, such as a car, house, or expensive work of art, people often turn to major insurance companies. In theory, paying a little each month can protect you from sudden financial disaster in the future. While these companies have good intentions, the reality is often much less idyllic. Companies often try to deny claims or take forever to process payments, leaving you stuck with a mountain of debt while you try to keep your investments afloat.

Contract Work

Particularly in contract work, standard liability coverage often leaves much to be desired. When allowing a contractor to work in your home, install an air conditioner, or run new power lines, you are taking a huge leap of faith that the company will behave ethically and do their work up to code. While most reputable companies carry liability, there is simply no way to guarantee that their coverage will provide you with the compensation you need when their mistakes cost you thousands of dollars in damages. To mitigate this risk, surety insurance has become a preferred means of protecting your investment. This type of protection, often called surety bonds, offers a unique method of controlling the way funds are distributed in the event of a disaster. Rather than spreading settlement payout across a myriad of clients, surety insurance is a three-way agreement between a customer, a contractor, and their bondsman. With stricter guidelines and a clear understanding of responsibility, these bonds allow payment to be treated like a bank loan rather than a sudden cash windfall. By cutting out the major corporations, homeowners are able to hold contractors accountable and seek damages as soon as they know shoddy work has been performed rather than after catastrophe has struck.

Public Works

Surety insurance is also beneficial in the case of public works. When building a park, statue, or other municipal attraction, city and town governments rely on one major overseer to manage a large number of subcontractors. Often this primary job lead is the only point of contact for the various electricians, sculptors, and carpenters working on the job site every day. While this manager hires out the work and can make agreements for compensation on his own, he will not be the one receiving complaints should any subcontractors not receive their due. Dissatisfied workers will climb as far up the food chain as they can and head right for the biggest wallet. Liability protection held by a contractor won’t save the city in this instance; only a qualified bond will do the trick. The township can activate their agreement and settle payment directly with the workers without any scandal or lawyers whatsoever.

Whether you are building an addition to your home or rebuilding the town square, make the right decision and cover yourself with surety insurance.