Helping You Manage Risk

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News Posts from TriMountain Corp

Employer Mandate - COVID-19 Vaccine


By Brooke Winslow - February 3rd, 2021

In the United States, private companies may opt to require employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Depending on the state, employees may also choose not to receive the vaccination in consideration of certain medical conditions, religious and, or personal beliefs. Union contracts could also interfere with employer vaccine mandates. The availability of the vaccine may also raise questions about the applicable equal employment opportunity (EEO) laws, including the ADA and the Rehabilitation Act, GINA, and Title VII, including the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.

If an employee is unable to receive the vaccination due to personal or religious beliefs or a medical condition, the employer may be required to make a reasonable effort to accommodate that employee.  As an example, they may transfer them to a different department, requiring separation and a mask or that they work remotely. The severity of the threat that the employee presents to the other team members should be determined.  In many instances, it may be relatively easy to to reduce or eliminate the risk of exposure to other employees. Employers, in some industries, may find it prudent to exclude non vaccinated employees from the workplace.  However, they may also be prohited from terminating an employee solely based on their willingness to receive the vaccination.

People have many different views regarding the vaccine. For example, almost two-thirds of tech workers say that they will not go back to the office unless the vaccination is required by their employer.  The statistics vary when looking at gender, age, and race. A survey conducted by the Associated Press and the Center for Public Affairs found that 47% of Americans were certain that they would like to receive the vaccine but only 40% of women said yes while 56% of men did. Many employers are offering the vaccine on a volunteer basis, like Ford Motor Co. and Kellog Co., so that employees have the option to receive the vaccination, but are not required to.

Employers who are considering mandating vaccines are strongly encouraged to engage qualified legal counsel before making any final decisions on this complex issue.
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Insuring Your Bicycles


By Brooke Winslow - August 24, 2020

It is entirely possible that your bicycles may be even more valuable than your car. Yet, it is common for bikes to be an oversight when reviewing your homeowners insurance coverage and therefore uninsured. More specifically, on many common homeowner's policies, personal property away from home is limited to 10% of the personal property limit on the homeowners policy. Arguably even more important, the homeowners deductible may be at or near the replacement cost of the bike and therefore result in little to no actual coverage. For improved coverage while away from home, bicycles should be specifically scheduled as valuable articles on the homeowners policy. This will cover the bikes from "mysterious disappearance" which is important because upwards of 1.5 million bikes are stolen in the United States every year.  Also, it is typically possible to have a significantly lower deductible for this coverage as compared to the master homeowners policy deductible. Reach out to your TriMountain Corporation representative to see if valuable articles coverage makes sense for your bikes.
 
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Preparing for Natural Disasters


By Brooke Winslow - June 19, 2020


As wildfires continue to grow in Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico we wanted to offer useful information about what you can do to prepare for natural disasters. Being prepared before a disaster strikes can help keep you and your property safe. In part, due to the current COVID – 19 crisis, evacuation shelters are expected to reach capacity rapidly.  Social distancing guidelines are also likely to impact shelter capacities.

Floods

A flood and the resulting water damage to your home, office or manufacturing facility can happen at any time.  History tells us that it is very difficult to determine where or when a flood is likely to occur.  They can strike at any time.   Purchasing flood insurance is one strategy should discuss with your agent or broker. Below are other ways to manage and mitigate flood or water related damages.
  • First, determine in you are in a flood zone
  • Elevate or move valuable personal property in basements or below grade
  • Check the integrity of your roof
  • Make sure gutters and downspouts are clear of debris and fully functioning
  • Remove potential hazards from your property such as dead trees or limbs

Wildfires

Depending on your location, you may be at a higher risk for wildfires. Below is a checklist to minimize the risk of a wildfire damages to your home or business:
  • Clear the perimeter of your home or business of excess vegetation
  • Keep waste in bags and do not burn on your premises
  • Trim dead tree limbs that overhang the roof
  • Remove vines from sides of your structures
  • Store stacked wood at least 100 feet away from premises

General Recommendations

Below are few ways to be ready for natural disasters:
  • Keep important documents in a safe easily accessible place
  • Make an inventory of all personal property within your home or business.
  • Ask your agent or broker to retain a copy of the inventory - update annually
  • Pre-pack an emergency "to go" bag with common necessities
  • Set up a specific meeting place for family members in the event you are unexpectedly separated
  • Monitor news and local weather notifications for evacuation notices or alerts
  • Evacuate when told to do so – do not wait until the last minute
For more tips on how to prepare for a natural disaster, reach out to your broker and insurance company loss control representative for recommendations that are specific to your situation. It is in your and your insurance companies' best interest to proactively manage and minimize the risks that accompany natural disasters. You can also find a more detailed checklist here.
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