Petra Risk Solutions
Petra provides a broad array of coverages ranging from our standard lines to our specialized solutions. Insurance protection can also be scaled in size to meet your organization's specific needs. Petra Risk Solutions Hospitality program provides coverage expressly tailored for luxury hotels, full service hotels, limited service motels, restaurants, spas, and resorts. Our professional services, coupled with our specialized insurance plans, offer clients a high quality program unequaled by other providers. In addition, our experts offer on-site loss control consultation, superior claims assistance and proven support for your unique exposures to liability associated with your specialty business.
Although kidnapping of Americans abroad gets all the publicity, other risks await business travelers. Here’s what a business manager needs to know before sending an employee overseas.
Research. Before a trip abroad, travelers should gain a general understanding of the country’s cultural, economic and political situation. The U.S. State Department issues Consular Information Sheets for every country of the world with information on the health conditions, crime, unusual currency or entry requirements, any areas of instability, and the location of the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate in the subject country. Travelers should also check the State Department’s current list of travel advisories before leaving at www.state.gov/travel.
Learn something about local customs and cultural taboos. Knowledge of local customs and language can help business travelers win friends and avoid causing offense. For example, many Arabic cultures consider it an insult to show someone the soles of your shoes, yet Americans often sit cross-legged with their soles showing. Knowledge of the local language—even basics such as “please” and “thank you”—can go a long way to show respect in the host country.
Learn something about local laws. While in a foreign country, travelers are subject to its laws. For example, many countries have very strict laws about carrying drugs—even ones prescribed by a doctor. Carry only the amount needed in the original container. Consider carrying a copy of your written prescription and your doctor’s phone number, in case you run out.
Check with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for health warnings and vaccination recommendations for the countries you will be visiting at www.cdc.gov/travel. Some vaccines may require planning well in advance before the date of travel.
Pack with safety in mind. Where possible, travelers should try to blend in with the locals or to be as inconspicuous as possible. Avoid bright colors, designer labels, ostentatious jewelry, expensive luggage—anything that suggests wealth or screams “American.”
Plan travel arrangements carefully. The safest floors are the second and third floors of most hotels. Staying in a ground-floor room makes you vulnerable to break-ins, while upper floors might be out of the reach of fire-fighting equipment. Avoid rooms with shared balconies. Obtain a valid passport and visas, if needed. Make sure to fill in the emergency information page of your passport. Leave copies of your itinerary, passport and airline tickets with a relative or friend and with someone in the office.
Register with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate through the State Department’s travel registration Web site. Registration will make your presence and whereabouts known in case it is necessary to contact you in an emergency. http://travel.state.gov/travel/tips/tips_1232.html.
Check insurance coverages. In general, workers’ compensation applies to injuries occurring in the jurisdiction(s) named in your policy. In some countries, visitors are entitled to free emergency medical treatment; however, standards might not be up to those of U.S. hospitals. A separate foreign workers’ compensation policy will cover your employees for work-related injuries incurred overseas; some will also cover injuries incurred on personal time while on an overseas business assignment. Look for a policy that covers medical evacuation services, which can cost $50,000 or more.
Companies that send workers overseas should also consider buying kidnap and ransom insurance. Virtually unheard of in the U.S., kidnap for ransom is growing in certain parts of the world. In 2004, Mark Hall, a security expert interviewed by CNN, estimated there were 8,000-10,000 kidnaps for ransom reported every year. But many of these crimes are never reported, either due a company’s reluctance to bring attention to its operations, an insurer’s hesitance to advertise that it will negotiate with kidnappers or pressure from local officials.
Kidnap and ransom insurance covers ransom payments for your employees who are kidnapped. Perhaps more importantly, though, this coverage gives employers access to experts in hostage negotiation who can help handle a kidnapping situation more effectively.
Despite the fact that kidnap for ransom is a growing phenomenon, your overseas workers are much more likely to run into more mundane problems, such as illness or injury, which could just as easily occur at home.
Tuesday, 18 November 2014 12:26
You might think your workers’ compensation covers all work-related injuries and illnesses. This could prove a costly mistake.
In most cases, workers’ compensation will cover work-related injuries and illnesses. But in certain special circumstances—which might apply to your company—the basic workers’ compensation policy will not provide coverage. This could leave your company on the hook for a costly workers’ compensation claim.
On any work day, how many of your employees are on the road or working from home? U.S. residents logged 452 million person-trips for business purposes in 2013, says the U.S. Travel Association. Person-trips involve travel of 50 or more miles, or an overnight stay in paid accommodations. Many of these trips involve out-ofstate travel.
Many employees also telecommute. A 2013 Harris poll found that one in 10 U.S. workers worked either exclusively from home or mainly from home. Either business travel or telecommuting could pose workers’ compensation claim problems. Did you know that an employee injured in another state while on business may be able to elect to receive benefits in that state if…
| • The injury takes place there
• The employee’s principal place of work is located there
• The employee entered into a contract of employment there
• The employee lives there
• The employee is principally located there.
Although the typical workers’ compensation policy provides out-of-state coverage, it provides only the level of benefits required by state law. If an injured employee opts to receive benefits in another state, you might have a coverage gap if that state provides more generous benefits.
Further, the typical policy limits out-of state coverage to employees “who are hired in (state) and…temporarily working anywhere outside of (state) on a specific assignment.” This disqualifies telecommuters who live outside the state or who are working outside the state on a more permanent basis.
Finally, failure to have coverage in the state of injury may void the “exclusive remedy” protections of the workers’ compensation system. This risk increases if your employee is working out of state on a more permanent basis. With the “exclusive remedy,” an employee foregoes the right to sue in exchange for receiving medical treatment and lost time benefits guaranteed by state workers’ compensation law. If the exclusive remedy doesn’t apply, an employee may file a civil lawsuit against you for his or her injuries.
Do You Need “Other States Coverage”?
Other states insurance gives you coverage to meet your workers’ compensation obligations under the workers’ compensation law of any state listed in your policy’s declarations page. It does NOT apply to the monopolistic fund states: Ohio, North Dakota, Washington and Wyoming. These states have a state-controlled workers’ compensation plan and prohibit private insurers from writing mandatory workers’ compensation coverage in their borders. It also does not apply to Canadian provinces. To obtain coverage for these areas, you need an “extended protection endorsement.”
Some workers’ compensation insurers (particularly smaller ones) have licenses in only one or a few states. Your insurer cannot pay your employees directly for a claim if the injury occurs in a state for which your insurer lacks a license. To protect your business, you can ask the insurer to word your policy so that it will reimburse you for any benefit payments you have to make.
Finally, consider the risks involved when an employee travels overseas for work. Courts have often ruled that an injury or illness that an employee suffers while on short term assignment away from home—even if he or she is not working when it occurs—is work-related. But a basic workers’ compensation policy will probably not cover this type of claim. A foreign workers’ compensation policy will. Although no law requires employers to provide this coverage, you risk paying medical and lost-time costs out of pocket if you do not have coverage and a traveling employee becomes injured. Consider the fact that medical evacuation alone can cost more than $50,000, and a complicated case as much as $250,000. Buying coverage makes good financial sense!
Most states do not require nonprofit organizations or public agencies to provide workers’ compensation coverage to unpaid volunteers. But some organizations opt to provide coverage, for several important reasons. Some feel a moral obligation to provide protection to their valued volunteers. This can affect morale: volunteers who have this coverage know they will not have to pay medical expenses out of pocket for any injuries occurring from their volunteer work.
Covering volunteers as employees can protect your organization from litigation in ambiguous cases, as when a worker is sometimes paid and sometimes unpaid. Finally, without the “exclusive remedy” of workers’ compensation, an injured volunteer can sue your organization in court, creating a much larger risk exposure.
If your nonprofit organization chooses to cover volunteers, your board of directors or other governing body must first adopt a resolution to provide this coverage. If your workers’ comp carrier won’t cover volunteers, you might want to provide volunteers with accident and medical insurance…and be sure to have adequate limits on your commercial general liability policy.
An analysis of your workers’ compensation risk exposures could turn up other potential coverage gaps.
This P3 Hospitality Risk Report will discuss various situations that occur within the hospitality industry and cover topics that you and your front desk staff should be aware of, and ready for.
During this P3 Hospitality Risk Report Stephen Barth discusses thirteen steps that will help you navigate the first 15 minutes after an accident on your property.
Tuesday, 12 August 2014 19:51
Marco Johnson of Petra Risk Solutions offers insight during this P3 Hospitality Risk Report on how to handle intoxicated guests and prevent drunk driving.
Thursday, 17 July 2014 17:11
A P3 Hospitality Risk Report on how to handle police and law enforcement requests for hotel guest information. The video will help you navigate the demands of the police while maintaining the privacy of hotel guest information.
Matt Karp, Loss Control Manager for Petra, covers reasonable suspicion parameters for testing hotel employees for drug
and/or alcohol abuse.
Monday, 02 June 2014 15:44