The Insurance Risks Involved with Reopening Your Business


Businesses may be finding themselves stuck between a rock and hard place. Those that stay closed will struggle with lost income. Those that open too quickly may face the possibility of coronavirus outbreaks and associated legal issues. As governments announce plans to reopen, businesses will have to consider the risk management implications carefully.

The Debates Rages On

President Trump recently unveiled the Guidelines for Opening Up American Again. The guidelines include criteria that state and local governments can use as they go through the three phases for reopening their economies.

Several governors have already announced plans to reopen their states. According to CNN, Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee have announced plans to loosen restrictions and restart their economies. The mayor of Las Vegas has also called for the city to reopen even though, in an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, she said that she would not provide social distancing guidelines and that such decisions would be up to the business owners.

Not everyone agrees that this is the right course of action. According to the Los Angeles Times, top federal health officials have warned that reopening too soon could result in new outbreaks of COVID-19.

The Risks of Reopening

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M. Brant Watson
Senior Vice President
(800) 234-6787
(925) 295-2506 Direct
(925) 330 1151 Mobile
Heffernan Insurance Brokers – CA Insurance License # 0564249
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COVID-19 Safety Resources for the Nonprofit Sector

The coronavirus pandemic has not stopped the need for nonprofit services. Although some nonprofit organizations have been forced to suspend operations to comply with stay-at-home orders, others provide essential services that are critically needed right now. For these organizations, there are many new challenges.
Determining What’s Essential
Under state-issued stay-at-home orders, people are only supposed to leave their homes for essential activities. Whether a nonprofit is considered essential will depend on the services it provides.
In California, the list of essential workers is long, and it includes many workers in the healthcare sector. Caregivers, behavioral health workers, and workers at blood banks are all among those labeled essential. Food banks are also labeled essential – and they may be more essential than ever. Food bank demand has surged as people struggle with school closures and unemployment because of coronavirus.
Nonprofit organizations should check with their state, county, and city to determine whether they are considered essential under relevant stay-at-home orders.
Volunteer and Funding Shortages
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Heffernan Insurance | Website
M. Brant Watson
Senior Vice President
Heffernan Insurance Broker
Office 800-234-6787

Risk Management

Risk Management

Welcome, we provide periodic emails witch includes training short(s) The COVID-19 Coronavirus is having a major impact on organizations throughout the world. During this challenging and uncertain time, we are here to support you, now more than ever.

New & Updated Training Courses
The following courses have been updated in the Risk Management Center:
  • Valley Fever Training Short (updated – California construction employees affected by AB 203 must train employees by May 1, 2020)
  • Personal Protective Equipment Awareness (formerly called Personal Protective Equipment Training for Employees)
  • Anti-Harassment for Connecticut Managers (this training meets the 2 hour requirement and complies with SB3)
  • Exempt vs. Non-Exempt Classification (complies with the new 2020 Fair Labor Standards Act)
HR Regulatory Content
We’ve rounded up the latest HR-related state regulatory content (not related to COVID-19) you need to know for April and May. Check the state regulatory updates.
Learn more about the Risk Management Center, a unique web-based software suite of safety and risk management tools designed to empower your organization’s risk prevention efforts. The Risk Management Center is right for any organization that wants to.

You’ll learn:

  • Proactively manage risk exposures
  • Develop effective workplace safety programs
  • Reduce claims, losses, and associated costs
For more information Just Contact me.
M. Brant Watson
Senior Vice President
Heffernan Insurance Brokers
Office 800-234-6787
Mobile  925-330-1151

Commissioner Lara Orders Insurance Companies to Refund Premiums

California Insurance Commissioner
Commissioner Lara Orders Insurance Companies to Refund Premiums to Drivers and Businesses Affected by the COVID-19 Emergency
Commissioner’s action reflects reduced risk of loss due to “shelter in place” restrictions

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara ordered insurance companies to return insurance premiums to consumers and businesses and provide much-needed financial relief during the COVID-19 emergency. The Commissioner’s Bulletin covers premiums paid for at least the months of March and April — including the month of May if “shelter in place” restrictions continue — in at least six different insurance lines: private passenger automobile, commercial automobile, workers’ compensation, commercial multi-peril, commercial liability, medical malpractice, and any other insurance line where the risk of loss has fallen substantially as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“With Californians driving fewer miles and many businesses closed due to the COVID-19 emergency, consumers need relief from premiums that no longer reflect their present-day risk of accident or loss,” said Commissioner Lara. “Today’s mandatory action will put money back in people’s pockets when they need it most.”

The Commissioner’s Bulletin requires insurance companies to provide a premium credit, reduction, return of premium, or other appropriate premium adjustment as soon as possible, and no later than August 2020. Commissioner Lara has already requested at least a 60-day grace period for policyholders to pay their premiums so that insurance policies are not cancelled for nonpayment of premium during this challenging time. Together, these two actions will give consumers and businesses substantial financial relief.

According to a UC Davis Special Report on the Impact of COVID-19 on California Traffic Accidents, reduced driving has resulted in fewer accidents, injuries, and fatalities on public highways and roads. Falling payroll and receipts due to closure orders have also dramatically reduced risk of a liability loss for businesses.

Several auto insurance companies have recently announced voluntary premium refunds to drivers. Today’s Bulletin extends these private personal auto policy reductions to more companies and adds commercial lines while monitoring insurance companies’ compliance with California’s consumer protection laws so that refunds are not discriminatory or inadequate.

A premium refund will not require prior approval by the Department of Insurance if an insurance company follows certain methods outlined in the Commissioner’s Bulletin, such as using an average percentage based on estimated change in risk or exposure. Consumers will also have the opportunity to provide their individual actual or estimated experience to their insurance company.

Good Information.. Read More Here 



Protect all members of your household with a medical access membership that can help you with gaining access to certified and licensed doctors that can help you with up to 70% of the non-emergency medical reasons that you would elect to use a Primary Care Physician, Urgent Care or Emergency Rooms.

The plans and pricing shown below are for individuals.  If you are a business, please contact us and we will have your associate contact you with more details.

Complete Detail Here

The Corporate D&O Implications of COVID-19


As the COVID-19 pandemic disrupts life in the United States and around the world, company after company has issued corporate statements regarding the virus.

These statements are important. Given the rapidly changing and high stress nature of the situation, however, it is easy to say the wrong thing. In some cases, these statements could even open the door to directors and officers (D&O) exposures.

The Hardening D&O Market

D&O is a type of liability insurance that covers the directors and officers of a company. It covers a range of claims related to the management of the organization, including shareholder suits and breach of fiduciary duty.

As we’re currently seeing with many other commercial insurance lines, D&O rates have been rising. According to Property Casualty 360, several factors are at play, including securities action lawsuits with higher settlements, social issues including the #MeToo movement and leadership coverups, and growing cyber security issues.

Now COVID-19 could add to the list.

The Coronavirus Impact

According to Carrier Management, the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to impact D&O litigation. In fact, at least two lawsuits have already been filed. One is against Norwegian Cruise Lines, and it alleges that the cruise line used unproven or false statements about COVID-19 to encourage customers to purchase cruises. The other lawsuit is against Inovio Pharmaceuticals, and it alleges that the CEO made inaccurate claims regarding its work on a COVID-19 vaccine, causing the company’s stocks to soar before dropping.

This may be just the beginning. As the pandemic continues, more lawsuits could emerge. Businesses should proceed carefully to reduce their liability.

Avoiding Lawsuits      Read More 

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