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Courtesy of Distinguished Programs

Earlier this month, the Senate introduced a bill, Kari’s Law, to improve 911 services nationwide for multi-line phone systems (MLTS), most commonly found in hotels and office buildings. The bill would amend the Communications Act of 1934 to require phone vendors and individual buildings to make sure people could connect directly with emergency services without having to press ‘1’ or ‘9’ first. The bill would also add two new requirements—outgoing ‘911’ calls would connect directly to emergency services without local interference, while also notifying onsite personnel that a ‘911’ call was made.

Kari’s Law is in honor of Kari Hunt, who was killed in a Marshall, Texas motel room by her estranged husband in December 2013. Kari’s nine-year old daughter tried in vain to dial ‘911’ from the motel room, but was unable to get through as she unknowingly needed to dial ‘9’ to get an outside line. The U.S. Congress has already passed legislation requiring a default configuration that allows users to directly initiate a call to ‘911’; similar legislation now in the Senate is a provision in a larger bill that would reauthorize the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reauthorization bill for fiscal years 2017 and 2018.

In January, Mark Fletcher, a leading advocate for Kari’s Law and Avaya’s chief architect—worldwide public-safety solutions, expressed optimism about the prospects of the 911 direct-dial bills being enacted during this session of Congress, when interviewed by IWCE’s Urgent Communications.

A version of Kari’s Law has already been passed in Texas, Tennessee, Maryland, Illinois, and Suffolk County, New York.

The America Hotel & Lodging Association, which conducted survey of hotel chains and franchises after Kari’s death, found that tens of thousands of hotels don’t allow guests to directly reach emergency services when they dial ‘911’. On the heels of this tragedy, many hotel chains began taking initiatives to change dialing systems and educate franchise owners about the need to do so. Make sure your clients are aware of this law and its intention to help individuals in emergency situations.

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Courtesy of our partners at Safeco Insurance

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From our partners at Central Insurance Companies


The amount you pay for your business insurance should reflect your operations. Many policies are based on the best information you can provide at the time your policy is issued, but that information could change over the course of the policy. You may end up not paying enough, or paying too much, for your insurance.

What is a Premium Audit?

Your insurance premium should reflect the operations of your business. Continuous change in the workplace makes predicting performance difficult. Therefore, your premium is estimated prior to your policy term. A Premium Audit is conducted after the term expires in order to determine your actual business activity.

How Does The Process Work?

An auditor representing your insurance company will contact you a few weeks after your policy expires. They will visit your office and look at your financial records. Generally, an audit should take no more than an hour or two of your time.

What Records Will The Auditor Want to Review?

* Payroll Journal

* General Ledger

* Cash Disbursements, 1099s

* Quarterly State and Federal Tax Returns

* Certificates of Insurance for Subcontractors

What Can You Do to Prepare For The Audit?

The most time consuming portion of the audit is determining who your subcontractors were, what they were paid, and locating their Certificates of Insurance. If these records are well organized, your audit time is greatly reduced.

For more information about Premium Audits, please watch this video.

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Courtesy of Cincinnati Insurance Companies

Every weekend the calendar seems to offer a menu of festivals, 5K races, and concerts. No matter what the weather, there is something special to do. Some folks plan their leisure time around any number of school, church, and community events.

If you business or organization is planning a special event you may be experiencing some of the common worries.

* What happens if a patron gets hurt?

* What if there is damage to the property of others as a result of the event?

* Are there other, unforeseen exposures?

You may have similar concerns if you are a crafter who sells your goods at weekend festivals. The event sponsor may ask you to provide a certificate of insurance demonstrating that you have liability coverage.

You can protect yourself, your business or organization, its assets, and your employees or club members by purchasing special events coverage. Special events may share some common elements that might not be covered by the policy your business or organization already has in force:

* A special event may be held away from your normal site of operations.

* Entry may require an admission.

* There may be activities that are outside the scope of typical operations.

* Attendance may involve those who do not normally interact with your business or organization.

* The events are often of a short term, perhaps held on one day or over the weekend.

Speak to the experts at Watkins Insurance Group and be ready to answer questions to help tailor the coverage in your policy to the event you're planning:

* Who is sponsoring the event and is there already some insurance in place?

* How many people do you expect to attend?

* Is the event indoors or outdoors?

* Will you be using permanent or portable bleachers?

* Is there parking on or off premises?

* Is there a parking attendant?

* Will the event feature amusement rides?

* Will alcohol be served?

* What items are being sold in your concession stands?

* If you are the sponsor, did you remember to seek insurance certificates from third parties that may be providing services at your event?

Protect the success of your special event with the right insurance coverage.

After that, it's up to your weather forecaster.

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From our partners at Cincinnati Insurance Companies

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Simple steps help you protect your collection from loss

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