As we move through the 21st century the rapid progression of technologically savvy entrepreneurs continues to grow, while it seems the baby boomer businesses are slowly fading away. Maybe to more accurately state this fact, these established traditional businesses are simply being consumed by the new age, fast paced generation.
At Paradiso Insurance our primary customer base primarily revolves around the established generation – that generation that created and maintained business in our hometown of Stafford Springs and throughout the state of Connecticut. One of our principal goals is to assist our friends and customers in understanding how to best integrate the tried and true, traditional methods of running a business in this new age of technology. We want to help these established customers bridge the gap to the new social media generation, understand all of its threats, and assist these business owners in grasping how to best leverage that new technology. At the same time realize the importance of having the proper insurance coverage to properly protect them as they move forward.
As a simple example, it’s not uncommon for many established small to mid-sized business owners to conduct day-to-day transactions with a handshake or honorable word, as opposed to signed paperwork or contracts. That system by itself isn’t all that alarming, after all, it’s a method that has served us well for many generations. But, with the passage of time that old-school methodology can cost a business its existence. Many baby boomers created their own empires, and many of them are still actively involved in routine business management and everyday transactions. While many in our older generation continue to conduct business the same way they have for the past 20-50 years, our society has changed so dramatically it’s essential that their best business practices evolve to keep pace with today’s potential insurance pitfalls. With today’s economic struggles and families barely getting by, the threat of legal action against business owners, even with a groundless suit, is still a valid threat for all-sized companies.
For any company with employees, Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) is an essential endorsement to any insurance policy. EPLI coverage for acts of harassment, wrongful discharge, wrongful hiring, and discrimination is incredibly important in our litigious society. Companies are easily and often confused in assuming their current insurance policies extend coverage for such claims. Occasionally, business owners may not even realize there is insurance coverage for alleged sexual harassment, slander, and discrimination. Companies often mistakenly categorize their current liability coverage and believe they have the full level of protection offered under EPLI insurance coverage. It is noteworthy that in 2009, National Waste Associates, LLC v. Travelers, A Southern Connecticut court found an insurer not responsible for covering a new wrongful discharge lawsuit filed in the coverage period because there had already been an unemployment benefits hearing regarding that same employee before the insurance coverage period began.
We have seen the unfortunate outcome one lawsuit can have on a small business. With defense of the average EPLI case, through trial costing more than $45,000 and the amount paid for out-of-court settlements averaging $40,000, those amounts are enough to wipe out many small businesses (statistics from www.ebview.com). EPLI Insurance needs to be highly and seriously considered in any and every business environment.
Bio: Chris Paradiso, President of Paradiso Financial & Insurance Services, has been selling insurance since 1998. Chris and his agency have been featured in industry leading publications including Rough Notes and the Insurance Journal E-Marketing Minute. Chris also was nominated as a 40 under 40 professional from the Hartford Business Journal.