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Rates have been on a steady climb for commercial property insurance coverage. And thus far in 2019, loss trends continue to create pricing concerns. The market began to harden in 2017 following the second costliest year on record for insured and uninsured claims. Matters were made worse in 2018, which is now the fourth costliest natural disaster year on record for insured losses. With a combined loss total of $230 billion, 2017 and 2018 represent the most insured losses for two consecutive years.1

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Managing your workers comp class codes can be a challenge. These complex numbers represent an extensive compilation of job descriptions and they vary by state. Many employers end up using incorrect classifications, while others avoid updating them from year to year. However, workers comp class codes play a vital role in regulating insurance premiums and can have a substantial impact on your workers’ compensation policy. They need to be a priority.

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On Tuesday, September 24, 2019, the Department of Labor issued a final rule regarding overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Under the new rule, which will be effective January 1, 2020, any employee who makes less than $684 per week ($35,568 per year) will automatically be eligible to earn overtime pay.

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Building maintenance companies face many exposures during day-to-day operations. From compliance issues to contractual risk, there are numerous factors at play. One of the biggest areas of concern, however, is employee-related loss. Building maintenance companies need effective workers’ comp risk management. Fortunately, they can use key performance indicators (KPIs) to help address this exposure.

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On November 4, 1915, a girl was born in Wisconsin without forearms or lower legs. Despite her enormous physical challenges, she grew into a strong young woman who was determined to achieve her dreams. She learned to swim, play baseball and participate in other games with childhood friends. She had tremendous support from her family who encouraged her to complete her education. Her father once told her, “…two arms and two legs missing aren’t as important as one head that’s present.” Those words lit a fire in Anne Carlsen. She embraced learning, sometimes completing two grade levels at a time. Despite a long hospitalization after surgery for her condition, she graduated high school at the age of 16.

Editor's Note: This is the third and final installment of our Jamestown Client Spotlight. We hope you've enjoyed learning more about these cornerstone businesses, as well as getting a bit more insight into Jamestown, North Dakota. This week's spotlight shines on the amazing Ann Carlsen Center, so read on!

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With roots dating back to 1883 (a time before North Dakota was even a state), the University of Jamestown (UJ) has been a regional fixture for well over a century. It represents a historical significance that almost never came to be. During its infancy, the school was closed due to the Panic of 1893 (a depression that plagued the U.S. until 1897). That could have been the end of the University’s story, but a full economic recovery led to an educational void that begged for it to reopen. Jamestown College (as it was originally named) reopened on September 22, 1909, and the rest is history.

Editor's Note: This is the second installment of our Jamestown Client Spotlight.

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Known as the “Pride of the Prairie,” Jamestown, North Dakota is a year-round vacation spot for tourists seeking rich frontier history, buffalo sightings and a variety of outdoor recreation – from fishing and hunting to golfing and cross-country skiing. What began as a small post by developers of the Northern Pacific Railroad is now home to nearly 16,000 people. Despite its modest size, this tight-knit community has a strong presence in the business, academic and philanthropic worlds. SilverStone Group has been fortunate enough to partner with three Jamestown organizations that represent these pillars of success. They have given us a unique look at the  community, and we’d like to share that perspective with our readers.

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Charitable contributions are a vital part of our social fabric. While they are intended to help recipients, they can also benefit donors when the right charitable giving strategies are used. It may seem convenient to simply write a personal check to a charity, but that should be a last resort for most taxpayers. When you write a check, you’re sending off money that was likely taxed before making its way into your bank account – money that’s worth 100 cents on the dollar.

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As a Retirement Plan Advisor, I conduct a lot of employee education meetings. I’m asked many questions, but two keep coming up: “What is a Roth 401(k)?” and “Should I use it for my retirement savings?”

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Are you 65 or older and exiting a group medical plan? If so, you probably have questions about your Medicare options. Most people are used to signing up under employer-provided health plans, so navigating Medicare on your own can be overwhelming.

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