SilverBlog

Wisdom from our industry experts and our SilverLink magazine.

 
 
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Winter brings us many joys – holidays, fun in the snow, endless shoveling (well, maybe not the last one). But winter also brings some dangers. Obvious ones are ice-related car accidents and slips / falls. However, there is a hidden threat that is far more dangerous during cold-weather months, yet it’s often given little thought. Carbon monoxide safety should be a top priority when the temperatures start to drop.

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Each year Omaha Magazine gives companies a chance to vote on other area organizations in the Best of Business-to-Business (B2B) contest. It’s an opportunity to showcase some of the top performing companies in Omaha. SilverStone Group is honored to receive the 2019 award for Best Employee Benefit Company. It's our 11th year in a row and this recognition is particularly meaningful, as it comes from our clients and colleagues. We appreciate all who took the time to cast their votes and recognize our team.

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Life can change in an instant. Residents, business owners, ranchers and farmers across Nebraska, Iowa and surrounding states are currently coping with this reality. Historic flooding has devastated our region, sweeping away homes, buildings, roads and pastures. The destruction is unlike anything we’ve seen and it has directly affected our family, friends, clients and colleagues. As I write this, my own home is sitting in water up to its roofline – and there’s nothing I can do but watch and wait.

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The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) regulations can be difficult to follow. Mix in some workers’ compensation laws and things can get really complicated. FMLA protects the employment status and health benefits of an individual for up to 12 weeks under certain qualifying criteria. Workers’ compensation provides benefits and wage replacement to employees who suffer job-related injuries and illnesses. It is possible for FMLA and workers’ compensation to run concurrently when an employee misses work due to an on-the-job injury that qualifies as a serious health condition. This can be any illness, injury, impairment or physical / mental condition that involves inpatient care or continuing treatment by a healthcare provider.

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While 2017 was mostly a buyers’ market for commercial property insurance, rates are currently on the rise. From hospitality and storage to development and habitational, the commercial real estate insurance market is firming up. Carriers are responding to natural disasters, including hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria and Florence, as well as recent California wildfires. Events like these have significantly affected the insurance industry, with global insured losses totaling well over $100 billion in 2017 alone.

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The driver shortage plaguing the trucking industry has made truck driver turnover a frustrating problem. It is especially difficult when companies continually lose quality drivers. Retaining safe and reliable drivers is a vital part of your overall risk management strategy. You may be wondering why you are losing good drivers, and it’s important to know the answer. Understanding the problem is key  to finding a solution.

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When determining a home’s value, homeowners tend to think about “market value” or what it might sell for. This number can fluctuate considerably and is primarily dependent on what buyers believe a home is worth. When insurance carriers determine a home’s value, they look at the numbers from a much different angle. Replacement cost coverage is based on the total cost of reconstruction. This number is usually steadier than a home’s market value, with a typical annual increase of 4% to 5%.

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Life insurance can enjoy favorable treatment under federal tax law. When structured properly, beneficiaries can receive death proceeds 100% tax-free, even passing free of probate and federal estate taxes. Furthermore, cash values can grow tax-free within the policy, and tax-free loans can be taken against the cash values. But favorable life insurance taxation isn’t guaranteed. When policies are structured improperly there can be significant consequences.

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“Together for a better internet.” – That was the campaign slogan for Safer Internet Day (SID) on February 5, 2019. SID was launched to help create a safer internet for everyone, especially our youth. So rather than focus on internet safety at work, I’d like to discuss how we can make it safer for the children in our lives.

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A company’s success often relies on its key employees. If one of them should abruptly pass away, the company’s future could be in jeopardy. Smaller businesses are particularly vulnerable, as they often depend on a few key people whose knowledge and skills are essential to the company’s operation. According to a survey of small businesses by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, 71% of firms said they were very dependent on one or two key people for their success. However, only 22% of respondents had key person insurance.¹

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