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By law, most businesses have to provide their employees with certain benefits. This might include health insurance, workers’ compensation and other protection. Nevertheless, many businesses don’t stop at required benefits packages. There are a lot of options out there to support employees, after all. Howimage of manager handing over employee benefit package info can some of these prove useful?

Even if you don’t have to offer employees certain insurance or benefits, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. Optional benefits might prove helpful to your workers in the right circumstances.

Optional Benefits Packages

The perks of a broad benefits package often show up in your operations. In other words, employees that have good support often perform better on the job. For example, health insurance can help them better provide for their medical needs. If they’re healthy, they’ll likely do a better job at work. That's a probable increase in productivity and income for the company.

So, when you set up a benefits package, think of how it can help the employee and the company. Some of the coverage you might consider offering includes:

  • Expanded health insurance options: Some health insurance doesn’t cover perks like vision or dental service. Still, if employees have access to these services, they might be able to perform better on the job. Consider adding coverage to your group health plan.
  • Health and wellness benefits: Wellness plans might offer gym memberships, health screenings, counseling and more for free or at discounts. This can go a long way towards improving overall wellness in the company.
  • Life insurance: An employee’s death means they cannot provide for their survivors. Life insurance can provide a financial settlement to let those parties tie up loose ends. It’s often great security for your workers.
  • Retirement pensions: These plans allow employees to put away money for their retirement. Some plans accumulate interest and cash value, adding more security. It's a way to help employees feel like they are working towards a goal.
  • Commuter reimbursement: If you operate in a city with a subway, you might offer employees a stipend to pay for their fares. This will help ensure employees always have money and resources to get to work.

In essence, the more benefits you provide, the more secure your employees can become—financially and personally. So, don't hesitate to talk to your insurance partners at 734-421-9900. See how they can help you establish optional benefits. You’ll likely recoup the cost of investment with the better performance of your workers.

Also Read: Lawfully Required Employee Benefits

Posted 4:45 AM

When selecting renters insurance, your policy should reflect the type of property you live in. Apartments are the most common type of rental property. However, many people rent condominiums and town homes as well. image of couple moving into condo

In all cases, renters insurance is a valuable investment. Your policy should reflect the differences in these spaces.

What Is the Difference?

Consider the difference in ownership here. Those living in a condo only own what is in the condo. They don't own the building itself.

Your renters insurance policy should reflect coverage for what is within the property’s walls. In a town home, the owner owns the land outside of it as well. He or she also owns the walls and roofing system. If you are renting a town home, you may need more coverage, including structure protection. It should cover risks outside of the walls.

Ownership itself does not matter to renters. However, it does provide some insight into what your insurance policy should offer to you.

When Does This Matter?

Let’s say a person visiting your condo comes inside and falls on a rug. He suffers significant head trauma. Your renters’ insurance liability policy may cover the losses associated with this injury. If it occurs outside of the condo, this may not be the case. The accident didn't occur on property owned by you.

In a town home, the insurance policy should represent your responsibility outside of the property as well. In all townhouses, you will be responsible for anything that occurs inside and outside on the property. It provides more coverage across the entire property..

Clarification with Your Owner

It is important to discuss risk with your condo owner. If you live in a larger development, clarify what type and amount of renters insurance you should have. Determine what your responsibilities are.

Many renters in these larger spaces have assets outdoors, too. Be sure your policy reflects these assets. It could mean purchasing more coverage. You may need a policy with more protections for your liability risks. Every policy should be specific. In doing so, it gives you the policy you need.

Discuss your needs for renters insurance with an insurance agent at 734-421-9900 or 800-220-5582. You can also discuss them with the property management company. This information can give insight into your responsibilities. Even if you rent a single family home, proper coverage is essential. With a plan in place, you do not have to worry about risks. This includes losses of your assets. It also includes losses associated with injury to another person. A comprehensive plan safeguards your financials no matter what type of property you live in right now.

Also Read: The Costs Associated with Renting

Running a company means you have certain responsibilities towards your employees. Often, you cannot expect them to work if you do not guarantee their safety and well-being. A variety of laws mandate how employers must provide for the welfare of the employees. In many cases, these laws govern howimage of employee benefits folder on desk the employer must offer benefits.

Employee benefits come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They all serve a purpose of safeguarding the recipients. Examine national, state and local laws to determine if you must offer benefits. Some of the options you might need include

1. Health Insurance

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires many employers to provide health insurance for workers. Most plans must contain certain elements of coverage. Employers, therefore, can often help employees access medical care. As a result, your business might even see an improvement in employee commitment, retention and overall company wellness.

2. Workers’ Compensation and Disability Insurance

Should something happen to an employee on the job, the business might have to pay for their losses. Most do so through workers’ compensation, which most states require businesses to carry. Injuries sustained at work could cause an employee to lose time at work, and thus lose income. Workers’ comp can assist an injured party’s recovery without them facing financial problems.

Some states also require disability benefits for employees with short- or long-term incapacitation. Though different from workers’ comp, disability benefits also provides supplementary income to affected employees.

3. Medical and Maternity Leave

Federal law requires most employers to allow workers to take time off in the event of illness, pregnancy or other medical needs. Generally, the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) governs these benefits.

For example, if someone must leave work to have surgery, they might qualify for this coverage. In many cases, the employer will have to keep that person’s job open and available during their absence. In other words, they cannot replace you. Often, employees qualify for around 12 weeks of leave.

Keep in mind, extended leave might not come with pay. Some companies offer fully-paid leave for employees, while others do not. Some states require some companies to offer paid leave on certain occasions. However, what situations qualify for paid leave vary widely.

When determining the benefits you must offer your employees, take a look at local law. Various states have regulations in place to oversee the implementation of these plans. Then, contact an appropriate business insurance agent at 800-220-5582. They can often provide a variety of the benefits your employees might need.

Also Read: Employee Benefits: Providing Required and Offering Optional Benefits

Renting a home comes at a cost, even though this is often lower than ownership. So, how do you make ends meet? For many of us, one step in that process is to know what prices we regularly face. This knowledge can help us plan our budgets. image of for rent sign in front of a house

Many people think that renting is only the cost of the rental check. However, this isn’t true. Renters usually owe more than the cost of occupancy. Take some time to understand what costs you might have to expect when you sign a lease.

1. Basic rent has supplementary costs

You don’t want to face penalties, or even eviction, because you can’t pay your rent. Therefore, you should always know what your monthly invoice will contain.

  • Your basic rent is the price you will pay to occupy the property.
  • Supplementary rental costs might come from a variety of special cases. These might include fees for housing a pet, or pest and trash removal fees.

Landlords will usually have to list the base rent and additional fees on your lease. This will help you know exactly how much you will pay per month. Many experts recommend paying only about 1/3 of your monthly paycheck for your rental costs. Take a close look at rental options to make sure you can always afford your lease.

2. Utility costs

These are fees like your lights, gas and water bills. They are critical to keeping your home habitable. Sometimes, you pay for utility costs in your rent. In other cases, you pay them as separate bills.

A good tip is to keep a record of how much you pay per period for these costs. Over time, you can often begin to anticipate upcoming utility bills. Some suppliers provide ways for customers to track their anticipated costs as well.

3. Renters insurance premiums

Many landlords require their renters to carry this form of coverage. It can cover liability costs renters might pose to others on their property. It can also protect the value of the personal possessions belonging to the renter.

Usually, it’s quite easy to afford these policies. Work with your agent to establish a policy so that you never over pay for your coverage. They can help you tailor your coverage so that you always pay a fair price. They can also help you ensure that you never default on your premium payments. You therefore won’t run the risk of losing eligibility to rent.

Keep in mind, you might face other bills related to the cost of upkeep on your rental. Make sure you set aside a nest egg to pay for additional costs that might pop up from time to time.


Posted 1:09 PM

Your employees do a lot for your business. You want to show them that you have their best interests at heart. Offering benefits is one way to do so. image of employees gathered

Not only do you recognize the importance of protecting employees, so does the law. Some benefits are not options, but requirements. Businesses often have to provide certain perks to their employees. These particular benefits often act as valuable personal protection for your workforce.

Required Employee Benefits

Employee benefits usually involve various forms of insurance. Therefore, multiple laws cover whether certain businesses must offer certain benefits. As a business owner, always make sure you provide the benefits required of you. These might include

  • Health Insurance: Many employers have to offer some or all employees health packages. The employer usually shares the cost of the policy with the employee. These packages usually must meet standards set forth in health insurance law. Whether the employee takes this coverage is up to them. However, the employer usually must at least offer it.
  • Workers’ Compensation: If an employee gets hurt on the job, they might have to miss work to recover. This means they might not be able to receive income because they cannot work. Most businesses have to provide workers’ comp as a result. It serves as a way to help an employee receive income while recovering from an injury.
  • Overtime Pay: When certain employees work past their required time, they qualify for more pay.
  • Minimum Wage: Federal and state law require some or all employees to receive pay at a minimum level. The minimum wage is one way of making sure that employees can pay their own bills.

A variety of laws might govern how businesses must compensate their employees. Check your local statutes for more information on the benefits you must offer.

Optional, Additional Benefits

Good perks often provide incentives for your employees to stay with your company. So, most businesses provide a wide range of benefits. Beyond required benefits, additional perks you might offer include

  • Dental insurance for adults (many health insurance plans come with pediatric dental insurance)
  • Paid maternity or paternity leave
  • Paid holidays
  • Club memberships such as gyms or health spas
  • Life insurance and retirement accounts (some states might require this coverage)

And everything from pay raises to severance pay.

When it comes time to setting up your company's benefits plan, talk to your commercial insurance agent at 734-421-9900. They can help you enroll in benefits in compliance with the law. You can then work on offering extra benefits that provide workers with more comfort.

Also Read: Reducing Worker Falls on Icy Outside Surfaces and What to Consider When Launching a New Business

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Lighthouse Group Main Office in Grand Rapids, MI
Mailing Address | P.O. Box 530009, Livonia, MI 48153

Phone: 734.421.9900 | Toll Free: 800.220.5582 | Fax: 734.421.9911

Also serving these Detroit area communities in Michigan: Livonia, Farmington Hills, Ann Arbor, Southfield, Plymouth, Canton, Westland, Northville, Novi, Dearborn, South Lyon & Walled Lake