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Commercial Lines Cost of Workers Compensation Claims on the Rise 2The workers’ compensation sector of the commercial insurance industry is generally a stable and profitable segment. However, the claims in this market have become costlier, with concerns over severity on the rise. While the frequency of claims has declined, several factors contribute to increasing claim expenses.

According to a survey by the National Council on Compensation Insurance, the top concerns for the workers’ compensation sector are the changing workforce and rising medical costs resulting from medical inflation, treatment innovations and hospital consolidations. Further complicating the issue, different states have varying reasons for increases. The Workers’ Compensation Research Institute found a steady rise in lost-time claims for most states, and states without fee schedules are seeing a steeper climb in these claims.

The Changing Workforce
In 2021, 23% of the U.S. workforce was older than 55, and most experts agree the aging workforce is a prominent cause of workers’ compensation increases. Workers 55 and over account for over one fifth of lost-time injuries and 31% of the costs. Older workers are also more likely to have comorbidities, such as diabetes, heart disease or mental health issues, resulting in a slower healing process, more complex and expensive treatments, and a longer time away from work than younger workers.

Still, younger workforces can also lead to expensive claims. As more employers experience labor shortages, they may take on less experienced staff, whose lack of expertise can make them more susceptible to injury. Industries impacted by the labor shortage, such as construction and manufacturing, may see severe injuries increase, including falls from heights, burns or machinery- or driving-related accidents.

Medical Inflation
Medical inflation has also resulted in an increased cost per claim. According to Rising Medical Solutions, medical inflation bumped up to 6.6% in 2021 for workers’ compensation, up from the three-year average of 6.4%. In addition, mergers between medical facilities and consolidations of physicians’ practices are driving up costs. As the number of facilities decreases, their bargaining power increases, leading to increased costs. Improvements to technology have also increased claim costs; since the equipment is more expensive, so is the treatment.

Gulfshore Insurance is a Naples, Florida based insurance agency specializing in business insurance including liability insurance, property insurance, workers compensation insurance, vehicle insurance, business income interruption insurance, cyber insurance, commercial umbrella insurance, and more. Our insurance and risk management advisors are industry specialists for condominium associations, golf and country clubs, oil and petroleum marketers, construction, landscaping, churches and non-profits, and work comp. Navigating insurance requires an experienced and trusted insurance agent who understands your business risks and exposures. Gulfshore Insurance services Naples, North Naples, Marco Island, Bonita Springs, Fort Myers, Sarasota, Lido Beach, Longboat Key, Bradenton Beach, and Southwest Florida. We have office locations in Naples, Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale, and Sarasota.

PRS Steps to Take After a HurricaneAfter a hurricane hits, it’s important that you keep your safety in mind before you begin assessing the damage that was done to your property. Pay attention to local officials for information and special instructions. Once confirmed that it is safe to return to your home, keep the following in mind as you begin the recovery process.

Upon return, it is important to survey the property for damage. Do not turn on electrical power until you have inspected the property and evaluated all possible risks. Check for damage inside and outside the property, and document any property damage with photographs, inclusive of your contents. Keep a journal of these damages and report them to your insurance company as soon as you can. Provide a general description of the damage and have your policy number handy if possible.

If your home has sustained damage, it is never a good idea to repair it yourself. However, there are a few things you can do until a professional is able to fix the problem. Remember, do not proceed with permanent repairs or remove debris until the insurance adjuster has had the opportunity to inspect the resulting damages. Save all of your receipts as the insurance company will ask for them at a later date.

  • Cover damaged roofs with tarps.
  • Cover broken windows with plywood or plastic.
  • Use lumber or 4-by-4s to brace sagging ceilings. Remove any wet insulation.
  • If possible, restore your air conditioning systems or run fans to prevent mold.
  • If mold has already started to grow, clean it up with a mixture of bleach and water.


For decades, Gulfshore Insurance has helped our clients manage the aftermath of devastating hurricanes. We have taken extra steps to ensure we will be there for you following a hurricane or other natural disaster.

Gulfshore Insurance is a Naples, Florida based insurance agency specializing in home and homeowners insurance, car and auto insurance, boat and yacht insurance, property insurance, umbrella insurance, valuables insurance for fine art, jewelry, wine, and more. Navigating insurance requires an experienced and trusted insurance agent who understands your high net worth risks and exposures. Gulfshore Insurance services Naples, North Naples, Port Royal, Park Shore, Pelican Bay, The Moorings, Naples Beach, Marco Island, Bonita Springs, Sanibel Island, Captiva, Fort Myers, Sarasota, and Southwest Florida. We have office locations in Naples, Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale, and Sarasota.

Commercial Lines Landscaping Safety TipsMore than 912,000 people in the U.S. are employed as landscapers or groundskeepers. Landscaping is a dangerous profession. Heat, power tools, sharp instruments, and repetitive work can all lead to painful and sometimes debilitating workplace injuries.  Here are some things you need to keep in mind during the busy summer season.

Common injuries for landscapers include cuts, punctures, and amputations. Power equipment like mowers, blowers, trimmers, cutting blades, trenchers, and tillers have rotating and cutting parts that can cause these severe injuries. Read instructions and get training on each specific model of equipment you use. It’s important that landscapers keep their tools sharp. A dull blade is far more dangerous than a sharp one because the user must exert a lot more force to get the job done. Keeping hand tools in good working order can also help protect landscapers from repetitive-stress injuries.

Before attempting to fix or clear a jam from a power tool or mower, make sure that the power supply is turned off and all the blades have stopped moving completely before you put your hands in the equipment. Inspect equipment before each use to ensure that guards and safety switches work properly – never bypass these features.

To avoid trips and falls, consider the conditions you’re working in. Grass clippings, wet spots, bad lighting, chemical spills, and electrical cords or hoses on paths are all things that can lead to slip and trip injuries. Preventing injuries can be as simple as paying close attention to conditions and putting equipment back where it belongs.

Use personal protective equipment (PPE) and proper clothing on the job. Sturdy work boots protect your feet from heavy equipment, cutting blades, and dropped landscape materials. Gloves protect your hands from blisters, splinters, scratches, cuts, and punctures from tools, rough landscaping materials, and plants. Safety glasses and/or face shields that are impact resistant protect your eyes from flying objects and chemicals. Use UV protective lenses outdoors. Ear plugs or earmuffs protect your hearing from loud equipment.

Clothing in a high-visibility color makes you more visible to traffic in roads, parking lots, and your coworkers. Do not wear loose-fitting or torn clothing that may become entangled in moving equipment. Wear lightweight long pants and long-sleeved shirts to help protect against both ultraviolet radiation (UV), and ticks or other insects. Know the first aid for bug and snake bites, watch these areas for infection, and get follow-up medical care when needed. Wear a wide brim hat that covers your ears and protects your nose and neck from the sun and bugs. Apply insect repellant and sunscreen to exposed areas of skin.

Be aware of expected weather conditions for the day, and plan accordingly. Have plans about where to go if severe weather hits. Know where to seek shelter in a thunderstorm, such as fully enclosed metal vehicles, with windows up or a building (not sheds).

With the materials and equipment that are part of their jobs, landscape workers are exposed to various safety accidents every day. Many of these accidents can lead injuries that in turn result in lifelong disabilities. However, by following the proper protocols, landscape worker safety can easily and effectively be maintained.

Gulfshore Insurance is a Naples, Florida based insurance agency specializing in business insurance including liability insurance, property insurance, workers compensation insurance, vehicle insurance, business income interruption insurance, cyber insurance, commercial umbrella insurance, and more. Our insurance and risk management advisors are industry specialists for condominium associations, golf and country clubs, oil and petroleum marketers, construction, landscaping, churches and non-profits, and work comp. Navigating insurance requires an experienced and trusted insurance agent who understands your business risks and exposures. Gulfshore Insurance services Naples, North Naples, Marco Island, Bonita Springs, Fort Myers, Sarasota, Lido Beach, Longboat Key, Bradenton Beach, and Southwest Florida. We have office locations in Naples, Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale, and Sarasota.

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Commercial Lines A Look at OSHAs Top 10 Safety Violations 2

Each year, OSHA tracks the top 10 workplace safety standards violations which can lead to workers’ comp claims. For the 2021 fiscal year (Oct. 1, 2020, through Aug. 31, 2021), OSHA reported the most common violations, as published by the National Safety Council.

  1. Fall protection was the most-cited safety issue for the 11th year in a row in 2021, reports the National Safety Council. Some 5,271 violations were issued to framing contractors, roofing contractors, masonry firms and housing construction contractors. The main cause for citations was a lack of protection near unprotected edges or sides and on steep roofs or lesser-sloped surfaces. OSHA points out that fall protection issues exist across many work areas such as stairways, ladders, scaffolding, floor holes, wall openings and elevated areas.
  2. Respiratory protection violation citations totaled 2,521. The chief culprits were auto body refinishing companies, painting contractors, wall covering contractors and masonry contractors. They were cited for absence of a protection program, failure to perform required fit testing, and/or a lack of medical evaluations.
  3. Ladders drew 2,018 violations. The primarily offenders were among framing, siding, roofing and painting contractors. Violations included structurally deficient ladders, a lack of siderails extending three feet beyond a landing surface, and the use of ladders for purposes for which they’re not designed. Another issue: allowing workers to use the top step of a stepladder.
  4. Scaffolds were the cause of 1,943 violations. The primary firms cited by OSHA were siding, roofing, framing and masonry contractors. The causes included improper or inadequate decking, failure to provide adequate scaffold support on a solid foundation, and lack of safety guardrails.
  5. Hazard communication, while not necessarily the responsibility of on-the-job workers, was the fifth-most-cited OSHA safety issue in 2021. Auto repair facilities and painting contractors received most of the 1,939 citations. The main causes were lack of a written hazard communication program as well as inadequate training and/or failure to develop and maintain data safety sheets.
  6. Lockout/tagout is a category of safety related to the control of hazardous energy such as electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical, thermal, or other sources in machines and equipment. Chief targets of the 1,670 citations were plastic manufacturers, sawmills and machine shops. Violations included not providing adequate training, a lack of established energy control procedures, failure to use lockout/tagout equipment and failure to conduct evaluations of procedures.
  7. Fall protection training requirements (as distinct from fall protection) led to 1,660 violations. Causes included faulty training that trainees were unable to retain and failure to retrain those employees. Additional causes were failure to give required fall protection training and failure to certify fall protection training in writing.
  8. Eye and face protection, in the category of personal protective and lifesaving equipment, resulted in 1,451 violations. Most citations were for failure to use appropriate eye or face protection by employees who were exposed to flying objects, molten metal, liquid chemicals, acids or caustic liquids. Another cause of violations was a lack of side protection.
  9. Powered industrial trucks, including forklifts and motorized hand trucks, resulted in 1,404 violations. Warehousing and storage facilities, fabricated and structural metal manufacturing and framing contractors received most of the citations. Main causes were failure to operate safely, lack of refresher training and evaluation, absence of certification of training and evaluation, and failure to examine equipment for adverse conditions.
  10. Machine guarding standards, which covers guarding of machinery to protect operators and other workers from hazards, led to 1,105 violations in fiscal year 2021. Most often cited were firms in the machine shop and fabricated metal manufacturing fields. Main causes were violations of the types of required guards, lack of guarding at point of operation, not properly anchoring machinery, a lack of secure attachment of guards to machinery, and improper guarding of fan blades.

It is important for employers to review work processes in light of the top safety violations to determine the hazards in their workplace. The top ways for employers to avoid safety issues are job hazard analyses, employees’ reporting of hazards and unsafe conditions, and employee training. Frequent safety training and customized risk management programs can support operational business goals while reducing risk and making the workplace safer.

Gulfshore Insurance is a Naples, Florida based insurance agency specializing in business insurance including liability insurance, property insurance, workers compensation insurance, vehicle insurance, business income interruption insurance, cyber insurance, commercial umbrella insurance, and more. Our insurance and risk management advisors are industry specialists for condominium associations, golf and country clubs, oil and petroleum marketers, construction, landscaping, churches and non-profits, and work comp. Navigating insurance requires an experienced and trusted insurance agent who understands your business risks and exposures. Gulfshore Insurance services Naples, North Naples, Marco Island, Bonita Springs, Fort Myers, Sarasota, Lido Beach, Longboat Key, Bradenton Beach, and Southwest Florida. We have office locations in Naples, Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale, and Sarasota.