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Jeff Sanders, works with associations and companies throughout the state of Florida to meet their insurance and risk management service needs. Jeff and his team have a proactive style and hands on approach to providing insurance services to their clients. Not only is Jeff a commercial property and casualty specialist, he also holds a TRIP designation, is a member of the Community Association Institute (CAI), Hospitality Financial & Tech Professionals (HFTP) association, and Community Owners – Managers – Associates (COMA). Jeff is also a certified Continuing Education instructor for the community management and construction industries. Comments and questions are welcome at jsanders@gulfshoreinsurance.com

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.

Commercial Lines Preventing Slip and Fall Incidents at Your AssociationDid you know slips, trips, and falls are one of the greatest personal injury hazards facing your association? In fact, according to the National Floor Safety Institute, falls are the leading cause of emergency room visits. Any slip, trip, or fall incident brings the potential for your association to be held responsible for that person’s injury. To protect people from painful and potentially deadly injuries and to protect your association from liability and unnecessary claim costs, take action to prevent accidents from occurring in the first place.

If a slip, trip, or fall occurs:

  • Provide assistance
  • Document the event
  • Keep your records in order

 

Responding to the incident:

  • Offer assistance
  • Provide first aid
  • Call for emergency medical assistance, when required
  • Demonstrate understanding and concern for the fallen person
  • As soon as possible, report the incident to appropriate management personnel
  • Do not give assurances that medical bills will be “taken care of”

 

Document the incident:

  • Promptly complete the incident report
  • Complete the form at the incident site as quickly as possible
  • Provide the signed incident form to management
  • Keep a copy of all incident reports
  • Review the incident reports to identify problem areas
  • Correct identified problems
  • Provide a copy to your insurance company

 

Other action plan steps include:

  • Regularly scheduled premises inspections
  • Floor care maintenance records
  • Keep copies of any maintenance agreements with outside vendors

 

Download the Slip and Fall Prevention Checklist

Below are areas of heightened concern for Community Associations that you should pay particular attention to:

  1. Outdoor Surfaces: Outdoor surfaces, such as parking lots, sidewalks, and walkways, are one of the leading areas for slip and fall injuries. Rain often makes these areas slippery and dangerous.
  2. Steps and Stairs: Steps and stairs pose a slip and fall hazard for several reasons, and falls down stairs are often more severe. Steps can become worn over time due to heavy use and be a serious trip and fall hazard. Carpeted stairs can become torn over time and create serious trip hazards as well.
  3. Pool Decks: Pool decks are a dangerous area due to the large amounts of moisture, slicks floors, and minimal footwear.
  4. Locker Rooms: Locker rooms are dangerous, like pool decks, due to the slippery conditions. Locker rooms are also dangerous due to clothes, bags, and towels that can clutter up the floor and cause trip and fall injuries.
  5. Entryways: These high-traffic areas are also an extremely common place for slip and fall injuries to occur. Due to the high amount of foot traffic, water and debris are consistently tracked in by shoes making the area slippery.

Jeff Sanders, works with associations and companies throughout the state of Florida to meet their insurance and risk management service needs. Jeff and his team have a proactive style and hands on approach to providing insurance services to their clients. Not only is Jeff a commercial property and casualty specialist, he also holds a TRIP designation, is a member of the Community Association Institute (CAI), Hospitality Financial & Tech Professionals (HFTP) association, and Community Owners – Managers – Associates (COMA). Jeff is also a certified Continuing Education instructor for the community management and construction industries. Comments and questions are welcome at jsanders@gulfshoreinsurance.com

Gulfshore Insurance has been successfully insuring and protecting Community Associations throughout Florida for more nearly 50 years, and currently insure over 700 community and condominium associations throughout the state. We are committed to identifying your specific exposures; developing strategies to handle those risks; implementing insurance programs and coverages to meet your needs; and continuing to monitor and adjust your plan to ensure a perfect fit with your association. Contact us today for assistance with any insurance or risk management concerns.

The following is a summary of recently released COVID-19 information as of January 6, 2021

GENERAL COVID Updates 2021 01New Simplified Forgiveness Process Approved For PPP Loans Under $150,000
The United States Congress has approved a new law that will simplify the forgiveness process for businesses with PPP loans under $150,000. While these smaller PPP loans will not be automatically forgiven as many had hoped, the process of getting the loan forgiven has been made a lot easier.

The new forgiveness process for loans under $150,000 will be a one-page application where you list your loan amount, the number of employees your business was able to retain because of the loan, and the estimated amount of the PPP loan that your business spent on payroll costs. No further documentation will be required, but it is recommended that businesses retain supporting documentation for 3 years.

Update On Deductibility Of Business Expenses And PPP Loans
While PPP loan forgiveness is not taxable income for federal income tax, the IRS had taken the position that expenses paid for with a forgiven PPP loan would not be deductible as a business expense. Normally, a business can deduct amounts it spends on business expenses (like payroll) from its taxable income. Under the IRS ruling, businesses would not be able to take a deduction for business expenses paid for with their PPP loan, which meant that businesses would pay more in federal tax for 2020.

Thankfully, the new law that Congress passed at the end of 2020 overturns this IRS ruling and fixes this situation. Under the new law, regular business expenses paid for with PPP loans will be deductible for tax purposes.

Employee Paid Leave For COVID Has Ended
Early in the pandemic, the United States Congress passed a law that required employers to provide two weeks (up to 10 weeks in certain circumstances) of paid leave from work for employees dealing with COVID. This law, called the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), expired at the end of 2020. Congress did not choose to renew the paid leave law at the end of the year, so employers are no longer required to provide paid COVID-related leave under the FFCRA to their employees.

While this COVID-related paid leave is no longer required, employers may voluntarily choose to offer their employees paid COVID-related time off from work and receive tax credits for any paid leave they provide. Employees are still entitled to only 80 hours of leave, so employers cannot take tax credits for leave provided to employees who have already taken their 80 hours of paid leave.

Second Round Of PPP Loans Will Be Available For Businesses
A second round of PPP loans will be available soon for businesses that have spent their first PPP loan. To qualify, businesses must demonstrate that they had a 25% reduction in gross revenues in the first, second, or third quarter of 2020 as compared to the same quarter of 2019. These businesses will be eligible for a second PPP loan, even if they already received a PPP loan in 2020.

The maximum loan amount of the second PPP loan is 2.5 times your average monthly payroll costs in the year prior to the loan. Businesses in the food service and hotel/motel industries can receive up to 3.5 times their average monthly payroll costs.

Like the first round of PPP loans, these new PPP loans are entirely forgivable (you do not have to pay them back) if you spend at least 60% of the loan on payroll costs. And the list of allowable payroll expenses has been expanded to include group health payments made by employers for vision, dental, disability, and life insurance for their employees. Other new allowable expenses are:

  • Operations expenses like software, cloud computing, and other human resources and accounting costs
  • Personal protective equipment provided to employees
  • Technology expenses
  • Supplier costs for goods that are essential to your operations
  • Property damage

Like the original PPP loans, the amount of your second PPP loan that can be forgiven will be reduced if you reduce the number of your employees or their salaries.

If you are interested in applying for a second PPP loan, you should contact your bank to ask if they are going to participate in the second round of PPP loans.

Reminder: Florida Minimum Wage Increased
The Florida minimum wage increased on January 1, 2021 from $8.56 an hour to $8.65 an hour. The minimum cash wage for tipped employees also went up, from $5.54 an hour to $5.63 an hour. Florida law requires employers to post a Florida-specific minimum wage poster at their place of business.

State Sales Tax Rate On Commercial Rent Will Not Change In 2021
In Florida, businesses that rent their offices/locations (including retail space) are required to pay sales tax on the amount of their lease. After decreasing each of the last several years, the tax rate charged on business rent for 2021 will stay at the 2020 rate, which is 5.5% (plus additional local sales tax).

We will continue to keep you updated as more information becomes available. If you have any questions, please reach out to your account manager.

Gulfshore Insurance is a Naples, Florida based insurance agency specializing in employee benefits insurance including group medical, dental, vision, life insurance, short and long term disability, voluntary life, employee assistance programs, wellness programs, individual life insurance, and more. Our insurance and risk management advisors are experts can provide valuable services including benefits plan design and administration, human resources support, funding options, compliance assistance, benefit administration, and enrollment services. Gulfshore Insurance services Naples, North Naples, Marco Island, Bonita Springs, Fort Myers, and Southwest Florida. We have office locations in Naples, Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale, and Sarasota.

Join us at any of the upcoming, free Acrisure compliance webinars!

January 2021 Gulfshore Insurance Employee Benefits Compliance Webinar Feb 2021 Gulfshore Insurance Employee Benefits Compliance WebinarMarch 2021 Gulfshore Insurance Employee Benefits Compliance Webinar April 2021 Gulfshore Insurance Employee Benefits Compliance Webinar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click here to download the calendar of upcoming webinars

If you have any questions or need assistance, please reach out to your Gulfshore Insurance Account Manager.

Gulfshore Insurance is a Naples, Florida based insurance agency specializing in employee benefits insurance including group medical, dental, vision, life insurance, short and long term disability, voluntary life, employee assistance programs, wellness programs, individual life insurance, and more. Our insurance and risk management advisors are experts can provide valuable services including benefits plan design and administration, human resources support, funding options, compliance assistance, benefit administration, and enrollment services. Gulfshore Insurance services Naples, North Naples, Marco Island, Bonita Springs, Fort Myers, and Southwest Florida. We have office locations in Naples, Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale, and Sarasota.

Understanding the Stimulus PackageOn Sunday, Dec. 27, 2020, President Donald Trump signed into law an emergency stimulus package designed to deliver approximately $900 billion in COVID-19-related aid. This bill was passed by Congress after months of negotiation, and was attached to a $1.4 trillion spending package that will keep the government open for the fiscal year. Notably, this bill provides funding for unemployment benefits, small businesses, direct economic payments to individuals, vaccine distribution and rental assistance.

Unemployment Benefits Funding and Extension
The bill includes funding for unemployment benefits for out-of-work Americans. Specifically, this bill allows unemployed Americans to receive $300 per week in federal funding in addition to the existing unemployment aid they may be collecting from their state, if those state-level benefits have not already run out. The additional unemployment benefits and extensions included within this bill would provide aid for 11 weeks from their expiration at the end of December 2020 through at least March 14, 2021.

Initial COVID-19 relief for unemployment benefits was introduced by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which was enacted on March 27, 2020. The CARES Act provided funding for states to waive any waiting week requirements for unemployment income (UI) benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic and to provide an additional $600 per week to all individuals receiving UI benefits for weeks of unemployment ending before July 31, 2020. President Trump signed a memorandum to extend a portion of unemployment wages after the initial $600 per week expired.

Additionally, the bill includes an extension of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). PUA is a program that allows workers who are not traditionally eligible to receive unemployment benefits, including self-employed and gig workers, to do so. An 11-week extension in base benefits through this program is also included within the bill. 

Aid for Businesses
The bill includes approximately $325 billion in funding to the Small Business Administration (SBA) to assist U.S. businesses that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Specifically, the bill allocates $284 billion in funding to replenish the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which provides forgivable small business loans to eligible applicants. Under the bill, certain firms that had already applied for, received and exhausted PPP funds will be eligible to apply for another PPP loan. To be eligible for a second PPP loan, a small business must have less than 300 employees and have sustained at least a 25% loss in revenue during any quarter of 2020 when compared to the same quarter in 2019. Additionally, small 501(c)(6) organizations with 150 or fewer employees that are not lobbying organizations would be eligible for a PPP loan with this round of funding.

The bill also provides the following with regard to the PPP:

  • Expansion of expenses eligible for loan forgiveness to include supplier costs and investment costs related to modifying facilities and obtaining personal protective equipment for safety
  • Simplified loan forgiveness process for businesses that have borrowed $150,000 or less in PPP loans
  • Confirmation that business expenses paid for with PPP loan funds are tax deductible

Businesses interested in applying for a PPP loan should contact their lender for more information.
The bill also directs $15 billion in funding for independent live-venue operators affected by COVID-19 and another $20 billion for small business grants.

Direct Economic Impact Payments
The bill includes another round of economic impact payments—commonly referred to as stimulus checks. The CARES Act provided the first round of stimulus checks for eligible Americans. Under the CARES Act, tax filers with an adjusted gross income of up to $75,000 for individuals and up to $150,000 for married couples filing joint returns were eligible to receive the full payment of $1,200 per individual or $2,400 per married couple. Parents were also eligible to receive $500 for each qualifying child.

The bill follows the same eligibility guidelines as the CARES Act, but the amount of the stimulus check is less this time around. Instead of being eligible for a $1,200 payment, qualifying taxpayers are eligible for a payment of $600 per individual or $1,200 per married couple. Parents will also be eligible to receive $600 for each qualifying child.

Other Provisions Included in the Bill
The bipartisan bill provides funding for a variety of other issues, including:

  • U.S. Postal Service—$10 billion
  • Health Care Provider Relief Fund—$35 billion
  • COVID-19 Testing and Tracing and Vaccine Distribution—$69 billion
  • Transportation Industry Relief (Airlines, Airports, Buses, Transit and Amtrak)—$45 billion
  • Education—$82 billion
  • Housing Assistance (Rental)—$25 billion
    • Additionally, the bill extends the federal moratorium on evictions until the end of January 2021.

Another provision included in the bill is a ban on surprise medical bills—to help protect insured patients from large medical bills when they unknowingly receive out-of-network care. The bill also includes enhanced tax credits, including the employee retention tax credit for employers that keep employees on payroll and provide paid sick leave. Under the bill, the earned income tax credit and child tax credit would become available to those who lost wages or their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic, and expand the low-income housing tax credit.

Click here to download the full bulletin 

We will continue to share information as it becomes available and keep you informed.

Gulfshore Insurance is a Naples, Florida based insurance agency specializing in employee benefits insurance including group medical, dental, vision, life insurance, short and long term disability, voluntary life, employee assistance programs, wellness programs, individual life insurance, and more. Our insurance and risk management advisors are experts can provide valuable services including benefits plan design and administration, human resources support, funding options, compliance assistance, benefit administration, and enrollment services. Gulfshore Insurance services Naples, North Naples, Marco Island, Bonita Springs, Fort Myers, and Southwest Florida. We have office locations in Naples, Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale, and Sarasota.