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Commercial Lines Top 10 Causes of Disabling InjuriesThe 2020 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index (WSI) found that the most disabling workplace injuries cost more than $59 billion per year.

U.S. businesses spend more than $1 billion per week on the most disabling workplace injuries. Compiled annually,  the Index researched the top 10 causes of the most serious workplace injuries — those that cause employees to miss work for more than five days — and ranked those causes by their direct cost to employers, based on medical and lost-wage expenses.

Top 10 causes of disabling workplace injuries:

Top 10 2020 workplace safety index the top 10 causes of disabling injuries 700b

As businesses reassess and refine business operations, now is a good time to address the many risks that employees can face in the workplace. Liberty Mutual took the Workplace Safety Index (WSI) a step further and broke down the most costly causes of injuries into eight industry-specific reports:


If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us for assistance. We are here to help.

Kim Ovaitte, CPCU, ARM is the Executive Vice President of Marketing & Sales at Gulfshore Insurance.  Also serving as the Construction Practice Leader, Kim works with clients to develop cost effective risk management and claims strategies that dovetail with their insurance program. Comments and questions are welcome at

Have a Plan for Medical Emergencies at Your FacilityAfter spending 10 years as a PGA Professional at some of America’s most prestigious clubs, I saw my fair share of medical emergencies. I once had a member faint of heat stroke just steps away from me. Another time, I had a guest go into cardiac arrest on the 18th fairway. Emergencies are going to happen. The only way to handle them properly and potentially save a life is to have a plan in place.

  1. Create Your Plan
    Who is doing what in case of emergency?  Don’t ever assume that even your most seasoned employee will handle themselves correctly during an emergency.  Think of how an emergency may play out (i.e. a member has a heart attack on the golf course).  Iron out the details of what will be required of each staff member. Who is calling 911?  Who is going to meet and escort the ambulance from the entrance of your property?  Who has been trained with the defibrillator? Who is CPR certified?
  2. Practice Makes Perfect
    This is no secret. The only way you can trust your staff to react accordingly is to practice.  Create a mock scenario and run through it as if it is the real thing.  Run through a scenario on the golf course, then a scenario in the dining room, sports complex, etc.  Practice the scenario in each area of your facility.
  3. Communication is the Key
    The entire staff should have radios for effective communication.  The nearest staff member may use their cell phone to call 911, but they still need to alert the rest of the staff of the medical emergency so everyone can pitch in. The emergency alert call should go to one main location that can alert the rest of the staff (i.e. golf shop). Don’t forget to communicate with other departments (i.e. the guard gate)!
  4. Assess How Your Staff Responded
    The assessment post emergency or practice scenario is essential. If there were any imperfections, discuss how they can be improved. Get feedback from your staff and if they recommend any changes, consider the changes. Don’t assume you know better than your troops on the ground.

I can tell you from experience, having a plan in place that has been practiced can save a life. Be sure your staff and team are ready for that emergency.

At Gulfshore Insurance, we specialize in insurance and risk management for golf and country clubs. We work with more than 50 clubs throughout Florida and we are happy to assist you with training materials, safety programs, and insurance for your club.

Jeffrey Sanders, TRIP is Client Advisor at Gulfshore Insurance. Jeff works with a wide range of business clients to deliver strategic risk analysis, guidance, and insurance. Comments and questions are welcome at

Caution Slip V2

I spent 10 years in the private club industry before pivoting into the insurance world.  As a manager, two of my top concerns internally were wellbeing of my staff and team, and the budget.

Workplace injuries drive up costs in many ways and often most significantly in your insurance premiums.  By investing in a safe workplace for your employees, you can achieve those two objectives.

Here are the Top 5 Workplace Injuries for Golf and Country Clubs

  1. Lifting & Handling: Strains and pulls (musculoskeletal)make up nearly 25% of all workplace injuries. Back pain, neck pain, leg pain can all result from lifting or handling something awkwardly or too heavy.
    Solution: Encourage employees to evaluate then lift. Get help from another co-worker and use mechanical aids if available.
  2. Slips, Trips and Falls: Many of these happen around the kitchen and when entering the building during wet weather.
    Solution: Kitchen staff must wear non-slip footwear at all times. Don’t just put mats and “slippery/wet” signs where your members enter and exit, but also where your employees do as well.
  3. Burns: Again, stemming from the kitchen, burns are common from hot surfaces and liquids.  Often times they are the result of inexperience or haste (hot plate, hot liquid spill).
    Solution: Make your staff aware of hot items or liquids. Train the new employees on potential hazards, especially if they are inexperienced in food service.
  4. Cuts: The Kitchen is a dangerous place. Cuts from knives and automated slicers are far too common.
    Solution: Staff sharp knives must use a cut resistant glove. Train proper cutting techniques.
  5. Golf Cart Injuries: Golf carts can be very dangerous. Most injuries occur when staff is not using caution, have body parts hanging outside of the golf cart, or using the cart improperly (i.e. riding on the back).
    Solution: Strict guidelines need to be in place and reviewed with the golf staff.  Specify the proper uses of golf carts (they are not utility carts) and identify areas of caution around your facility.  Under no circumstances should any person be allowed to ride on the back of a golf cart.

At Gulfshore Insurance, we specialize in insurance and risk management for golf and country clubs. We work with more than 50 clubs throughout Florida and we are happy to assist you with training materials, safety programs, and insurance for your club.

Jeffrey Sanders, TRIP is Client Advisor at Gulfshore Insurance. Jeff works with a wide range of business clients to deliver strategic risk analysis, guidance, and insurance. Comments and questions are welcome at

Workplace Injuries Are Costing Your Business Money. Take Control!Workplace injuries are costing your business money in a many ways; increased insurance premiums, cost of hiring and replacement, lost efficiency, additional training, increased paperwork and administrative costs, and more.

When I speak with business owners and CFO’s they often tell me, “the rates are what they are so there is nothing you can do to change what I pay for work comp.” While the state and the NCCI (National Council on Compensation Insurance) do set the class code rates in Florida, the employer has much more control over their premiums than they initially think.

What Employers CANNOT Control: 

The state sets the rate. Standard rates for Workers’ Compensation policies in the state of Florida are set by the NCCI. That means, whatever “class code” the job description of your employees fall into, is the rate you pay. Rate x Payroll = Standard Premium. But did you know, there is another factor that affects the rates you pay? And you have control over it!

Here’s What You CAN Control:

The Experience Modification Factor (The MOD). Every business that is subject to Workers’ Compensation develops their own MOD over time. The MOD is essentially a multiplier of your rates. It can (sometimes drastically) cause your Work Comp premium to increase or decrease based on how your most recent 3-year loss history compares with your competitors. The equation NCCI uses to calculate your MOD is complicated, but to simplify, if you have more Work Comp claims than your competitors and the claims dollars are higher, you are going to have a higher multiplier (MOD) than they will.

How You Can Control The MOD:

If your company has average claims frequency and costs, you’ll have a MOD of 1.00.  If your claims frequency and costs are higher than your competitors, you’ll have a MOD greater than 1.00.  If they are lower than your competitors, you’ll have a MOD less than 1.00.

Here is an example: 

  • Company A and B both have a base Work Comp premium of $50,000.  Company A has lots of claims and a MOD of 1.35.  Company B has very few claims and a MOD of 0.65.
  • A’s Premium Calculation:  $50,000 X 1.35 = $67,500 (That’s 35% more than their average competitor.)
  • B’s Premium Calculation: $50,000 X 0.65 = $32,500 (That’s 35% less than their average competitor and less than half of A’s premium!)

Depending on the size and scope of your business, it may be unrealistic to eliminate all workplace injuries.  However, the handling process is extremely important to reducing the dollar value of the claim.  At Gulfshore Insurance, we work with you and provide materials, training, and awareness for your employees.  We also have in-house Claims Specialists who are licensed adjusters, navigating each claim on your behalf.

Jeffrey Sanders, TRIP is Client Advisor at Gulfshore Insurance. Jeff works with a wide range of business clients to deliver strategic risk analysis, guidance, and insurance. Comments and questions are welcome at

For many associations, insurance premiums are the largest overhead cost, so it’s very important to accurately forecast any changes for the coming year. Each year, we review market conditions and trends that may impact your insurance renewal premiums, providing you with an educated look at how they may increase or decrease your association’s budget. Below, we are breaking down what you can anticipate for the remainder of 2019, including current renewals, and as you begin the budget planning process for 2020.

Property/Hazard Insurance Rates:
For the past several years, beginning in 2014 and continuing through 2018, we have generally experienced decreasing property premiums and improved coverage terms. This type of environment is known as a “soft” market. By the end of 2018, the property market began to show signs of firming. That continued into the first quarter of 2019. This trend has continued through the second quarter and appears to be accelerating more significantly than initially expected.

Adverse loss development from recent catastrophic events and an increase in the cost of reinsurance have been catalysts for this acceleration. Two consecutive years with combined loss ratios exceeding 100% has heightened the focus of management and underwriters to reduce aggregate exposure and increase rates.

In addition to rate increases, we are witnessing tightened risk selection, reduced capacity, increased deductibles, and policy form revisions. Some carriers are approaching New Business and Renewals differently and might be more aggressive offering a New Business quote vs. a Renewal quote, for essentially the same risk. Insurance carriers are utilizing a level of underwriting discipline we have not seen in a while.

  • At this time, our recommendation would be to budget for an increase of 10% to 30% for rates, and 5% to 10% for appraisal increases.
  • For coastal communities with losses and/or older structures, you should anticipate an increase on the higher end of this range.

Ancillary Coverage: (General Liability, Crime, D&O, Excess Liability)
We continue to expect these lines of coverage to remain relatively “flat” with the exception of General Liability and Umbrella. Due to adverse loss experience (severity and frequency), compounded by water damage subrogation claims from Personal Lines carriers, some carriers are pricing themselves out of this market. Others are adding restrictive endorsements, such as a Weapons/Firearms Exclusion, which basically forces agents to move carriers.

  • We recommend that you budget for a 10% premium increase for General Liability and Umbrella.

Flood Insurance Rates (NFIP):
As of April 1, 2019, there were changes to the NFIP that will affect both new and renewal policies.

  • Base premiums will increase an average of 7.3% after surcharges and fees. (As always we caution not to use this 7.3% to estimate any specific policy increase as this is an average of the NFIP’s many varying rate increases and policy types.)