Gulfshore Insurance > Safety

Commercial Lines Proposed Decrease to Florida Work Comp Rates 2021The National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) recently delivered its annual workers’ compensation insurance rate filing to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation.

Based upon its review of the most recent data available, NCCI has proposed an overall average rate level decrease of 5.7 percent, effective January 1, 2021 in Florida.

To view NCCI’s Overview of the proposed rate filing, click here.

Ryan Schmidt is a Client Advisor and Partner with Gulfshore Insurance. Ryan specializes in working with commercial clients. Comments and questions are welcome at

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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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

Implications of Legalized Marijuana for EmployersLegalized marijuana, whether medical or recreational, is finding its roots nationwide. In those states that have legalized medical and/or recreational marijuana, employers must understand the relevant legal developments and how they affect the workplace. Currently, 33 states and Washington, D.C., have legalized medical marijuana use, and 10 states have approved both its medical and recreational use. So, what does this mean for employers?

All marijuana use is still illegal under federal law. Marijuana is listed as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act, which means that it is deemed to have no medical value and a high potential for abuse. As such, this allows you to continue to consistently enforce your zero-tolerance drug policies, including as it applies to medical marijuana. Accordingly, you should be able to continue to send any employee to random or reasonable suspicion drug testing consistent with your policies and practices, and then enforce your disciplinary policies as it would not matter what kind of illegal drug – including medical marijuana – shows up in the individual’s system.

If you employ individuals in safety-sensitive positions or other jobs that require drug-testing under federal or state guidelines, you will almost certainly want to follow this recommendation. In some cases, you may be required to do so under federal law, such as Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations. In other cases, you will want to do so in order to avoid the risk of having one of your employees cause an accident involving members of the public, coworkers, or simply themselves, which could lead to devastating consequences and employer liability. Any employee who has to drive as part of the job, even if not subject to DOT regulations, should be legally prohibited from being under the influence of marijuana.

Since the passing of the most recent amendment in Florida, employers have worried about what it could mean for drug use in the workplace. Until courts rule otherwise, companies must not tolerate testing positive for marijuana under the drug-free workplace.

Given what we know, there are still many lingering questions, such as:

  • Should I still drug test?
  • Can I refuse to hire an employee who uses medical marijuana?
  • Do I have to accommodate an employee who uses medical marijuana?
  • What effects of medical marijuana can be anticipated on a job site?
  • How do I know if the medical marijuana use is valid?

Summer has come to an end and right around the corner is high-season for many Florida companies. High-season extends from November thru April and for many that means increased business due to the snow birds and tourists returning for the warm weather.  Businesses can expect to be serving a population that is nearly 22% larger during these months. The Florida winter season brings with it great reward for business owners, but not without risk. Preparing your business for the influx in population is imperative for a successful season.

Here are the top 5 ways to manage your company’s risk before high-season is here.

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Hotel SafeAfter an around-the-world cruise, Raymond and Barbara Carye of Boston lost $350,000 worth of jewelry while staying at a south Florida resort. Their safe was evidently opened with a master cylinder (which had been labeled master cylinder and left sitting in an unlocked office). They sued the hotel but were unable to prove negligence. In some states, even if they had proven negligence the protective innkeeper-liability laws would have prevented them from recovering more than a small fraction of their loss. … Read more

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