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How to Improve Employee Engagement

Everyone knows that employees are at the heart of truly successful business. However, they can often be overlooked and keeping employees engaged can be a tough task. According to a Gallup poll only 30% of employed residents in the United States are engaged. True engagement can make a world of difference in the workplace when it comes to factors like productivity, customer ratings, profitability, and stabilizing turn-over rate. Taking care of your employees relies heavily on the right New York Employee Benefits Program. In addition to the right benefits program though, how can a business effectively get employees to engage? And where do you start? While everyone want to have a job or career they are passionate about, it’s up to those at the top to cultivate a place of success, trust, honesty, safety, and zeal in the workplace that will translate into real results, not only for the business but for those actively engaged employees. Putting the right type of managers in place can be crucial to your employees’ passion, successful and engagement. A successful manager realizes that their own success or failure hinges on the employees or team he oversees. Great managers look to empower their employees, not themselves, and can recognize the value in each individual, putting them in a position to succeed or motivating them in the best way that is conducive to both their job and their personality. However, managing employees is just one component of fostering greater employee engagement. When a business can not only provide a good work environment but also elevate employees’ quality of life through a comprehensive benefits package–then they are more like to be passionately engaged in their work, as well as create more productivity, leading profitability. Incentives within the job motivate employees, and the right benefits package also generates employees’ confidence that their company cares and values their contribution. From health insurance benefits including comprehensive coverage, voluntary benefits, wellness programs, and even small but meaningful incentives along the way create dynamic employee engagement—raising and sustaining a workplace filled with passion and positive results. Your business does not have to become a massive tech conglomerate to foster an environment of engagement. Set realistic engagement goals within your business and listen to employees’ voices and concerns. If you are looking to for ways to improve employee engagement in the greater New…
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Why Should You Insure Your Spring Fundraiser?

There are many different types of fundraisers, for a myriad of different noble pursuits. Fundraising events are a means by which non-profit and for-profit organizations can obtain money to operate or extra funds for a specific pursuit. While fundraisers can take a number of forms, they all face many of the same inherent risks. Whether you are throwing a spring gala event or organizing a local bake sale, it would be unfortunate to leave the event vulnerable to legal claims of injury or loss from others. Luckily, organizations can protect themselves against such claims by buying NY fundraiser event insurance. A strong fundraiser insurance policy will provide the accident and liability insurance that your event will require. A seasoned Manhattan insurance agency will be able to help you determine your event and operation’s exactly needs based on your fundraising goals, the type of activity you plan to hold, your participants and the requirements placed on you by your host site. Single event insurance is usually quite affordable, and it can cover your organization’s liability for a range of risks, including property damage and injuries. Should a guest be injured during the event and claim that your operation is at fault, this coverage would protect not only the raised funds but your operation’s assets as well by providing coverage for any legal complications that may arise. At A.J. Benet we can help you protect your fundraising events so that you can focus on raising the funds you need. We specialize in working with non-profit organizations, religious organizations, and a number of other specialty industries throughout the New York area. To learn more about our operation, contact us today at (888) 639-4560.

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Aging Utility Lines Linked to NYC Apartment Building Fires

An unexpected explosion rocked New York’s East Village Thursday afternoon, sparking a 5 alarm blaze. According to reports, a total of 19 individuals were injured, including five emergency responders, and at least two others remain missing. Luckily, reports indicate that none of the injuries thus far have been life threatening. The blaze reportedly started after an explosion occurred which officials believe was the result of work being preformed on gas line inside a NYC apartment building. The fire quickly spread to three neighboring apartment buildings causing the further evacuation of other buildings in the surrounding area. In total, 11 buildings were evacuated, 3 structures collapsed and a fourth suffered significant damages. Recent events occurred just over a year after a similar explosion and fire broke out in East Harlem, killing 8 individuals. The recent catastrophes have raises serious concerns about the safety and security of New York City’s utilities and infrastructure. In 2014, the NYC Center for an Urban Future released a report detailing the state of New York City’s aging infrastructure. According to the report, both of New York City’s major utility providers are using outdated and aging lines that are upwards of 50 and 60 years old. By the numbers, sixty percent of Consolidated Edison’s gas mains and 48 percent of National Grid’s lines are reportedly made of leak-prone materials, totaling some 3,321 miles of potentially leaky gas lines running throughout the city. Gas lines and pipes made of unprotected steel or cast iron are still widely prevalent in older cities such as NYC, and are cause large scale catastrophes, property damage and even loss of lives. Consolidated Edison reportedly aims to replace approximately 30 miles of their outdated pipes each year, however these adjustments are expensive, costing between $2.2 and $8 million per mile, and time consuming. For NYC commercial and residential real estate owners, utility infrastructure and failure has become a serious property loss and liability concern. The threat of a gas line exploding without warning, a water main leaking and causing flooding, or electrical wiring malfunctions resulting in fire are very real. As such, it is vital that NYC commercial property owners secure complete property and liability insurance to protect their assets. At A.J. Benet Insurance, we offer property and liability coverages along with workers compensation and management liability insurance for your business operations. Our…
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Vital NY Wealth Management Liability Insurance Coverages

  Wealth managers face a myriad of liability exposures through the course of their professional service. By nature the risks are high for these professionals because handing the finances of others places additional pressure, responsibility and liability onto one’s shoulders. Clients have a lot to lose should a wealth management professional make an error or misjudgment in their work, and an unhappy clients won’t hesitate to pursue legal action against your operation. The risk of being responsible for fraud, mismanagement, or other wrongful acts is exactly why New York wealth managers must employ strategic risk management planning and risk transfer strategies. The right New York business insurance program can help wealth managers, investment advisors and any who handle financial assets on behalf of clients protect themselves from a number of risk, loss and liability exposures that can accompany the performance of their professional services. There are three main types of liability coverage that all wealth management firms should secure. Professional Liability- New York professional liability coverage is designed to protect businesses and their employees against allegations of failure to preform professional duties, or claims that errors, omissions or negligence on the part of your operation resulted in financial harm to another. Fiduciary/ Crime Liability- As professional who are in charge of the money of others, there is much at stake when it comes to crime. As such, it is essential that your firm acquires coverage for a broad range of risks, including employee theft, theft of clients’ property, forgery and alteration of checks, credit cards and personal accounts, fraud, and other key coverages. Directors and Officer Liability- This coverage is specifically designed to protect business owners, directors and officers, and key executives against the potential consequences of alleged wrongdoings, such as financial mismanagement, misappropriation of funds, and negligence. These policies also offer protection from suits alleging a lack of proper “corporate governance” and company management. In this increasingly litigious world, your New York wealth management firm can’t afford to be caught off-guard by a liability lawsuit. At A.J. Benet, our NY wealth management liability insurance programs can be customized to cover multiple professionals in the asset management field, including family offices, independent brokerages, franchises and more. We offer workers compensation, directors and officers insurance (D&O), general liability and property insurance for all your commercial needs and can tailor a solution…
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Do You Need New York Pollution Liability Insurance?

Do You Need New York Pollution Liability Insurance?  No New York business is immune to the risk of environmental contamination, pollution and the financial ramifications of an accident can cause. While the common misconceptions stands that only a handful of high risk industries, such as chemical manufacturing, energy producers and other operations with obvious risk exposures need to worry about their environmental impact, the truth is that any business can be held responsible for any number of pollution and contamination violations. From using the improper pesticides to accidental water run-off contamination from cleaning solutions, there are many ways the average New York operation can face charges of environmental contamination. In many cases, even the simplest procedure can go awry causing not only a public health concern but endangering the health and safety of workers as well. For example, a construction crew might unknowingly unearth a high density of an airborne contaminant while excavating soil on a worksite. A car wash could accidentally release chemical run-off into nearby groundwater reserves. Even excessive or improper waste generation and disposal can lead to complications for New York business owners. In these situations New York business owners would be held accountable for not only the clean-up of the contaminated area, they can also face legal and penalty fees.  Furthermore, should any employees or third parties be injured or fall ill due to chemical exposure or pollution, business owners can be held accountable for medical expenses and other damages. Environmental accidents happen, even when enforcing regulatory compliance and following the best prevention practices and risk management. In many cases, a business general liability policy excludes coverage for such accidental occurrences involving pollution, contamination and many other negative environmental accidents. For this reason, New York Pollution Liability is a must for any operation regardless of their industry or specialty. New York Pollution Liability insurance is specifically designed to cover the high costs of cleanup and restitution for property damage and bodily injury resulting from the release of pollutants. At A.J. Benet, we have the an experienced team standing by ready to provide you with a pollution liability insurance solution that offers unmatched protection from the myriad of environmental hazards that can threaten a business. Our New York pollution liability insurance policy will cover both sudden and sudden and gradual pollution incidents and can be applied to on-site…
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Manhattan Retail Insurance: Let the Holiday Sales Begin

Manhattan Retail Insurance: Let the Holiday Sales Begin  The holiday season is rapidly approaching and you may have already heard the faint tinkle of Jingle-Bells in the air. For many retailers, the holiday shopping season is an exciting yet somewhat stressful time, especially with competition for sales and patrons increasing each year. While the “official” start of the holiday shopping season has traditionally been marked by “Black Friday”, the Friday following Thanksgiving, in recent years some of America’s largest retailers have begun opening their doors and slashing their prices in hopes of enticing shoppers to venture out earlier and earlier on Thanksgiving Day. The trend has been met with a mixture of enthusiasm and scorn from critics and consumers, and this year some retail giants are drawing a line in the sand against Thanksgiving Day shopping. According to a myriad of reports, some of America’s top retailers are bucking expectations and refusing to open on Thanksgiving Day, or evening. The list includes warehouse powerhouses like Coscto, BJ’s, and Sam’s Club, along with home improvement brands Home Depot and Lowe’s and specialty shops like DSW, GameStop and PetCo. Even some department stores and discount chains such as Nordstroms, Marshall’s and T.J.Max are forgoing Thanksgiving Day sales, despite heavy competition and pressure from their competitors. Many retailers that are choosing to forgo the Turkey Day shopping trend are using the opportunity to show their dedication to their employees and reaffirm their corporate ethos. In this case, pushing-back against the trend has been met with increasing amounts of support. In turn, the retailers have seen public enthusiasm and an overall increase in public perception. That’s not to say that those retailers who are choosing to open their doors on Thanksgiving Day are seeing any negative repercussions. In fact, many operations anticipate record-level profits and sales in the forty-eight hour retail-a-thon hours between the 27th and 28th of November. Is your Manhattan retail operation looking to host Black Friday deals and holiday sales in person or online this season? If so, there are a few extra risk exposures your operation may face pertaining to losses from property damage, theft, and even cyber liability issues. At A.J. Benet, we specialize in helping New York retailers protect themselves from risks and losses. Our Manhattan retail insurance specialists will meet with you personally to review your current…
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Manhattan Pet Shop Insurance: Do You Offer Grooming Services?

Manhattan Pet Shop Insurance: Do You Offer Grooming Services?  Pet grooming is an increasingly popular additional service offered by pet shops and distributers as a means of expanding their business and clientele. While there is a high potential of reward, adding a pet-salon service to your existing operation is no small endeavor. In fact, there are many additional risks involved when offering a grooming and other pet care services, for example the increased risk of employee injury. Pet shop owners are well aware of the danger of working with animals, but often underestimate the increased dangers grooming can bring. Even the best efforts to avoid working with aggressive animals won’t always protect you and your employees from the possibility of being hurt or injured by an animal in your care. Many parts of the grooming process can increase anxiety, fear and aggression in animals with even the most pleasant temperaments. This is especially true when pets are being handled by unfamiliar hands. Anxiety and fear are the most common causes of animal bites, nips scratches and other acts of aggression against  handlers and groomers. Some of the main triggers of animal aggression during the grooming process include: Grooming equipment- Grooming experts frequently report that shavers, razors, dryers, brushes and other grooming tools and equipment are causes of anxiety among pets. Pets have been known to nip at the apparatuses and the groomers themselves out of fear for their safety and wellbeing. Bathing- The simple act of bathing an animal can become stressful for both the groomer and the pet, especially because many animals are not comfortable around water. Being submerged in water is often not a familiar feeling for many pets and as such can cause stress and anxiety, and many begin to rebel against leads, harnesses, groomers or other animals in an attempt to escape from the situation. Cleaning the Sensitive Spots- Some animals are unaccustomed to specific types of touching and handling from humans, especially in sensitive areas such as the face, head, paws,  and bum. Each animal will have different preferences about where they are comfortable being touched and handled, and no two animals will have the same handling preferences and needs. Unfortunately, part of the groomers responsibility is to access and clean those hard to reach places. Groomers should always exercise extra caution when handling sensitive…
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NY Condo Association Insurance: Setting Decorating Guidelines

NY Condo Association Insurance: Setting Decorating Guidelines  With the holiday season rapidly approaching, it might be time for condo associations to review their holiday decorating guidelines. While some guidance is necessary to prevent community safety and fire hazards, it is important to find a balance between beneficial to the community and being a holiday humbug. Here are a few tips borrowed from HOAleader.com, a resource for community association management and members, to help condo association boards maintain their holiday spirit and community standards. Be reasonable- One of the key elements of successful association management is to maintain an atmosphere of practicality and fairness. If your association is considering, or already has holiday decorating regulations in place it is important to afford homeowners as much freedom as safely and efficiently possible. The goal should not simply be to regulate but to better the community through those guidelines. For example, if your goal is to make sure holiday lighting is safe and tactful, an outright ban is probably going a little over the top. A more direct solution to the lighting dilemma is to restrict the timing and size of holiday lighting displays. For example door decorations might be prohibited in every month except December. Allowing this exception to the typical rule does not mean that an association cannot restrict the type of door adornments. An association may choose to restrict door decorations to a simple wreath during the month of December. Regulate the extremes – According to experts, moderation is the primary goal of regulation.  Some of the most effective holiday decorating policies attempt to temper the overzealous displays of holiday spirit with guidelines which will alleviate tension between community members. An association might wish to set holiday decorating time constraints which require that decorations be put up and taken down in a specific time frame. Commonly, condo associations will allow decorations to surface 30 days prior and as long as two weeks after a holiday.  Many policies often include restrictions on the scope of the display for example specifying the footage and location of decorative lighting. Reserve your rights- It might be hard to identify just what “over-the-top” means until it surfaces, that is what makes reserving the association’s rights to enforce and regulate holiday displays and decorations so essential. Condo associations should remind homeowners that under the association rules it is…
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NYC Restaurant Insurance: Navigating Health Inspections

NYC Restaurant Insurance: Navigating Health Inspections  As most NYC eateries know, The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYCHD) inspects the roughly 24,000 restaurants in New York City at least once each year. Inspections evaluate each restaurant’s compliance with the food safety regulations established by the New York City Health Code and Health Department. During an inspection, the Health Inspector calculates an establishment’s compliance score based on the number and types of violations observed. After the inspection the eatery is given a letter grade reflecting the quality of adherence to the Health Code standards.  Different violations reflect different levels of risk to the public’s health and safety. Major violations are considered an imminent public health danger and often require immediate correction and/or closure of a facility. In some cases, a routine inspection can turn into a nightmare for restaurant owners and managers, when an establishment is not completely up to code. Some of the most common major health code violations include: Certified Supervision and Documentation: NYC Health Code regulations require that every food service establishment employ a supervisor of food operations who holds a Health Department Food Protection Certificate obtained through the NYCHD. At least one supervisor with the required certification and training must be on duty and present at the establishment anytime the establishment is receiving, preparing, storing or serving food and when the establishment is open to the public. Food Protection Certification must always be present, visible and available for inspection at any given time. Pests: Every facility serving, transporting, or preparing food goods should be free of rodents, roaches, flies, and other pests which could contaminate food goods and transmit illness. Avoid conditions which can create or foster pest proliferation. It is the responsibility of restaurant owners and managers to oversee that proper and lawful pest control practices are implemented, including compliance with all environmental impact regulations regarding safe pest management and pesticide usage. Improper food preparation and storage: There are strict regulations concerning the proper food preparation, storage and holding practices which mandate everything from required practices and cooking temperatures to storage lengths of time and labeling. Unclean surfaces and prep environments: Any surface which may come in contact with food or utensils must be properly cleaned, sanitized and maintained. Regular upkeep is vital to the success of any NYC eatery and could…
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Manhattan Photography Insurance: Protecting Your Business Gear

Manhattan Photography Insurance: Protecting Your Business Gear  It’s no secret that digital technology has revolutionized the realm of photography. From new image formats to digital darkroom capabilities, modern photographers are not only expected to be masters of light and timing, but also technology wizards. Modern photographers use high definition cameras, super powered laptops and high quality printers to deliver their goods and services. While photo-editing software and digital cameras have propelled photography to new heights, new technology can be a big expense for professionals. Cameras, extra memory, lenses, printers, image processing software, light kits and back drops are just a few of the most essential equipment pieces a photographers need, especially in the digital era. In fact, one of the largest business expenses a photography professionals encounter are some of the most essential tools of the trade. Professional photographers use a tone of gear. In fact, their livelihood is largely reliant upon the functionality of their equipment and technology. When dealing with large amounts of business equipment and technology, a lot can go wrong. It is highly important that professional photographers protect themselves and their equipment as replacements and repairs don’t come cheap. Industry professionals claim that proper cleaning and maintenance can help improve the longevity of your cameras, lenses, filters and other equipment. Dust, dirt or and other particulates on a lens or filter can interfere with your image by producing flare or blurring in your shots. Dust and dirt can also interfere with the sensor or and other mechanical components, which can ultimately cause serious problems. Gently and thoroughly cleaning all physical components can help remove hazardous particulates and increase the longevity of your gear. Even tripods, stands, packs and other equipment should be cleaned thoroughly on a regular basis to ensure that they are free of dirt, crumbs, rust, grime and other functional and esthetic menaces. At AJ Benet, we take into account the mobility, gear, professional responsibility and many other factors that contribute to the unique risk exposures photography professionals face in the course of their work. That’s why our comprehensive Manhattan Photography Insurance is specifically designed to protect professional photographers and videographers from all the risks involved with being a photography professional. Our policies as fully customizable to fit the needs of your operation and can include everything from commercial property insurance to liability insurance….
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