COMPANY PROFILE

GEORGE PETERSEN INSURANCE AGENCY

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CONTACT INFO

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Address

175 W. College Avenue
Santa Rosa
CA, 95401
United States
Phone
(707) 525-4150
Fax
(707) 525-4175
Primary
Roland Galli

Building on Over 80 Years of Experience

Established in 1935, George Petersen Insurance Agency has grown to become one of the largest independent agencies in California.  With a client retention rate that consistently exceeds 95%, our success is rooted in the strong relationships we develop with our clients and our carriers.

At George Petersen Insurance Agency, we focus on managing sophisticated and complex risks with exposures that need a consultative approach, including insurance program development, risk transfer, and loss control.  Whether your company is local or global in reach, we have the resources, experience, and relationships in the marketplace to provide you with the strength and stability necessary to compete in today's business environment.


We offer three main lines of insurance coverage:

Business Insurance
All types of coverage for your business whether you're a sole proprietorship or a large corporate entity.

Employee Benefits
Comprehensive benefits services, including health, disability, executive benefits and retirement programs all designed to help you retain your employees.

Personal Insurance
Our dedicated personal insurance staff will review your insurance needs to develop a program that works to protect you from financial loss due to inadequate or improper coverage.

Insurance Programs


We offer three main lines of insurance coverage:

Business Insurance
All types of coverage for your business whether you're a sole proprietorship or a large corporate entity.

Employee Benefits
Comprehensive benefits services, including health, disability, executive benefits and retirement programs all designed to help you retain your employees.

Personal Insurance
Our dedicated personal insurance staff will review your insurance needs to develop a program that works to protect you from financial loss due to inadequate or improper coverage.

Business Insurance: All types of coverage for your business, whether you're a small proprietorship or a large corporate entity.
Employee Benefits: Comprehensive benefits services, including health, disability, executive benefits and retirement programs all designed to help you retain your employees.
Personal Insurance: Our dedicated personal insurance staff will review your insurance needs to develop a program that works to protect you from financial loss due to inadequate or improper coverage.
With offices located in the heart of California wine country, our agency has a long tradition of insuring some of the most recognizable and respected wineries and vineyards in the country.
We are proud to be the appointed broker of WineryPlus, an exclusive insurance program for wineries, vineyard estates and custom crush facilities.
With more than ten offices across Northern California and Oregon, our agency has the resources of a large firm and the customer service of a boutique agency. We have offices located in the following counties: Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino, Sacramento, Shasta, Humboldt, Placer and Deschutes, OR.
Our growth and success are rooted in the strong relationships we have developed with our clients and our carriers. By earning the confidence and respect of our customers, we are able to build lasting relationships as part of their decision-making team.
Our agency also offers an array of services provided by our in-house workers' compensation department, including claims review and management, review of loss runs and open claims and experience modification projection.
Preventing Heat Illness as Temperatures Soar

With summer here, employers with outdoor workers need to take steps to protect them from heat illness. Cal/OSHA has workplace safety regulations governing the prevention of heat illness. Progression to serious illness can be rapid. If left untreated, very high body temperatures might damage the brain and other vital organs – and ultimately cause a person’s death.

Workers with existing health problems or medical conditions – such as diabetes – that reduce tolerance to heat, need to be extra vigilant. Some high blood pressure and anti-inflammatory medications can also increase a person’s risk of heat illness. To ensure you are in compliance with California workplace safety regulations, you need to ensure the following:

Access to Water
Staying hydrated is probably the single most important step in heat-illness prevention. Water must be “fresh, pure, suitably cool” and located as close as practicable to where employees are working (and enough to provide at least one quart per employee per hour for the entire shift). Employers should encourage workers to stay hydrated and drink water.

Access to Shade
When temperatures reach 80 degrees, you must have and maintain one or more areas of shade at all times, when employees are present. Locate the shade as close as practical to the area where employees are working and provide enough to accommodate the number of employees on meal, recovery or rest periods. Even if temperatures are less than 80 degrees, you must permit access to shade for workers to rest.

Preventative Cool-Downs
If an employee starts feeling unwell, they must be allowed to take a “preventative cool-down rest,” during which they must be monitored for symptoms of heat illness. They should be encouraged to remain in the shade and not ordered back to work until symptoms are gone. Employees with heat illness symptoms must be provided appropriate first aid or emergency response.

High-heat procedures
High-heat procedures (which are triggered at 95 degrees) must include:

1. “Effective” observation and monitoring of employees, including a mandatory buddy system.

2. Regular communication with employees working by themselves.

3. Designating one or more employees to call for emergency services, if needed.

4. Giving more frequent reminders to drink plenty of water.

5. Holding pre-shift meetings on prevention.

6. During high heat, agricultural employees must be provided with a minimum 10-minute cool-down period every two hours.

Employees should be trained in the following:

  • The company’s heat illness prevention procedures.
  • Their rights to take regular water and rest breaks.
  • Importance of frequent consumption of small quantities of water.
  • Signs and symptoms.
  • Appropriate first aid or emergency response.
  • Importance and methods of acclimatization.
  • Reporting signs or symptoms of heat illness to a supervisor.
  • Procedures for responding to possible heat illness.
  • Emergency services contact procedures and first aid.

Supervisors must be trained on the following:

  • The heat standard requirements.
  • The procedures they must follow to implement the requirements.
  • Procedures to follow when a worker exhibits or reports symptoms consistent with possible heat illness, including emergency response procedures and first aid.
  • How to monitor weather reports and how to respond to hot-weather advisories

News Archive


George Petersen Insurance Completes the Rebranding of their Marin County Location
30 May, 2019

George Petersen Insurance Agency has completed the rebranding of its Marin County agencies. Minto & Wilkie was acquired by George Petersen in February 2017 and Allen, Bettini & Carter was purchased in November of 2017. Since April of 2018, the two agencies have operated under separate names at their shared location in San Rafael. The name change is the last step in fully unifying the three agencies.


Allen, Bettini & Carter serving Marin County since 1925 and Minto & Wilkie’s 100-year legacy in San Rafael, will be preserved in perpetuity under the George Petersen name. Since the acquisitions, George Petersen has expanded the acquired agencies access to the insurance marketplace, as well as provided enhanced employer resources and services.


“We look forward to upholding the great reputation these two long standing agencies have in the Marin County community” says Robb Daer, Chief Operating Officer and Partner at George Petersen Insurance Agency.


About George Petersen Insurance Agency

Founded in 1935, George Petersen Insurance Agency focuses in commercial insurance, employee benefits, and personal insurance products, with an emphasis on intensive consultation, customized programs, and highly personalized service. The agency has grown to include ten regional offices, making it one of the largest independently owned agencies in Northern California.  For more information about George Petersen Insurance Agency, please visit www.gpins.com.

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OSHA Not Letting Up on Inspections, Penalties
29 April, 2019

Despite Widespread expectations, Fed-OSHA under the Trump administration has not backed off on enforcing workplace safety regulations. In fact, the agency is as aggressive as ever and citations issued have also risen, after fines increased substantially three years ago. Based on OSHA statistics, a company that’s inspected has only a 25% chance of not receiving a single citation.


In other words, employers should keep up their safety regimens to not only avoid being cited but also to avoid workplace injuries.


What’s going on with OSHA

Enforcement emphasis still going strong – there are more than 150 local and regional enforcement emphasis programs as well as nine national programs in effect that were implemented at the end of the Obama administration. OSHA is dutifully enforcing them all. Budget bucks the trend – Despite the budget-cutting at many federal agencies, OSHA saw a $5 million increase in its fiscal year 2019 budget from the year prior. Most notably, that was the first budget increase since 2014. In addition, state-run OSHA programs also received a small budget enhancement of $2 million.


Fines increasing – OSHA has not moved to reverse the maximum fines for safety violations after they were increased substantially in 2016. They increased 2.5% for 2019 from 2018 as the law requires that they keep pace with inflation.


Inspections stable – The number of inspections remains unchanged. Focus on repeat violators – A focus on repeat violations has continued, with 5.1% of all violations in this category. The percentage has been over 5% since FY2016.


General duty clause – There has been an expansion of the general duty clause to cite employers for heat stress, ergonomics, workplace violence, and chemical exposures below the permissible limit.


2019 Maximum Fines

  • Serious or other-than-serious posting requirements: Up to $13,260
  • Failure to abate beyond initial violation date: Up to $13,260 per day
  • Willful or repeat violations: Minimum of $9,472, up to $132,598


New Emphasis

2018 also saw a new effort by OSHA to fine-tune its work. It issued a memo in May that formalized the use of drones (with the employer’s consent) to collect evidence. This has been somewhat controversial because it could enhance its ability to find other violations it might not normally find. 


According to the Fiscal Year 2019 Congressional Budget Justification for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, increased enforcement seems to be more likely than a decrease. Also, although there have been no officially released statements, the new electronic injury and illness reporting information will be used by OSHA and state plans to increase enforcement.


The increased budget, according to the Congressional Budget Justification, will support additional compliance safety and health officers to provide a greater enforcement presence and provide enhanced technical assistance to employers who need help in understanding how to achieve compliance with OSHA standards.


Top 10 Laws and Regulations for 2019
29 March, 2019

Every year comes with new laws and regulations that affect employers. It pays to stay on top of all the new requirements, so we are here to help you understand those that are most likely to affect your business. The following are the top 10 laws, regulations and trends that you need to know about going into 2019.

1. Sexual Harassment Prevention Training
Since 2005, California law has required employers having 50 or more employees to provide at least two hours of sexual harassment training to supervisors every two years. SB 1343 changes this by requiring employers with five or more employees to provide non-supervisory employees with at least one hour by Jan. 1, 2020.

In addition, this training must be held every two years. Employers with five or more workers must provide (or continue to provide) two hours of the biennial supervisory training, as well.

2. Data Privacy
Companies that collect data on their customers online should start gearing up in 2019 for the Jan. 1, 2020 implementation of the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018, which is the state’s version of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation.

The law gives consumers the following rights in relation to their personal information:

  • The right to know, through a general privacy policy and with more specifics available upon request, what personal information a business has collected about them, where it was sourced from, what it is being used for, whether it is being disclosed or sold, and to whom it is being disclosed or sold;
  • The right to “opt out” of allowing a business to sell their personal information to third parties;
  • The right to have a business delete their personal information; and
  • Not be discriminated against by opting out.

    The law applies to businesses that: 
  • Have annual gross revenues in excess of $25 million,
  • Annually buy, receive for their own commercial purposes, or sell or share for commercial purposes, the personal information of 50,000 or more consumers, households or devices, and/or
  • Derive 50% or more of their annual revenues from selling consumers’ personal information.

    3. Independent Contractors
    While this legal development happened in 2018, now is a good time to go over it. In May, the California Supreme Court handed down a decision that rewrites the state’s independent contractor law.

    In its decision in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. vs. Superior Court, the court rejected a test that’s been used for more than a decade in favor of a more rigid three-factor approach, often called the “ABC” test.

    Employers now must be able to answer ‘yes’ to all three parts of the ABC test if they want to classify workers as independent contractors:
  • The worker is free from the control and direction of the hirer in relation to the performance of the work, both under the contract and in fact;
  • The worker performs work that is outside the usual course of the hirer’s business; and
  • The worker is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, or business of the same nature as the work performed for the hirer.

    The second prong of the ABC test is the sentence that really changes the game. Now, if you hire a worker to do anything that is central to your business’s offerings, you must classify them as an employee.

    4. Electronic submission of Form 300A
    In November 2018, Cal/OSHA issued an emergency regulation that requires California employers with more than 250 workers to submit Form 300A data covering the calendar year 2017 by Dec. 31, 2018. The new regulation was designed to put California’s regulations in line with those of Federal OSHA.

    Starting in 2019, affected employers will be required to submit their Form 300A data by March 2. For instance, the 2018 summary would have to be posted before March 2, 2019. The law applies to:
    •    All employers with 250 or more employees, and
    •    Employers with 20 to 249 employees in specified high-risk industries.

    5. Harassment Non-Disclosure
    This law, which takes effect Jan. 1, 2019, bars California employers from entering into settlement agreements that prevent the disclosure of information regarding:
  • Acts of sexual assault;
  • Acts of sexual harassment; 
  • Acts of workplace sexual harassment;
  • Acts of workplace sex discrimination;
  • The failure to prevent acts of workplace sexual harassment or sex discrimination; and
  • Retaliation against a person for reporting sexual harassment or sex discrimination.

    The big issue employers will need to watch out for, according to experts, is that the new law could actually keep the employer and employee from reaching resolutions for disputes.

    6. New Tiered Minimum Wage
    On Jan. 1, 2019, the state minimum wage will increase, depending on employer size, to:
  • $11 per hour for employers with 25 or fewer workers.
  • $12 an hour for employers with 26 or more workers.

    Local municipalities may have their own minimum wage rules, so always check to make sure you don’t live in a city or county that has a higher minimum wage.

    7. Accommodating Lactating Mothers
    A new law brings California statute into conformity with federal law that requires employers to provide a location other than a bathroom for a lactating mother to express milk.

    8. New Bar for Harassment Liability
    A California Appeals Court ruling in 2018 set a new standard for what constitutes harassment in the workplace in a case that concerned a correctional officer at a prison who was mocked about his speech impediment on numerous occasions by co-workers.

    The significance of the case for employers is that even teasing and sporadic verbal harassment can be enough to create a hostile work environment and, hence, liability.

    To reduce the chances of liability, employers should have an anti-harassment policy in writing that their staff should know and understand. Include training and make sure there are steps for reporting harassment, a mechanism for investigating it, and that the ramifications for harassers are clear.

    9. Overtime Laws
    The U.S. Department of Labor plans to propose new regulations governing overtime exemptions from the Fair Labor Standards Act in March 2019.

    The DOL is aiming to update FLSA regulations that set a salary threshold below which employees must be paid overtime. Today, it remains at $23,660, after the Obama administration unsuccessfully attempted to raise it to $47,476. President Trump’s DOL is expected to propose a threshold somewhere between $32,000 and $35,000.

    10. Indoor Heat Illness Regulations
    The plan was for proposed indoor heat illness regulations to be issued before Jan. 1, 2019 for implementation before summer, but the Division of Occupational Safety and Health has said it can’t meet that deadline.

    Look for proposed regulations in the first quarter with possible implementation by the summer.

    So far, here’s what’s in the draft rules:
    The standard would apply to all indoor work areas where the temperature equals or exceeds 82 degrees. Employers that would be subject to all of the standard’s provisions include those who have workplaces where:
  • The temperature is at least 92 degrees,
  • The heat index is at least 90 degrees,
  • Employees wear clothing that restricts heat removal, or
  • Employees work in high-radiant-heat work areas.

    It would require employers subject to the rules to provide cool-down areas at all times, and they would be required to encourage and allow employees to take preventative cool-down rests when they feel the need to protect themselves from overheating.

    They must also implement control measures that could include engineering controls, isolating employees from heat, using air conditioning, cooling fans, cooling-mist fans, and natural ventilation when the outdoor temperature is lower than inside.  

Don’t Fall Victim to the E-mail Compromise Scam
27 February, 2019

West African organized-crime rings have been targeting U.S. business with “business e-mail compromise” scams that are costing firms millions of dollars every year. Losses to businesses that are targeted by these scams hit an all-time high in the first quarter of 2018, with $685 million in losses reported by 4,081 victims. That’s more than the amount lost for all of 2017 in such scams: $675 million.

The scammers send fake messages to businesses’ finance departments claiming to be a vendor for the company with an invoice requiring payment. These criminals do research before targeting companies, meaning they go to company websites and look for the right people to send e-mails to. They may even pull annual reports and find what companies they do business with, and then spoof those accounts (meaning they impersonate other firms in the e-mails).

Some criminals will fake a CEO’s e-mail account and e-mail that company’s finance office ordering payment to a certain account. In one case cited by Dow Jones Newswires, a real estate attorney received an e-mail from the supposed sellers of local property and asking the lawyer to wire the proceeds of the sale to the criminals’ bank account. The lawyer wired $246,218.83 to the scammers.


The Main Scams

Money request via compromised CEO account

1. A criminal compromises or spoofs the e-mail account of an executive, such as the CEO.

2. The criminal sends a request for a wire transfer from the compromised account to an employee who is responsible for processing these requests and is subordinate to the executive, such as the controller.

3. The controller submits a wire payment request, as per instructions from his or her “boss.”


Invoice from a Supplier Via a Spoofed E-mail Address

A fraudster compromises the e-mail of a business user employed by their target company; for example, someone in accounts payable. This is how it’s done:

1. The criminal monitors e-mail of the business user, looking for vendor invoices.

2. The criminal finds a legitimate invoice and modifies the beneficiary information, such as changing the routing number and account number to which payment is to be sent.

3. The scammer then spoofs the vendor’s e-mail to submit the modified invoice.

4. Accounts payable, recognizing the vendor name and services provided, processes the invoice and submits a wire request for payment. 


How to Avoid Getting Burned 

  • Confirm an e-mailed monetary request purportedly from a company executive by creating a new e-mail and entering their known e-mail address; don’t reply to the suspicious e-mail as it will likely go to the criminal. 
  • The e-mails typically have a similar tone, urging secrecy and expedience. Set up your e-mail gateway to flag key words such as “payment,” “urgent,” “sensitive” or “secret.”
  • Look for odd uses of the English language. Many of the scammers are foreigners abroad. 
  • Although the late-stage e-mails used in these scams may not contain malware, malicious code is often used as part of an overall scheme to initially compromise an employee’s e-mail account. So, make sure you have an effective malware detection solution in place.
  • Register all domains that are slightly different from the actual company domain. 
  • Scrutinize all e-mail requests for transfer of funds to determine if the requests are out of the ordinary. 
  • Ask accounts payable staff to get to know the habits of your clients, including the details of, reasons behind, and amount of payments.

Why Disability Insurance Is Vital for Your Employees
22 January, 2019

NEARLY 80% of Americans said that they had at least two types of insurance when it came to health, home and auto policies. But, only about 35% reported having disability insurance from an employer, according to a survey conducted by the Harris Poll for OneAmerica.


Of the 2,100 people surveyed who did not have disability insurance from an employer, more than 40% said that employers did not offer it. About 15% said that they did not have it because they could not afford the cost, and they felt that other living expenses were higher priorities.


Why disability insurance?

People are quick to insure their homes, cars and health but do not think about the possibility of a permanent or temporary disability. More than 25% of Americans will experience a disability before they turn 65, and many of these individuals will suffer from a permanent disability.


Government assistance for disabled individuals does not replace a previous salary before the disability happened. Most people have increasing medical costs in addition to their everyday living costs, and this puts a strain on themselves and their families.


The employer’s role

Employers can play their part by offering disability insurance as part of their overall benefits package.

Some workers can be retrained for other positions if a partial disability prevents them from returning to a previous position. If workers know this and have income while they are recovering and getting therapy, they may be more likely to return to work if they are able.


By offering voluntary disability insurance a company can show that it cares about the well-being of its workers, which speaks volumes to top talent about the company’s values.


Many don’t enroll, education needed

The survey also found that only about 20% of workers who had an annual household income below $50,000 were offered disability coverage by an employer.


Nearly 35% of women who were between the ages of 18 and 34 did not accept an employer’s disability coverage because they felt that they did not need it. Most women did not realize that disability insurance could benefit them for issues during maternity leave.


When a worker is injured and sustains a temporary or permanent disability, the insurance kicks in after several weeks to provide income replacement at a rate that is more sufficient than government benefits.


Sick time and paid time off do not usually suffice for an employee who needs a considerable amount of time off because of a disability.


Most employees assume that any injury will heal within the time allowed by their paid time off and sick time.


Employees should check with their HR department about this important and affordable coverage.


For employers considering this coverage for an enhanced benefits package, discuss the advantages with us.


https://gpins.com/


Carmi Woods Joins George Petersen Insurance Agency
29 January, 2018

(Santa Rosa, CA – January 10, 2018) - Carmi Woods has joined George Petersen Insurance Agency’s Santa Rosa office as an Account Executive in the Employee Benefits Department.  Woods has worked in the insurance industry, focusing in Employee Benefits, for over fifteen years.  She will be working to build close relationships with clients, in order to provide tailored benefits programs to meet each client’s unique needs.  

Prior to joining George Petersen, Woods began her career in insurance at Vantreo Insurance Brokerage, where she worked for ten years, advancing to an Account Executive position.  In 2013 she transitioned to Advanced Benefits Group in Santa Rosa, where she worked as an Account Executive, handling group benefits accounts.  She was responsible for group accounts sizing from two employees up to five hundred employees in the areas of medical, dental, vision, disability, life, EAP and FSA.

Woods is a Santa Rosa native, who attended Ursuline High School, before relocating to Oregon to pursue her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology with a minor in Business Administration at the University of Oregon.  She later returned to Santa Rosa, where she now resides with her husband and three children.

About George Peterson Insurance Agency

Founded in 1935, George Petersen Insurance Agency specializes in commercial insurance, employee benefits and personal insurance products, with an emphasis on intensive consultation, customized programs and highly personalized service. With its acquisition of NorthWest Insurance Agency last year, the agency has grown to include twelve regional offices, making it one of the largest independently owned agencies in Northern California.

For more information about George Petersen Insurance Agency, please visit www.gpins.com.


How Management Can Demonstrate Safety Buy-In
23 August, 2017

We've had many articles about workplace safety and that to have a successful workplace safety program you need not only employee buy-in, but also management buy-in. If the management can show its leadership and commitment to promoting and ensuring a safe workplace, getting staff to fall in line is easier. 

Dr. Isabel Perry, CEO of The Safety Doctor, a workplace safety app, recently posted a blog about the 18 examples of management involvement she has observed visiting job sites and conducting workplace safety interviews, benchmarking, safety conferences and more.

These are the specific examples she identified of how a manager can show active safety leadership:

1. Creating a company safety committee.

2. Asking that safety functions, when assigned, report to the committee chair.

3. Having a board of directors’ safety and health committee.

4. Holding a monthly plant-wide safety meeting where management in charge of safety takes questions and addresses safety issues.

5. Having fatality and recordable incidents reported directly to management in charge of safety at the time of occurrence, or in a given time frame.

6. Ensuring that organizational safety expectations are absolutely clear by asking every member of the organization about them.

7. Being present, and supportive, whenever key safety issues are decided. Demonstrate they are as important as key product and quality decisions.

8. Management in charge of safety should spend daily time in the work environment (factory floor, construction site, work areas) asking people about safety and observing and commenting on issues.

9. Starting every meeting with a discussion of safety or a safety tip.

10. Requiring a formal safety and health plan from every manager, and holding them accountable for results.

11. Delivering the safety vision in person to every business/work unit (rather than sending it out in a memo).

12. Demonstrating commitment by picking up dropped items, moving obstructions, helping out with safety every day.

13. Making it clear that employees flouting safety rules is unacceptable and that management will probe each accident to find out what went wrong.

14. Empowering every employee to do what’s right for safety. Support and encourage them when they make a mistake.

15. Trying progressive approaches that fit into the company business strategy and workplace culture.

16. Management should personally attend safety training.

17. Senior leadership should rotate in kicking off safety classes. 

18. Management should be well acquainted with the facility safety rules and never violate any rule for any reason. Challenge and hold people responsible for anyone who does.


Workplace Safety: Using Near Misses, Other Indicators to Cut Injuries
19 July, 2017

The latest trend in workplace safety best practices is tracking “leading indicators” – or events that take the lessons learned from past events – to reduce the chances of future injuries.

Safety professionals are increasingly keeping track of near misses, hours spent on training and facility housekeeping and measuring the impact on the organization’s overall safety record. They are finding that this approach is having a significant impact in preventing injuries.

The trend is a new one. For years, workplace safety managers and industrial safety engineers used lagging indicators to track and manage workplace injuries and illness. They would evaluate:

• Injury rates

• Injury counts

• Days injury-free

In the last few years, safety-minded companies have been shifting their focus to using leading indicators to drive continuous improvement. Lagging indicators measure failure, but leading indicators measure performance.

As you can see, a leading indicator is a measure preceding or indicating a future event that you can use to drive activities or the use of safety devices to prevent and control injuries. Leading indicators are focused on future safety performance and continuous improvement.

These measures are proactive in nature and report what employees are doing on a regular basis to prevent injuries.

Creating a leading indicator plan

To reduce strain injuries, for example, you can start by identifying the factors that lead to these injuries, like pace of work, loads, repetitions and workstation design.

Track the data to see which areas are likely to cause future injuries. Once you do, you have a model for how injuries occur. Then, you can consider what interventions you may want to implement to prevent future strain injuries. 

For more information, click here


Sprinkler Damage from a Quake Can Be Costly. Do You Have the Right Coverage?
27 October, 2016

While you might expect cracks to the foundation of your building during an earthquake, there is another threat from these events.

Earthquakes can shake a building enough to activate or damage indoor sprinklers, which in turn spray water, wreaking havoc on office fixtures, machinery and inventory. This water sprinkler damage can often far exceed the damage to the structure itself.

Napa quake case study

A number of buildings suffered water damage from broken sprinklers in the Napa earthquake in 2014, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The systems that were damaged resulted in significant water damage because the quake happened early in the morning in a business district, meaning no employees were on site to shut off water valves.

When an earthquake occurs, the majority of sprinkler system damage is from the building shaking and swaying. This movement can cause a sprinkler system that has not been properly braced to come into contact with other building systems or structural members, damaging the sprinklers and fittings.

This damage can lead to leaking throughout the piping network.

If you have sprinklers, they should comply with the National Fire Protection Association Standard, Section 9.3 of which is designed to limit the impact of this differential movement so that the sprinkler system can function as intended after, and during, the seismic event.

To help maintain alignment of system components and prevent damage, the standard requires sway bracing and restraints for system piping. It is critical to have fire protection systems in place before an earthquake, because:

• Gas pipes can rupture.

• Wires and cables can become exposed, creating an electrical hazard.

• Fuel may spill from ruptured tanks or broken pipes.

Have the right insurance?

If your building is equipped with sprinklers for fire suppression, you may not have coverage if there is damage to your building, fixtures and inventory from water damage caused by earthquake damage to sprinkler pipes.

A commercial property policy will not cover this type of damage.

Earthquake sprinkler leakage (EQSL) or sprinkler leakage coverage can be added to your existing policy by endorsement, usually for an additional premium, depending on the insurance company.

An EQSL or sprinkler leakage endorsement would provide coverage for the building and/or contents inside the building should the sprinkler system leak due to an earthquake or accident. It would also provide coverage should the sprinklers become damaged.

CONTACT US TODAY and find out about your coverage.


Workers' Compensation - Return-to-work Program Key to Keeping Costs Down
27 June, 2016

One of the proven ways to reduce the cost of a workers’ comp claim is to get the injured worker back on the job whenever it is safe to do so. Preferably, employers should offer some type of modified work duty if they are still recovering from their injury and if that injury impedes them from performing the work they did before the accident. If you have an RTW program or are considering starting one, here are the top 12 things you should consider, courtesy of the Institute of WorkComp Professionals:

• Understand your state laws about returning an injured worker back to the job and the benefi ts they are entitled to after taking on transitional or light duty.

• Create an RTW program that outlines the steps the company will take to help a worker get back on the job as soon as it’s feasible after a workplace injury. Discuss transitional duty and light duty in the program documents and distribute copies of it to your staff.

• Be creative in identifying temporary alternative jobs. Appoint an employee-management committee to create temporary alternative jobs. Injured employee jobs should be meaningful, not demeaning or demoralizing – and for sure should not be punitive.

• If you have an injured worker, visit various worksites or departments of your company to identify tasks that are similar to the employee’s existing job.

• Provide the treating physician with job descriptions for any temporary transitional duty and the employee’s regular work.

• Obtain medical restrictions from the medical provider and a release so that you can put them in a job that will not strain them or risk reinjuring them. Be proactive and prepared for the release. Don’t wait to have the release in hand before you begin your process – a delay of even a few days costs you money.

Encourage Doctor to Approve Light, Alternative Duty

•Encourage the treating doctor to approve temporary alternative duty for injured employees.

• Communicate regularly (at least once a week) with any injured employees returning to work for a temporary alternative duty position. (At this time, therapy and treatment may still continue.)

• Inform the employee’s supervisors about the injured individual’s physical limitations from the injury and make sure they don’t push them too hard. Follow the restrictions ordered by the doctor, or risk upsetting the worker, or worse, reinjuring them.

• Continue to pay the injured employee at their regular rate of pay. Consider doing so even if the employee is working partial hours. This will help you avoid paying lost wage benefits and, in many states, reduce future seÆ© lements.

• Keep the employee engaged by asking them on a weekly basis about the transitional duty, to identify obstacles or ascertain if they feel they can do more.

• Provide feedback to the physician regarding the progress the injured employee is making at the temporary alternative duty position, to make sure the physician is geÆ«ting both sides of the ‘story.’

 


Vineyard Management Liability
26 May, 2016

Vineyard managers’ insurance needs are unique to the wine industry. Risk of claims and litigation are varied and extensive. A tight web of coverages is the only way to protect the manager. Our experience in the field and our access to specialized carriers give us a clear advantage for our clients. Let us design the plan to protect your business assets. 

Applicable Coverages & Services

  • Custom Farming Liability
  • Mobile Ag Equipment Blanket 
  • Tellis & Vine Coverage
  • Transportation Valuation
  • Off-Road Liability
  • Care, Custody & Control Endorsment
  • Borrowed, Leased & Rented Equipment 
  • WIne Maufacturing Liability
  • Chemical Application Options
  • Erros & Omissions Liability
  • MCP Filing
  • Pollution Clean-up
  • Employer Practices Liability
  • Directors & Officers Coverage
  • Client Additional Insureds
  • In-House Claims Management
  • OSHA Compliance Documentation
  • Web-Based Risk Management Center & Human Resources Platform
  • Coverage Audit & Risk Assessment
  • EXCLUSIVE VineComp Workers’ Compensation Program

For more information, please contact:


 

George Petersen Insurance Agency

1.800.236.9046| info@gpins.com

www.gpins.com


Wine Industry Insurance Program
29 March, 2016

 

With offices located in the heart of the California wine country, George Petersen Insurance Agency has a long tradition of insuring some of the most recognizable and respected wineries and vineyards in the country. Our unique proximity to this industry allows for a perspective that seldom can be matched. Whether addressing the needs of wine contamination and leakage, or pollution and chemical drift exposures, our program creates solutions for your business that are designed to fit every need. 

Visit us for more info


George Petersen Insurance Agency Named "Best Insurance Brokerage"
19 June, 2015

We're honored to be voted the "Best Insurance Brokerage" for the third year in North Bay biz magazine's annual readers poll. We take pride in serving our clients and it's an honor to receive this distinction from the community.

You can read the full write-up here


Workplace Safety: Falling Objects Lethal During Earthquakes
21 May, 2015

WHILE EARTHQUAKE safety training should be a part of any California employer’s safety program, it’s important from a workplace safety perspecƟ ve to understand how your employees could be injured during a temblor. While ducking and taking cover are good skills for your employees to reduce the likelihood of injury, one oŌ en overlooked area is the dangers of the workplace itself to employees during a quake. Most earthquake-related injuries result from collapsing walls, fl ying glass and falling objects as a result of the ground shaking, or people trying to move more than a few feet during the shaking. Much of the damage in earthquakes is predictable and preventable. While Cal/OSHA does not specifi cally have regulaƟ ons to account for quake fall dangers, exisƟ ng regulaƟ ons and the Injury and Illness Preven- Ɵ on Standard require employers to evaluate and miƟ gate hazards. 


Best Places to Work 2014: George Petersen Insurance Agency
01 October, 2014

Six-time winner

Robb Daer, vice president and partner at George Petersen Insurance Agency, believes the reason his company is one of the best places to work boils down to the issue of trust. Not only do employees earn the trust of their clients, but they also have the trust of management.

“We spend a lot of our lives at work and so obviously we want people to be happy,” Mr. Daer said. “We understand that people have lives outside of work, they have kids and families. At the end of the day, that’s what’s really important. So, if someone needs to go and pick up their kids from school or take care of a sick family member, or whatever it is, that’s fine. We’re lucky to be a large enough operation that if we have a few people missing from the office, someone else will be able to handle it.

“The people who work here are smart and dedicated and they do a great job.  They are experts at what they do and there’s no need to micromanage them and beat them up over things that really just don’t matter.”

Management trust that employees will get the job done even if no one is hovering over them and they also trust their feedback and input.

“If someone comes up to me and says, ‘There’s a better way to do this,’ I’m going to think about what they have to say,” Mr. Daer continued. “After all, if they’re doing a job that I don’t usually do, chances are they’re going to know more about it than I am.”

“Overall, we are easygoing, fun, hard-working and dedicated in our approach. We are customer-focused. We have worked hard to empower our staff and provide a supportive environment as well as effective systems and processes. There is a commitment to educating our staff. Lastly, we believe we have strong trust relationships with our staff and with our customers.”


George Peterson Insurance Agency, Best Insurance Broker in the North Bay
04 August, 2014

We are very proud to announce that we have made a clean sweep of the 2014 NorthBay Biz Best Readers Poll! We have been named Best Insurance Broker in the North Bay, Best Company to Work For in the North Bay and Best Company to Work With in Sonoma County!


Seven Time-Tested Tips for Reducing Your Workers' Comp Costs
17 July, 2012

Seven Time-Tested Tips for Reducing Your Workers' Comp Costs

COST CONTAINMENT will be the chief workers’ comp insurance concern for U.S. employers over the next 12 months, according to a new survey conducted by Zywave, an insurance software company. There are a number of ways that employers can control those costs, including establishing a solid safety program and helping injured employees return to work.  Here are some basic strategies for keeping your workers' comp costs in check:

1. Establish a safety program

Develop policies, procedures and rules. Provide employees with the necessary training, proper tools and personal protective equipment to do their job safely. If you have not established one yet, you should start by forming a committee with representatives from each of your company’s departments who will help hammer out policies that can help keep your staff safe while on the job.

2. Enforce your rules

You can train your staff all you want, rehearse the safety policy with them and give them the tools they need to stay safe, but if you don’t enforce the rules, they won’t work. You can do so by conducting workplace audits, and holding safety meetings, toolbox talks and annual training.

3. Ensure prompt medical care

As part of your overall safety plan, you should pre-arrange which medical facilities employees are sent to in the event of a workplace injury. You should also be prepared to provide transportation for non-emergency cases. Call 911 or your local ambulance in case of emergency. You should also consider requiring that a post-accident drug test be administered to the injured worker.

4. Report injuries on time

Report any workplace injuries to your insurance carrier within 24 hours of the incident. One of the keys to good claims management is to keep open ongoing communication with the injured worker and the claims adjuster.

5. Investigate injuries and close calls

If an accident occurs in your workplace, or if one was narrowly averted, you need to investigate the incident thoroughly to find out exactly what happened. Talk to all witnesses, bring out your safety manual and figure out if someone wasn’t following protocol or if there is an oversight in your safety plan.

6. Focus on return to work

Injured workers that are away from their jobs for extended periods can grow disaffected, which often leads to a longer claims duration. To keep an injured worker in the game and eager to return to work soon, provide a return-to-work program with tasks modified to avoid strain on the injury. It could include reduced hours, and a doctor would have to clear the worker for light duty. And once they are cleared to fully return to work, you may have to keep them on modified work for a period of time. It’s worth the effort.

7. Recruit with care

Unfortunately, some people are serial workers’ comp claims filers and some have pasts that could be indicative of future behavior. You should screen your applicants carefully by using detailed employment applications, making reference checks, requiring pre-employment drug screening, asking for their motor vehicle driving history and conducting background checks.

Want to discuss how we can help you reduce your workers' comp rates?  Email us at info@gpins.com or visit our website at www.gpins.com.


Workers' Comp - 15 Signs of Claims Fraud
12 April, 2012

Workers' Comp - 15 Signs of Claims Fraud

WORKERS' COMPENSATION fraud costs the insurance industry roughly $5 billion each year, according to estimates by the National Insurance Crime Bureau. And depending on whom you ask, fraud accounts for as much as 10% of the costs of all workers' comp claims.

This type of fraud is typically associated with malingering employees who fake injuries in order to collect compensation and some paid vacation time. In tougher economic times, particularly as lay-offs mount, some experts think there is an increased exposure for employees to claim a work-related injury for a variety of manufactured reasons, such as for an injury that occurred on personal time.

As an employer this can cost you in increased workers' comp premiums. Anytime you feel you have a suspicious claim on your hands, look for the tell-tale signs of fraudulent claims listed in this article.

crutches

Preventing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in Your Staff
carpal tunnel victim
CARPAL TUNNEL syndrome is triggered when the nerve that
runs from your forearm to your wrist gets pinched at the wrist. This nerve controls a few of the small muscles in the hand and fingers as well as
all sensation.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common workplace injury that is caused by repetitive motion, particularly among people who frequently use a keyboard and mouse.

The syndrome is also common in professions that include other types of repetitive motion, such as in manufacturing. If you have staff that fall into these categories, you need to be aware of the causes and what you can do to mitigate any impact from carpal tunnel syndrome.

This article tells you how to identify symptoms and how to reduce the likelihood of your employees developing the syndrome. 

 

State Issues ConstructionSafety Training Guide

A JOINT LABOR-employer panel has released a case study guide on dangers in the construction industry to help your trainers engage company staff on workplace safety.

The Construction Case Study Training Guide, which includes a number of case studies that describe real events where a worker was injured or killed at work, has been designed to help employers give their staff insight into the severity of some injuries.

The guide, published by the Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation, presents the stories of 13 construction workers who were injured, made sick or killed on the job. Each case study has been prepared as a teaching tool that can encourage discussion on injury prevention. The facts of the cases are summarized in stories that workers from across the building trades can relate to.

To find out more, read this article on page 4 of our newsletter.


George Petersen Named Appointed Broker of WineryPlus Insurance Program
01 September, 2011

Our agency has been appointed as the exclusive Sonoma County broker for WineryPlus, a specialty insurance program for wineries, vineyard estates and custom crush facilities.  With niche-specific coverages, such as wine contamination, spoilage, property in transit, wind drift, overspray and more, WineryPlus is a comprehensive and competitive program designed specifically for the wine industry. 

“With offices located in the heart of Sonoma County – one of the most respected wine regions in the country – we are proud to offer this exceptional program to our clients,” said Doug Dilley, chief operations officer and partner at George Petersen Insurance Agency.  “Our agency has been insuring some of the finest wineries and vineyards in California for over 75 years.  As a provider of the exclusive Wine­­­ryPlus program, we will continue to build upon our long-standing reputation as wine industry specialists.”

WineryPlus is a national winery program established in 2006 and administered by SN Potter Insurance Agency, Inc. (SNP), a California-based specialty program manager.  It is underwritten by Argonaut Insurance Company, rated “A” (Excellent) by A.M. Best.

In addition to the WineryPlus program, George Petersen Insurance Agency is also an exclusive provider of the Risk Management Center, an online platform that helps clients develop their risk mitigation program and manage their safety needs.  With a comprehensive library of safety, risk management and human resource materials, the platform also contains unique software applications that automate many of the training, record keeping and reporting tasks required for compliance.


Rick Stark Named Personal Lines Manager
15 March, 2011

We are pleased to announce that thirty-three year insurance industry veteran Rich Stark has been named manager of the personal lines department at George Petersen Insurance Agency.  Stark will be based in George Petersen's Santa Rosa office while managing the personal lines staff spread among the agency's 12 locations in Northern California.

George Petersen's personal lines department, which specializes in home, auto and personal umbrella insurance, has been growing ever since the agency purchased NorthWest Insurance Agency last September.  With this growth came the need for a dynamic manager, and Rich Stark will fill this role perfectly.  For more information, please visit www.gpins.com.

Whether you're looking for business insurance, employee benefits or personal insurance (home, car, life insurance, etc.), one of our qualified agents will be happy to help you find the best insurance coverage for your needs.  Please contact one of our agents today at (707) 525-4150 or info@gpins.com.

Title Name Email Phone
Partner / Commercial Lines Agent Tony Guerrero tguerrero@gpins.com (707) 525-4154
Partner / Employee Benefits Agent Mark Fess mfess@gpins.com (707) 525-2735
Partner / Commercial Lines Agent Josh Johnsen jjohnsen@gpins.com (707) 525-4198
Commercial Lines Agent Sean Parsons sparsons@gpins.com (707) 525-2715
Commercial Lines Agent Daniel Walters dwalters@gpins.com (707) 525-4168
Commercial Lines Agent Rachel Adams radams@gpins.com (707) 525-4186
Partner / Commercial Lines Agent Doug Dilley ddilley@gpins.com (707) 525-4157

At George Petersen Insurance Agency, we have developed a focused expertise on the wine industry, including the winery, vineyard, hospitality and food/beverage manufacturing industries.  With offices located in the heart of California wine country, our unique proximity to these industries allow for a perspective that can seldom be matched.   Allow our experienced firm to guide you through the often complex system of risk transfer and asset protection with a collection of unique insurance coverages designed to provide the best possible security and most competitive rates.

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