Why health care entities purchase directors and officers liability coverage

By Suzi Frye

D&O liability coverage helps protect health care entities and their managers.

Health care organizations are under constant pressure in today’s world of evolving practices, procedures and laws. Managers deal with everything from the investment and allocation of corporate resources to administrative duties. The decisions they make affect everyone who has a relationship with the health care entity.

It’s a huge responsibility. Every action has the potential to put the organization and its individual managers and directors at risk for financial or reputational loss. But directors and officers liability insurance for health care entities – D&O coverage – can help these institutions recover from claims made against the organization and its managers.

In addition to all the issues faced by any business, health care managers must oversee and direct issues unique to health care facilities, such as peer review committees, quality of care and staff privileges. Health care facilities want to hire and retain top talent in the industry to oversee and run their organizations, but need to protect them from having personal liability at stake. D&O coverage helps accomplish that goal.

Consider some potential risks:

  • written demands for monetary damages or nonmonetary relief
  • civil suits
  • formal administrative actions
  • regulatory proceedings

Allegations can be brought by shareholders, patients, regulatory agencies, competitors, creditors or suppliers stating that the health care employees violated their professional duties of loyalty, obedience or due diligence. And those allegations or lawsuits could involve those employees’ spouses, heirs and estates.

Directors and officers coverage can insure:

  • the health care institution and its subsidiaries
  • past and present directors, officers, trustees, administrators, employees, faculty members, staff members, volunteers, members of boards or committees (including peer review committee members)
  • spouses brought into a lawsuit because of shared property interest or transferred property
  • estates, heirs, legal representatives or assigns of deceased, incapacitated or bankrupt insured persons

In summary, D&O coverage protects both health care professionals and the organizations they serve. It gives professionals the peace of mind to fulfill their roles within industry operating guidelines while preserving the organization’s ability to attract and hire top talent. Contact your local independent agent for more information about directors’ and officers’ liability coverage for your organization.

Coverages described here are in the most general terms and are subject to actual policy conditions and exclusions. For actual coverage wording, conditions and exclusions, refer to the policy or contact your independent agent.

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Low voltage electric shock a hazard at marinas

By Kenneth Willemsen

Low voltage electric shock a hazard at marinas

Ensure the safety of boaters and dock guests; make sure your shore power is grounded.

Boaters and marina visitors should be aware of the hazards of swimming in dock areas and the phenomenon of electric shock drowning (ESD).

The Electric Shock Drowning Prevention Association reports at least 60 deaths from ESD since experts began tracking the phenomenon.


ESD risks in marinas and dock areas may not be obvious to observers. For example:

  • ungrounded alternating current (AC) electrical wires may contact the water surface. Swimmers near the point of electrical contact experience electrical shock as the current passes through the water. Voltage is highest at the point where wires contact the water but a gradually decreasing voltage, called an electrical gradient, radiates from that point – like concentric rings of a target. When a swimmer’s body bridges differing voltages between two or more rings, electrical shock occurs, interfering with muscle control and resulting in drowning.
  • an ungrounded AC circuit on a boat could contact a conductive item such as metal or a collection of conductive metal objects. The electrical current is transferred out of the boat via another metal conductive object, such as a propeller, and the current moves into the water and along an electrical gradient.

The potential for ESD is greater in marina areas because dock electrical devices are subject to corrosion, vibration and damage from boat strikes, thus creating the ground-fault condition. Improper shoreline hookups, such as the lack of weatherproof connections, incorrectly matched current ratings, lack of continuity in grounding and generally loose wiring also create hazardous scenarios. When effective grounding is provided, any stray electrical current is returned to the electrical source (on the shore). When grounding is not provided, stray electrical current flows through an available conductive object, such as the human body.

The insidious aspect of the ESD phenomenon is that the fault current is not perceptible. Electrical devices on boats still operate, and the electrical current cannot be measured without a meter. There is reason to believe many dockside drownings are actually caused by ESD. Drowning is often ruled as the cause of death, but the electrical shock is so minimal the effect on the swimmer is not apparent. Consider that as little as 5 milliamps of current will interfere with muscular control, compared to the 60 amps of current that powers a light bulb in our home, according to information from …read more

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Safety comes first when the pool is open

By Brian Rawlings

Safety comes first when the pool is open

Stay alert! Recognize the hazards to keep pools safe and fun.

A refreshing pool on a hot day can be so inviting. Children of all ages enjoy splashing in the cool waters in private home-based pools, swim clubs, health clubs, country clubs and public pools.

With this fun comes great responsibility. To make sure everyone leaves the pool happy and healthy, pool owners and operators should take steps to prevent injury and drowning.

Television and movies often show drowning as a dramatic event with victims thrashing and calling for help or lifeguards springing into action for the save.

While these instances can occur, drownings often are silent and difficult to see. They can occur in shallow water or even after a person has left the pool.

Water clarity is an important component of proper life safety in the pool. A lifeguard, parent or counselor cannot see someone in need of help as easily if the water is cloudy and murky. Having lots of people in the pool also can affect water clarity, emphasizing the need for proper chemical balance and additional lifesaving staff. Lifeguards must stay alert, taking breaks in rotation while following protocols at all times.

Some signs to look for to identify a potential drowning victim in the water may include:

  • Head low in water with mouth at water level
  • Head tilted back with mouth open
  • Glassy or empty eyes
  • Failure to kick or move legs while in a vertical position in the water
  • Trying to swim with no headway

Remember, too, that drowning doesn’t always happen in the deep end. Shallow water blackout results when an individual holds his or her breath for too long. Younger swimmers can drown in much shallower water. A person can drown in as little as 2-3 inches of water in less than 30 seconds.

Dry or delayed drowning is another scary and potentially fatal phenomenon that can occur long after an incident in the pool. Symptoms can include:

  • Coughing
  • Chest pain
  • Trouble breathing
  • Feeling extremely tired/change in energy level or increase in irritability

A more detailed description is available at

With proper supervision and awareness, pool owners and operators can prevent a tragedy from occurring and help everyone to enjoy their time at the pool!

More information

Drowning prevention tips

Healthy and safe swimming

Pool Safely program

This loss control information is advisory only. The authors assume no responsibility for management or control of loss control activities. Not all exposures are identified in this …read more

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Fly the flag with confidence and pride

By Toby Little

Fly the flag with confidence and pride

The U.S. Flag Code describes proper ways to fly the flag.

Many American families and businesses show their pride by flying the flag on patriotic holidays or perhaps every day. The flag can be a stirring symbol of freedom that unites neighborhoods and communities. You can display the flag with patriotic pride by following the guidelines outlined in the U.S. Flag Code.

The code describes the correct way to fly a flag under many conditions: on a vertical pole, an angled staff, in a stand, in a parade or suspended from a building or stage. The code also explains the protocols for honoring military or public service by placing a flag on a casket or flying the flag at half staff on specific occasions.

To ensure that your flag display is done with honor and respect:

  • Inspect your flag periodically. Is it torn, faded or unraveling from the ends? The Flag Code allows repairs to be made by sewing, but you may instead wish to buy a new one.
  • Inspect the rope if you fly your flag on a pole. Look for signs of wear that could loosen in the wind, causing your flag to fall to the ground. Replace the rope as necessary.
  • Check mounting brackets. Make sure they are secure to the wall and that the screws are tight.
  • Check your wiring on lights used for night display. Flags displayed at night should be well lit. Check your wiring periodically and make sure you have an extra bulb on standby.

If you replaced your flag, contact one of your local veterans’ organizations for help disposing of the old one properly. Every American Legion or Veterans of Foreign Wars post will gladly take your flag at no cost to you. Some even have drop boxes in front of their buildings for used flags. Some Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops also conduct annual flag retirement ceremonies.

For more information about the proper display of the flag and honors rendered, you can look up the U.S. Flag code.

The American Legion also answers common questions about the flag and flag etiquette on its website.

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Bikes and cars share the road

By Cincinnati Insurance

Bikes and cars share the road

Bike use is on the rise in many American cities as more communities work to promote bike-friendly practices. This video from the League of American Bicyclists demonstrates how bikes and cars both must obey traffic laws and share the road.

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Enhance your property’s value by preserving custom features

By Doug Eisele

Part 1 of 2 –

Leaded glass is an example of a custom feature worth preserving.

Unique architectural features can greatly enhance the value of your building. The range of materials found in today’s architecture is vast and changing constantly as new materials and technologies are developed. Vintage or custom features such as wall surfaces, tile and carvings are just a few of the items you’ll want to preserve.

One material might be used several different ways in the same building. For example, ceramic tile could be found as both bathroom flooring and on the exterior façade. Glass may be used for windows, ceilings, walls or flooring. Architectural conservators are familiar with both historic and modern building materials because both may be incorporated into a structure and require conservation or antique restoration.


Materials react in some way to their environment. Because structures are built to stay in one place, exposure to water, sunlight, heat and cold weather can deteriorate building materials.

Water is particularly damaging. Your building exterior needs inspection regularly for signs of water infiltration. Roof damage or missing shingles are common locations. Sometimes poor design is the culprit.Skillful retrofitting of existing details can eliminate the water infiltration problem and preserve the historic appearance or delay the need for antique restoration.

Regular inspections can help identify problems before they damage crown molding or tin ceilings.

Buildings are generally designed to protect interior spaces from the exterior environment, so that environment is more easily controlled. Unfortunately, temperatures and humidity levels that are comfortable for people may not be best for building materials. An architectural conservator and antique restoration specialist knows how to maintain a balance between the two. Sometimes even simple steps, such as providing ventilation in areas where moisture accumulates or installing vapor barriers to prevent moisture migration, can make significant differences.

First, however, one must accurately identify problems.


A regular program of inspection and maintenance is the most critical step in preserving a structure. Check all the materials that might be used in architectural features, for example, wood, stone, metal, glass, plaster, ceramic, brick, terra cotta, concrete, paint, plastic, asphalt and rubber. Tools to have on hand for conducting an inspection might include a ladder, binoculars and powerful flashlights.


Flooded? Stay financially afloat

By Cincinnati Claims

Flooded? Stay financially afloat

Check with your agent BEFORE you have a water damage claim.

Severe weather patterns in recent years mean homeowners and business owners have experienced everything from record snowfalls and tornadoes to recurring storms with wind, hail and record amounts of rainfall – all leading to a record number of flooded homes and businesses.

Water claims under personal or business insurance contracts can be confusing and easily misunderstood, and standard insurance does not cover everything.

The most common water damage claims result from surface water, sewer backup, ice and snow melt or hydrostatic water pressure (explained in the video below.) Whether you have a personal or business claim, the cause of loss is first determined and then your coverage is reviewed.

Most insurance companies’ standard personal and business policies exclude coverage for surface water that damages the property. You and your agent should be aware of whether or not your insured property is located in a designated flood zone. If so, you can purchase insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program.

The other causes of loss listed can be covered by purchasing endorsements to add coverage beyond what a standard policy includes. These endorsements may limit coverage to a specified dollar amount, but recovering even a portion of the damages could make a big difference to the financial health of your family or business.

Under a personal insurance policy, amendatory endorsements can provide limited coverage for sewer backup, overflow of drains and sumps and hydrostatic water pressure for limited amounts, commensurate with the amount of coverage you purchased on the base policy. Your independent agent can help you make the right choices for your individual needs.

Business owners can purchase endorsements to add coverage for exposures such as sewer backup, hydrostatic pressure and interior building damage from rain, sand or dust without damage to the roof or walls. Some endorsements adding coverage for water damage may include coverage for loss of business income and extra expense you incur as a result of a covered loss caused by water damage.

Hoverboards: Fire extinguisher not included

By Jason Baechle

Hoverboards: Fire extinguisher not included

Hoverboards may pose a serious risk of fire.

Hoverboards – a sought-after gift during the 2015 holiday season – now sit in millions of households across the country. But homeowners should take extra caution in storing them, and may want to reconsider the potential danger they present.

What are hoverboards?

First, hoverboards don’t actually hover. They are self-balancing, wheeled scooters that are powered by lithium-ion batteries and resemble a skateboard. They are sometimes referred to as self-balancing boards or smartboards. Hoverboards are smaller than the self-balancing scooters introduced a decade ago, and the lower price has made them a huge hit.

What’s so dangerous about hoverboards?

If you keep an eye on the news, you know that in addition to falls resulting in concussions, broken bones and other serious injuries, there have been numerous reports of hoverboard fires.

Among the reported fires, there are several different circumstances in which these boards ignited or exploded. They have gone up in flames while charging, while being ridden and even while sitting idle. Aside from the obvious danger of physical harm from fire, the boards are causing extensive property damage, and in some cases people have lost their homes. A memo from the Consumer Product Safety Commission on February 18, 2016, stated that from December 1, 2015, through February 17, 2016, CPSC received reports from consumers in 24 states of 52 self-balancing scooter fires resulting in more than $2 million in property damage, including the destruction of two homes and an automobile.

What can be done to prevent fire?

Hoverboards and their batteries are manufactured overseas, and the sources of parts are difficult to trace, making it impossible to guarantee that any hoverboard is safe. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers continue to seize shipments of counterfeit and dangerous products. Some hoverboard brands were sold with counterfeit marks from Underwriters Laboratories, giving consumers the false impression that the boards were safe. UL provides additional information and a safety tips video on its website.

The CPSC offers these tips to reduce the risk of an incident:

  • Avoid buying the product at a location (like a mall kiosk) or on a website that does not have information about who is selling the product and how they can be contacted if there is a problem. If you do not think you could find the seller again, were a problem to arise with your board, that should be a warning to …read more

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Preventing falls on the construction site

By Cincinnati Insurance

Preventing falls on the construction site

Falls are the top cause of construction fatalities and account for one-third of on-the-job injury deaths in the industry. Each year in the United States, more than 200 construction workers are killed and more than 10,000 are seriously injured by falls. Preventing falls and protecting workers starts at the top, according to this construction company owner. More information is available at the Stop Construction Falls website.

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