insurance

The following are some examples of modern financial management theories formulated on principles considered as ‘a set of fundamental tenets that form the basis for financial theory and decision-making in finance’ (Emery et al.1991). An attempt would be made to relate the principles behind these concepts to small businesses’ financial management.

Agency Theory

Agency theory deals with the people who own a business enterprise and all others who have interests in it, for example managers, banks, creditors, family members, and employees. The agency theory postulates that the day to day running of a business enterprise is carried out by managers as agents who have been engaged by the owners of the business as principals who are also known as shareholders. The theory is on the notion of the principle of ‘two-sided transactions’ which holds that any financial transactions involve two parties, both acting in their own best interests, but with different expectations.

Problems usually identified with agency theory may include:

i. Information asymmetry- a situation in which agents have information on the financial circumstances and prospects of the enterprise that is not known to principals (Emery et al.1991). For example ‘The Business Roundtable’ emphasised that in planning communications with shareholders and investors, companies should consider never misleading or misinforming stockholders about the corporation’s operations or financial condition. In spite of this principle, there was lack of transparency from Enron’s management leading to its collapse;

ii. Moral hazard-a situation in which agents deliberately take advantage of information asymmetry to redistribute wealth to themselves in an unseen manner which is ultimately to the detriment of principals. A case in point is the failure of the Board of directors of Enron’s compensation committee to ask any question about the award of salaries, perks, annuities, life insurance and rewards to the executive members at a critical point in the life of Enron; with one executive on record to have received a share of ownership of a corporate jet as a reward and also a loan of $77m to the CEO even though the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in the US bans loans by companies to their executives; and

iii. Adverse selection-this concerns a situation in which agents misrepresent the skills or abilities they bring to an enterprise. As a result of that the principal’s wealth is not maximised (Emery et al.1991).

In response to the inherent risk posed by agents’ quest to make the most of their interests to the disadvantage of principals (i.e. all stakeholders), each stakeholder tries to increase the reward expected in return for participation in the enterprise. Creditors may increase the interest rates they get from the enterprise. Other responses are monitoring and bonding to improve principal’s access to reliable information and devising means to find a common ground for agents and principals respectively.

Emanating from the risks faced in agency theory, researchers on small business financial management contend that in many small enterprises the agency relationship between owners and managers may be absent because the owners are also managers; and that …

There are some people who believe that Medicare Supplement Insurance may be a waste of money. Here is why some people believe that to be true.

Original Medicare is a government-run health insurance program for people aged 65 and older and for people who receive social security disability benefits for at least 24 months.

Original Medicare, it has been argued, is the best insurance plan in the united states and among the best in the world. The premiums for Medicare Part A (hospitalization) are most likely paid for you (by the taxes you paid) and the Part B premium is only $110 per month for people newly getting Medicare in 2010.

Your share of costs for Original Medicare are also relatively low. If you go in the hospital for example, each stay in the hospital is only $1,100 total for up to 60 days. If you go to the doctor or have tests done (such as an MRI), you normally only pay 20% of the Medicare Approved amount (an amount much lower than the “regular” or “customary” amount charged by most health care providers).

In addition to low costs, you have tremendous freedom in your access to health care. You can travel anywhere in the country and find a doctor or hospital that will accept Medicare.

So the question is, if Medicare alone is such a great plan, then why in the world would anyone buy Medicare Supplement Insurance? A Medicare Supplement Plan is an insurance plan sold by a private insurance company. The purpose of these plans is to “fill in the gaps” left by Medicare. This is why these plans are often referred to as “Medigap Plans.”

Following are three reasons why “The Case Against Medicare Supplement Insurance” should be thrown out of court.

1. Guaranteed Insurability

When you first qualify for Medicare (such as when you turn 65), you are “guaranteed issue” of a Medicare Supplement Policy. In most situations, and in most states, you could be in the advanced stages of some dread disease and a Medicare Supplement company must sell you insurance at the preferred rate.

Also, once you do qualify for a Medicare Supplement Plan, you can never lose your coverage, as long as you pay your premiums.

2. Protection Against the “Big Stuff”

If you have to pay a few dollar here or there for an xray, or a co-pay at your doctor, that is probably no big deal. But if you get into trouble, meaning if you get really sick, the original Medicare protection may not be as robust as you thought. $1,100 per stay at the hospital can add up very quickly, as can your share of expensive diagnostic exams.

The fact is, most of us don’t buy insurance for the little things, such as a ding on the car. But we do want insurance for when the “just in case” happens, such as a major car accident.

3. Affordability

Medicare Supplement Plans are very affordable for most people. As …

Marketing yourself as a qualified insurance agent is one of the most important components to achieving success. For an agent, success is often measured by the number of clients who make a decision to buy the products and the services that you are offering to them. Proper marketing will help you increase your customer base, but you have to be creative about it in order to stand out from the rest of the agents whom you are competing against. Here are six clever and creative ways that you can make that happen.

Develop a client appreciation program.

When your clients feel like you appreciate their business, they will spread the word to their friends and family. Find a way to show your regular clients your appreciation (Thank You card periodically, free upgrade of service, etc.) and you’ll see your success grow.

Use direct mail.

Sending out postcards and letters to your current clients and potential leads will help expose your products and services to a wide audience. Don’t send out boring form letters, though. Be creative so you can get their attention.

Create a newsletter.

Newsletters are great ways to keep your clients up to date on the latest developments in the insurance industry. There may be new products on the market or important news that they will find interesting. Add a personal touch by adding something about your family or a special greeting. Send out the newsletter monthly or every other month, but be consistent about it either way.

Develop a website.

If you want to compete in today’s business world, it’s essential to have a website for your clients and potential leads to visit. However, it shouldn’t just be any website. You should hire a professional web designer to develop the website so it looks great. It’s also ideal to have a section of your site which explains the products and services that you offer as well as a link that customers can click on to get in contact with you.

Be responsive.

The quicker you respond to a client’s questions or a lead’s phone call, the more successful you will become. By responding quickly, you will show them that you appreciate their business rather than making them feel like a bother.

Publish articles online.

One way to market yourself as an insurance agent is by publishing relevant articles online. You can create a blog, post to ezines or other websites so you can get your name out there. When potential clients and existing customers do a Google search for your name, they will find all of the articles you have posted and they will be more likely to trust the information that you give them.

These are just a few of the ways you can market yourself as an insurance sales representative and increase your success as a result. Find a few agents in other areas who are successful and ask them for their secrets. If they don’t live in your area, they will be more likely …

The first thing you want to do is go to the California DMV website, dmv.ca.gov I will add links for you so you can find the information easily as the DMV website can be a little difficult to navigate through. (AB2499 is New CA legislation for traffic schools that was put in place 9.1.2012) It covers all the rules and regulations as well as the qualifications needed for the owner operator and instructor.

After you go through the information you will want to print out the traffic school owner checklist, it will prove to be very helpful in checking off each thing you need to complete.

Opening up a Traffic Violator school can be a long and tedious endeavor; There are many requirements that need to be in place before the DMV approves you.

I will list a few of the steps involved in opening up your school:

1) The first thing the DMV requires is to submit a traffic school lesson plan along with an $ 800.00 fee for your original review of an online course, $ 800.00 for a home study course review or $ 475.00 for a classroom course to be submitted with your OL764 form . You will have to wait up to 120 days for the DMV to do a background check on you as well waiting for your approval or rejection of your course. If you would prefer you can purchase a pre approved lesson plan which is probably easier than writing your own which is a 6 month to a year project. Plus you will get your approval letter from the DMV in about a week and only have to pay a $ 25.00 fee to use a pre approved course.

2) The DMV must approve your traffic school name before you can move forward with the rest of your application, you will need to fill out the OL 612 form, but before you waste time purchasing your school name for an online traffic school you can Call the DMV and check to see if the name you wish to use is available at the time of your call (916) 229-3126. If your name is similar to another name being used, your domain name will be redirected. If the name is available then you can send the form up to DMV by overnight mail, they will send you back an approval for your chosen name by US mail.Once you get your application approved, your school name will be placed on the DMV website , Which is free marketing for you.

Some additional DMV requirements are: being fingerprinted by live scan, securing a bond, pay the required fees, submit an insurance certificate, purchase a DMV approved lesson plan, or write your own, rent an office space in which to run your business out of And hold your traffic violator classes if you wish to teach a classroom course. FYI … The DMV makes no distinction between a classroom traffic school or an online traffic …

It seems that the more insurance one has the higher go the fees. Doctors now earn substantially more than they did proportionally few years ago. While they know that their patients can recover most of the cost for their service they rarely get an argument from them. In Australia we have the Medicare system that covers everything for those without private health.

The previous Prime Minister, Tony Abbot, put this extra burden on people that they must have health insurance. Only the pensioners above 75 years are now covered by bulk billing. That is they are not charged and the government pays for them. Prior to the Abbot changes everyone had this type of benefit but the cost was unsustainable.

Because of that rise in fees the government is now looking for ways to cut it back even further. The increase in population from overseas migrants is putting an extra burden on the system. Some of these people will go to two or three doctors in the same day thinking they will get better quicker. Some are also getting extra drugs and selling them overseas.

Modern medicine is expensive and now the vets are also on a par with the medical profession as far as fees go. The debate that they do much the same amount of study is a logical claim but when one has no insurance against their bills it is rather tough for many to afford it. Pet ownership is suffering as a result.

We can’t go backwards to old systems because it becomes too complicated. Once people earn more it is hard to take it away again. This is yet another dilemma the government is dealing with as there appears to be no way they can force a decrease in the cost of the medical bills covered by their program. The cost of private insurance is also rising beyond what most and now afford.…

Thoroughness is the key when preparing a settlement brochure or demand package to attempt settlement of an injury case.

Here are 32 tips gleaned from over 20 years experience that comprise a checklist or template to make sure your booklet is as complete as possible.

(Note: in this checklist the “settlement brochure” is sometimes called the “demand.”)

1. Order PIP/MedPay payments ledger from your insurance company (the company of the car you were in at the time of the accident.)

2. Receive the PIP/MedPay payments ledger.

3. Check the ledger for any other doctors, clinics, prescriptions etc. that you had overlooked.

4. Make a complete list of all of your doctors, hospitals etc.

5. Request impairment rating or final narrative report letter from one of your treating doctors.

6. Obtain all Medical Bills.

7. Obtain all Medical Reports and records.

8. Mail or fax to your employer a LOST WAGES REQUEST LETTER. This asks your employer’s human resources department for:

1) your hourly wage at time of accident, and

2) how many hours were missed because of the accident.

9. Once you have received lost wages information from employer, calculate lost wages.

10. Check dates of service on ALL medical bills, prescriptions, reports, records, etc. Make sure bills are current and include all services to date.

11. Arrange medical bills in chronological order, keeping all of one doctor’s/clinic’s bills together, then list each doctor/clinic, and total expenses from that clinic, on MEDICAL SPECIALS SUMMARY in same order. Note: in injury cases, medical bills are known as “medical specials.”

12. Check for prescriptions. Add to MEDICAL SPECIALS SUMMARY.

13. Have any of the doctors predicted a specific need for future treatment? If so, add amounts to bottom of MEDICAL SPECIALS SUMMARY. (Place a copy of future medicals documentation in future medicals section of demand.)

14. Read medical records and reports to identify any problem areas. (In reading, if another doctor/clinic is mentioned check on it to see if there are more medical bills.

15. Organize medical records and reports in reverse chronological order.

16. If this is an uninsured/underinsured motorist case, gather information that is evidence of existence of an uninsured or underinsured motorist.

17. Obtain liability or jury verdict research. Note: if there is an issue as to liability it is helpful to enclose legal research that supports your position. This may be obtained from a law library.

18. Draft DEMAND LETTER. This is the cover letter for your brochure that summarizes all of the information.

19. Type DEMAND LETTER, MEDICAL SPECIALS SUMMARY, FUTURE MEDICALS SUMMARY, and LOST WAGES SUMMARIES.

20. Proofread DEMAND LETTER, MEDICAL SPECIALS SUMMARY, FUTURE MEDICALS SUMMARY, and LOST WAGES SUMMARY. Check date of accident on accident report against the date in letter.

21. Check verdict amounts in comparable verdicts with what is typed in demand letter.

22. Check spelling on medical terms, and on doctors’, clients’ and adjusters’ names.

23. Check to see that all dollar amounts and numbers are correct numbers.

24. Check all dollar …

1. Builder’s All Risk Insurance:

Usually during the contract negotiation stage, when it is as yet unclear as to which party will be accepting which liabilities, which party will be responsible for procuring the insurance and absorbing the deductibles, etc., both parties look more deeply into the breadth of available BAR coverage.

We can say that Builder’s Risk Insurance for the energy class of business provides coverage under three different forms:

  1. London Institute Builder’s Risk Clauses 1.6.88 (CL 351) – or American equivalent
  2. WELCAR form
  3. Custom forms tailor-made to specific risks or Owners or shipyards.

Is the protection provided under all BAR policies the same? No! For a comparison between wordings please contact a trusted insurance broker of your choice.

2. War Risks and Strikes, Riots, Civil Commotions (SRCC):

a. Institute War Clauses Builder’s Risks 1/6/88 (CL 349) –

Coverage incepts once the vessel is launched (or wet) and provides coverage for loss of or damage to the insured vessel / rig caused by:

  • war, civil war, revolution, rebellion insurrection, or civil strife arising therefrom, or any hostile act by or against a belligerent power
  • capture seizure arrest restraint or detainment, arising from perils covered above, and the consequences thereof or any attempt thereat
  • derelict mines torpedoes bombs or other derelict weapons of war.

b. Institute Strikes Clauses Builders’ Risks 1/6/88 (CL 350) –

Provides coverage for loss of or damage to the insured vessel / rig caused by:

  • strikers, locked-out workmen, or persons taking part in labor disturbances, riots or civil commotions
  • any terrorist or any person acting maliciously or from a political motive.

We recommend that this coverage be amended to include Vandalism and Malicious Mischief.

Please also review if the terrorism coverage provided under this clause is either restricted or broadened, or if there are any other applicable clauses such as Sabotage & Terrorism Endorsements. In any case, be sure that the coverage afforded is adequate for your Client so your Client makes an informed decision.

3. Liability – Insurance coverage that protects an insured against claims made by third parties for damage or injury to their property or person. These losses usually come about as a result of negligence of the insured. In marine construction, this policy is referred to an MGL, marine general liability policy. In non-marine circumstances, the policy is referred to as a CGL, commercial general liability policy. The construction contract should determine which parties are liable in which instances for losses of Third Party Liability nature.

Insurance policies can be divided into three broad categories:

  1. Product Liability – Protection against a Manufacturer’s liability for injuries or property damage after a manufactured product has been sold. Extraordinary liability accompanies the manufacture of a product.
  2. Completed Operations – Protection against a Contractor’s liability for injuries or property damage suffered by Third Parties as a result of the Contractor completing an operation.
  3. “Trips & falls & damage” – Protection against injuries or property damage on premises or hulls within care, custody, control of a party.

Let’s be honest, anyone who has had an insurance claim has had this or a similar thought run through their head. For many years insurance companies have done things to earn a bad rep. I’ve been in the insurance restoration industry for the last 10 years, and during this time I can honestly say that I have rarely met an adjuster or contractor that wanted to skimp on the settlement. The few times I’ve seen this is when the policyholder has been extremely difficult to work with. Yes, bad estimates happen, however, most of the time the feeling of being “shorted or cheated” comes from not understanding your policy and how it pays out.

The biggest misunderstanding is most often the issue of matching. Insurance policies are specifically written with terminology and phrases to avoid matching. Homeowner’s coverage is to replace the damaged items with like kind and quality. While as a homeowner and contractor I often don’t agree with this and I will fight it to the best of my abilities. To explain this policy the easiest is to give you situations where you will most likely run into this situation. Let’s say you have a flood where the carpet has to be removed in the hallway. The same carpet runs throughout the home. The living room opens and connects directly to the hallway with the same carpet and you have 3 bedrooms directly off of the hallway and an office with french doors off of the living room. The carpet in the hallway and living room will be replaced but the carpet in the bedrooms and office will most likely not be replaced as most insurance policies are written to stop at doorways.

The other situation is most often with kitchen cabinetry. If water damages your lower kitchen cabinets (or a fire, your uppers) most insurance companies will allow replacing the run of damaged cabinets (meaning all of the lowers or all of the uppers). If you have specialty/custom cabinets you will most likely be given a custom price to rebuild that run of cabinets to match what was there. Very rarely is matching kitchen cabinets likely these days, however, it is not impossible. Over the past 25 years, there are hundreds of cabinet styles and specialty finishes, from dozens of manufacturers. Unless you recently replaced the kitchen, it will take countless hours of research to find the cabinet manufacturer that made your cabinets (a good place to locate the manufacturer is on the inside of the door. Let’s say you’ve managed to find the manufacturer, companies usually discontinue a line every 4-7 years, or they make considerable changes to it. On top of the possible discontinued issue, it is very likely that the elements have changed the finish on your cabinetry. Perhaps your contractor has pointed the issues out to your adjuster, depending on the difficulty they may add extra money to allow to get a close match, perhaps a custom cabinet.

This is where you have …

Using a simplified definition, a retrospective rating plan (retro) is a pricing plan available in which your workers compensation premium is developed, in its final form, by the losses sustained during the policy period.

First let’s go over the components of a retro:

Maximum Premium: This factor represents the percentage over and above the standard premium, which can be collected in the event of adverse loss performance during the policy period. Example: A $50,000 policy with a 1.25 (125%) maximum could potentially be billed $62,500 if you had a high claims amount. This factor is part of the negotiating your agent should do on your behalf. It is subjective and set by the underwriter.

Minimum Premium: This factor represents the ultimate return to the insured in the event you had no losses. Example: The same $50,000 policy with a.60 (60%) minimum premium would pay only $30,000 in premium if you had no losses. This factor is in direct correlation with the maximum. The higher the maximum, the lower the minimum and visa versa. In other words, take more risk get more reward, take less risk get less reward.

Loss Conversion: This factor represents the cost the insurance company is going to charge you to administer the claims you incur. Example: The retro is issued with a 1.10 (10%) loss conversion factor and you incur a $10,000 claim. The insurance carrier will calculate this claim as $11,000 ($10,000 x 1.10 = $11,000). This factor is also negotiable and set by the underwriter. This factor has a direct correlation with the minimum. The higher the loss conversation factor the lower the minimum premium and visa versa.

Tax Multiplier: Because retro’s deviate from the standard policy pricing, which has the premium taxes the insurance company pays included in the premium the tax multiplier is shown separately on the retro. This factor is set by the state and is not negotiable.

Now that we have covered what the “factors” represent, here is an example of how a retro is calculated. In this example we will use a $100,000 standard premium and $40,000 in losses the following factors (The factors vary by insurance company these being used are only an example):

  • Maximum: 1.25
  • Minimum.50
  • Loss Conversion: 1.10
  • Tax Multiplier: 1.07

$100,000 (standard premium) x.50 (minimum premium) = $50,000

$40,000 (losses) x 1.10 (loss conversion factor) = $44,000

$50,000 Minimum Premium + $44,000 losses plus conversion factor = $94,000 premium

$94,000 premium x 1.07 Tax Multiplier = $100,580 final premium

In this example the final premium after the calculation was not above our maximum premium of $125,000 (standard premium x maximum premium factor) so the final premium remains as calculated.

Because the losses were high in relation to the premium size this retro did not work in favor of the policyholder costing $580 more than a standard policy would have. However, using a total claims amount of $22,000 following the same calculation formula the final calculated premium would have been $81,620 saving you $18,380 on your …

A typical investor in the taxi business in Uganda is going to encounter two key issues even before they start making their first shilling. I explain these issues below.

When I first bought a used taxi from my grandparents, I took it for repair to a mechanic in the Wandegeya suburb. He “over hauled” it and told me it was in perfect condition. One week later, the differential had developed a few problems. Next the crank shaft had a few issues. I eventually over came these issues but then came the witchcraft story.

A typical Ugandan reader is probably surprised that I haven’t raised the issue of business and witchcraft before. It seems many Ugandans firmly believe that going to the witch doctor and giving your last white goat(and with no spot of black) is going to turn your business into an overnight success even if you cannot differentiate(no pun intended) between cash as profit(which you can use as dividends) and cash from sales(which you should not use until all expenses are settled).

So the witchcraft story is this; I hired my cousin John [not real name for obvious reasons] to work as the taxi’s first conductor. He according to the family rumour mill “bewitched” the taxi because:

*Day 1. The suspension broke.

*Day 3: The crank shaft developed further problems.

*Day 5. The differential was shaking again.

*Day 7: The taxi knocked someone crossing the road at Ndeeba.

In the 1 month that the taxi was in business, I made only Shs 7,000! Oh, I used that to bail out the driver at the police station. I am not one to consider the validity of the witchcraft story but that brings me to the taxi business and factors to consider if you are to invest in it.

First the CONS (of course)

1. Mechanics without ethics

There is a possibility that when I took the taxi for refurbishment, the mechanic to whom I entrusted the repair provided me with a pro-forma invoice for parts he didn’t install, obtained them second hand or third hand or even that he didn’t carry out all the necessary repairs. How could I verify that with no knowledge of the intricacies of a car, let alone a second hand taxi from Bungokho?

You can of course get round this issue by instead taking your Toyota Hiace (the predominant model used for taxi business in Uganda) to Toyota Uganda’s repair workshop. Don’t expect of course to pay Shs. 7,000 for repair. They use computerised diagnostics and their mechanics use a logging system to bill you by the hour. Oh and of course they use new and genuine parts so forget that used crank shaft your mechanic Kakooza will find you from Kisekka market. As per the Toyota Uganda website, you can expect to start paying for servicing for a Toyota Hiace Model from Shs. 183,900.

2. Difficulty of revenue verification

Unless you are driving the taxi yourself or install cameras just like the London Buses …