June 10, 2016

UNICO Group awarded Platinum Partner agency by United Fire Group

We are proud to announce that UNICO Group has been named a Platinum Partner by United Fire Group! Agencies are awarded this honor based on UFG’s high-quality standards of measurement and only the top 8% of agents qualify. UFG incorporates a unique set of metrics that agencies are evaluated against in order to receive this honor including profitability, growth, retention, and claim frequency. UNICO has qualified as a Platinum Partner agency for 2 consecutive years. We are proud to be recognized as one of the highest-performing UFG agencies in the country.
May 25, 2016

Why Do Injured Employees Seek An Attorney?

A recent study found that if an injured employee seeks out legal representation for a workers’ compensation case, the costs will be much higher. Permanent disability claims involving attorneys, or 80% of permanent disability claims, averaged $66,208 in benefits and expenses, compared to $25,300 for claims that did not involve attorneys. Time away from work because of disability also was substantially higher and claims were slower to close. The severity of the injury, the claims process and the perception of the injured employee. While the correlation between severity of injury and attorney involvement is difficult to mitigate, employers can do a lot to minimize the other two factors. A Workers’ Compensation injury is not just a medical problem, there are complex psychological and social issues involved. While there will always be some employees driven by greed and aiming to “game the system,” most people come to work wanting to do a good job, not to create problems. When an unexpected […]
May 18, 2016

HR Nightmares- How Can UNICO HR Solutions Help?

The human resources function in companies continues to evolve and change especially with all the complexities being thrown at companies regarding the ACA, OSHA, compliance, and other legal issues. Many companies that we work with don’t have the staff or the money to have a full-time human resources person so they turn those responsibilities over to an employee that is wearing several hats within that company. There are many instances when a complex HR issue arises and these people don’t know where to turn to get the expert guidance they need. Many companies turn to web based HR portals for information but this can only help to a certain degree. It takes time and effort to try and research the issue at hand and many times it is difficult to find the right answer to the issue they are trying to address. Some companies will have to make calls to their attorneys to have questions answered and this can be […]
May 11, 2016

From the HR Experts – Wellness and Compliance

Question: We are designing our wellness programs for this year and want to offer a wellness benefit to our non-smokers. Are there special compliance rules surrounding wellness programs? Answer: A group health plan is allowed to offer a discount to non-smokers if it is part of formal wellness program that is non-discriminatory under HIPAA. The Department of Labor has specific guidelines as follows: For a group health plan to maintain a premium differential between smokers and nonsmokers and not be considered discriminatory, the plan’s nonsmoking program would need to meet the five requirements for wellness programs that require satisfaction of a standard related to a health factor. Accordingly, under the final rules, this wellness program would be permitted if: The premium differential is not more than 20 percent of the total cost of employee-only coverage (or 20% of the cost of coverage if dependents can participate in the program)*; The program is reasonably designed to promote health and prevent disease; […]
May 4, 2016

Foreign Travel Is An Overlooked Risk

Firms that have employees travel outside of the United States have exposures to sources of loss that do not exist in the U.S. and Canada, i.e., political risks, endemic diseases, terrorism and uprisings. Here are some exposures that are often overlooked. 1. Accident, Sickness And Health It is possible for a person traveling abroad to become sick or injured in an accident. Should either of these events occur, there is a possibility that a U.S. medical insurer would not cover the incident. There is also the possibility that the foreign medical facility will not accept U.S. health insurance. Work with an international underwriter to determine what is required by local laws. Review existing health and medical coverage to determine how the policy will treat foreign claims. When in doubt, contact the HMO or insurance company to determine how coverage may apply. While the insured’s carrier may reimburse the insured for the claim, the foreign medical facility may not accept the […]
April 27, 2016

From The HR Experts: Best Times For Terminations

Best Times for Termination Question: What is the best day of the week and time of the day to perform a termination of employment? Answer: There are varying viewpoints as to the best time to terminate an employee; however, many HR professionals agree that the meeting should probably take place early in the week, and early in the day. Try to hold the termination meeting at a time and location that will not parade the employee through the job site at a peak period. Early-week terminations will allow the employee to reach out for any assistance and advice she/he may need to help cope during the week, including filing for unemployment and networking, as well as giving him/her an opportunity to begin searching for a new position. It will not leave the employee in a situation where she/he is facing a weekend of going over things without being able to seek help or gain new perspectives on next steps. There […]
April 20, 2016

From the HR Experts: Job Descriptions

Job Descriptions Question: Why are job descriptions important? Answer: Job descriptions serve a variety of purposes for both managers and employees, including: Helping managers explain the key functions of the position when interviewing applicants and/or orienting new employees Providing employees and their supervisors with additional information to support developing performance and work objectives Guiding compensation bench-marking and organizational design decisions by comparing similar levels of job duties and incumbent requirements for knowledge, skills and abilities Improving employee performance by measuring performance with the stated duties and responsibilities of the job Providing employees with clear definitions of job requirements and expectations for enhanced employee development Guiding employees, their medical practitioners and management through decisions relating to potential workplace accommodation discussions Giving management a more organized and defensible basis for human resources decisions