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Traveling the Globe with Peace of Mind Part 1: Tips to Minimize Risk While Traveling Abroad






If your job requires international travel, stories about the violence, drug wars, political unrest, and terrorism taking place in countries all over the world have probably caught your attention. For example in Mexico, we’ve heard accounts of tainted alcohol, gunpoint robberies, kidnappings, and even drug-related violence that has occasionally caught a tourist in the crossfire. Mexico is certainly not alone in this respect, however—nearly any country (including our own!) can pose risks to American tourists.

This is why it is so important to weigh the relatively rare instances of tragedy against the fact that the vast majority of travelers from the United States return unscathed and energized by their experiences with new and interesting cultures. The key is taking steps to reduce your overall exposure to risk by being an informed, mindful traveler who takes precautions when necessary.

This article is the first in a series of three that will explore the

Travel the Globe with Peace of Mind Part 2: Understanding the New DOS Travel Warning System

The U.S. Department of State’s website has long been a valuable source of information for American travelers. Its system of “travel alerts” and “travel warnings” relayed information about how safe it was for U.S. citizens to travel to foreign countries.

For many, this former travel warning system was often unclear. To make important safety information easier to understand, the DOS has replaced its old system with a tiered four-level system. In this article, I’m going to break down the new system and take a closer look at how you as an employer can best use the information available to make smart travel decisions for your organization.

Understanding the Basics
Every country on the globe is assigned a travel advisory level 1 through 4, with 1 being the lowest level of risk. For advisory levels 2 or higher, the DOS also assigns a risk indicator, which describes why the level has been assigned:
C=Crime   T=Terrorism   U=Civil Unrest   H=Health  

Quarter 1 Risk/Reward with Tom Precia: Our Work to Achieve Worker’s Compensation Reform in Wisconsin

The State Legislature handed Wisconsin employers a small victory on worker’s compensation recently by fixing a loophole that allowed injured workers to circumvent the exclusive remedy and sue employers. While it’s not the medical cost reform employers have been pleading for, it’s an important change. I’m proud of the role Integrated Risk Solutions played in bringing it about.

More than five years ago, Integrated Risk Solutions recognized several worker’s compensation challenges facing employers in our state. Runaway medicals costs and steady increases in disability rates threatened to relegate Wisconsin to the back of the pack when competing for new and growing businesses.
Employers needed a coalition to rally support for fair progress on our Worker’s Compensation Act. Our Wisconsin Employers for Equitable Worker’s Compensation (WEEWC) group provided that outlet.
Working with our dozens of employer members, WEEWC identified key objectives for worker’s compensation legislation. Chief among these was a fee schedule to tackle

Wisconsin Employers to Endure High Worker’s Compensation Medical Costs …For Now

Despite a strong push by Wisconsin employers, including members of the WEEWC, the State Assembly ended its session without advancing the Worker’s Compensation agreed bill, which would have imposed a fee schedule on medical bills for treating work injuries. That means Wisconsin employers will endure at least another year of worker’s compensation medical charges that are much higher than those in neighboring states.
The fee schedule issue is not going to go away, and without significant worker’s compensation reform, Wisconsin will remain one of the most expensive states for treating injured workers.

Despite this challenge, there ARE important steps that employers can take to mitigate these costs even without legislative help.

These are exactly the types of strategies we plan to discuss during our free Seminar on Thursday, May 10th. For example, employers may wish to consider the following strategies for reducing medical costs:

Implement a claim response protocol that incorporates best practices for incident

Schroeder Moving Donates Boxes to Local Hurricane Harvey Relief Efforts

When people select a moving company, they search for a partner who will move and store their valuables with the same level of care and attention that they would give their own belongings. Schroeder Moving Systems, an Integrated Risk customer since 2013, is one such company—providing top-of-the-line moving, storage, and delivery services. As a trusted local business, they care about their customers and their customers’ belongings.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, Schroeder Moving was able to extend its reach beyond its own community to those affected by Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Texas. J.J. Watt, Sports Illustrated’s 2017 Sportsman of the Year and defensive end for the Houston Texans, had been working with his family and the J.J. Watt Foundation to organize a flood relief drive in his hometown of Pewaukee, Wisconsin. According to an article published by USA Today, they gathered over 300,000 pounds of supplies like food, water, and

Multi-Generational Employee Benefits: Which Benefits Matter?

It’s no secret that the workforce is changing and this can be challenging for employers. Some employers have already started to adapt by targeting their benefit packages to meet the needs of all generations. How does your company’s benefit package measure up? Are you offering the type of benefits your employee’s are looking for?

The mock Facebook profiles below describe what your employees really want.
The Millennial
At 53.5 million strong, Millennials make up about 34% of today’s workforce making them the largest generation in the U.S. labor force.1

The GenXer
Gen Xers make up 34% of today’s workforce with 52.7 million individuals.1

The Boomer
The Baby Boomer’s population has declined as Boomers retire. Roughly 29% of Baby Boomers remain in today’s workforce.1

A robust benefits package is essential for employers in order to keep up with competition in the market, attract and retain employees and foster loyalty within an organization. How can one employer possibly focus

It’s Time to Start Taking Cyber Liability Coverage Seriously: Part II

In December 2013, Target discovered that it was the victim of a massive data breach affecting “approximately 40 million credit and debit card accounts,” according to a press release issued by the corporation. For businesses of all sizes, the Target breach signaled the need for a renewed focus on cyber security. After all, if a large corporation like Target could fall victim to a massive cyber attack, is anybody really safe?

Realistically, the answer is probably “no.” What businesses can control, however, is how quickly and efficiently they are able to respond to the attack and mitigate their risk. So the question then becomes, “How much of our free cash flow will we have to burn through in response to a malicious cyber attack?”

This is where cyber liability coverage comes in. If you read Part I of this series, you probably grasp the important role cyber liability coverage plays in ensuring

7 Best Practices For A Successful Open Enrollment

Are your employees raving fans of your benefits package?
Predictable chaos comes to mind when it’s time for the employee benefits open enrollment. Positive and negative anticipation is felt by Human Resource professionals as well as employees. We all realize how important a competitive benefit package is, and yet we just want to get through it and move on.

How can employees be engaged in their company’s health plan if they don’t really understand the benefits offered to them (e.g., what’s covered, who pays the premium, terminology, how much protection is needed)? “While many working Americans feel confident in their decisions, 1 in 4 say making benefits selections is more of a guessing game than an educated decision” (according to The Guardian Workplace Benefits Study). 1 This disconnect could be costing you money, time, and talent, but it doesn’t have to be this way! These best practices will help you improve

Prioritizing DOT Compliance and Reducing Risk in Construction Companies

Who within your company is responsible for ensuring compliance with DOT regulations?
If the answer to this question did not immediately spring to mind, you are not alone. While large trucking companies often have an employee at least partially dedicated to DOT compliance, many companies whose core business operations revolve around construction, excavating, landscape management, and manufacturing do not. Instead, DOT compliance often takes a backseat to OSHA compliance for a variety of reasons.

For example, most contractors simply don’t have the luxury of dedicating a staff member to DOT compliance. Even those who have appointed a staff member to absorb duties related to DOT compliance quickly learn that this individual lacks the expertise required to develop and oversee a comprehensive DOT compliance program. Important issues—like ensuring each driver of a DOT-regulated vehicle meets the necessary qualifications and undergoes thorough training and drug testing—begin to fall by the wayside.

As a result, many

It’s Time to Start Taking Cyber Liability Coverage Seriously

When your computer systems are breached, your building doesn’t burn down. Your reputation, your relationships, your customer loyalty, your business continuity, your cash flow, your profitability – these are the valuables that go up in smoke.
What Is Cyber Liability Coverage?
Cyber Liability coverage is an insurance product used to protect businesses and individuals from risks relating to information technology infrastructure and activities. Risks of this nature are typically excluded from traditional property and crime insurance policies. And like other forms of insurance the coverage terms, conditions and available limits differ greatly from carrier to carrier…not mention the lengthy applications some carriers require to offer a quote. The good news is there are a few carriers that offer meaningful coverage with a painless underwriting process.

Cybercrime Terms all Business Owners Should Know
The two most common cyber breaches take the form of either “Ransomware” or “Social Engineering.”

Ransomware occurs when a criminal breaches your firewall,