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Until 2020, most businesses didn't consider global health crises a risk to insure. Additionally, traditional commercial insurance coverage doesn't include government-mandated closures resulting from a pandemic. The Paycheck Recovery Program helped many businesses survive temporary shutdown orders to stop the spread of COVID-19, but the U.S. still reported over 200,000 more permanent closures than average in 2020.

What is a Captive Insurance Company?

A captive insurance company is an alternative to a traditional provider where a business forms its own insurance firm to cover alternative risks. Typically, companies have strict federal guidelines and a narrow list of coverage options. Additionally, premium prices quickly increase depending on the market demand, making it difficult for small businesses to pay for necessary coverage.

Enter the captive insurance company. A private insurer can be set up by a single business or several companies pooling their money to cover risks when they arise. And unlike a traditional insurance company, if the money goes unused, the private owners can decide what to do with the surplus.

The 2020 Pandemic's Influence on Commercial Insurance

COVID-19 hit Utah and the rest of the country hard. Many companies weren't prepared for alternative risks that their standard policies didn't cover. When you pay a quarterly premium, and your business closes even temporarily, it's frustrating and possibly financially devastating to find that the money spent on insurance does nothing to help you.

While the government stepped in with flood insurance help for individuals and businesses, there's no information on whether such a coverage option will be available anytime soon for pandemic options. Although we've seen the full impact of a global health crisis, there's no way of predicting when the next will strike. When we discuss risk from other events, such as flooding, earthquakes, hurricanes, and tornadoes, you can be relatively confident that they will occur within at least a few years.

Surviving a Hard Market with Private Insurance

Preparing for acts of nature is expected. But the pandemic changed everything you know about a hard market. Traditional insurance policies can be expensive and sometimes unaffordable for many small businesses. A captive insurance company or private insurer may be the tool companies need to weather a hard market. These policies cover what traditional insurance companies won't, and as the owner, you decide which risks are covered. Additionally, with captives, you prepare for the worst, hope for the best, and still have access to the surplus funds if nothing happens. By carrying the funds forward, companies can be well-prepared for the next pandemic.

The hard market the U.S. and the world has experienced over the last two years has taken an enormous toll on businesses. From riots and mass protests to a pandemic that's killed millions of people across the globe and over 2,000 Utah residents, property and personal losses have hit levels higher than any point in history.

The captive strategy does not try to follow the soft or hard market. Rather, it provides a long-term, stable, controlled approach to meeting your insurance needs. As the owner of the captive, rather than an insurance buyer, you will strategically position your business for the future, regardless of how the conventional market may fluctuate.

Now's the time to consider domestic property and casualty insurance captives to protect your business from an uncertain future.

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Between hectic schedules, stress, and difficulty sleeping, many people find themselves fatigued during the workday. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce your fatigue levels and stay more alert at work.

Risks of Fatigue Symptoms of fatigue include moodiness, drowsiness, loss of energy, and lack of motivation and concentration. These are not ideal qualities to display at your job. Not only does fatigue make you less productive and less personable, it can also cause a serious safety risk if you work in a hazardous position

Quick Energy Boosters The following strategies can help boost your energy:

  • Eat a snack that includes complex carbohydrates and protein (like an energy bar or half a peanut butter sandwich on whole wheat bread). Avoid sugar, which will make you crash later.

  • Get moving–a short walk can be very energizing.

  • As much as your job allows, try to vary your day when fatigue sets in.

  • Have a mini-meditation session at your desk–it can help you calm down and feel more alert.

  • Drink a glass of water–caffeine isn’t the only thing that boosts your energy.

Lifestyle Changes To fight fatigue long term, incorporate these healthy changes into your life:

  • Limit caffeine to one or two drinks per day. Drink plenty of water to keep hydrated.

  • Eat nutritiously. Healthy food and portion sizes will help you stay energized. Don’t skip meals or overeat, and always start your day with breakfast.

  • Exercise regularly. This will increase your energy levels and also help you sleep better at night.

  • Manage your stress to sleep better and feel less drained.

  • Avoid smoking, as it lowers your energy level. Improve Your Sleep Habits Fatigue is generally caused by poor quality or inadequate quantity of sleep. Try these tips:

  • Aim for seven to eight hours per night, even if that means rearranging your schedule.

  • Create a good sleep environment (temperature, noise level, and lighting).

  • Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, even on weekends.

  • Limit caffeine, alcohol, big meals, and rigorous exercise close to bedtime.

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Your business depends on the productivity of your employees, and one way to maximize their potential is to acknowledge and address problems that cause decreased productivity. You may not realize it, but fatigue in the workplace is a serious issue in America today–one that is costing employers a lot in lost productivity.

The Facts According to a study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 38% of American workers surveyed experienced “low levels of energy, poor sleep or a feeling of fatigue” during their past two weeks at work. Workers who are fatigued in the workplace are less productive, less focused, experience more health problems, and are more likely to be involved in a job-related safety incident. In addition, fatigue causes more absences from work, both from the tiredness itself and also from accompanying medical problems.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 25% of Americans report not getting enough sleep, and 10% suffer from chronic insomnia. Many people beyond those with a medical condition regularly struggle with lack of sleep, trouble sleeping, and/or fatigue. The study estimated that lost productivity due to fatigue is costing American businesses about $136 million annually.

The Effects of Fatigue Obvious signs of fatigue in an individual include drowsiness, moodiness, loss of energy, loss of appetite, and a lack of motivation, concentration, and alertness. Some people may become irritable or moody when fatigued. In addition, fatigue can cause or be a result of other medical conditions, such as depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

What Can You Do? Any problem that causes decreased productivity and increased absenteeism is one that you want to address in your workforce. There are several ways that you can tackle the issue of fatigue within your company:

• Educate employees. Many people who struggle with getting adequate or quality sleep could improve their situation by making a few habit and lifestyle changes. Offer them information about the importance of getting enough sleep each night, the safety concerns of coming to work tired, and tips for getting better sleep. You can also remind employees that a healthy diet and regular exercise can contribute to better quality sleep.

• Include fatigue in your wellness program. Include questions about sleep and tiredness on your health risk appraisals, and incorporate fatigue management into your wellness initiatives. Once you identify how many employees experience fatigue and/or have sleep disorders, you can offer further education, programs, or referral services to address the specific problems among your employees.

• Change company culture. Ask employees when they are most tired during the day, and consider offering extra break time to alleviate those fatigued times. This is particularly important for workers in safety-sensitive or decision-making positions.

Try to make your workplace more amenable to alertness, with proper lighting, quiet break areas for employees to rest or re-charge, adequate break time, and healthy food options.

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