All food, including bottled water, has an expiration date. Because owners of restaurants, grocery stores, and convenience stores spend up to 30% of their annual budgets on food, they are always in a race against time to sell their inventory before it expires. Learn how much they stand to lose by throwing food away and whether there is a food spoilage tax deduction they can claim.

Spoiled Food 

There is no special tax deduction for spoiled or expired food. Deductions are rather based on the total cost of food purchased in the first place. The ultimate destination of the food and the amount for which it is sold does not affect this credit. Donating–rather than tossing–the food, however, does affect the tax rate.

Donated Food

A business that donates food before it expires can deduct the value of the food’s selling price. In this way, C-corporations can deduct up to 10% of their taxable income, and other businesses can deduct up to 30%. The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 allows all businesses, including C-corporations, to deduct up to 15% of their taxable income if their donations meet certain criteria. They are allowed to deduct either two times the value of the food or its value plus half its profit margin.

As companies seek ways to differentiate themselves from their competitors in recruiting and retaining talent, many look to benefits offerings as a way to do so. Not too long-ago employees were courted with in-office perks such as pool tables, concierge service, and unlimited snacks. However, as much as those fringe benefits are enjoyed, employees still turn to core benefits as the main factor in keeping them engaged.

Core Benefits

Core benefits insurance usually refers to health and welfare-related benefits paid for by the company, including health and dental insurance. Core benefits may also include company paid income protection programs like life insurance and short and long-term disability coverage. Also considered core benefits are reimbursement accounts that the company contributes to on behalf of the employee, such as health savings and health reimbursement accounts.

Voluntary Benefits

Voluntary benefits are optional plans that fill a need the core benefits do not. For instance, a company may pay for an employee’s life insurance up to two times the employee’s salary but offer the option for the employee to purchase additional coverage on a voluntary basis.

Offering a comprehensive benefits program that includes both core and voluntary benefits allows a company to reaffirm its commitment to its employees, helps drive employee satisfaction and retain top talent.

Owners of commercial ships are responsible for the safety of both their vessels and their workers. However, they are not liable for injuries that occur to employees of other organizations while they work on their ships. If you are an employer planning to station staff on a boat you do not own, you may need Maritime Employers Liability Insurance.

What Is MEL Coverage? 

MEL is a type of policy that protects you and your employees while they work on a ship owned by someone else, including workers whose positions are not those of captain or crew member.  For example, if one of your workers gets hurt on the way to an oil platform, MEL insurance would cover the costs. It also covers employees stationed temporarily on a boat you own.

Do I Need MEL Insurance?

Having MEL insurance can save you from having to pay devastatingly large sums of money for personal damages. Here are a few examples of employee activities that might require you to have this type of coverage:

  • Building along the shoreline
  • Drilling
  • Surveying for seismic activity
  • Conducting scientific studies
  • Observing national fisheries

Any type of watercraft, including a pontoon, ship, or dredge, can be included under marine insurance. Most insurance companies sell MEL as a stand-alone policy.

Asbestos is a naturally-occurring mineral made of long, thin, crystallized pieces of silica running parallel to each other. Most people know it is used in insulation, but not everyone is aware of the risk it poses to auto mechanics.

Exposure Risks

Auto mechanics often suffer asbestos exposure when performing routine procedures such as using an air hose to clean off brake surfaces. Even though manufacturers have moved away from using it, asbestos is still found in older-model cars. The following other car parts also potentially contain asbestos:

  • Hood liners
  • Thread seal tape
  • Valve rings
  • Gaskets
  • Flywheels
  • Clutch disks
  • Pressure plates
  • Seals

Health Effects

Inhaling microscopic particles of silica dust released from asbestos causes the sharp particles to become lodged inside the lungs and respiratory tract. The body can remove some of them, but the majority remain embedded in the epithelial tissue for the rest of a person’s life. One or more of the following serious health problems then occur:

  • Benign pleural disease
  • Asbestosis
  • Lung cancer
  • Mesothelioma

It is virtually impossible to tell whether a car part contains asbestos, so there is always a possibility for exposure. Autoworkers’ risks should thus be minimized by following OSHA guidelines for keeping garages well-ventilated. Furthermore, a comprehensive workers’ compensation policy offers additional protection in the case of accidental inhalation.

As a homeowner, you are liable for injuries that happen on your property. If those injuries are the result of negligence on your part, such as by not fencing in a pool or leaving a hazardous situation in place, then you may be responsible for damages and medical costs. Warped floors are one of those hazards.

How Are Warped Floors Dangerous?

Because warped flooring can be a sign of serious foundation damage, it should always be addressed. Failure to do so can result in more than a stubbed toe or fall. It could compromise the structural integrity of your home, resulting in a serious injury.

Also, when the flooring has low or raised spots (i.e. it is warped) it becomes a trip hazard. You may be used to the distortion, but visitors can easily get caught or lose their balance, resulting in an accident and injury. This could be especially dangerous for older and frail adults.

What Can You Do To Reduce Liability?

Research into warped floors shows that repairing the damage can be more cost-effective than many homeowners believe. It is best to address the damage when it is small since, at that stage, repairs are easier and more affordable. Always carry appropriate insurance coverage on your home. This can help reduce your liability and cover costs associated with any claims against you.

Don’t let a small problem turn into financial devastation. Be proactive and discover the cause of your flooring defects. Then take steps to fix the underlying problem and reduce your liability.

Many organizations are faced with revenue concerns as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. It is critical to identify cash-flow exposures and to limit the severity of the risk. Due to the nature of the current crisis, assessments and prioritization of expenses should be done on a consistent basis. Budget adjustments are critical to operations and can be implemented quickly, as changes to revenue and organizational needs develop.

Interpret On-Going Expenditures

The key to meeting the pandemic head-on is to look ahead. While non-profits are skilled at planful budget management, this situation presents an array of new challenges. Particularly, there is a need to continually parse budget items to see where costs can be reduced. As seen in the research on COVID-19 non-profit revenues, reducing insurance costs can be one way of effectively trimming expenses.

Develop A Risk Plan

Another important management task is to take a risk plan. It is imperative to monitor changes with income inflows and outflows. Some expenses can be delayed, but fixed costs become a concern as revenue tightens. Organizations can determine effective controls by having an evolving idea of where cuts can occur to minimize changes to daily functions.

Non-profits have a unique difficulty in managing budget issues during COVID-19. It’s important to consistently address financial risk, along with a plan to secure the bottom line.

ADA stands for the Americans With Disabilities Act. It became law in 1990. Since that time, it has been in place to ensure equal access to goods and services to people with physical and mental impairments. This not only applies to your physical place of business, but it also applies to your website. Special features and functionalities are available to allow people with visual disabilities to access the site.

While the law requires ADA-compliant websites, the CEO of Neilson Marketing explains how it can benefit you and your business.

1. Reaching Previously Untapped Audiences

Two million Americans are legally blind, while an additional six million experience other visual impairments. Making your business website ADA accessible allows you to reach a customer base that was previously cut off from your business, at least from a virtual point of view.

2. Receiving Tax Incentives

Improving your website for ADA accessibility may make you eligible for certain tax incentives. Not only do you potentially stand to make more money from reaching a wider audience, but you could also pay lower taxes on it.

3. Protecting Your Company From Liability

Customers who are unable to access your website due to a lack of ADA compliance could have grounds for a discrimination lawsuit. Being proactive in making your site accessible could protect you from legal action.

ADA accessibility requirements are reasonable. Complying with them helps your customers and benefits you as well.

Liability plays an integral part in your company’s security. Without a comprehensive policy, you stand to incur serious financial and legal penalties when a problem arises. Luckily, there are ways to keep yourself protected at all times. In the real estate industry, this means taking a closer look at liability options. Vicarious liability for real estate is a type of secondary insurance that can be useful in the event of legal battles involving misconduct.

Overview of Agency Options 

As reported by professionals at HighlandRisk, there are a few key points of which to keep aware of regarding vicarious liability policies. For one, you’ll need to determine what agency works best for you. An agreement involving a single agency, for example, contains an agreement of express agency between two distinct parties. However, a dual agency can be a useful arrangement in a scenario where the two parties involved have conflicting interests and require external mediation or assistance. Additional points to consider include:

  • Subagency options where sellers allow brokers extra responsibilities
  • Disclosures describing the specific nature of the arrangement
  • In-depth guidance from professionals with industry experience

Determine Your Insurance Needs

To help your business stay successful, you need to take time to review your current insurance plan. Look into the options available to you and determine whether you might be able to benefit from making a few key adjustments to how the policy is organized.

With lawsuit judgments getting larger and larger for many predictable business mishaps, it’s worth taking a moment to review the changes at your company recently and to ask if your coverage is adequate to the current legal environment. General liability and even business-specific coverage like third-party liability for contractors have their limits, though, so it’s not always an option to simply buy more insurance. Nor is it always the best choice. Supplementing a policy that generally covers what you need for basic mishaps with one that provides excess liability coverage under narrow circumstances could save you a lot of money. In some cases, it might even let you lower your coverage limits for your general liability coverage by filling an important gap.

When Does Excess Liability Insurance Kick In?

The point of an excess liability policy is not to replace your general liability policy, but to protect against situations where a court judgment exceeds it. Since its coverage provisions are quite narrow and it doesn’t need to take care of general issues like paying for the medical expenses of people injured on-site outside of a settlement judgment, it can be written to be much more cost-effective for its coverage value than a general liability policy with the same upper limits. This helps you avoid overpaying for insurance without undercutting your protection, and it’s worth talking with an insurance professional about whether it’s a good fit for your business.

If you think the term library risk management is an oxymoron, then it has probably been a while since you last visited your local branch. Gone are the days of musty-smelling buildings filled with old books, managed by a prim old woman shushing the voices of patrons. Modern libraries are community hubs where people young and old come for information in every conceivable format. Any public place with this much activity needs protection, and consequently a risk management plan.

What could go wrong at a library? Consider the following:

  • Natural disasters like hurricanes, wildfires, and tornadoes
  • Pests like bedbugs, lice, or termites
  • Unlawful activity including the use of weapons or drugs
  • Unruly patrons, for example, those who act disruptively, stalk employees or steal from the library
  • Unanticipated closures due to power outages, disease outbreaks, or threats of violence
  • Accidents causing injury to patrons
  • Lawsuits against library staff

Don’t get caught by surprise when an unfortunate incident occurs. Hope for the best, but be prepared and have a plan in place should you ever need to react to one of the above situations. Of course, as the experts at Regan Insurance Agency point out, not every threat is substantial enough to warrant action. Thus, thresholds must be set so that everyone understands when to act.

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