Connecticut Employee Benefits: What Employees Want

Connecticut Employee Benefits What Employees Want

Connecticut Employee Benefits What Employees Want

Connecticut Employee Benefits: What Employees Want

The future isn’t as important as right now. At least that’s what employees are saying about their employee benefits.

When given a choice, employees chose short term benefits over ones with long term value. New survey data reported by Employee Benefit News showed that in a poll of 10,400 workers from ten key markets around the world found that salary increases and an extra week of paid time off were among employees’ top three employee benefits choices.

Today, many companies are emphasizing flexibility and choice in their plans. Rigid benefits plans don’t fit all employees- they are not a one-size-fits-all solution. An older worker might care more about the cost of hospital stays or choice in medical doctors. A young mother might be more interested in flexible work hours or increased paid time off.

As employers increasingly offer greater flexibility and more varied options of employee wellness and employee benefits programs for their employees, the challenge of maintaining the right balance between shorter and long term value of the benefits falls to each individual. And, according to the survey, most choose to reap the benefits immediately.

The purpose behind this? Increase employee retention. According to Reuters, the cost of replacing a single employee can be as much as 150 percent or more of their annual salary. Recruiting, hiring, and training replacement costs add up quickly, not to mention the loss in productivity. Strong benefits plans are a great incentive to retain employees. Especially in the tumultuous economy, nearly half of employees surveyed indicated they were counting on their employer to help them achieve financial security.

Sinclair Risk & Financial Management, founded in 1971, is one of the largest independent insurance agencies in Connecticut and one of the largest nationwide. Our comprehensive, consultative approach to risk is part of everything we do – whether it’s implementing Connecticut Financial Management or Connecticut employee benefits for companies, or providing coverages to families and individuals. Contact us today for more information. (877) 602-2305.

Employee Presenteeism: Stay Home When You’re Sick

Employee Presenteeism: Stay Home When You're Sick

You wake up with a raging headache and awful cold. What do you do? Grab some tissues, stock up on Dayquil, and get to work- you have a huge project do that you just can’t miss. But now research is indicating this bull-headed, dedicated approach might not be best, for you or the company.

Presenteeism is when an employee goes to work despite a medical illness that could prevent them from fully functioning at work. According to the Telegraph, nearly a third of employers have reported a rise in “presenteeism” in the past year. The average level of absences has also fallen from 7.7 days to 6.8 per employee per year. That’s good for productivity, right? Not quite.

A worker who comes in even when they are sick will take longer to recover than if they stayed home for a day. A cold could go on for weeks. If a worker takes sick leave, they would recover and return to full productivity more quickly than if they continued to trudge through their workload.

The costs of its sister problem, absenteeism, is clear. You need your workers to physically be at work to maintain productivity. But coming to work when you’re sick also presents a risk to coworkers. A sick coworker could spread the illness around the office, reducing your workforce’s productivity rather than one individual coworker.

The reasons for presenteeism are sound. You’re sacrificing your own well-being because you have responsibilities, to your clients, your job, your coworkers. You have a project you have to finish, a schedule full of meetings, or an unavoidable deadline to meet. But, in the end it could end up doing your more harm than good.

Sinclair Risk & Financial Management, founded in 1971, is one of the largest independent insurance agencies in Connecticut and one of the largest nationwide. Our comprehensive, consultative approach to risk is part of everything we do – whether it’s implementing Connecticut Financial Management or Connecticut employee benefits for companies, or providing coverages to families and individuals. Contact us today for more information. (877) 602-2305

Source: U.S. National Library of Medicine

Manufacturing: What is Crowdfunding?

Manufacturing What is CrowdfundingManufacturing: What is Crowdfunding?

The idea of crowdfunding is simple. Large groups of people contribute small amounts of money for a project. Yet, this simple idea is fast taking hold of the business world, and could change the face of manufacturing.

Take Kickstarter for example. An online phenomenon, Kickstarter is a venture capital site that helps inventors, artists, designers, etc, get funding to transform their designs into actual products. Some projects have garnered millions of dollars in funding. Since it was launched in 2009, 2.5 million people have pledged $350 million dollars, funding more than 30,000 creative projects.

The success of Kickstarter has propelled the idea of crowdfunding into the spotlight, popularizing a new model could alter the face of manufacturing. Traditionally, an inventor would pitch their idea to venture capitalists or try and sell their technology to an established company. It is a distinct top-down structure where the public is given what the inventor creates. Crowdfunding upends this model. Instead of going to venture capitalists for funding, projects get their start with consumers. The consumer not only holds the purchasing power, but is involved in choosing the product in the first place.

Crowdfunding also offers an alternative to entrepreneurs in a difficult economic environment. In 2012, the total number of loans distributed in the U.S. by the Small Business Administration dropped by nearly 20 percent. Nearly 98% of business plans received by accredited investors are rejected, according to Forbes.

Crowdfunding is fast becoming a major source of innovation. It allows easier access to capital, and greater input from consumers. In the world of constant connectivity that social media has created, crowdsourcing has become a new business model that places the consumer at the beginning and end of the development process.

What do you think about the new crowdfunding model for manufacturing? Is it here to stay or a momentary trend? We’d love to hear from you.

From a local machine shop to a company with international operations, Sinclair Risk & Financial Management has the vast experience required to serve the complex industry of Manufacturing. Contact us today for more information about our Connecticut manufacturing insurance programs.

Employee Wellness Plans: Heart Attacks Costly on all Sides

Employee Wellness Plans Heart Attacks Costly on all SidesEmployee Wellness Plans: Heart Attacks Costly on all Sides

Heart attacks and cardiovascular diseases are tragic, costly, and painful. The goal of employee benefits and wellness plans is to reduce risk of chronic disease and improve employees’ health. But what exactly are the costs? Why are employee wellness plans so important?

According to Employee Benefit News, a study presented at the American Heart Association meeting in Los Angeles reported that every short-term disability claim cost employers about $7,943 on average in lost productivity. Long-term disability claims cost $52,473 on average. That’s approximately 60 days of work for short-term disability claims, and 379 days for long term claims.

Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States. Acute coronary syndrome costs Americans $150 billion on average. Of that group, 47% who have the condition are working adults under 65 years.  With its status as a top killer in the United States, heart disease is also one of the most preventable afflictions.

Wellness programs that help employees to reduce pressure, improve their diet, exercise more, and maintain their blood sugar levels can all help reduce the risk of heart disease. More than ever, employers are playing a crucial role in helping employees stay healthy and manage chronic diseases more effectively. Both the company and individual benefit from lower health costs and reduced absences.

Sinclair Risk & Financial Management is at the forefront of this approach, providing employers with a proprietary Wellness Program designed to promote health employee lifestyle choices along with a strategy to create and sustain these behaviors.

Wellness programs have significant benefits for employers and individuals, boosting retention and driving loyalty. Let Sinclair help enrich your benefits plan with a wellness program designed to promote your employees’ health. Contact us today for more information. (877) 602-2305

Why You Need Your Jewelry Appraised

Why You Need Your Jewelry AppraisedWhy You Need Your Jewelry Appraised

Grandmother’s pearls; your engagement ring; the diamond tennis bracelet you received for your anniversary; over the years, you’ve amassed a gorgeous treasure chest of family heirlooms and precious gifts. Chances are many of those pieces are quite valuable. You have homeowners insurance to protect your home and belongings. However, not everything is covered under traditional policies- including your fine jewelry collection. There are multiple reasons why you need your jewelry appraised.

The price of gold and silver fluctuate constantly. Chances are your family heirlooms are worth considerably more than they were 20 years ago. We wrote a blog post a few weeks back on how to insure your valuables, including fine art, wine, and jewelry. What we didn’t discuss however, was the value of appraising your jewelry regularly to ensure it is adequately protected.

An appraisal is a written record of the worth of an item or piece of jewelry. It is drafted by a professional who follows the standard insurance industry practices. When getting your jewelry appraised, you should make sure they are accredited by a nationally recognized appraisal organization such as The American Society of Appraisers or Gemological Institute of America.

Routinely getting appraisals helps to ensure that you have adequate coverage in the event that any of your pieces are lost or stolen. But regular appraisals aren’t enough to ensure coverage. Many traditional homeowners policies don’t have the coverage to cover your jewelry collection.

A jewelry floater is an important, yet often overlooked portion of your homeowners insurance. At Sinclair Risk & Financial Management, we have knowledgeable professionals with years of experience insuring fine and heirloom jewelry. We can help you expertly evaluate your assets and recommend the right coverage and limits. We can also assess the potential exposures around your home that may put your collection at risk, such as theft, water intrusion, light and heat damage, or fire.

Insuring your house requires more than just protecting the structure- it’s the heirlooms and precious possessions within that make it a home. Contact us today for more information about our fine jewelry insurance. (877) 602-2305

High Value Homes: Value of Luxury Homes

High Value Homes Value of Luxury HomesHigh Value Homes: What can one million dollars get you across America in today’s market

As many have noted the real estate market is gradually strengthening, some states more rapidly than others. However, despite the fluctuating changes in the market, one thing is still fixed; not all cities are equal. In Daytona, Ohio one million dollars may buy a 12,000 square foot estate, yet one million dollars hardly guarantees you an 800 square foot apartment in Manhattan, New York. There are several factors that affect the market price of a property such as location, neighborhood, job market, competition, supply and demand, and the overall health of the local economy.

One million dollars is where affordability and luxury come to a crossroad. According to a survey performed by CNBC.com here is what a million dollars can get you in 5 cities across America.

In San Francisco, one million dollars buys you a 3 bedroom, 1846 square foot apartment. Mark Best of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage says that San Francisco’s homes are selling fast and has drastically improved from last year due to a limited inventory, low interest rates, and a potentially better job market.

On the other side of the country is Manhattan where one million dollars can get you on average, a 2 bedroom, 900 square foot apartment. Although the location is impeccable, a lot of money does not come a long way. The real estate market in Manhattan is at its best, and there has been an 8.7% sales increase in high value homes. However, in a city where single family homes are a rarity, buyers’ concerns lie in the financial condition of the building, number of owner occupied units in the property, and the property’s restrictions.

In Denver, one million dollars buys you a 5 bedroom, 5229 square foot estate. Comparable to many of its neighboring states, Denver, Colorado’s market has improved and sales have increased 25% from last year. High value homes will continue to sell as long as interest rates remain low.

In Houston, one million dollar homes continue to get you a considerable amount of square footage (5,438 sq. ft.). The increase in single-family home sales is due to Houston’s steady job growth in energy, the international shipping port and the medical industry. Real Estate Agent, Toni Nelson said that buyers focus on school districts and communities when purchasing a home.

Comparable with San Francisco, Chicago buys you a 2 bedroom, 1752 square foot apartment for one million dollars. Although there seems to be a lot more buys, homes around one million dollars sell much slower than homes of a lower price because consumers are unable to secure big mortgages. Prospective buyers are concerned about the amount of foreclosures in the apartment buildings.

Offering broad coverage with the flexibility needed to protect your unique home.
Sinclair works with many families to protect their high value homes and assets. We can do the same for you. Give one of our professionals a call at 203.265.0996, email us, or return the form on this page to discuss your specific needs.