For Developers: Parking Law

For Builders: Entries Sought

Edison at Rutgers

Womenbiz.gov

Latina Enterprise

Corrections or additions?

These articles were prepared for the October 11, 2000 edition of

U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

To Lower Risk, Don’t Get Quoted

Learn how underwriters assess risk and you can lower

the cost of your business insurance, says Paula Gould of Paula

Gould Consulting Inc. on Harris Road in Princeton Junction. Gould

counsels business owners on how to make their risk profiles more

attractive

by instituting certain procedures and processes. She presents a panel

entitled "Risky Business: Managing Risk as You Grow Your

Business,"

for the Princeton Chamber’s Business Council on Wednesday, October

18, at 7:30 a.m. at the Nassau Club on Mercer Street. Cost: $21. Call

609-520-1776.

Also on the panel are Jim Proferes, Philadelphia-based assistant

worldwide product manager for directors & officers insurance, Chubb

Insurance; and Brian Mohen, managing director and specialty

broker, Arden Financial Services. The moderator is Harold A.

"Chip"

Jerry III of Jerry & Jerry LP.

"Our focus will be on types of insurance that provide enhanced

levels of protection," says Gould. These policies can cover the

shareholder, the employee, the contractor, the owners, and the board

members, or they can focus on regulatory or antitrust issues. They

include:

Liability policies insuring corporate directors and

officers

against claims alleging mismanagement.

Employment practices policies insuring against claims

by employees.

Malpractice policies — insuring such professionals

as architects, engineers, accountants, lawyers, consultants, and

doctor

and health care providers — against client claims.

Gould established her consulting practice earlier this year

to advise on insurance and risk management services. An alumna of

Kutztown State and the College of Insurance in New York City, she

was an insurance broker for Marsh & McLennan in Manhattan for 20

years,

and both placed and sold insurance, including property and casualty.

She spent the last two years selling insurance against wrongful acts,

such as D&O (directors and officers’ liability), employment practices,

and errors and omissions leading to malpractice.

She was a senior vice president when the company had a merger and

offered a good package, so she left and started her own business

"for

quality of life issues," she says. "For me, it has been the

most creative time since high school — when I studied cello and

voice, played drums in the marching band, and was in every sport that

girls could play." As a consultant, she does not sell insurance,

but instead advises businesses on gaps and limitations in their

insurance

and risk management programs (609-799-6584; fax, 609-799-6754,

www.gouldconsulting.com).

Here’s an example of why a consultant can be useful. You may be

tempted

to combine insurance on employment contracts with your D&O liability

policy. Gould may advise against it, depending on the dollar limit

of the policy, because — if you end up defending numerous employee

suits — you could be out of coverage when the time comes to defend

yourself personally. "You may not want to share your limits,"

she says.

To impress the underwriters, consider what they look at when they

assess your company. They look for:

Rapid growth and strong financials. "The underwriters

base much of their pricing on the strength of the financial statements

they are given, because that is how they analyze the management."

Business goals: what the goals are and what processes

are in place to achieve the business goals.

The staying power of the business model. It should show

solid potential growth for a minimum of three to five years.

Stable ownerships. If the company has not gone public,

financial information might be limited. So the underwriters look at

the track records of those who support the company.

Personnel procedures. Get formal procedures for hiring

and firing on paper to avoid wrongful termination suits.

A Qualified board. Be sure the track record of the

individuals

running the company is a good one.

Limited media exposure. Underwriters frown on companies

with a very high profile. "They pull up Lexis/Nexis and see how

many times you have been quoted in the paper. If you are controversial

or have high visibility, that makes your company a greater target

for claims. Impressive press is great press? Not necessarily,"

says Gould.

"The more controversial companies make better targets, but

it is more what is said by or about them that is important to the

underwriter. Some companies do not have the control they should over

who says what to the media and how it is stated. Underwriters do look

at the media to see which companies have sound risk management

practices

for their media events and which do not. It all gets weighed into

the pricing of the risk’s premium."

One of Gould’s former clients, a religious not-for-profit, was so

visible and controversial that she was unable to locate a company

to issue a D&O (directors and officers) liability policy. "They

had had a lot of discrimination issues over the years. The

underwriters

wanted $300,000 for $1 million of coverage. They were convinced by

the number of times the organization had been in the paper and the

types of issues that were raised, that someone would sue for

mismanagement."

Difficult areas include the field of higher education. It has a

reputation

for being litigious, she says, perhaps because colleges and

universities

had tenure policies before other industries.

"Now the high tech area is a growing area of high claims,"

says Gould. Service agreements for hardware and software vendors can

provoke litigations because what is sold is ultimately not suitable

for the purposes for which it was intended. In one instance, a

contract

service provider of electrical wiring — which claimed to be a

specialist in the area, knowing what has to be done and how to do

it — hired subcontractors to do the work in government building.

The job had to be totally redone after 14 months because the work

was not to code, resulting in litigation on who should pay for the

errors.

High tech companies are often vulnerable because of their personnel

practices. "The companies are young and don’t have formal

procedures.

They hire and fire at will, require long hours, and do a lot of flying

by the seat of their pants. People get disillusioned when the stock

goes down, and they sue."

— Barbara Fox

Top Of Page
For Developers: Parking Law

The Eastern Paralyzed Veterans Association (EPVA)

is making its new pamphlet, "Guide To Handicapped Parking in New

Jersey," available to the public via its website (www.epva.org)

or by calling a hotline, 800-444-0120. The pamphlet highlights the

most important provisions of the New Jersey Parking Law, including

the requirements to use reserved handicapped parking spaces and the

enforcement of them.

It also includes information about the correct identification of

reserved

handicapped parking spaces; the zones in which a handicapped parking

permit or license plate may not be used; and, the responsibility of

business owners to provide reserved handicapped spaces.

Top Of Page
For Builders: Entries Sought

The New Jersey Builders Association will be accepting

entries for its annual Sales and Marketing Awards now through Friday,

December 15. The awards recognize builders and their associates who

have made major contributions to the home building industry.

Winners will be honored at the annual gala banquet in Atlantic City

on Tuesday, April 3, which kicks off the 52nd Atlantic Builders

Convention.

For more information on the SAM Awards, call Joy Miccio at

609-587-5577.

Top Of Page
Edison at Rutgers

Thanks to the Thomas A. Edison Project

(www.edison.rutgers.edu)

web browsers can view over a quarter of a million of the inventor’s

documents, including lab notebook sketches, patent applications,

correspondence,

and court room testimony. The online documentary edition, part of

a Rutgers University project that has been in progress for almost

30 years, serves as a research tool that enables users to organize

data electronically by name, date, document, or topic.

When completed, project researchers will have captured about 10

percent

of Edison’s archives for publication on the Internet, on microfilm,

and in books. The Edison Project is supported by more than 60 public

and private foundations, corporations, and individuals, with recent

grants from a division of the National Archives.

Top Of Page
Womenbiz.gov

The Small Business Administration offers a new office

and website to help women business owners get federal contracts

(www.WomenBiz.gov).

It is a joint project with such organizations as the National Women’s

Business Council and is the official gateway to more than 100

procurement

and acquisition sites hosted by federal agencies. The page links to

three registries for federal contracts: PRO-Net, Central Contractor

Registration, and Electronic Posting System.

This very deep and complete website also has special pages on getting

started, getting subcontracts, locating forecasts of future work,

lists of best practices, and a calendar of events. As of October,

Sheryl W. Swed will be in charge of federal contract assistance

for women business owners in the office of government contracting.

Top Of Page
Latina Enterprise

Latina entrepreneurs are becoming a rapidly-growing

business segment, according to a Wells Fargo-sponsored survey

for the National Foundation for Women Business Owners entitled

"Spirit

of Enterprise: Latina Entrepreneurs in the United States."

The survey included Latino women who have owned their business for

an average of 12 years, and of those women, two-thirds were born in

the U.S., and one-third are immigrants who have lived in the U.S.

an average of 30 years. It revealed that the 382,400 Latina-owned

firms in the United States in 1996 generated sales of $67.3 billion

and employed 671,200 people.


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