If you are relocating your company plant, your business insurance policies are probably the last things on your mind. Yet, if you forget to update your policies--especially health insurance policies that involve your employees--you are putting your business at risk. Here are some reminders about your business and health insurance update needs.
Remember to Contact Your Insurance Policy Providers
You need to inform all of your company's involved insurance agencies about the plant relocation. Brace yourself--your company probably has quite a few policies that are with different insurance companies. Three of the most common forms are liability, property, and workers' compensation insurance, but your business likely has other policies as well.
- Liability Insurance: Your company almost certainly has liability insurance coverage. This kind of coverage protects your business and your employees in the event of a lawsuit.
- Property Insurance: Your business's property insurance coverage protects against natural disasters and fire. It even protects against theft, embezzlement, and computer viruses! Your property insurance covers not only your real property, like the land and the buildings, but also equipment and office supplies.
- Workers' Compensation Insurance: Your company is legally required to carry workers' compensation insurance. If one of your employees is hurt while on the job, this insurance will pay that employee on your company's behalf.
If your company offers group insurance coverage, you also need to update the insurance provider about the intended plant relocation. There are also special considerations associated with this type of coverage that intimately impact your employees.
Your Employees' Insurance Coverage
During plant relocation, your company's operations are on a temporary stand-still. During this time of ceased operation, many of your employees will not come to work. During this period, however, federal and state laws protect your employees' group insurance coverage. The plant relocation can affect your employees in three huge ways--relocation to another region, employee downsizing, and temporary cessation of work--and the company group insurance plan must take care of your employees in all three of these situations.
- Complete Relocation: If you are relocating your plant to a new city or even a new state, the relocation will impact your employees' lives. Even if you offer a relocation package, some of your employees will not be able to follow your company in this relocation adventure. Regardless of whether an employee agrees to follow your company or resigns, you need to address that employee's insurance coverage.
- Lay Off: If your company is laying off employees during this relocation phase, you will need to take steps to terminate these employees' insurance plans. This usually includes extending health insurance plans for a few months after termination, along with the opportunity to keep this insurance for an even longer period of time.
- Temporary Hiatus: If an employee is still a part of your company but will not be on the clock during the relocation process, that employee is still entitled to your company group insurance coverage.
Contact your insurance company providers well before the actual plant relocation so that your policies do not lapse. You also need to contact employees well in advance of the relocation so that you can adjust their health insurance policies and also comply with labor laws. (For more information, contact plant relocation services of some sort)