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By in Latest News Comments Off on It’s Slip and Fall Claims Season

It’s Slip and Fall Claims Season

By Lynne Kelly, AIC
Loss Control Specialist
Illinois Casualty Company

Now that winter is here, it is important for business owners to keep in mind the potential hazards that snow, ice, and cold temperatures could bring. Here are some suggestions that may help reduce safety hazards and potential claims:

  • Check your parking lots and sidewalks for potholes and low areas where ice could collect and cause a slip/trip hazard.
  • Remove the accumulation of leaf debris and trash which may cause a fire hazard near smoking receptacles or kitchen exhaust fans. Wet leaves on walkways could also create a slip hazard.
  • Walk the property after dark to determine if public areas are well-lit and to identify fixtures or bulbs that are no longer working and need to be repaired or replaced.
  • Confirm that you have snow shovels and ice melt to clear snow and ice from sidewalks, entrances, and exits. Don’t be caught by surprise when the sleet/snow begins to fall.
  • Hire a snow removal service or ready your equipment if you are handling yourself.
  • Throughout the property, confirm that handrails are installed where needed and those that are present are secured. Handrails are especially important when steps and sidewalks are slick with ice and snow.
  • Post signs in areas that are susceptible to ice and snow accumulation and have sand or kitty litter available to cover icy patches.
  • Address winter weather driving safety with your delivery staff to reduce vehicle accidents and injuries.
  • Have extra non-slip mats on premises to add when conditions are wet to reduce slip and trip hazards.

Illinois Casualty Company is the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association’s exclusive preferred vendor for businessowners and liquor liability insurance products. Qualifying Members can save up to 10% on their businessowners and liquor liability insurance. This story has been republished with permission in our monthly magazine, Pennsylvania Beverage Media. To locate an ICC agent in your area, visit

By in Latest News Comments Off on Confessions of an Insurance Rep: What We Look for Before Giving You a Price

Confessions of an Insurance Rep: What We Look for Before Giving You a Price

Avalon Thomas-Roebal

By Avalon Thomas-Roebal
Marketing Representative
Illinois Casualty Company

Illinois Casualty Company (ICC) has become a leading food and beverage carrier within a competitive marketplace since our inception in 1950. Our dedication to the industry has allowed ICC to understand the unique complexities of the niche and how to fine tune our rating structure to maintain profitability. Continued experience allows ICC to identify exposures distinctive to hospitality that other carriers likely do not recognize and has led to the development of a comprehensive rating system.

Some rating factors are quite standard. Other factors, which you may only see with ICC, have been applied because we are truly a specialty carrier. Though we can’t share our recipe for success, we can share how some ingredients may be more impactful than commonly thought. Knowledge of these exposures has allowed ICC to rate risks appropriately and provide consistent pricing to our insureds.

Property coverage premium continues to rise in all areas of insurance. What factors have a bigger impact on food and beverage accounts? Most carriers consider construction type and building age, but ICC also takes into consideration the years in business, onsite laundry facilities, seasonal operations, and security camera usage. These items all have rating relativities that modify property premium.

ICC is best known for our ability to profitably rate for liability coverage, especially liquor liability. Distinctive exposures in this product line may be unfamiliar to general carriers but second nature to those at ICC. For Businessowners Liability, years in business, prior management experience, and hours of operation are common factors, but ICC is not a common carrier. We have learned that the number of pool tables, buffet exposures, self-serve drink stations, cover charges, and trap door exposures also carry weight in determining pricing.

For example, a single pool table in a tavern is more likely to lead to an altercation than multiple pool tables. If you walk into a bar and notice a pool table, where do you see it? Typically, it is placed in a back corner, dimly lit, and commonly by restrooms and in a busy footpath. Those playing pool may encounter passerby bumps, spills, or patrons not respectful to the game environment. When alcohol is involved, or better yet, a $20 bet, these minor bumps and spills have a higher likelihood of becoming arguments. When establishments have multiple pool tables, the space tends to transform into a pool hall mindset with dedicated pool players and a designated playing environment, which in turn leads to more responsible participation.

Further experience in this niche has consistently shown that establishments located outside city limits have higher liability exposures. This is in part due to more patrons leaving by automobile and the establishment typically having lower drink prices, both factors that contribute to having a higher rating relativity. Insureds with buffets and/or self-service drink stations will have a higher probability of slip and falls. When customers serve themselves and spill something on the floor, they typically do not notify staff. If a server spills food or drink on the floor, they know it right away and can address it.

ICC’s Underwriting and Marketing Departments educate our agency partners on many of these exposures, while ICC’s Loss Control Specialists educate our insureds. Unique loss control recommendations based on our years of experience shine through during our inspection process. ICC requires a metal container to hold oily rags due to spontaneous combustion, we consider trap doors an undesirable exposure, and we follow the National Fire Protection Association requirements for fire suppression and hood and duct maintenance.

As an ICC Marketing Representative, I frequently field these common questions, “Why does Underwriting ask so many questions?” or “Why do your Loss Control Reps require additional recommendations?” Those answers are easy. We do so because ICC is a dedicated specialty carrier where we lead in industry knowledge, underwriting skill, and exposure identification, ultimately allowing ICC to provide consistent pricing for our insureds.

The rating factors ICC has developed demonstrate our deep understanding of the niche. We have led the industry in commitment and unparalleled service to hospitality, and our rating system and multifaceted underwriting approach reflects that dedication.

To find an ICC agent in your area, visit

The above story was published in the November 2022 edition of Pennsylvania Beverage Media, the official magazine of the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association. Illinois Casualty Company is the PLBTA’s exclusive preferred vendor for liquor liability and other business insurance.


By in Latest News Comments Off on Are You Liable for an Off-Duty Employee’s Conduct?

Are You Liable for an Off-Duty Employee’s Conduct?


Most employers assume that they are not responsible for the conduct of their off-duty employees. However, under certain circumstances, an employee’s off-duty conduct can be imputed to the employer.

Consider this example: an off-duty security guard stays at the bar for a drink after their shift ends, and an altercation breaks out. The off-duty security guard, believing that they have a duty to act, decides to assist other members of security to stop the fight. Unfortunately, during the fog of the altercation, the unruly patron is seriously injured at the hands of the off-duty employee. Since the act of breaking up an altercation is arguably foreseeable and is for the benefit of the employer, any negligence on the part of the off-duty security guard could be imputed to the employer.

To help the business owner potentially prevent and avoid these situations, we have included some guidance to navigate this thorny area of the law. By implementing these protective measures, you will likely be in a much better position to defend these types of claims if they arise.

  • As with any area of your business, it is important that you communicate your expectations to your employees. If you do not, they will be left without a guiding compass when problematic situations arise.
  • It is imperative that you explain to every employee when they are hired that they are not allowed to perform any work-related activities when they are off the clock. If an incident does arise, the off-duty employees should be instructed to alert a member of management or security. Once the incident has been resolved, the employee can then provide the proper authorities with their observations and an account of the events that transpired. Off-duty employees should never physically or verbally interject themselves into an altercation.
  • Employees should be instructed to clock out when their shift is over. It is important to have a record keeping system that shows when the employee has clocked in or out. This record could be vital if there is any dispute at the time the injured party asserts a claim.
  • Off-duty employees still in uniform on the premises can cause confusion should an incident occur. If off-duty employees choose to remain on the premises as patrons, they should be instructed to change out of their work uniform to avoid the appearance that the off-duty employee is acting on your behalf.
  • Most importantly, the business should have a surveillance system in place to capture any incident that may arise. A copy of the video should be kept and not recorded over, in case a claim is made. If footage is given to the police, a copy should still be maintained by the business owner.

Find an ICC agent in your area by visiting our website,

This story appeared in the July 2021 edition of Pennsylvania Beverage Media, the official monthly magazine of the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association. It was written by Nick Crosby, Esq., Litigation Counsel, of the Illinois Casualty Company.

Qualifying Members of the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association can save up to 10% on their businessowners and liquor liability insurance with Illinois Casualty Company.