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Benefits of Joining an Industry Association

Benefits of Joining an Industry Association   One of the many ways that you can enhance your profession and brand image is by joining industry or trade associations. Industry or trade associations are organized groups of individuals with a common purpose, interest or activity. The benefits that you can get from joining these associations will depend on your career or company goals and objectives.   Here are some of the major benefits you can get once you join a specific association:  
  1. Networking and enhancing your connections
Networking is perhaps one of the main reasons why most professionals and companies join associations. And it is indeed one of the major benefits of it. In an association, every member is given an opportunity to know the other members within the group. They get to talk and interact with like-minded individuals who they can exchange industry information and support. Networking with the other members of the association can also help people get and meet new customers and progress further in the industry.  
  1. Broaden your knowledge
Once you are a member of an association, you get exclusive insights and information about your industry. This usually helps members to foresee trends, get to know new products and services, and generally be involved in the relevant information about their specific industry. Usually, members acquired these information and news updates through newsletters, case studies, articles, white papers, books and more.  
  1. Training opportunities
Associations usually provide free training and education to members that is focused on their industry. Usually, it is given through e-learning, market information, and organizing specific events like seminars or webinars. This can help professionals gain additional knowledge and even certifications that they can use to boost their career or improve their company operations.  
  1. Career opportunities
Associations also provide exclusive job postings or opportunities to its members. This is a great way for members to find the most suitable careers for them. Aside from that, associations also provide resources and tips about effective resumes or cover letters, job searching strategies, negotiation techniques and more. There are also industry experts that members and talk to and ask for consultation on specific career issues.  
  1. Improve business’ reputation and trusts
Often times, customers or clients viewed companies or individuals who are members of a good association as trustworthy. Clients also interpret that the business is established, accepted by the industry and follows specific standards and best practices. Furthermore, associations can also give awards, certifications, badges to members who have notable performance.  
  1. Save more money
Associations can help their members find the right suppliers and can even help out in closing good deals. This can significantly help the members to save more money and time in finding the right supplier for their business.   Furthermore, associations provide relevant and exclusive discounts and deals to its members. These discounts are usually on specific products and services given by the other members of the associations. This is a win-win situation for everyone.  
  1. Good Public Relations
Associations always aim for good image and public reputations. And having a good public reputation will be reflected to all of its members. So the members also get to be viewed as a trusted and established brand or individual because of that.  
  1. Quality standards

Associations follow certain rules and standards that they implement to all of their members. These rules are usually codes of best practices that protects the public. So if a brand or an individual is a member of the association, it means that it has passed the code of best practices of the associations. This is a good reflection in the image of the company.

These are just some of the many benefits that an individual or company can get when they belong to an association. In CPA, all our members have access to group general liability insurance, quarterly newsletters, and additional member benefits. That is why, we invite others to join us today to avail all these.

Joining CPA is very easy. We have two types of memberships. You can join as a Chapter Member or Non-Chapter Member and neither require monthly dues. Just simply fill out the Join CPA Application and submit. We will personally contact you to introduce ourselves and evaluate your insurance needs.

Be a member now and get all the benefits. Contact us today to get started!

  Sources:

https://www.higheredjobs.com/articles/articleDisplay.cfm?ID=157

http://associationland.com/benefits-advantages-business-associations/

http://www.ifmaworld.com/articles/10-reasons-to-join-an-association/

http://www.webbrightservices.com/the-association-blog/top-reasons-members-join-industry-or-trade-associations

Why Join A Trade Association?

https://www.forbes.com/sites/patrickhull/2013/11/01/invest-in-yourself-and-trade-associations/#24325ba27ac1

Things to Look for from General Liability Coverage

Things to Look for from General Liability Coverage   As a swimming pool contractor, it is a good idea to have the right general liability insurance plan to make sure that your business is protected in the event of an accident, physical injury, or lawsuits.   General liability insurance is the ideal protection for any type of business as it covers the basic areas of legal liability, including actual or alleged physical damage, property damage, injuries, medical payment, slander, libel and copyright infringement, fire damage, legal fees, court costs, settlement costs, and many more.   Even though it is an all-in-one business insurance plan, you still need to check for exclusions. General liability insurance comes with a variety of coverages. Make sure you inform yourself and get clarity on what your policy covers and does not cover.   To help you find the right general liability coverage for your business, here are some of the things that you should consider:  
  1. Who does it cover?

The standard general liability policy will depend on the type business. Whether you are a sole proprietor of your swimming pool construction business, or if your business is a partnership. It is recommended to check the stakeholders or important members in your company that you want to include in your general liability coverage and make necessary adjustments on the coverage. This is to make sure that all members of your company are insured and protected.

 
  1. Coverage amount

It is very important to know the amount of your general liability coverage. You need to be aware of the policy limits that your insurance will pay in case of a claim. Make sure that you have enough coverage to protect your business in case of a lawsuit. Remember that lawsuits are expensive and the fees can add up quickly. If you think that you need additional protection aside from your general liability coverage, then it would be wise to consider adding additional coverage.

 
  1. Subcontractors

Be reminded that most general liability insurance plan do not cover subcontractors. If you want to include them in your insurance, make sure that you talk to your insurance agent about it.

 
  1. Other specialized product or services

If your business offers specialized products or services, you need additional coverage on top of your general liability insurance coverage in order to be fully protected. In the case of a swimming pool contractor, you may want to include pollution liability since your business uses chemicals, worker’s compensation in case your employee get hurt during work, and business auto insurance in the event your truck or vehicle got involved in a collision accident. These are just some of the things that you need to consider when looking for the right general liability insurance plan for your swimming pool construction business.

At CPA, we give members access to a group general liability insurance to help them protect their business. We also give them industry insights and new information to help them in their business via our quarterly newsletter. Aside from that, members also enjoy additional member benefits.   If you want to join CPA, you can choose between our two types of membership – Chapter Member of Non-Chapter Member. To get started, just simply fill out the Join CPA Application. We will contact you and evaluate your insurance needs.

  Contact us now and get started!   Sources:  
    http://www.pacificunified.com/business-general-liability-insurance-5-things-look/
    http://www.insureon.com/products/general-liability-insurance/coverage-description/
    https://www.myguardianinsurance.com/blog/five-things-to-look-for-from-general-liability-coverage.aspx
    http://www.pomsassoc.com/what-to-look-for-when-buying-general-liability-business-insurance/
    http://www.tennisindustrymag.com/articles/2008/02/7_things_to_look_for_when_buyi.html
    https://www.sba.gov/blogs/general-business-liability-insurance-how-it-works-and-what-coverage-right-you/

Can You Insure a Swimming Pool Contractor

Can CPA cover a Pool Builder?   Here at Inszone, we are the independent agency that manages the insurance programs for CPA members. We’ve got exclusive access to a variety of different insurance programs for the construction trades. Whether your company specializes in building, remodels or operates as a subcontractor for plaster, excavation, tile, concrete, etc…we can get you covered. For those that do it all, we will customize a program to cover the operations that are a combination of service and construction.   Building or remodeling a swimming pool is a tough project and normally takes place in a confined space. The exposures you will face range from your every-day injury or property damage all the way to popped pools or chemical spills. Traditional insurance policies don’t cover these types of incidents. You need the right policy to cover those unique risks and if your current agent doesn’t know pools, they don’t know how to protect your business.   Here are some of the available coverages for builders and service companies:  
  1. General liability (GL)
Covers third party injuries or property damages because of your operation. These are commonly referred to as slip, trip and fall policies. It’s not a very common that a third party will randomly wander onto your job site and hurt themselves, that’s why it’s important to consider enhanced coverage for the accidents that frequently happen. Popped pool coverage, faulty workmanship and pollution coverage are just a few examples of the high % risks that aren’t addressed by a standard policy.  
  1. Pollution insurance
This is excluded under every general liability policy, you need to address pollution risks with a separate policy or an enhancement to your standard policy. These can range from chemical spills out of the back of a truck in an auto accident or a simple spill that ends up going down the wrong drain impacting the water table or environment.  
  1. Commercial vehicle insurance
Pickups, flatbeds, dump trucks, utility trucks…all vehicles used during your operation will need a commercial auto policy to cover them. Remember, every personal policy has an exclusion for business usage. Even if they offer a business usage endorsement on a personal policy, they intend it for light commercial use not construction.  
  1. Workers’ compensation insurance

Covers any injuries to your workers while on the job site, driving to the job site or at your shop. In 49 out of 50 states it’s mandatory to carry this coverage and required by law. The coverages vary by state so you’ll want to work with an independent agent who’s able to provide a variety of options and advice.

These are just some of the coverage options available for swimming pool contractors.

If you are a member of CPA, you are eligible to obtain group general liability insurance that can help your business be protected from liability risks. Aside from that, you can also get a quarterly newsletter about industry insights as well as many other additional member benefits.

Joining CPA is easy. You can join as a Chapter Member, or a Non-Chapter Member and neither require monthly dues. Simply fill out the Join CPA Application, and submit. And we will personally contact you after that.

Like any business, insurance is in place to protect your financial interest and revenue stream. Your operation is your investment, and it pays you dividends regularly! Protect yourself and call us today to get started.

   

Pat Grignon

Vice President

Inszone Insurance Services, Inc.

Do I really need Workers Comp coverage for my 10-99?

For decades, business owners in California have been coming to Inszone looking for clarification on Workers Compensation coverage. Who needs to buy Work Comp? In a nutshell…all businesses in CA that have employees.

“My guys are independent contractors on 10-99 not employees, so I don’t need it.” A common misconception is if the person is 10-99, then the answer is a definite no on needing work comp. The State of California would disagree with that in most cases, and unfortunately that comes with harsh penalties.

Employee vs. Independent Contractor…how do I know? There are many different scenarios but it mainly boils down to who has the right of control?

  • Do you instruct or supervise the person while he/she is working?
  • Can the worker quit or be discharged at any time?
  • Is the work being performed part of your regular business?
If the answer to these questions is yes, the worker is likely an employee.  
  • Does the worker have a separately established business?
  • Is the worker free to make business decisions which affect his or her ability to profit from the work?
  • Does the individual have a substantial investment in their job which would subject him or her to a financial risk of loss?
If the answer to these questions is no, the worker is likely an employee.
  • Do you have employees who perform the same type of work?
  • Do you furnish supplies such as tools, computers, supplies, business cards and phones?
  • Is the work considered unskilled labor?
  • Do you provide training?
  • Is the worker paid an hourly wage, salary or per the job?
  • Does the worker believe he or she is an employee?
If the answer to these questions is yes, the worker is likely an employee. What happens to an employer who doesn’t purchase Work Comp on a person CA deems an employee?
  • The Division of Labor Standards Enforcement has the authority to issue a stop order against any company who is discovered to be unlawfully uninsured.
  • Misdemeanor punishable by either fine of up to $10,000 or imprisonment in the county jail for up to one year, or both.
  • The State of CA may issue penalties of up to $100,000
  • Employers may be prosecuted for insurance fraud.
What happens if an employee is injured on the job and the employer is Uninsured?
  • The employer is responsible for paying all bills relating to the injury or illness
  • The employer may be sued civilly

Workers Comp laws are regulated by the State you do business in, not federally. While different state work comp laws vary, they are almost identical in concept. The bottom line is, if your state deems your worker is an employee and work comp isn’t in place…you’ve got problems. I recommend you reach out to the insurance experts at Inszone to discuss your situation. You’ll gain the right information, and make the right decision to protect your business.

 

Pat Grignon

Vice President

Inszone Insurance Services

Inc. Phone (866) 655-2551

With a Grain of Salt

I want to start off by saying that I have been an advocate of saltwater pools my whole life. And the product has been a profitable one for my business. But I’m starting to wonder where the fizz went as I run into more and more skeptical customers. Ever since I was a kid hanging out at the Jersey Shore, I became aware of what happens to the human body and metals when they come in contact with saltwater. My back would dry out and tingle for hours, my sneaker eyelets would start to rust; I didn’t need a book or a chemistry lesson to tell me the benefits and disadvantages of salt, I could see them and feel them. But since moving to the West Coast last year, I’m noticing a shift in perception. What was once the new and innovative way to save your clients money and cut back on production of chemicals now seems to have lost its luster, pushed aside by newer and more innovative sanitation and oxidation methods that are less abrasive and easier to use. What once seemed poised to become the standard of the industry now seems to have acquired some negative connotations. It seems like every time I bring it up to clients in SoCal, it’s like I’ve said a dirty word. “Oh, no. My son told me about salt and how by next year I’m going to need all new parts for the heater. It isn’t worth it.” When did salt become a bad word?

Return on Investment

Like most products, the salt discussion has always been about return on investment. You’re paying for the cell and the salt upfront, and you want the thing to end up making you a little bit of money on your chlorine bill. Which depends to some extent on geography. Years ago, when salt chlorine generators were more expensive, I figured they only made sense in the extended pool seasons of the South. When you are using chemicals for 12 months out of the year as opposed to only four or five months, the saltwater pool makes sense. In Florida, that initial investment your client makes will only take a few short years to pay for itself. But in the fleeting summers of the Northlands, that same ROI may take up to 10 years. Why even bother? As time went on, more manufacturers got into the game. The costs for salt systems dropped and salt began to make more sense at higher latitudes, finally reaching mine in New Jersey. I brushed up on my chlorine generation pitch and pushed, pushed, pushed those sales. It was an easy transaction, as all of my clients had heard of saltwater pools. I only had to explain to them that just because we were now adding salt, that didn’t mean we were “chlorine free.” My clients didn’t care; they lined up the moment we started selling. Little did I know I was causing myself a fair amount of grief. It quickly became apparent that the industry had not been manufacturing their heaters, pumps and filters with the salt chlorine pools in mind. The salt corrosion problem wasn’t quite so noticeable in my area due to New Jersey’s harsh winters, which cut short the lifespans of pool equipment anyway. Most of my customers were used to the concept of equipment replacement. Later, when I moved to California, I began to see another angle — how salt systems figure in the service business model on opposite coasts. When billing in New Jersey, everything was itemized, including chemicals. We charged for everything we put in that pool, and those chemicals were our biggest markup. But when I moved to L.A., I quickly realized that companies were charging an overall fee for pool service and giving away the chemicals for free. Free to the homeowner, that is; the cost of chemicals comes out of the company’s own pocket. Either way is fine, but it has an impact. As a pool consultant who practices preventative maintenance on all of my accounts, I’ve noticed the words “want” and “need” start to change when the cost of chemicals is coming out of the company’s pocket instead of the homeowner’s. Instead of, “How much do I need to put into this pool to get it into its ideal range?” it’s “What is the least amount of chemical I can put into this pool to keep it from going green?” But more to the point about salt systems — a salt chlorine generator on a West Coast all-inclusive service package is saving the pool guy money, as the chlorine it generates is chlorine the service guy doesn’t have to pay for.

Resistance

I know things are changing in this industry, and although I know the salt chlorine generator was invented decades ago and has been a top selling piece of pool equipment for many years, customers are still trying to judge whether the benefits are worth it. Just for myself, working here in Southern California, I’d love to sell salt and not have to keep buying chemicals with my own money. But I’m running into some resistance.

Steve Sherwood

Sherwood Pool Consulting Group