Winter Weather is Here

While the dangers from winter weather varies from business to business and state to state, nearly all businesses, regardless of where they are located, are likely to face some type of severe winter weather at some point. Winter storms can range from rapid changes in temperature or moderate snow to a blizzard with blinding, wind-driven snow that lasts for several days. Many winter storms are accompanied by dangerously low temperatures and sometimes by strong winds, icing, sleet and freezing rain

HSS Earns PA Licensed Beverage & Tavern Association Endorsement

At the July Board of Directors meeting of the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage & Tavern Association, Hospitality Supportive Systems, LLC (HSS) of Springfield, Delaware County, PA was selected to be an endorsed provider of property/liability insurance service to the association’s statewide membership.

HSS is a group program structured with coverage and pricing that sets new standards for the hospitality industry. Backed by A rated or better insurance companies and developed by program specialist McGriff Seibels & Williams, a subsidiary of BB&T Bank, HSS brings a unique commitment to risk management and loss control

The Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage Association and Tavern Association was established in 1941 to protect, defend and further the sustainability of Commonwealth retail alcohol licensees. They are the only statewide trade and lobby association in Pennsylvania that works exclusively for businesses licensed to sell alcoholic beverages for on and off-premise consumption.

As a non-profit trade and lobby association, the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage & Tavern Association offers a wide variety of benefits to their members. Amy Christie, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Tavern Association, described how this endorsement reiterates the mission of the association. “In HSS, we identified a state-of-the-art product represented by professionals with unmatched expertise in the hospitality industry. Their aggressive approach to claims is exactly what our members want and need.”

Dean Helm, Vice President of Marketing for HSS, expressed enthusiasm for this new affiliation with the association. “As the well-respected voice of the hospitality industry in the Commonwealth, the Association has an outstanding record of credibility and achievement. HSS looks forward to protecting and enhancing that rich tradition of service to the members.”

For more information on the PA Licensed Beverage & Tavern Association please visit

Understanding Premises and Dram Shop Liability Triggers

Claims involving allegations of alcohol intoxication require careful analysis when determining what policy or policies may apply.

Two common theories centered on alcohol-related allegations that come into play include premises liability and dram shop liability, according to John P. Cunningham and Julia B. Jackson, presenters on this subject at the recent Property Loss Research Bureau’s national conference in Orlando.

Generally, these negligence claims arise from injuries that are caused by intoxicated persons on the landowner’s premises, according to Cunningham, who is vice chairman of the St. Louis-based Brown & James Liability Insurance Litigation Department.

The theory of liability usually raised against a tavern owner is the failure to protect the injured party from the danger posed by the intoxicated person, Cunningham said.

Evolving Considerations for Insurance and Cyber Risks

In a recent decision, a New York judge held that a commercial general liability (CGL) policy did not provide coverage for an online data breach where hackers stole the personal information of millions of users.

The case remains subject to appeal but highlights the limitations of CGL policies for new cyber risks and the need for companies to evaluate their exposure to data breaches and cyber liability.

Recent high-profile data breaches including the Sony hacking and the Target credit card breach have drawn significant attention to issues of cybersecurity and consumer protection. Internet and network technologies have improved companies’ abilities to conduct business, connect with partners and clients, and process and store data, but the advances have come with risks and cybersecurity has become a significant, though often underappreciated, concern.


The Emerging Hail Risk: What The Hail Is Going On?

The number of reported claims involving hail damage to residential and commercial roofing products has increased dramatically over the past few years. Some reports place the increase at almost double historical claim totals.

What is the cause of this significant increase? There is no disputing that in recent years there have been significant hail events in large metropolitan areas. But does this alone account for the near-double increase in claim filings? Plus, in addition to the increase in the number of claims, an abnormally high percentage of these claims are ending up disputed and ultimately in appraisal or litigation. In Texas, hundreds, literally hundreds, of lawsuits are being filed each week in Dallas, Tarrant, Potter, Hidalgo, and other counties involving alleged underpayment of hail related roof damage claims — far, far more than has ever previously been the case

How Winter Weather is Impacting Restaurants

Restaurant companies are suffering from a bad case of winter blues this year, and it’s not just record-cold temperatures, snow and ice keeping guests at home.

Wall Street analysts predict that rising heating bills will take a cut of already limited consumer discretionary spending, serving as a “crowding out” factor that will likely last through late spring.

Charles Grom, analyst with Sterne Agee, estimated in a report released Wednesday that natural gas bills — the primary source of heat for about half of U.S. households — will rise about 73 percent this winter, translating to about a 6-percent drag on consumer spending, with particular ramifications in the Midwest and Northeast.

Trending Tables: 50 Hot Restaurants for Winter

Octopus is listed as a popular menu item at seven of this season’s 50 Trending Tables. That’s 14 percent, and the same number of restaurants that point to chicken as a popular item, unless you also include chicken liver — a highlight of two menus — or the grilled chicken gelée that’s served with caviar and ember-roasted yam at Saison in San Francisco.

Many guests at trendy independent restaurants are looking for adventure this winter, but not all the time. Atlantans are going to BoccaLupo for the 20-yolk tagliatelle with Tuscan kale kimchi, but they’re also going to Bantam + Biddy for rotisserie chicken. Chicagoans are going to Bavette’s Bar & Boeuf for a good steak in a casual setting and to Embeya for rabbit leg with Thai chile and trumpet mushrooms.
Italian food, as always, is popular, but there’s no shortage of Mexican food on offer at crowd-pleasing restaurants such as the Painted Burro in a Boston suburb, La Fisheria in Houston and Mercado in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles is also the home of Morocco-inspired Acabar and New Nordic hot spot Girasol.

How To Prevent Frozen Water Pipes 10 Steps (with Pictures)

Frozen water pipes are inconvenient and costly to repair. Here are some ways to both prevent frozen pipes and thaw those that are already frozen

Restaurant Job Growth Hit 18-Year High in 2013

In his latest commentary, the National Restaurant Association's Chief Economist Bruce Grindy looks back at 2013 job growth and offers projections for 2014.  Restaurants added jobs at a strong 3.7 percent rate in 2013, the strongest gain in 18 years.  Looking ahead to 2014, job growth in the restaurant industry is projected to outpace the overall economy by a full percentage-point

The restaurant industry remained among the economy’s leaders in job creation in 2013, and the trend is expected to continue in 2014.  Eating-and-drinking places – the primary component of the restaurant industry which accounts for roughly three-fourths of the total restaurant-and-foodservice workforce – added jobs at a robust 3.7 percent rate in 2013, according to figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).