Builders Risk Insurance

Many contractors carry the property insurance for the home or commercial building being constructed.  The policies purchased are called “builders risk”.  Previously these policies covered all key risks to be expected in the course of completing construction of the building.  However, due to the mortgage crisis and economy, we have seen many risk change on both sides. 

 

A builders risk policy does not include theft, vandalism or have a vacancy clause.  But due to lending practices, contractors often found they could not obtain funding to complete a project.  Therefore a project may sit idle for months, and that opens the property to the exposures of theft and vandalism.  Also, insurers needed to determine if the property was “vacant” for coverage under other perils.  This is beginning to present many problems unanticipated for both the contractor and insurance company.  I believe insurance companies will be forced into addressing these issues in the near future.  Please contact your agent or one of ours to talk about when coverage ceases on your builders risk policy.

 

Commercial Insurance.Net, LLC Advisor is not an attorney, accountant or certified financial planner and makes no representations or warranties to that effect.  Always check with your chosen professional as to statements made in this blog for your particular situation.

Starting A New Business

Do you want to start your own business?  Most of us dream of being our own boss and setting our own pay scale, but a limited number follow through with a plan.  For those of you who do however, I want to talk about your insurance needs to consider into that plan.  Whether you are starting out in your home, or an office location, the first need of protection is liability for your business.  Liability is made up of “bodily injury” claims and “property damage” claims.   

These are claims brought about by a 3rd party, not you, the business owner.  The claim is alleged to have been caused by your business as to injuries or damages to property of others. 

 

 

The next insurance coverage you want to consider is for your business personal property.  In other words, what equipment does your business own for operational and office purposes.  How much coverage would you need in case of specific perils, such as fire, wind, theft, vandalism, etc?  And how much of a deductible you can afford if these items were lost due to a covered peril?  Talk with your agent or one of ours to help in your decisions.

 

Next would be the vehicles used in your business.  There is a wide range of coverage available for both required and optional insurance.  Please talk with your agent regarding both liability and physical damage options for the type of business you are in.

 

Then consider protecting yourself.  Management is the key to success, so please look at not only life and health insurance, but disability income insurance.  This can help your business keep running if you can’t.  Finally, consider Workers Compensation.  This is a requirement in most states, but as an owner, it may be possible to opt out of the plan. Please consult your agent or call one of ours to discuss your particular insurance need.

 

Commercial Insurance.Net, LLC Advisor is not an attorney, accountant or certified financial planner and makes no representations or warranties to that effect.  Always check with your chosen professional as to statements made in this blog for your particular situation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is Insurance A Commodity?

Is insurance a commodity?  Can you buy insurance from anyone and should you? That has been the question many insurance companies, agents and states have long discussed.  Many companies have trained new agents not to consider just being an “order taker” but to counsel clients and choose coverage for them.  Other insurance agents say coverage between insurance companies are the same, so all that matters is price.

 

I have found in life I have a need to know many things regarding my personal finances but also find I do not have an interest about learning anything past my need to know.  Therefore, I rely on the advice of my attorney, CPA, and investment firm.  My particular interest is within insurance and I have spent many years learning about this industry.  I am willing to pay other professionals within theirs.  And over the years, I have found this works for me.

 

I do not believe insurance is a commodity and purchased from just anywhere or from anyone based on price alone.  It has been my experience, working with a client, they want the “best insurance policy, with the best insurance company at the lowest price”.  Most cannot achieve that goal without someone taking time to ask questions, and provide solutions for each individual risk.  I have found by asking questions, I do not have to choose coverage for my clients because I offer advice and explain recommended  insurance coverage to them.  By doing so, they are able to make intelligent, informed decisions and are better satisfied with their policy.  Call one of our agents and we will be happy to work with you.

 

Commercial Insurance.Net, LLC Advisor is not an attorney, accountant or certified financial planner and makes no representations or warranties to that effect.  Always check with your chosen professional as to statements made in this blog for your particular situation.

 

 

 

What To Expect After A Catastrophic Event.

 

What would you expect if your business burned to the ground?  Confirm all employees, guests, clients and management are ok.  Then what?  Call your agent, report the loss and let us go to work for you.  We are going to help with assessments.  Are neighboring businesses going to be impacted?  We are going to pull your management team together and provide a plan of action.  That plan of action needs to include communication with employees, media, vendors, and security.  We will be able to help with insurance coverage provided by your policy.  We will be able to help explain some of the additional coverage which the insurance adjuster is providing and breaking those down to layman’s terms and explaining how those affect your operations.  Understanding and working with your agent will help enable your business get back into operation in the soonest possible time frame.  After all, insurance is designed for catastrophic events and to put your business back into the financial position before the loss occurred.  Your commercial insurance agent should be one of your most trusted business advisors before the loss and not after one.  Call one of ours.  We will be happy to talk with needs specifically for your business operations.

 

Commercial Insurance.Net, LLC Advisor is not an attorney, accountant or certified financial planner and makes no representations or warranties to that effect.  Always check with your chosen professional as to statements made in this blog for your particular situation.

 

 

 

Heavy Construction Risk Management

The government issued Stimulus Package appears to have been beneficial for infrastructure construction companies.  More heavy equipment contractors have been bidding on jobs which have, for the most part, gone to a traditionally, smaller contractor.  With the increased competition, comes broader exposures and increased specialty underwriting.  Many commercial insurance agencies have turned to hiring risk management teams to help their clients, and companies recognized, underwrite and rate risks.  By working together, contractors and insurance companies have been able to reduce the number and severity of claims, especially in a down economy.

 

Safety has and always is the number one goal in evaluating risk, but equipment maintenance is also a priority in reducing workers compensation claims.  While larger construction companies can afford to hire a risk manager, smaller ones cannot, therefore a commercial agency experienced in the construction industry is a must.  Call one of ours to learn how we can help.

 

Commercial Insurance.Net, LLC Advisor is not an attorney, accountant or certified financial planner and makes no representations or warranties to that effect.  Always check with your chosen professional as to statements made in this blog for your particular situation.

Architects and Engineers

 

Architects and Engineers may find it beneficial to look around for professional liability insurance coverage in this soft market.  Generally, the smaller the firm, the more loyal the firm is to an agent or company.  However, one may find that by shopping around, one may discover broader coverage at lower rates in this highly competitive field.  However, there are some very distinctive factors to be considered regarding switching companies or agents.

 

Trust must be among the first factors to be considered.  Trust in the agent and in the company.  Ratings for stability can be checked through rating bureaus such as A.M. Best Co., and Standard & Poor, Inc.  There is a legend which explains the rating terms and can be researched by any novice.  Trust in your agent can be gained by their experience and knowledge of your industry.  Ask questions.  Are they offering different deductibles for your review?  Are they taking time to explain reporting of claims?  Is the policy on a “claims made” or “per Occurrence” basis and ask the difference of your agent.  What are the exclusions and how it pertains to you?  These are all questions you should feel comfortable asking about and the answers you receive.  Call one of ours for an indication.  We will be happy to help.

 

Commercial Insurance.Net, LLC Advisor is not an attorney, accountant or certified financial planner and makes no representations or warranties to that effect.  Always check with your chosen professional as to statements made in this blog for your particular situation.

 

Accountants and CPA Firms

Accountants and CPA firms are not immune to downturns in the economy.  In fact, some may suffer more to the reduced revenue earned.  Their clients seek to reduce paying fees or leave altogether.  In an effort to maintain their business, they may choose to reduce ongoing fees, but add additional services for which they and staff are ill-equipped.  They can no longer provide education and training to staff.  They may pass duties to staff with little or no supervision.  By doing these cost-cutting measures, these firms are opening up to a new concern to the insurance industry.  Audit opinions for a client with deteriorating finances may not be accurate and not caught early enough to prevent a client from insolvency.    This may open up a claim being made from a financial institution whose decision to loan money to the client based upon the financial information of the accounting firm.  Another concern of insurance companies is a firms failure to detect embezzlement.

 

Other concerns of insurance companies is an accounting firm taking on complex clients of which they have no experience and accepting clients they would have previously turned down because of risky behaviors.

 

Even in a down economy, CPA and Accounting firms should continue training and education programs for staff and not compromise quality control.  Maintain office standards and be vigilant of financially troubled clients.  Please call one of agents to discuss your insurance coverage and let us find a competitive insurance policy to provide your professional needs.

 

Commercial Insurance.Net, LLC Advisor is not an attorney, accountant or certified financial planner and makes no representations or warranties to that effect.  Always check with your chosen professional as to statements made in this blog for your particular situation.

 

Medical Malpractice

Medical Malpractice Insurance policy premiums have remained not only stable over the past 9 years, but have actually decreased and continue to be competitive in pricing.  Many physicians were closing their offices and losing hospital privileges before that time, particularly for specific specialties.  However, there was such a public outcry, many state legislators were forced to pass tort reform in order to provide health services to the public.  Due to tort reform and improvements to patient safety, claims have diminished greatly.  Because the health care industry was taking charge of their own risk management, insurance companies decided to step back into the business of insuring these dedicated individuals.  Previously, it was common knowledge that if a claim was filed with the insurance company against a physician, the insurance company would simply pay whatever amount could be agreed upon.  That is not the case today.  With the help of states passing tort reform, it is now possible to defend a claim against abuse of the legal system.   Because of legislative action, patient managed care and claims reduction, this once impossible to insure industry is now highly sought after.  Even if a physician has had a claim, they are still considered a standard risk and able to secure a very competitive insurance premium.  Please call one of our agents to discuss your need and obtain a indication from us.

 

Commercial Insurance.Net, LLC Advisor is not an attorney, accountant or certified financial planner and makes no representations or warranties to that effect.  Always check with your chosen professional as to statements made in this blog for your particular situation.

Technology Drives Trucking

Technology is now behind the wheel of the Trucking Industry.

 

Technology and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration have teamed up to drive the trucking industry.  I see this to become a good thing for the insurance industry and for consumers.  The rollout of Compliance Safety Accountability, which is a new safety program, places more responsibility upon the driver than the fleet.  In turn, more trucking companies will become more diligent in hiring.  This may lead to a temporary shortage of drivers, but trucking companies will become more efficient in deliveries in the long run.  The industry has been plagued with higher fuel costs, increased health care and increased regulation.  But now that there has been a slow increase in the economy, companies are taking a new look for efficiency and profitability.  Many are adding rear-view cameras inside the vehicle.  Others are adding electronic log books and satellite tracking systems.  All of these aid in the overall management of the business.  But other devices such as recorders of accidents, lane-departure warning devices and electronic monitors improve driver’s behaviors.  All of these improvements and good hiring practices by the trucking company will eventually have a positive impact upon truck insurance.  Not only will consumers benefit, but insurance for the trucking industry will decrease.  If you would like more information regarding your truck insurance, call one of our agents.  We will be happy to talk about protecting your financial assets.

 

 Commercial Insurance.Net, LLC Advisor is not an attorney, accountant or certified financial planner and makes no representations or warranties to that effect.  Always check with your chosen professional as to statements made in this blog for your particular situation.

Cyber Liability

There is a new risk in town.

 

And its’ name is Cyber Liability.  It goes along with identity theft of which we spoke a few days ago.  However, this is found in businesses.  The greatest threat is to smaller business operations. Cyber liability is when one breaches private information digitally. Not all commercial insurance policies cover this type of risk.  Most exclude coverage.  Cyber claims are generally before there is a specific loss, and mostly discovered by a third party reporting the breach to the company charged with the protection of private information.  Once the breach has been discovered is when costs began to incur, not necessarily when a client has suffered an actual loss.  We must ask how this happened.  What information has been compromised?  And how does this affect the client?  Are there any state or federal laws that must be considered?  Do we need to notify the client?  What remedies do we have available and at what cost? In addition, we must concentrate on stopping the breach and resolving that issue.

Will the General Liability policy have coverage for this?  Probably not.  General Liability coverage is designed to pay a third party after loss is suffered.  There may be some coverage under Professional Liability if not excluded.  Most technology and telecommunications companies have some coverage, but main street type, small business are not always covered.  Please contact your agent or one of ours to find out if you are protected.

 

Commercial Insurance.Net, LLC Advisor is not an attorney, accountant or certified financial planner and makes no representations or warranties to that effect.  Always check with your chosen professional as to statements made in this blog for your particular situation.