Increased Risk For Architects And Engineers

We have talked about and noticeable but small surge in commercial construction and increased business for architects and engineers.  However, this small surge is not enough to keep many firms from going out of business or from merging with larger firms.  With these changes, many larger firms are looking for new ways to increase their bottom line and taking on new challenges outside their particular line of expertise.  This is not uncommon in any business within our society trying out new things to survive.  Even insurance companies who have not typically entered this market are now doing so and are instrumental in keeping costs down.

 

However, it brings new exposures for the General Liability policies which have unique causes of risk to engineers and architects.  Architects and engineers now find themselves taking on new responsibilities with new expectations and having little experience and expertise.  They now find themselves reinventing the firm to become designers, developers, builders, and realtors.  This is a difficult, at best, risk to assess an accurate premium from an insurance perspective.   Please consult with your agent or one of ours to determine proper coverage for you need.

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   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.

Sports And Recreation Insurance

Even though summer sports and recreational activities are slowing down as schools open, the need of insuring these programs do not.  An overall increase in sports an fitness has come about through the downturn in economy.  Many who held corporate jobs have been released and now have the time and money to pursue their long time interests.  We have seen an increase in privately owned fitness centers, sports camps and clinics, as well as forming and coaching little leagues.  All these have fueled growth in the insurance industry and specialties within policies.

 

Many new insurers are entering this market and pricing is extremely competitive.  However, in the industry, we are seeing increased risks simply due to numbers of participants.  Many sports programs are volunteer run and lack the internal procedures to prevent theft and embezzlement of funds and do not purchase a crime endorsement to their liability policy.  In addition, most do not even ask about child abuse, molestation or sexual abuse.  Instead, we focus on claims resulting from concussions and other head injuries for which media attention is drawn.

 

One of the ways we determine risks is to walk through the activity mentally with the client to obtain a picture of all the risk exposures so we can properly advise a sports or recreational insurance policy to protect sponsoring need.  If you have questions about your policy, please ask your agent or one of ours. 

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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.

Watercraft Uninsured Motorist Insurance

atercraft is also marine insurance.  However the term “watercraft” generally refers to personal line policies and marine insurance not designed for coastal waters.  Marine policies are similar to automobile policies and in many states, these boats are required to carry liability policies of a specific limit.  Insureds may choose to cover the hull also similarly to an automobiles and electing their own deductible limits.

 

However, uninsured and under-insured motorists coverage is not similar in most policies or in coverage.  This coverage is much more restrictive than the coverage within an auto policy by the definition of an uninsured or under-insured watercraft.  Some policies require an actual strike to the watercraft while others may require they be simply the cause.  Some may not recognize uninsured coverage to be effective because of a “hit and run”.  Also, the definitions of who is entitled to coverage is more restrictive than the automobile policy.  These may not include “invitees”.  Policies may only pay to an insured and family members.  If you have a commercial marine vessel you have questions about, please talk with your agent or one of ours.

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 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.

Business Insuance Claims

Restaurants, travel industries, and several other types of businesses as a whole have suffered losses in revenue over the past couple of years.  However, they are now seeing results from a slow, but steady increase in business.  Like many other companies, however, they are seeking ways to cut expenses and often look at insurance costs as an unnecessary expense. In some cases they’re not only decreasing coverage but whole policies, and this can be a business-ending mistake.

 

Umbrella policies are one of the first to go along with additional coverage such as business income and extra expense.  No one really believes they will ever suffer from catastrophic loss or large claims.  Most of the time, business owners do not really know how specific coverages affect their business and do not maintain proper business insurance to value, therefore reducing their claim settlement to less than expected.  Care, custody and control is another part of the policy where settlement is not understood.  If you have questions about how your policy relates to a cause of loss, please talk with your agent or one of ours. It’s vital to understand what you need and whether you have it–don’t wait until there’s a claim against you to look into it. It might be too late at that point. It’s also important to remember that even unfounded claims often need to be settled, so even if you pride yourself on worksmanship, or professionalism, and don’t believe that a mistake or shoddy work could cost you your company…remember that risk includes things that are out of your control.

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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. If you need a quick, comprehensive, competitive quote, click ‘Get a Quote’ or call us at 1-877-907-5267 to speak with one of our specialists. Risk management is an art, and our business is helping you protect your business. Get in touch with us today to find out if you’re adequately protected, and rectify the situation if you aren’t.

 

Commercial Remodeling Risks

As construction crews enter into commercial remodeling projects, the insurance takes on additional unique risk.  It may appear agents are asking a great deal of questions but all have a bearing on rate required for a company to write a policy.

 

The cause of loss is greatest for fire.  This is due to work paint stripping with a heat gun or from soldering wires or plumbing pipes which light up after workers are gone for the day.  Fires also occur from space heaters in winter because they are too close to hazardous or flammable materials.  Sometimes, power tools themselves can cause overloading in a socket and start up a fire. 

 

Fire is not the only cause of loss.  While jack hammering, vibrations can cause structural damage allowing water seepage or damage to the pipes themselves.  Many times the alarm systems in place to help prevent these losses are disabled while doing the work.  All these actions cause increased risk to the Commercial General Liability policy and need to be discussed with your agent.  If you have any questions regarding coverage for these risk, please talk with your agent or one of ours.

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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.

General Liability Property Damage Payment

The Commercial General Liability policy covers bodily injury and property damage claims arriving out of business operations.  Bodily injury claims are not difficult to determine payment but there is some confusion as to how payments are determined for property damage to others.  Damages to property means damages the business has caused to property of others including property under the business care, custody and control.

 

The confusion comes from the consideration of whether the General Liability policy pays replacement or actual cash value for the damages to property of others.  The injured party believes damages should be paid at replacement value, while the policy intends to pay at actual cash value.  If the property can be repaired, then the policy will pay for necessary repairs.  However, if there is a contract for property under an insured’s care, custody or control, then the Commercial General Liability policy will pay for damage which the insured is “legally obligated”.  So in many cases, the policy pays replacement value.  Please consult your agent or one of ours if you have questions regarding your coverage.

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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.

Growing Claims Among Professionals

In today’s economy it is more important than ever for professionals to understand their insurance coverage.  We have talked about attorneys, accountants and consultants and the responsibilities they have to the public but there are many others who may not be as concerned.  However, lawsuits are becoming more of the norm than previously thought due to clients wishing to recoup some of their financial losses from the professionals hired.

 

Advertising and media consultants, Web designers to dog groomers are some of the professionals paid to do a job.  When a client does not believe the professional did the job as expected, they sometimes turn to courts for a decision.  Professional firms are among the fastest growing occupations, and are expected to grow for some time.  Insurance policies are trying to keep pace with new coverage for their clients, but ultimately, the responsibility of coverage is with the client. 

 

We and the legal industry see a growing number of claims from the real estate market and investment community.  These include architects, engineers as well as rental and retirement communities.  Risks include design flaws, construction delays, increased costs, and even property damage and bodily injury claims.  If you need help in deciding if your business insurance aids in protection of your particular risk exposure please talk with your agent or one of ours.

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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.

Celebrity Insurance

Last week we spoke of unusual insurance risks to be insured; more specifically weather and pets.  While reading about the NFL strike and resolution, I came across another unusual risk to be insured.  It is Troy Polamalu’s hair.  Troy plays for the Pittsburgh Steelers and is spokesman for a well known shampoo company.   It appears Troy has not cut his hair in over seven years and is extremely thick and long.  This is the reason he was chosen for this particular spokesman position.

 

The shampoo company has reportedly purchased a $1 million dollar insurance policy protecting his locks.  Now this is not the first time Lloyds has written a policy upon a celebrity’s portion of the body.  I have been told the first time was for Betty Grable’s famous legs.  Her photo graced many a WWII aircraft.  Another was for Julie Andrew’s voice, and recently Jennifer Lopez’s famous “booty”.  It has long been a normal practice for dancers, hand and foot models, but this is the first time I have heard of insuring hair.  However, as in all commercial insurance policies, certain conditions must be met.  There can be no off the gridiron hair pulling or take place in activities regarding fire. 

 

Most of us needing commercial insurance have much simpler needs and face average risks.  Therefore the general liability policy offered us needs not to go through rigorous underwriting, pricing and issuance.  Our policies are relatively easy to issue and understand but if you find you need clarification regarding coverage for your business, please consult your agent or one of ours.

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 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.

Day Care Insurance

Many households keep other people’s children in their care while others go off to work or run errands.  Often they do this in exchange for other services and do not charge a fee.  So is this a home business?  Many insurance companies and courts believe it is, therefore the average homeowner policy will not cover any loss involving injury or property damage to someone under this “business exposure”.

 

There are some “Home Business” endorsements available through some homeowner policies, for day care.  But one needs to have a good understanding of this limited endorsement to the homeowner policy.  Many caregivers do not have a business policy covering injuries to a child, or to a parent regarding home day care due to either the lack of understanding or the lack of money to cover the business exposure properly.  Commercial insurance policies cover day care facilities but want to know this truly is a full time business entity and not a part-time hobby.  Taking care of other’s children opens a new set of exposures a homeowner policy cannot provide coverage for.  Commercial day care coverage is available, but companies want to know this is a fully staffed and trained business.  Please contact your agent or one of ours to discover if your business has the coverage you expect.

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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.

Commercial Property Insurance Forms

 

Yesterday we talked about how to reduce insurance premiums especially in this economy.  One of the points we talked about was possibly changing forms.  Today, I want to talk about what that means to you, our clients.

 

When choosing business property insurance, there are three forms to choose from.  This has to do with cause of loss.  As agents, we try to offer the broadest possible causes of loss as coverage for our clients.  Most generally, this is called a “special” form.  The reason is that everything is a covered loss unless excluded within the policy.  It occasionally may be called an “open peril” policy.

 

The next form is called a “broad form” and pertains to named perils.  In other words, for a loss to be covered it must result from one of the specific perils named within the policy.

 

Next would be “basic” form.  This policy is very basic regarding named perils.  It is limited to 12 perils, and we agents, refer to it as a fire, wind and extended coverage.  This does not make it a bad policy, as long as everyone understands limitations.

 

As one would expect, the more coverage, the higher the premium.  As stated yesterday, each risk must be assessed by your agent, and the decision made by our insured.  Please talk with your agent or one of ours to help determine your specific risks.

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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.