877-395-6200

The Commercial Property Policy – Part 1


No matter the size or type of business, tangible property is a major asset. A national standard for insuring such property is the Insurance Services Office (ISO) Commercial Property Program (CPP). The CPP may be written either as a single policy (covering only buildings and property) or as a package (providing property, liability and, other important protection) for your business.

The Parts of A CPP

A Commercial Property Policy is flexible because it consists of several basic parts or forms:

·        Declarations Forms - these tell you who is covered, the amount of insurance, the type of coverage written, other information about the business and other identifying details.

·        Conditions Forms - these documents contain sets of conditions that control how the policy operates such as the customer's duties when a loss occurs, the method used for settling a loss or what steps to take when the customer and the insurer disagree over the amount of a loss.

·        Coverage Forms - these include descriptions of the type of property that is covered or excluded and it explains items such as coverages, insurance limits, definitions, deductibles and other important provisions.

·        Causes of Loss Forms - as you might expect, these forms describe the causes of loss (perils) that are insured against and any exclusions.

·        Policy Cover or Jacket - this is, literally, a cover designed by the company providing the policy and it usually includes a table of contents or an index.

The above, basic parts can be modified or supplemented to better fit different types of businesses by adding a wide variety of optional coverage forms called endorsements.

Causes Of Loss Forms

The following Causes of Loss Forms are available under the CPP:

BASIC - protects against Fire, Lightning, Explosion, Windstorm, Hail, Smoke, Aircraft or Vehicles, Riot or Civil Commotion, Sprinkler Leakage, Vandalism, Sinkhole Collapse, and Volcanic Action

BROAD - adds several additional covered causes of loss over the Basic Form, including Breakage of Glass, Falling Objects, Weight of Snow, Ice, or Sleet, and Water Damage.

SPECIAL - provides coverage on an "all risk" basis which essentially covers anything not otherwise excluded.

EARTHQUAKE - covers earthquake shocks or volcanic eruptions that occur within any 168-hour period.

Please refer to part 2 for additional CPP coverage information.


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.2014

All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.

 

 

The Commercial Property Policy – Part 2


Please refer to part 1 for additional CPP information.

What CPP Covers

A Commercial Package Policy covers building, completed additions, fixtures, permanently installed machinery and equipment, personal property that is used to service or maintain the building or premises, and, under certain circumstances, construction equipment, material and supplies.

Under personal property, the CPP covers furniture and fixtures, machinery, equipment, stock, all other personal property owned by the insured and used for business, labor, materials, or services furnished or arranged by the insured on the personal property of others, any improvements and betterments made by or acquired by the insured (when a tenant), and any leased personal property the insured has a contractual responsibility for. The CPP also covers property that is outside if it is in the open or in a vehicle that is within 100 feet of the premises.

What CPP Does Not Cover

Like any insurance policy, there are items that are not covered. A CPP does not provide coverage for accounts, bills, currency (and similar property), animals, automobiles held for sale, bridges, roadways, walks, patios, or other paved surfaces, contraband, property being transported by air or over waterways, land, crops, underground property, most vehicles, expenses related to replacing company records and other property.

Again, this is just a very brief discussion of the CPP. If you need more information, help is nearby. Contact an insurance professional to talk about coverages and your coverage needs.


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.2014

All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.

 

 

Vacancy Provision


Under a commercial property policy, coverage is significantly different for buildings that are vacant for extended periods. Usually, certain types of coverage are completely eliminated during the vacancy. Insurance companies are interested in protecting ongoing businesses and premiums are based upon active occupancy. Continued, full coverage may be provided, but that is only at the insurance company’s discretion. If a vacant risk is accepted, it usually means paying more premium.

Definitions

Before any coverage restrictions can be imposed, the insurance company must define exactly what they mean by vacancy and the definition is affected by the type of occupancy:

Tenant - When the insured is a tenant and the policy covers that insured's property interest, the definition of building is the unit or suite that has been rented or leased to the tenant. That building is considered vacant when it no longer contains enough business personal property to conduct the customary operations of the insured tenant.

Building Owner Or General Lessee - When the insured is a building owner or general lessee, building is defined as the entire building. The building is considered vacant UNLESS a specified percentage of the TOTAL square footage is rented to a lessee or sub-lessee and used by the lessee or sub-lessee to conduct its customary operations OR is used by the building owner to conduct customary operations.

Buildings Under Construction - Buildings that are under construction or renovation are not considered to be vacant.

Vacancy Provisions

Now that vacancy has been defined, the vacancy condition can be stated. If the building where loss or damage occurs has been vacant (see definition above) for more than 60 consecutive days before the loss:

  • the insurance company will pay NOTHING if the loss was caused by vandalism, sprinkler leakage, glass breakage, water damage, or theft (including damage from attempted theft).
  • the insurance company will reduce any loss amount by 15% if the claim is due to any Covered Cause of Loss not listed above.

Vacancy Permit

When vacancy does occur, many companies, for an additional premium, will add a provision (sometimes called a Vacancy Permit). This form changes the policy wording so that it provides coverage for the property during specific time periods that it is vacant.


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc. 2014

All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.

 

 

Commercial Output Policy


Many businesses protect themselves by purchasing a standard Commercial Property Policy which handles routine building and business property loss exposures. However, this type of coverage is not as useful to operations that involve the following:

·         heavy retail sales activity

·         active product transportation

·         above average processing/manufacturing, or

·         equipment installation and/or repair

For such businesses, there is a coverage alternative, specifically the Commercial Output Policy (COP).

The COP is the modern version of the Manufacturer's Output Policy (MOP). Output refers to property that is created as the result of going through a given business’ processing or manufacturing activity. The COP is very well suited to handle larger businesses, particularly ones that transport property to different locations. It is also a good coverage choice for businesses with high, fluctuating levels of stock or merchandise.

A COP provides flexible protection by combining broad commercial property and inland marine coverage in a single form. This approach reduces the potential for coverage gaps that could occur when commercial property forms are merely packaged with separate inland marine policies such as equipment floaters. The latter approach results in a substantial amount of time spent in coordinating and tracking coverage to make sure adequate protection is maintained.

The COP can insure damage to stock (output) during the manufacturing process and while it is in transit. Coverage exists for a variety of property such as equipment used by contractors and computers. It can cover operations involving building and installation as well as offer equipment breakdown protection.

A COP typically offers a variety of optional features such as coverage for loss involving:

  • Crime
  • Employee Dishonesty
  • Spoilage (particularly of refrigerated products)

 

Another feature of a COP is the use of blanket coverage. In other words, a single, substantial limit of insurance may apply to several classes of property (buildings and business personal property, property in transit) and without a coinsurance provision. The COP is flexible enough to provide coverage to most large commercial operations. It also offers limits that are much higher than what is generally offered by other types of commercial property policies. If you own a large business, it may be worth your while to call a COP.


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc. 2015

All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.

 

 

Functionally Valuing Older Business Property


Businesses that have been successful for decades are usually ones that also consistently take care of their property. While maximizing the use of every asset, it also raises a coverage issue. Aging equipment may have reached the point where it:

  • Is functionally obsolete
  • May be a type of equipment that is no longer made and/or
  • Has been replaced with more effective, technologically advanced equivalents.

 

Such property can be difficult to insure since a typical commercial property policy considers obsolete items to be worthless. However, a commercial property policy can be modified with a form that may make coverage more practical. One form, called "Functional Personal Property Valuation," changes a policy so that the regular policy conditions on valuing a loss and coinsurance don't apply.

Functional valuation recognizes that the insured firm’s priority is to repair damaged, older equipment or to find an equivalent substitute. A policy with a functional valuation provision is likely to offer the additional option of paying an amount equal to the damaged or destroyed property's market value that it held just before their loss. Other features are requirements that any repairs be done quickly and that any replacement property be at the same site and for the same use of the property that was lost or destroyed. A coverage modification is also likely to add terms with special definitions, such as "replacement" or "functional equivalent," or "market value."

A policy that has been altered in order to use a functional settlement basis should result in smoother claims handling and a better loss to post-loss transition. Arranging for such coverage may also spur a buyer to identify possible sources for replacing his vulnerable, older property.

If your concern is one that may be dependent on older equipment, it may be past the time that you discuss your particular coverage need with a knowledgeable insurance professional.


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc. 2015

All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.

 

 

Additionally Insured–Lessor of Leased Equipment


Contractors and subcontractors commonly perform jobs with rented or leased equipment. Such equipment includes use agreements where the rental company requires a "certificate of insurance". Rental companies also commonly require being named as an additional insured to protect their legal liability related to the rented/leased equipment.

Providing a certificate can be handled by adding (endorsing) a version of the Additional Insured-Lessor of Leased Equipment form onto the contractor's liability policy. The basic version shows the name of the rental company and it is normally used for contractors who rent equipment only occasionally, or rent it without a written contract. A more advanced option is available for the contractor who frequently enters equipment rental/lease agreements. This latter form covers the interest of any leasing company when a written contract is involved and without having to constantly endorse the policy to name the applicable rental firm.

A contractor and an insurance professional should approach this subject with a checklist to be sure that all the important items are handled. To start with, be sure that the rental company has its own liability insurance. This is suggested in case the contractor renting the equipment is not negligent or responsible for a particular job site incident involving the equipment. In such cases, the legal liability reverts back to the equipment's owner. Next, ask all relevant parties (contractor, rental company insurance agent, and insurance company underwriter) to review the rental contract. This step assures that everyone is aware of its terms and conditions. This is the best way to determine how it matches up to the coverage and limitations of the additional insured form. Next, make sure to use the same language to add the rental company on the certificate of insurance and to attach the corresponding form to the policy. Finally, it is critical that all parties be aware that coverage ends when the work is done and the equipment is returned to the rental company.

It is also important to understand that additional premium charges may be necessary. In such cases, be certain that all parties accept the reason for the charges. This additional insured form can help a contractor out in special situations, but it is only useful when all parties take the time to use the form properly.


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc. 2015

All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.

 

 

Equipment Breakdown Protection


Equipment Breakdown Coverage policies handle a substantial loss exposure to items such as unfired vessels - Air, steam or water tanks, refrigeration systems, rollers, steam pressers, ironing equipment, steam cookers, generators, chemical processing tanks, motors, switches and controls, compressors, pumps, gears, etc. because commercial property policies typically exclude losses involving machinery or equipment breakdowns. The breakdown form provides the following coverages:

1. Property Damage - This coverage pays for direct damage to covered property (certain types of office machinery and equipment) that has to be listed (described) in the policy.

2. Expediting Expenses - This coverage applies to extra costs insured experiences in order to make temporary repairs and to speed-up (expedites) the permanent repair or replacement of damaged property.

3. Business Income and Extra Expense – Extra Expense Only - These coverages may be purchased together or extra expense coverage alone. For example, a covered business loses most of its records due to a breakdown of its main server. Most of the costs to restore the information would be handled under this option.

4. Spoilage Damage - Spoilage damage to raw materials, property in process or finished products is covered when that property is in storage or in the course of being manufactured. Coverage applies to such property that the insured owns or is legally liable under written contract and spoilage is due to a lack of or excess of power, light, heat, steam or refrigeration.

5. Utility Interruption - This coverage is available ONLY when a customer also purchases coverage for Business Income and Extra Expense – Extra Expense Only or Spoilage Damage. This coverage responds to loss involving equipment breakdown created by loss of utility service (gas, electric, water or communication). Also, the loss or service must last beyond the time-limit that appears on the policy (a sort of time deductible).

6. Newly Acquired Premises - This feature automatically covers newly acquired premises purchased or leased by the insured and the period of protection depends upon the length of time selected for this coverage (i.e. such as 30 days, 60 days, etc.).

7. Ordinance or Law Coverage - The Ordinance or Law Exclusion eliminates coverage for loss created by the imposition of ordinance or laws affect the rebuilding of the damaged property. This coverage pays such costs, within guidelines in the coverage, provided any increase in the loss amount is necessary due to the enforcement of any laws or ordinances in force at the time of the breakdown which regulate the demolition, construction, repair or use of the building or structure.

8. Errors and Omissions - This coverage pays for loss or damage that would have been covered except for the insured’s error or unintentional omission in describing covered property, a failure to include any premises owned or occupied by an insured when coverage began or, the insured’s error or unintentional omission that results in the company canceling coverage at one of the insured's premises.

9. Brands and Labels - This provision pays part of a company's expense to remove and re-label its own, salvaged merchandise.

10. Contingent Business Income and Extra Expense – Extra Expense Only Coverage - This Protection applies to loss resulting from a breakdown to equipment at premises upon which the insured is dependent upon in order to run its own operation, such as a key materials supplier.

Be sure to talk to a qualified insurance professional in case you need details on how to best protect your critical business equipment.


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.2014

All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.

 

 

Covering Business Utility Services


A commercial property insurance policy is reliable enough to handle direct loss to a business’s structures, equipment and related property. However, what happens when weather conditions turn mean and cause indirect damage by knocking out utility services? Items could be harmed by heat-induced transformer breakdowns; or fallen power lines, including compressors, motors and switches, at a business could result in food spoilage. Equipment damage may also occur due to an accidental, sudden loss of power. Power surges may harm expensive equipment. A commercial property may exclude coverage for loss that involves the failure of utility services. Therefore, a business is vulnerable to utility failure or interruption of any type that occurs away from its business location.

Fortunately, a business may buy additional, optional coverage to protect against utility service-related losses. A company usually has the option to buy the type of coverage it needs, such as services for water, telephone/communications (either including or not including land lines), gas and electric power. Further, a company has the option to protect different classes of property, what business locations to insure, type of property (the firm’s own property and/or property that belongs to others, such as customers), and the sources (perils) of loss covered.

Such coverage forms usually define the utility services; perhaps using language similar to the following:

  • Water Supply Services are the pumping stations and water mains that supply the covered premises.
  • Communication Supply Services refers to telephone, radio, microwave or television services that are included as covered property but coverage is not limited to only that property. The only specifically excluded communication property is a satellite. Overhead transmission lines may be included or excluded, depending on the manner in which the schedule is completed.
  • Power Supply Services means five specific types of property used to supply electricity, steam or gas to the scheduled property. The types of property are generating plants, switching stations, substations, transformers and transmission lines. The transmission lines may be included or excluded, depending on the manner in which the schedule is completed.

If your business is concerned about its vulnerability to power-related loss, be sure to check with your insurance professional about this valuable coverage option.


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.2014

All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.

 

 

Valuable Papers And Records


Whether a business is a restaurant, a television station, a steel mill, a toy manufacturer or an accounting firm, they have one thing in common; they all have various types of important papers and records.

Often documents are routine and their loss would not create a problem. In other cases, loss of certain papers and records can be disastrous; affecting a given organization’s ability to continue operations. When such documents are particularly important; it may be necessary to arrange for special protection, such as Valuable Papers and Records (VPR) Coverage. This protection may be included as a supplement in other types of policies or it may exist as a separate policy. In either case, it protects items such as the following:

·         inscribed, printed or written documents

·         manuscripts

·         records and abstracts,

·         books,

·         deeds,

·         drawings,

·         films,

·         maps and

·         mortgages

Some types of property are ineligible for coverage including money and securities or any data, programs and instructions used in electronic data processing operations. Materials that store such data are also ineligible for coverage. Further, there’s no protection in the following situations:

·         Property not specifically described within the policy and which cannot be replaced with property of similar kind or quality

·         Property consisting of samples or for items held for delivery after it is sold

·         Property stored at locations other than those described in the applicable VPR policy

·         Contraband or illegal property, or legal property that is used in illegal activities

VPR coverage assists with the expense of replacing valuable papers, such as the research necessary to rebuild customer account and billing information or to replace important loan information or documents that prove ownership of property. In some cases, a business may have to severely curtail or stop its operations until such replacements are made. Loss of valuable papers and records can easily result in loss of income and customers. Valuable Papers and Records coverage provides a vital source of important protection.


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.2014

All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.

 

 

Dealing With Indirect Loss


A business owner wants to protect company assets and one way to achieve this is by handling direct threats to buildings, equipment, office furniture, etc. However there is another area of concern that is critical for survival – addressing indirect threats.

Example: Paula’s Dry Cleaning suffered a minor fire caused by dryer that short-circuited. While the actual fire damage was negligible, it was accompanied by a lot of smoke and residue. The dryer could be repaired and cleaned in a few days, but the premises would take three weeks to properly clean and decontaminate.

In this case, the business owner's loss of use of her store was a far greater loss than the actual damage to the physical item (dryer). Depending upon the type of loss and the type of business you operate, intangible or indirect losses (also known as Time Element losses) may threaten your operation's financial health as seriously as any direct loss.

Direct Versus Indirect Damage

Direct damage refers to tangible damage to property. A fire occurs to a warehouse. That warehouse has experienced direct damage. Time element damage is not as clear. It refers to property being damaged or destroyed and then the business must stop operations until the property is repaired or replaced and normal operations resume. The amount of the loss is not always dependent on the value of damaged property. Rather, it is related to the impact the loss has on regular operations.

Insurable Vs. Business Risk

Tangible losses are not the sole cause of time element losses. Any event that interrupts operations causes a time element loss.

Example: A printing plant’s employees go on strike for two months, closing down operations.

Example: A local restaurant featuring Australian cuisine loses 80% of its business when customers’ tastes change.

However, these are business risks and are not eligible for protection under most insurance contracts.

Securing Coverage

If you decide to purchase coverage against indirect loss, be sure that it addresses any loss of business income as extra expenses that are created by a direct loss. Getting adequate protection means you'll have to determine the level of income coverage you may need, the likely length of business interruption you may suffer and the importance of continuing operations. Once you determine your priorities, you can find matching coverage.

Example: An insurance agent’s office is severely damaged by fire. She keeps a full set of backup files at a remote location. The agent will not actually lose any income because of the loss of her office, but she will need to rent temporary replacement space, furniture, equipment, communications services, etc. She will also incur significant costs to notify clients and insurers and other expenses to maintain her operation while she rebuilds or finds a new office.

You have invested a lot in your business. It is important to be sure that you take the steps to deal with both direct and indirect sources of loss. As usual, it is always a good idea to discuss your questions and needs with an insurance professional.


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc. 2015

All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.

 

 

The Standard Property Policy


The popular Commercial Package Policy (CPP) may not be available because of your building’s size, age, construction or because of its contents. Fortunately there is an alternative, the Standard Property Policy (SPP).

Besides commercial buildings, the SPP also covers completed building additions, property used for maintaining or servicing the building (such as mowing or painting equipment), permanent fixtures (such as permanent shelving), and machinery. The SPP also covers material meant for construction or repairs to a covered building.

The SPP can be used to cover furniture, fixtures that aren’t permanently attached, machinery, equipment, stock, materials and even property that you lease or which belongs to a building (business) tenant. Further, you also have coverage for personal property of others that is under your care or on or near your insured building

Some types of property are excluded. The SPP doesn’t cover money, securities, deeds and similar property. Further, there’s no coverage for animals, illegal goods, parts of the building that are below the ground, cost of digging or excavating, property being transported by sea or air, or property that’s insured by another policy. There are other items that aren’t covered, but most of them fall into the categories of outdoor structures that are beyond the scope of the SPP or items that should be covered by other types of policies.

The coverage provided by the SPP takes care of losses from basic sources such as fire, lightning, and certain kinds of explosions. Further, you have the option of adding coverage for damage caused by wind, hail, smoke, aircraft, vehicles, hostile mobs, sinkholes, leaky sprinklers and volcanoes. The policy even offers several additional coverages to take care of your expense to remove debris, protect property, take care of pollutants or handle a fire department charging you to make a fire run.

If you have a commercial building, then you have the need for protection. Talk to an insurance professional to see if the SPP is a good way to protect your property.


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.2014

All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.

 

 

Covering Your Signs


Business signs tell their customers their name, address, hours of operation and so on. Signs may be simple or complex and many businesses typically use lighted signs. The Sign policy created by Insurance Services Office is available to insure against the loss or destruction of signs, including fluorescent, neon, automatic or mechanical sign. Coverage also extends to lamps. However, fixed, non-lighted signs (such as billboards) are not eligible under a sign policy, even if they are illuminated by separate electric lights.

A policy requires that, in order to be covered, each sign must be specifically described including lettering information, the sign's location and coverage amount (limit). If the business buying the coverage wants to reduce its coverage cost by using a deductible, it has to accept one equal to 5% of the applicable coverage limit.

Example: An insured’s Sign policy has a limit of $10,000 and a 5% deductible applies. Later, the insured files a loss and the insurer determines total damages of $1,329. Because of the deductible and limit, the insured is paid $829 ($1,329 - $500 [10,000 X 5%]).

The policy protects against any risk of tangible damage that is not excluded or limited in the coverage form. Some of the events that could cause loss that is not covered include:

·        Governmental Action - such as property seized by authorities for emergency use

·        Nuclear Hazard

·        War and Military Action

·        Consequential (indirect) loss - such as a storm destroys a source of power and a company's sign can't be lit for several weeks

·        Any breakage that occurs during transportation, installation, repairing or dismantling

·        Dishonest acts - such as a custom sign made of expense, in-laid glass panels is stolen by an employee of the covered business

·        Short-circuiting or electrical surges

·        Tricks or fraud - such as crooks take the sign by posing as municipal electrical inspectors

The size, geographic location and specific location are all elements that an insurance company would study before deciding whether to provide sign coverage. The larger the sign, the more potential damage can occur. Signs that are located away from the main premises are more vulnerable to vandalism and theft. Signs are very easily damaged by windstorm and hail so geographic considerations must be made.

If your business has made a significant investment in its electric signs, be sure that they are properly covered.


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc. 2013

All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.

 

 

Entertaining Exposures – Part 1


From the smallest towns to the largest cities; there’s the repeated scene of a bar or club filled with people. They gather to eat, drink and to be entertained. Three sources of entertainment are still quite popular: live bands, DJs and karaoke. While many performers who provide these services do so full-time, the vast majority don’t. In fact, many such performers treat their activities as hobbies instead of businesses and that can create problems.

Performing for the public as a karaoke emcee, DJ or band member requires a lot of interaction with the general public (venue customers), venue staff and a significant investment in equipment and/or instruments. Obviously such performers face the possibility of a loss involving legal liability to other persons and loss to their own property.

DJs, karaoke emcees and band members are also, typically homeowners and renters. They are also often policyholders of homeowners or renters insurance. They may also be persons who are woefully unaware that they may have special insurance needs that should be addressed in order to avoid big problems.

Such performers should look into the type of losses they may face and attempt to arrange for proper coverage. They should also be aware that it could be a huge mistake to assume that their basic residential liability and property coverage can handle such losses.

Please see part 2 of this discussion for information on specific considerations.


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc. 2015

All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.

 

 

Entertaining Exposures – Part 2


Part 1 revealed that individuals who spend time entertaining others as a karaoke emcee, DJ or band member means having exposure to property and liability losses that aren’t properly handled by a standard personal property owner insurance policy. In this part, we expand on this issue.

First, let’s consider the property situation that exists for the type of entertainers we’ve mentioned. All such persons regularly use the following:

  • Electronic amplifying equipment, microphones, speakers, stands
  • Electronic (including digital and computer) sound recording and reproducing equipment
  • Electronic and acoustic instruments
  • Lighting equipment and various accessories

All of this property is, typically, subject to serious coverage limitation under a typical residential policy. Generally a policy must be modified to include scheduled (specifically describing items) coverage that may involve getting documentation and appraisals to establish coverage amounts.

Liability considerations – Performers are often at public places and events, mingling with audiences, moving around with equipment or instruments, laying wiring and positioning various equipment, inviting and working with people, sometimes using podiums and stages, weaving among diners, drinkers and dancers. Often they are dealing with people who are inebriated, with reduced agility and judgment.

These situations can create incidents where a performer may be directly responsible for injuring others or for damaging others’ property.

The coverage needs of performers are complicated when they engage in these activities for income. Business activities are usually excluded. Securing proper coverage may involve a simple attachment of a form to a homeowners or rental policy, buying a separate inland marine policy, or arranging for separate business coverage.

If you are an entertainer, you may want to schedule a show with an insurance professional to may sure your act is protected!


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc. 2015

All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.

 

 

Lords of Land


Being fortunate enough to own property beyond one’s personal residence is both a blessing and a huge responsibility. When you rent out your property to others, in the form of an apartment, townhouse, condo, home or other structure, that responsibility increases and so does your chance to suffer either a property or liability loss.

It is very important that you consider buying insurance that will properly protect you. Landlord insurance can be barebones or quite comprehensive. The amount and scope of coverage will vary according to what you wish to protect, the circumstances of the rental situation and the value of the applicable property.

Here are the types of coverage you should consider when deciding upon securing or adjusting your current coverage:

Landlord Building Insurance–coverage for the structure being rented including, if applicable, other structures such as sheds. Be sure that you purchase enough coverage to replace the property if it is seriously damaged.

Landlord Contents Insurance–Many landlords rent out partially or fully furnished property. Those furnishings, from appliances, to dining sets, dishes to televisions must be protected.

Legal Expenses–Sometimes rental situations deteriorate. This coverage is for the legal costs of having to deal with rental disputes, evictions, contract issues and similar, expensive problems with a tenant.

Loss of Rental Income Coverage–A loss that damages rental property usually makes that property unusable, so you need coverage for rental income that is lost while the property is replaced or repaired.

Landlord Liability Insurance–Consider a tenant who injures another person or damages another person’s property. Consider some situation on your property that causes an injury to a tenant, tenant’s guest or some other person. Landlord liability insurance can protect you against any lawsuits that such situations may create.


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc. 2016

All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.

 

 

Anti-Concurrent Causation


Anti-Concurrent Causation. Yes, the term actually means something, even though it looks and sounds like something from the mind of Dr. Seuss or from out of Alice in Wonderland. Anti-Concurrent Causation is a policy provision that bolsters certain exclusions.

Damage to homes, related structures, businesses, etc.; often involve causes of loss that are traditionally covered by insurance policies, such as fire, wind, hail, freezing, falling objects, lightning and others. On the opposite end, there are causes that, traditionally, are not covered, such as flood, earthquake, nuclear activity, and military actions.

Things are clear cut when a single cause creates a loss .But a situation becomes complicated when more than one cause contributes to a loss at, essentially, the same time (concurrent). Consider the following situations:

Scenario A – A factory that is heavily damaged by a windstorm. This is clearly a covered situation.

Scenario B – A factory that is heavily damaged by flooding. This is clearly a non-covered situation.

Scenario C – A factory that is heavily damaged by flooding, but the floodwaters driven onto the premises by a windstorm. Now the situation becomes uncertain. Storms are covered, flooding isn’t and both circumstances created the loss. 

It is the uncertainty created by both an excluded and a covered source of loss creating damage that is addressed by anti-concurrent causation wording. When a policy includes such language, such losses are still excluded. Such language is subject to frequent dispute under lawsuits, especially since such situations are often severe and catastrophic. Often courts and state laws have the final say on how given losses are handled. This creates another instance where you may need the help of an insurance professional to have clearer understanding of your coverage.


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc. 2016

All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.


Underground Storage Tanks – Part 1


In the 1970s and early 1980s, refineries, petroleum distributors and gasoline stations filled our land with underground storage tanks. As those tanks aged they began to leak and threaten water sources. What made the leaking tank situation worse was the widespread failure to monitor or test those tanks. We clearly needed a massive effort to identify the tanks, test them, retrofit or abandon them, and clean up the damage already done to our groundwater systems. The problem, which crossed state borders, had to be handled nationally. The federal government empowered the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to oversee the solution.

Eventually, government action required each owner or operator of an Underground Storage Tank (UST) to notify the EPA or a cooperating state agency of the existence of any such tank. Owners were responsible for taking steps to detect leaks, keep records of regular maintenance, and report any release of material from within a tank. Finally, in the event of a problem, tank owners had to close unfit tanks, and to prove they could handle the financial responsibility for any damage related to leaking tanks.

The financial responsibility requirement was a key provision of environmental legislation. Almost every commercial property owner or operator of a UST containing petroleum products is required to prove financial responsibility in connection with those USTs. Although small tanks servicing farms and homes are exempt, there are very few other exceptions. For instance, there are no exemptions or immunities for governmental entities, Indian tribes, or small owners/operators that only own a single tank. The need for an insurance product to provide compliance is extensive.
The legislation applies not only to the obvious property owners that have retail or wholesale gas, fuel oil, or other petroleum product sales or distribution, it includes many other operations that have an underground petroleum tank.

Examples:

  • Acme Truck Rentals keeps a tank to provide fuel for its vehicle fleet.
  • The Oldeplace, an ancient multi-story apartment building, has a huge underground tank for heating oil.
  • Bigtyme Builders, a general contractor, has an underground tank in its yard to provide gasoline for its equipment.
  • Modertowne Taxi Co. has several underground tanks for gasoline or diesel fuel.

Please see part 2 of this article.


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc. 2017

All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.


Underground Storage Tanks – Part 2


Owners or operators of USTs containing petroleum products must show proof they are financially able to pay both the cost of third-party liability in case of leakage, and the cost of any corrective action required by the EPA to repair or clean up after leakage.

Keep in mind that the rules represent minimums. Meeting these minimums does not limit the owner’s/operator’s liability from a party claiming that they have been harmed by a UST owner or operator. One standard insurance program, called the Underground Storage Tank (UST) Policy Program, was developed to address this hazardous situation.

The UST Program was developed for owners and operators of underground storage tanks containing petroleum products that are involved in petroleum marketing, production, or refining; however, it is not limited to only this category but is available to any owner or operator of a UST for petroleum products.
The UST Program has two coverage parts. One part provides Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability Coverage for damage caused by a UST incident. The policy defines a UST incident as a release (further defined as any spilling, leaking, emitting, discharging, escaping, leaching, or disposing of petroleum from a UST into ground or surface water, or subsurface soils) from a covered tank. A continuous or repeated release from the same covered tank is considered to be a single incident.

The second coverage part is for corrective action costs a tank owner faces because of a UST incident. The UST incident must be confirmed and reported to the insurer and/or the EPA. A very important and favorable coverage consideration is that incidents on the premises are covered, not just off-site cleanup operations.

If your business includes an underground storage tank, it is critical that you evaluate this exposure and any necessary coverage need with a qualified insurance professional.


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc. 2017

All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.

Amboy - Main Office

111 S. Main St.

P.O. Box 157 Amboy, IN 46911

Main office: 765-395-7761
Toll free: 877-395-6200
Fax: 765-395-7763

Office Hours:

Mon: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tues: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wed: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thurs: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Fri: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sat: By Appointment
Sun: Closed

Bunker Hill Office

132 East Broadway

P.O. Box 356 Bunker Hill, IN 46914

Main office: 765-689-8432
Toll free: 800-688-8432
Fax: 765-689-0725

Office Hours:

Mon: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Tues: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Wed: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Thurs: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Fri: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Sat: By Appointment
Sun: Closed

Converse Office

105 South Jefferson Street

P.O. Box 620 Converse, IN 46919

Main office: 765-395-7811
Fax: 765-395-6216

Office Hours:

Mon: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tues: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wed: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thurs: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Fri: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sat: By Appointment
Sun: Closed

Fairmount Office

210 South Main Street

P.O. Box 67 Fairmount, IN 46928

Main office: 765-948-4129
Fax: 765-948-4120

Office Hours:

Mon: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Tues: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Wed: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Thurs: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Fri: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Sat: By Appointment
Sun: Closed

Flora Office

15 East Columbia Street

Flora, IN 46929

Main office: 574-967-3110
Toll free: 800-242-0466
Fax: 574-967-3569

Office Hours:

Mon: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Tues: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Wed: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Thurs: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Fri: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Sat: By Appointment
Sun: Closed

Greentown Office

109 North Meridian Street

Greentown, IN 46936

Main office: 765-628-7572
Fax: 765-507-9144

Office Hours:

Mon: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tues: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wed: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thurs: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Fri: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sat: By Appointment
Sun: Closed

Hartford City Office

209 West Washington Street

Hartford City, IN 47348

Main office: 765-348-1448
Fax: 765-348-1512

Office Hours:

Mon: 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Tues: 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Wed: 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Thurs: 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Fri: 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Sat: By Appointment
Sun: Closed

Kokomo Office

3833 South LaFountain Street

P.O. Box 6339 Kokomo, IN 46904

Main office: 765-455-2700
Fax: 765-453-5635

Office Hours:

Mon: 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Tues: 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Wed: 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Thurs: 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Fri: 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Sat: By Appointment
Sun: Closed

Lafayette Office

3904 Regal Valley Dr

Lafayette, IN 47909

Main office: 765-838-8244
Toll free: 877-395-6200
Fax: 765-838-8244

Office Hours:

Mon: By Appointment
Tues: By Appointment
Wed: By Appointment
Thurs: By Appointment
Fri: By Appointment
Sat: By Appointment
Sun: By Appointment

Marion Office

153 East 3rd Street

Marion, IN 46952

Main office: 765-662-2010
Toll free: 800-688-3548
Fax: 765-662-2072

Office Hours:

Mon: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tues: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wed: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thurs: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Fri: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sat: By Appointment
Sun: Closed

Peru Office

26 West Main Street

Peru, IN 46970

Main office: 765-473-4519
Fax: 765-473-4510

Office Hours:

Mon: 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Tues: 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Wed: 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Thurs: 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Fri: 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Sat: By Appointment
Sun: Closed

Somerset Office

1 Main Street

P.O. Box 176 Somerset, IN 46984

Main office: 765-981-4944
Fax: 765-981-4116

Office Hours:

Mon: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tues: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wed: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thurs: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Fri: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sat: By Appointment
Sun: Closed

Swayzee Office

106 South Washington Street

P.O. Box 130 Swayzee, IN 46986

Main office: 765-922-4449
Fax: 765-922-4449

Office Hours:

Mon: 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Tues: 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Wed: 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Thurs: 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Fri: 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Sat: By Appointment
Sun: Closed

Upland Office

50 East Berry Avenue

P.O. Box 537 Upland, IN 46989

Main office: 765-998-6053
Fax: 765-998-7083

Office Hours:

Mon: 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Tues: 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Wed: 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Thurs: 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Fri: 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Sat: By Appointment
Sun: Closed

Walton Office

112 North Depot Street

Walton, IN 46994

Main office: 574-626-2621
Fax: 574-626-2609

Office Hours:

Mon: 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Tues: 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Wed: 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Thurs: 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Fri: 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Sat: By Appointment
Sun: Closed

Our Providers

Testimonials

Thank you so much for your services - I have really enjoyed working with you and appreciate all you've done -
Norris Customer
Cathy - Thank you so much for researching the question I had about our homeowner's insurance. Your professional expertise is Greatly Appreciated. You went Above & Beyond....... Thank You!
Norris Customer
“Thank you Cathy B. for taking such good care of us during the closing on our rental home! You made things very easy!”
Norris Customer