Exchange Students – Homeowners Coverage

This article briefly discusses how a homeowner policy responds to coverage for exchange students. Please be sure to read the companion article, “Exchange Students – Automobile Coverage.”

Opening your Eyes, that's about to happen for your family with your new exchange student.  But waiting until they get here to open your eyes is a big risk.  Find out before hand the changes that you will need to make to your insurance.
You have an Exchange Student, Now What?

Note: Check with your exchange student program coordinator to see what kinds of coverage are automatically provided for the child. But don’t take anyone’s word; get copies of documents that prove the coverage situation.

An exchange student in your care who is younger than 21 years is automatically insured under a homeowners policy, treated as if the child were a relative. An exchange student’s property is covered while located at or away from your home. Off-premises coverage is normally limited to 10% of your policy’s Personal Property limit, subject to a minimum of $1,000. On-premises, the policy’s full content limit is available. If your homeowner’s policy had a $70,000 limit for Personal Property, up to $7,000 would be available to handle damage or loss to an exchange student’s property while it’s away from your home, say while at a summer camp. Liability coverage that applies to your family also applies for damage and bodily injury caused by an exchange student who is younger than 21 years of age.

Do you know how to prepare for an exchange student?  You need to!
how to prepare for an exchange student.

If the exchange student is older than age 21, then the policy treats the student as a guest. A policy owner can volunteer to extend his insurance coverage to include a guest’s property while at your residence premises or even while you and the guest are at some other location. However, it is sometimes difficult to determine whether an older exchange student is a guest or a tenant – someone who is paying you a reasonable rent for staying in your home.

Hosting an exchange student creates questions you should discuss with an insurance professional who can help make sure your coverage needs are met.


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.

Is Roofers Insurance expensive?

insurance for roofers
we are insuring roofers

Is Roofers Insurance expensive? Top tips for saving.

How much do Roofers pay for insurance?

A lot!

Even compared to other high-risk occupations, their insurance seems high. Workers Comp rates for roofers can be as much as eight times that of Fire Fighters. They also have higher General Liability rates than other contractors.

High Roofs!  Steep Roofs!  The workplace for roofers is an open invitation to an accident.
The steeper the workplace the steeper the premium. Ask a Roofer!

Why is insurance so expensive for roofers?

If you own a roofing business, then you know that roofing is a precarious business. Roofing is reported by many to be one of the five most dangerous occupations. As a result, insurance companies pay out more and higher claims. To offset the high losses, carriers must charge risky occupations higher premiums.

Gravity or Gravity

Why is roofing so risky? The term “What goes up, must come down,” maybe the best answer to that question. Enhancing roofer safety starts with identifying how gravity increases risk. The following are a few of the more difficult issues to overcome:

Why is roofers insurance high? 
 High and Sloped roofs open the door for gravity to do damage.
Roofing is a Risky Business

· Roofers perform a labor-intensive job in unusual work-spaces

· A floor that has a 25 to 40 Degree slope, and even steeper

· Working as much as 80 feet off the ground

· Falling items can accelerate to a speed of 25 to 30 MPH.

Gravity is also defined as something extreme or seriousness. The Gravity of insuring roofers lies with their work-space.

Roofing businesses attempting to reduce the cost of insurance need a plan.  The best place to start is with better risk management. The following areas provide a good starting point:

· Roofers pose a threat to non-related individuals on the job site at the same time.

· Regardless of weight, falling objects can lead to serious, even life-threatening injuries.

· Potential for increased frequency and magnitude of liability and Work Comp claims.

Is it possible to reduce the cost of roofers insurance?

Yes, it is, and this post aims to point you in that direction. If you think that you can’t save money on insurance for your own roofing business, your wrong.  First of all, there are a handful of insurance companies that do a better job with the industry.  As a result, they often have lower premiums that their competitors.  Actions on your part can also have a substantial impact.  Risk Management offers another route for roofers to save on insurance.  Taking an active role in the process will eliminate or reduce certain risk.  The long term impact should reduce insurance claims.  There is also a positive impact on the roofing business via lower-cost insurance.

The nature of the industry demands attention to detail.  Ongoing risk awareness is critical.  Business owners should leverage this knowledge into constantly improving safety protocols.  Failure to do so will increase the potential for injuries and property damage.  As a result, there will also be upward pressure on your insurance premiums.   Poor Risk Management is negative for any business.  But for industries considered to be high-risk, like roofers, the impact is even worse. 

Insurance is only one part of risk management

Five primary strategies which Individuals and Business use to manage risk:

· Risk Avoidance More attractive than practical, this effort attempts to eliminate risk.

·  Risk Transfer Insurance: Insurer indemnifies consumer in exchange for a premium.

·  Risk Reduction Limiting risk by altering processes, procedures, or equipment.

·  Risk Retention Consumer retains all or a portion of the risk.

·  Merged Strategies Combining two or more of the above.

Buying high deductible insurance combines risk transfer and risk retention.

Insuring everything isn’t an option for most. Even for those that can, it isn’t the most optimal solution. It is often more cost-effective to manage risk using one of the other risk management strategies. One example of this has been a dilemma that roofers have been faced with.

In recent years, Kentucky Roofer’s insurance claims have been higher than expected. The weather played a role but in this case, discrepancies go beyond the actions of Mother Nature.

The culprit: Nail Guns!

As roofers have transitioned from hammers to nail guns, problems soon followed.   Shingles were blown off shortly after new roofs were installed.  Often under fairly modest wind conditions.  A growing stream of adverse reports followed.  With product lives nowhere close to advertised, the problem had to be found.  In the end, the finger of blame was pointed at roofers.   Specifically, those using nail guns.  

Problems with nail guns were soon seriously scrutinized by everyone.  From Insurance companies to Angie’s List. The issues were simple.  Should roofers use nail guns? If so, then what could roofers do to reduce losses?

There is little doubt that there was a strong preference for the use of nail guns. At least from the vantage point of roofers.  There has also been awareness of the losses.  Especially by those in the insurance industry and dissatisfied homeowners.   What would be done if the rising loss trend could not be turned?  If not and if roofers continued using guns, would insurance costs rise for roofers?

How much would insurance premiums go up for roofers?

The answer.  The roofing industry would soon see tremendous rate increases for General Liability Insurance.

Insuring the risk associated with the use of nail guns was not an optimal solution. To continue using them, the industry had to rein in claims associated with nail guns. 

The Answer, a Risk Management Process

Risk Management Process

1. Research and Identify Risk

2. Risk Analysis and Evaluation

3. Risk Remediation

4.  Ongoing Monitoring

When a roofer misses the reinforced nailing strip it reduces the shingle life.
Nail missed shingle

The risk identification and analysis indicated the following issues:

• Proper nail gun pressure-DO NOT tear through the shingle

• Nails must be driven through the tar line.

• Nail flush to the shingle

• Adjustments to equipment settings for inter-day changes in the ambient air temperature.

• Experience is always important. We become more discerning when insuring roofers using nail guns.

Risk Reductions, a Path to Reducing the Cost of Insurance

Incorporating the Risk Management Process leads to a positive outcome.  It created a path for the continued use of roofing nail guns. Raising awareness of the associated problems, roofers could implement effective new work processes. These changes would put the industry on a path to significantly reduced claims.

With shingles under control, customer satisfaction should notably improve. Better roofing jobs will also get the attention of the insurance industry. With fewer claims, it’s fair to assume that losses are declining. In a vacuum, reducing losses should put downward pressure on insurance premiums.

We started this winding path with roofers trying to use roofing nail guns.  Roofers using nail guns were aimed at increasing efficiencies and reducing cost.  A noble goal.  A goal achieved by understanding that insurance isn’t the only tool for managing risk.  An achievement delivered when industry partnered with insurance to create a common goal.    An achievement born by the willingness to reduce risk has improved an industry.  Roofers and insurance working together have increased efficiencies and cost savings a reality.

Getting Your Motorhome Ready

When you get that travel itch, the first step is to decide on where you want to venture to, whether that means going to one or multiple areas. Before you actually go on your trip, you must get your motorhome ready for your travels. At TruePoint Insurance, serving Fisherville, KS, and the surrounding region, we have a few simple tips to keep you safe and having fun. 

Update Your Insurance Policy

Before you head out on the road, make sure you update your insurance policy. You would hate to get into an accident and get a fine for not having insurance in addition to the expense of paying for the other party’s property as well as yours.

Check Your Tires

One important step of ensuring your motorhome is roadworthy is to assess the pressure if the tires. You also want to check in the treads for cracks. Since tires vary from one another, if you’re unsure of how much pressure you should put in your tires, you should read your owner’s manual. 

Generator Evaluation 

Sometimes, generators don’t start as well if they’ve been sitting for a prolonged period of time due to fuel not running through the lines. You want to prime your generator. If you don’t have a primer, crank it for about 15 seconds and cycle it to make sure the generator runs. Next, you should run the pump. Generally, you only need to for about 20 seconds.  

8. Generator:
To get your generator ready, you will need to start it and also check certain functions on it. Getting your generator started can be tricky. Especially if your generator sat for an extended period of time. The lack of fuel in the lines is usually the reason why your generator won’t start. If you have a prime feature, prime your generator until your indicator light turns on for the fuel pump. Run the pump for about 20 seconds to deliver fuel to the carburetor – the generator should start much quicker. If you do not have a prime feature on your generator, you will have to crank it until it starts. Let the starter rest to cool after about 15 seconds of cranking. Cycle the starter until it runs. Check the oil levels and filter also. 

Learn more about getting your motorhome ready from TruePoint Insurance, serving Fisherville, KY, and the general vicinity, by visiting our website.

 

 

 

Insuring A Timeshare Residence

Who ‘s responsible for insuring your Timeshare?

As a lucky owner of a timeshare arrangement, you may have a special coverage need. While insurance is readily available for individually owned seasonal or secondary residences, buildings, vacant land, or personal property; a timeshare arrangement may not be handled by standard homeowner coverage forms. Coverage gaps may exist because typical timeshare arrangements involve:

  • real property with multiple owners
  • living units that are often furnished with personal property that may be jointly or severally owned
  • living units which are occupied by several individuals or families who have control of all of the property during their time of occupancy
  • special agreements or stipulations that govern the property’s use.

Here are some steps to prepare for a discussion of your coverage situation:

Do you need timeshare insurance?  It depends, the following should leave you with a better understanding.
Do you need insurance for a Timeshare?

1. Collect all of your timeshare-related paperwork, especially the contract that describes your ownership interest and obligations in the timeshare property.

2. Be open to securing more than one policy to cover the jointly owned property, any personal property that’s located at the residence, the joint liability exposure and any special assessments or liability assumptions agreed to under any contract.

3. Be reasonable about coordinating coverage needs among the timeshare’s other owners. Doing so will help make certain that all needs as met at the time coverage is initially purchased and later, should coverage circumstances change.

4. Be flexible. Proper coverage may have to be provided by a specially modified personal insurance contract or even some form of commercial coverage may be necessary.

Since coverage needs can vary substantially from one arrangement to the next. It is important that you discuss your current coverage needs with a qualified agent. Don’t leave the meeting with any unanswered questions. Ask that any points be fully explained to you in order to make sure that you’re protected adequately and affordably.


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.

Domestic or Personal Service Workers

Insuring personal service workers:  
Gardener
Personal Gardener

It’s quite likely that you face many demands…a job, family, hobbies, volunteer work, children’s school, and recreational obligations. Those items don’t cover chores, such as the lawn and garden, house cleaning, repairs and on and on. Like many of your peers, you might find that you just don’t have the time to get all of it done. Also, like many of your friends and neighbors, you may be “outsourcing” some of your responsibilities. Increasingly, people are hiring others to either assist or to take over duties such as:

  • child-rearing
  • gardening
  • decorating
  • housecleaning
  • laundry
  • grocery shopping
  • personal errands
  • child-transport
  • minor home repairs
  • lawn maintenance
  • meal preparation
  • exercise

While such help used to fall under the auspices of butlers, maids, and nannies, today, individual specialists are providing similar services on either a part-time or full-time basis.

Personal Services and Personal Liability

There is no need for concern for some businesses.  Lawn care, limo  services, as well as a few other personal service provides have their own insurance.
Many service providers have insurance

When personal services are provided by employees of a commercial business, such as a limousine service, laundry service or a lawn care company, there’s generally no need to worry about being held liable for injury to another person or for damage to their property.

Example: The Burlies never had time to take care of their lawn. As their grass grew thinner and the weeds spread, Mr. Burlie decided to sign-up for the “Green Thumb” package from Lucy’s Lawn Services. One afternoon, a Lucky Lawn specialist arrived at the Burlie’s home, unraveled a hose and began to spray weed killer. A few minutes later, Stevie, who lived several homes away from the Burlies, came rushing by on his skates. Stevie didn’t see the hose until it tangled his wheels and sent him headlong onto the cement sidewalk. In this instance, Lucky’s Lawn Services would be responsible for the injuries.

However, as individuals are hired by Joe and Jane America to perform personal services, the responsibility for injuring other people or damaging the property of others may begin to fall upon Joe and Jane. In these cases, will Joe and Jane have any help in paying for damages or injuries?

Homeowners Insurance to the Rescue

Looking for insurance to protect you from claims related to personal service providers.  Check your homeowner's insurance first,.  You may already have it.
Homeowner’s Insurance

A person who employs the services of another may be held legally liable should the “employee” cause an accident. Can the average person who is guilty of nothing more than trying to make their lives a little less hectic depend upon their homeowner’s insurance for protection? Well, coverage depends upon the details surrounding an event. Generally, a homeowners policy will exclude coverage for losses that are related to the covered person’s (insured’s) business or when other coverage, such as workers compensation or disability insurance, should apply to the loss.

If you use a handyman you should request a certificate of insurance.
Handyman

Example: Molly Kelp really likes her neighbors’ son, Peter, who is home from college. Molly knows that Peter is struggling for money to keep attending school, so she occasionally hires him to do jobs around her home and yard. One day, she asks him to trim the branches of a tree that is in the front of her home. The branches are low enough to disturb traffic in the street. Peter jumps down from the ladder he’s using for the job at the same time that a car is passing by. The ladder tips over and crumples car’s hood as well as smashes out the windshield. The driver slams on his brakes and is severely cut-up in the process. In this case, Molly’s homeowner policy may apply to the damage and injury caused by Peter. Why? Because the work was strictly related to maintenance of Molly’s residence and premises. If Peter caused an accident while carrying a ladder to paint Molly’s law office which is housed in a converted bedroom of Molly’s home, the loss would be excluded from her policy.

Do Your “Homework” On Personal Services

If you’re not sure about what happens when a person you hire causes a loss, you need to do your homework. Discuss the details with an insurance professional and bring a copy of your insurance policy. Between the two of you, you should be able to make sure that your needs are covered.


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.