Farm and Ranch Coverage

Unique farm risk require specialized insurance policies.  Complicating things even further is that many farmers have have a very limited  number of insurance options.

Farms and ranches differ from other business operations since, at least with small to medium operations, the owner both conducts his business and lives with his entire family on the same premises. Therefore, a farm or ranch has a combination of commercial and personal loss exposures that must be properly insured.

One coverage method might be to use commercial policies to handle the business needs and personal (auto, home, recreational vehicle, etc.) policies to tackle the personal needs. However, such a combination of policies would be awkward and expensive. Further, the method would allow a large number of coverage gaps and overlaps. A much better approach would be to use a product that satisfies all potential coverage needs in a single policy.

The differences among various farm and ranch operations certainly complicate the task of finding proper coverage. Successful farmers and ranchers tend to be specialists, yet are flexible in order to run efficient operations. Fortunately, farms and ranches have a number of elements that are common to all operations, so products have been developed for this challenging market.

One standard farm program uses a cafeteria approach to offer coverage. The owner of a farm or ranch operation may choose to have only Farm Property and Farm Inland Marine Forms to address the property coverages, but use the Commercial General Liability Forms for the liability coverage exposures. They may choose to use the Farm Umbrella or a Commercial Umbrella with a Farm Endorsement. A Homeowners policy may be used on the dwelling but a Farm property coverage form on everything else.

Options are an important feature of a good farm program. The following, basic coverages are widely available:

  •    The Farm Property Policy – covers farm-related buildings (residence, barns, sheds, silos, etc.)
  •    The Farm Inland Marine Policy – covers farm-related machinery and equipment
  •   The Farm Liability Policy – protects against damage or injury caused by farming/ranching activities
  •  The Farm Umbrella Policy – provides a higher level of liability protection
  • The Farm Combination Policy– offers a way to bundle stand-alone farm/ranch coverages into a single package

The more flexibility offered by a program, the greater the chance that an insurance professional can assist a farmer or rancher with developing an effective insurance plan.


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Social Media Liability-Part 2

Social media as alter the risk profile of many of us.  American must now accept that are libel and slander exposures are at historic high levels.
Just because it’s new doesn’t mean you aren’t exposed

See part 1 which discusses the meaning of social media liability.

Social media liability claims can be complicated and expensive since they may involve historical postings. In these instances, defense costs may include electronic discovery or subpoenaing information from any applicable social networking sites. Expenses could expand if a party filing a lawsuit demands information beyond a post to one particular site to include posts made on all the social networking sites where a defendant holds an account.

Depending on the nature of the claim, the insured may be faced with multiple lawsuits in multiple jurisdictions including outside the United States. Defense costs may reflect extensive jurisdictional and venue disputes that have to be handled (and paid for) even before determining if that claim is eligible for coverage.

Another issue is the problem of handling intentional (deliberate) acts. They are routinely excluded by most insurance policies. An insurance company may choose to deny either legally defending and/or responding to a lawsuit because, in its opinion, the policyholder had full knowledge that published information was false or that an act was an invasion of privacy.

Social media liability is not a common term so insurance policies generally refer to the traditional terms of “personal and advertising injury” and extending this traditional coverage to social media and the Internet. Social media makes it easier to libel, slander or invade a person’s privacy.

Off-the-cuff comments that used to be made at the water cooler or in the privacy of one’s home are now published nationwide or internationally. The result? Damages sought by a claim can be more substantial because there are more people aware of the comments as compared to traditional situation.

You must be aware of the legal potential in using social media and the claims that can result if defamatory comments are made about family members, friends, exes, etc. There is no immunity from lawsuits simply because such comments are commonly posted on sites such as Facebook or Twitter.

Considering what is at stake, especially for businesses, umbrella coverage is definitely recommended as an additional source of protection. Umbrella coverage is also recommended for prolific social media users and bloggers. Although avoiding high-risk behavior is a simpler and more effective way to eliminate problems, it is unlikely that individuals will avoid social media or blogging altogether. A more realistic expectation may be that a person may inadvertently engage in behavior that creates a claim. Individuals should evaluate the risk potential and realize that coverage for social media liability may become a necessary part of everyday life, similar to auto insurance or home insurance.


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 the written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.

Social Media Liability-Part 1

Social Media Liability-Part 1

Your chances of suffering a loss is increasingly affected by your use of the Internet and, particularly, social media. Increasing your awareness of social media liability loss exposures may help you to minimize or avoid them.

If you or others in your family use social media, then you have altered your risk profile.  Slander, Libel and more!
Using Social Media Alters Your Risk Profile

Social Media Liability refers to claims for libel, slander, harassment, invasions of privacy, violations of intellectual property rights, and even improper employment practices resulting from the use of social media sites, including Facebook, InstaGram, Twitter, YouTube, blogs, etc. Some coverage exists for business as well as for personal exposures to such losses.

Most business insurance policies include personal and advertising injury coverage that provides some protection for libel, slander, and derogatory remarks as well as invasion of privacy. Some homeowners and renters policies also provide personal and advertising injury. Standard business forms may contain language that provides limited coverage because they refer to material published on the Internet or to electronic communications. Coverage may also exist because protection for suits involving libel and slander may make reference to defending against and, if needed, covering claims due to incidents of publishing or broadcasting information in any manner.

Individuals who blog or who maintain watchdog Web sites (consumer sites that monitor specific companies or products), may be susceptible to claims of defamation or invasion of privacy. Casual users of social network sites may inadvertently post comments about a current or former lover that are defamatory, especially after a divorce or messy breakup.

Businesses’ networking-related exposures are typically related to business activities. Businesses may, for example, misattribute the ownership of a Web site to a lower level employee in order to shield the business. That employee may sue for false invasion of privacy, especially if the Web site contains sordid or proprietary material. Business managers may also announce firings or disclose personal information about their employees that may create lawsuits. Personal networking-related exposures run the gamut of claims, including accusing individuals of crimes, infidelity, failure to pay child support, disclosure of personal or financial information, posting of pictures or videos in compromising positions, etc.

See Social Media – Part 2 for more information on claims and protection.


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 the written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.

Earthquake Insurance, Sinkhole Insurance & More

Do you live in an earthquake zone?  Do you have earthquake insurance?  If you don't know, call TruePoint at (502) 410-5089
US Earthquake Zones

Words and their usage impact our daily lives. As a kid, my mother would on a regular basis reminding me to watch my P’s and Q’s. This was not a suggestion to be on my best behavior. It was a threat that even the slightest slip in my manners would have severe repercussions. What and how we say things have been an issue for generations. But a solid case exists that communication is more important now that ever before. While the thought may seem hysterical at first, let in sink in for a moment. Most would agree that America has become precariously litigious. For years our actions have exposed us to constant risk. Today our words are placing us at jeopardy. As a result, it has become critical for Americans to develop greater awareness.
What is earthquake insurance?.

Standard insurance doesn't cover loss due to earthquakes.  Earthquake Insurance is add by endorsement.
Earthquake Damage


Earthquake – a term used to reference the movement of two tectonic plates along a fault line. The tectonic plates move past each other at a slow pace building up stress along the way. This continues until finally the plates slip releasing enormous amounts of seismic energy. This energy then results in a violent shaking of the ground. This is also referred to as an earthquake. Earthquakes can be the result of both tectonic action or volcanic.
The word Earthquake seems simple enough. But it isn’t. Your insurance policy most likely excludes loss caused by the movement of earth. How does that impact me? Ground that shifts, sinks, expands, contracts, or rises may create serious issues. That includes earthquakes, sinkholes, mudslides, landslides, and more. How serious? Your insurance company “Will Not Pay, Serious”! You can avoid this crisis by simply having the proper endorsements. But be cautious. You can purchase an earthquake endorsement. But what will it cover? Losses due to an earthquake! Nothing else. Related risk such as mudslides, sinkholes, and others are not covered. Failure to understand how this impacts your insurance may result in serious coverage issues. Failure to understand may result in no coverage.

Movement of earth is not covered by standard insurance.  That includes earthquakes, sinkholes and several more items.
Sinkholes are covered by standard insurance policy


Will your insurance pay in the event of an earthquake? Does a Homeowners policy or a Commercial Property policy protect against earthquakes? Earthquake coverage is not offered by a standard insurance policy. But, for most, earthquake coverage is available. It can be in the form of an earthquake endorsement. If asked to waive your right to earthquake coverage, we suggest that you ask the agent for a quote. It may not be as expensive as you think.
Most of us are insured by the Special Form, also known as All Risks Coverage. Earthquake protection is excluded by the Covered Causes of Loss Form. The exclusion reads so that damages that are a result of EARTH MOVEMENT are excluded. Inquire about the cost of an earthquake endorsement. With the in hand, you can now decide if you want to transfer the risk. In the process don’t forget the other risk associated with earth movement. The earthquake endorsement doesn’t cover these. We advise customers to consider each of the risks and if appropriate, evaluate the risk/reward.

What about hidden damages?  Are minor damages covered?  They are, but deductibles may be more than the loss.
Check your Deductibles for Earthquake. They will be higher than you are used too.

ance varies from one insurance company to the next. If you make a comparison for companies, you will find earthquake policies vary. If you have multiple homes in various states you should review individual policies. We advise this as earthquake endorsements issued by the same company may vary from one state to another.
Earthquake deductibles should be considered. Don’t be surprised to see a 10 to 20% deductible. These are pretty much par for the course. Any higher and it is probably worth your time to shop around.
As noted earlier, earthquakes represent only a small portion of the exposures related to the movement of earth. Because we live in the Ohio Valley, we can shorten the list. While anything is possible, most would agree that some of the risks aren’t as threatening as others. The risk that should be considered by most in our area:

  • Erosion,
  • Failure to suitably compact building sites,
  • Sinkholes
  • Deficiencies pertaining to site selection
  • Earthquakes
  • and Landslides

Add in mud-flows, mudslides, and volcanoes and we have a reasonable understanding of the movement of earth risk. Kentucky homeowners and business owners need to consider these and several other forces.
Standard policies may leave serious gaps. Property coverages leave most structures exposed the movement of earth. Don’t assume that your only option is to self-insure. Ask TruePoint. By asking the simple question, “how can I eliminate more exposures related to the movement of earth?” You will likely find that in some cases, options exist. Becoming increasingly more available is sinkhole insurance. Broader coverage in the form of earth movement riders may also be an enhanced risk transfer option.
If you would like to learn more about eliminating insurance gaps related to the movement of earth, reach out to a TruePoint Insurance Agent. We can be reached at (502) 410-5089.

Personal Injury

Litigious America, We all have greater risk of Slander

Unlike accidental events that result in a person suffering a serious injury (called bodily injury) or property that is damaged or destroyed (called property damage), personal injury usually involves one person’s alleged interference with another person’s legal rights. It also applies to incidents that harm another person’s reputation.

Personal Injury commonly includes acts such as the following:

False arrest, detention or imprisonment

Example: A homeowner suspects that her teen daughter’s friend has stolen jewelry while visiting her home. She locks the teen in her bedroom for an hour until the police arrive and it turns out the teen did nothing wrong.

Malicious prosecution

Example: A gentleman accuses his neighbor of stealing a laptop from his home and files charges with the police. After investigating the matter, the police discover that the lap top owner had sold the property and made the accusation because the neighbors had been feuding over an unrelated matter.

Wrongful eviction from, wrongful entry into, or invasion of the right of private occupancy

Landlord? Do you have exposure to wrongful eviction

Example: A boarder comes home from work and finds his room’s door padlocked. The homeowner/landlord did it after the boarder, for the third night in a row, played his CD system too loudly. The boarder is forced to leave the premises that same night.

Oral or written publication of material that slanders or libels a person or organization or disparages a person’s or organization’s goods, products or services

More Social Media = Greater Libel Risk

Example: A homeowner is the president of a parent and school organization. She also publishes articles for the organization on her personal website, but is widely followed by members in the parent and school organization. After an argument with another organization officer, the president recounts the incident on her site and includes some crude insults and false items about that person.

Oral or written publication of material that violates a person’s right of privacy

Example: A woman is visiting a friend. During the visit, she overhears her friend’s conversation with her doctor. The next day, the person reveals to others that the friend, a young, single female, is having medical problems due to an unexpected pregnancy.

All such acts are examples of incidents that could result in lawsuits. However, they are also the sort of events that are excluded from coverage by the typical homeowners policy. The major reason for their exclusion is that they are deliberate acts rather than being accidental. One way to secure coverage for personal injury losses is to purchase personal umbrella coverage. It may be worthwhile to discuss your possible need for personal injury coverage 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 the written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc

Definition: Earthquake Insurance

What is earthquake insurance?

Who needs earthquake insurance?  
If you don't know whether or not you need earthquake coverage, then take a quick look at the map.
US Earthquake Zones

Earthquake: A term used to reference the movement of two tectonic plates along a fault line. The tectonic plates move past each other at a slow pace building up stress along the way. This continues until finally, the plates slip, releasing enormous amounts of seismic energy. This energy then results in a violent shaking of the ground. This is also referred to as an earthquake. Earthquakes can be the result of both tectonic action or volcanic.

Do I need earthquake insurance?  Call TruePoint Insurance.
Where can I get Earthquake insurance?  It is a policy endorsement that can be added by you insurance agent.
Earthquake Endorsements

Earthquake Insurance: Losses as a result of the movement of the earth are not covered by standard insurance policies. Earthquakes are one of the events that are considered the movement of earth. Most insurance professionals can help you reduce your exposure to earthquakes by adding a special endorsement to your policy.
Earthquake insurance, or more accurately an earthquake endorsement, is a tool that can be used to transfer the risk of a financial loss to buildings. Structures such as homes or commercial buildings can be protected from damages that are a direct result of an earthquake.
In exchange for an annual insurance premium, the insurance company promises to restore the insured to the position that existed immediately before the event(less a deductible). Deductibles for earthquake insurance can be significantly higher than other coverage options. As a result, we advise customers to review the deductible before purchasing an endorsement.
As mentioned, the movement of the earth comes in several forms. Earthquakes, mudslides, and sinkholes are just a few. Earthquake insurance covers earthquakes. It will not cover losses that are a result of other types of movement of earth.
If you would like additional insights call a TruePoint Agent today at (502) 410-5089

Bobtail Insurance

Most truckers have or think they have Bobtail Insurance. The coverage provides a unique form of commercial auto liability coverage. Owner Operators are leased to Motor Carriers. Leasing with a Motor Carrier requires executing a contract where both parties commit to an ongoing relationship.

As long as the driver is under dispatch, the primary liability coverage will be provided by the Motor Carriers Trucking Liability Policy. This will be the case during the period that the contract is in effect.

Bobtail Insurance provides coverage when the truck is being operated without a trailer attached. Bobtail Insurance Does Not Provide Coverage While Pulling A Trailer. Examples of when your truck would be covered by a Bobtail Policy include:

  • Driving between your final terminal and your home
  • Driving truck to a location for maintenance or repairs
  • Driving back and forth to work

If you are one of the many truckers that pull trailers while not under dispatch, please read on before panicking. There is a good chance that you don’t have Bobtail coverage. Instead, you should have a Non-Trucking Liability Insurance Policy. Also referred to as NTL and as we have seen, confused with Bobtail Insurance, the coverage provides liability protection to owner/operators while not under dispatch.

Deadheading, or pulling an empty trailer adds a significant amount of risk. Experienced truck drivers are aware of this added risk and make adjustments. They must be aware of the impact wind will have on an empty trailer. They must also alter their approach to braking with systems which are designed to be effective while under a load.

The biggest difference between Bobtail and Non-Trucking Liability is the trailer. Bobtail specifically excludes all liability coverage while a trailer is attached. A Non-Trucking Liability Policy will provide coverage while hauling a trailer if the driver is not dispatched. The bottom line is that NTL provides coverage while Bobtailing or Deadheading.

If you still unclear and would like additional input, feel free to give us a call at (502) 410-5089.

Deadhead: What is Deadhead?

Deadheading truck exposure drivers, vehicle sharing the road with then and increase companies to as much as 2 1/2 times greater risk that a semi tractor trailer under load.
Deadheading

Delivering a load and picking a new one up at the same locations isn’t counted on by most truckers. Sometimes they drive hours to pick up cargo for the next leg of their trip. During this leg of the journey, the trucker is hauling an empty trailer, which is referred to as deadhead, or deadheading.

There is not much that is good, to say about deadheading. It is an unfortunate part of the job.

Drivers are exposed to increased risk. A significant increase in risk. Many driver training programs fail to prepare students for deadhead driving. The weight of loaded trailers creates a stabilizing force. The deadhead or empty trailer is significantly lighter, which can quickly become a sail if exposed to high winds. The tractor-trailer is a combined system, which was not designed to be operated without weight on the trailer. While deadheading braking systems do not operate as designed. During a deadhead leg, experienced drivers compensate in various ways.

Related Term: Bobtail references the operation of the tractor only.

What is Contractors Errors & Omissions Insurance

Are you an artisan contractor that doesn't have Contractors E&O insurance?  You may have gaps in your coverage.
How bad are the gaps in your insurance?

The Commercial General Liability policy leaves several liability exposures for contractors.  The General Liability policy doesn’t cover faulty work due to negligence, or to damages to the work of the contractor.   

Contractors E&O has been already, but until recently, only limited options existed.  Contractors now have access to reasonably priced insurance that closes some very significant gaps.

Snapshot: Insurance for Plumbers

We repair what your husband fixed! #Plumbers Lives Matter

Insurance is a critical part of any small business.  It protects customers, employees and your business when things go awry.  Plumbers and other Artisan Contractors use insurance.  There are multiple forms of Liability insurance.  They can protect employees, clients or others that come in contact with your efforts.   Contractors that own buildings or business personal property can utilize Commercial Property Insurance.   Several construction-related trades, including plumbers, are subject to state licensing requirements.  Part of the licensing process is to provide proof of insurance.

Commercial Insurance Snapshot:

Plumbing Contractors

Most contractors, including plumbers, have Commercial General Liability policies. The policy which is often referred to as CGL or GL protects when your actions cause bodily injury or property damage to another.  These claims are normally settled by financial restitution to the damaged party.  However, when necessary the insurance company may provide legal defense.

In order to be licensed as a plumber in Kentucky you will need to provide proof of insurance.
Plumbers need insurance.

Property insurance is another common form of coverage. This would be a recommended coverage for plumbers that own a commercial building.   The Commercial Property Policy will also provide protection for business personal property. Covered items

Include office furniture, equipment, machinery, inventories, and more.

Business Income insurance protects you and your business.  Following an insured property loss, the coverage provides financial restitution to your business.  A portion of  the  lost income will be covered during the term defined by the policy. 

The policies above may come as standalone policies.  But most small businesses can package the coverages with significant savings. The packaged policy is referred to as a Business Owners Policy or BOP.

Do you have Plumbers Errors and Omission Insurance?  We highly suggest that you take a few minutes to consider it!
Plumbers need Contractors E&O Insurance

Other coverages used by plumbers include:

• Commercial auto insurance: Business Vehicles

• Inland marine insurance: Property that moves from one job site to next

• Installation floater insurance: Installed, Fabricated or Erected

• Workers compensation: Covers employees’ medical costs and lost wages

Contractors E&O, it’s now more available, but still underused

Construction trades need to consider Contractors E&O.  It fills a lot of gaps with the largest being insurance for negligence of the insured.
Are you insured for Negligence?

Contractors Errors & Omissions insurance (Contractors E&O) is a form of liability coverage. The coverages can be crucial to many contractors, including plumbers. It is designed to protect from potential liability exposures arising from alleged negligence.

It covers the work of the insured, yours, which is something that would not be covered by the CGL policy, is now covered.

Why haven’t I heard of Contractor’s E&O before now?

Errors and omission coverage has been around for a long time. However, they have focused on the service sector and health care businesses.  Real estate agents, and insurance agencies are examples of professional liability insurance users.

Another example that most have heard of is Medical Malpractice.

What is contractors E&O?  It is somewhat akin to Medical Malpractice.  It covers negligence and work of the insured..
Medical Malpractice Insurance

 It is professional liability insurance for Doctors, Hospital, and other medical sectors.

Professional liability insurance has been around awhile.   it has not been widely available to small contractors. That’s due to the relatively low number of insurance companies willing to write the exposures. 

Contractors E&O insurance has major gaps. The same is true regards General Liability. Put the two together and watch the gaps disappear.

With a mature market, there is no longer an excuse for retaining negligence related risk.   Quality coverage at affordable premiums makes transferring the risk a relatively simple decision. Now plumbers, electricians, and several other specialty contractors can better manager their Liability exposures.

Why do small contractors need Errors & Omissions coverage?

What will you do if your insurance agent suggests Contractors Errors & Omissions coverage?  I would suggest that you listen. Before looking for excuses and justifications for not buying, listen!  If you do, there is a very good chance that you will be thanking your agent when you’re done.

Adding Contractors E&O fills a large number of gaps in your General Liability policy.  This alone makes the E&O attractive.  But don’t forget, we live in a litigious world.  We are all one bad day from having your world turned upside by a customer lawsuit.