The Commercial Property Policy

Commercial Property Insurance Policy

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 as a single policy (covering only buildings and property) or as a package that provides 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:

路        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.

路        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.

路        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.

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

路        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 can be modified o 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聽– covers earthquake shocks or volcanic eruptions that occur within any 168-hour period.

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, under limited circumstances, also covers property located outside or in vehicles.

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.


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General Contractors

General contractors (GCs) are the playmakers for any significant construction project, taking responsibility for all key operations such as construction assignments, job site supervision, and activity coordination. Typically, GCs have their own construction specialty (example: malls, restaurants, office buildings, stadiums, arenas, parks, etc.). GCs are often larger concerns with a tremendous amount of expertise in their area of specialty. The level of experience is critical since it permits a construction project to be led efficiently and more successfully.

GCs may assign/award work in a variety of ways, such as:

路        supplying all of the specialty contractors for an entire project, such as the excavator, electrician, heating contractor, cement contractor, plasterer, and so forth

路        using their own, permanent employees for certain jobs, and

路        subcontracting the remaining tasks to other, smaller construction specialists

After land has been purchased and the design/architectural work has been done, the general contractor proceeds, usually beginning with site preparation, through excavation, foundation-laying, framing, and finishing until the building or project is completed. The general contractor provides the materials and equipment according to the applicable design specifications (usually provided by the architect). The GC must comply with all local and state ordinances, codes and zoning requirements. This includes purchasing the necessary permits and obtaining the necessary surety bonds.

GCs may either be hands-on operators, who actively take part in construction, or they may be “paper” operators, overseeing the actual work of other contractors. The general contractor may rent, lease or borrow equipment (including equipment operators) for use by subcontractors. Since the general contractor is responsible for the job site, he/she should be aware of the proper use of the equipment during construction. Is the equipment being used as it was designed to be used? Is the equipment’s load capacity routinely exceeded? Finally, GCs have many contractual and administrative obligations such as making sure that critical project deadlines are met, that payroll is handled, materials and equipment are obtained and that the project’s budget is followed (avoiding cost overruns).

GCs face a myriad of loss exposures that vary substantially according to the type of construction project. Their insurance needs may range from a simple, low limit package of coverage to a huge wrap-up program, involving multiple lines of business, different insurers and reinsurers with various layers of coverage. Firms involved as general contractors must work with insurance professionals who are equally adept at handling large tasks.


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Discontinued Operations

Mergers and acquisitions are very complex legal transactions that, besides substantially altering regular operations, can also affect an organization鈥檚 insurance needs. Unforeseen liabilities may arise for merged entities that produce tangible products. One area of concern is a discontinued operation.

Once a product enters the marketplace, the liabilities associated with that product do not cease with the sale or merger of the original manufacturer. Such liabilities still exist even when that particular product is no longer produced. Liability claims often occur many years after the product was first produced or sold. In other words, liability still exists for operations that have been discontinued.

If the original business owner only sells its assets and retains its corporate structure, it will also retain the liabilities connected to the original operations. A business can purchase discontinued operations coverage to help in such instances. For example, Utility Trailers, Inc. built small trailers. Utility Trailers鈥 owners accept an attractive offer from another company and sell the business on an 鈥榓ssets only鈥 basis. Utility Trailers, Inc. was not dissolved as a corporate entity. A year later, some customers sue Utility, claiming loss caused by defective trailers. Their Discontinued Operations coverage will respond to the lawsuits.

Discontinued Operations coverage would provide coverage for bodily injury or property damage caused by defective products. The same coverage can be designed to provide coverage for contractors that have ceased doing business. It would be a disappointing situation to find that after a product has been discontinued or assets sold, all profit from the sale 鈥 and perhaps more 鈥 has been taken away due to a defective product that is still the responsibility of that entity. So, contact your agent and discuss whether you have continuing liability for a discontinued operation.


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Need Flood Insurance?

Do you need flood insurance? Well, walk to the nearest mirror and ask the person you see if he or she owns much property that could be damaged or destroyed by water. If the answer is yes, then you should seriously consider buying flood insurance. Most persons who need the protection buy coverage offered by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). If your community doesn’t participate in the program, you’ll have to look into coverage from private insurance companies.

Homeowners insurance will not cover flood! Do you think you need flood insurance? Call a TruePoint Insurance agent and get a FEMA National Flood Insurance program quote today.
Flood insurance comes via the FEMA National Flood insurance program.

Is A Flood Loss Likely?

The chances of your business, home or personal property being damaged by a flood depends primarily upon where you live. They also depend on other factors such as:

路        how much of a flood warning you receive

路        the level of flood precautions you take (such as moving personal property from lower levels to higher levels), and

路        the precautions taken by your community (such as the use of flood controls in construction standards or sandbagging threatened areas).

Floods are related to weather conditions and tend to affect very wide areas. This often makes chances of a flood loss higher than a loss from fires or windstorms. Many people have the obsolete belief that flood insurance is only needed if you live in a flood prone area.

I Live In A Flood Zone?!

If you hear the term “flood zone,” you may think that it refers to locations that are particularly vulnerable to flooding. Wherever you live in the USA, you live in a flood zone. While your area may have a lower chance of flooding than a coastal area or a location situated near a body of water, your area could still experience flooding. A very dry part of the country can be susceptible to flash floods; hilly locations may be harmed by drainage; snowy locations may suffer from heavy snow thaw; other areas may suffer deluges or flooding due to a heavy rain season which has soaked the surrounding soil. So, if you’ve insured yourself against fire, wind and other causes of loss, it certainly makes sense to also protect yourself from the potential of a flood loss.

Why Worry When Disaster Coverage Is Available?

Are you thinking that, after a flood, your loss may be handled by the government declaring a disaster area? However, you’re still taking a couple of large risks. First, your flooded locale may not be deemed a disaster area. Second, being designated as a disaster area is not a bargain. Disaster area status only gives citizens access to government disaster loans. IF you qualify for assistance, you have replaced insurance protection with an obligation to pay off a large, long-term loan. Is it worthwhile to gamble on an opportunity to pick up more debt? You’ll find flood insurance to be a cheaper and much more valuable alternative.

Don’t Be “All Wet”

You don’t have to leave yourself unprotected. Your agent, an insurance professional, can help you with detailed information on the National Flood Insurance Program. You can also ask for help in getting the coverage you need in the face of a flood.


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.

Job Posting

TruePoint Insurance, Insuring Georgia

We are a rapidly growing Independent Insurance Agency currently searching for a CSR for our Pooler GA office.

Title: CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE

Full-Time, In-Office, Monday-Friday 8:30am to 5:00pm

The right candidate will possess the following:

Skills/Abilities:

  • Strong listening, oral, and written communication skills
  • Goal oriented, highly motivated, and resourceful to achieve results
  • Ability to pay close attention to detail and accuracy
  • Ability to create and maintain business relationships with prospects and policyholders
  • Proven track record of trustworthiness, dependability, and ethical behavior
  • Fundamental understanding of office technology used by small business

Experience and Education:

  • Customer Service Experience (prior experience preferred)
  • Knowledge of Personal Lines, Life Insurance, and/or Commercial Lines products (preferred)
  • Property and Casualty license a plus
  • High School Diploma or GED
  • Associates or Bachelor鈥檚 Degree (preferred)

Job Related Training/Licensing:

Must have the ability to obtain a Property and Casualty license within the first year of hire.

Responsibilities:

  • Provide service to the public and policyholders in a pleasant and courteous manner
  • Be able to communicate clearly and professionally
  • Prepare forms and endorsements when required
  • Perform Billing and Customer Service duties in a timely and efficient manner
  • Meet customer service goals and assist with marketing goals
  • Be able to successfully navigate our Agency Management System and Carrier Websites
  • Perform other related duties as assigned

Pay and Benefits:

Salary will be based on experience, with the ability to advance based on performance and license. There will be an initial 90-day evaluation period to determine compatibility, salary increases, and bonus options. 聽Interested Candidates should send a resume to New job Candidate Pooler GA.

NO PHONE CALLS, PLEASE!

Do I need Commercial Auto Insurance

We all know the difference between a truck and a car. Right?

Car, truck or other.  The Volkswagon Thing test our standards.
The Thing; Car, Truck or ??

For most of my life, that was a straight forward question. Along comes the SUV and, more recently, the crossover, the once black and white responses it a lot grayer.

Here鈥檚 the good news.

Has your insurance agent ever asked if you needed, car or truck insurance? Probably not. 

Since Cars, Trucks, and SUV鈥檚 are all insured by the same policy, there is no need to ask. However, You will be asked to provide your vehicles VIN. This will give the insurance company the information they need.

Delivery Trucks are considered commercial vehicles.  Some can be difficult to insure.
Delivery Trucks considered Commercial

Who needs a Commercial Insurance Policy?

Business Autos cannot be adequately protected with a Personal Auto Policy. A commercial policy of some form must cover these vehicles.

Who decides whether my vehicle needs commercial auto coverage?  

Theoretically, any vehicle can be used for a business purpose. This requires extra effort from insurance carriers and agents as the work to provide adequate coverage.

I like to tackle that question from the other side. Who decides that a Personal Policy does NOT cover my vehicle?

Accurately communicating how you utilize your vehicle is critical. It allows your agent to confirm or deny that coverage exists for your situation.  

Business Auto Insurance also Covers Personal Use

The Commercial Auto Policy is more flexible than Personal Coverage. While protecting your car at work, it can also safeguard automobiles during personal use. While Personal Auto covers only personal use of your auto.  

If you use your vehicle in your business or profession, you may need Business Auto Insurance. In many cases, the need for Commercial Auto Insurance is obvious. Taxis, Tow Trucks, Delivery Vehicles, Cable Installers, Lawn Care providers are just a few examples.  

What you say may be more important than what you drive. 

How important is it for you to have your Company鈥檚 name, a business logo, or your phone number on your vehicle? I want my brand information anywhere and everywhere that I can afford to have it. While that may be great for business, it is also the first place I go to assist individuals regarding the need for commercial insurance. When vehicles have advertisements, there is little doubt. The question of commercial insurance or personal insurance is almost always resolved. If you鈥檙e driving a car with a business name or logo on it, you will almost always need a Commercial Auto Policy.

I occasionally drive my personal vehicle in work-related activities for my employer. Do I need Commercial Auto Insurance?

Remember, Business Auto Insurance is more flexible because it covers both commercial and personal use of your auto. Personal Auto Insurance covers your vehicle only when it is being used for personal activities. 

Check with your agent before using your car or truck for any use other than personal.

Performing job-related duties while driving your car does not mean you need to run out and buy a Commercial Auto Policy. Your employer may have a more cost-effective solution. If you are asked to use your personal vehicle for work-related activities, you should first determine if the business has Hired & Non-Owned Auto Coverage in place. This coverage picks up what your personal auto policy coverage excludes. If you would like additional information on Commercial Insurance Policies or want to learn more about Hired & Non-Owned coverage, contact a TruePoint Commercial Specialist at (912) 330-1265.

Making Mobilehomes Safer

Can you make your mobile home safer?
Making Mobilehomes Safer

Mobilehomes are vulnerable to serious damage from winds and storms since they are smaller and much lighter than stick-built or factory built homes. It is important to use reinforcements to make them more stable; such as tiedowns.

Tiedowns come in two basic types; over-the-top tiedowns and frame anchors. Over-the-top tiedowns are straps that resist lifting forces and minimize tipovers. They are usually used with single-wide mobilehomes. Strapping is placed with over the top of the roof or over the structure鈥檚 sides. Frame anchors are reinforcements that resist lateral forces, making a structure less vulnerable to sliding off supports

In order to stabilize a structure, the tiedowns must be properly anchored to a foundation, slab or the ground. Anchor types include the following:

路         Hard Rock Anchor

路         Concrete Slab Anchor

路         Cross Drive Rock Anchor

路         Drive or Barb Anchor

路         Auger Anchor

路         Disc Anchors

Straps and anchors have to be used properly and they have to meet various standards such as placement of anchors, anchor fittings, method of installation and ground/site conditions. When anchored to the ground, it may be necessary to make test its suitability as an anchor. If piers and footings are used they must be able to meet various requirements regarding weight support, dimensions, material quality, pier placement and other areas. Straps and anchors also have to meet requirements in order to be depended on to withstand the stresses winds and other forces.

Use of tiedowns varies by state, state regulations and soil type. Local building inspectors and mobile and manufactured home builder associations are excellent sources for anchoring and tiedown requirement information. Use of that valuable information, along with insurance, is great methods for fully protecting a mobilehome.


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc. 2017

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“Do I need Flood Insurance?” South Carolina and Georgia residents should start here.

 

How much do you know about Flood Insurance?  Learn more here.
Learn about flood insurance before the waters start to rise.

Who needs flood insurance? Many residents of Georgia and South Carolina are exposed to flood risk. Those living in coastal areas are like to be more at risk. Consider the following:

  • River Road – It seems wise that anyone living on River Road should check in to flood insurance.
  • Coastal Highway – Another great clue that suggests there is a heightened risk for flooding.
  • Lowcountry Since floods occur in low lying area, it’s probably wise to consider flood insurance if you live in a region known as the Lowcountry.

Anyone with Lender Requirement

Understanding mortgage requirements for flood insurance Flood Zone, Flood Zone C, Flood Zone A, Flood Zone X, Flood Insurance. Georgia Flood insurance, South Carolina Flood insurance
Does your home mortgage require flood insurance?

Your homeowner’s policy does not protect against flooding. For anyone needing protection from rising waters, a separate Flood Insurance policy is required. This policy will provide specific coverage if your home is damaged by a local flood.

Residents in Coastal Georgia and South Carolina may find that they are required to purchase flood insurance. This requirement is most likely come for a lender. Mortgage lenders know the potential impact of floods as well as which homes are at greatest risk. Due to this risk, borrowers with homes located in a FEMA identified flood zone will likely be required to maintain flood insurance.

Needs to Cover Against Risk

Where can i buy flood insurance, ky flood insurance, commercial flood insurance in Georgia or South Carolina or business flood insurance
Flood Loss versus Cost. You do the math!

FEMA flood zones are divided into one of many categories. These categories or buckets identified the flood risk as very risky or a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). Somewhat lower-risk areas are considered Moderate Flood Hazards. There are two moderate flood hazard groups; Zone B and Zone X (Shaded). Finally, the areas that are exposed to potential flooding yet have the least risk are identified as minimal flood hazards. This grouping also has twp categories; Zone C and Zone X (Unshaded)

Even if the risk is small, you should still consider getting flood insurance. Everyone should consider buying flood insurance. This includes those without a mortgage, and those not required to have flood insurance.

When you are looking to learn more about flood insurance in Georgia or South Carolina, you should speak with the team at TruePoint Insurance. They will make work hard to make sure that your decision is as simple as possible.

Insuring A Mobile or Manufactured Home

Insuring a mobile or manufactured home requires an increased level of understanding.
Understanding Mobile and Manufactured Home Insurance

Insurers commonly provide coverage for mobile/manufactured homes by modifying a conventional homeowner policy with provisions called endorsements. The endorsements change key definitions and other elements of a conventional policy to fit a mobile or manufactured home situation. The result is a modified homeowner package that protects the home, outbuildings (unattached garages, sheds, etc.) and personal property. They also provide insurance for personal liability. Regardless of the type of home you own or live in, it is important that you learn about the coverage options that are available. You may find that different policies vary considerably in coverage and price.

Coverage for mobile/manufactured homes is generally offered using two approaches. Some policies include a laundry list of items (or perils) that may cause a loss. Other policies protect your home against everything EXCEPT for a host of specified perils. Either approach includes liability coverage that protects you for injuries or losses to others which you accidentally cause.

Property Insurance Needs

Mobile home, manufactured home, or modular home.  You need to know!
Mobile, Modular, or Manufactured? Insurance need to Know.

Any coverage option you choose is likely to reflect the fact that mobile homes are, well, mobile. Therefore coverage is affected by the fact that mobile homes:

  • are able to move under their own power (or are capable of being easily transported);
  • are more susceptible to wind damage,
  • tend to lose value with age.

The mobility of such homes creates a special need to protect the financial interest of the business that lent the money to purchase the home. For example, a mobile home owner who lives in Ohio decides to drive his home to Arkansas. The soon-to-be Arkansas resident “forgets” to mention his plan (and his new address) to his Ohio Mortgage Company. The Ohio lender would be out of luck if the policy didn’t include protection for this whimsical act. Another way in which a mobile or manufactured homeowner policy differs from conventional homeowner coverage involves coverage for unattached buildings. This coverage is usually minimal for, say, $2,000. Such a provision helps keep the premiums for policies lower by avoiding paying claims on very low value structures. The coverage is likely to be offered on an actual cash value basis. Unfortunately, mobile and manufactured homes tend to lose value over time.

The policy is likely to include a provision that requires you to get permission to move your home. Once granted, you’re likely to get thirty days of special transportation protection for collision; sinking, upset or stranding (a special, higher deductible may apply during the move). Another common coverage feature is coverage for your attempt to move the home in order to prevent damage from an insured cause of loss. For example, you move your mobile home fifty feet to get away from a neighboring trailer that is on fire. IMPORTANT: coverage for moving endangered property usually has a modest limit (several hundred dollars is typical) because of owners who may be too heroic or clumsy for anyone’s good.

Liability Insurance Needs

The liability protection connected with mobile or manufactured homes is, for all practical purposes, identical to the liability provided to conventional home owners. Why? The likelihood of guests to be hurt at your home, or your probability of being sued, tends to be the same. The important thing to remember is that your agent is a tremendous source for getting the information you need to be sure that your home and property are adequately protected at a reasonable price.


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.

Insuring A Trust

Insurance for a Trust account.  Be sure to involve a insurance professional to make sure all bases are covered.

Homeowner and other policies that protect private residences have, for most of their history, been written assuming that the property owner is an individual or married couple. Policies traditionally defined an “insured” or covered person as an individual, married couple or spouse of the individual listed on the policy. However such policies had to respond to a, formerly, rare form of home ownership鈥.trusts.

Besides use as a residence, a home is also often a primary financial asset. As property owners become more sensitive and savvy in handling their finances, the use of trusts to pass on property has expanded. A trust refers to any asset that is controlled or owned by an artificial entity, the trust agreement. Typically, the property owner becomes the trustee, having rights to use the home as a residence, but the legal ownership resides in the trust. The trust allows for tangible property to be passed along to heirs with much more for favorable tax treatment. However, there are consequences that affect insurance coverage and which should not be ignored.

If your home or personal property (furniture, furnishings, etc.) have been transferred into a trust, it is important to share this information with your insurance agent. Then you both may take steps to make sure that the insurance needs of both the trust and the property-users are covered. It is particularly important that liability protection remains intact.

Depending upon the insurer, your homeowner, auto and umbrella policies may have to be modified so that the trust arrangement is specifically recognized and is protected by the policies. It may be that the policy wording already handles things by including trusts or trustees within the meaning of “insured.” In other instances, endorsements may have to be added to include the proper additional insurable interest so that property and liability coverage expands to protect the property held in trust and the trustees.

The existence of a trust means you need to get an insurance professional involved to make sure you can still trust the protection of your various insurance policies.


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc. 2016+6

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.