Is Your Home Winter Ready? ‚Äď Part 1

If you live in a climate that includes cold winters, you know the season creates special challenges for homeowners. In this article, we discuss an icy situation.

Ice Damsice dams, winter peril

An ice dam refers to ice that has formed along a roof’s edge. The dam of ice blocks additional water and the pooling water backs up and finds pathways into a home’s interior. This water may cause deterioration and decay to interior wood and plaster, drywall or other insulation materials. Once an ice dam has forced paths into a home, the roof becomes more susceptible to future ice dams and water damage.

Too much heat rising from the home to warm the roof is the most frequent cause of ice dams. The process occurs unevenly with the warmer area at the higher part of the roof melting the snow and then the cooler, lower area, particularly the roof edge, permitting the water to refreeze and then accumulate. Inadequate insulation lets too much heat escape into the attic and this creates a warmer roof. Improper ventilation creates moisture and heat buildup due to the lack of air movement.

How To Detect A Problem

Compare the way the snow is melting from the living area of your home with how snow appears on the roof over an unheated area such as a garage or shed. How does any snow coverage on your roof compare with your neighbors’ homes? Check for icicles. They can be pretty, but heavy icicle buildup means that interior heat is melting a lot of snow and may contribute to ice dams.

How To Prevent Ice Dams

There are a number of ways to help prevent ice dams:

  • Clear excess snow from the roof. However, in order to minimize damage to the roof and roofing, hire a professional to remove the snow.
  • Add rubberized or special roofing adhesives to help prevent pooled water on the roof from finding entry into the¬†home’s¬†interior.
  • Inspect the attic and roof for cracks, holes, or joints that permit warm air to escape to the roof, and seal or repair these areas.
  • Add the recommended amount of insulation to the attic and exterior walls of your home to minimize escaping heat (this also reduces your heating costs).
  • Reduce your home’s thermostat and throw on warmer clothing during extended cold spells.
  • Clear your gutters and downspouts so that water is properly shed off your roof.

As always, an insurance professional is a valuable source of safety and insurance information. Don’t hesitate to contact an agent to discuss your questions. If you haven’t had the chance, please be sure to read parts two and three of “Is Your Home Winter Ready” which discusses other winter concerns.

 

Continue to Section 2

 

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.I

Contractor’s E&O Insurance

Closing insurance gapsIf your business has never had to turn in an insurance claim many will tell you to consider yourself lucky. Others may tell you to give yourself a pat on the back. At TruePoint, we will tell you that it is highly likely that both are true.
No one enjoys turning in an insurance claim. Once we get past the fact that no one is injured, an explosion of thoughts race through our minds. How much is this going to cost? What’s my deductible? How much will my insurance premium go up? Will I get canceled?
The one thought that is seldom considered is, ‚Äúwill my insurance company deny the claim?‚ÄĚ Most small businesses seldom consider needing anything more than a General Liability policy. If you are a contractor that has had a past claim denied, then you most likely know where we are headed.
General Liability Insurance or GL covers a boatload. Even if you are not liable, it will pay claims made against you by a third party. Most legal fees, settlement costs, damages to property, bodily injury and more are covered. Your general liability policy should also pay claims related to slander or libel. It will also pay for some construction-related claims as long as they fall under the completed products coverage.
Most claims not covered by the general liability coverage policy are logical. First off we can exclude every claim not related to damages that we’ve caused to others. Buildings and other property must be covered by a property form. Some liability related losses are not covered by the commercial general liability (CGL) policy. The following are some of the most obvious examples:
‚Äʬ† ¬† ¬† Property Damage and Body Injury resulting while operating a vehicle Commercial Auto¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Policy
‚Äʬ† ¬† ¬† Injuries to employees while at work Workers Compensation
‚Äʬ† ¬† ¬† Liability coverage for Doctors, Lawyers, etc. Professional Liability
Professional liability insurance is sometimes referred to as errors and omissions insurance or E&O. Warning to the wise, take care to review all policies. Professional Liability and Errors & Omission coverages differ. While E&O is more applicable to most contractors, it’s crucial that you make sure that the product you are buying provides the coverages you need.
Why is it that certain professions need E&O insurance and other need General Liability?
First of all, I don’t think this is a simple as flipping a switch. Up for GL and down for E&O. The two are entirely different and independent coverages, and many businesses are apt to need both to be adequately insured.
We mentioned earlier that General Liability insurance doesn’t cover certain losses. We already identified a couple of the more obvious types. You should also be aware that negligence, failure to offer a service, failure to act in good faith, misrepresentation are a few additional examples of exposures not covered by a CGL policy.
Do the gaps in General Liability coverages mean that contractors and other construction-related industries need Errors and Omission coverage? Possibly, each case is different. But if you’re not considering it, then you may need to find an agent that will work through the issues and provide enough insight into the question for you to make the right decision.
Most contractors have enough exposure that they could benefit by adding E&O coverage to their existing policy. The approach TruePoint takes in exploring whether Errors and Omissions should be added is no different than the way we treat any other coverage that is required. We start defining the types of risk that are being considered. In the case of contractors E&O we would ask questions similar to those below:
1.      Does your General Liability insurance protect you against claims for faulty work?
o      You’re correct if you answered NO! Advance to #2.
o      General Liability does not provide coverage for defective work. Call (502) 410-5089 or go to www.insuringky.com to learn more if you answered question 1 in the affirmative.
2.      Does your General Liability cover your work and products?
o      Again you are correct if you answered NO! Advance to #3.
o      General Liability does not cover your work or products. If you answered YES visit our site www.insuringky.com to learn more about TruePoint Insurance.
Contractors can have significant gaps in coverage that can be eliminated or reduced by adding Contractors’ E&O. The next step that we advise is to determine your exposure. We begin by developing a risk profile which at a very basic level answers the following:
‚Äʬ† ¬† ¬† your potential loss exposure (both a median or average potential loss as well as a max loss)
‚Äʬ† ¬† ¬† the expected frequency of the type loss being considered
The final step is to help you decide if the cost of the added coverage is reasonable relative to the reduced exposure:
‚Äʬ† ¬† ¬† We determine the cost to transfer the risk (in this case, how much will you pay for the E&O Policy)
‚Äʬ† ¬† ¬† And we then compare the cost to insure versus the exposures identified in the risk profile.
TruePoint works with commercial accounts in Kentucky and Southern Indiana to help them better understand their business insurance needs. Our focus is on how we can help you to most effectively develop and execute a strategy for your commercial insurance needs.

Understand the implications of waiving the right of subrogation

TruePoint Insurance Logo

  Risk Management  Raising Awareness
    
August 29, 2018

STOP! VERY LOUD STOP!

Before you agree to a Waiver of Subrogation

If you are a vendor, supplier, sub-contractor, third-party provider or tenant, you may have been asked to sign a Waiver of Subrogation.  It may have come in the form of an endorsement/stand-alone document or it may have been part of a broader contract.  WARNING: Do Not Take These Lightly!

By waiving the right of subrogation, you are signing a court-tested, legal document which will make it impossible for your insurance company to recover money they are due from an At-Fault third party.¬† While the Waiver of Subrogation may be required before you can get a job, rent a commercial¬†space, or provide materials or products, you aren’t authorized to grant this Waiver.

Am I prohibited from entering into a contract that contains a Waiver of Subrogation?  No, you may very well be able to enter into such an agreement.  However, before doing so you need to provide the information to your insurer.  The will either authorize the waiver or provide you with guidance regarding the language that would be acceptable.    Return to TruePoint Home Page

What happens if I already have entered into a Waiver of Subrogation?  DO NOT HIDE or OVERLOOK this.  Failure to disclose this information could result in cancelation or denial of coverage.

 

 

copyrighted 2015-2018 TruePoint insurance group, llc all rights reserved

Commercial Insurance-Vacant Buildings

Vacant Commercial BuildingVacancy 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¬†Business Space for Lease in Lawrenceburg, KY 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 РWhen 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 РBuildings 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 PermitReturn to TruePoint Home Page

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 when the applicable premises are vacant.

 

 

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.

 

Certificate of Insurance

    Key Insurance Words and PhrasesTruePoint Insurance Logo

 

 

 

 

August 12, 2018

Certificate of Insurance

Document issued by an insurance company or broker.  The primary purpose of the certificate of insurance (COI) is to provide proof of coverage to interested third parties.  Upon request by the insured, a valid certificate is sent by the broker or the insurer directly to the interested third party.  In most cases, the certificate comes in one of two industry standard forms:

 

 

 

 

 

copyrighted 2015-2018 TruePoint insurance group, llc all rights reserved

 

Kentucky No-Fault Auto Insurance System

TruePoint Insurance LogoWhat you should consider when buying Auto Insurance in Kentucky

Sometime between the First and Second World War, Academia developed the concept

of no-fault auto insurance.  Aimed at removing auto claims from the U.S. tort liability system, under a no-fault system, insurance companies could resolve customer claims, Kentucky's No-fault Auto insurance systemregardless of fault.  The theory behind this was that insurance companies would resolve disputes between themselves more efficiently.

For obvious reasons, this never took off.  Over time blended versions of the theory were developed that provided access to the tort system when predefined limits were exceeded.  Under this blended approach, no-fault insurance began to get positive support for the states.  So much so, that at one point almost half of the states had developed and instituted a no-fault system.

Of the twenty-four states that put a no-fault system in place, only twelve remain in place.  The states that continue to have a no-fault system are; Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, and Utah.

What Kentuckians need to know about no-fault insurance

You may have heard of PIP, or Personal Injury Protection Coverage.  By law, all Kentuckians are required to have a minimum of $10,000 PIP Coverage on motor vehicles (motorcycles are excluded.)  Often referred to as Basic PIP Coverage, this can be used for medical and other related costs for injuries sustained by individuals in the insured car, regardless of who is at fault.

Kentucky drivers by default, forgo tort rights as related to damages that occur while Return to TruePoint Home Pageoperating automobiles until certain minimums have been met.  While motorcycles operators and passengers are excluded from the PIP, it is optional.  Although PIP is optional, motorcycle operators should seriously consider carrying the optional Basic PIP Coverage.  Otherwise, they may find themselves in the difficult position of having no coverage and no rights to sue for damages as, by default, they have accepted the states standard tort limits.

 

Feel free to give us a call if you have additional questions related to Kentucky’s No-Fault Automobile Liability¬†System.

Insurance Companies Working Behind the Scenes Making the World a Safer Place

TruePoint Insurance Logo

 

 

 

The Greatest Tragedy of our GenerationThe Greatest Generation.  Triumph over adversity

I’ve heard that tragedy defines us.  I disagree with that; it is how we as a group rise and address adversity that defines us.  An excellent example is my grandfather’s generation.  They’ve been referred to as the Greatest Generation, a fitting accolade to the group that defended our freedom and won WW II.

What is the great tragedy of our generation?  Is it global warming?  It could be the rise of terrorism!  While I can’t answer the question, I do know that school shootings and other active shooter related incidents have to be somewhere in the mix.

Tragedy is often the precursor of innovation.  It certainly was during WW II.  It also drives changes and the creation of new products in the insurance industry.  The insurance sector exists because individuals, businesses and other entities have a need to transfer risks to another party.  Increasing active shooter incidents in recent years and the corresponding legal actions have created demand for products that can provide financial protection.

The insurance industry is actively working to develop products that will protect businesses, schools and other government entities from gaps in current insurance policies.  Professional liability policies were not designed to protect against active shooter risk or anything similar to that.

So what can be done and how do we do it?  Products have been created and will continue to improve that will offer financial protection to entities that have been accused of failing to adequately prepare.  But there is more.

Insurance companies seldom get the respect that they deserve; however, behind the scenes they are making a difference.  The insurance industry is much more than a financial risk transfer vehicle, insurance companies are the leaders in making our world a safer place to leave.  While most of us will never understand the significance, the insurance industry will lead America’s efforts as we deal with the risk of loss of life, mental trauma, and financial loss associated with active shooter incidents.

How?  Who understands risk as well as the insurance industry?  The better we understand risk exposures, the better we can prepare.  The insurance No!  Stop!! Now!!!industry will over time and after numerous assessments develop standards that when deployed will ward off many would be active shooters.  They work for insurance companies will also work to reduce the after effects and of course provide financial relief.

The insurance industry is working to make our world safer.  If you are interested in learning more about the insurance industries role in managing active shooter risk you are more than welcome to contact us:

 

by phone (502) 410-5089

 

by email: info@truepointgroup.com

 

Return to TruePoint Home Page

Active Shooter Risk ‚Äď Part 2

As we mentioned in part one of this discussion, a strategy for dealing with this exposure involves a significant amount of pre- and post-incident activity. Active shooter programs commonly involve the following:

Non-Insurance Services

Pre-event

Risk Assessment

Employee Crisis Training

During Event

Crisis Management

Second (Event) Responders (those who supplement initial, emergency action of fire, medical and police [first responders] and handle return services and site clean-up.)

Post-event

Counseling Services

Psychiatric Care

Public Relations Disaster Team

Investigation Assistance Funds (Rewards)

Expenses for additional, temporary security measures

Insurance Services

Liability Coverage for Lawsuits due to loss created by active shooting incident

Limits vary from $250,000/$500,000 up to multi-million dollar maximum

Business Income and Extra Expense

Limits vary from $1 million up to $100 million

Emergency medical care

Rehabilitation Expenses

Funeral and Burial Expenses

Marketing for the product targets those who are most vulnerable to this exposure such as Educational institutions, Entertainment organizations, Hotels, Healthcare providers, Religious institutions, Retail organizations, Shows (ex. Fairs, Trade Shows and Rodeos.)

 

TruePoint Insurance Logo
Click here for Home Page

Return to Part 1

 

 

 

COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc. 2018

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.

Active Shooter Risk ‚Äď Part 1

Headlines tragically remind us quite frequently that many aspects of our lives have become unavoidably dangerous. Sadly, this danger is due to the whim of individuals and access to weaponry. The deadly risk is the ‚Äúactive shooter incident.‚ÄĚSchool Shootings

An active shooter incident describes a situation in which at least one person is actively killing or attempting to kill persons in a populated area. Naturally, as we are referencing a shooter, such incidents involve firearms.

Active shootings are becoming more common. Studies made by the FBI between 2000 and 2015 indicates annual mass-shooting events rose from 6.4 per year to 20 per year. Studies also show that most shootings take place within a business or school (educational) environment. The frequency of shootings is accompanied by, on average, an increase in the number of persons killed or wounded per event.

As with any other risk that becomes significant, it is very important to find a strategy to deal with active shootings. Insurance is among the tools helpful with both pre- and post-incident planning. However, much uncertainty exists regarding protection for active shooter losses.

school shootings out of controlFirst, there is customer expectations. Insurance consumers may be under the impression that damage and injury created by shooters are covered. Second, the insurance market is fragmented over the issue depending upon how incidents are interpreted. Coverage may be sought from existing policies that individuals, commercial or non-profit entities may already carry, including General Liability, the Liability portion of Homeowners, or Workers Compensation. On the other hand, responsibility for harm due to a shooter may need to be covered by a form of professional liability policy as the obligation to protect against shootings may be considered as a failure to provide adequate security.

Confusion may also be caused by insurance policies via the silent coverage problem. An insurance form is considered silent when it neither specifically names nor excludes a source of loss, such as shootings. It can be chaotic during the time it takes to clarify coverage gaps.

The insurance sector has a reputation as being slow to react to change. Of course, speed is never at the level that most would wish when new coverage issues arise. However, the insurance market has been stepping up and addressing the serious active shooter exposure. While there is the option of trying to amend standard policies to add protection, other ways that coverage is being addressed are separate policies that supplement insurance protection with a variety of services.

Please see part two for more information on this issue.

 

TruePoint Insurance Logo
Click here for Home Page

Continue to Part 2

 

 

 

 

COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc. 2018

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 Commercial Insurance a Requirement for Your Company?

Some companies need commercial insurance, and some do not. That might come as a surprise to some people who are planning to start up a company because they automatically think any business is required to have a commercial insurance policy. Others may not think about commercial insurance at all. But if a Fisherville, KY company is strictly online, for example, and does not have customers coming to them in person, they may not need insurance on a commercial level. This is especially true for companies that operate online and do not have employees, such as sole proprietorships. There is little need for commercial insurance in these circumstances, but for companies that do need this type of insurance, TruePoint Insurance can help.

The majority of companies will need some form and level of commercial insurance, and because of that, they want to find an insurance agent they can trust and feel good about. That can be done relatively easily when they choose an insurance agent who can provide them with multiple quotes from companies competing for their business. They can then choose the company and policy that is right for them since they have some comparisons to address. With a trusted agent, comparing policies and companies also becomes easier, because there are questions that can be asked and answered before making a choice.

Reach out to TruePoint Insurance today, and protect your Fisherville, KY business with the right type and level of commercial insurance. If you have a business where you think insurance may not be required, it is best to talk to an agent to confirm that. You may be surprised by what you find out, and knowing that before you get your business off the ground is a great way to have confidence and peace of mind.