Before the wind blows; protect your home and auto from severe weather.

     by Brad Smith   TruePoint Insurance Group, LLC      www.insuringky.com
The first signs of spring

Spring is knocking at the door and with it the rising risk of insurance claims. The number and severity of storms in Kentucky have grown at an alarming rate. The average number of tornadoes in Kentucky over the last five years is 28.7. The annual average going back to 1950 at 14.6 tornadoes per year is roughly one half of the current experience.

Is Kentucky part of Tornado Alley?

Kentucky’s weather is so out of hand.  Some have even suggested that we are now part of the infamous Tornado Alley. A 2018 report by LEX18 News said just that.

In 2018 Kentucky was hit by 604 wind and hail storms. Of these, 41 were tornadoes. That is up 43% from the previous five years and an even more alarming 181% from the period 1950 through 2018.

US Government HARP project is commonly considered to be experimenting with weather control
US Government HARP project is commonly considered to be experimenting with weather control

While we cannot change the weather, we can reduce Kentucky home and auto owner’s exposure to it. Insurance is not a commodity. There are some that would like for you to think it is. Good insurance agents recognize the importance of providing clients with the proper protection. That includes responding to ever changing risks.

Storm Alert: Auto insurance awareness

Hail damaged car

Protecting your car from damages related to storms is simple. Make sure you have comprehensive coverage checked. It provides coverage for vehicles damaged by wind, hail or falling objects.

Every auto on the road must have liability insurance. But the wheels of many high-value and antique cars may never touch the road. Do these vehicles need liability insurance? Maybe not, and they may not need collision coverage either. Let’s stop and think about the next move. Removing comprehensive coverage may not be the smartest move. When insurance is dropped on cars that are not driven, owners are still exposed to Mother Nature. Fire, wind, hail and other risk can still damage the vehicle even when it’s garaged. These risks are compounded during the spring.

Comprehensive coverage is relatively inexpensive. Relative to the potential loss, this coverage can be very cost effective.

Storm Alert: Home insurance Awareness

Each client’s unique needs determine the coverages required. However, there are several considerations that may have severe impact on anyone.

While tornadoes take center stage, it’s the hail storms that lead the way when it comes to losses. While this statement may seem insignificant it has major ramifications on insurance. Total loss or partial loss. Tornado versus hail storm. A good insurance policy needs to work well regardless.


 What types of losses will your policy cover? This is critical. If it is available to you, a special peril or all-risk policy is what you want. As opposed to a basic form or broad form, the special option provides superior protection.

You will have the option for Replacement Cost coverage or Actual Cash Value (ACV). All other things being equal, you will receive a higher payment if your policy pays Replacement cost.

Deductibles may seem a bit dull when compared to other areas. You choose $500 or $1,000, big deal.

Not so fast!

Many insurance companies have been forced to alter risk sharing practices. Beware, as some are no longer asking for a set dollar deductible. Instead, you may find that your policy has a deductible that is 1 or 2%. At first blush, it sounds like a pretty good deal for the home team. Again, beware! This 1 or 2% of the total and it’s not the total value of the loss. Your deductible is based on the total value of your home. For example:

A homeowner has wind damaged roof

§ Estimates for the repair work come in at $1,500

§ The home is valued at $600,000

§ There is a 2% wind/hail deductible

The $1,500 loss will be shared by:

§ The homeowner paying $1,200

§ And the insurance company $300

 Spring storms bring more than just wind and hail. Heavy rains can lead to various forms of water damage. Be sure to discuss flood insurance and water backup coverage with your insurance broker. Neither of these will be covered by a standard homeowner’s policy.

Spring! It’s a wonderful season and our springs in Kentucky are certainly hard to beat. I think about how much I loved spring as a child. It was by far my favorite season.

As an adult the grandeur has diminished. How wonderful it would be to experience spring through the eyes of child again.

What is keeping me from doing it? 

Could it be as simple as the aided stresses of being an adult?

If so, then we should all take the time to review our insurance coverages before the wind starts to blow. This should go a long way in reducing stress.

Take care of the insurance and you’re half way home. Of course the other biggie is your income taxes and there you’re on your own. Have fun!

Call (502) 410-5089 or use the link below to learn more about TruePoint: TruePoint Insurance, we are insuringky.com

Insurance

Do You Need Commerical Insurance For A Business Providing A Service?

If you are the owner of a business that provides services to clients or the public, you may wonder if you need insurance, especially if you operate from home. All businesses that provide a service should have some level of coverage, even if it is liability coverage. 

Businesses Providing A Service

If your company or organization provides a service to people, you need protection. You never know when you or someone you work for will be injured or suffer a loss. You can be held accountable for any incidence, and it can cause financial devastation without the right coverage for your market. Some businesses that need reliable coverage include lawn services, repair services, home health, in-home daycare, and more. Speak with an insurance expert to find out what type of coverage suits your business needs and make sure you don’t have costly gaps. 

Working With An Expert

Always choose an agency that has expert agents when it comes to commercial insurance. They will help you find security and peace of mind with high-quality insurance products that protect you from a variety of dangers an potential threats to you and your business. If you live around the Fisherville, KY area, you can trust TruePoint Insurance to guide you in the right directions and present options that you need.

Don’t take chances if you provide a public service. Something could happen at any time and can jeopardize your career and your financial situation unless you have the right insurance coverage. Call or stop by TruePoint Insurance, proudly serving the residents in and around the Lawrence and Fisherville, KY area. We will work with you to find a policy that fits your situation and answer all of your questions. 

Is Your Home Winter Ready? – 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

 

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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, “will my insurance company deny the claim?” 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:
•      Property Damage and Body Injury resulting while operating a vehicle Commercial Auto         Policy
•      Injuries to employees while at work Workers Compensation
•      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:
•      your potential loss exposure (both a median or average potential loss as well as a max loss)
•      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:
•      We determine the cost to transfer the risk (in this case, how much will you pay for the E&O Policy)
•      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

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  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.

 

 

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

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

Vacancy Provisions

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

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

Vacancy 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.

 

 

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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:

 

 

 

 

 

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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

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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

 

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Active Shooter Risk – 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.)

 

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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.