Every business is unique and, as a result, faces its own unique challenges and risks. That’s why, before we make a single recommendation, we take the time to get to know your business, inside and out. Then we can help you with everything from crafting your own corporate procedures and policies, to purchasing proper insurance products. Our team has vast experience working with a wide range of companies, including large Fortune 500’s, small start-ups, and non-profits.
Some of the types of insurance we offer:
General Liability coverage will pay for damages that the insured becomes legally obligated to pay due to bodily injury, property damage or personal and advertising injury arising from the insured’s premises, operations, completed operations and products. The occurrence basis means that only occurrences that happen during the policy period are covered. There is no reference as to when the claim must be presented.
For Example: An accident is caused by someone tripping over a computer cable in your office, or perhaps a client falling on their way to see you as a result of an uneven pathway in your company parking lot.
For both personal injury and property damage claims, you are covered for related legal fees, costs and expenses.
Have you discussed your coverage lately?
Workers Compensation Coverage responds to medical expenses and lost wages as a result of a work related injury. The coverage is regulated at the state level and all benefits are paid in accordance with the schedule provided by the respective statutes. State Workers Compensation Bureaus typically play a large role in setting the rates for the various job classifications. Regulations will vary from state to state regarding how coverage and rating bases apply to offices, members of an LLC, partners, and volunteers. Employer’s Liability (Part B) covers the liability that may be imposed beyond the state statutes subject to the exclusions and conditions of the policy.
Stop Gap responds to the gaps between the workers compensation policy and the CGL which can leave an insured uncovered. In most states the carriers attempt to correct these by use of the employer’s liability coverage. However, in monopolistic states (OH, WY, ND and WA), the workers compensation carrier is the state so the General Liability carrier is the one who attempts to fill the gap. Operations with locations in any of the monopolistic states should purchase Stop Gap liability.
An umbrella serves two purposes. First, it provides excess liability limit over the scheduled underlying policies such as General Liability, Auto Liability and Employers Liability. Second, it fills some gaps in the underlying coverage.
For example: A covered claim against you is rewarded $1.4 million dollars. You have one million dollars in general liability coverage. In this example your umbrella policy would pay the additional four hundred thousand dollars to settle the claim.
If a catastrophic liability loss occurs, an umbrella insurance policy can mean the difference between a business surviving, or not.
Can your business survive a catastrophic loss?
Insures corporate directors and officers against claims, usually by stockholders, alleging loss arising from mismanagement. Claims may also be made by other parties such as regulators against the corporation for mismanagement which would also be covered. Outside Directorship Liability Policy Form is available, as supplementary protection, to assure sufficient limits for the exposure created when a company’s director, officer or employee serves in an outside director position as its request. The coverage is not standard and may vary significantly between carriers, as well as by type of business – i.e. for- profit, closely- held or publicly- traded.
For Example: Following a routine Health and Safety Executive visit, a company is asked to produce its health and safety accident book for inspection. The records are found to be incomplete, and personal employee data has not been kept confidential. The Company is prosecuted under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1975 and the Data Protection Act 1998.
Do you have adequate coverage in place?
Covers losses that are due to errors or omissions of professionals who are held to a higher standard of care due to their type of practice, education or other association. Doctors, architects, dentists, software manufacturers, technology consultants, business consultants, engineers, advertising agencies, and realtors are all examples of operations that may be subject to professional or errors and omissions lawsuits. These types of claims are generally excluded from the General Liability Insurance so a separate coverage is needed to respond to these claim issues.
Even if you manufacture, assemble or install to customer specifications; provide design work; select raw materials; provide service to others for a fee; subcontract work; or print material for clients, you could have a significant Errors & Omissions exposure.
Just as you purchase insurance for your other risks, E&O exposure is real and needs to be considered. As opposed to some types of claims, E&O losses are not frequent, but usually are very costly, with losses ranging from tens of thousands to millions of dollars. In addition, if you are named in a suit, you must defend the claims. If you are uninsured, that legal defense will need to be paid by you.
Employment Related Practices covers lawsuits brought by employees (past, present or prospects), or governmental entities against the insured employer, alleging wrongful discharge, discrimination, failure to promote, failure to hire or certain types of harassment. Coverage can often be extended to Third Party claims.
For example: A breach of an implied contract settled for $265,000
A former employee sued a technology company, alleging that he was hired to be the VP of Sales and Marketing. He claimed that items promised to him were taken away (i.e., secretary, car allowance, staff levels, etc.) and that when he allegedly failed to meet sales targets, he was wrongfully terminated. The plaintiff brought various breach of contract claims, including a claim for a breach of an implied agreement, which sought to recover benefits, punitive damages, interest and fees. After numerous failed mediations, the matter settled for $200,000, with $65,000 in legal defense fees.
Is your business covered?
Business Income Interruption (BII) provides coverage for the intangible economic losses that occur following a direct damage loss to tangible property. These are future- looking forms and coverage is based on the loss of anticipated economic benefits. It is important to consider the financial impact as well as probable length of disrupted operations resulting from a property claim when determining an appropriate limit. Dependent Business Income is an additional feature that can be added and factors in the possible impact of a property loss to a key supplier or customer.
Extra Expense coverage can be provided to pay for all monies that must be expended to get an insured back in business in the fastest way possible without regard to income to be generated by the return to business. These would include, but not be limited to, transportation fees when using next- day service rather than normal shipping schedules, any surcharge to put a rush on a purchase order, special set- up fees that may be charged for a manufacturing order, etc.
For Example: A manufacturer suffered a fire loss to key machinery in its manufacturing process. Although operations were interrupted for less than three weeks, the company suffered more than $1.5 million in lost earnings and extra expenses.
Fortunately, this particular company had purchased adequate business interruption insurance before the potentially devastating event occurred.
Many companies are not as fortunate as this one. Because when it comes to property insurance, the real and personal property are often the principal concerns. In fact, the key to surviving a disaster may very well depend on the firm’s loss of income protection.
Is your business income protected?
Boiler & Machinery insurance is also referred to as Energy Equipment or Mechanical Breakdown. This coverage has four separate parts:
- Damage from an accident to the items covered
- Damage to the insured’s other property caused by an accident to the items covered
- Loss of income due to damage to the item and/or damage to the other insured property
- Damage to property of others and bodily injury to others caused by an accident to the items covered
The items covered are boilers and other heating devices, air conditioners, HVAC equipment, electronic equipment, motors, production machinery, freezers, and refrigeration units. Additional coverages for spoilage and contamination can be included.
For Example: A short circuit in your building causes complete loss of computer information. The cost of recovering the information is significant. The costs associated with the repair of the computer system as well as the collection and restoration of data is covered under the policy.
Are you protected from this type of claim?
Provides all of the coverages that the insured should need if he/she owns, leases or hires vehicles. It also covers the insured for the non-owned usage of a vehicle when an employee or volunteer uses their vehicle on company business. The policy can cover all owned, leased, hired and non-owned autos or can be more selective.
For example: One of your employees rear-ends another driver while driving your company vehicle, causing damage to the other vehicle. If the other driver sues, the commercial auto policy will cover the cost of legal proceedings and claim settlement.
Environmental Impairment Liability or Pollution Liability may be written to cover the pollution exposure associated with the insured’s property and operations, including costs of cleanup and remedial (corrective) action at third- party demand or government order. The pollution exclusion in General Liability insurance effectively eliminates coverage for damages for bodily injury, property damage and cleanup costs arising from most types of pollution release. Consequently, tailor-made protection for the pollution exposure of numerous insureds in this category is essential. There are specific policies for remediation operations or abatement contractors. Coverage can address lead-based products, asbestos or numerous other hazardous substances. Coverage is provided using nonstandard forms. The important information to be obtained in any form is that it conforms to current pension law.
For Example: Carbon monoxide escapes from a restaurant’s heating, ventilating, or air conditioning system causing illness and dizziness among patrons.
Are you covered?
A surety bond is an instrument guaranteeing that someone is going to do something; it protects against losses when one party fails to meet its obligations. There are two basic types of surety bonds; Commercial (which can take the form of tax bonds, fidelity bonds, customs bonds, appeal bonds, etc.) and Contract (which guarantee construction contracts). The majority of federal, state and municipal construction contracts, whether they are for vertical or horizontal construction, are required to be bonded in order to protect the public funds being used for these projects.
Many surety companies are subsidiaries or affiliates of insurance companies. However, insurance and surety are very different. Insurance is a two party contract that protects the policyholder from a loss covered by the insurance policy provided by the insurance company. Surety is a three party contract that protects the Owner from default by the Contractor. There are two types of bonds that are critical to any bonding of a construction contract:
- Performance Bond – guarantees that the contractor will fulfill the performance obligations of the contract; construct a sewer line, build an addition, pave a road according to the specifications in the contract
- Payment Bond – guarantees that the contractor will pay his obligations to employees, subcontractors and suppliers of the liers of the project
Unlike insurance, where losses are anticipated, surety is underwritten so as to have zero losses. As such, the underwriting process is rigorous. Among other criteria, the surety agent and surety carrier review the following of the contractor:
- Financial Statements
- Personal Financial Statements of company owners
- Bank Relationships
Based upon their analysis, the surety may or may not provide the contractor with the desired surety program. It is the surety agent’s job to match up the contractor with the surety that best fits its needs.
Do defaults occur? Unfortunately, yes they do. According to the Surety & Fidelity Association of America, since 1995 over $10 billion has been paid to owners as a result of the defaults.
In this tough economy many private construction project owners are turning to surety bonding as a way to protect themselves from contractor defaults. In fact, many construction project lenders are requiring that any funding of a project be subject to the bonding of the contractor building the project. The additional cost for the bonding is nominal in relation to the protection it provides.
We are members of the National Association of Surety Bond Producers (NASBP) the professional organization for agents that also specialize in surety bonding.
Contact Michael J. Regan for more information.
Builders Risk coverage provides building coverage from the start of the building project to the day the building is complete and ready for occupancy (and sometimes longer). Builders risk can be used for both new construction and renovation projects. Coverage may be purchased by the owner of the building for the single project or may be purchased by a contractor for multiple projects.
A commonly targeted material used in many construction projects is copper, due to its high recycling value. According to the United States Department of Energy, copper wire theft costs the public an estimated $1 billion per year and construction sites are a prime target. If copper is stored on a construction site for a project covered by a Builder’s Risk Insurance Policy, it is typically covered for theft.
For Example: A builder’s risk insurance policy had been purchased for a construction project for an addition to an existing medical treatment facility. While the electrical subcontractor was in the process of roughing in the mechanical and electrical installation, a theft of a large amount of copper wire and pipe occurred. This was despite the fact that the project site was fenced in and the front gate locked after work hours. Not only did the thieves take the copper wire that was being stored on the construction site, they also removed copper that had already been installed.
The owner filed a claim on their builders risk insurance policy. The policy covers loss or damage that is the result of theft to the following types of property:
- Machinery and fixtures
- Building service equipment
- Building materials and supplies of the insured to be used in construction
The third type of covered property applies in this situation – the copper wire and pipe was intended to become a permanent part of the property. It is also important to note that their materials, although not inside the premises, were within 100 feet, a requirement in the owner’s builders risk insurance policy in order for the property to be covered.
Because of the owner’s builders risk insurance policy they were able to recover from the insurance carrier the cost to replace the property with materials of like kind and quality. The claim was settled for $40,000 with the insured paying a $5,000 deductible.