September 26th, 2011
Should you be concerned about flooding for your business or home? The easy answer is yes. To quote information from the federal government’s National Flood Insurance Program, “All areas are susceptible to flooding, although to varying degrees. It is advisable to have flood insurance in high-risk areas and even low-to-moderate flood risk areas; between 20 and 25 percent of NFIP’s claims come from outside high-risk areas.”
You don’t have to be located alongside a river, lake or ocean to need flood coverage. Flood hazard zones have changed over time, and your property – if once outside of a high-risk flood zone – might now be inside of one. Adding to concerns, old levee systems may not provide the protection they once did, and commercial and residential development has altered water flow and absorption patterns.
Floods can waterlog a business or residence, damage interiors with contaminated waters, or wash away enire buildings. Outside of a flood policy, your business or home would have no coverage. We would like to review the NFIP flood maps with you and discuss your exposure to flood risks. Our advisors can help you find a policy that best meets your needs.
June 3rd, 2011
When shopping for insurance, most people are unaware that there are different kinds of agents they can work with. Choosing the right one can make a big difference in securing the best combination of price and value. With a captive insurance agent, you only get the guidance of one company that sells one brand of insurance. With an independent insurance agent, you might get up to eight choices.This is because an independent insurance agent represents multiple brands, and can compare coverages and prices to find the best possible value for your individual circumstances. Independent agents are usually vested members of the community who are committed to doing business face-to-face and being your advocate in times of need.
*Work for you when you have a claim.
*Are not beholden to any one company. This means you don’t have to change agencies as your insurance and service needs change.
*Are your consultants, working with you as you determine your needs.
*Are value-hunters who look after your pocketbook in finding the best combination of price, coverage and service.
*Offer one-stop shopping for a full range of products, including home, renters, auto, business, life, health and retirement plans.
*Can periodically review your coverage to keep up with your changing insurance needs.
*Are committed to customer satisfaction-it’s key to their livelihood.
*Treat you like a person, not a number.
*Are licensed professionals with strong customer and community ties.
There is a difference! To find out more about working with an independent agent, please contact us.
Information supplied by the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America
September 15th, 2010
Most consider a vacant building to be a shell or structure with nothing inside. The word “vacant” makes people think “empty” or “not occupied”. To most insurance companies, vacant means something different. For building owners, understanding what the insurance policy considers vacant could help eliminate a costly surprise at claim time.
In most cases, the property insurance policy considers a building that is less than 31% occupied by the landlord’s customary business operations lessees or tenants to be vacant. Once occupancy dips below 31%, the policy allows the building owner a set number of days, usually 60, to remedy the vacancy. If occupancy has not increased by the 61st day, any covered claim that occurs while the property is vacant will result in a 15% reduction in coverage – only 85% of the total covered loss will be paid. Futhermore, if the claim is the result of certain specific losses, the payment will be zero. These specific losses include sprinkle leakage, water damage, vandalism, theft or attempted theft and building glass breakage.
To illustrate the insurance policy’s definition of vacant, consider the following examples:
*A newly completed strip center/office building with suites held for lease that is less than 31% occupied.
*A four story office building in which the first floor houses the landlord’s offices and the remaining three floors are being held for lease.
*A seasonal strip center that is less than 31% occupied for 5 months annually.
If your building is vacant by definition, call our service team today. It may be possible to amend your policy’s vacancy definition and save you precious dollars at claim time.
August 19th, 2010
I’s not uncommon for tenants of commercial buildings to spend thousands of dollars on betterments.
The language in the lease or some other written agreement will usually determine whose insurance should pay for losses in a covered event; however, such an agreement is not always in place. Without such a contract, owners, tenants and insurance companies are left to argue over a coverage decision that could takelots of time and result in disputes that could ultimately run into heavy costs.
To prevent disputes and confusion, discuss insurance for any betterments you make with your landlord, your insurance agent and possibly your attorney. Get something in writing that specifies who will pay and under what circumstances. Make sure both the tenant’s and landlord’s property insurance providers are notified of the improvements and liability agreement and adjust the limits accordingly.
May 6th, 2010
When was the last time you checked to see if your building is insured to value? Studies show that increases in building costs since 2004 are responsible for leaving 70% of commercial buildings underinsured. An underinsured building is at risk of a reduced payment after a claim as a penalty to the owner for failing to carry sufficient insurance.
You can avoid that penalty be re-evaluating your property. Ask your insurance agent for assistance in determining an adequate insurance-to-value estimate. You can amend your insurance policy with an agreed amount clause. Your insurance agent can help you determine the best way to structure your commercial property insurance so you will get what you expect to receive if you suffer a property loss. Give us a call to find out more.