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InsuranceMan 2.0

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  1. Happy Tuesday to all of you, my dearest readers, As you may have noticed, we have gone a couple of weeks without the weekly installment of the TMIT, and for that I apologize. As it turns out, InsuranceMan 2.0!!! was otherwise occupied fighting many facets of E V I L !!!!! From some family illness, to working on several very important top secrete projects (hopefully to be announced first here in the future), I have had to take a bit of a reprieve and structure some things differently for a time. Alas, I am back, and with a VENGEANCE (insert cool sound effect here)!!!!!!!!! For this installment of the TMIT I am going to address a topic that is at the top of everyone’s mind as we move closer to the end of the year … TO BOND, OR NOT TO BOND? That is the question—Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous potential Federal Excise Taxes, Or to take arms against a sea of taxation, And, by opposing, keep them low? What in the heck am I talking about? Well, as seen from my stolen and slightly modified Shakespeare quote, I am going to address the impending Federal Excise Tax Rate cut that many have enjoyed for the past many years. As most of you know, or should know, on December 22nd of 2017 a bill was passed that reduced the Federal Excise Tax rate on distilled spirits (amongst many other things) for the years of 2018 and 2019. The taxation rate was reduced from $13.50 per proof gallon down to $2.70 for the same, thereby leaving a lot of extra money in many a distillers pocket/businesses. Oh how we rejoiced and made merry at this news!!!!! Not only was the tax burden lessened upon the good and hearty distillery folk of this land, but they also passed a provision stating that if a distillery removed less than $50,000 worth of taxable product (which works out to roughly 18,518 proof gallons of product at 100 proof, or 23,148 gallons at 80 proof … which is A LOT of booze) in a years’ time, you were no longer were required to carry a Federal Distiller Spirits Plant (or DSP) Bond. Again, the “huzzah’s” rang throughout the land!!!!!! Many distilleries took these newly found riches and either upgraded their equipment, hired much needed assistance, put it into marketing, or simply enjoyed having some extra “walkin’ around” money. Whatever the case, it was a windfall in many cases and one that was enjoyed and well deserved. Fast forward from that time of celebration to now. We are late into 2019 and within a month and a half of this amazing bill, H.R.1 — 115th Congress (2017-2018), expiring. Yup! EXPIRING!!!!!! This bill was only good for 2018 and 2019 and has an expiration date of December 31st of 2019 unless action is taken by those duly elected national officials to either implement this change permanently or allow for it to expire. At this point in time, this bill has a lot of positive backing with several high-powered officials signing on to make this tax cut permanent, however … things like “impeachment hearings” and other political nonsense can get in the way of actual legislation taking place, and we are quickly running out of time before the House and Senate adjourn for Thanksgiving and then the long break over Christmas and New Year’s. PEOPLE, THERE REALLY IS NOT MUCH TIME LEFT HERE!!!!!!!!! This is one of the things that I, InsuranceMan 2.0!!! have been working on. So, what can you do???? Contact your representatives. How do you do that???? Go here: https://whoismyrepresentative.com/ to find out who you can send a letter to, AND SEND IT!!!!!!!!! OK, you have the background now, and the knowledge to go forward to make a difference, but how does this all tie in with the whole, “To bond or not to bond” question? Well, for those of you who are up and running and loving the reduced rate, that is great. For those that are just finalizing their paperwork in order to get their licensing and permitting, now is a precarious time due to the fact that they do not know if they need to submit a bond or not in order to have everything pass thought smoothly. Will the FET cut be made permanent? Will not submitting a bond screw things up and lengthen the process? Will a bond be needed or not come 2020?!?!?!?!? WHO KNOWS!!!!!!!!! So, the question becomes, to bond or not to bond at this point in time. The answer … I don’t have the answer. Here is the sage advice of the all-knowing and all-wise InsuranceMan 2.0!!!, DSP bonds for the past “minimum” required Federal bond stipulated that you must carrier at least $15,000 worth of “Operations” and $1,000” in withdrawal. That bond usually ran about $192 for the year. If you are new to the game and you want to make sure that you are not going to get caught up in sticky red-tape on your permitting, I would say get a bond if you are not a risk taker. The other side of that is, if you are submitting via the PONL system prior to the very end of 2019, take the risk and submit it without a bond since you are still technically under the deadline of the FET cut and you “should” be fine. The crappy part about this is, no one really knows what is going to happen and there is not much out there that addresses if this will get passed in time or not. So that leaves all of us sitting and waiting to find out what the future holds and if the tax rates will remain the same or be jacked up to the prior rates of years past. All I can tell you is this, get a hold of your representative and try to make a difference. Otherwise, if you just sit on your laurels and hope others will contact their public officials, you may end up having to contact me instead in order to purchase a Federal DSP bond!!!!!!! Which call would you rather make, one that will save you money, or one that will cost you money????? You decide. I am hopeful that this tax cut remains intact the way it sits at the $2.70 rate per proof gallon and I don’t have to write a single DSP bond this year. If it does expire however, take a number and get in line because InsuranceMan 2.0!!! is going to be one busy sonuvabeach, cranking out bonds across this nation. Trust me, I would rather see you keep that money in your pocket than to put some into mine and a whole lot into the pockets of the surety companies. Make your calls, send your emails, and tell them to keep the rates low. Hopefully in one month and 16 days we can all raise a glass and toast the permanent tax cuts and have yet another amazing reason to welcome in the new year! Until next time … Stay Vigilant, Aaron Linden a.k.a. InsuranceMan 2.0!!! 307-752-5961 aaron@roaringforkins.com or insuranceman2.0@yahoo.com
  2. Happy Anniversary and Good Tuesday Morning Dearest ADI’ers, Today marks the one-year anniversary of my return to the forums and my transformation from InsuranceMan to the new and improved InsuranceMan 2.0!!! that you have all come to love and adore. There will be cake at the end of this post in recognition of this day, so stick around. Well, as you have probably noticed, it is actually Wednesday, and no, I have not used my superpowers to reverse the rotation of the earth, go back in time and write this post for you. Although I am indeed an insurance superhero, I am not completely infallible and I have succumbed to some sort of superbug and have been a bit under the weather lately. Alas, it will not keep me from performing my super-duties so I present to you the latest installment of the TMIT! Today we are going to touch upon a topic that really will only pertain to about 17 states in this great country, but it should be worth the read for all of you. I will even make it pertain to several more of you in the end, since the overarching topic does affect many in the marketplace. So, what am I talking about?!?!?! None other than the notorious “ABC” states. Not to be confused with the “Notorious B.I.G.” That is something TOTALLY different. Anyway, if you are not in one of these states you have probably at least heard of them. An “ABC” state is an “Alcoholic Beverage Control” state. Clever, eh? Alcoholic Beverage Control = ABC. Somebody was really thinkin’ when they came up with that one! ABC states really developed out of a long and sorted history having to do with pre-prohibition laws, prohibition, and the repeal of national prohibition on December 5th of 1933. A day we should all celebrate, by the way! Under the ratification, the Twenty-first Amendment (which by the way is still the only amendment to the constitution that repealed a prior amendment. Use that in your tasting room trivia games. You’re Welcome!) control was given to the states over the sale, manufacturing, distribution, or continued prohibition of alcohol. OK, enough history lesson, but I thought you should know if you didn’t already. Here is a map off all of the ABC states, just in case you were wondering. “OK, great, InsuranceMan 2.0!!!, but what in the word does any of this have to do with insurance?!?!??!” I am glad you asked. Each ABC has its own set of rules that they operate under but the “gist” of the rules go something like this … A monopolistic system is set up whereby a manufacturer of Alcoholic Spirits is prohibited from direct distribution of said beverages. Alcoholic products must be shipped to state run facilities and distributed from said facility to state run or privately licensed retail operations. So again, what does this have to do with insurance? EVERYTING!!!!!! You make your product, and then you are required by law to ship your product to a state-run facility, either a “bailment” situation, or some other state-run facility where it will wait to go out for distribution. Well, what happens to that product if it is damaged while in the “Care / Custody / or Control” (a.k.a. CCC) of the state-run facility? Who covers the loss to your precious product? The answer is … it depends. Don’t you just love that answer? So vague, so mysterious. Well friends, I DO NOT LOVE THAT ANSWER and that is why I am here and writing this for you today. So, how do you know if you are supposed to insure your product, or if the state is supposed to insure it, or is it insured if it is off your premise? It all boils down to “contractual obligation”. What does your contract say? Do you know? Do you have a contract? Most of you that reside in an ABC state do or should have a contractual document outlining what the rules are, shipments, and insurance provisions. Go to the contract and find out. What you find may surprise you. Most of you may find that you are still technically liable for any damage that occurs to your product while in the CCC of the state-run facility. “How can that be?”, you may ask. “It is not in my control, and if some dufus hits it with a forklift, how is that my problem????” Again, look at the contract. In many instances not only are you still responsible to insure your product while in the CCC of the state, but you may also have waived you rights of subrogation to the state as well as a “hold harmless” agreement. Basically, what this means is that the insurability of your product is your responsibility even if some dufus ruins it without you being party to it. Seems pretty stupid, doesn’t it? Well, it may be exactly the situation you are in. If your insurance carrier is not aware of this situation, you may not have coverage. THAT IS WHAT ALL THIS HAS TO DO WITH INSURANCE!!!!! You may be paying a premium for a policy that is not going to cover the largest stock exposure that you have. That is no bueno for sure. If you are in an ABC state and you are not familiar with what your insurance obligations are then your agent and carrier probably have no idea either. That can leave you in an insurance-wasteland and that is not where you want to find yourself, EVER! There are ways to insure your product while offsite and in the CCC of others, but you need to know that you need to have that type of coverage and report it to the agent … Or, you could turn to an expert in the industry and I … I mean “they”, should know to ask these hard-hitting questions. If you reside in one of these states and you have not had this conversation, well, my number is listed below. You better call me. I had said that I will make this relatable for more folks than just the “ABCer’s” out there and we have come to that point, so here you go. Maybe you are a contract distiller/bottler for someone else, or maybe you have an arrangement for offsite storage at someone else’s facility. Trust me, I have seen a lot of different setups over all my years of doing this. If so, who is responsible for what, where, and when? If you contract out to someone else, is it their responsibility to insure their branded product while at your facility, or is it yours? Again, what does the contract say? You are a “Contract” distillery/bottler after all … WHAT?!?!!? There is no formal contract?!?!?!!?!! My super-nerves are sensing a HUGE potential issue. If this is not spelled out in writing there could be some serious ramifications if a loss were to occur. Furthermore, without a formal written contract it may be impossible for one or either of you to procure insurance on this product. Or even possibly worse, you (the contract distiller/bottler) may have to increase your insurance to protect someone else’s product thereby driving up your cost that you either have to “out-of-pocket”, or pass it on to the people you are contracted with which drives down their profits. Either way it is an insurability nightmare if you do not have a formal written contract between you and the other party. Whether it is a contract distiller situation, bottler, or with the state. You HAVE TO KNOW what is in the contract and who’s responsibility the insurance is. If there is no contract, then it DEPENDS, and you know how much I love that!!!!! I highly suggest that if you are in one of these states, or in a situation where someone else has CCC of your product, or if you have the CCC of someone else’s product, you get in touch with me, InsuranceMan 2.0!!! so that we can hash out the details and make sure that if the day comes where the unforeseen is seen, we know that you will be made whole again in the way you are supposed to. With that my friends, as promised, here is your anniversary cake in honor of the one-year mark of me being back on the forums. ENJOY!!!! and until next time dear reader, Stay Vigilant, Aaron Linden a.k.a. InsuranceMan 2.0!!! 307-752-5961 aaron@roaringforkins.com or insuranceman2.0@yahoo.com
  3. Happy Tuesday Morning To All, As you probably have noticed, if you are a loyal reader and follower of the TMIT, there was no installment of the TMIT last week, and this week’s posting is a little tardy. Well my friends, as it turns out, bilocation is not one of my superpowers. I lack the ability to be in two places at the same time and for the last week or so I was taken out of Sheridanopolis so that I could attend my big brothers 50th birthday. That was certainly something that I was not going to miss and being that we were in Grand Marais, MN the internet capabilities were sketchy at best. Now, with you knowing that, I have a special treat for you. Try to contain yourself and your excitement, here we go! I am going to give you two topics for this week’s TMIT!!! I KNOW, RIGHT!??!?!!? EXCITING!?!?!?!!? OK, you all good now?!??!?!?! For starters, the first topic will be short here on the post as I will be redirecting you to the most recent installment of DISTILLER magazine that you have probably recently received in the mail from ADI. If you flip that little puppy open to the CONTENTS page you will see down on the left hand side of the page under THE BUSINESS OF DITILLING an article written by yours truly that is entitled, “Distillery Insurance: What You Need To Know”. I cannot tell you how excited I am to be a contributing writer for DISTILLER magazine! Being asked to be a part of this publication is truly an honor and I am just so pleased to have been asked. The article itself is found on pages 144, 145, 148, and 149. I would encourage you to find a comfy spot to sit down this evening with your favorite spirit and give it a read. Completely enthralling if I do say so myself, but then again, I may be biased, LOL! As well, on page 150 in the upper right-hand corner you will see my contact information displayed in my Roaring Fork Insurance advertisement. If you don’t know much about me already (which at this point, if you are a devoted TMIT reader, you probably have a pretty good idea) you can flip to page 8 and under the CONTRIBUTORS section, my information appears very near the top of the middle column. OK, now that we have gotten that gratuitous self-promotion out of the way (but I am excited about this, as if you could not tell), onward to the second topic for the TMIT so that you do not feel cheated out of not getting last week’s information. Although I, InsuranceMan 2.0!!! , could have used my superpowers to get to Grand Marais in the blink of an eye, I am not above taking the great American road trip from time to time to explore this amazing country that we live in. As we were making our way across Wyoming, South Dakota (in a ground blizzard no less), and the entirety of Minnesota we passed an insurance office in a small town that was called … wait for it … Puthoff Insurance. Disclaimer here *** I have no idea who these folks are, and I am sure they are very good at what they do, and heck, I am even giving them a plug (of sorts) here. This has nothing to do with the fine folks at that agency, again, I am sure they are amazing *** end of disclaimer. Driving by this office though made me think about their agency but more about there name and really, more about how people truly do “PUT OFF INSURANCE”. I cannot tell you how often I receive a call or an email from a distiller that says something along the lines of, “Well, we have been in operation for several years now, and we have never had insurance, but we are at a point where we need to do something.” Another disclaimer, *** there is nothing wrong with this approach. *** In fact, in the article in DISTILLER (ah, see how I wove that in and brought it all full circle?!??! That is one of my superpowers!) it references the fact that if you do not have a loan on your business or a landlord, or some other interested third party, there really are no regulatory requirements for you to carry insurance. Did you know that? Well, now you do. Although there may not be some “big brother” type entity telling you that you must carry insurance (and for that I am glad), it is certainly a good idea. You know that I have to say that though, after all, I am InsuranceMan 2.0!!! Anyway, there is nothing wrong with not carrying insurance in the beginning since it is your choice after all, but what are you “Putting Off”? If you “Put Off” insurance you really are taking a risk with a large part of your life, a very large investment that you should not put in peril. Would you purchase a new Ferrari and say, “Ah … screw it, I am going to drive this thing all over the US for the next year or two, but I don’t need insurance!” NO, NO you would not. So why do it with your distillery? Your equipment is valuable and needs protecting, right? What about your products that you produce? Most certainly! How about liability arising from your operations or out of serving samples or cocktails out of your tasting room? Yeah, for sure!!!!! You have heard this from me before, but your blood, sweat and tears go into your passion of distilling and they should be protected as you protect your family member, your friends, or your home. Another reason to not “Put Off” insurance is simply due to the fact that many insurance carriers are very apprehensive to offer coverage to a distillery that has been operational for years with no preexisting coverage. In fact, many standard carriers will not offer an insurance proposal to distilleries that have been operating without insurance thereby throwing them into an Excess and Surplus (E&S) lines market. This could mean higher premiums, less coverage, and building “insurance credit” for a few years. If you just don’t “Put Off” insurance but start it right when you are ready to start everything else (if not a bit before) the process will be much easier and could actually end up being cheaper and better. If you are just getting started, thinking about getting started, or if you have been up and going for a few months or several years and have just “Put Off” insurance, it is never too late to protect yourself and your investment. Where do you turn when you are ready to not “Put Off” insurance any longer? Who should you get in touch with?!?!??! Well, I think you know the answer but if you don’t, I will give you a hint … InsuranceMan 2.0!!! I am here, ready, willing, and able to assist you. I have assisted hundreds and hundreds of distillers all across this country, in every state (except for Rhode Island … why is that? What is going on there?!?!?! If anyone reading this is from RI, call me or email me please!!!!!!! I want to work with a distillery in Rhode Island!!!!!!!!!) and of every size. From large to small, I have worked with them all. As always, my information, education, and conversation are free of charge. Until next time dear reader … Stay Vigilant, Aaron Linden a.k.a. InsuranceMan 2.0!!! aaron@roaringforkins.com or insuranceman2.0@yahoo.com (307) 752-5961
  4. Happy Tuesday My Friends, In today’s installment of the TMIT I want to talk about what it means when an insurance speaking person mentions the term “Hard Market.” As with most things, insurance operates on cycles. Most things in the world are cyclical, and insurance is no different. Often times there are many good years in the insurance industry where businesses flourish, the economy is good, and losses are low. Years without natural disasters assist in this arena very much as well. These times are known as “soft markets”. Insurance companies write a lot of business and the premiums are lower than normal because everything is ice-cream cones, rainbows and unicorns. But then it happens … Dun-Dun-DAH!!!! Maybe natural disasters happen, one after another. Big losses occur, or perhaps smaller but multiple losses occur within a sect or several sects of business (think Jim Beam fires, Rickhouse collapses, etc.), and the market turns! Keep in mind, there are two types of “hard markets”. The first is one that we have all been through if you have been around 5 to 6 years, since that seems to be the natural cycle of the insurance marketplace. The first “hard market” type is the one where, with out any changes to your policy, your premium all of the sudden increases 10%-25% at renewal. You are thinking, “What the H311 just happened?!?!?!?! I didn’t change anything!?!??!?!” You are correct, you may not have changed anything. So, what did change? Well, here is an InsuranceMan 2.0!!! basic insurance lesson. Insurance is the spread of risk among many to pay the losses of a few which thereby allows the carriers to charge smaller premiums to many individuals to offset the losses of those few. Well, in a year, or more accurately, in a succession of years where the losses are more severe, the insurance companies reassess the amount of premium being charged to offset said losses so that a “combined loss ratio” number is achieved. I am not going to go into the intricacies of what a combined loss ratio is at this point in time. Suffice to say, if you are ever having trouble sleeping, give me a call and I will use my superpowers of hypnosis to put you right out by explaining this to you. For now, let’s just say that insurance companies, like casinos, don’t build big amazing buildings with all of the losses they sustain. Capeesh? It is the second type of “hard market” that I am most interested in telling you about here. It is not the kind of hard market that jacks premiums overnight, instead it is the kind that I have spoken about in a few other postings here on the forums. In a way, it is a much more insidious type of hardening of the insurance market. The kind where premiums don’t necessarily go up, rather, the underwriting guidelines change, become more stringent, and it is just harder to get a carrier to provide coverage that isn’t for some “main street mom & pop nothing shop”. Distilleries have never technically been an “easy sell” for an agent to approach a carrier with. Trust me, I know! I was the first guy ever to develop an insurance program for distilleries and it took years and years of getting doors slammed in my super-face. Anyway, distilleries have always been a “high risk” in the world of insurance, which is so stupid! I don’t want to get off on a tangent here for the next hundred lines of text, but you all know what you are doing, you are highly regulated (by many governmental agencies, both local and nationally, as well as you highly regulate yourselves. This is your livelihood and your soul, you never want to see anything bad happen.), and you are all very safe. So, this is just a stupid concept that I have fought to prove for dang near the last decade. Hey, I am here for you and on your side. See?!?!??!! Here I GO!!!!!! OK, back to the topic at hand. Distilleries have never been an easy sell, we got that. However, they had been easier in the past than they are becoming now. What do I mean? Just what I mentioned above. We are entering into a hard market cycle where it is becoming more difficult to place distillery clients with “Standard” carriers. If you don’t now what that is, go find my post on “Standard vs. E&S” … Oh, just let me do it for you, here! The long and short of it all is this, we are certainly trending toward a hardening market whereby it is becoming a much harder sell for most agents to get standard carriers to look at good distillery clients. However, if a GOOD insurance agent can get a GOOD distillery client in front of a GOOD insurance carrier, and they know what they are doing, BAM! They will still write the account which means less in the way of premium and more in the way of coverage. If you want to know what you need to do to be considered a GOOD distillery that can be written with a GOOD insurance carrier, then you should be contacting a GREAT insurance superhero. Let’s see, who comes to mind?!?!?! Hummmm ….. This is a tough one! NO IT IS NOT!!!!!!!! IT IS ME!!!!!!!!! InsuranceMan 2.0!!! I can walk you through what you need to do to better your chances, increase your coverage, and lower your premiums. I love to do what I do, I love to get great distilleries placed with great insurance companies that provide great coverage with great premiums. It is all just “GREAT”!!!!!!!! Want to be “GREAT”? Great!!! Let’s all be great together. Call me, email me, text me, PM me here, shoot the InsuranceMan 2.0!!! beacon against the clouds from your distillery … whatever it takes, but get in touch with me. Until next time dear readers … Stay Vigilant, Aaron Linden a.k.a. InsuranceMan 2.0!!! 307-752-5961 aaron@roaringforkins.com or insuranceman2.0@yahoo.com
  5. Happy Tuesday Morning Dear ADI Forum Readers, Today in the TMIT we are going to turn our attention to something that many of us don’t want to necessarily discuss or talk about. With the days getting shorter, and many of you located in those cold and snowy areas (see, we don’t want to talk about this, right?!?!), something that needs to be at the top of your mind is the fact that as temperatures dip into that “below freezing” area, pipes can and do freeze. Now, I don’t want to get into some type of physics lesson here, but we are all aware of what happens when water freezes, right?!?!? Yeapers, it expands. If a pipe is full of water, which distilleries have a boatload of, and it expands with nowhere else to go, pressure builds, and “BLAM”!!!! Burst pipe, water everywhere, damage, soggy stuff, fried electrical, and big trouble! So, the question that arises is, are you covered for this type of a claim? Do you know? Do you care? Well, you better know and you better care because I have seen this type of loss many times over, and water damage can be COSTLY!!!!! So, do you know if you have coverage? If you are a normal insurance purchaser, you rely on the agent to get you what you need and leave it at that. You know what, if you are working with an expert who is a professional in the industry, then that may be OK. If you are working with someone that is a “generalist” and you told them to just get you what they think you need, you could have issues. There are several different types of property coverage forms associated with insurance policies, and if you do not have the right coverage form it could cost you big dollars. WAY BIGGER than the small premium charge that could have made all of the difference. The three common property coverage forms are Basic, Broad, and Special. Under the basic form this type of a loss IS NOT covered, so you may want to go dig that policy up and take a look at it to see what you have. Under the Broad and Special forms, the coverage of frozen pipes is covered … with certain parameters that we will get into in a second. The big question is though, why would an agent only provide you with Basic coverage forms? Well, honestly, they shouldn’t. If they are any type of professional, they will know the difference and should know enough about your operation that this should not happen. Once in a great while though, and if they have no idea what they should do for a distillery, they may end up working with an Excess & Surplus lines carrier that only can offer Basic property coverage. Or it may be due to the age of the building or a myriad of other factors. Point being, you better know, and if you don’t know your coverage form, you better ask. OK, now on to the Broad and Special forms. Again, I have not seen a Broad forms policy for quite some time as there really is no reason to utilize this form unless the carrier specifies that they cannot provide anything better. If that is the case, then the agent should be looking for other alternative options. The cost differential between Broad and Special is dang near nothing, so there is no reason to shoot for the stars here folks. The Special property coverage form in insurance-ese is CP 10 30 04 02 (in most cases, it could be CP 10 30 06 95 so check for either) and in a nutshell, Special form covers EVERY TYPE OF LOSS unless it is specifically excluded (see your coverage form – Causes of Loss – Special form – A. Covered Causes of loss, subsection B – Exclusions, Item #2, subsection g. water. I did this purposefully to get you to pull out the policy and look at it. Clever, no????). This is the best coverage that carriers can provide, and this is the coverage that you need to have. This type of coverage has inaccurately been call “ALL PERIL” coverage, but that really is not true, as there are some specific exclusions that are always excluded by insurance policies. That is not to say you cannot obtain coverage for things such as Earthquake, Mudslide, Hurricane, Terrorism, etc., it just means that you must purchase a separate and specific policy to cover those things. So as you can see, it is not truly an “All Peril” coverage form, it is Special … Isn’t everyone?!???! So, let’s get to the exclusionary language as it pertains to frozen pipes and water damage. Again, under the Special Form CP 10 30, freezing of pipes is covered … provided a few things have happened. The loss must be “sudden and accidental”, meaning that it cannot have been due to corroding pipes or other issues that could have been prevented earlier on. As well, you must certify that in the case of a frozen pipe with resulting water damage that you have done what is needed to maintain adequate heat to prevent freezing, or in the case that you are closed for whatever reason for a period of time, that heat was maintained or the system was completely drained of all water. If those things have been done, and you report the loss in a “timely manner”, you will have coverage. “Timely Manner” is an interesting term in insurance. For a bunch of lawyers who like to define tons of words in policies (there is a whole definitions section for crying out loud), they never define what “timely” means. I will tell you this, I define it as sooner than later for sure! Not to mention that water damage is only part of a burst pipe claim. Did you know that water damage, especially when absorbed by wood, sheetrock, etc., can start producing mold within 24-48 hours????? Dang, that stuff is prolific, isn’t it??!?!?! Mix that with heat and moisture (which distilleries have quite a bit of), and that process can happen even faster. “Well then, all knowing InsuranceMan 2.0!!!, what should I do in the case of a broken pipe and water damage claim?” I am glad you asked, devoted reader. In the case of a broken pipe that is spilling water everywhere, first and foremost, shut off the water, duh. Then, do what you can to mitigate any of the damage. Mop it up, push it into a floor drain, suck it up with a shop vac, whatever you can do to get a majority of the water out of your facility. Then, FANS!!!!!!!!! Lots of fans. Being that the water damage came from a frozen pipe, I would not suggest throwing the doors open to get a cross breeze in your facility, it may just turn the whole place into an ice rink. But in the case of a sudden and accidental burst pipe in warmer areas or at other times of the year, go ahead and throw those doors wide open. The point is to start the drying process as quickly as possible to avoid any mold growth. Speaking of, guess what, mold is EXCLUDED under every policy, including Special form, so mold = no Bueno. Once that process is underway, and you are looking at all of the damage the water has caused, pick up the phone and call your agent to tell them what happened. I would consider that “timely” even if it is hours or a day or two later, since it can be an arduous process to get that water out of there. When you contact your agent (which by the way, if it is not me, SERIOUSLY?!??! What are you thinking at this point, obviously I know what I am doing and I have provided you with all this great information. If you are not using me by now, I don’t even know what to say.) and report the claim. They will get it to the company and an insurance adjustor will contact you, usually within 24 hours to come out and take a look. Start inventorying the damage that you want them to take a look at so that you can make sure they see all the things you want them to see. Then, voila, the claim should be paid and you can recoup the money/value you have into the process and recover your loss. Well dearest reader, that concludes today's fun insurance lesson on frozen and burst pipes. If you have any questions about this type of loss situation or any other insurance questions what-so-ever, feel free to give me a call at any time. I can be reached on the RED emergency InsuranceMan 2.0!!! phone at any time, day or night at 307-752-5961. Until next time dear reader … Stay Vigilant, Aaron Linden a.k.a. InsuranceMan 2.0!!! 307-752-5961 aaron@roaringforkins.com or insurancman2.0@yahoo.com
  6. Happy, happy Tuesday!!!!!!!!!!!! Ah ... I know that summer is never long enough, but fall has finally started to settle in on Sheridanopolis, and I could not be happier. It is my favorite time of year. Cooler temperatures (but not too cold), the smell of the air, the brisk mornings. What is not to love! I hope that wherever you are, you are making the best of this time of year. Today in the TMIT I want to address something that has needed addressing for a long time, the word "Premium". What does it mean? Well, it actually means a lot of different things. According to Merriam-Webster a "premium" is defined as, "A sum over and above a regular price paid chiefly as an inducement or incentive." It also means, "The consideration paid for a contract of insurance." Ha, there is how it relates to insurance. However, it is also defined as "A high value in EXCESS of that NORMALLY or USUALLY expected." OK!!!!!!!! Now we are at the root of what today's posting is about!!!!!!!! Clever, right?!?!?! Although many of us associate the term of "Premium" to mean the money we that we pay in exchange for an insurance policy the issue that I have been seeing across the board is that many of you are being gouged in the way of your premiums. I have had so many distillers getting in touch with me over the past month saying, "Hey, InsuranceMan 2.0!!!, would you be willing to take a look at my policy?!?!? I think I am paying way too much!" Yes, the OTHER definition of premium. I have discovered, through looking at about two or three dozen policies recently that the majority of you out there, those who do not have insurance through me, associate the word premium with the OTHER definition of a high value in excess of that normally or usually expected. AND YOU ARE RIGHT!!!!!!!!! Good night, Irene!!!!!! I have to tell you, I recently saw a policy come across my desk where an insured was paying nearly $50,000 for his insurance, I poo you not!!!!! 50-GRAND!!!!!!!!! That is an insane amount of money for distillery insurance. And it is not like it is GINORMOUS "Big-Boy" producer. Don't get me wrong, it is a nice operation, but no where near the 50K mark. Anyway, it turns out I was able to secure him BETTER coverage for less than half the money, and actually cover him for all of the exposures he had, not just the one that was listed on his excessively expensive policy. Do you know why? Do you know what the difference was?!?!!?!? It is the thing that I have seen dozens of times over in the last month and that thing is, the other insurance agent DIDN'T KNOW WHAT THE H311 THEY WERE DOING!!!!!! UGH! If I ever get my hands on some of the evildoers, I swear, it will look something like this ... Anyway, I am so enraged when I see the good people of ADI-Ville being taken advantage of by these dunderheaded-muddlenoggins! They simply do not belong in the insurance world, let alone writing polices for distilleries that they do not know anything about!!!!!!! Grrrrrrrrr!!!! What is happening people??!??! I know exactly what is happening. Many of you don't know where to turn for insurance so you reach out to someone you know, someone down the street, someone that you happened to see an ad for on a bus speeding by maybe, but you are playing Russian Roulette people. The client that I spoke about above before my amazing fight scene depicted above was paying twice as much as he should have been. And that was not just for one year, two years would be horrifying, but he was paying this for the last three years. Truly grotesque!!!!!!!!! Think about that for a minute. He was paying $25,000 a year TOO MUCH for three years. For those of you that are still reeling from the fight scene, let me assist you. That is $75,000 wasted over the course of three years. Imagine what this distiller could have done with an extra $75,000!!!!!!! You all know what he could have done with that. Increase his profits, keep out of debt, hire someone, marketing campaigns, new equipment, the list is endless. But no, he wasted it on an insurance evildoer who didn't know what they were doing and this good distillery citizen paid the price. Well, enough is enough people! Do not let these vile evil insurance people abscond with your hard earned money any longer. Call me, please, for the sake of all things holy! I am not saying you have to use me, but at least call me for a second opinion. Chances are you will end up working with me, but let me at least show you that things can be better and done correctly when it comes to you policy, and often for much less. Let me get you back to associating the word "Premium" with the best definition. The definition that I associate this word with, and that is "of exceptional quality." Until Next Time Dear Reader, Stay Vigilant, Aaron Linden InsuranceMan 2.0!!! 307-752-5961 aaron@roaringforkins.com or insuranceman2.0@yahoo.com
  7. Good Morning My Friends, In today's installment of the TMIT there is only one thing that I want to say. Let us never forget the real, everyday heroes that gave their lives on this day eighteen years ago, and those who have given their lives over the last almost two decades due to illnesses sustained from the terrorist attack on 9/11. Every day, first responders, fire fighters, police, military service people and others provide us with protection, put their lives on the line, and serve us so that we can live in freedom and know that we are safe. If you see someone in uniform today, please take a minute to thank them for what they do. It is often a thankless job, but we ALL depend on them, every hour of every day. Until Next Time .... Stay Vigilant, and NEVER FORGET, Aaron Linden a.k.a InsuranceMan 2.0!!! 307-752-5961 aaron@roaringforkins.com or insuranceman2.0@yahoo.com
  8. @Skaalvenn and @Airman700, thank you for the feed back. I am wanting to explore some various options for folks in the distilling industry. I have the ability to do "onesie-twosie" policies for individuals, but there is more purchasing power in numbers, that is why I would like to know if there are various state guilds, groups, etc., that distillers have formed, and what the interest of those groups would be. Generally speaking, an organization can not form solely for the reason of securing group health insurance, but many of the state guilds have been around for a while. Is anyone out there willing to do a polling of your guild/group and find out what kind of a participation rate we may be looking at?
  9. Tuesday is upon us once again, dearest ADI-ers, so here we go. In today's installment of the TMIT I am actually going to ask a short and sweet question and I am hoping for several responses from the forum goers. I am wondering to myself, "Self ...", I wonder ... "How many distillers out there would like to have a health insurance alternative?" So, what I am asking is the following, how many distilleries out there would be interested in some sort of health insurance plan? It could be an individual group type policy, but more what I am wondering is would there be interest in a larger group policy for distillers guilds, etc.? Let me know if this is something of interest to anyone out there and if so, where you are located and what your thoughts or questions are. I am doing some exploratory research on my end, but I want to know if anyone else out there has thought about this and I am wanting to get a feel for the potential need of such an offering. I look forward to hearing from you. Until next time my friends .... Stay Vigilant, Aaron Linden a.k.a. InsuranceMan 2.0!!! 307-752-5961 aaron@roaringforkins.com or insuranceman2.0@yahoo.com
  10. It’s Tuesday, It’s Tuesday, Woo, Woo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Good morning my friends in ADI-land! Do you ever have those days where you wake up and do your superhero work out (usually consisting of the dog running me, not the other way around), your weight training routine, and then have some wonderfully flavorful French press coffee and a luxurious breakfast and you just feel like the word is your oyster?!???!?! Well, if you have had those mornings then you know how I am feeling. All is right in Insuranceopolis and I am just in a hap-hap-happy mood. I hope this post finds you feeling the same. In today’s installment of the TMIT I want to touch on a topic that we have never really spoke about here previously. This is something that may concern some of you, and for others it may not be a big deal at all, it just depends on your operation. Although insurance has a long history and is a concept almost as old as dirt, this coverage is one that actually did not even exist just a few decades ago. What am I talking about???? Any guesses???? CYBER LIABILITY!!!!!!!!! Yes, siree Bob. Cyber Liability actually came into existence well after the advent of computer technology, email, and quite honestly, a rather long time after the wide accessibility of the internet and shopping online. As we have discussed previously, insurance is antiquated in many senses and big ships turn slow. Although there was a need for this type of coverage prior to it being offered, this “late to the game” approach by the insurance industry is quite typical. Often times this approach is born out of bureaucracy and red-tape, but more-often-than-not it is simply due to the fact that no one really knows what the true exposures are or how to underwrite or provide coverage for such a new threat. We have been dealing with fires and lawsuits since the beginning of time so those are easily dealt with by insurance carriers. There are specialized underwriting matrix that exist regarding property loss and liability that are backed by over a hundred years’ worth of data. But cyber … well that is something that simply did not exist previous to 1988. Why 1988 you may ask? Well, according to NATO International, the first documented attack on the cyber infrastructure occurred in 1988 and was called the Morris Worm. This was a rather simplistic attack that took advantage of a weakness in the Unix system Noun 1 and slowed computes down, ultimately making them cease completely. Oh, how far and much more nefarious have attacks progressed from then to now!!!!!!!! Realistically, cyber liability coverage can trace it’s roots back to somewhere in the 1990’s, but back then, as is mostly the case through today, no one really understood the need for this coverage and very few purchased it. It was not until around the year 2000 that Lloyd’s of London launched the first Cyber Liability policy. Fast-forward to 2019 and you may think that the percentage of companies that purchase this coverage would be HUGE due to the increase of cyber attacks. Well dear reader, you would be very, very wrong. Less than one-third (1/3) of all US based companies carry any type of Cyber Liability coverage. SERIOUSLY!?!??!! Everyone gets attacked at some point, right?!?!?!?! Well … according to statista.com, not everyone is attacked. In 2018 the annual number of data breaches was upwards of about 1,300 in the U.S. Although that may not seem like as many as one would think, please keep in mind that the AVERAGE COST of a cyber breach at that time was $27,370,000! Yes, that is twenty-seven MILLION DOLLARS!!!!!!!!!!! Now, obviously we are talking about some big-time companies here, hospitals, credit card companies, etc. With that said though, smaller businesses get hit all the time and everything is relative, right??!?! If a big corporation has a cyber liability loss of $27,000,000 it still is going to hurt their bottom line at the end of the year, just like if your business has a loss of maybe $270,000 it is going to hurt your bottom line, maybe even to the point of putting you out of business where as the “Big Boys” can absorb such a loss a bit easier and continue to operate. Ok, enough of the history lesson, although it was needed in order to set the table so that we can discuss this topic further. So, what does Cyber Liability cover? Well, that depends on the type of business, the size, what kind of records you keep, and quite honestly it depends on the carrier that you purchase the coverage though as they are all different. In a nutshell, Cyber provides coverage for financial losses that result from data breaches or other cyber type attacks. As stated, different carriers offer different policies, but most do cover not only first-party (you and your business) coverage, but third-party coverage as well. That means that a cyber policy can provide insurance for losses that you sustain due to a cyber attack that ruin your personal data records as well as anyone that is damaged due to your data being breached. How about an example, eh? You sell your product to John Smithe (pronounced “smYthe” 😊 , either on site at your location or via an internet sale, if that is legal where you are located), and you retain Mr. Smithe’s information in your database. Maybe you have his name (duh!), address, phone number, etc. … but here is where it gets scary … maybe you have also retained his date of birth for legal verification reasons, as well as his credit card number and other vital purchasing information. If Mr. Smythe’s information is stolen due to a cyber-attack, UH-OH, you could be in serious trouble now. In fact, there are multiple sites out there on the world-wide-interweb-thingy that offer “Data Breach Cost Calculators”, and according to one that I like the best, if you have been breached and exposed only 10 clients personal payment information or their personally identifiable information, that loss could cost you upwards of $180,000!!!!!!!!!!! That is on 10 clients!!!!!!! The average cost per record can be nearly $20,000. That number should be an eye opener for sure! Now, just to be fair, that is a large amount of loss due to a data breach, don’t get me wrong but there may be a silver lining to all of this. Let’s say you had 10,000 clients that were breached, who had their information stolen, the claim may not be extrapolated by the same per client cost that was previously mentioned. Again, it depends on the type of loss and your coverage, but typically the majority of the expense comes in the way of incident investigation costs. Those costs typically are the most expensive as the “investigation is the investigation” regardless of the number of clients, but the per client cost goes down dramatically as that is spread across all 10,000 which could essentially drive the per client average down to around $40 per client. Hey, we are still talking about a loss of $380,000 though, and that is enough to put a sizeable dent in your profits and potentially put you out of business if you don’t carry this type of coverage. OK, now that I have your attention, I can hear you pondering the ultimate question that everyone inevitably will ask, “How much is this going to cost me?!?!?!?!” Honestly, it is not as daunting as one may think. The average cyber liability policy premium for a business ranges from about $1,000 annually up to $7,500. It just all really depends on the size of your business, the type of records retained, and a myriad of other factors. All-in-all it is not as much as one would think for such a viable and real threat in today’s world. I have heard many reasons from folks as to why they don’t want or need cyber liability. From, “Well, we only use ‘Square’ and don’t keep any records of a personal nature”, to “We don’t have any records that are worth anything.” I hear you and I understand, but … Although payment services like “Square” and others take care of most of the PCI data compliance for you, maybe that is not your biggest exposure. Do you keep records on employees, or maybe some “trade secret” data of your products, or your own payment and purchasing information? Do you have a website that generates sales for you? What if your website is hacked and you lose revenue? Could this be an issue? Yes, yes it could and yes you do have these exposures! We all do. Let’s face it, everything in our life is all ones and zeros stored on an electronic device somewhere. We don’t have piles of paper files clogging up valuable square-footage like in the olden days. Well, that data has intrinsic value my friends, and without it, or if it is corrupted or stolen and held hostage, what are you going to do? If you have a cyber liability policy in place the world becomes a lot less “gloom and doom” and more “sunshine and rainbows” knowing that you may not have to bear this burden alone since InsuranceMan 2.0!!! and the cyber liability insurance carrier will be there to save the day. Do you want to know more or find out if you really have a need? Then get in touch with me and I can assist you in the process, I am here to help. Until next time … Stay Vigilant, Aaron Linden a.k.a. InsuranceMan 2.0!!! 307-752-5961 insuranceman2.0@yahoo.com
  11. ***** UPDATE ***** For anyone that may not yet be aware, I can still be reached at 307-752-5961 or at insuranceman2.0@yahoo.com . I have separated from the "past agency" but have been up and running at my new agency for about a year now. Thank you to all for the referrals and nice words. I am here to assist you, so give me a call or shoot me an email! Until then ... Stay Vigilant, Aaron Linden a.k.a. InsuranceMan 2.0!!!
  12. Happy Tuesday To All, In today's installment of the "Tidbit" we are going to try something I gave a shot a while back but it was not as well received as I had hoped it would be, but first ... In the spirit of always growing my superpowers (and due somewhat to regulations and complilance), InsuranceMan 2.0!!! has been a bit preoccupied with CE. Ah yes, as any of you that came from or are still dwelling in the professional world (outside of distilling), there are requirements for Continuing Education (CE) in order to keep your licensure up to date and make all of the regulators happy, happy, happy. Well, 'tis the season, and I am neck deep in it, but that does not mean I am not here to serve and protect you! I should have it all wrapped up in the next day or so, but I have been a bit busy with it all. That then brings us to the meat of the TMIT for today. As stated, I tried to do a little Question and Answer (Q&A) post a while back and I have either done such an amazing job at educating all of you that no one has any insurance questions, or people just did not want to ask questions. I hope it was the former but methinkst thou ADI-ers mayst not want to appearest naive. Whatever the case, I would like to open up this post to questions. Any questions that you may have. There are no silly questions, people, so let's have at it. Do you have questions about your General Liability, perhaps your property coverage, maybe how your stock should be calculated?!?!?!?! Do you want to know how to make a killer Pad Thai or ask what I am doing this weekend? Nothing is off limits, so let's get this party started?!!??! Who will be first???? What will they ask?!?!?! So many questions ... but all from me so far. Now it is your turn. Be the first to post a question and let's have some fun with this. Until someone does ... Stay Vigilant!!!!! Best, Aaron Linden a.k.a InsuranceMan 2.0!!! 307-752-5961 insuranceman2.0@yahoo.com
  13. The very best of Tuesday mornings to you!!!!!!! Yes, Tuesday is upon us once again! I know we all look forward to what that means! It is time for today’s installment of the TMIT. Today I am going to shed some light on something that I have mentioned many times in the past but never really took the deep dive on. That “something” is co-insurance. Ah, co-insurance. This “something” is something that most insurance agents cannot even wrap their minds around. Don’t believe me, just ask them. I have actually had conversations with underwriters who have said that they really don’t quite understand it. Well, ok. I guess their job is underwriting and not claims adjusting, BUT STILL!!!!!!!!!! As you sit down with your insurance policy to give it a loving perusal (really, who does this?!?!?!!) you will inevitably come across your property section of the policy. In that section you will see the amounts of coverage you have in regard to your building (if you own it, or maybe your tenant improvements and betterments), your equipment (at least I hope you have coverage for that), your contents or business personal property (BPP), and maybe even your stock on hand (if your agent knows what they are doing that is) to name a few. If your policy is of a more standard ilk, you will see the description of what is being covered, the limit of value of that coverage, your deductible, and more likely than not, your co-insurance limit. OOooooooo …… Yep, there it is!!!!!! It is the insurance equivalent of spotting a unicorn in an open field. It is mythical, it is magical, and really, when you see it, you may rub your eyes and wonder silently, “What the heck am I looking at?!?!?!?!?!” Co-insurance comes in a myriad of different flavors depending on the carrier providing your coverage, but typically you will see an 80%, 90%, or in some cases 100%. I will say that one of the only times you see a 100% co-insurance clause should be if it is an “agreed value” or something of the like. Fear not dear reader, I will explain this so that you understand it, no matter what percentage you have listed. Then, armed with this all-knowing insurance geek knowledge, you can sit around your next dinner party or tasting and astound people with your incredibly in-depth repertoire of insurance knowledge, which to be honest, probably won’t get you anywhere. REGARDLESS, let’s get to it. For this example we will use your building value (fear not, if you do not own your building you can simply apply this to whatever aspect of property coverage you like, it all functions the same way). Let us hypothesis that you have your building listed with a nice round value of $1,000,000 (places pinky to corner of mouth with one eyebrow lifted)!!!!!!! Excellent. Maybe your agent went to the painstaking lengths to run a Marshall & Swift cost estimator or some equivalent based on contractor costs and types of materials used in your location to accurately decipher what your actual building costs would be if you needed to rebuild from the ground up. Wait, what?!?!?!! Who did what now?!?!?! Well, this is an interesting point of fact. Where did your insurance amount come from? Did you give it to the agent and they just said ok and used it? Is it what the property would sell for if you wanted to sell it???? Either way, dollars to donuts, it is wrong. First of all, your agent should always be providing you with a replacement cost estimation of what it would run if you had to rebuild the entire building, end of story. If they have not done that, run, screaming!!!! Not that you don’t know your building and what intrinsic value it may have to you, but in this case, the cost of construction is ever changing and the only accurate way to know what that cost would be is to do an “Insured To Value” (ITV) or “Total Insured Value” (TIV) cost estimation based on the most recent and up to date figures available in your area. As to “what would it sell for”, again, WRONG! The sale value takes into account things such as location, overall land and land size, etc. The sale price is not what it would take to rebuild the building. In fact, sometimes the sale price could be much more, and in some cases it could be much less that what the building alone would cost to replace. Interesting, isn’t it?!?!?!?!?! In fact, I am going to use a real-life example for you so you can see how dangerous this can be. I have a client in a middle of the country city, a city that was hit hard with having too much warehouse real estate and not enough buyers for the market. He was able to score an incredible deal on his building. He procured a 10,000 square foot warehouse for around $150,000!!!!!! That comes out to $15 a square foot (not including the land), which is UNHEARD OF! He calls me all excited and wants to get insurance coverage for his distillery in this location. I said great, and congratulations. He tells me that he wants to insure everything like it was before, but now he owns his own building (proud moment for him to be sure) so he wants to include that on the policy for $150,000. WHOA!!!!! Pump the breaks … What? He tells me of the amazing deal he got, and he only wants to insure the building for what he has into it. Can anyone say, “co-insurance clause”?!?!?!!? OK, here we go. A co-insurance clause is put into insurance policies (almost always reflected as a percentage) and used by insurance companies to ensure that policyholders insure their property (again, any kind of property) to an appropriate value. Why do they do this? Well, it is a way for the carriers to make sure that they are receiving a fair and accurate premium for their risk involved in insuring the property. Ah yes, it all boils down to money! A prime example is the one that I just gave (as by design). This insured wanted to insure his building for $150,000 when the true replacement cost of the building would be much higher. The premium to insure a $150,000 building may be around $1,125 (if it is a $0.75 rate) as opposed to a premium of nearly $7,500 in order to insure a $1,000,000 building value. Now you can see why the carrier is interested in making sure that things line up correctly. This is one of the reasons why they have the co-insurance clause. Co-insurance works like this: It is the amount of insurance you DID have at the time of the loss divided by the amount of insurance your SHOULD have had (and just where does that value come from you are wondering????? You guessed it, mainly from an ITV/TIV that the claims adjustor runs, usually from Marshall & Swift. Oh, all the pieces are fitting together like I had this planned out or something!!!! The voice of experience is loud and clear coming from me!). Take that percentage, multiply it by the loss amount, subtract your deductible and that is what you get reimbursed from the carrier. Lost yet? Most people are, even those who have been in insurance for years. It is easy to understand when we go back to our example. We will get there in a minute, I promise. If this insured’s building has a true replacement cost of $1,000,000 and he has an 80% co-insurance clause, this means that to be in compliance with this provision he MUST insure his building to at least $800,000 (0.80 x $1,000,000 = 800,000) If he insures his building to that amount, he can avoid any kind of co-insurance penalty and he would receive the full amount of insurance (minus the deductible) in the case of a loss. Keep in mind that he will only be able to recoup the amount of value shown on the policy coverage form ($800,000 in this case), which would leave him having to out-of-pocket $200,000 in order to build this same $1,000,000 building, but that is better than what happens if you do incur a co-insurance penalty. OK, now that you understand that aspect, I will illustrate what happens if you are out of compliance. In our example it would look like this: $150,000 (DID have) / $800,000 (SHOULD have had since the value is $1,000,000 @ 80% = $800,000) = 0.1875 or 18.75% Yep, if an insurance agent didn’t know any better (which I of course do!!!!!!!) this client would have only had his building insured to 18.75% of its actual replacement value. VERY BAD!!!!! Here is the equation: Amount of insurance the insured DID have (if they had not known better): $150,000 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- = 18.75% Amount of insurance the insured SHOULD have had: $800,000 Obviously the insured is WAY out of compliance here. What happens next may make you cringe or toss your cookies, so hold on tight or prepare to look away! You have been warned. If the building were partially damaged, let’s say to the tune of $50,000 here is how this would play out: $150,000 (DID) --------------------------- = 18.75% multiplied by the loss amount of $50,000 – Deductible $800,000 (SHOULD) So you would have a co-insurance equation that looks like this: 18.75% x $50,000 = $9,375 - $1,000 deductible = $8,375 insurance claim payment. GASP!!!! As you can see, due to the insured being out of compliance and the co-insurance penalty being implemented, this insured is only going to received $8,375 on a $50,000 claim. This leaves this poor bugger having to out-of-pocket $41,625 in order to repair the building to bring it back up to where it was prior to the loss. Horrifying, right?!?!?!?!?! I don’t want to leave you with that vision today though, so I am going to show you what happens if everything is a hunky-dory! Same situation, but we have the building insured at $800,000. $800,000 (DID) -------------------------- = 1 or 100% x $50,000 loss - $1,000 deductible = $49,000 $800,000 (SHOULD) AND THE CROWD GOES WILD!!!!!!!!!! Here is the real deal folks and what you really need to know about co-insurance. Just don’t even play the game. My advice is to never try to get into a situation where you are trying to hit right on the value you need to meet your co-insurance limit. The price of concrete fluctuates, drywall, plywood, etc. Even if you think you are right on the money, it could all be different tomorrow and it could cost you big time! Think of this, what is it going to cost you to insure your building to its full value instead of 80% of its value? Well, in the case I gave above, it may cost you $1,500 more a year to insure your building (maybe!!!!) at $1,000,000 as opposed to playing the co-insurance game of Roulette and having it at $800,000 only to find out that is not enough. Do not scrimp on your coverage here, please, I implore you. Unless you are a “let it all ride on red” kinda gambler, this is something you need to stay away from. There are ways to shave some of the costs off your building replacement cost, there are. I have tricks and tips as to how to get some of the value down, but I am not going to share that here. Too many non-superhero agents read my posts to try and garner some of my super insurance knowledge, but there are ways to reduce the overall ITV/TIV. If you are interested in that further or need a comprehensive review of all things insurance-y, get a hold of me, InsuranceMan 2.0!!! and I would be glad to lend you a helping superhero hand. Until next time dear reader … Stay Vigilant, Aaron Linden a.k.a. InsuranceMan 2.0!!! 307-752-5961 insruanceman2.0@yahoo.com
  14. It is Tuesday here on the ADI forums, and we all know what that means … In today’s installment of the Tuesday Morning Insurance Tidbit we are going back to the basics. I have had many conversations with folks who were not entirely certain what the different coverages of an insurance policy are, how they are broken up, or really what they mean. So, in today’s installment of the TMIT we are going to dissect a basic insurance policy and provide a 30,000 foot perspective. First and foremost, again, this is a very rudimentary explanation of an insurance policy. Many of you will have needs far beyond this, but for several of you it may be your first time thinking about these issues. Wherever you fall on the spectrum, I hope this is helpful. Where shall we begin? Well, let us start with what is potentially the most important piece of information on the insurance policy, YOUR NAME! You would not believe how many times I see this messed up, and you really would not believe the impact this can have on your coverage. Your name is going to be your name, the name of the distillery, entity of the distillery, etc. Simple, right? Well, for some, not really. Let’s say “Joe Smith” owns “Main Street Distillery” to keep things simple. What should the NAMED INSURED section of the policy read then? Well, who are we protecting with the policy? Joe Smith owns the distillery and as the owner/partner/member/officer he is provided coverage by the policy if done under the entity name. That would then mean that we should use Main Street Distillery then, right? Well, maybe and maybe not. Is Joe Smith a sole proprietor? If so then we have to name Joe Smith as the named insured doing business as (DBA) Main Street Distillery. Confused yet? Right! It all depends on the structure of the individual or entity that owns the business. If Joe is a sole proprietor, then in order for Mr. Smith to be provided coverage he has to specifically be named on the policy as the named insured dba the business name. If Joe set things up as a C-Corp, S-Corp, LLC, etc., then he would be afforded protection automatically by the policy under the entity. So, if it is Main Street Distillery, LLC then Joe would be included for coverage under the operations of the business. It should be simple, but it can be confusing, and it can impact your coverage in a monumental way. Case in point, let us say that Joe is a sole proprietor who is doing business as Main Street Distillery but the policy only names Main Street Distillery. In this scenario there is a loss and not only is Main Street Distillery sued, but Joe is sued individually for his negligence. Well, if Joe is not name as an insured on the policy then “Joe ain’t got no ….” coverage!!!!!!! That’s right, the only thing contemplated for coverage is what appears on the policy declarations sheet. WATCH OUT FOLKS! If the scenario is changed and the entity is an LLC, let’s say, then if the entity is sued and Joe is named individually, he would be afforded coverage via the policy since he is the owner/managing member of the LLC. See how this can be confusing and have a huge impact on who is and who is not covered? OK, so what if Joe operates the distillery as Main Street Distillery, LLC but owns the building under “Old Joe S Enterprises”? Well, how is the ownership structured here? Is it a subsidiary of Main Street Distillery, LLC dba Old Joe S Enterprises? If so, then I would hedge on the safe side and list it as such, but many miss this factor. Is it a separate LLC? If it is Old Joe S Enterprises, LLC then it could either be listed as an “Additional Named Insured”, a straight up “Named Insured”, it could be included to have coverage on the overall policy, or it could have its own policy. Ah, down the rabbit hole we go, HOLD ON!!!!!! Long-story-short, if you have never had the discussion with your insurance agent about what the ownership looks like, what the name of all of the entities are, and how they should be covered or separated out you could be in big trouble. Or … you could work with someone who has a tight grasp on all of this. Someone like me, InsuranceMan 2.0!!!, and you would know where you stand on this subject. Next we have the actual coverage, the meat and potatoes side of the policy. What you are actually being covered for and what that is based on. Again, a rabbit hole of impressive proportions in its own right. Simply put there are a few key coverage factors you will need to know about. They are as follows: General Liability Liquor Liability Property Coverage Commercial Auto Umbrella (maybe, depends on how big you are, lease contracts, distribution contracts, etc.) (and potentially) Workers Compensation. I say “potentially” Workers Compensation due to the fact that many distilleries that are starting out may not have that need as they may not have pay rolled employees, or if they do they may not be subject to work comp. It depends where you are located. See my post about Workers Comp here: For the General Liability it is broken out into roughly 6 different sections. Those sections are “Each Occurrence Limit”, “Personal and Advertising Injury Limit”, “General Aggregate Limit (Other Than Products – Completed Operations), Products/Completed Operations Aggregate Limit”, “Rented to You Limit”, and “Medical Expenses Limit (Any One Person)”. HOLY INSURANCE OVERLOAD, InsuranceMan 2.0!!!, “What does that all mean?!?!?!?!?”, you may be screaming at your screen. Well, in brief, your Each Occurrence Limit is the amount of coverage you would have for any one liability loss. Your Personal and Advertising Injury Limit would be the amount of coverage you have for any injury (physical) to a person or persons where as the Advertising portion would be if you were sued over saying something in your advertisements about someone else’s product tasting like caca and yours being superior. Then the Aggregate limit is the total amount of coverage that you would be afforded in any one policy period. So, if your per occurrence limit is $1,000,000 and your aggregate is $2,000,000 that means that the insurance company would pay out up to $1,000,000 for any claim, but never more than $2,000,000 in any given policy period. Clear as mud? No? OK, think of it this way. You have one claim wherein someone is injured and that claim is $900,000. Ooooo ….. yikes, that was dang near that Million limit, but you are ok, it was under. 6 months later you sustain a liability claim of $500,000. Boy Howdy, it is not your year! Well, due to the fact that you already used $900,000 of the million limit you may be concerned that only $100,000 will be covered. Not so! Because of the aggregate limit, the full $500,000 is covered in this claim. However, you now have had two instances that add up to $1,400,000 so you really only have $600,000 more in liability coverage to get you to the end of the year, and the way you are going, that may not be enough. The Products and Completed Operations Aggregate Limit works much the same way but this coverage only contemplated your products. So if someone were to be injured by your product, that would fall under this portion of the policy coverage. Somewhat easier, and there is more to say, but I will leave it there for the time being. Keep in mind that your General Liability premium and Products premiums are all based rated on your sales. Again, a rabbit hole that we don’t have time to go down but this is a huge pet peeve of mine. A L L sales need to be broken out and classified correctly, enough said. This is something that I find to be incorrect on about 80% of the policies I see that are not mine. I can fix this for you to make sure things are accurate, just give me a call to discuss this in detail. That bring us to the Rented to You Limit. This is for properties that you rent. WATCH OUT HERE!!!!!!! Most policies will give you $100,000 on the surface, and many of you are in lease situation where the building value you are in far exceeds $100,000. Many of the policies that I provide include an endorsement (you’re welcome) that replaces this $100,000 limit with a $1,000,000 limit. Ah, that’s better. But watch out for this, if there is no increased limit on this line item you could be in trouble. You can buy this limit up, but it will cost you some additional $$$$$$$. Last in the Liability section is Medical Expenses Limit (Any One Person) of $5,000. “Does that mean if someone gets hurt at my place, I only have $5,000 to cover their injury?” Great question my astute reader, but the answer is no. Medical Expense is kind of a sub-limit of the overall General Liability. This is for “nuisance” claims. If someone comes to your facility and slips on some spilled water (hypothetical) and twists their ankle and has to have it looked at and wrapped at the hospital, and the expense is $2,500 then the carrier would pay them that amount in exchange for them waiving their rights to seek further damages. If though, that same person who happens to be a concert pianist, slipped and fell braking their hand and now is claiming that they are going to be out of work for months on end, then it becomes a General Liability claim and would fall under that $1,000,000 limit. Now we are on to the Liquor Liability coverage. I know, I know … I hear it all the time, “But I only serve four (4) quarter ounce tastes, there is no way I can be sued for over serving under my Liquor Liability!” Well, read this: As for the Property coverage, this is where you are going to cover your assets. Your equipment, your building (if you own it), your contents, stock on hand, and miscellaneous items such as computers/boxes/labels/bottles/caps/corks/closures/etc. You are going to want to make sure that this figure is accurate for a few reasons. One, if something were to happen you want to make sure that you are reimbursed the correct amount so that you can replace your “stuff” and keep going. Second is that if this figure is not accurate you could face a co-insurance issue. Third is that you need to make sure that your product is covered correctly and adequately, especially if you are aging anything. The is so much more to this aspect but this is only a quick look at the overall coverage. If you want to know more about limits, co-insurance, deductibles, various coverage forms and what types of losses are covered, get in touch with me. How about Commercial Auto? If you own a vehicle in the name of the business, then you are going to want to place a commercial auto policy on that vehicle or vehicles. One, it protects you for a higher limit than you can obtain on a personal policy; Two, most personal policies exclude business use; Three, it protects the entity from lawsuits. You may be thinking that commercial auto does not apply to you because you don’t own any vehicles in the name of the business. I get that, but do you ever drive a personal vehicle, or ask others to do so for work related needs? If so, you have a commercial auto need. It is called Hired and Non-Owned (HNOA) Auto coverage. If you want more details go here: This brings us to the Umbrella coverage. What is this? Well, it truly is like an umbrella because it provides an extra layer of protection above the rest of the policies. Usually the limit is $1,000,000 and that is on top of your General Liability, Liquor Liability, Products, Auto, etc. So that $1,000,000 limit that you had, with an umbrella, is now $2,000,000. WHAT!?!??!!? SWEET!!!!!!! Yes, sweet indeed! However, it is truly only $1,000,000 as most umbrellas only provide an aggregate limit of $1,000,000 meaning that the limit really is just $1,000,000. Some reasons that you may consider an umbrella policy is that they are cheap, and they afford you a lot more protection. Maybe your operation is such that you are seeing many people in your facility, you do a lot of events, or your distribution area is so large that if there were tainted product and you could not recall it quick enough there would be the potential for a lot of claims. Who knows, but we can discuss that further if need be. Another reason would be that it is a requirement. Maybe the landlord requires you to carry $2,000,000 for any one occurrence. If that is the case, really, one of the only ways to achieve that is via an umbrella. Sometimes “big box stores” or distributors will require this in order for you to sell your products through them. Whatever the case may be, it is something to think about and have knowledge of. Last but not least is Workers Compensation. If you didn’t click the link above that references this, scroll back up after reading this and click on it to get a feel for what we are talking about. In that article it discusses what Workers Compensation is, who needs it, and why. I don’t want to regurgitate all of that here, so, if you think you have a need for this coverage, do yourself a favor and give it a look. OK, dearest loyal reader, there you have it. A brief (-ish) synopsis of an overall insurance policy, what to look for, what you need at a basic level of understanding, and some interspersed humor (hopefully, so that it is not as painful or dry). With that, I will leave you until next time. If you have questions, would like to learn more, or just want someone to bounce things off of (I am a superhero after all so things just bounce right off of me), give me a call, shoot me an email, or flip on the InsuranceMan 2.0!!! beacon and I will swoop to your assistance. Until next time dear reader … Stay Vigilant, Aaron Linden a.k.a. InsuranceMan 2.0!!! 307-752-5961 insuranceman2.0@yahoo.com
  15. What a Glorious Tuesday Morning in ADI-ville!!!!!! A glorious day just in time to coincide with a glorious installment of the Tuesday Morning Insurance Tidbit. Yes, I know … YOU’RE WELCOME! As you see from the title, we will be delving into quite a few TLA's today. What is a "TLA" you may ask? Why, it is the Three Letter Acronym for a Three Letter Acronym (TLA)! In today’s installment of the TMIT we are going to be discussing something that is becoming more and more prevalent in today’s insurance marketplace. As you know from my posts like “The Times They Are a-Changin’” and “Standard vs. E&S”, there has been a tightening of underwriting guidelines as well as several carriers that simply are leaving the distillery insurance space which in turn is forcing several distillers to head into and Excess & Surplus (E&S) lines market. With that comes some positive aspects, but also a few negative, which brings us to today’s topic. When you deal with and E&S carrier a few things happen. First is you get a hold of an insurance agent (but not just any insurance Shmoe, no … do yourself a huge favor and get a hold of an expert, someone like, oh, I don’t know ….. Hummmmm ……… let’s see here now ….. ME!!!! Yes, InsuranceMan 2.0!!!). Second, that agent assists you in finding out what kind of carrier is going to be interested in insuring your distillery. Third, if it is either decided that you do not fit a standard carrier (maybe because the standard carriers have rejected to offer a proposal, or simply due to the insurance agent knowing that you will not fit due to location, exposures, etc.) the agent will employ an insurance broker to go out to the E&S markets in order to obtain a proposal for you. Fourth, the agent provides you with the proposals and you make a decision based on coverage and premium. Fifth, you sign all the paperwork and bind the coverage. Last … And this is where our topic for the day comes in, the last step is the insurance premium payment … Dun – Dun – DAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If you have been used to working with Standard carriers in the past, it is like running through a summery meadow full of flowers, fawns prancing about, the sound of a stream trickling in the distance. Standard carriers don’t want any money down or up front, they will send you a direct bill invoice, maybe in 30 to 45 days from the issuance of the policy, and then you have several weeks after that to make sure you get your first payment in, and then, just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, IT DOES!!!! They will break up the rest of the payments over the course of up to 9 installments and they may not even charge you a fee to do it!!!!!!!!!!!!! W H A T ?!??!?!?!! Is this insurance Heaven?!?!?!?! Who does this?!??!?!? Well, they do. However, as that one pretty smart dude stated a couple of years back in his Third Law of Motion, for ever action there is an equal and opposite reaction. I am pretty sure he was talking about insurance and this topic. E&S carriers are the complete opposite of Standard carriers. Not only do they want 100% of the money up front (a.k.a. Fully Earned Premium or FEP / all the premium / cash on the barrel head / the whole enchilada), they also will hit you with things like “broker fees”, “inspection fees”, and “taxes”. These items are also “fully earned”. Just when you though it couldn’t get any tougher, they also subject you to a 25% Minimum Earned Premium (or MEP). That means that even if you were to cancel the policy a few months in, they are going to retain 25% of the total amount of the premium plus all of the taxes and fees, no matter what! WOWZA! You ain’t in that Heavenly insurance field or in Kansas anymore, Dorothy! So, you have to come up with a huge wad of cash upon binding the policy and if you cancel you will lose 25% of the premium and all of the taxes and fees?!?!?!? Yup, sorry Charlie. The horror!!!!! So, what can be done?!???!?!?! Well, have no fear, InsuranceMan 2.0!!! is here!!!!! I always am keeping a vigilant and weathered eye out for your best interest, dear reader, and I have your back … and your solutions. There is a wonderful tool called a “Premium Finance Agreement” (PFA) and with that agreement it will allow you to make a down payment (although it still has to be the 25% of the premium plus all the taxes, fees, etc., ‘cause they are going to keep that no matter what) but then it allows you to break up the rest of the premium, potentially into 9 other installments. Well, THAT’S BETTER than having to pay it all in full. Although it is true that the premium finance companies are not just going to do this out of the goodness of their hearts, in fact, they are going to charge you an Annual Percentage Rate (APR) in order to provide you with this option. But again, I have your back. Because I work with so many distilleries and have such a good relationship with my premium finance company, I can often times get them to an APR of 7%-11% depending on the overall size of the account. Sometimes even less! Most agents and premium finance companies will hit you with a standard 12%-15% to start and I have even seen them as high as 24%. Heck, you may as well pay your insurance on a credit card at that point! A few other things to be wary of in your insurance dealings with E&S carriers would be the cancellation provisos. Some will offer a “Pro-Rata” cancellation term. This means that once your 25% (plus taxes and fees) money is used up, if you cancel (for example 9 months in), they will refund you any unused portion of your premium payment back in full. That is what you want! The one to watch out for is the “Short-Rate Cancellation”. In this method the carrier would retain a percentage of the unused premium that has been paid if you request a cancellation, and only refund a portion of your money back to you. No Bueno! As it is with most things, there are a lot of moving parts when it comes to your distillery insurance as a whole, but if you get into a situation where you are dealing with an E&S carrier, those moving parts increase exponentially. This is not something that you want the aforementioned Shmoe dealing with for you, is it?!?!??! NO! So get in contact with me, InsuranceMan 2.0!!! and let me put my expertise to work for you! Until next time, dear reader … Stay Vigilant, Aaron Linden a.k.a. InsuranceMan 2.0!!! 307-752-5961 insuranceman2.0@yahoo.com
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