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InsuranceMan 2.0

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InsuranceMan 2.0 last won the day on March 14

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  1. Good Morning ADI-Land!!!!!!!!! Well, I am here today to thank all of you that stopped by my booth at the expo in Denver!!! I had a wonderful time getting to know all of you better, and connect up with some old friends, as well as make many new ones. It was a fantastic turn out for sure! If you did not get the chance to go, do yourself a favor and make sure you hit up next year’s conference in New Orleans!!!!! I cannot wait. OK, so last week I told you I had big news, and this is the week to release it to anyone that was not at the convention. I, InsuranceMan 2.0!!!, have been named as the endorsed and recommended insurance agent by ADI for their membership by Eric Owens of ADI. I have attached a copy of his letter as well for your perusal. This is quite an exciting partnership as I have been working with ADI and their membership for several years, and this truly shows all of our commitment and pursuit to make the insurance marketplace better for everyone. The more distillers insured means better rates by being able to calculate historical data which means opening up new markets for everyone, and the hopes of being able to lower rates in the future and have more competitive options. These are certainly exciting times, and I know it will mean great things for all of us in the future! Thank you to everyone that has worked with me in the past and the present, and for all of you that have not had an opportunity to work with me, I greatly look forward to working with all of you as well. With that, I am off. I don’t just mean that is it for today, I mean I am really off. As I stated last week, even Insurance Man 2.0!!! needs some R&R sometimes, so I will be out of the country for a bit. Don’t worry though, I will be back April 2nd (with a bit of a jetlag hangover), but I will be back. Until then my friends … Stay Vigilant, Aaron Linden a.k.a. InsuranceMan 2.0 307-752-5961 insuranceman2.0@yahoo.com Aaron Linden Endorsement.pdf
  2. Happy Tuesday Dear Readers, Ah … Spring time in the Rockies! 50 degrees one day, Blizzard warning and cancelled everything and road closures the next. I will say though, that it beats Minnesota (right @Skaalvenn), where you enter winter and negative degrees, and it stays there for 5 months!!!! At least here, in Sheridanopolis, you do get those 50-degree days followed by blizzard warnings. BUT AT LEAST YOU GET THOSE 50 DEGREE DAY REPRIEVES. Enough about the weather, what am I, some 90 year old rancher, talking about the weather. “Looks like weather’s comin’!” Isn’t it always!??!?!?!?! In today's installment of the “Tidbit”, I am going to keep this short and sweet, and not like I do when I say that and then go on ad nauseum for pages on end. This one will be short … ish 😊. Today I am inviting all of you to please come and visit me at booth 434 in Denver next week. As well, I have to tell you, BIG THINGS ARE HAPPENING!!!!! And when I say big things, I mean BIG THINGS. Although I will be at the expo next week and may not have a chance to post here (although I might, but really, with all the fun and frivolity that occurs at the expo it is doubtful), it is my anticipation that upon my return I am going to have some seriously amazing news for all of you here on the forums. With that said, I will be on hiatus for a week or two as I will be out of the country for a period. Even superhero’s such as I, InsuranceMan 2.0, need the occasional break. Insurance-superhero-ing is a full-time gig, 24/7, and occasionally you just gotta get away, as the great Lenny Kravitz has sung. Please stay tuned, dear reader, as I will be forthcoming with some pretty exciting news that is certain to turn the distillery insurance world on it’s head, and be beneficial for everyone. Until then, dear reader …. Stay Vigilant, Aaron Linden a.k.a InsuranceMan 2.0 307-752-5961 Insuranceman2.0@yahoo.com
  3. Good Morning Dear Readers, In today’s installment of the “Tidbit”, I wanted to touch upon bonding since it has been something that many folks have asked me about recently. I know, I know, bonding for the most part for many of you has been a non-factor in the recent years … OR HAS IT!??!?!! Dun-duh-daaaaah!!!!!!!!!! I wrote a little posting here a while back about bonding and the fact that the Fed’s never really, clearly defined the new Federal Excise Tax’s (FET’s for those of us in “the know”) reduction, and whether or not you should carry a bond. At the time that they passed the “Tax Reform” bill, Congress only spoke about the removal (or withdrawal) of tax paid spirits. They did not address the potential need for a bond to be held on the stock that is aging, in process, bottled, or bulk spirits (we will just refer to all of these as “stored spirits” from this point forward). There was a bit of debate between forum-goers as to if the “stored spirits” could ever have a need for taxes to be paid in the case of theft, destruction, etc. Addressed in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR’s); Title 27; Subchapter A; Part 19 – Distilled Spirits Plants; §19.262 General requirements for filing claims - §19.268 the reasoning, ability, and what may happen is discussed in case you feel like reading it … or if you need a nap. Anyway, there is a possibility that “stored sprits” could have the taxes called for by the Fed’s, in which case a bond would or could come in very handy. I will leave that up to you to decide. Really though, the heart of the matter and a question I get asked a lot is, “What is a surety bond for FET’s, do I need it, how does it work, and what about state bonding???!!?!” Well, InsuranceMan 2.0 is here to tell you. What is a surety bond? Well, basically a bond is a legal agreement between entities (in this case the distillery and the governing body) that guarantees that in the case of taxes needing to be paid, that they will be paid, either by the distillery (Indemnitee), or in the case that they cannot make the payment, the surety company (Indemnitor) is obligated to make the payment on behalf of the distillery. In short, if you don’t have the money to pay the taxes, the surety company will make the payment for you to get the government off your back. Sounds like a sweet deal, right? Not so quick! In the case that the indemnitor was to make a payment for you, yes, it satisfies the government by making them whole, but your obligation does not stop there. If the indemnitor has laid out money on your behalf, they are going to want to make up that loss somehow, and that now once again becomes your problem. A guy named “Guido” may show up to your door demanding payment, and “take your knees” if you can’t come up with the money. Actually, that probably isn’t going to happen … Probably. More likely, the surety company would ask you nicely for the money at first, but after that things could get icky. They may sue you over the lost funds, slap an injunction on you and your business (because you do sign the agreement as an individual and on behalf of your entity, if you have one) and make you liquidate assets until the loss is paid in full. Sounds kind of scary, huh? In reality, not really. If you think about this, when are most taxes due? When the product is withdrawn from you bonded premise. Generally that would mean, if you are removing product, chances are the reason is because they were sold, in which case that means that you have the money to pay the taxes on said withdrawn spirits. So really, the surety bond is just a formal agreement, a placeholder, to make the governmental body feel all warm and fuzzy and sleep better at night knowing that they are going to be paid no matter what. I personally have never seen a bond called on anyone that I work with, but I have heard of it in the case of loss/destroyed product (at which there may be a reduced rate on taxes due), or in the case that a distillery has become insolvent (again, thank goodness I have not had anyone with that issue). In any case, even though there is debate as to if you should carry a bond or not, a bond could be very nice to have should the unforeseen ever happen. Just an FYI, a Federal TTB DSP bond is broken into two parts, and this is what was never really addressed. There is the “Operations” side of the bond, and the “Withdrawal”. The operations side contemplates spirits that are “bulk, bottled, or in process”, so again, the “stored spirits”. This is the section that the Fed’s never spoke about or addressed in the tax reform. Then there is the “withdrawal” side that contemplates the taxes needing to be paid when the spirits are removed from you premises. This is the ONLY part that they concerned themselves with. Again, you can see how with this being the case, there may still be need for a bond at this time and place. Based on this recent tax reform, however, as illustrated, the Fed’s really are only concerned with the withdrawal side of things, and they lowered the taxes due from the historic $13.50 rate per proof gallon (100 proof, or 50% ABV) down to $2.70 per the same. A little aside here, the REAL tax rate for many was actually $10.80 since most product for many going out the door was 80 proof (or 40% ABV), which then made the tax rate $10.80 per proof gallon. Just wanted to share that little nerdy bit of knowledge with you. So, what the heck does this all mean?!?!?!? Well, it is too soon to say what Congress will do in the future, but the current FET reduction is due to sunset on December 31st, 2019. In the tax reform document, it states the following: PART IX—OTHER PROVISIONS Subpart A—Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform SEC. 13801. PRODUCTION PERIOD FOR BEER, WINE, AND DISTILLED SPIRITS. (a) IN GENERAL.—Section 263A(f) is amended— (4) EXEMPTION FOR AGING PROCESS OF BEER, WINE, AND DISTILLED SPIRITS.— ‘(B) TERMINATION.—This paragraph shall not apply to interest costs paid or accrued after December 31, 2019. H. R. 1—123 SEC. 13807. REDUCED RATE OF EXCISE TAX ON CERTAIN DISTILLED SPIRITS. ‘(1) IN GENERAL.—In the case of a distilled spirits operation, the otherwise applicable tax rate under subsection (a)(1) shall be— (A) $2.70 per proof gallon on the first 100,000 proof gallons of distilled spirits, and (B) $13.34 per proof gallon on the first 22,130,000 of proof gallons of distilled spirits to which subparagraph (A) does not apply, which have been distilled or processed by such operation and removed during the calendar year for consumption or sale, or which have been imported by the importer into the United States during the calendar year. So again, what does this all mean?!?!?!! It means that currently we are enjoying a bit of a reprieve in regards to the amount of taxes that are to be paid on withdrawn spirits, which is super nice! It leaves more money in your pockets and that is always a good thing. It also means that come the end of this year it could all go away. Maybe it will be voted to remain the same, that would be awesome! Or, it could potentially even go up to or above the historic levels that it was at. Truth be told, we have no idea what is going to happen. One thing is for sure though, many, if not all states, require some type of surety bonding at a state level. Whether it is a “sales and use tax” bond, an “alcoholic beverage manufacturer” bond, or something else, there is probably still a bonding need for your distillery. I, InsuranceMan 2.0 am here to assist you. I can and have provided hundreds of bonds for distilleries across this great land, and I actually have the lowest bonding premiums of anyone in the country. So, if you have a bond and feel as though you are paying too much, or if you have a question about if you should get a bond or not, or if you are a new distillery and found out you do have a state bonding need, I am here to assist you. Maybe you are nearing that 100,000 gallons of withdrawn product and getting nervous as to when the right time to get a bond may be. Again, I am here to help. Give me a call, shoot me an email, text me, hit me up on a PM here on the forums, come see me at booth 434 in Denver in a few weeks, or send a smoke signal. Whatever you need, I am here to answer all of your deepest, darkest insurance and bonding questions. Until next time my friends … Stay Vigilant, Aaron Linden a.k.a. InsuranceMan 2.0 307-752-5961 Insuranceman2.0@yahoo.com
  4. Good Morning ADI Citizens, I apologize for not getting the "Tidbit" out as of yesterday, but it turns out that InsuranceMan 2.0 does have some weaknesses. After a fun filled weekend of skijoring in the cold, despite my superpowers, I have ended up with Bronchitis and have been seeking respite in my lair of solitude the last several days. I hope to be back in full swing next week with another installment of the "Tidbit". Until then, I will continue to fight the forces of evil that plague the insurance industry from my lair whilst sipping hot toddies. Until next time my friends ... Stay Vigilant, Aaron Linden a.k.a. InsuranceMan 2.0 307-752-5961 insuranceman2.0@yahoo.com
  5. Good Tuesday Morning Fine Citizens of ADI-ville, I was sitting in my lair of solitude the other evening whilst on the phone with a good distiller friend of mine. Unfortunately, due to schedules and just "life" we had not had a chance to speak in the last several months. He had asked me what I had been up to recently, outside of saving the planet from the woes of evil insurance agents, and villainous insurance companies? As we spoke, I had told him about what I had been up to and he commented, "Man, what the H**L?!?!?!!? You seriously should write a book someday." That got me to thinking ... Many of you out there in ADI-land know my superhero persona, but those of you that have not met me don't really know my "mild-mannered" normal self that I am when trying to be inconspicuous out in Sheridanopolis, or the vast far reaches of the world. My friend suggested I should do a post here on ADI to help familiarize myself to anyone reading my posts. I thought, "OK, I can do that." I know, I know, it could be a long story, I will keep it fairly short, but if you don’t want to read it, at least scroll to the end and watch the videos and listen to the mp3 😊 One caveat to all of this is, I do not want this to come off as braggadocios, anyone that knows me knows that is not who I am. It is just more so that you get to know the person that you are dealing with, and that I am not always InsuranceMan2.0!!!!!!!! Nope, sometimes I am "Aaron Linden", normal human person, well, kinda. Where to start though, that is a big questions. As they say, start at the beginning ... It was a hot August night in 1974, late on a Friday night when I was born ... JUST KIDDING! We are not going back that far. I was born late on a Friday night though, and I assume that is why I still like to stay up late and love the weekend! OK, for reals now ... I grew up in Minnesota, Stillwater to be exact. Great place to grow up, on the river, small community (at the time), safe, nice. I went to college in Minneapolis, MN and graduated with a double major and double minor in 4 years (Poli. Sci. was one of the majors, if you must know). I was able to do this mainly because many of the classes that I took had some overlap and I was able to get a lot done in a short time (but I did my fair share of partying as well, and enough for a few others probably). Then, it was going to be off to law school. I know, right?!?!!?! Me a lawyer?!!??! Well, life kind of jumped in the way and I did not end up going to law school. Maybe it was a bit of burnout from years of school, maybe it was divine intervention, but I was accepted and asked if I could enroll the next fall? They said yes, but I didn’t end up going then either. Fast forward many years, and I had always wanted to move to Wyoming after traveling out here to hunt, fish, and camp, but who can make a living in Wyoming? Well, as it turns out, there was an insurance agency that was looking to expand into Sheridanopolis, and they wanted to know if I would like the opportunity (there is plenty more to this story, but I don’t want to bore you), and of course I said yes. Now, fast forward many more years, and I have been doing insurance work for 17 years and specializing in distilleries for 8. I started out writing very niche insurance policies that no one else could or wanted to write and ended up developing many programs due to this on a national basis. Heck, I was even the endorsed insurance agent for AANR. Yeap, I sure was! What is AANR you wonder? Well, it is the American Association for Nude Recreationalists. Don’t believe me, Google it. Wait!!!!!!!! Maybe don’t, LOL!!!!! Insurance has allowed me to do a lot of cool things. Travel to amazing places, meet amazing people, and work with great folks like you here on ADI. I have worked with folks like Channing Tatum (go to Google images and type in: Aaron Linden distillery insurance, and about 5 images over you will find this): as well as Zac Brown, John Bon Jovi, and the list goes on. Like I said, it has allowed me to do some cool stuff for sure. But there is more to me than insurance, like I said. I also have sat on many boards, overseen many non-profit foundations, and recently have been inaugurated to the Sheridan City Council after the last election. My favorite thing though, that people don’t really know about me is that I can do voice impersonations of dozens of famous people, imitate dialects from all over the world, and I do quite a bit of acting, in my spare time of course. Plays, voice-over work, musicals, and even commercials. There are a few samples of each of those below. Anyway, I just wanted to do something a bit different on this installment of the “Tidbit”, open myself up to all of you so that you know there is more to me than simply being the all-knowing, all-powerful superhero that I am (I am kidding of course). One thing that you should know is that I love being InsuranceMan 2.0!!!!! and working with all of you outstanding folks. In whatever I do, I do it out of love, passion, for fun, and because I just really love and live life to the fullest. Here are a few samples of my craziness, hopefully for your enjoyment: ***** Special Announcement on this one ... The very Lovely Woman in this video with me just said "YES" to my engagement proposal on Valentine's Day!!!!!!!!! She has always hated Valentine's Day up to this point, now she loves it, and I love her ***** My most recent commercial (forgive the hair and beard, I was growing it for "Escanaba in Da Moon Light" in which I played "The Jimmer"): And, one of my favorites, Dr. Seuss' "One Fish Two Fish, Red Fish Blue Fish" in 42 different voices : Aaron Linden One Fish Two Fish.mp3 (Click the link then click the little doohicky in the lower left part of your screen. It will pop open a window so you can listen.) Until Next time, Stay Vigilant My Friends, Aaron Linden a.k.a. InsuranceMan 2.0 307-752-5961 insuranceman2.0@yahoo.com
  6. Good Morning Fine Citizens of ADI-land!!!!!!!!!! It is a lovely, but a bit cold, day in Sheridanopolis. I hope wherever you are, you are toasty warm whilst reading this informative installment of “The Tidbit”. Today we are going to look at a coverage that is as important as any that you can purchase, LIQUOR LIABILITY. First of all, let me explain the definition of Liquor Liability. According to the “Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.)”, Liquor Liability insurance is defined as coverage for bodily injury or property damage caused by an intoxicated person who was served liquor by the policyholder. Wait … WHAT?!?!?! Just by serving someone liquor, you can be sued?!?!?! ABSOLUTELY!!!!! Liquor Liability coverage is essential coverage to have if you are in the business of alcohol, any type of alcohol! If you produce it, sell it, give samples of it, you better have it! This is especially true in states that have adopted any kind of Dram Shop Act/Law. OK, what is a Dram Shop Act/Law???? I am so glad you asked! A Dram Shop Law/Act is a statute which makes a business that sells alcoholic drinks, or a host who serves liquor to a patron who is or appears to be intoxicated, or close to it, strictly liable to anyone injured by the patron, including the patron. Did you know that currently the only states in the US that have not adopted any kind of dram shop law are: Delaware, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Nebraska, Nevada, South Dakota, and Virginia? Every other state has a Dram Shop Act/Law on the books. So, does that mean if you are in any of those states you don’t have to worry about Liquor Liability? NO! Often times, these states still allow for prosecution regardless of if this law was in place. As well, personal injury attorneys rarely care in the case of a lawsuit, and they will come after you. Even if the intoxicated person injures someone else, or themselves, crashes their car into someone or something, or even if they go home and beat up the neighbor or significant other, you could potentially be sued. “But InsuranceMan2.0, we only give away a total of four, quarter ounce samples!!!! That cannot get someone drunk!!!!!” Ah, excellent point dear reader, however … You may not have known the patron was at three other establishments before wandering in for a lovely sample of your wears. Or, perhaps they just slammed a fifth in the parking lot and then came in to have a taste, or get a cocktail (did a little pre-game warm up as it were), and it had not hit them prior to them coming in. Whatever the situation, if you have served them you could have potential problems. Case in point, I work with an establishment that is in the business of selling alcoholic drinks. They are in the business of selling A LOT of alcoholic drinks. In fact, they are the largest bar in a state that I shall not name. A patron came in at 11 a.m. for a Jager Bomb (I’m not judging), paid for the drink with their debit card, and went on their way. Fast forward to 3 p.m. when this gal went to her child’s daycare, retrieved her child, and proceeded to drive through the wall of the daycare. Yeap, true story. Sad but true story. As it turns out, the establishment that I represent was not the first stop of this gal’s morning, nor was it the last. At each place she stopped, she had at least one Jager Bomb, paid for it with her debit card, and moved on. In the lawsuit that ensued, her paper-trail of where she had been and the drinks she consumed was easy to establish since they all were transacted through her bank statement because of the debit card. Her lawyer then named each of the 8 establishments in the lawsuit citing that they each in someway contributed to her intoxication. Guess what, all 8 of them were successfully sued, and had to split the penalty 8 ways. I am not saying that this is ever going to be a situation that you may be involved in, but I will tell you that if you don’t have liquor liability coverage then you don’t have liquor liability coverage. Liquor liability coverage is almost always excluded under your general liability coverage if you are in the business of selling or profiting from alcohol, period. So, without purchasing a separate liquor liability coverage, you have no coverage. That means that any suit and resulting claim would come out of your own personal pocket, or that of your business. Either way, that is not good. Furthermore, an often-overlooked aspect both General Liability and Liquor Liability is the fact that they both provide for defense coverage. Yessir! If you are sued, no matter if it is a real case of negligence, or a frivolous lawsuit, your policy provides for the cost of defense. Yeah, Buddy! I have seen people sue over the craziest of things. Things that have no validity what-so-ever. I don’t know if you have hired an attorney lately, but the prices are not going down! Even in the case of a frivolous lawsuit, it could cost you tens of thousands of dollars to prove your innocence. Better that money and the crack staff of attorneys comes out of the insurance carriers’ pocket as opposed to yours. The long and the short of it is this … Liquor Liability is something you should have, you need to have, and something that you should want to have. Pair this with making sure that you and all the servers are TIPS trained, and you should have very little to worry about. Heck, most carriers only charge between $750 and $1,000 a year for a standard liquor liability policy. That would barely get you 2-3 hours of a lawyer’s time! Of course, that pricing can be impacted by various factors such as a full-blown cocktail room that is selling $1.2 million a year, but for a normal tasting room that is either giving out free samples, or making a decent profit from tasting charges, it should not cost you more than that. And for that $750 - $1,000 you have the piece of mind of knowing if you are sued due to a liquor situation, you have $1,000,000 worth of coverage to take care of any claim, defense costs, and crack staff of lawyers. Now, that is something that should make you sleep better at night. Until next time my friends, STAY VIGILANT, Aaron Linden a.k.a. InsuranceMan2.0 InsuranceMan2.0@yahoo.com 307-752-5961
  7. Good Morning All, Today I am coming to you from the frozen land of Sheridanopolis!!!! -17 here this morning, and Insuranceman2.0 is wanting to pour coffee on his feet! I wanted to take this opportunity to inform all of you that I will be in attendance at the ADI Expo this year, and I hope to see all of my vigilant friends at booth 434!!!!! I am very excited to attend the convention and expo for the 5th time in a row and cannot wait to have the chance to meet many of you in person for the first time. If you are attending, please make sure to stop by, say "hi", and get all of your insurance needs taken care of! Here is an interactive map of the expo floor for your perusal: https://shows.map-dynamics.com/adi2019/ . Make sure to highlight and click on booth 434!!! Until next time my friends ... Stay Vigilant, Aaron Linden a.k.a. InsuranceMan2.0 insuranceman2.0@yahoo.com 307-752-5961
  8. @Julius, Exactly! Reactive and knee-jerk based off of one possible bad apple. This is right on the money with what I am saying. Many, if not most of the standardized carriers are becoming more and more reactionary to distilleries and are now wanting to see them as a "high-risk" classification of business. I do not see this changing any time soon, so it is time to buckle up and hang on. Again, I am working on educating them more, and looking at several other carriers/programs at this point in time. Currently there are still options, but they are becoming tighter and imposing many more requirements that they had not required in the past. Stay Vigilant!!!!!!
  9. @Julius, more than likely! Could you expound upon this at all? What have they been asking, or imposing on you? I would be interested to know who the insurance carrier is and what they have been after you about. I look forward to hearing more!
  10. Happy Tuesday my ADI friends, In today's installment of the “Tidbit”, we are going to discuss something you are going to need to know about shortly. The difference between a “Standard Market”, and an “Excess and Surplus Lines (E&S)” market. This is also commonly referred to as “Admitted”, or “Non-Admitted” markets. First of all, why are we even talking about this?!?!?!? What does this have to do with anything?!?!?!?! It’s OK, breathe … you are lucky I am here to save the day … I will explain everything. In the spirit of transparency, I wanted to make you aware of what is happening in Insuranceopolis! In a nutshell, or if you prefer, in a reader’s digest version … well … actually … that just does not exist as the nuances of these definitions is rather deep, complicated, and convoluted to say the least. But fear not dear reader, I will do my best to break it down in a succinct manner for you here. To be honest, the easiest way to thing of this is “lower premiums vs. higher premiums”. Well, that is what many believe, although in some cases that may not be true. But for us here, for the ease of discussion, it will hold true here. A “Standard Market” or “Admitted Carrier” is an insurance company that is licensed to do business in the state that it is operating in (so if they are writing coverage in 50 states, they hold 50 licenses, one in each state). They must conform to various regulations and filed rates for each individual state and classification of business, and a big difference is that they pay into what is known as a “State Guaranty Fund”. “OH DEAR SWEET INSURANCE TERMINOLOGY!!!!!!!!! WHAT IS InsuranceMan 2.0 TALKING ABOUT!?!?!?!?”, you may be thinking. Hold on to your snifter (or glass of choice) and relax, I will explain. A state guaranty fund is basically a fund set up in each state to protect insureds from defaults on payments of claims in the case that an insurance company becomes insolvent. Basically, it protects the insureds of any carrier licensed to do business in the state in the case of catastrophic loss whereby the carrier may throw up its hands, declare bankruptcy, and say, “So sorry, we are teary on the inside, but you get no money for your claims, we are all out of funds.” NOPE!!!!! The “fund” makes sure that money is available to pay the claims in a situation such as this. OK, now that that is over, lets talk about another big difference, MONEY. Admitted carriers, or “Standard” carriers take on risk, don’t get me wrong. They just do it in a way that allows them to assess lower risk, higher reward business that makes them quite profitable. The ability to assess the amount and level of risk, weighed against the premium charged, allows these carriers to still take on legitimate risk, but at a much lower level. These carriers are kind of like the nerdy kid in class that would assess every possible outcome of a situation and only get involved if they knew that they were almost 99.99999999999999% to come out on the winning or “not getting hurt” side of things. With that said, “Excess & Surplus Lines”, or “Non-Admitted” carriers are quite the opposite. These folks are like the cool risk-taker kids we all knew growing up. These are the folks who still fully assess the risks associated, but look at it and say, “Y’all hold my bourbon and watch this!” These are the folks who understand risk fully as well but understand that there are riskier business out there that still need insurance. These folks fill that void. A big difference is that the E&S folks are usually only licensed in one state but operate in many or all of them. Heck, they don’t even have to be licensed in the US. Ever heard of Lloyd’s of London?!?!?! Another big difference, these Maverick types don’t pay into any kind of guaranty fund. “Guaranty Fund … We don’t need no stinking Guaranty Funds!!!” Man, who doesn’t like hanging out with these folks as opposed to the nerdy “Admitted” folks?!?!?! Well … just like in real life, hanging out the nerdy safe folks is just that, pretty safe. Hanging out with the risk takers, well, sooner or later its gonna cost you! So, what do I mean?!?!?! I have no idea, I lost my superhero train of thought, dagnabit! HA, JOKING, InsuranceMan 2.0 never losses his super-mind! What I mean is that the nerdy admitted carriers do take lower risk clients on so they can afford to charge lower premiums and still remain profitable come the end of the year. The Super cool risk-taker non-admitted kids take on cool well assessed risks, but if something goes wrong, and things associated with higher risks can go wrong in bigger ways and more often, so they have to make you pay more so that they too are profitable at the end of the year. Also, since they don’t pay into the guaranty fund, if things go real bad and they become insolvent, there may not be money to pay your claims. I will say though, I have personally never seen this happen, but it could. Think of it this way, your “Farm”-insurance companies do homes, autos, some little businesses, etc. Pretty innocuous stuff. They will not insure things like a running-back’s legs for $12.4 million, or a distillery for that matter. Yes, car accidents happen, and fires do happen, but surprisingly very rarely. Again, low risk, high reward for the nerdy kids. Football players however, they get hurt all the time on the field. AH, here comes the cool risk-taker kid! Again though, the “Farm’s” won’t even consider something like this, so those that will (like Lloyd’s), know there is a need, but they are going to charge a much higher premium due to the amount of risk, and slightly due to the fact that they know no one else will take on the risk. FINE!!!! I will get to the point of all of this, trust me, the build up is worth the wait. As you know if you read my post, “The Times, They Are a-Changin’”, the times are truly a-changin’, over the past several weeks there has been a shift in the insurance marketplace. Standard carriers that would look at and write distillery insurance have been pulling back. They have been strengthening underwriting requirements and guidelines that they did not have before. Basically, the insurance market is cyclical and always has been. Standard carriers will consider certain risks and be aggressive and seek them out for a period of 4-7 years, but then “IT” happens. “IT” being that there is a pullback, a reduction of risk that can last for 4-7 years as well. “IT” happens with hotels, contractors, and on and on the list goes. We are seeing this shift now as well with distilleries and the standard carriers available that are wanting to actively write the insurance for them. Many (most) are now looking at distilleries as a “riskier” risk and pulling back on providing insurance for them. So, what does that mean for those of us in Insuranceopolis??!?!?! It means that we must start preparing. It means that we are going to see this shift start to affect all of us in regard to premiums and availability of coverage with standard carriers. Fear not though fine citizens! It is InsuranceMan 2.0 to the rescue, and I have the “cool risk-taker” kids in tow! I will continue to approach the standard nerdy kids with distillery business, but I wanted to prepare you in advance that these opportunities may be fewer and further between. Out of 22 distilleries submitted in the last few weeks, the nerdy kids have declined all of them. That is too bad for them, because this is not a risky business. Distilleries are so highly regulated, by not only local/state/and federal authorities, but by yourselves as well! These businesses are you heart and soul and you would never do anything “risky” that puts your work and business at risk. The nerdy kids don’t see this currently, they think it is a risky risk that they don’t want to take a risk on. That’s ok, I am here with the cool risk-taker kids who will take a risk on you risk, it just may cost a bit more for a time. I will continue to do the very best job and obtain the lowest premiums for all of you, fine citizens! Again, in the spirit of transparency, I just wanted you all to know where things are and where they appear to be headed, so you are not blindsided. I will always advocate for you and we will prevail!!!!!!!! We will make them see that this is a good risk, and we will win them over. If you don’t believe me, y’all hold my bourbon and watch me do it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Stay Vigilant, Aaron Linden a.k.a. InsuranceMan 2.0 insuranceman2.0@yahoo.com 307-752-5961
  11. *** QUICK UPDATE *** Although I am with a new agency, I am still me and I still rock the distillery insurance casbah!!!!!!! Give me a shout on my cell phone at 307-752-5961, or PM me here or send me an email at insuranceman2.0@yahoo.com! Until then, stay vigilant!
  12. Jessica, I am back and I know we spoke, but give me a call prior to the next renewal. My phone number has stayed the same, 307-752-5961. Stay Vigilant!!!!!!!
  13. *** UPDATE *** All, As many of you know, I am back and better than every. I can be reached, just as before, at 307-752-5961 or you can email me at insuranceman2.0@yahoo.com. Or, you can hit me up with a PM here on the forums. I cannot wait to talk to all of you!
  14. Happy Thursday Morning ADI Citizens, Today’s “tidbit” comes a few days later than normal as I am sure you noticed. Well dear citizens, that is due to the fact that I, InsuranceMan 2.0!!!!!!!, have been battling the forces of insurance evil nonstop over the course of the last few days. As the sage balladeer Bob Dylan wrote back in 1964 (a bit before my time), “The Times They Are a-Changin’”!!!!!!!!!!! As you all well know, I am the national face of insurance protection for distilleries throughout this great land of ours. Over the years I have worked tirelessly with several national carriers to develop and improve upon specialized insurance coverage in order to vigilantly protect you and your distilleries, my friends! However, the greatest evil that one can befall upon another is (DAH, DAUGH, DUNNNNN!!!!) betrayal!!!!!! Ever superhero has their weakness, as we all know. This is the irony and dichotomy of superpowers. With much strength must come debilitating weakness, albeit, the strength much outweighs the weakness the majority of the time. So, what is my weakness you may ask?!?!?!?! Well, it goes by several different names. But, I plead with you, remove any children from the room if you are reading this aloud, as the next portion could cause them the following: great distress; nightmares; stomach cramping; nausea; tennis elbow; muscle pain; dizziness; uncontrollable screaming; dry mouth; mental anguish; sobbing; uncontrollable disgust; trench mouth; jungle rot; water on the knee; allergic reaction; and, yes, diarrhea!!!!!! Alright, here we go, you have been warned. Some call it, “The Company” (GASP!!!). Others may call it, “Underwriting Guidelines” (VOMIT!). One of the worst names it goes by, “Actuaries” (FALLING TO KNEES WITH ONE ARM OUTSTRETCHED TOWARDS THE HEAVENS!). And, possibly the very worst name that it goes by, my greatest weakness, “Underwriting Requirements” (FALLS TO FLOOR, CONTORTING IN PAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!). What am I talking about?!?!?!? What is it that has sickened and weakened me and caused me to seek respite in my secret lair of insurance solitude!?!??!?! It is the fact that one of the national carriers that has been specializing in distillery insurance, one that I trusted and partnered with; One that I groomed and treated as my very own; One that I helped, took in and trained up in my own image has betrayed me!!!!!!! This trusted friend and partner, now, after our beautiful relationship has come out with new “Underwriting Requirements” that state that, “No finalized product, whether bottled; barreled; in totes; or any other means of storage” can reside in the same building as the manufacturing operations. In lay terms, you cannot have any finished product in the same building as your still. So, what does that mean?!?!?! It means that this carrier, who has been so good to work with, who has been by my side in the insurance injustice batter for so many years, has now gone to the darkside! They have chosen to use their powers for evil, instead of for good. They are essentially saying that they still want to write distillery insurance, but only on distilleries who have a separate building to store their product in, with defensible space separating the buildings. H O O E Y!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What they are really saying is that they don’t want to work with you fine people anymore, but are to cowardice to say so. What they are saying is that they are only willing to consider 2%-3% of the overall distillery business, since almost everyone I know in the distillation business has product stored in the same building as where they manufacture their product. Oh, I know, I know what you are thinking. You are thinking, “Well, it is probably just a clarification error! They probably mean it cannot be in the open in the same building. They probably mean they want to see a fire wall, a separate room in the same building that stores the product.” Incorrect, dear reader! I clarified this until I was blue in the face, it must be a completely separate building with defensible space. So, what does that mean, “defensible space”? According to FEMA, “Defensible Space” is, “… an area around a building in which vegetation, debris, and other types of combustible fuels have been treated, cleared, or reduced to slow the spread of fire to and from the building. Information about local vegetation, weather, and topography is used to determine the Fire Severity Zone of an area, which can help determine the most effective design of a defensible space. A defensible space is one of the most cost-effective ways to protect a building from a wildfire and can often be created by the property owner.” The issue here is that it is never clearly defined. Is it 15 feet, or 50 feet?!?!?!?!! No one will commit to a distance that is acceptable. (Collapsing to the floor again out of frustration and crabbiness). What does all this mean to you, sweet ADI-goer?!?!?!!? It means that the market is tightening. It means that underwriting is getting tighter which means coverage may become more difficult to procure through a “standard market”, and coverage may be more expensive as it may have to be provided by an E&S carrier. It also means that there could be more cost involved in having to store your products off site just to satisfy some evil, menacing insurance actuary!!!!!!!!!! NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!! Fear not though!!!!!!! Again, with the bad always comes the good. One door closes, another door and some windows open!!!!!! Although this carrier of which I speak, who shall remain nameless (let’s just refer to them as “Crudtastic the Despicable”) is tightening things up, there are still carriers who have remained stalwart. I am even working currently on a top secret project that will be beneficial to all who participate, something quite exciting that the distillery insurance world has never seen the likes of!!!!!!!! I implore you to stay tuned, as it may take some time, but oh … it will be something to behold!!!!!!!!!!! In conclusion, fear not fine citizens, I am still here to work with and defend you on a daily basis. I have many wonderful carriers that I still work with and who are doing good works on our behalf, so if you have needs, I can still solve them. I never lumped all of my eggs in to one basket as the saying goes. I do ask one thing of each of you though. In assisting me in pleading our case, I would like each of you out there to let me know in the comments section, where do you store your finished products, in whatever type of vessel??? Are they stored in the same building as your manufacturing space, or do you have a completely separate building with defensible space? Your participation in letting me know, so I can use the information to defend us and continue to fight evil-doers is much appreciated. Until next time ….. Stay Vigilant, Aaron Linden a.k.a InsuranceMan 2.0!!!!!!! 307-752-5961 InsuranceMan2.0@yahoo.com
  15. Good Morning ADI Citizens! In today’s installment of the Tuesday Morning Insurance Tidbit the topic de jure is Local Insurance Agent vs. National Insurance Agent, i.e. InsuranceMan 2.0. For many, your distillery business is your heart and soul, your life. You have put everything (or most everything) you have into building your business, making amazing, artistically crafted products. You spend many of the hours of your week at your facility, and when you are not there, you are thinking about being there. Something this important in your life deserves the best in the way of protection. I speak to dozens of people just like you every week and have for the past 7 years. Inevitably I am asked a particular question at least once a month. What is the question you wonder? Well, the question is this, “Shouldn’t I try to find a local insurance agent to handle my distillery insurance?” Ah, the age-old question! Because I am an honest and just Insurance Superhero, I will address why dealing with a local agent is something people consider. First of all, they are somewhere in your town/city/area, so that could be something. Second, and I hear this all the time, “It helps stimulate the local economy.” Ok, I can kind of see that I guess. Finally, maybe you know the guy/gal and your kids play soccer together or the local agent is you brothers, step-aunt’s niece’s cousin whose best friend’s dog-goomers husband sells insurance, or some other such relationship. Nice, all reasons and justifications I hear as to why people may look for a local agent. Now, let’s speak to the adverse side of dealing with a local agent. Just because they are in town or the area does not necessarily make them more accessible or mean they will be stopping in to your business every time you have a question. In fact, more often than not, people that had been dealing with a local agent, and then moved to me have told me I am more accessible via email, text, and by them calling me on my cell phone than their local agent ever was. Many have told me their local agent was a “hit it and forget it” insurance salesperson. Meaning, they sold them a policy and then never spoke to them again. SAD!!!!! Second, in regard to the economy, although the insurance agent is paid by your business it may not be what you think nor have the economic impact that is perceived. If a policy costs you $5,000, that is not going into your local economy. Agents are actually paid only a small percentage of the premium, the rest goes to the big faceless insurance entity located in some far away land of actuaries and guys that look like they just stepped off the Monopoly box, who light their cigars with $100 bills. SCARY! Finally, just because you may know, or kind of know someone that schleps insurance for a living does not obligate you to having to work with them. We have now arrived at my favorite part of the discussion; Why should you consider a National Insurance Agent, i.e. InsuranceMan 2.0? Grab yourself a nice lowball of your favorite spirit and get comfy, this portion could be L-O-N-G!!!!!!! Just kidding, I will keep it short and sweet even though I could go on for days. One reason to work with me is that I am incredibly responsive and pretty much accessible 24/7 via cell, email, and text. Don’t believe me?!?!?!? Ask around and you will find out quickly that I respond to folks at all hours of the day and even on weekends. Unless I am up in the mountains and have no cell reception, I am accessible dang near all the time. That is partly what makes me so Superhero-ish! Next, think of this scenario: God forbid, but pretend that someone contracts a rare disease. There may be a slew of local doctors and hospitals in the area, but that does not mean they will know how to treat the person. The first thing that person would do is jump online and find out where and who in the country specializes in this kind of treatment. They would do everything in their power to seek out the very best, most experienced person they could find to assist them with their needs, right?!?!?! I know I would. Well, why should your distillery insurance be any different? Why would you choose to work with someone just because they happened to be close to you? What experience do they have in writing distilleries? Do you really want to be their Guinea Pig?!?!?!!? Having them experimenting on your policy, cobbling some coverage together, only to find out in the time of a claim that it is not covered because they didn’t know what they were doing? NO!!!!! You would seek out a specialist who knows what they are doing, someone who has been doing it for a long time and has successfully worked with and assisted hundreds of similar clients! You would not just want to work with the person that schleps insurance, you would seek out an insurance Superhero. Someone like … me! InsuranceMan 2.0!!!!!! Here, let me save you the work. You can contact me at Insuranceman2.0@yahoo.com, or via PM here on ADI, or by call or text at 307-752-5961. There, that was easy, wasn’t it? Now you don’t have to spend time looking for someone who can assist you with your distillery insurance needs. You can use your extra time to come up with that new mash bill. Or maybe whether to macerate, or use a basket, or place botanicals strategically at different levels in the column. So much extra time and so many things to consider! You’re welcome! So, until next time my friends … Stay Vigilant, Aaron Linden InsuranceMan 2.0
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