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InsuranceMan 2.0

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  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. InsuranceMan 2.0

    Tuesday Morning Insurance Tidbit - Standard Vs. E&S

    @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!!!!!!
  4. 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
  5. InsuranceMan 2.0

    Tuesday Morning Insurance Tidbit - Standard Vs. E&S

    @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!
  6. InsuranceMan 2.0

    Great Insurance Agent for Surety Bond and Liability

    *** 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!
  7. InsuranceMan 2.0

    Inusrance

    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!!!!!!!
  8. InsuranceMan 2.0

    Insurance for Distillery

    *** 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!
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. InsuranceMan 2.0

    Insurance for start ups...

    Did I hear "Insurance"?!?!?!?!?!! Have no fear, InsuranceMan 2.0 is here. Gavin, I know we played a bit of phone-tag, but I would love to assist you with this need. I work with hundreds of distilleries throughout the country, from nano-distilleries all the way up to some of the biggest around. Please, let's continue our conversation. My phone number is 307-752-5961. I look forward to hearing from you, and anyone else that is in need of assistance!
  12. Happy New Year fellow ADI-ers, In today's installment of the "Tidbit", I just wanted to wish you all a happy and prosperous new year and thank you all so much for this past year as well. You all have truly made 2018 a remarkable year and I am looking forward to a grand 2019 with all of you. Stay Vigilant, Aaron a.k.a. InsuranceMan 2.0 307-752-5961 InsuranceMan2.0@yahoo.com
  13. Dear ADI forum, I know this is coming to you on a Wednesday, not Tuesday, but Christmas happened to fall on Tuesday and I had been spending a glorious time with family and friends. In today's installment of the "Tidbit", I just want to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas, a happy and prosperous New Year, and Happy Holidays ... how ever you may believe or celebrate. In my world I don't find any holiday greeting offensive, I believe it is just a nice time of year for everyone to come together and reflect on the value that your family and friends bring into your life each and every day. I wish we all took time to reflect on this aspect of our lives more. So, from InsuranceMan 2.0 and my family to yours, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and Happy Holidays to all of our friends of ADI that we have had the opportunity to get to know, and for those of you that we have not gotten to know as of yet ... 2019 will be the year of us getting acquainted! Stay Vigilant, Aaron Linden - aka InsuranceMan 2.0 307-752-5961 InsuranceMan2.0@yahoo.com
  14. Good Day Fellow ADI’ers, Yes, today’s “Tuesday Morning Insurance Tidbit” is being brought to you on Wednesday. As the holidays approach at a fast pace, sometimes InsuranceMan 2.0 becomes a bit busier than normal! Besides the normal day-to-day business of keeping a vigilant and watchful eye out over all of you, to the ongoing battle of fighting insurance injustices far and wide, to getting ready for the holidays, even I, with my incredible superpowers, sometimes cannot keep up with it all. Kudos to all mortals out there who keep on keeping on during this time and stay up to date on their tasks at hand. I applaud you, you are the true superheroes here! Now, on to today’s Tuesday Morning Insurance Tidbit! This tidbit will be short and sweet … You’re welcome! The topic at hand is … Da Da Daaahhhhhhh ….. “State Bonds”! It used to be that all distilleries needed to have a Federal bond, also known as a TTB Bond. As you are all aware however, that requisite went away here about a year ago, and is set to continue until the end of 2019, at which point the Government will make a decision as to whether or not to continue this exemption or re-implement it. Until then however, many states still have bonding requirements. From “Sales and Use” bond requirements, to “Alcoholic Beverage” surety, to “ABC/1-2-3/3-Tier” bonds, most states are going to require some type of bonding from your distillery. Also, keep in mind, that if you are looking to expand your territory from your home state to other states, you will most likely be required to provide a state bond to the new state you are going to conduct business in. Does bonding scare you?!?!? Does it keep you up at night and haunt your dreams?!?!?!?! Do you find yourself breaking out in a cold sweat when you nervously contemplate how difficult it is going to be to get a bond?!?!?!? Do you wonder if they will want all your most personal and private information or take your first born or your still as collateral?!??!?! Well, have no fear … InsuranceMan 2.0 is here!!!!!!!!!!! I can assist you with all of your state bonding needs (as well as your Federal TTB bonding as well, if you are withdrawing more than $50,000 in tax paid spirits a year). I have this down to such a science that all we really need is your name, address, bond amount and state, and I can have the bond done, issued, and out to you within an hour. Bada-Boom! Yes, you heard me correctly, in less than an hour. Many of the state bonds, or sales and use bonds require a limit of anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000. For bonds such as these, not only can you have them in an hour’s time, but they only cost an annual premium of around $100. Yes, you read that correctly, $100. Again, you are welcome! So, if you are uncertain of the state surety you surely and certainly seek, seek surety no further than the simple certainty I can surely provide for your surety needs. Until next time, dear reader … Stay Vigilant, Aaron Linden Aka InsuranceMan 2.0 307-752-5961 InsuranceMan2.0@yahoo.com
  15. InsuranceMan 2.0

    Insurance

    Another quick update to my contact information ... You can also email me at InsuranceMan2.0@yahoo.com . I know some folks prefer email over a call or text, so feel free to use this address. Stay Vigilant My Friends, Aaron a.k.a. InsuranceMan 2.0
  16. Happy Tuesday to all my ADI friends!!!!!! In today’s riveting installment of the “Tuesday Morning Insurance Tidbit” direct from my secrete lair in Sheridanopolis, we are going to unmask the insurance supervillain that is Actual Cash Valuation vs. Replacement Cost Valuation 😊 Most people, when looking at their insurance policy (If they even do. Did you know that surprisingly, over 65% of people in a HuffPost survey said they have never looked at their insurance coverage in detail!??!!?!?!?) wonder what in the multiverse these terms even are?!?!?!?!?!? WELL HAVE NO FEAR, INSURANCEMAN 2.0 IS HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The reality of this is you need to look at your policies people! You need to know what you are covered for, and what you are not. Furthermore, you need to know what to expect in the case of a loss in the way of valuation. That is, unless you are working with InsuranceMan 2.0. If you are, then I explain everything to you upfront and in detail. Let us start with Actual Cash Value (a.k.a ACV). ACV actually appears on more policies then I care to talk about. For starters, it is a cheaper type of coverage (so this is a bit of wicked trickery some agents may use in order to get you a lower premium if they are trying to woo you away from another agent! Watch out for these Evil-doers!!!!!!) So, what is it exactly?!?!?! That is a tough one to define, my friends. In some instances, when adjudicated in the court system, it has been defined as a “fair Market Valuation” which means, what would someone reasonably pay for the same used, depreciated item. This is a slippery slope indeed, because who is to say what someone is willing to pay. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and all. In most instances (like almost all of them, and the way the insurance companies define it is) it means the cost to replace the damaged item with like kind and quality MINUS depreciation. Did you get that?!?!?!?! MINUS DEPRECIATION!!!!!! So that still you purchased back 5 years ago for $80,000 that you have run countless batches through, and now it has that cool patina and so much sentimental value (after all, it has been with you like an old friend. You know its nuances, what makes it run well, what it does not like, etc.), could be depreciated by … pick a number. I say, “pick a number” because you just do not know. Insurance companies have depreciation schedules for all types of items, but it varies depending on what it is, size, condition, etc. So, it could be maybe 6% a year, or as high as 20%. You won’t necessarily know until the unforeseeable strikes. Given the example outlined above, for ease of math sake, let’s say that same still in today's market still costs $80,000 (the replacement cost of the item). If you have an ACV clause on your policy and the depreciation is on the low end of 6%, then it would equate to the cost of the replacement item, minus depreciation, multiplied by the number of years. So, in this example it would be 6% multiplied by $80,000 replacement value, multiplied by the 5 years you have owned/operated the still. Given this example it would look something like this, .06 *$80,000 * 5 years = $24,000 in depreciation. So, $80,000 - $24,000 = $56,000 in value after depreciation. Well dear reader, that leaves you in a jackpot of having to come up with $24,000 to replace your $80,000 still. If you are facing a depreciation that is much higher, like the 20% example given, then you would be looking at complete and total loss and you would have no coverage for your damaged still!!!!!!!!!!! As I have said so many times before, NO BUENO!!!! Also, keep in mind that this does not even take into account your deductible. If you have a higher deductible, like a $2,500 or $5,000 deductible amount, then it would reduce your coverage even more, leaving you with more out of pocket expense. Again, the use of higher deductibles are definitely something in the bag-o-tricks of the Evil-doers that they may use to trick you into thinking they can offer you a lower premium. Be ever vigilant and watch for these injustices! Now, if you have a Replacement Cost Valuation (RCV) clause on your policy, ah ……. This is as close to Nirvana as you can get. Not the Kurt Cobain band mind you, rather the Buddhist belief of a transcendent state in which there is neither suffering, desire, nor sense of self, and the subject is released from the effects of karma and the cycle of death and rebirth. It represents the final goal of Buddhism, in case you were wondering. So, what is this magical RCV of which I speak? Well, let me tell you … RCV, simply stated is the cost to replace the damaged item with like kind and quality, period. With RCV, the insurer does not care if your still is 5 years old or that you have run countless batches through it. They will replace it with like kind and quality, and in our example above, that was the full $80,000. Wait, what?!?!?!? “Are you telling me that the insurance company will give me $80,000 to replace my $80,000 still if I have RCV on my policy?!??!?!” Yes, yes I am … however, keep in mind there is a deductible. So, if you have a $1,000 deductible, you will actually get $79,000. Still (pun intended), that is a whole heckuva lot better than anything in the ACV example given! “What if the example given above is wrong and the still is now only $60,000 to replace, do I get to keep the extra $20,000 in value?!?!?!” Um …. N O !!!!! With RCV, it is paying to replace it with like kind and quality, so if the insurer can find the same still in today's marketplace and replace it for $60,000 then that is what you will get, a new still of like kind and quality. The idea of insurance is to make you whole again after a loss, not benefit you and give you additional money. Don’t be greedy fine citizens, you recieved your same still back after all! Well, with that I hope I have assisted in tearing away the scary mask of ACV vs. RCV so that you can sleep easier at night knowing the difference. Or at least knowing I am ever-watching and here to protect you. Now I am off to continue my daily fight against insurance injustice, and the pursuit of insurance education of the fine citizens of this land! As always, if you have questions about your insurance coverage’s that you already have in place, or if you are looking to start a new facility, I am only one call away. Just flick on the InsuranceMan 2.0 beacon and I will come to your rescue. PM me, shoot me a text, or give me a call @ 307-752-5961. Or send me an ultra-super-secretive-coded-encrypted-message via the magical super-web at InsuranceMan2.0@yahoo.com . Until Next Time My Friends, Stay Vigilant!!!!!!! Aaron Linden a.k.a InsuranceMan 2.0
  17. InsuranceMan 2.0

    Tuesday Morning Insurance Tidbit - HNOA

    Good Morning fellow ADI citizens!!!! In today's installment of the Tuesday Morning Insurance Tidbit being delivered fresh to you from my secrete command center in Sheridanopolis, I am going to address a very common question that comes up when I, InsuranceMan 2.0, go through proposals and coverages with my clients. What is this, “hot topic, this highly questioned coverage!??!!”, you may ask. Fret not fine citizen, I am here to guide you through the dark and treacherous land of insurance coverage. The topic we are discussing today is … Da – Da – DAAAAA!!!!!! Hired and Non-Owned Auto. It may be a term you have heard, although, it very well may not be as most policies I see for distilleries do not include this invaluable coverage. What is Hired and Non-Owned Auto (from this point forth we will refer to it as “HNOA”. Feel free to throw that term around and look “insurance-telligent” in front of your peers and agent 😉) ? I am glad you asked! HNOA is an auto policy that fills some major auto liability gaps and helps to protects your distillery business/entity in the case of an auto accident. Did you know that if you or an employee are driving a rented vehicle or your own personal vehicle for business being done on behalf of the distillery/entity, and you were to be involved in an accident, your personal auto policy would more than likely deny any coverage for the actual business/entity?????? You didn’t think about this did you? Why would you, you trust the “insurance professionals” to come up with these thoughts for you, that is why they are being paid, right?!?! Well, if you don’t have this coverage or have not heard of this coverage, why are you paying them, they didn’t come up with this?!?!?! This is why you should be with me, InsuranceMan 2.0!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am here to protect and serve the fine citizens of this land! OK, at this point let us take this coverage and break it down. This coverage consists of two parts, the Hired, and the Non-Owned. Let’s start with and define Hired. Hire is defined as … “to engage the temporary use of at a set price; rent”, according to dictionary.com. In plain English please! It means a rental vehicle. Something you are paying a fee for to use on a temporary basis. Hired Auto Liability coverage can essentially take the place of liability insurance needed in order to rent a vehicle from a rental car company. A bit more on this later though. Hired Auto coverage protects your business/entity for any liability arising out of an accident to may occur while using a hired/rented vehicle. IT DOES NOT PROVIDE PERSONAL COVERAGE FOR THE DRIVER!!!!!!!! NOR DOES IT PROVIDE COMPREHENSIVE OR COLLISION DAMAGE COVERAGE!!!!! Please note these items, it is very important. For the sake of this topic however, all we are concerned about at this point is protecting the business from automotive liability damages. Although your personal auto policy may cover you for your personal liability in a rental vehicle, most personal insurance policies exclude the coverage of “business use” and will not provide any liability coverage on behalf of the business/entity. Due to this exclusion, as you can see, this portion of the coverage is quite valuable and is somewhat of a “must-have”. “But I don’t rent vehicles for my business.”, you may be saying. Understood and fine point my dear citizen. I hear you loud and clear, however … You never know when you may need to lease or rent a vehicle. Maybe you flew into another town to have a business meeting and need to rent a vehicle, or maybe you need a van or box truck to run a delivery. You do not want to try to procure this coverage at the moment it is needed, and quite honestly, HNOA is a generally a bundled product. These coverages are often done in concert with one another and there is no savings to only go with one or the other. If I may, please allow me a quick aside as well to this topic. If and when you do lease or rent a vehicle, always check with the rental agency to see what the associated cost is to purchase insurance coverage directly from the rental agency. Generally, the rental agency insurance will not cover you for your own personal liability or any business liability (and keep in mind your personal auto policy will excluded the business auto liability. See how this is all an intertwined web of confusion, and why you really need the “Hired” part, and why you really need me, InsuranceMan 2.0!!!!!!!!!!). What it will cover and provide for in many cases is “walk away” coverage for damages. Remember earlier when I said, “… please note these items ….”???!?!?!?! Remember what I asked you to note???? If not, scroll back up and take a look, I will wait …………………. ……………………… ……………………… ……………………… Ah, I see you are back. Did you find the answer?!?!!??! That’s right!!!!!!!!!!! Comprehensive and Collision damages are excluded under the Hired portion of the coverage. The Hired portion is only dealing with liability, no physical damage to the rented vehicle. Often times you can purchase the physical damage coverage directly from the rental car agency, and trust me friends, it is money well spent. There is a way to add on physical damage for hired vehicles to your own insurance policy, but for how often you may use it, and what it covers, it is generally not worth it. You are usually money ahead to purchase this coverage from the rental agency. “Well, I rent all my vehicles with my business/personal credit card and they provide coverage for damages, so why would I spend more money?!?!?!?!” Excellent point vigilant citizen! Unfortunately, it is a common misconception that renting a vehicle with a credit card provides all the coverage you will need. Whether you place Hired Physical Damage on your own insurance policy, or rent with a credit card, both have some very important exclusions that rental agencies may exploit. Rental agencies have things like “layup costs”; “diminution of value”, “loss of rent”; and various other charges that neither a credit card or a policy will cover. With that said, the coverage that you can purchase directly from the rental agency will often time cover those extra expenses. I will say it again … trust me, this is money well spent. A quick story … I rented a vehicle with a business credit card and was caught driving it near a tornado. Sand blasted the paint, pitted the windshield, and blew out a window. Although the credit card company covered the cost of the repair to the paint, windshield, and window it did not cover these “other costs”. Ultimately, it cost around $3,500 extra (as in out of pocket) to cover the layup of the vehicle, the diminution of value, and the loss of rent. If I had purchased the coverage from the rental agency, it would have not cost me anything more than the cost of their insurance. Lesson learned! Alright, do you need a bit of a break? No?!?!?! Then onward and upward into Non-Owned Auto Liability Coverage. You or your employee are running out to a big box store for some parts you need, or you are running to a local liquor store or venue to do a tasting. On your way to or from, there is an auto incident! The local law enforcement agency shows up and start asking questions. You or your employee say that you were out running around on behalf of the distillery (this happens, oh does this happen, more times than I care to say) at the time of the accident. The other party that you crashed into hears this and thinks, “OH! A distillery, those guys are made of money!!!!!” (As we all know this may simply not be the case, but they think it anyway since they think there is endless money in making alcohol.) Now, not only does the injured party sue you personally (personal auto coverage), but they sue the distillery as well thinking there are deep pockets there. Well, since the distillery does not “own” the vehicle (the name of the distillery is not on the title), if you do not have Non-Owned Auto Liability coverage, there would be no protection against a lawsuit. NO BUENO!!!!!! This coverage is crucial to have. I will tell you that in my 16 years as the vigilant protector of the fine citizens of "insuranceland", this is the number one claim that I have seen. Think about it. How many times does your product cause damage to someone? How often does someone come into your facility and trip over a box, or slip and get hurt? How often do you have a fire? Not very often at all, thank goodness! How many times are there auto accidents though???? ALL THE DANG TIME!!!!!!! In fact, studies have shown that the average driver, over the course of their lifetime will be involved in at least 3 to 4 accidents. That is why having this coverage is as important as covering your equipment, your general liability, your products, and your stock, if not more so! At the end of the day, when I sit down (still donning my InsuranceMan 2.0 super-suit, since insurance injustice never takes a rest, and I must stay frosty and vigilant) in my command center with a nice lowball of my favorite spirit-du-jour, I can rest somewhat easier knowing that the fine citizens that I watch over are protected to the best of my ability, as they drive to and fro conducting business in their Hired or Non-Owned vehicles. As always, if you have questions about these coverages, or if you are wanting to know about the nuances of insuring vehicles that are titled in the name of the distillery/entity, by all means, turn on the InsuranceMan 2.0 beacon and I will gladly come to your rescue. Send me a PM, call, or text me at 307-752-5961 and I will speed to your assistance. Until next time my friends, Stay Vigilant, Aaron Linden a.k.a. InsuranceMan 2.0 307-752-5961
  18. InsuranceMan 2.0

    Tuesday Morning Insurance Tidbit - HNOA

    @Huffy2k, I am glad you enjoyed it, Jim. Give me a call some time, I would love to catch up!
  19. InsuranceMan 2.0

    Recall plan

    To anyone interested, I have a boilerplate Quality Assurance document as well as a Product Recall plan that and I would be happy to assist you. just let me know via PM, text, call (307-752-5961). Stay Vigilant, Aaron Linden - a.k.a. InsuranceMan 2.0
  20. InsuranceMan 2.0

    Tuesday Morning Insurance Tidbit - PPC

    Happy Tuesday Morning Fellow ADI-ers, I wanted to offer a quick Tuesday Morning Insurance Tidbit for all of those looking to start a distillery, move to a new location, or open another location. In the world of insurance there are a lot of factors that come into play when trying to obtain coverage, as well as how those factors directly impact the premiums you pay. Today I want to focus on a topic that has been an issue for quite sometime, Public Protection Class, or PPC. The PPC program is a tool that was developed by the Insurance Services Office (ISO) for property and casualty insurers so that they can assess risk by a rating of "fire protection" services. The ISO pulled information from more than 47,000 communities in order to create this rating program. Essentially, this tool ranks PPC's on a scale of 1 to 10. A class 1 represents superior fire protection, whereas a 10 indicates that not even the minimum requirements are available. So what does that mean, exactly. Well, any of you that know me or have read my other postings know that I am a straightforward, "put it into plain English" kind of guy, so here is what it means; If you are located in a PPC 1 it means the fire department is located super-duper close to you, it has a full time staff, and you have a fire-hydrant pretty much on your property or in your building. So if something were to happen at your distillery and there were a fire or emergency need, the fire department would probably know about it before you do and they would quell any threat of loss before it caused much damage. With that being said, I am sure you have concluded for yourself at this point that a PPC 10 is probably not so good. You are correct! A PPC 10 to an underwriter causes an instinctive primal reaction wherein they shield their eyes, snap their head back, scream in disbelief, and start mumbling incantations. Picture the scene from the "Exorcist", yeah, kinda like that!!!!!! Nearly every underwriter in the known universe will become physically sick at the thought of a PPC 10. Actually, most carriers will not even entertain a risk in a PPC 7 or higher. I have even been told that these locations may as well be on the moon. I wrote a post about that here, actually: So what does this mean to you? It means that when you are considering your location you need to do some research in regards to the PPC. Insurance is not usually the first thing that people have in mind when wanting to open a distillery, but it should be dang near the top of the list. If you do your legwork ahead of time and find out what the PPC is of your proposed location, it is going to make your life much easier, and cheaper in the future. As I said earlier, this one factor alone can affect if you can even find insurance coverage and then what you will pay for it. Property rates on your building, equipment, and stock will be much lower in a PPC 1 then they will in a PC 6, and if it is a PC 7 or higher, well my friend, get your checkbook ready!!!!!!! Now you may be wondering, "OK, I need to find out the PPC of the location I am interested in. How do I do that??" The answer is actually very simple. Pull out your phone, google your local fire department, give them a call and tell them you would like to know the PPC of the address in question and they will tell you what it is. Voilà! Mission accomplished! It really is that easy and it truly can save you a lot of time and money down the road. I hope you have enjoyed this Tuesday Morning Insurance Tidbit, and as always, I am here to assist you in anyway that I can when it comes to your insurance needs. I work with an incredible amount of distillers all over the country and I have seen pretty much everything, so if you have questions, I more than likely have answers. Please feel free to give me a call at 307-752-5961 at any time. Best, Aaron Linden (aka InsuranceMan/InsuranceMan 2.0)
  21. InsuranceMan 2.0

    Tuesday Morning Insurance Tidbit - PPC

    @daveflintstone, you are absolutely correct! I called them today and they had no idea what I was talking about. I would say that around 95% of the fire response departments in the country know exactly what the PPC of their department is, but this is just one of those odd cases where they simply had never even heard of it previously. However, HAVE NO FEAR ... INSURANCEMAN 2.0 IS HERE!!!!!!!!!! I did some investigating on my own and found a published list for the PPC of Honolulu from back in 2000 and at that time it was a PC3. So I can only imagine it has either remained the same, or even improved by a number possibly. Anyway, mystery solved in this case, and I will be calling you today! Stay Vigilant, Aaron a.k.a. InsuranceMan 2.0 307-752-5961
  22. InsuranceMan 2.0

    Tuesday Morning Insurance Tidbit - Q&A

    Happy Tuesday Morning!!!!!!! As you may have noticed, there was not an installment in the Tuesday Morning Insurance Tidbit due to my family coming to Sheridanopolis for Thanksgiving and the hectic schedule that brings with all that involves. I do truly hope that you and your families had an amazing holiday, enjoyed good company, good conversation, and of course … good spirits!!!!!!! In todays installment of the “Tidbit”, I am going to change things up a little bit. Instead of me picking a topic and writing about it, I thought it may be interesting to open up the “Tidbit” to the forum so that you can ask questions that you may have about anything related to insurance, bonding, etc. I get a lot of great questions over the phone and in private emails, but I though maybe it would be fun to have others post their questions here in order to help everyone gain a better understanding. Remember, there are no silly questions, and if you are thinking about asking one, you can rest assured there are many others that likely have the same question. So, with all that being said, let’s get this party started!!!!! Once you post a question, I will answer it by starting off with the “@USERNAME” so that you get a notification that it has been answered. I truly look forward to all your questions, and I hope that this post actually carriers on for many weeks or months yet to come. It really can morph into an “ask the insurance expert” type of situation. Who wants to be first!??!!?!?!?! Stay Vigilant, Aaron Linden a.k.a. InsuranceMan 2.0 307-752-5961
  23. InsuranceMan 2.0

    Tuesday Morning Insurance Tidbit - Q&A

    No questions out there??? Come on, somebody must have a question?
  24. InsuranceMan 2.0

    Technology Woes

    ***** UPDATE ***** All, I see that this topic still gets a lot of views, and I wanted to inform you all that my cell phone number is still the same. It is 307-752-5961. I am no longer associated with the prior email address and toll free number however, so if you are looking to reach out to me please do so on my cell at 307-752-5961. I am still the number one go to guy for distillery insurance and welcome any of my past clients to contact me as well as the new. I still have the most competitive coverage available with the lowest premiums in the country. Stay Vigilant, Aaron a.k.a. InsuranceMan 2.0
  25. InsuranceMan 2.0

    Tuesday Morning Insurance Tidbit - BOR/AOR

    Happy Tuesday morning, ADI, In today's installment I want to start out by saying I hope everyone had a very wonderful and reflective Veteran’s Day. The recognition of this day is something that I personally hold very near and dear to my heart. I have Veterans in my family, friends that have served, and I am proud to say that I work with many former and active military members who own and operate distilleries. To all Veterans everywhere, you have my loyal thanks and gratitude. Let us never forget all you have done for this country and our freedoms. Now on to the topic at hand: The nasty, low-down, evil, and vile BOR/AOR!!!!!!!! What is a “BOR/AOR” you may ask … Well let me tell you … The acronym “BOR/AOR” stands for “Broker of Record” or “Agent of Record” letter. This is one of the oldest, nastiest, dirtiest, and possibly the most deceitful things that Insurance Agents have in their box of tricks. The function of a BOR/AOR started out, as most things do, as a good and helpful tool in the insurance world. However, it was not long after this process was developed that many chose to use it for evil instead of good. The BOR/AOR process was developed to assist clients in moving their insurance from one agent to another in the case that the current agent was unresponsive, or if the agent and client reached an impasse and could no longer work together for whatever reason. In some instances, it can be useful when a client wants to move a policy to someone with expertise in a certain area. The BOR/AOR process allows the client to reassign their existing policy, via the same carrier, to another agent all while retaining their current coverage and premium. Again, this process was to only be used in unusual circumstances where the client and agent simply could not see eye-to-eye anymore, or an agent possessed a certain expertise or skill set. It should only be used to counteract “Irreconcilable differences” shall we say. The same could be said for the quoting process, and many agents use the BOR/AOR even in the early onset of working with a client, tisk-tisk! Most insurance carriers will only release one quote proposal to the first agent that has submitted the business accompanied by a full application. The reasoning for this is that the carrier does not want to complete with itself across several different agents who may be submitting information that differs from one to the other. One agent may submit information stating that the insured is doing x, y, and z, while another may say they are doing a, b, and c. Completely different things, completely different proposals. Therefore, most insurance companies avoid releasing multiple proposals whenever possible. This is where the nasty agents come in and try to BOR/AOR the quote proposal. The NERVE!!!!!!!! Fast forward to about 5 minutes after this potentially good process was put into practice and you will see THE DARK SIDE! Insurance agents discovered quickly that this process could be abused in order to obtain fully written policies or proposals quickly and without having to put in much work. They found that they could simply have someone sign a letter, submit some information, and BAM! Instant money! Sounds like a pretty good gig, right?!?!?!?!?!?! Well, that all depends on your point of view and how the process is presented. Again, if this process is utilized correctly, then there is nothing wrong with it and it is useful. If your agent is a “hit it and forget it” kind of sales person who wrote your policy and then never spoke to you again, but your coverage is good, and you want to keep it but move it to someone else, then this is a potential way to make that happen. This is not usually how it is presented though. Most agents will tell a potential “easy mark” client that in order for them to quote the business, or open up the markets, that all you have to do is sign this letter to give them access. Many times, they won’t even say that much. They will simply say that you need to sign the letter in order to allow them to work on your behalf. Afterall, you have to sign so many documents anyway, what is one more? So they just slip it in. Many agents will go with the out-and-out lie approach. Now, I will throw in a caveat here … I have probably handled around 100 or so BOR/AOR’s in my career over the last 16 years. Each and every one of them has been on the up-and-up though. I always preface this process in the same way, and in my assertation, the correct way. I ALWAYS say to the client, “By signing this letter you fully understand that you are FIRING your current agent and HIRING me as your authorized representative, correct? Once you sign this letter, the other agent will be notified directly by the company and given 10 days to try to win you back. They will call you, they will email you, and they may even get mad at you. I want you to fully understand that by signing this letter you are giving me the authority to represent you and your coverage to the insuring company.” In my case, with this understanding laid out in advance, I have never had a client say that they did not want to go through the process. With me, it is due to my expertise and abilities that clients will knowingly move their policies. I will say though, that in ever case, I will try to find replacement coverage that is as good or better than what the client has prior to ever even broaching the BOR/AOR subject with them. It is never, and should never be the first thing that an agent does in the process of assisting you with your insurance. That is just deceitful and not how relationships are built. A quick story … about two years ago I had a client that had a partner and that partner agreed to meet with a local insurance agent. They had the meeting (although my friend did not want to) and found out quickly that not only was the other agent not an expert in distilleries (as he had led them to believe), but he was also new to insurance as a whole. They thanked him for his time, and as they were literally getting into the cab back to their office, he ran up to the car and told my friends partner that he needed a quick signature in order to prove to his boss that he was out at a meeting. They both thought this was strange, but the partner signed his name anyway, figuring maybe it would help this guy out. Well, lo-and-behold, it turned out that he was actually having him sign a BOR/AOR letter!!!!!!!!!!! I was notified the next day that my friend had signed over all authority on his policy that we had work on together for years. So, I called him up to find out what was going on. He stated that no one signed any such letter, that they would never reassign my work to someone else. As he reflected on it, he recalled that his partner signed something, but it was just a verification that they had a meeting with this agent. I told him to get a copy of that document and really take a look at it. Sure enough, it turns out it was a BOR/AOR letter, but the other agent had hidden that part under another sheet of paper, and his partner was deceived into signing the policies over. In the end, we countermanded the letter and that agent lost his insurance license and faced penalties and fines for his deceitful behavior. The long and the short of this Tuesday Morning Insurance Tidbit is this … Look at everything you are signing. Know what you are signing. Ask questions about what you are signing, and if you ever find yourself in a similar situation, walk away. If someone is willing to use deceitful practice in order to start a relationship with you where they are supposed to be taking care of you and have your best intentions in mind, the relationship should never be started in the first place. Stay Vigilant, Aaron a.k.a. InsuranceMan 2.0 307-752-5961
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