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Found 24 results

  1. Happy Tuesday Morning Everyone, Ah yes, Tuesday! One of our most favorite days. Not because it is only two measly days into slugging through the week, but because it means it is time for the TMIT!!!!!!!!!!! <Sounds of throngs of adoring fans cheering and chanting TMIT … TMIT … TMIT …> Thank you … Thank you … You are too kind!!!!!! On to it then! Today I am touching on something that we have not spoken about before, but like a loud bang in the night, it awoken me in the midst of the night with me thinking to myself, “Self …” I thought to myself, “Why have we not talked about this before?” So, it is high time to rectify this and we are going to talk about it now. In the past we have discussed the finer points of “Replacement Cost” and what that means, as well as “Co-Insurance” and how that works. This topic folds in with each of those items, but is a bit more nuanced discussion on “replacement cost” in regard to buildings. Now, although this will apply to buildings that you have remodeled or rehabbed, it also very much applies to newly constructed properties and for the purpose of this conversation we will use the example of a newly constructed distillery. Let’s say that you recently just built your dream distillery and OH, IT IS SCHWANK!!!!! Everything you ever wanted. All the bells and whistles, knobs and dials, walls of glass to showcase your killer 32’ column shiny copper still from the 320 seat tasting room … the whole 9 yards baby!!!!! WOOHOO!!!! Congratulations. Now it is time to get this puppy insured. You call some Joe Schmuckatelli insurance guy down the way and tell him, “Hey buddy, you should see this place, it is amazing.” And you tell him all about your killer distillery. Then it happens. The worst possible question he could ask. “What did it cost you to build it?” Your eyes glaze over and numbers start flying through your head and you see cartoon money with wings flying away and giant bags tied at the top with a string with “$” signs printed on them rolling out your doors on a conveyer belt and you start thinking that you better start making a lot of hooch, and QUICK. After you moment of tallying your investment you tell Mr. Schmuckatelli that you are into this baby about $2.2 Million ( I know, that is a lot for a start up, but it is my story and I will tell it how I want. I will tell you, I have had people that “started up” with a $14.6 million cost before. Yikes. ) Then the next worst thing is said by this insurance schlepper. “OK, that is the value we will use to insure your building then.” You think, “Sure, why not, that is what it cost me to build this beautiful homage to hooch. Let’s do it!” And he does it, and you overpay through the nose and lose out on tons of money that you could have used to by barrels, or whatever you need next. Why are you paying through the nose you may wonder? Well, I will tell you. Remember a few short moments ago when you were off in la-la-land and thinking about all the money flying away? When you were watching all of that money flying away, which it was, you were also adding up and tallying costs that you most likely do not need to insure. Let me give you an example. How much dirt-work and prep work did your site take? I would imagine that out of $2.2 million, at the very least, $150,000 was in site prep and dirt work. How about the flat work, concrete, etc.? Another $250,00 or so? Oh, and the hook ups, good-night the hook ups!!!! Brining water and sewer in and all your underground piping, tap fees, architect costs with stamping fees, on and on and on it goes. EXACTLY!!!!!!!! Almost all of those costs are things that you factored into you “REPLACMENT COST” because that was real money that left your hands and was spent, so that is what you tallied and told the cruddy agent who is wanting to insure your building for ALL OF THAT COST when in reality quite a percentage of your “build costs” would not need to be redone in the case of a loss. Concrete does not burn, site work and leveling don’t need to be redone in the case of a fire, and generally underground pipes don’t burn and you will always have your plans and the tap fees are a one time deal. See where I am going here?!?!?!? You may have had costs in excess of maybe 25% or more of the actual value of your building that would not need to be redone at a later date in the case of a loss. However, because you didn’t think about it in this way, and this snake-oil salesman didn’t bother to ask or care (really, most of them don’t even know and the more they insure it for the more it costs and the more they make), and now you are paying premium on a $2.2 million dollar value when you probably could have insured it for a “replacement cost” of $1.5 – $1.65 million, which would save you A BUNCH of money annually. Not to mention, you would be spending money on something that you will never realize in the case of a claim, because the carrier will pay to “replace” the building with like kind and quality and if that can be done for $1.2 million, then that is what it will cost the insurance carrier, and as long as it is exactly like it was, who cares?!?!?! YOU DO!!!!! You were paying premium on way more than that, because you cruddy “evil-doer” agent was over charging you and didn’t care! Do not be that person that doesn’t know, who calls an insurance person who doesn’t know, and who is going to value something someway because you said that is what it cost you, that you are going to overpay on for years and years and years. Nope! You are better and smarter than that. You are the type of intelligent insurance purchaser who has read all the TMIT’s and you are armed with knowledge, or at least the fact that you should contact me, InsuranceMan 2.0!!! and allow me to work through these things with you and direct you and assist you in getting the correct coverage at the right amount for the right premium. Voilà !!!!! This is why I am an insurance superhero by day, and …… Well …. I am an insurance superhero 24/7/365, so …. With that my dearest readers, I am off to battle yet more insurance issues for some clients that came from a bad situation but are on their way to being much better and saving lots ‘o dollars now that they contacted me. Until next time dear readers, Stay Vigilant, Aaron Linden a.k.a. InsuranceMan 2.0!!! 307-752-5961 aaron@roaringforkins.com or insuranceman2.0@yaho.com
  2. Members 3 77 posts Report post Posted 3 minutes ago I know it is a bit late one the day, but I have been out celebrating!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Happy repeal day, everyone!!!!!!!!!! This is why you and I are in business together!!!!!!!! The repeal of the 18th amendment to the constitution, the only amendment to ever be repealed!!!!!!!!!!!!! 86 years ago on this day, the amendment to repeal liquor ordinance went away!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THANK GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Happy REPEAL DAY everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  3. It is Tuesday, that means it is time for the Tuesday Morning Insurance Tidbit!!!!!!!!!! My goodness! Where to start???!!!?! Well, as the title eludes to, I had some really well thought out and great plans in store and I was sooooo, soooo excited to execute them. I was going to put up a teaser on Tuesday last week and then hit you all with a great post on Thursday for Thanksgiving. I wanted to tell you all that I am so thankful for all of you, for being allowed to be InsuranceMan 2.0!!! for the last 9, now almost 10 years, how I am thankful for what I do and for all of the support of ADI and the community here. That is why I put those things now, because they are true and I am so very thankful and have a lot to be thankful for. My wonderful plans fell by the wayside however ... With that, I have to tell you that I am SUPER thankful to just have made it to see some family and back during "SNOWmagedon". Wowza! I have done battle with some serious evildoers in years past, but Mother Nature can be one of the evilest evildoers of all. She can be unrelenting, and just when you think you have her beat, she decides to really show you what she can do, and then you all but beg for mercy. I missed my post last Tuesday because we wanted to go see family and I figured we would leave early enough that I would write to all of my dear readers latter that day setting up the Thursday "Thanksgiving" post. I was wrong. What should have been a 7 hour drive ended up being like a 17 hour drive and by the time we got in I was to tired and nerve-wracked to type or see. I needed a Martini and bed, stat!!!!! The next day was not as crazy, but it was a bit stressful spending time on phone calls and relaying road reports to others and catching up with family and making sure everyone one in other places were ok as well. Then the big Thanksgiving day came and it was wild and crazy as well. People all over, which is what it is about, phone calls to those that could not be with us, and of course a lot of food and drink, which was glorious. In all of the fun and frivolity however, and the decompression of the prior days stress, my post did not get written and for that, I apologize. Then of course the next day and the next were full of family fun and catching up with old friends, etc. Then it was time to head home. Dunt-dunt-DAAAA!!!! "The roads are open", they said. "It should be fine", they told us. "I don't think the hard stuff is gonna come down for a while" (nod if you get that reference), we heard. Yup, the roads were open, but that does not mean they should be. That 7 hour drive that took 17 the first go-around took more like 2 1/2 days going back. Thank God I am InuranceMan 2.0!!! and I have nerves of steel and super vision. I have never been in ground blizzards, ice packed roads, and 60+ mile an hour winds like that in my life. A stretch of highway ... HIGHWAY was at a dead standstill with traffic in both directions for 30-40 miles. When it would move, it was slow, but that did not keep people from sliding off into the ditches or trucks from BLOWING OVER!!!! If you have not seen that, it is something to behold!!!!!!! And we are talking about a highway that runs in the middle of FREAKING NOWHERE where there are not towns every 5 miles. More like every 50-100 miles. Well, suffice to say, after getting through the nightmareish hell that Mother Nature threw at us, we were snowed in to a decent sized town for a day or so, and finally crept our way back to Sheridanopolis a few days late, and that is why I am just writing this to you all now. I am thankful for many things, all of you here being one of them. I am thankful for a good life, good family, good friends, good drinks, and to be home safe and sound. I am not thankful for wicked winter storms. I am hopeful that all of you had a great Thanksgiving, stayed safe, and are home and happy. I am not thankful for my best laid plans going out the window, but life is full of wrenches that get thrown in our cogs, and being able to ebb and flow is what we have to do, on a daily basis. So, no real insurance related items here today, but I will get something in here for you to make it all worth it that is insurance related so you get something out of reading all of this. I saw a great saying the other day that went like this, "If you only have liability on your vehicle, stay home. This is a FULL COVERAGE kind of driving day." Yes they were! Until Next Time ... Stay Vigilant, Aaron Linden a.k.a. InsuranceMan 2.0!!! 307-752-5961 aaron@roaringforkins.com or insuranceman2.0@yahoo.com
  4. Happy Tuesday to all of you, my dearest readers, As you may have noticed, we have gone a couple of weeks without the weekly installment of the TMIT, and for that I apologize. As it turns out, InsuranceMan 2.0!!! was otherwise occupied fighting many facets of E V I L !!!!! From some family illness, to working on several very important top secrete projects (hopefully to be announced first here in the future), I have had to take a bit of a reprieve and structure some things differently for a time. Alas, I am back, and with a VENGEANCE (insert cool sound effect here)!!!!!!!!! For this installment of the TMIT I am going to address a topic that is at the top of everyone’s mind as we move closer to the end of the year … TO BOND, OR NOT TO BOND? That is the question—Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous potential Federal Excise Taxes, Or to take arms against a sea of taxation, And, by opposing, keep them low? What in the heck am I talking about? Well, as seen from my stolen and slightly modified Shakespeare quote, I am going to address the impending Federal Excise Tax Rate cut that many have enjoyed for the past many years. As most of you know, or should know, on December 22nd of 2017 a bill was passed that reduced the Federal Excise Tax rate on distilled spirits (amongst many other things) for the years of 2018 and 2019. The taxation rate was reduced from $13.50 per proof gallon down to $2.70 for the same, thereby leaving a lot of extra money in many a distillers pocket/businesses. Oh how we rejoiced and made merry at this news!!!!! Not only was the tax burden lessened upon the good and hearty distillery folk of this land, but they also passed a provision stating that if a distillery removed less than $50,000 worth of taxable product (which works out to roughly 18,518 proof gallons of product at 100 proof, or 23,148 gallons at 80 proof … which is A LOT of booze) in a years’ time, you were no longer were required to carry a Federal Distiller Spirits Plant (or DSP) Bond. Again, the “huzzah’s” rang throughout the land!!!!!! Many distilleries took these newly found riches and either upgraded their equipment, hired much needed assistance, put it into marketing, or simply enjoyed having some extra “walkin’ around” money. Whatever the case, it was a windfall in many cases and one that was enjoyed and well deserved. Fast forward from that time of celebration to now. We are late into 2019 and within a month and a half of this amazing bill, H.R.1 — 115th Congress (2017-2018), expiring. Yup! EXPIRING!!!!!! This bill was only good for 2018 and 2019 and has an expiration date of December 31st of 2019 unless action is taken by those duly elected national officials to either implement this change permanently or allow for it to expire. At this point in time, this bill has a lot of positive backing with several high-powered officials signing on to make this tax cut permanent, however … things like “impeachment hearings” and other political nonsense can get in the way of actual legislation taking place, and we are quickly running out of time before the House and Senate adjourn for Thanksgiving and then the long break over Christmas and New Year’s. PEOPLE, THERE REALLY IS NOT MUCH TIME LEFT HERE!!!!!!!!! This is one of the things that I, InsuranceMan 2.0!!! have been working on. So, what can you do???? Contact your representatives. How do you do that???? Go here: https://whoismyrepresentative.com/ to find out who you can send a letter to, AND SEND IT!!!!!!!!! OK, you have the background now, and the knowledge to go forward to make a difference, but how does this all tie in with the whole, “To bond or not to bond” question? Well, for those of you who are up and running and loving the reduced rate, that is great. For those that are just finalizing their paperwork in order to get their licensing and permitting, now is a precarious time due to the fact that they do not know if they need to submit a bond or not in order to have everything pass thought smoothly. Will the FET cut be made permanent? Will not submitting a bond screw things up and lengthen the process? Will a bond be needed or not come 2020?!?!?!?!? WHO KNOWS!!!!!!!!! So, the question becomes, to bond or not to bond at this point in time. The answer … I don’t have the answer. Here is the sage advice of the all-knowing and all-wise InsuranceMan 2.0!!!, DSP bonds for the past “minimum” required Federal bond stipulated that you must carrier at least $15,000 worth of “Operations” and $1,000” in withdrawal. That bond usually ran about $192 for the year. If you are new to the game and you want to make sure that you are not going to get caught up in sticky red-tape on your permitting, I would say get a bond if you are not a risk taker. The other side of that is, if you are submitting via the PONL system prior to the very end of 2019, take the risk and submit it without a bond since you are still technically under the deadline of the FET cut and you “should” be fine. The crappy part about this is, no one really knows what is going to happen and there is not much out there that addresses if this will get passed in time or not. So that leaves all of us sitting and waiting to find out what the future holds and if the tax rates will remain the same or be jacked up to the prior rates of years past. All I can tell you is this, get a hold of your representative and try to make a difference. Otherwise, if you just sit on your laurels and hope others will contact their public officials, you may end up having to contact me instead in order to purchase a Federal DSP bond!!!!!!! Which call would you rather make, one that will save you money, or one that will cost you money????? You decide. I am hopeful that this tax cut remains intact the way it sits at the $2.70 rate per proof gallon and I don’t have to write a single DSP bond this year. If it does expire however, take a number and get in line because InsuranceMan 2.0!!! is going to be one busy sonuvabeach, cranking out bonds across this nation. Trust me, I would rather see you keep that money in your pocket than to put some into mine and a whole lot into the pockets of the surety companies. Make your calls, send your emails, and tell them to keep the rates low. Hopefully in one month and 16 days we can all raise a glass and toast the permanent tax cuts and have yet another amazing reason to welcome in the new year! Until next time … Stay Vigilant, Aaron Linden a.k.a. InsuranceMan 2.0!!! 307-752-5961 aaron@roaringforkins.com or insuranceman2.0@yahoo.com
  5. Happy Tuesday Morning To All, As you probably have noticed, if you are a loyal reader and follower of the TMIT, there was no installment of the TMIT last week, and this week’s posting is a little tardy. Well my friends, as it turns out, bilocation is not one of my superpowers. I lack the ability to be in two places at the same time and for the last week or so I was taken out of Sheridanopolis so that I could attend my big brothers 50th birthday. That was certainly something that I was not going to miss and being that we were in Grand Marais, MN the internet capabilities were sketchy at best. Now, with you knowing that, I have a special treat for you. Try to contain yourself and your excitement, here we go! I am going to give you two topics for this week’s TMIT!!! I KNOW, RIGHT!??!?!!? EXCITING!?!?!?!!? OK, you all good now?!??!?!?! For starters, the first topic will be short here on the post as I will be redirecting you to the most recent installment of DISTILLER magazine that you have probably recently received in the mail from ADI. If you flip that little puppy open to the CONTENTS page you will see down on the left hand side of the page under THE BUSINESS OF DITILLING an article written by yours truly that is entitled, “Distillery Insurance: What You Need To Know”. I cannot tell you how excited I am to be a contributing writer for DISTILLER magazine! Being asked to be a part of this publication is truly an honor and I am just so pleased to have been asked. The article itself is found on pages 144, 145, 148, and 149. I would encourage you to find a comfy spot to sit down this evening with your favorite spirit and give it a read. Completely enthralling if I do say so myself, but then again, I may be biased, LOL! As well, on page 150 in the upper right-hand corner you will see my contact information displayed in my Roaring Fork Insurance advertisement. If you don’t know much about me already (which at this point, if you are a devoted TMIT reader, you probably have a pretty good idea) you can flip to page 8 and under the CONTRIBUTORS section, my information appears very near the top of the middle column. OK, now that we have gotten that gratuitous self-promotion out of the way (but I am excited about this, as if you could not tell), onward to the second topic for the TMIT so that you do not feel cheated out of not getting last week’s information. Although I, InsuranceMan 2.0!!! , could have used my superpowers to get to Grand Marais in the blink of an eye, I am not above taking the great American road trip from time to time to explore this amazing country that we live in. As we were making our way across Wyoming, South Dakota (in a ground blizzard no less), and the entirety of Minnesota we passed an insurance office in a small town that was called … wait for it … Puthoff Insurance. Disclaimer here *** I have no idea who these folks are, and I am sure they are very good at what they do, and heck, I am even giving them a plug (of sorts) here. This has nothing to do with the fine folks at that agency, again, I am sure they are amazing *** end of disclaimer. Driving by this office though made me think about their agency but more about there name and really, more about how people truly do “PUT OFF INSURANCE”. I cannot tell you how often I receive a call or an email from a distiller that says something along the lines of, “Well, we have been in operation for several years now, and we have never had insurance, but we are at a point where we need to do something.” Another disclaimer, *** there is nothing wrong with this approach. *** In fact, in the article in DISTILLER (ah, see how I wove that in and brought it all full circle?!??! That is one of my superpowers!) it references the fact that if you do not have a loan on your business or a landlord, or some other interested third party, there really are no regulatory requirements for you to carry insurance. Did you know that? Well, now you do. Although there may not be some “big brother” type entity telling you that you must carry insurance (and for that I am glad), it is certainly a good idea. You know that I have to say that though, after all, I am InsuranceMan 2.0!!! Anyway, there is nothing wrong with not carrying insurance in the beginning since it is your choice after all, but what are you “Putting Off”? If you “Put Off” insurance you really are taking a risk with a large part of your life, a very large investment that you should not put in peril. Would you purchase a new Ferrari and say, “Ah … screw it, I am going to drive this thing all over the US for the next year or two, but I don’t need insurance!” NO, NO you would not. So why do it with your distillery? Your equipment is valuable and needs protecting, right? What about your products that you produce? Most certainly! How about liability arising from your operations or out of serving samples or cocktails out of your tasting room? Yeah, for sure!!!!! You have heard this from me before, but your blood, sweat and tears go into your passion of distilling and they should be protected as you protect your family member, your friends, or your home. Another reason to not “Put Off” insurance is simply due to the fact that many insurance carriers are very apprehensive to offer coverage to a distillery that has been operational for years with no preexisting coverage. In fact, many standard carriers will not offer an insurance proposal to distilleries that have been operating without insurance thereby throwing them into an Excess and Surplus (E&S) lines market. This could mean higher premiums, less coverage, and building “insurance credit” for a few years. If you just don’t “Put Off” insurance but start it right when you are ready to start everything else (if not a bit before) the process will be much easier and could actually end up being cheaper and better. If you are just getting started, thinking about getting started, or if you have been up and going for a few months or several years and have just “Put Off” insurance, it is never too late to protect yourself and your investment. Where do you turn when you are ready to not “Put Off” insurance any longer? Who should you get in touch with?!?!??! Well, I think you know the answer but if you don’t, I will give you a hint … InsuranceMan 2.0!!! I am here, ready, willing, and able to assist you. I have assisted hundreds and hundreds of distillers all across this country, in every state (except for Rhode Island … why is that? What is going on there?!?!?! If anyone reading this is from RI, call me or email me please!!!!!!! I want to work with a distillery in Rhode Island!!!!!!!!!) and of every size. From large to small, I have worked with them all. As always, my information, education, and conversation are free of charge. Until next time dear reader … Stay Vigilant, Aaron Linden a.k.a. InsuranceMan 2.0!!! aaron@roaringforkins.com or insuranceman2.0@yahoo.com (307) 752-5961
  6. Happy Tuesday My Friends, In today’s installment of the TMIT I want to talk about what it means when an insurance speaking person mentions the term “Hard Market.” As with most things, insurance operates on cycles. Most things in the world are cyclical, and insurance is no different. Often times there are many good years in the insurance industry where businesses flourish, the economy is good, and losses are low. Years without natural disasters assist in this arena very much as well. These times are known as “soft markets”. Insurance companies write a lot of business and the premiums are lower than normal because everything is ice-cream cones, rainbows and unicorns. But then it happens … Dun-Dun-DAH!!!! Maybe natural disasters happen, one after another. Big losses occur, or perhaps smaller but multiple losses occur within a sect or several sects of business (think Jim Beam fires, Rickhouse collapses, etc.), and the market turns! Keep in mind, there are two types of “hard markets”. The first is one that we have all been through if you have been around 5 to 6 years, since that seems to be the natural cycle of the insurance marketplace. The first “hard market” type is the one where, with out any changes to your policy, your premium all of the sudden increases 10%-25% at renewal. You are thinking, “What the H311 just happened?!?!?!?! I didn’t change anything!?!??!?!” You are correct, you may not have changed anything. So, what did change? Well, here is an InsuranceMan 2.0!!! basic insurance lesson. Insurance is the spread of risk among many to pay the losses of a few which thereby allows the carriers to charge smaller premiums to many individuals to offset the losses of those few. Well, in a year, or more accurately, in a succession of years where the losses are more severe, the insurance companies reassess the amount of premium being charged to offset said losses so that a “combined loss ratio” number is achieved. I am not going to go into the intricacies of what a combined loss ratio is at this point in time. Suffice to say, if you are ever having trouble sleeping, give me a call and I will use my superpowers of hypnosis to put you right out by explaining this to you. For now, let’s just say that insurance companies, like casinos, don’t build big amazing buildings with all of the losses they sustain. Capeesh? It is the second type of “hard market” that I am most interested in telling you about here. It is not the kind of hard market that jacks premiums overnight, instead it is the kind that I have spoken about in a few other postings here on the forums. In a way, it is a much more insidious type of hardening of the insurance market. The kind where premiums don’t necessarily go up, rather, the underwriting guidelines change, become more stringent, and it is just harder to get a carrier to provide coverage that isn’t for some “main street mom & pop nothing shop”. Distilleries have never technically been an “easy sell” for an agent to approach a carrier with. Trust me, I know! I was the first guy ever to develop an insurance program for distilleries and it took years and years of getting doors slammed in my super-face. Anyway, distilleries have always been a “high risk” in the world of insurance, which is so stupid! I don’t want to get off on a tangent here for the next hundred lines of text, but you all know what you are doing, you are highly regulated (by many governmental agencies, both local and nationally, as well as you highly regulate yourselves. This is your livelihood and your soul, you never want to see anything bad happen.), and you are all very safe. So, this is just a stupid concept that I have fought to prove for dang near the last decade. Hey, I am here for you and on your side. See?!?!??!! Here I GO!!!!!! OK, back to the topic at hand. Distilleries have never been an easy sell, we got that. However, they had been easier in the past than they are becoming now. What do I mean? Just what I mentioned above. We are entering into a hard market cycle where it is becoming more difficult to place distillery clients with “Standard” carriers. If you don’t now what that is, go find my post on “Standard vs. E&S” … Oh, just let me do it for you, here! The long and short of it all is this, we are certainly trending toward a hardening market whereby it is becoming a much harder sell for most agents to get standard carriers to look at good distillery clients. However, if a GOOD insurance agent can get a GOOD distillery client in front of a GOOD insurance carrier, and they know what they are doing, BAM! They will still write the account which means less in the way of premium and more in the way of coverage. If you want to know what you need to do to be considered a GOOD distillery that can be written with a GOOD insurance carrier, then you should be contacting a GREAT insurance superhero. Let’s see, who comes to mind?!?!?! Hummmm ….. This is a tough one! NO IT IS NOT!!!!!!!! IT IS ME!!!!!!!!! InsuranceMan 2.0!!! I can walk you through what you need to do to better your chances, increase your coverage, and lower your premiums. I love to do what I do, I love to get great distilleries placed with great insurance companies that provide great coverage with great premiums. It is all just “GREAT”!!!!!!!! Want to be “GREAT”? Great!!! Let’s all be great together. Call me, email me, text me, PM me here, shoot the InsuranceMan 2.0!!! beacon against the clouds from your distillery … whatever it takes, but get in touch with me. Until next time dear readers … Stay Vigilant, Aaron Linden a.k.a. InsuranceMan 2.0!!! 307-752-5961 aaron@roaringforkins.com or insuranceman2.0@yahoo.com
  7. Happy Tuesday Morning Dear ADI Forum Readers, Today in the TMIT we are going to turn our attention to something that many of us don’t want to necessarily discuss or talk about. With the days getting shorter, and many of you located in those cold and snowy areas (see, we don’t want to talk about this, right?!?!), something that needs to be at the top of your mind is the fact that as temperatures dip into that “below freezing” area, pipes can and do freeze. Now, I don’t want to get into some type of physics lesson here, but we are all aware of what happens when water freezes, right?!?!? Yeapers, it expands. If a pipe is full of water, which distilleries have a boatload of, and it expands with nowhere else to go, pressure builds, and “BLAM”!!!! Burst pipe, water everywhere, damage, soggy stuff, fried electrical, and big trouble! So, the question that arises is, are you covered for this type of a claim? Do you know? Do you care? Well, you better know and you better care because I have seen this type of loss many times over, and water damage can be COSTLY!!!!! So, do you know if you have coverage? If you are a normal insurance purchaser, you rely on the agent to get you what you need and leave it at that. You know what, if you are working with an expert who is a professional in the industry, then that may be OK. If you are working with someone that is a “generalist” and you told them to just get you what they think you need, you could have issues. There are several different types of property coverage forms associated with insurance policies, and if you do not have the right coverage form it could cost you big dollars. WAY BIGGER than the small premium charge that could have made all of the difference. The three common property coverage forms are Basic, Broad, and Special. Under the basic form this type of a loss IS NOT covered, so you may want to go dig that policy up and take a look at it to see what you have. Under the Broad and Special forms, the coverage of frozen pipes is covered … with certain parameters that we will get into in a second. The big question is though, why would an agent only provide you with Basic coverage forms? Well, honestly, they shouldn’t. If they are any type of professional, they will know the difference and should know enough about your operation that this should not happen. Once in a great while though, and if they have no idea what they should do for a distillery, they may end up working with an Excess & Surplus lines carrier that only can offer Basic property coverage. Or it may be due to the age of the building or a myriad of other factors. Point being, you better know, and if you don’t know your coverage form, you better ask. OK, now on to the Broad and Special forms. Again, I have not seen a Broad forms policy for quite some time as there really is no reason to utilize this form unless the carrier specifies that they cannot provide anything better. If that is the case, then the agent should be looking for other alternative options. The cost differential between Broad and Special is dang near nothing, so there is no reason to shoot for the stars here folks. The Special property coverage form in insurance-ese is CP 10 30 04 02 (in most cases, it could be CP 10 30 06 95 so check for either) and in a nutshell, Special form covers EVERY TYPE OF LOSS unless it is specifically excluded (see your coverage form – Causes of Loss – Special form – A. Covered Causes of loss, subsection B – Exclusions, Item #2, subsection g. water. I did this purposefully to get you to pull out the policy and look at it. Clever, no????). This is the best coverage that carriers can provide, and this is the coverage that you need to have. This type of coverage has inaccurately been call “ALL PERIL” coverage, but that really is not true, as there are some specific exclusions that are always excluded by insurance policies. That is not to say you cannot obtain coverage for things such as Earthquake, Mudslide, Hurricane, Terrorism, etc., it just means that you must purchase a separate and specific policy to cover those things. So as you can see, it is not truly an “All Peril” coverage form, it is Special … Isn’t everyone?!???! So, let’s get to the exclusionary language as it pertains to frozen pipes and water damage. Again, under the Special Form CP 10 30, freezing of pipes is covered … provided a few things have happened. The loss must be “sudden and accidental”, meaning that it cannot have been due to corroding pipes or other issues that could have been prevented earlier on. As well, you must certify that in the case of a frozen pipe with resulting water damage that you have done what is needed to maintain adequate heat to prevent freezing, or in the case that you are closed for whatever reason for a period of time, that heat was maintained or the system was completely drained of all water. If those things have been done, and you report the loss in a “timely manner”, you will have coverage. “Timely Manner” is an interesting term in insurance. For a bunch of lawyers who like to define tons of words in policies (there is a whole definitions section for crying out loud), they never define what “timely” means. I will tell you this, I define it as sooner than later for sure! Not to mention that water damage is only part of a burst pipe claim. Did you know that water damage, especially when absorbed by wood, sheetrock, etc., can start producing mold within 24-48 hours????? Dang, that stuff is prolific, isn’t it??!?!?! Mix that with heat and moisture (which distilleries have quite a bit of), and that process can happen even faster. “Well then, all knowing InsuranceMan 2.0!!!, what should I do in the case of a broken pipe and water damage claim?” I am glad you asked, devoted reader. In the case of a broken pipe that is spilling water everywhere, first and foremost, shut off the water, duh. Then, do what you can to mitigate any of the damage. Mop it up, push it into a floor drain, suck it up with a shop vac, whatever you can do to get a majority of the water out of your facility. Then, FANS!!!!!!!!! Lots of fans. Being that the water damage came from a frozen pipe, I would not suggest throwing the doors open to get a cross breeze in your facility, it may just turn the whole place into an ice rink. But in the case of a sudden and accidental burst pipe in warmer areas or at other times of the year, go ahead and throw those doors wide open. The point is to start the drying process as quickly as possible to avoid any mold growth. Speaking of, guess what, mold is EXCLUDED under every policy, including Special form, so mold = no Bueno. Once that process is underway, and you are looking at all of the damage the water has caused, pick up the phone and call your agent to tell them what happened. I would consider that “timely” even if it is hours or a day or two later, since it can be an arduous process to get that water out of there. When you contact your agent (which by the way, if it is not me, SERIOUSLY?!??! What are you thinking at this point, obviously I know what I am doing and I have provided you with all this great information. If you are not using me by now, I don’t even know what to say.) and report the claim. They will get it to the company and an insurance adjustor will contact you, usually within 24 hours to come out and take a look. Start inventorying the damage that you want them to take a look at so that you can make sure they see all the things you want them to see. Then, voila, the claim should be paid and you can recoup the money/value you have into the process and recover your loss. Well dearest reader, that concludes today's fun insurance lesson on frozen and burst pipes. If you have any questions about this type of loss situation or any other insurance questions what-so-ever, feel free to give me a call at any time. I can be reached on the RED emergency InsuranceMan 2.0!!! phone at any time, day or night at 307-752-5961. Until next time dear reader … Stay Vigilant, Aaron Linden a.k.a. InsuranceMan 2.0!!! 307-752-5961 aaron@roaringforkins.com or insurancman2.0@yahoo.com
  8. Happy, happy Tuesday!!!!!!!!!!!! Ah ... I know that summer is never long enough, but fall has finally started to settle in on Sheridanopolis, and I could not be happier. It is my favorite time of year. Cooler temperatures (but not too cold), the smell of the air, the brisk mornings. What is not to love! I hope that wherever you are, you are making the best of this time of year. Today in the TMIT I want to address something that has needed addressing for a long time, the word "Premium". What does it mean? Well, it actually means a lot of different things. According to Merriam-Webster a "premium" is defined as, "A sum over and above a regular price paid chiefly as an inducement or incentive." It also means, "The consideration paid for a contract of insurance." Ha, there is how it relates to insurance. However, it is also defined as "A high value in EXCESS of that NORMALLY or USUALLY expected." OK!!!!!!!! Now we are at the root of what today's posting is about!!!!!!!! Clever, right?!?!?! Although many of us associate the term of "Premium" to mean the money we that we pay in exchange for an insurance policy the issue that I have been seeing across the board is that many of you are being gouged in the way of your premiums. I have had so many distillers getting in touch with me over the past month saying, "Hey, InsuranceMan 2.0!!!, would you be willing to take a look at my policy?!?!? I think I am paying way too much!" Yes, the OTHER definition of premium. I have discovered, through looking at about two or three dozen policies recently that the majority of you out there, those who do not have insurance through me, associate the word premium with the OTHER definition of a high value in excess of that normally or usually expected. AND YOU ARE RIGHT!!!!!!!!! Good night, Irene!!!!!! I have to tell you, I recently saw a policy come across my desk where an insured was paying nearly $50,000 for his insurance, I poo you not!!!!! 50-GRAND!!!!!!!!! That is an insane amount of money for distillery insurance. And it is not like it is GINORMOUS "Big-Boy" producer. Don't get me wrong, it is a nice operation, but no where near the 50K mark. Anyway, it turns out I was able to secure him BETTER coverage for less than half the money, and actually cover him for all of the exposures he had, not just the one that was listed on his excessively expensive policy. Do you know why? Do you know what the difference was?!?!!?!? It is the thing that I have seen dozens of times over in the last month and that thing is, the other insurance agent DIDN'T KNOW WHAT THE H311 THEY WERE DOING!!!!!! UGH! If I ever get my hands on some of the evildoers, I swear, it will look something like this ... Anyway, I am so enraged when I see the good people of ADI-Ville being taken advantage of by these dunderheaded-muddlenoggins! They simply do not belong in the insurance world, let alone writing polices for distilleries that they do not know anything about!!!!!!! Grrrrrrrrr!!!! What is happening people??!??! I know exactly what is happening. Many of you don't know where to turn for insurance so you reach out to someone you know, someone down the street, someone that you happened to see an ad for on a bus speeding by maybe, but you are playing Russian Roulette people. The client that I spoke about above before my amazing fight scene depicted above was paying twice as much as he should have been. And that was not just for one year, two years would be horrifying, but he was paying this for the last three years. Truly grotesque!!!!!!!!! Think about that for a minute. He was paying $25,000 a year TOO MUCH for three years. For those of you that are still reeling from the fight scene, let me assist you. That is $75,000 wasted over the course of three years. Imagine what this distiller could have done with an extra $75,000!!!!!!! You all know what he could have done with that. Increase his profits, keep out of debt, hire someone, marketing campaigns, new equipment, the list is endless. But no, he wasted it on an insurance evildoer who didn't know what they were doing and this good distillery citizen paid the price. Well, enough is enough people! Do not let these vile evil insurance people abscond with your hard earned money any longer. Call me, please, for the sake of all things holy! I am not saying you have to use me, but at least call me for a second opinion. Chances are you will end up working with me, but let me at least show you that things can be better and done correctly when it comes to you policy, and often for much less. Let me get you back to associating the word "Premium" with the best definition. The definition that I associate this word with, and that is "of exceptional quality." Until Next Time Dear Reader, Stay Vigilant, Aaron Linden InsuranceMan 2.0!!! 307-752-5961 aaron@roaringforkins.com or insuranceman2.0@yahoo.com
  9. Tuesday is upon us once again, dearest ADI-ers, so here we go. In today's installment of the TMIT I am actually going to ask a short and sweet question and I am hoping for several responses from the forum goers. I am wondering to myself, "Self ...", I wonder ... "How many distillers out there would like to have a health insurance alternative?" So, what I am asking is the following, how many distilleries out there would be interested in some sort of health insurance plan? It could be an individual group type policy, but more what I am wondering is would there be interest in a larger group policy for distillers guilds, etc.? Let me know if this is something of interest to anyone out there and if so, where you are located and what your thoughts or questions are. I am doing some exploratory research on my end, but I want to know if anyone else out there has thought about this and I am wanting to get a feel for the potential need of such an offering. I look forward to hearing from you. Until next time my friends .... Stay Vigilant, Aaron Linden a.k.a. InsuranceMan 2.0!!! 307-752-5961 aaron@roaringforkins.com or insuranceman2.0@yahoo.com
  10. It’s Tuesday, It’s Tuesday, Woo, Woo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Good morning my friends in ADI-land! Do you ever have those days where you wake up and do your superhero work out (usually consisting of the dog running me, not the other way around), your weight training routine, and then have some wonderfully flavorful French press coffee and a luxurious breakfast and you just feel like the word is your oyster?!???!?! Well, if you have had those mornings then you know how I am feeling. All is right in Insuranceopolis and I am just in a hap-hap-happy mood. I hope this post finds you feeling the same. In today’s installment of the TMIT I want to touch on a topic that we have never really spoke about here previously. This is something that may concern some of you, and for others it may not be a big deal at all, it just depends on your operation. Although insurance has a long history and is a concept almost as old as dirt, this coverage is one that actually did not even exist just a few decades ago. What am I talking about???? Any guesses???? CYBER LIABILITY!!!!!!!!! Yes, siree Bob. Cyber Liability actually came into existence well after the advent of computer technology, email, and quite honestly, a rather long time after the wide accessibility of the internet and shopping online. As we have discussed previously, insurance is antiquated in many senses and big ships turn slow. Although there was a need for this type of coverage prior to it being offered, this “late to the game” approach by the insurance industry is quite typical. Often times this approach is born out of bureaucracy and red-tape, but more-often-than-not it is simply due to the fact that no one really knows what the true exposures are or how to underwrite or provide coverage for such a new threat. We have been dealing with fires and lawsuits since the beginning of time so those are easily dealt with by insurance carriers. There are specialized underwriting matrix that exist regarding property loss and liability that are backed by over a hundred years’ worth of data. But cyber … well that is something that simply did not exist previous to 1988. Why 1988 you may ask? Well, according to NATO International, the first documented attack on the cyber infrastructure occurred in 1988 and was called the Morris Worm. This was a rather simplistic attack that took advantage of a weakness in the Unix system Noun 1 and slowed computes down, ultimately making them cease completely. Oh, how far and much more nefarious have attacks progressed from then to now!!!!!!!! Realistically, cyber liability coverage can trace it’s roots back to somewhere in the 1990’s, but back then, as is mostly the case through today, no one really understood the need for this coverage and very few purchased it. It was not until around the year 2000 that Lloyd’s of London launched the first Cyber Liability policy. Fast-forward to 2019 and you may think that the percentage of companies that purchase this coverage would be HUGE due to the increase of cyber attacks. Well dear reader, you would be very, very wrong. Less than one-third (1/3) of all US based companies carry any type of Cyber Liability coverage. SERIOUSLY!?!??!! Everyone gets attacked at some point, right?!?!?!?! Well … according to statista.com, not everyone is attacked. In 2018 the annual number of data breaches was upwards of about 1,300 in the U.S. Although that may not seem like as many as one would think, please keep in mind that the AVERAGE COST of a cyber breach at that time was $27,370,000! Yes, that is twenty-seven MILLION DOLLARS!!!!!!!!!!! Now, obviously we are talking about some big-time companies here, hospitals, credit card companies, etc. With that said though, smaller businesses get hit all the time and everything is relative, right??!?! If a big corporation has a cyber liability loss of $27,000,000 it still is going to hurt their bottom line at the end of the year, just like if your business has a loss of maybe $270,000 it is going to hurt your bottom line, maybe even to the point of putting you out of business where as the “Big Boys” can absorb such a loss a bit easier and continue to operate. Ok, enough of the history lesson, although it was needed in order to set the table so that we can discuss this topic further. So, what does Cyber Liability cover? Well, that depends on the type of business, the size, what kind of records you keep, and quite honestly it depends on the carrier that you purchase the coverage though as they are all different. In a nutshell, Cyber provides coverage for financial losses that result from data breaches or other cyber type attacks. As stated, different carriers offer different policies, but most do cover not only first-party (you and your business) coverage, but third-party coverage as well. That means that a cyber policy can provide insurance for losses that you sustain due to a cyber attack that ruin your personal data records as well as anyone that is damaged due to your data being breached. How about an example, eh? You sell your product to John Smithe (pronounced “smYthe” 😊 , either on site at your location or via an internet sale, if that is legal where you are located), and you retain Mr. Smithe’s information in your database. Maybe you have his name (duh!), address, phone number, etc. … but here is where it gets scary … maybe you have also retained his date of birth for legal verification reasons, as well as his credit card number and other vital purchasing information. If Mr. Smythe’s information is stolen due to a cyber-attack, UH-OH, you could be in serious trouble now. In fact, there are multiple sites out there on the world-wide-interweb-thingy that offer “Data Breach Cost Calculators”, and according to one that I like the best, if you have been breached and exposed only 10 clients personal payment information or their personally identifiable information, that loss could cost you upwards of $180,000!!!!!!!!!!! That is on 10 clients!!!!!!! The average cost per record can be nearly $20,000. That number should be an eye opener for sure! Now, just to be fair, that is a large amount of loss due to a data breach, don’t get me wrong but there may be a silver lining to all of this. Let’s say you had 10,000 clients that were breached, who had their information stolen, the claim may not be extrapolated by the same per client cost that was previously mentioned. Again, it depends on the type of loss and your coverage, but typically the majority of the expense comes in the way of incident investigation costs. Those costs typically are the most expensive as the “investigation is the investigation” regardless of the number of clients, but the per client cost goes down dramatically as that is spread across all 10,000 which could essentially drive the per client average down to around $40 per client. Hey, we are still talking about a loss of $380,000 though, and that is enough to put a sizeable dent in your profits and potentially put you out of business if you don’t carry this type of coverage. OK, now that I have your attention, I can hear you pondering the ultimate question that everyone inevitably will ask, “How much is this going to cost me?!?!?!?!” Honestly, it is not as daunting as one may think. The average cyber liability policy premium for a business ranges from about $1,000 annually up to $7,500. It just all really depends on the size of your business, the type of records retained, and a myriad of other factors. All-in-all it is not as much as one would think for such a viable and real threat in today’s world. I have heard many reasons from folks as to why they don’t want or need cyber liability. From, “Well, we only use ‘Square’ and don’t keep any records of a personal nature”, to “We don’t have any records that are worth anything.” I hear you and I understand, but … Although payment services like “Square” and others take care of most of the PCI data compliance for you, maybe that is not your biggest exposure. Do you keep records on employees, or maybe some “trade secret” data of your products, or your own payment and purchasing information? Do you have a website that generates sales for you? What if your website is hacked and you lose revenue? Could this be an issue? Yes, yes it could and yes you do have these exposures! We all do. Let’s face it, everything in our life is all ones and zeros stored on an electronic device somewhere. We don’t have piles of paper files clogging up valuable square-footage like in the olden days. Well, that data has intrinsic value my friends, and without it, or if it is corrupted or stolen and held hostage, what are you going to do? If you have a cyber liability policy in place the world becomes a lot less “gloom and doom” and more “sunshine and rainbows” knowing that you may not have to bear this burden alone since InsuranceMan 2.0!!! and the cyber liability insurance carrier will be there to save the day. Do you want to know more or find out if you really have a need? Then get in touch with me and I can assist you in the process, I am here to help. Until next time … Stay Vigilant, Aaron Linden a.k.a. InsuranceMan 2.0!!! 307-752-5961 insuranceman2.0@yahoo.com
  11. Happy Tuesday To All, In today's installment of the "Tidbit" we are going to try something I gave a shot a while back but it was not as well received as I had hoped it would be, but first ... In the spirit of always growing my superpowers (and due somewhat to regulations and complilance), InsuranceMan 2.0!!! has been a bit preoccupied with CE. Ah yes, as any of you that came from or are still dwelling in the professional world (outside of distilling), there are requirements for Continuing Education (CE) in order to keep your licensure up to date and make all of the regulators happy, happy, happy. Well, 'tis the season, and I am neck deep in it, but that does not mean I am not here to serve and protect you! I should have it all wrapped up in the next day or so, but I have been a bit busy with it all. That then brings us to the meat of the TMIT for today. As stated, I tried to do a little Question and Answer (Q&A) post a while back and I have either done such an amazing job at educating all of you that no one has any insurance questions, or people just did not want to ask questions. I hope it was the former but methinkst thou ADI-ers mayst not want to appearest naive. Whatever the case, I would like to open up this post to questions. Any questions that you may have. There are no silly questions, people, so let's have at it. Do you have questions about your General Liability, perhaps your property coverage, maybe how your stock should be calculated?!?!?!?! Do you want to know how to make a killer Pad Thai or ask what I am doing this weekend? Nothing is off limits, so let's get this party started?!!??! Who will be first???? What will they ask?!?!?! So many questions ... but all from me so far. Now it is your turn. Be the first to post a question and let's have some fun with this. Until someone does ... Stay Vigilant!!!!! Best, Aaron Linden a.k.a InsuranceMan 2.0!!! 307-752-5961 insuranceman2.0@yahoo.com
  12. It is Tuesday here on the ADI forums, and we all know what that means … In today’s installment of the Tuesday Morning Insurance Tidbit we are going back to the basics. I have had many conversations with folks who were not entirely certain what the different coverages of an insurance policy are, how they are broken up, or really what they mean. So, in today’s installment of the TMIT we are going to dissect a basic insurance policy and provide a 30,000 foot perspective. First and foremost, again, this is a very rudimentary explanation of an insurance policy. Many of you will have needs far beyond this, but for several of you it may be your first time thinking about these issues. Wherever you fall on the spectrum, I hope this is helpful. Where shall we begin? Well, let us start with what is potentially the most important piece of information on the insurance policy, YOUR NAME! You would not believe how many times I see this messed up, and you really would not believe the impact this can have on your coverage. Your name is going to be your name, the name of the distillery, entity of the distillery, etc. Simple, right? Well, for some, not really. Let’s say “Joe Smith” owns “Main Street Distillery” to keep things simple. What should the NAMED INSURED section of the policy read then? Well, who are we protecting with the policy? Joe Smith owns the distillery and as the owner/partner/member/officer he is provided coverage by the policy if done under the entity name. That would then mean that we should use Main Street Distillery then, right? Well, maybe and maybe not. Is Joe Smith a sole proprietor? If so then we have to name Joe Smith as the named insured doing business as (DBA) Main Street Distillery. Confused yet? Right! It all depends on the structure of the individual or entity that owns the business. If Joe is a sole proprietor, then in order for Mr. Smith to be provided coverage he has to specifically be named on the policy as the named insured dba the business name. If Joe set things up as a C-Corp, S-Corp, LLC, etc., then he would be afforded protection automatically by the policy under the entity. So, if it is Main Street Distillery, LLC then Joe would be included for coverage under the operations of the business. It should be simple, but it can be confusing, and it can impact your coverage in a monumental way. Case in point, let us say that Joe is a sole proprietor who is doing business as Main Street Distillery but the policy only names Main Street Distillery. In this scenario there is a loss and not only is Main Street Distillery sued, but Joe is sued individually for his negligence. Well, if Joe is not name as an insured on the policy then “Joe ain’t got no ….” coverage!!!!!!! That’s right, the only thing contemplated for coverage is what appears on the policy declarations sheet. WATCH OUT FOLKS! If the scenario is changed and the entity is an LLC, let’s say, then if the entity is sued and Joe is named individually, he would be afforded coverage via the policy since he is the owner/managing member of the LLC. See how this can be confusing and have a huge impact on who is and who is not covered? OK, so what if Joe operates the distillery as Main Street Distillery, LLC but owns the building under “Old Joe S Enterprises”? Well, how is the ownership structured here? Is it a subsidiary of Main Street Distillery, LLC dba Old Joe S Enterprises? If so, then I would hedge on the safe side and list it as such, but many miss this factor. Is it a separate LLC? If it is Old Joe S Enterprises, LLC then it could either be listed as an “Additional Named Insured”, a straight up “Named Insured”, it could be included to have coverage on the overall policy, or it could have its own policy. Ah, down the rabbit hole we go, HOLD ON!!!!!! Long-story-short, if you have never had the discussion with your insurance agent about what the ownership looks like, what the name of all of the entities are, and how they should be covered or separated out you could be in big trouble. Or … you could work with someone who has a tight grasp on all of this. Someone like me, InsuranceMan 2.0!!!, and you would know where you stand on this subject. Next we have the actual coverage, the meat and potatoes side of the policy. What you are actually being covered for and what that is based on. Again, a rabbit hole of impressive proportions in its own right. Simply put there are a few key coverage factors you will need to know about. They are as follows: General Liability Liquor Liability Property Coverage Commercial Auto Umbrella (maybe, depends on how big you are, lease contracts, distribution contracts, etc.) (and potentially) Workers Compensation. I say “potentially” Workers Compensation due to the fact that many distilleries that are starting out may not have that need as they may not have pay rolled employees, or if they do they may not be subject to work comp. It depends where you are located. See my post about Workers Comp here: For the General Liability it is broken out into roughly 6 different sections. Those sections are “Each Occurrence Limit”, “Personal and Advertising Injury Limit”, “General Aggregate Limit (Other Than Products – Completed Operations), Products/Completed Operations Aggregate Limit”, “Rented to You Limit”, and “Medical Expenses Limit (Any One Person)”. HOLY INSURANCE OVERLOAD, InsuranceMan 2.0!!!, “What does that all mean?!?!?!?!?”, you may be screaming at your screen. Well, in brief, your Each Occurrence Limit is the amount of coverage you would have for any one liability loss. Your Personal and Advertising Injury Limit would be the amount of coverage you have for any injury (physical) to a person or persons where as the Advertising portion would be if you were sued over saying something in your advertisements about someone else’s product tasting like caca and yours being superior. Then the Aggregate limit is the total amount of coverage that you would be afforded in any one policy period. So, if your per occurrence limit is $1,000,000 and your aggregate is $2,000,000 that means that the insurance company would pay out up to $1,000,000 for any claim, but never more than $2,000,000 in any given policy period. Clear as mud? No? OK, think of it this way. You have one claim wherein someone is injured and that claim is $900,000. Ooooo ….. yikes, that was dang near that Million limit, but you are ok, it was under. 6 months later you sustain a liability claim of $500,000. Boy Howdy, it is not your year! Well, due to the fact that you already used $900,000 of the million limit you may be concerned that only $100,000 will be covered. Not so! Because of the aggregate limit, the full $500,000 is covered in this claim. However, you now have had two instances that add up to $1,400,000 so you really only have $600,000 more in liability coverage to get you to the end of the year, and the way you are going, that may not be enough. The Products and Completed Operations Aggregate Limit works much the same way but this coverage only contemplated your products. So if someone were to be injured by your product, that would fall under this portion of the policy coverage. Somewhat easier, and there is more to say, but I will leave it there for the time being. Keep in mind that your General Liability premium and Products premiums are all based rated on your sales. Again, a rabbit hole that we don’t have time to go down but this is a huge pet peeve of mine. A L L sales need to be broken out and classified correctly, enough said. This is something that I find to be incorrect on about 80% of the policies I see that are not mine. I can fix this for you to make sure things are accurate, just give me a call to discuss this in detail. That bring us to the Rented to You Limit. This is for properties that you rent. WATCH OUT HERE!!!!!!! Most policies will give you $100,000 on the surface, and many of you are in lease situation where the building value you are in far exceeds $100,000. Many of the policies that I provide include an endorsement (you’re welcome) that replaces this $100,000 limit with a $1,000,000 limit. Ah, that’s better. But watch out for this, if there is no increased limit on this line item you could be in trouble. You can buy this limit up, but it will cost you some additional $$$$$$$. Last in the Liability section is Medical Expenses Limit (Any One Person) of $5,000. “Does that mean if someone gets hurt at my place, I only have $5,000 to cover their injury?” Great question my astute reader, but the answer is no. Medical Expense is kind of a sub-limit of the overall General Liability. This is for “nuisance” claims. If someone comes to your facility and slips on some spilled water (hypothetical) and twists their ankle and has to have it looked at and wrapped at the hospital, and the expense is $2,500 then the carrier would pay them that amount in exchange for them waiving their rights to seek further damages. If though, that same person who happens to be a concert pianist, slipped and fell braking their hand and now is claiming that they are going to be out of work for months on end, then it becomes a General Liability claim and would fall under that $1,000,000 limit. Now we are on to the Liquor Liability coverage. I know, I know … I hear it all the time, “But I only serve four (4) quarter ounce tastes, there is no way I can be sued for over serving under my Liquor Liability!” Well, read this: As for the Property coverage, this is where you are going to cover your assets. Your equipment, your building (if you own it), your contents, stock on hand, and miscellaneous items such as computers/boxes/labels/bottles/caps/corks/closures/etc. You are going to want to make sure that this figure is accurate for a few reasons. One, if something were to happen you want to make sure that you are reimbursed the correct amount so that you can replace your “stuff” and keep going. Second is that if this figure is not accurate you could face a co-insurance issue. Third is that you need to make sure that your product is covered correctly and adequately, especially if you are aging anything. The is so much more to this aspect but this is only a quick look at the overall coverage. If you want to know more about limits, co-insurance, deductibles, various coverage forms and what types of losses are covered, get in touch with me. How about Commercial Auto? If you own a vehicle in the name of the business, then you are going to want to place a commercial auto policy on that vehicle or vehicles. One, it protects you for a higher limit than you can obtain on a personal policy; Two, most personal policies exclude business use; Three, it protects the entity from lawsuits. You may be thinking that commercial auto does not apply to you because you don’t own any vehicles in the name of the business. I get that, but do you ever drive a personal vehicle, or ask others to do so for work related needs? If so, you have a commercial auto need. It is called Hired and Non-Owned (HNOA) Auto coverage. If you want more details go here: This brings us to the Umbrella coverage. What is this? Well, it truly is like an umbrella because it provides an extra layer of protection above the rest of the policies. Usually the limit is $1,000,000 and that is on top of your General Liability, Liquor Liability, Products, Auto, etc. So that $1,000,000 limit that you had, with an umbrella, is now $2,000,000. WHAT!?!??!!? SWEET!!!!!!! Yes, sweet indeed! However, it is truly only $1,000,000 as most umbrellas only provide an aggregate limit of $1,000,000 meaning that the limit really is just $1,000,000. Some reasons that you may consider an umbrella policy is that they are cheap, and they afford you a lot more protection. Maybe your operation is such that you are seeing many people in your facility, you do a lot of events, or your distribution area is so large that if there were tainted product and you could not recall it quick enough there would be the potential for a lot of claims. Who knows, but we can discuss that further if need be. Another reason would be that it is a requirement. Maybe the landlord requires you to carry $2,000,000 for any one occurrence. If that is the case, really, one of the only ways to achieve that is via an umbrella. Sometimes “big box stores” or distributors will require this in order for you to sell your products through them. Whatever the case may be, it is something to think about and have knowledge of. Last but not least is Workers Compensation. If you didn’t click the link above that references this, scroll back up after reading this and click on it to get a feel for what we are talking about. In that article it discusses what Workers Compensation is, who needs it, and why. I don’t want to regurgitate all of that here, so, if you think you have a need for this coverage, do yourself a favor and give it a look. OK, dearest loyal reader, there you have it. A brief (-ish) synopsis of an overall insurance policy, what to look for, what you need at a basic level of understanding, and some interspersed humor (hopefully, so that it is not as painful or dry). With that, I will leave you until next time. If you have questions, would like to learn more, or just want someone to bounce things off of (I am a superhero after all so things just bounce right off of me), give me a call, shoot me an email, or flip on the InsuranceMan 2.0!!! beacon and I will swoop to your assistance. Until next time dear reader … Stay Vigilant, Aaron Linden a.k.a. InsuranceMan 2.0!!! 307-752-5961 insuranceman2.0@yahoo.com
  13. Happiest of Tuesday Mornings to You, My Dear ADI-ers!!!!!!!!! Well, today’s TMIT is going to be fairly short and to the point (fairly). I am not putting up this post to Insurance-shame anyone, I am just addressing a particular issue that has been somewhat prevalent as of late. Let’s start with a scenario, shall we? You make booze. No, you actually are handcrafting a unique and individual spirit unlike those produced by anyone else. You have taken painstaking amounts of time to hone your mash bill, tweak your recipes and keep insanely detailed notes as to the overall distillation process. You put your heart and soul into what you do to make it uniquely yours, different and better than anything else available. YOU ARE A TRUE CRAFTSMAN! So, what if someone comes in to your distillery, tours around, sits down for a tasting flight and winds up saying something to the effect, “Yeah, the Vodka is OK, but not as great as Ti-o‘s though! Your bourbon doesn’t taste anything like Pen----n or J- -k.” (Yes, I know that neither of those are bourbons, that is the point here folks!) Your eyes may widen, you jaw may hang agape, and you may gaze deeply into the persons soul and think, “What the … ?!?!???!” Same can be said about what I do. I too am a craftsman. I too have taken painstaking lengths to hone my skills, to tweak my insurance recipes and keep insanely detailed notes to the overall insurance process to provide something completely different and better than anything else available, to make something that is uniquely yours! Crafting an insurance policy that no one else has, that takes into account all of the details of your unique and individual operation. So, when I hear things like, “Well, insurance is insurance, I don’t really know that you can offer me anything better than what I have.” I tend to have the same look that you might. “What the … ?!!!?” Has your current agent discussed your stock values and provided you with a spreadsheet that will calculate the correct values of your products regardless of the stage of maturation that they are in? Has your current agent taken an active interest in how your equipment is being valued and where it should be placed to get you the best insurance premium for your buck? I would say that for the most part the answer would be no. How many distilleries does your current insurance agent work with? Have they worked with 400+ distilleries across all 50 states and done import/export ocean-marine cargo policies for products being shipped overseas? If the answer is no, I think you can tell where I am going with this. God forbid, but if you or a loved one were ill and needed specialized care I dare to imagine that you would not run down to the GP doctor in town and say, “Well, I need brain surgery so let’s get this skullcap off!” NO, OF COURSE NOT! I have said it before and I will continue to say, you would seek out the best doctor in the specialized field and you would have them treat you. If you did choose to utilize the GP to treat you, well … you will probably get the results that you could expect, not so good. Same thing applies here. If you want to utilize a general practitioner of insurance, someone who writes shoe stores, a contractor or two, and a lot of homes and autos, you are going to get the results that could be expected. They are not going to understand the valuation of maturation (they may not even know what “maturation” is), they are not going to understand the difference between your tasting room and a bar, they are not going to take the time to dissect your overall business operation and make certain that each and ever aspect of off-site tastings, special events, gift shop sales, wholesale and retail sales are accounted for and how that may impact your overall premium. You very well may end up with a policy that is cobbled together with a carrier that may not be a good fit or the best use of your money, and in the case of a claim, well, if it was not done correctly you may be in a world of hurt. I always say that even if you don’t have the right insurance, you may have insurance anyway because you may have to get into a long and miserable battle of having to put in a claim against the agents E&O policy. In the meantime, and over the years that could take to settle, you may not operational and all your efforts may have been for naught. Is that a risk you are willing to take with your business, your passion, your life? If the answer is no, then I suggest at least letting an expert take a look at your policy. Let an expert dissect the coverage and ask the deep questions to see if you really have the coverage that you need for what you are doing. Each distillery is as unique as fingerprints, no two are the same. There is no catchall policy for every distillery. If you are uncertain as to what you are covered for, if the coverage has never been explained to you, or if you just bought a policy ‘cause you needed to have it, then it is time to bring in an expert. Unless you are the “put it all on the line” gambling type, I highly recommend that you get a hold of someone who has taken the time to go grain to glass at several different distilleries. To find someone that has spent nearly 20 years in the insurance industry who specializes in distillery insurance for nearly a decade. Someone that has been endorsed as the recommended insurance agent by ADI! Here, I am going to make that search easy for you, it is me, InsuanceMan 2.0!!! Heck, even if you just have questions about your current policy situation, I am more than happy to take a look at it, offer my insight and expertise, and if you choose to stay where you are at, OK. Dollars to doughnuts though, we will end up working together and have a great relationship. You may have tried the rest, now work with the best (I know, that sounds cocky and I really don’t want it to come off that way, but I have spent a very long time working diligently to understand all aspects of what you are doing as well as deep-dive into the insurance industry as a whole, so it is not cocky, I just really am passionate about what I do because I LOVE IT!) OK, end of rant for today. Was it a rant?!?!? Maybe. Was it informative? I think so. Does it clearly spell out that what you do is unique and truly different from everyone else? Yes, just like what I do for my clients is unique and truly different, something you likely won’t find anywhere else. Here is the best piece of advice that I can offer anyone that is either just starting out, has been distilling for a few years, or is a massive scale international producer, call 307-752-5961 and have a conversation. A no-obligation conversation. I guarantee, you will not be sorry. Until next time my friends …. Stay Vigilant, Aaron Linden a.k.a. InsuranceMan 2.0!!! 307-752-5961 insuranceman2.0@yahoo.com
  14. Happy Tuesday Morning, ADI-Land!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I know, I know, you are probably currently undergoing some-sort-of anxiety as well as other physical symptoms of withdrawal associated with not having you weekly dose of the Tuesday Morning Insurance Tidbit for the last couple of weeks. Well dear reader, sit back, take in a deep breath, sip your coffee or what-have-you, and relax. I am back and you can rest easy knowing that the TMIT is back in all of its outstanding glory for your reading pleasure ….. You’re Welcome!!!!!! Yes, it has been a few weeks since the last installment of the TMIT and for that I apologize. As it turns out, InsuranceMan 2.0!!! was otherwise occupied administering superhero justice in a different capacity. Suffice to say, although it was not insurance justice, it was justice nonetheless and it was doled out in healthy, hefty amounts to the evildoers. With that said, let us get on to todays “Tidbit”. As you all are aware (unless you have either been under a rock or doing an insane amount of runs and bottling to get ready for the 4th of July sales) there have been a lot of sizeable disasters in the distilling world as of late. As you know, the Barton bourbon warehouse #30 that initially collapsed back on June 22nd ruined nearly 18,000 barrels of Bourbon. Despite attempts to shore up the warehouse and save what bourbon was left, those attempts proved to be unsuccessful as the rest of the warehouse came tumbling down on the 4th of July destroying the remaining barrels. Ugh, the horror!!!! Then on July 2nd we had the Jim Beam fire in Woodford County, Kentucky that destroyed 45,000 barrels. Again, THE HORROR!!!!!!!!!! This is just insane, people! Now, to make matters worse, an alcohol plume 23 miles long has spread down the Kentucky River from the runoff killing innumerable amounts of fish. Although Beam Suntory has brought in a team of environmental cleanup contractors and consultants the damage is far reaching and unfortunately far from over. As if all of this was not enough, back on March 5th of this year Sazerac had a 120,000-gallon mash spill in which not only was there a massive cleanup involved, but people were also injured. To this I truly say, OH THE HORROR!!!!!!!! Loss of property, damaged stock, and massive cleanup efforts are one thing, but injury to human life is undoubtably something that gives us all pause and is certainly “worst case scenario”. Things can be replaced, people cannot. My heart goes out! So, why am I bringing you all this doom and gloom in todays “Tidbit” you may be wondering? “I’m just a micro-distillery and I don’t have anything close to 45,000 barrels or 120,000 gallons of mash! What does this have to do with me?!?!?!”, you may wonder. Well, honestly, it has everything to do with you and here is why. Yes, although it is true that many of these larger disasters took place at the “big boy” distilleries and many of those are either self-insured or coverage is placed with a large reinsurance company, it still has an impact on all of us. Although the losses in these aforementioned cases may not have a direct impact on many of the insurance carriers that I work with, the overarching scenarios certainly do. Underwriters are a fastidious bunch and they pay a lot of attention to the news, especially when it has to do with an industry that they are providing insurance coverage for. Although the claims of these horrible losses may never hit my carriers P&L sheets, that does not mean that they are not paying close attention to the types of losses, the severity of the losses, and the frequency at which they are occurring. That is an interesting point. “Frequency” and “Severity” are two terms that are often batted around in the insurance world. Some may argue that it is better to have one event of “severity” over the course of many years than it is to have less damage but more “frequency”. Why is that? Well, in the world of insurance, it is not “if” you will sustain a loss, but “when” according to many actuaries (and you know how I feel about them if you have read my other posts). Generally, actuaries will say that everyone will have a loss at some point in time. And if you have never had a loss, then you are due to have one sooner than later. I don’t like that saying, but it is somewhat true. “Severity” is sometimes better in that if you have one large loss over the course of a decade it could be said that everyone is due to have a loss and that may not be as impactful to your premium as having multiple smaller losses every year or so. The reasoning behind this is, that if you are having losses more often, than there is potentially something inherently wrong with your process, safety protocols, or overall operation. Underwriters and actuaries do not like “frequency” in the slightest. These types of losses often have a greater impact on your overall premiums and can even lead to loss of coverage completely. Circling back around, these news stories and losses have an impact on the industry as a whole since they demonstrate that there is a potential for losses within the distillery business. Fire is of course one of the utmost concerns that carriers have when insuring alcohol. Alcohol is flammable and fire can spread quickly. In the case of the Jim Beam fire, they are hypothesizing that the initial fire was started by a lightning strike. Obviously, if lightning were the cause than this was not an operational or safety issue on the part of Beam Suntory, but it still resulted in an incredible loss. A loss that now is not just a loss of product, building, and value but now it is also an environmental loss, or a loss due to “pollution”. The point to all of this being that no matter your size of operation, things can and do happen. Things that more often than not are out of your control. Tanks leak, structures give way, fires break out, and people can be injured. If it can happen on a large scale at facilities who have been honing their skills for hundreds of years than it can certainly happen (albeit on a smaller scale) at any size operation no matter the precautions taken. Afterall, that is why they are called “accidents” and not “on-purpose-es”. Take for instance the matter of the Jim Beam fire. According to sources, the building was equipped with a fully functioning sprinkler system, yet the results were a complete loss. (ASIDE HERE … I have made this argument time and time again to underwriters, fire marshals, etc., that sprinkler systems do not stop these types of fires, if anything they only possibly mitigate the damage slightly, but I digress!) Could they have had lightning rods in place? Maybe. Would they have helped? Possibly. At the end of the day though, although this loss may have been due to an “act of God” (again, I don’t like that term. I would like to think that God, no matter your manner of religion, would never destroy so much delicious alcohol) and not due to their policies or procedures. A true “accident”. Accidents though are what drive insurance premiums and cause underwriters and companies to tighten up their already stringent underwriting guidelines. That is the impact on all of us. That is the issue at hand. This is why these losses are devastating not only to those who have sustained these atrocities, but to all of us in the industry as a whole. As I have written about previously (see: ), carriers have been undergoing an underwriting guideline tightening over the last 6 months or so and these stories certainly are not helpful. So, take heed and be warned, the difficult underwriting requirements that we have all been facing could potentially become more challenging in the months to come. So far, we have not seen an increased impact from these issues, but they are relatively new on the scene, but be prepared in the months to come. In the meantime, if you are struggling with your insurance coverage, need coverage to get up and going, or want to have a more in depth conversation about pollution coverage as it relates to the alcohol industry (especially if you are close to a natural body of water or waterway), just call on me, InsuranceMan 2.0!!! and I will zing to your rescue. Until next time dear reader …. Stay Vigilant!!!!!!! Aaron Linden a.k.a. InsuranceMan 2.0!!! 307-752-5961 insuranceman2.0@yahoo.com
  15. Good Tuesday Morning fellow ADI-ers, In today’s installment of the “Tidbit”, I am going to address a topic that I have been running into more and more lately and it is of utmost concern. Specifically the issue of "Policy Identity Confusion". I kid you not, out of the last dozen or so policies that I have looked at from other agents, (and keep in mind, they are not insurance superheroes like me, InsuranceMan 2.0!!!, they are just plain-old insurance drones) I have seen this issue no less than 5 times! 5 TIMES, PEOPLE!!!!! That is almost half!!!!!! Goodnight, that is A TON, and it is scary!!!!! It sends shivers down my super-spine to know that this is happening. What am I talking about? Non-other than the scary and fearsome “Material Change of Risk” clause contained within the deep dark recesses of your insurance policies. Oh, this area of the policy is in the darkest, spookiest, musty smelling, nastiest, dankest, most cobweb-riddled area that only the most stoic of insurance superheroes dare tread!!!!!! Alas, I, InsuranceMan 2.0!!! not only will tread into this fray, but I will shine my bright beacon of insurance knowledge on it for you in order to make it wither and wilt in front of your very eyes so that you do not fall victim to it!!!! So, what exactly is this, what is a “Material Change of Risk”? A material change of risk, by most policy standards is defined as ”An act or omission by the insured or his representative (that means “your agent”) that constitutes material misrepresentation or nondisclosure of a material fact in obtaining the policy, continuing the policy, or presenting a claim under the policy; Increased hazard or material change in the risk assumed that could not have been reasonably contemplated by the parties at the time of assumption of the risk; Substantial breach of contractual duties, conditions, or warranties that materially affects the insurability of the risk; A fraudulent act against the company by the insured or his representative that materially affects the insurability of the risk”. OK, so now we know what the definition of this is, but what affect can it have on a policy? Who cares?!?! Well, you may care greatly if you fall prey to this proviso. If it is deemed that there is or has been a “Material Change of Risk” to your policy, the carrier could do any number of things. They could choose to increase your premiums pro-rata for the duration of the rest of the policy term (by a lot, in some cases); They could decline the payment of a claim due to this increased or prohibited change; Or they could outright cancel your coverage with the proper (albeit, short) notification. “Why are we even discussing this?!?!?! I would never intentionally do something like this!!” I know you wouldn’t, dear reader, I know you wouldn’t. Likely as well, your agent would not knowingly pull the wool over anyone’s eyes either, but sometimes these things can happen unknowingly, and sometimes, unfortunately, with knowledge. But, back to the original issue at hand, as well as those highlighted in RED above. What I have seen recently are distillery policies that have been placed with insurance carriers that improperly classify the type of business within the General Liability Class-code Section of the policy (this would be a “condition” that could “materially affect the insurability of the risk”). This is the section of the policy that shows what classifications of business you are covered for, how much premium is to be charged based on your sales figures, and the overall “meat” of your policy and coverage determinations. Ah, now this is all starting to come together, right!?!?!? I have seen many recent DISTILLERY POLICIES that have been classified under one of the following class codes: 51350 Beer, Ale or Malt Liquor Mfg. – In Bottles 51351 Beer, Ale or Malt Liquor Mfg. – In Cans 51352 Beer, Ale or Malt Liquor Mfg. – Not Bottled or Canned Yes, it is so much clearer now and you are tracking where this is all going, aren’t you? If you are a “DISTILLERY” but you are classified as a “BREWERY”, and that is what is shown in your General Liability hazard class schedule, and this is the determination of the premium you are paying for, do you think that could potentially result in a “Material Change of Risk”? OF COURSE IT CAN!!!!! As we all know, in simplistic terms, beer could be used to dowse a fire if need be. What happens though if that same fire comes in contact with Vodka for instance? Yuppers, big ol’ fire and things that go boom. As well, breweries typically are not prone to the ill effects of fire, whereas distilleries have a much higher risk and concern of fire. I dare say that if you have been erroneously classified as a brewery and suffer a loss as a distillery, that very well could constitute a “Material Change of Risk” and the carrier may deny the claim on the basis of this provision, leaving you in quite the lurch. Many times, this classification identity issue is not done intentionally, rather it is simply due to the fact that the agent handling the policy may not be familiar with working with distillery clients. They very well may figure, “Booze is booze, what’s the difference?” Maybe they really have no clue that there even is a difference and they really think they have classed this correctly. Either way, the policy is written for what it is written for, and there is no, “Hey, if this was a mistake, don’t worry about it” clause! The policy is the policy and the coverage is the coverage. I will say, I have also seen the seedy underbelly of the insurance beast as well, where an agent knowingly improperly classified an account to either beat the prior premium, or to make it fit a carriers underwriting guidelines in order to “make a sale”. FOR SHAME!!!!! Tsk on those evil-doers!!!!!! Regardless of how or why it was done, at the end of the day it is you and your business that could suffer the wrath of this policy condition and we don’t want that! Keep in mind that there are many insurance providers in the country that will write coverage for breweries all the live long day. Those same carriers that love breweries however have no tolerance to knowingly write coverage for a distillery. So, if you were placed with a carrier such as this, and you were improperly classified, chances are that they could cite this “Material Change of Risk” provision that is placed in the policy for just this type of circumstance. That could mean that you have to pay through the nose once it is figured out, or you could be cancelled or denied coverage. All rather bad situations! How are you classified? What classifications are on your policy? Do you know? Have you looked? What would happen in the case of a claim? As I always say, the worst time to find out what you are and are not covered for is after a loss has already occurred. You need to know, NOW! You need to be confident that the insurance company will be there for you should you ever need them. If you don’t know, if you are not certain, maybe it is time to call in an expert. Perhaps someone that knows these policies and carriers inside and out. Someone who has “Insurancevision X-Ray Powers”, that can see deep into the inner workings of your policy’s soul. Someone like … InsuranceMan 2.0!!! Until Next Time My Friends … Stay Vigilant! Aaron Linden a.k.a. InsuranceMan 2.0!!! (307) 752-5961 insuranceman2.0@yahoo.com
  16. Happy Tuesday ADI-Land!!!!!!!!! Holy Moly! Between the wicked and wild weather that is currently plaguing the central US, to the downright cold and wintry weather here in Sheridanopolis, to great white sharks in NYC, it makes one wonder to one’s self, “Self …” I think to myself, “ … what in the world is happening!?!?!?!” Then my thoughts snap back to insurance, because it all boils down to insurance at a grass roots level. Am I right?!?!?! “How is the great and all-knowing InsuranceMan 2.0!!! going to make any of that relate to this installment of the ‘Tidbit’?”, you wonder. Well I am glad you asked. In this installment of the tidbit, I am going to magically weave all of these aforementioned items into an insurance lesson tapestry, for your reading pleasure. First and foremost, the wicked weather in the central part of the US. Many of us view insurance coverage as coming into play if we have maybe done something (or not done something), and it results in a injury to a person or property. Maybe a fire, or slip/trip-and-fall at our business. Oddly though, many insurance claims come at the hands of Mother Nature herself. According to The Travelers Companies Inc., more than half of all claims from 2009 to 2015 were weather related. Interestingly, 25% was due to wind; 15% was due to hail, and the other 19% (I will do the math for you, that is 59% 😉 ) was ice dams/roof leakage/water damage, etc. Dang! Although fire damage is the most costly of all damage, as you can see, weather related insurance claims make up nearly 3/5ths of all claims activity. With the amount of rain, tornadic activity, hail, and strong winds that is currently happening it makes one realize that insurance coverage is incredibly important during times like these. “Acts of God” as they are called are the leading cause of all claims, yet many do not think of insurance in this way. A more common worry may be an auto accident, or the previously mentioned slip/trip-and-fall. In reality, most claims situations come from things that are far beyond our control. Are you insured correctly for these instances? Does your policy cover you for flooding? Is there a wind/hail exclusion on your policy? If this has made you set down you lowball and go scrambling for your insurance policy that is good … and bad. It is good because it has you thinking and wondering what is in your policy. Opposite that though, it is bad because you didn’t know! I’m not “policy-shaming” you here, but if you don’t know, why don’t you know? That could be the fault of your agent not explaining it to you or taking the time to let you know. What if there is a wind/hail exclusion and your distillery is the victim of a tornado and all your precious bourbon is now broken open on the floor and riddled with hail???? Well, grab a straw and get to slurping, because that is the only thing that is going to console you at the end of the day because if that is the case, you don’t have the coverage in place that you should have. Now, with that little bit of unpleasantness behind us, let us turn our attention to the cold that is gripping us here in the western part of the US. Did you know that according to the Insurance Information Institute, 18% of all water damage is due to water damage from frozen and burst pipes? Yeppers, you heard it here first. The cold can wreak havoc on your business, especially at this time of year where it should be warm (PLEASE BE WARM SOON). I have had insureds that have turned their heat off because it is springtime, only to succumb to a claim because of a freak cold snap with freezing temperatures that cause their pipes to freeze and burst. No bueno! Again, this is a situation that we may not have much control over. It is usually nice and warm at this time of year and therefore commonsense would tell you that it is ok to turn off the heat since it almost June for cripes sake. Well, although we have some control and we could have left that thermostat turned up, we were not planning on this horrible, miserable, cruddy cold weather. Next thing you know, BAM!!!!!!! Water claim. This brings us to our last item for this article, sharks in NYC. “Oh, yeah! How is InsuranceMan 2.0!!! going to tie this in?!?!?! I cannot wait to see this one!!!!!”, you say to yourself aloud. Ha! Never doubt my powers of relating all things to insurance, dear reader. My insurance-superpowers know no bounds. For this scenario let’s assume that you have a distillery in the northeast. Let us also keep in mind that Memorial Day is just 6 days away. Let us also say that your head distiller decides that they are going to go to the beach for the long weekend. Pack a picnic, grab a sample bottle or two from the tasting room and hit the road. They get to the beach, settle in, have a little swig from the bottle, and soak up some sun. Ahhhhh … This is the life!!!! After some sun-soaking, your head distiller gets a bit hot and decides that they are going for a quick dip in the ocean. UH-OH, you can see where this is going!!!!!! Yeap, que the music, because your head distiller is about to become a tasty little shark-snack in the blink of an eye … or in this case, the snap of some seriously powerful jaws. Did you have “Key-Person” insurance on them? What is Key-Person insurance anyway? Again, I am glad you asked. Key-Person insurance, at its most simplistic level, is a life insurance policy for a key employee, business partner, or even spouse that you, the owner of the company, can take out on key individuals, you pay for the premiums, and become the beneficiary in case something like this shark-snack scenario takes place. Why would you have such a policy? Wow, you are inquisitive today, aren’t you?!!!? Well, as the beneficiary of the policy, if the unforeseen happens, you receive the proceeds of the policy and can then use them to find a replacement person (but really, who can really ever replace INSERT NAME HERE), pay off debts, maybe settle with other investment parties, or in the worst case, assist in the liquidation and closing of the distillery. Often time, key employees are your most valuable asset, yet most do not choose to, or know they can, insure their most valuable of all assets. It is certainly something to consider and it should be something that you work into your insurance portfolio if you are in this type of a situation where your business really revolves around one or two main employees/investors/business partners. With all of those depressing scenarios, that brings us to the end of this installment of the “Tidbit”. I did not write this to bring you down, or wring your hands worrying about all the crazy horrible things that could happen. Rather, I wrote this to get you thinking that there are so many situations that are out of our control, so many things that no matter how careful you are and how much you plan, losses can happen. “Yeah, but I have always had good luck and nothing like this has ever happened to me!”, you may be thinking. Well, I will tell you what an actuary would say (BTW, actuaries are like a mix of funeral directors and CPA’s, but without a personality) … “If you have not had a loss in many years, or ever, then you are due!” If this has set you in to thinking about what is or isn’t covered, or if you don’t know if your policy is protecting you for the unforeseeable, or if your agent never speaks to you and only sends you invoices, then maybe it is time you drop me a line. InsuranceMan 2.0!!! is always here to help!!!!! Until next time my friends, Stay Vigilant, Aaron Linden a.k.a InsuranceMan 2.0!!! 307-752-5961 insuranceman2.0@yahoo.com
  17. Happy Tuesday fellow ADI-ers, Well, I am back! I have to tell you, in all honesty, I wish I weren’t. I have spent the last week or so in Thailand with a 10 hour tour stopover in South Korea, and it was absolutely amazing and I wish I could have spent more time. I have never felt more like James Bond and Indiana Jones all wrapped into one before!!!!!!!!!! I am appreciative of the time that I had away, but it just never seems long enough. With that said though, I am rejuvenated and ready to continue my insurance superhero work, so let’s get to it! In today’s installment of the “Tidbit”, we are going to discuss Business Income & Extra Expense (also seen as BI&EE or BI/EE). It is important to understand this coverage and what it does and does not cover. First, what the heck is it?!?!?! Well, it is actually two different coverage’s, but they oftentimes go hand-in-hand with one another, and that is why they are often referred to at the same time. First, Business Income is a type of property insurance that covers the loss of net income of a business when there is damage to the premises due to a covered cause of loss, that results in a slowdown or temporary cessation of business. Extra Expense, however, is the necessary expenses that you incur during the period of restoration that you normally would not have incurred if you had not had a loss. So, again, what the heck does all of that mean??!??!?!?! It is probably easiest to use examples to illustrate these coverages. Let’s say that you have had a fire in your building and you are shut down for 60 days while the clean-up and restoration is taking place. Business Income coverage would provide the net income amount and continuing normal operating expenses that you would continue to incur (including payroll, if you have employees) during the period of restoration. Basically, this coverage provides for the amount of net income that you would have normally earned during the period of restoration, as well as pay for your normal operating expenses such as rent, utilities, property taxes, etc. Nice, right?!?!?! You would still have money coming in during this downtime if you have this coverage. That makes a difficult situation much easier knowing that you can still pay your bills and keep staff paid even if you are not able to produce product and make money. Whew!!!! Thank goodness for insurance, right?!?!?!? In tandem with Business Income insurance paying for ongoing costs, Extra Expense coverage provides for the necessary costs/expenses that you may incur to get your business up and going as quickly as possible after a covered loss. Extra Expense coverage can be used to temporarily relocate your business to another location, outsource functions that you normally would be able to conduct if you had not had a loss, an in some cases even expedite shipping of necessary items/equipment or renovation costs. Things like getting a water mitigation company to come in as quickly as possible to keep damages to a minimum and the increased electricity costs to run all the drying fans are examples that I have seen covered by this insurance. Again, pretty nice to have in order to make a difficult situation more bearable. Although I always suggest having these coverages on your policy, there are some things that they do not contemplate. Business Income/Extra Expense coverage is also often referred to as Time Element coverage, but be careful!!!!!!!!! People often misconstrue Time Element coverage to mean that however long the restoration period takes, it will all be covered. Worse yet is that some insurance agents may even tell you that “time element” coverage will provide compensation on things such as the time value of maturation on your product. They believe that the value of the maturation would be covered under this policy provision. W R O N G ! ! ! ! ! ! ! See, that is why you need me, InsuranceMan 2.0 !!!! to assist you. Time element coverage typically will only cover you for a restoration period of 12 months and is based on a complex formula that considers your past Profit and Loss Statements (P&L’s), earnings data, etc. Usually the numbers are compiled from your normal course of business and earnings from the last three to five years. If you are a start up operation, this can be a bit more difficult to justify and predict, but it is possible and really should not be something to stress out over. With that said, one thing that it will not take into account is the maturation value of your stock. Please, please, please keep this in mind as this can be a HUGE point of contention in the case of a loss. There are ways to make sure that the maturation value is provided for, but I am one of the only people in the country that understands this aspect and created a valuation form to deal with this specific need. If you have questions about this, please reach out to me and allow me to assist you! As with all insurance, the question always arises as to, “How much is too much?”, or “How much is enough?” A very basic rule of thumb is that if you take your P&L statement for the course of a year and divide it by 12, it will give you a very rudimentary figure to start with. Let’s say that your net earnings in a year are $120,000. Why that figure, well, because it is easy to use as it breaks out to $10,000 a month in earnings and I don’t want to do too much math what with being jet-lagged and all. So, if you know that your net earnings are roughly $10,000 a month, you can then decide what level of coverage you want to have for your BI/EE. Often times the coverage is provided on a monthly level of indemnification. What the heck does that mean?!?!?!? It means that insurance carriers will provide coverage based on the total coverage amount on a 1/3rd, 1/4th, 1/6th basis, or on a 12 month actual loss sustained basis. Ugh, this is getting confusing, right???!?!??! Right! Again, more reason you need me to assist you. The tricky part is deciding as to how much coverage you need and for how long. Typically, most businesses go with a 1/6th basis and cover themselves for half a years’ worth of net income and expenses. Now, that may or may not fulfill your needs, but I am speaking in generalizations here. So, in this case it essentially means that the total limit of indemnification would be $60,000 for the year on a 1/6th basis. That then breaks out to $10,000 a month for up to 6 months. If the restoration period takes longer than that amount of time, and costs more than the $60,000 you are going to have to out-of-pocket the rest of the funding. As you can see, it is important to make an educated decision when choosing the limit as well as the period of restoration. Without wanting to confuse this issue further, I will briefly mention a few items. Just because you chose a 1/6th limit (in the case above), it does not mean you are only limited to 6 months of coverage. It does mean that the maximum amount of coverage that you can get in any one month is limited to the total amount divided by the period of indemnity, however. An example would be that you picked $60,000 on a 1/6th basis but you really come to find out you only are needing to use $6,000 a month. Well then, your overall limit of $60,000 would carry you for 10 months and that would be permissible even on a 1/6th coverage option. Converse to that, let’s say that you find that you need $12,000 a month to keep up with everything. Well, being that you chose the 1/6th basis, you could only recoup up to $10,000 in any given month leaving you $2,000 short each month and you would use up your total amount of indemnity within the 6 months timeframe. One last item to mention is that just like other insurance, the more you want the higher the cost. If you go with a lower period of indemnification with a lower monthly limit, the less expensive it will be. If you are really concerned over a loss and being shut down and you want to make certain that you have adequate coverage, you can choose a 12-month, actual loss sustained option but keep in mind this is usually the most expensive option. This option keeps you from having to go through the process of determining and setting a separate limit due to the fact that it provides coverage for your actual loss of business income for up to 12 months. I highly recommend this type of coverage, not because it costs more and I can make more, but because of the fact that it really is the best coverage available and leaves very little grey area in determining amounts, etc. With that, dear forum-goer, I will bid you ado for today. Thank you for taking time to read this and educate yourself on the wonderful world of BI/EE. As always, if you have any questions, needs, or concerns, please feel free to reach out to me, InsuranceMan 2.0!!! Until next time … Stay Vigilant, Aaron Linden a.k.a. InsuranceMan 2.0!!! 307-752-5961 insuranceman2.0@yahoo.com
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. 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
  21. 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
  22. 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
  23. 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
  24. 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
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