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Found 16 results

  1. Good Morning My Friends, In today's installment of the TMIT there is only one thing that I want to say. Let us never forget the real, everyday heroes that gave their lives on this day eighteen years ago, and those who have given their lives over the last almost two decades due to illnesses sustained from the terrorist attack on 9/11. Every day, first responders, fire fighters, police, military service people and others provide us with protection, put their lives on the line, and serve us so that we can live in freedom and know that we are safe. If you see someone in uniform today, please take a minute to thank them for what they do. It is often a thankless job, but we ALL depend on them, every hour of every day. Until Next Time .... Stay Vigilant, and NEVER FORGET, Aaron Linden a.k.a InsuranceMan 2.0!!! 307-752-5961 aaron@roaringforkins.com or insuranceman2.0@yahoo.com
  2. The very best of Tuesday mornings to you!!!!!!! Yes, Tuesday is upon us once again! I know we all look forward to what that means! It is time for today’s installment of the TMIT. Today I am going to shed some light on something that I have mentioned many times in the past but never really took the deep dive on. That “something” is co-insurance. Ah, co-insurance. This “something” is something that most insurance agents cannot even wrap their minds around. Don’t believe me, just ask them. I have actually had conversations with underwriters who have said that they really don’t quite understand it. Well, ok. I guess their job is underwriting and not claims adjusting, BUT STILL!!!!!!!!!! As you sit down with your insurance policy to give it a loving perusal (really, who does this?!?!?!!) you will inevitably come across your property section of the policy. In that section you will see the amounts of coverage you have in regard to your building (if you own it, or maybe your tenant improvements and betterments), your equipment (at least I hope you have coverage for that), your contents or business personal property (BPP), and maybe even your stock on hand (if your agent knows what they are doing that is) to name a few. If your policy is of a more standard ilk, you will see the description of what is being covered, the limit of value of that coverage, your deductible, and more likely than not, your co-insurance limit. OOooooooo …… Yep, there it is!!!!!! It is the insurance equivalent of spotting a unicorn in an open field. It is mythical, it is magical, and really, when you see it, you may rub your eyes and wonder silently, “What the heck am I looking at?!?!?!?!?!” Co-insurance comes in a myriad of different flavors depending on the carrier providing your coverage, but typically you will see an 80%, 90%, or in some cases 100%. I will say that one of the only times you see a 100% co-insurance clause should be if it is an “agreed value” or something of the like. Fear not dear reader, I will explain this so that you understand it, no matter what percentage you have listed. Then, armed with this all-knowing insurance geek knowledge, you can sit around your next dinner party or tasting and astound people with your incredibly in-depth repertoire of insurance knowledge, which to be honest, probably won’t get you anywhere. REGARDLESS, let’s get to it. For this example we will use your building value (fear not, if you do not own your building you can simply apply this to whatever aspect of property coverage you like, it all functions the same way). Let us hypothesis that you have your building listed with a nice round value of $1,000,000 (places pinky to corner of mouth with one eyebrow lifted)!!!!!!! Excellent. Maybe your agent went to the painstaking lengths to run a Marshall & Swift cost estimator or some equivalent based on contractor costs and types of materials used in your location to accurately decipher what your actual building costs would be if you needed to rebuild from the ground up. Wait, what?!?!?!! Who did what now?!?!?! Well, this is an interesting point of fact. Where did your insurance amount come from? Did you give it to the agent and they just said ok and used it? Is it what the property would sell for if you wanted to sell it???? Either way, dollars to donuts, it is wrong. First of all, your agent should always be providing you with a replacement cost estimation of what it would run if you had to rebuild the entire building, end of story. If they have not done that, run, screaming!!!! Not that you don’t know your building and what intrinsic value it may have to you, but in this case, the cost of construction is ever changing and the only accurate way to know what that cost would be is to do an “Insured To Value” (ITV) or “Total Insured Value” (TIV) cost estimation based on the most recent and up to date figures available in your area. As to “what would it sell for”, again, WRONG! The sale value takes into account things such as location, overall land and land size, etc. The sale price is not what it would take to rebuild the building. In fact, sometimes the sale price could be much more, and in some cases it could be much less that what the building alone would cost to replace. Interesting, isn’t it?!?!?!?!?! In fact, I am going to use a real-life example for you so you can see how dangerous this can be. I have a client in a middle of the country city, a city that was hit hard with having too much warehouse real estate and not enough buyers for the market. He was able to score an incredible deal on his building. He procured a 10,000 square foot warehouse for around $150,000!!!!!! That comes out to $15 a square foot (not including the land), which is UNHEARD OF! He calls me all excited and wants to get insurance coverage for his distillery in this location. I said great, and congratulations. He tells me that he wants to insure everything like it was before, but now he owns his own building (proud moment for him to be sure) so he wants to include that on the policy for $150,000. WHOA!!!!! Pump the breaks … What? He tells me of the amazing deal he got, and he only wants to insure the building for what he has into it. Can anyone say, “co-insurance clause”?!?!?!!? OK, here we go. A co-insurance clause is put into insurance policies (almost always reflected as a percentage) and used by insurance companies to ensure that policyholders insure their property (again, any kind of property) to an appropriate value. Why do they do this? Well, it is a way for the carriers to make sure that they are receiving a fair and accurate premium for their risk involved in insuring the property. Ah yes, it all boils down to money! A prime example is the one that I just gave (as by design). This insured wanted to insure his building for $150,000 when the true replacement cost of the building would be much higher. The premium to insure a $150,000 building may be around $1,125 (if it is a $0.75 rate) as opposed to a premium of nearly $7,500 in order to insure a $1,000,000 building value. Now you can see why the carrier is interested in making sure that things line up correctly. This is one of the reasons why they have the co-insurance clause. Co-insurance works like this: It is the amount of insurance you DID have at the time of the loss divided by the amount of insurance your SHOULD have had (and just where does that value come from you are wondering????? You guessed it, mainly from an ITV/TIV that the claims adjustor runs, usually from Marshall & Swift. Oh, all the pieces are fitting together like I had this planned out or something!!!! The voice of experience is loud and clear coming from me!). Take that percentage, multiply it by the loss amount, subtract your deductible and that is what you get reimbursed from the carrier. Lost yet? Most people are, even those who have been in insurance for years. It is easy to understand when we go back to our example. We will get there in a minute, I promise. If this insured’s building has a true replacement cost of $1,000,000 and he has an 80% co-insurance clause, this means that to be in compliance with this provision he MUST insure his building to at least $800,000 (0.80 x $1,000,000 = 800,000) If he insures his building to that amount, he can avoid any kind of co-insurance penalty and he would receive the full amount of insurance (minus the deductible) in the case of a loss. Keep in mind that he will only be able to recoup the amount of value shown on the policy coverage form ($800,000 in this case), which would leave him having to out-of-pocket $200,000 in order to build this same $1,000,000 building, but that is better than what happens if you do incur a co-insurance penalty. OK, now that you understand that aspect, I will illustrate what happens if you are out of compliance. In our example it would look like this: $150,000 (DID have) / $800,000 (SHOULD have had since the value is $1,000,000 @ 80% = $800,000) = 0.1875 or 18.75% Yep, if an insurance agent didn’t know any better (which I of course do!!!!!!!) this client would have only had his building insured to 18.75% of its actual replacement value. VERY BAD!!!!! Here is the equation: Amount of insurance the insured DID have (if they had not known better): $150,000 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- = 18.75% Amount of insurance the insured SHOULD have had: $800,000 Obviously the insured is WAY out of compliance here. What happens next may make you cringe or toss your cookies, so hold on tight or prepare to look away! You have been warned. If the building were partially damaged, let’s say to the tune of $50,000 here is how this would play out: $150,000 (DID) --------------------------- = 18.75% multiplied by the loss amount of $50,000 – Deductible $800,000 (SHOULD) So you would have a co-insurance equation that looks like this: 18.75% x $50,000 = $9,375 - $1,000 deductible = $8,375 insurance claim payment. GASP!!!! As you can see, due to the insured being out of compliance and the co-insurance penalty being implemented, this insured is only going to received $8,375 on a $50,000 claim. This leaves this poor bugger having to out-of-pocket $41,625 in order to repair the building to bring it back up to where it was prior to the loss. Horrifying, right?!?!?!?!?! I don’t want to leave you with that vision today though, so I am going to show you what happens if everything is a hunky-dory! Same situation, but we have the building insured at $800,000. $800,000 (DID) -------------------------- = 1 or 100% x $50,000 loss - $1,000 deductible = $49,000 $800,000 (SHOULD) AND THE CROWD GOES WILD!!!!!!!!!! Here is the real deal folks and what you really need to know about co-insurance. Just don’t even play the game. My advice is to never try to get into a situation where you are trying to hit right on the value you need to meet your co-insurance limit. The price of concrete fluctuates, drywall, plywood, etc. Even if you think you are right on the money, it could all be different tomorrow and it could cost you big time! Think of this, what is it going to cost you to insure your building to its full value instead of 80% of its value? Well, in the case I gave above, it may cost you $1,500 more a year to insure your building (maybe!!!!) at $1,000,000 as opposed to playing the co-insurance game of Roulette and having it at $800,000 only to find out that is not enough. Do not scrimp on your coverage here, please, I implore you. Unless you are a “let it all ride on red” kinda gambler, this is something you need to stay away from. There are ways to shave some of the costs off your building replacement cost, there are. I have tricks and tips as to how to get some of the value down, but I am not going to share that here. Too many non-superhero agents read my posts to try and garner some of my super insurance knowledge, but there are ways to reduce the overall ITV/TIV. If you are interested in that further or need a comprehensive review of all things insurance-y, get a hold of me, InsuranceMan 2.0!!! and I would be glad to lend you a helping superhero hand. Until next time dear reader … Stay Vigilant, Aaron Linden a.k.a. InsuranceMan 2.0!!! 307-752-5961 insruanceman2.0@yahoo.com
  3. Good Tuesday Morning, Fellow ADI-ites, Ah … it seems as though Spring has finally Sprung here in Sheridanopolis, and fingers crossed, there will be no more of that flaky white stuff falling from the sky for many months to come!!! It is just a glorious time of year and the sunny skies are quite welcomed after such a long, cold winter. I hope that wherever you are, you are experiencing wonderful weather, and that you get a chance to get out and enjoy it. In today's installment of the “Tidbit”, I want to address a question that I have received quite a lot lately. The question of, “When is late too late?” What I mean by that is actually multifaceted, due to the fact that I have been asked the following questions: “When is it too late to obtain insurance?”; “When is it too late to get out of the insurance I already have?”; “When is it too late to make changes to my policy? Let me take these one-by-one in the order that they are presented. When is it too late to obtain insurance? The answer is “Never”. It is never too late to obtain insurance. Heck, I have even worked with folks that have been in operation for years that have never had insurance. Then, due to distribution requirements, or a change in business, etc., they need to obtain coverage. Truly, it is never too late to cover your ass ---- ets! I will say this, if you have been operational for a several years, a year, or even a few months, and you have not had prior coverage, it can complicate things a bit. Underwriters often times will ask, “Where has their coverage been prior to us?” When I tell them that there has not been coverage they often ask why. Then, through explanation usually we can get over that hurdle but there are a few things that need to happen in order to do so. Some carriers may want a “No Known Loss Letter” (or NKLL in cool insurance-ese language), or, some may choose to not offer coverage due to the fact that someone has been in operation without coverage and will ask that we come back to them after having a year of coverage under our belts. This can be an issue since it may throw that person into an E&S market for a year (or two), where they are going to end up paying a higher rate in order to prove coverage to a standard carrier later. If you have questions as to the difference between an “Admitted” or standard carrier and a “Non-Admitted” or E&S carrier, check out this posting that I put up a while back that explains it in all of its glory: Back to the question though, it is never too late to obtain coverage. Whether we have to go E&S, or if we can get it through a standard market, technically, you always need insurance coverage, really from day 1! Think about it. You have assets to protect, you have several potential liability issues that can arise, products liability issues, and you certainly have a liquor liability aspect that needs to be contemplated. Yes, I know folks that have run for 7 years without coverage and they have been just fine. It can happen. I also know some folks who have been up and running for a few months and have sustained a loss. In one case it was a pretty sizable loss to their equipment. It was the kind of loss that would have wiped them out had it not been for the insurance coverage that they had in place. Some may say that it is too late in the case of not having coverage and then sustaining a loss. I can understand that thought process, that it is too late if you have a loss and no coverage to pay for it. I personally would argue though, that it actually may be an opportune time to procure coverage so that you can make sure if a similar situation arises, you will be covered. Silver lining and all! That brings us to the next question, “When is it too late to get out of the insurance I already have?” Great question, dear reader! The short answer again is “Never”. It is never to late to get out of a policy that is either incorrect, does not provide adequate or accurate coverage, or one that is costing WAY too much premium. However …… it all depends on if it is a “standard” or “non-standard” policy. UGH! Here we go again with all this nonsense. Here is the quick “skinny” as to the difference and why it matters. Standard carriers will allow you to cancel a policy at any point and refund you any unused portion of your premium. What this means is that if you paid the policy in full but decide to cancel your policy 5 months into the coverage period, they will refund you the 7 months of unused premium that you paid in. Cool, right?!??! That is nice of them. E&S carriers operate a bit differently though. Most, if not all E&S carriers, have some built in costs and clauses that ensure they retain some of your premium for their efforts of writing your coverage. E&S carriers have things such as “Minimum Earned Premiums”, or MEP’s (again, cool Insurance-ese language for you to impress your friends with! Yet another reason to ready these riveting articles provided by InsuranceMan 2.0!!!) MEP’s state that you owe 25% of the total premium to the carrier regardless of when you cancel your policy. How about an example? OK! Let’s say that you purchase a policy from someone that does not really understand distillery insurance (this happens ALL THE TIME!). You get the policy and as you look through it you find that there are several things missing, or you have been classified incorrectly. In a rage, you slam the policy dramatically to the table, grab your phone, and feverishly dial up InsuranceMan2.0!!! to get my expert take on your policy. Through conversation we find that this policy that you have paid a ton of money for is not worth the paper it is written on. FRUSTRATING!!!!!! To further add to your ire, we discover that you have a 25% MEP which means that the carrier is going to keep 25% of the total premium of the overall policy even if you cancel. UGH! To further cause your blood to boil, we also discover that you have been charged taxes and fees (very common for E&S carriers) that also are non-refundable! Grab the antacid!!!!! So, what does this mean? It means that if your policy was $12,000 a year (ease of math sake, again. I just don’t like math all that much), the carrier is going to keep $3,000 of your premium dollars even if you cancel in the first few days, or months. As well, any taxes and fees (this amount could be $1,000 when totaled) are not refundable since they are due at inception of the policy. The long-and-short of this means that you are obligated to pay about $4,000 in premium no matter what. If you break that down into “months”, this basically means that you are obligated to stay with this carrier for about 3 1/3 months. Does this mean it is too late to get out of the policy you don’t want that does not provide the correct coverage? Not necessarily. I have worked with clients where we have been able to provide the correct coverage for them, all while saving them enough money to make it a wash, or close enough to it for the first year, that it was advantageous for them to make a switch early on. As well, as the coverage period continues, the amount of premium you might negate dwindles. Thereby, if we wait a month or so to get the policy rewritten, the blow becomes lessened due to the fact that you would have owed that premium anyway. Depending on your unique situation, it may be advantageous to make a change earlier than later. Or, you may have to wait until all of those initial premium dollars are used up, with the taxes and fees, and then make your move. It is still never too late to get a jump on it though, so we are poised to make the switch when it becomes financially advantageous to do so. Last but certainly not at all least is, “When is it too late to make to make changes to my policy?” Three guesses as to what the answer is! You really don’t have to be “Jeopardy James” to get this one correct! Come on, what is your answer?!?!?!?!? “What is, ‘NEVER’?” “Ding, Ding, Ding!!!! Right again!!!! Tell ‘em what they’ve won!!!!!!!!!!!!” “You have won an exclusive trip to ‘Insuranceopolis’ where you get to meet InsuranceMan2.0!!! and get a fully comprehensive analysis of your insurance needs!!!!!!!!!! This incredible prize package is worth … well, it is priceless actually!!!!!!” Truly, it is never too late to make any changes that you deem fit to make to your policy. Insurance policies are dynamic, living documents, really. You can add coverage or remove coverage for your policy at any given time. Your needs change throughout the course of a policy period, and you should be able to make adjustments at any time that you like. If you add coverage to your policy however, it may result in additional premium that you will owe (sometimes in full, sometimes over the course of the rest of the policy payments for the year.). If you take coverage away or reduce it, it will result in a premium refund that will either be paid out to you in full (if you paid in full or are close to the end of your policy period), or be applied to any future premium that is due. In closing, it is never too late to get insurance, it is never too late to get out of your insurance if it does not fit you correctly, and it is never too late to make changes that you need to your insurance. As well, plot twist, it is never too early to start working on your insurance needs either. Whether you are coming up on a policy renewal, just getting ready to start a distillery, move into a facility, or are ready to drop your first ounce of distillate, you need insurance. The sooner you start thinking about it, the better. Life is easier when you can check insurance off your list, and I, InsuranceMan 2.0!!! am just the person to get it done! Until Next Time My Friends, Stay Vigilant, Aaron Linden a.k.a. InsuranceMan 2.0!!! 307-752-5961 insuranceman2.0@yahoo.com
  4. Good Morning A D I !!!!!! Ah, here we are again, Tuesday! Where does the time go?!?!!? It seems like we just had last week’s installment of the “Tidbit”, but here we are again. I truly do hope that you enjoyed your long weekend and took the time yesterday to remember all of those who have severed our great nation. Freedom most certainly is not free, and so many have given so much, and we all need to remember that daily, not just on Memorial Day. To those that have served, no matter the capacity, THANK YOU! You allow us to do what we do and enjoy being able to do it in the greatest country on earth! With that, let us get on to today’s installment of the Tuesday Insurance Tidbit. Today I have something very special on tap for you … a delicious serving of Workers Compensation! Mmmm … Doesn’t that sound tasty? From the aroma, to the way the light glistens off of it, to the full-bodied texture of the policy … who doesn’t enjoy a good taste of Workers Compensation now and again?!?!?!?! Workers Compensation, Work Comp, or WC, as it is known, is often viewed as a “necessary evil”. Why is it a necessary evil, you may wonder? The reason for this is because for many distillers, brewers, vintners, etc., it is a “must have”, and for many it can be one of the most expensive policies that you are required to purchase by state law. So, what exactly is WC? I am glad you asked! At a very high-level view, Work Comp is a type of insurance that assists in providing a type of wage replacement, as well as medical benefits to your employees if they are injured in the course of their job/duties while working for you or your business. You provide (and in most cases are required to provide, as we will see) the employee with workers compensation benefits in exchange for the employee’s relinquishment of their rights to sue you or your business for injuries sustained while on the job for any tort negligence. Although various states have different requirements, WC policies generally provide for compensation for lost wages due to injuries, as well as reimbursements for medical bills due to work related injuries, and in some cases, pay benefits to dependents of a worker if they are killed in the course of their job duties. WC is typically “compulsory” in most states. For those of you recovering from a long weekend, that means it is required by law. There are exceptions to this, however, but Work Comp is always a good idea, and it is one more protection for your most valuable assets, your employees. Workers Compensation rates are created based off of several different areas specifically with your individual business in mind, and are based on your specific business. This is known as your “experience rating”. The experience rating compares your business to other business’ in the same industry grouping through an averaging of these rates. Each individual business is compared to the industry grouping as a whole, which is known as an “experience modifier”, “Ex. Mod.”, or in super-cool insurance-speak, “X-Mod”. (Not to be confused with “X-Men” which is a Marvel trademarked bunch of other superheroes that are not associated with me, your all-knowing and loving InsuranceMan 2.0!!!) If your business has a better loss ratio than the grouping as a whole, then your X-Mod. would reflect that on your rating sheet. However, if your losses are greater than the average, then your X-Mod. would be higher than the average and that will also be reflected and drive your premiums to be higher than others in the same grouping. The reasoning behind this is due to the fact that it provides an incentive to control work related injuries and keep them to a minimum. The less injuries/claims, the lower your premiums. Also, it encourages employers to return workers back to their duties as quickly as is permissible. Obviously, this is calculated by our favorite folks, the actuaries (read my past posts to get a feel for these people) to make sure that enough premium is being charged in order to offset any potential losses. OK, now you may be thinking, “So what does all that really mean to me?” Again, so inquisitive, dear reader. Well let me tell you what it means. The premium calculations are determined by multiplying your rate times each $100 worth of payroll. “In simple math, please!” Right! Sorry. This means that if you have $250,000 in payroll, you would divide $250,000 by 100, equaling 2,500. Pretty easy, right?!?!? Well, not so fast. That is only known as the “manual premium” in WC terms. Cool, huh? Who knew you would learn so much? InsuranceMan 2.0!!! knew it, that is why I write these for you! The manual premium is only an indication at this point and has not yet taken into account your X-Mod. discussed above. So now what happens?!?! Well, X-Mods. are typically based on a 3-year loss cycle, also known as an “experience period”, but they are generally calculated each policy year. X-Mods. have an average rating of “1”, meaning that a rating of 1 is right in the middle of the pack. Not good, not bad, but average, just as you would assume. If you have been in business for 8 years with no losses, your X-Mod. could be below a 1. If you have been in business for 3 years with several small losses, or one big loss (An aside here, it is better to have one large loss then several small losses. It is a “frequency vs. severity” issue. I may discuss this at a later date), you may have an X-Mod. much greater than 1. See, again, it is all based on your individual and specific business and your history. A simplistic example of this would be that you have been in business for 3 years and you have typical losses and your X-Mod. is a 1. Given the above payroll of $250,000 then, you would divide $250,000 by 100 giving you $2,500. You would then multiply the X-Mod. of 1 against the 2,500 and end up with 2,500 x 1 = $2,500 in premium. (Do keep in mind here that carriers will often charge some other associated premiums or fees to offset the state guarantee fund or for other reasons, but we are just trying to keep this simple, Mmm-kay?) Another, more advanced example would be you have been in business for many years, but due to some workplace incidences, your X-Mod is a 1.75. You would then take the above payroll of $250,000 and divide it by 100 giving you the same 2,500. Now though, you would multiply the 2,500 by 1.75 and end up with $4,375 in WC premium. Ah!!!!! Now you can see the incentive to keep your accidents/injuries lower. By keeping your accidents/injuries lower via training, safety procedures, etc., you could have saved yourself $1,875 annually in work comp premium! Again however, these are fairly simplistic examples and real Work Comp policies contemplate several aspects of payroll. For instance, if your $250,000 in payroll is comprised of $50,000 for bookkeeping, $150,000 of distillery operations, and $50,000 of bar/tasting room payroll, then each of those would be broken out into their own classification and rated independently based on each of their own X-Mods. MAN, THIS IS SO COOL!!!!!!!! Sorry, my “insurance-nerd” is showing! *****WARNING: COSTLY INSURANCE PITFALL ALERT AHEAD ***** The above-mentioned is one of the biggest areas in which inaccuracies can arise and result in a costly mistake. Potentially a several thousand-dollar mistake! Be careful here! Some classification codes through the National Council on Compensation Insurance, or NCCI, can be split out by the amount of payroll that a multi-functional employee severs, and some cannot! Let’s say that you have an employee that spends some of their time in the distillation operations, and some time working the tasting room. “Well, I will just split their payroll out by how much I am paying them for each function, right?!?!?!” Well, maybe right, maybe wrong. In the case where you have an employee (or several) that perform multiple functions (and we all know that this happens, jack of all trades around the distillery), their payroll may be able to be split between each function, maybe not. The NCCI may have exclusionary terms in their definitions that state if an employee is doing other associated tasks, then those are either needing to be contemplated in the highest hazard code, or they may have to be split out. Super confusing, right?!?!? An example is as follows: 2130 SPIRITUOUS LIQUOR DISTILLERY – Includes grain alcohol manufacturing. Warehousing, blending, rectifying or bottling to be separately rated as 2131 – Spirituous Liquor Bottling. CROSS REF. Alcohol Manufacturing – Grain – All Operations. As you can see, if your employee is engaged in distilling only, we would classify all of their payroll into the 2130 category. However, as you can see in RED, if they are warehousing, blending, rectifying or bottling, those would need to be separately classed under the 2131 classification. Well, what if they are working the tasting-room as well?!?!? Then we have to allot the correct amount of their payroll to that role as well! Again, sometimes you will get into a situation where their entire payroll has to be classed into the highest rated job hazard that the employee performs, sometimes it can be split out, but you better make sure you (or your agent) know which-is-which so you can avoid spending too much, or not enough! Cue the music as the dreaded “Audit” is about to take place!!!!! I know this is getting long, but I am here to inform, and that does not always just happen in a few paragraphs, so stick with me, we are almost done. Now, with all of that amazing information given above, you must also keep in mind that each state has its own set of governing requirements and regulations. Some states require EVERYONE be covered; some states don’t care. It may depend on if the employee is full-time or part-time. Other states only have WC policies that can be purchased directly from a state governmental entity. Most states fall somewhere in between. Here are some quick examples of varying regulations to illustrate the point: ALABAMA: Only employers with 5 or more employees (including an officers) are required to carry WC; ALASKA: Any business with 1 or more employee must carry WC; California: All employers must provide workers compensation, only Sole Proprietorship with no employees may opt out; Illinois: Workers Compensation is required on all employees, even if it is only (1) part-time employee; Indiana: All employees must be covered, but Sole Proprietors, Partners, and Managing Members may opt out of coverage; Kansas: WC is mandatory for any employee making over $20,000 annually; Massachusetts: All employees, including owners must be covered; Minnesota: I throw this one in because it shows how weird and specific this all can get! Check this out: 2018 Minnesota Statutes 176.041 EXCLUDED EMPLOYMENTS; APPLICATION, EXCEPTIONS, ELECTION OF COVERAGE. Subdivision 1.Employments excluded. This chapter does not apply to any of the following: (15) persons employed by a closely held corporation who are related by blood or marriage, within the third degree of kindred according to the rules of civil law, to an officer of the corporation, who is referred to in clause (7), if the corporation files a written election with the commissioner to exclude such individuals. A written election is not required for a person who is otherwise excluded from this chapter by this section; WHAT IS UP, MINNESOTA?!?!?!?! ”… within the third degree of kindred according to the rules of civil law …”?!?!?!!?!? Wow, they are super-duper specific here! It actually has a lot to do with farming/agriculture if you must know, but again, you can see how varied the states are. Texas: OPTIONAL! Ah, good ol’ Texas!!! They ain’t gonna’ have nobody tellin’ them what to do! In Texas, the only WC that is required is if you are in the construction business and you are having your employees on a governmental work site. Let us not forget North Dakota, Ohio, Washington, Wyoming, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. Those states/territories are considered “Monopolistic” states whereby the only workers compensation insurance policies must be provided by the state plan. This brings up other issues such as “Stop-Gap” and a few other items, but I am not going to get into that here. If you are in one of these places and you have questions, you know that you can call me. Last but not least is the question of “volunteers”. UGH!!!!!!! “InsuranceMan 2.0!!! MY BRAIN HURTS … STOP!!!!!!!” I know, I know, dear reader. I often use my powers of droning on about insurance to vanquish my arch-nemesi, but I don’t want you to suffer, my dearest friends, so I will be quick. In regard to volunteers, first, check with your state department of labor if you have questions. Their contact information can be found here: http://www.dol.gov/whd/contacts/state_of.htm ). In many states, volunteers would be considered guests or permissive users, and nothing really has to be done. If they get hurt, it would more than likely fall under your overall general liability, but be careful! In other states, volunteers may need to be added to your WC policy via a “Volunteer Worker Endorsement” but this can cost you. Often times this is the best way to make sure your “bottling party” folks would be covered if they are injured, but there is often “assumed wage” language whereby you would be charged a premium as if these folks were making the “assumed wage” of what an employee doing this task would normally be making. Basically, in the end, given the role that each employee serves, to if their payroll can be split or not, to who is required to be covered, to where you can even purchase coverage from, to ensuring volunteers can come in and assist you, there are a lot of things to consider. Do you want to try and figure this out on your own or do you want someone with Insurance-Superpowers to come to your assistance?!?!? We all know the option you are thinking in your minds. That is why I, InsuranceMan 2.0!!!, am here to save the day!!!!!! I think you should be getting in contact with me, don’t you? Until next time, dear reader … Stay Vigilant! Aaron Linden a.k.a InsuranceMan 2.0!!! 307-752-5961 insuranceman2.0@yahoo.com
  5. G O O D M O R N I N G A D I ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! In today’s instalment of the “Tidbit”, we are going to cover the differences between “Named Insureds” and “Additional Insureds”. Sounds amazingly wonderful, doesn’t it?!?!??!? Ok, no, it does not really sound that interesting, but it is something that people have a hard time understanding, and I do get a lot of questions about it, thus making it the “topic du jour”. Let us begin with Named Insureds. What is a Named Insured? Well, in a quick synopsis, a Named Insured is the individual or company listed within the Declarations of the policy. Named Insureds are the people or the entity that the policy is written for. In fact, in the policy language it will define the Named Insured to mean you and your, meaning that the coverage is specified to cover the entity or those encompassed under the entity. Officers of the entity are covered without being named individually or specifically, as are employees acting on behalf of the entity, but only while engaged in conducting business on behalf of the entity. Heck, even volunteers can be covered while acting on behalf of the entity! Being a named insured offers the broadest level of coverage provided by an insurance policy. Sounds nice, right?!?!?! Being a Named Insured gives you the broadest coverage, which is a great thing to have … but there is more. It also comes with some duties and responsibilities. Hey, if you are the Named Insured and you are getting the broadest coverage, you are going to have some obligations as well, right?!?!?! Ain’t nothin’ free! So, what are some of your responsibilities as King Of The Insurance Policy? Well, for starters, the policy is going to specify that it is your duty to report any claims, or potential claims to the carrier. Usually this is done via your insurance agent, but in many cases, you can provide the claim directly to the insurance company, if you so choose. I would encourage you to at least loop in your agent though, so that they are not blindsided by a claim, especially if it is something fairly significant. As well, your agent can assist you in getting the claim handled in the best way possible, stay on top of updates, and be your advocate to the carrier. Another duty of the Named Insured is to keep all of the pertinent records and other necessary information that the carrier may need in order to properly rate premiums, handle audits, and in most cases and most importantly, pay the bills. Oh, it also allows you the ability to change the policy at any time or cancel it, no one else has that ability. OH THE POWER!!!!!!!! “Can there be more than one Named Insured?”, you may be asking. I was just pondering the same thing! Weird, its like we are insurance best-ies. Like, we totally finish each other’s insurance thoughts. So cool!!! As it turns out, yes, there can be. There are actually several instances where you may have common ownership in several different entities and due to the nature of the ownership, they can all be listed on one policy. Let’s say you have your distillery under one entity name, but you own the building in the name of another entity (with common ownership) but lease it back to the first entity, and you have a distribution entity as well. All of these entities can be insured under one policy as Named Insureds! Man, this is so great, right? All of this insurance knowledge in one place, who knew?!!?!?! Well, just hold on one hot second here before you get to excited and call all of your friends to bestow upon them all of this great information. As with most things in life and for sure most things “insurance”, there is a catch. Although you CAN list multiple Named Insureds on your policy, the big question becomes SHOULD you? Why would you not want to list every entity on one policy, wouldn’t it make it easier for everyone? One premium to pay, one policy that has all the information on it, one “go-to” for all your needs? Yes, that sounds like a great idea, dear reader. However, one of the biggest reasons why you may not want all of the entities listed as Named Insureds is due to the fact that the policy limits do not increase exponentially based on the number of Named Insureds. What I mean is, just because you have three Named Insureds, that does not mean that each one of them is afforded their own $1,000,000 worth of coverage in the case of a claim. By naming all three entities in the example above, it does not make your $1,000,000 occurrence policy into a $3,000,000 policy. Quite the opposite in fact. What ultimately ends up happening in a claims situation that can legitimately name each entity, is a sharing of that $1,000,000 limit. If there were a situation that arose that named the distillery entity, the building entity, and the distribution entity, then effectively each would only have about $333,333.33 worth of coverage available to them under this policy. (Please keep in mind, this is a very simplistic illustrative example. Depending on the claim, amounts, percentage of damages, etc., more coverage could be available to one entity over another, but the fact remains that there is only one amount of available limit across all Named Insureds). That alone is a pretty big reason as to why you may not want to have multiple Named Insureds on a policy. Then there is the hotly contested “First Named Insured” debate. Does the First Named Insured have first right of coverage over any other Named Insureds, and if so, which entity should be named first and how then do you determine the order of the rest of the Named Insureds. Furthermore, you don’t even want to get me started on the possible tax implications, severability issues, cross-suits, etc. What this really means is, at the end of the day, it may be best to have each entity procure its own policy that is solely responsible to only one Named Insured. This then provides the entirety of the specified limit to only the one Named Insured listed and keeps you from having to worry about a suit that can name each individual entity, since they each would be covered on their own. Of course, if you are still desiring one policy naming all of your entities, the issue of splitting limits can possibly be overcome by the addition of an excess or umbrella policy. A simplistic example of this would be, if you were to place an excess policy of $2,000,000 on top of your $1,000,000 policy (and name all the same Named Insureds in the correct order, make sure that it was follow-form, among many other very specific parameters), and all the stars align, then you essentially would have a $3,000,000 policy giving each entity their own $1,000,000 in coverage. Again, there are a lot of things that need to happen, and boxes checked in order to make this happen correctly. That paired with the fact that excess policies usually cost around $1,000 per $1,000,000 of coverage, you may not be any money ahead by doing this. Being that there really may be no cost benefit (or very little) in the excess / umbrella scenario, I would reiterate that it is probably best to have separate policies for each Named Insured. OK, so what is an Additional Insured then? I am glad you asked. An Additional Insured is someone, something, another individual or entity, that is added to the policy due to your business relationship with them. This is usually done for a specific job or task, or for a limited time, location, or limited business function. Most Additional Insureds are added to the policy via an endorsement due to the nature of their relationship with the Named Insured. An example that I have dealt with on many occasions is in regards to distributors or suppliers. Let’s say that you have the opportunity to sell your product in a “big box store” that means a lot more revenue for you (yes, I know, selling to big box stores means having to do so for less than you would sell to other places, but just humor me here). That big box store is going to tell you that in order for you to sell your product through them, they are going to want to see proof of liability coverage, maybe an excess policy, oh, and by the way, they also want to be listed as Additional Insured on your policy. Or maybe it is a much smaller scale. A local farmers market is going to host a total of 6 – once a month markets and for you to show up and sell your spirits, they want to be named as an Additional Insured. In either situation what this means is that if your actions or your product somehow cause damage to person or property, and you are sued along with the box store/farmers market, that your policy will provide coverage on behalf of the Additional Insured. So, let us hypothesize that you are at the farmers market and leave a box of bottles out in the middle of where everyone is walking (silly you 😊 ), and someone trips over it and gets hurt. They in turn decide to sue you, and name the farmers market organizers as well. Being that you named the farmers market on your policy as Additional Insured, your policy is going to respond to the claim brought not only against you, but for the farmers market as well. That was nice of you, to give them insurance coverage for your boneheaded move! Again, in this situation we see a split of coverage. Just because we have a Named Insured and an Additional Insured does not mean our overall limit increases. It is actually used for both suits, thereby essentially reducing your overall limit. Scary! Again, this is why there are excess / umbrella policies available. Additional Insured status is very commonplace in today's world. Whether it is the request of a landlord, an event holder, a distributor, etc., everyone asks for this and usually gets it. It is how business is done, and really, it is just a layer of protection for them in case you do something that causes an issue. After all, why should they be on the hook for some goofy thing someone else does?!?!?! With that said though, do you require Additional Insured status from your glass provider? How about from your grains distributor? Hummmm???? Interesting. Have you ever thought of that? Have you ever considered being an Additional Insured … why would you do that?!?!?!? For many reasons, that’s why!!!! What if the glass provider sends you glass that is impure or has a defect causing it to break easily and harm someone???? Your product did not cause the glass to break and cut someone’s finger off, but your name sure as heck is on the label, and you can rest assured that old four-finger Joe (as he is now known) is going to pick up the phone and dial up (very carefully, as now he is healing from his lost digit) his lawyer and say he wants to sue whatever name is on the bottle. Well, if you had your glass provider name you as Additional Insured, you could turn this claim over to them to have them handle it since your product and you did nothing wrong. You can kick back and raise a glass knowing that you are being taken care of and the claim will never hit your loss report. SWEET VICTORY! (except for four-finger Joe, it wasn't so great for him) I know there are many moving parts to all of this, and so many items of confusion as to who is what, and what applies to who, and what limit is whose, and which what is where. Keep in mind, we didn’t even discuss primary and non-contributory, or waivers of subrogation. When it is all said and done, you are not in the business of knowing or having to know all of this crazy boring insurance stuff. You are in the business of making delicious distilled spirits, and bless you for doing so!!!!!!!!! You don’t want to have to know all of this, or worry about any of it, that is why you need to allow me, InsuranceMan2.0!!! to handle all of your insurance needs. And with that, dear reader, your head is probably swimming and I dare say, you probably need a nap (if you didn’t get one half way through reading this). I will leave you for this week with this thought … Has your insurance agent ever gone into this kind of detail for you? Could they? The really big question is, would they???? Well, I do, I can, and I do it weekly. Imagine if you had that kind of insurance power in your back pocket. Well, that is what you get when you deal with me, InsuranceMan2.0!!! Until next time, dear citizen …. Stay Vigilant, Aaron Linden a.k.a. InsuranceMan2.0 307-752-5961 InsuranceMan2.0@yahoo.com
  6. Happy Tuesday Dear ADI’ers, Well, April showers bring May snow storms ☹! UGH! Just when I thought winter could not get any longer! I sit here in the confines of my lair of solitude bundled in warm clothes peering out the window as the snow piles up here in Sheridanopolis and my mind wanders to warm sunny days without big white flakes falling to the ground. I hope wherever you are reading this from, it is actually Spring, and you are wearing shorts and flipflops, skipping through green meadows full of brightly colored flowers, and enjoying sunlight. Enough about me freezing to death (thank goodness for my superpowers and sold weather superhero outfit, otherwise I might freeze to death). Now, on to today’s “Tidbit”!!!!! Something that no one else, well ok, maybe like 0.000000000765% of other people in the insurance universe think about is the valuation of your product. They may ask you to come up with a number, and then that is what they will haphazardly slap down on the application forms which then, scarily, become your insurance policy! All the while, these subpar insurance folk have no idea where that number came from, nor do they care. SAD! Do YOU know where that number came from or how you arrived at it? Have you ever thought about it, like REALLY thought about it and how you should be valuing your product? Well … that is where I, InsuranceMan 2.0!!!, are vastly different and much more “supery” then the rest!!!!!!!!! When it comes to your spirits, should they be valued at Wholesale, Retail, or Somewhere In Between? What I mean by this is, what are you actually selling them for? What is the real value of your product, and what would you expect to get back in the case of a claim? Let’s boil this down, shall we. Insurance companies, as we have discussed in the past, are only going to give you “replacement cost” of what you had into your product (BOO HISS!!!!!!) if no one tells them different. This is no bueno!!!!!! What if you have a few pallets of finished product sitting around that is ready to go out the door and something happens? Well, ideally those items should be valued at a wholesale/distribution amount. Keep in mind, insurance carriers are never going to pay out a claim based on a retail sales price, they just aren’t … Unless … What if you are selling your own product at a retail price out of your distillery gift shop / tasting room?!?!!?! Well then, those items SHOULD be valued at retail price, so that in the case of the unfortunate, you are made whole on what those products should have been sold for. Confused yet?!?! Then we get into the “somewhere in between” portion. This value can be very difficult and tricky, unless you have an experienced, knowledgeable, downright fantabulous superinsurancehero at the helm! What are we talking about? Well, stuff in barrels, product stored in someplace getting some age on it, or put up somewhere to get some coloration and flavor. Whatever! The real question is, “What is the value of that stuff?!?!?!?” Ugh, don’t get me started!!!!!!!!! Actually, you can, but that will have to take place during a real person-to-superinsurancehero conversation as I will not divulge my secrets here on the forum. Suffice it to say, products in a state of maturation/aging/gaining coloration/flavor have a whole different value than anything else and it is all based on a “time element” that NO ONE ELSE contemplates, aside from me, InsuranceMan 2.0!!! This is simply due to the fact that no one else has my super insurance brain power, and I think it has to do with the fact that they simply don’t know or care, to be quite honest. Well, I do know, and I do care!!!!!! So, what have we learned today!??!?! We have learned that unless you are working with someone (that someone being me, InsuranceMan 2.0!!!) that knows what they are doing, you could be under-insured, over-insured, paying too much, or not having correct values for your product. We have also learned that if this post makes you think, “Geeee … I have never had this conversation with my agent before, I wonder how my product is being valued????”, then it is time to stop sitting there with that contemplative look, index finger up to the side of your head, glazed eyes, staring off into space thinking, and pick up the phone and call me!!!!!! With me, you will always know how your product is being valued, what the difference is in how it is valued, and we will review the value of any maturing spirits as often as is necessary because I do know, and I do care. Seriously, isn’t it time you stopped messing with the rest and started working with the best!?!?!?!?! Until Next Time My Friends … Stay Vigilant!!!!!! Aaron Linden a.k.a. InsuranceMan 2.0!!! 307-752-5961 InsuranceMan2.0@yahoo.com
  7. Happy Tuesday Loyal Readers, In today’s installment of the “Tidbit”, I wanted to take a moment to simply set the record straight. I have had several calls over the last few weeks since the big ADI convention and announcement of me being the recommended endorsed insurance agent that have all posed the same query. Several folks have called me (and even a few asked, “Is this InsuranceMan 2.0?!?!?!?! The real InsuranceMan 2.0!?!?!?!?”, that made me chortle and perhaps even guffaw a bit) and asked me how much my initial consultation was, or what my fees were to assist them. WHAT!?!?!?!? People, people, people … I know that I have been specializing in distillery insurance for longer than anyone else, and I know that I have a very nice amount of clients who say wonderful things about me and recommend using me, and for all of these things I am incredibly grateful, but one thing I do not do, nor will I ever do, is charge for my knowledge, assistance, or opinions. I DO NOT charge an “initial consultation fee” or any such thing. To be crystal clear, InsuranceMan 2.0!!! is here to assist and serve, free of charge. My knowledge, opinion, answers to questions, and assistance is ALWAYS FREE OF CHARGE. The only thing that will ever cost you good ol’ fashioned “foldin’ money” is if, after speaking with me and having all of your questions answered, you decide to purchase an insurance policy through me. END OF STORY!!!!! My initial consultation and everything else are simply free for the taking. If you call me up (or email or text me or whatever), ask me a bunch of questions (which I will gladly answer), and you hang up and never speak to me again, ok. No cost to you, nada, zip, zilch, zero. If you call me up and decide that everyone who says good things about me is correct, and you want to do business with me (which you will, trust me 😉 ), then yes, there is a cost associated with that, but it is only the cost of the insurance policy(ies) premium, and that is all. No “consultation fees”, or any tacked-on fees by me. I am here to assist you, guide you through the process, and be of whatever help you need, FREE OF CHARGE!!!! Gratis, Pro Bono, Complimentary, Voluntary, and a lot of other synonyms that mean “free”. So, realistically, what are you waiting for? Speaking to me does not cost you a thing, and I do know a lot about distillery insurance, and it is all here for the taking. Whether you have been operational for years and years, or you are just looking at getting into the game, I can assist you. Some people that have been distilling for years call me up due to their operations expanding, or maybe they are needing to grow into another state with their distribution and they need a state bond, or they find out their current agent could only assist them up to a certain level of coverage, I can and do assist them. Others have no idea what insurance is or why they need it and they call me with questions pertaining to the basics, I love to assist them as well. Some folks are somewhere in the middle or need to add to their existing coverage but have no idea what they need, OK, not a problem. The long and the short of it is, there are no stupid question and there is nothing to big or small for me to discuss. If you have any questions or concerns what-so-ever in regards to your distillery insurance (GL, Liquor, Work Comp, Cargo, Business Auto, Property, Keyman, BI/EE, HNOA, or any other insurance acronym) please give me a call, shoot me an email, thumb me a text, hit me up on FaceSnapGram, whatever, I am here to help. InsuranceMan 2.0!!! is always on the job, and as always, is always free! Until Next Time Dear Reader … Stay Vigilant!!!!!!!!! Aaron Linden a.k.a InsuranceMan 2.0!!! 307-752-5961 Insuranceman2.0@yahoo.com
  8. Happy Tuesday dear ADI’ers, I know that you are probably lamenting the fact that you didn’t get last week’s installment of the “tidbit”, and for that, I apologize. The good news for me and those I am working with is that business got in the way! It was an incredibly busy week and I simply ran out of time and could not post the weekly installment. Ever since the ADI convention and the release of the endorsement from ADI naming me as their recommended insurance agent, things have been WILD!!!!!!!!! Wild in a good way, but wild to be sure. OK, on to this week’s installment of the “tidbit”!!!! I know that over the course of the last few months I have been telling you about the changing insurance markets, the tighter underwriting guidelines that are being imposed, and the potential difficulty in fitting into a standardized market … but there is hope! Fret not dear reader, InsuranceMan 2.0!!! is here with some good news! I have recently been in contact with some carriers that are willing to be a bit more flexible, take the time to listen, and really assess each piece of business in order to understand it and make it fit into their desired class of business. With that said, there are a few things that need to be kept in mind. They are asking for at least a 45-day lead time on any piece of business that they are going to look at. What this means is that the carrier is going to want all of the applications submitted to them at least 45 days before your start date of coverage (if you are a new distillery), or in advance of your renewal date (if you are an established distillery with a current policy that you are looking to replace). What this means to you and I is that we really need to start the process at least 60 days in advance, allowing us a few weeks to gather the necessary information, applications, etc., so that we can have everything in to them prior to that 45 day deadline. If we can start the process even further in advance of those 45 days, GREAT! The more time the better in this case. The other consideration is that if you are an up-and-coming distillery, or doing a build out, or looking to relocate, it is a VERY DESIRABLE ATTRIBUTE (is it clear that I am trying to emphasize this point, or do I need to give a wink 😉 and a nod at this point?!?!??!) to have a separate room or location that is used to store finished product or product that is maturing. This separate room should have a 2-hour fire rating with a fire door, etc. If you do not have a separate room it will not preclude these carriers from considering your distillery insurance, but it will assist in keeping premiums lower as well as “tick the box” in the “more desirable column”. So, this is certainly something to keep in mind. With all of that said though, if you don’t meet these criteria, again, fret not! If you do not have a separate room, if you do not have 45 days advance of needing coverage, or if you have a setup that is a bit nontraditional, I CAN STILL ASSIST YOU! In fact, check this out … I recently just worked with an incredibly lovely couple that have a system that makes most insurance carriers run away screaming for their lives!!!!!!!!!! Let’s just say that it is not uncommon for insurance carriers to like insurance risks that come with very little risk. In their minds-eye, they want everyone to have a sprinkler system throughout the building (even in the ducts if possible), a separate location for ALL PRODUCT, 24-hour fire rated walls, a location in the city but away from all other buildings, a fire department on site or right next door, blah, blah, blah. All the stuff that we know simply does not exist, but the actuaries desire very little risk for their premium. Well, cue the music as this operation makes a dramatic entrance. This operation, although they do have a separate storage location, and most of the boxes checked that carriers like to see, they have something that causes carriers to turn their heads away in horror!!!!!! They have … are you ready for this???? Prepare yourselves!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AN OPEN FIRE STILL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yeppers! A true open fire still. Even with that, something that shocks and awes insurance carriers and causes them to run in the other direction in a hot panic, I, InsuranceMan 2.0!!! was able to place coverage for them when their current insurance carrier pulled the rug out from under them and told them that they would not renew their coverage. I was able to swoop in with my super-cape heroically flapping in the breeze, scoop them up, and fly them to insurance safety where they could continue to operate their distillery knowing that I was able to provide them with the coverage that they needed with the assurance of the carrier fully understanding their operation and method of heating the still. All in a days work for InsuranceMan 2.0!!! So no matter your situation, no matter your operation, know that I am the only insurance superhero in the country that will take time to listen, get to know you and your operation, and custom tailor an insurance policy to perfectly fit your needs, just like my supersuit perfectly fits me!!!!!!!!!!!! Until next time dear readers … Stay Vigilant, Aaron Linden a.k.a InsuranceMan 2.0!!! 307-752-5961 insuranceman2.0@yahoo.com
  9. Good Morning ADI-Land!!!!!!!!! Well, I am here today to thank all of you that stopped by my booth at the expo in Denver!!! I had a wonderful time getting to know all of you better, and connect up with some old friends, as well as make many new ones. It was a fantastic turn out for sure! If you did not get the chance to go, do yourself a favor and make sure you hit up next year’s conference in New Orleans!!!!! I cannot wait. OK, so last week I told you I had big news, and this is the week to release it to anyone that was not at the convention. I, InsuranceMan 2.0!!!, have been named as the endorsed and recommended insurance agent by ADI for their membership by Eric Owens of ADI. I have attached a copy of his letter as well for your perusal. This is quite an exciting partnership as I have been working with ADI and their membership for several years, and this truly shows all of our commitment and pursuit to make the insurance marketplace better for everyone. The more distillers insured means better rates by being able to calculate historical data which means opening up new markets for everyone, and the hopes of being able to lower rates in the future and have more competitive options. These are certainly exciting times, and I know it will mean great things for all of us in the future! Thank you to everyone that has worked with me in the past and the present, and for all of you that have not had an opportunity to work with me, I greatly look forward to working with all of you as well. With that, I am off. I don’t just mean that is it for today, I mean I am really off. As I stated last week, even Insurance Man 2.0!!! needs some R&R sometimes, so I will be out of the country for a bit. Don’t worry though, I will be back April 2nd (with a bit of a jetlag hangover), but I will be back. Until then my friends … Stay Vigilant, Aaron Linden a.k.a. InsuranceMan 2.0 307-752-5961 insuranceman2.0@yahoo.com Aaron Linden Endorsement.pdf
  10. Happy Tuesday Dear Readers, Ah … Spring time in the Rockies! 50 degrees one day, Blizzard warning and cancelled everything and road closures the next. I will say though, that it beats Minnesota (right @Skaalvenn), where you enter winter and negative degrees, and it stays there for 5 months!!!! At least here, in Sheridanopolis, you do get those 50-degree days followed by blizzard warnings. BUT AT LEAST YOU GET THOSE 50 DEGREE DAY REPRIEVES. Enough about the weather, what am I, some 90 year old rancher, talking about the weather. “Looks like weather’s comin’!” Isn’t it always!??!?!?!?! In today's installment of the “Tidbit”, I am going to keep this short and sweet, and not like I do when I say that and then go on ad nauseum for pages on end. This one will be short … ish 😊. Today I am inviting all of you to please come and visit me at booth 434 in Denver next week. As well, I have to tell you, BIG THINGS ARE HAPPENING!!!!! And when I say big things, I mean BIG THINGS. Although I will be at the expo next week and may not have a chance to post here (although I might, but really, with all the fun and frivolity that occurs at the expo it is doubtful), it is my anticipation that upon my return I am going to have some seriously amazing news for all of you here on the forums. With that said, I will be on hiatus for a week or two as I will be out of the country for a period. Even superhero’s such as I, InsuranceMan 2.0, need the occasional break. Insurance-superhero-ing is a full-time gig, 24/7, and occasionally you just gotta get away, as the great Lenny Kravitz has sung. Please stay tuned, dear reader, as I will be forthcoming with some pretty exciting news that is certain to turn the distillery insurance world on it’s head, and be beneficial for everyone. Until then, dear reader …. Stay Vigilant, Aaron Linden a.k.a InsuranceMan 2.0 307-752-5961 Insuranceman2.0@yahoo.com
  11. Good Morning ADI Citizens, I apologize for not getting the "Tidbit" out as of yesterday, but it turns out that InsuranceMan 2.0 does have some weaknesses. After a fun filled weekend of skijoring in the cold, despite my superpowers, I have ended up with Bronchitis and have been seeking respite in my lair of solitude the last several days. I hope to be back in full swing next week with another installment of the "Tidbit". Until then, I will continue to fight the forces of evil that plague the insurance industry from my lair whilst sipping hot toddies. Until next time my friends ... Stay Vigilant, Aaron Linden a.k.a. InsuranceMan 2.0 307-752-5961 insuranceman2.0@yahoo.com
  12. Good Tuesday Morning Fine Citizens of ADI-ville, I was sitting in my lair of solitude the other evening whilst on the phone with a good distiller friend of mine. Unfortunately, due to schedules and just "life" we had not had a chance to speak in the last several months. He had asked me what I had been up to recently, outside of saving the planet from the woes of evil insurance agents, and villainous insurance companies? As we spoke, I had told him about what I had been up to and he commented, "Man, what the H**L?!?!?!!? You seriously should write a book someday." That got me to thinking ... Many of you out there in ADI-land know my superhero persona, but those of you that have not met me don't really know my "mild-mannered" normal self that I am when trying to be inconspicuous out in Sheridanopolis, or the vast far reaches of the world. My friend suggested I should do a post here on ADI to help familiarize myself to anyone reading my posts. I thought, "OK, I can do that." I know, I know, it could be a long story, I will keep it fairly short, but if you don’t want to read it, at least scroll to the end and watch the videos and listen to the mp3 😊 One caveat to all of this is, I do not want this to come off as braggadocios, anyone that knows me knows that is not who I am. It is just more so that you get to know the person that you are dealing with, and that I am not always InsuranceMan2.0!!!!!!!! Nope, sometimes I am "Aaron Linden", normal human person, well, kinda. Where to start though, that is a big questions. As they say, start at the beginning ... It was a hot August night in 1974, late on a Friday night when I was born ... JUST KIDDING! We are not going back that far. I was born late on a Friday night though, and I assume that is why I still like to stay up late and love the weekend! OK, for reals now ... I grew up in Minnesota, Stillwater to be exact. Great place to grow up, on the river, small community (at the time), safe, nice. I went to college in Minneapolis, MN and graduated with a double major and double minor in 4 years (Poli. Sci. was one of the majors, if you must know). I was able to do this mainly because many of the classes that I took had some overlap and I was able to get a lot done in a short time (but I did my fair share of partying as well, and enough for a few others probably). Then, it was going to be off to law school. I know, right?!?!!?! Me a lawyer?!!??! Well, life kind of jumped in the way and I did not end up going to law school. Maybe it was a bit of burnout from years of school, maybe it was divine intervention, but I was accepted and asked if I could enroll the next fall? They said yes, but I didn’t end up going then either. Fast forward many years, and I had always wanted to move to Wyoming after traveling out here to hunt, fish, and camp, but who can make a living in Wyoming? Well, as it turns out, there was an insurance agency that was looking to expand into Sheridanopolis, and they wanted to know if I would like the opportunity (there is plenty more to this story, but I don’t want to bore you), and of course I said yes. Now, fast forward many more years, and I have been doing insurance work for 17 years and specializing in distilleries for 8. I started out writing very niche insurance policies that no one else could or wanted to write and ended up developing many programs due to this on a national basis. Heck, I was even the endorsed insurance agent for AANR. Yeap, I sure was! What is AANR you wonder? Well, it is the American Association for Nude Recreationalists. Don’t believe me, Google it. Wait!!!!!!!! Maybe don’t, LOL!!!!! Insurance has allowed me to do a lot of cool things. Travel to amazing places, meet amazing people, and work with great folks like you here on ADI. I have worked with folks like Channing Tatum (go to Google images and type in: Aaron Linden distillery insurance, and about 5 images over you will find this): as well as Zac Brown, John Bon Jovi, and the list goes on. Like I said, it has allowed me to do some cool stuff for sure. But there is more to me than insurance, like I said. I also have sat on many boards, overseen many non-profit foundations, and recently have been inaugurated to the Sheridan City Council after the last election. My favorite thing though, that people don’t really know about me is that I can do voice impersonations of dozens of famous people, imitate dialects from all over the world, and I do quite a bit of acting, in my spare time of course. Plays, voice-over work, musicals, and even commercials. There are a few samples of each of those below. Anyway, I just wanted to do something a bit different on this installment of the “Tidbit”, open myself up to all of you so that you know there is more to me than simply being the all-knowing, all-powerful superhero that I am (I am kidding of course). One thing that you should know is that I love being InsuranceMan 2.0!!!!! and working with all of you outstanding folks. In whatever I do, I do it out of love, passion, for fun, and because I just really love and live life to the fullest. Here are a few samples of my craziness, hopefully for your enjoyment: ***** Special Announcement on this one ... The very Lovely Woman in this video with me just said "YES" to my engagement proposal on Valentine's Day!!!!!!!!! She has always hated Valentine's Day up to this point, now she loves it, and I love her ***** My most recent commercial (forgive the hair and beard, I was growing it for "Escanaba in Da Moon Light" in which I played "The Jimmer"): And, one of my favorites, Dr. Seuss' "One Fish Two Fish, Red Fish Blue Fish" in 42 different voices : Aaron Linden One Fish Two Fish.mp3 (Click the link then click the little doohicky in the lower left part of your screen. It will pop open a window so you can listen.) Until Next time, Stay Vigilant My Friends, Aaron Linden a.k.a. InsuranceMan 2.0 307-752-5961 insuranceman2.0@yahoo.com
  13. Good Morning Fine Citizens of ADI-land!!!!!!!!!! It is a lovely, but a bit cold, day in Sheridanopolis. I hope wherever you are, you are toasty warm whilst reading this informative installment of “The Tidbit”. Today we are going to look at a coverage that is as important as any that you can purchase, LIQUOR LIABILITY. First of all, let me explain the definition of Liquor Liability. According to the “Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.)”, Liquor Liability insurance is defined as coverage for bodily injury or property damage caused by an intoxicated person who was served liquor by the policyholder. Wait … WHAT?!?!?! Just by serving someone liquor, you can be sued?!?!?! ABSOLUTELY!!!!! Liquor Liability coverage is essential coverage to have if you are in the business of alcohol, any type of alcohol! If you produce it, sell it, give samples of it, you better have it! This is especially true in states that have adopted any kind of Dram Shop Act/Law. OK, what is a Dram Shop Act/Law???? I am so glad you asked! A Dram Shop Law/Act is a statute which makes a business that sells alcoholic drinks, or a host who serves liquor to a patron who is or appears to be intoxicated, or close to it, strictly liable to anyone injured by the patron, including the patron. Did you know that currently the only states in the US that have not adopted any kind of dram shop law are: Delaware, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Nebraska, Nevada, South Dakota, and Virginia? Every other state has a Dram Shop Act/Law on the books. So, does that mean if you are in any of those states you don’t have to worry about Liquor Liability? NO! Often times, these states still allow for prosecution regardless of if this law was in place. As well, personal injury attorneys rarely care in the case of a lawsuit, and they will come after you. Even if the intoxicated person injures someone else, or themselves, crashes their car into someone or something, or even if they go home and beat up the neighbor or significant other, you could potentially be sued. “But InsuranceMan2.0, we only give away a total of four, quarter ounce samples!!!! That cannot get someone drunk!!!!!” Ah, excellent point dear reader, however … You may not have known the patron was at three other establishments before wandering in for a lovely sample of your wears. Or, perhaps they just slammed a fifth in the parking lot and then came in to have a taste, or get a cocktail (did a little pre-game warm up as it were), and it had not hit them prior to them coming in. Whatever the situation, if you have served them you could have potential problems. Case in point, I work with an establishment that is in the business of selling alcoholic drinks. They are in the business of selling A LOT of alcoholic drinks. In fact, they are the largest bar in a state that I shall not name. A patron came in at 11 a.m. for a Jager Bomb (I’m not judging), paid for the drink with their debit card, and went on their way. Fast forward to 3 p.m. when this gal went to her child’s daycare, retrieved her child, and proceeded to drive through the wall of the daycare. Yeap, true story. Sad but true story. As it turns out, the establishment that I represent was not the first stop of this gal’s morning, nor was it the last. At each place she stopped, she had at least one Jager Bomb, paid for it with her debit card, and moved on. In the lawsuit that ensued, her paper-trail of where she had been and the drinks she consumed was easy to establish since they all were transacted through her bank statement because of the debit card. Her lawyer then named each of the 8 establishments in the lawsuit citing that they each in someway contributed to her intoxication. Guess what, all 8 of them were successfully sued, and had to split the penalty 8 ways. I am not saying that this is ever going to be a situation that you may be involved in, but I will tell you that if you don’t have liquor liability coverage then you don’t have liquor liability coverage. Liquor liability coverage is almost always excluded under your general liability coverage if you are in the business of selling or profiting from alcohol, period. So, without purchasing a separate liquor liability coverage, you have no coverage. That means that any suit and resulting claim would come out of your own personal pocket, or that of your business. Either way, that is not good. Furthermore, an often-overlooked aspect both General Liability and Liquor Liability is the fact that they both provide for defense coverage. Yessir! If you are sued, no matter if it is a real case of negligence, or a frivolous lawsuit, your policy provides for the cost of defense. Yeah, Buddy! I have seen people sue over the craziest of things. Things that have no validity what-so-ever. I don’t know if you have hired an attorney lately, but the prices are not going down! Even in the case of a frivolous lawsuit, it could cost you tens of thousands of dollars to prove your innocence. Better that money and the crack staff of attorneys comes out of the insurance carriers’ pocket as opposed to yours. The long and the short of it is this … Liquor Liability is something you should have, you need to have, and something that you should want to have. Pair this with making sure that you and all the servers are TIPS trained, and you should have very little to worry about. Heck, most carriers only charge between $750 and $1,000 a year for a standard liquor liability policy. That would barely get you 2-3 hours of a lawyer’s time! Of course, that pricing can be impacted by various factors such as a full-blown cocktail room that is selling $1.2 million a year, but for a normal tasting room that is either giving out free samples, or making a decent profit from tasting charges, it should not cost you more than that. And for that $750 - $1,000 you have the piece of mind of knowing if you are sued due to a liquor situation, you have $1,000,000 worth of coverage to take care of any claim, defense costs, and crack staff of lawyers. Now, that is something that should make you sleep better at night. Until next time my friends, STAY VIGILANT, Aaron Linden a.k.a. InsuranceMan2.0 InsuranceMan2.0@yahoo.com 307-752-5961
  14. Good Morning All, Today I am coming to you from the frozen land of Sheridanopolis!!!! -17 here this morning, and Insuranceman2.0 is wanting to pour coffee on his feet! I wanted to take this opportunity to inform all of you that I will be in attendance at the ADI Expo this year, and I hope to see all of my vigilant friends at booth 434!!!!! I am very excited to attend the convention and expo for the 5th time in a row and cannot wait to have the chance to meet many of you in person for the first time. If you are attending, please make sure to stop by, say "hi", and get all of your insurance needs taken care of! Here is an interactive map of the expo floor for your perusal: https://shows.map-dynamics.com/adi2019/ . Make sure to highlight and click on booth 434!!! Until next time my friends ... Stay Vigilant, Aaron Linden a.k.a. InsuranceMan2.0 insuranceman2.0@yahoo.com 307-752-5961
  15. Good Morning ADI Citizens! In today’s installment of the Tuesday Morning Insurance Tidbit the topic de jure is Local Insurance Agent vs. National Insurance Agent, i.e. InsuranceMan 2.0. For many, your distillery business is your heart and soul, your life. You have put everything (or most everything) you have into building your business, making amazing, artistically crafted products. You spend many of the hours of your week at your facility, and when you are not there, you are thinking about being there. Something this important in your life deserves the best in the way of protection. I speak to dozens of people just like you every week and have for the past 7 years. Inevitably I am asked a particular question at least once a month. What is the question you wonder? Well, the question is this, “Shouldn’t I try to find a local insurance agent to handle my distillery insurance?” Ah, the age-old question! Because I am an honest and just Insurance Superhero, I will address why dealing with a local agent is something people consider. First of all, they are somewhere in your town/city/area, so that could be something. Second, and I hear this all the time, “It helps stimulate the local economy.” Ok, I can kind of see that I guess. Finally, maybe you know the guy/gal and your kids play soccer together or the local agent is you brothers, step-aunt’s niece’s cousin whose best friend’s dog-goomers husband sells insurance, or some other such relationship. Nice, all reasons and justifications I hear as to why people may look for a local agent. Now, let’s speak to the adverse side of dealing with a local agent. Just because they are in town or the area does not necessarily make them more accessible or mean they will be stopping in to your business every time you have a question. In fact, more often than not, people that had been dealing with a local agent, and then moved to me have told me I am more accessible via email, text, and by them calling me on my cell phone than their local agent ever was. Many have told me their local agent was a “hit it and forget it” insurance salesperson. Meaning, they sold them a policy and then never spoke to them again. SAD!!!!! Second, in regard to the economy, although the insurance agent is paid by your business it may not be what you think nor have the economic impact that is perceived. If a policy costs you $5,000, that is not going into your local economy. Agents are actually paid only a small percentage of the premium, the rest goes to the big faceless insurance entity located in some far away land of actuaries and guys that look like they just stepped off the Monopoly box, who light their cigars with $100 bills. SCARY! Finally, just because you may know, or kind of know someone that schleps insurance for a living does not obligate you to having to work with them. We have now arrived at my favorite part of the discussion; Why should you consider a National Insurance Agent, i.e. InsuranceMan 2.0? Grab yourself a nice lowball of your favorite spirit and get comfy, this portion could be L-O-N-G!!!!!!! Just kidding, I will keep it short and sweet even though I could go on for days. One reason to work with me is that I am incredibly responsive and pretty much accessible 24/7 via cell, email, and text. Don’t believe me?!?!?!? Ask around and you will find out quickly that I respond to folks at all hours of the day and even on weekends. Unless I am up in the mountains and have no cell reception, I am accessible dang near all the time. That is partly what makes me so Superhero-ish! Next, think of this scenario: God forbid, but pretend that someone contracts a rare disease. There may be a slew of local doctors and hospitals in the area, but that does not mean they will know how to treat the person. The first thing that person would do is jump online and find out where and who in the country specializes in this kind of treatment. They would do everything in their power to seek out the very best, most experienced person they could find to assist them with their needs, right?!?!?! I know I would. Well, why should your distillery insurance be any different? Why would you choose to work with someone just because they happened to be close to you? What experience do they have in writing distilleries? Do you really want to be their Guinea Pig?!?!?!!? Having them experimenting on your policy, cobbling some coverage together, only to find out in the time of a claim that it is not covered because they didn’t know what they were doing? NO!!!!! You would seek out a specialist who knows what they are doing, someone who has been doing it for a long time and has successfully worked with and assisted hundreds of similar clients! You would not just want to work with the person that schleps insurance, you would seek out an insurance Superhero. Someone like … me! InsuranceMan 2.0!!!!!! Here, let me save you the work. You can contact me at Insuranceman2.0@yahoo.com, or via PM here on ADI, or by call or text at 307-752-5961. There, that was easy, wasn’t it? Now you don’t have to spend time looking for someone who can assist you with your distillery insurance needs. You can use your extra time to come up with that new mash bill. Or maybe whether to macerate, or use a basket, or place botanicals strategically at different levels in the column. So much extra time and so many things to consider! You’re welcome! So, until next time my friends … Stay Vigilant, Aaron Linden InsuranceMan 2.0
  16. Dear ADI forum, I know this is coming to you on a Wednesday, not Tuesday, but Christmas happened to fall on Tuesday and I had been spending a glorious time with family and friends. In today's installment of the "Tidbit", I just want to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas, a happy and prosperous New Year, and Happy Holidays ... how ever you may believe or celebrate. In my world I don't find any holiday greeting offensive, I believe it is just a nice time of year for everyone to come together and reflect on the value that your family and friends bring into your life each and every day. I wish we all took time to reflect on this aspect of our lives more. So, from InsuranceMan 2.0 and my family to yours, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and Happy Holidays to all of our friends of ADI that we have had the opportunity to get to know, and for those of you that we have not gotten to know as of yet ... 2019 will be the year of us getting acquainted! Stay Vigilant, Aaron Linden - aka InsuranceMan 2.0 307-752-5961 InsuranceMan2.0@yahoo.com
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