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InsuranceMan 2.0

Tuesday Morning Insurance Tidbit - The Times They Are a-Changin'

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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!!!!!!!



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