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  1. Happy Thursday to You, Dear Reader, I know it has been quite some time since my last post here in the sacred forums (about 6 months actually), and it is Thursday, not Tuesday, and that you have probably wondered where I had been, and for all of that I am heartfully sorry. I have left you high and dry without my weekly educational and witty insurance writings, and I am sure you are worse for the wear for it. The reasoning for my lack of activity here is simply due to the ongoing work/life dichotomy. I have been extremely busy within the insurance-verse, family needs, etc. However, I have been here, and I will continue to be here and thank you to all the distillers that have reached out to me in the last several months for their insurance needs. With that, let us get to today’s topic that has been at the top of my mind for many months now. That topic is Auto Coverage. I know that I have written about the various types of auto coverage here on the forums in the past, but recently there was a situation that brought this back to the forefront in my mind. I have a distillery that I have worked with for the last several years. Over that time many things have changed, grown, ebbed and flowed, and the need to keep their insurance up to date has been of the utmost importance. A while back they decided to not only start doing some of their own delivery by use of employee vehicles, but also purchased an auto in the name of the company as well. They called me and asked about the insurance implications to which I filled them in on all of the various needs and coverages. We implemented a commercial auto policy for the owned auto and made sure to have the “hired and non-owned auto” endorsement added for employees using their own personal vehicles for delivery. THANK OUR LUCKY STARS WE DID!!! I must pause here and stress the importance of communication with your insurance agent here. I have had distilleries in the past that had people out delivering product in their own vehicles, and I had no idea that they were self-distributing. Although I almost always make sure to add on the hired and non-owned auto endorsement, there are some carriers that do not offer it. Had I not casually brought this up to them, they would have had folks out running around uncovered. Same goes with any changes you make at your distillery. If you bring in totes of product, make sure you know they are covered for value. Add equipment? Make a call and find out if it is covered. Now, I am not saying get crazy and call for each and every little thing. A $500 laptop may or may not be worth a phone call, but all “bigger ticket” items, or changes … make the call. If you add a tasting room that you didn’t have before, for sure you need to communicate that. Anyway, back to the story at hand. We added the commercial vehicle and hired and non-owned coverage. About 4 weeks later, one of the employees loaded up his pickup truck to go and deliver 20 cases of product to a local vendor. In doing so, he was involved in a 5-vehicle accident due to some numbskull that was speeding and weaving in and out of traffic. The employee had to jam on his breaks and swerve to avoid the aforementioned numbskull which inadvertently caused him to slam into the back side panel of another vehicle at an intersection which then caused both of them to slam into another vehicle at the cross street. Mr. Numbskull also ended up crashing into a vehicle on the other side of the intersection and thankfully no one was severely injured and there were several witnesses that attested to the fact that the Numbskull was the proximate cause of all of the damage. As you can imagine, my insured’s employee still shared some of the responsibility as he swerved to avoid the Numbskull and did cause some damage. This is the moment that the whole thing turned from an accident caused by some moron to a much bigger deal. Normally, the police would have collected everyone’s information, maybe issued a citation, and moved on. However, the pickup my insured’s employee was driving was full of product. So now we have an open bed pickup where the product is clearly visible in branded boxes, there are “XYZ” distillery boxes strewn about the intersection, and broken bottles leaking booze everywhere … a moment of silence for the lost bottles please … That is when it turned from just another auto accident into a “Hey, what are you doing with so much booze in your vehicle?” moment. The employee honestly stated that he was out on a delivery for “XYZ” distillery which means that everyone that he was involved in the incident immediately thought, “YYYEEEEE-HAAWWWW!!!! PAY DAY!!!! A distillery employee hit me, hurt me and damaged my vehicle, and THOSE GUYS HAVE TONS OF MONEY!!!!” As we all know, that is what people think, that distilleries basically print their own money. In reality, we all know that is more fiction than fact for many. Anyway, as you can imagine, the distillery started getting notices that they were being sued by several individuals that were involved in the accident. They went after the employee personally under his individual auto insurance, but then came after the distillery as well, since more and deeper pockets are the only thing lawyers are interested in. Due to the fact that we had the appropriate coverage in place, we knew that “XYZ” distillery had $1,000,000 worth of hired and non-owned automobile liability and should be safe. Had we not had this coverage in place, the distillery would have been opened up to these lawsuits with no protection and been solely on the hook for any resulting court awards. Super scary, as most of us don’t have an extra $1,000,000 just laying around for rainy days. The point of all of this is, communicate with your insurance agent. There are no dumb calls, or dumb questions, but if your agent does not know what you are up to, THEY DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU ARE UP TO! If a claim happens, that is not the time to call and find out that discussions never happened and you don’t have coverage for something as simple as an auto accident. With that, I am off to work my insurance superhero powers for those of you who have contacted me, that I work with, and getting ready for the calls, emails, and texts from all of those out there that this will spur thoughts for that think, “OH NO, did I mention this to InsuranceMan 2.0!!! ????” I can see the future dear readers, it is a skill, after all, I am a superhero. Until Next Time Dear Reader … Stay Vigilant, Aaron Linden a.k.a. InsuranceMan 2.0!!! 307-752-5961 aaron@roaringforkins.com or insuranceman2.0@yahoo.com
  2. Happiest of Summer Days, to You, Dear Reader, As you may or may not know, summer is a busy time of year around the Insurance-verse and a lot of renewals and new business occur between the July 1st date through the middle of the month each year, which means that I, InsuranceMan 2.0!!!, have been extremely busy the last many weeks. On top of that, I have been in Louisville, KY doing presentations on Distillery Insurance which took some time away, further delaying my ability to get out the TMIT in a timely manner. However, I am back in the swing of things, and I have a special treat for you today. Not only is it a Tuesday Morning Insurance Tidbit on a Thursday, but it is also a TMIT TWO-FER!!! That’s right, I am going to touch upon two different topics today, all wrapped into one. I know, super exciting … but try to contain yourself. It is a lot to take in, for sure, so if you need to read the first part and then take a breather, and get back to the second part later, I understand. The first topic that I want to touch upon is “REPALCEMENT COST” coverage, under your property portion of the policy, specifically for your buildings or Tenant’s Improvements and Betterments (TIB’s). If you have either been hiding under a rock for the last year, or just not paying attention, let me tell you what I am talking about. According to Business Insider, the cost of lumber has risen over 250% to 300% in the last year. “OK, so what? What does that have to do with my insurance?” I am getting there dear reader, patience. You know that eight-foot long 2x4 that you used to buy for $2.40? Well, if we use the numbers from the folks at the magazine mentioned above, that means that one singular 2x4 is now going to run you upwards of $6 to $7 a board now. That 4’x8’ 5/8” OSB board that had been around $25 a sheet a year or so ago, well, it is now closer to $75 a sheet. That 6x6 … yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, you get it. Here is the long and short of this and how it ties into your insurance … When your property policy describes “REPLACEMENT COST” (RC) it defines RC as the cost to replace your property with “like kind and quality” up to the limit specified. This means that if they need to replace a computer that you bought 3 years ago for $1,000 (that is now a bit outdated) with the same computer now that they can buy for $300, then that is what you will get, $300 since it is the same computer, the cost has just come down. If they don’t make that computer anymore, and they have to replace it with the same RAM, SSHD, etc., and the only thing they can find is $1,200 then you will get the $1,000 (the fictitious limit you had on the fictitious policy in this case), minus the deductible, and you will have to eat the extra $200. Again, RC is “UP TO THE LIMIT” stated on the policy. Take that example and apply it to your building. With lumber skyrocketing, if your policy limit has not been adjusted, that could be a huge issue. Let’s say that your building was originally built for $350,000 years ago, but it is still showing that same $350,000 limit now, you are probably under insured. If it is a frame structure, OSB decking for the roof, etc., your replacement cost in today’s construction world could be in the neighborhood of $900,000 to $1,000,000 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yeah, that is a lot of exclamation marks, because this is kind of a big deal. Your policy says “REPLACEMENT COST” of $350,000 and now it would cost $1,000,000. That leaves you on the hook for around $650,000 since the most the policy will pay is the limit shown on the policy, that is why they show you a limit. Again, BIG DEAL! To make matters worse, you more than likely have a co-insurance provision of 80% or 90%. I have done articles on co-insurance previously, so you can go read those if you want an in-depth understanding of that, but, sufficed to say, once co-insurance is factored in it could leave you well short on the amount you receive to try and replace your building. Something to certainly think about. The last thing I want to say about this is, no one wants to overpay for insurance premiums, and just because lumber is up, does it mean you should adjust your policy to a higher limit to make sure you are protected? Well, that is a slippery slope. It is true that lumber may come back down, and you may be ok with your current limit a year or so from now, but what happens in the meantime? That is a huge unknown, but it is something that you should definitely keep in mind and have a conversation with your insurance agent about, and if your insurance agent is not InsuranceMan 2.0!!! you really need to ask yourself, “why!?!?!?”. I digress. As long as you know the risks, you can then decide as to if you want to self-insure that exposure, or adjust it to fit the need. You could also discus “Functional Replacement Cost” with you agent (and again that agent should be me!). Basically, this would be an option for stating a coverage limit of “X”, but as long as you get the same square footage and functionality, you don’t care what kind of material it is replaced with. Functional Replacement Cost allows for the carrier to reconstruct your former stick built property from metal (let’s say) in order to accommodate the same square footage, etc., for the amount listed on the policy since you may be able to reconstruct a steel building for much less than a frame building if you are limited by the value you had on the policy. Again, just another way to solve this possible issue. OK, if you need a breather, now is the time. I will wait ………………. Ah, back so soon? Excellent. On to the second topic of the TMIT TWO-FER!!! Fire Rating Scores. This one is a “hot” topic (pun kind of intended), but it is no laughing matter. Fire Ratings are constantly updated throughout the year through a complex algorithm of wild fire models that provide underwriters with probabilistic loss metrics based on 80 distinct geographic data sets and 300,000 simulations of wildfire data. This is broken down into several subsets such as Risk Score; Brush Fire; Preburn Scores; Preburn Distance; Firebreaks; Average Days of High Wind; etc. Ok, we know this is complex, and you don’t need a history lesson in fire ratings here, just the info that you want to know. What you want to and need to know is that the country is on fire and things have been hot and dry!!! Don’t believe me?!?! Check out this website from the Fed’s: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/ . This is a live tracker of all of the fires in the country. So, how does this effect you? Well, it could affect you greatly if you are in these hot and dry areas around the country and your insurance is coming up for renewal. Let’s take the Brush Fire rating for instance. Near my neck of the woods this rating went from a 30 (on a scale of 0 – 100) this spring, to 100 currently. This means that underwriters are taking this matrix of scores into effect and we are seeing some rate increases of anywhere from 1 to 1.5 TIMES in the way of premium. That is not 1 to 1.5%, let’s be clear, it is a multiplied increase of 1 to 1.5 times. I have one insured that was paying around $60,000 last year and on their July renewal (remember above, there is a lot going on in July), their premium jumped up to nearly $90,000 for the year. That was not due to an increase of stock on hand, or a huge sales year, that was mainly due to property, location, and these fire ratings. There are a few ways to handle this kind of situation and avoid getting caught up in this underwriting anomaly that I have worked through and crafted answers to in the past, but I am not going to divulge them here. Kind of Trade Secrete and all and if other insurance folks can’t figure it out, I am not going to help them, but I will help you. Call me, email me, send up the InsuranceMan 2.0!!! sky beacon, whatever you like, but get a hold of me if you are facing this situation, and I will help you out. To long and short of this TMIT Two-Fer is this … between the cost of construction going up and the fire hazard in this country being incredibly high in many areas, it is potentially a dangerous time in which underwriters are being very cautious and taking more premium for risks, and building could be undervalued in a world on fire. A perfect storm so to say. As well, if you are in a high fire hazard area, you may find yourself faced with the dreaded NON-RENEWAL !!!!! GASP!!!!! It is true, I have had some carriers state that although they were on the risk in the past, they are not longer able to offer terms. If you need assistance with a cancellation/non-renewal, or in figuring out what to do, or if you are covered adequately, or if you are coming up for a spike in renewal premium, and you need assistance, get a hold of me and I will gladly assist you, Dear Reader. Until Next Time …. Stay Vigilant, Aaron Linden – a.k.a InsuranceMan 2.0!!! 307-752-5961 insuranceman2.0@yahoo .com or aaron@roaringforkins.com
  3. Good Tuesday to you, dear ADI Forum Reader, I hope you are all well and doing great. Quick personal update … I am still dealing with pneumonia, however, I am doing better than most (Superhero and all) and I am hopeful that by this weekend I will be in prime-super-form once again. OK, on to the hot topic at hand for today’s TMIT – Cancellation due to non-pay. As we all know, it has been a topsy-turvy world in 2020 and things have been difficult for many. Not to rehash the past, or pontificate ad nauseam on the future, but shut-downs, stay-at-homes, business closures, limited hours and seating, on and on, have been a difficult financial situation for many. With that, finances get tight and certain things either need to be let go out of necessity, or they were let go and missed simply because folks were on overload and just did not think about certain things during crisis/panic mode. I totally get it. A few short months ago we were worried about even finding toilet paper for God’s sake, let alone if certain bills were getting paid. (Quick aside, you know I love “asides” … I went to the local “Stuff-Mart” just yesterday and guess what … THEY ARE OUT OF ALL PAPER PRODUCTS!!! NOOOOO!!! NOT AGAIN!!!! It is true, no toilet paper, no paper towels, and no facial tissues. Seriously, again people, what is the deal???? Food galore, anything else you could ever want, TV’s, clothes, whatever … but no freakin’ paper products?!??!?! UGH!!!!) So, with all that has been going on, and appears to be happening again, I wanted to caution you about something in the insurance-verse that is starting to take a dreaded toll. CANCELLATIONS FOR NON-PAYMENT OF PREMIUMS … Dun-dah-DUN!!! Seriously though, this is becoming quite a huge factor with a lot of insured’s and carriers. People either had to miss some premium payments, because it was that or put food on the table, or some just flat out forgot (we had life to deal with, INSURANCE OVERLOARDS!!!!! Geeze!!!) The issues that are stemming from this however can be a bit dire. Let’s say that for whatever reason, you missed a payment, just one … or a few (as some carriers allowed for a “Forgiveness” of a few months, which they then built into the subsequent payments, kind of like a “Balloon” payment option). Now, you find out that the carrier has cancelled you policy for non-payment of premium. OK, maybe that is not the biggest deal that you have had to deal with in 2020, but you want to make sure your “ass”-ets are covered. What do you do?!?! Well, dear reader, that is why I, InsuranceMan 2.0!!! am penning this post to you today. There may be a few options. Let’s start with the best case scenario. You get a hold of your insurance agent (which should be me … but I won’t “agent shame” you here), and you let them know what happened. They console you and tell you they will get on the horn with the carrier and work some magic. This is the best possible situation. If they can get a hold of the underwriter and billing and let them know that you just could not pay at that time, but you are now willing to make up the payments and any future payments on a monthly basis (or in full, I have see that. Where the caveat to reinstating the policy is that it must be paid off in full), and voilà, you have your coverage back, no harm, no foul. They may ask for a No Known Loss Letter (NKLL), stating that you had no losses during that time, but again, no big deal. The second possible situation is that they will not reinstate the policy, but they may be willing to rewrite it. If any premium is outstanding, they may require that to be paid, and then rewrite the policy with new dates, but at least you can get your coverage going again. With a lapse, but still, you have coverage! Nothing that cannot be overcome in a few years. If you had not losses, OK, you are good to go. Then there is the possible last option, the dreaded, abhorred, loathsome, last option … the option that has spurring on the writing of this post. If all else fails, and your carrier is not willing to reinstate or rewrite the coverage, and now you are stained with the hideous mark of a “CANCELLATION FOR NON-PAYMENT OF PREMIUM” you are headed off to the “The Brokerage”!!! The land of Excess and Surplus Lines (E&S) coverage. THE HORROR!!!!!!!!! Actually, this is not that bad, nor is it the end of all things. I actually quite like E&S carriers. They do things no one else will, they can work you out of a pinch situation, and in many instances the coverage is just as good as what you were used to. The downside to this … Yes, come on, you knew there was going to be a downside, there always has to be a downside to everything. Premium. When you are ineligible for coverage with a standard carrier, the E&S carriers know that, and if you have “THE MARK”, there is a bit of a risk involved (from their perspective), so, in order to take that risk, they are going to make it a bit more worth their while. My experience has been that you can expect anywhere from a 1.5 to 3 times differential in premium. If you were paying $5,000 before the cancellation for non-payment, the E&S folks will probably write your coverage for around $7,500 to $15,000. I know, the irony here is palatable. If you had this kind of dough during all of the rest of the year, you would have paid the dang premiums in the first place, how are you expected to pay a substantial increase. Sorry, it is just the law of the land. Higher risk (supposedly), higher premiums. One other precluding side-effect of a non-pay cancellation is that standard carriers may not be willing to take you on for a few years. Some will after a clean track record of a year, others will be two … or longer, depending on the economy and “crystal ball” type stuff. Good news is that you can get coverage, bad news is it may cost you more. Don’t get down though, any agent (mmhumm … ME!) who know how to negotiate the “E&S” realm in the belly of the insurance industry beast will have options to assist in alleviating some of the heartburn via working out a premium finance option for you. In summary, if you have fallen victim to the difficult times of the recent past, whether I work with you or not, and you are looking for options to get your coverage back up and going or reinstated, turn on the Insurance Man 2.0!!! beacon, or just give me a call or shoot me an email, and I will gladly come to your rescue. I want you safe, secure, and insured. Until next time dear reader … Stay Vigilant, Aaron Linden a.k.a. Insurance Man 2.0!!! (307) 752-5961 aaron@roaringforkins.com or insuranceman2.0@gmail.com
  4. Happiest Thursday to you, dearest reader, I know it has been a while and I am sure you are thirsting for a new TMIT by this point. I looked back and I believe the last posting I graced you with was around June the 1st. That means that it has been nearly 5 months since you have heard from me. My most sincere apologies to you for “Leavin’ ya hangin’!” As you know, summers generally are quite a busy time for a myriad of reasons, and I do not post much during those months. Family time, nice weather, and fighting the insurance battle is quite time consuming during the warm weather months, and much attention must be given during the time that the kiddos are out of school. Why then have I not written to you in a while, you may be wondering. Well, let me tell you … Over the summer I had also been diligently working on creating a set for a show that was to be performed in March, but then ‘da ‘Rona derailed all of that, so we were shooting for an October reboot date, so I had a lot going on between everything and building an entire set with the help of my gal-pal. We were able to do 4 performances of “Into the Woods”, in which I performed the part of Rapunzel’s Prince. Yes, I know, not only did I build the set, but I also was in the show. My superhero-ness knows no bounds. Anyway, after 4 shows we found out that several of the people involved had contracted ‘da ‘Rona. On Monday the 19th of October, I found out that the gal-pal had it, and the kiddo did as well. I was negative. Again, superhero-y!!! Regardless, I was going to be on lockdown for 14 days since we are all in the same super-lair, breathing the same super-air. It did not take long for my supermind to do the math on this situation and cogitate on the resolution. I concluded that I did not want to get 10 days in to a 14-day lockdown, only to end up with the dreaded “VID”, which would extent my lockdown by another few weeks. With that, I decided to tend to the ill that were milling about my lair of solitude, and, long-story-short, I contracted ‘da ‘Rona and was on lockdown until November the 2nd. A quick aside on ‘da ‘Vid … It really was not that bad for us, it was like a bad cold or the flu, really (without the nausea or intestinal issues, there was none of that, so the toilet paper shortage thing still baffles me). There were a few days of odd aches and pains in weird places, like your ankles and hips. There were a few days of headaches, but again, not all that horrible. Thankfully, we are all in good shape, after all, we are a superhero family … duh! I can see though how this virus would have a much more sever effect on those with other health concerns, the elderly, etc. It is not anything to mess around with, but we made it though relatively unscathed. An aside to the aside … We all did lose our sense of taste and smell, and that SuperSucked!!! For me, it became a choir to even eat. It was pointless. No taste, no smell, it was just like texture of something in your mouth and you were never satiated. I pretty much gave up eating altogether for a while, and only consumed what was needed to not become weak. I cannot afford to let my superstrength go with so much insurance battling to take care of. That would be reckless of me, and the burden of taking care of so many leaves me selfless, so I ate when I needed to keep up my abilities. One more quick aside-to-the-aside, with another aside. Not being able to smell was bizarre. It was not like being stuffed up and only “kind of smelling” things. THERE WAS NOTHING!!! NO SMELL OF ANY KIND!!! To the point that I pulled out a bottle of barrel strength bourbon (124 proof), poured about ¾ of an ounce, nosed it … NOTHING. I could tell it was “vapory”, but there was no smell of anything. I put the bourbon in my mouth, swished it around … NOTHING! Swallowing the “should be delicious” drink … NOTHING!!! Friends, there is nothing more demoralizing than not being able to taste a delicious booze!!! OK, back to where I have been. So, I come out of “covid-quarantine” on November 2nd, several days later, I have a helluva cough starting. What is with that? I had no cough with the ‘Rona, so was this something else. As it turns out, yes, yes it was. I went back to the Doc on November 9th only to find out that I have secondary pneumonia brought on by ‘da ‘Rona. Oh, dear reader, I must tell you, this aspect of illness is far-and-away 10 times worse than anything I had with the virus. It is kicking my super-glutes. So fatigued, worn out from coughing, and just overwhelmingly tired. It is a new level. Alas, I will bounce back, I will be better, and I will emerge victorious … perhaps as InsuranceMan 3.0!!!, LOL!!! No, I will stay “2.0”. If I went another level higher, I may just become ethereal and we cannot have that. ***** HERE IS THE INSURANCE PART OF THE ARTICLE, FOR THOSE OF YOU STILL HERE AND PAYING ATTENTION ***** In my time spent in my lair of solitude, I have been diligently working with several of my national carriers to relax some of the stringent underwriting guidelines that I have previously written about. And guess what??!?! They have relaxed several of them and we were able to provide insurance this year for folks that they declined last year, thereby saving my insureds money and increasing their coverage!!! This is a WIN-WIN for everyone. Yes, even in my state of illness, I was working on your behalf, dear reader, in order to provide you with more options, better coverage, and less premium out the door. InsuranceMan 2.0!!! was still hard at work for you, even whilst battling the forces of the Virus!!! I will never rest in the battle of the insurance-universe. For those of you out there that are placed with an Excess and Surplus Lines Carrier, take heed and get in touch with me. I may have options for you to provide you with a standard and admitted carrier that we would have had very little chances with at this time last year. What could it hurt to try?!?!? With that, I must sign off for the time being, but rest assured, I am back, better than ever, and I will be providing you with TMIT’s on a regular basis. I know, I know … You don’t have to thank me … it is my gift to you. Until next time, dear reader … stay healthy, stay happy, and stay positive. Things will be back to “normal-normal” soon, I know it. Stay Vigilant, Aaron Linden a.k.a. InsuranceMan 2.0!!! (307) 752-5961 aaron@roaringforkins.com or insuranceman2.0@yahoo.com
  5. Healthy Tuesday Morning to you all, I truly hope my post finds you doing well and staying that way. The most important thing during these uncertain times is to remain positive. I know that with all is going on in the world and the economy, and businesses being shut down, it is sometimes hard to find things to remain positive about, but they are still out there. For one, it is St. Patrick's Day. That is a good thing!!! Maybe grab yourself a "Black & Tan" or a "Guinness", and focus on the day and all that you do have to be thankful for. Cheers to you, my friends. As I sit here in my lair of solitude, or as I know understand it to be known, "My lair of social-distancing", I am being inundated with questions and emails from clients and carriers alike. People have been asking and continue to ask, "What if we are shut down due to this virus? Is there some type of insurance coverage that may kick in?" Carriers have been sending out a flurry of informational emails that also speak to this topic and I wanted to share those with you here so that you can arm yourself with information as well. At this point in time, the insurance industry as well as specific carriers have been providing information in regard to Business Income (a.k.a. Business Interruption) & Extra Expense (hereafter known as BI/EE) coverage. This coverage is meant to provide for ongoing expenses and income reimbursement in the wake of a "covered cause of loss" that results in a business being shut down or slowing in sales as a result, as well as several other factors. The issue here is the definition of a "covered loss" or a "named peril". Currently, a pandemic, such as the Coronavirus, is not necessarily a covered loss or peril. Most policies have a Disease Exclusion, but even if they do not contain that specific language, unless your facility has been contaminated and deemed "inhabitable" or "not able to be used as intended", there is no coverage applicable due to this virus. I know that this is not necessarily the news you were hoping for, especially if you are in on of the states that is experiencing a mandatory shutdown of bars, restaurants, and other business, (or gatherings of over 10 people ... REALLY!) but keep in mind, I am here to assist you in whatever way possible, and I am just wanting to communicate the information to you so that you can arm yourselves with knowledge and know what to expect. I have also gone out to several different carriers and asked them about the possibility of coverage under the "CIVIL AUTHORITY" aspect of the policy. Again, unless there is a shutdown of an area due to a "covered 'loss'", BI/EE coverage would not apply. Let's say for instance that you are in a multi-tenant building and your neighboring business has been identified as property that has been contaminated by the Coronavirus and is therefore shutdown. Due to the fact that you may share ventilation (maybe), or perhaps a common lobby area or some-other-such "commonality", your business is now shutdown due to civil authority. This may be a BI/EE claim due to the fact that they have shut you down in order to determine if the virus has spread to your property. At the end of the day, we could sit and come up with a billion and one different scenarios in regard to this pandemic and the potential impacts that it is having around the US, and the world. In the end though, it would all just be speculation and "what-ifs" and not result in any certainties. As I have said in prior posts, and I will say again here, when in doubt, file a claim. If you feel there is legitimacy in filing a claim, then do so. That is why you have insurance. Hopefully, armed with this information, it will assist you with knowing where you stand in the process. Until next time dear readers ... Stay Vigilant (and healthy. WASH THOSE HANDS), Aaron Linden a.k.a. InsuranceMan 2.0!!! 307-752-5961 aaron@roaringforkins.com or insuranceman2.0@yahoo.com
  6. Good Friday to you dear ADI readers, As you know (or you should know by now), I put up a TMIT entitled “Coronavirus” that was done in jest to try and alleviate some of the stress and tension that is surrounding this pandemic. It was done for fun and to be funny. This virus IS a serious issue and is having economic ramifications that are far and wide and will be felt for quite a while to come. With that, I did want to put up a more serious insurance post. I, InsuranceMan 2.0!!! have been speaking with quite a few clients recently asking about how insurance may apply to this virus. More specifically, is there any kind of coverage that may pay for diminished sales due to the pandemic? What about if our employees contract the disease? Well, dear reader, let me address these quarries here so that you can know and be well informed too. The first question I will address is this, “Is there any type of coverage for a disruption to my business due to the Coronavirus?” The short answer is that it simply depends on a lot of things. It depends on what carrier underwrites your policy. It depends furthermore on the language of the policy, as well as the coverage options that you have chosen. One area that this potentially could see coverage would be under your “Business Income (or “Interruption”) & Extra Expense” (hereafter referred to as BI/EE) portion of your coverage. If you do not have that coverage, then there is no coverage available. Some carriers offer it as part of their overall suite of coverage enhancements, with others it has to be specifically asked for and a premium charge usually results. The only way to know if you have this type of coverage would be to check your policy or call your agent, or send them an email, or whatever you chose. Generally speaking, BI/EE coverage usually requires that a covered direct physical loss take place to the insured property. So, the question becomes this, is a pandemic a direct physical loss to your insured property? The quick answer would be no. It is not like a fire, wind incident, or smoke damage type of encounter that is normally contemplated and associated with this type of coverage trigger. However, several courts have determined that “property damage” can include property that is deemed “uninhabitable” or “otherwise unfit for its intended use” to be included in the meaning of “commercial property” which then may make this a covered direct physical loss. With this scenario mentioned above, if you facility were to be shut down due to the Coronavirus, for decontamination, etc., then it is quite possible that a case could be made that your facility was deemed “uninhabitable” or “unfit for its intended use” and therefore the BI/EE coverage could be contemplated. However, if patrons just have decided not to go out and eat, drink, socialize, and have a good time, it would be very difficult to say that the drop in sales is a DIRECT EFFECT of the Coronavirus. It may be a correlation, but in a courtroom that may not be enough to show cause as a certain DIRECT RESULT of loss of business. Interestingly though, what if the whole area surrounding your business is shutdown and quarantined? This could also be known as a “CIVIL AUTHORITY” closure and that is usually specifically addressed in the BI/EE section of the policy. Here is a snippet from a policy I recently wrote for a client: Civil Authority We will pay for the actual “loss” of Business Income you sustain, and necessary Extra Expense you incur that is caused by action of civil authority that prohibits access to the described premises due to direct physical “loss” of or damage to property, other than at the described premises, caused by or resulting from any Covered Cause of Loss. The coverage for Business Income will begin 72 hours after the time of that action and will apply for a period of up to four consecutive weeks after coverage begins. The coverage forExtra Expense will begin immediately after the time of that action and will end: a. Four consecutive weeks after the time of that action; or b. When your Business Income coverage ends; whichever comes first. Here we see again that language of “actual ‘loss’”, which this may qualify as since it goes on to say, “… described premises due to a direct physical “loss” of or damage to property …” As described above, “uninhabitable” or “unfit” may very well qualify in this case. You will notice though that there is a “72 hour” wait time, similar to a deductible, meaning that if you are shut down for less than 72 hours, coverage will not apply. As well, you will see specific language that states that the coverage will end after four consecutive weeks of being shut down or you exhaust your limit of coverage. Not to go too far down the rabbit hole here, but if you were shut down for a week due to civil authority (7-days), you would have a 3 day waiting period and potentially be eligible for 4 days’ worth of BI/EE. If they opened your area back up, but then shut it down again a day later that would constitute a separate event and the whole thing would start over again. If you were shut out of your facility for 2 months, well, the first 4 weeks (or potentially your full limit is reached) would be covered, but then it would end after that fourth consecutive week. Just wanted to clarify that. OK, what about the case where you are still up and running but you have a supplier that is not, and it is now impacting your operations? Or, you are still up and running but maybe the distributer is shutdown due to the virus? If you have the “Contingent Business Property” endorsement under you BI/EE coverage, you may have a claim. Here is another snippet from the same policy: Contingent Business Property We will pay for the actual “loss” of Business Income you sustain, and necessary Extra Expense you incur when Contingent Business Property is damaged by a Covered Cause of Loss. We will reduce the amount of your Business Income “loss,” other than Extra Expense, to the extent you can resume “operations,” in whole or in part, by using any other available: a. Source of materials; or b. Outlet for your products. The most we will pay under these sections B. 1., 2., and 3. combined is $300,000 for any one occurrence. As you can see here, there may be coverage for you to pay to source your materials from somewhere else, or to pay to assist you in selling your products through another outlet, if possible and permissible by state law, etc. The additional cost of these would reduce your BI/EE limit, but if you can stay operational even if it costs a bit more, but the carrier would pick up that difference (up to the $300,000 amount illustrated in this policy coverage), it would be better than having to out of pocket it yourself. This brings us to Workers Compensation and the impact of the virus. Workers compensation does cover employees that are injured on the job, either in a physical sense, or in a disease sense. The limits are even broken out as “Bodily Injury by Accident”, and “Bodily Injury by Disease”. Here again though, it is going t be difficult to make a claim simply due to the fact that it would have to be proven that your employee contracted this virus while performing duties associated with your business, i.e., while “on the clock”. Being that the virus can live on surfaces, or be transmitted in a number of different ways, and may lay dormant for a time period, it may be a challenge to pinpoint that your employee picked this up on work time and not on personal time. If this type of instance arises, I would advise that you proceed as normal by placing a claim with the workers comp company, have a claims representative assigned to your claim, and let them make the determination as to when and where the employee may have contracted the disease and if coverage is applicable or not. The end story here folks is that that whether you may be looking to put a claim in under your package policy for BI/EE, or if you are dealing with a sick employee, expect the insurance carriers to meet you head on with pushback. We are talking about a pandemic here that is far reaching and could end up being very costly … even more so that it already has been. It has and will continue to wreak havoc on our economy and I don’t know of anyone that will be jumping up and down waiving their hands in the air wanting to be first in line to pay for whatever the end result of all of this will be. I would advise however, the old adage of, “You won’t know if you don’t ask” may apply here. If you are shut down due to civil authority, or if you have an employee that believes they contracted the disease while at work, put in a claim. The worst that could happen is that the carrier says that there is no coverage and the best that could happen is that they say that there is and you obtain some relief. Either way, it is better to make the carrier out to be the big bad wolf than taking the fall yourself for not doing anything. I hope you all stay well, stay health, wash your hands like a surgeon scrubbing in for a 10 hour procedure, cover your coughs and sneezes, and just be safe. I, InsuranceMan 2.0!!! have a dear place in my heart for all of you and I want all the best for you. If you do have questions about how the virus may impact your business and if there is an insurance solution for it, or any other insurance questions at all, please do not hesitate to reach out to me. Until next time dear readers … Stay Vigilant (and healthy), Aaron Linden a.k.a InsuranceMan 2.0!!! (307)752-5961 aaron@roaringforkins.com or insuranceman2.0@yahoo.com
  7. Dearest ADI members, I truly hope you are all well, and staying that way in the midst of this crazy pandemic. I have to tell you, I am disappointed with the news and media sources in the light of the events unfolding around the world. I personally think that this virus is horrible, do not get me wrong, but I think that things have become overly sensationalized in recent days. The common flu causes more deaths annually than this virus has caused, yet we do not cancel sporting events, drop the stock market through the basement, and ban gathering of 250 people or more. I am not 100% sure what is happening, or why this has taken on such an incredibly gigantic pandemic status, but it has. It is serious, I understand and acknowledge that fact, I do. With that though, I think that the masses need to remain calm, take precautions, but also keep your normal life and sense of humor in these difficult, "toilet paper shortage" times. With that, I offer you an invaluable marketing tip in the face of economic adversity. Are you ready? OK, here it is. If you have been to your local "Stuff-Mart" or other "get all your stuff here" store, you have probably run into a TP shortage (which BTW's, I totally don't understand. This is not an intestinal distress virus ... so what gives with people hoarding toilet paper???!!?!?!?! Really?!?!??!) Anyway, alcohol is supposedly one of the things that staves this virus off, and with that, I am about to divulge one of the most masterful marketing ideas to assist in driving your sales in this time of insanity. Ready? Here it is! Yes!!!! This is a marketing strategy to ensure sales in this time of crisis! Take each of your bottles and place a new, unused roll of toilet paper on the neck of your bottle and change your pricing by 50%-100% and watch your product fly off the shelves! Alcohol is supposedly a virus deterrent, and toilet paper is a hot commodity. Partner the two and voilà, instant increase in sales, instant demand, and instant profits. You're welcome!!!! One last piece of advice ... I have also heard that the only known deterrents may also be what are known as "Biological Anxiety Reliefs" a.k.a. BARS, "radioactive unvirus medicine" a.k.a. RUM, and "vaccine official depression killing antigen" a.k.a. VODKA. Keep this in mind, and until next time dear reader ... Stay vigilant (and healthy), Aaron Linden a.k.a. InsuranceMan 2.0!!! (307-752-5961 aaron@roaringforkins.com or insurancman2.0@yahoo.com ********** OBVIOUSLY THIS POST IS ALL IN FUN AND AN ATTEMPT TO KEEP CALM AND LIGHT IN THE FACE OF THESE UNKNOWN TIMES. IF YOU KNOW ME, YOU KNOW THAT I LIKE TO JOKE AND HAVE FUN, EVEN WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH. IN THESE TIMES THE TOUGH KEEP GOING!!! **********
  8. Happy Tuesday Morning to All!!! I have something very special on tap for you today in this installment of the TMIT. You have probably heard the old adage of, “Use your powers for good, not evil.”, right?!?!?! Well dear reader, I am always using my superpowers for good. As you also know, I am always looking for new ways to assist you here on the forums. Whether it is by improving your insurance options, coverage’s, or carriers, or offering referrals to great cooperage's, TTB experts, or whatever … I have a very cool offering for those of you out there that are looking to market your products but are wondering how in the world to effectively get your message out without breaking the “marketing bank”. I have a solution for you!!! I, InsuranceMan 2.0!!! have been working with and I have partnered with a media company that has one of the coolest offerings that I have come across in a while and I want to share it with you here. Let me paint a picture for you, shall I? Imagine that you have a wonderful lineup of products, which I am sure that you do. Imagine wanting to get your products in front of consumers, but not just any consumers, targeted consumers that are looking for alcoholic beverages. Consumers that are wanting to buy alcohol, ones that are on their way into a local liquor store even, with the intent to buy product. Why not increase your chances that they will possibly purchase your product? But how?!?!? Maybe on their drive to the store they may think of your product? But how?!?! A billboard outside of the most popular beverage store in your city or town? NO!!! That would be expensive, and who even really pays attention to those things anyway? OOOOooooo … How about a radio ad touting your new products? Nah, that would require it to play on one of dozens of stations at the right time so that the consumer would hear it as they are pulling into the store. The chances of that are slim to none, and radio spots can be pretty spendy if you are going to deliver a consistent message (at least 7 times a day according to marketing experts) that people are likely to hear. UGH!!!! What are you going to do?!?!?! Well my friends, what if I told you that you could effectively get your message directly delivered into the hands of someone walking into a liquor store. You would say something like, “Yeah sure, Insurance Man 2.0!!!, you are a superhero and all, but you’re not a warlock or a wizard. That is simply impossible!” Oh really!?!?! What if I retorted back to you, “HA! I can make it happen … so THERE!” You probably still would not believe me, it just sounds too good to be true. WELL, TRUE IT IS!!! There is an incredibly cool ability in this day and age of technology called “GeoMarketing” or “GeoTargeting” (I will refer to this henceforth as “Geo-ing”), have you heard of it? Not to get you to “into the weeds” here, but did you know that you can literally electronically “fence” an area (let’s say a Bevmo, Total Wine, or little local type store) so that when anyone crosses into the fenced area an advertisement, YOUR ADVERTISEMENT, pops up on their smartphone screen? WHAT?!?!? Seriously?!?!! NO WAY!!!! Yes way, dear reader. Your ad delivered directly into the hands of a ready to buy alcohol consumer that features your product. Maybe it is a picture of your new bottle with a catchy little saying like, “Hey, I see you are at the liquor store. Our product is the best thing in here. Better grab a bottle!” That makes an impact that you cannot get anywhere else. Have you ever had this happen? Have you ever gone into a store looking for something and looked at your phone and found an ad that alerts you to a sale going on or a featured product that the store just so happens to carry? Yep, we have all had this happen to us and wondered, “What in the heck, how do they know I am here?” That is the power of Geo-ing! See, other people are doing it, and the craziest thing is, you can Geo any place you like. Crazy, right?!?! You could Geo a local bar that has your product and deliver an ad that says, “I see you are at Jakes. Why not order a ‘your product name here’ on the rocks? You deserve it!” We can make that happen. I have a client that we piloted this for to see how it would work and he was amazed. He had just opened a tasting room at his location but did not know how he was going to get the word out. He thought about maybe a face-place post, but really that was only going to reach people that already knew it was coming that “liked” his page. That was not going to do it. Ads??? We covered that above. Something in the paper? Again, spendy and it only has a one day impact and who is really looking??? So, what was the answer? Geo-ing a couple of nearby liquor stores and several bars so that anyone going in and out of those places that were near by had an ad delivered to them letting them know when the tasting room would be opening. Heck, those folks were in the neighborhood anyway, and obviously they were thirsty, so it seemed like a prefect match for what he was wanting to do. He opened a few weeks later to a giant crowd and has been very busy and happy ever since. I know, it sounds too good to be real, but I assure you, it is real, and it is going on all around you. I know, you are probably also thinking, “Well, just because they are delivered my ad, that does not mean they are going to buy my stuff on that visit.” That is a very real possibility, but do you want to know another crazy aspect of all of this??? Well I am going to tell you. Once this consumer has your ad delivered on their smartphone, it is going to popup on their home computer/laptop, tablet, and even their spouse/significant others devices as well!!!! W H A T ? ! ? ! ? ! When that person gets home and connects to their WiFi, the WiFi who’s IP address is associated with all the other devices in the home, the ad will be populated on their other devices. Whoa … slow done here a bit, right? Through the associated IP address and probabilistic matching and forecasting, the Geo-ing software knows what devices are associated with the original device and it effectively delivers the ad to all of them. You know you have seen this. Again, you strolled into a store and came to find out that you had an ad popup touting something-or-another. Maybe you didn’t pay attention to it at the time, but then you got home and hopped on face-place and were mindlessly scrolling about, and there, in the middle of the feed showing you who is traveling where, and what your friend had for dinner, there it is! That same ad that you saw before!!! Or a different ad for the same product. It is like it is following you around, just trying to implant itself into your subconscious. That is because it is. People are always saying things like, “I was just talking about this to someone the other day and it’s like my phone heard me talking about it because now I am seeing it everywhere online.” Wrong. Your phone did not hear you, you did it to yourself. You may have been at home on your laptop before bed and looked something up that you had been thinking about. Then the next day you had spoken to your friend about it, and then later, at work, it was on your phone or work computer. Again, probabilistic matching. Your Wifi at home has linked your laptop and phone. Once you got to work and logged on, your work WiFi associated the devices on that network, one of which is your phone, and because your phone was associated at home, and now at work, they gotcha and they deliver the ad to your work computer as well. I know, it is a lot to take in for sure, but you know it works because you have seen it. Although a search for something that is following you from place to place is slightly different than Geo-ing, the effect is the same. Instead of searching for something, you walked into a place, were delivered the ad, and now the same process essentially kicks in. WILD!!! These ads popup in searches, in apps, when you are playing games, in websites, everywhere. “OK, OK, InsuranceMan 2.0!!!, we get it … and we want it, but this sounds dang expensive! Targeting a perfect audience with a perfect ad when they are ready to purchase (because who walks into a liquor store or bar to window shop) has to cost a ton!” Again, sorry dear ADI Forum goer, that is incorrect. This marketing company can effectively deliver a minimum of 30,000 ads in a 30-day period for $650. $650???? Yes, $650. I have gone on long enough about this, but I could talk about it all day because it fascinates me, and that is why I have become involved in the process. Call it a side hobby, call it a new fascination … call it whatever you want, but if you are interested in learning more about this (like the fact that it can actually track how many people have seen it, click-thru rates, and even store/tasting room visits from people that were delivered your ad), just let me know. You know how to get in touch with me. Flash the InsuranceMan 2.0!!! beacon against the night sky or give me a call or shoot me an email. Until next time dear reader … Stay Vigilant, Aaron Linden a.k.a. InsuranceMan 2.0!!! 307-752-5961 aaron@roaringforkins.com or insuranceman2.0@yahoo.com
  9. GOOOOOOOOOD Morning ADI!!!!!!!!!! Where do I begin this TMIT?!?!?!?! I guess with a flashback - wavy - movie type - memory sequence. Que the music and fog machine ... Many, many years ago I had the privileged of attending my first ADI convention after being involved on the forums. Back in the day, being a rookie to the convention, it was overwhelming walking into the expo area and finding my booth. All of the delicious copper stills set up, bottle sales people with grandiose displays, all the different barrel char wheels and stave samples, and on and on it went. And that was back when the amount of vendors were only about 1/8th of what they are now. It was a grand convention and I was fortunate enough to take the expo by storm. I had something that no one else really had, and the line in front of my booth was as long as the lines to get on "Its a Small World" in Disney during Spring Break. Toward the end of the day I noticed a gentleman hanging back that had come by several times throughout the day. As I wrapped up a conversation it was his turn to come up to me. He introduced himself as Bill Owens, the president of ADI. He said that he had come by several times to see what all the interest was and we struck up an amazing conversation. Year after year at the conventions, Bill and I would always find time to visit, go for a few drinks, and even several dinners over the years. Bill would call me and ask for input on this or that, or tell me about his last road trip and where all he had been. It is truly something that I cherish and look back on fondly. Fast-forward several years up to about a year and a half or two years ago. I recall right where I was, and what I was doing (and if you have read past posts and replies, I have this weird photographic memory thing ... SUPERHERO, duh!!!!), when the phone rang. The voice on the other end started off by introducing himself as Erik Owens, Bill's son. From that moment and that conversation on, we became fast friends. Much like the relationship that Bill and I started, Erik and I picked up right up and ran with it. Just like with his wonderful father, Erik and I would catch up at conventions, chat away, grab drinks, and get dinners. Talk about a personable father and son combo, these guys are it. Erik and I would speak via phone, shoot texts back and forth, and work on always thinking of new ways to help improve the ADI family and offerings. Heck, we just talked last week about the potential of a very big idea that I will not divulge here, but Erik and I are working on something that could turn out to be very cool. Now that we are caught up to modern times and "today", it is with a very joyous and resounding "HUZZAH!!!" that I congratulate Erik as the new President of ADI!!!! Bill is undoubtedly an incredible asset to us all, has done so much to further the industry, is a fantastic person, and is till the life of the party. With that, I could think of no one else fit enough to take his place as El Presidente besides his son, Erik. Although I hate to see bill step down, I am so excited to see Erik step up into this roll and I can barely wait to see where he takes the industry and this organization. He is always thinking, creating new ideas, and is so knowledgeable, and I am not just blowing smoke here, folks. That is not Insuranceman 2.0!!!'s style. I say it like it is and if I like something, I say so, emphatically. If I don't like something, well I will either say so or I won't say nothin'! And I like this A LOT! Erik, congratulations on the new role. You have some seriously big shoes to fill, but I know you can do it and are up to the task. You know why???? Because I have already seen it, first hand. I would encourage all the ADI'ers out there to either shoot Erik an email, give him a call, or post something here to congratulate him. The future of ADI is exciting and I am glad that he is going to be at the helm. Until next time, dear readers ... Stay Vigilant, Aaron Linden a.k.a. InsuranceMan 2.0!!! 307-752-5961 aaron@roaringforkins.com or insuranceman2.0@yahoo.com
  10. Happy Tuesday to all of you, my dear readers, I have to say, this TMIT is not so much insurance related(although, very much so), but more of a reflection of the last many years spent here with you here on the ADI forums. The last decade has been nothing short of amazing!!!!! Something that I truly owe to all of you and to to ADI organization. This forum and this organization has given me so many wonderful opportunities and the chance to connect and meet so many amazing people. I am truly blessed in so many ways. This post is really more of a recap of the last decade (being that we are now on the precipice of a new one, which in-of-itself is mind blowing) and my thankfulness to all of you. With out you and this organization, well … who knows where I would be. You all have been so kind, so appreciative, and so welcoming of me, I just simply do not have the words. You all have made InsuranceMan2.0!!! and for that, I thank you!!!!!!! Once upon a time I was just an insurance guy (OH THE HORROR!!!!!!). Through the years (20 this year, if you can imagine) of being an "insurance guy" (only really for 10 years or so, but even then I was formulating and working on national programs), I found my niche of assisting all of the wonderful people here and throughout the globe in assisting with the procurement of insurance for your distilleries, and was divinely directed in my passion for alcohol insurance. Through that, you all have had a hand in creating what is now known as, InsuranceMan2.0!!! How glorious!!! Again though, I could not have done it without each and every one of you. THANK YOU!!! I have worked with everyone from some guy that produces 36 cases of spirits a year (yup, that is not a typo), to folks that have $50,000,000 worth of bourbon put up in rick-houses, to world-wide-known movie stars, to those that made their money in the music industry, and I can not tell you how joyful I am in having these opportunities. Again, I have truly been blessed in so many, and in every way. Moving forward into this next decade of awe-inspiring wonderment, let this be the takeaway. As I stated above, there simply is no one to big or too small for consideration to work with, that simply does not exist. From the small boutique distiller to the globally known movie star or country, slash, rock legend, I am here for each and every one of you, and I appreciate you! I have had the privilege of working with over 600 distillers in the last 9 or 10 years, and I simply tip my superhero cape to each and every one of you. You have made my life a dream come true because I get to work with the best bunch of people on the planet, hands down. Some no-name “Insurance Guy” was transformed into Insurance Man2.0!!! all due to your wonderful nature, your desire for something better, and out of amazing relationships. So, in that, all I want to say is, “THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!!!!”, and big or small, please contact me. I can elevate your horrific insurance experience into something that is truly other-worldly and superhero-ific!!! Until next time, dear reader … Stay Vigilant, Best, Aaron Linden a.k.a Insurance Man2.0!!! 307-752-5961 aaron@roaringforkins.com or insuranceman2.0@yahoo.com
  11. Happy Tuesday Morning to you, Dearest ADI Forum Go-ers!!!!!! In today's installment of the TMIT all I have to day is this. HAPPY NEW YEAR TO EVERYONE!!!!!!!!!! This has been an outstanding year, don't get me wrong. The FET extension, all of the new clients I have assisted, all of the past clients that I continued to enjoy yet again in 2019, and all of the amazing folks that I speak to everyday. I am fortunate, but I am Sooooooooo looking forward to 2020. I think it is going to be an amazing year, and the start of a fantastic new decade. So, enjoy your celebrations, be safe, and I look forward to seeing and hearing from all of you in the new year/decade. Until then ... the Waikiki surf is calling my name ... so back I go. Aloha, and until next time ... Stay Vigilant, Best, Aaron Linden a.k.a. InsuranceMan 2.0!!! 307-752-5961 aaron@roaringforkins.com or insuranceman2.0@yahoo.com
  12. It is TRULY a happy Tuesday Morning Insurance Tidbit (on Thursday) kind of day!!!!!!!!!! Welcome dearest reader! Welcome to this installment of a historic and monumental TMIT. I, InsuranceMan 2.0!!! knowingly held off on writing this TMIT until today for a few reasons. Yes, yes, my superpowers know no bounds and I knew that I should hold off on this week’s installment until today. I had a sneaking suspicion (wink, wink, nod, nod) that the FET Extension would garner approval and be passed off to the POTUS prior to weeks end. Yes, there have been many grumblings and a lot of speculation and pontifications as to if the FET extension would be passed or not. Being all superhero-esque (actually I am not “LIKE” a superhero, I “AM” an insurance superhero!) and having connections on the inside and the outside, and all other sides that you can think of, I knew this was coming, and I could not be HAPPIER!!!!!!! Celebrate with a lowball, or even better yet, a highball, of your own handcrafted-spirit and enjoy this victory!!!!!!! Congratulations to all of you … my friends, and those of you I have yet to meet, just everyone!!!!!! I know it is only a year long extension, but it is an extension!!!!! This will allow for you, a year to keep taxes lower, a year of reprieve, but most importantly, a year to plan. Yes, a year to plan. I don’t want to darken the mood of this epic event, but I do encourage you to sit back and ponder what you have done with the last few years of this reprieve, and what you will do with the upcoming year. I implore you, do not squander this fantastic find of luck, who knows if it will last or not (fingers crossed it will)? One could only hope! Take stock of your good fortune and use this extension for good, not the other thing that I cannot speak of, as I am all good and knowing and it bitters my tongue. Use this year to save, invest, and do something for your operation that is not an ongoing cost. Equipment can be paid for and done. I am all about economic stimulus, but hiring people in positions with ongoing costs may not be the best place for your money to go. Enough said. Bottling lines, a bigger still, that piece of equipment you longingly look at on “Craigs List” every day … That is where you need to focus your efforts. Enough of me now pontificating, you know what you need and where to spend all that extra cash you have!!!!!! ENJOY that win, people!!!!! You deserve it, and well done. It would not have happened without you!!!! You all (and we all) fought our @$$3$ off to make this happen. So, take a moment, raise a glass, and toast this glorious moment! HIZZAH!!!!!!!! With that, on to the second point in the delay of my TMIT post. As you all know, we are drawing near to the end of the year, and quite honestly, the END OF A DECADE!!!!!! WHAT!??!!?!? Right!!!! That hit me like a ton of bricks. DUDE, seriously, we are just closing out a decade. SERIOUSLY … WHAT!??!?!?!?!? DAG!!!!!! 2020, y’all. Like, if I was an eye doctor, I would totally be owning this year in marketing with the whole 20/20 schtick, right?!?!?!?! Anyway, as you all know, we are closing out not only the end of the year, but the end of a decade, and InsuranceMan 2.0!!! is in search of a much-needed reprieve. So, the second point to the delay in my TMIT is to tell you that from the 20th of December until the 29th (and then it is all like New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day and stuff), I am leaving my super secluded high intensity fortress of solitude here in Sheridanopolis, and I am headed for the sandy beaches of Honolulu and Waikiki (see you soon Dave, I cannot wait!!!! I have to see some distillers whilst I am there, der! Part of the job and all!!!!) for some much-needed R&R. With that, I bid you all a found ado to 2019, and I am wonderfully excited to engage the upcoming 2020 decade of amazingness! A new decade of joy, prosperity (for all), and a decade of growth and opportunity. I wanted to take a moment to give all of you a heartfelt thank you for making this last year so amazing, and to really take in all of you, my dear readers. In this next year/decade, you, and totally you, have given me the opportunity to speak at the ADI conference in New Orleans (this is my third time), do several engagements with Moonshine University, and truly be grateful for my life, opportunities, and for the fact that I get to work with the best sect of people on the planet, and in the known Megaverse. THANK YOU!!!!!!! With that, I will implore you, DON’T EMAIL ME over the next week and a half, as I will not respond. I will be surfing, diving with sharks, and otherwise “preoccupied”! But, I will say, totes HMU after the first of the year, because I will rock your insurance experience and save you an @$$ ton of premium dollars all whilst increasing your coverage and making sure you are taken care of in a way that you have never known before!!! THANK YOU FOR AN AMAZING 2019!!!!!!!! HERE IS TO AN EVEN MORE AMAZING 2020 AND A NEW DECADE!!!!! Until next time, dear reader … Stay Vigilant, Aaron Linden a.k.a. InsurnaceMan 2.0 307-752-5961 aaron@roaringforkins.com Or insuranceman2.0@yahoo.com HAPPY HOLIDAY / HAPPY NEW YEARS!!!!!
  13. Happy Tuesday Morning Everyone, Ah yes, Tuesday! One of our most favorite days. Not because it is only two measly days into slugging through the week, but because it means it is time for the TMIT!!!!!!!!!!! <Sounds of throngs of adoring fans cheering and chanting TMIT … TMIT … TMIT …> Thank you … Thank you … You are too kind!!!!!! On to it then! Today I am touching on something that we have not spoken about before, but like a loud bang in the night, it awoken me in the midst of the night with me thinking to myself, “Self …” I thought to myself, “Why have we not talked about this before?” So, it is high time to rectify this and we are going to talk about it now. In the past we have discussed the finer points of “Replacement Cost” and what that means, as well as “Co-Insurance” and how that works. This topic folds in with each of those items, but is a bit more nuanced discussion on “replacement cost” in regard to buildings. Now, although this will apply to buildings that you have remodeled or rehabbed, it also very much applies to newly constructed properties and for the purpose of this conversation we will use the example of a newly constructed distillery. Let’s say that you recently just built your dream distillery and OH, IT IS SCHWANK!!!!! Everything you ever wanted. All the bells and whistles, knobs and dials, walls of glass to showcase your killer 32’ column shiny copper still from the 320 seat tasting room … the whole 9 yards baby!!!!! WOOHOO!!!! Congratulations. Now it is time to get this puppy insured. You call some Joe Schmuckatelli insurance guy down the way and tell him, “Hey buddy, you should see this place, it is amazing.” And you tell him all about your killer distillery. Then it happens. The worst possible question he could ask. “What did it cost you to build it?” Your eyes glaze over and numbers start flying through your head and you see cartoon money with wings flying away and giant bags tied at the top with a string with “$” signs printed on them rolling out your doors on a conveyer belt and you start thinking that you better start making a lot of hooch, and QUICK. After you moment of tallying your investment you tell Mr. Schmuckatelli that you are into this baby about $2.2 Million ( I know, that is a lot for a start up, but it is my story and I will tell it how I want. I will tell you, I have had people that “started up” with a $14.6 million cost before. Yikes. ) Then the next worst thing is said by this insurance schlepper. “OK, that is the value we will use to insure your building then.” You think, “Sure, why not, that is what it cost me to build this beautiful homage to hooch. Let’s do it!” And he does it, and you overpay through the nose and lose out on tons of money that you could have used to by barrels, or whatever you need next. Why are you paying through the nose you may wonder? Well, I will tell you. Remember a few short moments ago when you were off in la-la-land and thinking about all the money flying away? When you were watching all of that money flying away, which it was, you were also adding up and tallying costs that you most likely do not need to insure. Let me give you an example. How much dirt-work and prep work did your site take? I would imagine that out of $2.2 million, at the very least, $150,000 was in site prep and dirt work. How about the flat work, concrete, etc.? Another $250,00 or so? Oh, and the hook ups, good-night the hook ups!!!! Brining water and sewer in and all your underground piping, tap fees, architect costs with stamping fees, on and on and on it goes. EXACTLY!!!!!!!! Almost all of those costs are things that you factored into you “REPLACMENT COST” because that was real money that left your hands and was spent, so that is what you tallied and told the cruddy agent who is wanting to insure your building for ALL OF THAT COST when in reality quite a percentage of your “build costs” would not need to be redone in the case of a loss. Concrete does not burn, site work and leveling don’t need to be redone in the case of a fire, and generally underground pipes don’t burn and you will always have your plans and the tap fees are a one time deal. See where I am going here?!?!?!? You may have had costs in excess of maybe 25% or more of the actual value of your building that would not need to be redone at a later date in the case of a loss. However, because you didn’t think about it in this way, and this snake-oil salesman didn’t bother to ask or care (really, most of them don’t even know and the more they insure it for the more it costs and the more they make), and now you are paying premium on a $2.2 million dollar value when you probably could have insured it for a “replacement cost” of $1.5 – $1.65 million, which would save you A BUNCH of money annually. Not to mention, you would be spending money on something that you will never realize in the case of a claim, because the carrier will pay to “replace” the building with like kind and quality and if that can be done for $1.2 million, then that is what it will cost the insurance carrier, and as long as it is exactly like it was, who cares?!?!?! YOU DO!!!!! You were paying premium on way more than that, because you cruddy “evil-doer” agent was over charging you and didn’t care! Do not be that person that doesn’t know, who calls an insurance person who doesn’t know, and who is going to value something someway because you said that is what it cost you, that you are going to overpay on for years and years and years. Nope! You are better and smarter than that. You are the type of intelligent insurance purchaser who has read all the TMIT’s and you are armed with knowledge, or at least the fact that you should contact me, InsuranceMan 2.0!!! and allow me to work through these things with you and direct you and assist you in getting the correct coverage at the right amount for the right premium. Voilà !!!!! This is why I am an insurance superhero by day, and …… Well …. I am an insurance superhero 24/7/365, so …. With that my dearest readers, I am off to battle yet more insurance issues for some clients that came from a bad situation but are on their way to being much better and saving lots ‘o dollars now that they contacted me. Until next time dear readers, Stay Vigilant, Aaron Linden a.k.a. InsuranceMan 2.0!!! 307-752-5961 aaron@roaringforkins.com or insuranceman2.0@yaho.com
  14. Members 3 77 posts Report post Posted 3 minutes ago I know it is a bit late one the day, but I have been out celebrating!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Happy repeal day, everyone!!!!!!!!!! This is why you and I are in business together!!!!!!!! The repeal of the 18th amendment to the constitution, the only amendment to ever be repealed!!!!!!!!!!!!! 86 years ago on this day, the amendment to repeal liquor ordinance went away!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THANK GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Happy REPEAL DAY everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  15. It is Tuesday, that means it is time for the Tuesday Morning Insurance Tidbit!!!!!!!!!! My goodness! Where to start???!!!?! Well, as the title eludes to, I had some really well thought out and great plans in store and I was sooooo, soooo excited to execute them. I was going to put up a teaser on Tuesday last week and then hit you all with a great post on Thursday for Thanksgiving. I wanted to tell you all that I am so thankful for all of you, for being allowed to be InsuranceMan 2.0!!! for the last 9, now almost 10 years, how I am thankful for what I do and for all of the support of ADI and the community here. That is why I put those things now, because they are true and I am so very thankful and have a lot to be thankful for. My wonderful plans fell by the wayside however ... With that, I have to tell you that I am SUPER thankful to just have made it to see some family and back during "SNOWmagedon". Wowza! I have done battle with some serious evildoers in years past, but Mother Nature can be one of the evilest evildoers of all. She can be unrelenting, and just when you think you have her beat, she decides to really show you what she can do, and then you all but beg for mercy. I missed my post last Tuesday because we wanted to go see family and I figured we would leave early enough that I would write to all of my dear readers latter that day setting up the Thursday "Thanksgiving" post. I was wrong. What should have been a 7 hour drive ended up being like a 17 hour drive and by the time we got in I was to tired and nerve-wracked to type or see. I needed a Martini and bed, stat!!!!! The next day was not as crazy, but it was a bit stressful spending time on phone calls and relaying road reports to others and catching up with family and making sure everyone one in other places were ok as well. Then the big Thanksgiving day came and it was wild and crazy as well. People all over, which is what it is about, phone calls to those that could not be with us, and of course a lot of food and drink, which was glorious. In all of the fun and frivolity however, and the decompression of the prior days stress, my post did not get written and for that, I apologize. Then of course the next day and the next were full of family fun and catching up with old friends, etc. Then it was time to head home. Dunt-dunt-DAAAA!!!! "The roads are open", they said. "It should be fine", they told us. "I don't think the hard stuff is gonna come down for a while" (nod if you get that reference), we heard. Yup, the roads were open, but that does not mean they should be. That 7 hour drive that took 17 the first go-around took more like 2 1/2 days going back. Thank God I am InuranceMan 2.0!!! and I have nerves of steel and super vision. I have never been in ground blizzards, ice packed roads, and 60+ mile an hour winds like that in my life. A stretch of highway ... HIGHWAY was at a dead standstill with traffic in both directions for 30-40 miles. When it would move, it was slow, but that did not keep people from sliding off into the ditches or trucks from BLOWING OVER!!!! If you have not seen that, it is something to behold!!!!!!! And we are talking about a highway that runs in the middle of FREAKING NOWHERE where there are not towns every 5 miles. More like every 50-100 miles. Well, suffice to say, after getting through the nightmareish hell that Mother Nature threw at us, we were snowed in to a decent sized town for a day or so, and finally crept our way back to Sheridanopolis a few days late, and that is why I am just writing this to you all now. I am thankful for many things, all of you here being one of them. I am thankful for a good life, good family, good friends, good drinks, and to be home safe and sound. I am not thankful for wicked winter storms. I am hopeful that all of you had a great Thanksgiving, stayed safe, and are home and happy. I am not thankful for my best laid plans going out the window, but life is full of wrenches that get thrown in our cogs, and being able to ebb and flow is what we have to do, on a daily basis. So, no real insurance related items here today, but I will get something in here for you to make it all worth it that is insurance related so you get something out of reading all of this. I saw a great saying the other day that went like this, "If you only have liability on your vehicle, stay home. This is a FULL COVERAGE kind of driving day." Yes they were! Until Next Time ... Stay Vigilant, Aaron Linden a.k.a. InsuranceMan 2.0!!! 307-752-5961 aaron@roaringforkins.com or insuranceman2.0@yahoo.com
  16. Happy Tuesday to all of you, my dearest readers, As you may have noticed, we have gone a couple of weeks without the weekly installment of the TMIT, and for that I apologize. As it turns out, InsuranceMan 2.0!!! was otherwise occupied fighting many facets of E V I L !!!!! From some family illness, to working on several very important top secrete projects (hopefully to be announced first here in the future), I have had to take a bit of a reprieve and structure some things differently for a time. Alas, I am back, and with a VENGEANCE (insert cool sound effect here)!!!!!!!!! For this installment of the TMIT I am going to address a topic that is at the top of everyone’s mind as we move closer to the end of the year … TO BOND, OR NOT TO BOND? That is the question—Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous potential Federal Excise Taxes, Or to take arms against a sea of taxation, And, by opposing, keep them low? What in the heck am I talking about? Well, as seen from my stolen and slightly modified Shakespeare quote, I am going to address the impending Federal Excise Tax Rate cut that many have enjoyed for the past many years. As most of you know, or should know, on December 22nd of 2017 a bill was passed that reduced the Federal Excise Tax rate on distilled spirits (amongst many other things) for the years of 2018 and 2019. The taxation rate was reduced from $13.50 per proof gallon down to $2.70 for the same, thereby leaving a lot of extra money in many a distillers pocket/businesses. Oh how we rejoiced and made merry at this news!!!!! Not only was the tax burden lessened upon the good and hearty distillery folk of this land, but they also passed a provision stating that if a distillery removed less than $50,000 worth of taxable product (which works out to roughly 18,518 proof gallons of product at 100 proof, or 23,148 gallons at 80 proof … which is A LOT of booze) in a years’ time, you were no longer were required to carry a Federal Distiller Spirits Plant (or DSP) Bond. Again, the “huzzah’s” rang throughout the land!!!!!! Many distilleries took these newly found riches and either upgraded their equipment, hired much needed assistance, put it into marketing, or simply enjoyed having some extra “walkin’ around” money. Whatever the case, it was a windfall in many cases and one that was enjoyed and well deserved. Fast forward from that time of celebration to now. We are late into 2019 and within a month and a half of this amazing bill, H.R.1 — 115th Congress (2017-2018), expiring. Yup! EXPIRING!!!!!! This bill was only good for 2018 and 2019 and has an expiration date of December 31st of 2019 unless action is taken by those duly elected national officials to either implement this change permanently or allow for it to expire. At this point in time, this bill has a lot of positive backing with several high-powered officials signing on to make this tax cut permanent, however … things like “impeachment hearings” and other political nonsense can get in the way of actual legislation taking place, and we are quickly running out of time before the House and Senate adjourn for Thanksgiving and then the long break over Christmas and New Year’s. PEOPLE, THERE REALLY IS NOT MUCH TIME LEFT HERE!!!!!!!!! This is one of the things that I, InsuranceMan 2.0!!! have been working on. So, what can you do???? Contact your representatives. How do you do that???? Go here: https://whoismyrepresentative.com/ to find out who you can send a letter to, AND SEND IT!!!!!!!!! OK, you have the background now, and the knowledge to go forward to make a difference, but how does this all tie in with the whole, “To bond or not to bond” question? Well, for those of you who are up and running and loving the reduced rate, that is great. For those that are just finalizing their paperwork in order to get their licensing and permitting, now is a precarious time due to the fact that they do not know if they need to submit a bond or not in order to have everything pass thought smoothly. Will the FET cut be made permanent? Will not submitting a bond screw things up and lengthen the process? Will a bond be needed or not come 2020?!?!?!?!? WHO KNOWS!!!!!!!!! So, the question becomes, to bond or not to bond at this point in time. The answer … I don’t have the answer. Here is the sage advice of the all-knowing and all-wise InsuranceMan 2.0!!!, DSP bonds for the past “minimum” required Federal bond stipulated that you must carrier at least $15,000 worth of “Operations” and $1,000” in withdrawal. That bond usually ran about $192 for the year. If you are new to the game and you want to make sure that you are not going to get caught up in sticky red-tape on your permitting, I would say get a bond if you are not a risk taker. The other side of that is, if you are submitting via the PONL system prior to the very end of 2019, take the risk and submit it without a bond since you are still technically under the deadline of the FET cut and you “should” be fine. The crappy part about this is, no one really knows what is going to happen and there is not much out there that addresses if this will get passed in time or not. So that leaves all of us sitting and waiting to find out what the future holds and if the tax rates will remain the same or be jacked up to the prior rates of years past. All I can tell you is this, get a hold of your representative and try to make a difference. Otherwise, if you just sit on your laurels and hope others will contact their public officials, you may end up having to contact me instead in order to purchase a Federal DSP bond!!!!!!! Which call would you rather make, one that will save you money, or one that will cost you money????? You decide. I am hopeful that this tax cut remains intact the way it sits at the $2.70 rate per proof gallon and I don’t have to write a single DSP bond this year. If it does expire however, take a number and get in line because InsuranceMan 2.0!!! is going to be one busy sonuvabeach, cranking out bonds across this nation. Trust me, I would rather see you keep that money in your pocket than to put some into mine and a whole lot into the pockets of the surety companies. Make your calls, send your emails, and tell them to keep the rates low. Hopefully in one month and 16 days we can all raise a glass and toast the permanent tax cuts and have yet another amazing reason to welcome in the new year! Until next time … Stay Vigilant, Aaron Linden a.k.a. InsuranceMan 2.0!!! 307-752-5961 aaron@roaringforkins.com or insuranceman2.0@yahoo.com
  17. Happy Tuesday Morning To All, As you probably have noticed, if you are a loyal reader and follower of the TMIT, there was no installment of the TMIT last week, and this week’s posting is a little tardy. Well my friends, as it turns out, bilocation is not one of my superpowers. I lack the ability to be in two places at the same time and for the last week or so I was taken out of Sheridanopolis so that I could attend my big brothers 50th birthday. That was certainly something that I was not going to miss and being that we were in Grand Marais, MN the internet capabilities were sketchy at best. Now, with you knowing that, I have a special treat for you. Try to contain yourself and your excitement, here we go! I am going to give you two topics for this week’s TMIT!!! I KNOW, RIGHT!??!?!!? EXCITING!?!?!?!!? OK, you all good now?!??!?!?! For starters, the first topic will be short here on the post as I will be redirecting you to the most recent installment of DISTILLER magazine that you have probably recently received in the mail from ADI. If you flip that little puppy open to the CONTENTS page you will see down on the left hand side of the page under THE BUSINESS OF DITILLING an article written by yours truly that is entitled, “Distillery Insurance: What You Need To Know”. I cannot tell you how excited I am to be a contributing writer for DISTILLER magazine! Being asked to be a part of this publication is truly an honor and I am just so pleased to have been asked. The article itself is found on pages 144, 145, 148, and 149. I would encourage you to find a comfy spot to sit down this evening with your favorite spirit and give it a read. Completely enthralling if I do say so myself, but then again, I may be biased, LOL! As well, on page 150 in the upper right-hand corner you will see my contact information displayed in my Roaring Fork Insurance advertisement. If you don’t know much about me already (which at this point, if you are a devoted TMIT reader, you probably have a pretty good idea) you can flip to page 8 and under the CONTRIBUTORS section, my information appears very near the top of the middle column. OK, now that we have gotten that gratuitous self-promotion out of the way (but I am excited about this, as if you could not tell), onward to the second topic for the TMIT so that you do not feel cheated out of not getting last week’s information. Although I, InsuranceMan 2.0!!! , could have used my superpowers to get to Grand Marais in the blink of an eye, I am not above taking the great American road trip from time to time to explore this amazing country that we live in. As we were making our way across Wyoming, South Dakota (in a ground blizzard no less), and the entirety of Minnesota we passed an insurance office in a small town that was called … wait for it … Puthoff Insurance. Disclaimer here *** I have no idea who these folks are, and I am sure they are very good at what they do, and heck, I am even giving them a plug (of sorts) here. This has nothing to do with the fine folks at that agency, again, I am sure they are amazing *** end of disclaimer. Driving by this office though made me think about their agency but more about there name and really, more about how people truly do “PUT OFF INSURANCE”. I cannot tell you how often I receive a call or an email from a distiller that says something along the lines of, “Well, we have been in operation for several years now, and we have never had insurance, but we are at a point where we need to do something.” Another disclaimer, *** there is nothing wrong with this approach. *** In fact, in the article in DISTILLER (ah, see how I wove that in and brought it all full circle?!??! That is one of my superpowers!) it references the fact that if you do not have a loan on your business or a landlord, or some other interested third party, there really are no regulatory requirements for you to carry insurance. Did you know that? Well, now you do. Although there may not be some “big brother” type entity telling you that you must carry insurance (and for that I am glad), it is certainly a good idea. You know that I have to say that though, after all, I am InsuranceMan 2.0!!! Anyway, there is nothing wrong with not carrying insurance in the beginning since it is your choice after all, but what are you “Putting Off”? If you “Put Off” insurance you really are taking a risk with a large part of your life, a very large investment that you should not put in peril. Would you purchase a new Ferrari and say, “Ah … screw it, I am going to drive this thing all over the US for the next year or two, but I don’t need insurance!” NO, NO you would not. So why do it with your distillery? Your equipment is valuable and needs protecting, right? What about your products that you produce? Most certainly! How about liability arising from your operations or out of serving samples or cocktails out of your tasting room? Yeah, for sure!!!!! You have heard this from me before, but your blood, sweat and tears go into your passion of distilling and they should be protected as you protect your family member, your friends, or your home. Another reason to not “Put Off” insurance is simply due to the fact that many insurance carriers are very apprehensive to offer coverage to a distillery that has been operational for years with no preexisting coverage. In fact, many standard carriers will not offer an insurance proposal to distilleries that have been operating without insurance thereby throwing them into an Excess and Surplus (E&S) lines market. This could mean higher premiums, less coverage, and building “insurance credit” for a few years. If you just don’t “Put Off” insurance but start it right when you are ready to start everything else (if not a bit before) the process will be much easier and could actually end up being cheaper and better. If you are just getting started, thinking about getting started, or if you have been up and going for a few months or several years and have just “Put Off” insurance, it is never too late to protect yourself and your investment. Where do you turn when you are ready to not “Put Off” insurance any longer? Who should you get in touch with?!?!??! Well, I think you know the answer but if you don’t, I will give you a hint … InsuranceMan 2.0!!! I am here, ready, willing, and able to assist you. I have assisted hundreds and hundreds of distillers all across this country, in every state (except for Rhode Island … why is that? What is going on there?!?!?! If anyone reading this is from RI, call me or email me please!!!!!!! I want to work with a distillery in Rhode Island!!!!!!!!!) and of every size. From large to small, I have worked with them all. As always, my information, education, and conversation are free of charge. Until next time dear reader … Stay Vigilant, Aaron Linden a.k.a. InsuranceMan 2.0!!! aaron@roaringforkins.com or insuranceman2.0@yahoo.com (307) 752-5961
  18. Happy Tuesday My Friends, In today’s installment of the TMIT I want to talk about what it means when an insurance speaking person mentions the term “Hard Market.” As with most things, insurance operates on cycles. Most things in the world are cyclical, and insurance is no different. Often times there are many good years in the insurance industry where businesses flourish, the economy is good, and losses are low. Years without natural disasters assist in this arena very much as well. These times are known as “soft markets”. Insurance companies write a lot of business and the premiums are lower than normal because everything is ice-cream cones, rainbows and unicorns. But then it happens … Dun-Dun-DAH!!!! Maybe natural disasters happen, one after another. Big losses occur, or perhaps smaller but multiple losses occur within a sect or several sects of business (think Jim Beam fires, Rickhouse collapses, etc.), and the market turns! Keep in mind, there are two types of “hard markets”. The first is one that we have all been through if you have been around 5 to 6 years, since that seems to be the natural cycle of the insurance marketplace. The first “hard market” type is the one where, with out any changes to your policy, your premium all of the sudden increases 10%-25% at renewal. You are thinking, “What the H311 just happened?!?!?!?! I didn’t change anything!?!??!?!” You are correct, you may not have changed anything. So, what did change? Well, here is an InsuranceMan 2.0!!! basic insurance lesson. Insurance is the spread of risk among many to pay the losses of a few which thereby allows the carriers to charge smaller premiums to many individuals to offset the losses of those few. Well, in a year, or more accurately, in a succession of years where the losses are more severe, the insurance companies reassess the amount of premium being charged to offset said losses so that a “combined loss ratio” number is achieved. I am not going to go into the intricacies of what a combined loss ratio is at this point in time. Suffice to say, if you are ever having trouble sleeping, give me a call and I will use my superpowers of hypnosis to put you right out by explaining this to you. For now, let’s just say that insurance companies, like casinos, don’t build big amazing buildings with all of the losses they sustain. Capeesh? It is the second type of “hard market” that I am most interested in telling you about here. It is not the kind of hard market that jacks premiums overnight, instead it is the kind that I have spoken about in a few other postings here on the forums. In a way, it is a much more insidious type of hardening of the insurance market. The kind where premiums don’t necessarily go up, rather, the underwriting guidelines change, become more stringent, and it is just harder to get a carrier to provide coverage that isn’t for some “main street mom & pop nothing shop”. Distilleries have never technically been an “easy sell” for an agent to approach a carrier with. Trust me, I know! I was the first guy ever to develop an insurance program for distilleries and it took years and years of getting doors slammed in my super-face. Anyway, distilleries have always been a “high risk” in the world of insurance, which is so stupid! I don’t want to get off on a tangent here for the next hundred lines of text, but you all know what you are doing, you are highly regulated (by many governmental agencies, both local and nationally, as well as you highly regulate yourselves. This is your livelihood and your soul, you never want to see anything bad happen.), and you are all very safe. So, this is just a stupid concept that I have fought to prove for dang near the last decade. Hey, I am here for you and on your side. See?!?!??!! Here I GO!!!!!! OK, back to the topic at hand. Distilleries have never been an easy sell, we got that. However, they had been easier in the past than they are becoming now. What do I mean? Just what I mentioned above. We are entering into a hard market cycle where it is becoming more difficult to place distillery clients with “Standard” carriers. If you don’t now what that is, go find my post on “Standard vs. E&S” … Oh, just let me do it for you, here! The long and short of it all is this, we are certainly trending toward a hardening market whereby it is becoming a much harder sell for most agents to get standard carriers to look at good distillery clients. However, if a GOOD insurance agent can get a GOOD distillery client in front of a GOOD insurance carrier, and they know what they are doing, BAM! They will still write the account which means less in the way of premium and more in the way of coverage. If you want to know what you need to do to be considered a GOOD distillery that can be written with a GOOD insurance carrier, then you should be contacting a GREAT insurance superhero. Let’s see, who comes to mind?!?!?! Hummmm ….. This is a tough one! NO IT IS NOT!!!!!!!! IT IS ME!!!!!!!!! InsuranceMan 2.0!!! I can walk you through what you need to do to better your chances, increase your coverage, and lower your premiums. I love to do what I do, I love to get great distilleries placed with great insurance companies that provide great coverage with great premiums. It is all just “GREAT”!!!!!!!! Want to be “GREAT”? Great!!! Let’s all be great together. Call me, email me, text me, PM me here, shoot the InsuranceMan 2.0!!! beacon against the clouds from your distillery … whatever it takes, but get in touch with me. Until next time dear readers … Stay Vigilant, Aaron Linden a.k.a. InsuranceMan 2.0!!! 307-752-5961 aaron@roaringforkins.com or insuranceman2.0@yahoo.com
  19. Happy Tuesday Morning Dear ADI Forum Readers, Today in the TMIT we are going to turn our attention to something that many of us don’t want to necessarily discuss or talk about. With the days getting shorter, and many of you located in those cold and snowy areas (see, we don’t want to talk about this, right?!?!), something that needs to be at the top of your mind is the fact that as temperatures dip into that “below freezing” area, pipes can and do freeze. Now, I don’t want to get into some type of physics lesson here, but we are all aware of what happens when water freezes, right?!?!? Yeapers, it expands. If a pipe is full of water, which distilleries have a boatload of, and it expands with nowhere else to go, pressure builds, and “BLAM”!!!! Burst pipe, water everywhere, damage, soggy stuff, fried electrical, and big trouble! So, the question that arises is, are you covered for this type of a claim? Do you know? Do you care? Well, you better know and you better care because I have seen this type of loss many times over, and water damage can be COSTLY!!!!! So, do you know if you have coverage? If you are a normal insurance purchaser, you rely on the agent to get you what you need and leave it at that. You know what, if you are working with an expert who is a professional in the industry, then that may be OK. If you are working with someone that is a “generalist” and you told them to just get you what they think you need, you could have issues. There are several different types of property coverage forms associated with insurance policies, and if you do not have the right coverage form it could cost you big dollars. WAY BIGGER than the small premium charge that could have made all of the difference. The three common property coverage forms are Basic, Broad, and Special. Under the basic form this type of a loss IS NOT covered, so you may want to go dig that policy up and take a look at it to see what you have. Under the Broad and Special forms, the coverage of frozen pipes is covered … with certain parameters that we will get into in a second. The big question is though, why would an agent only provide you with Basic coverage forms? Well, honestly, they shouldn’t. If they are any type of professional, they will know the difference and should know enough about your operation that this should not happen. Once in a great while though, and if they have no idea what they should do for a distillery, they may end up working with an Excess & Surplus lines carrier that only can offer Basic property coverage. Or it may be due to the age of the building or a myriad of other factors. Point being, you better know, and if you don’t know your coverage form, you better ask. OK, now on to the Broad and Special forms. Again, I have not seen a Broad forms policy for quite some time as there really is no reason to utilize this form unless the carrier specifies that they cannot provide anything better. If that is the case, then the agent should be looking for other alternative options. The cost differential between Broad and Special is dang near nothing, so there is no reason to shoot for the stars here folks. The Special property coverage form in insurance-ese is CP 10 30 04 02 (in most cases, it could be CP 10 30 06 95 so check for either) and in a nutshell, Special form covers EVERY TYPE OF LOSS unless it is specifically excluded (see your coverage form – Causes of Loss – Special form – A. Covered Causes of loss, subsection B – Exclusions, Item #2, subsection g. water. I did this purposefully to get you to pull out the policy and look at it. Clever, no????). This is the best coverage that carriers can provide, and this is the coverage that you need to have. This type of coverage has inaccurately been call “ALL PERIL” coverage, but that really is not true, as there are some specific exclusions that are always excluded by insurance policies. That is not to say you cannot obtain coverage for things such as Earthquake, Mudslide, Hurricane, Terrorism, etc., it just means that you must purchase a separate and specific policy to cover those things. So as you can see, it is not truly an “All Peril” coverage form, it is Special … Isn’t everyone?!???! So, let’s get to the exclusionary language as it pertains to frozen pipes and water damage. Again, under the Special Form CP 10 30, freezing of pipes is covered … provided a few things have happened. The loss must be “sudden and accidental”, meaning that it cannot have been due to corroding pipes or other issues that could have been prevented earlier on. As well, you must certify that in the case of a frozen pipe with resulting water damage that you have done what is needed to maintain adequate heat to prevent freezing, or in the case that you are closed for whatever reason for a period of time, that heat was maintained or the system was completely drained of all water. If those things have been done, and you report the loss in a “timely manner”, you will have coverage. “Timely Manner” is an interesting term in insurance. For a bunch of lawyers who like to define tons of words in policies (there is a whole definitions section for crying out loud), they never define what “timely” means. I will tell you this, I define it as sooner than later for sure! Not to mention that water damage is only part of a burst pipe claim. Did you know that water damage, especially when absorbed by wood, sheetrock, etc., can start producing mold within 24-48 hours????? Dang, that stuff is prolific, isn’t it??!?!?! Mix that with heat and moisture (which distilleries have quite a bit of), and that process can happen even faster. “Well then, all knowing InsuranceMan 2.0!!!, what should I do in the case of a broken pipe and water damage claim?” I am glad you asked, devoted reader. In the case of a broken pipe that is spilling water everywhere, first and foremost, shut off the water, duh. Then, do what you can to mitigate any of the damage. Mop it up, push it into a floor drain, suck it up with a shop vac, whatever you can do to get a majority of the water out of your facility. Then, FANS!!!!!!!!! Lots of fans. Being that the water damage came from a frozen pipe, I would not suggest throwing the doors open to get a cross breeze in your facility, it may just turn the whole place into an ice rink. But in the case of a sudden and accidental burst pipe in warmer areas or at other times of the year, go ahead and throw those doors wide open. The point is to start the drying process as quickly as possible to avoid any mold growth. Speaking of, guess what, mold is EXCLUDED under every policy, including Special form, so mold = no Bueno. Once that process is underway, and you are looking at all of the damage the water has caused, pick up the phone and call your agent to tell them what happened. I would consider that “timely” even if it is hours or a day or two later, since it can be an arduous process to get that water out of there. When you contact your agent (which by the way, if it is not me, SERIOUSLY?!??! What are you thinking at this point, obviously I know what I am doing and I have provided you with all this great information. If you are not using me by now, I don’t even know what to say.) and report the claim. They will get it to the company and an insurance adjustor will contact you, usually within 24 hours to come out and take a look. Start inventorying the damage that you want them to take a look at so that you can make sure they see all the things you want them to see. Then, voila, the claim should be paid and you can recoup the money/value you have into the process and recover your loss. Well dearest reader, that concludes today's fun insurance lesson on frozen and burst pipes. If you have any questions about this type of loss situation or any other insurance questions what-so-ever, feel free to give me a call at any time. I can be reached on the RED emergency InsuranceMan 2.0!!! phone at any time, day or night at 307-752-5961. Until next time dear reader … Stay Vigilant, Aaron Linden a.k.a. InsuranceMan 2.0!!! 307-752-5961 aaron@roaringforkins.com or insurancman2.0@yahoo.com
  20. Happy, happy Tuesday!!!!!!!!!!!! Ah ... I know that summer is never long enough, but fall has finally started to settle in on Sheridanopolis, and I could not be happier. It is my favorite time of year. Cooler temperatures (but not too cold), the smell of the air, the brisk mornings. What is not to love! I hope that wherever you are, you are making the best of this time of year. Today in the TMIT I want to address something that has needed addressing for a long time, the word "Premium". What does it mean? Well, it actually means a lot of different things. According to Merriam-Webster a "premium" is defined as, "A sum over and above a regular price paid chiefly as an inducement or incentive." It also means, "The consideration paid for a contract of insurance." Ha, there is how it relates to insurance. However, it is also defined as "A high value in EXCESS of that NORMALLY or USUALLY expected." OK!!!!!!!! Now we are at the root of what today's posting is about!!!!!!!! Clever, right?!?!?! Although many of us associate the term of "Premium" to mean the money we that we pay in exchange for an insurance policy the issue that I have been seeing across the board is that many of you are being gouged in the way of your premiums. I have had so many distillers getting in touch with me over the past month saying, "Hey, InsuranceMan 2.0!!!, would you be willing to take a look at my policy?!?!? I think I am paying way too much!" Yes, the OTHER definition of premium. I have discovered, through looking at about two or three dozen policies recently that the majority of you out there, those who do not have insurance through me, associate the word premium with the OTHER definition of a high value in excess of that normally or usually expected. AND YOU ARE RIGHT!!!!!!!!! Good night, Irene!!!!!! I have to tell you, I recently saw a policy come across my desk where an insured was paying nearly $50,000 for his insurance, I poo you not!!!!! 50-GRAND!!!!!!!!! That is an insane amount of money for distillery insurance. And it is not like it is GINORMOUS "Big-Boy" producer. Don't get me wrong, it is a nice operation, but no where near the 50K mark. Anyway, it turns out I was able to secure him BETTER coverage for less than half the money, and actually cover him for all of the exposures he had, not just the one that was listed on his excessively expensive policy. Do you know why? Do you know what the difference was?!?!!?!? It is the thing that I have seen dozens of times over in the last month and that thing is, the other insurance agent DIDN'T KNOW WHAT THE H311 THEY WERE DOING!!!!!! UGH! If I ever get my hands on some of the evildoers, I swear, it will look something like this ... Anyway, I am so enraged when I see the good people of ADI-Ville being taken advantage of by these dunderheaded-muddlenoggins! They simply do not belong in the insurance world, let alone writing polices for distilleries that they do not know anything about!!!!!!! Grrrrrrrrr!!!! What is happening people??!??! I know exactly what is happening. Many of you don't know where to turn for insurance so you reach out to someone you know, someone down the street, someone that you happened to see an ad for on a bus speeding by maybe, but you are playing Russian Roulette people. The client that I spoke about above before my amazing fight scene depicted above was paying twice as much as he should have been. And that was not just for one year, two years would be horrifying, but he was paying this for the last three years. Truly grotesque!!!!!!!!! Think about that for a minute. He was paying $25,000 a year TOO MUCH for three years. For those of you that are still reeling from the fight scene, let me assist you. That is $75,000 wasted over the course of three years. Imagine what this distiller could have done with an extra $75,000!!!!!!! You all know what he could have done with that. Increase his profits, keep out of debt, hire someone, marketing campaigns, new equipment, the list is endless. But no, he wasted it on an insurance evildoer who didn't know what they were doing and this good distillery citizen paid the price. Well, enough is enough people! Do not let these vile evil insurance people abscond with your hard earned money any longer. Call me, please, for the sake of all things holy! I am not saying you have to use me, but at least call me for a second opinion. Chances are you will end up working with me, but let me at least show you that things can be better and done correctly when it comes to you policy, and often for much less. Let me get you back to associating the word "Premium" with the best definition. The definition that I associate this word with, and that is "of exceptional quality." Until Next Time Dear Reader, Stay Vigilant, Aaron Linden InsuranceMan 2.0!!! 307-752-5961 aaron@roaringforkins.com or insuranceman2.0@yahoo.com
  21. Tuesday is upon us once again, dearest ADI-ers, so here we go. In today's installment of the TMIT I am actually going to ask a short and sweet question and I am hoping for several responses from the forum goers. I am wondering to myself, "Self ...", I wonder ... "How many distillers out there would like to have a health insurance alternative?" So, what I am asking is the following, how many distilleries out there would be interested in some sort of health insurance plan? It could be an individual group type policy, but more what I am wondering is would there be interest in a larger group policy for distillers guilds, etc.? Let me know if this is something of interest to anyone out there and if so, where you are located and what your thoughts or questions are. I am doing some exploratory research on my end, but I want to know if anyone else out there has thought about this and I am wanting to get a feel for the potential need of such an offering. I look forward to hearing from you. Until next time my friends .... Stay Vigilant, Aaron Linden a.k.a. InsuranceMan 2.0!!! 307-752-5961 aaron@roaringforkins.com or insuranceman2.0@yahoo.com
  22. It’s Tuesday, It’s Tuesday, Woo, Woo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Good morning my friends in ADI-land! Do you ever have those days where you wake up and do your superhero work out (usually consisting of the dog running me, not the other way around), your weight training routine, and then have some wonderfully flavorful French press coffee and a luxurious breakfast and you just feel like the word is your oyster?!???!?! Well, if you have had those mornings then you know how I am feeling. All is right in Insuranceopolis and I am just in a hap-hap-happy mood. I hope this post finds you feeling the same. In today’s installment of the TMIT I want to touch on a topic that we have never really spoke about here previously. This is something that may concern some of you, and for others it may not be a big deal at all, it just depends on your operation. Although insurance has a long history and is a concept almost as old as dirt, this coverage is one that actually did not even exist just a few decades ago. What am I talking about???? Any guesses???? CYBER LIABILITY!!!!!!!!! Yes, siree Bob. Cyber Liability actually came into existence well after the advent of computer technology, email, and quite honestly, a rather long time after the wide accessibility of the internet and shopping online. As we have discussed previously, insurance is antiquated in many senses and big ships turn slow. Although there was a need for this type of coverage prior to it being offered, this “late to the game” approach by the insurance industry is quite typical. Often times this approach is born out of bureaucracy and red-tape, but more-often-than-not it is simply due to the fact that no one really knows what the true exposures are or how to underwrite or provide coverage for such a new threat. We have been dealing with fires and lawsuits since the beginning of time so those are easily dealt with by insurance carriers. There are specialized underwriting matrix that exist regarding property loss and liability that are backed by over a hundred years’ worth of data. But cyber … well that is something that simply did not exist previous to 1988. Why 1988 you may ask? Well, according to NATO International, the first documented attack on the cyber infrastructure occurred in 1988 and was called the Morris Worm. This was a rather simplistic attack that took advantage of a weakness in the Unix system Noun 1 and slowed computes down, ultimately making them cease completely. Oh, how far and much more nefarious have attacks progressed from then to now!!!!!!!! Realistically, cyber liability coverage can trace it’s roots back to somewhere in the 1990’s, but back then, as is mostly the case through today, no one really understood the need for this coverage and very few purchased it. It was not until around the year 2000 that Lloyd’s of London launched the first Cyber Liability policy. Fast-forward to 2019 and you may think that the percentage of companies that purchase this coverage would be HUGE due to the increase of cyber attacks. Well dear reader, you would be very, very wrong. Less than one-third (1/3) of all US based companies carry any type of Cyber Liability coverage. SERIOUSLY!?!??!! Everyone gets attacked at some point, right?!?!?!?! Well … according to statista.com, not everyone is attacked. In 2018 the annual number of data breaches was upwards of about 1,300 in the U.S. Although that may not seem like as many as one would think, please keep in mind that the AVERAGE COST of a cyber breach at that time was $27,370,000! Yes, that is twenty-seven MILLION DOLLARS!!!!!!!!!!! Now, obviously we are talking about some big-time companies here, hospitals, credit card companies, etc. With that said though, smaller businesses get hit all the time and everything is relative, right??!?! If a big corporation has a cyber liability loss of $27,000,000 it still is going to hurt their bottom line at the end of the year, just like if your business has a loss of maybe $270,000 it is going to hurt your bottom line, maybe even to the point of putting you out of business where as the “Big Boys” can absorb such a loss a bit easier and continue to operate. Ok, enough of the history lesson, although it was needed in order to set the table so that we can discuss this topic further. So, what does Cyber Liability cover? Well, that depends on the type of business, the size, what kind of records you keep, and quite honestly it depends on the carrier that you purchase the coverage though as they are all different. In a nutshell, Cyber provides coverage for financial losses that result from data breaches or other cyber type attacks. As stated, different carriers offer different policies, but most do cover not only first-party (you and your business) coverage, but third-party coverage as well. That means that a cyber policy can provide insurance for losses that you sustain due to a cyber attack that ruin your personal data records as well as anyone that is damaged due to your data being breached. How about an example, eh? You sell your product to John Smithe (pronounced “smYthe” 😊 , either on site at your location or via an internet sale, if that is legal where you are located), and you retain Mr. Smithe’s information in your database. Maybe you have his name (duh!), address, phone number, etc. … but here is where it gets scary … maybe you have also retained his date of birth for legal verification reasons, as well as his credit card number and other vital purchasing information. If Mr. Smythe’s information is stolen due to a cyber-attack, UH-OH, you could be in serious trouble now. In fact, there are multiple sites out there on the world-wide-interweb-thingy that offer “Data Breach Cost Calculators”, and according to one that I like the best, if you have been breached and exposed only 10 clients personal payment information or their personally identifiable information, that loss could cost you upwards of $180,000!!!!!!!!!!! That is on 10 clients!!!!!!! The average cost per record can be nearly $20,000. That number should be an eye opener for sure! Now, just to be fair, that is a large amount of loss due to a data breach, don’t get me wrong but there may be a silver lining to all of this. Let’s say you had 10,000 clients that were breached, who had their information stolen, the claim may not be extrapolated by the same per client cost that was previously mentioned. Again, it depends on the type of loss and your coverage, but typically the majority of the expense comes in the way of incident investigation costs. Those costs typically are the most expensive as the “investigation is the investigation” regardless of the number of clients, but the per client cost goes down dramatically as that is spread across all 10,000 which could essentially drive the per client average down to around $40 per client. Hey, we are still talking about a loss of $380,000 though, and that is enough to put a sizeable dent in your profits and potentially put you out of business if you don’t carry this type of coverage. OK, now that I have your attention, I can hear you pondering the ultimate question that everyone inevitably will ask, “How much is this going to cost me?!?!?!?!” Honestly, it is not as daunting as one may think. The average cyber liability policy premium for a business ranges from about $1,000 annually up to $7,500. It just all really depends on the size of your business, the type of records retained, and a myriad of other factors. All-in-all it is not as much as one would think for such a viable and real threat in today’s world. I have heard many reasons from folks as to why they don’t want or need cyber liability. From, “Well, we only use ‘Square’ and don’t keep any records of a personal nature”, to “We don’t have any records that are worth anything.” I hear you and I understand, but … Although payment services like “Square” and others take care of most of the PCI data compliance for you, maybe that is not your biggest exposure. Do you keep records on employees, or maybe some “trade secret” data of your products, or your own payment and purchasing information? Do you have a website that generates sales for you? What if your website is hacked and you lose revenue? Could this be an issue? Yes, yes it could and yes you do have these exposures! We all do. Let’s face it, everything in our life is all ones and zeros stored on an electronic device somewhere. We don’t have piles of paper files clogging up valuable square-footage like in the olden days. Well, that data has intrinsic value my friends, and without it, or if it is corrupted or stolen and held hostage, what are you going to do? If you have a cyber liability policy in place the world becomes a lot less “gloom and doom” and more “sunshine and rainbows” knowing that you may not have to bear this burden alone since InsuranceMan 2.0!!! and the cyber liability insurance carrier will be there to save the day. Do you want to know more or find out if you really have a need? Then get in touch with me and I can assist you in the process, I am here to help. Until next time … Stay Vigilant, Aaron Linden a.k.a. InsuranceMan 2.0!!! 307-752-5961 insuranceman2.0@yahoo.com
  23. Happy Tuesday To All, In today's installment of the "Tidbit" we are going to try something I gave a shot a while back but it was not as well received as I had hoped it would be, but first ... In the spirit of always growing my superpowers (and due somewhat to regulations and complilance), InsuranceMan 2.0!!! has been a bit preoccupied with CE. Ah yes, as any of you that came from or are still dwelling in the professional world (outside of distilling), there are requirements for Continuing Education (CE) in order to keep your licensure up to date and make all of the regulators happy, happy, happy. Well, 'tis the season, and I am neck deep in it, but that does not mean I am not here to serve and protect you! I should have it all wrapped up in the next day or so, but I have been a bit busy with it all. That then brings us to the meat of the TMIT for today. As stated, I tried to do a little Question and Answer (Q&A) post a while back and I have either done such an amazing job at educating all of you that no one has any insurance questions, or people just did not want to ask questions. I hope it was the former but methinkst thou ADI-ers mayst not want to appearest naive. Whatever the case, I would like to open up this post to questions. Any questions that you may have. There are no silly questions, people, so let's have at it. Do you have questions about your General Liability, perhaps your property coverage, maybe how your stock should be calculated?!?!?!?! Do you want to know how to make a killer Pad Thai or ask what I am doing this weekend? Nothing is off limits, so let's get this party started?!!??! Who will be first???? What will they ask?!?!?! So many questions ... but all from me so far. Now it is your turn. Be the first to post a question and let's have some fun with this. Until someone does ... Stay Vigilant!!!!! Best, Aaron Linden a.k.a InsuranceMan 2.0!!! 307-752-5961 insuranceman2.0@yahoo.com
  24. It is Tuesday here on the ADI forums, and we all know what that means … In today’s installment of the Tuesday Morning Insurance Tidbit we are going back to the basics. I have had many conversations with folks who were not entirely certain what the different coverages of an insurance policy are, how they are broken up, or really what they mean. So, in today’s installment of the TMIT we are going to dissect a basic insurance policy and provide a 30,000 foot perspective. First and foremost, again, this is a very rudimentary explanation of an insurance policy. Many of you will have needs far beyond this, but for several of you it may be your first time thinking about these issues. Wherever you fall on the spectrum, I hope this is helpful. Where shall we begin? Well, let us start with what is potentially the most important piece of information on the insurance policy, YOUR NAME! You would not believe how many times I see this messed up, and you really would not believe the impact this can have on your coverage. Your name is going to be your name, the name of the distillery, entity of the distillery, etc. Simple, right? Well, for some, not really. Let’s say “Joe Smith” owns “Main Street Distillery” to keep things simple. What should the NAMED INSURED section of the policy read then? Well, who are we protecting with the policy? Joe Smith owns the distillery and as the owner/partner/member/officer he is provided coverage by the policy if done under the entity name. That would then mean that we should use Main Street Distillery then, right? Well, maybe and maybe not. Is Joe Smith a sole proprietor? If so then we have to name Joe Smith as the named insured doing business as (DBA) Main Street Distillery. Confused yet? Right! It all depends on the structure of the individual or entity that owns the business. If Joe is a sole proprietor, then in order for Mr. Smith to be provided coverage he has to specifically be named on the policy as the named insured dba the business name. If Joe set things up as a C-Corp, S-Corp, LLC, etc., then he would be afforded protection automatically by the policy under the entity. So, if it is Main Street Distillery, LLC then Joe would be included for coverage under the operations of the business. It should be simple, but it can be confusing, and it can impact your coverage in a monumental way. Case in point, let us say that Joe is a sole proprietor who is doing business as Main Street Distillery but the policy only names Main Street Distillery. In this scenario there is a loss and not only is Main Street Distillery sued, but Joe is sued individually for his negligence. Well, if Joe is not name as an insured on the policy then “Joe ain’t got no ….” coverage!!!!!!! That’s right, the only thing contemplated for coverage is what appears on the policy declarations sheet. WATCH OUT FOLKS! If the scenario is changed and the entity is an LLC, let’s say, then if the entity is sued and Joe is named individually, he would be afforded coverage via the policy since he is the owner/managing member of the LLC. See how this can be confusing and have a huge impact on who is and who is not covered? OK, so what if Joe operates the distillery as Main Street Distillery, LLC but owns the building under “Old Joe S Enterprises”? Well, how is the ownership structured here? Is it a subsidiary of Main Street Distillery, LLC dba Old Joe S Enterprises? If so, then I would hedge on the safe side and list it as such, but many miss this factor. Is it a separate LLC? If it is Old Joe S Enterprises, LLC then it could either be listed as an “Additional Named Insured”, a straight up “Named Insured”, it could be included to have coverage on the overall policy, or it could have its own policy. Ah, down the rabbit hole we go, HOLD ON!!!!!! Long-story-short, if you have never had the discussion with your insurance agent about what the ownership looks like, what the name of all of the entities are, and how they should be covered or separated out you could be in big trouble. Or … you could work with someone who has a tight grasp on all of this. Someone like me, InsuranceMan 2.0!!!, and you would know where you stand on this subject. Next we have the actual coverage, the meat and potatoes side of the policy. What you are actually being covered for and what that is based on. Again, a rabbit hole of impressive proportions in its own right. Simply put there are a few key coverage factors you will need to know about. They are as follows: General Liability Liquor Liability Property Coverage Commercial Auto Umbrella (maybe, depends on how big you are, lease contracts, distribution contracts, etc.) (and potentially) Workers Compensation. I say “potentially” Workers Compensation due to the fact that many distilleries that are starting out may not have that need as they may not have pay rolled employees, or if they do they may not be subject to work comp. It depends where you are located. See my post about Workers Comp here: For the General Liability it is broken out into roughly 6 different sections. Those sections are “Each Occurrence Limit”, “Personal and Advertising Injury Limit”, “General Aggregate Limit (Other Than Products – Completed Operations), Products/Completed Operations Aggregate Limit”, “Rented to You Limit”, and “Medical Expenses Limit (Any One Person)”. HOLY INSURANCE OVERLOAD, InsuranceMan 2.0!!!, “What does that all mean?!?!?!?!?”, you may be screaming at your screen. Well, in brief, your Each Occurrence Limit is the amount of coverage you would have for any one liability loss. Your Personal and Advertising Injury Limit would be the amount of coverage you have for any injury (physical) to a person or persons where as the Advertising portion would be if you were sued over saying something in your advertisements about someone else’s product tasting like caca and yours being superior. Then the Aggregate limit is the total amount of coverage that you would be afforded in any one policy period. So, if your per occurrence limit is $1,000,000 and your aggregate is $2,000,000 that means that the insurance company would pay out up to $1,000,000 for any claim, but never more than $2,000,000 in any given policy period. Clear as mud? No? OK, think of it this way. You have one claim wherein someone is injured and that claim is $900,000. Ooooo ….. yikes, that was dang near that Million limit, but you are ok, it was under. 6 months later you sustain a liability claim of $500,000. Boy Howdy, it is not your year! Well, due to the fact that you already used $900,000 of the million limit you may be concerned that only $100,000 will be covered. Not so! Because of the aggregate limit, the full $500,000 is covered in this claim. However, you now have had two instances that add up to $1,400,000 so you really only have $600,000 more in liability coverage to get you to the end of the year, and the way you are going, that may not be enough. The Products and Completed Operations Aggregate Limit works much the same way but this coverage only contemplated your products. So if someone were to be injured by your product, that would fall under this portion of the policy coverage. Somewhat easier, and there is more to say, but I will leave it there for the time being. Keep in mind that your General Liability premium and Products premiums are all based rated on your sales. Again, a rabbit hole that we don’t have time to go down but this is a huge pet peeve of mine. A L L sales need to be broken out and classified correctly, enough said. This is something that I find to be incorrect on about 80% of the policies I see that are not mine. I can fix this for you to make sure things are accurate, just give me a call to discuss this in detail. That bring us to the Rented to You Limit. This is for properties that you rent. WATCH OUT HERE!!!!!!! Most policies will give you $100,000 on the surface, and many of you are in lease situation where the building value you are in far exceeds $100,000. Many of the policies that I provide include an endorsement (you’re welcome) that replaces this $100,000 limit with a $1,000,000 limit. Ah, that’s better. But watch out for this, if there is no increased limit on this line item you could be in trouble. You can buy this limit up, but it will cost you some additional $$$$$$$. Last in the Liability section is Medical Expenses Limit (Any One Person) of $5,000. “Does that mean if someone gets hurt at my place, I only have $5,000 to cover their injury?” Great question my astute reader, but the answer is no. Medical Expense is kind of a sub-limit of the overall General Liability. This is for “nuisance” claims. If someone comes to your facility and slips on some spilled water (hypothetical) and twists their ankle and has to have it looked at and wrapped at the hospital, and the expense is $2,500 then the carrier would pay them that amount in exchange for them waiving their rights to seek further damages. If though, that same person who happens to be a concert pianist, slipped and fell braking their hand and now is claiming that they are going to be out of work for months on end, then it becomes a General Liability claim and would fall under that $1,000,000 limit. Now we are on to the Liquor Liability coverage. I know, I know … I hear it all the time, “But I only serve four (4) quarter ounce tastes, there is no way I can be sued for over serving under my Liquor Liability!” Well, read this: As for the Property coverage, this is where you are going to cover your assets. Your equipment, your building (if you own it), your contents, stock on hand, and miscellaneous items such as computers/boxes/labels/bottles/caps/corks/closures/etc. You are going to want to make sure that this figure is accurate for a few reasons. One, if something were to happen you want to make sure that you are reimbursed the correct amount so that you can replace your “stuff” and keep going. Second is that if this figure is not accurate you could face a co-insurance issue. Third is that you need to make sure that your product is covered correctly and adequately, especially if you are aging anything. The is so much more to this aspect but this is only a quick look at the overall coverage. If you want to know more about limits, co-insurance, deductibles, various coverage forms and what types of losses are covered, get in touch with me. How about Commercial Auto? If you own a vehicle in the name of the business, then you are going to want to place a commercial auto policy on that vehicle or vehicles. One, it protects you for a higher limit than you can obtain on a personal policy; Two, most personal policies exclude business use; Three, it protects the entity from lawsuits. You may be thinking that commercial auto does not apply to you because you don’t own any vehicles in the name of the business. I get that, but do you ever drive a personal vehicle, or ask others to do so for work related needs? If so, you have a commercial auto need. It is called Hired and Non-Owned (HNOA) Auto coverage. If you want more details go here: This brings us to the Umbrella coverage. What is this? Well, it truly is like an umbrella because it provides an extra layer of protection above the rest of the policies. Usually the limit is $1,000,000 and that is on top of your General Liability, Liquor Liability, Products, Auto, etc. So that $1,000,000 limit that you had, with an umbrella, is now $2,000,000. WHAT!?!??!!? SWEET!!!!!!! Yes, sweet indeed! However, it is truly only $1,000,000 as most umbrellas only provide an aggregate limit of $1,000,000 meaning that the limit really is just $1,000,000. Some reasons that you may consider an umbrella policy is that they are cheap, and they afford you a lot more protection. Maybe your operation is such that you are seeing many people in your facility, you do a lot of events, or your distribution area is so large that if there were tainted product and you could not recall it quick enough there would be the potential for a lot of claims. Who knows, but we can discuss that further if need be. Another reason would be that it is a requirement. Maybe the landlord requires you to carry $2,000,000 for any one occurrence. If that is the case, really, one of the only ways to achieve that is via an umbrella. Sometimes “big box stores” or distributors will require this in order for you to sell your products through them. Whatever the case may be, it is something to think about and have knowledge of. Last but not least is Workers Compensation. If you didn’t click the link above that references this, scroll back up after reading this and click on it to get a feel for what we are talking about. In that article it discusses what Workers Compensation is, who needs it, and why. I don’t want to regurgitate all of that here, so, if you think you have a need for this coverage, do yourself a favor and give it a look. OK, dearest loyal reader, there you have it. A brief (-ish) synopsis of an overall insurance policy, what to look for, what you need at a basic level of understanding, and some interspersed humor (hopefully, so that it is not as painful or dry). With that, I will leave you until next time. If you have questions, would like to learn more, or just want someone to bounce things off of (I am a superhero after all so things just bounce right off of me), give me a call, shoot me an email, or flip on the InsuranceMan 2.0!!! beacon and I will swoop to your assistance. Until next time dear reader … Stay Vigilant, Aaron Linden a.k.a. InsuranceMan 2.0!!! 307-752-5961 insuranceman2.0@yahoo.com
  25. Happiest of Tuesday Mornings to You, My Dear ADI-ers!!!!!!!!! Well, today’s TMIT is going to be fairly short and to the point (fairly). I am not putting up this post to Insurance-shame anyone, I am just addressing a particular issue that has been somewhat prevalent as of late. Let’s start with a scenario, shall we? You make booze. No, you actually are handcrafting a unique and individual spirit unlike those produced by anyone else. You have taken painstaking amounts of time to hone your mash bill, tweak your recipes and keep insanely detailed notes as to the overall distillation process. You put your heart and soul into what you do to make it uniquely yours, different and better than anything else available. YOU ARE A TRUE CRAFTSMAN! So, what if someone comes in to your distillery, tours around, sits down for a tasting flight and winds up saying something to the effect, “Yeah, the Vodka is OK, but not as great as Ti-o‘s though! Your bourbon doesn’t taste anything like Pen----n or J- -k.” (Yes, I know that neither of those are bourbons, that is the point here folks!) Your eyes may widen, you jaw may hang agape, and you may gaze deeply into the persons soul and think, “What the … ?!?!???!” Same can be said about what I do. I too am a craftsman. I too have taken painstaking lengths to hone my skills, to tweak my insurance recipes and keep insanely detailed notes to the overall insurance process to provide something completely different and better than anything else available, to make something that is uniquely yours! Crafting an insurance policy that no one else has, that takes into account all of the details of your unique and individual operation. So, when I hear things like, “Well, insurance is insurance, I don’t really know that you can offer me anything better than what I have.” I tend to have the same look that you might. “What the … ?!!!?” Has your current agent discussed your stock values and provided you with a spreadsheet that will calculate the correct values of your products regardless of the stage of maturation that they are in? Has your current agent taken an active interest in how your equipment is being valued and where it should be placed to get you the best insurance premium for your buck? I would say that for the most part the answer would be no. How many distilleries does your current insurance agent work with? Have they worked with 400+ distilleries across all 50 states and done import/export ocean-marine cargo policies for products being shipped overseas? If the answer is no, I think you can tell where I am going with this. God forbid, but if you or a loved one were ill and needed specialized care I dare to imagine that you would not run down to the GP doctor in town and say, “Well, I need brain surgery so let’s get this skullcap off!” NO, OF COURSE NOT! I have said it before and I will continue to say, you would seek out the best doctor in the specialized field and you would have them treat you. If you did choose to utilize the GP to treat you, well … you will probably get the results that you could expect, not so good. Same thing applies here. If you want to utilize a general practitioner of insurance, someone who writes shoe stores, a contractor or two, and a lot of homes and autos, you are going to get the results that could be expected. They are not going to understand the valuation of maturation (they may not even know what “maturation” is), they are not going to understand the difference between your tasting room and a bar, they are not going to take the time to dissect your overall business operation and make certain that each and ever aspect of off-site tastings, special events, gift shop sales, wholesale and retail sales are accounted for and how that may impact your overall premium. You very well may end up with a policy that is cobbled together with a carrier that may not be a good fit or the best use of your money, and in the case of a claim, well, if it was not done correctly you may be in a world of hurt. I always say that even if you don’t have the right insurance, you may have insurance anyway because you may have to get into a long and miserable battle of having to put in a claim against the agents E&O policy. In the meantime, and over the years that could take to settle, you may not operational and all your efforts may have been for naught. Is that a risk you are willing to take with your business, your passion, your life? If the answer is no, then I suggest at least letting an expert take a look at your policy. Let an expert dissect the coverage and ask the deep questions to see if you really have the coverage that you need for what you are doing. Each distillery is as unique as fingerprints, no two are the same. There is no catchall policy for every distillery. If you are uncertain as to what you are covered for, if the coverage has never been explained to you, or if you just bought a policy ‘cause you needed to have it, then it is time to bring in an expert. Unless you are the “put it all on the line” gambling type, I highly recommend that you get a hold of someone who has taken the time to go grain to glass at several different distilleries. To find someone that has spent nearly 20 years in the insurance industry who specializes in distillery insurance for nearly a decade. Someone that has been endorsed as the recommended insurance agent by ADI! Here, I am going to make that search easy for you, it is me, InsuanceMan 2.0!!! Heck, even if you just have questions about your current policy situation, I am more than happy to take a look at it, offer my insight and expertise, and if you choose to stay where you are at, OK. Dollars to doughnuts though, we will end up working together and have a great relationship. You may have tried the rest, now work with the best (I know, that sounds cocky and I really don’t want it to come off that way, but I have spent a very long time working diligently to understand all aspects of what you are doing as well as deep-dive into the insurance industry as a whole, so it is not cocky, I just really am passionate about what I do because I LOVE IT!) OK, end of rant for today. Was it a rant?!?!? Maybe. Was it informative? I think so. Does it clearly spell out that what you do is unique and truly different from everyone else? Yes, just like what I do for my clients is unique and truly different, something you likely won’t find anywhere else. Here is the best piece of advice that I can offer anyone that is either just starting out, has been distilling for a few years, or is a massive scale international producer, call 307-752-5961 and have a conversation. A no-obligation conversation. I guarantee, you will not be sorry. Until next time my friends …. Stay Vigilant, Aaron Linden a.k.a. InsuranceMan 2.0!!! 307-752-5961 insuranceman2.0@yahoo.com
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