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Tuesday Morning Insurance Tidbit - You Are Special


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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!!!



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