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Do you “Have” insurance or do you “Acquire” insurance????


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Do you “Have” insurance or do you “Acquire” insurance????

Let us begin by reviewing the definition of each of these words:

  1. have/hav,həv,(ə)v/


  1. be obliged or find it necessary to do the specified thing.
  1. ac·quire/əˈkwī(ə)r/


  1. obtain (an object or asset) for oneself

Interesting. The reason I bring this up and write this post is mainly due to the fact that there really are two varieties of distilleries found across this great country of ours (sorry if you are outside of the U.S., you are welcome to keep reading but I am focusing just on America at this point, sorry). There are those craft distillers who “have” insurance and those that “acquire” insurance. In my dealings with folks all across the country, from Alaska to Hawaii, from Maine to Florida and every known single point in-between, I have found that everyone I talk to falls into one of these two categories.

Let us start with the “have” to people first. The people in this group seem to be the ones that are a bit put out due to the fact they feel victimized by the insurance process. Hearing things like, “Well!!!! I HAVE to have insurance because the stupid bank/landlord/government/name-some-other –random-entity is MAKING me, otherwise I would just go without!” This is very common with people in this group. The unfortunate reality is that these people either have not been properly educated in the insurance process and simply do not understand its beneficial function to them or …….. they are just crabby and they DO understand insurance but they still hate having to have it. Noted.

“I pay all this money every year and never use it! What good is that, I could use that money for other things.” I have heard that so many times that if I had a nickel for each one I wouldn’t be here writing this; I’d be in Belize fishing right now. The first thing to realize is that insurance is NOT a waste of money, it is a way to protect you assets. In all reality insurance is a very safe and reasonably cost effective way to spread and mitigate your single risk against loss across a broader spectrum in exchange for a premium. In fact “insurance” is defined as:



A risk-transfer mechanism that ensures full or partial financial compensation for the loss or damage caused by event(s) beyond the control of the insured party. Under an insurance contract, a party (the insurer) indemnifies the other party (the insured) against a specified amount of loss, occurring from specified eventualities within a specified period, provided a fee called premium is paid. In general insurance, compensation is normally proportionate to the loss incurred. Some types of insurance (such as product liability insurance) are an essential component of risk management.

Exactly. “…. an essential component of risk management.” I ask this question: would these same people notice a potential issue within their own distillery that could become a potential hazard or be a risk to their losing everything they have worked so hard to build, yet choose not to fix that issue unless someone was forcing them to? Of course not, most would be proactive and fix the issue and avoid or mitigate the risk. Well the same applies to insurance. Insurance simply cannot be looked at as something that is being forced. Instead, one should realize that insurance is actually there to be a benefit in the case of an unexpected event.

Some of these same folks will choose to “self-insure” those aspects that are not being “forced” upon them. Often, they will need to comply with a landlord’s requirements, or get insurance to satisfy a bank loan, but that is where it ends. They will “self-insure” their property (stills, equipment, etc.) as well as their product. What they don’t understand is there is a lot more to insurance than meets the eye.

Let us take for instance products coverage; product recall coverage; and liquor liability. What if these same folks are bottling their product and during the course of the process they nick the neck of the bottle, inadvertently sending glass shards into the product? They then send the product out without knowing and someone ingests some of the glass causing injury? Well, in this case, if they do not have products liability or some product recall coverage, they are going to have to foot the entire suit and recall costs out of their pocket. Payment of damages to the injured party; the cost of recalling the rest of the batch that could potentially be affected, etc., could be very costly. This could ruin many new or smaller distillers and potentially cost them their business. This whole situation however could have been mitigated via the proper insurance policy.

If they would have had the proper coverage they would have not only coverage for potential lawsuits but they would also be afforded defense coverage for those suits. As well, their product recall coverage could be paid for (up to the limit purchased) and they could stay in business. The same goes for liquor liability. What are the chances someone may be potentially sued for causing someone to become “over served” on their product resulting in a lawsuit? I have seen this happen and even if the party was not found to be negligent the legal cost of proving themselves not guilty can be staggering (pun intended). The rule of thumb is, if you don’t have the coverage, you don’t have the defense. As well, if they choose to “self-insure” their equipment they are then beholden to having to buy it again should a loss occur. Insurance premiums on equipment, when written correctly, can be less than half a cent on the dollar! Well in my book that is a sound investment in the way of protection of your assets. That is simply not “throwing money away”.

Given, there are a myriad of coverage’s and one needs to keep things in check as to not become “insurance poor” but again, this is where the education piece comes into play as well as knowledge on the part of the agent. If these folks “have” to have the coverage and choose to buy low and not know or care what is really covered, you have to wonder what other corners are being cut.

This brings us to the “acquire” crowd. Oh how I enjoy these folks. These are the folks that get it, or at the very least they want to get it. They are the ones that ask the questions and will actually LISTEN to the answer because they want to know. These are the folks that will take an active role in the decision process and acquire the correct insurance product to fit their needs. The folks in this crowd understand that insurance is not a waste of resources but that it truly is an asset and protection that is there to assist them in their greatest time of need should it arise.

The “acquire” group understands the value of what they are purchasing weighed against the cost of doing so. They are effective buyers that are still keeping an eye on their money but know how and why they are spending it and what they expect in return. They also understand that their insurance professional is a trusted confidant, a true business partner that they work in unison with in order to protect and grow their greatest asset. They are not foolhardy with what they will pay in the way of premiums but the dollars they do spend they know are in the best interest of their business. In a way, these folks have reached “Insurance Nirvana”. Often times they don’t necessarily start out that way, although some do. Some are born savvy insurance buyers but most “acquire” this skill over a period of time or through trial and error.

I have two suggestions to anyone reading this post. The first would be this; if you are one of the “have” folks but would like to move closer to the “acquire” group without needing to experience the trial and error process, give me a call. I am careful to never say I have seen it all and done it all but I have seen more and done more than most anyone else. I have been doing this for a very long time and can easily lead you to “Insurance Nirvana” via the scenic highway route as opposed to the bumpy and slow dirt road that many insurance folks are on. Second suggestion; if you are in the “acquire” group, kudos to you. You are well on your way to being a happier person, comfortable with who you are and where you are going in terms of insurance and you will have a greater experience in the long run. For you savvy individuals I would still suggest you give me a call. I have the only product available that gives you what you really need (read this post: http://adiforums.com...?showtopic=4883 ) in order to experience true “Insurance Nirvana”. I am here to assist you, guide you, and if you have a great insurance product at a great price then I am even here to tell you, “Good job savvy insurance buyer, you have truly acquired Insurance Nirvana.”

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  • 2 months later...

In our humble opinions there is no one out there who is better fit to handle your insurance and bond needs than Aaron (and we did our homework). He is passionate about the industry and understands what his customers need regardless of how big or small your distillery might be. He is highly dedicated to your service, is incredibly personable, checks in regularly, and always has great updates about what's happening around the rest of the market. Whether you are new to the industry or 'well established' you should give him a call...we are very confident you will like what A-A-ron has to say. We can not voice our praises loudly enough.
-Jackson Hole Still Works-

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