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Archive for the ‘Fire Insurance’ Category

Flood Insurance – Hurricane Season Coming Soon

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The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) sent us this warning/outlook for flood insurance 2013.   In summary, another tough hurricane season forecast, which means more  flooding.  And flood insurance takes 30 days to get in place.  (Click here for our flood insurance page and quick quote page.)

Hurricane Season Outlook 2013
Experts are calling for an active Atlantic hurricane season, which means it could also be an active flood season. In their annual spring forecast, Colorado State University Meteorologists Philip Klotzbach and William Gray predicted 18 named storms, 9 hurricanes, and 4 additional major hurricanes. They suggest there is a 96 percent chance a storm will hit the United States.
Hurricane season is the optimal time to speak to new and existing customers about flood insurance. The prospect of potentially damaging storms provides context for the flood talk, as it reminds consumers that flood risk is real. Homeowners still remember Hurricane Irene’s impact in 2011 and the destruction from Sandy last October. While flood risk is top of mind, you have an opportunity to target existing customers without a flood insurance policy and teach them how flood insurance can help them recover from a flood. For clients in a Non-Special Flood Hazard Area (NSFHA) who are within the “one mile buffer zone,” explain that floods don’t stop at a line on a map.
Show clients and prospects who don’t have flood insurance how they might be affected by hurricane season. Use the Flood Risk Scenarios tool to illustrate how tropical storms and heavy rains can cause flooding. Remind them that if it can rain, it can flood. It’s also important to let your clients know that most homeowners insurance policies do not cover floods; instead, only flood insurance provides the financial protection property owners need.
Help your clients protect their assets by encouraging them to obtain flood insurance today. There’s a 30-day waiting period before a flood policy takes effect, so don’t delay in communicating this important message.

Insurance Company Financial Stability

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Insurance companies are rated for financial strength.  Why does that matter?

Insurance is a promise to pay future losses.  If the company does not have a future, no payments.  And some losses are going to happen years down the line.

Property losses tend to be settled shortly after they occur.  You owned a building, it burned, the value is usually relatively easy to establish, you are paid for the loss.  The solvency of your insurance company is not of concern because of time, but because property is exposed to catastrophic threats such as hurricanes, which might bankrupt a small insurance carrier which has not prepared properly.

Liability losses, especially large losses, are usually litigated.  That can take years.  If an insurance company becomes insolvent, that will at a minimum complicate and delay settlement and payment.  An insurance company which misestimates its average losses far in the future will be in trouble.

So, how do you assess the strength of your insurance company?  While states review the strength of insurance companies within their supervision, day to day the best measurement is available from private companies that specialize in rating insurance carriers.

Without getting into a long discussion of the relative merits of the rating companies, one of the best is A.M. Best.  Ratings run from A++ to F, with additional notes for the future (stable, negative, favorable).  Here’s a link to Best’s explanation of their financial strength ratings.    You can sign into Best for free to get basic rating information on most insurance carriers.  (Some decline to submit their results for rating.  Not a great sign about the company.)

Or call GBW Insurance at 1-800-548-2329 and we can give you the information.  We are also paid subscribers and are therefore able to access detailed information as well.  www.GBWinsurance.com

Fire protection – A Spring problem – Fire Insurance

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A cautionary note from our friends at the fire protection company, City Fire Equipment

It’s April and Spring is finally here! With the changing of the seasons, things in our environment are starting to change. There is actually one highly flammable substance in nature that only exists during this short time of the year. Can you guess what it is?

Answer: Pollen

Employees here have witnessed serious pollen fires before, so it is something to keep aware of in the next few coming weeks if you have pollen buildup on your properties. Be sure to sweep pollen away and into gutters and away from any outside electrical/mechanical machinery that produces any type of heat.

And remember, April showers, bring May flowers!

Kind Regards,

City Fire Equipment Co., Inc. (click here for the City Fire web site)

Or click here for property insurance quotes in NJ

 

After the disaster – Commercial Property Insurance

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When you have a large property loss, do you have enough insurance to clean up and prepare your site as well as to replace the building?  Will your business survive the event?  Here are some steps to help y0u prepare, and to increase your change of coming back from disaster.

  1. Local laws, ordinances, and building codes can affect your ability to repair or rebuild. 
  2. The laws may require you to tear down the remainder of the building if it is significantly damaged.
  3. Debris from an older building may be regulated by hazardous waste laws.
  4. If the building is more than a few years old, new building codes can force you to spend more than simple replacement cost.   As examples: interior and exterior doors may have to be changed;  hallway widths may have to be altered; stairway requirements may have changed; fire suppression systems may have to be upgraded, or installed if you did not have them before.  
  5. In the event of a widespread disaster, a hurricane for example, prices for building materials and labor usually rise because so many building owners are trying to rebuild at the same time.
  6. Even if your building sustains little damage, what insurance coverage do you have if damage to buildings near your business blocks access? 
  7. What coverage do you have for power failures?

Most of these questions can be addressed in advance by talking with your local municipality as well as with your insurance advisor.  Call us at 800-548-2329 for advice or click here for more detailed disaster planning advice from our web site. 

On the topic of disaster recovery, here’s an IT provider (IT Radix) who we think does a great job for their clients.  They were taken down by a goose flying into their power lines!  Click here for their story.