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Glass Coverage for Wrecking Rooms

There are few sounds more satisfying than breaking glass. Whether it’s a car windshield, a piece of wedding crystal or your ex’s phone hitting the wall, it just feels good when that crash occurs. You can almost feel the stress draining from you. Wrecking rooms are gaining in popularity across the country. People need stress relievers, and they may want breaking glass to be part of that experience. Unfortunately, glass is difficult to insure in wrecking rooms. What’s the Problem? While the crash of breaking glass may be satisfying to business patrons, it does present a problem for insurers. Shattered glass makes a harmful projectile to those creating the breakage, as well as to bystanders. Personal items may also be damaged by flying glass. The glass littering the floor and other flat surfaces can also cause damage or injury. Even a thorough cleaning might not remove small shards.  Safety glass from windshields can cause damage and injury when enough force is applied. Should You Provide Glass Wrecking Objects? Not everyone needs the glass breakage experience to relieve their frustrations, though some may request it. Proper protection in these situations should always be required. Gloves, long sleeves and eye protection should be provided to or required of the person doing the wrecking, as well as any bystanders or other participants. Will Your Liability Release Protect You? If you don’t have participants signing a liability release or waiver prior to participating, you should implement this as soon as possible. A waiver is a good step in protecting your business, but unfortunately they don’t always work. While many states do enforce liability...

Do Limited Liability Companies Need Insurance?

It is a common misconception when setting up a Limited Liability Company, or LLC: the very name says liability is limited. Therefore, no insurance is needed, right? Wrong. While LLCs do offer some protection, it doesn’t negate the need for insurance. Let’s examine why. What Is An LLC? An LLC is a form of business ownership that is designed to protect the personal assets of its managers and members from business liability. The structure itself is easier to maintain than a corporation, as there are no board meetings required or articles of incorporation to be filed. Do LLCs Really Limit Liability? LLCs limit liability in certain ways. If the LLC defaults on a loan, the individual LLC members and managers may not be sued personally on behalf of the LLC due to the corporate structure. Piercing the corporate veil proves to be more difficult than a corporation since there are fewer hoops for LLCs to jump through, so less opportunity for mistakes to be made. While this does offer protection to the members and managers of the company in the event of a lawsuit, it does not protect the LLC from being sued. Does that make a difference? What If My Company Gets Sued? The structure of the LLC protects the individual members and managers from personal liability for corporate decisions, which is a good thing. However, the LLC cannot protect itself from being sued simply by being an LLC. For instance: If you own a small retail shop and someone falls and gets injured while on your premises, they may sue your company. If someone becomes ill or...

Crime Insurance: The Basics

When you think of a crime being committed at your business, the first thing you probably think of is a theft. The good news: your Special Form including Theft property policy covers theft. The bad news? It doesn’t cover other types of crime. What other types of crime? I’m glad you asked! Things such as employee theft, forgery, robbery (but isn’t that theft?), even computer fraud, are all types of crime that your property policy doesn’t cover. Isn’t All Theft Just That – Theft? The Commercial Property Causes of Loss – Special Form (CP 10 30) does include theft, but contains the following exclusion:           The policy excludes coverage for dishonest or criminal acts performed by anyone within your organization at any time. Even leased employees are excluded. In addition, only certain types of physical theft are covered by a commercial property policy. A breakin must show signs of forced entry to be considered theft. If your employees take things during business hours and hand them off to cohorts “on the outside”, their crimes do not fulfill the definition of property theft without forcible entry. Items stolen must also be physical items. Commercial property policies do not cover money and securities, or property other than money or securities that have intrinsic value. Money and securities are defined as currency, coins, current banknotes, traveler’s checks, money orders, tokens, tickets, revenue and other stamps, as well as credit card receipts. None of these items are covered under a standard property insurance policy. What Does Crime Insurance Cover? While limited in scope, Crime Insurance Policies cover 8 types...

Ordinance or Law: Do You Need It?

For buildings of a certain age “grandfathering” is the way to avoid making costly changes to meet certain ordinances or laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Older buildings are exempt from following these laws since they were constructed prior to the law. However, if the building sustains enough damage during a loss to require repair or rebuilding of a certain amount, then grandfathering no longer applies. The building must then be brought up to current code, resulting in large out-of-pocket expenses. What Can You Do About It? Lenders may require something called Ordinance or Law Coverage, or it may be a coverage recommended by your insurance broker. Because the premium for this coverage isn’t necessarily cheap, you may have passed on it. But what is it? Ordinance or law coverage is a great way to include additional funds for buildings that need to be brought up to code after a property loss. What Does It Cover? This coverage has three separate limits: Coverage A – Coverage For Loss to the Undamaged Portion of the Building. This provides for coverage to the undamaged part of the building that the law may require the owner to demolish in the event of a loss. Coverage B – Demolition Cost Coverage. This provides additional coverage to reimburse for the costs of demolition for the undamaged portion of the building. Coverage C – Increased Cost of Construction. This provides additional coverage to reimburse for increased costs to repair or replace the existing structure and bring all systems up to code including wiring, plumbing, ADA, etc. Coverage A should typically be for...

What is Difference in Conditions?

All over the country and around the world, natural disasters and man-made catastrophes seem to happen on a daily basis. Earthquakes, hurricanes, fires, and flooding have begun to take their toll in certain areas, causing ripple effects in the insurance industry. After several years of hurricanes in the late 90s and early 2000s, Florida created Citizens Property Insurance Corporation in 2002. This was to be the insurer of last resort for homeowners, condominium associations, and co-ops that could no longer find property and/or wind insurance coverage through the open market. Much like the FAIR Plan in California, Citizens offered coverage that was basic perils only. While it did cover windstorm, hail and hurricane coverage, it left many other important perils uninsured. Situations like this are where a Difference in Conditions (DIC) policy comes in handy. Read on to find out more about DIC and if this coverage is right for you. What is Difference in Conditions? A Difference in Conditions policy is the property insurance equivalent of “gap” coverage. This coverage can be written to cover many different perils that may not be covered by a standard property insurance policy. If you want or need coverage not offered under your personal lines or commercial policy coverage, DIC is right for you. Some of the most important coverage items include: Perils to bring either basic or broad form up to special form, such as: Weight of ice, snow or sleet Collapse from specified causes Falling objects Water damage (in the form of leakage, not flooding) Theft Earthquake (earth movement) Flood Are All DIC Policies the Same? There is no standard...

Disability Insurance for Individuals

When it comes to insurance, most people understand the basics: you need to protect your property and your vehicles, as well as obtain liability insurance “just in case”. Most also understand the need for health insurance if you get sick or life insurance if you die. But what happens if illness or injury affects your ability to provide for your family? Disability insurance should be there for those times when you’re unable to work due to illness or injury. However, most people don’t understand the need for disability insurance, the purpose of it, or how to get it. We hope to answer some of your questions here. What Is Disability Insurance? Disability insurance, also known as disability income insurance, is a policy that pays an injured person over a short or long-term period of time if that person is unable to work due to illness or injury. Payments can be used to pay bills, mortgage, and other expenses incurred during the time of injury or illness while the injured party is unable to work and receive income from his or her job. Why Is Disability Insurance Important? A 2008 study by the National Safety Council found that a disabling injury occurs in the US every 1 second. The majority of these disabling incidents are attributed to back injuries and illnesses such as cancer or heart disease. Disability is often overlooked because many people think that they would be covered by their employer’s workers compensation policy. However, coverage through workers compensation is only available to employees who contract an illness or are injured on-the-job. According to the same 2008 National...

How To Obtain High-Risk Fire Insurance

As fire season continues to rage, lawmakers in Western states are discussing changes that would restrict building or rebuilding in areas that are prone to fire risk. The numbers would seem to back up this plan: in 2017 in California alone there were over 15,000 structures damaged or destroyed and 45 people killed. While state governments grapple with how to mitigate losses in fire-prone areas, insurance carriers are already doing what they think is best: canceling policies for those areas where they are seeing numerous and repetitive fire claims. Other companies are restricting the number of policies they write in these areas or refusing to write them at all. If you own a home or business in areas where fires are common, what can you do? Have You Been Nonrenewed? If you already own property in these areas, you may see your insurance premium skyrocket, or you may be nonrenewed if your insurance carrier decides to of the area. What do you do if you get a nonrenewal notice? Call your current broker or insurance company to get a loss history on your current policy. The loss history should be at least three (3) years, but five (5) years is better. Call Hayes Brokers to discuss your options. If your premium has increased tremendously, call Hayes Brokers to find out what other insurance carriers and premium options are available to you. Don’t Wait Until The Last Minute Insurance companies are required to give at least 30 days written notice of nonrenewal, though most states require them to give at least 90 days notice. This allows the policyholder sufficient time...

Contractor’s Guide to Aggregates

Insurance can be a confusing business. Policy language can make little or no sense, especially when you’ve got jobs piling up, subcontractors to deal with and project owners to appease. What is all this “aggregate” business on Commercial General Liability Insurance policies and certificates? Which ones should be checked on your insurance certificate? Which one should your subs be checking? Does it really matter? Yes, it matters. Here is the certificate we are referring to: What’s An Aggregate? The first thing we need to define is what is an aggregate?  A policy has several limits including Each Occurrence and General Aggregate. The General Aggregate limit is often referred to as the policy limit. This is the most that the policy will pay out on all claims over the life of the policy. Policy Aggregate The first checkbox on the certificate indicates that the General Aggregate Limit Applies per POLICY. What does that mean? In the picture above the GENERAL AGGREGATE limit is $2,000,000. The top limit is an Each Occurrence Limit of $1,000,000. So in any one occurrence, the policy will pay out $1,000,000. The General Aggregate or policy limit is $2,000,000. There can be any number of claims on a policy, but the policy limit will be $2,000,000. Once that is exhausted there will be no more claims paid. If the POLICY box is checked on the certificate, that means the policy aggregate limit is $2,000,000. What does that mean to you? It means that if you have a claim against this policy, the dollar value of all claims against the policy will be limited by the amount...

Three Overlooked Policies Business Owners Need

When you start your own business, the main focus is getting things started. That often means going without necessary items in order to make sure the business gets a strong push out of the gate. New (and even some seasoned) business owners will often go without to make sure their hard work isn’t for nothing. One area where it is easy to cut corners is insurance. The policies entrepreneurs often leave on the table are the very ones that could be most helpful. Here are three overlooked policies every business owner needs: 1. Workers Compensation If you have a small business or even a large one with a lot of payroll, it can be tempting to file an exemption or waiver with the state, and leave yourself without workers compensation coverage in the event of an accident. This is not the best decision. As a sole proprietor or new business owner you may be the only employee your company has or you may be one of the hardest-working employees. What happens to your company if your hardest-working employee is unable to work due to a work-related injury? If you think your health insurance will cover you, think again. Many health or medical insurance policies will exclude coverage for on-the-job injuries. If you are injured on the job and unable to work for any length of time, will your business survive? Will your family suffer financially? Solution: Add yourself to the worker’s compensation policy. In most states there is a cap on owner/officer payroll (find out more here), so the premium investment won’t be as much as you think. You...

Assigned Risk Auto: What You Need to Know

In most states, Auto Insurance is mandatory. You cannot register a vehicle without it and if you have it and then lose it, you can lose your drivers license. For businesses, you can also lose important contracts if you do not have auto insurance coverage. For those individuals and businesses that have multiple claims or bad driving records, an Assigned Risk auto insurance policy may be the only option available besides self-insurance (which is another article altogether). Here is what you need to know: Low Cost = Low Coverage Assigned Risk auto insurance plans such as the California Automobile Assigned Risk Plan (CAARP) often bill themselves as “low cost” auto insurers, designed for both high-risk drivers and vehicles and those who cannot afford coverage on the open market. The fact is you get what you pay for. For instance, CAARP offers personal auto limits of $15,000 bodily injury per person; $30,000 bodily injury per accident; and $5,000 property damage (15/30/5) which is the minimum mandatory insurance limits in California. While these limits will satisfy the state, this coverage will most likely not be adequate in the event of an accident. For commercial vehicles, the coverage limit is dependent on the filing requirements for that business. If your business has contracts with general contractors, government agencies or municipalities, higher coverage is usually required, typically $1,000,0000 or more. The assigned risk limit would not be enough. It’s Liability Only Assigned risk coverage typically only covers your personal auto or business needs for liability. Should you require other coverage, you would need to go to an outside market. There is no coverage...

FAIR Plan: What You Need To Know

In the insurance industry, there are two types of risks that can be difficult to insure: those businesses or homeowners that are inherently high risk, and those that become hard-to-place over time due to claims or payment issues. At times, businesses with many claims may end up with an insurer of last resort: the California Fair Access to Insurance Requirements (FAIR) Plan. While this plan can be a godsend to some insureds, it is not without its problems. Is the FAIR Plan right for you? What are the risks of being insured under the FAIR Plan? Read on to find out more. It’s A Last Resort The web page for the FAIR Plan makes it very clear that they are an insurer of last resort: What this means is that you can only get a FAIR Plan policy if your insurance broker has exhausted all other options and been declined. This would include insurance companies in both the admitted markets and non admitted markets. If you receive any other quote from an insurance company, even if it is higher in premium than the FAIR Plan, you must accept the higher quote.   How Did You End Up in the FAIR Plan? There are a few ways your home or business may have ended up in the FAIR Plan: The homeowner had too many claims. If there were multiple break-ins or fires, the open market may have been uninterested in insuring the home, so it was moved to the FAIR Plan. If you have been in the Plan for several years with no claims, you may be eligible once again...

Contractors: Time for an Insurance Checkup

As Spring begins to bloom, many contractors come out of hibernation. It’s time now for potential customers to start building, trimming, cleaning, mowing, moving, etc. The phone is about to start ringing again. If your business is just starting to gear up again after a long winter’s nap, now is the time to review your business and your insurance coverage. Are you ready for Spring? Has Your Coverage Lapsed? During the lean months of winter, some contractors find their income from the heavy months wasn’t able to sustain times of no work. If you failed to pay your insurance premium, your policy may have lapsed, meaning you have no insurance at this time. Lack of general liability or workers compensation insurance could put you in jeopardy with general contractors, municipalities, and state agencies that require coverage to get, keep and use your business license. Lack of auto liability insurance could risk your driver’s license. Pull out your policies, dust them off, and call your insurance broker to make sure coverage is still in place and valid. When you make that call, go ahead and schedule an appointment for a risk management analysis to review current coverage and see if there is anything else you might need. Check Your Equipment We know you’d never leave for a job site without the proper tools for the job. Have you purchased any new equipment? Are you planning to lease any equipment over the next several months? Review the scheduled equipment on your inland marine policy and compare it to your current tools on hand to be sure they match. If items need...

Protect Yours: Wrecking Room Insurance

The world these days is steeped in stress. If essential oils and meditation don’t work, perhaps it’s time for a Wrecking Room? These rooms are popping up all over the country and go by many names including wrecking room, rage room, and demolition room. The premise is simple: grab a tool and take out your stress, rage, anger and/or frustration on everything from old cars to computers. These rooms have been somewhat difficult to insure, since the concept is new (and a little strange). However, Hayes Brokers now has a national program aimed at insuring these businesses. Even if your wrecking room is located in an office building, a standard office policy isn’t going to work for you. Here are some things to know about wrecking room insurance: Premises Liability Insurance Waivers are no guarantee that you won’t be sued in the event of an accident on your premises, but you should require waivers from all participants using your tools and equipment. General liability insurance for your premises is the most important coverage you should purchase for your business. General Liability insurance protects against slip-and-fall injuries on premises, as well as advertising injuries, products and completed operations claims and more. Be sure that your broker is properly insuring your business. If you are purchasing an office package policy for this type of business, you may find yourself without liability coverage in the event of a claim. Most general liability policies may have a classification limitation that excludes coverage for any activities that are not specified in the policy. Property Insurance While much of the property your business owns may...

Employment Practices Liability Insurance

Employment Practices Liability Insurance Frequently Asked Questions Employees are typically the single largest expense to a business year after year. Salary, benefits, and training all contribute to the cost per employee. Employees and potential employees can cost your business in other ways. Harassment lawsuits, racial or sexual discrimination and other employment-related causes of action can cost your business money in legal fees and claims payouts. The best way to protect your business is to purchase Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI). Here are some frequently asked questions about this coverage: Isn’t EPLI included in my Commercial General Liability (CGL) insurance policy? This coverage is NOT usually included in your CGL policy. It would need to be added as part of a package policy or purchased as a stand-alone coverage. If you are unsure, check your policy and then talk to your broker. What does EPLI cover? EPLI policies are tailored to fit your business and may include coverage for harassment, discrimination, wrongful termination, breach of contract, failure to employ, failure to promote, violation of civil rights laws and more. See our document titled “SUMMARY OF EPLI (EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES LIABILITY INS.) RISKS” for a more comprehensive list. Does my business need EPLI? Any company that has employees or plans to hire employees needs EPLI coverage. Even if you only employ family members, or you haven’t hired your first employee yet, you should have this coverage in place. Allegations of misconduct or discrimination can come from anyone at any time, even during the interview or hiring process. EPLI claims and lawsuits can be expensive and time-consuming. Even with little or no indemnity...

Homeowners Insurance: Up in Flames?

As every homeowner knows, “wildfire season” can happen at any time of year. As long as it’s dry enough and there is enough tinder around, sparks may fly. There are many resources out there that explain how to protect your property from a wildfire, but they don’t always work. If you’re out of town or unaware of a fire nearby, you can get caught without proper protection. One seemingly sure thing is to purchase homeowners or renters insurance for your property. Once you purchase a policy you’ll be covered in the event of a fire, right? Well, maybe not. Here are some ways to protect your property with insurance during wildfire season. Don’t Set It And Forget It An automatic insurance renewal every year can take the hassle out of shopping insurance or guarantee you have coverage. You just continue to pay the premiums and if something goes wrong you’ll have coverage. Ask yourself these questions: In the event of a catastrophe: Will you have the right insurance coverage? Will you have enough insurance coverage? There are a couple of ways you can find out the answers to these questions: hope for the best when a claim occurs, or review your policies at the next available opportunity and talk to your insurance broker. We vote that you talk to your insurance broker! Your insurance broker can review your coverage and review your home, personal property and financial situation with you to determine whether the coverage you have is the right kind of coverage and enough coverage to replace your property should the unthinkable happen. Document, Document, Document In a...

Get Your Cannabis Surety Bonds & Letters of Intent Here!

Breaking News! After nearly 2 months on the books, the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) has finalized regulations that would allow for the issuance of licenses under the Adult Use of Marijuana Act. Among the hold-ups was the requirement that licensees have a $5,000 bond. It was unclear what type of bond this should be, and how to apply for one. Good news! Hayes Brokers is now able to secure these surety bonds for those wishing to be licensed with BCC in the State of California. These surety bonds must be a minimum of $5,000. The cost of this bond varies depending on credit, so those wishing to be licensed will need to complete an application and underwriting to get this bond. Hayes Brokers has the application and the forms you need to secure this surety bond. In addition to surety bonds, prospective licensees may be required to provide a Letter of Intent from an insurance broker or insurer to prove that he or she can comply with the insurance requirements of the Act. Hayes Brokers has been and will continue to provide Letters of Intent for licensees as necessary. Hayes Brokers can provide insurance services to every facet of the cannabis industry in all states where cannabis is legal. Whether it is medicinal or recreational or both, we have insurance markets available for everything from distributors to growers to dispensaries and more. Whether you need cannabis surety bonds, a Letter of Intent or insurance coverage for your business, we can help. Call Hayes Brokers today at  (800) 869-8643....

Case Study: Cyber Liability Third-Party Data Storage

When it comes to your customer and business data, who can you trust?  There is no question that it is safer to store data offsite than keeping it on your premises. Most businesses lack the capital to privately store data at an alternate location, so they depend on third-party data storage companies. A cannabis dispensary found out the hard way that third-party data storage isn’t always the safest bet. The dispensary contracted their data storage needs through MJ Freeway, a compliance solutions provider that offers point of sale and data storage. Here’s What Happened In November 2016, MJ Freeway experienced several outages. In January 2017, a cyber attack was discovered, and the ensuing investigation into the attack revealed that confidential client data had been breached November 2016. In November 2017, MJ Freeway notified customers via email and an online press release that the data breach had occurred. It took MJ Freeway nearly a year to notify their customers of this breach. In that time, the data may have been disseminated to other parties, though it is unclear whether that has occurred. Why This Is A Problem In the event of a data breach, most states and the federal government require that consumers be notified “as soon as possible” of a data breach, and usually no more than 60 days after the discovery of said breach.  Regulations may also stipulate that if a breach is in excess of $250,000 or exceeds 500,000 customers, website posting and media notification may be used. So this begs the question: was the data breach that large, or was the notification of customers made too...

Trump Administration Reigniting War On Cannabis?

The high times, they are a-changin’. Or perhaps not. In 2014, then-President Obama quietly “ended the war on marijuana” by instructing federal officials to stand down from raiding cannabis operations in those states that had voted for legalization. In December 2015, he also signed a budget bill that included language that all but legalized medical marijuana on the federal level, specifically prohibiting the banning of federal funds being used by veterans for medical marijuana treatment in state-approved programs. That all may be changing. It has recently been reported that Attorney General Jeff Sessions plans to reverse the previous directive, granting the federal government the right to reignite the war on cannabis. Will this have an effect on your business and the cannabis insurance industry? Probably not. Here’s why. States Aren’t Going To Take It In those states where marijuana has been legalized, the industry is big business, creating significant income for business owners and tax coffers. Those states won’t take federal interference lightly. In fact, California Attorney General Xavier Beccera has vowed to “vigorously enforce our state’s laws and protect our state’s interests.” Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman (now a candidate for governor) made similar statements. Also of note: 12-year-old Alexis Bortell is taking on Mr. Sessions. The preteen will have her day in court February 14, suing the federal government for her right to continue to access cannabis treatment for a seizure disorder. Money Talks It was widely reported after the Sessions memo came to light that cannabis industry investors were running scared. Forbes said just the opposite, quoting investors who noted that the directive didn’t really change...

Commercial Lines Insurance Checkup

No matter when your annual insurance policies begin or end, the new calendar year is always a good time for an insurance checkup. Pull out your policies, get your broker on speed dial, and consider these questions: Did You Hire Any New Employees? New employees can affect your insurance policies in many different ways: Workers compensation payroll may be increased, resulting in an increase in premium at audit. Auto insurance: while most new employees don’t affect your insurance premium, a new driver with a questionable or bad driving record could increase your premium or put your coverage in jeopardy. All new employees should be added as drivers to your policy upon hire, even if you don’t think they will be driving. General Liability: more employees means more work completed, which could result in more revenue. This could increase your premium at audit. Did You Move? If your office moved, did you inform your broker or insurance company? A larger or smaller premises may affect your liability insurance premium. The materials and construction of your office structure have an effect on your insurance premium, so it is important to inform your broker if you have moved. Real property coverage is not transferable so if the wrong location address is on your property insurance policy you may be paying for coverage on a building and business personal property that will not be valid in the event of a claim. Flood insurance is also not transferable, so you will need to cancel your old policy and purchase new coverage on the current location. Other types of nontransferrable coverage include boiler and machinery...

Personal Lines Insurance Checkup

It’s that time of year again when we review how far we’ve come in life and try to determine what the next year will bring. Now is a good time to do an personal lines insurance checkup. Many things may have changed in the past year that could affect your coverage. Here are some questions you should ask yourself: Did You Move? If you were fortunate enough to buy a new home or move to a larger place in the past year, did you remember to bring your insurance coverage with you? Continuing to pay premiums on a policy for a home where you no longer live doesn’t make good financial sense, and will be disappointing in the event of a claim. Check your policies to make sure that they have the right location address and that the amounts of coverage are sufficient to cover both your new home and your personal property. If you purchased new furnishings to go in your new place, will you have enough coverage in the event of a fire or other disaster? While you’re checking, make sure you have flood insurance as part of your portfolio. If you don’t have this coverage, now is the time to call your broker and get it in place. There is a 30-day wait before coverage begins, so don’t delay. Did You Remodel? If you didn’t move, you may have done renovations on your home. That new kitchen, bathroom or den not only looks amazing, but it increases the value of your home. Underinsuring your property can result in coinsurance penalties in the event of a claim....

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