>> Wednesday, January 30, 2013
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I work with a variety of insurers in my efforts for my bank clients. I review coverage, help with claims, and manage bids for community banks.
|A.M. Best Rating||Weiss Ratings|
|ABA Insurance Services - Everest Re Group Ltd||A+ XV||C|
|BancInsure Inc||B++ VI||C|
|Chubb Group of Insurance Companies||A++ XV||B|
|Cincinnati Insurance Companies||A+ XV||A-|
|FinSecure - StarNet Insurance Company - W. R. Berkley Group||A+ XV||C|
|Kansas Bankers Surety - Berkshire Hathaway Insurance Group||A++ VII||B|
|OneBeacon Insurance Company - White Mountains Insurance Group||A XI||B-|
|Travelers Group of Insurance Companies||A+ XV||B|
|Zurich Financial Services Ltd||A+ XV||C|
The Simmonds Business Insurance Index™
Renewal Premiums - Slight Increases
Renewal Coverages - Negotiate - But Be Ready To Lose
Buyer's Outlook - Long-Term: Prices Increasing / Coverage Restrictions
The soft market is coming to an end. Underwriters are asking questions. Insurers are restricting writings in areas. Coverages that were easy to get are requiring tough conversations and negotiations.
I had an underwriter refuse to offer crime limits over $25,000 to a wood products company the other day! Six months ago we could have probably negotiated for $100,000 at no additional premium.
Carriers are reluctant to offer renewal quotes early because they are afraid to miss an increase in the market premium. There is breath-holding going on about the January reinsurance renewals.
This will not be pretty.
Sent to the ABA Journal:
Got a call this morning from the manager of a residential condo complex here in Maine.
Last year's premium was $12,000. Traveler's non-renewed the policy, as it is "coastal." The manager worked with the current agent; several board members tried to help by going to other agents. This left the insured with multiple agents all going to the same insurers, multiple quotes from multiple insurers, several from the same insurance company, but different premiums.
The current policy expires in eight days.
The manager is frustrated, confused, and looking at a higher premium (I won't tell you how high, as agents are still working on this and may read my blog). Big mess. Nobody is happy; not the manager, not the board, not the agents, not the underwriters.
I offered a solution that often works: go to a direct writer who has not been in the game yet.
I don't know if this will solve the problem. I sent them to an agent for Nationwide who has done good work for other clients.
Sometimes the solution to a problem is a very hard right.
It does not untangle the rat's nest. It throws it out. As I said, a hard right.
Now, to the preventative:
Renewals must be managed by the insurance buyer. Nobody looks after your business like you do. Take it on and hold your agent accountable. Set dates and expectations.
If you are going to get competitive bids, that process needs to be managed, too.
There can only be one captain of the boat. The condo above had too many people contacting agents with no coordination.
You must assign insurers to agents. Find out which insurer each participating agent wants to use. Assign insurers to the agents based on the requests of the agents. Someday I hope that insurers will provide quotes to multiple agents. Until then, we must assign insurers.
If I hear how this works out, I'll let you know.
Your general liability insurance covers you for your liability that comes from accidents involving bodily injury and property damage. The most common bodily injury event by the general public (not employees) is "slip and fall."
Someone slips and falls in your parking lot or in your lobby.
You should have a policy for handling such events that is well known by your employees, and that includes:
-Make the person comfortable.
-Be courteous and helpful.
-Allow the injured person to decide whether or not they need medical attention (unless they are unable to communicate as the injuries are so serious).
-Get the person's name.
-Get witness names.
-Do not fill out a form in front of the injured person.
-Record the incident and keep a record of the event including the conditions that were present. Get pictures after the fact. The report should include comments made by the injured person about the event ("I only had two beers with lunch," is something that needs to be in the report).
-Never admit fault.
-Never berate or reprimand employees in the presence of the injured person.
-Never share a copy of any report with the injured person or his attorney.
Such events do not need to be reported to your insurance company unless the injuries are so serious that an ambulance is called to the scene. If the injured party calls you about medical bills (or his attorney contacts you), then report the claim.
It should go without saying that if your lobby is slippery every time it rains, you need to consider a different floor covering. Putting a "slippery when wet" sign out is NOT risk management. It is admitting there is a problem and that you have not fixed it.
So-called medical payments insurance is also a part of most general liability insurance policies. More on that in a future post.
OK, I am catching up on my reading of the insurance information service, FC&S (National Underwriter Company).
A few minutes ago I blogged about bad adjusters. Now its my turn to take a swipe at agents.
Here is the question asked:
A hit-and-run driver hit a car, which in turn was pushed into a building. The building and the personal property inside were damaged. The car was covered by uninsured motorists insurance, and the insurance company is paying for the car. However, the auto insurer will not pay for the building and personal property damage, stating that "as the driver was not in the car at the time of the accident and therefore we [the insurer] are not liable, the hit-and-run driver is." The car caused the direct physical damage to the building, the hit-and-run driver did not hit or even touch the building. Wouldn't the car insurance be responsible for the damages as the car hit the building, not withstanding it was unoccupied?
The agent is asking about LIABILITY coverage. Liability insurance responds when the insured is responsible for the damage or injuries caused.
Why would anyone think that a parked car is responsible for damage caused by another car? Basically the agent is taking the position that there was an accident and the insurance should pay.
There has to be liability before a liability policy will pay. Insurance 101, day one - maybe hour two.
Of course if some lunatic court says that the parked car is responsible for the accident, then matters change. The insurance policy does not have a lunatic court exclusion (that I have ever seen).
Bad claims adjusters are a plague on all our houses.
Insurance adjusters are to be the front line of the insurance transaction - the part of the transaction that we all buy insurance for - claims service.
Here is a letter sent to the insurance information service, FC&S (National Underwriter Company):