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Beware: Communicable Disease Exclusion for Commercial General Liability Insurance

With more businesses set to slowly open their doors again, I’m certain that insurance carriers are going to start adding this Communicable Disease Exclusion onto Commercial General Liability insurance policies at renewal. I’ve reviewed various policies of my insured’s to see if this exclusion is tucked away in any current policies and I am not seeing much of it at this time, but I bet it’s coming. Here’s the policy form/exclusion I’m referencing:

It’ll be interesting to see how insurance carriers respond. Will they potentially remove it for an additional premium, or if it’ll be straight non-negotiable?

My suggestion is to keep your eyes open on your general liability policy to see if this is added at renewal and what the potential repercussions are for your business.

I think in due time, new regulations will be put in place within the insurance industry to address communicable diseases, but I feel this is critical to look at now from a Risk Management standpoint.

-JK

Two Things You Can Do Today to Lower Your Business Insurance Premiums to Weather the Coronavirus Storm

Last week was tough. Call after call, I spoke with business owners and others in management roles who are feeling scared and anxious right now for obvious reasons. Due to the effects of the Coronavirus, they’ve already had to either lay off staff or furlough their hours to save on operational costs.

Some were calling to inquire about canceling their insurance coverage entirely until we get through this storm. My advice has been that we might not need to go down that road right now.

Photo by Branimir Balogović on Unsplash

Before taking such drastic matters, here are two things you can do today to lower your insurance premiums without sacrificing or eliminating your current coverage:

  1. Review your estimated annual sales with your commercial insurance agent/broker and make adjustments to your liability insurance policies. Liability insurance premium is typically rated in accordance with gross annual sales/revenues, subject to audit at the end of the policy term. Rather than wait for the audit at the end of your current policy term, adjust your policy now to get the premium down which will help save on your monthly costs.
  2. For your Workers Compensation insurance policy, review your estimated annual payrolls and make any adjustments now rather than wait for the annual audit or canceling the policy altogether. If you’re at a standstill and do not have any payroll, or very minimal payroll, make the adjustment now.

Insurance carriers are making billing accommodations and extending grace periods for cancellations by as many as 60 days. Call your insurance carrier billing departments right away and explain your situation. Do not wait. They’ll most certainly make accommodations based on the current state of affairs.

Times are challenging for the entire world right now, but I believe we’ll get through this just as fast as we were thrown into it. Although insurance premiums aren’t the only operational cost for a business, they are one that we can control now by taking these types of measures. By doing this and maintaining your coverage, you won’t have to go through the process of re-applying for insurance once things are back to “normal.”

This too shall pass.

-JK

Radio Interview: The Different Types of Insurance To Protect Your Business

I hope you’ll catch my radio interview hosted by Candy Messer of Affordable Bookkeeping & Payroll. We discuss all things Business Insurance and Risk Management. From General Liability for a home based business to Cyber Liability and Employment Practices Liability for small to middle market companies. You can catch our interview HERE. Also, link included below.

Topics include: General Liability Insurance, Errors & Omissions Insurance, Cyber Liability Insurance, Businssowners Insurance policies, Employment Practices Liability, Workers Compensation, Risk Management.

-JK

Insurance for Accountants, CPA’s and Bookkeepers

Accountants, CPA’s, Bookkeepers, Tax Preparers, and other financial services professionals work with a lot of sensitive, personal financial information which can expose them to high levels of risk. And that’s in addition to the every day risks they face – like damage to their place of business or business-related records, etc.

The Hartford is a great insurance carrier for Accountants, CPA’s & Bookkeepers and other financial professionals. They offer a product which bundles General Liability, Professional Liability (Errors & Omissions), Data Breach, Property, and Business Income into a single package policy at a really reasonable price.

Whether you’re a sole practitioner, or partner at a large accounting firm, you should consider The Hartford for your business insurance if you don’t have a policy with them already.

Contact me if you would like to see what The Hartford can offer. I am an appointed broker who can help you out with a quote for this.

-JK

Professional Liability vs General Liability Insurance For Technology, Computer & IT Services

I’m working on an insurance policy renewal for a Technology, Computer & IT Services based small business. This is for their Professional Liability / Errors & Omissions insurance coverage.

The insured wants to know the advantages of keeping this E&O insurance policy and the coverage differences compared to General Liability insurance.

Here’s a nice two-minute explanation from The Hartford to address this exact question:

If you ask me, all Technology, Computer and/or IT Services based businesses should carry both professional liability (E&O) and General Liability to protect their risk exposures, without question.

Your clients can sue you for a wrongful act in providing professional services, which can be the result of an act, error or omission; very often, it is not the result of a mistake, but rather displeasure with the outcome, and even frivolous lawsuits will incur defense costs

The best part is that both coverages can often be packaged into a single policy together.

-JK

Uber and Lyft Passengers Can Now Buy Insurance Before Their Rides

Uber and Lyft passengers can now buy insurance before their rides to cover any accidents or even death. Chubb, one of the world’s biggest property-casualty insurers, is joining ranks with startup Sure to sell policies on an “on-demand, per-day basis,” to cover accidents or death. The initiative will be called RideSafe and will pay up to $10,000 in medical costs per accident and include a $100,000 death benefit. Eventually, RideSafe plans to offer insurance for autonomous vehicle rides.

Source: LinkedIn

California Commercial Auto Insurance – Losses & Costs Rising

Right now there are industry-wide challenges with increasing loss costs in commercial and personal auto insurance, particularly in California. If you have a commercial auto insurance policy for your business, you’re probably seeing your premiums increase. If not, you can expect to. I’ve been seeing it with pretty much all major insurance carriers on the market. We’ve been having to shop coverage for clients like crazy due to the steep premium increases.

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California Commercial Auto – What’s Driving Losses?

More trafficTotal miles driven increased 50 percent faster in California than in the rest of the country since the start of 2015. More vehicles = higher frequency of accidents.

Distracted driversOne-quarter of crashes involve drivers talking on phones or texting.

Escalating medical costsMedical care costs are climbing more than 1.5 times faster than other costs.

More fatalities and other severe accidentsAccident rates per person and per mile
of driving are rising in California.

Inexperienced or undesirable driversA shortage of skilled commercial drivers with good driving records = greater odds for accidents.

Rising auto repair costsRecord U.S. auto sales mean garages are often servicing newer cars with more expensive parts. Even minor repairs can cost big bucks.

What you can do to help ease your commercial auto insurance loss costs?

  • Implement a fleet safety program and follow proper fleet maintenance procedures.
  • Enforce company policy for use of company vehicles (e.g., limitation on personal use, who can use company vehicles, hours of operation, etc.).
  • Regularly check employees’ driving records and take appropriate action driving records are not acceptable.
  • Use telematic devices to monitor employee driving habits and usage of company vehicles.
  • Be aware of the risks involved with employees using their personal vehicles on the job.
  • Provide Driver Safety Training for their employees. Important topics include, but are not limited to: Distracted Driving; Speeding; DUI; Need for Rest; What to do if your vehicle breaks down, etc.

Need help with these things? Contact me today. Buying a commercial auto policy is one thing, but implementing these risk management procedures along with the policy can help your business tremendously with costs.

-JK

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