Life Happens

Some days or weeks, life just happens when you least expect it to.

My wife and I whom both work full-time in heavy sales roles were smacked in the face with the reality that our nanny has to tend to her own sick child for the next few days.

My wife was literally getting ready to walk out the door for work yesterday when she got the sudden news from our nanny. Without hesitation, she stopped what she was doing and readjusted her entire day to care for our daughter.

Today it’s my turn but I am not complaining, I love this girl!

My daughter C. and me

Technology allows me to get my work done anytime, anywhere. Albeit on my daughter’s clock today, not mine. I have my Agency Management System, my work phone, and my email all at my fingertips which allows me to serve my clients regardless if I am sitting in my office or not. Not to mention my support staff back at the office. How great is that?

I may not be as productive, but I’m not skipping a beat either.

Kids or not, life happens to everybody and we all must face reality. Props to my fellow soldiers out there juggling life and work and finding ways to get it done. It might not always be pretty, but somehow it always miraculously works itself out.

-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

Brand New Excavator Gets Dropped Two Stories

Who knows if the excavator was brand new or not but it makes the heading sound better.

This is a good visual lesson of the importance of Inland Marine insurance if you’re a contractor with expensive equipment like this:

Inland marine insurance coverage is intended for property that may be moving from location to location, property off premises at new locations, temporary locations, or work locations, and/or subject to “unique” causes of loss that traditional property policies do not cover.

Contractors equipment, like this excavator, is one of the majors areas covered by Inland Marine Insurance.

New or old, this excavator needs to be replaced now. And there’s no time for lagging. The job needs to get done. This is why you should but Inland Marine insurance if you’re a contractor with expensive equipment that you cannot afford to lose.

-JK

Graffiti Prevention for Businesses

You see it everywhere you go. It doesn’t matter what city, state, or country…..graffiti is EVERYWHERE. And it looks like crap and if it’s on the wall of your business or building! Not only does it look like crap, but graffiti contributes to reduced retail sales, a decline in property values, and citizen fear. Not what you want when it comes to running a thriving business. Or owning a successful commercial building.

A business littered with graffiti is less likely to be patronized. Citizens feel less safe and secure entering a storefront where graffiti is present.

Graffiti Prevention: Tips for Businesses

If you have any questions about the following:

  • How can a business prevent graffiti?
  • How might a “graffiti ordinance” affect a business?
  • What should a business do if it’s hit with graffiti?
  • How should graffiti be removed?

Then check out this Tips for businesses fact sheet

Hopefully with enough businesses on board to prevent graffiti, we don’t have to see it everywhere we go. Pure and simple, it looks like CRAP! More importantly, it contributes to reduced retail sales, declines in property values, and community fear.

What measures are you taking to prevent graffiti on the walls of your business or building?

-JK

Is California the Most Litigious State in the United States?

Although many people view California as the most litigious state in the United States, it is actually the sixth most litigious, according to the Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Texas had more than 7,482 charges filed in 2018; followed by Florida with 6,617; then Georgia with 4,919; then Pennsylvania with 4,463; followed by Illinois with 4,444; and then California with 4,344.

Considering that California is the most populous state and has the most protections for employees, the number of complaints, just based on employee population, is a head-scratcher unless you believe that California employers are better at preserving employee rights or that population and employee rights are not good indicators of employment practices risk.

Source: Travelers

-JK

Fire Prevention for Apartment Buildings

If you own an apartment building, you know it’s a valuable asset that you want to make sure to protect to ensure it continues to bring monthly income into your pocket in the form of rental income. Take care of your baby!

Philadelphia Insurance Companies has identified three leading causes of residential fires: electrical issues, smoking, and cooking. Additional hazards include laundry dryers, barbeques, and flammable liquids. To address these causes, Philadelphia recommends the following tips and resources to help you reduce the chances of a fire at your apartment building:

Electrical Fire Safety

  • Do not overload your system by using “daisy chains” of power strips or extension cords
  • Have the entire electrical system inspected by a qualified electrician prior to building purchase or occupancy
  • Have your electrical system inspected at least every 10 years by a qualified electrician
  • Have an infrared scan of your electrical system with a thermographic camera every three to seven years to identify hot spots
  • Tighten or replace components where hot spots exist to help prevent electrical fires and for possible savings in electrical consumption
  • Visually inspect key electrical components, like breakers and switches, on an ongoing basis, making sure they are clean, dry, and tight
  • If your apartment building has aluminum wiring or Federal Pacific Stab-Lok breakers, these are known fire hazards; contact your insurance broker or carrier for Risk Management Services to help

Smoking Fire Safety

  • Make your apartment building smoke-free
  • If you cannot have a non-smoking apartment building, create a safe smoking area at least 20 feet away from the building with a non-combustible, non-tipping receptacle for ash and butts

Cooking Fire Safety

  • Implement cooking fire preventative devices, such as stovetops that sense unattended cooking or limiting the temperature of the cooking surface
  • Implement Auto-Out fire reactive devices that expel an extinguishing agent in the event of a fire

Laundry Dryer Fire Safety

  • Verify that dryer lint traps are in good condition and being cleaned often to prevent buildup
  • Ducting from the dryers should be smooth aluminum, and should also be on a cleaning schedule

Flammable Liquid Fire Safety

  • Do not store more flammable liquids or aerosols than necessary on a property. Discard all not being used and store the remainder in a UL listed flammable liquids cabinet

Barbecue Fire Safety

  • Consider a policy of “no personal” barbecues on site. Provide a community barbecue located away from any building
  • Do not allow any charcoal barbecues to be used onsite
  • If personal barbecues are allowed, they should be used a minimum of 10 feet from any structure and not allowed on any combustible deck

Finally, make sure smoke detectors are present and operational. In residential fires resulting in deaths, 57% of the time a smoke alarm was not present or was not operational, according to the NFPA. Ultimately, the goal is to prevent fires, which requires a joint effort by apartment building owners, apartment building managers, and residents. A reasonable investment of time and resources by all three parties can help keep people safe and protect real estate investments. For more information, watch the four-minute video above from Philadelphia Insurance Company. And contact me anytime you have questions about protecting your apartment building. This is an ever-valuable asset you want to keep in good standing.

Credit: Philadelphia Insurance Companies

-JK

Workers Compensation Insurance For Doctors

For all outpatient physician practices and clinics including physical therapists, acupuncturists, chiropractors, dialysis, x-ray laboratory services; and blood, body fluid, and tissue collection and testing.

We have a quality Workers Compensation insurance carrier applying major credits off the 8834 physicians class code. I haven’t found another carrier who can compete with them in this market.

I found this to be true for two of my clients in the past month as we marketed their workers’ compensation insurance policy renewals.

If you know of a doctor who is interested in us exploring this option on their behalf, please share this message. Now is a good time to start looking ahead at 2019 as you’re reviewing operational expenses and budgets.

-JK

Own A Vacant Commercial Building? Beware

If you own a vacant commercial property like a retail shopping center, office building, industrial building, etc., be really careful when it comes to your property insurance. There are limitations with coverage.

By definition, a building is considered vacant unless at least 31% of its total square footage is rented to a lessee or sub-lessee and used by the lessee or sub-lessee to conduct its customary operations.

Typically, insurance carriers will not pay for any loss or damage caused by any of the following, even if they are Covered Causes of Loss if the building where loss or damage occurs has been “vacant” for more than 60 consecutive days before that loss or damage occurs:

  1. Vandalism;
  2. Sprinkler Leakage, unless you have protected the system against freezing;
  3. Building glass breakage;
  4. Discharge or leakage of water;
  5. Theft; or
  6. Attempted theft

With respect to Covered Causes of Loss other than those listed in Paragraphs (1) through (6) above, an insurance carrier will reduce the amount they would otherwise pay for the loss or damage by 15%.

If you own a commercial building which is currently vacant, or if you know you will be losing a tenant soon, the first thing you should do is contact your insurance broker to see what options are available before you secure a new tenant.

-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

Construction Material Cost Continues To Increase. What Does This Mean For My Commercial Building?

Construction material costs increased by 7.4% in September compared to the same month in 2017, according to an Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) analysis of U.S. Labor Department data. In the past year, tariffs have caused producer price index increases of 29.3% for diesel fuel, 22.1% for steel pipe and tubing and 11.7% for fabricated structural metal, among other cost increases. Over the past year, contractors increased their construction fees for nonresidential properties by 3.5%, which indicates firms are absorbing increased costs, according to the report. Additionally, 80% of respondents to an AGC August survey reported difficulty filling hourly worker positions, resulting in 62% of firms paying higher salaries to attract and retain workers.

What does this mean for my Commercial Building Insurance policy? 

If you own a commercial building, whether it be an apartment, industrial, office, or retail building, you should pay close attention to the Building insurance limit you have on the policy.

Perhaps you secured a policy years ago and haven’t looked at it in a long time. Or, have no idea how much you should be insuring your building for in the event of a fire, or earthquake.

Our economy is cranking right now. Contractors have more jobs than they know what to do with. Their employees are in high demand and they need to pay high salaries to keep their talent. More demand equals higher costs.

This isn’t 2009 when contractors were begging for work and you could basically name a price when hiring them for a job. They are busy and selective on which jobs they choose in today’s economy.

From what we’re hearing from Southern California based general contractors right now, their costs for material and labor are at least $300-$400 per square foot to build. So if you have a 20,000 square foot commercial building, you should probably be insuring that for at least $6M Replacement Cost value (20,000 x $300 per sq/ ft).

My suggestion is that you dig up your commercial building insurance policy and check what limits of insurance you have for the building coverage. If you’re severely underinsured, call your commercial insurance agent/broker and ask them what it would cost to endorse your policy with the limits suggested above. You’ll be happy you did if you suffer a loss in the coming day/week/month/year.

-JCK

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