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Insurance Talk...Post your insurance questions here!

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by Ben/Insurance, Feb 4, 2014.

  1. Ben/Insurance

    Ben/Insurance Sponsor
    Messages: 166

    Post all of your insurance questions here to be answered by our resident insurance expert, Ben Palmeri. Ben is vice president of a leading independent insurance agency located on Long Island.
  2. FreshGrounder1

    FreshGrounder1 Junior Member
    Messages: 26

    Wondering who the big guys use for snow/landscape Business Insurance. I am currently with Builders Mutual, decent premium, but lots of constant paperwork and last week received in mail "Notice of premium audit". They had a date to come to my home tomorrow for a pre-scheduled audit and check all my paperwork for employees and subs. Is this a "norm" in our industry? Please advise. Been in business for 5 yrs. and never had a problem or claim.
  3. Ben/Insurance

    Ben/Insurance Sponsor
    Messages: 166

    Our largest clients still go through audits and have day to day
    issues that come up that require our attention. Usually,
    they have their bookkeeping/accounting depts handle audits and a CPA firm handle more complicated ones. A good insurance agent should handle much of the related paperwork however so I don't know why you would be dealing with that. Ben
  4. LopatLT7495

    LopatLT7495 Member
    Messages: 52

    Best company to get plowing insurance through in northern NJ?
  5. wewille

    wewille Senior Member
    Messages: 311

    My insurance company does an annual audit. This year they claimed I owe an additional 17 bucks. Whats up with that?17 from me 20 from the next guy, sounds like a way to collect extra money. How do they compute the audits. They claim it is based off our risk, employees, types of properties we service, scope of our work, etc... What is the no bs explanation?
  6. wewille

    wewille Senior Member
    Messages: 311

    Also we have never had a claim up until this recent slip and fall which may or may not amount to anything...
  7. Ben/Insurance

    Ben/Insurance Sponsor
    Messages: 166

    Lopat, if you are only removing snow and you are not a landscaper, mason, etc, Our snow only program will fit you nicely.
    If you are a landscaper, or hardscape contractor that does incidental/seasonal snow removal, the best quality policy, IMO, is Merchants in NY, NJ. The coverages are exceptional, claim service is excellent, and the pricing can't be beat. Plus, with the Merchants policy, it's stable so their is no need to look around for insurance very year.
    We are agents for Merchants. If you'd like a quote, feel free to contact me. 516-233-3515 or BPalmeri@Archerins.com
  8. jomama45

    jomama45 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,190

    What is the lowest an experience mod. can be for a Work Comp policy?
  9. Ben/Insurance

    Ben/Insurance Sponsor
    Messages: 166

    Wewille, insurance carriers base the cost (called the premium) of insurance by determining what your risk (or exposure to a claim) is. For commercial contracting insurance, the more employees, sales, payroll, etc that you have, the larger chance that you will have have a claim. Your exposure increases. Let's not even get into what type of work that you are doing. That's another discussion. Their really is no other way for them to price their products fairly. They can't charge everyone the same price. To make sure they charged you fairly, the carriers perform an audit. Over the last few years, with the economy in the toilet, I have seen countless refunds due the policy holder because payroll, sales,or employee count was down. It's very rare to see the opposite these days but it does happen. That's the no bs answer.
  10. Ben/Insurance

    Ben/Insurance Sponsor
    Messages: 166

    Jomama, I have seen mods down to .82 for the best run organizations but it is rare. That would mean a 18% discount on your WC premium! I don't think their is a basement on mods but in my 28 years practicing that's the lowest I've seen.
  11. jomama45

    jomama45 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,190

    Thanks Ben, that's what I was looking for. My exp. mod. continues to slip down, and is currently at .90, so I'm glad to hear it can still go down a bit. It's not a huge issue though, as I get rather large dividend returns every year as well. Knock on wood.............
  12. Ben/Insurance

    Ben/Insurance Sponsor
    Messages: 166

    Jomama, that's great. You must be doing things right. Maintaining that mod is very important. You might want to consider hiring a WC advocate to protect and further improve the mod. They do great work and most don't charge you unless they are successful reducing the exp mod. Your agent should be able to recommend one to you that he/she works with.
  13. Ben/Insurance

    Ben/Insurance Sponsor
    Messages: 166

    The difference between truck insurance and general liability insurance

    I get lots of calls from contractors that question the need for General Liability coverage when they have a commercial auto policy also known as truck insurance. I'm happy to educate the forum community about it. The commercial auto policy is designed to cover your commercial vehicles (trucks). It provides your company with coverage for bodily injury and property damage claims resulting from their use. If you are plowing a parking lot and accidently hit someone or something with your truck, your commercial auto policy will respond. The General Liability (GL) policy, with respect to contractors, also covers bodily injury and property damage but only responds to claims from your premises or operations. You plowed that same parking lot and after you've completed your work, someone comes along and slips and falls on a patch of ice and decides to sue you. The GL policy will respond to that claim providing both a defense and indemnification if applicable.
    I've really simplified things here and coverage requirements sometimes get very complex but that's a good start. Feel free to ask any questions or if you want to email me, you can reach me at BPalmeri@Archerins.com and I still talk on the phone if anyone is still intersted in communicating that way. I'm at 516-233-3515
  14. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Sticky time!
  15. BossPlowMaster

    BossPlowMaster Senior Member
    Messages: 203

  16. andersman02

    andersman02 Senior Member
    Messages: 756

    Stick for sure.

    orrrrrr i could just keep this copied for the 10000 posts we have about non insurance operations.....
  17. Sawboy

    Sawboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,700


    And this!
  18. Ben/Insurance

    Ben/Insurance Sponsor
    Messages: 166

    Sorry guys, I'll ask the moderator to move it to the sticky.
  19. MSS Mow

    MSS Mow Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 983

    Great post!!! Thanks for posting! So many people do not understand the difference.
  20. Ben/Insurance

    Ben/Insurance Sponsor
    Messages: 166

    What is an additional insured and why are you being asked to provide this?

    Another question that comes up a lot is what is an "additional insured" and why is my customer or GC asking me for this. I'll keep things simple. Here is a good scenario. You plow snow and your customer, an office building owner, wants your general liability insurance to respond if they get sued due to someone falling on snow and ice in their parking lot that you plow. The way to accomplish this is by adding an "Additional Insured" Endorsement or rider to your GL policy. This "rider" extends your liability insurance to the party named on it. In this case, it's the building owner. While this building owner should still notify their insurance carrier of the trip/fall, they will now pursue your insurance first and they would have coverage under your policy. Without the "Additional Insured" endorsement, they would only have their own insurance to respond to it and most building owners, justifiably, want to manage risk and pass on as much liability exposure to those they deem responsible for the claim. While their is a charge to add an Additional Insured, it is usually negligible and you can have your agent include the "Blanket Additional Insured" endorsement when you first get your insurance. That rider is about $100 or so and affords you unlimited additional insureds throughout the policy period. That's it for today! Thanks for reading.