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3 Restaurant Insurance Tips to Protect Your Business

Posted by David Ross on Sun, Jul 08, 2018

Restaurant Insurance Tips and advice for restaurant, bar, and nightclub owners in Philadelphia, Allentown, Pittsburgh, Erie, Harrisburg, Reading, Lancaster PA and more.As a restaurant owner, you know there are certain types of restaurant insurance that you need to protect your business.

What if a customer is injured on your property and sues you? How will you repair the damages if there’s a fire in your kitchen? There are so many “what-ifs” in any business, especially if you’re in the food industry.

While you may have perfected your Béarnaise sauce and learned how to create a soufflé that stands tall, what do you really know about insurance? How well do you know each type of insurance and how much coverage you need? Let’s face it; insurance can be complicated!

That’s why your best bet is to work with an independent insurance broker who specializes in restaurant insurance and can help ensure that you have the right coverage at the best price.

 

Here are 3 Things to Consider Before Signing on the Dotted Line

#1. Assess your Risks and Insurance Needs

Play the “what if” game to determine what kind of risks your business may be susceptible to and then consider what assets are essential to running your business – the ones you can’t do business without. An underwriter from your insurance company will determine the level of risk it is willing to take and how much coverage it is ready to provide to determine your insurance premiums.

However, it’s still good to know what protection you need. And things change – maybe your business is growing, or you sold a piece of equipment – so you’ll want to have a yearly insurance checkup with your insurance agent to make sure you still have the right coverage to protect your business.

#2. Realize that Cheaper May Not Be Better

It’s true that you don’t want to pay more for insurance than you have to, but if you purchase the cheapest insurance, and it doesn’t cover you when something happens, that isn’t protecting your business. 

Many restaurant owners increase the deductible to save money on their premiums. That’s often a good idea, but make sure you have enough available cash to cover that deductible if something happens. Before raising that deductible, ask yourself, what financial resources do I have available and what level of risk am I willing to take.

The best way to save money is to work with a broker who can get you the best price on the coverage you need by comparing prices from several insurance agencies.

#3. Understand What You’re Signing Before You Sign

Insurance policies can be complicated, but it’s essential that you understand the terms of your policy and the exact coverage that it provides. Make sure that you understand the exclusions and look for gaps where additional coverages may be needed.

For example, if you have a liquor license, general liability usually doesn’t cover that, but liquor liability insurance does. Talk to your insurance broker and ask questions - that’s what we’re here for.

Remember, the purpose of business insurance is to protect your business. To make sure that you’re covered if you get sued or if there’s a fire in your kitchen, or if any number of unforeseen incidents occur. You want to be certain that an accident cannot put you out of business.
 

Get Help. Contact the Restaurant Insurance Specialists!

Get the best restaurant insurance at an affordable price. Serving Philadelphia, Berks County, the Lehigh Valley, Allegheny County and more.Don't go it alone. Give American Insuring Group a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 or contact us online.

We specialize in quality restaurant insurance at affordable pricing, and provide prompt service not only when you’re purchasing your insurance, but also if you have a claim.

We have access to multiple insurance companies and will shop and compare both coverage and cost to ensure that you have the right insurance to protect your business at the best possible price.

Tags: Restaurant Insurance, Business Insurance, Bar Insurance, Nightclub Insurance

The Construction Boom and Builders Risk Insurance Rates

Posted by David Ross on Tue, Apr 03, 2018

Tips to lower your builder's risk insurance costs in PAThe construction industry is booming – both new construction and remodeling - and it looks as if that trend will continue. Construction has a 4.5% projected growth rate over the next five years.

In fact, construction is expected to be one of the fastest growing industries into 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Real output in the construction industry is expected to reach $1.2 trillion by 2020.


This is excellent news if you’re in the business of building or remodeling houses. It translates into big opportunities for builders. Unfortunately, it can also bring higher risk, making now the perfect time to let the experienced independent agents at American Insuring Group review your Builders Risk Insurance to make sure you have the right coverage to adequately protect your business.

 

What is Builders Risk Insurance?

Builders Risk Insurance is a type of property insurance unique to the construction industry. It covers structures or building materials during construction. It provides coverage for damage from events such as fire, wind, theft, hail, explosion, lightning, and vandalism. Builders Risk Insurance is typically written for three, six, or twelve month periods, and can be extended (although usually only once) if the project takes longer than anticipated.

This insurance pays for damages up to the coverage limit, which should be based on the total completed value of the structure including not only materials but also labor costs. The best way to determine that value is to look at the construction budget.

Standard Exclusions

Standard exclusions on builders risk insurance include earthquake, employee theft, water damage, weather damage to property in the open, war, government action, contract penalties, voluntary parting, and mechanical breakdown. Another typical exclusion results from faulty design, planning, workmanship, and materials, which can be covered by Professional Liability Insurance.

Here are a few more things that you should know about Builders Risk Insurance:

  • It doesn’t cover the property of others
  • Subcontractors must have their own insurance
  • Tools and equipment are not included
  • Accidents on the job site are not covered
  • Once the building is completed or occupied, the coverage usually ends
  • It doesn’t cover professional liability

Does the Booming Industry Mean Higher Builders Risk Insurance Premiums?

Historically, Builders Risk Insurance has been safe from dramatic increases. Increases tend to be small and incremental. And experts don’t foresee that changing even with the increase in construction projects. However, 2017 was the costliest year ever for weather and climate disasters in the U.S. totaling $306 billion. The U.S. was hit by 16 weather events that caused more than a billion dollars in damage. Previously, 2005 held the record at $215 billion.

Most experts agree that the cost of this damage will only slightly increase builders risk insurance premiums particularly with frame construction and construction in areas that are prone to catastrophes.

How to make Builders Risk Insurance Work for you in this lucrative market

  • Cover Your Entire Project - Many builders purchase builders risk insurance because their lending institution requires it, so they only cover the bare minimum: labor and materials. These are the parts of the project the banks have an interest in, but you need to protect your interests as well, which include overhead and profit.

  • Spell it out with a detailed contract – Make it very clear in the contract who (contractor, owner, designer) is responsible for what if something goes wrong. The American Institute of Architects offers comprehensive contract templates.

  • Don’t be Naïve – Whether your company is big or small, you do face risk, and if you don’t have a lot of cash flow even a small amount of damage can be catastrophic.

  • Hire good subcontractors – Verify that all of your subcontractors have certificates of insurance with adequate limits. You may also want to secure a waiver of subrogation and list subcontractors as additional insured for both operations and completed operations for the project. This way, if there is a lawsuit, the subcontractor’s insurance will defend the contractor.


Contact Us to Review Your Business Insurance Policies 

Now – while business is booming – is the perfect time to review your business insurance policies!

The agents at American Insuring Group specialize in Contractors Insurance and finding ways to lower your risk while reducing your costs.

Give us a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 or contact us online. We’ll be happy to review your policy to ensure that you have adequate coverage to protect your business.

Tags: Contractor Insurance, Commercial Liability Insurance, Business Insurance, Builders Risk Insurance

5 Truck Driver Safety Tips to Lower Truck Insurance Cost

Posted by David Ross on Sun, Oct 29, 2017

Lower your truck insurance costs with these safety tips. Serving Philadelphia, Reading, Pittsburgh, Erie, Allentown, Harrisburg, PA and beyond with affordable trucking insurance from reliable carriers.You have a great deal of power behind the wheel of a tractor-trailer. It's your responsibility to drive safely. As a bonus, if you do, then you'll also enjoy lower truck insurance costs.

Sobering Trucking Statistics

Truck engines have 300-400 more horses than a passenger vehicle and 900-1,800 more feet/pound of torque, and tractor trailers can weigh 20-30 times more than a passenger vehicle, according to the Truckersreport.com.

Plus, tractor trailers “are taller with greater ground clearance, which can result in smaller vehicles underriding trucks in crashes,” according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IHS). And tractor trailers have more blind spots and take 20-40 percent farther to come to a complete stop than passenger vehicles, according to IIHS.

With great power comes great responsibility. “About 98 percent of all semi accidents result in at least one fatality,” TruckAccidents.org reports. “Most deaths in large truck crashes are passenger vehicle occupants,” according to IIHS. In 2015, IIHS reported that 3,852 people died in large truck crashes – 16% were truck occupants, 29% were car occupants, and the rest were pedestrians, bicyclists, or motorcyclists.

Here are 5 Important Safety Tips for Truck Drivers:

  1. Be Alert – Give the road your full attention and be aware of what is going on around you. Know who is in front of, behind, and next to you at all times. Try to anticipate potential dangers and always leave enough space to allow for safe braking and unexpected actions. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recommends, “If you are driving below 40 mph, you should leave at least one second for every 10 feet of vehicle length. For a typical tractor-trailer, this results in 4 seconds between you and the leading vehicle. For speeds over 40 mph, you should leave one additional second.”

Being well-rested is key to staying alert.  The hours-of-service regulations, which puts limits on when and how long you can drive, were put into place to help ensure that you remain awake and alert while driving. Don’t compromise safety; follow these regulations.

  1. Watch the Weather – Weather is one of the most significant factors that affect driving safety. Knowing what to expect can help you be better prepared. A wet road requires more room to stop, so slow down and keep an even safer driving distance between you and the car in front of you in bad weather. And pay attention to the temperature as rain can quickly turn to treacherous ice when the temperature drops.

If you don’t feel safe in the current driving conditions, stay parked. Know your limits and don’t be a hero. Nothing is worth risking your life for.

  1. Pick a Lane – The chance of an accident increases every time you change lanes, so pick a lane and stay in it whenever possible. If you do need to change lanes, do so carefully. Be aware of your blind spots and carefully check your mirrors.

  1. Plan Your Travel – If possible, avoid traveling in high-volume traffic at peak times. Allow time for regular breaks to stretch and recharge. Watch the weather to see if you can expect any dangerous conditions and make sure that your truck is equipped with supplies for all driving conditions. Check your rig and your load before starting.

  1. Maintain Control – Remember that your vehicle is bigger and more powerful than most of the vehicles around you and that it won’t stop or take a turn the way a smaller vehicle The best way to maintain control is to control your speed.

No matter how “hot” your load is, nothing is worth risking your life for. And an added benefit is that fewer accidents mean lower truck insurance premiums!

How to Save on Trucking Insurance

A Trusted Choice Independent Agency for PA Truck Insurance. Contact us to save.To learn more ways to save on truck insurance, give contact American Insuring Group online or call us at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848.

Our independent agents will save you money by comparing lots of competing trucking insurance carriers. Our independence gives us the freedom to shop. We shop, you save!  Call or click today.

Tags: Commercial Vehicle Insurance, truck insurance, Business Insurance

4 Common Misconceptions About Restaurant Insurance

Posted by David Ross on Sun, Oct 22, 2017

Affordable PA Restaurant Insurance in Allentown, Philadelphia, Reading, Lancaster, Pittsburgh, PA and beyond.You’ve worked hard perfecting your recipes, hiring the right people, finding the perfect location, and creating a successful business.

So why wouldn’t you do everything you can to protect all that sweat equity, including getting the proper insurance for your restaurant, bar, or nightclub?

Perhaps it’s because while most restaurant owners know they need insurance to protect their business, it’s easy to make bad decisions based on a lack of information, thereby exposing your restaurant and your personal assets to risk.

 

Here are 4 common misconceptions about restaurant insurance: 

Misconception #1. You Can’t Get Blood From a Stone

You may think that if you don’t have a lot of money that you simply cannot get sued. The truth is that no matter how big or small your business is or how much money you have, if a settlement against you is awarded, the courts will do everything they can to collect that money. They may seize your equipment, your bank account, and sometimes your personal assets.

 “While formal business structures like an LLC are an important first step toward safeguarding your personal assets, there’s a common misconception that incorporating will automatically protect you from all personal liability,” according to Huffington Post. “However, there are still several situations where you can be personally liable.”

One example the Huffington Post offers is, “If your actions injure someone, you can still be personally liable. This is because an LLC or corporation can protect you from personal liability for contractual lawsuits, but not against tort lawsuits. This is the reason that most professionals such as doctors take out a good professional liability insurance policy.”

Misconception #2. Nobody WIll Sue Me

We live in a very litigious society. No matter how careful you are, there is always a chance of being sued. Even if it’s a bogus claim that is dismissed, legal fees may be more than your business can afford. According to Rocket Lawyer, “The threat of a lawsuit is very real: over 100 million cases are filed in US state courts every year.”

Misconception #3. Insurance is Just Too Expensive

Do you have enough in savings to cover your restaurant if a customer or employee sues you? Probably not! A lawsuit can be costly. “Hiscox claims data for small and mid-sized businesses (under 500 employees) indicate that one in five will face employment charges with an average cost to defend of $125,000, which includes expenses such as attorney’s fees and settlement costs,” according to the Insurance Journal. “For those that did have insurance coverage, the average deductible cost was only $35,000, compared to the $90,000 balance paid out by their insurance company.”

Ask any restaurant owner who has been sued and did not have the right insurance, and they’ll tell you that the cost of insurance is worth the protection. Ask any restaurant owner who has been sued and had the right insurance, and they’ll tell you that the cost of insurance is worth the peace of mind. 

Misconception #4. I Only Hire a Few Employees, so I don’t need Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Each state has its own laws about which employers are required to provide Workers’ Compensation insurance to their employees. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry, “Workers' compensation coverage is mandatory for most employers under Pennsylvania law. Employers who do not have workers' compensation coverage may be subject to lawsuits by employees and to criminal prosecution by the Commonwealth.”

 

Protect Your Future with Affordable PA Restaurant Insurance

Trusted Choice Independent Agents Specializing in Affordable, High Quality Restaurant Insurance in PennsylvaniaDon’t put your restaurant at risk. Trust the experienced Independent Insurance Agents at American Insuring Group to separate fact from fiction. You'll be confident knowing your restaurant is protected with affordable, high quality restaurant insurance.

Get started by calling us at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or contact us online

Tags: Restaurant Insurance, Business Insurance

Nail Gun Safety and Workers Compensation Insurance

Posted by David Ross on Sun, Oct 15, 2017

Nail Gun Safety Tips - Avoid Injury and Lower Your PA Workers Comp Insurance Costs.Contractors and handymen, do you remember the days before nail guns? When you had to use a hammer to nail something.

Today, you probably can’t imagine doing your job without a nail gun! They’ve probably made your job a lot easier, and, unfortunately, more dangerous, which can lead to increased workers compensation insurance claims and higher insurance costs.

According to the CDC, nail guns are responsible for approximately 37,000 emergency room visits every year. Sixty-eight percent of those injuries are work-related. Severe nail gun injuries can even cause death.

7 Risk Factors for Nail Gun Injuries

The CDC has identified 7 major risk factors that can lead to nail gun injury:

  1. Unintended nail discharge from double fire

  2. Unintended nail discharge from knocking the safety contact with the trigger squeezed

  3. Nail penetration through lumber workpiece

  4. Nail ricochet after striking a hard surface or metal feature

  5. Missing the workpiece

  6. Awkward position nailing

  7. Bypassing safety mechanisms

Nail Gun Safety Prerequisite: Know Your Triggers!

Before we can discuss ways to avoid nail gun injuries, it’s important to understand the different types of nail gun triggers.

There are two controls with every nail gun: a finger trigger and a contact safety tip on the nose of the gun.

  1. Full sequential trigger – This is the safest type of trigger. The controls need to be activated in a very specific order for the gun to fire, and nails can’t be bump fired – also called bounce nailing. Bump firing or bounce nailing is using a nail gun with a contact trigger held squeezed and bumping or bouncing the tool along the workpiece to fire nails.

  2. Contact trigger – This type of trigger fires a nail when the safety contact and trigger are activated in any order. A nail will be fired each time the safety contact is pushed in if you keep the trigger squeezed. Nails can be bump fired with this type of trigger. Contact trigger nailers are prone to double firing, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

  3. Single sequential trigger – To fire this type of trigger, controls must be activated in a specific order and nails cannot be bump fired just like the full sequential trigger. However – unlike the full sequential trigger – only the trigger must be released to fire the second nail.

  4. Single-actuation trigger – This trigger will fire a single nail when the safety and trigger are activated in any order just like the contact trigger. To shoot the second nail, you can release the trigger, move the tool and squeeze the trigger again without releasing the safety again. Nails can be bump

 

6 Ways to Avoid Nail Gun Injuries

The CDC offers six steps to help avoid nail gun injuries:

  1. Use full sequential trigger nail guns, which reduce the risk of unintentional discharge and double fires especially with inexperienced employees.

  2. Provide safety training to both new and experienced employees that covers topics such as how triggers differ and the leading causes of injuries and how to avoid them.

  3. Establish nail gun work procedures specific to your company that address risk factors.

  4. Provide personal protective equipment (PPE) such as safety shoes, high-impact eye protection, etc.

  5. Encourage reporting and discussion of injuries and close calls to draw attention to possible risks, so they can be avoided and to ensure that your employees are getting medical care when needed.

  6. Provide first aid and medical treatment. Sometimes, what seems like a minor injury can be more severe. For example, materials such as nail strip glue or clothing can become embedded, which can cause infection.

Play it Safe with Proper Workers Compensation Insurance!

Trusted Choice Workers Compensation Insurance Independent Agents Serving Reading, Philadelphia, Allentown, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, PA and beyond.It is your responsibility to provide the safest workplace environment for your employees. The fact that it also reduces your workers’ compensation costs is just icing on the cake!

To learn more about saving on workers compensation insurance, give American Insuring group a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 or contact us online. Our independent agents are ready to get you solid coverage options at a great price. Call or click today.

Tags: Workers Compensation Insurance, PA Workers Compensation Insurance, Business Insurance, Nail Gun Safety

Food Truck Insurance and Risk Management

Posted by David Ross on Mon, Oct 02, 2017

Contact us to reduce risks for your food truck business with the right insurance. We serve Philadelphia, Reading, Lancaster, York, Harrisburg, Lebanon. Allentown, Pittsburgh, Erie, PA and beyond.More people are getting into the food truck business than ever before. Food trucks offer a more affordable and flexible option for first-time entrepreneurs. Plus, many restaurateurs are adding food trucks to increase brand awareness and to cash in on the current growth of the food truck industry.

Food Truck Business Quadrupled in 5 Years

Food Trucks are the fastest growing channel in today’s foodservice industry. The projected food truck revenue in 2017 is expected to be $2.7 billion – compared to $650 million just five years ago - according to Foodtruckoperator.com.

Food Truck Business Risks

Like any business, food trucks face potential risks. Here are 3 main risks to consider:

  1. Vehicle Risk – Food trucks are exposed to many of the same physical risks a restaurant faces such as fire, flood, and general wear and tear with the addition of automobile accidents.

  2. Operator Risk – The people operating the vehicle are subject to many of the same risks a restaurant faces such as falls, cuts, and burns.

  3. Liability Risks – Customers can suffer an injury such as slips or falls along with food-related illnesses. Plus, food trucks have the added liability that sometimes occurs with automobile accidents.

How to Protect Your Food Truck Business

It is your responsibility to protect your business, employees, and customers by managing these risks. There are steps you can take to prevent some them such as thoroughly screening anyone who will be driving your vehicle, following food safety guidelines, and being aware of any possible hazards both in and around your truck. Unfortunately, there will always be certain risks you don’t anticipate or can’t control. One lawsuit or one accident that you aren’t prepared for can mean the end of your business and all the hard work and financial resources you’ve put into it.

Gain Additional Protection with Food Truck Insurance

That’s where food truck insurance - which addresses risks related to most businesses and risks unique to food trucks – can help. Also, most landlords, event organizers, and venue owners will require you to have certain types of insurance. For example, most will require at least $1 million in general liability insurance. They don’t want to be held responsible for damage to your vehicle or injury to your customers. 

7 types of insurance you may want to consider for your food truck business:

  1. General liability helps cover legal expenses, fines, and penalties if someone sues you.

  2. Workers compensation (WC) insurance is required by many states. Within Pennsylvania, WC is mandatory for all employers with one or more employees (with a few exceptions). But with a food truck, you may find yourself traveling to other states. The National Federation of Independent Business offers a state-by-state comparison of workers’ compensation requirements.

  3. Property damage insurance protects your property from damage caused by collision, theft, fire, vandalism, and other damage while your vehicle is parked. Property is divided into two separate categories: your food truck with any attached equipment and the contents of your vehicle.

  4. Auto liability insurance covers you for injury or property damage to others if there is an accident while you are driving the vehicle.

  5. Food spoilage coverage protects you from the costs associated with the loss of food and beverages due to spoilage. Food can quickly spoil with a prolonged power outage or an equipment breakdown, and you certainly don’t want to serve your customers spoiled food.

  6. Food contamination coverage may help recover certain expenses if the health board shuts down your food truck after a food-borne illness outbreak. Contamination can be caused by mishandled or improperly stored food, employees may unknowingly transmit a virus or bacteria to the food, or the food may even be contaminated when you receive it.

  7. Umbrella insurance, which goes above and beyond your general liability and auto liability limits, may be required for large contracts.

 

Getting the Right Insurance for Your Food Truck Business

Contact American Insuring Group for help in obtaining the best food truck insurance at the right price for your needs.It may sound complicated and perhaps a bit overwhelming, but the independent agents at American Insuring Group can walk you through your options and help you determine the best food truck insurance for your operation. Contact us online or give us a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848.

We'll compare competing insurance providers to determine those that offer the best protection at the best price to meet your needs. Contact us today to get protected and to start saving on food truck insurance!

Tags: Commercial Vehicle Insurance, Restaurant Insurance, Business Insurance, Food Truck Insurance

Contractual Risk Transfer vs. Contractor Insurance

Posted by David Ross on Sun, Aug 27, 2017

Contractor Insurance Vs.Contractual Risk Transfer. Contact us for advice and for quality PA Contractor Insurance.If you own a construction company, the chances are good that you subcontract some or all of the work to another party. You can (and should) do your due diligence to ensure that any subcontractor you hire has a reputation for doing a good job safely. However, it’s impossible to foresee all of the potential financial and operational risks that may arise with a project, particularly with a third-party. 

General Contractors Held Liable

There is always the possibility of an injury, property damage, a delay, or a construction defect as a direct result of a third-party’s services or products. Normally, it’s the general contractor who is held liable for the actions of the parties that they subcontract.

Shifting Risk Through CRT - Contractual Risk Transfer

Since you can’t stand over, watch, and control every action your subcontractor makes, it’s important to protect your business from liability issues that may be caused by these subcontractors. Contractual risk transfer (CRT) can help mitigate some liability risks as it shifts some or all of the responsibility for claims, losses, and damages to another party.

CRT is not contractor insurance. Instead, it is a non-insurance contract that identifies critical exposures and clearly states the roles, responsibilities, and requirements (including insurance) of everyone involved in a construction project before the project begins. It is designed to place all or part of the financial risk on the party that is closest and most able to control the activity that may cause an injury, damage, delay or defect, and it indemnifies and holds certain parties harmless for specific actions, inactions, injuries, or damages.

Typical components of a CRT include the following:

  1. A written contract
  2. An indemnification or hold harmless clause
  3. Insurance specifications
  4. A certificate of insurance
  5. An additional insured endorsement
  6. Record retention guidelines

Contractual Risk Transfer Best Practices

Here are five best practices the insurance industry website PropertyCasualty360.com offers to build a more effective contractual risk transfer program:

  1. Create standard contractual risk terms that are regularly reviewed and updated as needed.
  2. Train procurement professionals, so they understand standardized terms and why they’re important to risk management.
  3. Require authorization to bend the terms of the contract because occasionally changes may be needed.
  4. Establish guidelines for when to involve risk management. For example, when a contract exceeds a certain dollar amount or falls outside the scope of your normal activities.
  5. Enforce collection and review of certificates of insurance.

 

Contractual Risk Pitfalls

Here are three common CTR pitfalls from Construction Executive that you should watch out for:

  1. Accepting Certificates of Insurance (COI) at face value. Dishonest contractors have been known to provide fraudulent COIs, cancel the policy after presenting the COI, or purchase highly restrictive policies.
  2. An additional insured endorsement will provide you with a written notification if a policy is cancelled; however, the pitfalls associated with an additional insured endorsement include a) if you don’t have a written contract to go along with it, it may not be enforceable, b) if the underlying policy doesn’t cover a claim because of an exclusion, the endorsement is worthless, and c) even with an additional insured endorsement, the subcontractor’s limits may not be adequate to cover the full cost of a loss.
  3. A written contract may not be enforced in a court of law especially if there is no COI with an additional insured endorsement.

In Summary 

CRT programs can be quite complicated, but since they help limit your liability, protect your assets and your bottom line, and control your insurance costs, they are well worth the effort. It’s always a good idea to use an attorney and insurance advisor when drafting a contract, and whenever you enter into a new contract, you should review it carefully and make sure you understand the risk that you are accepting.

Contact Our Experts To Protect Your Business

Our independent insurance agents will save you money on contractor insurance in Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Reading, Allentown, Lehigh Valley, Pittsburgh, Erie, PA and beyond.To learn more about protecting your business, contact American Insuring Group online or call us at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848. Our independent insurance experts will inform you of the risks you may be exposed to, and how to protect yourself with the proper contractor insurance coverage.

Unlike our "single brand" competitors, our independent agents are free to shop and compare rates and coverages among many competing insurance carriers to ensure you get the best price on quality insurance protection. Contact us today!

Tags: Contractor Insurance, Business Insurance, Contractual Risk Transfer

Commercial Insurance and Faulty Workmanship

Posted by David Ross on Sun, Aug 13, 2017

You need the right Commercial General LIability Insurance to protect you against lawsuits. This applies to Contractors Insurance and other types of business in Pennsylvania and beyond.We live in a litigious society, and no matter how careful you are or how small your business is, you may find yourself at the wrong end of a lawsuit. Every year more than 100 million lawsuits are filed in the U.S. every year, according to Rocket Lawyer.

Thirteen percent of small business owners have faced a lawsuit, according to Hiscox. And according to courtstatistics.org, the median cost for a business lawsuit starts at $54,000. “Nearly half of these cases resulted in negative consequences, including financial impact, loss of customers or damaged reputations,” according to Thrive.

Commercial General Liability Insurance

Commercial General Liability Insurance (CGL) is essential if you want to protect your business from lawsuits. CGL covers your business in the event of a liability claim for bodily injury and property damage and from advertising and personal injury liability caused by your services, business operations or employees. It usually covers the cost of your legal defense and any damages if you are found liable (up to your policies limits).

The Insurance Information Institute offers these examples of circumstances that are generally covered by a CGL policy:

  • A customer visiting your business trips on a loose floor tile and is injured.
  • An employee forgets to turn off the water and causes significant damage to a customer’s property.
  • Someone files a class action lawsuit against your business, alleging advertisements constituted misleading information. 

Faulty Workmanship and CGL

We are all human. Sometimes things go wrong: an improper installation or a defective product. What if you install a water heater incorrectly, which causes an explosion with significant damage to your customer’s property, and they sue you for the damages? Will your CGL policy cover you?

Generally, the answer is yes. The CGL policy is designed to pay for property damage to a customer's property, even if the contractor installed it improperly.  It is not designed to pay the contractor to rip it out and replace it in the proper way.  That would be the Workmanship exclusion, but damage from a water heater explosion would typically be covered.

Every policy is unique, but here are two common exclusions in CGL policies that may result in a claim being denied:

  • “Your Work” Exclusion – This exclusion is meant to prevent someone from using a CGL policy as a guarantee of their work. It usually excludes coverage on property damage that is caused by faulty or defective workmanship
  • “Your Product” Exclusion – This exclusion prevents coverage for damage to an insured’s product in the event of a defect in that product.

These are just two of the exclusions that may be included in your CGL policy. There are many other exclusions that can result in your claim being denied. Understanding these exclusions and knowing your options will help you protect your business. For example, there is optional insurance that can be purchased that may cover you in the event of faulty workmanship - Contractors Faulty Workmanship Coverage or an Errors and Omissions Insurance Policy.

 

Get Help - Contact the Commercial Insurance Experts!

CGL policies can be complex, so it’s always a good idea to speak with an experienced and knowledgeable independent insurance agent. At American Insuring Group, we pride ourselves on answering questions you may not have thought to ask and making sure you have the right insurance for your business, all at a great price.

Call American Insuring Group at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 or contact us online to learn about Commercial General Liability Insurance of all kinds, including Contractos Faulty Workmanship Coverage and Errors and Ommissions Insurance.

Tags: Contractor Insurance, Commercial Liability Insurance, Commercial Insurance, Business Insurance, Commercial General Liability Insurance, CGL, Errors and Omissions Insurance

8 Business Insurance Tips to Avoid a Workplace Catastrophe

Posted by David Ross on Tue, Feb 28, 2017

Business Insurance for Natural Disasters and More in Philadelphia, Reading, Lancaster, Allentown, Harrisburg, York, Lebanon, Pittsburgh, Erie, PA and beyond.If your company has never been struck by catastrophe, consider yourself lucky! But that doesn’t mean that your luck will hold out forever. There’s always a flood, hurricane, explosion, earthquake, lightning, or terror attack waiting around the bend.

And you and your entire company must be ready for it. With wildfires destroying over ten-million acres last year and winter storms causing $3.5 billion in insured losses earlier this year, businesses cannot afford to assume that they will be exempt from a catastrophe that strikes without warning. Getting the right business insurance is an important first step, but there are many practical things you can do to be prepared and to lower the cost and impact of a disaster.

Consider the following as you prepare your organization for a disaster:

1. Prepare safety equipment, including:

  • Fire extinguishers
  • Fire-fighting equipment
  • Personal protective equipment that includes steel-toe and slip-resistant footwear, hardhats, eye protection, high visibility clothing, gloves, hearing protection, dust masks or respiratory protection
  • First-aid kits
  • Wireless communication equipment

2. Engineering controls

Escape paths, lockout tag-out controls, shut-off valves, guardrails, and exhaust ventilation that will minimize exposure to airborne hazards must be planned and inspected. Battery-powered emergency lighting, strategically placed, must be set up to go on immediately after you lose power.

3. Maintain emergency equipment

  • Check and test the emergency generator
  • Check fuel levels regularly on generators and fire pumps
  • Check all roof-mounted equipment to ensure that it’s securely connected
  • Check roof drains to make sure they are clear and able to handle heavy rains
  • Check the roof and make any repairs, no matter how minor

4. Provide training

Establish an emergency response team with participants from all parts of your organization. Then, conduct disaster management drills to ensure all members of the emergency response team and all other employees know their responsibilities. Conduct daily safety briefings that discuss hazards and controls. Identify and eliminate or control existing or potential dangers that you discover after any disaster. Job performance appraisals should be tied in with compliance on all employee training.

5. Secure your data

  • Copy your valuable papers and records, and put them in a safe place.
  • Make sure that back-ups of computer records are current and kept in a safe location off-site.
  • Confirm that any of your third-party vendors or cloud providers are also prepared for any natural or man-made disasters.

6. Work with your local government before a catastrophe hits

File a copy of your emergency response plan with local law enforcement officials, and provide them with new versions as you update them. Make sure that the local government’s emergency response team has contact information for your company. Give them updates whenever anyone on your team leaves the company or changes roles.

7. Patrol your facility during the emergency

As long as it’s safe to be there, your emergency response team should be patrolling the facility. The team should be concentrating on the following:

  • Make sure all equipment is functioning properly.
  • Repair any structural damage, if possible 
  • Correct any potential fire hazards 
  • Monitor the water pressure for your sprinkler heads.
  • Deploy sandbags if flooding seems imminent.

8. Emphasize workplace safety after the disaster

Once your business has resumed normal operations, it’s important to reinforce standard safety measures:

  • Ensure that your employees are using proper lifting techniques, and provide material handling equipment to keep manual lifting to a minimum.
  • Limit the amount of employee exposure to hazardous conditions. 
  • Minimize exposure to dangerous situations by rotating employees.
  • Make personal hygiene and sanitation your company’s priority, and give workers an area where they can clean up after each shift.

Get the Right Insurance Protection for Your Business - Contact Us to Learn More

Contact us for the right commercial insurance protection for natural disasters and other events.To learn more about preparing and protecting your business with the right types and amounts of commercial insurance, contact American Insuring Group online or call us at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848.

Tags: Commercial Insurance, Business Insurance, commercial property insurance, Disaster Recovery Plan

Your For-Hire Trucking Firm Needs Motor Carrier Insurance!

Posted by David Ross on Fri, Feb 17, 2017

Use these tips to save on your motor carrier truck insurance costs in Philadelphia, Reading, Lancaster, Allentown, Harrisburgh, Pittsburgh, Erie, PA and beyond.You invested a lot of money to start your own for-hire trucking business. Now it’s beginning to pay off as your schedule fills and you are spending more time on the road.

Being busy is what you hoped for, but it’s vital that you remember that you are now responsible for the business end of this venture, and protecting it has to be your top priority.

Motor carrier insurance is a type of truck insurance designed specifically for your kind of operation, and choosing the right insurance coverage will protect your investment and your business.

Here are some tips for getting the maximum coverage for your stuation:

For motor carriers who use for-hire independent truckers

If you are permanently leased to a motor carrier, there’s a good chance they will provide Primary Liability insurance coverage for you. The terms will be contained in your lease agreement, and, if the carrier provides the insurance, it will cover injuries and damage to other people and property if you are at fault during an accident.

If your carrier covers the primary liability, you will still need to purchase other for-hire trucking insurance. These are important:


Non-trucking liability: If you are not hauling cargo—you’re getting your truck washed or taking it for repairs—this coverage provides you with limited liability insurance protection.

Physical damage coverage: This insurance covers your truck and trailer against collision, fire, theft, hail, windstorm, earthquake, flood, or vandalism. The lien holder of your vehicle will require this coverage.

Motor truck cargo insurance: If you are responsible for lost freight or damaged goods, you are protected with this policy. The premium will vary depending on the load you’re hauling.

If you work on your own authority:

If you work independently—officially called operating under your own authority—you’ll need to purchase your mandatory primary liability insurance coverage which, as noted earlier, pays for damages you cause to other people and their property.

Other essential coverages:


Physical damage: This insurance pays for repairs to your truck if it's damaged in an accident, whether it's caused by a collision with another vehicle or a falling tree branch.

Motor truck cargo insurance: Pays for damages to the load that you’re hauling in the case of fire, theft, or an accident.

Uninsured motorist coverage: Pays for injuries and damages to you, your passengers, and your vehicle, which was caused by drivers who either don't have insurance or don't have enough insurance to cover your injuries and damages.

Medical payments insurance: Mandatory in some states and unavailable in others, this coverage would pay medical bills for you and any passengers in your truck in case they are hurt in an accident or auto-related injury.

Trailer interchange insurance: If a load needs to be transferred to a different trucker, the motor carrier that has possession of the trailer is responsible for any damage to it, whether or not the trailer is attached to the tractor. Trailer interchange insurance covers physical damage caused to a non-owned trailer under a trucker’s care.

 

Get Help - Get the Right Trucking Insurance

Contact us for the best trucking insurance including motor carrier insuranceSigning on with a reputable motor carrier can mitigate some of those insurance expenses, but whether you drive under permanent lease or your own authority, you will need to sit down with an expert on for-hire trucking insurance to help you get the best coverage at a competitive price.

We can help, so contact the experts at American Insuring Group online or call us at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848.

Tags: Commercial Vehicle Insurance, truck insurance, Commercial Insurance, Business Insurance, Trucking Insurance, Motor Carrier Insurance