Tenant, Beware! The Perils of Leasing

If you are a tenant, you might believe that you have avoided many loss exposures, such as fire damage to the structure, associated with owning the building. However, have you read your lease lately? Really read it?

Many leases contain extensive insurance requirements that the tenant (you) must agree to meet. Although these usually include liability from your actions and responsibility for covering your property for loss, it’s easy to overlook the extent to which you might have agreed to cover exposures usually assumed to be the responsibility of the building owner.

For example, retail shopping areas often have an abundance of external glass windows. Although these are clearly the property of the building owner, many leases transfer any responsibility for damage to the windows to the tenant. The idea is that because you directly control the potential loss exposures for the glass (such as vandalism, accidental breakage, and maintenance inspections), you should provide the insurance. Similar reasoning might lead you to being held responsible under the lease for other losses not directly attributable to your own negligence.

Now is the time to pull out that copy of your lease. Review it with your legal counsel to see if there might be language or agreements that need addressing. Then let us review the document for its insurance implications (be forewarned — they won’t all be contained in a paragraph titled “insurance”). We’ll review with you, what your lease requires, how your current insurance program matches up with these requirements, and then offer guidelines for making any necessary changes to your protection.

Call us today to schedule an appointment. 877-994-6787

Make Sure You’re Getting All The Homeowners Insurance Discounts You Can

Most companies offer basic discounts on Homeowners coverages, such as bundling Home and Auto insurance, loyalty rewards, and installing smoke detectors and/or home security systems.

However, a growing number of companies offer significant premium discounts on Homeowners insurance to policyholders who are:

  • Senior citizens. If you’re 60 or older, you could lower your premium by as much as 15%.
  • Non-smokers. If you’ve given up the habit — or have never picked up a cigarette, cigar, or pipe — you might qualify for a discount.
  • Married couples or widows/widowers. Could be eligible for discounts of up to 5%.
  • New buyers who have closed a home purchase within 60 days.
  • Willing to increase coverage to reflect a rise in inflation.
  • Ready to buy coverage for the full value of a home.
  • Prepared to buy from a new carrier before the policy with your current insurance company expires.
  • New policy holders with the company (the “welcome” discount) and purchasing coverage for the entire value of your home.

You might also be eligible for a discount if you don’t have a Property damage claim for a specified period, such as three years.

Bear in mind that many insurance companies might not offer some (or any) of these discounts.

To see if you’re eligible, check with the professionals at our agency. We might be able to save you some big dollars. Call today! 877-994-6787

What is a “Separation of Insureds” Clause?

Did you know when signing a contract to do business with another entity, you are agreeing to add them as an insured under your Liability insurance? Several months later, an accident may arise from the contracted job, and the other party sues you for damages. Can you file a claim for this suit under the policy that covers both of you? If so, isn’t this like the party suing itself, because the same policy that covers them as an insured is the one under which they’re now attempting to collect damages?

The answer to the first question is “yes, you can file that claim.” A standard Liability policy will cover a suit by one of its insureds against another unless there’s a specific endorsement prohibiting such coverage. Under such a “separation of insureds” clause, all policy provisions apply “separately to each insured against whom a claim is made or suit is brought.” So, from the policy perspective, the key issue is whether an insured is being sued — not who’s bringing the suit. As with any other claim, whether the policy pays for the damages will depend on a determination of liability and applicable coverage limitations and exclusions.

Although the insured party is attempting to collect under a policy that covers them, legally they aren’t suing themselves, but another insured; and the “separation of insureds” clause allows coverage for such situations.

Protection for “insured vs. insured” claims provides a valuable benefit under your liability coverage. However, bear in mind that any damages for such claims will drain your coverage limits. So, be careful about which and how many additional insureds you allow to be covered by — and yet still sue you and collect under — the policy you purchased just to protect yourself!

If you’d like more information, please feel free to get in touch with our Business insurance professionals. We’re here to serve you. 877-994-6787

Guns, Homeowners, and Insurance

When it comes to insuring firearms, Homeowners coverage offers some clear guidelines. We understand gun control remains a controversial issue, but we are here to help.

If you have rifles and pistols in your home, your policy will insure them against fire damage or theft, usually up to $2,500. Although a Homeowners application might not ask specifically about firearms, the higher liability risk that guns present means that failing to inform your agent or insurance company in advance about them could result in denial of a claim for loss or damage to them.

Because of this greater liability exposure, your insurer might require you to show that you’ve taken such sensible precautions as installing trigger locks, securing firearms properly in locked gun cases, and keeping them away from children. If you have a collection of guns that’s particularly valuable (for example, antique sidearms), you might need to buy a policy rider that ensures their replacement or reimbursement — much as with other big-ticket items, such as jewelry and fine art.

If you shoot someone else or yourself accidentally while in the home, your policy might pay for some or all of the damages, (medical bills, property damage, liability claims, and so forth), depending on the amount of coverage. However, to guarantee full protection, you would need additional policy riders, such as “Sporting Firearm insurance,” “Collector’s Firearm insurance,” or “Gun Club Liability insurance.”

To learn more about firearms coverage in your home, please give your Protection Coach a call 877-994-6787.

Bailee Insurance, Anyone?

Let’s face it, we live in a “service economy,” more and more businesses (such as auto body shops, dry cleaners, and parking lot owners) are taking temporary responsibility for property or equipment owned by others. Any damage or loss to any property under the care, custody, or control of your firm could cost thousands of dollars — unless you have Bailee insurance.

This Inland Marine policy covers the liability of a business (the “bailee”) for the property of customers under its care, custody, or control. Most Property policies don’t provide coverage for this type of exposure, unless it’s included specifically. You can also purchase Bailee insurance on a no-fault basis to protect customers’ property against any loss or damage and subsequent liability, regardless of negligence.

You should buy enough coverage to pay for the total value of other’s property that might be in your control at any one time. Many types of Bailee insurance are tailored to the specialized needs of a particular type of business (Jewelers Block policies, Furriers Block policies, etc.).

As an alternative to Bailee insurance, you can obtain coverage as part of a comprehensive Property policy that includes a “property of others” clause.

We’d be happy to help you evaluate your needs and find a solution to insuring property under your care, custody, and control. Just give us a call. 877-994-6787