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0 12 February 2015

By Denise Sze | August 21, 2014 | originally published on I have made it a point to blog about an insured’s responsibility when it comes to obtaining insurance policies and the right kind of coverage. In California, having the sole allegation that a broker or agent didn’t provide the right policy when an insured didn’t read the policy is usually a losing argument for liability upon the broker or agent. A California ruling from August 2013, finding broker liability shows that hope still springs for the underinsured who truly should have been informed of underinsurance and coverage issues by their agent. In Early v Smith-Kandal Insurance Agency, a historic hotel was destroyed by fire in March of 2007. The existing Chubb insurance policy of $3.1M didn’t cover the damages and the cost of rebuild. In the insured’s pursuit of a lawsuit for the underinsurance, the insured was able to show that before the last renewal of insurance that Chubb sent out a representative to inspect the property. That inspection resulted in recommendations by the insurer for additional coverage because the insured was heavily underinsured. Chubb offered that it would increase the policy limits to an amount much closer to what the inspection sh

Posted in Sales Tools
0 12 February 2015

By Marc Schmittlein | April 16, 2012 | originally published on In recent years, the United States has been impacted by devastating weather events, many unprecedented and unexpected. According to the Environment America Research and Policy Center, more than 15 million Americans live in counties that have averaged one or more weather-related disasters per year since the beginning of 2006. While small business clients who have faced weather-related issues may be aware of the risks, there are thousands who ignore the impact a disaster can have on their business. But it’s not only significant weather events that can constitute a disaster. Underinsurance can be an even greater issue for many business owners. In fact, 75 percent of businesses in the United States are underinsured by 40 percent or more, according to Marshall & Swift/Boeckh. Insurance professionals know all too well that if a business is underinsured and a loss occurs, it may be impossible to keep the doors open. SCORE, a nonprofit association dedicated to helping small businesses, even suggests that a full 40 percent of businesses never reopen after a disaster. Insurance agents have an opportunity to solidify their client relationships by taking time now to reach out and to

Posted in Sales Tools
0 3 February 2015

Many insureds are being required to carry umbrella/excess liability coverage by contract or perhaps just for piece of mind. We have several excellent markets to help you round out that account. Often umbrella/excess coverage is the last piece to get quoted and quick turn-around time is essential. In order to provide quick turn-around, please provide us with a complete submission which includes the following items:

  • Acord application (Acord 125 and 131) completed in entirety especially years in business, requested limits, payroll, receipts, underlying carrier, dates, limits and premium. Be sure to provide full details on the applicant’s exposure.
  • 5 year currently valued CGL, Auto and EL loss runs
  • Expiring umbrella carrier, limit and premium (if applicable)
  • Vehicle schedule
  • Auto and CGL quotes (or policies if already issued)
  • If the risk is a contractor, we need a contractor supplement.
  • If the risk is trucking, we need to know what they are hauling, how far and for whom. We also need a trucking supplement.

We will provide you with the best pricing and best service. Please help us to help you.

0 15 June 2013

It seems at times as if nearly every party that our trucking customers interact with desire additional insured status on the trucker’s commercial auto policy. In reality, most of these parties are already insureds under the policy language. It is the intention of the commercial auto policy to cover the insured’s liability for operation of a motor vehicle, and nearly every other party who may be deemed liable for the insured’s actions. Generally, the only exceptions are certain vehicle owners, and those in the business of selling or servicing vehicles — in other words parties who should have their own insurance coverages to look to. Despite this, insurance professionals must navigate a tangled web of Additional Insured requests from customers of our policyholders. Understanding who is, and who is not, covered already under the policy, and what endorsements should be used for those parties seeking AI status is of great benefit as we deal with our commercial auto customers. Many years ago, the Business Auto Coverage Form was the primary method to insure trucking risks. A large number of the Additional Insured Endorsements in use today are no longer necessary, but were developed in response to shortcomings in the BA form which had been designed for private carriers and did not react well to the needs of trucking customers. The Business Auto Form is problematic in terms of ho

0 29 May 2013

Scottsdale’s Loss Control Department recently mailed a complimentary DVD to all fleet customers of the Minnesota Motor Carriers Group. As mentioned in a previous newsletter, Interstate is the only appointed agent in PA and MD, and one of only two appointed agents in WV, with access to this unique transportation program from Scottsdale Insurance Company. We are proud of our exclusive representation of this A+ rated market. The DVD is entitled “Truck Safety 1 – Safe Driving Awareness Programs for Professional Truck Drivers” and includes six training topics. A 10-question quiz for each topic is posted on the loss control website. The DVD topics are:

  • Aggressive Driving
  • Backing Safely
  • CSA & PSP
  • Distracted Driving
  • Rail Safety
  • Cargo Tank Rollover Prevention

Although the DVD was distributed to only fleet customers (11 or more power units), non-fleet customers will find it useful as well and may order the DVD free of charge from the Scottsdale Truck Safety Website. Here is the website link. The DVD overview, including instructions on how to order, is listed under “DVD Training”.

0 29 May 2013

Canal Insurance Company has partnered with Quest Services to introduce a no-cost Roadside Assistance Program for all Canal policyholders. All Canal insureds should have received a complimentary Roadside Assistance packet in January or February. In partnership with Quest, Canal insureds can now save up to 35% of the normal rates for the following services:

  • Mechanical Breakdown Towing
  • Mobile Mechanic Services
  • Lockout Services
  • Dead Battery Jump-Starts
  • Emergency Fluid Delivery
  • Tire Changes
  • Concierge Services (arranging for alternate load transportation)

There are no annual fees – customers pay for services at the reduced rate only when and if needed. A 24/7 Call Center is available 365 days per year to assist customer needs, with the goal of getting the trucker back on the road quickly and at the lowest possible cost. For further information, please visit the following web link:

0 29 May 2013

Here’s a court case that seems timely given my following article on additional insureds: American Trucking and Transportation Insurance Company v. Allied Tube and Conduit Corp, decided 8/12/12. In this case, an employee of System Transport Inc. was injured while loading steel tubing onto an insured vehicle. The employee filed suit against the shipper – Allied Tube and Conduit Corp – alleging that Allied was negligent in failing to have safe procedures and proper equipment for loading and securing steel tubing. Since Allied was named as an additional insured under System Transport’s commercial auto policy, they tendered defense to System Transport’s insurance carrier, contending that the carrier was required to defend and indemnify them under the terms of the insurance agreement. System’s insurer rejected the tender, asserting that they were not required to defend Allied for Allied’s own negligence. The District Court ruled in the insurer’s favor, and the State Supreme Court upheld the decision after appeal. Here are some quotes from the written decision: “Generally, the purpose of including additional insureds in insurance policies is to protect the additional insured from liability resulting from the named insured’s negligence. In this case, Allied argues that System Transport’s insurance policy is broader than normal and that it covers liability resulting fr

0 29 May 2013

Map-21, or Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act, was recently signed into legislation to address many of the challenges facing the U.S. transportation industry. Among other things, the newly passed bill requires Freight Brokers to obtain and file with the FMCSA a surety bond or trust agreement in the amount of $75,000. Currently the minimum financial security requirement is $10,000. The primary goal of the higher surety requirement is to prevent damage to shippers and carriers from underfunded brokerage companies. All brokers must comply with the new financial security requirements beginning on October 1st of 2013. Other provisions of the bill require brokers, carriers, and freight forwarders to be issued unique registration (MC) numbers for each category of service. Companies will no longer be able to use the same licensure number for their carrier and broker divisions. Also, the transportation bill imposes severe penalties for brokering without a license, including civil penalties of up to $10,000 for each violation with limitless liability for payments. Currently, a number of motor carriers re-broker freight without proper broker authority and surety. With the new penalties and tightened regulations, carriers not holding FMCSA Freight Brokerage Authority would be well advised to take a hard look at their reassignments of loads to other parties.