Claim: Frequency Kills: Part 1

How a few insurance claims can make your firm uninsurable

By: David Dybdahl | July 2018

When should you report a claim?

Here are little known facts in insurance:

What does this boil down to? Insurance Is Important! You need it to run your business as well as protect it!  With out it, you will be unable to get a majority of jobs and leave yourcompany open to loss that could bankrupt it! 

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Insurance Is Important! You need it to run your business as well as protect it!

Private Risk Financing for Environmental


Expert Insight Panel:
April 19, 2018 1:30 pm

Bloomberg Environment


Brad Maurer
J.D., CPCU, American Risk Management Resources Network,
Philadelphia, PA

Brownfield Initiative Programs have three common elements:

  • Statutory liability relief for successfulremediation,
  • Use of voluntary cleanup programs and expedited governmental approvals for
    remedial actions to shorten remediation periods, and
  • Funding to identify brownfield sites and bridge the financing gap between cleanup costs and property market value.


Superfund Site Redevelopment: A Brownfield Approach to Financing Environmental Remediation Costs for Site Reuse

The Environmental Protection Agency, through its Superfund Task Force, has indicated that the agency will be focusing on streamlining and expediting cleanup and reuse of contaminated sites, with a major emphasis on involving private parties and encouraging private investment.
This session will explore the costs and benefits of several private risk funding approaches for site cleanups, such as: litigating old general liability insurance policies, purchasing pollution legal liability and cost cap insurance, and
incorporating environmental liability transfer and guaranteed fixed priced remediation strategies at sites. The session will provide an overview of common terms and conditions associated with the various options, the market
and providers for each of these options, and their potential role in transactions through real-life case studies.

Download The Article HERE


6 Things to Know to Get Paid for Sewage Claims

By: David Dybdahl

A continuing conversation on getting paid, working with mortgage companies, and insurance dilemmas.

This is the third in a series of articles on how to get paid for insured restoration work. The first two articles focused on accelerating payments from insurance companies and from banks holding two party checks in escrow, mostly in homeowners insurance claims.

This article focuses on getting paid for water losses on commercial property. The writing is on the wall; it will become increasingly difficult to be fully paid for jobs involving a speck of mold/bacteria or Category 3 water in the future, if the property is not insured under a specially designed Environmental Impairment Liability (EIL) insurance policy. Restoration firms providing Emergency Response Plans to the commercial property owners and management firms in their area can cut the costs of this needed insurance by half.

Changes in claims payment practices combined with universal exclusions for restoration work involving fungi/mold/bacteria have created the situation where 99% of all commercial property owners are severely underinsured for any loss involving a speck of any type of mold or bacteria in any sequence in the job. Being underinsured creates problems in getting paid when a property owner is dependent upon insurance to pay for a loss.

The good news for remediators is 99% of claims adjusters do not know how to pay for claims when there is a sublimit on the policy for mold or bacteria-related losses. The result is uncovered claims for losses involving a speck of mold or bacteria have been routinely paid for the last 12 years. However, things are changing fast in the claims business. Today, there is a much higher chance that a remediator will be left holding the bag with a bad debt for the work performed for underinsured property owner or manager.

Here are six factors to consider to assure payment for mold or bacteria related (Category 3) water jobs:



The need for the industry to embrace environmental insurance

He started from the bottom and now he’s making history.

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He started from the bottom and now he’s making history.

Sixty-three-year-old David Dybdahl was one of the few professionals who studied and mastered the craft of insurance in college – in fact, he finished his BBA with a degree in risk management insurance at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. While he says he was not the brightest student in college, Dybdahl has certainly made a significant mark in the industry, particularly in the environmental insurance segment.

Dybdahl is the president of American Risk Management Resources Network (ARMR), a specialty insurance brokerage firm offering customized insurance products in the United States and Canada. Over the past three decades, he was able to work on the placement of thousands of environmental insurance policies both as the placing broker and as the global environmental practice leader.

Dybdahl served the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Contractor Indemnification Technical Review Panel in 1986, providing the panel with technical information on environmental insurance issues for the United States Department of Defense and Department of Energy.

He also once took the helm of the Environmental Task Force of the National Association of Insurance Brokers and, in 1999, he founded the Society of Environmental Insurance Professionals, an organization advocating for the enhancement of environmental insurance’s utilization as a risk management tool.

Insurance Business had a brief conversation with Dybdahl to get to know his insights about the industry. In this profile piece, he shares the most challenging issue facing the environmental insurance industry. He also outlines his hopes for the industry for the years to come.


Getting Paid for a Commercial Sewage Loss

By: David Dybdahl January 2018

A continuing conversation on getting paid, working with mortgage companies, and insurance dilemmas.

In December, you read about six factors to consider to be sure you get paid for commercial category 3 water jobs. It was part of an ongoing conversation about a shift in coverage on these claims. While most insurance policies exclude coverage for cat 3 water, for decades they were paid out anyway by adjusters. Now, things are changing, and getting category 3 water jobs paid for is not so easy.

For unknown reasons, claims adjusters must have read the 12-year-old fungi and bacteria sublimits on property policies in 2016 and started pulling the trigger on denying claims under the sublimits of coverage.



By: Kari Dybdahl

Stand out to commercial property owners and managers with an emergency response plan.


It is no secret that commercial properties are the holy grail for restoration contractors. This is true for many reasons — the jobs are larger, and it builds your reputation with other property owners and managers, to name a few.

The trick that can be difficult for small- to mid-sized restoration firms is how to get into the door of not only the property manager and owner, but also the insurance agent who writes their insurance.

You are not alone; you might be thinking: “Is there a magic trick that I don’t know about?” As with everything, it has a little bit due to do with luck and a lot of to do with intentionally positioning yourself to your prospect with a value that no one else has brought them. This value can be exhibited by a range of items.

Unlike my usual articles, I’m not going to talk about insurance for cleaning and restoration contractors at all. I am going to walk you through how to fill your sales pipeline with commercial properties to intentionally position your company for first calls on commercial properties in your area. We are going to go past the brochures and the doughnuts and go straight into an innovative value that many of your competitors are not utilizing.

Making a plan

So, what is the inside secret to filling your sales pipeline with commercial properties? Anyone biting their nails?

The secret to successful sales for commercial properties, both for the insurance agent and property owner and manager, are Emergency Response Plans (ERPs). ERPs are used similarly to a hold-harmless agreement. The contractor walks through a property and evaluates any existing or threatened indoor air quality issues. Some finish with a plan that they hand to the property owner and/or manager stating what to do when a problem arises, small or catastrophic, and when to call a professional.

In the perspective of the insurance agent and carrier, these plans are an incredible value and could very well avoid covering a pre-existing condition at the property that was not uncovered in the insurance submission items. To a property owner and manager, the ERPs are an incredible value to assist with keeping the property to a certain standard level and reducing their risk of liability from the tenants and occupants.




Mold Takes Over
The #1 Spot In Pollution Claims!

By: David Dybdahl February 2018

Today less than 1% of commercial buildings are covered under EIL policies; every commercial property owner or manager is a prospect for new business!

Today, office buildings, schools, colleges, hotels, condos, apartments and shopping malls mack much better prospects for sale of an environmental insurance policy than a landfill does.

For agents and brokers to capture this new business opportunity, significant improvements on coverage and price neede to be made to the traditional EIL Product line. The EIL product line was originally designed to insure hazardous waste sites; off the self, these policies do not work very well to insure a commercial property. The EIL insurance policy, rating models, loss control services, and application process all needed to be altered to make environmental insurance functional for clean commercial properties.

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After seven years in R&D, the ARMR HPR environmental insurance product incorporates the needed modifications. The ARMR HPR product line is an easy-to-sell environmental insurance policy specifically designed for commercial property owners and managers. With minimum premimiums as low as $6,000 for a 3-year policy with a $1,000,000 limit in liability and target prices cost less that 15% of the property insurance premium, effective EIL insurance is now within the reach of most commercial property owners and managers. The ARMR HPR environmental insurance product can be accessed through BIG I markets under pollution Insurance: Contractors-Commercial Properties, UST’s, All other.

 In 2017, mold became the #1 cause of loss under Environmental Liability (EIL) insurance policies. Almost all insured mold claims cam in the commercial properties

Insuring Indoor Environment Risks in Commercial Property

by: David Dybdahl January 2018

Insuring Indoor Environment Risks in Commercial Property. Almost all commercial property owners are severely underinsured for environmental risks. Very few property owners have any appreciation of the far-reaching effects of pollution/fungi/mold/bacteria insurance coverage limitations or how often these limitations can bar insurance recoveries from very common loss events. The result of this situation is an increasing number of uncovered insurance claims arising from water intrusion in the built environment.

To fill the insurance coverage gaps, commercial properties need specially modified environmental impairment liability (EIL) insurance coverage to address the effects of pollution/fungi/mold/bacteria exclusions on standard commercial general liability (CGL) policies and the sublimits of coverage on commercial property insurance policies.

Environmental insurance policies specifically designed to manage and insure the indoor environmental risks of commercial property have been available since 2004. The premiums charged for environmental insurance policies are usually a small fraction of the cost of traditional property and liability insurance policies. In my experience, informed property owners will usually opt to insure indoor environmental hazards as soon as they understand the risk and the dearth of current insurance coverage in their property and liability insurance policies.

Today, more than 99 percent of the commercial properties that need specially modified environmental insurance coverage to fill the gaps created by common exclusions for pollution/fungi/bacteria do not have it. To make this situation even more interesting, when EIL placements are made to address indoor contamination events, more than half of the environmental insurance policies sold contain significant coverage flaws. This is because environmental insurance policies were not originally designed to insure indoor contamination loss events.



5 of the Best Environmental Insurance Products for You to Take Advantage of This Year

Most of us are familiar with the “New Year, New Me” trend. As insurance practitioners, we like

the sound of “New Year, New Business” better. Below are five environmental insurance products sold

by ARMR that give you some of the best opportunities for expanding your new business premium production. Who doesn’t like that? Environmental insurance is an often-overlooked coverage line on commercial accounts. Most, if

not all, commercial clients face some kind of environmental loss exposure that is not covered by many standard Commercial General Liability and commercial property policies. This is because of broad pollution exclusions and fungi, mold, and bacteria exclusions. You can use the conversation around these loss exposures and environmental insurance to lock down renewal accounts and to land new accounts.

On average, insurance industry retention goes from 75% with one line of coverage written to 92% when three lines of coverage are written. You want to secure your renewals so you have more time to prospect and grow your book of business, right? One way to do that is to offer environmental insurance to your current commercial clients. It shows your clients value, because you are cognizant of the many risks they face and how to properly cover them.

The discussion on environmental insurance also works incredibly well as a door opener on new accounts; it shows them you really know what you’re talking about, because odds are no one else has brought this up to them.

Check out the products below and reach out to your ARMR broker to learn how you can make an incredible run on new business production in 2018 with environmental insurance.

Introducing ARMR HPR™

We created ARMR HPR™, because we recognized the gaps in coverage created by the various pollution exclusions and fungi and bacteria exclusions and related sublimits on standard general liability and property policies sold today!

What is ARMR HPR™?

ARMR HPR™ is the newest and greatest environmental insurance and risk management program being offered only by American Risk Management Resources Network, LLC (aka ARMR).  It is specially designed to fill the coverage gaps created by various pollution exclusions and fungi and bacteria exclusions commonly found in most standard commercial general liability and property policies. 

There are five (5) key benefits to offering ARMR HPR™ to your commercial property owners and managers:

  1. It sets you apart from your competition.
  2. It provides a steady stream of prospects.
  3. It refers insurance work for commercial properties to restoration contractors in your area.
  4. It builds your current book of business.
  5. It protects your agency’s E&O.

ARMR’s newest and greatest environmental insurance program

Introducing ARMR HPR – ARMR’s newest and greatest environmental insurance program releasing Jan 4th, 2018!

This is the “most innovative insurance product design to ever hit the environmental insurance market” – JJ Iovino, Regions Insurance.

The best prospects to your agency for environmental insurance are no longer environmental services firms or gas station storage tanks – they are commercial property owners and managers! 

Environmental losses can happen to any commercial building, no matter the age, size, or location.

Did you know, last year alone mold in commercial properties was the number one source of claims in the environmental insurance marketplace?  It’s crazy to think that mold in a building is riskier than cleaning up a contaminated superfund site! Yet, we as insurance practitioners do little to nothing to offer environmental insurance coverage solutions to the underserved commercial property sector. Enter ARMR HPR™!


Register HERE  
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