March 31, 2020

Wayne Marsh

Developer

Warren Santiago

CEO

 

Ask the Expert: Liability Insurance Recommendations for Coronavirus Cleaning

Dave Dybdahl of ARMR Network answers three questions related to liability coverage and cleaning during the coronavirus pandemic: 

  1. What is the #1 question you are getting from your restoration clients?
  2. What are some of the “must haves” for liability insurance if you’re doing coronavirus cleaning?
  3. What are some helpful documents out there for contractors right now? (This is obviously the place to mention the RIA/IICRC doc)

Diving deeper into the discussion, here are some risk management tips for restorers going out in the field to conduct virus decontamination work:

  1. Job #1: Protect the workers. If your employees have not been trained on personal protection equipment, if your firm does not have the equipment and experience working with bio-hazards, this is not place for on the job training.
  2. Follow the guidance and advice offered in the new RIA and IICRC Preliminary Report for Restoration Contractors Assisting Clients With COVID-19 Concerns. This document was produced s specifically to help contractors mitigate risk. DOWNLOAD HERE.
  3. Get your insurance coverage in order. At a minimum, contractors should review their general liability, contractor’s pollution liability, professional liability, and workers’ compensation policies with an insurance agent or broker with specialized knowledge or access to specialized knowledge in restoration contracting and bio hazards. There is no training available for insurance agents on the specialized needs of restoration contractors. Which explains why more than 90% of restores are inadequately insured today, not just on biohazard work. If you do not have a Contractors Environmental or Contractors Pollution Policy with its own insuring agreement section, stop all biohazard jobs. Job site coverage extensions on the General Liability policy do not fulfill this requirement.

WATCH HERE

Confusing Insurance Terms

Seven words most don’t understand but are likely to encounter when dealing with insurance for their businesses. By Kari Dybdahl

Read The Full Article Here

Dedicated to Quality

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit.

Find Out More

Insurance industry jargon can seem like a whole different language, but I’m here to help with an explanation of seven terms!

Have you ever been speaking with your insurance agent or insurance company and found yourself completely confused? Don’t worry; you are not alone. Insurance industry jargon can seem like a whole different language, but I’m here to help with an explanation of seven terms you’re likely to hear when planning and handling your company’s insurance policy needs.

For More articles by Kari Click HERE


By Kari Dybdahl in CleanFax

 

There is no such thing as “virus” insurance!

David Dybdahl, CPCU, CIC, MBA, ARM

With this much economic disruption on the horizon,
insurance buyers are asking their insurance advisors
this question; “Am I covered by insurance”?

As specialists in environmental risk management, we are getting
the same question on an hourly basis from the insurance agents
and brokers that we serve.
In this writing, I will detail how to go about insuring losses arising
from a virus.
As it turns out there is potentially a lot insurance coverage
already in place for losses incurred from the Coronavirus. The
closer an insurance placement is to the standard ISO property
and liability insurance policy, the better off the insurance buyer
is going to be. In my research so far on this topic, if an insurance
company has deviated from ISO on a policy form in reference to a
virus caused loss, it has only been to eliminate coverage.

……………………….

Similar to spinning the coverage wheel of fortune with the
totally unreliable coverage givebacks in common pollution
exclusions, trying to figure out a covered cause of loss arising
from a virus will lead to a lot of gray coverage areas. Avoiding gray
coverage areas is a very good idea because of insurance coverage
litigation on contamination caused losses can take a decade or
more to resolve in court, assuming the insurance buyer has the
funds and will to pursue the legal case for that long.
Having an affirmative coverage grant for virus as a cause of loss
would be much more reliable for everyone involved in a loss.
Those policies exist but are they not common in the world of environmental insurance. Environmental insurance coverage is
not a panacea.
Today, less than 5% of commercial properties are properly
insured for indoor air loss exposures. For the very few properties
that have EIL coverage on them today, if a virus is a covered
“pollutant” that could emit or discharge thereby triggering
the policy coverage, there is a 90% chance that policy has a
communicable disease exclusion thereby rendering it useless for a
loss caused by the Coronavirus.

Download the Full Guide HERE

1. Do not ignore the effects of Pollution/Fungus/Mold/Bacteria/Virus exclusions and sublimits in property and
liability insurance policies.
2. Explain the environmental loss exposure, the effects of exclusions, and sublimits in the current insurance
program to the customer.
3. Always recommend the purchase of environmental insurance. Doing otherwise takes on undue errors and
omission risks.
4. Offer to procure environmental insurance, to fill the identified coverage gaps, in the current insurance
program for an agreed upon target premium.
5. Only go to market to obtain a quote for insurance after steps 2,3 and 4 above have been completed.
6. Find qualified help in getting you through this process.

 

READ HERE: What we have done at ARMR to make the coverage interface between the traditional P&C insurance program and the gap-filling environmental coverage easier for our retail producers:

 

Engaging customer experience so that as an end result, we be CMSable. Leverage below the fold and finally gain traction. Generating bleeding edge and creating actionable insights.

Birdie Kelley

Brand Expert | Mantell Design

Generating best in class in order to improve overall outcomes. Inform outside the box thinking and finally target the low hanging fruit. Repurose big data and possibly gain traction.

Hattie Munoz

Support Staff | Gerwyn Financial

The fortunes of every restoration firm are inextricably linked to the fortunes of insurance companies.

Restorers are affected by insurance companies in both how they are paid for the work they do and how much the restorer pays for business liability insurance.

For 2020 expect:

  • Enhanced insurance requirements designed to prevent restoration firms from being uninsured for their indemnity obligations.
  • There will be much more specific requirements for Additional Insured coverage coming from the direct repair networks.
  • A crack down from the direct repair networks on compliance with their insurance specifications.
  • More red-light situations with direct repair networks will develop as the compliance crack downs reveal coverage flaws in the insurance policies historically sold to restorers.
  • Significant rate increases on business automobile policies.
  • Significant rate increases on roofing and build back revenues.
  • Nonrenewal of existing General Liability policies as the incumbent insurance companies realizes that it must be the insurance company for another insurance company under the indemnity obligations of master services agreement in direct repair networks.
  • Insurance companies abandoning the restoration contracting class of business in the face of rapidly deteriorating loss results.

 

Pollution After A Hurricane


Examining increased environmental exposures due to weather events.
By: Kari Dybdahl 

We know that General Liability and Property policies sold to commercial property owners have various pollution exclusions. What happens when mold starts to grow on the walls or the bacteria needs to be remediated?

We’ve all seen the news or have spoken to others about the current weather events. For some of us, we dodged the bullet. But millions of people and businesses were and are right in harm’s way.

Hurricanes cause an extensive amount of damage to economies, cultures and infrastructures. They pose an enormous amount of environmental loss exposures to both homes and commercial properties. Distribution warehouses, for example, that hold various chemicals that were in a safe place prior to the weather events, may have now been compromised, with chemicals released into flood waters or burned by the wild fires. Depending on the reaction a certain chemical has with water or fire, it could be immediately harmful to the nearby natural resources and people.

Hurricanes pose even more of an environmental loss exposure with the sheer amount of water intruding into commercial properties and homes. Mold can colonize rapidly within 72 hours of water damage, if the conditions are perfect. Since mold is naturally occurring, it needs a food source, water and heat to colonize and grow. Drywall is a great food source for mold as it is easy for the spores to digest. With the right amount of food, water and heat a commercial property can become a petri dish very fast if relative humidity is not under 40%. Bacteria is even more of a threat to humans and reproduces faster than mold. Bacteria colonies can grow 100% every 20 minutes with the right conditions. It is said that there are over one million different species of bacteria, and legionella is just one of those. Hurricanes and rain storms are the ideal situation for mold and bacteria growth, resulting in almost every fungi and bacteria sublimit and exclusion to trigger GL and property policies for commercial properties.

We know that General Liability and Property policies sold to commercial property owners have various pollution exclusions. What happens when mold starts to grow on the walls or the bacteria needs to be remediated? A fire and water restoration contractor must step in to help. I recently spotted a photo online of a whole neighborhood in Houston that appeared to be a ghost town. Not a restoration contractor in sight. I started to wonder how that could be, when many restoration contractors had been in Houston helping rebuild. I learned that restoration contractors generally will not work on a property (home or commercial space) if that property is not insured for fungi or bacteria, due to fact that the chance they will end up being paid for their work is slim to none.

In 2017 PBS.org reported that 80% of homeowners in Houston that were underwater due to hurricane Harvey did not have flood insurance even though coverage was readily available. The National Flood Insurance Program is currently $20 billion in debt. Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas and others stated that the national flood program in its current form is not sustainable. Even if commercial properties could buy flood insurance that would include the effects from fungi, mold and bacteria, they are still taking a massive risk on environmental loss exposures in the program.

What about the commercial properties that didn’t purchase flood insurance from the national program? The majority of property policies sold to commercial property owners and managers have $15,000 sub limits, according to a recent webinar cohosted by Swiss Re Corporate Solutions. ISO forms have a have this $15,000 sublimit to highlight that mold, bacteria and fungi is not something they want to cover on ISO forms. The issue here is the average mold job on a commercial property is $250,000.

Commercial properties are going to feel the effects for many years to come. The more the flood waters linger, the more mold and bacteria growth in those commercial properties trigger the pollution, fungi and bacteria exclusions on GL and property policies.

As we see a shift in weather patterns, I anticipate more flooding in cities that do not have a storm water system infrastructure to support the amount of rain fall, resulting in more mass flooding and more environmental loss exposures for commercial properties.

Find Out More About ARMR HPR Here

What’s an Agency to Do? Document…Document…Document
Protect yourself and make the offer and, of course, document it! Just like you would with someone in a special hazard flood zone that didn’t purchase coverage or someone that turns down uninsured motorist. Make the offer to investigate. Ask them if they have risk management processes for environmental loss exposures for liability and property. Offer the ARMR HPR program. If they say “yes,” Big “I” Markets makes it easy. If they say “no thanks,” document with DocuSign. (Pro tip: Big “I” members new to DocuSign receive 20% off of their Standard or Business Pro plans. Find out more at www.docusign.com/iiaba.)

Over the past three years we have been creating a risk management and insurance program for commercial properties that incorporates a proactive environmental loss exposure management plan prior to a loss as well as the procurement of a specially designed environmental site pollution liability policy if a loss were to occur. This program is exclusive through ARMR.Network. For more information along with agency specific sell sheets for you to pass along to your commercial property owner and manager prospects and clients, please reach out to us on Big “I” Markets under Pollution Contractors-FarmUSTs-Other.

To provide you with an indication we just need to see the statement of values for the property portfolio. The information you send your property underwriter will work great. It will take us about 24 hours to turn around an indication for site pollution liability, including mold, fungus, bacteria as well as incorporating the proactive emergency response plan at no cost to your client. If the client or prospect is interested, you will gather the additional underwriting information needed and we will release a formal option to bind. It is that simple!

With the increase in weather events, commercial property owners and managers must be looking into how to better manage their environmental loss exposures. What is stopping barrels of alcohol being blown into a river and killing the natural resources for miles when a storm hits? Nothing.

To close the gap in coverage for environmental loss exposures caused by GL and property policies, every commercial property owner and manager should consider the ARMR commercial property program or else they will be unknowingly underinsured for those exposures. Your commercial property owners and manager clients and prospects are relying on you as the insurance professional to inform them they have a problem. I do not want to see you caught up in a potential E&O situation because the solution of covering environmental loss exposures was not offered to them.

ARMR.Network is your environmental insurance resource. You can find us on Big “I” Markets or just reach out to me with any questions you may have at kari@armr.net. We look forward to hearing from you!  


With the increase in weather events, commercial property owners and managers must be looking into how to better manage their environmental loss exposures. What is stopping barrels of alcohol being blown into a river and killing the natural resources for miles when a storm hits? Nothing.

.

 

Major issues to watch out for:

  • Restrictions or limitation on storage and/or duration of storage for personal property of others
  • No coverage for property in transit
  • Exclusion for property for which you issue a receipt or record of storage
  • Coverage is not provided on a direct physical loss basis
  • Low/inadequate limits of insurance

Read More Here

Coverage for Contents Cleaning

by: David Dybdahl and Aaron Millonzi

Over the last few years, contents cleaning and restoration has become an important service for restoration and remediation contractors to provide. Not only can it be profitable, it also offers contractors the opportunity to set themselves apart from their competitors. Innovations in methods and new technology have made it not only easier, but also less expensive and safer to perform these services. As you consider adding this as something your firm offers, I strongly encourage you to consider how this will affect your insurance situation. More specifically, it’s important that you confirm your business is adequately covered should you add this service, because many restoration and remediation firms are not!


The exclusion states there is no coverage for property in the care, custody or control (CCC) of the insured, but what exactly does that mean? The general consensus is this:

  • “Care” refers to temporary charge of personal property (i.e. you’re in charge of the stuff),
  • “Custody” implies a keeping or guarding of that property (i.e. you’re keeping it safe), and
  • “Control” refers to power or authority to manage, superintend, direct or oversee (i.e. you can do what you want with it).

 

Green CleanING is NOT Risk Free

By; David Dybdahl & Aaron Millonzi
July 2019


As the green cleaning trend ramps up, I’m sure many of you are considering implementing this as a service offered by your company. It seems like a no-brainer. Provide something people want and do good for the planet at the same by using more environmentally-friendly products and procedures. But these aren’t the only environmental products you need to purchase for your business to properly and safely operate as a green restoration, remediation, and cleaning professional. You also need to buy an environmental insurance product called Contractor’s Environmental Liability insurance.

Read More HERE

 

What Drives Insurance Premiums?


 

Once a year we have to write a dreaded check to our insurance agent for insurance coverage. In my past article about the 4 Cs of insurance , I introduced that one of the Cs is cost. In the insurance world, we refer to the cost of insurance as the premium. Have you ever wondered how insurance companies come up with the premium amount for the coverage you purchase? When I attend the various restoration and cleaning industry conferences, I like to ask, “What is one thing you dislike about insurance?” I’ve heard a handful of interesting responses over the past 10 years, to say the least, but the most common response is that the cost of insurance is too high.

Contractors are not alone in this sentiment; I’ve never met anyone who has felt that they’re not paying enough for their insurance. However, like taxes, the cost of insurance is simply another one of those necessities in life.

Perhaps getting a better understanding of how insurance companies come up with the premiums they charge can make this pill a little easier to swallow. The determination of risk by the insurance company, also known as rating, is the process of how underwriters decide on the premium to charge for the insurance coverage being offered. The determination criteria vary by the type of insurance coverage offered. For example, an auto policy would have different criteria than a General Liability policy or property insurance; however, there are some similarities.

Insurance is a costly but necessary business expense. Read on to find out what factors are impacting the cost of your insurance premiums.

Four Factors of Insurance Premiums

By Kari Dybdahl

READ MORE HERE

 

Green Cleaning is NOT Risk-Free

July 10th, 2019 : David Dybdahl & Aaron Millonzi

Green Cleaning is NOT Risk-Free


As the green cleaning trend ramps up, I’m sure many of you are considering implementing this as a service offered by your company. It seems like a no-brainer. Provide something people want and do good for the planet at the same by using more environmentally-friendly products and procedures. But these aren’t the only environmental products you need to purchase for your business to properly and safely operate as a green restoration, remediation, and cleaning professional. You also need to buy an environmental insurance product called Contractor’s Environmental Liability insurance.

What is Contractor’s Environmental Liability (CEL) insurance and why do you need it? CEL insurance, commonly referred to as Contractor’s Pollution Liability (CPL) insurance coverage, is a special type of liability coverage, similar to your Commercial General Liability (GL) coverage but also quite different. CEL coverage responds to claims or lawsuits against your company for bodily injury, property damage, or clean-up costs resulting from a pollution condition arising out of your work. It will also provide coverage for defense costs incurred for defending your business in court in the event of a claim or lawsuit against you. Essentially, it provides protection for you and your business if a customer or another third party comes after you for damages that were caused by a contaminant that they claim arose out of the work you did.

By: Kari Dybdahl

April 2019

Biohazard Work: New Opportunities, New Risks.

With the new ANSI/IICRC S540-2017 Standard for Trauma and Crime Scene Cleanup, more and more restoration contractors are capitalizing on the opportunity to train and take on these complex projects. When you are going to a new job, the question, “Do I have the right insurance?” probably doesn’t come to mind. You are not alone, and that is why we have Kari’s Korner to answer any lingering insurance questions out there. So, let’s find out: Do you have proper trauma and crime scene cleanup insurance?

  Read More Kari’s Korner HERE

Let’s say you do purchase a Contractors Pollution Liability policy. Did you know there are over 144 policy variations to a CPL policy? I didn’t either until I attended the Society of Environmental Insurance Professionals conference. It is safe to say not all pollution policies are the same. Since they were created for contractors cleaning up nuclear waste facilities and Superfund sites, the policy needs to be significantly altered for fire and water restoration contractors, mold remediators, and trauma and crime scene cleanup professionals.


There are over 144 policy variations to a CPL policy