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Why Should Your Insurance Agent Review Your Business Contracts?

Chris Richmond, Allen Insurance and Financial

By Chris Richmond
Originally Submitted to WorkBoat Magazine

Clients often ask us to review contracts they are preparing to sign. This is actually the most important part because after they sign a contract there is not much point in our reviewing it. One of the first things we tell them is that we are not lawyers and they should call their own attorney − but we are happy to review the insurance portions. Aside from limits of liability and mandatory coverages, nine times out of 10 there are three requirements which can significantly change their insurance coverage.

Hold Harmless: Commonly added to insurance clauses in contracts, this essentially promises to hold harmless from any and all claims the company you are doing business with. This provides a very broad exemption of liability and often can be reworded more favorably to include “in conjunction with your work under this contract.” You should also demand the contract is reciprocal to both parties and that the other party holds you harmless, as well.

Waiver of Subrogation: Another common condition added to contracts, this essentially prevents your insurance company from collecting from the other party if they were negligent in the claim. If your insurance company pays for damage done to your vessel by the other party in the contract, a Waiver of Subrogation prevents the insurance company from suing the other party in the contract to recoup their payment. Again, if this is required, make sure the other party waives subrogation, as well.

Additional Insured: This clause allows the other party to share your liability limits if they are named in a claim related to the work being done in the contract. This means the liability limits are now cut in half, reducing your overall coverage limits – and that the other party in the contract is now getting liability coverage for free. We are seeing this requested more often these days and often an underwriter will want to know the relationship between the two parties, to explain the need to be added as additional insured.

Contracts are part of doing business and can be as simple or as complicated as the parties involved require. When it comes to the insurance language in your contracts, be sure to reach out to your agent for a thorough review and advice on what you are about to sign.

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Everyone Who Uses a Computer Needs Cyber Coverage

Chris Richmond, Allen Insurance and Financial

By Chris Richmond
Originally Submitted to WorkBoat Magazine

A recent policy review with a client found an interesting update. The client, who distributes seafood, had reduced gross revenues. This was not surprising , given the downturn in the economy. What was surprising was a sharp increase in retail sales. Further discussion revealed that they had a growing online store with direct sales to consumers. They were in need of a cyber policy.

Whether or not you sell goods online, you really should consider a cyber policy. On daily basis, headlines in publications for every industry outline hacks, phishing schemes and other cyber crimes.

There are two important types of cyber liability to know about: First party and third party.

A first party cyber liability occurs when your own data is stolen. This can include your own employees’ personal information or information about your customers. A cyber liability policy will provide credit monitoring services to assist the affected individuals which could help minimize the risk of identity theft. Included in the category of first party cyber liability are:

• Funds Transfer Fraud. Funds Transfer Fraud is an intentional, unauthorized instruction transmitted via email to a financial institution to transfer funds. If your computer system is compromised, a hacker can have access to your banking information and initiate fraudulent electronic wire transfers.

• Lost Business Income. Lost business income due to cyber theft, (a hack or data breach), is not covered unless cyber coverage is in place. Your regular business insurance policy covers you for things like fire, theft and wind, but not anything cyber-related.

Third party liability coverage can provide protection for damage caused by your business to third parties due to a hack. This could be confidential client information that you store in your system. Coverage included in this category are:

• Breach of Privacy: A client’s personally identifiable information has been accessed by an unauthorized party.

• Misuse of Personal Data: Personal data is stolen or misused and they suffer financial damages.

• Transmission of Malicious Content: Failure to stop the transmission of virus, malware or other malicious content.
Many liability policies come with limited cyber coverage but also they leave gaps in coverage. A stand alone cyber policy can cover these gaps and provide the insurance that a business needs today.

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When a Collision is not a Collision

By Chris Richmond
Originally submitted to WorkBoat Magazine / January2021Chris Richmond, Allen Insurance and Financial

A client’s vessel was tied to the dock, unloading its catch. Another fishing vessel struck his boat while backing out. The offending captain said not to worry, that he had excellent coverage and passed along his insurance agent’s contact information. After a couple of weeks of dealing with the other company’s adjustor, my client was informed that there was no coverage for this claim. The owner who had struck him had hull coverage, but no liability.

If you have a lender involved with your vessel, most likely they will require proof of hull coverage to protect their interests. What they do not ask for is proof of protection and indemnity (P&I) coverage. These are two separate policies that provide different coverages for your commercial vessel. P&I provides coverage for any crew and passengers, as well as any damage to something you hit, whether it be another vessel or a pier. Your hull insurance provides coverage for damage to your vessel, wreck removal and collision liability up to the limits of your hull coverage.

But when is a collision not a collision? You might think that in the case mentioned above that a collision occurred − one vessel ran into another. But because one boat was secured to a dock and not moving, the event became an allision. In the insurance world, when one vessel strikes another moving vessel, this is a collision. When a vessel strikes a fixed or non-moving object, this is an allision.

In our client’s claim, he was secured to the dock. It was an allision, which would normally be covered under the P&I policy. As the other vessel did not have P&I, the claim was denied. Fortunately, in this case our client’s insurance company stepped in and covered the claim. The insurance company then has the option to go after the vessel owner to recover payments for the loss.

By opting to not carry P&I, a vessel owner opens himself up to a wide range of potential claims that would not be paid. Each part of a commercial vessel’s policy is specifically worded to cover certain parts of a vessel, as well as its operation. Don’t make the mistake of thinking some coverage is better than none.

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Can You Insure Your Work Boat With a Yacht Policy?

In this month’s edition of WorkBoat magazine, Gene McKeever answers the question:  Can You Insure Your Work Boat With a Yacht Policy?
The insurance industry uses the law of large numbers to make money by insuring as many of what the numbers tell them to insure. How do you get a large number of boat owners to buy your insurance?
You make the policy as generic as possible and throw in some goodies like personal effects coverage, pollution liability, uninsured boater coverage and towing assistance.
Read more now at WorkBoat.com.

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Same Damn Wind

In this month’s WorkBoat magazine, Gene McKeever writes about how no matter what the season and what kind of precipitation a storm brings, wind is wind, and boat and boat yard owners should be prepared for the kind of damage it can bring.
Read the column now.

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An Insurance Agent Can Be Your Advocate

In his latest column in WorkBoat Magazine, Allen Insurance and Financial’s Gene McKeever says your insurance agent can’t legally represent you but can serve as your claims advocate and explain coverage correctly to the insurance company’s claims representative. In this case it was important to help the claims person understand what the claim surveyor saw.
See more at WorkBoat.com

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Talking Marine Insurance and Safety With the Nation's Work Boat Owners

alleninsurance_genemckeever_web2Gene McKeever, a marine insurance specialist from Allen Insurance and Financial recently attended the annual International WorkBoat Show in New Orleans, where he gave a workshop to conference participants on disaster planning and risk management.
Conference presenters are screened by the conference organizers well in advance of the event. McKeever’s session was held on the conference’s keynote stage following a conference keynote speech by Capt. Richard Phillips.  McKeever has been writing a column for WorkBoat magazine since 2008.
McKeever was joined at the conference by Allen Insurance and Financial colleagues Chris Richmond, marine insurance specialist, and Dan Bookham, the agency’s business development director. They connected at the show with a number Maine-based companies also in attendance as well as national clients and insurance company representatives.

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WorkBoat Column: Where is That Eye Wash?

This month in WorkBoat magazine, Gene McKeever talks about the little things that make a workplace safer. This includes eye wash stations, which are inexpensive and relatively easy to install.
If you work in a place where there is hot work going on, plus painting, sanding, scraping, and grinding, you just might get something in your eyes every once in a while.
Read the entire column at WorkBoat.com.
Gene is presenting at the annual International WorkBoat Show in New Orleans in December.

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WorkBoat Column: Your Insurance To-Do List

This month, Gene McKeever offers a glimpse into some typical conversations with boat or marina operators.
Among them:

• When you talk with your crew or employees about safety it’s not a money thing. It’s a safety thing. Stress that you want them to stay healthy and injury free.

• Each time there is a problem that creates a dangerous situation investigate it as fact finding, not fault finding. The investigation will garner much more usable information to help prevent something from happening again.

See more at WorkBoat.com