Thursday, July 28, 2011

Special Limits in Your Homeowner Policy

Your homeowners insurance policy places limits on certain types of property. In your policy there is a section titled “Special Limits on Certain Property.” This section will list various items and place a dollar limit on each type of property- such as jewelry, fine arts, guns or money.

Why do insurance policies contain such provisions? The homeowners insurance policy is written to provide coverage for the average policy holder. Most of us do not own collections or keep large amounts of cash at our homes. While the policy provides some limited coverage for special types of property, it in no way serves the needs of the unique collector.

There is, however, a solution for the collector or owner of unusual property items. It is possible to amend your homeowners policy, by endorsement, to provide special coverage for unique collection items such as coins or stamps. By asking your agent to include a schedule property floater in your coverage, you can specifically insure items of special interest. The personal property floater also expands coverage for perils not included in the homeowner policy.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Our 100th Blog Post!

We have now reached 100 posts on the Fey Insurance Services blog. Over the past few years we have posted about a variety of insurance and risk management topics. We have helped to educate businesses and individuals on how to best protect their hard earned assets such as their home, cars, and businesses. We have also give tips on how to stay safe in an ever changing world including tips on online identity safety and how to best prepare your home for the winter months.

Our hope is that you have enjoyed the 99 other posts and found some information that was helpful in each one. For the years to come we will continue to add helpful content so that our clients and readers can enjoy a safe and protected life.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Business Income

Calculating the appropriate business income limit does not have to be a mind-numbing process. To understand business income coverage limits, you must simply understand that the coverage is almost entirely based on time. The amount of coverage and the correct coinsurance amount can be calculated once a reasonable estimation of the time necessary to return to full operational capability is determined.

Four Key Objectives must be accomplished as quickly as reasonably possible:

1) Rebuild the building, or find a move to an alternate permanent location.
2) Find, purchase, and have operational, replacement machinery and equipment.
3) Replace and/or replenish stock (raw materials for manufacturing operations).
4) Return operations to the same level existing just prior to the loss.

Business Income’s Necessity

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), there is a structure fire ever 4.5 minutes. Approximately 25 percent of businesses never reopen after a shutdown of just 30 or more days, according to the insurance industry. When you include the number of business failures within five years that are directly traceable to the same kind of claim, the number could approach 40 percent.

Business closings as a result of natural disasters also reach 25percent. The U.S. Small Business Administration reports that more than 90 percent of small businesses fail within two years after being struck by a disaster. Combining these two pieces of statistical data, losses can lead to the closure of thousands of business in any given year due to an interruption in operations.

The Calculation

Once total revenues and the total amount of non-continuing expenses (production-related expenses that do not continue during the interruption) is known and applied to an honest worst-case scenario estimate of the time necessary to resume operations, the correct coinsurance percentage can be calculated. Coinsurance percentages, in 10 percent increments, can be from 50 percent to 100 percent- each representing a proportion of one year (50 percent equals six months; 60 percent equals 7.2 months; 100 percent equals 12 months). It is also sometimes possible to obtain a 15-month business-interruption period at a corresponding coinsurance limit of 125 percent.

The Reality

Most businesses that close and never reopen after a catastrophic closure (30 days or more), don’t close because of the lack of building and business personal property coverage. They close because there is no money coming in the door. Few businesses can remain viable without a source of income. Many business expenses continue even during the period of temporary closing.

Obviously, the optimal goal is to have the building, contents and business income all properly insured. Ultimately, only the business can provide these figures, but this simple approach can make this exercise much easier. Once you accept the reality that loss of income is as important to the insure as insuring your property, we can help guide you to the proper coverage to further protect your business.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Extended Replacement Coverage on Home Insurance

The recent devastation caused by the spring tornadoes is a sobering reminder that catastrophes can strike at any time. When a total loss occurs, homeowners coverage is designed to reconstruct a home under normal conditions. But following a catastrophe, increased demand for building materials and labor can cause these costs to rise significantly, potentially leaving policy limits inadequate.

Fortunately, many insurance companies offer extended dwelling coverage to help prevent such shortfalls.

How it works

Two coverage levels give you options: Extended dwelling coverage is available at levels of 25% or %50% of additional Coverage A amounts, allowing people to choose the level that fits their needs.
Example: A home is insured for a Dwelling Limit (Coverage A) of $100,000. Following a total loss, reconstruction cost amount to $120,000. Without extended dwelling coverage, the policy holder could incur significant out of pocket expenses or be forced to make difficult rebuilding choices to reduce the costs. With 25% or 50% in extended dwelling coverage, the home would have those extra costs covered (i.e. 25%-Dwelling is increase to $125,000 or 50%-Dwelling is increased to $150,000).