Agents and Marketers

July 3, 2013

Substantial savings in moldy mobile home case

Source: Beazley Pro, Summer 2013

Facts:
A customer alleged that her HVAC contractor failed to reconnect the ventilation system in her doublewide trailer during servicing. As a result, she said, mold and mildew developed in the attic and wall cavities of the trailer.

Discussion:
The plaintiff’s initial demand exceeded $150,000 and included the contractor tearing out and replacing all of the trailer’s interior walls, ceilings, floors and fixtures. Beazley, which provided Contractor’s Pollution Liability Insurance for the defendant, engaged two experts who uncovered that the water intrusion and moisture that led to the mold and mildew was due in part to vulnerabilities in the exterior envelope of the trailer. The contractor’s general liability carrier initially attempted to deny any payment on the claim; later it offered a nominal contribution of $3,000. Beazley pursued the general liability insurer for contribution and eventually obtained payment of $25,000 from the general liability carrier and settled the matter for $65,000, a fraction of the initial demand.

Lessons learned:
Bringing best-in-class resources to bear early in the claims process can make a pivotal difference in claim outcome. In this case, Beazley hired an international engineering company to do a building envelope analysis that revealed early on that areas of water intrusion unrelated to any actions by the contractor could have led to mold. This information quickly diffused the plaintiff’s demands… and led to the general liability insurer agreeing to pick up substantially more of the settlement (benefiting the insured, as it fell outside the contractor’s deductible).

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April 25, 2013

Do Bacteria and Other Living Things Qualify as "Pollution" Under Insurance Policies?

Source: Becker’s Hospital Review, April 24, 2013

Hospitals and other medical facilities often deal with the outbreak of viral or bacterial infections in the course of their business. Many may not have considered these outbreaks as a form of “pollution,” but depending on the jurisdiction in which they are located, their insurance companies may very well do so. And doing so may limit severely a facility’s ability to obtain coverage for such incidents. Read more.

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March 29, 2013

XL Group introduces pollution insurance protection in North America

Source: Insurance Business Review, March 21, 2013

XL Group has introduced a new pollution insurance policy to help the North American food and beverage industry address their environmental liability, clean up and disaster response concerns.

The new Environmental Food and Beverage policy will assist companies during recovery from accidental ammonia discharges, pathogen contamination among others.

XL Group North America Environmental business president Matthew O’Malley said less number of food and beverage businesses can afford a disruption to operations during costly and time consuming pathogen outbreak or other accidental pollution incidents.

”Fortunately, new tailored environmental insurance coverage can help food and beverage businesses quickly address and clean up if contamination or pollution conditions arise at their facilities,” O’Malley added.

Available through Greenwich Insurance and Indian Harbor Insurance, the policy offers the company’s standard Pollution and Remediation Legal Liability coverage, which provides protection for on and off-site bodily injury and property damage claims and cleanup and legal expenses.

The policy provides financial protection for cleaning and disinfection of storage areas and processing equipment, disaster response advisory expenses, medical and temporary living expenses.

Loss prevention services, including assistance from an in-house consulting staff and dedicated environmental claims specialist are also included in the coverage.

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July 13, 2012

Professional Liability Insurance for Contractors

Source: Construction Business Owner, July 1, 2012
By: Steven D. Davis & Ray Bustamante

Gain a better understanding of this complex and often misunderstood type of construction insurance.

The exposures that contractors face have become more complicated as a result of changes in project delivery systems over the past 20 years. This has forced construction executives to examine professional liability coverage—a complex and often misunderstood type of coverage.

In the past, an unendorsed Commercial General Liability (CGL) policy gave contractors a good option for insuring their general or operational liability risks. But the dynamics of coverage changed dramatically once the policy included the professional services exclusion, leaving contractors to sort through exposures arising out of their operations. Over time, an added endorsement, ISO CGL 2279, closed this coverage gap and restored coverage for bodily injury or property damage (BI/PD) in connection with the design of their means and methods.

The CGL policy covers physical activities that result in BI/PD, but the source of professional liability claims often come from issues relating to faulty design, cost overruns or a delay in completing the project due to professional negligence.

In construction litigation, professional negligence is usually defined as failure to perform duties according to the rules or standard of care or practice that would have been expected of another professional performing a similar task in the same region or location.…

April 27, 2012

New Day Policy Review Results in Coverage Enhancements At Reduced Rate

New Day was asked by the retail broker to review the current combined professional liability/pollution liability policy for a large mechanical contracting client, suggest coverage enhancements and market the account at renewal to ensure that the client received the broadest coverage at the best price. The retail broker advised which carrier’s were previously approached for this account and most of them were not appropriate for this type of risk. New Day explained the marketing strategy for renewal and why each carrier was being approached and the retail broker understood and accepted the strategy. New Day obtained a competitive alternative quote and leveraged that alternative to negotiate significant coverage enhancements with the incumbent carrier at a decreased rate. Those coverage enhancements included:

  • Rectification Coverage
  • Mitigation of Loss Coverage
  • Environmental Impairment Liability for the Insured’s Owned Locations
  • Punitive Damages Coverage

New Day’s proposal outlined the coverage enhancements in detail enabling the retail broker to explain them to the insured and resulting in the incumbent carrier retaining the business despite a 20% premium differential.…

July 28, 2011

Pollution Exclusions in CGL Policy Bars Coverage for Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Source: http://www.constructionrisk.com
By: J. Kent Holland, Jr.

The pollution exclusion of a commercial general liability (CGL) policy was enforced to exclude coverage for injuries allegedly caused from carbon monoxide that was emitted from a propane-powered grinder that was being used to grind terrazzo floors while another contractor’s worker was working in the same area installing drywall. The worker filed suit in state court against the owner of the grinder, alleging the company was negligent in failing to provide proper ventilation when operating its grinders and that it failed in its duty to properly monitor the work environment for carbon monoxide gas.

The insurance companies filed a separate declaratory judgment action in federal court, contending that the absolute pollution exclusion bars coverage. The court granted summary judgment in favor of the insurance companies, and this was affirmed by the Federal circuit court on appeal, holding carbon monoxide is an “irritant” that was “dispersed” throughout the work site by the insured contractor. Moreover, the court held that this was a pollutant “brought on” to the premises by the contractor and therefore excluded from coverage.…

February 28, 2011

Architects, Engineers Liability Rates to Go Up: Report

Source: http://www.insurancejournal.com, February 25, 2011

Rates for architects and engineers professional liability insurance, which have been stable, are expected to go up this year, a new study reports.

A number of leading insurance companies offering this coverage expect to raise premium rates in 2011 up to 10 percent on average for both renewals and new business, according to a new survey by Ames & Gough.

The insurers are split in their planning with half expecting to maintain current rates and half expecting to seek increases. However, none said rates will go down in 2011. This represents a shift in the market for the first time in several years.

Among insurers planning rate increases, the expectations ranged from the low single digits to 10 percent or more.

On a combined basis, the insurers in the Ames & Gough survey account for roughly 70 percent of the overall U.S. market for this coverage.

For small and mid-sized architectural and engineering firms, competition among insurers continues to be heavy.…

July 22, 2010

Owner’s Protective Professional Indemnity Insurance Program – Success Story

Due to our expertise in construction-related professional liability, New Day was secured by one of our broker partners to assist in competing for a large, state-wide school construction program. Amongst the major national brokers, the client selected our broker partner and New Day to construct a $25,000,000 Owner’s Protective Professional Indemnity Insurance (OPPI) program encompassing various projects throughout the state. New Day worked with the major carriers to offer the coverage, and along with our broker partner and the client, created the optimal solution for this risk.…

July 22, 2010

Multi-Project Coverages – Success Story

A New Day client (a joint venture) found themselves in a unique situation. They had recently been awarded two separate projects. The first project required pollution coverage, with the second requiring professional and pollution coverage. In addition to addressing the insurance requirements of these projects, the Joint Venture also wanted flexibility to use the policy to satisfy other requirements for potential new projects. New Day’s solution was to write a two-year blanket policy that applied the required pollution limits to both projects, and the professional limits only to the project that required it. The key was identifying the Insured’s current needs as well as their plans for the future, and then presenting the entire picture to the underwriter in a logical manner. The optimal solution was provided and the deal worked for everyone – the insured, the retail broker and the insurance carrier.…

July 22, 2010

New Day Celebrates Five Years Bringing Optimal Solutions to Brokers and Their Clients

On February 1st, 2010, New Day Underwriting Managers celebrated five years bringing optimal risk management solutions to our broker partners and their clients. It was five years ago that Jeff Lejfer, Jeff Slivka and Tim Farrell sat in a corner booth of a local restaurant and sketched out their vision for taking a new approach to providing environmental and construction-related professional liability insurance solutions as a specialty intermediary to whom they hoped would become their partners. Five years and 14 employees later, New Day has established valued relationships with over 40 broker partners and 30 carriers.

As we celebrate this significant milestone throughout 2010, the senior management and staff at New Day Underwriting Managers wish to extend their thanks to all of its broker partners, their insureds, and the carriers for their business and support over the past five years. We look forward to continuing to expand on these relationships over the coming months and years.…