Property Damage & Disaster Restoration Blog: Long Island & New York City

Insurance Carriers Gain Comfort Level with Green Insurance Coverage

Posted on Thu, Mar 22, 2012 @ 02:17 PM

Environmental issues and green construction have a few points of intersection in the insurance marketplace.  When it comes to risk exposure, green construction techniques—new types of building materials, natural roof coverings, or even indoor water features—have raised concerns about how those components might impact mold, air quality, and other potential environmental issues.

When it comes to coverage for green construction, several environmental insurers have made options and endorsements available to cover the cost of LEED-certified upgrades connected to cleanup and restoration.


“Four to five years ago, all anyone wanted to talk about was green. We used to get calls all the time about how to price green endorsements based on the cost to retrofit commercial properties. But in the past year and a half it’s been eerily quiet,” says Steve Brewer, senior vice president of underwriting solutions at MSB, which provides pricing data for green building as part of its property-valuation solution.

The reason carriers have quit calling with questions is not because there is less interest in sustainable building. “New buildings are being built to greener standards. We are seeing an increase in renovation to green,” says Norrine Brydon, vice president of data asset and research at Marshall & Smith/Boeckh (MSB), a provider of building-cost data to the property insurance, appraisal, tax assessment, real estate and lending sectors. “There are more federal, state, and local mandates that have taken effect, such as CALGreen [the California Green Building Standards Code of 2011].”

Rather, carriers have become more comfortable with offering and pricing for the coverage. “When regulations started coming into effect, carriers had a fear of the unknown,” says Brydon. “As insurers got their heads around the changes and as green building materials and construction techniques have become more common, they became a lot less concerned about it.”

“Carriers are definitely using green endorsements as a competitive factor. They’re getting smart about what ‘green’ means—what [construction] items are heavy financial impacts and what ones aren’t,” adds Brewer. “A few years ago, it was a hot fad that everyone wanted to learn about. Now, it’s just part of how construction upgrades are done.”  

Tags: green insurance, insurance coverage, leed, insurance, insurance carriers, green insurance coverage, environmental insurers

WATER DAMAGE CHECKLIST

Posted on Fri, Mar 16, 2012 @ 10:29 AM

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Answer the following questions to help determine areas where water can get inside.

When water finds its way inside your home or busines during a hurricane, it can soak attic insulation and drywall, and cause extensive damage to other parts of the structure. This can lead to costly repairs, keep you out of your house for an extended period of time or delay the re-opening of your business following a disaster. The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) developed the following checklist to help identify areas that are the most common sources of water intrusion. With proper evaluation and maintenance, you can reduce your risk of damage. 

  1. Are there gaps around water faucet pipes where they enter the walls of the house? Find a solution.

  2. Are there gaps around gas pipes where they enter the house? Find a solution.

  3. Are there gaps around air conditioning pipes (white and foam covered) where they enter the house? Find a solution.

  4. Are there any gaps around electrical outlet boxes, junction boxes, circuit breaker boxes, disconnect switches, electric meters, etc.? Find a solution.

  5. Are there gaps between light fixtures and the face of the house? Find a solution.

  6. Are there gaps around dryer vents, gas water heater vents, range hood vents and the house? Find a solution.

  7. Are there cracks or voids in the mortar under the window sills? Find a solution.

  8. Is the finished floor of the house high (at least 6 inches) above soil and mulch?Find a solution.

  9. Are there parts of the house where water has gotten inside after heavy rains or where there has been standing water next to the house? Find a solution.

  10. Are there penetrations of the house within 6 inches of the ground? Find a solution.

Tags: water damage long island, water damage, water damage new york, safety, disaster safety, prevent water damage, water damage checklist

Catastrophes, Reserves Halve Liberty Mutual Insurance Q4 Earnings

Posted on Thu, Mar 08, 2012 @ 11:55 AM

March 6, 2012

 

NU Online News Service, March 6, 12:25 p.m. EST

Net income at Liberty Mutual Insurance fell nearly 51 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011 and about 78 percent for the year on catastrophe losses and reserve strengthening.

Liberty Mutual fourth quarter net income stood at $284 million, down from $576 for the same period in 2010. The combined ratio for the period was 104.2, up 5 points from the fouth quarter of 2010.

“Another quarter, another catastrophe,” says David H. Long, president and chief executive officer of Liberty Mutual, during a conference call.

During the last three months of 2011, the company suffered $90 million in losses related to the flooding in Thailand. Most of the loss is attributable to a Lloyd’s syndicate. Local companies took about $20 million in losses, Long says.

Liberty Mutual recorded a total of $234 million in catastrophe losses during the fourth quarter, compared to $198 million for the prior year same period.

The company posted net income of $365 million for full year 2011, down drastically from $1.68 billion in 2010.

Results included hundreds of millions in reserve strengthening. After a “ground-up reserve study” Liberty Mutual strengthened asbestos-related reserves $294 million in 2011.

Additionally, a re-estimation of current accident-year loss reserves resulted in a net incurred loss of $121 million in the fourth quarter.

“I’m pretty happy it’s no longer 2011,” Long says.

“At least, I thought so until last weekend,” he says, referring to the severe storms and tornadoes experienced by a dozen states.

Good news for the Boston-based insurer included increases of 10.6 percent and 6.8 percent in net written premium during the fourth quarter and year, respectively.

Long says Liberty Mutual continues to see favorable growth trends in domestic personal lines, with rate increases of more than 3 percent in auto and 5.5 percent in homeowners.

In commercial lines there is also a general trend in rate increases, led by double-digit jumps in workers’ compensation, he notes.

Premiums in the company’s Liberty International Underwriters unit were up 8.3 percent during the fourth quarter and internationally premiums were up 10 percent during the same three months, led by growth in Portugal, Poland and Turkey, Long says.

Business outside the U.S. now makes up about 23 percent of Liberty Mutual’s consolidated premium, says Long.

Tags: insurance claims, insurance, property casualty insurance, liberty mutual insurance, claims

RIA Provides Clean Up Tips for After Storm Damage

Posted on Mon, Mar 05, 2012 @ 08:59 AM
restoration industry association,ria,restoration,insurance,disaster restoration,property damage, restoration contractor,long island,new york,advanced restoration,dki member companyThe Restoration Industry Association (RIA) has these tips for individuals impacted by the storms that have caused property damage to their homes and/or businesses.
  • Notify your insurance company of the loss.
  • Keep a notebook to track dates and times of conversations with individuals pertaining to your claim.
  • Secure buildings to prevent vandalism or further damage from weather.  Most insurance policies require homeowners to take reasonable action to protect a property from further damage. Tarp or board up open spaces only if safe and appropriate.
  • Shut off main water, gas and electricity supplies.
  • Save receipts for meals, hotels, toiletries, replacement clothing, prescriptions, etc.
  • Take photos of each room or area for future reference and insurance claims. This will provide a digital inventory of some visible contents. More information on what to do can be found in the Consumer section of the RIA website.    
  • If electrical appliances, including televisions and computers are damaged, do not turn them back on when power is restored. This can result in electric shock and/or do further damage to the appliance.  Electronics can often be cleaned & restored by contractors who know what they're doing.
  • When it is safe to enter a property, look for valuables and important papers (e.g., birth/marriage certificates, wills, tax records, etc.).
  • Beware of scammers offering restoration services. Check references and visit the Restoration Industry Association website to find a contractor.
  • Wear heavy rubber gloves or work gloves and thick-soled shoes, preferably not tennis shoes.
  • Wash your hands frequently -- especially before touching your face or eating.
  • Be careful of sharp items such as broken glass, nails, etc. while searching debris.
  • Drink lots of water to stay hydrated.
  • Do not use bleach to disinfect since it is corrosive and can react with other substances. Use household disinfectants.
  • Hard surfaces can be disinfected as well as some soft goods, depending on washability.
  • Transport computers, art work and musical instruments to a dry environment.
  • Damaged papers and books can be frozen temporarily to prevent further disintegration until they can be restored by a professional.
  • Homeowners may hire any company they choose for restoration work, not just a company recommended by the insurance company.

 


The Restoration Industry Association (RIA) has member firms worldwide. RIA provides industry leadership, supports science, and promotes best practices for cleaning and restoration through certification, training and standards development. More information is available on the RIA website: www.restorationindustry.org.

 

Tags: property damage, restoration contractor, insurance, restoration, storm damage, insurance company, cleanup, storm damage cleanup, insuerance claim, ria, restoration industry

The Long Island Insurance Golf League

Posted on Thu, Mar 01, 2012 @ 10:04 AM

The Long Island Insurance Golf League: 1st Meeting of 2012

long island,golf,golf league,insurance,insurance golf league,long island insurance,long island insurance golf league,insurance claims

Fellow Golfers,


Spring will be upon us soon. It is time to start thinking ahead to the 2012 Golf Season.

We will be holding our first meeting of 2012 on Tuesday March 21st at Singleton's Restaurant in Hicksville, NY at 6pm.

Please Click Here to Fill Out the Form so we can have an idea on how many people will be attending.

The Long Island Insurance Golf League has been the place to golf and network for
the Long Island Insurance Community for over 25 years. Insurance Agents,
Brokers, Adjusters, and Claims Managers of all handicaps are all welcome to
participate.

The Long Island Insurance Golf League is a 9 Hole League that plays every Wednesday
from April through August. At the end of the year we hold an 18 hole outing
complete with dinner to celebrate the year at which time the league awards will be
handed out.

Are you new to The Long Island Insurance Golf League?

Click Here to Learn More

Click Here to Be Added to the Mailing List


May You Always Hit 'Em Straight....

Tags: long island golf, insurance golf league, long island, golf, insurance, insurance claim, long island insurance, long island golf league

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