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Showing posts from May, 2008

Renting a car on a business trip?

Often the small business owner is required to travel. While on the trip they may wish to rent a car. Has thought been given to the exposures faced while driving the rental car? The following liabilities come into play- third party liability due to customer's use of rental car; liability to third parties rental company's negligence which is assumed by the customer when they rent the vehicle as part of the contract; liability for physical damage caused to rental car due to customer's negligence; and liability for loss of use due to physical damage to the rental car. As you can see, a lot of liability will rest on your shoulders when you take possession of the rental car and if you aren't properly covered then you are taking on a large risk. All car rental companies offer coverage, the problem is that most coverage only matches the minimum limits required by the state the vehicle is rented in. Many assume that their personal auto policy will provide coverage. While…

Employers liability for employee cell phone use

With many businesses providing cell phones to their employees for business use, a potential hazard is cropping up that many business owners are probably unaware of. What about their potential liability for their employee's use of the cell phone? A couple things to consider are the risks associated with cell phone use while driving, either texting or dialing, which necessitates the employee taking their eyes off the road for a brief period of time. Apparently cell phone litigation is on the rise across the country and employers that provide cell phones are increasingly on the hook for liability suits associated with cell phone use. Even if the employee is using the company provided cell phone while not on company business, the potential liability still looms large. Studies have shown that those using cell phones while driving are four times as likely to be involved in serious crashes. Furthermore, studies suggest that banning hand held cell phones and switching to hands free …

Punitive Damages Coverage

In many instances, punitive damages, along with compensatory damages, are applied to punish a negligent party, while also being used to discourage others from the same type of behavior. Whether punitive damages are insured depends on state law and the policy itself, along with applicable court decisions. Depending on your specific risk it might be prudent to take a few steps to deal with this liability beforehand. One action to take is to request from your agent/broker,to check into the possibility of having punitive damages coverage included in your policy or to have them search elsewhere for extra coverage for this specific liability. It's always best to deal proactively with these types of concerns before something happens rather than waiting until after the fact when it's normally too late.

Flyers' and Penguins' home arena valuation?

The Pittsburgh Penguins play their home games in the 47 year old Mellon arena. The seating capacity has been increased from the original 10,500 for hockey to 17,000. By today's hockey league arena standards the place is a dinosaur. Philadelphia's home ice is the Wachovia Center, first opened in 1996. The seating is over 19,000 and it hosts far more amenities than it's counterpart to the west. Due to it's age would the Mellon arena's owners insure to Replacement Cost or Actual Cash Value? A possibility would be ACV due to the arena's age and that most likely a rebuilt structure would be much larger and boast more extensive amenities. We're fairly certain that the Wachovia Center would be insured on a RC basis, due to it's relatively new status, although I suspect that it's corporate parents use a mix of self insurance as well. Of course you can't forget the myriad other insurance considerations for both these structures, business income …

Further steps in selecting property limits

In my previous post I had discussed ways to arrive at property damage limits. While instructive, it was only the beginning. Once you have arrived at the Actual Cash Value ACV or Replacement Cost RC, of the property, and whether to insure 80 % of it's value or higher, it is also important to assess whether the property is susceptible to damage by a single loss. Those properties that may be deemed susceptible to a large single loss are coastal properties, property near heavily wooded areas, etc. Also, remember that the coinsurance requirement must be carefully examined and adhered to. Just having a policy with an 80% coinsurance, without faithfully revisiting your property value(s) each year, can leave you on the short end of the stick when the time comes for the insurance company to pay out after a major loss, due to being underinsured. If you have only one location you might give major consideration to insuring up to 100% of the location's value, since a fire or other d…