From the monthly archives: July 2014

We are pleased to present below all posts archived in 'July 2014'. If you still can't find what you are looking for, try using the search box.

The Malpractice Cap: Order in the Court?

A few years ago, in a relatively small town in a quiet (not known for big lawsuits) area of the country, an Ob/Gyn (Obstetrics and Gynecology) doctor opened his new practice.  In helping the community while beginning to raise his family, he earned $300,000 in his second year.  Only seven years later, his malpractice insurance cost $300,000-and he had not reported a single claim! Jury awards for medical malpractice in the U.S. have reached dizzying heights, prompting young doctors to flee states like Florida, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and others. For example, a March 20, 2003 article in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported that the number of practicing doctors in the state, younger than 35, had fallen from 12.4% in 1989 to a mere 4.7% in 2000.  Other states report similar rates of defection. Two other adverse results are astronomical insurance premiums for malpractice insurance, especially for thoracic and neurosurgeons, anesthesiologists and other specialists, and equally skyrocketing costs ...
Read the rest of entry »

Umbrella Coverage: Protect Your Exposed Assets

There's no doubt that we live in a litigious society.  Jury awards continue to bankrupt individuals and many small companies.  Some trial lawyers constantly search for deep pockets, and reach far and wide for defendants.  Underwriters continue to be amazed to find seemingly unconnected insureds "invited to the dance." The most common protection for a business, or for an individual of means, to use against a crippling judgment, is an umbrella policy.  Umbrellas provide high limits of liability, usually with a small ($10,000 is typical-and this is sometimes waived) self-insured retention, above those offered by primary Commercial General Liability and Auto Liability policies.  Umbrellas may also provide coverage for certain losses not covered by primary policies.  Professional exposures such as Directors and Officers Liability or Errors and Omissions coverage, are excluded from "conventional" umbrella policies.  High limits for those risks are available from specialty markets ...
Read the rest of entry »

Intellectual Property Liability Is Everywhere - But Where Is The Coverage?

It seems as though virtually anything created can be patented, copyrighted, trademarked or otherwise protected.  Oddly enough, even with patent protection there is danger. It is easy to believe that if you hold a patent, copyright or trademark you cannot possibly infringe on someone else's intellectual property - but that's not true. George Harrison certainly had a copyright on his song "My Sweet Lord" but that didn't prevent highly publicized and successful litigation against him due to its similarity to the old Shirelle's hit "He's So Fine" in the 1970's.   With an average cost of $1.2 million to litigate, patent infringement trials weigh in as one of the most expensive types of litigation in the US today.  What was once the realm of the individual like Ben Franklin or Thomas Edison, or the very nearly individual (think Wright Brothers), has now become big business.  IBM, which annually tops the list of companies applying for and receiving patents, has received over 22,000 patents ...
Read the rest of entry »

Get the Motorcycle Insurance You Need without Sacrificing Coverage

Motorcycle owners may be a risky bunch by nature, but when it comes to motorcycle insurance, it is not a good idea to indulge that tendency. If you own a motorcycle, you need to have sufficient insurance coverage in place. Fortunately, there are some proven strategies motorcycle owners can use to trim their insurance costs, without sacrificing the coverage they need. Ride Carefully - Keep Your Driving Record Clean Perhaps the most effective thing you can do to keep your motorcycle insurance rates low is to be a careful and proactive rider. Keeping your driving record clean can significantly lower your insurance rates, so be sure to take safety into account each and every time you ride. If you are a new rider, consider enrolling in a safe biking course. You can often find these courses at your local community college. Many insurance companies provide discounts for riders who successfully complete a safety course, so it may be worth your time and effort. Choose Your Motorcycle Carefully Some motorcycles se ...
Read the rest of entry »

Steer Clear of Car Break-Ins

One Saturday, Jenny stopped by the mall for some afternoon shopping. The parking lot was packed, but she found a space at the very back of the lot. After she ate some lunch and shopped for a few hours, Jenny strolled back to her car—only to find that her passenger window was broken, and her laptop and iPod were missing. Her heart plummeted into her stomach, and she wasn’t sure what to do. If you’ve ever walked into a parking lot or your own driveway to discover a thief has broken into your car, you’re probably all too familiar with that terrible sinking feeling. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to stop car robbers in their tracks. These criminals go for the simple jobs, so they usually choose vehicles that are parked in remote areas and have valuables in plain view. Don’t make yourself an easy target. Follow these five easy tips to steer clear of car break-ins: Tip #1: Choose your parking spot carefully. Car thieves generally target vehicles that are parked in ...
Read the rest of entry »

Make Sure You Know What Your Condo Insurance Policy Covers

Despite the slump in the real estate market in recent years, many people find condominiums an attractive alternative to owning a separate dwelling. Typically, the condominium association is responsible for much or all of the building's maintenance. The selling price may be more affordable than free-standing homes in the same neighborhood. The structure may be younger and in better condition than separate dwellings in the same price range. For these reasons, owning a condo makes sense for many. Those who choose condos over separate dwellings, however, need to understand the proper way to insure their investments. While similar in many ways to homeowner's insurance policies, condominium unit owner policies have some significant differences. The most obvious difference is the subject of the insurance. A homeowner's policy insures against damage to a house and other structures on the property, such as an unattached garage or a fence. A condominium policy insures against damage to the condo unit, including altera ...
Read the rest of entry »

Environmentally Friendly Insurance for Small Business

If you've ever considered owning a small business, or are considering owning one, you've probably heard all the usual advice.  Make sure you have enough capital.  Only let family run the cash register.  Don't take in a partner without an ironclad contract.   Location, location, location. What you may not have heard is this one: Be careful you don't get nailed with hazardous waste remediation and lose your shirt. How could that happen?  You're not opening a nuclear reactor, just an ice cream shop. Aha!  What if the site you select for your ice cream shop ends up being in a district where the water is found to contain too many parts per million of some noxious substance or another and you have to close down or move?  Or worse, be permitted to stay, but be required by local government to hang a sign at the order window telling customers they drink your sodas at their own risk?  It has happened to a shop in the town of Finksburg, Maryland. Fortunately, the local pop ...
Read the rest of entry »