Contractor Talk - Professional Construction and Remodeling Forum banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone, this is my first post. I have been lurking since last Sept. 09. My wife has been a GC for 25 years and I am new to the business. So we started a new company last August, shopped liability insurance based on our first job. Replacing outside stairwell columns, 3 floors, at a condominium complex for a HOA. We told all of the ins. companies what the job entailed and wanted to make sure we were covered properly, because of the danger.

First the company we chose, notifies us that they needed another $105. over and above what we were quoted and paid on the down payment. This was a month after we paid the down. Then, I realized we never got a policy, so I just got it emailed to me 2 days ago. We paid our down at the beginning of Oct. 09. Reviewing the policy, I discover that there was an exclusion for condominiums and apartments. Thank goodness, everything went well, but we were not covered.

When I questioned them about this, they said they could add coverage for condo's at an additional cost, but they can't do anything until we pay the additional $105.

First I am mad about being low balled. Second, I am even madder that if something were to happened on that job, we would not have been covered.

How would you proceed from here if you were in my shoes? I am in Texas.

Thank you, and looking forward to being a member on this forum.
 

·
DavidC
Joined
·
2,550 Posts
Count your blessings and move forward. That may include finding a different agent or broker if you feel he low balled you. Did they call and get a quote from the company before finalizing your deal?

Similar note, we applied for our WC policy in July (years ago) for a job to start in Aug. and got a temp. binder from the co. Not hearing from them again afterward (No policy, invoice, statement etc.) I called them end of Sept. I guess some one in the office had lost our paperwork, they had no record of the application. Our policy officially started in Oct. No injuries or losses so we moved forward (on their advice) and didn't worry about it.

Good Luck
Dave
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
399 Posts
My advice is to find an agent who you can trust, knows their stuff, and forget about the price shopping. Everybody can offer a lower monthly rate, but only a few can be trusted to watch your back even when you thought nothing was coming.

Point being, my agent is always looking over my policy, calling me if she can save me money or if I need a new coverage based on new laws, activities, etc. They are competitive in price, not likely the cheapest, but I never have to worry.

Welcome to CT!!!:thumbsup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Pardon my spelling on my iPhone. Hard to have confidence with these guys now and we have paid more than half. Anyone want to reccomend a broker that covers Texas? Iwas hoping since our job was not covered, we could demand a refund. Prolly won't be successful. Thx
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,923 Posts
When I questioned them about this, they said they could add coverage for condo's at an additional cost, but they can't do anything until we pay the additional $105.
You need to get an account executive that knows what they are doing. This amount added to an existing policy......? I call in and the addl coverage and its in place when I hang up. Sometimes they have to have a day to get it in place. They say / I listen ....."you are bound". I then ask them to fax me the binder and they do. Its good for 72 hrs and gives me time to drop a check off.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,938 Posts
I agree, find an agent you trust. To me it is not worth the headache trying to shop around for the lowest price, my agent will usually match it anyway as best as he can.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
187 Posts
Pardon my spelling on my iPhone. Hard to have confidence with these guys now and we have paid more than half. Anyone want to reccomend a broker that covers Texas? Iwas hoping since our job was not covered, we could demand a refund. Prolly won't be successful. Thx
What part of Texas?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,300 Posts
Never get your insurance from the guy that sells you your homeowners, auto, etc. insurance, or anyone else.

Get your insurance from someone that only sells business and contractors insurance, or it is a very very large percentage of their business.

And always expect them to be prompt. Through the years our agents have been very prompt and I expect them to be. When ever I have needed a change, copy of something, certificate, etc. I tell them and expect them to have it done that day and want something faxed, emailed to me that day. Usually they get it done in way less than that, sometimes only minutes. And even if my agent happens to be out of the office, there is someone there that will get it done.

And always read your policy thoroughly, sometimes there will be a gotcha like you described.

Here is a link to a company we were with for many years, but we changed a few years back when contractors insurance was skyrocketing. They do have offices nationwide and cover most of the states, and contractors insurance and bonding is their only business.

Contractors Bonding and Insurance
http://www.cbic.com/
 

·
Risk Advisor
Joined
·
18 Posts
Talk to Brady Chapman Holland in Houston.
We are in a broker network with them, and they have expert capabilities to handle contractors correctly.
If you paid a broker commission and they didn't notice that glaring gap in your coverage, you should fire them immediately, hire someone that knows construction, and give them a mid-term Broker of Record letter to take over your account.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
291 Posts
Hello everyone, this is my first post. I have been lurking since last Sept. 09. My wife has been a GC for 25 years and I am new to the business. So we started a new company last August, shopped liability insurance based on our first job. Replacing outside stairwell columns, 3 floors, at a condominium complex for a HOA. We told all of the ins. companies what the job entailed and wanted to make sure we were covered properly, because of the danger.

First the company we chose, notifies us that they needed another $105. over and above what we were quoted and paid on the down payment. This was a month after we paid the down. Then, I realized we never got a policy, so I just got it emailed to me 2 days ago. We paid our down at the beginning of Oct. 09. Reviewing the policy, I discover that there was an exclusion for condominiums and apartments. Thank goodness, everything went well, but we were not covered.

When I questioned them about this, they said they could add coverage for condo's at an additional cost, but they can't do anything until we pay the additional $105.

First I am mad about being low balled. Second, I am even madder that if something were to happened on that job, we would not have been covered.

How would you proceed from here if you were in my shoes? I am in Texas.

Thank you, and looking forward to being a member on this forum.

You may want to get a clarification on that exclusion, from my understanding no condos or apartments means from the ground up not repair work. I was told he reason why it is excluded is due to the possibility of having the same problem in every single unit so the risk is greater, but a single job at the site would not pose those risks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thank you, I will take a look. The broker we hired, does only contractor insurance. They seemed very knowledgeable and attentive when we decided to go with them. They were not the cheapest, but their response to our questions was prompt.....Until they got the down payment, and then it went south from there. And it went south fast. I googled them and found no negative (or positive for that matter) feedback. I picked them, because some of the others were not very prompt to our questions or getting us a quote. It was like they all had to much business.

In a claim situation, we are supposed to deal with them, rather than the insurer directly. That is scaring the heck out of me. They also did not quote us a pay in full price. We got the payment information from the finance company with disclosures and discovered we are paying 24% interest on the balance.:eek: I am not real happy about that either.
 

·
Risk Advisor
Joined
·
18 Posts
In a claim situation, we are supposed to deal with them, rather than the insurer directly. That is scaring the heck out of me. They also did not quote us a pay in full price. We got the payment information from the finance company with disclosures and discovered we are paying 24% interest on the balance.:eek: I am not real happy about that either.
we have our clients report the claim to us and we notify the carrier as well as see the claim through. claims adjusters have a very full workload at all times, and unless your agent/broker is proactively working to close the claim, they can linger on for a very long time, which in turn will cost the insured(you) more money as well as potentially increase your rates in the future. This is a larger issue for Work Comp claims, more so than completed ops or general liability. Unless your agent/broker is financing all of your premium up front, it seems pretty shady. Just me .02$
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
You may want to get a clarification on that exclusion, from my understanding no condos or apartments means from the ground up not repair work. I was told he reason why it is excluded is due to the possibility of having the same problem in every single unit so the risk is greater, but a single job at the site would not pose those risks.
Upon clarification, I was told we were covered as long as the repairs were not involved with weight/load bearing structures. The reason the job was so dangerous, was because we were replacing rotten columns that supported the exterior stair wells and balconys. Broker clearly agreed we were not covered.

we have our clients report the claim to us and we notify the carrier as well as see the claim through. claims adjusters have a very full workload at all times, and unless your agent/broker is proactively working to close the claim, they can linger on for a very long time, which in turn will cost the insured(you) more money as well as potentially increase your rates in the future. This is a larger issue for Work Comp claims, more so than completed ops or general liability. Unless your agent/broker is financing all of your premium up front, it seems pretty shady. Just me .02$
Agreed, just not sure how to handle it. The down payment covered their broker fee of $495, so they have already made their money.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,000 Posts
If you were told and you were under the direct belief that you were covered and then was not. You would be entilted to a full refund on the policy.
( providing you could prove it, like email. )
Then you could reshop it with a new guy and company.

Something similar happened to us on an umbrella policy.

Basicly you paid for something you never received. Doesnt matter if it was used or not or even if you did the job.

Check with your States Department Of Insurance.
 

·
Risk Advisor
Joined
·
18 Posts
Upon clarification, I was told we were covered as long as the repairs were not involved with weight/load bearing structures. The reason the job was so dangerous, was because we were replacing rotten columns that supported the exterior stair wells and balconys. Broker clearly agreed we were not covered.



Agreed, just not sure how to handle it. The down payment covered their broker fee of $495, so they have already made their money.
Are you paying them a fee on top of the commission that the Insurance Company is paying them? IMO, if they are asking for all their commission up front, it doesn't give them much of an incentive to work their ass for you for the remainder of the renewal cycle.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
If you were told and you were under the direct belief that you were covered and then was not. You would be entilted to a full refund on the policy.
( providing you could prove it, like email. )
Then you could reshop it with a new guy and company.

Something similar happened to us on an umbrella policy.

Basicly you paid for something you never received. Doesnt matter if it was used or not or even if you did the job.

Check with your States Department Of Insurance.
Agreed, but no proof. Everything was discussed over many phone calls. I have been trying to resolve this for a week now. They are checking with their underwriters. So, I think they have had enough time. Will probably demand full refund or start report to Texas DOI.

Are you paying them a fee on top of the commission that the Insurance Company is paying them? IMO, if they are asking for all their commission up front, it doesn't give them much of an incentive to work their ass for you for the remainder of the renewal cycle.
Agreed also. We did not know the break down of dollars (Insurance, Fee, finance charge of 24%:mad:) until 30 days after we sent the down payment which included the fee up front. The finance company sent us the break down with the first bill. We would have paid it all upfront. I just now notified the funding corp. and am awaiting a return call from them. No sense in paying anything more, when we are not covered. Thanks for your input.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Update: We raised issues with the financing company because another payment was coming due. We told them that we were trying to resolve our issues of not being covered for what we were doing and the price differences of what we were quoted vs. what we were being billed. We told them that we were not getting any response from the broker and that no further payments would be made. They send us an agreement form that had our presidents name forged. She never gave permission to use her signature. They had permission to use mine, but at the pricing I was quoted. Not what was processed. This got everyone's attention and the CEO of the broker called to straighten everything out. Current Ins. company does not offer rider for condo coverage.
Bottom line;
Broker agreed to cancel policy with positive reason why.
Broker agreed to cover any financing charges.
Broker agreed to find coverage that would cover us at competitive rates.
Broker agreed to apply all monies paid thus far to new policy.
We will see......
 

·
Risk Advisor
Joined
·
18 Posts
Update: We raised issues with the financing company because another payment was coming due. We told them that we were trying to resolve our issues of not being covered for what we were doing and the price differences of what we were quoted vs. what we were being billed. We told them that we were not getting any response from the broker and that no further payments would be made. They send us an agreement form that had our presidents name forged. She never gave permission to use her signature. They had permission to use mine, but at the pricing I was quoted. Not what was processed. This got everyone's attention and the CEO of the broker called to straighten everything out. Current Ins. company does not offer rider for condo coverage.
Bottom line;
Broker agreed to cancel policy with positive reason why.
Broker agreed to cover any financing charges.
Broker agreed to find coverage that would cover us at competitive rates.
Broker agreed to apply all monies paid thus far to new policy.

We will see......
Wow. I'd invite a few other brokers in that have more experience with contractors in at renewal time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,000 Posts
Update: We raised issues with the financing company because another payment was coming due. We told them that we were trying to resolve our issues of not being covered for what we were doing and the price differences of what we were quoted vs. what we were being billed. We told them that we were not getting any response from the broker and that no further payments would be made. They send us an agreement form that had our presidents name forged. She never gave permission to use her signature. They had permission to use mine, but at the pricing I was quoted. Not what was processed. This got everyone's attention and the CEO of the broker called to straighten everything out. Current Ins. company does not offer rider for condo coverage.
Bottom line;
Broker agreed to cancel policy with positive reason why.
Broker agreed to cover any financing charges.
Broker agreed to find coverage that would cover us at competitive rates.
Broker agreed to apply all monies paid thus far to new policy.
We will see......

Glad to hear you made some progress. Based on what you indicated you will need to watch them pretty close.
There are a lot of insurance guys out there.
Once you get your new policy going, you can always change brokers but keep the same insurance company.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top