Login to Big "I" Markets  /  Retrieve Password      November 06, 2018

In This Issue:
ARMR - Pollution Insurance Monoline    |    Special Feature    |    Travel Insurance - TII    |    Webinars    |    TRIVIA! Winners

Having access to top carriers that specialize in serving affluent clients sets you apart from the competition. Big "I" Markets connects you to two of the best for high-value clients.
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Each Wrap+ coverage has been crafted to seamlessly work in conjunction with all of the other Wrap+ coverages or function as a single policy.

By: Aaron Millonzi - Knowledge Coordinator, American Risk Management Resources Network

One of the most intriguing aspects of the insurance industry is its affinity to adapt. As the world changes around us, the insurance mechanism evolves to keep up (for the most part at least). It can be exciting when some radical, new innovation hits the scene like autonomous vehicles and a new loss exposure emerges that we, as insurance practitioners, need to address.

Take cyber liability, for example. You can hardly open an insurance-related magazine or media outlet's website without seeing a story about a ransomware attack or data theft. If you're like me and get daily blasts from the big media players in our industry, you can bet that at least one headline will be cyber-related. Folks are interested in this loss exposure, because it is present in basically all facets of society from business to politics to entertainment. We're talking about it in our industry, because it has infiltrated almost every other industry.

Environmental insurance is another great example of the insurance industry's aptitude for change. It is a lesser-known line of coverage despite being around longer than cyber coverage and seems to receive less discussion in our industry and presence in the media. Not surprisingly then, environmental insurance exhibits poor market penetration even though almost every business faces some kind of environmental loss exposure. Is it because the topic isn't as consistently covered like the topic of cyber liability and we have sort of "out of sight, out of mind" problem? Or is it a common misunderstanding of how broadly pollution exclusions can be applied to claims that don't resemble the traditional archetype of a pollution loss? Before we tackle these questions, here is a little background on pollution exclusions and environmental insurance.

Society started to realize the horrendous effects that industrial pollution and contamination have on both human beings and the environment, starting in the 1960s. Instances such as the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland catching fire and the environmental tragedy that was and still is Love Canal were making national news and capturing the country's attention. We began to hold businesses accountable for the harm and damage they caused. Companies suddenly had this new liability, created by environmental loss exposures, that they'd never had to deal with before.

The insurance companies responded to these new loss exposures and added liability by introducing pollution exclusions into almost every General Liability and property insurance policy. They wanted to shield themselves from pollution claims being filed by businesses for contamination events, which is not surprising given these claims were uncharted and were proving to be quite significant in terms of damages. Simply put, pollution exclusions stated that coverage would not apply to bodily injury or property damage arising out of the discharge, dispersal, release, or escape of irritants, contaminants, or pollutants; this applied to releases into or upon land, the atmosphere or any body of water. So now companies not only faced this new liability, but they also had no coverage for them on their standard insurance policies. Environmental insurance policies were then created to fill the gaps in coverage created by pollution exclusions that were added to most standard liability and property policies.

Pollution exclusions have been modified over the years and their application has evolved greatly since their introduction in the 1970s. At the time pollution exclusions first came into play, they were for insurance carriers to combat the onset of industrial pollution claims. Because of this, they earned the reputation of only applying to these situations, a reputation that has stayed with them for decades. However, modern interpretations of these exclusions have clearly demonstrated that they are much broader-reaching.

For example, a popular hotel in Memphis, Tennessee experienced an outbreak of Legionnaire's disease, which is caused by legionella bacteria that often spreads to humans through water droplets that they breathe in. In this case, it originated in the hotel's pool and hot tub. Nine people were infected, and one woman later died. Lawsuits were filed against the hotel by the victims and their families. When the hotel attempted to claim coverage for damages from their insurance company, coverage was denied citing the pollution exclusion clause. The hotel is now fighting their insurance company for coverage of the Legionella-related expenses. This example hardly compares to industrial pollution, yet the same exclusion was triggered to deny coverage showing that pollution exclusions have greater reach than what many people believe.

This is just one instance, but there are many more that follow a similar pattern. It's clear that pollution exclusions can be applied to more than just the classic industrial contamination claims. This limited scope or misunderstanding of how broad-reaching pollution exclusions explains why we see underutilization of environmental insurance and why so many businesses are needlessly underinsured for their environmental loss exposures. Many businessowners are sorely unaware that they face some or often significant environmental loss exposures, because pollution exclusions are commonly mischaracterized as only applying to hazardous chemicals or waste.

So it seems that the misunderstanding of pollution exclusions might be the answer to our original question on what is the driving force behind the underutilization of environmental insurance. But you could also argue that this misunderstanding plays a role in preventing appropriate discussion and proper attention of environmental loss exposures. Most articles that you see about environmental insurance focus around what we would consider traditional pollution claims: oil spills, industrial runoff, air pollution, or hazardous waste cleanup. This in turn influences the underutilization of environmental insurance, because there is not a lot of literature or marketing out there that covers the many other environmental loss exposures like the Legionnaire's outbreak or the manure pollution from above. In reality, there are examples in the news all of the time, we just don't realize it.

I encourage you to check out Big "I" Markets to learn more about the effects of pollution exclusions and environmental insurance. Log in to www.bigimarkets.com and select Pollution Insurance: Contractors-Commercial Properties-USTs-All Other.  

Creating Internal Revenue

Robert Pettinicchi, executive vice president and chief lending officer at InsurBanc, recently had an article published in Independent Agent. In the article, he discusses the benefits of creating internal revenue for your agency.

Pettinicchi also discusses misconceptions about perpetuation and the benefits of investing in your own agency. Owners can realize greater value over time by retaining and investing in their own firm.

What does it take to create internal revenue? Read the full article here.

Learn more about Insurbanc at www.insurbanc.com.


Oops! In last week’s newsletter, we missed a letter in our president and CEO’s Twitter handle. Follow Bob on Twitter at @BobRusbuldt  

Common Travel Problems and Solutions

Even the most seasoned traveler runs into problems occasionally and the horror stories could fill volumes. Here are some of those possible problems and how to deal with them.

Travel delays can cause travelers to miss connections. In the days before you fly, watch weather forecasts for any city you will be flying in or out of; get a list of hotels near the airports; check in on your flight (most airlines now have an app for that) before you leave home. As I've suggested before, bring snacks! You want to be the cool, calm and collected traveler, not the guy at the ticket counter yelling because of low blood sugar. Guess who's more likely to get that last seat on the next flight?

Left something important on the plane? Because it happens so often, the major airlines have time-tested procedures for reuniting you with your stuff, usually fairly quickly. Contact the baggage service office in your arriving city to see if the item has turned up already. If not, file an online report. Before leaving the plane do a quick check to make sure your wallet, phone, etc. didn't fall out of your pocket or purse. Look under the seat as well. Always, always, always double-check the seat back pocket in front of you before getting off the plane.

  • Lost Passport - Make a copy of your passport. Write www.travel.state.gov on the copy. Keep your passport separate from the copy and your driver's license or other ID. If your passport goes missing find the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate and order a replacement passport. Let them know if you will be travelling in the next two weeks so they can issue an emergency passport.
  • Lost Identification/Credit Cards - A little pre-trip planning can mitigate this. Get a backup ATM card, print out a list of all your bank and credit card accounts, make a copy of your passport, and put these in a different (preferably a carry-on) bag. If you lose your wallet, you'll have access to cash, a list of accounts to cancel, and an ID to prove you're you in in case you must get a relative back in the U.S. to wire you funds.
Each year millions of bags are lost, damaged, or stolen while in custody of the airlines. Your bag may be mis-tagged, loaded on the wrong plane, or just in the wrong part of the airport. Whatever the reason, it can add serious stress to your trip. There are a few things you can do to increase the odds your bag gets to where it belongs: Write your name and address on an outside tag but also leave the same information inside your bag in case the tag comes off. Leave a copy of your itinerary in the bag (in the event the bag goes to the wrong city, this will help get it routed to the right one fast). Take a picture of your tag and your bag to help the airline locate it faster.

Ask your rental agency when you pick up the car what you should do in the event of an accident. Check your home auto insurance and contact your credit card company to see if your coverage includes a rental car. Learn the local rules of the road. Should you get in a crash, call the rental agency, file a police report, and don't forget to get the insurance information of the others involved in the accident. (See #7 Serious Injury)

What happens if after a 16+ hour flight, a missed connection, leaving your wallet on the plane, dealing with lost luggage, and then a minor car accident you stagger into your hotel and are told, "We have no reservation for you?" Take out the printout of your reservation (hopefully NOT in your lost luggage) that you wisely made before you left home. If you made the reservation through an online booking site, contact them and let them know the situation. It's probably a simple misunderstanding or a data entry mistake. Even if you can prove you have a reservation the hotel may be full so ask the desk clerk what may be available in nearby hotels A good way to avoid this situation is to call the hotel a couple days before arriving and confirm your reservation. If you're going to get there in the evening, be sure to inform the hotel so they don't give your room away.

Visiting the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico or south Atlantic coast during hurricane season means possible hurricanes. But what happens if you're blindsided by an earthquake, tsunami, or flood? Obey the local authorities; if they suggest you evacuate, evacuate. Visit the State Department website or contact the local consulate or embassy. Use social media and email with family and friends back in the U.S., who may access to much more up-to-date information than you, depending on where you go.

Are you covered if you break your leg skiing in the Alps? Make sure you understand your coverage to make sure you don't spend the next 10 years paying for a med-evac. If you are injured, your hotel and/or local consulate or embassy can be your best source of doctor recommendations.

Unlike a lost wallet, losing your child is a terrifying experience. For the safety of your child, remain calm and let authorities know immediately. Police officers or park security have dealt with this scenario before and should know what to do. Pre-loss planning helps as well. Take a picture of your kid each morning (or if they change clothes). Make sure your child has an ID card that include your cell phone number and where you are staying. It would also be a good idea to point out to them police and security personnel so your child can be proactive in their reunion with you.

The most common reason Americans get arrested in other countries is drugs. Other reasons involve assault, stealing, illegal exportation of an antiquity (some countries don't want cultural icons and antiques to leave the country, even if bought legally), defacing or desecrating cultural or religious sites or icons, possessing a firearm or satellite phone or importing chewing gum. If you do run afoul of the law, intentionally or not, contact the nearest U.S. consulate or embassy. Though they can't get you released (you're subject to the laws of a foreign country) they can make sure your rights are observed and you get legal representation. Before you start your trip, make sure you understand the laws of the nation you're going to visit. Possession of certain prescription drugs (such as opioids), photographing protected buildings, and other seemingly harmless acts can land you in hot water.

While it can't bail you out of jail, Travel Insurance can cover accident and sickness medical expense, emergency medical evacuation/repatriation, trip delays, cancellation, interruption, missed connections due to severe weather or many other reasons outside the traveler's control.

As a Big "I" Markets agent, you can offer your clients travel insurance through our partner carrier Travel Insured International. The TII travel blog covers a myriad of travel related subjects including travel agent myths, bleisure, air travel tips, picking the right hotel, using a cellphone abroad, navigating hurricane season, and more.

The Travel Insurance International help desk can be reached at (800) 243-3174. Nancy Doherty can be reached by email nancy.doherty@iiaba.net or at (800) 221-7917 x5389. Submit business online at www.bigimarkets.com.  

NEW In The Aftermath of the Storm: An Agent's Perspective
Big "I" Virtual University
Dates: November 17
Time: 1:00 - 2:30pm EST
Cost: $79 (includes live presentation, recording and written transcript)
In October 2016, Hurricane Matthew devastated Lumberton, North Carolina with record setting rainfall and subsequent flooding, the likes of which Lumberton had never seen before. Danny Cook, an agent for more than 20 years, will share his experiences of life after the storm and how you can better prepare your agency if it happens to your town.

You will come away from this workshop with:
  • What your agency should expect as the storm skies turn to blue skies
  • How to deal with flood claims
  • Other important things an agent should know like helpful endorsements and common misconceptions, and
  • If your agency is truly ready for the next disaster
CE credits are available in select states. Check web page for details. Please send any questions to VU staff. Review all VU education offerings here.  
NEW Lightning Learning for November
Big "I" Virtual University
Dates: November 8, 19, 27
Time: 11:30 - 11:50 a.m. EDT
Cost: $9.99 for all three sessions
The VU's November Lightning Learning series features three 20-minute sessions dedicated to Trailers, BAP Coverage Symbols & Endorsements Even if you can't participate in the live sessions, you will receive a link to the on-demand recordings and can listen to them at your leisure. Register once and attend:
  • November 8 - Trailers, Trailers Everywhere – But Which Policy Provides Coverage
    Amazingly, trailers is one of the most common topics asked about in the VU's Ask an Expert (AAE) service. Faculty members have answered just about every trailer-related question at least 10 times.

    • Which policy responds when?
    • Is it the BAP or PAP that responds?
    • It's a non-owned trailer being pulled by an owned auto – which policy….?

    In this session we study the coverage questions surrounding trailers. We answer these and many other questions.

  • November 19 – Secrets Within BAP Coverage Symbols
    This session introduces and details the 10 defined BAP coverage symbols and addresses some gaps created when certain symbols, or combination of symbols are used. Beyond the 10 "defined" symbols, the ability to create and use "self-defined" coverage symbols is discussed along with various endorsements that can extend coverage to certain vehicles.

    Participants in this session learn:

    • Why Symbols 2+8+9 do NOT equal Symbol 1
    • The gaps created by underwriter requests
    • Why the "You" of the policy matters in relation to coverage symbols
    • Which endorsements can be used to extend coverage to "unique" autos

  • November 27 – Three BAP Endorsements Every Agent Should Consider
    ISO offers more than 100 BAP endorsements. Out of this mass, most designed to meet the needs of a specific class of insured, there are at least three every insured should consider:
    • Employees as Insureds (CA 99 33);
    • Auto Loan/Lease Gap Coverage (CA 20 71); and
    • Rental Reimbursement (CA 99 23).
    In this session we introduce and describe each of these important endorsements.
Consider presenting conference style for the entire agency to benefit. Please send any questions to VU staff.  

Be one of the first five with the correct answers and win a $5 gift card (Starbucks, Dunkin' Donuts, Baskin Robbins, or Krispy Kreme).

Congratulations to this week's winners - Kimberley O'Dell (NC), Mary Catherine Shaver (LA), Wendy Jeffries (MO), Ed James, (FL), & Michael Taylor (PA).

1. The first movie of what comedy duo premiered on this day in 1940? - ABBOTT & COSTELLO in "One Night in the Tropics"
2. What are the three criteria needed to create a Travelers Insurance Score for Commercial Auto? - BUSINESS OWNER'S NAME, HOME ADDRESS AND DATE OF BIRTH
3. To which Big "I" state association did Bob Rusbuldt tweet congratulations on the occasion of its 125th anniversary? - NEW JERSEY

TB - Which Friends star had to prove he/she was not in England when a look-alike stole a case of beer? - DAVID SCHWIMMER (Ross)

Here are the top three items that got BIM agents clicking from our last edition... see what you missed!
  1. Travel Insurance
  2. Jewelry Insurance - Jewelers Mutual
  3. Employers Professional Liability - Travelers Wrap+

Congratulations to our agent in Ohio on a Bonds - Bid, Contractor, Performance, Surety sale of $10,841 in premium!  

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