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Archive for the ‘General Liability’ Category

Food Trucks and GL

January 27, 2014
Mealey’s Insurance – Panel: Court Erred In Ruling Food Truck Was ‘Auto’ And Not ‘Mobile Equipment’

LOS ANGELES – A California appellate court on Jan. 27 ruled that a commercial general liability insurer has a duty to defend and indemnify a food truck lessor insured against a products liability lawsuit, further finding that, contrary to the lower court’s ruling, the insured’s auto insurer is not liable because its policy’s completed operations provision bars coverage for products liability claims (American States Insurance Co. v. Travelers Property Casualty Company of America, et al., No. B243003, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 5; 2014 Cal. App. LEXIS 74).

Court Decides Food Truck Was “Mobile Equipment” Covered by CGL Policy

http://www.acicnet.org/hot-topics/2014/02/04/court-decides-food-truck-was-mobile-equipment-covered-by-cgl-policy

The Insurance Company “Bluffing Letter”

Have you had a client whose claim was denied but you felt really uncomfortable about the coverage determination?

I have been working on quite a few denied claims in the recent future.   It have become apparent to me  that Insurers are using a strategy to issue a “bluffing letter”.    It looks like a denial and will discourage all but the most resolute Insured or Agent.

The letter basically says, “We don’t this covered and gives a litany of reasons.”   We will not indemnify or defend this claim….!”         The Insured files it and basically goes away without questioning it.    Some of these claims should be covered.  I have gotten several paid recently and in some we have filed suit.   (Of course, there are also many legitimate denials.)

Agents…  Don’t let your Insureds be taken advantage of this way.  ALWAYS follow up and when you need to involve an insurance expert such as myself, call us!.    “My business is knowing your business”. Let us help you protect your Insureds!   We can likely keep you out of an E & O claim!

 

 

The practical need to visit a client.

As time goes on, it is clearer and clearer to me that there is a need for an Agent to visit a client at the time of sale and a need for an Adjuster to visit a client at the time of claim (as well as the  Agent). I am fighting my way through a half million dollar liability claim (as an expert witness) attempting to get the Insurer to reverse a denial from three years ago.   The claim was wrongfully denied and the Agent did not step into it until now!   The only reason for a denial was that the Insurance Company Adjuster chose to do no investigation at all.   Even a conversation with the Insured would have uncovered facts rendering some insurance coverage. This is absurd.   It does not even meet the basic obligations of the Insurance Company upon notification!   They simply did not have adequate information to make an informed decision.   We simply cannot handle these complicated transactions totally over the phone or on the internet!    WE NEED TO GET BETTER!

CGL Discontinued Operations

If you discontinue the purchase of General Liability Policies due to retirement or going out of business, among other reasons, be cautious if the insured still has products in the marketplace.    Canceling the General Liability will terminate coverage for occurrences that happen in the future due to your insured’s products.

At termination you need to have your client purchase discontinued operations coverage.   The coverage is no longer even in the ISO manual, and I think I must be one of the few who still remembers how it was rated.   Insurance Agents…  Plug this potential E & O Gap by offering the coverage and documenting the offer in your insurance file!

 

Agent… Never trust an Insured…

Don’t get me wrong here and please see the humor in my statement…

Insureds are not “dishonest”, I do not mean they will “lie” to you, but the problem is, the owner never “really” knows what is going on with their business (or family, for that matter)!

Business owners, particularly, never really know how the vehicles will be used or what will happen during the course of use.   One case I was an expert in, involved Care Custody and Control of equipment on “My Agency Client’s”, “Insured’s” truck.  My client’s insured is an excavator.    In the interview the Agent asked the Insured, “do you ever haul equipment for anyone else?”  Easy question, easy answer, “No, I never haul other people’s equipment.”    The Agent wrote no Care Custody & Control coverage for this contractor.

Subsequently on a rainy day (no pun intended) the owner told the truck driver to take the excavator to the dealer approximately 70 miles away to have the tracks re-pinned.    The truck driver unloaded the excavator at the dealer’s premises and the manager of the premises sais to the driver, “Hey…   We have your bosses buddies excavator here and his tracks are all re-pinned.   Would you mind taking it back with you rather than deadheading back?”   The answer (No.. we don’t have any insurance coverage for that”)  Not this driver…   “Sure I will!”   It’s my bosses friend, after all!   What can it hurt.   They loaded the excavator and the driver said, “it looks kind of high,” so the dealership employees said “we’ll check it.”   The driver went in the facility, finished his coffee, and took off with the excavator, assuming the employees had checked…. they had not.    He wedged the excavator under the railroad bridge about a half mile down the road and guess what… No insurance coverage for the excavator!

Agents… Always set your policies up to allow for lack of knowledge on the part of the people who actually do the job!    They didn’t buy the insurance, the owner did, so they don’t understand you just can’t go and do something that is beyond the insurance coverage!   The moral of the story… NEVER Trust an Insured!