Archive for April, 2014

Flood Insurance Changes Impact Many

Posted on: April 28th, 2014 by Personal Insurance No Comments

During the past three years there have been major changes to flood insurance in our country. Many of these changes have stunned current flood policy owners and potential new property buyers that have been quoted very high flood insurance premiums.

We thought it would be good to share the back ground on what has happened in the past few years and what questions you may want to ask if you are advised that you need flood insurance for a property.

In 2012 the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act was passed into law. This reform caused many changes on the flood insurance market. Unfortunately there were many unintended effects on home owners. A few of these were very steep pricing increases that cause rate increases that were double, triple and even ten times higher than previous premiums.

On March 21, 2014 the Homeowners Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 was signed into law. This law repealed and modified many aspects of the Biggert-Waters Insurance Reform Act. A few of the benefits of this new law are:

  • Lower rate increases on some policy holders
  • Prevention of immediate onerous rate increases for flood risks
  • Refunds to certain new policyholders that were required to pay full-risk rate on a new flood insurance policy on or after July 6, 2012.
  • A new surcharge on all policies. $25 for primary residences and $250 for all other properties

What does this mean to you?

If you currently have a flood insurance policy in effect, make certain that you pay your premium on time and keep your current policy in effect. There are many grandfathering benefits to current flood insurance policy holders.

If you are purchasing a new property before you sign a purchase and sale check with your lender regarding flood insurance requirements. In a few cases we have seen lenders require this insurance and the premiums have been in excess of $10,000.

If you are purchasing a property that currently has flood insurance on it, you may have the option to have this policy assigned over to you. This assignment may provide the buyer with reduced flood insurance premiums.

If you are interested in more detailed info on Flood Insurance you can check out the FEMA website at
www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program.

Obtaining flood insurance coverage is no longer an easy task and it is NOT included in your home or business insurance policy. We at Herlihy Insurance Group are here to assist our clients with this process.

Business Overhead Expense

Posted on: April 25th, 2014 by Commercial Insurance No Comments

Often ignored or worse yet never discussed, is the important role and impact Business Overhead Expense (BOE) insurance can have on a business at a time when the business is most vulnerable. Businesses are successful because they have something to offer, or provide a service better than the other guy. Most competitive advantages rest with the leadership, marketing, technology, sales or production of the business and typically these advantages can be tied to a person or team of people that make the company go. So what happens when a “Rain Maker” in a company can no longer work due to disability, enter Business Overhead Expense (BOE) insurance.

Business Overhead Expense (BOE) provides an income stream for the business to help cover a drop in income that may result from the loss of a key employee due to disability. Businesses where the owner or partner are the “product/service” are most at risk; think Doctors, Lawyers, Accountants, Engineers. When the owner’s direct professional work determines the amount of income, and they are not able to work, the income for the business stops. BOE will provide income to the business to offset the lost income to help pay the ongoing business expenses. These expenses would include employee salaries, utility expenses, rent/mortgage, taxes and other miscellaneous expenses.

A common example we see every day is the medical group with two doctors, ten employees and monthly income of $200,000. One of the doctors is out of work due to injury or illness and unable to work for up to one year. The income in the medical group drops by 50% but the expenses for the medical group remain unchanged. BOE gives the medical group a life line to pay their bills in the short term while they come up with Plan B. Is this a short term problem and the doctor will return to work or are we looking at a long term problem and need to find a doctor to assist the medical group or a permanent replacement. With up to 24 months of coverage available, BOE gives the owner(s) time to breathe, assess all options and make decisions in the best interest of owner(s) and employees.

If BOE is new to you and you have not looked at the options for your business, we are pleased to bring the coverage to your attention. Although larger companies may have the resources to handle the loss of a key employee, the fact remains small to mid-size companies probably will not survive a prolonged drop in income. Today LLC’s and multi-owner corporations are common, BOE and Buy-Sell agreements will help you avoid major in fighting and costly attorney fees if you take the time to plan up front.

For more on Business Overhead Expense and how this one coverage could one day save your business, give us a call. You have questions. We have the answers.

27 Dresses and The Boys and Girls Club

Posted on: April 23rd, 2014 by Herlihy Insurance Group No Comments

Team Herlihy is proud to exceeded its goal fo 27 Dresses! After just 12 days we have collected over 40 dresses for the Boys and Girls of Worcester.

Our Dress Collection is running until Friday April 25, so if you have any gently used Prom or Graduation Dresses, pelase drop them by our office.

The Team Herlihy event was led by Phyllis and Jen and they will be dropping off another car load this Friday!

Huge thanks to all of our friends, families and clients who joined us in our “27 Dresses” event. We could not do this without you!

27 Dresses

The New Math Problem and Your Car Insurance

Posted on: April 14th, 2014 by Personal Insurance No Comments

My kids hate and I love when I conclude a discussion with “We’ll that really is just a math problem”. Typically these discussions revolve around something they would like to purchase or an adventure they would like to have and how it will be funded.

Depending on the item or adventure I may or may not be interested in funding. So when a funding request is floated and I decline, together we review the “math problem”.

In our insurance world we have uncovered another Math Problem. Since I was not a math major like my husband, I like to keep the math very simple. Here we go.

In 1994…

My car hits a person. My Bodily Injury Limits are $100,000

Medical Payments to that person total $25,000
Damages (lost wages, pain and suffering) total $70,000

So I had enough coverage for that event as this totals $95,000.

Fast forward to 2014 (same event)…

My car hits a person. My Bodily Injury Limits are $100,000

Medical Payments to that person total $50,000
Damages (lost wages, pain and suffering) total $100,000

My total damages are $150,000 and I have a MATH PROBLEM! I do not have enough coverage for this.

Higher medical costs and higher wages should make us all consider higher limits of insurance. If you have not reviewed your limits of insurance in a few years, check them out. You really don’t want a Math Problem.

Medical Directors, Careful What You Ask For

Posted on: April 11th, 2014 by Commercial Insurance No Comments

Physicians of all types are frequently asked to serve as Medical Director for hospitals, hospital divisions, surgical centers, nursing homes and other healthcare facilities. Some directorships are paid positions; many are done as good will or in an effort to volunteer. In the spirit of “no good deed goes unpunished”, all physicians should take special care to make certain the new liabilities they have accepted as Medical Director will be insured under their medical malpractice contract. In most cases the answer is, No.

Medical Malpractice contracts generally respond to claims arising from a physician’s work in direct patient care. Medical Director responsibilities can involve many non-patient direct activities, to include; setting protocol and procedures, regulatory compliance, coordinating medical care, hiring and firing, and any number of other administrative duties.

So what’s a physician to do when they find themselves in a Medical Director role, intentionally or unintentionally? Be pro-active, ask questions, get answers.

  1. Check with your current malpractice insurance company, in some cases the company may be willing to extend coverage if they deem the additional risk acceptable.
  2. Ask the facility to include you on their insurance contract, most facility contracts include coverage for Medical Director, add yourself specifically by name.
  3. Talk with your current insurance advisor to determine if there is a stand alone contract you can buy on your own, know the type of coverage and cost.

While Medical Directorships can be desirable financially or for the prestige, they do not come without a cost. Know the responsibilities and additional liabilities you are accepting and secure a contract to answer claims should they arise.

Medical Directors need to protect their own interest.

You have questions, Call us. We have the Answers.

The Sun is Back and Solar Panels are “In”!

Posted on: April 7th, 2014 by Personal Insurance No Comments

More and more solar panels are going up in area homes and businesses.

That’s great news for the environment and great news for saving money.

So you can keep all the good news coming, if you added solar panels to your home, businesses or land, please give your insurance agent a call.

These additional panels have changed your property value and they are worth insuring!

The question is… How will your insurance company provide you coverage for these panels if they are damaged in a covered loss?

At Herlihy Insurance we have seen that our different insurance companies are responding differently to the question of how to insure solar panels. One major factor that makes a difference is how your panels were installed and how they are secured or not secured to your home or building.

Protect your solar panel investment today by checking in with your insurance agent to determine how your solar panels will be covered!

Go Green!