6/4/2014 2:00 AM

Understanding the Process & Benefits of Deconstruction

The process of deconstruction involves structural and architectural components of a building being salvaged or removed before demolition. Remodeling and demolition projects produce more than 50 million tons of debris, which normally ends up in landfills. By hiring special contractors to assist in assessing what materials can be salvaged, the process is optimized. Plumbing, lumber, cabinets, some fixtures, concrete and a wide variety of other materials can be salvaged. After being saved, these materials can then be donated to charity or reused for future projects. In addition to this, it may be possible to gain LEED points or tax credits for some materials. Basics Of Deconstruction It is important to identify any permit issues and potential hazards. The main concept abbreviation to remember for the actual task of deconstruction is this: LOFO. It means last on is first off, which indicates the last piece of material placed during the construction process should be the first object to be taken out. When the de ...

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5/27/2014 10:00 PM

Good Management Lowers Premiums

How do insurance companies measure good management? And, how does this measurement affect policy premiums? Insurance companies judge management many ways, including attitude toward safety (cooperation with risk personnel), financially (credit checks), superficially (housekeeping, deferred maintenance), and in depth systems analysis (employee selection process). Positive results earn schedule credits, which reduce premiums. Schedule credits enable insurance companies to reward those conscientious managements that have a long-term commitment to reduce losses. The insurance company wants to partner with risk-avoiding management, so they lower premiums to attract these risks. Insurance companies use diagnostic tools to measure the quality of management. Accounting measurements, physical property surveys, human resource surveys, psychological tools and, of course, loss history data combine to paint an overall management picture. Accounting measurements include reviewing financial statements, credit reports, tax f ...

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5/20/2014 6:00 PM

Toxic Torts Can Poison Your Business

In the 1800's, manufacturers and builders started using a natural resource that vastly improved the quality of their products. It added strength to materials, resisted heat, electrical and chemical damage, and absorbed sound. When mixed with cement and used in building construction, it enhanced fire safety. By the middle of the 1900's, manufacturers were using it in insulation, automobile brake pads, drywall, lawn furniture, fireplace cement, gaskets, and a host of other products. Unfortunately, this material, asbestos, can cause serious lung disease and even death in those who inhale its fibers. Builders and manufacturers who used it have endured hundreds of thousands of lawsuits from the victims or their survivors. Claims resulting from exposure to asbestos fall into the category of what is known as "toxic torts" -- injury and damage lawsuits stemming from exposure to substances proven to cause illness or injury in people. Other substances that lead to toxic torts include lead paint, toxigenic mold, indust ...

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11/21/2013 6:01 PM

Can You Really Re-Open Your Laundromat After a Fire?

One of my clients just had a major claim in his Laundromat and it got me thinking about the Laundromat Insurance coverage we sometimes take for granted.  Our client, located in upstate, NY suffered an electrical fire that destroyed his business.  The fire apparently started in the middle of the night and quickly spread throughout the building.  The fire department called him at home in the middle of the night and by the time he got there, his investment that he dedicated his life to has been destroyed. Before we get to what happened to him here is a little background.  A little over 7 years ago, the Laundromat owner built his Laundromat from scratch in a 3,500 square foot leased space.  Besides equipment, he spent over $100,000 on the build-out.  This included plumbing, HVAC, electrical, new flooring, and walls.  Basically, he took an empty space and made it into a Laundromat.  In addition to the build-out, the equipment cost about $400,000. For the roughly $500,000 i ...

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7/16/2013 11:32 PM

Hurricane Preparedness

A hurricane is a very powerful rotating tropical storm that produces fierce wind and torrential rain. Hurricanes develop over large bodies of warm water - including parts of the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea - and move generally northward. Although the southern and eastern coastal regions of the U.S. are vulnerable to the most devastating effects of hurricanes, inland regions can be impacted by the storm's remnant winds, rains, or even following tornadoes. The best time to think about a natural disaster is when there is not one in sight and you can undertake effective planning without stress. Start by getting organized and doing simple tasks. Download our disaster preparedness checklist to help with your planning.  Here is what you need to do: Review your insurance policy to ensure you have sufficient coverage. We can help. Create safety plans for your family and your business. Families, draw up an evacuation plan that tells everyone where to go and how to kee ...

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6/25/2013 4:44 AM

Preventing Boat Theft

During warm weather months, more people are out boating.  Boating is a favorite summer pastime but owning one could be costly, not only in price but in theft if the boat isn’t insured.  Many boat owners don’t consider the possibility of theft, but it is one of the most common crimes that occur each year.  One main reason is lack of safety precautions that owners fail to take.  Below are some tips that can help deter thieves from stealing your boat and the valuables in it. ~Install an alarm system.  Boat alarms are similar to house alarms in preventing the threat of theft.  There are various alarm systems that vary in price and complexity. ~Never leave the keys in the ignition.  This may sound logical but most owners make the mistake of doing this if they feel the location is not a threat. ~Mark the boat and all equipment with an engraving pen.  Engraving your hull number and driver’s license can make recovering the items easier in case they are sto ...

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6/19/2013 2:01 AM

Boat Insurance

Some companies provide limited coverage for damage for small boats such as canoes, sail boats or small power boats under a homeowners or renters policy. Liability coverage is usually not included but can be added as an endorsement on homeowners’ policy. Call us to find out if your boat is covered and what your limits are. Yachts, jet skis and wave runners require a separate policy. For loss or damage, coverage’s include the hull, machinery, fittings, and furnishings which are part of an actual cash value policy or an agreed amount value. Actual Cash Value pays for replacement costs at the time of loss. In the event of a total loss, used boat pricing guides are used to determine it’s approximate market value. Agreed Amount Value means that the policies you and your insurer have agreed on the value of your boat and if there is a total loss, you will be paid that amount. Damage exclusions may include normal wear, insects, mold, animals, or machinery damage. Insurance ...

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6/12/2013 12:13 AM

Poolside Safety

It's summer time and pools are a great way to beat the heat. Even though poolside activities can be fun, there are still some safety precautions that should be taken. Swimming without supervision can lead to drowning. Every year we hear about the deaths of children who fall into pools and drown because a gate was left open or there was lack of  adult presence.  Also, many can injuries occur as a result from slipping on decks and falling from diving boards and ladders. Here are some precautions you can take to help lessen the possibility of an injury or death: ~ Remember to always be alert! Watch your children when they are near or in a pool. Teach children safety water tips and share instructions with family and friends. ~ Learn how to swim if you don’t already know how to and teach your children also. It’s a good idea learn the basics of life-saving as well as CPR, so you can assist in case of an emergency. ~ Create a pool safety toolkit equipped with a first aid kit, scissors, a ...

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6/9/2013 11:24 PM

Safety Tips During a Tornado

When a tornado strikes and panic hits, not many people know what to do. With the recent high incidents of deadly tornadoes in Oklahoma, survival skills and safety should be top priority. Although tornadoes are common in the central part of the United States, they can form anywhere, even in large cities. Know the Warning Signs - Tornadoes can strike with little warning, though meteorologists are a better able to predict the signs if one is coming. A few minute warning can provide opportunity for those in the tornado’s path to seek shelter. If you notice dark green skies, large hail, dark rotating low-lying cloud, and a load roar similar to that of a train, seek proper shelter immediately.   Tornado Watch vs Tornado Warning - A tornado watch means that conditions are favorable for tornadoes to form. Be alert for changes in the weather and listen to your local weather stations for updated information. If you have time, move any outside items to minimize flying debris and keep your car keys with ...

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5/15/2013 2:00 AM

Share the Road with Motorcycles: Biker Safety

There are millions of motorcycles on America’s roads and the accident rate is much higher than for other vehicles. Motorcycling can be a high risk activity but many of those risks arise from other road users not giving these riders the attention they deserve. Since May is Motorcycle Safety Month, here are some safety tips for bikers and motorists alike. For Bikers: - Always wear a helmet. A helmet could be your only source of protection in a crash. - Ride with caution and drive defensively. Never ride in between lanes or instigate aggressive driving with other motorists, and make sure they can see you. - Check your bike and yourself. Conduct a safety inspection on your motorcycle before each ride. Also, make sure you wear protective gear such as gloves, boots and a jacket. This will help reduce the severity of injury if you are involved in a crash. - Watch your speed. Of all vehicles motorcycles accelrate the fastest. For Drivers: - Check your blind spots and loo ...

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