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Volume 106, January 2017
Transportation Outlook
The autonomous vehicle is coming. In the transportation industry, many of the technologies that are needed to support such vehicles are already available. However, until the self-driving features are fully operational and appropriate regulations are in place, the transportation industry will continue to depend on their drivers to reduce losses. The Electronic Logging Device is one tool that will provide real time risk management information that can encourage drivers to follow the rules and reduce accidents.

Transportation clients are looking for insurance agents to help them navigate to the brokers and carriers that provide the needed coverage and also help them to keep rolling through effective loss prevention and safety programs.

Volume 105, December 2016
Technology Outlook
Technology is in the driver's seat. Agents continue to expand their use of technology and are seeing the benefits of improved efficiencies in dealing with their customers and their companies. Customers are depending on their agent to quickly respond to both their questions and their claims. Thanks to the available technology, agents are there. Technology is also creating more coverage needs. Cyber policies continue to evolve as claims emerge and insurance carriers respond. What was standard coverage a year ago may no longer be sufficient for the threats of 2017.

Technology, professional liability, duty to defend, asbestos, and catastrophe are just a few of the coverage concerns for 2017. As more insurance carriers expand into additional lines of business, agents must also work with their carriers to determine the best price, the right services and the coverages to recommend.

Volume 104, November 2016
Security Systems
Security firms must keep up with the latest technology or be left behind. Robots, drones and motion detectors are just some of the tools being used in advanced security systems. While this technology will not replace all guards it can reduce personnel costs without impacting the security of the client. This reduction in human guards can reduce the workers compensation and liability exposures significantly.

The market for insurance coverage is stable even though two major players just recently merged. The contributors to this issue do not anticipate any significant increases or decreases in pricing throughout 2016. Because the particular coverage needs vary by security firm, it is important that an agent with a security-related client work with a program manager because of the significant differences between the coverage provided by the current market.

Volume 103, October 2016
Cyber Exposure Liability
A new complexity has emerged in the already complex professional liability coverage market - cyber exposures. Most professionals, such as health care providers, lawyers, accountants, and many other professionals maintain highly sensitive records about their clients. Maintaining the confidentiality of those records is becoming more challenging. These records are accumulating in electronic storage devices and the cyber criminals are becoming more intent on stealing the valuable social security numbers and other damaging information.

The contributors to this month's cybercast explain that coverage for cyber exposure is no longer merely recommended for professionals but instead should be viewed as mandatory. The good news is that the professional market is ready, willing, and able to provide it.

Volume 102, August 2016
Practical Preparation Tips
Planning for a catastrophe must begin long before the event occurs. One important part of the planning is insurance coverage but that cannot be the only part. Insurance agents can be a valuable source to their clients and the public at large in detailing practical preparation tips.

The contributors to this month's cybercast explain the catastrophe coverage that is available. They also offer a number of tips and resources agents can use in their own preparation and share with their clients.

Volume 101, July 2016
Construction Insurance Landscape
Supply and demand are both growing in the construction insurance marketplace. Because construction is booming in almost every segment, the demand for insurance is also growing. All of that growth is being met with increased capacity in the insurance marketplace. However, there is a caveat, not all insurance carriers entering the market are remaining. New entrants may be new long-term players but agents needing to place multi-year contracts may want to consider markets that have a more consistent track record.

This month's cybercast looks at the national construction insurance landscape but also some East Coast and West Coast specific concerns.

Volume 100, June 2016
Hospitality Issues
The hospitality industry is facing many hurdles. Mergers and acquisitions are taking place that reduce the number of players and the peer-to-peer industry is aggressively competing for lodgers. In addition, the minimum wage increases in many communities are increasing the payroll and also the payroll-based insurance premiums. Hotel and motel customers are interested in listening to an agent who can provide some relief from their pressures and understand their diverse coverage needs.

If an agent is interested in pursuing this niche, there are specialists available to assist in identifying gaps and there are many carriers available to provide the needed coverages.

Volume 99, May 2016
Write one nonprofit and others will follow
Networking is an important part of almost every nonprofit organization. Most are very interested in developing additional sources of revenue, volunteers and partnered services. They are also very interested in keeping their administrative costs as low as possible in order to have the majority of their funds supporting the mission of their organization. This networking helps the agent interested in writing nonprofits too.

Smaller nonprofit organizations may have minimal coverage and are interested in finding an agent to help them find and fill the gaps in their coverage, such as cyberliability and D&O. The good news is that regional brokerages have the knowledge and their companies have to capacity to write nonprofits. Even better news is that they are actively working with retail agents that are interested in growing a nonprofit book of business.

Volume 98, April 2016
Always check the field
Amateur sport insurance experts are very aware of the exposures of their clients. They are concerned about concussions in traditional youth sports that could lead to Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). In addition, they must evaluate the many risks associated with other youth- and adult-organized sports such as bubble soccer, paint ball, dodge ball and kickball. Newer concerns include the consequences of increased sports specialization at younger ages and the increase of social adult sports taking place outside of league sponsorship.

The number of insurance carriers writing amateur sports coverage has increased, but the protection provided and the premiums charged vary significantly. If a customer needs coverage for a single amateur event or for a season-long activity, a market is available. But, just as a baseball coach checks the field before the first pitch, the retail agent should talk with the experts before submitting that first application.

Volume 97, March 2016
The Vendor Must Be Monitored, Just As You Would An Employee
Independent agents and brokers are expected to provide a multitude of services for their clients and the companies they represent; however, many don't have the internal staff to provide them effectively. The good news is that many excellent third-party vendors are available as an extension of your agency or brokerage office. The services available from these vendors are as varied as the policies you write. Claims adjusting, loss prevention, data analysis, communications and technology are just some of the services that can be delegated.

The key to success with such a vendor is matching its expertise with the needs of the agency. National vendors may be best for one agency while a regional or local provider would be better for another. The process doesn't end with the selection though . The vendor must be monitored, just as you would an employee, to ensure that they properly represent your agency.

Volume 96, February 2016
Insurance Carrier Is Very Important
The demand for newly constructed buildings is strong in almost every sector of business. This means that the demand for insurance coverage from contractors is also strong. The many contractors in need of insurance vary in experience from large established general contractors to new one-trade subcontractors. A retail agent with the desire to develop a niche in this industry and build a book of business must first become very familiar with the industry. The agent may become a part of the industry by networking, becoming educated, and getting involved in the community. An important starting point in developing a prospect list may be that agent's existing personal lines clients.

The appropriate insurance carrier is very important too because the agent will need to be able to sustain the business. Currently, the insurance marketplace has many carriers with both capacity and appetite. However, if an agent wants to retain a construction industry niche long term, it is very important to study the history of the carrier in relation to the construction industry. Many carriers who are currently bullish will retreat when the market tightens. So if an agent is planning on a long-term construction niche, he or she must have one or more carriers with an established history of remaining in the market even during the downturns.

Volume 95, January 2016
The Trucking Industry Is Changing
Technology and new regulations are adding to safety for the trucking industry but also adding considerable costs. The electronic logging devices (ELD) will help drivers more easily track their hours and it will also keep drivers from exceeding the hours behind the wheel. This should reduce accidents but will often cut into truckers' increasingly thin profit margin.

The trucking industry is changing with fewer single truck operators and fewer but larger carrier operations. The standard insurance companies are stepping away from this industry resulting in more business moving into the excess and surplus market. It is a great opportunity for retail agents who can partner with trucking specialists who not only know the coverage gaps but have available markets, can ask the right questions, and provide solutions.

Volume 94, December 2015
New Technologies Introduce New Loss Opportunities
New technologies introduce new loss opportunities. These losses often mean the introduction of new exclusions to traditional insurance coverages because the premiums on those coverages do not anticipate the new technologies. But the good news is that the incredibly flexible specialty markets are developing new products to meet the coverage challenges.

Cyber liability, healthcare-related challenges, ride and home sharing, drones, 3D printing, hour and wage suits are just a few of the challenges that are being met within the specialty market. When the phone call comes asking about one of these or other coverage needs, a retail agent should feel confident in calling a specialty marketing expert so that they can work together in offering appropriate coverage.

Volume 93, November 2015
Changes to the CGL are Needed
Security companies must be flexible to address unique client needs, and they expect their insurance company to be just as flexible with them. As an example, some companies are using drones and other new unmanned technologies that could involve significant privacy issues. Changes to the CGL are needed or significant coverage gaps will occur.

An important way for a retail agent to help a client is to partner with an experienced and knowledgeable security company broker. That broker is aware of the options available and can work with the client to identify all of its exposures in order to better match the risk with the coverage.

Volume 92, October 2015
The Professional Liability Marketplace
Professional liability coverage is needed by any business that provides a service involving specialized training. Many of these businesses may be small as individuals are leaving larger firms and starting their own. Professional liability can be used as the lead line in developing a new customer. As an example, most professional customers need but often do not consider cyber liability coverage. These professionals also need disability coverage because the skill the professional possesses is the revenue generator for the business. If that individual cannot provide the skill, the revenue will cease.

The professional liability marketplace is very competitive now and many new carriers are entering the arena, so this could be the perfect time for a retail agent to approach potential customers. However, as with entering any new market, it can be worthwhile to work with brokers and MGAs with a long history in the area in order to understand important differences in coverage and the carriers that offer it.

Volume 91, August 2015
Weather and flood insurance are important components
It is often said that well-designed insurance programs provide clients with piece of mind. One big question is how to design a program for the kind of weather we are currently experiencing. We are providing three articles this month that discuss some excellent products to help your client be prepared.

Many people view weather insurance as event cancellation coverage and that is indeed one type of weather insurance. Weather cost containment insurance is available to pay when the costs to remove snow exceed estimated costs. Weather income stabilization insurance is available to protect a client's income when weather patterns disrupt a profitable season, such as when rainy weather keeps golfers away from the country club. Weather insurance is also available to protect a client that offers a promotional incentive plan based on the weather.

Rapid response is necessary when a tornado, hurricane, snow, flood, or other weather-related disaster strikes in order for your client to move from despair to hope. Pre-planning contracts with restoration contractors can get damage assessed quickly and restoration started more quickly. Proper advance preparation by you and your client can speed up restoring, repairing, or replacing damaged property.

Weather insurance and flood insurance are important components that help your clients protect their assets following unplanned weather events. Combining insurance with pre-planned restoration and remediation efforts will help your clients survive and thrive in difficult times.

Volume 90, July 2015
Changing Coverage And Contract Issues
The dry period of construction and of insurance companies providing coverage for contractors has ended. The need for coverage and the interest in writing the coverage is strong. However, there are problems. Current construction contracts attempt to place more and more of the insurance burden on the contractor and its subcontractors, and the requirements are written throughout the contract.

Not everyone has welcomed the 2013 changes in the Insurance Services Office (ISO) Commercial General Liability (CGL) Coverage Forms. As a result, some contracts require using the prior editions of these coverage forms in place of the 2013 edition. Other contract concerns involve wrap-ups and the gaps they impose on subcontractors.

Any agent who works with contractors must be aware of these changing coverage and contract issues.

Volume 89, June 2015
This Specialty Niche Is Attractive
The upscale hotel market is one of the fastest growing parts of this industry segment. These hotels offer many services and provide accommodations that set them apart from the crowded marketplace. Insuring these unique properties requires personal visits and working with the insured and the brokers to properly assess the coverages needed and develop the correct pricing.

This specialty niche is attractive because the premiums are significant and brokers and Managing General Agents (MGAs) are extremely interested in providing coverage. The hotel operators are eager to work with an agent who knows about their needs and is interested in the particular hotel's unique features.

Volume 88, May 2015
Nonprofit businesses are passionate
The nonprofit community had a difficult time during the recession because its funding base declined as its client base increased. The good news is that the funding base is increasing but the client base has not decreased because of the recovery's unevenness. In addition, new challenges, such as very significant cyber liability exposures, grow because of the medical and counseling services the nonprofit community provides.

Nonprofit businesses are passionate about the clients they serve. They need an agent who understands that passion and can provide the expertise they need to eliminate any gaps in coverage.

Volume 87, April 2015
Do you love sports?
Do you enjoy being a part of a vibrant community youth activity? Do you want to increase your revenue at the same time that you provide important coverage? If so, you should seriously consider writing coverage for amateur athletics. This industry is growing rapidly and the market is relatively soft. Your community amateur athletics need properly written coverage for liability and accident and disability and you could be the one to provide it!

Volume 86, March 2015
Employees are a vital part of almost every business.
A responsible employer is interested in its employees' safety on the job for two reasons. The first is the overall morale of the business. An injury to an employee results in that employee's medical expenses and lost work time. In addition, there is loss in productivity of other employees who witness the event and who may be expected to take on additional duties during the injured employee's recuperation. The second is the expense to provide workers compensation coverage because higher rates of employee injury result in higher premiums.

This month's cybercast addresses the win-win situations of workplace safety and post-injury case management. Read how insurance carriers and employers services companies work with employers to do the right thing for their employees and end up saving money in the long run.

Volume 85, February 2015
Every general contractor needs builders risk, commercial general liability, and workers compensation coverages.
However, most contractors find that these are not enough. Agents must discover the numerous gaps in coverage that have developed over the years, examine the coverage forms and endorsements available to eliminate those gaps, and do everything necessary to complete the insurance program. Professional liability, pollution liability, cyberliability, wrap-ups, and soft costs are just some of the optional coverages to address.

Volume 84, January 2015
Trucking industry revenue continues to increase as industries that previously used other modes of transportation return to over-the-road transportation.
Unfortunately, the industry is currently facing a significant shortage of experienced drivers. This is causing serious concerns to the insurance industry because trucking firms are starting to use less experienced drivers and also drivers who have problem driving records.

Workers compensation, inland marine-transit, and automobile are the key coverages that trucking firms and owner-operators need. Driver error is the primary cause of loss for each of these coverages. Not surprisingly, the insurance industry is very interested in the trucking industry using the best drivers possible. This means that the types of drivers also drive the premiums.

Volume 83, December 2014
Excess and surplus lines activity in 2015 should be strong.
Emerging markets and market niches require expertise and knowledge that retail agents may not have the time to develop. Many agents have learned that having ready answers for clients does not matter as much as having access to markets that have both the answers and the expertise to work with their clients to develop coverage solutions.

This month, consider how you are preparing for market changes in 2015 and how your current excess and surplus market relationships, or the ones you will develop, will help you grow and thrive.

Volume 82, November 2014
CONTRACT may be the most important word for a security company.
The contract explains the exact services the security company provides to a client. It may also be a device to transfer liability from the client to the security company. These contracts are often signed without being read and completely understood, meaning that the security company may have agreed to assume liability for which it is not insured.

This month, security industry insurance specialists discuss the problems with contracts, exclusions, and the need for open and honest communication in order to prevent significant gaps in coverage.

Volume 81, October 2014
Professional coverage is no longer limited to just doctors and lawyers.
Many businesses have professional liability exposures that they have never considered and their agents have never explored. An insurance agent who develops expertise in handling professional liability exposures has the potential to develop a strong book of business beyond just the professional liability coverage because all professionals also have exposures in other lines of business.

Volume 80, September 2014
Cyber liability is a significant concern for everyone who uses the Internet.
Many businesses may think they are too insignificant or inconsequential to need cyber liability coverage but that is a major mistake. Hackers know that small and medium-size company websites are more vulnerable and are easier targets. This is especially true with hackers who see the potential of using these companies as portals to gain access to larger websites. Security is vital but appropriate coverage is too.

Speaking of small to medium-size companies, have you reviewed your own cyber liability coverage? Your agency's computer system contains a great deal of valuable and confidential material. A cyber-attack on your computer system could ruin your agency and the trust you have spent years to establish.

Volume 79, August 2014
How convenient!
It appears that the new frontier of convenience is unmanned aerial systems (UAS) or what are commonly called drones. Certain segments of the aviation insurance market provide coverage for this new technology and other insurers must be considering it. Agents should become acquainted with aviation experts who can find the markets for their customers as they explore and determine how this technology can help them expand their business.

The "new" does not necessarily eliminate the "old," especially when it comes to convenience. Convenience stores continue to thrive and expand. Gas stations offer easy shopping and small grocery stores provide fuel. Both are expanding their offerings so a customer can fill up the tank, purchase milk or other staples, and pick up a tasty lunch, dinner, or snack, all in one stop. These operations have unique exposures and areas of concern, but the agent who researches these needs will likely find a very lucrative niche.

Volume 78, July 2014
Which came first; the economy's improvement or the construction industry's improvement? This quandary is similar to the chicken and the egg debate. The good news is that both are improving and moving forward.
Architects and engineers are in demand for new construction as well as for retrofitting and rehabilitating buildings. The construction industry needs are changing because of technological demands and increased interest in sustainability. A number of insurance companies are entering the architect and engineer's professional marketplace to meet these and other coverage demands. However, insurance agents should be cautious because coverage forms are not identical and the long-tail nature of this coverage requires companies that are financially stable and that have a solid history in the construction industry.

Pent-up demand for apartments is driving the construction industry forward. This demand provides strong growth for many contractors and encourages workers to return. It is also encouraging more insurance carriers to enter the marketplace. However, insurance agents must be very careful if they compare premiums without examining the various exclusions that can result in serious gaps in coverage.

Volume 77, June 2014
Our highlighted specialty classes this month serve society's primary needs of food, drink, and shelter.
The food services and drinking places industry has more than 600,000 establishments and is one of the largest segments in the country. Even though every town has at least one and insurance agents are regular visitors, this classification is not always well served. Restaurants are complex exposures and the owners, who may be very hospitable and are culinary experts, are often not well informed about the many business risks they face. Experienced insurance agents who work with carriers that specialize in writing restaurant business can provide the coverage needed and also help their customers navigate through some of the difficult areas of underwriting concern, such as controlling liquor liability, eliminating trips and falls, and preventing fires.

The hotel industry is under increasing pressure even as it emerges from the recession. Labor costs are rising just as customers become more and more demanding. Franchisors demand more frequent facility updates in order to remain relevant. However, this costs money. Hotels are under increased scrutiny because of the widespread use of Internet reviews. Insurance company underwriters also use these reviews to identify exposures that the hotel might not have disclosed on the application. Agents who are willing to research and develop contacts in this industry can be well rewarded because of the significant premium these accounts generate.

Volume 76, May 2014
Federal and state government changes in electronic monitoring are significantly changing the way social service organizations and trucking businesses operate.
Social service organizations, especially those involved in providing any type of mental or physical health services, must upgrade to electronic record keeping or lose their funding. This change will help them provide better service but, at a time when donations are down, the cost is causing some to consider merging or expanding the type of service they provide. The insurance carriers who specialize in providing coverage for these organizations have many training programs available to make the transition easier.

All trucking risks are subject to the Safety and Fitness Electronic Records (SAFER) System which provides scores for each risk. The scores are public information and insurance carriers use them in underwriting and rating. Owner/operators know there is direct relationship between their score and their insurance premium. This has encouraged them to take advantage of training classes and other tools their carriers provide to manage their risks.

Electronic record keeping is difficult but everyone benefits when it results in all parties working together to reduce losses.

Volume 75, April 2014
Is it spring yet? This month we look forward to warm weather athletic activities with great anticipation!
Hole-in-one and similar prize winning activities are great for advertising an event, but good publicity can quickly turn sour if the prizes are not delivered. Excellent markets are available but sham operators abound. Be aware and let your clients know that you can help them with this fun coverage and protect them from fraud.

This is also the month to consider the many types of amateur athletics and the many different coverages they need. Large and small operations need an insurance professional to recognize and analyze the numerous exposures and the excellent markets available that provide the coverage needed. A separate article specifically reviews sometimes difficult-to-place country club risks. Country clubs regularly purchase Hole-in-One coverage and are similarly concerned with several types of potential athletic injuries. There are also many property exposures to consider. For example, wind is a serious consideration for the many country clubs and golf courses situated in coastal areas near large bodies of water. The country club marketplace is tight and rates are increasing but working with a specialist can turn problems into success stories. FORE!!!

Volume 74, March 2014
Imagine expanding your revenue stream because you are providing essential protection to your best clients.
First, consider the joys of boating. The boat and yacht industry is enjoying increased sales following years of decreases. In addition, individuals are removing their boats from storage because recreational dollars are returning as the economy improves. The marketplace for insuring these vessels is alive and well and many brokers and specialists are available to help retail agents provide their clients with the best coverage and pricing.

Now consider what the consequences would have been if your best customer helped spark the Target cyber breach or another major cyber breach. This month takes a serious look at a variety of cyber security problems and why most commercial entities need to carry cyber liability coverage. The article provides helpful tips for cyber protection, management, and mitigation. It also suggests ways for agents to incorporate cyber risk coverage into the basic sale and not just as a nice optional coverage to have.

Volume 73, February 2014
The construction industry is rebounding or possibly the rebound in the construction industry is leading an improving economy
This is a good month to look at contractors. Thanks to the improving economy, the construction industry is rebounding or possibly the rebound in the construction industry is leading an improving economy. In any event, business is booming!

Contracting growth is multifaceted. Multi-family units are in the lead but single family units are close behind. In addition, many homeowners are remodeling because of increases in home values and loosening of credit. Existing contractors are growing but there are also many new startups. Agents who take the time to understand their clients, the coverages, and the existing marketplace can expect to have a successful year.

One of the most important partners an agent can have in building a contracting book of business is a strong surety company. All contractors need a variety of commercial bonds and some need contractors bonds. The agent who responds in a timely way to all of a contractor client's bonding needs will cement a relationship that can last for years.

Volume 72, January 2014
Changing Regulation, Growth and Specialized Knowledge
The topics this month are connected by three important themes: Changing regulation, growth, and the need for agent's with specialized knowledge.

The transportation industry is required to meet the new Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations that will restrict drivers' hours. This single change alone will increase the current need for additional drivers. The industry is growing because of the improved economy. These two changes mean increased premiums for any agent who is willing to learn about the industry and the markets actively providing coverage for it.

Existing clients will have to be more aware of environmental exposures in the coming year. Environmental regulations are placing increasing burdens on business owners and a well-crafted environmental policy could protect them from significant fines and liabilities. Environmental coverages vary significantly and it is important for agents to find brokers with the expertise and an adequate number of qualified companies to provide the necessary coverage.

Volume 71, December 2013
Excess and Surplus
If your goal is to increase revenue in 2014, you should consider the Excess and Surplus (E&S) lines market. It experienced double-digit growth in 2012, continued to grow in 2013, and projects continued growth in 2014. The E&S market has significant capacity and finding a new niche within it could be very profitable.

This month's newsletter examines three emerging market needs. Cyber liability continues to be a major concern so coverage continues to evolve to meet clients' needs. You should offer this vital coverage to every one of your commercial client.

Health care facility construction and sober living homes are two growing classifications that have unique exposures. Maybe one could be a new niche for your agency.

Volume 70, November 2013
Security and Healthcare
We present something old and something new this month.

The old is the need for security. We have been willing to pay others in order to secure our protection since almost the beginning of time. Security companies provide varying types of services for their customers. There are specialty brokers who can help agents provide the insurance for those exposures.

The new is a product born out the rapid changes currently taking place in the health care industry. It addresses three specific types of liability. The first arises from the False Claims Act (FCA), the second from antitrust laws and increased merger and acquisition activity, and the third from credentialing and peer review. A major part of the new coverage is defense.

Volume 69, October 2013
Professional Liability and Agents E&O
People expect integrity and expertise when they pay for professional services. Regardless of the type of profession, failure to meet the client's expectations can result in significant litigation.

This month we consider the wide variety of professionals that need coverage because their clients expect more from them. The marketplace is open and thriving but coverage can vary significantly by carrier. The insurance professional should consult with experienced brokers who can sort through the various offerings because a low price often means that important coverage may be excluded.

Agency errors and omission specialists are also available. They can provide valuable insight into the agency E&O marketplace because that market remains highly competitive. This might be a good time for you to compare your coverage just to be sure you don't have any of the problematic exclusions outlined in this month's article.

Volume 68, August 2013
Aviation and Transportation
The aviation insurance marketplace is flying high! Capacity is excellent and competition is strong. While there are challenges, current carriers are stable and pricing is relatively unchanged. Back on earth, the insurance marketplace is much different. The specialized trucking industry is experiencing many challenges due to increased demand for its services and changes in regulations. The transportation marketplace is reacting with higher prices and fewer markets that are interested in smaller trucking risks.

This month's cybercast explores the challenges in supporting aviation and transportation clients because of changes in technology and carrier pricing and appetite. It also explores the potential for increasing agency revenue by writing vacant buildings.

Volume 67, July 2013
Hard work is the backbone of the construction industry. Any agent or broker placing insurance coverage for the construction industry must also be prepared to work hard. The insurance marketplace is open but it often has restrictions and increasing premiums. The geographic restrictions and acceptability will vary not only at a regional and state level but all the way down to a zip code level as carriers define what they will and will not consider. Market knowledge and thoroughly understanding a particular client's business is vital to placing the right risk with the right carrier.

This cybercast explores the complexity in placing construction business during this improving economy. It also examines markets for architects and engineers, their importance to the industry, and the direction this class of business is taking.

Volume 66, June 2013
Agents Errors and Omissions
The hospitality industry is recovering financially but its profit margins are still extremely thin. Hotels, motels, and restaurants are monitoring their costs so closely that some of them are deferring needed maintenance and not purchasing coverage they really need. The residential condominium real estate market has returned, but tighter financial regulations are forcing their associations to pay closer attention to their contracts and their insurance coverages. Both industries look to their insurance professionals for guidance with respect to purchasing the right coverage at the right price.

Knowledgeable insurance professionals are invaluable to their clients. But what happens when an insurance professional becomes the client in order to purchase agents errors and omissions liability coverage? This is a nonstandard line of business and every agent must carefully weigh the balance between coverage and price. Are you looking in the right places for this coverage?

Volume 65, May 2013
Specialty trucking firms & social service agencies
Increased demand for services, need for a significant number of trained, qualified, and responsible employees, and extremely tight budgets are common denominators for the specialty target industries in this month's issue.

Specialty trucking firms are in great demand as the economy improves. However, qualified employees are hard to find and the Carrier Safety Act's training requirements make keeping them very expensive.

Social service agencies remain in demand even with improvements in the economy. Government budget tightening combined with fewer and lower private donations are causing agencies to be much more creative in how they provide services.

Customers in both industries need agents and brokers who will work with them to analyze their unique exposures and find the appropriate markets for them.

Volume 64, April 2013
Sporting activities and venues
It's time to have fun! Have you ever considered helping your client with its upcoming marketing campaign by offering an insurance covered-game that involves sinking three 25-foot putts in a row? Have you ever discussed possible insurance needs with your child's sport league? How about making an intentional visit to the local golf club to talk about their rather unique insurance needs?

Insurance and sporting activities are a perfect match. As this month's articles point out, the commission from writing a sporting activity or venue may not be substantial but the contacts you gain could prove priceless…and don't forget the value of having a little fun!

Volume 63, March 2013
Boats, Manufactured Homes and Workers Compensation
What makes a home a home? This month's cybercast looks at two unique types of homes. The first article examines the market for boat and yacht owners, especially after the severe damage that Superstorm Sandy caused. The second looks at owners of manufactured housing and mobile homes. This type of housing has experienced decreased demand over the past five years but is beginning to stabilize. The article explains that the decrease may have less to do with consumer demand and more to do with purchasers' inability to receive the financial benefits and incentives available to other types of homeownership.

Hear from the market experts who explain that insurance markets are extremely interested in both of types of properties. Those markets and their clients want to work with agents who understand the unique features of these exposures and appreciate their long term stability.

Volume 62, February 2013
Foreclosures are down, the inventory of existing homes is the lowest it's been since January 2001, and new housing starts are at their highest in four years. Recent reports also suggest an increase in the number of new households as children, who had returned home because of the economy, are beginning to venture out again. The construction industry led the way as the economy turned down, so these "green shoots" in housing are encouraging signs to everyone.

February's cybercast explores the increased activity in the construction industry. It also examines the surety bond market, its importance to the industry, and the direction it is taking.

Volume 61, January 2013
Our economy is not monolithic. It really is a loosely connected set of transactions that work together to produce success or failure. When any one part of the economy slows, other parts also slow. If one part speeds up, others also speed up. Transportation, as discussed in this month's cybercast, is one industry that impacts (and is also highly impacted by) other parts of the economy. When the economy booms, the transportation industry also booms. If the transportation industry cannot keep up with the boom, the economy's growth is negatively affected. Read how specialists in the transportation industry help keep the trucks moving.

Superstorm Sandy significantly disrupted the economy. One problem it exposed is that environmental issues are quite close to the surface. The storm coming through exposed problems that were underground or covered up. These issues must now be handled in a timely way. January's second article explains that when environmental insurance is not provided, the expense to correct these issues may prevent re-opening businesses and rebuilding residences.

Volume 60, December 2012
2013 Preparation
December is a month of preparation. Each of us prepares personally for Christmas, Hanukkah, family home for the holidays, and the coming New Year. In our business lives, we also prepare as we search for opportunities for success in 2013. This month we feature two articles from the Rough Notes magazine to assist you in that effort. The first focuses on the recent Target Markets Program Administrators Association (TMPAA) survey that explains the success of program administrators and the continued interest and profit in niche specialization. The second addresses emerging insurance products available to fill coverage gaps your clients may not even know exist.

Volume 59, September 2012
Excess Flood Coverage
“It was not the weather event we expected.

Isaac was only a Category 1 hurricane, but because of its slow movement, the water it produced caused much more damage than expected. The wind damage was minor, but there was major flood damage. The storm’s path moved through areas in the South where the ground was already so saturated that it could not hold any additional water. It then moved into the Midwest, which welcomed a possible drought-busting rainfall. However, the parched condition of the soil suggested that it might not be able to absorb the rain. This could lead to significant surface water flooding and flash flooding.

Flood claims from Isaac will be paid only if flood insurance is in place. The coverage available through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) may be sufficient for some homeowners and businesses, but many others need protection beyond the program’s $250,000/$100,000 building/contents limits for residences and $500,000/$500,000 limits for commercial risks.

The private insurance market offers limits in excess of the maximum NFIP limits. It also offers coverage in excess of primary limits available in the private market. Many homeowners and business owners in Isaac’s path knew they might sustain flood damage. Those who had purchased excess flood coverage also knew they would have the funds to clean up, repair, or rebuild.

Volume 58, August 2012
Asbestos Abatement Contractors
In large part because of strict federal regulations and guidelines for asbestos abatement, insurance for this class has become significantly more affordable and available than it was in the past. Insurance carriers, intermediaries, and retail agents and brokers are more knowledgeable about asbestos abatement exposures, so this once difficult exposure has become almost commonplace.

Volume 57, July 2012
Children's Day Care Centers
The day care industry offers parents many choices. Some centers accept babies, and some care for children with special needs. Some facilities provide care before and after school. Many are open only during standard business hours, and some have expanded to 24-hour facilities to accommodate third-shift workers.

The insurance industry knows that “one size fits all” programs don’t work for day care centers because this is not a “one size fits all” industry. There are many carriers and many options available. In underwriting this class, every carrier pays strict attention to detail because what the day care center does and how well it does it determines its acceptability and pricing.

Volume 56, June 2012
Large, medium, and small banks are vital to almost every aspect of our personal and business lives. Every community knows that a thriving bank enhances its economic security.

The insurance industry plays an important role in keeping banks healthy. They have many exposures that can and should be insured. However, like many insureds, they need help to effectively identify hazards and manage risk appropriately.

Volume 55, May 2012
Insurance Agents Errors and Omissions
Insurance agents are not computers, order takers or golfing/fishing/shopping buddies. They are highly trained professionals who are responsible for working with a client in developing a comprehensive plan to protect vital assets.

There are many types of insurance products. There are many professional designations. There are many specialties and specialists. However, in the end all agents have one thing in common. When a loss occurs, the client is depending on them to have placed the promised coverage.

Volume 54, March 2012
Physicians Professional Liability
When your physician makes a mistake, you may sustain serious bodily injury as the result of receiving the wrong diagnosis, being prescribed the wrong drug, or having the doctor tell you there's really nothing the matter with you when in fact there is. Misdiagnosed and untreated illnesses are not the only concern. Overtreatment likewise can cause serious harm, along with the inconveniences and costs. Every day a physician must, in very short intervals, make life-altering decisions.

Bold action based on solid reasoning is required of the physician, and similar bold action is required of the insurance professional who provides the physician's professional liability coverage.

Volume 53, February 2012
Pet-related Services
Who will be waiting for you when you walk through your door tonight? For many of us, the most excited family member will be a pet. While our pets provide companionship, it has been determined that they also reduce our stress levels and increase our ability to tolerate pain. They can provide security and a sense of peace during chaotic situations. Is it any wonder that the pet-related services industry continues to show positive growth even during the current economic downturn?

Pet-related services discussed in this Cybercast are pet walking, pet sitting, kennels, pet day care facilities, trainers, and groomers. Although some veterinarians and veterinary clinics have pet boarding facilities, they will not be addressed here, nor will animal shelters and pet rescue operations.

Volume 52, January 2012
Calm in the Midst of Chaos
In the insurance industry, the months of December and January make these words particularly apropos. It is especially true this year as market hardening has begun and clients are being surprised by (and upset with) unaccustomed premium increases. This will be a difficult renewal year for many, and that means that some files will not be closed until well after the renewal date.

Consider the following information as you move forward into the new year.

Volume 51, December 2011
Firearms Dealers
A comic strip from many years ago shows a family attempting to raise nonviolent children. They refuse to buy them weapons of any kind. However, the last frame shows their son aiming his smiling clown (like a handgun) at the playmate nearest to him. Many parents can relate as they watch their young children transform simple objects such as sticks, stuffed animals, and cars into weapons, as they use their fertile imaginations to play their own fantasy war games.

Firearms also fascinate adults. For some, firearms provide a sense of security. For others, they provide hours of recreation through target shooting or game hunting. Some families use rifles or shotguns to put food on the table. Unfortunately, these same firearms can also cause mayhem.

Volume 50, November 2011
Adult Day Care
Well-run adult day care centers attempt to differentiate the needs of their clients. They work with the individual and provide the services needed at that particular point in his or her life, understanding that a time will come when additional services will be needed.

Similarly, insurance for adult day care centers must be flexible. Services may be changed, added, or removed, so the insurance program must respond to the center's needs just as the center responds to its clients' needs.

Volume 49, October 2011
We want a taxi NOW! Taxi drivers are in a "hurry-up-and-wait" business. The "hurry-up" part is where he or she makes money. The "wait" part is dead time (unless the meter continues to run). Once the meter is off, drivers must scramble to get the next fare.

Getting the right coverage with the right carrier for the right price may require that all parties just slow down a bit!

Volume 48, September 2011
You've had your condominium on the market for two years. You've negotiated and finally reached an agreement with a well-qualified buyer and the deal will close in a few days. It is then that you receive a telephone call informing you that your condominium association does not meet the new Fannie Mae condominium requirements. As a result, the deal will fall through unless the condominium association purchases a $500,000 fiduciary bond, transfers additional funds into the reserve account, and additional condominium unit owners purchase HO-6 insurance coverage.

What are your options? Here are a few to consider:

• Call your board of directors and demand that it take immediate action. When you do, the president agrees to add your request to the list of agenda items for the next board meeting that will take place in 20 days.
• Call your buyer and ask that he use a local community bank instead of depending on a Fannie Mae-backed mortgage.
• If the sale falls through, file a lawsuit against your condominium association for failing to meet its fiduciary requirements.

Volume 47, August 2011
Bed and Breakfasts
Bed and breakfasts can be the solution for many lodging needs, but finding the right B&B can take a little more time and effort than calling a large hotel chain. Similarly, arranging insurance coverage for bed and breakfasts may take a little more time and effort, but several carriers are ready and willing to provide the unique coverage your bed and breakfast customer needs.

Volume 46, July 2011
Student Housing
There are two types of off-campus student housing. One is the housing parents lived in during their college days and recall fondly. The other is the type where they want their children to live. While large dwellings converted for occupancy by multiple tenants still exist in many college towns, new multi-floor apartment buildings designed specifically to house students are increasingly being built.

The insurance marketplace is open to both types. However, pricing and the number of markets vary significantly.

Volume 45, June 2011
Health and Fitness
Health and fitness operators must find new ways to entice current members to remain and encourage new members to join. It also forces them to use more independent contractors and fewer employees in order to minimize overhead costs.  The agent who writes this class of business must understand the constant change within this industry in order to address each club individually.

Volume 44, May 2011
Cyber Liability
Many people are knocking on your client’s computer doorway. Most are only interested in positive and profitable interactions. However, others are opportunists in disguise looking for a chance to steal and destroy. They may extract information to sell to others for any number of reasons. They may linger briefly before launching similar attacks against others.

These unwelcome guests may even plant a virus or malware on your client’s computer. Most insurance companies exclude such damage from their standard coverage forms and policies. However, the good news is that the marketplace is responding to this cyber reality.

Volume 43, April 2011
Do you have the key?

A surety bonding facility is often the key a contractor needs in order to open the door of new opportunities. The agent who can provide that key can open a new relationship or strengthen an existing one.

Surety bonds are not insurance. They are guarantees that a contract obligation will be performed. They are most often used in government-related contracts. With a surety facility the contractor can bid on public projects but without it the customer base is limited to only the private sector

Volume 42, March 2011
Crane Operators
Cranes are present at nearly every bridge and road project. They spring up in downtown areas where older buildings must be demolished to make way for new ones that take their place. They also appear in suburban areas across the country where increasingly tall buildings are the order of the day in office parks.

Cranes are part of our landscape—but who operates them and who insures them?

Volume 41, February 2011
Golf and Country Clubs
Golf courses are not just large landmasses where participants hit a ball with a stick. They are expensive manicured real estate properties that can easily be damaged by weather and vehicles. That serene looking landscape also harbors significant property, liability, workers compensation, and inland marine exposures.

Before saying “fore,” consider the exposures that might be on the other side of that dog leg.

Volume 40, December 2010
Historic Homes
For many families, historic houses are not merely nostalgic looks at the past but are the homes they live in and enjoy each day. Some have been saved and restored, while others have been carefully maintained through many generations. Unfortunately, many are insured in ways that, should a loss occur, the current owner will face the difficult decision to either abandon the home or bear a substantial part of the loss in order to restore it properly.

Historic homes policies provide a much more attractive option.

Volume 39, November 2010
Earthquake capacity is at an all-time high. The marketplace has returned to its pre-9/11 capacity and, as it increases, premiums are decreasing. Paradoxically, earthquake coverage is most available where the chance of loss is least. However, earthquakes can and do occur virtually anywhere and earthquake loss potential exists in almost every part of the United States. In many cases, the losses will be minor but they could still be significant if the earthquake strikes at a particular time and in a particular place. Isn't the best time to purchase the coverage when the premium is low and loss potential is real?

Volume 38, October 2010
Green Buildings
Follow the green! Green building is becoming increasingly mainstream as businesses consider options to sustain their operations in the long term. Currently depressed energy prices will rise again as the international economy recovers. Every building owner must seriously consider how to make energy costs more of a fixed cost rather than a variable expense. Green building provides such an alternative.

Green building is also being fueled by tax incentives and stimulus spending at the present time. These governmental incentives will eventually end but, based on current polls, the interest in green building and long-term sustainability activities will not.

Volume 37, September 2010
Educational Institutions
September is the month that the school year traditionally starts, but that is no longer the case everywhere. Many schools, colleges and universities now begin classes in August. Some schools now conduct classes year round without the traditional long summer break, having several shorter breaks throughout the year instead.

Even when there is the traditional long summer break, it is not necessarily for all students. Some may take remedial courses while others may take courses not offered during the regular year or that conflicted with other required courses. Some schools offer enhanced learning classes that include outdoor activities, foreign travel opportunities, and/or research projects.

It might get to the point where there aren't “traditional schools” anymore. This means that today’s insurance marketplace must be just as flexible as the school calendar in order to meet the varied needs of today’s educational institutions.

Volume 36, August 2010
The fire and liability exposures for nightclubs are significant, but they can be controlled. The right combination of broker and insurance carrier can provide the needed coverage along with the necessary risk management to protect both the nightclub's assets and the public's safety.

Volume 35, July 2010
Environmental Impairment Coverage
Oil gushing from a blown-out rig is an obvious environmental impairment liability loss. Other types of environmental contamination take place throughout this country that are much less obvious but just as real. Some contamination may occur because of long forgotten disposed-of waste while other cases involve natural water runoff.

Water is not the only source of contamination. Air pollution can occur from the expected exhaust of chemical fumes or from unexpected releases from a fire or other type of accident. Soil contamination takes place when items are disposed of in the ground. Waste items containing heavy metals, fuel spills, and soil treatments all add to ground contamination.

Volume 34, May 2010
Contractors’ Equipment Coverage
Contractors’ equipment coverage is pure inland marine. It must be underwritten one risk at a time and one piece of equipment at a time in some cases. The marketplace shrinkage due to the slowdown in the construction industry combined with soft market pricing is causing standard markets to venture further into this marketplace. The question is whether their products will provide the needed coverage and what impact their participation may have on the loss ratio.

Volume 33, April 2010
Mobile Home Parks
There are many parts of the country where the terms upscale and mobile home may not seem to go together. However, in California, Florida, Texas, and other areas that attract retirees and snowbirds, the lower cost of manufactured housing has created a demand for upscale communities where manufactured home buyers can park and enjoy the good life.

Volume 32, March 2010
The diverse forestry industry has one common element but many differences. The common element is the tree! Every forestry product comes from timber. However, those products can be as thin as a piece of paper or as massive as a building. Some products become treasured pieces of furniture passed down from one generation to another. Others may be used and disposed of within minutes.

Trees serve many masters, but loggers have the closest relationship of all.

Volume 31, February 2010
Nurse Practitioners
Nurse practitioners can practice without physician oversight in most states. A nurse practitioner must be a registered nurse with an advanced degree in a particular specialty and must be accredited. Each state establishes the rules under which the nurse practitioner functions.

Nurse practitioners may be staff members in a physician’s office, stand-alone midwife OB/GYNs, or even part of a specialty oncology team or trauma unit. Expect to see an increasing number of nurse practitioners as health care needs expand and physician availability decreases.

Volume 30, December 2009 / January 2010
Equine Coverage
Does every child really want a pony for Christmas? Maybe, and maybe not, but horses are a valuable and necessary part of the lives of many people. Horses are work animals as well as sources of much of our recreation and leisure time enjoyment, whether we are participating or spectating. The Kentucky Derby would be just a day of mint juleps and oversized hats if not for the magnificent Thoroughbreds that race the 1 1/4 mile track. City carriage rides would not be the same without the decked-out filly and her handler. Western dude ranch activities could not take place without the trusty ranch or quarter horse. There are also numerous serious equestrian competitions that require well-trained horses and skilled riders.

Volume 29, November 2009
Amateur Athletics Accident, Disability and Health Coverages
To participate or to spectate: that is the question! More and more frequently, individuals decide that watching a game is not enough and that they would rather play it. Many are members of teams or clubs that meet on a regular basis to enjoy their chosen sport.
The potential for injury exists with any sporting event or competition. Many simply occur based on the nature of the activity, not due to negligence. However, injured persons may miss time at work and medical bills must be paid. The question is: who will pay?

Volume 28, October 2009
Architects Professional Liability

Architects have suffered with the downturn in the construction market but still remain very upbeat. The new green emphasis and environmental regulations are changing how buildings are being built as well as encouraging retrofitting of existing buildings for energy savings. And these design professionals are ready to meet the challenges!

Volume 27, September 2009

The pirates of Somalia, Nigeria and Bangladesh show us how very vulnerable our major method of international trade is. Using primitive techniques, they have been able to capture huge cargo-carrying vessels. The vessel and its crew are held until their release can be negotiated. These aren’t cartoon characters. They are desperate people, committing desperate crimes, and they are not going away.

Volume 26, August 2009
The Lodging Industry
When times are tough, Americans… stay home. While staycations, webinars and teleconferencing may be popular ways to save money, they all negatively affect lodging industry revenue. In addition to reductions in revenue for overnight stays, revenues for all services provided, such as meetings, restaurants and other catered events, have declined.

Volume 25, July 2009
New and Used Automobile Dealerships
What does the owner of a new car dealership do when its franchise agreement is cancelled?. Although they might prefer to remain franchised dealers, many are exploring becoming used-car dealers in addition to continuing their automotive service departments. Committed automobile entrepreneurs will not want to wait in the wings, so expect to see these “un” franchised dealers find a way to stay in the market…and expect the insurance marketplace to find solutions to any coverage problems they encounter.

Volume 24, June 2009
Medical and Radiology Diagnostic Laboratories
Diagnostic laboratories are a vital part of the diagnosis process. They receive the samples, run the appropriate tests, and present the results to the physician. If any step is omitted, the diagnosis will be incorrect and treatments provided in vain or perhaps to the patient’s detriment.

Volume 23, May 2009
Prize Indemnification Coverage
Win-win-win insurance coverages are hard to find but prize indemnification or hole-in-one coverage may be it. Experts are shouting from the rafters about how now is the time for companies to increase advertising activity, even though many are reducing such expenditures. Wouldn’t this be the perfect time for one of your insureds to sponsor a unique contest that could create interest throughout the community and bring more attention to its product or service? On the other hand, how could it possibly afford the amount of payout needed to generate the greatest attention? The answer is prize indemnification coverage! A win for your customer, a win for your community, and a win for you!!

Volume 22, April 2009
The Alternative Fuel Industry
The alternative fuel industry's history has been heavily influenced by global oil and gas prices and availability. At the present time, the price of a barrel of oil has retreated to the $40s range. Corn farmers are suffering and ethanol plants are closing. However, in the midst of this, the stimulus package is providing incentives for alternative fuel providers to persevere. Wind and solar power and fuel cell technologies for cars are moving forward based on hopes that having multiple sources of energy will result in stable pricing levels and that the United States industry will control its own energy destiny.

Volume 21, March 2009
Employment-Related Practices Liability
According to recent commission reports, over 100,000 EEOC actions were reported to the federal government each year between 2003 and 2007. Each is a potential lawsuit. In addition, numerous state actions are filed which may be distinct from and in addition to the federal actions. If there were this many claims prior to Lilly Ledbetter, how many might be expected in the coming years?

Volume 20, February 2009
Real Estate Agents and Brokers Errors and Omissions

Real estate agents and brokers are friends, confidants and trusted allies used when arranging to purchase a home or business. As intermediaries, they have the knowledge the buyer and seller need to finalize an equitable purchase. In a best case scenario, both parties are satisfied at the time of closing. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Either party may later regret its actions and, after reflecting on them, may decide that they actually received bad advice.

Volume 19, January 2009
Business is booming! Pawnbrokers are unique financial institutions. That's right, financial institutions! They provide small, secured loans to their clients, with the security or collateral kept on site in a secured area. As long as the borrower meets the terms of the loan, the collateral in the secured backroom area is protected. However, the collateral becomes the pawnbroker's property and moves from the back room to the retail area to be sold as used merchandise if the loan terms are not met. The borrower cannot lose more than the value of the collateral. The advantage of this type of arrangement to the borrower is that there is no concern over a damaged credit report, garnishing of wages, or cascading credit card interest increases.

Volume 18, December 2008
According to some, rule FAS 157, implemented by Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) on November 15, 2007 caused our current cascading financial crisis. As financial stocks started to tumble, companies were forced to restate their net worth every day. Some financial assets became so toxic that there was no market for them at all. This caused the net worth of a number of financial companies to tumble. Whether the theory is accurate or not, it is important to remember that accountants do not make the rules. They simply follow them. The public expects the accounting profession to apply a consistent, professional approach to the preparation of financial statements that fully complies with all FASB standards.

Volume 17, November 2008
Social Service Providers
What is a social service provider? It may be defined as an organization that sees its revenue decrease as its client base increases. These agencies provide both temporary and permanent shelter and supply food through daily meals or groceries for a family to take home. They provide day care for children, as well as for adults, and provide a degree of protection for those least able to protect themselves.

Volume 16, October 2008
Beauty and Barber Shops
How much would you pay for the perfect haircut? Barbers, beauticians and their customers deal with this question constantly. What is the price of perfection? Beauticians and barbers no longer simply cut hair. This industry is constantly changing as the owners work to meet the needs of their clients. However, this creates problems. How can the insurance industry properly address and respond to the exposures of an industry constantly in a state of flux?

Volume 15, September 2008
Security Guards and Investigative Agencies
Security guards and investigative agencies offer services ranging from the extremely broad to the quite limited. They are recipients of the client's trust. If that trust is violated, the client suffers. However, in the same manner that an insurance company can never insure every potential cause of loss for its policyholders, no security operation can protect every potential threat to its clients. In both cases, carefully worded contracts are needed to explain what is expected of each party.

Volume 14, August 2008
Toy Manufacturers and Wholesalers
Americans are enthralled with toys and games. While we still love and cling to the dolls and action figures of the past we, along with our children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, also seek out the new and innovative ones of the present. Each year the New York Toy Fair issues reports about the new “hot toys” and we know that by the time Christmas rolls around, they will be sold out in stores but still available for outrageous prices on eBay. While Mattel, Hasbro and Fisher-Price invent many of the more exciting toys and games, many individuals create toys or games at home and need products liability insurance.

Volume 13, June/July 2008
Bridge Contractors
The August 2007 collapse of the I-35W St. Anthony Falls Bridge in Minneapolis was a wakeup call to the nation. Although engineers and other experts had talked about the crumbling infrastructure for many years, it took an actual collapse to focus political attention on the problem. Bridge construction is expensive and requires many experts familiar with the construction process. Appropriations bills have recently passed to increase the funding for bridge inspection and repair. Political candidates are using this bridge collapse incident and the general need for infrastructure repair as campaign issues. The result is an expectation of more funding for bridge inspections, construction and repairs in the future.

Volume 12, May 2008
Oil and Gas Operations
Even though the price of oil is dancing around well above $100 per barrel these days, our oil and gasoline consumption is unchanged. Although “where there's a will there's a way” may be true, a better maxim may be "where a profit can be made, an entrepreneur is researching a way to do so." As the price per barrel of oil increases, the potential profit from tapping domestic oil and gas reserves also increases. Oil and gas wells are being drilled deeper and farther away from shore. Drilling horizontally instead of vertically is another technique used to extract oil and gas reserves inaccessible by vertical drilling.

Volume 11, April 2008
Outfitters and Guides
Adventure is truly a rush! Kayaking, hunting, fishing, birding and mountain climbing are activities that can bring families and groups together in ways that build lasting bonds. The challenges in these activities encourage individuals to perform in ways they may have considered beyond their capabilities and create an awareness in them of nature and of themselves that exceeds the activity at hand. However, these adventures are not for inexperienced novices. That is why outfitters and guides are vital to the success of these types of adventures.

Volume 10, March 2008
Vacant Buildings
Location, location, location! That's the mantra of the real estate agent. But what happens when the location is perfect, the price is right, the seller has moved out but the credit market is so tight that no purchaser can afford to buy it? In many cases, another building winds up in the growing pool of vacant properties. Some of these properties are owned by individuals, others by businesses and some now belong to banks through foreclosure proceedings.

Volume 9, February 2008
Boats and Yachts
Like automobiles, boats and yachts are modes of transportation but the coverage required is quite different and more than just an auto policy on water. Boats and yachts can also substitute as residences but the coverage provided is different and does not match that provided by a homeowners policy. Instead of simply being an extension of standard personal lines coverages, boat and yacht coverages are extensions of ocean marine coverage forms.

Volume 8, January 2008
Medical Equipment Products
Medical equipment designed for use by professionals in the treatment of patients is now expected to be operated by ordinary people. This means the assumptions made by the equipment designers must be changed. Instruction books, labeling, training and warranties must consider these new customers.

Volume 7, December 2007
A nutraceutical is much more than just a dietary supplement because it is designed to treat specific disorders in addition to supplementing a diet. Since there are no Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clinical trials, their effectiveness is unknown so the standard insurance market approaches these products with a degree of skepticism.

Volume 6, November 2007
Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems
The excitement about Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems (EIFS) has turned to gloom because of the numerous individual and class action lawsuits filed that claim toxic mold due to moisture retention.

Volume 5, October 2007
Private Corrections Industry
The privatization of the prison correctional system in the United States is moving forward at a rapid pace. In order to meet the needs brought about by the explosive growth in the prison population, local, state and federal authorities are turning to private industry at an increasing rate.

Volume 4, September 2007
Adjusters Errors and Omissions
Independent adjusters represent the insurance company, while public adjusters represent the claimant. They are charged to fairly represent their clients by adjusting losses based on the facts of the insurance policy and the loss that occurs. The problem is determining what is fair.

Volume 3, August 2007
Motor Truck Cargo
This edition of the Insurance Marketplace Cybercast reviews the motor truck cargo marketplace as a whole and addresses current problems in the NAFTA commercial zones and problems that may occur when NAFTA is fully implemented.

Volume 2, July 2007
Medi spas
While traditional spas provide a variety of treatments, most are nothing more than expanded beauty shops. However, the Medi spa is an entirely new and different concept. It offers medically supervised Botox treatments, dermal fillers such as Restylane and Juvederm, laser hair removal, microdermabrasion, skin corrections and a number of other minor surgical treatments in addition to the comfort and services of a traditional spa.

Volume 1, June 2007
Mini wraps
A major coverage problem in the residential construction marketplace is being solved on the west coast with a general liability only wrap-up sometimes called a mini wrap. Since the problem is becoming more national in scope, will the mini wrap also become the national solution?


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