Super storm Sandy was the largest Atlantic hurricane on record, spanning 1,100 miles, affecting 24 States from Florida to Maine and as far west as Michigan. In New Jersey and New York, the storm sure reached 14 feet above average low tide, crippling the financial center of the world. In Sandy's wake 285 dead and $70 Billion in damage. From an insurance perspective, less that 50% of those affected were insured. [Aon Benfield 2013/NOAA]
Less than one year later, torrential rains resulted in flash flood in Boulder, Colorado causing $2 Billion in damage with less than 2% of losses were insured [FEMA] In 2015, Texas and Oklahoma experienced catastrophic flooding with projected losses exceeding $3 Billion, with only 1/3 insured [Aon 2015]
Here some additional statistics for consideration:
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Sterling Peaks Insurance, LLC
1048 Independent Ave Suite A205
Grand Junction, CO 81505
Why yes! "I will rent to you"
"Service-sharing" services are popping up all over the place. Services such as Uber, Lyft and Airbnb have been the talk of the town lately. These services provide a car with a driver to take you to your destination and you can also rent your destination when you get to it. All this can be done with an app on your smart phone.
Today I am writing a "Service-sharing" app for homeowners. The name of the app is Airbnb and perhaps is the best-known "home-sharing" app, but many individuals with second homes, especially in typical "vacation" areas, may also exchange or lease their properties. Property providers should consider potential exposures to confirm the have appropriate coverage for the property.
Airbnb provides "Host Protection Insurance," which is primary liability coverage for Airbnb host and landlords up to $1,000,000 through Lloyd's of London. While this is a substabtial coverage, each host or landlord should determine if $1,000,000 is sufficient. The risk around the property as well as the financial condition of the guests should be considered.
The coverage also excludes some items that may represent a substantial gaps in protection. For example, the coverage description states the the "program does not apply to liability arising from (1) intentional acts including: (i) Assault and battery or (ii) Sexual abuse or molestation- (by the host or any other insured party), (2) Loss of earnings, (3) Personal and advertising injury, (4) Fungi or bacteria, (5) Chinese drywall, (6) Communicable diseases, (7) Acts of terrorism, (8) Product liability, (9) Pollution, and (10) Asbestos, lead or silica."Let's take a few of these exclusions to examine the potential exposures.
Owners should also be aware that their own Homeowners coverage may not apply if they are exchanging or leasing their property. Even if it did, there are many exclusions that may also prevent them you from having the coverage you need. Homeowners insurance and Commercial Property insurance are constantly evolving, with new exclusions and conditions appearing annually.
There are a number of potential risks in providing these services, too many to be covered in-depth here. Some of these "service-sharing" apps are opportunities to provide owners with additional income or ways to swap with others to allow travel to areas that may otherwise be unaffordable. However, it is wise to be cautious and ensure that this extra income or property-swapping event does not turn into an incident from which you can never recover.
Please let us know what your thoughts are:
Sterling Peaks Insurance
1048 Independent Ave. Suite A205
Grand Junction, CO 81505
Eyes in the Sky!!
Drones, or unmanned aircrafts, have become incredibly poplar over the last few years. They are different from radio-controlled aircraft in they can be flown completely autonomously, can be used to assist firefighters and police, deliver packages, map property, monitor traffic and many other useful purposed, as well as be purely recreational. However, there are countless issues involved with their use, especially when it comes to privacy. A drone with a camera can be used to peek in windows , this is a serious privacy issue.
In 2014, there were 238 sightings of drones by commercial pilots; by August 2015 that number had risen to 650. California firefighters were hampered by drones while battling a wildfire; they could not use their aircraft with the drones in the air. Drones have been used to try to smuggle drugs, buzz a crowd of people, and injuries have occurred to bystanders at a few events. The FAA is working on outlining regulations for the operation of drones. Some places like the cherry trees in Washington, D.C., have been declared a no drone zone.
Insurance coverage for drones is tricky. Under the Homeowners policy there may be coverage for property damage as they could be considered a hobby aircraft, but they are no specifically defined. The same applies to liability coverage. Insurance companies ISO (Insurance Service Office) has developed exclusions for the commercial liability form that applies to drones. There are also endorsements that apply some limited coverage for drones on the commercial liability form.
Just like any new technology enhancements many good things can happen, but somehow bad happens along with the good. Please share your thoughts and feeling we would love to know what you are thinking.
Sterling Peaks Insurance
1048 Independent Ave Suite A205
Grand Junction, Colorado 81505
Once that only seemed like a Star Track, Star Wars sci-fi clip of a movie keeps coming to life every day. With the monster tech companies partnered by the leading auto makers self driving vehicles seem to be the way of the future. The biggest questions is Who's Driving? Self-driving vehicles are another technology that has great potential and is rapidly changing. A self-driving or autonomous vehicle is one that can drive itself with no human intervention. The human in the vehicle can read, surf the Internet or watch television. It would be a boon to the disabled, as they could freely move around without having to depend on others for rides.
There are thoughts of autonomous taxis or ride-sharing vehicles where the potential passenger simply calls for a car and an empty car arrives at home and takes whomever to wherever the desired location is. Uber is seriously looking into obtaining autonomous vehicles. Advantages of this are a tremendous reductions in accidents, as human error is responsible for 90 percent of all auto accidents.
While many hail this technology, there are concerns. Proposed legislation from the California Department of Motor Vehicles still requires a licensed driver be at the wheel. If a passenger needs to take over for the car, what is the time delay, especially if the passenger is engaged in other behavior? Who is liable when the autonomous vehicle has an accident? Is it the passenger or the manufacturer of the vehicle?
With Accidents drastically reduced, what does this do to your auto insurance? With a combination of autonomous vehicles will people even own vehicles that need insuring? Can the vehicles be hacked and then directed to go to a particular location or cause accidents at rush hour? There are many advantages, but also a number of concerns that have not been sorted out yet.
Many manufacturers are working on the technology, so this is not an "if" question, but more of a "when" question. While it is expected to be several years after autonomous vehicles are available before the fleet of cars on the road is predominately autonomous, that day is expected to happen.
The good things that can happen with all this technology is maybe families will be able to just have one car. Think about how much time the car sits when you are at work. The car can run the kids to where they need to go, pick them up from school, drop them off at a friends home. Of coarse with all the good things that happen things tend to be abused. Let us know your thoughts.
Bobby Bates Sterling Peaks Insurance 1048 Independent Ave Suite A205 Grand Junction, CO 81505.
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