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   According to an article from the INSURANCE JOURNAL published November 18, 2013 there are new programs creating flexibility to assist the Contractor Segment to rebuild.  In an article published by Amy O'Conner the recession has forced the insurance industry to be more flexible and creative when it comes to insuring these class codes much like it forced contractors and builders to take on different roles and smaller jobs.

"The insurance industry has taken a binary approach to insuring construction operations with either a builders risk or installation form" says Alex McGinley from XL. "But with the change in the economy contractors are doing a lot of things they weren't doing before. When we took a look at the construction forms and truly noticed that no one product covered it all." 
 
Construction specialists like XL have had to refocus policies and find more flexible coverage options for this class. One such product was the Builders Risk and Installation Coverage Solutions (BRICS) that the carrier launched last year. The policy covers more types of property, including landscaping, signs and temporary structures; property at more locations; and business personal property that supports the buyer's operation. The policy also covers different types of projects like new construction, renovation, rehabilitation, alterations or additions to installation, repair improvement, erections, rigging or millwork. "This kind of product in nimble enough to insure any type of work a contractor or owner is performing." says McGinley.

The other major concern with general contractors and builders has understandably been the costs. With not as many buildings being built there wasn't enough money coming in to pay for the necessities such as paying for insurance very difficult. One of the things that we at Birchell Insurance Agency are able to offer is Flexible Payment Options for our policies. We not only have received an increase in requests for flexible payment plans, we have made it part of our culture to offer these plans as an additional step that we take in the service that we provide to everyone from potential clients to those that have been with us since day one.

The next major concern coming through the Construction Industry regarding insurance is that many contractors were financially forced to make some extremely tough decisions when watching their bottom line. It appears that many contractors had put equipment maintenance on the back burner in order to save money, so expensive and necessary equipment hasn't been properly serviced for years and may be in need of repairs. For some of the larger equipment loss control is going to be critical. At this point insurers are actually doing on-site inspections. "Maintenance is expensive and contractors have had to cut down on their maintenance budget so insurance companies are having to go out and look at the condition of the equipment" according to Annemarie Elder, Chief Underwriting Officer for XL's Inland Marine Division.

The bottom line comes down to accurately covering the contractors and builders with the appropriate coverage's while not totally erasing their bottom line. If you've got concerns or questions, we can be reached at (800)978-8813 throughout the State of Florida or by calling our General Agent  Lori Birchell at Birchell Insurance Agency locally at (47)936-1572.
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