Risk & Business Magazine JGS Insurance Risk & Business Magazine Spring 2018 - Page 29

FIRKIN INSURANCE you may want to ask how many other associations they insure, whether or not they’re involved with the Community Association Institute (CAI), and who will be your main contact going forward. Often the person you’ve met will “hand off” your account once the sale has been made. Obviously, the experience level of your broker will make all the difference when a loss occurs. Has the broker been involved in a multi-unit fire? Does the broker know how a Directors and Officers policy works? Does the broker have solid, long-term relationships with the principal players of the insurance companies used to insure your association? Your broker should be available several times during the year to review the plan of insurance with the board, discuss loss control ideas, and if there’s a claim, be available to conduct special meetings as requested by the board. Because association policies must be renewed every year, prices can go up or down depending on the insurance market, how your association is presented to underwriters, and your association’s individual loss experience. Your broker will work closely with all the insurance companies available to make sure coverage is excellent and competitively priced. If other companies are interested and have better pricing, the broker will discuss the option of changing companies to get the better price. This should be done very carefully to make sure the change doesn’t result in reductions or exclusions of coverage you had previously! In addition, some brokers provide loss control services, usually at no charge. The purpose of these services is to make suggestions to the board about changes the association can make in order to prevent losses from occurring in the first place. Procedures and practices related to hiring contractors, along with a careful review of the signed contracts before they’re signed, should be discussed. Also, ways to properly conduct board meetings and interactions between the board and unit owners should be reviewed in order to prevent claims against the board. So, yes, insurance is typically not well- liked by most of us, but I’ve seen many cases where it’s meant the association can completely rebuild after a fire or where a board member is sued and every penny of his or her defense is paid for by insurance. Insurance allows community associations to exist and thrive— without it, things could really get firkin out of hand! + In 2001, Sean Ahern joined JGS Insurance as a producer and through his commitment over the years to the NJ Community Association Institute earned his CIRMS designation (Community Insurance and Risk Management Specialist) in 2014. Sean continues to enjoy developing superior coverage options for his community association clients, working closely with Boards of Directors and other professionals to meet the challenges presented every day in the ever-changing world of community associations. 29