Short-term builders risk insurance for new home building is a buzzword we aren’t overlooking.
So, what has US Assure’s 40 years of experience demonstrated that would lead us not to offer a builders risk coverage term shorter than 12 months? We asked Mary Stiglic, US Assure’s marketing manager, who has led thousands of webinars and workshops throughout her 25-year tenure.
You might not expect delays, but protecting from the unexpected is what insurance is all about, she said. In some cases, coverage may be needed for a longer period of time due to construction or sales delays (or even a potential time interval before a permanent property policy takes hold).
“Throughout the years, we’ve studied our policies to identify trends about the average time it takes to build a home,” she said. “It just made more sense to offer longer-term coverage to all new construction clients, rather than issuing shorter term policies that call for more frequent renewals.”
US Assure’s Builders Risk Plan insured by Zurich offers six, nine and 12-month policies (via online policy issuance) for home remodeling projects, and commercial remodeling projects up to $10 million, but 12-month policies for web-issued commercial and residential new construction. For commercial new construction and remodeling projects over $10 million, manual issuance may offer flexible terms. Commercial new construction projects over $1 million offer the option for pro rata cancellation within the first or second term, and residential new construction over $1 million can be pro rata canceled in the second term.
Remodeling projects often take less time, and are thus a better fit for shorter policy terms. Whether a client wants to do a one-week kitchen renovation or a larger-scale office remodel, projects that don’t start at bare ground often need less time for protection. In the event more time is needed, agents can consult a US Assure underwriter for a coverage extension.
In the search for remodeling, new construction, or installation coverage, premium is only one of several factors that can influence what type of policy agents and clients alike choose, said Steve Bristow, US Assure’s operations senior vice president.
When you stack up the builders risk coverage you get through US Assure to other policies in the market, it’s important to consider the kind of coverage your client receives, he said.
“Our Builders Risk Plan offers construction clients access to ‘A’ rated coverage, and we’ve been here for more than 40 years, servicing those accounts,” he said. “Beyond the comprehensive coverage that’s part of the Plan itself, there are many other coverages available to tailor protection for each project. It just depends on what that construction client needs.”
Deductible is also an important factor, as it can vary widely from carrier to carrier. Ultimately, thorough research into the options available is a great step to determine what policy is right.
“A six-month policy isn’t always the better option. Take a close look at your client’s project value and their potential need to renew, then consider how that works together with minimum premium and deductible,” Bristow said. “If you’re not sure which policy works best for a client’s project, quote an account to help you choose. Our online agent portal is available any time, day or night.”
To learn more about US Assure’s available builders risk policy terms and coverage options, and gain insight to quickly determine which options are right for your client, download Navigating Builders Risk: Agent Guide to Finding the Right Policy.
This is intended as a general description of certain types of insurance and services available to qualified customers. Your policy is the contract that specifically and fully describes your coverage. The description of the policy provisions gives a broad overview of coverages and does not revise or amend the policy.
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