|Re: How much liability insurance do other cohousing communities carry?||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: R Philip Dowds (rpdowdscomcast.net)|
|Date: Sat, 15 Oct 2011 10:31:44 -0700 (PDT)|
How much insurance ... ? Something didn't go right — and now I'm hurt, or have suffered a loss. Sure can't be my own fault, it must be somebody else's fault. Probably the fault of somebody else with money, who now owes me something. That is the sorry state of liability claims in America today, and there's no evidence that this will soon change. Living in a such a world, what's the right answer for insurance? Cornerstone carries insurance as follows: Hypothetically, the full replacement value of all 32 units in the invent we are somehow completely destroyed. Howvever, this is mostly about fire damage — a risk, since we are fully sprinklered, that is really quite small. However, we have chosen to exclude damage related to flood (a highly specialized and tricky definition), and to earthquake (low probability, we guess …but wait a minute, wasn't that a serious earthquake in the Washington DC area just a few weeks ago … ?) General liability insurance in the amounts of $1mln per evet and $2mln per year … But wait a minute, that number means almost nothing unless you read the fine print of the policy, which will have embedded within it all sorts of exclusions, deductibles and contingencies. If you pay attention and bargain well, you can get some of these weasel clauses out of your policy, but then you will pay more for it. In other words, stating a number is almost entirely without meaning unless you know all the terms and conditions of the policy. The basic principle of insurance actuaries is this: If it probably won't happen, then insurance will be cheap. But if there is a reasonable probability that it might happen, then insurance will be expensive. Read the fine print. I am not qualified to advise you or anyone else re how much insurance to carry; you're on your own for that. But some things to consider are: Insurance is meant to forestall utter disaster, not indemnify you against any and all adversities in life. So set your deductible as high as you reasonably can. How much could your community afford to pay, in the off chance something goes very wrong? If you could, under duress and emergency, pull together a special assessment of $50K, then maybe that's the right number for your deductible. Conversely, if even $5K would be hard to come up with, then maybe that's your deductible — but your policy will cost much more. Make sure all the vendors working on your property — the cleaners, the painters, the appliance fixers, the candlestick makers — work for companies that carry their own worker's comp and liability policies ... and keep copies of their insurance certificates up to date and on file. This means that if a worker gets hurt on your premises, his/her first recourse for restitution is from an intermediating employer, not from you. The uninsured self-employed person is always cheaper by the hour — but this is exactly the kind of person who may file a claim against you, and win. If this is the person you like to hire, then keep your liability and worker's comp policies in especially good order. Work to eliminate hazards, especially for visitors, children and the elderly. So what happens on residential properties, anyway? At the top of the list are slip and fall, usually due to improperly built stairs, irregular pavings or ice, loose rugs without friction pads, and debris (toys, empty boxes, etc) left in poorly lighted pathways. Then there is the issue of sharp knives or dangerous tools left lying around. Then there is faulty electrical wiring (ga-ZAPP!). But the list is not endless; the list is in fact predictable and manageable. If you devise and implement a community safety plan ("Risk Assessment"), two good things happen: (1) you actually reduce the probability of somebody getting hurt; and (2) claims against you for negligence are easier to defend. If you have a good insurance agent, s/he will be willing to review all this and more with you. Good luck. R Philip Dowds AIA Cornerstone Cohousing 175 Harvey Street, Unit 5 Cambridge, MA 02140 617.354.6094 On Oct 14, 2011, at 2:21 AM, S. Kashdan wrote: > > Hi all, > > Here at Jackson Place we are currently going through our annual budget > determination process. As part of this, we are looking at our liability > insurance coverage to see if we have enough. Alternatively, we may decide > that some of our liability insurance is unnecessary, and drop it, which > could lower our 2012 budget. > > So, we would find it helpful to know how much liability insurance other > cohousing communities carry. > > Thanks much for whatever you can tell us. > > Sylvie Kashdan > Jackson Place Cohousing > 800 Hiawatha Place South > Seattle, WA 98144 > www.seattlecohousing.org > > _________________________________________________________________ > Cohousing-L mailing list -- Unsubscribe, archives and other info at: > http://www.cohousing.org/cohousing-L/ > >
How much liability insurance do other cohousing communities carry? S. Kashdan, October 13 2011
- Re: How much liability insurance do other cohousing communities carry? R Philip Dowds, October 15 2011
- Re: How much liability insurance do other cohousing communities carry? Sharon Villines, October 16 2011
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