Category

Community Associations

Real Estate, Community Associations, Risk Insight

A Spooky but True Halloween Story

In honor of Halloween today, we’re re-sharing one of our claims that came in through our City Homes program a while ago.

On a cold, dark night in early November, snow and ice glazed the sidewalks up and down the block. Tired building owners shuffled out at first light to make sure their patches of sidewalk were cleared and salted. All but one, that is. Our insured, who we’ll call Mr. Smith, is the non-resident owner of small apartment building. He decided to sleep in that morning, confident that his son would shovel the sidewalk in his stead. Junior had been out all night and hadn’t woken up to shovel the walk. So when a young woman slipped on that very patch of snow, the only un-cleared area on the block, it didn’t take her lawyer very long to find Mr. Smith’s name and address, and serve him with her medical bills for her torn rotator cuff and spinal injuries.

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Real Estate, Hospitality & Restaurants, Community Associations, Risk Insight

Hurricane Harvey May Break Records for Flooding. Be Prepared.

Hurricane Harvey is the first major hurricane to hit Texas since 2008 (Hurricane Ike, category 2). It’s scheduled to make landfall on Saturday and expected to bring enough rain to overwhelm bayous and flood large swathes of land. Texas, particularly Houston, is flood-prone and no stranger to the many scenarios which may occur this weekend, but we have four tips to help you and your insureds in Texas make it through the weekend with slightly less panic.

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water conservation
Real Estate, Hospitality & Restaurants, Community Associations, Sustainability

Assessing Water Usage on Your Grounds

What if every time you filled a glass of water you threw half of it in your boss’s face? Well, that’d be bad! But that is kinda what happens with most landscaping water systems.

Half the water that is being used to sustain the grounds around your building is being wasted. That’s straight from the horse’s mouth—the EPA, that is. Community associations and other management looking to increase water conservation can target their landscaping areas as an integral place to conserve.

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hoarding
Real Estate, Community Associations, Risk Insight

When the Hoarding Hits the Fan

Hoarding. It can manifest in a few different ways, but the bottom line is clear: It’s a serious problem that needs to be addressed. The hoarder isn’t the only one at risk here, so are adjacent neighbors, property owners, and community associations.

If a property owner or community association ignores a problem, they could be found liable for failing to take action and maintain a safe environment. If the situation leads to injury of person or damage of property, then the liability is even greater. With fair housing laws in effect, the process of managing a hoarding situation can drag on, so best to start as soon as you get a whiff of the problem.

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playground safety
Real Estate, Hospitality & Restaurants, Community Associations, Risk Insight

Make Playground Safety A Priority

It’s that time of year again when the sound of children running around in playgrounds across our neighborhoods fills the air. It’s also a time for heighted precautions because as fun as a playground can be, it’s also a place where kids can get seriously injured.

More than 200,000 children ages 14 and younger are treated each year for playground-related injuries, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Of these children, more than 20,000 are treated for a traumatic brain injury (TBI), including concussion. Additionally, about 56% of playground-related injuries are fractures and contusions/abrasions, and about 75% of injuries are related to playground equipment.

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hurricane
Real Estate, Hospitality & Restaurants, Community Associations, Risk Insight

Getting Storm-Ready Ahead of Hurricane Season

As the hurricane season – June 1 through November 30 – unfolds, safety preparations should already be underway by homeowners and coastal business owners, including hotels and restaurants. Forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) say the Atlantic could see another above-normal hurricane season this year, predicting a 70% likelihood of 11 to 17 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 5 to 9 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 2 to 4 major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of 111 mph or higher). The Weather Company also predicts an active season, with an expectation of a total of 14 named storms – seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes.

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BBQ Safety
Community Associations, Risk Insight

Kick Off the Summer with Grilling BBQ Safety Tips

Memorial Day weekend traditionally kicks off the summer with family and friends gathering for some fun in the sun, pool action, and grilling. There’s no better time than now to freshen up on grilling safety tips (May happens to be National BBQ Month). According to the U.S. Fire Administration, about 5,700 grill fires take place on residential property every year, causing an annual average of $37 million in damage, 100 injuries and 10 deaths. In addition, thousands of people visit emergency rooms every year because they have burned themselves while barbecuing.

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Pool Safety
Real Estate, Hospitality & Restaurants, Community Associations, Risk Insight

Pool Safety: Pool Drownings Can Happen in A Flash

More than 3,500 people – many of them children – drown each year in the U.S. and many more suffer serious, irreversible injury in near-drowning incidents, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Furthermore, for every fatal drowning incident involving a child 14 years old or younger, three children require emergency room treatment for submersion injuries and 40% of those require hospitalization, says the CDC. Non-fatal incidents can cause brain damage that results in long-term disabilities ranging from memory problems to the victim being left in a vegetative state.

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large claims losses
Real Estate, Hospitality & Restaurants, Community Associations, Risk Insight

The Skinny on Having Higher Umbrella/Excess Liability Limits

The industry sectors we insure are big businesses in the U.S. For example, revenue in the hotel industry across more than 52,000 properties is estimated at $189-plus billion. This includes everything from limited service hotels to luxury full-service hotels and resorts. The restaurant industry boasts $1 million-plus locations representing 10% of the workforce with revenues of $799 billion. The community associations and the real estate sector are huge markets as well. Each of these niche markets require a total insurance solution to protect against an extensive list of exposures, including the potential for large claims losses, underscored by the examples of top verdicts provided by the National Law Journal.

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Flood Readiness
Real Estate, Community Associations, Risk Insight

Oroville Dam Risk Highlights Importance of Flood Readiness for Property Managers

After a five-year drought throughout the state, Northern California’s surface water systems have now been pushed to the breaking point on the heels of weeks of rainfall. Nearly 190,000 people were evacuated on February 12 over fears that a damaged spillway at the nation’s tallest dam in Lake Oroville located in the Sierra Nevada foothills could fail and unleash a wall of water. Officials ordered residents and commercial businesses to stay away until they felt confident that the risk of flooding was reduced. Although the evacuation was changed to a warning two days later and residents and business owners were allowed to return to their communities, they were advised to be prepared to evacuate again at a moment’s notice should new problems arise.

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Real Estate, Hospitality & Restaurants, Community Associations, Risk Insight

Preventing Slips and Falls in Winter Months

Slip and fall accidents account for 15% of all accidental deaths in the United States. Annually, an estimated one million Americans will have an injury related to a fall, 600,000 will be hospitalized and 17,000 deaths will occur.

Studies find most injuries result from contact with outside surfaces. Property owners could be liable for injuries sustained on their property if they did not ensure a safe environment for visitors to walk. According to a fourteen year Distinguished Programs study, Slips and falls are the leading source of guest injury, claims, and insurance cost.

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