Category

Real Estate

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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preventing legionella
Real Estate, Hospitality & Restaurants, Risk Insight

Managing Risk: Preventing Legionella

Updated July 6, 2017: Recent Cases Underscore Legionella Exposure

Since we originally wrote this article there have been several new cases of Legionella reported where people have died and fell ill. In June, one person died and six became ill in the Lenox Hill neighborhood in New York where investigators are looking into the air-conditioning system for contamination as the source of Legionnaires’ Disease. In another incident, two guests at the Las Vegas Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino contracted Legionnaires’ disease while they were staying at the resort in the months of March and April. Both the hotel and the Southern Nevada Health District were charged with investigating the two cases, remediating the problem and reaching out to past and current guests. They found that Legionella existed throughout the hotel’s water system.

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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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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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crowdfunding
Real Estate, Market Insights

Crowdfunding: Giving Individuals A Piece of the Real Estate Action

Crowdfunding is turning the real estate investment sector on its head: It allows a group of investors to pool their money together to fund real estate transactions. On-line platforms connect individuals to commercial real estate investments across the United States, making it easier for them and real estate companies to raise capital as compared to traditional channels.

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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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Construction theft
Real Estate, Risk Insight

Construction Sites: A Playground for Thieves and Vandals

Industry experts estimate equipment theft and vandalism on construction sites cost companies billions of dollars a year. Construction theft includes materials such as timber and other valuable commodities (scrap metal and copper); tools; and equipment such as bulldozers, backhoes, generators and welders. Vandalism on worksites includes broken glass, graffiti, destruction of constructed work and damage to equipment and vehicles on site. Research shows that construction sites are most vulnerable to theft on weekends and an estimated 90% of all construction thefts take place between 6:00pm Friday and 6:00am Monday.

Construction firms engaging in all types of projects are susceptible to theft and vandalism, impacting the success of a project and everyone related with the project, including the property owner, project team, and contractors. In addition to the direct monetary losses, there are indirect costs due to project delays and lost productivity.

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dog bites
Real Estate, Risk Insight

When Fido’s Bite is Worse Than His Bark

Ouch! More than four million people per year are treated for dog bites. Claims generated by bite victims and dog owners can impact property owners and homeowner’s associations as well.We love these poochie pals, but sometimes their bite is worse than their bark.

To the tune of about $570 million, dog bites and other dog-related injuries accounted for more than one-third of all homeowner insurance liability claims paid in 2015, according to the Insurance Information Institute. The average claim? Nearly $38,000. And even more unsettling, the dog bite incident occurred on the dog owner’s residence half of the time. 77% of times, the victim was a friend or family member.

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New York Brick and Brownstone
Real Estate

An Inside Tour of Our Enhanced New York Brick & Brownstone Program

Last month we announced our partnership with Zurich Insurance as the new underwriter for Distinguished’s hallmark New York Brick & Brownstone Program (NYBB). Developed in 2007, the program provides a diverse portfolio of owner- and tenant-occupied properties located within the Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan boroughs with property and liability insurance. NYBB today serves more than 11,000 building owners who represent 40,000 apartments, condos, and co-op units throughout the city.

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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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Pipe Bursts
Real Estate, Risk Insight

Who’s Responsible When That Pipe Bursts?

It’s that time of year again, and for much of the U.S. the freezing weather has set in and many renters flock to warmer destinations to soak up some warmth. Some renters may unplug appliances and turn off the heat when they leave, but the latter could cause major issues if the temperature plunges while the renters are away. If a pipe bursts it’s a very real issue this time of year, and renters can take some simple precautions so they’re not left footing a very large repair bill. That’s right, the property manager will most likely bill the renter or take the repair expense out of the security deposit.

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