Category

Real Estate

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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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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door locks
Real Estate, Community Associations, Risk Insight

How Secure Are Your Door Locks?

It’s a phone call no property owner wants to receive. Your tenant’s door locks did not keep a perpetrator out. The tenant has been assaulted in his or her apartment – in one of your buildings.

The victim has survived a robbery along with a physical assault and the perpetrator has been caught. Now the legal teams are not only looking at the perp, but they’re assessing the potential for a premise liability claim. It was bad enough that the assault occurred, but the ramifications could extend to building owners as well.

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New York Brick and Brownstone
Real Estate, Distinguished Life

We Teamed Up with Zurich on Our New York Brick and Brownstone Program

Distinguished Programs has forged a new affiliation with global insurance provider Zurich Insurance to underwrite our hallmark New York Brick and Brownstone program. With this new relationship, New York Brick and Brownstone will undergo changes to standardize its coverage and offerings to appeal to brokers who have a diverse portfolio of owner- and tenant-occupied properties located within the Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan boroughs. Currently, the program serves more than 11,000 building owners who represent 40,000 apartments, condos, and co-op units throughout the city.

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vacant building safety
Real Estate

Vacant Building Safety

When we read about the fire in this vacant building yesterday and the subsequent impact on this Missouri community, we decided that a reminder about vacant building safety was in order.

It was really cold in Missouri this weekend, as it was in many areas of the country. And with the cold weather comes a new set of risks that owners of vacant buildings need to consider. Mike Halvey of Zurich North America, in an article entitled “Protecting your vacant building: How to reduce the risks and become more aware of coverage pitfalls,” lists several tips for owners of vacant buildings to consider as temperatures drop.

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Real Estate, Risk Insight

Thanksgiving Fire Safety Tips

Thanksgiving is right around the corner! If you didn’t know, cooking is the #1 cause of home fires and fire injuries. Help increase awareness about preventing home fires this holiday season with these fire safety tips from FEMA.

According to FEMA, nearly 108,000 multi-family residential building fires are reported to U.S. fire departments each year and cause an estimated 410 deaths, 4,125 injuries, and $1.3 billion in property loss (this doesn’t include indirect damage such as business interruption). What’s more, multi-family residential building fires account for 29% of all residential building fires. Multi-family residential buildings include structures such as apartments, townhouses, and condominiums.

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Real Estate, Sustainability

Sustainability, Innovation, and Helping the Homeless

Taking care of each other is a good thing. Re-purposing potential waste is a good thing. Finding a way to do both simultaneously is just about as good as it gets. That’s why we’re excited to share this article about a construction project underway right now in California that will convert used shipping containers into housing units for those who may not be in a position to pay for more traditional housing.

Each of the 16 units will feature two walls of floor to ceiling windows, a kitchen, dining area, bathroom and sleeping area. Residents will also have access to low or no-cost support services.

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Real Estate

Contractors CGL vs. Builders Risk

Image - ReginaldReggie’s Explanation: Builder’s risk insurance is “coverage that protects a person’s or organization’s insurable interest in materials, fixtures and/or equipment being used in the construction or renovation of a building or structure should those items sustain physical loss or damage from a covered cause.”

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