Bret Dixon Insurance

Summer 2012


Bret Dixon Insurance News



Our newsletters are intended to keep you up to date on pertinent industry news and offer more in-depth insight into various types of coverage and endorsements.  We publish our newsletters at least once each quarter.  We hope you enjoy it.


Thank you for your patronage!


Brace for Rising Homeowners Prices


The $65 billion homeowner product industry is approaching a financial

 crossroads and carriers will need to make changes.  Industry-wide loss information indicates that over the last 30 years, the return on the homeowners product line has been less than the cost of capital.  Over the last 25 years, the industry's "combined ratio" has been 112%.  That means for every $1 collected in premium, carriers have paid out $1.12.  Extrapolate that out over $65 billion and you'll find yourself staring at some ugly math.


This is the crisis that homeowners insurers are now faced with, and it's only been worsened by a record year for destructive weather and natural disasters in 2011.


The market for homeowners is changing, and it's going to

 continue to change.  Consumers can probably get some idea of this just by turning on the evening news.  Catastrophes have played a role - both in the U.S and around the globe - but they're not alone.  A struggling economy has played a role as well.


For a segment of the insurance industry that was already losing money, it certainly didn't help that:


  • The first half of 2011 saw 43 major thunderstorms, which released 1600 tornadoes across the U.S., with 226 verified tornadoes striking in one day (4/26/11)
  • Thunderstorm losses reached a record 23.6 billion in financial losses
  • Through just the first six months, 2011 was already the highest loss year on record globally
  • The northeastern U.S. experienced a tornado, earthquake, hurricane and a significant pre-Halloween snowstorm all in the same year.
  • Through just October 3rd, the number of federal disaster declarations set a new record in 2011, with 90


And economic pressures contributed to a crushing year as well, through:


  • Decline in investment yield, putting greater pressure on underwriting income
  • Loss cost increases - with a tougher economy comes an increase in frequency of smaller losses
  • With fewer new homes being built, construction costs have increased due to economic pressures and recession.
  • Increased oil prices tend to drive up the costs of asphalt shingles, which are used by about 66% of U.S. homes.
  • Limited exposure growth, due to a troubled housing market and recession


So brace yourselves for increased premiums and other changes on your homeowners policies.  We've written before about tightening of Replacement Cost requirements and closer monitoring of loss history data.  Now, some companies are faced with tough decisions like increasing rates, tightening underwriting requirements and eligibility, enacting coverage changes to cut coverage or even pulling out of the homeowners market - in totality, or just segments.


As an agent, there are a few things we can do to mitigate increases.  For one, conducting a review of your homeowners - running a current replacement cost estimator, looking for any potential discounts that may be available.  We can try and bundle or package your other policies to maximize multi-policy discounts by putting your auto, personal articles, boat or umbrella with the same carrier as your home.  We can talk about increasing your deductible.  Those things can help, but unfortunately, there's no getting around rate increases.  They're coming; It's 2012, not 2002.  Times are different, and as we're seeing, homeowners rates are different too.



Food Handlers Guidelines in the Prevention of Foodborne Illnesses

Every once in awhile we'll see a food contamination claim.  

General logThey're pretty rare, but when they do happen, they tend to be costly, as tens or possibly even hundreds of patrons could be affected.  Moreover, not only are those patrons made ill, but word of mouth will surely get around about the incident, possibly turning would-be patrons off and cutting down the number of customers coming in your door.  Furthermore, your business must follow strict Health Department guidelines before being allowed to re-open, which could include disposal of all or some foods, thorough cleaning and sanitizing of your kitchen and possibly even having employees vaccinated. With that in mind, here's the Food Handlers Guidelines in the Prevention of Foodborne Illnesses, courtesy of AmTrust North America, one of our valued companies (more info to the right).


Download a PDF here.  We'd recommend laminating it and posting in your kitchen.


Foodborne illnesses are caused by the ingestion of contaminated foods.  The widespread and multiple nature of foodborne disease outbreaks can represent costly and potentially serious illness, business interruption and, in some instances, adverse publicity.  This bulletin is to assist food serving establishments in the development and enhancement of food-handling practices.  


Methods most crucial in preventing the transmission of food borne illnesses include TEMPERATURE CONTROLS, PERSONAL HYGIENE, WASHING AND SANITIZING, AND FOOD PROTECTION.  Since agents causing food borne illnesses can occur naturally, proper temperature controls are the only means by which many of these can be destroyed.  Agents can also be introduced by substandard personal hygiene, sanitizing and food protection practices.  In order of their relative importance, methods of prevention are as follows.


Temperature Controls


Temperature control deficiencies account for approximately 90 percent of all food borne illness cases.


Thermometers are needed to be sure that refrigeration and hot holding units are working properly.  The danger zone under which microbiological agents can reproduce is between 45 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit.  Probe thermometers should be used consistently to check core temperatures of cooked meats and stored foods.


Thermometer ranges should be from 40 through 170 degrees Fahrenheit.  A functional thermometer should be in each unit.  The following types of temperature control methods and procedures should be followed.


Cold Holding

Keep all cold food at 45 degrees Fahrenheit or cooler (the US Food & Drug Administration is considering 41 degrees as a future standard).  Check temperatures with a probe thermometer.  Chill all foods to below 45 degrees before putting them on ice which should maintain that temperature.  Place containers in ice up to the level of food.


Hot Holding/Cooking

Hold hot food at 140 degrees or hotter.  Check temperature with a core thermometer.  Cook foods to a 165 degree core temperature before placing in hot holding units and preheat the holding unit to 140 degrees before placing food inside.



Rapidly reheat foods to 165 degrees or hotter before serving them again.  This minimizes the reproduction of biological agents.  Stir often to ensure even heating.  Check temperatures with a probe thermometer.  Equipment such as steam tables, crock pots, or steamers that cannot reheat foods rapidly should not be used.



Improper cooling is the number one cause of foodborne illnesses.  All foods must be cooled to below 45 degrees within less than four hours. The cooling of solid and liquid food should utilize the shallow pan method, as follows:


  • Use shallow pan less than four inches deep
  • Refrigerate uncovered while food is still hot
  • Use probe thermometer to check temperature
  • Stir often to ensure even and more rapid cooling
  • Store on high shelf so nothing can fall into pan


Ice and Water Method

  • Place a metal pan of hot food in large food sink with the drain closed
  • Fill the sink with ice to the level of food in the metal pan
  • Add cold water to ice
  • Stir to cool food evenly
  • Add more ice as original ice melts
  • Check temperature with probe thermometer
  • Cool to less than 45 degrees within four hours
  • Put food in refrigerator



Do not thaw potentially hazardous foods (meat, dairy products, eggs) at room temperature or in warm water. Three approved methods include:


  • Thawing in refrigeration units
  • Thawing under cold running water in prep sink
  • Thawing in a microwave followed by immediate cooking or serving


Remember the danger zone for microbial contamination is temperatures between 45 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit.


Personal Hygiene


Substandard personal hygiene is the second leading cause of foodborne illnesses.  Hands that are not clean pass bacterial, viral, parasitic, and chemical agents to foods.  Precautions are as follows:


Hand Washing

Wash hands often in approved sinks (not prep or dishwashing sinks) and use warm water and soap and always wash hands after:


  • Using the rest room
  • Smoking
  • Touching raw meat
  • Coughing or sneezing
  • Touching money or dirty things; and
  • Between handling dirty dishes and clean ones
  • Before touching food, utensils, and equipment


Hand Drying

Dry hands with an air dryer or on clean towels of paper or roller linen. Aprons, clothing or cloth hand towels should not be used for drying hands.


Cuts, Wounds and Abrasions

Hands should be checked for any infected wounds. Infected wounds are generally red and may ooze pus. If infected, do not work with food, utensils, or equipment. Non-infected cuts should be bandaged and the hand covered with a waterproof, leakproof, tight-fitting plastic glove.


Illness and Work

Employees should not allow individuals sick with colds, influenza, diarrhea, vomiting, sore throats, or runny noses to work.  Importantly, individuals with infectious our communicable diseases should not work around food. Illness reporting requirements should be established.


Clothing and Work Habits

Hair should be kept under control during food preparations, preferably in a net.  Clean clothing and regular bathing as well as clean work habits should be followed.


Washing and Sanitizing


Dishes and utensils need to be sanitized. Careful washing precedes sanitizing. Washing and sanitizing can be done either by hand or machine.


Manual Dishwashing

Hand washing should include the following (three sink method):

  1. Scrape and/or pre-rinse food from dishes and utensils.
  2. Wash with detergent and hot (120 degree) water in the first sink.
  3. Rinse with clean hot water to remove any soap or food in the middle sink.
  4. Sanitize in the third sink with a ratio of one teaspoon bleach to one gallon of clean warm water. Other EPA and Health Department approved chemical sanitizers can be used. Use proper ratios as excess concentrations can leave residue and cause illness.
  5. Air dry dishes and utensils. Towel drying can spread germs.


Automatic Dishwashing

Machine washing should use the following guidelines:

  1. Scrape and/or pre-rinse food from dishes and utensils.
  2. Follow manufacturer's directions and utilize full utensils.
  3. Hot water rinse machines should wash at 150 degrees and rinse at temperatures of at least 180 degrees.
  4. Chemical spray rinses should utilize wash water at 120 degrees and rinse temperature no lower than 75 degrees in a 50 part per million bleach solution (1 tsp/gallon).
  5. Air dry dishes and utensils.
  6. Cracked or worn dishes should be discarded since they provide a porous media for bacterial growth.


Equipment Cleaning

All equipment that touches food that cannot fit in the dishwasher should be washed and sanitized regularly. This includes washing and sanitizing equipment before it is used on another piece of food. Equipment used constantly should be broken down, washed, and sanitized every two hours.


Equipment that is too big to fit in a sink or dishwasher should be:

  1. Washed with a clean cloth and warm soapy water.
  2. Rinsed with clean water.
  3. Sanitized with a solution of one or two teaspoons of bleach per gallon of water.


Always rinse or sanitize any food preparation surface or equipment between using it for raw and cooked food or between different foods. One recent study suggests that wooden cutting boards are preferred to synthetic types. Recent research suggests wood has natural chemicals that destroy or control bacterial growth.



  • Wash, rinse and sanitize sinks before using them to prepare food or for dishwashing.
  • Never wash hands in food preparation or dishwashing sinks.
  • Never put mops or other cleaning equipment in food preparation or dishwashing sinks.


Wiping Cloths

Wiping cloths should be kept in a clean sanitizing solution. They should be used to wipe all kitchen and dining surfaces, including cutting boards, prep counters, tables and work tables. Sanitizing solutions are one teaspoon bleach to one gallon water. Cloths should be rinsed before placing them in a sanitizing solution and laundered regularly.


Food Protection



Stored foods must be protected from contamination. All foods must be stored (except foods being cooled). Food stored in rooms or walk-in units should be at least six inches above the floor. Always store raw meat, poultry, and fish in leakproof containers on the bottom shelf. If one container of food has to be stacked on the other, make sure the bottom container has a sealed cover. Never stack hot foods, as this slows and prevents even cooling.



Foods should be touched with fingers or hands as little as possible. When this is necessary, ensure that hands and fingers are clean. Use tongs, scoops, or utensils whenever possible.



  • Gloves should not be a substitute for hand washing
  • Gloves must be used only once and discarded
  • Gloves should be used only when utensils cannot be used
  • Gloves can transmit germs
  • Kevlar gloves should be washed and sanitized whenever changes in food species occur



When preparing large quantities of food, remove only a small amount at a time from the refrigerator or hot holding unit and keep the rest of the food at desired temperatures.


Chemical Storage

All chemicals and cleaners must be stored below and away from food, preferably in their own cabinets or rooms. Chemicals and cleaners must be labeled and stored in their own containers.


Self-Service Buffet/Open Food Lines

Open displays must be covered or have sneeze guards.



Monthly and/or as-needed pest control service program must be in place. Insect and rodents seen should be immediately reported to supervisors and the pest control service as this signals the need for more cleaning and maintenance.


Trash and Garbage

Trash and garbage should be stored away from food in covered containers.


Food Sources

All foods should come from licensed (reputable) suppliers. It should be prepared in approved locations and not be cooked at home or brought to work.


Spotlight On: Property Insurance

The Three Deadliest Sins: Coinsurance, Protective Safeguards & Vacancy ProvisionsGeneral log


Client 1: "Our furnace malfunctioned last week causing smoke damage to our building, machinery and inventory. We already paid our deductible, but now the insurance company is telling us that they will only pay for one-half the damages."


Client 2:  "My building burned down last month, but now the insurance company refuses to pay for the fire loss because the fire sprinkler valve was not chained and locked in the full-open position."


Client 3:  "My company occupies three offices in our building and has placed the remaining nine offices up for rent.  Yesterday we discovered that a pipe had broken over the weekend and water leaked through all three floors. Our insurance company refuses to pay the claim since the building was not "sufficiently occupied" at the time of the loss.


Many insureds are surprised to learn that their insurance policies include hidden penalty clauses buried deep within the fine print. Insurance companies are quick to invoke these clauses in order to reduce or deny coverage following a loss.


Here we'll review the three main penalty clauses found in most property policies and discuss how these clauses ultimately affect coverage.




What do you mean the insurance company is only going to pay for one-half of the damages?



A coinsurance clause allows the insurance company to


reduce the amount of their property settlement if, in their opinion, you did not maintain adequate insurance values at the time of a loss.


Most policies that include a coinsurance provision will display a coinsurance percentage on the declarations page.  80% is the most common amount.  At a minimum, this percentage is the proportion of the replacement value that the insured promises to maintain.


Put another way, the insured is promising the insurance company that it will maintain insurance values of at least 80% of the actual replacement cost of the property.  As long as the insured keeps their promise, there is no penalty.


On the other hand, if the insured did not maintain an insurance value of at least 80% of the actual replacement cost, the insurance company will reduce the amount of their loss settlement in proportion to the amount they were underinsured.



General log

Coinsurance Loss settlement formula



Since a pre-loss replacement cost value is nearly impossible to calculate with any degree of certainty, the insurance company will always try to reduce their loss payment based on their own post-loss assessment of the replacement cost.


By way of example, assume that you suffer a $300,000 fire loss under a property policy that has a building limit of $500,000.  After the loss, the insurance company determines that the actual replacement cost of the building was $1,000,000, not the $500,000 that you insured.  In this case, the policy holder only insured 50% of the actual replacement cost when they should have maintained at least 80%.  The insurance company will then reduce their loss settlement by the amount the policyholder was underinsured.  For a $300,000 fire loss, the insurance company would only pay $187,500.


A sample coinsurance provision reads as follows:




But my insurance agent told me that I don't have a coinsurance clause and my policy says that I have a "blanket limit."  Does this mean I am covered?


Instead of a coinsurance provision, some policies include what is called a "margin clause."  This language can be quite deceiving in that it often leads the insured to believe that they have a blanket limit of insurance that can be applied to any location.  This is not the case.


A margin clause allows the insurance company to limit the amount of coverage available for each location by a certain percentage, despite any appearance of a blanket limit.  For example, if the policy shows an insured value of $300,000 and it actually costs $500,000 to rebuild the structure, the most an insurance policy with a 20% margin clause will pay is $360,000 (i.e. 120% of $300,000) even if there is a $2,000,000 blanket limit.


A sample margin clause is as follows:


Margin Clause



Since replacement costs vary depending on the construction costs and material availability, it would be ideal to find a property policy that does not include a coinsurance provision or a margin clause.


But my insurance agent promised me that the margin clause would not apply to certain properties even though the policy seems to say otherwise.


Without citing all kinds of cases, the policy takes precedent.  Which is why we always suggest reading your policy.  Statements made by insurance agents are not binding upon the carrier.  Regardless of what was said, the policy must be enforced in accordance with its terms.


Protective Safeguards


Do not be fooled.  The policy holder is not the one being protected by a "protective safeguards provision."


A protective safeguards provision allows the insurance company to deny coverage if certain conditions are not satisfied at the time of loss.  For example, if the fire sprinkler system does not operate properly, there is no coverage.  If the burglar alarm system does not go off, there is no coverage.  If the smoke detectors do not work, there is no coverage, and so on.


A common protective safeguards provision that is included in most property policies is included below.


There are many different types of Protective Safeguard Exclusions


In a case called Burmac Metal Finishing Co. v. West Bend Mut. Ins. Co., the insurance company denied coverage for damage caused to the insured's building after a natural gas explosion based on the insured's failure to properly maintain its automatic sprinkler system as required by the protective safeguards endorsement to the policy.


In other cases, insurance companies have attempted to deny coverage if the water valve for the fire suppression valve was not chained in the full open position prior to the loss.


As with coinsurance, a protective safeguards endorsement is a dangerous part of your policy.  In some instances, they may be unavoidable.  But avoid them if you can.




A vacancy clause allow the insurance company to reduce or deny coverage if the structure was not sufficiently occupied at the time of a loss.


Most vacancy clauses limit coverage as follows:


Vacancy - click to enlarge


In one instance found, the insurance carrier denied all coverage since the rental property was vacant for more than 60 days prior to it being destroyed by a fire.  Under the terms of the policy the property owner was not entitled to insurance benefits because the policy did not offer coverage for properties vacant for over 60 days.


In a second case on the subject, the insurer denied coverage for an $800,000 water damage claim from a pipe break since less than 50% of the total square footage of the building was occupied at the time of the loss.


As with the prior two property coverages, a vacancy clause on your policy is not ideal.  However, good luck finding an insurer nowadays who won't put the endorsement on your policy.


The bulk of this article first appeared in the Cambridge Property & Casualty Report, written by Daniel P. Hale, J.D., CPCU, ARM, CIC, AAI, LIC, AIC, AIS, API, AU.


Illinois Gaming Update

Earlier this summer the Illinois Gaming Board General logbegan taking applications online for gaming licenses.  Prior copies of applications have circulated around these last few years as Illinois moved closer to adopting legalized video game gambling.  Last August, we passed along some tips to help you prepare for the very thorough document and background check the Illinois Gaming Board has.


But now the IGB is taking applications and some machines could begin going into circulation in a matter of weeks.  The app can be found at  Here are some things to keep in mind as you prepare to file your application:


  • Having the first application in does not mean first application approval.  The IGB conducts an exhaustive review of applicants and that process may take longer with some applicants than others.
  • Make absolutely sure that information is accurate and truthful.
  • You cannot submit your application, withdraw it, and resubmit it.  It has to be right the first time.
  • It's recommended that applicants have another set of eyes look over their application before submitting to verify the completeness of the app.

We know this is a law many of you have been watching closely and anxiously awaiting the passage of.  We'll pass along any further information on this subject as it comes out.


Why An Older Building Isn't Always Cheaper to Insure    General log 

We'll occasinally get a comment to the effect of, "my building is really old, it's not in great shape, shouldn't it cost less to insure than a new building?"  Determining the Replacement Cost of the structure depends on it's size, construction and characteristics.  But delving deeper, why might an older building have a higher rate with an insurance company than a newer one?


In short, because older buildings can mean greater risk.


One of our carriers recently tackled this in one of their regular publications, and it seemed fitting to pass the info along in ours.


Many older buildings are just not as good of an insurance risk (to a carrier) as newer properties.  The problems outlined below and in combination with each other make it much more difficult to underwrite the profitabliliy.  Here's why:


1.  Older buildings may not be optimal for occupancy, and may even be obsolete.  This reduces the value of the building to the insured and discourages investment in improvements and maintenance.


2.  Older buildings often come with older wiring, plumbing, heating, roofing and mechanicals.  Even if updated, there are still some older components that can contribute to a loss.


3.  Older buildings can commonly be found in central city areas where the crime and vandalism exposure can be higher than suburban areas.


4.  Surrounding buildings may be substandard (due to their age and deterioration) or have vacancies.  Even if they do not directly expose the insured building, these neighborhoods may drag down the market value of the insured property.


5.  Older properties are genearally not as profitable as newer buildings because they cannot command higher rents.  With a lower profit margin, management sometimes is not willing to invest in maintenance and improvmeents.  They either can't do these updates or may make a conscious decision to forgo maintenance expenses when there is limited return on investment.


6.  Tenants may not be optimal and mean a greater credit risk or character risk.  Vacancies can create a financial strain and encourage building owners to rent to less desirable tenants.


7.  Private protection, like fire and burglar alarm systems, are usually older and less reliable.


8.  The (replacement cost) values in older buildings are inadequate more often than on newer properties.  This may cause insurance-to-value problems.


9.  Older buildings are commonly remodeled at one time or another.  The oldest buildings may have undergone many changes in occupancy and remodeling.  This can be a good thing, but it may create problems like concealed spaces, updates done by unqualified professionals and traffic flow issues (foot traffic, in case of emergency evacuation from the building).



Claim Reviews: Subrogation Horrors    General log


Subrogation is the substitution of one person in the place of another with reference to a lawful claim, demand or right, so that he or she who is substituted succeeds to the rights of the other in relation to the debt or claim, and it's rights, remedies or securities.  


In insurance matters, subrogation usually involves damage caused by one person or entity to a second person or entity.  The damaged person (or "first party") could turn the claim into their insurer, but would have to live with the consequences of having file a claim, such as a loss of claim-free credits, increased rates, or, depending on their prior claim history, possible non-renewal.  If the loss was caused by another person/entity (a "second party"), the first party would expect the second party (or their insurer) to repair or replace their lost or damaged property.


Things don't always resolve themselves so easily however.  If the second party is uncooperative, the first party may have no other choice but to turn the claim in under their insurance.  Their insurer will assign an adjuster to review the claim, ensure it is covered under their policy, and arrive at a settlement.  If possible, the first party's insurer (let's call them Company A) may try to "subrogate" against the second party or their insurer (Company B).  Company A is standing in for the first party, as they have incurred the cost of repairing or replacing whatever is damaged.


Once something goes into subrogation, the first party is usually out of the loop on further developments with the claim.  However, a claim in subrogation can still have an impact on them.  If their insurer has difficulties collecting, their file for the claim can still be left in an "open" status.  This won't mean much to the first party unless/until they try to move coverage.  


At that time, the new carrier will ask for "loss runs" from the past insurers.  There are a number of things on these loss runs that could lead the new insurer to issue cancellation on the new policy: any claim that wasn't originally reported on your application, open claims, a large past claim (even if closed), frequent claims or even multiple claims of the same type.


So a claim that went into subrogation and has been hanging in limbo for months or years, long after the first party's damage was repaired or replaced, can still have lingering affects.


Which leads us to our sample claim on this subject.


The Incident
A bar owner has to escort a patron out of their building because they were aggravating other customers.  He led her outside and waited in the doorway as the woman got into her car.  As she drove away she hit the garbage corral, spilling garbage as well as grease from traps, then hit the side of the building causing a part of the wall to separate from the foundation.


The insured reluctantly notified his agent of the incident, while hoping the woman's auto insurance would cover the damage she caused.  In the meantime, the insured hired a contractor to clean the grease spill in his parking lot and got estimates on his building damage.  Within a few days, his insurer had started a claim file and gathered documentation of the damage.


The bar owner's insurer shelved their claim file after a couple of weeks, waiting for the woman's insurer to handle the damages.  A week and a half later (now nearing a month after the incident) the woman's auto insurance wasn't covering the damages (it's unclear on what grounds) and worse, the city was threatening to shut the business down until repairs were made to ensure the building was safe for the public to enter.  But not just any repairs had to be done, the existing walls had to be torn down to comply with current code.  A relatively simple repair had just turned into a fairly substantial renovation.  


The insured was out of options; he had to rely on his insurer to cover the damage.


They did, $8900 from them and the $1000 deductible from the insured, but the story didn't end there.  The insured's company "subrogated" against the woman for the next 28 months, recovering $2200 of the nearly $10,000 in damages she caused.  However, the woman was sent to jail on other charges, and wasn't slated to get out for another 10 months. The company kept their file open, so that they may decide to continue subrogation when the woman was released.

As of today, the claim is still open, a whopping 6 and a half years after the incident.

To the best of our knowledge, despite being listed as "open" for the last 78 months this incident has never prevented or otherwise interfered with the insured obtaining insurance coverage.  Although it easily could have, and it's possible it still may, one day.  Which would no doubt come as a surprise to the insured who has probably long stopped caring about the woman who hit his building.

There will presumably come a point where the insurance company decides to wash it's hands of this matter, but with judgments in their favor, they'll continue to pursue the woman who caused all this damage.

There's also a valuable secondary lesson in this example about Ordinance & Law coverage.  The original estimate for repair only was in the $3300 range.  However, the city mandated that the whole wall be torn out and replaced to comply with current code.  Since the whole wall wasn't damaged, this would have been out of pocket expense had the insured not had an Ordinance & Law Endorsement on his Property Policy with a $25,000 limit.


What Happens 473 Times an Hour?

General log
According to the Department of Transportation, traffic accidents happen about that many times an hour across the United States.  Are your personal auto limits up to par?  Or are you carrying low-limit, cut-rate coverage?


We offer a full-line of personal lines coverages for four home, auto, boats, motorcycles, RVs and more.  Give us a shot at your next renewal to see how we compete.



Carrier Corner

General log
We represent over 15 insurance carriers directly and have access to many more via brokers, but you may only know one or two that we deal with.  Each issue, we'll highlight one of our valued partners in this space.




AmTrust Financial is an "A" (excellent) rated carrier that does business nationwide.  They have a couple of divisions, Technology Insurance and UBI.  


We've used Technology for years for a variety of Workers Compensation classes.  They have a wide-ranging appetite, write Work Comp on a monoline basis and offer very competitive rates. 


UBI is a newer arm of AmTrust and targets Commercial Lines accounts in the restaurant, auto repair, retail business & offices, commercial property, distributing, grocery store, and manufacturing industries.


A great feature AmTrust offers on their website is their library of Loss Control documents.  The Food Handling Guidelines in this issue are just one example of the type of detailed information available for free on their website.



  Our office will be closed Monday, September 3rd in observance of Labor Day.  We'll resume normal business hours on Tuesday, September 9/4.


 Bret Dixon Insurance recently became a Trusted Choice Agency.  Learn more about it here

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