What is Bloodstock Insurance?

Christine Disalvoby: Christina G. DiSalvo, M.A.

Bloodstock refers to pedigreed livestock, such as cattle, dogs or horses.  Bloodstock insurance is financial protection for loss of that animal’s use, whether that is for breeding, racing, showing or pleasure.  

For horses, you can purchase a mortality insurance policy.  This is life insurance for your horse.  The limit of mortality coverage is determined by the value of the horse.  There are several ways to determine the monetary (market) value of a horse; purchase price, appraisal, training fees or show record.

Once a value has been agreed upon between the owner (insured) and carrier, a rate is applied to calculate the premium based on the horse’s age, breed and use.  A two-year old Thoroughbred racehorse will have a different rate than a fifteen year old warmblood dressage horse, so it is necessary to have the correct information, age, breed and use.

Once the mortality insurance is purchased, you can endorse additional coverage.  Major medical is the most common endorsement but there are others, such as surgical, colic, loss of use and infertility.  Major medical covers any major medical issue (unless previously excluded) up to the limit indicated on the declarations page of the policy and subject to a deductible.  Different carriers will have different limits available and restrictions. An example of a major medical issue is a horse steps on a six-inch nail and it penetrates the sole and drives through the hoof wall causing the horse to become lame. 

The surgical endorsement provides “surgical treatment” in the event of an accident, injury, illness or physical disability during the policy period.  There are exclusions with this coverage, so please read the full endorsement carefully.

The colic endorsement provides coverage for “colic treatment” by an incident of colic during the policy period.  Colic is an all-encompassing term for abdominal pain caused by intestinal gas or an obstruction in the intestines.  There are various forms of colic, from mild to severe cases.  The mild cases can easily be treated by a veterinarian, if caught early, while the more severe cases may require a trip to the hospital and surgery.  It’s important to always have clean food and water for your horse and a watchful eye.  We’ll do a separate informative blog about the more common forms of colic, so stay tuned.

Loss of use endorsements are very specific to the use of the horse.  This coverage is typically added for hunter jumpers, dressage horses and eventers up to a specified age by the carrier.  Infertility endorsement is purchased for breeding stallions.  It covers an insured stallion if he becomes totally and permanently infertile, impotent or otherwise incapable of serving a mare as a result of an accident, illness, or disease sustained during the policy period.  

Each carrier provides their own limits for coverage and availability of endorsements will vary with carrier. Please contact us today to find out the carrier and policy that fits your horse’s needs.

Disclaimer: The above content is a general overview which is provided for discussion purposes only and is not in any way meant as providing recommendations or legal counsel. It is not intended to apply to each circumstance. Because the facts and circumstances of every matter differ and the terms, conditions, exclusions and limitations contained in insurance policies vary, you should review your policy carefully and seek any legal counsel that may be necessary or appropriate.  Momentous is not responsible for any losses or damage resulting from reliance on the information contained herein. 

If you would like to further discuss the issues raised here, you may contact Christina at cdisalvo@mmibi.com.

Why do I need a Personal Articles Floater?

Jennifer Dantona

Jennifer Dantona

By Jennifer Dantona, CIC

Most people assume that their homeowner policy will cover all of their possessions, including specialty items such as jewelry, firearms, and furs.  But the truth is, even the broadest homeowner policy forms will have sublimits for these items, which restricts coverage to a certain dollar amount.  While the amount of these sublimits will vary from carrier to carrier, they are a common theme in all homeowner policies.

Therefore, families with private collections that are larger than the policy’s sublimits should always consider a Personal Articles Floater (PAF).  A Personal Articles Floater provides specific coverage for these types of items under a much broader policy form.  The coverage is usually “all-risk” coverage with just a few common (and reasonable) exclusions, and generally without any deductible applied.  The coverage is also commonly applicable on a worldwide basis, including transit.  Earthquake and flood coverage are also generally included, but there are certain exceptions to this.

Other specialty items such as fine arts, sports & entertainment memorabilia and other collectibles may not have special policy limits under the homeowners, but there are still plenty of good reasons to get a separate policy for these collections. For example, clients with large collections may easily erode their personal property policy limits in a major loss and may have to choose between replacing their art collection or the everyday household goods that the homeowner policy is intended to cover.  Also of note is the lack of a deductible and the relatively cheap rates to insure these types of items.

Scheduled vs. Blanket

JewelryPolicyholders have two choices when purchasing a PAF – Scheduled or Blanket.   If a client chooses to schedule their items, it means they provide a list of each item owned including a description and value. This information can come from either the original purchase invoice or an appraisal.  Claims settlement is very simple with this option since the items and their values are predetermined.  In addition, the rates tend to be cheaper since the carrier has full knowledge of the items they are insuring.

Blanket PAF policies are an alternate option for a client that does not have a detailed list of their collection available.  There is no requirement to come up with a list up front, but the rates tend to be higher and loss settlement can be a little trickier since the client may have to prove the value of the items lost or damaged.  In addition, blanket PAF policies will often include a “per item limit,” so consumers should make sure that nothing in their collection exceeds this limit. 

Additional Options to Inquire About

Premier insurance carriers will offer some additional enhancements such as market appreciation, coverage for borrowed items, and earthquake coverage for fine arts.

  • Market appreciation is available only for scheduled items and will provide for payment of up to 150% of the scheduled value if it is determined that the item had increased in value at the time of the loss.
  • Coverage for borrowed items (for example-someone borrows a piece of jewelry for a special event) may also be available on a premier policy form.
  • In California, earthquake coverage for fine arts, collectibles and wine collections may not always be available, or may be available only with a special deductible.  Always ask your insurance professional for the best possible terms.

Final Thoughts

PAF policies are usually available from the same carrier that provides the homeowner coverage.  This is always the best starting point for obtaining a new policy, and there is often a multi-policy credit available.

Stand alone coverage options are available with a variety of carriers; most famously Lloyd’s of London.  Premiums, rates and coverage terms can vary greatly with these options so be sure you understand all the various restrictions and exclusions before purchasing.

Finally, appraisals are always recommended, especially for larger collections.  These should be updated about every 3 years to keep up with market trends in auctions and commodity prices.

Disclaimer: The above content is a general overview which is provided for discussion purposes only and is not in any way meant as providing recommendations or legal counsel. It is not intended to apply to each circumstance. Because the facts and circumstances of every matter differ and the terms, conditions, exclusions and limitations contained in insurance policies vary, you should review your policy carefully and seek any legal counsel that may be necessary or appropriate.  Momentous is not responsible for any losses or damage resulting from reliance on the information contained herein. 

Are you protected if someone steals your identity?

Jackie Saltzman

Jackie Saltzman, Senior Account Executive

by Jacqueline “Jackie” Saltzman

Are you monetarily protected if someone steals your identity?  Can you afford the out-of-pocket costs associated with restoring your good name and credit? 

There was an amazing true story out of Colorado recently where the victim of ID theft was given her very own driver’s license when she carded a patron at the restaurant where she worked.  Before this miraculous discovery occurred, the waitress was informed by her bank that checks from her account were being used by this very perpetrator who was sitting in her section, awaiting table service.  While the chances of a victim’s ID getting  restored this quickly are slim, the fact remains that there are countless victims of this growing crime. It’s a rapidly increasing crime due to the ease in obtaining social security numbers and other sensitive information.  Additionally, it does not get the attention of law enforcement as much as violent crime does.  There is simply too much of it for them to handle all cases. 

Identity Fraud is defined as: 

“The act of knowingly transferring or using, without lawful authority, a person’s means of identity which constitutes a violation of federal law or a crime under any applicable state or local law.”    

Examples of ID theft include: obtaining credit cards or loans in someone else’s name, opening utility accounts, renting an apartment, getting a cellular phone, purchasing a car or home, just to name a few.  Victims are not liable for the bills accumulated by these imposters, according to federal law; however, there can be large costs involved in restoring their damaged financial strength and good credit history. 

Some of the tremendous costs that can be incurred by a victim are:

  • the cost of notarizing affidavits for law enforcement agencies, financial institutions, and/or credit agencies;
  • the cost of loan application fees for previously rejected loans;
  • telephone expenses
  • lost earnings for time taken off work to resolve the situation, such as calls to creditors, writing letters, etc.
  • reasonable attorney fees incurred for trying to restore credit.
  • immeasurable costs of emotional stress and lost productivity in other aspects of a person’s life

While there are independent companies such a LifeLock and Experian that provide protection for a price, many insurance policies offer this coverage in their contracts for fraud, stolen identity, forgery, and the like.   The limits provided vary by carrier, but they can provide valuable identification restoration services, reimbursement for costs incurred, legal costs, and liability coverage.  For example, one carrier will provide you with a packet of information which details the resolution process, they will notify 3 major credit bureaus, and they will notify creditors as to what has occurred.  They offer coverage up to $100,000 as reimbursement for the costs incurred, such as lost wages, application charges, legal expenses, including any criminal defense charges brought against you during the commission of a crime in your name. 

The agony of returning your credit to its good standing following identification theft can be long-felt.  It takes time for everything to return to normal.  Having insurance protection behind you can greatly ease that burden.   

So that you know exactly how the coverage provided on your homeowners policy is structured and the limits provided, review the benefit with your agent to ensure that you have the maximum coverage available through your carrier.  

Disclaimer: The above content is a general overview which is provided for discussion purposes only and is not in any way meant as providing recommendations or legal counsel. It is not intended to apply to each circumstance. Because the facts and circumstances of every matter differ and the terms, conditions, exclusions and limitations contained in insurance policies vary, you should review your policy carefully and seek any legal counsel that may be necessary or appropriate.  Momentous is not responsible for any losses or damage resulting from reliance on the information contained herein. 

Momentous Awarded Fireman’s Fund Firemark Program® Designation

Firemark_Icon_2013_20130424133507Momentous is proud to announce it has been named to the 2013 Firemark Program for personal insurance by Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company.  This elite award recognizes top-performing independent insurance agencies.  Fewer than 70 agency locations nationwide earned a place in this prestigious program. 

The Firemark Program provides Momentous with tailored services designed to enhance support for their customers through dedicated claims representatives, access to Fireman’s Fund senior executives and exclusive education events. As Firemark Program members, Momentous will also earn points toward directing a grant to a fire service organization of its choice. 

“Firemark status is the most prestigious designation agents and brokers who partner with Fireman’s Fund can achieve,” said Kathleen Zortman, chief field executive for Fireman’s Fund.  “Momentous has proven it has a deep knowledge of our products and the experience to tailor an insurance solution to fit their customers’ distinctive needs.” 

Fireman’s Fund, which celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2013, is a premier property and casualty insurance company with industry-leading claims and risk management solutions. Since 2004, it has donated more than $30 million in grants to local fire service organizations across the U.S. as part of its commitment to safer communities. 

Momentous Insurance Brokerage is proud to support firefighters for safer communities. In conjunction with Fireman’s Fund, the company has directed more than $120,000 in grants to several fire departments. To learn more about these projects, please click here.

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What should I consider when purchasing auto insurance?

iStock_000003486743MediumWhen purchasing auto insurance, make sure you find coverage that fits your needs. Think about you and your family’s specific circumstances, including your risk tolerance and your budget. Risk tolerance simply means how much risk are you comfortable transferring to an insurance company versus absorbing on your own. If you aren’t sure what type of things you should consider, read below. Or, get help by working with an insurance agent. 

Below are a few simple questions to help you start evaluating your needs.

1.What is my household salary? What are my assets? How much in savings and equity do I have?
Generally, the higher your salary and net worth, the more you stand to lose if you are ever found liable for an accident. The more assets you have, the more coverage you might want to consider.

2.How old is my car and how much is it worth? Do I own my car outright or is it leased or financed?
The model year and original cost of your car helps determine the approximate value of your car today. If the value of the car is low and you own it outright (i.e. no loan or lease), you may want to think about whether you really want comprehensive or collision coverages. On the other hand, if you lease or finance your car, your lender or car dealership probably requires comprehensive and/or collision coverage.

3.How much am I willing to pay out-of-pocket?
Deductibles are applicable to certain coverages, such as comprehensive and collision coverages. In the event of a loss, a deductible is the amount that you must pay out-of-pocket before your insurance kicks in. A higher deductible could lower your premium.

4.Do I have health insurance?
Auto insurance can include medical payments coverage for you and your passengers. If you don’t have your own health insurance, you should consider purchasing some type of medical payments coverage on your policy.

Istock Car Image5.Do I have children of driving age?
Children are generally more inexperienced drivers and can present a greater risk on the road. If you have children of driving age, you might want to consider purchasing higher limits of liability coverage.

 

 

 

(Source: Travelers Insurance, https://www.travelers.com/insurance-basics/auto/the-basics.aspx)

Disclaimer: The above content is a general overview which is provided for discussion purposes only and is not in any way meant as providing recommendations or legal counsel. It is not intended to apply to each circumstance. Because the facts and circumstances of every matter differ and the terms, conditions, exclusions and limitations contained in insurance policies vary, you should review your policy carefully and seek any legal counsel that may be necessary or appropriate.  Momentous is not responsible for any losses or damage resulting from reliance on the information contained herein. 

The Sport of Kings

By: Christina G. DiSalvo

 Christine Disalvo
When people hear about horses, they often think of racehorses or polo horses.  Images of the Kentucky Horse Park filling with enthusiastic fans and owners to watch the first leg of the Triple Crown or the Duke of Cambridge riding at the Santa Barbara Polo and Racquet Club for the Foundation Polo Challenge probably come to mind. 

Horses are far more versatile than being just racehorses or polo horses.  There are the Hunter/Jumpers, ranging from the ever darling pony jumpers to the Grand Prix competitors at HITS Thermal.  These horses excel at showing that more than birds know how to fly.  Have you seen those near seven feet jumps?

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Hunter/Jumper

 We must tip our hats to the Dressage horses.  Often referred to as the Ballerinas of the horse world, their skills and precision performance are without equals.  It’s amazing how these elegantly executed movements were once used to train the cavalry horses for the battlefield.  After all, Dressage literally means “training” in French.  

To complete the English riding discipline trifecta, are the Eventers.  To get an idea about Eventers, think Ironman Triathlon athletes.  They are Jumpers, Dressage horses and Cross Country Jumpers.  Eventers compete over three days.   The first day they get down and dirty over the cross-country jumping field, scaling massive obstacles, jumping in and out of cold water,  all while racing a clock.

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Dressage

On the second day they polish up for Dressage, to show they can be rough yet elegant at the same time.  On the last day, they show everyone they can fly like the birds over the arena jumps.  These horses do this year round, starting at the Rolex at the Kentucky Horse Park, competing for a spot at the World Equestrian Games or on the Olympic Equestrian team.  Few horses can do all three events, fewer can do it well.  

You might say we’ve covered the crème de la crème, what else can there be in the horse world. These horses might not get the same recognition or they are dismissed because their events don’t have the same international influence or monetary clout, but they still demonstrate stunning athletic abilities that their fellow racehorses, English discipline horses wouldn’t consider trying. You have your barrel racers, speed and agility in a tight space. Your cow penning, roping and sorting sports (though more of a job description but they do hold competitions) require working with another animal, dealing with confined spaces, accuracy and time. Endurance racers (an international sport) don’t get much notice since they are about distance, stamina, speed and strength, not confined to a stadium.

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Barrel racing

Horseracing is called the “Sport of Kings,” limiting the image of horses to one field, where we forget there is more to horses than just racing.  I think the saying should evolve to say “Horses are the King of Sports.” And like all fine athletes, they should be protected. 

Contact us to discuss the right insurance program for the king or queen in your barn.

Disclaimer: The above content is a general overview which is provided for discussion purposes only and is not in any way meant as providing recommendations or legal counsel. It is not intended to apply to each circumstance. Because the facts and circumstances of every matter differ and the terms, conditions, exclusions and limitations contained in insurance policies vary, you should review your policy carefully and seek any legal counsel that may be necessary or appropriate.  Momentous is not responsible for any losses or damage resulting from reliance on the information contained herein. 

Flood vs. Water Damage

By Denise Aronson

Denise Aronson, Vice President, Personal Lines

Most people confuse flood damage and water damage. They believe them to be one in the same, and conclude that both are covered under a homeowner’s policy.

Under a common homeowner’s policy, flood insurance is usually excluded as evidenced by the most recent Sandy Storm.

So what are the differences? Let’s start with a simple definition.

Flood insurance is defined as follows:

“Overflow of inland or tidal waters;
Unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters;
Mudflows, caused by a flood related to a river of liquid and flowing mud on a surface of normally dry land areas.”

A flood is something that usually occurs from the outside of your home.

 Water Damage is defined as follows:

“Intrusion of water, usually from inside your home.”

The most common causes of Water Damage include:

  •  A burst pipe
  •  Leaks
  • Rain that enters your home from either the roof or windows

How to protect yourself from water damage?

The installation of a water leak detection alarm. These alarms detect small amounts of moisture and water and alert you with the sound of an alarm. They are not expensive to purchase and are worth the cost to both give you peace of mind.

Further explanations and causes can be obtained by either reading your policy and its exclusions, or contacting your agent.

Disclaimer: The above content is a general overview which is provided for discussion purposes only and is not in any way meant as providing recommendations or legal counsel. It is not intended to apply to each circumstance. Because the facts and circumstances of every matter differ and the terms, conditions, exclusions and limitations contained in insurance policies vary, you should review your policy carefully and seek any legal counsel that may be necessary or appropriate.  Momentous is not responsible for any losses or damage resulting from reliance on the information contained herein. 

Get the Bite on Mosquitoes with Routine Vaccinations

By Christina DiSalvo, Equine Insurance Specialist

Christina DiSalvo

Weather brings more than wind, fire, hail and water. Mosquitoes, ticks, and a multitude of other creepy-crawlies bloom while we recover from the elemental damage. Aside from annoyance, these bugs bring disease, not only to ourselves but to our equine companions.

Routine vaccinations are the best source of prevention. But we need to be mindful of standing water, not just on the immediate boarding property but surrounding area. Mosquitoes can travel as little as 300 feet to 100 miles away from their breeding areas. According to an article at theHorse.com, “Flood of Equine Encephalitis Cases Follow Hurricane Isaac,” Hurricane Isaac created the perfect breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

As of September 2012, there have been 42 confirmed cases of the West Nile Virus (WNV) and 43 confirmed cases of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). These numbers in Louisiana are almost double to the reports issued by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). Though these cases are cropping up in the southern and eastern states, all states are potential breeding grounds. Since these viruses can cause death, it is important to be vigilant about vaccinations and maintain a mosquito free zone.

Mosquitoes are an all year pest, so don’t think because it is may be getting a little cooler outside that you can drop your guard. Vaccines are recommended twice a year, typically in the spring and fall. Vaccinations and routine care are not covered under the Major Medical endorsement on a Mortality policy, they are necessary to keep your horse healthy, whether as a backyard pet or national champion.

Here’s a helpful checklist to make your barn the last place a mosquito wants to feed:

  • Vaccinate twice a year.
  • Remove all standing water on a regular basis. 
  • Use fans for covered/enclosed barns.
  • Use insect repellents and/or fly sheets to keep the pests from biting.
  • Avoid using lights inside or around the stable at dusk and keep a few incandescent bulbs around the perimeter of the barns to lure mosquitoes away from your horses.
  • Contact the local vector control in your area to treat waterways, reservoirs and other natural sources of water to keep the mosquito population down. It’s what they are there for so don’t hesitate to call.

Of course, as all horse owners know, no matter what we do to protect our equines, they can still get sick or injured. Be prepared with a Mortality policy that is endorsed with Major Medical coverage. Even a trip to the vet hospital to be treated for a cold or stop pneumonia in its tracks can cost a couple thousand dollars. The insurance is worth the peace of mind.

Disclaimer: The above content is a general overview which is provided for discussion purposes only and is not in any way meant as providing recommendations or legal counsel. It is not intended to apply to each circumstance. Because the facts and circumstances of every matter differ and the terms, conditions, exclusions and limitations contained in insurance policies vary, you should review your policy carefully and seek any legal counsel that may be necessary or appropriate.  Momentous is not responsible for any losses or damage resulting from reliance on the information contained herein. 

2012 World Series of Team Roping Finals in Las Vegas

by Christina G. DiSalvo

The 7th annual World Series of Team Roping (WSTR)Finals took place in December 2012 at the South Point Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas.

WSTR made history with a $6 million payoff for the week. The #10 Finale had the highest payoff of all with $1.75 million paid out and the first place team receiving $237,000. This beat the NFR (National Finals Rodeo) team roping record of $1.5 million.

The South Point was filled with cowboys and cowgirls for the World Series of Team Roping and the National Finals Rodeo. South Point had its own Country Gift Show, but if the selection wasn’t big enough, the Sands Expo & Convention Center was hosting the Country Christmas and the Las Vegas Convention Center hosted Cowboy Christmas and Fanfest.

Dale Gibson, Momentous-sponsored Team Roper

 This year marked the first year for the Momentous Equine Division and our first ever sponsored rider, Dale Gibson of Gibson Ranch. We were proud to support Dale Gibson, and though he didn’t make it into the #10 Finale, we hope to be a sponsor next year.

 About Us

The equine specialists at Momentous Insurance Brokerage understand the passion of equine enthusiasts and professionals, and know how to address the risks they face. Our experts have an average of 20 years of experience in the insurance industry, but that’s not all. We are also accomplished equestrians who understand the horse world.

Hiring Domestic Help

If you are looking to hire some additional help around the house to watch your children, clean, perform gardening tasks or cook, you have a lot of things to consider.

You need to determine where to find assistance, what your insurance needs are and how to fulfill your legal obligations.

Here’s what you need to know:

Hire a Service Agency

  • Check references to verify the company’s reliability before hiring them.
  • Consult Better Business Bureau (BBB) for complaints filed against the company.
  • Ask the company how they conduct background checks on the help they provide.
  • Ask to see proof of insurance in case your property is damaged by their hired help.

Hire Help Through an Agency

  • Check the agency’s background and the BBB for complaints.
  • Inquire about the fees charged to you for using the agency’s services.
  • Determine how the agency will work with you to find the necessary help that you need. Also determine how the agency will work with you if the candidate they select is not a good fit for your family.
  • Determine how the agency screens its potential candidates.
  • Insist that candidates are individually interviewed, have their references checked and that their criminal and driving records are investigated.
  • Determine whether the candidate you choose is legally able to work in the United States.

If you’ve hired someone on your own, you have several legal obligations. You must first confirm that the person is legally able to work in the U.S. Then, once hired, you will need to pay taxes on their wages.

Fulfilling your legal tax requirements is easy if you know where to look for information. Contact the Internal Revenue Service at www.irs.gov. The IRS produces a Household Employer’s Tax Guide to provide you with all the necessary information. It is also wise to contact your state’s Department of Labor to determine what state’s laws apply to your situation as well.

For information about workers’ compensation, employment practices liability or even health benefits for your domestic staff, please contact us at 818-933-2700 or info@mmibi.com.

Disclaimer: The above content is a general overview which is provided for discussion purposes only and is not in any way meant as providing recommendations or legal counsel. It is not intended to apply to each circumstance. Because the facts and circumstances of every matter differ and the terms, conditions, exclusions and limitations contained in insurance policies vary, you should review your policy carefully and seek any legal counsel that may be necessary or appropriate.  Momentous is not responsible for any losses or damage resulting from reliance on the information contained herein.