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By Contractors For Contractors!
  February / March 2003 Combination Issue - Click here to read other issues


Hi Folks!!

I hope you're well and happy and that business is good for you. I didn't get a February issue out so how about we refer to this newsletter as the "Feb-Mar" issue... ;) That said, welcome to your Feb-Mar issue of our newsletter! If you'd like to read about something in particular, please let me know and I'll do my best! Have a great day!! Diane ps: The numbers below are links to the articles.

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Free Gift - Practical Solutions, Higher Incomes, and Less Hassles! Click here (a separate window will open) to get the free gift I have for you at InformedContractors.com. Thank you!


Free Gift - Practical Solutions, Higher Incomes, and Less Hassles! Click here (a separate window will open) to get the free gift I have for you at InformedContractors.com. Thank you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Free Gift - Practical Solutions, Higher Incomes, and Less Hassles! Click here (a separate window will open) to get the free gift I have for you at InformedContractors.com. Thank you!

 

 

No longer available
Q&A Session with Gary Oltmanns: Skyrocketing Insurance Rates
Offer no longer available...
Fill in your AIA forms using your computer & printer
Senator proposes mandatory health insurance for workers
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Industry Links page
No longer available
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12.
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13.
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2. Insurance Costs Are Skyrocketing

How are your insurance premiums, high or higher? I've received many calls and emails about skyrocketing insurance rates. Although we are being hit hard here in California, I know that contractors in other states are struggling with this also.

I decided to ask Gary Oltmanns of Southern California Insurance Brokerage (he's our liability insurance agent and his company supports our site with advertising dollars) for his input in this insurance nightmare. While his answers may not be exactly what we want to hear, they are the truth. Here's an opportunity to pick up some quick info on how insurance rates are set.

TCG: Hi Gary! Thank you very much for taking the time out of your day to answer my questions as to why insurance rates are increasing so dramatically. Why is this happening?

GARY: Hi Diane! Thank you for asking me! Insurance rates across the board are going up for several reasons:

1. Historically we cycle through the soft/hard markets about every 6-8 years. The last truly hard market was over 16 years ago so actually this cycle, as unwelcome as it is, is actually long overdue.

2. Due to the declining stock market and the low interest rates, the Insurers are not making the significant investment returns that they normally do. Because our premiums/rates are offset/reduced by their investment income, and because that investment income is pretty much nil, the rates have to be increased to make up for the lack of investment income.

3. The Global Re-insurance Market took a huge rate hike after the 9/11 World Trade Center tragedy. Not only was this a catastrophic single loss that will continue to ripple out to almost all future policies, but it also presented a new risk factor for the actuaries to calculate into the rate- making process. Before 9/11, for the most part "acts of terrorism" were not really considered when writing the insurance policies. Because of this, since it's an additional risk, it has to be figured in, which of course raises premiums.

4. Many insurers who wrote policies for contractors 10 years ago are no longer serving California, even some very large A+ giants like AETNA, CNA, and RELIANCE are gone. There are too few carriers competing for the business. Because the competition is all but gone (for now), the rates have room to increase. Kind of like when a business has a monopoly in an area and charges higher rates because it can.

TCG: Is there any end in sight, any idea of when the rates will come back down?

GARY: Yes, this cycle will run its course. The rate increases will "build up" the capital underpinnings of the industry. As more and more carriers regain a financial footing that they're comfortable with, they'll rejoin the California market, bringing competition back into the playing field.

Combine that with improved numbers in the fourth quarter and I think we'll see improvement by the end of the year. I also believe that the faster the world economy recovers the sooner we'll see more competition, and thereby lower rates.

TCG: What can we do to get the best possible rate?

GARY: You've got to "shop", but be careful about settling for inferior policies. Make sure you get a written proposal, and ask a lot of questions about the coverage. You still get what you pay for. Prepare for substantial increases (25-50%, or more) when you bid your jobs. Ask your broker 60-90 days out for an indication, so that you have some idea where you stand when bidding your work.

Thank you Gary for your time and your answers! :)
-----------------------

Gary Oltmanns can be reached at (909) 592-2215 or you can send him an email to gary@socalinsurance.com. You can also visit their website, where you can request quotes for insurance and certs for jobs; as well as learn more about (SCIB) Southern California Insurance Brokerage:

www.socalinsurance.com

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3. Offer No Longer Available

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4. Fill in your AIA forms using your computer & printer

For those of you who use AIA* forms, have I got some info for you! I have found a software program that will fill in those AIA* forms for you, using your computer and printer!

And there's a special offer for you too!!

The Billing Module will fill in these forms:

G701 G701/CMa
G702 G702/CMa
G703  
G706 G706a
G707 G707a

The Billing Module also contains Quantum Software Solution's alternative forms that print on plain paper. Quantum Software Solution's Change Order, Payment Application, and Continuation Page are similar to the G701, G702 and G703 forms. If you do not require original AIA* forms, you can check out the plain paper forms Quantum Software Solutions offers that satisfy many requirements. You can of course also print to the original AIA* forms listed above and below.

The Contracts Module fills in a number of A-series and B-series forms, as shown below:

A101 A101/CMa
A105 A107
A305 A401
B141 B141/CMa
B151 B155
B163  
A121/CMc  
A131/CMc  
B801/CMa  

Note: When using the Quantum Software Solution's Project Manager program that fills in AIA* forms, you must have the pre-printed AIA* Contract Documents. While this program does generate three forms that are similar to the G701, G702 and G703, this program does not generate original AIA* Documents.

*AIA is a registered Trademark of the American Institute of Architects

The other modules that make up the Project Manager are:

  • Estimating
  • Communications
  • Payroll

You'll also find several other helpful programs such as:

VirtualBoss - A job scheduling, and task management software program designed for Home Builders, General Contractors, Remodelers, Trades Persons, Developers, Real-Estate Property Managers, & Related Businesses.

Equipment Maintenance - A software program designed to automate your equipment maintenance records and scheduling. The program will track your maintenance history and warranty information, making monitoring your operating costs a snap. You can also print several analysis reports should you need them.  Using this program will result in saving countless hours of manual reporting.

Vehicle Tracking - This software program is designed to track your vehicle mileage, warranty, insurance, repairs, and other costs. It is very easy to use with numerous preferences available to make using the program a breeze.

Now for that special offer... When checking out, use the discount code TCG get up to 40% off of each and every module and/or software program that you purchase. This discount is in addition to the multiple purchase discounts that are already available!

Write down your code TCG and then click here.

Please note: After you click through to check out the programs mentioned above, if you call the company with any questions or to place your order, you MUST mention the code TCG and that you are calling due to a referral from TheContractorsGroup.com or you will NOT get your special savings.

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5. Senator Proposes Mandatory Health Insurance for Workers!

From the Daily Press newspaper in Victorville, CA:

Senate President Pro Tem John Burton (D-San Francisco) has introduced a bill that would require employers to offer health insurance to workers or pay into a state pool that would provide coverage.

According to Burton, roughly 6.5 million Californians do not have health insurance coverage. He states that this plan aims to insure those uninsured.

Art Pulaski of the California Labor Federation has stated that 80% of those uninsured are in working families.

Should the bill pass, it's expected that employers will pay 80% of the employee's health insurance costs.

The California Chamber of Commerce has expressed concern over how this bill will affect small businesses.

From Richard Costigan, Vice President of Governmental Affairs,
"We're already seeing increases in worker's comp, unemployment insurance, and the family medical leave law is coming up soon - and now we're going to come along and mandate health coverage?".
----
When I hear more I'll let you know....

Write Off Health Expenses 100%

Write off 100% of your health expenses: braces, and all other dental work; eyeglasses and contact lenses, and all other optometry needs; prescriptions; and so on.

** Oh, also, it's important to mention that you don't have to have health insurance to write off your health expenses.

Health Insurance

eHealthInsurance has established over 100 Carrier Relationships, with over 10,000 health insurance plans at their site, covering 99% of the U.S. Population, and now representing over 90% of the US Market Share for online health insurance sales.

eHealthInsurance is now the leading source of health insurance for individuals & families both on and offline across the country!

** Three years ago I went through the dreaded health insurance shopping nightmare. I finally zeroed in the company I wanted to use, after 3 months of comparing plans and rates. I then visited the eHealthInsurance website and used their comparison system to check out plans. In less than an hour, I was looking at the same insurance company I had decided on, after 3 months of doing all the comparing myself! It really is quick, easy and painless!

Visit eHealthInsurance soon !!

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6. No longer available

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8. No longer available

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9. Industry Links Galore

Have you visited our Industry Links page lately? It's growing every day with new additions. I remember three years ago when I started our web site and newsletter, there was so little online for us contractors, our Industry Links page had hardly anything.

Now however, the page is "busting out at the seams", there are so many sites out there for us now. What's really amazing though, our Links page is but a mere reflection of the quantity of sites available. Swing on by sometime, there's really quite a lot that has been added.

Industry Links Galore

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10. Free Magazines !!

Here's a quick and easy method of applying for over 100 free trade publication subscriptions! It is so easy to qualify for these free construction magazine subscriptions that you may want to consider subscribing to more than one. You can select specialized trade magazines covering the following areas of interest (click on any of the links below):

Architecture Materials Handling & Distribution
Building Motor Trucks & Accessories
Building Mgt. & Real Estate Paint & Wallcoverings
Draperies & Curtains Plant Engineering Electrical
Product Design Engineering Engineering & Construction
Floor Coverings Rental & Leasing Equip.
Furniture & Upholstery Safety & Accident Prevention
Heavy Construction Stone Products
Tech. Landscape & Gardening Telecommunications
Maintenance Woodworking Waste Management

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11. QuickBooks Giveaway Winner Announcement

Congratulations to Nicole Gushwa, out of 17 entrants her name was the one "pulled out of the hat". Nicole will get her choice of one of several different variations of Intuit's QuickBooks accounting programs, compliments of Cherri Wise, Certified Quick Books Expert. We've had difficulties reaching Nicole and if she doesn't claim her prize by Friday March 21, then Gita's will hold a second-chance drawing out fo the remaining 16 entrants. Watch our newsletter for future announcements. :)

Thank you Cherri!!

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Well, that's about it for now. Have an outstanding day!!
Take care, Diane
--
Diane Dennis
TheContractorsGroup.com
[why no phone]
866-480-7105 fax
diane@thecontractorsgroup.com

TheContractorsGroup was created to support construction professionals with their day to day administrative functions. Thank you for being our
subscriber.

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By Diane Dennis

Any part or portion or section of this website may be copied or reproduced in any manner as long as I am given full credit and a working link back to this site. When using forms obtained from this site, please do not remove the copyright information at the bottom, unless and until you receive explicit written permission to do so.

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