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
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
GARY: Hi Diane! Thank you for
asking me! Insurance rates across the board are going up for several
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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:
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3. Offer No Longer Available
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4. Fill in your AIA forms using your computer
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
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
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:
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
You'll also find several other helpful programs
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
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
From the Daily Press newspaper in Victorville,
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%
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.
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!
eHealthInsurance soon !!
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6. No longer available
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7. 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.
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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
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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
TheContractorsGroup was created to support construction professionals
with their day to day administrative functions. Thank you for