The vase is broken, now what?

November 30, 2021

The best time to prepare yourself and educate your clients about claims and how their policies will respond is before the claim happens. Commercial-lines insurance policies are nuanced, and they can leave even the most experienced insurance professionals scratching their heads. For example, do you know how the client’s insurance policy would respond to the following claim?

Squeaky Clean Cleaning Service Inc. provides cleaning services for homeowners. While in a customer’s home, Mary—a Squeaky Clean employee—broke an expensive vase when she was lifting it to dust underneath. The homeowner filed a claim against Squeaky Clean and against Mary, personally. Assuming Squeaky Clean carries a commercial general liability policy, with no additional endorsements that would impact coverage in this situation, how would the cleaner’s insurance policy respond?

If your clients have claims that involve some of the coverage issues below, how confident are you that their commercial-lines insurance policies would cover the loss?

  • debris removal/pollutant cleanup and removal
  • covered property
  • vacancy
  • ordinance or law
  • third party over (i.e., general contractor, subcontractor and the subcontractor’s employee)
  • expensive property broken by an employee (the vase)
  • assault and battery
  • cyber and bodily injury

Do you know what endorsements should be avoided, and which are necessary to strengthen your clients’ coverage? Have you had these conversations with them?

Get some CE …

As part of their educational outreach, CTYIP, NJYIP and NY-YIP will host instructor Cathy Trischan, CPCU, CIC, CRM, AU, AAI, CRIS, ARM, MLIS, TRIP, as she teaches a course on Commercial Claims Scenarios on Tuesday, March 1, 2022, from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. During the discussion, Trischan will explain the various claims associated with the vase scenario, as well as the other coverages listed in the article. YIP members and nonmembers are encouraged to attend the online course.

For more information, or to register for this class, log on to the PIA Northeast education schedule.

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About the author…

Cathy Trischan

Cathy Trischan, CPCU, CIC, CRM, AU, AAI, CRIS, ARM, MLIS, TRIP, is the director of commercial underwriting at the E&K Insurance Group in Eatontown, N.J. She is a regular speaker for PIA Northeast and in The National Alliance’s CIC, CISR and Ruble programs.

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