One of the more interesting aspects of my job as an advocate for policyholders is learning from non attorneys what insurance products mean at the point of sale and how they are supposed to work after the loss. This may seem a little curious to many, but if you think about it, why would anybody trust a judge’s ruling on a medical malpractice case to explain how to practice medicine? Judges are not trained in insurance. Attorneys who say they practice insurance recovery law, but learn insurance coverage and practice only by reading legal cases are too arrogant and ignorant to be in it for the policyholder. Maybe those types of attorneys can find their way to the insurer’s employ, so my job is made easier.
Chris Boggs has a number of columns at MyNewMarkets.com that every insurance agent should read. Anybody reading some of Boggs’ very technical explanations of coverage can better appreciate how much education and dedication is required of insurance agents and brokers. Anybody very good in insurance at the claims or solicitation level knows you have to be a little bit of a nitpicker or nerd to enjoy the nuances of language within the various insurance policies. A little research about Boggs shows he is as well:
“Boggs brings nearly 18 years of experience in insurance and risk management, a background that includes teaching pre-licensing and insurance continuing education courses and writing on coverage and insurance-related issues.
He is a veteran insurance professional, having worked as an account executive for several property/casualty agencies and as a senior risk analyst for one of the largest risk consulting firms in the Southeast.
He is a former associate director of education for the Independent Insurance Agents of North Carolina, Inc. and a former loss control and claims specialist for the North Carolina Department of Insurance.
International Risk Management Institute’s (IRMI’s) The Risk Report, The John Liner Review, RIMS’ Risk Management magazine, and the American Public Power Association magazine have featured several of his articles.
In addition to teaching others and writing about insurance and risk management, Boggs has himself earned a host of insurance designations, including CPCU, ARM, ALCM, LPCS, AAI and APA.
Boggs is thrilled with his new assignment. "I’m a little odd in that I absolutely love the technical issues in insurance and risk management. I enjoy delving into the details of policies, finding coverage gaps, comparing terms and conditions," says Boggs. "I’m truly excited about being able to do this while helping fellow agents and brokers solve their problems."
Few individuals have the depth of insurance education reflected in Boggs’ certifications. It is obvious he is well and wide versed in various aspects of insurance and should be thought of as a leading educator in the insurance field. His leadership of thought is demonstrated in his bold pronouncements of what agents and brokers should be doing during the solicitation and underwriting of policies. In a field with an extremely important ethical and knowledge based duties, it is important to have somebody discussing the issues agents and brokers confront, and doing so with clearly spelled out guidelines which should be followed to benefit and properly protect the policyholder.
His current article, Three Commercial Property Endorsements Every Client Should Have, notes that not all property is covered under standard forms but that endorsements are available to help partially correct this policy gap of coverage:
“This post is the first of a three-part series expounding on the theme of using coverage gaps to sell; but rather than specific coverage gaps, these three posts focus on endorsements to the commercial property, commercial auto and commercial general liability policies every insured should consider or avoid (in the case of the CGL article).
Three key commercial property endorsements are discussed in this first installment, the: 1) Additional Covered Property endorsement (CP 14 10 or state-specific form); 2) Additional Building Property endorsement (CP 14 15); and 3) Joint or Disputed Loss Agreement (CP 12 70). Obviously these are not the only commercial property endorsements valuable to a specific insured, but these are three every insured should consider.”
Notice how Boggs clearly indicates what agents should do. He notes that an agent or broker should make the coverage gap known to the policyholder. He then explains in the article what endorsements the policyholder should consider purchasing and why:
“The commercial property policy contains a list of "property not covered" within the form itself. Among the list of excluded property exists several property types or real and personal property the insured (and possibly even the agent) may assume is covered by the policy but is not. Examples include building foundations, underground pipes, flues or drains and fencing (this is not a complete list of excluded property, just a sample).
Some excluded property can be added back to the list of "covered property" via the Additional Covered Property endorsement. Two broad versions of the form are available from ISO – based on the state in question:
- The CP 14 10. This is essentially a blank form allowing the insured to specifically list the property they wish to remove from the "property not covered" list and include as covered property; and
- ISO State-specific endorsements. Two examples are N.C. (CP 14 11) and Va. (CP 14 12). In forms such as these, several types of real and personal property are taken from the list of "property not covered" within the unendorsed coverage form and listed on the endorsement. The insured chooses which property it desires to include as "covered property" and indicates that choice by placing an "X" in the box next to that property class.
Any removal of property from the "property not covered" list and its endorsed inclusion on the "covered property" list is, of course, subject to underwriter approval – regardless of which version of the form is used.”
Everybody can learn from people who have a specialized knowledge in a field. Chris Boggs can teach all of us a lot about property insurance coverage from the perspective of agents and brokers selling these products.