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[TowerTalk] Home Owner's Insurance -(LONG)

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Subject: [TowerTalk] Home Owner's Insurance -(LONG)
From: (Kimo C. Chun)
Date: Thu, 24 Jul 1997 21:59:30 -1000 (HST)
Greetings to all concerned:

I think Pete has come pretty close to hitting the nail on the head.

>My State Farm policy (in WV) covers all "structures" on my property,
>including my 100' free-standing tower.  For a few more dollars (much less
>than a wrap-around "umbrella" liability policy) they bumped my liability
>coverage 'way up there too.
>The moral is - probably - that company behavior will vary by state,
>depending on what they can get legally do.  They're still in the risk
>business, but their objective is to reduce theirs as much as possible.
>73, Pete Smith N4ZR

I am by no means an expert on insurance. I have, though, shopped for
insurance for my company and my home. I have had my company sued by
an IMO "thick-headed" person and his "incompetent" attorney. I have had
my tower and antennas come down in a wind storm. So I think I have,
after talking to insurance agents, adjustors and attorneys, a fairly
complete look at this problem.

 Insurance is sold or NOT sold based on RISK to the company. Everyone
 knows this.

 Laws can vary from state to state on claimants rights (I believe).
 I don't know about coverage or lack thereof - but Hawaii had a problem
 with companies refusing to offer "hurricane coverage" after they took
 a bath on Iniki (like Andrew I imagine). Then the state/politicians
 and mortgage companies got involved against them....

 You need to describe in detail (ie., EXAMPLES of what might happen...)
 to your insurance agent; Who,if he/she is a long time successful
 independent will most likely do their utmost to get you what you want
 (policy) and figure out the BEST WAY TO WORD THE INITIAL REPORT/CLAIM
 to the insurance company.

 Premium amounts are based on similar or like-kind exposures, eg., my
 business was closest (to the agent's ability) to a TV repair shop!
 I am in the radio communications business. Different companies will have
 come up with more or less "similar" definitions IN THEIR EXPERIENCE.
 So, yes, if there are a lot of claims for towers/antennas by homeowners
 in your area they (unfortunately) will have LOTS of experience and may
 choose not to cover certain things. Get a company based elsewhere.


 Make sure you understand the major loopholes that insurance companies
 can use to decide NOT to cover. Understand the RISK in YOUR policy!

 In my (homeowners) case:

 I have a good independent agent who sides with his customers.
 He looked for a company that didn't have BAD experiences and exclusions.
 At the cost of only a slightly higher premium I have all sorts of clause
 My agent reported the demise of my tower/antennas to the insurance
 My insurance company uses independent adjustors. MAYBE they are more
 CAREFULLY get FULL replacement quotes from the suppliers including
 shipping, insurance, those baluns (since the old ones MAY be bad),
 new coax, etc. The claim is so small- no competitive quotes.

 I had all the permits and engineering stamps to validate that I did not
 do anything "wrong" (decline to cover?!). Though, given the amount of
 the claim it wasn't worth their time to see if I had too much loading
 or if the tower failed by defect, etc.. ie., they make too much money
 on homeowners policies to worry about "minor" "hard to refute" claims.

 Though I put up everything myself (no paid pro's) I made sure my quote
 for "replacement" included my mainland tower company to come out and fix
 it. Naturally, since it came to a tidy sum and he knew I put it up, he
 compromised by paying ME a rate times a few days labor it would take for
 me to put it back up. Though his belief in the initial installation may
 have been tainted in my favor because I am in "the business" though
 not a tower erector.

 My tower and antennas landed on my neighbor's roof and put a couple
 of holes in the plywood and messed up some asphalt shingles. The adjustor
 said he could only give them $500 (the limit of my "damage to property
 of others") and any more they would have to claim against their homeowner's
 policy. "Did you do it on purpose? - NO - Then it wasn't your fault".

 I paid my carpenter brother-in-law and bought materials myself -$300.
 My neighbor (nice people) gave me the $300 I asked for back and I
 let them keep the $200. Besides...they had the SAME insurance company.
 Now THERE'S an interesting thought....

 So naturally, the tower cost more now, the antennas cost more now, I
 decided to put up slightly lesser antennas and I got reimbursed for
 a crankup but am converting it to fixed-guyed (possible with mine)
 with beefed up sections. I have money to change the design. The
 adjustor was not interested in how I was going to reduce the risk
 of reoccurance but said "if it comes down again, we'll pay again"...
 "BUT we only pay to make it how it was before".

 Hey, with a check in hand...I can buy whatever makes me I
 was before!

 Or make sure they pay enough to have a pro come do it (as was posted
 by another, hereon).

 Oh, they didn't want the old antennas (not worth sending someone for it)
 so I gave my mostly intact 2 el 40 to a friend for him to fix and use.
 Hmmm, maybe they would have paid me to haul it away....


 Kimo Chun

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