Five of the most common mistakes when placing commercial lines insurance and how to avoid them.

As wholesale insurance brokers, we take risk seriously. Part of this responsibility includes staying educated and informed, not only on the insurance products we offer, but on ways that we can help insurance professionals minimize errors or risk for their insureds when they come to us looking for a quote.

As we begin to receive more inquiries for Commercial GL policies, we thought we’d share the following excerpt from a recent publication by IRMI Insights, which listed 101 Common Commercial Lines Coverage Gaps to Avoid.

The following list represents some of the most common—and career-limiting —mistakes that are made when placing commercial lines insurance:

  1. Relying on commercial general liability fire legal liability coverage to insure leased premises when commercial property insurance is needed to satisfy the obligations in the lease.
  2. The lack of an employee benefits liability endorsement in the commercial general liability policy (or coverage in a separate fiduciary liability policy).
  3. Inattention to retroactive date and extended reporting period on claims-made coverage endorsements attached to occurrence trigger commercial general liability policies (e.g., employee benefits liability).
  4. Failing to provide additional insured status as required by contract.
  5. Lack of coverage, or inadequate coverage, for joint ventures and newly acquired companies.

Our knowledge and experience ensures that our brokers can help insurance professionals ask the right questions of their clients, and help them avoid these mistakes. If you’d like to learn more about how we can craft a customized Commercial Liability Policy for your client, simply email or call DeCotis Specialty Insurance to begin a conversation.

Tom DeCotis Appointed as President of New England Surplus Lines Association

DeCotis Specialty Insurance announces that Tom DeCotis, CEO, has been appointed as the new president of the New England Surplus Lines Association.

With this appointment, Tom now leads a group of wholesale surplus line brokers/agents and supporting affiliates who specialize in providing service and support to these brokers and agents. The association’s main goals are:

  • To improve business conditions in the specialty risk insurance industry and support the insurance agency system
  • To distribute educational information for the betterment of the specialty risk insurance industry
  • To promote professionalism among members
  • To maintain liaison with other segments of the insurance industry, particularly insurance commissioners, regulatory authorities, insurers, and insurance producer groups

Please take a moment and congratulate Tom along with us.

Jocelyn Dewey Receives CPCU Designation

We would like to congratulate Jocelyn Dewey, COO at DeCotis Specialty Insurance, on receiving her CPCU designation.

As those in the insurance industry already know, receiving the CPCU designation is a grand achievement. The process can take years to complete and requires the individual to have comprehensive knowledge of all aspects of property-casualty insurance. This knowledge is reinforced by rigorous exams on insurance laws, accounting, risk management, and ethics. It is not an exaggeration to say that the CPCU designation is considered the “CPA of the insurance industry” and reflects Jocelyn’s continued devotion to the industry.

We’re extremely proud of Jocelyn’s achievement and all that it represents. This is just another sign that when clients work with Jocelyn or DeCotis Specialty Insurance, they’re working with people in the industry who are devoted to providing outstanding customer service.

Facing the Challenges of Placing Secondary and Seasonal Homes

It’s that time of year, when DeCotis Specialty begins to receive a considerable increase in requests from agents looking for Secondary and Seasonal policies for their clients. While some of these risks are straightforward, many insurance professionals also come to us when they have more challenging risks that are harder to place. In these situations, we can provide a more tailored solution. With the answers to a few key questions, DeCotis Specialty Insurance can help you place these risks.

Question #1: Secondary or Seasonal? Primary support?

First, you need to know what you’re working with. Is it a secondary home or a seasonal home? What’s the difference anyway?

  • A secondary home is generally used year-round
  • A seasonal home is unoccupied for a period of several consecutive months
  • Both present an increased exposure because they are unoccupied for days or months

Given this increased exposure, many standard markets require primary home support to consider coverage on a secondary or seasonal home. Often, your insured’s primary home is out of state but that doesn’t mean you should turn the business away. After all, you possess the local knowledge to get your insured the right coverage at the right price. Fortunately, our E&S markets do not require primary support and offers ISO HO-3 or DP-3 coverage for these types of risks.

Question #2: Where’s the Location?

In addition to occupancy, the location of the home must be considered. A mountain retreat is more likely to be located in a Protection Class 9 or 10 making it difficult to place. Conversely, a beach cottage might be protected but is more prone to wind or flood losses. Although voluntary markets tend to shy away from both, our markets specialize in underwriting and pricing for these increased exposures.

Question #3: Will the Insured Need Customized Coverages?

Just as each insured customizes their secondary or seasonal home to fit their needs and style, their insurance should be no different. Each home presents a different risk and each insured a different need. Working with an excess and surplus lines professional will allow you to customize coverage to the insured’s needs without having them pay for any unnecessary coverage. Additionally, our E&S products do not require that standard ISO percentages be used on homeowners policies.

Question #4: Other considerations?

Is the Coverage A limit of the home above the voluntary markets’ maximum limit? Will the insured be renting the home to offset the cost of upkeep and maintenance? If so, will they be allowing short-term rentals? Do they intend to advertise rental of the location on or The answers to these questions could affect the coverage. If in doubt, just call one of our knowledgeable agents and you’ll get an answer.

As the weather continues to warm up and your insureds begin to call you, don’t worry. With DeCotis Specialty Insurance’s help, you’ll have all the answers you need to their questions. Contact Us to learn how we can help you meet your insureds' needs.

What is Wedding Insurance, and Why Does My Client Need It?

Planning (and paying for) a wedding is a HUGE undertaking. There’s so much to keep track of, and it goes without saying that you want this day to be as perfect as possible. The fact is though, as good as you are at organizing items and controlling costs, mistakes are inevitable while planning a wedding. The goal is to recognize and avoid possible risks when you can, so that you have the wherewithal to deal with the ones that are just impossible to avoid.

This is where wedding insurance comes. It protects a couple's investment from circumstances beyond their control, and reimburses expenses incurred.

Here’s a few of the financial losses that wedding insurance can help to protect:

  • Your limo driver is MIA and you need to book a replacement.
  • Your hand-made wedding dress never makes it off the airport baggage carousel and you need to purchase a replacement.
  • Your venue closes its door, and you lose your deposit AND need to book another place.

How Much Does Wedding Insurance Cost?

  • Clients can purchase a basic insurance policy that covers loss of photos, videos, attire, presents, rings, and deposits usually for a very nominal fee.

When Should Your Client Purchase Wedding Insurance?

  • The sooner the better, since some insurance companies have limitations on how far in advance you can purchase insurance.

Springtime is prime time for Weddings. So, if there’s a wedding in your clients’ future, call one of our Brokers. In just a few minutes, we can help provide you with the right policy solution to help make sure that the only tears shed on their wedding day are tears of joy!

DeCotis partners with Amica Insurance for Breakfast with Santa event.

DeCotis Specialty Insurance was delighted to partner with Amica Insurance, Core Studios, Jones Kelleher, and other Rhode Island-based businesses at the recent Breakfast with Santa to benefit Crossroads Rhode Island, a non-profit dedicated to helping homeless and at-risk individuals and families secure stable homes.

The Big Event 2016: October 27-30

DeCotis Insurance will be attending the Massachusetts Association of Insurance Agents’ (MAIA) The Big Event, October 27-30, in Boston. Stop by and visit us at Booth 126 to meet our staff, learn about our specialty and surplus insurance products, and find solutions for your complex coverage needs. Your clients will be glad you did!
Attending the event? Come check us out and use our hashtag on Twitter and Instagram #BigEvent16DeCotis
Can’t make it? Check checkout #BigEvent16DeCotis on Twitter and Instagram for live updates from The Big Event.

Cyber Liability Seminar Sponsored By DeCotis Insurance Associates

In our digitally driven world, sensitive information is stored and transferred electronically.  Unfortunately, it is rarely secure enough to prevent data breaches.  Whether it is a direct infiltration of the system by a hacker, a flaw in the system, or an employee’s mistake, the release of secure information is costly and leaves those affected.

DeCotis Insurance Associates will be providing a Free Cyber Liability Seminar on January 20th from 10:00am-12:100am at IIARI 2400 Post Rd, Warwick, RI 02886.   This seminar is approved for 2 RI CE credits.

Please contact Jean Nagle at IIARI (401) 732-2400 to reserve a spot.

For additional information please view: CyberLiabilityDataBreach