What is a Carnet?

The word “carnet” is familiar to all those in the shipping industry. A carnet is a permit used for the duty-free and tax-free temporary export and import of goods, and can be used for up to one year from the date of issuance.

When and why would you need to purchase a carnet? For example, when displaying samples to customers or potential customers outside of your home country, exhibiting at a trade fair or transporting equipment to provide a service, it is a simple and proven way to move business goods to foreign lands legally. In other words, the ATA carnet is the passport for those goods.

What does ATA mean?

ATA is a French and English acronym of “Admission Temporaire/Temporary Admission.” The World Customs Organization (WCO) established it in 1961 to facilitate world trade. The ATA carnet is an internationally recognized customs document for the temporary importation of goods.

Accepted in many countries, the carnet simplifies customs procedures, reduces business costs and saves time and paperwork. A carnet covers virtually all goods, except for consumable or disposable items and goods for repair and/or processing. Entertainers, sports teams, the media, and service companies all frequently use carnets to travel with their professional equipment abroad.

ATA carnets are used to claim relief under temporary admission, from the customs charges normally due on importation for goods temporarily imported for use within a particular country or province. They can also be used to temporarily export goods for a temporary admission provided those countries accept ATA carnets for those goods and their intended use.

ATA carnets may be used for any of the following:

  • For goods being temporarily imported for use in countries which are signatories of the ATA Carnet Convention
  • For goods accompanied by the holder named on the carnet – or a representative of the holder who is named on the carnet
  • Provided that it is a physical multi-part document, not an electronic declaration, and
  • ATA carnet needs to be presented every time goods are exported/re-exported, imported/re-imported or transited through a country

What is a carnet? A necessary and vital ticket for moving your valuables for exhibition, shows, or other related business reasons.

Factors for Determining ISO Commercial Property Rating

Insurance companies evaluate business owners who wish to purchase coverage in terms of the risk of loss that the type of operations they’re conducting may pose. Businesses having a relatively higher level of risk will generally pay more for insurance coverage, as where businesses with a relatively lower risk will pay less for insurance coverage and also find that it’s easier to obtain.

Class rating versus specific rating

ISO Commercial Property Rating is done in one of two ways. Commercial property can be either class rated or specifically rated. The rating mechanics are the same for both. Most businesses can be rated on a class basis. Similar businesses are seen as having common exposures to loss and therefore have an equal probability of sustaining damage.

Specific rating is designed for risks that are not eligible for class rating. Loss costs are developed as the result of an on-site inspection. Property loss costs that apply specifically to a building and its contents are provided by WSRB in publications by street address. WSRB is Washington’s premier source of property underwriting and rating information for the insurance industry.

Construction, Occupancy, Protection and Exposure (COPE) are the same four basic elements of underwriting data that real property underwriters have been using for nearly 300 years. Commercial property applications are designed to capture most of this basic underwriting data as specified by the Insurance Services Office (ISO).

Fire rating helps establish premium costs

The construction of a building establishes the basis of its fire rating. Using fire-resistant materials throughout a structure can make a huge difference in insurance premiums. In order to receive the full benefit of a good rating, builders must use fire-resistant materials throughout construction. Adding-on to an existing structure could possibly hurt its fire rating.

A relatively hazardous occupant affects the fire rating for an entire building, so if a business shares space with a more hazardous occupant, premiums will tend to be higher. For example, a restaurant presents greater fire risks than a travel agency for obvious reasons, but a travel agency adjacent to a restaurant will experience higher premiums than one that isn’t.

Location is also vital for determining fire rating, while exposure measures the extent to which a structure faces external or unusual internal risks. ISO Commercial Property Rating factors all of these issues in when determining rates for every type of business.

Merrimac Marine & Boating and Watercraft Safety

In warm weather climates, such as here in many parts of Florida, marina activities are a year-round event. Many water enthusiasts like to partake in all types of water sports activities, including jet skiing and tubing, both of which can provide recreational fun. However, there are some inherent dangers, and safety should remain a priority while on the water.

Your clients can enrich their relationships with their customers by having them follow a few tips that can help to reduce the risk of marina liability. Merrimac Marine wants everyone to be proactive when it comes to preventing personal injuries and other mishaps related to activities in and around the marina.

Always drive responsibly

Boats and watercraft are the cars and bikes of the sea. It is recommended to avoid large wakes and never exceed 20 miles per hour while towing a tube. The tube has the capability of exceeding 50 miles per hour on turns during a “whip,” even while the boat is traveling a mere 20 miles per hour. A tube should never be closer than two times the towrope length to a stationary object (like a dock) or other boats in order to prevent a serious injury from occurring.

Becoming familiar with the equipment in use is essential to safety. Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations in regards to number and size of passengers, weight limitations, and maximum towing speed.

People who rent or purchase watercraft should be warned never to operate a boat or any jet ski watercraft if they have been drinking alcohol or using drugs. These can impair reaction, timing and judgment. In waters that are overseen solely by the states, the states have the authority to enforce their own boating under the influence (BUI) statutes.

Regardless of whether they are on a boat, tubing, or riding a jet ski, wearing a personal flotation device is critical. In the event they fall overboard, or fall off of the equipment they were riding on, once the passenger is separated from the boat, the life jacket will help ensure his or her safety until they can be retrieved from the water. Merrimac Marine wants to help your clients to help their customers be safe each and every time they leave port.

Connecticut Insurance for High Net Worth Individuals

As a wealthy individual, you’re likely to face some unique insurance challenges and therefore you’re probably going to gravitate towards a unique source for your insurance products. Families with extreme wealth often have more complicated risk management needs in terms of the types of items they buy and own, and their needs aren’t likely to be met with any type of standard insurance coverage.

You should be concerned on both ends of the spectrum; over-insuring against minor issues while underinsuring against major concerns. The benefits of a Connecticut insurance policy for high-net-worth individuals and families are many, and are geared towards maintaining the balance between your specific needs and the coverage that will benefit you the most.

Being underinsured can spell disaster

As a high net worth individual (HNWI) you’re likely to have expensive possessions, such as wine collections, paintings and art pieces, and yachts, as well as expensive hobbies, like racehorses and classic cars. These are all items that need to be properly insured. Even when they are insured, it’s also very important to find out what each possession’s actual market value is in case the insurance purchased doesn’t properly fit the value of the item.

This is why choosing the right agent is so vital. Your ideal agent will diligently take note of all of your hard-to-replace possessions, make certain to get them appraised accurately, and then offer insurance solutions that will cover you against all risks.

Having the right high-net-worth insurance policies can safeguard you against everything from accidents resulting in damages, to theft by someone under your employ. In fact, as a HNWI you might want to cover your assets against possible lawsuits from an employee or other service agency. This is commonly known as employment practices liability coverage, and could potentially save you from paying substantial damages from a settlement.

As a HNWI you will likely encounter concerns related to estate taxes, and your high-valued home. Estate taxes for the wealthy can be quite high, and those with multiple homes in multiple markets will probably be best suited finding individual coverage for each property. With so much at stake doesn’t it make sense to get the right Connecticut insurance for all of your needs? Speak to an agent about your concerns today!

Comprehending Pennsylvania Surety Bonds

There are four types of Pennsylvania surety bonds that contractors and others working in certain industries are generally required to have when conducting business: License bonds, which are needed for many professions such as auto dealers and mortgage brokers to operate legally; contract bonds for public construction projects; court bonds required by the courts for various purposes, and fidelity bonds that cover policyholders for losses that they incur as a result of fraudulent acts by specified individuals.

The state requires license and permit bonds in order to obtain and file licenses/permits for many different professions. Contract bonds, such as bid and performance bonds, are needed to work on public construction jobs. However, rather than being a state requirement, these bonds are usually required by cities or municipalities. The courts only require court bonds if you need to appeal a court decision, wish to become a legal guardian of a minor, or operate as a fiduciary of an estate.

Are surety bonds insurance?

Not exactly. Surety bonds are considered by many to be a specialty form of insurance, and the Surety is almost always an insurance company. Bonds are very different than insurance, however because the beneficiary is a third party (Obligee). As long as the Principal does what they’ve promised, the Surety will not be called upon to perform or pay.

The Principal is the primary responsible party under the bond, and must agree to reimburse the Surety for any claims or expenses they incurred because the Principal has not lived up to their agreement.

The Obligee (client or customer) is the main beneficiary under the bond, but the Principal also benefits as well since, if the Principal cannot or will not perform, the Surety steps in and makes good on the Principal’s obligation.

What does a bond cost?

Generally speaking, contract and commercial Pennsylvania surety bonds can cost between .5% and 3% of the contract price or bond amount, depending on the surety’s assessment of the risk involved. The cost of fidelity bonds, on the other hand, usually depends on the number of employees covered.

Cyber Concerns and Commercial Business Insurance

Perhaps the line of commercial business insurance that is getting the most buzz nowadays is cyber liability coverage. Cyber security risks have become much more significant as private and confidential consumer financial (and health) information is increasingly stored in electronic form and readily accessible on line.

We, as a nation, have become more reliant on electronic communication, and because businesses collect and maintain so much of this information regarding their customers and employees, the opportunity for hackers and thieves to infiltrate these databases is now a huge concern.

Managing the risks associated with cyber breaches

Managing cyber risks through insurance is currently the best available option. The market for cyber liability insurance is now on the fast track, and it’s expected to continue to grow dramatically over time as businesses gradually come to realize that most of their current business policies do not adequately cover the cyber risks that they may face. With each announcement of a major retailer or corporation experiencing a significant business loss, the awareness steadily grows.

The frequency and severity of these data breaches only add additional pressure for a lot of companies to step up their efforts to protect the personal information that they have in their possession. These cyber attacks come from a lot of different sources, including other nations, states, terrorists, criminals, activists, external opportunists and company insiders (both intentional and unintentional).

The purpose of a cyber criminal varies, from simple personal gain, to attacking to gain some type of political, military or economic advantage. They usually target money or information that can eventually be monetized, such as credit card numbers, health records, personal identification information and tax returns.

Most business owners are familiar with commercial business insurance policies that provide general liability coverage to protect their companies from injury or property damage. However, most standard commercial lines policies do not cover many of the cyber risks mentioned in this article. To cover these unique cyber risks through insurance requires the purchase of a special cyber liability policy.

Policies for cyber risk are customized and therefore more costly depending on the type of business operation. The size and scope of the business will often play a role in determining coverage needs and pricing, as will the type of data collected and stored, along with certain other factors.

Crime and Insurance for Nursing Homes

With an aging population, many people end up moving into a skilled nursing facility. They can receive round the clock care according to their needs, have access to meals and medications, and are able to socialize with companions. Skilled nursing facilities provide these and other services to their residents, but in the course of doing so, they are also subjected to many risks.

Criminals have targeted nursing homes and assisted living centers for some time, believing them to be easily preyed upon due to a lack of security along with occupants that can be easily victimized. Brokers who provide insurance for nursing homes have a difficult job in trying to help owners stem the amount of theft that permeates these facilities.

Nursing Homes often targeted for crimes

Nursing homes/assisted living centers seem to be one of those classes with a higher likelihood of a loss occurring. It’s extremely easy to find articles that indicate that this class of business is heavily targeted. There are of course the professional liability issues as well as crimes occurring, but finding the solutions to these problems should be at the forefront of everyone involved.

This type of exposure can greatly affect the bottom line of owners who could very well end up with a lower census due to move outs when the safety of their residents becomes an issue. These types of crimes often occur from the inside, performed by workers and interns looking to hoist a few valuables undetected. But outside elements are also often responsible for these types of losses.

For example, a resident’s jewelry or possessions could be stolen from their room. If they can rule out other residents, and if there are no suspects outside of staff and other on-site employees and vendors, then there is possibly an issue with hiring and not doing sufficient background checks.

To protect their operations and staff in case of a claim or financial loss, they need nursing facility insurance coverage. As an independent insurance agent who has worked with companies in the elder care and long-term care businesses, you can guide directors and owners of skilled nursing facilities in choosing the proper insurance for nursing homes policy for their needs.

Auto Insurance Companies in CT and Accident Repairs

While auto-body work can be costly, with the help of coverage through auto insurance companies in CT you will have access to several quality auto repair shops and can therefore make some informed decisions on how to proceed when seeking repairs to your vehicle after being involved in a collision.

Deciding on the amount of your deductible

Remember that the deductible determines how much out of pocket expense you’ll pay before your insurance kicks in and that having a lower deductible translates into higher rates. Considering the high cost of auto-body repairs you should be prepared to pay the full deductible amount when found at fault for an accident.

Your agent will help you navigate your way through the system

First, an insurer will suggest a list of approved repair shops, but these dealers receive pre-negotiated rates from the insurance company making those rates slightly lower than what those shops generally receive for this type of job. It is advised that you get more than one estimate, take good notes about what kind of repairs they say you’ll need, and how much those repairs are likely to cost. Then, call a few other shops and compare rates.

Many insurance companies want repair shops to use less expensive salvage or generic replacement parts, so know what to expect since generally, these aren’t original-equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts, which match the vehicle exactly and are more expensive.

Get some history on how satisfied former customers were with the work done. For example, check the Internet for information about the shop’s reputation and complaint history. Also, check to see how many consumers have complained about a shop by visiting the “Better Business Bureau” site, or check with the state’s attorney general’s office or consumer affairs department.

You’ll want to clarify how your policy deals with rental car expenses since auto-body repairs can often take longer than expected. Finally, signing off on the work order should be a requirement, so it’s best to clarify with the shop that no work should be started until it has been authorized first. Working with auto insurance companies in CT can make the whole post-accident experience go fairly smooth. Speak to an agent today about your car insurance needs.

BOP Policies and the ISO BOP Rating Systems

Since the classification of risk is constantly widening, many more businesses, small and mid-sized, qualify for a business owners policy (BOP). More companies are going toward the BOP mode of writing insurance because of the many benefits; it’s packaged, it’s competitive and it offers some really great coverages.

In addition, insurers that write BOPs are allowing the agency to write businesses with increased sales. Another primary factor is the use of sophisticated, but easy-to-use ISO BOP Rating modules that encompass the best rating software covering the full scope of rating small commercial policies. In fact, the creation of the BOP concept has really created a new level of efficiency in writing, issuing and pricing a product.

The BOP is tailor-made for Internet insurance sales

The BOP has also been proven to be a product especially responsive to the Internet process of insurance sales. BOPs can now be quickly and efficiently rated with company software, or over the Internet, and the application process is much easier. As online insurance sales have evolved, it’s not all that difficult to find a number of insurance providers offering comparative rating systems. Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) in an agency typically have control of this type of business and therefore can determine what market they’re going to place it with.

There are a number of insurance companies that do overlap on policies, with agents that don’t necessarily want to spend their time, or don’t have the necessary enhanced resources to investigate each and every company’s offerings. Comparative raters for BOPs have existed for some years, so they use a system to investigate exactly what a particular company will write for.

Because the BOP lacks many of the complexities of some of the larger commercial packages, and lends itself well to the efficiency of the Internet, it has become a very marketable product. Carriers have also taken note in terms of their marketing approach. There are a number of tech providers out there with ISO BOP Rating systems, allowing for comparative raters on the market, which further explains the increased shift toward the use of such systems for BOP products.

Protecting Your Assets with Contingent Cargo Insurance

The three main objectives of having contingent cargo insurance is to protect your business assets, along with your company’s reputation, and relationships you’ve worked hard to build with your customers. Regardless of whether your products travel by truck, rail, air or sea, cargo insurance protects you from a variety of potential losses that could be quite costly without the proper coverage in place.

Contingent Cargo insurance provides financial relief

Transportation brokers, freight forwarders, importers and exporters, and logistics providers all rely on insurance to come to their aid when something goes wrong and a shipment is damaged, or arrives too late to satisfy their customers needs. Cargo protection can be tailored for your particular services, so it will not only protect your customers better, but as a result, it will also enable you to further grow your business significantly.

For example, imagine you arrange a big shipment of goods for an important customer.
Now imagine that the train carrying those goods derails. One of your primary concerns would be if the shipment is properly covered, and will this result in a loss of time, not to mention creating a lot of stress and perhaps substantial legal fees. Most businesses would have a hard time bouncing back from these types of losses without the benefit of having solid contingent cargo coverage.

The best agencies that offer contingent cargo insurance coverage have been analyzing the insurance available to the logistics industry, identified and noted any shortcomings with respect to existing policies, and have been able to provide the best programs available. Partner with an insurer that designs their cargo insurance program to provide reliable, comprehensive coverage that you can trust.

Whether you arrange for the transportation of goods across the nation or around the globe, there’s always a possibility that the product won’t make it to its destination (or may be damaged in transit). Thefts, accidents and other mishaps can wreak havoc to your bottom line. The only real way to protect your profit from these losses is a customized cargo insurance program. If you own, manage or operate any type of freight business you should consider speaking to a commercial cargo insurance expert.