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WSRB Team Recognition – Jim Antush

November 18, 2015

Jim Antush – Northwest Chapter Regional Director of Association of Insurance Compliance Professionals (AICP)

Jim Antush, our Compliance Manager, is starting the second year of his two-year term on the National Board of Directors of the Association of Insurance Compliance Professionals (AICP). He is the Northwest Chapter’s Regional Director. The Northwest Chapter, one of nine regional chapters that make up the AICP, includes the states of Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming.  Last year, the Northwest Chapter received a first place incentive award for having the highest percentage of AICP membership renewals.

As Regional Director, Jim represents the Northwest Chapter at National Board of Director meetings and is the liaison between the local chapter and the national board. The Association of Insurance Compliance Professionals serves the insurance compliance community by providing learning opportunities and promoting relationships between compliance professionals and regulators. It is a forum for exchanging important information and discussing pressing issues.

Here are some photos from a chapter event at the AICP Annual Conference in New Orleans. This was a cooking demonstration of  bananas foster at the New Orleans School of Cooking!


WSRB Team Recognition – Robert Ferrell

November 16, 2015


Robert Ferrell – Board Member of Washington State Association of Fire Marshals

We are proud to announce that Robert Ferrell was elected earlier this month to serve as a member of the board for the Washington State Association of Fire Marshals (WSAFM). Robert began serving on the WSAFM board earlier this year when he was appointed to fill a vacant position.

WSAFM is an association of fire marshals, code enforcement, and fire prevention professionals (inspectors, educators, engineers, etc.) working together to improve codes and standards, provide professional development opportunities and promote community safety. It was originally established to coordinate efforts to improve fire safety through prevention.

FEMA Fraud Watch

October 6, 2015

2653922456_604a939a28_bUnfortunately there is a common trend of fraudulent activity after natural disasters. FEMA recently published a press release warning wildfire survivors of fraud dangers, giving a few common post-disaster practices to avoid fraud issues of your own should you be affected.

Often someone trying to scam you will call or visit you. When people visit your home, make sure to always ask for an official photo ID badge (all federal employees carry one), as their attire with logos is not proof of affiliation. Another thing is to pay attention to what they offer you, what information they ask for and what they ask to get from you. The questions they ask shouldn’t include anything about your Social Security number or bank information, as this is only asked for when you initially register for FEMA assistance. It is absolutely a scam if someone offers to speed up the process in any way, or if they request money to speed up the process or increase the amount of assistance. Federal workers would NEVER ask for money.

If you can see damage from the street there is a greater chance for fraud. “It is important to note that FEMA housing inspectors verify damage, but do not hire or endorse specific contractors to fix homes or recommend repairs. They do not determine your eligibility for assistance.” Which leads us to contractors: do not allow contractors to start working on your house on the spot. Instead, make sure only to “use licensed local contractors backed by reliable references, get a written estimate from at least three contractors, including the cost of labor and materials and read the fine print.” You should also make sure that your contractors are properly insured and carry “general liability insurance and workers’ compensation. If he or she is not insured, you may be liable for accidents that occur on your property.” For more information about contractors,  everything else we addressed and more, see the FEMA press release.

Call the FEMA Disaster Fraud Hotline at 1-866-720-5721 or your local police if you suspect someone is trying to con you.

FEMA information obtained from their press release:

Sleepy Hollow Fire and PropertyEDGE

July 2, 2015
PropertyEDGE mapping of the Sleepy Hollow fire.

PropertyEDGE mapping of the Sleepy Hollow fire.

With the warmer, drier weather, we are seeing an increase in fires across the state. There is no greater evidence of this than in Wenatchee, Washington with the Sleepy Hollow Fire. If you are a PropertyEDGE customer, you will be able to watch this fire in real time as the fire perimeter changes. You can also view perimeter data on historical fires across the state.

According to King 5 News, the Sleepy Hollow Fire is currently 47% contained, and we hope it will soon be completely contained. However, conditions can change in a moment’s notice, and this wildfire appears to be changing faster than most. “It seems like we weren’t under evacuation notice until the flames were in our backyard, it was just so quick,” said Ali Marboe in the same article. First responders agree, saying they have “never seen a fire move this quickly.”

This will, of course, have an impact upon the insurance industry. Diane Reed, who evacuated the area on Sunday evening, told the Seattle Times that one of the first things she did was give her insurance company a call. She “figured her home was worth $475,000, but some homes were valued at up to $1.5 million.”

“PropertyEDGE is mapping this fire,” says Tracy Skinner, Manager of Subscriber Services at WSRB. “[Customers] have up-to-date info.” Staying informed about past fires and current fire perimeters is crucial when insuring a client in a fire-prone area, such as Central and Eastern Washington.

For more information on PropertyEDGE or any other WSRB services, please visit or contact Harmony Wallender, Sr. Marketing Coordinator, directly at 206.273.7149.

Washington Young Agents Conference in Chelan

June 15, 2015

Young Agents

Last week a few members of WSRB were able to visit the Young Agents convention in beautiful Chelan, Washington. We are very supportive of the Young Agents, believing in the steps it is taking to educate the future of our industry.

This year, we were very proud to hear our very own Tracy Skinner, Director of Marketing and Subscriber Services at WSRB, teach us about Green Construction as one of the amazing presenters. We didn’t just learn from Tracy, however, we were also able to glean information from great minds like Bill Wilson (on “Virtual University Top 10 Countdown”), John Willemse (on “Autonomous Vehicle”) and Angela Arralde (on “From the Carrier Perspective”).

Some of our favorite quotes from the event were:

  • “RTFP! – Read the Fine Print! Of the Policy of course…”
  • “Up to this point the technology designed for vehicles has been to protect us during an accident. Now, it will be to prevent accident.”
  • “Driver-less cars will ultimately change the face of the insurance industry as we know it”
  • “So what happens if a tree is going to fall on your driver-less car? Will the car move out of the way?”
  • “Green materials have pluses and minuses throughout…a lot of green materials burn hotter.”
  • “Frozen Smoke as a construction material has incredible insulating properties.”
  • “But what if you don’t ask for the lease agreement – you are just as liable!” On the suggestion that we should be ignorant to avoid being legally liable.
  • “I always ask for a copy of the lease agreement…know your policy, does it fit within the policy?”
  • ‘It is probably a little more pleasant to deal with an Underwriter who knows the difference between Ellensburg and Enumclaw” – working with an Underwriter in your area.
  • ‘Many positions within the agency…are trying to bring the business in the door” – having a sales culture
  • “I feel like there aren’t any generalists out there anymore”
  • “From the carrier’s perspective, this isn’t going to be a short term partnership, it is going to go into the future”

Thank you to the I.I.A.B.W. Young Agents for coordinating such a fun and informative event! To learn more about the Young Agents, or to get involved, please visit them on Facebook.

No Sprinkler Left Behind

May 8, 2015

Are you getting credit?

Sprinkler credit is hard to get, but WSRB has your solution! Given the great track record of automatic fire sprinklers, WSRB extends credit to all eligible sprinkler systems. Having all the documentation to thoroughly evaluate an automatic fire sprinkler system is still preferred, but now we will evaluate systems that do not have the original “As-Built” plans and other previously required documentation.Sprinkler image for Blog

An eligible automatic sprinkler system will receive a WSRB Mechanical Grade and Loss Cost discount if the following guidelines are met: system must be operational (turned on, inspected, tested, and maintained to code), system must be for light or ordinary hazard occupants (not requiring specialized systems), system must be designed for the current occupancy (design information must be confirmed through hydraulic placard at riser, partial set of plans or some other method), and water supply information must be available and must be adequate for the fire sprinkler system demand, including hose lines.

“Sprinkler systems that are maintained do their job,” says Robert Lacy, Assistant Vice President of Field Operations at WSRB. “[Policy holders] deserve credit and it doesn’t cost anything other than a little time getting us access to the building.”

For more information and full details or to request your sprinkler report, go to Reports are free for registered members. If you are not registered, you may do so online with a agency email address by clicking here, or if you’re not sure if you are registered you can call or email Customer Service at 206-217-0101 or

Commercial Lines Rating Series: Part 8 – Causes of Loss – Special Form

February 3, 2015
Insurance Rating

Causes of Loss – Special Form

Special Cause of Loss provides coverage for risks of direct physical loss unless excluded or limited.

Theft coverage is included when using the limit of insurance (LOI) rating method, but it can be excluded.

The Watercraft Exclusion modifies coverage under Special Form. It excludes watercraft damage to retaining walls that are not part of a building, bulkheads, pilings, piers, wharves, or docks.

When rating a policy with special form, specifically rated properties as well as class rated properties are eligible. The amount of insurance and the coinsurance percentage must be the same for each cause of loss rated.

Property in offices may be written as a separate item under Special Causes of Loss and the remaining property may be written under Basic or Broad Causes of Loss forms.

There are also some eligibility requirements for Special Form:

  • Coinsurance must be at least 80% for property damage and 50% for time element Coverages.
  • Certain kinds of risks are not to be written on a Special Form policy:
    For buildings and personal property:
      • Farm or farming operations
      • Grain elevators, grain tanks, and grain warehouses
      • Nuclear reactor plants and installations
      • Neon, automatic, or mechanical electric outdoor signs erected or in the course of construction
      • Risks rated using the Rating Plan for Highly Protected Risks or Superior Risks
    For stock (unless incidental to the principal business):
      • Dealers in live poultry or live animals, etc.
      • Dealers in plants or shrubbery, florist greenhouses, nurseries
      • Wholesale fresh fruit and vegetable dealers

To develop the premium for a Special Form policy, you will need to rate:

  • Group I Causes of Loss
  • Group II Causes of Loss


  • Special Causes of Loss

Basic Group I (BGI) and Basic Group II (BGII) loss costs are determined in the same way as a Basic Form policy, regardless of whether the risk is class rated or specifically rated.

Here is an example of what the special form loss costs might look like using the LOI rating method:

Building coverage

Loss Cost: .044 (includes theft coverage)

To exclude theft from building coverage, apply a factor of .88 to the building rate.

Personal Property coverage

Special Form Loss costs:

Occupancy Category Loss Cost
Residential Apartments and Condominiums
Mercantile — High
Mercantile — Medium
Mercantile — Low
Motels and Hotels
Institutional — High
Institutional — Low
Industrial and Processing — High
Industrial and Processing — Low
Service — High
Service — Low
Territory (County) Territorial Multiplier
Balance of State

Factors to exclude theft from Personal Property coverage:

Occupancy Category Theft Exclusion Factor
Residential Apartments and Condominiums
Motel-Hotel Risks
Contractors Risks
All Other Risks

Applying rate factors:

BGI and BGII loss costs

  • The same rate factors, applied in order for a Basic form policy, also apply to a Special form policy when rating BGI and BGII.

Special Form loss costs
Apply applicable rate factors in the following order:

  • Company filed loss cost multiplier
  • Territory multiplier
  • Coinsurance adjustment, if applicable
  • Theft exclusion factor
  • Limit of Insurance relativity factor, if LOI rating method is used (interpolated)
  • Factors or charges required by individual rules
  • Taxes unless local requirements dictate otherwise
  • Payment plan factor

Apply additive factors before applying multiplicative factors unless a rule states otherwise.

“Formula” to rate a policy with Special Causes of Loss without factors or charges dictated by individual rules — using (LOI) methodology.

Group I:

Building coverage and Contents coverage

  • Basic Loss Cost X Company Loss Cost Multiplier X Protection Class Multiplier (if class rated) X Territory Multiplier (if class rated) X Coinsurance X Interpolated LOI Relativity Factor = Final Rate.
  • Final Rate X Limit of Insurance per 100 = Group I premium.

Group II:

Building coverage and Contents Coverage

  • Basic Loss Cost X Company Loss Cost Multiplier X Coinsurance X Interpolated LOI Relativity Factor = Final Rate.
  • Final Rate X limit of Insurance per 100 = Group II premium.

Note: Territory and Protection Class multipliers do not apply to Group II.

Special Cause of Loss:

Building coverage and Contents coverage

  • Basic Loss Cost X Company Loss Cost Multiplier X Territory Multiplier X Coinsurance X Theft Exclusion Factor (if applicable) X Interpolated LOI Relativity Factor = Final Rate.
  • Final Rate X Limit of Insurance per 100 = Special Causes of Loss Premium.

Note: Protection Class Multiplier does not apply.

The complete Special Form Rule (Rule 72) is found in Division Five of the Commercial Lines Manual.

Subscribers, full rating training for your staff is included in your WSRB package at no additional cost! Call Terry Krueger at 206-273-7153 or email

Article by: Terry Krueger, Subscriber Services Administrator

Check out more articles from our Commercial Lines Rating Series!


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