Back from the dead, but an interesting subject.

I didn't see the posts from 2013 but I've run a couple businesses with major insurance issues and with my board and management team learned some things the hard way.

1. Your insurer may easily decline coverage initially, so you may have to be responsible for defense costs until you can make them start to pay or you sue them to perform. Just initial processes to get to where you can actually respond to facts can cost you $10-20K if they want to make it expensive. And they often will.

2. Your case, if there is serious injury or death, can easily cost $50-150K if the other side wants to spend at all. It may not be rational because you may not be able to pay it even if they win, but people aren't rational at times like that. They can make you incur a lot more expenses than they do until you are broken.

3. Your insurance policy is critical. Read the whole policy, beginning to end, including all riders. It's rare that we got a policy that didn't have major flaws. Underwriters draft these things from boilerplate and never get the pieces right. We got an insurance company to pay a nearly $2 million claim in one instance because they made a dumb error in how they wrote a couple riders. But it's essential that you read everything. A lay person can catch many of the egregious errors. What is written in the policy is gospel and both you and they have to live by it.

4. Insurance policies can be based on when the potential liability was initiated (i.e., when the frame was built) or when the claim was actually made (when the accident happened). For the latter you are stuck with paying insurance coverage until the statute of limitations ends, and even then there are holes in that. For the former, if you stop building, you already have coverage as long as that frame is out there. The former is obviously more expensive, but safer. You can also purchase a tail to the latter that says, for example, that you have frames built over three years and the tail (for a lump sum fee) covers any claims for the remainder of the life of the liability. A good thing for those planning to retire also.

5. Insurance litigators are a different kind of fish from other attorneys. They understand the insurer's mindset and how these cases are handled internally, and can pick apart a flawed policy really quickly -- whether for your protection or to your detriment. If you are seriously into frame building, consider spending the $1-2K to get a quick read from a real pro. It can be scary what they find.

There's lots more and this may not be the time to resuscitate an old thread. But insurance is in the details and how many people here can say they actually read through their entire policies, in detail?