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ACE Specialty Product Caters to Small Business Owners

A small business frequently needs greater protection than the standard primary $1 million of liability coverage. In response, ACE Commercial Risk Services has added a commercial umbrella to its line of specialty insurance products for small businesses.
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PRODUCT: Commercial umbrella for small businesses

COMPANY: ACE Commercial Risk Services

BEST RATING: A++ (Superior)

AVAILABILITY: Coverage is available through appointed independent brokers and agents.

FOCUS: ACE Commercial Risk Services, the small commercial specialty lines business of ACE Group, has added a commercial umbrella to its line of specialty insurance products for small businesses.

A single liability event or business error can force a small business into bankruptcy. And a small business frequently needs greater protection than the standard primary $1 million of liability coverage, observes David Roberts, assistant vice president, underwriting at ACE Commercial Risk Services.

“Whether increased limits are contractually required for the small business to perform their services or mandated as part of their lease agreement,” Roberts says, ACE’s goal is to meet those needs “at a very affordable price.”

Roberts believes the umbrella offers several differentiating features that will interest independent agents and brokers. First, he references the carrier’s broad class appetite from real estate to hospitality and its ability to consider up to $50 million in revenue on the umbrella, which is admitted with direct-bill options. Second, the umbrella is available on the carrier’s online quote-and-issue platform, which gives brokers and agents the ability “to quote and issue umbrella policies in less than five minutes,” Roberts says, adding that the product “makes cross-selling and rounding out accounts that much easier.” Third, he points to “very competitive” minimum premiums per layer.

UNDERWRITING: The product offers admitted umbrella coverage over general liability, auto liability, employers liability and certain liquor liability policies. ACE offers the umbrella on a stand-alone basis or over primary ACE Specialty commercial products. Umbrella policy limits up to $5 million are available for hundreds of business classes.

Minimum underlying requirements by coverage line include: general liability at $1 million each occurrence and $1 million general aggregate; auto liability at $1 million combined single limit; employers liability at $500,000 each accident and $500,000 disease—policy limit, $500,000 disease—each employee; liquor liability at $1 million each common cause and $1 million general aggregate.

All underlying carriers must be rated A-, Size VI or better by A.M. Best, and all policies must provide defense costs in addition to the limits.

Roberts says standard annual policy terms are available and that ACE can also offer shorter term policies to run concurrently with underlying policies.

MINIMUM PREMIUM: $500 per policy layer.

TARGET: Eligible industry segments include commercial and residential real estate investment property, homeowners and condominium associations, hotels and motels, professional offices, restaurants, retail stores, service industry operations and artisan contractors.

Restricted classes or industries include professional liability, aviation products, energy (including fuel oil dealers), health care, pharmaceuticals and nutriceuticals, nursing homes, and trucking and transportation.

COVERAGE TERRITORY: Washington, D.C. and all U.S. states except Alaska, Louisiana and Vermont.

CONTACT: David Roberts, assistant vice president, underwriting; ACE Commercial Risk Services, 1133 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10036; 484-321-4108.

Ronimarie Acord is an IA contributor.