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Mad Estonian
01-10-2007, 11:38 PM
For all you backflow testers out there- who's insuring you (the company, i.e. Lloyd's, ING, etc., not your broker), and what are you paying? I've been working on getting insured for a couple of months now. My broker tells me that the companies are all ignorant and paranoid about backflow testing. I could get insured for $500-$750/yr. (Canadian) just for irrigation and landscaping, but add on the backflow and I'm looking at $3000 (this includes "errors and omissions," which is the important thing for testers). Unless I was a certified plumber, then it would just be $1000. Most plumbers around here can't be bothered to do backflows, but the purveyor is now mandating annually-tested DCVA's for all new irrigation systems, so there's a big market awaiting. And the insurance will be mandatory soon. Thanks. (Of course, there's probably somewhere online I could get a plumbing certificate for a hundred bucks or something, P.H.D. in Psychology while I'm at it...)

Wet_Boots
01-10-2007, 11:46 PM
That's sort of logical, being that a licensed plumber might be less likely to commit those errors and omissions.

Mad Estonian
01-10-2007, 11:56 PM
That's sort of logical, being that a licensed plumber might be less likely to commit those errors and omissions

Thanks for your support. Which insurance firm do you represent? By the way, I just discovered that other online forum, the one that rhymes with "WinklerWalk." How do you find any time to work, when you're online 24/7?

gusbuster
01-11-2007, 02:13 AM
If it's going to be or is being regulated, you see an opportunity, take it. On the insurance thing though, as there becomes more of a demand, the pricing should become more competitive. At least that's my 2 cents.

PurpHaze
01-11-2007, 09:27 AM
"WinklerWalk."

Henry Winkler made that move famous... "The Fonz Frolic" :laugh:

PurpHaze
01-11-2007, 09:28 AM
That's sort of logical, being that a licensed plumber might be less likely to commit those errors and omissions.

Is this TIC Boots? :)

Wet_Boots
01-11-2007, 10:29 AM
Huh? Like the guy said above, it's early days yet, and when coverage is just beginning to be written, the underwriters are going to be pulling numbers out of their wazoo, if they don't have a wealth of data to work from.

bobw
01-11-2007, 11:06 AM
Huh? Like the guy said above, it's early days yet, and when coverage is just beginning to be written, the underwriters are going to be pulling numbers out of their wazoo, if they don't have a wealth of data to work from.

and when they pull a number out of their wazoo, they will make sure that there wazoo is covered....

Wet_Boots
01-11-2007, 11:34 AM
Insurance and backflow is an interesting topic, since it's likely one's standard liability insurance provides zero coverage in the event of a backflow occurrence. The insurance companies can call it 'pollution' and point out that it's not a risk their policy covers.

Mad Estonian
01-11-2007, 01:02 PM
Insurance and backflow is an interesting topic, since it's likely one's standard liability insurance provides zero coverage in the event of a backflow occurrence. The insurance companies can call it 'pollution' and point out that it's not a risk their policy covers.

Yeah, that's where the "errors and omissions" comes in. If I test an assembly, it checks out fine, drive away, something blocks up a valve and causes backflow 5 minutes later, even proving my innocence will cost thousands, but errors and omissions would cover that (regular liability wouldn't). And my broker agrees that in a few years, once the companies figure out the real story, the cost of insurance will come way down. Doesn't do me much good now. It just seemed to me that down in the States, a lot of you guys (and gals) seem to live in areas where backflow testing has been standard for a while. Does anyone know of any insurers who have caught on that it's not such a big hairy deal? Though obviously, the companies my broker's trying to deal with are the same huge international firms you would be, so I guess they don't get it. But are those of you who are testing fully covered? And if so, do you know which company's providing it, and for how much? And for interest's sake, here's an article I found on backflow insurance a while back (hope I did this right...)http://www.lawnsite.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=70852&stc=1&d=1168534818

Wet_Boots
01-11-2007, 01:35 PM
Here's a non-pdf version of that article (http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0BJK/is_9_15/ai_n6156495) ~ I did not get much help when I inquired about this issue at the insurance office, except for their speaking that reassuring phrase "You're not covered."

Since the plumbing codes around here have progressed to toxic-rated devices, I don't lose much sleep over my own work. I trust gravity (what vacuum breakers utilize) more than all the insurance companies and device testing and plumbing code officials put together. What I'm curious about is all the old systems out there that are plumbed to older standards, or even no standards at all. Could they insure me to do repairs on them, without bringing them up to code? Could I even winterize a non-compliant system without taking responsibility for the faulty plumbing? (Probably not, is the short answer.)

gusbuster
01-11-2007, 03:27 PM
Insurance and backflow is an interesting topic, since it's likely one's standard liability insurance provides zero coverage in the event of a backflow occurrence. The insurance companies can call it 'pollution' and point out that it's not a risk their policy covers.

Yeah, that's where the "errors and omissions" comes in. If I test an assembly, it checks out fine, drive away, something blocks up a valve and causes backflow 5 minutes later, even proving my innocence will cost thousands, but errors and omissions would cover that (regular liability wouldn't). And my broker agrees that in a few years, once the companies figure out the real story, the cost of insurance will come way down. Doesn't do me much good now. It just seemed to me that down in the States, a lot of you guys (and gals) seem to live in areas where backflow testing has been standard for a while. Does anyone know of any insurers who have caught on that it's not such a big hairy deal? Though obviously, the companies my broker's trying to deal with are the same huge international firms you would be, so I guess they don't get it. But are those of you who are testing fully covered? And if so, do you know which company's providing it, and for how much? And for interest's sake, here's an article I found on backflow insurance a while back (hope I did this right...)http://www.lawnsite.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=70852&stc=1&d=1168534818

Regarding insurance again...

you can not really compare to what goes on here in the states vs Canada....it's a totally different ball game regarding laws and regulations when it comes to insurance.

Heck, go even from state to state, yes you have federally accepted standards, but look at my state for example, some of the standards are tougher than federal standards.

Mad Estonian
01-12-2007, 12:41 PM
"You're not covered."

Sounds like that's probably the way to go, really (much as I hate to say it). Or I spend $3000 where a plumber spends $1000? Even the broker sort of suggested this, though he seems to think I should go into plumbing. Toilets lack the aesthetic appeal of my work (not that there's not some lovely toilets out there, I'm sure). But the purveyor's head cross connection guy is saying that he'll be wanting proof of coverage before too long. Officially, by the BC Plumbing Code, non-plumbers aren't even allowed to install backflow preventers, it's just up to the individual inspectors to make the call. So I'm wondering if, before too long, you'll need to be a plumber to do anything backflow-related. Which would, needless to say, be a bit of a drag, having paid for the course, testing kit etc. I'm wondering if I haven't been led down the garden path here a bit, "Oh yeah, we want as many certified testers as possible, even though we don't understand the full ramifications of that...". Oy vey. And yeah, I would agree with you Wet Boots, you probably wouldn't be covered for older set-ups. Well, you probably could be, for mucho doneiros...