Vendor Insurance: How Well Are You Covered?

“A1 Orange’s goal is to provide the best exterior maintenance services to our clients. We don’t take shortcuts. A1 carries more insurance than is required by law, uses top rated, national insurers, and pays premiums for the high-rise window cleaning classification for liability (code #99975) and workers comp. We strive to get the details right!” Vickie Head, A1 Orange President

 Getting a COI from exterior building services vendors is pretty standard for property managers. However, all insurance coverage is not the same, and a little “due diligence” goes a long way! A COI is not just a piece of paper – it’s your protection in case of unforeseen events.

Here are a few questions to ask your vendor regarding their insurance.

1. Are your insurance policies written to cover high-rise work? (for liability insurance, that’s window cleaning/code #99975) This is more expensive than covering janitorial work, for example, but companies will often purchase insurance in lower risk business categories.

2. What is your insurance provider’s rating, is it at least A.M. Best A? Top quality, reputable vendors maintain substantial and comprehensive insurance packages designed to protect their financial integrity and at the same time provide assurance to their business partners. This is not a place for cut-rate. Know your vendor’s insurance providers’ ratings.

At A1 Orange, we take the trust you place in us as your exterior services vendor seriously. A1 Orange provides not only the basic insurance required by law, but also carries excess $10 million umbrella liability insurance to provide substantial protection to property managers and owners if needed. A1’s insurance coverage includes:

  • Commercial General Liability Insurance to cover all operations and any operations performed by independent contractors; liability assumed under contracts common to our operations and Personal & Advertising Liability. Further coverage provided when contractually required.
  • Business Automobile Liability extending to the ownership, use and operation of all owned; non-owned and hired automobiles.
  • Workers’ Compensation Insurance in excess of the requirements required by the  Statutes of the State of Florida and its companion Employer’s Liability Coverage. When used for A1 Orange business, all vehicles, regardless of ownership, are covered by our insurance.
  • Umbrella Liability Insurance for seamless protection in excess of Commercial Liability, Business Automobile and Employers’ Liability insurances.
  • Business Services Bonds protect our business partners against financial liability for the loss of money, securities, and personal property due to employee dishonesty.

3 Tips to Manage Water Intrusion Proactively

Florida’s harsh combination of sunshine and rain present a real challenge to keeping building envelopes waterproof. Given the amount of rain we get per year – and the prospect of getting several inches over a very short period, it makes sense for property managers and engineers to take a proactive approach to waterproofing prevents significant water issues at their properties.

While expansion joints usually last 5-20 years and window seals have life expectancies of 10-20 years, it may vary depending on the materials, sun exposure, etc. So even in newer buildings or those with recently replaced caulking, you must always be vigilant re: avoiding water intrusion.

The following three steps could save you lots of dollars and headaches:

1. Keep an eye out for signs of water intrusion or building envelope failures.

  • When walking around your property, check for
    • Vinyl shrinkage around windows corners
    • Gaps and cracks in the concrete curtain wall and
    • Damaged/deteriorated seals on parapet caps and walls
  • During regular exterior building maintenance service visits, ask your vendor to check for any of these signs.
  • When it rains, look around the inside and exterior of your building, checking for
    • Pools of water on the inside of the window frames and
    • Leaks and active water intrusion
    • Be sure to mark the area, take a photo and note where it is, especially if you have a large building. 

2. Use your professional waterproofing contractor as part of your proactive defense.

  • Get them to investigate specific problem areas you have identified. Often water travels, and the source of the water may or may not be obvious.
  • Follow-up on signs of joint wear/system failure on your building’s envelope, even if you are unsure of whether you have problems yet or not.
  • Get a professional waterproofing inspection, if there seem to be numerous problems or leaks that are difficult to resolve. An A1 Orange Waterproofing Inspection is a close-up look at all expansion joints, window seals and porous wall barriers, documented with photographs.  If you schedule your waterproofing work with us soon after this detailed inspection, the cost is applied towards your job.
  • Get a ground level inspection of your building every three to five years to identify and investigate any leaks and determine what is needed to keep your building dry.

3. Fix the problems right away!

  • While a leak repair or waterproofing one or more joints may cost more than a typical maintenance project, water damage is even more costly and disruptive to tenants — more so if they have to be relocated.
  • Repairing a small or new leak upon discovery can prevent:
    • Water seepage which can lead to a buildup of mold, which can turn into hazardous black mold.
    • Unseen moisture that can damage drywall, carpeting, office furniture and technology.
    • Musty or mildew-y smells throughout the space, which may cause tenants to leave at the end of their lease.

Overall, watching for signs of water intrusion, calling for expert support, and making necessary repairs/waterproofing when they first occur are smart, proactive measures that will save you money and headaches.

Warranties:  Sealant/Caulking Materials and Labor

  • Nearly all manufacturers of sealants and caulking require a field inspection to be done in order to honor their warranty. The waterproofing agents must be applied according to manufacturer guidelines in order to pass the manufacturer’s field inspection. Be sure to ask for the proof of product warranty from your contractor when the job is complete.
  • Product warranties also may require that an entire plane or joint system be sealed in order to warranty the work.
  • Your labor warranty is provided by the contractor performing the work. It must be specified separately from the product warranty on your final invoice. How long has your contractor been in business?

With A1 Orange, professional waterproofing technicians apply the best sealing/caulking products for your application and back it up with 94 years of experience in exterior building maintenance. Learn more about our caulking, coatings and epoxy injections for all areas of your property – buildings, decks, balconies and parking structures.

Whatever your property waterproofing needs, A1 Orange can help! For more information or to receive a detailed quote, contact ftorres@a1orange.com

Team Building & “Remember the Titans”

If you are looking for a team building program theme, consider this!

A1 Orange President Vickie Head had a major “aha” moment while watching “Remember the Titans” on a recent fall afternoon. She quickly reorganized an upcoming planning and team building agenda to include a viewing of this movie – a big time investment for the session! When she announced that this off-site planning session would begin with a football movie and popcorn, the group laughed but accepted the challenge to find lessons relevant to A1 Orange.

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