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I am trying to get insurance coverage for my shop  and tools and for demonstrations at local festivals.  I had gotten a quote from Industrial Coverage (got the name from searching here and ABANA) a while back and it seemed good, at least compared to the local agencies I tried.  I finally decided to pull the trigger and they got back to me saying they would not cover me now since viewing my social media accounts they said I do more than ornamental ironwork and am not within their "appetite".  I had clearly disclosed that i made knives and axes on the application they provided but either something has changed or they did not read the application.  The broker is still looking into things but while I am waiting, does anyone have the name of any insurance agencies that they have been successful in getting reasonable quotes.  I found some older posts and have written down the names I seen but that was mostly from 2011 and where I had gotten Industrial Coverage.  I am located in Pennsylvania if that has a bearing.

Thanks

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Drakes,

Are you saying they refused to insure you because you make knives, or because of your social media account?

I'm curious because you mentioned them checking your social media accounts.  It occurs to me that the people following your account may make as much of an impression on a viewer as the content of your account.  Some followers are "bad for the brand".

 

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I am new here.  I really don't know much about hobby forges and blacksmiths. I got interested in this because of some of our walk-in customers were buying products for them.  My family is in the repair and installation of power boilers, aluminum furnaces, and heat treating on the larger scale in the industrial market.  Our typical customers are waste incinerators, heat treating company, and large power boilers. 

Back to the topic of insurance.  I have found that there are certain specialty carriers that will deal with so called "dangerous things" like chow dogs and boiler business.  I personally had a hard time finding one for the business but since we do so much volume we were luck to have 3 of the larger insurers to take us on.  State Farm would take my house insurance when Travelers canceled because I own a Chow Dog.  A couple of years ago an old steam tractor blew up at a state fair and injured several people so this has made insurance people squirrelly of any business involving fire.

I would contact some of the insurers of farms because of the shoeing of the horses and many of them now run propane drying barns and other machinery.  Another site may be the steam engines owners of old tractors, saw mills, and other steam run equipment.  Another way may be showing them the actual process of what you are doing showing them that the molten metal and fire is barricaded away from people similar to the way holes on roofs  with red danger tape an cones.  Show them you have fire extinguishers (the correct type with current inspections) with a flat bottom in arms reach, fire blankets handy, and if you are close to any non-fireproof surface put up welding screens.  Look the welding safety or fire safety sections but take just what is reasonable.  Most of the time if you groove you are minimizing and danger and safety is a priority they will help you out.    I have run on too long.  If you are interested in more let me know.

Thank you for letting me participate.

Refractorygirl

 

 

 

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Rockstar, they said they viewed my social media and since I do more than ornamental ironwork I am not within their appetite, or something very close to that as I don't have the email in front of me.  I am assuming it is the knives as that is all I have posted other than standard forged items.  I have asked the broker and he is suppose to find out more specifically.  I checked with my local blacksmith group and they did not have any specific names of agencies in the area that provide coverage.

refactory girl, I thought I had found a specialty carrier in Industrial Coverage as they even had a specific form asking questions about forges and powerhammers. I should have struck while the iron was hot when they first offered me coverage and not waited.  I suppose they could have just dropped me though anyways when they changed policies???

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My agent  told me the underwriters wont insure weapons manufacturers anymore.    Meaning  knife maker.  He did argue about the cars and sporting goods like bats and hockey sticks, as they kill more people than damascus knives,  he tried.    I have new company now.  and I decided to change house and car company too,  They didnt want my smithing money, so I didnt want to offend them by accidentally using smithing money to pay car or house insurance bills.

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It has been clear for a while now that insurance companies and banks decisions are more political then they have ever been.  

Insurance companies not only assess risk but also polish their percieved moral status ... look at me, I am soo proper and PC. You can figure out who to thank for that development. 

It is rather pathetic. 

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Welcome aboard Refractorygirl, glad to have you. If you'll put your general location in the header you might be surprised how many of the gang live within visiting distance.

Drake: Insurance companies don't care if you make knives anything like say decorative let alone architectural. Doing demos is entirely different and potentially very high risk for the insurer. If you wrote your proposal to them with the same level of spelling and grammar as your current posts they aren't going to take you seriously.

You aren't an industrial concern industrial insurers cover factories I know Dad had trouble getting insurance Cos. to talk to him he only had 7-8 employees so I think he ended up with a rider on our home owners.

Did you talk to a broker in person or email one? Talk in person, tell him what you do and ASK what you need and who to talk to. Like any decent agent s/he's going to want to insure you to the max and insuring your tools will be silly stupid expensive. Bank your monthly premium for insuring them and you'll be able to replace them all with brand new in a couple years. What you REALLY need is liability . . . healthy hospitalization, especially if you're going to have students in your shop. 

Insurance for demos should be more reasonable unless you let someone do any smithing on your equipment. You'll have to have very good safety precautions, plexiglass barriers that cover you on 3 sides and something to keep kids from sneaking around behind you. Kids WILL.

By what you've written here I get the impression you're pretty young and selling some craft work as you can. You wish to expand, folks have been asking you for lessons and you haven't discovered how rarely one actually wants more than an hour or two banging hot steel to satisfy their urge. The impression you give is as a hobbyist who sells a little, not a professional shop that wants to expand.

I'm not trying to discourage you but you have a LOT of work to do before you start talking to insurance agents, as it stands you don't inspire confidence that you are a good risk. You need to learn to speak well, English at least, better yet their language so you can communicate clearly. Saying things like, "I'm not within their appetite or something close to that" is only going to convince them you are NOT a good risk.

Of course they checked your social media accounts. You want THEM to put their money on the line to insure you and you think they're not going to check you out?

Again, I'm not looking to make you give up I'd just like you to have a chance. You really have a lot to learn to get to a point where they'll be willing to insure you.

Frosty The Lucky.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Jerry, the mob has pressured some insurers (and banks) into not doing business with gun and knife manufactures. So it is compleatly reasonable that in today’s climat they would not underright a knife maker (as happenned  to Steve). The same mob that stands around wile the fire alarms goes off and changes diapers at restraunt tables.

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