Editor,

This letter is in response to your March 2008 article, Quest for Insurance. We believe the intent of the article was to educate contractors about insurance issues and provide a balanced view of the options. Instead, the article favored the solution offered by its author, Bryan J. Dunn. Mr. Dunn is an insurance salesman and is biased to only the solutions he can sell. As an editor, you should be able to see through self-serving content and provide your readers with balanced reporting.

When most of the major insurance underwriters, including those represented by the author, abandoned the EIFS industry in early 2000, the Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry and AWCI EIFS manufacturing members–Dryvit, ParexLahabra, BASF, Sto and TEIFS, at that time–faced the problem. We invested substantial time and capital and created an association-sponsored captive insurance company, AWCI Insurance Company, Ltd., to resolve the insurance needs of EIFS contractors. That company has been extremely successful and has underwritten millions of dollars of construction projects. The success of that company was recognized by The Hartford and is now a partner in our program providing collateral lines of insurance including non-EIFS G/L, workers’ compensation, excess and umbrella, automobile, inland marine and crime.

In addition to the AWCI Insurance Company and The Hartford, AWCI and its partners formed a second insurance company, the AWCI Risk Retention Group Inc., to provide additional services and opportunities for wall and ceiling contractors. Under the banner of AWCI Insurance Services, these companies operate in 48 states. Information about these programs can be found at www.awci-insuranceservices.com.

The author also failed to recognize that there are many captive insurance companies and risk retention groups in addition to those sponsored by AWCI that serve the construction industry. They provide an excellent alternative to traditional carriers, which come and go in times of adversity.

Sincerely,
The following owners of AWCI Insurance Company, Ltd.
Steven Etkin - AWCI Insurance Co.,
Buck Buchanan - ParexLahabra Inc.
Bill Kasik - BASF Wall Systems Inc.
John Hennie - Sto Corp


Publisher’s response:

Gentlemen,

Thank you for your letter. Bryan Dunn, the author of the article, is an acknowledged expert in the area of insurance, and particularly EIFS-related insurance. He was a speaker last fall on the topic of insurance at the annual conference of the EIFS Industry Members Association (EIMA) and spoke at the annual conference of the Northwest Wall & Ceiling Bureau last month. This month he is scheduled to speak at the Texas Lathing & Plastering Contractors Association conference.

His article provided a general overview of his program, and highlighted issues and concerns that people in our industry should be aware of regarding insurance. Over the years, many of our readers have told us that insurance issues are among their biggest challenges.

Our goal is to provide quality, unbiased information to the industry. As Walls & Ceilings does not sell an insurance program of any kind, we can approach this topic objectively and provide all of the facts and options to our readers. We have supported the AWCI Insurance Program editorially in the past, and will continue to do so as new information becomes available and is provided to us. We intend to continue to provide our readership with information on insurance options.

Amy Tuttle
Publisher