Friday, June 25, 2010

National Flood Insurance Program Suspended

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) has lapsed and is no longer writing new policies or increasing coverage on existing policies. Existing policies are still in force. In addition, NFIP will not be allowed to renew policies that expire after May 31 until the program is reauthorized by Congress.

The lapse in the program is the result of Congress' failure to reauthorize the program when its legislative authority expired on May 31, 2010.

NAHB is aggressively lobbying Congress to reauthorize the program.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

SIF News: What is a "Good" Certificate of Insurance

Accepting the wrong insurance certificate from a subcontractor can be an expensive mistake for a Home Builders. More importantly, allowing a subcontractor to perform work for you until you obtain a valid Certificate of Insurance (COI) also will lead to problems for you and your company.

According to the S.C. Home Builders Self Insurers Fund, a new COI must be requested from each subcontractor at the start of every new job. Jobs for the same type of work but at different locations (different lots) require a new COI for each location unless you have a written contract specifying all multiple locations in the same contract.

In addition, you should not accept an insurance certificate from the subcontractor. Instead, you should receive the COI from the subcontractor's insurance agent.

If there is any appearance of alteration of Insurance--a different font type, obvious white out and retyping of information--please contact the insurance agent listed on the COI immediately for verification. Keep a record of the person with whom you speak and the date of the conversation.

If you know that the COI you have received is not valid, it is deemed to be insurance fraud and should be reported to the S.C. Attorney General's office.

You can read more about accepting COIs at the by clicking here.

If you have any questions, please contact the SIF directly at 800-678-8178.

SCHB Self Insurers Fund announces premium refund for members

For the second consecutive year, the S.C. Home Builders Self Insurers Fund (SIF) has announced a premium refund to it members. The SIF is a cooperative fund available exclusively to Home Builders Association members in South Carolina. The premium refund will total $750,000.

The SIF workers' compensation claims experience continues to be favorable and the Board of Trustess made the decision to refund a portion of premiums paid by members participating in the fund in 2009. Members who participated in the SIF in 2009 for their workers' compensation insurance needs will receive a refund. The refund will be distributed in August.

The SIF was formed in 1995 under the leadership of the Home Builders Association of South Carolina. The SIF's purpose is to serve the needs of members of the Home Builders Association in South Carolina. The SIF provides a stable, cost-effective source of workers' compensation coverage for their members. Over its 15-year history the SIF has fulfilled its mission and remained available to members of the Home Builders Association in South Carolina when other insurance companies have stopped writing workers' compensation insurance coverage or left the state completely.

SCHBSIF: an exclusive benefit of members of the Home Builders Association of South Carolina.

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Monday, June 21, 2010

EPA delays enforcement of training and registration in Lead Paint Rule

Last Friday, NAHB scored a clear victory when EPA announced that it would delay enforcement of the worker training and firm certification requirements for the Lead-Based Paint (LBP) rule. Although the rule became effective April 22, this new directive effectively gives remodelers until Oct. 1, 2010 to file for firm certification, until Sept. 30 for workers to register and Dec. 31 for workers to take the required training course. However, they will still be required to use lead-safe work practices during this time. As you recall, NAHB has been urging EPA to delay the rule for a number of reasons, including the lack of training providers and training opportunities.

EPA’s action is in direct response to NAHB’s continued involvement in the LBP rule, NAHB’s petition to delay the rule, NAHB’s work with the HBA of Tennessee to provide relief in areas damaged by the recent flooding, NAHB’s strong support of Senator Collin’s amendment to the Supplemental Appropriations Act that would delay the rule’s effective date, and NAHB’s efforts to educate the Members of Congress on the rule and its ramifications. Indeed, EPA’s memo acknowledges that the delay was necessary because of concerns raised by the regulated community. Now that EPA has heard and acted on our concerns, it is incumbent on NAHB to continue to provide support to remodelers to increase their awareness of the rule and inform them of the opportunities to get the necessary training and certification.

It is very rare that we are able to claim clear victories in the regulatory arena, yet EPA’s delay of enforcement of the LBP rule is exactly that. Unfortunately, there are still a number of uphill battles ahead in the LBP arena related to clearance testing and removal of the “opt-out” provision – battles that staff and the members will continue to fight.