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An Afternoon Business Insurance Study: The MailSwing

My new MailSwing mailbox was installed last Saturday at my home in Nobleboro by a crew of two (including the original inventor of the bearing-packed swivel joint that enables the arm to rotate in a 360 degree arc). Now, whenever my mailbox is struck by flying snow or the snowplow itself, it will absorb the impact and reset itself.

I was especially intrigued by the antique-looking custom truck-mounted post-hole auger that these fellows used to install the new galvanized mailbox pole. This is clearly an engineering marvel that has been in use for many years. It was fascinating watching this contraption work and my mind was filled with questions like, “What is the value of that thing?”, “How would an insurance company adjust a loss involving damage to such a unique piece of customized equipment?”, “How would they determine the Replacement Value or Actual Cash Value?”, and “What kind of liability do these guys incur just by carrying this thing around on the front of their truck?”

Then, as I watched them bolt the swing arm in place my thoughts moved to “What are their product liability exposures?”, “How much inventory do they keep on hand?”, “Is there a Completed Operations angle here?”, and “What about Care, Custody, and Control issues?”

It just shows that most insurance people cannot observe a fairly straightforward task like getting a new mailbox installed without thinking about all of the various insurance implications. Bring on the catalogs and junk mail!

Dennis H. Hilton, President

Cheney Insurance

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