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Hospitality Insurance Group Names Warren Lewis as Vice President – Operations

Hospitality Insurance Group has announced that Warren Lewis has accepted the position of Vice President-Operations. With over 20 years of experience in the insurance industry, including several years operating his own insurance agency, Lewis’ responsibilities will include the management of information, IT infrastructure, products and pricing, and oversight of office administration. 

Lewis began his career with Premier Insurance of Massachusetts, focusing on home and auto products. Subsequently, at One Beacon, he was primarily responsible for business planning for the Massachusetts personal lines unit. At Narragansett Bay Insurance Company, Lewis worked as data management director.

“We are pleased to welcome Warren to our expanding management team,” said Richard Welch, Jr., President & CEO of Hospitality Insurance Group. “He brings with him a unique perspective as both a past agency owner, as well as an experienced insurance company executive. This unique skillset will prove useful as we work to maintain and enhance our product offerings to business owners in the hospitality industry.”

Lewis holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maine, and a master’s degree from the University of Rhode Island. He also served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Nepal and worked as a commercial fisherman in the Bering Sea, Alaska. Lewis resides in Westwood, Massachusetts, with his wife and two children.

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Melissa Frecker Joins Hospitality Insurance Group as Senior Commercial Underwriter

Hospitality Insurance Group is growing its underwriting department with the addition of Melissa Frecker as Senior Commercial Underwriter. Frecker has over 10 years of experience in the insurance industry, specifically managing commercial lines. In this position, she will be responsible for commercial lines underwriting activities, agency relationship management, and product pricing.

Beginning at Quaker Special Risk, Frecker then joined Cantiani Insurance as commercial lines operation manager. She recently worked at Concord Group Insurance as a commercial lines underwriter and is a former member of the Massachusetts Association for Women in Insurance and BNI Southborough. 

“Melissa will be a valuable asset to our underwriting team,” said Sandra Haley, CPCU, CIC, CRM SVP Underwriting/Marketing of Hospitality Insurance Group. “Having worked in multiple facets of the insurance industry she is experienced in helping policyholders build the right coverage for their unique business needs.”

Frecker received her Associate in Insurance (AINS) designation and is working towards her Associate in Commercial Underwriting (AU) and Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designations. She enjoys visiting family and friends in Maine, traveling, and volunteering for her son’s boy scout troop and baseball team.

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Ventilation Systems

A properly designed, installed and functional ventilation system is critical for building fire safety. It is required to remove smoke odors and grease laden vapors from the cooking area to the exterior of the building. For this reason, it is imperative that the system is operating during all cooking periods and should operate for a minimum of 15 minutes after cooking has stopped.

Below are recommendations for optimal ventilation system performance.

  • Ventilation systems should be constructed of stainless steel rather than galvanized or aluminum, which are cheaper but do not provide sufficient protection in a fire event.

  • All seams should be externally welded to prevent grease from escaping and the hood should cover all cooking appliances.

Insufficient clearance between the hood and ductwork to surrounding combustible building

members, creates a severe fire hazard. Over time, high heat levels can lower the ignition

temperature of wood to combustible walls, ceilings, roofing members, etc. This can be

mitigated by increasing the air space between the metal duct/hood and the frame building

members, utilizing mineral wool insulation or installing stainless steel on spacers or

insulation. NFPA 96 should be consulted for guidance.

Fans should be mounted on the exterior of the building and cleaned on a regular basis.

Their exact location is governed by the building construction and NFPA requirements, which

include fan clearance to doors, windows, roof slope clearance, etc.

Place baffles in the hood area to minimize the amount of grease that is drawn into the

duct system. They should be of stainless-steel construction, installed at a 45° angle and

must be tight fitting. Baffles and grease trays should be cleaned daily. Older systems utilize

galvanized baffles or mesh type grease filters. Grease filters should be replaced with up to

code stainless steel baffles as they absorb grease, creating a fire hazard.

There are an estimated 5,600 restaurant fires reported annually, resulting in over $116M in property damage. *

Common Causes of Fires in Restaurants**

  • Cooking Equipment is responsible for 57% of restaurant fires.
  • Heating Equipment is responsible for 10% of restaurant fires.
  • Electrical distribution and lighting equipment is responsible for 7% of restaurant fires
  • Smoking is responsible for 7%
  • Arson is responsible for 5%
  • Failure to keep a clean kitchen was a factor in approximately 22% of fires

* National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS)

** National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)

Includes content provided by Mutual Boiler Re
Hospitality Insurance Group
106 Southville Road, Southborough, MA 01772

www.hmic.com
877-366-1140

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Cleaning and Maintenance

A scheduled cleaning program prevents excessive buildup of grease in the hood, duct work
and fan. Grease accumulations lead to an increased fire risk. Semi-annual cleaning of the
ventilation system is often recommended; however, this is not an effective cleaning schedule
as the amount of potential grease accumulations varies drastically based on the type and
intensity of cooking. The NFPA 96 requires cleaning intervals based on the type and frequency
of cooking.

Type of Cooking VolumeInspection Frequency
Solid fuel cooking operations (wood burners)Monthly
High-volume cooking operations (24-hour cooking, charbroiling, or wok cooking)Quarterly
Systems serving moderate-volume cooking operationsSemi-annually
Systems serving low-volume cooking operations (churches, day camps, seasonal businesses, or senior centers)
Annually

Ventilation systems should be cleaned by a professional service that specializes in commercial
cooking ventilation systems as they can be difficult to clean due to the large number of
concealed spaces. Contractors must be able to gain access to the interior of the duct work to
properly clean the system. NFPA 96 chapter 7 outlines the requirements for access panels.
Access panels are designed to allow interior cleaning without damaging the integrity of the
metal duct work. Briefly stated, some of the basic requirements are as follows:

  • Multi-story vertical ducts require one access panel per floor
  • Horizontal ducts shall have at least one 20” opening for personnel access
  • Openings of sufficient size to permit thorough cleaning every 12ft
  • For hoods with dampers, an access panel for cleaning and inspection shall be provided in the duct or hood within 18” of damper

It is also a good practice for the baffles and grease pans to be cleaned daily.

There are an estimated 5,600 restaurant fires reported annually, resulting in over $116M in property damage. *

Most Common Causes of Fires in Restaurants**

  • Cooking Equipment is responsible for 57% of restaurant fires.
  • Heating Equipment is responsible for 10% of restaurant fires.
  • Electrical distribution and lighting equipment is responsible for 7% of restaurant fires
  • Smoking is responsible for 7%
  • Arson is responsible for 5%
  • Failure to keep a clean kitchen was a factor in approximately 22% of fires

*National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS)
** National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)

Includes content provided by Mutual Boiler Re
Hospitality Insurance Group
106 Southville Road, Southborough, MA 01772

www.hmic.com
877-366-1140

by Jen Davey Jen Davey No Comments

Most Common Restaurant Fire Loss Sources and How To Prevent Them

There are an estimated 5,600 restaurant fires reported annually, resulting in over $116M in property damage. *

Most Common Causes of Fires in Restaurants**

  • Cooking Equipment is responsible for 57% of restaurant fires.
  • Heating Equipment is responsible for 10% of restaurant fires.
  • Electrical distribution and lighting equipment is responsible for 7% of restaurant fires
  • Smoking is responsible for 7%
  • Arson is responsible for 5%
  • Failure to keep a clean kitchen was a factor in approximately 22% of fires

Commercial Cooking Hazards

Grease Laden Vapors – all cooking is capable of producing grease laden vapors, especially when
utilizing lipids (oil, butter, lard, grease). Grease laden vapors are produced when heat and
steam rise from a cooking surface that contains grease. The passage of grease laden vapors
through the ventilation system results in deposits on the interior surfaces. A severe fire hazard
exists if the accumulated grease within the ventilation system is not removed. The most
prevalent sources of grease laden vapor productions are deep fat fryers, followed by woks,
broilers, grills, and stove top frying. The hazard associated with grease laden vapors is
exacerbated by the close proximity of ignition sources, such as open flames or hot appliances,
and a large supply of surrounding combustibles.

Greasy Towels and Rags

Folded towels are commonly used in restaurants for handling hot pots, pan handles,
trays, etc. This simple practice creates a fire hazard as towels collect grease from the
surrounding cooking environment. Grease laden towels present a significant fire hazard.
They can retain a grease residue even after they have been washed. Once they are removed
from a hot dryer the combination of residual grease and heat could lead to spontaneous
combustion. Dirty towels should be stored in metal cans with a tight-fitting lid until
they can be removed from the building daily or cleaned. The solution is to either use a
professional cleaning service or allow the towels to cool before folding and stacking.

Loss Mitigation

A restaurant’s potential for loss can be dramatically reduced with the combination of a
ventilation system, fire suppression system and a scheduled cleaning program. According to
the NFPA, approximately 30% of suppression systems failed to operate during a fire event
with lack of proper maintenance contributing to 44% of these failures. Commercial cooking
installations are governed by these model codes: NFPA 96, NFPA 17A and UP-300. The
minimum requirements for a safe installation include:

  • Proper 16” clearance between deep fat fryers and sources of ignition
  • Scheduled professional cleaning and servicing of the systems
  • Stainless steel hood and ductwork with externally welded, leak proof seams
  • Tight fitting grease baffles
  • Type K portable fire extinguisher
  • UL-300 compliant, wet type automatic suppression system

*National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS)
** National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)

Includes content provided by Mutual Boiler Re
Hospitality Insurance Group
106 Southville Road, Southborough, MA 01772

www.hmic.com
877-366-1140

by Jen Davey Jen Davey No Comments

Automatic Suppression Systems

Automatic suppression systems are vital for protection against fire in commercial cooking.

The system has fusible links installed in the hood plenum area and, when a fire occurs, the

link separates and activates the suppression system. A suppression agent is released from

a series of nozzles, smothering the fire and creating a foam blanket to prevent re-ignition. In

addition, activation of the system shuts off the fuel supply. The suppression system needs

to be UL-300 Compliant, meaning it is specifically designed for modern commercial cooking

appliances that use vegetable oil instead of animal fat. Modern commercial high efficiency

appliances retain heat for longer periods of time and are therefore more difficult to suppress

during a fire. Modern suppression systems are complex and require semi-annual servicing to

ensure proper functioning in the event of fire.

Older suppression systems use dry powder as a suppression agent, which will not create

a foam barrier with vegetable oil appliances and could lead to re-ignition. For this reason,

older dry powder systems need to be replaced with a UL-300 compliant wet type system.

There are an estimated 5,600 restaurant fires reported annually, resulting in over $116M in property damage. *

Most Common Causes of Fires in Restaurants**

  • Cooking Equipment is responsible for 57% of restaurant fires.
  • Heating Equipment is responsible for 10% of restaurant fires.
  • Electrical distribution and lighting equipment is responsible for 7% of restaurant fires
  • Smoking is responsible for 7%
  • Arson is responsible for 5%
  • Failure to keep a clean kitchen was a factor in approximately 22% of fires

*National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS)
** National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)

Includes content provided by Mutual Boiler Re
Hospitality Insurance Group
106 Southville Road, Southborough, MA 01772

www.hmic.com
877-366-1140

by Jen Davey Jen Davey No Comments

Hospitality Insurance Group Commemorates First BOP

Celebrating the first BOP written by Hospitality Insurance Group are Richard Welch (President & CEO, Hospitality Insurance Group); Mark Colantonio (Sales Executive, John M. Glover Insurance); and Sandra Haley (Senior VP of Underwriting & Marketing, Hospitality Insurance Group).

 In response to industry demand, Hospitality Insurance Group developed its Businessowners Policy (BOP) for commercial policyholders. Existing liquor liability policyholders, as well as a variety of other main street businesses, can now take advantage of this insurance product available in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island.
by Jen Davey Jen Davey No Comments

Pay Online

Pay Your Premium Online

Hospitality Insurance Group is excited to announce that we’ve recently partnered with Xpress-pay, a leading ePayment solution provider, to provide our policyholders with a faster, more convenient way of making premium payments. We’re confident this will be a great addition to the service we provide you!

Hospitality Mutual Insurance Co.

MA Policyholders

Hospitality Insurance Co.

CT, NH, NC, PA, RI & VT

Download ACH Form

Frequently Asked Questions About Our Online Payments

Which link should I use to submit payment?
Hospitality Mutual Insurance Company
For policyholders in Massachusetts.
Hospitality Insurance Company
For policyholders in Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania & Vermont
What payments are accepted?
We now accept payment by Electronic Check, Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express.
Am I able to set up an account to save my payment information?
 Yes, when you make payment, you are asked if you would like to set up an Xpress pay account.  If you check yes, it will allow you to create a password and your credit card or check information will be saved to your account.
Am I able to set up recurring payments?
Yes. Once an Xpress pay account is set up you can also set up recurring payments as well.
What if I don’t have my recent billing statement or have questions about your online payment system?
Please contact our office at 1-877-366-1140.
by Jen Davey Jen Davey No Comments

Hospitality Insurance Group Launches ‘Pay as You Pour’ Program

New Liquor Liability Financing Will Help Seasonal Businesses with Cash Flow

Hospitality Insurance Group is launching a new program that will give bars, restaurants, and any other eligible liquor liability policyholders more flexibility in how they pay their insurance premiums.

The Pay as You Pour program, offered in partnership with First Insurance Funding, will help businesses improve their cash flow by basing their bimonthly premium payments on how much liquor they sell. Premium payments will be lower when sales are down and, conversely, when sales volume is higher, businesses will be contributing more to premium payments. The program comes as many in the hospitality industry face a winter slowdown in business, particularly amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The program was developed to assist our policyholders not only during the COVID-19 pandemic but for those customers who have seasonal businesses and find it challenging to keep up with their payment installments during their slow times.

“This program will alleviate the financial burden that occurs when insureds have slow months and money is tight, when sales are good, they will pay a higher premium and will be in a better position to make those payments.” said Sandra Haley, Senior Vice President of Underwriting and Marketing at Hospitality Insurance Group.

To participate, businesses must make a down payment of 10 percent, which is significantly less than the usual 20 to 25 percent deposits required to finance premiums. The lower down payment will aid businesses short on cash due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Especially with the COVID slowdowns, people simply don’t have as much cash in their pocket. It’s a benefit for them to be able to finance the premium with only 10% down.” said Mark Trombly, Marketing Manager at Hospitality Insurance Group.

The program is a permanent financing option that will continue to be available to businesses after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Participating businesses must also have an acceptable sales verification system to upload. For those who participate in the program the renewal process will be effortless since last year’s sales information will already have been recorded as part of the program.

In addition, businesses who have other policies with Hospitality may include those premiums at the same 10% deposit with 26 fixed installments.

The bimonthly premium payments for the liquor liability will be calculated by taking the average liquor liability rate which will then be multiplied by how much a bar, restaurant, or other business sells in liquor each month.

“At the end of the year, it all settles out and they only pay for what they actually sold during the year,” Haley said.

Pay as You Pour is available to Hospitality Insurance Group’s directly appointed agents. Other agents can access the program through the Group’s wholesale partners. Businesses who want to participate should contact their insurance agent.

The opinions expressed are the views of the author alone and should not be attributed to any other individual or entity and shall not constitute a legal opinion.

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