The Spray Foam Insurance Guru
Summer 2020 – Spray Foam Magazine – How much do we know about spray foam insurance and specifically the people who work tirelessly to ensure that their customers have the proper insurance? Spray Foam Magazine chatted with Josh Cotner owner of Sprayfoaminsurance.com and soon realized it takes more than just the knowledge of the industry to help keep contractors covered.
Spray Foam Magazine: When did you start working in insurance?
Josh Cotner: I started working in insurance after I fell through a roof about 13 years ago. I was installing a fireplace in a high-end custom home and someone had covered a skylight with tar paper and did not cut it out or mark it out. I fell through and hurt myself pretty bad. I had a workers’ comp claim that limited me to the amount of money I could recoup while forcing me to work light duty because I worked piece work. I learned a lot about workers’ compensation insurance in the weeks that followed. I felt I was entitled to my full wages, so I started suing the roofing company responsible for my injuries. I was pretty upset about my situation and wanted to try something new. I began selling contractors insurance because I understood what was covered and what wasn’t after my injury. I had a B.S. in Finance from Arizona State University and I realized I knew nothing about insurance other than what was in the licensing books. I began taking classes and got credentials that certify I know contractors insurance like general liability, workers’ comp, surety bonds, commercial auto, property insurance, and practically every other class I could find on contractors insurance. Today I help others get licensed and teach them insurance also.
SFM: Why spray foam insurance?
JC: It’s fun! I had insured a few of the largest members of the SPFA for years. I love helping others find affordable insurance that provides the specialty insurance coverage most policies don’t address. I had to come up with a generic brand that would communicate what I do. To that end, I put together and executed a marketing plan.
SFM: Where are you based?
JC: I am based in Phoenix, Arizona, but I currently operate in 42 states.
SFM: Please explain your job and what an average day may look like for you?
JC: I built my reputation on a “Work 24/7 mantra” that it is even my license plate. I have insured thousands of contractors for almost 13 years. People know I can help them do lots of things like extend/fix their credit, start a business entity like an LLC/Inc, get a surety bond like a performance bond for millions of dollars no matter what their credit profile is or risk of the project, insure almost anything, transfer risk using contract documents, safety programs, safety training, or get a contractors license in any state.
I am a business consultant in a lot of ways. I want everyone to succeed and do their best and I try to help in any way possible. I spend anywhere from ten minutes to over an hour discussing someone’s contracting business. We talk about what they are doing, where they are working, who they are working for and hundreds of other topics. I know my customers and their businesses pretty well. That is how I can cover their businesses better than other insurance agents. I shop their insurance needs with multiple carriers and put together packages that offer superior coverage at affordable rates.
After I spend a few hours getting the insurance business started in the early morning, I usually take my daughter to school, or since COVID-19, get her started with school at 9 AM. It is tough trying to juggle parenting and work right now. After that, the work day continues.
I often invite my customers to stop by before, during, or after work. I love grabbing a bite to eat or breaking some bread with someone in person, it means so much because most of my work is over the phone. Sometimes people have emergencies and it’s on me to make it work no matter what. After work I focus on spending time with my daughter. I am a full-time parent. It’s pretty awesome to have such a good kid. She is the best part of my day.
GIRL DAD Josh works 24/7 for his clients, but he is also a full-time dad. He often finds himself enjoying a day with the girls—daughter Kristen Sue (pink shirt) and friends.
SFM: Why is Spray Foam Insurance so unique?
JC: There has been a lot of thought and effort putting together everything. There are so many risks to spray foam. It is impossible for the average insurance agent to write a policy that covers everything. The chemical aspect of spray foam makes it very hard for standard insurance companies to provide coverage. Most standard lines insurance carriers want to write the risks with no liability not spray foam contractors that manufacture plastic every day in the field.
SFM: What’s your favorite aspect of the job?
JC: I LOVE the people in this industry! I love talking to people about the business of spray foam, their rigs, and the foam they are spraying. Sometimes my contractors need help running their businesses like they have a situation where a contractor/homeowner is trying to get something for nothing or free and doesn’t want to pay because of a “minor issue.” I like helping resolve issues like that. I am always a second set of eyes on a contract and ears to an angry customer. I resolve claims before the carrier even finds out about them. I like providing expert advice to my friends and help them avoid any claims before they happen. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure is an old legal adage.
SFM: How do you see spray foam insurance changing after the coronavirus?
JC: I foresee a lot of changes with almost every type of insurance including surety bonds like performance bonds. For example, the force majeure clauses in bonds will be rewritten. Workers compensation laws have been and are being rewritten state by state now. Insurance companies take time to review these black swan, one-off events, but then we have data and can action on it in the future. Statistical analysis is very interesting and a key part of this job.
SFM: Why are you good at your job?
JC: First and foremost, I listen to my customers. They know a lot more than I do. I have worked in construction and I do own a spray foam rig/business, so I know a lot of what spray foamers go through, but listening to them is critical. I also study insurance. I take classes and pass exams. I have special credentials. I don’t only sell insurance, I study it. I constantly put pressure on carriers for better pricing/coverages for my contractors. I take my collective experience on every call. My customers know beyond a doubt they are covered for what they do.
SFM: What do you do in your spare time?
JC: I work 24/7, but I love camping and boating, but the coronavirus has made that almost impossible lately. I love making 3D printed spray foam nerf guns. I LOVE making next level swag with my friend. We make hats, backpacks, and all sorts of fun stuff for our community.
SFM: I hear that you started a Spray Foam Rescue Rig for contractors. May you please explain what this is about?
JC: The Spray Foam Rescue Rig is a unique tool for the Spray Foam Community. If you have a dire situation you can borrow the Spray Foam Rescue Rig while your insurance claim is being settled. The Spray Foam Rescue Rig is powered by a unique partnership with Akurate Dynamics (the spray foam equipment manufacturer) and Spray Foam Insurance. Many others, like The Insulation Station (the insulation distributor) and others have donated parts/equipment to bring the dream to fruition, such as Tennessee Chill Box, EvoSpray, Borealis Designs, SWD, and Gaco Firestone.
“I am very proud of the logo I designed. It is based off one of the industry’s most popular spray foam gun. A spray foam whip surrounds the gun and is itself surrounded by a shield.?It captures the essence of what I try to do,” Josh exlaimed.
I have claims on a daily, weekly, monthly basis and nothing is worse than when I get a call from a customer and they just had a claim and everything is covered, but it is going to take a week or two for the insurance carrier to conduct a claim investigation and a few weeks for their rig to get replaced. I was unable to replace downtime time through conventional means, so I came up with an out-of-the-box solution for the industry. I came up with the Spray Foam Rescue Rig. It was hard to do but the Spray Foam Rescue Rig has been to many job sites, rescues, and demos and showcases the latest and greatest tools, equipment, and spray foam chemicals while helping ONLY spray foamers in the industry. It is not a rental rig. It is a rescue rig.
We have added Spray Foam Rescue Rig coverage to most inland marine insurance policies so that if one of the contractor’s rigs is down completely, they have a stepping stone tool to keep their business going so they don’t lose time, relationships, contracts.
SFM: Anything else you would like to add?
JC: I am very blessed and thankful to work with this industry. Please let me know how I can help you. My Phone number is 844-Work 24/7 (844-967-5247). Together we can do anything and everything. ?
Name: Josh Cotner
Email: Email Us
Phone No: 844-967-5247