CAPAX/Frame It Membership fee

Terry Scidmore CPF

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Jul 5, 2001
Seattle, WA 98168
Anyone else gotten this letter?

Frame It Membership
Better Value - Better Piece Of Mind

Dear Member;

For over twenty years, Frame It Business Insurance and Workers Compensation has consistently created value and competitive prices for our Frame It Picture Framer Members. We search the insurance marketplace on behalf of our members and use our group buying power.

While insurance pricing and availability often change without warning, Frame It has been solid and predictable year after year. Frame It remains consistent with the financial security of National brands such as Hartford and now ST. Paul/Travelers, as well as our California Workers Compensation Group through Preferred Employers.

Frame it has managed to bring added value to you each time along the way.

*Group buying Power (leverage for our members in the marketplace)
*Exclusive Frame "workmanship" protection
*National advocacy for the membership with the insurance industry
*Attendance at the Picture Framing Industry Trade Shows
*Educational training for better insurance buying
*Safety and Loss Control training and advice



Acting as an association we have managed to provide all of the above, and more, without any membership fee for over 20 years. There are now many non-insurance services associated with your membership benefits that are no longer covered by insurance carriers and beyond the scope of your insurance agent.

To maintian our high service level a VERY REASONABLE ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP FEE OF $50. (verbatim) It is a nominal charge considering the entire effort put into making and keeping FRAME IT viable for you. Enclosed is your invoice for the FRAME IT ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP. For your convenience it is payable by credit card.

We appreciate your support as we navigate some very complicated insurance waters on your behalf representing you, first. We hope you recognize and value the service and products we provide to you.

It is our goal each and every day to provide insurance solutions that will help you improve your own operating results.

If you have any suggestions on how we may serve you better, please contact us at any time.

Best wishes for a successful business year.

Esmeralda Geddes
Executive Director

FRAME IT Membership 8/2/05 sm

I received this letter Jan. 6th, and called CAPAX/Giddings,Corby and Hynes to inquire for more information. Was given an emplyees voice mail, but haven't received a return call.

Was anyone else aware that we were part of an association if we purchased our business insurance through the CAPAX program?

It was my understanding that Giddings, Corby, and Hynes were looking for niche insurance markets, approached Hartford and other insurance companies about creating a specialized policy crafted with the picture framer in mind, and then went out and marketed it to the picture framing industry. I believe that they were marketing through PPFA initially, but later went on their own.
I got it back in October, never paid it, yet. I was not made aware of this extra cost at any time I was in contact with Capax. It was never brought up in any of their conversations with me. Only after I was insured with St Paul was I sent a letter for money for their services, or association, or whatever. To me, that's not the way to do business. If there is an extra cost of doing business with a company, they need to be telling me upfront, not right after they make the sale. It makes it hard to trust a company that does things this way.

Take your policy to your local State Farm agent. They have a program geared toward our industry with much lower rates.

CAPAX is a rip off organization.

Several years ago I called to check their pricing. Three days later I received a policy and a bill in the mail. I was told I had to pay it. My lawyer sent them a letter and I filed a complaint with our State Attorney General and Insurance Commissioner.
Gave our Capax policy to our local agent. He returned it saying that he couldn't even come close. I prefer to do business locally but not at three times the price.

I don't remember getting the letter.
Originally posted by Maryann:
Gave our Capax policy to our local agent. He returned it saying that he couldn't even come close. I prefer to do business locally but not at three times the price.
Same here. I tried our local agent and they said St Paul was a good company and they couldn't come close to the quote I got thru Capax. I checked with others and got the same answer. Plus, the PPFA sponsored insurance was almost twice as high thru Hartford, at least for my shop. I will deal with Capax for now. At least the agent I talked to on the phone was nice. However, they would have been history if I had went thru what Jerry did.

Esmeralda Geddes ?

Sounds like one of those fake names at the end of the Car Talk show with the Magliazzi Brothers.

Sorry. Carry on.
Rock I am sure by now everyonr knows my history with Hartford and Katrina if not just do a searchof TFG.

However unless they or CAPAX have decided to change dramaticlly your comment;

"Plus, the PPFA sponsored insurance was almost twice as high thru Hartford, at least for my shop."

Was just the opposite for my shop. I checked and found that PPFA endorsed Meadowbrook for the same coverage and with the very same Insurance Agencies. The big differance was that while neither of them covered Flood or water losses nor made specific mention of that( i even had to produce a letter from a Civil athority to substaniate the Forced evacuation by Civil authority to qualifie for Losss of revenue payments,which were in every news media in the world) Meadowbrook was almost $1000 cheaper for my coverage with Hartford through CAPAX.

So I can't help but wonder when you checked out the comparisons( before or after Katrina) and have you done so recently since I have had no call to do so anymore.But i sware that my comparisons where genuine before katrina turned the insurance industry on it's ear.

Even more when I explained to CAPAX why I was not renewing they advised me to take the proposal from Meadowbrook since they couldn't better it.

Charles BUDDY Drago
Formerly of Needles and Knots
In what used to be Chalmette,La.
before Katrina
I switched to Meadowbrook and they said it was for the same cost as Capax but no memebership fee. Meadowbrook is the company through the PPFA now, not Capax.

If you have any other questions call me at 800-726-9006. Ext 5322.

Nathan Borghardt
Risk Advisor
Meadowbrook Insurance Group

I actually put this on HH but Merrill bumped it for some reason. maybe because of the name and number.

Monster premium increase at 1st renewal, 300%+, first called Hartford directly, they offered to reduce by 10%, then after much effort had Capax offer to cancel the policy being renewed and write a new one with only a 50% increase, of course the new policy was never written and we were stuck without insurance for a couple of months, gave up and went with a local insurance broker and Chamber of Commerce member. Have insurance with Franklin Mutual, premium slightly more than Capax's run around 2nd policy, but premium increases have been small, 2-4%.

Capax was a headache, do not be surprised at renewal with large premium increases, poor service, poor response.

Of course review policies to ensure necessary coverages!!!

I had a local insurance Co. offer to handle my policy. Several months before they came in, I had a problem with Capax. They sold me some workman's comp. that I didn't need. I received a $100 "fee" when I told them I didn't need the policy.
Part-time employees don't need Workman's comp in Michigan. When the local insurance came by with the same Hartford policy at the same cost, I changed on the spot.

Hey the local Co. even needed some framing!


All employees in Michigan for a company of 2 or more employees are required to be covered by Workmans Comp.
I have no idea where you got you information. Just wait until the end of the insurance year when you receive your insurance audit where the policy is matched with your IRS 941s.
Originally posted by BUDDY:
So I can't help but wonder when you checked out the comparisons( before or after Katrina) and have you done so recently since I have had no call to do so anymore.But i sware that my comparisons where genuine before katrina turned the insurance industry on it's ear.
Hi Buddy, Yes, I have read probably all your posts on your situation and I sure appreciate all the input you have given. I guess the main difference is I don't live in any kind of flood plain here in Indiana so I don't have to worry about that for the most part. (thank God) I checked on the coverages I needed thru both Meadowbrook going thru Hartford, and Capax going thru St Paul Travelers. For the coverages I wanted or needed, Capax was over $500 cheaper, and negligance loss on my part was twice as much coverage as I could have got thru any policy Meadowbrook came up with, and they even admitted it to me. Not to say Capax or St Paul won't raise the price of the premiems after a year, if they do, I'll look again at insurance. I brought the quote Capax gave me from St Paul to my local insurance agent that I have my home and cars with, they looked at it completely and said it was a good policy and they couldn't come close. That's all I can tell you. As of right now, I'll stay with Capax as many others are doing also, and if St Paul or Capax raises the rates dramaticly, I'll look elsewhere. After hearing others problems with Capax, it makes me wonder how they have managed to stay in business all this time if they are that bad. I'm not doubting anybodys word, just wondering. I'm also not saying I trust Capax, but I don't really trust any insurance company. There not exactly best bud's with any of us.

Rock sorry to keep this going so long but you obviously HAVEN"T read everthing I posted.
There is a definet differance between what Hartford Cost as opposed to St.Paul's,no matter which broker ( CAPAX or MEADOWBROOK) quotes the premiums. One other differance is that St.Paul won't even write policies around here anymore.

When I changed from Hartford to St.Paul the fee was much less also ( until they wouldn't rewrite the coverage) then when I got Hartford back the differance between CAPAX and Meadowbrook was about $1000 for H-A-R-T-F-O-R-D not St. Paul.St.Paul BTW had the worst acconting department I have ever encountered in any business.

Capax is very quick to tell you they can save you money by changeing from Hartford to either St.Paul's or even Fireman's Fund,niether of which covered what Hartford did and NONE of them will cover ANY Water losses.

So maybe you should do a re search or hand the Hartford Policy to St.paul and vice versa and have them match things letter for letter and $ for $ while paying close attention to all the EXCLUSION CLAUSES.You know Apples to apples.
Sorry SteveT

I am slightly incorrect......... my response should have been for 3 or more employees...... that includes the employer if they are paid.
Rock Just had another lighting bolt from the blue.Either I don't understand how Insurance premiums are calculated or maybe you need to rethink what you said above.("I guess the main difference is I don't live in any kind of flood plain here in Indiana so I don't have to worry about that for the most part. (thank God)")

The last time I checked ,if you don't have a particular endorsement in a given policy your cost usually will be less. If you don't have FLOOD coverage they can't add that to your overall cost.

The Policies I have read all EXCLUDE almost any type of water damage/LOSS but definatly those caused by FLOODS.So my policy at least would cost less than anyone who had the smallest flood coverage ,since there is NONE on any I have seen.

But even more important is the fact that if indeed they are covering you for ANY flood coverage ( regaurdles of what "Flood Plain" you reside in) your cost would have an additional expense in it that mine couldn't.

However you would have the good fortune of being covered in the unlikely event that a flood did occur.I have some knowledge of this point since my former home was covered for floods to the max and my new home is also but since I now live in a higher elivation 9 the dizzying hights of 222 feet above sea level.LOL) and thereby a much less likely flood plain the cost is 1/3 what it used to be. But I still pay for the coverage and did for about 30 years.And I don't think recent events have made it any less likely that INSURANCE UNDERWRITERS will stop chargeing.

So your point of why your cost are less is mute don't you think?
I got a call today from Andrea at Capax. She was able to explain quite clearly what the letter is all about.

Capax is interested in beginning a membership group of picture framers where the group can apply for group discounts on workmans comp. in states where you can self insure.


If enough framers who are in states which can insure through this kind of program join, there is the possibility of lowering costs to the members and also the possibility of a yearly dividend refunded to members.

Members would not receive any dividends and possibly not lower rates for at least the first year as the program gets up and running. It is in succeeding years that members may benefit from pooling for group insurance purposes.

This is similar to the Dodson Program from a few years back. Some people may remember the Dodson group which was working through PPFA.

I am in Washington State, which does not allow employers to self insure - with a few exceptions such as Boeing. I cannot be a member of this type of program. Any other Washington framers who get this letter should know that they cannot utilize this program. Andrea agreed that Washington framers cannot benefit from this type of insurance instrument.

Something that I learned from Buddy is to ask more in depth questions of my insurance company. I knew that my Hartford Insurance doesn't cover flood or earthquake, but I ran some possible scenarios past the agent to see what might be covered, what I records I need to prove the loss, and that the details in the policy were correct - ie the business name is correct, the entity is correct, etc. I also have run my policy past other insurance companies in the past to see how this one stacked up. Buddy has shared so much, and I thank him for giving us that wake up call!

The Hartford, quicken, and several other sites have good basic information on what kind of insurance covers what, what you might need to be concerned with, things that you should consider.
I received the information from the pamphlet that the State of Michigan sent me. My one employee is a part-time.
I confirmed that I do not need the workman's comp with my new insurance agent and she said I was correct. This is the point of my post, sometimes it's better to have someone local that understands the rules in your state.
Originally posted by BUDDY:
So your point of why your cost are less is mute don't you think?
Buddy, I'm not quite sure what your point is I guess. I'm not arguing about it, just stating what my local insurance agent has told me, and I figure they know more about it than I do. Maybe I missed one of your posts, I don't know. All I can tell you is I have the coverage I want right now. By the way, which insurance company would you recommend, the one who in my opinion ripped you off, or some other company? Like I said in my last post, I don't trust any of them, but I'm satisfied with what I have at the time. What more can I tell you? Yes, it would be cheaper with any insurance company if I'm not in a flood plain, which I'm not being 1250 ft above sea level. I realize that. But I have the coverage that I need according to my local insurance company, that's the bottom line. So what else is there?

Rock I am glad you are statisfied . However the "one who ripped me off" as you put it was Hartford. However I can all but assure you that any of the others would have done the same.But the coverage for the other things is better with Hartford than St.Paul's or Fireman's Fund. That should speak VOLUMES about which I would choose if I had to do it over again.

The Other point I was makeing is that our position in any flood plains ( your's or mine) has NOTHING to to do with the cost of these BOP policies since NONE of them cover Floods and they can't charge anything for it.

I have a Brother-in-law who is in the insurance business and I know exactly what you are saying when you say they can't match the Policies .They are custom built for our needs.

But I would warn you while I had grave disapointments with the coverage and treatment afforded by Hartford ,as I said I would completly expect the same from others and with good reason.If nothing else the others wouldn't even write coverage in this area Before Katrina.
But I have had much worse problems with the billing office of St. Paul's .In fact that and the better coverage is what drove me back to Hartford even when it could have cost more than St.Paul's through CAPAX ,until Meadowbrook 's price even beat that.
Have I made my position and choice any clearer? But I am glad you are Happy and that is what is important.

BTW I was completely Happy with ALL my Insureres till Katrina ,or until I got a competitive priceing.
Originally posted by BUDDY:

The Other point I was makeing is that our position in any flood plains ( your's or mine) has NOTHING to to do with the cost of these BOP policies since NONE of them cover Floods and they can't charge anything for it.

Got that, again. What I'm trying to say is this...

Point #1, According to MY local insurance company, St Paul is a very good company. I take their word on that since I've been dealing with them for 36 years.

Point #2, I have all the coverage "I" need for MY shop for $500 less, no matter what your own personal coverage is or who you have it with.

Point #3, If St Pauls is so bad, why do so many use them? The same could be said for Hartford, or whoever.

Point #4, Like I said before, if I find I don't care for them, they raise prices a lot, or give me other grief, I'll drop them, period.

Point #6 We all are going to be different and with different opinions. That's just life. As long as your satisfied with what you are paying for, more power to ya. What works for you and your shop may not work for the guy across the country and visa-versa.

End of story.