All of us at Hawley & Associates would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!
Our Holiday Hour Are As Follows:
Wednesday, November 27th, 2019 – Closing at 2 pm (PST)
Thursday, November 28th, 2019 – Closed
Because insurance carriers are experiencing higher than expected losses, a hardening insurance market is rearing its ugly head. A hardening market means increased premiums and tighter underwriting requirements for many lines of coverage, including; commercial property, E&O, D&O, Auto and EPL. The 2017 hurricane season and the 2018 California wildfires resulted in a combined insured loss of more than 212 billion dollars and are major contributors in this turn.
One area being hit particularly hard is the adoption & foster care sector. Due to increased litigation, settlements and judgments, some carriers are now reluctant to offer broad coverage with high limits. Some carriers are even exiting these markets all together, making it much harder for some brokers to have access to carriers that are willing to write these risks, let alone even to provide a quote.
In a hardening market, there are three things that can help you ride out the storm:
- Specialty Broker:Having a broker that specializes in your line of business and knows your unique risks and exposures is imperative in positively representing your best interest to the insurance carriers. Their specialty allows them stronger relationships with underwriters, greater negotiating power to lower premiums and access to more carriers than that of a generalist broker. Remember, an insurance broker (vs. an agent) works for YOU, not the insurance carrier.
- Risk Management:A clean loss history is always more favorable than a poor loss history. A poor loss history tells the carrier that you are a bad risk. This can result in even higher premiums or worse yet a non-renewal notice. By designing and implementing a strong risk management plan, your broker can paint a positive picture to the insurance carrier and show that you are proactive in helping to eliminate or reduce your risk.
- Don’t Hop Around:Believe it or not, jumping from carrier to carrier every year looking for the lowest price can cost you more in the long run. Carriers have been known not to quote simply for the fact that the insured is not loyal to any one carrier. Showing stability and loyalty (even if you have a loss and premiums increase) is a positive indicator in the eyes of the carrier.
Even in this hardening market, Hawley & Associates continues to exclusively serve the nonprofit and social service community. Our specialty allows us broad access specialty markets & programs, including programs for hard-to-place risks, such as adoption & foster care. Let our mission empower your mission!
The terms Agent and Broker are sometimes used in the same context, but in reality, they are quite different. Both do act as a liaison between the insured and the insurance company, but the main difference is who they represent.
An insurance agent works for the insurance company. They can represent one or more insurance companies and acts as an extension of those companies. They are authorized to bind or initiate coverage on behalf of the insured.
There are two types agents: Captive and Independent. A Captive agent sells insurance for one specific insurance company. An Independent agent sells insurance for multiple insurance companies. In essence, they do the ‘shopping’ for you.
An insurance broker works for their clients. They are an advocate and work in the best interest of their client, not the insurance company.
There are typically two types of brokers: Generalists and Specialists. Generalists do not restrict themselves to certain industries or lines of business and sometimes consider themselves as a “one stop shop”. They can insure gas stations, restaurants and even nonprofits. With their book of business being so broad, it may be difficult for them to have the necessary knowledge and expertise into a particular industry or business, especially ones that are complex or have high risk factors.
A specialty broker does just that; they specialize or have a niche in a particular line of business or industry. They have access to a variety of markets, comparing multiple programs side by side. They generally have stronger relationships with underwriters and have a unique ability to negotiate for better terms and premiums. They will also have a better understanding of the exposures and various risks associated with a particular industry or business and can better recommend the specialized insurance solutions needed.
Many organizations are embracing a remote working lifestyle and this trend is only rising. Nearly 3% of the US workforce works remotely in some capacity. This is a 115 percent increase from 2005.
For all the benefits it may bring, it is opening your business up to an increased risk of a serious data breach. There are many factors that can contribute to your business becoming the next victim of a cyber attack:
- Inability to enforce security protocols
- Remote workers risky behavior
- Not adhering to security best practices
- Sharing devices with family and friends
- Not recognizing suspicious behavior
So, what can you do?
Cyber threats will always be a part of our reality, and cyber security has a hard time keeping up in this ever-changing environment. If you have employees that work remotely, now is the time to take another hard look at the security of your data. Here are 10 steps you can take to help minimize your risks:
- Establish written company security protocols
- Restrict or limit the use of public Wi-Fi
- Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)
- Raise awareness by educating workers on how to recognize suspicious behavior
- Monitor company issued devices (check your state statutes)
- Apply cloud services
- Enable data protection software on all devices
- Restrict employees use the internet and not to use device for personal reasons
- Proper password management
- Do not share devices with friends or family
Contact Hawley& Associates today for information on Commercial Cyber Insurance and how it can protect your organization in the event of a data breach.
Besides offering tailor-made insurance programs designed specifically around your unique operations and exposures, we do offer the exclusive WorldPro Insurance Program. It is the most comprehensive and cost competitive program offered to social service organizations today. Since it’s inception, WorldPro now insures some of the largest nonprofit organizations in the country.
- High Limits (including abuse)
- Stand-alone Umbrella coverage
- Program will defend a negligence, error or omissions claim brought anywhere in the world, with no limitation as to venue, change of venue or any other exclusion involving jurisdiction
- Special Defense Fund available to any employee wrongfully accused of abuse or molestation
- No territorial exclusions or restrictions
Hawley & Associates has been instrumental in introducing several new social service insurance programs to the market and we will continue to work hard to find even more markets and programs to bring down premiums for our clients and help you serve the under-served.
Contact us today for more information!
The Wayne Hawley Giving Grant is exclusive to H&A clients who serve the social service and nonprofit community.
The grant is named in loving memory of Phil Hawley’s father, Wayne Hawley, who was instrumental in the formation of Hawley & Associates, and a guiding force in making our agency the strong, dedicated and caring company it is today.
The grant is comprised of two individual grants in the amount of $5,000.00 each.
Deadline for applications is September 30, 2019!
Food-borne illnesses are most common in summer. With higher temps and sometimes ‘not so ideal’ conditions, such as camping or a maybe a long road trip, bacteria growth reigns supreme.
Here are some great tips to keep your summer plans on track and most importantly safe!
- Use separate cutting boards for raw meat and vegetables to reduce the chance of cross-contamination. Harmful bacteria present in raw meat and poultry can contaminate even cooked food.
- Keep perishable food cold until ready to use.
- Never use tongs or utensils that have touched raw meat or poultry to serve cooked food.
- Camping – Keeps foods cold!A block of ice last longer than ice cubes. Empty milk cartons filled with water and then frozen are a great alternative to ice cubes or purchasing block ice in the store. Also, fuller coolers tend to stay cooler longer.
- Put cold drinks in a separate cooler.This will help minimize the number of times the cooler is opened, thus keeping the food cooler colder longer.
- Don’t reuse marinades.This will prevent raw meat juices getting onto your cooked food.
- Cook food thoroughly.Using a thermometer gives you the best results in determining whether your meat is under or overcooked.
- Throw out leftovers.Perishable items left out for two or more hours should not be consumed.
- Thaw and marinade food in the refrigerator.
- Keep things clean, including your hands!
The landscape is definitely changing when it comes to insuring your foster care agency. Many agencies are receiving non-renewal notices, or their premiums have increased substantially, even without a large claim history. What is the reasoning behind these dramatic and sometimes very shocking changes?
Some contributing factors:
- The high-risk factors associated with child welfare
- Claims increasing in severity and frequency
- Nonprofits are diversifying their services, thus increasing their exposures
- Contracts are requiring higher limits, resulting in higher premiums
- Changes in carrier appetites and the types businesses they will cover/not cover
- Changes in policy forms
As a result, Carrier risk management requirements are being raised. Creating a robust risk management program is imperative in controlling your losses, premiums and meeting carrier requirements. Start by electing a risk management officer or mandated reporter, create a formal incident reporting program and reduce and manage a social worker’s caseload/workload. This is a great place to start.
So, what is your foster care agency to do in these changing times? Contact a specialist. Hawley & Associates specializes in hard-to-place risks, including adoption & foster care. Our broad access to specialized markets and innovative risk management tools allows us to partner in and empower your mission!