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!
Veteran’s Day was November 11th, so I am a little late in writing this post. But, we didn’t want the day to go by without honoring all the men and women who have served in the United States Armed Forces. We are forever grateful for your service and sacrifice.
The Wayne Hawley Giving Grant is exclusive to Hawley & Associates’ clients, and has help support programs, projects and organizations whose focus is to benefit children, families, and our communities.
We would like to thank everyone who applied for the grant in 2019. We had a record number of applicants and it was so difficult to make our selection! Everyone was so deserving! Thank you to all our clients for the amazing things they are doing to help make the world a better place for so many.
Please click here for information on this year’s recipients.
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.
In a world where lawsuits seem to be commonplace, it is more important than ever to have the appropriate commercial insurance coverage in place. Every nonprofit is unique and there is no ‘magic’ online button, or a one-size fits all insurance program for your nonprofit.
If your agency offers advice or provides professional services, it is imperative to carry Professional Liability Insurance (also known as Errors & Omissions or E&O). If your organization is sued for negligence for errors and/or omissions while performing your professional services, your professional liability policy can help cover settlements and judgement expenses and attorney fees up to your policy limits.
Professional Liability vs. Directors & Officers Insurance:
There is a common misconception that a Directors and Officers (D&O) policy may be all you need. These two types of coverage may seem similar on the outside, but the main difference is who is covered.
Your D&O policy provides insurance brought on by a ‘breach of duty’ or wrongful act allegations and lawsuits arising out of the managerial decisions of board member(s), officers, employees and sometimes volunteers. Professional Liability insurance provides insurance for claims arising from errors and/or omissions made against the organization.
About Hawley & Associates
Hawley & Associates is solely in existence to provide specialized insurance solutions for social service and nonprofit organizations across the country and the world.
Our mission is to empower your mission by providing the most comprehensive and cost-effective insurance program and tailored risk management solutions that perfectly align with your unique operations and exposures. Less time and money spent on insurance means more of both to dedicate to the children, families and communities in which you serve.
We strongly believe in the industry we serve, and to us it’s much more than insurance – it’s about relationships. We are an extension of your organization and an unwavering champion in supporting the great work that you do.