According to The Insurance Journal, dated December 4th, 2019, fifteen states have revised their laws in the past two years extending or suspending statute of limitations to allow child sex abuse claims stretching back decades, unleashing potentially thousands of new lawsuits against the U.S. Roman Catholic Church.
Click here for the full story.
GivingTuesday is a global generosity movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world on December 3, 2019 and every day.
One of the best ways to give is to get involved is in your own community. We have supplied a link to a directory to help you find organizations, events, and ways to give back in your own community.
Thank you for giving!
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.
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!
The Economic Opportunity Act was founded in 1964 by President Lyndon B. Johnson, to fight the war on poverty in the US. This in-turn created the Community Action Program; a network of public, nonprofit and private organizations that help connect our nations children & families to services and programs, leading them to greater opportunities, economic stability, and self-sufficiency.
May is Community Action Month and Hawley & Associates would like to recognize the over 1000 Community Action Agencies and Programs that have the passion to serve and empower our community’s low-income families.
A list of some of the programs offered:
Head Start Programs
Meals on Wheels
Home Energy Assistance
According to the US Census Bureau, in 2017, the poverty rate in the US was 12.3 %, which is down 0.4% from 2016. This is the third consecutive year in which the poverty rate has declined, but the problem is still very real.
Thank you to these agencies that dedicate themselves in fighting poverty and helping others help themselves and by allowing Hawley & Associates to be a part of your mission.
May is National Foster Care Month!
Hawley & Associates is honored to partner with our foster care clients’ commitment of making the world a better place for our countries foster children.
These inspiring real-life stories from families and professionals made our day! Help us raise awareness by sharing these empowering experiences.
As of April 22nd, 2019, Arizona became the 48th state to ban texting while driving. According to a study by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), 3,450 people were killed in distracted driving-related vehicle accidents in 2016, meaning 9% of all the fatal crashes this year involved distracted driving; and 14% of these crashes involved a fatality.
What is distracted driving?
Distracted driving is anything that diverts your attention away from driving. A few examples are:
- Eating or drinking
- Talking or texting on a cellphone
- Fiddling with a stereo, navigation or entertainment system
- Talking with someone in the vehicle
- Putting on make-up
- Grabbing something off the floor or backseat
The same study found that texting and driving is six times more dangerous than driving intoxicated. Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed.
What can we do?
Parents: Lead by example; talk with children about distracted driving and the consequences; sign a family pledge not to drive distracted.
Teens: Speak up when they see a friend or peer driving distracted; have friends sign a pledge; share message on social media.
Educators: Remind students about the dangers of distracted driving. Post posters and hand out materials relating to distracted driving.
Employers: Institute a company policy restricting texting, eating or any other form of distracted driving while operating company vehicles or while using their own vehicle for company business.
Being a foster parent today can be more challenging than ever, as many foster children come into the system already abused or neglected. Allegations of abuse in the foster care system are not uncommon. In 2016, approximately 4.1 million allegations of child abuse and neglect were made to child protective service agencies.
According to the National Foster Parent Association, adoptive parents have a 1 in 8 chance of being falsely accused of abuse or neglect. Lawsuits can be brought by the biological parent, the child, or others arising out of the foster parent/child relationship.
Every responsible foster parent should consider Foster Parent Liability Insurance, which defends foster parents from allegations of abuse. Attorney fees, defense costs and award judgments can rack up thousands of dollars, even if they are unsubstantiated.
For more information on this important coverage, please contact Hawley & Associates.