Archive for February, 2014

All. Together. Giving.

Margaret Mead once said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”  Hays Companies is putting this thought into action through our hard work and support of Habitat for Humanity, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing affordable shelter, eliminating substandard housing and homelessness worldwide. For the past five years, the Hays Volunteer Team has built safe shelters for families in need and worked in partnership with other businesses on the Entrepreneurs House. Mik Gusenius, Chair of the Entrepreneurs House Committee shared, “Since Hays has become a part of the program, the House has had its best fundraising years, raising more than $500,000 and contributing more than 2,000 volunteer build days. Hays has been an integral part of the continued growth.”

During the all-day build, Hays volunteers guided by experts, landscaped, framed pre-assembled walls, shingled roofs and installed flooring. At the end, when the houses were completed, volunteers had the opportunity to greet the future homeowners.

Hays Director of Claims Management, Robert Rangel said, “It was an inspiring day and a great way to bond with coworkers and learn new skills.”

At Hays we know that a strong, vibrant community doesn’t just happen.  CEO, Jim Hays stated it simply: “We believe at Hays that it’s absolutely necessary to give back to the communities in which we live. We encourage employees to find projects and organizations that they care about and we support participation at all levels. Our community initiatives give our employees great purpose which helps build a positive culture.”

On January 28th, Habitat for Humanity held the dedication ceremony for the 2013 Entrepreneurs House. We are honored to be a part of this organization.

Some of the 2013 Hays Habitat for Humanity volunteers

Some of the Hays Habitat for Humanity volunteers

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Hays Volunteer Team assembling walls of the house.

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Hays Graphics Specialist, Dennis Shogren and Senior Claims Analyst, Allison Robshaw work together to secure flooring.

All. Together. Strategic.

Navigating a Spectrum of Post-Health Care Reform Solutions

With an ever-changing employer provided benefits landscape, there are many possible roads to your destination. A spectrum of solutions, including public and private exchange platforms, defined contribution offerings, high deductible health plans and traditional models are aligning with new delivery platforms and fully insured or self-funded strategies as a means to administer employee benefits, improve worker health and manage expenses. At Hays, we work to help you understand your options before delivering a strategic roadmap with tailored solutions to meet the diverse needs of your employees.

With a strategic health plan developed through our consultative, solution-neutral approach we can also explore and recommend  tools such as Benefit Administration Systems, Decision Support Technology, Online Enrollment or Plan Comparison Tools that you need to deliver and communicate your benefit goals.

Hays Companies can help your organization navigate the complex benefits landscape with your own strategic roadmap.

 

 

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Power & Utility: Are Your Insurance Requirements Reaching Too Far?

Exceptional risk management practices and their risk managers always ensure contractual insurance requirements in contractor and vendor agreements are reviewed on a consistent basis. It is their responsibility to be certain that insurance and risk-related provisions of standard agreements and purchase orders are following best practices, and appropriate for what is available and attainable in the insurance industry. In an effort to ensure the best protection possible and close potential loopholes, contractual insurance requirements sometimes inadvertently end up too restrictive, unattainable and often unenforceable.

Purchasing or contract execution can be difficult due to contractors’ inability to comply.  A few common examples found in insurance requirements include:

  • Requiring an A.M. Best rating that is too high. An “A+” or “A” insurer financial rating and the largest size category may seem like a good idea with a goal of ensuring viable insurance assets. In reality, it can potentially reduce the pool of contractors able to comply, may risk placing them into non-compliance, or could exclude capable and acceptable contractors & vendors. A rating of “A-“ is still defined as “Excellent” by A.M. Best and is within the acceptable financial security standards of most brokers. Risk managers may want to consider any of the “A” ratings as an acceptable grade for counterparties.
  • Stipulating that the Contractual Liability provisions of contractor/vendor liability insurance policies are to provide coverage for all liability assumed in the Indemnification provision of the Agreement. By design, most indemnity provisions of a contract or agreement are intended to address insurable risks and uninsurable risks, such as breach of warranty and commercial risks. Contractual Liability provisions of liability policies are intended to only address tort liability assumed in an “insured contract” as defined by the policy. Overly broad attempts at linking insurance to indemnity provisions creates the possibility of unintentionally ruling the provision vague, unenforceable and therefore void.
  • Requiring contractors’ insurers provide Notice of Cancellation too far in advance or require  insurer to provide notice of “material changes of coverage.”   Longer notices of policy cancellation is fairly common between insurer & insured; 30-days is an acceptable and reasonable notice to certificate holders and additional insured’s on contractor policies. However, it is often challenging to get an insurer to agree to provide a cancellation notice. While it appears to be a good idea, no insurer will agree to provide notice for “material change” in the policy. It is simply too burdensome and there is no common or agreed understanding of what constitutes “material change.”

Crafting insurance requirements is often more of an art and less a science. The obvious intent is to insulate the utility from unreasonable liability arising out of the operations of contractors, vendors and service providers.  The risk manager must also juggle absolute protection with what is available and attainable in the marketplace, all while accommodating the business and commercial needs of their internal constituents.