Archive for the ‘Featured Stories’ Category

New OSHA Fatality and Serious Injury Reporting Requirements

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced a final rule on Thursday, September 11th requiring employers to notify OSHA when a work-related fatality occurs or an employee suffers a work-related hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye. The rule, which also updates the list of employers partially exempt from OSHA record-keeping requirements, will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2015 for workplaces under federal OSHA jurisdiction.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 4,405 workers lives were lost while on the job in 2013. “We can and must do more to keep America’s workers safe and healthy,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. “Workplace injuries and fatalities are absolutely preventable, and these new requirements will help OSHA focus its resources and hold employers accountable for preventing them.”

Under the revised rule, employers will be required to notify OSHA of work-related fatalities within eight hours, and work-related in-patient hospitalizations, amputations or losses of an eye within 24 hours. Previously, OSHA’s regulations required an employer to report only work-related fatalities and in-patient hospitalizations of three or more employees. Reporting single hospitalizations, amputations or loss of an eye was not required under the previous rule.

All employers covered by OSHA, even those who are exempt from maintaining injury and illness records, are required to comply with OSHA’s new severe injury and illness reporting requirements. To assist employers in fulfilling these requirements, OSHA is developing a web portal for employers to report incidents electronically in addition to the phone reporting options.

Hays Companies’ Risk Control Consultants are also available to assess your serious accident, and OSHA injury and illness recordkeeping practices to help you improve compliance.  We can provide training on OSHA reporting and recordkeeping, and we are always available to advise on special situations when you need a professional opinion. To contact a Hays Companies’ Risk Control expert, email us at info@hayscompanies.com.

Hays Companies ranked as a Top 20 Broker in the U.S.

Hays Companies is honored to be included in Business Insurance Magazine’s list of 100 largest U.S. brokers once again.  The rise in our ranking from 19th to 18th place is a testament to the hard work and dedication Hays Companies’ 700+ employees provide to each of our clients.  Spread across 35 U.S. offices, Hays Companies has steadily grown into one of the most influentially creative and dynamic insurance brokers in the country.

Since its founding in 1994, Hays Companies has continued to effectively and energetically react to an ever evolving marketplace, providing unparalleled customer service and attention to detail.  Hays Companies is proud to have been ranked among the Top 25 Brokers for the last nine years and the Top 40 for over a decade.

While this and past rankings are tremendous achievements, we would be remiss not to express our gratitude and appreciation for our clients, who give us the opportunity to serve them every day.

We look forward to achieving future success for and with our clients and partners through creativity and dedication to excellent service.

Hays Companies Named A Top Workplace for 2014

Hays Companies of Wisconsin is proud to be named as one of southeastern Wisconsin’s Top Workplaces for the fourth straight year. “This is a great recognition and something that all of us are very proud of. It is extremely important to the management team to have built and to continue to create a healthy work environment where people love what they do and who they work with.  Most importantly, this happiness translates to an exceptionally high level of customer service resulting in very high levels of client satisfaction” Dan Kwiecinski, Executive Vice President of Hays Companies of WI said.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel polled over 1,200 different company’s employees on job satisfaction in a myriad of areas to determine the top employers in the area. The full listing published in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel can be found here.

At Hays our company culture helps attract the most talented people. Meaningful work, an innovative environment and ongoing opportunities allow employees to remain fully engaged in the workplace, which enables us to deliver better results for our clients.

Hays Companies is one of the fastest growing property & casualty and employee benefits advisors in the country. We are dedicated to providing expert counsel to our clients that assists them with minimizing or mitigating their “total cost of risk” in a well thought out and planned manner.  We collaborate with clients to find business efficient solutions that you can improve upon incrementally over time.  Our 700+ team represents a dynamic, entrepreneurial assembly of the best and brightest in the industry. With over 30 offices across the country, we draw from a pool of unrivaled expertise, in legal, certified public accountants, financial services and claims to design a team devoted to your needs alone.

Demand for Foreign Clinical Trial Coverage Increases

Over the last few years, a trend has been occurring which shows a clear globalization of the research and development process.  While the United States is still the clear-cut leader in the category of drug and medical R&D, more companies based in the U.S. are looking abroad to foreign countries to research their product. Doing so creates a new area of risk that must be insured. Hays Companies has an experienced international team that manages local insurance placements that have been used by a multitude of businesses including Fortune 500 companies.  Using our global insurer partners and our connections through the Worldwide Broker Network, Hays has the means and tools to help manage locally admitted insurance for foreign clinical trials. Click the link for more details on Foreign Clinical Trials Coverage.

Strategies & Tactics for Risk Management and Finance Professionals

Hays Companies is proudly kicking off its three-part Minneapolis based Property and Casualty Seminar Series on Tuesday, June 3rd featuring strategies and tactics for risk management and finance professionals. The three seminars are: Cyber Liability, Worker’s Compensation Analytics and Claim Mitigation. These aren’t your ordinary insurance seminars. We will be bringing in captivating speakers talking about current events in the risk management marketplace and you will walk away with new perspectives and fresh applicable ideas for your organization.

During Hays Companies June 3rd Cyber Liability Seminar, Mr. Jim Stickley will present “Confessions of an Identity Thief.” Mr. Stickley has gained access to billions of dollars over the past 20 years. He has robbed over 1,000 financial institutions, broken into government facilities, and hacked his way into hundreds of networks.

Fortunately for all of these victims, Stickley is not a criminal. He is a cyber-security expert who is hired to perform cyber attacks and find the holes in security before  real criminals do.

In this seminar, Stickley will expose crucial information about how cyber criminals gain access to your confidential information using social engineering. He will walk you through the mind of these criminals and explain how you can better protect your customers, employees, and company from these threats.

He has been a consultant for network stations FOXNEWS, CBS, NBC and the Associated Press. He has been featured in numerous publications, including Time Magazine, Business Week, Fortune Magazine, and the New York Times. And he has been showcased on numerous television shows including: NBC’s “Nightly News,” CNN’s “News Night,” CNBC’s “The Big Idea,” Anderson Cooper’s “Anderson” and is a frequent guest of NBC’s “Today Show.”

No matter if you are a technical genius, computer neophyte, or anywhere in between, do your company and customers a favor and attend this seminar. Learn how to avoid cyber identity theft and help keep your business flourishing for the future.

To register or receive more information contact: events@hayscompanies.com

 

Five Essential Personal Insurance Tips

At Hays, our Private Client Group works to insure protection for every lifestyle. Whether it’s Home and Auto, Directors and Officers liability, Life Insurance, Disability or Long Term Care or unique areas of risk, such as kidnap and ransom, aviation, equine, or valuable articles, we’re here to help.

With expertise in the industry spanning 35 years, we have gathered five essential tips you need to know to protect your home and other assets:

1. Your Advisor Should Help Organize your Insurance Program.

With numerous assets acquired over time, it’s common to insure them with many different programs, often leaving your assets unorganized and expensive to manage. This can lead to gaps in coverage that will only be revealed when a claim is unexpectedly denied.

2. Be Presented With Options.

The benefit of retaining an independent insurance agent or broker is that they are working in your best interest. You should be frequently presented with options to organize your coverage.

3. Have Enough Personal Liability Insurance.

If a lawsuit puts your assets at risk, the last thing you want to worry about are insufficient limits. Make sure your liability coverage limits exceed your net worth. The Hays team can help you determine this value.

4. Be Certain of Your Insurer’s Financial Strength.

Always look for financial stability when choosing your insurer. It’s important your provider is strongly capitalized and will be able to pay your claims. Look for insurance companies rated “A” or “Excellent” by A.M. Best.

5. Work With High Net Worth Insurance Specialists.

Complex insurance situations require specialists. If you have a net worth of $2 million or more, most insurance carriers are not equipped to address your complex personal risk management needs.

Hays Private Client Group thrives at being problem-solvers in complex insurance situations. To contact us or to discover how we can keep your valuable assets protected, visit us here. Come experience The Hays Difference.

Hays Hosts 9th Annual Risk Management Symposium

 

Hays hosted their ninth annual Risk Management Symposium on March 20th, 2014 at their Chicago, IL office. More than 150 CFOs and Risk Managers from the area came together to network with peers and learn about current and emerging trends relevant to their business. Industry leaders discussed innovative approaches to cyber liability, predictive modeling of claims, and catastrophe risk modeling.

The Symposium also included an expert panel discussion on new products and ideas in the insurance marketplace, led by Gavin Souter, Editor of Business Insurance.

Afterwards, Hays Cyber Liability Practice Lead and Symposium presenter, Dave Wasson, was quoted on the evolution of cyber crime and new cyber threats in the Business Insurance publication. You can view the article here.

Dave Wasson, Hays Cyber Liability Practice Leader

Dave Wasson, Hays Cyber Liability Practice Leader

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Symposium Attendees

 

 

 

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.

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.

Cyber Liability & Data Breaches

The recent theft of 40 million credit and debit records may have not been the largest data breach, but it sure did get our attention.

In 2002, California introduced the first “breach notification law,” SB1386, and the majority of states quickly followed suit.  Today, 46 states, the District of Columbia, the US Federal Government, Canada, and the European Union all have breach notification laws – often multiple laws applying to different types of data.  The data breach tracking website datalossdb.org notes approximately 8,000 breaches since 2004, affecting over 700,000,000 records.

Many misconceptions persist about the exposures of “cyber” liability,  the way in which these claims occur, and the extent to which they are insurable.

While many entities feel they are not exposed to “cyber” events, either because they do not handle Protected Health Information (PHI), because they do not sell goods or services online, because they outsource the storage of their data, or because they are small, there is almost no company that is not exposed to data breaches.

In reality, the simple presence of customer data, employee data, or confidential third party corporate data creates this exposure.  Though we often think of these events in “cyber” terms, some of the most severe incidents have come from the loss of paper files.

Many companies feel their small size insulates them from data breaches, though the reality is that smaller entities often have less staff able to be dedicated to a data breach response and a smaller balance sheet to settle liabilities.  Some small companies with limited assets have been forced into bankruptcy due to their post-breach liabilities.

The insurance products available in the market today are actually a group of products such as privacy liability (called “third party” coverage,) breach costs (“first party” coverage,) regulatory investigations, fines, and penalties, multimedia liability, cyber business interruption, damage to digital assets, and cyber extortion.  Many carriers have innovative enhancements to these coverages, or specialized coverages not available elsewhere.

The most commonly used portion of a cyber liability policy is the breach costs insuring agreement, which covers services such as computer forensics, notification to affected individuals, credit and/or identity monitoring, and public relations.  While limits, retentions, and policy language are all very important, many buyers find the availability of these resources, centralized through a single, experienced business partner to offer significant convenience and peace of mind.

Though the majority of data breaches are perpetrated by sophisticated hackers, Verizon’s 2013 Data Breach Investigations Report shows that approximately half of known data breaches were attributable to human error.  Often, human error facilitates the hack.  Approximately one sixth of the studied data breaches arose from third party business relationships.  In almost all cases, data storage facilities disclaim all liability for data breaches, leaving the data owner responsible for the costs.

The cyber liability marketplace has changed significantly in the recent past, with coverage now available to companies of all sizes, lower premiums, and lower retentions/deductibles.

Want to be certain you are covered? Hays Companies’ Cyber Liability Practice assists clients ranging from pre-revenue start-ups to established multi-billion dollar entities.  Cyber Liability Practice Leader Dave Wasson is available for complimentary consultations at 312.519.7141 or DWasson@HaysCompanies.com.