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Trust Member Saves $180K Annually with CharterShield School Benefits Trust

By Pedro Reyes, Principal

clock April 17, 2017 at 10:00 AM

You heard right. Compared to the direct market or offers from alternative brokers, our client Community Collaborative is saving approximately $180,000 per year by joining the CharterShield School Benefits Trust. Under the trust structure, employers qualify for large group rates, regardless of their size.

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Topics: Employee Benefits, Market Trends

How to Keep Working Remotely From Becoming a Pain in the Neck

By Jeff Hulson, Director, Risk & Loss Advisors

clock April 6, 2017 at 8:00 AM

The flexibility to work anywhere, thanks to the magic of mobile devices and laptops, is mostly terrific except in one crucial way – the punishment it delivers to the human body when effective ergonomic practices are an afterthought.

That’s a real issue for employers as they try to accommodate employees who increasingly value work-life balance and the ability to get their job done outside of the office. A new survey by Bentley University in Massachusetts found that 78 percent of millennia employees want the ability to work from home, and 96 percent say they want flexible work schedules.

So how do employers ensure that a work area or work station outside of the office isn’t going to lead to problems? To find out, read the rest of the San Francisco Business Times article by clicking the button below.

 *Originally published on San Francisco Business Times

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Topics: Property + Casualty, Market Trends

Beyond Benefits Celebrates Historic Rate Decrease

By Erin Schultze, Client Executive, Trust Services

clock March 20, 2017 at 10:00 AM

This year, Beyond Benefits members experienced a 1.4% employee benefits rate decrease, while other life science companies outside of the trust are seeing double digit increases. To celebrate the program’s continued success, Beyond Benefits members joined Barney & Barney/MMA, Biocom and Anthem Blue Cross for a post-renewal celebration. Check out the video below for more information.

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Topics: Employee Benefits, Health Care Reform, Market Trends

Commercial Insurance Trends in 2017

By Trindl Reeves, Principal, Chief Sales Officer, Commercial Department

clock January 23, 2017 at 10:00 AM

Happy New Year, everyone. As we begin 2017, let’s take a look at what’s going on in three specific areas of insurance: Workers’ Compensation, Cyber & Data Security, and Auto. Let’s also consider the impact of these trends and discuss some appropriate actions you might want to explore.  

Workers’ Compensation

In California, workers’ compensation rates are declining and the California Department of Insurance has recommended over 10% rate reduction since this time last year. However, there are a few changes that could impact your business.

Experience Modification

Effective January 1, 2017, The Workers' Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California (WCIRB) is calculating experience modification (ex-mod) using a different formula. Ex-mod provides employers with a financial incentive to reduce workers’ comp claims. The new formula was developed with hopes of leveling the playing field for small businesses by penalizing companies based on their size (total payroll) and their frequency of claims versus severity.

Takeaway: The net cost to the worker’s compensation system is neutral, but roughly 50% of our clients will see an increase in their ex-mod. Find out if your premiums will be going up this year by asking your insurance brokers to calculate your projected ex-mod using the new formula.

AB 2883

Beginning January 1, 2017, AB 2883 went into full effect in California, changing the exclusion requirements for directors and officers. Under this change to the labor law, an officer must own no less than 15% of the company to qualify for exclusion from workers’ compensation coverage.

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Topics: Property + Casualty, Market Trends

It’s Not A Typo. Employee Benefit Rates Are Actually Going Down For Some Life Science And Biotech Companies.

By Madalyn Altschuler, Manager, MarketLink & Benefits Communications

clock September 13, 2016 at 10:05 AM

At a time when employee benefits are rising at almost double-digit rates, how is it possible for rates to be dropping for some firms?

You just need to belong to Beyond Benefits.

The window of opportunity, however, is quickly closing. Deadline for enrollment in the trust and access to below market rates is September 30, 2016.

Founded by BIOCOM in partnership with Barney & Barney, Beyond Benefits enables life science and biotech companies to pool their purchasing power and secure employee benefit rates similar to organizations with a large number of employees.

In 2017, the 198 members of Beyond Benefits will see a 1.4% rate reduction. Meanwhile, companies not participating in Beyond Benefits will likely face an average rate increase of 9.2%* in 2017.

Since 2012, Beyond Benefits has saved member companies more than $89 million in medical premiums, or about $6 million annually. More than 6,500 biotech and life sciences employees are covered by the program.

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Topics: Employee Benefits, Market Trends

Workers’ Comp: Will You Be Paying More in 2017?

By David Freeman, Director, Commercial Sales

clock August 22, 2016 at 10:00 AM

Beginning in September, companies across California will learn whether they will be paying more for workers’ compensation insurance next year.

For some doing business in the Golden State, it will be an unwelcome surprise. The increase could be significant.

The potential rate changes are due to a rule approved last year by California Insurance Commissioner David Jones. Beginning in 2017, the formula to determine an organization’s “experience modification,” the rate used to calculate workers’ comp pricing, will change.

The rationale for the change was to level the playing field for small businesses. Previously, the one-size-fits all formula had the potential to unfairly penalize smaller organizations.  A few claims had a dramatic affect on their workers’ comp premiums, a consequence usually not seen with larger businesses.

For many, the new formula will likely result in little change in their workers’ comp premium. However, it’s likely that some large and small employers with a higher frequency of claims will see a dramatic impact.

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Topics: Property + Casualty, Market Trends, Workers' Compensation

Delaware Ruling May Have Positive Impact on Directors & Officers Liability Rates

By Kala Collett, RPLU, Marketing Speciality - Executive Liability

clock July 11, 2016 at 10:00 AM

The Delaware Supreme Court may have singled-handedly done what the market has been trying to do for years: Make Directors & Officers liability insurance more affordable.

In early May, the Delaware Supreme Court essentially instructed trial courts to throw out future lawsuits challenging corporate acquisitions or mergers that have been properly approved by shareholders. The implications in the Zales case are far-reaching and may discourage M&A litigation. The ruling should also continue to soften D&O rates for publicly traded companies.

A High Bar

The Delaware court’s decision spelled out the future hurdles necessary to oppose a merger or acquisition. If investors are fully informed and have the authority to turn down a takeover, a merger or acquisition cannot be challenged. That’s true even if there were significant mistakes made by directors in the process, so long as a majority of shares owned by disinterested stockholders voted in favor of the deal.

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Topics: Property + Casualty, Market Trends

Economic Trends: Important Considerations for Managing Risk in 2016

By Trindl Reeves, Principal, Chief Sales Officer, Commercial Department

clock January 13, 2016 at 10:30 AM

From the Nepal earthquake to the California wildfires destroying over 1,000 homes, 2015 was a year of extremes. Even so, the United States experienced a light loss year, with insured losses due to weather and storms down 36% in comparison to 2014, while, globally, the natural catastrophic losses kept pace with past years. For the insurance market as a whole, rates are continuing to trend downward, which has been the case since 2013.

As we begin 2016, let’s take a look at what’s going on in five specific areas of insurance: Property & Casualty, Executive Risk, Cyber & Data Security, Terrorism and Workers’ Compensation.

Property & Casualty

Overall, 85% of our clients are expected to receive a decrease in premium, with an average rate reduction of 4.1% across all lines of coverage, dependent on claims history. However, there is one exception to this trend: automobile coverage. Modern cars are equipped with technology features that are very expensive to repair, so auto insurance premiums are currently increasing by 5-10% across the board.

Another trend in the Property & Casualty area is social engineering, a sophisticated form of “phishing” where a hacker convinces employees to send money to a criminal source. To be covered for an attack, social engineering needs to be added to a Crime Policy, as it is not automatically included.

2016 Takeaway: Insurance carriers are hungry for business and are willing to drop rates to keep clients with low claims history. Companies can take advantage of this by negotiating renewals early to lock in low rates.

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Topics: Property + Casualty, Cyber & Data Security, Market Trends

Could Social Engineering Fraud Be Happening at Your Business?

By Michael Segreti, Client Service Executive, Executive Liability Division

clock October 12, 2015 at 10:00 AM

It’s a bit of a mouthful and may not sound as familiar as “hacker” or “data breach,” but social engineering fraud is just as insidious and can be just as costly to a business. This growing threat does not discriminate and is affecting businesses of all sizes. If you have employees, then your business faces a potential loss due to social engineering fraud.

Social Engineering Explained

Social engineering fraud is a sophisticated “phishing” attack that attempts to intentionally mislead employees, convincing them to send money or divert a payment to a source that turns out to be a criminal. The contact can attack via phone or letter, but most often invades your system by email.

Unlike a normal phishing attack, social engineering fraudsters take a much more targeted approach. They pretend to be a vendor, client, or even another employee by attempting to make their communications look as official and routine as possible. On the surface, the communication appears entirely legitimate, and if the imposter has rudimentary hacking skills, he can even make these emails seem as if they are part of an existing thread.

The targeted employee, often bombarded by emails, may not think twice about the request and follow through, especially if it’s somewhat in line with standard operating procedures.

5 Steps to Prevent an Attack

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Topics: Property + Casualty, Cyber & Data Security, Market Trends

California Employers at Greater Risk of EPL Claims

By Lauren Booth, XLP Marketing Associate

clock June 8, 2015 at 10:00 AM

Wage and Hour lawsuits are common employment-related disputes, and most often include allegations involving overtime pay and misclassification of employees. The following is a brief update on the Management Liability marketplace, specific to California Employment Practices Liability (EPL) and Wage and Hour trends. 

Advisen, a leader in aggregating a wide variety of information relevant to the business insurance industry, aggregating information relevant to the business insurance industry aggregating information relevant to the business insurance industry published an article in March of this year outlining some staggering statistics for California EPL losses compared with those of other US states. 

  • Wage and Hour claims account for 40% of all California EPL losses compared to an average of 28% for other states (these figures include both Public and Private companies).
  • In many cases, settlement values of EPL claims in California can be up to 4 times the settlement values of other states.
  • The average settlement for California Wage and Hour claims is more than $6M versus $1.5M in other states.
  • The average settlement for California age discrimination is almost $8M versus $2M elsewhere in the United States.

With employment related claims statistically higher in California, it’s important to ensure your company is taking appropriate measures to reduce risk of a claim. Here are a few practices that employers can implement to reduce EPL claims, specifically wage and hour claims.

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Topics: Property + Casualty, Market Trends

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