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America’s Opioid Epidemic and Workplace Injuries:  How Employers and Insurance Companies Can Work Together to Combat Addiction

By Michelle Landver, CIC

clock October 16, 2017 at 10:00 AM

The opioid epidemic in America has become so severe that not a day goes by without hearing stories or reading about it in the news. For employers, opioid addiction has has a huge negative impact on the workplace and workforce.

Many workers who are injured on the job and are treated within the workers’ compensation system are prescribed opioids for pain management[1]. In an effort to reduce claims and costs, insurance carriers are introducing new solutions to combat opioid addiction.

In 2015, Travelers established the Early Severity Predictor model, which cut the use of opioids in over 500,000 injured employees by 30% and has helped employers reduce medical claims expenses by up to 50%[2]. The model works by identifying the likelihood that someone will develop chronic pain, a leading cause of opioid dependency. Travelers shares the results with the injured employee’s physician, helping them to identify effective treatment alternatives in order to avoid opioids.  The insurer’s claims handling professionals can also use this information to evaluate requests for prescription payments.

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

Two Ways Mid-Size Employers Can Reign in Health Care Costs

By Matthew Coan, Principal, Employee Benefits Division

clock July 6, 2017 at 10:00 AM

For businesses of any size, controlling costs in this evolving healthcare environment is critical. Many smaller to mid-sized companies, however, aren’t aware of two lesser-known strategies effective at reigning in healthcare spending and regaining control.

The first is implementing a form of self-funding for employee benefits known as a captive. The second is containing prescription drug expenses by renegotiating pharmacy agreements and empowering employees to participate in cost-saving behaviors.

To find out more about these two cost-saving methods, read the rest of the San Francisco Business Times article by clicking the button below.

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Topics: Breaking News, Market Trends

Construction Industry: Are You Ready for an Influx of Work?

By Dan Urias, Client Executive & Richard Hallett, Principal, Director of Surety

clock June 5, 2017 at 10:05 AM

Preparing for Success When New Opportunities Arise

In April 2017, the California State Legislature approved Senate Bill 1, a transportation funding bill. The Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017 will generate more than $5 billion annually for road repairs and mass transit. The bill addresses a $136 billion backlog of repairs and improvements across California, creating thousands of jobs, an abundance of contract work, and growth opportunities for the construction industry.

While this is great news for eager companies, is your business equipped to handle the influx of work? How can you ensure that your company is set up for success when competing for bids?

A detailed assessment of specific aspects of your operation is the best way to make sure your company is ready. With a strong handle on the following areas, your team will have the best shot at winning and delivering on opportunities created by the transportation bill.

Evaluate Your Capacity

Assess your firm’s bonding and new bid capacity to determine if your current program can support bid opportunities over the next 12–24 months. Begin discussions with your insurance broker and bonding company about pursuing projects under the new legislation and how best to prepare.

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Topics: Property + Casualty, Market Trends

Cyber Hacking Tactics: Coming From All Angles

By Mike Grant, Principal and Director of Commercial Division

clock May 9, 2017 at 10:00 AM

Cyber crime has become the new norm, with 39% of breaches targeting companies smaller than $100M in revenue [1]. And while healthcare, retail, financial and educational organizations are frequent targets, every company has data and money that the hackers would love to get their hands on. Traditionally, we’ve seen attacks ranging from hacking servers for customer information, to hacking stolen laptops, and spear phishing emails where the hacker sends an email from the traveling CEO or CFO to request a wire transfer to a specific company. During tax season, they have even been sending spear phishing emails to the Human Resources or Finance department to target employees’ W2s.

But cyber hackers are creative and they are always looking for new angles to catch companies off guard.

In the past week, two of our clients have experienced a cyber breach involving some less frequent strategies.

  • Compromising an Amazon store login and diverting funds to a new banking account
  • Spoofing a vendor’s email to request payment to a new account

It’s clear that hackers are getting smarter and using new angles to target businesses. To mitigate your company’s risk, it’s crucial to be vigilant and aware of new types of attempts to steal money and information. Be mindful and train your employees to recognize phishing emails and scams. Confirm requests for changes via a different mode of communication.  For example, if the request came in via email, then call a known number to confirm the requested change.  Beazley Insurance offers additional employee training on phishing here.

For companies seeking proven protection for their cyber, network security and privacy exposures, a Cyber/Data Breach insurance policy remains the best and most affordable insurance solution. Follow our blog to stay up to date with the latest cyber security and insurance trends.

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Topics: Cyber & Data Security, Market Trends

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 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 Marsh & McLennan Agency, 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

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