Winning the Race: How to Protect Your Intellectual Property

Posted by Brendon Bock, CLCS | Client Executive on October 8, 2018 at 10:00 AM
Winning the Race: How to Protect Your Intellectual Property

You remember the story of The Tortoise and the Hare. The moral of Aesop’s fable was that slow and steady wins the race.  But the truth is, today you have to be fast and steady. You have to be the tortoise AND the hare, not one or the other. Yes, you have to get your idea to market quickly.  But you also have to be steady and focused when it comes to protecting your intellectual property (IP).

So what can you do?  What are the best practices to protect intellectual property without slowing the development of your idea?

You might be in a hurry but it’s worth it to walk through some basic steps.  After all, intellectual property is the core of your business and keeping IP safe from external threats and internal prying eyes is essential to the security of your business.


To protect your IP from outside threats, here are some best practices to put into play:

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Topics: Property + Casualty, Technology

Creating a Fleet Safety Program That Sticks

Posted by Sean Reddy, CPCU, ARM | Principal on July 9, 2018 at 10:00 AM
Creating a Fleet Safety Program That Sticks

When it comes to managing your fleet, nothing matters more than keeping your drivers and cargo safe. While collisions will happen, a Safety Awareness Program can help dramatically reduce their frequency and severity.

How do you create a successful Safety Awareness Program?  Is your program engaging enough to help your employees retain the information?  Does it encourage drivers to practice and support the safety measures being implemented?

Here are some strategies you can use to make your Safety Awareness Program a success both in the classroom and behind the wheel:


While every Safety Awareness Program may be a bit different, ensuring its success all starts with the same basic actions:

  • Establishing clear goals and objectives early on.
  • Having management demonstrate direct and visible support.
  • Structuring training sessions to encourage active participation from drivers.
  • Providing access to comprehensive and varied learning materials.
  • Implementing effective investigation and incident follow-up methods.

Safety programs are an ongoing process of learning, feedback, and adjustment, so don’t be discouraged if it takes time to develop something to best serve your fleet. If you’re feeling stuck or just need some direction, our partners at Travelers created a handy Roadmap to Transportation Safety Management to help you find your way. Also, their Tips for Creating a Safety Awareness Program are a great in-depth view on the subject and could be your next source of inspiration.

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Topics: Property + Casualty, Safety

Cal/OSHA Reminds Employers to Protect Outdoor Workers from Heat Illness, Warns of Forthcoming Indoor Regulation

Posted by Jeff Hulson, Director, Risk & Loss Advisors on June 18, 2018 at 11:30 AM
Cal/OSHA Reminds Employers to Protect Outdoor Workers from Heat Illness, Warns of Forthcoming Indoor Regulation

June 2018 — As the warmer summer weather approaches, it is crucial for employers to take seasonal precautions to protect employees from the serious risk of heat stroke. While protecting employees at outdoor worksites remains key, a proposed regulation for indoor work environments is forthcoming in 2019.

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Topics: Property + Casualty, Safety, Construction

Avoiding a Product Recall

Posted by Michelle Landver, CIC on June 4, 2018 at 10:00 AM
Avoiding a Product Recall

Recalling a product is a situation that no company ever wants to be involved in. Despite the extreme unpleasantness associated with them, we hear about product recalls involving everything from contaminated food to unsafe furniture on a daily basis.

In the industries of consumer products, food services, and beyond, building a product recall risk management strategy involves several critical components. According to Stericycle Expert Solutions, the first lines of defense to protect your company are prevention and preparedness[1]:

  • Invest in automated technology. Utilizing automated technology can reduce the chances of human error and can ensure perishable goods are kept at the right temperature at all times.
  • Collect employee feedback. Creating an environment which encourages employees to notify management of potential issues right away will give your company a better handle on quality control.
  • Conduct a “mock recall.” A mock recall can help expose gaps in recall execution or identify weaknesses in supply chain traceability of ingredients or components.
  • Use regulatory bodies as a resource. Opening a line of communication can help your business understand expectations and procedures better. You may also benefit from maintaining a relationship if an issue that might trigger a recall arises.

Even with the best prevention and preparedness strategies in place, the chances of a product recall still exist. Here are four reasons why your company should strongly consider purchasing a product recall insurance policy to protect your balance sheet:

  • Recalls occur more often than you think. The U.S. Consumer Product and Safety Commission (CPSC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are just two of the regulatory bodies tasked with recalling products deemed to pose a potential health or safety risk to the public.
    • More than 4,200 product recalls were issued by US federal agencies in 2015 and trends are rising.[2]
  • Governmental oversight is more present than ever. Between the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008,the FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act of 2011, and new EU regulations, laws are becoming stricter and compliance continues to be a challenge for businesses.
    • 47% of food recalled in the US in 2016 was because of microbiological contamination.
    • 50% of surveyed food manufacturers spent more than $9 million when a product was recalled.
    • Some of the top product groups commonly recalled are food, electronics, children’s products, clothing, furniture, and appliances.
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Topics: Property + Casualty, Manufacturing

Insurance for Construction Companies: Get to Know It Before You Need It

Posted by Dan Urias, Client Executive on May 21, 2018 at 10:00 AM
Insurance for Construction Companies: Get to Know It Before You Need It

“I love reading through my insurance policies!” — said almost no one ever. More often than not, companies correctly rely on their insurance broker to do so for them. However, if you ever experience a claim, you’ll want to be familiar with the workings of your policy.

It is vital to put in the time to assess exposures, limits, and deductibles to ensure your coverage will cover potential claims the construction industry is prone to. As a trusted partner, our job is to understand the exposures related to a specific trade and dig deeper to help address those of particular importance for our clients. No one knows your trade better than you, however, and working together we can ensure you are covered for just about anything.

Before you start the conversation with your broker, here are some tips on how to review your program and be better prepared to address any potential areas requiring further coverage:

1. Check the declarations page. The declarations page will show you a few important items such as the insured, effective dates, limits, deductibles, and premium information. If you notice anything incorrect, get in touch with your broker to correct it right away.

2. Review your exclusions. Exclusions are items that are NOT covered by your policy, unless they are specifically added back in by endorsement.

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Topics: Property + Casualty, Workers' Compensation, Construction

California Supreme Court Ruling Establishes New Test For Determining Employment Status of Independent Contractors

Posted by Marsh & McLennan Agency West Region on May 10, 2018 at 8:00 AM
California Supreme Court Ruling Establishes New Test For Determining Employment Status of Independent Contractors

Decision may lead to higher costs and greater liabilities for employers

California employers who engage independent contractors are now subject to a stringent new test that may ultimately force employers to reclassify many of these workers as employees, according to a ruling by the California Supreme Court on April 30, 2018.

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Topics: Employee Benefits, Breaking News, Property + Casualty, Human Resources, Workers' Compensation

Digital Health: Merging Healthcare, Life Science, and Technology

Posted by Brett Buchanan, Client Executive on April 30, 2018 at 10:00 AM
Digital Health: Merging Healthcare, Life Science, and Technology

The healthcare industry is currently undergoing a major shift as the digital revolution continues to expand into every area of our lives. Companies are merging healthcare, life science, and technology to foster increased efficiency and better outcomes in the healthcare system. Many of our clients are at the forefront of this industry hailed as “digital health,” which is set to fundamentally change the entire healthcare landscape.

Startup Health recently disclosed that digital health just had its largest year of funding to date with a total of $11.5 billion invested and approximately 750 deals[1]. This investment has allowed many of our clients to take on new contracts and clients, expand services and product lines, move into new geographies, and grow their business.

As digital health companies continue to grow and expand, their liability, regulatory, and privacy risks constantly change because of the complexity of the industry. Recognizing this, Marsh & McLennan Agency recently launched a new practice dedicated to serving digital health companies by addressing their unique exposures.

To address some of these, we've created three risk 101 sheets for various industries. Download the PDFs below.

mHealth Risk 101

Telemedicine Risk 101

Healthcare IT Risk 101

Genomic Risk 101

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Topics: Property + Casualty, Technology, Market Trends, Healthcare, Digital Health

GDPR: How Will the New EU Data Protection Regulation Affect Your Business?

Posted by Brad Hering, Cyber Liability Practice on April 2, 2018 at 10:00 AM
GDPR: How Will the New EU Data Protection Regulation Affect Your Business?

With the enforcement date looming, now is the time for organizations to determine whether the EU’s new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) applies to their business, and to sort out steps to take in preparation of the law’s enforcement.  First thing’s first – do you need to worry about GDPR? Answer these questions to find out.

Here are a few fast facts about GDPR:

What is GDPR and when is it effective?

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is the EU’s new regulation designed to govern the collection, storage, and usage of private information.  The regulation was created in 2016 and has an enforcement effective date of May 25, 2018.

What is the regulation’s intent?

In short, the regulation is intended to provide citizens of the EU with more control around their personal information. The law aims to unify privacy laws in the EU and sets strict standards for the collection and storage of private information, with unprecedented requirements surrounding consent, inventory accounting, demonstration of compliance, and notification of potential data breaches.  While governed by the EU, GDPR will apply to any organization that collects or processes data of EU citizens, regardless of where the business is located.

What are the ramifications of non-compliance?

Non-compliance could have crippling consequences. Penalties for non-compliant companies that experience breaches could be up to 20 million euros (about $24,000,000 USD), or 4% of the company’s global revenue – whichever of the two is larger.

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Topics: Breaking News, Property + Casualty, Cyber & Data Security, Technology

Digital Health: Trends and New Legislation

Digital Health: Trends and New Legislation

After a record-breaking year of funding in 2017, 2018 is off to a promising start for digital health companies due to a flurry of changes in the healthcare industry. The biggest question for digital health companies: how will these changes impact your business?

Berkshire Hathaway, Amazon and JP Morgan Chase Join Forces

Over the past ten years, healthcare costs have been rising at or above the rate of wage increases, according to data from the Kaiser Family Foundation[1].  On January 30th, Berkshire Hathaway, Amazon and JP Morgan Chase announced that they will join forces by creating a company designed to provide more affordable healthcare to all of their employees. The joint effort represents a major paradigm shift in how medicine is delivered – by the employer itself.

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Topics: Property + Casualty, Technology, Market Trends, Healthcare, Digital Health

Commercial Insurance Trends and Managing Risk in 2018

Posted by Trindl Reeves, Principal, Chief Sales Officer on January 9, 2018 at 10:00 AM
Commercial Insurance Trends and Managing Risk in 2018

As we begin 2018, there are three areas to keep an eye on due to the uptick of claims and changing landscape: property, cyber and data security, and employment practices liability.


In 2017, the US experienced many natural disasters. Damages from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria and California fires are expected to result in record property losses. We can anticipate an increase in premium for all property, including vehicles. Auto premiums are already through the roof because of an increase in claims and expenses due to distracted driving and expensive technology. With almost 1 million cars lost during the hurricanes, the rates are bound to increase further.

Takeaway: 2017 losses were at a record high, but there is ample surplus in the insurance marketplace to absorb these claims. This year, we expect insurance companies to increase rates.  If you have a favorable claims history, work with your broker to maintain your current pricing.

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

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