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Five New Year’s Resolutions for Risk Managers

Jan 08, 2019 Notepad, coffee, phone and pen on a desk

As 2019 dawns, Hylant offers the following New Year’s resolution suggestions to help you strengthen and protect your business.

Treat All Employees Well
Promoting a fair and respectful work environment is always a wise business decision. After all, the cost to hire a new employee is more than $4,400, according to the Society for Human Resource Management’s 2017 Talent Acquisition Benchmarking Report.

Need another reason for treating everyone well? The “me too” and “times up” movements are generating more employment practices claims. In 2019, make sure your sexual harassment and anti-bullying policies are up-to-date and that your workforce is educated about those policies.

Learn about this and other commercial insurance industry trends here.

Create a Plan to Address Active Shooter Situations
Remember when you were in grade school and you participated in fire drills? It was relatively unlikely that a fire would ever break out, but if it did, you knew what to do without thinking. You had done it before. The same planning could save lives when it comes to active shooter situations, which are on the rise in the U.S.

Even when help arrives, the priority of first responders is to find and stop the shooter, not to protect bystanders. That means that any employee on-site when a situation develops will be responsible for his or her own safety. Doing nothing is not an option for survival. The shooter already has a plan in mind, so your employees must be prepared to act quickly. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security outlines three options: Run. Hide. Fight.

Learn more about active shooter response here and implement a plan in 2019 if you don’t already have one.

Learn About “Ordinance or Law” Coverage
Businesses have felt the effects of increasingly extreme weather in recent years. With 16 separate weather and climate events each exceeding $1 billion in damages, 2017 was historically bad for the U.S., according to NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information. With its catastrophic hurricanes and devastating wildfires, 2018 seemed determined to keep pace.

If your commercial building is damaged or destroyed, you may not be allowed to rebuild the structure as it was originally designed or constructed. You will need to adhere to the laws and codes in place at the time of an insured loss or that went into effect after the loss but before reconstruction begins. “Ordinance or law” coverage can provide protection against the extra expense and lengthened time of restoration, but it is often excluded in property policies (look at Section B, Exclusions, in your “Causes of Loss – Special Form”). Don’t be caught off guard in 2019.

Learn more about ordinance or law coverage here.

Keep Current on All Things Cyber
With the cost and frequency of cyberattacks on the rise, insurance carriers are grappling with this relatively new area of coverage and how it should apply. It isn’t as standardized as other forms of insurance. For risk managers, it’s important to understand the nuances of the language being used.

For example, in commercial property policies that still offer coverage for the loss of electronic data, programs and software, some insurers are attempting to restrict coverage triggered by “malicious code” to “code intended directly to harm the business property policyholder.” This change would eliminate coverage for a broad-based virus or cyberattack and limit it to only a targeted attack by, for example, a former or current disgruntled employee. In another example, where a criminal uses an email to masquerade as a CEO and tricks a company’s employee into transferring money (social engineering) to a bogus account, the loss likely will not be covered under a crime policy because the employee, not the cybercriminal, is seen as being the cause of the loss (read our case study).

Learn more about cyber fraud and social engineering here.

Work with a Broker Who Has Your Back
If you see your insurance broker only once a year, you have a problem. Your business changes over time, and your insurance broker should review your program on an ongoing basis. Together, you can proactively protect your enterprise.

In addition to year-round involvement and ongoing strategic consultation, you should be able to count on your broker for issue resolution. Your broker should provide benchmarking data and analytics to help you assess your plan design and identify cost-saving opportunities. Additionally, the two of you should meet well in advance of policy renewals to talk about program details and financial strategies.

Hylant clients know that their broker has their interests covered. If you would like to speak with someone about your business insurance needs and schedule a policy review, contact the nearest Hylant office.

The above information does not constitute advice. Always contact your insurance broker or trusted adviser for insurance-related questions.

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