Alera Group Acquires Ashbrook-Clevidence, Inc.

Posted on December 22nd, 2021

Alera Group, a top independent, national insurance and wealth services firm, today announced the acquisition of Ashbrook-Clevidence, Inc., a full-service insurance brokerage providing innovative insurance solutions for a wide range of clients.

“We're dedicated to understanding each one of our client's many unique insurance needs and long-term business challenges,” said Chris L. Clevidence, owner of Ashbrook-Clevidence, Inc. “This unwavering commitment to our customers has kept us going for more than 90 years and well-equipped for the ever-changing marketplace.”

Founded in 1927 and four generations strong, Ashbrook-Clevidence, Inc. provides innovative insurance solutions and develops lasting relationships with their clients. The services Ashbrook-Clevidence provide include employee benefits, property and casualty insurance, and Medicare.

“Ashbrook-Clevidence is well-versed in the insurance industry, and their specialized knowledge allows them to deliver the most cost-effective solutions for their clients.” said Alan Levitz, CEO of Alera Group. “Their dedication to client service makes them an excellent fit for Alera Group.”

The Ashbrook-Clevidence, Inc. team will continue serving clients in its existing roles. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

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About Alera Group

Alera Group is an independent, national insurance and wealth services firm with more than $850 million in annual revenue, offering comprehensive employee benefits, property and casualty, retirement plan services and wealth services solutions to clients nationwide. By working collaboratively across specialties and geographies, Alera Group’s team of more than 3,000 professionals in more than 120 offices provides creative, competitive services that help ensure a client’s business and personal success. For more information, visit www.jmjwebconsulting.com or follow us on LinkedIn.   

Alera Group Bolsters Disability Insurance Capabilities with Acquisition of The D.B.L. Center LTD.

Posted on December 21st, 2021

Alera Group, a top independent, national insurance and wealth services firm, today announced it has acquired The D.B.L. Center LTD., a wholesale insurance agency specializing in temporary disability insurance and employee benefit plans.

 

“Our focus at the D.B.L. Center LTD is on delivering competitive rates and white-glove service to more than 4,000 insurance agents across 15 states,” said Michael Cohen, President and CEO at The D.B.L. Center LTD. “We have written 100,000 policies and when clients purchase temporary disability insurance or temporary disability benefits from us, they unlock a whole world of discounts on additional niche wholesale insurance products that customers appreciate.”

 

The DBL Center Ltd. was founded in 1976 as a licensed insurance organization authorized to sell insurance in all 50 states. Throughout the agency’s 45 years in business, The DBL Center has grown to expand its line of niche insurance products to include important corporate employee benefits such as Long-Term Disability insurance, Group Life AD&D, vision and dental insurance. The company sells New York DBL insurance, New Jersey Temporary Disability Benefits (NJ TDB) and Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) in Hawaii.

 

“As a wholesale insurance seller, The D.B.L Center helps clients navigate the challenging disability insurance landscape and understand the benefits of enriched disability benefits law coverage, temporary disability insurance and temporary benefits,” said Alan Levitz, CEO of Alera Group. “We look forward to welcoming the D.B.L. Center to the Alera Group family and expanding our capabilities with this specialty.”  

The D.B.L. Center LTD. team will continue serving clients in its existing roles. Marsh, Berry & Company, Inc. acted as the exclusive financial adviser to The D.B.L. Center. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

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About Alera Group

Alera Group is an independent, national insurance and wealth services firm with more than $850 million in annual revenue, offering comprehensive employee benefits, property and casualty insurance, retirement plan services and wealth services solutions to clients nationwide. By working collaboratively across specialties and geographies, Alera Group’s team of more than 3,000 professionals in more than 120 offices provides creative, competitive services that help ensure a client’s business and personal success. For more information, visit www.jmjwebconsulting.com or follow us on LinkedIn.

Legal Alert: 6th Circuit Court of Appeals Dissolves 5th Circuit’s Stay of OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard for COVID-19 Vaccine and Testing; OSHA Plans to Implement Beginning January 10, 2022

Posted on December 20th, 2021

On December 17, 2021, the United States Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit (6th Circuit) dissolved the stay of OSHA’s November 5, 2021 Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) for private employers with 100 or more employees issued by the United States Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit (5th Circuit).  As a result of the 6th Circuit’s decision, OSHA announced that it intends to move forward with implementing the ETS. OSHA indicated it will not issue citations for noncompliance with its November 5, 2021 ETS before January 10 (which is now the deadline for employers to, among other things, develop their written COVID-19 vaccination policies). Further, if an employer is exercising reasonable, good faith efforts to come into compliance with ensuring its employees are fully vaccinated or submit to weekly testing, OSHA will not issue citations for any employees who are not fully vaccinated before (or if the employer is not testing prior to) February 9, 2022. 

Note, the 6th Circuit’s order only impacts private employers with 100 or more employees, it does not address the ETS for Health Care Workers or the COVID-19 Workplace Safety Guidance for Federal Contractors and Subcontractors, both of which have been separately enjoined in other lawsuits.  Currently, the mandate for health care workers has been enjoined in twenty-four states and the federal contractor mandate has been enjoined nationwide.

OSHA ETS

As a reminder, the ETS originally required employers with 100 or more employees to develop and implement a mandatory, written COVID-19 vaccination policy by December 5, 2021, or a written policy requiring employees to either be vaccinated or produce a negative COVID-19 test result and wear a face covering at work. Employers were originally required to begin enforcing the policy on January 4, 2022, meaning most employees of covered employers would have to submit to regular testing and wear a face covering or be fully vaccinated by January 4, 2022.

The ETS permits covered employers to allow for reasonable accommodation for employees who cannot be vaccinated and/or wear a face covering due to a disability, as defined by the ADA, or if vaccination, and/or testing for COVID-19, and/or wearing a face covering conflicts with an employee’s sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance.

Further, the ETS requires employers to provide employees with time off for obtaining their vaccinations.  Specifically, the ETS requires employers to provide employees with a reasonable amount of paid time (up to 4 hours at their regular rate of pay per dose, as applicable) to travel to and receive their COVID-19 vaccine dose(s).  Further, employers are required to provide reasonable time and paid sick leave to employees who need the time to recover from the side effects of the either dose, as applicable, of the vaccine.  

Litigation Background and 6th Circuit’s Decision

The OSHA ETS was immediately challenged by a number of petitioners, including states and private companies, seeking to permanently enjoin enforcement of the ETS.  On November 6, 2021, the 5th Circuit temporarily stayed enforcement of the ETS pending briefing by the parties and expedited judicial review. 

After completing its expedited review, on November 12, 2021, the 5th Circuit affirmed its initial stay, holding that petitioners met all four factors to establish the need for further stay, and ordered OSHA to take no further steps to implement or enforce the ETS pending adequate judicial review of the request for permanent injunction. 

Given the number of legal challenges in multiple federal jurisdictions, a “multi-circuit lottery” occurred on November 16, wherein the 6th Circuit Court of Appeal was assigned to hear the consolidated cases.  Just over a month later (after briefing by the parties), on December 17, 2021, the 6th Circuit issued an order dissolving the 5th Circuit’s stay, finding, among other things, that OSHA’s statutory mission to ensure safe and healthy working conditions for workers gives the agency broad authority to promulgate standards to meet this mission, including the authority to address viruses and infectious diseases in the workplace. 

What Does This Mean for Employers?

While the case is expected to be appealed to the United States Supreme Court (“Supreme Court”), there is no guarantee the Supreme Court will grant certiorari to review the decision or, if the Supreme Court does grant certiorari, that it will overturn the 6th Circuit’s decision.  Moreover, OSHA intends to move forward with implementing the ETS unless or until the Supreme Court decides otherwise. 

Accordingly, if they have not already done so, covered employers are encouraged to begin developing their written policies, notifying their employees whether they will be expected to be fully vaccinated by February 9, 2022 (if the employer is not implementing a testing option), or communicating how their testing option will work beginning on February 9, 2022, for those who are allowing a testing option.


About the Author. This alert was prepared for Alera Group by Barrow Weatherhead Lent LLP, a national law firm with recognized experts on the Affordable Care Act. Contact Stacy Barrow or Nicole Quinn-Gato at sbarrow@marbarlaw.com or nquinngato@marbarlaw.com

The information provided in this alert is not, is not intended to be, and shall not be construed to be, either the provision of legal advice or an offer to provide legal services, nor does it necessarily reflect the opinions of the agency, our lawyers or our clients. This is not legal advice. No client-lawyer relationship between you and our lawyers is or may be created by your use of this information. Rather, the content is intended as a general overview of the subject matter covered.  This agency and Barrow Weatherhead Lent LLP are not obligated to provide updates on the information presented herein. Those reading this alert are encouraged to seek direct counsel on legal questions.

© 2022 Barrow Weatherhead Lent LLP. All Rights Reserved.

Employee Benefit Trends and Strategies for 2022

Posted on December 15th, 2021

Readers of Alera Group’s report on our most recent Employer Pulse Survey and viewers of our December 16, 2021, webinar on how employers are tackling COVID-19-related decisions will have a good sense of how their peers and competitors have been handling the pandemic era’s unprecedented employee benefit and HR challenges. That information in those presentations will help guide their own benefit and HR decisions in the year to come.

The next webinar in our Alera Engage series will go a step further – and help you and your organization get several steps ahead.

Join us on Thursday, January 20, for a presentation on employee benefit trends and strategies for 2022. During the one-hour session, we’ll focus on the most prominent trends to anticipate in the months ahead, examining each from a cost and employee perspective to help your organization:

  • Provide your employees with benefits that are desired, valuable and accessible;
  • Attract and retain workforce talent;
  • Do these things while staying within your budget and maintaining a strong bottom line.

Joining me for the presentation will be Cheryl Matochik, Managing Director and Partner at Third Horizon Strategies. A strategic advisor to organizations that provide business insurance solutions, Cheryl specializes in helping brokers with corporate strategy, digital cost-savings initiatives and new areas of growth. During the webinar, we’ll examine benefit trends and strategies based on the size of the insured group and whether it’s fully- or self-insured. A Q&A session will conclude the program.

Our objective is to enable you to be proactive, rather than reactive, as you tackle such pandemic-related challenges as:

To register, click on the link below.

REGISTER FOR THE WEBINAR


About the Author

Sally Prather
Executive Vice President, Employee Benefits
Alera Group

Sally Prather has more than 25 years of experience helping clients, associates and businesses achieve their goals through growth-oriented insurance, benefit and HR solutions.

Contact Information:

Alera Group Expands Philadelphia Footprint with Acquisition of Simkiss & Block

Posted on December 15th, 2021

Deerfield, IL (December 15, 2021)— Alera Group, a top independent, national insurance and wealth services firm, announced today the acquisition of Simkiss & Block, a leading full-service insurance and surety brokerage, risk management consultant, and financial services partner for organizations large and small.

“Today’s risk and employee benefits challenges are increasingly sophisticated and complex. At Simkiss & Block we confront them head on, in order to help our clients confidently grow into tomorrow,” said Brian Block, President & CEO at Simkiss & Block. “For more than 50 years, we’ve developed effective strategies by immersing ourselves in understanding the fundamentals of our clients’ businesses.”

Founded in 1964 and headquartered outside Philadelphia, Simkiss & Block services the full spectrum of risk management and employee benefits, including corporate risk, surety bonds, employee benefits, private client insurance and private equity risk.

“We are thrilled to welcome Simkiss & Block to the Alera Group family,” said Alan Levitz, CEO of Alera Group. “Simkiss & Block is a global leader in providing custom risk and benefits solutions for their diverse clientele all over the world. Simkiss & Block will bolster our expertise in risk and benefits management, as well as expand our footprint and capabilities in Philadelphia.”  

The Simkiss & Block team will continue serving clients in their existing roles. Terms of the transaction were not announced.

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About Alera Group

Alera Group is an independent, national insurance and wealth services firm with more than $850 million in annual revenue, offering comprehensive employee benefits, property and casualty, retirement plan services and wealth services solutions to clients nationwide. By working collaboratively across specialties and geographies, Alera Group’s team of more than 3,000 professionals in more than 120 offices provides creative, competitive services that help ensure a client’s business and personal success. For more information, visit www.jmjwebconsulting.com or follow us on LinkedIn.   

Broker Compensation Disclosure: What Alera Group Is Doing For You

Posted on December 14th, 2021

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (the “CAA”) was signed into law on December 27, 2020, and includes several provisions impacting group health plans and health insurance issuers. Section 202 of the CAA amends Section 408(b)(2) of ERISA and creates new transparency requirements that impact group health plans and their brokers or consultants.

What is it? Specifically, group health plans must receive disclosures from brokers or consultants (or their affiliates or subcontractors) who reasonably expect to receive $1,000 or more (indexed for inflation) in direct or indirect compensation in connection with providing certain designated insurance-related services to the group health plan. The disclosures will include a description of the services, a description of direct and/or indirect compensation, including any finder’s fees. Alera Group’s disclosures will contain all components required under the CAA.

Is this new? The rule is new, but Alera Group and its companies have long provided our clients with transparent information about payment and fees. Going forward, this disclosure will take a more standard format and follow the timing rules of the CAA. We are, as always, happy to answer questions about our compensation. 

When is this disclosure due? These rules go into effect for all contracts or covered services executed or renewed on or after December 27, 2021, and thereafter. The timing of your specific disclosure(s) will be dependent upon the placement or renewal dates of your policies.

Do you have to do anything? No, other than an acknowledgement you received the disclosure. You will have 10 days to sign off on the receipt and acknowledgement of the disclosure, but if you do not, it is deemed to be accepted after 10 days. Of course, if you have any questions about the disclosure Alera Group and its companies will answer any follow up questions you might have.

Will the dollar values match my 5500? Generally speaking, the compensation disclosure you receive will likely not align with Form 5500. The reason for this is that the disclosure form may not set forth specific compensation amounts, whereas Form 5500 will do so. In addition, Form 5500 will set forth more specific information about certain types of contingent compensation, which will not be captured in detail in your compensation disclosure form.

What happens if my plans or policies change, or the compensation Alera Group receives changes? During the year, Alera Group has 60 days to update the disclosure if needed. We must also provide, upon request from a plan fiduciary or administrator, “any other information relating to the compensation received in connection with the contract or arrangement.” Good faith errors and omissions in the disclosure will not be considered a violation if they are corrected within 30 days of Alera Group becoming aware of them.

Alera Group Adds Heist Insurance Agency in Latest Acquisition

Posted on December 14th, 2021

Alera Group, a top independent, national insurance and wealth services firm, announced today the acquisition of Heist Insurance Agency, an independent insurance company providing excellent insurance services in Southern New Jersey and beyond.

“Our service team is committed to staying up to date in all areas that can affect our clients. Our commitment to the most modern technology gives us the tools we need in order to provide quality service quickly and efficiently,” said Thomas Heist IV, President of Heist Insurance Agency. “Our clients are the reason that we’re in business. This simple philosophy keeps our focus and priorities straight and ensures the people who rely on us never get less than stellar service.”

Heist Insurance Agency provides a variety of services, including personal insurance, business insurance, flood insurance and condominium insurance. Heist Insurance Agency offices are located throughout Southern New Jersey in Ocean City, Margate, Egg Harbor Township, Marmora and Vineland.

“Heist Insurance Agency has been a trusted regional insurance agency for more than 50 years,” said Alan Levitz, CEO of Alera Group. “The firm has a wide breadth of business experience and insurance solutions. We’re pleased to expand our footprint in New Jersey with an agency that shares our dedication to providing exemplary localized services and solutions for clients.”

The Heist Insurance Agency team will continue serving clients in their existing roles. Terms of the transaction were not announced.

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About Alera Group

Alera Group is an independent, national insurance and wealth services firm with more than $850 million in annual revenue, offering comprehensive employee benefits, property and casualty, retirement plan services and wealth services solutions to clients nationwide. By working collaboratively across specialties and geographies, Alera Group’s team of more than 3,000 professionals in more than 120 offices provides creative, competitive services that help ensure a client’s business and personal success. For more information, visit www.jmjwebconsulting.com or follow us on LinkedIn.   

Alera Group Expands Property and Casualty Capabilities Through Acquisition of Erich Courant & Co.

Posted on December 13th, 2021

Alera Group, a top independent, national insurance and wealth services firm, today announced it has acquired Erich Courant & Co., a leading insurance agency offering property and casualty coverage in the Tristate area and throughout the country.

“Our mission is to be the most trustworthy insurance agent and partner, helping our clients safeguard their largest assets – their homes and businesses,” said Howard Bergstein, President at Erich Courant & Co. “We are thrilled to bring our client-first perspective to Alera Group and scale our solutions throughout the company’s 120 offices.”

Erich Courant & Co. was established in 1949, serving a multitude of markets and offering personal, commercial and specialty lines of coverage. The agency is headquartered in Maywood, New Jersey.

“For more than 70 years, Erich Courant & Co. has been a trusted regional insurance provider,” said Alan Levitz, CEO of Alera Group. “Their team of dedicated professionals committed to providing clients with customized personal service are a great addition to Alera Group.”

Erich Courant & Co. joins Alera Group through the firm’s Northeast offices. The Erich Courant & Co. team will continue serving clients in its existing roles. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

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About Alera Group

Alera Group is an independent, national insurance and wealth services firm with more than $850 million in annual revenue, offering comprehensive employee benefits, property and casualty insurance, retirement plan services and wealth services solutions to clients nationwide. By working collaboratively across specialties and geographies, Alera Group’s team of more than 3,000 professionals in more than 120 offices provides creative, competitive services that help ensure a client’s business and personal success. For more information, visit www.jmjwebconsulting.com or follow us on LinkedIn.    

Alera Group Releases 2022 Property and Casualty Market Outlook

Posted on December 13th, 2021

Alera Group, a top independent, national insurance and wealth services firm, today released its 2022 Property and Casualty Market Outlook.

This extensive document provides a comprehensive, future-oriented view of the property & casualty market from coast to coast, both by coverage line and industry. This report gathers input from national carriers, regional carriers and wholesalers and paired its findings with Alera Group’s industry experts across the country, revealing rising rates in nearly every line of coverage for 2022.

Some of the report’s key takeaways include:

  • Pricing Continues to Increase: Rate increases are anticipated in all lines of business, with significant variations between lines of business.
  • There is Some Moderation in the Rate of Increase: The rate of increase appears to be slowing in some lines, as well as some softening of property rates in noncatastrophe areas.

“As organizations continue to face the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, we are proud to release this extensive resource forecasting 2022 market conditions,” said Mark Englert, Executive Vice President and Property and Casualty Practice Leader at Alera Group. “While many portions of the market will likely remain hard, we expect to see moderation in some rate increases, which will be welcome news for many organizations.”

“While 2021 proved to be difficult for placement and rate increases, we hope to see some small areas of relief in the market ahead,” said Jane Koppenheffer, President of The Insurance Alliance Network, an Alera Group company. “Together with our national experts and carrier partners across the country, we will continue to guide clients through the pandemic and surrounding circumstances.”

The 2022 Property and Casualty Market Outlook is available for download by clicking here. Contact a local Alera Group office or email info@aleragroup.com with questions and requests for assistance.

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About Alera Group

Alera Group is an independent, national insurance and wealth management firm with more than $850 million in annual revenue, offering comprehensive employee benefits, property and casualty, retirement plan services and wealth services solutions to clients nationwide. By working collaboratively across specialties and geographies, Alera Group’s team of more than 3,000 professionals in more than 120 offices provides creative, competitive services that help ensure a client’s business and personal success. For more information, visit www.jmjwebconsulting.com or follow us on LinkedIn.  

Franchise Insurance: Understanding Risks and Relationships

Posted on December 13th, 2021

Every franchise owner has decisions to make about insurance. How many decisions, and how complex the options, depends on the industry and the franchisor. 

One of the most important insurance decisions a franchise operator can make is in selecting an agent or broker. Whether you’re a franchisor or a franchisee, it’s critical that you work with an insurance professional who has a thorough understanding of two factors: 

  1. The relationship between franchisor and franchisee; 
  2. The risks and exposures inherent in the franchise’s industry. 

Let’s start with the franchisor-franchisee relationship, terms of which are set in the franchise agreement. Every business within a franchise bears at least some resemblance to its fellow franchise members, but while some franchisors exert extensive control over franchisees, others allow a good deal of autonomy.  

Auto franchises, for example, typically exercise massive oversight of their dealerships, requiring their mechanics to be trained and certified by the manufacturer. Restaurant chains typically dictate menu offerings and food-preparation procedures. But there are many franchise establishments in the United States — more than 785,000 as of February 2020, according to the International Franchise Association — and some exert relatively little control after the owner pays the franchise fee and signs the franchise agreement. 

Whatever your franchisor-franchisee relationship is, the insurance firm and representative you work with to design your customized coverage is entirely up to you. 

10 Essential Coverages  

Most franchise businesses should have protection in the form of these 10 basic insurance coverages:   

  • Property — Commercial Property Insurance covers your business’ physical location or equipment, including computers, documents, furniture, inventory and tools, if it is damaged, destroyed or stolen. 
  • General Liability — Coverage protects both the franchisor and the franchisee from personal injury if a customer is injured on the premises due to an accident such as a slip and fall. 
  • Directors and Officers (D&O) — Also known as Management Liability Insurance, this protects directors, officers and managers from lawsuits and financial harm arising from mistakes or wrongful acts while managing the business. 
  • Employment Practices Liability — Following the rise of the #MeToo and Black Lives Matter movements, COVID-19 and vaccination requirements have raised the importance of Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) to unprecedented levels, including among franchises. EPLI protects against lawsuits by current, former and prospective employees for claims such as sexual harassment, discrimination, wrongful termination and more. 
  • Product Liability — If your franchise manufactures, distributes or sells products, you need this coverage to protect you from legal liability resulting from a product defect that caused personal injury or property damage. Product Recall Insurance is advisable as well. 
  • Excess Liability — In the era of nuclear verdicts in liability lawsuits, Excess Liability Insurance is frequently necessary to provide coverage beyond the limits of a General Liability policy. 
  • Commercial Auto — This covers both damage to the vehicle and liability for accidents involving cars, trucks and vans used for business purposes. 
  • Equipment Breakdown — From ovens to refrigerators to computers, this covers losses caused by electrical or mechanical breakdown on business equipment, including repair and replacement costs resulting from damage caused by the breakdown. 
  • Loss of Business Income — Also known as Business Interruption Insurance, coverage protects you against events that prevent or hamper your ability to do business due to events beyond your control, such as natural disasters and structure fires.  
  • Cyber — Cybersecurity is an issue that affects both individual franchise businesses and overall brands. Some franchisors have policies that cover all franchisees, others require franchisees to purchase their own coverage, and others don’t require it at all, believing the cost outweighs the risk to a small business. The latter view is naïve, at best.  
  • Workers’ Compensation — If an employee incurs physical injury resulting from an accident or exposure to disease while on the job, Workers’ Comp covers resulting loss. 

Franchisor Considerations 

If you’re a franchisor, have you adequately protected yourself by insuring and/or transferring risk? As the online hub Small Business Trends notes in its August 2020 article “Franchise Agreement: 20 Important Things to Know”: 

“The franchise agreement will include the requirement for the franchisee to maintain certain insurance coverage throughout the term of the franchise. Expect indemnification clauses, as well. For example, the franchisee will probably be required to ‘indemnify, defend and hold harmless’ the franchisor against any claims, costs, damages and expenses arising out of the franchisee’s activities.” 

Yet there’s still more to consider. What, if any, franchisee risks do you assume? What, if any, coverages do you require franchises to provide themselves? Do any uncovered exposures remain? 

Franchisee Considerations  

If you’re a franchisee, what, if any, coverages does the franchisor provide? What coverages does the franchisor mandate in the franchise agreement? Are those coverages enough to fully protect your business from all the risks and exposures you face – some of which may be very different from those faced by a franchisee of the same brand but different location? 

McDonald’s restaurant in the heart of New York City’s Chinatown, for example, would require different coverage compared to a McDonald’s doing exclusively drive-through business, which would have different coverage needs compared to, say, the McDonald’s housed in an 18th century Greek Revival mansion in Freeport, Maine

Similarly, the risks facing a franchise restaurant are largely different from those facing the franchise tax-preparation franchise right next door, which is where your insurance professional’s knowledge of your industry is vital.  

Agent/Broker Considerations  

That specialized knowledge also informs the agent’s or broker’s insight into what solutions would be best, in regard not only to appropriateness of coverage but also to affordability.  

The ongoing hard market for property and casualty insurance has generally meant decreased availability, increased underwriter scrutiny, higher rates and lower limits — though the extent of those effects varies from industry to industry, location to location and even business to business. Claim histories are one key determinant, but so are industry volatility, regional weather and other exposures, such as product liability or the use of delivery drivers. 

Consulting with a knowledgeable, experienced agent or broker will enable you to determine whether alternative means of coverage, such as a captive insurance program, is your best option. If not, economy of scale might make a franchise or consortium of franchisees eligible for a national program with a traditional insurance carrier.  

Again, it takes an insurance professional who understands the franchisor-franchisee relationship and the franchise’s industry — as well as the property and casualty market — to inform you of the options available and advise you as to the best solution for your business.  

How Peers and Competitors Are Responding to COVID-19 

No industry or business, franchise or otherwise, has been immune to the effects of COVID-19. Throughout the pandemic, Alera Group has conducted national employer surveys to determine how business of various sizes, industries and locations are navigating employee health, benefits and human resources issues, including: 

  • Talent attraction and retention 
  • Mental health 
  • Work-from-home, hybrid and return-to-work policies 
  • Vaccination. 

We conducted our most recent survey from October 18 to November 4, and the results are now available in a comprehensive, user-friendly report, “COVID-19 Employer Pulse Survey, Part 3.” We’ll discuss the results in a one-hour webinar on Thursday, December 16, and we invite you to join us. You’ll gain valuable insight to how other organizations are responding to the HR and benefits challenges you and your business face. 

DOWNLOAD THE REPORT 

REGISTER FOR THE WEBINAR 


About the Author 

Griff Gatewood
Associate Vice President
Lighthouse Group, an Alera Group Company 

Griff Gatewood and his team develop commercial insurance, Surety, and alternative risk management strategies centered around the needs of businesses in the construction, manufacturing and security industries throughout the Midwest and beyond. 

Contact Information: 

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