Monday, December 29, 2014

Are you ready for insurance in 2015?

Digital and technological integration is changing the workplace, and the insurance industry is no exception.

Approximately one out 
of four insurers are 
taking the lead in digital transformation, and this elite group is already aiming to achieve significant benefits. These are the companies to watch because, if they are successful, competitors will find themselves scrambling to catch up.

But despite the fact that most insurers are aware of the need to invest in digital technologies, many feel that the change from traditional models to new practices are not always welcome. In fact, for some carriers, digital technologies create more challenges than opportunities.



Tuesday, December 23, 2014

10 Healthiest States in America

It’s that time of year again…for the rankings of the healthiest (and unhealthiest) states in America.

The United Health Foundation’s 2014 America’s Health Rankings reviews the status of the nation’s health, state by state. For the past 25 years, the United Health Foundation, along with the American Public Health Association and the Partnership for Prevention, has been crunching data to reveal the nation’s health strengths and weaknesses.



Monday, December 22, 2014

Winter is coming: 4 simple tips to make sure you’re covered

About this time last year, New York City and much of the East Coast was facing devastatingly cold temperatures, icy roads and massive snowstorms in normally snow-free cities. (I'm looking at you, Atlanta.)

In the end, more than $1.8 billion was paid out by insurers in settlements and claims last winter.

Though the probability of a “polar vortex” sweeping the Northeast again is highly unlikely this year, there are certain ways to insure yourself in the event of sub-zero temperatures.



Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Five Priciest Pet-Related Claims During the Holidays

The holiday season is an expensive time of year for most of your clients, but as these six insurance wacky claims compiled by Pets Best Insurance prove, those who have cats, dogs and other critters around the house may have more liability this time of year than you previously imagined.



Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Breach Insurance: Not just for the Big Guys

A ruling last week by a federal judge that Target is on the hook for financial losses sustained by banks when it was hacked earlier this year is making companies of all sizes look at breach insurance with a new eye.

Cyberbreach insurance, which covers losses and costs due to hacker attacks on a company's computer system, is a relatively new type of policy. It was first introduced in the 1990s, mostly to cover computer failures at banks and Fortune 500 companies. In the 2000s it began to be applied to companies whose information had been hacked.



Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Biggest Hazard of Holiday Shopping: The Parking Lot

The busiest shopping season of the year is here: the three short weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. In addition to the crowds in the stores, we're facing more traffic in store and mall parking lots as well.

And that means an increased risk of auto accidents.

Here are some tips from AAA on how to survive those holiday shopping expeditions.


Monday, December 8, 2014

Thieves Thrive During Holiday Travel

In "Home Alone," Kevin McCallister is left to defend his family’s home when two thugs attempt to break in on Christmas Eve, while the rest of the family is traveling overseas. While the likelihood of an eight-year-old being left home alone for the holidays is a stretch, a home robbery during holiday travel is more likely than you’d think.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation Statistics, the number of long-distance trips by Americans increases by 54 percent during the Thanksgiving travel period. The number rises by 23 percent during Christmas and New Year’s.



Thursday, December 4, 2014

Senn Dunn Announces New Hires For November

Senn Dunn Insurance, a Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC Company, is excited to announce the hiring of five new associates in November.
 Danielle White
Business Insurance Account Manager
High Point Office

Cassie Tickle
Business Insurance Client Service Associate
Greensboro Office

Brian Tilley
Business Insurance Client Service Associate
Greensboro Office

Sherri Gerringer
Human Resource Generalist
Greensboro Office

Donna Wasserman
Business Insurance Account Manager
Charlotte Office

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Top 20 Most-Ticketed Vehicles in the US

As much as the local police department might like to argue that drivers—not vehicles—receive tickets, it doesn’t explain away the fact that some cars just tend to have more run-ins with the law. Whether that suggests speedsters gravitate towards certain vehicles, or that law enforcement has preconceived notions about some cars is up for debate.

What’s firmly grounded in fact are the makes and models of America’s most-ticketed vehicles, as determined by, based on more than 550,000 insurance quotes.

The Subaru WRX claims the dubious honor of the most-ticketed car in the US, with more than one out of every three drivers reporting a traffic citation recently. Slightly below is the Pontiac GTO, with 32.7% of drivers receiving a ticket.



Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Murphy Earns Health Care Designation

Senn Dunn Insurance, a Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC Company, is excited to announce that Peggy Murphy, RHU has earned the Chartered Healthcare Consultant® (ChHC®) designation. Peggy is an individual health benefits consultant for Senn Dunn working in our Greensboro office with over 25 years of insurance experience. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Be Careful: Here are the 3 Technologies Most Susceptible to Cyber Attack

Cyber breaches are becoming increasingly common for businesses. But many aren’t yet talking about how to protect themselves in the case of a breach, according to a new report released this week by Zurich Insurance.

Over 88% of companies involved in the report said they thought cyber threats were a moderate risk, but only 52% of companies actually purchased related insurance coverage this year, according to the report.

Here are the biggest cyber risks for corporations as of 2014.



The 4 Insurance Truths that Customers Still Don’t Understand

Between obtaining coverage for your home, your car and your family’s health, taking care of your insurance needs can be exhausting. If you’re like most people, you don’t take the time (or have the desire) to consider the ins and outs of all of your policies.

“Consumers’ primary experience with insurance is being forced to contemplate unpleasant circumstances,” said Zach Finn, professor and director of the Davey Risk Management and Insurance Program at Butler University. “They will derive no value from the product unless tragedy befalls them. Seriously, who wants to be a party to that transaction?”



Industry Leaders' Top Risk Concerns for 2015

What is driving industry growth? According to a recent survey of insurance industry players, two emerging risks will rank among the top for next year.

Cyber-attacks and terrorism are ranked among the top emerging risks concerning the insurance and reinsurance industry in the year ahead, according to Guy Carpenter & Company, LLC, a leading global risk and reinsurance specialist and member of Marsh & McLennan Companies.

And according to the findings, new products, expansion into new geographic markets and access to new distribution channels will be the primary drivers of profitable growth in 2015.



Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Experts See Gradual Transition to Accident-Free Driving

As millions of cars are under recall for potentially lethal air bags, designers are trying to reduce the need for the device – using sensors, radar, cameras and lasers to prevent collisions in the first place.

With driver error blamed for over 90 percent of road accidents, the thinking is it would be better to have them do less of the driving. The U.S.-based Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that forward-collision warning systems cut vehicle-to-vehicle crashes by 7 percent – not a quantum leap, but a potential life saver. Nearly 31,000 people died in car accidents in 2012 in the United States alone.



Friday, November 14, 2014

Open Enrollment begins on November 15, 2014

Individual medical insurance open enrollment for 2015 begins November 15, 2014 and ends February 15, 2015. We can help you with questions about individual insurance, eligibility criteria for premium tax credits, comparing individual insurance to group insurance/COBRA and more.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

10 Ways That Technology Will Change The Insurance Business in 2015

The top tech trends for 2015 cover three themes: the merging of the real and virtual worlds, the advent of intelligence everywhere and the technological impact of the digital business shift, said analysts at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, held in October in Orlando.

Gartner defines a strategic tech trend as one with the potential for significant impact on the enterprise within the next three years. "Significant" includes the high potential for disruption to the business, end users and IT, the need for major investment, or the risks brought on by late or failure to adopt.



Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Keep Planning For Your Future: Buy Life Insurance as a Young Adult

With the struggle to manage burdensome student loans, balance the cost of mortgages and meet the endless barrage of other living expenses, why should life insurance be a priority for us as young adults? 

The answer is simple: it provides invaluable protection for our family’s financial future. We spend so much of our time and energy working to provide the best life for our loved ones, it is critical that we have a plan in place to protect those efforts in our absence.



IRS Releases Draft Forms for Reporting of Health Insurance Coverage

Employers are going to need a strong benefits administration platform. The Pay or Play rules of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) require applicable large employers (ALE's); employers with an average of 50 full-time employees; to report to the IRS employee and dependent health care coverage offered. On July 24, 2014, the IRS released draft informational returns which employers will use to report this health insurance coverage in accordance with Section 6055 and 6056 of the Internal Revenue Code.
Section 6056 requires every applicable large employer (ALE) to file a return with the IRS that reports the terms and conditions of the health care coverage offered to the employer's full-time employees during the year. Form 1095-C is to be used to satisfy this requirement. Reports must include and identify each employee who was full-time for 1 or more months and include details of any health care coverage offered. This form will be required of employers with either a fully insured or self-funded plan. Form 1094-C is to be used to transmit these returns to the IRS.

Applicable large employers that sponsor self-insured plans are required to report the information required under both Sections 6055 and 6056 on a single combined form using Form 1095-C.

The draft Form 1095-C features three rows of monthly information for each full-time employee, along with draft Indicator codes.

Row 1: The first series of codes relate to offers of coverage, and indicate whether coverage is offered to the employee, the employee's spouse and dependents during each month in the year and the type of coverage offered. Code 1A, for example, identifies employees that receive a qualified offer, which is minimum essential coverage (MEC) providing minimum value with employee contribution for self-only coverage equal to or less than 9.5% of the mainland single federal poverty line, as well as MEC offered to spouse and dependent(s).  Other codes denote whether MEC providing minimum value was offered to the employee only; the employee and dependent(s); the employee and spouse, or to all. Additional codes identify whether MEC offered did not provide minimum value; whether coverage was offered to an employee who was not a full-time employee, or whether a full-time employee was not offered coverage.

Row 2: Provides for monthly reporting of the employee's share of the lowest-cost monthly premium for self-only minimum value coverage.

Row 3: Used to report whether the employer is exempt from the employer shared responsibility mandate for a particular month because the employer qualified for safe harbor relief provided by the IRS in regulations. Examples of "safe harbor" codes include:

*    Not employed during the month
*    Not a full-time employee
*    Employee enrolled in coverage offered
*    Section 4980H(b) limited non-assessment period
*    Affordability Form W-2 safe harbor
*    Affordability federal poverty line safe harbor
*    Affordability rate-of-pay safe harbor   

Section 6055 requires every health insurance issuer, sponsor of a self-insured health plan, and other entities that provide minimum essential coverage to file annual returns reporting each covered individual and dependents and their respective months of coverage. Form 1095-B is to be used to comply with Section 6055 and goes to employees by January 31st of the year following the coverage. Form 1094-B is to be used to transmit these returns to the IRS.

The IRS is accepting comments on the draft forms. Comments may be submitted on the Comment on Tax Forms and Publications page on Although no comment deadline is identified, comments should be submitted as soon as possible as final forms are expected to be posted by the end of the year. Instructions were not released today, but it is anticipated that they will be issued in draft form sometime in August.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Senn Dunn Insurance Announces Two New Hires in October

Senn Dunn Insurance, a Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC Company, is excited to announce the hiring of two new associates in October.

Angie Smith
Personal Insurance Account Manager
Greensboro Office

Murphy Holderness
Business Insurance Strategic Account Executive
Charlotte Office

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Senn Dunn Insurance Consultant Named IIANC Young Agent of the Year

Senn Dunn Insurance, a Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC Company, is pleased to announce the recognition of Jamie Lowrey, Business Insurance Consultant, as the 2014 Young Agent of the Year by IIANC (Independent Insurance Agents of North Carolina) at their recent annual convention held in Myrtle Beach, SC.

 Congratulations Jamie!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

These Companies Are Dropping Group Health Insurance Fast

Small businesses with fewer than 50 employees are dropping group health insurance plans at a fast rate, surprising the industry beyond even what many health insurers expected. According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, the trend is especially significant among America’s smallest businesses—those employing just two to 10 workers.



Monday, November 3, 2014

The 13 Most Expensive American Cities to Buy Auto Insurance

As auto insurance increasingly moves into the ranks of commoditization, Americans find themselves more or less satisfied with their automobile insurance. Still, the debate rages on over which factors—such as education, credit score or income level—can be used to calculate insurance rates.

A combination of these factors, as well as the quantity of uninsured motorists and local regulations, means that some Americans also pay more than their neighbors for car insurance.

A study from Bankrate’s reveals the most expensive American cities in which to buy auto insurance, compared by an average $797 for annual coverage.



Thursday, October 30, 2014

Have a Safe and Happy Halloween!

As you and your family bring out the Halloween decorations and prepare for parties and trick-or-treaters, take time to evaluate the liability exposures associated with having guests on your property.


Keep the following tips in mind to ensure Halloween is safe and happy for your family and guests.


Read the Halloween safety tips now...

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

10 Things You Probably Weren’t Aware You Could Insure

We are always hearing about traditional insurance policies ranging from auto to life but let us spice it up a bit and talk about some untraditional policies.

 Although many companies tend to avoid unique risks, do not fret there is still a chance strange circumstances can be accommodated.

Here are ten things you probably were not aware you could get coverage for.



Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Protecting Schools From Risk Exposures

Today, children in school can be threatened by weapons, sexual molestation and harassment, as well as general premises risk exposures. Should a child be injured by a weapon, molested or even a fall down the school stairs, the result is usually a lawsuit filed by the parents against the school. So, how does a school protect against these exposures?

Many insurance companies offer policies designed to address the specific risk exposures facing schools and universities. However, these policies are based on the standard general liability policy, so it is appropriate to discuss that policy with reference to the coverages it supplies, and denies, to schools.



Wednesday, October 15, 2014

What Are American Consumers' Greatest Worries?

Travelers has released the findings of its second annual Consumer Risk Index, which measures Americans’ general perception of risk in daily life.

Conducted in late July by Hart Research, Travelers’ survey of 801 adults found that 1 in 4 U.S. consumers believe that today’s world is very risky, with 6 in 10 respondents reporting their feeling that the world is growing riskier. Only 1 in 8 people feels the world is becoming less risky.

Many respondents said they are preparing for uncertainty and are being proactive in managing their risk. When asked about steps they are taking to mitigate risk, 82% of respondents have installed smoke detectors in their home and 64% indicated they had stored food and water in their home to prepare for extreme weather. Perhaps not surprisingly, one-third of Millennials feel their overall risk level is low compared to that of older demographics, and also were found to be less likely than other age groups to have a clear plan for what to do before and after an extreme weather event.



Monday, October 13, 2014

2015 Winter Weather Predicted to be Snowy and Wet

The 2015 Farmers’ Almanac predicts “copious amounts of snow and rain” over the eastern third of the country. In fact, along the Atlantic Seaboard active wintry weather is expected for the first 10 days of January and the first week of February with bouts of heavy snow and strong winds.

Flooding related to snow melting can overburden sewer systems, causing raw sewage to back up into the drains of homes. Backed up sewers can wreak havoc, causing thousands of dollars in damage to floors, walls, furniture and electrical systems.



Thursday, October 9, 2014

Senn Dunn Insurance Retained National Best Practice Agency Status

Senn Dunn Insurance, a Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC Company, has retained its status as part of an elite group of insurance agencies around the United States participating in the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big "I") "Best Practices" Study Group.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

10 Risk Factors for Homeowners Insurance Policies

Customers buy insurance to minimize their risk and make them whole should a covered loss occur. What many may not understand is that a number of factors can cause their premiums to skyrocket before a covered peril even occurs. Adjusters and claims managers handling the ensuing claims also need to be aware of these possible red flags and their impact on any settlements.

An up-to-date home inventory complete with photos can be a major asset to any claim. Encourage owners to take a digital tour of every room to record furniture, electronics, antiques, works of art, family heirlooms and other irreplaceable items in the home. After a fire or major flood, it can be difficult to identify valuable items or their pre-loss condition.

The photos and a detailed inventory should be stored off-site in a safe deposit box or other secure location and copies provided to the insurance agent to ensure they are added to the appropriate policy. Keeping them on the computer at home won’t help if the computer is destroyed in a fire or stolen in a robbery.



Monday, October 6, 2014

Winter Emergency Plans for Business or Home

Fall has just begun, but winter storms are inevitable in many parts of the country.

As we close out National Preparedness Month, it’s a good time to put a winter emergency plan in place to help your business and family cope and communicate when the storms hit.


Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Ten Safest States for Drivers

With Americans logging more than 3 trillion miles a year, the risk of being involved in an auto accident is pretty high. In 2012, there were more than 5.6 million reported crashes, and almost 31,000 of those were fatal.

Obrella, a community-focused insurance and analysis agency recently released a report citing the 10 safest states for drivers. New England is the safest part of the country to drive in – four of the states are located in this area. If you live in the South, better make sure your car insurance is paid up – southern states scored very low on the list.

The states were ranked based on the fatality rate per 100,000 licensed drivers. The source of the data was the 2012 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report.



Wednesday, October 1, 2014

3 Ways to Use Tech When Developing A Disaster Plan

Disaster planning has never been a fun topic to discuss. Many organizations think they are prepared, but don’t go beyond the traditional catastrophic/emergency preparedness strategies for when a disaster strikes. Insurers need to have a clear approach about how their business will continue both during and after a major disaster.

Disasters used to be a lot easier to define. They typically came as a result of bad weather, such as a hurricane, flood or tornado, and meant that business may be closed for a few days to clean up if none of your critical business systems were damaged. But what if your critical systems were fatally damaged? Have you thought about or added data security to your list of potential disaster threats?



Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The 4 Things Homeowners Misunderstand About Flood Insurance

Hurricane season runs through November, but you don’t have to be living in a coastal area to be affected by flooding. During the past 54 years, the amount of rain or snow falling from the top 1% of intense storms has increased in every region, especially in the Northeast and Midwest, according to the latest national climate assessment from the U.S. Global Change Research Program.
Add to that the problem of antiquated infrastructures and sewer systems plus overbuilding and dwindling wet spaces, and the threat of flooding can affect anyone, anywhere.

From 2008 to 2012, the average residential flood claim amounted to more than $38,000, according to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Yet most consumers don’t know what they can do to protect their homes and belongings against a flood event.



Monday, September 22, 2014

The Future of Insurance Comes Down to 4 Things

From September 10-14, a group of young (ages 30-50) business and financial leaders gathered in Montreaux, Switzerland at the fifth annual meeting of the G-20Y summit. The mission? To discuss sustainable prosperity in the face of a world increasingly at risk.

The summit covered ten issues specifically in a series of structured discussions from which attendees then developed sets of recommendations for the G-20 heads of state and leading international financial organizations. The topics ranged from energy markets, to food security, to global financial reform and other topics.



Thursday, September 18, 2014

Add cyber liability to your auto coverage! Driverless cars face risk of hackers!

A red VW Golf jerks back and forth as it maneuvers into a parking space in the English spa town of Cheltenham. The halting efforts resemble those of a new driver, and in a sense they are -- just not from the person sitting at the wheel.

The car itself is navigating into the spot, which it manages without a scratch. The man in the driver’s seat, who has his hands resting leisurely on his lap except for the occasional gear change, is a mere onlooker in this demonstration of the latest automated-car technology.

While the idea of robo-cars whisking us off to our destinations may sound like science fiction, the technology exists and is largely ready for the real world. What’s harder to determine is the risk associated with the emergence of these vehicles.



Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Tips for Answering Questions about the Flu Vaccine

Flu shot season has arrived. Unfortunately, less than 50% of adults typically receive a flu shot each year. Lack of knowledge may play a role in this low flu vaccination rate.  Below is an FAQ from the CDC regarding the flu vaccine.

·         What is the flu? Influenza (or the flu) is a contagious viral infection that attacks your respiratory system — your nose, throat and lungs and can lead to serious illness, including pneumonia. Influenza is not the same as the stomach "flu" viruses that cause diarrhea and vomiting. 

·         Can I get the flu from the flu shot? No, you cannot get the flu from the flu shot. Flu vaccines are either ‘inactivated’ and are therefore not infectious or contain no flu vaccine viruses at all. Although the nasal spray flu vaccine does contain live viruses, they are weakened and cannot cause the flu. 

·         I don’t like shots, are there other ways to get vaccinated? Yes, for most healthy, non-pregnant people ages 2 through 49 years old, the nasal spray flu vaccine is a great option. Also, there is an intradermal shot that uses a much smaller needle than the regular flu shot.

·         What are the benefits of the flu vaccine? The best way to reduce the chances of getting the seasonal flu and spreading it to others is to get a flu shot or the nasal-spray flu vaccine. These antibodies provide protection against infection with the viruses that are in the vaccine.

·         Who should get the flu shot? Everyone who is at least 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine this season. It is especially important for certain people to get a flu vaccine including:

         People with certain medical conditions including asthma, diabetes, and chronic lung disease.

         Pregnant women.

         People younger than 5 (especially younger than 2) and people 65 years and older.

·         How does the flu shot work? The seasonal flu vaccine protects against the influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season. 

·          When should I get vaccinated? Ideally by October. However, as long as flu viruses are circulating, vaccination should continue to be offered throughout flu season. It is best to get vaccinated early since it takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop that protect against influenza. 

·         Do I need a flu vaccine every year? Yes, for two reasons. First, the body’s immune response from vaccination declines over time, so an annual vaccine is needed for optimal protection. Second, the flu viruses constantly change and the formulation is reviewed each year.

Click here to view the CDC’s No More Excuses: You Need a Flu Vaccine flyer.

Monday, September 15, 2014

5 Troubling Facts about Injuries in Youth Sports

Here's a headline number for you: 1.35 million.

That's how many kids were admitted to emergency rooms in 2012 as a result of sports-related injuries.

1.35 million. That's more than the population of Dallas, and it doesn't include the untold millions of injuries that aren't serious enough for an ER visit.
That's a lot of skinned knees and grass stains (and broken ankles and concussions). And, with more kids playing organized sports than ever, theses numbers will likely continue to climb.


Read More..

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The 10 Most Uninsured States Post-Obamacare

Almost all of America’s chronically under-insured states have been at the bottom of the list for decades, but a new report from WalletHub shows that some habitual stragglers have made real progress.

In fact, insured rates in some states have improved more than 10% in the Affordable Care Act’s inaugural year.

Others were less impressive. Mississippi, which ranked second-last, actually saw a 3.34% increase in its number of uninsured residents.


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Draft Instructions for Employer Reporting of Health Coverage Released

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) created new reporting requirements under Internal Revenue Code (Code) Sections 6055 and 6056. Under these new reporting rules, certain employers must provide information to the IRS about the health plan coverage they offer (or do not offer) to their employees.

On Aug. 28, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released draft instructions for the forms that employers will use to report under Code Sections 6055 and 6056.
·      Instructions for Forms 1094-B and 1095-B: These forms will be used by entities reporting under Section 6055 as health insurance issuers, sponsors of self-insured group health plans that are not reporting as applicable large employers (ALEs), sponsors of multiemployer plans and providers of government-sponsored coverage.
·      Instructions for Forms 1094-C and 1095-C: These forms will be used by ALEs that are reporting under Section 6056, as well as for combined reporting by ALEs who report under both Sections 6055 and 6056.
On Aug. 29, 2014, the IRS also released Q&As on Section 6055 and Q&As on Section 6056. In addition, draft versions of Forms 1094-B, 1095-B, 1094-C and 1095-C were released in July 2014. Draft Forms 1095-B and 1095-C were also updated on Aug. 28, 2014, to include instructions for the recipient of the form.
These forms and instructions are draft versions only, and should not be relied upon for filing. The IRS may make changes to the instructions prior to releasing final versions. Both the forms and instructions will be finalized later this year.
Overview of Sections 6055 & 6056
The Code Sections 6055 and 6056 reporting requirements are intended to promote transparency with respect to health plan coverage and costs. They will also provide the government with information to administer other ACA mandates, such as the employer and individual mandates.
Code Section 6055 requires health insurance issuers, self-insured health plan sponsors, government agencies that administer government-sponsored health insurance programs and any other entity that provides minimum essential coverage (MEC) to report information on that coverage to the IRS and covered individuals.
Code Section 6056 requires ALEs subject to the employer shared responsibility rules to report information on the health coverage offered to full-time employees to the IRS and covered individuals.
Filing Requirements
Under both Sections 6055 and 6056, each reporting entity will be required to file all of the following with the IRS:
·      A separate information return for each individual who is provided MEC (for ALEs, this includes only full-time employees); and
·      A single transmittal form for all of the returns filed for a given calendar year.
Filing Due Dates

Under both Sections 6055 and 6056, the return and transmittal forms must be filed with the IRS on or before Feb. 28 (March 31, if filed electronically) of the year following the calendar year of coverage. However, if the regular due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, entities should file by the next business day. For calendar year 2015, these forms must be filed by Feb. 29, 2016, (or March 31, 2016, if filing electronically).
These forms are not required to be filed for 2014. However, in preparation for the first required filing (in 2016 for 2015 coverage), reporting entities may voluntarily file in 2015 for 2014 in accordance with the draft forms and instructions. More information about voluntary filing is available on the IRS website.
Statements Furnished to Individuals

All entities reporting under Section 6055 or 6056 must furnish a copy of Form 1094-C or 1095-C, as applicable, to the person identified as the responsible individual named on the form. Statements must be furnished by mail, unless the recipient affirmatively consents to receive the statement electronically.
The statement must be furnished on or before Jan. 31 of the year following the calendar year of coverage. The first statements are due to individuals by Feb. 1, 2016.
Where To File

Any reporting entity that is required to file at least 250 returns under Section 6055 or 6056 must file electronically. The 250-or-more requirement applies separately to each type of return and separately to each type of corrected return.
Reporting entities that are filing on paper will send paper returns to the address provided in the instructions, based on where their principal business, office or agency (or legal residence, in the case of an individual) is located.
Instructions for Forms 1094-B and 1095-B

Under Section 6055, every person that provides MEC to an individual during a calendar year must file Forms 1094-B (a transmittal) and 1095-B (an information return). This includes:
·      Health insurance issuers or carriers;
·      Self-insured health plan sponsors;
·      Government agencies that administer government-sponsored health insurance programs; and
·      Any other entity that provides MEC.
However, ALEs subject to the employer shared responsibility rules that sponsor self-insured group health plans will report information about the coverage in Part III of Form 1095-C, instead of on Form 1095-B. In general, an employer with 50 or more full-time employees (including full-time equivalents) during the prior calendar year is considered an ALE.
Instructions for Forms 1094-C and 1095-C

All ALEs must file Form 1094-C (a transmittal) and Form 1095-C (an information return) for each full-time employee for any month.
·      Form 1094-C is used to report summary information for each employer to the IRS and to transmit Forms 1095-C to the IRS.
·      Form 1095-C is used to report information about each employee.
These forms help the IRS determine whether an ALE owes penalties under the employer shared responsibility rules, as well as whether an employee is eligible for premium tax credits.
How to Complete Forms

ALEs that sponsor a self-insured health plan must also complete Form 1095-C, Parts I and III, for any individual (including any full-time employee, non-full-time employee, family members and others) who enrolled in the self-insured health plan. If the employee is full-time for any month, the ALE must also complete Part II. If the employee is not full-time for all 12 months of the calendar year, the ALE must complete only Part II, line 14, by entering code 1G in the “All 12 Months” column.
For other types of coverage, the issuer or plan sponsor will provide the information about their health coverage to any enrolled employees. The employer should not complete Form 1095-C, Part III, for those employees.
An employer that sponsors self-insured health coverage but is not subject to the employer shared responsibility rules is not required to file Forms 1094-C and 1095-C. Instead, these employers report on Forms 1094-B and 1095-B for employees who enrolled in the employer-sponsored self-insured health coverage.
Authoritative Transmittal for ALEs Filing Multiple Forms 1094-C

A Form 1094-C must be attached to any Forms 1095-C filed by an ALE. An ALE may submit multiple Forms 1094-C, each accompanied by Forms 1095-C, for some of its employees, provided that Forms 1095-C are filed for each employee for whom the ALE is required to file.
ALEs must file a single Form 1094-C reporting aggregate employer-level data for all full-time employees, identifying the form, on line 19 of Part II, as the Authoritative Transmittal. One Authoritative Transmittal must be filed for each ALE, even if multiple Forms 1094-C are filed by and on behalf of the ALE. For example, if an employer has prepared a separate Form 1094-C for each of its two divisions to transmit Forms 1095-C for each division’s full-time employees, one of the Forms 1094-C filed must be designated as the Authoritative Transmittal and report aggregate employer-level data for all full-time employees (for both divisions).
One Form 1095-C for Each Employee of Each ALE

There must be only one Form 1095-C for each full-time employee of an ALE. For example, if an ALE separately reports for the full-time employees of its two divisions, the ALE must combine the information for any employee who worked at both divisions during the year so that there is only a single Form 1095-C for that employee which reports information for all 12 months of the calendar year.
In contrast, a full-time employee who works for more than one ALE that is a member of the same aggregated ALE group (that is, works for two separate ALE members) must receive a separate Form 1095-C from each ALE member.
More Information

Please contact Senn Dunn for more information on reporting under Code Sections 6055 and 6056.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Is That Auto Accident Staged? Here's How to Tell.

A claimant needs some extra cash and decides that insurance fraud is the answer, so he stages a collision or just enhances the damage to his car caused by an actual impact and tries to cash in on the loss. But how can you tell the difference? You get a report for the umpteenth time today about a claim that your insureds have sustained damage to their vehicle. But something about this claim makes you think twice about it.

Whether it is because the damage was allegedly from a “phantom” vehicle, or because the parties involved have recently filed a similar claim, or because the photographs do not seem to match the description; whatever the reason, this one makes you suspicious. But there is damage and there is no claim of any injury, so what can you do? Pay the claim or investigate it further? If you want to investigate further, who can help and what will it cost?



Thursday, September 4, 2014

42% of Americans Can Not Explain This Simple Health Insurance Term

November’s healthcare open enrollment period is less than three months away, but many Americans are still woefully ignorant when it comes to healthcare. Roughly 42% of Americans—including those with earnings near the federal poverty line, who stand to gain the most from health reform—are unable to explain what a deductible is.

Another 62% don’t understand the difference between an HMO and a PPO, and a full 37% of people are unaware there is a penalty for not having health insurance.



Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The 6 Ways your Smart Home Will Cut Costs

Smart devices—and their associated telematics applications—are technologically advancing at breakneck speed, and their use helps insurers create statistically accurate risk profiles. The result has been personalized policies including usage-based, pay-as-you-drive and pay-how-you-drive—and now, telematics is penetrating the home insurance market.

Some insurers already have entered this arena, decreasing premiums for so-called “smart homes.”

“Houses are getting smarter every day,” says Rebecca Galovich, assistant vice president of reinsurance underwriting at Hartford Steam Boiler (HSB), “and tech is becoming more interconnected. That enables homeowners to have control over the environment of their homes, adjusting thermostats from outside of the home and controlling security systems.”



Thursday, August 28, 2014

9 Tips to Help Prepare for Any Disaster

While the phrase “disaster planning” typically invokes images of floods, hurricanes or other fits of Mother Nature, disaster comes in many forms—from the death of a CEO to a data breach or system failure; from workplace violence to the loss of a vendor; from a mechanical breakdown to a top sales rainmaker leaving the company.

Disasters—“events,” in professional parlance—fall into three categories: natural perils (earthquakes, hurricanes, wildfires); manmade perils (fire, terrorism, workplace violence); and technological perils (cyber breaches, software corruption, system failures), says Ken Katz, property risk control director at Travelers. And even small events can cause significant damage.