Wednesday, April 30, 2014

What's Next for Cyber Insurance?

There’s a saying in the cybersecurity industry that there are two types of businesses today: Those that have been breached and know it and those that have been breached and just don’t know it.

Cyber-related data breach incidents increased in frequency and severity in 2013, driving cyber insurance buying by double digits last year. The trend is accelerating, according to early signs in 2014 and a Marsh Risk Management Research briefing titled, “Benchmarking Trends: Interest in Cyber Insurance Continues to Climb.”

In today’s cyber world everybody has been breached, says Rick Betterley, president of Betterley Risk Consultants Inc. based in Sterling, Mass. In reality, it’s more like continual breaches. “There’s folks that are phishing around in your network right now,” he says.



Senn Dunn Insurance Webinar: Full-Time Employees & the ACA Employer Shared Responsibility Final Regulations

Senn Dunn invites you to join us for webinar on May 22, 2014

3 - 4:30 p.m. Eastern
2 - 3:30 p.m. Central
Noon - 1:30 p.m. Pacific
Register Now...

Reserve your seat EARLY to ensure you receive advance webinar materials.

Please be sure to list the name of the firm that invited you when completing your webinar registration. Late registrants will not receive advance webinar materials.
In February, the IRS released final regulations regarding the ACA 4980H employer shared responsibility rules. The final regulations contained a number of clarifications, and some new information, in regard to determining full-time employee status. This webinar goes into detail on new information in the final regulations related to how employers need to define their full-time employees for purposes of the 4980H rules.

This webinar will focus on issues of particular importance to employers who are considered “applicable large employers.” Small employers are not required to comply with the ACA employer shared responsibility rules and enforcement for employers with 50-99 FTEs has been delayed until 2016.

Presented by, Bob Radecki, President, Benefit Comply, LLC and Regan Blomme, J.D., MBA, Senior Consultant, Benefit Comply, LLC

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. Be sure to sign into the webinar early.

Top Ten Best Insurance Commercials on TV

How often have you found yourself repeating a funny or memorable line from a television commercial? Did you ever notice that oftentimes it's a line from an insurance commercial?

I personally find myself doing this a lot, and even my partner still jokingly says, "I'll have the roast duck with the mango salsa" (from this memorable Geico Caveman commercial) any time we go to a slightly fancy restaurant.


Read More and watch the commercials!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

After the storm: What do I do next?

The storm has passed and your family is safe. You took all the necessary precautions such as having an adequate supply of drinking water and a flashlight. You may have even purchased a generator to ensure uninterrupted electricity in the event of a power outage.

The steps you take next are equally important in keeping your family safe and presenting a claim in the event there is damage to your home, auto or personal property.

Your first priority should always be addressing safety concerns:
  • Pay attention to the possibility of a gas leak or electrical damage. Do not light candles until you have verified it is safe. There may be an odor of gas or – in the case of electrical damage — a burning smell.
  • Pay attention to any downed power lines and report them promptly to local authorities.
  • Be alert for broken glass or other hazards.
  • If you had flooding or water damage, have an electrician inspect before turning on the breaker. Keep receipts for possible reimbursement once you file a claim.
  • Pay special attention to possible structural damage.
  • Dispose of any food items that may have been compromised due to lack of refrigeration or water damage. If your insurance policy covers damage from loss of refrigeration, keep a record of the items you disposed of.
If your home is damaged, please take the necessary steps to protect it from further damage:
  • Cover broken windows
  • Make temporary repairs to the roof or cover it with a tarp
  • Dry floors, if possible, and pump out standing water
  • If it is necessary to leave your home for an extended period of time, take your valuables with you.
It is not too early to begin compiling a list of damaged items. The claims representative assigned to your claim should provide you with forms to assist you in this process. The forms may ask for a description, age and cost of damaged items and where they were purchased. It is also helpful to take both exterior and interior photographs of the damage. Cell phone photographs are fine.

If there is damage to your residence, it is also recommended you secure a repair estimate from a reputable contractor. Be leery of any door-to-door construction companies that may attempt to pressure you into signing a contract.

The claims representative assigned to your claim is experienced and should be able to explain the claims process to you and answer your questions.

Severe Weather Precautions:
Good morning.  I hope that you are having a great morning.

As the forecast for our area includes a high probability of severe weather, we have specific information regarding preparations for thunderstorms and tornadoes.  If you would like to receive this information, please email us directly at:
We will send you the pdf files of the documents that you can share with your clients and friends. 

This line of storms has produced significant damage as it moves across the country and we are encouraging our clients and friends to take extra care over the next 24 hours.

If we can be of any assistance please let us know.

Be safe.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Affordable Care Act Could Have ‘Modest’ Effect on Other Insurance Costs

The expansion of health insurance accomplished under the Affordable Care Act may alter costs for several major types of liability insurance, although any such changes are likely to be modest, according to a new RAND Corp. report.

Automobile, workers’ compensation and general business liability insurance costs may fall under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), while costs for medical malpractice coverage could be higher, according to the study.

Researchers say the changes could be as much as five percent of costs in some states, but caution there is considerable uncertainty surrounding such estimates. The findings are from one of the first systematic studies of how the ACA could influence costs for liability and related lines of insurance.



Please check out our Health Care Reform Quick Reference Guide!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Combined Effort: Background Check Guidance Jointly Issued by the EEOC and FTC

Do you use a consumer reporting agency (background check company) to conduct background checks on applicants and employees?
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) intersect on employment background check laws, and recently co-published two guidance documents, one for employers and one for employees, reiterating how the agencies’ respective laws apply to background checks performed for employment purposes. Although these documents don’t provide any new information, best practice guidelines are provided.
For more information, the link to the EEOC/FTC joint guidance, Background Checks: What Employers Need to Know follows:

Cathy C. Allen, SPHR │Human Resource Consultant

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Major Insurers to expand Obamacare markets in 2015

Health insurers are facing a moment of truth. With deadlines for 2015 policy rates starting this month, carriers must make tough choices about pricing and market presence in the federal and state-run insurance exchanges.

And while major groups like Aetna have expressed trepidation about certain “unknowns”—age and health status of new enrollees, for example—two of the nation’s leading carriers are feeling a bit more optimistic.



Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Why Hands-Free Cell Phones are not Safer

A National Safety Council public opinion poll indicates that 80 percent of drivers across the country believe that hands-free devices are safer than using a handheld phone despite evidence this is nit true.

More than 30 studies show hands-free devices are no safer than handheld as the brain remains distracted by the cell phone conversation, according to the safety group. Of the poll participants who admitted to using hands-free devices, 70 percent said they do so for safety reasons.

“While many drivers honestly believe they are making the safe choice by using a hands-free device, it’s just not true,” said David Teater, senior director of Transportation Initiatives at the National Safety Council. “The problem is the brain does not truly multi-task. Just like you can’t read a book and talk on the phone, you can’t safely operate a vehicle and talk on the phone. With some state laws focusing on handheld bans and carmakers putting hands-free technology in vehicles, no wonder people are confused.”



Monday, April 21, 2014

North Carolina Leaps Forward in Economic Outlook

According to a recently released study that measures state economic competitiveness, North Carolina’s economic outlook has made greater progress this year than any other state. The 2014 edition of Rich States, Poor States: ALEC-Laffer State Economic Competitiveness Index ranks each state’s Economic Performance and Economic Outlook.
Click here for North Carolina’s rankings.

In Economic Performance North Carolina ranked 12. Economic Performance is a backward-looking measure based on the state’s performance in three performance variables: State Gross Domestic Product, Absolute Domestic Migration, and Non-Farm Payroll Employment. This ranking details states’ individual performances over the past 10 years based on this economic data.

What is most exciting for North Carolina is our Economic Outlook, which jumped from 22 to 6 this year – the most significant progress made by any state in 2013. The Economic Outlook rank is a forecast based on a state’s current standing in 15 state policy variables, including tax policy, workers’ compensation costs, and right to work status, among others.

Most of these variables are outlined in the Competitive Business Climate pillar of North Carolina Vision 2030 as essential to North Carolina’s overall competitiveness, and are all issues the North Carolina Chamber continues to fight for on your behalf at the State Capitol. In recent years, the North Carolina Chamber successfully spearheaded reforms to make our state’s tax policy, workers' compensation and civil liability systems more competitive against surrounding states in order to lower your cost of doing business. As we approach the 2014 Legislative Session, the North Carolina Chamber has hit the ground running this year to advance a pro-jobs legislative agenda.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Quit Smart

Senn Dunn Insurance is pleased to offer the proven QuitSmart® Stop Smoking program.  Our certified instructors will provide onsite group classes (limited to 12 participants).

Tuition is just $400 for three classes and includes multiple communication and branding pieces.  Contact Bobbie Victory at or Georganne Glessner at for more information


The Program

QuitSmart® combines powerful treatments to help participants break free from cigarettes.

· Ease off nicotine

Participants learn to switch to cigarette brands that deliver less and less nicotine. 

· Consider stop-smoking medicine

Participants choose from seven medicines that assist in being comfortable.

· Take a new look at the patch

Participants discover a new way to use nicotine patches that dramatically increases chance of success.

· Use your mind to help

Participants see themselves as comfortable nonsmokers rather than as smokers     deprived of cigarettes.

· Use a self-hypnosis CD

Participants relax as they develop the respect for the body that naturally leads to    freedom from cigarettes.

· Break the smoking habit

Participants learn with six simple techniques.



Colorado State Predicts Below Average Atlantic Hurricane Season

Rising heat in the equatorial Pacific Ocean portends the quietest Atlantic hurricane season in five years, Colorado State University researchers said.

Nine named storms, with winds of at least 39 miles (63 kilometers) per hour, are expected to develop this year, with three of them growing into hurricanes and one becoming a major storm, said Phil Klotzbach, lead author of the forecast.



If you have any insurance questions with regards to the upcoming hurricane season, please contact us today

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Teens Know Drinking and Texting Risks, But Don't Always Drive Like They Do

From drinking or texting while driving to using a designated driver, there is a disconnect between what teenagers acknowledge as risky behavior and what they actually admit to doing behind the wheel, according to a survey from Liberty Mutual Insurance and SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions).

While teens know certain behaviors and situations are risky, many don’t apply that knowledge when it comes to getting behind the wheel. For example, a good number say that it is acceptable for a designated driver to have alcohol or that a designated driver is simply the most sober person in a group. Also, a majority of teens admits to using a cell phone while driving despite knowing the danger.



If you have any questions about our personal insurance offerrings, please check out our website!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

U.S. to let public see how Medicare pays doctors

The Obama administration announced on Wednesday that it will for the first time reveal how much Medicare pays individual doctors for medical services and procedures, including MRIs and CT scans.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will release on April 9 massive amounts of data on more than 880,000 individual doctors and other health professionals in all 50 states who participate in Medicare's Part B fee-for-service program, which covers physician fees and out-patient services.

The information, which includes doctors' names and addresses and summaries of their services, had been barred from public release by court injunction for more than 30 years until last May when a federal judge in Miami lifted the ban in response to a motion by Dow Jones, publisher of the Wall Street Journal.



If you have questions about health care reform, please check out our quick reference guide!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Cyber: Security Vs. Privacy

"According to Aon Global Risk Insight Platform, Aon’s internal global repository of risk and insurance placement information, annual premiums for cyberspecific coverage in 2013 totaled about $1 billion, compared to $675 million in 2012.

This is based on Aon Global Risk Insight Platform data as extrapolated for the entire industry-- Aon's share of cyber insurance extrapolated to $1 billion based on Aon's overall share of all insurance placements, according to Kevin Kalinich, the global practice leader for cyber/network risk at Aon Risk Solutions."



Please contact us today with any of your insurance questions!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Week of 4/4/14 in Review
Good day!  Even though the economy continues to be defined by economists as "sluggish," we continue to be encouraged by news reports of optimism among US manufacturers.  Within the past couple of weeks, two furniture related manufacturing companies announced plans to open facilities in the High Point area to produce their products in the US.
On that note, our area is a buzz with International Home Furnishings Market preparation for the opening day of Spring Market this Saturday, April 5th.  Our team will be visiting approximately 20+  
The week's news cycle started with the passing of the Affordable Care Act deadline for individuals to have coverage as of Monday, March 31.  The related stories about numbers enrolled and caveats to the deadline seemed to dominate the week up until the end of the week with the tragic news out of Fort Hood.  Our team sends its thoughts and prayers to all the families of the service men and women at Fort Hood.
Manufacturing Headlines of Note
Forecast of Continued Growth for NC Economy in 2014
UNCC/Babson Capital released an interesting perspective on their forecast for continued optimism in 2014 in North Carolina.  Link below to the full forecast:
 Furniture Shoppers Buying American
Here is a February article that is worth the read.  More news pointing to consumers preference to purchase American made products.  Some companies in the report feel that as much as 80% or more of their customers hare discussing and requesting domestically produced products.  Consumer sentiment is one of the keys to continued resurgence of US manufacturing.  Link below to the article:
Design Trend Projection with Joe Ruggiero
Our family has had the privilege of getting to know Joe Ruggiero over the years and enjoy his articles and perspectives on design.  He recently produced a video of design trends and I hope you will watch.  Also, please connect with him on social media if you would like to stay updated on his work.  Here's the link to his video:
Jobs Data-Good, Bad, and Ok
USA Today issued an analysis of recent jobs data in today's edition.  As with many reports, their are important data and the impact of that data is discussed in a summary format in this article.  Link here to full article:
Learning Opportunities
We are pleased to announce our upcoming seminar opportunities.  We would like to extend an invitation to you to be our guest at any of these events.  Space is limited so please register ahead of time for each event. 
Managing the FMLA: Process and Pitfalls - April 8, 2014, 10-11:30 a.m.
Senn Dunn Insurance, Charlotte Training Room
Employment Law 101 - Managing Employment Practices Liability Exposures
April 9, 2014, 9-10:30 a.m.
Senn Dunn Insurance, Raleigh Training Room
OSHA 10-Hour Construction Training over two days
May 8, 12-5:30 p.m.
May 9, 8 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Greensboro Office Training Room
Seminar registration and additional details can be found on our seminar web page at the link below:


Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Ten Most Dangerous States for Cyclists

"Spring is approaching and legions of bicyclists are taking to the streets.

Bicycling is a great way to increase health and happiness, but it’s also a liability—particularly if you live in some areas of the US. For cyclists in these states, certain insurance policies are vital.

Florida is the most hostile state for bicyclists, with 6.56 pedalcyclist fatalities per million people in 2011, according to data from the US Department of Transportation. Louisiana and Oregon follow close behind, with 3.93 and 3.87 deaths per million."



Please contact us today with any of your insurance questions!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Senn Dunn Insurance Webinar: Calculating the ACA PCORI & Reinsurance Fees

Senn Dunn invites you to join us for a webinar on April 24, 2014

3 - 4:30 p.m. Eastern
 2 - 3:30 p.m. Central
 Noon - 1:30 p.m. Pacific

Reserve your seat EARLY to ensure you receive advance webinar materials.

Register Now...

Please be sure to list the name of the firm that invited you when completing your webinar registration. Late registrants will not receive advance webinar materials.
Some employers will be paying the ACA Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) fee for the first time in July 2014. Self-funded employers must pay the fee directly, but even small employers with fully insured health plans may have to pay the fee if they offer a health reimbursement arrangement (HRA). Then in fall 2014, all self-funded employers will need to report and pay the first ACA Reinsurance fee of $63 per member, per year. There are three different methodologies employers can use to calculate membership when determining fee liability. This webinar will explain the process and help employers decide which approach is best for them.

Presented by, Bob Radecki, President, Benefit Comply, LLC and Regan Blomme, J.D., MBA, Senior Consultant, Benefit Comply, LLC

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. Be sure to sign into the webinar early.

White House Announces Final Enrollment Figures

More than 7 million people enrolled for insurance coverage through public exchanges established under the Affordable Care Act, the White House announced today.

The 7.04 million figure beat a revised estimate of 6 million and met the Obama administration’s initial goal of 7 million applications in the first open enrollment period. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney attributed the success to “a remarkable surge” in the final day of enrollment.



Check out our Health Care Reform Quick Reference Guide!