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Did you know that Illinois had the third most hail damage claims in the United States in 2018?  According to a claim report prepared by State Farm Insurance, they paid $330 million dollars in hail damage claims in 2018, with only Colorado ($600 million) and Texas ($437 million) suffering more damage.  Hail claims were down 36% nationally from the prior year, but still amounted to nearly $3 billion in paid losses.  While changing weather patterns from year-to-year accounted for some of the decrease in paid losses, modifications to home insurance contracts have also contributed to the decrease.

The most common coverage modification is a separate deductible for home insurance loss due to wind or hail, with the deductible equal to 1% to 5% of the amount of insurance on the home.  For example, if a home is insured for $500,000 and the policy includes a 2% wind/hail deductible, the loss to the roof must exceed $10,000 before the insurance company will pay.

Other insurance companies have added a depreciation table to their policies, which gradually shifts more of the cost of roof replacement to the customer as the roof ages.  For example, if your roof is asphalt shingles and 10 years old, the insurance company might apply 30% depreciation to the claim. 

While many of the hail losses can be attributed to changes in weather patterns, the prevalence of “storm chasers” has also contributed to these changes in coverage and premiums.  “Storm chasers” refers to aggressive roofing contractors who go door-to-door in neighborhoods after a storm, promising a free roof to unsuspecting homeowners. 

As noted by the Better Business Bureau and the Northern Illinois Home Builders Association, victims of storm damage should never sign a contract or pay a repair person who shows up on their doorstep, nor should they allow a roofing company to file a claim on their behalf. 

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While the promise of a “free” roof after a storm is appealing, we strongly recommend contacting your agent before filing a claim or signing a contract with a door-to-door roofing company.  Once a claim is filed, the insurance company must assign an adjuster, inspect the home, and review the estimate from the roofing contractor.  Experienced insurance adjusters know which contractors are “storm chasers” and which ones aren’t and are increasingly turning to third-party engineering reviews and historical storm data before agreeing to pay a claim.  If the insurance company denies the hail claim, the claim still counts as an “incident” that could result in a surcharge, and the data they gathered from the engineering report gives the company greater insight on the condition and upkeep of your home. 

We will advocate for our clients to ensure they get the coverage to which they are entitled; however, our ability to assist is greatly diminished when a contract has already been signed or a claim has been filed in haste.  Don’t jeopardize your homeowner’s insurance over the promise of a “free” roof. 

David Miller, who writes the monthly DID YOU KNOW? blog is The Plexus Groupe’s Vice President, Client Executive for Private Client Solutions. Miller can be reached by calling 846-307-6141.

Gold Recognition from the American Heart Association

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2019 Workplace Health Achievement

The Plexus Groupe has attained Gold recognition in the American Heart Association Workplace Health Achievement Index.

The American Heart Association has defined best practices for employers to use to build a culture of health for their employees in the workplace. The American Heart Association’s Workplace Health Achievement Index measures the extent to which the company has implemented those workplace health best practices. Companies recognized at the Gold level have achieved an Index score of 175 - 217 out of a maximum 217 points.

The Plexus Groupe offers associates daily fresh fruit and vegetables, walking workstation, standing desk and a fully integrated wellness program, just to name a few.

The Plexus Groupe Honored as 2019 Best Practices Agency

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The Plexus Groupe is part of an elite group of independent insurance agencies around the United States participating in the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”) “Best Practices” Study Group.

Every year since 1993, IIABA and Reagan Consulting, an Atlanta-based management consulting firm, join forces to study the country’s leading agencies. Participating agencies are selected every third year through a comprehensive nomination and qualifying process and awarded a “Best Practices Agency” designation. The selected “Best Practices” agencies retain their status during the three-year cycle by submitting extensive financial and operational data for review each year. 

The Plexus Groupe, a fast-growing, progressive insurance brokerage and risk management consultancy serving clients around the globe, has retained its status and earned this distinction seven times.

 “The Best Practices recognition is a great honor that validates the many contributions of all The Plexus Groupe’s associates,” said Brian Morgan, President and Chief Growth & Strategy Officer of The Plexus Groupe. “We strive to excel in all facets of our strategic partnerships with our clients and this honor affirms our commitment to that excellence.” 

More than 1,300 independent agencies throughout the U.S. were nominated to take part in the annual study, but only 267 agencies qualified for the honor. To be chosen, The Plexus Groupe had to be among the top-performing agencies in one of six revenue categories. 

The Plexus Groupe was nominated by either a Big “I” affiliated state association or an insurance company and qualified based on its operational excellence.

The Best Practices Study was initiated by the Big “I” in 1993 as the foundation for efforts to improve agency performance. The annual survey and study of leading independent insurance agencies documents the business practices of the highest performing agencies and urges others to adopt similar practices.

The Plexus Groupe is headquartered in Deer Park, Ill., with additional offices in Chicago, Dallas, and Oklahoma City. For more information on strategic insurance solutions, please contact The Plexus Groupe at 847-307-6100 and ask to speak to a client executive.

2019 Client Appreciation Event

August 23, 2019 @ The Wrigley Rooftops

August 23, 2019 @ The Wrigley Rooftops

This year, The Plexus Groupe Client Appreciation Event was held at the Wrigley Rooftop with the best view of the ballpark (if we do say so ourselves). It was a wonderful celebration with our Clients, Carriers and Associates who enjoyed baseball, food and lots of sunshine. Even though the Cubs lost to the Nationals, the event was definitely a winner!

Here are some of our fun pictures from this beautiful summer day. Many thanks to all for joining us!

Click through our Cubs slideshow above.

DID YOU KNOW? Back to School Insurance Needs


Most parents can clearly remember their child’s first day of school and the mix of emotions as they got on the school bus. Will they like their teacher? Will they make friends? Did I remember to put everything in their backpack?

For parents of college-bound students, the emotions are a little more intense and the questions a little different. Will they be safe? Will they do something harmful to themselves or others? Will they become homesick?

Whether your child is living in a dorm, a fraternity/sorority house, or off-campus housing, you should contact your insurance agent as part of the move-in process and confirm the following:

  • Will my home insurance policy respond to a liability claim associated with my child’s college address? 

  • Are my child’s belongings covered by my home insurance policy, or do I need to secure renter’s insurance?

  • Whether or not my child has a car at school, do I need to make changes to the auto insurance?

  • Do I need to update the personal umbrella policy as well? Or if I don’t have one, should I get one?

Perhaps more importantly than coverage for your child’s belongings, you need to confirm how your home insurance policy provides liability coverage to other locations. Your child might be a model citizen, but the combination of alcohol, lack of supervision, and peer pressure can lead to some dumb decisions and your homeowner’s liability insurance will likely provide coverage. Some policies automatically cover on-campus housing, but not off-campus housing, while others provide no coverage unless the policy is endorsed. The good news is that the cost to extend liability to another location is usually less than $50 per year, plus another $50 to $100 to add the location to an umbrella policy.

Most home insurance policies also provide coverage for personal property located away from the primary residence. This amount is usually limited to 10% of your policy limit, but that may be enough.  For example, if your home insurance policy provides you with $250,000 of personal property coverage, up to $25,000 of that coverage would cover personal property at your child’s college address. Keep in mind that your policy deductible would apply, so if you have a high deductible, the amount of coverage would be reduced accordingly. Also, if your child’s location becomes uninhabitable due to a covered cause of loss, your policy would not provide funds for temporary housing expenses. If these restrictions are too onerous, a separate renter’s insurance policy might be a better solution.

Many insurance companies also provide an auto insurance discount if your child is away at school without a vehicle and the school is located more than 100 miles from home. If your child is bringing a car to school, you need to inform the insurance company as well. Some states require you to carry state-specific auto insurance if your vehicle is “garaged” in the state for more than 30, 60, or 90 days. If your child is living full-time at school in order to secure in-state tuition, you may need to register the vehicle in that state as proof of residency. 

If you have a personal umbrella policy, you should also make sure your agent updates the coverage to reflect the changes to your home and/or auto insurance policies. Umbrella policies only cover the locations, vehicles, and drivers listed in the policy itself, so there could be a coverage problem if the agent forgets to list the off-campus apartment you rented for your son or daughter. 

If you don’t have a personal umbrella policy, you may want to consider purchasing one at this time. College is not just a place to gain academic knowledge. It’s also a place to learn how to become an adult and accept people and opinions different from your own. Sometimes that leads to bad decisions that can harm other people. A personal umbrella policy can provide you with the peace of mind that if your child unintentionally causes harm to someone else, it doesn’t have to be financially ruinous.

Going away to college is both exciting and challenging for parents and students. A quick insurance check-up with an associate at Plexus Private Client Solutions can reduce some of that anxiety. We look forward to assisting you.

David Miller, who writes the monthly, DID YOU KNOW? blog is The Plexus Groupe’s Vice President, Client Executive for Private Client Solutions. Miller can be reached by calling 846-307-6141.

The Plexus Groupe Makes Bold Move for Growth and Expansion Nationally with Addition of Industry Executive Brian Morgan

Brian Morgan

President and Chief Growth & Strategy Officer

The Plexus Groupe is pleased to announce the addition of industry leader Brian Morgan as President and Chief Growth & Strategy Officer. He brings twenty years of industry experience, with a deep background in accelerating growth organically, recruiting industry leading talent and orchestrating strategic acquisitions.

As an innovative industry leader, Morgan is known for building dynamic cultures where sales teams thrive in exceeding client expectations through collaboration and knowledge sharing to create the best possible outcomes. Prior to joining The Plexus Groupe, Morgan served as the Head of U.S. Growth and Southeast Operations for Integro Insurance Brokers. Morgan also previously served in various senior leadership roles for Marsh & McLennan and Willis Towers Watson in the Southeast.

Founder and CEO Walter Fawcett, III commented, “Brian brings a dynamic skill set that embodies the foundation of our firm, broadcasting a clear signal of our plans to grow our platform strategically across the country. He enables professionals to feel valued in delivering exceptional service and growing careers with a clear path. Our focus is to attract the best talent, agnostic to geography, but keenly focused on industry and technical verticals.”

Morgan commented, “It is an honor to join Walt and the Plexus family. I am excited to be a part of an independent firm built with a clearly defined culture of doing the right thing for its associates and clients. The team has worked hard to create a unique and inspiring culture under Walt’s guiding vision, that I am confident will attract top industry talent and partners. I look forward to working with all the Plexus associates to expand our business and national footprint.”

The Plexus Groupe offers innovative solutions in employee benefits, property & casualty insurance, corporate retirement plans, personal lines insurance, benefits technology services, and mergers & acquisitions. Additionally, the Plexus Global Network gives clients access to insurance placement in 130 countries around the world. Plexus is headquartered in Deer Park, Ill., with additional locations in Chicago, Dallas, and Oklahoma City.

For more information on strategic insurance solutions, please contact The Plexus Groupe at 847-307-6100 and ask to speak to a client executive.

DID YOU KNOW? Graduation Party Hijinks Results In Sobering Consequences for Parents

High school graduation is an exciting time for young adults and overly-enthusiastic parents who want to celebrate this milestone. With about two-thirds of high school students planning to go to college after graduation, the temptation to treat them as adults or to let them “blow off some steam” at a party may be quite high for some parents.

The Plexus Groupe's Expert on Personal Lines Quoted in Reviews.Com Article

The Plexus Groupe's Expert on Personal Lines Quoted in Reviews.Com Article

In their latest "Insurance & Pop Culture" column, asked David Miller of The Plexus Groupe whether homeowners insurance would cover damage by Godzilla, and the results might surprise you.

The Plexus Groupe Celebrates EOY Midwest Finalists

The Plexus Groupe Celebrates EOY Midwest Finalists

Executives of The Plexus Groupe celebrated the Entrepreneur of the Year Finalists for the Midwest Division Monday during a reception for the program. This is the 10th year that The Plexus Groupe has been a Platinum Sponsor of the event that celebrates the entrepreneurial spirit and bringing big ideas to life.