Investment

Why checking your homeowners insurance should be a rite of spring

Double-checking your homeowners insurance probably isn’t on many spring to-do lists. But it should be.

That’s the advice from David Miller, Vice President and risk management expert at Plexus Private Client Solutions, a suburban Chicagoland personal insurance agency protecting the life’s work of successful families and individuals with tailored home, auto, and umbrella coverage solutions.

In his recent article, “Eight Things That Might Surprise You About Your Home Insurance Policy,” Miller highlights some hot-button issues for homeowners, including:

Your home may be underinsured. Via Consumer Reports, which cited data from analytics firm CoreLogic, three out of every five homes are 20% underinsured on average. In the case of a total rebuild, this could leave homeowners left to pick up the pieces — while also picking up the check.

Take a look at your deductible, because it may have changed. Miller, who has more than two decades of insurance experience, cautions homeowners to be aware of wind and hail deductibles. These have been on the rise, with an uptick in roof-related claims particularly an issue. An insurance company can only change your coverage at renewal; make sure to read the fine print. Your agent can help.

Do not assume you have sump pump failure coverage. Most insurance companies will exclude this damage as a cause of loss. However, you can usually buy back a limited amount of coverage. Writes Miller: “Even if you have an unfinished basement, the costs associated with a sump pump/sewer claim might surprise you.”

For more information on the home and personal insurance expertise offered by Plexus Private Client Solutions, contact David Miller at 847-307-6100, or visit plexusgroupe.com. The firm's located at 21805 W. Field Parkway, Suite 300, in Deer Park, Illinois.

About Plexus Private Client Solutions

The personal insurance practice of national insurance brokerage The Plexus Groupe LLC, Plexus Private Client Solutions delivers a superior client experience and comprehensive personal insurance for successful individuals and families, including auto, home, and umbrella coverage. Our experienced, dedicated team takes a consultative approach to your personal risk management needs. For more information on Plexus Private Client Solutions, contact the firm at 847.307.6100 or via the Web.

Plexus Points: Insurance stories we're reading

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At Plexus, we enjoy reading about insurance. Here are a half-dozen insurance stories we are sharing, bookmarking, and highlighting as the work week rolls on:

Insurance Stories

-- A major carmarker will begin a program allowing owners to rent their cars out when they are not using them, a la Airbnb and homes.

-- In case you are wondering, Airbnb does provide some free liability coverage to users, and homeowners insurance may also cover some issues, as this Kiplinger's Personal Finance article points out.

-- Here's a look at the type of coverages home-based businesses may want to explore.

-- Will marijuana-related businesses utilize captives for insurance solutions?

-- Dental implants are effective, but will your insurance cover them?

-- On homeowners policies and firearms.

Plexus, Hunton & Williams to host Cybersecurity Seminar in Dallas on February 20

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International law firm Hunton & Williams and insurance brokerage / risk management consultancy The Plexus Groupe are excited to host a series of cyber risk management panel discussions tomorrow, Tuesday, February 20, from 1-5 p.m. at Hunton and Williams's offices at 1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 3700, in Dallas. An on-site cocktail hour will follow the panel discussions. Join other local executives for cutting edge, actionable threat mitigation insights and fruitful networking opportunities featuring leading legal, security, insurance, and risk management experts.

To RSVP, contact Michael Iannaccone of Plexus Financial Services at miannaccone@plexusfs.com or 630.347.5939.

Topics to be covered by our panelists include:

Cyber Threats: Fixed and Mobile

The Internet of Things brings great opportunity for businesses. But hackers need just cheap, easily accessible technology to wreak havoc on your firm. We take an in-depth look at this dangerous landscape.

Panelists

Chris Risley, CEO, Bastille Networks Internet Security; has led nine venture-backed startups.

Andrew Hoog, Founder, NowSecure; mobile security expert.

Cyber Risk Management: Direct and Indirect

Every day, your brand and your business are on the line.

Panelists

Paul M. Tiao, Partner, Hunton & Williams; co-chair of firm's cyber and physical security task force and former senior counsel under FBI Director Robert S. Mueller.

Michael Berman, Founder & CEO, Ncontracts; leading risk management software provider for financial institutions.

Cyber Risk Mitigation

So you’ve been hacked. What’s the cost? Get ready for some sticker shock.

Panelists

Erik Tammearu, National Benefits Distribution, Symantec.

Michael Iannaccone, Vice President, Plexus Financial Services; banking and risk management consultant.

Cyber Liability

When cyber-attackers hit, cyber insurance and its many components can save the day.

Panelists

Lorelie S. Masters, Partner, Hunton & Williams; nationally recognized insurance coverage litigator.

Willie T. Lindsey, Vice President, Executive Liability, The Plexus Groupe; Executive Liability underwriting and insurance brokerage leader.

 

 

Dr. Rick Rigsby to Plexus associates: Selfishness is dangerous, growth is essential, change is up to you

Selflessness is a virtue -- and a necessity for a business to move foward. And if a business isn't growing, forget about it.

These were among the lessons from Dr. Rick Rigsby during Thursday's keynote address at the 2018 Plexus Team Building Event.

The best-selling author of "Lessons From a Third Grade Dropout," Rigsby imparted wisdom learned from his late father, whose formal schooling ended not long after kindergarden but whose committment to education never stopped. Among his father's lessons: Be a servant to others.

"Ego is the anesthesia that deadens the pain of stupidity," said Rigsby, a former professor and TV sports anchor turned motivational speaker.

To begin his talk, Rigsby spoke of the risks people and businesses face when they do not keep evolving.

"I want to talk about forward momentum, because without forward momentum, entropy sets in," he said.

Rigsby also drew a link between entropy and the pursuit of adulation.

"We love hearing the accolades from others. Guess that that invites?" Rigsby said.

Rigsby also called on Plexus staff and other assembled guests at the American Society of Anesthesiologists to think and act strategically.

"Great people are thinking in muitiple dimentions," he said. "They’re not just showing up for a paycheck and some benefits."

Rigsby also took aim at the idea that businesspeople are just too busy to change their habits.

"The issue is not time. The issue is our management, or lack thereof, of time," Rigsby said.

Then, in his closing remarks, Rigsby told Plexus associates to look inside themselves. Company management, he said, shouldn't be expected to "raise your expectations for you."

Said Rigsby: "You raise them yourself."


For more information on Dr. Rick Rigsby, including booking information, please visit his website, RickRigsby.com. And be sure to check out the 2017 speech he delivered to California State University Maritime University, which has been viewed more than 130 million times. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bg_Q7KYWG1g

 

The 2018 Plexus Team Building Event kicks off Wednesday. Here's what to look for.

It's time again for one of the biggest events on The Plexus Groupe's calendar, a foundational piece for our corporate culture. On Wednesday and Thursday, all Plexus associates will gather in suburban Chicago for our 2018 Team Building Event. It's a chance for our 100-plus team members to connect, learn, and grow, and it's an opportunity for our firm to look ahead to what's in store for the coming year. We also get a wonderful chance to connect with our insurance carrier partners, who will be attending a number of the events over the next two days.

Once again, we have lined up an outstanding and impactful keynote speaker to cap off the event: Dr. Rick Rigsby, author of the best-selling book, "Lessons from a Third Grade Dropout." We are thrilled to have him speak to us on Thursday.

We’ll be posting here all week, as well as on our social media accounts, so you’ll want to be sure to follow us on TwitterLinkedInFacebook and Instagram for the latest.

It is hard to put into words what Team Building means to Plexus. It is a jumping-off point for the rest of the year, a catalyst for growth. And on Day One, it feels a lot like the first day of school, when seeing friends after the summer break. There are smiles and handshakes and greetings with our colleagues from other offices.

Frankly, we can't wait to get started.

Want to join a growing Best Places to Work in Insurance honoree? Try Plexus.

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The new year brings new resolutions, such as a focus on eating healthier, or exercising more, or telling the people closest to us that we love them. For many, this list of resolutions also includes a vow to change jobs, to move up in their careers, to take the next step. Maybe this can be done at a current place of employment, but maybe not. Maybe it will take a fresh start at a new company to get to where you want to be.

This can be a tough decision to make. There is comfort in familiarity. Maybe your current role isn't so bad, and if you stick around, it might get better. That is possible.

So if you're going to look for another job in 2018, it better be worth your time. It better deliver a superior experience to what you already have.

That's why career seekers do their due diligence on prospective new companies.

And if you do your due diligence on The Plexus Groupe, you will find the following:

-- We're a Best Places to Work in Insurance honoree in each of the last eight years.

-- Our associates are proud of the workplace culture they have created, and a strong commitment to philanthropy and service is found throughout our organization.

-- We are a growing firm, with more than 100 employees across four offices in Deer Park, Illinois (corporate headquarters), Chicago (Loop), Dallas, and Oklahoma City.  The firm has more than 100 employees across offices in Deer Park, Illinois (corporate headquarters), Chicago (Loop), Dallas, and Oklahoma City.

-- We deliver advisory services and a superior client experience in the areas of property and casualty, employee benefits, retirement plans, personal lines insurance, HR consulting, and technology services.

-- A number of our team members have received recognition for excellence in their field. Furthermore, our associates are routinely interviewed by media, and asked to speak at conferences. We also jump at the opportunity to talk to students about our industry.

-- We offer our employees a wide variety of employee benefits, including medical, dental, life, short- and long-term disability, 401(k) retirement savings (with a generous employer match), wellness programs, Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs), and Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). Additionally, we offer many other workday benefits, including walking workstations and complementary fruits, vegetables, waters, iced teas, and other healthy drinks.

-- Each year, we set aside two days for an all-company Team Building Event to plan ahead for the coming year, and we invite a keynote speaker to deliver an address to inspire and inform our team.

Next Steps 

Interested in career opportunities at Plexus? Click here to be directed to our Careers page for our updated list of openings.

We get it: a career search can be intimidating. It takes work. You need a reason to go on with it. And if you are going to change jobs, it better be for something rewarding, fun, legit.

To this we say: welcome. You have come to the right place.

Insurance stories we're reading

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We enjoy reading about insurance at Plexus. Here are a half-dozen industry stories we are bookmarking, sharing, and perusing as the work week rolls on: -- Wildfires are leading to soaring insurance costs in some areas of California.

-- On Netflix, HBO, and the future of insurance.

-- One of college football's top programs took insurance to cover incentive payouts related to team performance in 2016. It did not take out the coverage in 2017. Read on for the rest of this interesting story.

-- How much does $1 million in drone liability insurance cost?

-- Receiving an insurance payout after Hurricane Irma? Better read the fine print.

-- Iowa's Insurance Division is warning that bitcoin is not insurable.

Two Plexus Financial Services associates honored as Top Women Advisors by NAPA

DEER PARK, Ill. – Chicagoland-based Plexus Financial Services, LLC (PFS), a firm specializing in corporate retirement plan advisory services, has had two exemplary associates honored by a leading industry lobbying group. PFS Executive Vice President and Practice Leader Allison Winge and Vice President of Client Relations Pamela Appell have been named Top Women Advisors for 2017 by the National Association of Plan Advisors (NAPA). Top Women Advisor honorees were selected by a panel of judges, with nearly 600 retirement advisors receiving nominations.

Winge (pictured at left) was selected as a “Captain,” a designation given to leaders of retirement plan advisory firms. Appell (right) was selected as an “All-Star,” an honor reserved for top producers. Winge and Appell each have close to two decades of experience in corporate retirement plan advisory.

A wholly owned subsidiary of The Plexus Groupe LLC, Plexus Financial Services offers fiduciary assistance, participant education, investment consulting, plan design, and provider management for corporate retirement plans.

“We are extremely proud of the recognition Allison and Pamela have received,” said Brian F. Griffin, Plexus Groupe President and Chief Operating Officer. “Their tireless advocacy on behalf of retirement plan sponsors and participants is to be commended, and we cannot thank them enough for the impact they have had on Plexus Financial Services and our clients. The entire Plexus family salutes Allison and Pam for their excellent work.”

An affiliate of the American Retirement Association, NAPA is a leading industry advocacy group for the retirement plan advisory industry. Plexus Financial Services is a member of NAPA.

Disclosure regarding NAPA’s Top Women Advisors

The list is formed through an advisor application process supporting a potential nomination from the National Association of Plan Advisors, an affiliate organization of the American Retirement Association, a non-profit association.  The nomination acknowledges excellence and contributions within the profession.  No fee is charged for application, nomination, or selection; however, only NAPA Firm Partners are allowed to participate.  Among various selection criteria, annual dues are required to obtain NAPA Firm Partner Membership.

Disclosure regarding NAPA/ARA

The National Association of Plan Advisors is a non-profit professional society backed by the American Retirement Association (ARA). The materials provided are intended for instruction only and are not a substitute for professional advice.

The American Retirement Association is a non-profit professional organization with two major goals: to educate all retirement plan and benefits professionals, and to create a framework of policy that gives every working American the ability to have a comfortable retirement. The American Retirement Association is comprised of four premier retirement industry associations; the American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA), the ASPPA College of Pension Actuaries (ACOPA), the National Association of Plan Advisors (NAPA), and the National Tax-deferred Savings Association (NTSA).

For additional information please contact NAPA (napa-net.org) and the American Retirement Association (usaretirement.org) at 4245 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 750, Arlington, Va., 22203. Both organizations can be reached by telephone at 703-516-9300.

Disclosure regarding Plexus Financial Services

Plexus Financial Services, LLC (“PFS”) does not provide specific investment, tax, and/or legal advice and the information referenced/provided is not specific to any company’s or individual’s circumstances. The materials referenced/provided are general in nature and provided for educational purposes based upon publicly available information from sources believed to be reputable and reliable; we cannot assure the accuracy or completeness of these materials and caution you to use personal diligence in review before relying or acting upon any information presented. Any general information referenced/provided is not be construed as personalized investment, tax, and/or legal advice. Always consult an advisor, attorney and/or tax professional regarding your specific situation.

This communication is strictly intended for individuals residing in the states of Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin and does not provide any information regarding any offers or services directly provided by PFS. The information referenced/provided is not to be considered an offer to buy or sell, or a solicitation of any offer.

PFS is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Plexus Groupe LLC. Advisory services are offered through Plexus Financial Services LLC, a registered investment advisor with the SEC which transacts business in states where it is properly registered, or is excluded or exempted from registration requirements, member FINRA (www.finra.org) and the SIPC (www.sipc.com). SEC registration does not constitute an endorsement of the firm by the Commission nor does it indicate that the adviser has attained a particular level of skill or ability.

You may request receipt of PFS’s Form ADV, Privacy Policy Statement, Code of Ethical Behavior, and Conflict of interest Policy at any time by written request to info@plexusfs.com. For additional details or questions regarding this or any information provided by or related to PFS, please visit our website at www.plexusfs.com. Plexus Financial Services is located at 21805 Field Parkway, Suite 300, Deer Park, Illinois 60010. To contact us by phone, please call (847) 307-6222.

 

Insurance stories we're reading

The Plexus Groupe is releasing this week's insurance reading list. Here are a half-dozen industry stories we are sharing, thumbing through, and bookmarking as the work week rolls on: -- An NFL quarterback who could garner a nine-figure contract in 2018 made sure to take out an insurance policy on himself before the season. (Among those suggesting he have insurance: former GM CEO Jack Welch.)

-- Is a global e-commerce giant thinking about getting into the insurance business?

-- Are frozen pipes covered by your homeowners insurance? It depends.

-- If you take a self-driving taxi in Phoenix next year, you will automatically have insurance coverage.

-- Estimated insured losses from Hurricane Irma have reached $6.55 billion.

-- A leading insurer has made a big investment in a company that's bringing microinsurance via mobile phones to emerging markets.

 

Does your company have the right directors & officers insurance?

In late 2015, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates issued a memorandum to federal prosecutor — commonly known as the Yates Memo — that emphasizes the accountability of individuals involved in corporate wrongdoing. Consequently, businesses and culpable employees are both targets during federal investigations. This can lead to a number of liabilities for your organization.

The Yates Memo specifies that businesses must identify all culpable individuals during a Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation. This will likely result in frayed relationships with employees, longer investigations and higher defense costs. Additionally, the DOJ will expect your business to cooperate during both corporate and individual cases, as the Yates Memo removed many protections for individuals.

To ensure that you are adequately protected, you need to examine your business’s directors and officers (D&O) insurance coverage before an investigation takes place.

Primary Focus of the Yates Memo

The Yates Memo consists of six “key steps” to encourage businesses to focus on individual accountability as well as to encourage federal attorneys to bring civil and criminal charges against culpable employees.

Two of these steps will have a large impact on the focus of investigations:

1.  Businesses must identify individuals involved in corporate wrongdoing to qualify for cooperation credit in case resolution.

2.  Federal attorneys will target individuals during the onset of an investigation. They will not focus solely on the business as a whole.

Employees’ Reactions

Because businesses must identify culpable individuals to receive cooperation credit during a federal investigation. The priorities of your business and your employees will likely diverge over the course of a case.

Additionally, the Yates Memo states individuals don't have to partake in wrongdoing to be a target of investigations. Board members, directors, officers and managers that do not provide sufficient oversight of their respective responsibilities can be found negligent and targeted during a case. This broad range will likely make it more difficult to determine who caused any wrongdoing.

While it is in your business’s best interests to conduct thorough internal investigations and find all culpable individuals, employees may be less willing to reveal relevant information and may even request their own legal counsel to represent their best interests. And, if your D&O coverage provides funding for this defense, there will be less funds available to provide protection for your business as a whole.

Protection for Individuals

As the Yates Memo emphasizes individual accountability, it takes away protections that individuals could turn to when resolving cases. The key steps in the memorandum specify the following:

→ There must be a plan to resolve any related cases involving culpable individuals before corporate cases are handled.

→ Resolutions between businesses and the DOJ will provide no protection for culpable individuals.

→ Civil charges against individuals will not account for the ability to pay financial penalties.

These points will serve to lengthen cases because businesses need to cooperate with individual and corporate cases. This means that your business must continue to devote time and resources to internal investigations and provide for legal counsel. As a result, your current D&O coverage is likely inadequate given the new priorities found in the Yates Memo.

D&O Coverage Considerations

To ensure that you have adequate D&O coverage to defend both your business and its employees during an investigation, you should review the following topics:

→ Type of coverage: Ensure that your D&O policy will provide adequate protection for all parties involved in a case. Coverage should include funds for your employees’ defense, any additional funds your business provides for their defense and your business’s defense if you are sued by a third party as a result of a federal investigation.

→ Investigation coverage: Consider purchasing investigation coverage as an endorsement to your D&O policy. This will help protect you from the financial burden of lengthy internal investigations.

→ Policy limits: Consider raising your policy limits to ensure that you have adequate protection. Defending more individuals and assisting federal prosecutors will lead to longer cases and higher defense costs.

→ Conduct exclusions: Examine your current D&O policy to see if it has conduct exclusions for fraud, dishonesty and other misconduct. These exclusions may also include final adjunction provisions, which prevent carriers from withholding funds until a case has been resolved.

→ Balance between indemnification and insurance: Conduct a review of your business’s balance between indemnification and D&O coverage. If you provide for the majority of a case’s defense costs, you may face severe financial hardship after it's resolved.

Let’s have a conversation

The risk prevention experts at The Plexus Groupe transform complexity into simplicity to empower growth-orientated companies like yours by reducing exposures, improving cost efficiencies, and protecting your most valued assets.

Have questions regarding directors & officers coverage? You have come to the right place. Contact Plexus Vice President of Executive Liability Willie Lindsey at 847-307-6100 or wlindsey@plexusgroupe.com. We will work with you to protect what you have earned and achieved.

Disclaimer and publishing credit: This Risk Insights is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as legal advice. Readers should contact legal counsel or an insurance professional for appropriate advice. © 2016 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.