Cyber Liability

Cyber attacks don't just affect computer systems. Your machinery may also be at risk.

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Cyber attacks threaten the financial stability of a company. The steep, monetary burden of a cyber attack isn't exclusively tied to damaged digital assets, lost records, and the price of investigating and reporting a breach. Damage to an organization’s physical assets can be just as harmful.

The physical damage of a cyber attack typically occurs when a hacker accesses a computer system that controls equipment. Examples include technology-based controls in a manufacturing plant, refinery or electric generating plant. After a hacker gains access to an organization’s machinery, they control it.

These types of events can lead to major disruptions and costly damages. To safeguard physical assets, it’s critical for organizations to understand the types of businesses and assets that are exposed to these attacks.

What’s at Risk?

Let's compare a cyber attacks to a natural disaster or other industrial accident. Following these kinds of incidents, organizations can incur costs to repair and replace damaged equipment in addition to any lost revenue caused by the disruption.

Unlike natural disasters, however, cyber attacks that result in physical damage aren’t limited to a geographic location and can impact an entire network. This means damages caused by a breach can be widespread, affecting multiple sectors of the economy depending on the target.

Because of this, cyber attacks that cause physical damage are often dynamic and extensive. When an attack on critical infrastructure occurs, it not only affects business owners and operators, but suppliers, stakeholders and customers.

Who’s at Risk?

Cyber attacks that cause physical damage — including the targets, assailants, motives and means of the attack — are constantly evolving.

Incidents can occur in a variety of ways, including: phishing scams, internet exchange point attacks, breaches of unsecured devices and plots carried out by rogue employees.

Many experts deem power and energy sector organizations the most at risk. However, vulnerabilities also exist in utilities, telecommunications, oil and gas, petrochemicals, mining and manufacturing, and any other sectors where industrial control systems (ICSs) are used.

ICSs are open computer systems used to monitor and control physical processes as well as streamline operations and repairs. ICSs are not often designed with security as a primary consideration. This leaves them susceptible to attack. And, for many automated processes, attacks don’t even need to cause physical damage to result in significant disruption and losses.

The targets of cyber attacks vary greatly by industry, and the damage can be extensive due to the interconnected nature of ICSs.

Real-World Examples

Organizations are not always required to report cyber attacks, so they largely go unreported. However, here are a number of high-profile incidents that demonstrate how important it is to consider infrastructure cyber exposures:

→ Ukrainian power grid attack. This was a multisite attack that disconnected seven 110 kilovolt (kV) and three 35 kV substations. The attack resulted in a power outage for 80,000 people and lasted for three hours. The attackers caused substantial, prolonged disruption to the economy and general public utilizing a phishing scam.

→ Saudi Arabian computer attacks. Hackers destroyed thousands of computers across six organizations in the energy, manufacturing and aviation industries. A simple virus stole data and then computers were wiped and bricked. Not only did this mean critical business data was lost forever, but all of the damaged computers had to be replaced — a substantial fee for businesses of any size.

→ Petrochemical plant attack. This attack targeted a Saudi Arabian petrochemical plant. The unique attack wasn’t designed to steal data, but rather sabotage operations and trigger an explosion. The only thing that prevented an explosion was a mistake in the attackers’ computer code. Had the attack been successful, the plant would likely have been destroyed and many employees could have died. Experts are concerned that similar attacks could happen across the globe.

→ Hospital ventilation attack. In this incident, a hacker was able to control a hospital’s HVAC system using malware. This attack put the safety of staff, patients and medical supplies in jeopardy, as the hacker could control the temperature of the facilities.

Cyber attacks will likely become increasingly common, as technology advances and hackers become more creative. Even more concerning is that these kinds of attacks not only endanger a company’s data, reputation and finances, but human lives as well.

How Do I Protect My Organization?

Insurance coverage for cyber attacks is still in its infancy, and your organization may have gaps in protection. Even if your property insurance policy includes physical or nonphysical damage overages, you may not necessarily be covered from first- or third-party losses from cyber attacks.

The level of protection your company has depends largely on the structure of your policies. Therefore, it’s critical for businesses to do their due diligence and understand if their policies do the following:

→ Impose any limits on coverage, particularly as it relates to physical damage of tangible property.

→ Cover an attack and any resulting damages.

→ Provide contingent coverage for attacks that aren’t specifically targeted at the organization.

There are a number of steps businesses can take by themselves to protect their physical assets. In addition to implementing a cyber risk management plan, businesses should consider the following:

→ Keep all software up to date.

→ Back up files regularly.

→ Train employees on common cyber risks and what they should do if they notice anything suspicious.

→ Review your exposures and speak with your insurance broker to discuss policy options for transferring risk.

Contact Us

Have questions about today's newsletter or other commercial insurance matters? Contact a property and casualty client executive at The Plexus Groupe at 847-307-6100, or reach out via the Web.

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. © 2018 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.

Plexus Points: Insurance stories we're reading

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We enjoy reading about insurance. Here are seven insurance stories we're sharing, bookmarking, and highlighting as the work week rolls on:

Insurance Stories

The Economist takes a look at how insurance is working to tailor policies for the freelance workforce.

→ Fixing something and need insurance fast? One agency is offering on-demand coverage.

→ Why are major non-insurers like Walmart suddenly looking to get into the business?

→ Dog bite insurance claims totaled close to $690 million in 2017, according to one study.

→ The state of Kansas allows teachers to be armed in schools, but the state schools' insurer has made it clear it won't cover schools with armed teachers.

→ Here's a neat story from the Lansing (Mich.) State Journal on how area insurers and schools are working to attract students to careers in insurance.

→ The deadly Montecito mudslide has led to more than $400 million in insurance claims.

 

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.

Eight things that might surprise you about your home insurance policy

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By David Miller, Vice PresidentPlexus Private Client Solutions 

Home insurance is essential, but only having the right home insurance offers true piece of mind.

What's more, there is nothing worse than being surprised by an expense not covered by your insurance.

With these points in mind, here are eight things to consider as you think about your homeowner's coverage.

Finally, if you want to discuss issues raised in this article, please contact me at 847-307-6141 or dmiller@plexusgroupe.com.

Eight Considerations

1. Your home's probably underinsured.  According to CoreLogic, which provides analytics information to insurers and other businesses, 60% of U.S homes seem uninsured by an average of 20%.  Most home insurance companies will provide additional coverage if the amount listed in your policy's not enough to rebuild your home. The amount of this cushion varies from one company to the next.

The bigger concern, however, is not working with an agent that insures the home correctly in the first place.  You don’t want to find out at the time of loss that your policy provides you with 20 percent additional coverage when you need 50 percent more coverage to completely rebuild your home.

2. Your deductible may be too low.  Many insurance companies are starting to provide meaningful premium reductions at higher policy deductibles.  Our rule of thumb is to accept a higher deductible when the increase in deductible divided by the premium savings is five years or less.

For example, let’s assume your current deductible is $1,000.  The insurance company would decrease your premium by $450 if you increased the deductible to $2,500.  If you divide the additional out-of-pocket expense ($1,500) by the premium savings ($450), the result is 3.3 years.  In this example, we would recommend moving to the higher deductible.

3. Your deductible may have changed.  We have started to notice that some direct writers are moving towards a percentage deductible as opposed to a flat deductible for all causes of loss.  Other companies are implementing higher deductibles for certain types of losses. Many range from one percent to as high as five percent for losses due to wind or hail.

4. You may have little or no coverage for losses due to sump pump failure or sewer backup.  Most policies issued by direct writers provide no coverage if water enters your home through a sump pump failure or a sewer drain backup.  Many of these same companies will allow you to buy back some coverage. The amounts may be low ($10,000 is common), or the buyback includes restrictions on the types of property covered.

Even if you have an unfinished basement, the costs associated with a sump pump/sewer claim might surprise you.  We represent companies that offer higher limits, all the way up to limits on your home and/or contents.

5. You may have a depreciation schedule for hail damage claims to your roof.  Some companies are including a depreciation table in their policies that list how much less they will pay for your roof, based on the type and age of your shingles.  For example, if you have a 20-year-old roof and asphalt shingles that  hail damaged, your company might only pay for 50 percent of the claim.

6. Your policy might not cover claims for Personal Injury.  Personal Injury refers to such things as libel, defamation, and invasion of privacy.  While these types of claims may seem far-fetched, they are on the rise with the pervasive use of social media.  And while you may be careful with what you post about your neighbors or friends, your children may not.  They might send an inappropriate photo or text to a friend, and that message's forwarded and quickly goes viral.  Adding this coverage to your home insurance is inexpensive (less than $50 a year) and often overlooked by the agent.

7. Your jewelry or other valuables may not be insured.  Most policies limit the amount of coverage for lost or stolen jewelry to no more than $2,500 – and that's after your deductible's applied.  For additional premium, you can insure your jewelry for its full value at a $0 deductible.

You can insure collections of just about anything. Whether it's sports memorabilia, old movie posters, or wine, your passion's included.

8 Your homeowner’s liability limit may be too low.  Many home insurance policies carry a liability limit of $100,000 or $300,000.  For less than $50 per year, this limit can be increased to $500,000, or even $1 million.

About Plexus Private Client Solutions 

Plexus Private Client Solutions protects the life’s work of families and individuals, offering tailored, comprehensive personal insurance solutions, including home, auto, and umbrella policies. Click here for a personalized quote.

 

Insurance stories we're reading

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At The Plexus Groupe, we enjoy reading about insurance stories. Here are five industry-related stories we're bookmarking, sharing, and thumbing through as the work week rolls on:

Insurance Stories

→ Here's a closer look at the kinds of insurance that major motion pictures might utilize.

→ Will Maryland require individuals to have health insurance?

→ Auto insurance rates are seemingly up everywhere, but they are really going up in Colorado.

→ A fisherman, a boat, and a half-million dollars in liability insurance.

→ Wisconsin recently adjusted the insurance program available to dairy farmers that pays out when the cost of producing milk nears the cost of selling milk.

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.

 

 

While a stormy 2017 was expensive for insurers, it could have been worse

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In our latest look at Property & Casualty news and notes, we dive into the subject of 2018 commerical insurance pricing for insurers after a disaster-laden 2017.

Market watch: Though plenty of roofs caved in last year, the sky isn't falling in 2018

Global weather and storm losses reached $330 billion in 2017, with insured losses at $135 billion, according to reinsurer MunichRe. However, these losses do not necessarily mean that insurance rates will significantly rise, with numerous published reports suggesting that insurers built up excess capacity before a tumultuous 2017 -- and that losses were within acceptable limits. Nevertheless, property, conmercial auto, business owners, and general liability rates were up slightly in the fourth quarter of last year, per the IVANS index, which tracks rate renewals from more than 380 insurers.

Report: Securities lawsuit filings jumped 53% in 2017

Directors and officers of publicly traded companies found themselves at the center of more lawsuits than usual in 2017. Per Business Insurance magazine, securities lawsuits increased from 271 in 2016 to 415 in 2017, according to data from Kevin LaCroix, executive vice president at RT ProExec, a division of insurance wholesaler RT Specialty. That's a 53 percent increase over the previous year. Whether your firm is publicly traded or not, having the right directors and officers is key. We can help. For more information, contact Plexus Vice President of Executive Liability Willie Lindsey at wlindsey@plexusgroupe.com or 847-307-6100.

Getting to know Plexus's Cyber Indication Form

Ever thought about getting cyber insurance for your business but didn't know where to start? Check out our quick and easy Cyber Liability Indication Form. Fill it out, and one of our client service team representatives can give you a sense of the coverage you need -- and what it could cost.

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.

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.

 

TechAssure earns Insurance Business America honor

The Plexus Groupe salutes TechAssure for winning Network  / Alliance of the Year honors among insurance-industry groups with 100 or fewer member agencies at the 2017 Insurance Business America Awards on Wednesday night in Chicago. Since 2006, Plexus has been a proud member of TechAssure, a select, cutting-edge group of global independent insurance brokers with expertise in the technology, life science, clean technology, cyber risk and venture/private equity markets. The association with TechAssure allows Plexus access to products developed specifically for the technology, private equity and venture capital marketplaces, as well as current market and product trends in the field of technology risk management.

TechAssure Executive Director Garrett Droege -- pictured here speaking at Plexus's 2017 Team Building Event -- accepted the Insurance Business America award on behalf of his organization.

 

 

Insurance stories we're reading

We enjoy reading about insurance at Plexus. Here are five industry stories we're checking out as the work week begins: -- According to the Washington Post, nearly a dozen states could soon run out of money to care for low-income children because the federal Children's Health Insurance Program remains unfunded.

-- Congress has less than two weeks to reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program.

-- Hotels in the Caribbean face higher insurance premiums after an exceptionally stormy 2017.

-- A Virginia lawmaker has introduced legislation that would ban insurers from using credit scores to set coverage rates.

-- Here's a closer look at the parametric insurance market.

Insurance stories we're reading

At Plexus, we enjoy reading about insurance -- and we think you will, too. Here are five industry-related stories we are sharing, bookmarking, and scrolling through as the work week rolls on: -- The U.S. House has voted to reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program.

-- Do journalists need liability insurance? The Columbia Journalism Review explores what coverage interested writers, editors, and other media personalities might need if they are considering carrying insurance.

-- When the cost of health coverage for retirees was mistakenly omitted from the budget, an Indiana county suddenly realized it had a nearly $6 million deficit on its hands.

-- More than a dozen states now carry cyber liability insurance.

-- Florida legislators are weighing changing the rules regarding "assignment of benefits," where homeowners seeking to make insurance claims give power to contractors to handle all elements of the claims process.

 

When hurricane debris lands on your property, what's next?

In the latest Plexus Property & Casualty Newsletter, we explore the question of who pays when a boat tossed ashore during a storm lands on your property.

News item: Row, row, row your boat, gently down ... the lawn?

Scores of boats swept ashore during Hurricane Irma (not pictured here) remain stuck where they are. Some are now sitting on the property of homeowners who don't own the boats, the Miami Herald reports. The question of whom will pay to remove some of these once-seafaring vessels remains unsettled, leaving the boats to decay where they sit. (Some boats are attracting rats, as the Herald notes.) From a business perspective, your property insurance will generally cover debris removal, though sublimits apply. Have coverage questions? We can help. Contact Plexus Senior Claims Analyst Joni Gould at 847-307-6140 or jgould@plexusgroupe.com.

Electronic driving records soon required for many fleet drivers

By mid-December, many trucking firms and other commercial drivers must begin complying with federal regulations requiring electronic logging devices (ELDs) to be used instead of the paper log books that were long a fixture in the trucking industry. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration offers numerous compliance resources on the rule, which fully takes effect in 2019. For  more information on fleet risk management, contact Plexus P&C Client Executive Jim Jenkins at 847-307-6112 or jjenkins@plexusgroupe.com.

In M&A deals, don't forget the cyber coverage

In case you were on the fence regarding cyber insurance, here’s one more reason to consider it: if you ever look to sell your company, buyers might look kindly upon the coverage, for the insurance “gives some comfort that in the event of a breach, there is some resource available to respond to a significant breach,” Dan Cotter, an attorney for Chicago law firm Butler Rubin Saltarelli & Boyd LLP, told TheStreet.com for a recent story on cyber coverage. Plexus offers a wide range of cyber and M&A expertise; for more information, contact P&C Practice leader Mike Mann at 847-307-6111 or mmann@plexusgroupe.com.

Insurance stories we're reading

We enjoy reading about insurance at Plexus. Here are five industry-related stories we're checking out: -- Here's a look at how insurance can protect against a variety of potential Halloween-related accidents.

-- Pennsylvania will not allow insurers to charge auto policyholders more for collisions with deer.

-- Here's a useful primer on long-term disability insurance.

-- The recent California wildfires leveled marijuana farms who could not carry federal crop insurance because the drug -- while soon to be legal in the state -- is still illegal under U.S. law.

-- Can Michigan reform its auto insurance system? State legislators are trying, but it remains to be seen whether major changes will take hold.

Executive order on health plans could expand access to association health plans, change HRA rules

On Thursday, President Trump signed an executive order urging the Department of Labor to consider expanding access to association health plans, including small businesses and individuals. This could potentially allow American employers to purchase health insurance across state lines. The executive order also urges the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Treasury to consider changing health reimbursement account (HRA) rules, as well as consider expanding coverage through low-cost short-term limited-duration insurance policies.

There is no immediate impact of this executive order. Employers, small business owners, and association plan participants should continue operating under current laws and stay tuned for further legal developments. 

Association Health Plans Potentially Not Subject to Affordable Care Act Requirements

Association health plans are currently governed by state laws and generally consist of trade organizations or interest groups. The executive order urges expanding access to association health plans, including small businesses and individuals.

Additionally, the Department of Labor could amend the regulations so that association health plans would no longer be subject to State regulation or Affordable Care Act requirements, potentially allowing American employers to purchase health insurance across state lines.  This could also allow association health plans to deny coverage to the group or set rates based on the medical history of those in the group, so plans with younger, healthier members could offer lower premiums.

HRAs: Potential Use to Pay for Individual Policies

The executive order urges changes to health reimbursement accounts, potentially allowing employers to give workers funding to pay premiums for health policies in the individual market. Affordable Care Act regulations explicitly forbid the practice, but that could potentially change, here.

Short-Term Limited Duration Insurance Policies

The executive order urges expanding coverage through low-cost short-term limited-duration insurance policies, including lengthening the coverage period, currently limited to 90 days, and allowing renewals of the policies. These plans are not subject to Affordable Care Act requirements and generally exclude pre-existing conditions and provide less comprehensive coverage than other policies.

Looking Ahead 

First, there is no immediate legal effect from this executive order. Any changes to law would be made through regulations from the above named agencies. Additionally, many states have expressed intention to file lawsuits against this executive order and its potential outcomes. Employers, small business owners, and association plan participants should continue operating under current laws and stay tuned for further legal developments.

Editor's note: The above analysis is courtesy of Pope Law Firm

When disaster strikes a key supplier, will you have the right coverage?

The property & casualty insurance world is ever-changing, and businesses face a vast array of risks. Here's a look at three risk management topics firms should be pondering as 2018 approaches.

Lessons from a cruel summer

After a turbulent summer, it is a good time to review contingency plans for operations slowed or halted due to a natural disaster. If your major suppliers can't ship needed components due to a catastrophe, a contingent business interruption endorsement to your business property policy could make all the difference. To learn more about ensuring you have the proper coverage and limits in place, contact Property & Casualty Vice President and Client Executive Jesse Altman at 847-307-6100 or jaltman@plexusgroupe.com.

Cyber boom

According to one estimate, the cyber insurance market could grow by 600-800 percent over the next 10 years. That's impressive long-term growth, but when it comes to cyber coverage, being an early adopter is the smart move. With cyberattacks an unceasing risk for businesses, it pays to get covered, especially when cyber insurance protects in so many ways. For more information on Plexus’s cyber risk management capabilities, contact Property & Casualty Vice President and Client Executive Willie Lindsey at wlindsey@plexusgroupe.com or 847-307-6100.

'Nailed' it

Earlier this year near New Orleans, a truck spilled roofing nails on Interstate 10. You can guess what happened next: nails reportedly became embedded in the tires of numerous vehicles, and then, the insurance claims insurance claims were filed. For commercial vehicles, auto liability insurance covers property damage caused by vehicles covered under the policy. For more on commercial auto insurance, including liability limits, contact Property & Casualty Vice President and Client Executive Debbi Incopero at 847-307-6100 or dincopero@plexusgroupe.com.