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The Hartford introduces unique new coverage for small businesses

By Cory Fischbach

Most businesses have essential employees who are vital to the operation and financial well-being of the business. Losing an essential employee can be devastating to a small business, and preparing for this is a vital part of any business insurance program. Until now, this has typically been done with key person insurance (often referred to as key man insurance), which is a life insurance policy that a business takes out on an essential employee. With a new endorsement released by The Hartford on March 11th, coverage is now available for temporary absences as well.

Business Income Extension for Essential Personnel
Most business insurance policies cover loss of business income and extra expenses incurred due to a covered loss. This endorsement extends that coverage to include loss of business income and extra expenses incurred due to the unplanned absence of an essential employee. Unlike key person insurance, this coverage is triggered by anything other than termination, resignation, or retirement

The Hartford is currently the only insurance carrier that offers this type of coverage, and the optional endorsement covers up to a 90-day absence. For coverage to apply, the essential person must be absent for more than 30 days, and the employer must not have been aware of the absence for more than 30 days in advance.

If this product is successful, I expect other companies to begin offering something similar in the near future. This is a great first step, but I think that the 90-day limit is conservative. As The Hartford and other companies become more comfortable with this type of coverage, I would hope to see options for 6-12 month limits. If you are a business owner with essential employees, I encourage you to ask […]

Cyber Security: the latest threat to the affluent and high net worth client

By Chris Larkin, Producer, Private Client Services

In today’s ever-evolving world, cyber security has become one of the most urgent threats facing our clients. In the digital world of Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Vine and Twitter, the threat of nefarious characters gaining access to private information has never been greater. We see every day large Fortune 500 companies having customer information hacked and spread on the internet. Individuals are also very much at risk and should be aware of steps to protect themselves from cyber crimes.

Here are some simple steps that can help secure your private information:

Avoid using personal information in your passwords. (Dates of birth, Social Security numbers, etc.)
Change your personal passwords on a regular basis
Always utilize a password on your mobile device
Don’t make it easy for cyber criminals to gain access to your personal data. Make your passwords more difficult and incorporate symbols and numbers into your passwords

These simple steps can greatly reduce your vulnerability to a cyber assault. Please contact me to learn more about how to bolster your cyber security.

Assured SRA hosts nearly 100 execs to learn about workplace violence risk

Assured SRA held its final executive briefing of the year on Friday, Oct. 28 as nearly 100 attendees came to KC’s Grand Street Café to enjoy breakfast, networking and a presentation on potential risk and liabilities involved with workplace violence.

President Randy Larsen welcomed the crowd and Vice President Stephanie Spencer introduced the speakers and explained that issues including workplace violence and guns in the workplace have been the source of concern and questions from Assured SRA clients.

The featured speakers were Jim Lawrence, partner at Bryan Cave Law Firm and Mark Holt of Travelers. Jim gave a comprehensive presentation on the quickly-changing legal landscape with regard to concealed and open-carry of firearms and included issues like allowing vehicles with guns in a company parking lot and what constitutes appropriate signage indicating that guns aren’t allowed on a premises. Mark Holt talked about the limited options for insurance coverage and that most coverage would be in effect only after an incident occurred.

Earthquake Insurance: Got Coverage?

By Gabe Wooldridge, Private Client Consultant

Many homeowners in the Midwest do not consider the possibility of an earthquake in the heartland of America. Many of us are under the assumption that these kinds of things happen out in the West Coast. The fact is that earthquakes are more prevalent in the Midwest than on the West Coast. According to the earthquake center in 2014 there were more earthquakes in Oklahoma than in California. There are two major forces at play when considering earthquakes in the Midwest: An enormous natural fault line, the New Madrid fault, which is located in eastern Missouri and possibly manmade faults that are erupting throughout Oklahoma.

New Madrid Fault

The New Madrid fault is responsible for the some of the most significant earthquakes in America with three separate occurrences between 1811 and 1812, two of which were 7.5 + and one that was approximately 7.3 on the Richter Scale (which was not yet invented). These earthquakes occurred when the Midwest was sparsely populated and the infrastructure was not as significant. If this magnitude of earthquake were to occur in today advanced large cities with high rise buildings and millions of people the damage would be catastrophic. According to an article on the Missouri Department of Insurance, “A study by the U.S. Geological Survey estimates the probability of a magnitude 7.5 or greater earthquake in the New Madrid zone over the next 50 years is 7-10 percent. The probability of an earthquake exceeding magnitude 6 over the same period is 25-40 percent.  A joint assessment by the Mid-America Earthquake Center of the University of Illinois and the Federal Emergency Management Agency predicts the New Madrid event could constitute the highest total economic loss of […]

What the hail?!

By Michael Rodriguez, ARM, CLCS
Commercial Lines Manager

What the Hail!?!

Unfortunately it is that time of year throughout many areas of the United States — time to put our blinders on, put our heads in the sand and pretend as homeowners, owners /managers of commercial buildings, and investors of real estate that we don’t understand our increased risk for wind & hail based on our geography / climate.

If you live in a cave, or have your entire business operations / holdings underground this blog doesn’t apply to you. Kudos for figuring out the avoidance technique for dealing with hail storms! The rest of us need to look for ways to mitigate hail losses and also a new product that determines if you had roof damage caused by hail once the storm passes.

Recently a colleague of mine Jeff Goldenberg introduced me to Bob Lynch of Hail Signature Technologies. Bob & Hail Signature Technologies have a unique product that I only wish I had on my roof about six years ago, when I was arguing with my own insurance company about hail damage. I’ll let Bob explain the specifics, but in my view it is very simple: it provides measurable proof of how hard hail hit your roof (by using the installed Hail Signature Technologies product). This data can then be used to answer the BIG question: Do I have roof damage from hail?

Hail Signature Technologies has developed a product for both residential and commercial type roofs. Your local roofer can easily install

the product for residential & commercial applications. I would venture to say most of our commercial customers with an existing facility / maintenance staff could also install the product.

Next, some older but very effective techniques / […]