Protection of patient health information is of high priority for every healthcare provider. HIPAA/HITECH has evolved since its introduction in 1996. The health care industry has the highest privacy breach rate compared to any other industry. In the past decade, we’ve seen a surge in risk control techniques to protect against privacy breaches at entities that transmit data electronically: clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, pharmacies, and medical practices – to name a few.
Best Practice organizations have shared that as part of the Crisis Management process reviews, they review their existing Disaster Recovery plans to ensure they have the ability to quickly and effectively respond to a Security Breach. Prior to an Emergency, it is critical to ensure the appropriate HIPAA Security Standards safeguards are in place and guidelines are strictly followed.
Unfortunately, even with the appropriate training, firewalls, and other expensive safeguards, security breaches are widespread and the cost to recover is increasing. Typically the most expensive part of a data breach isn’t the liability cost to the affected, but the cost of notification and credit monitoring! (Tweet this!)
Cyber-attacks are more sophisticated than ever, with the leading sources of Security/Privacy breaches from:
- lost or stolen computers (e.g., desktops, laptops, servers, smart phones),
- USB drives,
- paper records,
Acquiring the appropriate level of Cyber Liability insurance coverage helps cover the Disaster Recovery costs associated with notifying its patients by law, health record and credit monitoring services, legal and forensic costs, and applicable HITECH fine/penalties. Depending on the organization’s patient database, these costs can run into the millions.
Questions? Concerns? We can walk you through the process!
Peggy Hill, CLCS, MBA
860-482-3506 ext 11608
Buying life insurance on a guaranteed issue basis is very appealing to those over the age of 50 since for many of us; issues such as high blood pressure, diabetes and other ailments often begin to take hold at that time in our lives. So, is it a worthwhile purchase and what do you need to know?
Most of these policies are sold via television ads targeted at potential customers that are in the 50 to 70 year age group with the promise of no “unneeded” medical questions and that everyone that applies will be offered a policy at a very low price, often as little at $10 or $20 per month. When it comes to buying guaranteed issue life insurance the old adage that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is”.
If you follow my blog posts, I have often discussed the importance of having at least a small understanding how insurance works and why in the end, the math never lies. Insurance, simply put, is the pooling of a smaller amount of everyone’s money (Premiums), usually on a one year contracted basis, to lower each person’s financial risk in the event of a major loss. Customers do this with the understanding that they are buying this protection for a defined period of time and for many people, the loss will not happen. But for those that do have a loss, the amount paid out will generally be far more than the one year of contracted premium. What is important to note here is that in most, but not all, cases, the amount of protection and the price to purchase that protection is known up front. As an example, a customer may purchase an auto insurance policy for $300,000 of liability protection at a given cost. Another person may purchase $250,000 of life insurance and a premium is assigned to that person based on their age, gender and overall risk.
So, the question is, “how is it that a life insurance company can offer a policy targeted to those that are often poor risks or may not be normally able to purchase insurance at all in the regular marketplace and do it for such a small premium?” If you listen closely to these ads for guaranteed coverage, you will notice that the announcer will say something similar to this; “Our insurance is guaranteed and you can’t be turned down for just $10 per unit per month and the price will never go up!” The key word in these advertisements is “Unit.” Generally, the coverage amount is based on your age and the amount of the “unit” is determined by that parameter.
While the price may never go up, the amount of each “unit” could possibly change as you get older. Just as an example, your $10 per month per unit, might buy at age 60 just $1,500 of life insurance or even less.
Since the designers of these plans know that they are targeted at a person with a high risk profile, the premium charge per $1,000 of coverage is almost always much more expensive than the premium charge per $1,000 of coverage in the normal life insurance market. These companies have simply found a way of making something that is extremely expensive sound extremely affordable!
Is this a bad thing? The answer believe it or not is not always. These life insurance companies do serve a purpose. If you have been turned down from other life insurers due to your health or advanced age, a guaranteed issue life insurance company may be your best option. The customer should just be aware of the value of each “unit” and that in order to keep the policy affordable, it should be used just for funeral expenses or leaving a small amount to a family member.
If you are over the age of 50 and in reasonably good health, shopping around will always be the better option than a guaranteed plan. The good news is that life insurance is more affordable today that it was twenty years ago.
Have a great day!
If you’ve ever built a new home or office, renovated an older structure and added a wing – you became good buddies with the building inspector and your local Planning & Zoning Board or Commission. They have rules, regulations and volumes of maps with different zones and areas.
Think of this scenario:
You own a building that is mixed use in the downtown of a quaint New England town. It is right on Main Street. Built in 1875, it has a great big porch, sits right near the side walk, has those beautiful big original windows, no sprinklers, narrow but quaint stair case going to the 2nd and 3rd floors.
A fire breaks out and damages about 50% of the building. You have good insurance with replacement cost, the contractors come out to start building and they tell you that the house is too close to the road to meet current building codes, the windows are too low to the ground and will need to be brought up to code and by the way the building will need to be sprinklered. All at the extra expense of $95,000 which is not included in your insurance policies replacement cost. OUCH!!!
To the rescue – Ordinance & Law Converage. The coverage will vary by carrier – some offer a precentage of the building coverage, some a flat amount, some unlimited. Like we always say – have a conversation with your agent!
The official lingo from IRMI (www.irmi.com) is as follows:
Coverage for loss caused by enforcement of ordinances or laws regulating construction and repair of damaged buildings. Older structures that are damaged may need upgraded electircal; heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC); and plumbing units based on city codes. Many communities have a building ordinance(s) requiring that a building that has been damaged to a specified extent (typically 50%) must be demolished and rebuilt in accordance with current building codes rather than simply repaired. Unendorsed, standard commercial insurance property insurance forms DO NOT cover the loss of the undamaged portion of the building, the cost of demolishing that undamaged portion of the building, or the increased cost of rebuilding the entire structure in accordance with current building codes. However, coverage for these loss exposures is widely available by endorsement. Standard homeowners polices include a provision granting a limited amount of building ordinance coverage – this amount can be increased by endorsement.
Commercial Lines Account Executive
Thank you to Nancy Swenson one of our Commercial Lines Account Managers for imparting her wisdom on Employee Dishonesty…
It happens. Employees can steal from you and we aren’t just talking money!
If you sit back and look at your company – really look at your company – you will notice a lot of things that can easily go missing. This is where Employee Dishonesty Coverage comes into play. Get it, you won’t regret it! Before you ask, every carrier is different so coverages will be different – have that discussion with your agent.
On average, an Employee Dishonesty policy or bond will cover the employer from financial loss due to the fraudulent activities of an employee or group of employees. The loss can be the result of the employee’s theft of money, securities or other property of the employer. Employee dishonesty coverage is also called Crime Coverage, Employee Dishonesty Bond, Fidelity Bond or Crime Fidelity Insurance. (We don’t make it simple in insurance, do we?!)
This really happened…
In one case I know of, the employer’s insurance company paid out over $200,000 then went after the employee and was able to recover some of that money before that person went to jail.
In another case the employer had no clue what was going on (because they had poor controls in place) until Homeland Security (believe it or not) knocked on the door and said they were investigating large sums being transferred from a business to a personal checking account (I’m talking over $500,000). That employer was extremely grateful their agent sold them the coverage!
Even a smaller business has the potential to lose enough to employee theft that they have a hard time recovering. It just takes one person, one time to destroy what the employer has built up over the years.
Here are some details…
In General – Employee Dishonesty is frequently included in a commercial package or available and almost 100% is included on a BOP. Usually $10,000 with options to increase up to $100,000. So this can be a standalone policy or part of an enhancement.
In order to collect for a claim there must be a police report. Sometimes employers are hesitant to take action. They worry about retaliation.
Who is covered? – Have this discussion with your agent! It should include all current and former employees, partners, members, directors, volunteers, trustees, seasonal employees and temporary persons under your direction.
What about ERISA? – The Employee Retirement Income Security Act or ERISA protects your employees retirement investment. Usually an endorsement can be made to include your ERISA compliance so you don’t need a separate bond!
What is Third Party Coverage and do you need it? This coverage, added by endorsement, extends coverage to a client with which you are under written contract to perform services. The policy will pay for loss of or damage to money, securities and other property owned or leased by a client from theft by an employee of the policyholder. This endorsement modifies the policy to include coverage at the client’s premises. If you fall into this category – then yes you need it!
How much coverage do you need? Again – you need to have a very open discussion with your insurance agent (that’s us!). Limits will vary dependent on your needs. If you handle cash and or securities, estimate the annual volume and multiply by 20% to get a starting point. Minimum limits are usually $100,000 and many will cover $500,000 without a big bump in premium. The bottom line: what are your risks? Have enough to cover them.
Exclusions – it’s insurance so of course there is fine print aka exclusions: These will vary by carrier – so again, have the discussion with your agent ( that’s us!). Typically accounting or math errors are excluded. Seizure or destruction of property by the government is excluded. You can’t steal from yourself ( obvious we know – but people have tried!)
Give Founders Insurance Group a call – let’s have that frank and honest discussion about your business! www.foundersgrp.com
Commercial Lines Account Manager
We love to have guest bloggers chat about things going on in their businesses that might be relevent to our clients and followers. Thank you to Diane Betkoski, MS, RD, LNHA of Griffin Hospital for sharing information on Lifeline and the risk of falling!
Falling or even being at risk for falling could have a negative impact upon one’s quality of life. Avoiding falls is important to aging well. Creating a safe home environment can prevent injuries that lead to disabilities. The best way to stay strong and independent, most experts agree is to exercise.
However falls will occur. Here are some startling statistics:
- 13.3 million people 65 years plus will fall each
- One fall occurs every 2.3 seconds on average
- Quality of life can be impacted by falls
- Half of older adults who fall cannot get back up without help
- Falls occur 4 times more frequently in the first 2 weeks after hospital discharge!
When a fall, medical issue or other emergency occurs, every second counts. If you are alone delayed medical care can jeopardize your recovery. Griffin Hospital’s Lifeline Service offers quick access to help, 24 hours a day, and 365 days a year.
The Basic Lifeline service provides a wristband or pendent which when pressed, sends a help call to a trained Lifeline Associate. The Associate answers this call within 30 seconds and has the ability to speak with the person through a communicator device then quickly calls for local emergency response if need be.
Lifeline with AutoAlert also enables a person to push the pendent-style button for help at any time, however in addition, AutoAlert provides an added layer of protection that can detect a fall and automatically place a call for help if a fall is detected and the person can’t press the button because he/she is disoriented, immobilized or unconscious.
Lifeline personal alert buttons are waterproof, have a battery back-up system in case of power outages and is registered with The Food and Drug Administration.
For more information please contact: 1.800.242.1308 x4722 or visit www.griffnhealth.org/lifeline
Utility Service Interruption Coverage. This is one of those things that you don’t think about until a Nor’easter or Hurricane plows through and your business doesn’t have power for a week. In New England – we are famous for both those weather scenarios.
Here’s the scoop on why you should have it:
Utility Service Interruption Coverage kicks in for a loss due to lack of incoming utilities (i.e. Power, Water, Communication) caused by damage from a covered cause (peril) to the utility supply away from the insured’s premises (property) – usually the utility generation station. This is also referred to as “off-premises power coverage.”
This is NOT part of your basic property coverage, it must be endorsed! But wait – there is some fine print. Utility service interruption coverage endorsements vary widely by carrier as to what utility services are included, whether both direct damage and time element loss are covered and whether transmission lines are covered.
Before you ask – here’s what that fine print means: You need to have a candid conversation with your agent about your business. What will happen if you don’t have power, telephone or internet for a week – how will it affect your business and your income?
What does direct damage and time element loss coverage mean? These are sublimits of the Utility Service Interruption coverage. You will need to estimate the cost of the damage caused to your contents due to service interruption. Time element coverage is for a loss resulting from the inability to put damaged property to its normal use. The amount of loss depends on HOW LONG it takes to repair or replace the damaged property.
Insurance is complicated –which is why using an independent insurance agent is key. At Founders Insurance Group, we have access to the top carriers in our area and have a team with decades of experience. We will hold your hand through the process.
Take a hard look at your business – where are the weaknesses? What can’t you control and what can you? Insurance is there to protect you when things go awry, and so are we! Give us a call 860-482-3506 or check us out online www.foundersgrp.com
Commercial Lines Account Manager
Founders Insurance Group
Leadership is one of those funny things. People will often say in passing, “That person was just born a leader.” We aren’t talking Prince George type of born leader, just your average non-royal leader. In reality – leaders aren’t born, they are nurtured, they work at it, they are in a sense developed.
I enjoy reading articles written by successful people, I find it fascinating how they came to be: What drives them, who inspired them, where they came from and where they want to go. I search out successful people to connect with – I always learn something. I have had several “yodas” in my life, those that have inspired me to do great things and those that have kicked me in the butt when I needed it most – which usually lead me to great things!
I challenge you to think about some of the leaders you’ve met along the way. I bet they have some of these things in common:
- They inspire people. They are the generals that you follow onto the battle field blindly.
- They are trustworthy. What you see is what you get. No fluff, no smoke and mirrors. You trust them.
- They treat others with respect and are in turn respected.
- They aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty, get in the trenches. They walk the walk and talk the talk.
- They TRULY understand the concept of team. As in there is no “I” in TEAM.
- They are confident without being arrogant. Yes, they have a strong ego, but they don’t let it get in the way of success
- They know, without question, their strengths but more importantly they know their weaknesses.
- They constantly are trying to elevate those below them by mentoring and coaching, and in turn they are constantly trying to elevate themselves. Personal Development is their middle name.
- They understand the importance of a positive company culture.
- Lastly, true leaders love what they do and do what they love. Monday’s are happy for them. They work a lot but also have found a way to find true balance.
Want to make a positive change in your life? Do the following:
Read a good inspirational book – I mean really read it, with highlighter in hand and notebook at your side. Take notes and then live it.
Connect with some really inspirational people on LinkedIn – there are a bunch, you simply need to find them. Follow their blogs, interact – get to know who they know.
Search out a Leader within your business or social circle – learn from them, let your mind be a sponge.
Be a mentor to someone and watch them transform. This is a biggie.
Leadership – it’s one of those funny things. It can change you.