Alper Webinar: Your Company In A Post-COVID-19 World

Life is not “business as usual” so what will it take to get back to normal once the coronavirus is no longer a threat?

Please join us on Wednesday, April 8 at 9:00am CDT for a complimentary webinar to prepare you and your business for life in a post-COVID-19 world. We have invited several expert speakers to cover the following topics:

  • Business Interruption Loss – Sedgwick
  • Insurance cost cutting measures – Alper Services
  • The impact of COVID-19 on IL workers’ comp – ASA Law Group
  • Workers’ comp exposures while working from home – TC Risk Management Services
  • How to sanitize your workplace before employees return – Indoor Sciences

Click our link to register for the webinar. Space is limited: https://bit.ly/2w6nUnJ

Coronavirus Resources

Alper Services has compiled the following materials based on questions we are receiving and input we’ve gathered from trusted carriers and vendors. We will continue to update this page with valuable information. If you have questions about any of this information, contact your Alper Services Representative.

Click each headline for details

EMPLOYEE BENEFITS

A Sample List of MyWave Connect Compliance Documents
MyWave Connect is a platform Alper will now offer at no charge to all Clients featuring a large library of compliance, HR and benefits admin materials. Contact Priya Shah, PShah@AperServices.com or your Alper Account Manager for more details.

Emergency Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) vs Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)

Coronavirus vs Flu vs Allergies: A Flowchart

United HealthCare deferred payment option:
For COVID-19 related payment extension requests, UHC will consider deferred payment requests received directly from the client on an individual case-by-case basis. Please direct your clients to call billing directly at 1-888-842-4571 M-F 8:00am-8:00pm ET to request the extension. Requests submitted by the broker on behalf of the customer will not be accepted.

Aetna deferred payments:
Aetna is allowing clients to defer payments. They have several options:
1. Pay in Full
2. Pay 50% at the beginning of the month and 50% at the end of the month
3. Defer this coming months premium to next month


HUMAN RESOURCES

Understanding the $2 Trillion Stimulus Package

Guidance on Tax Credits for Coronavirus Paid Sick Leave

DOL FAQs: COVID-19 and the Fair Labor Standards Act

Furlough vs Layoffs

Sample Employee Handbook Pandemic Flu Leave Policy

Sample Telecommuting Policy

Sick With Coronavirus – A Symptom Factsheet

Coronavirus in the Workplace: Compliance for Employers

Definition of “Essential Business” – page 5

Easing Employee Stress During COVID-19

FFCRA Poster – Employee Rights

HIPAA Privacy Rule and the Coronavirus Outbreak


PROPERTY & CASUALTY

Cyber Liability and Remote Work Cyber Risks

P&C Claims Covered in Light of the Coronavirus
Things are changing very rapidly. The best course of action is to review the language of your specific policy with your Alper Services Executive, and if you believe you have a claim, to submit it to the carrier for review with the following caveats:

Absent a separate endorsement, standard, Business Interruption insurance excludes losses related to virus or bacterium. While it is arguable that the virus is not the cause of the losses, enforced closings are, the insurance carrier may likely still enforce the exclusion for coverages due to COVID-19.

The exclusion will likely apply despite the Shelter-in-place orders. There has been no Civil Authority order in Illinois yet, but even if there were typically there is no covered cause of loss due to the virus exclusion.

Similarly, Continent Business Interruption Insurance applies if there is a direct physical loss or damage to a supplier which impacts your business. Again, a virus or bacteria exclusion may apply.

However, every policy is different, and the insurance carriers will provide the full analysis to determine if there is coverage for your business losses. Thus, you may elect to file a claim with the understanding that coverage is not guaranteed.

To date, there is no definitive answer regarding Workers’ Comp coverage for COVID-19. It would be difficult to prove that an employee became infected specifically due to work versus all other contacts that he/she may have had at home or in public. An employee may have to show that his/her workplace subjected the employee to a “materially greater” chance of contracting the airborne disease than the general public – this is still speculative.

Currently, some WC carriers are treating COVID-19 claims as indemnity claims for now, but have not yet ruled if they determined if they will extend coverage or not based upon whether the contraction of the disease is “occupational” or not.

Chubb Cancellation and Non-renewal Notices
Chubb will commence a voluntary 60-day hold on cancellation and nonrenewal notices for all of its US and Canada insureds that advise they cannot pay their premiums due to events related to coronavirus except where a longer period may be required by regulatory order. They will continue to bill premiums but will not cancel for non-payment and no late fees will be assessed during this hold. The hold will commence on March 23, 2020. Commercial insureds may contact Chubb directly or reach out to Alper Services to let them know that they will be requesting this accommodation.

Insurance Carrier Billing Assistance

AmTrust Billing Assistance

CHUBB Billing Assistance

Cincinnati Billing Assistance

CNA Billing Assistance

The Hartford Billing Assistance

Liberty Mutual Billing Assistance

Travelers Billing Assistance

 


TRADE CREDIT INSURANCE

Q: Is there a “Force Majeure” clause in my Trade Credit Insurance policy?
A: Amongst the three largest providers, Euler, Coface and Atradius and among a number of Non-Cancellable markets, i.e. AIG, Chubb, FCIA, Allied, Tokio Marine HCC, et al, the answer is NO.

Q: Is there an Exclusion for Virus or Pandemic like in my Property policy?
A: See above.

The following FAQ’s apply to Euler, Coface and Atradius policy holders.

Q: Will “cancellable” carriers “slash & burn” coverage like it’s 2008/2009?
A: It does not appear to be the case. The weakest rated credits in the most stressed industries are being reviewed to potentially reduce or cancel coverage. This is a measured response to the current environment and will adjust as this develops. It’s truly, wait and see.

Q: What value is a policy if carriers are cancelling all my coverage?
A: At the moment, carriers are reducing coverage on the weakest of credits in distressed areas of the economy. You don’t have to stop selling them, but it’s wise to take notice and consider all credit term options. It can be much more expensive to sell and not get paid, than to not sell at all.

Q: If my coverage is cancelled, do I get a premium credit?
A: If coverage is withdrawn you need not report sales for the customer after the date of cancellation. It is not a credit, but you are not paying a premium for something you don’t have.

Q: If coverage is cancelled, do I have any options?
A: Admittedly, in these times your options are limited. But, if coverage is reduced/withdrawn on a key buyer and you believe there’s a case, contact your Account Manager Gary Kirshenbaum at GKirshenbaum@AlperServices.com. He can appeal, and there may be options available, circumstance dependent.


PERSONAL LINES

To note: There is a binding moratorium on purchasing Travel Accident Insurance/Trip Cancellation and Special Event insurance.

Student Loan Repayment Deferral

Tax Day Moved to July 15, 2020

COVID-19: Your Employee Benefits and OSHA Compliance

Alper Alert: Coronavirus

Alper Services is closely following the potential effects of the coronavirus on our Clients. Here are two areas you need to be aware of as it pertains to your Employee Benefits and Risk Management.

EMPLOYEE BENEFITS
The major medical carriers have waived prior authorization, co-pays and deductibles for diagnostic tests related to COVID-19. Click the links for details on their updated COVID-19 coverage.
Aetna
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois
Cigna
UnitedHealthcare

Please remember many health plans include access to telemedicine through which you may receive care without traveling to a doctor’s office. Call the number on your health insurance ID card for more details, or contact your Alper Services Employee Benefits representative.

In addition, the Centers for Disease Control provides resources specific to businesses here.


OSHA COMPLIANCE
OSHA has mandated that employees who test positive for COVID-19 must be recorded. Failure to do so risks fines similar to other workplace recordable injuries and illnesses.

OSHA also released a document to help employers prepare their workplaces for a COVID-19 outbreak. It can be reviewed here.

Please contact your Alper Services Claims Representative with any further questions.

Client Spotlight: El Hogar Del Niño

Client Spotlight

In 1972, a group of working mothers banded together to start the area’s first bi-lingual Spanish/English day care in the basement of a Pilsen church. Wanting their children to feel as loved, safe and nurtured as they did at their grandmothers’ houses, the mothers coined the name El Hogar Del Nino, or “the home of the child,” as the name for their new agency.

El Hogar Del Nino today provides early-childhood, pre-school and after-school education for 370 children along with wrap-around support services for the children’s families. Operating from their 30-classroom facility in Pilsen, El Hogar’s team of more than 100 educators and administrators is focused solely on ensuring each student (ranging in age from six months to 12 years old) and their families have the foundation to succeed in life. In order to qualify for admission, families must fall below the U.S. federal poverty line and earn less than $25,750 annually. Continue reading

March Benefits Focus

Benefits Focus

The latest Benefits Focus reviews what employers can do to protect their people from COVID-19, provides news on new COBRA model forms and examines the Supreme Court’s decision to hear a challenge of the Affordable Care Act. We also take a look at a step to take that could lower your medical bills if you have to go out of network in an emergency situation.

Read more on these topics here.


Don’t forget to sign up for our March 25th webinar on the various compliance, legal, benefits and HR resources available to you through MyWave Connect. Register here.

Email the Employee Benefits Team if you have any questions, EBTeam@AlperServices.com.

The New Economic Normal Is NOT Normal

Market Blueprint

China trade disputes. Brexit. Falling oil prices. Big-box retail collapse. Coronavirus. Iran conflict. Slowing Chinese GDP growth.

With almost daily shifts in the global geopolitical and economic landscape, business leaders cannot become complacent. Particularly if your business is entirely domestic, it’s even easier to ignore what may seem like distant issues on the other side of the globe. The reality is that any one of your customers could fall victim to sudden rises in component costs, disruptions to their supply chain or the loss of a key client caused by this global instability. This sudden shock could cause them to go from boom to bust overnight leaving you with outstanding receivables and serious financial strain.

The global economy is experiencing lower investments and increasing external pressures that are leading to slowing growth and increased insolvencies. In 2019, for the first time since the Great Recession, the U.S. recorded a 2.4% year-over-year increase in business bankruptcies with 38,944 cases filed according to the American Bankruptcy Institute and Epiq System. Continue reading

Insurance Careers Month Employee Spotlight: Will Pinn

Will Pinn

The insurance industry offers numerous rewarding career paths. In honor of Insurance Careers Month, we’re featuring three different generations of Alper Team Members to explore what they do and why they love coming to work every day.

Meet Will Pinn, Director of Employee Benefits and member of Gen X.

What brought you to a career in the Insurance industry and employee benefits in particular?
My father worked in the Employee Benefits industry for nearly his entire career, so I grew up around the industry. When it came time to start interviewing for a job following college, it seemed natural to follow in his footsteps. It didn’t hurt that I had him to help me make connections within the industry.

I believe you’ve said that you’ve worked in Benefits throughout your career. What has kept you in this specific area of insurance?
I enjoy working on employee benefits programs. Servicing employee benefits requires a high degree of math skill, engaging with individuals and their life and health needs, and working within a corporate culture and budget. That variety keeps the challenges fresh and new. Also, it’s rare nowadays that someone can stay within one industry for decades. This lengthy tenure allows me to continue my professional growth and share that experience with my Clients. Continue reading

Insurance Careers Month Employee Spotlight: Glenda Gonzalez

Glenda Gonzalez

The insurance industry offers numerous rewarding career paths. In honor of Insurance Careers Month, we’re featuring three different generations of Alper Team Members to explore what they do and why they love coming to work every day.

Meet Glenda Gonzalez, Senior Claims Administrator and Baby Boomer.

What brought you to a career in the insurance industry and what roles have you had outside of Claims?
I was working for Underwriters Laboratory and wanted to change up my career path. I went to an employment agency (yes they had this kind of thing back in the 70’s) where I landed my first insurance job in 1977 at Home & Auto Insurance company. My supervisor was my mentor, but I also enrolled in my first insurance class (General Insurance) at the Insurance School of Chicago where I learned the basics: Property & Casualty, Life, and Health. This is when I realized that I had found my calling through my love of the industry and also the enjoyment I got from helping people. Continue reading

Insurance Careers Month Employee Spotlight: Brenda Noriega

The insurance industry offers numerous rewarding career paths. In honor of Insurance Careers Month, we’re featuring three different generations of Alper Team Members to explore what they do and why they love coming to work every day.

Meet Brenda Noriega, Commercial Lines Account Assistant and Millennial

What are your job responsibilities?
Currently, I assist a Senior Account Manager with renewals and new business processes for commercial Clients.

What brought you to a career in the insurance industry?
It was a complete accident! I was a hairstylist before I got into insurance and realized that I wanted a career that would challenge me more. I especially like the wide variety of Clientele that allow me to explore different industries such as construction, non–profits, health care, etc.

What is your favorite thing about your job?
I absolutely LOVE meeting business owners and hearing their story. It’s interesting to learn about their particular business risk and help them protect what they’ve worked so hard to create.

What are some key skills you need to be successful in your job?
In my role, being curious and paying close attention to detail is important.

What do you think is the biggest misconception you hear when you tell people your age that you work in insurance?
That it’s boring. INSURANCE IS NEVER BORING! Each Client has their own sets of worries, and it is our job to ask all the right questions in order to create a customized solution. If you like to connect the dots, solve problems, or feel you have a figure-it-out mindset, you will never be bored. Aside from that, I have awesome co-workers that are always there to lend a hand with their industry knowledge.

INSURANCE IS NEVER BORING! Each Client has their own sets of worries, and it is our job to ask all the right questions in order to create a customized solution.

What is your favorite thing about working with Clients and Carriers?
My favorite thing about working with the Clients at Alper Services is that their common goal is to grow their business. We get to be a crucial part of that risk transfer process and make sure that they are protected as they work to meet that goal.

Working with Carriers has been a great experience for me. Since I love to learn, I get to pick their minds on a daily basis. They are very helpful in making sure I understand complex coverages and endorsements.

How would you advise someone to get into the insurance industry if they are looking to start their career path or switch from their current career?
There are many different career avenues in the world of insurance. One example is that you can work for an independent agency or you can work at a brokerage agency. I have had the experience of working for both, but hands down, I much prefer the brokerage model. Because Alper Services is a mid-size brokerage, it allows for flexibility when customizing coverage for an insured because of the strong carrier partners that we have.

What the toughest thing about insurance?
The toughest thing would be knowing that change is a constant and will affect how you do your job. For example, your Client can decide to launch a new office in another country and need expanded coverage that complies with local laws. Or, due to the advancement of technology, your Client might have higher cyber risks and need more coverage. In addition to that, there are laws and regulations that also effect insurance. For instance, now that recreational marijuana is legal it brings a whole host of risks that we are working to educate our Clients about. It is an industry where you need to stay on top of your game and be well-educated or you fall behind quickly.