Insurance Careers Month Employee Spotlight: Abby Ahern

Abby Ahern

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meet Abby Ahern, Senior Account Manager in the Commercial Lines Division, and our third spotlight for Insurance Careers Month.

Please share a few sentences on why you chose insurance as a career? Was it your intention to build a career in this industry or did you fall into it and decide to stay for a particular reason?

I graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a communications degree and no idea what I wanted to do with it. At this time I took notice of my Uncle Tony who owned his own insurance agency as well as a neighborhood bar as a hobby. I loved his stories about the different clients he met through networking or just listening to patrons behind the bar. Insurance afforded him a comfortable life, the opportunity to provide jobs for others at his agency and help his community through the policies he wrote. I was in!

I chose to work on the service side of the industry rather than sales because I am not as free a spirit as Uncle Tony. I’ve spent the last 15 years in the insurance industry because of the people I have been lucky to meet and work with—many of whom have become great friends. I like the excitement and fast pace, every day is something different. My job never feels monotonous as I am always working on different types of accounts and learning about so many different industries. Continue reading

Insurance Careers Month Employee Spotlight: Katrina Love

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meet Katrina Love, a Senior Claims Administrator/Loss Control Coordinator in Alper’s Claims Management Services Division, and our second profile for Insurance Careers Month.

Please share why you chose insurance as a career? Was it your intention to build a career in this industry or did you fall into it and stay for a particular reason?
Insurance has always been an intriguing industry to me. I watched my mom dedicate her life to insurance over the course of 30 years. Seeing her level of customer service, enthusiasm and commitment to her job made me more interested in pursuing a career in the same industry.

What is unique about your job? What do you like about your job?
I began my journey in insurance as a Claims Administrator, was then promoted to a Senior Claims Administrator and now am a Senior Claims Administrator/Loss Control Coordinator.

Since joining Alper Services 14 years ago, I have learned a lot from my peers and the leaders of this organization. What I find unique about insurance is that it truly is a service industry. Insurance creates an opportunity to assert myself within an always-changing world, think outside the box for Clients and continue in my career growth and development. I love helping people, and my desire and passion to serve our Clients is my favorite part of my job. I am an insurance gal! Continue reading

Insurance Careers Month Employee Spotlight: Natasha Rodriguez

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every February, we celebrate Insurance Careers Month by honoring our employees. This year we are taking the opportunity to showcase a variety of Alper’s Team Members. Find out how they discovered a career in insurance and what they enjoy about their role.

Meet Natasha Rodriguez, Account Manager in the Property & Casualty Select Division, and super mom to two daughters. Natasha has been with Alper for one year and was named one of our Employees of the Year for 2018.

What was it like to leave your previous insurance brokerage to help build a new division for Alper?
Leaving my prior employer, where I worked for over 27 years and coming to Alper Services was very frightening at first. However, I was very eager and excited to meet new people and to begin this new chapter in my career as well as help build the P&C Select Division at Alper. It was challenging the first couple of months to learn new procedures, new coverages and new Clients. However, I’m at my strongest when confronted with challenges. I am very excited to be a part of the changes at Alper Services. I feel that we are on the right track to becoming one of the insurance leaders in the Midwest. Continue reading

Client Spotlight: UCAN

 

 

 

 

 

 

Founded in 1869 as a Civil War orphanage, UCAN is one of Chicago’s oldest social service agencies that provides programs and services to more than 15,000 at-risk Illinois children, youth and families. Programs include a therapeutic youth home, counseling, transitional and independent living programs, two therapeutic day schools, foster care placement, workforce development programs, leadership training and violence intervention and prevention programs. As UCAN’s CEO Zack Schrantz explains, “Our vision is to help youth who have suffered trauma become our future leaders, which means we address their past as we provide the support and resources to help them become the leaders of tomorrow.”

In 2015, UCAN opened the first phase of its new seven-acre campus in Chicago’s North Lawndale neighborhood. With its sprawling facilities, youth dormitories, over 700 employees, diverse donor pool and growing range of programs, UCAN increasingly relies on Alper Services. Since 2004, UCAN has turned to its Alper Team of Experts to continually examine its emerging risks, manage its claims, ensure adequate risk-transfer measures are in place, and reduce its workers’ compensation costs. Continue reading

A Year Of Growth And Evolution

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018 was a year of Evolution and Growth.

Guided by our unwavering commitment to remaining independent and delivering big-brokerage resources with boutique-agency service, we invested significant time and resources to deepen our talent pool and hone our focus. And perhaps most importantly, we continued to be recognized as leaders in our field by our partners and industry visionaries.

Expanded Talent
We began the year settling into our new headquarters in the historic Wrigley Building. From the very first day in the new space, I noticed an entirely new level of collaboration and energy throughout the office. With room to expand, we hired 12 new Team Members who added significant breadth of experience to our Property & Casualty, Employee Benefits, Personal Lines and Claims Management divisions. We also promoted five other Team Members to ensure their talents were applied optimally in the service of our Clients.

Industry Accolades
As a testament to our focus on operational excellence, we were once again named a Best Practices Agency by Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America—the third consecutive year receiving this honor. We were also named a Chubb Cornerstone Agent for
Personal Lines and P&C for the third year running. This is a particularly important recognition as Chubb recognizes just 3% of their 15,000 agencies as those who deliver unparalleled service. And I’m especially proud we were voted one of the Top Insurance Workplaces in America for the first time by Insurance Business America (IBA). IBA asked industry employees to evaluate their company based on four attributes (Culture, Diversity, Compensation and Employee Development). Of the hundreds of insurance workplaces who entered, IBA named only 51 to this list.

Honed Focus & Strong Leadership
As you may have noticed, our Marketing Team launched a series of briefs, called “Market Blueprints,” each of which delivers insight and
recommendations for tackling current issues with profound business and risk implications. And to ensure every member of the Team—from the newest to the most tenured—continues to deliver the level of service and support that has differentiated Alper Services for
decades, we refreshed and rolled out our mission statement through a series of employee events. We then emblazoned the walls of each office and conference room with artwork to remind our Team Members, Clients and visitors of our key cornerstones that set us apart:
People, Communication, Premier Client Services, Technology and Growth.

In December, Howard Alper—after 52 years in the role—announced he had stepped down as Chairman, yet will continue to serve on the Board as a member and chairman emeritus and as well as continue to be an active member of the Alper Services Team. In his place, he and the Board of Directors appointed Liz Levy-Navarro as Chairman. Liz has served on the Board of Directors since 2017, and specializes in helping businesses evolve their service offerings to achieve profitable, long-term growth. In Howard’s words, this move will ensure Alper Services remains independently owned and operated so we may focus 100% of our attention on servicing you, our Clients, versus a corporate owner.

As we welcome 2019, Alper Services is better positioned than ever to help our Clients navigate an increasingly complicated and risky market while delivering service levels unimaginable from the largest brokerage firms.

I wish you and your teams a prosperous 2019.

David Macknin
CEO & President

Ridesharing: New Conveniences Create New Exposures

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Non-Owned Auto Liability policy is an alternative, less costly and broader coverage option to Rideshare insurance.
Rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft are changing the way we travel around cities, and many city dwellers who do not own personal vehicles rely on these app-based services as their primary mode of transportation. Often overlooked is the insurance for these modern conveniences. As a passenger, what is our true exposure when participating in ridesharing? With no personal primary auto insurance, can passengers rely on Uber and Lyft for medical coverage in the event of an accident? In an era of costly health insurance and high deductible plans, many are at risk for high out-of-pocket expenses from accidents completely out of their control as a passenger in a rideshare. Is there an easy and cost efficient way to protect you as a passenger?

For occasional Uber and Lyft riders [As of June 14, 2018] the answer is yes. SURE Insurance created the “Rideshare” app which provides passengers with the ability to purchase medical, accidental death and severe injury coverage on an episodic basis straight from their smart phone. The SURE application is linked directly to the Uber or Lyft app, and once activated, customers will receive automatic coverage for each ride taken during a 24 hour period at a rate of  $2.40 for $10,000 medical and $100,000 accidental death and dismemberment. SURE is underwritten by Chubb insurance, one of Alper’s leading carrier partners.

However, for a person who frequently needs ride share apps and borrows or rents cars, an alternative, less costly and broader coverage option would be to purchase your own non-owned auto policy.

Non-owned auto coverage is essentially a personal auto policy without owning the vehicle; providing primary liability, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, as well as medical payments and in some cases property damage coverage.

With an average annual premium of approximately $600 for $500,000 in liability coverage and $10,000 in medical coverage, this is a safe and cost effective route to transfer your risk and minimize your out of pocket expense.
For more information on personal insurance coverages, please contact Michel Jones, Alper’s Director of Personal Lines, at MJones@AlperServices.com or 312-867-7314. 

Alper Names New Chairman

After 52 years as Chairman for the Chicago-based insurance brokerage he founded, Howard Alper today announced he will step down as Chairman of Alper Services effective immediately. In his place, he and Alper’s Board of Directors have appointed Liz Levy-Navarro as Chairman. Howard will continue to serve as a Member of Alper Services’ Board.

“It is a great honor to assume the role of Chairman from Howard, who built a firm which delivers big-brokerage resources with boutique-agency service,” remarked Levy-Navarro. “As an independent insurance agency, Alper has the unique ability to chart our own course to best serve our clients. I look forward to working with the Board and executive team to ensure we keep a pulse on changing client needs and shifting market dynamics and continue to deliver the differentiated service that has made Alper such a long-standing, trusted partner for each of our clients.”

A member of Alper Services Board of Directors since 2017, Ms. Levy-Navarro is CEO and Managing Partner of Orrington Strategies, a management consulting firm dedicated to helping Fortune 500 clients achieve meaningful, profitable growth. She has an M.B.A. from The Wharton School and has held executive and management consulting positions with A.T. Kearney, Capgemini and The Cambridge Group.

“Since founding Alper Services in 1966, my main objective has been to ensure the firm remains independently owned and operated so we may focus 100% of our attention on serving our clients,” explained Howard. “I am certain that with Liz Levy-Navarro as Chairman, and David Macknin continuing as CEO, the agency will continue to evolve and provide the best-possible service to our clients, instead of servicing a corporate owner.”

One of the largest remaining independent insurance brokerages in the U.S., and ranked a “Best Practices” firm by the Independent Insurance Agents of America for the third consecutive year, Alper builds multi-faceted risk management programs for a wide range of mid-market firms—a large portion of which are based in the Midwest.