Five Things To Know Before Renting A Car

 

As you plan for summer vacation, keep these five tips in mind when booking a car for your next trip.

1. Prepaying For Gasoline
Prepaid gasoline charges appeal to our desire for ease while traveling, and fear of missing a flight while stuck at the gas pump. As airport security lines have increased, rental companies have come up with new options for quick car refueling, and are giving them the hard sell at the rental desk.
Unless you are completely sure you will return the tank empty, or you have a pre-dawn flight that would make it worth the money not to have to refuel yourself, don’t fall for this. Even the option of being charged only for the fuel you actually use is tipped aggressively in the rental agency’s favor because of the high fee for having them refuel.

2. Don’t Buy Extra Insurance
For business purposes, your business auto insurance policy covers your business rental under your “full coverage” policy. In general, the coverage you have for your main vehicle extends to your rental vehicle, because the rental is considered a replacement vehicle under the policy.

3. Your Credit Card Provides Some Coverage
Anything your own car insurance does not cover, it is likely that your credit card will. In some cases the credit card  coverage is as good as or better than your auto insurance. In others, it is intended to be secondary insurance to help cover anything your auto insurance does not. Of course, you will need to pay for your car rental using that card! Consult with your credit card company before your trip.

4. Check Your Vehicle Before Departure
When you pick up your car, check it inside and out for anything that could potentially be considered damage before you drive away. Look for scratches, scuffs, loose parts, working power windows and mirrors, etc. Don’t assume that the car rental company has noticed any damage, big or small.
Your best protection: Take photos or a video of a slow walk around the car, and “kick the tires,” so to speak.

5. Don’t Leave The Final Inspection To Chance
The vehicle return process has been sped up to allow travelers to make their flight. Park, take your belongings, leave the key on the dashboard and walk away without speaking to anyone directly.
If it feels unsettling just to leave the car without an agent checking it over, it should; the most serious complaints about car rental companies in recent months have been disputes over damage claims. If no attendant is present at drop-off, the dispute later becomes your word against theirs.
Your best protection: Again, take photos or a video of a slow walk around the car.

Don’t Forget!
As a renter of the vehicle, report claim damages to Alper Services. Things to submit:
 Rental Agreement
Photos/Video
Rental Accident Report

*Note: Personal Rentals are for “personal use” and are subject to an individual’s personal auto policy for coverage. Many auto policies are different. Please contact your agent to review your personal coverage before you to on your next trip!
Source: Smarter Travel

 

Client Spotlight: 33 Realty

Insurance providers do a lot of things for their clients. Risk management. Employee benefits. Liability coverage. If you’re in the real estate, property management and construction business such as the team at 33 Realty, you have a host of other needs. For example, each property needs its own protection, and within its general contractor division, it has a host of other protection and liability needs to address.

But how many times has an insurance broker brought a trend to a Client to think about—even if it had nothing to do with its policies?

Stacy Karamanos, CFO of 33 Realty, qualifies Alper Services’ Micah Kafitz as a trend watcher as much as an Insurance Architect, and his knowledge and insight has made him a part of the 33 Realty team.

“Alper Services is always on top of its game, both for insurance issues and other related activities that affect our business,” Karamanos said. “In the past couple of years our industry has seen an increase in electronic bank fraud attempts, and Micah was one of the first people to discuss the best ways to protect our Company in light of the alarming trend. In fact, Alper was so early in identifying the trend that Micah’s team equipped us with a thoughtful e-commerce fraud mitigation strategy—even before some of our banks presented their fraud prevention product offerings to us, which is truly impressive.”

33 Realty was recently named one of the 500 fastest growing companies in the country and as 33 continues to expand its business offerings, the insurance portfolio has kept up with that growth. Karamanos was quick to point out what makes Alper Services such an invaluable part of the organization.

“We have been working with Alper Services since 2013, when we only had a few employees and a mess of an insurance package,” Karamanos explained. “We were unsure of the adequacy of our coverage levels, as we were not relying on any one agent as our ‘go to’ resource. As a result, there was no cohesive strategy for insurance across the various business lines. Once we met Micah, he showed us how insurance could be a cohesive resource to help us mitigate risk as we grow our business, and Alper was well poised to grow with us.” She noted that with Micah and Alper Services being on top of the trends and issues that face 33 Realty’s business, it adds a layer of knowledge that other insurance organizations don’t bring to the table.

“Micah and the Alper team spent the time to review insurance coverage downstream—ensuring we were requiring the right amount of coverage from our vendors. They regularly review all policies and vendor contracts to ensure they have the right protection which ultimately mitigates our risk and eliminates any audit penalties to which we would otherwise be subjected. It’s an above-and-beyond service that we don’t ask for but know that Micah and Alper will bring to us.”

Looking Back At Moving Forward

 

Regardless of the industry, the past year was marked with “we never thought we’d see that happen” moments. This held true in our own business, as well. Yet in the midst of this constant swirl of change, one thing remained consistent — Alper Services’ commitment to putting your business at the center of ours.

Here are few snapshots of how we improved and evolved last year: Continue reading

#MeToo Is An Opportunity For Introspection

Market Blueprint

As the #MeToo movement has so poignantly illustrated, nobody should ever be harassed or abused by those in power. What started as an entertainment industry issue has now shed light on the prevalence of workplace sexual abuse — and the institutional suppression of victims— in athletics, religious institutions, hospitality, gaming, finance, government and certainly commercial real estate.

High-profile allegations of sexual harassment and abuse in commercial real estate predate the #MeToo movement. Some more notable cases include an April, 2017 sexual harassment, gender discrimination and wrongful termination claim filed by a former female salesperson against the prominent Los Angeles brokerage NGKF, the firm’s former managing director Michael Arnold, and two other executives at the firm. One of the executives named in the suit is the firm’s director of operations to whom the plaintiff reported the issues and who responded “there was nothing he could do.” And in January, 2018, the Financial Times uncovered numerous counts of sexual harassment and exploitation at a London charity event, The President’s Club, heavily attended by executives in the UK commercial real estate business. Allegations of abuse and exploitation of women are also surfacing at top industry conventions including the International Council of Shopping Centers (“ICSC”) RECon Convention and the Le Marché International des Professionnels de l’Immobilier (“MIPIM”) conference.

In the decade from 2005-2015, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) received about 85,000 sexual harassment complaints, 1,700 of which were from the real estate profession.

  • That’s 1,700 real estate professionals who felt their workplaces were hostile
  • That’s 1,700 companies and executive teams who had to hire attorneys, insurance professionals and public relations experts to investigate and address these claims
  • According to EEOC statistics, 80% of these claims were filed by women
  • Worse yet, 75% of claims were accompanied by some form of alleged retaliation by the employer/accused

Since the #MeToo movement took hold, Alper Services has received a large number of inquiries from Clients wanting to ensure their workplaces, leadership, and employees are not part of the next case. Drawing upon decades of experience, our answer is simple— use the movement to take an inward look at your company from top to bottom. Ask yourself if everyone is working to create a culture of openness, fairness and zero tolerance. Top leadership must also lead by example and all levels of management must identify and remedy issues before they arise while at the same time creating open communication channels and taking quick and fair disciplinary action whenever required.

Your Alper Services “Team of Experts” is here to ensure you have the right mix of legal, cultural, human resources and insurance protections to combat harassment and to ensure nobody in your organization will ever have to use the phrase #MeToo.

Think Manufacturers Aren’t Affected By The #MeToo Movement? Think Again…

As the #MeToo movement has so poignantly illustrated, nobody should ever be harassed or abused by those in power. What started as an entertainment industry issue has now shed light on the prevalence of workplace sexual abuse— and the institutional suppression of victims— in athletics, religious institutions, retail, restaurants, hospitality and gaming, finance, government and commercial real estate.

While the manufacturing industry has yet to have any high-profile #MeToo cases, this speaks more to the industry’s separation from the limelight, and is not an indicator of a lack of harassment cases. In fact, based on 8  years’ worth of sexual harassment claims (2010-2017) filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity commission (EEOC), the manufacturing industry has the third-highest number of cases—third only to the hospitality and retail industries. Out of 57,718 total claims made in that 8-year period , 6,764 (or 11.7%) were from those employed in manufacturing; and 83% (5,614) of those claims were filed by women. Continue reading

We Did It Again!

Insurance Business America (IBA) released their Hot 100 list for 2018 which highlights the leading professionals in the US insurance industry. We’re excited to report that our President and CEO, David Macknin, was named to the list for the second year in a row.

Energetically leading his colleagues, David Macknin considers it a privilege to be the president and CEO of Alper Services. Now in its 52nd year, the firm continues to expand aggressively by consistently differentiating itself as a group of insurance architects serving its people, clients and the community by “Planning For Now Through When.” As one of the largest independents in the Midwest and having just moved into brand new offices in Chicago’s Wrigley Building, Alper Services’ contrarian culture is evident in every element.

Macknin, who serves as an officer or director of countless social service organizations area-wide, views himself as a “chief growth officer.” Whether they are his Alper colleagues, the firm itself, its clients, other volunteers in the non-profit space or the beneficiaries of such organizations, Macknin feels blessed to be able to dedicate his tireless efforts to helping others grow and thrive.

To see the full list, click here.

Plan Ahead With ACA Reporting

 

 

 

Under the ACA, every applicable large employer (ALE) and every entity that provides minimum essential coverage, such as a health insurance issuer or sponsor of a self-funded plan, must comply with certain reporting requirements.

The ACA reporting rules require filing of an annual return with the IRS and furnishing of individual statements to certain employees. Take note:
•  Returns are due in early 2018 for health plan coverage offered or provided in 2017.
•  Returns for 2017 must be filed with the IRS by February 28 (or April 2 if filed electronically, since March 31 is a Saturday).
•  For the 2017 calendar year, written statements must be provided to employees no later than January 31.

Speak with the Alper Employee Benefits Team if you need any guidance on your 2017 filing requirements, EBTeam@AlperServices.com.

Michael Jones Awarded CAPI Designation By Wharton And Chubb

Left to Right: Fran O’Brien, SVP, Chubb Group Division President, North America Personal Risk Services; Michael Jones, Director of Alper’s Personal Lines Division; Chris Geczy, Academic Director of the Wharton Wealth Management Initiative

We’re proud to announce that Michael Jones, Director of Alper’s Personal Lines Division, has been awarded a Certified Advisor of Personal Insurance (CAPI) designation from the Aresty Institute of Executive Education at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and Chubb.

Michael is among a group of only 38 agents this year to receive the certification after completing a one-year intensive educational program on understanding the lifestyle and risk management and insurance needs of successful individuals and families. Created by Wharton and Chubb in 2014, the CAPI program is the first of its kind to focus on a specific client segment in the personal insurance marketplace.

“The agents who have completed the CAPI program have proven that they have the highest level of skill and expertise required to understand the total family balance sheet and advise successful clients on their complex risk management and insurance needs,” said Annmarie Camp, Executive Vice President, Sales and Distribution Leader, Chubb Personal Risk Services.

“We are extremely proud that Michael has received the prestigious CAPI designation,” said David Macknin, President & CEO. “This shows his incredible dedication to the insurance industry as well as his ongoing commitment to serving successful individual and families, who have a unique set of property and liability exposures created by their assets and lifestyle.”

Courses are taught by Wharton faculty, Chubb subject matter experts and other professionals. Agents received instruction on the Wharton campus at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and through virtual classes, webcasts, reading assignments and other online activities throughout 2017.

Illinois Drivers Can Avoid A Ticket With The Click Of The Mouse

 

As many Illinois residents are aware, the Illinois Secretary of State’s office has stopped sending out renewal notices for car license plates. However, the office will send renewal notices if you schedule an email reminder by registering at: CyberDriveIllinois.com.

Follow the link above, and you will see a license plate button reading EMAIL ME on the Cyber Drive Illinois homepage. By clicking it, you can register to receive the reminder email.

Owners need to have their registration ID and PIN number available. This information can be found on your current registration card (see image). If you don’t have a current registration card, contact the Public Inquiry Division at 1-800-252-8980 for assistance.

If you have any further questions regarding your automobile insurance coverage, please contact Alper Services Dir. of Personal Insurance, Michael Jones, at MJones@AlperServices.com.