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2017 Power Broker

Ahead of the Curve

If a given industry sector is facing challenges, you can bet a 2017 Power Broker® is already well on their way to a solution.
By: | February 20, 2017 • 4 min read

Looking for the Power Broker Winners? Click Here.

Talk to a health care risk manager from the Midwest and they will tell you we face a crisis in mental health. In many areas of the country, access to quality psychological counseling is severely limited, with some patients needing to travel hundreds of miles to get help.

Telemedicine — a practitioner videoconferencing with a patient — is a viable solution, but regulation of telemedicine service providers is done on a state by state basis, making the arrangement of malpractice insurance very complicated.

Enter Larry Hansard, a Dallas-based regional managing director with Arthur J. Gallagher and a 2017 Power Broker® in the health care category.

Hansard developed a comprehensive telemedicine medical professional liability program that allows practitioners to provide telemedicine services not only anywhere in the United States but anywhere in the world.

Hansard not only saved the day for thousands of individuals in need of help, he saved the day for Doctor on Demand, a telemedicine startup that was struggling to obtain affordable insurance coverage.

“I don’t worry about insurance, he really owns the insurance process,” said Matt Scalo, head of finance at Doctor on Demand.

Everywhere we turned in judging the 2017 edition of Power Broker®, in this 12th consecutive installment of the program, we found insurance brokers like Hansard whose creativity, industry knowledge and customer service made a difference not only for their clients but for the economy at large.

“My approach to client service would best be described as creative customer concentration,” Hansard wrote in his 2017 Power Broker® application.

Aon’s Paul Finnett, a 2017 Power Broker® in the traditional energy category, services an oil and gas industry that is facing a severe downturn.

One of his offshore drilling clients was forced into Chapter 11 bankruptcy when idled rigs left it with a heavy debt load and sharply reduced revenues.

Finnett was able to create competition between U.S. and international insurance markets to get the bankrupt drilling company coverage as it scrambled to regain its financial footing. He got the company an additional $100 million in third-party liability coverage and achieved year-over-year premium savings of 40 percent.

“Truly understanding a client’s needs builds trust and respect,” Finnett wrote in his 2017 Power Broker® application.

“Once you have that trust and confidence from your client, you end up having a mutually beneficial long-term relationship and become a valued extension to their team,” wrote Finnett.

Yet another crisis produced yet another 2017 Power Broker®.  A budget crisis in the State of Illinois led to drastic cuts in education funding.

Arthur J. Gallagher’s Rockford, Ill.-based Area Senior Vice President Laurie Miller jumped into the fray and set up a health care insurance purchasing pool for financially struggling rural Illinois schools. What is now known as the Illinois Scholastic Cooperative launched in September 2016. The cooperative started with seven districts as members and now covers more than 1,000 employees.

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Other cash-strapped schools in Illinois are taking note of the savings gained by ISC members. Those amount to 5 percent overall in health care coverage premium costs. One rural district was able to avoid an 18 percent premium increase by joining the pool.

“We treat our clients like extended members of our family and we are relentless in pursuing claims resolution for people who often have no one to fight for them,” Miller wrote in her 2017 Power Broker® application.

Yet another 2017 Power Broker® stepped in to provide an insurance and risk mitigation solution to an industry badly in need of one.

Take the threat of a cyber attack and the risk that such an attack could derail a train and you have the makings of a catastrophic loss.

Tricia Piccinini, a Baltimore-based vice president of property brokerage with Aon, worked with markets in London, Bermuda and the U.S. to include coverage for collision and derailment in the case of a cyber event.

“I do not beat around the bush when it comes to my clients,” Piccinini said.

“I am always available to take a call, whether it is in the middle of the evening or vacation,” she wrote in her 2017 Power Broker® application.

Devoted customer service, dedication to learning as much as you can about the industry you serve, and driven creativity in finding solutions. Those are the hallmarks of a Power Broker® as expressed so clearly by Aon’s Tricia Piccinini.

Congratulations to her and to all of the 2017 Power Brokers. Click here to begin reading profiles of all of this year’s winners.

Dan Reynolds is editor-in-chief of Risk & Insurance. He can be reached at [email protected]

More from Risk & Insurance

More from Risk & Insurance

Black Swans

Black Swans: Yes, It Can Happen Here

In this year's Black Swan coverage, we focus on two events: An Atlantic mega-tsunami which would wipe out the East Coast and a killer global pandemic.
By: | July 30, 2018 • 2 min read

One of the most difficult phrases to digest without becoming frustrated or judgmental is the oft-repeated, “I never thought that could happen here.”

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Most painfully, we hear it time and time again in the aftermath of the mass school shootings that terrorize this country. Shocked parents and neighbors, viewing the carnage, voice that they can’t believe this happened in their neighborhood.

Not to be mean, but why couldn’t it happen in your neighborhood?

So it is with Black Swans, a phrase describing unforeseen events, made famous by the former trader and acerbic critic of academia Nassim Nicholas Taleb.

We at Risk & Insurance® define these events in insurance terms by saying that they are highly infrequent, yet could cause massive damages. This year, for our annual Black Swan issue, we present two very different scenarios, both of which would leave mass devastation in their wake.

A Mega-Tsunami Is Coming; Can the East Coast Even Prepare?, written by staff writer Autumn Heisler, profiles an Atlantic mega-tsunami, which would wipe out lives and commerce along the East Coast.

On the topic of whether the volcanic island of La Palma, the most northwestern of the Canary Islands, could erupt, split and trigger an Atlantic mega-tsunami, scientists are divided.

Researchers Steven Ward, a geophysicist at UC Santa Cruz, and Simon Day of University College London, say such a thing could happen. Other scientists say Day and Ward are dead wrong; it’s an impossibility.

One of the counter-arguments is backed up by the statement that there has never been an Atlantic mega-tsunami. It’s never happened before and thus, could never happen here. See exhibit “A” above, re: mass school shootings.

Viral Fear: How a Global Pandemic Kills an Economy, written by associate editor Katie Dwyer, depicts a killer global pandemic the likes of which hasn’t been seen in a century.

Tens of millions of people died during the Spanish Flu outbreak of 1918.

Why it could happen again includes the fact that it’s happened before. The science on influenzas, which are constantly mutating, also supports just how dangerous a threat they pose to millions of people beyond the reach of antibiotics.

Should a mutating avian flu, for example, spread widely, we could see a 10 percent drop in GDP, mostly from non-physical business interruption.

As always here, the purpose is to do exactly what insurance modelers and underwriters do; no matter how massive the event, we create scenarios, quantify possible losses and discuss risk mitigation strategies. &

Dan Reynolds is editor-in-chief of Risk & Insurance. He can be reached at [email protected]