2018 Power Broker

At Large

Top Negotiator

Bruce Droz, CPCU, ARM
Senior Vice President
Alliant, Fresno, Calif.

Ruiz Foods saw collateral obligations under its workers’ comp coverage continue to climb and its out-of-pocket costs increase to unsustainable levels.

“Bruce Droz and his team worked to decrease the amount that carriers required us to maintain in standby letters of credit by more than $1 million,” said Bill Wheeler, corporate controller.

“Bruce also helped save us money in fees” for the LOCs, “and increased our credit line capacity. He also had his firm do some earthquake modeling for us to determine what the risks were in our particular geographic area to help us make informed and appropriate coverage decisions.”

“This year Bruce was suspicious that our umbrella carrier might reduce coverage or even bail, so ahead of time he recruited another carrier and gave them a tour of our facilities,” said Bob Brown, president and CEO, CALAMCO.

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“When our carrier did reduce coverage, we switched carriers, and since we were prepared, there was no lapse in coverage.”

“Our company has a high experience modification rate which would normally result in extremely high premiums” for workers’ comp, said the CFO of a company that grows figs. “Since our company has an improved safety program and reduced recent claims, Bruce was able to secure coverage at significantly reduced rates — saving us thousands of dollars.”

The International Expert

David Fraser
Senior Vice President
Aon, New York

A U.S. private equity client, through the European Fund, purchased the European businesses of a large office supplies company. David Fraser engaged M&A colleagues to assist him in identifying any insurance liabilities and negotiating wording in the purchase agreement to ensure they were addressed.

Fraser created a standalone insurance budget, which proved challenging; the seller did not collect local claims details. Data collection, therefore, had to be done in each country in local languages and then converted back into English for the creation of master policies.

He secured warranties insurance coverage — another challenging task, as the U.S. client bought a European business with a Dutch purchase and sale agreement.

After the deal closed, Fraser implemented a multi-million-dollar insurance program with minimal data available on standalone basis, utilizing full global leverage of private equity relationships at each of the key insurance carriers to obtain support on the challenging multifaceted risks.

He also created a new trade credit platform with new insurers, critical for the office supply company to continue to receive products from vendors.

“David Fraser is spectacular,” said Curt Deane, real estate professional, Starrett City Associates.

“He’s immensely responsive and for us, that’s very important because we have a lot of obligations in the area of workers’ compensation.”

Emphasizing Cyber Security

Shannon Groeber
Senior Vice President
JLT Specialty USA, Philadelphia

LabCorp benefited from Shannon Groeber’s holistic risk-based approach to cyber threats.

Prior to her involvement, LabCorp was advised that only a fraction of the overall cyber market would have interest in insuring its risk and only in a way that centered around market appetite — not LabCorp’s actual exposure.

Groeber unified various internal stakeholders to leverage meaningful underwriting information to attract quotes that increased available capacity by a factor of 10.

Then she provided LabCorp with tangible and forward-looking data to allow it to make an informed decision on the most efficient structure that matched its goals and priorities.

“We moved our cyber coverage this year to JLT and a big part of that reason is because of Shannon,” said Christina Reisinger, vice president, risk management.

“She was able to get coverage in many more markets than our previous broker.”

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“Shannon Groeber has done a fantastic job for us,” said Steven Levine, director of risk management, Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews. “She’s always responsive, has strong industry contacts and is an expert in cyber.”

“Shannon has been able to negotiate well for the insured and brings forth a very successful marketing effort during renewals,” said the director of treasury operations and risk management for a portfolio of media and digital businesses. “She continues to impress us with her ability to work under tight deadlines on complex renewals.”

Staying on Top of International Markets

Michael Lombardi, ARM, AINS
Senior Vice President
Lockton, New York

Michael Lombardi created a centralized global program and responsive M&A platform for multiple, roll-in acquisitions over a three-year period for a large manufacturer. It achieved synergies exceeding $2.5 million, resulting in a material reduction in the client’s total cost of risk.

The International Practice leader also developed a global compliance matrix with an exposure-based approach to local policies.

The matrix outlined key decision criteria in issuing local policies, which improves compliance for multinational clients, especially those that have globalized management liability programs.

“Michael is extremely knowledgeable about the idiosyncrasies of foreign insurance markets and the regulatory mandates of each jurisdiction,” said the director, risk management, at a tool manufacturer.

“He partners with us to design compliant programs offering broad coverages that are appropriately priced.”

“Michael Lombardi balances the ability to see the entire picture with the ability to take care of details,” said the vice president, risk management, at a health care services and products company.

“Every person who has met him has been very impressed with his ability to think strategically, to problem solve and to be an advocate for his clients.”

“Michael Lombardi and his team have done a great job of understanding our insurance needs and getting what we need in terms of coverage terms and price,” said the director of insurance at a company that makes fine quality alcohol beverages.

Relaying Best Solutions

Tim Losie
Vice President
USI Insurance Services, Houston

A property & casualty insurance client approached Tim Losie with concerns about its D&O policy and professional liability handled by another broker. Upon review, Losie found holes in the overall management liability coverage, noting it did not address aspects of the client’s complex business.

The client allowed Losie to approach additional insurers. He negotiated a solution tailormade for the client’s needs, while also delivering lower retentions and premium. The client moved the business to USI.

“We had a lot going on with our company last year and Tim Losie helped us a lot,” said Jennifer Crane, CFO, Crossroads Systems.

“We’re a public company, but we went through a pre-packaged bankruptcy and had several questions about our D&O policy. Everything was urgent, but Tim always responded very quickly. He even got on a Board call with us, and a Board member complimented Tim on how well he explained the information to us.”

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“Tim Losie did a superior job in helping our client analyze their risks and coverage and identifying best solutions and best practices,” said Charlie Renie, vice president of account management, KBIC Consulting.

“Tim Losie has been working on a particular D&O and E&O tower for us, and his knowledge of the marketplace has been very impressive,” said the chief administrative officer at a company that provides products and services for owners of alternative assets.

Ensuring Safe Travels

Logan Payne, CPCU, ARM
Vice President
Lockton, Kansas City, Mo.

Logan Payne coordinated a team of Lockton experts for two clients to resolve a similar problem: inconsistencies in coverage between the various products they purchased that protected employees while traveling.

Payne was able to enhance and standardize the level of coverage offered to the clients’ employees worldwide. This reduced the clients’ liability under “duty of care legislation” for the countries they operate in.

It also helped each of his clients develop robust and efficient travel risk management plans, which included improvements in communication with employees while they were traveling.

Payne and his team overhauled and standardized coverage across 20 countries of operation for the one client. He was also able to do the same in 11 countries for the other client.

Additionally, Payne and his team secured several renewal options that provided broader, more inclusive coverage at a savings of up to 40 percent over expiring global premium spend.

“Logan Payne is an incredible service provider. He has in-depth expertise in a wide range of domestic and international risk management issues and is proactive in helping his clients find effective solutions to manage their ever-changing risks,” said one client.

“Logan is very client-focused and has been instrumental in shaping our global insurance program,” said another.

Planning for Loss Control

Manny Pereira
Director
Aon, Philadelphia

The Mosaic Company suffered significant losses due to maintenance issues. Before renewal, Manny Pereira addressed the problem directly by having Mosaic engineering and other senior executives talk to carriers in meetings about what was being done to prevent the issues from reoccurring.

Armed with this information, Pereira was able to leverage data analytics and make an argument for the importance of the facility to negotiate a rate reduction that exceeded benchmarking data.

“Manny understands our business and how we are focused on implementing loss control improvements to reduce the risk of loss,” said Michael R. Bishop, director, risk management.

“He articulates that very well to underwriters, so that he can get the best deal possible for Mosaic.”

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“During a debated claim, Manny was instrumental in us obtaining a very favorable outcome and quick pay by the insurers,” said Benji Holt, corporate risk and insurance manager, Bridgestone.

“His level of knowledge and detail on property policy wording and loss control are unequaled.”

“Manny Pereira did a fantastic job this year,” said another client. “He made some commitments during the RFP process that were very impressive.”

Growing with the Times

Brian Pfund, RPLU
Vice President
Marsh, Portland, Ore.

A client’s business model shifted from being hardware-focused to software-focused, which changed the client’s exposures. As a result, a manuscripted errors and omissions policy became necessary to ensure they were properly insured.

Marsh’s Brian Pfund negotiated full limits to the client’s once-sublimited E&O/cyber coverage, while improving language and reducing premium.

But the “true solution to the challenge” was Pfund’s additional insight into how the market’s appetite for cyber risk shifted throughout the year given the evolving nature of the exposure —  supplemented with analytics, benchmarking, third party assessments, modeling and quantification.

With a more holistic view of the client’s risk and mitigation strategies, the client now has several E&O/cyber program structures that can be immediately executed.

“Brian has been a huge help in helping to educate our decision makers about the changing complexity of our insurance policy and how we needed to make decisions about increasing coverage,” the client said.

“Brian has saved us money on our cyber liability policy,” said the director, global risk management, at an outdoor apparel manufacturer.

“Last year he was able to secure broader coverage in a year that we had filed a claim 21 days before the policy renewed. Brian was able to convince the underwriter to maintain the renewal terms they had previously offered.”

A D&O Expert

Chris Rafferty
Managing Director
Aon, Chicago

A new client had a dual board and a complex organizational structure that necessitated a revisit of its management liability insurance.

Chris Rafferty and his team determined specific areas for potential enhancements to the client’s existing D&O policy by providing insight into the probability of a claim, estimates of the largest exposures the client could potentially face, as well as a client peer analysis of programs where a controlling shareholder and a unique program structure were present.

Ultimately, Rafferty and his team were able to build two D&O programs to address the dual-board structure, negotiating the necessary language to ensure coordination across the two towers at a price that was less than the expiring program.

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“Chris Rafferty is a very professional individual who I believe continues to gain in knowledge in the area where he’s an expert,” said the risk manager at a manufacturer of nitrogen products. “That up-to-date knowledge in the marketplace benefits clients.”

“Chris Rafferty is fantastic,” said the risk manager at a company that provides advanced engineering and manufacturing solutions. “On a personal level he has a superb personality, and on a professional level, nobody knows D&O better than he does.”

“Chris Rafferty is very knowledgeable about the programs he manages for us,” said the risk manager at an aviation manufacturer. “He is very action-oriented and responsive and has a balanced relationship with the insurers and his insured.”

Leader in Reducing Rates

Galo Santana
Commercial Insurance Broker
Aon, Morristown, N.J.

Galo Santana had concerns about the frequency and severity of losses within a client’s workers’ compensation program. The client’s auto insurance policy reflected loss activity as well.

The major renewal challenges were the client’s operations and adverse loss history; it was emerging as a loss-leader for carriers. Workers’ comp and auto insurers sought rate increases.

Santana approached nine carriers including the incumbent. Due to an intense marketing effort, he was able to overcome the obstacles presented at renewal and provide the client with a very competitive renewal offering. He was able to negotiate approximately 10 percent savings overall.

For Acosta Inc.’s property insurance renewal, Santana approached 11 carriers, including the incumbent. Most insurers could not be competitive on the target rate due to CAT exposure and COPE (construction, occupancy, protection and exposure) concerns or had difficulties matching the expiring limits.

However, as result of the marketing effort, Santana was successful in reducing the property account rate by over 38 percent and received numerous program enhancements.

“Galo is very diligent,” said Theresa McLaughlin, director risk management.

“We have about 190 properties, some outside the U.S., as we do a lot of acquisitions. Galo keeps us up-to-date on what assets are moving and what assets need to be reduced. He stays on top of his game and works to get the right information to us.”

Sealing the Deal

Dan Schoenberg
Managing Director
Aon, New York

An Aon client’s deal for a competitor was in jeopardy due to a potential $175 million tax exposure: Certain employees of the competitor owned profits interests, and the client was concerned that, after the acquisition tax, authorities would argue the competitor should have withheld employment taxes.

Dan Schoenberg worked with the client’s law firm and accounting firm to draft the tax advice that would be provided to the carriers for underwriting purposes.

He designed the insurance program, obtained five quotes for the client, negotiated the key points in the winning carrier’s policy and spearheaded the extensive due diligence process between the client and the carrier, closing the program under the client’s budget.

The client paid 20 percent less than anticipated with no retention.

The policy covered potential U.S. federal and state income taxes, plus interest, penalties and defense costs. The policy also provided a “gross-up” for the tax owed on any proceeds received by the client under the policy.

The client got a full wrap of the exposure, which allowed its transaction to receive Board approval.

“Dan Schoenberg provides great service and pays attention to detail,” said the vice president, accounting, at a pharmaceutical company.

“We approached him about the coverage we needed, and he was able to deliver a product that fit our needs, which helped us out in a very challenging time when we needed to deliver on a project.”

Keeping Risks on Radar

Christian Wise
Senior Vice President
Aon, Boston

An Aon client signed an agreement to upgrade, maintain and monitor radar installations along the Arctic Circle. The challenge? Broker Christian Wise was to determine the appropriate cost of property insurance.

The installations were in remote locations and lacked adequate fire protection — one had burned to the ground, resulting in a $20 million loss. The initial cost to incorporate this exposure into the global property program was roughly $1.8 million dollars, eradicating any anticipated profit.

A loss control engineer traveled to the remote locations — complete with protective gear and a shotgun to ward off polar bears — assessing their value, which was nearly half of what was provided.

Wise and his team drafted a coverage form meeting the requirements of the contract, including broad coverage.

The team took advantage of the Aon Client Treaty in London that provides additional capacity of 20 percent to a line slip. They met with key London markets and placed a separate policy for additional savings. The original premium cost was ultimately reduced by $1.3 million.

“Chris Wise and his team have been responsive to our growing needs and challenges — combined with their client focus and industry relationships, they are truly assets and help make my job easier,” said the director of risk management at a company that provides wireless communications infrastructure.

The complete list of 2018 Power Broker® winners can be found here.

Finalists:

Robert Foote
President
Frank H. Furman Inc., Pompano Beach, Fla.

Marcus Henthorn, CLCS
Area Vice President
Gallagher, Rolling Meadows, Ill.

Christopher Mee
Assistant Vice President
Aon, Chicago

Thomas Sewell
Brokering Executive
Wells Fargo, Atlanta

James Shih, ARM
Managing Director
Krauter & Company, San Francisco

More from Risk & Insurance

More from Risk & Insurance

Risk Scenario

The Betrayal of Elizabeth

In this Risk Scenario, Risk & Insurance explores what might happen in the event a telemedicine or similar home health visit violates a patient's privacy. What consequences await when a young girl's tele visit goes viral?
By: | October 12, 2020
Risk Scenarios are created by Risk & Insurance editors along with leading industry partners. The hypothetical, yet realistic stories, showcase emerging risks that can result in significant losses if not properly addressed.

Disclaimer: The events depicted in this scenario are fictitious. Any similarity to any corporation or person, living or dead, is merely coincidental.

PART ONE: CRACKS IN THE FOUNDATION

Elizabeth Cunningham seemingly had it all. The daughter of two well-established professionals — her father was a personal injury attorney, her mother, also an attorney, had her own estate planning practice — she grew up in a house in Maryland horse country with lots of love and the financial security that can iron out at least some of life’s problems.

Tall, good-looking and talented, Elizabeth was moving through her junior year at the University of Pennsylvania in seemingly good order; check that, very good order, by all appearances.

Her pre-med grades were outstanding. Despite the heavy load of her course work, she’d even managed to place in the Penn Relays in the mile, in the spring of her sophomore season, in May of 2019.

But the winter of 2019/2020 brought challenges, challenges that festered below the surface, known only to her and a couple of close friends.

First came betrayal at the hands of her boyfriend, Tom, right around Thanksgiving. She saw a message pop up on his phone from Rebecca, a young woman she thought was their friend. As it turned out, Rebecca and Tom had been intimate together, and both seemed game to do it again.

Reeling, her holiday mood shattered and her relationship with Tom fractured, Elizabeth was beset by deep feelings of anxiety. As the winter gray became more dense and forbidding, the anxiety grew.

Fed up, she broke up with Tom just after Christmas. What looked like a promising start to 2020 now didn’t feel as joyous.

Right around the end of the year, she plucked a copy of her father’s New York Times from the table in his study. A budding physician, her eyes were drawn to a piece about an outbreak of a highly contagious virus in Wuhan, China.

“Sounds dreadful,” she said to herself.

Within three months, anxiety gnawed at Elizabeth daily as she sat cloistered in her family’s house in Bel Air, Maryland.

It didn’t help matters that her brother, Billy, a high school senior and a constant thorn in her side, was cloistered with her.

She felt like she was suffocating.

One night in early May, feeling shutdown and unable to bring herself to tell her parents about her true condition, Elizabeth reached out to her family physician for help.

Dr. Johnson had been Elizabeth’s doctor for a number of years and, being from a small town, Elizabeth had grown up and gone to school with Dr. Johnson’s son Evan. In fact, back in high school, Evan had asked Elizabeth out once. Not interested, Elizabeth had declined Evan’s advances and did not give this a second thought.

Dr. Johnson’s practice had recently been acquired by a Virginia-based hospital system, Medwell, so when Elizabeth called the office, she was first patched through to Medwell’s receptionist/scheduling service. Within 30 minutes, an online Telehealth consult had been arranged for her to speak directly with Dr. Johnson.

Due to the pandemic, Dr. Johnson called from the office in her home. The doctor was kind. She was practiced.

“So can you tell me what’s going on?” she said.

Elizabeth took a deep breath. She tried to fight what was happening. But she could not. Tears started streaming down her face.

“It’s just… It’s just…” she managed to stammer.

The doctor waited patiently. “It’s okay,” she said. “Just take your time.”

Elizabeth took a deep breath. “It’s like I can’t manage my own mind anymore. It’s nonstop. It won’t turn off…”

More tears streamed down her face.

Patiently, with compassion, the doctor walked Elizabeth through what she might be experiencing. The doctor recommended a follow-up with Medwell’s psychology department.

“Okay,” Elizabeth said, some semblance of relief passing through her.

Unbeknownst to Dr. Johnson, her office door had not been completely closed. During the telehealth call, Evan stopped by his mother’s office to ask her a question. Before knocking he overheard Elizabeth talking and decided to listen in.

PART TWO: BETRAYAL

As Elizabeth was finding the courage to open up to Dr. Johnson about her psychological condition, Evan was recording her with his smartphone through a crack in the doorway.

Spurred by who knows what — his attraction to her, his irritation at being rejected, the idleness of the COVID quarantine — it really didn’t matter. Evan posted his recording of Elizabeth to his Instagram feed.

#CantManageMyMind, #CrazyGirl, #HelpMeDoctorImBeautiful is just some of what followed.

Elizabeth and Evan were both well-liked and very well connected on social media. The posts, shares and reactions that followed Evan’s digital betrayal numbered in the hundreds. Each one of them a knife into the already troubled soul of Elizabeth Cunningham.

By noon of the following day, her well-connected father unleashed the dogs of war.

Rand Davis, the risk manager for the Medwell Health System, a 15-hospital health care company based in Alexandria, Virginia was just finishing lunch when he got a call from the company’s general counsel, Emily Vittorio.

“Yes?” Rand said. He and Emily were accustomed to being quick and blunt with each other. They didn’t have time for much else.

“I just picked up a notice of intent to sue from a personal injury attorney in Bel Air, Maryland. It seems his daughter was in a teleconference with one of our docs. She was experiencing anxiety, the daughter that is. The doctor’s son recorded the call and posted it to social media.”

“Great. Thanks, kid,” Rand said.

“His attorneys want to initiate a discovery dialogue on Monday,” Emily said.

It was Thursday. Rand’s dreams of slipping onto his fishing boat over the weekend evaporated, just like that. He closed his eyes and tilted his face up to the heavens.

Wasn’t it enough that he and the other members of the C-suite fought tooth and nail to keep thousands of people safe and treat them during the COVID-crisis?

He’d watched the explosion in the use of telemedicine with a mixture of awe and alarm. On the one hand, they were saving lives. On the other hand, they were opening themselves to exposures under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. He just knew it.

He and his colleagues tried to do the right thing. But what they were doing, overwhelmed as they were, was simply not enough.

PART THREE: FALLING DOMINOES

Within the space of two weeks, the torture suffered by Elizabeth Cunningham grew into a class action against Medwell.

In addition to the violation of her privacy, the investigation by Mr. Cunningham’s attorneys revealed the following:

Medwell’s telemedicine component, as needed and well-intended as it was, lacked a viable informed consent protocol.

The consultation with Elizabeth, and as it turned out, hundreds of additional patients in Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, violated telemedicine regulations in all three states.

Numerous practitioners in the system took part in teleconferences with patients in states in which they were not credentialed to provide that service.

Even if Evan hadn’t cracked open Dr. Johnson’s door and surreptitiously recorded her conversation with Elizabeth, the Medwell telehealth system was found to be insecure — yet another violation of HIPAA.

The amount sought in the class action was $100 million. In an era of social inflation, with jury awards that were once unthinkable becoming commonplace, Medwell was standing squarely in the crosshairs of a liability jury decision that was going to devour entire towers of its insurance program.

Adding another layer of certain pain to the equation was that the case would be heard in Baltimore, a jurisdiction where plaintiffs’ attorneys tended to dance out of courtrooms with millions in their pockets.

That fall, Rand sat with his broker on a call with a specialty insurer, talking about renewals of the group’s general liability, cyber and professional liability programs.

“Yeah, we were kind of hoping to keep the increases on all three at less than 25%,” the broker said breezily.

There was a long silence from the underwriters at the other end of the phone.

“To be honest, we’re borderline about being able to offer you any cover at all,” one of the lead underwriters said.

Rand just sat silently and waited for another shoe to drop.

“Well, what can you do?” the broker said, with hope draining from his voice.

The conversation that followed would propel Rand and his broker on the difficult, next to impossible path of trying to find coverage, with general liability underwriters in full retreat, professional liability underwriters looking for double digit increases and cyber underwriters asking very pointed questions about the health system’s risk management.

Elizabeth, a strong young woman with a good support network, would eventually recover from the damage done to her.

Medwell’s relationships with the insurance markets looked like it almost never would. &

Bar-Lessons-Learned---Partner's-Content-V1b

Risk & Insurance® partnered with Allied World to produce this scenario. Below are Allied World’s recommendations on how to prevent the losses presented in the scenario. This perspective is not an editorial opinion of Risk & Insurance.®.

The use of telehealth has exponentially accelerated with the advent of COVID-19. Few health care providers were prepared for this shift. Health care organizations should confirm that Telehealth coverage is included in their Medical Professional, General Liability and Cyber policies, and to what extent. Concerns around Telehealth focus on HIPAA compliance and the internal policies in place to meet the federal and state standards and best practices for privacy and quality care. As states open businesses and the crisis abates, will pre-COVID-19 telehealth policies and regulations once again be enforced?

Risk Management Considerations:

The same ethical and standard of care issues around caring for patients face-to-face in an office apply in telehealth settings:

  • maintain a strong patient-physician relationship;
  • protect patient privacy; and
  • seek the best possible outcome.

Telehealth can create challenges around “informed consent.” It is critical to inform patients of the potential benefits and risks of telehealth (including privacy and security), ensure the use of HIPAA compliant platforms and make sure there is a good level of understanding of the scope of telehealth. Providers must be aware of the regulatory and licensure requirements in the state where the patient is located, as well as those of the state in which they are licensed.

A professional and private environment should be maintained for patient privacy and confidentiality. Best practices must be in place and followed. Medical professionals who engage in telehealth should be fully trained in operating the technology. Patients must also be instructed in its use and provided instructions on what to do if there are technical difficulties.

This case study is for illustrative purposes only and is not intended to be a summary of, and does not in any way vary, the actual coverage available to a policyholder under any insurance policy. Actual coverage for specific claims will be determined by the actual policy language and will be based on the specific facts and circumstances of the claim. Consult your insurance advisors or legal counsel for guidance on your organization’s policies and coverage matters and other issues specific to your organization.

This information is provided as a general overview for agents and brokers. Coverage will be underwritten by an insurance subsidiary of Allied World Assurance Company Holdings, Ltd, a Fairfax company (“Allied World”). Such subsidiaries currently carry an A.M. Best rating of “A” (Excellent), a Moody’s rating of “A3” (Good) and a Standard & Poor’s rating of “A-” (Strong), as applicable. Coverage is offered only through licensed agents and brokers. Actual coverage may vary and is subject to policy language as issued. Coverage may not be available in all jurisdictions. Risk management services are provided or arranged through AWAC Services Company, a member company of Allied World. © 2020 Allied World Assurance Company Holdings, Ltd. All rights reserved.




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