2017 Power Broker

Construction

A Skillful Mediator

Joseph Boschee
Director of Claims
Aon, Los Angeles

Aon’s Joseph Boschee wowed clients this past year with his mastery of the arts of diplomacy and mediation.

“We were having trouble communicating with our insurance company,” said an executive vice president. “Joe and I decided that a face-to-face meeting with the carrier [was needed]. … Joe stepped in and took care of everything. He found the key people, arranged a meeting and established our talking points, then traveled with me and [led] the conversation. The best part was the follow-up after the meeting,” he said. “Joe established monthly reporting, which has been invaluable for keeping in touch with our insurer.”

Another client lauded Boschee’s availability in times of crisis and his skillful execution and integrity. “Joe’s counsel contributes to our fiscal year-end, saving our company thousands of dollars,” said the claims manager. “By example, we solicited Joe’s expertise with a claim that had been open for six years. His intervention resulted in a voluntary dismissal with prejudice.

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“He expertly guided us through the litigation, while counseling us through negotiations to maintain our convictions. It was with this guidance and steady confidence we attained the successful outcome, also saving our company thousands of dollars.

“Joe has educated us through his shared experiences, promoting extraordinary results,” said the claims manager. “He equipped his partners with the knowledge to apply complex solutions.”

Diligent and Determined

Mary Grandy
Senior Vice President
EPIC, Sacramento, Calif.

Mary Grandy has a special knack for finding solutions for intractable insurance problems.

“I became acquainted with Mary this year when my company bought a construction and real-estate company,” said one vice president of operations. “Mary single-handedly and effectively straightened out the insurance needs of our new construction subsidiary, and that was no easy feat. She was up against a less-than-sterling safety record. Mary kept the construction insurance program out of state supervision, not once, but twice. Mary has worked diligently with us to improve the safety record at the operator.”

In another situation, Grandy uncovered a significant amount of pending litigation left unresolved. She had to retrace the paper trail while also assisting with the disposition. She suggested new counsel, and participated in the settlement negotiations.

For another client, the answer was successfully executing an idea that the client had percolating for some time, but had never brought to fruition.

“Our costs were very high, and we were trying to get into a captive,” said one controller. “I had talked to our previous broker and they only made a half-hearted effort. I had known Mary, and gave her the chance to make it happen.

“She just ran with it. She saw the advantages to us, including the prospect of dividends. It only took her six to nine months to binding. We got better terms and conditions and were able to save money.”

Focused on Client Needs

Dale Kaprosy
Senior Vice President
Oswald Cos., Cleveland

Most brokers make their living by selling insurance. Only a few are equipped to help their clients buy less insurance.

“Dale was very helpful moving us into self-insurance with a high deductible and large retentions,” said one CFO. “We are a construction company and have a very good handle on risk management. He helped us build our program.

“This is not selling insurance, it is taking care of clients and it is where brokerage needs to be going,” he said. “Larger, more sophisticated clients don’t need a broker who’s trying to sell them dollar one of coverage. What we needed and got was appropriate coverage — which he did get to sell. But mostly he helped us hold on to some of our own cash.”

For clients not in a position to insure themselves, Kaprosy is equally supportive.

“We sold three of our sites during this last policy year and Dale assisted us with adjusting our policies midstream to eliminate unnecessary premiums,” said another CFO.

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“Separately, we had an old claim go to pre-trial hearings. Dale was [copied] on an email just so he was in the loop but he called shortly after the message went out to get more details. He was able to provide his informed perspective on the facts and insurance implications.

“In another instance we added a new offering for installed services and he assisted us with making sure that the standard contract we devised had the appropriate insurance requirements for the nature of the work.”

Offering Peace of Mind

Cormac O’Connor, Dip CII (UK)
Senior Vice President
Marsh, New York

“Cormac was instrumental in placing an excess liability program for what I would consider one of the most challenging contracts and placements in my 30 years in this business,” said one director of risk and insurance management.

“The project was for public works infrastructure in a large city. The complexity of the contract, its participants and contractual arrangements and the onerous insurance requirements made the placement a significant challenge.

“Cormac had to find some $500 million in excess casualty capacity. In the end, that comprised more than 20 different carriers. Each of those had to agree to our aggressive premium targets, to the very specific requirements of the contract, and to issue absolutely identical policies in regard to terms and conditions.”

While to some that may sound routine, the client says it most assuredly wasn’t. “When all was said and done, the project insurance policy documents ran longer than 1,200 pages.”

O’Connor was able to secure agreement from all the carriers to use “clean and simple” follow-form documents from the brokerage. “As a result, he was able to deliver the highest continuity of coverage over the primary policy that could possibly be achieved.

“That provided significant piece of mind, and also contract certainty to the general contractor. It also saved much time and energy in conducting policy-form comparisons.”

A Personal Connection

Susan Schwartz, CPCU, ARM
Director
Aon, St. Louis

Picture a long, mellow holiday weekend. Two people sitting on a porch chatting away, conversation flows easily from topic to topic. As the day winds down, there are smiles, thanks, hugs even. And new language for insurance coverage.

“Susan sat with me on my porch over a holiday weekend,” said one risk manager. “She helped me manuscript a new builder’s risk policy. That’s just the kind of person she is. She helped with wording, making especially sure we had all of our temporary personnel covered on all of our policies.”

The narrative is quaint, almost endearing. But the back story is serious heavy lifting for any broker. The client had taken the responsible step of having its safety personnel trained as emergency medical technicians. That enhanced safety for all workers as well as extending an umbrella over others at any job site. But no good deed goes unpunished, and the added capabilities also added liabilities.

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“We had to extend our general liability to cover those new exposures,” said the risk manager. Just to add further complication, the client is based in the Midwest with operations in several states; each state has its own regulations about certification and liability for emergency personnel.

The client also has a variety of full-time, part-time and temporary workers. “The onus is on us to be sure all coverages are filled and filed,” said the client. “Susan helped us weed through all that, literally document by document.”

A Responsive Point Person

Ryan Shinkle, CIC
Area Vice President
Arthur J. Gallagher, Lafayette, La.

The market giveth and the market taketh away. Both cases give brokers chances to shine.

“We are a half-billion-dollar newly formed engineering and construction firm comprising several previously existing companies,” said one vice president.

“Ryan was the point person for consolidating so many different liability policies, each with varying deductible levels, coverage limits, terms and conditions. He exhibited incredible knowledge and great quality and attention to detail.”

Shinkle built a single program that saved a considerable amount of money and made the administration of the program more efficient and manageable.

“As a new company that is trying to grow in both existing and new markets, we’ve had many questions about what types of coverage we need,” said the vice president. “Ryan has been very responsive and has helped us ensure that we are properly covered in all areas of our new and existing businesses.”

Another client had the misfortune to have its longtime underwriter pull out of the market. “We were insured for 10 years with the same carrier,” said a director of safety. “When that insurer made a decision to stop writing that type of coverage, Ryan stepped up and worked hard in looking at the market to help us find another carrier.

“He then spent long hours to make sure that everything was covered for our renewal. We even made field visits to companies to make sure that a good match would be selected.”

More from Risk & Insurance

More from Risk & Insurance

4 Companies That Rocked It by Treating Injured Workers as Equals; Not Adversaries

The 2018 Teddy Award winners built their programs around people, not claims, and offer proof that a worker-centric approach is a smarter way to operate.
By: | October 30, 2018 • 3 min read

Across the workers’ compensation industry, the concept of a worker advocacy model has been around for a while, but has only seen notable adoption in recent years.

Even among those not adopting a formal advocacy approach, mindsets are shifting. Formerly claims-centric programs are becoming worker-centric and it’s a win all around: better outcomes; greater productivity; safer, healthier employees and a stronger bottom line.

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That’s what you’ll see in this month’s issue of Risk & Insurance® when you read the profiles of the four recipients of the 2018 Theodore Roosevelt Workers’ Compensation and Disability Management Award, sponsored by PMA Companies. These four programs put workers front and center in everything they do.

“We were focused on building up a program with an eye on our partner experience. Cost was at the bottom of the list. Doing a better job by our partners was at the top,” said Steve Legg, director of risk management for Starbucks.

Starbucks put claims reporting in the hands of its partners, an exemplary act of trust. The coffee company also put itself in workers’ shoes to identify and remove points of friction.

That led to a call center run by Starbucks’ TPA and a dedicated telephonic case management team so that partners can speak to a live person without the frustration of ‘phone tag’ and unanswered questions.

“We were focused on building up a program with an eye on our partner experience. Cost was at the bottom of the list. Doing a better job by our partners was at the top.” — Steve Legg, director of risk management, Starbucks

Starbucks also implemented direct deposit for lost-time pay, eliminating stressful wait times for injured partners, and allowing them to focus on healing.

For Starbucks, as for all of the 2018 Teddy Award winners, the approach is netting measurable results. With higher partner satisfaction, it has seen a 50 percent decrease in litigation.

Teddy winner Main Line Health (MLH) adopted worker advocacy in a way that goes far beyond claims.

Employees who identify and report safety hazards can take credit for their actions by sending out a formal “Employee Safety Message” to nearly 11,000 mailboxes across the organization.

“The recognition is pretty cool,” said Steve Besack, system director, claims management and workers’ compensation for the health system.

MLH also takes a non-adversarial approach to workers with repeat injuries, seeing them as a resource for identifying areas of improvement.

“When you look at ‘repeat offenders’ in an unconventional way, they’re a great asset to the program, not a liability,” said Mike Miller, manager, workers’ compensation and employee safety for MLH.

Teddy winner Monmouth County, N.J. utilizes high-tech motion capture technology to reduce the chance of placing new hires in jobs that are likely to hurt them.

Monmouth County also adopted numerous wellness initiatives that help workers manage their weight and improve their wellbeing overall.

“You should see the looks on their faces when their cholesterol is down, they’ve lost weight and their blood sugar is better. We’ve had people lose 30 and 40 pounds,” said William McGuane, the county’s manager of benefits and workers’ compensation.

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Do these sound like minor program elements? The math says otherwise: Claims severity has plunged from $5.5 million in 2009 to $1.3 million in 2017.

At the University of Pennsylvania, putting workers first means getting out from behind the desk and finding out what each one of them is tasked with, day in, day out — and looking for ways to make each of those tasks safer.

Regular observations across the sprawling campus have resulted in a phenomenal number of process and equipment changes that seem simple on their own, but in combination have created a substantially safer, healthier campus and improved employee morale.

UPenn’s workers’ comp costs, in the seven-digit figures in 2009, have been virtually cut in half.

Risk & Insurance® is proud to honor the work of these four organizations. We hope their stories inspire other organizations to be true partners with the employees they depend on. &

Michelle Kerr is associate editor of Risk & Insurance. She can be reached at [email protected]