2018 Power Broker
No Problem Too Big
Earthquakes on campus? No problem. Remote flights? No problem. High premiums? No problem. With Charmaine Davis, clients know the words “no problem” aren’t lip service.
Davis’ “no problem” solutions are the result of hard work, industry knowledge and connections; understanding client needs; and leveraging the marketplace to her clients’ advantage.
“When I was new to my job, Charmaine carried me — she educated me and helped me understand this field,” said one higher education client.
“More recently, when an earthquake damaged buildings on campus, caused a gas leak and left one building shuttered, Charmaine and her Marsh team walked us through this large, complex claim. She spent many, many extra hours on this, and there were never any fees or charges — just total support.”
“Her advice is perfect,” said another client. “I would recommend Charmaine to anyone.”
The client added that Davis was able to renegotiate their high-premium workers’ comp coverage into a unique risk solution — a program that provided them with chargeback money, ultimately saving them around $200,000. “That savings is because of Charmaine,” he added. “She used her ingenuity to make that happen.”
“Nothing fazes Charmaine,” said another client whose wildlife conservation program requires charter flights to remote locations. She said Davis introduced them to a risk management program that helps enterprise-wide, allowing them to focus on their mission.
He Can Teach You a Thing or Two
Every school district wants to allocate funds to its core purpose: educating students. Tyler LaMantia helped school district members of the Prairie State Insurance Cooperative (PSIC) in Illinois do just that — and more. Working closely with PSIC and its executive board, LaMantia developed a multi-year plan to protect the pool’s finances by mitigating risk with proactive claim management and loss control, while keeping member deductibles low and retentions stable.
PSIC members also improved risk management using a three-pronged loss control program LaMantia helped implement, resulting in fewer claims. Members received on-site loss control strategies targeted specifically at their risk needs and online loss-control training for all school district employees. Additionally, he educated them about cyber risks, leading to the decision to make cyber-threat coverage part of their package rather than an add-on.
“Tyler and the team literally built a better mouse trap,” said Dave Cratty, finance manager, Special Education Association of Peoria County. “Tyler’s dedication to and knowledge of the education sector, particularly in K to 12, is so strong. There might be someone out there who knows as much as him, but it’s hard to imagine anyone who knows more.”
In 2017, PSIC declared an equity return of more than $700,000 to its member school districts while maintaining a low-deductible structure — with no increases to property, auto or general liability deductibles. They also closed out 2009/2010 and 2010/2011 policy year claims, which typically were taking 10 or more years to settle.
Changing the Conversation
One of Shelley Levine’s education clients had an important but unplanned call in just a few hours. So he emailed her for some advice. Could she spend some time going over their policy to prep him? Of course, she said. But she did one better. Within the hour Levine was on campus and ready to take the call with her client.
“That’s the kind of customer service we get from Shelley. She’s super-responsive in addition to being knowledgeable, analytical and a strong negotiator.”
One client said Levine’s knowledge and negotiating skill enhanced their coverage while decreasing their costs.
“Shelley conducted an analysis of our coverage, which resulted in us gaining millions of dollars in additional coverage, two or three new lines of coverage and a couple of enhancements — all for the same or less premium cost than we had been paying,” said the client.
When an education client challenged Levine to help them enhance their enterprise risk management (ERM) she took the time to get to know the school’s culture with an eye on every operational detail.
The school wanted faculty, staff and students to play a role in ERM but was struggling with how to include students who already had packed schedules.
“Shelley changed the conversation. Instead of a club or another meeting for the kids around ERM, she laid out a process that students use to make decisions. The new process integrated ERM into what they were already doing. Students make policy around real problems we face.”
Protecting the Study Abroad Experience
What’s that line about “the best laid plans?” Many of us have had something important — and costly — go wrong. For students studying abroad, such a disruption can affect academic progress and derail chances for a meaningful learning experience.
Chris Lueders of Gallagher came up with a risk solution for this problem at a major university. Their director of risk management explained: “We had no mechanism in place to provide student refunds if study abroad trips needed to be cancelled. There are sometimes concerns around international travel or specific travel advisories or bans that we follow for student safety.
“Chris worked very hard and was instrumental in putting together a trip cancellation policy and insurance product — the first one we had and the first one I am aware of in the market. Now this product is mandatory for our students embarking on study abroad trips.”
The director of compliance and risk management at another of Lueder’s higher education clients lauded her for great customer service — turnaround within two hours — and for being a creative thinker who devises creative solutions.
This client had a complicated placement with moving and storing library books. The property carrier wasn’t competitive, so Lueder explored options and got coverage for the books under a cargo policy for a great price. The client added, “We’ve had some other sticky or 11th hour placements, but I’ve never felt placed on the back burner by Chris — she always makes us feel like we’re her most important client.”
Securing Hard-to-Get Coverage
Football and its relationship with traumatic brain injury (TBI) have been in the news of late, but the reality is that this risk exists in other areas, too. Sports such as ice hockey, rugby, soccer and even cheerleading carry TBI risks, explained Evelyn Wilson, director of purchasing and vendor relations, Salem State University.
The number of carriers willing to write coverage is limited. Salem State University and fellow members of a Massachusetts-based college consortium bought coverage together — until their carrier drastically altered coverage by attaching a participant injury waiver and a neurodegenerative injury exclusion to all their accounts.
They faced an uphill battle; but they didn’t face it alone. They turned to Roberto Santiago of Marsh to give them the home-team advantage.
Santiago faced a triple challenge: Find a replacement insurer, find it in a limited marketplace and convince the insurer to write the unique program structure the consortium members needed to operate athletics programs and protect students. Santiago conducted an extensive search without breaking a sweat. The result was a program that covered TBI at a very competitive price.
“Roberto has a very deep knowledge about higher education,” said Wilson. “His analysis is always in-depth, and he works very closely with us and other members of the consortium. He’s responsive, his customer service is excellent and we could not be happier with him.”
One Size Does Not Fit All
Life on a college campus is rarely dull. Consequently, neither is life as a campus risk manager. But RCM&D’s James Shewey is helping to create risk solutions that leave everyone involved breathing a little easier.
Steve McAllister, vice president for finance and administration, Washington and Lee University, had handled a lot in his tenure.
Then the dance program told him that they wanted to do a spring semester performance off the side of a campus building. Not to worry. Just call James.
“We called James, and he worked closely with the carrier, the dance program, the rig company and everyone else to coordinate all the needs and make sure we were covered. James knows that insurance is not a one-size-fits-all box for us, and he is flexible in his approach and in managing both liability and perception of liability,” said McAllister.
Shewey also helped the Washington and Lee team with emergency management planning and drills. “James helped our internal team plan and hold these emergency drills in real time. Afterward he evaluated the drills and made recommendations to us,” said McAllister.
Pat McCann, CFO, the University of Virginia Foundation, said James is a 10 out of 10 in customer service, industry knowledge and risk solutions.
“We have a lot of real estate,” McCann noted. “And James has been very strategic in how he structures that coverage, so we get the right coverage at a fair price. He’s also brought in experts at no cost to us to advise us on risk management issues. He is exceptional.”
The complete list of 2018 Power Broker® winners can be found here.