R&I’s Hank Greenberg Profile Wins Gold Award for Editorial Excellence

The American Society of Business Publication Editors awarded Risk & Insurance with four regional awards for its coverage on Black Swan events, machine learning risks, autonomous vessels and insurance legend Hank Greenberg.
By: | April 22, 2019

The votes are in and Risk & Insurance®‘s profile of insurance industry legend Hank Greenberg has won a gold award from the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE).

In a wide-ranging discussion with R&I editors last fall, Mr. Greenberg provided unique insights into global trade, his past battles and what the future holds for the industry and his company.

Risk & Insurance would like to thank Mr. Greenberg and his team at the Starr Companies for their assistance in lining up the interview, which you can read here.

R&I Earns Three Additional Silvers 

Other pieces garnering awards from the ASBPE, included a silver for our 2018 Black Swans coverage, written by associate editor Katie Dwyer and digital producer Autumn Heisler.

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

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

We owe our gratitude to RMS, AIR Worldwide, Metabiota and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners for their contributions to the Black Swan stories.

Another silver was awarded to feature article Crewless Ships Raise Questions by long-time contributor Gregory DL Morris. Companies that contributed to that piece include RSA Global Risk, Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty, Marsh and The Hartford.

ASBPE awarded an additional silver to associate editor Michelle Kerr for her piece, Machine Learning Could Make Hackers Practically Unstoppable: Are You Ready? Contributing to that piece were thought leaders from Hartford Steam Boiler, Starr Companies, Marsh, The Hartford and Coalition.

These regional awards from the ASBPE’s Middle Atlantic Chapter predate the announcements of national AZBEE awards, which will be announced in a few short weeks. &


The R&I Editorial Team can be reached at [email protected]

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.


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.


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]