Making the Impossible Possible: Introducing the 2023 Power Brokers

When the client thinks it can’t be done, that’s just when a Power Broker makes it happen.
By: | February 27, 2023

Let’s face it. Many people who oversee the purchase of insurance for their companies would rather not think about insurance.

Perhaps they find meaning in innovation, or in business development, or in returning better value to shareholders. For those individuals, it’s hard to put a price on the value a savvy commercial insurance broker can deliver.

The broker takes care of the risk management and insurance so the business owner or CEO doesn’t have to.

This dynamic comes to a point in some of commercial insurance’s trickier areas. Take cyber and business interruption, which, according to a recent report by Allianz, top the list of threats concerning business leaders and risk professionals.

Allianz interviewed 2,712 risk professionals in 94 countries, and 34% of them ranked either cyber or business interruption as their most worrisome risk.

Now consider this scenario, which is a true story plucked by one of our Power Broker® judges from the career of Carrie Yang, a vice president and team leader for Aon in Chicago and a 2023 Power Broker in the cyber category.

A large manufacturer needed to protect a specific type of furnace used for part of its manufacturing process so that it always remains warm. If the temperature drops too low, the company has to rebuild the whole system to the tune of multimillions.

The team’s “nightmare” cyber risk scenario would be if an attacker targeted that portion of its operations. Years back, Yang had helped the client craft a solution that included property damage in its cyber insurance policy, but with the hard market, underwriters were pulling back.

Yang helped the insured create a captive to self-insure a portion of its cyber exposures for some layers, then worked with carriers to cover the rest. The solution enabled the manufacturer to retain most of its unique property damage cover in its cyber policy.

As manufacturers fear business interruption from a cyberattack, so too do the leaders of health care organizations fear cyber intrusions for any number of reasons, which could include the loss of valuable and sensitive health care data or operational interruptions which could cost lives and magnify liability.

Consider, then, the work done by Eileen Flaherty, a senior vice president for health care with Marsh in Boston and a 2023 Power Broker in the health care category, in helping her clients breathe a little easier.

“It was a very tough year to secure cyber coverage,” said Shelly Bennett, director of risk management, Interim Healthcare Inc. “Eileen maintains relationships with just about every broker, underwriter and carrier … This was especially important last year for renewal when everyone’s premiums went up.”

Through her connections with underwriters, Flaherty tested the viability of a ransomware coverage submission for Interim Healthcare Inc. With feedback, she was able to place cyber coverage, with a small premium increase, for 100% of the client’s locations.

“She knew who to go to,” Bennett said.

Ronette Wiley, SVP and COO of Arnot Health Inc., said that Flaherty has the best relationship with underwriters she’s ever seen.

“They know and trust her, and we needed a strong champion in the cyber space especially. She’s the best broker I have ever worked with,” Wiley said.

Cyber and business interruption, rightly, are fearsome risks for many businesses. But in these profiles, you will read example after example of brokers who went above and beyond to protect people and bottom lines.

They earned the Power Broker title. Perhaps even more than that, they have earned the respect and admiration of many. &

To view all the 2023 Power Broker winners, visit here.

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