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Selected Articles

Retirement Plan Fiduciary?  Is Your Plan in the Crosshairs of Hackers?

In our ongoing quest to identify and prioritize meaningful corporate risk before it finds our client-partners organizations and materially impacts their financial position, or worse yet, exposes them to personal liability, this article will shed light on one such significant emerging risk.

How Not to Be a Victim of the Intricacies of Corporate Insurance 

If you’re a small to medium-sized firm, responsibility for insurance will often reside within the C-Suite or with the owner. As they will readily admit, however, rarely do any of these executives or the owner of the business have any meaningful experience with corporate insurance, other than possibly knowing someone who sells it. 

If you’re a large enterprise without a formal risk management function, the responsibility for insurance likely is with the Assistant Treasurer. Why? Nobody really wants the job since most know they don’t have the skills necessary to do it well, few have the time to obtain the required knowledge, and more often than not, it’s also because there’s no “Assistant, Assistant Treasurer”.

So, what happens when you’ve been designated as the internal person in charge of insurance and you don’t have much or any insurance experience? Who do you call for advice? The insurance agent or broker? Your peers? Outside legal counsel?

Presidents Institute

A Holistic Approach to Risk Management 

Mr. Sutrich and Mr. Morin were speakers at the Council of Independent Colleges 2011 Presidents Institute in Palm Springs, California.  The Presidents Institute is an annual event that attracts in excess of 300 college presidents from around the United States.

Solutions that turn risk into sustainable competitive advantage

The presentation and subsequent Q&A session were well received, given an understanding on the part of the presidents that they often are the de facto “Chief Risk Officer” and as such, they need to be aware of enterprise wide risk management and key insurance issues. A few perennial and several emerging risk issues that can lead to significant liability exposure

if not appropriately addressed were discussed.

Mr. Sutrich and Mr. Morin were accompanied on the podium by Stephen Bahls, the President of Augustana College in Illinois, who recounted the approach his institution has taken to some of the challenges they have

faced. The session, entitled A Holistic Approach to Risk Management:

What Presidents Need to Know, attracted a large audience.

The Hartford Decides to End Their Encounter With ARI

Like the outcome in Where There’s Smoke, There’s Coverage, The Story of Insurance, Lawyers, and a Policyholder Freedom Fighter, thanks to Hartford Fire Insurance Company, the entire industry has now lost a claim handling technique and a legal strategy which has historically given insurers the upper hand in their claims handling practices.  Thanks to ARI and its capable counsel, insurers must rethink their modus operandi of removing a state action to federal court, a forum where the odds statistically favor the insurance industry.  As a result, until the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts rules otherwise, Massachusetts policyholders can, as a matter of law, strategically split their declaratory judgment action from their extra-contractual bad faith claim.

 

Rather than explaining their actions, The Hartford, on the eve of their scheduled deposition in the Bad Faith (93A) matter, presented an offer that allowed ARI to monetize its investment.  We believe the result only buttresses what our client-partners already know about ARI and what Hartford Fire Insurance Company found out – being treated like a policyholder claimant is not pleasant but with ARI on your team, there is upside in risk.  This case is yet another example of ARI’s commitment to make sure insurers live up to their responsibilities.

The New, New Fad In Risk Transfer... Why Should We Be Liable to the Full Extent of Our Negligence?

While we all can appreciate a new or evolving business model, business leaders need to be aware of how the changes can affect their organization’s well-being, as well as their own.

 

Contractual risk transfer is a risk mitigation technique that has been used successfully for decades. It is usually employed on anindustry-wide basis or when the exclusivity of one party’s product or service affords them the ability to dictate the terms of the transaction. The following is a recent situation where a seller was overly confident in the uniqueness of their offering and approached the customer with a “take it or leave it” ultimatum that did not work out as planned.

Can’t stomach your annual insurance presentation?  Imagine what we hear every day.

 Each January, we reflect on the past year’s client-partner successes. As with everything we do, levity is a fundamental ingredient in our ability to continually drive client-partner outcomes. As part of our  annual exercise, we record the most preposterous statements or “fluffers”, as they’re known, that we hear from the insurance industry through our engagements. You would assume, with the new level of scrutiny (Spitzer factor) the industry is facing, that coming up with this year’s Fluffer List would be a challenge. Quite the opposite is true and actually 2004 offered so many “best in class,” it was the first year we could not all agree on the single best whopper.