The Intelligent Broker
Halcyon Agent News
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The Intelligent Broker
A Column in Halcyon Underwriters' Quarterly Newsletter
Edition: 2017 – Q4

“How a Business Continuity Plan Can Save Your Business.

By: Brian Polino, CPCU
               Production Underwriter – Middle Market | 321.527.2198 | bpolino@halcyonuw.com

With the recent devastation caused by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, the importance of having a business continuity plan has become all the more important. The total damage caused by these hurricanes is still yet to be fully quantified and thus the question still remains of how many businesses will survive. The intense flooding driven by Harvey and the outright devastation caused by Maria bring challenges to the economies and citizens of both Houston and Puerto Rico respectively. Fortunately for Florida, with the exception of the lower Florida Keys and pockets of the Naples/Fort Myers area, Florida appears to be mostly back in business after Irma with only 1-2 weeks of power loss and business interruption. However, as the unpredictability of these natural disasters illustrates, one can only assume that the best course of action is remaining prepared for the next storm.  

When looking back at Hurricane Katrina and its effects on New Orleans, we can better model and predict how these recent hurricanes might affect Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico. 
 
As the below chart indicates, data from the US Census Bureau show that Hurricane Katrina had strong effects on businesses in New Orleans 1
However, some business sectors also experienced growth after Hurricane Katrina over the 2005-2006 period. Residential construction firms increased from 635 to 652 (a 3% increase) and commercial construction firms increased from 189 to 220 (a 16% increase).
 
The question remains however as to why nearly a quarter of all businesses in the metro New Orleans area didn’t survive the effects of Hurricane Katrina.   
 
The answer is complicated as some businesses and neighborhoods were certainly devastated; nearly beyond repair. However, it is clear that more businesses could have been saved if better business continuity plans were in place. 
 
Consequently, the best way for businesses to survive a disaster is proactive planning and making sure quality business continuity plans (BCPs) are in place. Just as disaster plans are designed to save lives, a business continuity plan should be designed to save businesses and maintain customer goodwill. However even a BCP is not enough. Businesses must also be proactive and make the necessary investments to ensure their success and ultimate survival in a time of crisis. 
 
BCPs should guard against a variety of potential scenarios, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, wildfires, flooding, snowstorms, or other natural catastrophes depending on geographic location. Moreover, they should also include responses to isolated events, such as building fires, extended power outages, terrorism, workplace violence, and cyber-crime. A successful BCP should ensure the business is prepared in the event of a range of possible outcomes. 
 
Common elements of a quality business continuity plan include:
First and foremost, ensure the safety of all employees, clients, and stakeholders.
Protect real and tangible property.
Protect intellectual property and data.
Protect supply chains.
Provide IT and power continuity.
Ensure customer service continuity. 
And be updated regularly.
 
BCP templates offer a good starting point for most business leaders that can be customized to fit their organizations’ resources and demands.  A good reference source and quality BCP templates can be found at Quality Risk Management Fieldbook by John Pryor, published by the International Risk Management Institute, Inc. (IRMI) 2.
 
Moreover, quality business continuity plans offer tremendous advantages outside of just disaster preparation.  Necessary investments in property protection, supply chain diversification, and IT are not only necessary to ensure business continuity in the event of a disaster, but also offer businesses competitive advantages in non-disaster scenarios as well. For example, IT and remote-workforce/cloud investments increase efficiency, reduce costs, and lead to a more productive and engaged workforce. Work from home and flex time can be offered to attract and retain better employees.  Moreover, supply chain diversification leads to more supplier competition and better prices for customers. 
 
As insurance advisors to businesses, we should actively take part in and encourage business continuity planning for our clients. As we better understand our clients’ businesses, we can also make higher quality insurance recommendations and consult better on the risks they face. Doing so will help our clients better understand their total cost of risk and what insurance products would be most appropriate to mitigate their greatest exposures. 
 
Accordingly, the time to act is now! As your clients’ trusted insurance advisor, arm them with the benefits of business continuity planning and help them prepare now before the next disaster strikes.
 
 
1 Chart taken from “Overlooked Risks of Hurricanes and Other Disasters” by John Pryor, an article published in September 2017 on International Risk Management Institute, Inc. (IRMI)’s website https://www.irmi.com/ . Author compiled the data from the US Census Bureau. 
 
2 BCP templates can be found in Quality Risk Management Fieldbook by John Pryor, published by the International Risk Management Institute, Inc. (IRMI)
Halcyon Announcement!!

Have you tried our Online Rating Products Yet? 
   
Check out our Online Rating Tab Now!

Agents have quick and easy access to online quoting or instant phone quotes with products by USLI, Safeco and our Private Flood Program.

Click  Online Rating or visit our website today. 
Team Member Spotlight: Susan Motilal

The relationship we have with our agent partners is very important to us. While we work with you on a day to day business level, we thought you'd like to learn more about our team members. 

In this issue, we have our newest Employee, Assistant Production Underwriter Susan Motilal who is in the spotlight.




Years at Halcyon: 1 month
Years in Insurance:  18 years
First Job:  Fashion Jewelry Production / Design
Favorite Movie: Rat Race
Favorite Vacation spot:  Tobago
Little-known fact: Native of St. Croix, Virgin Island
If I’m not at work, you can find me….  At the park rustling up a BBQ
Motto: Life is too short, enjoy every moment of it
Greatest Challenge: Driving on I4
Most important lesson learned: You never stop learning
Advice for Success : Always have positive people in your circle
If I wasn’t doing this, I’d:  Be an accountant
Pet Peeve: Litter bugs
Hobbies:  Long walks
If I could have met anyone in history, it would be:  John Kennedy
My favorite part about my job is:  People

 

Personal Lines


In light of our recent storm activity, do you know if your Chubb insured’s are signed up for Chubb Property Manager?

Prepare ahead of time - Chubb can help!
Chubb can help your clients prevent issues from happening in the first place by preparing their homes and valuables for hurricane season. We offer complimentary referrals to pre-qualified professionals who can help your clients install shutters, protect fine art and antiques, and care for trees so they don't fall during a storm.

Here's what Chubb will do if a hurricane hits
Chubb representatives will begin responding to enrolled homes once the area is safe to enter after a hurricane. They will act on your clients' behalf to:

  • Automatically conduct a home inspection
  • Provide a property condition report
  • Help submit a claim if damage is discovered
  • Dispatch specialists if short-term repairs are needed
*Keep in mind that we may suspend enrollment once the path of a storm is reasonably certain.

Chubb Property Manager is now available in 13 more states!
This complimentary service is now available to Chubb policyholders with secondary and seasonal homes (with wind coverage) in the following states: AL, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, LA, MA, MD, MS, NC, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, SC, VA, as well as eligible TX coastal counties 1 . Please note: condos, co-ops, and renters policies are not eligible for this service.

To enroll, your clients should:
*Call: 1-866-444-0360, option 2, or;
*Complete the Chubb Property Manager Authorization Form and return the signed copy using any of the methods listed on the form.

For more information on Chubb Property Manager, and helpful prevention tips, visit:

In addition, here are a few things your clients can do to prepare for a hurricane:
  • Have an action plan prepared in case they need to evacuate
  • Put all important documents in a secure location - inland bank safety deposit box, if possible
  • Prepare an emergency supply kit, including flashlights, portable radio, batteries, canned food, fire extinguisher, bottled water, cash, blankets, clothing, toiletries, and first aid kit, in a watertight container
  • Store patio and lawn furniture, potted plants, bikes, and toys inside
  • Reinforce windows, doors, and garage doors
  • Test and refuel backup generator
Did You Know?

Halcyon offers premium financing arrangements with very competitive rates for your commercial accounts. Contact your Halcyon Team for a free quote on any new or renewal account. 
Claims Update!!

Halcyon's website now has direct reporting available for all claims ensuring faster access for appointed agents using online reporting for most companies. Please use our claims links by clicking CLAIMS to report any claims. 
Is Your Agency File Up to Date?

Please remember to send a copy of your E&O renewal certificate to compliance@halcyonuw.com  annually to remain an active agent.

IMPORTANT - Please make sure we have an updated ACH Payment Authorization Form on file for your agency to receive commissions via direct deposit. 

Send the completed copy to compliance@halcyonuw.com .  
 Take a look at some of our
Middle Market Successes below!

What Are We Writing?
Halcyon Gives Back to the Community.
We’ve accepted the challenge to raise money for Give Kids the World Village. We love this nonprofit resort because it creates happiness and hope for children with life-threatening illnesses.  Saturday, November 11th , your Halcyon team will be racing in the "Challenge for Hope Race".

Will you help us meet our fundraising goal? Any amount will help! $1, $5 or more... Click below to help.