Welcome to the Third Edition of the Charter Partner's Quarterly Newsletter!

Fireline Is 70 Strong

We caught up with owner and president, Anna Gavin on the anniversary of Fireline.  Anna is the third generation owner; the daughter of the late Steve Waters, and the granddaughter of the late John S. Waters, who founded the company on  August 1, 1947.

When asked what this milestone meant to her, Anna replied as any great leader would, with respect and knowledge of where they have been and with vision and passion about what the future holds for the company:

"It is an honor to be celebrating 70 years of business. It is not only a milestone for our business but for the many employees that work here.  In the past decade we have gone through a great deal of change.  We lost both the first and second generation owners of the company, we went through an economic recession, and we have seen many of our long time staff retire.  Yet we moved on, and continued to grow in spite of the challenges.  We are almost 200 employees and hiring more every month.  Our strategy is becoming clearer each passing year, and our staff has a new outlook on change and growth. Since I took over as President in 2009, there have been many ups and downs.  But through it all the company has continued on.  Now we sit in a position of strength.  We have 70 years of experience behind us, but with the new leadership team we are looking 70 years ahead.  We may be an old soul but we have a young outlook on the future. We really are 70 strong."

She is committed to building on the legacy of her father and grandfather by maintaining the company's standing as the industry leader.  In addition to overseeing Fireline's daily operations, Anna has sat on boards and committees for the Fire Suppression Systems Association (FSSA)  and the Life Safety Alliance (LSA) and as well as various manufacturer advisory councils such as the Kidde Distributor Advisory Group and the Amerex Group Business Council.  She currently is serving as President of the National Independent Fire Alarm Distributors (NIFAD).
Fireline has two offices located in Baltimore, Maryland and Leesburg, Virginia which serve the mid-Atlantic regions of Maryland, Northern Virginia, Washington D.C., West Virginia and parts of Pennsylvania and Delaware.  The company currently employs 200 people.
The Charter Partner's team congratulates Fireline and is proud to have Anna and her team participate as members in our Life Safety Alliance (LSA) group and congratulates the Fireline team on this major milestone.  

To share your story with the Charter Partner's Community, please reach out to  Pattie Cowley

Cyber Claims Payouts: Average Claim is $674,000 

Cyber-attacks are in the news almost every day and the awareness is heightened by massive breaches like the recent cyber disaster at Equifax. It is easy to assume that only large organizations and government are the targets of these attacks. But the fact of the matter is that breaches are often crimes of opportunity. If you don't have cyber defenses in place, attackers will take what they can. It's all money to them, and enough easy small targets add up to a big payday all the same.

Key facts; 
  • 64% of cyber breach victims are small to midsize businesses**
  • Ransomware attacks were up by 50% in 2016**
  • Average number of records effected-3.2 million*
  • Perpetrators*
    • Hackers 31%
    • Malware 14%
    • Employee rogue/mistake  11%
The challenge for business owners is the difficulty in understanding and quantifying cyber risk. Made more complex by a legal landscape that is struggling to keep pace and is in constant flux. If that's not enough, cyber-attacks are continually evolving, creating new techniques and therefore new challenges to thwarting these attacks.

These same issues have also made it difficult for the insurance industry to craft an insurance product that easily meets the needs of this difficult environment. While there is little policy standardization making comparison and coverage decisions challenging, current cyber policies do provide financial coverage and resources to help mitigate the impact of a cyber event at your business.

Many businesses are beginning to use their cyber liability policies to cover these smaller, less sensational attacks. You don't need a million-dollar loss to justify its use; you can usually draw on your coverage so long as the cyber-attack forces you to:
  • Notify affected customers
  • Investigate what caused the breach
  • Offer credit-monitoring services to affected parties
  • Repair your business's reputation through public relations measures and goodwill advertising
  • Pay regulatory fines for the breach
  • Temporarily shut down your business to handle the breach
  • The median cost for the above services was estimated at $110,594.
Stay diligent in creating as a strong defense as possible around your data and consider some insurance to help provide both financial and mitigation resources in the event you and your customers become victims to a successful cyber-attack. 

For more information or resources, please reach out to Suzie Stark.


*NetDiligence, a cyber risk assessment and data breach services company. This is their fifth year in conducting this annual study.   ** ISO Insurance Srvices Office. A Verisk Company
The Future of IoT is a Safe Bet

T he Internet of Things (IoT), a term coined over 19 years ago has now become a mainstream concept. The Internet of Things as a simple definition is "a network of Internet connected objects able to collect and exchange data using embedded sensors". As consumers we experience the Internet of Things thru products like Nest Smart Thermostat, Samsung SmartThings Hub, Amazon Echo and Google Home. Soon many devices in your home will be capable of communicating. You may ask how important is it for your refrigerator to talk to you about restocking or your water heater to tell you there is a leak?  Keep in mind this is just the tip of the iceberg, IoT will reshape our lives in every aspect, home, work, education and government. It is predicted that there will be 24 billion IoT devices on the planet by 2020 and IoT related business will generate $13 trillion by 2025. So if you have not begun to consider how your business will be impacted by IoT, I would not wait much longer to engage.
In the business of risk management, there high expectations that the Internet of Things will have a substantial impact on the safety and security of workplaces. Sensors are already being adopted by businesses to help improve worker safety and productivity. Wearables are connected to employees in the form of smart vests, hard hats and body bands that can monitor actions to improve safety performance in real time are available today. Although early stage, rapid advancement is expected as both cost and cultural barriers to utilization come down and safety performance results begin to materialize. IoT will play a substantial roll in the future of keeping people safe.
A direct connection to the Cyber topic also include in this newsletter is a key feature for wide adoption of IoT will be security. In order for IoT to take hold and improve the quality of life we have to have confidence that it will be secure which will be constantly challenged, whether for autonomous vehicles or simple appliances in your home. That challenge and the debate about data overload, big brother is watching and the right balance between innovation and intrusion will rage on, but IoT is here and it is a safe bet injuries will be prevented and lives will be saved.

For more information or resources, please reach out to Glen Welch.

Captive Board of Director's
 Annual Meeting Highlights 

The B oard of Directors of the Cooperative Partnership Insurance Company (CPIC) held their annual board meeting at the Taconic in Manchester Village, Vermont on August 6-7th.  

  • Glen Welch's President's report noted ten years have passed since the outset of Charter Partners' captive insurance program. He provided an overview of the captive program's history and noted much has happened during that time, including business challenges due to the Great Recession which began in 2008, mergers, acquisitions, etc. He also expressed his appreciation for the ongoing relationships among Charter Partners' Members, which extend beyond that 10-year period, and thanked the Corporation's Directors for their service to the Corporation in light of their very busy schedules. He and the Directors noted many indications of improved conditions among Members', and complimented the Corporation's service providers and the advantages the captive insurance program provides to those Members.
  • The Directors discussed loss trends and related payments, IBNR trends, the subrogation of claims, and cumulative underwriting schedules for the period from inception of the Corporation through June 30, 2017, including performance ratios by line of business. The Directors noted positive trends in IBNR and loss performance overall, despite some poor performance in early years. 
  • The Directors also discussed the underwriting process applicable to new Members, and the role and continuing refinement of Charter Partners USA's "Project Zero" and digital platforms in overall marketing efforts intended to accelerate the Corporation's growth. The Directors also discussed potential opportunities for the addition of new cells to the Corporation's insurance program, various benefits associated therewith, as well as advances in direct-to-consumer marketing.


The Board of Directors & Officers include:  David Dam, Russell Reid; Jim Germak, Jagtrux, Doug Dolinar, Guidemark; John Lawlor, Keystone Fire Protection; Rick Malady, Fire Fighter Sales & Service; David O'Connell, Wilson Oil & Propane; Mike Ruddy, Jr., Allied Concrete; Brenda Stewart, AIG; Rusty Young, Primmer, Piper, Egleston & Cramer; Glen Welch, President, Pattie Cowley, Secretary.
Charter Partners USA, Inc. | 610-438-3535 | www.charterpartners.com