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Posts Tagged ‘ace private risk services’

teen driverThis time each year, it seems the media is full of back-to-school protection tips advising parents and college students on how to protect their “stuff”.  While the guidance is helpful, these tired articles commonly ignore the host of emerging risks that can expose a family’s assets and jeopardize the welfare of their child.   

Every parent of a college student understands the degree to which their child seems tethered to their smart phone and other connected technology.  The common condition of being too connected has been termed “virtual addiction”, a condition so common there is a website that offers on-line questionnaires to help the public examine the degree to which addiction describes their relationship with technology:   http://virtual-addiction.com/smartphone-abuse-test/  (these tests are eye-opening…)  Whether the student’s use of technology qualifies as an addiction or not, very few college students today are not at least heavy users of modern technology.

As a result, today’s college students face risks that are far more grave that a stolen laptop!  Consider the following risks that can arise from the improper and unmonitored use of the modern technology at every student’s disposal:

  • loss of privacy
  • computer malware or virus
  • stolen identity and personal information
  • mis-use of social media that can cause harm to another
  • texting, e mailing, snapchatting, taking selfies or just plain talking on a cell phone while driving
  • sending, receiving and or forwarding illegal content

The insurance industry can help parents and students to better prepare for the above issues.  Consider reviewing this helpful series of recommendations from ACE Private Risk Services.  For those with college students and younger children, this helpful guide from Chubb offers a number of protection insights.

In addition to having a complete discussion with your child about the risks that can arise from their mis-use of technology, following are two specific protection recommendation I can also offer:

  1. Make sure the homeowner policy that provides primary liability protection for family members includes coverage for “personal injury” related risks: libel, slander, defamation, and other verbal torts. MANY homeowner policies do not!  Be sure to supplement this primary liability protection with adequate excess liability insurance.
  1. If your college student is at school with the use of a car, install a device that restricts the use of their cell phone while operating that car! There are a growing number of providers for this important safety service, but this device from cell control has been well reviewed. (why not also take this step for those children driving cars while at home?)   Preventing distracted driving is achievable, and a cause I am passionate about.

 

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chubbAsk someone familiar with branding this question, and they will explain a person’s or organization’s name conveys a brand.  Good, bad, or unfamiliar, names convey a brand.  Donald Trump and Colin Powell.  Two very different brands.  Ritz Carlton and Hotel 6.  Again, two distinctly different brands.   Coke and Pepsi. Two brands that are quite similar. John Public and Mary Doe? Nothing — I don’t know them either. Now, consider these two prominent insurance companies: Ace and Chubb.  I view Ace and Chubb as very similar and very different.

Among the ways Ace and Chubb are very similar: financial performance.  According to Fitch Ratings: “For the five-year period 2010-2014, ACE’s average consolidated GAAP combined ratio was 91 and the operating return on equity was 12 percent. Chubb’s average combined ratio and operating return on equity for the same period was 91 and 13 percent, respectively.” That’s pretty similar.

Among the ways Ace and Chubb are very different: how their brands are perceived. Says Ace Chairman and CEO Evan Greenberg: “The combined global operation will operate under the Chubb name, an acknowledgement of the distinctiveness and recognition of its brand, particularly in the U.S.”   

Recognizing the importance of “what’s in a name”, Ace, the acquiring company, has shown the wisdom of moving forward using the acquired company’s brand.  Ace will re-brand as Chubb, the ultimate compliment. Those who question the importance and value of a brand should take note — and believe in the power of the Chubb brand.

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A recently released white paper from Ace Private Risk Services reminds financial advisors that many investors are increasingly turning to their passion for fine art, wine and other collectibles in an effort to rebalance their investment portfolios. Sound risky? Well, it is not uncommon that well managed collections outperform more conventional investments.

This strategy is not without risks, as many collectors and their financial advisors often do not take the extra steps to intelligently manage the hidden risks that can threaten the value of their collections. To learn more about the “Eleven Steps for Protecting Passionate Investments”,  click here to access the white paper on Ace’s website.

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I was surprised at the level of interest in my post a few weeks ago referencing the often overlooked (and uninsured) risk of “personal injury”. For those who missed it, I reminded readers of the need to be aware of this risk, especially for those with children who are active on social media websites.

I recently learned that Peter Spicer, one of the personal insurance industry’s true thought leaders, sat down with NJ.com last year to explain the often overlooked consequences of sharing so much information so freely on the internet.  To read Spicer’s thoughts on on NJ.com click here(it should be noted that while Spicer was working at Chubb at the time of the interview, he’s now working with Ace Private Risk Services, and remains a great source of information on this and other topics concerning personal risk).   

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A former colleague and a Senior VP at Ace Private Risk Services has succinctly explained the “Five Steps For Getting The Best Protection From Your Insurance Agent”  in this two page article published in a recent edition of the Institutional Investors publication Private Asset Manager.

An excerpt: “Independent agents are skilled in asking questions about your lifestyle and interests. By better understanding the risks you face, along with your tolerance for risk, they can recommend a program which provides the best value – an ideal combination of customized insurance protection and affordable price.”   The article then instructs the reader on exactly what to ask your agent for, as well as what your agent should be asking and providing you. Make no mistake, each of the steps are essential. Meanwhile…..

IF after reading this article you are able to recognize that your agent is not already performing each of the five recommended steps, find a more skillful and dedicated agent.

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I cringe each time I see major insurance carriers advertising their coverage using “save ___% in __ minutes” or “name your own price” deceptive sales pitches. Most sophisticated consumers understand that in order to significantly lower insurance costs, certain sacrifices in protection (known or unknown) lurk somewhere in the fine print.

Meanwhile —- there IS a way to purchase high limit personal excess liability (often referred to as “umbrella” coverage) at costs between 30 and 50% below the prevailing market costs. Often, coverage enhancements can be included that even expand the protection normally available with such policies. More coverage at a lower cost —– but how?

As always, there is a “catch”: more protection for less money can be arranged only when carriers are presented with a large enough group of applicants who comprise an eligible “Group”. “Group Personal Excess Liability” (GPEL) is a concept that has been around for decades, and is regarded as a valuable voluntary benefit at many large corporations.

The leading underwriters for this product are Chubb, CNA, Chartis, Fireman’s Fund and Ace. The differences in eligibility, costs, and coverage features offered by each carrier are subtle, yet important. Generally, the program is most successful in a workplace with a group of 10 or more participants seeking liability limits of $5 million or more. For larger groups, the coverage enhancements, ease of enrollment and cost discounts can become very meaningful. I’d be happy to have a conversation to help you examine whether this program can benefit you and others you know, or clients you advise.

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ex pointIn this great article, Paul Sullivan, the Wealth Matters columnist for The New York Times, examines the many issues posed by the title: How Do I Know You’re Not Bernie Madoff?

With a close understanding of the heightened desire among affluent and high net worth insurance consumers to better vet who they are doing business with, Ace Private Risk Services has introduced an outsourced background screening service for financial advisors and contractors (in addition to domestic staff). While I have not yet “vetted” the firm they will be using to perform the “vetting”, the firm’s web site includes a reference from a former U.S. President. Click here to read a press release  offering details of this new service, or contact me for more information.

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