Intersure Blog Posts

Consolidated Insurance - Cellcontrol Partnership

Posted on Oct. 29, 2016, 12:57 a.m. by 6


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PRESS RELEASE: Intersure Hires New Executive Director to Fuel Membership Growth

Posted on Feb. 19, 2015, 7:28 p.m. by 4

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PRESS RELEASE: Intersure's own Doug Bishop of Bouchard Insurance in IA Magazine

Posted on Dec. 2, 2014, 4:42 p.m. by 4

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MUST SEE: Intersure Testimonial Video

Posted on June 12, 2014, 4:32 p.m. by 4

Intersure Testimonial Video

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Johnny Football? Nope, I’ll Try My Luck With Someone Like Manning.

Posted on Nov. 18, 2013, 8:54 p.m. by 2

By Tim Leman, President & CEO at Gibson This blog was originally posted on Gibson Insurance’s blog. Texas A&M’s electric quarterback Johnny Manziel, will take the field tomorrow for another episode of “Johnny Football”. He might be the most exciting player in all of college football. His football instincts and ability to make the big play on the biggest of stages has defined him and added to his legend. On the field, he takes his craft seriously. But his story is about more than just athletic accomplishments. It’s about immaturity and attitude. It’s about rules violations and unethical behavior. It’s about tweeting that he can’t wait to leave college (and I presume his teammates and team) behind. How would you like to have him as your leader? Would all of the winning make up for everything else? In a story on ESPN about Johnny Football that included a round of golf with Johnny and his father Paul, here is what Paul had to say about his son Johnny: “I don’t enjoy playing golf with him because I don’t want to see that temper,” he’ll say. “I honestly do not. I cringe when he wants to play golf. I don’t want to do it, but I know I have to do it. Because he still needs love. He still needs guidance. He still needs to see he’s wrong — and how to control his temper. And if I give up on him, who’s gonna take over? The school sure… isn’t gonna do it.” A friend of mine from Cleveland, a lifelong Browns fan, is hoping they tank this season to position themselves to draft Johnny Football. He was strongly arguing that Johnny Football would go down as possibly the greatest quarterback ever (“smarter than Peyton Manning” he said). As an equally devoted Indianapolis Colts fan, it made me sit back and appreciate all the years we had with Peyton. Do I wish the Colts would have won more than one Super Bowl with Peyton at the helm? Yes, I sure do. There were lots of winning seasons that ended too early come playoff time. But I never had to answer questions from my 9 and 11 year old sons about Peyton’s ethics like I do about Johnny Football. I never had to explain why the leader of a team would send a tweet saying he couldn’t wait to leave. I never had to discuss rules violations. Nope, we just had to deal with the heartbreak from a tough loss in the playoffs and know that Peyton would dig deep, prepare even harder, and be back chasing his dream next year. The question is this. Why would someone with so much talent and ability not care more about being a better citizen and teammate? Why would they recklessly put so much future success at risk? As my friend pointed out the NFL will still come calling next year for Johnny Football. And with it some team – maybe the Browns – will spend millions of dollars hoping that his maturity will catch up with the undeniable talent. What’s The Risk? At some point, character outweighs and overshadows talent. The risk is knowing when and how to take action. There are people with loads and loads of talent, but their behavior holds them back. Sometimes it’s how they treat people internally. Other times it’s what happens on the outside. I bet you see this same thing in your business. Should we hang in there like Johnny Football’s Dad, wanting and believing that someday, things will change and they’ll get it together? Or do we cut our losses knowing you can’t help someone that doesn’t want your help? These are tough questions to answer. I can tell you I’ve been on both sides of this argument in the past and understand the vantage point of each. However, the longer I’ve been in business, the more I’ve been around talent of all types, the more I appreciate how Peyton has carried himself all these years. I see the same thing from new Colts quarterback Andrew Luck. Sure the sample size is smaller than Peyton’s but sometimes you just know, right? So while my friend from Cleveland is hoping for Johnny Football, I’m going to just appreciate Peyton’s body of work and the good fortunate of getting Andrew Luck. I’ll be sitting in the stands in Indy in a few weeks when Peyton, now a Denver Bronco, returns to face my Colts. It will be a little bittersweet. I hope Peyton has an awesome game and the Colts win. No matter what, I’ll be thankful for the great run he gave Colts fan and just as importantly how he did it.

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5 Tips for Creating Effective Workplace Wellness Teams

Posted on Nov. 18, 2013, 7:57 p.m. by 2

Nicole FallowfieldDirector of Health Risk Management at Gibson Insurance This blog was originally posted on Gibson Insurance's blog. When constructing a wellness program within your organization, creating a solid wellness team is critical to your program’s success. Teams lead the way for other employees to transform their lives and make positive, healthy choices. Consider the following suggestions for developing a wellness team and getting your wellness program off to a good start.

Formally Appoint Team Members And A Leader

Upper-level management should formally appoint several employees to the team and choose a strong individual who is also a positive health role model to lead the team. This shows everyone that the wellness program and the team’s roles are important within the organization. Consider making wellness team responsibilities part of the team member’s job description.

Promote The Wellness Team Within The Organization

Internally promote the workplace wellness team and its initiatives. Creating high visibility for the program sends the message to employees that it is important.

Include Employees From All Levels And Areas Of The Organization

To demonstrate that the wellness initiative is constructed for the benefit of all employees and to gain “buy-in,” include individuals in varying degrees of health from various areas and levels of the company. Within the team, executives and frontline employees should be equal.

Meet On A Regular Schedule With A Formal Agenda

Teams should meet on a regular basis to make sure the program priorities don’t get sidelined by other tasks. An agenda clarifies the focus of the team’s initiatives and drives the meetings. Record minutes to keep track of activity and progress.

Communicating Often Is The Key

To successfully educate and inform other employees, the team members should constantly communicate about their initiatives. An effective workplace wellness team can dramatically improve the health initiatives within your organization. Not only will these individuals work to rally others, their efforts can also lead to reduced health care costs while bettering the physical and emotional state of all your employees.

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How Employers Can Break Through Work Comp Claim Dysfunction

Posted on Nov. 7, 2013, 7:33 p.m. by 2

Originally published on Steal These Ideas, a blog published by Intersure member HNI Risk. Many employers will encounter a particularly challenging type of employee — the employee you suspect is "gaming the system" when it comes to a work comp claim.sad dog sad work comp employee There are two causes that lead to this behavior. The first cause could be a personality flaw or characteristic that makes the employee feel entitled. There are all kinds of pre-employment personality tests that could help identify this type of person. Please note that personality tests are not foolproof, but you can look at them as another tool in your toolbox. Experiment and see what works best for your firm! The more common cause of this gaming-the-system of behavior is how the employer manages the employee during a period of healing.

How Employers Fail Injured Employees

How employers treat employees post-injury can have a major impact. In many situations, the employer disconnects, turns over the claim to the insurance carrier, and the employee is left feeling like she has been discarded. When an employee doesn't feel that the employer genuinely is concerned about her injury and recovery, she may become disgruntled. Add to this the fact that an injured employee may not be receiving good communication from the insurance carrier, which could lead to late pay and uncoordinated medical care. When employees feels helpless, they seek help from the closest "experienced" friend, family member — or an attorney. There are a few steps employers can take to do right by an injured employee (and to protect themselves from workers who might be abusing the system). This audit of the claims process has four elements:

1.) Make sure the employee is receiving his benefits on time

If the carrier is relying on getting payroll information from the employer, this should be done immediately. Employers cannot take the attitude of "I'll get to it when I get to it." When an employee can't pay his bills or enjoy simple things in life because of an injury, he will become jaded fast!

2.) Call the employee periodically to see how he is feeling

This should be done by someone who knows the employee. A direct supervisor is the best candidate. Avoid having an HR manager — with whom they have no rapport — make the call. Don't underestimate the power of those human connections, and be prepared to exercise those listening skills!

3.) Give the employee a preview of post-injury job responsibilities 

Light and modified work programs should be communicated to employees during their initial training, and it should be clear that the employer is dedicated to return to work and why. This way, when employees are offered alternate work, they don't feel as though the tasks are punitive or retaliation.

4.) Get involved in conversations with the adjuster

As an employer, work with the adjuster to solve problems that the employee brings to you. Don't turn your back on the employee. Telling an employee that he needs to call the insurance company and that you can't help him is passing the buck. Get on a conference call with the adjuster and talk about the concerns. Workers' compensation claims do not need to be adversarial. If attitudes are negative from the beginning, then the claim is destined to have a bad outcome. Employers can protect themselves by performing a personality test during hiring and by having a sound claim management process. Using these steps will improve the claim experience for all parties.

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7 Reasons Why Insurance is Important

Posted on Nov. 7, 2013, 7:33 p.m. by 2

Originally published on Steal These Ideas, a blog published by Intersure member HNI Risk. take the riskInsurance is tricky. It's not like buying a chair or a shirt or groceries. When you buy insurance, you're buying a promise. It's a promise that if something catastrophic happens to your business, your carrier is going to assist you to make your business whole again. Sometimes, though, it's tempting to question the value of insurance because it is an intangible product. Let's back up and take a big-picture view of why insurance matters. Here are seven reasons why insurance is important. What more would you add?

1.) Insurance Keeps Commerce Moving

In the days after the 9/11 attacks, there were many worries about insurance coverage. Acts of war are not covered by insurance. Was terrorism an act of war? The big question was, How would the 9/11 attacks be classified? Fortunately, the insurance industry decided the attacks were not an act of war. However, after 9/11, some insurers began excluding terrorism. But the federal government stepped in and required coverage in the name of keeping commerce moving. In this case, insurance likely prevented many businesses from avoiding terrorist-targeted operations, such as refineries and chemical haulers.

2.) Lenders Require Insurance

This reason is tied to No. 1. Lenders require that you have insurance. Think about it: Mortgage lenders want proof of insurance before you buy or build a new building. In short, to get the money your business needs to keep going, it’s likely you enjoy the benefits of insurance. Without insurance, your winning business model can't get the funding it needs to take its first step, or your established business model can't get the funding to evolve and better compete.

3.) Insurance is Compulsory in Some States

Insurance is important because sometimes it's the law! A great example of this is auto insurance. Auto insurance is compulsory in Wisconsin (home of HNI HQ). Auto insurance helps mitigate the risk of life on the road (of which there are many!). Workers' compensation is a form of compulsory insurance that's required in most states.

4.) Insurance Grants Peace of Mind

Insurance, an intangible, provides another intangible: peace of mind. Business owners can take on certain business ventures because they can shift the risk — thanks to insurance. This reason is the counterpart to No. 2 — lenders require insurance. Insurance is the required (by lenders) safety net that lets entrepreneurs explore opportunity.

5.) Insurance Ensures Family and Business Stability

Insurance is a safety net for when risks go wrong. Life insurance can support the life of a family, should a member be lost. It’s similar for a business. Should a key member or piece of equipment go out of commission, the business can carry on, thanks to insurance. This reason why insurance is important dovetails nicely with peace of mind (No. 4). It all goes back to the idea that insurance, when activated, makes policyholders whole again.

6.) Insurance Protects the Small Guys

When you look at your industry, you see the "big guys" and the "small guys." If a risk goes wrong, the big guys will be able to survive. They can take a hit. But the little guys can't take a hit. As a result, they are more risk averse, and in some cases, they sell out to the big guys. If enough little guys leave the industry (and one big guy swallows them up), you're left with a monopoly. With insurance, however, the little guys have support if they want to take a risk, which means they stick around longer. What it comes down to is that insurance helps prevent monopolies from forming.

7.) Insurance is the Right Thing to Do

A sobering example of insurance in action is the West Fertilizer Co. explosion in Texas this spring. The explosion did $100 million in damage to the community, including schools and hospitals. The fertilizer company had only $1 million in general liability coverage. Now the city is suing West Fertilizer and likely will win all of the company’s remaining property and assets that were not damaged by the disaster. This is because the fertilizer company did not have enough insurance. What’s more is the city also is suing the suppliers to the fertilizer plant, claiming they knew they were supplying inherently dangerous materials. In the case of the West, Texas, plant explosion, insurance could have helped a community to recover after a crisis. Insurance is something many business owners don't want to think about. But whether they think about insurance, with hope it's there, allowing for transfer of risk and providing a safety net for new opportunities.

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Lloyd's of London Risk Index: What Are Your Emerging Risks?

Posted on Nov. 7, 2013, 7:28 p.m. by 2

Originally published on Steal These Ideas, a blog published by Intersure member HNI Risk. Lloyd’s of London recently published its 2013 Risk Index. The Risk Index [click here to access the 48-page PDF] is done every two years and is a compilation of survey data from companies with less than $499 million in sales. Measurements include top risks on companies' radar and how prepared they feel to deal with risk. The majority of the survey takers (55%) were CEOs, presidents, and managing directors — in other words, leaders who set a company's course through a sea of business risks. Let’s look at the top 13 small business risks for 2013: 1.) High Taxation 2.) Loss of Customers/Canceled Orders 3.) Cyber Risk 4.) Price of Material Inputs 5.) Excessively Strict Regulation [tie with Changing Legislation] 5.) Changing Legislation 7.) Inflation 8.) Cost and Availability of Credit 9.) Rapid Technology Change 10.) Currency Fluctuation 11.) Interest Rate Change [tie with Talent & Skills Shortage] 11.) Talent & Skills Shortage 13.) Reputational Risk Lloyd's report dug into the top five risks — high taxation, loss of customers, cyber risk, price of materials, and strict and changing regulations — to provide greater context for what's going on in the world. The risks of high taxation and changing regulations are tied to ethics and businesses' avoidance of uncertainty. For instance, many businesses have suffered brand damage because of perceptions of corporate tax avoidance. The risk of loss of customers reflects a global trend toward austerity. Cyber risk shows that the rest of the world is catching up in terms of technology, and the risk of the price of materials reflects scarcity and concentrated control of inputs to a particular region (oil is the classic example of this risk). Lloyd's found that with nine of the 13 risks, businesses feel less prepared to deal with risk than in 2011. What's more, to deal with the top 13 risks, insurance only can be a part of the solution. What does this mean for your business? How can you gain greater understanding of the risk you face in your unique markets? Here are some questions to get you risk manager brain cranking: How do the top 13 match with my business risk? What emerging risk will be on my 2015 list? Is my advisor helping me deal with risk — or is she just trying to sell me insurance? Businesses that fail to address the full picture of risk put themselves in danger of falling behind their competition. At HNI, we constantly are scanning the horizon for emerging risk, and we share our findings via HNI University, Steal These Ideas (the blog), and, of course, our most valuable asset: our people. How do you stay on top of risk? What's missing from Lloyd's top 13? What surprised you about the rest of the risks on Lloyd's index? Please sound off in comments!  

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