Spring World 2015

Conference & Exhibit

Attend The #1 BC/DR Event!

Fall Journal

Volume 27, Issue 4

Full Contents Now Available!

Jon Seals

ORLANDO, Fla. – Insurance Distribution Investing Group, LLC (IDIG), a joint venture formed in June of this year and backed by the insurance industry executives of The Capacity Group and by Dowling Capital Partners, announced the close of their previously announced transaction by acquiring a 50% ownership stake in Risk Transfer and affiliated companies of Risk Transfer.  Risk Transfer, an innovative insurance program manager specializing in difficult-to-place risks, Libertate, its small traditional commercial and personal lines provider, as well as RiskAware™ LLC, its loss control and claim advocacy division are all included in the transaction.  RiskMD® LLC, Risk Transfer's patent-pending technology company is also included in the transaction with a future option for IDIG to purchase a greater equity stake.

IDIG was founded to bring together industry experts and professionals in all insurance disciplines and to support owners and managers with a focus on innovation, products, and relationships.  RiskMD technology paired with the industry expertise of IDIG will bring unprecedented capabilities and efficiencies to the Dowling/Capacity universe.  "We're excited to achieve this type of partnership and begin to see it flourish," IDIG's Managing Partner, Gary S. Maier, stated.  "Risk Transfer's standing in their chosen industry is quite impressive.  Their level of commitment and innovation to their customers and trading partners is a major differentiator.  IDIG will further enhance and expand on their model by improving market and product positioning, and offering ways to further differentiate on expertise and customer innovation."

Paul Hughes, CEO of Risk Transfer, commented, "On so many levels, partnering with IDIG is a home run.  They believe as we do that the PEO model is an important part of the future of insurance distribution.  Besides the traditional market relationships we can leverage with our partners from Capacity and Dowling Capital, they are anything from traditional in their focus on helping us to better the PEO model to make it even more impactful for American business.  Our "Money Ball" approach to underwriting insurance allows us to value an insurance transaction utilizing the most credible data available in the most efficient manner possible.  The speed at which we have credible, available information will help the new Risk Transfer to make the smartest decisions faster.

This partnership will allow more time towards the creation of new solutions for Risk Transfer's clients.  Carl Gerson, COO of The Capacity Group, said, "We're in a unique position to expand on our already growing relationship with Dowling Capital.  I'm thrilled Paul Hughes and his talented team are joining us and we're excited about the combination of Risk Transfer's innovation with the exceptional trading partners Capacity can bring to this market segment.  There will be more exciting news that we plan to share in the coming months too."

 

About Risk Transfer
Started in May of 2000 as a retail brokerage, Risk Transfer has always focused on risks that required a more sophisticated understanding of the client's business, and broader insurance solutions and cost containment structures. Risk Transfer Programs (fka Lighthouse Programs) was formed in 2003 to be the underwriting company for the group. Risk Transfer's brokerage/consultancy still remain as the flagship operating companies of the group. Risk Aware (outsourced underwriting platforms/cost containment programs) provides comprehensive risk management analytics. Risk Aware was formed in 2007 to focus on customer advocacy and cost containment for our clients.  Lastly, RiskMD was formed in 2008 to provide the "art and science" of risk management. The scientific or process portion of RiskMD currently is patent-pending by the being reviewed by the US Patent Office and should receive a final utilization application.  RiskMD is the first platform to introduce data vault technology to the insurance industry and is poised to provide services to a myriad of players within the insurance space.  http://risktransfer.com/

 

About Capacity Group
The Capacity Group of Companies offers an expansive range of standard and customized insurance and financial products, while providing superior customer service for all types of businesses, industries, and individuals. The Capacity Group has a diversified insurance distribution and product platform in Retail, Wholesale and Specialty Program business, as well as all types of personal, commercial, specialty and benefits lines of business. The Capacity Group is located in Mahwah, NJ and has 14 offices nationwide. The Capacity Group has grown to become one of the 100 largest insurance brokerage firms in the U.S. It is currently ranked number 43 by Business Insurance magazine, and is among the Top 25 privately held brokerage firms in the U.S. by Insurance Journal magazine. http://www.capcoverage.com/images/top100HR.pdf

 

About Dowling Capital Partners
Dowling Capital Partners (DCP) is a private equity firm that invests exclusively in the insurance industry. Investments are focused on the three main sectors of the industry – underwriting, distribution and technology/services. DCP was formed in 2011 by insurance industry veterans with senior level industry experience, including insurance-related private equity investment management, investment banking, industry research and operational and board-level roles within major insurance, reinsurance and brokerage companies. DCP's investors include highly regarded insurance industry organizations and professionals. DCP provides its portfolio companies and co-investors with industry expertise, broad relationships and operating experience. For additional information, please visit www.dowlingcapitalpartners.com

New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH) Calls for NYS to Enforce and Evaluate CDC Guidelines and to Begin Training for Potentially Exposed Workers

 

NEW YORK – Today, the New York Committee on Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH) called on New York State to implement a mandatory implementation of the Center for Disease Control's Guidelines on Ebola for workers in healthcare settings, and for New York State to conduct a comprehensive and ongoing evaluation and revision of the guidelines.

"The new CDC guidelines are significantly improved, and we are confident and encouraged by our State's handing of this emergency," said Charlene Obernauer, Executive Director of NYCOSH. "However, the guidelines for healthcare facilities are still only recommendations-not mandatory-and we need to continue to improve the guidelines as we move forward."

"In the upcoming days ahead, we should evaluate whether basic N95 respirators are adequate, or whether powered air purifying respirators (PAPRs) should be required for frontline health care workers, as is the practice at Bellevue. We also should look at the adequacy of decontamination procedures and the donning and doffing of personal protective equipment," continued Obernauer.

NYCOSH also called for additional resources from the State to be put into hands-on worker training and the creation of a master training program to ensure that potentially exposed workers are prepared, citing its letter released to the Governor on Tuesday, October 21st, which stated:

In addition to healthcare workers, all workers who are at risk of potential contact with infectious persons in the course of fulfilling their job duties-including air and mass transit workers, airport workers, educational staff, etc.-should receive basic Ebola information regarding the nature of the virus, modes of transmission, risk factors, symptoms, treatment, infection control and worker protection measures, and workplace policies.

"At the end of the day, there are a number of workers in this scenario that are potentially exposed and need training," said Susan McQuade, Safety and Health Specialist at NYCOSH, referring to OSHA's Bloodborne Pathogen Standard[1]. "From transit to EMT workers down to the workers cleaning the bowling alley, preparedness training and the funding to support such training is invaluable."

 

NYCOSH is a non-profit membership organization of workers, unions, community-based organizations, and health and legal professionals that uses training and education to improve health and safety conditions in our workplaces and our communities.  NYCOSH has been providing technical assistance and comprehensive training in environmental and occupational safety and health to over 10,000 workers annually for over 35 years. NYCOSH was at the forefront of disaster response and recovery efforts after the World Trade Center disaster, as well as after Sandy.

Computers today use the Basic Input/Output System (BIOS) firmware to initialize the hardware process and then turn over control to the operating system. Therefore, any malware that affects the BIOS is a serious threat to the entire computer system.

To protect computers from malicious software, IT organizations must also attempt to secure the BIOS firmware.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has created a free document that details computer BIOS security. You can obtain a free copy in our IT Downloads area under the title, “BIOS Protection Guidelines for Servers.”

In the PDF, author Andrew Regenscheid of the Computer Security Division Information Technology Laboratory at NIST breaks the topic into several sections including:

  • BIOS Security Principles
  • Security Guidelines by Update Mechanism
  • Guidelines for Service Processors

http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/it-tools/bios-protection-guide-helps-it-secure-server-firmware.html

The Dollar Shave Club had a bottleneck problem, and his name was Juan. It’s not so much that Juan was the problem, but somehow, any web performance report — no matter how unusual, no matter how frequent — waited on Juan, according to a recent Cite World article. So if Juan was busy, the business user waited…and so did new site features.

Almost every company has a Juan. Often, Juan may be the most efficient, effective developer on staff, but it doesn’t matter. Inevitably, as businesses become more data-driven, there are two many tasks and not enough Juans.

The lesson here: If one developer is holding up your reports, maybe it’s time you looked at a simpler analytics solution. That’s what Todd Lehr, senior vice president of engineering at Dollar Shave Club, learned.

...

http://www.itbusinessedge.com/blogs/integration/a-tale-of-two-data-analytics-success-stories.html

WARREN, MICH. – Winter is on its way, and the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division and FEMA remind homeowners to make sure their heating systems and water heaters are in good working condition, especially those damaged by the August flooding. 

“Michigan homeowners and their families may be at risk with flood-damaged furnaces, water heaters and electrical appliances,” warns Michigan State Police Capt. Chris A. Kelenske, State Coordinating Officer and Deputy State Director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security.  “If the flood waters reached your heating system or water heater, have them checked for operating safety by experienced repair personnel.”

Dolph A. Diemont, the disaster’s lead federal official, reminded Michigan homeowners that FEMA grants may be available to help repair damaged furnaces and water heaters and replace those destroyed by flood waters.

“Michigan residents with flood damage to their furnaces and water heaters must register with FEMA by the Nov. 24 deadline to be eligible for grants,” Diemont added. 

“If flood damage is found after the November date and the homeowner has failed to register, no FEMA assistance will be available.”

Homeowners who receive a FEMA grant for repairs and who later discover their furnace needs replacing must use the FEMA appeal process for additional grant funds. The homeowner has 60 days to appeal and must submit an estimate for replacement of the furnace on contractor company letterhead. 

Disaster survivors may register online at disasterassistance.gov or by smart phone or tablet at m.fema.gov.  Applicants may call 800-621-3362 or TTY users 800-462-7585.  The toll-free telephone numbers are available 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. EDT seven days a week until further notice.

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards. Follow FEMA online at twitter.com/femaregion5, www.facebook.com/fema, and www.youtube.com/fema.  Also, follow Administrator Craig Fugate's activities at twitter.com/craigatfema. The social media links provided are for reference only. FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications.

English: http://www.fema.gov/disaster/4195

Spanish: http://www.fema.gov/es/disaster/4195

Ever since fusion centers were created in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks to improve information-sharing between governments, they've often been criticized for their ineffectiveness. But if recent state investment in the centers is any indication, faith in the work they do may be on the rise.

Rick “Ozzie” Nelson, a senior associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told Government Technology that as public-safety grant funding from the federal government has slowed, states are dedicating more of their own money to finance fusion centers. He believes that is a solid indicator that the centers “have found their sweet spot” when it comes to intelligence-gathering and communications activities.

“If a governor is looking for money to free up, you can close your fusion center and take that money and use it for some other public-safety endeavor,” Nelson said. “But that’s not what we’re seeing in the data. What we’re seeing is people are investing in the fusion centers.”

...

http://www.emergencymgmt.com/safety/Fusion-Centers-Increased-State-Investment.html

According to a new study from Protiviti, engagement by a company’s board of directors is a critical factor in best managing information security risks.

Overall, engagement and understanding of IT risks at the board level has increased, yet one in five boards still have a low level of comprehension. As the report states, this suggests “their organizations are not doing enough to manage these critical risks or engage the board of directors in a regular and meaningful way.” Further, while large companies do exhibit stronger board-level engagement, it is not a dramatic distinction.

...

http://www.riskmanagementmonitor.com/engaged-boards-lead-to-better-information-security-practices/

NEW YORK — Since Hurricane Sandy made landfall Oct. 29, 2012, FEMA, in partnership with the federal family and state and local governments, has been on the scene helping individuals, government entities and eligible non-profits as New York recovers from the storm’s devastation.

FEMA has funded more than 3,500 Public Assistance projects including repairing and restoring hospitals, schools, transit venues, waterways, parks, beaches, marinas, water treatment plants and public buildings. A roster of services has been restored, including utilities critical to everyday life. Billions of federal dollars have been expended during the past two years. The numbers below tell the story.

2

It has been two years since Hurricane Sandy struck New York.

$13.6 billion

Total FEMA has already provided to New York.

$1 billion

The dollars given to help survivors get back on their feet with temporary housing assistance, disaster unemployment and other needs assistance.

    $3.9 billion

Amount paid by FEMA to 53,288 policyholders for flood claims through its National Flood Insurance Program.

$5.5 billion

Total Public Assistance obligated to communities and certain non-profit organizations to help recover from Hurricane Sandy and includes:

  • $620.6 million for debris removal
  • $1.22 billion for emergency work
  • $3.68 billion for permanent work

    $1.7 billion

Added to permanent repair projects to protect against future damage.        

    $84.7 million

Through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program to projects throughout the state to protect against future damage.

$1.5 billion

Small Business Administration loans for homeowners and businesses affected by the storm.

To learn more about FEMA Public Assistance in New York, visit: fema.gov/public-assistance-local-state-tribal-and-non-profit and dhses.ny.gov/oem/recovery.

For more information, visit http://www.fema.gov/sandy-recovery-office

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

The two health-care workers from Dallas who were infected with the Ebola virus are now in stable condition, and the NBC reporter who was quarantined has been released from the hospital. That was among the news from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which tried to ease concerns and provided informational updates on the Ebola outbreaks during a conference call Oct. 23.

The two Dallas nurses were infected when attending to an Ebola-infected patient who eventually died. NBC reporter Nancy Snyderman had been in quarantine since returning from assignment in Liberia.

The 48 people who had been in contact with the now deceased Eric Duncan have cleared the 21-day incubation period, according to Kashef Ijaz, the principal deputy director for the Division of Global Health Protection in the CDC’s Center for Global Health.

...

http://www.emergencymgmt.com/health/6-States-Monitor-Travelers-West-Africa-for-Ebola.html

With the winter season approaching, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reminds individuals to be prepared for winter storms and extreme cold. While the danger of severe winter weather varies across the country, everyone can benefit by taking a few easy steps now to prepare for emergencies. A first step, regardless of where you live, is to visit the Ready.gov website to find preparedness ideas you can use all year long.

“In our part of the country we make the most of winter,” said FEMA Region VIII Acting Administrator Tony Russell. “However, severe storms and blizzards can create major problems and residents need to take winter weather seriously by taking appropriate steps to prepare.”

Severe winter weather can include snow or subfreezing temperatures, strong winds and ice or heavy rain storms. An emergency supply kit both at home and in the car will help prepare you and your family for winter power outages and icy or impassable roads.

Both kits should include a battery-powered or hand-crank radio, extra flashlights and batteries. In addition, your home kit should include a three day supply of food and water. Thoroughly check and update your family’s emergency supply kit and add the following supplies in preparation for winter weather:

  • Rock salt to melt ice on walkways,
  • Sand to improve traction on driveways and sidewalks,
  • Snow shovels and other snow removal equipment,
  • And adequate clothing and blankets to help keep you warm.

When traveling in winter weather conditions, be sure to contact someone both before your departure and when you safely arrive.  Always travel with a cell phone and ensure the battery is charged so you can contact someone in the case of a road emergency.  If dangerous conditions are forecast, it’s often best to delay travel plans.

Finally, make sure to familiarize yourself with the terms that are used to identify a winter storm hazard and discuss with your family what to do if a winter storm watch or warning is issued. Terms used to describe a winter storm hazard include the following:

  • Freezing Rain creates a coating of ice on roads and walkways.
  • Sleet is rain that turns to ice pellets before reaching the ground. Sleet also causes roads to freeze and become slippery.
  • Winter Weather Advisory means cold, ice and snow are expected.
  • Winter Storm Watch means severe weather such as heavy snow or ice is possible in the next day or two.
  • Winter Storm Warning means severe winter conditions have begun or will begin very soon.

For more information and winter preparedness tips, please visit: www.ready.gov/winter-weather or www.nws.noaa.gov/om/winter/ or www.fema.gov/about-region-viii/winter-weather-readiness.

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.