PRESS RELEASE | K2 Insurance Services Acquires High Point Underwriters

Partnership with Midwestern Insurance Alliance enhances occupational accident insurance offering

SOLANA BEACH, CA – K2 Insurance Services, LLC (K2), formed in 2011 to acquire managing general agencies (MGAs) and specialty program administrators and underwriters to create a leading franchise in the insurance program market, has acquired Morris Plains, New Jersey-based High Point Underwriters.

Concurrently with the acquisition, High Point, together with Midwestern Insurance Alliance, have partnered with QBE North America to administer a national workers’ compensation and occupational accident insurance program. Louisville, Kentucky-based Midwestern Insurance Alliance, led by Marc Risen, is a national workers’ compensation program administrator focused on the transportation industry.

The coverage will be provided through QBE North America’s A.M. Best “A” rated insurance companies on both an admitted and non-admitted basis.

The combination of K2’s workers’ compensation specialist, Midwestern Insurance Alliance, and High Point establishes a diversified national insurance solution for both employee drivers and independent contractor owner operators.

“David King and Roman Atkielski have built High Point into a prominent occupational accident program administrator and will continue to lead the business day-to-day,” commented K2 President Bob Kimmel.

“High Point and its team bring a wealth of valuable expertise in occupational accident insurance for independent contractors, and we are excited to partner with David and Roman in expanding their franchise nationally. We believe the combination of a specialized, successful occupational accident product and a focused trucking workers’ compensation program with thirty years of expertise and distribution offers a compelling value proposition to the marketplace.”

“At the same time, K2 will continue to seek other acquisition and growth opportunities around the country,” Kimmel added.

“We are pleased to join forces with K2, High Point, and Midwestern Insurance Alliance. This partnership provides QBE with new opportunities to expand our business and bring our innovative workers’ compensation solutions to the market,” said Glenn Skrynecki, Interim Senior Vice President, Programs, QBE North America.

High Point will also continue to write occupational accident insurance on behalf of Lloyds of London.

About K2

K2 was formed by Kimmel and Pat Kilkenny, Chairman and CEO of K2, in partnership with investment firm Endeavour Capital. Additional information is available at www.k2ins.com.

About QBE

QBE North America is part of QBE Insurance Group Limited, one of the largest insurers and reinsurers worldwide. QBE NA reported Gross Written Premiums in 2015 of $4.6 billion. QBE Insurance Group’s 2015 results and additional information can be found at www.qbena.com.

Preventing Employee Legal Concerns

Employers of all types are faced with a variety of risks on a daily basis. However, one that may not be considered too often is the potential for litigation over employee issues. Especially as our society is so litigious, there are certain precautions that employers need to take in order to reduce Employment Practices Liability claims. Therefore, employers need to heed the following advice and reduce their risk.

Comply with wage laws.

It’s imperative to categorize employees appropriately. This means that hourly and salary workers are paid in compliance with wage laws. Small Business Trends states that there are various criteria used when determining whether an employee is considered exempt or nonexempt:

  • Those earning less than $455 per week are nonexempt.
  • The basis test means that a salaried employee generally has a specific amount that they can count on each pay period.
  • The job duties test generally means that those with managerial duties and the ability to hire and fire are exempt employees.

There are more employee dispute lawsuits than ever before, with almost 9,000 last year alone. Therefore, employers should consult with a legal professional to ensure their pay structure is accurate and in compliance with the law.

Prevent discrimination.

While it may be a well-known fact that it is unlawful to discriminate against anyone due to race, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, religion or disability, there are some other factors that could lead to litigation for employers. For example, maternity leave policies, vacation pay, and sick policies all need to be in compliance with state law.

As such, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has a list of all the rules and regulations that must be implemented within any business. Once these are read and understood, employers are more likely to prevent discrimination, comply with the law, and reduce their chances of facing an employment practices liability lawsuit.

At K2 Insurance Services, LLC, we are dedicated to creating a leading underwriting and distribution franchise both in the standard and specialty program insurance markets. K2 was formed by two insurance industry veterans with the purpose of acquiring managing general agents and developing multi-line programs. Our goal is to distribute innovative products through retail and wholesale distribution channels. To learn more about our services and partners, please contact us today at (855) 976-8113 or visit K2INS.COM.

Aegis General Insurance Agency Announces Mark Gatto as Northern Region Marketing Director

logo-AegisLogo

March 8, 2016

                                   

FOR:

K2 Insurance Services, LLC

514 Via de la Valle, #302

San Diego, California 92075

Bob Kimmel (415) 225 7475

rkimmel@k2ins.com

Aegis General Insurance Agency Announces

Mark Gatto as Northern Region Marketing Director

      Specialty personal lines insurance veteran

      Will be responsible for Northern Region

HARRISBURG, PA – Aegis General Insurance Agency announced today that Mark Gatto has joined the specialty insurance agency as its Northern Region Marketing Director. Gatto comes to Aegis General with a successful track record in leading growth initiatives through a variety of distribution channels for manufactured homes, low-value dwellings and other specialty personal property. Gatto “will be heavily involved with several large national partners as well as the growth and management of distribution efforts in the Northern Region,” Aegis General Senior Vice President of Marketing Jeremy Gluck announced today.

“Mark’s relationships and knowledge of the specialty personal lines space will help ensure continued success in the growth of this specialty business, which has exceeded that of the insurance industry overall, in spite of a dramatic downturn in the manufacturing housing industry,” Aegis General’s CEO Bob Kimmel said. “While other companies have avoided this segment, we not only remain committed to it but intend to pursue continued growth in this space.”

Gatto’s role at Aegis General will include management of the existing Northern Region, including responsibility for current distribution through general agents and the expansion of Aegis General’s agency base in the Northern Region.

Gatto most recently was Vice President of National Accounts for American Modern, where he was responsible for similar specialty insurance business nationally. Prior to American Modern, Gatto maintained similar positions with Markel American, Northland and Foremost.

Aegis General Insurance Agency is a unit of K2 Insurance Services LLC, a group of specialty insurance operations, and underwrites on behalf of Aegis Security Insurance Company – also a K2 unit – and other insurers.

Aegis Security is rated “A” by A.M. Best and is admitted in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. K2 Insurance Services acquired Aegis Security in 2013.

K2 Insurance Services also includes five other general agencies that manage, underwrite, and distribute products on behalf of Aegis Security and other carriers. They include Allied Public Risk, High Point Underwriters, Midwestern Insurance Alliance, Mission Select Insurance Services, and Vikco Insurance Services. Additional information is available at www.k2ins.com.

Creating an Effective Return to Work Program

As discussed in previous blog posts, it is the employers’ sole responsibility to carry workers’ compensation coverage for their employees. While handling common employee errors in workers’ compensation cases is critical, so is establishing an effective return to work program. By being proactive and implementing this coverage before an employee is injured, business owners’ expenses and workers’ compensation liability can be reduced. Here are some steps to take toward a sound return to work program.

  • Assign a dedicated member of the team to be responsible for implementing the program and enforcing its rules, says the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors (NAW).
  • Ensure the program is reflective of your clients’ desire to have its employees return quickly. The policy should be committed to bringing employees back immediately and business owners need to ensure that each employee participates in this program in order for it to be effective.
  • Educate owners and employees about the importance of such programs and how it relates to productivity, cost savings, and improved workplace morale.
  • Seek medical attention immediately after an injury and maintain contact with the employee throughout his or her recovery.
  • Once cleared by their doctor, employees should be encouraged to return to work as soon as possible.

The staff members at Midwestern Insurance Alliance are experts in providing Workers’ Compensation coverage, and view their relationship with policyholders as a partnership. To learn more, please contact MIA today.

At K2 Insurance Services, LLC, we are dedicated to creating a leading underwriting and distribution franchise both in the standard and specialty program insurance markets. K2 was formed by two insurance industry veterans with the purpose of acquiring managing general agents and developing multi-line programs. Our goal is to distribute innovative products through retail and wholesale distribution channels. To learn more about our services and partners, please contact us today at (855) 976-8113 or visit K2INS.COM.

Maintaining School Safety During Harsh Weather

Maintaining School Safety During Harsh WeatherAs El Niño and winter storms flurry throughout the U.S., inclement weather continues to affect the nation. Heavy snow, ice, and tornado watches are common around this time of year, and schools need to be prepared to manage these potentially dangerous scenarios. In order to reduce liability, schools need to be protected with a Public Sector Insurance Program. The following considerations for an effective emergency weather plan should be made to safeguard children and school staff, as well.

Stay abreast of weather forecasts via the radio and TV newscasts. Next, get the message out to students and staff quickly by announcing emergency plans via the public address (PA) system. If the electricity is out as a result of a storm before the plan has been activated, keep a back-up alerting device such as a megaphone on hand, says the National Weather Service. If there is no intercom system, the safest way to communicate danger is to use walkie-talkies so that no one is running from door to door in extreme weather.

School staff should be aware of the safest areas to seek shelter in the event of an emergency. As each design is different, architects and engineers of the building should be consulted to determine where the dangers exist and how to avoid risk from failing roofs, extreme winds, breaking glass, and loose debris.

Further, in the event of an earthquake or tornado, identify the safest locations in the classrooms with the lowest probability of failure. Naturally, if these disasters loom, outdoor activities should be ceased immediately. It is also important to note that the first sound of thunder is when students and staff should go indoors. Do not wait until the rain starts!

With the help of these simple tips, liability can be reduced for the public sector. In addition, the safety of everyone at the school can also be reinforced and limit the exposures caused by harsh winter weather.

At Aegis General Insurance Agency, we are experts in providing specialized insurance policies for the public sector through one of our divisions, Allied Public Risk. We understand the risks involved with operating these facilities and work to protect each component of their operations. For more information, contact us today at (855) 399-0966.

At K2 Insurance Services, LLC, we are dedicated to creating a leading underwriting and distribution franchise both in the standard and specialty program insurance markets. K2 was formed by two insurance industry veterans with the purpose of acquiring managing general agents and developing multi-line programs. Our goal is to distribute innovative products through retail and wholesale distribution channels. To learn more about our services and partners, please contact us today at (855) 976-8113 or visit K2INS.COM.

Aegis Powersports Announces F&I Training for Dealer Partners

January 28, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Aegis Powersports has announced the first in a series of dealer F&I training seminars that will be offered free of charge to dealer partners.  Aegis has teamed with industry-leading F&I educator Garage Composites to provide the training, beginning with February and March seminars in Northern and Southern California.

Sunnyvale, CA – Today, Aegis Powersports announced a series of dealer training seminars being held throughout California for its powersport dealer partners.  The seminars are free of charge to dealer partners and provide dealer staff with two days of professional instruction at a site convenient to their dealership.

Aegis Powersports has selected Garage Composites to provide a series of dealer F&I seminars throughout the year.  The first two dealer seminars will be held on February 8th and 9th in Sacramento, California and on March 7th and 8th in Costa Mesa, California.  Additional seminars are planned for this summer and fall.

“We are committed to being the best F&I partner we can for the dealers whom we support,” stated Jeff Kenny, Vice President of Dealer Products for Aegis Powersports.  “Our products and innovative AegisTech ™ platform help dealers make the most out of their F&I efforts, and supporting this with professional F&I training makes perfect sense.”

“Garage Composites has established itself as one of the preeminent dealer F&I educators in the powersports industry,” noted Troy Billen, AVP of Dealer Sales for Aegis Powersports.  “The knowledge, expertise and professionalism of Garage Composites is in keeping with the Aegis Powersports brand and reputation as the best provider of F&I products in the powersports industry.”

Aegis Powersports provides specialized dealer F&I products to powersports dealerships, including service contracts, road hazard protection, priority maintenance, gap, etch, GPS tracking, theft deterrent and appearance protection.  All Aegis Powersports products are backed by Aegis Security Insurance Company, rated “A” (“Excellent”) by A.M. Best and operating on an admitted basis in all states.

Garage Composites was formed by a seasoned team of powersport industry veterans to host powersports “20 clubs” as well as to provide in-dealership consulting, regional training seminars and management training academies that help powersport dealers get the most out of their F&I and sales teams.

Dealers interested in more information or attending the Northern California seminars in February, please contact Ryan Nowakowski at 800-572-5099 or at rnowakowski@aegispowersports.com.  To attend the March seminars in Southern California or find out about future training dates, please contact Troy Billen also at 800-572-5099 or at tbillen@aegispowersports.com.

Workers’ Compensation Claims Handling: Common Employer Errors

When it comes to controlling workers’ compensation claims, business owners and company directors must execute all necessary actions in a prompt and correct manner. This will not only help companies to control costs, but is also an essential part of a strong risk management program. How can employers best handle workers’ compensation claims? Avoiding the common employer errors listed below, highlighted by a recent HNI article, is a good start.

Reporting the Claim Too Late

When a workplace injury occurs, memories are fresh and evidence is preserved the sooner the injury is reported. Claims representatives are required to work with a medical provider to keep their injured employee working in a light duty capacity, and this cannot be done without the timely reporting of a claim.

Not Investigating the Injury Right When it Occurs

The right person needs to be aware of an employee injury. In almost all cases, this is going to be the employees’ immediate supervisor; who knows all the details of the workers job and will be the best person to determine if the accident or injury was a result of a hazardous work environment or the workers’ own negligence. This investigation should also be done right when the injury occurs so the supervisor can see the status of the work area.

Not Offering a Return-To-Work Program

A return to work program helps to reduce or potentially even eliminate lost-time claims by brining injured workers back to work sooner than they would have been able to return otherwise. This has many benefits; it saves the company time and money, and helps the worker feel like a valued member of the team who cannot be replaced.

The above mentioned errors are just a few common mistakes employers make when it comes to workers’ compensation claims. Other mistakes include not securing a medical release at the time of the injury, hiring unqualified employees and/or not conducting proper safety training, and not having a general understanding of workers’ compensation in general.

The staff members at Midwestern Insurance Alliance are experts in providing Workers’ Compensation coverage, and view their relationship with policyholders as a partnership. To learn more, please contact MIA today.
K2 Insurance Services, LLC was formed by two insurance industry veterans with the purpose of acquiring managing general agents and developing multi-line programs. Our goal is to distribute innovative products through retail and wholesale distribution channels. To learn more about our services and partners, please contact us today at (855) 976-8113 or visit K2INS.COM

What are Powersports Coverages and Who Needs Them?

Powersports coverages are designed to protect riders of motorcycles, scooters, dirt bikes, ATVs, UTVs, personal watercraft, jet boats and snowmobiles.  Aegis Powersports’ products provide a carefree riding experience and help riders avoid the known financial expenses of owning a powersports vehicle.  Plus, through our affiliate, Aegis General Insurance Agency, riders can get access to agents nationwide and quickly obtain an insurance tune-up to protect against accidental loss – even with major/minor tickets and accidents.

Mechanical Breakdown Contracts – A health plan for your ride.  Your powersports vehicle is only as strong as its component parts so it is important to secure long-term protection on the following components to ensure years of riding enjoyment. Enjoy nationwide coverage on the following components: electrical, engine, transmission, primary and final drive, steering, differential, ABS, fuel system, seals & gaskets, front and rear suspension and instrumentation.* Our unlimited mileage mechanical breakdown plans protect your investment, peace of mind, and time. We offer a $0 deductible on all of our 12, 24, 36, 48 and 60-month new and used contracts with options to transfer your contract to a subsequent owner or seek renewal of your protection.

Tire, Wheel and Towing – Tires and wheels are a major unexpected expense and now more frequent due to the conditions of our roads. For less than the cost of a single tire and wheel, you get tire and wheel replacement peace of mind for the road ahead.

GAP – Protect yourself from the difference between your loan balance and what your insurer will pay out in the event of a total loss. You also receive the reimbursement of your insurance deductible.

Priority Maintenance – Select from 6 Services, 3 Services or our award-winning Oil and Filter Plan. You save on maintenance, prevent major breakdowns, and improve resale.

Etch Theft Deterrent – Etch is a unique theft deterrent system that imprints a traceable alphanumeric code onto your powersports vehicle. This etching both effectively helps to deter theft and is used to help identify and recover the vehicle in the event of a theft. In the event of an unrecovered theft, you are also eligible for a cash settlement towards your replacement bike. Our product provides theft protection so check with your insurance company about a comprehensive policy discount.

GPS Tracking and Theft Recovery – Locate your bike from anywhere in the world and perform remote security functions from your phone.  All of our GPS products come with 3 years of tracking services included making this your best choice for worry-free tracking and security.

Appearance Protection – Paint. Chrome. Leather. We protect it all! Remember what your new motorcycle looked like on the showroom floor? You can enjoy that look longer with our appearance protection. New or used — 5 years of protection!

Benefits

  • Most products are transferable.
  • Improved resale value.
  • $0 deductible included or available on all units.
  • National coverage.
  • Direct payment. Aegis works directly with dealerships on behalf of riders to minimize paperwork and frustration when filing a claim.

Aegis Powersports is the dealer services division of Aegis Extended Service, LLC, a subsidiary of K2 Insurance Services LLC.  All of our products are fully insured by Aegis Security Insurance Company, a company founded in 1977, licensed in all U.S. jurisdictions and known for its A.M. Best ‘A’ rated (“Excellent”) ability to pay claims.  Aegis General Insurance Agency, National Producer Number 957388.

At K2 Insurance Services, LLC, we are dedicated to creating a leading underwriting and distribution franchise both in the standard and specialty program insurance markets. K2 was formed by two insurance industry veterans with the purpose of acquiring managing general agents and developing multi-line programs. Our goal is to distribute innovative products through retail and wholesale distribution channels. To learn more about our services and partners, please contact us today at (855) 976-8113 or visit K2INS.COM.

*Coverage level availability may be limited based on vehicle age and mileage.

 

 

The Importance of Efficient Claims Management for Public Risks

allied-public-risk-NEW

Insurance providers, both small companies and large corporations alike, have one common goal: to protect their clients and their assets. As insurance agents are required to comply with government regulations while balancing that with consumer expectations in the public sector, an effective Public Risk Claims Management program is necessary.

Claims Settlement- While this process is complex and requires multiple steps, settling the claim promptly will encourage customer satisfaction and improve service. A viable solution to assist with this procedure is using a claims management software system for automation.

Detecting Fraud- It goes without saying that insurance companies lose money when fraudulent claims are paid. In turn, customers absorb the loss and often have to pay more in premiums. As such, consider using software systems that track payment and claim history. However, while quick claim settlement turnaround is ideal for consumers, rushing through the process causes more margin for error and failing to detect fraudulent activity.

Cost Management- According to Small Business Chronicle, monitoring costs throughout the claims management process determines how much of a customer’s premium rate goes toward paying for the insurance company’s administrative costs. Generally speaking, the quicker the issue is resolved, the more money the insurance company will save.

Avoiding Litigation- Claims disputes are common and require an accurate assessment of liability prior to being paid by insurance companies. Naturally, a delay in a claim settlement results in additional cost for the insurer.

Allied Public Risk is dedicated solely to the underwriting of public entity exposures supported by our staffs’ years of experience and expertise in this niche market. Our seasoned professionals offer decades of specialized knowledge derived from helping manage and mitigate risks faced by public entities.

At K2 Insurance Services, LLC, we are dedicated to creating a leading underwriting and distribution franchise both in the standard and specialty program insurance markets. K2 was formed by two insurance industry veterans with the purpose of acquiring managing general agents and developing multi-line programs. Our goal is to distribute innovative products through retail and wholesale distribution channels. To learn more about our services and partners, please contact us today at (855) 976-8113 or visit K2INS.COM.

 

A Look at Specialty Insurance and Who Needs It

A Look at Specialty Insurance and Who Needs It

The average American may understand the most basic insurance policies; homeowners, auto, general liability coverage for businesses, etc. However what many don’t realize is that sometimes coverage needs go beyond what a standard market is able to provide. Many of the MGA’s we partner with at K2 offer the coverages needed for these specialized clients through specialty insurance policies. So, what is specialty insurance?

In the simplest terms, specialty insurance is insurance that can be obtained for items or events that are considered unique or special circumstances. The items that would fall in these categories are rarely covered by standard insurance policies. This could be anything from powersports vehicles to educational liability, and even specialty homeowners insurance for houses with aging roofs.

A common misconception about specialty insurance is that it is unaffordable. However if consumers consider the amount of financial loss that could occur should they need to use their policy, it’s typically a great value versus the alternative. Consumers should always do their due diligence to find finically sounds specialty insurance carriers.

This includes reading the policies and understanding any provisions and/or exceptions. An effective agent will also take a close look at any other existing policies the consumer has, in order to ensure they aren’t getting redundant coverage, nor will they have any coverage gaps.

At K2 Insurance Services, LLC, we are dedicated to creating a leading underwriting and distribution franchise both in the standard and specialty program insurance markets. K2 was formed by two insurance industry veterans with the purpose of acquiring managing general agents and developing multi-line programs. Our goal is to distribute innovative products through retail and wholesale distribution channels. To learn more about our services and partners, please contact us today at (855) 976-8113 or visit K2INS.COM.