- A Need for Discussion Around Business Interruption Coverage The devastating events in Boston during the week of April 14 and media images of those who suffered greatly at the hands of radicals will continue to haunt us. These victims now begin a lengthy journey of rebuilding their lives.
Far secondary to this human suffering is the impact the bombing has had on local business in that area. According to initial reports, not many businesses suffered extensive physical damage, but all of them have sustained business interruption for the duration of the evacuation as well as decreased traffic afterwards while wary customers slowly regained their confidence to come to the area.
As an industry, we must make sure the business owners we insure can overcome an event like this and return to their normal lives. According to a recent report by the Congressional Research Service, only 60% of small businesses in the US are covered for “terrorism” insurance as most policies exclude this. At the time of writing this, the bombing has not yet been formally labeled as a “terrorist act.” Where business interruption coverage and exclusions are not consistent in the industry, this grey area could cause varying interpretations by both customers and adjusters when considering a claim.
We may want to engage in discussions on this topic with our clients to ensure that we are always in a position where we lead the way to recovery when dealing with these events.
JACQUELINE LEGRAND - CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER AT MDS GROUP
- Global Employee Benefits Practice Group to support international clients
BrokersLink has launched a Global Employee Benefits Practice Group and appointed Gerard Baltazar as its first Chairman. The group will drive business development in the area of international employee benefits for its 70 members.
“We see an increased flow of multinational employee benefits opportunities and want to ensure that BrokersLink members are able to take full advantage of these. By launching a Global Employee Benefits Practice Group, our brokers based anywhere in the world can quickly and efficiently access the specialist resources required to both win and service this complex type of business.” said José Manuel Fonseca, BrokersLink Chairman.
Gerard Baltazar is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at In2Matrix, an international employee benefits consulting firm, and founder of BrokersLink’s Center of Excellence for Global Employee Benefits. He has 20 years’ experience in the financial services industry, having started his career at In2Consulting Ltd UK as a holistic financial planner advising high net-worth clients. Baltazar is also a member of the Advisory Council for the Russian British Chamber of Commerce.
The new Global Employee Benefits Practice Group will sit alongside the network’s established Global Construction Practice Group, which has already helped members secure and service significant contracts across the world. BrokersLink continues to expand by carefully establishing a number of strategic partnerships with key service providers who offer specialized knowledge and expertise.GERARD BALTAZAR - CEO AND CHAIRMAN AT IN2MATRIX LTD, BROKERSLINK EMPLOYEE BENEFITS
- Independent Brokers Can Become Global Powerhouses
Speaking at the 1st Asia Insurance Brokers’ Summit in Singapore, José Manuel Fonseca told delegates that independent brokers can become the powerhouses of the global insurance industry if they treat their clients as true partners, invest in the future and join forces with their peers from around the world.
He explained that despite the current challenging environment, smaller specialist or territory focused brokers unencumbered by stifling corporate inflexibility are well positioned for growth.
“All brokers are trading in a fast changing and increasingly complex market,” Fonseca said, “but entrepreneurial spirit, a strong work ethic and agile decision making capabilities are making independent brokers look very attractive to client businesses facing similar trading issues.”
He told the brokers, insurers and reinsurers in attendance that being a specialist broker based in a single country was no longer a barrier to handling global accounts. “10 years ago trading internationally without a network of offices was very difficult,” he said, “but advances in internet based communications and trading platforms have created an entirely new ball game. By joining forces with their peers across the world, embracing new technology and adopting a global co-operation mind-set, many groups of brokers handle accounts as large as the established international brands.
“It’s all about having the right attitude and long-term outlook,” he concluded. “Clients are looking for their brokers to become true partners and, if you can instill this in your team, global expansion will become a viable strategy for growth.”JOSE MANUEL FONSECA - CHAIRMAN BROKERSLINK
- Latin America Prominent Among World's Underinsured For many insurance professionals based or operating in Latin America, the idea that the region is largely underinsured may not come as a surprise. But the extent to which the region's underinsurance reaches may come as news. Recently, LLoyd's of London completed a report on the most underinsured nations in the world.
While many countries from other regions, such as China, Saudi Arabia, and India were included in the list of the most underinsured countries, Brazil, Mexico, and Chile featured prominently. In fact, Brazil alone was found to be underinsured by about $12.6 billion, with Mexico and Chile trailing at $7.7 billion and $2.4 billion, respectively. Together these amounts come to about an eighth of the entire world's estimated underinsurance amount.
On one hand, the current underinsured status of many nations in Latin America reflects the region's still-growing economy and awareness of insurance. At the same time, however, these numbers indicate that those of us involved in Latin American insurance, particularly in high-risk areas, have a great deal of work ahead. From educating potential clients and communities to ensuring that our policies and practices are truly adequate to local needs, we must be diligent in our quest to bring the region towards a properly insured future.PAUL BITNER - COMMERCIAL CHIEF OFFICER AT BROKERSLINK