The end of 2019 is right around the corner, and so much has happened since the beginning of the year!
The most notable change of 2019 happened in January when Hipskind Seyfarth Risk Solutions joined forces with PCF Insurance Services. Unlike many traditional large brokerage companies in our industry, PCF Insurance Services has assembled a quality group of independent brokerages. They support a platform where each company continues to operate with their existing best practices. This partnership provides expanded access to a much broader portfolio of solutions for our customers. In fact, PCF Insurance Services is a top 100 broker in the U.S., and my partner Mike and I are principals in the organization.
This exciting change accompanies new strategic goals for our organization, as we now have more horsepower in our back office to assist our customers. That said, we will continue to operate with the same values and represent our customers in the same hospitable manner that we have in the past.
In addition to joining the PCF Insurance Services family, Hipskind Seyfarth Risk Solutions added the Leonard H. Franks & Associates agency to our greater Chicago portfolio. Located in Northfield, IL, the agency specializes in affluent personal lines coverage (homes with a value above $750,000) and small to mid-sized commercial coverage. Started in 1948, the L.H. Franks agency has an excellent reputation for quality and service. We are excited to join forces and strengthen our capabilities.
We, unfortunately, witnessed another year of global catastrophic losses in 2019. After 2018, a year in which the U.S. experienced 108 catastrophic events responsible for 355 fatalities and an estimated $52.3 Billion in insured losses (an estimated $81.9 Billion in overall losses), you’d think nature would have provided a much-needed break in the action! While 2019 isn’t over yet, it too was packed with some staggering and unfortunate catastrophes, with significant insured losses to date.
As a result of this commotion, we are seeing some tightening in markets that are prone to storms, wildfires and other unavoidable events that lead to widespread damage and losses. From a personal lines point of view, the most significant peril is water. Whether it’s from floodwaters, backed up sewers and drains, frozen pipes or mechanical failures, water always seems to “win” in the loss category. As we’ve discussed in past Slice articles, there are several precautions you can and should take to ensure your losses are minimized or avoided entirely if you run into a water problem. Remember, we’re always here to assist you with insight!
The end of a year is always a good time to reflect back on the good and the bad. It also presents an opportune time to analyze how prepared you are for the year ahead. Analyzing risk is a dynamic process. Every year presents new challenges for how risk is measured, mitigated and covered. Cyber coverage is a great example. Just a decade ago, cyber liability coverage was a small concern and not very prevalent. Today, even personal lines carriers are including options for cyber coverage; and if a business uses a computer, they likely have a cyber liability policy in place.
Before raising a glass to the New Year (and new decade), take some time to review and analyze your risk and coverage options. Give us a call—we will be happy to assist. After all, we are more capable to assist you today than ever before.
We wish you a safe, healthy and joyous holiday season!