Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Cybersecurity Checklist for the Holiday Season

The National Retail Federation is predicting holiday retail sales to reach $717.45 billion to $720.89 billion this year. With the sheer volume of transactions set to take place for retail operations (both online and at brick-and-mortar stores), now is a good time to make sure your small business has a well-defined cybersecurity plan in place. Here’s a handy checklist to consider when assessing your cybersecurity measures for the upcoming holiday shopping season.

Small Business Cybersecurity Tips for a Safe & Successful Holiday Season

Secure Your Employees

All employees should be trained on the importance and methods of data security. Both physical and digital records should be safeguarded at all times, and confidential information about clients, employees or corporate affairs should always remain secured. Hackers like to target uninformed employees, so in terms of personnel, keep in mind your security is only as strong as your weakest link. This time of year serves as a great opportunity to re-distribute your data security policies to employees to reinforce its importance.

Perform background checks on new employees hired for the holiday season. Additionally, ensure each employee only has access to data related to their role and responsibility, especially for seasonal employees.

Secure Your Network

Passwords: Creating a strong password creates a better defense against cyberattacks. Remember these tips for creating strong passwords:
  • Don’t use the same password twice and change passwords frequently.
  • Use a mix of characters including letters, numbers and symbols.
  • Avoid sharing passwords.
  • Don’t keep passwords written down near computers.
  • Utilize a password manager.

For more information on creating strong passwords, check out our blog post, “5 Tips For Creating Strong, Secure Passwords to Protect Sensitive Data.”

Wi-Fi: Make sure your Wi-Fi network is secure by regularly changing its password. Also, do not allow your employees to use public, unsecured Wi-Fi networks while utilizing company-issued laptops and smartphones.

Secure Your Data

All data, whether on a personal device, computer, or server should be protected by proper encryption.

Keep a Watchful Eye on Your Systems

If a program acts up, it could simply be a software or hardware malfunction, but it could be something much worse. If malware is detected, or a user reports opening a suspicious file, don't take any chances. Assume that the malware has infected something, and don't stop investigating until you find out what, if anything, was breached. Keep anti-virus and anti-malware programs up-to-date.

Protect Your Organization with Cyber Liability Insurance

A Cyber Liability Insurance policy from AmTrust can help safeguard your company against financial loss from a cyber attack. Contact an AmTrust agent today to find out how you can benefit from a policy, and how to protect your organization from cybersecurity attacks and other data breach threats.

 For more details about AMT Service Corp feel free to visit: https://amtrustfinancial.com/blog/small-business/cybersecurity-checklist-holiday-season

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

How Male Bonding is Being Taken with New York's Paid Family Leave

Fatherhood in America has evolved over the years; The Pew Research Center found that more men are taking a more active role in child care than in the past. The demand for paid parental leave to extend to men as well as women is growing, with more companies offering paid time off to fathers as well as mothers to bond with newborns.

With New York launching one of the most comprehensive paid leave acts in the country in 2018, data is showing that men are utilizing the leave to bond with newborns. In fact, 19% of paid family leave claims were made for male bonding, a statistic showcased in AmTrust’s analysis of how paid family leave is being used in 2018.

Paid family leave can be taken for any of the following three reasons:
  • Bond with a newborn, adopted or foster child
  • Care for a loved one with a serious illness
  • Tend to family matters when a loved one is called to active military service

In 2018, both men and women can take up to 8 weeks of paid, protected time off to bond with newborns. Over the next few years, this leave will increase, with 12 weeks of paid, protected pay male bonding available to employees in New York by 2021. While our data shows that women are typically taking paid family leave back to back with DBL, there is also the option to take paid family leave intermittently, which can be an attractive option for men taking bonding leave.

For more details about AMT Service Corp feel free to visit: https://amtrustfinancial.com/blog/insurance-products/how-male-bonding-taken-in-new-york-state

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Nonprofit Coverage: Submission Requirements & Enhancements

Our submission process is easy. Send an email to nonprofit@amtrustgroup.com and make sure to include: 
  • All pertinent ACORD and supplemental applications; we also accept other carrier’s applications
  • Audited year-end financial statement (or Form 990 if the organization does not have a year-end statement)
  • Brochures, promotional material describing programs and services offered and copies of all relevant contracts
  • Loss history for a minimum of 3 years
  • Schedule of drivers and vehicles, including VINs and seating capacity
AmTrust offers options to enhance coverage to include:

  • Articles, Fine Arts, Valuable Papers/Books
  • Armed Guards (contracted through 3rd party only)Nonprofit
  • Earthquake & Flood
  • Educators Liability
  • Employee Benefits (can be included in Package)
  • Immigration Counseling Liability
  • Vicarious Medical Liability – excludes physician liability; physician must have medical malpractice coverage
  • Medical Liability – excludes physician liability; Dr. must have Med Malpractice coverage
  • Special Events Blanket/Fund Raising Endorsement
  • Social Work, Foster Care & Counseling
The process is simple:

  • Submit the supplemental form, ACORD and loss run information to nonprofit@amtrustgroup.com
  • Your dedicated underwriter will take care of the rest!
Individual coverage may vary and may not be available in all states.  Not all applicants may qualify.  In the event of a conflict with the material herein, the terms and conditions of any issued policy will control.  Any available coverage for a claim will be determined based on the facts and circumstances of the claim as well as the terms and conditions of the policy, including any applicable exclusions or deductibles.

Monday, 10 September 2018

Millennials and the Insurance Industry

Millennials. They’ve almost become a buzzword in today’s world as study after study comes out about the generation. What kind of shifts will this cause in the commercial insurance world? Read on to find out.
First, when we say millennial who are we talking about? The Pew Research Center defines anyone born between 1981 and 1996 (ages 22 to 37 in 2018) as a Millennial. It’s important for agents to keep in mind that some millennials are nearing 40, and many are taking on the roles of decision makers within their companies. 

According to Nielsen, the leading global information and measurement firm, millennials account for nearly a quarter of the U.S. population – about 77 million. A generation of that size is sure to have an influence on a variety of industries, including insurance. Millennials are generally marked by an increased use and familiarity with communications, media and digital technologies. A recent survey conducted by Microsoft concluded that: 
  • 65 percent of millennials start interactions with a brand or organization online
  • 64 percent of them believe that social media is one of the most effective channels for reaching brands

Nielsen has also identified the millennial generation as the top users and adopters of Smartphones.

So what does all of this mean for the world of insurance? For agents, a focus on both social media and technology can be the key to reaching and interacting with clients. It also signals that an increase of millennials working in insurance means a continuing shift in the way in which insurance business will be conducted, as well as recruitment techniques to grow the workforce.

Social Media Marketing

Social media can help you, the agent, to connect with your clients and community in a very impactful way, positioning yourself and your agency’s status in the insurance field. Make an impact by researching and writing on industry related topics that interest your clients. Be inspirational and educational in your posts. Make sure social media is something you can manage in-house, and select the channels that make the most sense for your agency . Try test posts on each channel to determine which provides the best new business leads. Read our related posts on:

Data Driven

Thanks to data mining and social media, insurance companies are starting to target their marketing directly to specific consumers. The ability to tailor their coverages and policies to the right audience can be invaluable to insurance companies. The data-driven, computer savvy, innovative mentality commonly attributed to millennials make them prime candidates to help carriers create insurance products that truly speak to the right audience.

Change in Demographics

Younger business owners are driving a huge digital shift in the business insurance industry. By 2020 over 60 percent of small businesses in the U.S. will be owned by millennials and Gen-Xers (who range in age range from about 20 to 45). With this projection in mind, it’s clear that agents who wish to thrive in the future of the business insurance industry would be wise to consider adapting to the changing environment the industry continues to innovate in an increasingly tech-filled world.

Mobile Apps

Speaking of tech, many insurance carriers now offer most of their services through mobile apps. Insurance agents can utilize these apps to give clients the ability to file claims, schedule inspections, track their claims process, direct message an agent with questions, or even submit video for appraisals.
For example, AmTrust appointed agents can create and bind policies that are designed to meet their clients’ needs with AmTrust Online. With commercial package coverage information for workers’ compensation right at your fingertips, you can get your clients set up with the products they need in minutes. Then your clients can use the system to make payments and update their information at their convenience.

If you don’t have access to AmTrust Online, you could be missing out on a big advantage in this increasingly digital industry. Find out more about AmTrust Online, and how you can join our team of appointed agents.

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

More employers are offering paid parental leave benefits

More companies are offering paid parental leave benefits than ever before. In fact, a recent study from the Society for Human Resources Management found that more than 1 in 3 U.S. employers offer paid maternity leave beyond what is required by law.

This trend is only projected to go upwards. And since parental leave benefits have been proven to increase employee morale, retention, and talent acquisition, it’s only a matter of time before they become a mainstay at most companies.

The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for certain family medical or personal needs such as the birth of a child or caring for a sick family member. However, there is no federal statute requiring employers requiring that leave time is paid, but a few states, including Hawaii, California, New Jersey, Rhode Island and New York, have passed laws requiring employers to provide disability insurance, with some also requiring paid family leave.

So what does that mean for insurance agents? Both statutory disability (also called Disability Benefits Law or DBL) insurance and paid family leave have a good chance of expanding, creating a need for clients to secure DBL coverage that complies with paid family leave (PFL) policies as more states mandate the coverage.

What is DBL?

While workers’ compensation protects workers’ injured on a job, disability insurance can provide financial support to workers that need to take time off for temporary, non-work related injury or illness. State disability insurance is a short-term disability coverage that is mandated by the above states.
From an employer’s standpoint, state disability insurance helps retain employees in the long term. It also helps ensure employees recover well, allowing employers to make more informed decisions about team structures and productivity.

What is PFL?

PFL or paid family leave is designed to help support employees in their states during major life events that might otherwise create a financial hardship. Rather than covering illness or injury, eligible employees in these states have guaranteed paid leave for certain life circumstances including:
  • The addition of a new child into the family home
  • The care of a family member with a serious health condition
  • A family member being deployed abroad on active military service

AmTrust North America is in your corner for paid family leave

AmTrust North America is a leading statutory disability insurance provider, covering more than 45,000 employers in New York and New Jersey alone. With our competitive rates and broad state disability insurance coverage, agents can support small businesses and work towards making paid parental leave a reality at employers both big and small.

Check out our additional resources on DBL and PFL:

 For more details about AMT Warranty Corp feel free to visit: http://blog.amtrustgroup.com/policywire/more-employers-are-offering-paid-parental-leave-benefits

Sunday, 21 January 2018

Our Financial Strength Is Your Peace Of Mind

An extended service plan is a smart move. It confirms that you do indeed have a specific idea of how your products will be used and a reliable backup plan should anything go wrong. But in addition to giving time and thought to the type of coverage you’re interested in, it makes just as much sense to consider the company who will be backing your contract.  

With more than 30 years of leadership in service contract administration, Warrantech is comprised of industry veterans who average more than 23 years of experience in program evaluation and design. This wellspring of knowledge provides us with vast insight and enables our team to uncover hidden growth opportunities and structure programs that offer a high-value proposition for our partners and their customers. 

Warrantech is also a subsidiary of AmTrust Financial Services, Inc., one of the strongest, most financially secure insurance companies in the industry. With an unwavering focus on your success, we go out of our way to deliver unparalleled service excellence in all that we do. 

• A.M. Best rating of “A” (Excellent)

• Named to the 2017 Fortune 500 list

• Ranked 63rd on Fortune Magazine’s Fastest Growing Companies 

• Named “2014 Best-Managed Company (Insurance)” by Forbes magazine

• Recognized as the most “warranty-centric” company in the industry by Warranty Week

• Ranked 6th nationwide in National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) March 
2014 workers’ comp market share report

• A+ rated and accredited by the Better Business Bureau

• Publicly traded (NASDAQ: AFSI)

• More than $23.9 billion in assets

• Multinational operations with offices worldwide

Having this financial strength allows us to bundle both underwriting and administration. And, as a result, it creates complete transparency and visibility to information that enables our customers to change and create plans that are both highly customized and profitable.

So whether you’re a customer, retailer, dealer, distributor, or manufacturer in the consumer or automotive market, Warrantech has a knowledgeable team that can provide a customized solution that will work specifically for you. And, just as important, offer you the financial stability to back it up so you can rest assured that you’re getting the best plan possible.

Friday, 22 September 2017

AmTrust Financial Services, Inc. Strengthens Senior Management Team with Appointment of Ariel Gorelik as SVP and Chief Information Officer

AmTrust Financial Services, Inc. Strengthens Senior Management Team with Appointment of Ariel Gorelik as SVP and Chief Information Officer

AmTrust veteran Christopher Longo continues as Chief Operating Officer

NEW YORK, Aug. 16, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- AmTrust Financial Services, Inc. (Nasdaq:AFSI) (the "Company" or "AmTrust") today announced that Ariel Gorelik, an experienced  global insurance industry executive and most recently Chief Operating Officer of AmTrust's AMT Warranty division, has been appointed Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer (CIO), reporting to Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Barry Zyskind. Mr. Gorelik succeeds Christopher Longo who continues as EVP and Chief Operating Officer, appointed in 2016, who has guided technology development at AmTrust as the Company's CIO since 2006.

Mr. Gorelik will lead AmTrust's global IT organization, with a focus on operational excellence across the IT function. He is responsible for ensuring that AmTrust will continue to lead through technology innovation and capitalizing on technology solutions to help enable AmTrust fulfill its business goals. Mr. Gorelik's extensive operational leadership experience in the insurance sector includes expertise in centralization of operations and transformation of service delivery to improve customer satisfaction.

Mr. Gorelik joined AmTrust in 2014 as Senior Vice President AmTrust North America operations, and in January 2016 was promoted to Chief Operating Officer of AMT Warranty, one of the Company's operating subsidiaries in the U.S. Prior to joining AmTrust, from 2013 to 2014, Mr. Gorelik was a managing consultant of the ICON division for Zurich North America, a property and casualty insurer. From 2010 to 2013, he served as deputy chief operating officer at SK Allianz/Allianz Group, a German property and casualty insurer. He was responsible for the procurement, real estate management, and transportation departments, as well as for areas of IT relating to Allianz's core insurance system. He also led the organization's full automation of the policy life cycle. Prior to his role as deputy COO, Mr. Gorelik served as head of Allianz Eurasia's business services, where he established a shared service center with a number of back and middle office functions, including claims handling, P&C policy administration, payments, and call center.

"AmTrust has always led with technology and innovation, which have been a competitive differentiator for us," said Barry Zyskind, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "Under Ariel Gorelik's leadership as Chief Information Officer, we will continue to harness the power of our technology platforms and digital capabilities. Similarly, we now can maximize Chris Longo's management focus as AmTrust's Chief Operating Officer to enable us to undertake the initiatives and processes to optimize results across our business units and product and service offerings."

Mr. Zyskind continued, "With more than 400 knowledge developers within our IT staff of 1,000 men and women supported by in-house underwriting, actuarial and claims processing experience, innovation is in our DNA. Chris has been instrumental in developing our technology platforms and building our IT organization into the powerhouse it is today. He led the development of a single proprietary platform that allows us to continually improve the experience of our agents and our customers. It also allows us to develop new products and integrate emerging technologies quickly. With our IT function well established, Ariel, as Chief Information Officer, can move us further forward, utilizing his abilities to increase efficiencies across broad organizations and platforms, while enhancing the experience of our brokers, agents, and policyholders."

For more information, please contact:

AmTrust Financial Services, Inc.
Chaya Cooperberg
Chief Communications Officer & SVP Corporate Affairs