SOCIUS: Cyber Program

Socius_Cyber Program Marketing 1 Pager (2015)INSTANT Quoting and Binding Process for business with up to $50M in revenue

Coverage Includes:
Privacy and Security Breach Liability – Covers the Insured’s liability in the event of theft, loss or unauthorized disclosure of condential information, including lawsuits,
settlements and privacy regulatory penalties.

Data Breach Response Services – Services to help the Insured deal with a breach when
it happens, including:

  • Notication Costs
  • Investigation and Forensics
  • Credit monitoring for impacted individuals,
  • Call Center services
  • Other costs to mitigate damages

Cyber Extortion – Responds to threats to perpetrate harm against an organization
through the theft, disclosure or sale of condential information if money is not paid.

Highlights:

  • Easy application process for target classes
  • No messy sublimits – Full limit for all available coverage
  • First party and third party coverage
  • Regulatory coverage
  • Voluntary notication in states where no state notication laws exist or
    where voluntary notication will limit harm to the Insured
  • Lloyd’s of London Syndicate coverage rated A (Excellent) XV by AM Best

Chance of Mega-Quake Hitting California Increases

Chuetsu_earthquake-earthquake_liquefaction1Scientists and engineers that specialize in catastrophe modeling are often under tremendous scrutiny based on the accuracy or lack thereof of the predictions they make. These predictions should be observed, but taken with caution due to their obscurity. This article reported by the Associated Press and Advisen, comments particularly on the prediction of a mega quake in the California area in the next 30 years. The Northridge Quake of 1994 serves as the unofficial measuring scale of Californians.

The geophysicists mentioned in the article estimate that an event similar to Northridge with a magnitude of 6.7 has a 99% chance of occurring in the next 30 years. There are some newly discovered fault zones that have led to the increased frequency and severity of this type of occurrence. Although quakes cannot accurately be predicted, the findings of the article serve as a forecast of future events.

Contact Socius Insurance Services, Inc. for more information.

Socius Insurance Services, Inc. is a property/casualty and management liability wholesale broker based in San Francisco, with regional offices in Los Angeles, CA; Elgin, IL; Birmingham, AL; and Tampa and Miami, FL. Socius specializes in D&O, E&O, EPL, property & casualty and umbrella coverages. Founded in 1997, the company currently has approximately 50 employees, and is privately held.

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The Hardening Management Liability Market for Non-Profit and Privately-Held Companies – How Hard is it?

Liability-Insurance-For-Independent-ContractorGradually, over the last 4+ years, several management liability insurance (“MLI”) carriers have shifted their underwriting appetite/guidelines for their non-profit and privately-held insureds nationally; most dramatically in California. These changes have included some combination of one or more of the following:

  • Increased rates
  • Increased retentions
  • Reductions in coverage
  • Reductions in total limits offered
  • Reductions or removal of wage and hour defense cost sub-limits
  • Non-renewal of insureds based upon industry, asset size, financial condition and/or loss experience.

This is quite a change, as for the previous 10+ years there has been a surplus of capacity and MLI carrier were eager to write these accounts at very attractive rates and terms. While there are still numerous MLI carriers with significant capacity, including some new entrants, the marketplace appears to be reaching a point where this capacity will no longer be utilized to offer the terms and pricing that we had been accustomed to seeing. All of this begs the question, “Why is this happening?” Based on our conversations with MLI carriers in this niche, here are a few of the reasons:

  • Poor economic conditions 5-7 years ago leading to a significant spike in the frequency of EPL and D&O related claims
  • Dramatically rising EPL claims expenses (even if a claim is without merit – remember these policies cover defense costs)
  • Significant and continual increase in the filing of Wage and Hour claims (wage and hour suits are up 4.7% in the last year and 437% in the last decade)
  • Uptick in D&O claims involving bankruptcy related allegations, breach of contract, intellectual property, federal agency investigations/judgments, family claims and restraint of trade
  • Duty to defend nature of the policies forcing carriers to provide a wide expanse of defense coverage for what might be arguably uncovered claims and/or insureds.

What can our current (and new) non-profit and privately-held management liability insureds expect as a result of the changes in the marketplace?

Our recommendation is to set expectations as follows:

Increases in retentions and premiums.

  • Smaller clients will need to absorb bigger increases (percentage wise) in premium and retention (as well as possible reductions in coverages), although in many situations, their incumbent carrier will still be the best option if the increases are not outrageous.
  • A reasonable degree of competition/capacity will still be available for the larger management liability client. This may help mitigate increases in premium and retention.
  • Increases will be felt by insureds located in major cities (carriers generally still like risks in smaller cities and outside of states such as CA, FL, IL NY & NJ)
  • Coverage for the defense of wage and hour claims will be more difficult to obtain, and when available, likely more expensive to purchase and with possibly lower limits and/or higher retentions.
  • Non-renewals by some carriers, based primarily upon class of business and /or location. Some of these classes of business include:
    o Real estate
    o Healthcare
    o Restaurant/retail
    o Social Media
    o Pharmaceuticals
    o Tech Co./Start-ups
  • Carriers are asking for much more underwriting information than they have previously, especially if the insured has challenging financials, the insured is seeking additional funding, or has a challenging loss history.

Since 2010, Socius has been advising our clients that the MLI market appeared to be trending toward a hardening, following on the heels of numerous years of softness. As we get deeper into 2015, we continue to believe that this is the case. The gradual transition which we initially described has in fact taken firm hold, and has gained real traction. We hesitate to pronounce the market as officially “hard” only because we hear rumblings which suggest that – as we head into 2015 market conditions could very well deteriorate further making what we consider hard today even “harder”. For the moment, the watchword to agents and brokers is: “Manage expectations! Difficult news is coming, so let clients know early – and often.”

As always, please don’t hesitate to contact your local Socius representative for further details related to appetite changes of any specific management liability markets.

Paul Lefcourt
Management Liability Practice Leader
Socius Insurance Services, Inc.
301 Howard Street, Suite 1030
San Francisco, CA 94105
415.796.0609 direct
plefcourt@sociusinsurance.com

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