Monday, April 11, 2016

Sharing Risk..30 Years Later

I want to begin this entry with a quote from a white paper on the status of liability insurance in the nonprofit sector.

" was discovered that there is little that individual nonprofit organizations can do to moderate the impacts of insurance industry cycles. The best solutions for dealing with the crisis are those which involve the collective efforts of many nonprofit organization, and it is those types of solutions towards which much of this paper is devoted. Risk sharing is given special emphasis because of its relatively strong potential for providing both short-term and long-term assistance to the nonprofit sector..."

Taken from Nonprofit Organizations and Liability Insurance: Problems, Options, And Prospects written by Pamela Davis, the report developed into a career manifesto for Ms. Davis. There are three things I really love about this excerpt:

1. It was published in California in 1987. Almost 30 years later and the same trends exist in our industry with respect to nonprofits.

2. It lead to this:

3. I think they are doing well financially:

I actually have had the pleasure of speaking with the Founder of the NIAC, Pamela Davis a few years back. NIAC had received some attention north of the border. She couldn't remember precisely, but believed it to the from the Co-Operators.

She explained to me that they were initially funded with $1,300,000 in capital with 400 nonprofits participating in 1989. As of year end 2014, they have over $83.6 million in revenues. Wow!

I'll end this entry with one final quote from Pam's report.

"Shopping around for a new broker every year may put an organization at a disadvantage....[H]aving a broker that is familiar with an organization's risk history and extent of exposure may reduce the likelihood that (the) organization will be the one to get dropped."
See you next week.

The Need For D&O Insurance

I thought i'd share this article on the types of things that can go wrong when people in the Non-Profit world have disagreements over how the NPO should be run.

While the events that have unfolded are unfortunate it highlights the need to protect board members from suits claiming negligence while acting on behalf of the organization.

It also shines a light on the need for a more complex insurance structure including Commercial General Liability. As claims for defamation could be interpreted to be excluded from a D&O policy, a GL would respond to certain allegations.

TheStar Prank calls, lawsuits and mystery pizzas: Mississauga Humane Society in chaos

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

On Board Recruitment

I recently met with a large client in advance of their renewal to discuss, among other things, the challenges they are facing in their day-to-day business. What keeps them up at night? What are their pains? And most importantly, how can we the broker help them out? As it turns out, they are having the same issues facing many other non-profits these days - board recruitment and retention.

In the business world, attracting and maintaining good talent remains a core principle of any business. Fact: Generally if you hire good people, retain those people, and treat them right, your business is bound to succeed. So why is it becoming harder and harder to attract and retain good board members?

Is the talent pool thinning out? Is there a societal shift away from the importance of philanthropic participation? Is fatigue setting in? Are we just lazy? Maybe its a combination of all four?

According to a 2013 Stats Can report, not only is the volunteer rate diminishing (47% in 2010 compared to 44% in 2013) but the average annual volunteer hours shrank by 2 from from 156 to 154 in the same time period.1 Furthermore, I would like to turn your attention to the table below which breaks down participation by age gender.

Table 2
Volunteer rate, by sex and age Table summary
This table displays the results of Table 2 Volunteer rate Volunteer rate, 2013, 2010, 2007 and 2004, calculated using percentage units of measure (appearing as column headers).
 Volunteer rate
Total4447Note 46Note 45Note 
Men (ref.)4246Note 45Note 44
Women45Note *48Note 47Note 47Note *Note 
15 to 1966Note *66Note *65Note *65Note *
20 to 244248Note *47Note *43Note *
25 to 3442Note *46Note *40Note *42Note *
35 to 44 (ref.)4854Note 52Note 51
45 to 544545Note *48Note *47Note *
55 to 6441Note *41Note *40Note *42Note *
65 to 7438Note *40Note *40Note *39Note *
75 and over27Note *31Note *29Note *23Note *Note 

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

On Being Genuine

Three years have passed since my last post! Three years!

Maybe I got busy at work, maybe I became a little complacent.

Nonetheless I wanted to provide everyone with some updated information on my new whereabouts and how it pertains to my work with non-profits. I continue to do some consulting work with David Hartley through his work at, however I recently (well 5 months ago) started my second career working in my hometown. Wow! What a difference. I'm now the Marketing Manager at W.B. White Insurance in Oshawa, Ontario. Shameless plug almost over. I can be reached at 1-905-576-0086.

Do you live and work in the same community? Do you commute to work everyday? I was in the latter group for over 10 years. Each morning I would get in my car and make the hour plus long pilgrimage to work. I would work a full day and then get back in my car and drive the hour plus PLUS getting home. I came to the realization that I wanted - no I needed to live and work in the same community.

So how does this relate to insurance? What is the correlation between living and working in the same community and non-profits? The connection, is to be Genuine.

Genuine is really a strange word to begin with. Say it. Genuine. Most people want to associate it with ingenuity. Not the same. Ingenuity and Insurance are polar opposites. We're talking about the ability to come off as being Genuine. I think of The Genuine Article. In our industry were all trying to make a name for ourselves. We all strive to be better brokers, get bigger clients and have a greater impact in our community. But what if you don't work and live in the same community?

In five months I've gone from working with a large multi-national broker to a small local broker. Wow, what a refreshing change. All of the insecurities and apprehension of making this change was eliminated in the first couple weeks when I saw just how genuine the broker-client relationship was at the local level. I've been brokering for almost 10 years, and wow was I impressed. When you are simply "managing" a bunch of clients your genuinness (is that a word?) is suppressed by your day to day workflows. Yuck.

For the non-profit, being genuine is at the core of their insurance buying decision. Non-profits want to associate with individuals and companies who are like-minded. I've consulted with many non-profits who made their buying decision on my actions and attributes well before any market, coverage or terms were presented to them.

The moral of the blog. Be Genuine. Don't be afraid to buy with your heart. Get to know your broker and your broker you will easily see whether he or she is genuine, or simply using you or your NPO as a means to and end.