Apogee Insurance Group

Expertise and Dedication to Professional and Management Liability

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Friday, October 31, 2014

Insurance Doesn't Have to be Scary


Here at Apogee Insurance Group, we take insurance very seriously, but we definitely know how to have a good time too. Today we celebrated Halloween with a company wide costume contest. Continue reading to see some of our costumes and learn how Apogee can help you!

We are here to assist you in covering your professional liability risks. You could say our account managers are “Top Guns.” And for them, the sky is the limit.


 Any business has a risk of a claim, whether it is negligence or faulty equipment and much more. But with the right insurance, your business can be given a chance to grow and TRANSFORM!

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Whether it is Allied Healthcare, Architects and Engineers, Environmental Liability, or almost anything else, we have you covered! Even if your company has a risk of a data breach, don’t be unprepared. Those sneaky hackers have ways of getting around anything so it pays to be protected



If a claim occurs, you will need more than a formal apology. You will need to pay for your defense and to fix the problem. A claim could occur at any time, in any place no matter what you do to prevent it. So don’t let that risk rain on your day, cover it with Apogee Insurance Group!


You’ll be a big fan of our excellent service and expertise!


Monday, September 22, 2014

Apogee Insurance: Dedicated to Continuing Education

Dedicated to Continuing Education - Header

For many, September signifies back to school season. From grade-school children to college students, many are getting back to the classrooms, hitting the books, and resuming the task of expanding their knowledge. Here at Apogee Insurance Group, there is no summer break from learning. We are dedicated to continually expanding our knowledge and expertise in the insurance industry to better serve our customers.

Every member of the Apogee team is constantly studying and working towards new designations and licenses. In the past month, we have had two Apogee team members achieve the RPLU designation, numerous P&C licenses, and a Senior Account Manager who traveled to London, England for a very exclusive educational experience.

The RPLU, or Registered Professional Liability Underwriter designation, is the only professional designation exclusively for those in the professional liability industry. To achieve this designation, candidates must complete a rigorous self-study course which includes reading 13 curriculum modules published by the Professional Liability Underwriting Society (PLUS) and passing an exam for each. In the last month, Brian Creech (Apogee's Vice President of Sales) and Chris Bradley (one of our Senior Account Managers) both achieved this difficult and time consuming designation.

In addition to the two RPLU designations, numerous members of the Apogee team have passed the Pennsylvania Property and Casualty Insurance Agent's License exam. Recently, Alicia Maa (a Customer Service Rep) and many of Apogee's college interns passed the exam and earned their P&C licenses. Like most continuing education, this exam is a commitment that takes a lot of time and dedication outside the normal 8-5 work day.

Finally, Management and Employment Practices Liability product expert, Chris Hoxie, was invited to the prestigious Andrew Beazley Broker Academy in London, England. The Academy nominates and accepts specialty brokers from around the globe to participate in a week long accelerated training program in the Lloyd's of London Marketplace. To read more about Chris' trip overseas, click here.

At Apogee, we strive to set ourselves apart from other insurance wholesalers with our product expertise, service, and focus on our customer. We pride ourselves with dedication to continuing education in the insurance industry and using this knowledge to provide you the very best in placing your professional and management liability. Send us a professional or management liability submission today to feel the Apogee difference.

Send submissions to submissions@apogeeinsgroup.com. And for more information on our products, please visit our product pages Here.




Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Increasing Threat of a Data Breach

            We all remember what happened to Target last year when hackers broke into their computer systems and stole valuable information from millions of customers. This information included credit and debit card information as well as names, mailing information and passwords. The company has lost hundreds of millions of dollars, with a $148 million loss in the last quarter alone. Target has, and continues, to take steps to help those affected and to eliminate the risk of this occurring in the future. Sadly, this is but one breach in an ongoing and worsening trend.
            Recently Hold Security, a security firm in Milwaukee uncovered a data breach that puts the Target hackers to shame. A group of Russian hackers have collected 1.2 billion user names and password combinations from 420,000 different websites (Perloth). This ongoing problem with security breaches stems from the widespread use of a system of usernames and passwords by companies and websites that store customer information. Most people will use the same, or a slight variation of a name and password combination of every website that they use. This makes it very easy for hackers to steal information. Once they get a name and a password, they can find your information on many different websites.  Any company with a customer database could be affected by a data breach. Even restaurants are vulnerable. Recently the restaurant chain P.F. Chang’s had consumer information stolen in 33 separate locations all across the country.
            Any business with a customer database is susceptible to a breach. Even with the best firewalls and protection software, these things can still occur. As breaches continue to get worse (the average cost of a data breach has increased 15%, from $3.1 to $3.5 million in the last year (Perloth)), businesses are searching for new ways to protect and cope with them and unfortunately, the losses they create. There are a few ways to protect yourself from a data breach, but even the best guards can fail. Sometimes, despite the best efforts, the only way to manage a data breach is to insure against it. This is why Cyber Liability Insurance is a great choice and there is no better place to start than filling out our online application at http://www.apogeeinsgroup.com/quote.html today.
 








 Perlroth, Nicole, and David Gelles. "Russian Gang Amasses Over a Billion Internet Passwords." The New York Times. The New York Times, 05 Aug. 2014. Web. 06 Aug. 2014.

Friday, May 2, 2014

The Coverage Many Pharmacies Don't Know they Need: Allied Health and Data Breach

300,000 pharmacists employed in the USA face immense amounts of risk everyday. While handling and giving advice regarding medications, pharmacists hold the vitality of their customers lives in their hands. Given the state of today’s litigious society and the long, difficult hours many pharmacists work, mistakes are occasionally going to happen and lawsuits are bound to occur.

It is imperative that pharmacists get the best coverage available to them.  However, coverage options and insurance language is often confusing and sometimes misleading, resulting in many pharmacies receiving less than ideal coverage. Pharmacists must educate themselves on the range of coverage they really need.

Learn More 
Apply Now
Send all applications to:
submissions@apogeeinsgroup.com

Professional Allied Health Coverage for Pharmacies

Professional liability is vital in protecting against malpractice or negligence lawsuits. One small mistake can quickly escalate into a claim resulting in loss of professional credibility and personal assets.

Claim Example
In October of last year, a family of a young girl filed a $750,000 lawsuit against a local pharmacy alleging that the pharmacist professionals negligently labeled a prescription with incorrect directions resulting in the child consuming a dosage five times larger than what was prescribed. The prescription was called into the pharmacy in 2008. When the child was given the dose as instructed on the bottle, she suffered a serious seizure, required immediate hospitalization and faced years of resultant suffering. Although the pharmacy insists they filled the prescription as it was phoned it, fingers have been pointed. The local pharmacy now faces the possibility of more than a million dollars in defense and damages.

Data Breach Coverage for Pharmacies

The average cost for resolving a single case of medical identity theft averages $20,600. And that’s just for one person. In 2010, nearly 1.5 million Americans and a equally staggering number of pharmacies fell victim to medical identify theft. The right data breach coverage plan can not only protect pharmacies against these exposures but also help to prevent crippling data infringements.

Claim Example
A pharmacist was recently sentenced to 25 months in prison for patient identity theft when she exposed private prescription data of one patients to her husband. Additionally, the patient awarded $1.44 million in damages. The pharmacy and pharmacist faced immense financial and emotional costs as a result of a momentary lapse in judgment.

Apogee Advantage

At Apogee, with our industry expertise and service promises, we commit ourselves to taking advantage of these market conditions and bringing you the most competitive coverage for your pharmacy needs. We will work closely with you to ensure full, personalized coverage and a painless application process. With in-house coverage specialists and market access to over 50 "A" rated or better markets, Apogee is your solution for professional and data breach pharmacy entity coverage.

We can also entertain compounding pharmacies.

To learn more please visit our website:

APPLY NOW and receive a quick, personalized quote
Send all applications to submissions@apogeeinsgroup.com

Contact Information

Charlie Strum
Account Manager
(610) 337 3200
Ext. 7036

Community Association Directors and Officers Infographic

Today's spotlight in on Community Association D&O.

At Apogee, we can provide directors and officers of community associations with the coverage they need to protect their personal assets from the risk associated with their highly public positions, including access to unique features such as Lifetime Occurrence Reporting Provisions. We can also quote EPLI with D&O and crime coverage for community associations.



Contact Information
Chris Hoxie
(610-337-3200)
 Ext 7027




Send all applications to submissions@apogeeinsgroup.com

See the Infographic Below to Learn More! 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Understanding Fair Labor Coverage

The Fair Labor Standards Act, often referred to as FLSA or the Wage and Hours Bill, has been the backbone of ethical employment in the United States for decades. First introduced in 1938, FLSA has traveled a long road of amendments and scrutiny in becoming what it is today.  Generally, employers who produce $500,000 or more in gross sales are subject to FLSA requirements on minimum wage, hours, overtime and working with children. If you fall below this revenue line and are a hospital, school or public agency, you are likely still subject to these regulations. An issue consistently under debate, the FLSA is still changing with proposed amendment in April 2014 that would bring the federal minimum wage for employees to $10.10.

FLSA Coverage at Apogee
Application
Submit Applications Here
Employers have been blurring the lines of FLSA for years. Even those with good intentions can fall into FLSA related issues. While large corporations are highly publicized for FLSA lawsuits, it is smaller companies that are hit harder when claims occur. As not all EPL insurance covers FLSA related claims, many small companies are unprotected and don’t even know it! In fact, the U.S. Department of Labor estimates that as many as 70 percent of employers are not in compliance with the FLSA in some material way.

Most Common FLSA Offenses for Small Businesses

  1. Not paying overtime for time worked over 40 hours in a week
    1. Four Janitors that were not paid for overtime worked won $103,736 for overtime pay and liquidated damages
  2. Misclassifying managers and assistant managers as exempt
    1. Retail Clothing Store Manager was misclassified as exempt as he spent more than half of his time engaged in non-exempt,non-managerial activities. Plaintiff awarded $38,000 in back overtime pay and $62,000 in attorney’s fees
  3. Paying Lump Sum amounts for overtime hours worked vs. paying 1.5 times the normal hourly rate
    1. Small Concrete Company paid a $12,900 settlement and $20,000 in attorney fees for paying non-exempt workers a lump sum amount for overtime rather than time and a half for hours worked over 40
Two additional common FLSA offenses for small businesses include not paying for overtime since it had not been pre-approved and allowing employees to “waive” their rights under the FLSA

  

More FLSA Claims Examples

Between January 2006 and September 2013 FLSA cases totaled $2.95 billion in settlement dollars.

Misunderstanding of Regulations

A mortgage company was sued by 54 of its loan officers for over $220,000 in unpaid overtime. The owner was under the impression that FLSA did not apply to highly compensated employees. Many of his staff members earned well over 150k per year with the average compensation being $105,000. There is an exception to the FLSA law for highly compensated individuals earning at $100,000 per year or more but the exception also stipulates that a minimum of $455 per week must be paid. These employees were not paid during weeks where they did not close loans.

Exempt Employee Confusion

A laser machining plant was sued for unpaid overtime after firing an employee for what the company described as tardiness and an uncooperative attitude. The administrative assistant was listed as exempt although many of her job responsibilities are considered to be traits of a non-exempt classification. Her lawyer argued that she could not have been an exempt employee since she was docked pay for every hour that she did not work that was less than 38 in a week. The lawsuit settled for $73,000 in liquidated damages for intentional misclassification.

Underage Employees

A grocery store was directed to pay over $52,000 in restitution to thirteen employees all under the age of sixteen for willful violations of the Fair Labor Standards Acts (FLSA) youth employment provisions. The market had minors working six consecutive hour shifts as well as performing such tasks as cleaning a meat slicer, loading a paper baler and operating the power driven baking machine. The FLSA’s youth employment provisions identify hazardous orders that prohibit these specific activities for workers under eighteen and limits the number of hours that minors can work on school days/weeks.


FLSA Coverage at Apogee

At Apogee we can work with you to insure that your small business is insured under federal labor regulations. Access to top markets and years of expertise allow us to provide high quality, competitive quotes when you need them.

Learn more about FLSA and EPL coverage at Apogee here
Submit completed applications here

Application Requirements

  • Application
  • Loss runs, if applicable
  • Copy of current declarations page

Contact Information

Chris Hoxie
Senior Account Manager
(610) 337-3200 Ext. 7027
choxie@apogeeinsgroup.com

Commercial Pollution Coverage: Could your Local Dry Cleaner be in Trouble?


Commercial Pollution Coverage for dry-cleaners is one of the largest untapped markets for insurance agencies across the country. A business that is universal to all communities, thousands of dry cleaners operate daily without Commercial Pollution Coverage and are thus leaving themselves exposed to huge risks. Are your local dry cleaners covered? Would they be able to afford a multi-million dollar claim from a simple environmental mistake? To understand what an environmental liability claim can mean for a dry cleaner, take a look at some examples below.

Environmental Pollution Insurance at Apogee
Environmental Liability Application
Submit Applications Here



Claims Examples

Contaminating Operations

Three local dry cleaners found themselves in quite a mess when groundwater samples in the area brought contaminated water to nearly 30,000 people. Following an investigation, operations at these dry cleaners were found to contribute to the groundwater contamination with floor drains that flowed into inadequate private sewage systems and storage tanks that leaked solvents. The launders faced immense clean up costs, which included site excavation, and claims of property damage and bodily injury. Inadequate systems brought claims total to $40 million for these three dry cleaners.

Inadequate Septic System

Following reports of foaming water in homes, apartments, schools and community centers, a county health department conducted an investigation on a local dry cleaner’s septic and sewage system. The system was ultimately found to be the source of volatile organic compound contamination in the groundwater. The laundry facility was required to install entirely new systems and dispose of all spent cleaning fluids off site. The entire community was affected with all residences advised to use bottled water. Penalties, claims and legal fees totaled a staggering $100 million for the local dry cleaner.

Release of Solvents

A decision made by a dry cleaning service prior to 1975 to discharge dry cleaning solvents and laundry wastes into a seepage lagoon came back to bite them ten years later when citizens began complaining about water quality. The dry cleaning owner ended up negotiating a settlement with the state in which he was required to construct a deeper well and face penalties. The total cost claims and cleanup totaled $4.5 million.

Capitalizing on the Dry Cleaning Market

At Apogee, we are happy to help you provide the tools and information necessary to sell coverage to your local dry cleaner and other businesses exposed to environmental liability. With specialized experience and access to the highest rated markets, we can help you to capitalize on these opportunities with expertise and fast, competitive quotes.

Additional Environmental Liability Opportunities

Looking for more ways to profit from the green movement? In addition to commercial pollution liability, Apogee can provide coverage for site pollution, tanks and commercial pollution liability to include transit coverage.

Apogee Coverage

Learn more about Environmental Pollution Liability Insurance at Apogee here 


Submit Completed Applications Here

Submission Requirements: 
Application
Loss runs, if applicable
Resumes of key personnel
Sample customer contract
Copy of current dec page
3 years of financials

Contact Information

Chris Bradley
Senior Account Manager
(610) 337-3200 Ext. 7021
cbradley@apogeeinsgroup.com