President, Meridian Finance Group
Santa Monica, Calif.
While export credit insurance has existed for decades, traditionally it was accessible only by large corporations with high-volume exports to top-tier buyers in other countries.
But coming from a small-business background, Gary Mendell recognized the growing global demand for credit, the risks being undertaken by small exporters to meet that demand and the opportunity for export insurance to provide solutions.
The strategy of Mendell and his team has been to educate small-business exporters about export credit risk insurance and to make coverage available to small businesses from more underwriters, both government agencies and insurance companies in the private sector.
This demand has been growing because cash in advance and letters of credit are no longer competitive payment terms in the international marketplace. Exporters need to grow their global sales. But what happens if they don't get paid? Exporters can protect their foreign receivables against virtually all nonpayment risks with an export credit insurance policy.
The Export-Import Bank of the U.S. is a small federal agency, but it clearly recognizes the need for this type of insurance. Today, Meridian brokers more Ex-Im Bank policies than any other insurance broker in the country, mostly for insureds that are small business exporters.
"The larger challenge I've faced is among the private-sector insurance companies, whose high minimum premiums for export credit insurance effectively precluded small business exporters," said Mendell.
But he is making headway.
"Leveraging my company's reputation as a highly effective broker, I've convinced some underwriters to try pilot programs taking on a portfolio of smaller policies," added Mendell. "My company has demonstrated to these insureds that a larger quantity of smaller policies, properly brokered, does not engender any more risk of claims or administrative burdens than a smaller number of big-ticket policies. In fact, from such a portfolio the insurers actually gain a broader spread of risk, which is always more desirable."
Kevin M. Fleming
President, Paradigm Management Services
Every carrier has a segment of medically volatile claims that consume a disproportionate amount of resources.
Now, Kevin Fleming, president of Paradigm Management Services, has developed a business model to change that.
Paradigm has introduced to the workers' compensation market innovative medical management with a guaranteed reserve reduction.
After a highly analytic, multistep review of each medically volatile, large-loss case, Fleming and his team are able to determine individual savings based on the medical and financial characteristics of the entire claims portfolio.
Paradigm then provides comprehensive medical, social, psychological and vocational course corrections to stabilize and improve each injured worker's condition.
The result: A recent independent analysis by Millman Inc. showed that Paradigm reduced lifetime medical costs and reserves by 29 percent for large-loss claims during a multiyear period, including 50 percent improvement in physician costs, 28 percent improvement in attendant care costs and 22 percent improvement in pharmacy costs.
Vice President, Risk Control, Strategic Outcomes Practice, Willis of North America
Grand Rapids, Mich.
Color coding is the key to a novel program put together by John McConnell and his team to reduce the frequency of occupational injuries.
Principal features of the best practice model include the establishment of operational accountability for loss prevention activities and the implementation of risk reduction practices to establish a proactive safety culture.
McConnell has developed an injury prevention module (Willis Blue for Injury Prevention) that emphasizes that proactive injury prevention activities are consistent with all other business metrics. As a result, responsibility for injury prevention rests with production supervisors and management and not just with safety personnel.
The best-practice approach for injury prevention was formatted into the Willis Blue framework to allow client companies to track their progress visually using a color-coding framework to summarize results.
This framework utilizes a color key for best criteria. Blue represents best practice, green represents minor nonconformancies, yellow represents a major nonconformancy and red represents a missing best-practice element.
As such, the results of a best-practice assessment can be visually displayed in a color bar for easy visual reference and the effectiveness measured by the reduction in recordable injury rates.
The three clients that utilize the Willis Blue injury prevention module have witnessed a reduction in recordable injury frequency rates exceeding 60 percent on average.
One large location in South Carolina has reduced annual worker's compensation from $5 million annually to $2.5 million in 24 months. Another location in Nebraska was able to reduce the number of recordable injuries by 75 percent in 12 months.
Corporate Wellness and Disability Program Manager, Chrysler Group LLC
Auburn Hills, Mich.
A 2009 effort by Chrysler Group to examine all of its programs for cost-efficiency drove Neil Levins to develop several measures designed to deliver wellness and disability services more efficiently and effectively.
Levins managed to:
-- Develop a "one-stop shop" protocol that ensures injured workers receive appropriate and timely treatment, physicians set clear expectations for employees' return to work, and employees are monitored throughout treatment and rehabilitation for safe and timely progress.
-- Create "rules of the road" for lawyers handling Chrysler's litigated workers comp cases. Those rules mandate cost estimates for all new cases; timely attorney responses to submitted information, including the attorney's recommendation for the company's position; timeframes for summaries of hearings; flat-fee rates for specific attorney duties and types of cases; and limited duration for settlement authority.
-- Connect Chrysler's wellness providers and employees who have the most to gain from the program. Levin asked workers comp and disability third-party administrator Sedgwick CMS to identify and refer employees for wellness support early in their claims process, based on specific trigger conditions. Qualifying claimants first are briefed on Chrysler's wellness programs and then asked to authorize contact from a wellness services representative, who then recommends plans for improving claimants' health.
Founder, ClearRisk Inc.
St. John's, Canada
While serving as the risk manager for the city of St. John's in Newfoundland, Canada, in the mid-2000s, Craig Rowe grew more and more frustrated that most existing risk management software solutions were built for large organizations and way outside the city's budget.
So what did Rowe do? Why, he raised money and began research and development to start his own risk management technology company, ClearRisk.
ClearRisk, launched in 2006, offers a Web-based platform that automates the risk management process for small and midsize organizations. It features three main components: ClearRisk Manager (building and managing risk management tech platform); ClearRisk Tracker (claims); and ClearRisk Trainer (five-module training program on risk issues).
ClearRisk really got into the market in September 2009, when, after three and a half years of programming and R&D effort, the company launched ClearRisk 1.0. ClearRisk Manager, the company's web-based interface, walks users through the risk management process of creating risk management plans, risk registers and risk maps--while also affording customizable solutions.
For ClearRisk 2.0, launched this summer, Rowe added functionality to allow insurance brokers to interact with clients in new, more modern, tech-focused ways, including ways to store, track and share all relevant risk and insurance information, such as insurance policies, claims documents and insurance certificates.
September 15, 2010
Copyright 2010© LRP Publications