Lessons from the Pandemic: On the Road to the Next New Normal

Risk programs have been forced to adapt rapidly during the pandemic. All nonprofits have had to pivot in myriad ways to respond to the ever-changing situation. This “Black Swan” event left many nonprofits scrambling to adapt risk assessments, policies and procedures, and risk management practices. In this webinar, we explore graceful adaptations and silver linings … Continued

From Service Provider to Mission Champion: Maximizing Your Relationship with Your Insurance Advisor

Insurance agents and brokers who specialize in helping nonprofits are too often an underutilized, untapped resource. In some cases, that’s because nonprofit buyers believe that coverage is a commodity and mistakenly only view their agent or broker as a salesperson. In other instances, it’s because the agent or broker fails to communicate the ‘value-added’ support … Continued

5 Ways to Make the Insurance-Buying Process Seamless for Nonprofits

By Chris Hale Insurance goes hand in hand with effective risk management. Yet, while the nonprofit sector may be incredibly diverse, many nonprofits and social service organizations share the mutual challenge of finding the right insurance policy for their specific, often highly nuanced, needs. This is especially true during the initial stages of vetting and … Continued

Insurance FUN-damentals: A Broker’s View

This week we speak with Derek Symer, a Principal and Senior Vice President at AHT Insurance. Derek brings two decades of experience and a unique understanding of nonprofits to his clients. His passion for this sector drives his continued knowledge sharing and gives him valuable insight into the multitude of risks facing nonprofit organizations today—ranging … Continued

Fiscal Sponsorships: Managing Risk and Reward

By Glenn Mott and Colleen Lazanich This week we speak with Colleen Lazanich, CEO of CalNonprofits Insurance Services, the only social enterprise insurance brokerage in California. She has more than 30 years of experience across the insurance industry, with more than 20 years specializing in nonprofits. Colleen has worked for carriers, wholesale brokers and retail brokers … Continued

Insights from Insurance Industry Thought Leaders

By Melanie Lockwood Herman During the most recent Risk Summit, we hosted a lively session titled Insurance Industry Insights. Featured on the dais were senior leaders from insurance carriers that specialize in insuring nonprofit organizations. We explored trends in the insurance sector and panelists also answered questions from RISK eNews readers and Affiliate Members. The … Continued

Lessons from Insurance Thought Leaders

By Melanie Lockwood Herman Although there are risk professionals throughout the nonprofit sector who know a great deal about the property and casualty coverage they buy for their organizations, some buyers purchase policies first, and ask questions later. Relying on simplified coverage descriptions and failing to read the fine print are risky recipes for disaster. … Continued

Glossary of Risk Management and Insurance Terms

This glossary was originally published in Coverage, Claims and Consequences: An Insurance Handbook for Nonprofits. Accident — Unexpected or chance event. This term is frequently defined in older commercial general liability (CGL) policies. Accident medical reimbursement insurance — Covers medical expenses for injuries arising out of accidents, regardless of liability. Traditionally also provides a schedule … Continued

The Insurance Marketplace

A growing number of nonprofit organizations purchase commercial insurance coverage as a form of risk financing. If you’ve ever wondered whether your nonprofit is getting a bang for the bucks you spend on insurance, you won’t want to miss this program. Throughout the webinar, we will explore the roles of the various players in the … Continued

Nonprofit D&O: What’s New and What You Need to Know

Nonprofit Directors’ and Officers’ liability coverage (D&O”) has evolved from the early days when only a slightly customized corporate form was offered to nonprofit buyers. Today nonprofit D&O is often the first coverage purchased by start-up nonprofits and regarded as a “must-have” coverage in many nonprofit insurance portfolios. Attend this webinar to learn about how the coverage has changed … Continued

Insurance Coverage Q&A

Many nonprofit leaders report difficulty understanding the terms of the insurance coverage on which their nonprofit organizations depend. This webinar offers the chance to pose any coverage-related question and receive an answer in plain language. The program will begin with a survey of common questions about the process of obtaining coverage and an overview of … Continued

Benefits in the Nonprofit Workplace: Balancing Risk and Reward

Employee benefits can include employee insurance coverage (medical, life, dental, disability, unemployment and worker’s compensation), paid leave and holidays, and contributions to retirement plans, as well as a host of other fringe benefits” that are valuable to attract and retain staff in a competitive hiring environment. Offering too many or too few, benefits can throw … Continued

Putting Your Insurance Program Out to Bid: A Practical Approach

Is your nonprofit paying a fair price for its insurance coverage? Are you receiving the services you deserve from your agent or broker? If you or any member of your board has asked one of these questions recently you might want to consider putting your insurance program out to bid. Doing so is often seen … Continued

Your Insurance Agent or Broker: Managing the Relationship and Getting the Help You Need

Among the gravest errors a nonprofit can make in managing its insurance program is devoting a great deal of time to the selection process without committing to managing the new relationship. While some relationships fail because the service provider promises more than he or she can deliver, others fail because of neglect on the nonprofit’s … Continued

Professional Liability Insurance: Understanding the Exposure and the Coverage Options

Many nonprofit leaders are unaware that they are exposed to claims alleging negligence in the delivery of professional services. Even more serious is the failure to recognize that these claims are generally excluded under the nonprofit’s existing general liability and directors’ and officers’ liability policies. Professional liability coverage is needed by a wide range of … Continued

Evaluating the Adequacy of Your Insurance Coverage

There are some standard policies that many nonprofits buy; then there are special coverages that relate to specific mission-related risks. How you know what is right for your nonprofit involves some list making and analysis. It also involves knowing how to read an insurance policy to determine what is and isn’t covered. And that isn’t … Continued

Insurance Basics for Nonprofits

The world of commercial insurance is complex and always changing. It’s no wonder that nonprofit managers, executives and board members often struggle trying to understand how coverage works and the process for obtaining comprehensive and affordable coverage. For longer than a decade, the staff at the Nonprofit Risk Management Center has been training nonprofit leaders … Continued

Contemplating Coverage: Insurance for Nonprofits

By Melanie Lockwood Herman and Erin Gloeckner Are you suddenly responsible for buying insurance for your nonprofit? Or perhaps you have been responsible for some time but have just realized that there are a few gaps in your understanding of what you buy, why you buy it and how to evaluate providers, products and the … Continued

Four Quick Tips to Understand Commercial Insurance Policies

1. Take Advantage of Electronic Formats — Many insurance companies now issue policies in an electronic format with headings that can be clicked on to zero in on a particular policy section or particular endorsement. This makes it much easier to navigate and review the policy. 2. Seek Assistance from Your Agent — Regardless how … Continued

Get with the Program: Wellness in the Workplace

July 1, 2015 By Lexie Williams and Erin Gloeckner Life-saving medical treatments and devices have lulled many Americans into believing that an increase in life expectancy is a sure thing. But former U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona provided sobering news when he said that “Because of the increasing rates of obesity, unhealthy eating habits, and … Continued

What Do You Know About D&O?

This issue of Risk Management Essentials is devoted to exploring nonprofit insurance policies and coverages. While there are many different policy types and forms with which risk leaders should be aware, one of the most talked-about and valued policies for nonprofits continues to be directors and officers liability insurance, commonly known as D&O. Question #1: … Continued

How to Read an Insurance Policy

By Emily Stumhofer Reading a commercial insurance policy is not an intuitive practice and most people find insurance policies difficult to comprehend. Unlike a good book, it is not a document you can curl up with and casually read from beginning to end. Policies are known for being confusing and complicated, and sections frequently cross-reference … Continued

Cyber Liability: Internet Killed the Radio Star

By Erin Gloeckner Remember the first music video that premiered on MTV? The Buggles’ “Video Killed the Radio Star” questioned the impact of new technology on the music industry. Technology and music videos have come a long way since then, and cyber culture continues to be both a benefit and a burden for public entities … Continued

Data Privacy and Cyber Liability: What You Don’t Know Puts Your Mission at Risk

By Erin Gloeckner and Melanie Lockwood Herman If you were a long-time donor to a nonprofit, and just learned that your credit card details provided to the nonprofit to make a donation are now in the hands of a hacker, would you ever trust that organization again? In an article about nonprofits and sensitive data … Continued

Health Insurance Is a Claims Trap for the Unwary

By the Nonprofit Risk Management Center Eligibility of health insurance coverage under an employer’s group plan terminates when an employee is separated from employment. However, due to the health insurance benefit continuation requirements under COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) and many similar state laws, most employees can elect to continue their health insurance coverage … Continued

How Long Should You Keep Out-dated (Expired) Insurance Policies?

By the Nonprofit Risk Management Center In the event you need to file a claim, could you quickly put your hands on all insurance policies that might cover an incident, including expired claims? Insurance policies cover events that are addressed by claims presented to the carrier at some time in the future. By the time … Continued

Drafting a Memorandum of Understanding

By the Nonprofit Risk Management Center An effective Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) prevents misunderstandings and disputes by clarifying the expectations of the partners. The process of developing an MOU is an instructive and potentially invaluable experience in partnering. You will learn how responsive your partner will be—are your calls returned promptly? Does your partner give … Continued

What Basic Insurance Coverage Should a Nonprofit Consider?

By the Nonprofit Risk Management Center  The first issue for any nonprofit seeking to purchase insurance is to find an experienced, trustworthy insurance agent or broker who understands and specializes in serving nonprofit organizations. Nonprofits are different from commercial businesses and public agencies, and are best served by an insurance professional who appreciates those differences … Continued

Employee Handbooks: Risk Management Road Maps

By the Nonprofit Risk Management Center  Creating written workplace policies and procedures that are legally up-to-date and easy to follow is as important as having adequate insurance. Policies that are clearly communicated to staff and consistently applied serve to safeguard against improvised solutions that can result in a lawsuit. Written policies are the starting point … Continued

Year-Round Tips for Sports/Recreation Programs

By the Nonprofit Risk Management Center Sample waivers, check lists and practical help with topics identified here can be found in Playing to Win, A Risk Management Guide for Nonprofit Sports and Recreation Programs. The book aims to help the program administrator and leader, whether in a sports organization or other nonprofit, determine effective, practical … Continued

Employment Law Issues Continue To Pose Risks

By the Nonprofit Risk Management Center Employment practices lawsuits continue to be among the more prevalent and most draining legal actions that a nonprofit is likely to face. Discrimination claims filed with the EEOC rose 9% in 2007 — the biggest jump in close to a decade. Nearly one-third of those claims included an allegation … Continued

Mark Your Calendar!

By Melanie Lockwood Herman For many of us, the holiday season is a time to re-connect with friends and family with whom we’ve been out of touch. When I was a child, we always received at least one “Christmas Letter,” containing one family’s story of the prior year. Typical Christmas Letters were full of glad … Continued

The Weather Outside is Frightful

By Erin Gloeckner And shivering at work is not delightful. Here in Leesburg, VA, we are experiencing bone-deep cold weather and shocking gusts of wind. Though weather is part of our unpredictable, uncontrollable context, we can resolve to be better prepared for cold weather conditions. Weather exposures affect client and employee safety, insurance coverage needs, … Continued

Myths of Volunteer Risk Management,‹ Part 2

by Hal Denton and Fiona Lally This is the second of a series on common myths associated with the risks of using volunteers in nonprofit organizations. We’ll look at each myth for its impact on liability assessment, the purchase of insurance, and risk management planning. Myth #2 Risk management for volunteers is primarily a question … Continued

The Kids Are All Right

The Kids Are All Right By Melanie Lockwood Herman The beginning of the school year offers a reminder to children and teens that learning isn’t always easy, that hard work generally pays off, and that rules and limits often exist to keep us safe. The same can be said about the lessons, hard work, and … Continued

Insurance for Volunteer Programs

The following article is excerpted from Chapter 9 of No Surprises: Harmonizing Risk & Reward in Volunteer Management, 3rd Edition. Claims Against the Volunteer Fear of incurring personal liability for volunteer service isn’t uncommon among the estimated 90 million Americans who perform volunteer service each year. Volunteer board members may be targeted in suits alleging … Continued

PERI Unveils Online Self-Assessment and Educational Tool

PERI Unveils Online Self-Assessment and Educational Tool In May 2009, the Public Entity Risk Institute (PERI), a nonprofit research institute focused on support for risk management, launched, an innovative website that helps small and medium sized nonprofit organizations assess their insurance needs and submit requests for insurance quotes to participating insurers. According to PERI … Continued

The Additional Insured

By George L. Head, PhD, CPCU, ARM, CSP, CLU, Special Advisor, Nonprofit Risk Management Center A nonprofit’s commercial general liability policy (CGL policy) goes to great length to specify whom (organizations or individuals) that policy protects. To grasp this, take a look at the Declarations page (dec page) and the section titled “Who Is an … Continued

Increase your Insurance Buying IQ

Increase your Insurance Buying IQ

Professional Liability and Governance Exposures: A Closer Look

Professional Liability and Governance Exposures: A Closer Look By Pamela Davis Of the myriad of exposures encountered by nonprofit organizations, two are frequently unappreciated and confused: exposures resulting from the consequences of corporate governance and exposures resulting from errors and omissions associated with the delivery of professional and paraprofessional services. The coverage forms that have … Continued

Insurance for Cyber Risks

by Melanie Lockwood Herman Today’s nonprofit leaders are aware that dependence on data, software, systems and tech vendors brings untold benefits as well as potential downside risks. From the impact of data loss to claims alleging the failure to safeguard personal information, a nonprofit’s reputation and resources are ‘on the line’ in the online age. … Continued

Increasing Your Liability Protection

Increasing Your Liability Protection Excess vs. umbrella limits By George L. Head, Ph.D. Special Advisor, Nonprofit Risk Management Center

Better Knowledge Enhances the Insurance-Purchasing Decision

Better Knowledge Enhances the Insurance-Purchasing Decision What Nonprofits Can Learn from Recent Headlines By Melanie Lockwood Herman and George L. Head, Ph.D.

Ten Tips for Buying Insurance

Ten Tips for Buying Insurance Many nonprofit managers dread the insurance purchasing process. An insurer may demand a lot of information, but then decline to offer a policy. The process may seem to waste valuable time and resources.

Riding Out the Hard Insurance Market

Riding Out the Hard Insurance Market What Your Nonprofit Can Do to Survive and Thrive in Deteriorating Market Conditions By Melanie Lockwood Herman

Protecting Your Nonprofit and the Board

Protecting Your Nonprofit and the Board New Book on Nonprofit D&O Insurance Suggests Multi-Faceted Strategy The Nonprofit Risk Management Center offers a comprehensive text on insurance for nonprofits,

“Everything’s Fine? We’ve Got Insurance!”

Everything’s Fine? We’ve Got Insurance!” By George L. Head Insurance clearly has its proper, but limited, place in risk financing, which is to pay the truly unpredictable, truly catastrophic loss for which no one can plan or take effective precautions. Relying more on retention for lesser, more predictable and preventable losses, however, leaves your nonprofit … Continued

Is a BOP Right for Me?

Most nonprofit organizations struggle with their insurance program. What policies, coverages, limits and deductibles should we buy? How much will it cost? Are we protecting our assets and people adequately? With incorrect choices you can be insurance rich but coverage poor; therefore, you always want the best coverage for the right premium. Everyone needs property … Continued

Do You Need a New Broker? Here’s Your Sign!

By Melanie Lockwood Herman This article first appeared in riskVue, the Webzine for risk management professionals, and is reprinted with permission. In 1997 Comedian Bill Engvall released the best-selling comedy album of the year, a work that introduced millions of Americans to the comedian’s favorite punch line: “Here’s Your Sign.” A classic “Here’s Your Sign” … Continued

Abuse Coverage Isn’t as Elusive as a Needle in a Haystack, but It Will Cost You

By Melanie Lockwood Herman Hardening market conditions cause nonprofit risk managers to lose sleep and patience after receiving nonrenewal letters, notices of changes in the terms and conditions of coverage, and word from weary brokers and agents explaining that the same or less coverage purchased in the past may cost more than last year. The … Continued

Who’s Afraid of Claims Made?

Who’s Afraid of Claims Made?

Love Those Deductibles!

Love Those Deductibles! By George L. Head, PhD, CPCU, ARM, CSP, CLU