Benefitfocus launches website to provide options for displaced workers

Benefitfocus | April 24, 2020

Technology provider Benefitfocus has announced the next phase of its recently launched “For You” initiative, which supports employers of customers who have lost their jobs due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. The company has launched benefitplace.com, a website that allows users to access a variety of affordable individual and family health plans for employees who have been offered COBRA by their employers but are seeking lower-cost alternatives. The site also offers other products and services to support the wellbeing of displaced workers.
“Connecting America’s workforce to the products and services that improve their health and financial wellbeing is at the core of what we do, and this is more relevant today than perhaps any time in the last 50 years,” said Ray August, president and CEO of Benefitfocus. “We are in a period of severe economic crisis, and many workers fear for their continued health and other benefits coverage. With the launch of benefitsplace.com we’re here for our customers’ employees and their families to continue access to affordable and quality options.”

Spotlight

Life insurance is part of estate planning. If you have loved ones who depend upon you financially, you need life insurance. A life insurance policy allows your beneficiaries to cover their living expenses after your death. Depending on the size of the benefit you want to provide and the amount you can afford to pay on premiums, you can choose from several different types of life insurance policies.

Spotlight

Life insurance is part of estate planning. If you have loved ones who depend upon you financially, you need life insurance. A life insurance policy allows your beneficiaries to cover their living expenses after your death. Depending on the size of the benefit you want to provide and the amount you can afford to pay on premiums, you can choose from several different types of life insurance policies.

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CORE INSURANCE, INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

Brown & Brown, Inc. announces the asset acquisition of Smithwick & Mariners Insurance, MidCoast Insurance and Chapman & Chapman Insurance

Brown & Brown, Inc. | September 14, 2022

J. Scott Penny, chief acquisitions officer of Brown & Brown, Inc., and Scott Smithwick and Chris Smithwick, today announced that Brown & Brown of Massachusetts, Inc., a subsidiary of Brown & Brown, Inc., has acquired substantially all of the assets of Smithwick & Mariners Insurance, MidCoast Insurance and Chapman & Chapman Insurance (collectively, Smithwick & Mariners). Originally founded in 1987 to service the marine industry (marinas, yacht clubs, boat builders, fishing vessels, tug operations and yachts), Smithwick & Mariners has evolved its capabilities to provide innovative risk solutions to business owners and individuals throughout Maine and greater New England. The Smithwick & Mariners companies are led by Scott Smithwick and Chris Smithwick. Following the acquisition, the Smithwick & Mariners team will continue doing business from their existing offices in Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire and will operate within Brown & Brown’s Retail segment. Scott and Chris will continue to lead the team and will report to Don McGowan, a regional president in Brown & Brown’s Retail segment. “The Smithwick & Mariners companies are recognized in Maine and throughout New England for their experience and industry knowledge in the commercial fishing, marine and personal yacht space. Scott, Chris and their dedicated team have a long and mutually successful relationship with their carriers, allowing them to deliver best-in-class insurance solutions to their customers. We are confident we share the same culture of customer-first solutions and are excited to welcome them to the Brown & Brown team.” -Don McGowan Scott Smithwick stated, The Smithwick & Mariners team is excited to be partnering with a firm like Brown & Brown who shares the same level of commitment to its customers, carriers and employees that we have for the past 35 years. We are very confident that this partnership will help to further strengthen Smithwick & Mariners’ product offering and level of service to both our marine and non-marine related customers. About Brown & Brown, Inc. Brown & Brown, Inc. is a leading insurance brokerage firm, delivering risk management solutions to individuals and businesses since 1939. With over 14,500 teammates in 450+ locations worldwide, we are committed to providing innovative strategies to help protect what our customers value most.

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INSURANCE TECHNOLOGY

Breeze Disability Insurance Platform Now Available to Appalachian Underwriters Network

Breeze and Appalachian Underwriters | September 05, 2022

Breeze, the insurtech simplifying how disability insurance is bought and sold, announced today a new partnership with leading insurance wholesaler Appalachian Underwriters, Inc. (AUI). Health-licensed agents and brokers partnered with AUI can now use Breeze's turnkey disability insurance platform to rapidly scale income protection sales. Breeze's proprietary technology makes it possible to quote disability insurance in seconds and submit client applications in minutes – entirely online. Breeze also handles case management, making this new partnership a low-strain, high-growth opportunity for AUI's partner agents. "Whether you're focused on home, auto, health or life insurance sales, income protection is a natural next conversation for agents and advisors. We're thrilled that Appalachian Underwriters has selected Breeze to power their disability income insurance offerings, and we look forward to supporting their agents," - Colin Nabity, CEO & co-founder of Breeze AUI has an impressive network of around 30,000 insurance agencies comprising roughly 70,000 agents. It was recently ranked the fifth largest MGA in the country by Business Insurance. We're extremely excited to partner with Breeze to continue our mission to support our agents and agency partners with diverse new product solutions and tools that increase efficiency, After seeing strong success with our recent entrance into the life insurance space, the partnership with Breeze is perfect to represent AUI's first voyage into the health market,said William Chambers, Director of Digital Partnerships at Appalachian Underwriters. With AUI already having strong commercial P&C and workers' compensation lines, disability insurance through Breeze should fit nicely into the wholesaler's newly-launched health business. Small business owners and employees could find financial peace of mind in disability insurance that protects their income against injuries and illnesses that happen on and off the job. Breeze currently offers two long-term disability insurance products, short-term disability insurance, and critical illness insurance. AUI's health-licensed agents and brokers can seamlessly and near-effortlessly offer any of these products to their clients via Breeze's simple online platform that uses predictive analytics to expedite underwriting. Despite the average employee being 3.5 times more likely to need disability insurance instead of life insurance during their career, just 14% of consumers own disability insurance due to an overly-complex application process that has kept both buyers and sellers away. Breeze has simplified disability insurance and is now uniquely-positioned to be the leader in an untapped market. The partnership with Appalachian Underwriters is a major step towards making disability insurance accessible for a range of workers. About Breeze Breeze is an online insurance broker simplifying how disability and critical illness insurance are bought and sold. Leveraging industry expertise and innovative technology, our team is building a better way to distribute income protection insurance for life's most financially vulnerable moments like cancer, depression, and bad accidents. Policies offered through Breeze replace a portion of a policyholder's regular income and can be used to help with large medical bills, mortgage payments, groceries, and more. Breeze currently offers long-term disability insurance, short-term disability insurance, and critical illness insurance. About Appalachian Underwriters Appalachian Underwriters, Inc. (AUI) is a full-service MGA and wholesale insurance brokerage, providing independent agents a national outlet to multiple specialized markets for workers' compensation, commercial, life, and personal lines of insurance. Appalachian Underwriters is wholly owned by Acrisure, LLC.

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CORE INSURANCE

Erie Insurance 'Future Focus' program recognized as a RISE Elite 50 industry internship program

Erie Insurance | September 20, 2022

The Erie Insurance (ERIE) Future Focus internship program has been named to the Rising Insurance Star Executive (RISE) list of the insurance industry's 50 best internship programs in 2022. This is the second consecutive year that ERIE has been honored. ERIE's summer internship program offers opportunities for college students to gain relevant and real-world business experience in the insurance industry and at a Fortune 500 company. "We're excited to be included on the RISE Elite 50 list for the second consecutive year. Our interns often tell us that our program is a premier offering in the industry, and this recognition is certainly a bonus, Year after year, the most impactful feedback comes directly from our interns, who, through an overwhelming response to our end-of-program survey, gave our 'Future Focus' program an average satisfaction rating of 4.8 out of 5 this year." -JR Wilwohl, talent acquisition partner and ERIE's internship program coordinator ERIE's internship program, which began more than 20 years ago and has helped launch the careers of hundreds of current ERIE employees, offers paid, competitive internships across several areas of the company. According to Jon O'Camb, talent acquisition manager, ERIE's Future Focus internships are one of the company's largest pipelines for early career talent and ERIE is committed to growing diversity within its talent pool. Our commitment to celebrating and valuing diversity continues, and our internship program is an extension of that. We're widening our talent pipeline by strengthening relationships with historically Black colleges and universities across ERIE's footprint and working with ERIE's affinity networks and DEI leadership to help further reach diverse candidates, Once our interns are hired, we also provide them with multiple opportunities to engage with our company's DEI and community outreach teams and encourage them to become active in ERIE's nine employee affinity networks during their internship with us,said O'Camb. In 2022, more than 100 ERIE interns worked in ERIE's IT, Underwriting, Risk Control, Actuarial, Data, Sales & Marketing, Claims, Corporate Services, Customer Service, Finance, Accounting, Internal Audit, Investments and ERIE Experience departments. Rising Insurance Star Executive (RISE) is an industry group founded to help bridge the talent gap by recognizing and advancing the best young talent in the insurance industry. There is nothing more impactful to building the talent pipeline for the Insurance Industry than our internships, Companies can test drive talent, learn from fresh perspectives, expose young professionals to their brand, foster leadership in current employees, and the list goes on. Interns gain real world experience, learn about their strengths and weaknesses and gauge whether a job or industry is the right career for them,read an announcement of the annual list from RISE. About Erie Insurance According to A.M. Best Company, Erie Insurance Group, based in Erie, Pennsylvania, is the 11th largest homeowners insurer, 13th largest automobile insurer and 13th largest commercial lines insurer in the United States based on direct premiums written. Founded in 1925, Erie Insurance is a Fortune 500 company and the 19th largest property/casualty insurer in the United States based on total lines net premium written. Rated A+ (Superior) by A.M. Best, ERIE has more than 6 million policies in force and operates in 12 states and the District of Columbia.

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