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KBRA Assigns Insurance Financial Strength Rating to Tower Hill Insurance Exchange

KBRA | December 30, 2021

AXA News
Kroll Bond Rating Agency (KBRA) assigns an Insurance Financial Strength Rating of BBB+ with a Stable Outlook to Tower Hill Insurance Exchange (THIE). THIE was formed as a Florida reciprocal exchange and will begin writing residential property insurance in Florida within its first year of operation and continue to expand in the Florida market over the subsequent two years.

The rating reflects its sound initial capitalization, conservative investment portfolio, and reasonable business plan. THIE will benefit from the established market presence, distribution, and risk management of the Tower Hill Insurance Group (Tower Hill) - a privately owned organization comprised of three Florida-domiciled direct writers, an affiliate offshore reinsurer, a managing general agency (MGA), and two claims services companies. Tower Hill is one of Florida’s largest residential property insurers with approximately 6% market share.

Balancing these strengths are THIE’s exposure to natural catastrophes, and a lack of geographic and product diversification. THIE’s revenues and earnings are expected to be concentrated in Florida, a state exposed to both natural catastrophes and significant legal challenges for residential property insurance writers. In addition, initial capital is solely funded through surplus notes with annual interest expenses of approximately $16 million. This is somewhat offset by THIE’s low start-up costs versus more typical start-ups.

Further information on key credit considerations, sensitivity analyses that consider what factors can affect these credit ratings and how they could lead to an upgrade or a downgrade, and ESG factors (where they are a key driver behind the change to the credit rating or rating outlook) can be found in the full rating report referenced above.

A description of all substantially material sources that were used to prepare the credit rating and information on the methodology(ies) (inclusive of any material models and sensitivity analyses of the relevant key rating assumptions, as applicable) used in determining the credit rating is available in the Information Disclosure Form(s) located here.

About KBRA
Kroll Bond Rating Agency, LLC (KBRA) is a full-service credit rating agency registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission as an NRSRO. Kroll Bond Rating Agency Europe Limited is registered as a CRA with the European Securities and Markets Authority. Kroll Bond Rating Agency UK Limited is registered as a CRA with the UK Financial Conduct Authority pursuant to the Temporary Registration Regime. In addition, KBRA is designated as a designated rating organization by the Ontario Securities Commission for issuers of asset-backed securities to file a short form prospectus or shelf prospectus. KBRA is also recognized by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners as a Credit Rating Provider.

Spotlight

Without customer-focused initiatives to improve operations in 2013, some insurers may not have a place in the 2014 market, either on Main Street or on the Internet. A market moving toward self-service has brought traditional insurers to a juncture where they must determine where to position their technological investments. Will they be focusing on either agent- or Internet-initiated customer interactions, or both? With the right technology, an insurer does not necessarily have to choose between building person-to-person.

Spotlight

Without customer-focused initiatives to improve operations in 2013, some insurers may not have a place in the 2014 market, either on Main Street or on the Internet. A market moving toward self-service has brought traditional insurers to a juncture where they must determine where to position their technological investments. Will they be focusing on either agent- or Internet-initiated customer interactions, or both? With the right technology, an insurer does not necessarily have to choose between building person-to-person.

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Securian Financial collaborates with “BenefitBump” to enhance education among expectant parents

SECURIAN FINANCIAL | September 30, 2022

To provide greater assistance to employees growing their families, Securian Financial in a first among insurance carriers is adding “BenefitBump” as a value-added service. The BenefitBump service can be used with Securian Financial’s group hospital indemnity insurance issued by Securian Life Insurance Company. BenefitBump improves outcomes for both employers and employees by helping growing families navigate their employers’ benefits and time off programs to build plans for balancing work and life. The program was designed for all paths to parenthood, including childbirth, adoption and families seeking fertility support. Participants are provided with education tools and live support from licensed emotional health clinicians. “Employees expecting a new child are often overwhelmed with information and unaware of all the benefits available to them through their employers, BenefitBump’s trained care navigators are experts in workplace benefit programs for expecting parents. They guide parents through the journey of growing their families from pre-birth planning to post-birth childcare while ensuring that they are maximizing their available benefits. For employers, this can be a powerful tool for retention, especially of working mothers.” -Darin Reeser, regional director of supplemental health benefit sales for Securian Financial According to ongoing BenefitBump participant survey responses, 66% of participants say the service reduces stress and anxiety and 83% say it increases benefit awareness and utilization. In addition, a 2021 study of program participants found that 98% successfully returned to work. Group hospital indemnity insurance is a workplace supplemental health policy that pays a pre-determined benefit to insured employees who experience a hospital stay covered by the policy. Employees can use the benefit to pay for out-of-pocket expenses not covered by their major medical insurance, or however they wish. With Securian Financial, insured employees do not have to experience a hospital stay to use BenefitBump. In fact, according to BenefitBump, since the service’s inception, nearly one-fifth of participants have engaged the service while family planning. Workplace supplemental health benefits on the rise According to a study conducted by benefits broker WTW, more employers are turning to supplemental health benefits to help protect employees from big medical bills and loss of income. The study, conducted between February 23 and March 12, 2021, found that among 238 organizations employing 3.7 million people, 42% offered group hospital indemnity insurance and 57% offered group critical illness insurance. By 2022, 65% of the organizations said they would offer hospital indemnity insurance to their employees, and 76% said they would offer critical illness insurance. Additionally, LIMRA, a life insurance researcher and trade organization, reported recently that workplace supplemental health benefit premium rose 6% in 2021, to nearly $2.6 billion. A group insurance leader Securian Financial offers group life, accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) and supplemental health insurance products to employers nationwide. The company specializes in large public and private employer plans with 1,000 or more participants. Since issuing its first group life insurance policy in 1917, Securian Financial through its subsidiaries, Minnesota Life Insurance Company and Securian Life Insurance Company has grown to become the third-largest direct writer of group life insurance in the United States. The company is the top provider of group life insurance to state governments, 16, and has an extensive list of Fortune 500 employer clients, including 18 of the Fortune 100. ABOUT SECURIAN FINANCIAL At Securian Financial, we’re here for family. And we’re here because of it. We’re guided by our purpose: helping customers build secure tomorrows. Since 1880, we’ve been building a uniquely diversified company that has outlasted economic ups and downs while staying true to our customers. We’re committed to the markets we serve, providing insurance, investment and retirement solutions that give families the confidence to focus on what’s truly valuable: banking memories with those who matter most.

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Bluevine Expands Insurance Partnerships to Provide Small Businesses with Tailored Insurance Solutions

Bluevine and Coalition | October 18, 2022

Bluevine, the leading provider of holistic banking solutions designed for small businesses, today announced the expansion of its small business insurance offerings to include Active Cyber Insurance offered by Coalition, one of the world's leading cyber insurance providers, in addition to its existing small business insurance provider, NEXT Insurance. With the addition of Coalition's cyber insurance offerings, Bluevine is providing the small business community seamless access to explore insurance providers right from their account dashboard. Available now, Bluevine Business Checking customers can research a broad set of insurance products and complete the steps to receive a customized insurance quote from our partners. Finding the right business insurance provider remains a confusing and significant pain point for small business owners looking for reliable coverage from a trusted source. Often, small business owners rely on recommendations from the small business community to determine their insurance needs, but this can leave them with ill-fitting policies that don't address the specific needs of their small business. As many as 75% of small businesses in the U.S. are underinsured, and 40% do not have any insurance, pointing to an acute need for insurance solutions designed with this community in mind. "After the initial success of our small business insurance partnership with NEXT last year, we took a closer look at the gaps our customers might still have with their insurance policies and worked to close them, By partnering with Coalition and NEXT, Bluevine is serving the broader small business community by providing in-dashboard access to trusted insurance companies that support the small business community on their journey to grow and scale." -Eyal Lifshitz, CEO and co-founder of Bluevine Since the launch of Bluevine's insurance partner program, 28% of customers have clicked through to learn more, and thousands have continued on to receive quotes from Bluevine's licensed insurance partners. These partnerships serve the small business owner's journey by providing the tools they need to grow and scale their business from one easy-to-access platform. When we first started our business, we looked for insurance from multiple sources, but when we signed up with Bluevine and learned more about what their insurance partners offer, it made the process so much easier, They helped us learn what we need for our business and get a quote. I would recommend it to anyone who is looking for insurance. We are very happy with our policy,said Daphne Simmons, owner of Ovrtake Fitness. Overall, these partnerships serve the small business owner's journey by providing the tools they need to grow and scale their business from one easy-to-access platform. Active Cyber Insurance offered by Coalition provides a new integrated approach for companies to manage cyber risk. Coalition's offering provides small and midsize companies with cybersecurity tools, active monitoring, and anytime access to digital forensics and incident response services, combined with insurance coverage provided by well-known insurance carriers. By identifying and mitigating digital risk, policyholders that choose Coalition's offering experience 50% fewer cyber claims than the broader U.S. market, with 45% of incidents resolved at no cost. In our experience, many cyber criminals are opportunistic, particularly when it comes to small organizations. No company is too small to be an enticing financial opportunity for attackers, Choosing to go with Coalition's Active Cyber Insurance offering can help a small business avoid a potentially catastrophic cyber incident – like a ransomware attack – where financial costs could cripple a business. We are delighted to bring Coalition's product offering to Bluevine customers with the aim of increasing access to cyber insurance for organizations of all sizes and continuing to prevent digital risk before it strikes,said Catherine Lyle, Coalition's Head of Claims. By providing access to multiple insurance offerings for new and existing digital banking customers, Bluevine is providing entrepreneurs with curated partnership solutions that support their goals. Starting today, existing Bluevine Business Checking customers can log in to their account dashboard and determine the best insurance provider for the current stage of their business. This insurance dashboard expansion enables Bluevine to help solve the ongoing financial needs of small businesses by providing entrepreneurs with access to trusted and best-in-class insurance products quickly and seamlessly. About Bluevine Bluevine provides small businesses with fast and simple access to holistic banking solutions built with them in mind. Bluevine's advanced online platform offers an intuitive, convenient solution designed to meet the financial needs of today's business owners with a suite of products including Bluevine Business Checking, Bill Pay, and Line of Credit. Since launching in 2013, Bluevine has served more than 450,000 small businesses and is backed by leading private and institutional investors, including Lightspeed Venture Partners, Menlo Ventures, 83North, Citi Ventures, ION Crossover Partners, SVB Capital, Nationwide Insurance, and M12 (Microsoft's Venture Arm). Lines of credit are issued by Celtic Bank, a Utah-chartered Industrial Bank, Member FDIC. Banking Services provided by Coastal Community Bank, Member FDIC. About Coalition Coalition is the leading provider of Active Insurance, combining comprehensive insurance coverage and cybersecurity tools to help businesses manage and mitigate digital risks. Through its partnerships with leading global insurers, including Arch Insurance North America, Allianz, Ascot Group, Lloyd's of London, Swiss Re Corporate Solutions, and Vantage, Coalition offers its Active Insurance products in the U.S., U.K., and Canada, and its security products to organizations worldwide. Coalition's Active Risk Platform provides automated security alerts, threat intelligence, expert guidance, and cybersecurity tools to help businesses remain resilient in the face of cyber attacks. Headquartered in San Francisco, Coalition is a distributed company with a global workforce that collaborates both digitally and in office hubs.

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Risk Strategies Acquires Beattie & Associates

Risk Strategies | September 16, 2022

Risk Strategies, a leading national specialty insurance brokerage and risk management firm, today announced it has acquired Beattie & Associates, a retail agency in Missouri specializing in employee benefits for both individuals and employers. Terms of the deal were not announced. Headquartered in the St. Louis suburb of Chesterfield, Missouri, Beattie & Associates is led by its principal, Tom Beattie. For more than 30 years, the agency has focused on helping both individuals and businesses across a range of industries, create effective and affordable employee benefits coverages that meet their specific needs. “We’re thrilled to welcome Tom and his team at Beattie & Associates to the Risk Strategies family, Their approach to both team and client work is a great fit with our culture and we’re excited to have them aboard as we expand our capabilities regionally.” -John Greenbaum, national employee benefits practice leader at Risk Strategies Beattie offers business clients a full range of employee benefit coverages, including group health, disability, life, dental, and vision, as well as associated support services. Beattie’s client base is highly loyal and largely concentrated in the Midwest Region. Wanting to preserve our specialty focus and expand our capabilities without losing our high-touch approach to client services made becoming part of Risk Strategies the absolute right choice, I’m excited by the possibilities to further extend our relationships and offerings, including property and casualty, to new and existing clients,said Beattie. In addition to its base in the St. Louis region, Beattie has presence across Big Sky and Bozeman, Montana, as well as Chicago. The Montana presence represents an expansion for Risk Strategies. Beattie’s Chicago presence will complement existing, long-standing Risk Strategies operations. About Risk Strategies Risk Strategies is a specialty national insurance brokerage and risk management firm offering comprehensive risk management advice and insurance and reinsurance placement for property & casualty, employee benefits, and private client services risks. With more than 30 specialty practices, Risk Strategies serves commercial companies, nonprofits, public entities, and individuals, and has access to all major insurance markets. Ranked among the top brokers in the country, Risk Strategies has over 100 offices including Boston, New York City, Chicago, Toronto, Montreal, Grand Cayman, Miami, Atlanta, Dallas, Nashville, Washington DC, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

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