AM Best gives rating to Zurich Insurance Group’s insurance subsidiaries

Zurich Insurance | September 26, 2019

Zurich Insurance Group’s main-rated insurance subsidiaries have had their A+ (Superior) financial strength rating and “aa-” long-term issuer credit rating affirmed by AM Best. The global ratings agency also affirmed the “a” long-term ICR of non-operating holding company Zurich Insurance Group. The outlook of these credit ratings remains stable. AM Best said Zurich group’s ratings reflect its “very strong” balance sheet strength, strong operating performance, very favorable business profile, and appropriate enterprise risk management (ERM). Offsetting these rating factors was “Zurich’s reliance on soft capital components to support its capital buffers, although the use of such components is consistent with the group’s European peers.”

Spotlight

Increasing scientific, regulatory, and consumer concerns means increased risk for manufacturers and suppliers of various personal care products. The potential for synergistic effects of a so-called “toxic trio” of hazardous chemicals used in these products threatens to expose them to latent liabilities. This risk bulletin by Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty and Praedicat, a leading science-based risk analytics company, reviews possible risk exposures and potential impacts of this trio of chemicals to businesses and the insurance industry.


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INSURANCE TECHNOLOGY

U.S. Insurance Commissioners Endorse Internationally Recognized Climate Risk Disclosure Standard for Insurance Companies

naic.org | April 11, 2022

A bipartisan group of state insurance regulators led by Insurance Commissioners Ricardo Lara of California and David Altmaier of Florida adopted a new standard for insurance companies to report their climate-related risks, in alignment with the international Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). The TCFD standard is the international benchmark for climate risk disclosure and will help insurance regulators and the public to better understand the climate-related risks to the U.S. insurance market, which is the largest in the world. This announcement during the National Association of Insurance Commissioners' (NAIC) spring meeting in Kansas City, Missouri, puts U.S. state insurance regulators on the forefront of climate risk disclosure to protect consumers. Commissioners Lara and Altmaier are co-chairs of the NAIC Climate Risk & Resiliency Task Force (Task Force), which was established in 2020 to coordinate all of the NAIC's domestic and international efforts on climate-related risk and resiliency issues. The Task Force developed the new TCFD-aligned survey over a 14-month public participation process led by Oregon Insurance Commissioner Andrew Stolfi and Rhode Island Superintendent Elizabeth Dwyer in coordination with Commissioners Lara and Altmaier, and marks the first update to the NAIC's Climate Risk Disclosure Survey approach since it was created in 2010. The Task Force determined that implementing a TCFD-aligned disclosure framework would enhance transparency about how insurance companies manage climate-related risks and opportunities and incorporate international best practices, among other benefits that the Task Force identified in the new standard. Insurance regulators from France, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom currently require TCFD-aligned reports. U.S. financial regulators such as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission are also taking steps toward requiring TCFD-aligned disclosures for other financial institutions. Our global climate crisis affects every state, requiring us to reach across partisan divides to find solutions that protect all people, By holding insurance companies to this global standard for climate disclosure, insurance regulators are showing the power of united leadership in our efforts to address climate change and reduce the negative impacts on insurance consumers." California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara. The NAIC's action shows that our system of state-based insurance regulation remains strong and flexible in responding to changing conditions in our markets and our world, Thank you to my fellow regulators for your commitment to work together to protect consumers." Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier. We have all been affected by climate-related events, including wildfires, floods, and increased extreme weather. The first NAIC climate risk survey, created more than 10 years ago, led the way at the time, and it's great to see the NAIC lead again by being the first U.S. financial system regulator to adopt TCFD-aligned disclosure requirements, I'm grateful for the robust participation in this process over the past year and the strong support to adopt internationally aligned climate risk disclosures, and I look forward to continuing our work by supporting insurers in shifting to this new reporting framework." Oregon Insurance Commissioner Andrew Stolfi. Aligning U.S. insurance companies' climate disclosures with the global norm is a major step forward to protect financial markets and consumers who rely on insurance for safety and security, The bipartisan leadership of Commissioner Lara of California and Commissioner Altmaier of Florida is in short supply around the globe. It is needed more than ever before as we address climate-related financial risks across investment portfolios and global supply chains." Steven Rothstein, Managing Director, Ceres Accelerator for Sustainable Capital Markets

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INSURANCE TECHNOLOGY

Relation Insurance Services, Inc. Acquires the Assets of Woller-Anger & Company, LLC.

Relation Insurance | April 05, 2022

Relation Insurance Services, Inc. (“Relation”), one of the largest and fastest-growing national insurance agencies, announced today it acquired the assets of Wisconsin-based Woller-Anger & Company, LLC (“Woller-Anger”). Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Woller-Anger & Company, LLC (“Woller-Anger”) is a full-service retail insurance agency, and offers commercial lines, personal lines, and life & health coverages for clients across a diverse range of industries. Woller-Anger is headquartered in Elm Grove, WI and will join Relation’s Great Lakes Region. Erv Woller and Bob Anger will continue to lead Woller-Anger under Relation. We are excited to welcome Erv, Bob, and the entire Woller-Anger team to Relation and are looking forward to growing our Midwest footprint with them.” Tim Hall, Executive Vice President and Head of Mergers and Acquisitions for Relation. About Relation Insurance Services, Inc. Relation Insurance Services is an insurance brokerage that offers superior risk-management and benefits-consulting services through its family of brands across the United States. It is ranked by Insurance Journal within the top 35 largest agencies in the country by revenue and has approximately 1,200 employees across more than 125 locations nationwide. Relation is a privately held corporation backed by Aquiline Capital Partners, a private equity firm based in New York and London investing in businesses globally across financial services and technology.

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INSURANCE TECHNOLOGY

Paychex Wins Two Brandon Hall Group Excellence in Technology Awards

Brandon Hall Group, Inc. | December 23, 2021

Paychex, Inc., a leading provider of human resources, payroll, benefits, and insurance solutions, has won two Brandon Hall Group Excellence in Technology Awards. The company's Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) Service was recognized by Brandon Hall Group with a gold award for Excellence in Technology in the "Best Advance in HR or Workforce Management Technology for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses" category, and Paychex Pre-Check received a silver award for "Best Advance in Business Strategy and Technology Innovation." This is the ninth consecutive year that the research and analyst firm has recognized Paychex technology solutions. "HCM solution providers must be experts and visionaries in technology, but they also must have the ability to anticipate the diverse needs of employers as they work to adapt to ongoing change, This requires a blend of curiosity, empathy and agility that is difficult to achieve. We have seen an extraordinary level of insight and creativity from our Excellence in Technology winners that has been exciting to see." -Brandon Hall Group CEO Mike Cooke As part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) helps businesses claim tax credits on qualified wages paid to employees and health plan expenses in 2020 and 2021. Paychex introduced a new offering – the Paychex ERTC Service – to help businesses retroactively identify tax credits and file amended returns to claim the credit based on wages already paid. The Paychex ERTC Service leverages the Paychex Flex® technology to streamline and automate the amendment process, providing support for customers to identify and access government stimulus funds that could keep their business open. To date, the company has helped its customers apply for $6 billion in total tax credits in addition to $65 billion in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) stimulus funds. "It is an honor for Paychex to be recognized by Brandon Hall Group for our ERTC service, which is a perfect blend of our compliance expertise, leading technology, and powerful customer support, Our team's speed and agility in implementing this solution has resulted in billions of dollars in stimulus for Paychex customers at a time when they need it the most to offset wage increases and address supply chain challenges." -Martin Mucci, Paychex CEO. Also recognized for advancements in technology innovation is Paychex Pre-Check. The Pre-Check technology provides employees the opportunity to preview their paycheck with a self-review of the gross-to-net paystub on a device of their choice to confirm its accuracy before payday. Payroll is the foundation of the employer-employee relationship. When errors occur, employers may increase the risk of losing trust and compromising retention. This critical solution was designed to increase payroll processing accuracy, reduce errors and expenses associated with payroll corrections, and offer a streamlined feedback loop between employers and employees through Paychex Flex. "Finding ways to simplify the business challenges that were amplified by the pandemic has been a driving force behind each innovation released within our cloud-based Paychex Flex software over the past year, Coupled with the human element of what we do as a service provider has led to an incredible opportunity for Paychex to make a difference for small and medium-sized businesses. We're proud of the work done to meet the needs of our customers and thankful for this validation by Brandon Hall Group." -Tom Hammond, Paychex vice president of corporate strategy and product management. A panel of veteran, independent senior industry experts, and Brandon Hall Group senior analysts and executives, evaluated the entries based upon the following criteria: Product: What was the product's breakthrough innovation? Unique differentiators: What makes the product unique, and how does it differ from any competing products? Value proposition: What problem does the product solve and/or what need does this product address? Measurable results: What are the benefits customers can expect to experience as a result of using this product? The complete list of Technology Excellence Award winners can be found on the Brandon Hall Group awards page. About Paychex Paychex, Inc. (Nasdaq: PAYX) is a leading provider of integrated human capital management software solutions for human resources, payroll, benefits, and insurance services. By combining its innovative software-as-a-service technology and mobility platform with dedicated, personal service, Paychex empowers small- and medium-sized business owners to focus on the growth and management of their business. Backed by 50 years of industry expertise, Paychex served more than 710,000 payroll clients as of May 31, 2021 across more than 100 locations in the U.S. and Europe, and pays one out of every 12 American private sector employees. About Brandon Hall Group, Inc. With more than 10,000 clients globally and 20 years of delivering world class research and advisory services, Brandon Hall Group is the most well-known and established research organization in the performance improvement industry. We conduct research that drives performance, and provides strategic insights for executives and practitioners responsible for growth and business results. Brandon Hall Group has an extensive repository of thought leadership, research and expertise in Learning and Development, Talent Management, Leadership Development, Talent Acquisition and Human Resources. At the core of our offerings is a Membership Program that Empowers Excellence Through Content, Collaboration and Community. Our members have access to research that helps them make the right decisions about people, processes, and systems, combined with research-powered advisory services customized to their needs.

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INSURANCE TECHNOLOGY

Relation Insurance Services, Inc. Acquires the Assets of Dixon Insurance Services, LLC

Relation Insurance | April 04, 2022

Relation Insurance Services, Inc. (“Relation”), one of the largest and fastest-growing national insurance agencies, announced today it acquired the assets of Arkansas-based Dixon Insurance Services, LLC (“Dixon”). Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Dixon Insurance Services, LLC (“Dixon”) is a multi-line P&C agency with a heavy focus on commercial lines within the farm and agriculture industry. Dixon is headquartered in Lake City, AR. The Company will fold into Relation’s Central Region and will report up through Mark Kochner. We are proud to welcome the entire Dixon team to Relation and are excited about expanding our presence in Arkansas with them, Dixon brings expertise in the agriculture industry, and we look forward to serving their customers and growing our presence throughout" Tim Hall, Executive Vice President and Head of Mergers and Acquisitions for Relation. About Relation Insurance Services, Inc. Relation Insurance Services is an insurance brokerage that offers superior risk-management and benefits-consulting services through its family of brands across the United States. It is ranked by Insurance Journal within the top 35 largest agencies in the country by revenue and has approximately 1,200 employees across more than 125 locations nationwide. Relation is a privately held corporation backed by Aquiline Capital Partners, a private equity firm based in New York and London investing in businesses globally across financial services and technology.

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Spotlight

Increasing scientific, regulatory, and consumer concerns means increased risk for manufacturers and suppliers of various personal care products. The potential for synergistic effects of a so-called “toxic trio” of hazardous chemicals used in these products threatens to expose them to latent liabilities. This risk bulletin by Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty and Praedicat, a leading science-based risk analytics company, reviews possible risk exposures and potential impacts of this trio of chemicals to businesses and the insurance industry.

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