Breathe Easy Insurance Solutions opens business in WA

Breathe Easy Insurance Solution | August 01, 2019

Breathe Easy Insurance Solutions has expanded its business by opening in the state of Washington, which means the insurance provider now operates in 48 states. The company offers a broad range of policies, including auto, home, motorcycles, renters, RV, boat, business, and commercial. In a release, Breathe Easy explained it is one of the few insurers operating in Washington that offers SR-22 insurance, thanks to its one-stop license support team. Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious offense, Breath Easy stressed in its release. While the penalties issued for a DUI offender in Washington can differ depending on the area, both administrative and criminal penalties will likely be issued. These penalties include electronic home monitoring, a 90-day treatment program, the installation of an ignition interlock device in the offender’s car, and more.

Spotlight

This Visualizing Health Policy infographic charts recent trends in employer-sponsored health insurance premiums. Between 1999 and 2015, premiums increased by 203%, outpacing both inflation and workers’ earnings. However, the growth of premiums for family coverage slowed toward the end of that time period, from an average of 11% per year between 1999 and 2005 to 5% per year between 2005 and 2015. Between 2014 and 2015, the average premium for single and family coverage increased by 4%, and over the past 5 years, deductibles increased faster than both premiums and wages.


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CORE INSURANCE

Patriot Growth Insurance Services Meaningfully Expands in Florida With Key Acquisitions

Patriot Growth Insurance Services, LLC | January 07, 2022

Patriot Growth Insurance Services, LLC ("Patriot"), one of the country's largest and fastest-growing national insurance agencies, announces the addition of several key partners to its Florida operations, including Kolisch Marine, Depace Insurance, MacLeish Insurance, Focus Insurance Agency, Herndon Carr & Company, and Crosslet Insurance Services. These six partnerships will work within Patriot's Shapiro Insurance Group (SIG) platform, and significantly expand Patriot's expertise and capabilities throughout the Southeast region. Kolisch Marine, located in Coral Gables, specializes in marine insurance. Moving forward, Joe Kolisch and the team will share their yacht insurance expertise with Patriot's 1,300 employees across the U.S. Patriot will assist Kolisch Marine clients with a broader array of resources and services to fulfill their insurance needs. Bob MacLeish and his team join us with over 30 years of industry experience. Based in Orlando, the agency is immersed in community involvement while specializing in both personal and commercial lines. All staff will remain as SIG provides added carriers, technology, and back-office support. Located in Coral Springs, Depace Insurance provides a full array of personal lines insurance and services to its clients. Founders Joe and Susan Depace will transition to retirement while the entire professional team will continue providing their exceptional level of service. Working with Patriot, Depace will receive significant upgrades to their office automation and administrative support. Located in Plantation, Florida, Focus Insurance specializes in personal lines with a group of professionals that is fluent in five languages! The entire client service team remains to support existing and new clientele. Herndon Carr & Company have served the Fort Myers area since 1974. Reed Herndon and Thomas Carr are partners at Patriot and will play a critical role in southwest Florida through their work in personal lines, commercial lines, and employee benefits. Their entire team will remain in place, servicing existing clients and synergizing with other agencies in the region as services expand. Serving Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, and surrounding areas, Crosslet Insurance Services will provide ongoing expertise for business and residential communities. SIG broadens the carrier lineup for clients in this region while providing marketing and other essential services. "These six partner agencies joining the Patriot family represent a milestone in growing our talent and reach across the entire state of Florida, Each of these agencies and leadership teams bring a unique expertise and are closely aligned with the communities that they serve. We are beyond thrilled to welcome them to the Patriot family." -Steve Carroll, SVP of M&A for Patriot. About Patriot Growth Insurance Services Founded in 2019, Patriot is a growth-focused national insurance services firm that partners with employee benefits and property & casualty agencies across the United States. In its second year of operation, Patriot was ranked in the top-40 largest insurance brokers in the U.S. by Business Insurance. With over 1,350 employees operating in 110 locations across 19 states, Patriot's collaborative model delivers resources and strategic support to its agencies, whose leaders continue to operate with a high degree of autonomy in their local markets. Patriot creates true alignment with its partner agencies, and its operating philosophy fosters enhanced career opportunities for its dedicated and professional team. Patriot is backed by GI Partners and Summit Partners.

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INSURANCE TECHNOLOGY

Demotech Withdraws Financial Stability Ratings® Assigned to Lighthouse Property Insurance Corporation and Lighthouse Excalibur Insurance Company

Demotech, Inc. | April 01, 2022

Effective March 29, 2022, Demotech, Inc. withdrew the Financial Stability Ratings® (FSRs) previously assigned to Lighthouse Property Insurance Corporation and Lighthouse Excalibur Insurance Company. Despite a substantial capital contribution in the fourth quarter 2021, the operating loss in 2021, which reflected the evaluation of losses and loss adjustment expenses associated with Hurricane Ida, resulted in a level of capitalization below what was needed to sustain FSRs at the A level." Joseph Petrelli, President, Demotech, Inc. About Demotech, Inc. Demotech, Inc. was the first firm to review independent, regional and specialty insurers. Since 1985, Demotech has served the industry by assigning accurate, reliable, and proven Financial Stability Ratings® to Property & Casualty insurers and Title underwriters. FSRs provide an objective baseline of the solvency of an insurer. Demotech's philosophy is to review and evaluate insurers based on their area of focus and execution of their business model rather than solely on financial size. Demotech's increasing accreditations and acceptances has resulted in its review of more than 450 insurers operating in the US.

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INSURANCE TECHNOLOGY

Insurtech Startup Honeycomb Raises $15.4MM in Series A Round, Led by Ibex Investors

Honeycomb | January 21, 2022

Honeycomb announced that it has raised $15.4 million in a Series A funding round led by Ibex Investors. The fast-growing digital insurance provider has developed the first technology stack for multi-family properties that dramatically streamlines the arduous, time-consuming process faced by landlords and condo owners associations seeking insurance. Moreover, Honeycomb's proprietary AI-driven technology also is the first to enable the delivery of bespoke, "right-priced" insurance coverages – instantly. The U.S. and Israel-based company, which only began writing U.S. policies in June of 2021, now operates in four states -- Illinois, Arizona, Michigan, and Ohio – with plans this year to launch in ten more states covering 60% of the country. Honeycomb expects to insure more than $1B of real estate assets by the end of Q1 2022. "Commercial lines insurance and specifically insurance for multi-family properties is ripe for disruption given the sheer complexity entailed in underwriting this class of risk, its manual processing legacy, and the absence of a leader in the market, At Honeycomb, we have succeeded in converting the institutional knowledge of our team of industry veterans into algorithms that parse deep, first-party, location-specific data to more accurately evaluate risk. As a result, we can perform more robust underwriting quicker and at a lower cost structure than previously possible," -Honeycomb's co-founder and CEO Itai Ben-Zaken. SiriusPoint Ltd, a global insurer and reinsurer, and Honeycomb's own lead underwriting capacity provider, will also participate in this funding round as a new investor alongside lead investor Ibex Investors, and existing investors Phoenix Insurance, Distributed Ventures (FKA NFP Ventures), IT-Farm, and Sure Ventures, all of which have increased their stakes. With this new round, Honeycomb has to date raised $19 million. "Honeycomb is poised to change the game of real estate insurance, Their platform uniquely leverages both first and third-party data to disaggregate risk in ways that are totally different from the rest of the industry. Honeycomb is growing at a rapid pace since its launch, and we believe they will become the dominant platform in this market," -Gal Gitter, partner at Ibex Investors. In a market segment estimated to be worth $26 billion in the U.S. alone, Honeycomb is the first multi-family property insurance provider to innovate simultaneously on 3 distinct fronts: (1) Streamlining the customer and broker experience; (2) Leveraging unique proprietary underwriting technology that accurately "right-prices" every individual risk and provides discounts no other provider gives, and; (3) Offering bespoke insurance coverage that adapts to ever-changing client needs. For example, Honeycomb allows for customized policies that hadn't existed within the segment's traditional "one-size-fits-all" approach. These include insuring properties with Airbnb rentals while offering enhanced Ordinance and Law coverage, distinct Business Income and Extra Expense coverages, and a right-sized approach to deductibles in risk-prone areas. Multi-family property owners, condo and homeowners associations that follow Honeycomb's guidelines and mitigation requests continue to get deeper discounts as time goes by. This model is a win-win because it encourages positive self-selection. Customers who take great care of their properties will receive prices with which other insurance providers can't compete. The company sells its policies directly via its own platform and through a hand-picked and growing group of best-in-class insurance brokers who enjoy distinct advantages. With Honeycomb, they can provide as many as 30 bindable quotes per hour, and in real time – a vast improvement over a process that historically took weeks with multiple "touches" and follow-ups to produce a single quote. This translates to greater profitability for brokers, and accounts for the extraordinary interest the company is now receiving from the brokerage community. About Honeycomb Honeycomb is a reinsurance-backed MGA providing simple, fair, and affordable multi-family property insurance through its end-to-end digital platform. With offices in Denver, San Francisco and Tel Aviv, Honeycomb leverages proprietary user-generated data, advanced AI, and computer-vision to automate the normally arduous and costly underwriting process. Honeycomb significantly improves the customer experience and provides tailored coverage at a competitive price point and at improved profit margins through its real-time rate/quote/bind offering and its data-driven "right-pricing" advantage.

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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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Spotlight

This Visualizing Health Policy infographic charts recent trends in employer-sponsored health insurance premiums. Between 1999 and 2015, premiums increased by 203%, outpacing both inflation and workers’ earnings. However, the growth of premiums for family coverage slowed toward the end of that time period, from an average of 11% per year between 1999 and 2005 to 5% per year between 2005 and 2015. Between 2014 and 2015, the average premium for single and family coverage increased by 4%, and over the past 5 years, deductibles increased faster than both premiums and wages.

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