News & Research from Hill & Usher

Current Articles

Additional Insureds:

"What is an Additional Insured? Good Question, in More Ways Than One"

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The title of this article is, "What is an Additional Insured? Good Question, in More Ways Than One." What do we mean by "in more ways than one"?

Well, most often, when someone asks a question of an expert and that expert replies, "Good question," he or she is saying it in the sense of encouraging the questioner to ask more such questions that the expert finds rather easy to demystify with a definitive answer. There's another sense we're all familiar with though. That's… (continue – full article in HTML)

Health Insurance Cost-Containment:

"Variety for Health Insurance Cost-Containment"

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Over the last two years, we seen many employers more or less freeze concerning employee Health Insurance. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) contains many changes phased in over time. Employers didn't know how the insurance industry would respond, with what products, etc.

Mostly, employers have seen coverage costs rising, even though the idea of the Act is cost containment and even reduction.

In some areas, such as Wellness Programs, we've seen… (continue – full article in HTML)


"Wellness Goodness"

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If an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, is a pound of prevention worth sixteen pounds of cure? Well (no pun intended), there just might be some geometric progression involved on top of the ratio; but even if there isn't, a well-designed Wellness Program can be a tremendous… (continue – full article in HTML)


"To Advance, Don't Improve Departmental Safety?"

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Below is an example of possible un-written rules the employees may devise to achieve their goals.

  1. Not contributing — Do not standout as an innovator and therefore be retained longer. [What is meant here is to not become so valuable to a given department that promotion out of that lower-level department becomes more difficult or even impossible.]
  2. Since departments are measured on performance — Watch the quarterly reports so as not to be flagged as a nonperformer.
  3. Avoid failure — Don't take any chances; limit participation in teams that may fail.
  4. Keep the boss happy — Do whatever it takes to stay on the boss's good side to ensure promotion.

Doing so may produce the following out-comes:

  1. Short term-ism
  2. Poor team work
  3. Lack of cooperation
  4. Little or no innovation

(Source: "Managing System-Driven Incidents–A Business and Performance Approach," by Peter G. Furst. International Risk Management Institute. August 2011.)

It's the first number 1 above that… (continue – full article in HTML)


"Collection Protection"

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When was the last time you visited the following:

1) your "Personal Articles Floater" (inland marine form; Worldwide coverage on an "all-risk" basis for scheduled, valuable personal property) or

2) the "Scheduled Personal Property" endorsement of your Homeowners policy (covering the same things as a "Personal Articles Floater")?

You really should revisit your schedule on a regular basis, especially… (continue – full article in HTML)

Risk Management:

"De-Normalization of Insurance-Coverage Deviance"

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"The basic lesson that sociologists bring is that the organization matters. If there are problems, the tendency of corporate or public agency administrators is to blame individuals. However, organization characteristics — cultures, structures, politics, economic resources, their presence or absence, their allocation, put pressure on individuals to behave in deviant ways to achieve organization goals. If you want to fix a problem, you… (continue – full article in HTML)


"To Tow, or Not to Tow"

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So, you, or someone you know, is involved in a vehicle accident. It could be a family member or employee. Accidents happen, as the old saying goes; and whether or not a family member, employee, fellow staff-member, or you are to blame or even only partially so, the last thing anyone needs is… (continue – full article in HTML)


"Not No Crime But Know Crime"

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So, Hill & Usher sells Health Insurance, and part of our program is promoting the benefits of prevention. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as the sage, old saying goes. In that case, this article might seem to be simultaneously consistent yet inconsistent with that approach. An ounce of crime prevention is worth a pound of crime cure, but crime information can… (continue – full article in HTML)

Privacy and Identity Protection:

"Identity Theft 2.0"

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Do you remember the uproar in the news when Sony's PlayStation Network was hacked? Here are some tidbits that were offered up as article teasers by MSNBC at the time:

  • Sony said on Saturday it had removed off the Internet the personal details of 2,500 people that had been stolen by hackers and posted online. PlayStation Network restart delayed.
  • The massive data breach at Sony Corp.'s PlayStation Network has left accountholders worrying that their credit card information could fall into the wrong hands. Now the technology giant is hoping to ease concerns by offering free identity theft protection to affected customers.
  • Sony has won over some gamers by offering free access to its PlayStation Network to… (continue – full article in HTML)

Privacy and Identity Protection:

"Lions and Tigers and Bears? No, Phishers and Hackers and Scoundrels!"

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Are you concerned about accidentally clicking on a phishing site, being hacked, having all your keystrokes logged by a surreptitious key logger, or having your identity stolen? All of these things have regularly made the headlines, especially when they've happened in connection with major financial institutions. The embarrassment and loss of customer confidence is costly and the liability is painful. As customers though, we end up feeling violated, helpless, and worried every time we log in.

You're logging into your banks secure website. How can you be more confident that it is your bank's website and that no criminal entities are "watching over your shoulder," so to speak, while you enter… (continue – full article in HTML)

Health Care Reform:

"U.S. National Healthcare Reform: An Overview"

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The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010. It was subsequently amended via The Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, signed into law… (continue – full article in HTML)

Past Articles 

Personal Umbrellas: More Than Excess Coverage (2009)

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