Daily Insurance Report
Monday, 05/24/21 Walt Podgurski 440-773-1108 E-Mail
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Dozens of longtime employees are suing Farmers Insurance for age discrimination
This story was written and paid for by Gwilliam, Ivary, Chiosso, Cavalli and Brewer, an Oakland-based employment law and personal injury law firm. /
THE OAKLANDSIDE / / Read Article

Farmers Insurance has famously marketed itself as a company worth trusting with the advertising slogan, “We know a thing or two because we’ve seen a thing or two.”

But scores of former veteran Farmers agents in California say the giant insurer cruelly got rid of them because of their age, replacing them with younger agents. Seventy-nine people, including a man who sold insurance for Farmers in Stockton for 57 years, have filed an age discrimination lawsuit against the Woodland Hills company, alleging that they were harassed and wrongfully terminated between June 2018 and April 2020. In addition, the former agents say Farmers misclassified them as independent contractors, for tax and legal benefits.

“When these people started with Farmers, they were told they could start their own agencies, build up their businesses, live off the renewal commissions, then pass the agencies on to their families,” said Rob Schwartz, a Partner with the Oakland-based law firm Gwilliam, Ivary, Chiosso, Cavalli and Brewer, which is representing the plaintiffs.

“Then, Farmers changed direction and literally took these older agents’ businesses and handed them to younger agents,” said attorney Schwartz. “Farmers never even bothered to thank the agents for their years of service with the company.”

Transform Your Benefits Administration Experience!

Embedded finance will help fill the life insurance coverage gap
Melbourne O’Banion / TechCrunch / / Read Article

An estimated 41 million Americans say they need life insurance but have yet to purchase coverage. Despite this awareness among consumers, the Life Insurance Marketing and Research Association estimates a $12 trillion coverage gap, with about 50% of millennials planning to purchase coverage within the next year.

There’s latent demand for life insurance currently unaddressed by much of the financial services industry, and embedded finance can be the solution. It’s imperative for companies to consider product lines and partnerships to expand markets, create new revenue streams and provide added value to their customers.

There’s latent demand for life insurance currently unaddressed by much of the financial services industry, and embedded finance can be the solution.

Connecting consumers with products they need through channels they already know and trust is both a massive revenue opportunity and a social good, providing financial resilience to families at a time when they need it most.

7 employee engagement strategies to manage mental health
Here are strategies to help leaders manage their employees’ mental health and reduce stress in the workplace
BY Johnson Damian HR (HUMAN RESOURCES DIRECTOR) / / Read Article

The mental and emotional wellbeing of employees should be viewed as valuable assets for any organization.

According to the Center for Workplace Mental Health (CWMH), one in five Americans suffer from depression – and 70% of those belong to the workforce. These employees suffer from a vicious cycle of reduced productivity, declining physical health, and self-harm in worst cases.

Through a professional and thoughtful approach, leaders can help workers mitigate stress and develop psychological resilience. Here are seven employee engagement strategies for managing mental health at work.

1. Educate and engage employees about workplace mental health
2. Gather and assess data on employee mental wellbeing and performance
3. Encourage employees to take their paid time off (PTO)
4. Develop leadership and managerial support
5. Link employees to mental wellness professionals
6. Provide practical health tips
7. Keep track of the employees’ condition through frequent check-ins

EverythingBenefits Launches Leave of Absence Management Solution
Adding LOA Management reflects the company's ongoing commitment to delivering the best benefits experiences while charting a leadership path in the benefits technology space.
EverythingBenefits / / Read Article

EverythingBenefits, the provider of comprehensive, next-generation benefits automation technology solutions, has launched a best-in-class Leave of Absence (LOA) Management solution, which will allow the company to automate processes and ease the compliance burden of leave of absence management for clients.

EverythingBenefits LOA Management allows organizations to streamline management and facilitate compliance for the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and other State-specific and employer-designed leave policies. EverythingBenefits LOA is uniquely designed to support the needs of larger organizations and PEOs that tend to have a distributed, multi-state, and diverse workforce.

More key functionality of LOA Management:
  • Generates leave requests, determines eligibility, inputs leave schedules, and reviews and confirms entitlement in just five intuitive, wizard-driven steps.
  • Auto-verifies leave eligibility in real-time during new leave request creation.
    Allows for custom rule creation to capture leaves unique to organizations that support a broad range of employer specific and regulatory scenarios.
  • Automatically tracks tasks to help stay ahead of compliance issues.
  • Offers visibility into overall leave status across the organization from an easy-to-use dashboard including leave request, eligibility, entitlement, schedule, and history information.
  • EverythingBenefits’ close relationships with more than 200 HCM, HRIS, Payroll, and PEO providers helps keep organizations’ data in sync across all technology partners.

Views One-size-fits-all benefits won’t cut it in the post-pandemic workplace
By Kaylin Gaver / ebn / / Read Article

The COVID-19 crisis has drastically changed how we work and altered the relationship between employers and employees. Workers now expect their employers to view them as individual human beings and provide benefits that support them on a personal level.

The pandemic has forced employers to embrace flexibility — if they didn’t offer remote work and wellness benefits, or if they didn’t allow employees to adjust their working hours based on their responsibilities at home — both parties wouldn’t have survived. But now that employees have experienced a more flexible and people-first work environment, they may have difficulty transitioning back to the way things were before. A one-size-fits-all approach will no longer cut it, and that’s where personalization comes in.

For HR teams, this is the next phase of the employee experience. Previously, standardization streamlined workflows for HR departments in ways that eliminated inefficiencies and enabled mass application. For the most part, working hours were the same for everyone and each employee received the same blanket benefit offerings and all were tied to the physical office.

Sage : Why financial wellness programs are good for business (and even better for your employees)
MarketScreener.com / / Read Article

Organizations are continually looking for ways to gain a competitive advantage in attracting and retaining qualified employees. People are looking for jobs that offer more than just paid time off and health insurance. Employees want benefits like student loan assistance and personal finance planning aid.

Therefore, many businesses have turned their focus to employee financial wellness programs to add value to their compensation packages. Employers emphasize employee financial wellness so much that flexible earned wage access (FEWA) is expected to increase by 20% in the next two years.

In order to stay competitive in the labor market, companies need to start looking into employee financial wellness programs.

This article discusses:

The definition of employee financial wellness
The different types of financial wellness programs
The benefits of financial wellness programs
Which financial wellness program is best for your business
The future of employee financial wellness in the workplace

IRA, 401(k) Accounts Surpass Pre-Pandemic Record Highs
By Charlie McCarthy / NEWSMAX / / Read Article

Retirement account balances have surpassed pre-COVID highs and produced a record number of millionaires thanks to the market’s recent run-up.

After taking a sharp dive amid the coronavirus outbreak a year ago, retirement accounts have bounced back entirely, according to Fidelity Investments, the nation’s largest provider of 401(k) savings plans.

The number of Fidelity 401(k) plans with a balance of $1 million or more jumped to a high of 365,000 in the first quarter of 2021, according to CNBC.

The number of IRA millionaires increased to 307,600, also an all-time high.

The combined total number of retirement millionaires has more than doubled from a year ago.

Good News and Bad News: The IRS Issues 86 Q&A’s on the ARP COBRA Subsidy
McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC / JD SUPRA / / Read Article

On May 18, 2021, the IRS issued the long- awaited guidance on the COBRA subsidy and premium assistance credit available under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 through eighty-six questions and answers. The Notice addresses eligibility, reduction in hours, involuntary termination of employment, coverage eligible for premium assistance, beginning and end of the premium assistance period, extended elections, calculation of the premium assistance credit and other common questions

Spot Meetings Raises $5M to Take Your Meetings Outside
Gordon Gottsegen / / Read Article

Working from home doesn’t necessarily mean you have to stay in your house.

Chicago-based startup Spot Meetings launched earlier this year on a mission to change the way we take virtual meetings. On Thursday, the company announced that it raised $5 million in a seed funding round led by Kleiner Perkins. The funding was first reported in TechCrunch and later confirmed by CEO Greg Caplan on Twitter.

Spot has built a meeting platform designed for mobile devices. More than just a phone call, Spot integrates with your preferred calendar tool to create audio-only meetings. It has a built-in virtual assistant that takes notes and transcribes the conversation on command, and it has “smart mute” technology that blocks out background noise. When the meeting is over, Spot makes it easy to share meeting highlights, notes or follow-ups with other participants.

Photo Of The Day

Monday, 05/17/21 - - Pandemic accelerating employers' interest in voluntary benefits: WTW survey

Tuesday, 05/18/21 - -
CVS Health and Aetna tackle skyrocketing mental health issues among women

Wednesday, 05-19-21 - -
Amazon to roll out health, wellness program to all US employees by 2022

Thursday, 05-20-21 - -  Brokers have seen mixed impacts to their voluntary business as a result of COVID-19, according to Eastbridge Consulting Group

Friday, 05-21-21 - -
Amazon Introduces New Mental Health Benefit for All U.S. Employees and Their Family Members

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Editorial Mission Statement: The goal of this publication is to provide readers a broad selection of what is being written about the insurance industry and related issues. Some articles may have a “tilt” towards a particular perspective one way or another. Inclusion in this newsletter is not an endorsement of any views or content; but report the various and differing views appearing in media.