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Insights

October Client Spotlight: Wild Things

Posted by Caitlin Miley on October 18, 2018

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Company Name: Wild Things

Owner: Carolyn Harbert

Location: Homewood, AL

Time in Business: 1 year

Industry: Flowers & Curiosities

Website: www.wildthingsbhm.com

 

Wild Things Flowers & Curiosities—the name covers it all!

The first time I walked into the shop—tucked quietly away in SoHo—I felt like I was walking into a new world where everything was happy and peaceful and beautiful. From coffee table books to bath bombs and sweet- smelling candles to vases and flowers galore—I was in heaven.

Owner Carolyn Harbert and her team aim for their clients to come in curious and leave inspired. In addition to the storefront in Homewood, they share their passion for floral design and knack for creativity with clients in a multitude of ways: flower delivery, event design, styling and even hands-on workshops!

When Carolyn opened this dreamy store a year ago, she knew there was no better choice than to call Cobbs Allen for her small business insurance needs.

“They’ve helped with my personal insurance, so I knew I had to call them when it came to protecting my business,” Carolyn said. “Cobbs Allen has done such a great job making sure we are risk free. From the delivery van to our employees to everything in the store—I have peace of mind and know I can reach out to my risk consultants with any questions or concerns that come up.”


Cobbs Allen Welcomes Personal Lines Vice President of Gulf Coast Region

Posted by Caitlin Miley on September 17, 2018

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Cobbs Allen is pleased to announce the addition of Brian Munger to our Personal Lines team. Brian joins us as Vice President of Personal Lines, Gulf Coast Region.

Brian has more than 19 years of experience in the personal lines industry prior to joining Cobbs Allen. He is a founding member of the Private Risk Management Association (PRMA) and attended AIG Private Client University to obtain training specific to working on accounts for successful individuals and families.

Brian has spoken many times to the Gulf Coast Estate Planning Council regarding personal lines insurance often being the missing piece of the estate planning process.

Outside of his career, Brian serves as a current board member for the Jaguar Athletic Fund—the fundraising arm for the University of South Alabama Athletic Department—as well as the sponsorship coordinator for Bo Bikes Bama—an event hosted by Bo Jackson that raises funds to build storm shelters in Alabama.

In 2011, he was honored as one of the Bay Areas Finest by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and in 2016 was named to the Top 40 Under 40 by Mobile Bay Monthly.

We are very excited to welcome Brian to our team!


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Employers who sponsor group health plans must notify Medicare-eligible plan participants whether a plan's prescription drug coverage is creditable, i.e., pays on average as much as standard Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage. This disclosure is due annually before October 15th as well as other times throughout the year.  The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service (CMS) provides two model notices for employers to customize and distribute - one for plans with creditable coverage and the other for plans with non-creditable coverage.  The purpose of this notice is to help individuals make informed decisions on when to elect Medicare Part D coverage to avoid late enrollment penalties.  There is no penalty on the employer for providing non-creditable coverage.

What Employers Need to Know

Employers should contact their insurers, third-party administrators (TPA) or pharmacy benefit managers (PBM) for information regarding creditable coverage status. A simplified determination method may also be used, where the simplified determination method is not applicable an actuarial determination should be made.

As a general recommendation and since it can be difficult for employers to identify all Medicare eligible individuals and beneficiaries, the notice(s) should be provided to all plan participants. There is flexibility in form and manner of disclosure notices. The disclosure notices can be provided with enrollment/renewal materials. Disclosure may also be provided electronically in accordance with Department of Labor electronic delivery requirements.

Click here for additional information in regards to meeting the deadline as well was weblinks to the model notices. 


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With Hurricane Florence continuing its path towards land, many employers in North and South Carolina are bracing for its impact. Employers are starting to face questions about how to keep employees safe and whether employees must be paid during the storm, how to secure buildings and other property, how to best prepare for shut down of business operations, and what they can be doing now to plan for the clean-up operations following the storm.


In the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma last year, Cobbs Allen posted a series of blogs to help organizations address these issues:

After the Storm:  Top Employee Considerations

After the Storm:  Disaster Cleanup and Recovery

After the Storm:  Post Loss Preparation for Claim

Whether this is the first time that you and your organization are preparing for an approaching hurricane or you are seasoned in dealing with the impact of natural disasters to your business operations, your Cobbs Allen risk management team is here for you. We are your partner to navigate through answering all questions and assisting in your evacuation and recovery plans.


Cobbs Allen Welcomes Chasity, Andie and Danielle

Posted by Caitlin Miley on September 5, 2018

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(Pictured left to right: Chasity Weaver, Danielle Nichols, Andie Diers)

 

Cobbs Allen is excited to welcome three new associates to our Birmingham team—Chasity Weaver, Andie Diers and Danielle Nichols.

Chasity joins Cobbs Allen as a client executive on our employee benefits team. Chasity previously worked in Opelika, AL, as a senior account manager for a natural gas company. She graduated from Auburn University with a bachelor's degree in public relations.

Andie Diers joins Cobbs Allen as a junior account executive in our P&C division. Specifically, Andie joins our Education Practice Group team and will help service our education clients on a daily basis. A recent graduate of Auburn University, Andie graduated summa cum laude with a degree in marketing.

Danielle joins Cobbs Allen’s worker’s compensation division assisting with account services. She has more than 15 years’ experience in account servicing including data entry.

 


The Cobbs Allen Internship: Just Right

Posted by Caitlin Miley on August 30, 2018

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Internships can often be a guessing game; somewhat of a Goldilocks experience, if you will. Intern somewhere too small and miss out on a true, structured program. Intern somewhere too big and the personal touches and flexibilities don’t exist.

But just like Goldilocks found her perfect bowl of porridge, students can find their ideal internship. At Cobbs Allen, we believe we have created an internship program that is just right.

Our nine-week curriculum provides structure—opportunity to rotate through each division, seeing both the service and sales sides—while also allowing for the personalization of each intern’s interests.

While each rotation—Employee Benefits, Property & Casualty and Personal Lines—looks a little different, the main constant throughout is exposure to both the service and the sales sides of our business. Interns spend much of their time in the office, learning from service team members, but they also have the chance to go out on client and prospect meetings.

In addition to rotating through each division, interns spend the entire summer working directly with one of our clients to review their insurance policies and employee benefit offerings. This summer our interns worked with Coca-Cola Bottling Company United—meeting with executive leadership, touring their facilities and presenting their findings at the end of the summer.

“It is important to us that our interns gain real-life, hands-on experience while at Cobbs Allen,” said Katie Langley, Senior Vice President of Human Resources and Client Services and member of the internship committee. “Their professors have already taught them well, and we seek only to supplement that knowledge.”

It is equally important to us that our interns gain professional skills that can transfer to any job they may take. Therefore, we are diligent to provide workshops and training sessions focused on topics such as professional attire, LinkedIn and Microsoft Office.

Even though college students are just now getting back into the swing of a new school year, our internship committee is already prepping for next summer’s interns.

If you know a college student who is interested in gaining hands-on experience in an insurance brokerage firm, have them reach out to interns@cobbsallen.com or look for our team at college career fairs this fall!


August Client Spotlight: Speed Spa

Posted by Caitlin Miley on August 28, 2018

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Company Name: Speed Spa

Owner: Tricia Holbrook

Location: Mountain Brook Village (Birmingham, AL)

Time in Business: 9 months

Industry: Salon Spa

Website: Speedspa.io

 

Let me paint a picture for you: you’re a busy person. You work full time and/or take care of kids around the clock. Your hair is in desperate need of a cut and color, and you’d really like to treat yourself to a pedicure. But where is the time?!

Enter Speed Spa. This innovative salon offers best-in-class services in the most efficient ways. Think sinks that slide out so you stay in one chair for your entire hair service, a mani with a blowout, and fingers and toes at the same time.

“Our goal is to deliver the very best in salon spa services for your hair, face, nails and body in the most efficient time possible,” said Tricia Holbrook, owner of Speed Spa. “We do not cut any corners in our service but just worked efficiencies into the system.”

One key component of their efficient method lies within their mobile app where you can book an appointment, pay and add a tip all from your smart phone.

Cobbs Allen has been proud to consult on the Holbrook family’s personal insurance needs for many years now, and we’re delighted she turned to us when she opened her new business.

“My risk consultant, Cara Conaty, has done a fabulous job explaining what coverages I truly need for an industry I am brand new to,” Holbrook said. “As a first time business owner, I want to be well protected without wasting money, and Cara has helped me achieve that.”


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