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Insights

Cobbs Allen Welcomes New Associates

Posted by Elizabeth Scull on July 25, 2018

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Cobbs Allen is pleased to welcome three new associates to our Birmingham office—Nicolas Connelly, Shelby Sessions and Hunt Guyton.

Nicolas Connelly joins as a Business Analyst. In this role, he will be assisting the Accounting Department. Nicolas joins Cobbs Allen as a recent graduate from Samford University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.

Shelby Sessions, joins as a Client Executive in Employee Benefits. Shelby graduated from the University of Alabama in 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in Commerce and Business Administration. Prior to Cobbs Allen, Shelby served as a Small Business Account Executive at AT&T in Atlanta, Georgia.  

Hunt Guyton joins as a Loss Control Intern for the remainder of the summer and throughout the fall semester. Hunt is a senior at Jacksonville State University majoring in Occupational Health and Safety Management as well as Manufacturing Management.  He currently serves as the president for Jacksonville State University’s Kappa Sigma chapter and recently served as a Production Intern for Chassix-Georgia Machining.


Cobbs Allen Announces New Office Opening in Columbus, Ohio

Posted by Angela Wolfe on July 19, 2018

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Cobbs Allen is pleased to announce its further expansion with a new office in Columbus, OH. The new office will be the company’s seventh location and will be led by Ted Allen and Sean Cogan. This expansion represents the continued success of the firm. Similar to its other locations, Cobbs Allen Columbus will utilize the proprietary guideline process to help organizations lower their costs while introducing more risk-based decision-making alternatives.

“The decision to open a location in Columbus was not centered around expanding for the sake of geography,” said Grantland Rice IV, Cobbs Allen COO.  “We chose Columbus because we found quality leadership in Ted and Sean who will help build the office around our niche practice groups.”

Ted Allen and Sean Cogan will both serve as Executive Vice Presidents. Ted has over 28 years’ of cross-industry experience with proven ability to build successful enterprises from initial concept through final implementation. Sean has over 30 years’ industry experience in commercial risk management and insurance programs for multinationals. Most recently, he managed the servicing deliverables for Japanese-owned clientele.


Margaret Ann Pyburn Recognized as an Elite Woman

Posted by Angela Wolfe on July 18, 2018

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Insurance has historically been thought of as a male-dominated field. However, women like Margaret Ann Pyburn, executive vice president and director of marketing at Cobbs Allen, are making their mark as great leaders and empowering future generations of women to excel in the industry. Because of her leadership and drive, she was recognized by Insurance Business America in their June issue as one of the 95 Elite Women of 2018.

Since joining Cobbs Allen in 2002, Margaret Ann has been instrumental in the continued growth and success of Cobbs Allen. She continues to drive her division with double digit-growth and client retention while contributing her experience and expertise to industry organizations such as the Alabama Independent Insurance Agents Association, Travelers National Producer Council and Safeco Agents Advisory Council.

“Margaret Ann contributes so much to our organization,” said Bruce Denson Jr., Cobbs Allen president. “Her experience and perspective help her lead within our company, especially as it relates to helping our next generation grow into professionals. I’m thankful that other industry leaders value her as much as we do.”

Read more about Margaret Ann and the by Insurance Business America’s other Elite Women 2018 here.


Subcontractor Pre-qualification - What You Should Know

Posted by Elizabeth Scull on July 16, 2018

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General contractors use many methods to evaluate potential partners, and one of the primary methods is subcontractor pre-qualification.

Banks, surety companies and general contractors all perform subcontractor pre-qualification, but so do brokers, SDI providers, and independent third-party providers. So, what exactly is subcontractor pre-qualification? Pre-qualification is used to determine the estimated amount that a person or company can afford to borrow based off their credit worthiness.

When considering if a subcontractor is a good candidate for insurance or a surety bond, financial stability, experience, current workload, payment and legal history are all taken into consideration. They take all the information—good and bad—and come up with a final decision.

While landing construction projects for subcontractors can be competitive, there are many tips you can follow that help your company look it’s best during the prequalification process. Monitoring your credit scores, remaining in good standing with the bank and even getting involved with local organizations all can contribute to gaining business in the construction industry.

Regardless who is doing the pre-qualifying, the basis of what contractor’s look for is the same. Keeping your company in good standing financially, being responsible and growing your company at a steady pace are all strategies that can that aid in bringing success—especially when it comes to smaller and newer contractors.


Affordability Percentages Will Increase for 2019

Posted by Megan Zimmerman on July 12, 2018

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The IRS recently issued Revenue Procedure 2018-34 which increased the contribution percentages in 2019 for purposes of determining affordability under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). For plan years beginning in 2019, employer-sponsored coverage will be considered affordable if the employee’s contribution for self-only coverage on an employer’s lowest-cost option (if more than one plan is offered) does not exceed:

  • 9.86% of the employee’s household income for the employer pay-or-play rules for applicable large employers and premium tax credit eligibility

What Employers Need to Know

Employers should work with their consultant to ensure that its funding strategies meet the affordability threshold for 2019 as this is a sizeable increase from the affordability percentage for 2018, which offers more flexibility in terms of employee contributions for medical coverage.

Since it can be difficult to determine an employee’s household income, employers may continue to use an affordability safe harbor to measure affordability of coverage. The three safe harbors measure affordability based upon Form W-2 wages, employee’s rate of pay or the federal poverty line (FPL) for a single individual.

Please click here for additional information.


Employee Retention Helps Maintain Company Success

Posted by Elizabeth Scull on July 12, 2018

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Businesses are familiar with the importance of employee retention, but many struggle when it comes to keeping their current employees.

High turnover in a company can be devastating both on performance and financial levels. It can cost nearly 20 percent of an employee’s annual salary just to replace them. Implementing proactive retention strategies can help businesses maintain their workforce and keep employees pleased with their employer.

There are many factors to consider when evaluating why an employee chooses to leave. Is it a better opportunity? Are better benefits being offered? Work verses home life balance?

Retention strategies help an employer stay engaged with their employees through formal and informal discussions that may help determine these factors.

“When your management team focuses on retention strategies, it is natural that they will become more engaged with their employees. Conversations about employees’ career goals and desires as well as frustrations, creates opportunities to customize retention strategies before losing good employees,” said Vanessa Lolli, Cobbs Allen Senior HR Consultant.

To help evaluate how your business may improve employee retention, Cobbs Allen has provided an Employee Retention Scorecard to determine if your organization has a high turnover risk, click here to download.


Temps Are Up- Watch for Worker Heat Hazards

Posted by Angela Wolfe on July 5, 2018

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Every year, thousands of workers become sick from occupational heat exposure. This includes working in both indoor and outdoor heat environments. More than 40 percent of heat-related worker deaths occur in the construction industry, but workers in every field are susceptible. There are a range of heat illnesses and they can affect anyone, regardless of age or physical condition. Operations involving high air temperatures, radiant heat sources (e.g., sunlight, hot exhaust), high humidity, direct physical contact with hot objects, or strenuous physical activities have a high potential for causing heat-related illness.

Employer Responsibility to Protect Workers

Under OSHA law, employers are responsible for providing workplaces free of known safety hazards. This includes protecting workers from extreme heat. An employer with workers exposed to high temperatures should establish a complete heat illness prevention program.

  • Provide workers with water, rest and shade.
  • Allow new or returning workers to gradually increase workloads and take more frequent breaks as they acclimatize, or build a tolerance for working in the heat.
  • Plan for emergencies and train workers on prevention.
  • Monitor workers for signs of illness.
Visit here for more information and industry-specific resources provided by OSHA.



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