Now that it’s the new year, we’d like to take a moment to reflect on several of the major industry and company happenings in 2017.

We had a fantastic year at Brown & Joseph helping our customers reduce their bad debt write-offs.

Among the biggest events around the country from last year were a number of devastating natural disasters, data breaches, innovative inventions and new legislature.

January 1 | NCCI implements the ANC

The National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) implemented the audit noncompliance charge (ANC) on Jan. 1, 2017, with the intent to provide carriers with a more uniform approach for employers who don’t allow records to be examined and audited.

This means that after at least two attempts to examine and audit an employer’s records, the ANC can be applied to the estimated annual premium.

For assigned risk policies, if an employer is noncompliant with an assigned risk audit and pays the ANC, that employer is ineligible for assigned risk coverage until the employer allows the audit to be performed.

The ANC is refunded to an employer that has paid the ANC and allowed the audit to be performed.

Read more about the ANC here.

February 1 | Second annual Insurance Careers Month kicks off

The second annual Insurance Careers Month (ICM) kicked off on Feb. 1, 2017.

The purpose of ICM is to raise awareness about the diverse career options in the insurance industry and to attract young people to the profession.

During this month, insurance companies launch various campaigns on social media to attract attention to careers in the insurance industry.

April 20 | Wildfires tear through California

Beginning on April 20, 2017, California saw its most destructive wildfire season ever. A total of 9,054 fires destroyed over one million acres.

The wildfires were triggered by a severe drought at the beginning of the year, which caused a spike in grass fire activity.

There were 46 fatalities from the wildfires, including one firefighter.

The total cost of the damages in California amounted to over $13 billion.

May 17 | Brown & Joseph attends 2017 NCCI Annual Issues Symposium

From May 17-19, 2017, Brown & Joseph attended the 2017 Annual Issues Symposium hosted by the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) in Orlando, Florida.

The event, attended by over 900 industry professionals, focused on staying relevant during times of change.

July 13 | Brown & Joseph joins NAMIC

Brown & Joseph became an Associate Member of the National Association for Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC) on July 13, 2017.

“As NAMIC’s newest Associate Member, Brown & Joseph is a welcome addition to the association membership,” said Charles Chamness, President and Chief Executive Officer of NAMIC.

“The company brings a unique business focus that is consistent with, and brings added value to, the mutual insurance industry, and we look forward to their involvement in and support of the association in the years ahead.”

Brown & Joseph also attended the 2017 NAMIC Annual Convention for the first time in September in New Orleans, Louisiana.

To read more about Brown & Joseph’s NAMIC membership, click here.

July 25 | Brown & Joseph completes SSAE 18

On July 25, 2017, Brown & Joseph announced that it had recently completed its examination in conformity with the Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements (SSAE) No. 18.

Completion of the SSAE 18 Type II SOC 1 examination indicates that Brown & Joseph’s processes, procedures and controls have been formally evaluated and tested by an independent accounting and auditing firm.

“Brown & Joseph has always done well to stay ahead of the curve, and far ahead of the competition. We have long recognized the fiduciary responsibility to our family of clients, and the higher level of integrity and operational excellence that comes with protecting the client’s good name. One of the ways we express that responsibility is by ensuring that we are fully adhering to the highest standards of service quality and operational transparency with an SSAE 18 Type 2 SOC 1 audit.” – Jessica Schneider, Compliance Officer.

Read more about Brown & Joseph’s SSAE 18 completion here.

August 25 | Hurricane Harvey floods Houston

On Aug. 25, 2017, Hurricane Harvey hit Texas and flooded all of Houston.

Damages escalated to about $180 billion.

This disaster was a cry for help to politicians to reform the battered National Flood Insurance Program, as about 70% of home damages from flooding were not covered by insurance.

September 7 | Equifax security breach raises cybersecurity concerns

Almost five months after it was hacked, Equifax Inc., a credit reporting agency, notified the public on Sept. 7, 2017, that over 200,000 people had their names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and driver’s license numbers stolen in a data breach.

This caused a panic among U.S. citizens and raised concerns about cybersecurity and why Equifax failed to notify the public immediately.

For five easy steps to strengthen your cyber security, click here.

September 10 | Hurricane Irma slams Florida

On Sept. 10, 2017, Hurricane Irma made landfall on Florida, causing 90 deaths in the U.S. and over $60 billion in damages.

It was the second-costliest Caribbean hurricane on record, with Hurricane Maria being the first-costliest and occurring just two weeks later.

Hurricane Irma alone cost insurance companies an estimated $100 billion total, with over $2 million in insurance claims.

September 20 | Hurricane Maria destroys Puerto Rico

On Sept. 20, 2017, Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico, causing the deaths of anywhere between 500 to 1,000 people.

Total losses from the hurricane are estimated to be about $103 billion, mainly in Puerto Rico.

Almost four months later, the citizens of Puerto Rico are still recovering from the storm and half still do not have any electricity.

September 24 | Brown & Joseph attends 2017 NAMIC Annual Convention

From Sept. 24-27, 2017, Brown & Joseph attended the 2017 National Association for Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC) Annual Convention in Denver, Colorado.

The event, attended by over 2,000 individuals, offered educational sessions, keynote speakers, discussion panels and plenty of networking opportunities.

October 1 | Las Vegas mass shooting racks up billions in claims

On Oct. 1, 2017, almost 60 people were killed when a mass shooter fired into a country music festival audience in Las Vegas, Nevada, from his room at the Mandalay Bay Hotel. This attack is the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

Since the shooting, several lawsuits have emerged against the hotel operator and event organizer.

Life and health insurance claims from the shooting are estimated to be in the billions.

Insurers are expecting claims related to the shooting from life and health insurance and lawsuits to continue for years.

October 23 | Brown & Joseph attends 2017 ICE Conference

From Oct. 21-26, 2017, Brown & Joseph attended the 2017 Insurance Collection Executives (ICE) Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana.

The event featured discussion panels on things from bad debt to employee engagement, educational workshops and networking opportunities.

November 14 | 21st Century Flood Reform Act passes

After years of postponement, the U.S. House of Representatives voted on a bill that reformed the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) on Nov. 14, 2017.

The NFIP, which expired on Dec. 8, 2017, was reauthorized by the 21st Century Flood Reform Act for five years.

The program had been in extreme debt, amounting to over $1 billion.

The reform is expected to substantially reduce direct spending, encourage private market competition and provide policyholders with programmatic reforms.

Read more about the road to reforming the NFIP here.

December 6 | Bitcoin value reaches an all-time high

On Dec. 6, 2017, bitcoin, one of the most well-known virtual currencies in the world, reached an all-time high of about $13,000.

Bitcoin is infamous for its volatility.

This caused concerns about cybersecurity and cryptocurrency insurance to protect from hackers stealing the digital currency.

However, as of Jan. 3, 2018, bitcoin value is now at another low.

Learn more about bitcoin and bitcoin insurance here.

We’re not sure what 2018 has in store for us at Brown & Joseph, but we’re looking forward to continuing our mission in helping companies with their accounts receivable management strategies through sharing best practices and providing consultation on innovative solutions and trends.

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