Professional Lines

AmWINS is the leading professional lines insurance wholesale broker in the U.S., with the ability to handle a wide range of account size and complexity.

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Professional Lines Expertise

As a leading professional liability insurance broker of financial, professional, and management risks, our nationwide team of experts works directly with retail agents and brokers to effectively address and mitigate risks with strategies that provide coverage for both company and personal assets.

In addition to a complete range of solutions for high-risk professional liability clients, we offer the benefit of binding authority in a number of E&S markets, making it simple to write and place coverage. Annually, we handle more than 50,000 submissions and place nearly $700 million in premium.

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As a leading professional lines broker, AmWINS is constantly looking to provide new product offerings for our clients. Our objective is to provide our brokers and retail clients with competitive proprietary products complementing the capacity delivered by our specialty carrier partners. With these products, retailers gain a distinct advantage in the marketplace.

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Through AmWINS Access, our company’s nationwide binding and small business platform, you benefit from industry-leading technology which both simplifies and accelerates the process of handling small accounts. All of this leads to speed, efficiency, and the best possible terms for your insureds.

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AmWINS brokers use the expertise of our London-based colleagues at THB Group to market on behalf of our U.S. retail clients, giving our retail partners the assurance that we are using the full resources within the AmWINS organization to solve their clients’ problems.

Value-Added Services

We provide our retail partners with the enhanced coverage benefits necessary to build lasting relationships with their clients. As part of our broad professional lines coverage solutions, we offer a suite of extended consultative services relating to:

  • Liability risk management
  • Claims advocacy
  • Placement strategy
  • Market selection
  • Form review
  • Risk differentiation
  • Strategic program structure

Areas of Specialty

  • Crime, Fiduciary, Kidnap + Ransom
  • Cyber Liability
  • Employment Practices Liability
  • Management Liability (D&O)
  • Medical Malpractice/Allied Medical
  • Professional Liability
  • Transactional Risk (Reps + Warranties)

Recent Insights

Endorsements that Protect Your Clients from Social Engineering Losses

Dec 6, 2016, 15:21 PM
In response to the masses becoming more aware of cyber-attack techniques, hackers have countered with more sophisticated attacks, such as CEO Fraud, also known as Social Engineering Fraud. How we do we address this increasing risk as an industry?
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Date : Nov 8, 2016, 05:00 AM
In recent years, hackers and cyber-thieves have been developing new techniques to infiltrate insureds’ bank accounts. Early phishing scams were fairly easy to spot: a request from a Nigerian prince or a link purported to take you to your bank’s customer service center were tell-tale signs of suspicious email traffic. It was recommended to never click on the link and delete the email immediately. In response to the masses becoming more aware of these red flags, thieves have countered with more sophisticated attacks, such as CEO Fraud, also known as Social Engineering Fraud. Social engineering is defined as “psychological manipulation of people into performing actions or divulging confidential information.” 1
 
 

Here are some examples of what CEO Fraud or Social Engineering Fraud might look like:

Example #1

An email, purportedly from the CEO, is sent to the firm’s accounting department authorizing an urgent payment to a new vendor with a bogus bank account number. Not wanting to disappoint the CEO, the amount is transferred only to find out the CEO never requested any new vendor payments. Hackers might follow a CEO or CFO’s social media posts to see when they are traveling to make verbal confirmation more difficult for the target.

Example #2

After months of monitoring transactions from accounts payable to a foreign vendor, hackers create a fake email address that is similar to that of the foreign vendor. They then use the fake email address to inform an accounts payable representative that the bank account number has changed and to please send payment to the new account number. Often, the company will only be aware of these fraudulent payments when the real vendor follows up for payment. By then the money is unrecoverable.

 

As of April 2016, the FBI has estimated that CEO Fraud has cost businesses $2.3 billion. In an effort to recoup these losses, insureds are looking to their crime policies for reimbursement for their losses. Specifically, they are looking to the Funds Transfer Fraud (“The company shall pay the parent organization for direct loss of money sustained by an insured resulting from funds transfer fraud committed by a third party”) and Computer Fraud (“The company shall pay the parent organization for direct loss of money sustained by an insured resulting from computer fraud committed by a third party”) insuring agreements.

Unfortunately, under the CEO Fraud scenario, funds are transferred willingly, with the insured’s knowledge; therefore, claims are declined under the Funds Transfer Fraud insuring agreement. Similarly, under the Computer Fraud insuring agreement, the carrier can argue that coverage has not been triggered as the fraudulent payment instructions came into the company via email, and email by its nature is an authorized entry. Another method used is the Voluntary Parting Exclusion, which excludes coverage when an insured willfully parts with title to, or possession of, any property.

Cyber carriers are beginning to offer policy enhancement endorsements that affirm sublimited coverage for CEO Fraud or Social Engineering Fraud. The wording to look for which confirms coverage may look similar to this:

“The Insurer will pay the Insured Entity for Social Engineering Fraud Loss resulting directly from a Social Engineering Fraud Event, in excess of the applicable retention and within the applicable Limits of Insurance.

It is a condition precedent to coverage under the Social Engineering Fraud Coverage that the Insured attempted to Authenticate the Fraudulent Instruction prior to transferring any Money or Securities.”

 

How we do we address this increasing risk as an industry? Traction is gaining and more carriers are beginning to extend coverage by endorsement, albeit under sublimits, in both Crime and Cyber lines. Even these small improvements show signs of progress in the industry. By discussing this issue with insureds, retail agents and brokers can provide added value by urging them to educate their employees and set protocols for verifying large or frequent transfers.

 

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This article was co-authored by Brandyn Surprenant and Mikkel Vogele of AmWINS Brokerage in Chicago, Illinois.

 

 1  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_engineering_(security)

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