Just Released: Private Client Fall 2016 Newsletter

capture2For the car enthusiasts among us, the 2016 Hagerty Hot List has identified cars made within the 2016 model year that could become future collectibles. The most affordable car on the list is the Mazda MX-5 Miata, priced at $24,915. Topping the list is the 2016 Lotus Evora 400, priced at $89,000. (Note: the list only includes cars with an MSRP of less than $100,000.)

For more information on future collectible cars, read the Private Client Newsletter, produced by our Partners at Assurex Global. This edition of the newsletter also explores the following topics:

thumbnail– Two methods of protecting your home from a burst pipe
– Two insurance carriers that provide select insurance coverage for valuable wine collections
– Four methods of protecting your online identity from criminals

Read the full newsletter here.

GEB Named a 2016 Best Place to Work by New Orleans CityBusiness

New Orleans CityBusiness Best Places to Work 2016Gillis, Ellis & Baker is honored to be named to the 2016 Best Places to Work list by New Orleans CityBusiness in the Large Company category! The Large Company category (more than 50 employees) includes 35 honorees, and the Small Business category (less than 50 employees) includes 15 honorees.

The generous employees of GEB collected personal care items, snacks/food, and monetary donations for soldiers who are stationed overseas. We did this through a wonderful organization called the Slidell Ladies for Liberty. The Slidell Ladies for Liberty collect items and monetary donations and send care packages to the soldiers. (March 2016)
Through an organization called the Slidell Ladies for Liberty, the generous employees of GEB collected personal care items, snacks/food, and monetary donations for soldiers who are stationed overseas (March 2016)

To determine its honorees, CityBusiness uses a scoring system based on benefits, including salary, health care, paid time off, and average length of employment. In addition, employees at the nominated companies are asked to complete a survey, allowing the selection committee to gauge the workplace culture and staff morale.

GEBers enjoying Wednesday at the Square (April 2016)
GEBers enjoying Wednesday at the Square (April 2016)

Congratulations to all of the honorees! You can view the complete list here.

All 50 companies chosen will be honored at an awards event at noon Friday, Dec. 2, at the Hyatt Regency. The top three large and small companies will be announced at the event.

GEBers enjoying a pancake breakfast, prepared by President, Anderson Baker (July 2016)
GEBers enjoying a pancake breakfast, prepared by President, Anderson Baker (July 2016)

Be on the lookout for a special 2016 Best Workplaces publication that will be inserted into the Dec. 9 issue of New Orleans CityBusiness.

Proud to be GEB!

GEBers supporting NOPD on Geaux Blue NOLA Day (September 2016)
GEBers supporting NOPD on Geaux Blue NOLA Day (September 2016)

GEB Included in IIABA’s Best Practices Study

2016 Best Practices AgencyGillis, Ellis & Baker has been selected for the 4th year to be a part of an elite group of independent insurance agencies around the United States participating in the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”) “Best Practices” Study Group.

Only 254 independent agencies throughout the U.S. qualified for inclusion in the 2016 Best Practices Study. An IIABA affiliated state association or an insurance company must first nominate the agency which then must qualify based on outstanding customer retention, growth, stability and financial management. More than 1,800 agencies were nominated this year.

View the full list of 2016 Best Practices Agencies here >

Each year since 1993, IIABA and Reagan Consulting, an Atlanta-based management consulting firm, join forces to study the country’s leading agencies in six revenue categories, ranging from “Under $1.25 million” in annual revenue to “Over $25 million” in annual revenues. The agencies comprising the study groups are selected every third year through a comprehensive nomination and qualifying process and awarded a “Best Practices Agency” designation. The selected “Best Practices” agencies retain their status during the three-year cycle by submitting extensive financial and operational data for review each year.

Anderson Baker, Gillis, Ellis & Baker President
Anderson Baker, Gillis, Ellis & Baker President

“Participation in the Best Practices Study has become a prestigious recognition of the superior accomplishments of the top insurance agencies across the country,” said Anderson Baker, Gillis, Ellis & Baker President. “Our inclusion with these 254 outstanding agents and brokers clearly recognizes us as an industry leader.”

The agency was nominated by either an IIABA affiliated state association or an insurance company and qualified based on its operational excellence.

The Best Practices Study was initiated by IIABA in 1993 as the foundation for efforts to improve agency performance. The annual survey and study of leading independent insurance agencies documents the business practices of the highest performing agencies and urges others to adopt similar practices.

IIABA - Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America - Big "I"Founded in 1896, IIABA is the nation’s oldest and largest national association of independent insurance agents and brokers, representing a network of more than 300,000 agents, brokers and their employees nationally. Its members are businesses that offer customers a choice of policies from a variety of insurance companies. Independent agents and brokers offer all lines of insurance – property, casualty, life and health – as well as employee benefit plans and retirement products. Learn more at www.independentagents.com.

9 Things Louisiana Homeowners Should Know About Flood Insurance

by Lauren G. Steinhardt, Producer, Gillis, Ellis & Baker

Last month we all watched as our neighbors across our state were enveloped in floodwater. As the water subsides, and helping hands busily take on tasks that are all too familiar to many in New Orleans, I’ve been struck by the pervasive misunderstandings that surround the risk of flooding and Flood Insurance. Below are a few points to clarify popular misconception, in particular, as it relates to the map changes taking place in Orleans Parish on September 30, 2016.

An view from an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter shows flooding and devastation in Baton Rouge, La., Aug. 15, 2016, where service members have rescued residents and provided relief. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Melissa Leake
A view from an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter shows flooding and devastation in Baton Rouge, La., Aug. 15, 2016, where service members have rescued residents and provided relief. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Melissa Leake.
  1. You are in a flood zone. We all are. Every community in Louisiana (and most of the US) is mapped by FEMA and fits into one of many flood zones based upon the likelihood of a flood in any given year.
  1. The real question is: Which zone are you in? Zones B, C, and X are moderate risk zones. Any zone that starts with an A has a higher risk of flooding, and Zone V has the highest risk of flooding.
  1. Special Flood Hazard Areas: The A Zones and V Zones are known as Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA) and are considered susceptible to a flood that has a 1% (or higher) chance of occurring in a particular area in any given year.
  1. Recurrence Intervals: A flood with a 1% chance of occurring in a particular area in any given year is commonly known as 100 year flood. The recent flooding in Louisiana is the eighth 500-year (or greater) rainfall event in the US in just over a year.
  1. New Flood Maps: Effective September 30, 2016 new flood maps will go into effect for Orleans Parish. Many properties will no longer be located in Special Flood Hazard Areas. The owners of properties that are moving out of SFHA will likely see a reduction in flood premium. Many of the companies that administer flood policies for the NFIP will review the policy and if possible, send refunds to their client’s midterm. With thousands of clients affected, this process will take time, but still good news!

    New Orleans Area Flood Map via FEMA's Risk Map 6 Website
    New Orleans Area Flood Map via FEMA’s Risk Map 6 Website: http://maps.riskmap6.com/LA/Orleans/
  1. Two changes are taking place. The maps in some areas are being revised to reflect improved drainage systems, moving some areas from high risk flood zones to moderate risk zones. The other change taking place has to do with the Base Flood Elevation, which is changing in some areas. If the structure on a property is positively elevated relative to the Base Flood, the risk of flooding decreases, as does the flood premium. Even if your property isn’t moving out of a high risk zone, you may still benefit from the change in Base Flood Elevation.
  1. But, don’t let your guard down. If you are told by a Real Estate agent or your Lender that you don’t need Flood Insurance they mean you don’t have to have Flood Insurance to qualify for a federally backed mortgage. They don’t mean Flood insurance isn’t important to protect your assets.
  1. Flood insurance covers physical loss to a structure and/or the contents contained in the insured structure. Homeowners, keep in mind, coverage for loss of use is not included in Flood Insurance. Similarly, Business owners should remember that Business Interruption is not covered by the NFIP. Some insurers offer a Difference in Conditions (DIC) policy to make up for this gap – talk to your agent about the availability and pricing.
  1. Hindsight is not a reliable forecaster for future events. As we’ve seen time and time again, “I’ve never flooded before” doesn’t mean, it won’t happen in the future. Flood insurance policies for homes in B, C or X zones is usually less than $500 for $250,000 of building and $100,000 of contents coverage. If you choose to retain this risk, be sure you have the financial capital to recover without insurance.

Saying you aren’t in a flood zone is like saying you don’t have a temperature. You always have a temperature. The question is: Do you have a fever?

Lauren Galligan Steinhardt | Producer | Gillis, Ellis & Baker
Lauren Galligan Steinhardt, Producer, Gillis, Ellis & Baker

The importance of knowing your risk is clear. For most Americans their home is the largest asset they will ever own. The exceptions are generally business owners, who likely have even more funds in buildings and contents. Careful consideration should be taken to protect your home or business. Do your research and talk with your insurance agent to make an informed decision. Any of us can be affected by a flood. If it happens to you, we want to be able to tell you it’s going to be okay, because you bought flood insurance.

Wealth at Risk: How High Net Worth Families Overpay to Be Underinsured

Title imageAs an affluent individual, you have proven yourself to be financially savvy—saving money when you can and investing wisely. But are you spending your hard-earned wealth wisely when it comes to insurance?

In 2010 and 2012, Chubb Personal Risk Services® conducted a survey of more than 600 independent insurance brokers and asked if their clients were over or underinsured with their mass-carrier insurance for 21 types of coverage. The results revealed many opportunities to improve protection and maximize value in families’ personal insurance programs.

We, as Assurex Global Partners, wanted to share the following white paper with you so you could see the breadth of ways in which high net worth individuals, like you, are overpaying to be underinsured.

The whitepaper discusses:

Wealth at Risk_Gillis Ellis Baker_Assurex Global_Thumbnail_150x188– Survey Results
– Savings Opportunities
– Guarding Against Significant Loss
– Other Coverage Optimization Opportunities
– How to Perform A Personal Risk Review

Read the whitepaper here >

We’re taking our insurance knowledge on the road!

GEB VP & Producer, Jeff Howard, presenting on cyber risks
GEB VP & Producer, Jeff Howard, presenting on cyber risks

By now you’ve heard of GEB University, a seminar series focused on what we do best: insurance, risk management and employee benefits. We host these seminars in our office. But now we’d like to also offer the opportunity to bring our insurance knowledge to you!

GEB University participants
GEB University participants

This unique service allows our experts to offer detailed and tailored insurance and risk management training. Through continuing education, our community will better understand our industry, its mechanics and language. It is our goal to change the way most people view this misunderstood industry, called insurance!

GEB Producer, Liz Van Dervort, discussing Management Liability
GEB Producer, Liz Van Dervort, discussing Management Liability

Please contact us if you are interested in having a GEB expert present one of these seminar topics to your organization or association.

– Insurance 201: Beyond the Basics
– Cyber Risks: Prevention & Mitigation in a Technological World
– Contractual Considerations For Your Business
– Management Liability/Directors & Officers Insurance
– Understanding the Pollution & Environmental Risks to Your Organization
– Retirement Planning, Fiduciary Responsibility
– Workplace Safety
– Disaster Preparedness For Your Business
– Human Resources: Fair Labor Standards & Compensation Considerations
– Human Resources: Harassment & Discrimination Issues & Risk Management

Don’t see the topic you’re looking for listed here? No worries. We can tailor a presentation to your needs. Just contact us to get the ball rolling!

GEB's Parke Ellis & Lauren Steinhardt presenting to non-profit organizations at the Greater New Orleans Foundation
GEB’s Parke Ellis & Lauren Steinhardt presenting to non-profit organizations at the Greater New Orleans Foundation

Contact Amanda Graves to set up your seminar at:
– Call: (504) 619-1043
– email: agraves@gillis.com

Be sure to mention the following information:
– Your name
– Organization
– Seminar topic
– A few date/time options

We look forward to taking our insurance knowledge to a meeting near you!

Top 5 Reasons to Consider the Louisiana Insurance Academy

LIA Cohort 2 Graduates
LIA Cohort 2 Graduates

Some people are born into the family business. But, many others who work in the insurance industry probably never really envisioned themselves on this career path in the beginning. People sort of just, end up here. Even so, most will tell you that they are happy to be a part of this misunderstood business, called insurance.

Louisiana Insurance Academy at Delgado Community College New Orleans
LIA sign at Delgado Community College

It’s not the “stodgy” industry of the past. We’re spicing things up, trying to appeal to the millennials. Most of all, it is a business that allows us to do good things for people, a cause that is noble and just.

That is why Gillis, Ellis & Baker (GEB) is proud to support the Louisiana Insurance Academy (LIA), a program focused on kick-starting a career in insurance. Housed at Delgado Community College, the program will first introduce students to the fundamentals of Property and Casualty insurance before taking on a much more detailed study of both Personal and Commercial insurance. Graduates are prepared for the state licensing process and an entry-level career in the insurance industry.

LIA students participating in a lesson
LIA students participating in a lesson

We know you’re already anxious to apply, but just to pique your interest even more, we’ve put together these top five reasons to consider the LIA and a career in the insurance industry. Enjoy.

A career in insurance surprises people. Nobody ever sees it coming. And yet, the work is fast paced, technical and carries a high level of professional responsibility. Those in the customer service level help guide individuals and businesses to make sound decisions in the protection of their assets. This is not all about pushing paper. It is an integral part of any insurance firm’s operation.

LIA Lesson Books
LIA Lesson Books

It is said that 50% of the people working in the insurance industry are within 10 years of retirement. This creates a huge need to fill spots in the operations of most insurance businesses. Those that enter the industry with a working knowledge of general insurance have a distinct advantage in finding jobs in the field of insurance.

A position in the insurance field is highly portable. The demand for quality talent extends throughout Louisiana, and, in fact, across the entire country. Insurance is not so much a job as it is a career.

GEB's Parke Ellis teaching a lesson
GEB’s Parke Ellis teaching a lesson

An insurance career can be financially rewarding. Average starting salaries are in the $30,000 to $35,000 range and can run even higher in larger agencies and brokerages. A typical insurance job comes complete with a full suite of benefits.

Days never repeat themselves. Because a typical insurance professional may handle over 100 clients, each day brings new challenges. The satisfaction comes from successfully counseling clients through their particular issue and providing timely service on their account.

LIA graduates catching up at a happy hour get together
LIA alumni catching up at a happy hour get together

So there you have it. Seize this opportunity, folks.  It is a great business and a great ride.

To learn more about the Louisiana Insurance Academy, visit www.dcc.edu/LIA.

Charles Eshleman Elected President of the Greater New Orleans Executives Association

Charles Eshleman
Charles Eshleman

Charles Eshleman, Vice President of Gillis, Ellis & Baker (GEB), has been elected President of the Board of Directors of the Greater New Orleans Executives Association. He has been an active member of the organization since 2012.

Prior to joining GEB in 1994, Charles was President of the Bryer Insurance Agency in Metairie, LA. A graduate of Metairie Park Country Day School, Charles also obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Tulane University, and an MBA with a concentration in Finance from the A.B. Freeman School of Business at Tulane.

Charles has over 25 years experience handling large property and casualty accounts, with an emphasis on construction and real estate. He has served on the state board of the Professional Insurance Agents (PIA) of Louisiana, and is a past president of the New Orleans chapter of PIA. In 1998, he was named PIA’s Insurance Agent of the Year for Louisiana. In addition, Charles has served on the Board of Directors for the following organizations: Metairie Park Country Day, New Orleans Municipal Yacht Harbor, and The Tulane Alumni Association.

gnoea-logoAbout the GNOEA:
Founded in 1971, the Greater New Orleans Executives Association is an organization of 65 business owners in the metropolitan area. The association serves its members by allowing them to share critical business information, referrals and market data along with expert advice on key legal, accounting, insurance and labor issues.

IRS to Accept ACA Filings After June 30 Deadline

IRS to Accept ACA Filings After June 30 Deadline-1

The IRS has announced that electronic Affordable Care Act (ACA) information returns may continue to be filed after the filing deadline, which was June 30, 2016. These returns are required under Internal Revenue Code Sections 6055 and 6056, which were created by the ACA. Reporting entities that file 250 or more individual statements under these reporting requirements must file electronically through the ACA Information Returns (AIR) Program.

Reporting entities that were not able to submit all required ACA information returns by June 30, 2016, should still complete the filing of returns after the deadline. In general, penalties may apply for information returns that are not filed on time. However, the IRS will not assess penalties for late filing on reporting entities that have made legitimate efforts to file information returns, if they continue to make efforts and complete the process as soon as possible. In addition, penalties may be waived in some cases, for reasonable cause.


Parke Ellis Honored with IIABL Lou Daniel Award

Parke Ellis
Parke Ellis

Gillis, Ellis & Baker (GEB) would like to congratulate Chairman, Parke Ellis, for receiving the highest honor given by the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of Louisiana (IIABL), the Lou Daniel Award. He received the honor on June 20th during the IIABL Annual Convention at the Sandestin Beach Hilton in Destin, Fla.

Lou Daniel was an independent agent from Baton Rouge, who served as the Legislative Chairman for many years and served as the Louisiana State National Director to the national Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America for many years.

Parke Ellis receiving the Lou Daniel Award from IIABL President, David Dethloff

The IIABL Lou Daniel Award is only awarded when someone has contributed to IIABL and the Louisiana insurance industry over many years and clearly rises above the contributions of other valuable association volunteers. Parke is the 27th recipient of the Lou Daniel Award, which has been given out since 1965.

Parke served with distinction on the IIABL Board of Directors, rose through the officer chairs, and served as IIABL President in 2013-2014. During his time on the IIABL Board of Directors, one of the primary strategic goals of IIABL was to bring new young talent into our Louisiana independent agencies. The IIABL Board frequently discussed various ways to recruit, train, and employ young people into local agencies.

Cohort 1 Alumni
LIA Cohort 1 Alumni

As part of this effort, Parke created the Louisiana Insurance Academy (LIA). Parke worked with Delgado Community College in New Orleans to recruit a wide variety of new prospects into the Academy program, developed curriculum, recruited instructors, taught classes, managed the program, counseled students, and graduated 29 newly trained people into Louisiana independent agencies and brokers.

Cohort 2 Graduates
LIA Cohort 2 Alumni

The passion which Parke has for career opportunities in independent agencies, his hard work, and the enormous amount of time he has spent in creating this program is truly inspiring.

Parke has been with GEB since 1981 and is a graduate of the Williams School of Business at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va.

In addition to the IIABL and the LIA, Parke serves the insurance industry in the following capacities:

• President – Associated Risk Managers (ARM) of Louisiana
• Board Member – Associated Risk Managers (ARM) International
• Past President – Independent Insurance Agents of Greater New Orleans

Thank you for your passion for and service to the insurance industry, Parke! This honor is certainly well-deserved. Congratulations!

The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of Louisiana is the go to information resource and primary advocate for independent insurance agents in Louisiana. IIABL is a member-based, professional trade association serving more than 400 independent insurance agents, meeting the education, political and business needs of members to maximize business opportunities. Learn more at www.iiabl.com.