Marsh & McLennan Agency to Acquire Bouchard Insurance

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Acquisition Expands MMA’s Footprint in Florida

Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC (MMA), the middle market agency subsidiary of Marsh, today announced that it has reached agreement to acquire Clearwater, Florida-based Bouchard Insurance, a leading full-service agency in Florida. Terms of the transaction, which is expected to close later this month, were not disclosed.

Founded in 1948, Bouchard has 260 colleagues based in its Clearwater, Fort Myers, Kissimmee, Maitland, Sarasota, and Tampa, Florida office locations. It provides property/casualty, employee health & benefits, and personal lines insurance solutions and expertise to midsize businesses. The firm has dedicated expertise in the agribusiness, community associations, construction, education, healthcare, hospitality, staffing, and social services industries.

As part of MMA, Bouchard will maintain its existing office locations and operate as Bouchard Insurance, a Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC company. On closing, Doug Bishop, who has served as CEO of Bouchard since 2009, will continue to lead the operation.

“Bouchard’s strong client-first culture and commitment to the education and development of its colleagues make it a powerful addition to our growing presence across the US,” said David Eslick, Chairman and CEO of MMA.

Mr. Bishop added: “By joining the MMA team we have the opportunity to provide innovative resources and solutions for our clients, and new growth opportunities for our colleagues. Equally important, MMA shares our passion to support the communities we serve. We are excited to play a role in the ongoing growth of this dynamic national firm.”


About Marsh & McLennan Agency

Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC is a subsidiary of Marsh established in 2008 to serve as a platform for the middle market. In 2015, it expanded its national footprint into Canada. MMA offers commercial property, casualty, personal lines, and employee benefits to midsize businesses and individuals across North America.

About Marsh

 A global leader in insurance broking and innovative risk management solutions, Marsh’s 30,000 colleagues advise individual and commercial clients of all sizes in over 130 countries. Marsh is a wholly owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies (NYSE: MMC), the leading global professional services firm in the areas of risk, strategy and people. With annual revenue over US$14 billion and nearly 65,000 colleagues worldwide, MMC helps clients navigate an increasingly dynamic and complex environment through four market-leading firms. In addition to Marsh, MMC is the parent company of Guy Carpenter, Mercer, and Oliver Wyman. Follow Marsh on Twitter @MarshGlobal; LinkedIn; Facebook; and YouTube, or subscribe to BRINK.

Your Home’s Replacement Cost vs. its Market Value

Your home is one of your biggest assets. Therefore, it’s imperative to make sure you are protecting it with the proper amount of coverage in the event you find yourself forced to rebuild from the ground up because of a catastrophic event. 

Selecting the amount of dwelling coverage can be tricky. There are many different approaches to valuing a property, depending on your focus. Two common valuation methods are market value and replacement cost. A big misconception is that a house should be insured for the value it was purchased for. Market value is simply an agreement between a buyer and a seller for what a property is worth. It is typically the amount the market demands based on the location, schools, local crime statistics, and availability of similar homes in the same area. The value of the land is also factored into the market value.

Replacement cost, on the other hand, ensures that in the event of a loss, your home will be rebuilt using modern materials, current methods of construction and installation, and today’s pricing for labor. The land value is not a factor when determining replacement cost. As an example, a home purchased 30 years ago for $200,000 may cost $300,000 to rebuild today given the rising price of construction materials and labor. While it may be attractive to insure an older home for the market value, it could be a huge financial burden during the rebuild process. The cost for rebuilding or restoring hardwood floors, ornate woodwork, masonry, and plastering to their original condition may be much higher than the home’s purchase price. Conversely, a home situated on a 5-acre lot near the water might sell for $500,000 due to the location and lot size but the replacement cost of the house house itself may only be $200,000. In this case, insuring the home for market value is most certainly setting you up for disappointment in the event of a claim, not to mention the unnecessary premium dollars spent!

Due to the ever-changing nature of the construction industry, it’s important to review your homeowner policy at every renewal to make sure your home is valued properly. If you have done upgrades or added additional living space, your insurance company needs to know so your coverage can be adjusted accordingly.

Our team at Bouchard can help. We have tools to help calculate replacement cost based on your home characteristics. Whatever you decide, understand there is a clear difference between replacement cost and market value. It’s similar to comparing apples and oranges.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

DeeDee Simpkins is a Personal Lines Account Manager at Bouchard Insurance. DeeDee is experienced in all lines of personal insurance.

Cellar Protection: Insuring your Vino

Whether you are a well-seasoned collector who purchases wine as an asset or someone who simply purchases the very best wines and spirits over time saving it for that perfect moment, anyone can benefit from insuring their wine collection.

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You may think that wine is covered under your homeowner’s policy, but since it is considered a “consumable good” homeowner coverage does not apply. Instead, your collection should be insured like you would insure fine art or jewelry.

You can have your collection insured in two different ways – blanket coverage or scheduled coverage.

Blanket coverage uses an overall coverage limit as well as a per bottle limit that is based on the highest valued bottle in the collection. This is the best choice if you intend to drink what you have acquired and your bottles are valued at less than $1,000 each. This gives you the flexibility to add and remove bottles without having to notify your agent each time.

Scheduled coverage itemizes each bottle on the policy with an individual description and agreed upon value, which guarantees the replacement value in the event of a loss. Scheduled coverage is appropriate for collections that have higher valued bottles that are being held for long period of time.

Wine insurance is generally written on an “all-risk” basis. This means you are protected against a broad range of losses, including fire, theft, breakage and spoilage due to mechanical breakdown of the wine fridge. What's more, the coverage is on a worldwide basis.

However, once your bottle is open, the bottle, even a collectible, loses all value and is no longer covered by your policy.  Gradual deterioration or any defects from original production would be excluded as well.

Many individuals who describe themselves as wine connoisseurs have, on average, anywhere between $50,000 to $100,000 in their wine cellars. Yet less than 10% of these collections are insured.

No matter how big or small your collection is, it has value to you. Just like any other asset you own, like your home or your car, you should have peace of mind that your collection is properly protected.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Katie Dierks is a Certified Personal Risk Manager who specializes in liability protection for successful individuals.  She takes a holistic approach in designing an insurance program that mitigates the potential threats to her client’s assets and lifestyles. | Connect on LinkedIn

Are You Properly Covered for the New Year?

The holidays are almost over and the new year is upon us.  What will the dawning of a new year have in store for us? Is my insurance covering me for the changes I made this past year?  Am I covered for the changes I’m going to be making this year?

After the joy and fun of the holidays, insurance may be the last thing on your mind.  But as unattractive as it may seem, reviewing your policies can be a quick and painless process.  Here are a few things to consider.

Do I have enough coverage?

Have you updated features in your home? New and updated home features can increase the reconstruction cost of your home and your limits may not reflect that increased value. You may have also acquired more valuables. Jewelry, art, and collectables have sub-limits on your policy that may leave you underinsured. Do I have replacement cost or actual cash value?

This is not a situation that you want to be in and it is important to review your policy to assure that your property and belongings are covered and covered correctly moving forward.  This may not apply to everyone, but a review is a great opportunity for a refresher of what is and is not covered.

Do I have too much coverage?

Most homeowners insurance policies include a property inflation guard that will increase your dwelling coverage at each renewal.  If you haven’t reviewed your policy in quite some time you may be over insured. You may have also purged your home of unnecessary personal property items and may need to amend that limit as well.

Assessing and adjusting these coverage limits can save you premium in the coming year.  Anytime reducing or removing coverages I always think of the statement, “It is better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.” 

Am I missing any discounts?

Reviewing your policy is the only way to know if you’re missing out on any available discounts.  Maybe you have added or plan to add a monitored alarm system to your home. Most homeowners carriers offer discounts for monitored systems.  You may have also taken a driver’s safety course. A majority of auto insurance carriers offer additional discounts for completing a safety course.

The new year is also the time to mark your calendars for your policy renewal dates.  Policy renewals are a great time to contact our office to re-market your policy with our other carriers and compare in order to assure you have a policy that suits your needs and fits your budget.  Keep in mind, the lowest premium is not always the best option.  Insurance is like a fire extinguisher, you hope you’ll never need to use it, but you’ll be glad you have it if you do.

And, finally, from all of us at Bouchard Insurance, we wish you good health and happiness in the New Year!


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Raymond Killian is a Personal Lines Account Manager at Bouchard Insurance. Raymond is experienced in all lines of personal insurance.

Four Ways to Care for your Holiday Bling

You’ve been preparing all year for the holiday festivities. You’ve bought your perfect dress to match your perfect shoes. You’ve somehow even convinced your husband to agree to wearing that suit that he just hates, but looks so good wearing and conveniently matches your outfit perfectly! The thought of wearing your grandmother’s heirloom bracelet is the highlight of the night!

After having an absolute amazing evening, you look down and notice that your gorgeous bracelet has fallen off your wrist. Where did it go? Your mind goes a million miles an hour retracing your steps. You look down and THANKFULLY it’s laying at your feet. After catching your breath, you realize that you avoided a close call this time, but next time you may not be as lucky!

Check out four easy steps to make sure your jewelry stays as protected as possible. 

Don’t wear your jewelry all the time.

Jewelry is delicate and should be removed when you’re swimming, cleaning around your home, gardening, working out, playing sports, and other activities that could harm your jewelry by causing damage.

Check your items regularly.

Every so often you should check your jewelry out to see if the stones are loose or if the prongs have shifted. Is the clasp secure? Is there dirt or has it tarnished? You should also have them looked at by a professional at least once a year.

Updating your appraisals every five years.

The value of metals and stones will change and getting an updated appraisal makes sure that the value is close and properly covered. And don’t forget to update your Bouchard agent of these changes.

Insure your jewelry!

Most people aren’t aware how limited standard home policies can be with jewelry and other fine arts, until they’ve lost an item. Most home insurance carriers place a limit of coverage, which can range between $500-$2,500 in coverage. For a fairly inexpensive price, you can insure your items on a per item or blanket option. Most jewelry insurance will cover you anywhere in the world if the jewelry is lost, stolen, a stone falls out, and for many other possible risks.

Bonus Holiday Tip: Did you know that vodka can make a great jewelry cleaner, when you’re in a pinch? Break out the vodka cocktails… you’ve got jewelry to clean!

As always, speak with your Bouchard agent for questions about coverage options and adding your jewelry to your policies. We hope you have a wonderful holiday season. Be sure to bring out your finest jewelry and dance the night away! It is the most wonderful time of the year, after all!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Christin Snow is a Personal Lines Account Manager at Bouchard Insurance. Christin is experienced in all lines of personal insurance. | Connect on LinkedIn