Frequently Asked Questions // home

My current policy says I have coverage for sexual molestation. Why should I consider changing insurance companies?

Every company says their policy is the best, their service is the best, and their claims handling is the best. How can I know who's really telling the truth?

All this sounds great, but how much is it going to cost me?

Since claims can pop up years after a child leaves our care, how can we be assured that Markel is going to be around to pay a claim and that Hecht & Hecht is going to be around to help us if and when we need it?

How can Hecht & Hecht and Markel help us minimize the risks we face in caring for kids and families?

Researching insurance is a time-consuming hassle. Can you make it easier for us to obtain a comparison?



My current policy says I have coverage for sexual molestation. Why should I consider changing insurance companies?

Insurance policy forms that say they provide coverage for sexual molestation can be very different. Given the extremely vulnerable population your organization serves and the reality that most CEO's are named in lawsuits of this nature, it makes sense to investigate various options thoroughly before selecting your insurance carrier partner.

For example, does your current policy provide a defense for your organization and any named employees, including the CEO? Does your current policy provide a separate limit of coverage or is there only one limit for general, professional, and sexual misconduct claims? Is defense paid for in addition to the specified limit, or does your limit diminish with every dollar paid to attorneys to defend you and your organization? Is coverage afforded for allegations involving staff with a youth in care? Youth with another youth, which is the most commonly reported allegation of this nature? Volunteer with a youth? County social worker with a youth? (Yes, sadly, this has happened.) Does your current insurance policy consider every incident of wrong doing by a staff with youth to be one claim (with one limit) or separate claims?

You can imagine the impact on your organization of learning that you are self-insuring one of the most emotionally charged, volatile claims any child caring organization can face If your broker doesn't have a thorough understanding of your work and hands-on experience with helping to navigate through claims that involve allegations of children, he or she may not even be aware of the weaknesses in your current insurance policy.

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Every company says their policy is the best, their service is the best, and their claims handling is the best. How can I know who's really telling the truth?

The proof of the integrity, honor, and character in any person or company is in the time-tested evidence of their actions; not in their marketing materials. The fact that Markel Insurance Company has quietly insured child caring organizations for over 70 years speaks volumes about their commitment to this class of business. They do not see child caring organizations as a "flavor of the month," to be replaced by the next big marketing idea that will come along. They see their commitment to protecting child caring organizations as their opportunity to make a significant and meaningful contribution to the work of caring for the next generation. No insurance company could remain in the business of protecting a class of business for this long if they were not doing it well.

Markel's decades of experience in effectively handling the emotionally charged claims that involve children give them a wisdom and expertise that comes only from years of rolling up sleeves and doing the work. As a result, they have a cadre of claims adjusters and defense lawyers nationally who know how to raise proven defenses, and expert witnesses who know how to properly assess and testify to what truly constitutes reasonable expectations of care. In other words, Markel knows how to defend child caring organizations.

Additionally, Markel Insurance Company is the only insurance company in the US that cares so much about adequately protecting child welfare organizations that they acquired Child Welfare Insurance Services and hired its founder, former foster child and life-long child advocate, Rhonda Sciortino. Rhonda serves in the capacity of Child Welfare Specialist for Markel, and in that role is the liaison between the insurance industry and child welfare providers. All Markel's child welfare clients have access to Rhonda Sciortino's expertise in the areas of managing the risks you face every day. Rhonda is the author of From Foster Care to Millionaire,  Succeed Because of What You've Been Through (release date 2/15/11), and The Characteristics of Successful Survivors (projected release date 10/15/11).

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All this sounds great, but how much is it going to cost me?

The good news is that you probably won't pay any additional premium, and in fact, may even pay less for comprehensive coverage than you are now for coverage that may leave dangerous holes of self-insuring that you're not even aware of. Markel Insurance Company has worked hard to create a premium rating system that directly ties the premiums to the actual, rather than perceived, risk. Because Markel has insured child related risks for so many years, their extensive body of data on claims and their costs allows them to price appropriately.

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Since claims can pop up years after a child leaves our care, how can we be assured that Markel is going to be around to pay a claim and that Hecht & Hecht is going to be around to help us if and when we need it?

Markel Insurance Company is a financially stable carrier that made a conscious choice many years ago to invest premium dollars only in proven, solid investments so that when claims show up years after the policy term is past, they will be in position to handle the claim. Having protected child related organizations for 70+ years, they have experience with allegations that are made years after the policy is over. They clearly understand the importance of maintaining fiscal soundness. That is why they made the decision to invest wisely and to never be the insurance carrier that underprices simply to "buy their business," only to raise the premiums later. They ask an appropriate premium for coverage afforded.

As for Hecht & Hecht, we've been in business since 1974 and have dedicated ourselves to protecting child welfare organizations for the long run. Evelyn Hecht's CASA volunteering and her law degree, demonstrate a commitment to youth and ability to understand policy forms and help navigate through challenging claims should they arise. With Evelyn Hecht, insurance is not about an annual transaction, but about a long-term relationship of partnering and protection. Insuring child welfare organization is Evelyn's way of contributing her time and expertise to the organizations that do the hands-on work of helping heal kids and families.

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How can Hecht & Hecht and Markel help us minimize the risks we face in caring for kids and families?

The years of protecting child-related organizations has allowed Markel to gather a body of data from which clues about minimizing risks have been drawn. For example, we know the hours of the day and the two months out of the year that children and staff are most likely to be injured. We know the top five ways that staff are most frequently injured, and the number one risk (in terms of severity) for children and staff. No one at Markel or Hecht & Hecht proposes to tell anyone how to run their child welfare organization, but what we can do is to provide you the data we've gathered and the risk management tools that have been created from that data and allow you and your management team to use the information to help the kids in your care.

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researching insurance is a time-consuming hassle. Can you make it easier for us to obtain a comparison?

Absolutely! From a review of your website and a brief conversation, Hecht & Hecht can let you know within minutes whether or not your organization will qualify for Markel's Child Welfare Insurance Program. Once eligibility has been confirmed, all you have to do is provide copies of the same information you provide to your current broker. Markel can use other company's applications in order to give you a comparison bid. By having Hecht & Hecht seek comparison insurance bids for you; your organization is complying with the IRS guidelines for financial responsibility on contracting for goods and services.

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