MHG 25 Logo FinalIn case you haven’t heard, MHG is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year! Can you remember when you turned 25? You probably felt like time had flown by, and yet you were still ready to take on the world, which is exactly how we feel! A lot goes into a business achieving and maintaining success, so this year we are toasting to 25 years of excellence. Reaching this milestone is no small feat, so join us for a stroll down memory lane as we remember how MHG first began, where we are today, and the next 25 years. After all, you can’t know where you are going until you recall where you have been.

Company History

MHG was launched in 1991 in Miami, Florida when founders Andrew Dudzinski and John Haagensen saw that due to industry growth and ensuing competitive pressures, cruise lines needed new ways to attract and retain their officers and crew. Andrew, with particular expertise in expatriate insurance programs and John, a former seafarer and practicing insurance agent, saw the solution in creating and providing customized marine employee benefit plans. Andrew and John combined their extensive experience and contacts to convince the industry that marine crew are better motivated, remain more loyal, and work more safely when a benefit plan is provided as part of an employment package. While hesitant at first, the cruise lines listened and soon benefit plans were implemented by many lines and in due course by other marine industry sectors, such as luxury yachts and commercial shipping. As a result, a growing number of marine crew and their families are now able to enjoy the benefits of health, disability and life insurance plans and at the same time, marine industry employers have gained new and valuable attraction and retention incentives.

MHG Insurance Brokers is now recognized in the marine industry as a unique resource for developing innovative crew insurance programs for the world’s leading cruise lines, prestigious luxury yachts and other shipping and marine businesses around the globe. Headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, MHG has offices and representation in the Isle of Man, London, Hamburg, Monaco and Houston to better serve clients and support the continued development, acquisition and servicing of marine clients on both sides of the Atlantic.

Throughout the years, MHG has seen fit to expand its portfolio of products outside the marine industry but has always remained focused on its core business in providing crew insurance advice and solutions for vessel owners, operators, management companies, captains and crew worldwide. Today, MHG counts as its clients a total of 18 cruise lines, representing some 40% of the most prominent lines and more than 450 luxury yachts, including 20% of the world’s 200 largest yachts.

The Next 25 Years

While MHG has successfully introduced and encouraged the industry to adopt customized benefits for people working at sea, our work is not done. MHG will continue to be at the forefront of developing and implementing a full range of innovative benefit and welfare incentives and risk management solutions, all designed specifically for the marine industry and making the industry a better place to work and live.

Let’s raise a glass to the next 25!

Here at MHG Insurance Brokers, we offer a variety of different insurance solutions for many areas of business. From yacht crew insurance, to general liability and marine general liability coverage, individual and group health insurance, even life insurance, we offer a number of products to cover you, your family, or business. To see some advice directly from our team of insurance professionals, read our previous blog, “If You Could Give One Piece of Advice to Your Clients, What Would It Be?” If you are interested in purchasing marine crew insurance, contact us at mhginsurance.com or call us at +1 954 828 1819 or +44 (0) 1624 678668. Our insurance specialists have the knowledge and experience to guide you to the best coverage for your budget, and can also assist you with any insurance questions you may have.

In case you haven’t heard, MHG is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year! Can you remember when you turned 25 years old?

Emma-1DOUGLAS, ISLE OF MAN (September 15, 2016) – MHG Insurance Brokers announced today that Emma Bell has joined the company’s European office as Underwriting and Claims Assistant, reducing response times for new proposals and claims enquiries.

Bell joins MHG with an extensive background in the insurance and financial industries, having worked for various insurance companies in a number of different positions. Most recently, Bell worked as an Underwriting Support Technician where she performed risk management assignments, maintained records, and supported upper level management with allocation of tasks.

“We are lucky to have someone of Emma’s experience and skillset to join our team.” said Cathy Lane, Director of European Operations for MHG’s Isle of Man office. “Emma’s career in the insurance industry is what we need in order to expand our business and offer more support for our clients. We are eager for her to hit the ground running, and we are certain that she will be a perfect fit for the company.”

MHG’s Isle of Man office opened in 2009 with a remit to capitalise on opportunities from within the yacht sector as well as increasing the licensing reach of MHG globally. To date, the Isle of Man office is responsible for obtaining and administering over 35% of all business for the company’s Yacht Division.

About MHG Insurance Brokers

Established in 1991 in Miami, Florida, MHG Insurance Brokers is an independent, global, full service insurance brokerage and consultative facility. Through its extensive relationships with international underwriting markets, MHG develops and provides a full range of employee benefits, risk mitigation programs, business insurance and financial services all supported by comprehensive attention to service support for all of our clients. In the marine community, MHG is well known for its expertise in the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC 2006) and developing MLC-aligned crew insurance solutions. In the U.S., MHG provides group and individual employee benefits along with advice on federal regulations regarding the Affordable Care Act. For more information about MHG Insurance Brokers and the services we provide, please visit mhginsurance.com

MHG Insurance Brokers announced today that Emma Bell has joined the company’s European office as Underwriting and Claims Assistant.

SHERRY WERTZ 1FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA (September 8, 2016) – MHG Insurance Brokers announced today that Sherry Wertz has joined the company’s Cruise Division as Administration Manager. Wertz will provide administrative and customer service support to cruise clients while working closely with the Division Manager and Claims Specialist, further developing business relations.

Wertz joins MHG with a tremendous amount of cruise industry experience having worked in various positions both ashore and on board. Most recently, Wertz worked as Senior HR Manager for a staffing company handling crew appointments for some of the world’s leading cruise lines.

“We have been looking for someone of Sherry’s caliber for quite some time to fill this newly created position.” said Edward “Mole” Telfer, MHG’s Cruise Division Director. “Sherry’s career in the cruise industry combined with her management background are exactly what we need to further the capabilities of the cruise division. I’m very happy to welcome her to the team.”

As MHG celebrates its 25th anniversary, the company continues to be at the forefront of developing insurance solutions and products to meet the changing needs of the cruise industry, businesses, and individuals around the world. Most recently, the Insurance Specialists at MHG identified a potential liability risk for cruise line operators and designed a liability plan to fill the gap in coverage.

About MHG Insurance Brokers

Established in 1991 in Miami, Florida, MHG Insurance Brokers is an independent, global, full service insurance brokerage and consultative facility. Through its extensive relationships with international underwriting markets, MHG develops and provides a full range of employee benefits, risk mitigation programs, business insurance and financial services all supported by comprehensive attention to service support for all of our clients. In the marine community, MHG is well known for its expertise in the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC 2006) and developing MLC-aligned crew insurance solutions. In the U.S., MHG provides group and individual employee benefits along with advice on federal regulations regarding the Affordable Care Act. For more information about MHG Insurance Brokers and the services we provide, please visit mhginsurance.com

MHG Insurance Brokers announced today that Sherry Wertz has joined the company’s Cruise Division as Administration Manager.

caution sign in reference to MLC compliant insuranceAs insurance brokers, our number one priority is to look after you, the client. Our focus is making sure you have the coverage you need, that you are taken care of, and we are ready to fight for you regarding any claims or issues you are experiencing. Since we have your best interests in mind, it is troubling when we come across other insurance brokers and agents claiming to offer MLC compliant health insurance policies, because actually there is no such thing. It is prudent to have health insurance, but there is no rule in MLC requiring you to do so. Let me explain.

What is MLC?

MLC stands for Maritime Labour Convention, and is a code that was started in 2006 that helps protect crew members who work onboard ships and other vessels. Basically it is a book of different items that ship Owners are liable for in the operation of their vessel. It was implemented by the International Labour Organization (ILO), and should be followed by all commercial vessels or else face potential fines, detention or even vessel arrest. For more details on MLC, visit ILO.org for more information.

Don’t Believe the Hype

MLC does require ship owners to have some insurance in place (called Financial Security). Insurance like permanent disability, accidental death, and some other non-medical items like repatriation. But, it DOES NOT require ship owners to provide medical insurance! Where things tend to get confusing is that MLC requires ship owners to be liable for medical bills. While we highly recommend you to insure your crew so that you are not liable for the full amount of medical bills, MLC only requires you to cover the bills.

Work with Someone You Can Trust

It’s hard to count on someone that you can’t trust, so why would you leave your medical insurance to someone who does not provide you with accurate information? If a company is advertising MLC compliant insurance, do you think they have the knowledge, experience, and research capabilities to help you? Work with someone you can trust, after all there is a good chance you will be reaching out to this person or company in a time of need or desperation, make sure you can count on them.

What About Private Vessels?

As stated before, MLC is only applicable for commercially operated boats. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be offering insurance to your crew if you’re a private vessel owner. Any owner would like to attract the best crew possible, and having benefits that protect them could help to secure the best workers.

Having proper insurance is important whether you are at sea, or docked at a shipyard. MHG is your specialized broker when it comes to crew insurance. Our insurance specialists have the knowledge and experience to find the policy that works best for you. If you are interested in purchasing, or have any questions about yacht crew insurance or travel insurance, please contact us at +1 954 828 1819 or +44 (0) 1624 678668 or visit us online at mhginsurance.com. For more information on preparing to work on a yacht, read our previous blog, “Yacht Crew Insurance Terms 101”.

There is no such thing as "MLC compliant" medical insurance, and here's why.

brown paper ripped showing the text uncover the factsIt seems as if every day we hear myths regarding insurance brokers. We often find ourselves debunking false statements and explaining to clients that they received inaccurate information. Sometimes, people or products get a bad reputation that is unwarranted, for whatever reason. So here are five common myths that may have given the term insurance brokers a bad name.

1. “Insurance brokers are more expensive”

Have you ever heard the saying, “brokers make you broker”? That saying could not be further from the truth. In contrast, working with a broker can actually save clients both time and money, in addition to frustration. Insurance brokers receive their compensation from insurers, but that does not (or should not) cloud the judgment of a good broker to recommend whatever policy is most appropriate to the situation as presented by you, the client.

2. “Insurance brokers work for the insurance company”

There are a lot of people who think that insurance brokers work for the insurance company, however again that is not correct. A broker advocates and works on your behalf. Basically, they work for you! Yes, they work with the insurance company in order to deliver proper coverage to people, however their concern should always be their clients.

3. “Insurance brokers are just a middle man”

While brokers may act as the middle man between you and the insurance company, they are so much more than just a middle man. In many cases, an insurance broker will conduct research for you, file and assist you with claims through the entire process, and work to get you the best coverage option for your situation. Often times a broker has direct connections with decision makers at insurance companies so you don’t have to sit on a 1-800 line for 20 minutes to talk to someone that doesn’t have the authority to help you.

4. “Insurance brokers can’t offer the best plans”

Insurance brokers can offer the same plans that an insurance company does, for the same premium as going straight to the insurance company. In fact, going through an insurance broker shouldy give you more value for your dollar simply because of all the added benefits that an insurance broker will perform for you.

5. “Insurance brokers aren’t as knowledgeable”

Insurance brokers are very knowledgeable. They spend all day, every day dealing with insurance. They know the industry, they live and breathe insurance, and they understand all the confusing terminology and phrases, which hopefully they can explain to you in a straightforward, no nonsense way. They also know the insurers, and the people who work there, which is a significant advantage over you calling a toll-free number and hoping for the best.

Having proper insurance is important whether you are at sea, or docked at a shipyard. MHG is your specialized broker when it comes to crew insurance. Our insurance specialists have the knowledge and experience to find the policy that works best for you. If you are interested in purchasing, or have any questions about yacht crew insurance or travel insurance, please contact us at +1 954 828 1819 or +44 (0) 1624 678668 or visit us online at mhginsurance.com. For more information on preparing to work on a yacht, read our previous blog, “Yacht Crew Insurance Terms 101”.

Sometimes, people or products get a bad reputation that is unwarranted, for whatever reason. Insurance brokers are one of them, read more.

hurricane tipsHurricane season is here! Even though the past few hurricane seasons have been quiet, all it takes is one serious storm to cause enough damage to shut your business down. Now is the perfect time for you to begin preparing your business for a natural disaster. Don’t be one of those who are scrambling to get ready at the last minute. While preparing your family and your house for a hurricane may be something you can do in the days leading up to a storm, preparing your business should be met with a bit more urgency. After all, chances are you, along with your employees, rely on the business in order to support your lives. Start preparing your business now by following these 5 steps.

1. Take Before Pictures

Prior to the start of hurricane season we suggest taking pictures of your property and building. In the event your business sustains damage and you need to make a claim, it may make the process easier. Pictures help keep our memory fresh, and offer proof of damage that may have occurred during the storm.

2. Have Enough Money Stashed Away for Payroll 

Hurricanes can easily shut down business for a couple of weeks, with loss of electricity, road closures, and flooding. Your employees may not be able to come to work for weeks. Even worse, your entire business may be shut down until repairs are done and everyday life gets back to normal. If your company is unable to make money for a period of time, does it have enough money in the reserves to continue paying employees? It’s a good idea to have the ability to pay your employees without 2 weeks’ worth of revenue.

3. Paperless Record Keeping

Many times hurricanes bring record breaking winds, and sometimes over a foot of rainfall. Both of which can easily ruin any paperwork you might have stashed around your office, warehouse, building, etc. To cover yourself, keep a digital copy of all important documents.

4. Keep Valuable Information at an Off-site Location

After making digital copies of all important records and documents, make more copies to store at an accessible, off site location. Store your licenses, contracts, operational records, proof of ownership, and of course any insurance paperwork. Also, try to keep them stored somewhere that is not in the path of the storm.

5. Make Sure You Have Proper Insurance Coverage

It is very important for business owners to understand their insurance policies, before a storm shows up on the radar. We recommend that you review your policy annually, and make sure that your policy still fits your needs. For example, your company could have grown over the last year, and now you may need coverage for areas that you didn’t need coverage for last year, such as new equipment or updated property. Also, if you have property that is covered, you can purchase “Business Interruption” which can cover the loss of income you may experience while your business is shut down.

Be prepared this hurricane season by performing all of these tasks before a hurricane is heading your way. Hopefully this will be a light season, but better to be safe than sorry.  If you own a business, and are looking for protection and would like more information on what you do to prepare your business for a hurricane, MHG Insurance Brokers would be happy to assist you. Also, if you are looking to purchase business insurance such as General Liability or Professional Liability, our insurance specialists have the experience to assist your business and offer advice in finding the perfect plan to fit all of your needs. Contact MHG Insurance Brokers today at +1 954-828-1819 or visit us online at mhginsurance.com.

Hurricane season is here! Now is the time to prepare your business, read more.

stethescope laying on top a pile of one hundred dollar billsIt’s no secret that the United States is home to one of the most expensive healthcare systems in the world, and with these costs come some consequences. Hearing about someone having to file for bankruptcy can bring some assumptions that they mismanaged their finances, lived beyond their means, or made some bad decisions regarding investments. While all of those theories are possible, chances are the person had some unexpected medical bills that they could not afford to pay. So hear in lies the question, “Do I receive medical attention and risk my entire savings account, or do I make a financial decision that is less risky?”

For Example…

Here in the U.S. a visit to the Emergency Room can cost thousands of dollars, there is even a story that has been circulating of a mother who accidentally cut her one-year-old daughter’s finger while clipping her nails. Since her daughter was so young, they decided to be extra careful and took her to the ER in case she needed stiches or any other special treatment. Turns out she only needed a band aid, however the trip to the ER totaled almost $700! While medical bills may be the leading cause of bankruptcies in the U.S., many of those that file for bankruptcy actually could have avoided doing so had they taken the proper steps and precautions. Education is key to knowing what financial impact you may face before seeking medical treatment.

I’m sure we all know someone who has had to battle health issues and conditions, however there’s a good chance we don’t get to see the struggle that person has to deal with financially, only the struggle of them fighting to get better.

Use a Broker

Using an insurance broker may give you an advantage because brokers work for you, not the insurance company. Many times they will assist you in filing claims and dealing with paperwork that you aren’t familiar with and they can often guide you toward minimizing your out of pocket costs.

Find Someone You Can Trust

While using a broker can help you in finding the best insurance coverage for your budget, it also helps to find someone you can trust. You are relying on this person or company to fully protect you, so trust is important.

Change Your Mindset

Nowadays many people tend to think of health insurance as something that the government is forcing you to purchase, however you should try to think of it as an investment into your health. The cornerstone of insurance is to protect you financially; wouldn’t you rather pay a monthly premium than having to clear out your savings account if you get sick? Instead of thinking of insurance as buyer beware. Think of medical expenses as buyer beware.

MHG is here to help and provide assistance with all of your insurance needs. Whether you are looking for marine crew insurance, health insurance, life insurance, travel insurance, expatriate insurance or insurance for your business, we have the experience and knowledge to help you find the right policy. Please contact us at +1 954-828-1819 or +44 (0) 1624 678668 or visit us online at mhginsurance.com. Let our insurance specialists find you, your family, or group, the best insurance available for your budget.

Medical bills are one of the leading causes of bankruptcies in the United States. Read more.

risk managementIn many cases, business owners and decision makers see insurance as something they need only because a law makes it mandatory for them to remain in business. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Insurance is here to protect your business, it’s employees, the equipment, etc. We have also found that some aren’t aware what insurance is protecting them from, and don’t know what their exposures are. While recognizing certain buzzwords such as general liability, and workers’ compensation is great, we want people to understand why they have to have these insurance policies. After all, accidents happen, but there is no need for an accident to ruin your business.

Workers’ Compensation

A workers’ compensation insurance policy provides wages, medical treatment, disability, and if necessary a death benefit to employees who are injured on the job. While workers’ comp makes up a large portion of many businesses expenses, it is necessary because without it, businesses would liable for any injuries an employee experiences while working. It also protects the business from any lawsuits that could be filed by the injured employee.

General Liability

Commercial general liability policies protect businesses in a lot of ways. Typically, it provides coverage for bodily injury, property damage, and personal and advertising injury which protects the insured from slander and false advertising. General liability may also cover fire damage that is caused by the negligence of the insured.

Marine General Liability

Marine general liability policies are similar to general liability policies except they are designed specifically for those who work at sea, as general liability insurance will not cover those who work near or on the water. These policies include coverage for marine contractors and others who work on or near water.

Professional Liability (PLI or E&O)

Professional liability insurance, also known as errors and omissions (E&O), will cover your business if you provide advice, or provide a service. It will protect you against negligent claims and damages that are awarded from a lawsuit.

Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI)

Employment practices liability insurance protects your business against claims made by your employees. It can protect you from claims alleging discrimination based on sex, race, age, or disability. It can also protect you from claims alleging wrongful termination, harassment, and many other employment-related issues.

United States Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (US L&H)

Thanks to the United States Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA also known as USL&H), those who work in the maritime industry and fall into certain categories, will have coverage backed by the federal government, not just the state. The law ensures that workers’ comp benefits are provided to those who work in the maritime industry, which will protect your business from any lawsuits associated with a workplace injury.

Maritime Employers Liability (MEL)

This policy generally covers employees who are working onboard a vessel, whether owned by the company they work for or as a contractor. Think of workers’ compensation insurance for those who work at sea.

Having the necessary insurance policies isn’t all you should be doing to protect yourself. Practicing good risk management also includes taking precautions around your workplace to make it as safe as possible. Read our previous blog, “10 Tips on Creating a Safe Work Environment”, for help in deciding what steps you should take in order to further protect you and your employees. If you have any questions, or are interested in purchasing workers’ compensation insurance, USL&H or other types of business insurance, or group health insurance for your employees, please contact us at954-828-1819 or visit us online at mhginsurance.com. Our insurance specialists have the knowledge and experience to cover your company’s risks appropriately.

Accidents happen, but there is no need for an accident to ruin your business. Risk management is important to protect your business, but first you need to know why.

close-up of mosquito on skinDo you have a trip planned this summer? Are you traveling to the tropics to kick your feet up on a beach somewhere with an umbrella in your drink?

Nothing beats a relaxing summer vacation to recharge you for the second half of the year. Depending on where you are going, there are some things that you need to be aware regarding the Zika Virus. The Zika Virus is a mosquito borne illness that is making headlines in the news all over the world. Since mosquitoes are most prevalent in warm tropical areas, you should be prepared and take any necessary precautions if you are traveling to or live in ones of the areas. It should also be noted, this virus is a mosquito borne illness but just because mosquitoes are in warmer areas, doesn’t mean those who live far away from the tropics can’t be at risk too.

The CDC has issued an alert for those who are traveling to areas where the Zika virus is spreading.

Prevention

Pack proper repellant! There are several different steps you can take to protect yourself from being bitten by a mosquito. Some steps include using insect repellant sprays, wearing long sleeves and pants, using bug screens on windows and doors, sleeping under a mosquito bed net, etc. There are even children’s clothes with bug repellant in them.

For those already infected, the virus can be found in the blood and can be passed onto mosquitos who aren’t carrying the virus.

The Zika Virus can also be spread during intercourse by an infected male to his partner(s). Practice safe sex, as it is not known how long the virus can stay in the semen of men who have had the virus, although it is known that it can stay longer than in blood.

Symptoms

Common symptoms of the Zika Virus include fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis. Symptoms tend to remain mild, lasting several days to a couple of weeks, which is a reason many may not realize they are infected with the virus. This is a problem because becoming infected with the disease while pregnant can lead to serious birth defects including microcephaly.

Treatment

There is no vaccine or specific treatment. Focus on treating the symptoms such as getting rest, prevent dehydration, and taking acetaminophen for fever and pain. Aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) should not be taken due to risk of bleeding.

Don’t Leave Without Coverage

Getting sick or needing medical treatment while you are abroad is a situation which no one wants to find themselves. However, having travel insurance can alleviate any stress about costs, what steps to take, and what doctors you can trust. Our insurance specialists can assist you in finding the proper coverage you and your family may need for your trip.

We wish you safe travels along your journey. If you are interested in purchasing travel insurance, or have any questions or concerns, please contact us at +1 954 828 1819 or +44 (0)1624 678668 or visit us at mhginsurance.com. Our insurance brokers have the experience to assist you in selecting the right plan for you, with the best value.

The CDC has issued an alert for those who are traveling to areas where the Zika virus is spreading. Read more.

PrintFORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA (May 3, 2016) - MHG Insurance Brokers, a full-service insurance brokerage serving the marine industry, businesses, and groups and individuals around the world, has been recognized as one of the Best Places to Work in South Florida by the South Florida Business Journal, a program that celebrates excellence and employee satisfaction in the workplace.

Results were based on a survey evaluating ten areas of engagement, including employee benefits and recognition, leadership, turnover, employee and leadership management and more. Results of the survey were submitted to Quantum Workplace for analysis. Employees were encouraged to answer freely as all answers remain anonymous.

“What an honor to be recognized as one of the Best Places to Work in South Florida!” said Andrew Dudzinski, Chairman and CEO of MHG Insurance Brokers. “John (Haagensen, President of MHG) and I have made the working culture of MHG a priority for a long time, so it’s very flattering to be recognized by such a prestigious publication with other top companies in our community.”

Many of the companies in attendance had similar benefits or characteristics that made them worthy of the honor of being a Best Places to Work in South Florida. Some characteristics that made MHG stand out are its family atmosphere, excellent benefits that are 100% funded by the company, flexibility, and MHG’s entrepreneurial spirit which encourages employees to present new opportunities and initiatives for the company.

About MHG Insurance Brokers

Since 1991, MHG Insurance Brokers has been committed to providing expert insurance advice and innovative solutions for the marine, aviation, energy and related industries. Today, with over two decades of experience and relationships with some of the world’s top insurance markets, MHG has established an enviable reputation for providing quality advice, products and service for groups, businesses and individuals around the world. Based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida MHG has insurance specialists worldwide, with offices in Houston, Isle of Man, the Cote d’Azur and Hamburg. For more information, please visit mhginsurance.com MHG Ocean Benefits Limited, trading as MHG Ocean Benefits, MHG Insurance Brokers and MHG Underwriting Services, is registered with the Isle of Man Financial Services Authority as an insurance intermediary in respect of General Business. Registered in the Isle of Man, company number: 120885C.

Since 1991, MHG Insurance Brokers has been committed to providing expert insurance advice and innovative solutions for the marine, aviation, energy and related industries.