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Our Approach

We see insurance as a way to minimize life's risks so you can maximize its rewards.

Article Image Protect your legacy. Safeguard your future. Article Image Protect your legacy. Safeguard your future.

Protect your legacy. Safeguard your future.

Informed by nearly a century of experience, Alliant Private Client partners with you—or your advisors—to manage your life’s complex risks. Our clear, focused process results in smart, customized insurance solutions. Though our philosophy is local with licensed professionals in all 50 states, our reach is global through an international partnership with Brokerslink.

Our risk review process

After reviewing any existing insurance programs, we will ask about your passions, financial goals, lifestyle, challenges and comfort with risk. Next, we will outline your exposure and vulnerabilities, then help you make informed, strategic coverage choices. Finally, leveraging our deep market connections and technical expertise, we will negotiate effective and efficient programs for a host of assets and potential liabilities.

  1. Review existing insurance
  2. Clarify needs, challenges & risk tolerance
  3. Assess exposures & vulnerabilities
  4. Create coverage strategy
  5. Negotiate new policies
  6. Provide comprehensive claim services

An advocate in your corner

Should a loss occur, your private client team will respond rapidly and remain personally involved throughout the recovery process, from mitigating damage to finalizing a settlement and everything in between.

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Experts in protecting the things you love

Our expertise encompasses nearly every passion and pursuit, allowing us to build personalized insurance solutions that reflect your interests and needs.

Our expertise
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Unique perspectives from our experts

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Four key strategies for the changing reality of natural disasters

2023 was a historic year with over 28 separate weather and climate disasters causing at least $1 billion in damages. The events ranged from winter freezes to wildfires, droughts to floods, tornadoes to tropical cyclones, and heat waves to hailstorms. Although current trends continue to produce significant weather events, it is surprising that a fair number of them occurred in areas that were not previously vulnerable. Take for example, the 4.8 earthquake in New Jersey. While it didn’t cause significant damage, it had been nearly 20 years since the state experienced such magnitude – a reminder that natural disasters no longer follow regional patterns. The reality is that every region is at risk. Climate change and shifting weather patterns have brought significant weather events to areas they never threatened before: Tornadoes in the east: Systems once centered in the plains are now migrating to states as far away as Wisconsin and Georgia. Winter storms in Texas: Deep freezes, the worst lasting weeks, are now near-annual occurrences. Wildfires in high-rainfall states: Look at Hawaii’s unprecedented event in 2023. Flooding in the southwest: Most recently, normally arid areas of Arizona were deluged after record snowfalls in the Rockies resulted in unmanageable runoff. Wind has become a critical factor in the majority of natural disasters s unrivaled speeds and changing patterns turn small fires into uncontainable events and broaden the strength as well as the reach of hurricanes. Since all signs suggest this pattern will continue, we believe that the best path forward is for all clients, wherever they live, to be proactive in their natural disaster risk management planning. More so for types of damage, they might not historically think to expect. Here are four key trends we’ve identified as crucial for today’s natural disaster risk management: 1. Have a maintenance plan. If your local area has not been impacted by weather-related events in some time, it’s easy to let related maintenance fall by the wayside. However, as damage-causing events are more common than ever, it’s important to stay vigilant. This includes: Safeguarding the exterior: Once the barrier to your house is broken, damage can increase exponentially. So, keep trees trimmed, clear brush and clean gutters, inspect the roof, siding, windows, and repair as well as caulk as needed. Inspecting the interior: Maintain furnaces and replace filters, replace rusted parts in water heaters, and install automatic shut-off devices on water lines. 2. Backup power is now essential. Prepare for a potential loss of electricity with a diesel or propane generator. (Solar panels are not necessarily the best solution, because they can be ripped off and rendered useless by wind and convective storms.) Utilities now shut off power preemptively, especially when winds are strong, to decrease wildfire risk. At the same time, weather-event-induced outages last longer and reach further. Without power, your property quickly becomes even more susceptible to damage and loss: alarms don’t function, mold sprouts, and water lines freeze. 3. Establish an evacuation plan. In emergent situations, the people who have already mapped out and practiced evacuation routes are often the safest. So, the best time to create those plans is right now before any threat is imminent. When developing this plan, be sure to document all the details and share this with your property managers and caretakers to ensure everyone is well-practiced and informed: Artwork: Get custom crates crafted to hold your most important pieces and purchase fireproof blankets for outdoor sculptures. Create a fireproof bunker to store the pieces if that’s feasible. If not, arrange for a location to store your collections so they are well protected. Cars: Construct a weather- and fire-proofed garage, or secure a safe place off the property, preferably an inland location. 4. Create an inventory list. In the event of a loss, you will be asked to present an accurate inventory with any claim you make. You can hire a professional for the task or do it yourself; be sure to include photos as important pieces of visual documentation. At the very least, make a video as you go from room to room, capturing all your valuable pieces. Ensuring the security of your inventory is crucial. Storing in a hardware wallet, akin to a flash drive, provides robust protection, even in the face of natural disasters.  Given the impact of significant weather events felt across the country, taking a proactive role in your property’s risk mitigation not only minimizes the possibility of significant loss but helps make your property more insurable. With limited coverage options and carriers evaluating potential customers so closely, a well-maintained home with a detailed risk management plan could be a deciding factor. If you have any questions about preparing your home for natural disasters or other risk mitigation concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out. ...

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Alliant Private Client | How we Collaborate with Advisors to Improve Risk Management | Aerial of professionals seated at table

How we collaborate with your advisors to improve risk management

A commitment to collaboration is a hallmark of our approach. Decades of experience have shown us that we are best able to protect our clients when we work hand in hand with their trusted teams: from wealth managers to CPAs, attorneys to family offices, collections experts, and more. Never, though, has such a holistic approach been more necessary with the insurance landscape being what it is today. As with everything in our practice, the exact manner in which we collaborate is largely bespoke, dependent upon the needs and desires of both the client and the members of their trusted team. However, this overview offers insight into what you can expect or request in terms of our collaborative approach so that risk management is appropriately woven through your ecosystem of advisors. Wealth, financial advisors, and CPAs Wealth and financial advisors often serve as the quarterback for our clients’ assets and portfolio. As such, they are the first to know when a client is purchasing a home or car or if there has been a significant liquidity event that shifts liability coverage needs. The savviest wealth managers have us on speed dial so that we can make their work — and their clients’ lives — easier, better, and more secure. For example, given the challenges of insuring homes in high-risk regions, these advisors will suggest that their clients alert us before making an offer on a property (something we also recommend) so that we can provide insight into coverage possibilities and potential premium costs. Of course, the relationship goes both ways — if a client expresses interest in self-insuring a portion of their portfolio, we suggest bringing their wealth manager into the discussion to ensure that they could weather a potential loss. The more connected we are, the less likely something will be overlooked. For that reason, many wealth managers introduce us to new clients after their initial meeting or add risk management to the agenda at one of the quarterly meetings with clients. Attorneys When you combine an attorney’s training and knowledge of legal issues and an insurance broker’s understanding of risk management, you get powerful protection against even the most difficult risks. For this reason, we regularly collaborate with our clients’ attorneys, as well as other legal specialists, to ensure every “i” is dotted and every “t” is crossed. Take, for example, a client who is interested in jet ownership. The risk of liability is quite high, even if it is partial ownership. While we work to secure coverage, an attorney who specializes in aviation issues can confirm the client’s interests are properly represented in each of the raft of contracts that must be signed. Insulating a client from the potentially massive payouts going forward can be a challenge, so a trust and estate attorney can confer with us to ensure that the client and their plane are adequately covered. Another common scenario: while many families with funds sufficient enough to warrant estate planning can’t imagine the need for life insurance, we regularly counsel attorneys on how to use these policies to achieve maximum tax efficiency and provide the liquidity to cover estate taxes. A risk that is easy to solve but commonly overlooked comes when clients hold a property or LLC in a trust. This arrangement is an increasingly popular way to create separation between individuals and their assets — for privacy, tax, or other reasons — but a prudent attorney would want us to know immediately so that we can ensure there are no gaps in coverage or premium payments from a personal bank account as opposed to the trust or LLC. Family Offices We have decades of experience helping professionals in family offices tackle the risks related to a family’s business, investments, and philanthropic endeavors. The collaboration with family office executives on governance roles in the family’s trusts and estates to ensure proper indemnification through sufficient insurance is just one example. In fact, we are often requested to attend the annual family meeting to help assist them with conversations surrounding risk mitigation as well as education for the next generation. Fine Art Advisors It’s a truism that to collect art is to collect risk. With clients who are just beginning or inherit a large collection, we will work with their trusted art advisors to ensure every piece is properly protected. Working in tandem on appraisals, proper transportation, risks associated with lending or borrowing, and more. Given the impact of natural disasters, we also work with them on properly safeguarding art in your home including an evacuation plan for your most prized pieces. In an era of ever-shifting concerns, we’ve witnessed the power of comprehensive risk management when collaborating with your team of trusted advisors. As your lifestyle evolves, the need for coordination among all professionals is paramount.   ...

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A guide to self-insurance

The ongoing challenges of the current market have made insurance quite a hot topic of conversation. Throughout many discussions, one type holds a particular fascination: self-insurance. The increased interest in self-insurance is quite understandable and generally leads clients to ask if they should be considering this option. To answer those queries, this guide discusses the benefits, potential downsides, and a few critical considerations so you can make an informed decision. What is self-insurance? To better understand self-insurance, it’s helpful to understand the difference between risk transfer and risk retention. Purchasing insurance is the most common form of risk transfer. This allows a third party to assume the risk by paying premiums to an entity such as an insurance carrier. One form of risk retention is also known as self-insurance. In this case, an individual chooses to assume the responsibility for a certain level of risk or losses. There are two ways of self-insuring: taking on a higher deductible, thus sharing a greater portion of the risk, or deciding to fully self-insure where you are assuming all of the risk. While self-insurance is an intriguing possibility, it is important to understand the financial exposure you are taking on in the event of a potentially catastrophic loss. That said there is an inherent shift in the mindset around risk management from being primarily reactive — something goes wrong, client submits a claim, carrier reimburses — to focusing on prevention — incorporating risk mitigation techniques such as implementing the latest technologies, materials, and recommendations to avoid a loss. The increase in both the severity and frequency of catastrophic losses has led to an advancement in technology and products to prevent losses. These advancements include sophisticated monitoring systems, protective landscaping, element-resistant materials, and construction and evacuation plans. As such, some people are calculating whether it makes more sense to accept higher deductibles and assume a greater portion of the risk or to fully self-insure and redirect the money into proactively protecting their property. The advantages and disadvantages of self-insuring The upside of redirecting your insurance money is that funds spent on premiums for a policy that covers a high-net-worth home could be placed towards cost-effective protective measures. For example, a home in California’s wildfire region could likely redirect funds to purchase a fire break system, flame-retardant roof, drought-resistant landscaping, or even access to a private firefighting company, therefore mitigating the risk of a major loss. As enticing as having no premiums to pay may sound, it is important to understand that there are disadvantages to self-insuring. First and foremost, the financial obligation associated with a catastrophic loss could be substantial. Additionally, if you choose to self-insure your home, carriers may be less inclined to insure you for other risks, such as an auto policy or significant liability coverage. Moreover, you will no longer have resources such as a dedicated claims team, pre-storm guidance, or priority access to high-caliber contractors that could be available after widespread devastation. Additionally, canceling a policy with an admitted carrier makes it challenging to re-secure a new policy should you change your mind or circumstances change. In this case, you will likely have to leverage a non-admitted carrier which comes at a higher cost. Moreover, you will need to sign a “no-loss letter,” promising not to report any losses that occurred during the period in which you were uninsured. It is important to note that there are several precluding factors for self-insuring. For example, except in very rare instances, a mortgage company will require you to purchase fire insurance to cover the cost of your loan. Similarly, there are coverages required by law whether you self-insure other assets or not, such as workers’ compensation. Leveraging your team of experts before your decision Before you decide to utilize risk retention, it’s critical to consult with your insurance advisor. In this conversation, we will give you an honest evaluation of the advantages and disadvantages of the strategy, for you, as well as a range of creative alternatives. It is best to include tax, wealth, and legal advisors in the decision as they will be best situated to determine if your finances and personal standing could absorb a major loss. We can also provide further guidance on modeling for your portfolio of properties and calculate your probable maximum loss.    We understand the growing movement towards self-insurance and are happy to guide you in a discussion about whether this might be an appropriate choice to explore. Our experience has shown that an educated analysis with a knowledgeable risk management team is crucial to helping you make the right decision about this and every strategic risk management decision. ...

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Young man walking in city with bike | Why young adults need their own insurance | Alliant Private Client

Why young adults need their own insurance

For parents, the worrying never stops, even after their grown children leave the nest. But if that worrying leads to you to keeping those newly independent adults on your insurance program, unfortunately, they will not be properly protected. It is in everybody’s best interest that children secure their own policies once they are living independently. Please do not fret if you are still insuring your children post-college; you are not alone. It is a long-held belief that parents should be responsible for covering their young adults. But it is a belief we work diligently to correct, even as we know that emotional and financial ties can remain quite strong well into adulthood. Because that powerful connection — which recent studies suggest is stronger than ever between parents and grown children — will be much better served by separating insurance policies. This action better protects your family’s assets, and thus the legacy you are building and will eventually leave to your children. It also assures that your child has protection should unforeseen scenarios in liability or auto incidents occur. Convinced? Here’s how to help your grown children make the transition to their own insurance. When should young adults transition to their own insurance? Children need their own policies as soon as they begin to live independently. We understand that “independence” can be a somewhat gray concept, clouded by ongoing familial financial support, additional schooling, and the like. That said, we believe it’s best to err on the side of too soon because you don’t want to wait until it’s too late. Once a child has graduated from school and moved to a permanent address that is not their parents’ they can no longer be considered a dependent. This is true whether they are working, part-time or full-time, or working and attending graduate school. Only if they go straight to graduate school, living in your house during breaks, might they still be covered by their parents’ policies. Even in that case, though, it’s best to confirm their eligibility with your insurance advisor. Why individual insurance is crucial for young adults. Ours is a litigious society, with too many people looking for reasons to sue anyone with means — or anyone who has parents with means. So, your child should have their own liability coverage when they are no longer protected by yours. Liability suits are complicated and potentially costly, whether the case has merit or not. Even if a suit has no cause, and assuming the claim falls within the boundaries afforded by your policy, your child will need legal representation to argue for it to be dismissed. The policies we recommend pay those fees. Similarly, they will redress damages should your child be found negligent. This will be useful to them regardless of how much — or how little — they earn. In fact, though it may seem reasonable to conclude that young adults with no significant assets can do without a holistic insurance program, that is not a prudent calculation. In some cases, judgements can be made that one cannot immediately pay placing wages and other assets at risk. Keep in mind that we are talking about a time of life that is full of unique exposures. Simply put, young adults are most likely to find themselves in risky situations. To take just one example, they are more likely to fall prey to cyber scams because they spend so much time online or on social media platforms. How to equip your young adult with the right insurance.       1. Renters or homeowner’s insurance Of course, if your child has purchased the home they are inhabiting — or you have purchased it for them — they will have to get homeowner’s insurance. Renting may seem a less straightforward proposition, but it’s quite simple: Regardless of the cost or contents of their residence, a renter’s insurance policy is critical because it provides access to personal liability coverage. Think of it not to replace a roomful of furniture, but rather coverage that will protect you and your assets if you’re held responsible for another person’s injuries or damage to their personal property. Young renters should also be aware that everyone sharing an apartment must carry their own policy. Coverage extends only to relatives. (Note: cohabiting partners are not family in the eyes of carriers until they are married.)      2. Automobile coverage The tendency to keep children on the family automobile policy is a problematic one, as coverage extends to them only when they are driving a family vehicle. If you have bought or gifted a car to your child, it is best to retitle it in their name and have them purchase their own policy to limit your exposure should your child get sued after an accident. For young adults who don't own or regularly use a car, we recommend a non-owned auto policy, which provides coverage for when they drive a friend’s car or are hit by a car as a pedestrian.      3. Umbrella policy This additional layer of liability above the renter’s (or home) and auto coverage ensures that your child will be properly protected against lawsuits of all kinds. We recommend a minimum of $1 million regardless of their current total assets.      4. Valuables / Collectible policy Does your child own an expensive watch or piece of jewelry? Whether they bought it themselves, received it as a gift, or have been passed it, like a family heirloom, a lost or stolen piece will not be covered once they move out of your house. Therefore, your child should procure a collections policy to properly cover these items. Just as the separation of parent and child is a healthy inevitability, the separation of their insurance policies is a financial necessity. If you are wondering about how best to approach this important transferal of responsibility, or more generally, to educate your children about risk management, your account executive is ready with the next steps. And if your newly independent child needs help securing coverage, we are here for them too. ...

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Alliant's leaders discuss the unprecedented insurance market

The insurance market is going through significant changes, many of which we have mentioned before: more difficulty in securing insurance, higher premiums nationwide, even non-renewals. But the situation continues to evolve, and there are early signs that the market will stabilize. To give you a clearer idea of where things stand and what the future may hold, two members of our leadership team share their thoughts. Is the current market as tough as everyone says?   Cindy Zobian, EVP, Managing Director: Simply put, we have never seen market conditions like these before. In essence, it’s a capacity issue: the rate of natural disasters—and the damage caused by them—have increased exponentially while home values and rebuilding costs have gone sky high. Mark Recht, SVP: Case in point: we just got another announcement from a carrier about adjustments caused by inflation. Unfortunately, higher premiums and insurance challenges aren’t just happening to property owners in areas prone to most natural disasters, such as California and Florida. Those are countrywide phenomena. There is currently a cloud casted over the market. CZ: That said, we can see glimmers of light at the end of the tunnel! Well, that’s hopeful. What makes you optimistic about the future?   MR: We saw a similar market a while back in Florida after Hurricane Andrew, but within a few years, things had shifted for the better. Homeowners learned to incorporate new and better risk-mitigation methods, the government placed stricter building codes, technology helped us to map the riskiest areas, and we incorporated more flexibility into insurance programs. Together, that all worked to stabilize the situation. As for the current moment, Cindy and I just met with reinsurers [Note: As a reminder, reinsurers assume a portion of carriers’ risks] and they told us they are in the process of figuring out how to add more capacity. If they can take on more risk, carriers will be able to as well. CZ: We have seen many insurance trends over the years, but, ultimately, they come down to finding a middle ground in the marketplace. That’s what the industry is striving for again today. I’m not saying the problems will be solved in a year, but our decades in the business have us hopeful that things will get easier eventually. At the same time, I don’t think insurance is going to be a buyer’s market again. What is Alliant Private Client doing to help policyholders in this market?   CZ: We are being proactive. We don’t wait to get non-renewal notices or other surprises. Our team is constantly on the lookout for unexpected solutions to lost coverage. MR: For instance, clients are becoming more comfortable with unregulated solutions, so that has allowed us to be more creative in our use of non-admitted options. And without being arrogant, the fact that we are one of the largest brokers in the country gives us significant clout among carriers who have begun to prioritize trading partners. We are also working more with different organizations, and sometimes even direct writers, to be able to offer solutions that make things easier for our clients. And what can clients do to make things easier on themselves?   MR: First and foremost, they need to recognize that it really is no longer a buyer’s market. These days, the priority is finding a suitable solution; pricing is secondary. Also, they should consider consolidating insurance solutions under one broker because carriers may, for example, be willing to take on your multi-million-dollar house in California’s brush territory if they are also insuring your less-expensive ranch in Idaho. You lose that benefit if you are dealing with multiple brokers. CZ: Also, when you get a bill, pay it on time. If you let your policy lapse, you might not be able to get it back. And be really thoughtful about making claims. Putting through even a $50,000 claim might hurt your premiums and renewal prospects. Be sure to discuss every potential claim with your broker first. Then they will help guide you on whether or not it’s in your best interest to put forth that claim. MR: And whenever you receive notice of a critical requirement—be it to trim brush or put in vents—follow through. Maybe you could ignore these in the past, but not anymore. Today, failure to comply might result in a policy cancellation. CZ: And lastly, of course, our clients should know that we are always here to help with questions and concerns about their risk management strategy. ...

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Filing an insurance claim in today’s evolving market

As we continue to navigate this unprecedented insurance landscape alongside you, our consultative approach to handling your potential claim is more important than ever. With insurance carriers continuing to raise premiums or, worse, decline renewals of long-standing policies, we want you to better understand the broader shift around filing even the smallest claims, which can help safeguard your long-term insurability. As such, our recommendation is that you call us first to discuss any loss or possible claim. To state it as clearly as possible, we never want you to file a claim directly with your insurance carrier before speaking with your personal account executive or with our dedicated, 24/7 claims team (800-221-5830). As your risk management advisors, we will look holistically at your insurance program and offer guidance as to what we think is the best approach for your specific situation, and given the market, so that you can make the most informed decision. This discussion will also allow us to best support your choice and advocate on your behalf. To help you prepare for such a conversation, we have outlined the six key considerations we would explore together before you decide whether to file a claim: 1. Was the loss caused by a catastrophic event? When the answer is yes, our team will most likely advise you to file a claim. The industry codes for catastrophic events like wildfires, floods, major storms, and earthquakes, which allows carriers to isolate related losses and means they will likely not hold that claim against you when it comes time to renew your policy. 2. Was a third party involved? If someone is injured or another person’s property is damaged, we will most likely recommend that you file a claim to ensure your assets are protected. With that in mind, we encourage you not to pull out your checkbook at the scene of a crash in the hope of avoiding an insurance claim, nor should you ever volunteer to cover someone’s losses before consulting our claims team or your account executive. 3. If no catastrophic event or third party was involved, what is your tolerance for paying out of pocket? Our claims experts have begun to ask how much clients are willing to cover themselves. If the cost of replacing whatever you lost falls within this amount, they then generally suggest you do not file a claim. 4. How will filing this claim impact your risk management strategy going forward? Someone who files too many run-of-the-mill claims risks being deemed by insurance carriers as “no longer profitable.” In the end, carriers are businesses that need to earn money to ensure that they can pay out claims while being financially successful, and that has become increasingly difficult to achieve as weather-related events have increased in frequency and severity as well as costs of replacement and reinsurance have risen. Additionally, construction (material and labor) and auto repair costs continue to increase. So, when it comes time to renew, they are paying more attention to claims histories, especially for water damage and auto accidents. That’s all the more reason we might recommend you handle whatever you can on your own, thus preserving your insurance for catastrophic losses. 5. Is there any reason for you to choose not to file this claim? No doubt it is frustrating to pay for insurance and then choose not to use it for a covered claim. However, after our discussion, you may decide that it’s not worth filing the claim as it could impact your future insurability and once you lose coverage it is very hard and expensive to get it back. If that’s the case, we will recommend other adjustments that may help lower your premiums, such as increasing deductibles or assessing exposures and coverage to make sure you are paying only for what you need. 6. Can we help you be even more proactive about preventing future losses? As you no doubt know, an ounce of prevention can save you thousands in repairs. This is why we regularly educate our client’s around proper maintenance. It’s crucial for you or your caretaker to do things like caulk around windows, clear drains and gutters of debris and check that the sump pump is operational. Taking the time to walk around your home and find the spots where a small investment will prevent a loss that in turn will save you money and effort in the future. And we are happy to provide further guidance and best practices if there is anything we can do to help in this process. Our primary goal is always to protect you and your family's long-term interests. This is why we will work together to guide and advocate for you throughout the claims process. And it’s why we hope your first step will be a call to our team and not the carrier. We can advise on the steps required to handle your immediate loss and keep you insured long-term, as we have done for clients for more than a century. ...

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