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Maggie Bender-Johnson named President of Warren G. Bender Co.

Third generation to lead independent, family-owned insurance agency through next phase of growth

SACRAMENTO, CA — Warren G. Bender Co., one of the largest independent and family-owned insurance brokerages in the Sacramento region, announced today that Maggie Bender-Johnson, Vice President of Operations, was selected by the Board of Directors to assume the role of President, effective immediately. Bender-Johnson has been a part of Warren G. Bender since 2005 and has played an active role in helping guide the Company’s succession plan over the past seven years. Her father, Stephen Bender, who formerly was president and CEO, will remain the company’s CEO.

Bender-Johnson is the third generation of her family to serve as president of the company, founded in 1938 by Warren G. Bender. The company has carefully followed a succession plan for continued success and growth and Bender-Johnson has been an essential part of it in preparation for her role as president.

Stephen Bender said it was a good time to make the transition. “Maggie’s appointment and this transition are exciting milestones in a succession plan that we have been working on for seven years,” said Stephen Bender, CEO of Warren G. Bender. “Maggie has been an integral part of the company since she joined the firm in 2005, and there’s no one more qualified than she is to preserve the reputation, culture and values of the company – not only for today but for generations to come.”

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Bender-Johnson graduated from the University of San Francisco and later earned an MBA from California State University, Sacramento. She has worked in a wide range of positions within the company, learning all of its business practices from the ground up. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Operations and is a partner in the company.
“I’m eager and excited to lead Warren G. Bender into its next 80 years and I’m honored to have this opportunity to further grow the company,” Bender-Johnson said. “Under the leadership of my father and grandfather, the company has experienced tremendous growth and success, and I am focused on continuing that legacy for years to come.”

“I can assure our clients that they will continue to enjoy the Bender experience,” Bender-Johnson continued. “We will build on the best; continue to preserve our culture and values; and embrace change and technology like never before.”

With only about 12 percent of family businesses surviving into the third generation under family leadership, Warren G. Bender has proven itself as a thriving, professionally-run family business that’s poised to succeed for many years to come.

Bender-Johnson is active in several community organizations, including the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, the Roseville Chamber of Commerce, the Capital Region Family Business Center, Soroptimists of Sacramento, Toastmasters, and the Placer County SPCA. She is an avid hiker and lives in Nevada County with her husband, Fergus – a Sacramento city firefighter – and their four dogs: Fonzie, Chewbacca, Lando and Worf.

ABOUT WARREN G. BENDER COMPANY
Founded in 1938, Warren G. Bender Company is one of Northern California’s largest independent insurance brokerages. Headquartered in the Sacramento region and serving clients throughout the Western United States, the company focuses on enhancing and influencing strategies to support the growth and success of its clients. Warren G. Bender offers a comprehensive suite of business and personal insurance products such as commercial insurance, surety bonds, homeowners insurance and auto insurance; specializing in an array of industries including construction, commercial real estate, healthcare, manufacturing, technology, agriculture and much more. Family-owned for 80 years, the company’s mission is to provide protection, superior service and education to those who matter most, their clients. For additional information, please visit www.wgbender.com or call (916) 380-5300.

MEDIA CONTACTS
Jillian Bender-Cormier jbender@wgbender.com
Warren G. Bender Co. (916)380-5385

Filed under: Recent Headlines — Jillian Bender-Cormier @ 5:53 pm January 24, 2018


Tips for Filing an Insurance Claim

Accidents and natural disasters can strike without warning, causing costly damage to your home, vehicles and personal belongings. When this happens, you will have to file an insurance claim in order for your policy to kick in and recoup your losses.

In order to get the most out of the claims process, consider the following tips:

• Call your insurer as soon as an incident occurs. The quicker you get the process moving, the better. After you’ve contacted your insurer, you can ask an adjuster to come and inspect the damage.

• Document your losses before the adjuster comes. Make a thorough list of property that has been impacted by a disaster. Provide purchase receipts, or estimate how much the belongings cost and when you bought them.

• Take photographs of the accident scene, and don’t throw out damaged items before notifying your insurer.

Above all, it’s important to document the claims process, noting when you speak with your insurers and what the conversations entailed. This will help you track the amount of reimbursement you should receive and allow you to keep a record of insurance claims for future use.

Filed under: Personal Insurance — Jillian Bender-Cormier @ 11:25 pm January 17, 2018


4 Steps to Protect Your Business From Fires

Fires can cause widespread devastation and are one of the biggest threats to any business. According to the National Fire Protection Association, there are over 130,000 non-residential fires every year that cause over $3 billion in property damage.

The best way to protect your business from a fire is to analyze your risk exposures and train your workforce on how to act. Even if you believe that your business is prepared for a fire, it’s important to review your fire prevention plan in order to make sure it’s up to date.

Here are four steps you should take to protect your business from fires:

1. Create an emergency evacuation plan. Your employees and customers should know how to leave your business at any time by locating a clearly marked, unobstructed emergency exit. You should also conduct an evacuation drill at least once every year to ensure that your employees know how to act.

2. Follow all of your fire code requirements.
Depending on your business’s size, industry and location, the fire code will require your business to take certain steps to prevent fires.

3. Install and maintain fire suppression systems. Make sure that your workplace is outfitted with automatic fire sprinklers and portable fire extinguishers. You should also make sure that fire extinguishers aren’t used after they have expired and that your workforce is trained to operate them.

4. Get in touch with local first responders. Establishing a relationship with your local fire department and providing them with your building’s floor plan will help ensure the fastest possible response time.

For more information on protecting your business from fires, contact us at (916) 380-5300 today.

Filed under: Property & Casualty,Recent Headlines,Safety — Jillian Bender-Cormier @ 11:17 pm


Weed at Work: Legalization of Recreational Marijuana and Possible Effects on Workplace Policies

By Jackie Sudia, AIC, ARM, CRIS
Warren G. Bender Co.
January 17, 2018

On January 1, California joined several other states in legalizing recreational marijuana, also known as cannabis. As with prescription medication, alcohol, or any other substance that affects a person’s cognitive behavior, there are certain actions a person cannot legally do or safely perform under the influence of cannabis (e.g. driving). The ingredient in cannabis products believed to produce a psychoactive effect is Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). While the psychoactive compound THC is relatively short-lived in the system, the inactive compound produced from metabolizing THC (carboxy THC or THC COOH) remains present in a person’s system for weeks. In a Standard 5 Panel Drug Test, the presence THC metabolites reveal whether the tested person has used cannabis within the prior three to six weeks. This means that, unlike testing blood alcohol levels, testing for the presence of THC metabolites cannot accurately determine if someone is under the influence. A ‘positive’ result for THC metabolites only shows that an individual has used cannabis within the last month or so, not when it was used, or how much.

As an employer, you may be asking how your company might continue to enforce a zero-tolerance drug policy specifically for the use of marijuana (cannabis). Let’s imagine that you have a situation where a manager suspects that an employee is under the influence of cannabis after they’ve returned to work from lunch. How could the manager be sure that the employee actually used cannabis before returning to work? An employee might smell like cannabis because they were near someone who was smoking. Smell is not a reliable indicator, especially given that many products containing THC are not smoked and/or have no odor. There are tinctures, infused foods, vaporizers, and capsules that have no smell. For this reason, learning to recognize the signs and symptoms of inebriation and being alert for unsafe behavior provides a broader and more useful assessment. As an employer, being prepared for changes to reasonable suspicion drug testing procedures could avoid wrongly accusing an employee.

Another scenario to consider is that if an employee uses cannabis while not at work on a Sunday, they are very likely to test positive on a Wednesday; the positive test doesn’t prove that they were under the influence on Wednesday. One school of thought is that employers can’t control the actions of employees while not at work; this has yet to be tested by California courts. That said, unfit actions or unsafe behavior at work are unacceptable hazards that an employer can control. These types of infractions are usually documented in an employer’s Employee Handbook and acknowledged by the employee. If an employee is observed acting in an unsafe or unseemly manner at work, they may be subject to corrective action regardless of whether or not they are under the influence of cannabis.

In addition to legalization of recreational use, ‘medical marijuana’ is still being prescribed by physicians. Just like any prescription medicine that may impair a person’s ability to do his or her job, requiring a note from the prescribing physician with job restrictions while using the medication provides documentation resolving any ambiguity. Providing a detailed job description including the employee’s essential job functions can help support the next action you to take.

It’s important to note that cannabis products are still against Federal Law. Federal law applies to work performed for the federal government or which takes place on federal land and more. Drivers subject to Department of Transportation (DOT) Regulations are not allowed to test positive for THC metabolites no matter what state they are in.

Future court cases in California will eventually shape the way each situation should be handled. How your company decides to deal with these changes will define your company’s future liability, insurance costs, and reputation. Being educated on this subject and developing an action plan will help you protect your business and preserve your working relationships. We recommend you seek the guidance of your legal, insurance, human resource, loss control, and safety professionals.

Disclaimer: The information in this post is provided for general informational purposes only. No information contained in this post should be construed as legal advice from the Warren G. Bender Co. or the individual author, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.

Filed under: HR,Property & Casualty,Safety — Jillian Bender-Cormier @ 11:08 pm