Press Releases, News and Recent Media Coverage

NEW PHONE SYSTEM AT PACHNER & ASSOCIATES, LLC

August 23, 2020

We have moved to a new phone system as of August 19, 2020 and can receive phone calls, text messages and faxes at our agency phone number and our direct dial numbers. We will also have video call capability, as well as screen share for reviewing proposals and other documents.

The phone numbers have all ported to the new system as planned. Please note the current contact information for our office and staff:

Office Switchboard Tel/Text/Fax: 518-576-2100 or 914-234-2228

Toll Free Number: 888-582-4884

Donald Pachner (President) 518-809-1020
Email don@pachner.us

David LeClair (Customer Service Representative) 518-809-1019
Email david@pachner.us

Trisha Bruce (Bookkeeper/Regulatory Compliance) 518-809-1018
Email trisha@pachner.us

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY FOR TECHNICAL ASSISTANT AT PACHNER & ASSOCIATES, LLC

August 18, 2020

We are looking for a part-time technical assistant to support our professional staff, bookkeeper and President. The work will be in our Keene, NY office during the work week, with flexible hours.

Pachner & Associates, LLC Attending 2020 Wilderness Risk Management Conference

October 14, 2020

Pachner & Associates, LLC will be attending the 2020 virtual Wilderness Risk Management Conference from Wednesday, October 14 through Friday, October 23, 2020. While we will be able to selectively enroll in sessions from our office (much less intensive than traveling to the meetings!) we may be unavailable at times for an hour or two. If you are unable to reach us, please leave a voice mail message or send an email, and we will return your call when we finish the session. We are proud to be a supporter of the Jim Ratz Memorial Scholarship Fund for the event. Please keep an eye out for Don Pachner and David LeClair, if you enroll in one of the sessions we attend!

COVID-19 Information for Outdoors and Experiential Learning Organizations

April 30, 2020

As the COVID-19 health crisis evolves and impacts our customers, I will post information here that I feel will be of value to you in making critical decisions about your operations from a risk management standpoint.

Steve Smith of Experiential Consulting has compiled links to COVID-19 risk management resources.  I have known Steve for many years and have great respect for his outdoor and experiential learning organization risk management expertise and knowledge.  He recently presented an online panel discussion with three program administrators/risk managers which you will find insightful, and the recording of the webinar is available on his web site.

For members of the AMGA, the NEWS section of their web site contains excellent information regarding operations, risk management and business continuity resources, but you must be a member and log in to access these resources.

COVID-19 Pandemic Crisis and Your Insurance Policy

June 24, 2020

As our country reels from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, numerous questions arise everyday about your insurance coverage, insurance premium and payments, due to shutdown of business, both voluntary and government enforced/recommended.   I will try to update this information periodically.  We are constantly receiving guidance and updates from insurance regulators and insurance underwriters around the U.S.

Please note that we now have access to a liability insurer providing coverage for claims based upon or arising out of communicable disease (including COVID-19) as a standalone policy.  Almost all standard outdoor activity policies now exclude this coverage.  Let us know if you wish to obtain a quotation for communicable disease liability.

For those of our wilderness recreation clients with liability policies written through the standard O&G program at K&K/National Casualty Company, please contact us ASAP for further information on options for premium relief.  K&K has a resource page for COVID-19 issuesEffective on all renewals dated 5/1/2020 and later, a Communicable Disease Exclusion will be added to and the Transmissible Pathogen Coverage will be removed from the policy.  This is due to the catastrophic potential of claims arising out of the COVID-19 virus pandemic when policyholders resume operations.  Standard program outfitter & guide Policies that renewed prior to 5/1/2020 will continue to have coverage for legal liability arising out of Transmissible Pathogens, including the COVID-19 virus, subject to all other policy terms, conditions and exclusions.  We have asked whether this exclusion can be removed with updated & acceptable risk management practices & procedures, and our inquiry is awaiting a response from underwriters/management.  We believe this exposure will be excluded in the foreseeable future due to the catastrophe nature at this time.

Most insurance companies and programs we work with are not issuing cancellation notices for non-payment of premium at this time and are extending the grace period for payment of premium.  Several state insurance regulators have instructed insurers and their partners to extend the grace period on payments and claim reporting requirements, extend coverage and refrain from issuing cancellation notices at this time.  The guidance varies from state to state.

In general, most of our policyholders had coverage for liability claims brought alleging negligence on the part of the policyholder that results in transmission of COVID-19 virus, at the time of the shutdowns in March, 2020;  however, insurers are adding a Communicable Disease Exclusion on renewal of most policies.  A few policies may currently contain an exclusion.  Contact us if this question arises or you have questions about legal liability coverage for COVID-19 issues (claims or lawsuits made against the policyholder due to a client or third party contracting COVID-19 virus arising from your negligence) on your specific policy.

For Business Interruption coverage on a Commercial Property Policy, covered loss to property due to a covered peril must first exist to trigger business interruption coverage.  For almost all our customers, this would require a specific contamination event that impacts inventory or product/materials used in the production process (e.g. materials or supplies used in the manufacturing process or inventory of a retail store).  Many of these policies now contain a virus exclusion, so the likelihood of a business interruption claim is slim.  If you believe you may have a claim due to these circumstances, please contact us with the details.

We will try to email a copy of incoming directives from state insurance regulators, as they are received by our office, but please check your state insurance regulator’s web site by searching online for [name of your state] + [department of insurance] and click on COVID-19 links from their home page.  We are receiving numerous directives daily, but not all deal with the issues our clients are facing (many directives deal with telehealth services and protection of those working for the state regulators and insurance companies).

Alaska:  Bulletins can be found on the Division of Insurance home pageAdditional information about premium relief can be found in specific bulletins.  For help in locating additional information, please contact our office.

California
Insurance Commissioner Directive to Refund March & April 2020 Premiums on Commercial Auto, Liability & Workers’ Compensation Policies  Insurance Commissioner Recommendation to Extend Premium Payment Grace Period to 60 Days  As of May 15, 2020, the State of California has extended their directive regarding grace periods for payment of all policies and renewals to July 14, 2020.  A link will be provided when available (this is hot off the press).

Colorado:  Effective 3/27/2020 and until further notice, The Division of Insurance has directed all insurers to provide a moratorium on cancellations, extend any expiring policies and and defer any non-renewal underwriting actions, as well as extend payment grace periods and waive all fees for late payment.  See a copy of notice here.

Hawaii:  Effective 3/27/2020 Insurance Commissioner’s Guidance on businesses impacted by COVID-19 health crisis difficulties

Maine:  Effective 3/12/2020 Directive on Grace Periods for Payments Due and Cancellation for Non-Payment of Premium and Information Page on COVID-19 Insurance Issues and Notices From Bulletin 444: “Many property and casualty insurance policies calculate premiums based on exposure estimates made when a policy is issued. Examples of common exposure bases include miles driven, sales revenue, receipts, or payroll. Due to the far-reaching effects of the COVID-19 outbreak and local, state, and federal governments’ responses such as non-essential business closings and stay-at-home orders, initial estimates for many policyholders will be much higher than the exposure actually realized. The Superintendent encourages insurers to allow policyholders to self-audit and self-report changes in their exposure or risk profile and adjust premiums accordingly. For policies that are subject to audit, insurers are encouraged to allow self-auditing and self-reporting in lieu of physical audits to the extent that physical audits are impracticable.   These guidelines will apply until July 1, 2020, unless extended by the Superintendent.”

New York:  the Department of Financial Services issued guidance to all regulated entities as follows (Updated 4/2/2020).  Please see FAQ from NY Dept of Financial Services Dated 4/2/2020

 1) Offering payment accommodations, such as allowing consumers to defer payments at no cost, extending payment due dates, or waiving late or reinstatement fees, where consumers are unable to make timely payments of premium or fees due to COVID-19-related disruptions;

 2) Working with consumers to avoid cancellation of insurance policies for (a) failure to pay premiums on time, (b) discovery of acts or omissions that may have increased the hazard insured against, or (c) physical changes in the property insured subsequent to issuance or last renewal that result in the property no longer meeting the insurer’s underwriting standards;

North Carolina:  See NC news, bulletins, advisories and information page.  Contact our office for specific questionsSee also specific order to grant relief to businesses/organizations affected by the COVID-19 shutdown.

OregonEmergency Order for Insurance Deadlines Extended to at least June 23, 2020  and FAQ (4/23/2020) and General Info on COVID-19 Pandemic Insurance companies of property & casualty insurance must provide a grace period of at least 60 days on all premiums due through June 23, 2020.  Claims must be paid through this grace period,

WashingtonOffice of the Insurance Commissioner Order to Extend Policies & Grace Periods to 5/9/2020 Press Release of 3/25/2020  Emergency Order 2020-03  and Claims Advisory and Guidance to Allow Contract Delivery Drivers in Personal Vehicles – Washington OIC FAQ About Directive

Feel free to call or email our office with any questions.  We are swamped with questions dealing with the difficult business shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  I am in the office every day, along with my technical assistant David LeClair.  Our bookeeper Trisha Bruce continues to work remotely from her home in Wilmington. 

Insurance brokers are currently considered essential businesses in NY and our office remains fully functional.   I hope this information will answer some of your pressing questions as we navigate a difficult and frightening health situation.  We wish you, your families, organization, staff and volunteers safe passage through the crisis.

Sincerely Yours,

Don Pachner, President
Pachner & Associates, LLC
Pachner Risk Management, LLC

Office Closure 11 AM to 2 PM for Climate Strike 9/20/2019

September 20, 2019
Our main office will be closed while we participate in a local Climate Action Strike on September 20, 2019 from 11 AM to 2:30 PM.  If you need immediate assistance, please dial extension 1018 and ask for Michele Clough. 

We apologize for any inconvenience while we let the North Country and the world know how we feel about the critical importance of dealing with the climate change that we have all had a hand in creating, in one way or another, and support the younger generation’s voices in urging the world to apply science and environmental sociology to a crucial problem facing the human race.

Pachner & Associates to Participate in 2019 Wilderness Risk Management Conference in Albuquerque

September 13, 2019
Pachner & Associates will have a vendor booth and participate in the 2019 Wilderness Risk Management Conference in Albuquerque, NM on October 30 to November 1, 2019.  Please stop by our booth to talk about your organization’s new projects and operational/insurance concerns.  I hope to see you in the seminars and workshops!  Pachner & Associates, LLC is a Featured Sponsor of the event.  This is an exceptional conference for owners, managers, board members, executive directors and other staff/volunteers of outdoors-based organizations wishing to learn more about or update organizational risk management policies, practices & procedures.

Don Pachner Teaching Professional Development Courses at AMGA 2019 National Meetings

September 13, 2019
Don Pachner has been invited to teach two professional development courses on insurance to mountaineering guides & guide services at the American Mountain Guides Association‘s national meetings at Petzl Technical Center in Salt Lake City, UT on October 24-25,2019.  The courses will address “Hot Topics In Insurance for Guides” and “Insurance Considerations for Foreign Guiding”.  Each course will be taught on Thursday October 24, and again on Friday October 25.  Participants can register for the courses on the AMGA event site

2017 International Trails Symposium in Dayton, OH

April 1, 2017
Visit the Pachner & Associates, LLC trail crew Don Pachner and Caet Cash at the   International Trails Symposium in Dayton, Ohio on May 7-10, 2017  (sponsored by American Trails Association).  We are proud to be a Snowy Egret sponsor of this event.  Look for our vendor booth in exhibit space 96 across from the federal agencies.  Trail systems, trail associations, trail clubs, nature sanctuaries/education centers, land trusts and related trail organizations/businesses are one of our core constituencies and an area of special insurance expertise.

2017 America Outdoors Association Marketing & Management Conference Copy

October 4, 2017
Pachner & Associates will be participating in the 2017 America Outdoors Association Marketing & Management Conference in Daytona Beach.  Visit our vendor booth to find out more about how we can help with your insurance .  Pachner & Associates, LLC specializes in insurance for wilderness recreation, nature & outdoor education organizations, and related businesses.  Meet president Don Pachner and service representative Alyssa Granato at our booth and in the seminars.  We have been professional members of America Outdoors Association since 2005 and has served on its insurance committee dealing with insurance requirements of government land managers.

2016 America Outdoors Association Marketing & Management Conference

November 26, 2016
Pachner & Associates will be participating in the 2016 America Outdoors Association Marketing & Management Conference in Daytona Beach.  Visit our vendor booth to find out more about how we can help with your insurance and meet us in the seminars there.  Don Pachner and Coleman Lieb will be in attendance.  We have been professional members of America Outdoors Association since 2005.

2016 Association for Experiential Education Annual Conference

September 16, 2016
Pachner & Associates will participate in the 2016 AEE Annual Conference in Minneapolis, MN on Octrober 27-30, 2016.  Look for our service representative Ted Wesolowski at the Pachner & Associates booth and at the conference events & seminars.

2016 American Mountain Guides Association National Meetings

September 15, 2016
Don Pachner will be presenting two 1 1/2 hour professional development clinics on insurance at the AMGA National Meetings in the amazing, new Petzl facility in Salt Lake City on October 26-29, 2016.  The first will cover developments in workers’ compensation, contractors, permits/concessions and certificates of insurance during the morning and again in the afternoon on Friday, October 28.  The second set of classes on Saturday morning and afternoon, October 29 will review developments in insurance for international guiding, including new permit issues that have arisen in British Columbia.  Both sessions will end with a question and answer period.  A big thank you to the staff of the AMGA for putting together another terrific conference this year.  I hope to see you there!

2016 Wilderness Risk Management Conference

September 15, 2016
Pachner Booth at WRMC

John Bean at our booth – 2013 WRMC

Pachner & Associates participated in the 2016 Wilderness Risk Management Conference held in Salt Lake City on October 13-15, 2016 as an exhibitor and featured sponsor.  Service representative Ted Wesolowski manned our booth and Don Don Pachner presented a poster session on Prioritizing Insurance for Outdoors Organizations explaining how to prioritize the spectrum of coverages in your insurance program.