RSG’s 2016 Summer Intern Class prepares to finish the season


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RSG Welcomes Seven Summer Interns!

On Wednesday, Ryan Specialty Group’s first ever Intern On-boarding day may have finally blurred the lines between team building, insurance and zombies.

DSC_0849 I am one of seven new summer interns who will work in v
arious departments of RSG, from Compliance to Marketing to Legal. At 9 a.m., the seven of us gathered around the 46th floor conference room for the first time. We immediately launched into a thorough crash course on the ins and outs of RSG, led by Chris Taggart and Diane Scumaci of Human Resources.

The morning’s visitors represented a wide assortment of the office functions, each discussing their departments while saluting their respective interns. Each speaker took the chance to infuse bits of advice where they could as well.

The panel began with Jeremiah Bickham’s rundown of the Treasury department, followed by an overview of RT Specialty by Michael VanAcker. Both men found opportunities to mention the importance of networking their personal paths to their current positions. In an instant, all seven pens were down, taking notes.

Alice Topping visited next from Marketing to weigh in on the importance of branding, continuity and consistency in RSG’s messaging. Alice also came bearing exciting news of the upcoming website redesign. If this sounds like a plug for my home department, you are correct.

Representing Compliance, Roger Smith took the floor for an intriguing talk about the function and importance of underwriting, starting as far back as the Titanic’s Lloyd’s of London insurance policy. To round out the speakers’ panel, Lisa Paschal introduced us to the wide range of pants that Human Resources can wear in a single day and the significance of such a dynamic department.

Following lunch, Chris and Diane led a series of activities, testing our business knowledge, showing us the value of communication, and reminding us of our own inability to unscramble words.

Capping off the day was the most bizarre, yet effective team building exercise I have ever participated in. Our group walked into a small room off Michigan Avenue and was greeted by a mad scientist, who explained the rules to “Trapped in a Room with a Zombie.” This somewhat self-explanatory game involved our team, “the Six-Foot-Underwriters,” rushing around a small room finding clues leading to our escape. A zombie character tried to catch and tag us while tied to one wall with a slowly-lengthening chain.

From our singing and dancing to distract the zombie, to our fearless leader Chris Taggart’s unfortunate death, the afternoon was a hilarious way to get to know each other and potentially even understand our own roles in a crisis situation. Thanks to Chris, Diane and everyone else who helped welcome us into the RSG family!

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2016 JP Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge

For the second year in a row, RSG employees joined over 27,000 runners from 600+ companies in Chicago’s Grant Park for the 35th annual JP Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge. The run benefited “Get In Chicago”, which supports programs that lead to a sustainable reduction in violence for the individuals and communities most affected.

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Coastal area flooding places public entities at a higher risk

Flooding is the most common and costly natural disaster in the United States causing an estimated $50 billion in economic losses each year, which is projected to surge even higher as sea levels and precipitation amounts continue to rise.*

Across the nation torrential downpours are becoming more frequent, causing flooding and closing businesses, highways, airports, and schools. Last week we watched a similar situation unfold in Houston where over 17 inches of rain fell within 24 hours. This weather event left the city largely gridlocked leaving numerous people displaced and five dead.  houston-flooding-thumb

Beyond the financial devastation and displacement of communities, this type of event can also compromise public entities such as roads, bridges and sewage systems.

The stress of water can lead to structural damage requiring more frequent maintenance, repairs and even the rebuilding of infrastructure. Highway infrastructure in coastal areas is especially at risk to more frequent and permanent flooding from rise in sea levels and storm surges.*

Scientists have found the number of days of extremely heavy precipitation is rising by 1 to 2 percent each decade in the world’s driest and wettest regions. Similar increases are projected through at least 2100.*

Unfortunately, many don’t consider their flood risk until it’s too late. There is often confusion surrounding flood coverage such as what is covered, the difference between a man-made and natural disaster, and so on.

RSG’s CivicRisk specializes in excess liability coverage for public entities. For more information about how CivicRisk can address your client’s most complex public entity risks, please visit


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RSG joined in sponsoring this year’s Spin to Break the Cycle Event



RSG Chicago recently participated in World Sport Chicago’s Spin to Break the Cycle event. World Sport Chicago  has reached over 20,000 Chicago youth, offering positive role models, safe places to play, life skill training and character development through sport. The event took place at the House of Blues and the RSG team biked alongside over 1,000 participants.

Check out some photos from the event on RSG’s official Facebook page!


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A Password for Your Pacemaker?

You have passwords for your smart phone and laptop, your bank account, your patient records through your doctor’s office, and even (frustratingly) your local gym.

But have you thought about a password for your pacemaker or insulin pump? Pacemaker-300x225

Medical implants, like other computer systems, can be vulnerable to security breaches, potentially impacting the safety and effectiveness of the device. Millions of people using implants today are becoming increasingly vulnerable to a cyber hack. With the lives of patients on the line, the use of implants – from pacemakers to cochlear hearing implants – is not something that should be taken lightly.

Mark Wood, President of LifeScienceRisk, a managing general underwriter specializing in generic and brand pharmaceuticals, invasive medical devices and nutritional supplements, explains that despite the growing threat, this risk is not currently among his greatest concerns:

“We are talking about something that certainly is possible, but it’s not an exposure that keeps me up at night as an underwriter.”

Addressing cyber security threats can be challenging. Because these threats cannot be eliminated completely, manufacturers, hospitals and facilities must work to manage them. Hospitals and health care facilities should evaluate their network security and take the necessary precautions to protect their internal systems to help reduce this type of risk.

“In 2016, we will see new tools used to deliver healthcare, such as virtual doctors’ offices and alternative unique medical treatment technologies that will dramatically change how healthcare is delivered,” says Wood.

All of these factors could increase the threat of a medical implant or device security breach. As with any emerging risk, cyber security surrounding these implants and devices must be monitored closely. With technology advancing rapidly and continued healthcare expansion, hackers will find new ways around security measures implemented as a prevention effort. Which means cyber threats to a medical implant could quickly advance from a hypothetical scenario to a reality.

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RSG’s Cindy Hogan Attends the IIA of IL Convention

Hello all,

Happy Halloween! It’s hard to believe we’ve reached the end of October, and that I have only two remaining shows to attend in 2015.

Earlier this month I had the pleasure of attending the Independent Insurance Agents of Illinois convention in the Illinois state capitol of Springfield. Sean Koop from the Chicago office of RT Specialty attended the convention with me this year.

The motivational speaker was Mike Rayburn. He uses his guitar and a series of questions to motivate his audience to ask themselves “what if”. It was a great way to engage with the audience, and there was a lot of energy and enthusiasm in the room as a result.

In addition to the several education classes, luncheons, and of course the tradeshow, there was an outdoor music festival! We were fortunate to have great fall weather to enjoy the evening.

I am looking forward to the Indiana “Big I” Convention next week in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Have a great weekend,

Cindy Hogan
Regional Vice President

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