Agent News

Transmission – July 2020

'People First Relief Program' Created to Provide Relief During COVID-19

“Our partnership with agents, policyholders, injured workers and our communities has led to remarkable and shared success for more than a century,” said Lisa Corless, president and CEO of AF Group. “The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges to so many, and this important relief program reflects our commitment toward supporting our customer base and our communities. All of this is predicated on the efforts of our amazing workforce, which is why we’re also working hard to protect the health and safety of more than 1,500 teammates nationwide. Their dedication to our collective success is allowing us to make a lasting impact.”

The People First Relief Program is supporting AF Group’s agents by offering options to accelerate agency commissions and profit sharing for those who qualify, providing opportunities to partner with food service policyholders to deliver food to essential workers, and adding new online resources to help agents to stay connected with their customers.

For policyholders, flexibility is being offered to extend payment due dates and to ensure policies are not cancelled for non-payment, as well as expedited processing of payroll changes to adjust premiums to provide more immediate financial relief. For injured workers, the benefit of electronic fund transfer (EFT) is allowing quicker access to claim payments and new telehealth services featuring virtual medical and physical therapy services are available.

In local communities, AF Group has continued to support charitable organizations in Michigan and these donations will increase nationwide over the next several months in the communities where employees work and live.

“Through the years, our collective success has been the direct result of the tireless commitment of our teammates and our remarkable partnerships with agents and policyholders,” said Corless. “We consider it an honor and a privilege to protect our teammates while exploring every opportunity to help sustain these partnerships for a shared, successful future.”

For more information, including a short video, visit the People First Relief Program page.

2020 Virtual Roadshow

Please join the Fundamental Underwriters executive team for our virtual roadshow. We are excited to share a state of the business, recent results, company updates, as well as a message from AF Group President and CEO Lisa Corless.

Thursday,  Aug. 13

Time: 12 – 1 p.m. EST

Event Link: An Outlook calendar invite with the webinar link will be sent out prior to the event.

Please RSVP here and contact Annie Fata with any questions.

We look forward to our virtual gathering in August!

New Fundamental Underwriters Website

As a leader in specialty insurance, we are continuously creating new tools and services to make it easy to do business with us. That’s why we’re excited to announce the launch of our new public website!

Website updates include:

  • Enhanced resource library of marketing materials and more
  • Audience self-select feature to quickly direct visitors to the most pertinent information
  • Simplified and organized content

We hope you enjoy the features and enhanced functionality of our new website!

Reopening Your Business - Critical Information

As you begin to reopen and maintain operations in pandemic times, it is more important than ever to enable a safe and healthy workforce. To assist you during this challenging period, we have created a set of safety resources.

Reopening and Disinfection

Reopening your business to employees or the public requires a thorough plan for cleaning and disinfection. These resources can help you determine what to disinfect, what disinfectants to use and how often to disinfect.

  • CDC Reopening Guide – this web page provides a general framework for creating a cleaning and disinfection plan for your business (includes examples of frequently touched surfaces, instructions for cleaning soft surfaces like chairs and couches, etc.).
  • CDC Disinfection Flow Chart – use this flow chart to determine what should be cleaned and how, based on location, occupancy and type of material.
  • EPA-Registered Household Disinfectant List – this list contains products that meet the EPA’s criteria for use against the virus that causes COVID-19 – as well as the amount of time a surface should be visibly wet with each disinfectant.

Symptoms and Hygiene

  • Monitor public health communications about COVID-19 recommendations for the workplace and ensure that workers have access to and understand that information.
  • Encourage workers to stay home if they are feeling sick, have a fever, cough or shortness of breath or have been exposed to viruses.
  • Survey applicants attending orientation about their wellbeing and any viral symptoms.
  • Encourage respiratory etiquette, including covering coughs and sneezes.
  • Promote frequent and thorough hand washing. Instruct employees to wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or clean their hands often with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60-95% alcohol.
  • Educate workers about current precautions being taken at their facility or job site and actions they can take to protect themselves.
  • Provide tissues, disinfectants and disposable towels that workers can use to clean high-touch work surfaces at the beginning and end of every shift, per CDC guidelines.
  • Use Environmental Protection Agency-approved cleaning chemicals from List N.
  • Discourage workers from sharing tools and equipment. Employees should especially not share headsets or other objects that are near their mouth or nose.
  • Install hands-free door opener devices on restroom doors.
  • Provide resources like helplines and Human Resources contacts for employees to manage their mental and emotional safety while working.


  • Establish flexible work hours and allow office staff to work from home when feasible.
  • Limit employee access to areas outside of the departments they work in.
  • Encourage office employees to call coworkers on the phone, even if in the same department.
  • Utilize alternative modes of communication for meetings and training when possible.
  • Seek alternatives to physical punch cards and community pens for time clocks, roll call and other sign-in requirements.
  • Practice sensible social distancing and maintain six feet between co-workers where possible.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • Provide or allow workers to wear personal protective equipment (PPE), like masks and gloves.
  • Train workers on how to properly put on, use/wear, take off and maintain protective clothing and equipment.

Additional Resources:

FMCSA Crash Preventability Determination Program

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has reopened the Crash Preventability Determination Program (CPDP), formerly known as the Crash Preventability Demonstration. All federally regulated motor carriers are encouraged to participate.

In this program, your crash indicator score may be favorably affected when crashes are determined to be “Not Preventable.” Your prioritization for FMCSA Compliance Reviews could be lowered as well. Lastly, if your crash rate is under examination during a compliance review, having previously examined crashes reviewed through this process may help you pass Factor 6 if they are determined to be “Not Preventable.” Here are some essential factors to know regarding CPDP:

  1. Only crashes occurring on or after Aug. 1, 2019, may be dataQ’d for a preventability determination.
  2. As indicated on the CPDP website, the following categories of crashes qualify for the program:
    • Struck in the Rear type of crash when the CMV was struck:
      • in the rear; or
      • on the side at the rear.
    • Wrong Direction or Illegal Turns type of crash when the CMV was struck:
      • by a motorist driving in the wrong direction; or
      • by another motorist in a crash when a driver was operating in the wrong direction; or
      • by a vehicle that was making a U-turn or illegal turn.
    • Parked or Legally Stopped type of crash when the CMV was struck:
      • while legally stopped at a traffic control device (e.g., stop sign, red light or yield); or
      • while parked, including while the vehicle was unattended.
    • Failure of the other vehicle to Stop type of crash when the CMV was struck:
      • by a vehicle that did not stop or slow in traffic; or
      • by a vehicle that failed to stop at a traffic control device.
    • Under the Influence type of crash when the CMV was struck:
      • by an individual under the influence (or related violation, such as operating while intoxicated), according to the legal standard of the jurisdiction where the crash occurred; or
      • by another motorist in a crash where an individual was under the influence (or related violation such as operating while intoxicated), according to the legal standard of the jurisdiction where the crash occurred.
    • Medical Issues, Falling Asleep or Distracted Driving type of crash when the CMV was struck:
      • by a driver who experienced a medical issue which contributed to the crash; or
      • by a driver who admitted falling asleep or admitted distracted driving (e.g., cellphone, GPS, passengers, other).
    • Cargo/Equipment/Debris or Infrastructure Failure type of crash when the CMV:
      • was struck by cargo, equipment or debris (e.g., fallen rock, fallen trees, unidentifiable items in the road); or
      • crash was a result of an infrastructure failure.
    • Animal Strike type of crash when the CMV:
      • struck an animal.
    • Suicide type of crash when the CMV:
      • struck an individual committing or attempting to commit suicide.
      • Rare or Unusual type of crash when the CMV:
      • Was involved in a crash type that seldom occurs and does not meet another eligible crash type (e.g., being struck by an airplane or skydiver or being struck by a deceased driver).
  1. A Police Accident Report (PAR) must be submitted and additional compelling evidence such as documents, photos and videos are encouraged. Videos should not exceed 5 MB and be in one of the following formats – MP4, MPG, MKV, AVI, MPEG, MWV.
  2. If the state enforcement agency managing the crash has not submitted the PAR to the FMCSA database yet, you will be allowed to dataQ it. However, it will be placed on hold until the state provides the PAR. Your score will not be adversely affected – crashes are not placed on your SMS or a driver’s PSP until it has reached the database.
  3. The 30-day comment period for the Request for Data Review submission to the Federal Register has been removed.
  4. Your driver’s CDL and medical card must have been in good standing at the time of the crash. The medical card must have been appropriately certified and updated at the proper State Drivers’ Licensing Agency (SDLA). If the FMCSA is unable to verify this through the PAR or Commercial Driver’s License Information System (CDLIS) at the time of review, they will request proof from the requestor showing good standing at the time of the crash. Failure to submit upon request will result in an “Undecided” determination.
  5. If Post-Accident Drug and Alcohol Testing (PADAT) was required due to Federal criteria being met, proof of completed testing and results or documentation explaining why testing was not administered must be submitted. Failure to submit upon request will result in an “Undecided” determination. If the results of your driver’s testing are positive, the crash will be determined to be “Preventable.”
  6. If it was determined that your vehicle was in out-of-service condition prior to the crash (deemed by an investigating agency’s post-crash inspection), then the crash will be considered “Preventable.”

For further information please contact your Fundamental Underwriters loss control consultant or visit the FMCSA website.