Agent Newsletter Quarter 1

Message from the CEO

“Only a life lived for others is worth living.” — Albert Einstein

Aloha Agents!

Community service comes in many forms, whether its coaching a youth soccer team, participating in activities at a church or hula halau, or assisting our kupuna and others in need. Overall, our volunteerism serves as an example of a healthy and caring community.

DTRIC Insurance has always recognized the importance of our own volunteerism. Last year, we continued our commitment in giving back to the community by participating in a variety of community events and activities, including our annual Aloha United Way donation campaign; fundraisers for American Heart Association and Mothers Against Drunk Driving, or our quarterly Adopt-A-Highway clean-ups.

Just as important is the continuation of our “Drive Aloha” traffic safety campaign to keep our roadways safe. In its fourth year of existence, our staff and agents have participated in numerous Drive Aloha sign-waving events, including those on Oahu and Kauai.

On Wednesday, February 19, DTRIC staff will sign-wave with students and faculty of Farrington High School between 7 and 8 a.m. to encourage motorists to drive safely. We hope you can join us. If you are interested in participating, please call our marketing department at (808) 951-1815.

Mahalo for your continued commitment, not only in your work for our company, but in your volunteerism to make our community a better place.

Michele Saito
President & CEO

Agency Relations

Aloha agents,

We hope your year is starting off well. For 2020, listed below are the following holidays observed by our DTRIC office to mark on your calendar:

DTRIC Holiday Schedule for 2020

    • Presidents Day – Monday, February 17
    • Memorial Day – Monday, May 25
    • Kamehameha Day – Thursday, June 11
    • Independence Day – Friday, July 3
    • Labor Day – Monday, September 7
    • Thanksgiving – Thursday, November 26
    • Day After Thanksgiving – Friday, November 27
    • Christmas Day – Friday, December 25

On both Christmas Eve (Thursday, December 24) and New Year’s Eve (Thursday, December 31), the company’s office hours will be 8 a.m. to noon.

Thanks for all of your hard work!

Martha Nobriga
Vice President, Agency Relations

Risk Consulting

With the beginning of a new year and decade, comes the usual checklist of goals and resolutions. You should encourage clients your who are commercial and residential property owners/managers to do the same by compiling a checklist of improvements and maintenance projects.

You should discuss the different types of insurance coverage and categorize hazards and controls that could reduce or eliminate the potential for property damage or injuries to residents and guests. Doing so will help them manage their risk and hopefully save some money in the process:

Chad Lindsey
Risk Consulting Manager

Fire & Contents

Condominiums and Apartments are generally considered a medium-hazard type of risk in the eyes of the insurance industry.  The biggest exposure to fire for Apartments and Condominiums are the individual tenants, which in most cases, property managers have very little control over. But property owners and managers do have responsibility over common areas.

Items to be aware of:
  • General Housekeeping is probably the easiest place to start when looking for fire hazards. In addition to good curb appeal, eliminating unneeded collection of trash and combustibles will lower the risk of fire.
  • All trash receptacles should have covers on them, and be kept closed. Disposal should be frequent as accumulation of trash poses a potential for ignition and fire.
  • Keep hazardous brush around the building maintained. As seen with recent local wildfires, hazardous brush can result in serious property damage.
  • Fire Extinguishers should be located throughout the building. To make them easy to find, signs should be posted to highlight their locations. A service contract should be established annually to ensure that it will function when needed.
  • Periodically check on dry standpipe openings. Covers should be on. Make sure that there is nothing clogging the openings that would reduce its function.

General Liability

In regards to Liability coverage, Slips/Trips/Falls-type injuries are the most frequent exposure to Condominium Associations. With the flow of customers that come on to your client’s premises, remind your client in being vigilant in eliminating hazards that could potentially cause these types of injuries. Also beware of aging building conditions as this could also lead to injuries.

Items to be aware of:
  • Consider highlighting all changes in elevation. Sidewalk edges, curbs, steps, and staircases are examples of changes in elevations. Highlighting these hazards will bring it to the attention of pedestrians and give warning of a potential hazard.
  • Potholes and cracks in parking lot areas should be taken care of immediately.
  • Check on lighting in staircases and in parking lots. It should be adequate enough for people to view where they are walking and also to discourage loitering.
  • Placards or signs should be erected in areas under construction or when a collection of water could cause a potential slip and fall.
  • All railings should be sturdy enough to support 200 lbs. of pressure. A lot of injuries have occurred when railings fail and people fall because of it.
  • Depending on the age of the structure, failing structural materials can be costly. Poor plumbing is a frequent problem for older buildings. When it comes to General Liability Insurance, plumbing issues and slip/trip/fall types of claims are the culprits of rising insurance rates. Plumbing is tough because it’s a hidden hazard, so keeping on top of plumbing issues will relieve your client of future headaches.
  • Recommend the use of licensed contractors when doing major property work. Not only will they be more reliable when it comes to repairs, but if something goes wrong, Claims Adjusters can refer to service contracts and warranties to settle claims.

Worker's Compensation

In regards to Workers Compensation coverage, the largest exposure to potential injuries are maintenance/engineering staff because of the areas they need to upkeep.

Items to be aware of: 
  • Strain-type injuries are always a concern due to the amount of lifting and manual material handling involved with their work. Set limits of how items should be moved or handled to reduce the load or stress on a worker.
  • Ladder usage and working at heights above six (6) feet poses as a severe hazard exposure. Falls from improper usage of equipment or poorly maintained equipment can be costly, and in a few cases, fatal. Ensure that the equipment used for the job is the correct one.
  • Power tools and lawn maintenance equipment bring up a variety of exposures. Cuts and punctures to body parts are most often experienced. Personal Protective Equipment or PPE should be required to be worn to minimize injury.
  • In general, have your client hold periodic staff meetings to discuss hazards and safety when doing their jobs. Communication is the key when it comes to worker safety.

Security

While not an actual insurance coverage, security concerns and issues bleed into all of the areas mentioned above.  Generally speaking, security should be a top priority because your client has a legal duty to reasonably provide protection for anyone stepping on their premises.

Items to be aware of: 
  • Poorly illuminated areas are perfect conditions for robberies and assaults to take place. LED lighting in the parking lot/parking structure prevent car thefts and discourage thieves and homeless hiding in dark areas. Speed limit signs and speeding should be enforced.
  • Trimming or removing any shrubbery, bushes, trees etc. away from entrances of the building, lobby picture windows or blocking of camera views.
  • Have your client consider video monitoring for areas out of general view or areas that are highly traveled. The main focus is to deter any criminal activity, or to provide video evidence should an accident or incident occur.

Having your client reduce hazards on their property will be much easier if they section it into phases that make sense and at the same time, have a purpose.

Meet the Team

Welcome Claudia Granata to the DTRIC team!

DTRIC Insurance has named Claudia Granata as its new Workers’ Compensation Claims Manager, responsible for overseeing claims processing, managing the unit, and providing technical expertise.

Granata brings more than 30 years of experience in claims processing and management to DTRIC. Most recently she was the Team Leader, Workers’ Compensation at Sedgwick’s Honolulu office. She previously held various positions at John Mullen & Company, Inc., Travelers Insurance, and AIMS, as well as Alta Bates Summit Medical Center and the San Francisco Chronicle.

Granata is a graduate of Mt. San Antonio College and holds a State of Hawaii Workers’ Compensation Adjuster license. She is also a certified Spanish interpreter for the State of Hawaii Judiciary and serves on the board of Kids’ Chance of Hawaii, a nonprofit organization providing scholarships to children of workers who have been seriously or fatally injured on the job.

Welcome Krystin Okinaka to the DTRIC team!

DTRIC Insurance welcomes Krystin Okinaka as Workers’ Compensation Claims Examiner. She is responsible for examining and managing workers’ compensation cases, with the goal of facilitating return to work for the injured employee.

“We’re very pleased to welcome Krystin to our team,” said Mike Mishima, Vice President and Chief Claims Officer for DTRIC Insurance. “Krystin initially worked with us on a temporary basis, and due to the high quality of her work and her excellent work ethics, we extended the offer for her to be a regular DTRIC employee.”

Prior to joining DTRIC, Krystin worked as a Claims Examiner with PIA, Inc., Gallagher Bassett Services, and Sedgwick CMS in Hawaii. Krystin is a graduate of Hawaii Pacific University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Justice Administration.

Please join us in welcoming Claudia and Krystin to the DTRIC ohana!

DTRIC In The Community

“Stop If You Love Me” campaign

Last year, 108 people lost their lives in traffic crashes in Hawaii. In an effort to reduce risky driving behaviors, over 1,000 elementary, middle and high school students from nearly 50 schools statewide will participate in the state Department of Education’s “Stop If You Love Me” campaign.

Running the week of February 10-14, the annual traffic safety campaign is sponsored again by Hawaii State Department of Education’s (DOE) Driver Education Program, DTRIC Insurance, and Par Hawaii.

As part of the campaign, DTRIC employees on Wednesday, February 19 will sign-wave with Farrington High School students and faculty to encourage drivers to travel safely around school zones.

During the safety campaign, student advocates will encourage drivers and passengers to eliminate dangerous behaviors while in their vehicles, including cell phone use, texting, driving intoxicated, road rage and speeding, lack of seatbelt use, distractions by passengers. National speakers will also visit selected public schools to discuss unsafe driving behavior.

“We need to encourage drivers and passengers to be mindful of safe driving, especially when children are riding with them in their vehicles or walking and biking along our streets,” said DTRIC President and CEO Michele Saito. “DTRIC is honored to be a partner again with the DOE and Par Hawaii on this very important initiative. We can’t stress enough the message for all of us to Drive Aloha.”

Operation Driver Excellence Teen Driving

Another student traffic safety campaign coming up in March is the annual “Operation Driver Excellence. The event is another community partnership involving the Department of Education, Par Hawaii and DTRIC Hawaii.

The March 28 event at Aloha Stadium will feature several learning stations, hands-on demonstrations on the dangerous effects of distracted and intoxicated driving and other safety exhibits.

The half-day session will also provide high school students and their parents hands-on driving courses with DOE driving instructors to improve their safety while they are on the road.

Parents and students interested in registering for the event should check with their high school driving instructor.

DTRIC's Response to COVID-19Learn More