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K2 Insurance Services in California Names Smith President

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San Diego, Calif.-based K2 Insurance Services LLC has named Mark Smith president.

He has nearly 30 years of insurance experience, including underwriting, actuarial and finance leadership roles.

He most recently spent four years at Marsh-owned MGU Victor.

K2 Insurance Services LLC was formed in 2011 by industry veterans Pat Kilkenny and president & CEO Bob Kimmel. Lee Equity Partners recently acquired a majority interest in K2.

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Florida to Provide Workers’ Comp Coverage to State Workers Battling COVID-19

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Florida state employees working on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic will be eligible to receive workers’ compensation coverage under a recent directive from CFO Jimmy Patronis.

In a March 30 order, Patronis directed the Division of Risk Management to provide workers’ compensation coverage for state officials whose responsibilities require them to interface with individuals who are potentially infected with the coronavirus.

Under the CFO’s directive, state agencies can choose to opt-out of coverage. As of the date of the order, the Division of Risk Management had received 36 claims for COVID-19. Additionally, the Florida League of Cities said the Florida Municipal Insurance Trust will cover first responders’ COVID-19 claims. While the severity and duration of recovery for COVID-19 varies with each patient, generally individuals recover after two weeks.

The Florida Department of Financial Services said the order was necessary because current statute doesn’t speak to global pandemics, and it would be an uphill battle for public officials to get covered.

“These folks provide essential state services to protect Florida communities,” DFS told Insurance Journal in an e-mail.

The benefits will include coverage for a portion of lost wages, medical costs, death and disability benefits.

DFS said Patronis is continuing to evaluate this public health crisis and will continue to work with state leaders, bankers, insurers, and private companies to protect Floridians.

Claims will be administered through the DFS Division of Risk Management and the Bureau of State Employee Workers’ Compensation Claims.

“If we’re going to ask our public servants to fight this pandemic on our behalf, they have to know we’ve got their backs if they get sick. COVID-19 is taking some of our public servants off their feet for weeks. Workers’ compensation insurance was developed to provide our public servants a way to cover a portion of their lost wages and medical costs, so their families don’t have to worry as much,” Patronis said. “Providing this important coverage to our men and women on the front line is just the right thing to do.”

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2 Dozen Residents at North Carolina Assisted Living Center Positive for COVID-19

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About two dozen residents at an assisted living center in western North Carolina have tested positive for COVID-19, marking a new case cluster in the state at corporate living facilities such as nursing homes.

The Henderson County Health Department and Cherry Springs Village in Hendersonville announced the outbreak at the center on Sunday.

The large number of positive cases followed additional testing of residents when a single case at Cherry Springs was confirmed last week, the Henderson health department said in a news release.

Individuals who tested positive were being treated in isolation, and the center is under quarantine, Cherry Springs said in a statement.

More than a dozen congregate settings – such as nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities, adult care homes and correctional facilities – are currently in ongoing outbreaks in North Carolina, according to the state Department of Health and Human Services.

An outbreak is defined as at least two laboratory confirmed cases.

Nearly 30 cases have been reported at an adult care home in Northampton County, health officials said. One resident at the adult care home who tested positive died last month in a Virginia hospital, his daughter said.

DHHS reported on Sunday close to 2,600 positive COVID-19 cases statewide, an increase of more than 180 since Saturday. There were 31 deaths, compared to 24 on Saturday. More than 260 people were hospitalized at the time.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, and the vast majority survive. But for others, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause pneumonia or death.

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Insurance Office of America Adds Duke to South Carolina Team

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Insurance Office of America (IOA) has added Travis Duke to its team in South Carolina. Duke joins IOA as a risk management specialist with a focus on liability, property, and workers compensation as well as risk assessment.

Travis Duke

Prior to joining IOA, Duke served as a risk management advisor for McGriff Insurance Services, a subsidiary of BB&T Insurance Holdings. He specializes in providing risk management products for clients ranging from start-ups to middle market companies.

Insurance Office of America (IOA) is a full-service insurance agency founded in 1988 by John Ritenour and Valli Ritenour. IOA is ranked 13th on Insurance Journal’s 2019 Top 100 Independent Property/Casualty Agencies report. Headquartered in Longwood, Fla., part of the greater Orlando community, IOA has more than 1,200 associates located in over 60 offices in the U.S. and London.

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