Presidential Matters

Strength in Numbers
Peter Elliott, TIG President & CEO
The old adage rings just as true today: There’s strength in numbers. Through challenges, through turmoil … there’s simply no replacement for a committed, diverse and dedicated team around you.

Many would say that increasing size, scope, and scale is key in providing stability – something that our company knows well as the longest standing supporter of the telecom industry and we do this without losing focus on what matters most to the people we serve. While the past year was good for us and growth there were challenges in 2021, as economic, social, and governance (ESG) upheaval occurred nationwide. Telecom companies were hit particularly hard, with catastrophic weather events making a major impact. Wildfires, hurricanes, tornadoes, and more wreaked havoc, not only claiming lives but making it difficult for telecom companies to keep their customers connected. When disaster strikes our focus is on taking care of our customers first and foremost.

Here at Telcom Insurance Group, as we celebrate 40 years in business, we are more aware than ever that our widespread client base is as crucial to our success as we are to theirs. By gaining clients in nearly all 50 states, we’ve achieved a balance that allows us to manage challenges, especially environmental ones. While weather events plague clients in one region, others remain unaffected, allowing us to channel resources toward those in need. This stability, in turn, is enjoyed by the communities our clients faithfully serve.

Telcom Insurance Group is looking forward to growing even stronger in 2022 – together. We will continue to unify our base of policyholders and to offer ownership in our thriving organization. To learn more, get in touch today!
Join Us for the RTIME Meeting & Expo!
It’s an undoubtedly exciting time in our industry. Because we know you have a busy schedule, we wanted to let you know where to find us during the meeting! We can’t wait to connect with you – our friends and family.

Our team is eager “to visit,” whether virtually or in person, with you at one or all of these events:

Monday, February 14th: Bright and early from 7am to 8am, our Policyholders, Board, and Shareholders are invited to join us for a special “Thank You” breakfast. It is invitation only and you must RSVP so that we can have enough food and fabulous goodies for everyone. Contact Marilyn at if you have questions. The Expo Open House and FRS Hoedown will conclude the day.

Tuesday, February 15th: TIG and RTIC’s Board of Directors meeting. This will be followed by the Expo and PAC event in the evening.

Expo: Find us at Booth #16. We’d love to say “hi” and discuss some exciting new opportunities.

Exact locations and times are subject to modification. So please check out the program when you arrive for the specifics. We look forward to seeing so many members of our Telcom family – and to getting acquainted with some new ones too in Big D!
Here’s what you need to know before you go green this March!

  • St. Patrick’s Day is observed on March 17 because that is the feast day of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. It is believed that he died on March 17 in 461 AD. St. Patrick’s Day is a national holiday in Ireland – and a worldwide celebration of its culture and history.

  • Irish people traditionally wear a small bunch of shamrocks on their jackets or caps. Children wear orange, white and green badges, and women and girls wear green ribbons in their hair.

  • Many cities have a St. Patrick’s Day parade. Dublin, the capital of Ireland, has a huge St. Patrick’s Day festival from March 15-19, featuring a parade, family carnivals, treasure hunt, dance, theatre and more. In North America, parades are often held on the Sunday before March 17, with many major cities celebrating in their own unique ways. In Chicago, the Chicago River is dyed green and in Boston, the parade has been a tradition since 1737. Montreal, however, is home to Canada’s longest running St. Patrick’s Day parade, which began in 1824.

  • St. Patrick was born in 385 AD somewhere along the west coast of Britain, possibly in the Welsh town of Banwen. At age 16, he was captured and sold into slavery to a sheep farmer. He escaped when he was 22 and spent the next 12 years in a monastery. In his 30s he returned to Ireland as a Christian missionary. He died at Saul in 461 AD and is buried at Downpatrick.

  • 34 million Americans have Irish ancestry, according to the 2003 US Census. That’s almost nine times the population of Ireland, which has 4.1 million people.

  • Some American towns have “Irish” names, like Mount Gay-Shamrock, WV, Shamrock Lakes, IN, Shamrock, OK, Dublin, CA and more!

  • The harp is the symbol of Ireland. The color green is also commonly associated with Ireland, also known as “the Emerald Isle.”

  • The Irish flag is green, white and orange. The green symbolizes the people of the south and the orange represents the people of the north. White represents the peace that brings them together as a nation.

  • The name “lephrechaun” has several origins. It could be from the Irish Gaelic word “leipreachan,” which means “a kind of aqueous sprite.” Or it could be from “leath bhrogan,” which means “shoemaker.”

  • According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the highest number of leaves found on a clover is 14!

  • Legend says that each leaf of the clover means something. The first is for hope, the second for faith, the third for love, and the fourth for luck.

Safety Matters

No Flu For You: Staying Healthy This Season
Marilyn Blake, AU, CRM
To add to the lingering concern of COVID-19, flu season has arrived in full force. The CDC recommends receiving vaccinations against both viruses to boost your chances of staying healthy this winter.

Influenza (flu) and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses. COVID-19 is caused by infection with a coronavirus first identified in 2019. The flu, on the other hand, is caused by infection with a flu virus. Because it’s impossible to differentiate between the flu and COVID-19 by symptoms alone, it’s best to get tested. The two viruses share many symptoms, so testing is needed to confirm a diagnosis. Testing is also important because it can reveal if someone has both the flu and COVID-19 at the same time.

Many of us have been unfortunate enough to experience the flu at least once, but not many of us know exactly what the flu is and why it’s so bothersome. In fact, it’s most often and easily confused with the common cold.

While the cold and flu are both respiratory illnesses, they are caused by different types of viruses. The flu, as mentioned above, is a highly contagious respiratory infection caused by strands of the influenza virus. It is most prominent during the fall and winter, the time of year typically known as “flu season.”

According to CDC studies, about 8% of the American population, on average, gets the flu each year. When a person with the flu coughs or sneezes, the virus becomes airborne and spreads in the droplets produced.

If you’re not sure if the flu is responsible for your symptoms, keep this in mind: The flu usually comes on quickly (within 3-6 hours) with symptoms that are much more severe than cold symptoms. Check out this handy chart!
If you are experiencing two or more of the symptoms listed, speak to your doctor – preferably within the first 12 to 48 hours of feeling under the weather. Any antiviral medications prescribed are most effective if used within this time frame. And be sure to get the flu shot if recommended by your doctor.

Account Executive Matters

Fidelity Bonds: Do I Need One?
Alyssa Elliott, Account Executive
It is the start of a new year. Now is a time of re-evaluation and reflection – both in your personal life and work life. Many people may have the resolution of bettering themselves with productive activities, such as reading more, eating better, and of course, getting in those 10,000 steps a day.

It is also a time for businesses to make sure they have the correct processes and procedures in place. Whether this requires minor updates or major overhauls, it’s crucial to make sure the necessary requirements are met. Here are some common questions our Account Executives hear:
Q: What is a fidelity bond and do we have one in place to cover our retirement plan?

A: A fidelity bond is not the typical bond you may think of, such as a pole attachment bond or a notary bond. In fact, a fidelity bond is just another form of insurance that covers companies for losses that you may incur because of fraudulent acts, typically by employees.
Q: Where is this coverage in my policy?

A: It’s covered in the Crime section. This means that the company is covered for employee theft of money, securities, and other property.
Q: What else should I be aware of when it comes to the financial security of my company’s retirement plan?

A: It needs to meet ERISA guidelines. These guidelines have been put in place by the Department of Labor to set minimum standards for pension plans. This policy coverage needs be 10% of the amount of the fund up to $500,000. Not all crime policies meet the guidelines. Thankfully, if you are a customer of ours, you have put your trust in us, and our policies meet these guidelines. Therefore, you do not need a separate Fidelity Bond.
To learn more about fidelity bonds and your company’s financial security, contact us today!

Safety Matters

Emergency Preparedness
Craig Rapp
Not long ago, a group of people emerged in American culture, stepping into the spotlight in a quite unusual fashion. They fascinated us, bewildered us, and caused a lot of us to chuckle. Before long, they became known as preppers – and while the mainstream public responded in different ways, we couldn’t deny the importance of preparation.

Does Telcom Insurance Group recommend burying a shipping container behind your shop and stocking it with 20 years-worth of dried potatoes? Definitely not. But we do want you to think through a few potential scenarios – and consider how events like severe weather outbreaks or natural disasters would affect you. Your family, your company or cooperative, your customers.

Each company/cooperative and their employees within our coverage will inevitably face scenarios unique to their area. Tornadoes to hurricanes, ice storms to heat waves, domestic violence to active shooters, and everything in between.

Figuring out for what to prepare for can sometimes be the most difficult part. We can, however, use historical data, yearly predictions, and educated guesses to put a plan in place.

According to the National Safety Council, in 2017, 59,985 weather-related events caused 592 deaths and 4,270 injuries. Flash floods, tropical storms and heat waves resulted in the most deaths that year, but for now, let’s focus on the Big Four: earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes.


According to, an earthquake is the sudden, rapid shaking of the earth, caused by the breaking and shifting of underground rock. Earthquakes can cause buildings to collapse and cause heavy items to fall, resulting in significant injuries and property damage.

To begin with, you’ll have to determine if an earthquake is something you need to worry about. This map from FEMA can help:
Earthquake Safety Procedure

Drop where you are, onto your hands and knees.

Cover your head and neck with your arms. If a sturdy table or desk is nearby, crawl underneath it for shelter. If no shelter is nearby, crawl next to an interior wall (away from windows).

Hold On. If you are under a table or desk, hold on with one hand and be ready to move with it if it moves. If you can’t find a table or desk, hold on to your head and neck with both arms and hands. If seated and unable to drop to the floor, bend forward and cover your head.


It’s important to remain weather alert, using weather apps, TV news, or radio forecasts to stay updated. A flash flood watch means that conditions are conducive for flooding, while a warning means that a flash flood is occurring – or will soon. Take flash flood warnings seriously and if told to evacuate, do not hesitate.

Know the main route and alternate routes of evacuation. Practice the route when the weather is calm, so you know where and how to go.

NEVER drive in flooded areas. Nearly every time a flood occurs, someone will attempt to cross a flooded bridge/roadway and get stuck and/or trapped. The rescue that follows endangers a first responder’s life. Keep in mind that it takes only six inches of moving water to knock a person over, to saturate the brakes of a car, and to possibly flood an engine on lower riding cars.


When preparing for a hurricane, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Board up windows and secure loose items like patio furniture.
  • Know where to go in the event of an evacuation and how to get there.
  • Establish a meeting spot and point of contact in case your family is separated. 
  • Take shelter in a sturdy building away from windows and doors. 
  • Contact your local emergency management agency for information.
  • Avoid contact with electrical equipment, cords, metal and water.
  • Stay indoors until authorities tell you it's safe to go outside.


If a tornado is forecast or a warning has been issued, seek shelter immediately. Get to the lowest floor of the building, away from windows and doors. Interior hallways, bathrooms and basements are typically the safest spots in a home.

But if you are unable to reach a sturdy structure in time and find yourself out in the open, lie flat in a ditch or other low-lying area and protect your head. Stay away from poles or overhead lines. If you are caught on the road, drive at right angles to the tornado's path. If you can't escape it, get out of the vehicle and seek a low-lying area.

Know the difference between a watch (conditions are favorable for a tornado to form) and a warning (a tornado has been spotted in your area and you should take shelter immediately).
Note: We have witnessed many instances of hail damage in the last couple of years among our customers. The best option for this dilemma is to provide covered parking – especially where vehicles are parked overnight.

Remember the old adage, “It’s better to have it and not need it, then to need it and not have it.” Take a cue from the preppers and protect your assets today!
Claims Matters

Claim Reporting: Always Here to Help
Rebecca (Beckie) Menard, AU, CISR
The pandemic has certainly changed the way we go about our business, but one thing remains unchanged: the Claims staff at Telcom Insurance is here for you when and if you have a claim situation. We encourage you to contact us, without any hesitation, if we can be of any assistance throughout the claim reporting process. Accidents of all types can – and inevitably do – happen, and we encourage you to report any potential claim incident as promptly as possible.

The Benefits of Early Reporting

Promptly reporting a claim as soon as you are aware a situation exists is not only required by your insurance contract (the policy), but it is one of the most important things you can do to help the claims process get started quickly and move along smoothly. The target should be to report any incident once it is known, hopefully within 24 hours. There’s generally no need to wait for police reports, damage estimates, doctor’s notes or additional information – although they are very helpful to have at a later date.

A claim can often be set up with a few very basic details, such as the date of incident, a brief description of what happened and a claim contact at the company that will work with the adjuster. Therefore, reporting a claim with some missing information is always better than reporting the loss after a long period of time has passed. Insurance industry studies show there is a direct correlation between prompt loss reporting and lower claim costs, including shorter times to get your settlements. Lower claim costs translate into overall lower loss experience for your company, which can often lead to lower insurance premiums.

The Reporting Process

As a Telcom policyholder, we will provide you with specific claim instructions tailored to your company. These include your insurance carrier’s claim reporting phone numbers and email addresses, along with loss reporting forms as part of the binding process. These master loss forms can be copied and used anytime you may need to file a new claim. Always use the method that you find to be the most convenient for your company. By choosing your preferred method, you’ll be more inclined to file your claims promptly. It’s very helpful to designate one person to manage claims so they’ll become familiar with the filing process.

Most insurance carriers, including the major companies we work with here at Telcom (Rural Trust Insurance, Great American Insurance, Travelers Insurance, etc.), offer multiple ways to initiate a new claim. These include reporting by phone call to an intake center, emailing or faxing a loss notice form to the company, or reporting online. Generally, the insurance company will have one designated claim intake center for emails and also an intake for phone calls that will receive or verbally take all of your claim information and forward it along to the appropriate department to set up the claim and assign it to an adjuster.

Depending on the time of reporting, it can take up to 24 to 48 business hours to get the new claim number and to be contacted. Insurance carriers strive to make contact as soon as possible with the person designated as the claim contact and, in the case of Workers’ Comp claims, the injured employee. Remember, once the claim is set up and you are contacted by the adjuster, they are there to partner with you and to make the claims process go as smoothly as possible. They will most likely need to ask many questions about the loss to gather all the facts and determine the coverage afforded by the policy. Don’t hesitate to ask any questions.

While my hope for you is a claim-free year, if an accident does happen, we encourage you to report early – as often as you need to. And remember, in any claims situation, we’re committed to assisting you every step of the way. Please feel free to contact me at any time at 301-220-1081 or Or contact Marilyn at 301-220-1085 or
Underwriting Matters

Certificate of Insurance: Everything You Need to Know
Janice Y. Johnson, AU, ASCR
Oftentimes you are asked to provide a Certificate of Insurance, or perhaps you request one from contractors doing work on your behalf. What is the purpose of this document? Let’s start by defining some relevant terms.

Certificate of Insurance: A document that serves as evidence of the insurance coverage that is in place at the time the Certificate of Insurance form is issued. Certificates of Insurance list one or more lines of insurance, the limits associated with those coverages, and the name of the insurer providing the coverage(s).

Certificate Holder: A third party, such as an organization requesting the Certificate of Insurance. Generally, the Certificate Holder name and address are listed on the bottom left of the Certificate of Insurance form.

Additional Insured: Generally a person or entity doing business with the Named Insured. An Additional Insured has fewer responsibilities and rights than a Named Insured under the policy. The Additional Insured is not responsible for premiums, and has no direct control over the terms of the policy. When adding Additional Insured language within the Description of Operations on the Certificate of Insurance, the agent will specifically reference the scope of work as described per written contract. In many instances, a contractual agreement will require the certificate holder/requestor to be named as an Additional Insured on the Certificate of Insurance form. Naming the certificate holder as an Additional Insured on the Certificate of Insurance form is a request in which Telcom Insurance Group (TIG) can comply. As our insurance program provides a Blanket Additional Insured endorsement to satisfy the contractual agreement requirement, it is easy for us to offer.

TIG can satisfy your Certificate of Insurance forms requirements with the following Acord Certificate of Insurance Forms – Certificate of Property Insurance; Certificate of Liability Insurance; Evidence of Property Insurance; and Evidence of Commercial Property.

There are many instances when you may be required to provide a Certificate of Insurance. Below are a few scenarios:

  • A building owner may request a tenant to provide information about their existing liability insurance coverage. 
  • A mortgagor of a building may request information about the existence of property insurance coverage upon settlement and/or insurance coverage renewal. 
  • The owner of leased equipment may require a Certificate of Insurance as evidence of property insurance coverage while the equipment is in possession of the client. 

You may also be required to provide a Certificate of Insurance form when signing a contractual agreement. Others may require evidence of Workers’ Compensation insurance coverage in order to obtain a contract.

In compliance with insurance regulatory requirements, Telcom Insurance Group provides Certificate of Insurance forms using the current form edition dates. Some old contracts still have language requesting an old certificate form, and it is against the law to provide a certificate using that outdated certificate form.

In addition to your Account Manager providing the requested Certificate of Insurance form, TIG offers Certificate Insurance On-Line software. ECerts Online is available for your use 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year – no matter when you need a certificate. If you need additional wording, it will automatically send your assigned Account Manager an email indicating that they need to complete the certificate for you.

Current insureds have an active account online. From our website, you can select the eCertificate log-in and issue a standardized certificate of insurance form, specific to your coverages and Certificate Holders. Once you complete the certificate of insurance issuance workflow, the certificate form can be emailed and/or faxed to whomever you choose. A copy of all certificate forms issued is automatically emailed to you as well.

If you would like the ability to issue your own Certificate of Insurance forms, contact your Account Manager. TIG stands ready to assist with all your questions and certificate needs. Let us know if we can help!
Want to learn more about how we can help at
Telcom Insurance Group?

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Phone: 301-220-3200

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