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Coronavirus Rebates Part 2,  Crain’s OpEd and Chartwell Donations

May 1, 2020

Updates from Chartwell during shelter in place

All of us at Chartwell are concerned about the effects of the pandemic on businesses and while we applaud the government efforts to replace lost income in many cases the delivery has bypassed the small businesses the relief programs were intended to support. I remain hopeful that the insurance industry will step up to provide a leading role in better execution of relief funds and I was honored to have Crain’s Chicago Business recognize my position and publish my Op-ed.

Be well,

Rebecca Korach Woan
President and Founder

Crain’s Chicago Business

It’s time for insurers to give relief to businesses with a government backstop

The prescription: Involve insurers, compensate them to pay COVID-19 claims they never priced for, and deliver relief to business owners who purchased business interruption insurance.

Read more here:

Chartwell Charitable Contributions

Coronavirus has affected everyone in some way and we felt the best way for Chartwell to donate was to give each Chartwellian $1,000 to distribute to their preferred Covid19 relief charity (or $500 to split among two charities.)  The various charities are helping in so many ways and I hope you will enjoy reading about the choices that we made.   Ever the optimist I believe this virus can bring out the best in us. The work that is done by these charities, the volunteers who give their time and the donors who support these efforts is part of that vision.


Direct Relief:  https://www.directrelief.org/  The organization helps people in all 50 states as well as 80 countries worldwide. Their mission is to help people who are poverty stricken or who have experienced an emergency, like an earthquake, hurricane, or pandemic. People in poverty or experiencing an emergency are our most vulnerable citizens and they need aid in so many ways. The organization is very transparent about how they use donations and have low overhead meaning more of each dollar gets to the people who need the help.

Greater Chicago Food Depository:
https://chartwellins.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=99b5260b18&id=f60376bd61&e=e8c1633c9a As the third largest city in the country we have a lot of diversity and that includes immigrants who often have lower paying jobs that may involve backbreaking labor, unreliable hours and fewer benefits than highly-paid positions. Knowing that so many people lost their jobs, some of whom aren’t even eligible for unemployment and who will have to scrape by to even have a meal for their families is really sad. It’s unthinkable that anyone would have to go without food and that’s why I’ve chosen this charity.


A House in Austin https://chartwellins.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=99b5260b18&id=f127b3cb78&e=e8c1633c9awas founded by my dear friend, Erica Hilgart. The mission of the organization is to provide early education opportunities for children in the Austin neighborhood, but also provide counseling for the parents in hopes of improving outcomes for the whole family. Quality early education is incredibly beneficial on many different levels and it is truly lifesaving. My heart is heavy knowing with schools closed and parents thriving in our current high stress environment that child abuse cases are expected to rise.  A House in Austin is providing relief through virtual Parent chat sessions, groceries and transportation to stores, along with calming care packages (puzzles, coloring books, diapers) to their families that participate in their program. They are committed to helping families through this challenging time through emotional support and providing for the critical needs of families.


Hope for the Day: https://chartwellins.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=99b5260b18&id=b7d3343e42&e=e8c1633c9a
In the vein of Covid19 and its impact on mental health and suicide, I choose Hope for the Day. They are a 501c3 non-profit organization creating community support for those battling with mental illness and suicide. They continue to do their daily work through these times and they recently partnered with a company to create facemasks with messages of hope. They also have a coffee shop, Sip of Hope, which is the world’s first coffee shop where 100% of the proceeds support proactive suicide prevention and mental health education. Sip of Hope had to close their doors due to lack of Covid 19 relief funding.


St. Teresa of Avila Parish https://chartwellins.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=99b5260b18&id=6f922c3f81&e=e8c1633c9ais the church I attend and I believe in their mission. The parish food pantry is a welcoming environment to those in need including some who are homeless. I like the fact that they are not just bagging up food and handling out parcels.  They allow the guests to have the supermarket experience, and are invited to choose products that meet their needs and tastes. Loaves and Fishes is a dinner for the elderly and homeless in the area. The parish offers hot, nutritionally-balanced meals each Friday and each guest leaves with a “to-go” sack lunch. Even in this pandemic this is still taking place albeit with more caution. Instead of a sit down dinner they offer carry out containers with the hot foods every Friday. I could go on and on but this is a humbling experience and the church now serves close to double the number of people as before the pandemic.

The Chicago Community Covid-19 Response Fund. https://chartwellins.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=99b5260b18&id=5467ff7de0&e=e8c1633c9a This fund provides help to our Chicago community and surrounding suburbs for families impacted directly or indirectly by this pandemic. Many of those who are missing paychecks are unable to pay rent, and often lack access to food and essential supplies. This fund helps our neighbors in their time of need.


No Kid Hungry https://chartwellins.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=99b5260b18&id=1775e8ce8f&e=e8c1633c9a
Due to COVID-19, most schools are closed for the remainder of the year. When I read that nearly 22 million children rely on the meals that they receive at school, I knew that this was the cause I wanted to help. No Kid Hungry is diverting resources to the hardest hit communities,  providing emergency grants to food banks, and working to ensure that children receive three healthy meals a day.  I hope that with these additional funds more children and families can receive the help they need during this scary and difficult time. I could never imagine my son going a day without the nutritional food he needs.



Chicago Artists Relief Fund sponsored by a 501c3 Soham Dance Space (501c3) https://chartwellins.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=99b5260b18&id=4539b7b55e&e=e8c1633c9a
One of the artists leading the fund, Michael McCracken, owns the school  where my son Kenny is taking his improv classes. I also know Michael’s wife and they are Elmhurst residents and part of our local community. The funds go to support Chicago actors who are out of work due to halted production. Many actors are paid job by job, and Covid19 gives new definition to the term starving artists. Not only that, the funds prioritize actors of color, LGBTQ, non-binary and disabled actors.  This is important to me since Kenny’s Work In Progress Project cast and crew is at least 70% LGTBQ/POC or disabled. Many of the people we worked with are directly affected by this.  They will allocate $300 for each person to support  lost income, for rent or food.


District 205 Foundation https://chartwellins.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=99b5260b18&id=90ceda5d8f&e=e8c1633c9a
I wanted to pick a charity close to my home. District 205 Foundation (our school district) started a Covid Relief Fund to not only help families in need, but to provide resources to teachers and students during e-Learning, which directly benefits our kids!


Syrian Community Network https://chartwellins.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=99b5260b18&id=77d4034bcd&e=e8c1633c9a
I was first introduced to the founder, Suzanne Akhras Sahloul, when she was awarded the UNICEF Chicago Humanitarian award and met her again as part of the planning for the Sustaining Fellows of the Art Institute opening for the Mounira Al Solh exhibition, I strongly believe in our right to be frivolous. Through Suzanne, Mounira interviewed Syrian families who had recently relocated to Chicago from war-torn Syria and Lebanese refugee camps and documented their stories of loss, isolation, hope and resettlement challenges.  The exhibition was a powerful record of the Syrian experience since war broke out in 2012. We invited Suzanne and members of the Syrian Community Network to join us at the opening to raise awareness for their work with over 3,000 Syrian refugees in America.  It’s hard enough to have no safety net in your own country let alone to be in a new place with a strange language, new customs and very few skills. Ever resourceful, the SCN had established a bakery and a catering operation and assisted community members in finding jobs that don’t require English skills.  SCN community members were working as tailors, as laborers in factories and as janitors to ensure that their children have a better life in their new country. Many of  the SCN jobs have disappeared during the pandemic and the organization, always operating on a shoestring, is stretched thin during this crisis.

Sarah de Blasio

UNICEF: https://chartwellins.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=99b5260b18&id=7cf2e60fb8&e=e8c1633c9a
I have been involved with UNICEF for many years now, and in this crisis as in so many others I have been truly impressed by the speed with which they mobilized resources and manpower to deliver PPE around the world as the contagion has spread, in some cases beating the first reported case and providing precautionary support to authorities seeking guidance on containment.  Moreover, UNICEF has done remarkable work to ensure the relative wellbeing of perhaps one of the worst impacted groups aside from than those who contracted the virus: children.  Detached from traditional schools and playmates, and forced to stay at home with parents who remain busy with work or are experiencing stress due to hardship, many children are at risk of a scholastic backslide, and have fewer opportunities for physical and mental wellbeing.  By throwing more support behind its Kid Power initiative (a program which allows children in the US to raise funds simply by exercising for children without access to nutrition) and providing numerous resources for families around the world who are struggling to keep their children healthy, safe, and meaningfully engaged at this difficult time, UNICEF has managed to provide an impressive range of support for families in need.  Free online resources are available for parents looking to keep their children mentally healthy, safe while spending more unsupervised time online, physically active, and more at https://chartwellins.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=99b5260b18&id=289f60a1bd&e=e8c1633c9a.

Carter Burden Network:  https://chartwellins.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=99b5260b18&id=36bdf33523&e=e8c1633c9a
I was familiar with the Network’s gallery space in New York pre-COVID and was really taken with the wider scope of the organizations activities when a chance conversation led me to learn more about the organization.  Under normal circumstances, the Carter Burden Network addresses the needs of the elderly population of New York by ensuring regular access to food (including with regular in person deliveries by volunteers), as well as offering a host of opportunities for social togetherness and activity for seniors.  The Network also has an innovative gallery space which promotes the work of artists who either began working later in life or in many cases had impressive careers but have not had consistent representation into old age.  In the post-Covid world, the Network has shifted to providing daily phone check ins, making more deliveries of food, and offering a virtual walk-through option in place of a planned gallery opening.  Since I was keen to support an organization focusing on New York which itself focuses on this at-risk population and the arts as well, this was a charitable cause I was very pleased to elect as my second charity.

Since our last Chartwell Bulletin we have updates from the following insurers.

On April 9 Cincinnati Insurance announced that auto clients will receive a 15% credit per policy on their April and May premiums. No action is required by the client, to receive this discount. Cincinnati Insurance is has extended their suspension of all property casualty cancellations due to nonpayment from March 16 to May 31.
More information is available on the Cincinnati Insurance website .

“Adding this Stay-at-Home credit supports the other actions we’ve taken: pausing cancellations due to nonpayment of premium and waiving late fees until at least April 30; and waiving restrictions on policyholders now performing delivery services in efforts to protect the wellbeing of their communities,” said Will Van Den Heuvel, Senior Vice President Personal Lines.

On April 15 Berkley One announced that each client with an active auto insurance policy will receive a 20% refund on April and May auto premiums. Clients do not need to take action as the payback will be applied automatically in June, subject to requisite regulatory approvals. Intended to return money to clients when it can most help, the payback occurs during the current term as opposed to the renewal term. “We are in this together and together we are ONE,” said Kathy Tierney, President, Berkley One.

Beginning the week of June 15th, Berkley One will be sending eligible customers their COVID-19 Auto Premium payback checks.  Clients in good standing with auto policies effective between April 1st and May 31st will get a payment reflective of 20% of earned auto premiums.  This letter accompanies the check which notes “COVID-19 Auto Premium Refund” in the memo line.

Given the approval process in New York, clients with New York auto policies will be paid in July for the May and June effective period.

On April 24 AIG announced that automobile policyholders will receive a 25% credit back from their automobile premium accrued during the two-month period of March – April 2020. The average credit per vehicle will be approximately $69. The savings will be returned via an account credit upon each policy renewals beginning on August 1, 2020.

Travelers Insurance  is offering billing relief for all U.S. customers, including suspending cancellation and nonrenewal of coverage due to nonpayment through June 15, 2020 (no interest, late fees or penalties will be charged).

State Regulatory Responses to COVID-19 updated as of April 24 may be found here


Chartwell Bulletins address issues of general interest and since coverages vary by company and by state should not be taken as an interpretation of a particular policy or advice on any individual situation. The opinions expressed here are those of Rebecca Korach Woan. 
A representative of Chartwell Insurance Services, Inc. will be pleased to discuss all aspects of your personal insurance.





Chartwell Bulletins are produced by Chartwell Insurance Services, Inc., an independent insurance broker specializing in the personal asset protection of successful individuals. Chartwell Bulletins address issues of general interest and since coverages vary by company and by state should not be taken as an interpretation of a particular policy or advice on any individual situation.

A representative of Chartwell Insurance Services will be pleased to discuss all aspects of your personal insurance.

Some of the Information that appears on this site is produced by Chartwell Insurance Services an independent insurance broker specializing in the personal asset protection of successful individuals. Other content is provided as a resource. The contents of all posts are informational only and Chartwell Insurance Services is not providing legal advice nor policy interpretation. If you have questions please direct them to a representative of Chartwell Insurance Services.