Success Story: Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance Company

About Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance Company

Founded in 1914, Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance Company is the largest writer of workers’ compensation insurance to businesses in Maryland. The Chesapeake Employers’ system is designed to work with policyholders and injured employees.

Client Challenge

Prior to 2019, Chesapeake Employers’ did not have an election or nominations process, their directors were appointed by the governor. Chesapeake Employers’ and similar organizations across other states are part of the American Association of State Compensation Insurance Funds – on a continuum between being a state agency and a private company. Chesapeake Employers’ is working toward becoming a private company and needed a nominations and elections process.

“The main concern was the newness of it, this was uncharted territory for us,” said Carmine D’Alessandro, chief legal officer at Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance Company. “This was completely foreign. What percentage of our policyholders would be quorum? How would we go about finding people? I can’t say there was one piece that concerned me more, it was the whole thing. It was a big change for us.”

SBS Solution and Future Planning

After receiving a positive referral from an employers’ insurance company in another state, Chesapeake Employers’ chose to work with SBS as their third-party election partner. SBS educated the team at Chesapeake Employers’ about the elections process then put together a nominations and elections plan for the organization.

SBS helped guide the nominations process and oversaw the election. To help ensure a high level of participation, Chesapeake Employers’ and SBS implemented a hybrid election, providing members the opportunity to cast their ballot by mail or online.  With multiple voting options available, Chesapeake Employers’ surpassed their quorum requirement just 10 days into their 2020 election.

“Success to me is to have a legal election under our bylaws that gets me quality candidates on the board. So, last year was a complete success,” said D’Alessandro. “The quality of our board is changing in ways we never thought with the level of talent and expertise.”

He advised other member and policyholder organizations to rely on election partners with expertise.

“I could have sat down with one thousand books and mapped out how this election should have gone and I’m sure it would have been kind of an epic fail,” he said. “There’s so much that goes into it. So, the advice I would give to anyone would be to rely on individuals who have been through this and who do this.”

D’Alessandro described SBS as reliable and said he, in fact, relied a lot on the SBS team.

“You guys didn’t let me down.”