CalNonprofits Insurance Services

The quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now” suggests the potential we have in this country to understand and celebrate our differences while working together. Our strength is in our diversity, and it is when we work together that we create resilience and progress. We honor the work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. We recognize Monday, January 18th 2021 as a National Holiday for our staff, and we will be closed on Monday, reopening on Tuesday, January 19th at 9:00 a.m.

Our Progress

In June 2020, we published an article on our blog, We Are Not Silent or Neutral, as a statement and model for change. Since the article was published, we have worked toward a better understanding of racism and anti-racist practices through ongoing conversations, trainings, and webinars. In addition, our employees have been actively volunteering and donating to organizations whose missions seek to end racial injustice.  

We, at CalNonprofits Insurance Services, have more work to do. 

At the same time, we are proud of our progress as we listen and learn from each other. In doing so, we find strength in our diversity and unity in knowing we are all in the same boat. Lastly, we are thankful to all nonprofit organizations who work to create a more just and unified world. 

nonprofit compensation associates logo

Attract and retain the best employees for your organization in 2021 and beyond. As a sponsor, we are excited to announce a that a new survey through Nonprofit Compensation Associates is open for participation to help Southern California Nonprofits.

Participate in Fair Pay for Southern California Nonprofits: The 2021 Compensation & Benefits Survey

With an eleven-year track record in Northern California, Nonprofit Compensation Associates announces our first survey for Southern California nonprofit organizations.

2021 promises to be a year unlike any other as nonprofit managers continue to navigate the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey provides a wealth of information to help nonprofits manage through these uncertain times, including base pay, bonus/incentive pay, employee benefits, salary increases and a wide variety of personnel policies.

The survey covers these ten Southern California counties:

Imperial                      San Bernardino

Kern                            San Diego

Los Angeles                San Luis Obispo

Orange                        Santa Barbara

Riverside                     Ventura

How to Participate

To participate in the 2021 survey, visit, or email us at

Participation deadline:            March 12, 2021

Report publication date:         May 2021

The deadline to submit photos has been extended from January 22, 2021 to January 31, 2021 and has been updated in this announcement.

The Nonprofit Insurance Alliance 2021 Annual Photo Contest for Nonprofits is here! If you are insured by Nonprofit Insurance Alliance (NIA) or you subscribe to Blue Avocado you can enter this popular annual photo contest and win cash for your nonprofit. See the NIA announcement below and photo contest page for more details. Upload your photo today, and good luck!

NIA Announcement

2021 Annual Photo Contest for Nonprofits


First Prize: $1,000  Every year, NIA hosts the most popular photo contest of the nonprofit sector. This year’s theme: NONPROFIT STRONG To enter, your nonprofit clients must upload a photo showing how they supported their communities this past year. Winners are determined by votes and NIA contest judges. The 2021 prizes:

• Best of Show: $1000 first place
• Standing Ovation: $500 second place
• Spotlight: $100 each for 10 more nonprofits

Any NIA member or Blue Avocado subscriber may submit a photo through January 31, 2021 to enter.

Attract and Retain the Best Employees for your Organization in 2021 and Beyond. Participate in Fair Pay for Northern California Nonprofits: The 2021 Compensation & Benefits Survey. Now open for participation, with an updated Economic Environment section to capture the nonprofit sector’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, your participation helps Northern California nonprofits. 2021 promises to be a year unlike any other as nonprofit managers continue to navigate the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. The more nonprofits that participate in the survey, the more useful the data!

Here’s how your organization will benefit from the “the best survey of its kind:”

  • Current, local compensation data on more than 200 jobs found in nonprofit organizations throughout Northern California
  • Base pay levels and bonus/incentive pay for each job with details by annual operating budget, location within Northern California, number of employees and primary field of service
  • Employee benefits in detail: paid time off, insurance, retirement
  • Salary increases over the past year and expected during the next year
  • Policies with respect to on-call work, overtime, shift differentials, pay for bilingual skills, introductory periods, performance reviews and more

The survey will also help your organization find out how the local nonprofit community is coping with current economic conditions.

Here are some questions the survey can help nonprofit managers answer:

  • Are nonprofits foregoing planned salary adjustments or reducing employee pay levels?
  • Are nonprofits furloughing or laying off employees?
  • How have specific types of revenue been impacted by the pandemic?
  • Are organizations reducing their costs of employee benefits?

Published by Oakland-based Nonprofit Compensation Associates, the survey covers a vast geographic area, 48 Northern California counties, from Del Norte County in the far northwest to Inyo County in the far southeast. More than six hundred nonprofit organizations, reporting on over 33,000 jobs, participated in the 2020 survey, making it among the largest and most robust in the survey’s 42-year history.

Participate in the 2021 Survey

To participate in the 2021 survey (and acquire the 2020 survey report, if you don’t already have it), visit, or email NCA at

Participation deadline:            February 12, 2021

Report publication date:         April 16, 2021


AB 685 was signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom on September 17, 2020. This legislation was enacted to protect workers and the public from exposure to the COVID-19 virus.  Beginning January 1, 2021, AB 685 gives authority to Cal/OSHA to shut down an entire worksite due to COVID-19 exposure and to more quickly issue citations. Employers are also required to have a written COVID-19 Prevention Program in place. Nonprofit employers would be wise to keep on top of the Cal/OSHA changes related to AB 685 and incorporate them into the organization’s business continuity plan. 

AB 685 Employer Notification Requirements  – Effective Now

The employer notification requirement mandates employers to notify employees of: 

  • Potential exposure to COVID-19 
  • Provide notification of COVID-19 related benefits and protections 
  • Provide notification of the disinfection and safety standards that will be implemented by the employer upon potential exposure to COVID-19 at the worksite. 

Having a written COVID-19 Safety and Prevention Plan in place is the best practice. This could include but not be limited to disinfection and safety standards and can be part of your Injury and Illness Protection plan. The notification requirements apply to all employer worksites. All employees and employers of any subcontracted employees who were at the worksite where potential exposure occurred must be notified within one business day.  

AB 685 New COVID-19 Outbreak Reporting Requirement – Effective January 1, 2021 

If three or more laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 are contracted by employees within a two-week period, employers are required to notify local public health agencies within 48 hours. The contracted cases are counted by separate households. Therefore, if two employees who live together contract COVID-19 within a two week time period, and it is laboratory confirmed, this would count as 1 case. Local health departments will share information about workplace COVID-19 outbreaks with the California Department of Public Health, who will share this information on their website by industry. 

AB 685 New Cal/OSHA Authority – Effective January 1, 2021 

AB685 gives the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) three types of authority: 

  • Authority to issue an Order Prohibiting Use (OPU) to protect workers from an imminent hazard related to COVID-19 exposure.   
  • Authority to Cite or fine employers for serious violations related to COVID-19 without notice. Previously, a 15-day notice was required. 
  • Authority to cite or fine employers who do not follow AB 685 required notifications to employees 

The purpose of the OPU is to remove workers from the risk of exposure until the hazard can be addressed. This could be a closure of the entire worksite. This authority is in force until January 1, 2023.  Your Business Continuity Plan should include this scenario. In addition, a written COVID-19 Prevention Plan will help to minimize potential citations or fines given under Cal/OSHA’s new authorities.  

All public and private employers are required to follow the new AB 685 regulations. The exceptions are health facilities and employers who provide direct care or testing to individuals for COVID-19 infection. 

Workers Compensation Reporting Requirements 

Please refer to our earlier blog entry with details on SB1159 and the COVID-19 reporting requirements. Work Comp Covid-19 Update  

Written Business Continuity Plan and COVID-19 Prevention Plan 

In addition to being prepared for the new reporting requirements, employers should have a written Business Continuity Plan and COVID-19 Prevention Plan in place. Should a worksite be shut down, a Business Continuity Plan will help leadership execute the closure and communications with staff in a more expedient and effective manner. The COVID-19 Prevention Plan can aid with addressing the steps to take in reopening the worksite after the risk of exposure has passed so that employees can return to the worksite. 

CDC Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting 

Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting 

AB 685 Cal/OSHA Information for Employers


The New Workers Comp Landscape (CalNonprofits Webinar)

Employer Questions About AB 685, California’s New COVID-19 Law

COVID-19 Infection Prevention Requirements (AB 685)Enhanced Enforcement and Employer Reporting Requirements Updated 11/13/2020 

Welcome to the CalNonprofits Insurance Services Monthly Update! We would like to extend a special thanks to our nonprofit clients and friends this month as we enter the busy holiday season. We thank you for placing your trust in us to help you protect your nonprofit mission. You are the heart of our business! 

Our offices will be closed on November 26 & 27, 2020 for the Thanksgiving Holiday. Happy Thanksgiving! May your holidays be joyous! 


The Staff of CalNonprofits Insurance Services

How to Reflect After a Crisis 

From our Blog, Published November 3, 2020. Natural Disasters and Crises are unavoidable events that, in some cases such as the COVID-19 pandemic, cause profound  organizational change for nonprofits. Here are tips for how to reflect on lessons to be learned…Read More

Work From Home Employees Are Increasing Your Company’s Overall Risk


From our Blog, Published October 21, 2020. The abrupt and sudden change to a remote workforce as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic created various lasting impacts on companies of all sizes…Read More

Creating an Inclusive Workplace

To accommodate today’s diverse workforce, your company culture needs to be inclusive. Here are some tips to make sure you are creating programs and policies that don’t discriminate against employees based on race, gender, national origin or other protected characteristics in violation of Title VII and other applicable laws. Read More

These Top 10 Issues Still Need Your Attention After Open Enrollment

After open enrollment closes, it is tempting to heave a sigh of relief and move on. Not so fast. There are still issues that need to be addressed. We have compiled the top 10 for you. Read More

Do You Have a Strategy in Place to Manage Potential Workplace Violence?

Workplace violence is now a leading cause of workplace fatalities. Here’s what you need to know to assess the risk and establish an effective emergency plan. Read More

November Is…

  • Diabetic Eye Disease Month
  • Epilepsy Awareness Month
  • Lung Cancer Awareness Month
  • National Alzheimer’s Disease Month
  • National Gratitude Month
  • National Career Development Month
  • National Home & Hospice Caregiver’s Month

Follow us on Social Media for helpful articles and tips on these topics throughout the month of November!

If you would like to sign up for our Monthly Update newsletter click here.

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CalNonprofits Insurance Services

1500 41st Ave, Suite 280

Capitola, CA 95010

(888) 427-5224


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CalNonprofits Insurance Services is the 2020 InsurTech Award Winner!

CalNonrofits Insurance Services is proud and excited to announce that we are the 2020 Insurtech Award Winner! The InsurTech Award is given annually by ePayPolicy. Applicants are independent insurance agencies that adopt InsurTech solutions in new ways that help make their business more successful. CalNonprofits Insurance Services was chosen out of 165 applicants as the award winner, because we stood out with our forward-looking and integrated technology solutions. In addition, a laser focus on the nonprofit niche also helped us win this award. We are constantly looking for ways to help our staff serve our clients better and faster – it is all about the customer experience.

Technology Solutions Adopted

In the past four years, we have changed every bit of hardware and software we use in our quest to provide information to you exactly the way you want to consume it. We have automated many manual processes and we are always working to improve.

Some of the tools we have implemented to improve our customer service helped us win this award –

  • Connect 24/7 Client Portal and Mobile Application – obtain policy documents and detail information, auto ID cards, certificates of insurance and other insurance related documents. You can pay some of your bills online through our integration with ePayPolicy. Online payment is available for all agency billed property/casualty premiums – where we send you an invoice. We are working with our technology providers to integrate with carrier direct billing portals to further streamline our capabilities.
  • eApplications – we implemented Indio to greatly improve our ability to collect the information we need to get you the best coverage at the best price. Our online electronic applications are easy to complete and sign – even from a mobile device.
  • DocuSign – DocuSign is fully integrated with our brokerage administration system to ensure you documents are easy to sign and return – even from a mobile device.
  • Ease – Our online enrollment portal will help you manage your employee benefits program enrollments and terminations
  • ThinkHR – Your HR Risk Management solution – live HR advisors and information at your fingertips! ThinkHR includes a robust Learning Management System to streamline your onboarding and training.
  • Backend systems – We have several integrated solutions to make sure anyone on our team can help you as quickly and completely as possible.

Providing the Best Service Possible

As the 2020 InsurTech Award Winner, CalNonprofits Insurance Services is always looking for how we can do something better and/or faster. We want to find those technology solutions that help us provide the best service possible to California’s nonprofits.

Award Announcements

EPayPolicy Blog: 2020 InsurTech Award Winners

Hear our CEO, Colleen Lazanich, accept the award announcement and talk about why we think technology is important to our customers:

Natural Disasters and Crises are unavoidable events that, in some cases such as the COVID-19 pandemic, cause profound organizational change for nonprofits. Even if you have the best business continuity plan on the planet already in place, crises throw unexpected curve balls at you. In this article, we show you how to reflect after a crisis so you can build resilience in your nonprofit organization. Reflection helps you find the lessons to be learned from the crisis and is a key step in business continuity planning, which builds resilience.  

What is Business Continuity Planning and Why Does it Matter? 

A Business Continuity Plan (BCP) is the documented risk management plan for ensuring the continuance of operations in the event of a disaster, and Business Continuity Planning is that  process by which your organization creates its plan (see also Become a Risk Management Superhero). Undergoing this process and documenting your BCP helps your nonprofit to be better prepared when a natural disaster or crisis hits. 

Once the crisis has passed, you will inevitably have discovered parts of your plan that did not work or need improvement. This is the perfect opportunity to test and review your BCP, which is the final step in the Business Continuity Planning process. By reflecting on what parts of your plan worked and what did not work, you can find opportunities for learning. These opportunities for learning help the organization discover the lessons and takeaways. These can be applied to improve your Business Continuity Plan. 

How to Reflect After a Crisis 

A crisis can sometimes be the catalyst for a nonprofit to evolve and better meet the needs of its stakeholders. However, this opportunity could be missed if your team fails to honestly reflect. It is therefore important to make a concerted effort to identify the successes, failures, and mistakes that occurred. Identifying these should be part of the testing and reviewing process of Business Continuity Planning. 

Question mark in white chalk on black chalkboard
Asking “What” and “Why” questions can dig down to the root cause of the problem.

Reflect by Asking Questions 

It’s important to ask questions as part of your strategiy for reflecting after a crisis. Asking the questions of “What” and “Why” can dig down to the root cause of the problem for accurate identification. Some suggested questions are: 

  • What happened and why?  
  • What were we prepared for and why? 
  • What were we not prepared for and why? 
  • Did parts of our response go well and why? 
  • What were the surprises and why were they surprises? Could they have been avoided? 
  • What were the challenges and why? What could have been done to alleviate these challenges? 

Reflect by Identifying Successes, Failures, and Mistakes 

You can create opportunity from a crisis by identifying the successes, failures and mistakes that occurred. Once these are identified, your organization can find solutions to those areas needing improvement. It is important when going this process that all staff and leadership participate. Organizational-wide participation will uncover as much as possible from a variety of viewpoints. Honest reflection on crisis events requires open, candid communication and reframing failures and mistakes as learning opportunities.  

  • Ask your staff to each go through the process of identifying their personal success, failures, and mistakes during the crisis.  
  • For each outcome list what was the intended objective, what was the possible cause, and what can be learned.  
  • Be sure you foster an environment of non-blaming when reviewing failures and mistakes. Allow for experiential learning to occur. 
  • Take into account your employees’ emotional well-being during this process. Be sensitive and kind in your communications. Take into consideration any trauma or grief staff members may still be going through.  
  • Celebrate successes! Acknowledge the staff members who played a role in what went well. 

Once this has been completed, your organization will be well-positioned to identify the lessons and take-aways from the crisis and how you can apply them to improve your business continuity plan. The BCP should be a living document that changes and grows with your organization.  


Reflecting Uncovers Rich Opportunities for Learning

The process of reflection is the final step in business continuity planning. It is crucial for meeting the challenges of future crises. Asking questions, identifying successes and failures, and applying lessons learned opens the pathways for communication and problem solving amongst staff. This process helps protect your nonprofit mission by building resilience in the organization. During the process of reflection you may uncover rich opportunities for learning. These learning opportunities may be the catalysts for true organizational change that better supports your nonprofit mission 

Risk Management Resources

We are an affiliate member of the Nonprofit Risk Management Center. As am affiliate, we receive exclusive resources that help develop in-house risk management expertise and custom risk management plans. We are able to share these benefits with our clients. My Risk Management Plan and My Risk Management Policies are two such benefits that are available at discounted pricing. Contact us today to register under our affiliate membership at 888-427-5222 or We welcome your comments below.


Lockwood Herman, M., Presentation: BCP Lessons & Insights from COVID-19, Nonprofit Risk Management Center 2020 Risk Summit, October 19 & 20, 2020.

Photo by Green Chameleon on Unsplash

Photo by Pixaby on Pexels (356079 scaled).

Photo by Pixaby on Pexels (355952).

Work from home employees are increasing your company’s overall risk. The abrupt and sudden change to a remote workforce as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic created various lasting impacts on companies of all sizes. Within a few days’ time, companies and employees had to make an immediate transition to doing their jobs from home.

Teams without any remote working experience had to pivot and quickly adapt to their new situation. For many companies, there was not enough time to adequately address the new security vulnerabilities that were a consequence of this rapid shift. Using personal devices for work, accessing the internet through home networks, conducting meetings via videoconferencing software, and accessing company and customer data from home are all inherently risky from a cybersecurity standpoint.

Now that it appears that the shift to remote work may be a permanent situation, even on a part-time basis, companies will need to establish more substantial security solutions for their remote teams. Global research leader Gartner recently noted that securing the remote workforce “has now become the single greatest existential imperative for all organizations in the wake of COVID-19.”

Criminals quickly seized on cyber vulnerabilities.

Cybersecurity best practices for employees who are working from home should focus on key areas such as devices, internet connections, storing and transferring data, and videoconferencing.

  • Device security: Device, or endpoint, security involves setting security protocols for laptops, desktops, tablets, smartphones or other devices that connect to the internet and store or transfer data.
  • Internet connections: Many cyber attacks and hacking incidents are related to the use of insecure public Wi-Fi.
  • Videoconferencing: There have been widespread reports of security breaches tied to videoconferencing applications such as Zoom and Cisco Webex. Hackers accessed confidential meetings and information communicated or transferred in remote meetings.
  • Storing and transferring data: Data can be compromised when transferred via insecure channels, such as messaging apps or over unsecured networks.

IT departments are often tasked with the responsibility of establishing security plans, protocols and solutions. However, management teams should also be involved in implementing and communicating protocols and solutions for employees who are working remotely.

Companies new to allowing remote work can establish a remote-working policy as well as a cybersecurity best practices guide for employees to use while working from home on their own devices and networks.

Protocols that help mitigate cybersecurity risks

Here are some common security protocols that can help to mitigate the cybersecurity risks encountered when working from home:

  • Access the internet from private, password-protected connections and Wi-Fi only. This can include a mobile hotspot set up by your internet provider. Avoid using open public Wi-Fi connections that can be vulnerable to hackers or other cyber criminals.
  • Protect devices and endpoints with antivirus and anti-malware software.
  • Maintain recommended safety protocols when using videoconferencing software, such as password-protected sessions and using the waiting room protocol to approve attendees.
  • Use secure passwords and two-factor authentication for devices and apps.
  • Prohibit employees from disabling passwords or other measures and from using devices that aren’t password-protected.
  • Ensure that employees keep the operating systems and software on their devices updated, and prohibit the use of outdated devices, as they are a security risk.
  • Take extra security precautions when transmitting data. Do not transfer data over messaging apps or over an unsecured connection.
  • Make sure employees are trained to recognize corporate phishing emails and how to avoid opening malicious emails
  • Make sure employees are aware of social engineering risks and scams.
  • Take extra precautions to protect confidential information from anyone outside of the company, including family members of employees who may unintentionally have access to that information.

Companies should consider developing a written guide or a visual presentation that is easy to access and distribute to employees quickly and efficiently. Employees and teams can also benefit from training and interactive sessions so that they know how to conduct cybersecurity checks.
Training also reinforces a culture of security and security practices.

Implications for business insurance from remote work

The shift to remote work has also resulted in changes to business insurance considerations, largely because the type of many companies’ business activities and nature of the workforce has changed.

Your insurance professional can help you conduct policy reviews and evaluations, which are necessary especially as remote work continues for an extended period. Policies and coverages may need to be modified to reflect this significant change. Insurance agents and brokers can
ensure that the policy coverage is aligned with your company’s business activities, goals, and strategies.

A number of policy and coverage types are likely to be affected with a shift to remote employees.

Cyber liability: Insureds will need to confirm if their policies will cover incidents related to networks or devices that are owned by their employees. This includes both first-party and third party liability (for example, a breach or loss of the company’s own data versus a company’s customer data). While business liability policies may cover some data loss, a separate cyber liability policy may be needed to cover additional risks.

Crime insurance policies: Insureds should have coverage and policies evaluated to ensure coverage of criminal activity, such as fraudulent transfer of funds. These risks could change or increase when employees are working from home.

Workers’ compensation: A workers’ compensation insurance policy may have been written to cover employees at a primary work site, not at their own homes. Leaving this wording untouched could result in a big coverage gap.

Commercial property: Businesses should verify if losses related to company-owned equipment are covered if the loss occurs off company premises or in an employee’s home.

The pandemic has created a permanent change in the work culture. Gartner and other workplace researchers project that 82% of organizations will allow their employees to continue to work from home in some capacity even after the pandemic.

Companies will need to take a proactive approach to cybersecurity in order to protect themselves from the various new losses that could occur. Cyber attacks continue to grow more sophisticated and advanced in their tactics each time security measures are put into place. Modernizing security protocols, installing software patches and updates, and instituting monitoring procedures for systems access are all vital steps to protect your company.

But beyond that, a broad range of insurance coverages should be reviewed in light of new work sites and workforce procedures.

This content is for informational purposes only, should not be considered professional, financial, medical or legal advice, and no representations or warranties are made regarding its accuracy, timeliness or currency. With all information, consult with appropriate licensed professionals to determine if implementing any recommendations would be in accordance with applicable laws and regulations or to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem.

Copyright © 2020 Applied Systems, Inc. All rights reserved.

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