Introducing RISQ Consulting’s new blog, The Vantage Point! Get ready to learn about more than “just insurance”. We have experts on our team that know so much more than premiums and paperwork! At RISQ Consulting, we are proud to say we focus on educating ourselves in many areas of the business world, not just insurance. This quest for knowledge has inspired many of our team members to dive deeply into fascinating areas such as business technology, organizational management, team psychology, employee engagement and more! The Vantage Point is our way of sharing simple tips and valuable insights with you. Please enjoy!


Read more +18 January 2019 By RISQ Consulting in Blog

A Valuable Share: “Having Your Smartphone Nearby Takes a Toll on Your Thinking”

By Tiffany Stock “Put your phone down” has become a common request in my house with a teenager and pre-teen. Have you ever thought about the impact smartphones have on all of us, even when you aren’t “looking” at your phone? Check out this study published by the Harvard Business Review on how having your smartphone near you impacts your cognitive capacity. After reading this article, some of their points definitely resonate with me and
Read more +15 January 2019 By RISQ Consulting in Blog

What Happens If I Miss Open Enrollment?

An open enrollment period is a short period of time when you can enroll in or make changes to your employee benefits elections. Possible changes include adding or dropping coverage, adding or removing dependents, or enrolling in benefits for the first time. Open enrollment is your opportunity to take advantage of important benefits, such as health, vision, dental and life insurance, a health savings account (HSA), and a retirement plan. The decisions you make during
Read more +09 January 2019 By RISQ Consulting in Blog

6 HR Trends to Monitor in 2019

A new year brings new issues for HR professionals to contend with. Some challenges are similar to previous years (overtime uncertainty), while others are more unique and complicated (legal marijuana and employment). Despite inherent difficulties, staying tuned in to these six trends can keep you ahead of the game in 2019. Ignoring them will only put you behind. Below are the top trends to monitor in the coming months. 1. Opioids, Marijuana and the Workplace
Read more +03 January 2019 By RISQ Consulting in Blog

Cyber Risks & Liabilities

Top Cyber Predictions for 2019 The average global cost of a data breach has risen to $3.86 million, magnifying the need for companies to be aware of all potential threats. Here are just a few of the threats that cyber security experts have forecast for 2019. Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a Weapon With AI being so young, it is still vulnerable to attacks that can affect its operations. However, AI could also be used defensively
Read more +19 December 2018 By RISQ Consulting in Blog

The ACA Remains In Place After Being Struck Down By Federal Court

OVERVIEW On Dec. 14, 2018, a federal judge ruled in Texas v. United States that the entire Affordable Care Act (ACA) is invalid due to the elimination of the individual mandate penalty in 2019. The decision was not stayed, but the White House announced that the ACA will remain in place pending appeal. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) also confirmed that it will continue administering and enforcing all aspects of the ACA.
Read more +14 December 2018 By RISQ Consulting in Blog

The Busier You Are, the More You Need Quiet Time

By Natasha Kwachka Lately productivity has been a huge topic of discussion. Some would say productivity can be achieved by a few simple habits put into action. Although I agree with creating positive habits that can contribute to efficiencies, I wonder if there is more that goes into productivity. I recently read an article that discussed taking small moments to disengage, also known as Quiet Time. It caused me to take a deep look inward and
Read more +07 December 2018 By ariggan in Blog

Earthquake Relief

The State of Alaska released a notice containing directions for Alaskans affected by last week’s earthquake to apply for grants and disaster relief, which can be found at This can be very valuable to those struggling to rebuild after damages incurred last week. Please direct inquiries for disaster assistance to this site and feel free to forward this notice to those looking for help. We also posted this on the RISQ website. The link
Read more +04 December 2018 By ariggan in Blog

How To Save For Retirement

Once you have reduced your debt and created a workable spending plan, you’re ready to begin saving toward retirement. You may do this through a company retirement plan or on your own. Here are a few of the places where you might put your money for retirement: • Savings accounts, money market mutual funds, certificates of deposit (CDs) and U.S. Treasury bills. These are often referred to as cash or cash equivalents because you can
Read more +27 November 2018 By ariggan in Blog

Pet Insurance

Many American households have at least one pet. In any given year, one in three of these beloved family members will need costly veterinary care, even if it is for routine exam visits and vaccinations. Should a pet become severely ill and need emergency care, costs can sometimes be more than pet owners can bear. However, if they have pet insurance, owners will never have to make a decision about their pets wellbeing based on
Read more +20 November 2018 By ariggan in Blog

Marcus Buckingham Blog

By Andrew Kupperman   We all have something inside of us to share with the world. The work that we do 5 days a week hopefully leads us to unleash whatever that something is, in one way or another. I love reading, watching, and listening to Marcus Buckingham’s blog because he offers and explains the best ways for all of us to get there in such a simple, yet innovative way. It does not hurt
Read more +13 November 2018 By ariggan in Blog

The Power of Positive Thinking

By Tiffany Stock “The power of positive thinking” seems a little cliché, but James Clear’s article “How Positive Thinking Builds Your Skills, Boosts Your Health, and Improves Your Work,” demonstrates that those words should be considered more important. Bringing positivity into your life has many benefits beyond the obvious. I encourage you all to check out this article and not put limits on your potential in all areas of life!
Read more +01 November 2018 By ariggan in Blog

Team Building Ideas

By Tonya Mott Over the past couple of years, my colleagues and I participated in various types of team building activities, which resulted in creating true team synergy and building relationships and trust; all of which are necessary assets for a high performing team.  The different types of team building events range from, ‘just for fun,’ to charitable and more structured.   Check out the different activities and pictures of us in action. Structured Team
Read more +30 October 2018 By ariggan in Blog


By Ashley Snodgrass I start my morning with theSkimm – a short email newsletter designed to get you the day’s news in less time than it takes to brush your teeth.  I’ve always been a news junkie, but there are only so many hours in the day to read news stories from state, national, and international publications. theSkimm is email that arrives in your inbox each morning, bringing you the news highlights of the day
Read more +25 October 2018 By ariggan in Blog

Stress, There’s Not Room in This Moment for the Both of Us

By Alesha Combs You may have experienced the bittersweet nature of the holiday season. It’s a time for celebrating, socializing, parties and great food, but the stress that some of these events bring on can catch you off guard. Maybe you encounter a first holiday without a loved one, or feel overwhelmed with the thought of hosting Thanksgiving dinner or picking the perfect gift. If you work in health insurance, you know that the holiday
Read more +22 October 2018 By ariggan in Blog

Workers Compensation Rates in Alaska Coming Down in 2019

By Tim Maudsley Alaskan businesses will receive a welcome drop in workers’ compensation rates for 2019, based on the expected approval by the Alaska Division of Insurance, which will go into effect on January 1, 2019. If approved, this will be the largest single reduction of rates seen in Alaska in the past 40 years. The 2019 rate reductions follow 2018 rates that fell 5.4 percent from 2017. Alaska has reduced rates by approximately 25
Read more +18 October 2018 By ariggan in Blog

Work – Life Balance: Are You Teetering or Succeeding? Tips to Achieve This Illusive Proposition.

By Aimee Johnson   The average American works on average 47 hours per week; with many people saying they work 50 hours per week, that’s almost a third of our time being spent with our work families! I sure hope you like yours! It’s easy to see why the discussion of work-life balance is increasingly more relevant and an important value to modern day working Americans. Who wouldn’t want more time with our families, friends,
Read more +16 October 2018 By ariggan in Blog

32-Hour Work Week – Eye-Roll or Intriguing Concept?

By Aimee Johnson Work-life balance is an ever-increasing topic of discussion and frustration. With five generations and seven values currently in the workplace today, how do you keep all of these employees happy? As the workforce continues to change, are you an employer that believes in the traditional way of doing things – keep your head down, do what your told, clock-in, clock-out, work your 9am-5pm, 40-60 hours per week, and collect your paycheck or
Read more +11 October 2018 By ariggan in Blog

Construction Coverage

By Tim Maudsley The construction industry is much more complex than drywall here, hammer there, paint this. It’s a complicated equation of materials, time, and funding. That’s why construction insurance is equally complex. Few people are familiar with “delay in start-up,” which, in its simplest interpretation, is a time element construction coverage to insure against potential loss of earning following a delay. Delay in start-up coverage for the construction market is one that is essentially
Read more +09 October 2018 By ariggan in Blog

The Way We Work is Changing, are You Prepared?

By Andrew Kupperman, SHRM-CP Picture this: the business you work for provides you with a tool that allows you to do anything and everything you need from a single interface. This tool is similar to HAL 9000 from “2001: A Space Odyssey,” but without the malfunctions and antagonism that would lead to your entire team’s demise. Let’s call our tool WIT (Work Information Tool). WIT is similar to Siri or Alexa that we already have
Read more +04 October 2018 By ariggan in Blog

Tips For Being an Informed Health Care Consumer

By Tiffany Stock I really struggled with this post, trying to figure out what I could write about that would benefit you, our readers, but also be something I felt passionately about that we haven’t already posted. Then the light bulb came on – every day I talk with people about the best way to utilize their health insurance, the questions to ask, things to look out for so you can avoid unexpected charges and
Read more +03 October 2018 By ariggan in Blog

How to Be Indispensable While Suffering Under the Crushing Weight of Expectation

By Jennifer Outcelt   Warning: The following blog post is ripe with satire and sarcasm. The opinions expressed in this blog belong to the author and should not be read by anyone.   It’s a good feeling to be needed. Not only does it feel good, some people NEED to be needed. One could even argue that the need to be needed needs to be added to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Pay attention, I NEED
Read more +25 September 2018 By ariggan in Blog

Read What? Reddit

By Blanche Sheppard It might seem overwhelming to add another social media or news site to your lineup, but understanding the current political, economic, and social climate should come from a variety of sources. One source to consider, if you haven’t already, is Reddit, the “front page of the internet.” There are subreddits for everything from cute puppies to home improvement, but I also especially like the /r/smallbusiness/ subreddits. Users hop on to discuss using
Read more +18 September 2018 By ariggan in Blog

Sharing is Caring: MyWave and Your Way

By Blanche Sheppard Many of our blog posts heavily feature technology. We talk about how it changed how we work, how we live, and how we interact with one another. This blog is about sharing the things that teach us to be better: better people, better employees, and better resources for our clients. Spotlighting the technology that helps us do that is just a natural part of that process. This week I’d like to discuss
Read more +13 September 2018 By ariggan in Blog

The Importance of Social Media for Your Small Business

By Alison Riggan “I have a small business, do I really need to use social media?” That’s the question I’ve heard asked on multiple occasions from owners of small businesses who don’t want to go through the hassle of learning about various social media platforms. The short answer? Yes! Utilizing social media in your small business can be extremely beneficial. In fact, small businesses can benefit more from utilizing social media than larger companies. You
Read more +11 September 2018 By ariggan in Blog

Bring Fido to Work

By Alison Riggan It’s no secret amongst those who know me- I’m a crazy dog lady. I have two dogs (Spock and Watson) who I absolutely adore and probably talk about more than I should, but again- crazy dog lady. I would LOVE to bring them to work with me during the day, and it turns out there could be some benefits to bringing your dog to the office! Bringing your dog to work can
Read more +06 September 2018 By ariggan in Blog

Trash, Servant Leadership, and Safety – What do they have in Common? Alaska Waste (Series – Part 2 of 2)

By Tonya Mott   Why am I hanging with Alaska Waste? A couple of reasons: 1. Servant Leadership – I’m on a mission to learn how to be the best leader I can be and help others do the same. As you read, you’ll find out why I would be learning this from employees at Alaska Waste. 2. Safety, from a risk management perspective – According to the 2016 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, the
Read more +04 September 2018 By ariggan in Blog

How to stop saying “Um”, “Ah,” and “You Know”

By Tiffany Stock   We’ve all been there before – listening to an in-person presentation or webinar, and the presenter keeps saying “um.” You even start counting “um’s” after the first four or five occurrences. It can be so distracting! Have you ever thought, “Oh my gosh, I hope I don’t sound like that!?” Well, fear no more! Check out this article I came across from the Harvard Business Review, giving you some useful tips
Read more +30 August 2018 By ariggan in Blog

Hey, Can You Hear Me Now?

By Bailey Penrose   “I’m just a soul whose intentions are good Oh Lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood” – The Animals (Cover, 1964)   Everyone just wants to be heard. I don’t think anyone would dispute that point, especially in an age where it’s easier than ever to broadcast to a larger audience – a blog post, a YouTube video, a Tweet. However, in this new world of instant communication and sharing, there
Read more +28 August 2018 By ariggan in Blog

Trash Talk: Servant Leadership and Safety (Series – Part 1 of 2)

By Tonya Mott   Why am I hanging with Alaska Waste? A couple of reasons: 1. Servant Leadership – I’m on a mission to learn how to be the best leader I can be and help others do the same. As you read, you’ll find out why I would be learning this from employees at Alaska Waste. 2. Safety, from a risk management perspective – According to the 2016 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries the
Read more +24 August 2018 By ariggan in Blog

Trust Your Business Gut

By Nicholas Wiandt Your gut is telling you something, and I don’t mean its lunchtime. No one knows your business better than you do, so it’s no surprise that you will often have a gut feeling or a hunch about what’s going on in the undercurrent. Often these feelings are spurred on by analyzing our own in house data, such as the amount of leads we have received lately, the kind of feedback we get
Read more +21 August 2018 By ariggan in Blog

‘Crucial Conversations’ and Positive Outcomes

By Bailey Penrose Have you ever read something that changed your outlook on life?  Maybe the change wasn’t drastic (maybe it was), but the Rubicon had been crossed and there was no going back. The book Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High by Patterson, Grenny, McMillan, and Switlzer did that for me. When I thought of the term ‘crucial’ before diving into this book, I always thought it meant events of apocalyptic
Read more +16 August 2018 By ariggan in Blog

Managing Your Insurance Program Through a Difficult Economy

By Tim Maudsley   As Alaskans, we have witnessed one of the more difficult economies this state has endured since the 1980’s oil crisis. While it is well documented that Alaska’s economy is much more diverse today than it was thirty years ago, when the demand for oil stutters our whole economy feels the effects. That’s why it’s important to strategize managing your insurance program during difficult economies, so that you’re prepared for worst while
Read more +14 August 2018 By ariggan in Blog

5 Voices – Simplify and Understand Personality Types

By Tonya Mott We have all taken the Meyers-Briggs personality test at one time or another.  It goes something like this: Take the test Get the results, okay, so I’m an INFJ What does this mean and what do I do with this info? Confusion sets in and you move on 5 Voices, How to Communicate Effectively with Everyone you Lead helps simplify and understand the 16 different personality types by narrowing them down to
Read more +09 August 2018 By ariggan in Blog

Why, When, and How to Say “No”

By Ashley Snodgrass When you Google search “How to say no at work” you’ll find 2.5 billion results.     These are articles packed with “How To’s”, “Don’t Do’s”, and all the “best kept secrets of getting ahead in the workplace”. Logic tells us that the more results you get for a search, the more popular a topic would be. To put 2.5 billion results in perspective, when you google Ariana Grande, she only has 330
Read more +07 August 2018 By ariggan in Blog

Business ID Theft Insurance

By Tim Maudsley One of our clients reached out to us about a troubling incident with the IRS. The IRS notified the group directly that two new EINs were created for their business, a red flag, because the group had not initiated these themselves. Someone had taken the time to fraudulently complete forms SS-4, which prompted the IRS to send mailed notices of the two new tax ID numbers. Our client did their due diligence,
Read more +02 August 2018 By ariggan in Blog

Trust at Work Can Foster Great Success

By Natasha Kwachka Recently, I was listening to the EntreLeadership podcast, and came across an episode that inspired me: #97: Jack Welch-Winning the Game. The wisdom in this episode provoked a change in perspective that I would like to share. All teams go through steps to develop trust and understanding on the way to becoming a strong team. In the workplace, it is common to experience disruptions such as conflict, disagreements, process changes, workflow changes,
Read more +31 July 2018 By ariggan in Blog

Developing Passion for Financial Independence

By Joshua Weinstein I recently turned 40, my eldest daughter moved out, and I stared at the next chapter of my life like a deer blinded by oncoming headlights. I was caught off guard.  Instead of remaining paralyzed with fear about how to prepare for the future, I darted to the internet for answers. I found ChooseFI, an amazing website, podcast, and blossoming community focusing on financial independence (FI) and the life-altering effects of making
Read more +26 July 2018 By ariggan in Blog

What Makes the Ideal Team Player?

By Tiffany Stock Based on a typical full-time work week, the average person spends 47 hours per week with their co-workers. With 168 hours in a full week, that is 28% of your time, compared to an estimated 39% with your family. That is a big chunk of your waking hours, so why not make sure that time is spent with the best “work family” as possible? Last year, I was introduced to a book
Read more +24 July 2018 By ariggan in Blog

HSA – Resource Tips

By Teena Applegate Have a high deductible health plan (HSA qualified) but employees don’t see any value in the plan?  Employees aren’t taking advantage of the valuable bank account feature available to them?  I thought I would share my personal go-to guides and references that I’m liking and using today! MyWave Connect® – as our client, you have access to MyWave Connect®. This resource portal is your one-stop source for not just insurance, but all
Read more +19 July 2018 By ariggan in Blog

E=mc2: Understanding Turnover Costs through Einstein

By Nicholas Wiandt Did you leave the lights on when you left the house this morning? What about the bathroom sink, is the water still running? In our lives, we can inadvertently create or forget issues that can cause a financial drain of some sort.  Some drains can be relatively minor in nature, and therefore not worth the time to hunt out and address. Other drains though can have life-crippling effects. The same is true
Read more +17 July 2018 By ariggan in Blog

Robots and Elevator Music: The Customer Service of the Future

By Natasha Kwachka   The last time you called a customer service line, what was your experience? Were you greeted by an eager representative ready to help solve your problems? Or did you yell “CUSTOMER SERVICE” into your phone repeatedly until you heard “I’m having a hard time understanding you, let me get you to a representative” and were forwarded to a queue? Is this, the elevator music and the robotic voice reassuring you every
Read more +12 July 2018 By ariggan in Blog

Tackling a Project: 5 Things to Get You Off on the Right Foot!

By Aimee Johnson Projects = that vague, looming, hanging over your head, stressful, time consuming thing we all dread, but are faced with in our personal and professional lives on a regular basis. I have a tendency to allow myself to spiral or think of the next project I need to complete before I even have a chance to finish the current project at hand! This causes unnecessary stress and can negatively affect the quality
Read more +09 July 2018 By ariggan in Blog

Spark Prevention: A Valuable Share

By Blanche Sheppard Working in a collaborative office results in one of the most valuable aspects of a team – sharing knowledge and resources. As a team, you not only lean in when you need help, but also contribute to one another’s personal growth by sharing articles and books you find interesting or helpful. In our office, Natasha mentioned a book called Death by Meeting by Patrick Lencioni, recommended to her by someone who called
Read more +05 July 2018 By ariggan in Blog

Increasing Productivity with Time Blocking

by: Jessica Carlson Something that I struggled with in the past is having multiple tasks and prioritizing to make sure that I am able to meet my deadlines. One way that I have found to help me keep organized and on task is “Time Blocking.” It sounds simple enough, right? Setting aside a certain amount of time each day is a good start. Nevertheless, with everything else going on around you it can be difficult
Read more +06 June 2018 By RISQ Consulting in Blog

What Do You Do Again?: Building Your Own “Storybrand”

by: Jessica Carlson Do you struggle to tell people what it is that your company does? You know what you do, but trying to explain it to others can sometimes feel complicated. With all of the exciting changes that our company has gone through in the last 12 months, we’ve been working on answering this question for ourselves. This podcast from Donald Miller’s “Building a Storybrand” has helped with that immensely. “How to Tell People
Read more +06 June 2018 By RISQ Consulting in Blog

STOP, Yammer Time!

By Tonya Mott Do you ever feel like your job title could be “Professional Emailer”? Pre-Yammer, I would have anywhere from 100 to 125 emails in my inbox on a daily basis. Post- Yammer I’m hovering around 50 to 65. I don’t know about you, but if I have 125 emails in my inbox, I start getting that anxious feeling. Yammer is a social networking tool that allows employees to openly connect and engage across
Read more +26 April 2018 By RISQ Consulting in Blog

Quit Playing the Blame Game

Instead, you could choose to be accountable. Definition of accountable: required or expected to justify actions or decisions; responsible. The opposite of accountable is to mitigate and/or place blame. Definition of mitigate: the action of reducing the severity, seriousness, or painfulness of something. Being accountable has everything to do with yourself and not anyone around you. It is all about “you.” After listening to the podcast I realized how easy it is, almost even natural,