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Are your employee benefits enough?

by John E. Adams, Chair, Board of Trustees, Group Insurance Plans for ACS Members
January 16, 2017 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 95, Issue 3

John E. Adams
Credit: Peter Cutts Photography
A photo of John Adams.
Credit: Peter Cutts Photography

We all know that membership in the American Chemical Society grants us access to world-class technical benefits that enable us as chemists to thrive and advance in our careers. But please don’t overlook the value of the society’s nontechnical member-only benefits to you and your family.

In the shifting employment environment of the 21st century, employer-provided benefit plans may not adequately provide what you need to sustain your family should an unexpected catastrophic event occur. An often under-appreciated benefit of belonging to a large organization such as ACS is access to group insurance plans that help you to fill gaps in your benefits package. Furthermore, you can take comfort in knowing that plans you enroll in through ACS stay with you even if you change jobs or stop working.

In short, the Member Insurance Program (MIP) offers ACS members the peace of mind that comes from having secured protection over your family’s financial future. Covering basic needs, such as life, health, professional liability, auto, and homeowners insurance, MIP helps members reach their long-term professional and financial goals. With 50 years of continued success, the program has proven to be a reliable and valuable member benefit.

The Board of Trustees (BOT) of the Group Insurance Plans for ACS Members consists of nine ACS member volunteers who regularly review the insurance and financial security products offered to members as well as the companies that offer those products. The board typically only endorses insurance carriers that are rated A or better for financial strength by A.M. Best, an independent insurance-rating agency. We also consider the breadth of the offerings and customer service capabilities to ensure that our members receive the best plans available from the top insurance carriers.

For 2017, we are delighted to announce that we have negotiated a 7.5% rate reduction and policy enhancements to the Professional Liability plan to better serve members.

MIP was established in 1966, when it offered a $10,000 Term Life insurance plan for members. Today, ACS members may apply for up to $2 million in coverage and select among Level Term plans as well as traditional Term Life. Other plans in the robust and portable insurance portfolio include supplemental health coverage and property/casualty insurance.

Plans for business owners

We know that many members are self-employed consultants, either full-time or part-time, who need insurance to successfully operate a business and want the life and health plans that protect their families. Since 1999, BOT has offered a Professional Liability Insurance plan for chemical consultants; insured through Lloyd’s of London, this plan covers risks unique to chemists. Members may visit an online Risk Management Center hosted just for ACS and view sample contracts and claims avoidance techniques. In addition, dedicated claims attorneys who are well-versed in handling chemical-consulting-related claims are available to help members navigate the business side of their consulting practice. For 2017, we are delighted to announce that we have negotiated a 7.5% rate reduction and policy enhancements to the Professional Liability plan to better serve members. New features include coverage for technology products, privacy liability, and data breach response.

Chemical Educators Legal Liability Insurance

Our newest plan was created to provide liability coverage requested by academic members. Although standard educators liability insurance is readily available to anyone who teaches for a living, those plans typically contain exclusions that render them virtually useless in addressing the unique risks faced by chemical educators. The Chemical Educators Legal Liability Insurance plan, in contrast, is a niche liability plan specifically developed for chemical educators. In particular, the policy includes coverage related to pollution; it also covers bodily injury and property damage, as well as many other features found in commonly available educators’ liability plans, such as wrongful employment practices, accusations of sexual harassment, and contested administrative proceedings.

MIP continues to be financially sound because of a conservative investment policy and careful management of the program. No member dues are used to administer the program, and Insurance Trust investment gains are periodically distributed to ACS for the benefit of society programs. The Board of Trustees of the Group Insurance Programs for ACS Members remains committed to expanding and improving the insurance and financial security products offered to ACS members. Please let us know how we can better serve you by calling (800) 227-5558, ext. 8911, or by e-mailing us at

Views expressed on this page are those of the author and not necessarily those of ACS.


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