Case Study: Nationwide Insurance

How Nationwide Insurance Determines Security Needs

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Reliability and confidence have been driving forces behind Nationwide Insurance’s use of CAP Index’s CRIMECAST Reports, explains Jay C. Beighley, CPP, Associate Vice President for Corporate Security.

“A CAP Score is not just a crime number – it’s giving you the whole socio-economic perspective. It is jobs, schools, housing—so much goes into that number, and it gives you a better picture of what’s there.”

“When I came to Nationwide, we had over 300 locations but no written or systematic assessment of facilities,” he explained. “We’d open a new location in Chicago, and you’d hear, ‘it’s nice area, you’ll like it,’ but it was all anecdotal, there was no baseline for security and so there was no confidence in what we should do about it.”

Beighley was already familiar with CAP Index, having used it in his retail days when he’d need to know what the environment around a new store was like, so he immediately put the tool to work for Nationwide. “We needed to catch-up quickly and the fastest way to  do it was with a reliable insurance security assessment with CAP Index’s CRIMECAST Reports providing the baseline, and then we’d include  other information to arrive at a protection scheme for a facility,” explained Beighley.“

The Need for a “True Risk” Insurance Security Assessment

In short order, the company went from an ad hoc security strategy based on what ‘felt right’ to one driven by data that truly aligned protection with risk.

“The nice thing about a CAP Score is that it’s not just crime,” said Beighley. “Of course, I can get police crime rates, which depends on how often they update their UCR, but a CAP Score is not just a crime number–it’s giving you the whole socio-economic perspective. It’s jobs, schools, housing—so much goes into that number, and it gives you a better picture of what’s there.”

Crime data can be a misleading risk indicator, according to Beighley—something they’ve identified from experiences at their locations, including their headquarters’ home in downtown Columbus, Ohio. “Because you’re looking at all these other aspects, like what schools are like, you’re getting a more well-rounded look at an environment and its past, current, and future,” he said, noting that the tool can help maintain momentum for security even in the absence of crime events. “It helps you to see issues that might be small, but which could become something bigger.”

“It’s important to get that well-rounded understanding,” Beighley added. “And it does it in a way that takes bias complaints out of the equation.” 

Ensuring a safe and secure working environment for:
Locations in the USA

“[CRIMECAST Reports] are specific right down to the zip code and street address and gives you a radius view with a heat map – that’s critical when you’re trying to make plans with where people are going to be.”

How CRIMECAST Helped Nationwide Insurance

A CAP Index CRIMECAST Report serves multiple functions for the Nationwide security team. They’ll run a report for a hotel where a meeting might take place to ensure it’s a safe choice. They’ll use it for executive protection, including for principles’ home and travel security. Primarily, though, it is a key input in assigning a risk level to office locations, which provides a critical basis for the protection it receives. “We can say, ‘this is a low-risk location, so it gets these items,’ and then at the next level up, ‘you get that level of security, plus this.’”

The granularity of the CRIMECAST Report’s scoring is a key benefit, Beighley added. “It’s specific right down to the zip code and street address and gives you a radius view with a heat map—that’s critical when you’re trying to make plans with where people are going to be.”

“It’s defensible. If you get into trouble at a facility and get sued, you’re going to be asked, ‘what did you base your security judgment on? It’s important in our industry to have a systematic, proven reliable method for assessing risk”

With risk addressed systematically, the security team no longer must assume all responsibility for the extent of security at a site, as an executive risk committee signs-off on any decision to forgo security measures prescribed by a location’s risk category. CAP Index CRIMECAST Reports are a critical communication tool that make senior management aware of its risk appetite and is a fact-based approach to resource allocation that management appreciates. “Having a scientific method drive how money is spent is one of those things that management really responds to, that they can really understand,” he said.

Importantly, the tool is both validated and respected, which provides a ready-made defense against any claim of a failure to adequately address security risk. “It’s defensible. If you get into trouble at a facility and get sued, you’re going to be asked, ‘what did you base your security judgment on?’” Beighley said. “It’s important in our industry to have a systematic, proven-reliable method for assessing risk.”

The Outcome

While it can successfully defend past action, it also helps an organization look forward, according to Kate Studebaker Heinmiller, who recently joined Nationwide’s security team as a threat management consultant. “It can tell you where you stand and what you can expect,” she said. “Looking at the risk for crime and theft, you can see if those are creeping closer to a specific site. It’s a nice tool for project and plan development.”

From someone like Jay Beighley, who has been a leader in the security industry for 30-plus years, his perspective on CAP Index CRIMECAST Reports is probably the ultimate compliment: “Honestly, there is nothing I would recommend they do differently or change,” he said. Clearly, Nationwide’s Insurance’s adoption of CRIMECAST reports has become a benchmark in insurance security assessment practices.

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What Clients Say

CAP Reports are critical to my risk assessments. They have enabled us to take a more surgical approach to investing in our stores that need it the most.

Brad Reeves
Senior Manager of Asset Protection
Five Below, Inc.

CAP Index is the first tool I turn to when time is of the essence. I can always depend on CAP Index to provide me qualified crime information within a very few minutes that I feel comfortable reviewing with the C-Suite.

Stephen A. Brown, CPP
Director, Corporate Security / Facility Security Officer
Burns & McDonnell

CAP Index data is a vital part of our security decision-making process.

Keith McGlen, CPP, CHPA
Associate Vice President
System Security Services
Memorial Hermann Health System

CRIMECAST® Reports have helped our organization for many years to proactively assess the particular risk for crime surrounding our facilities. The CAP Index® CRIMECSAST Platform is an easy-to-use online service that provides us with the flexibility to share and decentralize crime risk data within our North America business units.

Carlos J. Cortez,
Manager, Global Security Programs,
Kraft Foods, Inc. / Mondelez International

Our property selectors are not discouraged from a site just because it receives a high score. What we do is issue every store – all of them – a security classification. The classification determines how we allocate our security resources to that store.

Claude Verville,

CAP Index's online platform, CRIMECAST, is great. It is easy to use and quick!

Ken Wieczorek,
Bank of America

In industries where there is high public contact and a customer is coming to our location (such as retail), why would you leave it to chance when planning security when there is an easy, affordable tool? When investing a million dollars on a location, what is this small charge compared to what it may cost you when you get sued?

Jay Beighley,
Nationwide Insurance

CAP Index assessments are a must for anyone engaged in asset protection. The new website is much improved and as important, easy to navigate.

Bruce List,
The Williams Companies

We have been using CAP Index for a few years and include it in our security vulnerability assessments. Highly recommend it.

Dan Yaross
Director, Protective Services
Nationwide Children's Hospital