Geneva, Ill. - Professional liability insurer Insight Insurance Services Inc. joined in the fight against malaria across Africa by creating the "Netraiser Team" on the Nothing But Nets campaign Web site. The Geneva, Ill.-based insurer is appealing to its agents and brokers to contribute to the campaign. The campaign is designed to prevent malaria across Africa with the distribution of anti-malaria bed nets. 

For its part, Insight also pledged to donate $10 for every policy order it receives, beginning with its February business, until it reaches its goal of $20,000.

"It's a modest goal but it can make an immediate and real difference in the lives of so many people, especially children," says Michelle Duffett, Insight Insurance co-owner. "Malaria kills more than one million people each year, and so many of these deaths are preventable with the simple use of a $10 bed net that stops mosquitoes from transmitting the disease."

Insight co-owners Duffett and Jim Romano were inspired to participate in the Nothing But Nets campaign after reading a column by Sports Illustrated's Rick Reilly. Last April Reilly wrote a column describing the ravages of the disease and challenging his readers to donate at least $10 for the purchase and distribution of an anti-malaria bed net. Seven months later, Reilly wrote a "nothing but thanks" column after more than 17,000 contributions had been received, totaling $1.2 million, which enabled the purchase and delivery of 150,000 nets.

"One hospital in Nigeria reported that after the Nothing But Nets mosquito nets began arriving, outpatient cases of malaria fell from 80 to 50 a month," Duffett says. "When something so simple can have such a dramatic impact on saving lives, we wanted to do our own part in this worthwhile cause."

Bed nets can prevent malaria transmission by 50%. Nothing But Nets works with the Measles Initiative to purchase the nets, transport them to Africa and distribute them to families.  Other partners in the initiative include the American Red Cross, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, UNICEF and the United Nations Foundation.

"With such strong and respected organizations supporting this effort, we felt people in our little corner of the world, and corner of the insurance industry, could make a difference —something that would otherwise be completely out of our reach," Romano says. "When you add to this that our donations will be matched in full by a generous grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Insight-sponsored contributions can save thousands of lives."

To encourage participation by its insurance agents, Romano sent an e-mail to Insight's producers describing the Nothing But Nets campaign and requesting donations to Insight's Netraiser Team. Secured online donations can be made on the organization's Web site www.nothingbutnets.net through Insight's sponsor link.

"Rather than just ask our producers for donations, we wanted to set an example by contributing directly through our own business," Romano says. "So for every insurance policy we receive starting in February, we'll contribute $10. That means one policy for one net—now that's good insurance, and a very good feeling."

Source: Insight Insurance Services Inc.

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